The Political Slant - Page 2

Pugnacious Putin’s Presentiment

With 100,000 troops on the Ukraine border, Vladimir Putin (whatever his title) is playing a very dangerous game. Putin wants the Ukraine. His Russia is not enough for him. Like any power-hungry autocrat, the largest country on the globe is not enough. Putin doesn’t want to “liberate” Ukraine; he wants to enslave it, although he will put any conflict in terms of a “liberation.” He will also explain any conflict as being Ukraine started by the Ukraine, even though the Ukraine has no interest in attacking Russia.

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I Am Not the Left

Not too long ago, after watching my neighbor’s FUCK BIDEN flag proudly flutter in the afternoon breeze, I wondered if there wasn’t something that we could / I could / you could do to make things better instead of even more divisive, and I got the seed of an idea.  Not a complete idea, just a thought:  Maybe I/we could sponsor some sort of contest to encourage people to write songs or poems about unity or the goodness of our nation. 

I emailed a couple buddies and my favorite college professor – the only person with the possible exception of Vince Lombardi that I have ever idolized or revered – to see what they thought of my notion.  The response I got from my professor was quick and clear, and the caps are his: I HATE THE LEFT.

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The Brainpower of Humanity

New Year’s Day 2022, 6 AM

Another new January 1st:; another new year to look forward to; another old year to look back on.  A fleeting moment of reflection, resolution and recalibrating.  A flash of a lifetime to ponder what is working and what is not, what makes us happy and what does not, what is important and what simply is not.

It is easy to declare that personal health is the most important thing in life, for without that we are without our power.  It is easy to surmise that family is the most important thing, as our loved ones help us feel grounded and connected and loved.  Financial stability, education, professional success and societal status are all things that may top your list of ‘most important’, and to each his own.  Conversely, perhaps the most important thing is one that we usually don’t even consider: being human.

What sets us apart form the other creatures of Earth is that we are self-aware; capable of introspection, imagination, reasoning, and morality. These higher-level skills separate us from the beasts and form the basis of our global culture as a species.  So, what’s going on?  Because more and more we seem to be a nation and a people of non-thinking, non-reasoning, non-rational creatures.

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COVID-19, Conspiracies, and Corpses

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Before year 2020, what does not kill me makes me stronger. After the year 2020, it mutates and tries again. Freedom in the Unites States means you can choose to die if you wish. You have the right to refuse to wear a mask, and the organizations that you visit have the right to refuse you entry into their property if you decline to wear said mask. The reason these organizations have the right to refuse your entry is because you do not have the right to infect other people. When your rights impose a risk to other citizens, it becomes a societal problem.

Historically, free speech in the United States has seen limitations. You cannot shout “fire” in a crowded theatre.  Free speech ends when it threatens lives of other citizens. Citizens have been tried for manslaughter when they urged other citizens to kill themselves.  The great thing about the United States is that you may listen and follow the advice, no matter how naïve, of other citizens. If that advice results in your demise, then the mistake is yours, a decision you are free to make.

You may believe that you have the right to consume intoxicants and operate a vehicle, but if your behavior threatens the safety of other citizens, that right impinges on other citizens who have the right to be protected from your behavior.  As a citizen, you have the right to refuse vaccination, which in some cases, has cost people their lives.  Social media has become saturated with uncredentialed self-proclaimed “experts” who have found numerous reasons why you shouldn’t be vaccinated.  These experts have reasons too long to discuss in this essay. Statistically speaking, there is, and I will not deny it, a small amount of risk if you get vaccinated, since the vaccine has not been tested on millions of people, but that risk is very, very small.

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Rise Above

Fathers and daughters not speaking to each other.  Decades-long friendships broken and volatile.  Siblings screaming at each other, saying terrible, hurtful things.  More and more, this is America.  Angry, divided, hyper-political. 

What separates us today are not the age-old differences between Republicans and Democrats, or conservatives and liberals, or the right and left.  What has divided us and continues to divide us today is Donald Trump.  We love him and hope that he becomes King and lives forever.  Or we start each morning praying that this will be the day he dies.  There is no in-between, no agreeing to disagree, no compromise.  It is this irreconcilable difference that continues to tear our once-great nation apart.

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Reporting, Reproach, and Our Republic

According to The Wall Street Journal of September 18, 2021, on September 17, 2021 attorney Michael Sussman was indicted by Special Counsel John Durham for lying to the FBI regarding Donald Trump’s association with Russians. Specifically, Sussman (allegedly) lied about the Russian-based Alfa Bank and the Trump Administration. Mr. Sussman was an attorney for the law firm Perkins Coie and was working for the Clinton Campaign  when he presented then FBI general counsel James Baker documents purporting to show “secret internet communications between the Trump Organization and the Russian-based Alfa bank” on September 19, 2016.

The indictment reads that Sussman represented himself to the FBI General Counsel as a “good citizen” and was not working “for any client” and not an advocate for a candidate. It turns out that he was lying to the FBI, something that is taken quite seriously by our federal government. Just ask Martha Stewart about lying to the FBI. The first question should be: How competent is an FBI who can be fooled by someone (even a lawyer, who are universally generalized as being adroit liars) who misleads them about their employer. I’m pretty sure that having access to tax records and financial transfers (of which it seems that the federal government can review) might reveal that someone is getting money transfers from a firm associated with a political campaign. I guess that the IRS is too busy examining citizens with more than six-hundred dollars in their bank account than to verify the income of wealthy and powerful liars.    

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A Dilapidated Defense of Dependency

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 I never knew that slavery and addiction could be so satisfying. Recently on a social media website, one of the addicted slaves made some startling comparisons that need some sincere comments. Claiming that our fears about our youth being too “dependent” on technology, and that those fears were nothing but “BS” our dependent youth made the following arguments:

His first point was that we use automobiles to travel instead of horses and buggies. Yes, that is true, but the Model T Ford began production in 1908. His second point is we don’t use outhouses to go to the bathroom. Yes, that is true, but the flushing-rim toilet was introduced in 1824. His third point is we don’t use typewriters to write comments. Yes, that is true, but typewriters were invented in 1868. His fourth point is we don’t heat water for our bath on the stove. Yes, that is true, but water heaters were patented in 1889. His closing statement was, “Do you see what I am getting at?”

Yes, I see what he was getting at, (including his poor grammar ending a sentence with a preposition) and his point was that apparently it is a valid argument to compare technology from centuries ago with the present technology. My professor whose essay tests frequently asked to compare and contrast concepts would have given him a failing grade.  None of the inventions this person mentioned can generate information, they only serve in a physical perspective.   

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The College Credit Conundrum

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The CARES Act, Public Law No: 116-136 (03/27/2020) aka the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act allows student loan borrowers to defer payments without accruing interest from September 2020 to October of 2021. The balances, or the total loan debt, will not increase in that time frame. As of the fourth quarter of 2020, none of more than half of the federal student loans totaling $1.6 trillion will be required to be paid back. Twenty-two million citizens who borrowed money from the federal government for college won’t be making an average payment of $400 a month .The interest that has been cancelled by the CARES Act totals $5 billion per month, with a total projected to be $90 billion. The taxpayers are footing that bill, all while the debt of the United States climbs to record highs.

Student Loan Forgiveness
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

In the meantime, Senator Elizabeth Warren is asking President Biden to cancel $50,000 per student of their loan debts. The request is for President Biden to just cancel the debts, by presidential order. The prevalence of our “cancel culture” means whatever anyone wants is now just a presidential declaration away. As former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel said, “never let a serious crisis go to waste.”

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Git-R-Done, Not Quite

People are characterized by their actions more than their words. People have hidden agendas and different forms of communicating. Most underlings recognize when a boss or supervisors throws out a suggestion as simple as “the report will be helpful, it means “Git-R-done.”

Most agree with the premise that one is not guilty until proven guilty in court and each citizen’s entitlement to due process. Investigators know people found not guilty are guilty. The criminal trial of OJ comes to mind with technicalities, inaccurate testimony, judgment.

Officers, much like scientists, follow paths from events and witnesses seeking to prove or un-prove truth. Most investigators are happy to clear someone, as much as they are pleased to convict someone.

Trump and Bannon began their agenda with bigotry and distrust of persons, partisanship, and institutions. The Department of Justice (DOJ) nor the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) would be spared. Disbelief and doubt in State and Federal government institutions, judicial courts, governance, and the people honorably engaged with such institutions were quickly labeled “the swamp.”

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Battle with the Bureaucrats

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“After all, the chief business of the American people is business” is a quote from Calvin Coolidge in 1925. From 2016 to 2020 America had a president who was primarily a businessman. While many politicians would see the presidency as their ultimate achievement, there are plenty of politicians who will never attain that office, for various reasons. It seems that someone with only a business background and no political experience would have no chance of winning the office of the presidency. Yet, in 2016, we elected a president who had never held public office before.

When faced with a pandemic of enormous proportion, in nine months, the president via Operation Warp Speed motivated public officials and the private sector to concentrate their efforts and created two vaccines, in a speed that will go down in history. Not that the president will be remembered for that, though. In 2020 the American stock market roared back, to heights that exceeded Japan, Germany and the United Kingdom, while home sales and automobile sales swelled.

Impeachment 2.0
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Trump, Biden, OJ Simpson. What?

At the risk of sounding crass, insensitive and terse, I’m going to simplify why the Biden presidency is going to happen – whether you like it or not; the Trump campaign is bringing knives into a nuclear war. Here’s what I mean.

Remember the OJ trial? America was riveted. The infamous glove, the Bruno Mali shoes, the blood spatter, the history of domestic violence, and of course – Ron and Nicole’s bodies — slain and left at the scene.

All the signs of murder were pretty self-evident, after ruling out murder suicide. Then, all signs pointed to OJ as the killer. By most people’s estimation from the evidence found at the scene and subsequent sites of investigation, most people believe(d) OJ did it. But do you remember the ruling in that criminal case? ‘Not guilty.’

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Voting in America – Fixing This is Just Too Easy

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Prior to moving from the west coast to New England earlier this year I assumed that since the east coast has ‘been in business’ longer than the west, things would be pretty together; organized, with good systems in place.  Well you know what they say about people that assume.

On the morning of November 3 – a cold yet sunny morning glimmering with a layer of unexpected snow – I stood in line waiting with several fellow townspeople for the polls to open, got screened for Covid, and was eventually handed a pen and an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper; some pesty form that a nameless office worker had run off on their HP printer, I guessed; something else to throw away when no one is looking.  And then I realized that it was my ballot!

how to fix voting

I didn’t know if I should laugh, object or look to see if there was a hidden camera ready to record my reaction.  What kind of hobo, hillbilly, half-assed organization came up with these?  In the year 2020, with all the technological advances of the past fifty years, when everything from paying bills to going to class is done via a series of 0s and 1s, these people expect me to cast the most important ballot I’ve cast since the very first in 1976 using 18th century technology? 

Are you kidding me?  What the hell?  Didn’t we put a man on the moon over two generations ago?  And you give me what amounts to some tree bark and a piece of charcoal? 

Unfreakingbelievable


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Democrats Disingenuous Demeanor

As quoted recently, on or about October 26, 2020 by political journal  The Hill, by reporter Celine Castronuovo, Rep. Alexandria  Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) took to Twitter late Monday to call for the  expansion of the Supreme Court as Amy Coney Barrett was sworn in as a  justice, with the progressive first-term lawmaker arguing that  Republicans don’t believe Democrats “have the stones to play hardball  like they do.”

More of AOC from The Hill:  “Remember that Republicans have lost 6 of the last 7 popular votes, but have appointed 6 of the last 9 justices,” she wrote. “By expanding the court, we fix this broken system and have the court better represent the values of the American people.”

OK, Um, don’t we have the Electoral College so that populous, left-leaning states such as New York and California do not run roughshod over the more sparsely populated states? If you choose to do  away with the Electoral College, then, by all means be fair, and offer  the states such as Wyoming, Iowa, the Dakotas and the other  conservative states the option of seceding, since it seems that they  do not share the “values of the American people.”

While AOC may be the spokesperson for socialist-leaning “let’s take from the rich and then give all the money away” folks in her congressional district, I’m not convinced that she is a “spokesperson for the American people.”

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Voter Tendencies

One non-mention among us is why some whites voted and will continue to vote for Trump due to their concern of being replaced in authority and status by nonwhites, a fear Trump stoked then and now. The embedded level of the hierarchy is a part of our history. The US Calvary overran the American Indians, our constitutional founders dismissed women and blacks, our textbooks left out acts of heroism by minorities, and financial restrictions slowed nonwhite attainment of power positions to where we are now.    

President Lyndon B. Johnson

President Lyndon B. Johnson said, “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best-colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.” Several voters recognized their economic circumstances and foresaw their survival interests as maintaining their perceived level of social-financial status among nonwhites.

Fear of dominant decline among white men is what Trump manipulated to the forefront of insecurity symphonized by a political platform that minorities were taking jobs away from whites; immigrants were rapists and drug runners. The imminence of the replacement of whites by nonwhites stood as a social disadvantage of being left behind. The handwriting on the wall to substantiate their unwarranted fear and create weight on their minds was the government’s documentation of the growing demographic change.

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Racism, Riots, and Our Republic

The tragic death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, has set into motion a public outcry that will go down in American history. In Mr. Floyd’s case, the officer who was responsible for his safety will be held responsible for his demise. Anyone issued handcuffs should be aware of the fact that handcuffed suspects who are laid on their stomachs cannot breathe because the pressure on the diaphragm restricts their breathing. If the officer charged in the death claims he was never advised of the potential danger, then he should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, under the much-used police phrase: “ignorance of the law is no excuse.” 

The United States is a nation of laws, where those who enforce those laws are the police. Accused of being the hands of unfair laws and enforcers of discriminatory policies, there are now movements to defund and even disband police departments. There have been riots, burned buildings, and destroyed public monuments. There have also been dozens of murders of those of the same race as George Floyd, all presumed just as innocent (certainly the murdered children were innocent) as Mr. Floyd. How the murders of innocent citizens will motivate legislatures remains to be seen. Which moves us to legislation.

Image Credit: NY State Senate
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Whose Flag is It?

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In a small New England town, one of the few places in America where young people are once again playing organized baseball on community fields, an old man; a veteran, proudly stares at the unfurled stars and stripes and with a tear in his eye sings our national anthem along with the recorded version being piped over the loud speaker.

In a parking lot within a bedroom community outlying Portland, Oregon a young woman sees a soldier walking to her car and alters her path to intersect with the soldier’s, extends her hand and offers her sincere thanks for the soldier’s service to our country.

In a fast food drive-through in Hamilton, Ohio a father of three notices that the car behind him contains four servicemen.  He preemptively pays for their meals and drives away before they are aware of his kindness and generosity.

These three proud Americans heroes have little in common except for their love of our country, our freedoms and our flag.

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Insider Trading for the Public Good

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*Who would think that Members of Congress have one unique skill: picking great stocks?  According to an academic paper, “Abnormal Returns From the Common Stock Investments of Members of the U.S. House of Representatives” in the Business and Politics journal,  states: “We find strong evidence that Members of the House have some type of nonpublic information which they use for personal gain.”   Yes, Members of Congress do receive quite a lot of non-public information as a regular part of their job.  Trading on non-public information is a crime, but it is generally a difficult one to prove.

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China Goes Viral

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*The global economy has suffered and enormous punch to the gut, and the economies of many nations are coughing and wheezing while dozens of their citizens perish. The culprit in this calamity is the Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. The origin of this pandemic (empowered by the global economy) has been traced to the city of Wuhan, in Hubei province, China, where it emerged in December of 2019.

Actually, according to Helen Davidson of “The Guardian,” COVID-19 was first detected on November 17 of 2019, and by March 13, 2020, had killed 4,702 people. The Chinese government only admitted that there was human-to-human contact on January 21 of 2020. Doctor Ai Fen of the Wuhan Central hospital lost four of her fellow doctors to the virus and is guilty of “criticizing hospital authorities for suppressing early warnings of the outbreak.” To further add to the global mayhem, Dr. Fen and whistleblower ophthalmologist Li Wenliang were risking their jobs as well as detention to reveal to the public about the conditions in Wuhan. The global economy advances (and kills) everyone equally, if not for the preparations by their nation. Keep Reading

Covid-19: The Chicken or the Egg

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*What came first is debatable when asked about the chicken and the egg. However, when we ask what happened first, labor or corporations, the answer is labor.

The president has claimed, “I am facing the biggest decision of my life.” He is referring to getting people back to work as our economy has taken a big hit because of the pandemic. Many of us were not around during the Great Depression when people were out of work; there were food shortages, confusion, health risks, and more. None of us want to repeat that era. As Americans, we must support cautious and well thought out legislation on the mobilization of our economy.

Living in a Democracy claiming freedoms has been one of the many issues creating issues on our health care providers, enforcement, getting to solutions, and understanding the impact and meaning of a pandemic. Keep Reading

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