It isn’t very often that I praise President Trump. His administration’s response to Syria using chemical weapons was measured and well thought out. They took the time to develop a plan. They limited the attack to three buildings involved in chemical weapons. They were also able to bring England and France aboard. This was definitely preferable to President Obama talking big, doing nothing and trusting Russia to remove the chemical weapons.
It is a real shame that he can’t take this approach more often. It is aa real improvement compared to the way he usually operates. He would be much more successful if he kept his ego and mouth in check. However, he shows no sign of change after fifteen months on the job.
Recently the FBI raided the office and home of President Trump’s personal lawyer. Undoubtedly, they took confidential communications and work papers. This is a fundamental violation of his constitutional rights. I have not heard the ACLU, or any Democrat, utter a word of protest. Imagine the outcry if it were Hillary Clinton’s lawyer.
In a biography of Voltaire, English author Evelyn Hall used the phrase “I disapprove of what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it”. This is often used to show the importance of freedom of speech. It, and the other protections in the Constitution are the hallmark of our democracy. We need to uphold those rights, especially to those we feel are least deserving.
Far too many on the Left have a new philosophy. They believe that their views are the only acceptable views. The only reason someone would disagree with them is because they are a bad person. Allowing them to express themselves is spreading hate.
We are even seeing violence as a political tool to stifle others’ rights. While this is a tactic of the extreme fringe, too many have remained silent. To her credit, Nancy Pelosi strongly denounced them. Congressman Keith Ellison appears to endorse violence. He was photographed holding a book on Anfifa. He tweeted that he found a book that would “strike fear in the heart of @realDonaldTrump”.
Guarding our precious freedoms should not be a partisan issue. A strong democracy is far more important than who currently occupies the White House.
President Trump’s tweets seem to attack almost anyone. He once even went after a war widow. Now he has set his sights on Amazon. Republicans accused President Obama of picking winners. Now we are seeing Trump do the same thing.
His favorite charge is that the US Post Office is losing money delivering Amazon packages. This is utterly ridiculous. The post office has tremendous fixed expenses. It transports mail around the country and drives by everyone’s house six days a week. It doesn’t cost more to drop off a package at the same time they deliver mail. If Amazon stopped using the post office, their losses would skyrocket.
He also attacks them for hurting brick and mortar businesses. Of course it’s true but that’s part of the free enterprise system. Neighborhood grocery stores gave way to supermarkets. Malls replaced downtown department stores. Many local stores have been replaced by chains. We may not like it, but I am not sure what we can do about it. We could ban internet sales or go socialist but the cure is worse than the disease.
It seems strange for a billionaire businessman to attack another business. It’s time for him to quit throwing temper tantrums and get back to work.
Once you get past gender, ethnicity, political affiliation and being presidents, it’s hard to imagine anything those two have in common. I was reading a biography of James Buchanan (Lincoln’s predecessor) as part of a book I am writing. Each had to face opposition that was totally unhinged.
First, a quick history lesson. In the early 1850’s most people believed that the controversy over slavery had been put to rest. Senator Stephen Douglas (a longtime rival to Lincoln) wanted to open up the Great Plains to settlement. He couldn’t get the South to go along without revisiting the question of slavery in the territories. This led to the Kansas-Nebraska Act. This created a total political realignment in a short time. The Republican Party was formed. Their main purpose was to keep slavery out of the territories. Very few were talking about abolishing slavery where it currently existed.
Many people went way overboard in their reaction with Buchanan leading the way. Of course, the political divide got wider and wider. Many southerners went berserk when Lincoln was elected. States started to secede well before his inauguration. Buchanan did nothing to stop it and some of his actions bordered on treason. Clearly the sensible thing to do was wait and see if Lincoln was the wild-eyed monster they thought he was. Instead, they fired on Fort Sumter and started the worst event in our history. In the end, they lost just about everything they held dear. Grover Cleveland was the only Democrat elected president in the next fifty years.
We are seeing much the same thing today. There are many valid reasons for people to oppose Trump’s policies and his persona. Virtually the entire campaign was about vilifying Trump and his supporters. Once he won, they tried wild schemes to keep him out of office. There was talk of impeachment before he was inaugurated. They compared him to Hitler. Since he didn’t start rounding up undesirable, he was just a white supremacist. Then there has been all the resist nonsense. Conservatives call it Trump Derangement Syndrome. I think the name fits.
In an eight-year period Democrats in Congress went from the strongest they had been in fifty years to the weakest they have been in nearly a century. They are operating out of hate and doubling down on the strategies that got them in this mess. Everyone has made up their mind about Trump so negative campaigning won’t work. They need to develop positive reasons to vote for them. They need to woo back the millions of Democrats who voted for Trump. Instead, Hillary Clinton is demonizing them. Nancy Pelosi tells them $1,000 is crumbs. Focusing on hate and fantasizing about a wave election won’t get the job done.
We certainly won’t see another civil war although some in California are talking about secession and Jerry Brown thinks he should have veto power over President Trump. Democrats could potentially face a very grim future. Both parties are moving to the extremes. Nature abhors a vacuum. As I have said before, I think there is a fairly good chance of a new party forming. If that happens, the Democratic Party could become a far-left third party. We would never see another Democrat in the White House.
Democrats should take a look at their 1860 counterparts. They need to decide if they want to focus on venting their hatred or winning elections.
President Trump stopped the DACA program established by President Obama. It set up a system to keep people brought here as children from being deported. I didn’t have a problem with his actions since I believe such programs should be enacted through legislation rather than executive fiat.
He gave Congress six months to come up with a new plan. The time limit has expired with no action. Even though most Americans favor it, Congress failed to act. I think both sides blew it. They cared more about political posturing than helping people who are here illegally through no fault of their own.
President Trump wanted his entire immigration program passed as a condition for DACA. Democrats wanted a clean bill which gave Republicans nothing. Neither side was really interested in compromise. Trump can show his anti-immigration base how tough he is while Democrats can use this to bludgeon Republicans.
What about the people who could be deported to a country they never knew? They were nothing but pawns in a political tug-of-war. Both sides let them down. They also let the country down. We deserve better.
Sadly, we have seen too many school massacres. Given our short attention span and the media’s focus on the story of the moment, we soon move on. This time it was different. The main reason was the students at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School. If I were interviewed on national TV at that age, I doubt I would remember my name. They are smart, poised and articulate young people.
Now that the march is over, the story may fade but likely not disappear. It is time to get to work. We need to remember that the issue is gun violence, not guns themselves. This should never have happened. The shooter had extensive involvement with child welfare, mental health and law enforcement officials yet he was still on the streets. There was a further breakdown when police were ordered to wait outside until he got tired of shooting or ran out of ammunition. Making the system work as it should is far and away the most effective way to prevent future tragedies.
This has already resulted in new legislation. Both Congress and the Florida legislature have passed bills. Further action will likely depend on the gun control boosters. They have generally taken the position that guns are the entire problem. Often they blame legal gun owners, the type of people Hillary Clinton calls deplorable. They offer the same tired proposals that won’t work. Taking two rifles that function identically and banning one because of the way it looks accomplishes nothing. Frankly, I think many are far more interested in gun control as a wedge issue than they are in actually accomplishing something.
It is time for thoughtful men and women of all ideologies to seriously discuss gun violence. Time will tell whether anything is accomplished besides creating more young Democrats and increasing the cultural divide.
Someone was extolling the virtues of driverless cars to my brother. He said our family had a driverless vehicle over a century ago. If our great-grandfather stayed in the bar too long, all he had to do was stumble into the buggy and the horse would find the way home.
They have been in the news after one hit and killed a pedestrian. Rather than focusing on a tragic accident, I would like to look at the technology itself.
Given the technological marvels of our age, it is easy to see an unlimited future. However, many advancements go down dead-end roads to oblivion. Fifty years ago, we were working to put a man on the moon. Now we have to hitch a ride with the Russians to get into space. Supersonic airliners were going to revolutionize transportation. We gave up on it and the European Concordes are now in museums.
High tech is just like any other product. It must satisfy a need at an acceptable price. It may or may not be a need for which buyers are aware of. Few of us could imagine using the internet. Now a day without it feels like reverting to the stone age.
There seem to be three main appeals to driverless cars. It’s a really cool technology. It will be safer (presumably). It eliminates the burden of driving. The first reason will attract some buyers. People buy electric cars and recharge them with electricity from coal fired power plants. Many people respond to safety. Taking their hands off the wheel and trusting a machine is a different matter. Most of us like to drive. Just sitting there is boring.
Trying to replace the decisions of the brain and actions of the body is extremely complicated. I would guess that it would more than double the cost of a car. It may eventually be cheap enough for the typical car buyer but that will likely take many years.
I don’t see it as a dead-end product like the Concorde. Nor do I see it reaching the general public. Tesla is an apt comparison. It takes GM around 10 days to sell the number of cars Tesla does in a year. People will buy driverless cars that don’t mind forking out high five or low six figures. If you want your car to drive you around, you had better be rich.
Sometimes it is not enough to do the right thing. It has to be done in the right way. The firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is a perfect example.
We haven’t seen the evidence but he is accused of leaking to the media and lying to FBI investigators. If true, that is certainly a firing offense. This is part of a bigger story regarding senior employees putting politics above doing their sworn duty. Like the IRS, the FBI should have no involvement in politics.
Instead of letting the process take care of Mr. McCabe, the Trump administration fired him two days before he would qualify for a pension. President Trump then launched a tweet attack against McCabe.
This is another in a long series of political miscalculations. Playing politics with the FBI is not the to make it apolitical. Taking away his pension makes the administration look petty and vindictive and turns him into a martyr. This also takes focus away from the FBI scandal and puts Trump in the line of fire.
I doubt Trump will ever develop the political skills that could make him more effective. I will give him credit for one thing. Unlike his presidential rival, he at least knows not to attack voters.
Hillary Clinton has been making headlines during her India trip. Some are about physical slips. She twice slipped on stairs and fell in a bathtub, fracturing her wrist. She has also made the news with her slips of the tongue.
During a speech she added to her laundry list of reasons she lost. It’s the voters fault. She expanded on her deplorables theme. In referring to people who voted for Trump, she said “You know, you didn’t like black people getting rights. You didn’t like, you know, women getting jobs.” She also went after married white women who voted Republican. She said it was due to “ongoing pressure to vote the way your husband, your boss, your son, whoever, believes you should.”
Evidently her message to blue collar workers that deserted the Democratic Party is that they did so because they are racist and sexist. Presumably they were upstanding citizens when they voted for her husband. I wondered what changed them? Fox News perhaps?
She is telling women that they voted Republican because they are such spineless, mindless twits that they need her as President to protect them from the men in their lives. There may be women like that, but I’ve never met them.
I understand that she doesn’t get out and mingle with the people. Probably the only ones she meets who aren’t fellow elitists are servants. Even so, I can’t imagine how she can be so totally ignorant of what her fellow citizens are really like. All she would need to do is ask Bill. Of course, he prefers a different kind of mingling.
Republicans ought to spread her quote (and Nancy Pelosi’s about $1,000 being crumbs) far and wide. Perhaps they could surreptitiously funnel a few million dollars to her for a speaking tour. Democrats ought to give her millions to shut up.
A person can be a philosopher when reaching a certain age and having had some bumps along the way. Hope you don't mind me going off topic but I want to share something that changed my life.
I have stage four lymphoma. The main tumor is the size of a volleyball. Fortunately, it is the one cancer that is quite treatable at that stage. Obviously, I would rather not have cancer but I am lucky to have one that is treatable (though not curable). I have tremendous confidence in my medical team and am getting what I believe to be the most effective treatment.
I still must recognize the possibility that this could kill me, but I don't worry about it very much. Survival statistics are very encouraging. As big as it is, there have been no symptoms. When I do think about it, I get angry and want to fight even harder.
Even if the cancer doesn't get me, lots of other things may. I could walk across the street to get the mail and get hit by a car. It's clearly an extremely low risk since I always look both ways. There are countless other examples. Astronaut John Glenn was blasted into space on an undependable rocket. His spacecraft had only thirty minutes of spaceflight and the last one sunk, nearly drowning the astronaut. He came through it without a scratch. Later he fell in a hotel bathroom and had a concussion and inner ear injury.
Obviously, the thought of death is scary. But it's what gives us our power. If we were immortal, we would never accomplish anything because there was always tomorrow. Rather than fearing it, we should embrace it’s power to better our lives.
A sense of my mortality led to the best thing that ever happened to me. My dad has always been an avid photographer. My best guess is that I looked at 11-12,000 pictures. I selected around 1,700, scanned, Photoshopped and sorted them. Everyday I was seeing pictures of people who had died. I gave some real thought about what I most wanted in my life. I decided it was someone special to share my life with. After nine months of online dating, I met the love of my life. We only had two years together but I treasure every moment.