Foreign Interference in U.S. Elections- Old News

Barack Obama, address a huge crowd in Berlin in 2008

In July 2008, though not yet officially the Democratic Presidential nominee, and officially only a first term U.S. Senator not yet through his 2nd year Barrack Obama toured Europe and the Middle East. He was given meetings with the Presidents or Prime Ministers of Great Britain, Germany, France, Palestine, Iraq, Israel, and Afghanistan. At the time those people were leftist in their politics and not fans of George Bush, John McCain, or Republicans in general. He also gave several speeches including one shown here in Berlin in which these foreign governments gave unprecedented support and exposure for a U.S. politician, not yet President. Tell me again, please, how it’s wrong to accept the help of foreign nations in the influencing of our elections. The FACT is that it’s been occurring for decades, if not more than a century, AS IT SHOULD. Think about it. If you are a leader in another country and want the best for your people it would be a dereliction of duty for you not to try and influence the U.S. Presidential election in your favor. We are talking about the most powerful country on the planet, and the person who will assume the mantle of the most powerful person in the world. For this reason alone I’ve always been bewildered by the faux outrage over the minimal amount of “interference” Russia presumably exercised on the 2016 election. Perhaps, this is also why the Obama Administration, while knowing it was occurring, did nothing…because they knew it to be typical, normal, and historically accepted. It only becomes unwelcome when the other guy wins. Don’t you think?”

Republicans have a Gift they’re Blowing

debate-immigration-marco-rubio-donald-trumpDemocrats gave our nation’s Republicans a huge gift this election season. They gave the GOP lots and lots of love. And Republicans seem destined to stumble over the gift and kick it into the fireplace.

The gift Democrats gave the GOP was Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Neither were going to beat a legitimate GOP Presidential candidate and move into the White House, or back into the White House as would be the case with Clinton. And yet, with this gift exquisitely gift wrapped for Republicans to take control of the White House after 8 years of Barrack Obama and his Democratic administration Republicans are saying, “Thanks, no thanks”.

Republicans started this whole election process with 16 candidates. Many of whom were very well-respected and accomplished. There were some good, and some very good candidates. And out of those 16 Republicans now seem destined to nominate the one, and possibly the only one, of those 16 who won’t beat the Democratic nominee.

Donald Trump has won primaries in New Hampshire and South Carolina. No Republican since before 1980 has won both states and NOT won the nomination of the grand old party. And at this writing it seems Trump is poised to win the Nevada caucuses. This, and all but 4 other candidates have withdrawn from the race; the natural winnowing process taking place. And as fervent as Trump’s supporters seem to be his nomination is increasingly likely. Can you imagine? President Trump? I can’t! That’s why the grand ol’ party’s constituents are giving back the generous gift Democrats handed them.

At this point we only acknowledge Bernie Sanders to be polite. He will not win the Dems’ nomination. The only thing that would change Hillary’s inevitable top of the ticket result would be if the Obama Justice Department does its actual job and indicts her; something she seems infinitely deserving of. Even without the indictment Clinton is a seriously flawed candidate. Seriously, does anything about her feel likable? I’ll be the first to admit that likability is not a prerequisite for being President of the United States (Richard Nixon for example). But it’s usually a requirement for election to the highest office in the land. Hillary is so completely unlovable, its hard to imagine anyone worse.

Except, it seems Republicans have found him. To be clear I don’t dislike Trump as much as others. I just recognize how dislikable he is and subsequently how unelectable he is. Much of Trump’s bombast is just that, bombast. He’s playing his cards. He knew it would work, he knew he held aces, and since it is working, he’s keeping it up. I believe so much of Trump’s most outrageous statements are strategy straight from his book Trump: The Art of the Deal in which he advocates taking an extreme position in negotiations in order to later settle for something more moderate. This is why I don’t hate or fear Trump as President as much as all Democrats do, many Republicans do, and more importantly most independents do. Recent nationwide polls show Trump’s unfavorable rating between 55% and 60+%. It’s hard to get elected President when nearly 3 in 5 Americans HATE you.

To those who LOVE The Donald, I would say this. You may love him, but its time to recognize that at no time has he garnered more than about 33% of Republican voters support. To win the White House He’ll need nearly 100% of Republicans to hold their noses and vote for him, plus a lot of independents, and YES, some Democrats.

And he’ll need some minority votes too. So, Mr. and Mrs. Trump supporters which demographic group is going to give Trump significant support? Blacks? Ya…good luck with that. Even before Obama blacks voted for Democrats 94% of the time. Hispanics (the largest minority group in the country)? He called immigrant Mexicans rapists and criminals! (Of course, that’s not actually what he said…but try and convince your average Latino of that after what will be more than a year of the national media saying that he did). How about Muslims? He wants to bar people of such faith from entering the country but he will somehow garner their vote? What are you drinking? Asians? Well, though Asians tend to vote Republican more than other minorities, keep in mind how Trump has bashed China at every opportunity.

I’m writing this now to urge undecideds Republicans and Independents to save our country. Vote for Marco Rubio when it comes your time to vote. And send him your money and your Social Media vote NOW. I truly want a Conservative in the White House to help bring back some much of what Barrack Obama has frittered away. But if GOP voters don’t happily accept their Democratic gift, then we’ll have to see what 12 straight years of Democratic rule looks like. That hasn’t happened since Harry Truman. Let’s hope the next time is many years from now.

Tired of the Hate

Daisies

Pardon me while I go on a rant. I am so tired of hatefullness. I see it all the time and don’t understand it. Before anyone can accuse me of hypocrisy, let me state unequivocally that I have strong opinions and am not afraid to voice them. But you have never seen me rant that someone who’s mere ideas I oppose is “the lowest form of human life” a direct quote from a ultra-liberal “Friend” on Facebook about GOP Presidential candidate Scott Walker, and that was just the tip of the iceberg.

I see hate directed at Gays, blacks, Republicans, Democrats, Mexicans, Muslims, Huskies, Cougars, the list goes on and on. I’ve had some people do unspeakable hurtful things to me directly, some of these people were very close to me. I know others who suffered the same sort of treatment turn their affection around into hate. Some of these same people don’t understand why I don’t. I can’t. Its simply not in me.

I hate actions not people. Murder, rape, betrayal, and selfishness. I recognize the worst of the worst. But hate of people is too heavy a burden for me to carry. This isn’t about religion or faith, though my faith tells me to LOVE not hate, and to forgive. But its not my religion that prevents it, its just a deep seeded feeling.

I’ve been saddened by the immense growth in race hatred in the years since Obama took the White House. I didn’t vote for him, but remember in 2009 writing of my hope that his election would finally end the racial mistrust and hatred that existed. It didn’t. It has gotten worse. I think all this hatred can be fixed. But not by our current leaders. We need parents to tell kids to reject all those who enunciate hate. We need to teach our kids that the best way to persuade is with love, forgiveness, understanding and setting a good example. Nobody was ever persuaded by calling them a hateful name. Many have been persuaded by a kind word or gesture.

I believe illegal immigration is a serious problem in our country and needs to be curtailed. But it’s wrong to characterize so many illegal immigrants as “murderers, drug dealers and rapists…and I suppose some are good people” as Donald Trump has done. Yes, statistics show illegal immigrants bring a disproportionate amount of crime to our country. This is an uncontroverted fact. But the overall picture of the results of illegal immigration is the harm it causes legal Americans, yes in crime; but also in lower wages, fewer jobs, diminished social resources (i.e. benefits) and housing. That’s not hate for one group of people. That’s compassion for another group of people. Our people. Fellow Americans. There is no need to hate the illegals because they want a better life in our country. But they must do it legally, in a controlled manner in order to not hurt those to whom we owe the most; our own brothers and sisters and moms and dads.

People need not misunderstand disagreement with hatred. Too often I see people calling another a “hater” because of their views, when hate has nothing to do with it. Some one once said, “Anyone who thinks you can’t strongly disapprove of a persons actions and not hate them but love them, has never raised a teenager.” Jesus once said, “Let him among you without sin, cast the first stone”. Where is that sensibility in today’s culture? The woman who Jesus saved from a stoning didn’t get off without a reprimand. Jesus forgave her of her sin(s) then sent her away with the admonition to “sin no more”. When asked by his disciple Peter how often he should forgive a brother who sinned against him, “Up to seven times?” he asked. Jesus said “I say to you not seven, but seventy times seven”. That’s not religion. That’s common sense. That’s learning to live more happily.

Be strong. Be opinionated. Argue for your beliefs. But don’t hate the person who feels counter to you. Provided their beliefs don’t inhibit your ability to live and be happy…let them go. Let them live as they would see fit.

I am a much better man now than I was in years past primarily because I won’t let anger hurt me or others any more. It’s a wonderful way to live that took me too long to discover. It took someone hurting me in the most profound way to come to this way of thinking and feeling. But it’s made me better as a result. I honestly believe others can benefit as have I. (And now for some religion…) And upon embracing a life of love, peace and understanding I believe God directly intervenes and blesses you. And even if you don’t believe that…you bless yourself.

10 year anniversary Logo

For Whom Do You Provide Your Compassion?

A recent Facebook post by one of my loved Liberal Friends read, “I pity the legacy of a person whose life as a humanitarian ends in a death that is used to beat the drum of war. I’m sure that’s the opposite of their intent.” Obviously this FB poster was showing compassion for someone. Kayla Mueller

It was a reference to the death of American Kayla Mueller. She was a hostage held by the Islamic terrorist army, ISIS (toward what end and what purpose remains unclear). She was taken hostage in August 2013 while awaiting a bus in Syria where she had gone to provide aid to those suffering from the year’s long civil war in that country.

The Facebook post got me thinking, this person doesn’t want war under seemingly any circumstance.  I don’t know if that is true. But I do know this person and believe that to be true. It frustrated me because like too many peace lovers in this world and this country this person seems perfectly willing to let the abuses of ISIS continue unabated.

I am not beating the drums of war with ISIS. I’m not completely sold on what is America’s interest in war with this radical group. But for those peace-nics who think war is terrible I’ll remind them…war is already underway and on going. The hope is that America’s involvement would hasten peace sooner rather than later. I would also ask that those who champion peace in our time at any cost, (a la Neville Chamberlain) where is your compassion for those ISIS butchers, rapes, enslaves. and holds hostage? For whom do you provide your compassion? ISIS killing

It is well documented that ISIS is a barbaric organization sworn to live life and make everyone else live life by Sharia law. For crying out loud, they advertise their barbarity on tv and the internet with video taped beheadings of people they captured and held as hostages for no other reason than these people didn’t subscribe to their religion. Where is the compassion?

It reminds me of the immigration debate. Proponents of immigration amnesty in the United States also advocate a more open border. They have compassion for the millions of Latin immigrants who illegally cross our borders in order to have a better life in the U.S. These people leave poverty, drug wars, and other forms of hopelessness to come to a greater more prosperous country, the United States. Certainly they are deserving of our compassion…in addition to our jobs, our medical facilities, our welfare money and in some cases our prison accommodations. 

The problem is Latino immigrants who enter this country illegally are hurting American citizens. They take jobs from those who would otherwise get those jobs. That would be Americans. They also take jobs at lower wages often without government withholdings, thus driving down what would otherwise be a more competitive salary situation for American citizens in labor, service or construction. It’s worth noting that in most cases these Latino illegal immigrants are not taking the jobs and driving down the wages of America’s college educated, and well-off people. No, the poorest and least educated of Americans are the ones whose jobs and wages are adversely affected by illegal immigration. It’s these same poorer American citizens who find medical care and welfare benefits harder to come by because they’re being provided to someone here illegally.  So…I ask again…for whom do you provide your compassion? 

Here’s another one. A man and a woman are married for many years, until one of them decides to cheat on the other. The victim of the betrayal is devastated, depressed, even suicidal. They had remain true to their marriage vows and worked hard to do their part in making for a successful life and marriage. Due mostly to the betrayal the marriage breaks apart. Due to circumstances the betrayer has to move out of the home the two had enjoyed for years while the spouse who was true remains in the house. Both are hurt emotionally, psychologically, and financially. Divorce is BAD and it hurts both parties and any children as well. For whom do you offer your compassion here? The cheater is probably more hurt financially and in terms of lifestyle. They have to move out of the home they’ve had for years. They’re losing the benefit of a second income, not to mention companionship. They’re lifestyle takes a devastating blow. We certainly should provide them with our compassion? Right? But…they cheated. They caused the problem that was singularly responsible for the break up? Aren’t they getting what they deserve?

The other spouse who was betrayed is hurt too. They too lose companionship, and the benefits of a second income. They’re lifestyle is hurt too. But at least they get to keep the house in which they’ve lived for so long. At least they don’t have to move. But they’ve been betrayed. They may never trust again because the person to whom they gave all of their trust betrayed them. Certainly, we can provide them with compassion, right?

The sad part is…in this last…and usually in most scenarios of conflict compassion is appropriate for both sides. But in giving it to one…often the other is forgotten….and the hurt continues.

10 year anniversary Logo

Should Single Young Women Have Sex, Ever?

Today, November 1, 2013, the Federal Food Stamp program is implementing budget cuts necessitated by the budget agreement proposed by President Barrack Obama called Sequester.

 

According to an article in today’s USA Today 47-million Americans will see an average cut of $36 from their average benefit of $668 per month for a family of four. In the article they write, “Two factors are driving the fiscal squeeze. The first is the windup of additional SNAP allocations under President Obama’s 2009 stimulus bill. The second is the inability of Congress to agree on a new farm bill.” SNAP is the Federal program administered by the Department of Agriculture that oversees the benefits program.

Born on the 7th of the 8th in 2008. Welcome to...

So…you may ask…what does the headline of this blog have to do with the facts I just shared? I’m glad you asked.

 

When I was growing up in the 70s and 80s to be asked the question Should single young women have sex, ever? The answer from a majority of people on this planet was not “No”. The answer was, “Of course not.” In fact prior to the past 10-20 years there was not a time or place in human history when the answer to that seemingly simple question was anything but negative. In virtually every culture and every religion young ladies were expected to “save themselves” for marriage. Of course, not every woman did. Nor did every young man (BTW- the hypocrisy of society’s views of sexually active single young men versus women is something of which this author is aware. I ask your forgiveness and understanding for not addressing it as a point in this blog). But for women, failing to adhere to society’s established social mores carried derision and rejection and harsh labels should the fact that they had sex outside of marriage become widely known; something that became certain were the woman to become pregnant. And becoming pregnant happened with greater frequency before birth control.

Illustration from below book

But in the past 20 years nobody bats an eye at the thought of young women and young men enjoying sex. And doing it frequently. As a result the number of babies born to unwed mothers in this country is at an all time high of 40.7%. According to a report called,  “Knot Yet: The Benefits and Costs of Delayed Marriage in America.”  by the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia (hardly a home for Conservative political thought) 44% of women have given birth by the age of 25, but only 38% of them are married. 

 

And the results are sadly predictable. While the economy slowly improves and poverty levels off a new report in September 2013 showed that poverty is increasing sharply for single-mother households. 4.1 Million are in poverty. And that number is growing. Census demographers said that single motherhood, while on a steady uptick since the 1940s, has accelerated in recent years. The birth rate for unmarried women in 2007 was up 80 percent in the almost three decades since 1980, the report said. But in the previous five years alone, between 2002 and 2007, it was up 20 percent.

 

The report also said Asian women were the least likely to have kids out of wedlock 11%; whites were below the national average too- 29%, Hispanics 43%. 68% of black women recently giving birth were single mothers. Corresponding with this data is the poverty rate by race. Whites and Asians make up the lowest percentage of those in poverty. Blacks and Hispanics along with Native Americans make up the highest. Can anyone really be surprised by this information?

 

I recently engaged in a Facebook comment debate with an unknown woman over the subject of raising the minimum wage (Again a related but separate subject which I won’t discuss here for the purpose of brevity). In the discussion the woman stated that she financially supported her working daughter and two grandchildren. I praised her and pointed out my feelings, that is exactly what family is supposed to do, help loved ones when they need help or get in trouble. The woman went on to write: “I am on a fixed income and it means that I can’t pay for all the things I would like to fix around the house. Helping family is what comes naturally to most people, but I wish she could get paid a decent wage.” What this woman failed to understand was that her daughter’s wage wasn’t what made her poor or at least unable to fully support herself financially. It was being a single mother of two children that made her a financial burden to her family. Based on statements made in the comment-string I learned the woman made too much money to qualify for food stamps. Through pure conjecture I can surmise that the young woman would be financially capable of supporting herself with such an income were she a single woman, or if she were married to the children’s father and he also was bringing in an income.

English: Number in Poverty and Poverty Rate: 1...

Number in Poverty and Poverty Rate: 1959 to 2009. United States.

2012 Republican Presidential candidate Rick Santorium stirred up some controversy when he pointed out a Brookings Institution study that as he put it: “Graduate from high school, work hard, and get married before you have children and the chance you will ever be in poverty is just two percent. Yet if you don’t do these three things you’re 38 times more likely to end up in poverty!” 

 

This all leads me to my question, “Should Single Young Women Have Sex, Ever?” Isn’t the answer obvious? Short of being independently wealthy, or educated and employed with a HIGH income the answer is “absolutely not”. It’s true most religions advocate men and women refrain from sex prior to marriage. But this has nothing to do with religion or morality…other than the morality of being a self-supporting asset to society versus someone feeding from the public trough who selfishly decides to engage in sex when you were financially incapable of dealing with the consequences. It takes discipline. It’s hard. But we would say the same of all worthwhile endeavors.

 

People make mistakes and should always be helped and supported when they do, by family first, and society. We shouldn’t ever negatively label single mothers or condemn them. In fact they should be praised for giving their child life, versus the alternative. But where we can do better for these women, and society as a whole is to call intentional single motherhood what it use to be, a poor decision that should be discouraged and avoided. And the only sure-fire way to avoid it, is to avoid sex out of marriage. Calm down. No one is taking your rights away. Not now, and hopefully not ever. But pointing out better behavior versus behavior that can be destructive is what all of us should be doing at all times for the love of the people we most care about.

 

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Wisdom and Fairness of Health Care Law in Question

Official 2005 photo of Chief Justice John G. R...

Chief Justice John G. Roberts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Supreme Court says the Federal Government cannot mandate that Americans buy health insurance denying the Obama Administrations claim that such a mandate was allowed under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Unfortunately for those who opposed the law, including yours truly, the Court ruled that the Federal Government was authorized to tax those without health insurance. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the decision saying,‘‘Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness,’’. I’ll surprise my Conservative friends by stating, grudgingly, that I think Roberts is right. To disagree would impose undeniable limits on what our government can choose to tax. Since the adoption of the 16th Amendment creating the income tax, Congress has had the power to determine how and where taxes should be imposed. To impose a limit would render the Federal Government essentially impotent in its ability to pay for itself. “The law”, Roberts wrote, “makes going without insurance just another thing the Government taxes, like buying gasoline or earning income. And if the mandate is in effect just a tax hike on certain taxpayers who do not have health insurance, it may be within Congress’s constitutional power to tax.”

Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not happy about this. And I admit I’d never thought of the individual mandate in Obamacare as a tax and as such legal. Though clearly I and every American with an IQ above that of a Banana Slug knew in fact it was a tax. Part of the reason I didn’t think of it as a tax is because President Obama and the Democratic Congress that passed this nearly 3000-page law repeatedly said “it wasn’t a tax”. However, in arguments before the High Court the President’s Solicitor General repeatedly made clear the penalty for failing to have health insurance WAS a tax, and thus Constitutional an argument they won today.

English: Anthony Kennedy, Associate Justice of...

Anthony Kennedy, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States

Justice Anthony Kennedy read the dissenting opinion and called the health care law, “invalid in its entirety”. He was joined in dissent by Justices Thomas, Scalia, and Alito. At the time of this writing their opinion and reasons for it are not available for reading or quoting.

With the Constitutionality of Obamacare now settled, and it is settled so those who oppose it can quit with  any whining; we must now revisit the law’s wisdom and fairness which Roberts pointed out the Court is not empowered to question. It still remains a bad law which does harm to the cause for its creation in the first place. The need for something like Obamacare came about because of the high cost of health care. Some would say the law was necessary because of the high cost of health insurance and the approximately 30-million Americans who are not covered by insurance. But insurance is expensive because health care is expensive. Those who are uninsured are uninsured because that can’t afford insurance. So, once again the problem is the cost of health care. Hello?

Obamacare’s only step toward controlling costs is to limit and regulate care. Determinations as to who and what care will be provided is, in large part, going to fall to government bureaucrats. How’s the wisdom and fairness in that?

Since the TAX for not having health insurance is well below the cost of the premium many, if not most, people and businesses will choose to pay the tax and drop coverage. Under Obamacare the TAX for businesses not providing health insurance coverage for their employees is $2500. With a fiduciary responsibility to stock holders, you have to ask yourself what is the incentive for anyone managing a business to carry insurance?  The penalty/tax for individuals not covered is as follows:
$95 in 2014, $325 in 2015, and $695 in 2016. Under Obamacare insurance companies are no longer able to deny coverage to a person seeking coverage based on pre-existing conditions. So, why pay for health insurance if you’re healthy. Why not pay the tax until such time as you get sick and then buy insurance? Financially, it’s the logical thing to do.

The end result of the High Court’s ruling is a law takes effect that will drive more people and businesses away from health care coverage, which will drive up insurance prices, which inevitably will drive more and more people and businesses away from paying for coverage. In the end insurance companies will no longer have a viable product that is affordable for anyone but the super rich. The burden of paying for Americans health coverage will fall on the already overburdened Federal Government. The added deficit spending will weaken the American dollar against world currency, as it already has, which will contribute to massive inflation, which will ultimately bring down the economy however strong or weak the economy happens to be. It’s a recipe for disaster.

The Supreme Court validated the Congress’ ability to tax. Sad but true. Fortunately, the disaster scenario we can all expect with the unfolding of Obamacare can be averted. As I wrote in a previous blog, Obama can’t Win Healthcare Test, winning the High Court’s decision will only inspire Republicans to vote Obama and Democrats out of office this November. Roberts has awakened a sleeping bear. The American people will not likely stand for the implementation of Obamacare without a fight. GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney‘s promise to repeal it will undoubtedly bring many who were on the fence about him to his corner. Senate and House candidates who continue to stand up against the new law will receive the money and support necessary to put the GOP in control of the Congress. Even the more liberal media outlets like CNN, MSNBC, and the New York Times admit polls show more than 70% of Americans don’t like Obamacare.

Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts,...

Mitt Romney

Romney and Republican Congressional candidates need to make sure they don’t forget the aspects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that are good and that people like. Their challenge will be to figure out how to pay for guaranteed coverage for those with pre-existing conditions; the guarantee that you won’t be dropped by your insurance company if you get sick; the ability to keep adult kids on their parents insurance plans (though does it really have to be until age 26? I mean, I love my kids, but I expect them to stand on their own at a certain point. 1 or 2 years after normal age of leaving college, 24, seems reasonable to me).

My hope is the Supreme Court’s ruling today wakes up the American people and helps them understand the responsibility they alone hold. If your Congressman votes for a law you oppose, or an excessive tax it’s up to you to vote him out of office.  The High Court is holding YOU accountable. YOU have to hold your legislators accountable.

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Gay marriage offers a moral litmus test – Spokesman.com – May 12, 2012

 

Barack Obama delivers a speech at the Universi...

“Don’t be misled: Opposing sin has nothing to do with how we treat other people. Disapproving someone’s behavior should never stop us from treating them with respect and encouraging what is best for them. Ask any parent whether it’s possible to oppose harmful behavior yet love a person dearly.”

32 times states have been asked to vote on Gay marriage and 32 times voters have affirmed that marriage is between a man and a woman. But President Obama says he knows better…again.

This well written commentary may fly in the face of pop culture and populism, but its a very good read for those who call themselves Christian.

Gay marriage offers a moral litmus test – Spokesman.com – May 12, 2012.

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