don on September 29th, 2020

So it looks like the Supreme Court is going to go more Conservative and Liberals heads are exploding.

Why did this happen? It all goes back to 2013 and Harry Reid. You remember him right? He was the Democrat Senate Majority Leader.

The Democrats were getting tired of the Republicans blocking Obamas appellate court nominees using the filibuster. Harry decided it was time to change the rules and make it so you only needed a majority to approve the judge instead of 60. Note this was only for non-SCOTUS judges but it changed the rules nonetheless.

Fast forward to 2017 after Mitch McConnell refused to put Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, to replace Antonin Scalia to a vote. He claimed it was because the president’s party and the Senate’s party were opposite and so did not have to put it to a vote. And legally that’s correct although I’ve always thought it wasn’t the best way to “get along” with the opposite party. No reaching across the aisle if you will.

Once Trump took office in 2017 he nominated Neil Gorsuch who was approved on a 54-45 vote. Three Democrats actually voted for him. Next up was Brett Kavanaugh. He was approved with one Democrat voting for him.

Fast forward once more to September 18, 2020 when Ruth Bader Ginsberg, a liberal, died. She was a great person who advanced the rights of many women. Note that she did NOT vote on Roe Vs. Wade as she was not a SCOTUS judge then.

Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett to replace her and it looks like they will fast-track the vote to get it done by election day.

I would prefer they allow whoever is elected president to handle this as does the majority of other Americans. It’s something like 55% of the population would prefer that. But because of what Harry Reid did in 2013 the Democrats have nobody but themselves to blame.

As Barak Obama liked to point out, “elections have consequences”.

https://www.politico.com/story/2013/11/harry-reid-senate-fillibuster-100243
don on September 11th, 2020
don on July 28th, 2020

Check out this article on Forbes for an interesting take on Capitalism.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/rainerzitelmann/2020/07/27/anyone-who-doesnt-know-the-following-facts-about-capitalism-should-learn-them/#1e87bff93dc1

don on July 28th, 2020

I saw this on Quora. It seemed like a good thing to think about.

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The Roman Republic is a fascinating case study largely because of how similar they are to us. Our entire system is based on the Roman model. Things like

  • Presidents
  • Vetos
  • Filibusters
  • Electoral college
  • The Senate
  • The legal system

Our government is largely a modern incarnation of the Roman Republic. There are of course differences and other influences but the broad strokes are largely the same.

The same thing can be said for Roman society. They were a proud people who viewed themselves as the arbiters of light and civilization. They fiercely defended their Republic and its values for generations. In addition, they were consumeristic, litigious, hedonistic (but always dreaming of the morally upstanding previous generations), inventive, and flexible- similar to US citizens.

Now as we all know Rome fell into authoritarianism and suffered leaders like Caligula and Nero. This is the part that is relevant to us. Rome offers us the chance to learn from a similar civilization and avoid their mistakes.

We have not learned well because we have made the same mistakes.

As Rome went from regional power to superpower they faced issues. The wealth gap had grown, the poor were desperate and angry, and money corrupted every level of politics.

In this stepped 2 political parties. The Populares were a reformist party that supported the poor and the Optimates were a conservative party that supported tradition.

These 2 parties started to dominate the system. Slowly but surely the entire Roman government was consumed by these parties until almost every living politician and citizen clearly aligned with 1 party or the other. Then 4 things happened

  1. The parties started viewing each other not as rivals but as enemies. The greatest threat to Rome was the other party- not the Parthians or Germans.
  2. The entire government started to focus 100% on obstructing the other party. Governance became impossible and the government became horribly ineffective
  3. Since the parties were already spending their time going after one another, and since they viewed each other as a threat, violence became acceptable. Slowly but surely peaceful speeches and protests turned into violent clashes
  4. The parties started revolving more and more around influential and popular leaders. These demagogues held increasing power in the Republic and had legions of loyal followers.

Does any of this sound familiar? Do you see the parallels too?

The result of these 4 things was civil war. First, between Sula and Marius, then the Cataline conspiracy, then between Caesar and the Senate. Civil wars do not necessarily kill Republics, instead they are the virus that causes the heart to fail. Civil wars or just civil conflicts lead to instability and fear. When people are afraid they will willingly hand over their power and their rights for safety. This is what threatens us.

We are on the VERY same pathway right now. We follow leaders more than ideals, we view one another as enemies and threats, we allow violent riots instead of peaceful protests, and we are all willing to go to war over this.

Do I think civil war is going to happen now? Not really. I don’t think the 2020 election will result in an outright civil war.

But regardless of who wins it will only make things worse. Biden is playing to the progressives- meaning Republicans will despise him. Trump is doing what he does meaning Democrats hate him.

The problem is that this trend of viewing political opponents as threats to the nation has already set in deeply. Every 4 years we have this winner-take all battle where the future of the nation is on the line. This is already a hostile setting before you add 2 political parties that view each other as the greatest threat to mankind there is.

Partisanship in American politics is at an all-time high and everyone is doing it. More worrying is the people- the hatred that spews from all directions on social media and even on Quora. If you want to talk politics you will be belittled, demeaned, insulted, and threatened- and this will happen constantly and in nearly every discussion.

I wish I knew what we could do- I wish anyone really did. I just don’t see any other way this plays out beside a very violent and turbulent future. To tell you the truth I am afraid- I am deeply afraid that the world my children inherit from me will be a giant catastrophe. I am afraid I will be alive to bear witness to the collapse of my home and the ruination of my civilization. I hope we can come together, I hope we can avoid the mistakes of the past, and I hope the future is a bright place. I hope that we aren’t like Rome and somehow, for the first time in human history, we are able to avoid the coming storm we have created. Maybe I am wrong about all this- I would like nothing more.

don on June 28th, 2020

Here’s a very interesting video of Candace Owens (a black Conservative woman) having a conversation with Marc Lamont Hill (a black Liberal man).

It’s quite long but very worth the time you need to put in. They both bring up great points and I strongly urge you keep an open mind if you decide to watch it.

https://www.prageru.com/video/the-candace-owens-show-marc-lamont-hill/
don on June 27th, 2020

I was going to post this on Facebook but I realized it would only continue the lack of civility so I’m putting it here on my blog instead.

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I’m coming back but for only one question.

If the problem is we have a racist president then why weren’t all the current problems we are being told about solved when we had a black president for 8 years? Did he not know? Was he unable to change things yet somehow this non-politician is making everything that much worse?

I can give you the answer to the second part in that if it was really about how racist this country is, the last president would NEVER have been able to be elected.

So spare me your excuses. This is and has been the best country for being a minority in for the last 50 years and possibly more than that. Yes, it has a way to go but I guarantee if you think tearing down our history and statues is going to do it, you’re going to find yourself on the wrong side of our future.

This country isn’t racist. It has some people who are racist and the vast majority of the people want to do something to change that and will. But if you keep thinking the answer is to apologize for your “privilege” then you don’t understand what needs to be done. Listen to Thomas Sowell, Larry Elder, even Morgan Freeman. As he says, “the only way to get rid of racism is to “stop talking about it.”

But the fuse has been lit and you won’t listen to him. You’ll virtue signal because you think that will protect you from the “mob”. I’ve got news for you, it isn’t going to work. We need to back off from the whole “Black Lives Matter” mantra. OF COURSE BLACK LIVES MATTER! But when you tell me I’m racist if I suggest all lives matter then it’s my job to point out that by you saying that, you are in fact being racist. You are putting one race above all others. And don’t try to sell me that crap about “you just don’t understand!”. Of course I understand. I’ve understood it since I was protesting the Vietnam war in the 60s and 70s. Those of us who wanted the war to end didn’t care what color you were then and we don’t care now. We do care when people are mistreated for being a certain color and we will rise up with you for that but not when you resort to violence and tearing down EVERY monument to the past. You’re even tearing down monuments to people who got the whole abolish slavery movement started. And you’re tearing down monuments to a president who was willing to go to war to abolish slavery, and did.

I’ve heard some people talking about “this needs to be done to fix the problems.”. And when I hear about this or that needs to change I always ask “who gets to decide what and how much needs to change?”. And all I get are blank stares. I just don’t understand they say. But I do understand. And what I mainly understand is if this doesn’t stop, we will have another civil war. But this time it will be very different because one side is very well armed and the other side isn’t. The armed side would much prefer to have the unarmed side just back off and affect change the way this country has always affected change. Make your case heard. Protest is the backbone of this country. It always has been. But taking that protest and turning it into mob violence is NOT the answer. And if it continues you’re going to see the peaceful side get tired of it and do something against it.

STOP VIRTUE SIGNALLING!!! STOP!

don on June 4th, 2020

Saw this on Facebook. I’m sure some is incorrect. Feel free to fact check it if you’ve a mind to.

what has PRESIDENT TRUMP and his cabinet accomplished…..

Here you go.

  • Trump recently signed 3 bills to benefit Native people. One gives compensation to the Spokane tribe for loss of their lands in the mid-1900s, one funds Native language programs, and the third gives federal recognition to the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians in Montana.
  • Trump finalized the creation of Space Force as our 6th Military branch.
  • Trump signed a law to make cruelty to animals a federal felony so that animal abusers face tougher consequences.
  • Violent crime has fallen every year he’s been in office after rising during the 2 years before he was elected.
  • Trump signed a bill making CBD and Hemp legal.
  • Trump’s EPA gave $100 million to fix the water infrastructure problem in Flint, Michigan.
  • Under Trump’s leadership, in 2018 the U.S. surpassed Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the world’s largest producer of crude oil.
  • Trump signed a law ending the gag orders on Pharmacists that prevented them from sharing money-saving information.
  • Trump signed the “Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act” (FOSTA), which includes the “Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act” (SESTA) which both give law enforcement and victims new tools to fight sex trafficking.
  • Trump signed a bill to require airports to provide spaces for breastfeeding Moms.
  • The 25% lowest-paid Americans enjoyed a 4.5% income boost in November 2019, which outpaces a 2.9% gain in earnings for the country’s highest-paid workers.
  • Low-wage workers are benefiting from higher minimum wages and from corporations that are increasing entry-level pay.
  • Trump signed the biggest wilderness protection & conservation bill in a decade and designated 375,000 acres as protected land.
  • Trump signed the Save our Seas Act which funds $10 million per year to clean tons of plastic & garbage from the ocean.
  • He signed a bill this year allowing some drug imports from Canada so that prescription prices would go down.
  • Trump signed an executive order this year that forces all healthcare providers to disclose the cost of their services so that Americans can comparison shop and know how much less providers charge insurance companies.
  • When signing that bill he said no American should be blindsided by bills for medical services they never agreed to in advance.
  • Hospitals will now be required to post their standard charges for services, which include the discounted price a hospital is willing to accept.
  • In the eight years prior to President Trump’s inauguration, prescription drug prices increased by an average of 3.6% per year. Under Trump, drug prices have seen year-over-year declines in nine of the last ten months, with a 1.1% drop as of the most recent month.
  • He created a White House VA Hotline to help veterans and principally staffed it with veterans and direct family members of veterans.
  • VA employees are being held accountable for poor performance, with more than 4,000 VA employees removed, demoted, and suspended so far.
  • Issued an executive order requiring the Secretaries of Defense, Homeland Security, and Veterans Affairs to submit a joint plan to provide veterans access to access to mental health treatment as they transition to civilian life.
  • Because of a bill signed and championed by Trump, In 2020, most federal employees will see their pay increase by an average of 3.1% — the largest raise in more than 10 years.
  • Trump signed into a law up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave for millions of federal workers.
  • Trump administration will provide HIV prevention drugs for free to 200,000 uninsured patients per year for 11 years.
  • All-time record sales during the 2019 holidays.
  • Trump signed an order allowing small businesses to group together when buying insurance to get a better price
  • President Trump signed the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act that provides funding for states to develop maternal mortality reviews to better understand maternal complications and identify solutions & largely focuses on reducing the higher mortality rates for Black Americans.
  • In 2018, President Trump signed the groundbreaking First Step Act, a criminal justice bill which enacted reforms that make our justice system fairer and help former inmates successfully return to society.
  • The First Step Act’s reforms addressed inequities in sentencing laws that disproportionately harmed Black Americans and reformed mandatory minimums that created unfair outcomes.
  • The First Step Act expanded judicial discretion in sentencing of non-violent crimes.
  • Over 90% of those benefitting from the retroactive sentencing reductions in the First Step Act are Black Americans.
  • The First Step Act provides rehabilitative programs to inmates, helping them successfully rejoin society and not return to crime.
  • Trump increased funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) by more than 14%.
  • Trump signed legislation forgiving Hurricane Katrina debt that threatened HBCUs.
  • New single-family home sales are up 31.6% in October 2019 compared to just one year ago.
  • Made HBCUs a priority by creating the position of executive director of the White House Initiative on HBCUs.
  • Trump received the Bipartisan Justice Award at a historically black college for his criminal justice reform accomplishments.
  • The poverty rate fell to a 17-year low of 11.8% under the Trump administration as a result of a jobs-rich environment.
  • Poverty rates for African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans have reached their lowest levels since the U.S. began collecting such data.
  • President Trump signed a bill that creates five national monuments, expands several national parks, adds 1.3 million acres of wilderness, and permanently reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
  • Trump’s USDA committed $124 Million to rebuild rural water infrastructure.
  • Consumer confidence & small business confidence is at an all time high.
  • More than 7 million jobs created since election.
  • More Americans are now employed than ever recorded before in our history.
  • More than 400,000 manufacturing jobs created since his election.
  • Trump appointed 5 openly gay ambassadors.
  • Trump ordered Ric Grenell, his openly gay ambassador to Germany, to lead a global initiative to decriminalize homosexuality across the globe.
  • Through Trump’s Anti-Trafficking Coordination Team (ACTeam) initiative, Federal law enforcement more than doubled convictions of human traffickers and increased the number of defendants charged by 75% in ACTeam districts.
  • In 2018, the Department of Justice (DOJ) dismantled an organization that was the internet’s leading source of prostitution-related advertisements resulting in sex trafficking.
  • Trump’s OMB published new anti-trafficking guidance for government procurement officials to more effectively combat human trafficking.
  • Trump’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations arrested 1,588 criminals associated with Human Trafficking.
  • Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services provided funding to support the National Human Trafficking Hotline to identify perpetrators and give victims the help they need.
  • The hotline identified 16,862 potential human trafficking cases.
  • Trump’s DOJ provided grants to organizations that support human trafficking victims – serving nearly 9,000 cases from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018.
  • The Department of Homeland Security has hired more victim assistance specialists, helping victims get resources and support.
  • President Trump has called on Congress to pass school choice legislation so that no child is trapped in a failing school because of his or her zip code.
  • The President signed funding legislation in September 2018 that increased funding for school choice by $42 million.
  • The tax cuts signed into law by President Trump promote school choice by allowing families to use 529 college savings plans for elementary and secondary education.
  • Under his leadership ISIS has lost most of their territory and been largely dismantled.
  • ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi was killed.
  • Signed the first Perkins CTE reauthorization since 2006, authorizing more than $1 billion for states each year to fund vocational and career education programs.
  • Executive order expanding apprenticeship opportunities for students and workers.
  • Trump issued an Executive Order prohibiting the U.S. government from discriminating against Christians or punishing expressions of faith.
  • Signed an executive order that allows the government to withhold money from college campuses deemed to be anti-Semitic and who fail to combat anti-Semitism.
  • President Trump ordered a halt to U.S. tax money going to international organizations that fund or perform abortions.
  • Trump imposed sanctions on the socialists in Venezuela who have killed their citizens.
  • Finalized new trade agreement with South Korea.
  • Made a deal with the European Union to increase U.S. energy exports to Europe.
  • Withdrew the U.S. from the job killing TPP deal.
  • Secured $250 billion in new trade and investment deals in China and $12 billion in Vietnam.
  • Okay’d up to $12 billion in aid for farmers affected by unfair trade retaliation.
  • Has had over a dozen US hostages freed, including those Obama could not get freed.
  • Trump signed the Music Modernization Act, the biggest change to copyright law in decades.
  • Trump secured Billions that will fund the building of a wall at our southern border.
  • The Trump Administration is promoting second chance hiring to give former inmates the opportunity to live crime-free lives and find meaningful employment.
  • Trump’s DOJ and the Board Of Prisons launched a new “Ready to Work Initiative” to help connect employers directly with former prisoners.
  • President Trump’s historic tax cut legislation included new Opportunity Zone Incentives to promote investment in low-income communities across the country.
  • 8,764 communities across the country have been designated as Opportunity Zones.
  • Opportunity Zones are expected to spur $100 billion in long-term private capital investment in economically distressed communities across the country.
  • Trump directed the Education Secretary to end Common Core.
  • Trump signed the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund into law.
  • Trump signed measure funding prevention programs for Veteran suicide.
  • Companies have brought back over a TRILLION dollars from overseas because of the TCJA bill that Trump signed.
  • Manufacturing jobs are growing at the fastest rate in more than 30 years.
  • Stock Market has reached record highs.
  • Median household income has hit highest level ever recorded.
  • African-American unemployment is at an all time low.
  • Hispanic-American unemployment is at an all time low.
  • Asian-American unemployment is at an all time low.
  • Women’s unemployment rate is at a 65-year low.
  • Youth unemployment is at a 50-year low.
  • We have the lowest unemployment rate ever recorded.
  • The Pledge to America’s Workers has resulted in employers committing to train more than 4 million Americans.
  • 95 percent of U.S. manufacturers are optimistic about the future— the highest ever.
  • As a result of the Republican tax bill, small businesses will have the lowest top marginal tax rate in more than 80 years.
  • Record number of regulations eliminated that hurt small businesses.
  • Signed welfare reform requiring able-bodied adults who don’t have children to work or look for work if they’re on welfare.🙌🙌
  • Under Trump, the FDA approved more affordable generic drugs than ever before in history.
  • Reformed Medicare program to stop hospitals from overcharging low-income seniors on their drugs—saving seniors 100’s of millions of $$$ this year alone.
  • Signed Right-To-Try legislation allowing terminally ill patients to try experimental treatment that wasn’t allowed before.
  • Secured $6 billion in new funding to fight the opioid epidemic.❤️❤️
  • Signed VA Choice Act and VA Accountability Act, expanded VA telehealth services, walk-in-clinics, and same-day urgent primary and mental health care.
  • U.S. oil production recently reached all-time high so we are less dependent on oil from the Middle East.
  • The U.S. is a net natural gas exporter for the first time since 1957.
  • NATO allies increased their defense spending because of his pressure campaign.
  • Withdrew the United States from the job-killing Paris Climate Accord in 2017 and that same year the U.S. still led the world by having the largest reduction in Carbon emissions.
  • Has his circuit court judge nominees being confirmed faster than any other new administration.
  • Had his Supreme Court Justice’s Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh confirmed.
  • Moved U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
  • Agreed to a new trade deal with Mexico & Canada that will increase jobs here and $$$ coming in.
  • Reached a breakthrough agreement with the E.U. to increase U.S. exports.
  • Imposed tariffs on China in response to China’s forced technology transfer, intellectual property theft, and their chronically abusive trade practices, has agreed to a Part One trade deal with China.
  • Signed legislation to improve the National Suicide Hotline.
  • Signed the most comprehensive childhood cancer legislation ever into law, which will advance childhood cancer research and improve treatments.
  • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law by Trump doubled the maximum amount of the child tax credit available to parents and lifted the income limits so more people could claim it.
  • It also created a new tax credit for other dependents.
  • In 2018, President Trump signed into law a $2.4 billion funding increase for the Child Care and Development Fund, providing a total of $8.1 billion to States to fund child care for low-income families.
  • The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC) signed into law by Trump provides a tax credit equal to 20-35% of child care expenses, $3,000 per child & $6,000 per family + Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) allow you to set aside up to $5,000 in pre-tax $ to use for child care.
  • In 2019 President Donald Trump signed the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education and Support Act (CARES) into law which allocates $1.8 billion in funding over the next five years to help people with autism spectrum disorder and to help their families.
  • In 2019 President Trump signed into law two funding packages providing nearly $19 million in new funding for Lupus specific research and education programs, as well an additional $41.7 billion in funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the most Lupus funding EVER.
  • Another upcoming accomplishment to add: In the next week or two Trump will be signing the first major anti-robocall law in decades called the TRACED Act (Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence.) Once it’s thelaw, the TRACED Act will extend the period of time the FCC has to catch & punish those who intentionally break telemarketing restrictions. The bill also requires voice service providers to develop a framework to verify calls are legitimate before they reach your phone.
  • US stock market continually hits all-time record highs.
  • Because so many people asked for a document with all of this listed in one place, here it is. No links provided to remove bias as Google search is easy. Print this out for family, friends, neighbors, etc. I encourage you to drop this list off to voters before the 2020 election too!
    *Trump did all of this while fighting flagrant abuse and impeachment charges.
    ——-please explain to me why you have a problem with OUR president? Because he has misspoke a few times? Tell me when you find a perfect person, please….I’ll wait! I’ll tell you why, because the media has skewed him in such a negative light and unfairly report his accomplishments to undermined those achievements! Why? Because the media is complicit in every single thing this man is trying to undo! Start thinking for yourself!
don on May 1st, 2020

I copied this from GoC.

http://grouchyoldcripple.com/

This is one of those emails that ask you to send to to pass it on so I’m doing my part by posting it. From my friend Pres.

I’ve seen that on quite a few posts and on many news stations.

It’s a thinly veiled accusation that Trump didn’t act quickly enough.
Well I’m mad too.

I’m mad that Pelosi and the U.S. House wasted close to 3 months pursuing an obviously futile impeachment of the President.

I’m mad that Pelosi sat on those very impeachment papers for 28 days before sending them on to the Senate.

I’m mad that the Senate was shut down for 21 days in January and early February dealing with Pelosi’s impeachment, thereby leaving Trump to deal with Covid alone, with no support from either the House or Senate.
I’m mad that the day the President closed travel to and from China, Chuck Schumer declared the action “racist”.

I’m mad that 28 days after the travel restriction, Nancy Pelosi, downplaying the severity of the virus, begged people to visit Chinatown in San Francisco, again playing the race card.

I’m mad that Pelosi swooped in at the last hour of the stimulus package, adding things that were pure politics and had nothing to do with the dire circumstances at hand.

I’m mad that the Obama administration didn’t replenish the National Medical stockpile of masks after the H1N1 virus scare.

I’m mad that there are top doctors and experts in many fields having to waste their time at daily press briefings just so the “media” can pester them with gotcha questions that they think might be their ticket to a Pulitzer.

I’m mad that Pelosi is now talking about an investigation into Trump’s handling of the Covid crisis. Every day, every turn, every word, every breath since before he was elected, President Trump has been attacked, mocked, accused and belittled by Pelosi and her gang.

(And don’t even get me started on the media.)

So there it is…… I’m mad as hell that our country is going through this and petty bickering from the left won’t even stop for people who are dying while our economy is imploding.

Hey Nancy, why don’t you man up and stand side by side with the President to work through this mess?

American citizens need to see “all” of Washington working together and your mob are infuriatingly absent.

I’m mad about that too . If you are also ticked off, pass this message on.

If each of us pass this message on to 3, 4 or 5 people … we’ll get the job done before Mother’s Day!

Oh yeah, and just remember that if Trump and Pence were to die from the virus, she would be your President.

Let that sink in…!!