The Pope’s Performance Is Deplorable

Pope Francis has once again proven he is not going to be a proponent of change in the Catholic Church. Consider the following quote from the New York Times: “The Vatican on Monday flatly rejected what it cast as the notion that individuals can choose their gender . . .”

The Church has officially dashed the L.G.B.T. community by declaring, “acceptance of flexible ideas of gender pose[s] a threat to traditional families and ignore[s] the natural differences between men and women.”

Francis is digging in his heels every time he makes a new announcement about non-traditional life styles and age-old unproductive dogma. His promise to be more “tolerant” has not been kept. His supposed crusade to lead the Church out of the dark ages has not commenced. His commitment to clean up the horrible and disgraceful actions of his priesthood has fallen flat. The only thing the leader of the Catholic Church has proven is that he is cut out of the same cloth as his predecessors, and his only concern is the reputation of the Catholic Church.

Perhaps the pontiff is getting bad advice from his advisers and colleagues about what his flock expects of him, or maybe he really is a conservative who has no intention of cleaning up the missteps and sins of his fellow priests. In order to get the pope back into the good graces of his followers he needs to aggressively change many perspectives of the Church. The following are a few obvious examples.

The genie is out of the bottle relating to sexual abuse. Thousands of young boys have been raped and abused over the past century. Many lives have been destroyed. Who knows how widespread this behavior has been since the Church was founded over 2,000 years ago? Additionally, it has become public that even female worshippers and nuns have been the subjects of attacks along with young priests by older priests.

Every one of these accusations needs to be investigated and guilty priests must be defrocked immediately. When possible these criminals should be turned over to civil authorities for appropriate punishment.

The Vatican should form investigative groups around the world that can work on this project full time. Emphasis must be placed on exposing the abusers who are still living, rather than chasing ghosts. This process would surely be a great embarrassment to the Church and take many years to conclude. It is only then that the individuals that were abused will be able to find some closure in their lives.

Related to these crimes are those affiliated to Church leaders who protected sexual criminals. They are equally culpable with the abusers themselves and should be sanctioned similarly. This group will likely include pastors of small parishes as well as bishops, cardinals and even popes. Enablers are guilty of sexual abuse by allowing known offenders to run rampant among innocent churchgoers.

The Church needs to change its holier than thou arrogance and update its tenets. The list of changes that needs to be made is extensive.

Birth control is a perfect issue that demonstrates how antiquated the Church is, and how it does not address the needs of a changing world. To begin birth control is not a sin. Practitioners of it will not be sentenced to eternal damnation. It is a necessary, healthy and effective way to stop bringing unwanted children into the world. Moreover, it’s a critical method in lesser-developed countries to combat excessive population growth, starvation, poverty and disease. Many Catholics in impoverished areas do not practice birth control because their priests have taught them that it is a sin.

Abortion is an essential element of a woman’s basic right to care for her body. Policies (legally and spiritually) that allow aborting fetuses, before they are viable, are a perfect way to end the unproductive abortion controversy. The Church should lead this effort, especially since half its members are women. It’s barbaric to say it is a mortal sin to control the size of one’s family.

The number of gays and lesbians coming out seems to be increasing at frenzied pace. The right to choose one’s sexual preference is not in the domain of Church. There is no conceivable damage to society when two loving people of the same sex want to share a life together. The Church’s dogma on this issue is not empathetic and creates turmoil. The pope’s dismissive attitude towards this group of people is shameful.

It is becoming more obvious every day that many individuals are struggling with their sexuality. They feel they don’t fit into society because neither of the current sexual categories (man or woman) accurately represents their perspectives. The pope’s callous response to people sorting out their sexuality is truly unfortunate and ignorant.

And finally the Church has taken advantage of its status over the centuries to accumulate hundreds of billions of dollars. It has the gall to continue to solicit poor parishioners for more contributions. Just like well-endowed universities and colleges, the Church should begin a program to liquefy holdings and return the proceeds to its needy members around the world.

The Catholic Church is at a crossroads. It will either become a relic of the past or regain its influence. This will be dependent upon how priests interface with parishioners. It will also depend upon resetting antiquated ideas and reconsidering the definition of sin.

 

Millennials And The 2020 Elections

Millennials around the world are clamoring for more responsibility in every aspect of society. It makes one wonder how millenials in the US will respond in the 2020 elections.

Americans are very idealistic in their early years and have grandiose observations about what is wrong with the country. It happened big time in the 1960s when civil rights and the Vietnam War dominated our lives causing massive protests and civil disobedience. Today the issues are different, but just as important to young people.

What are some of the most important issues to millennials?

From an individual perspective, young people have been complaining on end that they are saddled with significant debt, in particular loans used for higher education. Not many colleges have done much to rein in ever-higher tuition costs in recent years. However, some institutions have taken dramatic steps to give more scholarships in lieu of loans that must be repaid. For some schools, huge endowments have made entitlements readily available. Other wealthy institutions should be encouraged to do more, rather than increasing investment assets.

The irony is that some students are breezing through college taking courses that have little relevance to the jobs they ultimately apply for. It would be wise for students to take courses that are affiliated with areas they wish to pursue after graduation. History majors are soliciting administrative positions, for instance. It would also be beneficial for schools to offer more classes that teach students trade skills.

The pressure of high debt has impacted the number of marriages among millennials (they are less and later in life), the timing of having children and the ability of young people to buy homes (and move away from their parents). It’s unfortunate that some life decisions are directly related to the amount of money one has in the bank.

More generally, young people think the previous generation has been screwing up things for them prospectively. Many believe the government is too intrusive, and there are too many restrictions and laws that impede their lives. Prohibition of the sale and personal use of marijuana are major items for a large number of young people. Additionally this same group feels the government is spying on them and invading their privacy.

Scores of young people are sympathetic to the plight of the downtrodden and to income inequality, more so than their parents, or so they think. Somehow being successful and becoming well to do is considered evil and all Americans in this category (the 1%ers) are not paying their fair share. Note: the definition of “fair share” is debatable and highly elusive.

Related to the life styles of the rich and famous are young people’s concerns for those who need assistance. What they believe is that every conservative either does not want to help Americans that ask for support, and that Republicans purposely elect leaders and lawmakers that perpetuate poverty in the country.

In fact most rich people are inured to paying an oversized share of taxes in the US. The frustration for 1%ers is more related to irresponsible government spending and the inability of free-spenders to creatively fund entitlements.

Over time young generations must assume responsibility and take over the government. America is at a crossroads, as older politicians are unable to pass the baton. Ironically, Democrats that include most millennials, have three seventy year-olds seriously contending for the presidency. And, in the House of Representatives, the top leaders are all significantly over seventy. In the meantime, several young (and mostly female) neophytes defeated incumbent Democrats during the mid term elections.

What has been the response of the Democratic establishment? They have threatened anyone who assists a Democrat in an effort to replace an incumbent Democrat.

Our Congress is chock full of old white men whose time has come to retire. Both parties are suffocating because old dogs don’t do new tricks, and old incumbents don’t want to give up their seats. Term limits are desperately needed on Capitol Hill and throughout all government.

Let’s discuss Democrat presidential candidates. The old adage that you must be radical in the primaries and moderate in the general election has already come into play. Every Democrat has either overtly or implicitly espoused socialism- that’s how far left the group has come. Their proposals are idiotic, too expensive and totally pie in the sky. They’re promising new entitlements that cannot be delivered.

Increasing taxes on the wealthy is the only source of new revenues for Democrats. There has been no thought given to abrogating entitlements that are no longer productive or doing what they were intended to do.

There are plenty of young people in the Democrat’s mad rush to regain the presidency, but none of them are leading the group. The Democrats are headed towards a real catastrophe next year that will become more obvious in the impending debates.

Young people have some important decisions to make. Many may just stay home on Election Day as they have done historically. Let’s hope not.

 

Trump Versus The World

Donald Trump is making the entire liberal establishment look like a bunch of fools. It’s one man against an entire political party, and he’s winning. Complicating the situation is the sudden and bizarre comments by Robert Mueller editorializing his $40 million witch-hunt that found no grounds for impeachment, but implied wrongdoing nevertheless.

With a little help from the FOX Network, the president is prepared and anxious to go head to head with any politicians, especially the 20 plus pathetic Democrat presidential candidates. It hasn’t even been a fair fight to this point. Somehow Trump finds the time, energy and opportunity to lambast the idiotic proposals coming from this group of old white men, has-beens, political neophytes, uber-feminists, race-baiters and just uninformed and weird characters.

Trump should propose to debate all of these people at the same time. To make matter worse for Democrats the leading candidate, “Sleepy Joe Bide,” is not engaging with his competition for the liberal nomination. Is he really going to stand on the achievements of the Obama administration?

Simultaneously Trump is sparring with all the key leaders in the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives. Wisely, he put his foot down and refused to cooperate any further with investigations of investigations of investigations, enough already. Mueller was the great hope for liberals. And, he really wanted to stick it to Trump, as did his bloodthirsty minions. If there was any shred of evidence that could be used to implicate Trump in an impeachable crime or misdemeanor, don’t you think it would be on the table? Now, Mueller is having seller’s remorse. He’s saying that he couldn’t find any wrongdoing but Congress should take the baton and make a case against the president.

Ironically, Trump relishes his moments on Twitter and at giant rallies when he calls out the leaders of the House for their incompetence and ill-conceived urges to kick him out of the White House. He responds forcefully to the ranting of Pelosi, Nadler, Schiff and the other zealots who think that attacking the president will increase their power. In the meantime Democrats are losing face.

It has been interesting to note that the branches of government have not been unable to moderate each other when there are disagreements. For instance Trump has instructed his people to ignore congressional requests for more information on the heels of the Mueller fiasco. I guess SCOTUS will soon be running the country.

How did an aggressive and unpopular real estate deal operator get to lead the US government and impact other countries on so many issues? It must be that these situations were not properly managed for so long. The US needed a leader like Trump to show us that many countries and groups around the world are abusing America. It took a strong person to challenge our most important allies and to approach some of the most dangerous despots around the world. This was done without fear or hesitation. Only an individual with guile and determination could stop the abuses.

Trump confronted China and exposed its weaknesses. It is not invincible and is not in a position to demand anything from the US. Now, China calls Trump a bully, even as its leaders want to dominate Asia and many developing areas across the globe.

Trump recognized that China is vulnerable economically and dependent upon the US to meet its growth objectives. By attacking our enemy economically with tariffs, China will be hard pressed to keep its billions of workers on the job. In the end Trump will win this standoff and the US will finally be protected from China’s predatory behavior.

Trump has abrogated and/or criticized treaties and pacts that were not beneficial to the US. The most important was the Iran nuclear deal, a transaction that was mischaracterized by the Obama administration. All it did was delay the time when Iran would become a nuclear power. It was, however, advertised as a way to prevent Iran from developing nukes. The president wisely walked away and began to increase economic sanctions on Iran that will ultimately bring down the current regime.

Simultaneously Trump has attempted to deal with North Korea. He sees an opportunity to fix the incredible incompetence of former administrations. How could the US allow a poor and unaffiliated country to build weapons of mass destruction that could possibly reach the US mainland? Trump had the courage to address the problem diplomatically, but with an iron determination. It just may work out peacefully.

Trump shook the world by walking away from the global climate change agreement. He recognizes that important polluters, aside from the US, would not live up to their promises. And world pollution cannot be address through American efforts alone. Other huge countries are experiencing industrial revolutions and will not delay progress for climate change.

Donald Trump has pissed off and exasperated so many groups during his short tenure with his brash behavior. A list includes Congress (which is addled by the president’s efforts to increase the power of the Executive Branch), the Supreme Court (which now has 5 conservative members), abortionists (see previous comment on SCOTUS), feminists (who are mortified that a misogynist is in the White House) and Hollywood (Trump often exposes the shallowness and unimportance of this self-aggrandizing group of morons).

Trump has fought with every liberal outlet in the country. He has baited them into abandoning the tried and true separation of reporting and opinion. All major newspapers have become tabloids, infected with bias outside their opinion pages.

The Trump crisis cannot last into the medium and long-term. He is not a leader. He is not empathetic. He is not a role model for Americans or any one for that matter. His perspectives, however, have enabled the country to break away from its status as a fall guy. No longer are we going to be apologizing for things done years ago.

We need a new leader to take us forward as the greatest country in the world. Unfortunately this is not likely to occur in 2020.

Mortality

The twilight of our lives falls upon us with little warning. The most fortunate have few serious health issues until they reach advanced age. From that time forward it’s in the hands of destiny.

Some fight ageing by becoming more concerned about how they live their lives. Drink less alcohol, eat well, exercise more and be more optimistic about life are some of the most common strategies. But sometimes fate deals a bad hand and disease ambushes us in spite of our efforts to stay healthy.

What should we do when we reach the golden years? The simple response is to live each day to the fullest. You never know if you are on a short leach. But, how does one do this?

A wise man I once knew said that our legacy was the most important thing. Nobody remembers, for more than a fleeting moment, deals consummated or how much money we have in the bank. No, it’s our children and grandchildren that keep our memory alive. It’s the good things we’ve done for others that admirers will remember about us.

Yet, it isn’t easy coming to grips with mortality. One thing is for certain, we all are going to die in the future, and between now and then we will lose people we love. Worrying about the afterlife, if there is one, is not going to make this journey any easier. When our peers pass away and we see death and sadness in the news every day, it’s difficult to not consider our own demise

When someone we know is ill and dies, or experiences an unfortunate tragedy do we really feel sorry or them? In most cases we do, for sure. But we are also thankful that we’ve been spared a similar fate. When our friends are ill, we might even thank God and pray our families are spared of a similar moment.

Getting old means getting out of the way of young people. Whether it’s on the job or relating to family affairs, the elderly must transfer responsibility to the next generation. Hopefully we have done whatever possible to prepare our children to succeed us and to find prosperity and happiness. We must teach them how to lead their families and subordinates in business.

But, what of the afterlife? Is it true that the good will see God and be happy for all eternity? It’s a beautiful thought. Or is death oblivion? We were not unhappy before we were born, so why should we worry about being unhappy after our deaths?

Frankly afterlife expectations of eternal bliss make the transition from life to death easier for many. It’s just so disconcerting that after 70, 80 or 90 years we will cease to exist.

Future generations will give us longevity if we lead noble lives. If we are generous, thoughtful and considerate, our children and friends will celebrate our passing to a better place.

Time is getting shorter every day. Better get busy doing good deeds and treating others with dignity. Substantial people act with respect not because they will be rewarded at death, but because it’s the right thing to do while they are alive.

Is It Possible For Roe v. Wade To Be Overturned?

The simple answer to the title question is that Roe v. Wade can be overturned if the case is accepted by 4 members of the Supreme Court for review, and 5 members vote to declare it unconstitutional. As of this time there are 5 conservative and 4 liberal members on the court.

But, as reported in many newspapers, the road to overturning Roe is filled with minefields, precedent, strong societal sentiment, legal maneuvering and the consciences of nine extraordinary judicial scholars who are not blind to the needs of America.

The first area to consider is society. Is our country prepared to undo the overwhelming impact of Roe? No way in the mind of many experts. Not every woman favors the right of women to choose, but it’s a good bet than far more than half do. This group will be mobilized if Roe is challenged directly.

Women proponents are much more vocal, organized and determined than their opponents. And, it appears men are leading the charge against abortion, and women who oppose it are not so anxious to declare themselves publicly.

Politicians must also walk a fine line when it comes to abortion, especially female pols. There appears to be a stigma associated with women against the right to choose. And it’s likely that their young daughters who are overwhelmingly in favor of a woman’s right to choose are pressuring their influential moms.

Given the political turmoil that the US has experienced relating to the current administration and Clinton’s defeat in 2016, a reversal of Roe would surely cause a great political and societal backlash. Protest and marching could become violent.

You may be asking why societal reaction is relevant. After all, SCOTUS merely needs a case to judge and 5 members must vote to overturn the abortion law that was decided nearly 50 years ago. The fact is that the justices are mindful of actions that will adversely impact society. From time to time antiquated laws are changed, but they are few and far between. In most cases significant societal pressure made it wise for the court to make amends.

In the press a lot is being discussed about the mood of the courts. Some experts are saying that certain judges (including Chief Justice Roberts) prefer to make broad changes incrementally, and Roberts is certainly in a position to influence both conservative and liberal judges in this regard.

So it would not be a surprise if Roberts encouraged his colleagues to consider peripheral issues relating to abortion. In a sense, if existing law is anathema to a judge, he or she may choose to address it by making new law on the fringes of the main issue.

A wholesale decision: “Abortion is unconstitutional and illegal in the US” is not going to happen in the near term.

And finally there is stare decisis, the precedent issue that is a cornerstone of SCOTUS tradition. Every recent judge confirmed to the court said under oath that respecting the decisions of previous courts is critical.

This means that changing settled law should only occur if there is a great change in societal attitudes and/or circumstances. Things like slavery, prohibition of alcohol, segregation and the right to vote are some of the issues that rise to such a level. Abortion, in the writer’s opinion, does not because the country is split on the issue.

Many believe proponents of abortion should dial down the drama notwithstanding the new Alabama law that makes all abortions illegal. It will be declared unconstitutional and will not set any new precedent. It will be scorned by a significant majority of Americans as a political ploy that has no traction in the country.

However attacks on lower level issues such as limiting the number of abortion clinics in a state, waiting periods, mandatory abortion education, etc. will be front and center. If these cases gain support, abortion itself will eventually be on the docket.

 

 

Is Roe v. Wade In Jeopardy?

The confirmation of two conservative judges to the Supreme Court has reignited the abortion controversy. Abortion proponents are concerned that the new conservative majority will attempt to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Roe v. Wade was a 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortions early during a pregnancy based upon the Fourteen Amendment, which speaks to the right of privacy. SCOTUS amended the law in 1992. It now states that restrictions on abortion are unconstitutional if they place undue burden on a woman seeking abortion before the fetus is viable. The federal law has been attacked from every perspective in actions by individual states.

Proponents and opponents of abortion have greatly contributed to the extraordinary anxiety and agitation affiliated to this social issue. The status of the unborn fetus is a critical national consideration. Is a fetus a human being or does it become a person sometime during the nine-month gestation period?

There is wisdom and logic on both sides. For years Americans have fought over the rights of the fetus and the rights of the woman. One thing is for sure. The solution to this dilemma is not at the beginning or the end of the fetus’ cycle.

Let’s break down the issues. First, A woman’s rights. A very strong case can be made that a woman should be the master of her own body. After impregnation she cares for the fetus from conception to birth and thereafter. Her diligence and love will have a great impact on the health of the child should the fetus go full term. But is the woman an island?

The creation of a fetus is not possible without a contribution from a male. The child that will eventually be born is half his or her mother and half the father. It’s a reasonable question whether sperm donors should have a say in the ultimate decision to abort. This argument carries little weight in the current controversy.

What rights does a fetus have? Is it a person with “unalienable rights,” including the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?” In other words is the federal government responsible for protecting the rights of the fetus as it does any citizen? It’s a good question and offsets, to a degree, the issue of a woman’s right to privacy. Should the pregnant woman be the sole judge of whether the fetus survives?

In Roe v. Wade the decision was made that the woman does in fact have virtually all of the power to decide whether her fetus should survive and become a living American.

On the other side of the coin are the opponents of abortion. Their perspectives are greatly impacted by religious dogma. It’s convenient if not totally accurate for them to say a fetus is a living entity. It’s a person from the moment of conception, should be protected by the federal government and to abort the fetus is murder.

Once again the issue of privacy of the woman is front and center. Should the government have a say in the survival of the fetus? The counter argument is that a fetus cannot survive outside of the womb until a certain number of days pass. So does the fetus mystically transform from a non-living entity to a living entity on a date certain? Do all the benefits of being an American kick in on a random date?

It’s important for everyone to realize that Roe v. Wade established a precedent that the ultimate compromise can be a negotiated time during gestation when the fetus can survive outside of the womb. This precedent is protected by stare decisis, or SCOTUS’ tradition of respecting decisions of previous courts. This could mean that all the turmoil about the new conservative court overturning Roe is moot. And not withstanding the current justices’ bias against abortion, tradition and precedent will win out and continue to support a woman’s right to choose.

But this is not the end of the story. The bid and ask for the competing sides is great and very debatable. Proponents of abortion believe that a woman’s right should have no limits. They believe a woman should be able to terminate from conception until birth.

Likely, SCOTUS will eventually lock in a date. But will compromise result in acceptance by all? Will an opponent who thinks that life begins at conception ever accept that a woman can decide before the end of the second trimester to have an abortion? Will a proponent ever give up the crusade for a woman’s total control of a decision to abort?

And then there are all the side battles taking place across the country in liberal and conservative states. Opponents are tying to make it difficult for women to legally obtain an abortion by assigning restrictions and requirements. These include mandatory counseling, waiting periods, limitation on the number of clinics that do abortions, capping health care aid, etc. All these indirect roadblocks must end. Individual states must eventually yield to a national policy that gives the woman the right to choose.

On the other hand the radical proponents are pushing for more latitude that include late term abortions. This most radical perspective would allow the abortion of a fetus very close to the birth date. The vast majority of Americans, including many proponents, are against this procedure unless the health of the woman and/or the child is at stake.

It may be a naïve perspective but it appears that the right of a woman to choose is locked in. Nuisance efforts to change this will ultimately fail because Roe is part of our culture. However it is important that neither side push to make changes that cause the other side to respond in kind, Let’s lock up an abortion law once and for all.I

The US/Russia Conflict

Why is the US perpetually in conflict with other countries and their leaders? Is it a struggle for world domination, military superiority, economic advantage, imperialism, colonialism, or do these opponents have legitimate grounds to resist America at every opportunity?

Russia is the oldest perennial competitors of the US. Since World War II the US and Russia (formerly the Soviet Union) have been at loggerheads. And now both countries are attempting to delve into each other’s domestic affairs via cyber warfare.

After the Second World War the Soviet Union led by Stalin worked to gain territorial advantages as the East and West divided up war torn Europe. The allies encouraged the countries they controlled to become democracies by having free elections, and the Soviets made their acquisitions satellites of the Mother Country.

Stalin, among other things, wanted to create a buffer zone, an Iron Curtain if you will, that would separate the Soviet Union from central Europe in the event of hostilities. Puppets installed by the communist taskmasters governed the Soviet satellites unless they or their citizens refused to cooperate (Poland and Hungary uprisings in 1956).

Stalin knew the US and its allies would be his principal adversaries moving forward during the reconstruction of Europe and beyond. The US acted in kind and the seeds of a cold war were sown.

The Cold War featured a massive military buildup that included thousands of nuclear weapons that could end mankind. The threat of mutual assured destruction was the major reason why a nuclear war was averted during this stressful period of history. The ultimate cost of armaments and fear mongering was massive for the US and the Soviet Union.

In 1991 the Soviet Union fell and was restructured into 15 separate democracies. Mikhail Gorbachev resigned and was replaced by Boris Yeltsin in Russia. A drop in oil and gas revenues, loss of control of Eastern Europe and the failure of Gorbachev’s reforms to bear fruit are some of the most important reasons why the communists fell.

Others might say that the cost of waging a Cold War with the US, and the affiliated cost of weaponry, were also a primary factors affecting the Soviet Union.

Today Vladimir Putin rules with an iron fist in the guise of a truly elected president. As an old Soviet bureaucrat, Putin longs for the good old days and the comforting buffer zone between Russia and the West. His objectives are undeniable although never spoken: bring Eastern Europe and the Balkans back under Russian control. Certain countries have made this objective difficult by joining NATO, a military alliance controlled by the US that will respond as a group if any member is threatened. Note: the response of NATO in Ukraine has been less than impressive.

But, how should the world view Russia’s aggressive activities that are far afield from its national security? The country is powered by its energy industries. It makes deals with other countries that are a combination of economics and politics.

Russia’s dependence on fossil fuel sales is not a healthy situation and Putin knows it. Many of his clandestine activities around the globe are impacted by the country’s cash flow. So one must ask why he uses precious resources in his efforts to antagonize and stifle America. Wouldn’t Russia be better served if cash were used for productive purposes rather than creating havoc.

For example, Russia has joined forces with Iran to protect Syria and Bashar al Assad, one of the most dangerous and despised despots in the world. Of course no one knows how much Putin spends on his folly to keep this murderer in power, but why do it in conjunction with yet another hated country, Iran? Probably, Putin hopes to create disruption in the region that will somehow generate diplomatic opportunities for his country.

Efforts by Russia to influence US elections and elections throughout the world are putting world leaders on edge. How is this beneficial to Russia? These intrusions are so invasive that many in the global community of nations will eventually respond negatively. Putin’s actions are nothing less than imperialistic, an attitude not even branded on the US.

In America the Russian effort to influence our elections have been exposed. At least some of the classified information on this matter collected by Robert Mueller will be disseminated. These will include acts to buy and expose the dirty laundry of certain candidates or making unsubstantiated robo-posts to social media that are harmful to election contenders. The resultant mudslinging opportunities are unlimited and could have great impact.

Why doesn’t Putin want to live peacefully along side the US? Maybe he’s a warrior who needs to be in a battle or trying to overtake another country. He’s definitely not endearing himself to US allies and democratic countries around the world. Ultimately Russia will pay a price for its bellicose attitude.

Mueller’s Cowardly Report

Everyone knew the Mueller report was going to create a sh—t storm. The reason for competing interpretations of Russian collusion and obstruction has occurred because Mueller and his minions did not have the courage, or the evidence, to actually accuse Trump of a crime.

Mueller and his fellow witch hunters wanted to bring down Trump, but couldn’t. So they loaded the report with innuendo and evasive commentary and sent it to the Department of Justice.

Also the Special Counsel didn’t want to be the impetus for a constitutional crisis or an impeachment. So he said, “Here’s what I found. You [Congress] decide what to do with it.” The fact is Mueller didn’t have enough evidence to indict the president, so he in effect extended the witch-hunt by punting the ball to hate-mongering Democrats. This was a cowardly thing to do, and ultimately it will severely hurt our country. Mueller should have answered the question, “Is Trump guilty of collusion or obstruction of justice, and can you prove it?”

Most people expected Mueller to indicate that Trump and his sycophant’s did A,B and C, all impeachable offenses. In fact, regarding collusion the report does exonerate the president, for the most part. Mueller provided a list of meetings and conversations that made it appear that Trump wanted to work with Russia to defeat Clinton, but he didn’t act. Mueller couldn’t indict Trump for “bad intentions.”

Now Trump says he’s exonerated, and Democrats say he really wanted to collude. Frankly impeachment should not be pursued based Pelosi, Nadler, Schiff, Cummings and Waters’ ability to read Trump’s mind.

Then there is obstruction. Really? Anything the president did that makes it difficult for the Department of Justice or Congress to investigate accusations of misbehavior could be labeled obstruction. However a legal act by the president, like firing a subordinate (Comey, for instance) is not obstruction, per se.

It may have been on Trump’s mind to interfere with investigations, but every partisan in Washington was calling for Comey’s dismissal at one point or another. It’s absurd to definitively say Trump fired Comey to impede the investigation of his administration unless you are a mind reader.

Mueller took a cowardly path. He made a huge list of threatened actions by Trump that were inspired by the hostility directed at him by the DoJ and congressional Democrats. Mueller outlined them in his report and said that it was up to Congress to decide whether they are impeachable with no commentary about whether they were crimes, in his opinion.

Why the hell did we spend million of dollars for Mueller to investigate if he doesn’t conclude that a crime(s) was or was not committed? The report to Congress about Trump says Congress should investigate and decide for itself.

Mueller was supposed to tell Congress, and indirectly the American people, whether Trump or his incompetent aides broke the law. The special counsel was hired by the DoJ, after demands by Congress. The counsel did a lousy job and created more problems for the country.

Mueller should not be allowed to say Trump “might” be guilty. Trump is innocent until someone or some group proves he committed crimes. Only then would impeachment make sense.

Beto’s Climate Change Solution?

Democratic candidates for the presidency continue to inundate voters with uniformed and absurd promises. Beto O’Rourke has presented the latest, on toxic emissions.

The plan calls for “net-zero emissions by 2050, [recommitment] to the Paris Agreement and [restoration of] Obama-era power plant regulations and fuel standards . . .”

The proposal has a $5 trillion price tag over 10 years “for . . . clean-energy research, infrastructure and extreme weather preparation.” However, the cost number excludes expenditures relating to building efficiencies and federal permitting, along with ending fossil-fuel leases, reducing methane emissions from oil and natural gas facilities, etc. It would generate untold trillions of dollars of other costs for the federal government and private industry.

Of course, details are scant and various conservative and liberal parties are chiming in on the feasibility of such an endeavor, in an environment that is moderately receptive to the potential dangers of climate change.

There’s no question that climate issues are potentially an existential threat to mankind. But the US cannot deal with problem alone. Coordination with other major polluters of the environment is critical. And it’s highly unlikely that China, India and Brazil are going to forestall their industrial revolution to work towards less toxic emissions.

Also relevant are the issues important to our legislators. Conservatives and liberals in Congress can’t even negotiate a format to interview the Attorney General. Just imagine how difficult it will be to create a comprehensive plan for the federal government and every company in the country in an effort to save the world.

It would be nonsensical to pick apart O’Rourke’s proposal, primarily because he obviously spent a couple of hours thinking about the risks to planet Earth. Suffice it to say the plan is a non-starter as is all climate reform, until our federal government finds a way to build a bridge between the two political parties. Unfortunately Democrats are totally engrossed in the reinvestigation of Mueller’s investigation than negotiating when the use of fossil fuel should be banned.

Voters should recognize that a climate change plan along with universal health care, free college tuition and forgiveness of student debt are nothing more than liberal pipe dreams. The promises being made will not be kept if Democrats capture the presidency.

Entitlements, Income Inequality and Inheritance

Democrats are proposing some very big giveaways and entitlements. Elizabeth Warren is shaping up to be the leader of the pack along with Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders.

It’s disquieting to witness how liberals are attempting to take over the federal government by bankrupting the country. Among Democrats there is not one iota of fiscal sensibility. They think they can buy votes by giving freebies to their base. If they are successful in 2020, there is no chance that any of their ridiculous and expensive entitlements will actually become law.

It’s comforting that many legislators, in both major parties, have admitted that the proposals by the politicians mentioned above are outrageous, even as millennials and ethnic groups are celebrating promises that won’t be kept. The types of aid being suggested go far beyond socialism and would be a recipe for financial disaster.

Warren’s objectives are actually the most draconian. The only strategy she has to pay for entitlements is to tax the affluent. After telling us about her intent to spend trillions, she has not offered one creative idea about how to fund universal health care, free college tuition, free child care and so on. If wealthy class taxes were increased to 60 or 70%, it wouldn’t be enough to avoid crushing fiscal deficits. Have any of the Democrats ever taken a course in economics or accounting?

Liberals say their base is totally supportive of proposals to bilk rich people. Of course they are. Other people are being asked to make sacrifices, not them. Proposals would be far more palatable if all Americans made contributions to improve our country.

For instance liberals never speak of commitment from the individuals receiving aid. Why should welfare be paid to able-bodied people if they refuse to accept available jobs? The job market is vibrant. People can find work. Aid should be contingent upon the recipients improving their lot. Aid should be temporary and not a perpetuity.

Some have suggested that young people with college debt should have an obligation to pay a percentage of their earnings, over a minimum level of earnings, into the future. If they were successful their debt would be paid back. If they cannot find employment above a certain amount, they would not repay with money needed to survive.

The point is everyone should make sacrifices. The Democrats and the federal government should not be allowed to continually demand more from successful Americans. And, since when is it a crime to earn a high wage? The mantra “everybody should pay their fair share” is a license to rob the rich. The affluent class in America has worked hard for their standard of living. The mantra is apropos for Robin Hood in Sherwood Forrest, not the US.

The amount that an individual earns is based upon the contributions he or she makes to the success of the organization he or she works for. Even in government, individuals that have advanced education and experience earn more than newer, less educated employees. Over time, with hard work, ambition and creativity people can advance. This holds true for both governmental and private positions.

One of the most absurd controversies deals with the outrage over CEO compensation. Why would anyone find it offensive that the person who manages a corporation with 20 or 30 thousand people would earn 200 or 300 times the lowest paid employee? People are not paid millions of dollars unless they bring many times their compensation in value added service.

One of the most important tasks of Boards of Directors is to pay the person who runs the business a competitive salary based upon performance of the organization, personal achievement and comparison to others at different companies doing the same job. Usually, in the beginning of the year, targets for performance (financial, reputation, competitiveness, diversity, employee relations, etc.) are negotiated. If goals are achieved compensation will reflect them. If goals are not met compensation will suffer.

There is a growing misconception that certain people are dealt six and seven figure salaries as a gift. This is absolute nonsense and a myth perpetrated by radical social progressives. To bring home this kind of money is only possible for individuals who have the education, skill, drive and integrity necessary to be successful.

The New York Times had an article in the Sunday edition that spoke about the revulsion of children for inherited wealth from their parents. All parents are trying to do is to give their children a great life where decisions need not be made based upon the money. For this some parents are scorned. Talk about no good deed going unpunished.

It comes as no surprise that young people are so overly sensitive to income inequality when 90% or so of their teachers and college professors along with the media are so critical of high wage earners in the country.

My advice to the unfortunate young people saddled with so much cash: find a charity and write a big check.

As for Democrats, they will continue to play upon the problems of the lower classes by blaming them on the affluent.