He’s a Pariah and Not Worthy of Your Vote

I’ve been tracking the anticipated indictment of Donald Trump. It’s incredible that the alleged crime and the attendant machinations by a rogue NY District Attorney involve a payment of hush money to a call girl.

Are we really holding up the nation’s business to deal with a Trump dalliance and setting aside existential issues that include the war in Ukraine, a growing partnership between China and Russia, a banking crisis, growing crime in our cities and a drug epidemic? I would rather our leaders and lawmakers focus on these problems rather than “hooker-gate.” 

Having said that, aren’t we all exhausted trying to live with Donald Trump. He is a never-ending annoyance. He’s a pain in the ass. He’s also being investigated for much more serious alleged crimes like sedition. Why aren’t Donald Trump lovers giving up and supporting the likes of Ron DeSantis, who is very much akin to Donald Trump politically without all of the drama, cheating, lying, self aggrandizement, anti-social behavior, and bad karma?

Republicans are going to have a chance to completely control the US government. If a meaningful number of conservative voters support, Donald Trump, we will lose the election to Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren or some other woke radical. If you want continued chaos in our government and country, all do you have to do is give the key to the White House to our liberal adversaries. 

Please, conservatives, moderates and independents, don’t allow Donald Trump to trash our country again. He’s a pariah and not worthy of your vote.

Jews Must Continue To Be Diligent

It’s useful to periodically reflect on the most important moments in history. By chance, I selected a movie entitled “Operation Fatale” to watch on a rainy depressing afternoon.

I knew I would not be in a happy state of mind after viewing yet another story about the worst atrocity perpetrated by man. Basically, Ben Kingsley portrayed the infamous Adolf Eichmann, one of the architects of the Final Solution during the Holocaust. Eichmann was personally responsible for killing thousands of Jews during that period of time. He emigrated to Argentina after the war and took another name hoping to avoid prosecution.

The story line has a group of Israeli operatives planning to kidnap Eichmann from his adopted home in the early 60s. Assassination was not the preferred way to deal with Eichmann. The Israeli government wanted to charge the German murderer in court with all the world watching. The story is made more dramatic as each member of the group shares their war time experiences. They all lost family and friends during the Nazi regime.

The relationship between one operative and Eichmann was the crux of the story. Eichmann played a sympathetic character until his true colors manifested themselves. He was truly a despicable bigot.

Eichmann was captured and transported to Israel where he was adjudicated, convicted and hanged for crimes against humanity. The trial was witnessed by millions around the world.

The movie was excellent even knowing the ultimate outcome beforehand. But, as it is with all movies about the Holocaust, the cruelty, inhumanity and horror of the events leading to Eichmann’s demise are the real story. Unfortunately, the producers of the movie only showed a few of actual scenes from the liberation of Jewish prisoners and the equipment used to kill so many of them. A picture is worth 1,000 words, or six million words in this case.

Looking back, I feel for the Jewish people. Most of my family is Jewish, so I have a vested interest in the discrimination and racism that has tormented this group of people throughout history.

Anti-Semites have always chosen to blame their problems on the Jewish people. Whenever a country has political problems, Jews are often served up as the perpetrators.

Some say the world is jealous of the success of Jewish entrepreneurs. This is a bogus perspective. Yet, anti-Semitism is around us every day. Jews must still look back over their shoulders to protect themselves against cruelty and injustice.

I wish that discrimination directed towards Jews and every other minority group no longer plagued mankind. But, it does. Movies like the aforementioned put everything in perspective for me.

What Voters Should Consider In 2024

American voters are being inundated with a flood of priorities from the competing political parties. It would be wise if voters considered the various options they have before entering the voting booth. I am suggesting an educational process that will make voter choices more insightful.

Following is a list of major issues that all Americans should be aware of. The selection of candidates could materially impact what our government will do in the near term.

Americans are entitled to be safe from both foreign and domestic threats. I include the horror of a nuclear war with Russia and China, as well as the peril of an overabundance of handguns and automatic weapons in the possession of Americans.

The war in Ukraine has reached a desperate moment for Russia, the Ukrainian people, the US and Europe. Russia and Ukraine forces have already devastated the country, and of course, thousands of deaths and destruction have ensued. The Russians are incurring a great number of casualties. Most people around the world have labelled Putin a war criminal. If the Russian tyrant loses face, he may very well consider the use of tactical nuclear weapons, transforming the hostilities to an existential threat to all of mankind. US leaders must try to temper the actions of Russia before the situation worsens. Providing more advanced weaponry to Ukraine is the most logical path for the US and Europe to follow. The emasculation of Russia should be a high priority.

Americas must consider which party is better equipped to navigate through the Ukraine quagmire.

The US must deal with the scourge of illegal handguns and automatic weapons. It is common knowledge that Americans own more guns by far than any other country per capita. The mere availability of such weaponry is creating a dire threat to our country. Sensible controls, to avoid the weekly tragedies across the country, are critical. We can no longer look past the next slaughter on a campus or at a place of worship, and not say the proliferation of arms isn’t playing a huge role in the destruction of families. Gun ownership is guaranteed by the Constitution. Criminals and mentally ill individuals should not have access to illegal weapons under any circumstances.

Our leaders must have a close eye on the global economic situation. Our way of life and future financial security is based upon effective management of the money supply by the Federal Reserve and indirectly by Congress. Inflation has been caused by over-spending and frivolous entitlements. Congress must rein in new programs that are unaffordable and cancel those that are no longer helpful to the needy. It will be a tough fight in Congress, and we must have a president who is qualified and brave enough to make changes.

Income inequality is tearing our country apart. The affluent are gaining even more ground on the needy. Current and new aid packages need to be evaluated to ensure that poor individuals can eat and find shelter. We should consider decreasing foreign aid and using the funds to decrease poverty and homelessness in America.

Our right of free speech is being threatened every day by censorship, aggressive corporations as part of social media, lobbying groups, radical political forces in Congress and at local levels of our country, teachers, universities, etc. Free speech is not existent unless every American can say what’s on his or her mind, so long as their rhetoric does not result in violence. People’s feelings will be hurt, but our country will be more productive and informed.

Nuclear weapons can end the human race. One demented leader can authorize an attack and the world will be changed for the worst in a heartbeat.

Our leaders must stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The tedious short-term process of preventing the spread of weapons that can kill millions is worth the price. It is outrageous to think that Iran, North Korea and some radical Middle Eastern countries have or will have nuclear capability in the near future.

It’s high time that women have the right to decide about childbirth without interference. Despite efforts to make abortion more difficult in recent months, our country should negotiate a reasonable, fair and morally acceptable compromise that abortion is legal nationwide within a certain period of time after conception. This is the only reasonable way to finally end the efforts of those who want to make choices for other people.

In the same vein, women, all LGBTQ+ individuals, people of color and those impaired physically should be protected against all types of discrimination. There is no logic or reason to prevent any group the right to enjoy liberty and happiness.

It seems to me that our leaders are lying, exaggerating and concealing information that should be made available to all citizens. If a government official is doing something illegal, he or she should be exposed and punished. The past two presidents have lied on numerous occasions. It’s time for truth in government and transparency.

The current administration has continually turned a blind eye towards the thousands of people entering our country illegally. The burden these interlopers have put on our country is massive. We cannot allow anyone to wade across the Rio Grande River and use our resources. It is a plan that will leave our country further in debt. Resources are being used on foreigners instead of needy Americans. Leaders must come up with a comprehensive immigration plan.

My list is long, but I will not be satisfied until all these issues are addressed our government.

Biden, Putin and Xi

We are at a scary moment in history. The three most powerful leaders in the world appear to have lost their minds in response to domestic and international problems. The current predicament could very well lead to hostilities between the parties.

Let’s begin with Joe Biden. The State of the Union address was a farce that was chock full of lies and exaggerations. From his perch in front of all the leaders and legislators in our country, Biden lied about his accomplishments and avoided some of the most important issues that are affecting the US.

One of the most outrageous statements he made was that Republicans are planning to decrease benefits afforded by Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Speaker McCarthy has said numerous times that the aforementioned entitlements were off limits. Biden lied to the American people, and Republican lawmakers interrupted his speech. It was like a moment in British parliament when the members speak out after an untoward comment.

Biden then brushed over several of the most pressing issues facing the nation. They included the fact that we are coming closer to direct confrontation with Russia and China. The US is sending advanced weapons to the Ukraine to repel the Russian advance. At some point this will come to a head and the US will face Russian forces directly. The president should have been more forceful in his support of Ukraine and transparent about the risks of this occurring.

Xi is instructing his military to become more hostile towards the US. Taiwan’s independence is a growing irritant. China is intimidating Taiwan and the US with harsh and threatening rhetoric along with aggressive military activity. The firing of missiles over Taiwan’s airspace is one example.

Biden spent an enormous amount of his time talking about spending more money to pay for college loans, raises for teachers and a plethora of other expenditures that have no chance of passage in the House of Representatives.

The president intentionally ignored the exploding national debt that he exacerbated with inane and ultra progressive expenditures. He clearly drew a line in the sand regarding the US debt limit by saying he would not negotiate with conservatives about unnecessary expenditures. These items are negatively impacting our economy and creating more inflation.

Biden said the US was making progress on our borders. Every negative metric affiliated with illegal immigration is at historical levels. We are being invaded by scores of countries, and assuming responsibility for illegal interlopers. Every state is now a border state that must use precious resources for non-citizens, while homelessness and hunger are increasing in the US.

Biden has completely botched the Police Department controversy. Eliminating and even defunding police in our country is an idiotic objective. Those supporting defunding are in effect backing violence on our streets that includes rampant gun activity, murder, assaults, destruction of property and drug use. We should be increasing training of our brave policemen and women and not damning the whole system when an officer breaks the rules of engagement. The people who have died in illegal attacks by police officers should be remembered in an effort to train those that protect us. Undue force is unacceptable.

Drug use deserves special consideration. The deaths affiliated with illicit drug use are an epidemic. We must secure our borders from illegal entrants and stop the inflow of illegal drugs.

Biden’s performance was pathetic on Tuesday night. He did nothing to allay concerns about his age, his incompetence and inability to lead. It’s sad to say but he lies and is corrupt (along with his antisocial son). More importantly even his own party has been critical of his tenure and most Democrats don’t want him to run for president in 2024.

We are on the verge of war with Russia. The megalomaniac that leads the country is still focused on bringing back the glory days of the Soviet Union. He has made critical errors of judgment regarding the fighting spirit of the Ukraine people. With the assistance of the US and Europe, the Russian army is being challenged and could actually lose the war. How will the hawks in the Russian government and the oligarchs feel about this possibility? Putin will be castigated for not being able to defeat a poor and virtually defenseless country. Putin’s dreams will be dashed.

The major problem is that Russia has threatened to use tactical and strategic nuclear weapons. Does he have the power to unleash these weapons in a fit of desperation? As mentioned earlier, confrontation between the US and Russia is growing every day. Biden should have spent a moment discussing this contingency.

Xi and China are well on the way towards military action against the US. Xi also is losing credibility at home because of the mishandling of COVID. His aggressive actions against demonstrators and stemming free speech is beginning to rub the Chinese people the wrong way. China has overextended its influence in Asia and Africa. It will not be able to sustain such a global strategy. Some experts are already predicting a confrontation between the US and China. We should all hope and pray that Xi’s desperation does not cause him to respond militarily. The spy balloon is yet another slap in the face of the US.

The state of the union is not great, another lie from Biden. He along with his whacky vice president are embarrassing all Americans. The three superpowers have made poor choices that could exacerbate peacekeeping efforts around the world.

Seventy-Four and Still Counting

Seventy-four years ago, Sylvester and Marie Bommarito gave life to me. I’m grateful for all the love and affection I received while growing up and for my wonderful family today. For my birthday, I have taken the opportunity to reminisce about my terrific life.

During my latter years, I changed my perspectives and priorities. It used to be career success and compensation. Today, I’m focused on my spiritual strength, the well-being of my family, my health and more cerebral literary activities.

I retired in the early 1990s after spending about 25 years in financial services. During my working career, I paid a great amount of attention to “getting ahead.” Unfortunately, I neglected my family to an extent during that process. I had two children with my first wife who didn’t receive the attention they deserved. Tragically, the older one passed away a few years ago. I’m happy to say that my older daughter has built a successful career teaching and caring for children.

When my twins were born 30 years ago, I retired to care for them enabling my second wife to focus on her future. It was a God-given arrangement. I strived to be a better father, while my wife devoted her efforts into becoming a prolific investment banker. Our relationship enabled both of us to achieve our destinies.

Upon retirement and after becoming a stay-at-home dad, everything changed. No longer would I measure my life in dollars and cents. My success was to raise our children and to hone my writing skills.

This pivot caused me to write sixty published letters to the NY Times, author 10 novels and publish about 1,000 essays with Softball Politics. Current events and political drama became my new interests. I measured my success by the responses of my readers to my blog.

My efforts to care for my own physical fitness began a long time ago when I was a young person. I was always interested in sports and played football and baseball in high school. I even earned a letter on the bowling team, believe it or not.

I wanted to play football in college, but instead chose to attend Notre Dame. I didn’t have the physical qualifications to play Division One athletics, so I took up rugby.

I never heard of rugby. But the sport was made for me. It is violent and very much like American football in certain regards. After college, I managed to work out for two hours each day, in spite of many commitments, grad school, the National Guard and commuting to New York from Long Island. I started to do more running and eventually ran seven marathons including five New York marathons, one Big Sur and one LA.

For many years, I’ve worked out multiple times each day. I’ve supplemented walking and aerobic equipment with yoga and meditation. It saved my life when I had a bout with some medical issues and COVID. I have written about the benefits of yoga and meditation in earlier blogs.

One of the greatest activities that my family engaged in was world and domestic travel. It has been an important aspect of our lives. When our twins were 7 or 8, we created a travel itinerary for the next 10 years.

Our trips included every major city in Europe, Japan, Bhutan, the Chinese Olympics, Russia, Turkey, Spain, Germany, Israel, Australia, Hawaii and Alaska. My wife and I worked hard to give our children a cultural cornucopia that enabled us to see the whole world and meet others who live differently than we do.

We also visited many of the great museums in the world bolstering the cultural objectives of our trips. We have been to the Louvre (Mona), the Orsay (Monet), the Rijksmuseum (The Night Watch),the Prodo (Velazquez) and the St. Petersburg Hermitage (La Danse). My daughter was inspired to take Art History in college.

It has been a great ride during my first seventy-four years. Our children are older and young adults. They are building their careers and living away from home. My life has been a dream come true with my wife at my side.

The Wacky House Of Representatives

Several of my readers have been asking me why I have not commented on the whacky events in Washington DC. The craziness involves the election of a new Speaker of the House and the zeal with which Republicans are attacking Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, for a number of crimes.

I was stunned by how narrow of a margin Republicans won the majority in the House of Representatives. It was a nip and tuck election and the new party in power has a razor thin advantage over Democrats. Why weren’t moderate conservatives and hardline conservatives reveling in this victory?

The House operates for the most part with a simple majority. So, if Republicans stood together, they would have control over all legislative activity, and could effectively block legislation proposed by Biden, the Senate or any Representative.

Unfortunately, Mad Dog conservatives [my portrayal of uncooperative Republicans] decided to assert themselves in an attempt to stymie Kevin McCarthy from being elected the new Speaker. Twenty or so Mad Dogs said he is too moderate for the job. Why weren’t all member Republicans overwhelmed with joy being in a position to grind Washington to a halt?

Simply put, the new Speaker and his supporters had to agree to a number of rule changes to get McCarthy elected. Essentially, the Speaker’s position is diluted to a certain extent. Any individual representative can demand a change in the Speaker, one of the rule changes.

Upon some reflection, and while the House was voting numerous times for the Speaker, I thought the Mad Dogs were idiots for not supporting McCarthy and the 91 or so percent of Republicans that supported him. The Mad Dogs were stirring the pot and making all Republicans look bad.

But I changed my mind. The House Mad Dogs versus regular Republicans was in line with our democracy. It was a fair vote. So let it play out. I never thought the rebellion was good for Republicans politically, however.

Then, McCarthy agreed to virtually all of the Mad Dog demands, and still some Mad Dogs didn’t vote for him in the Speaker election. What the hell did the Mad Dogs want? Promises written in blood? So, I reverted to my initial feelings that some Republican Mad Dogs were idiots.

As far as Joe Biden and Hunter Biden are concerned, Congress is in a twitter about several things, some more important than others. Joe neglected to return classified information to the proper authorities according to law. Actually there are two tranches of secret documents in two separate places, so far. Moreover, the documents were discovered days before the midterm elections. The administration wanted to wait until after the elections to disclose the situation. [I wonder.]

Trump also had secret documents and is now being investigated for not securing the documents in his possession. Democrats are talking down Biden’s missteps but screaming for prosecution of Trump. Seems to me both situations need to be investigated with an equal amount of enthusiasm.

Hunter Biden is a wreck. He’s an addict, an alcoholic and he has used his father’s position to get favors from foreign sources. It is illegal to use elected individuals to gain favors for private citizens. If convicted of this corruption, and other crimes such as not filing tax returns and lying to federal investigators, Biden could face jail time.  The story has been downplayed by the Biden Justice Department Department, but Republicans are going to blast through political roadblocks to investigate crimes by the first family. Keep in mind, Trump and Biden could both be running for president in less than two years. Maybe we would be better served to nominate qualified individuals who are not under investigation for felonies.

Since Washington will be in gridlock politically, Republicans are going to keep busy investigating the forementioned items and other bone-head moves by Democrats during the last two years.

The Wonders Of Yoga and Meditation

As some of you know from earlier posts on Softball Politics, I have been practicing yoga and meditation for several years. I was inspired to do so after some medical issues including Covid led me into a place of negativity. I’m sure millions of other people had a similar experience, but I was determined to combat these feelings and once again appreciate the wonderful things in my life.  

As part of my practice, I recently read a truly insightful book entitled “We Were Made For These Times,” written by Kaira Jewel Lingo. It has given me even more insight into my own feelings about life and what lies ahead. It relates yoga and meditation to normal life. [I quote Ms. Lingo many times in this essay. I have not taken the time to reference her comments.] 

Yoga and meditation originated thousands of years ago. Many great men and women have tutored others in the benefits of these practices. It stands to reason that new ideas have been incorporated into the current perspectives over time. Interestingly, yogis and other tutors have not been aggressive pertaining to the benefits of practicing the skills. One must actively seek out expert instruction. Most agree that yoga and meditation can be quite helpful in dealing with the trials and tribulations of living in today’s world. But finding a competent teacher is critical to a great and safe practice.

Change. One of the most interesting and important realizations is that things are always changing. And, most people are taken aback by variations to their daily regimen. We can deal with these moments most affectively by accepting them and incorporating them into our life. A life consists of happy moments and unhappy moments. Simply put, the happy moments must offset the trying times for us to be content. Given the pace of these changes, one must be aware of his or her surroundings and willing to accept what fate has in store for them. 

The author frequently talks of transition, challenging things and the need to deal with them with clarity and compassion. The practice of staying present, being open hearted and accepting changing circumstances are incredibly helpful in dealing with life.

With mindfulness a person can learn to navigate through intense and challenging times and avoid suffering and difficulty. This activity is known as coming home to ourselves, in response to whatever is happening in our lives. We can find this home inside of us and always be safe.

Deep questions cannot always be answered with our minds. We must resort to a deeper consciousness. Huge issues are seeds that we need to plant in the soil of our minds and let rest. Our mindfulness practices are the sunshine and water that the seed needs to sprout. One day it will rise up on its own and the answers to questions at hand will be obvious.

This technique can be exemplified by the following. In anger, you might author a harsh and even spiteful letter. It would be wise to take a day or so to rethink whether to send the correspondence. It is almost always beneficial to sleep on aggressive actions. With a clear mind, one can be more effective and more civilized.

Accepting what is. Transition and change can be more difficult if we resist them and assume they are indicative of something wrong with our life. Life is never a smooth journey. We are always encountering obstacles and unforeseen events. We should accept these moments and attempt to incorporate them into our thoughts. Transition and change are a part of life.

Breathing is the most basic thing we do. It is not a life function that we need to perform knowingly. Yet consciously breathing can be a safe haven where we clear our minds and see things without fear or malice. Stress is a dangerous thing that surrounds us every day. It can be greatly decreased when we meditate with deep breathing. It brings us to the present, the here and now, and enables us to compartmentalize our fears.

Stored consciousness. When a seed is planted in our consciousness in the basement of our minds it lays dormant until watered. If this consciousness moves into the living room of our minds and there’s water, it will sleep no longer. It can be a very pleasant or unpleasant experience.

If a seed of anger rises out of a sleepy state, it can be a powerful energy ending experience. The anger can be a consciousness that overwhelms our lives for a moment or a day or a week. Unchecked, the anger can arise more often and stronger in the future.

Offsetting our anger with mindfulness must be our objective. With one deep breath a soothing feeling can overcome you and can clear your mind. Mindfulness actually leads to transformation and solace when your mind is under duress.

Impermanence. Our lives are continuously in the process of transition. Even if we live in the same place and have the same experiences for very long periods, we are still changing. Impermanence is the key to our existence. Every moment things are rearranging in our lives, and often we are lulled into believing that what exists now will always be. This feeling can cause undue stress. Being seduced by temporary youth is dangerous. We all grow old and eventually die. We must be prepared for impermanence and the things that that occur in this process. Impermanence is not an idea. It is an insight into our constantly changing lives.

Equanimity is a fundamental practice that can help us center and balance ourselves from the mountaintops of our minds as we view all sides of issues that affect us. We should not take sides. We must be patient and wait to see a situation in its entirety. This is a form of non-discrimination, impartiality, letting go and non-attachment. Impermanence gives us a more engaged involvement into the changing episodes of our lives. It opens our mind.

Nurturing the good. Happiness is not the disappearance of suffering. Even if we are in a period of transition and indecision, we still can be in touch with beauty and truth around us. Gratefulness is a powerful way to nurture the good. We must try to be grateful when we experience kindness and good wishes.

Five happinesses:

  • Meditate and pray
  • Exercise
  • Be aware of things we are grateful for
  • Do a random act of kindness
  • Keep a mental journal of happy moments during the day

The things outlined in the essay are difficult things to grasp and make part of our lives. But they will lead to more fulfillment. They are concepts that ages and ages of wise men and women have debated in an effort to give us a road map to of a good life. A perfect life is impossible. We must revel in the good and deal with the bad. Life changes every moment of every day. If you emphasize the good and accept the bad, you will be a better person.

My Holiday Gift List

I have quite a large gift list this year for the holiday season. I hope you don’t think I’m being greedy or selfish. My wish list is very costly. In fact, the ultimate bill for my gifts would be many trillions of dollars.

  • I want Covid to end. I want the torture and suffering from this horrible disease to cease immediately. Millions have died because of mankind’s inability to protect the world from the onset of Covid. This is not going to happen unless resources are directed away from less existential diseases. Scientists and health professionals had 100 years to identify Covid and they failed. For some reason, less virulent diseases gobbled up the lion’s share of research dollars. The battle against Covid should be universal, and researchers should share their findings with others around the world.
  • I want the war in Ukraine to end this minute. I just can’t help comparing the Russian aggression to the Vietnam War. Over 50,000 Americans died and countless Vietnamese lost their lives in an insignificant part of the world in the 1960s and 1970s. And for what? The US had no right to invade Vietnam, and Russia and has no right to bludgeon the Ukrainians. What makes the Russian situation more dangerous is the threat of a nuclear expansion. If this occurs, a Third World War is imminent and confrontation between Russia and the US will become more probable.
  • I want the illegal and immoral immigration encounter occurring on the southern border of the United States to subside. I feel for the hundreds of thousands of migrants who want to move to the US. Most have legitimate reasons for wanting to do so. But, the illegal movement of people across the border is encouraging many more millions to do so and will eventually end in financial hardship and violence. The US must have empathy when creating policies to deal with the immigrants to prevent chaos on both sides of the border and untold disease and agony.
  • I want Americans to be tolerant of each other regarding race, religion and sexual preference. People of color need support to improve their lives economically, politically and socially. It is the obligation of our government to deliver all citizens out of poverty and hunger. Crime and drug abuse are rampant in the greatest country in the world; it is unacceptable. Anti-Semitic and aggressive behavior towards people with different lifestyles must end. Americans must be kind and allow others to live the way that they choose.
  • I want our country to care for each citizen before redirecting funds to other countries. It is criminal that Americans are sleeping on the streets and sidewalks of our cities.
  • I want our government leaders and lawmakers to work together to improve our living standards in every state. A 50-50 Congress is not helpful in dealing with national and international problems. Wasting time and money by politicians in Washington is  something Americans have identified as a real problem; this is obvious in polling relating to the performance of our government. The current political situation fosters endless debate and  bullying in Washington. We must bring new blood into our city, state and federal governments, something that will only happen with term limits.
  • I want a credible plan from Congress to deal with global warming. The situation cannot be solved if America alone builds electric cars rather than fossil fuel cars. Countries around the world must cooperate or our children will suffocate from polluted air. All of the hyperbole regarding global warming on both sides of the debate is not productive. Once again, comity in Congress is the only way to make progress on this issue.
  • I want a national voting system that ensures that every one eligible to vote can vote, eliminates the ability to cheat and is understood by every American. If 50% of the country does not believe elections are fair, our government will falter.
  • I want an educational system that provides our country with trained people to meet all of our needs. Maybe the present college system is too expensive and unable to provide America with business leaders. Think community colleges and job training.
  • Last but not least, I want every American to have the right to free speech. This means that all are able to express their opinions on any issue, without inciting violence.

These bullet points comprise a big give on the part of Americans and our government. And the list is not complete. The world is getting more complex and dangerous every day. We need our best people in government and in business to retain our leadership in the world.

Have a wonderful and peaceful holiday.

It Is What It Is: Accepting Our Fate

The Cambridge Dictionary definition of “it is what it is” is the recognition that a situation cannot be changed and must be accepted. When we face problems with no obvious solutions, humans are subjected to a great deal of stress. If we accept situations that are irreconcilable, our lives will be more rewarding.

The greatest stressful situation is the loss of a loved one. Accepting the new reality affiliated with the untimely passing of someone we care for should be the last step of the mourning process. It is the moment we are ready to move on and once again live our lives to the fullest and not grieve any longer.

Our personal demise is the most traumatic event in our lives. The moments preceding the transition from life to death are usually sad times for the individual who will pass and his or her family. The angst affiliated with passing can be untenable.

We need to spend productive time recognizing and accepting our mortality. It is not something that should take joy from us. But it cannot be ignored as we age and approach our final days, hours, minutes and seconds. It is what it is. Everyone is born and dies.

What should we do as we age and become more fragile? Physically our doctors can cure our minor and even major problems that occur with the passing of time. But often little problems become more difficult to deal with and are not curable. It is these situations that cause great stress to us as we get older.

I believe that stress is a large contributor to the loss of life. It would be impossible to live a life without some hardships and sad moments, but we must not allow these situations to overwhelm the happier aspects of our life. We should compartmentalize our problems. An individual can have several positive moments mixed with several negative moments.

Personally, I have decided to work diligently to decrease the amount of stress in my life having reached the 70s. This effort entails a concerted desire to not let minor incidents upset me for any length of time. It can never be a foolproof effort because life is a continuum of happy and sad moments. Those of us who are able to set aside minor distractions will likely have a more fulfilling life especially in the later years.

After experiencing some debilitating medical challenges, I was in a dark place. Lethargy caused by excessive concern about my health was dragging me into a state of depression. This had a meaningful impact on the people who care for me and who love me. I needed to find an outlet that would enable me to be more upbeat and look at life more positively.

Two of the things I did that helped me accomplish my objectives were to begin to take yoga classes and to meditate multiple times during the day. It has been a wondrous adventure to gain control of my emotions and to reconnect with my family and friends. I am surprised that medical doctors and therapists do not forcefully recommend these practices in cases of minor to moderate depression.

When I informed my doctors of my new life with yoga and meditation, they were very excited and enthusiastic. I strongly suggested to them that they recommend yoga and meditation, especially in situations where life experiences are affecting their patients’ happiness.

A second project, which is a longer term, is recognition of my mortality. It’s not comforting to think about what occurs after death. But since every person who has been on earth previously has been subjected to death, it’s a subject of great relevatnce. The question is how does one prepare for the end of one’s life? This query becomes more relevant to humans when they are in middle to old age.

One thing that many millions of people do to deal with the specter of their afterlife is to pray to their God. I think religion and spirituality are important tools enabling humans to deal with the end of their life. It certainly is refreshing to believe that life after death is somehow similar to life before death. This may be an unrealistic perspective, but it seems to be one of the most common methods to deal with impending death. Being with God in the afterlife is a comforting thought.

I have casually spent time thinking about mortality in a more philosophical manner. What we leave behind is very important. In essence, our legacy is a critical element in determining whether we have led a successful life. Some people think of success in terms of money and power. I think of it as a human being measured by how they deal with problems facing them during their life. It’s easy to be a great person when there are few hardships.

And so, we return to it is what it is. We must accept and deal with events with maturity and strength to live life to the fullest.

Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness Program is Illegal and Unfair

Gail Collins and Bret Stephens, columnists, periodically face off on the editorial page of the New York Times. They are a liberal and a conservative, respectively. On Tuesday, among other things, they debated Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness program. This proposal is noble in intent but outrageous in cost and unfairness.

First and foremost, Biden has overstepped his authority. “Federal courts have been rightly skeptical of any presidential [money] decision made without input from Congress…” So says Stephens. “It’s an abuse of the separation of powers, an insult to everyone who paid off their loans…”

Collins responded, “We got a generation of Americans who were encouraged to take out big federal loans- often by scummy for-profit schools that never really delivered anything.” Collins indicates that, “Even those who went to good colleges were never given the proper information about the likely future earnings compared with debt.”

Stephen’s retort was that he doesn’t see students who borrowed as victims, rather “beneficiaries who won’t make good on that end of a bargain.” Further, Stephens says “Undergraduates borrow an average of $30,000 for a degree that will raise their lifetime earnings by a half million dollars,” which sounds like a good deal. “This just sounds like a giant giveaway to young progressives who don’t like the idea that loans are things you have to repay.”

During the short debate, Steffens got the best of Collins, which elated me. The most unfair part of Biden’s proposal is that the millions of honest borrowers who paid back their loans, likely parents’ money, get nothing for being responsible. The proposal is a tragedy. And since when is the president solely responsible for the nation’s purse. It’s Congress’s job to appropriate our hard-earned money that gets taxed.

It’s refreshing to think that SCOTUS will likely act with discretion and not allow this unfair benefit to those who are able to pay loans back through hard work.

Perhaps colleges should take some responsibility. They should inform students before they select a major what is the earning power of their choice. Come to think of it, why aren’t colleges assuming some of the financial pain of their high tuitions?