Trump Says Baltimore Is “Rat-Infested”

The name-calling and accusations between the White House and Capitol Hill are escalating every day. The latest involves, who else, the name caller in chief- President Trump, and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD).

The congressman, who is black, was berating a White House official about the appalling conditions on the border with Mexico. The rant included some very strong statements about abominable conditions that immigrant children are facing at the border. The implication was that Trump and his aides are not concerned with the welfare of innocent children.

Trump responded to the congressman’s tongue-lashing, and as is his style, indicated that Cummings’ district includes the “rat-infested” city of Baltimore. Further, Trump said the congressman has done little over decades to improve the abominable situation in the city.

Trump’s tweet was immediately labeled a racist slur because many of Cummings’ constituencies are black. It was an easy target for Trump-haters.

Many Trump supporters don’t really believe that the president intended to make a racial remark, but who knows what the man is thinking when he goes over the edge on social media in a hissy fit.

Cummings’ was wrong to accuse border guards of treating immigrants inhumanely, as funding has not been sufficient to adequately take care of the thousands who are illegally crossing the border. But Trump was also out of line with his inflammatory statement. It certainly will not be helpful to Trump if he expects to ever have a working relationship with House Democrats. And now this latest chapter of Trump’s bonehead rhetoric will dominate the news for days.

Trump has been in office for nearly three years and he has not changed his nasty and vicious attitude. And there is no expectation that a kinder and gentler person will emerge during the next 18 months through the 2020 election.

But support for Trump is building in spite of his ubiquitous verbal and social media assaults against those that disagree with him. The country is improving and Americans are taking notice.

Economically liberals are hoping for a downturn so Trump will not be able to use the economy in his campaign rhetoric. Liberals want the world economy to also come crashing down as a result of the trade war between China and the US. Liberals want the US’s allies to abandon us and to support the dangerous and existential Iran nuclear deal negotiated by the Obama administration. Liberals want the situation at the Mexican border to blow up, even as border officials are working under the most adverse conditions while the pols “talk” about it daily.

But, intelligent Americans are able to look beyond Trump’s horrible personality and belligerent perspectives, if his performance warrants them to do so. The economy is not showing any signs of tailing off. Iran is going bankrupt, as Trump has cut off its revenues from oil sales. North Korea will also go belly up if Kim refuses to give up his nukes. China is not looking so strong these days as it faces growing unemployment and credit problems. And most recently, citizens of Hong Kong, who want to elect their own leaders democratically, are challenging Mainland China.

The only thing that has gone haywire in America is Washington D.C. The left and the right are not capable of working together. Democrats are still trying to find a crime by Trump that is impeachable (instead of spending their time improving America and Baltimore). And Democrats have offered the electorate socialists and people who are unable to add and subtract as candidates for president.

The Democrats are going to lose in 2020. Armageddon is not around the corner. The US is still the strongest power in world. Voters will see the light and agree that the only thing worse than Trump in the White House, would be one of the liberal candidates in the Oval Office.

It’s shameful that among 330 million Americans we cannot find one person who is moderate, truthful, empathetic, intelligent and truly patriotic to be our president.

 

Mueller Hurts Efforts To Impeach Trump

Robert Mueller finally made his long awaited visit to Capitol Hill to testify about his investigation of President Trump. Boy, did he ever disappoint Democrats.

The special counsel was “not helpful” to liberal lawmakers in their efforts to build an impeachment case. Mueller was “confused” and often times seemed “uninformed” about the contents of the investigation he supposedly led.

Mueller said he did not play a large role in the interviews of the 500 individuals that testified to his staff. This admission has led many to think that he was just a figurehead and did not personally orchestrate the multi-year hunt for evidence against the president.

Congressional Democrats were hoping that Mueller would give them fodder to proceed with an impeachment and ultimately removal of Trump from office. Their hopes were dashed as Mueller bumbled through the proceedings, by asking congressional interrogators to repeat questions time and again. It appeared that the special was mentally impaired at times.

Republicans focused on the political persuasion of the 13 senior members of Mueller’s staff. All are Democrats and many of them were affiliated to and/or financially supportive of Hillary Clinton.

“The movie was not better than the book,” was how some critics of Mueller’s performance described the proceedings. Mueller was not helpful in the Democratic jihad to bring down the president. The left’s preoccupation with impeachment is likely to now be tempered moving forward. This would seem to give Speaker Pelosi new life, as she has not been in favor of impeachment. Rather she wants her caucus to direct their attention to the issues that are affecting middle class Americans.

As expected President Trump was gleeful and reinvigorated by Mueller’s abominable performance. He’s once again claiming that the special counsel’s efforts were a witch-hunt, a waste of time and a waste of money.

Trump said this pathetic episode has damaged liberal efforts to win the presidency in 2020 and will probably result in large losses by his congressional opponents. “Democrats have less than nothing,” Trump said.

Trump has been un-presidential from his first day in office. But Democrats are giving voters a treasure trove of reasons why they should support him in his reelection. Given the health of the economy, it appears that Trump is generating great momentum, and polls will prove it. The Mueller affair could very well be the impetus to assure victory for the president.

Dealing With Immigration, Iran And Health Care

Our country is facing a plethora of problems. Dealing with issues has become increasingly more difficult because our government is so divided, as are our citizens.

There are a few situations that are causing great consternation across the country. They include immigration policy, nuclear proliferation and health care.

Immigration to the US emanating from Mexico and Central America has torn our country apart. The immigration dilemma and its effect on our society should not have come as a great surprise. Developed countries throughout the world are experiencing similar demands from large groups of people that have been persecuted and are seeking a better place to live.

So many are trying to escape horrible circumstances that are exacerbated by authoritarian rule, genocide and religious intolerance. The number of refugees stacked up in terrible conditions has reached epic proportions. Food, shelter and medicine are scarce.

Some nations are threatened by the demands of people seeking a better life. Why is this so? Resources in most countries are becoming more coveted every day. Even in the US accommodations for illegal immigrants are impacting American citizens in need. By giving to the people waiting on our doorsteps, the government is depriving services to people who were born in this country and living in poverty.

Further, the migration of many people of different cultures creates an array of societal, financial and political issues. Immigrants must be cared for. Who is going to provide services? Where will immigrants be transported once in the country? In the US they cannot all settle in Texas, Arizona and California. How many people can be assimilated in a short period of time?

Americans have always been sensitive to suffering and agony of the downtrodden. It’s in our DNA to come to the rescue of forsaken people. But how many can we help? Should we open our borders and accept everyone? Is the US able to care for all immigrants that want entry and permanent status in the country? How much of our limited resources can we afford to give to these people? How will another 1,2,3 or 10 million immigrants affect our country? There are more questions than answers. Tough decisions must be made to rein in the immigration problem. Can the US be the destination of persecuted people from all over the world? Not likely.

A nuclear event is the greatest existential threat to our world. The use of a WMD even in a far off places such as the Middle East and the Far East would have dire consequences for millions of people.

Note: The most volatile situation at this moment is North Korea. It appears that its leader is amenable to negotiating a disarmament treaty. Since NOKO has deliverable weapons, it should be the highest priority of US diplomacy.

The most dangerous country in the world is Iran. The reason for this designation is that the country is the leading provocateur of terror in the Middle East. And it is committed to owning nuclear weapons. The Obama nuclear deal with Iran did not ban Iran from developing a nuclear capability. It only deferred this eventuality.

Trump, rightly so, pointed out this radical possibility and abrogated they treaty. Now the US is committed to isolating Iran politically and economically until it agrees to never build a nuclear bomb.

What might the ayatollahs do if they had a deliverable bomb? Under duress they could use it against Israel. This would be a foolish and deadly decision because Israel would retaliate in kind with a much greater counter punch. But if it did occur, the Middle East would be in turmoil for an extended period. And worse, the US might be drawn into the fray.

The US is committed to Israel, and it is likely that we would respond mightily to an Iranian nuclear attack, a contingency that can only be eliminated by preventing Iran from developing a bomb.

As an afterthought, it should be noted that Iran could also direct its venom towards its Sunni opponents. In a large-scale brouhaha, Saudi Arabia and others on the peninsula could also be attacked with WMDs.

Health care is always front and center politically in the US. Obama created a huge conundrum that has tortured Americans and the country’s medical system ever since it was rammed down our throats several years ago. It has cost the country trillions and has made it difficult for any one in this country to feel secure about their ability to pay for a medial emergency.

The latest rage of Democrat liberals is universal, one payer insurance. Private insurance would not be permitted. Millions of people who are happy with their health care would be subjected to an entirely new arrangement that would impact the quality of service, the doctors they might want to use and how much they pay.

Instead of trying to herd millions of Americans into an expensive one size fits all policy, Obama health care reform should have only focused on those who were unable to pay for care. A large Medicaid service available to the needy was all that had to be done. However, Obama wanted to enact a large legacy initiative, and he ultimately screwed up the entire medical system. Now most of the 20 Democrats running for president want a health care mulligan that will further screw up health care.

The solution to the heath care Rubik’s Cube is evasive, but it should not be a one-payer system, and it should not take away private insurance already in effect. If redone incorrectly, the health care system could bankrupt our country.

 

Hardball Politics Is Hurting America

Americans with different political persuasions have disagreed with each other ever since our forefathers founded this country. The negotiations that led to the formation of our republic were extremely intense.

Over the years American politicians have fought about and dealt with many serious issues including states’ rights, slavery, declarations of war and so much more. Unfortunately leaders and lawmakers of today have intensified their confrontations. With great encouragement from the press and social media, we now live in world where a new crisis arises from disparaging remarks and bad behavior every day.

Liberals attribute the nasty and unproductive environment to the election Donald Trump. He epitomizes the essence of hardball politics. He believes performance and winning supersedes all else. Sensitivity, empathy, humility, comity and truthful interface are no longer values that political adversaries care about.

But it’s not just about Trump. There are others who provoke, slander and lie to gain an edge. Politics is a dirty business practiced on both sides of the aisle.

Even more disconcerting is an unbridled media that happily reports the most sordid and hurtful actions and comments of others to gain notoriety and readership. No longer do reporters skirt certain issues to temper scandal. No longer is reporting unbiased and factual. The press bares great responsibility for the current state of affairs. They are a pack of wolves, desperate to tear apart and ruin a person or organization before all the facts have been analyzed. A scoop, even it is untrue, is what the press thrives on.

Exacerbating the lower standards of the protected fifth estate are social media trolls who, for both profit and sport, eviscerate others with unfounded gossip, bias and exaggeration. A single “dirty” item can spread across the globe in a hear beat as part of a “viral” moment. Even the term viral has a negative connotation relating to disease.

What are the implications of incivility to our society? For one thing it is driving away good people from public service. Why would a judge want to become a Supreme Court justice given the insulting and degrading confirmation process? Why would anyone want to be a legislator and dedicate most of their time to raising money for the next election, and trying, every day, to impress aggressive journalists? The current system has us struggling to find one really qualified person to be our next president. And, what about the pathetic and incompetent individuals that are elected mayors of great cities and governors of our states?

Some people have used our Constitution to justify the application of money in our elections, a serious mistake. No longer are winners the most qualified candidates. Rather the elected are the best fundraisers. The importance of money ahs been turbo charged by trying to prove that campaign contributions are an element of free speech.

Do we want leaders who are experts at creating vicious political advertisement, or men and women whose principal objective is to keep America great? Being reelected, and raising the money to accomplish it, is all that is important to politicians these days.

And finally there is the issue of term limits. Without limits, corruption and entitlement flourish. The old must make way for the young. The usefulness of a politician is offset by his or her personal idiosyncrasies over an extended period of time. And ironically, the only people who can bring us the blessings of term limits are the ones who will lose their jobs with term limits.

THE SQUAD

Democrats need new leadership. The obsession to entrap President Trump has completely overwhelmed the party. Trump is likely to win if liberals don’t focus on real issues affecting the nation. Consider the following case in point

For the last week, in the middle of a hot and heavy contest between 20 (or so) Democratic candidates for president, all the news focus has been on the phenomenon oddly called the squad. The group consists of four congressional Democrats, women of color that include Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Pressley and Tlaib.

Donald Trump, sickened by negative remarks by the squad relating to America, said the group should return to their countries of origin if they are unhappy with the US. As an aside, three members of the squad were born in this country, and all are citizens.

The remark by the president was stupid, inflammatory and racist, so naturally it became a focal point of Trump haters and even some moderate politicians. Given the attention that the remark has received you would have thought Trump committed a crime against humanity. There’s no excuse for the president to speak about the four firebrands so aggressively, but they certainly have been saying things that rub Americans the wrong way.

The squad wants America to focus on their radical perspectives and their suggestion that revolution and socialism are the answers to our social and political problems. It’s no wonder that there has been such a backlash from conservative corners.

During the past few days, Trump supporters have been reminding America that the squad has made some pretty outrageous statements, proved they are inexperienced, assured us that they are biased against some groups (in particular Israel and Jews) and they are demanding socialistic changes. They outwardly spurn capitalism and exceptionalism. Given their government experience and lack of understanding of lawmaking and compromise, it’s a wonder that they are the center of attention.

In fact the squad has been a pain in Nancy Pelosi’s ass. There’s a heated presidential campaign going on and no one is talking about the contenders. Everyone is focused on the squad. If Ocasio-Cortez were 35, would she be a presidential candidate?

In just a few short months this woman defeated a relatively strong Democratic incumbent, has been the focus of magazines and liberal talk shows, endorsed several idiotic new entitlements (with no idea how to finance them) and led the effort to drive Amazon away from New York City along with billions of dollars of proposed expenditures for jobs and infrastructure. Some people, including Democrats, are starting to believe Ocasio-Cortez is a menace.

Back to the business of the House of Representatives. After years of wheeling and dealing, Pelosi is addled about how to deal with squad. She is encountering the same issue as Trump and all conservatives. If you criticize a female person of color, you’re may be labeled a racist, bigot and or sexist. Is Pelosi a racist? I don’t think so. I actually empathize with the House Speaker. The decades she’s spent building her reputation is being dashed by inexperienced rebel-rousers.

And what are Biden, Sanders and the rest of the presidential socialists thinking about as the squad is getting all the ink? They should also be bitter that the liberal media is most interested in nailing Trump (in part by labeling him racists at every occasion). The liberal infrastructure is crumbling before us. Does anybody recognize the irony as it relates to the squad?

Trump is going to keep antagonizing the squad and keep them in the public’s eye. His base will be overjoyed and the electorate will continue to wonder who the Democrat candidates are and what they stand for.

The Racist Card

I decided to delve into an extremely controversial issue inspired by President Trump’s comments about four congresswomen. The issue is the use of the word “racist.”

Before continuing I should stipulate the following:

  • Trump frequently makes comments that some people can easily interpret to be racist.
  • The president’s recent comment that the four congresswomen referred to above should “go back to countries from which they came” was an inane and unproductive racist blathering.
  • I do not endorse any of the perspectives of the four congresswomen.
  • These women have an absolute right to speak their minds. And I have an absolute right to disagree with them.
  • Many comments made by the women are wrong, exaggerations, naïve and hurtful to the president, Republicans, Democrats, Nancy Pelosi and most importantly to our country, in my opinion.

 

With this in mind, I remain very sensitive about expressing my opinions about a number of social and political issues, especially those relating to race relations, women, entitlements and immigration.

Why you ask? Because if I disagree with a liberal perspective the “default” charge against me will inevitably be that I’m a racist and/or a bigot.

Some people characterize this phenomenon as minority privilege. In other words, if you are a member of a minority group you have free rein to say whatever is on your mind. If you are not of a minority, you are a racist if you criticize a minority or downtrodden group.

While in a heated discussion about restitution (relating to slavery and all the actions over the years that have disadvantaged blacks), my opponent said my perspective was racist. For me, that effectively ended the conversation.

It should be noted that we are on opposite sides of many controversial issues. But he, like many of my liberal friends, is quick to use the racist card, and say I just puppet what I hear on Fox News. I could just as well say that CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC and CBS are the sources for his competing opinions.

Our disagreements and engagements are a microcosm of why our country is so divided, and our leaders can’t get a damn thing accomplished. From my perspective liberals are protectors of free speech so long as what is said does not stray from liberal ideology.

As an example I offer the outrageous misbehavior of Berkeley students who rioted to prevent a conservative from speaking on campus. Berkeley has been an iconic defender of free speech, and now violent liberalism has dashed its reputation.

Trump is culpable in the agonizing battles between liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, women and men, people of color and white folks, etc. He feels obligated to express in an unfiltered manner whatever is gnawing at him in tweets. He truly believes that keeping things stirred up increases his political capital. I think he’s acting juvenile, and his behavior is not befitting a US president.

But the Democratic Party is not going to survive by inciting revolution. America is too great of a place to be subjected to violence on its streets, no matter what the four congresswomen say. Our nation has come a long way from the days when blacks were enslaved and women could not vote. Just look at the composition of Congress if you doubt this. Blacks and women have never been more powerful socially or politically. And there is more to come.

I suggest that Congress and all of our elected officials lead the way to negotiated solutions for our country. The use of the word “racist” should only be applied when it really exists, and not as a default comment in heated debate.

 

How’s Trump Doing?

It’s going to drive liberal Trump haters insane to hear that the president is scoring huge victories in spite of his frightful attitude and undiplomatic demeanor. The biggest issue, relating to the election, is the surging US economy.

The stock market hit new highs on Friday. There are competing influences impacting the markets, but generally there’s a lot of positive momentum. However, Federal Reserve Chief, Jerome Powell, said the following “. . . trade tension and a weaker global economy [are] weighing on the outlook and [he] said the Fed was prepared to act.”

Some economists think Powell is intentionally ignoring the strong jobs report and the potential ‘trade truce’ with China. Currently most are expecting a move by the Fed at its next meeting. Critics of such an action say it is an accommodation to Trump. Others point out that problems in Europe, including Brexit, and an economic slowdown in China justify some loosening by the Fed. Who says the Fed is apolitical?

In the meantime inflation is not a pressing problem and consumers are spending at a rapid clip. The former gives license to the Fed to keep interest rates down.

The old adage, “It’s the economy, stupid” is apropos. Trump is going to get a boost in the election if the economy continues to improve, unemployment stays under control and wages for the middle class increase.

Making it more disheartening for Trump naysayers is the possibility that the president may actually negotiate a favorable trade deal with the Chinese. I’ve been saying all along that the US can have a great impact on the Chinese economy. Tariffs are one way to exert this advantage. The US buys far more products from China than China from the US. Tariffs will decrease the current trade imbalance, and this will increase worker furloughs and bankruptcies in China.

One of the most important issues for Xi Jinping is keeping Chinese industry running at full speed and keeping workers on the job. Frankly it’s more important for Xi, personally, to smooth relations with the US regarding trade than any other area of disagreement between the countries.

What can the US gain from negotiations with the Chinese? One thing is respect. US economic strength is far more influential than military might, although America is still, by far, the most powerful nation in the world. China needs favorable economic conditions. Many of its industries are highly leveraged, especially banks, which cannot deal with large credit losses.

Moving to other areas, Trump is going to make a deal with Kim Jung-un. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise anyone if a nuclear disarmament treaty is indirectly a part of a US trade deal with China. If I were Trump I would make a NOKO accommodation a required element of the trade negotiations.

Kim is in a position to solidify his regime for decades but he needs desperately to end economic sanctions and to have US become a trading partner. This can only happen if Kim gives up the nukes. If he walks away, economic sanctions will eventually be his downfall. Once again the US’s economic might can ultimately be more powerful and be less expensive than going to war.

The ayatollahs of Iran are on a road to oblivion. By continuing to threaten commerce in the Straits of Hormuz and stoking terror elsewhere in the Middle East, Iran is losing support of the European Union, especially Great Britain. Attacking oil tankers is a stupid and unproductive strategy that my earn Iran a few hundred cruise missiles as a warning. Similar to other countries mentioned above, US economic sanctions are disseminating Iran.

Trump was absolutely justified in abrogating the Iran nuclear deal. Most importantly it gave Iran a pathway to nuclear arms in about a decade.

Domestically, the majority of Americans are not enamored by the actions of Trump. In fact so many despise him that they will not give him credit for his successes. And further, too many Americans would be happy to see the president fail even if the country suffers. This group includes the liberal press.

But Trump presses forward with aggressive comments and distortion of the truth. He seems to relish opportunities to slam his opponents in fiery rallies and on social media. These are unproductive, but Trump says he must defend himself from fake news and unfair treatment by his opponents.

All this is a sideshow to the main attraction, the 2020 elections. Trump looks like a winner mostly because Democrats have moved too far left. A socialist will not be elected in America, at least not yet. Also, Americas will grow to understand that every entitlement can’t be free. The country cannot provide new entitlements without cutting critical services elsewhere, no matter how much they increase taxes. American voters will understand this problem as the debates and the political rhetoric continues to ramp up.

Beto Says America Is Based Upon White Supremacy And Slavery

The age-old adage than politicians must go radical in the primaries is in full bloom.

The latest outrageous comments were made by Beto O’Rourke to a group of immigrants this week. Beto says the US was founded on the concepts of white supremacy and slavery. Further he commented, “ . . . every single institution and structure that we have in this country still reflects the legacy of slavery and segregation and Jim Crow and suppression, even in our democracy.” It’s no wonder that the boy wonder, who lost to Ted Cruz, is being lapped by the Democratic field of candidates.

Beto made these untoward observations to attract the votes of people of color, plain and simple. His vision of America is warped and completely ignores the progress that has been made as America struggles with being the most diverse country in the world, a proverbial melting pot, if you will.

It hasn’t always been easy adjusting to wave after wave of immigrants over the years and striving to rid ourselves of the stench of racial inequality. But Americans have thrived as Irish, Italian, Polish, Jewish, Mexican and Muslim immigrants flooded into the country.

Every time a new group asked the US to give them a new lease on life, Americans have come through. But there are always roadblocks and minefields to negotiate.

As far as blacks are concerned, the fight continues. But one should appreciate that never have people of color had more influence politically and socially than they do right now. For sure there are laggards, bigots, supremacists and skinheads that despise everyone. These people are not representative of America today.

Beto’s comments are an insult to Americans, and they are totally misinformed. The guy wants votes so he keeps telling minorities and the downtrodden that there is no hope in America, unless they elect him. That would be a frightful mistake.

Beto adversaries, the rest of the gaggle vying for the Democratic nomination for president, are similarly inclined. They are exaggerating the circumstances affecting minorities and degrading many Americans and companies that have done so much to push forward progressive changes. Money spent trying to give people a better life is never mentioned, nor are the good intentions of philanthropists and socially conscious people outside of the Democratic Party.

From time to time our country has setbacks. They are to be expected. The president’s attitudes and perspectives are often interpreted by critics to be sexist, racist and misogynistic. I understand and agree with many of these observations. But Trump’s tenure is just a fleeting moment in history. His missteps will be rectified by his successors.

Democrats are doing themselves a disservice by trying to convince voters that socialism and increasing entitlements without quid pro quo are the solutions to our problems. They would be better off if they encouraged the downtrodden to change their focus to self-improvement. More money, that the country cannot afford, is not the answer. It’s jobs, family solidarity and community that will improve America. The goal should be to get people more work, not more welfare.

Democrats need to take a class in arithmetic. If they did, they would realize that entitlements are going to bankrupt America and exacerbate income inequality, economic conditions and America’s security.

An Iranian Confrontation Is Inevitable

A significant clash between Iran and the US is becoming more imminent every day. In most cases antagonists share responsibility for dangerous standoffs. In this situation Iran is the principal culprit, while the US is merely striving to keep the world safe. It’s useful to examine the objectives of Iran and the US and why tensions are escalating.

Iran is imperialistic and overtly intrusive in its region. It’s the most powerful Shiite country and justifies its aggressive behavior on religion. Zealots that rule the country frequently misinterpret their holy scriptures. For years cruel, antisocial and militaristic actions have been undertaken in “defense” of the Shiite perspective.

It all began when Shiites separated from Sunnis. The violence in the Middle East has been spurred by the hatred that fomented over centuries between these religious sects. The current predicament arose when the Shah of Iran was ousted in 1979 and Iranian clerics took control of the government. The coup culminated when the US Embassy in Tehran was overrun and 66 Americans were taken hostage. The situation lasted 444 days and ended when the newly inaugurated president Ronald Reagan released $8 billion of frozen Iranian assets. Reagan also promised sever repercussions if the hostages were not freed immediately.

Since then the relationship between the US and Iran has deteriorated as Iran has frequently supported terrorist groups in the region that resisted American involvement in the area, especially US support of Israel.

Notwithstanding all this, the primary objective of Iran has been to expand the influence of Shiites at the expense of Sunnis. When all is said and done, this is the most important issue for the ayatollahs.

One of the ways to accomplish this goal is to create unrest in Sunni strongholds, in particular Saudi Arabia, which is the most powerful Sunni country. Additionally it is the wealthiest nation in the region. To be clear the Saudis have also supported efforts to destabilize Shiite controlled areas.

Iran has spent huge amounts of money building a large and supposedly imposing military force, which often times is unleashed across the Middle East to further the causes of Shiites. Syria is a primary example of Iranian efforts to destabilize the region. With Russia, Iran has supported the corrupt and evil regime of Bashar al Assad.

The only way for Iran to build military credibility, in its mind, is with a nuclear arsenal. And so Iran began to develop/buy the technology to enrich uranium as a first step in assembling a nuclear weapon.

From the outset the US has had a policy to never allow Iran to develop a nuke. The reasons for this are clear as a bell. Iranian leadership is driven by religious zealotry that could encourage the ayatollahs to employ a nuke at a stressful moment against Israel or a Sunni adversary. Moreover, Iran, with a weapon of mass destruction in its possession, would use its military might to threaten other Middle East countries.

The Obama administration appreciated the ramifications of an Iranian nuke and attempted to delay its development. Disregarding the long-term policy that Iran would “never” have a nuclear capability, Obama and his negotiators essentially delayed Iran’s nuclear program for a decade or so.

The Trump administration recognized this terrible diplomatic blunder (many say the Iran nuclear deal was signed to afford Obama a “legacy” achievement). Donald Trump was unmoved by Obama’s faux diplomatic ploy and abrogated the agreement.

What are the reasons why Iran should never have a nuclear weapon?

  • Iran, in a fit of religious paranoia or passion, might employ a nuke in the Middle East.
  • Iran has never given the global community any reasons to think it would responsibly use a nuclear capability.
  • Iran has publicly said it wants to obliterate the State of Israel. The quickest way to do so is with a nuke.
  • The threat of mutual destruction may not be effective when dealing with religious zealots.
  • Iran will use its nuclear power to harass and threaten Sunni regimes.
  • Iran cannot be trusted and will likely violate the provisions of any treaty.

Trump has voided the Iran nuclear deal and ramped up economic sanctions to force it to renegotiate. Iran is resisting and is now enriching uranium, which is mostly forbidden by the original deal. Other signatories that include Europeans want to reinstate the Obama deal because they have economic arrangements with Iran, a shortsighted perspective.

Iran has begun a program of relatively minor attacks on oil fields and oil tankers. It has encouraged increased terror activity in the region. In the meantime, the Iranian regime is under great economic stress that could destabilize the government.

Trump should promise to retaliate in kind against any Iranian aggression. And he needs to have a grander military plan in case of future escalations of military action.

Iran should never have a nuke. It would be a replay of the North Korean fiasco, in which a small time megalomaniac is threatening peaceful countries with a nuclear strike. So far Trump has played the right cards. Backing down would be a drastic mistake.

 

 

 

America Is Ageing Rapidly

A few days ago I viewed a CNN program about ageing. The guest speakers indicated that all signs pointed to a significant increase in the average life of Americans, and that there will likely be many more people that live past the age of 100.

The reasons for longer life are many. Science, medicine, prevention and treatment of disease, healthier eating habits, cleaner water and a better environment are all playing a part in a dramatic phenomenon that will enable us to survive to advanced ages, and have a good life style.

But the implications of extended live around the world are sometimes problematic. Generally most countries are not replenishing the deaths of people with new births. This has the impact of increasing the average age of people across the globe.

As we all know the older we get, the more we must rely upon medicine and treatment to fight off disease and to contend with our ageing bodies. This means that over time health care will become even more important than it is today. Access to and affordability of drugs to deal with high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and other ailments affecting our vital organs will become more critical.

The social implications of old age are also daunting. Older people require more attention from their families. Often times the elderly move in with their children and dramatically impact the social order of their family units. The cost of health care, food and shelter are not insignificant items for many people, and they will become increasingly more burdensome.

It’s expected that many ageing adults will want to work longer to support themselves. This may result in a shortage of employment opportunities for younger, especially considering the automation of industry. Is reaching 65 a reasonable time to retire? If you expect to live to 90 or older, would you be happy with the prospect of sitting at home watching TV for 25 more years?

There are serious financial considerations as well. Many older people plan for a 10 to 15 year retirement. If their lives in retirement increase to more than 15 years, how will they be able to support themselves?

And finally the life styles of 80, 90 and 100 year old people must be considered. Do you really want to have an extended life without having things to keep you busy, like work, meeting with other people your age, hampered by decreased mental capacity, without vision to read the newspapers or to even watch TV? Individuals and society must define acceptable conditions for extended survival in general. The definition is certainly not vegetating in an old folks home. Quality time with family is always a high priority. But this sometimes puts undo pressure on other family members.

The ability to have, or not have, a good life style could make euthanasia a more desirable alternative. The social, ethic and moral ramifications of ending people’s lives in large numbers is an important issue that will get much more attention as time passes by politicians, religious people and ethicists.

In the future education requirements may change as well. We are currently being trained to work for 30 or 40 years in a job. Will we need new training to work another 20 years in a role that is compatible with physical and mental capability? Training of retirees could well become a very significant political issue.

Our entitlement systems will come under increasingly more stress as well. If we retire at 75, 80 or even 85, should we receive support from the government beginning at 60-65? This is a prime reason for current fiscal problems at the federal and state levels in America (people are living longer than expected). It’s a contentious subject that needs to be addressed as we live and work longer. It’s unrealistic to expect government to support us for more than 20 years after retirement.

Another important concept discussed during the CNN broadcast was how younger people could potentially link up with retirees to help them with creative projects. Learning from the mistakes of the past is an important part of progress moving forward.

Here are some facts and predictions for living until 100:

 

  • Number of US centenarians in 1990- 37,306 (0.0150% of total population)
  • In 2010 53,364 (0.173%)
  • Odds of living to 100 if you are 65 today- men 3%, women 5.8%, either member 8.7%.
  • There are about 500 thousand centenarians in the world. The number is expected to increase to 3.7 million by 2050.