Is Going To School Worth The Risk?

Education is one of the most important issues for parents these days. When you have to be concerned about a rogue virus, educational decisions are much more difficult for administrators to make, and for parents to accept.

It is worthwhile to look at the risks and rewards of sending children to school in the current toxic environment.

First, the downside of remote teaching. Just about everybody agrees that children learn exponentially more in person than with a computer at home. The children who stay home for an extended period of time are losing valuable instruction that will not be good for their future advancement. It’s difficult to estimate how far behind students will be in one month, three months or one year when the pandemic ends.

How important is the socialization aspect of school at a young age? Is interfacing with other young people important to the maturation process? Most parents believe it is critical.

Interrupting the process for an extended period of time is noteworthy from many perspectives. Most important is the way children learn how to relate to one another and to their teachers. It’s not the same as spending time with a parent (versus another child of the same age).

Younger children need to have a significant amount of exercise in their curricula and space. So, keeping children engaged and cooped up in a small apartment for six months as compared to school with roomy classrooms, a gymnasium and a cafeteria, could have a significant impact.

Many urban children are dependent upon the free meals they receive at school. There is little doubt that remote learning results in some malnutrition. Not benefiting from these meals will put even greater strain on families as they try to fill the gap.

If parents must stay home from work to care for their children, they will lose crucial wages for their absence. Small businesses are having a difficult time and will likely be unable to accommodate parents with care issues.

The damage related to shutting down the country is difficult to measure. In the case of parents losing their jobs, the issues are fairly clear. Parents will not earn needed funds to care for and feed their families. And, the companies that these parents work for will be deprived of essential employees if childcare interferes with attendance. Above all, parents must first care for their children before the needs of their employers.

The overriding issue for parents who are hesitant about sending their children to school is the potential of infection. The more individuals that children come into contact with, the greater the chances that they will be exposed to the virus. But the odds of children coming down with anything more than a fever and a cough are slim unless they suffer from a serious health issue. The only deadly risk is infecting parents and grandparents.

Most schools that teach face to face have complied with masking orders and distancing between the students. This has not moved Mayor DeBlasio who closed schools for nearly a million students in NYC. Moreover, teachers are similarly protected against exposure to the flu.

In total, the sensibility of sending children to school is greater than keeping them at home. However, parents should be given the option to have their children be educated remotely. This is not a time to be forcing parents or students to do things they are not comfortable with.  

What If Trump Refuses To Leave?

The standoff between President Trump and the entire political infrastructure in Washington is becoming more perilous every day for the country. Even Republican leaders are starting to say that Trump should give up for the benefit of the republic.

 It’s disconcerting to think that Democrats and others supporting Joe Biden may have committed voter fraud. Rudy Giuliani tried to make this case on Thursday. He’s acting as president Trump’s personal attorney. Unfortunately, Rudy was unable or unwilling to give proof of voting irregularities. For some reason, he thinks that Americans will believe Trump and him without verification of wrongdoing.

All the lies and exaggerations by the president during his tenure are coming back to haunt him. He has not provided one shred of credibility to his protestations. If the voters are going to side with Trump, he and Giuliani are going to have to make march out witnesses, fraudulent ballots and rigged voting machines. And this will have to be done in the next week or two.

I, for one, have lost confidence in the voting system in our country. Statistical analysis by Trump operatives, indicate that Biden benefited by ballot stuffing, used dead people’s names on ballots and manipulated voting machines, which were allegedly wired to add votes to Biden. Giuliani says he has affidavits from people who witnessed all types of voter corruption. All this is grounds for an investigation, but with an ample electoral majority and an overwhelming popular vote, Biden is going to be our next president.

I’m curious about what would happen if Trump refuses to leave and give the reins of government to Biden. Will Trump be handcuffed and escorted from the White House? Who will have the dubious honor of dragging the ex-president onto Pennsylvania Ave? Will it be the FBI or the Washington PD that does the dirty deed? Is Trump committing treason by not abiding to the wishes of the electorate? I guess no one knows. It never happened before in American history.

Then there’s all the secrets and national security information that must be passed on to the president-elect. And what about the box that gives the president the ability to launch nuclear weapons? What about the distribution of vaccine to combat the COVID-19 flu?

Americans should have known that Trump would be a major pain in the ***, if he lost. He thinks the security of our nation and the credibility of our democracy are things that he can manipulate. The departing president is a menace and deserves to be disparaged and ridiculed. He’s a total embarrassment to the country.

But what if the lawsuits favor Trump? What if the Democratic bosses in blue stronghold cities like Philadelphia, the Twin Cities, Detroit, Chicago and Atlanta did mess with ballots? It wouldn’t be the first time in history that people running for office and their supporters cheated. It truly would be the crime of the Century and it would destroy the Democratic Party.

The best case would be for Trump to walk away and retire to Florida. Americans can then forget about the last four years and move on with their lives. The next best case is to allow Biden to have his victory and waste millions on litigation relating to the 2020 election. At least voters will then know if it was rigged by zealous Democrats.

Biden Intends To Do Business With Iran

Joe Biden has already stipulated that he will go down the very dangerous path of trying to make peace with the Iranian ayatollahs. It’s a hopeless endeavor mostly because Iran is not trustworthy and very dangerous.

Iran wants three things, the ability to develop a nuclear bomb, elimination of US sanctions and domination of Muslims in the Middle East and beyond.

It should be noted that President Trump did everything in his power to rein in Iran, short of a military invasion. He put pressure on Iran with sanctions in an effort to prevent it from building a weapon of mass destruction. He increased economic sanctions on Iran to encourage it to change its ways.

Soon after becoming president, Trump abrogated the inane nuclear deal that Obama signed onto. The arrangement is/was not strong enough because it only delayed Iran’s goal of building a nuclear weapon for about a decade.

For decades, the US was committed to halting nuclear proliferation globally, and then Obama caved while dealing with America’s number one adversary to build his legacy. Obama’s minions gave in on virtually every important issue. Obama even ordered the release of $150 billion of Iranian funds captured in the US and paid the ayatollahs $1.8 billion dollars in cash.

Did Obama really believe that Iran would honor the treaty and not hide illegal nuclear activities? How could the president be so naive about the intentions of Iran when its leaders and citizens often call for the destruction of the US?

Other signatories on the nuclear deal sided with Iran in its dispute with the US even though they are/were at more risk from Iran’s possession of a nuclear bomb than the US. Why you ask? Because several of the signatories had lucrative economic arrangements with Iran. Joe Biden has said that he will re-up to the original deal, which, by the way, was never confirmed by the Senate.

Re-endorsing the nuclear deal will give clear sailing to Iran to finish building a weapon. Iran also has demanded compensation for the aforementioned economic sanctions. It was folly to make this deal the first time around and would be governmental malfeasance to do it again.

By decreasing or eliminating sanctions, Iran will be able to sell its oil on the world market to fund its nuclear development and a reign of terror on its neighbors and other countries in the Middle East.

Iran hates America, but it despises Sunni countries even more. It has vigorously attacked its Sunni enemies covertly and overtly. It’s unholy alliance with Russia and Syria has seriously impacted efforts to organize a lasting peace in Iraq and in Syria. Iran still proclaims that it will do anything in its power to destroy the State of Israel.

Even if Iran does not employ its nuclear weapons against Israel or others, it will use its new-found power to intimidate other nations in its region. An existential weapon does that for rogue countries.

During his tenure, President Trump has facilitated relationships with the Gulf States, who are mostly Sunnis. The new arrangements serve as a buffer against Iran’s domination in the region. If the US does not prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon, others, Iran’s numerous enemies, will likely develop or buy nuclear weapons to protect themselves.

Joe Biden is preparing to allow these things to happen. America has sided with Sunni Arabs. Biden will stymie this beneficial foreign relationship gambit.

Trump Must Coordinate With Biden

The end of Donald Trump’s reign of terror, and the inauguration of Joe Biden cannot happen soon enough. There are a number of pressing life and death situations that need to be considered immediately by the president-elect.

The most dilemma is the pandemic. The new president must lead the charge as we defend ourselves against the COVID-19 flu. This means the federal government should consider, and implement if necessary, further actions (mandatory masking, restaurant closures, remote teaching and the like) to decrease the spread of the virus and resultant deaths. This is no time to take a break from efforts to protect Americans.

Secondarily, Biden is going to assume responsibility for the distribution of the vaccine when Trump exits the White House. The tentative plan is to immunize vulnerable elderly people and first responders in January and all others within six months. The logistics affiliated with inoculating two or three hundred million people are monumental. Biden should definitely play a major role in this effort, and Trump should start packing his suitcase, including his hair gel.

It’s obvious that Trump wants credit for defeating the pandemic. Under the best of conditions, this will not happen, right or wrong. Trump had his time as our Commander-in Chief, and now he must pass the baton, with or without accolades.

It’s been reported that Iran is misbehaving and breaking promises relating to nuclear development limits in the original Obama agreement. The New York Times indicated that inspectors found “a significant increase in the country’s stock of nuclear material.” Supposedly, Trump and his advisors considered a military strike on Iran, but it was not implemented.

Once again, it can be argued that the president is looking to have a significant legacy moment, and justification to extend his tenure. Both of these objectives are far-fetched to say the least.

The economy is at a critical point. It appears that the markets believe the US will experience very good conditions and relatively strong growth in 2021. This all could come crumbling down if Biden makes any bad decisions such as a widespread lock-down relating to the pandemic or over funding to support domestic businesses and individuals. Biden should be part of these discussions.

And finally, there is the political environment. Biden said he would make peace between Republicans and Democrats. Given that the Senate will be controlled by Republicans, the government will be at a standstill unless frayed egos are soothed, and comity returns to Congress.

The morale of the story is that Trump needs to transition to Biden right now.

Walk Away, Mr. President

The president, who was defeated earlier this month, has indicated that he might not turn over power to his opponent. This inane and defiant attitude personifies the principle reason Trump was not elected for another four years.

Mr. President, you did a pretty good job governing the country. Our economy grew, and you made us more secure. But your inability to build bridges with those that oppose you or even suggest alternative actions was/is abominable. In the corporate world, the board of directors would say your business judgment is good. But keeping you on in any capacity is not worth the anxiety that you create. So, it was with the American voters.

Many people hate you to the point that they wept for joy when you were declared the loser of the election. Just imagine the emotion and vitriol that would have arisen if you won. Radical liberals would have protested, rioted and destroyed major cities throughout the country. This is not to say that I condone violent protests. I don’t.

Many households were torn apart when parents supported Trump, and their children voted for Biden. I hasten to point out that millennials are replacing baby boomers as the greatest political force in America. This group wants equality and the end of racial, sexual and religious bigotry.

You may believe in these ideals. If you do, you have a strange way of showing it. By not speaking out against white supremacists and the pervasive growth of gun ownership, you lost important groups of voters. A more measured response to sensitive issues would have made you a winner on Election Day.

You did solve a number of important problems. You promised to cut taxes, and you did. You promised to abrogate unfair trade agreements, and you did. You promised to clean up the Washington swamp, and you did. You made progress with Blacks, Latinos and other minorities economically. You restored the reputation of the US in the face of global anti-American sentiment.

The problem is that you rubbed our faces in all of your successes. You are the most un-humble leader the country has ever had. You are not the greatest. You are a liar. You twist and distort the truth. The press has a field day reporting on your misstatements and exaggerations daily.

I’m puzzled why anyone would vote for you. Of course, Americans have the right to pick who they want to govern our country. But you lost this time. You are a bad loser and a bad winner. Therapy might be helpful.

Mr. President, you are our elected leader and it hasn’t worked out, with the advancement of the pandemic, the hostile and unfair media and a bunch of vicious politicians on the other side of the aisle.

You have an opportunity to do a good thing. Walk away and begin to rehabilitate yourself. It’s never too late. Americans want a peaceful and effective transition of presidential power. You should make it happen for the good of our republic.

Nothing Much Has Changed In The Catholic Church

A New York Times op-Ed piece revisits the tsunami of criticism against Catholic Church abuses. There’s no doubt that priests have been assaulting each other, seminarians (those who would become priests), nuns, and worst of all, children for hundreds of years. Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s behavior was reviewed in the article. His despicable actions have been documented broadly, resulting in him being defrocked a few years ago.

I was born a Catholic and went to a prestigious Catholic university in the late 1960s. I knew something was wrong then with the Church, when I was a young man. Priests who were supposed to be celibate and chaste were not. And worse, these same individuals were giving advice to their flock about marriage, children and sexuality without any legitimate experience. Did they learn about married life and raising children in the seminary from other men who similarly had no experiences?

After centuries, it was finally was revealed that pedophilia was pervasive among priests. Many men came forward to reveal that they were raped and abused as children. Scores of them were “altar boy victims.” The immediate response of the Church’s hierarchy was to circle the wagons and deny the evidence of foul play that has been taking place for so long.

In the meantime, non-clergy men convicted of pedophilia were prosecuted and imprisoned. Church pedophiles were forced to say a few Hail Marys and then were transferred to a new diocese where they picked up where they left off. They ruined the lives of hundreds of other young men.

Could anything worse befall the Church? The answer is yes. It was discovered that senior Church officials we’re protecting sexual offenders. Why would they do this? It’s obvious. They wanted to preserve the reputation of the Church. And in doing so they paid millions of dollars to victims to cover up the sins of their priests. The same men who were abusing others were celebrating mass and giving Communion.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, it’s been suggested that cover ups extend all the way up the chain of command to the Vatican. Apparently, popes protected abusers and sexual deviants.

I think this disgraceful behavior has gone on long enough. The last few popes have promised to crackdown on offenders, but it never happens. For millenniums, there has been priestly abuse cloaked in secrecy.

Pope Francis has pretended to be responsive with a de-frocking here and there. But no new initiatives have been offered to stop the spread of abuse. Equally, very few priests have been tried and convicted criminally. Some of the most frequently mentioned ideas to improve the situation include allowing priests to marry, enabling women to become priests, the establishment of a Church-wide police force to root out abuse globally, the prosecution by civil authorities of abuse, etc.

I find it hard to believe that Catholics can retain their faith in God’s representatives when they are responsible for so much sadness and shame.

I think Pope Francis would be better served if he set aside his interest in telling world leaders how to govern their states and focused on cleaning out his own house.

Biden’s Focus In The Short Term

Some of Joe Biden’s promises will be detrimental to the security and economic stability of America. Many of these items can be attained even if The Republicans retain control of the Senate. Here are a few of the more important issues that Biden will address early in his tenure.

The New York Times published a story on Tuesday that definitively stated that the US/Israeli relationship will suffer under a Biden administration, and that Bibi Netanyahu, a great ally of the US, is in serious political jeopardy. Decreasing American support of the State of Israel would be an unfortunate strategy. Setting aside Bibi’s personal issues, he is a great partner in the fight against terrorism in partnership with the United States. Israel stands between the US and radical religious groups and theocracies.

Israelis are our eyes and ears in the region. Israel’s military strength and intelligence assets are important reasons why one of the most volatile areas in the world is enjoying a period of calm at this time. And finally, Israel is ready to fight shoulder to shoulder with Americans if conditions worsen. Biden intentions to decrease the bond between US and Israel make no sense.

Many believed the US/Iran nuclear deal orchestrated by Biden’s mentor was the most inane in recent history. Obama believed that he could reason with Iran. All he did was give the ayatollahs a pathway to build and deliver a nuclear bomb in just over 10 years. For a long time, US policy was to prevent rogue nations from producing existential armaments. The Iranians out negotiated Obama and his minions enabling him to erect a neutral nuclear legacy for himself while accepting an existential threat to America’s allies in the region. Trump smartly undid the arrangement, and Biden intends to reinstall it.

The abrogation of ACA is based upon a mandate that was formerly part of it. In order for the law to be effective, it was necessary that citizens participate or be fined. This element of the law was deemed to be unconstitutional. Without it, many experts say the law is unworkable. The Supreme Court will deliberate the viability of ACA in the near future. Biden wants to rescue the law. Note: It appears that the Court will not rule against ACA. It will likely be the focal point of Biden’s effort to federalize health care in the country.

The real issue is not whether America should ensure that health care is available to everybody. We need to care for those without coverage. The real issue is whether a one payer insurance plan is wise because it would necessitate elimination of millions of private insurance plans. Many Americans are happy with their coverage. It would be too expensive to replace the plan with government coverage.

Americans should carefully follow the aforementioned issues. Even with Senate support, Biden could do great harm to our country by issuing executive orders.

Political Issues To Consider

It’s going to be hectic politically from now until the inauguration of Joe Biden in January, assuming he remembers to attend the affair.

The first order of business is dealing with the plethora of lawsuits affiliated with the election. Trump has been spouting off that he was cheated, although not much has been substantiated to this point. Yet, some of his allegations are very serious. In fact, if proven, they are grounds for recounts across the country and potentially even harsher remedies.

Trump and his minions are saying that there has been voter fraud, which occurred because of the ballots mailed to millions of Americans before the election. Some are accusing Biden supporters, post offices and vote counting stations of stuffing ballots using dead people’s names, accepting ballots without proper identification and recording ballots after state deadlines. These accusations, if deemed to have constitutional implications, could be considered by the Supreme Court. The remedies might include denying certain ballots, which could change the results in some tight races. And, the allegations could possibly foretell a re-vote if it is deemed serious enough by SCOTUS.

Depending upon the state, candidates have a right to question the outcome of their races and could demand a recount. Some states automatically recount if the votes are close.

The political stakes are high because of ballot chicanery assertions. If proven, they could impact pending runoffs and recounts for congresspeople and senators. Most importantly are two Senate races in Georgia. The outcome of the races could change the control of the Senate.

The implications of this situation are extremely important. A majority in the Senate would give Democrats control of the presidency and both houses of Congress. Liberals could change the rules of the Senate and abrogate the filibuster, so that laws would then be enacted by a simple majority. The filibuster would no longer protect the rights of the opposition party.

This would potentially create chaos in a number of situations rgarding SCOTUS packing, which would change the mix of conservatives and liberals on the Court, the establishment of two new states by Democrats that would increase their majority in both houses of Congress and enactment of new laws including higher taxes and universal healthcare. The latter items being goals of radical left-wing legislators.

Also brewing at this time is the impending battle in the House where Nancy Pelosi is being challenged by the most radical members of the body. The issue is whether the House should adopt more socialist entitlements that include one payer healthcare, a green program that would cost trillions and universal health care. The aforementioned plus a number of giveaways to various special interest groups, including the termination of our natural resource development, the de-funding of the police even as crime increases will be driving us towards a socialistic state, financial problems and the end of exceptionalism.

And finally, our nation needs to consider not only the unprecedented power of the largest high-tech companies but also the unbridled power of the press. This group is protected by the Constitution, so its influence over elections and unrelenting support of liberal causes has created an unfair advantage for Democrats. The press should be focusing on providing the voters with facts and less commentary and one-sided support of one party over another.

Trump should concede and move on. However, his lawsuits should continue. Any bad behavior that is discovered should be sanctioned and voter irregularities rectified to benefit future elections.

A Little Levity

Authored by an unknown person:

Early November is finally here. I have seen a lot of hate spewed in recent days about a man who is a constant winner and overachiever, and that’s what the people who support him like about him. Yes, he’s been caught in some lies and maybe twisted the truth a little but he’s still out there proving his haters wrong time after time. Some people are just jealous of someone who is successful and has money. Throw in a hot foreign underwear model at his side and they hate him even more. You may not have wanted him in his role, but he’s there now and there’s nothing you can do about it. I know it’s possibly just going to get worse over the next several days, but like him or not, Tom Brady is turning things around in Tampa.

Two Lousy Candidates, Pick One

Thank heavens the election is finally here. Like many Americans, I’m not sure I can stand to hear another speech by either of the candidates. And the TV ads are trash, chock full of distortions and outright lies. Nevertheless, I must admit that Trump’s rallies are very entertaining of late, not that making speeches is any indication of a person’s ability to be president of the greatest country in the world.

The sad part about the election is that it really is not a contest between two outstanding candidates. Gone are the days that at least one candidate is worthy of being on the ballot. In 2020, both aspirants are subpar to say the least.

If Biden wins, it will be because Trump is a despicable character that turns many off with his abrasive personality and narcissism. If Trump wins, it will be a minor miracle. Hopefully it will not lead to rioting and looting by radical groups.

Frankly, Trump’s accomplishments during the past four years, as compared to Biden’s non-performance for nearly half a century, entitles him to another term. If Trump were a nice guy, or less of a jerk, he would easily defeat Joe. Why is America picking its leaders based upon personality, as opposed to their qualifications and accomplishments?

It doesn’t matter if Biden has been an empty suit for decades or that he supported a number of laws unpopular to his own base. It doesn’t matter that he clearly will be unable to deal with the rigors of being president. It doesn’t matter that he can’t put two sentences together without saying something dumb. It doesn’t matter that he is clearly wrapped up in an epic scandal with his son.

The only thing that motivates liberal voters is the demise of Trump. A booming economy, better conditions for people of color, a more stable foreign relations agenda, beneficial trade deals, a new and terrific Supreme Court Justice, a more sensible immigration policy, etc. don’t count for anything. The Donald is not someone you would want to have a beer with so why the hell would anyone vote for him.

Joe Biden is a socialist in wolf’s clothing. He promised to do all the things his socialist colleagues want him to do. He swore to his base he would re-regulate the country, rid the country of its dependence on fossil fuel, put into motion a crazy green plan, mercilessly tax the most successful people and businesses in the country, endorse violent protest (no matter what he says to the contrary) and so much more.

All the liberal naysayers are going to get what they deserve if Biden wins, a government run by a left-wing ideologist that is tolerant of violent behavior and not representative all Americans. We will be on the road to becoming zombies that blindly do what our government says we should do. Good luck with that.