The Biden Administration Gets An “F”

In November 2022, Americans will vote to emasculate the Democratic Party. Republicans will ride a red wave and take control of both houses of Congress, the House of Representatives and the Senate. The significance of this event cannot be overstated.

Republicans will immediately assume leadership of the legislative process. President Biden will be unable to find support for his pathetic agenda. Progressive initiatives will come to a screeching halt as Republicans treat the president as a lame duck.

Republicans will likely be stymied for the days until the next presidential election. It’s unlikely that conservatives will be able to overcome a barrage of vetoes issued by the White House between 2022 and 2024. Legislative paralysis will overcome Washington, as Republicans slash and burn down every progressive initiative while simultaneously being blocked by presidential vetoes.

But this will be the beginning of a new era with Republicans in the driver seat because Joe Biden has no chance of being reelected. To make matters worse his party has no viable opponent to face off against the potential Republican nominee (could it be Kamala Harris? Ha, Ha.). Of course, all this becomes moot if Donald Trump is able to reassert himself, which I doubt. I predict the former president will become a ghost after the midterm elections in November.

Just to clear the air, I believe that Democrats are getting what they deserve. They nominated a man with little credibility. He is too old and feeble to lead the country, which has become evident during the failure of every important issue he championed. Ultra-progressives, like the Squad, thought they could dominate the legislative process and the White House. But, Biden legislation proposals were unable to pass, and thankfully so. They would have bankrupted America, if successful.

A new realization has overwhelmed the country. Several huge issues have caused independents and even moderate Democrats alike to question the most important Democratic aspirations. Overspending on social issues at a time when prudence and frugality are needed was the beginning of the end for the Biden administration. What has resulted instead is inflation and even greater national debt pressure on our financial system. Even lifelong Democrats like Senator Joe Manchin saw this materializing. His courage likely prevented a financial disaster in the country.

Joe Biden has failed on every major policy issue facing the country. Let’s review some of the most important ones.

Americans don’t want an open border that allows illegals to wade across the Rio Grande River and to use resources that should go to needy Americans. For more than a year, the wave of undocumented immigrants has caused dissension in borders states and concerns about gang activities, drug smuggling and COVID concerns. Now Biden wants to double down and eliminate Title 42, which gives the US the ability to stop illegals from coming into the United States. Polls indicate that a majority of Americans are not happy with immigration standards at all.

Biden pulled out of Afghanistan prematurely and left US citizens in jeopardy. But mostly, Biden showed that he could not be trusted by our allies to meet commitments made. After all the years, the deaths incurred and money spent, Afghanistan is even more corrupt and dangerous than when the US first invaded it years ago.

During the impending crisis with Russia, Biden has proven that he is not a commander-in-chief. Someone is running the show relating to Ukraine in Washington, but it isn’t Biden. The country needs our support to fight against Russian aggression. We should give the brave people of the Ukraine the resources needed to repel and defeat Russia. The threats of nuclear war are a canard. Mutual destruction has been effective for over 75 years. Russia will not end mankind over its spat with Ukraine.

The COVID crisis is possibly the most frustrating issue of all. There is no consensus among the leaders of our country, the scientists and the citizens. Every group has their own agenda. The edicts from the president, the CDC, Fauci, governors, congressmen and congresswomen, teachers, truck drivers have all been different. The average American does not know what to do to protect him or herself from the disease. Leadership is abominable. I hope the mandate to unmask is the right one, and we don’t have another outbreak of COVID.

Democrats are finally recognizing that they are not the final say on many other important issues. Democrats are not our parents; they serve us. For instance, parents want a say in what their children learn in school especially regarding sexual and social issues.

Americans want to be protected by a strong police presence. Defunding our police and first responders was an idiotic proposal fostered by misguided anarchists.

Free speech applies to everyone, not just liberals. Schools should afford students the opportunity to consider both sides of controversial subjects, not just what the liberal press and liberal teachers forced upon them.

Forgiving school debt is an insult to students who have worked hard to meet their responsibilities and to taxpayers who cannot afford to pay other people’s debts.

And finally, Democrats should spend more time learning about inflation. It occurs when too much money chases limited goods and services. By creating an energy shortage, while trying to eliminate fossil fuels at the same time, Democrats added greatly to inflation in the country.

The current administration gets an “F” from this citizen. I suspect many others feel as I do, and the red wave will overcome Democrat candidates in the next two elections.

What If Russia Employs Nuclear Weapons?

Is the US on the righteous side of history assisting the Ukraine in its opposition to an unlawful Russian invasion? Considering the reactions and rhetoric of other nations to this point, it seems so. But President Biden must be cognizant of the ramifications of providing diplomatic and military support to the Ukraine government.

It’s outrageous that Russia, without provocation, unleashed a vicious and immoral attack on a sovereign nation. In other situations throughout history, deadly force was used in response to illegal actions against targeted nations. Consider the invasion of Afghanistan after 9/11. Consider the US response to Iraq and Saddam Hussein’s incursion in Kuwait. In both cases, the preponderance of world opinion was favorable about US actions. But, in both cases neither of the aggressor nations had weapons of mass destruction. And so, they were not an existential threat to mankind.

The responsibilities of the US in its response to Russia are far greater in the current situation. The megalomaniac who leads the Russian Federation has about the same number of intercontinental nuclear missiles at his disposal as the US does. It’s unknown whether one man, Vladimir Putin, can literally push the button and effectively end the world. Are there any fail-safe precautions at play in Russia? Does Putin need concurrence of his cabinet or his generals before deploying WMDs?

America and other nations are providing weapons to the Ukrainians that are enabling the invaded to fight back against the invader. There has been no direct contact between NATO forces and Russian forces. Rather, the West has imposed severe sanctions on Russia and many of its foremost citizens. This is a not so blatant attempt to bankrupt Russia. The sanctions will ultimately prevent Russia from selling enough oil and gas to meet its obligations to its people and its creditors, and they will create great economic hardships for the Russian economy and its citizens.

Are these aggressive moves by the West excuses for Russia to directly challenge NATO, and in particular the US? If we were sure that Putin was in control of his mental facilities, the answer to the question is no. But we are not sure of Putin’s mental stability.

This fact creates a whole new dimension to the conundrum. How far should Biden go in his efforts to thwart Russia? For instance, should the US provide fighter jets and bombers? Should the US provide more powerful surface to air and surface to surface missiles, like the ones that sank a Russian warship? How far can Biden go before Putin decides to take action against the West? And more important, how will Biden respond to the possibility of limited nuclear or chemical arms being used in a confrontation?

This is truly an existential debate. The last thing our world needs is an intercontinental nuclear showdown. Yet, the US and the West cannot stand by and allow any country to invade another country without provocation.

Is the US on solid ground? Even if it is true, does it justify tempting Russia to use its nuclear arsenal?

Musk and Free Speech

Elon Musk is proposing to acquire Twitter for $48 billion. Can the richest man in the world pull off such a daunting gambit? Perhaps. He will need to convince the world, his stakeholders and financial regulators that he will honestly protect the right of free speech, which has become a sizzling hot topic with the growth and power of a few tech companies. Musk says he will be the guardian of free speech if he is successful.

There is no absolute agreement about the meaning and power of free speech. If you asked five intelligent, well-read people what free speech means to them, you would likely receive many different responses.

When discussing free speech, hardliners say that a person should be able to express his or her opinion in words and/or actions without any censorship or regulation by government, corporations, parents, teachers, police or neighbors. Of course, there are some practical limitations. Language and actions that lead to violence are generally excluded from free speech protection. This aspect of the issue results in great disagreement in public forums.

Does Twitter and the other companies that foster social media have a responsibility and the right to restrict commentary on their website? If editors at Twitter believe Donald Trump is a menace to society, is it their prerogative to ban his tweets?

Twitter may feel that Trump’s rhetoric, or anything related to the former president, is harmful to society. Should the company have the power to ban any commentary by him or reporting by others. Should Twitter be able to do this legally?

Free speech advocates often say that any expression of opinion is fair game, and Trump should not be censored. If any despicable rhetoric is censored, it is a chip off the pillar of freedom of speech. Frankly, the two sides on this issue are at loggerheads.

When it comes to government intervention with extreme opponents, or those with a more tolerant perception of free speech, the controversy always becomes more vitriolic. The current state of affairs is really mixed depending upon the issues involved. For instance, supporters and opponents relating to “protest” are always in violent disagreement. On college campuses, protests of radical perspectives have frequently led to violence, yet the perpetrators of the action believe they should have the protection of freedom of speech.

Historically, even the vilest organizations such as neo-Nazi groups have been given leeway to march and offer their opinions. Many free speech advocates believe that every group has a right to speak and organize, and if any are not allowed to express themselves, we might as well rip up the Constitution.

Elon Musk resents the influence Twitter has and wants to restructure the company so that it does not censor anyone, even if rhetoric is harsh and objectionable. He seems to think that he is the person most able to manage the right of free speech in our country. Many may laud Musk’s desire to protect free speech, but will resist a situation where Musk is making decisions for the country.

The concept of free speech is much larger than any one company or one individual. And, shouldn’t Congress and SCOTUS be the groups that make and interpret free speech law? We are at a dangerous moment in history. Should the US allow corporations and their management to make free speech rules for us, or not?

Opening Day At Yankee Stadium

I have a very annoying habit of leaving Yankee games in the seventh inning. [Note: I walked out during Jeter’s last game before he hit a walk-off homer in his final at bat.] The traffic after the game is too much for me to handle. My kids never knew that baseball games were nine innings, not seven, until they were teenagers. 

On Friday, I broke my rule and stayed to the bitter end. It took about 50 minutes to get home even though I live only seven or eight miles from the stadium.

I love baseball, and I love the Yankees. My heroes over the years were Mickey Mantle, Derek Jeter and now Aaron Judge. I feel queasy about negotiations between Yankees and Judge, as they attempt to extend his contract.  Judge turned down a $200 million plus deal over seven years, which would make him one of the highest paid players in the league. It seemed like a generous offer, but Judge wants to test free agency at the end of the year and not discuss his contract until the season is over. Seems to me that the deal offered by the Yankees is compensatory, but Judge wants more.

He’s testing my patience as one of his biggest fans. To be a Yankee and paid so much money should be quite enough for hitting hard balls with a wooden bat. He would be set for life. Loyalty to the fans means something. Being a Yankee you’re your entire career is a big deal. Think Derek Jeter and Mickey Mantle. I’m sure Judge’s negotiations had both parties blabbering away.  It’s a business after all. I’m just disappointed because the Yankees may lose Judge. What will happen to the judges’ robes that appear every game day in the bleachers if he goes elsewhere?

The first day of Yankee baseball was a big success. I expected to be rewarded for the ridiculous amount I pay for Legend seats, especially after what happened last year. The Yankee opener against the Red Sox was just what the doctor ordered. It was an extra inning affair. Josh Donaldson drove in the winning run with a single in the 11th inning. Josh is a seasoned veteran that the Yankees picked up during the off-season. 

Garrett Cole, the Yankee ace, started the game and allowed three runs in the first inning. It was a terrible beginning for the pitcher, who the Yankees are depending upon for many wins this season. Yanks scored two runs in the bottom of the first to take the heat off of Cole, and he was terrific thereafter. 

A few Yankees hit homers and were cheered wildly by the sellout crowd. The Bombers depend upon homers with a lineup that includes so many sluggers. 

I have Legend seats which entitles my friends and I to gorge ourselves with food. Just about every imaginable item is serve. Sushi, hotdogs, hamburgers, steak, lamb, pasta, salad, crab claws, pastries, ice cream, candy, peanuts and so on. When I bring guests, I tell him to fast for the whole day to ensure that they eat enough to make a dent in the cost of their tickets.

The Yankees won on Saturday as well giving them a 2-0 start for the season. I’m going to the Monday night game with some friends and hope to see another victory by the
Bombers. We will certainly do our best to eat as much as possible before the game starts and to snack several times afterwards.

Putin Will Not Use Nuclear Weapons

Is the US to blame for the devastation in Ukraine? Given our influence across the globe, our diplomatic reach and our military might, should the US and Joe Biden have done more to avoid the current catastrophe, which includes humanitarian devastation and genocide?

The US has come a long way from “speaking softly and carrying a big stick.” For sure we still have a big stick, but our politicians and leaders don’t know how to effectively wield existential power. In all fairness, there are two really important facts that we must be mindful about. One is that Russia has nuclear weapons that can end mankind as we know it today. Two, Putin may be crazy enough to use nuclear power.

I think it was a mistake for Biden and his administration to give credence to the possibility of a nuclear confrontation. History has proven that even the most despicable troublemakers in the world don’t have the guts to launch a nuclear attack. Up to now, only America has used a weapon of mass destruction. It was a frightful decision that many still resent. Thousands of innocents died on the eventful day. Even North Korea and Iran, and all the terrorists they are affiliated with, know that a nuclear attack will result in obliteration of their countries.

Of course, Russia has unique status. It has nukes that can destroy the world. Yet, it has had its share of aggressive leaders who backed away from a nuclear encounter with the United States. Consider Khrushchev Gorbachev and Yeltsin.

President Biden gave up too much in the days before the Ukraine attack. He assumed that Putin would go nuclear if the US responded aggressively. This was a big mistake. Putin continues to threaten the world with weapons of mass destruction, if NATO kills a soldier or downs a Russian aircraft. It’s not going to happen. Even a madman would not end the world for such a relatively insignificant event.

Does Putin have the power to launch a nuke without concurrence of others. Until now, I worried that if Putin woke up on the wrong side of the bed, he might initiate an atomic war. This is absurd. If he gives the order, other politicians and generals will need to be convinced that Russia will not be wiped out by the US arsenal of nuclear response (which will happen). The decision they will make is clear.

By giving credence to the nuclear possibility, the US and NATO response to the Ukraine attack has been subdued. The West is supplying all forms of weapons without any real response by the Russians, only talk and idle threats. We should do more to help the Ukrainians fight back against Russia, and not assume a Holocaust is feasible.

John F Kennedy had the chops to respond to Khrushchev during the Cuban missile crisis. We need leaders who have the same courage to fight aggression. A decision to launch missiles and end the world is the ultimate fail safe.

Does Putin Have A Soul?

Dear President Putin:

You decided to attack the Ukraine with 175,000 troops and an armada of tanks and artillery batteries. Additionally, the Russian air force and navy have launched cruise missiles into areas populated by civilians. Your tactics have been ruthless and classified as crimes against humanity.

Many people around the world are wondering why you were so determined to attack your neighbor and former SSR. After all, there were many pro-Russian supporters in Ukraine prior to the commencement of hostilities.

Early man resorted to violence as part of his search for food, water and shelter. Prehistoric people were always looking for more fertile places to grow food and raise animals. When circumstances made it difficult to live, early man resorted to violence to fulfill his needs that might include land and natural resources.

As man evolved, warfare was commonplace among contiguous tribal groups who like their ancestors were constantly looking for places to find food and shelter for their families. Often, skirmishes and squabbles occurred when the needs were great, and the survival of the tribe was at stake.

Eventually, man invented weapons to do battle. This resulted in bloody confrontations for land and food sources. The strongest overwhelmed the weakest.

And finally, war erupted for political reasons and for access to natural resources that translated into wealth and prosperity.

There have been epic battles between neighbors over the years. During the 20th century, the scope of warfare increased exponentially as weaponry became more advanced. Wars broke out between people that were located around the world from each other.

During World War I, Germany tried to engulf the European continent. Sovereign states were invaded, and new and nefarious political systems were foisted onto defeated countries. During World War II, the stakes became greater as planes could fly hundreds and thousands of miles to drop bombs with devastating results. Innocent people were dying because of political ambitions. And finally, the US dropped nuclear weapons on Japan effectively ending the Japanese efforts to control Asia. Thousands of civilians died. This is a testament to the existential threat that nuclear weapons pose to civilization.

Today, most fighting involves terrorism, religion and political manipulation. Sunnis fight against Shia in the Middle East. Protestants fight against Catholics in Ireland. Tribes and African countries attack and slaughter each other because of hate and bigotry. Sometimes, countries are broken up to accommodate historically old feuds, like the Balkans.

But mostly, civilized countries do not start wars unless another a group is violating human rights, terrorizing others and/or committing genocide.

Mr. Putin, why are you your soldiers dying in Ukraine? What do you want? Is it your dream to reestablish a new Soviet Union? About the only thing Ukraine has of value is access to the ocean in Crimea. Surely, Russia’s access to water, for commercial and military reasons, cannot be an issue. So, why hurt so many innocent people?

You say Ukraine is a threat to Russia. In what way? Surely, if NATO tanks populated the Ukraine which abuts Russia, it would not be a problem. You could easily obliterate whole armies with nuclear weapons. What’s your concern?

You say that countries should be formed based upon ethnic demographics. You might not agree, but the US and its melting pot citizenry are living proof that countries need not be of one race, religion or tribe to live peacefully and be great.

Are you attacking Ukraine for sport? Killing thousands and forcing three million plus people from their homes is not is not a legitimate pastime. You didn’t expect such amazing resistance from Ukrainians. They are fighting for freedom and their families. It’s no wonder that they are killing hundreds of tanks and thousands of Russian soldiers and making your adventure into Ukraine seem so utterly nonsensical.

Frankly, Mr. Putin, you underestimated many things. Besides the determination of the Ukrainians, you significantly misread the reaction of the West. Now the largest and most prosperous countries in the world are lining up to help Ukraine militarily and effectively bankrupt Russia. Your people are now suffering losses, inflation, food shortages, etc.

Many experts are predicting that Russia’s power and influence will be seriously diminished when all is said and done. You still have nuclear weapons, but that’s it. Even your oil and gas resources will decline in value as fossil fuels are used less in the future.

What’s next, Mr. Putin? Are you going to threaten the West with nuclear weapons like rogue countries such as Iran and North Korea? Do you want to be among these Godforsaken countries?

You will be long gone before Russia regains what it lost with this invasion of Ukraine. Look at photos of the damage and devastation your soldiers are causing. Look at pictures of women and children struggling to survive. Prove you have a soul and make peace.