Euthanasia Should Be Legal Throughout The US

I recently celebrated a birthday that officially puts me into the “old man” category. Frankly I’ve experienced a waterfall of emotions, some of which have been expressed on this blog.

I’ve returned to discuss a controversial topic of particular concern to the elderly. I’m not going to regurgitate data relating to the aging of America. Fact is Americans, on average, are getting older each year.

This phenomenon is a testament to superb efforts by doctors and researchers that ultimately enable us to more effectively fight disease. But there are some dark issues to this longevity bonanza.

You’ve heard the expression that most people spend more on medical care in their final years than they do during their early years. Instead of two or five years of intense medical attention, the older generation is now demanding five to ten years of intensive care.

The resulting impact on America is higher medical costs, greater insurance premiums and horrendous stress on our national health care infrastructure. If the country’s average life span increases every couple years, you can only imagine what will happen to medical costs (Medicare) and the stress on our hospitals and doctors. Wise politicians are already preparing their constituencies for some grim actions that will likely be necessary to avoid a more serious impact on our country’s financial resources.

Having a Medicare age of 65, when our average life expectancy is 70 is sensible. But does it make sense if our average life expectancy is greater than 80, and when most people work far beyond 65? The most obvious need is to delay Medicare a year or two or three, in the near future. Since this is one of the third rails of politics, making a change in Medicare age will be a monstrous undertaking.

But, what about our life styles? Is sitting in front of a TV a good life. Our nation needs to provide ways to keep our elderly intellectually active. It will necessitate great social change, including much more involvement of our adult children.

Having pains and increasingly more medical problems is the life the elderly face. Theoretically it’s better than the alternative. But, is it really? It would be interesting to measure the amount of pain and suffering that is acceptable to people of advanced age. To what degree will a person subject his or her self to pain to stay alive another year or two? Before you have a brush with significant discomfit, it’s natural to think you would always choose life. The opioid epidemic tells us otherwise. Americans take pills to avoid pain at an extremely high rate. In fact, the rate is so high that too many suffers become addicted and die from overdoses.

As a newly minted septuagenarian, I wake up every morning and stretch out all my aches and pain. They are a result of my age in conjunctions with playing contact sports when I was young, along with golf and skiing these days. At times the pain is significant, and I’m in the gym every day.

Others who are my age, more sedentary and suffering from debilitating issues such as arthritis have a very difficult time walking and getting through the day. These people are prime targets for opioid overuse.

The time may come when a serious ailment is too much to bear, or an amalgamation of pain is hard to live with. The choices are: 1. Suffer, 2. Take pain relievers such as opioids, 3. Commit suicide. There are no easy answers.

Let’s focus on the latter- euthanasia, a genteel way to describe ending one’s life. When we think about suicide, too often it results in thoughts about shooting or hanging oneself. But in reality many people move on to the afterlife in a relatively peaceful way in hospice, or with palliative care.

It’s stunning that so many are not in favor of a quick end to a suffering person’s life, yet, for years hospices have deprived individuals of food and water over the course of a few days to hasten death. Is spite of what many defenders say, palliative care is euthanasia by any other name. Similarly “pulling the plug” on life support is not considered murder, but it is an overt act against another human that ends their life.

There are a number of states that have approved euthanasia, and more should be coming around to the same decision over time. We deal with sick animals in a civilized manner by ending their lives to avoid suffering. Why don’t humans deserve the same consideration?

Like any situation involving life and death, it’s a complicated matter to deal with. For one thing euthanasia works best when the sufferer makes the final decision, beforehand in a living will, or on the spot if they are lucid. If third parties become involved the process can get messy. Consider people in a coma for a long period of time, whose relatives can’t find consensus about whether to pull the plug.

Euthanasia is not something available for convenience. Some families are too anxious to end a life if the person is difficult to deal with or using too many resources. Then again financial concerns can be a huge issue for a family that cannot afford intensive care for an extended time. The point is a death decision must be made with great care.

And finally there are religious strictures and busy bodies, who are not shy about sticking their noses in other people’s business. Euthanasia is a family issue. Government should provide guidelines and holy men should become involved only by invitation.

Taking one’s life is not a sin, should not be crime and should be a socially acceptable alternative for people in severe pain and suffering, mental and physical. I hope our politicians recognize this and make euthanasia more accessible.

 

Tennis’ Screwy Scoring System

It’s that time again, around Labor Day, when the US Open Tennis tournament is contested in NYC. The finals are upon us.

I’m sure you’ve always wondered where the bizarre scoring system in tennis originated. This began to rake on me over the last couple of days, so I researched it.

A player receives a score of 15 if he wins a point, 15 more for another point (for a total of 30), and 10 for the next point (for a total of 40). With an additional point, the player wins the game if he has two points more than his opponent in total. So if a player has 40 and wins another point, he wins, if his opponent has 30 or less. Pretty strange, isn’t it?

If a player has 40 and wins a point and his opponent also has 40, the former does not win the game, but has an advantage. If he wins the next point, the game is his.

That was really exhausting. The question of the day is where did this screwy system come from? As a matter of fact it reverts all the way back to medieval days in France when a clock was used to keep score. For the first two points of a game, the score goes to 15 (or quarter past the hour), then to 30 (or half past the hour). To ensure that a player wins by two points the third point is rewarded 10 (taking the clock to 40 past the hour. The score stays at 40 until one player has two points more than the other. I’m not convinced this all makes sense, but it’s what I found.

If both players have a score of 40, it is called “deuce,” which originates from the French a deux le jeu, or anyone can win (with two points in row). The term love, which means a player has no points, is l’oeuf in French. It means egg, which is the shape of a zero.

I think enough time has passed that we should transition to a simpler system. How about one, two, three and four? You agree? Probably not, if you are a purist and fond of tradition. I’m not. But all the scoreboards would need to be adjusted costing a pretty penny.

It’s also interesting to consider a number of other idiosyncrasies of tennis. The first that comes to mind is the misbehavior that is prevalent in many matches. Like most sports some of the players are prima donnas who think they can say and do anything without consequence. Men like John McEnroe and Ilie Nastase were bad boys and notorious for creating a stir at times when things were not going well on the court. There are ten officials making calls at any moment (if I counted correctly), so there’s plenty of opportunity to blow a decision.

One of the most egregious moments occurred during the 2018 Ladies final pitting Serena Williams against Naomi Osaka. Serena lost her mind, and the match, after being penalized for allegedly receiving signals from a coach. She acted in an unsportsmanlike fashion. Even worse, the NYC crowd continued to support Serena, and actually booed when Naomi won points and the match. I was present and was mortified by the behavior of Serena and my fellow NYers.

Tennis has been able to garner huge purses for the major tournaments. And it’s one of the only sports that men and women receive the same compensation. For first place both receive $3.850 million if they win, notwithstanding the fact that the men must win 3 out 5 and the women 2 out of 3. It’s a tribute to those who manage the tournaments that equality has prevailed.

The dress code of tennis is bifurcated between Wimbledon and the French Open, and the US Open and the Australian Open. Whites are required at Wimbledon, and the French are not going to allow certain types of dress prospectively, inspired by Serena Williams’ cat suit incident. The latter tournaments have no strict dress code. Serena this year sported a black onesie that looked like a wrestler’s outfit.

There are other great issues surrounding tennis, but I’ll stop here. The next time, I will reconstruct Rafa Nadal’s routine before he serves and returns a serve that includes a very unattractive underwear pull.

Organized Religions Have Not Been A Positive Influence

Since the beginning of time, man has looked to the sky and considered whether there is a greater power. Religions around the world flourished, each with their own personification of God. It’s estimated that there are 4,200 religions, 12 of which account for 83% of the global population.

The question is, do organized religions actually make the world more peaceful and secure? In recent centuries religious fervor has not been a positive influence. Millions of innocent people have been slaughtered in the name of one god or another.

Too often, evildoers justify their nefarious actions with their religious beliefs. There are many different opinions about the applicability and true intent of religion. It is indisputable that “holy men” have played a great part in disrupting our lives.

Between 1045 and 1492 Catholics went on a rampage and attempted to convert or exterminate those who worshipped God in a different way.

Radical Islamists in the Middle East, to this day, target those that do not bow to Allah. They refer to their sacred scriptures in justifying violent actions.

The Catholic Church has let its followers down many times over the centuries since Jesus Christ walked on this Earth. And today we know that sinful and misguided priests abused many of those that depended upon them for spiritual guidance. The disclosures began with sexual assault of boys. Then we found out priests were violating female members of their flocks. Nuns were assaulted. Even rampant priest on priest abuse has occurred.

The most horrible aspect of these revelations is that priests represent God to their followers. And, they used their positions of power to sate their most salacious obsessions.

Equally distressing is the fact that leaders of the Church have protected known abusers and relocated them from parish to parish in a cover-up that endangered even more innocents. In the meantime priests were telling us that eating meat on Friday, missing mass on Sunday and using birth control were mortal sins punishable by eternal damnation.

The current pope, Francis, was advertised as a man of change and action, but he has been a horrible disappointment. Francis has been slow to respond to accusations of abuse, cover-ups and other atrocities mentioned earlier. His objective, and those of his predecessors, is clear: protect the Church at all costs.

Similar to his predecessors, Frances has not been moved by the need for global birth control to stabilize population growth and foster disease prevention. It’s continues to be a mortal sin to use birth control.

And he has broken his promise to be more tolerant by not overtly recognizing gay and lesbian marriage. The Church continues to proclaim these relationships are sinful and unnatural. It’s crystal clear that the pope was cut out of the same cloth as the conservatives who elevated him to pope.

In the Middle East, Shiites and Sunnis fight for dominance of Islam. Holy men instruct their followers to terrorize, disrupt and kill fellow Muslims, who pray to the same Allah. Instead of bringing Muslims around the world together in peace, officials of Islam are endorsing brother versus brother violence.

Shiite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia are in a death struggle to overtake the Middle East and then the entire world. The US has reluctantly sided with Sunnis rather than trying to find a path to peace with Iran.

Evangelists have been unwilling to support the domestic tidal wave that endorses equal rights for the L,G,B,T,Q,I,A community. There is no conceivable societal benefit to be derived from the prohibition of same sex marriages. Every American, in fact, every citizen of the world, should be free to find and marry the one that they love. To fight this tsunami of tolerance and good faith is doing nothing more than making our world a more hostile place.

Frankly I couldn’t be less interested in the opinions of religious leaders relating to politics. I don’t care what Pope Francis thinks about Donald Trump. The pope should be focusing on his own problems and not others. Holy men around the world must work more diligently to clean their own houses and preach love, respect and comity to their followers.

There are good reasons why the US adopted a policy of separation of church and state at the outset of our nation. America is great today because we know that religion does not mix well with politics.

 

 

Did The Stones Perform For The Last Time?

While most Floridians were tying to avoid Dorian last Friday, Ali and I tempted fate and flew directly into the teeth of the storm to see the Rolling Stones perform their version of geriatric rock and roll in Miami.

 

I was born in a cross-fire hurricane
And I howled at the morning driving rain
But it’s all right now, in fact, it’s a gas
But it’s all right. I’m Jumpin’ Jack Flash
It’s a gas, gas, gas.

 

Hard Rock Stadium was filled to the rafters with young and old rockers wearing tee shirts with red tongues. The average age of attendees has been going down in recent years even as Mick and company (and the writer) get older.

I saw my first Stones concert in 1969 while I was in college. Jagger was in his Omega Man mode. I was flabbergasted 50 years ago and have continued to be blown away at each of the 12 (or so) subsequent concerts I attended. Note: I’ve seen the band play in every decade since the 1960s.

What’s most incredible is that Jqgger is 76 years young and the other three Stones are in their mid to late 70s. And, Mick had to delay this concert tour to have a stent inserted into his aorta. It didn’t stop the old rocker from bringing down the house on every concert date.

My wife and I risked life and limb because this may very well be the last time the Stones perform. We didn’t want to take any chances, so we had to attend this last stop on the current tour. How long can the band rock on? The Stones seem intent on pushing the boundaries. Note: Last night Ali and I attended a Who concert. It’s been a rocking weekend. Don’t even ask me which band reined supreme.

What drives these old guys? It can’t be money. Jagger and Richards are purportedly worth in the hundreds of millions. An extra million or five certainly isn’t going to change their lifestyles.

No, it’s something else. For Jagger it’s got to be playing to and receiving the adulation of 50-100,000 rabid fans. And they are not all 60 year-old coots. There were many young people in attendance at the stadium. Keep in mind “Satisfaction” was released in 1965. That’s 54 years ago. It’s still a popular denouement to every performance along with “Gimme Shelter,” which was released in 1969.

So long as people around the world are willing to pay hundreds of dollars to see the Stones perform, and pay exorbitant prices for tee shirts and other paraphernalia, the Stones will persevere.

Back to the concert. Jagger (age 76) was not as spry as in other concerts I’ve attended. He still undulates and dances across the stage, but it’s with a tad less athleticism. Note: For an older guy, he is in remarkable physical condition. He still gets high marks for turning on the crowd. The more he gyrates sexually, the more the fans respond. Mick always seems to get particularly sexual during his duet during “Gimme Shelter.” Unfortunately I don’t have the name of the woman who performed last Friday. But ever since Merry Clayton played Jagger’s foil, it’s been a great moment at every concert. Guest singers have been numerous including Fergie a few years ago. Check it out on YouTube. It’s amazing.

Keith Richards (age 75) was solid as a rock, or should I say a stone. He was in the background most of the time, but he continues to be one of the all-time great rock guitarists. In the past concerts there was tension between Jagger and Richards. I saw none in this performance. After about 60 years the two mega stars have learned to live with and appreciate each other. One thing is that Richards is still trying to prove he can sing. Every concert has him doing a couple of songs. I think he should stick to his forte, just play guitar, Keith.

Ron Wood is the youngest Stone at 72. I met Ron and chatted with him at a New York restaurant a while back. He was very cordial and polite. Wood is still trying to live up to being a Stone. He’s been awarded a few songs where he is lead guitarist. It’s a futile mission playing second fiddle (I mean guitar) to the best rock showman of all time and a man who is one of the greatest guitarists in the world.

Charlie Watts, at 78, is the old man of the group. He’s quiet and content in his role as drummer. There seems to be great affection towards this excellent musician by the band.

In a nutshell, Ali and I had an amazing journey. We took a chance and everything worked out. The Stones changed the performance date from Saturday to Friday because of Dorian. I’ll bet not many of the original ticketholders missed the show.

Will the Stones play again? I hope so. If they do, be sure to attend.

 

Conservative Trolls Targeting Misdeeds Of Liberal Journalists

Supporters of President Trump have initiated an effort to expose individual members of the press for inappropriate slurs and acts by them in years past. Some of these Trump supporters believe that a war is underway between the president and the press, and what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

Is it fair that every statement made by the president going back decades can and has been used as fodder to discredit him, while some people accusing the president are guilty of similar racial, misogynistic and otherwise bigoted missteps? Should members of the press be immune from criticism and consequence? Should journalists be sheltered because the press as a group is protected by the Constitution? Are journalists above the law and generally accepted rules of society?

Note: This essay was inspired by a NY Times story titled “Trump’s Allies Scour Internet to Punish Press.”

The blowback by conservatives is clearly a vindictive response to unfair treatment of Trump and his allies; you know “fake news” and all that stuff. The Internet has been a treasure trove for journalists critical of Trump and his sycophants. When dirt is uncovered the Times, CNN, MSNBC, the major TV networks and late night TV are quick to air it. Now their opponents are looking for dirt online.

Just because the press is protected (and for good reason), does not mean reporters and commentators should forgiven for past deeds and inappropriate comments. All is fair game. Journalists and any one else are vulnerable for their history. Justice Brett Kavanaugh was lambasted for immature activities several decades earlier, so a racial slur by a respected journalist should not go unpunished or unmentioned regardless of the inevitable responses by their employers and friends. This is the new paradigm.

Some of those caught with their pants down, so to speak, are asking how a boyhood prank or comment in the locker room could result in losing their jobs. Well the Internet does not discriminate. If you post something untoward, it may bite you in the rear decades later, even if you are a journalist, corporate titan or a politician. But the hypocrisy of those who think they can criticize and be excused for the same indiscretions is laughable, and over. The Constitution will not save anyone hereafter.

Having said all this, the state of affairs existing between the liberal press and conservatives is shameful. Journalist traditions are being ignored every day by over zealous reporters who would do anything for a scoop and, more important, an opportunity to take down Trump. The things being written and said are too often not vetted, cruel, twisted and unfit for print. Moreover journalists frequently encourage sources to “talk” even if it is unethical or illegal to do so. Sources take all the risks while journalists hide behind the skirt of the Constitution. Newspapers are no longer sources of unbiased reporting. Most are bastions of one-sided commentary.

Trump says he has nothing to do with these gossip trolls that are exposing liberal members of the press. But, you can be sure that he loves their intentions.

The unseemly war between the administration and the press is taking this country to a new low. Both sides are responsible, and there is no end to it in sight.

Israeli Critics In Congress Shielded By NY Times

In an August 22 editorial titled “The Revival of an Anti-Semitic Canard,” the NY Times sought to blame Trump for increased violence against Jews by distorting facts.

The only line in the editorial that was constructive was at its conclusion. It read as follows: “The right road forward is for Democrats, and Republicans, to maintain strong support for democracy and liberal values, both in Israel and in the United States.” Note: The reference, however, to liberal values is puzzling.

Democrats inspired a Trump political assault when they refused to appropriately censor congresswomen that unabashedly denigrated Israel, its prime minister and its citizens. Inflammatory rhetoric over their short tenure in Congress, which has been well publicized, continues to be outright racist. After Democrat leaders balked at sanctioning the female legislators appropriately, two members of the so-called “Squad” thought they had carte blanche to spew even greater anti-Semitic venom.

Trump’s response, as usual, was over the top, but not inaccurate. Among other things, the president is taking advantage of the Democrats’ growing frustration with the Prime Minister and his close relationship to Trump. He believes voting for these congresswomen and the Democrats that shielded them is an insult to Israel. And these bigots and their allies should be ostracized.

As expected the Times took the opportunity to dredge up some old dirt- Trump’s words are dangerous, he demonizes minority groups and equivocates about white supremacy. And remarkably the editorial board associates hate crimes against Jews to Trump, even as he strongly supports the State of Israel- an unbelievably twisted perspective.

The Times said Trump speaks about Jews as “different from other Americans,” suggesting that their loyalties are divided. This is true. There are some Jews that provide unbridled support to Bibi Netanyahu’s strong reactions to terror and threats to Israel’s sovereignty, and some that object to Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.

The polarization that is growing among Jews certainly creates a dangerous situation. But Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are greatly responsible for fostering a backlash to Israel’s efforts to avoid annihilation by virtually every one of its neighbors in the Middle East.

The Times should be more careful about how it characterizes the affection that Trump and so many Americans have for Israel. Suddenly it has become politically incorrect to support and protect our most loyal ally in the world, even from members of Congress. Why would American voters allow freshmen, and terribly disruptive, congresswomen to influence Israeli policy?

 

 

Is Man Innately Violent?

After reading “Lord of the Flies by William Golding, I began to muse about the cruelty of man and the forces (internally and/or externally) that encourage him to act violently. Oddly, I kept thinking about President Trump as the story developed in my  mind.

Golding makes a strong case that man to a great extent is aggressive by nature (not nurture). In the 1954 published book, a band of young boys ranging from 8 to 12 are marooned on a deserted island after their plane crashed. Without the help of adults, they formed a makeshift society and struggled to keep order. The author wants us to think they are not old enough to have been taught to be barbaric and un-empathetic. In a nutshell the boys separated into to two groups. Anarchy and violence prevailed. It’s Golding’s point that the boy’s behavior was caused by their DNA, and not anything they could have learned during their short lives to that point.

In J.D. Salinger’s classic,  “The Catcher in the Rye,” the protagonist, Holden Caulfield, was greatly influenced by his schooling and upbringing. The morale of the story is that Holden learned to be rebellious and antisocial (nurture).

Back to the “Flies.” Ralph was elected to be the chief of the young boys over Jack. The contenders were the oldest and strongest of the crew, another Golding reference to governing with strength. Over time, Jack’s more aggressive style enabled him to assume leadership of the makeshift society and violence abounded.

Americans have always been attracted to strong and combative leaders. In fact some say that one can’t be a great president unless he or she negotiates and wins a war. Until recently smaller nations throughout the world were attracted to and allied with countries that were world leaders. Pacts were formed and powerful nations protected smaller ones. In today’s world power exerted over others is anathema.

Nationalism, even for smaller countries, has become more prevalent.  Of course the Nazis before World War II practiced the most radical form of nationalism. In assuming power, Hitler convinced Germans to support him in condemning six million Jews. Was this despicable strategy reflective of an innate character trait of Hitler and his minions? Why didn’t the German people object to their leader’s genocidal strategy?

In the US, the citizenry has become more political and bellicose than in earlier eras.  What has caused this phenomenon? Is America now a place where people only get ahead by viciously attacking their opponents? Do Americans, as a group, have DNA that makes us more aggressive in times of crisis and confrontation, or are we teaching our children to be violent adults? Before you answer, consider Harry Truman’s decision to drop two nuclear bombs on Japan killing hundreds of thousands of innocents. Was Truman a hero or a cold-blooded murderer? In a few days he incinerated many people in a way that was reminiscent of the Holocaust.

I’m sure Truman rued the day he was elected president as he made his decision whether to continue to fight Japan with conventional weapons or use weapons of mass destruction.

The bad blood in Congress and throughout our society is taking a toll. Republicans and Democrats are on the verge of going to war on some of the most controversial issues.

Gun advocates are arming themselves for a showdown with gun control proponents. They seem to be willing to kill other Americans to secure the arsenals in their homes.

Right to lifers are just as passionate about saving every fetus from an untimely end. Yet abortionists are more focused on the rights of a woman to choose. Are these groups prepared to do combat with each other?

Many in America are unhappy with the snap decisions made by police officers doing their jobs during dangerous interaction with felons. Some Americans say cops are biased against people of color. They say cops are too quick to use force in their communities. The cops say the use of deadly measures is the only way to protect innocents. Now many officers are hesitant to respond to dangers affecting our society.

And finally there is Donald Trump. No president has been blamed for more things than our current leader. But he is belligerent and prepared to use force if necessary (maybe too quick for some Americans). Who taught the man that unfiltered rhetoric and the use of violence are the best ways to govern a great country? Or is it in his DNA to act this way.

There are too many people in the world who want to kill others that look different, pray different and have larger houses. How should America deal with this situation? Should we draw upon our most basic instincts and kill the evildoers? Or should we be applying diplomacy?

In 2020 we will elect a president that will need to answer these questions.

Epstein Was Plagued By Insects, Rodents And Sewerage

It may not be politically correct, but I cannot ignore the  conditions Jeffrey Epstein was subjected to during his final days.

Articles about Epstein depict abhorrent sanitary conditions in the facility in New York City where he was incarcerated. Insects, rodents, standing water from toilets certainly had an  impact on Epstein’s state of mind and possibly encouraged him to take his life. He arranged to meet with his attorneys all day long to avoid spending time in his filthy cell.

Don’t misread my feelings about Epstein. If even a few of the allegations made against him are true, he deserved to spend the balance of his life behind bars. The man allegedly trafficked scores of young girls in a sex scandal qualifying him as “scumbag of the decade.” Preying on girls, presumably with some of his good buddies, is not an activity that the police and FBI should sweep under the rug. It’s imperative that the entire sordid affair be investigated and made public in spite of Epstein’s death.

It ‘s also extremely important that the horrible conditions that prisoners, American citizens, must endure as they pay their debts to society improve. To say that killers, rapists, kidnappers and other assorted felons are not entitled to humane treatment regardless of their crimes is an injustice.

I can’t help but wonder whether conditions at GITMO, where terrorists are incarcerated, are as horrible as the facility  in downtown New York. Remember the GITMO crowd consists of mostly terrorists who are not American citizens. Reportedly they receive treatment far better than our own convicts. All people incarcerated by the US should have a clean environment as they do their time.

The Epstein affair calls into question the manner in which convicts are treated throughout the US in city, state and federal facilities. Incarceration for serious crimes should mean hard time, but cleanliness and safety must be a  priority if the country is going to claim that we respect the rights and liberties of everyone.

Democrats Will Be Crushed In 2020

Democrats will likely be crushed in the 2020 presidential elections. It has become crystal clear that current liberal ideology of the party will not seduce voters. The move to the left in the primaries by Democrats is too radical for the majority of America.

Here are reasons why President Trump and many Republican candidates will ultimately prevail.

Bernie Sanders is an ineffective curmudgeon who has been lauding the benefits of socialism for years. He has no chance to win the presidential nomination or the general election. Republicans have effectively labeled Sanders a socialist, a characterization that might be attractive to idealistic young people and those who hate America, but one that mainstream America will not accept. Virtually all of Sanders’ compatriots have swung far left.

The US is not receptive to a political persuasion that vilifies capitalism, exceptionalism and the American dream. By emphasizing these things, Republicans will win over most Americans.

Impeachment threats and the continuation of investigations relating to Russia and obstruction of justice by the Trump administration are losing battles.

Everyone accepts the fact that Russia interfered in our 2016 elections. But most Americans, including Robert Mueller, don’t believe Trump colluded with Russia in that effort. This myth gives Trump and his fledgling campaign too much credit. Neither Trump nor his inexperienced and naïve minions were capable of masterminding a conspiracy of such dimensions with Russian operatives.

Proving obstruction of justice is virtually impossible. Trump has never hidden his feelings that he wanted to fire Comey, Mueller, DOJ incompetents and assorted other Trump haters.

But, the important issue is that an impeachment vote will go nowhere even if the House passes it. The Senate will not vote to oust Trump, similar to what transpired with Bill Clinton. In fact the impeachment of Clinton helped him win the next presidential election. The same will hold true of Trump, as he will effectively become a martyr if impeachment is successful.

Health care reform has become the greatest bug-a-boo for Democrats. Their great hero, Barack Obama tried unsuccessfully to reform health care. He spent trillions and did nothing other than confuse Americans with a poorly derived plan and poor execution.

Why would Americas give Democrats a mulligan to spend $30 trillion over ten years to finance a one-payer health care system? Even the most unsophisticated members of our country can understand that such an exorbitant amount is almost three times the current deficit.

Some Americans are wondering why Democrats are so intent on opening our border, incurring huge costs and increasing the number of illegal aliens when so many Americans cannot make ends meet. The country has already allowed 10-15 million illegals into the US.

Adding another 5-10 million more will only worsen the financial, social and political stress in border states. In the meantime, homelessness and need among American citizens increases every day. The bottom line is that America cannot be a safe haven for people worldwide.

Democrats have proven time and again that they are incapable of negotiating effectively across the aisle. The gun control controversy is a perfect example of this situation.

Republicans, influenced by repeated mass murders, are now ready to accept “red flags,” which identify deranged individuals that are in possession of firearms, and licensing of guns. The response from Democrats is that it is not enough. They are correct that “it is not enough,” but why not accept a deal that would make it a bit safer for innocent Americans?

To say they want a ban of automatic and military weapons is understandable, but it is too much to ask for at this time. Democrats should make the red flag and license deal, and then pursue banning automatic weapons later. Gun control is not going to be settled in one election cycle. It can only be done effectively incrementally.

There are other reasons why many think Democrats are losers in 2020. The threat of Democratic administration to our economy, the age of top liberal candidates and the failure of Democrats to solve urban problems are just a few of them.

But the most damaging issue, to reiterate, is the hard left attitude of Democrats. Ironically a moderate Democrat would have a real chance to defeat Trump, but unfortunately he or she could not win in the primaries.

Stupid Politics

On the heels of the latest shooting incidents, our leaders are not responding the way politicians have before them.

After a tragedy as great as 9/11 and others that are equally horrible, but smaller in scope, our leaders always call for unity among Americans. We set aside politics to help those impacted by despicable acts of violence. Today, the protocols have changed.

It’ obvious to everyone that our president’s sensibilities are not what we expect from our leaders. And it would be a waste of time to try to convince anyone that this is not the case. His rhetoric is understandably interpreted as racist, nationalist, sexist and all the other “ist” characterizations. But to blame Trump for violent actions of lone wolf shooters, who are obviously mentally disturbed, is taking it too far.

In fact the president went out of his way to denigrate white supremacists, and the hatred and violence they have come to represent. How can Trump’s political opponents attribute all the senseless violence in America and elsewhere in the world to our leader?

It’s as if there is no history before Trump was elected three years ago. I’ve been around long enough to know that racist, nationalistic and sexist behavior preceded Trump by quite a few years.

And to use references to Nazis and their leader to describe the president . . . It’s no wonder Trump is so quick to respond on social media. It would be more effective to avoid counter-punching especially when accusations and character attacks become grotesquely cartoonish, but this is not going to happen.

Keep in mind, there is a Democratic primary under way. And, all the players believe that being the most socialistic, radical and offensive relating to Republicans is a pathway to the White House. It’s so out of control that this political strategy is going to give Trump another four years.

The latest comments from the left directed at the president were warnings to stay away from areas affected by the two most recent shootings. It is every president’s responsibility to ease the pain and suffering of Americans that experience terrorism and hardships. If Trump didn’t go to Texas and Ohio, he would have been lambasted. Yet local leaders told the president to stay away. Is this good politics?

To blame the violence of single shooters on the president and tell him he is not welcome to places where Americans are mourning is beyond the pale. Middle of the road voters will punish Democrats for this breach of tradition.

There has been growing consensus among politicians on both sides of the aisle to address gun control. Red flags, absconding weapons from individuals who are mentally unstable, and gun licensing are now in play. Trump has indicated he would support some type of legislation in these regards. How did Democrats respond (in particular Chuck Schumer)? They said it’s not enough.

It isn’t enough, but to pass on an opportunity to make Americans a little safer is idiotic. And, why not grab what you can on this contentious issue? Gun control will be amended incrementally over time, if at all.