Free Speech: From the Horse’s Mouth (and it depends on which horse)

Here’s a simple explanation against the argument that the impeachment hearing violates the former President’s First Amendment rights.

If a police officer says, in a speech, that he only arrests black people because they commit the most crimes, he may have a first amendment right to say it, but it would clearly violate his duties as a sworn officer.

If a doctor says, in a speech, that he won’t treat Jews because they killed Jesus Christ he may have a first amendment right to say it, but it would clearly violate his Hippocratic oath and licensure as a doctor.

If I say, in a speech, all women should obey the men in their lives because men know better (I would, of course, say this silently in the presence of my wife and daughter) I may have a first amendment right to say it, but it would clearly violate common sense.

Each example may be constitutionally protected and, more important, few people would pay attention to the point of the pronouncements, but they would be rightfully concerned about the context and position of the person making them. (Except mine, of course, my wife and daughter would just ignore me.)

The difference is a police officer, doctor, or any other person can hold and express anything they like when acting as private citizens if they act within the law. If they translate these protected speech statements into actions in their employment or position, there are legal consequences.

The President of the United States is never a private citizen while he holds the office. Everything he says, he says as the President and it implies infinitely more significance than statements from ordinary American citizens.

If the President enjoyed unfettered First Amendment rights, then he could announce an intention to fire nuclear weapons against the county of East Japeepee with no concern for the reaction of the East Japeepeeians.

If they launched a pre-emptive strike against us, it would be because they hate our freedom and our First Amendment rights.

Which leads us to the Impeachment trial. Getting past the raw emotions of what happened that day (as a former police officer I felt only rage for the attack on those officers and, frankly, I am in awe of their restraint. Some officers I know might have opened fire at such a threat) we need examine the President’s speech in the context of not just that moment but with the understanding of what led the crowd there in the first place.

A Lie

A bold faced fabrication intended to subvert the Constitution.

And more critically, a lie spread by the President of the United States that the election was stolen from him. And if one wants to argue the President of the United States can lie to the American public because he has a First Amendment right to do so, one risks the consequences.

Consequences that played out in the halls of Congress.

Or if one argues that it is not a lie if the President believed it to be true, somehow delusional does not seem a good characteristic for the President of the United States.

The speech by the President on January 6th wasn’t the reason the mob attacked the Capitol; it was merely the starter’s gun signaling the beginning. Mr. Trump lit the fuse on the artillery he had primed, loaded, and aimed at our country.

One last point, and this is telling, from the moment the mob stormed the Capitol until the President made any effort to dissuade the mob, he did nothing for hours. Hours while US Capitol Police officers were being attacked, assaulted, and murdered by a mob he unleashed.

Even if one accepts the premise that the President never intended his speech to spark an attack, he did nothing to mitigate it once it began. Actions, or in this case inactions, speak volumes. If he never intended them to attack Congress, why did he do nothing?

One can draw a reasonable inference from the President’s failure to take swift and bold action.

Can you imagine what would have happened had not the US Capitol Police and the Secret Service acted as quickly as they did to protect the Vice President and the members of Congress? There is no doubt in my mind that the frenzied crowd—driven by weeks of the President’s own exhortations that the Vice President could change the results of the election, had they seized Mr. Pence (after the Secret Service ran out of ammunition killing who knows how many)—would have executed the Vice President and anyone else the President sent them after.

Now there’s a legacy of Making America Great Again one could point to with pride.

As part optimist, I believe there is a chance that enough Senators will do what’s right as opposed to what is politically expedient. As part realist, I have little reason to believe it will happen.

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And on the Seventh Day, Joe Biden Ruined…

It would seem we have another story like Genesis on our hands. Joe Biden has been President for just about seven days and, according to those stalwart supporters of the “good ‘ole days” when Mr. Trump was President, and everything was perfect—kind of like Eden before the snake arrived and stole the election—Mr. Biden has singlehandedly ruined the country.

IN JUST 7 DAYS.  (I gave him inauguration day off since it took time for him to get inside, find pens, and create these proclamations for disaster.) The last time something this dramatic took seven days…well, never mind.

This is a quote from one response to a Facebook post I made (“That sound was a collective sigh of relief echoing across the country…”) after the inauguration, but it reflects the tone of many.

 It would seem those who didn’t support Mr. Biden see a looming disaster that began January 20th, 2021, at 12:00 P.M. (unlike the previous exit from paradise, we know the exact time this apocalypse began.) According to these visionaries of the future, Mr. Biden has caused the following,

“…gas and heating oil are on the rise, the stock market is going down, not tanking, but going down.
  Women’s sports will now be dominated by men, taxes are on the rise, China can now control our power grid if they feel like it, for Joey gave the access, the cost for a family to purchase an EpiPen for their child will now double thanks to Biden’s EO so that Senator Manchin’s (D- W. Virginia) daughter can go back to scalping those that need it.  Add insulin to that equation, I don’t know who benefits from that, and there are others, but I think we’ve done enough sighing in relief for now…”

Facebook reponses

These are statements lacking context, supporting evidence, or any actual proof, just conjecture, opposition talking points, or expectations based on innate disagreement with anything in opposition to their position.

 I have no idea what the future holds, although I am more optimistic about it, but I thought I’d address each item as best I could and see if there was any truth to the assumptions.

Gas and heating oil are on the rise

February 17, 2020 the retail average price of gas was $2.518/gallon
(at the cusp of the pandemic)
April 27, 2020 the retail average price of gas was $1.87/gallon
(Low point for the year)
January 25, 2021 the retail average price of gas was $2.478/gallon

Using the same benchmark (adjusted for seasonal changes) for oil,

February 17, 2020 $2.899/gallon, March 30 $2,41/gallon, January
25, 2021 $2.575/gallon
(https://ycharts.com/indicators/us_residential_heating_oil_price
and https://ycharts.com/indicators/us_gas_price)

So this contention is correct, gas and oil prices (adjusted for seasonal use) have been rising since Spring 2020 (pre-Biden) which means little. There is a glut on the market because of falling demand related to the pandemic, production by OPEC countries is in flux, uncertainty in the Gulf creates price variations.

In other words, it ain’t that simple.

It remains to be seen what effect Mr. Biden’s Executive Orders regarding oil and gas leases on Federal Land and offshore will have on the economy. I would argue the overall risk to the environment outweighs the negative economic costs. Existing markets will adapt, or new ones arise.

In an interesting development, General Motors announced they would eliminate gas powered automobiles from the production line by 2035 and all their vehicles would be carbon neutral by 2040. Nothing says America like Baseball, Hotdogs, Apple Pie, and Green-energy Chevrolet.

Economics 101 says gains will mitigate losses. Mr. Trump once touted the return of the coal industry as a gem of his economic plan. But the realities of the market mitigated any huge growth. It wouldn’t work because it couldn’t work economically. (https://ycharts.com/indicators/us_coal_production)

Stock market is going down, not tanking, but going down

So if we look at the chart below, the market has been trending up—Gasp! Say it ain’t so—since 2009 under President Obama and Vice President Biden when they came into office after the crash of 2008. This trend continued under Mr. Trump.

It is a bit premature to write the obituary on the economy and I would caution, as I often have, that much of what happens in the market does so despite any actions by the President not because of them.

Dow Jones Industrial Average – Historical
Annual Data
YearAverage
Closing Price
Year OpenYear HighYear LowYear CloseAnnual
% Change
202130,867.9530,223.8931,188.3830,223.8930,603.36-0.01%
202026,890.6728,868.8030,606.4818,591.9330,606.487.25%
201926,379.5523,346.2428,645.2622,686.2228,538.4422.34%
201825,046.8624,824.0126,828.3921,792.2023,327.46-5.63%
201721,750.2019,881.7624,837.5119,732.4024,719.2225.08%
201617,927.1117,148.9419,974.6215,660.1819,762.6013.42%
201517,587.0317,832.9918,312.3915,666.4417,425.03-2.23%
201416,777.6916,441.3518,053.7115,372.8017,823.077.52%
201315,009.5213,412.5516,576.6613,328.8516,576.6626.50%
201212,966.4412,397.3813,610.1512,101.4613,104.147.26%
201111,957.5711,670.7512,810.5410,655.3012,217.565.53%
201010,668.5810,583.9611,585.389,686.4811,577.5111.02%
20098,885.659,034.6910,548.516,547.0510,428.0518.82%
200811,244.0613,043.9613,058.207,552.298,776.39-33.84%
 
https://www.macrotrends.net/1358/dow-jones-industrial-average-last-10-years
 

Women’s sports will now be dominated by men

This one threw me. If this somehow relates to transgender issues it is complete nonsense. Here’s something I wrote in an earlier piece. (https://joebroadmeadowblog.com/2021/01/26/your-bias-is-showing/)

“What I came to learn is transgender is a more colloquial term for a wide-ranging variety of conditions. One specific condition, which it would seem is the heart of such protective actions, and the foundation for a Supreme Court case which I will mention shortly, is Gender Dysphoria.

Gender dysphoria is the feeling of discomfort or distress that might occur in people whose gender identity differs from their sex assigned at birth or sex-related physical
characteristics.

Transgender and gender-nonconforming people might experience gender dysphoria at some point in their lives. But not everyone is affected. Some transgender and gender-nonconforming people feel at ease with their bodies, either with or without medical intervention.

Gender dysphoria is a diagnosis listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5); a manual published by the American Psychiatric Association to diagnose mental
conditions. This term is intended to be more descriptive than the one that was previously used, gender identity disorder. The term gender dysphoria focuses on one’s discomfort as the problem, rather than identity. A diagnosis for gender dysphoria was created to help people get access to necessary health care and effective treatment.” (https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gender-dysphoria/symptoms-causes/syc-20475255#:)”

I am fairly certain we won’t see the next Lebron James in a dress heading into a WNBA locker room or a women’s soccer team needing a shave any time soon.

Taxes are on the rise

Taxes for some segment of the population may increase. Mr. Trump’s tax cuts have done little to stimulate the economy, allowed the wealthy and companies to buy back stocks and increase the share prices (which of course positively affects the stock market though not equitably), and increased the national debt.

Compounded by the pandemic—something not caused by Mr. Trump, but I would argue so poorly handled that the problem was amplified—and the need for the economic stimulus bills, revenue has to come from somewhere and a revision of the Tax code may be necessary.

China can now control our power grid if they feel like it, for Joey gave them access

A bold, daring, apocalyptic, and factually inaccurate description of what Biden’s Executive Order does. The order does impact Mr. Trump’ earlier executive order entitled, Executive Order 13920 of May 1, 2020 Securing the United States Bulk-Power System.  The superseding order suspends the prior order for 90 days. It doesn’t revoke it, but includes the following provision, 

“The Secretary of Energy and the Director of [Office of Management and Budget] shall jointly consider whether to recommend that a replacement order be issued.”
Biden’s order https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2021-01-25/pdf/2021-01765.pdf
Trump’s Order https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-05-04/pdf/2020-09695.pdf

Prescription Drug Costs

“…the cost for a family to purchase an EpiPen for their child will now double thanks to Biden’s EO so that Senator Manchin’s (D- W. Virginia) daughter can go back to scalping those that need it. Add insulin to that
equation, I don’t know who benefits from that, and there are others…”

Facebook post response

Here is a link to the Executive Order which does no such thing as raise the price on anything. Instead, it freezes for review any such prior orders to insure they comply with the policies of the new administration and their goal of a reinstatement of the Affordable Care Act and improvement or adjustments to the program as part of their overall strategy. https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/01/20/regulatory-freeze-pending-review/

You may think this will fail, but that’s different than contending it already has.

This leads us predictably to a discussion about why US drug prices are so much higher than other countries.

Key Findings: U.S. Drug Prices Significantly Higher than
All 11 Other Countries • The U.S. pays the most for drugs, though prices varied
widely. • U.S. drug prices were nearly four times higher than average prices
compared to similar countries. • U.S. consumers pay significantly
more for drugs than other countries, even when accounting for rebates. •
The U.S. could save $49 billion annually on Medicare Part D alone by using
average drug prices for comparator countries.
(House Document)

Once again, this is a complex topic and, it would seem, Republicans have been leading the charge in blocking any meaningful changes to address the issue. As usual, the devil lies in the details.

“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said he won’t hold a vote on a House-passed bill supported by Democrats that would require the federal government to negotiate lower prices for some
drugs covered by Medicare. 
He is also reluctant to hold a vote on a separate bipartisan bill, sponsored by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa),
that would limit the price increases drug companies typically make every year.” https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/477604-drug-price-outrage-threatens-to-be-liability-for-gop

In the interest of full disclosure, the Democrats walked away from negotiations on the bi-partisan legislation for purely political reasons. They saw the Republican reluctance to address the issue as a political liability and election vulnerability they could exploit. Politics can be an ignoble endeavor, but it doesn’t alter the fact that Biden’s Executive Order didn’t cause the price of EpiPen or insulin to rise.
Rather, the EO seeks to consolidate their policy goals into crafting an effective universal health plan for all Americans and addressing price of prescription drugs.

Now before the usual attack on the source of this information ensues, a search of senate.gov. and house.gov and the Federal Register reveals no significant legislation affecting drug costs. Interestingly enough, one of the few Republicans pushing for such legislation was none other than former President Donald J. Trump.

So there you have it, my take on each of the “issues” raised by the comments about my post.  Challenge each point and I’ll be happy to post it to my blog for all to review and comment.

P.S. If this is perceived as being divisive, I apologize. My intent is to spur rational discussion not rabid reactions. (No, really, it is.)

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Everyone has a story to tell, let us help you share it with the world. We turn publishing dreams into a reality. For more information and manuscript submission guidelines contact us at info@jebwizardpublishing.com or 401-533-3988.

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Irenic vs. Chthonic: What’s in a Word?

A recent piece in the National Review (Biden’s Inauguration Speech Was a Lot Like Trump’s) caught my eye. I’ll leave it to you to read it, but the author bemoans the lack of media cynicism depending on which party is in power.

The author substitutes his own cynicism in his take on Presidential Inaugural addresses since he sees no such criticism by others. He sees a similarity in the speeches regardless of who is making it.

Otherwise, for incoming presidents, the formula is this one:
Whew, things are really bad out there, huh? Way worse than they are telling you.
Luckily, I have all the answers. (Details TK.)
It’s too bad we’re always quarreling. It would be better if we could all unite. Er, behind me.
Now pardon me as I wield the cross* like Father Merrin and wrap myself in the flag like Rocky IV. (*Some Democrats omit this part.)

Kyle Smith, National Review “Biden’s Speech Was a Lot Like Trump’s”
30 Things You Didn't Know About the 5 Exorcist Movies
The Exorcist

I think he has a valid point, to a point, but media cynicism, like everything else it would seem, is as partisan in its nature as is almost everything else.

I would argue, and I bet he would agree, there was a great deal of media cynicism with Mr. Trump and, as his article illustrates, we will see a similar cynicism over Mr. Biden. The only difference is the perceived bias of the media outlet involved.

I will also say this, Mr. Biden can use the sins of the previous administration as an excuse only for so long. He is now the President and, whatever the cause of the issues he faces, he must deal with them. Let history assign blame. We need solutions not an autopsy of prior policy actions by a no longer in power President.

But I digress.

The author also injects a couple of interesting words that, for most people, including me, might be unfamiliar. Now I am a big fan of expanding vocabularies. I take some perverse pleasure whenever someone says they had to look up a word in something I write. But such efforts need be used judiciously, no matter how much fun they may be. (I am looking for a way to interject Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia (the fear of long words) into a piece, but it will have to wait.)

In the piece, the author described the difference in the media’s portrayal of the two speeches by claiming,

“Biden offered an olive branch to those who didn’t vote for him while Trump rained hellfire. Biden was irenic, Trump chthonic.”

ibid (look it up!)

Irenic and chthonic? Again, I will defer to the ingenuity of the reader to find the meaning. But it gave me pause. Are such challenges to one’s internal dictionary worthwhile or worthless?

There was a famous duel of words between William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway, two of the most brilliant writers of the 20thcentury.

Ernest Hemingway: he has no courage, has never crawled out on a limb. He has never been known to use a word that might cause the reader to check with a dictionary to see if it is properly used.

William Faulkner on Hemingway

Hemingway punched back by stating that he did not need “ten-dollar words.”

Perhaps they are both right; sometimes simple is best, sometimes challenging is best.

Now the article makes another valid point. Presidents always say similar things at their inauguration, it falls upon us is to hold them to it and measure the promises at the beginning with the reality four years later.

I will leave it to your imagination my opinion of Mr. Trump’s four years. And I hope I can point to the first four years of the Biden Presidency and recognize promises kept, but that remains to be seen and, despite what I am certain will be a round of cynicism from some, I shall be forthright in my analysis.

One thing is certain, much of what a President can or cannot do is mitigated by Congress. Here is an example of my cynicism; one thing motivates most members of Congress, re-election. They spend thirty to forty percent of their time raising money to achieve that goal.

Rep. David Jolly, R-Fla, claimed that in a closed-door party meeting they were told their first responsibility was to raise $18,000 per day. Think about that for a moment. $18,000 a day. Any business with 535 employees bringing in at least $18,000 a day would do well. But in this case, none of the money goes to the employer, it merely sustains the employee. (60 Minutes)

This is what Presidential promises run up against, a stone wall if the agenda doesn’t support the efforts of Congress to stay in their job.

We need to pay attention to what people say and what they do to further those promises.

Sometimes, words fade into history because of what actually happened. In one of his lesser-known quotes, Abraham Lincoln said.

“If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. What I do about slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save this Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. 

Abraham Lincoln

What if Lincoln saved the Union without going to war and freeing the slaves? How different would our perception of him be? Or perhaps, and here is the cynicism creeping in, he said this to placate those less fervent for Emancipation to buy himself time to free the slaves once he had garnered sufficient support.

The point being, while words matter, actions matter more, yet actions are often dictated by forces and realities outside our control. One might think of an inaugural address as a battle plan. And, as anyone who has been in combat will tell you, the first casualty in a battle is the plan.

Thus Mr. Biden has set an ambitious plan. And the plan faces challenges not just from outside forces but from our own elected officials driven to surviving in office more than doing the people’s work.

If power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely, then the money that funds the quest for power is the poison coursing through their veins.

Joe Broadmeadow

As an aside, now that the dust has settled to some measure on the events of January 6th, the impending impeachment trial, while demanded by that incident, will yield nothing more than a reinforcement of our partisan divide.

If convicting Mr. Trump assured their reelection, the vote would be 100 to 0, and the same if finding him not guilty. Securing re-election is the only sure way to Congressional compromise.

This impeachment is a necessary exercise, but likely a futile one. Once they finish, we should turn our attention to fixing the broken system rather than seeking vengeance through a partisan infected system on those who trampled on the seat of government. If power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely, then the money that funds the quest for power is the poison coursing through their veins.

Despite my cynicism, I have faith that the four-year experiment in changing the status quo in Washington will be recognized as a failure and inspire a new generation of civic minded Americans to work within the system to change it, for that is the only way change happens for the better.

Anything else is anarchy.

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JEBWizard Publishing (www.jebwizardpublishing.com) is a hybrid publishing company focusing on new and emerging authors. We offer a full range of customized publishing services.

Everyone has a story to tell, let us help you share it with the world. We turn publishing dreams into a reality. For more information and manuscript submission guidelines contact us at info@jebwizardpublishing.com or 401-533-3988.

Signup here for our mailing list for information on all upcoming releases, book signings, and media appearances.

A Conundrum for 2024

Under the category “It Couldn’t Get Any Stranger, Could it?” I have proof it has.

Donald Trump, in his quest to alter reality, through his legal eagle lawyer, filed a case (in the wrong court mind you) entitled

Donald Trump For President, INC. et.al.
v.
USA

Docket number 1:2020cv01567

Yes, you read that correctly. The President of the United States sued America. He is suing us!

It’s like being sued by your child, only worse.

How this is part of the plan to Make America Great Again is anybody’s guess.

Here’s an image of the case from the Federal Claims Court

Shortly after the court stopped laughing, they ordered the matter transferred to the US District Court in Michigan. Then they started laughing again.

Recognizing this might be a bad thing, and after taking the wrapping off his Federal Rules of Procedures and looking for a hint, his lawyer said “Oops” and filed a motion to dismiss.

Which, in between giggling, snickering, and wiping tears from their eyes, the court granted.

This legal circus is all a smokescreen for the real intent. If Mr. Trump doesn’t know he has less chance of winning any legal challenges to this election than a Russian opposition candidate has in challenging Vladimir Putin (and living to talk about it) he is a fool.

But we know he is not a fool, he is a scam artist. The President formed the Official Election Defense Fund. Ostensibly to challenge the election results.

Wrong!

The devil is in the details (and in Mar-a-Lago last I heard altering his golf scorecards to qualify for the Pro Tour.)

It would seem that any donation above $8,333 can go to fighting the results, however 60% of the donations go to a recently formed PAC which is barred from using funds for such purposes.

They can, lo and behold, be used to promote a run in 2024, or, perhaps, for a defense fund should one be needed in the near future.

Our worst nightmare, they are plotting a return. George Orwell had the date wrong. Not 1984 but 2024.

This raises an interesting question. I’d ask his lawyer but I’m not sure he’s read criminal procedure yet either.

Will President Trump, since he is eligible for another term as President, have to seek permission from his Parole Officer to leave the state every time he wishes to hold a rally?

Inquiring minds want to know…

Funny & Tricky Questions - Home | Facebook

Just kidding…I know it will be too soon for him to be on Parole.

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Just Shut Up, Mr. President

There are indeed, in the present corruption of mankind, many incitements to forsake truth: the need of palliating our own faults and the convenience of imposing on the ignorance or credulity of others so frequently occur; so many immediate evils are

Samuel Johnson

Under normal circumstances, I abhor rude behavior. But these are anything but normal circumstances.

The one consistent aspect of American Democracy, one that many nations seek to emulate, is our peaceful transfer of power after an election. In every election, there are winners and losers, but this is not a sports contest.

Winning is not the only thing.

After an election, for the Presidency in particular, a candidate should shed his political persona, release his particular partisan label, and transition from a Democrat or Republican to an American President.

With the defeat of an incumbent, this peaceful transition and metamorphosis to the Presidency are even more critical. But Mr. Trump is anything but tradition or honor-bound.

 Since the inception of his candidacy for his first term, Mr. Trump raged about invisible forces arrayed against him. He claimed that there was massive voter fraud in the 2016 election without one scintilla of evidence and blamed it for his loss of the popular vote.

He even formed a commission to root out this fraud. After a year of tilting at windmills, this commission found nothing.

Now, on the cusp of defeat, facing an even larger percentage of the popular vote against him and the imminent loss in the Electoral College, Mr. Trump spews more of the same vitriol and lies. He rants about voter fraud, demands the stopping of vote counting (at least where he’s ahead, although the number is dwindling), threatens to use “his” Supreme Court, and pours fuel on the flames of falsehoods and lies.

It would seem the hope to see him seize his ultimate moment, take this opportunity to untarnish his place in history, demonstrate some sense of honor and respect for the sanctity of the office and the election process, is too much to ask.

When people like me speak, few people listen. Even those with broad public personas rarely garner much attention. But when a President speaks, the entire world listens.

When countries worldwide, who once saw the stability of our government transition as a symbol of hope, see a President unhinged and out of touch with reality, it causes great consternation.

The German Foreign Minister had this to say about the situation.

“America is more than a one-man show. Anyone who continues to pour oil on the fire in a situation like this is acting irresponsibly. Now is the time to keep a cool head until an independently determined result is available.”

Germany, a country that knows a thing or two about the dangers of usurping free elections, and one of our strongest allies, has reason to be concerned for the American Government’s vitality.

When an American President speaks, particularly in crisis times, the world could take most of what they said at face value. The world imbues the Presidency with credibility. But, with this President, such credibility has long ago evaporated.

By prattling on making claims of widespread voter fraud, by misconstruing the counting of mail-in ballots as “newly discovered,” by inciting the raw passions of those of his followers too ignorant or disinclined to look for the truth, Mr. Trump is committing a crime.

new york statue of liberty usa monument
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

He is inciting to riot those Americans who support him and see no need to respect the process. He is inciting violence and discord, which could tear this country apart. He is on the verge of causing significant damage to a country he claimed he would make great again.

When the final count was done in 2016, we accepted Mr. Trump as the President. While I may have found little he did as President of any real value, I never questioned the process’s legitimacy. It is the Electoral College that selects the President. While the popular vote is something worth noting, it is merely a footnote to the decision.

Mr. Trump should just let the process proceed. Suppose he, or his supporters, find any reliable evidence of voter fraud or other apparent violations of the law. In that case, he should bring it to the American people and present it to the courts.

Until then, for sake of this country and the continuity of this American experiment, I beg you.

Please just shut up, Mr. President.

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JEBWizard Publishing (www.jebwizardpublishing.com) is a hybrid publishing company focusing on new and emerging authors. We offer a full range of customized publishing services.

Everyone has a story to tell, let us help you share it with the world. We turn publishing dreams into a reality. For more information and manuscript submission guidelines contact us at info@jebwizardpublishing.com or 401-533-3988.

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Where Are the Best and Brightest?

When did our choices for public office go from the Best and the Brightest to the Rest and the Blighted? Forcing us to pick our poison. To make our decision based not on vision, or ideas, or policies for the future, but on who will do the least amount of damage to the country.

How did it come to this?

While in this case the choice is clear—a deranged and dangerous would-be potentate with delusions of grandeur all out of proportions to any innate abilities or a kindly, old, but experienced statesman past his prime—it begs the question.

Why?

How is it we cannot find a Joe Biden of twenty years ago? Or a John Kennedy? Or a Dwight David Eisenhower? Or, more troubling, why would the candidacy of a woman almost certainly be doomed to failure because she is a woman?

Where are the candidates of experience, character, and, despite the uncertainties of life, of an age able to offer years of service without the approaching concerns of the inevitable? Why is it we limit our choices to people at the very cusp of their life expectancy?

We put a minimum age of thirty-five to be President, thirty to be a Senator, and twenty-five to be a Representative so age has always been a valid consideration. We recognized life experience is a necessary element to serve in government, but one could argue there is an equally valid expiration date on the other extreme. I’m just troubled that it seems to be a consistently problematic aspect of many of our elections.

I’m not suggesting excluding those of a certain age just because of that fact, but it is a element to be factored in. There are no septuagenarian military commanders because of the demands of the position. The job of President of the United States, which includes being commander-in-chief, is the most demanding job in the world. A simple comparison of any President on inauguration day and on the day they leave office shows the debilitating effect of eight years of making (what should be) heart-wrenching decisions with global impact lasting decades.

It is not the job for the faint of heart. While there are no guarantees on the length of one’s life, we all lose something in our physical abilities as we age. The inevitabilities of life are a reality we must take into consideration.

We have a torch to pass to a new generation, but no one seems willing to accept it.

Loren Eisley, in his book The Unexpected Universe, compared American society to the Odyssey of Homer. He wrote this in 1969, but it has become even more clear today.

Eisley wrote,

“In the restless atmosphere of today, all the psychological elements of the Odyssey are present to excess: the driving will toward achievement, the technological cleverness crudely manifest in the blinding of Cyclops, the fierce rejection of the sleepy Lotus Isles, the violence between man and man. Yet, significantly, the ancient hero cries out in desperation, “There is nothing worse for men than wandering.”

The words could just as well express the revulsion of a modern thinker over the sight of a nation harried by irrational activists whose rejection of history constitutes an equal, if unrecognized, rejection of any humane or recognizable future. We are a society bemused in its purposes and yet secretly homesick for a lost world of inward tranquility. The thirst for illimitable knowledge now conflicts directly with the search for a serenity obtainable nowhere upon earth. Knowledge, or at least what the twentieth-century acclaims as knowledge, has not led to happiness.” (Eiseley, Loren. The Unexpected Universe (p. 5). Library of America. Kindle Edition.)

I think Eiseley made a prescient and compelling argument about the dangers of the unfiltered, unreliable, and unmitigated deluge of “information” pretending to be factual knowledge flooding all facets of the media; social and traditional.

Our once important asset of reliable and unbiased news and the power of the free press has been compromised by our childish short attention spans, craving for continuous entertainment, and disdain for critical thinking.

The Sirens of Mythology Mythologian.net

I think much of the upheaval that was the 1960s with the race riots, the chasm of Vietnam, the growing horrors of the Cold War, and the early rise of nationalism with the fading memories of World War II all contributed to a rewriting of the American self-image. We see the concept of selfless service to country without ambition as foolish; one must take what is yours or have it taken from you.

This attitude, coupled with the loss of the art of compromise where everything must be a zero-sum success, led to a generation of politicians who see remaining in office as the goal. The epitome of success is getting elected and clinging to that position at all costs. Legislative accomplishments or improving the lives of Americans are minor considerations. Such things are useful tools only as long as they insure continuity in office.

We are faced today with a Hobson’s choice. Any impartial analysis of the current course of American policy, practices, or discourse can only reach one conclusion. The time to stop this descent into a society torn asunder by our differences, racked by racial disparities, infected with the scourge of white supremacists, and diverging from embracing science with compassion is upon us. While Mr. Biden may no longer be the best and brightest, he at least is a reminder of our better angels.

Perhaps this can be the new beginning. Mr. Biden can remind us of the once vibrant future, what we have lost, and the generation of Kamala Harris can be the herald of a new course for America. Perhaps she can champion the call for a new generation to accept the torch.

We must resist the siren’s song of the past and turn our vision to the future.

“Come closer, famous Odysseus—Achaea’s pride and glory— moor your ship on our coast so you can hear our song! Never has any sailor passed our shores in his black craft until he has heard the honeyed voices pouring from our lips…”

The Odyssey of Homer

It is time for us to stop looking to the past for the solutions to our problems and embrace the brave new world.

______________________________________________________________________________
If you liked, or hated, this piece, let me know why. Comment, criticize, and share. While I have your attention, here’s some more for your entertainment.

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Everyone has a story to tell, let us help you share it with the world. We turn publishing dreams into a reality. For more information and manuscript submission guidelines contact us at info@jebwizardpublishing.com or 401-533-3988.

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Friends, Americans, Countrymen…

Friends, Americans, countrymen, lend me your ears.
I seek to understand Trump, not to denigrate him
The evil a President does lives after them
The good is oft overwhelmed by these deeds
So let it be with this President
His loyal supporters, led by Mike Pence, say Trump is ambitious
If it were so, it was a dangerous fault, and grievously hath this country suffer’d for it.
Here, under the eyes of Pence and the rest—For Pence is an honorable man;
So are they all honorable men (and women which is hard to explain)

What cause withholds you then from seeing through this ambition?
America has lost her reason
Bear with me;
For my heart fears we may never regain it.

Come I to speak before this crucial election.
Some say Trump is a friend, faithful and just to the country.
Yet nigh on 200000 fellow Americans lie in their graves,
Victims of this ambition and deception
But Pence says he is an honorable man
I speak not to disprove what Pence spoke, the judgement of history will speak loud on this.
But here I am to speak what I do know
We all do love this country, not without cause
What cause withholds you then from seeing through this ambition?
America has lost her reason
Bear with me;
For my heart fears we may never regain it.
And I must pause till it comes back to us
Now is the moment to cast out this foul ambition
Now is the time to return to reason.
Now is the time.

…any other choice flies in the face of logic (couldn’t resist)

P.S. any bets on how long before the blogosphere is teaming with conspiracy theories that the fly was a nano robot built by Bill Gates and flown by Dr. Fauci?

If you liked, or hated, this piece, read on!

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Everyone has a story to tell, let us help you share it with the world. We turn publishing dreams into a reality. For more information and manuscript submission guidelines contact us at info@jebwizardpublishing.com or 401-533-3988.

Signup here for our mailing list for information on all upcoming releases, book signings, and media appearances.

The Price of Willful Ignorance

First, let me preface this by saying I wish the President and First Lady a speedy recovery. I wish this for all people affected by this virus. But as the President, Mr. Trump owed a duty of responsibility to the American People to lead them in times of crisis, and he has failed in this.

He had a responsibility to protect this country and to do what needed to be done. Still, the evidence of failure is right before our eyes. He couldn’t, or more troubling, wouldn’t even protect himself.

How Bayesian methods embody Occam's razor | by Felix Laumann | NeuralSpace  | Medium

I take no stock in the nonsense of fate, or karma, or even poetic justice as an explanation for Mr. Trump being infected by the virus. Like Occcam’s razor, the answer is always simpler than that, and it is based on science. Something that has become an anathema to many Americans.

Mr. Trump contracted the virus because he ignored the straightforward guidelines of wearing a mask in public, maintaining social distance, avoiding large crowds, and minimizing physical contact with others.

But more egregious than placing himself and those around him at risk, he is pandering to the conspiracy lunatics who see political motivations in any criticisms of Mr. Trump handling the pandemic or the jingoistic malcontents who take pleasure in blaming China while ignoring the evidence right before their eyes.

Suppose one were to review the list of the most popular shows on TV in America. In that case, it goes a long way to explain many Americans’ warped perceptions of reality. These “reality” shows are anything but real, but they are telling.

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe. 

Albert Einstein

One of the most tragic ironies in Mr. Trump disparaging the CDC and other agencies that recommended these precautions based on science is his complete faith in the rapid development of a vaccine. When such a vaccine becomes available, and we all hope it is sooner rather than later, it will come from long-established scientific methodology not Presidential directives or boastful claims.

Though some believe they might master the virus simply by the contempt of it, willful ignorance is nothing but an analgesic for the scientific reality of viral pathogens and how we should be dealing with it. They drank the Kool-aid offered by Mr. Trump and now can’t understand why the world doesn’t blindly follow this foolish course of self-deception.

Mr. Trump failed. He ignored common sense, and he is now suffering the consequences. More importantly, his actions have directly placed more than American lives at risk. He has put the entire government of the United States at risk by his careless actions.

Mr. Trump had a golden opportunity in February to get out in front of the pandemic. It would still have taken lives and livelihoods but at a much lower cost. Instead, he placed the false rhetoric of his “economic success” over the long-term health of a nation at the cost of 200,000 American lives.

The real irony lies with him in Walter Reed Hospital. There, Mr. Trump benefits from the best medical care in the world. Something he and those in Congress (who also have such access) would deny to most Americans in the pursuit of repealing the Affordable Care Act.

Perhaps the knowledge he would be whisked by helicopter to such a facility at the moment of any medical crisis made ignoring the risk much easier.

As I said in the beginning, I wish Mr. Trump and the First Lady a speedy recovery. I do not wish him ill; I wish him gone from the position he holds. I hope he recovers and finds it within himself to act Presidential at least once in his time in office and peacefully hand over power to the next President on January 20, 2021.

______________________________________________________________________________

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JEBWizard Publishing (www.jebwizardpublishing.com) is a hybrid publishing company focusing on new and emerging authors. We offer a full range of customized publishing services.

Everyone has a story to tell, let us help you share it with the world. We turn publishing dreams into a reality. For more information and manuscript submission guidelines contact us at info@jebwizardpublishing.com or 401-533-3988.

Signup here for our mailing list for information on all upcoming releases, book signings, and media appearances.

“I Demand the Cone of Silence.”

Having the good fortune to grow up in the sixties, my generation experienced many things that can mitigate the toxic political environment of today.

We survived duck and cover as the first generation to live under the threat of global thermonuclear war. While the duck and cover practice was an exercise in futility, it at least showed the government can pay attention to the needs of the people.

We experienced the only televised Presidential debate that changed an election, Kennedy v. Nixon, and learned the importance of shaving before going on TV to face the nation.

We survived the first genuinely evil Presidency. Again, Mr. Nixon was involved.

We had the best TV shows, music, movies, and all the cool bands.

“I demand the cone of silence.”

Maxwell Smart, Agent 86

And, as our time faded and a new generation evolved to lead the latest trends, we witnessed the beginning of the end of American Cultural Hegemony with the rise of Disco.

So from the dark recesses of the past, from the treasures of the 60s generation, I bring you a solution to correcting the juvenile idiocy of the first Presidential Debate of 2020.

To borrow a line from a star of one of the immortal gems of a TV show, Get Smart, “I demand the cone of silence.”

A simple modification to the device and we can encase the candidates in the 2020 version, silence them when it is the other’s turn to speak, and turn what resembled a riot in a pre-school  into a semblance of a rational discussion of ideas.

If this works, perhaps we can retrofit Congress with such devices.

And then add Fox News!

My guess is this will only be necessary for any debate including Mr. Trump. The Vice Presidential Debate will require no such muzzling. Vice President Pence may hold views that are diametrically opposed to most Americans (and to things discovered during the Enlightenment) but he will not act the fool.

My guess is he is terrified of being in the same forum with Ms. Harris. For this debate, they won’t need a cone of silence. But they may want to have a supply of plasma on hand if it does turn into an existential bloodbath.

*****

JEBWizard Publishing (www.jebwizardpublishing.com) is a hybrid publishing company focusing on new and emerging authors. We offer a full range of customized publishing services.

Everyone has a story to tell, let us help you share it with the world. We turn publishing dreams into a reality. For more information and manuscript submission guidelines contact us at info@jebwizardpublishing.com or 401-533-3988.

Signup here for our mailing list for information on all upcoming releases, book signings, and media appearances.

If I Had Known There Was a Test…

Recently I wrote a piece about why I intend to vote for Joe Biden rather than against President Trump.  (https://joebroadmeadowblog.com/2020/08/21/why-joe-biden/)

This sparked the usual round of responses both for and against. At one point, I was asked my opinion on a litany of issues.  These were both too complex and too numerous to answer on social media alone, thus the genesis of this latest blog.

File:Test-Logo.svg - Wikimedia Commons

And he went to Paris looking for answers
To questions that bother him so…

Jimmy Buffett, He Went to Paris

As always, I welcome anyone who wishes to write a piece addressing these or any issues. Submit it to me (joseph.broadmeadow@gmail.com) and I will happily publish it on the blog. My only caveat is the discussion be respectful. Passion is good, impoliteness is not.

Now, here are the questions and my answers.

Are you for legal immigration?

This one is easy. I support legal immigration. No rational person supports illegal immigration, if by illegal immigration you mean someone unlawfully entering this country absent a legitimate amnesty need. But there are exceptions. Creating a path to citizenship for those who were brought here as children by their parents without legal documents is the American thing to do.

However, there needs to be a time limit on the window of opportunity.  For example, once an individual reaches eighteen years of age or, if already 18 or older, upon the creation of this program, they must apply for the citizenship process within two years.  Miss that window of opportunity, and you are subject to deportation.

Are you for free enterprise?

Again, an easy one. Yes I am. But government regulations play an essential role in ensuring a level playing field. Labor laws, OSHA regulations, EPA standards, and others are all necessary to protect workers, customers, the environment, and those operating a business.

At one time, child labor was a significant contributor to a free capitalist market. Such conditions and practices are abhorrent and government regulations necessary to prevent such abuses.

And Joe Biden hit on something critically important to free enterprise, labor unions. 

Labor unions, more than government regulations, made workplaces safer, pay and benefits more fair, and established a balance of power between management and labor. The pendulum swing away from union membership is partially responsible for the earnings gap. In 1983 union membership was 20.1% of workers, today it is 10.1%.

In 1965,the ratio of CEO to Worker compensation was 20 to 1. In 1989, it was 58 to 1. Today, it is 278 to 1. CEO compensation has risen 940% while only 11.9% for workers.

That some unions were corrupted is not an indictment of all unions or union members any more than the prosecution of corporate executives, say Brietbart for example, is an indictment of all executives.

Are you for energy independence?

Seeking energy independence is a critical national security matter. I support renewable energy research and alternative energy sources.  Coal, which accounts for almost 25% of electricity production in the US (and more elsewhere) combined with other fossil fuels (which account for 62%,) are two of the most significant contributors to anthropogenic accelerated global warming.

The Department of Defense, those ultimately responsible for defending this nation, has identified climate change as one of the most significant national security challenges facing this country.

We are at the point where the level of Dangerous Anthropogenic Interference (DAI) with the climate may be unrecoverable. Energy independence for the US must also include a significant investment in new energy sources, not just a surge in coal mining or improving fossil fuel extraction technology.

I know this may be heresy to some, but nuclear energy provided by the latest generation of reactors is dramatically less harmful to the environment, and safer overall, than fossil fuels. From an overall safety and environmental perspective, the more you know about fossil fuel, the more concerned you become. The more you know about nuclear energy, the less concerned you become. Once again, it is science that offers the answers, non politicized and unbiased.

Are you for more government regulations?

I support necessary government regulations; Health and Safety (OSHA), labor laws, automotive safety standards, FDA regulations. Speed limits on roadways limiting the speed at which cars can operate, even though they are capable of much higher speeds, makes everyone safer. Same thing with most regulations.

Do you support abortion on demand?

I support a woman’s right to choose and the guidelines laid out in Roe v. Wade.  The one aspect of Roe that gets lost in the rancor and emotion is that Roe was about fair and equitable access to abortions. Abortion for medical reasons has always been legal. It was the discrepancy in access to abortions that Roe addressed.

Wealthy individuals always had access to safe and legal abortions because they could afford to find a doctor who would deem the procedure medically necessary. 

Poor people did not have that option.

The decision to seek an abortion, for whatever reason, is the most difficult personal choice a woman has to make.  The government has no business interfering with such a significant private matter.

The other myth of abortions is that women will use this as birth control.  The data shows otherwise.  I suggest one read the book The Turnaway Study: Ten Years, a Thousand Women, and the Consequences of Having—or Being Denied—an Abortion (https://www.amazon.com/Turnaway-Study-Consequences-Having-Denied-ebook/dp/B0831S4XB2)

One certain way to reduce the need for abortions is a comprehensive health care system offering contraception, family planning, pre- and post-natal care and support, and a strong system of child care assistance for those in need.

Do you think the Iran deal was a good one?

I believe the Iran deal was the best solution to an insoluble problem absent the elimination of theocratic governments. What is now clear, by withdrawing from the Iran agreement, the US has created more instability in the region and lost any opportunity to build a coalition against further nuclear development by Iran.

Instead, we have left it to the Israelis to deal with the problem militarily, which increases the likelihood of open conflict in the Middle East.

The only lasting solution to the Iranian problem will have to come from the Iranian people. By imposing sanctions on a government that cares little for the welfare of its citizens, the ones who suffer most are the very people we need to achieve success.

Much like the Treaty of Versailles, we are imposing draconian demands that will, over time, have the exact opposite effect to what we need in the region.



Organizations like BLM will never gain the support of a majority of Americans until they decry the illegal possession and use of firearms as much as they criticize the actions of law enforcement.

Are you for defunding the police?

Another softball. Of course not.  But re-evaluating the tasks assigned to police departments and reallocating funds to more appropriate solutions makes sense. This trend toward the militarization of police (begun when I was on the job and no one embraced the toys more than us) was, in hindsight, a mistake.

But with that said, the reality of American society presents different challenges to police officers than other developed democratic countries. While police officers in many countries do not routinely carry firearms, the fact that there are 300 million weapons in civilian hands makes arming American officers critical.

Most gun owners never commit a crime. But the easy availability of weapons—both legal and illegal—makes their use in the commission of crimes more frequent and thus more of a risk factor.

Organizations like BLM will never gain the support of a majority of Americans until they decry the illegal possession and use of firearms as much as they criticize the actions of law enforcement. 

The implicit racism by many officers to persons of color is reinforced by the number of crimes committed by those who illegally possess weapons. This is not blaming the victims of unlawful police actions. This is bringing to the forefront the realities cops must deal with on the streets.

The perception of persons of color having a higher propensity to violence is one of the worst aspects of implicit racism, yet it is equally promulgated by ignorant racists and those who commit violent crimes with firearms.

And the inequities in the criminal justice system–where persons of color face longer sentences and make up a disproportionate number of those in prison–further reinforces the myth absent an understanding of the conditions behind the statistics.

Each of these factors reinforce to equal measure the misconception.

Do you think we should defend Federal Buildings?

Defend them, of course. Intercede in local situations absent specific requests from local law enforcement or elected officials, or absent evidence of abdication of responsibility by local authorities, no.

Do you think cities run by Democrats are thriving? (if so, name one).

This is my favorite. This is the classic example of how correlation does not equal causation. For instance, I could argue there has been an increase in violence in Chicago and other cities since 2016, when a Republican President took office. It correlates, but it doesn’t mean it caused it.

(Now if we want to argue the rhetoric coming from the administration—saying the white supremacists in Charlottesville were good people, for example—creates an atmosphere provoking violent acts, that might be a different discussion.)

To infer from data like the FBI crime reports, which are the ones most used to make these assertions despite FBI warnings against drawing such conclusions, distorts the reality.  In one more accurate study of gun violence in Chicago, 70% of the non-fatal gun injuries happened within areas containing just 6% of the city’s population. The study referred to these as “micro-geographic hot spots.”

There is no reliable way to gauge the political affiliation of a city’s administration to the city’s economic health as a significant factor in whether or not a city is “thriving.” 

One could argue that under two Republican mayors, Giuliani and Bloomberg, NYC saw an increase in violence and a downturn in economic viability. Under Giuliani’s tenure, New York suffered the most significant terrorist attacks in US history.  Does this mean a Republican-led city, or country, is more likely to face a terrorist attack? It may correlate, but it does not establish the cause.

Do you think the virus came from China?

I know the virus came from China because the CDC, WHO, and a host of other organizations–based on verifiable scientific pathogen methodologies–have traced the virus origin to China.

Do you think China is run by an evil regime?

China is a communist country with capitalistic overtones economically and a repressive dictatorship on civil liberties. The implication of these two questions being linked is that China intentionally released the virus.  While this makes for a great novel, the evidence suggests otherwise. Unless one wishes to abandon all rationality because of the equally deadly viral affliction of unprovable, often paranoid and irrational , conspiracy theories. I will adhere to staying with the evidence.

As a footnote, I am confident Bill Gates and Dr. Fauci, should they ever conspire to take over the world, would come up with a more controllable and effective method. 

Do you believe that the Muller investigation was legit and that the FISA Court was not deceived?

If we cannot have confidence in a man of proven character such as Robert Mueller to act in a manner consistent with the letter and spirit of the law, there is no hope for us. I would say Mr. Mueller’s refusal to offer a conclusion as to the President’s culpability in the matter, much to the chagrin of those who oppose the President, is a clear indication of Mr. Mueller’s character and integrity in rising above the temptation of political gain.

I would also refer you to the Senate Intelligence Committee report as to the indisputable fact of Russian interference in the election and the undeniable evidence of criminal activity.  As to the FISA warrant, there has been no evidence produced of any intentional misrepresentation of facts by the FBI in the warrant application. Acting in good faith is the standard in seeking warrants when evaluating information submitted in support of the application.

Sometimes, the information used to obtain a warrant turns out to be incorrect or inaccurate. But the level of probable cause needed to convince this court of the need to surveil American citizens is a high bar and, in this case, did not depend on just one dossier or alleged element in the application. 

Do you think BLM is controlled by avowed Marxist?

First, BLM is not a centralized organization like some would believe. They tend to be independent groups across the country operating under a common banner.  That someone who is an “avowed” Marxist is involved in such a group is not surprising, but they do not “control” the group.  And while I see Marxism as a failed philosophy doomed by the very nature of humans, to embrace such a philosophy in its pure theoretical form is both lawful and acceptable under our concept of free speech.

Do you think Joe Biden bribed the Pres. of Ukraine to remove the Prosecutor investigating Burisma?  

No, and no shred of reliable evidence proving this allegation has ever been shown. That is the standard of our criminal justice system, innocent until proven guilty. Much like Mr. Trump is not guilty of collusion with the Russians.

Are you for funding health care for illegal aliens?

If one means an otherwise capable adult who enters the country illegally to work, no. But it is more complicated.

What of an injured or ill young child brought here illegally by their parents?  Would you have us deny treating the child? Would you have us let them die because of their immigration status?  Or a pregnant mother? You would deny her the choice of abortion and refuse her treatment to bring the child to full term?

These are not yes/no situations, they are much more complicated.

Until we resolve the overarching issue of immigration with effective and humane programs, finding solutions to problems such as healthcare will be impossible.  

Why are people fleeing democratically controlled cities?

Migration patterns to and from cities are in constant flux.  The political affiliation of the city’s administration is a very low consideration in such decisions. The reasons people leave or move to cities vary with the current economy, crimes, employment opportunities, etc.

I would argue much of the most recent exodus from major cities is because of the disastrous manner in which we handled the pandemic.

Cities like New York with diverse populations, large numbers of foreign travelers, and serving as major points of entry into the country were more vulnerable than other less cosmopolitan cities.  These are not circumstances or conditions predicated or created by the political party holding the mayor’s chair.

To imply people are “fleeing” cities because of the political affiliation of the mayor contradicts the facts.  People leave cities for a variety of reasons, very few of them political.

I’ll give one example. There was a massive exodus from Boston after the school desegregation order. Whites who could afford it fled the city. The real estate market and rents collapsed; lower-income people filled the gap. It became a self-fulfilling prophecy. Cities experience changes all the time, and the most significant factors driving it are almost always outside the control of the local political structure.

______________________________________________________________________________

Each of these issues is complex and requires a deliberate and comprehensive analysis to craft the best solutions.  I would argue that, despite the constant repetition from this administration about ‘yeah, but what about what Obama did,’ the evidence of corrupt practices and wrongheaded policies put in place by Mr. Trump is more compelling and I believe he has done significant long-term damage to this country.

The facts bear this out. Not one principal member of the Obama administration in eight years was ever charged, let alone convicted of a crime. And if politics influences the Justice Department, even under a Republican Congress, nothing came of investigation after investigation into the Obama administration.

Yet under President Trump, in less than four years, we have the following.

Mr. Trump’s personal attorney (Michael Cohen) charged and convicted.

Mr. Trump’s White House national security advisor (Michael Flynn) charged and convicted.

Mr. Trump’s campaign chairman (Paul Manafort) charged and convicted.

Mr. Trump’s deputy campaign chairman (Rick Gates) charged and convicted.

Mr. Trump’s former campaign advisers (Roger Stone and George Papadopoulos) charged and convicted.

And these are just the top-line indictments. If ever there was a model for a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) case, the Trump administration is it.

When asked to explain his being surrounded by so many people he worked with being convicted, Trump was at a loss for words. Instead, he tried to avoid the question with the usual “But Obama spied on my campaign,” despite this fallacy being disproved.

In fact, had the FBI and the Justice Department not investigated Russian efforts to influence and support the Trump campaign (as detailed in the Senate Intelligence Report) I would argue they should be charged with Obstruction of Justice.

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