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.

The Dangers of Certainty
One of the most problematic aspects of discourse in politics today is …
Leaves That Are Green
This time of the year, when even on a warm sunny day …
This Shall Not Stand!
There are some things one has to learn to tolerate. And there …
The Gordian Knot of Being a Cop
The recent incident involving, by most estimates, 100 to 300 ATV vehicles …

*****

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.

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!

The Dangers of Certainty
One of the most problematic aspects of discourse in politics today is …
Leaves That Are Green
This time of the year, when even on a warm sunny day …
This Shall Not Stand!
There are some things one has to learn to tolerate. And there …
The Gordian Knot of Being a Cop
The recent incident involving, by most estimates, 100 to 300 ATV vehicles …

*****

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.

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.

______________________________________________________________________________

If you like this piece, or hate this piece, here’s more to make your day!

The Dangers of Certainty
One of the most problematic aspects of discourse in politics today is …
Leaves That Are Green
This time of the year, when even on a warm sunny day …
This Shall Not Stand!
There are some things one has to learn to tolerate. And there …
The Gordian Knot of Being a Cop
The recent incident involving, by most estimates, 100 to 300 ATV vehicles …
An Apology Long Overdue
I have this memory of a Cumberland High School English class in …
Saints, Sinners, and Sophistry
"One may safely affirm that all popular theology has a kind of …
Nationalism, Militarism, Patriotism, Government, and a Social Market Economy
The United States faces a crisis of conscience in the coming years. …
Derin Devlet is Coming for You
In light of the President's latest maniacal ravings before the American people …
Music Hath Charms…
William Congreve, a 17th Century English Poet and Playwright, is likely themost …
The Policy of Deception Killing Americans
What America Needs is a Vaccination Against Presidential Malfeasance Trump's Timeline February …
Where Are the Best and Brightest?
When did our choices for public office go from the Best and …
Friends, Americans, Countrymen…
Friends, Americans, countrymen, lend me your ears.I seek to understand Trump, not …

*****

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.

______________________________________________________________________________

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.

From M.A.D. to G.O.D.

An easily transmissible novel respiratory pathogen that kills or incapacitates more than one percent of its victims is among the most disruptive events possible.

The National Intelligence Council—something I would bet most people have never heard of—is one of those rarest of governmental entities. Avoiding the taint of political bent of any sort—probably because it is so obscure—it functions as a center for long-term strategic analysis. Every four years, it produces a report projecting various potential scenarios for the future.

Their reports are, sadly, read by few people; a consequence of our ADHD-addled society lacking any ability to read and digest anything more than a grammar-deficient, emoji-laden posting about nonsense.

While the report cautions the dangers of trying to “predict” the future (something only Long Island Mediums and their ilk can do with any certainty), the council’s analysis has produced some startlingly accurate scenarios.

One of which we are now experiencing with COVID-19.

In the 2012 report, the council compiled a list of “black swans”—game-changing events that could impact the world. One of those scenarios was this.

“Severe Pandemic No one can predict which pathogen will be the next to start spreading to humans, or when or where such a development will occur. An easily transmissible novel respiratory pathogen that kills or incapacitates more than one percent of its victims is among the most disruptive events possible. Such an outbreak could result in millions of people suffering and dying in every corner of the world in less than six months.” Global Trends 2030 Pg. XI   https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/GlobalTrends_2030.pdf (emphasis mine)

Why does this matter? Because this report, and information analysis by the Obama administration, led to the creation of a government entity to plan and prepare for just such a scenario.

They created a plan for subsequent administrations to build on (and rely on) in a pandemic. (https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/6819268/Pandemic-Playbook.pdf)

What they didn’t expect was their administration would be followed by one who was hellbent on reinventing the wheel and dismissing anything that came before them. (As a side note, they will have the new design for the wheel right after they finish building the wall.)

All of this leads up to the main point here, the critical nature of the upcoming election. We have an administration characterized by anti-science bias, fundamental disdain for critical analysis, inability to grasp complex geopolitical matters, and driven by pettiness and ego.

And this is what we might face in the years to come.

(From the latest version of the Council’s report)

“Uncertainty about the United States, an inward-looking West, and erosion of norms for conflict prevention and human rights will encourage China and Russia to check US influence. In doing so, their “gray zone” aggression and diverse forms of disruption will stay below the threshold of hot war but bring profound risks of miscalculation. Overconfidence that material strength can manage escalation will increase the risks of interstate conflict to levels not seen since the Cold War. Even if hot war is avoided, the current pattern of “international cooperation where we can get it”—such as on climate change—masks significant differences in values and interests among states and does little to curb assertions of dominance within regions. These trends are leading to a spheres of influence world.”

One of the most frightening realities is the stockpile of nuclear weapons in the world and the potential for proliferation of such technology to unstable theocracies and apocalyptic embracing non-state actors. Absent a rational and intelligence-driven administration, our ability to mitigate such risks is crippled.

There are almost 14000 nuclear warheads dispersed among the eight or nine known nuclear nations. The US and Russia hold ninety-one percent. While terrifying, this is a dramatic decrease from the mid-20th century peak of almost seventy thousand. These decreases resulted from negotiation strategies—a policy abandoned by this administration and replaced by belligerence, nationalism, and increased leaning toward isolationism.

Since the days the Soviet Union became the second nuclear power and the replacement of the first atomic weapons with the even more powerful thermonuclear ones—a weapon that is detonated by an atomic explosion—we have avoided nuclear war through a policy of MAD, Mutually Assured Destruction.

We prevented all-out war by guaranteeing everybody loses. MADness indeed, but effective.

Now, the proliferation of such technology—a characteristic of technology is the newest inventions become easier to produce and distribute over time—threatens this delicate Faustian deal with the thermonuclear devil.

If the latest report is even partially accurate, the US and the world face one of the most complex and volatile moments in human history. We always held the keys to own destruction; war, forced starvation, tribalism. Each had the potential to wipe out humans.

But those things took time.

What we’ve done is reduced the time necessary to bring about our own obliteration down to the mere opening of a briefcase, the turning of a few keys, and a short countdown to Armageddon.  Who do you want to sit in the position to work to prevent such a future?

On our current track, we are moving from M.A.D to G.O.D. Mutually Assured Destruction to Guaranteeing Our Destruction.

______________________________________________________________________________

Thanks for reading, please share with everyone!

Follow this blog for upcoming information on all new book releases. And please share this with readers everywhere. All comments are welcome. Or if you would like write a piece to be posted on my blog please send me a message.

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

And for all my books to add to your memories of great reads…https://www.amazon.com/Joe-Broadmeadow/e/B00OWPE9GU

And check out these new releases by my publishing company, JEBWizard Publishing.

A Miracle at Dachau by Laurin Haupt. An inspiring story of an ordinary man who became an extraordinary hero during one of the darkest times in the world. Click image to read more.

Click here for more information

Forbidden Emotions: The Key to Healing by Marti Murphy

Finding a way to a healthier, happier life by understanding and managing our “Forbidden Emotions.”

Click here to read more.

Send me a message at info@jebwizardpublishing.com

A Presidential Dilemma: Rationalizing Irrational Behavior

Our illustrious President, in his continuing quest for a magic wand to end the devastation from SARS-CoV-2, made a shocking statement. When someone who makes shocking statements as a matter of habit says something to rouse great consternation across an entire spectrum of political beliefs it is quite an accomplishment.

Mr. Trump announced he was taking Hydroxychloroquine in combination with other drugs as a preventative treatment for SARS-CoV-2. He claimed—without actual evidence, but that goes without saying—that thousands of front-line medical personnel were doing the same. Somehow that statement rang hollow.

Mr. Trump is the king of sui generis hyperbole and prevarication. But I needed to do more research to see if I could uncover some justification for this course of action by the President. A risk-averse President can do much damage to our country, risk comes with the job. But a President who would ignore risks in pursuit of a political gain is infinitely more dangerous.

To further educate myself on the risks and benefits associated with this drug, I sought medical experts. I asked three respected physicians, with decades of experience, when it is appropriate to prescribe such a treatment regimen.

Their response did not quell my concern for this matter of grave consequence to the country. I asked these doctors in separate emails, none were aware I was asking other physicians. Their responses were strikingly similar.

The bottom line:

There remains little evidence to support the use of Hydroxychloroquine for the prevention of SARS-CoV-2 (emphasis mine).

The only real prophylaxis (preventative use) of Hydroxychloroquine is for malaria.

It is used for the treatment and maintenance of Lupus and refractory Rheumatoid Arthritis. Not really prophylaxis.

There are lots of side effects of this drug:

Cardiac Arrhythmias
Visual changes, visual field defects/retinopathy (irreversible)
Liver dysfunction
Blood dyscrasia & anemia
Muscular weakness; Neuromuscular dysfunction / Seizures
Alopecia
Weight Loss
Severe hypoglycemia
Renal impairment.

Here’s my personal favorite. One of the side effects of Hydroxychloroquine is potential changes in emotional lability.

Emotional lability means a person may have sudden and exaggerated changes in mood, with poorly controlled powerful emotions that may include anger, dysphoria, sadness, or euphoria. Makes one wonder, doesn’t it?

Other psychiatric or nervous system side effects include nervousness, irritability, nightmares, psychosis, and suicidal behavior.

Look them up for yourself https://www.drugs.com/hydroxychloroquine.html

And here’s a link to a site being touted as a definitive answer that the drug is effective. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16115318. The drug shows promise, but that is a long way from widespread safe acceptance as a valid medical treatment. From this study comes the following language in regards to treatment of SARS-CoV-2,

“No effective prophylactic or post-exposure therapy is currently available.” 

Using a bit of logical deduction, a dash of the Socratic method, and tricks I learned to interpret my daughter’s facial expressions before she learned to speak—some were more obvious than others— I can deduce three possible circumstances prompting Mr. Trump’s pronouncement.

  1. He is lying about taking the drug—history may support this conclusion—and is doing this out of some warped sense of “reassuring” the country that a miracle is just around the corner.
  2. He is taking the drug because he has tested positive for the virus and, out a similar warped sense of reassuring the country, has chosen to keep this a secret. Perhaps he fears a corollary conclusion that if he can’t protect himself from the virus, what chance do we mere mortals stand?
  3. He is taking the drug and does not have the virus. This is the most troubling. He is risking serious side-effects based on, at best, isolated anecdotal reports of the drug’s effectiveness or, at worst, he is delusional, which the drug may compound.

Perhaps the cabinet and VP might want to familiarize themselves with the 25th Amendment again just in case.  Doubt me? Review the side-effects of taking the drug.  One should stand out.

Alopecia: Male pattern baldness. It causes the hair to fall out in patches.  If the President is taking the drug without a valid medical need, he must have skipped over that side-effect. Maybe it was in the Presidential Daily Briefing he enjoys NOT reading.

I mean, there is no one on the planet more fixated on his hair than POTUS. If that mop of hair started to fall out in clumps it could foul the engines on Air Force One. If it were in his power he would silence the wind whenever he emerges from the White House to attend his Nuremberg-style rallies.

If we see a new Cabinet position—someone standing right behind Mr. Trump with a fishing net to catch the clumps falling out—we will have our answer. The last thing this country needs at the moment, to borrow a line from Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon, is a President afflicted with “serious mental diseases suffering endemic plagues of delusion and obsession.”

It’s not magic we need or wishful thinking. It’s deliberate, managed, and thoughtful dedication to finding a medically sound solution coupled with a considered approach to reopening the country.

Somehow a President promoting the use of a drug contrary to all medically acceptable standards does not lend itself to improving the confidence in his administration.

A drug-addled Mr. Trump is the stuff of nightmares.

(P.S. maybe we should let the President see this study out of Canada. https://thesource.com/2020/05/18/new-canadian-study-says-marijuana-may-prevent-the-coronavirus/)

______________________________________________________________________________

Follow this blog for upcoming information on all new book releases. And please share this with readers everywhere. All comments are welcome. Or if you would like write a piece to be posted on my blog please send me a message.

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

And for all my books to add to your memories of great reads…https://www.amazon.com/Joe-Broadmeadow/e/B00OWPE9GU

American Svengali

“What do you say to Americans who are watching you right now who are scared?”
Trump looked down and shook his head while this question was asked.
“I think it’s a very nasty question. And I think it’s a very bad signal that you’re putting out to the American people. The American people are looking for answers, and they’re looking for hope. And you’re doing sensationalism and the same with NBC, and Concast, I don’t call it Comcast (the parent company of NBC News) for whom you work. You need to get back to good reporting.”
“Let’s see if it works.”
On chloroquine, Trump said: “We ordered them. We have millions of units ordered.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has been Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease since 1984, however, told the same briefing there was no evidence the anti-malarial drug worked, and its safety risks are unknown.
Trump predicted: “People may be surprised.” * (source multiple outlets)

Mr. President, that is an understatement. I dare say it will shock the entire country.

John Barrymore as Svengali , A still from the 1931 eponymous movie

Mr. Trump is allergic to facts and prefers a sycophantic propaganda-driven media to fawn over, and accept without question, his every word, pronouncement, and declaration no matter how absurd or contradicted by facts. This President cannot handle basic questions that anyone in his position, under these circumstances, would know a reporter will ask.

This man is not responsible for this “Chinese” flu. Still, his ineptness and resistance to early decisive action—considering his well-known disdain for intelligence briefings (which alerted him to the potential crisis with Covid-19 as early as January)—is barely mitigated by VP Pence and Dr. Fauci. History may show the actions of this President failed to prevent increases in hospitalizations, deaths, and the unprecedented collapse of the American economy. (Story link)

In those same intelligence briefings, some Senators—both Democrat and Republican—were smart enough to see the looming financial crisis yet acted in a manner devoid of any sense of honor or decency.

They worried more about their personal well-being than the rest of the country. It will be interesting to see the names of others, privy to the same briefings, who took similar actions.

Regardless of who they are, anyone who used their positions of trust to insulate themselves from the coming financial collapse should resign immediately.

Now there are many rational Trump supports who make cogent and articulate arguments to support the President. Different perspectives, and differences of opinions, are what drive this country to greater achievements.

The very nature of the national emergency may have forced Mr. Trump into taking action. Still, his supporters are correct in arguing he is doing something. If he learned to let someone else have the spotlight, VP Pence and Dr. Fauci, it would mitigate much of the criticism directed at him.

He just cannot help thrusting himself into the spotlight–everything is “beautiful”–even if his statements are devoid of facts, or are outright falsehoods. Yet that has been his pattern since he entered the political forum.

His supporters’ parroted argument that they knew what they were getting—a crude, inarticulate, bull-in-a-china-shop personality—and wanted this politically inexperienced outsider to drain the swamp, falls short under scrutiny. It doesn’t pass the smell test.

If they were seeking such a candidate, they could have done better than this accident of circumstances. The swamp is getting deeper and murkier, it is not draining and the snakes are now poisonous.

Here’s a prediction. However this all plays out, Mr. Trump will resort to his usual course of behavior. He’ll blame all the negative consequences on VP Pence and Dr. Fauci and kick them to the curb. You heard it here first.

For those in the administration and Congress who went along with this Svengali-like personality, when the judgment of history comes on how you followed Trump lemming-like over the cliff, you can invoke the Svengali defense.

In court, a Svengali defense is a legal tactic that purports the defendant to be a pawn in the scheme of a greater and more influential criminal mastermind.

Convincing people he is a “mastermind” might be a stretch. You may have to work at that.

Or, you can say you were just following orders…

*Author’s Note: There is much discussion and disagreement over using Social Media for political discussions. I see the forum as the perfect opportunity to reach a wider audience than might be available to newspaper opinion pieces (which I also write) or other traditional forums.

I have people who read, and comment, on my pieces from all over the world. It opens a line of communication and exchange ideas well worth pursuing.

I also see Social Media as the perfect environment for choice. You can read what I write, respond, agree, disagree, or ignore it completely. The reader has full control.

Polls show a range of opinions on the use of social media for political discussions.

Some of that may be generational where younger generations use social media like my generation used the telephone and my parents generation used cards and letters.

Some of it may be most people are more concerned with being entertained on Social Media by goat videos, sophomoric memes, or jokes than as a source of information.

But what is undeniable is Social Media can have a positive impact when used with proper caution. While using single source reference sites such as Google or Wikipedia may offer some fact checking, accepting the content on Social Media as reliable on its face is dangerous.

But it does offer a platform to stimulate the consideration of multiple points of view. I don’t write these things because I believe I can persuade anyone to change their minds. I write these things so that everyone who reads it will know there are differences of opinions out there.

People often fall into the trap of confirmation bias. If they read something the agree with, they accept it at face value. If it is something they disagree with, they ignore it. By reading different points of view with the intent of understanding–not accepting but recognizing–different perspectives, it opens a door to further understanding.

If I write something that later proves wrong or inaccurate, I try to correct the error. I can admit mistakes. Yet I still see the social media platform as beneficial for the discussion of all topics.

The tone of the discussions is also problematic. Keyboards instill unwarranted courage in some. In a face-to-face discussion, no one tolerates name calling. Most participants would be reluctant to engage in such crass public displays. The anonymity of the online presence acts as an invisibility cloak, masking identity.

My posts all go on my blog, in my name, linked to a variety of Social Media sites and shared by those who follow my blog. I enjoy a polite if intense discussion on differences. I try to be polite and if I cross the line, I apologize, but I still see the platform as beneficial. It gives voice to people who may not otherwise have it.

To make a comparison to when I was growing up. I watched 3 channels, 6, 10, and 12. Then Channel 38 and 56 came along. Once again, I liked them for their entertainment value.

I didn’t watch PBS Channel 36, I wanted entertainment, not enlightenment. I wanted the Three Stooges, not a history lesson. If I wanted to be informed, I watched the news.

Yet, over time I did begin to watch more serious shows. The TV, once just a source of entertainment, became a widespread source of communicating information and bring the wide world into out living room.

Social media, just barely into it’s second decade, is a changing phenomenon.

I think many would prefer Facebook and Twitter and the plethora of others to be just another form of entertainment. As those accustomed to using Social Media almost from birth take over positions of responsibility and political office, that may change as it adapts to their particular preferences.

For myself, I will continue to post and welcome agreement and disagreement from anyone who wishes to take part. I do hope the discussions can be civil, I try to resist–not always with success–resorting to sarcasm, but sometimes I cannot help myself and for that I apologize. But we should still use the platform to express our ideas.

For it is in our differences we find solutions. Perhaps Social Media may be the platform where we once again embrace compromise.

Here are some links to polls addressing the situation.

The Great Corona Plague of 2020

(Imagine if you will a classroom of the future. Eager students sit in awe of the old-style digital images of 2020. The mass hysteria outside a place once known as a Walmart illustrates the insanity of that era.

A young girl, confused by what she has seen, comes home to her grandfather to ask him to help her understand. This is the legacy of a generation begging for an explanation.)

“Grandpa, were you alive during the Great Corona Plague of 2020?”

“Yes, sweetheart, I was. Why?”

“We’re studying it in school, and I have a few questions.”

“Okay, ask away.”

“Well, there was one thing I didn’t understand. I know it was important to take care of yourself, and I know it was important to avoid crowds.  I understand it made sense to limit travel to Europe and ask people not to travel in the country. And washing your hands is common sense.”

“My sweet Baboo, everyone understood that. Most of us knew it with nobody telling us. What is it you don’t understand?”

“Well, Grandpa, what was up with the run on toilet paper? I mean of all the stupid nonsensical things to do. The teacher had the entire class roiling on the floor, laughing. Toilet paper? Why Toilet paper?”

“Honey, in 2016 this country elected a buffoon as President. And no one can explain that or anything that happened for those long, dark, toilet-paper shortage ravaged four years he was President. Wait until you study that if you want a laugh.

“But we regained our senses.  

“We put people who knew what they were doing in place of the dysfunctional cabal. We developed a vaccine for Corona, reopened the office that plans for such things that the buffoon President closed during those disastrous years, and rebuilt our strategic toilet paper reserve.”

“Oh, Grandpa, you’re just as funny as the teacher. There is no such thing as the Strategic Toilet Paper Reserve.”

“Yes, there is dear. We converted all the Making America Great Again signs. We’ve got enough paper to keep our rear-ends clean for centuries. We store it in the building that would have been the Trump Presidential Library. As you will learn, there was no need for such a place.”

MAGA   Making America Go Again.

Ode to a Cracked Pot

Donald, Donald, orange bright
In the forests of the night
What immoral hand or eye,
Could frame they fearful symmetry?

In what distant deep or skies
Burnt the ire of thine eyes?
On what lies dare thee conspire
What the hand, dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,
Could place the evil in thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat
What dread hair & and what damaged feet?

What the hammer? What the chain,
In what madness churns thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dare create thy pompous ass?

When the Senate gave up their spears
And abandoned honor in their tears
Did the devil smile his work to see?
Did he rejoice in making thee?

Donald, Donald burning bright,
In our country you haunt the night
What immoral hand or eye
Dare inflict us with your symmetry?

Author’s note: Apologies to William Blake and John Keats for borrowing their magnificent words and to Dan Walsh who, if he reads this, will forever regret introducing me to their work.