Saturday, April 23, 2016


As the 2016 Presidential election draws ever nearer, with contentious battles within both parties, vehement positions are being taken both within and between the two parties. Many words and relentless energy is being expended, and the gulf that exists between the opposing sides seems to have reached a magnitude that suggests reconciliation will be more difficult than ever, if not impossible. Both sides promise solutions, and are enthusiastic about the proposals they are recommending to the public. But neither side is discussing how they will breech the gap that exists in the nation's political divide.

 To be certain, these divides have always existed, and are especially pronounced during presidential campaigning. For the effective functioning of our nation's tri-parte Federal System, some degree of reconciliation and compromise between the opposing sides is necessary to avoid governmental stalemate and breakdown.  But since Obama's election in 2008,  the political divide in Congress has only grown, resulting in a degree of polarization and gridlock in considering and approving essential governmental actions that is unprecedented. As basic, key aspects of our nation's well-being continue to decline, because of governmental stalemate and inaction, the nation's impotence in bringing the sides together so that prime problems can be dealt with is a sorry sight to see, both for our own population and for the world. The problems are obvious, such as income disparity, infrastructure failure, youth unemployment, educational quality and opportunity, affordable health care, criminal justice reform, immigration management, environmental concerns, foreign policy quagmires,  the list could go on indefinitely. In recent years, only affordable health care has been approached with any significant, wide-ranging legislation, producing a controversial result that has admitted holes and flaws. With the other problems, much discussion, little or no action, and opposing sides growing ever further apart.

 In this scenario, it is no wonder this election year is revealing, to the dismay of both major party establishments, that a strong anti-establishment feeling is gripping the country and influencing voters preference of presidential candidates.  Within the Republican Party, the established power system is in total disarray, their preferred candidates were disposed of early by voters, only two anti-establishment candidates remain as viable existing candidates. For the Democratic Party, no one expected their chosen presumptive candidate to receive formidable opposition, certainly not from an independently-minded democratic socialist from a small state with little organizational backing. They were massively wrong, and are struggling to have their candidate mount the enthusiasm, the primary votes, and the small donor contributions of the challenger, even as he faces major structural obstacles to his success.

Whoever wins the party nomination battles, and the ultimate prize of the presidency, one thing remains certain, and it presents a staggering national problem that none of the candidates are adequately addressing--how can they lessen the divide that has blocked effective political action in our nation during the past seven years?  This divide has only been made more extreme, more intense, more profound, by the election campaigning.  The two currently leading candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, have disapproval ratings well over 50%, both among the general population and among members of Congress, which is very rare for presidential nominees. Not a good sign for cooperation and success if elected. The other two ranking candidates, Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz, represent diametrically opposed sides of the political continuum, one a very progressive self-described democratic socialist, the other a right-wing religious fundamentalist who eschews any compromise with opposing factions.

 With both parties having an internal divide, and the separation between the parties growing to insurmountable degrees, it is difficult to foresee how the government might function following the election. Yet neither party, nor none of the candidates, are discussing this issue, as if only winning the election is important, not what is to follow in the form of achievable government action. It would take a demonstrably strong leader, with a clear mandate to govern and policies designed to bridge the existing gap while still moving the nation forward in dealing with pressing problems, to meet our nation's current needs. That leader does not seem to be in sight, another indication of the failure of our nation's political establishment in recent years. One can only hope that this forecast is incorrect, but from this perspective, it does seem that our nation's political divide is likely to only grow more volatile, more dangerous, more intense as a result of this election, with no relief on the foreseeable horizon.  There may well be very dangerous days ahead for our country, all of this year's political rhetoric notwithstanding, and in fact, unfortunately a likely contributing factor.

Sunday, April 10, 2016


Republicans keep asking Bernie how he’s going to pay for free public college education for all.  Why doesn’t he say “From waste, fraud, and abuse in the Pentagon”

In the years following the 9/11 attacks, the United States and its allies have fought a continuous war. The taxpayer tab for the war totals about $5 trillion, or $16,000 per person, according to Brown University’s Watson Institute for International StudiesIn the years following the 9/11 attacks, the United States and its allies have fought a continuous war on terror. The taxpayer tab for the war totals about $5 trillion, or $16,000 per person, according to Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies.

Most of this money went for unnecessary wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and to buttress our incompetent Middle Eastern allies. 

Too, war contractors have been rewarded by a bought off congress (read campaign contributions/bribes).  An example is the failed F-35 combat aircraft.  It’s cost has been $1.4 trillion and tens of billions in projected cost overruns because of design flaws. 

Partly because of its convoluted bookkeeping systems, $8.5 trillion—yes, trillion—taxpayer dollars doled out by Congress since 1996 has never been accounted for.

Come on Bernie!

Friday, April 8, 2016


There are many theories as to why a major American political party could well nominate Donald Trump for President.  But I never see hard truths:  A sick society will produce sick leaders and a childish/adolescent culture will produce child-like leaders. 

This represents a FAILURE OF CHRISTIANITY.  True Christianity is love, compassion, a sense of oneness with God’s creation with leads to care for “the least amongst us” and for being steward of the earth.  In what has often been called the battle between “Christ vs. Commerce,” the values of one-upmanship, success, winners vs. losers, greed, ostentatious display, who’s up and who’s down are the gods of our capitalistic society. These are the values of Donald Trump.

 Our society glorifies violence, warriors, consumes huge quantities of pornography, which objectifies women (see Trump) and presents mass entertainment suitable for eleven-year-olds.  Racism is prevalent (hello Donald); it is a form of tribalism manifested in the absurdity that the U.S. is the #1 nation in the industrialized world (what?  #1 in a failed educational system, a crumbling infrastructure, in incarceration, wasting lives and resources in unnecessary wars and defending its empire?)

 This idolatrous worship of the nation-state is a huge failure of Christianity where, in its true form, preachers that all of our brothers and sisters around the globe are our neighbors who should be loved, not nuked! (USA!,USA! At Trump rallies.)


                             BERNIE NEEDS TO SHAPE UP!
Why doesn't he operate on the assumption that democratic voters don't support the failed, interventionist foreign policy of the U.S. since Ronald Ray Gun and that Hillary does. He can break that down into small parts: She supports a "no fly zone" in Syria, he doesn't. But most Americans don’t know what a no-fly zone is, because the media doesn't tell us what it is.
Imposing a no-fly zone, [Gen. Martin E. Dempsey] said, would require as many as 70,000 American servicemen to dismantle Syria’s sophisticated antiaircraft system and then impose a 24-hour watch over the country.

That was written before Russia entered the war in September 2015. The total number of U.S. servicemen needed to enforce a no-fly zone is likely now much higher, and the stakes for shooting down a Russian jet, intentionally or not, are much greater than for a Syrian one. Yet none of these inconvenient details are brought up by Bernie, so far as i know.
Hillary has the idea that Russia would “share” a no-fly zone. There’s little reason to believe Russia would sell out their only ally in the Middle East, Syria, and they’re certainly not going to assist the U.S. in bombing this ally’s air defense and warplanes.

A no fly zone is a dumb idea. Hillary has many dumb ideas in the area of foreign/military policy. Bernie needs to expose them all.