Tag Archives: political news

113. Do Good Candidates Make Good Officials?

13 Mar

For several years, I have been concerned about the nature of our USA election process. The traits that promote election, are not necessarily the same as those required for good governing. Successful candidates can have any or all of the following:  1. rich donors,  2. a powerful appearance,  3. an ability to convincingly lie and exaggerate,  4. an ability to say what people want to hear, such as subtle racism or anti-science sentiment.
Emerging from this process may be leaders lacking necessary experience, temperament, intellect, and/or decision-making skills. Focus is often on pleasing wealthy donors, instead of making life better for our citizens. The recent “tax reform” bill is an example of this.
Our current election process was formed by legislation, judicial decisions, and by questionable traditions. It needs revision.  We could start with election campaign laws such as those giving rich donors almost complete control over the election process. It would also help to have more voter education. There are no easy ways to reform elections, but we should at least make every effort to do this.


80. Dirty Tricks Win Election

13 Dec

A number of actions occurred during the recent U.S. election process that can be classified as dirty tricks — and led to the Trump win. Here are the most important:
1. Suppression of voters resulting from Republican state-government legislation. One method was to decrease the number of voting days, which caused a decrease in minority voting. A Republican supreme court recently abolished rules to control voter suppression laws and red state governments rapidly took advantage of this.
.                        THE FBI DIRECTOR WAS A REPUBLICAN
2. Republican FBI director Comey interfered with the election process. The first problem was his assessment of Hillary as “extremely careless.” He has no baseline, no data from other similar officials, to make this conclusion. Maybe if other leaders were examined in detail, they would have been worse. The next problem was his announcement of an additional email investigation, 11 days before the election — violating agency rules. Comey and many FBI officials are Republicans. It is well established that there were FBI-agent leaks and excessive investigative actions.
3. Russian hacking influence. All the major U.S. intelligence agencies agree that the Russians hacked the Democratic National Committee. They then chose to release a number of private emails by high ranking Democrat officials. There was nothing illegal in the emails, but private conversations can be misinterpreted in a negative way.
4. Hillary was dogged by numerous unjustified congressional investigations, which ultimately led to nothing.
5. Women that Hillary’s husband had affairs with were paraded in the audience during one of the debates.
6. Online web sites that pretended to be valid news sources spread lies about Hillary and her campaign. This was a serious problem, as many voters get most of their info from such social Internet sources.


In addition to the “tricks”, Trump lied about many facts, painting a terrible picture of the Democrat candidate. One of the most ridiculous lies was that Hillary initiated the Pres. Obama “birther” movement. He also said that Pres. Obama founded ISIS. Some of the lies were later retracted, but they still had an effect. Trump’s lying exceeds everyone else that has run for major office, but he belongs to a party that has a major lie as a premise: if you lower taxes for very rich people, and make them even richer, somehow the extra money will “trickle down” to the rest of us. There is a history of lowering taxes for the very rich, which shows that the “trickling” does not happen. They get richer and we stay the same. Even the Pope pointed this out. They can’t be honest and say: vote for us so that we can become even richer. There are many other similar GOP lies.

                      YES !  HILLARY WON BY 2.5 MILLION VOTES
If you combine the small effects of each the “dirty tricks” and lies, you have enough influence to shift the election from Hillary to Trump. Remember that voting was very close in the swing states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania — and that Hillary actually won the popular vote by 2.5 million — YES !! 2.5 million more citizens voted for Hillary than Trump. This will go down in history as the greatest injustice in the U.S. history of presidential elections. I hope members of the electoral college will change their votes accordingly. The future of our country and others could be markedly affected by this outcome.

79. Heroes of Trump Attacks

8 Dec

I think we need a special medal, maybe called “The Peoples Medal of Honor”, for those who criticized Donald Trump and were personally attacked by him (or his associates).
The latest of these is Union Chief Chuck Jones who corrected the number of Carrier Co. jobs not moved (saved) to Mexico. Trump simply makes up facts in attacking Jones: “He has done a terrible job representing workers …. no wonder companies flee country.” Both of these statements by Trump have absolutely no objective basis — just made-up ideas to suit his needs. If Trump has no facts to prove his point, he just makes them up.

.                                                         Truth  Matters
Other heroes include: the Khan family (gold star parents of war hero), many major Republican leaders, members of the press, Hillary Clinton, Judge G. Curiel, news anchor Megyn Kelly, and numerous others. Megyn Kelly is a special hero for having endured endless inane attacks by Trump supporters. (I disliked Kelly for many years, simply because of her association with Fox, but now I like her and admire her bravery.) Remember, he even criticized John McCain, a POW war hero, for getting caught !!! How can Trump be trusted to deal with foreign leaders. NATO allies are already worried about his leadership.
Just after Trump’s election, I was hopeful that he would become more responsible and cause only a minimal amount of damage to USA prestige and effectiveness. His meeting with Pres. Obama was encouraging. But gradually this optimism disappeared as I saw the continuation of his petty revenge actions, and as he gradually filled his administration positions with “yes-men” and bizarre misfits. He clearly is more concerned with loyalty and control rather than the good of our country, at least at this point. There is still some slight hope that when he actually becomes president, he will make mostly reasonable decisions.

  Let’s Fight Trump’s “THEATER” with our own more noble theater.
But getting back to our heroes, I fantasize a special USA national organization for those attacked by Trump, with regular meetings for the presentation of “The Peoples Medal Of Honor.” All medal presentations would be delayed for six months to exclude victims who later become Trump “yes-men”. This of course is a fantasy, but I want to emphasize the importance of counteracting Trump using his own methods. Let’s fight Trump’s “theater” with our own more noble theater. We must find ways of supporting, publicizing, and rewarding our hero critics.

77. Reflections Post-Elections

10 Nov
I am mostly concerned here with reasons for the Democrat losses.
There is a tendency to blame the president for everything that happens to the country. Hillary was viewed by many as an extension of Pres. Obama, who was wrongly blamed for a lack of progress, even though it was mostly GOP obstructionism that was at fault.
It is hard to prove, but the Democrat loss could be the result of FBI Director Comey pronouncements at critical times.  The first problem was his assessment of Hillary as “extremely careless.”  He has no baseline for comparison.  Maybe if other leaders were examined in detail, they would have been worse.  The next problem was his announcement of additional email investigation, 11 days before the election — violating agency rules.  The election was very close, and without Comey’s electioneering Hillary might have won.  Comey and many FBI officials are Republicans.  It is well established that there were FBI-agent leaks and excessive investigative actions.
I really like Hillary, but I felt from the beginning that she was not the best choice in the primaries.  Hillary is a popular person, has a good organization, and would make a good president, but subjectively, does not fit the picture that most people have of a powerful leader.  The primary process does not always work in the best way, and we need to figure out how to improve it.
It is not her fault, but an old woman is going to appear weak compared to an old man.  Leaders just have to look strong.  Her husband once said that it is better to be strong than right.  I really think she could have done better, 20 years younger.
Another factor is that Hillary is a good speaker, but not a great one like her husband and Pres. Obama.  Her answers about emails and other issues were OK but could have been  better.
Hillary may have spent too much time criticizing Trump and not enough time detailing her plans for America.  She could have presented charts comparing herself with Trump on major points.
Republicans were very clever in repeating investigations and negative characterizations almost continuously for the entire time of her presidential candidacy.  If a large group of people keep saying that you are bad, even if not true, it can have an effect.
Many people have rigid beliefs that interfere with good judgment.  They often start with a simple belief that Republicans are good and Democrats are bad.  Then if you want change, you are stuck with Trump as the only Republican that really promotes new ways.
The press, in their efforts to make money, tend to cover exciting people like Trump, more that reliable people like Hillary.  There also seemed to be a fear factor: reporters often avoided asking Trump the really important questions and instead focused on insults and revenge.  Really challenging Trump could banish you from certain types of coverage, and/or you could suffer other effects of infamous vengeance.
It is sad to say, most people everywhere, here and abroad, do not have the ability to tell truth from fiction, do not really research candidates, and rely on biased sources of info, such as Fox News.  Only a small percentage of the population has the ability to process election facts and info, and to draw the best conclusions.
I am not going to add much on problems going forward with Trump’s leadership.  But one thing really stands out in my mind, and that is the re-writing of history.  If Trump or his administration makes a mistake, he will simply deny or change the facts to make it look like someone else’s fault (judging from past strategies).  Or he will intimidate agencies to alter their data and/or analyses.  This could keep him and destructive governmental leaders  in power indefinitely.  Rich donors and leaders (our USA royalty class) are firmly entrenched in our society, now, and probably well into the future.

74. Best Hillary Endorsement

2 Nov
Hillary Clinton, candidate for President, has received numerous excellent endorsements.  To name only a few endorsers:  President and Mrs. Obama, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and even ex-President Bush may be voting for her.  And all the major endorsers have done so with enthusiasm. (Most of Trump’s endorsements by elected officials were apathetic.)
But to me, the most impressive and meaningful endorsement comes from an unlikely source. In an interview by Rachel Maddow, Libertarian Party Vice President candidate Bill Weld says “She deserves to have people vouch for her other than members of the DNC, so I’m here to do that.” An endorsement from a competing party candidate is remarkable. He also says that the FBI examination of her emails is “incomprehensible and there’s nothing there”.  When I first saw an interview of the Libertarian candidates, I felt that Bill Weld was the more capable of the two.
Furthermore, regarding the release of Comey’s investigation information, Weld says:  “I have on my former Justice Department hat. And I’m outraged by what’s going on here because it’s such a violation of Justice Department policies [and] procedures.”  This is wonderful support for Hillary and justly accuses Director Comey of electioneering.
I have followed the entire career of Hillary Clinton and fully trust her to do a good job as President.   None of the accusations made by Republicans has merit — it’s all distortions of unfortunate events and normal mistakes that anyone would make.  You could look at the life of any Republican leader in great detail and find actions that can be interpreted in a sinister way.  And what great strength is shown by Hillary in fending off all the insults and running a very vigorous campaign.

70. Rise of Trump

14 Oct
With Trump providing inspiration, I have been looking at the history of famous tyrants like: Stalin, Hitler, Saddam Hussein, etc.  Note, that I am NOT accusing Donald Trump of being like them or anyone else. The reader can draw his/her own conclusions.
This seems to be the pattern of tyrant development.
1.  They often come to power in troubled times.  Many low-income or jobless citizens are doing poorly and are frustrated.
2.  The potential tyrant makes speeches that appeal mostly to unsuccessful people, with poor education and a tendency  towards racism and scapegoating.  One tyrant used Jewish people for scapegoating.
3.  A political party is formed, consisting of those easily swayed by simple (often violent) solutions to complex problems.
4.  They often form militias: violent groups that will intimidate and assault rivals.  One tyrant called them storm troopers (or “brown shirts”).  They were established at first as guards for party meetings.
5.  Using intimidation, emotional speeches, violent solutions, scapegoating, etc. the party gets stronger, and eventually attracts a variety of people simply wanting to jump on the bandwagon.  When the party is big enough, it can win an election, and then the tyrant can really take power.
6.  All tyrants after election purge their adversaries in any of several ways:  special prosecutors , torture, assault, murder, jailing, firing, serious demotions, and endless investigations.
Does this history relate to Mr. Trump?  Do we need a tyrant to solve our problems?  In the end, tyrants are usually defeated, but often leave a nation in shambles.  (Please see my previous blogs for more information.)


8 Oct

So much of what I see in our world is ridiculous and disturbing. Here is my list of debacles in several areas that affect us all:

1. Conflict of interest. A judge is very careful to recuse him/herself if there is any possibility of bias. Yet our most important professions are filled with conflict of interest. We rely on the decisions of professional people, when the decisions profoundly affect their income:

A rich congressman decides on how much, and in what way, to tax rich people.

A congressman must decide on issues affecting his campaign contributors.

A surgeon decides on who is appropriate for surgery.

Psychoanalysts provide therapy that lasts for years of profitable services.

Psychiatrists and even GP’s readily prescribe unnecessary drugs without considering safer and non-addicting methods.

When I was changing dentists, one of them counted two cavities, another dentist zero, and another six cavities, within a few days.

Generally, all health care providers have biases that affect their income — but, of course, some are better than others, and some I have known are very ethical.

Lawyers often tell their clients, in civil areas, to do things that create more conflict and hence more income.

I am sure that if you think about it, there are countless other examples (like auto repairs).

2. Many people simply “believe” what certain authority figures say. For example, a person says that he is conservative, meaning he does not like change. Certain authority figures are “known” to be conservative. He therefore believes and likes whatever they say. The problem is that there is no research or other verification for what the “expert” is saying. It is a fact that politicians tell many lies. We know this for certain because two of them will often make contradictory assertions . One of them must be wrong. Yet many people simply believe whatever is said and that just encourages more lies.  All citizens and especially voters must develop sound methods of lie detection. This has been and will be the subject of further blogs. But briefly, it is important to study history, learn about financial supporters, become familiar with all relevant issues, look at written material (such as budget proposals), see what others say about statements, and try to understand the motivation behind a statement. Unfortunately, many persons do not have the ability and/or the time to do this, and as a result will vote destructive politicians into office.

3. In my previous blog I discuss one of the worst debacles. It a failure to appropriately tax and otherwise control very rich people that are draining our country of resources and funds (please read). These rich people are like “corporate raiders” (or actually are the raiders) that could lead our country into financial ruin.

4. There are enough resources in the world to comfortably feed, clothe, and house all of its population. The debacle is that we allow leaders of nations to distort this process and prevent the resources from reaching those who need them.

5. Many people in the world are killed because of violent revenge. There is often a “tit for tat” mentality so that every abuse must be met with revenge, thereby stimulating more abuse. Countries have feuds with other countries. There ultimately must be an end to such things. However, I do recognize the complexity of many situations and recognize that measured, brief retaliations may in some cases, be appropriate.

6. Wars are fought over “holy” lands. Millions die because of questionable “beliefs.”

7. Young people are encouraged to compete in many areas, often by parents that feel inadequate. Obviously some competition can be enjoyable and safe, whereas other types lead to crime, greed, and the squandering of resources.

8. I watch many TV shows devoted to news and opinion. I am amazed by the fact that so much time is devoted to speeches and quotes of the most bizarre and ignorant persons.

9. Similarly all media devotes massive amounts of time to killers of several people. It must thrill the masses to hear all the details of such events. Besides the fact that there is too much of this, and other important news items are neglected, it tends to encourage deranged people seeking this type of “fame.” Severely disturbed people feel that by murdering several children, they can finally get attention that they have longed for. I submit that by limiting this type of extensive coverage, we could reduce the number of these horrible events. Further note: there is no law or procedure that can completely eliminate these murders because large populations will always include a few extreme individuals of every type. (But, some laws may reduce the number of victims.)

10. Briefly, a few more debacles regarding the management of our planet: ignoring climate change, deforestation of large areas, poor management of drinking water resources, over-fishing areas of the oceans, etc.

11. In our USA national government, there are so many safeguards and checks-and-balances that even the best legislation may be prevented. The current party in power often continues these rules for fear of what might happen if the other party takes over. The answer is to gradually ease-up on the safeguards, until a proper balance is achieved. For example, in the U.S. Senate there is a 60% rule. Why not use 55% or 53% as the rule. Why not limit Senate speeches to 30 minutes.

In the movie: “The Day the Earth Stood Still”, Keanu Reeves as the alien, determines that Earth humans are barbarians and not worthy of existence. As I listened to his reasoning, I had the horrible feeling that much of what he said is true, at least for a good percentage of the population. The sad part of all this, is that most of our serious problems are caused by people who, for whatever reason, are poorly educated and make bad decisions for the planet and themselves. (In future blogs I hope to propose some solutions.)