The Political Slant - Page 2

Invest in America; It’s Now or Never

What is “vengeful taxation”? That seems to be the sticking point now for my senator Joe Manchin from supporting some version of the Democratic social safety net spending program. Note how over the years, the emphasis in discussion has changed from describing the objective of the bills, to strictly focus on the overall cost of the programs. But back to “vengeful taxation”, according to Manchin it is not vengeful to seek the correction of the 2017 tax cut bill, as long as the tax rate for corporations keeps them globally competitive. Whatever that means.

Joe Manchin (D-WV)

Look, we in West Virginia have benefitted from the attention paid to this small, land-locked state lacking in so much of what is valued in the US these days. Having a Senator at the fulcrum of power is useful. And I am reminded of how small this state really is when I recall we encountered Senator Manchin at a local restaurant as he came in, bereft of staff and entourage, to join a party at another table. He gave us a couple of minutes as my wife pressed a couple of points home to him, and he was able to respond in the way many politicians have mastered – clasping hands, literally backslapping, and saying nothing that could not be interpreted in many different ways.

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Pugnacious Putin’s Presentiment

With 100,000 troops on the Ukraine border, Vladimir Putin (whatever his title) is playing a very dangerous game. Putin wants the Ukraine. His Russia is not enough for him. Like any power-hungry autocrat, the largest country on the globe is not enough. Putin doesn’t want to “liberate” Ukraine; he wants to enslave it, although he will put any conflict in terms of a “liberation.” He will also explain any conflict as being Ukraine started by the Ukraine, even though the Ukraine has no interest in attacking Russia.

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I Am Not the Left

Not too long ago, after watching my neighbor’s FUCK BIDEN flag proudly flutter in the afternoon breeze, I wondered if there wasn’t something that we could / I could / you could do to make things better instead of even more divisive, and I got the seed of an idea.  Not a complete idea, just a thought:  Maybe I/we could sponsor some sort of contest to encourage people to write songs or poems about unity or the goodness of our nation. 

I emailed a couple buddies and my favorite college professor – the only person with the possible exception of Vince Lombardi that I have ever idolized or revered – to see what they thought of my notion.  The response I got from my professor was quick and clear, and the caps are his: I HATE THE LEFT.

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The Brainpower of Humanity

New Year’s Day 2022, 6 AM

Another new January 1st:; another new year to look forward to; another old year to look back on.  A fleeting moment of reflection, resolution and recalibrating.  A flash of a lifetime to ponder what is working and what is not, what makes us happy and what does not, what is important and what simply is not.

It is easy to declare that personal health is the most important thing in life, for without that we are without our power.  It is easy to surmise that family is the most important thing, as our loved ones help us feel grounded and connected and loved.  Financial stability, education, professional success and societal status are all things that may top your list of ‘most important’, and to each his own.  Conversely, perhaps the most important thing is one that we usually don’t even consider: being human.

What sets us apart form the other creatures of Earth is that we are self-aware; capable of introspection, imagination, reasoning, and morality. These higher-level skills separate us from the beasts and form the basis of our global culture as a species.  So, what’s going on?  Because more and more we seem to be a nation and a people of non-thinking, non-reasoning, non-rational creatures.

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COVID-19, Conspiracies, and Corpses

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Before year 2020, what does not kill me makes me stronger. After the year 2020, it mutates and tries again. Freedom in the Unites States means you can choose to die if you wish. You have the right to refuse to wear a mask, and the organizations that you visit have the right to refuse you entry into their property if you decline to wear said mask. The reason these organizations have the right to refuse your entry is because you do not have the right to infect other people. When your rights impose a risk to other citizens, it becomes a societal problem.

Historically, free speech in the United States has seen limitations. You cannot shout “fire” in a crowded theatre.  Free speech ends when it threatens lives of other citizens. Citizens have been tried for manslaughter when they urged other citizens to kill themselves.  The great thing about the United States is that you may listen and follow the advice, no matter how naïve, of other citizens. If that advice results in your demise, then the mistake is yours, a decision you are free to make.

You may believe that you have the right to consume intoxicants and operate a vehicle, but if your behavior threatens the safety of other citizens, that right impinges on other citizens who have the right to be protected from your behavior.  As a citizen, you have the right to refuse vaccination, which in some cases, has cost people their lives.  Social media has become saturated with uncredentialed self-proclaimed “experts” who have found numerous reasons why you shouldn’t be vaccinated.  These experts have reasons too long to discuss in this essay. Statistically speaking, there is, and I will not deny it, a small amount of risk if you get vaccinated, since the vaccine has not been tested on millions of people, but that risk is very, very small.

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Rise Above

Fathers and daughters not speaking to each other.  Decades-long friendships broken and volatile.  Siblings screaming at each other, saying terrible, hurtful things.  More and more, this is America.  Angry, divided, hyper-political. 

What separates us today are not the age-old differences between Republicans and Democrats, or conservatives and liberals, or the right and left.  What has divided us and continues to divide us today is Donald Trump.  We love him and hope that he becomes King and lives forever.  Or we start each morning praying that this will be the day he dies.  There is no in-between, no agreeing to disagree, no compromise.  It is this irreconcilable difference that continues to tear our once-great nation apart.

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Reporting, Reproach, and Our Republic

According to The Wall Street Journal of September 18, 2021, on September 17, 2021 attorney Michael Sussman was indicted by Special Counsel John Durham for lying to the FBI regarding Donald Trump’s association with Russians. Specifically, Sussman (allegedly) lied about the Russian-based Alfa Bank and the Trump Administration. Mr. Sussman was an attorney for the law firm Perkins Coie and was working for the Clinton Campaign  when he presented then FBI general counsel James Baker documents purporting to show “secret internet communications between the Trump Organization and the Russian-based Alfa bank” on September 19, 2016.

The indictment reads that Sussman represented himself to the FBI General Counsel as a “good citizen” and was not working “for any client” and not an advocate for a candidate. It turns out that he was lying to the FBI, something that is taken quite seriously by our federal government. Just ask Martha Stewart about lying to the FBI. The first question should be: How competent is an FBI who can be fooled by someone (even a lawyer, who are universally generalized as being adroit liars) who misleads them about their employer. I’m pretty sure that having access to tax records and financial transfers (of which it seems that the federal government can review) might reveal that someone is getting money transfers from a firm associated with a political campaign. I guess that the IRS is too busy examining citizens with more than six-hundred dollars in their bank account than to verify the income of wealthy and powerful liars.    

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A Dilapidated Defense of Dependency

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 I never knew that slavery and addiction could be so satisfying. Recently on a social media website, one of the addicted slaves made some startling comparisons that need some sincere comments. Claiming that our fears about our youth being too “dependent” on technology, and that those fears were nothing but “BS” our dependent youth made the following arguments:

His first point was that we use automobiles to travel instead of horses and buggies. Yes, that is true, but the Model T Ford began production in 1908. His second point is we don’t use outhouses to go to the bathroom. Yes, that is true, but the flushing-rim toilet was introduced in 1824. His third point is we don’t use typewriters to write comments. Yes, that is true, but typewriters were invented in 1868. His fourth point is we don’t heat water for our bath on the stove. Yes, that is true, but water heaters were patented in 1889. His closing statement was, “Do you see what I am getting at?”

Yes, I see what he was getting at, (including his poor grammar ending a sentence with a preposition) and his point was that apparently it is a valid argument to compare technology from centuries ago with the present technology. My professor whose essay tests frequently asked to compare and contrast concepts would have given him a failing grade.  None of the inventions this person mentioned can generate information, they only serve in a physical perspective.   

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The College Credit Conundrum

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The CARES Act, Public Law No: 116-136 (03/27/2020) aka the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act allows student loan borrowers to defer payments without accruing interest from September 2020 to October of 2021. The balances, or the total loan debt, will not increase in that time frame. As of the fourth quarter of 2020, none of more than half of the federal student loans totaling $1.6 trillion will be required to be paid back. Twenty-two million citizens who borrowed money from the federal government for college won’t be making an average payment of $400 a month .The interest that has been cancelled by the CARES Act totals $5 billion per month, with a total projected to be $90 billion. The taxpayers are footing that bill, all while the debt of the United States climbs to record highs.

Student Loan Forgiveness
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

In the meantime, Senator Elizabeth Warren is asking President Biden to cancel $50,000 per student of their loan debts. The request is for President Biden to just cancel the debts, by presidential order. The prevalence of our “cancel culture” means whatever anyone wants is now just a presidential declaration away. As former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel said, “never let a serious crisis go to waste.”

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Git-R-Done, Not Quite

People are characterized by their actions more than their words. People have hidden agendas and different forms of communicating. Most underlings recognize when a boss or supervisors throws out a suggestion as simple as “the report will be helpful, it means “Git-R-done.”

Most agree with the premise that one is not guilty until proven guilty in court and each citizen’s entitlement to due process. Investigators know people found not guilty are guilty. The criminal trial of OJ comes to mind with technicalities, inaccurate testimony, judgment.

Officers, much like scientists, follow paths from events and witnesses seeking to prove or un-prove truth. Most investigators are happy to clear someone, as much as they are pleased to convict someone.

Trump and Bannon began their agenda with bigotry and distrust of persons, partisanship, and institutions. The Department of Justice (DOJ) nor the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) would be spared. Disbelief and doubt in State and Federal government institutions, judicial courts, governance, and the people honorably engaged with such institutions were quickly labeled “the swamp.”

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