This World Is Ours

The world is disintegrating around me.
Ignorance, hate and fear are rising like poisonous fog, creeping, enveloping all.
And I am unable to be just an impartial observer. It is not who I am.
And it shows, my friends can see it in me.
Take it easy they keep telling me. Everything will be fine. Eventually.
Eventually is not good enough.

I am going about daily business as if nothing changed, nothing is wrong.

But I feel uneasy.

The storm is coming and I feel empty and heavy at the same time.

The uncertainty, it creeps in my heart.

This anticipation, expectation of something,

Something awful.

Maybe it is just paranoia?

The world is disintegrating around me.

Ignorance, hate and fear are rising like poisonous fog, creeping, enveloping all.

And I am unable to be just an impartial observer. It is not who I am.

And it shows, my friends can see it in me.

Take it easy they keep telling me. Everything will be fine. Eventually.

Eventually is not good enough.

I think many now can feel this dark primal fear around.

Fear is the companion of hate.

Ignorance feeds fear and fear breeds hate.

Only we humans are capable of hate, blood thirsty hate toward our fellow humans.

Continue reading “This World Is Ours”

Leadership and Trump.

I listen sometimes to respected political commentators discussing president elect. What he does, what he tweets, who he selects for his cabinet and White house. What strikes me is they talk about all this as if there is a serious person, a Leader who been elected to be a leader of the Free world.

LEADERSHIP

I listen sometimes to respected political commentators discussing the president-elect…what he does, what he tweets, who he selects for his cabinet and the White house. What strikes me is they talk about all this as if there is a serious person, a Leader who has been elected to be a leader of the Free World.

Qualities of a good leader: honesty, compassion, integrity, confidence, knowledge, curiosity.

Leadership
Con Artist

Why Trump cannot be a leader.

Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. It is generally a personal choice to hold oneself to consistent moral and ethical standards.

Compassion is the response to the suffering of others that motivates a desire to help.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compassion

The so-called intellectuals have conveniently forgotten the election campaign and all the outrageous things that Trump said during the campaign. Charlie Rose said this about Trump, the President-elect, that is fascinating – Trump sometimes behaves like a normal person. Not a word about Trump’s qualifications and his character.

It is abundantly clear to any intelligent person that this man is a pathological liar, a con man, a psychopath – thin-skinned and vindictive. He has managed to insult almost every group in our country and abroad. Continue reading “Leadership and Trump.”

I am not a scientist (and proud of it).

I am not a religious man but God help us all! The country where the dumb rule and the dumber are reelecting the dumbest and where our representatives wear ignorance as a badge of honor does not have a chance to prosper.

Well folks the election is over and we can breathe easier now knowing that our great country is in good hands…the best money can buy. Unfortunately these hands that are for sale are just that – hands. No heads attached. None needed.

Our wise voters, guided by the enlightened 1% who have more money than the rest of us, elected the “I am not a scientist” Congress to show the world that even these dimwits can manage this great country of ours. With the gentle guidance of money of course.

Ignorance is bliss my friends. Just ask these wise, good-hearted people with last names like Corporations or Rich.

I am not a religious man but God help us all! The country where the dumb rule and the dumber are reelecting the dumbest and where our representatives wear ignorance as a badge of honor does not have a chance to prosper.

The Flat Earth Society members are becoming more influential with every election cycle and are sitting comfortably on Olympus that we call the United States Congress. And the rest of the world looks in awe wondering how it is that the greatest country in the world elects imbeciles to rule.

Democrats are shooting themselves in the foot. As usual.

Democrats are running away from success.
From horse’s mouth

Democrats are running from the President.

Why? Just being spineless cowards whose only goal is to win the election. 

Below is the list of some of Obama’s accomplishments:

1. Passed Health Care Reform

2. Passed the Stimulus

3. Passed Wall Street Reform

4. Ended the War in Iraq

Democrats running from Obama
Democrats, again shooting themselves in the foot.

5. Began Draw down of War in Afghanistan

6. Eliminated Osama bin Laden

7. Turned Around U.S. Auto Industry

8. Kicked Banks Out of Federal Student Loan Program, Expanded Pell Grant Spending

9. Boosted Fuel Efficiency Standards

10. Cut the deficit in half.

So with this conclusion that Democrats are being stupid by running away from this successful President I predict that the Democrats will loose the midterm elections.

And they should – because people without convictions and without a backbone to stand for their convictions do not deserve to represent us, the people in Congress.

Elections and Pat Quinn.

Opponents of Pat Quinn have painted him as an ineffective governor. Nothing could be further from the truth, in my opinion.

Elections and money
The author.

From my perspective, this election ought to be easy for Pat Quinn, but the polls indicate otherwise. It appears that an awful lot of people are disillusioned with Illinois politics and have bought the argument that Springfield needs a fresh face–that somehow this new guy, Bruce Rauner, whom we don’t know much about, ought to be given an opportunity to reform state government.

Opponents of Pat Quinn have painted him as an ineffective governor.  Nothing could be further from the truth, in my opinion.

I have known Pat since the 70s, when he worked in the governor’s office and I covered Springfield for the Tribune. When he decided to seek public office in 1982, running for the Cook County Board of Tax Appeals, he came to me for advice because I had been involved in uncovering a bribery scandal there. He won the election, later served as state treasurer, and eventually became lieutenant governor.

He has managed to accomplish much in his six years as governor, despite working with a legislature that leaves a lot to be desired. He stood up to Madigan and was able to finally push through a comprehensive pension reform law. He got same-sex marriage enacted and he made Illinois the 16th state in the country to abolish the death penalty. He cut wasteful spending by a billion dollars, and he responded to the recession with the largest construction program in Illinois history, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Pat wants to leave the income tax rate alone because cutting it at this time would be catastrophic to education, human services and other essential programs. Mr. Rauner wants to cut taxes, but at the same time he proposes to increase education funding by half a billion dollars. How? Mr. Rauner refuses to support a ban on assault weapons.  On an issue close to my heart, Mr. Rauner opposes Quinn’s plan to shut down state institutions for thousands of people with disabilities and to give those people a chance to live in a real home in a real neighborhood.

Aside from the issues, where there can be honest differences of opinion, it bothers me that a candidate can try to buy an election. Mr. Rauner has donated $23 million to the campaign! I don’t have anything against rich guys who want to run for office, but a rich guy who bankrolls his own campaign is pretty darn offensive. I have watched wealthy Democrats try to do the same thing–Blair Hull and Al Hofeld come to mind.  Fortunately, they weren’t successful. Hopefully, Mr. Rauner won’t be either.

Vote

We Americans are so proud of our Democracy that we want to export it to other countries. Do you want to show to the World what Democracy is all about? Vote!

We Americans are so proud of our Democracy that we want to export it to other countries.

Do you want to show to the World what Democracy is all about?

                Vote!

The last word from our contributors

Our contributors short notes about 2012 elections. Why we all have to participate and exercise our rights and our obligation to vote. Why Obama?

Matt

Matt:

Please vote to lessen the likelihood of us going off the cliff, not the “fiscal” cliff, but rather the environmental cliff, the knowledge cliff and the equality cliff. The goal of an amoral Romney and the G.O.P. is simply to concentrate wealth and power in the hands of a few. If they prevail, I fear they will do whatever it takes to preserve their riches and dominion. The preponderance of voter suppression and misinformation by the G.O.P in this election should provide fair warning to all of us that oligarchs do not give up power easily. This may be our last chance.

Lou

Lou:

Obama wins, popular vote within 1%, Obama 290 +/- 5 electoral votes. Republicans are desperate.

Wally about the danger of electing Republican President
Wally

Wally:

When asked to provide a brief paragraph regarding final thoughts on the election, of course I said yes. What a great idea! Let’s start with the fact that our two-party system is broken, probably beyond repair. That’s why I’ll be looking at alternatives in the future. The Republican Party has moved so far to the right that it looks more like a Fascist Party to me. “Let’s round up all those illegal Hispanics and put them in camps.” I don’t think I’ll be voting Republican any time soon. And although the Democrats are certainly the lesser of two evils, they are far from innocent regarding the gridlock in Congress and the current partisan politics. Maybe it’s time to look at the Citizens Party, the Green Party, or even independent candidates like Ron Paul. You say a wasted vote. At this point what’s the difference? The Republicans and Democrats are both owned by big business and money. Something has to change. The partisan politics has to stop. The filibusters have to stop. Were there really over 300 filibusters by the Republicans during the Obama administration? It’s about time our leaders learn how to play nice together in their little Washington sandbox. I believe this could happen if Obama is re-elected, the Democrats maintain a majority in the Senate, and they pick up a few seats in the House. With no more focus on just destroying Obama at the expense of the nation the Republicans might come to their senses. They might even reflect on the changing demographics in the country and come to the realization that the party will not survive if it doesn’t become a little more inclusive.

Nate about the Tea Party
Nate

Nate:

In my opinion, if Romney wins and the Tea Party will dictate policies, we are in for a huge crash. The crisis of 2008 will look mild in comparison. Too many zealots in Congress create a real dangerous situation. We cannot allow the ignorant fanatics to control America.

Susan about the Chicago Tribune endorsement of Obama
Sue

Susan:

Once again, President Barack Obama will enjoy his hometown Tribune’s seal of approval, the newspaper has announced. The paper lauded the president for his careful projection of military power abroad and pragmatism as the country’s economic “dominoes toppled.”  The Tribune editorial reads:

Four years ago, when we endorsed Obama’s run for the White House, we said he would act with decisiveness and intellectual rigor. Ironically he has shown those attributes most where Americans might have expected them least.

The right-leaning paper admitted that Mitt Romney’s policies should have made him a more obvious choice for their endorsement, but they described the GOP nominee as “astonishingly willing to bend his views to the politics of the moment: on abortion, on immigration, on gun laws and, most famously, on health care.”

The most recent polling on the presidential race showed Romney narrowly leading Obama nationally, while Obama maintains an edge in the key battleground states.

Anna about Romney and Tea party combination
Anna

Anna:

No matter who is elected President, Mitt Romney or Barack Obama, the country will continue to live and strive. The economy will grow. If Obama is re-elected, he will take credit for putting policies in place that allowed the economy to improve and grow. If Romney is elected, he will takes all the credit for the next good economic years.

The difference, we as a country will experience, will be in our social policies, in the shape of our society. Are we going to have a society with equal rights for all, or one that focuses on individualism? Are we going to be an equal partner in the world or will we protect our society from the outside world? Are we going to have a government for the people or a government for the highest bidder?

These are the choices. Hopefully, after Nov. 6, we will get back to being Americans, we will smile at our neighbors, shake hands with those with whom we disagree, help those who need our help, celebrate together.

The best is still in our future, not in our past.

Ed

Ed:

There is much discussion on TV about what a close race it is, and little acknowledgment of Nate Silver’s analysis of the battleground states.  At last word, Silver gave Obama an 85.5% chance of winning the electoral college.  I hope he is right, because if Romney wins the election, it will be a very, very sad day.  A Romney win will be a win for the Tea Party, which represents everything bad about America.  The most disturbing thing going on, to me, is the racism–the fact that enormous numbers of people will vote against Obama because of his color, not because they like Romney or even because they care about issues. 

“STUPID IS STUPID DOES?”

For me, these results are mindboggling. It is not staggering that “socialist” candidate Obama would be more concerned than Bain Capitalist Romney regarding health care, education, immigration and tree hugging. An economist rating him stronger on crime and defence is moderately surprising, but rating Obama preferable on the economy, is flat out astounding.

I am sitting in the waiting room of the Cook County Circuit Court.  I wait to see if my number is called. I may well spend the next few days determining if a podiatrist is culpable for the minor limp of a 78 year old Cicero resident or  perhaps deciding whether a construction company owes its sewer subcontractor for installing 72 extra manhole covers.  Oh, I hope not.  I want to go hunting in Wisconsin.

I would much prefer to be in my tree stand listening for the slightest sound indicating Bambi’s papa is about  to appear. We want venison brats. Yet, if my number is called, I will do my duty for the one branch of government designed to protect the little guy.

I start a blog entry;  I promised Nathan that I would.  Being in a court, I consider composing an article on the possible effect of November’s election on the Supreme Court.  Fortuitously,  as I am about to hit that first key, my equally bored neighbor returns a copy of  The Economist  to the magazine rack which Rahm Emanuel so thoughtfully provided for the distraction of  bored potential jurors.

The Gurus Speaketh

Wait a minute; screw the Supreme Court idea. James Carville brilliantly said in the 1992 Presidential campaign, “It’s the economy, stupid.”  And sitting before me is the October 6th-12th issue of a highly respected magazine devoted to economics, and within its covers are the results of  a poll in which  “hundreds of professional academic and business economists” were queried as to “who would do a better job” on ten issues of the upcoming campaign.

As an Obama supporter, it was with great trepidation that I perused the tabulations. We are constantly bombarded with the theorem that Romney has the edge when it comes to economic expertise.  Well folks, here are the results:

WHO WOULD DO BETTER?  (note: percentages do not add up to 100%; evidently lots of economists can’t make up their minds )

On the deficit – Romney (42-38)

On health care – Obama (47-36)

On education – Obama (46-30)

On immigration – Obama (44-35)

On the environment – Obama(46-25)

On foreign policy – Obama (45-35)

On defence (The Economist has British roots) – Obama (40-39)

On crime – Obama (34-30)

On abortion – Obama (48-32)

And finally (actually, they listed this category first, but I like suspense):

ON THE ECONOMY (Obama 43 -41)

For me, these results are mind-boggling.  It is not staggering that “socialist” candidate Obama would be more concerned than Bain Capitalist Romney regarding health care, education, immigration and tree hugging. An economist rating him stronger on crime and defense is moderately surprising, but rating Obama preferable on the economy, is flat out astounding.

To be fair, The Economist points out that a disproportionate number of academic economists are Democrats; this is less so among business economists.  When the pollsters separated out these two groups, the latter rated Romney slightly higher on handling the economy than Obama.  Why are academic economists more likely Democrats and business economists more apt to be Republicans? I leave that to another blog.

Whatever your political leanings, I think one can conclude that these respected professional economists are pretty mixed on who is more likely to repair and strengthen our country’s economy. So folks, when it comes to voting for either one of these men, and you make your choice based on one area…choosing the economy is simply STUPID.

Economies are incredibly complex.  Global events beyond any President’s control affect the economy.   Presidents are greatly impeded or aided by his or her Congress.  Economic strategies can and do change with the times. Simply put, Presidents get the credit and blame for results that they have limited control over. So friends, forget the economy…neither candidate is likely to have the panacea.

Thus, sitting in the waiting room of the Cook County Circuit Court, I conclude that the area of our government, and indirectly our lives most impacted by this consequential election will be another court, The Supreme Court.

THE SUPREMES

 

Some facts:

Justices are likely to serve more than a quarter century.

The average age of the present justice is a bit over 67.

Four of the nine justices are over the age of 74.

Four of the nine have surpassed the life expectancy at the year of their birth.

THE COMING SUPREME COURT

If Romney serves two terms, it is likely he would appoint a minimum of 4 justices.

If Obama is re-elected and Hillary follows,  they would likely appoint a minimum 6 justices.

The Supreme Court is the ultimate safeguard of our government. Its job: preventing a tyranny of the majority over the minority.

The Supreme Court is the ultimate safeguard of excess from the other two branches.

It protects and preserves the most basic tenets of our government.

Only one justice has been denied confirmation in modern times, and a mere twelve were blocked since our country’s founding.  Presidents get their candidates confirmed.

A sampling of policies and freedoms that are likely to be affected by future Supreme Court decisions:

Environmental Protection

Campaign Finance

Freedom of Choice

Affirmative Action

Capital Punishment

Gay Marriage and Gay Rights

Voter Suppression and Voter Protection

Labor Rights

Regulation of Financial Institutions

Vouchers for Religious Schools

Separation of Church and State

Rights of the Accused

Privacy Rights

Freedom of Speech

Possible expansion of the 2nd Amendment

Conclusion:  It’s the Supreme Court, Stupid.

Oops… They just called my number: “Panel 16 Dismissed”.  I’m going home; watch out Bambi’s pop.

THEORY OF STUPIDITY