What Is The ‘End Game’ For Dealing With The Pandemic?

As we move into fall of 2020, we continue to battle the coronavirus pandemic.

As we do, the basic question remains unanswered: what is the ‘end game’? What are we trying to achieve? It seems like a basic question and yet we don’t have an answer. And until we do, we will continue to stumble along with no clear idea of where we are headed. Continue reading “What Is The ‘End Game’ For Dealing With The Pandemic?”

China Expands Forced Labor

A recently released study on China’s heightened persecution of Tibetan minorities was recently released by the Jamestown Institute, a Washington, DC-based policy institute that studies foreign policy issues of strategic importance. It highlights a new level of persecution for Tibetan minorities Continue reading “China Expands Forced Labor”

How Do You Know A Politician Is Being Hypocritical? Their Lips Are Moving

In the wake of the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, there is much controversy around the selection of her successor. President Trump has said he will nominate a new justice and the Republican leader of the Senate has said they will vote on the nominee. Democrats are outraged, saying that a President should not appoint a justice to the Supreme Court in an election year. Continue reading “How Do You Know A Politician Is Being Hypocritical? Their Lips Are Moving”

The Biggest Barrier to Minority and Women Police Chiefs? Riots for Equality

As the country struggles with unequal application of justice and trying to find ways to make sure the law applies to call equally, one of the most often cited needs is for more minority police chiefs and leaders in police departments around the country that can better understand the issues involved and better relate to minority communities.

As it turns out, one of the biggest barriers to minority police leadership is the current riots that supposedly are demanding ‘equality’ and racial justice. Continue reading “The Biggest Barrier to Minority and Women Police Chiefs? Riots for Equality”

Ruth Ginsberg, Stereotypes and Actions vs. Words

The death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg yesterday has seen tributes pour in for this pioneering woman. Ginsberg spent much of her career breaking down barriers, culminating in her long term of public service as a Justice on the nation’s highest court.

Interestingly, Ginsberg was the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court. And while most people know her, most people don’t know who the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court was.  Who was that and which President appointed her? Continue reading “Ruth Ginsberg, Stereotypes and Actions vs. Words”

Ruth Bader Ginsberg, RIP

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg passed away yesterday after a long battle with cancer.

Ginsberg was a pioneer in the field of juris prudence, was the second woman appointed to the US Supreme Court and had a distinguished career that helped break several barriers along the way.

But possibly more important, she was an honorable person and public servant. Her close personal friendship with her ideological opposite on the Supreme Court, Antonin Scalia, serves as an example to us all that you can be friends with and care deeply about people with whom you often disagree strongly. More then ever, her quiet personal example in that regard may be her biggest contribution to her country.


A Party Of Tolerance?

John DeBerry is a Democrat who represents a Memphis district in the Tennessee Legislature and has been re-elected 13 times.  Rep. DeBerry, who is black, has represented the majority black House District 90 for over 25 years.

He was removed from the House District 90 primary ballot last month by the Tennessee Democratic Party’s State Executive Committee. And in a calculated move, the Democratic Party removed him from the ballot AFTER the filing deadline, meaning that under current Tennessee law he will not be able to run in the election for another party or as an independent.

The primary reason for removing an incumbent legislator from their own Party from the ballot? Because DeBerry opposes abortion. (DeBerry also favors school choice, a stance that puts him at odds with most Democrats.) And that simply isn’t to be tolerated in today’s Democratic Party, it seems.

“My district has elected me 13 times,” DeBerry said after a House committee meeting. “Not just because I’m John DeBerry or because I’m a Democrat. But because they agree with what I fought for and what I stood for.”

Pandemic: Reality vs. Perceptions of Reality

One of the crazy things in the crazy year that is 2020 is how a health issue has become so politicized.

The coronavirus pandemic has affected the whole world. It is unprecedented in our lifetime and, indeed, in the last one hundred years. How to deal with this new virus was totally unknown at the outset and even now we don’t completely understand it and are still finding data that is seemingly inconsistent. How to react and address it was always a judgment call and Thinking Man can completely understand widely different perspectives, from concerns about health and deaths to concerns about economic devastation and the lives of millions of people thrown into crisis by unemployment and a crashing economy, and everything in between. Simple organizational behavior tells us that people speak from their perspectives and so it’s not surprising that medical people will always tend to err on the side of health and preventing even one death if they can. Business people and economists will tend to err on the side of concern about a contracting economy, high unemployment and the impact of job losses on individual households. Notice the background of the person giving an opinion and more times than not you know their perspective without even knowing what they are going to say.

Any action, anywhere on the spectrum of choices is a judgment and an attempt to strike a balance between a number of bad choices:  health, economic and individual financial outcomes. What I can’t understand is people who view anyone with an opinion other than their opinion being bad or evil or unconcerned. In a problem with so many unknowns, to take that view is, frankly, purely emotional and simply doesn’t make much sense. Unfortunately, however, that is the world where we find ourselves.

Below is a link to an article by the Chief Investment Officer at Franklin Templeton Fixed Income. A PhD, she worked with the Gallup polling organization to compare actual medical data on the pandemic with people’s perception of the pandemic.  That research group then took the demographic data of the people polled to show how perceptions are very different from reality in many cases by various segments of the country. And, as would be important for an investment firm, she draws some conclusions on how all that may impact the economic recovery. An important note: she does not debate the data, but uses the data to project some possible outcomes. For example, people are willing to pay for increased safety measures. How much they are willing to pay has implications for inflation.

The article’s sub- title “They Blinded Us From Science” speaks to how far from the medical are perceptions about the actual medical situation.


Peace In The Middle East? “A Distraction” Says Pelosi

The last two weeks have seen historic announcements regarding peace in the Middle East. Over the last month, three Muslim-majority countries announced peace agreements with Israel. Two of those were Arab countries and at least one of them is putting their embassy in Jerusalem. That’s pretty big news by any measure.

Whatever it took to bring that about, there is hope that there may be more to follow and that other Arab countries may also recognize Israel’s right to exist and begin to normalize relations.

On the domestic front, the celebrations for the peace agreements are much more muted, as a result of personal and political hatred and animosity. And that is sad. Continue reading “Peace In The Middle East? “A Distraction” Says Pelosi”

Rising Evidence On Mail-In Balloting

The bias of the media is pretty obvious when talking about mail-in balloting. Somewhere in almost every article, they will add a statement something like ‘unfounded claims of voter fraud’ or something similar, trying to suggest that there is no evidence that voter fraud has or could happen more easily with mail-in balloting.

Yet, the data and evidence are somewhat overwhelming to any objective observer. Continue reading “Rising Evidence On Mail-In Balloting”

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