Yesterday, we got word that Colin Powell passed away at age 84. Powell had a distinguished professional career and was the first Black Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, serving under Presidents Bush and Clinton, and was appointed the first Black Secretary of Statue by the second President Bush.
Less than 12 hours after the announcement, Donald Trump’s Save America Political Action Committee released a statement from the former President. “Wonderful to see Colin Powell, who made big mistakes on Iraq and famously, so-called weapons of mass destruction, be treated in death so beautifully by the Fake News Media…He made plenty of mistakes, but anyway, may he rest in peace.”
Why was that necessary? At a minimum, Colin Powell was an historic figure. But, of course, it was not necessary but it was that another public figure was getting attention and praise that Trump so craves and demands for himself. And if Trump has to be cruel to a family grieving over the loss of a loved one earlier in the day, and callous to a military to whom he was a leader for years, then that is secondary to Trump.
THAT is why he is no longer President. He is just a terrible person, no matter what his policies may have been.
Climate change (the current, more politically correct term for global warming) has become a religion. You know when advocates will not entertain even any discussion of varying opinions, that science and objectivity have gone out the window and it has become a cult. Such is the case with climate change.
Thinking Man has always felt that there are two important questions on the topic: one being “Are global temperatures rising?” and “If so, is that caused by human action?” Without getting into the broader discussion, we know there have been times in history that world temperatures-at least in Europe—have been as high or even higher than they are now, so each of those two questions are important.
But the real concern, as it would be for any person who thinks rather than blindly follows, is why people refuse even to discuss something, especially in colleges and universities where more than one professor has been ostracized or dismissed for questioning the effects of climate change. Isn’t that contrary to the “sifting and winnowing” of ideas that we value in academia, as the motto at my alma matter says?
That aside, when an idea is held up with religious-like zeal it becomes, at first, sort of silly and then it becomes dangerous. We have seen both of those in the past week.
Continue reading “When The Religion Of Climate Change Becomes Silly, And Then Dangerous”
Former President Trump continues his war on the Republican Party. Trump has already announced that he is backing primary opponents for several members of Congress and last week Trump said that Sen. Republican Leader Mitch McConnell should be removed.
Continue reading “Trump’s War Against the Republican Party (continued)”
We have seen the headlines of supply chain problems, of an unprecedented number of ships offshore of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach for days waiting to unload cargo because there are not enough trucks and drivers to pick up the cargo and take it to its destination. Many of us have personally experienced the effects of some of these issues, and manufacturers are already telling people to shop early for Christmas because of expected shortages of certain items.
As it turns out, a labor shortage that means trucking companies cannot get enough drivers is only part of the problem. A large contributing factors are laws in California that have gone into effect in the last year or so, that are only now showing up because of the decreased demand last year during covid.
Continue reading “The ‘Rest Of The Story’ On Supply Chain Woes”
President Biden has announced that the United States will rejoin, and again fund, the United Nations Human Rights Council.
President Trump had previously pulled funding and withdrew membership when the Human Rights Council had elected members such as China, Cuba, Iran and Venezuela. Those countries are gross violators of human rights but yet would be in charge of monitoring human rights worldwide.
The Biden Administration does not seem to have those same concerns.
The premise of Thinking Man’s Politics is that we should think when we look at issues or topics in society and politics. If we do, we put principles over a person, and we put ideas over popular trends. And let us be candid, if our ‘principles’ change depending on the person or party involved, they are not ‘principles’ but slight preferences.
In this author’s view, there are two primary problems in our political and social discourse: one being the habit of ignoring anything negative if it’s “our guy” and ignoring anything positive if it’s “the other side’s guy” and the second is the desire to win at any cost and, often, no matter how big or small the issue (in other words, the mindset that the end justifies the means). Both are destructive to our politics and, more basically, to our social fabric. They are not new, but seem to be taken to more extremes these days and in times past.
Continue reading “”
Sen. Bernie Sanders is upset that Congress has not passed the two spending bills proposed by President Biden and which would be the largest spending program in the nation’s history. Sanders has been pushing hard for passage of Biden’s $1.2 Trillion infrastructure bill and his $3.5 Trillion spending bill. Complaining that 2 Democratic senators refuse to vote for such high spending, Sanders tweeted:
“2 senators cannot hold up what 48 senators and 210 House members want.”
Poor Bernie. He just cannot seem to add. The 48 senators and 210 House members that he says are in favor of those bills, are a minority in both the Senate (which has 100 members) and the House (which has 435 members). Sen. Sanders, if you like we can get you some flash cards to help you with the math, if you like.
In testimony before Congress, the Commissioner of the IRS said that he wants banks to be required to report every transaction, deposit or withdrawal, for any bank account having $600 or more. Senate Democrats say they are making progress on getting the votes to ensure this is included as part of any spending plan.
Once we get past the immediate absurdity of the thought, logic brings us to the same conclusion. Once banks spend the money to report every single transaction of these accounts, hundreds of millions of them each with who knows how many deposits and withdrawals each year, the IRS has to hire people to go through those hundreds of millions of reports on accounts. The cost would be large, even aside from the blatant invasion of privacy for no practical financial reason.
The IRS says that the measure is to make sure people are paying taxes. But let’s get real-if we are trying to increase federal revenue to pay for the largest spending plan in history by tracking every move of someone with $600 in the bank then we are really in bad shape. No, this is not about catching tax cheats, it’s about control.
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor spoke yesterday at a virtual conference of law students sponsored by the American Bar Association. In her remarks, Justice Sotomayor reminded students that Courts do not make laws and sometimes that is frustrating to individual judges. But the way to change the law, is through the legislature and not the courts.
“There’s going to be a lot of disappointments,” said Sotomayor, who was appointed by President Obama and has served on the Supreme Court for twelve years.
“As you study cases and look at outcomes you disagree with, it can get frustrating.” Referring to a recent Court case on a Texas law, Sotomayor commented “I can’t change Texas’ law but you can. You can and everyone else who may or may not like it can go out there and be a lobbying force to change laws they don’t like.”
Thank you Justice Sotomayor for reminding us of our basic civics class, and that courts should not be political and do not make law, no matter how individual justices may disagree. That is the job of the officials elected by the people.
Former VA Governor Terry McAuliffe, who is running for Governor again, said in a candidate debate that parents should not be involved in what is being taught in schools.
Step back and think about a moment. What McAuliffe is saying is that the school system knows better than the parents do on what their children should be taught. A simple statement but with significant implications.
What McAuliffe expressed is, in a nutshell, the primary difference between liberals and conservatives. Generally speaking it is this: liberals tend to think that government knows what is best and can save people, even from themselves, and so they look to have an active (and large) government. Conservatives believe the reverse, that the government is an instrument of the people and should do the people’s bidding. A government exists solely to serve the people and to protect them and their rights. It is a broad generalization but conservatives believe that people should be able to make their own choices, even if those choices are not good ones, and then be held to the consequences of those choices. If the choices are good, they reap the benefits and if they are not good, the face the consequences and hopefully learn to make better choices from the experience.
Terry McAuliffe summarized the essence of the political system and the election for Governor, and for most elections for that matter. As a liberal, he believes that the school system knows better than parents (and a parent’s values). Conservatives would argue the opposite. Translate that to other issues and other situations and you have a snapshot of the questions faced by voters on every election day.