The Right to Vote

One hundred years ago on August 18, 1920, Amendment XIX was ratified and I quote it here:

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.
Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

It was and is a momentous accomplishment testifying to what persistence can achieve. It was not uniformly celebrated at the time, but the doubling of the voting population was of great and genuine benefit just as adding to the available talent in our workforce has advanced and will continue to advance our nation.

Thomas Marshall was vice president when the amendment was ratified and expressed reservations about it, but did acknowledge the wisdom of the majority over the few on the issue. I quote here from his autobiography:

Well, it’s all over. The amendment has been adopted as a part of the organic law of the land, and woman has now her rights. It is to be hoped that she will realize that having obtained this right there is a duty superimposed upon it, the duty to maintain not only the old-fashioned government in America but the great ideals upon which that government was founded: The duty to make a home, from out whose portals there will pass strong and courageous men and brave women, who will dare to stand for the right regardless of mere personal advantage. It is to be hoped that she will take a greater interest in informing herself about public questions than the average man has done; but, above all, it is to be hoped that this amendment will remain a question of suffrage and not a question of sex; that the ballot will sweeten rather than sour the mothers of our land,

Recollections, a Hoosier Salad. by Thomas Marshall, p 237

Yes, a bit chauvinistic, I grant, but still not entirely without merit or sound advice,

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This Is the Way the Mall Will Die

There is a problem with the mass shootings that goes beyond the human tragedy of destroyed lives and families. Inherent in these events is the loss of any feeling of security. Our government is refusing to take any action that would offer to protect its citizen while the public venues, stores, malls, churches, concerts and so on, are increasingly becoming unsafe. I have said before that if one wished to destroy Christmas, set off a bomb in a mall. It appears that a gun will do just as well. We are told that the department store and the mall are being threatened by the internet and shopping is being done increasingly from home. Part of this is that home is safer than the stores or the mall. If one wants to destroy the social fabric of our country try shooting people in a store or a mall.

Not With a Bang, But a Whimper

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President Trump and the Impending Betrayal of Israel

If Mr. Trump has to choose between Israel and Russia, he will clearly choose Russia. He has never taken a serious stand against Russia. He has abandoned treaties and alliances on a whim. Europe and South Korea are only the most glaring examples. Russia may become the dominant force in Europe and China is already poised to dominate Asia. North Korea has been given a free hand with the retreat of the United States’ commitment to protect South Korea and the reunification of Korea under North Korean domination seems inevitable.

Likewise Russia is becoming the dominant force in the Mideast with the retreat of the United States from that region. Mr. Putin knows that Mr. Trump will not challenge him because among other issues, it would require that Mr. Trump admit that he made a mistake in trusting his “friend” Vladimir. There is also the persistent rumor that Putin “has something on Trump”.

Let me speculate a bit at this point. There are two people who could destroy the Trump presidency with a single statement. First: Melania Trump. Consider the consequences if she were to make a statement that she knew that Donald had had multiple affairs, some incestuous perhaps, maybe abusive. She is more popular than he is and enjoys a great deal of credibility. She would not have to offer proof because the statement need not be true, and it still would be devastating even if she offered no proof at all.

The second person, of course, is Vladimir Putin. His relationship with Trump has received many comments and much is speculated. While it has been suggested that Putin has “dirt” on Trump, perhaps tapes of prostitutes entertaining Donald or some such thing, nothing has emerged. This proposal does not stand close consideration. Sex scandals are swirling around this president and few seem to care. But consider for a moment the impact a simple statement by Putin that he did meddle in the 2016 election, did personally provide information to Trump (read “collusion” here), and did so in exchange for assurances from Mr. Trump that Russia would benefit when he became president. This need not be true, but again such a statement would be believed even without any proof being offered.

Is either statement likely? Probably not, but Mr. Trump is exceedingly vulnerable here. More vulnerable than any recent president and much of it is his own doing. He has few friends left and the list of enemies just waiting for such an opportunity is growing daily.

So now we return to the predicament that faces Israel. The United States is putting “America first” in a very real way. Review North Korea, which is being told to take its time denuclearizing; NATO, which is being told it is no longer to expect backing from the United States; and then consider the treatment of our allies such as Canada, Mexico, and on the list goes. Can Israel expect anything different? This administration is showing no inclination to seriously interfere with Russian attacks in Syria, no interference beyond statements that Mr. Putin is ignoring. Such statements appear to be merely political posturing. I fear that soon the United States will have no commitments in the area and Israel will be left to deal with Putin and his allies, Iran and Syria, alone. Putin has not been particularly friendly toward Israel in the past.

Addendum: I posted this less than 24 hours ago stating that Israel should be cautious because Mr. Trump is preparing to betray this country as he has done with other US allies  It was reported today that President Trump stated, in a conference with President Netanyahu, that Israel had to “do something that will be good for the other side … I took probably the biggest chip off the table,” Trump said. “Deals have to be good for both parties … Israel got the first chip and it’s a big one.” What he is saying of course is that Israel will have to make a “big” sacrifice.

Posted in Politics, Putin, Trump | 1 Comment

The New York Times Op-ed Author

There is much speculation about who wrote the anonymous op-ed published in The New York Times suggesting that there is an ongoing conspiracy within the administration to prevent Mr. Trump from making huge and dangerous mistakes. That this may be necessary is widely discussed by many. That it is taking place seems almost certain. The open confrontations bear witness. Simply consider Jeff Sessions among so many others. But who would write this op-ed and who would have enough “seniority” to convince The New York Times to publish it anonymously.

I have been wrong before and I have been surprised before so I’m not afraid of either one, hence I will present my guess and my reasons: Michael Pence: or someone closely associated with him.

Why Pence? First: He is senior enough to convince the Times to go out on a very long limb. He is also the one person, apart from Mr. Trump himself, who has relatively solid job security. He can’t be fired. He was elected to the vice presidency and can be removed only through impeachment and conviction of high crimes and misdemeanors. Second: He is the person most likely to benefit from removing Mr. Trump from the presidency; he would become president. It seems to me that the op-ed author has placed a thinly, very thinly, vailed appeal to congressional republicans to remove Mr. Trump. He states that he believes in the agenda and that he wants it to be carried out (by whom? The vice president obviously). Finally it is worth looking at the relationship between these two. Mr. Pence is very likely to view Mr. Trump with personal repugnance. It has been said that Mr. Pence will not meet alone with a woman, not without his wife present. That is clearly not the case for Mr. Trump, and Michael is not foolish enough to believe the denials. Michael is a Born Again Christian, and Donald plays golf on Sunday mornings.

Whoever authored the op-ed, the purpose is clear. The president is to be jettisoned but the agenda is to be preserved under better management, and for this there is only one reasonable option: Michael Pence.

One more piece to bear in mind: the author clearly states there is a conspiracy at work to save the nation from an erratic impulsive president. This op-ed should be viewed as part of that effort, not as a personal act. More than one person may be, probably is, a party to this publication and the intended effect is part of the effort disclosed.

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Things Have Changed a Bit

First he said he was going to drain the swamp and now it turns out he is the swamp.

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The Universe and Time

The universe is a single entity. Newton showed that the same laws of physics that apply to events on Earth, apply to events in the rest of the universe. Einstein showed that matter and energy were the same thing, just in different forms. If a piece of matter, a particle, is destroyed; it is now really destroyed, just changed into energy. Nothing disappears, and nothing arises out of nothing. The energy comes from matter. It follows logically that all of the universe is the same material following the same laws: matter, energy, space and finally time are all the same thing in different forms, interchangeable forms. If this is true the progression of the universe is obvious. Matter is gradually being converted into energy. The universe is expanding and the space is being created from energy that is converting into space. Time move forward, expanding as well, and therefore it follows that space is being converted into time. The Big Bang Theory begins with the universe in a single point with no space and no time. The progression is to “create” space and time. The progression would lead ultimately to the conversion of all of the universe, matter, energy, and space into time and when that happens there will be no more time produced and it will all have to stop. There will be nothing except time, no matter, no energy and no space. It will all be time located, ALL in a single point. Will this create a new Big Bang and begin the whole process again?

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Turning the US into Russia

The problems facing the United States are serious and perhaps under estimated. Our president is choosing to extend friendship to governments that do not share our values and in many cases are actively attacking us or threatening to attack us. These are not free nations but totalitarian regimes such as Duarte in the Philippians, Kim in North Korea and Putin in Russia. But I caution that the problem facing the United States is not that Mr. Trump wants to be “friends” with Vladimir Putin: the threat we face is that Donald Trump wants to BE Vladimir Putin. He wants to run this country as Putin runs Russia. He wants to be the sole authority with no advice or restraint by anyone: no restraint by his advisers or by congress. No restriction by the courts or the law. No criticism by the media or even the citizens who will vote. I’m afraid we have a president who wants to turn our country into Russia.

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