The Personal Website of Mark W. Dawson

Containing His Articles, Observations, Thoughts, Meanderings,
and some would say Wisdom (and some would say not).

Chirps (Some Would Say Rants)

Paragraph sized, succinct, and pithy comments on a subject that have piqued my interest or curiosity, or my ire or indignation,
as well as announcements of new or updated Articles that I have written.

Click to proceed to my latest Chirp.
Click  to review my Chirps on the Coronavirus Pandemic.

It’s Complicated

How often have we heard someone state “It’s Complicated” when responding in a political debate? Yes, it can be complicated when dealing with the cause and effect of an issue. But, often, the core issue of the debate is not complicated. It is the core issues that I try to address in these Chirps. When you strip away the Deflections and the “Obfuscation, Smoke, and Mirrors” it is often not that complicated. I point out that many who argue a political issue resort to Deflections, Obfuscation, Smoke, and Mirrors as a tactic to obscuring people's understanding, leaving them baffled or bewildered and susceptible to accepting their conclusions. It is most often done by inserting oblique facts, nonsequiturs, exceptions to the rule, and the perfect vs. the practical. You should always go to the core issue of the argument and examine its meaning. When engaging in a debate blow away the Deflections, Obfuscations, Smoke, and Mirrors and get to the core issue. Determine the core issue, the facts and truths of the issue, then debate the cause and effect and the actions to be taken.

Stating The Obvious and Common Sense

Many would say that these Chirps are “stating the obvious” or just “common sense”. Unfortunately, in today's society, the obvious has become obscured and common sense is not so common. When I speak of common sense I do so as stated in my “Common Sense” observation which I would encourage you to read. The obvious is often (deliberately) obscured in order to achieve a political goal through the means of “Obfuscation, Smoke, and Mirrors” as I stated in another observation which I would also encourage you to read. Therefore, I think that I need to Chirp by “stating the obvious” and utilizing “common sense”.

Arguing from Ignorance

When I speak of ignorance it is not in a pejorative sense. I mean a lack of knowledge, or incomplete knowledge, or just plain incorrect knowledge. When I speak of argumentation, I mean the logical structure of an argument: a statement or observation, the premises, and the conclusion. This includes the deductive or inductive reasoning of the argument. I also include the identification of logical fallacies and cognitive biases incorporated into the argument as outlined in my “Reasoning” section of my “Dialog and Debate” observation. There are many different ways that an argument can be improper. Statements or observation can be incorrect or misleading, premises can be incorrect or missing, and consequently, the conclusion would be wrong. These and many other things may make the conclusion of an argument wrong. Sometimes, even in the statements, observations, or premises are incorrect the conclusion may be right. This is usually due to blind luck and falls under the category that “a stuck clock is right twice a day”. You should keep this in mind when reviewing an argument, or when you are stating an argument. The Chirps on this web page are too short for a substantive argument. When I think it necessary to elaborate, I will direct you to an article that has a better argument.

Criticism vs. Critique

The only acceptable method of public discourse is disagreement - to be of different opinions. If you are in disagreement with someone you should be cognizant that people of good character can and often disagree with each other. The method of their disagreement is very important to achieve civil discourse. There are two ways you can disagree with someone; by criticizing their opinions or beliefs or critiquing their opinions or beliefs.

  • Criticism - Disapproval expressed by pointing out faults or shortcomings.
  • Critique - A serious examination and judgment of something.

Most people, and most commentators have forgotten the difference between Criticism and Critique. This has led to the hyper-partisanship in today's society. In a civil society critiquing a viewpoint or policy position should be encouraged. This will often allow for a fuller consideration of the issues, and perhaps a better viewpoint or policy position without invoking hyper-partisanship. We can expect that partisanship will often occur, as people of good character can and often disagree with each other. Criticizing a viewpoint or policy position will often lead to hostility, rancor, and enmity, which results in the breakdown of civil discourse and hyper-partisanship. It is fine to criticize someone for their bad or destructive behavior, but it is best to critique them for their opinions or words. We would all do better if we remember to critique someone, rather than criticize someone.

My Approach

I have often said that English is my second language, while thinking is my first language. Those that know me, and my writing, know that my second language (English) can be very poor in spelling, grammar, malapropisms, and phraseology (thank God for computer spell checkers, thesaurus, and grammar checks), and I struggle to write anything. I am a very organized and logical person, and I attempt to keep my writing organized and logical. I attempt to write clearly, concisely, completely, confidently, and understandably. As such, I hope that these articles are readable to all with a high school education.

In writing these Articles and Chirps I have attempted to assure that the information I present is factual and accurate. I, therefore, expend time and effort in researching to obtain the facts and achieve accuracy. The process of writing for me is an intellectual, emotional, and physical strain. I have, therefore, written a short article “The Intellectual and Emotional Strains of Writing” that explains my research efforts, and the intellectual, emotional, and physical strains of writing these Articles and Chirps.

As regards to my debating these issues, I would direct you to my Chip “Form Over Substance” as to my reluctance to engage in debate on these subjects. Essentially, I  believe that I am a poor debater. It is for this reason that I often do not engage in debates. I do, however, engage in discussions in which both sides have ample time to challenge the facts, statistics, and reasoning of their arguments to effectually explain their arguments.

Terminology

Throughout these Chirps I often utilize terms that I believe that should be defined and elucidated. The following is a brief list of the terms I most often utilize:

  • Liberals/Progressives is a term I utilize to define the political spectrum to the left of center. This political spectrum is; Leftists, Progressives, Liberals, Centrists, Conservative, and Far-Right (including Reactionaries and the Alt-Right).
  • Mainstream Cultural Media (MCM) is those Academia, actors and actresses, celebrities, fine artists, musicians, poets and writers, producers, directors, and scriptwriters, sportsmen and sportswomen, etc. that are overwhelmingly of a liberal/progressive disposition, along with their mainstream media counterparts. I believe that it is time to provide a label for the personages who habituate in this Liberal/Progressive agenda.
  • Mainstream Media (MSM) is a term and abbreviation used to refer collectively to the various large mass news media that influence many people, and both reflect and shape prevailing currents of thought. The term is used to contrast with alternative media which may contain content with more dissenting thought at variance with the prevailing views of mainstream sources.
  • Political Correctness (PC) is a term that originally meant the avoidance of expressions or actions that can be perceived to exclude or marginalize or insult people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against. However, PC has devolved into a term that is utilized to silence anyone who disagrees with the Liberal/Progressive agenda. PC now means that you cannot do or say anything that a Liberal/Progressives doesn't want to see or hear. It has become a term that excludes people rather than its original intent to include all people.

Comments, Concerns, Critiques, or Suggestions

If you have any comments, concerns, critiques, or suggestions I can be reached at mwd@profitpages.com. I will review reasoned and intellectual correspondence (Critiques not Criticisms), and it is possible that I can change my mind, or at least update the contents of these Chirps. This is why these articles are dated. Whenever I make a change to these articles they will be re-dated. So check back and see if any have been updated.

05/28/20 The Non-Apology Apology

How often have we witnessed a politician, celebrity, or another noteworthy person issue an apology for something stupid that they have said or written, or perhaps for their hypocritical actions? And how often is the apology just as offensive as the original offense? Too often to recount in this Chirp. The apology often proclaims that they were misquoted or taken out of context, or they were misunderstood even when the plain meaning was obvious. Sometimes they even resort to denial, until the evidence is definitive. They also often utilize the technique of spinning their statements as meaning something other than what was said, written, or done. They even try to deflect the criticism upon the critic or to blame a third party for their statements. They just as often say they accept responsibility for their statements, but then immediately try to negate their responsibility. The excuse that both sides do it is not an excuse, as neither side should be doing it.

This Non-Apology Apology is usually driven by their inability to admit that they erred, or to cover your ass, or simply their egotistical tendencies. However, we all should remember that all of us make mistakes throughout our lives. We should also remember that:

Perfection is reserved for God; humans should strive to do their best.
 - Mark Dawson

and

“To err is human; to forgive, divine.”
- Alexander Pope in "Essay on Criticism"

Therefore, it is always better to issue a sincere apology and ask for forgiveness. Most people are willing to forgive after a sincere apology but will not be forgiving without a sincere apology. If a politician, celebrity, or other noteworthy person issue a Non-Apology Apology, they exhibit a character flaw for which they should be rebuked.

05/27/20 Journalists Did Not Get Played, They Were Willing Players

With the journalistic false narratives (or as President Trump has labeled it “Fake News”) of the Russian Collusion, Impeachment, Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos, Carter Page, and other personages involved with the candidate and President Trump, many have commented that the journalist got “played” by members of the Obama administration. However, they were not played, but they were willing players in this false narrative. Journalists have resorted to reporting that which they have not verified, but that which they want or hope to be true. Much of this can be attributed to grandstanding, hype, and ratings, but much of it can be attributed to the political biases of the journalists.

Many, but not all the Mainstream Media, simply parroted what they were told by the Obama officials. And the Obama officials knew that they would be willing parrots as journalists have so amply demonstrated by their other interactions with the Obama administration. The journalistic responsibility to assure the veracity of the sources and the facts were ignored and, therefore, they have failed in their responsibilities as journalists. They also exhibited no sense of skepticism, which is crucial to journalistic professionalism. Journalists have also forgotten that it is the responsibility of those making an assertion to prove their assertion, and journalists have a responsibility to hold them to account for their assertions (see my chirp of “02/05/20 Assertions are the Question”). The approaches that journalists have utilized for the above mentioned false narratives are an excellent example of “Modern Journalism”, as I have previously written.

As a result of their reporting, they have damaged or destroyed the reputations of those personages mentioned in their false narrative. Some have even been put in legal jeopardy, and many have been financially harmed by these false narratives. Not only have they damaged personages, but they have politically inhibited the duly elected President Trump administration. Political debates on the issues and concerns of our time are a requirement of a robust democracy. To examine the pros and cons of the issue is to, hopefully, make for better laws and the administration of laws. But when this debate centers around false narratives, then we can expect that not much good will take place and, indeed, it may be harmful to our society.

These journalism actions and inactions have also emboldened Democrat politicians to make false statements, as they can expect journalists to not challenge their statements. The outright lies of Congressman Adam Schiff, the misrepresentations of Congressman Jerry Nadler, and the outrageous assertions of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer were for the purpose of damaging President Trump and his administration. They were not for the purpose of challenging the Trump administration, but for the purpose of impeding the Trump administration. These statements were much more than lies, as they were often “Damned Lies”, as explained in my article “Lies and Beliefs”. Some of these false assertions have also crossed over the line into Slanders and Libels, which are difficult to adjudicate as the Constitution affords protection against Congressional members in the performance of their duties. However, journalists must accurately and fully report these false assertions to the public so that the electorate can pass judgment on these false statements, and the politicians who make these false assertions.

This also begs the question of ‘What other reporting is a false narrative?’. Regarding the Trump administration reporting, we can expect that much of it is a false narrative. I have no problem with journalists challenging the Trump administration, but these challenges need to be based on facts and “Reasoning”, and not false narratives nor emotional appeals. I do have a big problem with journalists not challenging the opponents of the Trump administration. For not challenging the opponents of the Trump administration is to allow for false narratives to be regarded as truths. These journalistic actions and inactions also endanger our republic. If the electorate is swayed by false narratives, they cannot make responsible electoral decisions. And if they cannot trust government officials in the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches of government because of these false narratives, then proper and just governance is not possible.

Consequently, modern journalism has become not one of reporting but parroting a story that they want to be true. If journalists can be played or be players, they are not meeting their professional responsibilities as journalists. As such, modern journalism is not a bastion for the protection of the people from unconstitutional or illegal governmental actions, but one of supporting governmental actions for which they concur or opposing governmental actions for which they disagree.

05/25/20 The Party of Hamilton, Not Jefferson-Jackson

Political parties evolve and change policies as the times change. Unfortunately, their monikers tend to remain the same. The Republicans are often called The Party of Lincoln, while the Democrats are often called The Party of Jefferson-Jackson. Yet, these monikers to not reflect the policies of these personages, nor could they as the current times are much different than the times of these personages. Yet some general principles of governance remain. Whether a society is to be governed by a top-down or bottom-up approach is one of these general principles. In America, this is reflected by the precept of a strong national government involved in the everyday affairs of the people or the precept of a strong local/state government that is involved in the everyday affairs of the people. This dichotomy is reflected in the policy positions and organization of the Democrat and Republican parties.

The Democrats believe in a strong Federal government that has direct interactions with the people of the country, while the Republicans believe that strong interaction with the people should occur at the Local then State governments. As such, the Democrats more closely reflect the governing principles of Alexander Hamilton, while the Republicans more closely reflect the governing principles of Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson, while the governing principles of Abraham Lincoln are often between these dichotomies.

The tensions between these two dichotomies can often be advantageous for governance, but disadvantageous for the natural rights of the people. A top-down governing structure is advantageous for the implementation of social policy goals, but the effectuation of this implementation may infringe on the natural rights of some or all the people. A bottom-up governing structure makes it more difficult to achieve social policy goals but affords more protection for the natural rights of some or all the people. The history of mankind has shown that top-down governance results in monarchy, tyranny, rulers, or other forms of oppressive governance that is unresponsive to the natural rights of the people. A bottom-up governing structure often results in anarchy, which leads to the violation of the natural rights of the people. Our Constitution was formulated to try to balance the needs of governance with the natural tights of the people. It is important that we maintain this balance for the wellbeing of our society.

If one side or the other gains dominance of governance, then the other side must be ineffectual. This dominance is not only in the dominance of governance but the dominance within a party. When a party becomes rigid in their policies, they often become intolerant of any opposition to their policies. When they become rigid, they often institute a power structure within their party to maintain the discipline to advance their policy positions, and they exhibit little or no cooperation nor bipartisanship with those that would disagree with them. The party becomes one of rulers, rather than of leaders, to achieve their policy goals.

And so, it is, with the current Democrat Party. They believe that their policy positions are so morally right and intellectually superior that they cannot cooperate or compromise, nor exhibit bipartisanship, with anything or anyone that differs with their policies. Nor do they feel constrained by the limitations of government as embodied in the United States Constitution if it would interfere with obtaining their social policies. It should be remembered that no side is morally right nor intellectually superior, and the Constitution was created to protect the principles of “Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Justice for All”.  It is for these principles that our society was formulated and endures.

On this Memorial Day, we should remember the ultimate sacrifice of those that gave their lives for these principles. We should also remember the words of Abraham Lincoln, delivered at the Dedication of the Cemetery at the Battlefield of Gettysburg:

“It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain - that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.“

05/24/20 The Sins of the Past

In today’s America, we are as concerned about putting right the sins of our past as we are concerned about doing right in the present and future. But the sins of the past are of the past and are often impossible to indemnify in the present or future. The sins of the present need to be put right and not allowed in the future.

You should indemnify the individuals harmed by present sins, rather than indemnifying a group of descendants harmed by our past sins. For if you indemnify a group, it is usually to the detriment of another group. If you elevate or give preferential treatment to one group over another group, then you are demoting or discriminating against another group. As taught in the Bible, the sins of the fathers are not borne by the sons. Therefore, the burdens of the sins of the past are to be borne by those people in the past who have sinned, and not by those people of the present who have not sinned. “Equality for all” should be the bedrock principle in our governmental policies and how we deal with each other.

For more than fifty years, we in America have been trying to indemnify descendants of people in the present who have not been directly harmed by the sins of our past. This has led to feelings of victimization, despair, and despondence by those group members whose forefathers suffered by the sins of our past. It has also led them to feel that they are disenfranchised and that they cannot be contributing members of our society. These feelings had led to schisms in our society to the detriment of all of society.

Instead of anguishing over the sins of our past, we should learn from them and attempt to not sin in our present and future. We do this by striving to preserve and protect our “Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Justice for All” and providing opportunities for all. Let us, therefore, strive to assure that all Americans have an equal opportunity to succeed and are not sinned against in our present and future. We have not always been perfect in this, nor are we perfect in this today, nor will we be perfect in this in the future, but we should always remember that:

Perfection is reserved for God; humans should strive to do their best.
  - Mark Dawson

05/23/20 Courts, Not Star Chambers

With the prosecutor dropping the charges against Michael Flynn, and Judge Emmet Sullivan subsequent actions of appointing an amicus curiae (friend of the court) judge to advise him along with allowing other amicus briefs the question arises 'What is the role and focus of a judge in judicial proceedings?'. First and foremost, a judge needs to be neutral, favoring neither the defendant nor the prosecution. The judge needs to assure that the judicial rules of procedure and evidence be adhered too. A judge also must not interject their beliefs and opinions into the legal proceedings. All their judicial decisions must be made in accordance with these considerations.

Sadly, Judge Emmet Sullivan has failed to meet these obligations. His previous statements made during the proceedings have shown that he is not neutral. His actions in appointing amicus curiae, which are not authorized in criminal cases as determined by previous judicial rulings on procedures and affirmed by Supreme Court decisions, are contradictory to criminal judicial proceedings, as explained by Andrew C. McCarthy and Jonathan Turley. He has even issued rulings that contradict his own previous rulings in other cases. His actions are more of a Star Chamber - A former English court that became notorious for its arbitrary methods and severe punishments – than a court of law. Equal justice under law is jeopardized if this is to be allowed.

An emergency Writ of Mandamus compelling him to execute his duties has been filed. Based on his words and deeds during this judicial proceeding, this writ should be granted forthwith. The integrity of the court is a stake, and if his amicus actions are allowed, then established judicial procedures are upended with deleterious impacts on future judicial proceedings.

Also, sadly, his words and deeds are illuminative of the politicization of courts that we have observed in the last several decades, as outlined in my article "Judges, Not Lords". This politicization needs to end for us to ensure that our "Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Justice for All" reign supreme in America.

05/22/20 The Real Election Collusion

Much has been said about the allegations of the Russian influence on the 2016 election, and the collusion of the Russians with the Trump campaign. Practically all of what has been said has turned out to be baseless and untrue. These comments by the Mainstream Media, Progressive Commentators, Mainstream Cultural Media, and Democrat politicians were not for the purpose of uncovering the truth. They were, instead, for the purpose of influencing elections and for the purpose of "Demonize, Denigrate, Disparage (The Three D's)" the Trump administration. The following examples are indicative of their attempts to influence elections:

All of these influencing actions had a far greater and more negative impact on our election than anything the Russians’ did to influence our elections. And all of this could not have been possible if not for the cooperation and collusion of the Mainstream Media, Progressive Commentators, Mainstream Cultural Media, and Democrat politicians. The failure of accurate and factual reporting, challenging journalistic questioning of the opponents of President Trump, and outright maleficence by the parties involved in this collusion poses a danger to our republic. Influencing an election through facts and truth is laudable, while influencing an election through falsehoods and deceptions is despicable. Opinions, if based on facts and truths are acceptable, but opinions not based on facts and truths are reprehensible.

Consequently, the Real Election Collusion is between the Democrats and the Mainstream Media to influence the 2020 elections against President Trump. If such collusion is successful, then we have a crisis in our republic. A crisis of lack of information, misinformation, and outright lies and deceptions that do not allow the voters to make informed decisions in the 2020 elections.

05/21/20 Was It Sabotage or Was It A Consequence?

Recently, a New Jersey gym owner defied the Governors’ order and reopened his business after he took precautions to ensure the health and safety of his staff and members from the Coronavirus. Two days after opening the gym, the toilets overflowed, and he had to close the gym to clean up the mess it made. This begs the question about the overflow, ‘Was It Sabotage or Was It A Consequence?’. Did some government officials order the sewage lines closed, or did the sewer lines clog because of disuse during the lockdown?

I can envision that the sewer line sediments dried and hardened from a lack of water flow during the lockdown, causing blockage when they began to be reused. However, if it was sabotage, then this bespeaks of an out of control government, and the deliberate destruction of personal property without due process of law. If it was a consequence of disuse, then we must ask ourselves what other physical consequences may result from the prolonged lockdown of a business. Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning (HVAC), electrical and mechanical equipment, water line cracks or joints leaks, doors and windows being stuck from disuse or structural settlements, and other potential physical problems may result from disuse. All of this could take time and monies to repair, time and monies that business owners can ill afford after the prolonged lockdown.

These problems would be a result of “The Law of Unintended Consequences” from the lockdown. This also raises the question of what other unintended consequences are the result of a prolonged lockdown? Answers to these questions will have unintended repercussions that will impact the reopening of our economy. All locked down business owners must be aware of potential physical problems from restarting their business after the lockdown, and perhaps indemnified for the repair costs incurred because of the lockdown.

05/20/20 Respect vs. Respectfully

I have often mentioned that we should treat all people politely and respectfully. In doing so, the question arises if we should respect all people? The answer is – No, not all people are deserving of respect, but all persons should be treated politely and respectfully.

People who live a legal, moral, and ethical life are deserving of respect. People who have not lived a legal, moral, and ethical life, but have repented and reformed their life, ae also worthy of our respect. Respect is also earned by the accomplishment of a person, depending on the manner of the accomplishment. o be accomplished through legal, moral, and ethical means is worthy of respect, but any other means is worthy of disrespect.

People who treat you and others respectfully are deserving of respectful treatment. You should also remember that being Polite and Respectful is a reflection on your character and not a statement of respect for the other person you treat respectfully.

05/19/20 Movie Commentaries

I have created a web page "Movie Commentaries" that contains my comments and critiques of individual movies that I believe have been overlooked or underrated by the public and movie critics. When I watch a movie, I first watch it for its entertainment value, including the acting and supporting cast, the direction, the cinematography, and the music score. Afterward, I think about the underlying meaning of a movie. I prefer movies that have a very human element in them. Movies that deal with human passions or human conflicts. As such, the scripts for the movies I prefer are essential. Without a good script, it cannot be a good movie. If it does not have a good dialogue, or the dialogue doesn't ring true, then it cannot make my list. For more Movies and Television that I believe meets this criteria I would direct you to my article “That's Entertainment”. I make no claims that all these movies are great movies (although many of them are great), but I do claim that they are enjoyable movies.

05/18/20 Oppressive Patriarchal Hierarchical Society

Oppressive Patriarchal Hierarchy Society, and variations of this statement, have been utilized by critics of our society to besmirch America and Americans. Usually spoken so as to fundamentally transform our society to the critics’ vision of a more just society. A more just society is a laudable goal, but the means to achieve a more just society often results in more injustice and most often ends in failure. A failure that is due to the critics not recognizing human nature or human history. If you do not recognize human nature or learn from the lessons of human history, then any change you may make is doomed to failure. My new article, “Oppressive Patriarchal Hierarchy Society”, examines this topic in more detail.

05/17/20 Truth, Honesty, Character, and Courage Within Ourselves

Truth, Honesty, Character, and Courage are essential to becoming fully human. For without these items, you cannot be fully functional within yourselves and within society.

Without discovering the facts, you cannot discover the truth, and without applying “Reasoning” to the facts, you cannot reach the truth. And this is true not only for topics, issues, and concerns, but for the truth about yourself, the truth about your family, the truth about your friends, the truth about your neighbors, the truth about your co-workers, and the truth about your society. Truth based not on what you want to believe but truth based on the facts and reasoning. For any other means of reaching the truth is not truth but an illusion. When discussing the truth that you have uncovered, you should always keep in mind:

Doubt a little of your own infallibility.
  - Benjamin Franklin

and

You'll never get confused if you simply tell the truth. Then you don't have to remember what you have said, and you never forget what you have said. And you won't get in trouble for telling a lie if you have told the truth.
  - Mark Dawson

We must be honest about ourselves, about others, and about society to become a better person and assist others and society in becoming better. We must honestly examine our own shortcomings, failures, and flaws before we can become honest about ourselves or society. We all have shortcomings, failures, and flaws that we need to correct, and we need to be honest about ourselves before we are honest about others and society. However, be forewarned that honesty has a price. The price of:

Man is always prey to his truths.
Once he has admitted them,

he cannot free himself from them.
  - Albert Camus

We must have the character to act upon the truths and honesty that we have uncovered. The character to be true unto yourself. The character to “Be the Better Person”. Character in your public and private life. The character to not only act legally but to do the moral and ethical thing in all that you do. Not only the big things in your life but the little things as well. For the accumulation of little things builds your character for the bigger things. Do not be a character but be a person of character. And remember:

Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking.
  -  H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Courage to do the right thing is required to be fully functional within yourselves and within society. For without courage, it matters not how much Truth, Honesty, and Character you exhibit. Courage to speak and act upon the Truth, Honesty, Character you have accumulated. As has been truly said:

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
- Edmund Burke.

Not only will evil triumph but also the unjust, immoral, and unethical behavior of others will triumph without you exhibiting courage in the face of their misdeeds. Also, remember:

True Courage is doing the right thing, at the right time, regardless of personal consequences.
   - Mark Dawson

If we build our life on Truth, Honesty, Character, and Courage, we will build a better life for ourselves and for all.

05/16/20 Voter Fraud

Every citizen of the United States who is legally eligible to vote should be permitted to vote. And no impediment of their legal right to vote should be permitted as I have stated in my Observation “Political Issues - Voting“. Any person or persons who would impede a person’s vote needs to be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. And all governmental laws, rules, regulations, and procedures should be crafted to assure a person’s legal right to vote. Without the integrity of the vote, you have corrupted the democratic process and the will of the people. Regarding this, a key phrase in the above statement is “legally eligible to vote”. If a person is not legally eligible to vote, they need to be stopped from voting. For if they are allowed to vote, then the vote they illegal cast negates the vote of a legally eligible voter on the opposite side of an issue or candidate, which effectively disenfranchises the legally eligible voter. And this violation should be treated as harshly as you would treat a person or persons who impedes a legal voter.

Unfortunately, the Democratic Party seems to not be too concerned about the legality of the voter. While Democrats have been vigorous in their opposition to impediments to voting, they have hampered efforts to assure the legality of a voter. They often claim that this is to assure that there is no “Voter Suppression” occurring. But “Voter Suppression” is different than “legally eligible to vote”. They should concentrate their efforts on “Protecting Your Right to Vote” through appropriate legislation and enforcement. To not assure the “legally eligible to vote” is to allow for an unfair election and the corruption of the democratic process. It also places the illegal voter “Above the Law” in that they can violate the law by casting an illegal vote.

As a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic, many politicians have expressed concern about health safety in voting in the upcoming election. And many Democratic politicians have suggested mail-in votes as a safety measure. Many States have already instituted Mail-in voting with mixed results.  As RealClear Politics has reported, “28 Million Mail-In Ballots Went Missing in Last Four Elections”. The missing ballots amount to nearly one in five of all absentee ballots and ballots mailed to voters residing in states that do elections exclusively by mail. Surely, such a large number of missing ballots may have had an impact on the outcome of many elections.

Article I Section. 4. Of the U.S. Constitution states:

“The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.”

Therefore, it is up to the State Legislators to determine the election procedures. But this does not give them the right to institute election procedures that are susceptible to fraud. The election procedures in many states have been changed to make it easier to vote. Mail-in voting, early voting, election day voter registration, registering to vote outside of the registrars’ offices, and more have been instituted for the laudable goal to make it easier to vote. However, good intentions do not make for good laws, as many of these changes have also made it easier to commit election fraud. Voter fraud than can, and sometimes, change the outcome of an election. Fraud that anecdotally tends to favor the Democrat candidates. There is no proof of this fraud, as such proofs are exceeding difficult to obtain, but difficult to obtain does not mean that they do not occur. Remember, "Absence of Evidence is Not Evidence of Absence". We, therefore, should not change our election laws on the assumption that if you cannot prove voter fraud has occurred or will occur, you can presume that it has or will not occurred, and change the election laws based on this assumption.

Until we can assure the integrity of the vote, we need to be very careful and circumspect in the changes to our voting laws. We should also reexamine all current election laws to assure that only legally eligible voters are registered and vote, as well as for the protection against election fraud. For making it easier to vote often makes it easier to commit voter fraud.

05/15/20 Gettysburg Address in Words and in Crux

In my discussion with my friends on the topics I have written about some of my friends have requested that I skip my words and reasoning and proceed to the crux of the matter. I am loath to do this as I have explained in my Article “A Philosophical Approach”. Rather than recapitulate the reasons for my loathing, I thought that I could humorously demonstrate this point by utilizing an illustration of the Gettysburg Address, in both words and in the crux.

First, the words and the reasoning:

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate - we cannot consecrate - we cannot hallow - this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain - that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
-
President Abraham Lincoln - November 19, 1863

And now the crux in a PowerPoint Presentation:







PowerPoint presentation developed by Peter Norvig.

I think that we can all agree that the words and reasoning have a much more significant intellectual and emotional impact. It is for this reason that I prefer to discuss my words and reasoning rather than go to the crux of the matter.

05/14/20 Lawgiver-in-Chief – Part II

As I mentioned in my Chirp of “05/12/20 Lawgiver-in-Chief – Part I”, Nancy Pelosi does not legislate but utilizes an autocratic approach of rulership. I also mentioned that major legislation is written in secret by herself and a small cadre of advisors and Democrat legislators. This legislation also contains extensive spending or governmental actions on her other social policy goals unrelated to the goals of the legislation. Her current proposed legislation for Coronavirus Pandemic relief (the “Heroes Act”) is a perfect example of her approach to legislating. This three trillion-dollar, crafted in secret, spending bill, is so loaded with unrelated spending, tax reliefs, pork barrel allocations, special interests’ provisions, and unrelated social engineering as to be mind-boggling audacious. There is neither the time or space for me to unpeel these items, and I will leave it to other persons more qualified to illuminate the problems with this legislation.

Consequently, this boondoggle legislation does more harm than good to our society. As too her reasoning of why this legislation is important for Coronavirus Pandemic relief, I am reminded of the quote:

“I think we ought to exercise one of the sovereign prerogatives of philosophers— that of laughter”
 - Charles L. Black

This bill could not have been a more satirical parody of what I had written about her approach to legislation. When she proposes serious legislation, done through normal legislative procedures, then she should be taken seriously. Until this is done, we should utilize our prerogative to laugh. Consequently, her proposed legislation should be strongly criticized and ridiculed, and then be consigned to the dustbin of history.

05/13/20 The Most Consequential Election of Our Times

In the last several decades we have heard the hue and cry that this election is the most consequential election of our time. This is because governmental actions have become so intrusive in our political, social, and economic spheres of life that this intrusion makes for every election to be consequential. It is, indeed, a sad state of affairs that in a society dedicated to Freedom and Liberty that this governmental intrusion has become significant. For such governmental intrusion often encroaches on the Human, Constitutional, and Civil Rights of the individual.

However, the upcoming election may indeed be the most crucial election of our time. This is a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic and our responses to this pandemic. These responses have illuminated the differences in the approach to governance between the rights of the individual and the needs of society. Politicians on both sides have revealed their true stripes on this question. The President, Governors, Mayors, Judges, and other governmental officials’ responses to the Coronavirus Pandemic responses demonstrated their priorities and their approach to governance.  

Executive orders without legislative approvals, executive orders that do not take into consideration our rights, and executive orders sans significant judicial reviews reveal a propensity for rulership rather than leadership. Occasionally, our rights need to be curtailed in an emergency, but their curtailment must be limited in scope and of short duration. This curtailment must cease as quickly as possible, and the people harmed by such curtailment must be indemnified for the harm caused by the curtailment. Executive orders that extend weeks or months are beyond the scope of Executive powers, and are often injurious to the economy and deleterious to our rights, as outlined in my Coronavirus Pandemic Chirps of “05/04/20 First Came Rights” and “05/07/20 Natural Rights, Human Rights, and Fundamental Rights”. If such Executive powers are necessary, they should be preceded by quickened Legislative approval and expedited Judicial review. To not do so is to allow for arbitrary and capricious Executive authority.

In general, the Republican leaders have less supportive of, and more concerned about, these executive orders. Democratic leaders, on the other hand, tend to support these executive orders and seem not so concerned about their impacts on our rights or our economy. It is also true that the most restrictive executive orders originated from Democrat politicians (although some Republicans have done so). As to the argument that Democrat leaders are more concerned about our lives and safety I would respond to this argument by directing you to my Coronavirus Pandemic Chirp “05/03/20 Wait Until It’s Safe”. Both sides are concerned about our lives and safety, but only one side has exhibited concerns about our Human, Constitutional, and Civil Rights as well as the harmful economic impacts of our responses. And all of these concerns need to be addressed to appropriately respond to the Coronavirus Pandemic emergency.

In this next election, and subsequent elections, we shall choose whether we want leaders or rulers. We will decide whether the rights of the individual are subordinate to the needs of society, and if government has control of our economy. If we choose leaders then we will preserve our Human, Constitutional, and Civil Rights. If we choose rulers then we shall be subservient to governmental powers. We need to choose wisely in these elections, and with consideration about the future course of our society. As for me, I will decide based on the current actions of our politicians, and whether they have exhibited leadership rather than rulership.

05/12/20 Lawgiver-in-Chief - Part I

Nancy Pelosi is the Speaker of the House, not the Lawgiver in Chief. Her actions, since obtaining the Speakership, have demonstrated that she is not interested in legislating but in utilizing an autocratic approach to leadership. Major legislation is written in secret by herself and a small cadre of advisors and Democrat legislators. She then presents this legislation to the House for an up or down vote, not for legislative drafting and review. This is exhibited most notoriously in her statement, “You have to pass it to see what’s in it.” in the Obamacare legislation and in the crafting of the Coronavirus Pandemic relief bills. She seems more concerned with playing the blame game, as expressed in my Coronavirus Pandemic Chirp  “05/02/20 To Play the Blame Game or to Learn from Experience”, than correcting the issues and problems. She also appoints Democrat members to key House Committees that will recapitulate, rather than review and modifying the legislation that she proposes. She decides what and what will not be investigated by the House committees, and the parameters of the investigation. These investigative parameters are often constrictive to play the blame game rather than uncover the full extent of the problem and propose legislation to correct the problem.

House rules are promulgated to achieve her goals that are contrary to the historical rules and precedents of the House of Representatives, most notoriously in the Impeachment of President Trump, as espoused in my articles “The true meaning of the Senate vote on the Impeachment of President Trump” and “Impeachment Consequences”. These rules are also contrary to "The Rule of Law in Non-Judicial Proceedings". The Coronavirus Pandemic legislation and other legislation she proposes contains extensive spending or governmental actions on her other social policy goals unrelated to the Coronavirus Pandemic (see my Coronavirus Pandemic Chirp “04/01/20 Politics and A Serious Crisis Go to Waste”), or to the goals of the other legislation. Throughout these actions, no Republican legislators are involved in this process, and no Republican legislative involvement is allowed.

Her dismissive attitudes to those that disagree with her, and to the journalists who occasionally dispute her, are another indication of her autocratic approach. These dismissive attitudes are also an attempt to stifle opposition to her actions, rather than offer an explanation or justification for her actions. Her negotiations with the Senate are more intimidation than they are negotiations. Her autocratic approach to the Senate is best expressed in the idiom “My way or the highway” and in an unspoken ultimatum of "take it or leave it". If she cannot get her way in the Senate, she threatens to hold up or stop the legislation. Legislation that is crucial to not only our current Coronavirus Pandemic and its economic impacts, but to other legislation that is necessary and needful.

Consequently, under her Speakership, there is no representative democracy, but only one-person rule. The peoples' voice, through their elective representatives, is muted. A muting that also makes it very difficult for voters to make an informed judgment as to who to vote for in the next election. It is not leadership but rulership that she is exhibiting. All of this is contrary to a representative government and is antithetical to the principles of the Constitution.

05/11/20 It’s Not Treason, It’s Sedition

With the release of some of the documentation regarding the Russian Collusion investigations (including the Michael Flynn prosecution), which reveals possible illegal activities of the FBI and some Justice Department officials, many have described their actions as “Treason”. If these allegations are true, their actions were not Treasonous, but they were Seditious.

Article III Section. 3. Of the United States Constitution defines Treason as:

“Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.”

As such, their actions were not treasonous as they do not meet this definition. However, their actions were seditious as they were illegal actions demonstrating resistance to lawful authority and the undertaking of unlawful machinations by government personnel, which tended to cause the disruption or overthrow of the government and the violation of the Human, Constitutional, and Civil Rights of their targets. Sedition is a more apropos description of what they were doing.

Their alleged actions were an assault on "Justice and The Rule of Law in America" by people who swore an oath to uphold and administer the law. In doing so, they abridged or violated the Constitution of the United States. These actions make them dangerous to the principles of "Freedom, Liberty, Equality, and Justice for All". Their higher loyalty should have been to the United States Constitution and its principles, rather than what they believed was best for the country. An individual or group of individuals within the government cannot determine by themselves as to what they believe is best for the country. That is up to the American people to decide, by their duly elected or appointed officials of the United States.

Resistance to governmental authority in a democratic and duly elected and the instituted government is an acceptable response for a free people if it is done lawfully. If resistance is done unlawfully, then prosecutions are warranted for the offenders. Resistance to a government that is undemocratic or tyrannical is a duty of the people so oppressed. Resistance by government officials and employees in a democracy, in the performance of their duties and responsibilities, is unacceptable. When you are a government official or employee in a democracy, you give up your right to resist when you are performing your governmental duties and responsibilities. All governmental officials and employees have a duty to carry out all the lawful actions of the government. If they believe them to be unlawful actions, they need to challenge these actions with the proper oversight authorities (i.e., Legal Counsels, Inspector Generals, Review Boards, etc.), or by reporting these actions to Legislative authorities for their consideration, or, as a final resort challenge them in a court of law. They can also speak out after they leave their place of employment, consistent within the boundaries of their employment constraints. But they cannot resist what they believe are unlawful actions in the performance of their duties and responsibilities. However, they can resign their position and then resist what they believe are unlawful actions by the government. To have such resistance in a democracy, by government officials and employees in the performance of their duties and responsibilities, is an act of sedition.

As to the actions of government officials and employees in the Russian Collusion investigations, they should be investigated to determine if they were unlawful actions, and if it is so determined, they should be prosecuted. If found guilty, they should be appropriately punished for their machinations. If guilty, their machinations were an assault on our Human, Constitutional, and Civil Rights, and they should be punished to the maximum extent of the law, for they have maximally assaulted the rights of all the American people.

05/10/20 My Truth

Many times, you will hear someone claim that something is “My Truth”. However, there is no such thing as my truth. The truth is based on facts and “Reasoning”, for without facts and reasoning, you cannot reach the truth. When someone claims my truth, they mean my experience. My experience is a historical statement and not a statement of truth. The facts that led to my experience may be true, and many times they are not true as the entire circumstances may be unknown, but they are not “The Truth”. For the truth is more than true statements.

It is never possible to claim truth without the facts being correct. Once you obtain the correct facts and apply sound reasoning, you may be able to reach the truth. However, your facts could be incorrect or incomplete, or your reasoning could be faulty, in which case the truth you conclude would be wrong.

Consequently, anyone who claims, “My Truth”, is not cognizant of “The Truth”, and most assuredly, they have not obtained the correct facts or applied sound reasoning. Therefore, you can confidently ignore or reject “My Truth” as “The Truth”.

05/09/20 Speaking Truth to Power

Many people like to clothe themselves in the robe of honor of “Speaking Truth to Power”. But let us remember that these robes only exist if there is truth. And the truth is based on facts and “Reasoning”, for without facts and reasoning you cannot reach the truth. If you do not have the truth, then your robes are like the Emperors New Clothing – an illusion. Therefore, you must always examine the truth before you allow someone to clothe themselves in speaking truth to power. As for me, I am more interested in speaking truth, rather than truth to power.

05/07/20 Natural Rights, Human Rights, and Fundamental Rights

In my writings, I often reference Natural Rights and Human Rights, and occasionally reference Fundamental Rights. But the question is, what are the differences between these rights? Natural Rights and Human Rights are different terms for the same thing. Fundamental Rights are those Natural Rights and Human Rights that are enumerated in our Constitution, as constituted mainly in the Bill of Rights -- the first ten amendments, and the 14th amendment to the Constitution. Natural Rights were mostly utilized by our Founding Fathers and several generations prior and preceding them. Gradually the term Human Rights superseded the term Natural Rights. Fundamental Rights is the term utilized in our Judicial system to reference Human Rights enshrined in our Constitution. However, our Human Rights are not limited to our Fundamental Rights, as the 9th Amendment to the Constitution makes abundantly clear.

Natural Rights and Human Rights are integral to each person, and they are too numerous to list. The anti-slavery crusader Lysander Spooner would explain it thusly: “A man’s natural rights are his own, against the whole world; and any infringement of them is equally a crime, whether committed by one man, or by millions; whether committed by one man, calling himself a robber, ... or by millions, calling themselves a government.”

Natural rights collectively constitute the moral ability and sovereign authority of every human being to make personal choices, if these personal choices do infringe on the Human Rights of others. And these Human Rights are free from government interference or government permission. They are essential to assuring our "Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Justice for All".

Occasionally, Human Rights need to be curtailed in an emergency, but their curtailment must be limited in scope and of short duration. This curtailment must cease as quickly as possible, and the people harmed by such curtailment must be indemnified for the harm caused by the curtailment. To not do so is to allow for the infringement of Human Rights for specious reasons. It is a Human Right for the people to protest these curtailments and seek to redress these curtailments. To prohibit these protests is to institute tyrannical rule over the people. We also should always remember the words of Benjamin Franklin:

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

Let us, therefore, be incredibly careful and circumspect when we think about curtailing Human Rights.

For more on these Fundamental Rights in regard to the Coronavirus Pandemic, I would direct you to the “U.S. Constitution shredded by dangerous elected officials” by Judge Andrew P. Napolitano.

05/02/20 Short-Term and Long-Term Memory Loss

There is an affliction infecting many politicians, leaders, commentators, and journalists, Short-Term and Long-Term Memory Loss, that has become predominant as a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic. My chirp of “01/17/20 Marque de Queensberry Rules vs. a Barroom Brawl” is one of the manifestations of short-term memory loss. The other manifestations of this affliction are the inability to recall the previous statements or actions by politicians, leaders, commentators, and journalists that conflict with their current statements.

When politicians, leaders, and commentators suffer short-term or long-term memory loss it is usually because of political gamesmanship, political gamesmanship that has afflicted politicians, leaders, and commentators for time immemorial. It is the tool and trade of politicians, leaders, and commentators for the purposes of gaining and retaining power. In the past, the cure for this affliction was honest journalism that exposes their short-term or long-term memory loss.

When a journalist suffers short-term or long-term memory loss, they become instruments of propaganda and are dangerous to society. The people no longer have the ability to critique a politician, leader, or commentator, based on their past and present statements and actions, except by researching their statements and actions on their own volition. Research that is impracticable given the time and effort that would be required. This short-term or long-term memory loss by journalists undercuts the people’s ability to make rational decisions and wise choices as outlined in my Coronavirus Pandemic Chirp of “04/05/20 The Madness of Crowds and Their Manipulators”.

It is essential to combat short-term or long-term memory loss, as people need to make a judgment on the qualifications of their politicians, leaders, and commentators. Judgments that are based on their past and present statements and actions. All politicians, leaders, and commentators make mistakes, as they are human, and humans make mistakes. However, the quantity and caliber of their mistakes are essential in deciding their future fitness to hold elective office or be in positions of leadership, or to provide commentation. It is fine for a politician, leader, or commentator to change their mind, as long as they explain the reasoning for changing their mind. For as a wise old sage has said:

“For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged by better information, or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise. It is therefore that the older I grow, the more apt I am to doubt my own judgment, and to pay more respect to the judgment of others.”
  - Benjamin Franklin

For politicians, leaders, and commentators to change their mind, without explaining their reasoning, is often an indicator of political gamesmanship. The reasoning for changing their minds is often an indicator of the intelligence or wisdom of the politicians, leaders, and commentators. That is why journalists need to critique the past and present statements and actions of politicians, leaders, and commentators and require that politicians, leaders, and commentators explain their reasoning for a change of mind. A journalist has the duty to expose the "Obfuscation, Smoke, and Mirrors" of political gamesmanship, and utilize the standards of “Dialog & Debate” to critique the statements and actions of politicians, leaders, and commentators.

For if the people have no rational and historical basis for judging politicians, leaders, and commentators, they cannot make an intelligent or wise decision on whom they wish to be their elected politicians or leaders, and which commentators they need to heed.

05/01/20 Think – Not Decide

Many critics would point out that I don’t provide sufficient information on a topic to assist in making a decision, to which I would plead – “Guilty”. There are two reasons for this. The first is that I know that I do not have enough knowledge, experience, or skills to provide detailed information. That is why I often hyperlink to web articles or provide book references that provide more detailed information. The second reason why is that my goal is not to provide information to reach a decision, but to provide enough information for the reader to think about, and perhaps research, the topic.

My secondary goal is to illuminate the core issues and concerns about the topic and to remove the "Obfuscation, Smoke, and Mirrors" surrounding the topic. I utilize “Reasoning” rather than emotional responses when examining a topic, and I also utilize my guidelines on “Dialog & Debate” when writing on a topic. Being succinct in my writings is one of my goals, but discovering the truth is my ultimate objective.

As to my qualification to comment on a topic, I would respond that I am a thinking human being, that knows and applies “Reasoning” to my thoughts and someone who examines and researches a topic before commenting on a topic. Everybody brings the own intellect, knowledge, experience, and perspective to a discussion. A thoughtful person tries to reason outside of these factors to reach the truth. Hopefully, my thoughts will allow the reader to think and discover the truth about the topics I discuss, and help guide them in deciding on their own thoughts and reasoning.

04/30/20 Appeals to Authority

During our dialogs, disputations, and debates with others, we often resort to Appeals to Authority. Yet, Appeals to Authority is a common type of “Formal fallacy” (and “List of logical fallacies“), fallacies as outlined in my article on "Reasoning". When writers or speakers use appeal to authority, they are claiming that something must be true because it is believed by someone who said to be an "authority" on the subject. Whether the person is actually an authority or not, the logic is unsound. Instead of presenting actual evidence, the argument just relies on the credibility of the "authority." As such, it is not possible for someone to refute the argument without knowing and refuting the authority's argument. We also have as “Cognitive bias” (and “List of Cognitive Biases“), as also outlined in my article on "Reasoning", that makes us susceptible to an Appeal to Authority.

Scientists, Statisticians, Mathematicians, Academics, Economists, Pollsters, Commentators, or anyone educated or accredited in some field of knowledge. i.e., "authorities" who are making a statement or expressing an opinion are all human, and all humans make mistakes or can be just plain wrong, as outlined in my article "Oh What A Tangled Web We Weave".

Using an Appeal to Authority during the course of dialogue or debate is usually an indicator of the unreasonableness or weakness of your argument. It also tends to absolve the person making the argument of proving their assertions as I have written in my Chirp "02/05/20 Assertions are the Question".

Statistics can be wrong or misinterpreted, studies can be biased or incomplete, the hard sciences can be incorrect or misunderstood, the soft sciences can be amiss or imperfect, and experts are not infallible, and experts often disagree with each other. Many times, the experts are wrong, especially when opining outside of their areas of expertise. They are most often wrong within their expertise when they utilize knowledge or experience from outside their expertise to formulate their statements or opinions. And all areas of expertise are impacted by matters outside their area of expertise.

Use authorities as references rather than proofs. You should always remember that "experts should be on tap, not on top."

04/27/20 Bankruptcy of States

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has suggested that states should be able to declare bankruptcy, much as cities have been allowed to do in the past decade. Whether this is advisable or the prudent thing for a State to do is not the issue of the Chirp. The issue is the morality of expecting the citizens of one state to pay the debts of another state. It is also the issue of responsibility, the responsibility of the citizens of a state to fund and pay the debts that they have incurred.

The people of a State elect their legislators and Governors who pass and enact taxes and expenditures. As such, the debts of a state are the responsibility of the legislators and Governors, and ultimately the people who elected them, and it is the people of the State who are responsible for paying their state debts. To expect the people of another state to pay their debts is to shift this burden to people who were not responsible for incurring the debt. After all, you would not expect your neighbor to help pay off your debts that were a result of your spending. It is also antithetical to the “No Taxation Without Representation” slogan that was a basis for the American Revolution. For if the people of one state pay the debts of another state, in which they had no representation, then you are taxing them without their having had any representation in the enactment of taxes and expenditures in the state that incurred the debt. If this were to occur, then there would be no check on a state to tax and spend responsibly, as they could expect that the people of other states would bail-out their irresponsible behavior.

If a State declared bankruptcy, then they would have to cede authority to tax and spend to a Bankruptcy Court. Courts that would act with the powers of a legislator or executive. This is also antithetical to representative democracy, but this is the price they pay for behaving irresponsibly. The mitigating factor is that the Federal branches of government (Legislative, Executive, and Judicial) would have to maintain oversight and take corrective actions of the Bankruptcy Court to assure the Constitutional rights of the people of the state are not abrogated. This has been done before by the Federal government, although obliquely, in the Era of Reconstruction after the Civil War.

The objection that the Federal government has a responsibility to assist in the debts that occurred as a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic is a valid objection. The Federal government, of course, has a responsibility to assist the State government in paying the debts that were incurred as a result of Federal actions in the Coronavirus Pandemic. But it is only those debts that were incurred as a result of Federal actions during the Coronavirus Pandemic that the Federal government has responsibility. To utilize the Coronavirus Pandemic to pay off other state debts not related to the Coronavirus Pandemic is an abuse of responsibility.

As for me, I highly object to paying the debts of another state as I am committed to the concept of:

“No Taxation Without Representation.”

04/25/20 A Philosophical Approach - Update

I have updated my article “A Philosophical Approach”, that adds some additional thoughts on this topic.

04/12/20 Classical Music Snippets

I have added a section to my article "Classical Music Appreciation". This section "Classical Music Snippets" are a collection of excerpts of great Classical Music to highlight a topic. They are also an excellent means to whet your appetite for Classical Music as follows:

For more Classical Music snippets I would suggest you visit the YouTube channel Melodious Heart.

04/11/20 A Philosophical Mind

Many people assume that if someone has a Philosophical Mind that they have studied Philosophy. But this is not the case. A Philosophical Mind is one that approaches thinking in a rational manner. A Philosophical Mind utilizes a manner and methodology that allows them to reach a sound conclusion. A Philosophical Mind gathers information and facts to assure that they are correct and complete. A Philosophical Mind then organizes this information and facts in a reasonable manner, utilizing formal and informal logic to reach a conclusion. A Philosophical Mind examines their reasoning to eliminate Logical Fallacies and Cognitive Biases. Therefore, a Philosophical Mind provides the best possible answer for the issue or concern it examines, assuming that the information and facts are correct and complete. The only response to a philosophical argument is to challenge the reasoning of the argument or the correctness or completeness of the information and facts. Any conclusions or beliefs that you entertain, without a philosophical argument in support, have no basis in fact nor reasoning. No other response to a philosophical argument, except a counter philosophical argument, is reasonable nor acceptable. Or to paraphrase Christopher Hitchens:

“What can be asserted without a philosophical basic can be dismissed without a philosophical basis.”

There can be no agreement to disagree unless both parties have a philosophical basis, or both parties are arguing on a non-philosophical basis. And to argue on a non-philosophical basis most often leads to the wrong conclusion.

When reading my webpages, you will notice that I often take a philosophical approach to discuss issues and concerns. But why do I take a philosophical approach? The answer is because Philosophy teaches you how to think, not what to think. I also believe that a philosophical approach is the best means to resolve the issues and concerns that beset modern America. My article “A Philosophical Approach” explains my thoughts on this subject.

04/10/20 Some Problems and Some Answers

Life is neither fair nor unfair. Life is what it is. To deal with life, other than for what it is, is foolhardy and wasteful. In this world, as regards to reproduction, the male is the inseminator, and the female is the incubator. It is neither fair nor unfair that you are male or female. Rather it is by random chance you ended up male or female.

In regard to male-female differences, 93% of workplace fatalities are men, as men usually perform more dangerous jobs, more physically demanding jobs, and jobs that are outdoors. Men tend to work more hours per week than women. Men live an average of 6 years less than a woman. While 78% of suicides are men, suicide attempts are between two and four times more frequent among females. In 2017, men died by suicide 3.54x more often than women. Therefore, suicide attempts by a woman are a cry for help, while suicide attempts by a man is a goal.

Once largely limited to poor women and minorities, single motherhood is now becoming the new “norm”. This prevalence is due in part to the growing trend of children born outside marriage — a societal trend that was virtually unheard of decades ago. About 4 out of 10 children were born to unwed mothers. Nearly two-thirds were born to mothers under the age of 30. Today 1 in 4 children under the age of 18 — a total of about 16.4 million — are being raised without a father. Of all single-parent families in the U.S., single mothers make up the vast majority.

Regarding boys' need for fathers, in 2008, then-Sen. Obama told an audience: "Children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit a crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools; and 20 times more likely to end up in prison."

Women’s suffrage movement leaders Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony referred to abortion as “infanticide” and “child murder.” Alice Paul, an American suffragist, feminist, and women's rights activist, famously called abortion the “ultimate exploitation of women”. “Abortion is profoundly anti-woman,” Mother Teresa of Calcutta pointed out. “Three-quarters of its victims are women: Half the babies and all the mothers.”

The answer to unwanted babies is not abortion but a responsible sexual activity that does not result in pregnancy. The answer to unwed mothers is not more governmental social policies but for men to take responsibility for impregnation and be prepared to marry the mother of their children. The solution to fatherless children is for a man to help raise their children and guide them to becoming responsible adults. To be a man is not the ability to impregnate a woman but to assume the responsibility for your actions, both sexual and non-sexual. As for suicide, the answer is for everyone to be mindful of the sanctity of human life, including their own life, then seeking help for serious problems in their life. We all, family, friends, and coworkers, should become more cognizant of other people’s problems and reach out to provide assistance for those that need help.

Obviously, the means we are taking to resolve these problems is not working and insane, as insanity has been defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Perhaps it is time that we take a different approach to resolve these problems. An approach that emphasizes the importance of living a moral and ethical life and caring for others.

04/09/20 Feeling Good Vs. Doing Good

I have added a new Pearl of Wisdom, “Do Good Before You Feel Good”. Most Americans have good intentions when they think about how to help their fellow Americans. Most Americans, however, often judge their results based on how they feel good about what they're doing, and rarely look at the results of what they are doing. The difference between feeling good and doing good is often profound. This is best illustrated by a true story from my own life.

Several years ago, I was at a client site when the owner mentioned that her son, who had just started college, was considering leaving college to seek employment and make money. She was distressed, as she knew that this was not a wise decision in the long run. As he was working there that day, on a part-time basis, she asked if I could say something to him. I thought about how to best approach her son, as I am a person without a college degree, and understood the possible negative effects of him dropping out of college.

I could have just spoken to him for a few moments and told him I think he was making a wrong decision. This would have made me feel good about the situation. However, I decided I wanted to do good about the situation. Therefore, I took him aside and had a 20-minute discussion about what life would be like without a college degree in today's world. I explained to him it would be difficult to find a job, keep a job, advance his career on the job, he would receive lower pay then others that were doing his job, and he would constantly have to perform at 110% to be somewhat equal with his other college-educated coworkers, in the eyes of his management.

I further explained I understood his desire for employment and to earn money a start enjoying life. I also agreed with him that his efforts to earn a college degree might not be appropriate for the employment that he secured. I told him that he should instead think of a college degree as a ticket to success. If you had that ticket, you could board the train to success and utilize that ticket in continuing his success. Even though the college degree he earned may not be appropriate to his employment, it would open doors for him that would be closed without a college degree.

I encouraged him to stay in college, get his ticket, and find employment in something that he would be interested in doing. In addition, the time he spent in college could be the most enjoyable period of his life, and he would make many friends and associations that could last throughout his life.

In taking the time to do this, I not only felt good about what I had done, but I had hoped that I would do good, and he would remain in college. I am happy to report that he did indeed decide to remain in college, get his degree, and find employment in something that he wanted to do. I am unhappy to report that several months after he found employment, he was involved in a fatal car accident. This was a great loss for his family, friends, coworkers, and all those that knew him. He was a fine young man, well-liked by all who would have been a positive influence on all those around him. It is in his memory that I dedicate this Chirp.

Therefore, it is much more important that you do good rather than feel good. We would all become better persons, and our society would benefit if we were all careful to do good and then feel good after we have done good.

04/08/20 To Be Rulers or to Be Leaders

A person or body of people who rules or commands is not exercising leadership. A person or body of people who lead a group through example and persuasion are leaders. Sometimes rulers are necessary, such as in times of war, national emergencies, or regional or local disasters. Yet, in such situations, the rulers must relinquish their command after such times have ended. To do otherwise is to entrench despotism or tyrannical rule upon a person(s) or peoples.

The most important, and most consequential, rulership or leadership is at the governmental level. My new Article "To Be Rulers or to Be Leaders" examines these issues and concerns in regards to our current politicians' words and deeds.

04/06/20 Independence of Executive Powers

The hew and cry by many Democratic leaders for Independent Agencies or Authorities, independent Inspector Generals, or any independent executive powers are not only wrongheaded but unconstitutional. The Constitution of the United States in Article. II, Section. 1. states:

“The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.”

There is no allowance in the Constitution for any independence of any governmental executive authority outside of the President. The only independence in the Constitution is within the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches Constitutionally delegated responsibilities. All people who work for the United States government must be responsible to one of these three branches of government. Any government authority that executes the law is responsible to the Executive Branch led by the President. Anyone who is responsible for the creation of the laws is responsible to the Legislative branch, and anyone who exercises judicial powers is responsible to the Judicial Branch. To create authorities and governmental employees not responsible to the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches is to create a fourth branch of government, a non-responsible and unaccountable branch, which is a flagrant violation of the Constitution.

As such, there is nothing independent in the actions of anyone who serves in the Executive Branch. They are responsible and accountable to the President of the United States, and they serve at the will of the President, and they are only subject to Senate confirmation for officers of the Executive Branch.

It is wrongheaded because those who work for the government must be held responsible and accountable to the leadership of the different branches of government. Without this responsibility and accountability, we do not have a representative government subject to the will and approval of the people of the United States expressed through elections or appointments by the Senate. If these people or agencies were truly independent, they would become De Facto dictators within their areas of responsibility. Dictators that are antithetical to the Constitution.

The call for independence makes for great politics but bad governance, as well as being unconstitutional. As such, those that call for independence of executive powers should be admonished and ignored.

O4/05/20 Another Epidemic Challenging America

Another epidemic has swept over the country in the last few years, a psychological epidemic known as “Trump Derangement Syndrome” (TDS). A selective epidemic that only seems to infect liberals, progressives, leftists, Democrats, and journalists. Some of these people are immune, but most of them are infected. Its symptoms are that whatever President Trump supports must be wrong, and whatever President Trump opposes must be right. The manifestations of TDS are a belief in the Russian Collusion Delusion, the Impeachment Constitutional Crisis, and now the Coronavirus Responses of President Trump.

One of the consequences of TDS is short-term memory loss. Words and deeds of TDS sufferers are quickly forgotten, especially when they are counter their current words and deeds. The TDS infection of the journalist has led them to not confront and explain theirs, and other TDS infected words and deeds of the (recent) past. This leads to obscuring people's understanding, leaving them baffled or bewildered, and susceptible to accepting mistaken conclusions, as explained in my Chirp on “04/01/19 Obfuscation, Smoke, and Mirrors”. This also leads to the problems that I have outlined in my Coronavirus Pandemic Chirp of “04/05/20 The Madness of Crowds and Their Manipulators”.

All Americans need to purge themselves of TDS and examine the positions of President Trump in a rational manner. Critiquing of President Trump’s position based on rationality is helpful and acceptable. Responding to President Trump’s positions based upon TDS infection is harmful and should be unacceptable.

04/02/20 Coronavirus Pandemic

I have withdrawn my Chirps about the Coronavirus Pandemic and incorporated them in a longer article that examines the Coronavirus Pandemic. This Article “Coronavirus Pandemic“ should be read in order to understand the impacts of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Please check back regularly, as I will be adding new sections to this article throughout the Coronavirus Pandemic and its aftershocks.

03/30/20 The Wit and Wisdom of Benjamin Franklin

Throughout my writings and my life I have often and repeatedly quoted the wit and wisdom of Benjamin Franklin. He is my favorite historical personage, and I have even written an article on “The Life and Contributions of Benjamin Franklin ”. Two of his sayings that I have adopted as guiding principles for my life are part of my “Pearls of Wisdom” as "Be Prepared to Change Your Mind". These quotes are:

“For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged by better information, or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise. It is therefore that the older I grow, the more apt I am to doubt my own judgment, and to pay more respect to the judgment of others.”

and

“Doubt a little of your own infallibility.”

Adopting these guiding principles in your life not only makes you a better person but also assist you in your dealings with others. For if you can change your mind then you can be accepting of another person changing their mind. If you accept that you are fallible, then you can accept the fallibility of others. If the change of mind and fallibility of the other person is reasonable then it will be understandable by you. This understandability will also make for a more harmonious relationship between you and the other person. It will also help you to understand when a public person or politician changes their mind or has a failure. If their change of mind or failure is reasonable or understandable, and not for advantageous purposes nor a turpitude failing, then it may become more acceptable to you. All of this will also help you to “Be the Better Person”.

03/29/20 A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste

Socrates once famously said:

"An Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Living"

Socrates was wrong. An unexamined life can be worth living if it is lived in a legal, moral, and ethical way. However, an examined life is a more fulfilling life. If you examine your life, you will learn more about yourself, your strengths, and your weaknesses, and have a better understanding of yourself and what is happening around you. However, too much examination can lead to self-pity, depression (not clinical depression as this is a medical condition), egotism, or narcissism, traits that I particularly disdain.

I would also add my own thoughts:

"A mind is a terrible thing to waste,
and a mind that is not fully utilized is a wasted mind."

and

"I tried to get them to think, but all they wanted to do was argue."

Most people do not fully utilize their minds excepts perhaps in the conduct of their employment (and not always). Thinking can be difficult, time consuming, tiring, and stressful. Also, the stresses and strains of daily life make it difficult to allocate the time and energy necessary to think. It is much easier to be entertained than it is to think. Under these circumstances it is easy to postpone thinking about something to a later time. But for many this postponement is indefinite and sometimes never occurs. You also have to allocated the time and effort need to learn the proper method of thinking as outlined in my article on “Reasoning”. Good thinking also requires good and extensive reading, which also requires time and effort. My Article “Further Readings and Literature” is a good starting point for readings. If you do not take the time and effort to read and think, and learn how to think, then you are wasting your mind. Not only are you wasting your mind, but you will indubitably make decisions that will adversely impact yourself, your family, you employer, and society.

Most people believe that they have thought about the things that they discuss or argue about. But they usually have not given it much reasoned thought, but they have given it much emotional notions. Many (if not most) of today's political debate is about feelings. But feelings do not make for good policy. Facts, intelligence, and reasoning, i.e., thinking, should be utilized to create policy, with feelings being used as a supplement to your thinking. Anyone who engages in "The Three D's (Demonize, Denigrate, Disparage) of Modern Political Debate" during a discussion or argument is not thinking but feeling. Always remember that the only good way to create public policy is by an open and honest discussion of the issues based on facts, intelligence, and reasoning. All sides of an issue should be heard and debated to assure that the best public policy is implemented. To do so otherwise creates more problems than it solves, and often leads to partisanship and acrimony.

It is for these reasons that I have dedicate myself to thinking, rather than feeling, on the issues and topics that I have written upon. And I will do so "With Facts, Intelligence, and Reasoning". My feelings are predicated on my thoughts, but I will mostly write about my thoughts instead of my feelings. And when I think and write I always remember the wisdom of Benjamin Franklin:

“For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged by better information, or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise. It is therefore that the older I grow, the more apt I am to doubt my own judgment, and to pay more respect to the judgment of others.”

and

“Doubt a little of your own infallibility.”

03/28/20 Freedom of the Press?

The Press has the freedom to report on anything they wish, in any manner they wish, as long as they do not with malice slander or libel a person. The American people have the right to ignore, complain, challenge, mock, or belittle the Press as they should so choose, as long as they do not with malice slander or libel a newsperson. It is not an abridgment of the Freedom of the Press for the American people to do so, but an exercise of the Freedom of Speech by the American people. And by the American people, I mean all people, from the President to an unemployed person, the American people have this right. What the American people may not do is to restrict the Freedom of the Press.

And, no, President Trump exercising his Free Speech rights does not pose a danger to the Freedom of the Press. It is only when his speech becomes actions that it becomes a danger. To date, President Trump has not taken any actions that endanger the Freedom of the Press. Criticism and critique are not a danger, and pointing out misleading or false information is not a danger, and refusing to cooperate with a journalist or media organizations that practice irresponsible journalism is not a danger. But irresponsible journalism is a danger to the American people. Dangerous in that the American people need responsible journalism to provide them with accurate and comprehensive information for them to make informed and responsible decisions.

The last several decades have seen the decline of responsible journalism. Journalism that has become advocacy instead of reporting. Journalism that is biased and mostly one-sided. Journalism that is often inaccurate or misleading. Journalism that is more concerned with being first rather than being correct. Journalism that is more concerned with readership and viewership numbers than accurate and comprehensive information. Journalism that provides more hype and sensationalism than context and circumstance. This modern journalism is more of a danger to the Freedom of the Press than is the Freedom of Speech then is exercised against modern journalism.

Until journalism self-corrects and returns to responsible reporting, it poses a danger to the American people. A danger in that the American people and its leadership will make unwise decisions based on irresponsible journalism, rather than a somber review of the facts and the truths of a situation. For more on this issue, I would direct you to my article “Modern Journalism”.

03/25/20 Soulful Classical Music

I have compiled a list of my favorite calming soulful Classical Music. In these troubled times we should take a break, relax, and enjoy some simple pleasures. Hopefully, this "Classical Soulful Music" list can accomplish this goal.

03/18/20 Constitutional Protection of Rights and Just Laws

In another article, "A Hierarchy of Rights" I examines the hierarchy of rights and the interrelationship of these rights. My new article "Constitutional Protection of Rights and Just Laws” examines how these rights are protected in the U.S. Constitution.

03/16/20 A Hierarchy of Rights

Much has been said about the rights of a U.S. citizen. In my view, U.S. Citizens have a hierarchy of rights. They are:

    1. Human (or Natural) Rights
    2. Constitutional Rights
    3. Civil Rights

 My new Article “A Hierarchy of Rights” examines this hierarchy and the interrelationship of these rights.

03/15/20 Limited and Enumerated Powers

The U.S. Constitution specifies the limited and enumerated powers of the Federal Government. It does so to assure that the Federal Government will not encroach on the rights of the states and the people. My new Article “Limited and Enumerated Powers” examines these powers and their application in today’s society.

03/09/20 Judges, Not Lords

Each branch of the Government; Executive, Legislative, and Judicial, take an oath of fidelity to the U.S. Constitution, and each branch needs to uphold the Constitution as it sees fit. As each branch is co-equal to each other, all three branches have the duty and responsibility to enforce the Constitution. No one branch is supreme in their duty or responsibility to enforce the Constitution. The Supreme Court is only supreme within the Judicial branch. My new Article “Judges, Not Lords” examines the role of Judges in our Constitutional system.

03/03/20 It Shouldn't Matter Who the President Is

Freedom lovers everywhere are biting their nails during the election season, wondering how the damage can be limited. Depending on who gains control, we could have trade wars, nationalized health care, the pillaging of Wall Street and Main Street, more wars in the Middle East, a VAT tax, surveillance of your smartphone, mass deportations, internment camps, and worse.

Read that sentence slowly in a deep voice and it sounds like the trailer to a dystopian film.

And it doesn't have to.

So begins an article by Jeffrey A. Tucker which he published on March 2, 2016. It was true then and it is true now. I would encourage all to read this article in the Foundation of Economic Education. His perspective will give you a better understanding of how it seems that every Presidential election in modern history has become ‘The most important election in our lifetime’.

03/02/20 Attorney General William Barr

As in all things political today Attorney General William Barr has both his detractors and supporters, and all differentiations in between. His detractors have utilized the techniques of "Demonize, Denigrate, Disparage (The Three D's)" to characterize him, while his supporters have been tepid in his defense. I am generally supportive of Attorney General Barr as I believe that he is trying to do the right thing under very difficult circumstances. The question is then ‘What is the right thing he believes in?’. To gain a better understanding of Attorney General Barr I would direct you to some of his speeches where he expounds upon his perspectives. These speeches show a very thoughtful man with keen insights on today’s society while providing a historical perspective. They are:

These thoughtful remarks are why I believe that Attorney General Barr is the right person to lead the Justice Department today.

03/01/20 If You Don’t Have Anything to Say, Say Nothing

I have updated my “Pearls of Wisdom” as follows:

If You Don’t Have Anything to Say, Say Nothing

Many feel the need to join or start a conversation to be sociable. Often, however, we tend to comment on the topic without much thought, knowledge, or experience on the topic. Usually this results in revealing our ignorance of the topic. When we are ignorant of the topic an inquiry of those who are not ignorant of the topic is the best approach in joining or starting a conversation. Sometimes, however, it is best to say nothing but to listen attentively. This does not make you unsociable but wise. It will also increase your scope of knowledge if you pay attention to those that are knowledgeable of the topic. The trick, however, is determining who in the conversation is or is not ignorant of the topic, then paying no heed to those that are ignorant of the topic. In any conversation you join or start you should always remember my other Pearl of Wisdom “Always Be Polite and Respectful”, especially when you are ignorant of the topic.

This is a Pearl of Wisdom that I utilize in writing my Chirps, Articles, and Observations. If I don’t have anything to say I will say nothing. Consequently, there are many topics that I do not write about, as I believe that I have nothing to contribute to the topic through my ignorance of the topic. I am also aware of my limitations, and only write what I know, as I have commented upon in another Pearl of Wisdom “Know Your Limitations”.

02/29/30 Now That's Music

You are all probably aware that I am a lover of Classical Music. What you may not be aware of is that I also love other genres of music, particularly Rock N’ Roll. I have not commented on these genres because I believe that I have nothing to contribute to this discussion that other, more knowledgeable, and qualified persons have said. However, I have decided to create lists "Now That's Music" of my favorite music in these genres.

02/24/20 Movies Gems

My article “That's Entertainment” and Chirp “Movies and Television with Meaning” mainly deals with big movies with big meanings or big entertainment value. There are some movies, however, that deal with smaller but no less important subjects. They usually deal with the human condition and focus on individuals and life’s conundrums. I, therefore, have compiled a shortlist of these movies that reflect these human conditions.

02/23/20 The Greatest Teamwork

Many, if not most, human activities require teamwork to achieve a goal. This is apparent in the sports arena, but entertainment (movies, television, concerts, etc.) also requires extensive teamwork to meet their goals. It is also true for any business, tradesmen, or governmental activities to have effective teamwork to meet their goals. Individual efforts within a team are important to achieve the goal, but most often a team is necessary to support the individual efforts. There are some fields in which the individual effort is paramount for success, mostly in the creative arts and sole-independent contract businesses, but teamwork is the normative. Whenever we see a team performance that excels, we often see excellence. Those efforts that lack effective teamwork are often average or mediocre in achieving their goals. It is true that most often when a team succeeds everyone in the team succeeds, but it is also often true that if an individual team member fails the team will often fail. I have watched and participated in many team efforts, in many different arena’s, over many years. I have been impressed, and disappointed, by many of these team efforts.

The question arises as to which teamwork is most important to achieve success. Many argue that it is team sports, and which team sport, requires the most teamwork to succeed. There is no doubt that team sports require great teamwork to succeed, but many team sports have a great individual teammate(s) that can carry the team to success. This is true for many other team activities where an individual can compensate for others in the team and propel them to success. The question is “Which team requires every member of the team to excel in order to achieve their goal?”. There are a few answers to this question, but the one answer that stands out is an orchestra.

An orchestra, both large and small, requires that each individual team member excel in order to create beautiful music. When one or more members of an orchestra fail to perform to high expectations the quality of the music suffers. This is what differentiates a great orchestra from all the others. It is immediately recognizable when you attend an orchestral performance. Great music, when performed greatly, is immediately fully satisfying. However, when it is not performed well it leaves the listener unsatisfied. Most modern symphonic orchestras have approximately one hundred members. One hundred members, under the direction of one conductor, in which everyone needs to perform well and in teamwork to create beautiful and satisfying music.

This is one of the reasons that I enjoy Classical Music, not only for the great music, but for the great performances, and the teamwork exhibited in performing the music. For more of my thoughts about Classical Music please review my articles "Classical Music Appreciation" and "Classical Music Chirps".

02/22/20 Know Your Limitations and Prioritize Your Life

I have updated my “Pearls of Wisdom” as follows:

Know Your Limitations

As Dirty Harry said in the movie of the same name “A man’s got to know his limitations”. We must all know our limitations and work within them and ask for assistance when we reach them. Know your skills and abilities, your knowledge, experience, and intelligence, and know what you don’t know and what skills and abilities that you do not have. When you don’t have the skills and abilities, or the knowledge, experience, and intelligence, do not be afraid to ask someone who is capable for their assistance. It is not a sign of weakness to do so, and indeed, it is a sign of strength to do so.

Strength to admit to your limitations, strength to ask for assistance, and strength to utilize another’s capabilities to achieve your goal is not a weakness. You will also gain skills and abilities and increase your knowledge, experience, and intelligence in doing so. If you don’t know your limitations and attempt to do something beyond your limitations, you will often fail to reach your goal. Achieving the goal should be the most important objective. Just be careful that the person you ask for assistance has the proper skills and abilities, or the knowledge, experience, and intelligence to assist you.

You should also be prepared to acknowledge and credit the person(s) who assisted you. To do so will gain you the respect of those around you, and perhaps a good friendship of those who assisted you.

Prioritize Your Life

The way we priorities our activities is one of the means in which we can judge a person’s character. The more you prioritize something the more important it is to you. Yet, often we do not prioritize our activities but place them into categories of necessities or convenience and then give them no order of precedence. Necessities are important and often need to be done as quickly as possible. Conveniences, however, are what defines what is important to us and it is a reflection on our character. Self, family, friends, work, and leisure is often the categories that we utilize to prioritize.

What you do, and the order in which you do it, is a determinative factor in your character. For you will be judged by what you do, not by what you say. This requires that you think about and decide what is important in your life, and then prioritize what you do. Sometimes you may be too tired to act upon a priority. However, being too tired to do something is often a poor excuse, but not a good reason, for not doing something that is a priority. If you are indeed too tired, then you need to act upon your priority after you have rested. To not do so is a reflection of your character. Other excuses are also utilized to not do something. The question you need to ask yourself is ‘Is this just a poor excuse or a good reason to not do something?’. A good reason for not doing something is acceptable, but a poor excuse is never acceptable.

Therefore, prioritize your life to reflect what is important in your life. Then act upon your priorities in the order of importance. This prioritization and action are a true reflection of your character.

02/21/20 Bring Us Together

The Democrat Presidential candidates like to say that they can bring us together and unite the country. To this I would ask them three questions on how they would bring us together:

    1. How will you bring the pro-life and pro-choice proponents together?
    2. How will you bring the people who believe in the right to keep and bear arms together with the people who believe in gun control?
    3. How will you bring together the people who believe in legal immigration but oppose illegal immigration with those that believe in open borders?

These are, of course, rhetorical questions as there is no answer for them. The typical Democrat answer is that they would implement common-sense solutions. But whose common sense will they utilize – the conservatives or the liberal/progressives’ common sense? They would also reply that they would change the tone of the rhetoric. But the tone is mostly coming from the left side of the political spectrum as they often shout down and disrupt the free speech rights of their opponents. Just as you should not mollify a misbehaving child in a supermarket or department store you should not mollify the shouters and disruptors in an effort to bring us together and unite the country.

Therefore, when a Democrat candidate speaks of bringing us together and uniting us, what they actually mean is for all those that oppose their policy positions to drop their opposition and remain silent. This is not bringing people together but ignoring or suppressing the free speech rights of those who disagree with the Democrat policy positions.

02/20/20 Stupid Is as Stupid Does

“Stupid is as stupid does” is a quote from the movie “Forest Gump”. This phrase underlies an important truth; that you should be judged by your actions and not as much by your speech. Speech may be significant, but actions are definitive. Until speech is transformed into actions speech is nothing but words. Words that can express ideas that can be critiqued or criticized, but not a judgment of a person’s character. Actions are a judgment on a person’s character and define what a person truly is.

Therefore, it can also be stated unequivocally that “Fascism is as Fascism does”. Consequently, if you employ fascist tactics then you are a fascist. Fascism is a form of radical authoritarian nationalism that came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe. The first fascist movements emerged in Italy during World War I, before it spread to other European countries. Fascism is best expressed by quotes of its leading proponent, Benito Mussolini:

The first two points are indicative of an authorial regime that wishes to control people and society, while the third point is revelatory of their method to accomplish their goals. And, unfortunately, modern American Leftism is utilizing the third point as its tactic to suppress those that disagree with them in order to achieve the goals of the first two points. Shouting down or obstructing free speech, violent protests, destruction of personal property, and economic boycotts are a means that modern American Leftism uses to destroy their opponents. Not to disagree with them but to destroy them. For those who would say that Fascism is not left-wing ideology I would direct you to my article “Nazism and Fascism” that refutes this belief.

Many would claim that these tactics are a legitimate response in order to not tolerate the intolerant. But as my Chip “To Not Tolerate the Intolerant” elaborates this is a fallacious argument. An argument that has pernicious repercussions. For those that would say that these protesters are anti-fascist I would direct you to my Article “Modern American Fascism” which refutes this argument.

People who employ these tactics lack emotional control and intellectual acuity to reasonable defend their positions. They should be pitied, but not tolerated. For they are destructive to free speech and, consequently, antithetical to "Freedom, Liberty, Equality, and Justice for All".

02/19/20 Impeachment Consequences

My final article on impeachment has been posted. This article “Impeachment Consequences” deals with the future consequences of impeachment to our Republic. Consequences that may be far-reaching and perverse to our Constitutional Republic. Some consequences that can be foreseen, and other consequences that cannot be foreseen as I have explained in my article “The Law of Unintended Consequences”. This article examines the consequences of what I can foresee, and calls into question the unforeseen consequences.

02/18/20 The Great Divergence

Western Civilization has been characterized as imperialism, slavery, and wars, but nearly all major civilizations enslaved people, built empires and made war. Stanford historian Niall Ferguson on PragerU has pointed out the differences between Western Civilization and other civilizations known by economists as The Great Divergence. They are:

    1. Economic and political competition.
    2. The Scientific Revolution.
    3. The rule of law and representative government.
    4. Modern medicine.
    5. The consumer society.
    6. The work ethic.

This thought-provoking, five-and-a-half-minute video, should give pause to all and for all to be thankful for what Western Civilization has bestowed upon the world.

02/16/20 Sociologies and Ideologies

Liberalism/Progressivism and Conservatism are sociologies, not ideologies. An ideology is a coherent set of ideas about how the political world should function. Sociology is a system of ideas and beliefs that are not necessarily coherent and maybe even contradictory – held by people who flock together and interact with each other. Therefore, the Democrat and Republican Parties are sociologies. Sociologies that are based on an ideology of governance as I have expounded upon in three of my recent articles. Like a Classical concerto, these Articles need to be played (read) in order to understand the full meaning of the music (governance). These articles are; “The Foundation of the Rights of the Common Man”, “There is Nothing democratic About the Democrat Party” and “Have We Lost Our Way?”.

The “Goodman Institute for Public Policy Research” has some interesting articles on this subject;

I would recommend you read and ponder these articles.

02/15/20 Extracted Articles for Perusal and Reference

I have extracted three Articles from my Observations for your ease of perusal and reference purposes. They are:

Dialog & Debate (Feb 2020) - In today's political environment Dialog and Debate have degenerate into the employment of tactics, tactics that do not provide illumination but instead generate heat. This is done to generate political points for electioneering purposes rather than an examination of the issue to reach an understanding. I, therefore, have extracted my Observation on Dialog and Debate for your illumination of these tactics.

Modern Journalism (Feb 2020) - Media Bias is so widespread today that it is widely recognized by the general public, and even journalists comment upon their lack of support by the general public. This is supported by all public polling, and even though I am not a believer in public polling, I can see this in how the public does not respond to journalism reporting. This article examines the reasons for journalisms' decline.

Reasoning (Feb 2020) - To properly reason you need to understand Formal and Informal Logic, Logical Fallacies, Cognitive Biases, and Common Sense. These must always be ascertained and incorporated for a rational debate to occur. You must also be aware of how to utilize common sense appropriately. This article is an outline of Formal and Informal Logic, Logical Fallacies, Cognitive Biases, and Common Sense.

02/14/20 Intersectionality

Intersectionality is the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.

Intersectionality is all in how you categorize it. There are many ways in which you can Ven Diagram or Hierarchically Structure intersectionality. When discussing the intersectionality of groups of people we could Hierarchically Structure them as follows:

Black --> Female --> Homosexual --> Uneducated --> Lower Class --> Unmarried --> Mother --> Unhealthy --> Unhandsome --> Progressive = INDIVIDUAL

White --> Male  --> Heterosexual --> Educated  --> Middle Class --> Married --> Father --> Healthy --> Attractive --> Conservative = INDIVIDUAL

No matter how you structure intersectionality, at the core of a Ven Diagram or the base of a Hierarchically Structure, is an individual. To ignore the core or base in your intersectionality makes it incomplete and subject to misinterpretation. To utilize intersectionality without accounting for the core or base is to engage in “Obfuscation, Smoke, and Mirrors”. To create a Law or Social Policy not based on the core or base dooms the Law or Social Policy to failure.

Consequently, whenever someone speaks of intersectionality I think of the individual. This is how my Chirps, Articles, and Observations are focused; on the individual. The individual Human Rights, Constitutional Rights, and Civil Rights that are instituted to preserve the individual "Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Justice for All". Therefore, we should not allow intersectionality to infringe on these rights.

02/13/20 Do the Ends Justify the Means?

When do the ends justify the means?  This can be a very difficult question to answer, and it is often not black or white. Almost always the answer is no but is some cases it can be yes. My new article "Do the Ends Justify the Means?" broadly addresses this question.

02/12/20 The Intellectual, Emotional, and Physical Strains of Writing

In writing these Articles and Chirps I have attempted to assure that the information I present is factual and accurate. I, therefore, expend time and effort in researching to obtain the facts and achieve accuracy. The process of writing for me is an intellectual, emotional, and physical strain. I have, therefore, written a short article “The Intellectual, Emotional, and Physical Strains of Writing” that explains my research efforts, and the intellectual, emotional, and physical strains of writing these Articles and Chirps.

02/11/20 Sloganeering versus Governance

The Democrat Party slogan “the party of the people” has actually become “the party of special interest groups”, while the slogan of the Republican Party “The Grand Old Party” is more apt to be “the party of common man rights”. Of course, this is an over-simplification of both the Democrat and Republican parties, but it has a broad streak of truth for both parties. But a slogan does not imply any truth to the slogan. You must look behind the slogan to determine the truth of a slogan. This is especially true when dealing with political slogans. If you look behind a political slogan to determine what it means for how they would govern then my simplification of the Democrat and Republican parties’ slogans makes more sense.

Three of my recent articles have expounded on the issues of governance by the Democrat and Republican parties’. Like a Classical concerto, they need to be played (read) in order to understand the full meaning of the music (governance). These articles are; “The Foundation of the Rights of the Common Man”, “There is Nothing democratic About the Democrat Party” and “Have We Lost Our Way?”. I believe that this will be good reading, and lead to good thinking.

02/10/20 Who is Divisive?

When a Republican or a Conservative state their policies they are often called divisive, while Democrats and Liberal/Progressives are often called inclusive. But who is actually divisive or inclusive? It often depends on your definition of divisive/inclusive and your political viewpoint.  If you mean inclusive to be when a person agrees and supports your policy position, then of course your opponent who disagrees and opposes your policy position must be divisive. But divisiveness or inclusiveness rarely cannot be judged solely on a policy position, as all policy positions have both inclusive and divisive elements.

What can be judged as divisiveness or inclusiveness is the language utilized to describe your opponent. The use of pejoratives to describe your opponent is often the best means to determine divisiveness or inclusiveness as I have discussed in my article “Divisiveness in America”. The utilization of pejoratives as a means to “Demonize, Denigrate, Disparage (The Three D's)” someone that you disagree with. To utilize the Three D’s is not inclusive, and is indeed the most divisive approach that can be taken.

02/09/20 Words and Terms as Weapons, Not for Comprehension

It is quite common for politicians and political commentators to utilize words and terms when discussing an issue or concern. But if they are unfamiliar with the true meaning of the words or terms then they are utilizing the word or term as a weapon, not to make their comments comprehensible. This most frequently occurs when they are discussing Constitutional issues and concerns.

There is great meaning behind the words and terms that describes the principles of the Constitution. Meanings that are essential to how we live and govern ourselves. It is critical to understand, then apply, what these words and terms mean. Without this understanding you will misinterpret the Constitution and apply it incorrectly.

If politicians and political commentators are unaware of the true meaning of the words or terms and they are utilizing them they are demonstrating their ignorance. If they are aware of the true meaning of the word or term and are utilizing them inappropriately then they are being deliberately misleading. And you should not pay attention to ignorant or misleading persons. You can, therefore, be assured that when I utilize a word or term that I understand its true meaning, and I utilize the word or term for comprehension purposes.

02/08/20 Its Never Over

With the acquittal of President Trump in the Senate Impeachment trial this phase of their resistance (not loyal opposition) to President Trump is over. If they have not after three years gotten over that President Trump was duly elected, that President Trump did not collude with the Russians in the 2016 Presidential election, and that President Trump was not guilty of the Impeachment Articles then it will never be over. The Democrats enmity, and indeed hatred, of President Trump will never be over. Their behavior, and misbehavior, during the recent State on the Union address by President Trump is also indicative of their enmity. And they have shown a lack of will power to put this enmity behind them and come to terms with the election of President Trump.

If they can do this, they can proceed with the business of the governance of the United States. But, alas, I do not expect this to happen. With the coming 2020 Presidential election you can expect more displays of the enmity and hatred, rather than governance.  The only way it will ever be over is for the American people to remove the Democrat Party from the reins of power in an overwhelming manner. It is only this removal that will force them to reassess their tactics and approach to governance and then we can proceed with the regular order of doing the business of governance.

02/07/20 What to Think and Not How to Think

Today we have two generations of Americans who have been indoctrinated in that they have been educated on what to think, rather than how to think. How to think requires that you know how to determine what are the correct and pertinent facts, how to logically reason, how to apply informal and formal logic, and how to root out Logical Fallacies and Cognitive Biases. The best way to achieve this is by utilizing “A Philosophical Approach” when thinking.

The modern educational system in America does not teach you how to do these things, and American culture rewards what we think without being critical of how we think. In America if you say the right things you will be praised, and if you do not say the right things you are scorned. But nowhere do we praise, or scorn, based on how a person thinks. Indeed, we very rarely attempt to examine how we think to determine the quality of the thinking. Too often we utilize phrases and slogans in place of intellectual and reasoned thinking. Often, our discussions and debates are a hooray for our side spectacle. Very rarely does anybody question the thinking process but counterpoints with opposite phrases and slogans.

Until we begin to question the line of reasoning we will be engaged in argumentation rather than the resolution to the issues and concerns that beset us.

02/06/20 When is a Question an Assertion?

The answer, of course, is when it is a loaded question. A loaded question (also known as a Complex question fallacy) is a question that contains controversial or unjustified assumptions (e.g., a presumption of guilt). Questions such as “When did you stop beating your wife?”, “Why do you continue to steal?”, etc. are obviously loaded. The most insidious of these loaded questions, however, is when the question has assumptions built into the question that is not obvious. These questions presume facts or truths that have not been proven. And unobvious loaded questions abound today (and many journalist questions are unobvious loaded questions).

The only proper way to answer loaded questions is by challenging the assumptions. But this gives the appearance of not answering or dodging the question, which often redounds negatively on the person answering the question. It is also true that challenging a question can take (considerably) more time than a simple answer would take. Challenging the question's assumptions should and needs to be done to properly answer a loaded question.

The other answer to this question is when a question is formulated in a manner that requires someone to prove a negative. One of the things that western society has learned is that you cannot prove a negative (i.e. prove you didn't say or do something).  Historically, forcing someone to prove a negative has led to witches being burned at the stake, heretic’s being executed, lynching’s to occur, summary executions to take place, as well as many other violations of human rights. It has also led to falsehoods to be introduced into science, law, philosophy, morality, and ethics. No one is required to prove a negative, therefore, refusing to answer negative loaded question presumes nothing and cannot be utilized for any purposes.

Therefore, a loaded question should not be answered directly. It is the unobvious loaded question that has built-in assumptions or a presumption of guilt that should especially not be answered. They should always be challenged as a loaded question by the party being asked the question. Refusing to answer a loaded question presumes nothing and cannot be utilized for any purposes. The time it takes to challenge a loaded question should not be considered detrimental to the person who answers, and indeed, should be redounded positively on the person who answers as it is often a positive reflection on their intelligence and knowledge.

02/05/20 Assertions are the Question

The person asserting something has the responsibility of proving their assertion is correct. The person disputing the assertion has no responsibility to prove the other person’s assertion is incorrect. Too often, in today’s political debates, one side or the other makes an assertion without justifying their assertion. Indeed, they often imply or retort that the other side must prove them wrong. Assertions also contain Presumptions; Assumptions; Incorrect Facts; Incomplete Facts; Missing Facts; Irrelevant Facts; Faulty Reasoning; Logical Fallacies; Cognitive Biases; and the Unintended Consequences problems that may be inherent in the assertion. The deconstruction of an assertion to determine the validity of the assertion may take considerable time and effort. Unless an assertion is not disputable it should be questioned to determine if it contains any of these problems. Generally, the assertion of facts is indisputable. However, the meaning of these facts is often disputable. Therefore, when someone makes an assertion about the meaning of the facts you need to carefully examine the assertion to determine its validity.

In science, law, philosophy, theology, and many other areas of human interactions, it is the responsibility of the person asserting something to prove that their assertion is correct. Otherwise, we could end up with the following absurd situation:

Someone could assert that Martians eat garbage and urinate gasoline. If they did not have to prove their assertion, but someone had to disprove their assertion, then the following would be necessary to disprove the assertion. The person disproving the assertion would have to prove there is no such thing as Martians, or if there were Martians prove that they did not eat garbage, and if there were Martians that ate garbage they would have to prove that they did not urinate gasoline.

Obviously, it is not possible to prove or disprove these things. Therefore, the person who asserts something bears the burden of proving that their assertion is correct.

As Christopher Hitchens once said, "That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence." To agree to disagree requires that both sides must present cogent arguments, explanations, or reasoning for their assertions. Otherwise, it is not possible to disagree with the party without a cogent argument, explanation, or reasoning, you can only dismiss their assertion. You should, therefore, challenge a person who asserts something to prove their assertion. If there is no proof for an assertion, then the assertion can be simply dismissed. Otherwise, you get into the situation that "if you cannot prove that they are wrong then they must be right", which is obviously a fallacious statement.

02/04/20 A Philosophical Approach

When reading my webpages, you will notice that I often take a philosophical approach to discuss issues and concerns. But why do I take a philosophical approach? The answer is because Philosophy teaches you how to think, not what to think. I also believe that a philosophical approach is the best means to resolve the issues and concerns that beset modern America. My new article “A Philosophical Approach” explains my reasoning.

02/03/20 Have We Lost Our Way?

America was founded on the ideals of "Freedom, Liberty, Equality, and Justice for All". Along with the ideas of representative government, due process, the rule of law, property, and contracts. It has been a long and incomplete struggle to achieve these ideals and ideas in America. In the history of the United States, there were abuses and shortcomings of these ideals and ideas because this was a struggle that had initial defects and setbacks during its advancement. My new article “Have We Lost Our Way?” examines these ideals and ideas in modern American governance and society.

02/02/20 There is Nothing democratic About the Democrat Party

All political organizations are Oligarchies, including the Democrat and Republican Parties. The difference is in the power structure of the leadership of the parties. Does the power structure rule from the top-down or lead from the bottom-up? My new article “There Is Nothing democratic About the Democrat Party” examines this topic as it relates to the current Democrat and Republican Parties.

02/01/20 Welcome to the Conservative and Republican World Professor Dershowitz

With his presentation on the Constitutional Issues in the Impeachment of Donald Trump Professor Dershowitz is facing the wrath and fury of the Democrats, the Mainstream Media (MSM), and the Mainstream Cultural Media (MCM). A wrath and fury that seeks to “Demonize, Denigrate, Disparage” and  “Putting Words into Another’s Mouth and a False Dichotomy” for anyone who would disagree with them. Even a noted liberal and supporter of the Democrat Party such as Professor Alan Dershowitz, or Professor Jonathan Turley, who would deviate from their orthodoxy is not immune from their wrath and fury.

To which I say to Professor Dershowitz and Professor Turley; welcome to the world that the Conservatives and Republicans have been living in for the last several decades.

01/31/20 Resolution on the Impeachment of President Trump

With the anticipated end to the Impeachment of President Trump, the Senate will have to pass a resolution of its verdict. Given all that I have read and heard, as well as all I have written in my previous articles, I have created a resolution “Impeachment Senate Trial V“ that I believe the Senate should pass.

01/30/20 New Witnesses at the Senate Impeachment Trial

The new battle cry at the Impeachment of President Trump is the call for new witnesses. The Democrats' reasoning for new witnesses is for the facts and truth needs to be revealed. The Republicans' reasoning against new witnesses it is not their responsibility to investigate, only to make a judgment on the facts presented. As usual, both sides have gotten it wrong. The real battle is “are the Articles of Impeachment against President Trump Constitutional as Professor Dershowitz has laid out in his testimony? My new Article "Impeachment Senate Trial IV" are my thoughts on this topic.

01/27/20 The Foundation of the Rights of the Common Man

Where did the ideals of freedom, liberty, equality, and justice for all, as we now understand them come from? What about the ideas of representative government, the rule of law, equal justice, property, and contracts? My new article "The Foundation of the Rights of the Common Man" examines where these ideals and ideas came from.

01/26/20 Movies and Television with Meaning

Movies and television can be many things, but it most important that they be entertaining. But movies and television can contain messages that can do more than entertain. They can inform and illuminate the human condition. Movies and television such as these are important for their dialog, what they meant, and how they changed your perspective. Movies and television can also have a great impact on our lives and can shape our vision of the world and world events. Sometimes for the good, sometimes for the bad, but mostly not at all.

Many movies and television can do this, but only a few do it thoroughly and excellently. Most of these movies and television that do this are dependent on their script and are often derided for their extensive dialog. In many cases this is true but is some cases it is not. Or, as a movie critic once said about the movie “The Lion in Winter” – “Talk, talk, talk, and talk. But what magnificent talk.”

Therefore, I have decided to compile a short list of movies that have impacted my life:

I would encourage all to take the time to watch these movies and think about their messages. For more movies that I consider thoughtful or entertaining I would direct you to my article “That’s Entertainment”.

01/25/20 Senate Vote on Impeachment

I have written a new Article on "The true meaning of the Senate vote on the Impeachment of President Trump". This short article, written as a speech to the Senate, does not delve into any of the details of impeachment. It instead ponders its Constitutional impacts and on the future consequences of impeachment.

01/23/20 The Goose and the Gander

Liberal/Progressives, and most especially Leftists, gave forgotten how to disagree with people who dispute them. They think that to disagree allows them to be disparaging, that criticism rather than critiquing is the best means of addressing their adversaries, and that to dismiss their adversaries rather than to answer them is the proper way to disagree with them.

Polite and respectful speech with their adversaries is not the normal means for Liberal/Progressives to disagree with their adversaries, but polite and respectful speech is a requirement for their adversaries. Pejoratives and reputational accusations by Liberal/Progressives are often the common means to assail their adversaries, and they have forgotten how to conduct a respectful and reasonable “Dialog & Debate”. Liberal/Progressives believe that they are more intelligent, better educated, and morally superior that they are, of course, always correct. And to be always correct means that those that disagree with them are unintelligent, uneducated, immoral, and therefore wrong and that their adversaries can be dismissed and disregarded because they are wrong.

The Liberal/Progressives always require that their adversaries be factual and reasonable, prove their facts and assumptions, and be non-hypocritical, while they themselves have no responsibility for meeting their own standards. Liberal/Progressives often concentrate on the style of their adversaries in order to deflect from the substance of their arguments. And due to Political Correctness, they determine what is the appropriate style which gives them the advantage.

And Liberal/Progressives have no long-term memory. They will say what is politically expedient at the moment while forgetting that they have said things in the past that are diametrically opposed to their current comments. A good example of this is in their protestations for a fair Senate Impeachment Trial while there were no remonstrations about an unfair House Impeachment Investigation. This is because “Fair” is a word that they utilize to mean whatever is advantageous to Liberal/Progressives is fair, and whatever is advantageous to their adversaries is unfair.

As to the charge that the Liberal/Progressives adversaries utilize these same tactics this is true. The difference is that the Liberal/Progressives have been utilizing these tactics, by both their leaders and followers, for decades (see my “Marque de Queensberry Rules vs a Barroom Brawl” Chirp for more information), and in a vitriolic manner. While as to the adversaries of Liberal/Progressives this has become more frequent in the recent past but is much less vitriolic, especially by the leadership.

For Liberal/Progressives “What’s good for the Goose is good for the Gander” has morphed into “Do as I say and not as I do”. It’s past time to Cook the Liberal/Progressives Goose and stop this nonsense.

01/20/20 The Constitutional Founding Fathers Goals

To understand why the Constitution was drafted and adopted you need to understand the historical governmental and socio-economic environment at the time of the founding, and the fears of the Constitutional Founding Fathers due to this environment. The American Constitution was formulated and passed to institute a Continental Republic for several reasons:

My new article on this subject examines the historical governmental and socio-economic environment of this time, and the  "Constitutional Founding Fathers Goals".

01/19/20 Should the Civil Service be Abolished?

My new article examines how the Civil Service was created with the presumption that civil service employees would be responsive to Executive authority and policy, and would put the interests of the people of the United States above their own interests, and how this is no longer the case. This Article “Should the Civil Service be Abolished?” examines the pernicious effects of the modern attitude of many civil servants.

01/18/20 Calm and Collected

Both my wife and I received some minor disturbing news recently. While talking it over with my wife she remarked how calm and collected I was about the news. She then asked how I could remain so calm and collected. This gave me pause to think about why I could remain calm and collected. I, of course, recalled my “Pearls of Wisdom” in formulating my answer to her. But my response revealed that I had additional Pearls of Wisdom that I needed to elucidate. I have, therefore, update my article to contain these new Pearls of Wisdom. I hope that you will reread, or read for the first time, these Pearls as they can be beneficial to your life.

01/17/20 Marque de Queensberry Rules vs a Barroom Brawl

The Marquess of Queensberry Rules, also known as Queensbury Rules, is a code of generally accepted rules in the sport of boxing. A Barroom Brawl is a conflict with no rules. And both are practiced, by all sides, in politics. All is fair in love, war, and politics is the phrase often utilized to express this.

The Democrat Party only fights by the political Marque de Queensberry Rules when it is to their advantage. Otherwise, they engage in a political Barroom Brawl which is usually to their advantage (given the liberal/progressive leanings of the mainstream media – see my Observation “Modern Journalism” and Article “Slander & Libel on Social Media and Journalism”). The Republican Party, until recently, occasionally engaged in a political Barroom Brawl but most often utilized the political Marque de Queensberry rules. This was mainly done by Republicans due to their fear of being pilloried by the mainstream media.

However, all of this has changed with the campaign and election of President Trump.  President Trump is a barroom brawler, but only after someone has started the barroom brawl. This is one of the reasons why the Democrats, the Mainstream Media, and their supporters hate (sic) him. They no longer can dictate the rules of the fight nor the Politically Correct language of the fight. President Trump’s tweeting and rallies can bypass the traditional means of communicating to the public, which is biased against him, and he speaks directly to the public with his tweets and rallies. His sometimes crude and rude language draws attention to what he is saying or tweeting and therefore spreads his message.

I do not particularly care for the words or tones of his tweets, but I understand the need for them. It is the leveling of the playing field and provides the means to even the fight between Democrats and the Republicans, and the Conservatives and the Liberals/Progressives. For too long this fight has been lopsided in favor of the Democrats and Liberals/Progressives, as they have enjoyed the support of the Mainstream Media and Cultural Media. This has inured the American public to the Liberals/Progressives viewpoints rather than examining the substance of their viewpoints.

Some claim that President Trump is not acting “Presidential”, but the last Republican President, George W. Bush, who acted presidential was pilloried by his opponents in an uncivil manner. This pillorying hampered the George W. Bush agenda and compromised his ability to implement his agenda and policies. He would often have to unduly compromise and temporize his agenda and policies as a result of this pillorying. President Trump does not wish this happen to him, as he believes that his agenda and policies or critical to righting the course of America which he believes foundered and decline under the previous administrations.

I believe that President Trump should act and speak more presidential, but only after journalist and his critics act and speak more journalistically and reasonably. I would much prefer "A Civil Society", but uncivility must sometimes be utilized against uncivility to counter the perverse impacts of pillorying.

01/16/20 What They Said and What They Meant

It is an all too common occurrence in today's political environment that a politician will say something, and then shortly thereafter their spokesperson will clarify the statement, or their supporters will explain what they really meant. Usually, the clarification or explanation is not an elucidation but an attempt to deflect the political harm the statement may have invoked. And this is often done by utilizing the technique of “Obfuscation, Smoke, and Mirrors” or “Torturous and Convoluted Reasoning”.

If this tactic is successful it lets the politician off the hook for what they have said. But they should remain on the hook until they themselves clarify their statement. Hopefully, this would also force them to think about what they said, and perhaps, think about what they are saying before they say it. To accept a clarifying statement or explanation, other than by the politician who spoke it, has a perverse effect. The perverse effect of not being sure of where a politician really stands on an issue or policy and their position is open to interpretation by the words of others. An interpretation that is usually not what their position really is but in being a nebulous position.

I expect that this tactic will continue to occur if we continue to allow this tactic to be successful. Let us, therefore, not be acceptable of this tactic, but instead examine what they really said and leave what they meant to the listeners' discernment.

01/14/20 Libertarians and Republicans, Democrats and Leftists

I am a registered Republican, although I am actually “A Constitutionalist Conservative” with a Libertarian streak. So why am I not a Libertarian instead of a Republican? Because I choose to have an impact on my beliefs. The Libertarian Party is small, but growing, but has no real impact on governmental laws and policies as it has insufficient numbers to have any impact. I would much prefer a Libertarian Wing of the Republican Party that would pull the party in its direction, much like the leftists have pulled the Democratic party to the left. This is a pragmatic decision on my part.

But some would ask “What about the centrists and bipartisanship?”. I believe that our country is at a point where it needs to decide which direction it wishes to become. It needs both the left and right wings to elucidate their positions so that we can decide on our direction. To equivocate and then proceed in a left or right, and sometimes both directions, will not help us to reach a decision. It will only continue the partisan bickering and stalemates we have seen in the last twenty years. And it is the centrists and the bipartisan who have brought this about by their unwillingness to make a clear decision.

This is why the 2020 Presidential elections may be consequential. The left has pulled the Democrat Party to the left, and President Trump has pulled the Republican Party to the right. A clear choice may become available to the American people so that they may decide which direction they wish to proceed. The centrists need to decide where they wish this country to go in order to end this stalemate. So, I say let the games begin and let us make a clear decision on our future direction.

01/13/20 Should the FISA Court be Eliminated

With FBI Director Christopher Wray submitting his reform plan to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) after a scathing inspector general report found 17 errors in the FBI’s surveillance applications, some have called for the elimination of FISA court as unconstitutional. In the article “Ball of Collusion and FISA Reform”, By Andrew C. McCarthy, he has suggested that the FISA Court should be eliminated. He makes a cogent argument for its elimination and it is a persuasive read. However, he makes a suggestion for an alternative that I believe is impracticable. He argues for stronger Congressional oversight instead of a FISC Court. Given what we have seen with the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees hearings on Impeachment in the partisanship, lack of due process, and the ignoring of the rule of law I doubt that a House Committee would conduct proper oversight. I am unsure whether a Senate Committee could also do this given the current rancor that exists in the Senate. We would probably have a deadlock on decisions by these committees leading to negative consequences regarding the purposes for which the FISA Court was created to address.

Postscript – The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) has stunned court-watchers by selecting David Kris -- a former Obama administration lawyer to oversee the FBI's implementation of reforms in the wake of a damning Department of Justice inspector general report last year. David Kris had written extensively in support of the FBI's surveillance practices prior to the DOJ Inspector General’s report. Davis Kris had also panned the now-vindicated 2018 memo produced by House Intelligence Committee ranking member Devin Nunes' panel, which asserted a series of surveillance abuses by the FBI against former Trump aide Carter Page. DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz later substantiated Nunes' claims, noting that the FBI had made numerous materially false representations to the FISC (see Jonathan Turley's article "FISA Court Selects Lawyer Who Vehemently Denied FBI Misled FISA To Oversee FBI Reforms)".

A federal judge will disqualify or recuse themselves from a case, as per the United States Code (the Judicial Code) under the "Disqualification of justice, judge, or magistrate judge" standards for judicial disqualification or recusal. These standards state that a federal judge "shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned". The section also provides that a judge is disqualified "where he has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party, or personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts concerning the proceeding"; when the judge has previously served as a lawyer or witness concerning the same case or has expressed opinions concerning its outcome. Using the same standards for disqualification or recusal of a federal judge David Kris should never have been appointed to this position.

It is hard to think of a worse appointment to oversee the FBI’s FISC reforms. David Kris lacks the credibility and impartiality to perform these reforms, and the American people should be suspicious of his reform efforts. We need a fair-minded person with the impartiality and integrity to reform the FBI’s FISC standards and procedures. David Kris is not this person. David Kris was wrong about the FBI's surveillance practices, he was wrong about Nunes' claims, and now he is expected to put right what he was wrong about by overseeing the FBI reforms of FISC practices. Two wrongs don’t make him right for this responsibility. If this appointment stands then I would support the elimination of the FISA Court. 

01/12/20 Is it Impeachable?

I have recently finished reading the book “The Original Constitution: What It Actually Said and Meant” 3rd Edition by Robert G. Natelson. A very interesting and informative book that is full of information that even many experts don't know. From it, you will learn; The Constitution’s hidden meanings. Many of its words and phrases meant something different in the 18th century than they do today. How the founders wanted the Constitution interpreted. Is it really a “living” document? How the original Constitution protected your rights. What a privilege is, and how it is different from a right. How the framers were ahead of their time in respecting women and minorities.

Robert G. Natelson's meticulous studies of the Constitution's original meaning have been relied on repeatedly in the U.S. Supreme Court, both by justices and by the parties. Professor Natelson was a law professor for 25 years at three different universities. He taught Constitutional Law, Advanced Constitutional, Constitutional History, and First Amendment courses. He is now the Senior Fellow in Constitutional Jurisprudence at the Independence Institute in Denver, Colorado.

In Chapter 11 of this book, “Removal from Office”, I read a very good summary of the grounds for impeachment:

“… the Constitutional grounds for impeachment may be summarized as (1) treason, (2) bribery, or (3) other breaches of public trust – such as serious violations of the law, disloyalty, self-dealing, abuse of power, failing to account for funds, and negligence to performance of duty. That negligence was a ground for impeachment demonstrates that an official might be removed for failure to act properly as well as for acting wrongfully.”

The question then is “Has President Trump met any of these grounds for impeachment?”. I would only hope that you keep two things in mind when considering the impeachment of President Trump. They are:

In judicial proceedings there is the concept of if two equally reasonable explanations of a defendant’s actions are given, one in favor of the defendant and one detrimental to the defendant, then the favorable explanation must be utilized to determine the guilt or innocence of the defendant. This is done because the prosecutor has a burden to prove the detrimental reason. To believe that a defendant acted in one way or another is insufficient. You must prove by direct evidence or direct witness testimony the reason the defendant acted the way they did. If you cannot prove one reason or the other reason for the defendant’s actions, then you must find for the defendant’s reason. Without proof of the detrimental reason for the defendant’s actions then the defendant’s reasonable explanation must be presumed to be the real reason for their actions.

To claim that invoking Executive privilege is Obstruction of Justice would mean that every President has obstructed justice, as every President has invoked Executive Privilege. When a President makes this claim, and Congress disagrees, the normal course of action is for Congress to negotiate with the President or to bring the matter to the courts for adjudication. It should be remembered that too adjudicate before a court on a dispute of law is not obstructing justice, it is upholding justice. To not cooperate with the court’s adjudication by refusing to produce witnesses, or to not respond to or withholding information the court has ordered, or when you lose the dispute and refuse to obey the ruling of the court, can you be considered to be obstructing justice. To claim otherwise is a Non-Sequitur.

Given the above can it be said that President Trump has committed an impeachable offense?  For this answer, and more on my Impeachment thoughts, I would direct you my articles on “Impeachment”.

01/10/20 The Devil is in the Details

The Devil is in the Details is a truism that must always be remembered when considering an issue in our personal, work-related, or public lives. My new article "The Devil is in the Details"  considers four devils; The Bottom Line, The Debatable, The Verbal versus the Written, and The Philosophical versus the Practicable.

01/09/20 Witnesses for the Impeachment Trial

Whether to allow new witnesses to testify in the Senate Trial of President Trump’s Senate Impeachment trial is more than a question of evidence or fairness. It is also a Constitutional question as to the roles and responsibilities of the House and Senate in Impeachment. My new article “Impeachment Senate Trial II” examines this question.

01/07/20 The Age of Empowerment

In my Article “Cult of Youth” I examine today's fascination with youth. The main point is that the brain does not mature until about 22 to 24 years of age, and the last part of the brain to mature is the prefrontal lobes that are responsible for decision making. The ability to ponder your decisions, to think of the future consequences of our decisions, and to postpone immediate gratification for future benefits is the final step in brain maturation. As such, until this happens you will make unwise decisions.

That is why it is so difficult to reason with the young, to get them to consider the future consequences of their decisions, and to check their impulses. And the people who would take advantage of the young know this, and they know how to utilize this to take advantage of the young. Advertisers, businesspeople, artists, entertainers, filmmakers, music makers, tobacconist and alcohol and drug dealers, activists, and politicians are aware of this. That is why they target youth for what they are pitching. They want them to consume their product and services, or to support their agenda. They also know that if you get the young to fall for this that it will stay with them for many more years, and perhaps a lifetime. It takes a lot of knowledge, intelligence, thought, reasoning, and experience to change the habits and predilections of your youth. This is why we see such a cult of youth in today's society and the extolment of youth. The exploiters want to hook them and lead them to where they want them to go.

And this situation is exacerbated by our current culture and educational system. Too often they try to get to believe something rather than think about something. And far too often youth is not taught how to think but what to think. This is dangerous not only for the individual but for society as a whole. Dangerous to the individual for self-obvious reasons, and dangerous to society as we allow these immature minds to influence laws and social policy through social activism and elections. And perhaps the most dangerous to the welfare of society is the politicians and activists who would exploit the youth of America. The ability to sway the youth to elect a candidate, or support a policy position or law, could be the deciding factor in an election or the implementation of a social policy or law. Abstract thinking and thoughtful analysis, mediating conflicting thoughts, making choices between right and wrong, and predicting the probable outcomes of actions or events are critical to assure that the most helpful and least harmful social policy or law is enacted. I believe our Founding Fathers intuitively knew this about youth, and that was why the put an age requirement in the Constitution for holding public office.

Given above I would seriously suggest that we raise the age of adult consent closer to 22, rather than the current 18 years (or proposed 16 years) that it currently is. And we should also tell the politicians, activists, political and social commentators, and journalists to knock it off regarding extolling youth. You are not extolling them but exploiting them.

01/06/20 And the Show Goes On

Due to the lack of Impeachment activities, I have not felt the need to write another article on this subject. However, this lack of Impeachment activities needs to be commented upon. Comments that I do not believe that I have anything to contribute beyond what has been said by the following distinguished legal scholars:

All three of these columns encapsulates the current impeachment inactivities.

01/05/20 To be or not to be a Programmer?

Uncle Joe Biden has suggested that coal miners learn to be programmers after he shuts down the coal industry – an unwise shutdown in of itself. Not only was this disrespectful to the coal mining industry but it was also disrespectful to all programmers. It implied that anybody could be a programmer. Having spent fifty years in the Information Technology business I can assure all that not everybody can be a programmer. It takes a certain intelligence, ability, and talent to be a programmer. Intelligence, ability, and talent that is distinct and not something that everybody processes. It also takes a certain lifestyle that elevates the grind of programming above other personal activities. Coming in early and working late, working nights and weekends, eating and snacking at your computer, and the depreciating of social interactions because of this are common to computer programming (they aren’t known as geeks for no reason).

Therefore, Uncle Joe Biden has not only disrespected coal miners, but he has also disrespect programmers. And both groups should be offended by his remarks.

01/04/20 Poisoning the Well

President Trump's deadly airstrike that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani at Baghdad's international airport has provoked many remarks by Democrats and their supporters that President Trump did not consult with Congress before this action. Under normal circumstances, this consultation would have probably occurred. But these are not normal circumstances. And the unusual circumstances are “Impeachment”.

The conduct of Congress involving impeachment has shown that Congress cannot be trusted to render a fair and impartial assessment of anything that President Trump does. The rush to judgment, lack of Due Process, and the failure to abide by the Rule of Law by Congress has demonstrated Congress’s untrustworthiness. The selective leaking of testimony harmful to President Trump has shown that Congress cannot keep quiet where quietude is needed. The concealment of testimony favorable to President Trump has shown that Congress cannot be impartial. Both the leaking and concealment of impeachment testimony evidences that the Democrats are so partisan that they lack the requisite reasonableness required to act dispassionately.

There have also been lamenting by Democrats and their supporters that President Trump did not share with Congress the intelligence that led him to take these actions. But intelligence such as this is “actionable” intelligence. As such, it contains information about who General Soleimani was plotting with, where the plots were originating, what the targets were, and the dates and times of the plots to commit terrorism. Intelligence that is useful to thwart future terrorism. This intelligence cannot be shared with a Congress that cannot be trusted to keep it secret, nor should it be shared.

There has also been carping by Democrats and their supporters that President Trump has no plan for what may occur after this military action. Not revealing a strategic plan to Congress or the public does not mean that there is no strategic plan. There may, or may not, be a plan. However, revealing a strategic plan is not wise. It gives your enemies the ability to counter and thwart your plan which is not a very wise move. It also gives your political opponents fuel for the fire to criticize your plan which may make it more difficult to carry out the plan.

Under these circumstances how can President Trump trust that Congress will keep secret plans for military actions, let alone the intelligence that led to the need for military action, and the after-action plan? He cannot, and should not, consult with Congress under these circumstances. Consultation with Congress, where intelligence, military actions, and after-action plans could, and probably would, be leaked could mean disruption or disorder of the military action which could lead to unnecessary deaths or injuries to those involved in the military action, and perhaps the disruption of the sources and methods utilized to obtain this intelligence. Revealing the after-action plan could compromise the plan and make it unworkable. This is a dangerous situation where the President cannot share military actions, intelligence and after-action plans with Congress. Military actions, intelligence, and after-action plans that are critical to assuring the safety and welfare of all Americans wherever they may be.

Therefore, the Democrats have poisoned the well through their partisan impeachment, and they have only themselves to blame.

01/03/20 Giving the Devil His Due

“Be careful what you wish for; you may receive it.”, “Rue the Day”, and “Giving the Devil His Due” are idioms that we are all familiar with and elucidate kernels of human truths.

Be careful what you wish for as you may, and probably will, encounter “The Law of Unintended Consequences". The law of unintended consequences, often cited but rarely defined, is that actions of people—and especially of government—always have effects that are unanticipated or unintended, in its outcomes of unexpected benefits, unexpected drawbacks, and perverse results. 

Many of us, and society, have “Rued the Day” when we have abandoned our principles to achieve a goal. Whether this goal was accepting some bad to accomplish a good, done for convenience or to avoid inconvenience, or doing the popular rather than the principled, we have compromised or temporized. And we often later regret this decision. As I have stated in my “Pearls of Wisdom”; “Doing the right thing for all” and “Doing the Right Thing for Yourself” is most often doing the best thing, no matter how difficult it is to do.

In “A Man for All Seasons” Sir Thomas More debates his son-in-law on “Giving the Devil His Due”:

In a critical exchange, More is accused by his son-in-law William Roper of putting the law before morality and that More would “give the Devil the benefit of law!” When More asks if Roper would instead “cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?,” Roper proudly declares “Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!” More responds by saying “And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ‘round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!”

“Giving the Devil His Due” in America is accomplished by "Justice and The Rule of Law in America". These principles are critical to preserve our Freedoms, Liberties, and safety. Not just for the good or bad person, not for the guilty or innocent person, not for the strong or weak person, not for the rich or poor person, not for the powerful or powerless person, but for all persons.

So, let us “Be careful what we wish for” and “Give the Devil His Due” to preserve these principles, or we may “Rue the Day” when we abandon these principles.

01/02/20 Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

I have consolidated and rewritten several of my Miscellaneous Articles in a new section "Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics". These articles examine the issues that I believe are misrepresented, misreported, and misunderstood in America. To solve these problems requires that we understand the true nature of these problems. Unfortunately, because of the misinformation on these problems, this is not possible. Politicians, Activists, and Journalists are more interested in scoring political points, along with other motivations, that interfere with our understanding. Let us all begin to understand the true nature of these problems so that we can work together on solving these problems. I would highly recommend that you read this articles to gain a better understanding of these Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics:

01/01/20 Imperialism

I thought I would start the new decade out with a bang. So here it goes:

Imperialism has a well-deserved bad reputation, as Imperialism was utilized to exploit the wealth of the conquered and suppress the human rights of the conquered people, to the benefit of the conquers. Imperialism of this type should never again be allowed.

However, Socialism, Communism, Dictatorships, Monarchs, Oligarchies, and One Rule governments are no better. In all these forms of government, the Natural Rights of its citizens are violated, and poverty and destitution run rampant. The misery and suffering of its citizens are heartrending.

Today we have eliminated Imperialism, but we have many governments that have a facade of self-rule but are no better for their people. And in a global economy and the free flow of peoples across nations, this is dangerous. Dangerous in that it creates economic instability and breeds “Terrorism”. Terrorism is a form that not only impacts small groups of people but could also impact an entire nation(s). Nuclear, biological, chemical, financial, communications, transportation, and other forms of broadband terrorism could devastate the world.  This situation must be recognized and addressed.

Perhaps it is time we establish a new form of Imperialism. Imperialism not for the benefit of the conquerors but for the benefit of the conquered. The benefit of establishing Democratic-Republic institutions, the Rule of Law, and a free and capitalistic economy for the conquered. This would not only establish the Natural Rights of its citizens but also alleviate the poverty and destitution within the conquered nation.

OUTRAGEOUS, Outrageous, many of you are probably thinking! And I agree. It is outrageous, and deliberately so. But hopefully, many of you are now thinking about this problem. And perhaps this thinking will lead to some possible solutions to this problem. I can hope, but I do not expect, we will address this problem.

12/31/19 A House Divided

As we close this year, I would like to reflect on a speech that Illinois Senatorial candidate Abraham Lincoln gave in Springfield, Illinois on June 16, 1858, in which he warned about a divided nation. This warning was not about a civil war that may occur, but a warning about not deciding, as a people, on which direction to take on an issue of great moral and civil importance. The beginning of this speech is very telling:

 “If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could then better judge what to do, and how to do it.

We are now far into the fifth year, since a policy was initiated, with the avowed object, and confident promise, of putting an end to slavery agitation.

Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only, not ceased, but has constantly augmented.

In my opinion, it will not cease, until a crisis shall have been reached, and passed.

"A house divided against itself cannot stand."

I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free.

I do not expect the Union to be dissolved -- I do not expect the house to fall -- but I do expect it will cease to be divided.

It will become all one thing or all the other.

Either the opponents of slavery, will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new -- North as well as South.”

Today in America we seem to have more, wider, and deeper divisions than since the Civil War except, perhaps, the Civil Rights–Vietnam War era. Abortion, Global Warming, Gun Control, Immigration, Impeachment, and Judicial Appointees are but some of the issues that deeply divide America. The meaning and practice of "Justice and The Rule of Law in America" are in question. And these divisions are becoming wider and deeper in America. We, as a people, must take stock and decide on these issues. And these decisions cannot equivocate nor be compromises but must be definitive or we risk becoming ‘A house divided against itself that cannot stand’.

The 2020 Presidential election is the best means to achieve this definitiveness, as we have a Democratic Party that has become more leftist and a Republican Party that has drifted more to the right of the political spectrum. The centrist must definitively decide which direction we should proceed or be responsible for the continued partisanship and rancor that exists and perhaps, ultimately, lead to a great civil unrest that would collapse our house.

02/29/19 The Village Idiot’s Representative

In America all groups deserve representatives in Congress. I have reached the conclusion that our Village Idiots also require representation. Fortunately, they already have a representative. I would hereby nominate Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as the official representative of the Village Idiots of America for the reasons I have explained in my Chirp about her. Let us pass a Congressional Resolution in the new year that officially names her The Village Idiots Representative.

12/28/19 Que Sera, Sera

Que Sera, Sera is a song written by the team of Jay Livingston and Ray Evans that was first published in 1956, and most famously sung by Doris Day in the movie “The Man Who Knew Too Much”. A beautifully simple lyrics and music that has inspired many people. My article “Que Sera, Sera” explains my interpretation of this song.

12/27/19 The Philosophical versus the Practicable

In my Articles and Observations, I have often waxed philosophically along with being practicable. This can often lead you to believe that there is a dichotomy in my thoughts. But there is no such dichotomy. Before I become practicable, I will muse philosophically, then base my practicability on my philosophical thoughts. If there is a dichotomy between the two, I will try to first resolve it philosophically before being practicable. Sometimes, however, the philosophical cannot be practicable, or the practicable conflicts with the philosophical. Its called life. In such cases, I try to determine what is more important of the legal, moral, or ethical thing to do. This may not always be perfect, but what in life is perfect? I simply try to do my best given the circumstances. When this happens, I often find myself humming “Que Sera Sera”.

Update -I have updated my thoughts on this subject and added additional thoughts in a new article "The Devil is in the Details". The Devil is in the Details is a truism that must always be remembered when considering an issue in our personal, work-related, or public lives. My new article considers four devils; The Bottom Line, The Debatable, The Verbal versus the Written, and The Philosophical versus the Practicable.

12/26/19 Human Rights, The Bill of Rights, and The Four Freedoms

A recent discussion at my cigar lounge has led me to meditate on the articles in which I have expounded on these subjects. The result is that I have modified and aggregated my articles on these subjects. These updated Articles “Human Rights”, “The Bill of Rights”, and “The Four Freedoms” should be read in order to comprehend my thoughts on these subjects.

12/19/19 Impeachment Senate Trial I addendum

In my "Impeachment Senate Trial I" article I explained my disagreements with an abbreviated Senate trial. After viewing and pondering the speech Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell gave on the Senate floor about the House Articles of Impeachment I found myself remembering one of my “Pearls of Wisdom - Be Prepared to Change Your Mind” and the words of wisdom of Benjamin Franklin on changing your mind. I have, therefore, changed my mind. You can read my Addendum on this change of mind here.

12/16/19 Polite and Respectful, with Facts, Intelligent, and Reasoning

I have often commented on the importance of being polite and respectful. The reason that I think it is important is not only for a "A Civil Society" but it is important for your own sake. If you can be polite and respectful you can feel good about yourself and have more self-confidence. If you also expended the effort to “Be the Better Person” you will feel even better about yourself. If you utilize “With Facts, Intelligence, And Reasoning” while being polite and respectful so much the better. If you have done all these things in your interactions with others you can walk away, despite what may occur, knowing that you have done the right thing. Remorse, shame, and guilt cannot burden you if you have been polite and respectful.

Polite and respectful doesn’t mean that you should not hurt someone else’s feelings. After all, someone, somewhere will have their feelings hurt by what anyone says. That others feelings will be hurt is not a valid reason for not saying something as I have explained in my “04/01/19 I don’t care if your feelings are hurt” Chirp as reiterated below:

“I don’t care if your feelings are hurt, as long as I am expressing reasonable and intelligent positions in a polite and respectful manner and doing so in an honest and truthful way. I care about my spouse, parents, and children’s feelings, and perhaps my other family and friends’ feelings may be, and I am sensitive to their feelings. However, I have no control over what you do, think, and feel. I can only control what I do, think and feel. Your response to what I may say and do is a reflection on your thoughts and feelings, not on my thoughts and feelings. You may also be misinterpreting what I do or say, or perhaps I may be miscommunicating. If I am miscommunicating something, I will accept a critique but not criticism (see my “Criticism vs. Critique” Chirp), and I will try to do better or restate my thoughts. But for you to say that your feelings are hurt is not a valid objection or argument to what I do or say. Only a reasonable and intelligent response, done in a polite and respectful manner, and doing so in an honest and truthful way, is a valid response to what I do or say. To make hurt feelings a valid response will result in the shutting down of free speech, as someone, somewhere, feelings may be hurt by what is being said or done, and nobody will be able to say or do anything.”

You should remember that being Polite and Respectful, with Facts, Intelligent, and Reasoning is a reflection on your character and intelligence and not a statement of approval or disapproval of the other person's character or intelligence.

12/15/19 If the Shoe Were on the Other Foot

Hypocrisy runs rampant in Washington D.C... So rampant that it is hardly worth mentioning. It is part and parcel of being a politician and has even effects appointed officials and bureaucrats as well. I expect nothing else from these people. However, I would hope that honest journalists, political commentators, and academics and scholars would a least try to resist hypocrisy. Alas, this is usually not to be. So, when I listen or read these people's comments I always apply my rule of thumb “If the shoe were on the other foot” to determine the non-hypocrisy of these people.

It is a very simple rule to apply and make a judgment. Whenever I hear them comment or write something, I simply ask myself if they were talking or writing about someone of the opposite party affiliation, opposite political ideology, or opposite policy position would they say the same thing. If the answer is “No” then I realize they are being hypocritical. If the answer is “Yes” then they are being honest. I pay attention and consider the honest persons' opinions and laugh at the hypocritical persons. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately for my own sanity, I find myself laughing much more than considering.

I am not so much disturbed by this from most of the people involved, but I am disturbed by this from academics and scholars. Academics and scholars have a responsibility to their profession to be reasonable and honest, and to fail in this responsibility is to fail in their profession. As to honest political commentators, I make note of who they are and try to consider their viewpoints no matter what positions they may take. As for honest journalists I have given up all hope as they are few and far between (but there are still some of them out there).

Therefore, I would suggest that we all apply the rule of thumb “If the shoe were on the other foot” when paying attention to political commentary from all.

12/14/19 Inspector General Report

The" Inspector General Review of Four FISA Applications and Other Aspects of the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane Investigation" has been released. As I expected this report has the shortcomings that I explained in my Chirp on “Inspector Generals”. My new Article “The Inspector General Report on FISA Applications” examines my concerns about this report.

12/13/19 Impeachment Hearings IV

From Quid Quo Pro to Bribery, to Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Justice the Impeachment bandwagon rolls on. The current Articles of Impeachment that are being drafted reveal the House Democrats lack comprehension or understanding of their Constitutional responsibilities, or their willingness to ignore these responsibilities to achieve a political goal. Either way, they do not reflect well on the House Democrats. The two main Articles of Impeachment deal with Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Justice. My new article "Impeachment Hearings IV" comments on this topic.

12/12/19 Impeachment Senate Trial I

Suggestions have been made, mostly by Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell and Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Lindsey Graham, that the Senate trial of the Impeachment of President Trump be an abbreviated effort until the Senators can determine the guilt or innocence of President Trump. I strongly disagree! I have written a short article "Impeachment Senate Trial I" that explains my disagreements.

12/11/19 The Fire of Mankind

Fire – unexpected and uncontrollable is a primal fear of all animal species. No species knew when or where a fire would occur, and when it occurred it was uncontrollable. The be afraid of fire, and to flee from fire, was necessary for survival. To this day this is true for all but one species- Hominoidae, and one genus – homo. My new science article "The Fire of Mankind" examines fire in the importance of human evolution.

12/10/19 Cyberterrorism

The commercial, financial, and economic structure of the 21st century is dependent on computers, electronic communications, and other forms of information technology (i.e. Cyber). All of these forms of cyber technology are subject to hacking, malware, and information terrorism. Whether it is the stealing, modifying, or the creation of false information, the taking over or disabling of computers, the disruption of electronic communications, or the false control of other computerized controlled technology they are all subject to cyberterrorism.

The FBI defines "cyber terrorism" as “premeditated, politically motivated attack against information, computer systems, computer programs, and data which results in violence against non-combatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents”. NATO defines cyberterrorism as "[a] cyberattack using or exploiting computer or communication networks to cause sufficient destruction or disruption to generate fear or to intimidate a society into an ideological goal”.

However you may define cyberterrorism it is an existential threat, for it could not only destroy the world’s economy but do incredible damage to the world’s infrastructure. It must be rooted out and destroyed where it may occur. And because it can be done from afar it respects no national boundaries or limitations. All countries must combat cyberterrorism, and those countries that do not should be severely punished and forced, including militarily, into cooperation.

Just as in the latter half of the 20th century we were concerned that we would blow ourselves up in a nuclear war, in the 21st century we should be concerned that we will crash ourselves down via cyberterrorism.

12/09/19 A Constitutionalist

Constitutional Conservatives and Constitutional Liberals place their constitutionalism before their conservatism or liberalism. They are constitutionalist first, and they attempt to fit their policies within the constitutional framework. What they have in common is their commitment to “Human Rights”, “Equal Protections”, and the “Justice and The Rule of Law in America “ as fundamental principles. They also believe that the Constitution is the best framework for the establishment and continuance of a “Democratic-Republic”.

Unfortunately, however, many conservatives and most liberals/progressives/leftists do not embrace these fundamental principles. They are more interested in achieving their policy goals than they are in following these principles. They deem their ends as justified so therefore the means are warranted. They often cloak themselves in moral righteousness or intellectual superiority, never doubting their own infallibility, nor consider “The Law of Unintended Consequences“ of their actions. As a result, they are antithetical to these principles.

But these principles are necessary for “A Just Government and a Just Society”. We need more Constitutional Conservatives and Constitutional Liberals, and for them to join forces and insist on the preservation of these principles, to preserve our "Freedoms, Liberties, and Justice for All".

12/08/19 A Democratic-Republic

Most people claim that we are a democracy, but we are not! We are a Democratic-Republic. A Democracy is a doctrine that the numerical majority of an organized group can make decisions binding on the whole group. A Republic is a political system in which the supreme power lies in a select body of citizens who make policies and laws for all the people.

The idea behind a Democratic-Republic is that people get to elect their leaders (democratic), and the leaders set laws and policies for the people (republic). This is done to assure that the mob passions of the people are tempered by the dispassionate reasoning of the leaders. This, hopefully, will assure that wise policies and laws are created, and that the rights of the minority are protected against the majority rule.

While this has not always worked well in the United States, it has worked sufficiently well to create a stable government. History has taught us that governments that are only Democratic have dissolved rather quickly as the people segregate into groups pitted against each other, and the majority group imposing its will on the minority groups, leading to civil unrest and even civil war. History has also taught us that governments that are a Republic without being elected by the people tend to become despotic, which were eventually overthrown by the people or conquered by another people. Our Founding Fathers were well aware of this history and tried to prevent this situation.

One of the ways they accomplished this was to establish a Democratic-Republic form of government. They also established “Three branches of government” with a “Balance of Power” between the branches. Another way they did this was to establish an “Electoral College” for the election of a national leader who would represent all the people throughout the entire nation. Finally, they established “Justice and The Rule of Law in America”.

But these four items do not stand alone:

These items are interdependent upon each other, and you must have all of these items intact for a stable government. Take away or significantly modify any one of them and the others will fail. The reasons for this are many and varied but have been touched upon in my hyperlinked articles. 

The reason for this Chirp is a warning. A warning that when a politician advocates for the significant change or elimination of one of these items they are impacting the stability of our government. Let us all remember all this so that we may preserve our "Freedoms, Liberties, and Justice for All".

12/07/19 Inspector Generals

With the imminent release of the Judicial Department Inspector Generals report on the origins of the probe of President Trump’s campaign, transition, and administration I would like to comment on Inspector General’s duties and responsibilities in general. The Inspector General position is an important position that assists in discovering maladministration, maleficence, and corruption within Executive departments and agencies. However, it has several limitations that prevent it from doing a thorough job.

The Inspector General can only investigate the actions of the current employees of the individual departments and agencies for which they are responsible. If an employee leaves government service they cannot be compelled to be interviewed by the Inspector General. This allows for the possibility of an employee to escape an Inspector General review of their actions while they were employed by the government.

The Inspector General cannot interview employees of other departments and agencies for which they are not responsible. Therefore, if an employee within a department or agency works in concert with an employee of another department or agency they cannot interview the other department or agency employee. They must request an Inspector General review from the Inspector General of the other departments and agencies. These two limitations make it difficult, if not impossible, to conduct a thorough and comprehensive investigation.

This is why I have proposed that we create a Department of Inspector Generals that would combine all the current Inspector Generals into one department responsible to the President. Special protections and the duties and responsibilities of Inspector Generals in regard to the auditing of Executive Branch operations and personnel will be afforded by Congressional legislation, and the person interviewed shall have due process rights as defined by Congressional legislation.

12/06/19 Impeachment Hearings III 

I have just posted a new article on what constitutes “Treason, Bribery, and High crimes and misdemeanors?” as the House Judiciary Committee first hearing examines. This article “Impeachment Hearings III” examines my perspective on the answers to this question.

Sidechirp:

With Professor Jonathan Turley’s intellectual and reasoned testimony (both spoken and written) in opposition to the current impeachment he has written in an op-ed for The Hill on Thursday "Before I finished my testimony, my home and office were inundated with threatening messages and demands that I be fired from George Washington University for arguing that, while a case for impeachment can be made, it has not been made on this record,".

This is a perfect example of my Article “Modern American Fascism”, in that if you disagree with the left you need to be scorned and/or destroyed. All Americans should stand up for anyone’s Freedom of Speech, even speech that you disagree with.

11/22/19 Impeachment II

I have written a new Article on Impeachment Hearings II. As we have seen a parade of appointed officials and civil servants testify. But they seem to be testifying as to their opinions, presumptions, or inferences, while not much evidence is attested. This article examines the evidence, opinions, presumptions, and inferences regarding Impeachment.

11/21/19 Evidence

For justice to prevail you must have a just process. A just process in which Direct evidence is admitted, Circumstantial evidence is admitted if proven, Hearsay is only allowed under strict exceptions, and Presumptions are permitted in some (narrow) situations. This can be defined as follows:

In a just process, direct evidence reigns supreme while all the other evidence is supplemental. If the direct evidence contradicts the other evidence the direct evidence is the basis of proof and the other evidence may be disregarded.

11/19/19 What Sign are You?

For millennia astrologers have been casting charts to determine the future of a person or events. This is often done by plotting the positions of the stars and planets relative to arbitrarily defined constellations at their birth or at the time of significant events in their life. It is claimed by astrologers that there is a force in the universe that acts upon a person and influences their life based on these positions. However, only “The Fundamental Properties and Constants of the Universe” are known to science, and there are only “The Four Forces of Nature” known to science. My new Science Article "What Sign are You" examines Astrology in respect to these fundamental properties, constants, and forces.

11/18/19 Classical Music Chirps

I have added a new section to this web site "Classical Music Chirps which are paragraph sized succinct comments, and recommendations for listening to some of the most understandable and enjoyable Classical Music by all who listen to it, even those who are not all that interested in Classical Music. I hope that you will take the time and enjoy this Classical Music.

11/17/19 The Law of Unintended Consequences

I have often mentioned The Law of Unintended Consequences in many of my articles. So often that I have decided to make it a separate article on "The Law of Unintended Consequences” for easier reference. I have also made several improvements to this short article. I hope you will reread this improved article.

11/16/19 Passions

Human Rights”, “A Just Government and a Just Society”, and “Justice and The Rule of Law” are my biggest passions. I believe that all three are necessary for Freedom and Liberty to exist. And Freedom and Liberty are essential to be fully human. As a result, I have a passion for American History, as seen in my Articles on “History”.

I am also passionate about applying my “Pearls of Wisdom” in my life. Knowledge and Reasoning in all I say and do are very important to me. This topic is examined in my Observations  “Knowledge, Experience, and Wisdom”, Knowing vs. Understanding”, and “Reasoning”.

Science and God are also passions of mine. I am a firm believer that science is the best way of explaining the physical properties and physical laws of the universe. I also am a firm believer that God created our universe and established its physical properties and physical laws. And I see no conflict between the views of Science and God. Science is the explanation of how God created the universe, and God is the explanation of why we have the physical properties and physical laws of the universe. Science cannot prove, or disprove, the existence of God, as God is outside the realm of science. For more on these passions see my articles on “Science” and “Religion”.

Classical Music is another passion of mine. For more about why this is so, I would direct you to my rumination “Classical Music Appreciation”.

When it comes to the above passions, and your assaults upon them, I live by the phrase “Don’t Tread on Me”, because I will fight back if I believe that you are violating them.

I have interests in many other things, but not the passion for them as I do for those that I have spoken above.

11/15/19 Impeachment

I have, and will continue to, create a series of articles in which I examine impeachment and the current impeachment of President Trump. I would suggest that you review them from top to bottom to get a fuller understanding of my thoughts. The Chirp "Hearsay/Gossip" that follows should also be reviewed for a better understanding of my thoughts.

11/14/19 Hearsay/Gossip

Verbal Hearsay (heard through another rather than directly) is the legal term that is equivalent to everyday gossip. And Verbal Hearsay/Gossip is notoriously unreliable, lacking in facts, and often untrue. It may also rise to the level of Defamation, Slander and Libel. As explained in the Wikipedia article on “Hearsay in United States law”:

Hearsay is an out-of-court statement being offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted. The Federal Rules of Evidence prohibit introducing hearsay statements during applicable federal court proceedings, unless one of nearly thirty exemptions or exceptions applies. The Federal Rules of Evidence define hearsay as:

A statement that: (1) the declarant does not make while testifying at the current trial or hearing; and (2) a party offers in evidence to prove the truth of the matter asserted in the statement. (F.R.E. 801(c)).

The "declarant" is the person who makes the out-of-court statement. (F.R.E. 801(b)).

Hearsay evidence may be admitted under these exemptions, but only in support of direct evidence. Hearsay evidence alone is insufficient to convict a person and must be supported by direct evidence, in order to be introduced and considered.

At one point in the Impeachment hearing of President Trump, Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) even appeared to embrace hearsay testimony, claiming that "hearsay can be much better evidence than direct" and that "countless people have been convicted on hearsay because the courts have routinely allowed and created, needed exceptions to hearsay."

While it is true that hearsay evidence can be utilized to convict a person, it can only be utilized in support of direct evidence, when submitted under the exemption rule, and it is insufficient by itself to convict a person. Therefore, Rep. Mike Quigley's statement is misleading. This statement is an excellent example of my Chirp on “Obfuscation, Smoke, and Mirrors”.

11/13/19 Pearls of Wisdom

I have decided to create a collection of the "Pearls of Wisdom" that I have learned throughout my life. As such, I have withdrawn my previous Chirp on Pearls of Wisdom and I have incorporated this Chirp into this new collection.

I have very little wisdom of my own, but I have learned much wisdom from my readings, listening to’s, and viewings. As we pass through life, we often encounter pearls of wisdom. Whether it be from something we have read, heard, or watched we are often struck by this wisdom. We often make a vow to ourselves to remember and apply these pearls of wisdom, and we often many times forget or not apply these pearls of wisdom. But pearls of wisdom should not only be remembered but consciously incorporated into our lives in our words and deeds. I have made this collection to remind myself of these Pearls, and to provide whatever wisdom I can to my readers.

11/10/18 Real Climate Science

As many of you are aware, I am lukewarm (sic) and skeptical of Man-Made Climate change, as my “Climate Change” Science Article explains. One of the reasons for my skepticism is the use of statistics in Climate Change. One other such skeptic is Tony Heller. He is not a climate scientist. (Neither is Al Gore or Bill Nye, the Science Guy.) Heller is a Computer Scientist and Geologist who enjoys digging into data. He has a website, realclimatescience.com, which examines the use, and misuse, of statistics in Climate Change. This website is well worth reviewing, and his YouTube video My Gift to Climate Alarmists is well worth the watch. In this video, he demonstrates just how charts are manipulated by climate alarmists.

I have also updated my Science Article “Climate Change” to incorporate some of his points, as well as credit him for the excellent work he is doing.

11/09/19 To Be Right or Not to Be Wrong

To be, or not to be, that is the question” as William Shakespeare has written in Hamlet, or as Benjamin Franklin has written:

“Most men indeed as well as most sects in Religion, think themselves in possession of all truth, and that wherever others differ from them it is so far error. Steele a Protestant in a Dedication tells the Pope, that the only difference between our Churches in their opinions of the certainty of their doctrines is, the Church of Rome is infallible and the Church of England is never in the wrong.”

A friend of mine recently commented that I was trying too hard to be right. However, I realize that you can never be right as you can never have complete knowledge on any subject that would allow you to be right. I have always thought of myself as trying to never be in the wrong. Never in the wrong as I will not discuss or write on any issue that I believe that I do not have sufficient knowledge upon. When I do discuss or write on an issue, I try to never be in the wrong, but I realize that I may be wrong. I therefore remember the wisdom of Benjamin Franklin whenever I discuss or write anything:

“Doubt a little of your own infallibility.”

and

"of being obliged by better information, or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise."

11/08/19 Is Artificial Intelligence Possible?

Artificial Intelligence implies that no human intervention is required to produce human-like intelligent capabilities from Artificial Intelligence. It is this broad definition of Artificial Intelligence that I wish to examine in my new Science Article "Is Artificial Intelligence Possible?". This article attempts to explore the boundaries of Artificial Intelligence and provide insights into the answers to the question of “Is Artificial Intelligence Possible?”. This will be done by providing several examples of the nuisances of the problems that highlight the issues of Artificial Intelligence.

11/06/19 You Can Do and Say Whatever you Want

My new Article “You Can Do and Say Whatever you Want” is about the propriety of what people do or say. Truth and facts should always be the basis of what you do or say. But truth and facts seem to play little part in today’s partisan political environment. This Article examines truth, facts, and propriety in what people do or say.

11/05/19 Dr. Thomas Sowell

Dr. Thomas Sowell (born June 30, 1930) is an American economist and social theorist who is currently a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

Dr. Thomas Sowell was born in North Carolina but grew up in Harlem, New York. He dropped out of Stuyvesant High School and served in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War. He received a bachelor's degree, graduating magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1958 and a master's degree from Columbia University in 1959. In 1968, he earned his doctorate in economics from the University of Chicago.

Dr. Thomas Sowell has served on the faculties of several universities, including Cornell University and the University of California, Los Angeles. He has also worked for think tanks such as the Urban Institute. Since 1980, he has worked at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He writes from a libertarian conservative perspective, and he has written more than thirty books (a number of which have been reprinted in revised editions), and his work has been widely anthologized. He is a National Humanities Medal recipient for innovative scholarship which incorporated history, economics and political science.

If you are looking for fact-based, intellectual reasoning, and wisdom, on Economics and Statistics and Governmental and Social policy based on them I would highly recommend the following books by Dr. Sowell:

Dr. Sowell’s writings have provided me unique insights into economics and statistics in the formation of governmental and social policies. He has shown how statistics can be interpreted and utilized, as well as misconstrued and misused by even the most well intended and intelligent persons (including economists and statisticians, as well as politicians).

11/03/19 The Deep State

I do not particularly care for the term “Deep State”, but it is a useful moniker. It conjures up images of an organized cabal within the government intent on nefarious goals. There is nothing in government operations that can be this organized and focused, especially across government agency lines that would suggest a cabal, let alone a secret ruling class that directs the goals of the cabal.

Instead, there is an attitude amongst many supervisors and bureaucrats within the Executive Branch that they serve the people directly by determining what is best for the people, and they use many subterfuges to accomplish what they perceive as best for the American people. They believe that the President, Cabinet Secretaries, Department Heads, and Officials are only there for a limited time, while the supervisors and bureaucrats are there for the duration of their careers. They, therefore, believe that they have the discretion to enforce or ignore Executive orders and directions from the President, Cabinet Secretaries, Department Heads, and Officials as they see fit for what is best for the American people. In reality, this is an assault on democracy, as they are not upholding the ideals of democracy but subverting democracy to achieve their goals.

All Executive branch supervisors and bureaucrats are there to serve the people as expressed through the election of a President of the United States to lawfully carry out presidential duties and responsibilities. All Executive Orders and directions from the President, Cabinet Secretaries, Department Heads, and Officials need to be obeyed and enforced until such time as they have been adjudicated by the courts as being unlawful, or Congress passes laws that contravene or modify these Executive Orders and directions. If these supervisors and bureaucrats have a problem with the Executive Orders and directions, they only have limited choices in how they carry out their duties and responsibilities.

The first choice is to faithfully carry out the Executive Orders and directions until such time as the courts determine them unlawful, or Congress passes laws that contravene or modify these Executive Orders and directions. The next choice is for them to resign their jobs as a matter of conscientious objection, then work within the political process to have these Executive Orders and directions changed or overturned. Finally, they can work to have these Executive Orders and directions changed within the governmental processes for change, while at the same time faithfully carrying out the Executive Orders and directions.

To do anything other than these three items is to thwart the democratic process of the election of a President. If these supervisors and bureaucrats choose to do otherwise, they need to be disciplined and perhaps removed from their jobs. But as they have Civil Service protections for their jobs there is little that can be done to discipline them under current Civil Service laws, rules, and regulations. These current Civil Service laws, rules, and regulations need to be modified so that officials and bureaucrats who engage in this conduct can be disciplined and perhaps removed from their jobs.

For supervisors and bureaucrats to do so otherwise is to have a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, convoluted into a government of the people, by supervisors and bureaucrats, and for the people. For “by the people” is “by” the elected President, members of Congress, and the appointed and Senate-confirmed Judges and Justices, Cabinet Secretaries, Department Heads, and Officials. All other Executive Branch government employees must faithfully follow the Executive Orders and directions of the President, Cabinet Secretaries, Department Heads, and Officials.

11/01/19 Do Poems and Lyrics Contain Truths?

Poems and lyrics are many times beautiful and emotional. They reveal the thoughts and feelings of the author/composer. But do they contain truths? They may, but not always, nor often. For the truth to be revealed you must apply facts and "Reasoning." And poems and lyrics are not composed of facts or reasoning. Poems and Lyrics are written to reveal a truth or persuade you of a truth, and they often encapsulate a truth, but they are insufficient to establish a truth. Poems and lyrics often contain what the author/composer believes to be a truth, but “believe” is not the same as “true”. To establish a truth, you must apply facts and reasoning. Therefore, let a poem and lyric be a guide to truth, but not be a definitive proof of truth.

11/01/19 Lessons Learned from Books, Television, Movies, and Plays

Most books, television, movies, and plays follow “The 90/10 Rule”, in that 90% are crap and 10% are worthwhile. And their worth is in what it teaches us about life. However, you must be careful that you learn the proper lessons from books, television, movies, and plays. It should be remembered that many books, television, movies, and plays are fiction, and as such, they need to be carefully analyzed before you incorporate a lesson learned into your life. Even non-fiction books, television, movies, and plays should be analyzed for their accuracy and veracity before you incorporate a lesson learned into your life.

While many people do understand the proper lessons, they rarely apply what they have learned from books, television, movies, and plays. The lessons learned are not remembered and applied in their personal life and social interactions, let alone to society as a whole. When a situation occurs that is apropos to the lessons learned from the books, television, movies, and plays they rarely think about what they have learned when they decide to do or say something. This is a shame, as it could help you make a better decision if you recalled the lesson learned.

I have often taken what I have learned from books, television, movies, and plays and applied it to my “Principles, Truisms, Locutions, and Rules” that guide my “Life” as I have written on this website. This is why you will see many quotes from books, television, movies, and plays in my Articles and Observations. But you must be careful to learn the right lessons from books, television, movies, and plays. For if you learn the wrong lesson you will apply the wrong decisions to your life.

10/31/19 Impeachment Resolution

In a companion piece to my “Impeachment” Article I examine the Resolution of the House of Representatives regarding the “impeachment” of President Trump. I would encourage all to read this Article “Impeachment Resolution” to understand the underlying societal impacts of this resolution.

10/29/19 Analogizing and Conflating

To conflate (the process of joining together, combining into one) or to analogize (make an analogy by drawing a comparison in order to show a similarity in some respect) are proper techniques of debate, if they are utilized properly. However, in today’s political debates they are often used improperly, as they are not conflated or analogized properly. My new Article “Analogizing and Conflating” examines this issue.

10/28/19 Lynching

Lynching has a very sad and sorry history in the United States. Most often lynching was done for racial purposes, but sometimes for other purposes. No matter why it is done it is wrong. Wrong not only because it deprives someone of their life, but wrong because it deprives all of us of “Justice and The Rule of Law in America”, as lynching is defined as putting a person to death by mob action without due process of law. It is also an excellent example of mob rule at its worse.

The use of the word “Lynching” also evokes a visceral emotional response for those groups (mostly Black Americans) that have been negatively impacted by lynching. Therefore, you should use the word “lynching” very carefully. But “lynching” is a perfectly good word to use if it is used appropriately.

Both sides of the political spectrum have utilized the word “lynching” to describe certain actions and words by the other side. In many cases this use of the word “lynching” was appropriate, but in some cases, it was not. When it is utilized inappropriately than it is right to condemn the person who utilized it inappropriately.

With all the brouhaha of President Trump calling the current “impeachment” process a “lynching,” it should be remembered that several Democratic leaders called the Impeachment of President Clinton a “lynching”. In both cases the word “lynching” was utilized to describe what each party thought was an injustice being perpetrated by the other party. However, during the impeachment and trial of President Clinton the rights of President Clinton, and the Democrats, were scrupulously protected, and as such the word “lynching” was inappropriate. In the current “impeachment” of President Trump the rights of President Trump and the Republicans have not been protected (see my Article on “Impeachable Offenses”). Therefore, it is entirely appropriate for President Trump to use the word “lynching” to describe his "impeachment" process.

It should also be remembered that the Democrats have utilized many visceral emotional words and terms about President Trump throughout his brief political career, and many times President Trump has responded in kind. Almost always the Democrats have condemned his words and terms while remaining silent on their own, or their supporters, words and terms. With this silence, the Democrats seem to be saying “We can utilize any word or term to describe President Trump, but President Trumps can only utilize words or terms that we approve of”.

This is most certainly not fair play, and indeed, is an attempt by the Democrats to try to silence or demonize President Trump. Given the bitter partisan divide over President Trump, I do not expect this to change. And I do not expect President Trump to stop, as this would disarm himself and make the visceral emotional words and terms one-sided. It would, however, be appropriate for the (fake) news media to point out this bi- partisan utilization of visceral emotional words and terms. Given my Observation on “Modern Journalism”, journalist disapproval of President Trump, and journalists' current lack of professionalism, I do not expect this to happen.

10/27/19 A Wise Person

Wisdom is the ability to apply your knowledge, your experience, your reasoning, and your common sense into your words, deeds, and behavior. And wisdom is also the ability to listen to others who are intelligent and wise and incorporate their intelligence and wisdom into your own. Not all intelligent persons are wise. An intelligent person knows what to say, a wise person knows whether or not, and how to say it. You should try to be a wise person.  My new Article "A Wise Person" examines wisdom in this context.

10/26/19 Article Improvements

While re-reading my articles on “Impeachment” and “The Rule of Law in Non-Judicial Proceedings” I became dissatisfied with the organization and structure of these articles. I also realized that I had left out several points that needed to be included. I, therefore, have rewritten these articles to correct these deficiencies. I would suggest to all that have read the original articles to re-read the updated articles, and for those who have not read these articles to take the time to read the updated articles.

10/25/19 True North: The Principles of Conservatism

The Heritage Foundation formulates policies that promote free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense. Heritage does not support policies that deviate from these principles, nor are our recommendations ever influenced by donations or outside political pressure. 

    1. The federal government exists to preserve life, liberty and property, and it is instituted to protect the rights of individuals according to natural law. Among these rights are the sanctity of life; the freedom of speech, religion, the press, and assembly; the right to bear arms; the right of individuals to be treated equally and justly under the law; and to enjoy the fruits of ones labor.
    2. The federal government’s powers are limited to those named in the Constitution and should be exercised solely to protect the rights of its citizens. As Thomas Jefferson said, “The government closest to the people serves the people best.” Powers not delegated to the federal government, nor prohibited by the Constitution, are reserved to the states or to the people.
    3. Judges should interpret and apply our laws and the Constitution based on their original meaning, not upon judges’ personal and political predispositions.
    4. Individuals and families—not government—make the best decisions regarding their and their children’s health, education, jobs, and welfare.
    5. The family is the essential foundation of civil society, and traditional marriage serves as the cornerstone of the family.
    6. The federal deficit and debt must not place unreasonable financial burdens on future generations.
    7. Tax policies should raise only the minimum revenue necessary to fund constitutionally appropriate functions of government.
    8. America’s economy and the prosperity of individual citizens are best served by a system of free enterprise, with special emphasis on economic freedom, private property rights, and the rule of law. This system is best sustained by policies promoting free trade and deregulation, and opposing government interventions in the economy that distort markets and impair innovation. 
    9. Regulations must not breach constitutional principles of limited government and the separation of powers.
    10. America must be a welcoming nation—one that promotes patriotic assimilation and is governed by laws that are fair, humane, and enforced to protect its citizens.
    11. Justice requires an efficient, fair, and effective criminal justice system—one that gives defendants adequate due process and requires an appropriate degree of criminal intent to merit punishment.
    12. International agreements and international organizations should not infringe on American’s constitutional rights, nor should they diminish American sovereignty.
    13. America is strongest when our policies protect our national interests, preserve our alliances of free peoples, vigorously counter threats to our security, and advance prosperity through economic freedom at home and abroad.
    14. The best way to ensure peace is through a strong national defense.

To which I say - Amen.

10/24/19 To Serve or to Rule?

Many times, a politician or bureaucrat has stated that they are serving their constituents or the public. But the many laws, regulations, rules, and procedures they pass or implement seem more to rule the public rather than serve the public. The question is then “Are the serving the public or are they ruling the public?”. If they do this without preserving our Freedom From - Liberty To, then the answer must be they are more interested in ruling the public rather than serving the public. To preserve our Freedoms and Liberties, which are our Human Rights, we must maintain a “A Just Government and a Just Society”, or we shall be ruled rather than served by politicians or bureaucrats.

10/23/19 To Serve Mankind

In a famous Twilight Zone episode “To Serve Mankind” an alien race visits Earth and brings peace, health, and prosperity to mankind, all the while carrying a book titled “To Serve Mankind” which they do not share with mankind. A linguist purloins the book, translates it, and discovers that “It’s a cookbook”.

Many times, we have heard a politician or bureaucrat described as a Public Servant, or Serving the Public, or Dedicated to Public Service. Usually they are doing this while earning a good salary, with good employment benefits and a beneficial pension plan.The question is then are they serving the public for the public benefit, or are they following a cookbook for their own benefit?

10/22/19 R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

I have written a new article “R.E.S.P.E.C.T.”.  It is natural to respect someone who behaves in a Legal, Moral and Ethical manner. But what of respect for those who falter or for politicians? This article examines this issue.

10/20/19 Elizabeth Warren is as much as a Capitalist as she is a Native American

Presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., wants to break apart the economy and put it back together in her own way, host of "Making Money" Charles Payne has said. Here are just some of Warren’s many frightening socialist plans for the United States as Justin Haskins has written:

"These proposals – and the incredibly high tax increases needed to fund them – would push the U.S. closer than ever to full-blown Marxism, and they are without any doubt in line with socialist principles. This is why self-described socialists like Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez have embraced or even proposed the vast majority of them.

With Halloween just around the corner, millions of children will be dressing up for one night pretending to be all sorts of characters. Warren has stopped pretending to be a Native American, but pretends every day to be a capitalist – while she knows very well that she’s a socialist through and through.”

For the sake of our country and the American people, let’s hope voters see through Warren’s masquerade. Even if you confiscated 90% of the net wealth of the people who are worth more than 1 million dollars there would only be enough money to pay for about one year of what she proposes. After one year there would no longer be any wealth to confiscate and the tax burden to pay for these programs would fall (heavily) on the middle class."

Don’t be fooled by what a political candidate says, no matter how attractive it may appear to be. You need to discover the details of their plan, and how it is to be implemented, to determine the full impacts of the plan. And remember that a plan without the costs and the means to pay for the costs is not a plan, it is a wish list.

10/19/19 Justice and The Rule of Law in America

I have updated my Article on “The Rule of Law” and retitled it to “Justice and The Rule of Law in America” (Oct 2019). This is a longer than usual Article on my thoughts on this subject. However, it has five parts that are shorter and can be read independently from each other. These are my thoughts on this subject:

10/16/19 A World of Words versus the World as It Is

In today’s world we seem much more concerned about what someone says but pay far too little attention to what one does. But words a malleable and can mean different things to different people, and different things at different places and at different times. The consequences for words are also variable ranging from invoking feelings, both good and bad, to incitement for political actions and perhaps to physical violence.  These, in turn, can cause behavior that is not in the best interests of a person or a society. Actions, however, are much more precise and have direct and indirect consequences. It is much more important what someone does, and the consequences of their deeds, than what they may say.

Words are often combined with statistics to achieve a political or social goal. But statistics and the words associated with them are often used incorrectly as outlined in my Observation “Oh What a Tangled Web We Weave” and “Political Polling”. And when statistics and the words used to describe them are utilized improperly, they can lead to terrible consequences. Therefore, we must make sure that the statistics, and the words used to describe them, are utilized properly. Unfortunately, this is not often the case in today’s heated political climate.

My new Article "A World of Words versus the World as It Is" is an examination of the (mis)use of statistics, and the words used to describe statistics, in today's political environment.

10/14/19 Doing Nothing Illegal

How often have you heard the phrase that someone has “Done Nothing Illegal”? I applaud those who have done nothing illegal. But life is more than legal versus illegal. One can live a perfectly legal life and at the same time one can live an immoral and unethical life. This is because the law can only deal with actions that cause direct harm to someone or society. There are many instances, however, where legal activities are clearly unethical or immoral. And the law cannot deal with unethical or immoral actions as they often do not cause direct harm, and they are notoriously difficult to define and codify.

The question is then how we are to judge immoral or unethical actions. After all, who are you to judge the actions of others. The answers to these questions in another Article of mine “Who are you to judge?”. Using the standards in this article It is perfectly fine to judge the actions of others.

A good example of this is the actions of Joe and Hunter Biden in Ukraine and China. While these actions may or may not be illegal, they are clearly unethical. Hunter Biden brought no knowledge, experience, or capabilities to the Ukrainian and Chinese businesses that hired him. All he brought was his familial relationship with his father, a powerful and influential political personage. As such, he did not earn what he obtained, but simply latched on his connection to his father. It is clearly unethical for Hunter Biden to profit simply through a political connection, as it was unethical for Joe Biden to allow his son to profit from his political influence. It is for this unethical activity that Joe and Hunter Biden should be judged by the American people. As to its legality or illegality it is the responsibility of the Justice Department to determine what should or should not be done under the law.

10/13/19 Math is More than Numbers

On the surface, math (and statistics) may seem like it's all about numbers and formulas. However, this versatile subject is about much more than just counting, adding, and subtracting. Discover why math is more than numbers and find out how it contributes to the development of valuable skills in problem solving, critical thinking, language, and more. My new Article  "Math (and statistical mathematics) is More than Numbers" explores this subject.

Mathematics (and statistical mathematics) cannot solve every problem. Some problems have so many constants and variables as to be unsolvable. And as one of Murphy’s Laws state; Variables won't, constants aren't. There is also the problem of what we know, what we don’t know, and what we don’t know that we don’t know as discussed in my Article “A Perspective on Statistics and Public Polling”. Therefore, keep in mind when someone (even an expert) utilizes mathematics or statistics they are more probably wrong than they are probably right, especially in the use of math or statistics in regard to social policy (for more about utilizing statistics within social policy I would recommend the book “Discrimination and Disparities” by Thomas Sowell).

10/09/19 Is There Intelligent Life Out There? 

I have extracted a section from a previous Science Article and created a new Science Article on the subject "Intelligent Life in the Universe". I would encourage you to read this article as this issue is not as simple as it appears at first glance.

10/06/19 Elder Humor

Having recently joined the ranks of senior citizenship and the retired I have posted some of my favorite "Elder Humor". Read and weep, but remember that getting older can be hell but the alternative is worse.

10/04/19 Impeachment

I have posted a new Article on "Impeachment" which is my thoughts on Impeachment, and how it relates to President Clinton and President Trump.

10/03/19 A touch of Computer Humor

I have just posted some new humor "Computer One Liners" and "Computer Humor". As a retired computer consultant I can attest to the drollness and veracity of this humor.

09/25/19 The Biggest Falsehoods in American

I have posted a new Article on “The Biggest Falsehoods in American” which examines the issues that I believe are misrepresented, misreported, and misunderstood in America. In alphabetical order they are:

To solve these problems requires that we understand the true nature of these problems. Unfortunately, because of the misinformation on these problems this is not possible. Politicians and activist are more interested in scoring political points, along with other motivations, that interfere with our understanding. Let us all begin to understand the true nature of these problems so that we can work together on solving these problems.

09/23/19 Indoctrination versus Education

I have posted a new Article "Indoctrination versus Education" which is an examination of one of the biggest failures in our educational system. The failure to educate our youth to become knowledgeable, intelligent, and reasonable on social, economic, or political issues. Issues such as Climate Change, Gun Control, Racism, Social Justice, etc. in which they are Indoctrinated not Educated. Read and weep for this failure.

For more of my thoughts on Education I would direct you to my Article "Public Education".

09/21/19 Witty Quotes About Science and Math Topics

I have just posted some new humor on "Witty Quotes About Science and Math Topics". Check them out and tickle your funny bode.

09/19/19 Humor

The importance of humor cannot be understated. For humor provides the ability to laugh at yourself and with others. An ability that is cathartic for yourself and society. When we laugh together, we can discuss the issues and concerns of society in a more harmonious manner. Therefore, I have created a new section "Humor" on my website to tickle your funny bone.

09/19/19 A Just Government and a Just Society

A Just Government and a Just Society is a new Article I have posted. The question of the role of government and society, and what constitutes a just government and society, has bedeviled mankind for millennia. This article examines what constitutes a Just Government and a Just Society.

09/18/19 Democrat Party Scheming

In my Chirp “The Creed of Progressives and Leftists” I postulated the motives of Progressives and Leftists – “The Creed of Progressives and Leftists is that as they are more intelligent, better educated, and morally superior they are, of course, always correct. To oppose them not only makes you wrong, but it also means that you are evil. “. As the Democratic Party has become a party of Progressives and Leftists, they have adopted this creed. This adoption is readily apparent, to any objective observer, of the current Democratic presidential candidates’ positions and policies. My other Chirp “That’s Not an Ideology, That’s a Theology” points out that their political ideology has morphed into a theology.

As such, I believe that the Democratic Party has adopted the following scheme to achieve its goals:

    1. Obtain and Retain Power through all means possible.
    2. Use the Power for the purposes of Governmental Control of America.
    3. Suppress All Opposition to Their Power.

And they are willing to accomplish their goals via unconstitutional means and without respect to the “The Rule of Law” for governmental actions and “The Rule of Law in Non-Judicial Proceedings” for societal actions. They also do not respect Human Rights as I have stated in my article “The Underlying Meaning of the Bill of Rights”.

Therefore, those of us who believe in Human Rights and the Constitution must oppose the words and deeds of the current Democrat Party and its presidential candidates if we are to remain a country of “Freedom and Liberty” and “Justice for All”.

09/17/19 Intelligentsia

I do not expect the Intelligentsia to be very intelligent, except perhaps, in their own area of expertise. For when they venture outside their expertise they are often as ignorant as most of us. Therefore, be very cautious when an intelligent person expresses their opinion on a subject on which they have no expertise. And remember, even within their expertise they can often be ignorant of all of the facts leading to a conclusion, as well as their “Reasoning” being faulty. After all, they could just as well be wrong.

09/14/19 Glass Houses and Consensus in Science

The Proverb “People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones” should always be remembered during any debate or discussion, especially in Science discussions.And scientific consensus can lead you astray, as it has been wrong in the past and will continue to be wrong as new knowledge is obtained. My Science article "Glass Houses and Consensus in Science" examines this issue utilizing the question of "Intelligent Life in Our Universe".

09/10/19 Benjamin Franklin

A few years back my best friend (now deceased) and manager of the cigar lounge that I frequented sat next to me in the empty (except for myself) lounge and inquired that as I knew much about Benjamin Franklin would I tell him something about Franklin. I spent the next thirty to forty minutes telling him Benjamin Franklin stories. At the end of my stories, I inquired “So, what did you learn about Benjamin Franklin?”. He replied, “I learned never to ask you again about Benjamin Franklin!”. In his memory I have created a History article "The Life and Contributions of Benjamin Franklin".  You may have not asked for it, but here it is anyway.

09/07/19 Form Over Substance

In today’s political “debates”, especially on television, there is a tendency to elevate form over substance, in that the content of the debate is often overshadowed by the style of the debater. The gotcha moments, the zingers, and the pithy statements are added up, and the person who had the most of these items is often seen as the winner of the debate. This is often due to the time constraints of the debate, as most debate is done within limited time segments. First-class thoughts require more time to explain than is available in these segments. As a result, these debates shed more heat than light on the topic (as in my Observation “Light vs Heat”), and these debates fail to enlighten the topic being debated.

A good debater requires facts and figures to be available at a moment’s notice to counter their opponent. A good thinker, however, often relies on thorough facts and figures without logical fallacies and cognitive biases which are more difficult to recollect and/or explain. This puts the good thinker at a disadvantage to a good debater. Often the facts and figures of both sides need to be challenged, as they may be incorrect or incomplete, and possibly contain logical fallacies and cognitive biases (as explained in my Observation “Reasoning”). As there is usually insufficient time to challenge these facts and figures the viewer may be misled to a wrong conclusion due to a lack of challenge time.

A great debater is both a first-class thinker and a first-class debater, but these individuals are few and far between. A good thinker may not be a good debater, and a good debater my not be a good thinker. In this situation, the debater is often seen as the “winner’ of the debate even though their argument may be defective or without merit. Meanwhile, the good thinkers’ argument is largely ignored as there is insufficient time to be effectual.

I am, myself, afflicted with this problem as I believe I have good thoughts, but I also believe that I am a poor debater. It is for this reason that I often do not engage in debates. I do, however, engage in discussions in which both sides have ample time to challenge facts and figures and effectually explain their arguments. The other thing I intensely dislike about today’s political “debates” is the interruption and/or shouting down of an opponent to cut off the debate, as well as the utilization, by many, of the tactic of “Demonize, Denigrate, Disparage“ and “Obfuscation, Smoke, and Mirrors”. For these reasons, I am loath to engage in debates but willing to engage in discussions.

Please note – For a more thorough examination of today’s political discourse I would direct you to my Observation “Political Discourse”.

09/06/19 That’s Not an Ideology, That’s a Theology

In my Chirp “The Creed of Progressives and Leftists”, as rephrased below, I have stated what I believe is the views that most Progressives and Leftist have concerning the people who do not agree with them:

The Creed of Progressives and Leftists is that as they are more intelligent, better educated, and morally superior they are, of course, always correct. To oppose them not only makes you wrong, but it also means that you are an untoward person. And as they are always morally decent those who oppose them must be morally indecent. And being untoward and indecent (and perhaps evil) the opponents of Progressives and Leftists need to be silenced, driven from the public square and public forums, their livelihoods or careers threatened through doxing, economic boycotts, or blacklists, and they are not to be allowed to hold any positions of social, economic, or governmental power. They also believe that the private and family lives of their opponents may be intimidated or menaced by physical violence, if not actual violence. Progressives and Leftists believe that to “Demonize, Denigrate, or Disparage” their opponents are the primary and acceptable means to accomplish this, along with other tactics that I have outlined In my Article on the “Divisiveness in America”.

When you are self-righteous and believe that you have the only correct opinions, and others must be subservient to your ideology, you no longer have an ideology but a theology. A Theology of:

A theology that cannot be criticized nor disputed, nor acknowledge contravening information or facts. Even within their own ranks you must conform to their theology or be ostracized. They also believe that the “Natural (Bill of) Rights” of their opponents may be violated to achieve their goals.

By their words and actions their theology does not allow for the acceptance of other viewpoints, and indeed the suppression of other viewpoints, which allows for the violation of the Human Rights of all people. For this reason alone, their theology must be rejected.

09/02/19 A New American Revolution

In several of my Chirps and Articles, I have mentioned that I fear we may be headed into a new American revolution. A new revolution because of the violation of the “Natural (Bill of) Rights” and the “Divisiveness in America”, as well as the issues discussed in many of my Chips. My main fear is that we are beginning to seriously violate the Constitution, and more specifically the Bill of Rights, in today's modern society. For more of my thoughts on these violations I would direct you to my Observation “A New Declaration of Independence”. I have also proposed  “A New U.S. Constitution” that I believe addresses and corrects these issues.

09/01/19 A Red Flag Abuse

A former Marine, Shane Kohfield, 32, who said at a protest that he would “slaughter” Antifa members in self-defense if attacked, recently had his five weapons confiscated by the FBI. The temporary seizure came through the use of Oregon’s “Red Flag” law, which allows law enforcement agencies and family members to seek a court order to have weapons taken away from an individual viewed as potentially violent. The former Marine was not charged with any crime but surrendered five guns. He was quoted as saying:

“If Antifa gets to the point where they start killing us, I’m going to kill them next," Kohfield told a crowd, according to The Oregonian. “I’d slaughter them, and I have a detailed plan on how I would wipe out Antifa.”

This is a perfect example of why the “Red Flag” laws are Unconstitutional. Unconstitutional in it violates both the 1st and 2nd Amendments to the Constitution. In effect, he said that if someone is going to kill him then he will kill them first, and he has every right to say this and to do this. He has the free speech right (1st Amendment) to declare his intentions in the event of his life being threatened, and the right to protect himself from a violent attack by keeping and bearing arms (2nd Amendment). His comment was not a threat, as he prefaced his right to protect himself by limiting it to only those cases where his own life was threatened. His phraseology was inarticulate, but his sentiment was appropriate. And for this he was deprived of his 1st and 2nd Amendment rights as explained in my Article “Red Flag, Yellow Flag, and No Flag “

This is analogous to what the British were doing before and during the Revolutionary War. American colonists were declaring their intention to protect themselves, by armed conflict if necessary, against British threats against them. When the British attempted to seize their weapons, they utilized armed resistance to protect themselves. The battles of Lexington and Concord ensued, and the American Revolution began. I fear that if authorities began to size weapons under Red Flag laws then we may see the start of another revolution in America.

09/01/19 War is Hell!

Death, injuries, destruction, and infectious diseases are what war is. At that’s why it should be avoided. But not avoided at all costs. For sometimes the cost of war needs to be burdened to assure the peace is worthwhile. For peace is not the absence of war, but as the celebrated philosopher Baruch Spinoza has said:

"Peace is not an absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice." - Baruch Spinoza

To avoid war without establishing a Spinozian peace is to inflict yourself with injustice and undue future burdens. Do not go lightly into war as there will be a tremendous cost in life, injuries, property, diseases, and treasury. But to not fight a war to establish or preserve a Spinozian peace will be more costly.

But if you need to go to war remember that in fighting a war the quotes of the great Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman:

If you need to go to war you need to fight to win and win as quickly as possible. For any other way of fighting prolongs a war resulting in more death, injuries, destruction, and infectious diseases.

08/31/19 The Purpose of the Courts

At a recent cigar lounge discussion, someone mentioned that the purpose of the courts was to protect the poor. Not wishing to disrupt the peace I did not challenge this statement. However, I have no problem disrupting the peace in my Chirps. The best explanation of the purpose of the courts comes from the Bible:

“You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor.”
- Leviticus 19:15 ESV

The courts are to insure Justice as I have written in another Chirp “Justice For All”. To put in another, more practical, context the purpose of the Courts is to ensure a civil society by the application of the “Rule of Law”.

Anytime you put an adjective before the word “Justice” within the Judicial system (i.e. Social, Environmental, Distributive, Occupational, Organizational, etc.) it is a perversion of justice. Within the Judicial system, there must be “Equal Justice for All” (i.e. “Equality Under the Law “and” Equal Protection of the Laws”) or there can be no justice, and Justice must always be blind to all but the merits of the case and the application of the law. Treating people or persons unequally within the Judicial system means favoritism or un-favoritism for some, not based on the merits of their case or the law. Unequal treatment within the Judicial system was one of the major reasons that the Colonist declared independence from Britain, and we became the United States. I fear that if we start seeing Adjective Justice within the Judicial system, we are sowing the seeds of a future revolution. We must assure “Equal Justice for All” and a that “Justice is Blind” to maintain the integrity of our Judicial system.

08/30/19 Practicing What You Preach

I have written a new article “Practicing What You Preach” that examines the hypocrisy of those that are claiming “No One is Above the Law”. I hope that you would take some of your valuable time to read this article, as it exposes the dangers to the Rule of Law when “No One is Above the Law” is unequally applied.

08/30/19 Animal Cruelty

I am an animal lover, specifically a lover of dogs and cats. I have owned a few dogs and cats in my life, and I have treated all of them as family members. I cared for and protected them to the best of my abilities. I have grieved and continue to feel sorrow for the loss of them after they have died, and I still miss them. I know that the love of dogs and cats and other animals makes you a better and more responsible person. So, when I see cruelty to dogs and cats and to other animals, I am highly offended and pained. And this cruelty is not only by individuals but by some breeders of dogs and cats and other animals. For this is not only abuse to animals but a denigration of the human spirit of those who are cruel to animals. If you are capable of abusing animals, you are only one step away from abusing people.

You may also be a danger to yourself or others. I believe cruelty to animals is a symptom of mental problems. The State and Local governments need to strengthen their Animal Cruelty laws and then enforce them. The Federal government needs to regulate interstate commerce of animals to assure that no animal cruelty is practiced. Those that practice animal cruelty needs to have a psychological and perhaps a psychiatric examination to determine if they have a mental problem. All who practice animal cruelty need counseling to overcome this infliction and heal their human spirit.

Cruelty to animals bespeaks of inhumanity to people and needs to end.

08/29/19 World Hunger and Charity

“My Heart Aches, but My Head Rules.” Is the best description of my reaction to world hunger. All but the most inhumane of us are upset by world hunger. “My Heart Aches” for those that are hungry and starving in the world. However, “My Head Rules” in what I believe needs to be done to alleviate world hunger. My head tells me that the main cause of world hunger is corrupt governments. Corrupt governments that do not represent the will of the people, corrupt governments that do not enforce the Rule of Law, and corrupt governments that do not support a free economy and capitalism. For if you have a Democratic Government, the Rule of Law, and Capitalism, you rarely have hunger. For if you have these things then the incentive is to provide your people with the necessities of life; food, water, clothing, and shelter, and the ability to achieve these goals.

You would also have the charity of the people of the country that could afford to help their fellow citizens in need. For charity begins at home, and by your neighbors, and your fellow citizens. A charity that comes from outside these sources rarely meets the needs of the hungry people. And such charities can also perpetuate hunger. Perpetuate hunger in that it allows a corrupt government to remain corrupt and ignore the needs of their people. Therefore, when I see charitable appeals to help alleviate hunger in the world these charities often supply food to the hungry. But, by doing this, they also allow corrupt governments to continue to ignore the needs of their people. And then, hunger persists for their people. I, therefore, cannot support these charities, as my head tells me that in doing so I am de facto allowing hunger to persist. I wish there was a charity that would work to replace corrupt governments with a government that is democratic and responsive to the needs of their people, enforces the Rule of Law, and supports Capitalism. Such a charity would be well worth the contributions and they would also do the most to help alleviate world hunger.

08/28/19 Divisiveness in America

I have removed my Chip on “Divisiveness in America” and have converted and expanded it to an Article. This Article, available here, examines the causes and culprits for this divisiveness. And while there is much divisiveness it is not for the reasons that most pundits claim as I have explained in this Article.

08/27/19 Is It Time to Purchase Greenland?

A tempest in a teapot was brewed when President Trump’s private comment on “should we purchase Greenland” was made public. The national pride of Denmark and Greenland was ruffled by this comment, as should be expected. This is why this private comment should have remained private. However, the substance of this idea should be examined. I have posted and Article “Is It Time to Purchase Greenland?” which examines the costs and benefits for all parties if the United States were to purchase Greenland.

08/26/19 SETI and Vulcan

Are we alone in the universe? Are there advanced civilizations that we can detect? How can we better the odds of making contact? These questions are both fundamental and universal, and examined in my new Science Article "SETI and Vulcan".

08/25/19 Illumination, Not Titillation

Yesterday, I spent a pleasant few hours enjoying a cigar with my friends in a local cigar store and lounge. At this cigar store and lounge, they had the television tuned to the History channel playing back-to-back episodes of the “Ancient Aliens” series. As much as I tried to ignore these episodes, I did occasionally pay some attention to them. Being scientifically oriented I was astonished and exasperated as to the number of scientific inaccuracies and sometimes falsehoods, incorrect reasoning, logical fallacies, and cognitive biases (as examined in my Observation on "Reasoning") of what the people being interviewed had to say. If I, or another scientific person, had a debate with them on this subject they would have ended up looking foolish to an impartial observer. Unfortunately, The History channel, and other scientific channels, often have such programming on other topics such as Intelligent Life, UFOs, Pseudoscience, and History mysteries. I am sure that these programs have enough of an audience to generate good ratings, and therefore revenues, for these channels as many people are interested in these subjects. They do not, however, accurately illuminate these subjects to provide the viewer with well-informed knowledge. I would suggest that you review my Article on “Intelligent Life, UFOs, and Pseudoscience”  for some scientific examinations of these subject. The “Knowledge, Experience, and Wisdom, and Knowing vs. Understanding, as well as the Reasoning” sections of my Observation in “Life” provides some information that can be utilized to critique this type of television programming.

08/24/19 The Bill of Rights

I have written two articles on the Bill of Rights in the Constitution. The History article “The Underlying Meaning of the Bill of Rights” delves into the reason for and the underlying meaning of the Bill of Rights in the Constitution. While the Miscellaneous article “Natural (Bill of) Rights” elaborates on the History article with my thoughts on the Bill of Rights in the 21st century. If you read the Miscellaneous article (“Natural (Bill of) Rights”) you need not read the History article.

08/22/19 Wall Street versus Main Street

“The business of American is Business” is often used to describe America. And while this is generally true it should not be utilized to define government policy. Often Wall Street acts if the purpose of the Government is to keep the markets growing and the profits flowing. Sometimes what is best for Wall Street is not what is best for Main Street America. Foreign Policy and Foreign Trade is where this dichotomy often occurs. Foreign Policy must be conducted for the best interests of all the American people, not just for the best interests of American business. The safety and security of the American people must take precedence over the growth of the American economy, and sometimes this sends negative tremors throughout the American economy. But these negative tremors must be endured in the short term to assure that in the long term the American people benefit both economically and non-economically. For more on Foreign Policy, I would direct you to my Observation “International Issues”. And while generally, Foreign Trade is good for both the American people and American business this is not always the case. For Foreign trade to be advantageous and equitable for all parties, both Foreign and Domestic, it must be equitable and conducted on a level playing field. For more on the subject of foreign trade, I would direct you to my Article “Tariffs - A Double Entry Ledger”.

08/22/19 Gun Control and Red Flag, Yellow Flag, and No Flag

In my observation “Gun Control” and my article “Red Flag, Yellow Flag, and No Flag “ I have noted many issues and concerns regarding Gun Control. In this observation and article and I briefly touched on a national registry of all firearms, and perhaps ammunition, in the United States. I also examine the issue that many gun control advocates are proposing “Red Flag” laws that would prohibit the sale or possession of firearms to persons who have shown a propensity for violence or mental illness that they could be a danger to themselves or others. While these may sound like a practical solution, in practice they are very troubling as stated in this observation and article.

08/21/19 Polling

In my observation “Political Polling” I note that political polling has become ubiquitous and nefarious in today’s society. Polling has also become notoriously inaccurate as well, for a variety of reasons as I have outlined in my observation.

The best example of this is the 2016 Presidential election. Prior to the election political pollsters and pundits informed us that there was no way the Donald Trump could win the election. In one case a pollster informed us that Hillary Clinton had a 98 percent chance of winning the general election. Most (if not all) pollsters said that there was no chance that Donald Trump could win the necessary 270 electoral votes needed to win the election. But an election is the only accurate poll worth considering. Despite these pollsters and pundits, Donald Trump is the 45th President of the United States (by a wide margin in the electoral votes). And despite these inaccurate polls the pollsters are continuing to report on the opinions of the American people regarding Donald Trump’s popularity and policy positions. Until pollsters can correct their mistakes, which is improbable as Donald Trump’s supporters tend to not participate in polls, as well as the changing means of communication in 21st century America make polling more doubtful, you should be highly dubious of what pollsters and pundits are saying about the 2020 elections.

Let us not forget that these same pollsters, who were so wrong about Donald Trump in 2016, are still polling and projecting for the 2020 election. Therefore, whenever political polling is being utilized you should “Beware the Poll Results”, and “Beware the Poll Utilizers”.

08/16/19 Anti-Semitism in the USA

Anti-Semitism, Anti-Christianism, and Anti-Islamism

I have one word for Anti-Semitism, Anti-Christianism, and Anti-Islamism - Despicable!!! Anyone who participates in Anti-Semitism Anti-Christianism and Anti-Islamism deserves neither our attention nor respect. Both overt and covert Anti-Semitism, Anti-Christianism, and Anti-Islamism are to be rejected by all decent, moral and responsible persons. Unfortunately, in today's society, we have seen an increase in Anti-Semitism, Anti-Christianism and Anti-Islamism activities as part of an Anti-Religious inclination of many people. All decent, moral, and respectful people should do whatever is in their power to oppose Anti-Semitism Anti-Christianism, and Anti-Islamism, whether it be overt or covert. It is evil and should be removed from your hearts and minds. All evil should be removed from your hearts and minds, but Anti-Semitism, Anti-Christianism, and Anti-Islamism are especially important to be removed. As Martin Luther King Jr. said:

"I hope for a future in which all people are judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin."

All people deserve to be judged by the content of their character and by no other factors. No religion, creed, race, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, age, veteran status, disability, military service, political affiliation, or the character of their family members should be utilized in judging an individual. It should also be remembered that the sins of the father are not vested upon the son, and no one should be the judge but upon their own actions and words. Let us strive for a future when all individuals are judged upon their own merits and character. To do so would result in a more peaceful and just society.

Anti-Semitism in the USA

Unfortunately, while Anti-Christianism and Anti-Islamism are increasing in America Anti-Semitism is on a big uprise in America. And this Anti-Semitism takes many insidious and devious forms. While some of this Anti-Semitism is direct acts or verbal or written statements (although stated/written somewhat obliquely) it is not difficult to recognize the Anti-Semitism of the perpetrator. Other verbal or written statements that are Anti-Semitic are not so easily recognized. They are often couched in term of caring for people, or human rights, or foreign policy goals. While they often sound noble their bedrock is Anti-Semitism. Today, it is couched in terms of changing the internal and foreign policies of Israel. Whether it be Israeli settlement policies, foreign aid, territorial borders, or the rise of the Anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanctions) movement, it is Anti-Semitism. For there is no difference between hatred of Israel and hatred for Jews.

The fact is that this Anti-Semitism is a growing problem on the left. Whether it be worldwide or in American, modern Anti-Semitism it is mainly a leftist problem. There are, of course, Anti-Semitic sentiments on the far right but these are outliers on the right and are given no heed by the mainstream right (see my Chirp "Both Sides Do It"). However, the Anti-Semitism on the left is becoming more mainstream. Whether it be politicians, commentators, activists, and even journalists it is more acceptable to express Anti-Semitic sentiments. Those that practice Anti-Semitism must be rebuked and should not have a position of power or authority in society so that they cannot sow their Anti-Semitism.

Anti-Semitism must be confronted and condemned whenever it rears its ugly head.
For history has shown that whenever it is not it festers and grows to become a cancer that will eventually destroy a society.

08/14/19 The Intellectual Yet Idiot and Skin In The Game 

From the opening of this fine article by Nassim Nicholas Taleb on The Intellectual Yet Idiot (IYI) :

 “IYI is a production of modernity hence has been accelerating since the mid-twentieth century, to reach its local supremum today, along with the broad category of people without skin-in-the-game who have been invading many walks of life. Why? Simply, in many countries, the government’s role is ten times what it was a century ago (expressed in percentage of GDP). The IYI seems ubiquitous in our lives but is still a small minority and rarely seen outside specialized outlets, social media, and universities — most people have proper jobs and there are not many opening for the IYI. Beware the semi-erudite who thinks he is erudite.

The IYI pathologizes others for doing things he doesn’t understand without ever realizing it is his understanding that may be limited. He thinks people should act according to their best interests and he knows their interests, particularly if they are “red necks” or English non-crisp-vowel class who voted for Brexit. When Plebeians do something that makes sense to them, but not to him, the IYI uses the term “uneducated”. What we generally call participation in the political process, he calls by two distinct designations: “democracy” when it fits the IYI, and “populism” when the plebeians dare voting in a way that contradicts his preferences. While rich people believe in one tax dollar one vote, more humanistic ones in one man one vote, Monsanto in one lobbyist one vote, the IYI believes in one Ivy League degree one-vote, with some equivalence for foreign elite schools, and PhDs as these are needed in the club.”

The Intellectual Yet Idiot (IYI) is the best explanation I have heard that explains the current crop of Academics and Journalist in the last 50 years. These people often intensely study things, but rarely do they do anything. The IYI academic pedigree is often a K-12 education, followed by undergraduate college, followed by post-graduate studies, followed by a teaching or research position, thus never having to earn a salary by working in the real world. The journalist path is K-12 education, followed by a Journalist college degree, with perhaps some postgraduate studies, then a reporter’s position and perhaps eventually a commentator position. The journalist talks to people (mostly the IYI, but sometimes a business leader), but they never actually do anything in the real world but interview, research, and write. The IYI academics are full of theories and opinions based on these studies, but rarely do they attempt to implement their theories or opinions in the real world, and when they do it is often without any Skin In The Game (SIG). They utilize other people’s monies and efforts to achieve their goals, and if it fails, they can walk away without any consequences to themselves. Even after a failure, they continue to espouse their views, often making excuses for why it didn’t work in the real world. They continued to be called upon by other academics and journalist to espouse their opinions, even though they have no track record of effort or success. The journalist may think they know something about which they have interviewed, researched and written about, but the real world rarely conforms to their opinions, as the real world is often more complex and nuanced then they have studied or researched. Beware the IYI, as they are often wrong and will lead you astray.

08/13/19 Facts, Truth, and Reality

“We choose truth over facts”
– Joe Biden on the 2020 Presidential campaign trail

You cannot have truth without facts, and truth helps you to determine reality. The simple definition of these words, as follows, manifest this.

Facts are the bedrock of truth and reality. Your facts must be correct before you can seek truth and determine reality. And facts are not malleable as one of our founding fathers stated:

"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." 
- from John Adams, 'Argument in Defense of the Soldiers in the Boston Massacre Trials,' December 1770

Without facts, there can be no truth. To believe that something is true, without facts, is to believe that anything is possible or has happened.  This leads to disassociation from reality. And people who are disassociated from reality are characterized as mentally ill.

Facts should be utilized with intellectual reasoning to determine the truth, which allows you to perceive, recognize, or understand reality. To do otherwise would abrogate the truth and lead you to disassociate from reality. To allow emotions into your facts and reasoning will also lead to falsehoods as explained in my Observation  “With Facts, Intelligence, and Reasoning”. Remember:

“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”
- Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927-2003), United States Senator from New York from 1976 to 2000

When someone claims to have “My Truth” or “Your Truth” they are not discussing reality, but their own mindful illusions. This also leads to “true for you but not for me”. If everybody has a different truth than there is no commonality which is required for intellectual discourse. Without this commonality, it is impossible for any social, economic, or scientific progress to occur. It also leads to political chaos as it would not be possible to determine the laws, rule, and regulations necessary to organize society.

We, therefore, need to reject those who espouse “Truth Over Facts”, “My Truth”, or “Your Truth” as inane and dangerous to society, and to pay no heed to those that utter these statements nor to their illusions.

08/12/19 My Trigger Warnings (updated)

There are many phrases and pet peeves that I have concerning political discourse that I have commented upon in my Observations on  “Phrases” and “Pet Peeves”. However, some are so egregious that when I hear them, I typically stop the conversation to correct their usage. The following is a list that triggers my ire:

08/05/19 Some Scientific Concerns

Modern science has some significant issues and concern as well as troubles, that it needs to address. In my article “On the Nature of Scientific Inquiry “an outline of the nature of scientific inquiry that does not delve into the details of science and utilizes no mathematics, but instead presents the basic concepts of scientific inquiry, I discuss these significant issues and concern as well as the troubles. This paper was written to provide the general public with the background of science so that when they encounter scientific issues, or public policy issues that utilize science, they will have a basis for interpreting the scientific information. I would like to point out, and hopefully, you will read my thoughts on these scientific significant issues and concern as well as troubles.

The Issues and Concerns with Science

Modern scientists have tools and techniques that were unavailable to previous scientists. Yet these tools and techniques have several issues and concerns as to their limitations, accuracy, and appropriateness. There are also a few unanswered questions in science that could potentially have a significant impact on science. Some of the most important are as follows.

The Troubles with Science

Science is in trouble in the 21st century, and it has been in trouble since the latter part of the 20th century. I have insufficient knowledge to provide an examination of all the issues and solutions facing science, but I have highlighted the most important (in my opinion) of these issues.

07/28/19 Executive Orders

As the head of the executive branch of the federal government, the President is responsible for ensuring that all the nation’s laws are “faithfully executed.” In other words, the President carries out the legislation enacted by Congress but cannot originate legislation themselves.

While constitutionally speaking, the president is empowered only to sign or veto legislation that Congress sends to his desk, presidents have in recent years become more assertive in interpreting legislation through the use of signing statements or executive orders. These statements and orders often raise objections to the provisions of a particular law on constitutional grounds and instruct executive branch officials how to enforce the laws or implement the legislation according to the President’s interpretation of the law or legislation. If the President has objections on Constitutional grounds, they should veto the legislation and allow Congress to override or not override the veto.

However, in recent decades signing statements or executive orders have been issued that go beyond the bounds of Presidential authority. They are often utilized to circumvent the authority of Congress, to selectively enforce or ignore laws, or to spend monies in ways not allocated by Congress, amongst other usages not within Presidential authority.

Many lawsuits have been filed to challenge these Executive Orders. Some of these lawsuits have succeeded in blocking an Executive Order, but many more have not succeeded. In most cases, these lawsuits have been filed to block or postpone Executive Orders that are Constitutional, but the filer of the lawsuit disagrees with. A District or Circuit Court Judge can effectively impede the functioning of the Executive Branch while these lawsuits are litigated. And this litigation can take many months or years to resolve, all the while restricting the functioning of the Executive Branch. Judicial reform needs to be implemented to correct and speed up legitimate Executive Order lawsuits to resolve these lawsuits.

All this needs to stop. I am for Executive Orders that direct the Executive Branch in enforcing the laws or legislation, but against Executive Orders that go beyond enforcing the laws or legislation. I am for legitimate legal challenges to Executive Orders, but against lawsuits for the purposes of delay or disagreement. As to the solution to these problems I must defer to more knowledgeable and wiser persons who are experienced in these matters.

07/27/19 To Exonerate or to Not Exonerate, That Is the Question.

With all the talk of President Trump not being “exonerated’ by the Muller investigation, we need to keep in mind the true meaning of exoneration. The most basic meaning of Exoneration is - “The condition of being relieved from blame or obligation” and to Exonerate – “Pronounce not guilty of criminal charges”. But who is capable of exonerating another? To exonerate another, you need to have all the facts and circumstance surrounding the incident that is to be exonerated. This is often a very difficult effort to accomplish. When making a judgment you should also make sure that you have all the facts of the situation, for without all the facts it is most likely that you will make a poor judgment. In this it is best to remember one of my “Principles”:

“There are three sides to every story; one side, the other side, and the truth. It is best to discover the truth before making up your mind.”

Without all the information it is not possible to exonerate someone. Or, as Alan Dershowitz has said:

 “Exoneration is for God, historians and other non-legal institutions that have access to the totality of information.”

Therefore, it is impossible for the legal system to exonerate anyone. All the legal system can do is pronounce someone guilty or not guilty based on the evidence presented in court. And this pronouncement is done by a jury of peers, not by the prosecutor, nor defense, nor a judge (except in very limited legal circumstances).

To include the words exonerate, exoneration, exonerated, or exonerative in any legal proceeding is dangerous to the “Rule of Law” as Alan Dershowitz has written in his article here. In a legal proceeding, the prosecutor can indict or not indict, charge or not charge, a suspect, but never exonerate anyone. And if the prosecutor cannot charge or indict someone than they must remain silent so as to not damage the character or reputation of a suspect or witness.

Therefore, it is not possible to exonerate President Trump of anything and all talk of exoneration should cease.

07/16/19 Wisdom

As I have said in one of my “Principles”: “You may be the smartest person in the room, but you're not the only person in the room, and most times you are not the smartest person in the room”. This is not only true for “Intelligent” but also for “Wisdom”, as wisdom requires intelligence and experience. Or as I have stated in one of my “Truisms”: “True Wisdom Most Often Comes from Bitter Experience... Considered!”.

And so, it is with many of today's public figures. Celebrities, sportsmen and sportswomen, entertainers, wealthy individuals, and others who have excelled in their field of endeavor believe that they have a special insight on subjects for which they have not excelled. More specifically, they think that they are wiser on politics or social policy for which they espouse. Very rarely is this the case. They are most often expressing their feelings rather than their thoughts on a subject, and feelings can often lead you astray.

Sometimes we substitute our feelings for thoughts, but thoughts and feelings are two different things, and we should characterize each as such. Most times it is much easier to feel about something rather than think about something and to make up our minds based on feelings rather than thought.  But we should always think about things before we make up our minds. And we should always utilize our “Knowledge, Experience And Wisdom” and “With Facts, Intelligence, And Reasoning” as I have stated on these topics within other observations. And when we think about something, we should utilize our feelings only as a guideline, never as reasoning. It is also important that we occasionally re-examine our thinking, as new knowledge, experience, or wisdom in our life could lead us to a different conclusion.

Or, as Dennis Prager has more elegantly put it:

“People who excel in one thing are tempted to think they are smart about everything, but that is almost never the case. There is no reason at all to assume that people who excel in anything (other than wisdom) are wiser than anybody else. And here's the kicker: People who think they are wise because they excel at something unrelated to wisdom are fools.”

07/15/19 Rare Earth Minerals

In May of 2018, The Department of the Interior published a list of 35 mineral commodities considered critical to the economic and national security of the United States. This list is the initial focus of a multi-agency strategy to implement President Donald J. Trump's Executive Order to break America's dependence on foreign minerals.

The mining and manufacturing of rare earth minerals are a key component of much of modern electronic equipment and other manufactured products. If these mining operations were destroyed, damaged, or halted it would not be possible to manufacture many pieces of electronic equipment or other goods. We need to develop multiple mining operations for these rare earth minerals over several continents where those rare earth minerals are located for the benefit of all Americans.

Unfortunately, some of these rare earth minerals are not located within the United States and we are dependent on foreign countries for our needs. However, many of these rare earth minerals are located within the United States but are on Federal lands protected by mining prohibitions and environmental protection regulations. As a result, these rare earth minerals are not mined within the United States. As these rare earth minerals are critical to our economy and our society, we need to start locating these rare earth minerals that are within the United States. I would suggest that we relax the mining prohibitions and environmental protection regulations for the exploration of these rare earth minerals. If, and when, they are found we then need to determine if it is safe and environmentally friendly to mine these rare earth minerals then modify the mining prohibitions and environmental protection regulations to allow for the mining of these rare earth minerals.

07/14/19 A Looming Disaster

With the recent electrical blackouts that have occurred within the United States, we are reminded of the absolute necessity of reliable electrical power. However, there is a lack of awareness of several looming issues and concerns regarding reliable electrical power.

The generation of electricity, the transmission of electricity over the national electrical grid, and the distribution of electricity to the general public, businesses, and industries are currently facing many troubles and possible massive disruptions in the near future. The National Academy of Engineering has a good overview of these issues and concerns here and as they stated below:

The US power infrastructure is one of the largest and most critical infrastructures in the world. The country’s financial well-being, public health, and national security depend on it to be a reliable source of electricity to industries, commercial entities, residential facilities, government, and military organizations.

Considering the complexity and age of most of the equipment in the US power infrastructure, the lifetime reliability is extraordinary—and it has improved in the last ten years (NERC 2017). Future system reliability may be challenged, however, by the effects of climate change, increasing supplies of renewable energy, and potential cyberattacks.”

The time needed to fix these issues and concerns (decades) and expense (up to 5 trillion dollars) make this a big challenge. But it is a challenge we need to meet to assure reliable electrical power within the United States.

07/11/19 Thou Shall Not Covet

The Tenth Commandment of the Bible, given by God to Moses states:

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

And your neighbor’s wealth is something that belongs to your neighbor. If your neighbor earned their wealth through legal, moral, and ethical means then their wealth is no concern of yours, and you should not covet it. When you advocate taxing the rich more to support government programs that benefit yourself, or other people, then you are coveting your neighbor’s wealth. For the takings of monies from those that have earned it to the giving of these monies to those that have not earned it, rather than the taking of monies for the good of all is coveting. Whether it is done by an individual or a group of people it is still coveting.

Abraham Lincoln stated this succinctly about slavery:

"You work and toil and earn bread, and I'll eat it." No matter in what shape it comes, whether from the mouth of a king who seeks to bestride the people of his own nation and live by the fruit of their labor, or from one race of men as an apology for enslaving another race, it is the same tyrannical principle.
- Abraham Lincoln

The first sentence; "You work and toil and earn bread, and I'll eat it." is the crux of this Chirp.

Democratic socialism, wealth redistribution, income inequality adjustment, tax the rich, occupy Wall Street, free education, free healthcare, etc. is all the same principle – "You work and toil and earn bread, and I'll eat it." For to implement the above government policies requires that you take from one class of people (those that work and toil) and give it to another class of people (those who do not work and toil). This taking of their wealth would have to be accomplished through Government coercion through threats of fines and/or imprisonment if you do not give up your labor (i.e. wealth). This is not the same as taxes, as taxes are levied to support the necessary functions of the government for the good of all, not for the good of some.

This taking restricts the freedom of those that work and toil by deciding how much of their labor is theirs and how much of their labor is to be given to those who do not work and toil. This taking also restricts the liberties of those that work and toil to utilize the monies they earned as they see fit. It also restricts the freedoms of those that work and toil by imposing the governments will upon them by despotic oppression (see my “Freedom From – Liberty To” Chirp). Therefore, the government is the master of the people as it is the decider, and the people are the serfs of the government as they must obey the dictates of government. Or, as Abraham Lincoln said in the last sentence of the above quote; “it is the same tyrannical principle.”

07/09/19 The 18th Century

The 18th century (1700-1799) was a major turning point in human history. The world of 1800 was completely different than that of 1700. This difference impacted all areas of human activity; politics, religion, economics, government, human rights, science, technology, philosophy, the arts, etc...  These impacts were felt by all; from kings, princes, aristocrats, to the common man, rich or poor and everything in-between. The world was truly turned up-side-down in the 18th century. My article on "The 18th Century" provides an overview of this remarkable century.

07/08/19 The Secret Ballot

The secret ballot is a voting method in which a voter's choices in an election or a referendum are anonymous, forestalling attempts to influence the voter by intimidation, blackmail, and potential vote buying. At the time of voting, no one else knows who or what the voter chose. All voting should be voluntary and by secret ballot for these reasons. Only when political leaders vote on laws, rules, or regulations should there be public voting so that future voters can make an informed choice when they vote in secret.  It is also for this reason that I believe that political caucus voting without a secret ballot are undemocratic and susceptible to undue influences and even a mob mentality.

But the secret ballot is not only important for elections but in other areas of human interactions. A modern-day example of this is in sports teams being invited to the White House after winning a championship. Many members of these sports teams are quite vocal in their opposition to President Trump. They have the right to express their opposition to President Trump but in doing so they must recognize the rights of other team members who may wish to visit the White House. They often state that they have solidarity with other team members but is this the solidarity of opinion or the solidarity of intimidation into silence. As most of the vocal team members who are opposed to the White House visit are often the team leaders are the other team members who may not be opposed to the visit acquiescing for the purposes of team cohesion or the fear of possible loss of playing time or even retribution. We may never know, but the possibility exists.

This question of the solidarity of opinion or the solidarity of intimidation into silence arises in many other arenas of human interaction. Whenever there is public voting on any issue, political or non-political, there is this possibility. And when this happens the other name for it is bulling.

07/07/19 Fear and Intimidation in the USA

The 21st century has shown a dramatic increase in fear and intimidation in America. The political polarization and division in America, along with the actions of many people in support of their politics and policies, has led to this sad situation. And much of this has been done by leftist and progressives in America. They believe they have this right because of their Creed of Progressives and Leftists” as explained in another Chirp.

People are afraid to express their true thoughts, feelings, and opinions. The possibility of death threats, physical violence, doxing, loss of employment, loss of employment opportunity or employment advancement, loss of business revenue, loss of friendships and relations, etc. has led people to suppress their true thoughts, feelings, and opinions. Therefore, many polling predictions and election prognostications have been wrong. People are simply afraid of telling anybody what they really believe.

Our Freedom of Speech and Religion are suffering as a result. People can no longer peaceably assemble to support their policy position without fear of intimidation. In some places in America, they cannot even depend on police protection as the police are constrained by politically correct politicians. The 1st amendment to the Constitution is in danger, not by government actions, but by mob actions. And this must be stopped, or we cannot be a people dedicated to Freedom and Liberty.

Please Note - this is a companion Chip to my article "O say can you see" (Jul 2019) - A perspective on respecting the National Anthem.

07/06/19 Human Rights?

Many politicians who are calling for radical social change are claiming that it is a human right to this change. Free health care and free college are but two examples. Claiming that something is a Human Right does not make it a Human Right. The question then becomes are these indeed Human Rights? Human Rights are difficult to definitize. Civilizations and societies, and mostly Western civilization have been struggling with the definition of Human Rights for centuries and even millennia.

Human Rights are inherent in being human and not something that is bestowed upon you by society or governments. You also have no Human Right to take from someone to give to yourself or someone else, as that would violate the human rights of the taken from person. Therefore, anything bestowed upon you by society or governments, or is the result of taking from another, cannot be a Human Right. To claim otherwise is to demonstrate your lack of understanding of Human Rights. You do have the “Freedom From” a society or government preventing you from obtaining these goals, and the “Liberty To” obtain these goals by and for yourself, as “Freedom From” and “Liberty To” are Human Rights.

Therefore, the politicians who are propounding these social changes as Human Rights are either disingenuous or lack an understanding of Human Rights. As such, you should not give heed to their pronouncements.

07/05/19 A New Constitution

The previous four Chirps have explored the ideals of the American revolution. These ideals were codified in the U.S. Constitution. This Constitution has served us well for over two hundred years. Yet, today, we have seen this Constitution stretched beyond these ideals. To bring us back to these ideals I have proposed a rewriting of the U.S. Constitution to meets the demands of the 21st century. This rewrite is not a major overhaul, but a streamlined version that also adds particulars to the U.S. Constitution based on our governmental experiences of the 20th and 21st century. My proposed revisions, and notes on the revision, can be found at "A New U.S. Constitution".

07/04/19 The True Meaning of Independence Day

As we celebrate the 243rd anniversary of Independence we should not also celebrate Independence but the meaning of Independence. As I have outlined in my article “The Meaning of the American Revolution” the meaning of Independence is a set of ideals of independence. The ideals; Freedom from - Liberty to, Equality, and Justice, are expressed in my previous chips below. In the hoopla of our celebratory activities we often do not consider these ideals. Yet, these ideals are what defines us as a nation and the goals we strive for as a nation.

These ideals are incorporated into the U.S. Constitution, most especially in the Bill of Rights and other Amendments, to establish a government dedicated to these ideals. Yet, these ideals cannot be preserved by the government alone but must be sustained by a people dedicated to these ideals. To this end we should remember the following quotes:

“The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.” -- author Thomas Charlton in a biography of Major General James Jackson (1809)

"But you must remember, my fellow-citizens, that eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty, and that you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing.  It behooves you, therefore, to be watchful in your States as well as in the Federal Government." -- Andrew Jackson, Farewell Address, March 4, 1837

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania (1759)

The 20th century in America saw many changes in society that challenged these ideals. The shift from a States to a Federal focus on government challenged these ideals. The rise of more Federal intervention into the daily lives of Americans also strained these ideals. As we progressed from an agrarian to an industrial to a technological society these ideals often needed to be redefined to meet the needs of society. And in the 21st century, we see a full-scale assault on these ideals. As I have outlined in my article “A New Declaration of Independence” these assaults are numerous and pervasive in modern American society.

As we celebrate this 4th of July we all should consider these ideals and issues in modern American society. We must rededicate ourselves to these ideals so that as President Abraham Lincoln stated in his Gettysburg address:

“that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

06/30/19 Justice For All

What is Justice?  Justice, in its broadest context, includes both the attainment of that which is just and the philosophical discussion of that which is just. The concept of justice is based on numerous fields, and many differing viewpoints and perspectives including the concepts of moral correctness based on ethics, rationality, law, religion, equity and fairness. Often, the general discussion of justice is divided into the realm of social justice as found in philosophy, theology and religion, and, procedural justice as found in the study and application of the law. - From the Wikipedia Article "Justice".

This Chirp is about Justice in a legal sense. The path to legal Justice throughout history has been long and torturous. For thousands of years, societies throughout the world have tried to determine the meaning of legal Justice. Today, in 21st century America, we have determined the best definition of Justice is the creation of Just Laws and the application of these laws through the "Rule of Law".

The first step to Justice is the creation of Just Laws. For you cannot justly administer an unjust law.  Our forefathers devised a system for the creation of laws that would be just. They created three branches of government; Legislative for the creation of laws, Executive to enforce the law, and Judicial to administer the law. The checks and balances built into this system were to assure that the laws would be just and not infringe on the human and Constitutional rights of the people. But no system devised by men is perfect, and there are many instances of unjust laws in our history. However, our system allows for the reexamination of laws to revise or rescind a law in the Legislative branch, to provide for discretion in enforcing the law in the Executive branch, or to overturn a law by Judicial branch review of its constitutionality. Eventually, unjust laws are overturned to assure a more perfect Justice. But this requires that:

Eternal vigilance of Laws by all is necessary for the achievement of Just Laws.

The next step is the administration of Just Laws through Legal proceedings utilizing the Rule of Law. Without the Rule of Law, there can be no Justice. But the Rule of Law requires that several concepts and tenets be enforced for Justice to prosper as explained in my article "The Rule of Law". These concepts and tenets are “Etched in Stone”. They are:

Concepts- Due Process, Speedy Trial, Presumption of Innocence, Trial by Jury, Burden of Proof on Prosecutor or Plaintiff, No Burden on Defense.

Tenets - An Independent Judiciary, Probable Cause, Equality Under the Law, Equal Protection of the Laws, Pursuit of Justice, Pardons and Commutations, Full Faith and Credit, Contract Law Enforcement.

The rule of law must be sacrosanct in all legal proceedings for there to be any hope of Justice. It is also an excellent guide in our public and private dealings and judgments of others. For without using these guidelines in our dealings with others it is too easy to reach a possibly wrong conclusion about someone. These wrong conclusions could lead to the person losing their reputation, employment, wealth, future opportunities, and even family and friends. These things should never be taken from anyone without credible, verifiable, and substantiated evidence of wrongdoing. To do so otherwise would cause serious harm to the individual and to the social fabric of our society. But it is most important to remember:

To assure Justice for All you must dedicate yourself to the Rule of Law.
Not only the Rule of Law for yourself but Rule of Law for all.
To do otherwise means there will be No Justice for Anyone.

06/29/19 Equality

As stated in the Declaration of Independence “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” does not mean we that we are all created equal in our physical abilities and mental capacities. Nobody is created equal in their physical abilities and mental capacities – we are all created differently as regards to these factors. What it means is that we are all created equal in our Human Rights and that no person, organization, society, or government may violate our Human Rights. These Human Rights also assumes that each person is entitled to pursue happiness. The right to pursue happiness is any legal activity as long as it does not infringe on the rights of others. This pursuit of happiness is to be unencumbered by any laws, rules, and regulations that do not apply to all. We should all have an equal opportunity to pursue happiness based on our physical abilities and mental capacities as well as our own efforts to achieve happiness. Equality is not a guarantee of equal outcomes but a guarantee of equal opportunity and equal treatment. This means that in practice that some will be more successful in achieving their happiness, some will fail, but most will achieve some degree of happiness. And many times, this success or failure is due to the inequality of our physical abilities and mental capacities. It’s called "Life".

06/26/19 Freedom from - Liberty to

One should distinguish between the terms "Freedom" and "Liberty." Speaking generally, Freedom usually means to be free from something, whereas Liberty usually means to be free to do something, although both refer to the quality or state of being free. Freedom generally means you are free from despotic oppression, whether it be by a government, an aristocracy, a theocracy, or an individual or group. Freedom of Religion, Speech, Press, Assembly, Petitioning Government, or to Bear Arms, etc. refers to the release from despotic restraints. Liberty on the other hand gives you the right to choose a course of action. How to spend your money, what job or occupation you wish to pursue, where you live, who you associate with, what education you undertake, who to marry, or any personal decision you make is liberty. Freedom is not to be used in the sense of our being free to do anything we want. All laws can be viewed as a restriction on freedom and liberty, and such restrictions are proper in any well-regulated society. But they are only proper to prevent one person’s freedom and liberty from infringing on another person’s freedom or liberty. It is this balance between each person’s Freedom and Liberty that defines the state of a Free society.

06/07/19 Something We Should All Agree Upon

The following is a quote from a Democratic Senator and Presidential candidate which I hope that all of us can agree upon. Although I am opposed on almost all of the issues that this candidate supports I do support her in the following statement:

"I'm deeply grateful for the opportunities America has given me. But the giant 'American' corporations who control our economy don't seem to feel the same way. They certainly don't act like it. Sure, these companies wave the flag -- but they have no loyalty or allegiance to America. ... These 'American' companies show only one real loyalty: to the short-term interests of their shareholders, a third of whom are foreign investors. If they can close up an American factory and ship jobs overseas to save a nickel, that's exactly what they will do -- abandoning loyal American workers and hollowing out American cities along the way. ... The result? Millions of good jobs lost overseas and a generation of stagnant wages, growing income inequality, and sluggish economic growth. ... We can navigate the changes ahead if we embrace economic patriotism and make American workers our highest priority, rather than continuing to cater to the interests of companies and people with no allegiance to America."
- Senator Elizabeth Warren

As to my reasons for support this statement I would direct you to my article "Tariffs - A Double Entry Ledger".

06/01/19 Signifying Nothing

Many politicians espouse policy positions that sound good (and some not so good). When pressed for more information on how the policy would work they often resort to platitudes of what it would or would not do. They most always never speak of the workings, funding, and costs of these policy positions. Yet these details are needed to ascertain how the policy would actually work and its impacts on society. After all, as it has been remarked many times “The devil is in the details”. Without these details being available I would quote Shakespeare “It is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing”.

From Macbeth, spoken by Macbeth - By William Shakespeare

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

05/28/19 RIP Murray Gell-Mann

Murray Gell-Mann, the Nobel laureate physicist who died Friday, May 24, at age 89, also lived two lives. But both were spent learning — about how the world works. In his first life Gell-Mann was perhaps the preeminent theoretical physicist of his era, playing a prime role in revealing the architecture of the subatomic world. In his second life he pioneered the study of complexity, probing the behavior of systems ranging from economics to the weather, too complicated for the reductionist methods of particle physics.

By far, Gell-Mann is most famous for the idea of quarks, the building blocks of most Earthly matter. Before 1964, physicists believed that atoms assembled themselves from only three fundamental parts — electrons, protons and neutrons. Electrons even today remain indivisible. But Gell-Mann suspected that protons and neutrons — the constituents of the atomic nucleus — concealed smaller particles within.

Gell-Mann expressed his concern with science’s frequent lack of openness to researchers challenging conventional wisdom. “Most challenges to scientific orthodoxy are wrong,” he said. “A lot of them are crank. But it happens from time to time that a challenge to scientific orthodoxy is actually right. And the people who make that challenge face a terrible situation — getting heard, getting believed, getting taken seriously.” He called the inherent opposition of traditional science to daring novelty “the pressure of received ideas.”

05/18/19 I'm With Stupid

In my Chirp “The Creed of Progressives and Leftists“ I noted that they believe that they are more intelligent, better educated and morally superior so that they, therefore, of course, are always correct. This Creed leads them to believe that if you oppose a Progressive/Leftist you must be dumb or stupid. And they behave and speak to those that disagree with them as if they were dumb or stupid. They disparage those who disagree with them, as I have noted in my Chirp “The Three D's”, and utilize pejoratives about their intelligence. They also utilize the term “evolved” to describe a person who has changed their position to a more progressive/leftist stance. They forget that evolving goes not necessarily mean becoming better. Many species evolve then become extinct, as the evolution was not conducive to their (changing) environment. Evolution does not necessarily mean improvement, and it certainly does not have anything to do with intelligence. But then, since I often disagree with progressives and leftists, based on “Facts, Intelligence, and Reasoning” I, therefore, must be stupid. Given the above, I am proud to say, “I’m with stupid.

05/15/2019 Just Ain't So

As Mark Twain was once famously quoted:

“It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.”

Or, as in one of my favorite locutions:

“Just because you "believe" something to be true does not mean that you "know" something is true, and just because someone says it is true doesn’t make it true.”

And so, it is, with many Americans thinking something is true when it is not true. One of the reasons for this is not distinguishing between facts and statistics. I have covered Statistics in my observation on “Statistics and Polling’ and, therefore, I need not do so here. You should also keep in mind, however, that if the “facts” utilized for the statistics “Ain't So” than the statistics “Ain't So”. Another reason is the inability to distinguish between Lies and Beliefs as discussed in my article “ Lies and Beliefs” 

The big problem, however, is facts. Americans are inundated with many “facts” during their daily lives, and many of these “facts” are untrue. Many of these “facts” are told by people who believe them to be true, but they never determined if they were true. We are all human and make mistakes, or we have the inability or lack of time to determine the facts.  Therefore, these people are often mistaken and not malicious. However, some people recite “facts” to gain an advantage or to persuade you to their beliefs. These people are behaving in a disingenuous manner and you should be wary of them. In your daily life, these people may be difficult to distinguish. Simply be wary of any statement of fact from someone who is not knowledgeable nor experienced in the subject matter, or who is unknown to you.

What I am more concerned about is the “facts” utilized in public policy discussions or debates, as well as by politicians.  These people wish to persuade you of the correctness of their policy positions. As such, they often only inform you of the “facts” that support their position. They often do not place their “facts” in context, or are selective of their “facts”, or omissive of other contravening “facts”. Their “Reasoning”, as discussed in my observation, is also often fallacious. As such, it is not possible to ascertain the rightness of their position. Before you accept any policy position be careful of the facts and reasoning. Otherwise it “Just Ain't So”.

05/14/19 Tax Returns Confidentiality

Several States have begun legislative action to place constraints on whom may run for President of the United States on their ballots. More specifically they are requiring a Presidential candidate to release several years of Federal Tax Returns to be placed on the ballot. Some States are also requiring that State Tax Returns be released to Congress if Congress Requests them. I believe that both of these actions are unconstitutional.

Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the Constitution says to serve as president, one must be: (1) a natural-born U.S. citizen of the United States; (2) at least thirty-five years old; and (3) a resident in the United States for at least fourteen years. Adding any other criteria to be placed on a State ballot would violate the Constitution by adding additional requirements. If you can add additional requirements could you also add a requirement for race, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, age, veteran status, disability, military service, political affiliation, or another status? Of course not! But if you can add one requirement you can add other requirements. The only legitimate requirement to be added to a State ballot is that a certain number or percentage of the state voters sign a ballot petition for a person to be placed on a ballot. This is necessary to reasonably limit the number of persons on a ballot. These actions could also be interpreted as a Bill of Attainder -a legislative act that singles out an individual or group for punishment without a trial. The Constitution of the United States, Article I, Section 9, paragraph 3 provides that: "No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law will be passed." In this case, it is to limit President Trump from running in their State unless he releases his tax returns. There is no legitimate purpose for releasing any tax records for any taxpayer, as this information is privileged between the taxpayer and the IRS

There is also no legitimate purpose for releasing State Tax records for any taxpayer as this information is privileged between the taxpayer and the appropriate State tax authority. To break this privilege is no endanger the collection of taxes as many people would be reluctant to provide true and accurate information to a State Tax Authority on fear of it being released to damage their reputation or to harm them some way. No freedom and liberty loving person should be fearful that their government damage their reputation or to harm them some way, for this could lead to tyranny by the government.

05/14/19 A Constitutional Crisis

Many Democratic politicians and progressive media commentators are proclaiming that we are in a Constitutional Crisis – and I agree with them! But it is not the crisis that they are proclaiming but the crisis that they are fermenting. The actions of the current Executive Branch are typical reactions to the Legislative Branch actions throughout U.S. history. We need not go back further than the administration of President Obama to demonstrate Executive Branch reactions to Legislative Branch actions. Resisting subpoenas, withholding information, invoking Executive Privilege, evasive answers, and other methods have been utilized by the Executive Branch to thwart what they thought were Legislative Branch incursions on the Executive Branch duties and responsibilities. Sometimes the Executive Branch was in the right, and sometimes they were in the wrong. Usually, through negotiations or Judicial Branch interventions, these issues were resolved or lay dormant.

The Legislative Branch does have the duty, under the Constitution, to create laws and have oversight of Executive Branch actions.  However, these duties and responsibilities require a legitimate legislative purpose in creating laws or proper Congressional oversight. It does not allow the Legislative Branch to do whatever it pleases. If the Legislative Branch could do whatever it pleased it would devolve into a Star Chamber unconstrained by the Rule of Law (see my article on

The Rule of Law in Non-Judicial Proceedings” for more information). The Legislative Branch requests for information, testimony, and subpoenas to the Executive Branch must serve a legitimate Legislative Branch purpose, and not a political purpose. The current actions of the House of Representatives are not for legitimate Legislative Branch purposes and, indeed, are politically motivated. As such, they are the cause of our current Constitutional Crisis.

There is no legitimate purpose for subpoenaing the Attorney General to release information that by law they are not allowed to release. There is no legitimate purpose for demanding the underlying documentation of a criminal investigation, some of which is Grand Jury testimony that cannot be released by law, or Classified Information that may only be released to approved Congressional Committees that they then must keep secret. There is no legitimate purpose for subpoenaing tax records for any taxpayer as this information is privileged between the taxpayer and the IRS, unless the Legislative Branch can demonstrate by evidence, not suspicion, that it requires this information for legitimate Legislative Branch purposes. Persons testifying before Congress should not be set-up for perjury traps, nor should they incur a significant financial obligation in lawyer fees to protect themselves from possible perjury traps. There are no legitimate Legislative Branch purposes for the accusations and pejoratives utilized to describe Executive Branch persons and actions, except to hinder the Executive Branch from performing their duties and responsibilities.

As such, the House of Representatives is fermenting a Constitution Crisis by stepping outside the bounds of their legitimate Legislative Branch duties and responsibilities. They are also violating their Oath of Office to uphold the Constitution of the United States. The House of Representatives must be roundly condemned for these deeds and words, and put an end to these actions, for this Constitution Crisis to pass.

05/12/19 Condemned to Repeat It

Warfare, slavery, oppression, infanticide, human sacrifice, and female subjugation have all be constants throughout human history and in all societies. African, European, Asiatic, Native North American, and Native South American civilizations have all engaged in these practices. It is only in the last few centuries that these practices have been recognized as immoral. It was in European Society, guided by Judeo-Christian values, that the idea of the dignity of the individual human being and human rights arose and bloomed. With this recognition came the ideal of self-government, the advancement of the arts and sciences. and the development of capitalism which supplied goods and services to the common man (see my comment on this in my article “Capitalism is Freedom and Liberty”).

Yet, even in this development of the dignity of the individual human being and human rights, there were abuses and shortcomings. This is because this development was a struggle that had setbacks during its advancement. Man is imperfect and makes bad choices, or is good or evil, and lacked the knowledge or experience of the proper morals and ethics to achieve these goals. When we make a historical judgment on a society or personage, we need to keep this, and other factors in mind when making these judgments. My article “Condemned to Repeat It”  examines these factors and how to best make a judgment.

05/07/19 Social Media and Freedom of Speech

As I have written in my article “Slander & Libel on Social Media and Journalism” social media is playing a more active role in our society as a source of news and political commentary. As such, we must be assured that all sides of news and political commentary have a voice. To not do so is to skewer the social and political scene, which can lead to undesirable and unforeseen results. Unfortunately, many social media outlets are banning speech that they disagree with. The majority of these bans most often occur on the conservative viewpoints of social and political speech. And this must stop as it is harmful to the body politic. I am aware of the Constitutional and legal issues in regard to legislating an end to this banning as I have outlined in the before mentioned article. I would encourage you to read this article for my thoughts on this subject.

05/07/19 Alt-Right and Alt-Left (Far-Left)

The alt-right, or alternative right, is a loosely connected far-right, white nationalist movement. The term is ill-defined, having been used in different ways by various groups and individuals. A largely online movement, the alt-right is found primarily in the United States, where it originated, although alt-rightists are also present elsewhere in the world. Constituent groups that associate with the "alt-right" label have been characterized as hate groups.

The far-left term has been used to describe ideologies such as: communism, anarchism, anarcho-communism, left-communism, anarcho-syndicalism, Marxism–Leninism, Trotskyism, and Maoism. Since 2016, the term alt-left has also been used to refer to political views at the extreme end of this spectrum, and to those who adhere to such views.

In my opinion, I believe that the alt-right and alt-left are abhorrent to everything that I have written on this website. They regularly espouse views that are contrary to Human Rights and Constitutional Rights. Although they have the Free Speech right to express these views we who abhor these views have the Free Speech right to condemn these views. And they must be condemned. Condemned but not silenced, as this would be a violation of their Free Speech rights.

05/04/19 To Not Tolerate the Intolerant

How often have you heard some say “I will not tolerate the intolerant”. The real question I have for those that make this statement is “Who gets to determine what is intolerant?”. Everybody has a different definition of what is intolerant speech. If we utilize everybody's definition then there would be no free speech by anybody. Do we set up a commission that determines what speech is to be allowed or disallowed? Who and how would we determine the membership of this commission? How would we enforce the commission's rulings? What would be the penalties for violating the commission rulings? And how would it be possible to review what is said, either before or after what is said, to determine if it was intolerant? Without a commission, the only way to determine intolerant speech is by mob rule. And mod rule leads to an uncivil society that I have discussed in my article “A Civil Society”. Most of the times when I have heard this statement uttered it is by Progressives or Leftists who utilize this statement to shout down or shut down the free speech rights of their opponents. This also leads to an uncivil society. Those who make this statement are really engaging in behavior that I have discussed in my article “Modern American Fascism” and, indeed, are themselves, intolerant people.

05/02/19 MAMA

When Presidential hopeful Joe Biden was asked if he had a theme like President Trump's "Make America Great Again," Biden replied, "Make America moral again." MAMA is a nice acronym for the Democratic Party, as they often espouse positions that advocate the government be responsible for making decisions for the individual that the individual should make for themselves. Just as your mama wants to tell you what to do and direct your life so does the Democratic party. Therefore, MAMA is the perfect acronym for the Democratic party.

04/27/19 Making Predictions

As the famous and brilliant physicist Richard Frymen once said, “String theorist don’t make predictions, they make excuses”. This is not a chirp on String Theory but a chip on making predictions. More specifically the making of predictions by political commentators, political pundits, pollsters, and economists. As all four of these activities are intertwined with human decision making, they are very unscientific and subject to change very quickly. How often have political commentators, political pundits, pollsters, and economists made a prediction that turned out to be wrong, and sometimes the opposite of what occurred? And how often have you heard them making an excuse as to why their prediction was wrong? Many would say that this occurs most of the time. Whenever you are predicting how the public will react you are more likely to be wrong than right. It is analogous to baseball hitting. A great baseball hitter is one who gets a hit once every three attempts, while the other hitters have a lesser average of hits. And so, it is with have political commentators, political pundits, pollsters, and economists making a prediction. They are more often wrong than right. A wise listener or reader will look at their past performance in making predictions to decide if they should be believed. Whenever you do this remember that the greats will only get one of three correct while most will have a worse performance. Any political commentators, political pundits, pollsters, and economists with a great average of predictions are more like to be right and most are more likely to be wrong. But keep in mind that over two-thirds of predictions will be wrong, so take a prediction with a grain of salt.

04/27/19 Weather, Weather Everywhere

Everywhere you go there is weather. Good weather, bad weather, average weather, mild weather, cold weather, freezing weather, warm weather, hot weather, severe weather, storms, snow storms, rain storms, thunderstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc. etc. etc.… And people are very interested in the weather, not only as it affects their lives but as it affects the lives of their family and friends and fellow citizens. This is as it should be, but it is just as important to retain your perspective of the weather. Do not assume the worst or best weather reports but assume the possibility of the best or worst weather reports.

In today’s weather reporting there is a propensity to hype the extremes of a weather report. This leads to good ratings, and increased revenues, for the weather reporters and media that reports on the weather. People get hyped and fearful that the worst is about to happen, and they react accordingly. These reactions are often not the best course of action and will often lead you to make irrational decisions. So, when you listen to a weather report do not assume the extremes but take precautions in the event the extreme occurs. The only caveat is when the authorities order an evacuation you should evacuate. To not do so is to endanger your life, health, and safety.

04/27/19 Precepts and Perspectives

In my many discussions with my cigar smoking buddies, we often discuss the issues of the day (along with sports, history, and other b.s.). During these discussions, I often keep in mind my observations on “Precepts”  and “Additional Perspectives” when discussing these issues. I believe we have a more thoughtful discussion when this occurs. I would encourage you to read these observations as I believe that these observations will make your discussions more levelheaded, and perhaps more harmonious.

04/25/19 The Green New Deal

Supporters of the Green New Deal exhibit their extensive lack of knowledge of science, engineering, and economics for believing that this is possible or practicable. They also have no idea of how energy is produced, distributed, and utilized. They fail to understand the life cycle costs, from mining, manufacturing, distribution, usage, and disposal of the materials utilized to produce energy that would result from the Green New Deal implementation. They also do not account for the economic impacts that The Green New Deal would inflict on people and commerce. The Green New Deals ranks with some of the most inane ideas proposed by politicians. No matter how a politician or supporter packages it, redefines it, or limit it. or lauds its goals it remains inane. I would encourage you to download and read the report “The New Energy Economy an Exercise In Magical Thinking” from the Manhattan Institute that examines this issue.

04/23/19 Euphemisms, Doublespeak, and Disingenuousness

Euphemism - An inoffensive or indirect expression that is substituted for one that is considered offensive or too harsh abound in today’s politically correct speech. But euphemisms can be very dangerous when utilized in regard to national security and social policy. In order to solve a problem, you need to recognize that you have a problem, clearly define the problem, and then clearly state the solution. Euphemisms do not contribute to clarity and indeed are often utilized to obscure the problem. Euphemisms are often utilized when identifying groups of people in order not to offend members of the groups, or to be deceptive as to the parties who are part of the problem or who are the victims of the problem. Euphemisms are often a means to doublespeak - language that pretends to communicate but actually does not. Disingenuousness - not straightforward or candid; giving a false appearance of frankness - is often the result when euphemisms and doublespeak are utilized.

When euphemisms are utilized in national security situations, we cannot clearly address the problems and solutions to terrorism and international aggression. When it comes to violence perpetrators and victims need to be clearly defined to identify the source and targets of the violence. Euphemisms, doublespeak, and disingenuousness do not solve any problems, and they contribute to the problem or allow the problem to fester. Anyone who utilizes euphemisms, doublespeak, or is disingenuousness needs to be ignored in order to solve a problem.

04/21/19 It's Complicated as an Excuse

No its not! We only make it complicated to avoid facing the truth. And the truth is that a bad decision was made that you don't want to admit. Whether it be in our personal life, our family life, our work environment, or in our social life bad decisions are often made. Saying "it's complicated" relieves us of the burden of admitting we made a bad decision. But this is a burden that we should gladly accept. By admitting it to ourselves, and thinking about the bad decision, we can learn from our bad decisions and hopefully not repeat them. By admitting our bad decisions and learning from it we can also forgive ourselves. And by admitting them to others we not only help others learn from our bad decisions but it may lead us to forgiveness from others or possible redemption.

04/12/19 Societal Hierarchies

Karl Marx decried Capitalism because it organized labor and management into hierarchies with labor the lowest rungs and management and ownership at the highest rungs, along with the distribution of wealth according to your position on this hierarchy. He thought that this was one of the biggest inequities of Capitalism and needed to be abolished. However, hierarchies are not a feature of Capitalism but a feature of Humanity. We, as humans, have always organized ourselves into hierarchies. Whether it was tribes that had a leader, enforcers, and followers, to governments that had kings, ministers, and commoners, we have always organized ourselves into hierarchies. Not only in government did this happen but in all areas of human activity i.e. commerce, entertainment, sports, armed forces, etc... Force or arms, inheritance, or wealth were often utilized to establish and maintain these hierarchies to the detriment of the common man. The difference in Capitalism is that ability was the prime driver in creating hierarchies. The person or persons who produced wanted goods or services at a lower cost rose in the hierarchy, while those who did not or faltered in doing so sank in the hierarchy. The positive effect of Capitalism was that all benefited by the goods or services at a lower cost. It also allows for any person who has a good idea, determination, perseverance, knowledge, and ability to move up in the hierarchy while those who did not have these capabilities to move down in the hierarchy, thus removing impediments to progress. Therefore, Capitalism is the best force for allowing equal opportunity for all, wealth redistribution, and human progress.

04/10/19 Personal Destruction

Another impact of The Three D’s is the personal destruction of the character and reputation of the person who it is directed at. This occurs not only in the governmental arena but also in political commentary by non-governmental persons. The following examples from the governmental arena are the most current illustrations of this:

I have commented more extensively on this issue in my article "The Rule of Law in Non-Judicial Proceedings" which is a companion piece to this chirp. The upshot of this personal destruction is a loss of faith in the instruments of government and the integrity of the people who serve in the government. This is also true in the political commentary arena. The secondary impact is on the willingness of good and capable people to enter public office or expressing political opinions. Why would any sane person wish to undergo this personal destruction? Therefore, many good people are avoiding entering public service or expressing political opinions to the detriment of society.

04/10/19 Demonize, Denigrate, Disparage (The Three D's)

When a conservative and liberal/progressive/leftists disagree, the conservative believes the liberal/progressive/leftists are wrong. However, the liberal/progressive/leftists often believes that the conservative is a racist, sexist, homophobic, mean-spirited or a money-grubbing person, amongst other epithets as I have explicated in my Article on the “Divisiveness in America”. The liberal/progressive/leftists then attempt to argue against a conservative position by utilizing the following Three D's tactics:

The liberal/progressive/leftists utilize these tactics as arguments in order to intimidate a conservative into silence or to intimidate a listener through guilt into not paying attention to a conservative. This illustrates how intellectually bereft many of their ideas are. Either way, these methods of the liberal/progressive/leftists is a bulling attempting to win their argument not through reason or intellect, but by silencing all opposition. This is very bad for the body politick as it cannot lead to understanding, and possible compromise, with their opposition to achieve a reasonable solution to public policy. Indeed, it often leads to bitter partisanship as the liberal/progressive/leftists opponent feels oppressed, and the liberal/progressive/leftists feel righteous. The liberal/progressive/leftists will then demand bi-partisanship, and since they are righteous, and the opponent is not, the liberal/progressive/leftists policy should be adopted.

04/09/19 Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Sign. Sigh. Sigh. Whenever I hear someone state that we need Comprehensive Immigration Reform I know that they are advocating a position that is not going to happen and are utilizing this term as a canard. It is not going to happen because it has not happened for several decades It is a canard because those that utilize this term know that it will not happen. The different sides of this issue have different meanings as to what constitutes Comprehensive Immigration Reform, and their different meanings are contradictory and polarizing. Therefore, given the political gridlock of these sides there will be no Comprehensive Immigration Reform, and I do not expect it to happen unless one side or the other obtain legislative and executive authority in enough numbers to ignore the other side (much like Obamacare). What needs to be done, immediately, on immigration is to secure the borders from drug runners, gang members, human traffickers, and other criminal elements. We should all agree that needs to be done and needs to be done immediately. But again, given the political gridlock of these sides, this may not happen. I would, therefore, want each 2020 Presidential candidate to state clearly the executive actions they would take on securing the borders from drug runners, gang members, human traffickers, and other criminal elements. We could then leave it to the American voters to decide how they wish to secure the borders based on the candidate's position. But again, I do not expect that this will happen.

04/04/19 The Real Issues for the 2020 Presidential CampaignTOC

The Presidential campaign of 2020 is heating up. On the Democratic side there appears to be a race to the leftist positions and what the Government should provide for the American people. The other side (centrists and conservatives) would prefer a debate on what they believe are the important issues. I believe the following are the important issues that need to be discussed (in alphabetical order):

04/01/19 Democratic Party 2020 Presidential Candidates

Listening to the Democratic Party 2020 Presidential candidates’ positions I believe that the following list is a succinct summary of their positions (in alphabetical order):

These campaign positions do not seem to be consistent with someone who has sworn to “Preserve, Protect, and Defend” the Constitution and its concepts of Federalism, Limited and Enumerated Powers, Equality Under the Law and Equal Protection of the Laws, the Bill of Rights, as well as Liberty and Freedom for All. To the contrary, they sound as if their proponents believe that they can do whatever they think is proper irrespective of the Constitution. God help us if they are ever put in a position of power where they can impose their will in contradiction to the Constitution. For if they do this, we will not be a free people but a people subservient to the government. Or perhaps, they are just perpetuation a “Foolie” on the American public.

04/01/19 To tweet or not to tweet? That is the question.

President Trump is fond of tweeting and much of these tweets are of a harsh nature. I do not particularly care for this type of political discourse. However, given the unrelenting negative discourse and commentary of President Trump by most of the news media, entertainment, academic, and sports world, as well as his political opponent's outrageous statements about President Trump his tweeting may be the only way to reach the American public with his perspective. They are also a means to exhibit to the American public the biases and unfairness of his opponents. Until his opposition changes its approach to civil discourse his tweeting may be the only way to counterbalance his opponent's equally uncivil discourse.

04/01/19 The Creed of Progressives and Leftists

The Creed of Progressives and Leftists is that as they are more intelligent, better educated, and morally superior they are, of course, always correct. To oppose them not only makes you wrong, but it also means that you are evil. And being evil the opponents of Progressives and Leftists need to be silenced, driven from the public square and public forums, their livelihoods or careers threatened, and they are not to be allowed to hold any positions of social, economic, or governmental power. They can also have their private and family lives intimidated or menaced by physical violence, if not actual violence. Progressives and Leftists believe that to demonize, denigrate, or disparage their opponents is the primary and acceptable means to accomplish this.

04/01/19 Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is, unfortunately, an excellent example of leftism in that she displays a comprehensive ignorance of economics, science, politics, history, and human nature. This ignorance is a condemnation of the American educational system that has become more interested in teaching its students what to think, and not how to think. It is also a condemnation of American society that has become more concerned about feelings rather than reasoning. As a result of these factors polite and respectful reasoned speech and writings are no longer considered an important attribute for the discussion of public policy. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other leftists are like the child in the supermarket that wines and throws temper tantrums to obtain the prettiest and shiniest object that attracts their attention. We should never give in to such a child as it only encourages further bad behavior. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is becoming the face of the Democratic Party and dragging them into politically untenable policy positions. In addition, the Democrats have been looking for a way to demolish the Republican Party, while the Republican Party have Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who will demolish the Democratic Party. Given that the Democratic Party is now in the throes of leftism that could destroy the American ideals of freedom and liberty perhaps we who espouse these ideals should cheer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on in the hopes that this will destroy the leftist Democratic Party.

04/01/19 Foolies

In the Star Trek Episode (The Original Series) "Miri" the Enterprise responds to a distress signal from a planet in which all the adults have died and the children are living extended life spans. These children play a game called "Foolie" in which they can lie and/or be disingenuous to achieve their goals. Because these children had been without adult supervision for over three hundred years, the distinction between appropriate games and harmful violence had become somewhat blurred in their minds. To them, almost anything that amused them was acceptable behavior. And so, it is with modern leftists and many Democratic politicians. Never being taught what is acceptable behavior and speech, nor being chastised for inappropriate behavior or speech, leftist and Democratic politicians are constantly creating foolies. They believe they are so right in their opinions that foolies are appropriate to advance their causes. One of the reasons that freedom of the press was so important to our founding fathers was that they understood a free press would challenge what politicians and activists said or did. But as today's press is so sympathetic with leftist and Democratic politicians, they are no longer challenging the speech and actions of those that they agree with; indeed, many are supporting them. And until the press challenges the leftist and Democratic politicians’ actions and speech, they will continue to practice foolies on the American public.

04/01/19 Good for thee but not for me

As the Bible says in Matthew 7:5 “Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.” Before you criticize or require someone to do something you need to examine your own life. Are you practicing what you preach, for if you are not you have no right to preach? To do so otherwise is to be a hypocrite. And if you preach it should be in a manner that is helpful, rather than demanding, of the other person(s). To demand that another does something is to make them subservient to your will. The only demands that you can place on another is to observe the human right of others and to obey the just laws necessary to establish and maintain a civil society. All other demands need to be cooperative and agreed upon rules and regulations for the benefit of all and not for some. If you wish to implement rules and regulations for others to follow you should follow these same rules and regulations in your own life before you insist that others follow them. Lead by example, not by dictates. And most important, faithfully keep to these rules and regulations in your own life. To not do this is to pronounce that something is “Good for thee but not for me”.

04/01/19 I don’t care if your feelings are hurt

I don’t care if your feelings are hurt, as long as I am expressing reasonable and intelligent positions in a polite and respectful manner and doing so in an honest and truthful way. I care about my spouse, parents, and children’s feelings, and perhaps my other family and friends’ feelings may be, and I am sensitive to their feelings. However, I have no control over what you do, think, and feel. I can only control what I do, think and feel. Your response to what I may say and do is a reflection on your thoughts and feelings, not on my thoughts and feelings. You may also be misinterpreting what I do or say, or perhaps I may be miscommunicating. If I am miscommunicating something, I will accept a critique (but not a criticism) and will try to do better or restate my thoughts. But for you to say that your feelings are hurt is not a valid objection or argument to what I do or say. Only a reasonable and intelligent response done in a polite and respectful manner, and doing so in an honest and truthful way, is a valid response to what I do or say. To make hurt feelings a valid response will result in the shutting down of free speech as someone, somewhere, feelings may be hurt by what is being said or done.

04/01/19 Words and Deeds

Words and deeds, or to pay attention to what one says or what one does. Too often in today’s society, we pay particular attention to what a person says and gloss over what a person does. It has become more important to communicate acceptably than to implement properly. The judgment of a person is often almost entirely based on what they say. But what a person says is not harmful (except emotionally) but what a person does can have positive or negative repercussions to all aspects of society. Therefore, we must pay more attention to the deeds of a person, and become more forgiving of what they say, if the deeds have positive repercussions. If the deeds have negative repercussions and the words are positive, we should be harsh in our judgment of the person. Of course, if both the words and deeds of a person have positive consequences, we should praise the person and elevate them into positions of responsibility within society. This judgment, of course, is very important for our political leaders. They must be held accountable for not only their words but their deeds. To ignore or discount one or the other in judging our politicians can be very harmful to society. Perhaps we should remember the wisdom of Benjamin Franklin – “Well done is better than well said.”

04/01/19 Both Sides Do It

Both Sides Do It (from my Observation on “Phrases”). Of course, both sides do it, in the human experience both sides do everything. That is the nature of humankind. Whenever there is an issue confronting our society the extremes of both sides of the issue will often use the same methodologies and techniques to attack the other side. So, therefore, the statement that both sides do it is irrelevant. The question is whether the mainstream and/or leadership of each side of the issue both do it and how much attention is paid to the extremes. In my experience, this is most obvious when dealing with Conservatism versus Progressivism or Leftism, Republican versus Democrat, left versus right, etc. What we should be asking is “are the mainstream and/or the leadership of each side are doing it?”. When you see one side or the other paying more heed, or engaging in extreme deeds or words, you need to weigh the balance. In weighing this balance, you need to not only make a determination of the number of words and misdeeds incidents, but also the tone of the deeds or words. If the balance is heavily tilted to one side than the phrase “Both Sides Do It” is not an equalizer, but an excuse to continue the extreme deeds or words by the one side engaged in these words or deeds.

04/01/19 Hypocrisy

Hypocrisy (from my Observation on “Phrases”). As Ben Franklin once said during the debate at the Constitutional Convention; "I have experienced many instances of being obliged by better information, or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise." It is not hypocrisy if you change your mind based on better information or fuller consideration on an issue. It is hypocrisy when you change your mind based on trying to attain an advantage or political goal. Hypocrisy is a charge that should only be utilized by someone when they are flip-flopping their position to gain an advantage, rather than changing their position based on better information or fuller consideration. It is incumbent upon the politician who changes their position to explain the better information or fuller consideration on an issue that has led them to a change in their position, to assure that it is a true change and not hypocrisy.

04/01/19 Obfuscation, Smoke, and Mirrors

In my Observation on “Obfuscation, Smoke, and Mirrors” I point out that many who argue a political issue resort to Obfuscation, Smoke, and Mirrors as a tactic. This tactic is the activity of obscuring people's understanding, leaving them baffled or bewildered and susceptible to accepting their conclusions. It is most often done by inserting oblique facts, nonsequiturs, exceptions to the rule, and the perfect vs. the practical. You should always go to the core issue of the argument and examine its meaning. When engaging in a debate blow away the Obfuscation, Smoke, and Mirrors and get to the core issue. Determine the facts and truths of the issue, then debate the actions to be taken.

04/01/19 Putting Words into Another’s Mouth and a False Dichotomy

In my Observation on “A False Dichotomy” and “Putting Words into Another’s Mouth” I have commented on these tactics that are too often utilized in today’s political discussions and debates. This tactic is to rephrase or restate what someone has said in the most negative connotation possible or to add negative statements into another’s mouth. They will also establish their position, then assert the position of the other party at the extreme opposite of their position thus putting words into another’s mouth. The person who put the words into another’s mouth then goes on to criticize the words they put into someone’s mouth. This is a dishonest and despicable tactic and wholly inappropriate manner to debate political issues. It is often done to disparage, denigrate, or demonize someone in the hope that the audience will not pay attention to what the other person actually said. It is your responsibility to only speak your own thoughts and reasoning or to quote the words of another person. After both sides have laid out their reasoning and conclusions then it is fair to critique the others reasoning or conclusions, based on what they have stated, not what you have stated for them.

04/01/19 Not Answering the Question or Talking Points Ad Nauseam

In my Observation “Not Answering the Question or Talking Points Ad Nauseam” this technique is also utilized in today’s political discussions. Too often someone will ask a question of another and the answer to the question is to ignore the question and start iterating a talking point. Talking points that do not answer the question, but simply state the policy or position of the answerer. Sometimes the talking points are an answer to the question the answerer wanted to be asked, but not answering the question that was asked. Other times the answerer will respond by asking the questioner a question rather than answering the question. This is not really an answer but a deflection to not answer the question. The answerer should not get to ask a question until they answer the questioners’ question. After all, if the answerer is going to ignore the questioner's question then the questioner can ignore the answerer's question. These techniques are done in order to not answer a question, usually because the answer to the question would expose a weakness or illogic in the answerers’ policy or position. I find that these techniques are extremely frustrating as they do not illuminate the policy or position but obfuscate the policy or position. Therefore, whenever I listen to a debate or discussion where these techniques are utilized, I become very wary. I am also disturbed as this is an attempt to preclude the exchange of reasonable and intelligent discussion or debate on policies and positions. It also makes me reevaluate the person, and the policy and position, of the person who evoked these techniques. I would suggest that you do the same.

04/01/19 Torturous and Convoluted Reasoning

As I have stated in my Observation “Torturous and Convoluted Reasoning” is another tactic used by those who engage in political debates. It is most often done to confuse the audience into accepting a conclusion that does not follow the facts or logic. It often contains many hidden assumptions that when they are exposed reveal the faultiness of the argument. When examining the argument, you should keep in mind a variation of Occam's Razor - “The simplest explanation, that fits all the known facts, is most often the correct explanation”.  Be suspicious when someone presents Torturous and Convoluted Reasoning to convince you of their conclusion. Examine the premises of the argument, seek out the hidden assumptions, assure that the logic of the argument contains no logical fallacies or cognitive biases before you accept the conclusions (as explained in my Observation on “Reasoning”). If you do this, you have a much greater chance of reaching the truth. A Torturous and Convoluted Reasoning argument may end up being true, but I would not bet on it.