The County Sheriff Who Thinks He’s A United States Supreme Court Justice

Apparently the little town of Roseburg, Oregon is Gun Nut Central with Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin the head Gun Nut.  Just another far right wing lawman who places himself and his far right wing gun nut beliefs above the Constitution and now the safety of the citizens he swore an oath to protect.  He’s no constitutional lawyer or expert so he’s in no position to decide on his own what violates the 2nd Amendment and what doesn’t. He was elected to ENFORCE the law and not to self-adjudicate or even change it. I suppose the majority of gun-caring town citizens agree with him because they keep him in office. We once stayed in Roseburg years ago. Because of this sheriff, who I’m sure has hired deputies who share his non-legal opinions gun control legislation, my family and our tourist dollars will never visit there again.–187165681.html?mobile=y#hanlin_letter

Selling The Social Security Retirement Scam

This article is a primary reason why you don’t read MSN Money for actual money advice. It just serves to perpetuate the cover-up of the greatest ongoing theft in US history: the raid on the Old Age, Survivor And Disability Insurance trust fund. It’s just more of selling the scam.

“It’s widely regarded as the best deal in retirement. Researchers can’t figure out why more Americans aren’t taking it. The deal, of course, is putting off Social Security benefits, which can boost your monthly paycheck by more than three-fourths if you delay until the maximum age of 70.”

What you’ve just read is total bullshit. Is the article writer, Ian Salisbury, by chance a Republican? The best deal in retirement was when full Social Security retirement benefits were payable at age 65. Then came Ronald Reagan who, along with both chambers of Congress and Alan (Mr. Andrea Mitchell) Greenspan, started the mass raid on the OASDI trust fund with the signing into law of the Social Security Amendments of 1983. And the theft just keeps on growing.

Unless Salisbury is a Millennial he and “researchers” should know damn well that most of us in our 60s can’t wait until we’re 70 to draw our SS retirement checks. And we shouldn’t have to. We’re not the ones who, like a federal Dracula, have been feasting on the blood of the Social Security trust fund for 32 years. But this article wants us to be good little Social Security benefits blood donors and wait until we’re all 70 years old to start making our withdrawals from the SS blood bank.

First, with this lousy economy that every Congress and every president since Bill Clinton has saddled us with, I don’t have any savings to tide me over for the next seven years and there are millions of baby boomers riding in my same financial boat.

Secondly, how do any of us know we’ll make it 70? I’m pretty confident about reaching 65, just about as confident of hitting 66 which was at one time where the age for full benefits was pushed back to. But 70? If I am still alive by then what is my life expectancy beyond that? You can bet that the Social Security Administration already has those actuarial tables on file and are updating them as needed.

I got a much better idea for a better deal in retirement—MY retirement. Close down the pension system for all members of Congress and the president, remove the $118,500 cap for OASDI payroll deductions, and then mandate it that all members of Congress and each president must have enough quarters of earnings paid into the system to draw their retirement benefits when they reach 70. But in this case, I’ll be generous: I’ll allow Congress to lower the age for full benefits back down to 65.

That change alone will pay enough into the fund to keep Social Security solvent for, well, forever. Or at least until all life on earth dies out from global warming or the sun supernovas in 5 billion years and takes the Solar System with it.

But until either of those events happen, I can wait two years to reap the rewards of the best deal in retirement.

When It Comes To Gender, I Refuse To Transition

I’m just about as politically and socially as liberal as they come. I fully support same sex marriage and same sex couples parenting their children. But here’s where I part company with the concept, and it also applies to “transgender” individuals, too.

In Florida, a same sex couple has filed a lawsuit to force Florida to abide by a SCOTUS decision allowing for same sex couples to both be listed on their child’s birth certificate. All well and good and I fully support it. However, one of the married female married partners wants to be listed as “father” on the document. The Florida agencies who control all this refuse to honor this request—and I agree with them. Excuse me? Father denotes a male parent and she certainly ain’t one of those.

The biological father of any child is the male from which the sperm was donated. It’s a biological impossibility for a woman to father a child. A plastic surgeon can tack on a somewhat functional penis and maybe a semblance of testicles but a woman—except in the case of a hermaphrodite—will never have a prostate gland and will never undergo spermatogenesis no matter how many testosterone supplements or injections she’s given. Why? Exactly: no Y chromosome.

By the same token, no matter how much estrogen is pumped into a male, he’s not going to be able to trade in his Y chromosome for another X. Therefore, it’s biologically impossible for a man to conceive and then gestate a fetus inside his, er, womb because he ain’t got one, you see?

But given these changing times of ours, the sample is so simple no wonder Florida and the other states balking at signing off on same sex couples as parents on a birth certificate is this: add another line. Besides “mother of child” and “father of child” add “Parent of child”. There! Problem solved. Because despite what many couples who employed donor dads and surrogate moms to produce their children, it’s vitally important—especially medically—to know who the birth parents are for those children.

Because within that DNA could be potential health and mental issues that could be difficult to solve without knowing the medical history of both birth parents. If the donor dads and surrogate moms don’t want to be listed on the birth certificate, their medical histories need to be known and accessible by at least the birth parents to hand over to whatever physicians or medical providers require it for the sake of the children. But with my idea, even if the Father or Mother lines are left blank, “Parent of child” should more than suffice for getting both partners on legal record for being the legal parents of their common child.

And now for the transsexual thing. As I stated above, mens don’t got X chromosomes and womens don’t got Y chromosomes. They can tack or remove external sexual organs as they wish (or in Bruce/Caitlin Jenner’s case leave all his male junk intact) and further undergo the plastic surgeon’s re-sculpting knife, undergo hormone therapy to grow or lose the boobs, to grow or lose the facial and body hair (undergoing laser hair removal treatments for the latter) and whatever else their bank accounts will afford but bottom line is IT’S ALL EXTERIOR. At this point in history, science can’t (safely?) gene splice chromosomes of the opposite sex into people who want to switch genders at the most fundamental level.

For some reason in the 21st Century we’re supposed to have become enlightened enough so that just because a person says they’re something and either changed their physical appearance or had the required plastic surgery to physically resemble it, we’re supposed to accept them as what they say they are.

Bullshit. Just because the genetically -white Rachel Dolezal claimed to be black doesn’t mean in reality she is black. Just because genetically-female Chastity Bono underwent plastic surgery to claim she’s now the male Chaz Bono doesn’t mean she’s a male. And it certainly means that just because Bruce Jenner underwent the same surgeries doesn’t mean that Caitlin Jenner is female—again especially so since he decided to leave his male sexual organs intact. Trying to have his cake and eat it too? I really don’t want to go there any further than that.

But let’s take this whole thing to its logical absurdist extension. What’s to stop me from having plastic surgery in which I have my legs shortened so that I stand 3 feet tall, have all my body hair removed, sculpt and plane my face and body down with the appropriate injections to look decades younger, have surgical reassignment surgery, have my eyes surgically slanted than they already are, have my skin color chemically tinted, all so that this 63-year-old white male of eastern European Jewish descent can pass himself off as a 3-year-old female Chinese child? Why not? If I say I’m something and I look like that something I AM that something, right? Not by a long shot.

Enough of this nonsense. We are the genders we are because our DNA has predetermined what we are. Science cannot yet gene splice specific sex chromosomes into human fetuses that I’m aware of. Besides, if they could, it’s the parents choosing the gender of the unborn child and not the child itself after it’s born. You could take a Ford chassis, rip out the guts and convert it into a Chevy but it would still be built on a Ford chassis. By the same token, you can take the external man off the man and you can take the external woman off the women, but you can’t take the man out of the man or the woman out of the woman. A female will never be “Dad” and a male will never be “Mom”. It’s genetic. And genetics has nothing to do with being politically or socially liberal.

The First Debate Question I Would Ask Hillary Clinton

Hillary Bern

“Mrs. Clinton, you claim you’re strong enough to lead the most power country in the world, strong enough to stand up to foreign leaders and terrorists. Then my question is why haven’t you been strong enough to stop your husband from cheating on you?”

I contend this is a valid question. If Clinton is elected president, do you think someone like Putin or Chinese President Xi Jinping or even Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany would respect a woman who has allowed her husband to be a serial philanderer for decades? Her inability or refusal to control Bill and what’s inside of his pants zipper has be regarded as a core weakness; in more so if she’s in agreement with his extramarital catting around.

So, I can see many females bristling upon what you perceive is a sexist statement. Bullshit. If the roles were reversed and Hillary had been the philandering president and Bill the besieged First Man now running for president I’d say the same exact thing about him.

OK, some of you may respond that whatever Hillary let Bill get away with wouldn’t detract from the fact that as president she would be commander-in-chief of the most powerful military force in the world. Honestly, I would hope to hell that if it came down to that, Hillary’s response to Putin’s further military incursions into Ukraine wouldn’t be “I may be a wronged woman but my gun is bigger than yours.”

Whether Hillary has suffered silently and stoically through his multiple affairs for the sake of their political careers (and Chelsea, of course…) or because Hillary never had a problem with it is their own business, of course. But not after Hillary decided to fulfill her lifelong ambition–again–and run for president. Then I want to know why she allowed herself to be publicly humiliated by the exposure of Bill’s many mistresses and playthings. Strong, confident women stand by their man only up to a point. But in politics when running for president the perception is being divorced is worse than standing by a cheating spouse, again and again and again. Did they stay together to provide Chelsea with a stable family household? I have no idea. But my feeling is that some possibly prenuptial agreement was made to give Bill the complete freedom to follow his penis wherever it would lead him as long as it was kept private. After it all became public after he was president, what could Hillary do?

But these are questions I demand to know the answer to if Hillary wants my primary and general election votes next year. All I want to know if their marriage was more of a business partnership than a marriage. Hillary Clinton is a warmonger; you can see that from her Senate voting record. So I want to know how she thinks she can stare down the likes of Vladmir Putin, Kim Jong-un, Bashar Hafez al-Assad, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and such if she can’t say “No means no, Bill. You can’t have other women and stay married to me.”

Then, I’d like to know from Bill why he married a woman who obviously doesn’t fulfill his sexual needs? Why did he agree to say a marriage vow promising to stay true to his bride only to repeatedly break it. Then why did he marry Hillary?

I may not have a right to those answers from Bill but, as a voter, I certainly have a right to ask those kinds of questions to and receive answers from a presidential candidate who is asking for my vote.

The Hillary Problem

I’m going on record with this prediction: The Republicans will win the White House and retain control of Congress in 2016. OK, let me back up for a moment. If the Democrats run Hillary Clinton as their presidential nominee, the Republicans will win the White House and retain control of Congress in 2016.

There have been a number of news stories about the number of makeovers (just about a story for every makeover) that Hillary Clinton’s public persona is being put through, written by Washington Post columnists who tended to practice their pro-Democratic punditry on the all liberal shows which no longer populate MSNBC. In fact, it sheds itself of Rachel and Lawrence (are there any other liberals still left on air?) it will complete its conversion to right wing TV programming by renaming itself Kit, which is a baby Fox. But I digress. Two examples of the ongoing search to find a Hillary Clinton who will click with more than her current voter base.

All of this punditry claiming she’s the front runner because she’s 30 points about of Bernie Sanders among Democrats and is the favorite among female Democratic voters is crap, for want of a better word I don’t want to use here. If anything she’s bleeding poll points and her handlers are looking ahead to looking back at 2008 all over again. If Clinton’s lead was so solid and formidable her handlers would not be tweaking her image so much in a frantic attempt to find something that clicks. So, this week Hillary is “funny” on the talk shows. You can see it on her face and hear it in her voice: “See? I’m being funny! Aren’t I being funny?” And now tough from the tough look on her face and her tough voice: “See? I’m tough! Aren’t I being tough?” And compassionate: “See the concern on my face? And don’t I sound concerned?”

It’s all image. Throughout all the funny, tough, and compassionate performances, not one word of substance has been issued through her mouth or through press releases. She wants to lower the cost of college for students and reduce the student loan debit load for borrowers. But how? “Aren’t I being compassionate?” is as specific as she gets. She’s talked about economic reform (“Aren’t I being tough?”)
while at the same time taking political contributions from corporations who benefit from the current economic policies.

It’s clear that she’s targeted being the first woman president for a long time, possibly before she met Bill. She attempted to share his presidency but she quickly distanced herself from him after Bill couldn’t get the Republican health insurance plan passed by Republicans. I would bet that his mishandling of his affair with Monica further increased that distance behind the scenes.

But apparently now she feels entitled to the presidency and that’s her problem because that’s exactly the way she comes across to liberals. Her supporters are trying to force feed her down the throat of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party using scare tactics to make the harsh medicine go down. “It’s Hillary or a Republican in the White House!”

But the Left isn’t swallowing it. Hence the ongoing efforts of her campaign managers to find a flavor of Hillary that will help the medicine go down. Because every flavor of Hillary tastes artificial. When you hear Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren talk you hear their authenticity, their commitment to their specific stances on issues and their proposed specific policies. Elizabeth Warren is engaging on talk shows, effortlessly being funny and serious by turns. Bernie talks tough because Bernie IS tough. His record on how he stands on issues along with his voting record speaks for itself.

Clinton knows that her voting record is a source of deep concern among liberals with her support of the Iraq invasion and her support of the USA PATRIOT Act and other right wing positions. As a Democratic U.S. senator she made a great Republican. And for that the Left doesn’t trust her and she knows that if she’s to not only snag the nomination and the election she’ll need the Left, Right, and Center of the Democratic Party along with all the Independents and disgruntled Republican voters she can muster.

But again, Hillary Clinton’s problem is one of lack of authenticity. Anyone other than her core supporters have no idea who she really is. And the person they think she is they don’t like or trust. She changes personas like she changes clothes for different political rallies, fundraisers, and interviews. It isn’t “Where In The World Is Carmen Santiago?” but “Who In The World Is Hillary Clinton?” If she and her managers can’t figure out who she is, how will people figure out which Hillary they want to vote for? They can’t and they won’t. That changes the actual threat to “If it’s Hillary there will be a Republican in the White House.” This is the reason the GOP very much wants to see Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign derailed. They never learned how to beat a populist Democratic candidate because they’ve never had to run against one. With Hillary, they’re looking at virtually one of their own. If you remember back to 2000 when Karl Rove derailed John McCain’s presidential campaign, the GOP definitely knows how to take out its own.

2014 Midterm Elections: Where Do We Go From Here? It Doesn’t Look Good

Like many other Democrats, I was angered by the GOP’s near-sweep of national and state races. There were pockets of Democratic victories but by and large the United States will be much redder starting January 2015.

I said I was angered, but I wasn’t surprised. In fact, none of us should have been surprised. All the signs were there and this GOP victory had been predicted months in advance. Besides, this has been years in the making. Young Republican college students like Grover Norquist hooked up with the Koch Brothers back in the 70s and formulated the basics of this plan, revising and expanding it over the years. The Kochs had enough money and enough time to take the long view for achieving their goal of total dominance over the American political system. And, based on last Tuesday’s elections, it looks like the plan is working. Karl Rove has been quoted as saying his plan to lead and to keep the GOP in political dominance extends to 2020, which happens to be the year in which it is predicted that Hispanics will make up the majority of the populace in Texas and perhaps in other areas.

Look at what Koch and other wealthy right wing powerhouses have wrought: they virtually control the corporate media, they control the US Supreme Court, many state governments, most of the US District and Courts of Appeal, and now Congress. Under normal conditions, I would agree with some liberal columnists who claim that with the GOP in control of Congress, they will fail dismally as they always do, angering voters to the point where the pendulum will again swing leftward in 2016.

I’m not so sure that prediction will be borne out this time. As I said, for the first time people like the Kochs now control almost all political, legislative, judicial processes and the media in this country. So, they not only control what their minions see, hear, and read, I believe they just about control the election process as well which has given them control of everything else that I’ve mentioned.

This didn’t happen in a vacuum. Check the voting records of many Democrats over the years. How do you think the five Koch employees on the US Supreme Court were appointed? And all of the right wing judges in the US District Court and Court of Appeals systems? I don’t remember any Democratic filibusters against any of these nominations. The Democrats also supported all the takeovers and mergers which allowed just a few media companies to monopolize control of all communications in this country.

The Democrats have proven to be wimps, unorganized without the capability of creating and instituting a Liberal plan along the lines of the GOP plan which would wrest control of the political, legislative and judicial processes from the hands of the Kochs, et al. A successful, 50-state plan was created and managed by ex-Gov. Howard Dean after he became the Democratic National Committee chair in 2005. In return for this great plan and his successful fundraising work has been totally snubbed and discarded by the Obama administration and by the DNC. Under Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the DNC has mismanaged Democratic campaigns and getting the Democratic message out to voters to such an extent that we now have a Republican-controlled Congress in fact. Since 2010, the GOP has had de facto control of Congress.

President Obama deserves his fair share of blame for the right wing takeover of corporate media. He has been no different from his Republican (and some Democratic) predecessors in appointing industry hacks to run and sit on the board of the FCC. The most egregious example of this is current FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. Consequently, control of printed, broadcast, and telecast media along with cable systems are concentrated in very few but extremely powerful corporate hands, all of them run by CEOs and boards who lean very far to the Right. As I write this, the FCC is poised to introduce a proposal that ignores the will of 3.7 million protestors as it will virtually eliminate net neutrality, placing the internet under the control of those same very few but extremely powerful corporate hands. And there’s not one thing any of us can do about it. If the President ignores our protests, and the new Congress will certainly ignore them, what peaceful options are left to us?

So, in 2016 we will be entering a media and political environment totally hostile to Liberal and Democratic politics. The one and only goal of people like the Kochs will be to embed in cement GOP and right wing control of virtually all aspects of life in this country for their own personal political and financial enrichment. Expect more voter ID laws to pass in states controlled by the GOP since SCOTUS has placed its imprimatur on it; more GOP gerrymandering of state and congressional voting districts, and more control of the voting and vote counting processes. And, of course, SCOTUS effectively gave control of political campaign contributions to the GOP via Citizens United.

This is why I believe that approval of Congress could sink to 0% by 2016 and almost all Republican incumbents along with Republican challengers will still be elected. Maybe I’m being overly pessimistic and paranoid here, but the creeping grasp of the GOP hand over most of everything that happens in this country. What’s the answer? That’s for Liberals and Democrats to organize and figure out. The answer might be a totally new coalition of voters disgusted with both Democratic and Republican parties. That could result in candidates and voters in large enough numbers to offset the GOP control of our elective process. Or maybe not.

The Democrats Need A New Team, Not A Hero

So here we are in the middle of our postmortem after yesterday’s disaster yet some people are still not getting the reasons for what happened. I’ve already seen at least one person leap onto a soapbox promoting his chosen Democratic savior for 2016. This is the last thing we should be doing now.

The problem with this thinking is analogous to baseball. One losing team believes all it needs is a top slugger to turn it around. The successful team knows that a team of strong players in every position and a strong bench is what’s needed to win championships. To float one candidate’s name at this team shows the problem with the Democratic Party. If it refuses to learn the lessons of yesterday’s midterm elections, it will cease to even be relevant going forward from this point onward. Obama is the current big slugger and look at how well that’s worked out for us. Once your big slugger goes into a hitting slump he sinks the whole team if he’s the best and only big player they’ve got.

We don’t need ONE candidate to rally behind; we need a fundamental makeover of the Democratic Party in the way it chooses and runs candidates, and especially in how it communicates its message to the voters. We need to get liberal politicians with balls and vaginas of steel to stand up to the GOP, to refuse to approve right wing appointees to SCOTUS and to US District Courts, who will filibuster and otherwise refuse to vote for asinine legislation like budget compromises which create a “super congress” as well as the sequester which has proven to be a disaster for the poor and the middle class, politicians who will stand up to the NRA, ALEC, and people like the Kochs, who will stand up for women’s and for gay rights, and for immigration reform. We need a president who will not naively believe they can negotiate and compromise with Republicans while they are united in bringing down the presidency just because of the color and/or gender of the president. We need a president who will stare down the opposition with every Congressional Democrat standing behind him.

We need leadership at the top who will employ GOP and Fox-like tactics which hold up their politicians and policies to public ridicule, who can come up with simple one-line slogans and imagery to cement in even stupid voters’ heads that the GOP will surely lead them to ruin and the end of life as we know it, just like the GOP has successfully marketed the same thing about us to the voters.

So, right now the last thing we need is a Hillary or a Elizabeth or a Bernie in 2016. We need a real, actual, vital political party rebuilt from the bottom up which can engage and attract the millions of voters it lost after it decided to become Republican Light.

A home run slugger can’t win the ballgame if the team is losing and there’s no one on base.