LOOK 20 YEARS YOUNGER

INTRODUCION

As one ages  , the body loses muscle mass and people consequently become frail.  This natural phenomenon is called sarcopenia.  This can be dramatically slowed or even reversed with the four basics to good health: 1) adequate amounts of high-quality protein, mostly with food (eggs, meat, poultry, fish, dairy, beans, nuts, whey powders), 2)movement (walking, exercise, cleaning, gardening, etc.), 3)adequate amounts of quality sleep, and 4)nutritional supplements (daily vitamin, resveratrol, calcium, magnesium, fish oil, 5,000 IU vitamin D, sublingual vitamin B-12, CoQ10, blueberry extract).

BODY

As you age, your skin dries, wrinkles, and thins and this makes you look old.  Two practices I learned of and used for an entire year to fully work was taking 1000 mg fish oil capsules/day and bathing only with Dove soap, plus avoiding bad habits like smoking and sunbathing, both of which wrinkle your skin. You can’t change your genetics but you can change enough of the four basics to good health to significantly delay, reverse, and possibly avoid Alzheimer’s and other degenerative diseases of aging.  Here are the four…

  1. FOOD: Chicken and fish are the only meats that don’t significantly raise your risk of death each year.  Processed meats cured with nitrites (lunch meats, hot dogs, bacon, etc.) also significantly raise the risk of death.  Eat nine vegetables and fruits daily, but no potatoes, no sugared fruits, and only stone ground whole wheat bread. No or very little sugar or artificial-sugar-sweetened beverages.  Instead, use the natural sweetener, stevia, in your coffee or tea, both of which are healthy for you.  Only use extra virgin olive oil from California since 80% of imported olive oils sold in the U.S. are adulterated with cheaper oils.  Avoid partially-hydrogenated margerine as well as high-fructose corn syrup (in non-dairy coffee creamer).
  2. EXERCISE: Aside from food, exercise is the next most important factor determining good health, both cardio and weights. If you can’t be bothered with these, then walking 30-minutes/day for 5 days each week is the next best thing.  Try walking at a moderate pace and every  5-minutes or so try stepping up the speed for a minute.
  3. SLEEP: Most adults need seven hours of sleep/night for optimum health.  Many people, however, suffer from obstructive or even central sleep apneas. If you snore, you may have sleep apneas.  I’ve tried C-PAP, Bi-PAP, and V-PAP since 1991 after an overnight sleep study showed that I had 59 arousals every hour of sleep.  I therefore now use (after 4 more sleep studies) a VPAP every night.  Sleep apneas cause wrinkles and fine lines around eyes as well as making your gut protrude, increase your chances of Alzheimer’s, etc.
  4. SUPPLEMENTS: a half-century ago there was very little research on nutritional supplements, and most health claims were therefore B.S.; today there is a ton of research (testimonials are not research) thanks to Life Extension Foundation-funded research, as well as  LEF’s monitoring and reporting of research from around the world.  Since many people have limited funds, you need to know the few essential supplements everyone should take daily: 1)multi-vitamin-mineral; 2)calcium; 3)magnesium; 4)fish oil; 5)vitamin B-12
    lozenge; 6)5,000 IU vitamin D; 7)CoQ10; 8) Resveratrol; 9)blueberry extract.  Avoid herbal supplements.

CONCLUSION

Your face reflects your overall heath.  While many are not too concerned about health benefits, most do want to look their best.  Actions you take for your health will also make you look your best.  Follow the four basics I cited above and you will look great.  Be sure to take fish oil supplements and use Dove soap and give it a full year to work its magic.  I’m 75 but look under 50 so I know it works.

All Services

BAN PARTIAL-BIRTH OR LATE-TERM ABORTIONS?

Wherever you stand on the abortion issue, partial-birth abortion is probably aborhant to you, because after 6 months in the womb, there is no question that a fetus looks like and is a baby.  A baby not yet born does not have the protection of the law, however, but  this is only a technicality…it’s a baby!  You don’t think so?  Look at a Sonogram and watch the little one move around, especially in the third trimester of pregnancy!

My education on partial-birth abortion began with Robert Bork’s book, Slouching Towards Gomorrah.  One of the chapters in Bork’s book discusses partial-birth abortion and includes a gruesome description of the procedure.  This sounds like a straightforward issue so why the controversy and the politicalization and why is it still legal to abort a baby during the third trimester of pregnancy, especially since there are many couples waiting to adopt infants.  At the very least, partial-birth abortion is infanticide but is not illegal because the baby has no legal rights since it has not been born yet.

Over 61 million babies have been aborted since Roe vs. Wade was decided in 1973; over 1.5 billion babies were aborted worldwide since 1980…some of these were partial-birth abortions.  As Judge Bret Kavanaugh is confirmed by the Senate to sit on the Supreme Court, taking Justice Anthony Kennedy’s seat, the political left is attempting to make the case that Justice Kavanaugh will try to overturn the Supreme Court abortion decision of 1973, Roe vs. Wade, although he referred to that decision as “settled law.”

The Democrat Party successfully woes women to be part of its base using the abortion issue and accounts for the gender gap between male and single female voters.  However, I believe that partial-birth abortion is detested by majorities of both genders and by majorities in both major political parties.  The first six months of a pregnancy should be enough time for anyone to decide whether or not to abort a pregnancy, thereby rendering partial-birth abortions unnecessary.

MADAM CHAIRWOMAN (of the Crow Indian Tribe)

This true story is about the most charismatic person I have ever met, seen or heard.  She was the chairwoman of the Crow nation from 1990 to 2000, Clara Nomee.  I first met and heard Chairwoman Nomee speak while attending an all-day meeting in Crow Agency, Montana in 1991 and was so impressed with her awe-inspiring way of speaking from the heart that I’ve never forgotten my encounter.

It’s often said that “adversity builds character.”  Perhaps that accounts for Chairwoman Nomee’s charisma.  Up until 1976, Mrs. Nomee had a problem with alcohol.  During that winter both of her parents died within 3 months of each other.  Consequently, her drinking increased to the point where she reached a crossroad and asked the Lord to “take my life or change it.”  For all of the following years she didn’t have a drink.

In 1985 she married Carlton Nomee, who a year later became vice-secretary of the Crow Nation.  In 1988, Mrs. Nomee ran for the Office of Tribal Chairperson with only a few supporters.  While she did not win that position, she was elected Secretary of the Tribe.  As she became more insistent and questioned how the Tribal government operated, she was phased out of her job.  Because she had little money, her furniture and car were repossessed and her electricity was turned off.  Because she had been unjustly branded a trouble-maker, when she attended church, people walked out; and when she drove down the street, children threw rocks at her car.  Her dog was shot, the windows of her home broken, and her life threatened.  But Mrs. Nomee prayed every morning for the strength to perservere as she looked out over the Big Horn Mountains from her home. After praying, she cared for her brother, Rayphael, who had been paralyzed from the neck down from an accident 28 years earlier.  In addition to praying every morning, she attended every political gathering and eventually became the spokesperson for many.  Finally, in May of 1990, with the blessing of many tribal elders, she was elected tribal chairperson of the Crow Nation after a bitter battle between contenders.

Although it was not the first elected office Mrs. Nomee had held, it was the first time that the position of Crow Chief or Tribal Chairperson had been held by a woman.  Mrs. Nomee wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps, Chief “Henry Pretty-on-Top;” as well as other famous Crow chiefs, such as Chief “Sits-in-the-Middle-of-the-Land,” Chief Plenticoup and Chief Robert Yellowtail (see the photo).  As chairwoman, Mrs. Nomee became a role model for Indian women and was an excellent example of how someone turned her life around.

The challenges she faced daily in attempting to obtain jobs and much-needed public facilities for her people mandated that she have all of her wits about her all of the time.  As Tribal Chairperson, she was in a position to do more good than at any other time in her 55 years.

She was instrumental in having a hospital built on the reservation and having the Crow Tribe once again authorized to negotiate its own contracts.  She planned to have the old, small  hospital renovated into a nursing home and worked hard to develop jobs for the large number of unemployed on the reservation using the Jobs Training Partnership Act.

Just as life was hard for Mrs. Nomee, it had been hard on the Crow and other Native Americans as well.  A hundred years ago the Crow Reservation had covered 40 million acres.  Now it’s down to a mere three million.  The Crow served as scouts for the U.S. government over 150 years ago but have not had there loyalty rewarded.  Native Americans in the East taught American settlers how to grow corn, tobacco and cotton.  Native Americans on the Plains saw their food supply disappear in the mid-1800’s: tens of millions of buffalo were slaughtered by the white man for their tongues and hides.  Many millions were killed for “sport” from trains that traveled through the West.  As their hunting grounds became settled and taken from them, the way of life of Native Americans was destroyed by forcing them to become dependent on the U.S. government, which shattered their self-esteem.

As I mentioned at the beginning of my story, I was very impressed when I heard the Chairwoman speak.  In addition to hearing Mrs. Nomee that day, I heard other Crow officials speak at that meeting.  Listening to them was a moving experience for me.  I had never heard a people so open, honest and considerate of others.  Though they had good cause for being very angry at some in my agency, they not once raised their voices.  Although my testimony as a technical expert, who had prepared extensively and was ready to make fools of the managers in one of our regional offices and thereby handily win the day for the Crow, the Crow chose not to call on me because it would have certainly meant, at the very least, my getting into big trouble with my agency.  Later, when we broke for lunch, the Crow honored me by insisting that I sit at the head of their table.

Although the Crow have many problems, as do many Native-American nations, Mrs. Nomee made a difference.  Unemployment on the reservation ranged from 60-80%.  According to a local authority, 85% of Crow deaths were related to alcohol abuse.  Consequently, I continue to donate many Native American charities.

My experience with the Crow renewed my faith in humanity.  As I flew back to Denver from Billings, I thought of all I had seen and heard.  I concluded that the openness and honesty that I witnessed was how God meant people to be and I was fortunate indeed to have seen and heard the Chairwoman, a person of integrity, conviction and love for her people.

WHY DO HALF OF AMERICAN VOTERS STILL VOTE DEMOCRAT?

With the Democrat Party moving far left, why are half of voters still Democrats?  That’s what we’ll examine here.

The Democrat Party’s history goes way back to Andrew Jackson.  President Jackson was a populist and championed the working class, though he did force the Seminole Indians in Florida to move to Oklahoma, far from their Tribal lands, with many dying along the way, thus the name the “Trail of Tears.”  When the Confederacy lost the Civil War, the Democrat Party supported the Klu Klux Klan and then the “Jim Crow” laws that kept African-Americans subjugated.

Aside from its checkered past, the Party successfully fought to have itself branded as being a champion for the poor, minorities, and the working class.  If this were ever true in the past, it’s certainly no longer true today.  Today’s Democrat Party is not your father’s Democrat Party.  Therefore, I ask the question, “why do about half of Americans still vote Democrat?”  Here’s why…

-President John F. Kennedy was the most prominent democrat in the past and many voters still think of the Democrat Party as being the Party of JFK (though it has moved far to the left from where JFK stood on issues).

-The mainstream media (New York Times, Washington Post, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC) are propagandists for the Democrat Party.  Over 90% of their reporting on President Trump is negative and some is actually fabricated, reporting on the insignificant “palace intrigue” rather than on Trump’s substantive accomplishments with the economy, jobs, minority employment, etc.  Stories that make liberals look bad are usually not reported.

-Most of Hollywood is a major propagandist for the Democrat Party, using its fame with the public to sway voters.

-Most Universities and colleges are propagandists for the Democrat Party.  Professors deliberately misstate  the Conservative side of issues and also attribute nefarious motives to Republicans and Conservatives.

-Silicon Valley uses its vast power to suppress conservative ideas on the Internet but air liberal ideas.

-Republican politicians, with the exception of President Trump, generally do not fight back against the constant onslaught of criticism and phony allegations from their Democrat oponents.  Therefore, voters hear mostly just one side criticizing the other and never even hear both sides of issues.

-There is a significant amount of voter fraud, as documented by various credible sources such as the Pew Research Center.  Almost all of the fraud is for Democrat candidates and explains why DNC policy is against any form of photo ID being required to vote, using the pretext that it’s voter suppression.

-Many voters do not follow closely national issues.  They can repeat what they hear on the Left’s propaganda mainstream media (MSM) machine, but they don’t know both sides of the issues.  Therefore, followers of MSM are usually Democrats, thus the war by the Left against Fox News, which is not part of the MSM.  Even simply hearing the conservative or Republican side would change the minds of many voters so the DNC and Democrat politicians try to persuade their base not to watch Fox News, which they label “fake news.”

-Most Democrat issues are phony issues, created to persuade voters to vote Democrat.  These include the non-existent “War on Women”, the Left’s attempt to take protective guns away from law-abiding citizens through its”War on Guns”,  blaming climate change mostly on people rather than mostly on solar flares, calling everyone a racist who does not agree with their position on issues, the Left’s war on the police, the military, and ICE, etc., etc., etc.

CONCLUSION

I’ve been following politics since the 1960 TV debates between John Kennedy and Richard Nixon.  Back then, both political parties were relatively honest in advocating their views.  It’s much different today.  Other than being against every policy that President Trump supports, what policies does the Democrat Party stand for?  Other than being for abolishing ICE, not constructing a border wall, giving all illegal aliens amnesty, a weak military, free college and Medicare-for-all, and $15/hour minimum wage, I have no idea what it stands for.  Do you?

WHAT YOUR DOCTOR DIDN’T TELL YOU

What you don’t know can hurt you, especially in the field of medicine. But in the words of a cousin-in-law physician, “doctors are healers, not teachers.” In fact, there’s a lot of information necessary for the maintenance or restoration of your health that you need to know, especially as you age… and you probably won’t hear it from your doctor unless you know enough to ask him or her very specific questions and then only if your doctor is up to speed on whatever it is you want to know. The average length of a doctor visit is 11 minutes… doctors simply don’t have the time to meet at length with patients.

What qualifies me to write on this subject? I’ve had 34 surgeries and a huge array of medical problems in my 75 years, and I come from a large family who collectively has had a lot of experience with the medical establishment.  Moreover, since my first brain tumor surgery in 1969, I’ve read lots of medical literature and tried to keep up with the latest developments in medicine, health and nutrition that many physicians simply don’t have the time to follow.  Finally, I took 37 credits of biological sciences in undergraduate school so I understand, to a large extent, how the human body works.  One of my physicians once told me, “You’re the healthiest-looking sick person I’ve ever seen,” so I must be doing something right.

I listed ten health tips below which I believe should add 10-15 healthy years to your expected lifespan.  Of course there’s no guarantees in life but your likelihood for achieving much better health will be vastly improved,  They ten are:  1) choose the best health insurance you can afford, 2) eat a healthy diet, 3) exercise, 4) get adequate sleep, 5) maintain good relations with family and friends, 6) take dietary supplements and herbals, 7) get tested, 8) take responsibility for your health, 9) get effective medical treatment, and 10) keep up with the latest in health, medicine and nutrition. Read the rest of this entry »

UNDERSTANDING DEMOCRAT PROGRESSIVE POLITICS (audio interview w. David Horowitz)

David Horowitz (click on the blue play icon below and if the sound doesn’t begin, then click on the  loudspeaker icon alongside it to listen to my interview with him) is a prolific author, speaker and political activist. His latest book was the huge bestseller, Big Agenda.  It is a pithy book that explains what President Trump plans to do.  Mr. Horowitz currently is the director of “The Freedom Center” which he created in 1988.  He went to Columbia University as well as the University of California at Berkeley and was the editor of the Left’s leading magazine, “Ramparts.”  I believe Mr. Horowitz’ greatest asset is his insight into Leftist politics.

In my interview with him, he explains why he changed from being a revered and high-level, Leftist Socialist from 1956 to 1975 to a Conservative in the late 70’s, especially considering that his parents were members of The American Communist Party.  Mr. Horowitz tells his spell-binding and compelling story with names, dates, and places.  He tells what motivates the left and gives his views on Leftist positions.

In the interview, Mr. Horowitz explains:

  1. Why and what the left hates.
  2. The anti-war activists’ change in their protests against the Vietnam war once the draft was ended in 1974, why many left leaders of the 70’s (John Kerry) have ”blood on their hands,” and much more.
  3. How and why he knows that the Black Panthers killed his accountant, Betty.

If you want to learn more about Left politics, you should enjoy this interview.  Click on the blue “play” icon below and if the sound doesn’t begin, then click on the loudspeaker icon alongside it.

David Horowitz – Political Left Audio

Interview by Mike Russo

POLITICAL TALK IS CHEAP

President Trump does not speak eloquently, but thus far he’s getting a lot of things done.

President Obama, on the other hand,  was an eloquent speaker, but he didn’t get much done to improve the lives of most Americans.  Or did he?  If you liked how the economy and his job-creation efforts performed (lowest civilian labor-force participation rate since 1978), and liked the declining strength of the military, and think our foreign policy helped the United States, then you might believe that President Obama performed well. Or perhaps those things are not that important to you but  Obama’s Presidential demeanor was important.

Because the President is our spokesperson to the world, most do want him or her to be presidential. President Obama was usually presidential but didn’t get much accomplished; President Trump is not presidential at times but has been very successful in creating jobs and making the economy outstanding. What’s important to you?

I heard many times each day that “Obama said this,” or “Obama said that,” and now, “that Trump tweeted this or said that.”  However, what a President says is not nearly as important as his actions because that’s a much better indicator than words how he and the U.S. are doing.  For example,when President Obama said that he thought about the economy every day, but then didn’t meet with his “Jobs Council” for many months at a time, it’s was  natural to question the President’s sincerity.  When Obama suggested he “felt our pain,” but took Air Force One to New York where traffic was stopped for hours so he and Michelle could have a “night out” in “The Big Apple,” that said a lot more about his true feelings.  In a few years I’ll know enough to address President Trump’s shortcomings, but for now I have to stick to what I know after years of observation, President Obama.

President Obama’s $800 billion “stimulus” the first year he was in office was a fiasco.  Wouldn’t unemployment have been even worse without it, which is how it was sold to the American public?  Much of the stimulus was a waste of money…only 6% of it went for infrastructure projects within the United States though infrastructure was touted as one of its justifications.  Reality is that much of the stimulus went for failed so-called “green” projects, like Solyndra,  led by his friends and supporters.  The President “talked the talk,” but he didn’t “walk the walk.”  Of course,  the Federal Reserve consequently pumped billions/month into the economy with nothing to back it…which is why the Stock Market continued to rise though the economy did not do well.

If you saw the movie, “2016” you may think this is exactly what Obama wanted…larger government, a weaker United States.  I think the creators of that movie gave the President far too much credit…it’s a lot simpler than that…he simply didn’t understand how free enterprise works and that it not only leads to economic success so that a country can afford to take care of its poor and have an effective military, but it is morally and ethically superior to all other forms of government because it gives everyone an opportunity for the satisfying  “earned success.”

President Obama talked a great game but it took all of the mainstream media, most of Hollywood, most universities and colleges, the Unions, and far-left, multi-billionaire George Soros’ money, to keep him from not having bad job approval numbers.  I believe the only way the Democrats were able to win the popular vote in 2016 was by massive voter fraud in California , which goes back to “Boss Tweed” and Tammany Hall, which  is part of the heritage of the Democrat Party.  Specifically, California passed a law allowing undocumented immigrants (or illegal immigrants) to get California driver licences; and then passed a Motor-Voter law that almost automatically registered them to vote.  A Harvard study showed that in 2008, 6.4% (certified), (14% uncertified) of illegal aliens voted.  I believe these numbers will be dwarfed by the 2016 numbers.

President Trump is brash and blunt in his rhetoric at times, but he is a doer, insofar as he has gotten a lot of good things done for the United States, especially huge job creation.  I expect him to stay the course but it’s possible that he could revert to a usual politician who is all talk and no action.

 

 

OVERCOMING RACISM and DISCRIMINATION

Doesn’t it make you angry when someone treats you unfairly just because you’re black, brown, white, a woman, a man, homosexual, older, younger, disabled, bald, long-haired, short, fat, poor, wealthy, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, etc. ?  Doesn’t it make you angry?  What would Dr. Martin Luther King say?

In 1790, George Washington said “The government of the United States …gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution, no assistance….”  In fact, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, and a few other pieces of civil rights legislation such as the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, outlaw discrimination based on: 1) race, 2) color, 3) sex, 4) religion, 5) national origin, 6) age, and 7) handicap.  However, there are many other bases for discrimination which are not illegal and are not obvious and therefore are much more difficult to deal with than those which are illegal.  Because I’ve had a lot of experience in this area I thought I’d share my views on how discrimination works and how best to deal with it.

My understanding of discrimination began in 1975 when I became a collateral-duty (side-job) Hispanic Employment Program Manager for my small Federal bureau, which took about 20% of my official work time.  For the other 80% of my work-time, I was a Environmental Planner.   With help from our Field Office employees, we were able to increase Hispanic-American employment in my small bureau from one person to 32 Hispanic-Americans so that my 500-employee bureau was 6% Hispanic-American when I left it.  I received awards for my work from the Director of my bureau as well as from the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior.

When I went to work for another small bureau in the U.S. Department of the Interior as a Program Analyst, I also took a collateral-duty (side) job as my bureau’s Collateral-Duty EEO Counselor, counseling about a dozen Equal Employment Opportunity complaintants, and received my bureau’s first “Outstanding Counselor” award in 1985.

Finally and importantly, at age 25 years, prior to both of those experiences, I had a large brain tumor removed which resulted in 1/2 of my face being paralyzed and numb. Suddenly I looked physically challenged and was easily-identifiable.  This situation gave me the unique experience of being able to compare how I was treated when I looked like most other people versus how I was treated when I looked differently and was easily identifiable as being physically challenged.

HOW EXTENSIVE A PROBLEM IS DISCRIMINATION

In the past, discrimination has led to lynchings because of race, national origin, religion, and other differences;  it has led to the torture and slaughter of six million innocent Jews by the Nazis and the murder of 3000 innocent Americans by Al Qaeda; and to many other atrocities through the ages, including right up to the present with “Flash-mob” attacks and the “Knockout Game.”  Today, however, allegations of racism have become politicized and  therefore many, though unfortunate, are false, like Mike Brown and Trayvon Martin.  A quick and easy way to determine most bogus allegations of racism is to first check if the accuser is a politician or a political adviser or pundit or works in the “race” industry…and if s/he does, then you can assume the allegation is false.  Racism and discrimination does still exist today but it’s a fraction of what it was back in the 1950’s and before.

HOW DISCRIMINATION DEVELOPS

I believe that discrimination evolves because of three phenomena: 1) quick and easy identification of the group being discriminated against; 2) mind set; and 3) selective perception.

Easy identification is the reason why African-Americans, as well as women and most minorities, still are the recipients of discrimination, though nothing like the situation was even 50-years ago.  The same is true of the fat, bald, unattractive, elderly, and disabled.

“Mind-set” I believe is the second phenomenon that enables discrimination to occur.  It develops when one’s mind, because of stereotyping or some other reason, thinks along certain lines or is “set” to the extent that, even when new contradictory information is brought to light, it is discounted or simply not considered or even not perceived.  Another name for mind-set is “paradigms”.

Once a mind-set exists, selectively perceiving phenomena within the area of the “set” is called “selective perception”.  With discrimination, one would selectively perceive only those phenomena that reinforced the mind-set.

HOW TO HANDLE DISCRIMINATION

What should you do if you experience discrimination?  Getting angry at the injustice is a common reaction.  Some may even think that they now have the right to retaliate.  I can recall a number of massacres motivated by feelings of persecution and self-righteousness in seeking revenge.  However, when the retaliation avenue is pursued,  all parties become victims, especially those exacting the revenge.  To cite just one example, if you discriminate against me, and I become angry and/or vengeful, you would actually now be controlling my behavior by changing my attitude.  Therefore, a much healthier approach is to say to yourself, “People make the most absurd assumptions based on very superficial and erroneous analyses.  They aren’t thinking intelligently.”  Also, “people can think anything they want about me but if they act on their beliefs, then I’ll take appropriate action, from simply shrugging it off to considering the entire range of legal actions and implementing whatever is appropriate for the situation”.

FIRSTHAND EXPERIENCE

I have seen firsthand how easy identifiability, mind-set, and selective perception work.  For me they are not simply theories you might read about.  Up to age 25, when I looked like most others, I was treated one way.  After 25, when I looked obviously disabled, I was treated  differently, except from my family and friends.  And even though most people were not even aware of what they were doing, people’s good intentions didn’t help much.

CONCLUSION

Dr. Martin Luther King has told us to “judge people on the content of their character”.  If we do otherwise, we should remember how discrimination works so that we can prevent ourselves from unwittingly engaging in it.  Anyone who looks or is different is at risk of being the victim of discrimination.  The healthiest way to deal with discrimination is to try to understand and forgive those who wrong you.  This will make you a bigger person as well as add years to your lifespan.  To quote Mahatma Gandhi, “Hatred can be overcome only by love”.

WHY PUTIN & RUSSIA RESPECT PRESIDENT TRUMP: CHINA!

Why in the world would Vladimir Putin be a Trumpster?  Putin used to want a weak America, an appeaser.   Trump is not a weak leader so why would Putin want Donald Trump to become President of the United States?  “China” is the answer to that question!

China is on the move.  Its economy routinely grows at about 10%/year (compared to less than 2%/year for the 8 “Obama” years in the U.S.).  Its military is expanding exponentially and China has nuclear weapons.  It also has approximately 1.3 billion people, about 4 times the population of the United States (Russia’s population is 143 million).  On the other hand, Russia and China share a border of thousands of miles,  Mother Russia needs a big, strong friend in the event its neighbor to the south becomes aggressive towards it, which China’s phenomenal military build-up makes a distinct possibility.  Moreover, China is concerned about Russia, especially after Russia militarily annexed Crimea.  President Trump is making the U.S. very strong again which I believe Putin believes he might need at some point, a very strong America, to counter the Chinese threat to Russia.  On the other hand, Hillary Clinton’s base (her voters) would not have allowed her to strengthen the military, even if she wanted to do just that.  To place each country in perspective, it’s important to know where each country stands insofar as military spending.  Here’s the stats on annual military spending (for 2016) by the three players:  U.S.: $596 billion;  China, $215 billion; Russia, $66 billion. For the next two years the U.S. is spending $700 billion this year and $716 billion next year.

When you look on the globe at military conflicts around the world, the common denominator is between countries that share a common border.  Russia and China share about 3,000 miles of border, therefore, even though the U.S. and Russia have not been friends in the past, they now share a common cause (fear of China) which I believe is causing Russia to want closer ties with a strong United States.

While both Russia and China are communist countries and they both have been behaving aggressively (China by building islands in the South China Sea and placing military installations on them),  they have had disputes over their common border.  Beginning March 2, 1969, border skirmishes began and lasted for months with thousands killed.  In the early seventies, President Nixon visited and befriended China to counter the Soviet Russian threat.  It worked and from then until now, China and the United States, though competing economically, were on relatively good terms.  Russia, on the other hand, has been an adversary.  President Trump knows that, so when he compliments Putin by saying that he is a strong leader, he means that he puts his country first.  Many people believe President Obama often did not put America first.  President Trump and President Putin appear to have gotten off to a good start in Helsinki, Finland.  If their relationship grows even better, both the U.S. and Russia will be a lot better off.

HOW IS PRESIDENT TRUMP GOVERNING? PROS & CONS

After being President for one and a half years, there appears to be a large difference of opinion on President Trump’s job performance.  As someone schooled in government (Fels Government Center, Wharton School, U of Penn) and with over 40 years of working with the Federal government and some work with a State government and a large city government, I thought I’d use my perspective as a 1/2 conservative, 1/2 liberal on the Trump presidency so far.

To be perfectly fair, it’s probably impossible for a multi-billionaire, married to a gorgeous, successful, wonderful woman, and having raised 5 successful and great children, to be humble.  Therefore, when he perhaps goes a little overboard with bragging about his accomplishments, I understand (but do not condone) President Trump’s comments and call this a “con.”

Another “con” is President Trump’s  being thin-skinned and having to rebut or comment on every criticism.  He gives his enemies credibility by even bothering to comment on their criticisms.  He strongly believes in hitting back which he thinks will stifle more attacks if he doesn’t hit back.  President Trump’s sometimes inarticulateness and lack of precision and specificity is another one of his cons.  A good example is his claim of millions of fraudulent votes in the 2016 presidential election.  He should have immediately followed his comment up with citations to about half-dozen studies showing that he was right and then cite specific examples that people can better relate to, such as comedian Al Franken stealing the Minnesota Senatorial election from Norm Coleman in 2008.  Trump critics accuse him of lying and he and his supporters do not provide enough specifics to counter their spurious claims.   I can demolish any of their claims in less than 5 minutes for each one so I know it’s easily possible.  I’ll cite just one example, President Trump’s inaugural swearing in crowd-size disagreement: the Obama photo of his inauguration crowd size and the Trump photo were obviously taken from different vantage points, Obama’s from a low height looking out over the podium, Trump’s from the high top of the Washington monument, looking from the back of the crowd.  In addition, the photos were taken at different times of day: the Obama photo at noon when he was sworn in, the Trump photo at about 11 am, about an hour prior to Trump’s swearing in when the crowd wasn’t all there yet.  I know this to be true because I watched the proceedings all inaugural morning.

The “cons” concern President Trump’s personal shortcomings, as well as things that he has said.   Now let’s look at the “pros,” those positive features of President Trump’s presidency. He has done more in his time as President than any other President in American history that I know of.   The Sunday morning political shows are pitiful in explaining this, only looking at legislative accomplishments.  His tax cuts and jobs act, has stimulated the economy to unbelievable highs and unemployment to new lows.

President Trump used Executive Actions, mostly Executive Orders, to get many things done, like temporary immigration bans from countries that have palty records of vetting citizens, of reversing stupid duplicative regulations that kill jobs and hamper job creation, of enforcing immigration laws, etc., etc., etc.  In addition, President Trump has persuaded many large corporations to pledge billions for new plants and jobs in America.  Moreover, due to his Reagan-like economic plan and pledges from many business leaders, the stock market has increased in value by almost $8 trillion since the day Donald J. Trump was elected president, November 8, 2016.  Moreover, both African-American and Hispanic-American employment is highest in history and female employment is the highest since the 1950’s.  President Trump has earned the reputation of sleeping only a few hours/night…of being an unbelievably hard-worker.  Were it not for fake news on CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, New York Times and the Washington Post, I believe the President’s approval would be about 60%.  Instead, it’s 45% today.

Whether you agree or disagree with what President Trump is doing, he has already fulfilled many of his campaign promises and has pledged to fulfill them all.

OLDER MEN, HAVE GREAT SEX AGAIN!

                                            INTRODUCTION

I’m writing this post because sex at its best can be the physical manifestation of love and is therefore important to a couple’s pleasure and the strengthening of their pair-bond.  In addition, great sex can overcome many hard feelings, resentments, and misunderstandings that inevitably arise in a relationship/marriage.  There’s nothing as wonderful as making love with someone you love.  As one ages and the body slows down and changes, making love usually becomes more difficult.

What makes me qualified to write on this subject?  I’ve read dozens of books, off and on, on sex, love, relationships, and marriage for 61 years, trying new things that I read about.  In addition, I have 54 years of experience with two marriages and a few girlfriends, and especially after having messed up my first marriage, have a keen desire to excel at making a woman feel loved.  Finally, about ten years ago I found a fascinating little red book that told me something intriguing than I previously had not read much about.  That book, How to Satisfy a Woman Every Time, by Naura Hayden, described in detail how to physically tease a woman to turn her on, and satisfy her.  With the combination of my decades of experience and reading, I consequently had the best sex I’ve ever had, although I was over 70 years-old…the one I loved felt thoroughly loved.

BODY

PREPARATION: If you’re not married and meet someone that you really like, get to know well and trust, and you both feel that you want to take your  relationship to the next level, alcohol will lessen inhibitions as you get started, so a glass or two of wine is a good way to begin (too much alcohol, however, lowers libido).  A safe and private location, romantic music, candles in a darkened room, and you’re on the way to setting the mood.  If you’re married or not but over about 45-50 years-old, you probably will need either 50 or 100 mg of Viagra, (or the appropriate dosage of Levitra or Cialis), the generic form of which (Sildenafil) men with Erectile Dysfunction (ED) may buy inexpensively…$100 for 50 20-mg tablets (regular price  of Viagra is about $50/one 100mg pill) from some Urologists’ offices or a mail-order pharmacy in North Carolina, Marley Drug ( 336-771-7672; www.marleydrug.com).  Viagra begins working in about an hour on a full stomach, 15 minutes on an empty stomach.  Women over 50 or 60 may need a lubricant to make intercourse possible (google www.bettersex.com/catalog published by the Sinclair Institute to purchase lubricants that are compatible with sex toys).  Lubrication should be applied, as needed, to the penis, vibrator, dildo, etc. during lovemaking.  If the woman is fertile, decide in advance the birth control you plan to use.  Coitus Interruptus, as well as the Rhythm Method are unreliable in preventing pregnancy.  If the woman is well past menopause (menopause is usually about age 52), of course there’s no need for birth control, though you still need to be concerned about the 30 Sexually-Transmitted- Diseases (STDs).  If you’re a man under about 40, you may need to use a condom to help dull the sensation and therefore help delay your orgasm (as well as prevent pregnancy).  A numbing cream spread on the penis will also help delay orgasm and therefore one can maintain an erection and lengthen the time that you’re pleasuring your partner.  Older men, because premature ejaculation usually is no longer a problem, should be able to maintain an erection, with Viagra, Levitra, or Cialis for as long as your partner wants to have coitus.

Testosterone is the hormone that stimulates sexual desire in both men and women, though women need much less of it.  As a man ages, however, some of his Testosterone is converted by his body into Estradiol, a form of Estrogen, which accounts for older men getting “man boobs.” Prescription Testosterone, in its many forms, can be very expensive.  A Compounding Pharmacy can make the cream form of it for about a tenth of the price.  In addition, there are over-the-counter supplements that stimulate the body to increase production of Testosterone.  The Life Extension Foundation (LEF.com) sells “Super Miraforte” which really works and has the added benefit of suppressing the conversion of Testosterone into Estradiol.

GETTING STARTED: We looked at making prior arrangements, now let’s consider technique.  First, it’s important to know that it takes a woman much longer than a man to get physically and emotionally aroused.  Young men take about 60 seconds, young women a minimum of 20 minutes of foreplay (kissing, petting, massage, sweet words, etc.).  Older folks take longer.  Start with kissing and necking and perhaps massage.  Then proceed to the biggest foreplay turn-on that most women enjoy, cunnilingus.  There is no taste or smell around the clitoris.  Meanwhile, also gently fondle and kiss your loved one’s breasts, teasing her by circling just outside the areolas.

(WARNING: THIS SECTION IS VERY SEXUALLY EXPLICIT)

 WHEN IT’S TIME: You know it’s time when your loved one is turned on if she asks you to get on with it it.  Now it’s time to go back to that little red book by Naura Hayden on how to satisfy a woman that I mentioned in the introduction to this article…you need to physically tease her.  If you decided on starting with the “Missionary” position, put the head of your penis at the entrance to your loved one’s vagina and slightly insert it and stay there while kissing her.  When she tells you to get on with it, insert your penis slowly about a 1/4-1/2 inch, and then pull it mostly out.  Repeat again and again.  Then go in slowly about an inch and pull it mostly out.  Repeat again and again.  Then 1 1/2 inches, again and again. By this time your loved-one should be really encouraging you.  At some point, especially if she starts to orgasm, slowly go in all the way, but, as taken from another love book, do so in a pattern, so as to maximize her pleasure.  For example, on the first stroke, go in all of the way, then go in half the way on the second, third, and fourth strokes.  On the fifth, go in all of the way again.  Vary the pattern occasionally.  Continue until your loved one is satisfied.  If you’re under 25, you may not be able to last that long without ejaculating, which will consequently usually kill your erection. Not to worry, if she hasn’t had her orgasm yet, you can always satisfy her with cunnilingus.

(WARNING: THIS SECTION IS VERY SEXUALLY EXPLICIT)

KEEP THINGS INTERESTING: There are dozens of positions. each of which has its advantages and drawbacks.  For example, rear-entry requires a long penis (or a strap-on hollow penis).  Face-to face positions, like the “Cowgirl”, free up a man’s hands to fondle breasts and squeeze a woman’s “love handles,” her buttocks.  The book,  The Joy of Sex, depicts many sexual positionsIf you are more adventuresome,  Sinclair Institute sells a DVD that depicts couples demonstrating the basic positions.  It’s called “The Art of Sexual Positions.”

Lovemaking is so much fun that it’s hard to stop.  Let your loved one be your guide.  I prefer modified all-nighters: you make love, you go to sleep, you wake up (for whatever reason) and make love again.  You repeat all night until you’re both exhausted or it gets light out and the Viagra/Levitra/Cialis wears off.  Your girlfriend/wife knows that she’s been loved and you feel great having done the loving.  Of course, not every encounter will be a marathon…”quickies” have their place, as does showing your genuine affection by simply holding, hugging, squeezing and kissing.

CONCLUSION   

Making love and being in love is one of the greatest feelings in the world.  Although this article was embarrassing for me to publish, my using only medical and scientific terms for body parts and techniques lessened my embarrassment….you can always Google or use a dictionary for the terms you may not be familiar with.  I believe that two people in love is so wonderful that I felt compelled to write and contribute whatever I could to help maintain and enhance that love despite how the ravages of old age interfere.  Finally, let me leave you with his thought taken from one of my love books: “men need to be needed, women need to be cherished.”  Cherish your loved-one and make her feel loved, both emotionally and physically.

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PS: check out my article on this blog (www.MikeRussoExpose.com), entitled “Improving Communications in Relationships & Marriage” for gems of wisdom taken from a dozen love and relationship books.  That post aims to foster good communications by a couple, to not only heighten their love-life, but also to reduce the likelihood of eventual break-up/divorce.  My other article on this blog, “Don’t Divorce,” should significantly assist you in avoiding divorce.

JUSTICE BRETT KAVANAUGH: ORIGINALIST, NOT ACTIVIST

Justices Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh, Thomas Hardiman, and Raymond Kethledge were the four finalists that President Trump considered for the Supreme Court (although I didn’t rule out justice Amul Thapar  or Utah Senator Mike Lee).  All four have their positive attributes and were on the list from the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation as “originalists”, those legal scholars that interpret the Constitution with the same meaning at the time it was written.  This is very different from “activists”, whom consider the Constitution as a living document whose interpretation changes to meet changing times.  Originalists believe that either legislation should be passed when changes are needed or the Constitution amended, not the interpretation of the Constitution changed with the times.

Democrat leadership is attempting to portray President Trump selection, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, as being anti Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that currently allows abortions.  The fact that an “originalist”was selected should actually make the Left feel better because originalists are committed to not interpreting the Constitution to mean what they want it to mean, but what the founders meant when they wrote it.  Moreover, Chief Justice John Roberts will not vote to overturn Roe v Wade, so the liberals on the Court would still have a majority on this issue even if Justice Kavanaugh is confirmed by the Senate.

I believe Hardiman, Kavanaugh and Kethledge to be the most qualified but I believe that the Court could really use a conservative female justice like Barrett.  President Trump has chosen Kavanaugh, 53, from the four finalists because of his twelve years of experience on the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals, writing 300 opinions on many different issues.  In addition, his academic credentials are stellar, with a law degree from Yale and teaching at Harvard, Georgetown, and Notre Dame.  Moreover, very liberal Justice, Elena Kagan, recommended Kavanaugh to be hired by Harvard to teach law.

THE U.S. IMMIGRATION DILEMMA: PROS & CONS

I had three friends in Denver, Colorado who were from Colombia, South America, two of whom were jailed for two months and then deported back to Colombia.  They had come to America seeking asylum for the mother of a son who was killed by terrorists, as well as asylum for her daughter and son-in-law to care for her.  While the elderly mother was granted political asylum, her daughter and son-in-law were not because the mother already had another daughter living in the U.S. that could take care of her.  ICE (US Immigration & Customs Enforcement) grabbed my two friends at their workplace and put them in a detention center for about two months.  I visited them every night…it was a horrible experience for them.

I mentioned the above because you need to know my bias on the subject of immigration…it tugs at my heartstrings and makes me uneasy to talk about, but talk about it I must.  First, I can understand how someone in a poor country might want to come to America to seek a job and a better life for his or her family, even if done illegally.  On the other hand, I can understand why the U.S. would want to control the number of immigrants coming into the country and know exactly who they are, especially in this age of terrorism, drug smuggling, and human trafficking.  Illegal immigration over the U.S.’s southern border has become so very political that it’s almost impossible to discuss it without emotions overpowering reasoning, but we need to at least try.

Illegal immigration is out of control through: 1)illegal border crossings, 2)U.S. Visa overstays, 3)family chain immigration, and, 4)Diversity Visa Lottery (Green Card Lottery) immigration.  It’s costing U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars and has facilitated narcotics throughout America, as well as significantly increasing violent crime in our cities and towns.  The backbone of President Trump’s plan to stop illegal immigration is the construction of a 30-ft. high border wall along most of the border the U.S. shares with Mexico. With a wall, it doesn’t matter if the next President wants open borders…the wall would funnel illegal aliens to enter legally only through legal ports of entry located all along our southern border.

There are a number of tangential issues surrounding the immigration issue, such as what do we do with the 20 million or more undocumented workers currently in the U.S., but these issues can all be resolved once the border wall is built and illegal immigration completely stopped.  Finally, although the human suffering surrounding this issue on all sides is tragic, I think the best solution for everyone is to build the wall and enforce immigration laws.

 

VOTER FRAUD IS RAMPANT!

THE PROBLEM: 1.8 million deceased individuals listed as voters;  2) 24 million voter registrations no longer valid or significantly inaccurate (see February 2012 Pew Center Issue Brief);  3) in many U.S. counties there are more registered voters than there are residents (see Judicial Watch’s “A Citizen’s Guide to Ensuring Free and Fair Elections in 2016 and Beyond”); 4) most Democrat politicians push to eliminate all voter identification to vote…guess why;  5) a California  law that allows non-citizens to have driver licenses and then the California Motor Voter law automatically registers them to vote when they receive or renew their driver license; 6) voters in Philadelphia being intimidated by New Black Panther party members who were not prosecuted by the U.S. Justice Department (see J. Christian Adams’ book, Injustice);  7) U.S. Senatorial race being stolen in Minnesota by Democrat Al Franken through boxes of “found” paper ballots after election day ;  8) the U.S. Presidency being stolen in 1960 by Joseph Kennedy, President Kennedy’s father!  9) men and women in the military routinely being sent ballots so late that it’s impossible for their votes to be counted in time;  10) absentee voting becoming the voter fraud of choice because it doesn’t require voter ID; 11) countless other elections at the Federal, State and local levels being stolen; 10) 2.7 million voters fraudulently registered in two states, 68,000 voters fraudulently registered in 3 states; 12) Pennsylvania currently has no requirements for voter identification  (see February 2012 Pew Center issue brief;  see John Fund’s books:  Who’s Counting?: How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk; and  Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy);  13) Harvard (CCES) study shows 6.4% illegals voted in presidential elections and 2.2% in off-years.

ANALYSIS: Who’s responsible for this National disgrace and travesty?  The governments at the Federal, State and local levels are the culprits!  It’s not due to incompetence but to dirty/criminal politics and it’s long overdue to be corrected before Americans lose all faith in the integrity of their elections.

Even in the Iraqi elections a decade and a half ago, voting was much more honest than in the United States.  How can that be?  Iraq had a very simple but effective system which was devised by the U.S. military: when Iraqis voted they had to dip their index finger into a jar of indelible purple ink…and this was solid evidence that they had voted.  In the United States, on the other hand, registration proving that you’re eligible to vote is required first.   What evidence is required to register to vote?  In Colorado, a utility bill with your name on it was sufficient.  Of course this is ridiculous because you  don’t have to be a citizen in order to receive a utility bill…and in addition, if you have more than one home in different counties, you’ll have separate utility bills for each home (you get to vote twice if you’re dishonest).

Many politicians say that they don’t want to place an undue burden on their citizens by actually requiring that they show a photo ID, such as a drivers license (which is even required of people of questionable age to buy a pack of cigarettes).  What a crock!  Does anyone really believe that lax registration standards have any purpose other than facilitating fraudulent voting?  It is important in a democracy for people to have faith in the process by which their leaders are elected, so care must be taken that it’s done honestly and that politicians are kept far away from the process.  Voter fraud is not new, but dates back to the beginning of our Republic (see Andrew Gumbel’s book, Steal This Vote)

THE SOLUTION: For now, a photo ID, either in the form of a driver’s license or a State-issued photo ID should be mandatory in every state in order to vote.  Later, perhaps a slight revision and an addition could be made to the on-line E-Verify system created by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in concert with the Social Security Administration that is currently used by employers to ascertain whether someone is in the U.S. legally.  Something like a “Voter Photo Authentication.”  Something must be done to prevent criminal politicians from continuing to corrupt our elections.  It’s government’s fault that it got this way and it’s  government’s responsibility to clean it up.

SINGAPORE: KIM JONG UN and PRESIDENT TRUMP MAKE PEACE


North Korea (NOKO) tested 9 missiles in 2017 but none in 2018.  The United States successfully tested one of its SDI (Strategic Defense Initiative) missiles on May 30, 2017, launching it from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.  It shot down a missile that was launched from the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean.  In the recent past it was successful only about 50% of the time, however, with recent improvements, it looks like it’s successful all of the time.  This is very important to the security of South Korea, Japan, and Hawaii, all of which are currently within reach of NOKO’s missiles.  Very shortly, the U.S. mainland will also be within reach of NOKO’s missiles.  Were it not for President Ronald Reagan, the U.S. would not have this “star wars” capability today.  Russian General Secretary Gorbachev pressed Reagan at their nuclear summit in Reykjavik, Iceland in 1986, but Reagan walked out of the talks rather than give up his Strategic Defense Initiative, nicknamed “starwars”.  The Democrat Congress tried to stop its development back then, as well as it and Democrat presidents up to the present, giving the Democrat Party the nickname the “Treason Party”.

NOKO has thousands of conventional artiliary aimed at Seoul,South Korea, many in hardened bunkers.  If the U.S. tried to destroy NOKO’s missile facilities, NOKO could kill at least a million South Koreans before all of their arsenal was obliterated by the U.S..  NOKO has the third largest army, after the U.S. and China. The U.S. recently tried to deploy its one-billion-dollar THAD anti-missile system in South Korea, as well as three aircraft carriers in the waters surrounding North Korea.

Ninety percent of NOKO’s trading is with China, making China very influential over NOKO.  President Trump pressured China to coerce NOKO to stop testing its missiles and meet with President Trump.  China, plus strong trade sanctions, convinced NOKO.  Previous presidents tried bribing NOKO, but NOKO did not keep any of its agreements with the U.S.

Life in North Korea, with the exception of its capitol, Pyongyang, is a living hell, with little food and electricity and government overwhelmingly horrible, similar to life depicted in George Orwell’s book, 1984, as explained in Barbara’s Demick’s  book on NOKO, Nothing to Envy.  However, North Koreans have been brainwashed to the extent that they worship Kim Jong-un, his father and grandfather as gods and believe all of the propaganda that the government presents.  Pyongyang sounds like a chapter out of the book, Stepford Wives.  To live there, a North Korean and his/her family must live an impeccable life, 100% loyal and obedient.

What will happen as a result of the Singapore Summit and the agreement Trump and Kim signed that NOKO will denuclearize?  No one can know for sure because NOKO has previously lied and cheated, however, I believe that President Trump’s unique personality  and the strong team he has assembled makes him and his administration distinctly capable of guiding the U.S. through these dangerous times.   

LESSONS I LEARNED FROM MY FOLKS

Do you remember how to do geometry and trigonometry from high school?  For most people geometry and trig are two of the subjects that they were required to learn in order to graduate, both of which most people will never need or use.  This article is about five important lifelong lessons I learned from my folks that I really needed and used throughout my lifetime and that they don’t teach you in school..

The five lessons are:

  1. The world’s a cold place without family and friends
  2. Help whoever and whenever you can
  3. Treat everyone fairly
  4. Get a good education
  5. Do the best you can

 

First lesson. I remember my mom telling me, “Michael, the world’s a cold place without family and friends.” My mom came from a very large family…9 brothers and sisters…and she had many friends…her neighbor friends, her work friends, and her poker friends. Why are family and friends so important…they’re the people that know you and care about you…so when you reach low points in your life or just need someone to talk to, they usually give invaluable emotional support…and of course you support them when they need it.  At my mom’s funeral there were about 500 family and friends who came to see her one last time and to pay their respects to her family. It was unbelievable!

Second lesson. “Help whoever and whenever you can.” I knew my father was a good person, helping anyone that needed help, but even I was surprised at his funeral when strangers came up to me and told stories about how my father had helped them. I worked at my father’s grocery store on weekends and during summers when I was a child. The store was located in a very poor neighborhood in Philadelphia and most of our customers were on welfare. The children of the poorest families would come to the store every day for one of my father’s “free sandwiches.” As I got older my father would often send me to Philadelphia’s city hall and to Pennsylvania’s state office building with needy people to speak on their behalf in an effort to get them emergency aid. In addition, my father told me that his mother gave baskets of food to poor families during the depression…so I understand where he learned his compassion and helped whoever and whenever he could.

Third lesson. “Treat everyone fairly.” My folks felt strongly about treating everyone fairly. Both had friends from other races and nationalities. They sent me to a junior high school that was 75% minority to help me learn how to get along with people who were different from me. My dad constantly asked me about my agency’s (US Department of the Interior) dealings with Native Americans and my mom frequently quoted pearls of wisdom and common sense from her African-American girlfriends at work.

Fourth lesson. “Get a good education.” My parents believed in their children getting a good education, and although I only wanted to be a forest ranger, even that required a college degree. So when the time came, my mom went to work for a meat-packing company making sausage in a cold, refrigerated room in order to pay for my sisters, brother and I to go to college.

Fifth lesson. “Do the best you can.” My first semester at Penn state was a failure. When I came home for spring break my parents tried to comfort me with, “Michael, as long as you did the best you could, you have nothing to be ashamed of.” Well, I wasn’t doing the best I could…playing ping pong until 3 am in the morning the night before my midterm exams, but I heeded my parents words and knuckled down and did the best I could…and consequently got good grades. Eventually I received my bachelor’s degree from Penn state and my master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

In conclusion, my folks taught my brother, sisters and me many lessons, just five of which I shared with you. But unlike courses like geometry and trig, they are lessons that have been useful throughout my entire life. Now, when I encounter a tough situation, I ask myself, “What would my parents advise?” Their advice has resulted in my making good decisions. So “Mom and Dad, wherever you are, thank you for teaching me the lessons I needed to live a good life.

CHOOSING A PRESIDENT: DONALD TRUMP

On November 8, 2016 Americans made a decision that was one of the most important in the history of the United States: voting for Donald Trump to be the President of the United States.  Many believe that politics is stupid because of all of the partisan bickering that goes on.  That may or may not be true, but it’s irrelevant…our President makes decisions that affect not only us, but our children, grandchildren, and many others around the world.

Based on the controversy of this Presidential election, I created the following non-partisan criteria for selecting a President.  I came up with them after looking at everyone else’s and concluding that they were inadequate.  My qualifications for doing this are: I followed politics for over 60 years, my Masters degree from the University of Pennsylvania is in Government Administration, and I’ve worked for the Federal, State and local governments for 44 years.  My 6  criteria for choosing a President are listed below and are prioritized and listed in the order of their importance, so #1 is the most important and #6 the least important.

1. POSITIONS ON ISSUES:  this criterium might also be called “ideology”  and is really the most important reason why one should select one presidential candidate over another.

2. EXPERIENCE: there is no job exactly like the presidency but there are some jobs that provide relevant experience.  It’s not a coincidence that seventeen of our U.S. Presidents have been Governors of a State.  Being a Governor provides the best experience  for the presidency, however any executive or managerial experience is relevant and useful.  Legislative and legal experience is also useful.

3. EDUCATION: A masters degree in either Business or Government Administration is probably the most relevant education a President could have.  A law degree is helpful.

4. OPEN-MINDEDNESS:  In U.S. politics, the politician is either on the left or the right and this ideology  can be constraining at times for finding the best solutions to a problem or dilemma.

5. INTEGRITY: one of the important qualities but not so common in many politicians.  This is important because the President may ask us to go to war or to make some other sacrifice, so we need to be able to trust him or her and not think that whatever is being done is for political purposes.

6. PUBLIC SPEAKING and CHARISMA: for his “bully pulpit” duties, a President would be well-served by being a master of the spoken word…and if he or she is charismatic as well, so much the better.

You may agree or disagree with my 6 criteria or perhaps you simply may want to add a few more.  Whatever…but it is important to have criteria (or standards) to use, otherwise you’ might do what many people do: vote solely by political party, vote because of something irrelevant like age, gender, physical appearance, ethnicity, race, or emotions.  While most elections don’t matter that much, the 2016 Presidential election was one of the most important in U.S. history.

 

UNDERSTANDING COMMUNICATIONS IN RELATIONSHIPS & MARRIAGE

THE PROBLEM

I’ve been married twice and divorced twice.  The dissolution of my first marriage was tragic because we both loved each other dearly (though I didn’t tell my wife often) yet we were not able to get back together, despite our loving each other, and our marital breakup almost destroyed me and I’m sure was very hurtful to my wife.   My brain tumor was mostly responsible for my first divorce, but poor communications played a large role in both of my divorces.  It’s extremely painful for both parties to go through divorce to the extent that I believe that its possibility today in the U.S. (50%) is a legitimate reason why some may not want to ever marry.

But marriage is important, especially if you want to have children; therefore, you want to minimize the chances of getting divorced.  What do you do to accomplish this?  What I did was to research and study marriage and learn why people divorce, in my effort to avoid repeating those things that led to my divorces.

THE SOLUTION

From numerous experts, but especially from the premier researcher on marriage, John Gottman, PhD, the most important skill to keeping a relationship or marriage healthy is for both partners to be able to amicably resolve differences…in other words, negotiate or fight without metaphorically killing each other.  An easy-to-do measure from Dr. Gottman to help you determine if your marital/relationship communications  are doing well is to frequently check to see if you’re having at least 5 positive interactions with your spouse/significant other for every negative one.  My first marriage tragically ended, despite our love for each other, mostly because my wife and I did not resolve our differences amicably.  Let’s look at what some of the other experts have to say….

In their book, The Intimate Enemy: How to Fight Fair in Love and Marriage, by George Bach and Peter Wyden, the authors ask if anyone ever heard from a significant other, “you never talk to me, ” or “you never listen to me!”

Because I’ve  made so many painful mistakes in my first marriage which resulted in it lasting only ten months, I became highly-motivated to not repeat the same mistakes.  Therefore my second wife and I learned to communicate with each other and became intimate friends and lovers by attending 5 pre-marital and 30 post-marital counseling sessions with 5 other married couples.  Achieving game-free spontaneity and the consequent well-being that resulted was well worth the effort. The caring needed in a successful relationship is defined by Masters and Johnson in their book, “The Pleasure Bond“, as “paying attention, being concerned, solicitous and protective.”  Fortunately, I learned how to express my caring with my second wife and my second marriage therefore lasted 25 years.

An important concept in men-women communications comes from John Gray, PhD in his book “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.”  Dr. Gray states that communication styles between the sexes are so different, that to truly understand each other, it’s very helpful to think of each sex as coming from different planets…and a recognition of those differences goes a long way in improving relations…basically because people don’t judge and treat each other with the caution and respect they otherwise would unless they thought the other was an alien.

The differences between the genders that make communications difficult are enumerated in Deborah Tannen’s book, You just Don’t Understand.  Dr. Tannen refers to “Report-Talk” (men) and “Rapport-talk” (women). She states, “For most women, conversation is a way of establishing connections and negotiating relationships.  For most men, talk is primarily a means to preserve independence and is done by exhibiting knowledge and skill, and by holding center stage through verbal performance such as storytelling, joking or imparting information.

Psychologist and marriage counselor Barbara De Angelis continues this theme in a March-April 1992 “Special Report on Relationships” by stating that:

Women and men are from two different planets; we speak two different languages, it’s so essential to learn about their differences.  I know that men are solution-oriented in their conversation, so if I’m complaining about my day, I will add, “I don’t really need a solution, honey, I just want you to hold me.”  If I don’t, he may start giving me solutions, and I may get angry that he’s not being loving and attentive, and now we’re in a fight….”  Maggie Scarf, author of “Intimate Partners,” adds in that same article, that “when a woman brings up a problem, she wants to talk it over, to learn what it means.  A man hears a problem and wants to do something about it.  To most women, this is outrageous.  They feel that to do this (means) the discussion is over (and) is his way of saying, shut up.

The list of differences between men and women’s communication styles goes on and on.  Many of them are based on the fact that men and women have different psychological needs.  If each gender only understood those needs, both would be much happier.  From Diane Dunaway and John Kramer’s book, “Why Men don’t get Enough Sex and Women don’t get enough Love,” it states that these different needs can be summed up by saying that “men need to be needed and women need to be cherished.”  In a 1985 article, columnist Ann Landers conducted a survey asking women if affection was more important than sex.  Seventy-two percent of the 100,000 respondents said that they would be content to “just be held close and to forget about the sex act.”  According to Dunaway and Kramer, “Men have sex in order to feel good, women have sex when they feel good.”  Male-Female communications and love, sex, and intimacy are all intricately related; you can’t talk about one without addressing the others.

In Ellen Kriedman’s book, Light Her Fire, Ms. Kriedman states that “while dating, a man usually has no problem talking, because he has a goal in mind.  He wants her to find his desirable , so he’s charmng, witty, and pays a great deal of attention to what she’s saying.   He wants to discover what her needs are so that he can fulfill them.  As a result, he has a women who finds hin irresistible.  Once this happens, and she’s his forever, he stops talking.  In his mind, there’s less need to talk and listen to her than there was in the beginning.”

The Hite Report on Male Sexuality by Shere Hite states that “most men said that, even with women friends or their wives and lovers, they feel some difficulty in talking deeply about their personal feelings — once again reflecting their early male training not to be too emotional.”

Further complicating communication between the sexes is the natural attraction that over 95% of the population has for the opposite sex.   Bernstein and Fast’s book, Sexual Chemistry, cites the nonverbal cues that men and women emit toward each other that demonstrate the sexual chemistry between them.  The book, More than Friends, Less than Lovers, argues that men and women can establish very gratifying relationships by becoming “intimate” without engaging in sexual relations.  This intimacy is a natural occurrence because today men and women work closely together.  But the guilt from illicit sex really messes up what otherwise could be a very good relationship.  In addition, 30 sexually-transmitted diseases make promiscuity a form of Russian Roulette. Desmond Morris, in his book, “Intimate Behavior,” gives a good explanation of the need for social intimacy.  Another book, Intimacy, discusses the need for intimacy.

Finally, while not explicitly contained in any books that I’ve read, but something that I found to be the most important factor in a successful relationship or marriage, is openness, honesty and forthrightness in dealing with each other.  I believe that one should not even tell white lies to a significant other when discussing important issues!  One can be diplomatic, subtle, and kind and not lie, while politely and respectfully giving your opinion.  You can’t work out your issues or problems together if you’re not truthful with each other about those issues and problems.  Many people use the excuse that they are simply being sensitive by telling a white lie, when in fact they may lack the courage to confront their significant other with what’s really bothering them.  I consider this to be a relationship/marriage-killer, no matter how noble the reasons for the deception.

CONCLUSION

There is an abundance of needless pain, suffering, frustration, and anxiety in relationships and marriages due to poor communications.  Marriage counselors can be very helpful but really good ones are rare and can be expensive.  Family and friends can be supportive but usually inadvertently give harmful advice because they can’t be objective and therefore make matters worse.  You can make your relationship/marriage better if you are motivated to do so and are willing to do your homework (read) on how to improve your communications and marriage; and then follow this up by setting some time aside every day to calmly talk through your marital issues/problems.  I’ve just given you a taste of what’s out there by citing a number of books and authors.  Good luck in your search for a better relationship and/or marriage!

 

 

 

DEMOCRAT PARTY & OBAMA POLICIES FOOLED US TWICE

I didn’t vote for Barack Obama in 2008 or 2012.  In 2008 it was a very difficult choice for me because I had devoted many years to fighting racial discrimination and eagerly wanted to vote for the first black President.  However, on eight of the top ten National issues, I disagreed with Obama’s positions, so I couldn’t vote for him in good conscience.  Though I didn’t vote for Obama, I believed what he said about his being “post-partisan” and wanting a “transparent” Presidency.  While there were some rumblings on the right about Obama really being a far-left radical, I was unconvinced and believed his message of “hope and change.”  By the 2012 Presidential election, I had become convinced that President Obama followed Democrat policies which destroyed many businesses and jobs, and made health insurance unaffordable for anyone who paid for Obamacare themselves.

Eight years after electing Barrack Obama president, President Obama had a record of a number of failures, of wasting trillions of dollars, of race relations being much worse than when he became President, and of creating a health care system that was far worse and much more expensive than most Americans could afford.  After eight years of Obama, we had a Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate the lowest since 1978, 62.8%, and a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) whose growth did not reach 3% annually for his entire presidency.  Calling President Obama economically incompetent doesn’t come close to describing the situation accurately.  I started following elections in 1952 with President Dwight Eisenhower.  Of the eleven Presidents I have followed since then, President Obama is the worst.  He was unqualified to be President, in part, because he had no executive, managerial, leadership, or even administrative experience.

Now we’re in 2018 and the economy is greatly improved thanks to President Trump and the tax cuts. “But Obama did his best,” you might say.  President Obama’s best was simply not good enough.  He’s was in over his head.  He is a good father and husband, and I’m sure he was a terrific community organizer, but his policies as President have been a disaster and therefore whoever ran as the Democrat nomiee in 2016 should not have been elected because Democrat policies simply did not work.  However, far more important than President Obama’s lack of any relevant qualifications and having had many failures as President, is the fact that he was constantly untruthful to the extent that nothing he said could be trusted as being accurate.  What does this have to do with other Democrats who might run for President in the future?  Everything!

Most democrat policies are very destructive.  There is no war on women (see my post, “War on Women”), no longer very much new man-made Global Warming (see my post, “Global Cooling”), not much racism (see my post, “Obsessed with Race”), a phony gun issue (see my post “More Guns, Less Crime”), etc., ad infinitum.  I spend over six hours/day following national and political issues, and have my Masters degree in Government Administration from the University of Pennsylvania, so it’s easy for me to know who knows what they’re doing and who does not (and President Obama doesn’t know, economically, and had surrounded himself with economic advisors who all believe in Keynesian economics although it has never worked).  Though the U.S. was fooled twice by President Obama and the corrupt Democrat Party in 2008 and 2012, I don’t intend to be fooled by them again.  Let’s see what President Trump and the Republican House and Senate do, despite the Russia Hoax and corrupt “holdovers” from the Obama administration in the FBI and Department of Justice.

BLAME MITCH McCONNELL

Whatever President Trump has promised during the presidential campaign, but does not accomplish, blame Senate Majority Leader, Republican Mitch McConnell from Kentucky.  Although he is very experienced and knowledgable, having served as a senator since 1985 and having been the Senate Majority leader since 2015, the 76-year-old senator may prove deadly for Trump and the Republicans keeping the House and Senate in November 2018.

It’s no surprise that Democrat senators oppose everything the President is trying to do.  However, Senator McConnell has the authority, but refuses to use it, to facilitate passage of the President’s legislative agenda, because he can foster changes in the Senate’s archaic rules by abolishing the filibuster rule which require 60 senators to pass most legislation in the Senate.  He can foster a change to be a 51-senator requirement to pass legislation and abolish the Senate’s legislative filibuster rule.  So why would he not do this?  He says that Republicans will eventually be in the minority again and does not want set the precedent to the Democrats for this Senate rule.  Does McConnell have a good point?  That’s what this article will consider.

“Strike while the iron is hot” is one of my beliefs!  The current situation with a Republican President, House and Senate may never occur again so the opportunity it provides needs to be used right now.  Democrat leadership would not hesitate for a second to do it.  So many wonderful things for the U.S. could be done now if the Senate vote threshold were only 51 votes instead of the current 60 votes needed to pass most legislation.  All major legislation has been voted down by the Democrats in the Senate.  Even when an independent-minded Democrat senator is voted in, Democrat leadership threatens him/her with not funding their upcoming races and also with running strong candidates against them in their primary elections.  Thus, they toe the Democrat line.

Let’s hope Senator McConnell sees the light and changes the Senate filibuster rule.  If he doesn’t, he really should be blamed for the huge backlog in the Senate, as well as its inability to pass significant legislation, including legislation for the much-needed wall on our southern border.

 

WHY DONALD TRUMP WAS ELECTED PRESIDENT? BACKBONE!

I’m sick of the media explaining that Donald Trump did well because of their many (half-baked) ideas and Russian collusion and therefore I felt compelled to write this post, however, I must say that Trump’s targeting blue-collar workers and rust-belt states was very clever.

My credentials for saying what I’m about to say are simply that I’m a conservative, a graduate of U. of Penn’s Wharton School (but with a MGA , not an MBA), and have over 40 years employment with the Federal, a State and a city government.  I believe that Trump supporters support  him for the same reason that I like him:  the man has a stiff spine and is not timid.  When he’s criticized by the Press or political opponents, he doubles-down and fights back even harder.  In addition,  Trump’s focus on illegal immigration, weakened military, Obamacare, anemic war on terror, tiny growth in the economy, the North Korean threat, etc., touched a nerve with the electorate and he has taken numerous actions to address all of these.  He’s truly a “Blue-collar Billionaire.”

Mitt Romney lost the 2012 Presidential election to President Obama because he refused to fight back.  He was more than capable, as evidenced by his outstanding performance in his first debate with President Obama.  When viciously attacked by the Obama campaign, he refused to fight back.  Governor Romney’s poor performance came on the heels of Senator McCain’s poor performance in the 2008 Presidential campaign.  Moreover, it followed President Bush’s unwillingness to fight back when constantly accused by the Left that, “Bush lied, people died.”

I’m not advocating picking stupid fights that can’t be won and simply receiving a black eye, but I also believe in not backing off when Democrats and the Main Stream Media make false allegations.  For example, I believe that Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, and Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, are often given bum raps when they don’t push a Bill in Congress that they know won’t pass.  However, there is a time to fight but Republican leadership doesn’t appear to have the stomach for it.  When there are good and rational reasons for not fighting, the Speaker and the Majority leader need to explain this on Fox News and other news outlets that are fair, otherwise don’t blame voters for thinking they are jellyfish-spine Republican Congressional leaders.

Donald Trump is a street fighter.  “Turning-the-other-cheek” is not for successful politicians.  Trump is improving  his messaging and has appointed impressive people to help him develop his policies and lead his Cabinet.  He had a resounding victory over Hillary Clinton, thanks to his strong backbone and outworking her by far. Upon becoming the President, he implemented policies that he advocated during the election.  If he continues, he will go down in history as being one of our greatest presidents, and possibly even teach Republican Congressional leaders how to fight hard for what they believe in and grow a strong backbone.

DON’T DIVORCE?

 INTRODUCTI ON

In April of 1968 I married a very beautiful woman with a delightful personality that I had fallen in love with.  In September of 1969 she divorced me.  In August 1978 I married a good-looking, fine woman that I really cared about and who needed my help and I wanted to help her.  In 2005 she divorced me.  Two marriages, two divorces.  What happened?  What can be learned from these tragedies that I can share with others to help them avoid the same types of mistakes that I made?

I’ll give my analysis first, since it is the most important part of this article, and then I’ll give my account of the details of what happened that led to my divorce (for anyone interested in how two people deeply in love ended up divorced).

ANALYSIS

I made many mistakes in my first marriage and made a disaster in responding to my breakup and divorce.  My first mistake was not being engaged much longer than our 5-month engagement.  This was important in order for us both to learn how to amicably resolve our differences…which renowned marriage researcher and author, John Gottman, PhD, says is the most important skill to have in order to have a happy marriage and avoid divorce.  Dr. Gottman also says that a couple should have at least five positive (supportive, friendly) interactions for every negative (criticism, contempt, defensiveness, stonewalling) in order to maintain a healthy relationship.  You can easily check the health of your relationship by applying the two aforementioned factors that Dr. Gottman’s research discovered.

Over the years I’ve come to realize that my first wife had IED (Intermittent Explosive Disorder) where she became hysterical; therefore I should have taken anything she said or did while in this state with a grain of salt, and not automatically believe that she wanted to get rid of me because I might be permanently handicapped (from a large brain tumor I had removed 5 weeks before she threw me out) and therefore not be able to make her a good living, which is what I thought, not what she said.  Another mistake I made in my first marriage was to inform family that we were having problems.  Family and friends are supportive and usually take your side, which although they make you feel good, family cannot be objective in analyzing and resolving marital problems…that’s the job of marriage counselors. We should have gone to a mariage counselor to help us resolve our conflicts.  My wife went to a divorce lawyer, instead, which all but guaranteed that we would get divorced.  Although I instructed my lawyer that I did not want a divorce, he did nothing to assist me in preventing it.  In addition, my mom became overprotective and did not want me with someone who tried to kill me twice, especially at a time when I was very weak and unable to defend myself while recovering from my brain tumor surgery.  Mothers are funny that way…disliking people who try to kill their children.  However, had I been mentally and physically healthy, I would not have told anyone that my wife tried to stab me twice, but if I accidentally blurted it out, I would have adamantly said that my wife was having a temper fit at the time and really did not want to see me dead.

Finally, and most importantly, as very difficult as it was for me, I should have gone to my divorce court hearing.  Even if I simply showed up, limping, shaven-headed, one-eye-closed and half of my face paralyzed, etc., any judge would have been very skeptical believing that a spouse had legitimate grounds for divorce.  I needed to be there to tell what happened, and fight to keep her, perhaps through court-ordered marriage counseling.

Because we really loved each other, I believe that, were it not for my brain tumor, my wife and I would have worked out our problems and lived happily together and raised a family.  She wanted to be a good wife and, eventually, a good mother, and the emotional irritation I experienced from my brain tumor eventually went away.

My second marraige was completely different and I bent over backwards to make my wife happy, including moving to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.  In addition, my wife desperately needed my Federal medical  insurance because of her medical conditions. There’s not too much to be learned from my second marriage and divorce, except that in both of my marriages I should have done everything to prevent them since the hurt can (and did) last a lifetime.

ON THE OTHER HAND

It was a bath that precipitated my first wife to give me an ultimatum to either not bathe then or get out, and then follow it up with physically pushing out of our apartment a severely-disabled man only 5 weeks after he had a large brain tumor removed.  In addition, over the next six months my wife never even acknowledged, let alone apologized, to me or even shed a tear (that I could see) except for the time when she pushed me out of our apartment.  Our conflict should have taken five minutes to resolve: apologies on both sides with explanations that we didn’t mean what we said.  However, It was never resolved.  A marriage is faced with many problems over a lifetime which need amicable resolutions.  Perhaps I was lucky to have been tossed out of our apartment early-on before we had children?  But the consequences of divorce on all parties can be so painful that it should be used only as a last resort, after really trying together, face-to-face, to resolve the issues that brought you to the brink. We never seriously even tried because we hurt each other so badly and were both waiting for an apology from each other.  When I finally realized what needed to be done (grovel), my attempt was thwarted.

For more brief, but solid information on avoiding divorce, read my article on this blog entitled, “Improving Communications in Relationships & Marriage.”  Also, because making love can heal hurt feelings in a relationship, read the most informative and concise article I’ve ever seen on the subject, my article on this blog entitled, “Older Men, Have Great Sex Again,” which is actually relevant for all adults, not only for older men.  Finally, my article entitled, “Choosing a Spouse,” might help in selecting a partner who will be  there for a lifetime.

If you’re interested, here’s my account of the significant details of our breakup (if I also knew my wife’s account, we  probably could have avoided divorce):

OUR BREAKUP

My first-wife-to-be and I lived a few blocks from each other in our parents’ homes.  Since we both worked in the same office, I drove her to work every day and got to know her.  We then dated for a relatively short period, got engaged, and married after only five months of engagement.

We had a wonderful honeymoon but had a rough time learning to live together.  We got off to a bad start when on our first night she cooked hamburgers that she made with a teaspoon of black pepper mixed in.  She said that her mother gave her the recipe which made me paranoid about her mom wanting to break us up.  I had the curse of the first-born and consequently was a perfectionist and therefore too critical and, on the other hand, she never learned how to discuss our differences, negotiate and compromise.  While growing up, her parents never fought in front of her so she thought that couples that loved each other did not fight.  In addition, she always got her own way to the extent that, when she was a child, she demanded and got the master bedroom as her bedroom in her parents home.

Our fights would sometimes end with her phoning her parents to come and pick her up.  I eventually learned that the only way I could end a fight was to make her cry…and the only way to make her cry was to talk critically about her mother.  She would never compromise or even agree to end a fight…it just went on and on until I gave in completely, and even that did not satisfy her.  Fights did not end.  On two of the occasions when she became hysterical, she completely lost control and attempted to stab me with steak knives, which she tried to plant into my chest.  I consequently decided that she was not emotionally ready to raise our future children though she wanted to have four ASAP.  In order to prepare her to be the mother of our children, I thought that we needed to learn how to work out our differences and both compromise, when appropriate.  I had to make her hate to argue and fight and therefore I unwisely decided to see to it that she lost every argument from then on, though I should have instead insisted that we talk with a good marriage counselor.  Unlike the first two months of our marriage where I eventually gave in to every argument, I had to now win at all cost…no more understanding. This strategy began to work just about at the same time that I began getting agitated and a little paranoid from my brain tumor.  I was no longer in control…my brain tumor was.

My brain surgery took 5 hours and I was in the hospital for three weeks with 1/2 my face and head numb and so weak that I could barely move in my hospital bed.  When I was allowed to go home, I could barely walk, the left side of my face was still paralyzed and numb, my left eye lid was sutured shut to protect my left eye, I was deaf in my left ear, my equilibrium was bad to the extent that I appeared drunk when walking.  My wife was happy to have me home and cooked wonderful meals for me.  I remained emotionally irritated, however.

My brain tumor agitated me, aggravated my behavior, and made me hyper-sensitive to the point where I was difficult to live with.  In addition, my wife became enraged at something I said and tried to stab me again.  She was scared and told me, “somebody said you need a nurse, not a wife,” and “somebody said you’re going to be fat and bald.”  When my mom told her to “have patience with him, he’ll make you a good living,” she replied “I don’t have patience.” One Saturday, five weeks after my brain surgery, my wife wanted us to go out shopping.  I told her that I needed to get a bath first…that it was one of the few joys I still had.  She replied, “if you get a bath you can get out.”  I retorted, “I’m getting a bath so I guess I’ll have to get out.”  I took my bath and sang made-up lyrics that were insulting to her.

She told me to call a taxi to take me to my parents home.  I dialed the phone and made believe I was calling a taxi…but I did not.  She made me call again once she  realized I didn’t actually call the first time.  The taxi came but I refused to leave but was too weak to prevent her from pushing me out the front door.  I went to my parents home since I had no money nor any other place to go.

FROM BREAKUP TO DIVORCE

The day after my wife threw me out I returned to our apartment for a week, which I told her I would do, with the hope that she would still be there or come by or call me to discuss our breakup.  She never showed up.  It only took about six months from our breakup to our divorce (under Pennsylvania’s brief 6-month so-called  “cooling-off” period in its divorce laws).  After the first few weeks apart I arranged to see her, using the excuse that I needed to pick up some of my things.  I thought we would talk over coffee and each apologize to the other for the terrible things we said while angry and that we didn’t mean what we said.  When I arrived at the apartment she was wearing a see-through blouse over a see-through body stocking under that.  In addition, she told me that a (male) friend would be over soon.  Moreover, every chair and sofa had piles of clothes on them so there was no place to sit and talk.  After I was there about 10 minutes her doorbell rang, so I left.  While I believe now that her intent was to make me jealous, I became convinced at that time that she was fooling around with another man only a few weeks after she threw me out of our apartment and therefore was not interested in making up and getting back together.

Since she had her home phone number changed, I couldn’t call her at the apartment.  So I called her every afternoon at her workplace.  After doing that for about a month, her boss answered her work phone one day and told me that she was always upset after speaking with me.  Consequently, I stopped calling her.  Incidentally, my wife’s boss was also the father of her new husband-to-be.

When I received the legal notice of divorce, I immediately tore it up.  My lawyer never contacted me to discuss it or even inform me of the divorce hearing.

Meanwhile, my physical condition (one eye closed, 1/2 my face paralyzed and numb, equilibrium injured to the extent that I couldn’t walk straight), plus my wife throwing me out and starting divorce proceedings, no money, made me paranoid and I heard voices every waking hour shouting at me.

After much thought I concluded that my wife did not think I loved her and wanted her so I decided to make it very clear.  Consequently, I called her at work and begged her to take me back.  While on the phone my mom returned from work and overheard my conversation.  After the call ended my mom lit into me for not standing up to my wife and being a wimp.  The next day I called my wife again at work to get her answer.  Unfortunately, my mom returned home from work as soon as I got on the phone, so I talked in a manner to please my mom so when my wife said that she thought I wanted to get back together.  I replied, “you thought wrong.”  That was the end of my marriage.  I had tried so hard to win back the woman I loved for the previous six months, but in the very last moment when I actually had a chance to do just that, I blew it.

POST DIVORCE

I was conflicted about attending my divorce hearing but decided not to attend for six reasons: 1) my wife threw me out and never invited back in, 2) I thought that my wife had become romantically involved with a co-worker and would cheat on me with him had I been even able to legally prevent the divorce, 3) I was overwhelmed with grief over my wife, couldn’t handle it anymore, and just wanted to avoid it all and have it go away, 4) the upcoming divorce made me paranoid to the extent that I heard voices and thought the entire proceedings were evil and I therefore wanted nothing to do with them, 5) I thought it was useless…whatever I tried was stymied or stopped and ended up making me feel even worse, and 6) I had no money or job, and given my physical appearance, thought my prospects for good employment were dim.  Additionally, I didn’t even know exactly where the divorce hearing was being held and my lawyer didn’t even notify me (though I did receive a notice months earlier…which I immediately had torn up).  For days prior to my divorce hearing I repeatedly said to myself under my breath again and again, “It’s stupid to want someone that doesn’t want me.”  But I was mistaken to not even try.  I phoned my x-wife one week after our divorce was final, and was surprised that she had a new husband and he answered the phone but let me talk with her.

I subsequently tried returning to U. of Penn to finish my Masters but my only thoughts were of my x-wife so I temporarily dropped out and needed and received  psychotherapy for awhile.  I had “Command Auditory Hallucinations” for months where 24/7 I heard voices shouting at me, “murder your son.” The voices eventially disappeared and I subsequently finished my Masters at night and remarried 9 years later because I found someone who I cared about and who needed my help.  We subsequently moved to Washington, DC (and worked there for 12 years) and then to Colorado (for 27 years).  After I retired I moved back to the western suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to be near my family since my second wife had divorced me, but I still thought of my first wife every day and concluded that I had an ethical obligation to apologize to her, even though it had been 46 years since our divorce.  Consequently, I sent her a letter of apology for not treating her better, and also stated in it that I thought my brain tumor was partially responsible for my erratic behavior while we were married.

Finally, the heartache that I, my first wife, and our families experienced, I believe could have all been avoided by sincere apologies to each other shortly after the start of our misunderstanding and that a good marriage counselor could have enabled us to have mostly positive interactions, work out our disagreements amicably, and be happy together.  Eventually I decided that the main culprit in this entire matter was my brain tumor…making me paranoid, irritable, and lowering my libido.

 

my first wife

UNDERSTANDING DONALD J. TRUMP

Although there are a number of books available on understanding the President, you may not have the time, money, or inclination to buy and read any of them.  Therefore I thought you might like a quick look at what President Trump is all about, especially since the media has done such a pitiful job.  What makes me any better than the media?  First, the President and I went to the same University, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, though the President majored in business and I received my MGA in government administration.  Second, I’m basically an analyst, for which I have some education,  training and experience, as well as having focused on government and national issues for 50 years.  Nowadays, however, credentials mean next to nothing if one cannot be unbiased and objective in todays hyperpartisan environment.  So, let my analysis and words speak for themselves and you determine if what I say rings true.

All of his adult life Donald Trump followed important issues and donated to both Democrats and Republicans (see Trump’s book, “The America we Deserve”).  He was not ideological or partisan.  He was a super-patriot and eventually thought he could use his business acumen to turn America around, which he believed had become very weak, militarily, economically, and culturally.  After thoroughly checking with  political experts, he decided to run for the Republican presidential nominee.  Not being a polished politician, his blunt talk won over many Americans who were tired of slick-talking, do-nothing politicians.  His goal as President really was to “Make America Great Again”!  Donald Trump is “old school”.

With Republican majorities in both the House and Senate, the President was able to pass 96 pieces of legislation in 2017, the most significant being tax cuts (the law for the large increase in military spending to revive our weakened armed forces was passed in 2018).  Many of Trump’s accomplishments resulted from his abolishing numerous ridictulus and counterproductive Obama regulations that had put a “wet blanket” over the economy (former GE ceo Jack Welsh’s description).  In addition, President Trump used his formidable negotiating skills to deal with the huge trade imbalances the U.S. had with China, Japan, Mexico, etc.  Moreover, because of his blunt talk, unpredictability, and decisivenous, adversary countries took his threats seriously and were much more accomidating to him than to previous presidents.

Everything in this article to this point has been positive so why do so many people have an intense hatred of President Trump?  My belief is that it’s mostly because President Trump hits back very hard when attacked.  His Democrat opponents, the Mainstream Media, Hollywood, etc. are not used to any Republican fighting back when they attack them.  Republican leadership is infamous for being timid and not fighting back.  Another major reason why so many hate President Trump is the incessant criticsm Main Stream Media spouts off every hour of every day, most of it phony.

President Trump has turned around so many failing national endeavors and every single day makes even more progress.  If he continues at this pace for his entire four-year term, I believe he will go down in history as one of America’s best presidents.  If he serves for eight years, I sincerely believe he might  share the “greatest president” label with George Washington.

PAY OFF THE NATIONAL DEBT BY BECOMING ENERGY INDEPENDENT

Few would disagree that it is a worthy goal for the United States to achieve energy independence, and even better, become a major energy exporter and pay off the national debt with the wealth we created from the proceeds?  Most would agree that achieving this goal with little or no air or water pollution would be a good thing for the U.S. and for the planet.  Wouldn’t it also be great if the U.S. had no national debt?

In 2013, the U.S. spent 388 billion dollars to buy oil from foreign countries, some of which are using our money to fund terrorist activities against us…and money that could otherwise be used to help stimulate the American economy and create jobs for Americans.  At the height of the Arab Oil Embargo in 1973, dependence on foreign oil was about 35%.  In 2013, dependence on foreign oil was 32%.  In other words, our dependence on foreign oil has slightly decreased in 40 years.

So what can and should the United States do, if anything?  I see two sides of this issue: 1) does the U.S. have the oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear, wind, solar and hydroelectric power to be self-sufficient and also export oil, gas, and coal; and 2) can we access, use, and sell some these energy sources in an environmentally responsible way?

From my research, it appears that the U.S. has over 100 years worth of natural gas, three times the oil stores of Saudi Arabia,  and 250 years worth of coal which the U.S. is now capable of burning using carbon capturing technology, with significantly reduced carbon-emissions.  Currently the U.S. gets about 18% of its energy from nuclear sources and a small amount from hydroelectric, solar and wind.

While the U.S. is furiously attempting to develop its solar and wind energy capacities, they won’t be significant sources of energy for at least 25 years.  We need to have sufficient energy now to fuel our economy, heat our homes,  as well as make gasoline abundant and affordable to power our cars and trucks (electric-powered cars run on electricity mostly generated by burning coal, the most polluting fossil fuel) .

There is no question that the U.S. is blessed with more energy than any other country.  Given the latest technologies, there’s also no question that we can extract and burn oil, gas and coal in an environmentally-sound manner.  The only hindrance is political.  There are a  number of people who believe that burning any fossil or carbon fuels, even the green fossil fuel…natural gas, is bad for the environment.  They have been effective in the past in preventing oil exploration in ANWAR, in stopping the use of oil shale (although the oil from it can be extracted in-situ), and in preventing the licensing of new nuclear power plants (which are much safer than those old reactors in Japan, or the one in Pennsylvania (Three Mile Island… that had a partial meltdown in 1979). There were even prohibitions against drilling for oil even 1oo miles from our Florida and California coastlines.  Of course, China and Cuba are drilling  for oil 60 miles from our Florida coastline.  And of course the U.S., under President Obama, loaned Brazil two billion dollars so that it can explore off of its coastline.

Finally, Canada was an economic basket case in 2009 and decided to get serious about drilling for oil because it needed the revenue.   It worked, and Canada is now doing very well.  Under President Trump, its neighbor to the south (the U.S.) is now doing the same.  Under Donald Trump’s presidency, America will finally become energy independent and also significantly pay down the $21 trillion National debt.

 

SON OF HAMAS

I just finished reading a fascinating book by a fascinating and courageous person: Mosab Hassan Yousef.  Mr. Yousef gave up so much that he held dear to follow the beliefs of his new religion, Christianity.  His devotion to Christ led him to helping people, all people: Muslims, Christians, Jews, etc.  His father, Sheikh Hassan Yousef, was one of seven Palestinians that created Hamas in 1986, but Mr. Yousef was a principled and honorable man, unlike many of the other Hamas leaders, and led me to conclude that he is mostly responsible for his son also being a principled and honorable young man.

Christianity opened young Mosab’s mind to compassion and forgiveness and enabled him to take a second look at the Israelis, whom he was taught to hate by the culture he was raised in.  At some point he thought that he could save many lives on all sides of the Palistinian-Israeli conflict by working with Israel’s Intelligence service, the Shin Bet.  In fact, he did save many innocent lives, including his father’s.

In the epilogue, postscript and afterwards, Mosab ends the book by telling about his encounters in America, which I found to be very interesting, because by the end of the book I cared about what happened to him.

The book forced me to rethink Hamas and its true intentions: political power or a genuine concern for Palistinians?  It also gave me a better appreciation on how being raised in a culture where hatred is celebrated, and also think about how fortunate I am for being born and raised in America.  If you are interested in the Middle East, care about the people who live there, and want to understand what is happening there, this book should help.

HOW I KNOW GOD EXISTS

On a Easter morning I thought it timely to say a few words about the Creator and explain how I know, not simply believe, that there is a God.  This question, plus the question concerning the existence of Heaven and Hell , become increasingly more important as we get older.  Since I’m old enough to be dead and have one foot in the grave, I thought I would pay my respects to the Big Guy/Gal/Spirit.

However, since my Blog  emphasizes ”Independent Thought,’  I decided to make the case for God with no references to any of the World’s Religions or their Holy books.   Here goes…

I have many religious beliefs, some of which may not fit into any one religion, but they are beliefs, not certainty.  But I do know one thing for sure,  that there is a God.  He or she or it may be called by many different names but so what,  it’s trivial,  though I acknowledge that some religions make a big deal of it.

How do I know there’s a God?  The unbelievable vastness and complexity of the universe alone convinces me, but you may need more than that.  I’ll explain how I personally know that God exists.  The following  are my additional reasons, each one of which by itself doesn’t make the case alone so one needs to consider them all taken together:

1. In the late 80’s, 90’s, and until about 2005 I lived on top of a 9000′ mountain in the Colorado Rockies with my wife and cat.  I received a letter in the mail one Saturday requesting a donation of $500 to help the community pave the dirt road I lived on.  I wanted to do my part, especially since my property values would increase a lot if the road were paved,  but I couldn’t afford it.  So I continued opening up my other mail, one of which contained a check for $520 from some investment I had made.  The amount and the timing were perfect but, of course, just a coincidence.

2.  Ten years later, I made a monumental blunder with my checking account, and somehow found my checkbook $1,900 short.  Two days later, in Monday’s mail, there was a check for a little over $1900 from some investment, another perfect amount as well as perfect timing.  Twice bailed out?  Probably just another really lucky coincidence.

3. I took care of stray/homeless and even feral cats…with food, water, and medical care as part of the nationwide “Trap, Neuter, Return” program.  One Saturday a homeless pitch-black and friendly “Bombay” cat, with a little stub of a tail (later I named him “Bobby-Tail” because of his bobbed tail) came by my yard with a bad foot, trying to walk but limping very badly.  I brought him in and took him to my veterinarian, who found a cut on his foot and treated him.  The cost was $91, which I paid but couldn’t really afford right then.  Two days later I received a check in the mail for just over $91 for some refund from something.  The amount and timing was perfect!  A third coincidence?

On these three occasions plus two more the amounts and timing were perfect.  All times the money I needed was not for my personal use and was totally unexpected.  I began getting scared…and after some thought  I became convinced that they weren’t coincidences at all.  However, a really frightening incident that was the “slam-dunk” for me concerning the existence of God happened back in 1968 and 69.  I even wrote a “first-person” article about it for Reader’s Digest but it was not published.  The weird but true tale follows:

4. I’ll skip the preliminaries;  afterall, the “Amazing Kreskin” has said that Quija boards only worked as a result of the unconscious mind that was actually moving the Ouija board pointer that spells out words as it goes from letter to letter and pauses between words.  Easy enough to test…I had the two board users face aside so they couldn’t see the board.   As I asked it questions,  the pointer continued to move and answer them until my girlfriend, Maria, became so frightened by Quija’s answers,  she refused to work the board anymore.  Here’s my exchanges with Quija lumped together:

“Quija, are you a man or a woman?”  “SPIRIT”

“Quija, are you a good spirit or a bad spirit? “GOOD”

“Ouija, where do you get your power from?”  “SATAN”

“Ouija, everyone knows that Satan is evil, therefore how can you be good?  “GOODBYE”

“Ouija, when were you born?”  “I AM”

“Ouija, why do you talk to people?”  “PEOPLE NEED ME”

“Ouija, why do people need you?”  “TO MAKE THEM SUFFER”

“Ouija, I feel very sorry for you, how can I help you?”  “GIVE ME YOUR SOUL AND I WILL GIVE YOU THE ETERNAL POWERS OF EVIL”

I placed a set of Rosary beads onto the Quija board and asked: “Ouija, do you like me?”  “YOU ARE THE ENEMY OF THE SPIRIT WHO CAN CAUSE  SUFFERING BEYOND REALIZATION”

One year later I had a large brain tumor removed and was fighting for my life.  Half of my face became paralyzed and numb as a result of the surgical removal of the tumor and my equilibrium and emotional state became really bad to the extent that my first wife, Maria, in a fit of rage at something stupid I had said/done, pushed me out of our apartment 5 weeks after my brain tumor surgery, and subsequently divorced me.  Since then I’ve had another few dozen surgeries.  I would say that I experienced “suffering beyond realization.”  With only 1/2 of my face working normally, deaf in my left ear, and barely able to walk straight, I no longer fool around with Quija boards. The point of my story on Quija is that,  if  in fact evil really does exist, then it follows that a good spirit (God) also exists.  You be the judge… (but I would not fool around with a Ouija Board since many cases of alleged possession started out with a Ouija Board).

I know in God  from my aforementioned experiences as well as the vastness of the universe.  I do have many more religious beliefs based on the world’s religions’  Holy Books.  However, many of my beliefs I consider details; the main thing is that, for me, there is no question that God does indeed exist.

DEMOCRAT LEADERSHIP DOES NOT UNDERSTAND HOW THE ECONOMY WORKS!

The Democrat and the Republican Parties have completely opposite ideas and policies on stimulating the economy and creating jobs, but it’s difficult to understand how this can be.  No longer simply theory, but proven time-and-time again to work, cutting tax rates and cutting regulations stimulates the economy and creates jobs to the extent that the additional tax revenues generated from the cuts can exceed the cost of the cuts.  President Kennedy did this, as well as Presidents Reagan and Trump.  Why doesn’t the Democrat Party get it but instead sticks with Keynesian economics which allegedly doubled the duration of the Great Depression in the 30s and early 40s?  Understanding this phenomenon is so simple that I can only conclude that the Democrat Party doesn’t want to get it, but why not?

One of the constituencies that the Democrat Party claim is the poor.  The Democrat Party’s policies, however, keep the poor being poor.  On the other hand, “Supply-side” economics (see Milton Friedman’s book, Free to Choose)  pulls up many of the poor into the working class, middle class, and some will even become wealthy.  When this happens, they might no longer vote Democrat.  It’s therefore in the Party’s self-interest to keep people poor, keep them victims, keep them envious and vengeful, have them believe they’re the victims of racism, etc.

The most recent evidence that this is so is the relentless attacks against the huge Trump and Republican tax cuts, using the phony pretext that the cuts mostly benefited the wealthy.  Since the wealthiest 10% of the population pay about 70% of Federal income taxes, they receive back the most in dollars, though just a tiny amount percentage-wise.  In addition, lowering the corporate tax rate from the very highest in the world, 35%, to a much lower more competative rate, 21%, benefits not only the corporation but all of the people that a corporation can employ, as well.

It’s way past the time that the Democrat Party changes its posture on stimulating the economy and creating jobs based on reality the actual results that have been achieved every time cutting taxes and regulations have been tried.

OBAMACARE EQUALS NO HEALTH INSURANCE

Without subsidies, Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is unaffordable for most people.  Because it is so bad, many looked to President Trump to repeal and replace it with something much better and much less expensive.  When it was fully implemented in 2017, most Americans no longer received subsidies, which had totaled over $60 billion/year.  Incidentally, because employers were not required to provide heath insurance for part-time workers, most new jobs being created  in the U.S. under Obamacare were part-time.  While this made the unemployment roles look good, it was a nightmare for most Americans.

I’ve been a supporter of universal healthcare since the year 2000 and, although I did not vote for President Obama in 2008 and 2012, I was hopeful that he would make good-healthcare-for-all a reality.  It did not cross my mind that Obama would promulgate legislation that would destroy healthcare for many more Americans than it might help.  It also did not occur to me that healthcare premiums would double, triple, or even quadruple…and that deductibles would be as expensive as twelve thousand dollars/year and co-pays double…and that all of these consequences combined would have the cumulative effect of destroying healthcare for tens of millions Americans.

Let’s give the creators of Obamacare the benefit of the doubt and assume that their hearts were in the right place, and that the passage of the ACA was not simply an attempt of government takeover of 1/6 of the U.S. economy.  The Affordable Care Act demonstrated that it was not affordable and is pitiful health insurance…it was poorly and incompetently designed and executed.  It reminds me of  the homily that “an elephant is a mouse designed by committee,” but in the case of the ACA, designed by one political party in Congress.  Okay, so it’s time scrap it and start over.

But wasn’t Obamacare  designed to be like Romneycare, which was passed by Mitt Romney when he was a Republican governor of Massachusetts?  That’s what politicians said to justify Obamacare, but that’s “bull”.  Romneycare only affected about  8% of the Massachsetts population or about 6.5 million people.  Obamacare covered everyone except those exempted by the President, or about 300 million Americans.  Romneycare did not have penalties or mandates that Obamacare did until it was repealed by President Trump in the new tax cuts law. The very few good aspects of Obamacare, pre-existing conditions and coverage by parents’ insurance until age 26, could be simply added to new health insurance Federal legislation.

Although Obamacare  is clearly very bad and expensive health insurance, except for those receiving significant subsidies or exemptions,  the U.S. may end up being stuck with it. The reason is totally political.  One sixth of the economy is healthcare.  The ACA or “Obamacare” is a politician’s dream come true but the average American’s nightmare.  With thousands of dollars required for deductibles before reimbursement by insurance companies kicks in, Obamacare for most ends up basically being only catastropic health-care insurance, which is important and necessary, but not something one should pay a lot of money for.

An opportunity for Obamacare to be either repealed and replaced came with the 2016 Presidential election.  Only if Republicans control the Presidency, the Senate and the House of Representatives will Obamacare be replaced with healthcare that is affordable and truly cares about people.  Legislation failed in 2017 but hopefully will be attempted again if Repubilcans can win more Senate seats in the 2018 Congressional elections.

 

IS CAPITALISM ETHICAL? DOES SOCIALISM WORK?

Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, and many celebrities and academia advocate Socialism; the National Debt increased by $10 trillion (to $20 trillion) during President Obama’s 8 years; annual GDP growth under 2% for Obama’s entire reign; …ad infinitum.  Is Capitalism to blame for America’s woes under President Obama or has President Trump proven that it’s the solution to our Nation’s economic problems?

Let’s take a closer look, first with very brief definitions of Capitalism and Socialism so we’re all clear on what we’re talking about.  From the book, ‘isms and ‘ologies by Arthur Goldwag, Capitalism is the “free exchange of goods in a competitive marketplace.”  In that same book, “Socialism” is defined as the opposite of Capitalism.  Further, “In socialist economies, the means of production are either controlled by or directly owned by the state…”

Capitalism is fueled by a motive to make profits and it does this by providing goods and services that consumers want and at a price that can beat competitors’ prices who also provide similar goods and services.  This forces capitalists to constantly improve quality and undercut competitors’ prices.   Socialism eliminates the profit motive and therefore satisfies some people’s altruistic side and also attempts to redistribute wealth from the “haves” to the “have-nots,”  satisfying some people’s idea of fairness.  Because in Socialism there is no continuous need to improve efficiency and effectiveness, there usually is significant waste and inefficiencies.  Capitalists would argue that they earn their profits, attending college for many years and then working 70-80-hour workweeks… and it’s their taxed profits that enables government to have the money to help others.

Capitalism creates wealth,  which then is taxed and used to help the poor and needy.  Socialism makes equality of outcome most important, consequently leading to everyone being equally poor with no large sums of funds available for government and charities to help those in need.  Socialism takes away the incentive for people to work hard and excel to provide for themselves and their families.  The top 10% of the wealthy pay 70% of all Federal taxes.  The lowest 50% of taxpayers pay no Federal income taxes.

Government is usually the culprit behind much fraud, unemployment and economic downturn and  is responsible for our current economic woes.  Loans to people unable to repay them was the precipitating event that caused the 2007-8 economic downturn.  Quasi-government Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac forced banks, with threats of lawsuits, to make those bad loans.  Therefore, to have the government fully control the economy is insanity.  Government does not understand business, does not understand how jobs are created, does not comprehend how many of its regulations, especially “Obamacare,” are destroying the economy.

The Dodd-Frank Bill, proposed by and named after two of the most significant initiators of the 2008 economic downturn (Congressman Barney Frank and Senator Chris Dodd), is truly absurd.  For all of its harm to small banks and to the economy, it doesn’t even address the cause of the downturn, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

So, let’s answer our two basic questions, “Is Capitalism Ethical”, “Does Socialism Work?”  Capitalism is a huge engine for job creation and wealth to the extent that the Pacific Rim countries have embraced it, as well as China (and they are all becoming wealthy fast)…and there’s nothing unethical about making a reasonable profit for providing goods or services.   Socialism, on the other hand,  can be forced to work, but at the cost of civil liberties, prosperity, unemployment, and political interference in all aspects of your life.

Finally, how about some people becoming billionaires?  Is it ethical for anyone becoming that wealthy?  Huge wealth is certainly a possibility under Capitalism.  However, very wealthy people pay most of the taxes and also give much of their wealth, after providing for their families,  to charities, which use it more wisely than the government ever will. Finally, if you still have a problem with Capitalism, then call it “free enterprise” which means the same thing but is more descriptive and uncontroversial.  And if you’re still unconvinced if socialism works or has ever worked, just check out what’s happening in Venzuela, and if you think Socialism is great, then continue to vote for Democrats and be prepared for the continued decline of the United States.  On the other hand, keep an eye on the Trump economy to see what capitalism can do.

 

 

BONNIE THE STREET CAT

 I believe that you have to have pets of your own to fully understand how we “animal people”, feel about them.  I also believe that even referring to “companion animals” as “pets” is somewhat demeaning. Two of the first pets in my adult life were my cats, Bonnie and her kitten, Jenny.  They were special and I’d like to tell you a few of the things that I saw Bonnie do that demonstrates how special she was. One incident was an act of compassion and the other a demonstration of love.  You be the judge as to whether or not I’m attributing human qualities to my cat, Bonnie, or that she really was as special as I contend.

I first met Bonnie when she was a one-year-old homeless street cat.  I put out food and water every day and evening in my backyard for the homeless cats in the neighborhood.  Bonnie was a regular visitor, except that, unlike homeless feral cats that had never been socialized with people, she was very friendly. Suddenly one day she simply stopped coming around.  Months later, Bonnie, who had no name at the time, came onto my porch for some food and water and I decided to let her into my home because it was freezing cold outside.

She walked just a short distance into my parlor, looked around and returned outside to the bitter cold. However, within 5 minutes Bonnie returned to my porch accompanied by a black and white bloated, very sick cat. Both cats ate some of the dry cat food and drank some of the water that I had on my porch, and then both came to my front door and sat on the door mat.

Anyway, when I saw Bonnie with her sick friend, I immediately opened the door and Bonnie’s friend entered my home but Bonnie walked away. I quickly put out some canned cat food as well as a cat bed, litter box and a bowl of water. The sick cat ate and drank like it was starved and terribly thirsty. Meanwhile, I didn’t see Bonnie around again for a few months.

However, when I did see Bonnie again she seemed very fat. She came around every day and got fatter and fatter. It finally dawned on me that Bonnie, whom I thought was a male, was pregnant. From that moment on I couldn’t sleep peacefully at night. All I could think about was Bonnie’s kittens being born in the freezing cold and dying within 5 minutes of birth from the cold.

So one evening, when Bonnie came by for some food and water, I tried to entice her into my home. When I failed to get Bonnie to come in, I grabbed the cat carrier and a can of cat food and ran out and followed her across the street to a parking lot. She was so happy to see me pay attention to her… her tail wagged from side to side just like a dog’s.  I put an opened can of cat food into the carrier and thereby was able to lure her into it and took her to my home and let her loose inside.  The next day the “Cat Care Society” took in Bonnie and found her a foster home where she gave birth to six kittens.

Eight weeks later the Cat Care Society brought Bonnie and her kittens back to the shelter from the foster home and gave me the “pick of the litter” of the kittens. I picked an angel-faced little gray and white ball of fur who my wife named Jenny. However, the Cat Care Society was very concerned about Bonnie. When they separated her from her kittens, she grieved and cried and would not eat but I couldn’t take her home yet because she had to be neutered and then needed a few days to recuperate. “Cat care” thought Bonnie might die. Meanwhile, I brought home Jenny immediately.

When I finally brought home the emaciated and grief-stricken Bonnie, she stealthily approached Jenny, sniffed her, and then began licking her. She was the happiest cat you’ve ever seen!  Meanwhile, for weeks after being reunited with Jenny, whom she discovered on the floor by my sofa, it broke my heart to see Bonnie call and meow all around the sofa, thinking that her other five kittens were there also.

Bonnie and Jenny are now both indoor cats and although Jenny is all grown up, Bonnie still preens her and plays cat games with her like “Stalk,” “Ambush,” “Wrestle,” “Chase,” and “Cat-in-the-Box.” Bonnie is just one of millions of homeless cats on the streets who suffer from starvation, dehydration, being run over, freezing, being attacked by dogs and other cats, and being mangled by auto fans and belts when they snuggle up to a warm auto engine in the bitter cold. Fortunately I was able to save Bonnie and by so doing also saved her kittens, including Jenny.  Bonnie and Jenny’s love for each other and for me, and the compassion that Bonnie showed for a sick cat friend by bringing her to my home for food and help was very touching and made me love her even more.

Do you see why we Animal People” feel the way we do about our “Companion Animals”?

 

SIMPLY UNETHICAL OR REALLY CORRUPT DEMOCRAT PARTY?

In the old days, political candidates would tell voters what they stood for and voters would vote for those who they agreed with the most.  With the advent of polling and the use of focus groups, politicians now know in advance what the voters want and most tailor their speeches and “promises” to tell voters what they want to hear.

Politicians usually refer to this as “spin.”  Up to a point, it is spin.  But many politicians simply lie about their real intentions before they are voted into office…and go far beyond “spin.”  This is deceit and unethical but many partisan political people are easily deceived, partly because they want to believe whatever “their” politician and political party is peddling.

How does one find out which politicians are telling the truth and which ones are conning the public?  Start with being skeptical of all politicians.  Look at their record because what they’ve done in the past is the very best predictor of what they’ll do in the future.  Finally,  don’t be fooled by great and inspiring speeches.  We live in a sophisticated and complicated age where not much in politics is what it seems.  

“Okay,” you may say, but “do you have any current examples of “unethical politics?”  I do, but should’nt we first define “unethical.”  We’ll just jump in with specific examples and you, the reader, decide whether some behavior is unethical or not.  You should be able to verify every example I cite on the Internet. Let’s go:

The Republican Party or GOP (Grand Old Party) is also known as”The Stupid Party.”  The Democratic Party is also known as “The Treason Party.”  Here’s why…when it comes to political strategy, for whatever reason, the Republican Party is naive, and possibly stupid.  When it comes to issues related to national defense, terrorism, and the economy, the Democratic Party has demonstrated that it is not only very weak, but its policies actually make things much worse.  But these are superficial labels and characterizations, so let’s go deeper and more substantive so, for the sake of time and brevity, I’ll simply cite just a few examples that I consider unethical:

-1.8 million dead listed as voters; 2.8 million people registered in 2 states; 68,000 people registered in 3 states.  Most were Democrats.

-6.4% illegal aliens voted in 2008.  Most voted Democrat.

-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, for  political reasons, not providing for the rescue of U.S. Ambassador Chis Stevens and other Americans in Ben Ghazi on September 11, 2012. 

-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for carelessly handling “Classified” information in her e-mails and consequently putting American lives at risk.

-Secretary Clinton for deleting 33,000 emails from her server after receiving a subpoena to provide all of her emails to a Congressional Committee.

-President Obama, for political reasons, destroying affordable healthcare for millions of Americans by imposing huge deductibles and very high premiums.

-President Obama, for political reasons, not pushing for a “status of forces” agreement with Iraq and consequently not leaving a small contingent of American troops to protect the victory that we won there (and ISIS consequently taking over much of Iraq and Syria).

-Former Attorney General Eric Holder for colluding with the IRS to target conservative groups.

-Former Attorney General Eric Holder for the “Fast and Furious” operation that has led to many innocents being killed by assault rifles it provided to Mexican drug cartels.

-The IRS, under President Obama, for targeting conservative groups almost exclusively for political reasons.

-The Democrat Party for orchestrating and funding violent demonstrators at Trump rallies.

-The mainstream media for serving as an arm of the Democrat Party and thereby jeopardizing our democracy (see Bernard Goldberg’s books,  “A Slobbering Love Affair,” “Bias,” and “Arrogance”).

-The Democrat Party for fabricating the phony “war on women.” (read Katie Pavlich’s book, “Assault and Flattery”)

-The Democrat Party for blaming climate change on carbon emissions rather than addressing the real upcoming global cooling which is due to solar flares and sunspots, specifically weak Solar Cycles 24 and 25 (read John Casey’s book, “Cold Sun,” David Archibald’s book, “Twilight of Abundance,” and John Casey’s book, “Dark Winter.”).

-The Democrat Party for it’s its phony “voter suppression” charges as a pretext to be against Voter ID efforts and legislation that prevent voter fraud (see Ann Counter’s book, “Mugged”).

-The Democrat Party for its phony gun debate, thus endangering the lives of millions, especially women  (read John Lott’s book, “More Guns, Less Crime”).

-The Democrat Party for stealing millions of votes (see Andrew Gumbel’s book, “Steal This Vote,” and John Fund’s book, “Who’s Counting, How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk”).

-The Democrat Party for constantly falsely claiming that the rich don’t pay their “fair share” of Federal taxes when the fact is that the top 10% of the wealthiest pay 70% of the Federal taxes.

-The President, Democrat Party, and the “Left”  for trying to suppress free speech (see Kirsten Powers book, “The Silencing”)

-The Democrat Party for turning into a political-unethical organization intent on seizing and retaining power at any cost (see David Horowitz’ book, “The Shadow Party,” and Dick Morris’ book, “Power Grab”).

-The Democrat Party for its racist history: being pro-slavery, pro Jim Crow laws, pro Klu Klux Klan for over 100 years, finally ending with honest President John F. Kennedy (see Ann Coulter’s book, Mugged).

-The Democrat Party for opposing border security, extended-family chain migration, and the VISA diversity lottery, due solely on its desire for more undocumented workers who will eventually vote exclusively for Democrats.

-The Democrat Party and the Hillary Clinton campaign for jointly paying $12 million to pay former British agent Christopher Stihl for having Russians create a fake dozzier on candidate Trump and then pass it on to the FBI who used it to convince the FISA court (and keep it secret that it was funded by the DNC and the Clinton campaign) to issue a warrant to listen in on Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page and ultimately to instigate a special counsel to investigate President Trump for non-existent collusion with the Russians.

-ad infinitum.

It’s possible that any politician can become corrupted and lie through his/her teeth to the electorate.  America needs two major honest political parties.  Democrats need to do whatever needs to be done to return their Party to the honesty of their former Democratic President, John F. Kennedy.  The health of the United States and all of its citizens depend on it.

DRESS FOR JOB SUCCESS

In 1977 I read a book by John Molloy, called Dress for Success.  A few later I read Molloy’s The Women’s Dress for Success book.  In his books, Molloy explained his research on the relationship between clothing and effectivess at your job.   His research began with a small grant exploring whether how teachers dressed affected how much children learned.  His findings showed that a teacher dressing like the upper middle class led to children learning much more. Molloy continued researching, creating many innovative methods for determining the effects of clothing.  His books are based on his research, not on fashion, and are helpful to achievers in most fields of endeavor.

My awakening to this concept came one day while in the snackroom in the basement of the Federal Interior South building in Washington, DC.  While there, the assistant director of the agency I worked for came in to buy a snack.  When he saw me, his eyes and brows grew wide and he momentarily stopped in his tracks before saying hello.  I thought about this encounter and what might account for it.  This process included considering what I was wearing.  BINGO!  I wore red pants, a pink shirt, a white tie with pink polka-dots.  Walking home after work I stopped at a book store to find a book on proper attire, and found John Molloy’s Dress for Success.  I read it, underlined it, taught it in an adult education course, and slowly changed my work clothes to reflect Molloy’s research.

Despite half of my face being paralyzed and my gait being really messed up, I was able to still advance in my career.  So what exactly does Molloy say that can help you in your career?  The look to have is that of the upper middle class.  For men that usually means a blue or grey suit (solid, herringbone, pin-striped, glen plaid, hounds tooth) or navy blue or camel sports jacket, with a white or light blue shirt or a pin striped.  No facial hair is best . Ties should be conservative foulard, repps, solid, polka dot, or paisley.  Men’s jewelry should only be a gold watch, a cross pen, and a wedding ring, if married.  Dark socks and black or dark brown shoes.  For women that usually means a skirted suit, nothing too feminine, not much if any makeup if your under aboutmuch 40, sensible shoes with no high heels, very little jewelry.  The person in the news that has this look is the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen.  If you look closely you will see a very beautinful blonde woman who plays down her beauty and sexuality to emphasize her mind. No/little makeup, no/little jewelry, proper women’s business attire, sensible shoes, etc.  Secretary Nielsen knows what she’s doing.  It’s no accident that President Trump appointed her Secretary of Homeland Security.

On the other hand, there are some very beautiful and sexy women who achieve career success despite their dressing to attract a mate rather than depict their competence on their sleeve.  The person that comes immediately to mind is the White House Communications Director, Hope Hicks.  Ms. Hicks is only 29 years old and should not be wearing much makeup and should be wearing a skirted suit, though her pants suit in this photo with President Trump isn’t bad.  Compare her photo with that of Ms. Nielsen.

The look to achieve for maximum effectiveness in a professional work setting is that of the upper middle class.  Molloy’s books are currently about 40 years old but I have not seen anything that explains things as well.

WILL PRESIDENT TRUMP BECOME OUR GREATEST PRESIDENT?

George Washington was our greatest President…without him there would be no United States of America.  Abraham Lincoln was our second greatest for ending slavery and preventing the South from seceding from the Union and therefore keeping the United States as one country.  Ronald Reagan was our third greatest because America was in a huge mess after Jimmy Carter’s presidency and Reagan turned it around by rebuilding our military to the extent that the Soviet Union collapsed, and President Reagan also and grew the economy, which resulted in the doubling of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the ten-year period from the time Reagan’s cuts in tax rates went into effect (1983).

I believe that Donald Trump is now our fourth greatest president and may eventually move up to being our third, then our second, and finally our greatest.  He already knows the best policies to pursue for the U.S. to prosper…in addition to knowing how to handle sticky international problems and strengthening our military, but now he needs to become even better at dealing with the Democrats and the media and be far more careful in his choice of words and protecting himself from the likes of Dick Durbin, Nancy Pelosie, Chuck Shumer, Adam Schiff, etc.

As I write this post (2/3/18), President Trump recently signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which is reving up the U.S. economy, big time.  This comes as the President terminated over a 1,000 job-killing useless regulations, initiating a huge increase (7 trillion dollars) in the Stock Market, creation of 2.4 million new jobs, very low unemployment rate (4.1 %), increases in the Civilian Labor-Force Participation Rate, and growth in the Gross Domestic Product by 3-5%.  Morever, by giving the military more flexibility in fighting ISIS, most areas formerly held by ISIS have been recaptured.  President Trump is now trying to get an illegal-immigration-stopping wall built on our southern border, an end to chain migration, and an end to VISA-lottery immigration.  If Congress ever passes his FY 2018 budget, our huge amount of broken-down military hardware will be repaired.

Exactly what does President Trump need to do to become the best President in U.S. history?  Circumstances and the President’s actions in response to them have a lot to do with how great a president becomes.  Therefore, how Trump makes America great again despite everything the mainstream media and the Democrat Party do to stop him, will determine, in part, how great President Trump becomes.  Put more simply, Trump’s political enemies will be somewhat responsible for the degree that he becomes great.  There is a simple Arab saying that makes it clear, “the greater our enemy, the greater the victory over that enemy.”  With the release of the four-page memo from the House Intelligence Committee, President Trump had some very formidable and powerful enemies.

I just listened to the State of the Union speech by President Trump and from that I believe that he is on his way to becoming our greatest.  What does he still need to do to become our greatest?  This is what I believe he needs to do at a minimum:

  1. build the southern border wall, end the visa lottery, end sanctuary cities, severely limit chain migration, establish a merit-based immigration system,
  2. pass a great infrastructure bill, using to the extent possible, mostly state, local and private funds,
  3. completely repeal obamacare and replace it with system for great healthcare insurance system,
  4. get to zero budget deficits and begin significantly paying down the national debt,
  5. eliminate ineffective government programs and agencies and reduce the size of the Federal workforce,
  6. rebuild the military to be stronger than it ever has been,
  7. end the opiod crisis,
  8. expose and end voter fraud,
  9. revitalize and make safe depressed inner cities,
  10. help the Democrat Party clean up its corruption,
  11. appoint many more conservative judges,
  12. be more congenial, don’t severely criticize former presidents, don’t exagerate
  13. be re-elected President in 2020.

In today’s partisan political climate, it’s difficult to get much accomplished without great effort, but President Trump is getting important things done despite his many enemies. We’ll know in a few years how great President Trump will be.  Stay tuned.

IF YOU’RE NOT A LIBERAL AT 20…; IF YOU’RE NOT A CONSERVATIVE AT 40…

WW II British Prime Minister Winston Churchill said “if you’re not a Liberal at 20, you have no heart; if you’re not a Conservative at 40, you have no brain.”  What exactly did Churchill mean and is it valid? That’s what this brief post is about.

At 20 years old, people are usually idealistic and usually believe what their mentors (teachers, professors) inculcate into them.  However, the parents of teachers and professors in most of today’s universities and colleges became Liberal in the 1960’s when draft dodgers fled there to avoid the Draft and Vietnam.  Consequently, students today hear only one side of  national issues, and further, are discouraged to even listen to both sides, because the other side is characterized as being racist or sexist or whatever.

At 40 years old, people are usually much more mature, often with a spouse and children, and begin devoting much more time following public issues.  Moreover, they have lived long enough to become much better at recognizing  the lies and deceit engaged in by many politicians.  And because many at age 40 now have children, National issues take on much greater importance with the realization that many Liberal/Progressive policies not only don’t work, but actually do great harm to the people that they supposedly are intended to help.

I’m 50% Conservative and 50% Liberal.  That does not mean 50% Republican and 50% Democrat.  What’s Liberal or Conservative about $19 trillion in National Debt?  What’s Liberal or Conservative about health care that is a confusing, disorganized, and unaffordable the way Obamacare is configured?  What’s Liberal or Conservative about a weak military or a foreign policy that punishes our allies and rewards our enemies?

At 75, I’m in the last part of my life, and I’d love to leave this world knowing that the U.S. will be OK, but I’m not there yet,however most young people scare me because they can vote, though they know less than nothing about the issues…less than nothing because much/most of what they think they know is misinformation.  I don’t mean to sound critical, because it’s natural for the young to spend their time pursuing mates, getting an education and starting a career.  However, on November 8, 2016, President Trump turned around the economy, after coming close in a Obama-led race to the trash heap of history.  Whether  the Trump economy continues to play out might depend on how the young vote, the young being the group whose future would be the most devastated by another Democrat President-controlled big-government statist president.

A famous British prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, said it best:  “The problem with socialism is that, sooner or later, you run out of other people’s money.”  The U.S. got very close to running out of being financially able to borrow more of other people’s money.  I believe that President Trump has stopped this from happening.

 

NOT YOUR FATHER’S DEMOCRAT PARTY!

I’m a Conservative but was not always: I remember discussing the 1960 Presidential election with my father after watching the T.V. Presidential debates, trying to decide who would make the better President, Richard Nixon or John Kennedy.  Both candidates had similar positions on issues. Though inexperienced, Kennedy was youthful, energetic, and good-looking, and came across  very well on television.  Nixon was more dour and did not look good on T.V.  However, my dad and I thought that Nixon’s experience trumped Kennedy’s and that this was the most important factor to consider.

Of course, Kennedy was elected President and, aside from his handling of the “Bay of Pigs” fiasco,  governed well.  Although his father, Joseph Kennedy, bought the election for his son by buying votes in Cook County, Illinois, as well as in Texas, President Kennedy, aside from his womenizing, was basically an honest and effective President, and is consequently still beloved to this day by many millions of people.

Upon President Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, Vice-President Lyndon Johnson was sworn in as President and served out the remainder of Kennedy’s first term.  His escalation of the Vietnamese war was unpopular but his Civil Rights legislation was (legislation that President Kennedy originated).  Johnson allegedly said that “this will have the N****** voting Democrat for 200 years).  African-Americans had been previously voting Republican for 100 years after Republican President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation (the Democrat Party was the party of slavery, the Klu Klux Klan,  and Jim Crow laws).

After Republican Gerald Ford became President when Richard Nixon resigned in 1974, Jimmy Carter became the next Democrat President in 1976.  Both inflation and interest rates skyrocketed under the Carter Administration and when Carter persuaded the Shah of Iran to allow the Ayitolla Khomeni out of exile in Paris and back into Iran, Khomeni quickly fomented revolution and took over the country.  52 hostages were taken from the U.S. embassy in Tehran, were held for 444 days, and only released 30 minutes after Ronald Reagan was sworn in as President in 1981.  Reagan reduced tax rates (which resulted in the Gross Domestic Product of the U.S. doubling in 10 years), strengthed the military (including the Strategic Defense Initiative (“Star Wars”), and cut back Federal regulations.  All of these got the economy booming.  Republican President George H.W. Bush subsequently served as president from 1988 to 1992 and had U.S. troops push Saddam Hussein’s troops out of Kuwait back to Iraq in the first Gulf War.

Democrat Bill Clinton became President in 1992, governed as a moderate, and was considered a successful President despite his tryst with White House intern, Monica Lewinsky.  Under his Presidency there were 4 years of Federal budget surpluses, thanks mostly to Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, and Budget Committee Chairman, John Kasich.

After George W. Bush served as President from 2000 to 2008, Barrack Obama became President in 2008 on a slogan of “Hope and Change,” after serving as a U.S. Senator from Illinois for 2 years, and moved the Democrat Party to the far left.  He was re-elected in 2012 and served as President for four more years.  As President, Obama pushed through the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) that mandated very poor healthcare unaffordable  for all except those receiving subsidies,  the Dodd-Frank law that destroyed 40% of community banks, that shut down many coal-fired generating plants losing about one million jobs, that wasted the Federal budget billions by investing in failed “green energy,” “kick-back”plants like Solyndra, that emphasized man-made climate change instad of sun-caused  climate change, that increased the National debt from $9 trillion to $19 trillion, that decreased the strength of the military to its weakest in decades, that did not leave a small residual military force in Iraq which resulted in terrorists regaining a strong foothold in the region, that negotiated a really stupid deal with Iran which is leading to nuclear proliferation in the Middle East and possibly a  nuclear war, and which did not take the threat from ISIS seriously, etc., etc., etc.

On January 20, 2017, Donald Trump was sworn in as President and has implemented policies which grew the economy to over 3% GDP growth in less than one year in office.  This after eight years of President Obama having an average of 1.9% GDP growth.  The stock market went from about 18,000 Dow Jones Industrial Average to over 26,000 in less than one year of the Trump Presidency.  Finally, the President and the Republicans in Congress significantly cut taxes on individuals, businesses and corporations which has resulted in the economy growing at an unbelievable rate to the extent that I believe that budget deficits will disappear in a few years.

From Conservative Kennedy to Far Left Obama, the Democrat Party is no longer the Political Party that your father might have voted for.

UNDERSTANDING SEXUAL HARASSMENT

What do movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, Senator Al Frankin, Congressman John Conners, and President Donald J. Trump, all have in common?  All have been accused of sexual harrassment!  From hearing victims’ sexual harassment stories, I believe it’s very important to first clearly define exactly what sexual harassment is.  Having done EEO counseling collateral-duty (part-time)  while working full-time as a program analyst with the U.S. Department of the Interior, I’m familiar with the clear definition of sexual harassment by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, at 29 C.F.R. 1604.11, as follows:

Sexual Harassment is conduct in the form of “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature” when such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostlite, or offensive working environment.” 

Except for its legal implications, it’s not important to someone who feels harassed, frightened, or intimidated, whether s/he has been technically and legally sexually harassed. The following very relevant quote is taken from an article by Mortimer Zuckerman that appeared in the May 23, 1994, issue of US News and World Report:

“That sexual harassment exists is unquestionable, but that many acts of sexual misconduct are overdramatized is also true.  To avoid trivializing those who suffer the real thing, we must reject the idea that any unwanted advance or remark constitutes harassment.  There is a difference between an unwanted encounter, which may upset a woman, and pressure applied — such as threatening a woman’s job security — or ongoing demeaning treatment.  Those wrongly accused have their own ordreal in trying to prove a negative.”

When I was working for a U.S. Department of the Interior bureau in Denver in 1991, I also belonged to a public speaking club where someone accused me of “inappropriate behavior.”  Moreover, even before hearing my rebuttal, the club voted me out, whereupon I hired a lawyer to help me get my “due process” rights that were listed in the club’s charter.  In working through the details of the case, the accuser could not cite any examples of what I did that was inappropriate.  I sought advice from many people on how to handle the incident.  The psychiatrist I consulted advised that, since the woman had recently went through a horrible divorce,  she was taking out her anger on me.  I also read many books on communication problems, including the excellent, You Just Don’t Understand, by Deborah Tannen.

CONCLUSION

Both men and women need to learn how to deal with sexual harassment.  Men need to understand that women can destroy their lives and therefore they need to be more considerate of women’s feelings and perceptions and educate themselves on how and when many women become uncomfortable with some of their actions, such as using foul language, coming on too strong, and being too aggressive.  One of man’s basic evolutionary roles was to protect women; it’s wrong to harass them.

Women need to educate themselves on sexual harassment and how to handle various situations in a manner that eliminates the problem with a minimum of anguish.

Finally, for those trying to judge what the truth is in a potential sexual harassment encounter, remember to not completely believe anyone regardless of his/her gender; just follow the evidence.

 

 

IS CLIMATE-CHANGE DUE TO SOLAR FLARES OR IS IT MAN-MADE?

Global warming, cooling, or climate change: terms that have been politicized to the extent that one has to question the sources of all data and facts cited to prove or disprove: 1) whether global warming, cooling or climate change even exits, and if it does, 2) is it man-made or caused by something else or a combination of both.  Further, if it does exist and is mostly man-made, 3) how bad is it and, 4) can anything be done to significantly stop it if it’s  bad enough to warrant being stopped.  If we can answer each of these concerns, then we’ll know what to do, if anything.   Here’s my analysis:

1) Whether the earth is warming, cooling or staying the same basically depends on the point in time you select to compare this year’s  earth’s temperature to.  For example, a few hundred years ago the earth went through a “Little Ice Age” (1280-1850 AD) so of course today’s temperatures would be  warmer than then.  You may cite the melting Arctic glaciers as other evidence of global warming.  OK, but you need to consider that glaciers wax and wane over time and when Arctic ice is waning, Anarctic ice is waxing.  In other words, climate constantly changes (there was a “Medieval Warm Period” from 900-1300 AD and it was a few degrees warmer than today’s temperatures).  Over thousands of years the Earth has cooled and gotten warmer and cooled and gotten warmer, etc.  In fact, the Earth has had 5 major Ice Ages over the past 2 billion years,  5 periods of serious global cooling.

2) In the last few hundred years some data suggests that the earth appears to have warmed and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions increased, so a case can be made for there being a correlation between the two.  Remember, however, correlation doesn’t mean causation.  Scientists do know that there is a significant correlation between Sunspots and weather on earth.  However, how much of the recent warming is due to CO2 and how much is due to Sun spots and Solar Flares is suggested by the fact that although atmospheric carbon dioxide has increased, the earth’s temperature has remained almost the same, which suggests that carbon dioxide has little or no effect on the earth’s temperature.

3) Is any global warming, cooling, or climate change cause for alarm and action?  Thus far, it’s been relatively minor and any slight increase in the earth’s temperature is probably a good thing…more crops, better weather.  Of course, the adverse effects  from the previous huge California drought, specifically the lack-of-water problem in California’s Central Valley was 100% man-made by former President Obama’s policy of manipulating stored water for the Delta Smelt, a small fish on the Endangered Species List, rather than use it for the cropland and farmers that lived there and for the thousands of migrant farm workers that helped harvest their crops.  Insofar as extreme weather activity is concerned, the past half-century has seen fewer major hurricanes and extreme tornado activity in the United States.

4) Can anything be done about global warming , cooling or climate change if  it gets really bad in the future?  Sure, there are various ways to reverse global warming but not global cooling.  My preference is, if there is global warming,  the geoengineering proposals that seem preferable because they affect every country equally and do not harm any country’s economy.  So what should be done now, if anything?  “Watchful waiting” is in order but everyone needs to endeavor to get global warming or climate change out of politics because it should be solely a matter of science.  The Kyoto Protocols were rejected by the U.S. Senate in 1997 by 95 to 0.  And well they should have been, because the largest polluters, China and India, were exempted.  Moreover, the U.S. withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord because the Accord did nothing to help the environment but would have cost America $3 billion/year that would have been redistributed to other countries.

Recall the “Hockey Stick graph” scandal in which a team led by a professor at the University of Virginia created a graph  that eliminated data depicting the Little Ice Age and the Medieval Warm Period  in an effort to support the global warming hypothesis.  Then the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) actually and unbelievably included the misleading graph it in its Third Assessment Report.  Therefore, I believe it prudent to be very skeptical of any data depicting global warming or cooling.

With help from the Sun, the Earth’s climate changes constantly and gets warmer and then cooler.  People contribute some, but for the most part it appears the Sun is to blame.  From my course in meteorology at Penn State University,  I  learned that “yes, climate changes all of the time…that is the very nature of climate…”  However, large sums spent on projects that attempt  doing something about it are not warranted until there is solid evidence and that we can significantly do something about it (unlike the political and do-nothing Paris Climate Accord).  Currently, claims of global warming are: 1) a ruse to give climate-study contracts to friends who will pay back significant sums (“kickbacks”) to politicians, and 2) used as a rallying cry by which the Democrat Party attracts and holds young, idealistic people to vote for them.

Data indicates the world is about to enter into a 25-year period of global cooling due to weak Solar Cycles 24 and 25.  Read Cold Sun and Dark Winter by John L. Casey, and chapter 2 (“A Less Giving Sun”) of the book, Twilight of Abundance by David Archibald if you would like to see the research on this.

Is climate change mostly caused by people or is this political BS, and can anything be done about it to make a significant difference?  We don’t know yet.  If anyone says “it’s settled science,” you need to know that nothing in science is ever completely settled.  I estimate that about half of scientists disagree with climate-change being mostly man-made.

 

UNDERSTANDING AFRICAN-AMERICAN POLITICS (audio interview w. Kevin Jackson)

I decided to interview Mr. Jackson, author of the book “The Big Black Lie, How I Learned the Truth about the Democractic Party”, (25-minute audio of interview at the bottom of this introduction…click on the red writing below) because he is rare indeed…an unabashed African-American conservative.  Moreover, one won’t hear his views from traditional black leaders or the mainstream media and his views are worth listening to because they have a unique perspective and are interesting.

Mr. Jackson has degrees in Electrical Engineering and Mathematics, was a management consultant for some of the world’s largest companies, ran his own sales organization, and has his own Blog and radio show.  He is a dynamic and elegant speaker who is in high demand for his clarity of thought and expression.

The interview with Mr. Jackson focuses on African-American politics and explores why Mr. Jackson holds the views that he does. He has been on MSNBC, O’Reilly, and Cavuto,  among many others, and has a clear and studied loud message for African-Americans, as well as anyone else interested in the welfare of that community.

In the interview, Mr. Jackson tells us about:

  1. How blacks were sold out by the Democratic party
  2. How to criticize President Obama without being considered a racist
  3. How the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was far more supported by Republican Congressmen than Democratic Congressmen
  4. Why the Democratic Congress failed to revise welfare law even after Democratic Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan reported on how its “no man in the house rule” was destroying black families
  5. The origins of the financial meltdown, and much more.

To listen to my interview with Mr. Jackson’s, please click on the red words below and then the hyperlink under them.

Kevin Jackson-African Americans Audio

Interview by Mike Russo.

MORE GUNS, LESS CRIME?

Are you pro-Second Amendment or anti-Second Amendment or somewhere in-between?  Are you for reasonable restrictions on gun ownership?  Where you stand on the gun issue really doesn’t matter much because most of the dialog surrounding this issue is simplistic and/or deceitful.

Why?  Because most of the measures which have been discussed and adopted have proven to be ineffective.  John Lott, author of the book, More Guns, Less Crime, is the very best authority on what works and what doesn’t, but have you heard his name even mentioned in the gun debates.  His research over more than a decade is explained in his book and should be the foundation of gun laws, not the political posturing that is going on around the country aimed at voters and guaranteed to do nothing except make matters worse.  Most people are not expected to know who knows what they’re talking about and who doesn’t, but the media is expected to know, but it doesn’t.

The Second Amendment to the Constitution allowing an armed citizenry was adopted by the Founding Fathers as a safeguard against tyranny.  They wanted this because most democracies in the past commonly morphed into dictatorships, and with a standing army in the United States, this was a real possibility.  Fear of a dictatorial government is just one reason why today emotions are so high surrounding the issue, especially with Venzuela recently becoming a dictatorship.  Not many politicians will admit it because it sounds crazy, however, this is the heart of the issue: big-government Democrats want as much control of guns as possible, and limited-government Republicans want the minimun amount of control possible.  The major reason for many gun owners to have guns is the capability guns provide in protecting oneself and one’s family.  Other reasons are hunting and target shooting.

I bought my first handgun while living in downtown Washington, DC.  Washington banned even owning a handgun when I lived there.  However, I decided to break the local law and purchase a PPK (James Bond’s gun) after a close friend and neighbor had his head busted open by four hoodlums. Not too long after this I was attacked by three hoodlums just outside of my apartment.  Consequently, my wife and I moved to a safer neighborhood.

We subsequently moved to a mountaintop in Colorado, about one hour southwest of Denver.  While working in front of my property a motorcyle gang drove past me which got me to thinking that I could not protect my wife and I for the one hour it took for the sheriff to find and get to my home.  Consequently, I purchased a shotgun,a semi-automatic rifle, and a larger handgun.  Since We had no children and neither I nor my wife ever became hysterical, I kept all of my guns loaded and ready to use.  I considered them insurance and the made me feel much better about my ability to protect my wife.

You can see that my interest in guns has to do with protection.  The Second Amendment gives us American that Right.  I think we that Right to protect our ability to protect our families.  If you’d like to learn about the statistics that prove that more guns mean less crime, read John Lott’s, More Guns, Less Crime, and you’ll have the information you need to decide what needs to be done to help control gun violence.

GOP/TRUMP ECONOMIC PLAN: REDUCE TAX RATES TO INCREASE TAX REVENUE

How can President Trump and the Republican House and Senate pay for large tax cuts and a trillion dollars in infrastructure improvements that they are advocating and still eliminate Budget Deficits and eventually the National Debt?  Few politicians explain this so I thought that a U. of Penn Wharton graduate (me), who should know this, would explain it.  Many are concerned that the large proposed infrastructure spending and proposed tax cuts will force the U.S. further into debt.  If you simply look at the economy as static, this would be true.  However, the economy is dynamic, not static.  Therefore, when you change some things, like reducing corporate taxes from the current 35% to President Trump’s 20%, as well as reducing taxes on the working and the middle classes, this stimulates businesses in many ways, bringing back U.S. business and investment money to America and stimulating new businesses and the growth of existing businesses.  In addition, Trump will repeal the individual mandate contained in Obamacare, which is the penalty that Obamacare imposes on those who chose not to be covered under it, estimated at $358 billion. Finally, there is about $3 trillion in U.S. corporate funds residing in other countries, that with a one-time repatriation tax rate of 10%, will return to the United States and be invested here.

All of this resulting economic activity will result in a huge increase in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is a measure of the size of the U.S. economy.  The taxes from this huge growth in economic activity, though the tax rates are reduced, will result in tax revenues being vastly increased.  President Ronald Reagan did this in the 80’s, as well as reduce regulations, and GDP consequently almost doubled in size within 10 years from the time that Reagan’s tax rate cuts went into effect (1983).  President Kennedy also did this in the 60’s.

GDP growth is extremely important because, with 4% annual GDP growth, the United States can afford to do what needs to be done without having annual budget deficits, that at the end of each fiscal year, are added to the total national debt.

If some form of the Trump/GOP tax cuts become law, the United States economy (as measured by Gross Domestic Product, GDP) will more than double in 10 years.

 

 

WILL PRESIDENT TRUMP CREATE JOBS & GROW THE ECONOMY?

After most recessions, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth comes back with  a strong minimum 5% increase/year.   But not the recession of 2008-09…annual growth averaged under 2% for the eight years that Barrack Obama was President and the Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate diminished to 62.8%, the lowest it had been since 1978.  Moreover, although the official unemployment rate was under 5%, it would have been about 12% if it were measured the way it was back in the year 2000, and over 20% if it were measured the way it was during the Great Depression in the 30’s.

So what happened under President Obama?  Why not the usual strong growth?  Business had  a few trillion dollars that it held onto oversees, so why didn’t it spend its money to expand its operations and create millions of jobs in the U.S.?  There’s a lot of  reasons why business was cautious in expansion…and we need to understand what the problem was in order to continue to turn around today’s economy and foster substantial job growth (and the increased tax revenues that come with job growth).  Of course, the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) is filled with disincentives to job growth, especially full-time jobs, so it was partially responsible. The large number of regulations and tax increases under President Obama also added additional burdens on job creators and that’s another major cause.

But who am I to be pontificating on jobs and the economy?  Well, I do have a masters degree in Government Administration from the University of Pennsylvania.  And my degree is from the Wharton School in the U. of P., which is known for its econometric models of the economy.  To be clear, however, my education was in government, not economics, though I did need to have economics and accounting courses as well as a statistics course in order to graduate from Wharton with my MGA long ago.  I also worked for the Federal government for over40 years in various capacities, and have also worked for the state of Pennsylvania and the city of Philadelphia.

FORMER  SUCCESSFUL QUICK RECOVERIES

Let’s put aside education and experience qualifications because, from my observations, ideology trumps education.  I’ve seen PhD’s advocate  really stupid positions, even in light of contradictory evidence.  So I tend to look at the real world, what actually happens when a particular economic policy is followed and practiced.

I’ll start with the policies used by President John F. Kennedy in the early 1960s.  When confronted with a recession, he cut tax rates which led to increased economic growth and recovery.  In addition, when President Ronald Reagan inherited the worst recession since the Great Depression from President Jimmy Carter in 1980 (unemployment over 10%, inflation 13.5%, mortgage interest rates up to 20%), President Reagan cut tax rates to the extent that GDP almost doubled in ten years and tax revenues to the Federal government greatly increased in the 10 years following the tax rate cuts.  President George W. Bush had a similar experience with tax rate cuts, revenues to the Federal government significantly increased.

PAST FAILURES

Let’s look at what actually happened when the opposite approach was used:  it is estimated that President Franklin D. Roosevelt doubled the duration of the Great Depression in the 1930’s by using the John Keynes economic model of increasing government deficit spending, and the US still did not even get out of the Great Depression until World War II.   Moreover, when Japan’s economy went bust in the 90’s, it spent trillions over a 20-year period trying to stimulate its economy.  The huge deficit spending did nothing except give Japan a huge debt.

WHAT PRESIDENT OBAMA TRIED

Which brings us up to to when President Barrack Obama spent almost a trillion dollars in his “stimulus” package in a effort to turn around the economy…and he also devalued the dollar by having The Federal Reserve Bank print trillions of dollars with no backing through it’s so-called Quantitative Easing 1, 2, and 3.  He also tried other short-term Federal spending programs such as his “cash for clunkers” and engaged in huge annual deficit spending, the extent of which had never been seen before.  His economic policies, based on the discredited theories of economist, John Maynard Keynes,  have actually have made the economy worse by piling up huge government debt (over $20 trillion in total national debt which is greater than the annual GDP of the US), with very little to show for it,  and whose interest payments will be unsustainable when interest rates increase.

Let’s look at other factors significantly adversely affecting the economy, such as oppressive government regulations.  One of the reasons for President Bill Clinton’s economic success in the 1990s was his significantly cutting back many Federal Regulations (as well as the reduction in government employment through attrition) as part of his “National Performance Review” initiative.  President Obama’s policy, on the other hand,  on preventing drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico, has resulted in 240,000 barrels/day less oil from the Gulf,  which would have led to large increases in gasoline prices were it not for oil companies engaging in horizontal drilling and fracking on private and State lands.  Another example of over-regulation is the Dodd-Frank bill, the stated purpose of which was to prevent future financial meltdowns…but it did not even deal with the cause of the meltdown, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, who threatened  and coerced banks into making housing loans to people who could not afford to repay them.  Dodd-Frank also had adverse impacts on small banks and dried up loan money for small businesses that would have otherwise been available to them to expand.

Then there’s Obamacare which has been estimated to actually cost the government up to 3 trillion dollars in the first 10 years, as well as lead to very expensive, rationed and inferior health care.   Then, of course, there’s EPA’s over-regulations, such as the one on carbon dioxide, which as we know, is an inert gas, the chief purpose of which is food for plant life, plants which turn carbon dioxide into oxygen.  Moreover, let’s not forget how hundreds of thousands of farm hands were suddenly unemployed when the US Department of the Interior shut off the water to California’s Central Valley in an effort to protect the Delta Smelt (a small fish) that was on the Endangered Species list.  All of these things have severely hurt jobs.  Finally, President Obama extending unemployment benefits to 99 weeks actually increased unemployment because studies show that, on average, unemployment benefit recipients don’t even begin looking for work until 4 weeks prior to the end of their benefits.

IS CUTTING TAX RATES FAIR?

But stimulating the economy by cutting tax rates isn’t fair, is it?  Even President Obama said in an interview a year or so before he was elected President, when confronted with the fact that cutting the capital gains tax rate in the past had actually resulted in increased tax revenues to the Federal government, that he still would not cut the capital gains tax rate because “it isn’t fair.”

So is it fair to cut tax rates even though we know that the result would be to increase tax revenues?  The nation would then have more money to help the poor, not less, so why not do it?  I can understand the “equality” argument but  is it really a good thing if everyone were equally poor as they are in many countries?   “So what” if there are some super-wealthy people…we know that in the United States they will eventually give most of their money to charity anyway and do it much more wisely than the Federal government!   Winston Churchill said that  capitalism is a bad form of government except that it’s better than all other forms of government.

THE SOLUTION

Cutting  tax rates and regulations have always worked in the past and would stimulate the economy and thereby create many jobs.   Political ideology is the only thing preventing our government from following these time-tested strategies.   Presidents Kennedy, Reagan and Bush all increased tax revenues by cutting tax rates for everyone.  Today, the bottom 50% of earners pay almost no Federal income taxes…the upper 10 %, on the other hand,  pay over 70% of all Federal income taxes.  If you believe that’s not enough, how much is enough?  The U.S. corporate tax rate is currently 35%, the highest in the world, and consequently has led to many businesses moving their operations and jobs to other countries and has caused the United States to lose many jobs.  It’s estimated that there are at least 3 trillion dollars off-shore that we could entice back to the US if we offered a temporary ten percent corporate tax rate for the first few years and a contract stating that the corporation would remain in the US for at least another 5 years.  The US needs to put ideology aside and focus on solving the nation’s economic problems.  Although  President Obama appeared very friendly, his policies have really hurt the United States, so it’s time for newly-elected President Trump to: 1)cut tax rates on the working and middle classes, as well as on businesses; 2)rein in the Environmental Protection Agency from over-regulation; 3)eliminate job and small business-killing regulations; 4)cut corporate income taxes from their current 35% (the highest in the world) to 20% to lure back the large number of businesses that moved overseas to escape the U.S. confiscatory taxes; and 5)repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) since it has significantly hampered business expansion.   President Donald Trump has done or will do these things and by so doing will grow the economy and create jobs and consequently significantly reduce the U.S.’ annual budget deficits.

The U.S. Senate, however, due to its slim Republican majority and arcane rules, may not be able to approve the bills necessary to implement the necessary changes.  If this happens, many Senators will lose their jobs in 2018.  However, even without major tax cuts, President Trump, through Executive Orders and deals with many countries and corporations, has increased GDP to over 3% growth for the last two budget quarters.

WAR ON WOMEN

Beginning with Betty Friedan’s, The Feminine Mystique, I’ve been following the feminist movement and now follow women’s issues.

Most recently I read Katie Pavlich’s book, Assault and Flattery, and now have a better understanding of how the Left has kept women down behind the scenes, while claiming that it is the champion of women.

Beginning as far back as 1920, Democratic President Woodrow Wilson and the Democratic Party opposed women getting the right to vote.  Today the Democratic Party constantly fights against Second Amendment rights which women (and men) need to defend themselves. President Bill Clinton was an accused rapist (by Juanita Broderick) and the accuser was very credible.  Of course this was just one of many allegations made by women against him.  Massachusetts Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy was a big philanderer and was responsible for the death of Mary Jo Kopechne at Chappaquiddick.  Then there’s Democratic President Kennedy who had numerous affairs while President.

You might reply, “you’re referring to their personal lives, not their policies.”  Okay, let’s look at Democratic Party policies.  For women receiving welfare, there’s a provision requiring that a man can’t reside in the house of the (female) welfare recipient, otherwise the woman would be removed from the welfare rolls.  This provision has led to 77% of African-American households with children and about 30% of white households being led by only one parent.  This is very important because most of societal  pathologies stem from boys being raised without fathers.

Frequently, you hear feminists say that women’make 77 cents for every dollar men make.  I first heard this statistic way back in the seventies so naturally I questioned whether it could still be that amount 50 years later.  I learned years ago that it really was due to the disruption in paid work-life that most women encounter because of child-rearing.  In addition, I learned that the gap has significantly narrowed and that black women now make more than white women with the same education and experience.

Finally, the abortion issue.  Most Republicans are only against abortions during the third trimester of pregnancy since the fetus is actually an unborn baby by then.  They also are against partial-birth abortion because it is a gruesome procedure.  Check out how Planned Parenthood traffics in baby parts while receiving $500 million/year from the Federal government.

 

 

DEFENDING AGAINST THE KNOCKOUT GAME

There’s a very dangerous so-called “game” being played by young men in America.  It’s maimed hundreds and killed dozens of people so far.  The object of this vicious “game” is to knock out someone with one punch to the face or head.  Most of the perpetrators are young black males and most of the victims are  white men and women of any age.  Racist?  Obviously!

What’s behind this brutal “game”?  Some say that fatherless boys are being initiated into a gang.  Others quote the perps as saying they just wanted something to do.  So who and what is really to blame?  It’s complicated with lots of blame to go around.  But to even begin solving this problem, we must first understand it.  Let’s begin with the blame:

1.Single mothers can do a good job in raising their girls and boys up until they reach puberty (about 12-13).  After puberty is usually too late for boys but even then a good man in the house is essential to serve  both as a role model and a disciplinarian to boys.

2.Fathers who don’t stick around to be fathers to their children, especially to their boys.

3.Boys without fathers either join a gang or the Boy Scouts.  In poor socioeconomic areas, gangs are prevalent and single-parent homes are epidemic and are the breeding ground for sociopaths.

4.The Welfare System, which provides financial incentives for single-parent families and encourages, through its policy of providing financial assistance to mothers only if there is “no man in the house.”

5.The News Media for not reporting on incidents of the Knockout Game so that people are forewarned and know that they need to be more careful when walking around.

Okay, so what can be done to stop the carnage?  First and foremost is that the Media do its job of reporting all incidents of the “Knockout Game” so that the elderly and women will know what situations to avoid.  I’ve seen reporting of the Knockout Game on Fox News only and therefore I know that most people have not heard about it nor know what it is, and therefore are especially vulnerable.

The second thing that can be done depends on politicians and government officials.  In no government program should a “man in the house” prevent a woman from receiving welfare payments…because a good man in the house is usually needed in order to raise sons to become good men.

The third action that would help thwart the Knockout Game is to do everything possible to keep young men occupied…working, if possible.  Because raising the minimum wage to $10+/hour is estimated by the Congressional Budget Office to cost from 500,000 to 1,000,000 youths to lose their jobs because their employers could no longer afford to pay them, that idea should be shelved for now (or raised only a $1/hour for now).  Minimum wage jobs are entry-level jobs…About half of those minimum-wage employees are making more than that after 6 months on the job.  Many youth will never get that first job if the minimum wage is raised too high.

Since the Media refuses to do its job, clergy need to talk about it in their churches.  This is not ideal, but it would get the word out (forewarn) to many potential victims so they can take appropriate actions (avoid potentially-dangerous situations).

Politicians’ constantly beat the drums alleging racism/sexism  behind everything and agitate Women, Blacks, Latinos, Native Americans, etc. for political purposes and mainstream media will therefore probably never report insightfully and analytically. Politicians need to stop the “race-baiting.”

Local police and local judicial systems must fairly and justly put the perps away for a long time.

Potential victims need to keep distance between themselves and individual and small groups of young men.

The barbaric “Knockout Game” may never completely go away but hopefully it will diminish to the point where it won’t hurt many people.

 

A DIET FOR LIFE

THE PROBLEM WITH MOST DIETS

Have you ever lost weight but later gained it all back?  Do you care how, what you eat and drink, affect your health and appearance?  Ninety-five percent of dieters regain all of the weight they lost!

Way back in 1993 the Denver Post reported on a study of 1,532 autopsies of teenagers and young adults who died from trauma in a dozen cities.  Early heart disease was found in the coronary arteries of half while 100% of the teens had fatty patches in the aorta, the body and the heart’s main artery.  In addition, a 1988 Harris poll conducted for Prevention magazine showed that 64% of U.S. adults were overweight.

Being obese, according to Prevention’s Giant Book of Health Facts, states that obesity substantially increases the risk of colon, prostate, and breast cancers, heart disease, diabetes, and many other illnesses.

MY CREDENTIALS ON LOSING WEIGHT AND DIETING

What do I know about diets to be advising anyone on losing weight?  My first diet dates back to 1969 just after I had a large brain tumor removed.  During recuperation from my brain surgery, my wife cooked my favorite foods and fed me well to the extent that I became heavy at 210 pounds, which for me was a lot.  To lose weight I checked out all of the known diets at the time, which all seemed unhealthy to me…and any weight lost would be almost guaranteed to be gained back, like most dieters experience.  So I decided to create my own diet, based on the lowest-calorie foods of my favorites.  To be successful, my diet had to lead to permanent weight loss as well as being healthy.

CREATING A DIET 

It seemed to me that diets failed to result in long-term weight loss because the foods they were restricted to were foods that people did not particularly like.  Consequently, as soon as the desired amount of weight was lost, a dieter would return to his/her old eating habits and this would inevitably lead to gaining all of the lost weight back.  This phenomenon needs to be taken into account if your goal is permanent weight loss.  Keeping this in mind, a workable diet would use, to the extent possible, smaller portions of the dieter’s favorite foods but keeping high-calorie forbidden and restricted foods to an absolute minimum.  For my personalized diet, I looked up the caloric content of all of my favorite foods and concentrated on eating low-calorie foods, which were basically fruits, vegetables, lean meat, and 1% milkfat milk and yohurt. I also concentrated on nutrient-dense, nonstarchy foods so I avoided potatoes, rice, bread (to the extent possible), etc.  Finally, I weighed myself every morning but also used a full-length mirror to check daily how my body looked.

For information on good nutrition, I started by reading a book called, Everything you Always Wanted to Know About Nutrition but were Afraid to Ask, by David Reuben, M.D.  I also read about a dozen diet books, including Dr. Robert Atkins’ books on his ultra-low carbohydrate diet and Dr. Barry Sears’ diet books on “The Zone,”  which is based of Nobel prize-winning research.

For health reasons, I only used extra-virgin olive oil, used the no-calorie natural sweetener, “Stevia.” in place of sugar to the extent possible, avoided all foods made with partially-hydrogenated oils (trans-fatty acids), and also avoided foods with high fructose corn syrup.  In other words, I used no coffee creamer,  but did use only whole milk to whiten coffee.  In addition, I only used mustard (13 cals./tbs) instead of mayonaise (100 cals./tbs) on sandwiches.

I limited eating meat to about 3 oz./day and tried to eat mostly chicken and fish.  Since I love animals, I even tried being a vegetarian for an entire year, eating beans as my main source of protein. 

Finally, I walked and exercised at home every day in order to change my “set point” and therefore burn more calories every hour, even while resting.

When I reached my seventies, I got Metabolic Syndrome, Syndrome X or Insulin Resistance.  This condition made it impossible to lose weight on anything other than an ultra-low carbohydrate diet in combination with a “by-the-clock” diet, which is simply no eating or grazing except at my prescribed times: breakfast at 9am, lunch at noon, dinner at 5pm, snack at 7:30pm.

 THE RESULTS, whi

Using variations of my diet from age 25 to age 70 I was able to maintain my normal weight.  At age 70 it became much more difficult for me to maintain a normal weight due to something that happens to most people as they age: Metabolic Syndrome or Syndrome X.  To counter this is difficult but possible. I used exercise and walking every day, a very low-carbohydrate (modified Atkins diet), low-calorie, smaller meals, green tea extract supplements, resveratrol supplements, and fish oil supplements.  I even used Metformin, a prescription drug for diabetics and pre-diabetics.

FINAL & MOST IMPORTANT WORD 

You don’t need much willpower to lose weight…you simply need to create an environment where you will lose weight no matter what!  Specifically, remove all high-calorie and unhealthy foods from your home so that, when you want to snack, your choices are limited to natural applesauce, celery, carrots, refried beans with corn chips, etc.  No ice cream or pizza in the freezer, no cookies, cakes, pies, chips or pretzels in your home or apartment.  If you eat at a restaurant, keep food simple with small portions.  Do all of this and you will lose weight.  If you have Metabolic Syndrome, you need to go on a modified Atkins diet (Atkins diet, but using only healthy fats, fish and meats, plus eat beans so a little more carbohydrate than Atkins allows).  Follow my recommendations for a lifetime and you’ll be thin for a lifetime (and you’ll add 10-20 years to your expected lifespan).  Good luck!

THE DEMOCRAT, LIBERAL, PROGRESSIVE LEFT

Although I’m mostly conservative, I always try to be even-handed in my writing, giving both sides of issues.  However, the Left has become so radical, and even criminal, that I thought one article that was not even-handed is in order and appropriate…just one.

1. Donald J. Trump was not a politician.  Over the years, he contributed millions to both Democrats and Republicans.  As President, he is not ideological but looks for policies and solutions that are practical.  Democrats, Mainstream Media, Hollywood, Universities hate him so much that it looks like those groups have become unhinged and even deranged.   Large sums of money are spent by George Soros and other Democrat Party supporters and benfactors to employ paid agitators to be on call to be violent and counterprotest any group or issue the’re told to protest.

2. The media has become so dishonest that absolutely nothing it says about President Trump can be believed.

3. Democrat Party leaders refuse to debate issues but instead make “ad hominen” (personal) attacks against Republicans.  The reason for this is that their policies are really stupid and cannot be successfully argued against informed conservatives.

4. Democrat policy positions on everything, from Healthcare to Tax  Cuts, are disengenuous and are geared soley to further the Democrat Party at the expense of the American public.

5. Far-left Democrats should commend President Obama because he really tried his very best to drasically weaken our military, economic system, and Healthcare in order to further his Socialist agenda and that of the Democrat Party.   He also allowed a large number of illegal alliens into the U.S. since most will vote Democrat, and he doubled the National debt (from $10 trillion to $20 trillion), coming close to bankrupting the country.

6. The Democrat Party and Barack Obama destroyed healthcare insurance for millions of Americans.

7. The far left shouts down conservative speakers on college campuses, thus demostrating it does not believe in the First Amedment to the U.S. Constitution on freedom of speech.

8. If the news media competently did its job and reported fairly on both sides of every issue despite its leftist views, much of the problems I mention above would go away.

9. Many Republican leaders are timid and cannot competently argue conservative policy positions though those positions are usually far better than liberal positions.  Were it not for Fox News, talk radio and President Trump, the Republican Party would be in terrible shape.  In other words, as stupid as most liberal postions are, the timidity of many Republican leaders really hurts conservative policy positions.

WHITE PRIVILEGE?

The concept of “white privilege” is an issue currently in vogue.  It forwards the theory that most whites have an advantage over most blacks and other people of color, simply because of the color of their skin.  It’s a big deal on college campuses with courses being given in it.

For the sake of argument, let’s assume that the “white privilege” theory reflects reality.  What can and does society and individuals do about it, if anything?  First, I believe, it’s necessary to acknowledge that it’s unfair.  Then, of course, it’s important to determine if there’s anything that can be done to correct the situation.  Here’s my analysis of the “white priviledge” issue:

Life is not fair: some people are tall (an advantage), some people are fat (a disadvantage).  some ugly (a disadvantage), some good-looking (an advantage), etc., etc.  Since skin color cannot be easily changed,  minorities need to overcome this inherent disadvantage and everyone needs to be aware of any bias they might have against others.   I know from personal experience that my physical handicaps kept me from achieving my potential and that my great parents and Ivy League education helped prepare me to somewhat overcome my half-paralyzed face, closed left eye and very poor equilibrium that my first brain tumor left me with.  In addition, I learned that I had to try exceptionally hard in order to overcome the stereotype that my particular physical handicaps portrayed of me.

On the other hand, though much less common, black priviledge is sometimes an advantage.  Huh?  President Obama was elected President after serving only two years as a U.S. senator.  This was previously unheard of!  Why?  White guilt!  In addition,  Affirmative Action helps anyone of color, even members of wealthy African-American families. Is that fair to the very poor of any race or nationality?  Therefore, shouldn’t Affirmative Action help the poor of any race?

I believe that government can only do so much to correct the unfairness of life and that in attempting to do so, it often makes things worse for the people it is trying to help, through unintended consequences.  Good intentions count for nothing.  Only results matter!

Just one example will prove my point: prior to the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act  (ADA), about 53% of the disabled were employed.  Last I checked, about 31% were employed.  Why?  Due to the ADA, it’s nearly impossible to fire someone who is disabled, so employers try not to hire them to avoid not being able to fire them if they don’t work out.

The only solace to the unfairness of white privilege, as well as other unfair things that life throws in our paths, is that success is that much sweeter when we overcome and prevail.

DOMINION: animal abuse

The Bible says in Genesis 1:26 that God said, “and let them (mankind) have dominion over (animals)…”  Mahatma Gandhi said, “the greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

According to Daniel Goleman’s bestseller, Emotional Intelligence, animals with a limbic system in their brain, have emotions.  All mammals, which includes most farm animals, have limbic systems and therefore have feelings and fear, are joyful and love.  Animals also have varying degrees of intelligence, but most importantly, they feel pain and suffer.  As such, what right do people have to support their being tormented, suffer and die gruesome deaths?

Former Beattle  from Britain, Paul McCartney, said “If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian.”  In plainer English, if people could see the horrific slaughter of animals, many would find it difficult to eat anything with a face.  I’m the son of a butcher who went with his father most mornings to a few slaughterhouses to purchase the meat we sold at his butcher shop. While there, I saw animals slaughtered, some humanely, some cruelly.  I therefore have firsthand knowledge of what happens in slaughterhouses.

Red meat (beef, veal, lamb, pork) is bad for your health, except that it is high in quality protein.  Chicken (loaded with antibiotics) and fish (containing PCBs and mercury) are not good routine food choices either.   So what should one eat for optimal health, nutrition, and ethics?   Joel Fuhrman, M.D., author of The End of Diabetes,  says basically “beans and greens,” and all other vegetables as well.  Meat should be used only for seasoning.

You may believe that farm animals are just dumb animals.  However, if that were true, how do you explain Priscilla the 3-month old pig, who in 1995 was inducted into the Texas Veterinary Medical Association’s Pet Hall of Fame for saving 11-year-old Anthony Melton from drowning by swimming to him, oinking to grab her harness, and then swimming with Anthony hanging on, to shore.  This story was reported in the book, Animal Miracles, and it is not unusual, it happens frequently.

In addition to slaughtering animals for food, we hunt them for sport, experiment on them causing needless suffering and pain, train them to fight each other for our amusement, do not neuter our pets to the extent that there are an estimated 100,000,000 homeless stray and feral cats alone in the U.S., most of which will eventually starve, freeze or thirst to death.  I had my own  cat shelter for ten years in Denver and “trapped, neutered, and returned” (TNR) about 100 feral and stray cats and therefore know of what I speak.

Many animal rights advocates are considered fanatics.  However, Abraham Lincoln, definitely not a fanatic, said “I’m in favor of animal rights as well as human rights.  That is the way of the whole human being.”

Finally, getting back to Mahatma Gandhi, if his assertion is correct that “a nation’s greatness is judged by the way its animals are treated,” is the U.S., or any nation on Earth, great?

 

KEYSTONE PIPELINE UPDATE: PROS & CONS

When President Obama initially vetoed the TransCanada Corporation’s proposed $7 billion Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline (also known as the Keystone Gulf Coast Expansion Project),  it meant that 830,000 barrels of oil a day would not travel from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf’s oil refineries via a pipeline.  Though a politically popular decision with environmentalists,  it was very unpopular with construction unions, as well as most Americans.

To counter criticism, some from leaders in his own political party, President Obama made an appearance in Cushing Oklahoma on March 22, 2013  saying that he would fast-track any required permitting of the 485 miles of pipeline traveling from Cushing down to the Gulf.  That part of the proposed pipeline is on privately-owned land in the U.S. so President Obama couldn’t do much to stop its construction even if he wanted to.  Without the northern leg of the pipeline, however, the 830,000 barrels of much-needed oil/day wouldn’t be coming from Canada and this leg of the pipeline the President could and did stop because the pipeline would have to cross the Canadian-American border (and therefore required Federal approval).

TransCanada subsequently modified its proposed route through the environmentally-sensitive areas of Nebraska and resubmitted its application.  There was not much remaining that was controversial and the U.S. State Department  found it to have “no significant impacts on the quality of the human environment,” which is the wording and standard contained in the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA).

The Keystone pipeline is not simply about oil, but also about  thousands of jobs (estimated to be 20-40,000  construction and 100,000 indirect jobs) and significant positive effects on the economy.  It’s therefore important to analyze President Obama’s decision to determine if it’s mostly political or based on genuine detriments to the environment.

It’s no secret that the far left is anti-fossil fuel because of what it perceives as unacceptable pollution.  To this end, the Obama Administration came out with 5 sets of anti-coal regulations which were estimated to cost the United States  the loss of over one million jobs.  In addition, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is zeroing in on anti-fracking regulations to control the utilization of the huge natural gas reserves (over a 100-years worth) in the U.S.; however,  the far-left contends that its opposition to the Keystone Pipeline  is mainly because of possible leaks from the line.  In addition, formerEnergy Secretary Chu had stated that it would be desirable to have U.S. gas prices at European levels ($8-10/gallon), so that alternative fuels would be more price-competitive.

Carbon emissions in the United States have been drastically reduced over the past 50 years.  Autos emit only a tiny fraction of what they used to.  Coal-fired power plants have been cleaned up.  In contrast, China brings on-line  two new coal-fired power plants a week and these plants, unlike U.S. plants, emit lots of pollution.  Air pollution knows no boundaries, so it’s a lot less polluting to the earth for the U.S. to burn its coal rather than for China.

Solar and wind sources of energy only supply about 5% of the nation’s energy needs.  Hydroelectric supplies less than 10%, nuclear about 19% (France gets 80% of  its energy from nuclear).  So for the foreseeable future the U.S. still needs fossil fuels.  Therefore this dilemma is not really a dilemma at all.  If the U.S. cannot get the oil it needs from domestic sources and help improve the economy and create thousands of jobs at the same time, it will get it from foreign sources and give up to $500 billion a year of its wealth to countries that don’t like us and in some instances mean us harm, and to the detriment of the economy as well.

The United States is constantly improving  extraction and utilization methods for fossil fuels, while continuing to develop alternative sources of energy, including nuclear energy.  The potential for Keystone Pipeline leakage can be mitigated through built-in protective redundancies.  Even the original Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), prepared pursuant to NEPA, published in late August 2011 after three years of preparation, found “no significant impacts” from the pipeline.  If a pipeline oil leak did occur, it’s far easier to stop it and then clean it up, than if a leak occurred from an offshore pipeline.

There’s simply not enough alternative energy, including nuclear energy, currently available and it will be decades before there is, so for now we need fossil fuels and the United States has more natural gas, coal, and oil than any other country in the world, but it also has an array of laws and regulations preventing its access and use.  The pipeline could be raised off the ground, as was the Alaska pipeline, or it could detour around the major 200,000-square-mile Ogallala or High Plains Aquifer in Nebraska and other surrounding States.

If the United States does not build the Keystone pipeline, Canada will build an oil pipeline from the Tar Sands to its west coast and the 830,00 barrels of oil a day will be sold to China and an additional 150,000 barrels of oil a day from the Bakken Formation in North Dakota will have to continue to use trucks and rail to haul its oil south to Gulf refineries rather than simply using a safer Keystone Pipeline to transport it.  U.S. gas prices would have consequently been over $5 gallon by now except for the fact that the U.S. economy has been so weak and Saudi Arabia drastically reduced the price of oil by flooding the world market with it.   Contributing to upward price pressure of oil is the “slow-walking” of permitting of wells in the Gulf,  not allowing drilling in ANWAR and on most of the Outer Continental Shelf, and by OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries), who sets world oil prices based on world supply and demand.

President Obama delayed his decision  on the pipeline until after the 2014 mid-term elections, basically because a large Democrat donor (Tom Steyer)  pledged to donate over $50,000,000 to the Democrats if he did so (Steyer actually spent close to $80,000,000).  After the 2010 mid-term elections, the new Republican-led House of Representatives voted to build the pipeline but the still-Democratic-led Senate voted against it.  The 2014 Congress began in January 2015, and both the Republican-led House and now Republican-led Senate approved it, but President Obama vetoed it.

President Trump signed an Executive Order on January 24, 2017 ordering the re-opening of the approval process for the pipeline.  On March 23, the State Department granted a permit for the construction of the pipeline to proceed.  The pipeline has been completed and is in use.  There was a minor oil leak in November ’17 and the pipeline was temporarily shut down.

 

 

HOW TO BECOME DEBT-FREE

If you become debt-free, you can save hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest payments over your lifetime and therefore have much more money to do those things you really want to do.  If you agree, how do you actually go about becoming debt-free?  That’s what this post is about.

Many people, including those with very high incomes, are simply conduits for money, receiving it and spending it, none of it staying with them after paying all of their expenses each month. Wealth is the money you have in the bank and in investments and other assets.  A high income can speed up your journey to wealth but only if you handle your money prudently.  However, most people that have accumulated wealth have average, or lower, incomes; basically their wealth came mostly from the appreciation of their home.  

One of the quickest routes to becoming poor is throwing your money away on credit card interest.  Therefore, one of the best investments you can make (for saving 8% to 30% interest every month) with little effort and with no financial training or education is to pay off your credit cards.  So before you invest money at today’s  pitiful rates, consider putting money you’d like to invest towards paying down and ultimately paying off your credit cards, starting with the highest interest rate card first.  Where do you find the money to do that?  You need to find an extra 10% of your income to then devote solely for paying down your debt each month.

After paying off your credit cards, focus on paying off your mortgage.  Since today’s mortgage interest rates are so low, why pay off a mortgage?  If you get from your bank a copy of the payoff schedule for your mortgage loan and compare  the principle of your mortgage loan against the interest due each month, you’ll see that even a small mortgage interest rate results in interest being most of each month’s mortgage payment, basically because you pay interest on the entire mortgage loan.  A relatively easy way to pay off your mortgage much faster is to pay at least an extra $100 or more towards your mortgage principle each month.

Finally, since most new cars depreciate by about 50% in only 3 years after purchase, you can save a huge amount of money by either buying used cars, or if you buy new ones, keep the car until it would cost more to fix it than the car is worth. I usually buy cars 8-10 years old.  Before the advent of cell phones, an older car could get you stuck in the middle of nowhere if it broke down.  But with an AAA card and a cell phone, you should be fine, unless your car ever breaks down in a bad neighborhood.  Moreover, older cars are generally safer than newer cars since older cars are much heavier than newer cars (that’s primarily how newer cars get better gas mileage).

For those with children going to college,  think seriously about your state college and compare its in-state tuition with tuition of other colleges.  Money should be borrowed only as a last resort with your overall financial goal being to live within your means.  Living within your means is not a goal in-and-of itself.  Living within your means is important in that it enables you to do those things that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to do because you couldn’t afford to because you’re not wasting money on needless interest.

Because I didn’t have a mortgage, for example, I had the funds to achieve one of my passions while living in Denver, Colorado: trap, neuter and return (TNR) about 100 cats (in accordance with the nationwide TNR program), maintain a  “come-and-go-as-you-please” cat shelter for feral cats, put out food and water for 30+ cats and a few dogs/day, and adopt and take care of 10 homeless stray cats, for a total cost of $5-10,000/year.

Whatever your hobby or passion, you’ll be much better able to pursue it if you are debt-free, as well as retire one day without being forced to live in near-poverty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CURING HEARTBURN

Acid Reflux, heartburn, GERD…many names for stomach acid creeping up past a weakened lower esophageal sphincter (LES) into the esophagus and burning it since the esophagus is not protected from stomach acid like the stomach.  Stopping heartburn is very important because chronic heartburn can lead to esophageal cancer.

For about six months I had a major case of heartburn which bothered me most of the time.  Since proton pump inhibitors  (Nexium, Protonix, etc.)and other acid- reducers have many bad side effects, like the stomach having too weak an acid environment to digest important nutrients like calcium and thus pose a significant increase in the risk of hip fractures due to the consequent osteoporosis, I only used them for the recommended two weeks at a time.  Proton pump inhibitors helped me greatly but after the recommended two weeks, my heartburn returned.  Then I only used Tums and other calcium carbonate chews to quickly reduce my stomach acid when I had stomach pain.

I am not a physician, but over the years I tried all of the well-know remedies such as: 1)avoiding fried, spicy and acidic foods, 2) placing 6″- high blocks of wood under the  head-of-my-bed supports, 3) not eating for a few hours before going to bed, 4) not wearing tight fitting belts or pants, 5) not lying down flat after eating, 6) not drinking coffee or eating chocolate, but if I really craved it, just having a cup or two a day of coffee/day or an ounce or so of chocolate/day.

I tried all of these remedies at once, and still do, and although it helped during the daytime, it didn’t make any difference while I was sleeping (when it’s  easier for stomach acid to flow up the esophagus).   So what else was out there other than medications that could allow me to get 5-7 hours of sleep?  After searching around, I eventually read that cabbage juice was effective, so I tried eating about 1/4 can of sauerkraut every night about an hour or so before I went to bed.  To my pleasant surprise, I was able to sleep straight through to 7 am instead of my usual 2-4 am, because my heartburn did not flare up with pain at its usual time.  Over the days, weeks and months I continued my bedtime sauerkraut snack-cure to the extent that my heartburn completely disappeared.  Today my heartburn is gone but I still eat sauerkraut at bedtime whenever I have a flare-up.  Sauerkraut works.  Try it!  There’s nothing to lose (except your heartburn).

MUGGED: racial demagoguery

I read Ann Coulter’s book, Mugged, and learned a lot of new information from this lawyer and best-selling author.  None of the information surprised me but it was insightful reading Ms. Coulter’s relentless array of facts.

Basically, Coulter contends that very few of the racial incidents in the last 45 years have been racist (civil rights battles were mostly won before the seventies thanks to the Republican party); instead, they were racial hoaxes, perpetrated  by demagogues for various reasons and motives.

One of the most important facts that Ann Coulter shows in her book, Mugged,  is that all segregationists were Democrats and that the Democratic Party fought against Civil Rights legislation for 100 years going way back to Abraham Lincoln’s time when Lincoln and his Republican Party ran on an anti-slavery platform.  This is not news to we who know American history but is big news to the millions of Americans that have been deceived by Democratic Party leadership and now believe  the racist propaganda it advertises.

Another very important and horrific fact brought to light in Ms. Coulter’s book is the fact that a major consequence of every racial hoax is the slaughter of whites by young black hoodlums seeking revenge for what they hear and believe to be true about the (phony) racial incidents (Google: “Blackout Game,” “Polar Bear Hunting,” “Flash Mobs”).

Why do I believe the aforementioned to be true?  First, because I trust Ann Coulter in accurately portraying the facts.  Second, because I not only worked for many years assisting minorities in combating discrimination as a Federal collateral-duty EEO Counselor and then as a Federal collateral-duty Hispanic Employment Program Coordinator, but also have closely followed many racial incidents, including Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown in Ferguson.  In addition, because I have personally experienced discrimination for almost fifty years based 0n my physical handicap (left side of my face paralyzed, numb with left eye sutured shut and left ear deaf).  Since I did not have this malady for my first 25 years, I’m able to compare how I was treated by most people before I had a handicap to after I had a handicap.

“Mugged” gives the details of many racial incidents, such as the Tawana Brawley rape hoax with Al Sharpton’s involvement.  Some racism obviously still exists, but there are many politicians and race hustlers  exploiting race simply to get your vote.

The only criticism I have of Ms. Coulter’s book is that it doesn’t address the phony branding by the Democrat Party that it’s for the poor, when in fact its policies have made life much more difficult for the poor, many of whom are African-Americans.

UNDERSTANDING OFFICE POLITICS

Conventional management education and training have become increasingly more sophisticated.   One area that remains to be fully explored by the academic and managerial communities, however, is office politics. Though largely neglected as an academic discipline, it is usually an essential component of job success, although competence and industriousness are equally important. As Marilyn Kennedy states in her book, Office Politics, Seizing Power, Wielding Clout, 75% of all firings in the business world are political executions.  In addition to its importance to the employee, office politics also can play a significant role in the success or failure of an organization. It consists of all of the interactions among employees in an organization. The fact that managers are frequently naive in recognizing and handling the political dynamics that exist among the staff impairs their ability to manage successfully.

Office politics is important to study because one must understand it in order to effectively handle the political games and power struggles that can interfere with employees careers and productivity.  In the July 10, 1984, Washington  Post “Federal Diary,” Mike Causey reported that of 800 senior federal personnel officers responding to a Merit Systems Protection Board survey, almost one in every five said that they had been improperly pressured by managers to save or fire employees during the 1981 reduction-in-force.

Good management and supervision include an understanding of office politics and power.  Because the phrase “office politics” has a bad reputation, even its beneficial and ethical aspects are not usually the subject of serious attention. Managers, supervisors and employees may not advance in their careers sufficiently because of their disdain for office politics and its prudent use.  If a manager is unaware of and not in control of the politics in his/her office, s/he will not be able to manage his/her employees and programs well. On the other hand, excessive involvement in office politics can drain the energy, time, motivation and productivity that should otherwise go into the job.  Dr. Andrew Dubrin, in his book, Winning at Office Politics, cites five levels of involvement in office politics, from the most political to the most naive. They are: Machiavellian, Office Politician, Survivalist, Straight Arrow and Innocent Lamb. For those who are interested, Dr. Dubrin’s book contains a 100-question test which will show how political you are.

The Types of Office Politics

I classify office  politics into three categories: clean, dirty and situational.  “Clean” (ethical) office politics comprises those things one can do to advance his or her career and get the job done at no one’s expense and without being unethical or immoral. Examples of clean office politics include loyalty to one’s supervisor and working in one’s own interest. “Dirty” office politics is immoral and/or unethical and is something which is done to the detriment of others. Examples of dirty office politics include backstabbing and stealing credit for another’s work. “Situational” office politics, as its name implies, is ethical or not depending upon the situation in which it is used.  A good example of situational ethical office politics is the “fait accompli” (accomplished fact). This tactic simply involves taking an action even though it will not be welcomed by the boss. Later, after reaping the benefits of the action, the employee pleads innocence if the boss questions him/her on it.  The employee tells the boss that s/he didn’t now that it would meet with disapproval. With some supervisors this tactic is sometimes necessary though not without risk. Another tactic is “going over the supervisor’s head.” If the tactic is used on a straightforward democratic supervisor, it is usually unethical; therefore it is considered situational office politics.  Another situational ethical tactic is “withholding information.” White collar workers are knowledge workers and information is their stock-in-trade. There are times, however, when it is ethical to withhold information, such as when a supervisor will take all of the credit for the information supplied and not give the employee proper credit.

CLEAN OFFICE POLITICS

Supervisors

No matter how high a level manager or supervisor you are, there is always someone you must answer to. Therefore, in your role as a subordinate, the keystone of office politics is your relationship with your boss. If you keep your relationship sincere and unmanipulative, you are using clean office politics. Your aim is to help make your boss look good.   There are many clean tactics which you can use to improve your relations with your boss. The simplest is showing your boss loyalty.  Loyalty is reporting only to the boss and not going behind his/her back to others; following and respecting the boss’ direction without grumbling or second guessing; disagreeing with the boss only in private; making efforts to instill the boss’ ideas, plans and actions in other employees; not disclosing secrets about the boss; and standing up for the boss when s/he is the subject of criticism.

While teaching an adult education course in “clean” office politics and power in Washington, DC over a six-year period, I’ve found that loyalty to the supervisor is the most difficult for people to understand, let alone accept and use. Students frequently volunteered opinions, such as “my boss is a fool, I know much more than s/he,” and “I don’t know how that idiot ever got his/her job.” Perhaps much of what I hear about supervisors and managers is true; maybe many of them are incompetent in managing work and people. Whether it is true or not is irrelevant here. The boss has legitimate power; s/he writes  your performance appraisals, has the responsibility for your work, and can either praise or discredit you to his or her superiors. If you and your boss don’t like, or at least respect each other, and there’s nothing on the horizon which may change the situation, you should consider changing jobs. Incidentally, showing loyalty to the organization you work for also makes good political sense, although personal and organizational loyalty may not be compatible at times.

Peers

The respect and cooperation of your peers is another essential component of clean office politics and obtaining power ethically.  A few tactics should help you achieve this sometimes very elusive goal: help peers when they need it; be trustworthy and friendly; back them up; don’t complain about all the work you have to do; and avoid pretentions. Incidentally, most dirty office politics occurs among peers, so the above is especially important if you want to minimize the risk of fostering their envy, and the malice, slander and sabotage that it can foster. Envious people try to downgrade the person and/or the person’s accomplishments of which they are jealous.

Subordinates

Finally, relations with subordinates have a role in office politics. Giving recognition for the good work of a subordinate is an outlet for genuine appreciation. Treating subordinates with respect because they are people first and employees second is both humanistic and, coincidentally, part of being a good manager. Finally, a supervisor should not take advantage of subordinates with his/her power.

The aforementioned clean tactics are referred to as political or interactional skills and are most important in judiciously using office politics and power ethically. Other clean tactics fall under the aegis of “visiposure.” This is a combination of visibility (seeing those above you) and exposure (being seen by those above you).       The following are some examples of ethical tactics you and/or your staff could engage in:

  • Staff promoting themselves by talking with you about their progress and keeping you informed of what they’re doing.
  • Staff originating and initiating new ideas, putting them in writing and giving them to you.
  • Staff getting to know the people in the organization by attending office parties, using the cafeteria at work and remembering names.
  • Staff developing a professional attitude by avoiding excessive emotionalism, dressing for success, not engaging in negative gossip about people and not being a clock watcher.
  • Staff speaking up at meetings because that is where they are sometimes seen by people who do not usually see them.
  • Staff asking questions because this is necessary to obtain the information they need to continually improve their job performance, as well as showing their concern for the job.
  • Staff doing things outside the confines of the job. This allows them to meet people throughout the organization.
  • Staff talking about their progress so you know that they have definite goals and want to get ahead.
  • Staff developing a support system through involvement in professional organizations. This provides them with a support system separate from the job and can be important if they run into serious political difficulty on the job.
  • Staff developing a specialty so they can stand out from the crowd and get the recognition they need to advance their careers.

DIRTY OFFICE POLITICS

Up to this point we have dealt only with clean office politics. Let’s look at the dirty side so that you can more effectively protect yourself and your staff from it.

Paranoia vs. Naivete

To consider dirty office politics rationally, one must endeavor to be completely objective about oneself.  Some people are absolutely convinced that someone is out to get them. Because people, on occasion, are really out to discredit someone else for various reasons, one needs to make a clear distinction between objective reality and paranoid thinking.  Paranoid thinking exists when the amount of fear, anxiety and concern is not justified by real danger. To illustrate, it might be considered paranoid to be excessively fearful of crime in a predominantly crime-free community, whereas, to be concerned about being mugged while walking along some sections of the formerly infamous Fourteenth Street corridor in Washington, D.C., at one o’clock in the morning is prudent, not paranoid, and should result in appropriate action. To combat paranoid thinking, if you believe someone is out to get you, ask yourself “how do I know this to be true-;” “what am I observing that leads me to that opinion;” and “is this sufficient to warrant my belief that someone is out to get me?” It often takes considerable thought to sort out all the relevant information and form a rational opinion as to whether or not you’re someone’s target.

On the other hand, though not bad in terms of mental health, naivete in office politics can be hazardous to your career. If you think that everyone’s out to help you, give yourself a naive-zero on the accuracy of perceptions scale below. Likewise, if you see a coworker’s power and influence rising as yours is descending and you do not get at least a little suspicious, score yourself once again near the naive-zero on the scale.  Another indicator that you may be an actual or potential victim of dirty office politics is when former enemies in the office suddenly become friends; they may have found a common enemy — you.  The graph below illustrates the distinction between being paranoid and being naive. It is intentionally simplistic to illustrate the point.

Accuracy of Perceptions Scale

0____________100____________0

N                                   R                                  P

A                                   E                                  A

I                                    A                                  R

V                                   L                                   A

E                                   I                                   N

T                                   T                                  O

E                                   Y                                  I

 

 

Slander differs from gossip in that gossip is not as malicious, persistent and purposeful as is slander. One defense against slander and backstabbing is not to allow the slander to damage your self-image. Another defense is to launch a small counterattack. by innocently asking associates on occasion why the slanderer is so unhappy. By knowing that someone is slandering you, you can more effectively combat it. The following are options you have to-combat slander: confrontation; exposure; retaliation; rewarding the guilty party to make him or her feel guilty, suspicious or confused; and eliminating the cause. Often people readily accept stories on the grapevine without verification. Most of the time these stories contain partial truths, misunderstandings, distortions or outright misstatement of fact. Clever slanderers, however, base their dirty work on real incidents; they simply define or explain the incidents in an intentionally distorted manner so as to make someone look stupid or incompetent. They also get to the manager first with their distorted version of an incident so as to “poison the wells” for any other versions that may follow. Since supervisors and managers must rely, in large part, on information from subordinates, they therefore have to be especially wary of the derogatory comments they hear about employees. Since the “reputation” method is commonly used by managers to informally assess staff, even if a diligent manager follows up on rumors and makes first-hand observations of an employee, selective perception may bias the observation, since s/he is starting out with preconceived ideas that were furnished when one subordinate gave the “lowdown” on another. To counter the tendency towards selective perception, a manager must suspend judgement until s/he has sufficient data to form a defensible opinion. Personally, I prefer confronting an employee and thereby allowing him or her opportunity to explain.

A devious tactic, less onerous than backstabbing and stealing credit, is using flattery (not genuine praise) to manipulate people into doing what you want them to do. Constantly raising questions concerning a peer’s judgement and providing misinformation (with some truth thrown in for plausibility) is another tactic practiced by clever unethical office politicians.

SITUATIONAL OFFICE POLITICS

Of the three types of office politics, “situational” is the most difficult to use wisely. This is because most people have an image of themselves as being good, honest, righteous, ad infinitum, and they therefore rationalize many of their actions as being warranted by the situation or someone else’s actions. Many atrocities have been explained and “justified” by situations. The most recent examples are acts of terrorisrn which killed or injured innocent people.

In addition to the fait accompli mentioned earlier in this article, “avoiding losers” is a situational tactic. If you lunch and socialize with other managers, supervisors or staff with bad reputations, it is likely that your reputation may be tarnished. If the person with a bad reputation is a friend, avoiding that individual solely because of his or her reputation is a situational tactic that only you can judge as ethical or not. Another situational tactic is the “red herring” which is useful for managers because of the desirability of handling tricky personnel problems without needlessly humiliating people. For example, a manager may not want to tell, for some legitimate reason, an employee the full story of why s/he is -being fired, but use a “red herring,” or explanation that diverts attention from the blunt truth.

Discouraging Unethical Office Politics

At this point you may asking yourself if there’s anything that can be done to dissuade employees from engaging in dirty office politics. It should be clear to managers that staff  are going to get involved to some extent in office politics and will not make the ethical distinctions enumerated here. There are, however, a few tactics that managers can use to improve the chances for ethical behavior and a more decent office environment to thrive:

  • Keep your staff busy. Employees engaged in meaningful work and achieving worthwhile goals don’t have as much time and energy for office politics, clean or dirty.
  • Keep your staff well informed. Communication is an important part of the manager’s job and lack of it will foster conjecture, which is usually much worse than reality.
  • Give your employees, to the extent practicable, separate responsibilities, to minimize jealousy and cut-throat competition. Sometimes overlapping responsibilities are necessary, and even desirable, but if an organization can be structured without it, there will be more peace and harmony.
  • Be non-judgemental in dealing with your staff. If you want them to listen to you, and take your advice when you really need them to, they must trust you. That means not only respecting their confidences, but also empathetically listening to their complaints and problems.
  • Trust your staff. Expect them to do the right thing and help them to do it. This should help curtail devious behavior. The German philosopher Goethe said “Treat people as if they are what they ought to be, and you will help them to become what they are capable of being.”
  • When interviewing job applicants for a vacancy in your office, look for compatibility with your other staff. An applicant’s resume should tell you most of what you need to know about his or her knowledges, skills and abilities to do the job. The interview should help you tell how friendly, cooperative, and loyal the applicant is.
  • Build team spirit to encourage mutual support and understanding. Meetings can be a useful tool in accomplishing this, but the attitude of the manager is essential.
  • Give your employees an opportunity to read about office politics. Often, people engage in unethical behavior because they cannot distinguish between what’s ethical and what’s not. This article has been written to remove that ambiguity.

POWER

Power and office politics go hand-in-hand. The more power one has, the more effective his or her office politics can be. Power is defined here as the ability to marshal the resources to get the job done. There are basically six sources of power: legitimate, reward, coercive, referent, expertise and charismatic. Legitimate power is the official power you have as a manager in an organization; you have reward power if you can promote; you have coercive power if you can fire. Associate with or have a good rapport with one or more of the leaders with power in your organization and you have referent power. If you’re an expert at your job, you have expertise power. President Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King are good examples of people who had charismatic power.

A manager automatically has legitimate, reward and coercive power. If you’re a good manager, you probably have some charismatic power. How does one obtain more power? You can develop referent power by becoming friendly with other managers. Many people who have very little legitimate power have enormous referent power. Secretaries are good examples of this phenomenon. Become excellent at your job and you’ll gain expertise power. Develop your verbal and non-verbal skills, dress for success, and develop desirable leadership skills through education, training, reading and experience, and you’ll be on your way to developing charismatic power.

CONCLUSION

Office politics is a fact of organizational life. This article has discussed clean, dirty and situationally ethical forms of it. The most useful political tactic, however, is one called “honest and straightforward.” It is not only the easiest to use, it does not cause ‘the anxiety that many of the other tactics do. Work would be far more pleasant if all interactions were of this type, however an awareness of the other types is essential.

If you are like most managers, supervisors and employees, you not only deplore office politics, you are absolutely convinced that you do not engage in any form of it, be it conscious, unconscious, clean, dirty or situationally-ethical. I hope that this article has accomplished three purposes: made you more aware of office politics and therefore better able to handle it; demonstrated that some forms of office politics can be ethical; and adequately described dirty office politics so that there is more certainty as to what is ethical and what is not. An awareness of all types of office politics can be useful to you in maintaining a pleasant office environment and in succeeding in an ever-more competitive world.

Mike Russo

CHARLOTTESVILLE: OBSESSED with RACE!

Charlottesville, Virginia, is just another page in race relations in America being corrupted by politics.  Other relatively recent pages that turned political include Mike Brown in Ferguson, Eric Garner in New York, etc., etc.   The Brown incident was due to a policeman protecting himself from being killed; the Garner incident was due to the police being overzealous and inappropriate in its use of force.  Years later the U.S. is still agitated from those incidents, and others, including Charlottesville, to the extent that two New York City police officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, were ambushed and killed for revenge while sitting in their police car. Why?

I believe that many Americans are obsessed with race!   Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said that his dream was that one day his four little children will live in a nation where they will be judged, not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.  In other words, a “color-blind” society was his dream.  The opposite has and is taking place even though race relations in the U.S. for most people are okay.   Democrat politicians and their minions call anyone a racist who disagrees with them on anything, whether or not it has anything to do with race.   Moreover, the government encourages discrimination in many, many ways including something so minor as requiring race and ethnic information in order to get medical care (I refuse to provide it calling it “racist” on the form).

My credentials for stating the above: while working for the Federal government for over 40 years,  I volunteered to perform three “collateral-duty” jobs that took up to 20% of my official work time, each for a minimum of five years.  Two of the three involved fighting racial, ethnic, and gender discrimination.  In one of my collateral-duty jobs, I was instrumental in increasing Latino employment by my Federal Bureau from under 1 % to 6% of the workforce (as the Hispanic Employment Program Manager); in the other collateral-duty job, I counseled about a dozen minorities and women in seeking remedies for alleged discrimination (as an EEO Counselor).  Each of these positions required extensive training which I was happy to take and I performed well, to the extent that I received EEO awards from my bureau and the Department of Interior.   These experiences, plus working at my father’s butcher shop (with a 99% African-American clientele) when growing up, working as a counselor at a camp with 50% African-American “campers,” and attending a Junior High School with 50% African-American students, gives me a far better perspective than most white Americans in understanding race relations.

My perspective on race relations today versus throughout the past is that, with the exception of the past 9 years, relations have improved significantly in the past 60 years.  But if my perspective is accurate, why is racism such a major concern today? Is it really politics as I stated earlier?  Author of the book, The Big Black Lie, Kevin Jackson, blames the Democratic Party in its attempt to convince voters that Republicans are racists.  In his book, Wrong on Race, Bruce Bartlett enumerates the Democratic Party’s history of racism.  Most recently, author of the book, Mugged, Ann Coulter, gives a very detailed account of racial demogoguery by the Democrat Party from the seventies to Obama.  My own experience and observations validate what I read and make me hopping mad.  The pain and suffering by all parties has been perpetuated solely for political gain.  I also agree with Dinesh D’Souza’s book, The End of Racism, that the American obsession with race is fueled by a civil rights establishment that has a vested interest in perpetuating black dependency.

Will this obsession with race ever end?  Only when the deception behind it is fully exposed and widely acknowledged.  Unfortunately, that day may never come.  What would Dr. King say?  Nothing…I believe he would be  in tears!

Let’s go back in time to when African-Americans were freed from slavery and see what Booker T. Washington, born a slave, who established the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama to educate and train African-Americans and was the most prominent African-American in his day (1856-1915), said in his book, “Up from Slavery”:  “…the policy to be pursued with reference to the races was, by every honorable means, to bring together and to encourage the cultivation of friendly relations, instead of doing that which would embitter.”  What is happening today is the opposite of what Mr. Washington advocated and is being done mostly in order to keep 90% of African-Americans voting for the Democratic Party.

Obviously, the violent protests by the racist groups were reprehensible and the violent protests against them were also wrong.  The violence was wrong. President Trump condemned the violence on three occasions on TV as well as in a few tweets yet he was still criticized.  This indicates how political race has become in America.  It needs to stop.  The first amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives all Americans the right to protest but no one has the right to protest violently and hurt others.  Police need to do their job and immediately arrest anyone being violent.

 

CHOOSING A SPOUSE

One of the most important decisions most people will ever make is who to marry, if anyone.   A good marriage can be very fulfilling, so if you marry,  you would want it to succeed, make both of you happy, and last a lifetime.   How do you do that?  Some marriage counselors have much  more than their share of broken marriages, and I have had two marriages and two divorces, but it’s true that you learn a lot more from your failures than from your successes, so I’m presenting my analysis.  But first let’s look at a few statistics on marriage:

o 50% of married couples will eventually divorce

o 60% of second marriages fail

o 31% of people in a marriage have had an affair

o 47% of people in a marriage are not sure they would marry the same person again

In an interview with Longevity magazine years ago, actress Zsa Zsa Gabor was asked, “do you think you’ll ever meet the right man?”  She replied, “I was very lucky because I find eight times the right man.”  Of course we want our first  and only spouse to be the right man or woman.  My experience with marriage/relationships comes from my two marriages, two divorces, living with a girlfriend for three years and reading everything I could get on marriage and relationships so that I wouldn’t ever have another divorce.  Here’s my advice for selecting a lifelong mate:

1. It’s very helpful if you and your intended are best friends before you marry, to the extent that you both can be yourselves and be able to joke around with each other and have fun in each other’s company.

2. Being honest with each other is very helpful.  Making “I” statements can make this possible, so you might say, “I think that…” rather than imperial statements such as, “that’s bad” or “that’s good.”  Be diplomatic in your honest communications with each other, and not lie…but do not be brutally frank or unkind.   Why is being diplomatically honest important?  Because it fosters trust and intimacy.  Look for honesty in a potential mate.

3. Respect each other’s feelings about people, ideas, beliefs, attitudes, and interests.  Of course, the more of these you have in common, the better, but you really need to respect your significant other’s views even though they may be very different from yours.  Does your spouse-to-be respect your feelings?

4. Resolving differences amicably is something that John Gottman PhD, marriage researcher and counselor, advocates as one of the most important skills for maintaining a good marriage.  My first marriage lacked this and was the underlying culprit responsible for its failure.  To check this out you need to be going together long enough to have at least one good fight or big disagreement to see if you both can resolve it amicably.  This ability might be more important than all of the others.

5. Dr. Gottman: “a healthy balance between positive and negative feelings and actions toward each other…really separates contented couples from those in deep marital misery.”  Further, “if there is five times as many positive interactions as negative between couples, the marriage is likely to be stable over time.”  Dr. Gottman then specifies that negative interactions are criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling.  Use this in determining how well you and your significant other might get along as husband and wife…look at your positive and negative interactions…is there a healthy balance?  If not, modify your behavior so that it becomes healthy.

Not listed above is the question of romance and sex.  Of course these are very important…in fact, I heard a marriage counselor comment that, “if the sex is good, the marriage is usually good.”

Even if you do everything well, there’s still no guarantee that your marriage will succeed.  To illustrate, Ellen Kriedman states in her book, Light her Fire, “while dating, a man usually has no problem talking, because he has a goal in mind.  He wants her to find him desirable, so he’s charming, witty and pays a great deal of attention to what she’s saying.  He wants to discover what her needs are so that he can fulfill them.  As a result, he has a woman who finds him irresistible.  Once this happens and she’s his forever, he stops talking.  In his mind, there’s less need to talk and listen to her than there was in the beginning.”  And, of course, the female partner might equally change after marriage, but in a different way.

Finally, it’s certainly a lot easier, after discussing your concerns with each other face-to-face, to stop dating someone whom you think you would be incompatible with, rather than marrying him or her and eventually getting divorced after a few years of marriage and a few children.  It’s far better to be single a little longer rather than getting married quickly and being miserable because your prince or princess turned out to be a frog, con artist, spouse abuser, philanderer, alcoholic, drug addict, gambling addict, gold digger, etc.  Whatever your problems, things can always get a whole lot worse.  If you love someone even though he or she has serious problems, it’s important to consider what your heart says, but your mind must make final decisions…and keep in mind that few spouses, partners and significant others are better companions and more loyal friends than homeless stray cats or dogs that might visit your home for food and water, so you might want to consider adopting a stray for companionship and take your time before choosing a spouse.

PREVENTING ALZHEIMER’S, PARKINSON’S, ALS, DEMENTIA, ETC. (audio interview)

I decided to interview Dr. Michael Smith (25-minute audio…click on red “words” at the bottom of this introduction) on this subject because the scientific literature shows that certain lifestyle choices and nutritional supplements can help delay and even prevent  Alzheimer’s, so I wanted to ask a medical doctor, who’s knowledgeable on the latest research in this area, what he thinks.

UPDATE SINCE INTERVIEW WITH DR. SMITH: 1) coffee given to mice, equivalent to 5 cups of coffee a day by a person, began to reverse Alzheimer’s in 5 weeks ,  2) scientific research conducted at MIT developed and tested Magnesium L-Threonate which allegedly doubles long-term memory and increases short-term memory by 20% by increasing the density in the synapses between brain cells;  3) a supplement called PQQ (Pyrroloquinoline Quinone) has been researched and allegedly found to foster the growth of new brain cells, something that had been thought to be impossible; 4) researchers have found that people who ate the most strawberries or blueberries delayed the onset of Alzheimer’s by 2 1/2 years; 5) to keep the brain from shrinking as you age, high-dose DHA (a transfatty acid in fish oil) or walking 6-9 miles/week are both effective; 6) methylene blue has been found to slow the progression of Alzhemier’s by 81% (and also is effective for Parkinson’s and Huntington’s); 7) there is promising research on reversing Alzheimer’s by an FDA-approved cancer drug, Bexarotene,  which reversed Alzheimer’s in 2 weeks in mice (note that a physician can prescribe a FDA-approved drug for any medical problem if s/he can justify its use); 8) taurine, an amino acid, has been  shown to promote the formation of new brain cells and enhance their connections (neurites), in laboratory studies; 9) Alpha-Glyceryl Phosphoryl Choline (A-GPC), a B-vitamin, is a precursor to the fat that is in brain cells’ myelin sheaths which cover and protect the connections between brain cells,  and is required to repair them (their deterioration leads to dementia); 10) follow the MIND diet (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) to slow the rate of cognitive decline and protect against Alzheimer’s; 11) follow as much as possible the 36-point plan from the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, especially by eliminating all simple carbohydrates and processed food, increasing vegetables, fruit, fish, sleep and exercise, taking daily vitamin D3, B-12 under the tongue lozenges, and Coenzyme Q10; 12) according to the Life Extension Foundation, its supplement, “Memory Protect,” which contains very low-dose Lithium and a colostrum-derived proline-rich polypeptide, has been shown in both animal and human studies to halt Alzheimer’s progression.

My interviewee, Dr. Michael Smith, is a medical doctor (MD) with specialties in internal medicine and radiology, and currently serves as the clinical information specialist with the Life Extension Foundation, a non-profit organization devoted to researching and disseminating information on preventing diseases and medical disorders.  In this interview he discusses preventing neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, dementia, and mild cognitive impairment.   Dr. Smith received his MD from Southwest Medical Center at the University of Texas in Dallas and has been with The Life Extension Foundation for 8 years.

In my interview with Dr. Smith, various nutritional supplements and lifestyle choices are discussed as ways of helping prevent the onset of neurological disorders. You will hear about how nerve cell structure is the focus of prevention, not function, which traditional medicine focuses on.  You will hear about the benefits of phosphatidylserine, phosphoryl choline, coenzyme Q10, vitamin B-12 under-the-tongue lozenges, vitamin D3, fish oil, R Lipoic Acid, etc.  Also discussed are lifestyle choices such as your cookware, baking powder with aluminum in it, and more.

Neurological disorders are so devastating that all avenues must be pursued and traditional medicine has very little to offer with its few prescription drugs that don’t work very well and it offers very little on prevention . Since cures are not currently possible, prevention has become extremely important.  If you have any neurological disorders in your family, listening to this audio should be helpful.  Click on the red link below and then the hyperlink under it.

Michael Smith-Preventing Neurological Audio

Interview by Mike Russo

DEMOCRAT PARTY IS NOT LIBERAL, REPUBLICAN PARTY NOT CONSERVATIVE

INTRODUCTION

Everyone knows that the Democrat Party is the liberal (or Progressive) party and the Republican Party is the conservative party.  But is this true?  I don’t think so.  Here’s why:  the Democrat and Republican parties stake out positions on many issues, most of which are neither liberal nor conservative.  It is much more accurate to characterize their positions as being either Democrat or Republican positions rather than liberal or conservative.

                                                                                 BODY

For example,  is the $20 trillion U.S. National Debt liberal or conservative? Of course, it’s neither!  How about Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid?  Once again, a safety net for the elderly and the poor is neither liberal or conservative.  I could continue on but I believe I made my point.  However, I can successfully argue that a strong military is favored by the Republican Party and a weak military is favored by the Democrat Party.  In addition, non-enforcement of our immigration laws is a tenet of the Democrat Party and strict enforcement by the Republican Party.  Once again, these are not liberal or conservative positions but are simply political party political preferences.  Another example, Sanctuary Cities are favored by the Democrat Party but are not by the Republican Party.  Another, man-made climate change is a Democrat idea, wheras the Sun-caused (Solar-Flares, Sun Spots, Weak Solar Cycles 25, 26) climate change is a Republican idea.  Abortion is supported by Democrats, anti-abortion by Republicans.  None of these positions have anything to do with liberalism or conservatism so why muddy the waters?  Call them what there are: positions taken by either the Democrat Party or the Republican Party.

CONCLUSION

I think the language that is thrown around against both liberals and conservatives is sloppy, irresponsible and misleading and it needs to stop because it confuses voters.  Voters need to know what each political party stands for with much more precision and clarity so that they know exactly what policies they are supporting.  Calling voters names is what some people do when they can’t make intelligent, logical, and cogent arguments to support their positions.  I can’t find much to suggest that the Democrat Party is Liberal or Progressive, and that the Republican Party is Conservative so let’s call political party positions Democrat positions or Republican positions and drop the liberal and conservative labels. They are misleading.

 

WHY I RESPECT & LOVE PRESIDENT TRUMP

Why would I respect and love President Trump?  He doesn’t appear to be very lovable, so what is there to love?  Here’s a few of the reasons why I respect and love the President:

  1. President Trump every day is making my country, America, great again by signing Executive Orders and laws to increase America’s prosperity, defenses, security, etc.
  2. He fights back hard when unjustly accused, which is far different than most fearful, wimpy Republican leaders.
  3. President Trump does what’s in the best interest of the U.S., far different than his predecessor, who put politics first.
  4. He has regained America’s place in the world and is not timid to lead, unlike his predecessor.
  5. He has a wonderful wife and impressive children, which says a lot about him.
  6. He talks bluntly, unlike politicians, therefore there is no need to speculate on what he means.
  7. Although very wealthy, he does not put on airs and is not pretentious.
  8. He is loyal to his supporters and his political party unlike Benedict Arnold Senators John McCain and Susan Collins.
  9. He calls out the media for misreporting and even fabricating news, which is far different than spineless Republican leaders.
  10. Although some of his tweets are unnecesarily controversial and cause his Administration grief from the media, he continues to tweet, which keeps the electorate informed.                                                              CONCLUSION

President Trump is a different kind of President.  He accomplishes in a week what most Presidents take a month or more to do, if ever.  He is fearless and does what needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.  Because he was not a politician, he made some basic errors in handling tricky situations.  However, President Trump is a really fast learner and is correcting his earlier mistakes.  He is helping improve the United States so dramatically and so quickly, I cannot help but respect and love him.

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PROUD TO BE AMERICAN

On Independence Day 2017 I thought it appropriate to provide some of the reasons why Americans should be proud that they are Americans.  In our public schools, children are thoroughly taught the misdeeds that the U.S. has done since its inception in 1776, but none of its great achievements and acts of kindness and heroism.   Americans have many reasons to be proud, a few of which I cite below.

Our founding fathers were reluctant to secede from England, but after repeated failed attempts at reconciliation, decided to do so.  They explained their reasons for secession in the Declaration of Independence.  Since slavery was legal and prevalent in America under British rule, it inherited slavery and had to keep a limited form of it in order to have the Southern States ratify the Constitution.  Seventy-five years after the Constitution was ratified by the 13 Clonial states, the  U.S. fought a Civil War to rid itself of this evil.  It cost the U.S. 600,000 lives, including that of President Lincoln, who was assasinated shortly after the war was over.  Had President Lincoln lived, reconstruction in the South would have gone much better.  Nevertheless, America survived and prospered though race relations would have been much better.

So why exactly are Americans proud to be Americans?  What is there to be proud of?  To begin, the United States saved Europe from Hitler’s Nazi Germany in World War II.  In addition, it saved about a million Japanese and American lives through its judicious use of the atomic bomb.  After that war, in the Cold War, the U.S. prevented the Soviet Union from instilling communism throughout the world (with all of the poverty and suffering that accompanies it).  These examples are not anomalies, the U.S. has come to the rescue of peoples throughout the world to liberate and assist them.  To be sure, America has made its share of mistakes, but its intentions were usually good.

There are countless examples of the United States helping other countries and peoples throughout its history.  In addition, its medical and technological advances have made life easier for everyone on the planet.  A useful way to look at it is to imagime a world without the United States.  Who would be the superpower that was also a republic whose franchise rested with the people?  The U.S. military has no equal and as such many would-be evildoers are kept at bay, knowing full-well, that if the U.S. got involved, it would destroy them.

Aside from the greatness of America, its people are the most generous in the world, so when disaster strikes anywhere in the world, Americans run to their checkbooks and credit cards and give until it feels good.

From its inception, America has stood for liberty and freedom around the world.  Our Statue of Liberty is recognized all over the world as a symol of liberty.  It was given to the U.S. by France because America stood for freedom and was a role-model for France, as described in Alexis de Tocqueville’s book, Democracy in America.

America is an exceptional country.  Its people should be proud.

HOW TO DETERMINE FAKE NEWS

INTRODUCTION

How do you know if news is fake?  I use the following method:

Critical thinking is essential to determining whether a piece of news is real or fake.  If you are extremely partisan, or are emotionally-engaged for one side or the other, looking at news objectively is very difficult, but is possible if you really want to know the truth.  You need to take shortcuts for determining fake vs. real news, because thoroughly going through an analysis each time you hear a news story takes too much time, and most people don’t have that much time.

BODY

First, you need to consider the source of the news and ask yourself, “how does the journalist know what s/he is telling me?”  Many sources are simply someone’s conjecture being stated as fact.  If journalists were completely honest, they would begin many of their opinion pieces with something like, “I believe,” or “I think,” rather than stating what they think as fact.

Second, you need to look at access.  Most of the time you hear journalists, with no special access to the President, report on what the President is thinking.  Once again, you need to ask yourself, ” how did they get their information?”  It usually is speculation stated as fact.

Third, you need to look at the track record of the journalist for reporting factualy.  After observing a potential source of information for accuracy, I decide whether to continue to use that source, because it’s very time-consuming to double and triple-check every fact (so I need to know who I can believe).  Fox News’ Brit Hume is one source I trust.

Fourth, I avoid partisan journalists who also are not truthful.  Being partisan is O.K. as long as the reporting is accurate and truhful.  For example, MSNBC’s Rachel Madow is very partisan and is not truthful, while Fox News’s partisan Sean Hannity is truthful, so I depend on him for information.

Fifth, there are many other sources, include bloggers and radio talk-show hosts, who are great sources of solid information.  Radio talk-show host, Rush Limbaugh, immediately comes to mind as a reliable source of accurate information.

Sixth, the very best source is to watch and listen to the real, actual source of much information, the kind you see on CSPAN-1, 2, or 3, not from most journalists or reporters.

Seventh, Bernard Goldberg’s books, Bias and Arrogance, and Bob Kohn’s book, Journalistic Fraud, are but a few of those that document how biased the news media is.  Everyone should be extremely careful taking anything from the mainstream media as factual and accurate.

CONCLUSION

Be cautious in quickly accepting as fact anything you hear or read.  If it sounds crazy, perhaps it is.  The media has an agenda and usually doesn’t even report those things that don’t fit into its agenda.  It is disheartening to see but it’s today’s reality.  Eternal vigilance in srutinizing the media is necesssary to keep the media honest and simply reporting the news rather than fabricating or twisting it.

 

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