Is It “Socialism” or “Democratic Socialism?”

In 2016, it was Bernie. But after the 2018 midterm election primaries, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) took over Bernie’s mantle of Socialism. And ramping up to 2020, the dozen or so declared Democrat Party presidential candidates are running over each other, each crying for the World to hear, “I’m the bigger Socialist…I’m the biggest Socialist!” 

It’s a bit spooky that the “next” generation of Americans are getting so chummy with Socialism. The reason for the far-too-common use of the term is simple: today’s educators have wrapped their classroom agendas in a cloak of Socialism. And Democrat presidential candidates have done so too with their campaigns. They talk about it like it has brought Nirvana to the countries who have embraced it, and they use that to demonize Capitalism. Educators nor politicians discuss the horrors of Socialism in Germany, China, Venezuela, the Czech Republic, Turkey, and nations who long ago disappeared because Socialism always implodes. All they share with our next generation is this: “Socialism is a political environment in which everyone is guaranteed by the government that all their fundamental needs are going to be met — no matter what.” I’ve not heard of any of these Socialists in their speeches espousing the grandeurs of Socialism even mention that it has never worked in any country on Earth. It seems that would be a pretty important fact to mention, don’t you?

Let’s be honest: who doesn’t like the idea of someone taking care of all our needs and wants? It’s a warm and fuzzy thought — at least initially. Remember when we were kids? We worried only about “important” things, like recess, and a new bicycle. “Where’s my catcher’s mitt?” was about the most serious thing we had to deal with. Fighting with a brother or sister over control of the tv remote finished a close second. We did all that while Dad worked, Mom cooked and cleaned and carpooled, and everyone and everything was peachy. The 60s and 70s families were the U.S. Socialism models that worked — at least that’s what pundits point to today.

What’s so spooky about it is that this utopian promise is based on totally false information. These Socialists and economic elitists are filling the heads and hearts of the next generation of Americans with untruths. And our kids and many adults are swallowing that propaganda hook, line, and sinker.

When asked about the history of the universal failure of Socialist nations, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is quick to correct that question: “What we need is not the old Socialism. What we need and must have in the U.S. is Democratic Socialism,” says AOC.

So let’s today compare Socialism with Democratic Socialism. We’ll then consider Capitalism and contrast and compare how each has succeeded or failed.

Socialism

Exactly what is Socialism? Webster defines it these two ways:

1.  Any of various theories or systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy. (It requires termination of Capitalism)

2.  The stage in Marxist-Leninist theory intermediate between capitalism and communism, in which collective ownership of the economy under the dictatorship of the proletariat has not yet been successfully achieved.

Socialism is almost totally a political system, which does claim to magically solve all problems even though a socialist concept is what creates the problems that result in its inevitable failure. The Soviet Union is a good example. The claim for establishing the socialist Soviet Union was to solve the disparity between rich and poor and assure that everyone will have at least a minimum good life. (“Hey Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: does that sound familiar?”) The reality is, Socialism Soviet-style resulted in making everyone extremely poor and destitute, including people who were not poor before it was instituted.

Democratic Socialism

As compared with “Normal” Socialism, Democratic Socialism means that this political reality—the abolition of capitalism—will be achieved and administered through democratic, as opposed to authoritarian, means.

The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) website explains: “Democratic socialists believe that both the economy and society should be run democratically—to meet public needs, not to make profits for a few. To achieve a more just society, many structures of our government and economy must be radically transformed through greater economic and social democracy so that ordinary Americans can participate in the many decisions that affect our lives.”

AOC defines Democratic Socialism this way: “So when millennials talk about concepts like Democratic Socialism, we’re not talking about these kinds of ‘Red Scare’ boogeyman,” she said. “We’re talking about countries and systems that already exist that have already been proven to be successful in the modern world.”

Ocasio-Cortez has likened her view of Democratic Socialism to Scandinavian Social Democracy. The congresswoman’s progressive platform consists of a single-payer health care system that covers all forms of health care.

“We’re talking about single-payer health care that has already been successful in many different models, from Finland to Canada to the UK,” she said.

She also believes in tuition-free public colleges and universities. Her platform includes guaranteeing Americans a living wage that maintains “basic levels of dignity so that no person in America is too poor to live,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “That’s what democratic socialism means in 2019, and not this kind of McCarthyism Red Scare of a past era.”

Capitalism

“An economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately or corporately owned and development is proportionate to the accumulation and reinvestment of profits gained in a free market.”

Capitalism has always been the home of true entrepreneurship, encouraging through free market trade the initiative for people to create and develop new technology and continual innovation for improvement and invention. Those who take advantage of the capitalistic environment receive rewards tied directly to their efforts. 

The greatest drawback of Capitalism is corruption that results in individuals and groups from both private and government sectors taking advantage of capitalistic opportunities to garner power and wealth: sometimes illegally and sometimes skirting the law but doing so unethically.

Bar Stool Economics

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

  1. The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
  2. The fifth would pay $1.
  3. The sixth would pay $3.
  4. The seventh would pay $7.
  5. The eighth would pay $12.
  6. The ninth would pay $18.
  7. The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that’s what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. “Since you are all such good customers,” he said, “I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20.” Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes. The first four men were unaffected: they would still drink for free. But what about the other six men – the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his “fair share?”
They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay:

  1. The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
  2. The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
  3. The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
  4. The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
  5. The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
  6. The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free.

But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings:

  1. “I only got a dollar out of the $20,” declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, “but he got $10!”
  2. “Yeah, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a dollar, too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more than I!”
  3. “That’s true!!” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!”
  4. “Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison. “We didn’t get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!”

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important: they didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

Summary

Socialism, whether called simply that or with the word “Democratic” in the front, is nothing new. And there have been those who have tried and tried to get Americans to take more than just a passing glimpse at Socialism to try here. Very smart men and women have spurned the idea for a couple of centuries. They have stood on America’s shores and watched Socialism destroy cultures and societies all around the World. One of them was Ronald Reagan and long before he became President. A half-century ago, “The Gipper” had this to say about Socialism:

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system AND Socialism works. The people who pay the highest taxes today or do the most effort and provide the greatest amount of work in Socialism don’t get any extra benefit from what they bring “to the table.” Like the guys who met for drinks in the bar night after night — especially the guy who made the most money. Tax him too much, attack him for being wealthy, take from him the extra he put into the system, and he just may not show up anymore. In fact, he might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier!

One of our forefathers was asked once why Socialism never lasts anywhere. When does Socialism die? His answer: “It happens every time the country spends all of the ‘other’ guy’s money and there’s none of the ‘other’ guy’s money left.”

Play

The “One That Got Away”

Uncle Ted was a master fisherman. How do I know that? Uncle Ted said so! After retirement, he fished every day except Sundays. Ted always brought home a bunch of fish. And why not? He was a master fisherman. In his eyes that meant that he knew which was the best rod and reel, best lure, best live bait, and, of course, he knew the best fishing holes (which he kept secret) AND the perfect time of day to fish.

No matter that Ted was a master fisherman, there was always “One that Got Away.” As good a fisherman as Ted was, caught and brought home quite a few whoppers most days, and at least once a week there came with that batch of fish a story about the “One that Got Away.” It was the biggest, strongest, most evasive and most beautiful fish he’d ever seen. How big was it? Well, that depended on which week and to whom he told the story. It seemed to everyone in the family that years ago when Ted told us about that fish that got away, it’s MUCH larger today than it was then. 

Every family has an “Uncle Ted.” Most of the time we smile at the stories, knowing that next week’s one that got away was going to be even bigger. We shrug off Ted and his stories and go about our business. That’s just the way one handles stories like that.

The Crabtrap

Have you ever been crabbing? As a South Louisiana boy, I learned about crabbing early on. You bait and use a crab trap. Here’s how it goes:

A crab trap is a box-shaped wire contraption that has a round hole in the top. When it’s time to catch crabs, you put bait inside the trap on the bottom, drop the trap into the water where crabs live, and just wait. After enough time has passed for crabs to discover that feast in that trap and crawl through that hole to munch on that chicken neck you left, you pull the trap out of the water. And if you’re lucky, you’ll find several crabs have taken the bait and are in the trap.

If you step back and watch those crabs for a while, you’ll usually see one that figures out there’s a way to escape their bleak future by getting out of the trap. That crab will crawl up the side of the trap across the wire top to get to that hole he crawled through to begin his trek. But seldom does he make it out of the trap. Why?

Inevitably, one or several of the crabs sharing the trap reaches up with a claw, latch onto the escaping crab, and pull him back to the floor of the trap with them. More often than not, that crab never makes an escape.

81 And Counting

As of yesterday, heads of Democrat-controlled committees in the House of Representatives had notified 81 people via letter and/or subpoena their committees’ demands for either production of specific documents or appearances before committees to give sworn testimony or both.

What are they looking for?

Do you remember March 17, 2017? Almost two years ago, Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller as Special Counsel to investigate Donald Trump and the Trump Campaign. Here’s how (just in case you’ve forgotten):

APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL COUNSEL
TO INVESTIGATE RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE WITH THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION AND RELATED MATTERS

By virtue of the authority vested in me as Acting Attorney General, including 28 U.S.C. §§ 509, 510, and 515, in order to discharge my responsibility to provide supervision and management of the Department of Justice, and to ensure a full and thorough investigation of the Russian govemmenfs efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, I hereby order as follows:
(a) Robert S. Mueller III is appointed t() serve as Specia] Counsel for the United States Department of Justice.
(b) The Special Counsel is authorized to conduct the investigation confirmed by then-FBI Director James 8. Corney in testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on March 20, 2017, including:
(i) any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; and
(ii) any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation; and
(iii) any other matters within the scope of 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a).
(c) If the Special Counsel believes it is necessary and appropriate, the Special Counsel is authorized to prosecute federal crimes arising from the investigation of these matters. (d) Sections 600.4 through 600.1 of Title 28 of the Code of Federal Regulations are applicable to the Special Counsel.”

For two years with the unfettered resources and permissions of every department of the Federal Government and with an unlimited budget, Robert Mueller has exhaustively investigated Donald Trump and the Trump Campaign for alleged collusion with the Russian government to affect the 2016 presidential election in his favor. $25 million or so dollars and two years later, NO COLLUSION. All “leaked” notices from the Mueller camp indicate his wrap-up report of the investigation is imminent and is alleged to contain no damning evidence of collusion and no evidence implicating the President.

In light of the constant badgering by Democrats and even some Republicans threatening President Trump for any interference he might make to fire Mueller, cut funding for the investigation or in any way use his power and authority to impact or stop it, President Trump has made NO efforts to do so. Numerous times in fact he has publicly stated he had NO intentions to intervene in any way. He clearly stated again and again he simply wanted it completed.

In light of all this, why then are those House Committees going after the President, current and past members of his administration, and even his family members?

At TruthNewsNetwork, on numerous occasions we have clearly made the case predicting that when the Mueller probe is completed, IF there is no referral from Mueller that includes evidence sufficient to warrant impeachment proceedings by the House, Democrats will perpetuate investigations in the all things Trump. Their purpose: do anything and everything necessary to 1) impeach Trump and remove him from office; or 2) blanket him and all those working with him in his presidency with subpoenas, hearings, forced testimony, all the while using their weaponized Media partners to perpetuate claims against Mr. Trump that will push him over the edge so as to pressure him to walk away — resign.

Here’s Congressman Jerold Nadler (D-NY):

Lots of allegations of crimes. Yet Nadler made it clear there is NO evidence of those alleged crimes. Mueller hasn’t found any.

Wasn’t Congressman Nadler one of the loudest Democrats with demands directed at the President to stay clear of interference with Robert Mueller and his investigation? Didn’t he as did so many other Democrats claim numerous times that the President “clearly” obstructed justice and there is “evidence” proving collusion with Russians in the 2016 election?

Nadler along with House Democrats “other” hitman Adam Schiff have made it clear that they know factually President Trump committed criminally impeachable offenses. My question is this: both Nadler and Schiff served on this same committee in the previous House of Representatives when Dems were in the minority. They participated in their committee’s significant investigation into these charges against the President. Schiff and Nadler both have all through the first two years of this Administration claimed to have such evidence of Trump wrongdoing.  So why did they not turn that evidence over to Robert Mueller? Better yet, why did they not turn that evidence over to the leadership of their own committee?

What Are Democrats Up To?

It’s one of two things and may be about both:

  1. Politics and nothing more. Democrats were shocked when Trump beat Hillary in 2016. One can only imagine the plans they had for the continuation of their march to Socialism that began under Obama. They were all given a taste during Obama’s eight years of just what having almost unilateral power over everything and everybody in the federal government could do. And they liked it. They could not wait until they could install “The Clinton Presidency, Part II” at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Trump definitely rained on their parade. NONE of their plans carefully crafted for governing in the next eight years could be achieved. They didn’t even have House or Senate control! They had to get it back. And their desperation’s first method was to launch a faux investigation into Trump claiming the Russian collusion. When it became obvious that in spite of the Clinton Campaign’s underwriting that dossier to entice the FBI to go after Mr. Trump, no dirt showed up even if there was any. Their other political ploy was instigated with their midterm election victory to take control of the House. That opened Pandora’s box of investigations: of EVERYTHING Donald Trump.
  2. This second option is the scariest one. Many reading this today are too young to remember Senator Joe McCarthy’s legislative witch-hunt looking for Communists. Dozens of those from Hollywood, New York, and Washington who were “outed” as Communists or Communist sympathizers were ruined professionally and privately by McCarthy’s strongarm tactics. Just like today’s Trump investigations, truth and evidence were NOT necessary elements of McCarthy’s work. Allegations and innuendo were all that were needed at the time. There is NO question in my mind that Schiff, Nadler and Company have examined how McCarthy did it and are using his methods (at least in part) to cut short Trump’s tenure in the White House.

Summary

So what does the story of Uncle Ted and the Crabtrap have to do with today’s narrative above? Simple: Democrats in Trump’s first two years went after him. They at first tried to be subtle. But with each failure by Mueller to uncover Trump wrongdoing, Dems grew angrier and more and more desperate.

To make matters worse for Democrats, Trump’s policies implemented in 2017 and 2018 began to work, and work dramatically. The economy took off in every sector. Unemployment numbers over and over again set historical records. Federal tax receipts zoomed to never before seen numbers — even with across the board tax cuts.

Democrats got scared.

Then when it became obvious to most that the Mueller probe was about finished with no findings of criminality, their heads exploded. They HAD to do something. So they now have literally taken the law into their own hands.

Uncle Ted represents Democrats. And the fish that go away is President Trump. Just like Uncle Ted, Democrats are very upset that their fish apparently escaped when everyone thought Robert Mueller had caught him.

Think about it: how are legal investigations structured and implemented? First, when a crime is committed, law enforcement officials launch, implement, and complete an all-out investigation to pull together evidence that reveals every detail of that crime: the perpetrator, motive, and any involvement by others.

Beginning with the Mueller probe, this investigatory process in place for two centuries was turned upside down!

What crime had been committed sufficient to initiate an investigation? What evidence was there?

The instigation of the Mueller probe (and subsequently this “new” probe) was the anger and hatred Democrats have for Donald Trump. THERE APPARENTLY WAS NO CRIME. This probe should have NEVER been initiated.

The crabtrap?

Sources of the vitriol from Democrats for Mr. Trump are two in number. Obviously, his resounding defeat of Hillary set the fire. But to make matters worse, all of the Trump Administration’s accomplishments have poured gasoline on that fire again and again.

The “crabology” story explains how Democrats have responded. Instead of paying attention to Trump’s reasoning and methodology that together resulted in the tremendous victories for the U.S., they chose to instead of joining the President in crawling out of the trap of high unemployment, massive government deficit spending, shrinking military protection, loss of international credibility, and almost unexplainable gross domestic product soaring growth, Democrats paid no attention to those successes. All they saw was Trump was taking Americans out of the trap with him. They couldn’t let that happen! So they’re doing everything within their power to pull him back to the bottom where THEY are. Sadly, American citizens — if they are successful — will be pulled right down with him, back on their level.

That’s a sad story on many levels. But the most saddening part is that Democrats should be reveling in the amazing progress made under this president in just two years.

What will the results of this all be? Who knows. But at least there are enough knowledgeable and impartial people to keep the truth in the minds of Americans. There are very few of those people in today’s media. But thankfully Americans on the most part are wading through the mud to find the truth in all this. “Truth will out.” And it is happening.

Stay tuned! The “Trump Saga” is just getting started. It still has close to six years to go — I hope!

Civil War: About Race or Something Else?

We are inundated in today’s U.S. about the racial divide that has existed for several hundred years. It is amazing to me that with our living in the greatest country in world history, arguably the most innovative technology in existence (with the exception of maybe China), and without question the best economy on Earth today, we do NOT tackle the problems that go hand in hand with racial divide and racism to finally put this puppy to bed. The most frustrating part of that? “IF” we honestly did address the issues from all sides, Americans could resolve ALL of those differences. But we don’t — and we never have.

Just so you remember, here are a few notes about the Civil War:

The war began when the Confederates bombarded Union soldiers at Fort Sumter, South Carolina on April 12, 1861.  The war ended in Spring, 1865.  Robert E. Lee surrendered the last major Confederate army to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse on April 9, 1865.  The last battle was fought at Palmito Ranch, Texas, on May 13, 1865.

At the beginning of the war, the Northern states had a combined population of 22 million people. The Southern states had a combined population of about 9 million. This disparity was reflected in the size of the armies in the field. The Union forces outnumbered the Confederates roughly two to one. The “North,” or Union forces, numbered approximately 2.1 million while the “South,” or Confederate forces, numbered approximately  1.08 million.

Approximately 620,000 soldiers died from combat, accident, starvation, and disease during the Civil War. This number comes from an 1889 study of the war performed by William F. Fox and Thomas Leonard Livermore. Both men fought for the Union. Their estimate is derived from an exhaustive study of the combat and casualty records generated by the armies over five years of fighting.  A recent study puts the number of dead as high as 850,000.

620,000 soldiers died in the Civil War. 644,000 Americans died in all OTHER wars combined. It wasn’t until Vietnam American military war death total numbers passed those lost solely in the Civil War. Needless to say, it was a horror to this nation then and still is. And many Americans still struggle with its aftermath. Those struggles stretch across the entire landscape of the United States and touch every sector of our lives.

The War impacted every American and even those who lived here without citizenship.  With the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation in September 1862, African-Americans – both free and runaway slaves – came forward to volunteer for the Union cause in substantial numbers. Beginning in October, approximately 180,000 African-Americans, comprising 163 units, served in the U.S. Army, and 18,000 in the Navy. That month, the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteers repulsed a Confederate attack at Island Mound, Missouri. Men of the U.S.C.T. (United States Colored Troops) units went on to distinguish themselves on battlefields east and west – at Port Hudson, Louisiana; Honey Springs, Oklahoma; Fort Wagner, South Carolina; New Market Heights, Virginia. African Americans constituted 10% of the entire Union Army by the end of the war, and nearly 40,000 died over the course of the war.

Slaves and free blacks were present in the Confederate lines as hand servants and manual laborers. On March 13, 1865, the Confederate Congress passed a law to allow black men to serve in combat roles, with the provision “that nothing in this act shall be construed to authorize a change in the relation which said slaves shall bear toward their owners,” i.e. that black soldiers would still be slaves. On March 14, 1865, the Confederate military issued General Orders No. 14, which provided for the raising of black combat regiments, but there is no official military documentation that indicates these orders were carried out or that any black soldiers were ever properly enlisted in the Confederate army. There are a few photographs of blacks in Confederate uniforms, but these appear to be hoaxes.

So What Started “The War Between the States?”

While many still debate the ultimate causes of the Civil War, Pulitzer Prize-winning author James McPherson writes that “The Civil War started because of uncompromising differences between the free and slave states over the power of the national government to prohibit slavery in the territories that had not yet become states. When Abraham Lincoln won the election in 1860 as the first Republican president on a platform pledging to keep slavery out of the territories, seven slave states in the deep South seceded and formed a new nation, the Confederate States of America. The incoming Lincoln administration and most of the Northern people refused to recognize the legitimacy of secession. They feared that it would discredit democracy and create a fatal precedent that would eventually fragment the no-longer United States into several small, squabbling countries.”

The burning issue that led to the disruption of the union was the debate over the future of slavery. That dispute led to secession, and secession brought about a war in which the Northern and Western states and territories fought to preserve the Union, and the South fought to establish Southern independence as a new confederation of states under its own constitution.

The agricultural South utilized slaves to tend to its large plantations and perform other duties. On the eve of the Civil War, some 4 million Africans and their descendants toiled as slave laborers in the South. Slavery was interwoven into the Southern economy even though only a relatively small portion of the population actually owned slaves. Slaves could be rented or traded or sold to pay debts. Ownership of more than a handful of slaves bestowed respect and contributed to social position, and slaves, as the property of individuals and businesses, represented the largest portion of the region’s personal and corporate wealth, as cotton and land prices declined and the price of slaves soared.

The states of the North, meanwhile, one by one had gradually abolished slavery. A steady flow of immigrants, especially from Ireland and Germany during the potato famine of the 1840s and 1850s, insured the North a ready pool of laborers, many of whom could be hired at low wages, diminishing the need to cling to the institution of slavery.

States quickly jumped into the fray as well, but not so much about slavery. Seldom discussed in Civil War conversations are the “State issues” of the day. State issues arose from State rights as compared to those of the federal government. Remember: many American settlers fled from Europe less than a century before. They fled to America in large part to get out from under the heavy hand of a government that controlled just about every aspect of their lives. The framers of the Constitution made it clear with the First Ten Amendments — known better as “The Bill of Rights” — that the ONLY rights held by the federal government were those that were specifically given to them by the States. Jefferson and Company were petrified that any United States federal government would as quickly as possible seize control of Americans throughout the New World. They were committed to prevent that from happening. Many leaders in that evolving nation feared the power that the centralized government in the U.S. was spreading itself into. Their fear of a too powerful federal government was a large contributing factor to the Civil War. The southern States were impacted in greater fashion because of slavery.

But were these concerns driven by disdain or hatred for Africans? Was the racial divide that is so powerful today in America a force in the attack on Fort Sumter? And was that racial chasm initiated by hatred for diversity, ethnic origin, religion, and skin color?

To the editorial staff of TruthNewsNetwork, honestly ALL of the above contributed to the deadliest war in U.S. history. Just imagine how much more devastation Americans would have sustained if the armies of the Union and Confederacy had access to weapons as do our current military members!

The “Rest of the Story”

Throughout human history whenever two countries or two factions within a country or MULTIPLE factions determine their differences substantiate going to war, seldom does this happen with just one specific initiating factor. Certainly, slavery was a HUGE factor in the Civil War. Historians have on the most part ignored this in discussions about the reason or reasons for the Civil War — until the 1990s. Then things changed a bit.

One major universal factor in historical wars was almost always economics. Let’s face it: dollars and cents or money in some other form are the energy that drives the growth of all nations in many different ways. The economy in the United States in the run-up to the Civil War was in transition. But until the 1990s, historians pretty much ignored the role that American economics might have played in starting the Civil War. The efforts to explain economic growth and the timing of the United States’ “take-off” into industrialization in the decades leading up to the 1860s, together with extensive research into the “economics” of the slave system of the South and the impact of emancipation, brought economic questions dealing with the Civil War to the front of the line in “causes of the War” discussions.

No one seriously doubts that the enormous economic stake the South had in its slave labor force was a major factor in the disputes that erupted in the middle of the nineteenth century. Remember this: northern states were NOT exempt from slavery. They sooner than southern states took action to move away from slavery, but slavery was not new to those settlers. Slaves and slavery made a huge impact on Americans socially AND economically. And “the love of money is the root of all evil.” Throughout World history, many wars have been fought and millions have died in the name of $$$$.

Historians in the early 1990s took the cue and launched into an analysis of the economic impact of slavery in the South. Here are some of their findings:

  • In 1805 there were just over one million slaves worth about $300 million; fifty-five years later there were four million slaves worth close to $3 billion. In the 11 states that eventually formed the Confederacy, four out of ten people were slaves in 1860, and these people accounted for more than half the agricultural labor in those states.
  • In the cotton regions, the importance of slave labor was even greater. The value of capital invested in slaves roughly equaled the total value of all farmland and farm buildings in the South. Though the value of slaves fluctuated from year to year, there was no prolonged period during which the value of the slaves owned in the United States did not increase markedly.
  • It is hardly surprising that Southern slaveowners in 1860 were optimistic about the economic future of their region. They were, after all, in the middle of an unparalleled rise in the value of their slave assets.
  • A historical economist named Gerald Gunderson unearthed some amazing facts regarding the economics of slavery in the South. In the seven states where most of the cotton was grown, almost one-half the population were slaves, and they accounted for 31 percent of white people’s income; for all 11 Confederate States, slaves represented 38 percent of the population and contributed 23 percent of whites’ income. That explained why Southerners — even those who did not own slaves — viewed any attempt by the federal government to limit the rights of slaveowners over their property as a potentially catastrophic threat to their entire economic system.
  • “Cotton is King” was heard all over the South, but also in the Northern States. The economic impact of cotton exploded in every sector of the U.S. The export of cotton exploded. By the 1850s the large majority of cotton produced in America was shipped to and sold in Great Britain and Europe. The Northern States benefited greatly as cotton drove the economic opportunities in the textile industry and other sectors in the Industrial Revolution. Slaves in the South primarily planted, developed, and harvested cotton that northern textile mills turned much of it into cotton products. The remainder primarily went to Great Brittain or Europe.
  • With so much to lose on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line, economic logic suggests that a peaceful solution to the slave issue would have made far more sense than a bloody war. Yet no solution emerged.

Summary

There is no doubt that slavery was the match that lit the fire that consumed the lives of 600,000+ in the Civil War. But was racial animus the cause? Critical thinkers disagree. (Of course they do! They disagree on everything) Those “experts” are actually split right down the middle on that issue. But one thing is certain: money played a significant role. Don’t get me wrong: race did too. But it is time to take a step back and analyze the total story from every side. If one does so, finding that economic factors and the way they played in the U.S. during this piece of the Industrial Revolution probably played an equal role in the Civil War as did slavery. How so?

Southerners did not want to give up their revenue generating platform! Abrahan Lincoln and Republicans were NOT against the wonderful economic achievements directly and indirectly derived from the cotton industry. They were opposed to the ownership of humans by other humans. And, quite honestly, slavery has been the principal contributor to the racial fires that still to this day burn brightly in America.

Is there a way to a resolution on these disagreements?

The discussions of reparations keep coming up again and again and are once again on the minds of Americans, thanks to Democrat 2020 presidential candidates already on the campaign trail. Whether or not reparations are “owed,” are necessary, or even workable is a hypothetical conversation we will NOT undertake at TruthNewsNetwork. It’s tough enough to analyze factual data to reach factual conclusions. Without that data, a reparations conversation is nothing more than more fuel to this raging fire of racial tension and divide.

Unfortunately, the political agenda has for 150+ years kept racism around as a convenient tool to use whenever politically appropriate. Doing so is a blight on the political landscape of the U.S. But human nature has always prevailed in this depraved pursuit of a division.

And it’s intentional. Sadly, there are those who surreptitiously find ways to insert racial animus in every political conversation. Their objective for doing so? Division. One would think that after so many years of watching the cyclical rise and fall public outcry against racial issues, America’s political leaders would diligently determine to finally smoke the “peace pipe” of unity and find an effective process to bring Americans back together. Obviously, that has NOT happened. And sadly, I cannot see that happening in the current political atmosphere.

But there’s hope: hope in the fact that this nation is really “One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” The critical word of that sentence is “all.”

Who can be the tie that binds? Who can tamp down the massive fires of racism that burn ever so brightly from the West to the East?

I have no idea who that might be. But what I know for absolute certainty is that God opened the door to this nation, has led through a couple of centuries groups of people in leadership in the right direction for the people of the United States, and that He will continue moving us down that path. We’ve made mistakes. But getting and giving forgiveness for those mistakes and making route adjustments is what being human beings that interact with each other is all about.

We’ll get there. Boy, I hope it will happen in my lifetime!

Here’s one factor that will play heavily into the timing of total racial reconciliation in America: when we EACH are willing to say to each other, “Just because I think something is right doesn’t automatically make it right. And just because I think something is wrong doesn’t automatically make it wrong.”

You’ve heard that multiple times in our stories. That is a principle that honest Americans must grasp before we will ever achieve racial unity.

I’m positive: I’m certain we can do it!

“Anything worth having is worth hurting for.”

If hurting is necessary for racial harmony, I think Americans have hurt just about enough now!

Let’s take a hint from Larry the Cable Guy, and “Get ‘er Done!”

 

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U.S. Problem Solving

As a young boy, I always thought I’d grow up and become one of two things professionally: a doctor or a lawyer. I loved medicine. And I loved the Law.

I studied both diligently. By the time I entered high school, I decided I wanted to be neither. I loved current events, civics, and writing. So I threw myself into public speaking, debate, and journalism.

That (and my high school Speech/Debate teacher — who was a news director parttime at a local radio station) sent me into broadcasting. I worked parttime through high school and full time in college doing on-air radio work. I majored in Journalism, fell in love with writing, and have kept my hand in it since.

As a true entrepreneur, I started several companies and immersed myself in growing them. Having to twice monthly meet payroll, I learned about American economics and how everything in government impacted American economics. Politics grew in importance, and I found myself immersed in understanding and participating in the government process. My love for Journalism and politics, when linked to owning and operating my own companies, resulted in my discovery that I was (and am) a true Conservative. I watched closely as the divide between conservatives and liberals in the U.S. grew wider every year. Liberals seemed to want more control over our lives. Conservatives seemed to want less government intrusion and more freedom to operate in a capitalistic economic environment. I understood how each work, but I have never been able to comprehend the liberal political drive to tax Americans more and more, therefore making the federal government bigger and bigger and spending more and more tax dollars. I soon learned the liberal political drive in the late ’90s started pushing harder and harder away from “tax and spend,” and sprinted toward “more and more power to the government.” It dawned on me: when a government has unlimited power over its citizens, it STILL has control of all the money. But because of power, it controls everything else, too.

The Law

I never let myself get too far away from the Law. There are many parts of the Justice System I feel strongly are broken. I don’t like unlimited civil litigation. I’ve watched it destroy lives and bankrupt good people and thriving companies just because of the outrageous cost of litigation. I heard it stated a long time ago that “the only ones who win in litigation are the lawyers.” That fact is grossly understated. The costs of civil litigation are staggering.

Criminal Justice in America is as bad or worse. It favors the wealthy. Why? Because it’s expensive. It is grossly unfair to minorities — primarily because of the expense of criminal defense. And as we’ve witnessed, minorities find themselves facing prosecutors and needing good defense counsel more than Caucasians. I’ve written extensively about it in the past here at TruthNewsNet.org.

Today, our conversation is about the “principles” of United States Law. We are NOT going to talk about expense, attorneys, or its structure. Let’s simply stipulate that even with its issues, it is still the greatest justice system on Earth.

The U.S. Constitution and its contents are the reasons the United States is known as the most unique country on Earth, and from that uniqueness, the best country on Earth. It differentiates America and Americans from all other countries and people. The Constitution created and established the fundamentals of governing all Americans. Those laws in part have been treated universally for 240 years as the guidelines for the lives of us all. On the most part, they have worked remarkably well. But people and politics have changed American Law: not the “substance” — just the applications.

Our forefathers fled countries where a political elite class of European citizens either created all laws or determined who was forced to abide by them, who could opt out, and if and how when those laws as written (OR as interpreted by those elitists) would be enforced. From those travesties came the American promise to its people for all eternity, “Equal justice under the law.”

The Constitution was the guarantee to Americans that there will always be equal justice under the law. But it also guaranteed the freedoms in every area of the lives of the settlers. All laws would be put in place ONLY by those who were chosen from among the settlers and given authority by those same settlers to craft, implement, and enforce those laws. That promise for equal justice became “Liberty and justice for all.” T

No one could state it better than this:

“…Freedom of religion; freedom of the press, and freedom of person under the protection of the habeas corpus, and trial by juries impartially selected. These principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation. The wisdom of our sages and the blood of our heroes have been devoted to their attainment. They should be the creed of our political faith.”

– Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address (1801)

While we are quoting Thomas Jefferson regarding U.S. law, let’s keep going:

I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.”

– Thomas Jefferson (1788)

And then a lawyer from Illinois — a mediocre attorney at best — weighed in with his thoughts about the Constitution:

“A majority held in restraint by constitutional checks and limitations…is the only true sovereign of a free people. Whoever rejects it does of necessity fly to anarchy or to despotism.” 

– Abraham Lincoln

MLK brought the “realistic” view of U.S. law and how it should operate equally for everyone when he said this:

“It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can stop him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important.” 

– Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Constitution: Selective Enforcement

Our early leaders in Philadelphia met over and over again, crafting, editing, debating, editing, arguing to find consensus to create a single document that would become and remain America’s template for justice. By all counts, they were successful. The United States Constitution became the fairest and most comprehensive roadmap over governance on Earth then and still is today.

It is unfortunate that during its lifetime, many have attempted to fundamentally change the Constitution. Fortunately, it contains a very difficult amendment process that has allowed its amendment only as deemed “vitally necessary.” That difficult process to amend was purposeful. Why? To prevent any fundamental change in it based solely on “political perspectives of the day.” The forefathers knew that times would change legal necessities which would necessitate amendments. But they were so certain (based on their European experiences) the Nation’s longevity would rely chiefly on the consistency of its fundamental legal backbone, they assured Americans that forever this legal treatise would NEVER be substantively altered based solely on peoples’ whims.

It has been amended only for very important reasons. BUT FUNDAMENTALLY, IT REMAINS VIRTUALLY AS WRITTEN. And for that, Americans are fortunate.

Sadly, there have been, and still, are today, those who want to amend it based purely on “current” political whims. The difficult amendment process thankfully has protected it so far.

Politicians have consistently sought and tried to find ways to circumvent parts of the Constitution with which they disagree. They’ve tried pushing through controversial federal laws, legal actions at the state and local levels, and through regulations. But the difficulty of making such changes so frustrated “politicrats” that their ability to govern has been seriously diminished. Politics has overtaken reason in that regard. Their unified cries for amendment of the Constitution are targeted chiefly at:

    • The First Amendment: Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press
    • The Second Amendment: Protection of U.S. citizen’s to possess firearms
    • The Tenth Amendment: The Details of Rights Reserved to the States
    • The Twelfth Amendment: Established the Electoral College
    • The Twenty-Second Amendment: The Two-Term Limitation of the President
    • The Twenty-Fifth Amendment: The Inability of a President to Serve in his Office

It would be easy to spend much time debating the merits of each of these amendments. We have previously done so regarding several. But today we will not dive into these amendments, just briefly point out the obvious: the fact that these six Constitutionally amendments which were all passed and ratified through the extremely difficult and arduous method required are under attack primarily by politicians illustrates the reasoning of the founders used for this process. If amending was too easy, in a heightened negative political environment such as the one in which we live today, we certainly would be exhausting our government’s time and resources in amending the Constitution rather than abiding the Constitution.

Politically — especially since the 2016 Presidential election upset of Hillary Clinton — the cries from liberals are deafening as they push hard for a Constitutional amendment to abolish the electoral college. Why? Hillary won the popular vote and President Trump won the electoral college, which is the deciding factor. Those on the Left argue that the electoral college keeps some voters from casting a ballot that actually counts. Our forefathers anticipated that the heavily populated areas of THIS nation would be similar to those in Europe, (like London, Paris, Barcelona, and others) and that the populations in those large cities are usually more educated and more impacted by political matters than were their counterparts in Middle/Rural America. The electoral college was structured to balance the power of votes

The latest and most egregious example of people of political power working to circumvent provisions of the Constitution were the appointments by President Obama of very liberal and politically active judges to federal courts at every level, especially in federal appeals courts. While there is no public proof that those appointed judges operated under a coordinated agenda, one must only look at the case results on which they have ruled to see that politically, they pretty much fall in line. All judges have political feelings. Hopefully, all judges vote. But what is dangerous for our system of laws is for federal judges to craft their rulings by instead of being based on their determination of Constitutional precedent and actual intent of applicable laws, based on what those judges felt what existing laws SHOULD HAVE been based upon, and even what they thought such a law SHOULD say!

In his 2017 Supreme Court confirmation hearing, Neil Gorsuch (now a Supreme Court Justice) responded to Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) when the senator asked Gorsuch what his opinion of the intention of our founders regarding separation of powers. He said this:

“Your job comes first, to make the law. Article II, the president’s job, is to faithfully execute your laws. And our job, Article III, down at the bottom, is to make sure that the cases and controversies of the people are fairly decided. And if those roles were confused, and power amalgamated, the Founders worried that that would be the very definition of tyranny. And you can see why.”

Gorsuch continued, “Judges would make pretty rotten legislators. We’re life-tenured, right? You can’t get rid of us. It only takes a couple of us to make a decision — or nine, or 12, depending on the court. That would be a pretty poor way to run a democracy. And at the same time, with respect, legislators might not make great judges, because they’re answerable to the people.  And when you come to court with a case or a controversy about past facts, you want a neutral, rigidly neutral – fair, scrupulously fair, decision-maker. You want somebody who’s going to put politics aside. So the separation of powers, I don’t think has lost any of its genius over 200 years. In fact, it’s proven it.”

Justice Gorsuch believes in the Constitution and its strict adherence by members of all three branches of government. And, in case you haven’t noticed, our “abiding” by the Constitution instead of 24/7 debates to amend it has worked out pretty well!

Headed Where?

Great question. With our fractured political climate exacerbated by agenda-driven politicians, the desired finish for our nation’s journey has changed. Therefore, where we’re headed now is totally dependent upon who one listens to and THEIR perspectives. In that regard, our destination options are across a broad spectrum. Which nirvana we’ll find is anyone’s guess.

In this journey though, there are some absolutes for us to consider. And those considerations just might make the trek a little less onerous. Wouldn’t it be glorious if we could just pull the plug on the national political discourse? How many reading or listening to this often think quietly, “Can’t we all just get along?”

Absolutes

  • We have a roadmap. No doubt the gift of the U.S. Constitution is the best guide owned by any nation in World history. So why not study it objectively, discuss it objectively, and simply accept its success at maintaining the legal and social structure of the United States 240+ years? There are a plethora of nations who would LOVE to have OUR foundation, OUR legal structure, and OUR opportunity. Those didn’t just happen, they were collectively crafted and agreed to by Americans.
  • We are a “Melting Pot.” Many scholars have maintained for more than two centuries that the backbone for America’s success is the diversity of its citizens. The linchpin of our society is the promise that citizens here have equal rights regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, or social preferences. While other countries try to instill and perpetuate similar practices, none has done so as successfully as the U.S.
  • We have geography. Few places on Earth have such choices of landscapes as America: oceans, deserts, mountains, valleys, prairies or lakes. And wrapping all of these zip codes is potpourri weather conditions that are as varied as are landscapes. Socially and culturally the U.S. has a citizenry comprised of Native American Indians and Alaskan Eskimos, Wyoming ranchers and Louisiana alligator wranglers, Hollywood movie stars and D.C. politicians, Conservatives and Liberals, Catholics and Pentecostals, Muslims and Jews. And all of these are in unity ruled by these people using one single document.

Summary

Here’s our problem: too many have lost the ability for realistic discourse regarding the political problem. Politicians talk “at” each other rather than talking “to” each other. They speak about voters based entirely on political “Identity Categories” that have been devised by political elitists to denote people they do not like. An example was Hillary’s “basket of deplorables” in which SHE “put” Donald Trump supporters. The opinion of almost every Democrat voter is that Democrats are smarter, more loving, kinder, and politically savvy than all Conservatives. There is no willingness to discuss differences or to even consider opinions of those from the other side.

Our forefathers dealt with much of the same issues. Think about this: the United States from its conception in the dreams of persecuted castaways in Europe has always existed as a country with unlimited diversity among its citizens. They knew for that to work, people would be required to be tolerant of others differences. They understood that tolerance did not mean approval. But tolerance was an absolute that must exist for this nation of laws to survive.

That tolerance is being torn out every day. And the attacks are not coming from rank-and-file citizens. They are coming from politicians — at least a dozen of who are running for the presidency! Not only is that a scary sight to behold, but it is also incomprehensible that those presidential candidates of that opinion represent many non-politicians who have chosen to adopt the intolerance of those liberal politicians and to make that intolerance as “normal.”

The scariest part of that: having high “normals” in every area of life for decades and even generations, only to watch those “normals” being lowered again and again by leaders in the nation, making “new” normals that accept compromise and failure in certain areas as “normal.”

That’s all here TODAY in America!

God help us….

 

“I Know You Are But What Am I?”

“I’m rubber, you’re glue. Whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you.” Pee Wee Herman wasn’t the only one to use these insults in arguments with his peers. Members of Congress and other politicians do the same thing around the clock. That’s really mature, isn’t it?

America is bleeding reason: reason of all types. Whether in politics, media, entertainment, athletics, religion, or education, having differences is common, but serious attempts to find resolution with others regarding differences are long gone. Political bi-partisanship: a lost art. The culture of recognizing differences of all kinds with others and working collectively for resolution disappeared in America in the ’80s. It began with the loss of fundamental understanding of how to even start a reconciliation process yet alone try to work through conflict.

Remember President Reagan and House Speaker Tip O’Neil? The Massachusetts Democrat was a firebrand: so was President Reagan. The government was deeply divided — an eerily similar Congressional divide as we see today: a slim GOP Senate majority with Democrats firmly in charge in the House. 

Now, as both sides grapple with a Grand Canyon-size political divide, some are looking to the O’Neil and Reagan model for guidance. “You have to develop the relationship before bipartisanship,” says moderate Virginia Rep. Frank Wolf, who was one of 54 Republicans swept into office with Reagan in 1980. “A lot of it was done after hours. They got together, they broke bread, they told stories, and they did things that I think helped us do things to make some accomplishments,” says Wolf. But, alas, I doubt we will ever see Speaker Pelosi and President Trump sharing a cozy dinner or even an occasional nightcap at the White House.

Today’s divide and resulting political animus have unfortunately tainted the discourse between Americans of all descriptions. O’Neil and Reagan got together often, not to badger each other about differences, but to recognize those differences and then discuss solutions. They ALWAYS sought solutions. As argumentative as was Speaker O’Neil, so too was President Reagan. But here’s the difference between then and now: the objective was never “It’s my way or the highway.” Each understood and accepted that there always WERE differences. Each understood and accepted that there always WERE possible solutions. But, more importantly, both were driven by one thing only: the necessity of finding compromise sufficient to implement policies that, while addressing the issues of each side, always put the Nation and its citizens’ welfare first. And each outcome rarely contained demands for political power for either’s advantage. That quest for advantage and power consumes all Congressional negotiations today.

Why?

We’ll detail that answer in our summary. But let’s examine what is lost (besides common sense) in all this: time and taxpayer money.

It’s bad enough that Congress is barely in session throughout the year. They justify this with “I have to spend time in my district/state because I represent the People in D.C.” That’s a total cop out! They know what their constituents want regarding every issue. In today’s electronic 24/7 instant media environment, every member is inundated with their constituents’ thoughts on every key issue. They’re being out of session and D.C. so much is about maintaining D.C. status and raising campaign dollars — PERIOD.

While they’re away from Washington, the extensive cost of Congressional operations continues: U.S. Capitol operating expenses, Congressional office staff, and office operations — hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. And nothing gets done.

Don’t forget about taxpayer payment for  Congressional travel. Oh sure, most of the junkets (like the one taken to the Caribbean by Democrats during the partial government shutdown) are paid by lobbyists, (which in our opinion is campaign fraud) but most of their travel costs come from taxpayers.

And, obviously, while away from D.C., they’re not doing what they were hired by Americans to do: LEGISLATE.

Just how much does Congress cost to run? Latest “estimated” costs to taxpayers are $5.75 Billion each year. That’s $10.75 Million per member of Congress annually!

Can you imagine any scenario in which Speaker Pelosi would introduce for floor debate legislation to rein-in Congressional spending and waste?

Not going to happen: but it certainly should. And her counterpart in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, certainly is not planning on doing that either.

Congressional Comradery Just Got Worse

Remember this: Congress gave Reagan fits with investigations. Everything wasn’t rosy then either. Even though there was definitely partisanship — especially in Tip Oneil’s House — members from both parties found ways to work together, even during investigations. Remember the Iran Contra Affair? Put Google to work when you have some time and watch or read some of those hearing minutes. They were contentious, but they were “real” investigations. Not so in this New Democrat House. Here’s what the next two years in Congress will be consumed with: Investigations – “Partisan” Investigations.

Investigations are piling up. If it seems like new ones are being announced every day, that’s because they are. In fact, February 27th we saw three new investigations crop up.

Early that day, House Oversight Committee Chair Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) sent a letter to the White House announcing an investigation into the Trump team’s shoddy handling of the security clearance process.

Just a couple hours later, House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY) said his committee will look into whether Trump’s tangled network of business dealings are influencing foreign policy decisions.

It’s a logical choice for an investigation. We already know Democrats claim Trump’s D.C. hotel is a conduit for foreign money, particularly Saudi Arabian money, to make its way to Trump. They maintain Trump is willing to go easy on Saudi Arabia, even after the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was allegedly ordered by that country’s crown prince.

That same day, we learned that House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) and House Financial Services Chair Maxine Waters (D-CA) are teaming up to dig into Deutsche Bank. Dems feel there’s “Trump blood in the water” there, given that special counsel Robert Mueller has already subpoenaed the bank for its records related to Trump and his family.

Schiff says that the bank is an “obvious place to start” in examining whether the Trump Organization laundered money. Deutsche Bank was recently fined several hundred million dollars for helping the Russians launder money. Additionally, that bank made numerous business loans to the Trump Organization.

Here’s the one that Americans knew was coming, but most still shake their heads hearing about it. Schiff said the investigation will include “the scope and scale” of Russian intervention in the 2016 presidential election, the “extent of any links and/or coordination” between Russians and Trump’s associates, whether foreign actors have sought to hold leverage over Trump or his family and associates, and whether anyone has sought to obstruct any of the relevant investigations.

Forget about the Democrat adoration for that bastion of investigatory perfection who spent (so far) $50 million U.S. dollars doing just what Schiff is planning. Forget that Democrats threatened anyone who even frowned at Robert Mueller — especially the President. And Schiff was chief among them!

House Democrats are opening an investigation into what they say are abuses of power by President Donald Trump through his attacks on the courts, the Justice Department, the FBI, and the media, according to a House official familiar with the plans.

Topics for the inquiry will include Trump’s public humiliation of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, his attacks on actions by the liberal Ninth Circuit Court and his abuse of reporters as “dishonest” and “enemies of the people,” said the person, who asked for anonymity to discuss sensitive matters.

And those are just the beginning.

Just how many meetings do you think those Democrat committee chairmen had with their Republican counterparts, coordinating these pending investigations to assure maximum results for Americans, minding the use of their time and our money in the process?

Not One Minute! Dollars? Add another Billion or so the cost of operating Congress each of the next 2 years: “Investigation Gate!”

The fundamental flaw of all these investigations is exactly as that in the Mueller probe. Typically in law enforcement investigations, a crime (or wrong) happens. Officials examine that crime (wrong), obtain evidence of every kind to determine its scope, origin, intentions of perpetrators of that crime (wrong), and hopefully from those will determine the identity of the wrongdoer.

Robert Mueller worked backward, and so is the Democratic Congress. No crimes or wrongdoing initiated these investigations! Instead, Mueller, Schiff & Company have determined who the perpetrator is: Donald Trump. These investigations are not to track a wrongdoer for committing a wrong. They are to find or create some criminal act committed by the President. And if they find something, their political lives will be complete!

Does anyone else smell something foul in that philosophy?

Summary: “Why?”

For the “Why,” one must begin here: there is no verified crime or wrong exposed to justify initiating these investigations. The reason for doing so must be one thing and one thing only: to somehow through what is found (if anything) put President Trump in House impeachment.

I know: that sounds ridiculous. Do you know why? Because it IS ridiculous. 

Just imagine what the U.S. Government would have looked like in 1984 if House Speaker Tip O’Neil had simply started a dozen or so investigations into President Reagan, with NO evidence of any crimes or wrongdoing. Honestly, that Congress would not have done so. But if they did, the American people would have revolted. But the main reason was that Americans were still unified, still respected the Office of the President AND who was in it, and expected all elected officials to abide by the Rule of Law while working for the American people crafting Legislation.

What a unique idea. We’d all pass out if this Congress did that!

What happened during the last administration is Washington leadership devolved into a petty partisan operating system in which ALL reason and all accountability to the American electorate were abandoned. And that started at the top.

The truth was abandoned. Integrity was non-existent and deemed unnecessary. The Rule of Law and respect for leadership were banished to Gilligan’s Island. All-consuming power and its pursuit devoured our government. And it’s alive and well today. Example?

Speaker Pelosi and a delegation of U.S. lawmakers were recently in Brussels to convince European heads they had control amid the uncertainty around transatlantic relations. Pelosi claimed that the U.S. president is not all-powerful in the meetings in Europe. The House speaker used her recent standoff over the government shutdown as some sort of ‘evidence’ that she has power over the president.

Further evidence of this pervasive evil gripping our country is what we see and hear in Media. Formerly non-partisan news is almost entirely nothing more than propaganda. And news “reporters” long ago evolved into nothing more than “Opinionists” who demand those who read, watch, and listen to their mantra accept it as gospel. And 90% of their “gospel” is garbage when vetted.

Peter Jennings worked the desk at ABC Evening News during Reagan’s two terms. I was a huge fan of his. He never once that I can recall made a single negative remark, editorial comment, or read a partisan story about any politician — Democrat OR Republican.

And, by the way, at the re-lighting of the Statue of Liberty that was nationally televised, Jennings cried after Sandy Patti sang the Star Spangled Banner. And he was Canadian!

In closing, let’s dream a little:

  • Pelosi and Schumer will call for meetings with the President, Mitch McConnell, and Kevin McCarthy. In those meetings, they will all mutually commit to regular policy conversations about EVERY legislative issue.
  • They will each present their ideas about every pending piece of legislation. Then they will each amicably and honestly discuss specifics of reasons why each legislative matter is not acceptable.
  • They will in EVERY case find consensus on all issues, even if and when the end product is NOT what each desired.
  • They will discuss truthfully separately and together in total honesty the details of any good results of implemented laws and policies. They will separately and together in total honesty discuss the details of any bad results of those same items.
  • They will NEVER publicly denigrate each other or the offices they separately hold.

Let’s be honest: Reagan made some bonehead mistakes in office. So did Bush 41, Clinton, Bush 43, Obama, and Trump. We all have our opinions about things they did and did not do. We ALL have political perspectives.

Recognizing our differences should be just the start. Objectively discussing our differences as only steps to find a reconciliation of those differences into positive outcomes should be the ONLY end result we look for.

Everyone in D.C. needs to take a hard look in the mirror. They all need to pull out some history books and revisit past governments methods of reaching governing consensus. That is NOT happening in this government and didn’t in at least the last 3 either.

We owe at least that to the next generation so they can know something other than political partisanship. How can we expect them to build this nation into something greater without learning how to resolve differences for “the common good?”

If Pee Wee Herman could do that in “Pee Wee’s Great Adventure,” we certainly can.

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