Showing posts from 2017

Net Neutrality - Is it really neutral?

Madison was on the final leg of her business trip to Kuala Lumpur. She had flown the LAX-DCA route many times since she took her job with Cisco. Fortunately, all of those Business Class flights had allowed her to rack up enough frequent flyer points to upgrade to First Class for her latest run to the Far East.
As she reclined waaaaay back in her “passenger pod” on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, her mind drifted away from the feature movie she was watching on the seat monitor, to her departure from her flat in the leafy Adams-Morgan section of Washington DC. She had summoned her Uber ride from the app on her iPhone. She is a Verizon Wireless customer and loves the ubiquitous 4G data coverage in the DC metropolitan area, even when she is riding underground on the Metro. Her data plan is big enough that she really doesn’t worry about going over the monthly limit, even if she does stream quite a few movies and series episodes during her commute and her downtime.
On the way to the airport, t…

This is bigger than Judge Roy Moore

This is the week when the Washington Post released an article alleging that Roy Moore, U.S. senatorial candidate for the State of Alabama, had sexual contact with an underage female when he was a 32 year old assistant district attorney in rural Alabama. As can be expected, he has detractors and supporters with both sides "standing by their man". The fact that this bombshell was released just a month before a crucial election, which could decide the balance of power in Washington, plays heavily in which side one takes in the controversy.

I look at this episode from a different angle. I listened to Sean Hannity's radio show interview with the Judge on November 10, 2017. Listening to the almost 16 minute interview, I came away from it with the opinion that there is some there, there. He waffled when asked directly about the allegations but finished up the conversation by vehemently denying the charges. I am not sure he expected Sean to come after him like a prosecutor. He…

Dialogue - Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?

In my late high school days (1970-1972), Chicago was my favorite group. In fact, Chicago was one of the first live concerts I attended. Though I had very little disposable income, I had all of their albums. Chicago V was a knock-it-out-of-the-park release and my friends and I wore the grooves out of that record. One of my favorite tracks from that album was Dialogue (Part I and II) with Terry Kath and Peter Cetera singing the parts of the revolutionary and the slacker student, respectively. I listened to it again today, 45 years later, and it is still relevant. Chicago was a very politically aware group (check out their early lyrics) but they were never in your face with their -isms. As I reflect on the song, I can see where the reflexive opinion would be that Kath represents the righteous Antifa left and Cetera, the trust-funded college student. What has changed since the song was written is that the college students have, by and large, shifted totally to the left and while they sti…

A Center Movement

I just read Peggy Noonan’s opinion piece from Saturday's Wall Street Journal, “Will Virginia Teach Trump Fans a Lesson?”
As a lifelong Virginian, a conservative and a resident of a congressional district which was recently redrawn to remove me from a “safe” Republican district and to place me in an undeniably Democrat district, I live at Ground Zero of our current political crisis. I readily admit that I voted for Donald Trump. As with many Trump voters, my vote was as much a vote for what the President ostensibly stood for as it was a repudiation of his opponent, Hillary Clinton, as well as the radical policies her party represented. You can go down the list of issues which matter politically and there is no choice which isn’t diametrically opposed to the other. To wit: pro abortion vs no abortion, multi-lateral trade deals vs no trade deals, wide open borders vs build a wall, sanctuary cities vs deportation, “Global Warming is going to drown everyone” vs “nothing has really ch…

It has to start somewhere...

Much is being said about this "take a knee" thing. Here is my take.

Every single one of these NFL players are employees. As employees, there is set of standards which are expected to be upheld. For the NFL players, there is also a written contract. For most employees, it is a tacit, universally understood set of rules on what can and cannot go on at work. Yes, these guys have every right to not support the United States or to talk $%&! about it, but when they suit up and walk into the stadium, they are on someone else's time and need to adhere to the standards of conduct given to them. If a high school football coach cannot pray with his team because the School Board says so (BTW, he is an employee but it is his right as an American to pray), then if the owners say "no kneeling" the players should consent.

IMHO, the National Anthem is not even needed at sporting events. I have never understood the reason it is played, but it is and that brings us to where w…

A Quick and Effective Immigrant Bill

Since conservatives (not Republicans) are against unfettered immigration for two major reasons, let’s address both in a comprehensive “Immigrant” bill, not a comprehensive “Immigration” bill. Here are the two reasons:
Item 1 – Conservatives do not want the massive number of legal and illegal immigrants to vote as a block and to vote for the Democrats. There, I said it. It is true. Item 2 – Conservatives do not want massive numbers of immigrants to change our American society and way of life. Well, that one is pretty much out of the bag, but it is a valid goal.
To fix this we can have a three part package:
All illegal immigrants can sign up for a pink card if they can show that they have a job. Signing up for a pink card is a provisional registration. Having one:Admits that they came here illegallyAttests that they will not commit felonies or other major crimes and that swift deportation will occur after their conviction and sentencingThey will not get any …

Open letter to the entire Republican Party including President Trump

You have to hand it to the Democrats... they get stuff done. It doesn't matter how little a particular Senator, Member of Congress, Delegate, Councilperson or Dog Catcher cares for a bill, if the Party wants it, there is always consent. The bill gets passed. Sure there are sometimes a few lone holdouts, but these folks have gotten permission to vote that way. As long as a bill gets passed, that is all that matters.

Republicans? Not so much. They hem and they haw. They worry about whether support for legislation meets with their own personal values and whether they might get some hassle from important donors back home. If a vote comes down to a single Republican, you can never hang your hat on the fact that he/she will "take one for the team" and vote for passage. It just isn't done. Maybe it helps them sleep at night, but it certainly doesn't endear them to their constituency or to the party.

Democrats are the BIG PICTURE party who worries about small groups. Re…

How Donald Trump can plug the leaks

President Richard Nixon’s team tried plugging leaks with the infamous "Plumbers". That didn't work out so well. So in the spirit of learning from past mistakes, here is my recommendation to President Trump to stop the incessant leaking to the press from within the White House.
When he returns from his first overseas trip, round up every WH staffer from top to bottom for a mandatory meeting. Once everyone is present, the President walks in.
He thanks them for coming and thanks them for working so hard on "the people's agenda" since he became president.
While speaking, have assistants start passing our sealed envelopes to all attendees. Ask that the envelopes be left sealed. While the envelopes are being distributed, he continues, "I am not hear to ask for your loyalty. It is implied by the job you are in. You should be loyal to the trust you have been given. Most of you have security clearances and you ALL know that in any job, especially this one, you don…

Russia, how it could all work out

First of all, let me stipulate... Russia is a big-ass country. In fact it is the largest nation in the world by landmass. Take a look at this map. The country stretches west to east from the Baltic Sea near Scandinavia to the Bearing Strait, virtually touching Alaska. It is almost double the size of the United States including Alaska but it has less than half the population of the US.

To me, Russia is a bit like the school bully who no one really likes but everyone puts up with their crap because, well, they are a bully. But, like most bullies, there are usually extenuating circumstances. Why is Russia like they are?

Hundreds of books have been written and thousands of folks in and out of government are employed just to figure out the answer to that question. I will not attempt to explain all of that in this little ol' blog, but here is a very short bit of history to explain how I think we got to where we are.

Russia was a monarchy for a very long time and like most nations prior…

Health Care or Health Insurance... What are we debating?

I think that we Americans are in the middle of a HUGE kerfuffle, arguing and wasting massive amounts of time and emotional capital when we haven't even truly defined the debate. Hear me out on this.

No more than 60 years ago, "all-you-can-eat" health insurance was practically unheard of. In fact, very few Americans had any form of comprehensive health insurance. There were various insurance and hospitalization plans available through work and kids could get some insurance for a few dollars while enrolled at school but most families "winged it" with medical expenses. During the 50s, 60s and early 70s going to the doctor was affordable. Most of us early baby boomers were born in hospitals and the payments came from our parent's pockets.

During the 70s and beyond, more expensive medical procedures involving sophisticated surgeries, treatments and medicines evolved. Suddenly, the cost of health care ballooned. Instead of curing common diseases and treating mal…

How The Asterisk would replace Obamacare and fix our health care nightmare

There are two major schools of thought when it comes to providing and paying for medical care in the United States. The first is single payer where one entity, most likely the Federal Government, pays for all medical care; basically acting as the universal health insurance provider for all citizens. Many countries use this model. We will not discuss the efficacy and economics of these single payer plans in this posting. The second school of thought is to keep medical insurance in private hands and allow individuals or employers to purchase care as they deem most effective and most affordable, and oftentimes these two schools are in total conflict.
Over the years I have promoted a bifurcated health provider scheme where all citizens have access to basic day-to-day health care through a network of government and government-sponsored facilities. Those who want more customized, personal, comfortable and immediate health care can pay out of pocket or through supplemental insurance for “bo…