The-Presidents-Advisory-1776-Commission-Final-Report

Some observations on “The-Presidents-Advisory-1776-Commission-Final-Report.”

Human progress didn’t end in 1776 as the authors of this report would have us believe.

The facts of our founding are not partisan. They are a matter of history. Controversies about the meaning of the founding can begin to be resolved by looking at the facts of our nation’s founding. Properly understood, these facts address the concerns and aspirations of Americans of all social classes, income levels, races and religions, regions and walks of life.

The growing gap between rich and poor, racial discrimination, antisemitism, white supremacy, and religious bigotry are ignored.

Yet, while Fascism died in 1945 with the
collapse of the Axis powers, it was quickly replaced by a
new threat, …

Fascism didn’t die; it is alive and well in America today.

Finally, the right to keep and bear arms is required by
the fundamental natural right to life: no man may justly
be denied the means of his own defense. The political
significance of this right is hardly less important. An
armed people is a people capable of defending their
liberty no less than their lives and is the last, desperate
check against the worst tyranny
.

That’s what right-wing militias would have us believe. After the events of Jan. 6, 2021, we should reject that notion.

The Civil Rights Movement was almost immediately
turned to programs that ran counter to the lofty ideals
of the founders. The ideas that drove this change had
been growing in America for decades, and they
distorted many areas of policy in the half century that
followed. Among the distortions was the abandonment
of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity in favor of
“group rights” not unlike those advanced by Calhoun
and his followers. The justification for reversing the
promise of color-blind civil rights was that past
discrimination requires present effort, or affirmative
action in the form of preferential treatment, to
overcome long-accrued inequalities. Those forms of
preferential treatment built up in our system over time,
first in administrative rulings, then executive orders,
later in congressionally passed law, and finally were
sanctified by the Supreme Court.

Color blind laws generally leave people of color at an unending disadvantage.

States and school districts should reject any curriculum
that promotes one-sided partisan opinions, activist
propaganda, or factional ideologies that demean
America’s heritage, dishonor our heroes, or deny our
principles.

The report is contradictory–it says education should be up to local communities, then recommends standard as quoted above.

Universities in the United States are often today
hotbeds of anti-Americanism, libel, and censorship that
combine to generate in students and in the broader
culture at the very least disdain and at worst outright
hatred for this country.

At my first full time job, my supervisor told me that the engineering professors at my university were all communists. I knew better. The above is similar nonsense.

Americans yearn for timeless stories and noble heroes
that inspire them to be good, brave, diligent, daring,
generous, honest, and compassionate.

If only it were so.

The final report goes on to discuss and promote religion, disparage “identity politics,” and promote “proper education.” There is much there to accept or reject.

Posted in 2020 | Tagged | 4 Comments

As i read all these comments from you moronic idioms.

Betrayed by spellcheck, possibly.

  • As i read all these comments from you moronic idioms.
  • Marshall law.
  • Traders to our country (like Benedict Arnold).
  • Where was the outrage in Washington state along with other states who were under seize.
  • Impeachment dilutes The Constitution.
  • I’m grateful to the ten Democratics who voted in favor.
  • Black listing has begun.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Has Nancy Pelosi offered the GOP another chance?

How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and how hard it is to undo that work again!” — Mark Twain

Christian Schneider writes:

But by bringing an article of impeachment against President Donald Trump for his role in inciting the U.S. Capitol riots, Pelosi could hasten her opponents’ renewal. If she is successful in not only removing Trump from office but also barring him from ever holding elective office again, it would allow the Republican Party to shed the cement boots pulling it into the abyss.

Republicans should have removed DJT a year ago. If they had, Mike Pence might have been reelected in 2020. They muffed that chance, because Sen. McConnell wanted to keep confirming right-leaning judges. Now they have a second chance. Their alternative is to stick with Trump, the albatross around their necks.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2021/01/13/trump-impeachment-pelosi-gift-to-captive-republicans-column/6627377002/

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

A brief sample of comments on Tom Reed’s Jan. 4 tele townhall

What are you doing to make me confident that there is zero fraud in the next election??? Because I don’t feel that way right now. Every illegal vote out there lessens my vote and my say and that’s a problem.

You lost my vote, I’ll vote DemocRAT just to get you out of office. Thanks for not standing up for America

Back the President !!! Thats why i voted for you. Will be Last term if you don’t. Illegal immigrants driving and voting in N.Y. election compromised in your backyard

Your job is on the line !

You lost my vote buddy. To think I put a sign in my front yard for you and then you turn around and betray us all by selling out. The greed is disgusting.

If Tom Reeds answer is not an astounding yes to voter fraud, than I will run against him next election.

Posted in 2020, Campaigning, Constituents | Tagged | 10 Comments

Needed laws and amendments

We have seen what needs to be fixed; this is the time to do it.

Make clear that a president may not pardon him or herself. Perhaps limit the power to pardon a former president to an elected president.

Make sure that a state legislature or individual electors can’t ignore the popular vote.

Make sure that the PO will deliver mailed ballots in time to be counted.

Restore the voting rights act to hinder election cheating.

Discourage the widespread use of interim appointments.

Strengthen protections for whistleblowers.

Disallow diversion of funds from an authorized program to another.

Ensure timely authorization of transition planning.

Strengthen auditing and regulation of campaign funds.

Strengthen enforcement of the “Emolument’s Clause.”

Discourage nepotism.

What else?

Posted in Campaign Finances | 6 Comments

What’s next for Donald J. Trump?

Contributed by Arthur Ahrens of Branchport, NY.

We should consider what will happen with Donald Trump once he leaves the White House. Some former presidents have taken up painting, some build houses for charity. What will Trump do? What will happen to him?

Before leaving office, will he self-pardon?

Will he be involved with the Republican Party and in what capacity?

Will he start campaigning for President in 2024?

Will he flee the United States for a sympathetic country that has no extradition treaty with the US?

Will Cyrus Vance be trying Trump for bank fraud, insurance fraud and tax evasion?

Will Trump be prosecuted for obstruction of justice, violating the Constitution’s emoluments clause, federal tax evasion?

Will Letitia James prosecute Trump for tax fraud re the Trump Organization?

Will Trump stand trial for the alleged rape of E. Jean Carroll?

Will he be able to have enough speaking engagements to cover his $420 million dollar debt?

Will he leave office silently and gracefully?

So many possibilities!

Has anyone any thoughts?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 7 Comments

We Got Lucky With Trump

Contributed by Arthur Ahrens of Branchport.

Luck comes in two forms, and we got both!

Trump’s four year rampage through out democracy was certainly bad luck. His unrelenting attacks on the press (FAKE NEWS), his terrible foreign policy (will NATO ever be the same?) (will America ever be trusted again?), his open adulation and support of authoritarians, his racist support of “very good people”, his fascism (exhibited most recently by his unfounded, warrantless attacks on the electoral process) ….all have shaken the very foundations of our Republic.
And yet….

He’s nothing more than a fraud and a grifter, interested only in money. Everything he has done had one ultimate end, to increase his petty pile. He was a politician by accident, running an initial campaign for president that was primarily about putting dollars in his pocket. No one was more surprised that he won in 2016 than he.

He was a terrible candidate, who in 2016 managed by luck and feral cunning to eliminate much better qualified Republican candidates in the primaries and then had the good fortune to compete against a candidate who had 40 years of negative baggage and whom many Americans intensely disliked. Comey’s surprise was the final gift to Trump.

He was a terrible president. Itemizing cases would make this post prohibitively long.

And yet….

In the 2020 election nearly 50 % of Americans threw their vote to this incompetent, fascist, racist, lying sociopath. A more competent politician would have easily won. Trump’s political incompetence was our good fortune. An undeserved and certainly unappreciated gift of good luck.

Now we can all breathe a big sigh of relief. And once the pandemic is over, go back to our pre-Trump lives. Democracy works!

But consider-populists have risen to power throughout the world: Narendra Modi in India, Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, Viktor Orbán in Hungary, Vladimir Putin in Russia, Jarosław Kaczyński in Poland, and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Turkey. These people win elections but subvert democratic norms: by criminalizing dissent, suppressing or demonizing the media, harassing the opposition, and deploying extra-legal mechanisms whenever possible (Putin’s opponents have a penchant for meeting tragic accidents). Orbán proudly uses the phrase illiberal democracy to describe the populism practiced by these men; Trump has many similarities to them, both rhetorically and policy-wise, but he was incompetent and petty.

For all his incompetence, Trump gave the Republican Party some successes: The Supreme Court is solidly in their corner; they will likely retain control of the Senate; House Republicans won more seats than they were projected to; and they are looking at significant gains in state Houses as well, giving them control over redistricting for the next decade. Even better for their long-term project, they have diversified their own coalition, gaining more women candidates and more support from nonwhite voters.

Which is bad luck for us. Trump prepared the way for the next authoritarian. After abandoning traditional decades long Republican values such as fiscal responsibility and free trade, Republicans have embraced the doctrine of “Unrestrained POWER.” Their next candidate will leverage that knowledge. That candidate is out there, now. And we will certainly see a populist/authoritarian candidate in 2024.

We will need to be prepared. The Democrats need to shed their Keystone Kops strategy, and fast.

Trump’s defeat is not the end of the war, it’s simply a fortunate victory in a small battle in a much larger conflict.

Posted in 2020, Campaigning, Constitution, Education | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Wither the Republican Party

Contributed by Arthur Ahrens of Branchport

I am as surprised and upset as everyone else. And looking deeper, I am become even more upset. On the theory that misery loves company, I offer the following:

Trump has received at least 68 million votes in 2020, or five million more than he did in 2016, meaning that despite his myriad failures, scandals, self dealing, corruption, etc., he received the support of 48% of Americans. Further, the Democrats lost seats in the House and were unable to take control of the Senate.

In a development that seems to have flown under most people’s radar, an abysmal showing by Democrats in state legislative races on Tuesday not only denied them victories in Sun Belt and Rust Belt states that would have positioned them to advance their policy agenda — it also put the party at a disadvantage ahead of the redistricting that will determine the balance of power for the next decade.

Locally, Tom Reed whomped Tracy Mitrano 63.1% to 35.8%. To put this into perspective, Reed in 2012 Reed won with 49.2%, in 2014 with 57.8%, in 2016 with 57.6%, and in 2018 with 54.2%. NY 23 Democrats have actually lost ground over 8 years.

I will leave assigning blame to others. I’m merely pointing out a trend, which would seem to indicate a problem with Democrats’ strategy on a local, state and national level.

Would anyone care to comment?

Best Regards,

Arthur Ahrens

Posted in 2020 | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Starts with “C” (as in Correction?)

This article was written and submitted by Lee Marcus of Arkport (Steuben County).

My father didn’t die in Italy during WWII, but the rest of his unit did (all but one), and it happened in one night—the same night he witnessed the burning of the church with all the Italian villagers locked inside, screaming for help. Two nights later, he suffered another battle almost as horrifying as that one. The Nazis were determined to shed all the Allied blood they could as they withdrew into the Alps, defeated. My father was unable to put these atrocities behind him and only lived to the age of 55, never explaining to his children about that bronze star or any of the rest. He did have some good times in his life, in spite of what was missing—that thing most of us take for granted: peace of mind. My father had seen and heard and felt things no one ever should. Things the human heart cannot reconcile.

My mother lost a brother she adored, her next younger sibling and best friend. A handsome, well-liked Hornell boy, John Long went missing in the South Pacific and was never found. My mother could not talk about this loss. I’m not sure she ever stopped waiting.

I miss both of my parents, but I cannot not wish them back. When I think of the sacrifices they made for their country, of how ferociously they believed in the righteousness of the American cause—well, my heart sinks. I would not, could not wish them here to see what has become of their legacy. I am ashamed. Mortified.

The nation that pitched in every resource, every ounce of purpose and resolve, e pluribus unum, is now a hot mess of discord and division. We have a president and vice president who have signaled that they do not subscribe to the peaceful transfer of power, the very bedrock of the American experiment. Armed vigilantes have been told to stand by, and the country holds its breath as if on the verge of disintegration, threatened not by foreign invaders but by the vigilantes themselves, self-appointed guardians of America’s closet with its renounced and rotting skeletons: white supremacy and patriarchy.

This could go either way. The forces of darkness are jonesing for civil war and a return to the bad old days. The other side is building toward breakthrough: some kind of rainbow dawn involving atonement, reparation, forgiveness, and healing. Then the march onward together to beat back climate change and realize a more perfect union, ameliorating extreme poverty and obscene greed. A future molded of justice and what we used to call brotherly love.

I don’t know what to expect. But I do know that what I saw in my parents and their generation is what I’m looking for now as we head into the election of 2020. In a word, character. It’s old news that elections have consequences; now it’s been drilled home that consequences are a function of character. We ignore character at our peril. You don’t say, you might say.

The importance of character is the very thing that makes character assassination such a handy tool for candidates whose records are too weak to run on. These guys are easy to spot from their advertising. They skip the part about what they’ll do for their constituents, because they don’t want us asking what they’ve done so far in the many years they’ve been in office already. They vandalize the photographs and reputations of their opponents, spewing hot-button epithets: liar! extremist!—also vandalizing democracy in the process. These are little men.

Meanwhile, this time around, we are rich in options. Energetic new candidates high on vision and purpose, and most of all: character. I am leaning in, heart and soul, for two in particular: Tracy Mitrano (for Congress) and Leslie Danks Burke (NY Senate). By now I have come to know them both pretty well, and for me, these women are a source of real hope—the same hope embodied in the poetry of our nation’s founding documents. All men are created equal. Liberty and justice for all. That may sound corny, but right now, we can’t afford any more cynicism. A once-great nation is on its knees and the church is on fire. Help get us out of this. Choose character, up and down the ticket.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Fiscal Responsibility

What the right hand gives, the left hand takes. — Attributed to Martin Luther

Catch 22 — For every regulation that gives something, there is another that takes it back.

Laffer Curve — the idea that in some circumstances tax cuts increase revenue.

New Year’s Resolution — promising to do next year what you failed to do last year.

The Problem Solvers Caucus has published ten principles for fiscal responsibility. Most are vague; here they are:

  1. Support for building a sustainable, fiscally responsible budget to invest in Americans and be good stewards of taxpayer dollars.
  2. Support for paying down our debt when the nation’s economy is in good shape.
  3. Recognizing that the federal government’s balance sheet can afford targeted spending to mitigate the effects of economic downturns, disasters, and emergencies.
  4. Support sustained assistance to the economy while the COVID-19 pandemic persists and while the unemployment rate remains at record levels.
  5. Support for transparency measures to strengthen awareness of the nation’s finances, including its debt and deficit. The Fiscal State of the Nation Resolution aligns with this assertion.
  6. Support for accountability mechanisms to help Congress demonstrate greater accountability in navigating the decisions necessary to improve the country’s fiscal health. The TRUST Act would support this plank.
  7. Support for responsible, thorough plans to establish budgetary goals to lower the government’s debt in relation to the size of the economy, or GDP.
  8. Support including the Fiscal State of the Nation, the TRUST Act, and/or legislation to establish budgetary goals in a future COVID-19 relief package to address our budget crisis once the economy recovers.
  9. Support curbing brinksmanship related to the debt limit, which risks the full faith and credit of the government due to artificial limits, and tying such reform to meaningful debt targets.
  10. Support paying for legislation and the House rules in place (Pay-As-You-Go) to enforce this principle.

Many would disagree on what it means to “support building a sustainable, fiscally responsible budget to invest in Americans and be good stewards of taxpayer dollars;” it could mean anything. However, the second principle–“paying down our debt when the nation’s economy is in good shape”– is rock solid. Yet Congress failed to do that in 2016/2017, when instead of reducing the deficit, they did the opposite by cutting taxes, particularly for the rich and super rich.

Points five to ten encompass the idea that Congress can encourage itself to do, with resolutions and legislation, what it otherwise wouldn’t do. Point 9 is good, if only wishing made it so.

There are a number of oft cited principles which are not mentioned:

  1. The idea that tax cuts pay for themselves
  2. Trickle down
  3. Statutory balanced budget

All else is moot if these tacitly remain.

Posted in 2020, Economics, Reed's Views | Tagged | 4 Comments