Republicans Have Gone Too Far.

July 3, 2022
   Republicans have gone too far. This fact is plain as day.
   Look at what they’re doing. I mean take a good, hard look. They are taking away female reproductive rights from millions of women, are pushing anti-LGBTQ laws in numerous states (which will increase the number of LGBTQ suicides, especially among LGBTQ youth), have gutted the EPA’s ability to properly regulate power plant pollution (which will in turn worsen Human Caused Climate Change), and are literally undermining American democracy by promoting Trump’s lies about the 2020 election and pushing new voter laws that make it more difficult for millions of Americans to vote (especially those who are likely to vote for Democrats).
   Think about what I’ve just said. It’s all true. Republicans are literally doing this. And what’s even scarier is that they are not done. Despite the fact that the majority of Americans support same gender marriage (recent polls show support at over 70%), there is a serious risk that Republicans are going to try overturn the Obergefell vs Hodges ruling to allow Republican states to ban same gender marriage. This would create a situation where some states would ban same gender marriage while others would support it. First and foremost, consenting adults should be able to marry other consenting adults whatever their gender. Banning same gender marriage is morally and ethically wrong. In addition, having same gender marriage banned in some the states would create all sorts of confusion in terms of taxes, insurance coverage, hospital stays/medical decisions (as to who is considered family), and more.
   Look at what is happening in terms of abortion rights with Roe vs Wade being overturned. We are quickly heading towards a situation where abortion will be banned (or severely limited) in roughly half the states while allowed in the other half. Many of the bans won’t even allow an early abortion in cases of rape. Think about this last part. A woman who has been brutally raped isn’t even allowed to have a morning after pill just in case. And these abortion bans in Republican states will particularly hit minorities and the poor very hard because many will not have the time and resources to travel to a state where abortion is legal. And what’s even scarier is that despite the fact that polls show that most Americans are in favor of a woman’s right to choose, there is a very strong chance that Republicans will ban abortion nationwide if they gain enough control over both Chambers of Congress and the White House.
   Republicans have gone too far. They are trying to legislate their own personal beliefs (that are often coming from their personal religious beliefs) upon the entire population even when the majority of that population disagrees with them. Think about that. For example, conservative Republicans’ hatred of women’s reproductive rights and LGBTQ rights are prime examples because they see these things as sinful. In other words, socially conservative Republicans are essentially trying to pass laws based on the their own personal religious beliefs that affect the entire population. This is made even more disturbing when you consider that most Americans disagree with conservatives on these issues. Some Republicans even want to restrict access to contraceptives! Think about that one.
   The brutal reality is that we can’t afford Republican control over governments these days (local, state, or federal) because they are going too far as they try to legislate things (many of which come from their personal religious beliefs) upon the entire population even when the majority disagrees with them. They are literally attacking the rights of millions upon millions of people (such as with anti-LGBTQ laws and abortion bans) that will increase the suffering of many and will lead to a significantly increased number of tragic, unnecessary deaths (like from suicide of LGBTQ youth).
   People need to speak up and stand against what Republicans are trying to do right now. And even more importantly, people need to vote! Vote in overwhelming numbers against Republicans because we can’t afford Republican control over governments these days.

The United States Badly Needs The COVID Relief Bill Passed

   People all around the country are hurting badly during this pandemic between health concerns, tragic deaths, and economic impacts.
   A great number of businesses are seriously hurting, and as a result, many people have found their hours being cut or their jobs lost completely. Even places that have been around for decades with devoted customers have had to shutter their doors permanently. Many people are on the precipice of potentially being kicked out of their apartments and homes. Millions of Americans are barely hanging on.
   But the thing is: this pandemic is still raging. People are still getting sick and too many are dying, so various restrictions are still needed to try to control spread of the disease and save lives.
   It’s a terrible dilemma. We have to balance fighting the virus while trying not to devastate the economy at the same time.
   This is why we really need Congress and the White House to pass the COVID relief bill as soon as possible. Everyone’s not going to get everything they want in the bill. This is a democracy in a time where partisan divides are often extreme and bitter. But we have to find ways to work together and get something passed to help people and businesses who are struggling economically as well as provide strategy and coordination in the effort to battle the devastating virus.
   Come on DC. Please get it done.

The COVID Pandemic Is Getting Worse

   Cold weather is arriving in the Northern Hemisphere, and with it is a rising tide of COVID cases, especially in the United States. To anyone paying attention to what has been going on, this should come as no surprise.
   Other viruses such as the common cold and flu often seem worse in terms of numbers during colder weather as compared to warmer weather. There are a variety of possible causes for this phenomenon that we won’t delve into here.
   Now, consider how the United States as a whole has done a terrible job in trying to deal with the COVID pandemic. The Trump Administration has grossly mishandled the crisis with confusion, incompetence, false information, and a lack of coordination coming from the White House. States have in many ways been left to their own devices in battling the pandemic far more than they should have been. Their tactics have varied with some being more effective than others. The result has been a kind of ad hoc, patchwork approach instead of a coordinated national strategy. On top of this is the fact many Americans (including Donald Trump) are not taking this pandemic seriously and frequently disregard social distancing and mask wearing guidelines.
   As a result of this confused quagmire of a response, it is no surprise that we are now seeing record numbers of cases throughout the country, and tragically, it will get worse. Many more people are going to die.
   Since Trump is president until Biden’s inauguration on January 20th, we cannot expect much, or any, new help from the federal government for the next couple of months. It will primarily be up to local and state governments to do what they can in addition to every day people.
   Each and every one of us has a responsibility to do our part in combating COVID.
   Practice social distancing and mask wearing whenever you are in public. Educate yourself in what you need to do in fighting the pandemic. Avoid big crowds, especially when indoors. Don’t have big holiday gatherings with people coming from all around because doing so would spread the virus.
   Remember since people can carry the virus without even knowing it, this is more than keeping yourself safe. It’s about keeping everyone you come in contact with safe as well.
   By working together, we can get through this.
   It’s up to all of us!

The White House Event On 9-26-20 Likely Spread COVID To Multiple Attendees

   The event held September 26 at the White House Rose Garden announcing Trump’s Supreme Court nominee is the latest example of how badly the Trump Administration has botched its handling of the COVID pandemic.
   Look at photos of the event and think about what you are seeing.
   Go ahead.
   While in the midst of a pandemic which is costing lives, the majority of attendees, including Trump and Melania, were not wearing masks. On top of that, most were crammed in like sardines, virtually shoulder to shoulder, in the seating area where again the majority were not wearing masks.
   To the COVID 19 virus, this was like an invitation of please come to spread and multiply.
   And the virus did just that.
   Multiple attendees have tested positive for COVID in the week following the event. At the time of writing this piece, Donald Trump, Melania, 3 Republican Senators, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Kellyanne Conway, and Rev John Jenkins have tested positive. Several other White House officials and reporters have tested positive this week as well.
   The way this event was so badly set up and carried out is just the latest in Trump Administration’s gross mishandling of the COVID pandemic. Trump has been dangerously downplaying the seriousness of the COVID pandemic from the beginning. He has lied and exaggerated about it over and over, disregarding the advice of scientists and other experts. Trump has frequently spread false information about COVID and the pandemic that goes against what his own government scientists are saying. The United States has been desperately needing effective leadership that includes national mask wearing/social distancing rules with the President setting a good example. Instead, there has been a serious lack of leadership from the Trump Administration resulting in terrible confusion and disorganization. People don’t know where to turn for reliable information. States have varied in their responses with differing degrees of effectiveness and in an inefficient ad hoc manner devoid of federal leadership or coordination. Add to that the way Trump himself has flagrantly ignored mask wearing and social distancing in his personal activities and you can see how and why the United States’ response to COVID has been so abysmally ineffective.
   Thus, it is of no surprise that Trump, Melania, and others who attended the Rose Garden event now have COVID 19. The gross mishandling by the Trump Administration of the COVID pandemic led to this as well as unnecessary suffering and loss of life for people all across this nation.

White House Continues Mishandling This Pandemic, And It Is Likely Costing Lives

   We are in the middle of a pandemic, yet the Trump Administration continues to grossly mishandle this crisis.
   Trump has tried to downplay the seriousness and severity of this pandemic from the very beginning.  He wasted weeks early on instead of being proactive, and as COVID 19 has continued to spread, his response has been erratic, irresponsible, disjointed, and disorganized.
   Social distancing and mask wearing in public are vital to controlling this pandemic, yet Trump almost never wears a mask. This alone is sickeningly irresponsible since millions of Americans follow his example. As a result, because he doesn’t appear to take COVID seriously, neither do they. This has clearly increased the number of people who are not social distancing or wearing masks like they should.
   On top of that is Trump’s being all over the place in terms of what he says and does with regards to the pandemic. He has blatantly exaggerated and lied numerous times, undermining his own scientists and other government officials. Because of this confused, chaotic behavior from the White House, governors have been left to their own devices far too much, resulting in a disorganized, patchwork response to the COVID pandemic where some states have done a decent job and others have done an abysmal one.
   Now, the White House is ordering hospitals to report new COVID cases directly to Washington, bypassing the CDC. This is deeply disturbing. The CDC is a key organization in the fight against COVID. Will it still have access to all the data? Will it be allowed to make the information public as it has been doing, or will the White House attempt to restrict access for political purposes?
   The consequences of this grossly mishandled response to the crisis is plain to see when you compare how the US is doing compared to other places like South Korea, Europe, and Canada. To this point, the US has not dropped the curve like these other nations have done, and the American rate of infection is going up significantly.
   We need to speak up and demand that the government do a better job at both the state and federal levels. They should work together in a more responsible, proactive, organized way.
   Unfortunately, I doubt this will happen until Trump is voted out of office.
   Whatever your political beliefs, it is time for everyone to unite behind the Democratic presidential nominee, Biden, in order to vote Trump out of office because like it or not, the next president will be Trump or Biden. We cannot afford 4 more years of Donald Trump. Too many lives are on the line.

John Quincy Adams, The Skinny Dipping President


   Yes, you heard me right! But first, let’s start at the beginning.
   John Quincy Adams was born in Braintree (now Quincy), Massachusetts in 1767. He was the eldest son of John and Abigail Adams, who were both very important figures in the early United States. His father was a member of the Continental Congress during the American Revolution, served as a diplomat in Europe, and became the 2nd American President. As a result, young John Quincy grew up among numerous movers and shakers including some in European countries. He was very intelligent, learning multiple languages and was an avid reader. Apparently, he had hoped to pursue a career in writing; though, his future lay in politics.
   John Quincy Adams had a long career as a civil servant and politician. He served as a diplomat overseas, was a member of the United States Senate, became Secretary of State, and was the 6th President of the United States after which he had a long career as a member of the House of Representatives. As a matter of fact, he is the only person to serve in the House after being President.
   In many ways, he was ahead of his time. He despised the institution of slavery and was more sympathetic to the rights of Native Americans than many of his contemporaries. As much as he hated slavery and fought against it, John Quincy Adams predicted that the only way the terrible institution would come to an end would be if the Southern states ended it voluntarily or if there was a civil war. He also predicted that if there was a civil war, the president of the time would use war powers to end slavery. This is quite close to what actually happened since Abraham Lincoln used the Emancipation Proclamation to end slavery in the Confederate states.
   In 1797 London, Adams married Louisa Johnson, the daughter of the US consul to Britain. They had 3 sons and 1 daughter together. Tragically, two died as young men after battles with alcoholism. One possibly from suicide. John Quincy likely suffered from depression and had a serious disposition much of the time. In politics, he became well known for his oratory, giving powerful impassioned speeches. In fact, when his end finally came in 1848, he was giving a fiery speech in Congress when he collapsed from a stroke. He died two days later in the US Capitol Building.
   Obviously, John Quincy Adams spent many years living in Washington DC. He had a habit of getting up early in the predawn hours to walk around the city getting exercise when it was quiet and other people were still asleep. If the weather was good, he was known to swim in the Potomac River. In those days, when men swam in the river, they would typically remove their clothes and take a dip. Although in 1821 when the British Ambassador George Canning spotted then Secretary of State Adams in the water, he wasn’t entirely naked. Canning later wrote, “The Secretary of State was seen one morning at an early hour floating down the Potomac, with a black cap on his head and a pair of green goggles on his eyes.”
   So yes, it does look like John Quincy Adams, 6th President of the United States, would remove his clothes and skinny dip in the Potomac River! Not something you’d catch any modern president doing!
   So when you have a few minutes, perhaps learn about and remember the skinny dipping President of the United States, John Quincy Adams.

So Far, The White House Has Not Provided The Competent Leadership Needed During The COVID Pandemic

   Well, well, well…more erratic behavior by Trump during this crisis.
   Let’s be honest. Trump has been all over the place. He said he had total authority over state governors, an idea that is unconstitutional and goes against the checks and balances built into the US government. Then he seemed to go the other way throwing much of it to the governors and tweeting support for the irresponsible individuals who were breaking social distancing rules protesting stay at home orders (orders which are saving lives). This latter move looks blatantly political as the states involved are ones whose governors he doesn’t like. Plus he wants to win those states in the November election.
   Now consider all the exaggerated (and at times false) claims he has made throughout this crisis and the way he irresponsibly downplayed the pandemic early on wasting valuable weeks that could have been used preparing for the oncoming outbreak.
   Yep, unfortunately, Trump’s behavior during this pandemic has been erratic and too often incompetent.
   The United States needs calm, effective leadership during the COVID pandemic. During such times, an American president should be working with the governors in battling the disease, not undermining them with immature jabs and irresponsible tweets. He should be helping to organize, not create chaotic confusion with inconsistent, fluctuating, and unreliable behavior.
   The American people deserve better, and frankly, during such a crisis, the American people need better. The White House should step up and do a better job. And in my opinion, we need to vote Trump out of office this November.

The White House Response To The New Coronavirus Needs To Improve

   3-7-20: The new Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is scary, but people need to stay calm, first and foremost. Panicking only makes things worse.
   The US has made some mistakes. For one thing, there are currently not enough tests available. On top of that, some of the early ones that went out had problems.
   There have also been mixed messages coming from different parts of the federal government with one contradicting the other. Donald Trump has certainly been one of the major parties exacerbating this problem. On top of that, Trump called Washington state’s Governor Jay Inslee “a snake” because Inslee criticized the federal government’s response.
   Well, the federal government has made mistakes, and I can’t blame Inslee from speaking up about it. But Trump’s calling the governor “a snake” during this crisis is shamefully childish and exemplifies the lack of coordination and poor Ieadership coming from the White House.
   During a crisis such as this, a president should be providing clear, accurate, decisive leadership to the entire nation. Calling a governor an immature insult is the opposite of what he should be doing.
   In addition, the federal government needs to get everyone on the same page as much as possible to provide accurate information so that people know what is going on and what they should be doing. As it is, confusion is far too common with many Americans not knowing what to listen to and who to ask when they have questions.
   There are countless people working tireless at the local, state, and federal levels, and I truly appreciate their efforts. But I hope the federal government’s response improves soon, particularly the White House’s. State governments are working hard in responding to SARS-CoV-2. There needs to be effective coordination and cooperation between the local, state, and federal levels  Scientists in this country and around the world are burning the midnight oil as they strive to learn more about the virus and come up with ways to combat it.
   Whatever happens, stay calm. We will get through this.