Friday, August 07, 2020

What in the world is happening to the United States of America?

Who among us that has been alive for more than five decades would believe what is happening today? Long-standing traditions — the things upon which the nation was created and that allowed it to thrive — are crumbling around us.


Once highly regarded qualities like righteousness, integrity and professionalism, have taken a beating over the last number of years. Career fields like education and journalism are now home to many who are willing to abandon their personal integrity, honesty, and professional ethics to indulge in indoctrination of students and the public at large for destabilizing political purposes.


Recent news reports told us that our gross domestic product (GDP) dropped by 32.9 percent in the second quarter. Whether this “news” was a deliberate attempt to misinform in order to cast further negativity on President Donald Trump, or the result of ignorance on the part of these so-called journalists, is difficult to determine.


But what actually occurred was that the GDP actually shrank by much less, only 9.5 percent, in the second quarter, and 4.8 percent in the first quarter. If this trend continues through the rest of the year, the “annualized decline” will reach 32.9 percent.


We see the effects of miseducation as people who never learned about their country reject their access to the broadest set of opportunities to achieve success on the planet, favoring instead the fairytale of equality of outcomes.


Colleges, where people are supposed to learn much more about general studies and their chosen area of interest, have produced the “woke” movement which, in addition to being ineptly named, is a destructive force to which its practitioners are totally blind.


“Wokeness” was aptly described as “pervasive trends under the guise of equality [that] makes diversity training in government, and corporate America, and schools, destructive, divisive, and harmful,” by Angela Sailor, vice president of The Feulner Institute at The Heritage Foundation.


Professional sports and similar activities —where people with high skills in a very narrow and unimportant area of life, like throwing, catching, hitting or “shooting” some sort of ball or other object — make millions of dollars, are now decaying organizations where many or most members proudly dishonor the flag and National Anthem of the country that allowed them to be the wealthy and celebrated individuals that they have become. And they do so with the blessing of their team and league.


Politics and such off-shoots as political correctness, and the new fad of hypersensitivity over small or years-old irritants now are the focus of many education and news folk.


The selfish desires of a relative few now are expected to be accepted by everyone else, whether or not they see any value in those desires. If you do not automatically cow-tow to them, you may be the target of physical and other violence.


And the relatively recent advent of social media adds to the problem. Social media to an increasing degree control what political information we can see on their platforms, and what cannot be seen. That is called “censorship,” which is not among the valued characteristics of our free country.


One example: Twitter removed the Star of David from several tweets, calling it a hateful image.


Another is that certain discussions about fighting the coronavirus are deemed inappropriate for you to see. Twitter has been identified as having taken down some tweets about a drug, hydroxychloroquine, that is favored by many physicians who have used the drug, and say it is effective against the virus.


In addition to Twitter, social media platforms Facebook and Google, and website hosting service Squarespace banned video from a group of physicians known as America's Frontline Doctors about hydroxychloroquine.


A doctor in Tampa, Florida, who is lead physician at a medical office that has 8,000 patients, created a video about how she and other physicians were precluded from prescribing hydroxychloroquine for their patients, despite their previous experience with that medicine.


The brilliant constitutional attorney and author Mark Levin said that the Frontline Doctors’ video was “not about the overthrow of America, not about anti-Semitism, not promoting terrorism — but talking about experience, science, medical knowledge about hydroxychloroquine."


Apparently, Twitter, Facebook and Google know more about medicine than doctors. And furthermore, they think you shouldn’t be able to get information on certain subjects without their guidance, which means providing only what they want you to know.


When someone is triggered by something — virtually anything, these days — suddenly there arises a movement to remove or replace that “something” without even a superficial attempt to understand that something's complete nature. If one out a hundred things is bad, to the dump with it.


Through the decades, we learned to generally trust our teachers and news organizations. We expect school subjects to be presented wholly and without bias. Likewise, news is supposed to tell us the what, where, when, why and who of events, without opinion or bias.


When those rules are deliberately broken in order to control what the public knows, or how the public should think about things, then the result is what we see happening so often today: the sabotage of our country; the freest and most wonderful nation in history.

Saturday, August 01, 2020

Why not try to understand Trump, instead of always criticizing him?

Donald Trump is not a politician; he’s an outsider. He doesn’t think, act, or speak like a politician. Therefore, his enemies say, he is a bad dude. Many don’t like the way he behaves and talks. But why can’t they put these puerile feelings away and deal with the reality before us; the problems we have and ways to improve things?


Even Trump’s defenders understand that, like everyone else, he is not perfect. But so much of the anti-Trumpism is based upon emotional reaction rather than upon thoughtful analysis. And, yes, anything that Trump does that produces a positive result is bad news for the liberals/progressives.


Trump is called many unpleasant names, which are almost exclusively wrongly applied or strongly exaggerated. Among them are that he is a “nationalist.” Those using that term disparagingly believe that he wants America — and himself — to rule the world, and if other nations are destroyed or damaged, so what?


But Trump’s nationalism promotes the interests of America, not necessarily to the detriment of others. He loves America, and he wants to protect the country from being abused by other countries. This is exactly what the leader of every nation should do.


He especially has the aim of leveling the lopsided national playing field where we pay and do far more than our share, to the benefit of other nations, and often to our own disadvantage. The upside-down trade situation with China for so many years shines as an example.


Trump is a businessman and sees things as negotiations, whether with the leader of another country, or with other parts of the government. He speaks in positive, sometimes over-positive, language about efforts to get things done. He speaks in very negative terms about people, countries and things working against him, but his ultimate goal is to reach an end where America benefits.


Not everything that Trump has done has worked perfectly, or even well. But some of them are works in progress. Negotiations are not always pretty. Sometimes, things get worse before they get better.


But a good many of them do get better.


Following the Great Recession of 2007-08, then-President Barack Obama’s policies did little if anything to bring the country out of the recession.


Trump, by contrast, understands economic principles, the ones that work. He knew that tax cuts and regulatory roll-backs were key to getting the economy out of the doldrums of the recession.


He lowered tax rates in six of the seven brackets and increased standard deductions for married and single filers, and heads of household.


The theory is sound: Let people keep more of their earnings, and they will spend it on needs and wants. Let businesses keep more of their profits and they will spend them on more or new equipment, additional workers, wage increases and other positive things. More spending in the private sector leads to an improving economy.


Naysayers will complain that businesses just pay executives and shareholders more with their increased profits. True, that happens. But the increase in employment and the decrease in people on welfare show that the money does get used for broader benefits to the economy.


And, they say, the rich just get richer from tax cuts. But the hated rich don’t hide their money in their mattress; they spend it on things like homes, cars, boats, furniture, trips, food, household goods, etc. Purchasing these things promotes economic expansion.


And the rich weren’t the only beneficiaries of Trump’s tax cuts. They created prosperity for the middle class through higher wages, more take-home pay, more jobs and new employee benefits.


Trump’s actions also made operating a business in the US more attractive than it had been in many years, and American businesses began returning to the country, moving factories and jobs from overseas where they had moved years ago, and creating jobs for Americans.


After Ronald Reagan’s economic policies had been in place for long enough to produce positive results, he said: “I knew our economic policies were a success when they stopped calling them Reaganomics.”


And Obama’s followers were not shy about claiming credit for the quickly improving economic conditions after Trump put into effect sensible policies.


The US had been propping up countries damaged by wars for decades, even beyond the point where these countries could stand on their own. An example is that the US leads the funding for NATO at 22 percent of direct funding, The NATO defense spending target is 2 percent, which only eight of 29 members currently meet. Trump wants this corrected so that America carries its weight, but not the weight of most of the rest of the organization.


And just last Friday, Trump signed executive orders seeking to lower the cost of insulin and EpiPens, two drug products priced well beyond where they should be. The orders also allow states and pharmacies to buy drugs overseas, slash pay to medical middlemen and make sure other countries don’t pay less for American drugs than Americans do.


These are the kinds of governing the country needs right now, not the disastrous hands-off policies that allow violent rioting, shootings and destruction to run rampant in cities across the nation.