We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Government Regulations

January 26, 2017

With the boast by the president that he will cut government regulations by seventy-five percent, if not more, what could possibly go wrong if he gets his way? Regulations, like laws come about because of wrong doing. We must not forget that forty years ago, the Bald Eagle, America’s national symbol became nearly extinct because of the use of DDT. In June of 1969, the Cuyahoga River caught fire due to decades of polluted industrial waste. That was just the last time the river near Cleveland, Ohio caught fire, as it burned several times throughout the first half of the twentieth century. More recently, let’s ask the citizens of Flint, Michigan how they feel about eliminating nearly all government regulations.

Living in the Rust Belt, we like to think that our air is much cleaner than it was during this region’s steel producing heyday, and judging by photographs taken seventy-five years ago, it appears so. However, the American Lung Association deems fifty percent of all U.S. counties suffer from unhealthy air, resulting in their citizens suffering from asthma (which is becoming an epidemic, especially among our children), bronchitis, emphysema, strokes, heart attacks and premature deaths. It has been estimated that nearly five million people die every year world-wide from breathing polluted air.

Making matters worse, the president has even issued a gag order against the EPA, forbidding scientists from talking to anyone about their work. Additionally, he has frozen the agency’s funding, in effect putting an end to any future research into climate change, along with its many other services such as environmental waste cleanup and the monitoring of the quality of the air we breath. It has also been reported the agency has been ordered to begin purging its historical research data.

Ironically, the president, who bailed out son Donald, Jr.’s failed business (bankruptcy must run in the family), wants the taxpayers of South Carolina to pay for cleaning up the business site’s toxic waste. In order to do so, the president must prove he does not know the previous owner.

In what has to be the most egregious misuse of any word in the history of mankind, this president has the audacity to proclaim himself an environmentalist. This surely must be one of this administration’s alternative facts.

Steven H. Spring
Earth

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A Tale Of Two Parties (Apologies To Charles Dickens)

November 10, 2016

Less than twenty-four hours after the Republican Party candidate pulled off the biggest upset this year, no, make that number two behind Penn State pulling off a huge upset in a Happy Valley white-out against the Buckeyes, President Obama invited the president-elect, who mocked Obama for years, to the White House to discuss the peaceful transfer of power come January. Whatever happened to the president-elect’s investigation into the president’s birth and religion, the results of which we were told is gonna shock us?

Eight years ago, on the day President Obama was first sworn into office, Republican Congressional leaders met at the Caucus Room restaurant to make sure the “uppity” first-term Senator from Illinois was a complete failure, in effect the most perfect example of putting party over country. Especially considering the disastrous economy he inherited. Or a world economy on the brink of a catastrophic meltdown, due to the Wall Street mess. Not to mention the two longest wars in U.S. history, both unfunded and still ongoing. Also unfunded were two massive tax cuts, benefiting mainly the wealthy elite, as well as the Medicare prescription drug program.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had the audacity to announce his number one priority was seeing Barack Obama a one-term president. He couldn’t even get that right!!!

Steven H. Spring
Earth

U.S. Elections Are Rigged, Just Not In The Way Donald Trump Whines About

November 1, 2016

How is it that America, which prides itself on being the world’s all-time greatest democracy, is becoming less and less so with each and every election? Though technically a representative democracy in which we elect local and state officials, along with members of Congress to cast our votes for us, this concluding presidential season just might prove that we are anything but one.

On the Republican side of the wall separating the two parties, businessman, blowhard and national embarrassment on the world stage Donald Trump beat a field of sixteen other mostly uninspiring candidates by out-name calling them to win his party’s nomination. Trump is such a polarizing candidate that members of his own party took an anybody-but-Trump movement right up to the moment he accept the nomination during the Republican Convention held earlier this summer in Cleveland.

Even though Trump won his party’s nomination by winning more than the 1,237 delegates needed to win, he referred to the system as rigged. As Election Day finally approaches, he has begun a full-time campaign decrying the system as rigged and massive fraud will be committed on Election Day. Trump has gone as far as stating he will contest the outcome, unless of course he miraculously wins. With election fraud virtually nonexistent, and polls indicating that Hillary Clinton just might win in a landslide, it seems that Trump is getting his excuses in order when he loses the election, so that the final result will not be a blow to his enormous ego.

Mr. Trump probably saw nothing wrong with winning his home state primary of New York with sixty percent of the vote, yet he received ninety-seven percent of the votes that really counts, the delegate vote. Making matters more complicated than this seemingly unnatural method of electing candidates are the party’s “unbound” delegates. The Republican Party cannot even give an accurate account of their highly influential number, as it ranges from plus or minus one hundred and fifty to as many as two hundred. These unbound delegates are free to vote for whomever they choose, despite the vote of the people, and comprise as much as sixteen percent of the actual vote needed to win the Republican nomination. This is democracy?

The Democratic Party, with its seven hundred and twelve unpledged “super delegates,” comprising a whopping thirty percent of the party’s total delegate count, is even more undemocratic. These super delegates, who are comprised of various Democratic leaders such as sitting governors and members of Congress, are under no obligation to vote for the candidate who won their state primary. The perfect example of democracy in action for the Democratic Party, despite the irony in its name occurred during the New Hampshire primary. Senator Bernie Sanders, who beat Clinton by twenty percentage points, walked away with a virtual tie in the delegate count.

Based on his margin of victory, Senator Sanders won the pledged delegate count fifteen – nine over Clinton, yet six of the state’s eight super delegates pledged their support for the former New York senator, with two delegates uncommitted. This resulted in fundamentally a tie between the two candidates, despite Sanders soundly beating his opponent. In an even more egregious example, Sanders won the Wyoming caucus by eleven percentage points, yet Clinton won the total delegate count eleven – seven. How is that possible?

The Democrat Party’s super delegate nominating process came about after former California governor Ronald Reagan beat President Jimmy Cater during his re-election bid in 1980. Party leaders felt to urge to correct any “mistake” made by voters during the primary season, thereby being able to nominate a candidate more their liking, despite how Americans actually voted. The vast majority of Hillary Clinton’s delegate count over Bernie Sanders was due to super delegates.

When you also consider the Republican Party is doing everything it can to restrict voter turnout, be it by reducing early voting dates or enacting new voter ID laws, America’s democratic values are being greatly undermined. In Texas, a hunting license is an acceptable form of voter ID, yet a college ID is not. We are led to believe that stricter ID laws are required because of voter fraud, yet voter fraud is basically nonexistent. From 2000 through 2014, more than one billion votes were cast with only thirty-one documented case of voter fraud, a fraction so insignificant it might very well be zero. Most cases of alleged fraud are only errors committed by citizens staffing the polling stations.

The Grand Old Party has also taken to greatly reducing the number of voting machines in historically Democratic voting districts, resulting in lengthy waits in line just to cast a vote. In this past Arizona primary, voters waited in lines for up to five hours, while during the last presidential election, voters in Ohio waited in line up to eight hours. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted was sued earlier this year by the ACLU over allegations of illegally removing tens of thousands of voter names from registration rolls. In September, the Sixth Circuit Court Of Appeals ruled he cannot purge the voting rolls merely because citizens do not vote regularly. Maybe it’s time for America to change its national motto from “In God We Trust” to “If You Cannot Beat Them, Restrict Them.”

Another method of restricting voter turnout are the “closed” primaries, in which Democrats are only allowed to vote Democrat and Republican the same, leaving Independents out of the process. One report indicated that more than a million New Yorkers were refused their constitutional right to vote. Who can forget that two of Trump’s children failed to properly register and left unable to vote for their father?

Making the entire process even more corrupt was the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission in which the court basically ruled that the ability of corporations and unions to contribute unlimited amounts of money to candidates and issues equates to speech. Money is not free speech, and not free as money buys influence. Unlimited money buys corruption. Campaign contributions to candidates by Wall Street have tripled since 2012. It is said that members of Congress now spend most of their time begging for campaign contributions.

After voting is completed in state primaries and then finally the national election, it is not the candidate who receives the most votes that wins the election, it is the Electoral College that decides who will be the next president of the United States. Is America a democracy? Hardly.

Steven H. Spring
Earth

One Quote Over The Line, Lewd Donald, One Quote Over The Line (Apologies To Brewer & Shipley)

October 9, 2016

If it appeared this presidential season could not get any more bizarre, it did so this past Friday when Donald Trump not only admitted to both sexually harassing and assaulting women, but actually boasted of doing such things as he was about to be interviewed on Access Hollywood in 2005. After it seemed as if the bombastic businessman could say no wrong during his yearlong plus campaign, this damning audio/video just might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, though I doubt it. Making matters worse, it has been reported that there are many more hours of vulgar audio/video recordings of Trump from both Access Hollywood and his The Apprentice show.

What I find incredible about Trump’s campaign, is that after saying outrageous things seemingly every other day, comments that would have derailed nearly every other candidate, both his loyal base and party members still stand by him, putting party first and America second, although there have been desertions over the weekend such as Arizona Senator John McCain and Ohio Senator Rob Portman. Though I do not agree with Ohio Governor John Kasich on most every issue, I will give him credit for standing by his belief that Trump did not deserve the nomination of his party and has refused to endorse him, even going as far as boycotting the Republican convention held in his own home state.

I also do not understand why Republicans, and especially Republican members of Congress say there is no way they would vote for Hillary Clinton even after all the abusive and obtuse comments made by Trump. The flamboyant entrepreneur and reality television celebrity has offended just about every ethnic group there is, with the exception of white males, who make up the vast majority of his voting block, especially white males without a college degree. I have never been a fan of Mrs. Clinton, and was leaning toward former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson until his Aleppo moment, not to mention his inability to name just one foreign leader he likes, but have never understood the hatred of both Clinton and her husband that has been ongoing for twenty-five years. How is it that Clinton is so evil that up until Friday afternoon, Republicans were on the Trump bandwagon, despite all his boorish behavior? And inconceivably, the vast majority still are.

Donald Trump’s candidacy of making America great again has made this great nation the laughingstock in the eyes of the world. America should be embarrassed.

Steven H. Spring
Earth

Did An American Presidential Candidate Commit Treason?

July 27, 2015

If it appears that this presidential season cannot get any weirder, it did so this morning when Donald Trump called on Russia to find Hillary Clinton’s thirty thousand deleted emails. Who among us has never deleted thousands of emails over the years? However, what makes his comment ever more alarming it that it comes just days after WikiLeaks published online nearly twenty thousand emails that were hacked from the Democratic National Committee’s computer system over the course of at least the past twelve months. Not only did the hack result in the theft of that organization’s emails and internal reports but also data from other organizations with ties to the federal government. Democrat leaders are placing blame on Russia.  Urging a hostile, foreign government to conduct a cyber attack on an American citizen from her days as Secretary of State might be construed as treason.

The Democrats are not just assuming Russia is responsible for the breach of security, as an internal investigation led by CrowdStrike, Inc., a cyber security firm, has traced the hack back to two organizations with ties to Russian intelligence. Two additional cyber security firms with knowledge of the investigation, FireEye, Inc. and Fidelis CyberSecurity have corroborated this theory.

Most Americans would assume that Trump is only making light of a very serious situation, especially considering all the outrageous things he has said during the past year, however, he is running for president of the United States. The potential leader of the free world should be smart enough to know not to say something as stupid as what he did, even if said jokingly.

Cyber security is such a serious matter that it can bring any nation to its knees. A major breach of a nation’s electrical grid can turn a military or industrial power into total chaos within a matter of days. What I find truly alarming regarding computers controlling all aspects of our lives is that this nation’s ICBM missile system, one-third of our Nuclear Triad is still operating on eight-inch “floppy” discs. Most Americans have probably never heard of such outdated technology, yet these discs are running our nuclear missile system, a system that has the potential to destroy the world in which we live.

Americans should be horrified!

Steven H. Spring
Earth

The Greatest Businessman Of All-Time. By A Lot.

July 20, 2016

How is it that the greatest businessman of all-time has filed for bankruptcy numerous times on his Atlantic City casinos, when the number one rule in gambling is that the house always wins? Making his business record even worse is that Donald Trump filed for bankruptcy on his Taj Mahal casino only one year after it opened. I’m no businessman (I do have an accounting degree), but that just doesn’t sound right. Most political pundits opine that Trump has filed for bankruptcy four times, but in fact, the actual number is six. They are:

1. Trump Taj Mahal (Atlantic City, New Jersey) in 1991,
2. Trump Castle (Atlantic City, New Jersey) in 1992,
3. Trump Plaza & Casino (Atlantic City, New Jersey) in 1992,
4. Plaza Hotel (New York, New York) also in 1992,
5. Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts in 2004 and
6. Trump Entertainment Resorts in 2009.

In 1995, Trump created the Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts to bring all his casinos, including one in Gary, Indiana under the control of one company. After declaring bankruptcy in 2004 on this venture, Trump changed its name to Trump Entertainment Resorts.

With six bankruptcies under his belt, one would think Trump would be embarrassed by his business record of accomplishment, yet the world’s all-time greatest businessman boasts how he has swindled bankers throughout his career. When you also consider that Trump has been sued thirty-five hundred times over the years, including the ongoing lawsuit against the world’s all-time greatest university, Trump U., it makes me think that things just might not be what they seem. Especially considering how he refuses to release his tax returns, something every presidential candidate has done so since Richard Nixon. Trump gives the excuse that he is being audited, however, so was Nixon in 1972.

Law prevents the IRS from releasing a person’s tax returns, but nothing prevents a person to do so while being audited. Seems like he has something to hide, especially considering that when he released his returns in 1981 when he was getting involved in the casino industry, he paid no federal tax. What’s funny is that he has the nerve to call Hillary Clinton “crooked.”

Even more ironic is that the universe’s greatest businessman of all-time labeled Senator Ted Cruz as “Lyin’ Ted” even though fact checkers have determined that seventy-five percent of what the donald (non-capitalization purely intentional) espouses are not true. Tony Schwartz, the ghostwriter behind Trump’s “The Art Of The Deal,” has been quoted as saying, “Lying is second nature to him.”

Abraham Lincoln was right when he opined “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

Steven H. Spring
Earth

The World In Donald Trump’s Eyes (aka I Am The Greatest Of All Time, By A Lot)

July 13, 2016

As the American presidential primaries finally come to a conclusion beginning next week with Republicans convening in Cleveland and Democrats meeting in Philadelphia the following week, it gives me time to ponder the potential platform of Republican presumptive candidate Donald Trump. As a candidate who speaks so very often, and tweets seemingly nonstop, yet never espousing any genuine ideas about how he would actually govern, the following is a somewhat very accurate parody of a typical campaign speech given once or twice a day, every single day for the past year by his “greatness.”

I am the greatest.  But, I’m one of you.
Mexicans are criminals, drug dealers and rapists.
Nobody knows more about taxes in the world than me, because I do not pay any.
I’m the most militarist person there is.
Lyin’ crooked Hillary Clinton is crooked as they come, a lifetime liar.
Jeb Bush is low energy.
John McCain is a real loser, not a war hero, because he was a POW.
Megyn Kelly is a bleeder.
Lyin’ Ted Cruz is a pussy.
Chris Christie is yuge, by a lot.
Lying doctors say vaccinations do not cause autism.
I love the poorly educated. I even talk like them.
Nobody is more conservative than me, except when I was a liberal Democrat.
Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren is goofy, a total failure.
I know more about ISIS than the generals.
Crazy Bernie Sanders is a raving lunatic. I want him as my VP.
I’m gonna bring back all those jobs from China, except the ones that make the products I sell.
Nobody reads the bible more than me.
President Obama is a Muslim from Kenya, my investigation proved it.
My campaign is self-funded.
Trump U. is the greatest university in the world.
Women are pigs.
I’m the world’s greatest whiner. By a lot.
John Kasich eats like a slob.
Nobody knows more about debt than me, because I filed for bankruptcy four times.
Lyin’ Ted Cruz is no longer a liar. We love him.
Vladimir Putin loves me.
Crooked Hillary Clinton killed Ambassador Chris Stevens.
Nobody respects women more than me.
I’m rich, by a lot.  But, I’m one of you.
Mitt Romney walks like a penguin.
Millions of Muslims watched and cheered the Twin Towers burn from Jersey.
I am the king of debt. I’ve made a fortune with debt.
Bankers are stupid.
Bill Kristol is a dummy.
I love you (insert current city or state or the next city or state to visit).
The media is stupid.
If Hillary Clinton weren’t a woman, nobody would vote for her.
It’s a crooked system, and I was a part of it.
The RNC (Republican National Committee) are idiots.
Bernie Sanders is a Communist. Or worse.
Lyin’ Ted Cruz’s father helped Lee Harvey Oswald assassinate JFK.
Everybody’s an idiot, but me.  But, I’m one of you.
I cherish women.
The KKK wears nice sheets.
I’m gonna turn everything around. Fast. By a lot.
President Obama and Hillary Clinton are stupid because they use a teleprompter. But not me.
I love the Bible. I love the Bible. I’m a Protestant. I’m a Presbyterian.
Radio host Charlie Sykes is an idiot.
My IQ is one of the highest of all-time. By a lot.
I’m gonna build the greatest wall of all-time and make Mexico pay for it.
Congress is stupid.
My business is the greatest of all-time, by a lot.  But, I’m one of you.
I’ll be the greatest jobs president that God ever created.
George W. Bush is a liar.
Hillary Clinton is a shouter, but I’m not allowed to say that.
Women are dogs.
The Art Of The Deal is second in importance only to Two Corinthians, or is that Second Corinthians?
I do not have small hands, or a small penis.
Rick Perry is a loser.
Reporters are liars.
I can be presidential, but I would be boring as hell.
Rand Paul is an idiot.
Lyin’ Ted Cruz’s wife is ugly.
Women are disgusting animals.
Ben Carson is a poor surgeon.
Politicians are stupid.
The Republican Party is rigged. The RNC are riggers.
Women are bimbos.
My private jet is the greatest of all-time. So is my helicopter.  But, I’m one of you.
Rick Santorum is a loser.
Our leaders are stupid.
I am the greatest of all-time, by a lot.

If America has not yet become the laughing-stock in the eyes of the world, a Donald Trump presidency would surely make us so.

Steven H. Spring
Earth