Why Worry about Income Inequality?   1 comment

I’m not rich by Alaska standards. I make less than the median Alaska income. That means I’m wealthier than 99% of the world’s inhabitants.

Image result for image of a snap recipient indulgenceIs that unfair? Hmm ….

Well, I can tell you that living at less than the median Alaska income presents challenges for my family. We aren’t as rich as some of our neighbors. There’s a man in this town who makes millions of dollars a year.

Is that unfair? Hmm ….

If I were to make somewhat less … let’s say so I’m in the 1% worldwide, I couldn’t afford to live in Alaska. So if you took the income of the people who live here and distributed it to all the “poor” people in the world, what would happen? People in Alaska would starve and freeze without shelter or fuel.

Would that be fair? Hmm ….

I make a whole lot more money and live in a nicer home than my working class parents did.

Is that fair? Hmm ….

My parents were always able to feed me. My mother’s parents, at the height of the Depression, struggled with that.

Is it fair that I grew up without going hungry, but my mom got rickets as a child? Hmm ….

So, then I think about all the “poor” people in the US who own cars, live in nice apartments, are able to buy food with SNAP benefits, and afford $100 a month smart phones, but they don’t actually work for their living.

Is that fair? Hmm ….

We have to careful not to confuse income inequality and poverty. Standards of living are increasing, albeit unequally, in most of the world. Developing countries are particularly benefiting handsomely from declining barriers to trade and movement of capital. That’s why inequality between countries is actually shrinking. As for inequality within countries, enrichment at the top has not caused mass impoverishment.

The market economy is not a zero-sum game, where someone’s gain must come at someone else’s expense. “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer” is a synopsis of the socialist critique of the market system, implying the perceived inevitability of what Marx called the Law of Increasing Poverty.

But, guess what? It’s a myth unsupported by empirical evidence. Absent government interference in the marketplace, the poor in most developing nations are gaining ground even as those at the top end of the income spectrum are also amassing greater fortunes. Poverty is reducing all across the world.

So what difference does it make if  your neighbor has a million dollars he won’t share with you if you’re making a real income far in excess of your basic needs?

Oh, right, fairness …. It’s not fair. Why can’t he give up some of it so I can be even richer?

Maybe because I didn’t earn it, but also maybe because he’s going to take that money and provide a job that will someday make my kid far wealthier than I ever hoped to be. But if I rob him of that money he earned, he won’t create that job because: a) without resources nobody can create jobs, and b) why should the victim feel beholden to the one who robbed him?

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A Few Simple Things   2 comments

April 30, 2018 – A list of book-related gift ideas
Bicycle BookendsWhen writing is your profession or hobby, chances are you’ve received all sorts of bookish gifts from friends (or purchased them for yourself)! Whether it’s a book light that you love, a framed print of your favorite literary quote, or a pair of Hobbit-inspired socks, these accessories can serve as the start to a great blog post. Though this type of content can work all year round, we find the greatest success in December as book lovers start looking for holiday gift ideas.

Rules:
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

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So, I wasn’t sure I was going to participate in this week’s blog hop because, frankly, gift-giving is not my love language. I also am a woman born with the male shopping gene and would prefer to fling myself off a cliff rather than shop for things that I don’t need.

But then I gave some thought to it and came up with some things people who know I am a reader have given to me.

Books, of course, are always welcome gifts. But what are some bookish gifts that aren’t books? Hmmm ….

My husband Brad loves candles and potpourri. Alaskan homes are closed up for about six months a year, so even though we clean, smells happen and so scented candles and potpourri or scented lantern oil makes a nice touch when you’re curled up with a book. We have oil lamps for power outages, but we also have a collection of candle lanterns and potpourri cookers. They provide gentle light and lovely scents and help set a relaxing mood. By the way, you can slice up an orange and put it in a pot on the woodstove and — oh, my!

A nice throw to curl up under is always welcome. My brother gave me this soft wool shawl a couple of years ago that is large enough for me to pull up my feet under and I just love it. He’s given me a lot of gifts over the years, but this one ranks really high on my list of favorites.

Of course, both of these items would go better paired with a nice cup of tea – black, please. Green tea tastes like lawn clippings to me, but black tea or an herbal are most welcome on cold winter nights reading by the woodstove.

Image result for metal bookmarkAlthough my bookcases are mostly full to the point where bookends are unnecessary, there’s always a few places where bookends that have an architectural or humorous twist would be most appreciated.

And then who doesn’t like a pretty metal bookmark that will last forever and you can pass on to your book-loving offspring?

 

Posted April 30, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop, Uncategorized

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When Juries Take a Stand   Leave a comment

This is Brad. Lela is headed home today, so this may be my last post for a while. Or not. I sort am enjoying this.

 

About 25 years ago, I served on a Murder One trial here in Fairbanks.

WG was a miner in the Central area, northeast of town along the Steese Highway. He had a wife and a neighbor who was disgruntled with him. This is a typical story of miners in the smaller towns. They always suspect one another of stealing from each other. This neighbor had accused WG of mining on his land and had recently vandalized some of WG’s equipment. Some of these miners use chemicals to extract the gold from the rock and mercury poisoning can make you paranoid. I’m not sure that was the case in this situation. It’s just an explanation for what happened that I feel comfortable with.

One morning, WG and his wife decided to go to breakfast at the Central Roadhouse in the tiny town of Central. I’m not sure why they didn’t take a truck. It might have been farther because they would have needed to stay on the roads. Anyway, they took a four-wheeler. When traveling through Alaska’s bear-infested wilderness on a four-wheeler, it is smart to be armed, so both were carrying sidearms and since they were on a four-wheeler, they couldn’t just leave them in the vehicle. Alaska at the time allowed (still does) open-carry and they probably weren’t going to be the only ones in the breakfast crowd wearing guns. When I first got here 10 years before, it shocked me how comfortable people here are with guns.

WG had no way of knowing that his neighbor (whose name I’ve long ago forgotten, so we’re just going to call him JD for Joe Doe) was also having breakfast at the roadhouse. As WG and his wife (MWG) were getting off their four-wheeler in the parking lot, JD was smoking a cigarette on the porch. For whatever reason, he drew his own weapon and began shooting at them, hitting MWG critically and clipping WB. JD’s wife/girlfriend (MJD) was in the roadhouse. When everyone heard the gunshots, she ran out a back entrance and grabbed a semi-auto 22 from their truck. First, she sprayed the front wall of the roadhouse with bullets (remember, there are people gathered at those windows) and then she started shooting at WG.

He’d been shot. He was bleeding. His wife was dying. He knew where the initial shots came from, but he later testified that he didn’t know where this new threat was coming from. He just knew it needed to stop. So he drew his 44, walked up onto the porch and fired all six shots into JD. Five hit home. Patrons and roadhouse staff subdued MJD and the State Troopers (140 miles away in Fairbanks) were called.

At the time (Fall 1992), Alaska had a castle doctrine that stated you had a right to defend yourself in your home or business, but you also had to take opportunity to withdraw if you could. And of course, self-defense in a public setting was illegal because there are all sorts of venues for running away. The new assistant DA in Fairbanks was brand-new up from California, where this sort of behavior was illegal. She wanted a win, to make herself look good to her bosses and to show Alaskans what “civilization” looked like. All throughout the trial, she would say “this is not how civilized people settle disagreements.” There was no need to be armed in that situation, she said. He had the whole world to retreat to. He’d advanced on JD, not the other way around. JD hadn’t been able to retreat and he thought himself in danger, so he had the higher “right” to self-defense. The DA depicted WG as the aggressor in the whole situation. I know that’s the job of a DA.

Her haughty attitude toward the “uncivilized” of Alaska reminded me of my own attitude a decade before and I shared it with Lela, who simply said “That’s why we’re a federation, so people like her can live in California and the sensible people can live somewhere else.” I stopped into work on my way to jury duty the next morning and the husband of one of my coworkers offered me a pamphlet from the Fully Informed Jury Association, the central tenet of which is that juries have a right and an obligation to rule not just on the facts of the case, but on the law itself.

The defense did a good job of bringing out that WG hadn’t initiated the attack and that carrying a gun in bear country is standard practice. He asked witness after witness if they were armed that day and several of them were because they’d just come from bear country. The attorney pointed out that the police were 140 miles away. When WG testified, he said his concern at the time was his wife, down on the ground, bleeding out.

That night, Lela went to the library and researched the references in the pamphlet and then the next day we heard closing arguments, which just solidified for me that this DA was asking us to go against common sense and follow the law exactly, even if it was wrong.

We walked into the jury room and one of the men asked “If that had been your wife, would you have retreated, leaving her in a free fire zone, and waited for an hour and a half for the cops to arrive?” Every man in the jury said “hell, no.” Half the jury voted to acquit and half the jury voted to convict. We broke between those who applied common sense – the so-called reasonable man principle — and those who said “the law is that you have to retreat.” I announced that I was never voting to convict WG of murder. One of the other men joined me. Pretty soon there were four of us who were never going home until we got an acquittal … arrayed against a single military wife who kept saying “but the law says”. I threw down the pamphlet and invited everyone to consider what it said.

Jury deliberations stretched into a second day as slowly the vote swung toward acquittal. But that military wife was not going to budge. “We can’t just ignore the law. Nobody else in the country does that. You Alaskans need to get with the rest of the world.” Our answer was “no, no, we don’t. If the law is wrong, then we shouldn’t agree with it.”

With the vote hanging at 9-3 to acquitt, the jury foreman was asked by the judge why it was taking so long and the foreman almost said “We’re hung”, but he held off. The vote was really one woman with two other women lockstepping with her against all the rest of us. Now the other women who were voting to acquitted started on these three. They wanted to go home and they knew that wasn’t happening until we reached a verdict. Someone pointed out that if we hung this jury, there’d be a second trial which even the hold-outs thought would be unfair. The two less-entrenched women voted for acquittal. And then we all said — “We are never leaving unless you vote for acquittal.” And, she did, mainly because her husband insisted, she said.

“He’s going to go out and kill more people.”

WG wept when they read the verdict. His wife had died and he was alone and, I later learned, completely broke, but he was free. We worked together several years later at a job and he was a nice guy, quietly involved in local events and raising a family with his second wife.

We did good, but that’s how easily a reasonable man could have been doing 99 years in prison for exercising the right to self-defense.

Father Gave the Guns Back   Leave a comment

I’m Brad, still filling in for Lela who is in training for her job.

 

A few days ago, a mentally disturbed man killed several people in a waffle restaurant in Tennessee. The cops had taken his weapons away from him previously because he was deemed to be dangerous. That law is already on the books … that if you’ve been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and have done something that makes a judge, through a due process system, consider you to be a danger to others, that you aren’t allowed to own or possess a gun.

That’s actually a law that the NRA fought for and that most Republicans agree with. If you’re likely to become homicidal at a greater rate than sane people, you shouldn’t be allowed a gun.

And the system worked. The guns were taken away from the dangerous individual. But the guns were the private property of the owner. They didn’t belong to the cops and keeping them would be theft. So, they were turned over to the ill man’s father who was told that his son was not allowed to possess guns.

So what happened? Jeffrey Reinking took possession of the guns and, even knowing his son was sick and might be dangerous, he returned them to him.

Why? I don’t know. That was a stupid and illegal thing to do. But President Trump didn’t do it. The NRA didn’t do it. The millions of American’s who make up the “gun culture” of the country didn’t do it. The Republicans didn’t do it. Our Founding Fathers who acknowledged and protected our pre-existing right to self-defense didn’t do it.

But you wouldn’t know that from the news media accounts and pundit jabber.

About 20-odd years ago, a mentally-ill man here in Fairbanks took a hammer and killed three of his roommates while they slept.

The other day, a distraught person rented a Ryder van and ran down a few dozen pedestrians in Toronto.

Do we want to ban hammers? They’re a really useful tool if you need to drive a nail into a board. My job would be a lot more difficult without them. Maybe we should just keep the hammers away from the schizophrenics.

Do we want to ban vans? Moving households would become a lot more complicated. Maybe the rental agent could have paused and asked the patron if he really ought to be driving while distraught.

But, the leftists now scream we need to ban guns, ignoring the facts.

 

The Founders acknowledged a pre-existing right to self-protection against government tyranny and they embodied that recognition in the Second Amendment. Our government is much more tyrannical than it was in 1789, so the reasons for the Second Amendment have not changed.

The cops are always minutes away when seconds count … or hours away, sometimes. The world isn’t a safe place and the statistics show Americans use guns for self-defense pretty often. Should we just let all those people be victimized, including being killed. Should being a law-abiding citizen carry the death penalty?

Some of us are hunters and, believe it or not, the AR-15 is a pretty decent hunting rifle for deer. We don’t have deer in Interior Alaska, so I don’t own one, but I know lots of people who do and they use them regularly for caribou and other game smaller than a moose.

Some of us are hikers and hikers in Alaska encounter bears fairly regularly. I was charged by one a few years ago. It was my first and only up-close-and-personal encounter with a bear. I had to hold it off with a chainsaw. As of that afternoon, I thought carry a gun in the woods was an excellent idea. I know dozens of people with similar encounters – I know three men who have been mauled by bears. Susan Butcher the legendary musher once had to shoot a moose during the Iditarod because it was killing her team. There’s all kind of things in the woods that want to eat people and a gun helps to even the odds of survival.

It’s already against the law to kill people, no matter what the means. Mentally-ill people don’t care and they’ll figure out other ways to do it, but there is a system in place to remove guns from dangerous individuals. It worked … right up until Jeffrey Reinking decided to break the law.

No one is responsible for the killings at the Waffle House except the shooter. He shouldn’t have been given the means to do that. But who gave him the means? His father.
So, when will the father be charged as an accessory in four counts of murder?
Provide a strong statement that there are consequences for giving guns to dangerous individuals who have had them removed through a due process system and people like Mr. Reinking will not give guns back to their dangerous offspring.
There’s a whole lot more going on in this country that is driving these mass shootings. They won’t be fixed by violating the natural rights of people to defend themselves because the problem is being caused a lot deeper issues than the availability of a tool. Maybe when we can stop screaming about that, we can have a real conversations about some of those issues.

Ignoring Reality   Leave a comment

This is Brad. Lela will be back, I promise.

So Sunday was Earth Day and I hardly noticed, but my lovely wife started this post and then asked me if I would finish it for her.

Do you remember all the apocalyptic predictions from the 1970s? They were the reasons given for a day of the year to worship nature as a pagan goddess.

During the first Earth Day observance (that actually lasted for a couple of months:

Harvard biologist George Wald estimated that “civilization will end within 15-30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”

“Man must stop polluting and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possibly extinction” New York Times editorial

“Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make,” Paul Ehrlich confidently declared in the April 1970 issue of Mademoiselle. “The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.”

“Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born,” wrote Paul Ehrlich in a 1969 essay titled “Eco-Catastrophe! “By…[1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.”

Ehrlich sketched out his most alarmist scenario for the 1970 Earth Day issue of The Progressive, assuring readers that between 1980 and 1989, some 4 billion people, including 65 million Americans, would perish in the “Great Die-Off.”

“It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,” declared Denis Hayes, the chief organizer for Earth Day, in the Spring 1970 issue of The Living Wilderness.

Texas University professor, Peter Gunter wrote in 1970, “Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions….By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.”

In January 1970, Life reported, “Scientists have solid experimental and theoretical evidence to support…the following predictions: In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution…by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half….”

Ecologist Kenneth Watt told Time that, “At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.”

Barry Commoner predicted that decaying organic pollutants would use up all of the oxygen in America’s rivers, causing freshwater fish to suffocate.

Paul Ehrlich chimed in, predicting in 1970 that “air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.” Ehrlich sketched a scenario in which 200,000 Americans would die in 1973 during “smog disasters” in New York and Los Angeles.

Paul Ehrlich warned in the May 1970 issue of Audubon that DDT and other chlorinated hydrocarbons “may have substantially reduced the life expectancy of people born since 1945.” Ehrlich warned that Americans born since 1946…now had a life expectancy of only 49 years, and he predicted that if current patterns continued this expectancy would reach 42 years by 1980, when it might level out. (Note: According to the most recent CDC report, life expectancy in the US is 78.8 years).

Ecologist Kenneth Watt declared, “By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate…that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, `Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, `I am very sorry, there isn’t any.’”

National Academy of Sciences Harrison Brown published a chart in Scientific American that looked at metal reserves and estimated the humanity would totally run out of copper shortly after 2000. Lead, zinc, tin, gold, and silver would be gone before 1990.

Sen. Gaylord Nelson wrote in Look that, “Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.”

In 1975, Paul Ehrlich predicted that “since more than nine-tenths of the original tropical rainforests will be removed in most areas within the next 30 years or so, it is expected that half of the organisms in these areas will vanish with it.”

Kenneth Watt warned about a pending Ice Age in a speech. “The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years,” he declared. “If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”

Wow, lots of fear-mongering. Have any of those predictions come true?

As the opening chart shows, the United States has “decarbonized” over the last decade or two. CO2 emissions have risen throughout most of the rest of the world, but the US’s emissions have fallen dramatically. Did the Earth Day movement have anything to do with that? Not really. It’s mostly because of hydraulic fracking and substitution of natural gas for coal as a electric generation fuel source.

Ronald Baily of Reason Magazine (who pulled together much of this awesome list) asked in on Earth Day 2000 (Earth Day 30):

“What will the Earth look like when Earth Day 60 rolls around in 2030?”

He predicted a much cleaner, much richer future world, with less hunger and malnutrition, less poverty and longer life spans, and with lower mineral and metal prices. But he also warned:

“There will be a disportionately influential group of doomsters predicting that the future – and the present — never looked so bleak.”

The hype and hysteria over these spectacularly wrong apocalyptic predictions will continue, because it’s been such a wonderful con and has reaped such lovely benefits for the environmentalists. Why would they want the gravy train to end by acknowledging reality?

Could the US School Europe on Cannabis?   1 comment

This is Brad, standing in the gap for Lela who is traveling for work. So I decided it’s my blog for the week, so I might as well say what I want. Lela knew this might happen. Maybe she should have changed the password.

 

Did you know that marijuana is not legal in Europe?

Alaska Cannabis Club CEO Charlo Greene prepares to roll a joint at the medical marijuana dispensary in Anchorage, Alaska, on Feb. 20, 2015Yeah, you can buy it in Amsterdam “coffee shops” and possession is decriminalized up to 5 grams, but police can still confiscate that amount and it is not technically legal for those coffee shops to operate, even though the authorities tolerate them. Law enforcement could shut them down any time they like.

Germany, Belgium, Luxembourge, Denmark and Malta also tolerate possession of small amounts of cannabis. Italy allows marijuana use in religious practices, Albania is apparently unable to encourage restrictions on pot, and Freetown (Copenhagen) claims it is independent of Denmark, where marijuana remains illegal. The Czech Republic and Portugal are really on the only countries to actually decriminalize possession of small amounts of cannabis. But still, the Netherlands are the only place that openly tolerates public sale and consumption of pot. Incarceration for possession of minor quantities remains possible in the UK, France, the Netherlands, Germany, the Scandinavian nations and virtually all of Central and Eastern Europe. Cyprus has a maximum penalty of eight years for mere possession. Macron’s France is just now lowering possession to a misdemeanor with a fine, but according to a 2014 European Union Commission survey had 53% of 15-24 year-olds stating that marijuana should be banned. The only reason Europe is ignoring drugs these days is it lacks the money to enforce the laws that remain on the books.

Image result for image of legal cannabis in alaskaNow come across the pond to the United States. While Europeans love to hold their noses in the air about how “immature” Americans are, Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington state allow medical and recreational sales of cannabis and there is a large-scale public debate on the benefits of marijuana and its actual risks as well as a debate on the politics that led to Nixon’s War on Drugs. Americans are actually having discussions about law enforcement’s targeting of minorities through the drug laws and how the percentage of the population in prisons is as a direct result of nonsensical drug policies. It’s even made conservative evangelicals reconsider their stance on the legalization of cannabis. Many of them here in Alaska now openly state that, like alcohol, marijuana should be regulated to reduce its societal problems, but that prohibition doesn’t work and they regret that they didn’t foresee that 20 years ago.

Europe has always maintained that it is superior … more grownup … than America. We’re so provincial with our belief in traditional marriage, people being clothed in public and our higher incarceration rates. That sense of arrogance goes back to the Revolution, when most countries in Europe were certain we’d never last a few years, let alone centuries, and they’ve never really gotten over that, even after we had to sort out their wars twice during the 20th century. And, anyone pointing out America’s horrendous incarceration rate has got my full agreement. But, through the beauty of federalism, Americans are gradually providing (possibly) that cannabis legalization will not be the end of the world. Will Europe learn from our example?

We can only hope.

 

 

 

Why Should I Care?   Leave a comment

This is Brad as Lela is away getting her brain expanded.

I didn’t, in the end, vote for Donald Trump, but I supported his candidacy for president. Lela talked me into casting a vote for Gary Johnson, but the fact is, I wish I’d voted for Trump. I think, if every voter who thought he’d shake up the system but felt intimidated by the Trump-haters so stayed home or cast a no-win vote had actually voted for him, he might have won the “popular” vote. Lela would be so proud of me for pointing out that this vote doesn’t exist … but it sure does seem to matter to a lot of people.

Some of those people are friends, who ask me why I still support Donald Trump as he crashes around the world risking wars, surrounded by FBI investigations at home and not delivering on Obamacare. How can I, an evangelical Christian, not reject him and wish I’d voted for Hillary?

Well, first … Hillary Clinton … you’re kidding, right? She failed to prevent four wars while she was Secretary of State … and those are just the ones we know about.

But why don’t I care about Stormy Daniels? Why aren’t I morally outraged by his cheating on his wife … with a porn star. Don’t I care that he paid off the porn star to keep her quiet until after the election? Where’s the moral outrage that surrounded Bill Clinton’s infidelities?

I think Melania Trump has every right to be angry with her husband. Lela would certainly make me pay if I embarrassed her in public in a similar fashion. But let’s face it. We’ve been here before. Kennedy, Clinton … Trump himself. He’s on his third wife and admits to be a serial philanderer. But the difference between Trump and Kennedy or Clinton is this alleged affair happened when he was a private citizen. In fact, there’s a 2011 interview with Ms Daniels where she confirms the encounter with then-Mr Trump.

 

We knew who he was when just about 50% of the voters put him in office. This isn’t news to me or my father or the many people I know who voted for him. These were the reasons Lela wouldn’t vote for him, while at the same time she acknowledges that the whole news now means very little to her. Trump is a cheesy clown reality star who likes to grub in the mud. We knew that before we elected him. He never promised us anything different and Trump voters didn’t care then. Why would we care now?

 

So when my friends try to label my continued support of President trump as some sort of numb moral surrender along with millions of others in a beaten populace, I don’t agree. I think we’re growing up and recognizing that politicians are not us. They are all corrupt in one way or another. What matters is how they do their job.

 

 

 

PBS and CNN keep saying Trump is doing everything wrong, but his missteps appear to be working. Those friends who question me about why I would support Trump are talking about expanded business in their area. Some of them work for corporations that gave out bonuses with their tax refund. Lela comes from her job telling me about how road permitting delays have been cut by 75%, saving millions on construction projects.

Kim of North Korea is willing to talk about giving up his nukes. Since GHW Bush, there’s been this strong idea that there had to be multi-lateral talks – seven ambassadors in a room to gang up on Kim — in order to make any progress with him … and they made no progress. Trump says he’ll meet with him personally and Kim starts talking about concessions. It’s too early to tell if that will be successful, but it sure seems like that has a potential for progress.

Israel is no longer being kept waiting in the lobby of the White House as they were during the Obama administration. It seems Trump has won over Japan and Taiwan, but he’s also brought the State of Alaska and the Chinese together on a potential gas pipeline and export agreement. Unlike Obama, whose red line was imaginary, Trump has put teeth to Syria’s throat, which Lela doesn’t like, but I think is a good idea.

So, if he’s doing his job well, despite almost monolithic opposition in the American press  … what do I care about a sexual affair from 12 years ago?

Posted April 24, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in politics, Uncategorized

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