Archive for June, 2019

Impossible tasks

Author: admin

I suppose the following words could be considered just a couple more rants about things political. There’s a lot of that in the air these days. But, I hope not.

Two current subjects have been eating at me for some time. Both amount to efforts by the media and nearly everyone else to fit yesterday’s words and actions into today’s accepted norms.

Stop it! It can’t be done!

A current striking example of that twisted thinking involves everybody’s favorite Democrat Joe Biden. Uncle Joe. A few days ago, he was talking about the necessity for people with opposing views and values working together to accomplish something important. At that moment, he was talking about efforts to pass the voting rights act in the ‘60’s.

Biden was citing working with a couple of avowed racists in the Senate – James Eastland of Mississippi and Herman Talmadge of Georgia. Absolutely no question about their racist credentials. Biden talked of negotiating with them on various parts of the legislation to get their support when the vote was taken because it was gonna be close. And he got ‘em.

Yes, Virginia, there really was a time when politicians of one stripe actually had working relationships with those of a different stripe. It worked! An amazing time, that.

Sitting in the press gallery one day about 1970, I remember watching Barry Goldwater – an avowed Conservative – and Hubert Humphrey – an avowed liberal – going at each other in debate. Point-counterpoint. Back and forth. The real essence of politics at work. Ironically, something had to be amended in the bill and it was held for a day.

A few hours later, a fellow reporter found the “combatants” at the Congressional Club on the Hill behind the Capitol. Bourbon and branch water between them and chatting about an Arizona hunting trip Goldwater was putting together.

Think you could find that today in McConnell’s kangaroo Senate? Yeah, you bet. That’s what Biden was talking about. That’s how it worked. When it worked.

But, instantly, Booker, Warren, Harris ran to the media with their faux outrage about Biden’s “racist” comments. Pure B.S.. Booker, Warren and Harris have full time jobs in that same governing body and they know in their souls how it used to be. How it really worked. Or, maybe they conveniently “forgot” how things used to get done just to make a news cycle.

Biden said nothing wrong. But, the media scrum – none likely born at the time Biden was referring to – and Booker, Warren and Harris without Biden’s institutional experience – jumped all over him. Again, pure B.S..

Because of Bidens trying to use past examples of how this-and-that actually worked, his 40+ years of experience may be his Achilles’s heel. Though his kind of politics worked then, he may get hammered by opponents using today’s poisonous political climate to justify their attacks on the cooperation that used to be.

The other personal irritant is all this media hype of upcoming Democrat “debates.” You can’t get five pounds of lard into a one pound can. And you can’t “debate” when you have 10 candidates.

Let’s break it down. Suppose the allotted time is two hours. Less network lead-ins, exits, summations, etc.. That should total about 20 minutes. Now, with the remaining 100 minutes, divide that by 10 people. Spread over a two hour period, each gets a total of 10 minutes to speak, broken up by questions, audience reactions and other miscellaneous distractions.

There’s no debate. No back-and-forth. Just short “sound bites” so each can get in a favorite stump speech point. No challenge. No response. Nothing. Where the hell is the “debate?”

There is no debate and there will be no debate until, oh, about October, 2020. When each political party has just one candidate for President. When there are just two microphones and two voices. And that’s only if the “moderator” stays out of it and lets the combatants combat. Not likely.

Trump will be one voice. And he will be loud and raucous – foul and obscene. Based on past performance, he’ll interrupt, make noises, walk around while his opponent is talking and try anything to distract. And he’ll lie. Lie. Lie!

In fact, we may get through a whole political season without one real debate. Those last appearances may not amount to an actual debate after all. Just one serious voice trying to overcome the childish demeanor and harangues of our “president” who has already exhibited his “debate style.”

And that’s what’s been eating at me. But, that’s enough.

Just weary

Author: admin

I’m feeling something I never thought I would. I’ve got actual symptom of “Trump burnout.”

I’m at the stage of turning off the TV whenever his face or voice are present. I avoid conversations if they turn to his latest lie or his most recent outrageous act. I listen only to satellite music in the car rather than the political stations of former days. I can’t stay in the doctor’s waiting room if his image is on the TV.

All these “symptoms” – all of ‘em – are not good. More than that, they’re dangerous to our health as a nation if we all become numb – as I nearly am – to his latest impeachable offense.

It’s quite possible the basis for wanting to shut his visage out is that he keeps breaking laws, committing illegal acts and it seems he’s getting away with it. All of it. There seems to be no holding him to account for his actions; no punishment. Just more hearings. More court delays. More – nothing.

Though I greatly respect her years of experience and her political acumen, Nancy Pelosi is wrong on the issue of impeachment. A month or two ago, she was probably right. But, not now. Conditions have changed. Greatly. Trump’s ignorance of – and contempt for – the rule of law have risen to new heights.

In fact, he seems to relish trashing legal niceties and law breaking. When told an aide repeatedly broke federal law and had to go, he ignored it. When faced with mostly forced departures of cabinet officials and other key miscreants, he appointed nearly a dozen on an “acting” basis to avoid the legally required confirmation by Congress. When the CIA, NSA and FBI gave him hard intelligence of international wrongdoing, he ignored it and sided with our enemies. When Congress issued a handful of lawful subpoenas for many of his staff and appointees to appear for questioning, he stonewalled. And he lied – lied – LIED about nearly everything.

And the result of much of this arrogance? Court challenges. Challenges that will likely take more time to settle than he has in his current presidential term. And interminable hearings.

In other words, nothing!

And that’s why Pelosi must change her mind and begin impeachment proceedings, regardless of whether the Senate will or won’t follow with the required trial.

Much of the American public looks at House Democrat inaction as weakness or fear of Trump. There’s even an open division in the caucus between those wanting to move forward and those who want to wait. More hearings. More testimony. More extended court cases.

Trump is trashing not only the institutions of our government but also doing extreme damage to our international obligations and relationships. The President of the United States of America is not even welcome in several countries. He’s abrogated treaties of trade and security. He’s forced previously friendly trading partners to look to Russia and China for their needs. He’s crippled whole sections of our economy with tariffs and has undercut much of our agricultural system. Now, he’s flirting with getting this nation into yet another Mideast war.

These – and many other – actions have literally gone unchallenged and unchecked. As a result, when coupled with congressional inaction to hold him accountable, many of us are wondering what it will take to get our elected representatives – one third of the foundation of our government – to say “ENOUGH!”

And that’s where my Trump weariness comes in.

Our Constitution is the bedrock for our system of checks and balances – executive, legislative and judicial. Each branch is literally required to keep tabs on the other two. When the system gets out-of-balance, either or both of the other entities have not only the right but an obligation to take action to restore that balance.

I completely understand the Speaker’s reluctance to begin proceedings and can appreciate her political instincts. But, if corrective action to restore constitutional balance doesn’t begin soon, this nation will suffer serious and long-lasting damage.

The worst thing – the most dangerous thing – we citizens can do, at the moment, is become numb to Trump – become tired of his dictatorial presidency – become unwilling to stay informed of what’s going on.

I fear, if Congress doesn’t begin proceedings now, and if we simply have more and more hearings while waiting for courts to take action, conditions in the White House will worsen. The Trump-sponsored damage will continue to mount.

So, excuse me. I’ve got to keep up.

Verbal ignorance

Author: admin

There’s a word being tossed around in politics and the media lately. You see and hear it a lot. Trouble is, when most often used these days, that use is almost always wrong.

As Inigo Montoya said in “The Princess Bride,” “I do not think that word means what you think it means.”

The word is treason.

It’s usually hurled at someone or some political act. Treason. Treasonous. Or any derivation thereof.

Right here, right now, let’s get it straight.

My good ol’ Webster’s puts it this way: “The offense of attempting by overt acts to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance or to kill or personally injure the sovereign or the sovereign’s family.”

Or, if you’d rather, let’s take it straight from the U.S. Constitution. Article III, Section 3: “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.” Period.

Unless you can define the actions of anyone who’s been in the news over the last couple of years, using those two definitions of treasonable acts, the word doesn’t apply. Again, period!

The demagogue in the White House – our White House – throws the word “treason” around to apply to almost anything he doesn’t like. His senior staff – of disreputable character – applies the word regularly, most often to Democrats.

While it’s easy – and accurate – to fault politicians for their improper use of the word, it’s most offensive when used by someone in the national media.

Treason is serious business. Too much of what passes for politics these days isn’t always as serious. We’ve bastardized so much of our language and dangerously cheapened meanings of important, descriptive words so someone tosses out “treason” to describe someone else’s words or actions when it can’t possibly apply.

Our dysfunctional President is the worst offender. He’s used the word “treason” in an attempt to embarrass or demean any Democrat-of-the-moment or Robert Mueller, Jeff Sessions and dozens of miscreants on his list of “incorrigibles” and “traitors.”

In my four score lifetime, there were three prominent people whose actions could legitimately be described as treasonous to this nation Two were Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, executed in the ‘50’s for spying.
The other was a woman nicknamed “Tokyo Rose” who was convicted of making propaganda broadcasts to American servicemen in the Pacific during World War II.

Her real name was Iva Toguri D’Aquino. Though several Japanese women made broadcasts using the name “Toyko Rose,” Toguri was the only one brought to trial in this country. Gerald Ford pardoned her in 1977.

There’s a reason our miscreant president used the word “treason.” He has no idea what the word means. If he did, he’d stop using it. But, to him, it’s just a word that sounds serious and demeaning so he babbles away. And the media goes along.

Seems to me, if your profession is to speak or write the English language, you damn-well better know how to use it.

The Buckeye census scam

Author: admin

Reading endless statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau can be pretty boring. I get most of the government output because, once in a while, there’s a story hidden in the numbers.

So it is with “The Buckeye scam” as I call it..

We live in an Arizona community of retired folks numbering about 90,000. Some 15 miles away to our Southeast is Phoenix, county seat for Maricopa County, fastest growing county in the country. About 20 miles Southwest of us is Buckeye, Arizona, fastest growing city in the country. So says the Bureau.

But, if you know the landscape hereabouts, you’ll discover the real Buckeye growth story isn’t in the numbers. It’s really in the local government overreach. And the mileage.

Buckeye is a small, old, relatively isolated town. A couple of big farm equipment dealers, a fertilizer plant and a few large farms break up the flat desert landscape. Lots of very old, one-story houses, many without air conditioning and a lot of ’em pretty rundown. Also, lots of small farm worker houses. The town site has maybe 4,000 people. Maybe.

But, 18 nearly barren miles due North is Verrado, a relatively new, largely self-contained subdivision of about 17,000 people surrounded by desert. Down the center, a lush, multi-lane main drag with large eucalyptus trees on both sides and a lot of very green grass with many hundreds of floral plantings. None of which were there before the place was built. A manmade oasis.

Verrado central area – such as it is – is much like an old Mexican town with a tree-covered main square and small, mostly windowless shops behind white stucco walls on about half a block. Boutique shopping. No neon signs. Narrow residential streets with old replica lighting.

Main part of the village is row after row of – what else – two and three-story row houses. Small, lush, green lawns and more flowers and shrubs, many not native to Arizona. No garages can be seen. Golf carts parked everywhere. And, of course, a beautifully-kept, championship golf course with manicured greens and fairways.

About a mile away is the rest of Verrado. Mostly multi-story, single family houses on neatly kept, narrow streets. A mile East is the new high school, a huge, multi-story, brick edifice surrounded by several types of sports fields with, again, lush green grass.

That’s Verrado.

Now, 33 barren, desert miles due North of Buckeye (remember Buckeye?) Dell Webb’s Sun City Festival, a fast-growing, somewhat isolated community of about 27,000. Single-family housing on the East side of the main drag and 55+ retired on the West side. Well-kept golf courses on the retired side with water amenities and lots of palm trees. A few years ago, nothing there. Not one thing. Just more seemingly endless, flat, cactus-covered desert. Now, seemingly endless construction

No commercial businesses in Festival. Just a Shell station near the main entrance. It’s 12 long desert miles to the nearest civilization for groceries, health care and other shopping. And, again 33 desert miles from Buckeye.

“So what,” you ask? “What’s your point, Rainey?”

The point is this. All of the above – all of it – is Buckeye, Arizona. Go back and look at the mileage distances again. And, the old City of Buckeye furnishes no discernable services i.e. water, sewer, fire, law enforcement. In fact, Buckeye has no law enforcement!

From downtown Buckeye to Verrado is 18 miles North. And to Festival, another 15 miles due North above Verrado. All flat, barren desert between. But, it’s all the “city” of Buckeye!

Suppose you live in Pocatello, Idaho. You decide to annex like Buckeye has. Well, you go South to Lava Hot Springs, and Inkom, North to Blackfoot, West to Arco, Aberdeen and American Falls. Now you’ve got Pocatello – “fastest growing city” in Idaho.

Or, maybe you live in Forrest Grove, Oregon. Again, your city council decides to annex Carleton, McMinville, Wilsonville, Kaiser, Dallas and Woodburn out near I-5. “Fastest growing city” in Oregon.

That’s our Buckeye! The U.S. Census Bureau calls it “the fastest growing city in America.”

Around these parts, Stranger, we call it, “the Buckeye fraud.”