Monday, May 18, 2020

When “hate” is a good thing: Thinking about Obama’s legacy…

Too many people vote for novelty – to get something “different.”  In the case of Obama, it was like voting for the novel virus.  The consequences were unpredictable, destructive and deadly.  Don’t you “hate” the virus?

Most people younger than the Boomer generation ignorantly voted for novelty, something “cool”, “edgy.”  That is exactly what the following article is all about and why it is all “hate worthy.”  And Obama’s viral legacy lives on…

From The American Spectator

A Time to Hate

It’s not too late.


May 11, 2020, 1:02 PM

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to guard, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.
— Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) 3:1-8

Through eight years, I accepted the rules of the game. Obama was president. He won fair and square because the Republicans serially put up two milquetoast opponents who were incapable of offering a vision or articulating a message that inspired. John McCain had been an American wartime hero who stood by his men, refused early release, and withstood torture in the “Hanoi Hilton” 40 years earlier. But he had no business running for a presidency two generations later for which he was not prepared to fight and for which he had no vision. And then came Mitt Romney, his etch-a-sketch candidacy, his binders full of women, and his Romneycare, which served as the model for the Obamacare and which was the single most galvanizing issue in 2012 for Republican conservatives. In order to throw out Obamacare, the Republican Party offered us conservatives … what, Romneycare? Tough for us conservatives to sing in that tabernacle choir.

NYT Edit Board Rips Obama Over NSA Spying - Business Insider

I accepted Obama. I never articulated his first name, and I never called him “president,” but I accepted the results and accepted that this Pretender was our country’s lawfully elected chief executive. I watched his arrogance, the unctuous way he carried himself literally with his nose up, the way he never held a railing while walking a stairway because he was too cool, the kinds of human dreck he regularly invited as his White House guests, and I accepted it all with the soft whisper, “This, too, shall pass.” I watched the Corrupt Journalist Corps idolize him, crown him a king, admire him as a messiah and a deity, and I accepted the milieu. This, too, in time would pass. It meant living through eight years of the deepest public corruption. Lois Lerner stealing an election by leveraging the awesome power of the Internal Revenue Service to close down legitimate conservative political groups. Eric Holder — the nobleman who urged people to kick enemies — bringing lawlessness and corruption into the Justice Department, even approving the “Fast and Furious” idea of releasing lethal weapons to Mexican drug lords in the cockamamie scheme to find out how they access and move their weapons. Glenn Beck exposed Obama’s Maoist communications director, Anita Dunn, who walked children through the White House. There was ACORN. Just one corruption after another.

I hate that Donald Trump never was given a chance to be President of the United States for even one day’s honeymoon.

Amid my speeches and writings throughout the Wasted Obama Decade, I never published a piece aimed at bringing down Obama before his term was up. He won. Although he is despicable beyond words, the rules of our game, as set forth in our precious Constitution, made him our president. That meant Americans would die needlessly because we had a commander in chief who was a Pretender and an Incompetent. But he won fair and square. So ISIS grew from a small terror band to a caliphate. ISIS-inspired terror attacks occurred in our homeland. Western Europe sustained terrible deadly attacks. Our American economy went nowhere. We micturated half a billion dollars down a toilet with Solyndra while trying to close down our energy sector, attacking the genius of our hydraulic fracturing, obstructing our oil exploration, blocking the construction of new pipelines that offered even more oil and more thousands of jobs. Instead, we got shovel-ready jobs that were not ready but rather were chummy payoffs to union heads and other political insiders. We got windmills suitable for blowhards. We got Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State and Benghazi as testimonial to her vision. We got Susan Rice, an idiot, raised paradoxically to head of national security after spending a day lying on five television stations about Benghazi and later going on to describe Bowe Bergdahl, a coward and deserter, as a hero who had served with honor and distinction. We got Loretta Lynch, who some thought would clean up Holder’s corruption of Justice, only to find that she ended up in bed with the Clintons at the height of the probe of Hillary’s corruption. We saw the world’s worst murderers freed from Gitmo so that they could rejoin the war against America.

And yet I accepted it all. Because if there are only two main parties in this country, and if the Republican RINOs refuse repeatedly to nominate a bona fide conservative who truly reflects the will of the rank-and-file voters whose ballots send them to Washington, then we are left with a Pretender like Obama, and he won fair and square.

The waters did not stop rising on Obama’s watch. The Earth was not healed. On his watch, a country that finally had healed itself from the shame and scourge of imposing slavery on human beings more than a century earlier, a country that had atoned and that had created and institutionalized a new social infrastructure by which people no longer were denied because of their skin color or religion — a country that reflected that healing by electing a Black man president despite his manifest lack of personal achievement, close ties with an organized-crime felon, and questionable biography — suddenly erupted into a new era of racial bitterness. Michael Brown and Ferguson aflame amid the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” lie promoted by Obama and by Eric Holder but shot down by a Missouri grand jury. Freddie Gray and Baltimore aflame followed by a series of outright judicial exonerations handed down by a Black judge who saw that every accused cop had acted properly and lawfully. A lowlife killed by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida, a thug whom Obama told us would have been the likes of his own son if he had had a son. Eight years of racial divide, social division aimed at tearing us up as a color-blind and religion-blind American People, just to promote electoral successes.

And yet I accepted that Obama had won. No derangement syndrome for me. It was what it was. As a New York Mets fan from their founding in 1962, I understood what it was to wait patiently and to endure eight years of unmitigated disaster. As a boy, I waited then, and then came Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, and Nolan Ryan. As an adult I waited. And then came Donald Trump and Mike Pence.

When the Mets finally took it all in 1969, the other teams accepted the results. They lost gracefully. Now it was the Mets’ turn, and they had won it fair and square. But these past three years have been something different. Trump and Pence won fair and square. But there was no grace. Rather, there was instant character assassination, instant war, instant denial. Advertisements urging electors to violate their Electoral College oaths. Fabrications of collusion with Putin. Investigations that hamstrung a presidency. Lies and innuendoes leaked and published by the unindicted co-conspirators we call the “mainstream media.” A never-ending hunt to find scandals and Trump accusers: a bimbo who pole-danced at bars, her lawyer who now dances behind bars, another crooked lawyer who tape-recorded his own clients and now is locked up, disbarred from the Bar. One cartoon character after another.

As a rabbi of 40 years and a person who believes that most people have the potential for goodness, and who tries to find the good even in people who disappoint until they absolutely close off the possibility of goodness being discovered within them, I now have learned to hate.

The Bible certainly does not encourage hate. “Do not hate your brother in your heart. [If he does wrong, go ahead and] Rebuke your compatriot, but do not sin because of him” (Leviticus 19:17). “Do not seek revenge, and do not bear a grudge against the children of your people. And you shall love your neighbor as you love yourself” (Leviticus 19:18). But the Bible acknowledges the existence of viciousness and cruelty, and it demands of decent people that we not sit on the fence in the face of evil: “Those who love G-d hate evil” (Psalm 97:10). King Solomon laid it out best in that magnificently poetic third chapter of Ecclesiastes, which inspired not only The Byrds but even Pete Seeger and Judy Collins.

Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice, and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue. There is a time to hate.

I have come deeply to hate. I hate that Donald Trump never was given a chance to be president of the United States for even one day’s honeymoon. I hate that, long before he won the presidency — fair and square — corrupt crooks and criminals in the United States Department of Justice, its Federal Bureau of Investigation, were actively plotting to take him down. I hate that there are so few outlets in the media that give voice to condemn the criminality and corruption that broke every accepted societal norm by which we play the game. I hate that Obama was in on it, yet continues to pontificate on what is just and on what threatens freedom.

I hate that they all keep getting away with it. Every single one of them gets away with it. There is absolutely no price to be paid on the left for perjury, for conspiracy to overturn a legitimate election, for treason.

Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn may or may not be a great American hero. Yes, he has the medals and the military career for which we all say, “Thank you for your service.” But so did John McCain, and so does that Vindman guy. OK, so thank you for your service. Absolutely. But Michael Flynn, whether a hero or simply, merely just a lifelong patriot who has devoted his entire adult life to the protection and betterment of the United States, wanted to serve his country. So he served honorably in the military under Obama as commander in chief. He accepted the chain of command. And then, after his active military service, he stepped forward to participate politically under Trump.

Lt. Gen. Flynn never deserved what was done to him. He was targeted for destruction by criminals and crooks in the FBI. They set out to destroy him. The FBI is not allowed to bother law-abiding people like you and me, to set us up, and to induce us to commit a crime. They are permitted to pursue criminal investigations only when they have a predicate before them. In the case of Flynn, they had in their possession a complete recording and transcript of his phone call with Sergey Kislyak. Yet they interviewed him and asked him to tell them what was said during the call. The Bureau of Investigation was not investigating; they already knew the answer. Rather, they were setting him up to speak a falsehood, to commit the crime of lying to the FBI, an act whose criminal dimensions he did not appreciate as a layman. They dissuaded him from having an attorney at the interview so he would slip into the trap. A competent attorney would have protected him. Frankly, a competent attorney would have killed the interview in the first place or would have wrangled terms that would have negated its purpose, much as Hillary did.

For each question, even if such an interview ever would have happened, an attorney like me would have been saying, alternating between my client and his interrogator: “Lieutenant General, you do not have to answer that question. Go ahead, what’s the next question?” Or “Lieutenant General, please wait a moment. What is the purpose of this question? What exactly are you asking?” Or “My client, the Lieutenant General, is delighted he could give you eight minutes of his valuable time today. If you want to ask him any more questions along these lines, send us a subpoena. We will study it and let you know our thoughts.”

They took advantage of a good man who suddenly found himself combating in a different kind of military theater outside his field of expertise. He knew the jungles of Afghanistan, not the jungles of the Justice Department in Washington. The slime dregs of Justice, the Peter Strzoks and Andrew McCabes of the FBI, knew this. They had the lieutenant general on their terrain. He never should have been questioned about the call. He never should have been sucked into an interview without an attorney present. He never should have been lulled into what he said to the FBI.

Donald Trump has been the chief executive of this country for more than three years, and he has proven to be a great president in so many ways, but he sadly has proven incapable of cleaning the swamp. He at least identified the swamp’s existence, and he is fighting its effort to swallow him within its muck. But he has proven that, despite the glorious slogan he inspired, he cannot drain it. Not one single slime in the swamp has been brought to justice.

There is something so evil in a society that tolerates a dual standard of justice, dual standards of everything. On the one hand, we political conservatives harbor profoundly deep feelings, but we do not destroy people’s lives based on abstract politics. Yes, we oppose them and expose them, and we hope that contemporary society and history judge them for the evil they represent. But we do not destroy them in their lives. They get away with everything. Hillary Clinton spoliated 33,000 emails amid a federal probe, a federal crime that always ends up with prison time — but not for her. It is a federal crime to lie under oath to Congress. Comey, Clapper, Brennan — how have they all avoided prison time? Strzok, Page, the whole bunch of them? Adam Schiff. The outliers on the Mueller team. Not one single slime among them in the swamp has been brought to justice.

These animals destroyed the life of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. They drove him into such financial ruin that he had to sell his home to pay his legal bills. They went after a good boy, Nick Sandmann, and they cruelly made him into the face of racism. His own Catholic diocese in eastern Kentucky sold him out and sold out all the boys who stood with him that fateful day in Washington, D.C., when he was harassed by a messed-up Indian with a drum. And they did everything they could to destroy Brett Kavanaugh, a good man, a family man, a man who has devoted time throughout his life to his church and to the need. They endeavored through outright perjury to destroy him. The perjurers all got away with it. Name one single perjurer against Justice Kavanaugh who ever was brought to justice by Charles Grassley or Lindsey Graham of the Senate Judicial Committee.

The liars destroy with impunity because they know they always will get away with it. Republicans watch the character assassination and then go on Sean Hannity to sound brave for five minutes. “These people will pay a steep price, Sean.” “I won’t let them get away with it, Sean.” “Let not your heart be troubled, Sean.” “We will investigate every crime and every perjury, Sean.” Three years of hearing this from Paul Ryan, Reince Priebus, Trey Gowdy, Charles Grassley, Lindsey Graham, Rudy Giuliani, Jason Chaffetz, Kevin McCarthy. Well, Fox News Alert: They all got away with it. Comey. Brennan. Clapper. Blasey Ford. Schiff. Hillary. Strzok. Page. McCabe.

If the Left truly believed in the truth of the slogans they chanted in their failed effort to destroy Justice Kavanaugh, does anyone truly believe that Biden still would be standing today? Does anyone truly believe that Sonia Sotomayor could not have been completely destroyed at the time of her SCOTUS nomination if she were conservative? If the media were not a division of the Democrat Party, does anyone doubt that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo today would have been forced from office like his immediate predecessors, Eliot Spitzer and David Paterson, if only for presiding over so extraordinary a health catastrophe that his one state accounts for half the coronavirus illnesses and deaths in the whole country? Cuomo ordered nursing homes in his state to admit coronavirus-infected seniors into facilities that were woefully unprepared to handle the medical ramifications, and that order singularly caused mass death. And yet the same media that seek any and every angle to blame Trump for not wearing a mask lionize Cuomo, who not only should wear a mask but also should change his fingerprints, undergo plastic surgery to reconfigure his appearance, and hide for dear life in some El Chapo cave from the children and grandchildren left behind by the more than 5,000 defenseless seniors whom he has martyred so far on the altar of Democrat liberalism.

There is a time to love and a time to hate. This is a time to hate.

Obama awards Biden Presidential Medal of Freedom

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

COVID: A retrospective and forecast…

It’s time for me to sort out a “where we’ve been”, a “where we are”, and a “where we will be” review of recent events related to COVID-19 (aka CCP virus, Wuhan flu).

My February 23, 2020 predictions  are bulleted; the actual outcome is in bold type.

  • When will this virus be declared a “pandemic” by the World Health Organization (WHO)?  Prior to March 1, 2020. (90%)

WHO declared pandemic on March 11, weeks after most of the medical community believed appropriate.  Most commentators  including the US government believe the WHO delayed their declaration because of  Chinese influence to allow the world wide spread to level the playing field for China.

  • When will total confirmed US cases exceed 1,000?  This is tricky because the US does not possess many reliable test kits.  So not much testing can be done.  It is certain that there will be many more infected people in the US than will be reported.  More HERE.   Prior to March 7. (70%)

The US exceeded 1,000 confirmed cases around March 13th.  US testing had a slow start due to initial faulty tests.  The true number of cases is not yet known despite massive testing.  The number of confirmed (tested) US cases as of May 12 is 1,342,594. Deaths attributed in whole or in part to COVID-19 are 80,000.  Assuming the number of cases is an accurate reflection of those infected, which it is not, the death rate is 6%.  It is likely that those infected are at least double the confirmed/tested cases, most asymptomatic, which would lower the death rate to below 3%.

Go to this site for live, updated comparisons:

  • When will the cases in the US warrant the first city to be under quarantine?   Prior to March 15. (80%)

“Under quarantine” and “lockdown” are loosely used words that mean similar things.  As well, there are many degrees of “lockdown.”  Very little was done in the US to mandate either lockdown or quarantine.  But the first date of some level of lockdown in US cities was around March 17th in San Francisco.

  • When will the first hospital in the US be reported to be overrun by virus patients due to lack of hospital capacity? Prior to March 15. (90%)

No hospital I am aware of was “overrun.”  There have been reports by liberal media of panicky and distraught nurses, but little in the way of anything that could be called “overrun.”  So I definitely missed that call.  Even the President was coerced by the governor of New York to provide extra ventilators and bed capacity.  These were provided by the thousands, but none were needed.

  • When will the outbreak be declared a “national emergency” in the US?  Before April 1, 2020.

Trump declared a “national emergency” on March 13th.

  • How will people in the US react to quarantine?  In the larger cities, unlike as shown in China, there will be looting and riots, by April 1. (90%)  There will not be anywhere near the degree of compliance to quarantine in the US as there was in China.  US citizens are more likely to disobey and rebel in both non-violent and violent ways. (95%)

I was wrong on the expectation of “looting and rioting” by April 1.  But it is true that there is not anywhere near the degree of enforcement of shut down orders suggestions as in China.  It is likely that our exceedingly high rate of confirmed/tested COVID cases is as much a result of our light-handed and in most cases non-existent enforcement as it is due to massive testing.  In areas where governors or mayors have enforced aspects of their declared shutdowns, there have been armed demonstrations and backlash reactions in the media.  I’ll modify my prediction of violent confrontations. Expect violent clashes in several cities by July.

  • China and nations of southeast Asia whose production and exports will be reduced by 70+% through at least Spring, manufacture the bulk of pharmaceuticals and consumer goods.  Consequently there will be supply shortages of masks, other medical supplies and equipment, medical personnel, hospital beds, large varieties of consumer goods and components for other manufacturing in the US.  Such shortages will become widespread before April 1 in many areas of the nation.  (80%)

While there were shortages of masks and related gear and pharmaceuticals through mid-April, this problem appears to be resolved, with millions of each item produced and delivered weekly.

  • When will we first observe a large number of people in shopping areas wear a medical or N95 mask?  Prior to April 15. (80%)

I missed this one by a couple of weeks for my area.  Most people in my low outbreak area were slow to adopt wearing of masks in public places.  I didn’t notice more than half the people wearing masks in public until late April.  However, in high outbreak areas, widespread mask wearing occurred prior to April 15th.

  • When will a good part of the US population decide to “self-quarantine?”  Prior to May 1. (80%)

This was about right.  Most areas were in some degree of self-quarantine half way through April.

  • The US  (and world) economy will be hit hard.  Many predict a worse hit than the “Great Recession of 2008”. (90%)

This is unfortunately the case.  Many are calling the “cure” (shutdown) worse than the disease. Comparisons are now being made with the Great Depression of the ‘30’s not merely with the “great recession of 2008.”  The bludgeoned economy will become the catalyst for social unrest.  The US stock market gyrates wildly with every new bit of news about cures or lack thereof, about the curve being flattened versus a resurgence being likely.  States, like Florida for example, have failed in providing timely unemployment benefits due to bureaucratic systems under-designed to accommodate such an unanticipated influx of unemployment assistance claims.

The Democrat Congress is now preparing another three trillion dollar pork relief package.  No doubt many socialist projects will be funded, including millions for NPR, the arts, abortion groups, and others.  And Trump will be forced to go along to avoid being the ogre.  This total of six billion dollar plus addition to our national deficit will have as yet unknow but guaranteed unpleasant consequences for our nation’s future.  Some predict a deflationary depression while others predict runaway inflation.  Maybe both.  First the deflationary depression, then by next year the beginning of runaway inflation.

We will see many more retail bankruptcies over the coming months.  Many consumers have developed new online shopping habits that may continue.  Meanwhile, brick and mortar retail establishments will have a more difficult time staying afloat.  More shopping malls will fail as anchors evaporate.  Conversion developers will transform those into mixed use office/retail centers.  But with new office work-from-home habits established, many companies will find it appropriate to downsize their office space.  So even office building occupancy may take a hit.

How quickly will our economy recover?  Much more slowly than first hoped and predicted.  All depends on two things:  How quickly a treatment or preventative is widely available and when the public believes the virus is no longer a dire threat so they feel comfortable resuming normal work and spending.  When will widespread “back to normal” celebrations be pronounced?  Going out on a limb:  Summer of 2021, but with greater than an 6% inflation rate (and climbing) in the process – if no war with China by then.