Monthly Archives: March 2019

A Greater Danger To Pres. Trump

Since Friday I’ve been hearing a great deal about how the Mueller Report and/or the Barr Letter have eased, if not out right eliminated, any threat the Russian interference with the 2016 elections has for Trump or the GOP. I would beg to differ.

First let’s assume that the Mueller Report does clear the Trump Presidential campaign of any knowing cooperation with the Russians. Next lets also assume it show that no one in the campaign did anything that can be said to be obstruction of justice (this is a big assumption as some of the people involved in the campaign actually did do things publicly). This still doe not mean that the Report does not contain anything damaging to Pres. Trump, his family, his associates, or the GOP in general. What I’d like to suggest is that the Mueller Report contains evidence proving that some, if not all, of the GOP or the Trump group were and are “useful idiots”. (See )

Being seen as a Useful Idiot is a bigger danger to both the Trump Presidency and to the GOP than showing a few people in the Trump Campaign and/or Presidency knowingly cooperated with the Russian effort for a. Very simple reason. If they had, they could be ostracized as “bad” people who are not like everyone else in the party or administration. But being show to be Useful Idiots can and will taint both the Administration and the GOP as a whole.

Just consider this little ‘though Experiment ‘:

Cabinet member puts forth a ‘new’ and radical idea, say like defunding the Special Olympics. If the Mueller Report has show that a fair number of the Trump administration were co-opted as “Useful Idiots” by the Russians how can said Cabinet member defend themselves from the charge that they are still being used as “Useful Idiots” now?

Also, both administrations and political parties can survive and recover from corruption and/or criminal charges, even ones that have been proven true. What they can not survive is being shown to be both stupid and a laughingstock. If you don’t think the GOP isn’t worried about this just look at some of the hysteria going on in the Houes of Repressives right now. Look at what the Administration is doing now, like the No-plan plan to replace the ACA once the courts remove it. Or look at just what the Administration is doing about the massive flooding in the mid-west.

It is like one of my professors said “politicians can weather almost anything but being shown to being stupid”. I have said for many years that “In politics, stupidity is the only capital crime.”

Why the Barr Letter is not Sufficient

Or why I want to see the Mueller Report

I think it has been sufficient amount of time since both the Mueller Report and the Barr Letter to put forth my views. I feel that the American people need to see as much of the Mueller report as possible. I think that the part of the report on just what the Russians did during the 2016 election is the most important part. The part about obstruction of justice, much less so. Why you ask?

Simple, AG Barr holds the view that the President of the United States, by definition, can not ‘Obstruct Jutice’. Given this view, Pres. Trump could come out today and say “yes, I wanted to prevent X from investigating/charging/etc. There for I’m directing all government agencies involved to ignore all activities of X”. An this would not be obstruction of justice. Period, Stop, Close Quotes. Therefor until the files of the Mueller investigation are made available, including any classified or Grand Jury documents are turned over to the appropriate House Committee(s) we, the American people need to just wait till 2020 when we can take action.

I am much more concerned with the activities of both the Russian Government and it nongovernmental interments in our 2016 election. We need to know not only exactly what they did but also how they did it. This needs a complete and through investigation, which, right now, I do not think we have. The Mueller investigation was tightly limited in its scope and until I see just what they did and how they did it I will not accept that the investigation is complete. If we, and by we I mean at least the House of Representatives, do not see all of the Russian interference with the 2016 election we will not know if a special commission is needed. Nor will we know if the Trump administration is taking the appropriate actions to counter any further actions by the Russians. Shoot – we won’t even know if any of the several states are taking the correct actions.

So, now we wait and see who does what when. As for me I’m going to do what ever I can to motivate the A.G. And the Congress to turn over to the Congress the complete, un redacted Mueller report. What about You?

Ending the Electoral College

Constitution of the United States of America

For the past several weeks we have been hearing about getting ride of the Electoral College. This is not going to happen. Why do I say that so emphatically? With such certainty? Easily I know both why we have the Electoral College and just how hard it is to amend the Constitution. Let’s start with the hard and go to the why.

First, to amend the Constitution (see Article V) you need to get 2/3 of both houses of congress (292 in the House and 67 in the Senate) to agree to the amendment. Not easy to do. Don’t believe me just look into the history of the effort to repeal Prohibition, something much easier for people to understand. Next you need to get 2/3 (34) of the States to agree to the amendment. Just think about it for a moment, you are asking the 17 of the to give up that which makes their votes significant. You are asking them to accept the tyranny of the populous (read big) states.

So that is the hard, now the why. Why did we create the Electoral College in the first place? We did it because the low population states, states as different as South Carolina and New Hampshire. States who have only their small size in common. They were concerned that Pennsylvania, New York, and Virginia could elect the president with just a little help from states like Massachusetts and New Jersey.

Additionally the writers of the Constitution were quite concerned about rule of the mob. They wanted some way to check the popular vote when it might select a demagogue. Except for state law Electors are free to vote for who ever they want. Even someone who was not even on the ballot. This have never been done but it is possible.

So, what can we do? Right now there is a movement to get the several States to pass a law that directs their Electors to vote for who ever wins the majority of popular vote nation wide. I do not agree with this just on principle. I do not like, fundamentally, ‘winner take all’ elections. I recommend a law that would proportion a state’s elector votes. This would still keep some protection for the small states while eliminating most of the problem we have now.

A Less than Rosy view of a Confederate Victory

Confederate Flag On Fire

For many years I have loved reading a form of Historical/Science fiction known as Alt-history. One of the more common themes is the “What if the South had won the American Civil War?” So far I have yet to read any that don’t show a Confederacy that is both economically and politically viable. My thought here is why?

I know that the authors of the story start out with the story idea and then work backwards to change history, but why always a Rosy or at least successful Confederacy? Why not a failed Confederacy? I ask this especially with the rash of post-apocalyptic story now being written. It is not as if it wouldn’t make for a great background.

Let’s just take a look at the problem a Confederacy winning would face. First is their own construction which give tacit, if not dejur, approval of a State leaving the Confederacy. Once the issue of abolition has been removed the issues separating the border slave states from the Plantation slave states. This problem has been touch one at least one ‘what-if’ (see “If the South had won the Civil war” by MacKinlay Kantor) where Texas leave the Confederacy. Assuming the maximum size of the Confederacy, giving them Kentucky, Maryland and Missouri, I can see situations where one or more stares would leave the Confederacy.

Let’s move on to some of the problems that would face the CSA in the years following the end of the war to 1899. First and most recognized problem, even by the Planters of the time, is that both Cotton and Tobacco, the two cash crops that supported the southern economy, are very had on the land. Something the city Dwellers of the 21st century may not no is that there were no chemical fertilizers in the late 19th century. Once the land was worn out growing Cotten or tobacco all it might be good for is follow grazing land. An not very good grazing land at that. Don’t take my word for it, read up on the economic history of the old south in the latter half of the 19th century.

Now lets add in something else, the blights. The old south in our timeline suffered both the Cotton blight and the tobacco blight. These are just singleton bights either both cotton and tobacco suffered from both disease and insect bights. So now we get to the biggest problem economics for the south. When your agriculturally based economy falters what do you do with all those slave mouths you need to feed?

Let’s back here for just a moment and talk about the effect on slavery wining the civil war will have the ‘peculiar’ institution. Most just see the end to threat of abolition but lots more could happen. Like the end of the Underground Railroad. Most would say this is a good thing for slavery in the south. But stop and think about this; with the end of the Underground Railroad those slave who are most likely to lead slave revolts are no longer being removed from the south by running away. They are stuck in the south with no hope of freedom except revolting. This also means that both the National government of the Confederacy and the State governments are going to need to keep enough men under arms to suppress slave revolts befor they start. That will not be cheap.

Now add in an economic crash with very bad farming condition, little food, and you have the makings for a wonderful apocalypse. What do you do when you have a total glut on the market for slaves. Take a look at just how much of the wealth the Confederate States had tied up in slaves. Some estimates show a ‘prime’ field hand would go for $900+ gold. Now just think, what happens when you can’t give away a slave, that they are worth nothing, or just $100 (paper)?

Unlike live stock in this situation you just can’t kill them. You could try, but it would have to be done right or the slaves facing certain death or possible death revolting. Maybe the Confederacy might set up ‘colonization’ camp for “freed” slaves like the Nazi resettlement camps in Poland? Wouldn’t that make a dark world.

I would like to leave you with one more dark idea before I go. Imagine, if you will, a post 1900 America where all of the sites have either been killed or driven out of the Confederacy. That it is now a country based on agricultural economy, but working hard to industrialize, that like Israel today, welcomes any black but treats all whites as the deadliest of enemies. Say it is 1914. Which side of the Great War will both the USA and the CSA come in on? Both have good reason to hate and despise both Britain and France for their support of the ‘old’ white Confederacy.

Now, just why don’t we see stories like this? I don’t know. And before you say “Well if it is such a good idea, why don’t you write it?” I will just say this, when it comes to writing fiction “I suck big time”. My only thought on why we don’t have dark south winning is the massive influence on our thinking of the “Myth of the Lost Cause”. This myth has totally kept anyone from think about all of the flaws the antebellum south. It has papered over all of the fault lines in its culture so we find it hard to think about them. But they were there.

So, consider if you will……..

Some Thoughts on Impeachment

I am Back! Sorry to be absent for so long, no excuses I just didn’t feel like writing when I didn’t have much to say.

Before I start let me point out that I do not like/approve/support in anyway Pres. Donald J. Trump. I have disliked him long before he came down the ‘gold’ escalator. Mostly I disliked him because I saw too much of my Grandmother ‘S’ who suffered from the same mental disorder. So on with my thoughts on impeachment.

At this time I do not support the Impeachment of Pres. Trump at this time. My reasoning is simple, the 2020 is just about 20 months away and Impeachment takes a long time. Don’t be leave me, just look how long it took to impeach both Nixon and/or Clinton. In both cases the investigation to the House passing the Impeachment took almost as many months as we have left till the election. If the sole purpose of Impeachment is to remove from office Pres. Trump it is a great waste of time. It also could lead us into even bigger problem. Could an Impeached President be elected to the Presidency in a later election.

Thought Experiment:

It is September 2020 and the Senate votes conviction of Donald J Trump. On 3 November 2020 Donald J Trump is re-elected President. Now what? Do we have to go thru the whole Impeachment process once more? Do we hope (and pray) the Electoral College has the good since not to elect him President?

Some will say this is far fetched. I agree but in October 2016 Trump wining the election was far fetched. As was the blatant influence of our election by Russia. I keep remembering what my statistics professor kept telling us…”Low probably doesn’t mean No probably.” So when dealing with Pres. Trump we should always remember November 2016.