General Politics

2020 – Takeaways

The lessons learned from 2020 and the January 2021 Coda.

  1. Isolation is bad for society
  2. Mobs make terrible choices
  3. Humans are hypocrites
  4. Nothing is truly free
  5. Forgiveness is the only path forward

Leadership in Syria

President Obama had an interview with Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes

The following exchange struck me as amazingly delusional.

Steve Kroft: A year ago when we did this interview, there was some saber-rattling between the United States and Russia on the Ukrainian border. Now it’s also going on in Syria. You said a year ago that the United States– America leads. We’re the indispensible nation. Mr. Putin seems to be challenging that leadership.

President Barack Obama: In what way? Let– let’s think about this– let– let–

Steve Kroft: Well, he’s moved troops into Syria, for one. He’s got people on the ground. Two, the Russians are conducting military operations in the Middle East for the first time since World War II–

President Barack Obama: So that’s–

Steve Kroft: –bombing the people– that we are supporting.

President Barack Obama: So that’s leading, Steve? Let me ask you this question. When I came into office, Ukraine was governed by a corrupt ruler who was a stooge of Mr. Putin. Syria was Russia’s only ally in the region. And today, rather than being able to count on their support and maintain the base they had in Syria, which they’ve had for a long time, Mr. Putin now is devoting his own troops, his own military, just to barely hold together by a thread his sole ally. And in Ukraine–

Steve Kroft: He’s challenging your leadership, Mr. President. He’s challenging your leadership–

President Barack Obama: Well Steve, I got to tell you, if you think that running your economy into the ground and having to send troops in in order to prop up your only ally is leadership, then we’ve got a different definition of leadership. My definition of leadership would be leading on climate change, an international accord that potentially we’ll get in Paris. My definition of leadership is mobilizing the entire world community to make sure that Iran doesn’t get a nuclear weapon. And with respect to the Middle East, we’ve got a 60-country coalition that isn’t suddenly lining up around Russia’s strategy. To the contrary, they are arguing that, in fact, that strategy will not work.

The style of Russian President Vladimir Putin is certainly one that uses more force then politics, but it is leadership regardless. Denying this fundamental fact is incompetence.

Certainly it is not how President Obama would have chosen to led either in method or direction, but it is leadership. Russia is moving the United States out of the airspace and they are dictating their will. This is after the Annexation of Crimea and the ensuing proxy civil war in Ukraine.

I can accept someone who has different values or fundamental positions from me and how this influences their interpretation of events. Applying this to the question of leadership then you can argue it is poor leadership with costs that will not succeed in the end, but it is leadership none the less. This leadership is working right now.


Gun Control

Another gun shooting, another headline, another outcry, and ensuing debate about gun rights/gun control.

Here is the simple and clear way to get a legal gun free America in 5 easy steps.

That is what it will take if you want to do it legally, but instead we have a world of enforced political correctness and trying to convince the public to give away their rights. They prey on the fear and the heartache of those who see the loss of life and think change is the only way. Freedoms come with a cost and burden.

I certainly empathize with those who lost loved ones and those who question how someone could commit such evil, but I fundamentally cannot give up the principle that the 2nd amendment should be protected.

The rhetoric against it has shifted and changed over the years, but it categorically is dismissive or ignorant of the history of the founding of the United States of America.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

The Declaration of Independence details the abuses of the British monarchy to the American Colonies and despite the political efforts to address these issues they felt their only recourse was to declare their independence and fight a revolutionary war.

The founding fathers had noble intentions, but they were students of history and recognized change was the only constant. They built a government that could adjust and change, but tried to enshrine protections against the government abusing its citizens. They were not perfect and while they acknowledged issues such as slavery needed to be addressed they could not reach a consensus at the time of signing.

Public citizens (current definition) make up the Militia as needed and if such a time comes when a US government (Federal or State) is despotic and abusive to its citizens and political/legal efforts to address are unsuccessful then the right to revolt exists. Ultimately the contest then becomes one of a contest of might and force.  The US Revolution might have had justice and logic on its side, but if they could not win the war then it would not matter.  The United States Civil War was not lost by the South due to their logic and position on slavery, but due to the military might and power of industry. Belief in their position and swaying the support of third parties can be impacted by your reasoning, but ultimately it is the strategy and military might that decides who was right in the conflict.

I do not advocate a need for revolt today, despite the current litany of problems in our government, but I am not willing to give up my rights when I our descendants might need them in the future. I do this knowing that the risk is people will abuse their rights and hurt their fellow citizens at times. Sometimes the cost and burden of freedom is hard to bear and it can result in much mental and emotional anguish.

People argue that we are a civilized society and do not need guns. With public elections why would we need to worry about dictators?Have we learned nothing about Germany who had elected officials convert their country into the Nazi Regime which abused its own citizens and ultimately focused on the Jewish people by starting with disarmament?


Despite that being history we have current examples of expansionist actions of Russia, the religious caliphate of ISIS, and the largely peaceful revolution of Egypt turning into abuses and despotism. The human species fundamentally cannot learn from our history and we will eventually have another Dark Age period of culture and freedom. It is only a matter of time and I have no inclination it will occur during my own lifespan, but it is a guarantee we will falter as the sin of human arrogance or stupidity strikes. When the government fears the public then they ensure they have the consent of the governed. When the public fears the government then there is no freedom.




Planned Parenthood

With the litany of undercover videos coming out about Planned Parenthood I think I will discuss my philosophy on Abortion in general and the specifics of the discussion of fetal remains for research.

I think that at the moment of conception you have a unique genetic code of an individual. That genetic combination could potentially be the next Einstein or the next Hitler, but honestly I think the larger defining factor will be the nurturing of the child and their life experiences. That is where Life begins and an abortion could result in that unique genetic code ever being reached again.

Additionally I think that abortion should be avoided as much as possible through responsible family planning. So while I would advise against abortion as much as possible I recognize that is my personal opinion and that only goes as far as my own body.

A pregnant woman has different priorities and rights and could reach different decisions or philosophies. While I vehemently oppose the Roe v. Wade for how it was accomplished by creating rights out of thin air instead of the constitution the actual outcome of abortion being legal I can actually support. I believe that the decision is one that needs to be reached between the family and their doctor. If there was a severe situation such as rape, incest, or life threatening conditions. Each family might have a different outcome and some mothers might value the life of their child over their own and others feel the opposite.

So each family needs to find the medical practitioner that offers the choices they want to have available to them. However that medical practitioner should not have a financial benefit to influence your decisions where that decision could end in a life.

Planned Parenthood has certainly failed to avoid the perceived conflict of interest in the situation of Abortion. Despite a law making it illegal to profit from the remains of abortions they were so inept that they cannot properly document their fetal remains and accounting for the “refunding” of transporting the remains to researchers. The lack of competence convinces me that Planned Parenthood is unable to effectively implement a “Chinese Wall” to separate the medical advise to the patients with those who perform the abortions. Even if a such a separation existed if the individuals performing the abortion change their procedure at the risk of the patient in order to harvest viable organs from the fetal remains.

The conflict of interest is so compelling I can support the efforts to suspend funding to Planned Parenthood (temporarily) until they can be investigated. If the evidence proves they are illegally violating federal law then I would transition that support to permanently remove federal funding of Planned Parenthood. Though if that occurs I would support transitioning the funding they are receiving to other institutions that can follow the laws as written.

Conversely if the evidence shows there was not criminal action funding for non abortion activities could be restored if proper oversight keeps them separate. If Planned Parenthood actually commits to reforms to resolve this perception then with the proper oversight I could even see the funding restored, but their current public relations campaigns make this seem very unlikely.