STEVE BANNON: GOING, GOING, GONE

Not being a follower of Breitbart News, I was unfamiliar with the name Stephen K. Bannon. When he joined the Trump campaign, my curiosity was aroused. First impression: sloppy appearance and extremely polarizing.

As I learned more—former Navy, Harvard Law, successful Goldman Sachs trader, Hollywood movie producer—I thought with that background how bad can he be and decided to keep an open mind. Then damaging leaks from the White House and negative comments about colleagues were attributed to Steve. Not good!

Did My Mom Have "White Priviledge"?

An article I read recently “ Did My Mom Have ‘White Privilege’?” (WSJ) described the author’s young immigrant mother who arrived at Ellis Island in 1911 with her parents from a small village in Italy. Their story reminded me of the message on the Statue of Liberty by Emma Lazarus, which is so often quoted by immigration activists: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breath free. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” This family and others like them

ELECTION THOUGHTS

After recent revelations of tapes, accusations, and leaked emails, I feel considerable disappointment. Not particularly because of Donald Trump’s lewd comments and supposed actions. I haven’t associated with many rich, powerful, ego-driven men. But I have been close enough to know this kind of stuff goes on—if you catch my drift. The last I noticed, Donald Trump is not running as a social conservative candidate.

If I may quote Heather Mac Donald in the Wall Street Journal (Oct 11, “Notable & Quotable”) she says it all about liberal hypocrites and their selective outrage:

“Now why might it be that men regard women as sex objects? Surely the ravenous purchase by females of stiletto heels, push-up bras, butt-hugging mini-skirts, plunging necklines, false eyelashes, hair extensions, breast implants, butt implants, lip implants, and mascara, rouge, and lipstick to the tune of billions a year has nothing to do with it. Females would never ever exploit their sexuality to seek attention from men.”

To the women claiming Donald Trump “groped” them 20 or 30 years ago—I’m asking, when you called your “special” friend to confide the event, were you complaining or bragging?

Administration Wages War on For-Profit Education

Remember 19th century “Robber Barons” who monopolized the railroad, steel, and oil industries as they were developing? These tycoons ruthlessly crushed their smaller competitors and amassed great wealth.

But are you aware that there are robber barons to this day? These modern power brokers are punishing selected industries through manipulating government regulations and rules and then acquiring wrecked companies at bargain-basement prices. A case in point is for-profit colleges.

Wasted Leverage and Reckless Delusions

Wasted Leverage and Reckless Delusions

By Steve Astrachan

Prior to the scheduled vote in Congress on the Iran Nuclear Agreement (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), I contacted my representative and asked him to vote against the measure. Unfortunately, when it came before Congress, members were denied the opportunity to express an opinion. Senate Democrats had garnered enough support to block a procedural vote against the JCPA with a filibuster, which ended all discussion.

In my view, some of the major problems with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) include:

(1) Iran is a member of the Joint Commission that oversees the compliance regimen. Thus, the Iranian regime can have an influence on the evaluation of its own compliance with the JCPOA. (Preamble and General Provisions, IX)

(2) Under the JCPOA Iran can make a complaint of non-compliance on other’s part and use that allegation as a basis to cease its own commitments under the JCPOA. (Dispute Resolution Mechanism, 36)

(3) The process for inspection of undeclared sites is too long. Although much discussion has centered on the 24-day notice period, that period itself begins only after a drawn out process of communication. Such provisions allow Iran more than adequate time to clean up any undeclared site that comes under suspicion. “Anywhere, anytime” inspections are a minimal and vital necessity to any process for controlling the Iranian strategic nuclear program. (Q. Access, 75, 76, 77, and 78)

OBAMANET SCAM

OBAMANET SCAM

Can you believe it? Our free, unfettered Internet is back to the “good old days” of basic black phones with rates so high only the wealthy called long-distance, when Ma Bell was regulated as a public utility by the FCC under the Communications Act of 1934.

Welcome to President Obama’s idea of fairness for the U.S. Internet. The FCC, which was supposedly an “independent” agency before Chairman Tom Wheeler was bullied into accepting the plan announced by President Obama in November that had been cooked up in secret by White House aides. The Commission on February 26 ruled that the Internet will now be regulated as a public utility. The Section of the 1934 Act being applied to the Internet contains 1000 regulations, and the FCC ruling is more than 300 pages long. Even though we don’t yet know the details (the ruling is still under wraps as this is written), Chairman Wheeler promises to “forbear” certain regulations, only ruling on what is “reasonable” and “just” as decided by Administration officials. He does not have the authority to speak for the future, and something is in all those pages of regulations. Washington lobbyists and lawyers will have a feast.

OBAMA-LIGHT

I am concerned that the Republicans may select an “Obama-light” candidate for president. Just like President Obama, the candidate I have in mind has a history of supporting BIG government. Just like Obama, this candidate voted against right-to-work laws. Just like Obama, this candidate panders to certain groups in seeking to divide the American people rather than bring all of us together (this candidate favors evangelicals, less-educated, blue-collar workers; Obama favors women, union workers, ethnic voters).

American Greed

Katz

Who knew American Greed referred to K-12 public school teacher and other public employee unions? Well, we all knew after reading my last blog, “Government Employees Owe Back Taxes—Top to Bottom.” (Oct. 2010; review for background information)

Update on Honduras Troubles

The Honduran constitutional crisis in 2009, perpetrated by then-President Manuel Zelaya, was not spotlighted by the media to the extent that unrest in Egypt has been, but it is just as enlightening about U.S. politics.(Is President Obama of the Opinion that Presidents are Above the Law?)

The burning question at the time asked why the United States was so eager to support Zelaya, who was attempting to become a lifetime dictator, instead of the Honduran people, who were desperately working to protect their democracy?

Housing vs Neighborhoods

When I was asked some years ago to write a piece about “housing,” I declined. I have a problem with the word itself. Or more precisely, I’m troubled by discussing housing outside the context of the other elements that comprise a complete neighborhood.

Words are powerful things; they can both define the present and predict the future. The world might be a very different place today if the term “housing” had never been invented. In the old days we had houses and we had neighborhoods, but housing as a concept barely existed until quite recently. (My dictionary shows the first recorded use of the term “housing project” in 1951.)