Thursday, January 9, 2020

Preserving the Constitution, Defending our Democracy, and Saving the Soul of Our Nation



Our founding fathers, the framers of our Constitution, conceived of Impeachment for far smaller violations than Donald J. Trumps has committed. Impeachment and removal of the president for “high crimes and misdemeanors” was conceived as a preemptive safeguard against a President who, by words and by deeds, has demonstrated an intent to ignore, even trample all over the Constitution in violation of the presidential oath of office.
Trump has boasted, “Then I have Article II, where I have the right to do whatever I want as president.” Trump’s erroneous proclamation about Article II was not unlike President Richard Nixon’s own counter-constitutional declaration following his resignation: “When the president does it,that means it is not illegal.” 
The truth is that we fought the Revolutionary War to overthrow the idea that the king can do no wrong. The framers of our Constitution feared presidential disloyalty to its separation of powers and checks and balances. Accordingly, they prescribed the exact wording of the presidential oath in Article II, section 1, clause 6: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of the president of the United States, and will to be best of my Ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
I am quoting Ralph Nader and Bruce Fein from their article, “Donald Trump’s Big Abuses of Power Demand a Big Impeachment” which appeared in the December 12th, 2019 issue of The Nation:
 “The urgency of preemptive impeachments of a president showing contempt for constitutional norms is far greater today than in 1789 when George Washington was inaugurated. Since then, the powers of the executive branch have grown greatly, and the potential damage caused by executive misconduct has spiked as well. Among other things, the president can now launch nuclear weapons vastly more powerful than the nuclear bombs that incinerated Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Entrenched dictatorships can shred health and safety protections, dispatch political opponents to dungeons—or worse.
When Washington was president, his cabinet and federal workforce were tiny. There was no standing army, in contrast to President Trump’s global multitrillion-dollar military-industrial-counterterrorism complex. Washington’s federal budget was minuscule, not the staggering $4.7 trillion projected for 2019. And in 1789, there was no ubiquitous administrative state, begotten by irresponsible delegations of legislative power and oversight which the president wields to benefit political friends and punish political adversaries. There was also no national security agency to conduct dragnet surveillance against the entire population.
If you’re skeptical of the prospect of preemptively impeaching Trump for claiming limitless presidential power, think of this analogy. Suppose a neighbor enters your living room. He proclaims he can pillage your house and murder its occupants with impunity, but that he will desist provisionally to see what happens. You would evict the neighbor immediately. By the same logic, it would be folly to risk calamity from a megalomaniac president who has made his grisly intentions known.”
Yet Trump has not only claimed limitless power he has acted on his erroneous claims:
He has expanded unconstitutional presidential wars inherited from his predecessors.
He has played the roles of prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner by sending US forces and drones to kill any person on the planet deemed a national security threat based on secret and unsubstantiated information.
He has spent money to build a wall along the border of Mexico with funds not appropriated for that purpose in violation of the Antideficiency Act.
He has stonewalled congressional oversight and defied congressional subpoenas.
He has appointed cabinet officials and revoked treaties without the consent of the Senate.
He has exploited the office of the presidency to enrich himself and his family.
He has deliberately failed to execute consumer, environmental, immigration, and other laws.
In conclusion, no President has ever taken such a destructive bulldozer to the very foundation of our Constitution and to our Democratic form of government. With that being said, I would hope that the members of the Senate will put the good of the country above their partisan politics and hold a fair Senate trial with witnesses to hold this tyrant accountable for his many abuses, crimes, and his obstruction of justice – to preserve our constitution, to protect our democracy and to save the soul of our nation. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Letting Kids be Kids



My children’s books are entertaining and educational for children. Each of my four books has a blog associated with the theme or subject matter of my books.
This period of time in our country can be a very scary for children and adults. Because of the increase of gun violence, racism, home-grown terrorist attacks, ICE raids that sadly separate immigrant families, devastating storms and natural disasters, daunting bullying, and all sorts of safety concerns that frighten children, it is important to call on parents  and teachers to take extra precaution to keep our young ones safe and to teach them how to be safe when they are not with their parents or other caregivers.
It is equally important that we do whatever we can to help children still be children, to try to have fun and enjoy themselves despite the fears that can tend to be overwhelming.
For this reason, I am introducing two gentlemen, Troy Harrington and Brian Thomas who have formed a small music production company called Bubba Yum Beatz. The company creates fun songs and music videos for children that will help them relax, enjoy life, and just have fun. They have also created a video that is a song for children that teaches about anti-bullying.
I am posting links to those Bubba Yum songs for your pleasure and to share with your children.


Troy Harrington and Brian Thomas of Bubble Yum Beatz

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6v_1FJDEfg   –  “Happy Dance”

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_RoC8F9wTaz4_UVnTJzwKA     –  Bubble Yum Beatz!  (YouTube Channel)


Educate and enjoy!


My children’s books are entertaining and educational for children. Each of my four books has a blog associated with the theme or subject matter of my books.
This period of time in our country can be a very scary for children and adults. Because of the increase of gun violence, racism, home-grown terrorist attacks, ICE raids that sadly separate immigrant families, devastating storms and natural disasters, daunting bullying, and all sorts of safety concerns that frighten children, it is important to call on parents  and teachers to take extra precaution to keep our young ones safe and to teach them how to be safe when they are not with their parents or other caregivers.
It is equally important that we do whatever we can to help children still be children, to try to have fun and enjoy themselves despite the fears that can tend to be overwhelming.
For this reason, I am introducing two gentlemen, Troy Harrington and Brian Thomas who have formed a small music production company called Bubba Yum Beatz. The company creates fun songs and music videos for children that will help them relax, enjoy life, and just have fun. They have also created a video that is a song for children that teaches about anti-bullying.
I am posting links to those Bubba Yum songs for your pleasure and to share with your children.


Troy Harrington and Brian Thomas of Bubble Yum Beatz

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6v_1FJDEfg   –  “Happy Dance”

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_RoC8F9wTaz4_UVnTJzwKA     –  Bubble Yum Beatz!  (YouTube Channel)


Educate and enjoy!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Attitudes on Aging: Perceptions on Aging Differ for Women and Men




A survey reports that women begin to feel old at the age of 29, and men don’t feel old until age 58. Attitudes on aging affect health as well.
Introduction:

 A spokesperson for a British-based funeral arrangement company reported that a study was done to determine the differing attitudes and views on aging between women and men. The survey, conducted by Avalon Funeral, found that women feel past their prime as early as the age of 29.  Men, by contrast, don’t feel as though they are “over the hill’ until the approximate age of 58.
 It was reported that one possible reason for men’s and women’s differing  perceptions on aging  could be the fact that society seems to value the attractiveness of a woman more so than that of a man.  

Attitudes about Aging
The apparent differing perceptions about aging could possibly impact a difference in men and women’s health status as well. An old saying, “You’re only as old as you feel”, apparently has some scientific merit to it according to a research study from Yale University and the National Institute on Aging.

 Studies also show that attitude about aging can be critical and impact health. In1968, surveys were taken of 386 men and women who were under age 50. The same group was studied four decades later. The men and women who had held the most negative stereotypes and perceptions about the aged were markedly more likely to have had heart attacks or strokes than those who had held more positive views about older people. Twenty-five percent of those with negative attitudes about aging had cardiovascular problems. This was a stark contrast to the thirteen percent of the participants with positive attitudes who suffered such cardiovascular events.

Perceptions on Aging for Men
Avalon Funeral Plans The study by the Avalon Funeral Plans determined that  two-thirds of men in the survey reported that they began to feel past their prime when they began having difficulties performing  sexually. The survey also found that 22% of men in the study reported that they began to feel old when they started noticing that music in bars and clubs was too loud.
Society plays a pivotal role in the differing perceptions on aging. Men, it seems, are less defined by their attractiveness than women are. Unfortunately, our society’s attitudes toward youth and beauty are much more forgiving of men than of women. Society doesn’t expect men to be as good looking and youthful as they age. Men are considered to look distinguished, rather than old, as they age. In addition, some men are more career oriented and such men don’t begin to feel old until they reach the age of retirement.

Perceptions on Aging for Women
Modern women feel past their prime when they no longer fit  the nearly impossible ideals imposed upon them by society.  Ten percent of women in the survey report that they begin to feel “over the hill” when they begin to notice that their once-youthful skin starts to show signs of wrinkles and begins to sag.

Another fifty percent of the women in the study reported that they started to feel past their prime when their breasts and buttocks started to droop.
Interestingly, three percent of the women surveyed believed that when and if they started to behave like their own mothers, such behavior was a definite sign of getting old in their perception.
In conclusion, unless society adopts a more equitable attitude regarding youth and beauty of men and women, women will probably remain more age-conscious than men.

Monday, June 12, 2017

George Washington’s Warning About American Despotism: A Cautionary Tale for Today


Although known as his Farewell Address, the words Washington selected were never spoken to an audience. The president arranged with David C. Claypoole, editor and proprietor of the Daily American Advertiser to print his letter in the Philadelphia newspaper in September of 1796. As one reads Washington’s words in his Farewell Address, an adept reader may be astounded at how remarkably prophetic they are. Some of what Washington conveyed to his countrymen about the divisiveness of political parties reveals the president’s genuine wisdom:


The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.

Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.


President Washington expressed genuine concern in that “the alternate domination” of one political party over another, thereby allowing one party to enjoy temporary power over the government that would use it to obtain revenge on the other. He seriously felt that this tendency toward atrocities directed at the party out of power “…is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism.”

Washington understood what America would become if “a wise people” did not do their duty to discourage and restrain the over-zealous development of political parties.
Unfortunately, it may be too late to restrain the hunger for power evident in America’s political parties in this day; such power now seems entrenched as it has become evident that both major political parties have a hard time yielding to the will of the people.

The presidential election of 2016 had offered some hope as a “wise people”  to have wised up, and the antics of the 2016 election have helped many a na├»ve American citizen awaken to the realities of what “We the People” have allowed over several decades as the two major political parties  “ran the show.” Americans trusted the political process, but now realize the political system is broken – and it threatens the existence of the very nation Washington and those of the founding generation had fought so hard to create.

If enough Americans can awaken in this time, they may begin to realize that it is not just one political party that is the problem, it is both political parties that have led to the state of politics that allows an aristocratic political elite to ignore America’s founding principles and values. If enough Americans can awaken in this time, the nation may be able to avoid the “frightful despotism which can lead at length to a more formal and permanent despotism.”