The phrase “drain the swamp” can be traced back as far as 1830 but has frequently been used since the 1980s by American politicians .
Since the 2016 presidential election the old phrase “drain the swamp” has taken on a whole new meaning and brought to light that perhaps there are two swamps in Washington. As an aside, the phrase in question does not mean a literal swamp, which are actually environmentally valuable ecological wetlands, but refers to the skullduggery that goes on in our nation’s capital.
The two swamps in question are: the White House (WH) centric one and the one most of us are familiar with in reference to the shady dealings among our elected representatives especially when it comes to lobbyists. Continue reading →
We often hear people say that “we are a nation of immigrants” or that “this nation was built by immigrants” as if that somehow justifies the liberal attitude many people hold regarding immigration. These comments seem to have their origin in the great migration from the late 1800s to early 1900s when many people emigrated from Europe. Some of the immigrants who arrived no doubt had criminal intents but most, like my great grandfather, who immigrated to America legally in 1882 came mostly in search of greater economic opportunity and to fully assimilate into the American culture. This was 66 years before the Displaced Persons Act of 1948 which authorized for a limited period of time the admission into the United States of 200,000 certain European displaced persons for permanent residence.
I, like many others, was born and raised in a city with several large immigrant populations. Among them were the Germans, Polish, Italians and Irish many of whom who came to the city to work in the steel mills or came with skills to start their own businesses as my great grandfather did. While some members of these populations tended to concentrate in their own ethnic neighborhoods they also brought an enjoyable diversity of culture and foods to the city as a whole; a process that has repeated itself in many major urban areas of our country. Perhaps this is why today’s immigration problems are so heart wrenching and difficult to discuss.
The intent of this blog post is to present some history on the complex problem of immigration in light of some issues that have come up in recent years and to finally offer some suggestions for change on both sides of the immigration equation. Continue reading →
It has again come to this blogger’s attention and, I’m sure the American public that Obama wants to give away control of the Internet, specifically ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, to international authorities effective on October 1, 2016 the day after it becomes independent from the US Department of Commerce.
Why is Obama doing this to us?
As I’m sure you know the basis for the Internet was developed by DARPA with American taxpayer dollars and Obama can’t just give it away. It has been reported “…that Congress has passed legislation to prohibit the federal government from using tax dollars to allow the transition, and pointed out that the feds are constitutionally prohibited from transferring federal property without approval from Congress” yet Obama continues with his dictatorial powers to do just that.
Sen. Ted Cruz has pointed out that this new multistaheholder body could be used by totalitarian governments to shut down the Web around the globe, either in whole or in part. Further he has written to Commerce saying “the proposal will significantly increase the power of foreign governments over the Internet, expand ICANN’s historical core mission by creating a gateway to content regulation, and embolden [its] leadership to act without any real accountability.”  The most likely candidate for this foreign control is China who we know has imposed severe restrictions in their country. To make matters worse some American companies have already bought into this idea of censorship. Do you want this to happen in America?
We have already heard of vulnerabilities associated with our internet dependent electric grid and with the internet of things  set to explode in the coming years with an IP address assigned to everything from our refrigerators to our garage door openers all under control of this new international multistaheholder organization.
The internet is considered by some to be equivalent to a utility. In fact some would like to see it regulated and taxed in the same way as phone companies. Speaking of phones, in this new world phones will be especially vulnerable as a result of this transition since most of our phone service operates over the internet.
Think about it, would you like your utility company — electric, water, gas — to be under the control of unstable foreign countries or a consortium of foreign companies? This, dear reader, is what is going to happen to the internet.
Although this transition has been in the works for a couple of years the time now is short. Contact your elected state and federal representatives and the White House to demand a stop to this give away. DO IT TODAY!
The murder of our diplomats in Libya and the constant killing of our troops, 51 so far this year in green on blue attacks, in Afghanistan should prompt further investigation into why we are there.
It has recently been reported that the surge troops have been withdrawn because the Taliban has been successfully routed. This is good. The less troops we have in the region the better. Yet we hear that our troops are being murdered by the Taliban who have infiltrated the security forces they have been training. So what is it? Are the Taliban gone or not? Continue reading →
The “Occupy” protests across the country have been criticized by the media and mostly ignored by our elected representatives. Much of this criticism stems from the desire by both the media and the politicians for a single sound bite or demand while the focus of the issue is as plain as the nose on their faces, to separate money from politics.
Diplomatic relations, always. Free and fair trade, yes. Humanitarian aid directly to the people, yes. Military protection for NATO allies, yes. Financial and military aid, no.
The recent events in Egypt highlight yet again how poor the U.S. is at picking foreign powers to support. Think how well American support went with the Shaw of Iran, Saddam, Augusto Pinochet, Ferdinand Marcos, Manuel Noriega and the list goes on.
And yet we continue this failed policy with the support of Pakistan where it is well-known that aid dollars are being funneled to the Taliban through corruption and now we are supporting Yemen to the tune of $250 million a year, up five times from previous years. Continue reading →
Periodically the Internet comes under attack by governments who either want to control, censor or tax it. This time the desire to control the Internet was probably precipitated by the recent Wikileaks release of State Department cables that left officials scrambling to control the disaster. But this piece is not about Wikileaks or any isolated incident that has occurred and will, undoubtedly, occur again in the future. It is about government control of a resource that is at its foundation about free expression and the free exchange of information as originally conceived by the DARPA inventors in the late 70s.
Prior to the Internet the free press served as a sort of watchdog on our culture, the goings on of governments, and a forum for the free expression of the people, what’s left of it still does. Today the internet serves much the same purpose especially as the traditional media tries to figure out how to survive in the age of the world-wide web and make use of this resource. Indeed for some, rightly or wrongly the Internet IS the press. Of critical importance the internet has also given a voice and an outlet to the people through blogs in addition to the millions of web sites. Continue reading →
Americans have been voracious collectors of data as far back as 1790 when the first census was conducted. Examples abound from the many polls that are conducted to measuring traffic flow to tracking what we buy and even personal demographics. All this data then becomes massaged, analyzed, filtered, sorted and condensed to become information.
With the advent of the publicly available internet this era has become known as the information age. Some individuals are so caught up in the torrent of information that they become information junkies.
The phrase “I want my country back” has either been articulated or at least thought by many in an attempt to make sense of events over the past decade or so. Our beloved country is rapidly becoming unrecognisable and will continue to change in ways that depart from who we are as Americans and as a country unless we take corrective action.
Each of us has probably contemplated a list of issues that if acted upon would restore things to some semblance of normality and order. Obviously, normality and order, like beauty, differs from person to person but such a list of common, hot button issues can be developed. Continue reading →
One can understand why the people are ignored by the so-called leadership in dictatorial and tyrannical regimes. Inevitably these result in a seemingly endless cycle of violent overthrows. In these regimes the agenda is clearly power and subjugation of the people often resulting in genocide. This is easily recognisable when the “leader:” wears a military looking uniform, establishes a republican guard, puts his image on the currency and on every wall, even in your own home, puts up statues of himself in every town square and conditions the people to refer to their country as “the fatherland,” or motherland, as the case may be.
What is more difficult to understand, however, is why the people are often ignored in democratic governments. It’s as if the so-called leadership has some other hidden agenda. Continue reading →