The Ringmaster

The South Carolina debate was a real circus that had one “RingmasteTrump&GOP 1r“: Donald J. Trump!
Trump has the establishment GOP going nuts. In New Hampshire, he drew support from every demographic one can imagine. People are both angry and afraid. And the establishment GOP candidates are just not convincing they would or could shake up the system that has put the United States at real risk.
The latest that really upset people is the announcement by Carrier Air Conditioning (United Technologies) that it is moving a manufacturing plant to Mexico. Just the kind of corporate thing Trump has spoken about for months.  Some 1,400 people in an Indianapolis plant will be losing their jobs.
The United States has been shipping manufacturing and other well paying jobs out of the country by the millions. The Obama administration via the Department of Labor statistics touts a 5.6% unemployment rate, but here are things you need to know.
If you are so hopelessly out of work that you have stopped looking over the past four weeks — the Department of Labor does not count you as unemployed. If, for example, you are an out-of-work engineer or healthcare worker or retail manager: If you perform a minimum of one hour of work in a week and are paid at least $20 — maybe someone pays you to mow their lawn — you are not officially counted as unemployed in the much-reported 5.6%. If you have a degree in chemistry or math and are working 10 hours part time because that is all you can find, the government does not count you in the 5.6%. Right now there are as many as 30 million Americans either out of work or severely underemployed. So, we have been fed the BIG LIE.
Trump may not be an angel, but he may be our only hope. We must stop the horrible trade agreements, stop the incentives that send jobs to other countries, stop the inflow of immigrants [legal and illegal] that in part take what jobs there are, and stop the ability of corporations to escape their financial responsibilities by locating “headquarters” in other countries while raping the people of the USA. Trump has talked about all of this.
It is going to be interesting to see what the people of South Carolina think.

NOT Cruz

The Kokomo Tribune’s editorial about the dirty tricks perpetrated by Senator Ted Cruz during the Iowa caucus was on target. Cruz needed to be called to task for the mailer misrepresenting Iowa election law according to the Iowa Secretary of State and for exploiting the erroneous but quickly corrected tweet by CNN that Dr. Ben Carson was suspending his campaign; so vote for Cruz. These actions by Cruz were typical of dirty politicians. There is more.
Cruz bills himself as the true evangelical Christian and Tea Party darling in the race for President. The intended message to this constituency: vote for me. There is an elephant in the room. According to the Associated Press, between 2006 and 2010, Cruz and wife donated less than 1% of income to charity; and NONE to churches. Let me repeat… NONE to churches! Is this the way of a true Christian? I think not. It is politics as usual. All talk; no action. There is more.
Cruz has less than one term in the US Senate. To win his Senate bid, he obtained, but did not report, a several hundred thousand dollar loan from Goldman Sachs, the financial giant on Wall Street at the center of controversy about East Coast and Wall Street power. How was this loan possible? Cruz’s wife, Heidi, is a long time investment banker with Goldman Sachs. He also secured a line of credit from Citibank, another of the Wall Street financial giants. Cruz claimed he and his wife had liquidated their personal

Cruz - Honest?
Look honest?

savings to fund his campaign. This wasn’t exactly true. They used their assets as loan collateral. However, he didn’t want the voters in Texas to know the truth. He was running his campaign as a critic of bank bailouts and corporate cronyism. A New York Times article exposed his loans and reporting failures. When confronted with this during a debate, he dismissed his dishonesty as a “paper error” and attacked the New York Times. He next attempted to fog over his failings by attacking New York values. The buzz saw called Donald Trump made quick work of that tactic. There is more.
Cruz bills himself as a Washington outsider but in truth he is a consummate East Coast Washingtonian. He graduated from Princeton and Harvard. He clerked for Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist, and then practiced corporate law. He served George W. Bush as a domestic policy advisor. He was an associate deputy attorney general in the Department of Justice and has argued cases before the Supreme Court.  He never managed anything—not even a hot dog stand. Cruz knows little about business or economics.
Cruz is a politician with a golden tongue and scant business experience. Similar to our current President, he has served less than one term as a United States Senator. Yet, he boldly declares he is the ideal Republican Presidential candidate. I strongly disagree. Seek elsewhere.

Ken Ferries Column

In his Kokomo Tribune column on December 31st, Ken Ferries attempts to ridicule and insult the field of Republican candidates for the Presidency of the United States. It was not funny.  It is not time for “funny”. The country is in trouble with an incompetent Democrat President in office for another year and yes, a do-nothing Republican Congress.
In his last paragraph, Ferries states he is hopeful someone will emerge as an adult in this presidential race. He further states…. “maybe from the other side of the political fence”. That got me. Ferries does not take on the Democratic Party candidates for the Presidency of which there is really only one viable one, Ms. Hillary Clinton. He does not point out Ms. Clinton was an incompetent Secretary of State that did little except to fly all over the planet. Certainly her efforts, in concert with President Obama, in the Middle East produced nothing but continuing disaster including the murdering of our Ambassador at Benghazi. Then there are all sorts of questions emerging about the Clinton Foundation: how it is financed, who are the contributors, what might be expected by contributors, and on and on. And Ms. Clinton is still being investigated by the FBI for her actions with a private email server in her home over which she had complete control in violation of law regarding certain federal government communications. I hope Ferries does not believe Ms. Clinton qualifies as the “adult” from the other side of the political spectrum. Ms. Clinton has tons of dark baggage including who would become the “First Gentleman” if she became President.

"The Week" Commentary

Letter to the Editor, The Week Magazine…
Your Editor-in-Chief, William Falk, has his bias really showing. He really dislikes Donald Trump… and the sky, may, indeed really be falling. The world is a total mess thanks to Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld and others. Then came Obama. The Democrats have landed on a liar, incompetent, and murderer (think Benghazi) for a candidate for President. The field of GOP is terrible with two less-than-one term Senators who (like Obama) have managed nothing, another Bush, a doctor who is a nice guy, a New Jersey governor who cozies up to Islam, a minister who is “fundamental”, and more. Then there is Trump. Yes, he is brash, boisterous, and uncouth. What you cannot deny is that he is successful. He knows the players and the skeletons and the dirty tricks. He employs thousands from all sorts of backgrounds. And he knows the direction of this country must change. We are, indeed, well on our way down the tube. The people in the heart of the country know this. Yes, they are afraid. Justifiably so. Trump is a risk, but one many of us believe must be taken if the USA is to survive.

Any doubt?

I just read two articles in “The Week” magazine I want to share, then you be the judge.
The first: dateline Abha, Saudi Arabia…
“Poet sentenced to death: Writers around the world are asking Saudi Arabia to release a poet and artist sentenced to death for his poetry. Ashraf Fayadh, 32, a Palestinian born and raised in Saudi Arabia, was condemned on charges of apostasy (an abandonment or breach of faith) for poems that prosecutors said insult the Prophet Mohammad and encouraged atheism, an apparent reference to the lines “Prophets have retired/ So do not wait for your to come to you.” The arrest stemmed from an argument that broke out with another man while they were watching a soccer match at a cafe; the man complained to Saudi Arabia’s religious police, accusing Fayadh of renouncing his Islamic faith.”
How would you like to be a Christian or Buddhist or of another religious tradition and live in Saudi Arabia???????
The second: Arab nations that ignore the refugees….
“As the US and Europe debate how many Syrian refugees they can absorb, little attention is being paid “to the region where the refugees could best start life anew,” said Douglas Feith (in the Wall Street Journal). That’s “the Arabian Peninsula and its Arabic-speaking, oil-rich countries, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.” About 4.3 million Syrians now await resettlement in the vast, squalid camps in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey, and Egypt. But right next door, the oil-rich nations of the Arabian Peninsula are simply ignoring this desperate mass of humanity, even though they are mostly fellow Sunnis. Now, there’s no doubt that some of the opposition in the US and Europe to accepting the refugees has been racist. “But it isn’t bigoted to question the wisdom of trying to incorporate hundreds of thousands — and perhaps several million — refugees in the West.” Adapting to new culture and language is very hard, and refugees often can’t practice professions they had at home because their degrees and licenses don’t transfer. They’d have a far easier adjustment if accepted by Arab nations with abundant wealth. It’s time for the West to “shame” these nations into sharing this responsibility.”
My conclusion is we are suckers. You be the judge.

Van wreck and poverty

There was a column in the September 30th Kokomo Tribune written by Jon Webb of the Evansville Courier & Press. It was the story of 22 immigrants in a 1994 Dodge 16-passenger van who were traveling from Washington, IN, to a temporary employment center some miles away. The van was in very poor state of repair including bald tires. A tire blew. The van crashed killing two and injuring all others aboard. Jon’s column is the story of poverty and what it does to people who are desperate. I wrote to Jon……..
“Jon… thank you for your column about the 22 people in the van. Personally, I believe there to be no excuse for any in the United States to go hungry or not have a proper place to lay their head at night….. or for that matter not to be able to find a job that pays a living wage. That might sound strange from a life long Republican given the crop of do-nothing “Republicans” in Congress now; particularly the extreme religious right wing variety.
We send billions to other countries when not taking care of our own. We send millions of jobs overseas that once were the economic engine for our country. We poke our nose militarily into places or conflicts that pose no threat to the USA. And we are on the way to economic catastrophe with spending out of control.
Then there is immigration. You mention that the 22 in the van mostly were Haitian immigrants. The thought that immediately flashed into mind was whether they were in the USA legally or illegally…. not that that would make any difference as to the tragedy that befell them. Then thoughts wandered to what is happening in Europe with the mass migration of people from the Middle East and Africa and what, clearly, is the case with our own southern border. It all ties together.
I think unless we have the will to take bold action, this country will be in deep trouble…. already is. Our political class has sold us down the river for their own personal gain. I find that I have become a fan of one who once was a politician, Pat Buchanan. He was a proponent of “fortress America”….  America first. First with a healthy America; then reaching out into the world. We are not healthy. Again, I find it appalling that any in the USA are hungry or without shelter. Shame on us. “

The DARK Act coming

[What is written below is a response to a column in the Kokomo Tribune written by Isabella Chism, second vice president of the Indiana Farm Bureau. Her column was also published as a reader letter in the Kokomo Perspective.]
Isabella Chism’s column in the August 14th Kokomo Tribune about GMOs and advocating passage by the United States Senate (Act already passed the House of Representatives) of HR 1599 concerning GMOs was certainly interesting. The only problem is that it was chocked full of false or misleading information.
The Act she references is titled, “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act”. It is anything but that. The only parties benefiting from this legislation are the giant food processing corporations and the giant chemical/seed corporations; the very ones I do not trust to have the public’s interest and health at heart. Bottom line profit dollars drive them.
Let me explain. This Act silences any legislation passed by states regarding the labeling of foods containing ingredients from genetically engineered crops, largely corn and soy beans at present. It puts all authority for labeling into the hands of the federal agency that has already failed the public, the FDA. It was not the scientists in the FDA who failed us; it was the political appointees who overrode the scientists concerns. Under this Act, no food currently on the market would be required to be labeled.
Some 64 countries worldwide require foods containing genetically engineered ingredients to be labeled as containing such. This includes China and Russia and all of the European Union countries and more. The citizens in those countries wanted to know what was in the foods they purchase and feed their families so they can make personal choices. In the United States, the move is to secrecy. Sixty-four other countries cannot be wrong. The USA is one country that is…. at the behest of food, big agriculture, and chemical/seed companies. As a past newspaper publisher, I vehemently object. I hold the strong belief people have the right to know what is in food and how it is produced; no secrets.
Ms. Chism states “we can grow more crops on less land using fewer pesticides and less water and fuel”. This is blatantly false. For example, use of the primary pesticide, glyphosate (typically Roundup) has skyrocketed in recent years. The reason for genetically engineered corn and soy beans in the first place was to enable those crops to withstand massive doses of glyphosate and live while the weeds around them die. That is it. There is no benefit to the consumer who shops at the local grocery store.
The World Health Organization (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer has recently declared glyphosate to be a “probable human carcinogen”. In short, it causes cancer. Residues of this pesticide follow the crops from field to the dinner table. Glyphosate is sprayed everywhere. Wouldn’t you like to know what poison is on your plate?
Glyphosate is becoming less and less effective with the emergence of resistant weeds. What we have to look forward to next are genetically engineered crops able to withstand massive doses of 2,4,D (an Agent Orange component) and dicamba, two even more toxic poisons that will follow food to the dinner table.
Ms. Chism states the FDA, USDA, AMA, National Academy of Sciences, World Health Organization, and dozens of other scientific organizations have confirmed that GMOs are as safe for human consumption as non-GMO products. They have done no such thing. There have been no long term human safety studies conducted by independent scientists. Animal studies, mostly in other countries, have shown cause for significant concern. I already stated the WHO Cancer Agency just recently determined the primary pesticide used on GMOs (genetically engineered crops) causes cancer. The AMA sits the fence. The FDA has been politically manipulated. I could go on.
Ms. Chism writes about grapes, tangelos, broccoli and many other “modified foods” and how she has fed her family with these. She also states farmers have changed the genetic makeup of all crops grown since domestic agriculture began including organic and heirloom seeds. She wants us to believe that today’s genetic engineering of plants and animals is the same as has been going on in agriculture for centuries. Again, blatantly wrong. The technology required to transfer a gene from one organism to another is nothing like that used to select plants with desirable traits, then grow them. It is nothing like what is required to develop plant hybrids. What genetic engineering of plants does is violate biological barriers that have existed for eons in ways that are unpredictable, risky, and reckless. Her grapes, tangelos, and broccoli are not genetically engineered as the term is defined in science or molecular biology today. As one with advanced university degrees from Purdue in both toxicology and genetics, I tell you straight out that this technology is far from precise or outcomes predictable. What is predictable is that there is risk of new allergens, toxins, and disease causing rogue proteins. I think you have a right to know that.
Another reason I find Ms. Chism’s article interesting is that she is the second vice president of the Indiana Farm Bureau. This already is cause for rising of eyebrows. Her article could have been written by the public relations department of any of the giant chemical/seed companies. It is the party line. The problem is that much of that line is false. I recommend to any interested a book written a few years ago called, “Uncertain Peril”, by Claire Hope Cummings. She details the coming of genetic engineering in agriculture, how it happened and what risks are presented in much more detail than I can write here.
Finally, contrary to Ms. Chism’s urgings, I urge Senators Coats and Donnelly vote “NO” on the Senate version of HR 1599. I urge them to support labeling of genetically engineered foods. I urge them to support the public right to know what is in food and how it is produced. No secrets. No lies. If this bill passes Congress, I urge President Obama to veto it.

McCain VS Trump

It is crystal clear there is no love lost between Senator John McCain and Donald Trump. That boiled over this past week.
I think Trump did go over the top with his attack on McCain. McCain is a Viet Nam war “hero” as are all who served in Viet Nam in a war the United States had no business being in. (Where have we heard that lately?) There are thousands who did not come home, hundreds who were prisoners in North Viet Nam, thousands who suffer the consequences of Agent Orange even today, and thousands who continue to battle PTSD. All are heros. They served the United States under political leadership that was worse than flawed. They, as did John McCain, paid the price.
I think the big bone between Trump and McCain is the Presidential campaign of 2008. Trump claims to have donated over one million dollars to the McCain effort. As it turned out, McCain was not up to the task. He was a weak candidate who further weakened his position with the pandering selection of  Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin as the GOP Vice Presidential candidate. That did it for me. Palin turned out to be about as close to a dunce as one could imagine. Is it any wonder that Senator Barack Hussein Obama won the election by a landslide after first beating Hillary Clinton out for the candidacy?
So, you may not like Trump’s frankness and barbs, but he does speak his mind in ways there can be no misunderstanding. And, guess what, he leads the polls. That should be telling the establishment GOP types something. The public is fed up with Washington insiders and east coast talking heads. Who knows at this point if Trump will be the candidate of choice, but you can be sure he already has made an impact.

Indiana's Religious Freedom Act

Governor Mike Pence must think us to be stupid. His comments that the just signed “Religious Freedom” act is “not about discrimination” do not hold water. There can be only one reason for this incredibly bad legislation and that is “discrimination”. The fundamental Christian folks have been at it again. They don’t like gays and lesbians and don’t like same-sex marriages. If you want a clue about who supports this discrimination, just take a look at the invited guests to the governor’s private signing ceremony for the bill.
State Representative Sheila Klinker had it right when she wrote to her constituents, “SB 101 is designed to allow private businesses to discriminate against people with whom they disagree based on religious beliefs. More specifically, they are supporting the bill so that private businesses can refuse service to members of the [gay and lesbian] community and people who have consummated same-sex marriages.”
Before this all gets sorted out and more-than-likely thrown out by the courts, Indiana is the loser. Already several conventions have suggested they will not now come to Indiana which will be the loss of millions in revenue to the state. Even the NCAA is thinking about the implications. Companies like Lilly & Company and Cummings Inc. are not happy either.
So, nice going Indiana General Assembly and Governor Pence. Indiana has too often been labeled in negative ways. We just added one more to the list.