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1. Well… Step One Toward Impeachment Has Arrived!
CNN is reporting that House Democrats have introduced five articles of impeachment against Trump. Admittedly this isn’t going anywhere fast given the GOP dominated Congress but this is a first step indicating some in government actually care what’s going on in the White House. The five articles include obstruction of justice for firing Comey, undermining the independence of the federal judiciary, undermining the freedom of the press, and two emoluments clause violations. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tennessee, introduced the articles. What’s next? I guess we wait and see. Maybe Mueller will contribute something… or Congressional things will shift in 2018.
2. No Moore, Please! Now The Evangelicals Are “Beleaguered”.
Trump’s base includes a fair number of Conservative Christians and evangelicals who seem to provide every reason other the sun to justify their ignoring of Trump’s pre-election allegedly immoral sexual conduct toward women (self-admitted, by the way) just to get the guy in office to do the swamp draining of D.C. liberal elites. Well, Roy Moore down in Alabama is using the Trump election playbook by just defying every naysayer… screaming fake news, sees enemies everywhere, thinks his role in life is fighting some sort holy war against his idea of immorality, totally ignoring his own party cries for him to withdraw from the election. His supporters.. and there are many Alabama voters who do… are dreaming all kinds of “alt-religion” to justify his actions. The most wild, even in the opinion of many fervent national evangelicals, was this idea the Joseph was older than Mary, who herself was 14 years old at the time of Christ’s birth. Other excuses… “it was decades ago… just leave it alone.”, “at best it was a misdemeanor”. The fact is, Alabama Christians are even offending many Christians in Trump’s national base. A bit of irony, to say the least. Yet it does add to the already confusing and complex upset in this country between the political parties (both are an organizational mess, in and outside of Congress), and now even the Christian right is splitting itself. I wonder sometimes… we lament about the divisiveness of the country, but this divisiveness is not a split into just two confrontational camps. This is a split across the board within traditional ideological institutions of political, cultural, religious, and social diversities. There’s a “disturbance in the overall force” that has comprised our society for generations.
3. Make Prostitution Legal? Hmmm…
John Stossel did an op-ed on FoxNews (HERE) calling for legalizing prostitution. Since we’ve been deluged in the news with women reporting their past victimization from sexual abuse I found this article to be a rather interesting “moral” sidebar. There is actually some compelling argument for legalization, the most profound being that government can regulate all facets of it… even to the point of it being a taxation and fee revenue source, thus assuring some measure of safety and health monitoring. The majority of prostitution laws in the country have been the result of the problems associated with “freelance”… open prostitution. The Hollywood depiction of hookers in high crime areas openly soliciting from street corners… and thusly contributing further to the crime environment with their own needs for drugs and of course the involvement of organized crime (and of course, those nasty Russians over here doing pimp work) victimizing and recruiting runaways and flat out enslaving women. Well, all that is black market activity which can remain illegal. But when it’s state or federal government regulated then the prostitutes and their customers can exist in a relatively safe and controlled environment. As Stossel’s article suggests, it’s all about freedom of choice to consent to one’s own profession.
Stossel explains from his interviews with prostitutes that these people are not just all about the sex act; many are there as providing some level of relationship to those who are lonely and/or are unable to establish relationships on their own. I recall an old adage…. You don’t pay a hooker for sex; you are paying for her to leave and keep quiet about it. The bottom line is that sex between two consenting adults is a matter of freedom of choice. The fact that it may involve a money exchange doesn’t matter… or shouldn’t matter.
What about the moral implications? Society won’t change because of prostitution (it hasn’t for literally thousands of years) and if it’s legal it’s likely not going to be any more visible to be a potential influence, or temptation, on the young. I have never paid for sex (other than marriage……. Sorry, old joke) and I certainly have no desire to do so now. But there’s no reason for the social charade that it doesn’t exist. Make it legal and regulate it… like any of the professions or trades. Less health problems, less crime. It’s already legal in nine Nevada counties (but interestingly not Clark County; Las Vegas is not legal for prostitution).
4. A Personal Speculation About North Korea
I’ve been picking up a little “vibe” in the more recent diatribes emanating from Dear Leader Kim over the past month or so. If you notice, the more earlier exchanges were more the bravado about nukes hitting the U.S., or Guam. There were the video demonstrations of the alleged “prowess” of the power of North Korea with all those missile launching.. and that one multiple launch of four at once (which I thought was kinda cool, actually.. in a visual sort of way). But more recently the “threats” have been replaced with simply name-calling against Trump himself… and even adopting a little of our own internal domestic discourse against Trump. Kim has called Trump “mentally deranged”, the infamous “dotard”, and his quote… “unfit to hold the prerogative of supreme command of a country, and he is surely a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire, rather than a politician”. Then there was Kim’s complete silence during Trump’s recent visit to South Korea… other than NK officials commenting on “not listening” to “mad dog” Trump’s speech. Also.. the testing seems to have been placed on hold.
Would it be possible that there’s some contact behind the scenes.. not with anyone officially representing the Trump administration… let’s say, “interested parties” (a consortium of international businessmen? Foreign diplomats? Any attempt by private parties in the U.S. to negotiate with NK in some form would likely be illegal… but so what if they thought the stakes were high?).. has someone convinced Kim to just wait out Trump.. that he will ultimately be removed from office? Would Kim’s new rhetoric toward Trump reflect the usual criticism we make toward him domestically and he’s just fanning the flames? After all, time is on Kim’s side in all this.
Whatever the speculation.. the dialog from Kim has changed.
5. The Price Of Our Judicial System
In a previous post I talked about the price we pay for all our Constitutional rights and that all of our amendments, not just the Second Amendment, result in deaths in one form or another. No question the price we pay for the Second Amendment is the most costly. But there are some prices we pay in which we incorrectly loose our individual freedom, more specifically inside the judicial system that we are so proud of as Americans. Over the years it has disturbed me greatly (bigly) when there’s some news story of some guy set free after 20 years of false incarceration. I can’t imagine myself sitting in prison knowing I was innocent of the crime for which I was charged. And given the million plus in jail in this country there are likely thousands who are innocent of their charges. We have no facility, no process of recovery, no legal recourse… if we have been falsely accused of a crime. If the county, state, federal government takes 20 or 30 years of my life by error.. oh well. That’s the price of living in America. Sorry. I don’t buy that. But on the other end… no one can give you those years back. How do you even put a restitution price on that. In fact, if there were crooked cops who arrested you, crooked attorneys who gave you a crap defense, or anyone else in some complicit conspiracy… they could be charged, if they are even still alive. But even at that, you still don’t get your years back. Worse than that, you have the culture shock of now being on your own, having to make a living… relating to people who don’t know you. Now add to your years of false incarceration to the years of struggle to make it in an unfamiliar environment. Too bad, so sad. Have a nice day. Yeah…. The price of freedom.
The following are four recent stories. The San Antonio Four is particularly disturbing; similar to the Salem witch trials.