As Others See Us

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Once again I find myself quoting someone else’s words … but sometimes, other people have a way of expressing exactly what I’ve been thinking and it seems so much easier to let them tell the story. Thus, following are the comments made by a contributor to the Pubic Forum of our local newspaper:

We were recently honored to host a group of Canadian family.

I thought it interesting to hear their views on our crazy American situation. Here is what I heard.

  • They do not understand how we idolize the rich and powerful and allow these elites to get away with anything. Where is the common value of law and order for all.
  • They compared the American culture to a Roman Colosseum where the masses are trying to survive everyday while the 1% watch the fights and cheer them on from the stands.
  • They all agreed that it’s odd that the GOP and MAGA want to blame every little thing on Biden and Dems. When in fact the world over has the same or far bigger problems. Like the cost of gas. No president actually has the power to control the cost of fuel.
  • They mentioned the American culture of exceptionalism. Years back this was much more true than it is today. Look at the numbers and America is far behind in many areas like children’s education, poverty, and health care. Many other advanced countries surpass America in these basics.
  • “We don’t get the gun thing”. Yes Americans have a strong gun culture. But they thought our founding fathers did not mean the right to bear arms was above the rights to freedom and safety which are even more important. They had a couple mass shootings in Canada the last 10 years but virtually none compared to us because of their strict gun laws. Laws that did not impose on hunting.
  • Our culture “God and Country” go together with what they see as the ‘White Christian’ majority. The irony is these same Christians absolute opposition to other religions. Our country was founded on freedom of religion.

The contributor ended by saying he’s lived in many other countries, but he still prefers America and urges us to “keep it a strong democracy.”

I agree.

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Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

“While The Rest of Us Die”

Last night, while looking for a movie to watch, I came across this rather intriguing title —While the Rest of Us Die: Secrets of America’s Shadow Government— and decided to give it a look-see.

WOW.

To say I’m impressed is an understatement.

The production is dated 2020, so it’s not new (except to ME as I’d never heard of it before) — and apparently there are two seasons (I’m on Season One, third episode).

I’m watching it on Tubi (with ads), but it’s also available (for free) on DirectTV and SLING TV. Other options include either rental or buy charges.

If you haven’t seen this mind-boggling production, I urge you to put it on your to-do list!

If you have seen it, I would be interested in your overall comments/reactions — but PLEASE … PLEASE … PLEASE 🙏 do NOT go into detail as I want to be able to see things unfold on my own. Thanks. ❤

Can The Supreme Court Be Fixed?

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The U.S. Supreme Court is a failed institution. According to Alternet.org*, it is …

A nakedly partisan majority installed by a losing presidential candidate in the Oval Office simply because he could, using only its authority, and not the law, as justification.

A captured body serving a powerful, very small political minority (the very rich, the pathologically “moral”) to the exclusion of the whole of the rest of the country and its needs.

Over the years, suggestions have been bandied about to increase the number of Supreme Court judges as a solution to the partisanship (most recently evidenced in the Roe vs. Wade debacle). However, past efforts to this end have not been successful. Further, it has been noted that doing so could “unleash a spiral of retaliatory moves by whichever party is in power.”

Nevertheless, the idea has once again surfaced. Most recently the talk centers around increasing the number of judges by four. If done under the current administration, this would obviously give the Dems a majority (7-6), but who’s to say that down the road the same imbalance wouldn’t happen again? If vacancies continue to be filled by the POTUS in power, it’s inevitable the tide will shift.

Several other ideas have been put forth in the referenced article, but IMO, each one tends to have its drawbacks.  Except one. It’s referred to as a Supreme Court lottery:

All federal appellate court judges, roughly 180 in total, would become associate justices on the Supreme Court. Panels of nine justices would be randomly selected from this pool. Importantly, decisions on whether to grant certiorari on a given case would be made by panel members who would not know the ideological makeup of the panel that would hear the case. Thus, this plan would frustrate partisan maneuvering.

IMO, the key words in this proposal are “randomly selected” and “frustrate partisan maneuvering.” In other words, as the article notes, this approach would tip the scales of justice toward justice and away from partisan manipulation.

There is little doubt that the makeup of the Supreme Court needs to be reworked. While Democrats are extremely unhappy with the current slate, there have been times in the past when the opposite was true.

Bottom line: Discussion concerning the structure of the U.S. Supreme Court needs to be moved to the active agenda (including, IMO, changes in the age limit).

What do you think? Is the above a workable solution? Do you have other ideas? Is a change even possible in the current political climate?

*(Full Disclosure: Alternet.org is described by MediaBiasFactCheck.com as Left Bias.)
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Image by Venita Oberholster from Pixabay