Marshall in the Middle

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Time for a Third Party

    Most of the government's time is spent fighting itself through both parties. They move heaven and earth to hurt each other, never mind the needs of our country. Compromise is rarely considered because they don't want to upset their "base". I think we need to consider some way to remove parties from the election and governing process OR perhaps mandate a third, moderate party that will end this stalemate ? You who are reading this has that power according to the constitution. It's just a matter of organizing and resisting the fear tactics of the "powers that be".

Monday, September 10, 2018

The Supreme Court Kavanaugh Debacle

Things they don't explain-

By Chuck Marshall

                                The honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg, United States Supreme Court Justice

    It is frustrating to me that we watch as members of our media, our entertainment,  our sports teams, and even members of our wonderful government start ringing alarms regarding a situation that is currently in the news and they reveal how much they don't understand their own government.   Put in another way;  The don't know what the fuc* they're talking about OR if they do they are misleading the public on purpose to stir the pot.  Most likely, it's both.  They know they're lying, they just don't know exactly in what way. 

     The best current example of this is the selection Judge Kavanaugh to replace Justice Kennedy as one of the sitting nine justices of the supreme court.  He was selected by President Trump for this life-long (unfortunately for all of us)  position early this summer.  This will give the conservatives a clear majority for rulings at the highest level of  our judiciary.  The left wing of our nation has gone apoplectic thinking Roe VS Wade will be overturned and so they have turned the entire occasion into a bizarre "blast to the past" of early 80's house parties with horny, drunken teenagers.  I am not commenting on what was done because I was not there and like the rest of the world,  I have no idea.  That's why we have courts and law enforcement to sort it all out.  Today it's all all a matter of  "he said- she said" absurdity drummed up by the Democrats and the media to block Republican  progress and to increase the ratings for their, flat, unintelligent analysis trotted out every evening by dimwitted, "talking heads".

    I can comment on something that the media rarely brings up.  The reality of the situation and why both parties, as usual, are a detriment to our country and they are useless bags of hot air intent on helping  nobody with the very big exception of themselves.     

A)  Overturning Roe VS Wade is highly unlikely, and Kavanaugh just like Gorsich before him  (also appointed by Trump last year)  has commented that he would not consider overturning Roe Vs Wade, (the Supreme court ruling from the early 70's that made abortion legal, or at least "not illegal").  The prevailing opinion, even in conservative circles, is that abortion is the "law of the land".  The exception could be limits on when the abortion occurs and that would be left up to the states.  So, for 99.9% of the population nothing is likely to change at all even if the entire court is conservative.

B)   The bigger problem is that we're in this situation at all where the supreme court justice is seen as so important to the course of our nation.  The courts should not and were never meant to have so much power that they can create law by simply declaring something one way or another.  Congress, aka the legislative branch of the US government WRITES the laws, The President ENFORCES the laws, the Courts INTERPRET the laws.  That's how it is supposed to be.  Nowhere is it said or written that the courts can also be used as a weapon to enhance any political philosophy.  But here we are. 

C) Keeping justices for life is an unfortunate detail of our government that IMHO does harm to the Republic.  The idea of "lifetime" when this was written into law was that man was expected to live to be in his 50's.   Anything over 80 would have been laughable due to the unlikelihood and the humor of seeing such an old person with such power.  It would have been compared to the lunacy of various kings and queens that populated Europe at the time.  Today of course, it's more common than not to live into your 80's.  We see the consequences of one party holding onto power through the courts in the picture above.  This, as many aspects of our government, has become a joke.

       Mostly I blame  Congress for it's never ending partisan politics and shocking inability to get anything done with the glaring exception of spending our money.  If Congress did its job, it would be less likely either party would look to the courts to "get their way".  But this is how it has all evolved to today, 2018,  or should I say "has not evolved".

In My Humble Opinion.....

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Censorship of Thought Blocks Effective Governing

 By Chuck Marshall
(This post takes under 3 minutes to read)

     As I have written this blog over the past several years I've always tried to see both sides of any  point of view.  Sometimes, I really don't, for example I never understood President Obama's reluctance to call Islamic terrorists, Islamic terrorists.  If they terrorize people and they are doing it in the name of Islam, then the term seems appropriate.   From the other side, I still get frustrated that "climate change" (previously referred to as Global Warming)  is considered a "scam" by the right.  I don't see why scientists would lie about it.   I am somewhat cynical towards the matter mainly because the media has picked up on "climate change" as a sure sign of the end of times and their vapid hysterics has caused me to reconsider the matter.  I never hear more evidence, only hyperventilating when we have hurricanes.  My experience has been that the Media will hide facts that question climate change if they should dare to arise from anyone.  There has been no open debate.  If you question it then you're an idiot.  Therein lies one of the most troublesome issues of our day;  the partisan media and their decision that they are to form the thoughts of the masses rather than inform us and let us make our own minds up.   I still believe climate change is an important matter to be researched and studied but I do understand the cynicism as well.

     The loss of trust in our news providers over the last several years is a great tragedy and one of the reasons I write this blog.  What drives me is the truth of matters and filling the gaps of truth in the news stories of the day.  That is why I've had over 50 letters published in the Orlando Sentinel because I catch the gaps of logic and/or honesty and they acknowledge the fact (kudos to the Orlando Sentinel, by the way,  for at least hearing me out !).  Most people are not inclined to exert effort regarding political issues because they have their own interests and passions and who has time to decipher the veracity of what's in the news ?   I love politics because I see the power that would come from a government that's well run,  so I'm  inclined to scrutinize their mutterings.   We will never have a well run government  if we continue to hear half truths and outright lies from those we've entrusted with our attention. 

     Today I think it's safe to say the media (with the big exception of Fox News) is very much tilted to the left and I am not going to elaborate on that because I've written about it several times in this blog.  Keep in mind I am not referring to cable news shows that are focused on opinions,  I am talking about news and concerns of the day.  I am also talking about social media like Facebook and Twitter where the opinions of conservatives are being muzzled as the news has indicated this past week.  One of the biggest disappointments this past few years has been how little the left considers that their counterparts on the right are not being allowed to express themselves fully and fairly.  If you believe in what you say then you should be open to the opinions of the other side.  Anything else is a form of tyranny and will only hinder our voyage to finally grasping the elusive "effective government" that I think we all crave. 



Thursday, July 19, 2018

The Age Of Incompetence; Russian Policy

By Chuck Marshall

(This article takes under two minutes to read)

     Our "Age of Incompetence" has had some fascinating stories, however the hysteria over Russia and Trump's clumsy approach to working with our never-ending adversary was one for the books.   The core of the hysteria is that Trump commented that he believed Putin over our 19 secret service agencies regarding Russia tampering with our elections.  After all, the secret service has never been wrong about anything.  Except perhaps the Weapons of Mass Destruction which I guess all  19 of our secret service agencies were  "sure" were being hidden in Iraq.  This "assurance" from all 19 secret service agencies sent us into an invasion of Iraq that would end up costing  thousands of American  lives and costing our country several Trillion dollars.  Did Iraq have weapons of mass destruction ?  No.  How could that be, they're never wrong?   Anyway, Trump walked back his comments.  Probably because now there are 19 secret service agencies that have a bone to pick with him.  At the end of it all, much of the media is still trembling over the whole thing because they're so convinced Trump colludes with Russians and now, here we have evidence because he met with Putin and was nice to him !

     So ridiculous I just had to write a letter to the paper about all this, and once again the Orlando Sentinel indulged me by printing this rambling letter.   The ending ran into another letter so  I finish the last sentence by typing it in below.  I think more people should write,  people gotta speak up !   Thanks Orlando Sentinel !

........Putin to his face.  Chuck Marshall, Clermont-- 
Printed July 19, 2018 

Friday, July 13, 2018

You're Paying for the Defense of Europe

By Chuck Marshall

(This article takes approximately 3 minutes to read.)

          I, like many Americans was shocked to hear President Trump speak with such venom regarding the lack of money being submitted by our "allies" across the Atlantic for their own defense.  If you're not familiar, NATO stands for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and is a consequence of the aggression of Russia (the Soviet Union) after WWII towards Western Europe.  Today the members include many countries of Eastern Europe that were once a part  the Soviet Empire, so it's a growing group that "rankles" the Russians.  The mission of NATO states that "an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us".   NATO was established in 1947.  There are now 29 nations that are a part of NATO.  These are our allies and all that is very good.  It is a good organization for maintaining the peace.

     After Trump used such heavy handed, and admittedly rough language I got to wondering what the details of the situation were.  In an unusual moment of naivete, I decided to google search the term NATO Trump and "surprise, surprise" the mainstream media was having a hysterical fit over Trump's language towards our European allies.   "He's lying" they kept saying and their hatred for the man was hardly containable so much so that they spent a lot of effort elaborating on how the other leaders body language revealed that Trump was "distancing" our country from Europe and he was left behind speaking to the leader of Turkey (?) while the group walked, "like an outcast high school student" (yes, they really used that term).    I wish I could go to the news media and get the information I need without having to google search the details and understand the story.  It's up to us to sort it all out because we're living in the "Age of Incompetence".   I finally googled "USA Financial Contributions NATO", and one of the first things to come up was an article by CNN MONEY from July 2016 listing out how out of balance the NATO contributions are.  Their own article supports what Trump is saying today !

       Anyway, we Middle class Americans are generally too busy making a living and taking care of our families to be obsessing with global politics enough to understand the nuance of how NATO works.  Trump said "They aren't paying their fair share" and "they owe us", which technically is NOT true but if you're explaining what's going on to most people in a 3 minute news clip, this is the only way to communicate the facts.  He isn't speaking to just the European leaders and the Anderson Cooper's of the world,  he's speaking to "Joe Blow".   I'm going to elaborate on this issue today because NATO funding is something I didn't understand either and I figure my loyal blog readers might gain something from it.  We're always seeking information and truth here at "Marshall in the Middle" ! 

     "So what's going on?" you ask.  There are two separate things.  The funding of NATO itself is not a lot of money as it's simply to maintain the "bricks and mortar" of the HQ in Brussels, Belgium.  It  does run into a few Billion $$ per year.  The USA pays 22% of that.  That's for the organization that defends Europe.  We're not in Europe.

     The second thing is the actual armies. The defense of Europe through soldiers and guns falls on all NATO members.  Each member is  supposed to spend 2% of their nation's GDP (Gross Domestic Product, in other word's their economy's $$ volume of output) towards their OWN defense as a way of "doing their part", so to speak.  The graph above shows just how that's playing out.  The bottom line is that they aren't paying for their own defense.  They are leaving much of it up to the USA.  In addition, they haven't been paying their fair share for a long time.  The total is easily in the hundreds of billions of dollars, probably even Trillions if you go back to 1947 and include all countries involved.  So, when Trump says they "aren't paying their fair share" and that "they owe us" it is essentially true, but you see it's not technically true - the fact of the matter is there's no way to explain it without writing a paragraph like I'm doing here.  But, he's right !  The USA pays 67% of the total defense of  NATO in a sense because we're  paying for the military that is most likely to protect NATO;  the American military.  Last year, 2017 that figure was $664,000,000.   It can be said, that indirectly, the USA spent more for the defense of itself and Europe than all other NATO members combined.  Europe has 1 Billion people  USA has 320 Million, and once again, we're  not in Europe.  Finally, keep in mind the generous social programs of our socialist European friends.  I'm sure they can afford a lot of goodies since their military defense is not an obligation they need to concern themselves with.

     So, I'm all about defending the world's Democracies against tyranny and invasion and working to right all the wrongs of the world,  but that there is some "major bullshit, ya'll"......In My Humble Opinion. 

*MSM- Mainstream Media