October 7, 2015, marks the 14th anniversary of the War in Afghanistan. During that time, we have spent over $700 billion and more than 2,200 American lives have been lost with countless others impacted by loss of limb and PTSD. Yet, Afghanistan stands primed to return to its past state once U.S. troops are removed.
This is what happens in the absence of a cogent foreign policy… Read more
Congress is in “recess”… a term that seems somewhat apropos since our legislators have acted so childishly in recent years. You can almost see them on the playground arguing over whose turn it is to pick first even though you already know who’s going to end up on both teams.
This is not to say that senators and representatives don’t deserve a break… Read more
It’s that time again. Time to celebrate another presidential election cycle; an event that’s inching closer to becoming a perpetual race as opposed to a process that occurs every four years.
Did you catch the first Republican debate? There were so many candidates they had to split the field into two groups. It reminds me of when they have to add a gate to the Kentucky Derby to accommodate all the horses whose owners can afford the entrance fee… Read more
RANCHO SANTA FE, Ca., March 17, 2014 – March Madness is in the air and spilling into international politics. Is Ukraine the site of the global Final Four, or is it just another early round battle of a few lower seeds that serve as sacrificial lambs for the two heavy favorites? Do you even remember how the countries made it into the “tournament”?
In case you have forgotten, the recent upheaval in Ukraine began when its duly-elected President Yanukovych refused to sign a trade agreement with the European Union (EU) in favor of pursuing stronger ties with Russia … Read more
RANCHO SANTA FE, Ca., March 3, 2014 – Our political system is dysfunctional if not completely broken. It has become so corrosive that many citizens have abandoned any hope of changing it for the better. Others are inclined to commit their blind allegiance to a particular Party; convinced that it occupies the moral and intellectual high-ground while the other Party is comprised of only slightly-evolved Neanderthals. To paraphrase Eldridge Cleaver: Neither behavior represents part of the solution, but rather, both are part of the problem … Read more
RANCHO SANTA FE, Ca., January 20, 2014 – As we celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., it seems appropriate to consider what guidance he might have for us today. The following is an interpretation of how such an interview might go, almost exclusively using words from his most famous quotes (which are italicized for clarity).
TJ: Dr. King, it is a pleasure to speak with you.
Dr. King: The pleasure is mine. Please, call me Martin.
TJ: Thank you, sir. You have had a profound effect on our Nation. While most Americans associate you with your civil rights efforts, many do not recognize your passion for the causes of education, peace, and life in general. You also have been quite astute in your observation of politics.
May we touch upon those subjects?
Dr. King: Most certainly … Read more
RANCHO SANTA FE, Ca., September 24, 2013 – Political schizophrenia is an egotistical disorder that makes it hard to tell the difference between what is real and what is not real, and President Obama and Congress are poster children of the syndrome. They collectively demonstrate the classic symptoms of partisan paranoia coupled with delusional and disorganized thinking. We need to stop pretending that they’re normal, so they can recognize their need to seek help.
Congress has grown dysfunctional because of the disorder. Too many members of the House and Senate, on both sides of the aisle, have been reduced to little more than delivery mechanisms for their respective Parties’ bullet points. Keep in mind: These bullet points are scripted by unelected individuals who are only focused on maintaining or expanding their particular Party’s power. For the most part, they couldn’t care less about “forming a more perfect Union” … Read more
RANCHO SANTA FE, Calif., July 30, 2013 — Our Nation currently has three outstanding examples of the impact of clinical narcissism in American politics: San Diego Mayor, Bob Filner; New York City Comptroller candidate, Eliot Spitzer, and New York Mayoral candidate, Anthony Weiner. Based upon their personal histories, these three would be well advised to get in line in front of the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion if they ever visit the Wizard in the Emerald City. Filner needs to “get a clue” (just ask Nancy Pelosi), Spitzer appears to only care about himself, and Weiner tends to hide behind the political skirt of his wife.
Before we examine the individuals, let’s first discuss the “Rule Book” that politicians follow when confronted with such crises. There are five stages to negotiating sexual faux pas within the political arena that essentially parallel the Five Stages of Grief: Denial; anger; bargaining; depression; and acceptance … Read more