After the Brussels attacks we now have both Republican front-runners giving crazy talk speeches on alienating our Muslim American citizens. I understand where the civil liberties folks and constitutional scholars are coming from and those are important considerations in the now crazy talk debate, but its not the really really important consideration.

The important consideration is that if one were to write a manifesto on how best to radicalize a certain segment of the American population you would turn to the playbook being espoused by both Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. Treat Muslims wanting to enter the US substantially differently then others, run police patrols and “secure” Muslim neighborhoods-what ever that means and we will have a disaster on our hands. Ask our law enforcement folk to treat a segment of our citizenry differently then others because we don’t really trust them and you will find in short order the very thing you did not want, you would then have.

1-With Trump winning Florida, Illinois and Missouri it looks like its pretty much game over-some walking in a circle and gnashing of teeth at the R’s convention but that’s about it. He will probably be the R candidate. The only other option is a major fight to replace him at the convention. If that succeeds he may well run as a third party candidate. If it doesn’t succeed there is a slim possibility a breakaway faction of R’s might run a third party candidate.

2-Many Republican House members will fall in line or, at minimum, try to run their own race and ignore the Presidential machinations because they see it is the most likely way to keep their seat.

I do think the following-75% chance of Trump becoming the Republican candidate, Clinton-99% chance of becoming the Democrat candidate.

The election: Clinton, a 90% chance of becoming the President, Trump, a 10% chance, if he is the Republican nominee. Although many pundits think the Republican party at best, will be a big big loser no matter what and even I believe that.

Other than Trump vs. the other guys, the second most important news story going on is the Senate’s refusal to even talk to prospective Supreme Court nominees. Their assumption is that next year they will control the White House and maintain a majority in the Senate, thereby controlling the nomination and getting another very conservative judge appointed.

As a registered Democrat, Hillary supporter and an avid follower of politics I have been asking myself every day why does Trump continue his hold on front runner status of the Republican Party? To find the answer I only had to look at my life over the past 50 years or so and then apply a concept called empathy.

Empathy may not be what you would think it is. It is not necessarily agreeing with the other person, it is understanding where they are coming from. Empathy is key to understanding Trump’s poll numbers.

Come on guys (and gals) who are presidential wannabes as the process moves into other states, let’s start talking about stuff that matters.

Yes, the decline of the middle class is of great concern and lots of mouth power should be devoted to it. Other then that issue, most of the rest is generally trash talk especially on the Republican side where an in ordinate amount of word power is being directed at belittling the opponent of the moment.

Here are two issues that need more substantive discussion.

Well, the Caucuses are but a few days away and the New Hampshire vote a little after that. So, are you still undecided?

Do you want your vote to count? Do you want the candidate who best reflects your values to succeed? Well, here is my suggestion, and it works no matter if you are a far left wing progressive socialist or a right wing rock ribbed conservative.

Written in April of 2015

          الدولة الإسلامية في العر   اق والشام

ISIS

The topic of this paper is is the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or sometimes called The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). For the sake of picking one out of the air, lets just call it ISIS.

So far 95% of all press reports are about either their battlefield successes or their depravity and cruelty. I have come to the conclusion the press loves the word beheading, it seems as if that’s all they talk about.

A few weeks ago the Des Moines Register carried an article I wrote regarding declaring war on the Islamic State. It was posted here on my blog in late November. This editorial is written to explain what I believe are the important elements of that decision

Today we went to the park and our veterinarian met us there to put dear Sable to sleep.

We got there at 11:00 am and we went for a walk in the woods near the river. Although almost blind his sense of smell was as good as ever. We wondered through the woods for a while and then started back to Sweet Pea’s tree, named after another loving dog from our past. My wife Kerry, our vet and the vet tech were all waiting, so we sat on the blanket and he settled down while a needle went in his leg. He looked up at us and gave the look of trust that he so often gave when something was happening he was not confortable with but knew we thought it best. The sedative began to take effect as I rubbed his ears, the thing he liked the most. He became calm and the second fluid of death drifted into his body. As the tears of humans came down he moved into another world not controlled by man but by God and he slowly –left- us.