The Rockin Johnny B

Thursday, May 5, 2016



Obviously, Donald Trump fills a vacuum. His phenomenal rise to heights that even he didn't think he'd reach is an indication of just how deep the vacuum is in the GOP. Rarely have we seen someone with no experience cut through established Republican candidates like a hot knife through butter than we've seen this year with the advent of “The Donald.” Some are still shaking their heads and saying, “What the heck happened?” In fact, if you asked a passing stranger what the GOP stands for today, the stranger would say, “I really don't know,” and that about sums it up. The party of Lincoln is so disenfranchised it is almost impossible to tell when and why it happened.

Of course, I have a theory. Don't get me wrong, I'm a Liberal, but I still have a brain and I can still think clearly regarding the Trump phenomena. I'm also a patriotic person who believes the only way for the U.S.A. to be strong, it must have two [even three] strong parties who are able to work together to get things done through compromise and clear reasoning. That simply has not happened in the last 10 years. You cannot blame it on Obama [although the Right tries its best to do so], he wasn't president when this all started. However, you could call Obama a catalyst. It took a 'different' person in the White House to speed up the process. It could have even been a woman in office that got the ball of dissension rolling. The truth is that the ball was already moving when Barack Obama took office. It even began before George W took office. If I was to pin down the beginning of dissatisfaction with politics, I think Bill Clinton would be a good place to begin. Bill did some good things for the country, but his presidency was marred by bad behavior personally. The country, especially Mid-America, was incensed by his behavior and began sending more and more Republicans to the Senate and Congress until they became the majority and/or the Party of No. They didn't care whether Obama sent a good bill to the floor, or a bad bill to the floor, the answer was always NO. Thus began the decline of the Republican Party.

A survey was done. The U.S. Congress had a lower favorable rating than hemorrhoids. That, besides being funny, is a terrible statement of civic pride in our democratic process. Shame on us.

However, all is not lost. We still have the power of the vote. IF... if we choose to use it, that is. In order to change a system, the people within that system must decide that change is preferable to the status quo. Do we, the voting public, feel that way? The polls say yes. So our choice is The Donald or Hillary. Unless someone like Bernie decides to start a 3rd party – not likely.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Trimming The Budget

Finally, I'm back!  And, as you know, I am prone to ponderings.  So here is my latest ponder.

I've decided to create a pure capitalistic democracy.  Oh yes ladies and gentlemen, that is my goal today.  It shouldn't be too hard.  All I need to do is trim down that pesky Big Government to a workable size.  Get rid of all the 'socialism' programs that are bogging down this fine nation.  I know you are with me, because we all revel in abstract conservatism.  We want what The Donald, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson and the rest of the Republican intelligentsia wants, small government run on capitalistic ideals.  First let's do the trimming...

All these just gotta go:

  8. A CIA
  11. DAMS
  15. AN EPA
  17. AN FBI
  18. AN FCC
  19. AN FDA
  20. A FEMA
  26. AN IRS
  34. NASA
  36. NPR
  38. PBS
  49. A UPS
To name just a few.  I guess we can live without these things, cause we wanna go back to the good ol' days of horse and buggy government...Right?

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


Baby Boomers [Born between 1946 and 1964] Are Destroying the American Economy.

Not so. While it is true our economy is in trouble, it wasn't or isn't caused by Baby Boomers. Tankersley censures boomers because, he says, “they opened up global trade and watched millions of manufacturing jobs vanish.” Yes, many U.S. workers — boomers, Gen X’ers and Millennials — live with heightened personal economic insecurity thanks to intense global competition. The problem isn’t with boomers, however.

Let's look at this another way: Instead, recognize that conservative legislators and their economist allies have often worked together to block a number of policy initiatives aimed at substantially boosting job training and job creation programs for people laid off and displaced as a result of increased global trade and job losses here. There are many so-called Boomers who would like to work, are able to work, have tried to get jobs, but are turned down for many reasons, but the prime reason is their age. Employers are not supposed to age discriminate, but let's face, they do.

And here’s a question for Tankersley: If aging boomers have it so good, why do Social Security benefits comprise more than half of family budgets for 44 percent of leading-edge boomers, ages 65 to 69, who’ve filed for benefits?
Many of the younger boomers he rails against are among the 44 million+ Americans who care for their parents and relatives. As Sally Abrahms just wrote in her Washington Post piece about boomer myths, a 2013 AARP study found that about 1 in 5 workers age 45 to 74 had either taken a leave or quit a job to care for an adult family member in the previous five years.
The Rand Corporation estimated the value of unpaid caregiving at $522 billion annually, including the opportunity cost of not working, or working only part-time, which makes it that much harder to save for retirement.  The value of all this care exceeds the $502 billion in net federal outlays on Medicare in 2014. So much for the selfishness of The Me Generation.
I could go on, but I want to shift to the truly troublesome core of the blame-the-boomer commentary: The solutions that typically accompany this perspective threaten one of the great economic and social opportunities in history created by increased longevity.
The basic fear in this argument is that the economy will falter with too few young workers supporting too many retired boomers. Truth is, aging boomers are reimagining and rethinking the second half of life to include work and engagement well into the traditional retirement years (what I call unretirement).
Boomers aren’t a deadweight loss on the economy. Quite the opposite. What Tankersley and his ilk miss in their blanket condemnation of the boomer generation is that, today, aging has become an opportunity for the economy to seize.
“The possibility of productive work lasting an additional decade will do more than supplement the workforce and can lead us to rethink the values and meaning of work,” writes Mary Catherine Bateson, the well-known anthropologist and author of Composing a Further Life. “Freud famously said that what gives meaning to life is to love and to work — lieben und arbeiten —and these are the keys to understanding the restless searches of today’s older adults.”
The gloom about aging boomers fails to take into account economic productivity, which trumps demographics every time. What counts is innovation, technology, the organization of business, investments in human capital and the animal spirits of capitalism.

A half-century ago, America had five workers for every retiree. This figure has since declined to fewer than three workers to one retiree. Sounds ominous, right? Well, the truth is that the U.S. is a vastly wealthier nation than it was in 1965.
Look at it this way: Between 2012 and 2035, aging alone could reduce American living standards by 8.5 percent, calculates Dean Baker, co-director at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a liberal think tank. That would be due to the projected drop in the ratio of workers to retirees from about three workers for every retiree in 2012 to approximately two for every retiree in 2035. Yet if productivity growth runs at a 2.5 percent average annual rate — the pace of the first three decades following the Second World War and a realistic expectation going forward — the cumulative gain to American living standards is almost 58 percent, Baker figures.
Even if productivity only matches the anemic pace of 1 percent from 1973 to 1995, living standards will still rise by 26 percent.
In other words, according to Baker, even with the gloomiest productivity growth outlook, the gains dwarf the projected decline in living standards from demographics.
Here’s the kicker: Baker says his impact-of-productivity projections are too pessimistic because he isn’t factoring in the likely prospect of workers staying on the job longer than in the past.
So, please stop the fear and loathing of boomers. The critical economic and social story of our era is really generational interdependence.
Instead of indulgent attacks on Americans in their 50s, 60s and early 70s, how about grappling with policies that encourage more women into the labor market, create robust job opportunities for inner-city residents and rural poor and keep aging workers employed?
While we’re at it, let’s devote more energy toward reforming Social Security and pensions in ways that reward earning an income and starting a business in the un-retirement years.
I want to end my rebuttal with another quote from Bateson:
“Each of the liberation movements of the 20th century has had to struggle against internalized prejudices and negative images of the self or of other members of the same group, which had to be overcome in order to embrace a different vision and believe it could be achieved.”
Un-retirement is a social movement that’s breaking down stereotypes and economic barriers, with boomers in the vanguard. The underlying vision is worth fighting for.
Paraphrased and sometimes copied from a piece by Chris Farrell is senior economics contributor for American Public Media’s Marketplace. An award-winning journalist, he is author
 of the new book, Unretirement: How Baby Boomers Are Changing the Way We Think About Work, Community, and The Good Life.


A while back, I had an argument on Facebook with a fella named Gary.  He was dissing Muslims and their dangerous and radical book of fear called The Koran.  Here was my reply.  You don't have to agree.  That's not necessary.  The point I was making with Gary is that don't dis something you haven't read or seen or researched yourself.  I was shooting for 'Critical Thinking'.  I don't know if I achieved my aim.  After this response, Gary did not reply.

Really Gary? Have you read it? I've skimmed it. I took a "Religions of the World" course in college and we studied the highlights in the Koran or Qu'ran and I found it to be another biblical tail of Islam and a darn good belief system. Basically it encourages belief in good deeds, prayer and good deeds and prayer only. Then it goes on to encourage 'mutual contracts on conducts and behaviors':

Here's the Cliff Notes:

4:86) When a (courteous) greetings is offered to you, meet it with a greeting still more courteous, or (at least) of equal courtesy.
(24:61) Do it even if you enter your own houses.
(24:27) Or you enter other houses.
(25:63) Or even if an ignorant man addresses you.
(4:94) Say not to anyone who offers you a salutation, "You are not a believer".
(49:9) If two parties among the believers fall into a quarrel, make peace between them; but if one of them transgresses beyond bounds against the other, then you should fight against the party that transgresses until the other party complies with commands of Allah. But if the other party complies, make peace between them with justice, and be fair.
(49:10) All believers are brothers to each other.
(33:70) Always say what is directed to the Right (in a straightforward manner).
(22:30) Shun the word that is false.
(17:53) Say those things that are best.
(31:19) Speak fair to the people.
(31:19) Lower your voice and be moderate in your bearing.
(6:152) Whenever you give words, do justice even though it be against a kinsman.
(24:27) Enter not anyone's house without permission.
(2:42) Cover not Truth with falsehood, nor conceal the Truth when you know what it is.
(31:18) Turn not thy cheek away from men in scorn, and walk not in the earth exultantly; Allah loves not any man proud and boastful.
(6:151) Come not near shameful deeds, whether open or secret.
(7:33) Avoid shameful deeds.
(23:3) Avoid vain talk and (28:55) Do not listen to vain talk.
(25:72) Witness no falsehood. If you have to pass by futility, pass by it with honorable avoidance.
(24:19) Do not spread scandal.
(17:37) Walk not on earth with insolence, for you cannot rend the earth asunder, nor reach the mountains in height. (25:63) Walk on earth in humility.
Back-biting, false accusation, jealousy, etc.
(4:148) Evil must not be noised abroad in public speech except where injustice has been done.
(49:11) Let not a folk deride a folk who may be better than they are. (9:79) No slandering and ridiculing.
(49:12) Avoid suspicion as far as possible and spy not on each other, nor speak ill of each other behind their backs.
(49:11) Do not defame or be sarcastic to each other. Call not each other by offensive nicknames.
(24:4,23) Slander not chaste women.
(4:54) Envy not mankind for what Allah has given them of His bounty.
(24:12,15,16) Think of everybody as innocent till guilt is proved against him.
(49:6) If a wicked person comes to you with any news, ascertain the truth.
(4:112) If anyone earns a sin or a fault and throws it on to one who is innocent, he carries on himself both falsehood and a flagrant sin.
Health, cleanliness, eating and drinking
(2:247) Wisdom and health are better than abundant riches.
(16:69 & 26:80) If you fall ill, seek cure in Allah's laws
(9:108) Purity in body, mind and heart. (4:43 & 5:6) Cleanliness.
(2:173; 5:3; 6:145; 16:115) Certain things such as pork and dead meat prohibited.
(5:90, 91) Strong drinks and wine prohibited.
(2:168) Eat of what is on earth, lawful and good. (7:31) Eat and drink but waste not by excess.
Husband-wife, children, parents, relatives, friends and neighbors
(30:31) "He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts)".
(25:74) "Wives and offspring be the comfort of our eyes". (2:187) Husband and wife should be like garments of each other.
(6:151) Be good to your parents.
(2:83) Treat with kindness your parents and kindred. (17: 23, 24) Do not rebuke your parents in their old age.
(17:26) Give the kinsman his due, and the needy, and the wayfarer, and squander not (thy wealth) in wantonness.
(4:36) Do good to neighbors whether relatives or not.
(4:36) Do good to the companions by your side.
Orphan and needy
(93:9) Treat not the orphan with harshness.
(6:152) Come not nigh to the property of the orphan except to improve it until he attains the age of full strength.
(2:83) Treat with kindness those in need.
(2:273) (Charity) is for those in need, who in Allah's cause, are restricted and cannot move about in the land, seeking. The ignorant men think because of their modesty, that they are free from want. You shall know them by their mark: they do not beg of men with importunity.
(2:263-264) Kind words and the covering of faults are better than charity followed by injury. Cancel not your charity by reminders of your generosity or by injury.

(2:275) Usury is forbidden.
(2:282) Put in writing transactions involving future obligations.
(2:280) If a debtor is in difficulty, grant him time till it is easy for him to repay. But if you remit it by way of charity, that is the best for you.
(5:1; 62:5) Keep your promises and fulfill obligations.


(6:141; 17:26,27,29 & 25:67) Tie not your hand (like a niggard's) to your neck, nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach.
(42:38) Dispose of your affairs by mutual consultation.
(5:2) Help one another in acts of righteousness and piety, but not in sin and rancor.
(6:70) Leave alone those who take their Deen to be mere play and amusement and are deceived by the life of this world.
(4:140) When you hear the Signs of Allah held in defiance and ridicule, you are not to sit with them unless they turn to a different theme.
(2:136,285; 3:84; 4:150,152) Make no distinctions between the prophets.
(18:29 & 2:256) No compulsion in your Deen (code of life).
(16:125) Invite all to the way of your Sustainer with wisdom and beautiful preaching: and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious.
(2:44) Do not enjoin right conduct on the people and forget to practice it yourself.
(3:167) Never be hypocritical, saying with lips what is not in the heart.
(5:100) Not equal are things that are bad and things that are good, even though the abundance of the bad may dazzle you.
(31:20, 45:12,13) Conquests of the universe for the welfare of mankind.
6.2 Human rights2
(33:35) Equality of sexes. (Also many other verses where men and women are both mentioned)
(46: 13, 19) Honor and respect is due only to that individual whose "deeds" qualify him for the distinction.
(3:79) No one can enslave another human being in any form of slavery.
(39:70) No one's fruits of labor will be denied or usurped or misappropriated. To every soul will be paid, in full, the earning of his "deeds"
(16:90) Justice must be done to everyone. (4:58, 5:8) Judge between mankind justly.
(6:152) And if ye give your word, do justice thereunto, even though it be (against) a kinsman.
(6:152) Each individual (rather every living being) has a right to claim essential necessities of life from the social order. (16:90) Equity is not enough. It must be supplemented by charitable kindness also.
(7:85; 17:35 & 6:152) Give full measure and weight, in justice.
(2:286) The burden of one cannot be placed upon the shoulders of another. Also, no burden can be placed upon a soul greater than it can bear.
(6:152 & 17:31) Each individual (rather, every living being) has a right to claim essential necessities of life from the social order.
(2:188; 5:32; 6:152) Protection of life and property. (2:85) No one can be banished from his home.
(24:2,4 & 33:59) Protection of chastity.
(7:32) Appreciation of beauty. Aesthetic taste.
(2: 256; 9:6; 10:99; 16:106, 125 & 18:29) Religious Freedom.
(4:148) The right of complaint for the oppressed to seek redress of his grievances.
(4:148) Protection against malevolent scandal and libel.
(24:12) The accused to be considered innocent unless proved guilty.
(6:165) Personal responsibility. (17:34) Fulfillment of all promises, engagement and obligations.
(2: 205) Protection of crops and progeny.
(2:217, 3:99) No one can be obstructed from the path of Allah.
(17:20) Allah's free bounties must not be withheld or closed to anyone.
(30:22) Differences in colors and languages are signs of Allah. They must not be exploited for the disunity of mankind.



Brookings Institute wondered too...
First of all, who is this Brookings Institute and why should anyone pay attention to what they have to say?

The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit organization devoted to independent research and policy solutions. Its mission is to conduct high-quality, independent research and, based on that research, to provide innovative, practical recommendations for policymakers and the public. The conclusions and recommendations of any Brookings publication are solely those of its author(s), and do not reflect the views of the Institution, its management, or its other scholars.

The key definitions are: 1. Non-profit and 2. independent research. Brookings has no ties to any political party or institution. Their work is fact finding and exploration of social issues.

If you are not a professional graph reader, let me try to show you the breakdown of the
different social entity's views regarding discrimination.

But perceptions of discrimination vary strikingly by party identification. Democrats (80 percent), for example, are significantly more likely than Republicans (46 percent) and Tea Party members (44 percent) to say blacks face a lot of discrimination in the United States today. Democrats (68 percent) are also much more likely than Republicans (42 percent) and Tea Party members (41 percent) to say Hispanics currently face a great deal of discrimination. But when it comes to discrimination against whites, the pattern is completely reversed—Republicans (36 percent) and Tea Party members (45 percent) are more than twice as likely as Democrats (16 percent) to say there is a lot of discrimination against whites in the America today.
Attitudes on the amount of discrimination faced by another prominent minority group in America—gay and lesbian people—are also, unsurprisingly, divided along party lines. More than eight in ten (82 percent) Democrats believe that there is a great deal of discrimination against gay and lesbian people in America today. Only about half of Republicans (55 percent) and Tea Party members (49 percent) say the same.

  1. All Americans: 12% believe there is no discrimination. 20% believe there's some. 26% believe a few groups face discrimination. 41% believe most groups face discrimination.
  2. Democrats: 5% no discrimination. 12% some. 26% a few. 55% most.
  3. Independent: 14% no. 24% some. 25% a few. 37% most.
  4. Republican: 20% no. 27% some. 28% a few. 25% most.
  5. Tea Party: 21% no. 29% some. 24% a few. 25% most.

The partisan contrast on this scale is significant: only five percent of Democrats believe that none of these groups face a lot of discrimination in the United States today. In contrast, Republicans (20 percent) and Tea Party members (21 percent) are four times as likely to express the same view. At the other end of the scale, a majority (55 percent) of Democrats perceive that most of these groups face a considerable amount of discrimination. In contrast, only one-quarter of Republicans (25 percent) and Tea Party members (25 percent) agree that this many underrepresented groups are facing a lot of discrimination.

In the final equation, Democrats see much more discrimination than do Republicans or Tea Party folks.

Charts & Stuff: understandable statistics

For those of us who hated statistics in high school. Remember that icky stuff in those geometry and algebra books and especially in that dreaded American History book? Remember how we used to skip over the little statistics on the footnotes of A.H. Book? How boring they were. Well here are some more of those boring graphs that you and I skipped over, but this time they are used to point out some cogent facts regarding today's history lessons.

President Barack Hussein Obama [yes I used his middle name to satisfy any latent Birthers out there] has gotten a bad rap. Facts don't prove out what the Right has been saying about the present president.

  1. Spending has been way lower under Obama than it was under Bush and the Budget Deficit has actually decreased under Obama when shown next to Bush.
  2. The Stimulus actually worked, however, it was just not enough.
  3. Social Security is a “Ponzi Scheme,” and is going broke is also blatantly false no matter what the Right has been saying. S.S. is NOT going broke. In fact experts believe even if nothing was done to tweak the system, S.S. would still be up and running 30 years from now paying out exactly what it's paying out now. And, no Ponzi Scheme would still be in existence after 80 years. Ponzi schemes collapse usually within 1-5 years. [Longest ever: Deepal Wannakuwatte's scheme lasted for a decade.]
  4. TAX CUTS GROW THE ECONOMY, GOVERNMENT SPENDING: Actually, the opposite is true. Tax cuts stifle the economy and government spending helps to grow the economy. It's relatively easy to prove that point. If you cut taxes, certain government entities have to cut spending and that means laying off personnel which sends them to the unemployment line, etc., etc., you get the point. Government spending on the other hand, means more jobs and more spending and an enhanced economy. You can never stimulate an economy by cutting taxes.


What do 'they' think of America?

Donald Trump’s bewildering popularity in the presidential race has been exceedingly hard to bear for many Americans, particularly those who belong to one or more of the communities that he openly disparages, like African-Americans and Muslim Americans.
Yet if even some citizens wrestle to make sense of Trump’s rise to power, how do non-Americans view the strange state of politics in the world’s most powerful nation?
While on a recent visit to Dubai, United Arab Emirates—where I was born and raised and where my parents still live—Trump’s name cropped up as a topic of conversation within the first few minutes of nearly every interaction I had, so I decided to gather a group of my friends together to answer that question.
Dubai is home to myriad immigrant communities, and while the city of more than 2.4 million struggles with its own unique social problems, the United States remains hugely influential there when it comes to both pop culture and politics.
Carlo, an Italian friend, told me that he finds Trump’s popularity troubling. “It doesn’t look good,” he said, shaking his head as he uttered the vague words, perhaps worried that he might insult the American in me if he said more.
To my Dubai friends, the Trump phenomenon is tremendously fascinating, but they are not surprised by his meteoric ascension to the status of a viable presidential candidate. After all, the White House was occupied in recent memory by another bumbling, bigoted fool who loved to pander to religious extremists and wax bombastic. His name was George W. Bush, and he gave us the Afghanistan and Iraq wars and birthed the Department of Homeland Security while also becoming an unending source of macabre hilarity. Trump promises all of the above and much more.
Bush was sandwiched between two presidents of a far more civilized ilk—Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. But even under both of them, state violence—both domestic and international—have continued to thrive. Big banks have benefited at the expense of ordinary Americans; immigrants have faced a massive deportation campaign; African-Americans have seen lip service but no justice; and so on. The list is long.
However, Carlo said he liked Obama immensely. The United States’ first African-American president, he said, is relatable and even amid incessant attacks from right-wing opponents appears to rise above their petty politics.
I was surprised to learn that my international friends watch Fox News and that they clearly understand its ability to foment ignorance and hatred among Americans. But they also watch a wide variety of other media, including the BBC, Sky News, Al-Jazeera and RT, and they are well aware of how widespread racist discourse and violence remain.
Fatima, an Indian Muslim friend, said she wants to visit the U.S. but that her husband, Tarek, a Syrian, refuses. Why? “Islamophobia,” Tarek said simply. The single word said it all.
Middle-class liberal-minded immigrants in the UAE like my friends are not the only non-Americans who are disgusted by Trump. The Emirati billionaire Khalaf Al Habtoor, who had initially supported the American businessman, now says he regrets having done so. Al Habtoor has accused Trump of “creating a hatred between Muslims and the United States of America.”
In addition, billboards featuring Trump’s image advertising a golf-course development in Dubai were recently removed, leading some to conclude that “the Trump brand has become toxic.”
Preeti, also an Indian, confessed that she and Carlo, her husband, had planned a family vacation in the United States. The couple, who have two lovely olive-skinned sons, canceled their vacation because they were worried about racism. “I feared they would see her as ‘black’ and attack her,” Carlo said, pointing to his wife.
The couple and their sons speak English with accents and have skin tones of various shades, and they simply did not want to risk traveling to a nation that they now feel would not welcome them. Preeti even quoted another friend in Dubai who refers to the U.S. as “the devil’s own country.”
Obviously racism in the United States is an age-old phenomenon, but because there is increased awareness via social media, non-Americans may be getting a more accurate picture of contemporary U.S. society. And they don’t like what they see.
The group I gathered saw police brutality in the U.S. as equally appalling. As The Guardian newspaper has pointed out, “US police kill more in days than other countries do in years.” 
A 2015 list compiled by a private consulting firm ranked the U.S. 22nd among the world’s most reputable countries. Canada occupied the top spot, and nations like Sweden, Australia, Finland and Thailand all ranked higher than the U.S., which came in just ahead of Poland and the Czech Republic.
In addition to the rampant racism, the widespread gun violence that plagues nearly every corner of the nation confounds my non-American associates. “There’s simply no gun control,” Preeti remarked. “It makes no sense!”
My friends spoke of the freedom with which Americans wield deadly weapons. They see it as bizarre and are unable to fathom how it can be acceptable in a modern society that is supposed to be civilized.
The remarks reminded me of an interaction that I had recently with an old high school friend who now lives and works in Paris with her family. She described feeling so shaken by the Nov. 13, 2015, attacks in her city—which claimed 130 lives—that she remained unable to visit her usual haunts. I responded by saying that living in the U.S. has inured me to random violence, that gun violence is so rampant across the nation that we now have to simply accept that there is a nonnegotiable risk of being shot every time we step outside our homes.
Fatima’s oldest daughter started university in the United Kingdom a few months ago. She told me that there was absolutely no way that she would have sent her daughter to the U.S. for higher education.
Decades ago, several of us at the gathering—including me—first entered the U.S. on student visas, eager to earn a degree from an American educational institution. But today, Fatima said she would send her daughter “anywhere but the U.S.”
There was a time when the United States enjoyed a reputation (however undeserved) for being the keeper of the world’s conscience, the standard-bearer of human rights and democracy. But now, it appears that that veneer is fading fast and that reality is seeping through to the outside world.

“You Americans have no Idea.”

You Americans Have No Idea Just How Good You Have It With Obama Many of us Canadians are confused by the U.S. midterm elections. Consider, right now in America, corporate profits are at record highs, the country's adding 200,000 jobs per month, unemployment is below 6%, U.S. gross national product growth is the best of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries. The dollar is at its strongest levels in years, the stock market is near record highs, gasoline prices are falling, there's no inflation, interest rates are the lowest in 30 years, U.S. oil imports are declining, U.S. oil production is rapidly increasing, the deficit is rapidly declining, and the wealthy are still making astonishing amounts of money. America is leading the world once again and respected internationally — in sharp contrast to the Bush years. Obama brought soldiers home from Iraq and killed Osama bin Laden. So, Americans vote for the party that got you into the mess that Obama just dug you out of? This defies reason. When you are done with Obama, could you send him our way? Richard Brunt Victoria, British Columbia.

It's like pouring salt into a wound. There is a bright side to Brunt's letter. We, at least, know other countries are paying attention to President Obama's accomplishments, even if the majority of Americans don't feel they're worth defending at the polls. It's a shame. The Conservative bullhorn was so loud, it drove out the desire for many people to vote. And Democrats didn't help. While pointing our fingers at the GOP (predominately our middle fingers) we forgot to blow our own horns. We forgot to build up our own President. We forgot to remind each other about what our own country looked like before Obama. I have to believe the public really didn't understand the GOP gerrymandering that took place the last four years. They didn't see the many important and beneficial bills shot down by Republicans, one after another, out of spite. People wanted to see results, and the results were there. But half of America was blinded by the half-truths FOX 'News' and Conservative talking heads fed them, because you know, if you tell just enough truth mixed in with a bucket of lies, it causes confusion. And that can lead to a bad case of the FuckIts. Netflix marathons are way more fun. Blunt's letter reminds me of one of my favorite Robin Williams quotes/memes: