The recent political chatter about “Obamacare” before the Supreme Court of the United States got a great deal of media attention. President Obama added fuel to the fire when he declared, “Ultimately, I am confident the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.”
For someone who was a law professor those words were absurd. Even if a bill passed unanimously in the house and senate, it could still be overturned – if the law was in violation of the Constitution.
The new law gives the military more authority to detain and interrogate both U.S. citizens and non-citizens. Under the new law, such detainees can be denied legal rights provided by the Constitution. Now, President Obama has stated, “I want to clarify that my administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens.”
On April 25, the Supreme Court of the United States will hear arguments dealing with the Arizona State passed immigration law. One of the provisions of the Arizona law permits police to question the immigration status of anyone arrested or even stopped for a traffic violation. Some 20 other states have passed laws similar to the contested Arizona law.
Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan has recused herself since she worked on the original Obama administration’s challenge to the Arizona immigration law.
If, a few weeks ago, someone said to me that you need to write a column about the word “honey,” I would have laughed it off. Then, my wife attended a luncheon where the hostess expanded on the virtues of honey and cinnamon. And she even handed out a paper with the way honey and cinnamon could be used for better health.
Before getting into the health issues, take a look at the origin of “honeymoon.” The word goes back 4,000 years to Ancient Babylon when newly married couples would drink mead, a honey based alcoholic drink, for a lunar month after marriage. Thus, evolved the word honeymoon.
Over the years, I have written a couple of times relating to people complaining about politicians and the performance of government. The other day, I said to my audience, I have two questions. With the first question, I want you to raise your hand if you do not feel government is operating correctly.
Every hand in the audience was raised immediately!
Now, that comment was partly humor, but the reality is that we have no national energy policy!
With all the debate over “Obamacare,” Medicare, the economics of healthcare and taxes, take a look with me at some of the issues, which will become front and center over the next five years.
First, examine some of the statistics with me. In the United States – Medicare and private insurance spend some $60 billion each year on hospital bills during the last two months of a dying patient’s life! For example, one day in an intensive care hospital bed costs around $10,000.
In the last several years, I have not read a book as fascinating and as enlightening as, What Went Wrong? The book written by Bernard Levis, an eminent authority on Middle Eastern history, is a professor at Princeton University.
The book starts with the founding of the Islam religion by Mohammed in the 7th century and really covers history through the terrorist attacks on 9/11. What I found so intriguing was the dominance of Islam from 900 to 1700 around the world. The dominance was not only in terms of military power which spread Islam over much of Africa, the Middle East and parts of Europe, but Muslims were dominant in terms of economic power and arts and science during that entire period. If you doubt that, just remember that Christians lost in the efforts to takeover the Middle East during the Crusades.
During the current Presidential campaigns, there has been a great deal of discussion about China. Is China a threat to the United States? Are our gates for global trade to open for Chinese manufactured goods? Can China be an ally for the United States?
These are just a few of the questions that are debated about China. Now, I have to say that I am not a China expert, but I have had contact, in one way or the other, with China since Korean military service back in 1953. In addition, I ran the Asia-Pacific profit center for a major United States company; helped to open China for that company in 1984; and took a tour through China with my wife in 2008. I have a great deal of respect for the Chinese people. When we were there a few years ago; the people, everywhere we went in China, could not have been nicer to all of us in the tour group. In fact, we were stopped many times and asked if we would pose for a picture with a Chinese family.
Without regard to one political party you may support, I cannot help but express concern about the grueling presidential campaign we are now witnessing. If you think about it, the current campaign really started soon after the election of President Obama in 2008.
Then, the campaigns really took off after the 2010 Congressional elections. The media jumped in and most of the news coverage was about the Republican primaries. If you figure the amount of time each candidate for president spends on the road, it is absolutely astounding. My estimates are that over a two-year period, each candidate who stays in the race has to drive and fly over 300,000 miles!
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