In Defense of the FBI

In defense of the FBI they were dealt a dead mans hand.  That isn’t to say they are innocent.  When charges, serious charges, of illegal activity are levied against one of the two candidates for president of the United States of America what safe course of action is there ?

There is no safe path.  If they decide to wait until after the election to pursue an investigation they will be charged with complicity and supporting one candidate over the other.  But on the other hand if they pursue an investigation of one of two two candidates for president they will be charge with sabotaging that candidate to assist the other.

Trump has done a lot of business with Russia, many did the same.  After the fall of the Soviet Union there were a lot of business leaders who took advantage of the opportunity.   Did Trump cross any lines ?   Did he break any laws ?   The jury is still out on that.  The special prosecutor Mueller is working on finding that out.  So far he has produced some indictments, but as yet nothing rising much past lying to the FBI.   He may have something yet to come.

Hillary on the other hand has essentially admitted, as the FBI pointed out via Comey, that classified material was mishandled.  The upshot of the defense of the action was she did not realize she handled it inappropriately.

The fallout from Hillary’s actions as Secretary of State is what ensnared the FBI in the current political battle.   Its very possible that some agents, and leaders, had political views that effected their judgement.

The solution to this mess is for each party to make sure they don’t send out dirty politicians from their primary elections, or at least none so dirty that actual criminal scandals cloud the general.  Vet the nominees before they become nominees.  Of course that might result in no politician ever being qualified to represent either party.


A Unpopular President ?

On a trip to the store yesterday I noticed the newsstand.   Lots of articles about how unpopular Trump still is, all the things he does wrong.  This sentiment matches the general view of CNN/ABC/CBS/NBC/etc. and a large number of internet news sources.   To listen to this all no one can still to this day figure out how/why he won.  How does such an unpopular guy win ?   The views of the average trump supporter are never presented because they are simply unpalatable to these entities.

But the reality is he did win the presidential election.   Its true he lost the popular vote, but he only lost it by two percent.  It was 46% for Trump and 48% for Hillary.   Those percentages show a nation that is pretty evenly split on if they prefer Trump or Hillary.

What happened, and is continuing to happen, is that approximately half the nation is no longer listening to “the press”.   They are doing this because the views being expressed in the press no longer represent the views of the nation.  Somehow the traditional press now present the views of half the nation.   What is being proclaimed as the fringe few, the right wing nuts, etc. is apparently not fringe at all.  It may be unacceptable ideas and views to the other half, but you simply cannot call 46% of the nation fringe and the other 48% mainstream.

This started many years ago.  It started with the death of the “fairness doctrine” which allowed Rush Limbaugh onto the nations airwaves.    It continued with the advent of Fox News.   The internet age has now arrived and its continuing.   Rush Limbaugh was mocked, Fox likewise, as are most of the right leaning websites.   This last election has been blamed on fringe ideas like white supremacists or Russians.

The traditional press is grappling with the reality that these views are actually acceptable to 46% of the people.  What is clear is that they have, contrary to the banner of objective journalism, chosen a side almost universally in the national debate of ideas.

Morality of Special Needs Trusts and Benefits

A question one undoubtedly will ponder about Special Needs Trusts ( alternately Supplemental Needs Trust ) is about the morality of the instrument.   This may not be pondered until the trust is actually funded.  It may be pondered by the trustee, by the beneficiary, by anyone who has knowledge of the trust.

The question naturally arises because the Special Needs Trust allows a person to have a very large amount of assets available for their benefit and still qualify for means tested government benefits.  It can look like a loophole, or gaming or exploitin  g the system.

This thought arises due to the juxtaposition of two competing ideas.  The first being “welfare is for the poor” and the second being “disabled need care”.

The key distinction is to realize that a Special Needs Trust doesn’t exist because clever lawyers found a way to exploit a miswording or nuance of the law.  The Special Needs Trust exists because Congress decided to create it in statute.   It was created because the disabled require more care than the non disabled.  They will have spending needs that are higher than those of the non disabled.  They should not be placed at a disadvantage because of that.  Further those little extras that someone can provide to a disabled person while they are alive that will help offset the difficulties of a disability should be able to persist even after the benefactor ( usually a parent or grandparent ) passes away.  The mechanism for that higher level of care is through the private funding of individuals on behalf of the disabled person while still letting the disabled person maintain means tested benefits.  Further Congress has in the last few years expanded the idea by the creation of 529 Able accounts, which in many ways function like a prepackaged Special Needs Trust.

The creation and utilization of a Special Needs Trust is following the intent of the congress, and the president who drafted and signed the laws into existence.  Its done for the benefit of those with disability to allow them to benefit from our societal belief that the disabled need care, even state care, and yet at the same time allow them to have a life style above that of mere subsistence.


Including A Return Envelope

Recently I wanted to enclose an addressed stamped return envelope in a letter I was sending.   Turns out this is a very simple thing to accomplish.   The legal sized envelopes you buy at most stores are size #10.  The return envelopes are size #9.   Both sizes will easily accommodate a 8.5×11 inch paper.

Real Estate Recovery


One of the things not highlighted during the last campaign season is that real estate prices have generally recovered. The fiscal crisis was not the making of President Obama. It was the inheritance of a disaster that came to fruition in the tale end of President George W. Bush.

A Poem by Rudyard

by Rudyard Kipling

It was not part of their blood,
It came to them very late,
With long arrears to make good,
When the Saxon began to hate.

They were not easily moved,
They were icy — willing to wait
Till every count should be proved,
Ere the Saxon began to hate.

Their voices were even and low.
Their eyes were level and straight.
There was neither sign nor show
When the Saxon began to hate.

It was not preached to the crowd.
It was not taught by the state.
No man spoke it aloud
When the Saxon began to hate.

It was not suddently bred.
It will not swiftly abate.
Through the chilled years ahead,
When Time shall count from the date
That the Saxon began to hate.