On the need for better judgment in US politics—A Devil’s Advocate Speaks

By Richard John Stapleton

Trump came across better in the second presidential debate (Sunday, October 9, 2016), Hillary not as well, in my judgment.

Hillary admitted she made a mistake with her email server and 33,000 emails, and Trump clobbered her for having bad judgment, something most people probably suspected.

Hillary clearly came out on top in the third debate.

What is judgment?

According to Google on the Internet, judgment is “the ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions,” “an error of judgment.”

synonyms: discernment, acumen, shrewdness, astuteness, sense, common sense, perception, perspicacity, percipience, acuity, discrimination, reckoning, wisdom, wit, judiciousness, prudence, canniness, sharpness, sharp-wittedness, powers of reasoning, reason, logic; More

savvy, horse sense, street smarts, gumption

“his temper could affect his judgment”

One can build the case any woman who would marry an out-of-control sexual person like Bill Clinton and stay married to him decades has bad judgment.

But maybe Hillary’s marital decision reflected good judgment, given her goals and ambitions.  It seems to me her being married to Bill Clinton enabled her to achieve her personal political ambitions, regardless of what he did sexually with other women, or how many times he embarrassed her, assuming his escapades and scandals did embarrass her. She may have found them entertaining.

Not many women have goals and objectives like Hillary’s, including seriously becoming the first woman president of the US.

Hillary has also been accused of being an out-of-control sexual person, as shown by a post on Facebook at http://www.wnd.com/2015/10/webb-hubbell-no-comment-on-fathering-chelsea-clinton/ asserting with compelling evidence her daughter’s biological father is not Bill Clinton but one of her law partners from her days with a law firm in Arkansas. Tit-for-tat a Facebook post at http://www.infowars.com/banished-the-untold-story-of-danney-williams-search-for-his-father/ asserts with compelling evidence Bill Clinton has a son he fathered with an African American sex worker from his days as governor of Arkansas.

Apparently it’s not embarrassing to millions of voters to think we US citizens shall once again have this Clinton couple in the White House, with Hillary overseeing and theoretically managing millions of employees in the US federal bureaucracy as chief executive, directing the activities of millions of employees in the US military as commander in chief, and supposedly psychologically leading all of us—morally, ethically, economically, and politically . . . to god knows where.

Bill Clinton’s bizarre sexual behavior and subsequent scandals enabled Hillary to automatically get millions of dollars worth of free political advertising in mainstream media, enabling her to develop her political brand, while acting in the leading lady role in one of the most successful real life soap operas of all time, The Clintons, watched by billions of people around Earth over twenty-five years—an experience that may enable her to take control of the White House Oval Office, and the White House bedrooms, come February of next year.

Trump said Hillary never gives up pursuing her goals and dreams, which he saw as a good thing about her.  She has perseverance, for sure.

And no doubt about it, Hillary Clinton is an abnormally clever, attractive, and sophisticated person, with a good education, Yale and all that, as is her charming husband Bill, also a Yale law school graduate. Starting from scratch, they are now wealthy, having made their money after Bill left the US presidency on January 20, 2000, primarily by selling books and giving speeches to large corporations and the elite rich.

Regardless of Hillary’s abilities and proclivities, bad judgment, assuming she indeed has bad judgment, is not a good thing to have when a president sleeps with a red telephone by her bed in the White House giving her the power to destroy the world with a nuclear bomb, or start WWIII, with one telephone call in the middle of the night.   Nor is bad judgment a good thing to have dealing with greedy aggressive bought and paid for US senators and representatives, banksters, and various types of oligarchs gradually but inexorably undermining the functioning of the US government from the inside seeking and gaining tax concessions and other favors.

Trump may have better judgment for foreign policy issues than Hillary, and for dealing with banksters and fellow oligarchs, however flawed his judgment is. Trump said he thought Antonin Scalia was a great Supreme Court judge, showing the kind of Supreme Court judges he would appoint, showing what poor judgment Trump has regarding the judgment of Antonin Scalia, especially Scalia’s judgment in the Citizens United case of 2010, an oxymoronic insulting name for the case, a case that dis-united citizens, a case that turned corporations into first class citizens with super power to influence elections in their favor, a case that turned people into second class citizens with diminished power. Scalia was one of the worst Supreme Court judges in US history, in my judgment.

Trump and his cronies and minions in the Oval Office, if Trump gets elected, could appoint a thousand or more judges, cabinet members, ambassadors, bureaucrats, etc., giving Trump power to do untold evil—exercising his flawed judgment.

Trump’s family life is about as strange as Hillary’s, hopefully also not a new normal for the US. Hopefully it’s nothing more than a bizarre dysfunctional rich family copying a TV reality show or soap opera, just for the fun of it, having nothing better to do to stave off boredom.

Both Trump and Hillary are potentially very evil presidents.

Woe be unto the land one of them shall probably wind up president of the US, thanks hugely to the mostly intellectually-challenged voters who selected Trump and Hillary in the primaries, and the corrupt rigging of the US primary system, designed to implement the will of the deep state, not the will of we the people.

Polls and posts still show Bernie Sanders could win in a landslide if he were on the ballot in November, as shown on my Facebook page, indicating a large majority of US possible voters are moderate sensible people, however apathetic many of them were in the primaries, if they could have voted and did not.  Many registered Independents who supported Bernie could not vote for him, thanks to the nefarious rigging of the Democratic National Committee.

We ought to do in the US what they do in Australia:  Require all possible voters to vote, and fine them if they don’t.

Hillary and Trump were selected in the primaries by about thirty-five percent of possible US presidential voters, about seventeen percent of possible voters each, who were mostly credulous poorly-informed ideological extremists on the left and right, who could care less about the facts of foreign and domestic policy issues. They are mostly people who don’t want to be confused by facts, who believe memorizing a few simple dogmas, doctrines, or beliefs one time is all you need to live a successful and proper life.

We are being ruled by a tyranny of the minority.

Hopefully the collective judgment of US voters once all the November votes are tallied, announced, and accepted will be good enough to enable us in the US and all people around Earth to continue muddling through somehow, for a long time, regardless of who “wins” the election. It’s amazing to me we have done as well as we have collectively given the political incompetence and malfeasance we have seen in the US and worldwide in the last fifty-six years. The environment up to now has been very forgiving. How much longer it can tolerate human folly remains to be seen.

It’s grandiose for anyone to think that her or his personal vote in the November election will make one whit’s worth of difference in the overall outcome for the US and the world following the election. One vote in a secret ballot presidential vote is like a limb falling from a tree in a forest with no human around to see or hear it. Forget about making America great again with your vote, magically, as Trump mouths to the masses, or keeping America great, as it is, as Hillary mouths to the masses.

On the other hand, if you could somehow magically convince a majority of sensible moderate possible presidential voters to vote on Tuesday, November 8 that might make a difference. This is just as true for this presidential election as it has been for those of the past. Nothing will change if moderate sensible voters keep voting for the lesser evil selected by the evil Democratic and Republican Parties, in my judgment.

Jill Stein, the Green Party nominee, is the best choice on the November presidential ballot. Vote for her, shake the dust off your feet as you walk away from the voting booth, don’t look back lest you get turned into a pillar of salt, pray for the best, and let the chips fall where they may.

As that great American stripper Mae West said, in her judgment, “Confronted with choosing the lesser of evils, always choose the evil you’ve never tried.”

One can build the case that no feeling, thought, decision, action, article, book, constitution, person, family, group, organization, religion, or nation is all good or all evil, and never has been.

One can build the case that all humans since time immemorial have done what they were caused to do in dog-eat-dog competitions in their environments in which there are always winners and losers, that all humans are inevitable evolutionary accidents, that free will does not exist, that all effects, including feelings, thoughts, and decisions are caused, and all causes and effects are linked in cause-effect chains in infinite regressions; and therefore no human is to be blamed or praised.

I have covered the issue of free will and determinism in some detail in my books. If you ask Google—Does free will exist?—you will find 10,400,000 results. Some of the posts say free will exists, and others say it does not. Most likely there is no proof either way. It’s possible I guess one of the 10,400,000 results might prove it one way or the other, but I have no illusions about reading all of them to find out.

If you click on my Business Voyages Archives option on our Effective Learning Company website at www.effectivelearning.net, and peruse some of my posts in the last ten years you will see I have a decent track record making political calls, for a Monday morning quarterback, and if you click on my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397 you will see I have assembled here lately some posts from my Facebook Home selections that support the recommendation made in this essay factually and statistically, assuming you can believe the posts.

There is a lot at stake in this election, and I am aware that two of the wisest and most successful essayists of our generation, Noam Chomsky and Henry Giroux, have publicly stated voting for Hillary, as evil as she is, is the ethical choice under the circumstances, given the horrendous evilness of Trump.

But, having almost never done anything just because a wise person told me to, having always been somewhat of a devil’s advocate, it seems to me there is some chance, however low its probability, that if enough wiser folks advocate Jill Stein between now and November 8 she might get elected; and in my judgment, the probability of Jill Stein leading the US to an improvement, and not leading the US to a disaster, is much higher than for Trump or Hillary.

Yes, it’s a long shot, but why not take it, given the evilness of the overall situation we are in?  What do you have to lose?





Extremists in state governments

Here’s an article by Jim Hightower, one of the US’s foremost populist writers, published in AlterNet, well worth a read.

Jim Hightower: Don’t Let Right-Wing Nut Jobs Take Over State Government

Trump may make better television, but state and local government races will define our country’s future.

By Jim Hightower / AlterNet
September 30, 2016

In a 1932 dissenting opinion, Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis noted that the benefit of America’s federal structure is that “a single courageous state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.”

During my two terms as Texas Agriculture Commissioner, I was lucky enough to get the chance to put the Brandeis proposition into practice. There, we succeeded in establishing a broad network of farmers markets, providing state certification and labeling for organic products, promulgating comprehensive pesticide protections, creating food marketing co-ops, encouraging farmers to grow high-value nonconventional crops (from apples to wine grapes), financing and developing locally-owned ag processing facilities, opening the doors of corporate-controlled commerce so small farmers and food artisans could sell their products in supermarkets and even in international markets, and promoting both water conservation and the use of renewable energy sources, Brandeis’ “laboratory” realized!

But—oops—meet unintended consequences of Brandeisian theory: The gaggle of small-minded, far-right extremists who’ve grabbed the levers of gubernatorial power and established notoriously regressive regimes in Wisconsin, North Carolina, Kansas, Florida, Maine, Michigan, Arizona, Oklahoma, Indiana, and Texas. These governors share an uncanny uniformity in the policies (written by the American Legislative Exchange Council or ALEC) they push and the political language they use—as if operating from a common plan, advancing the same duo of governmental goals:

To increase the power and profits of the corporate interests that put up the campaign cash that keep the governors in office by delivering subsidies, no-bid contracts, special tax breaks, regulatory benefits, etc.

To knock down working-class and poor people by such despotic actions as suppressing voter turnout, destroying unions, bashing immigrants, militarizing police forces, slashing education budgets, corporatizing government programs, cutting human services for the needy, holding down wages, using theocratic piety to invade women’s bodies and rights, and autocratically pre-empting the democratic authority of activist citizens and local governments.

So while state (and local) offices offer myriad opportunities to create progressive democratic change, those laboratories of democracy are equally available to Dr. Frankenstein right-wingers (funded by the Koch Brothers and their cartel) who seek to engineer regressive plutocratic changes. And in recent years the forces of corporate rule have been building a national political structure that—brick by brick—locks in plutocratic power. Key to this scheme is systemically investing in the takeover of such state posts as governorships, legislatures, judges, redistricting boards, and regulatory agencies. Meanwhile, liberal strategists, funders and political operatives have largely avoided the gritty work of building democratic power through state campaigns. Instead, they have focused almost exclusively on the more glamorous, high-dollar races for President and Congress.

The right wing has recognized that while the media and both major parties are riveted on this year’s macabre (thanks to The Donald) contest for the White House, that’s hardly the only race that matters—and at least one progressive leader agrees: “Trump and Hillary are taking up all the oxygen,” says Nick Rathod, head of State Innovation Exchange, a policy consortium. “But, really, he explains, “where policy making is getting done is the states.” Having lost 913 state legislative seats since 2010, Democrats should be crying Mayday, for Republicans now control 68 of America’s 99 state legislative chambers—more than any time in our history. This includes 23 “trifecta” states where the GOP controls the governor’s office and both legislative chambers. In case the Democratic Party needs a Civics 101 refresher course, these state chambers will be redrawing—ie, gerrymandering—congressional districts following the 2020 census.

So, perhaps it’s time for the Democrats’ strategic geniuses and the rest of us to pay a bit more attention to state rep/senate races.

Jim Hightower is a national radio commentator, writer, public speaker and author of the book Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow (Wiley, March 2008). He publishes the monthly Hightower Lowdown, co-edited by Phillip Frazer.

Another great essay by one of the greatest essayists of our time

America deserves better, but even more importantly, the world deserves better

By John Chuckman
Posted on September 30, 2016

Published by the Intrepid Report

Read in full at

the Intrepid Report by clicking here.

John Chuckman is former chief economist for a large Canadian oil company. He has many interests and is a lifelong student of history. He writes with a passionate desire for honesty, the rule of reason, and concern for human decency. John regards it as a badge of honor to have left the United States as a poor young man from the South Side of Chicago when the country embarked on the pointless murder of something like 3 million Vietnamese in their own land because they happened to embrace the wrong economic loyalties. He lives in Canada, which he is fond of calling “the peaceable kingdom.” John’s columns appear regularly on Intrepid Report, CounterPunch, Media Monitors, Politics Canada, Baltimore Chronicle, Intrepid Report, Scoop (New Zealand), Asian Tribune, Aljazeerah.info, Smirking Chimp, Dissident Voice, and many other Internet sites. He has been translated into at least ten languages and is regularly translated into Italian and Spanish. Several of his essays have been published in book collections, including two college texts. His first book has just been published, “The Decline of the American Empire and the Rise of China as a Global Power,” published by Constable and Robinson, London. Contact him at jc60649@yahoo.com.


An interesting overview of recent US history

Following is a fascinating comprehensive well-written overview of US history from JFK to now that paints a non-mainstream media picture of major causes leading to the depressing choice US voters must make in the November 2016 presidential election.

Some of the article borders on conspiracy theory sensationalism such as you see in tabloid newspaper headlines at the checkout counter at grocery stores, but overall the article rings true. Give it a read. This article is not for children and the mentally impaired.  It took courage for the author and the Intrepid Report to publish this.

The Bush-Clinton empire and criminal succession

By Larry Chin
Posted on September 26, 2016

Published in the Intrepid Report

Larry Chin is an associate editor at the Intrepid Report.

Read the article in full by clicking here.



So You’re Thinking of Voting for Trump?


Read this article by Nomi Prins, published in the Truth-Out internet journal, for a detailed understanding of just how disastrous and “evil” a Trump presidency could be.

Madoff in the White House? How Trump’s Conflicts of Interest Could Become Ours

Thursday, 29 September 2016 10:39

By Nomi Prins, TomDispatch | News Analysis

published in the Internet journal Truth-Out.  To read this outstanding article in full, click here.




Dr. Jill Stein enters the debate

September 28, 2016

Here is the best interview, video, excepts about the debate Monday night I have seen, except here Dr. Jill Stein has been given her say, which the rigged two party system denied Monday night. Enjoy.

Expanding the Debate: Jill Stein Spars With Clinton and Trump (Part 2)

By Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! | Video Interview.

Published in the Internet journal Truth-Out.

To hear the full video and read the transcript click here .


Recent Post

August 27, 2016
Why Obama Wants to Get the TPP Passed

When Obama first ran for president in 2007 he told us he was out to improve the plight of we the people, not the corporations and the elite rich.

For a while after he got elected it seemed he did intend to fulfill his promise, and maybe he tried, but he has done little good.  There is scant evidence now he has done anything that has appreciably helped we the people.  In general he has been a much better president than Bush II, the worst in my lifetime.  He has not done something as stupid as start a war like the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, but he has not done much to curtail our military activities benefiting the military-industrial establishment. Continue reading “Recent Post”

The Root of our Troubles

September 20, 2016
As I alluded to in my Stapleton Gallery post on my Facebook page most of the United States’s economic troubles in recent years have been caused by dysfunctional political systems. In order to get elected politicians have to raise money from the rich who demand lower taxes in return. Lower taxes for the rich have prevented using fiscal policies such as infrastructure projects to create good jobs and stimulate economies, forcing the Federal Reserve system to use monetary policies attempting to stimulate economies and create good jobs, which has not worked very well.

After creating trillions of digital monetary units by simply typing digits into computerized bank accounts and calling it money, and then “lending” this “money” to banks, traders and corporations at very low interest rates, what the Federal Reserve mainly accomplished was to inflate stock markets and bond markets, enriching some of the rich, but not helping the citizens needing good jobs very much.

The bottom line: the United States needs better voters who will elect better politicians who will vote in the interests of all voters and citizens. Unfortunately there are scant signs this will happen any time soon.