Sunday, August 27, 2017

The Kalich-Hickenlooper Marijuana-Medicaid Unity Ticket

Governor John Kasich is eyeing the White House. The Never-Trumper is appalled by the tone emanating from the White House. He sees a polarizing electorate. He visualizes the ultimate voter turnoff in 2020 – Trump v. Warren in the Presidential race. He senses the need for a new tone in American politics; a mellow tone. Governor Kasich wants to offer the American people a third way. He thus sent out a trial balloon last week for a unity, bi-partisan Kasich/Hickenlooper Ticket in 2020. The young John Kasich was a Reagan Republican when he served in Congress from 1983-2001. He was a budget hawk, balancing both the federal budget and later the Ohio budget when he became Governor of Ohio. Congress. Today he is a compassionate Republican who did not connect with the base of the Republican Party in a 2016 campaign for the Presidency. He won his home state of Ohio in the primary season and one electoral vote in January. Governor Kasich’s platform will be “Medicaid for All,” building on his record in Ohio, accepting the Medicaid Extension of ObamaCare over the objections of the Ohio Legislature. He won reelection in 2014 as Governor two years ago by 30 points, unlike Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado who barely won reelection by an underwhelming 49-46%. Governor Kasich is popular in Ohio, riding a ‘high.” That brings us to his choice as his VEEP partner, the Democratic Governor of Colorado, John Hickenlooper, Governor Hickenlooper’s platform will be “A Colorado Rocky Mountain High for All.” Free marijuana for all; no longer will Mary Jane be grown as a weed in Ohio. It’s a perfect ticket: Marijuana and Medicaid. Medicaid for all resolves the inequality in today’s America. All Americans will have equal access to medical care under Medicaid, which means an equal lack of access to medical care under Medicaid. It’s the perfect entitlement – perfectly equal. Promise it to everyone! That’s the beauty of free dope. Get high; stay stoned, mellow out, and you’ll never feel the pain of your medical ailments. You won’t notice, or care, about the lack of medical care. Just toke up. A side benefit to the government is that cannabis contains carcinogens, thereby perhaps prompting earlier mortality, reducing social security benefits. From Colorado to Ohio, the Great Plains will be covered with amber waves of grass. Plant the vast plains of Detroit. Grow it and tax it. The Unity Ticket will have to run as independents. Neither Party will want them. Their new political party will be The Toker Party. The motto: “Free Dope for All Your Medical Needs.” The biggest obstacles are the voters. The Kasich/Hickenlooper Unity voters will be too strung out to vote. Free dope for the dopes who support the Unity Ticket.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Why the Media's Outrage Over the Trump-Arpaio Pardon, but not the Obama Pardons and Commutations

Once again the media shows its bias and double-standard between Democrats and Republicans. President Trump pardoned former Maricopa County Sheriff Jos Arpaio yesterday, as promised. The Sheriff was found guilty in June of a misdemeanor contempt of court by a judge for violating a judicial order Sheriff Arpaio was defeated for reelection last November two weeks after the Obama Justice formally filed charges against him in a clear political charged prosecution. The media is outraged at the pardon of the "old school” sheriff, who was stridently anti- illegal immigration. You might think President Trump pardoned a traitor, terrorist, or drug dealer, which President Obama had done. “America’s sheriff made many enemies, especially civil liberty advocates, in his 24 years as Maricopa County Sheriff. The media is again hurling charges of racism against President Trump. They were quiescent last year when President Obama commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning, the previous Bradley Manning who betrayed the United States in 2010 by leaking 750,000, often confidential, files to Wikileaks, which quickly published them. They were equally quiet when President Obama on January 17, 2017 commuted the sentence of Oscar Lopez Rivera, an unrepentant Puerto Rican terrorist, who admitted to many acts of terrorism and violence in seeking Puerto Rican independence. President Obama freed a traitor and a terrorist without a murmur by the media. President Obama also released 201 GITMO detainees, Islamic terrorists, during his eight years in office. The media had no problem in President Obama freeing them to return to terrorism. Also on January 17, 2017 in one of his last official acts, President Obama released 330 drug dealers from federal prison. He called them low level dealers, but some were major dealers and kingpins in the drug trade. The media displayed no outrage when President Obama freed a traitor, domestic terrorist, Islamic terrorists, and drug dealers.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

An Essay on Charlottesville, Statues, Monuments and Nihilism

It’s hard to come up with anything good to say about the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists. I can’t, except to say they have the First Amendment right to peacefully demonstrate and protest. The American Civil Liberties Committee (ACLU) and Los Angeles Times share that view. The City of Charlottesville attempted to move the permitted march to another location away from the Robert E. Lee Statue. The ACLU represented the organizations in defending their First Amendment rights. It’s easy to condemn the KKK, neo-Nazis and White Supremacists with their history of hatred and violence and blame the violence in Charlottesville on them. Yet Antifa in its short life has engaged in several violent demonstrations as they believe they have the right to confront “violent” organizations with violence even if the demonstrators are acting peacefully. And yet the police stood back as the violence unfolded. I don’t care what phrase the South uses for the Civil War. They can refer to it as the War Between the States, That Recent Unpleasantness, The War of Northern Aggression, The Lost Cause, The Noble Cause; it doesn’t matter. They lost. The slaves were freed, at least from slavery, but they had to wait another century for freedom. That came when a supposed racist Congressman and Senator from Texes, LBJ, became President of the United States and pushed through Congress over the objections of the South the Civil Right Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. A united United States emerged from the Civil War. And now comes the nihilists and snowflakes of the Removal Movement. The Centennial School District in the Portland, Oregon area announced it was changing the names of Lynch Wood and Lynch Meadows Elementary Schools because of complaints about the name “Lynch.” The schools were named for Patrick Lynch who donated land in the late 1800’s. The only historic lynchings in Oregon were of whites. Saphia Jackson, Co-Director of the University of Southern California Black Student Assembly, has asked USC to rename its mascot horse “Traveler” because General Robert E. Lee had a horse named “Traveller.” Robert Saulko purchased the horse in 1958, which had been named Traveler by its prior owner. Saulko rode Traveler I across the LA Coliseum during a USC football game in 1958. The one-time act became a USC tradition. USC is now on Traveler VII. USC’s Traveler has nothing to do with General Lee’s two “L” Traveller, but such is the craziness sweeping the country today. One view is that nothing should be named for slave owners. By this reasoning, Stone Mountain with its carvings of Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Jefferson Davis should be blown up. Two of the four figures on Mount Rushmore, those of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, must be carved out of the mountain. That would send a message to the world of how far America has descended. The American people would have stooped to the levels of the Taliban at the Bamiyan Buddhas and ISIS in Palmya in destroying the world’s cultural heritage. On the other hand, the National Park Service said the Confederate monuments at Gettysburg shall remain just as those of the Union statues and monuments. Gettysburg is the history of the North and South. Ten Presidents of the United States owned slaves, some while President. The slave owners include George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, James K. Polk, Zachery Taylor, Andrew Johnson, and even Ulysses S. Grant. Benjamin Franklin owned two slaves before he became an abolitionist. Francis Scott Key, who penned the Star-Spangled Banner National Anthem, owned slaves, represented slave owners seeking return of fugitive slaves, and as United States Attorney in Washington, D.C. prosecuted abolitionists. He also though represented slaves and favored shipping ex-slaves to Liberia. President Trump was derided for asking what’s next? George Washington? Thomas Jefferson? A Chicago pastor asked Mayor Rahm Emanuel to rename two parks; i.e. strip the names of President George Washington and Andrew Jackson off two Chicago parks. He suggested perhaps renaming them Harold Washington and Jesse Jackson Parks. The Reverend Al Sharpton, of Tawana Brawley fraudulent rape claim, has said it’s time to level the Jefferson Memorial. It doesn’t end going back to 1860 and secession. Nihilists in Baltimore last night trashed a 1792, 44’ obelisk of Christopher Columbus. Columbus Day is under attack in parts of the country on the grounds that Christopher Columbus unleashed the white European invasion of the Americas, subjugating and enslaving the Natives. Fr. Junipero Serra is similarly on precarious grounds. Fr. Serra, who died in 1784 is one of California’s two statues in Congress’ Statuary Hall. The Franciscan missionary founded 12 missions in California, including Carmel, Monterey, San Diego, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Clara, and San Francisco. He is also accused of unleashing the Spanish mistreatment of the Native Californians. A paper was recently published seeking the renaming of Stanford University. Governor Leland Stanford, Sr. is accused of participating in the genocidal shootings of Native Californians. Of course, Stanford University is technically the Leland Stanford, Jr. University, named in memory of the son – not the father. Governor Stanford kept California in the Union during the Civil War despite a large Southern sympathy in the state. Stanford is no more likely to change its name than Brown University, which was founded/funded with slave trade revenues. Statues and monuments are falling throughout the South, and even elsewhere in the country. The key is identifying where. It is in primarily African American cities and in states like Virginia with a Democratic Governor. Many of these cities are plagued by high crime rates, high Black unemployment, poor educational systems, high drug rates, and lack of opportunity. Baltimore is a prime example. Its homicide rate is reaching astronomical levels. Confederate monuments are neither its problem nor solution. Nor is police violence the largest criminal problem in these cities. It’s easier for the politicians to demagogue the Confederacy rather than address jobs, crime, drugs, and education. However, if the citizens of these cities wish the removal of the statues and monuments, then that should be their choice. Parts of the North are seized by the paroxysm. We don’t have buildings, cities, even states, named for the nation’s founders because they owned slaves. Nor do we have monuments and statues erected for them because they owned slaves. We honor the Presidents and Generals, such as Washington, Jackson and Grant, because of their contributions to the American nation, which they created, built, and preserved. We are here today because of them. The statues and monuments to purely fighters for the South, such as many generals, including Nathan Bedford Forrest, a founder of the KKK, are different. Their contributions were fighting for the Lost Cause. General Robert E. Lee is respected as a great military leader, but his contribution to the United States is great. The Civil War was lost by the South. Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Court House. The defeated general then preached peace and reconciliation. He did not carry on the fight. He served as an example to many Southerners to move on and rebuild. Obviously not all did. General Nathan Bedford Forrest became the national leader of the KKK. President Andrew Jackson could be doubly damned, first for being a slave owner and second for the Trail of Tears, the forced removal of Native Americans from the Southeast to the Oklahoma Territory. California’s Attorney General Earl Warren was one of the two movers of placing the Japanese Americans in concentration camps in World War II. He never apologized for his actions. A statue of President Clinton is in Rapid City, South Dakota. Juanita Broaddick and Paula Jones, two of his victims, are demanding the statue of the accused rapist be removed. Ten Army bases are named for Confederate Officers: Camp Beauregard, and Forts Benning, Bragg. Gordon, A.P. Hill, Hood, Lee, Pickett, Polk and Rucker. Two of our aircraft carriers are named for segregationist legislators, The John B. Stennis and Carl Vinson, made famous in the Osama Bin Laden raid. A third carrier is named for President George Washington. Once unleashed the frenzied fury of radical revolutionaries becomes uncontrollable, such as the French and Russian Revolutions. I see Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, and Chairman Mao unleashing the Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution. I hope we show more sense if choosing what part of the nation’s cultural heritage to remove and retain. Statues and monuments serve as a symbol. Southerners do not aspire to the recreation of the old slave owning South. They don’t see them as a repression of African Americans. The Confederate statues and monuments represent the Southern cultural repudiation of Washington D.C. and the progressive agenda. The demolition of history does not erase history. Attempts to rewrite or obliterate history to fit a currently popular norm simply increases the ignorance level of our campus snowflakes and fragility of the “victimhood.” We see it all now – Confederate statues and monuments, Washington and Jefferson, Christopher Columbus and Fr. Serra – the obliteration of a half millennium of the history of the American people. Suddenly, revered figures become George Orwell’s “unpersons.” It’s easy to destroy; hard to build. Centuries can be erased in seconds by nihilists. George Santayana wrote: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” also phrased as “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.”

Monday, August 14, 2017

Thoughts on the Charlottesville Violence

I have nothing good to say about the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and their ilk, but they have every right to demonstrate and protest. As long as they are non-violent. Antifa has every right to demonstrate and protest. As long as they are non-violent. Protesters and counter-protesters have the same rights. As long as they are non-violent. Every protester and counter-protester has a right of self-defense when attacked. Who physically started yesterday’s melee is still unclear, but self-defense does not give James Alex Fields, Jr. any right to mow down protesters with his car. I have no idea what he was thinking, but he will have plenty of time for reflection in his life in prison, quite possibly on Death Row. Reports have also surfaced about his possible insanity. The scary thing about the Charlottesville violence is that it is becoming more common in the United States with the decline of civil discourse. More often it’s the left resorting to violence, be it at Berkeley, Chicago, Claremont McKenna, Davis, Evergreen State, Middlebury College, or Missouri. A pro-trump rally in Anaheim was attacked by anti-Trump protestors on May 25, 2016. Provocateurs were hired to disrupt Trump rallies last year. A Bernie Sanders supporter tried to assassinate Republican members of Congress in Alexandria, Virginia at a baseball practice on June 14, 2017. President Obama never referred to Radical Islam Terrorism, even calling the Fort Hood shootings “workplace violence.” Yet the media is throwing a hissy-fit because President Trump initially decried all acts of violence in Charlottesville rather than singling out the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists. The failure in Charlottesville was the extreme pacificity, at least initially, by law enforcement. By way of comparison, the Seattle Police interposed themselves between the protesters and counter-protesters yesterday, reducing the risk of violence. Police forces should have learned from Berkeley, Baltimore, and Ferguson that failure to act decisively at the beginning leads to greater violence in these incidents. The city vehemently claims that no order was issued to the Charlottesville police to stand down. If so, they were poorly led, poorly prepared or poorly trained. The President of the University of Virginia, Mayor of Charlottesville, and Governor of Virginia all condemned the rally before it began, adding to the poisoned atmosphere in the city. The Mayor afterwards accused President Trump of being responsible for the violence.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

James Damone and Google's Sexism and Diversity

Silicon Valley has a reputation for discriminating against women in the technical and executive ranks. Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook and Meg Whitman of HP are exceptions, but an overall look at Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google/Alphabet, and Microsoft shows male heavy employment. Google is roughly 80% male, mostly Caucasian and Asian, in its tech ranks, and 75% in leader positions. It is also fighting a federal investigation that claims it underpays women. Only 23% of Apple’s tech staff and 17% of FaceBook’s are female. The HBO series Silicone Valley focuses on men and gives actresses a secondary role. James Damone failed to understand that diversity of thought does not exist in the Academy, Hollywood, or Silicone Valley. Thought is fine as long as it comports with the accepted orthodoxy, which George Orwell/William H. White, Jr. called Group think, policed by the Thought Police. He penned a memo entitled: “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber.” His memo cites several studies that show men and women think differently; that men are into things and women into people. He wrote that women in general have more empathy and neuroticism than men. His problem in the memo is that he stepped into the Harvard President Lawrence Summer’s infamous question: “Why are there fewer women in science?” James Damone answered that biological differences play a role in the lack of women in tech positions at Google. President Summer’s provocative answers cost him the Presidency of Harvard. He posited that innate or biological differences between men and women could explain the lack of female success in science and math. Married women with children might be unwilling to spend the long hours necessary for advancement. Let me add anecdotally that after 45 years of teaching law I have seen many incredible young women do it all: marriage, children, and the practice of law. Let me add that I have also seen many incredible young women sacrifice the practice of law to their family, raising children. I have not seen many incredible, young male lawyers sacrifice the law to be Mr. Mom. James Damone was careful to note that generalities do not apply to individuals, but he questioned the shibboleth of diversity and diversity training for the sake of diversity. He was concerned that Google’s diversity efforts were misdirected and ineffective, accompanied by the company’s “politically correct monoculture.” He wanted to start a dialogue within the company. The rigidity of thought in Silicon Valley is amazing because the Valley exemplifies the success of capitalism free from government regulation and rigidity. The orthodoxy leads to the Obama Administration trying to regulate the internet under. the guise of net neutrality. The Obama Administration through FBI Director James Comey tried to force Apple to unlock its users’ IPhones. Statism, the antithesis of capitalism, is how the EU is mugging Google, Apple, and other American innovative companies. Sundar Pichai, Google CEO overreacted by publicly firing Damone and then stating “We strongly believe in Googlers expressing themselves,” but Damone violated company policy “by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.” He added: “To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to such work is offensive and not O.K.” That’s not what James Damone wrote. I’m sure the Google lawyers grimaced when they heard the CEO’s remarks. The standard statement for legal reasons is “We do not discuss personnel matters.” The United States follows the “employment at will” doctrine whereby absent a contract or legal restriction, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, an employer can terminate an employee at any time for any reason, or no reason. In addition, the Freedom of Speech guarantees of the First Amendment only apply to the government and not to private parties. James Damone, like most employees, could thus be fired for his remarks without any legal cause of action. He wrote after his firing: “As far as I know, I have a legal right to express my concerns about the terms and conditions of my working environment and to bring up potentially illegal behavior, which is what my document does.” Actually he doesn’t. However, when CEO Pichai publicly accused Damone of violating Google’s Code of Conduct, a cause of action for defamation could be pled, followed by extensive discovery. The process will be very painful for Google. Management has made it clear to Googlers that they are not to question the company’s diversity program. Damone’s memo was in response to that attitude. Some Google employees made it clear that they will record the names of fellow employees who support Damone or oppose the company’s diversity efforts, and then blacklist them. The new rule at Google is Group Thought. The merits of Damone’s memo are debatable, some saying it’s well researched and others questioning the research, as you might expect on such a volatile subject. Lost in the debate is that Damone was careful about warning against broad generalizations. Damone’s memo decried stereotyping, but that got lost in the coverage of his memo. I believe in judging people on their individual merits. The computing industry shows a number of women engineers who have achieved greatness, including Admiral Grace Hopper and NASA’s Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson and the other African American "computers" in Alabama made famous in Hidden Figures. They triumphed under incredible stress, starting with the deep racism in the South. Google’s problem is that James Damone started a dialogue, but CEO Pichai poured fuel on the fire by terminating James Dimone. Google will need to settle with James Damone for a large sum once the lawsuit is filed. The continuing debate will be costly to Google, not in monetary terms, but in employee morale and publicity. Google will become the punching bag for Silicon Valley sexism.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Sex Discrimination in the Airline Industry Revisited 47 Years Later: Air India's 30 Year Old Anna Divya is the World's Youngest Boeing 777 Pilot

I smile when I see female pilots walking through airports. I don’t smile as often as I would like because they are still a rarity. Anna Divya, a 30 year old pilot for Air India, is now the youngest pilot, pilot – not co-pilot, pilot – not flight engineer, pilot – not flight attendant, of a Boeing 777. She has a large smile on her face. She accomplished her childhood dream of becoming a pilot. But why do I smile? It goes back to the summer of 1969. I was hired as a legal clerk for the 2 man firm of Darwin & Riordan in San Francisco. Jay Darwin was a pioneering labor law attorney going back to the days of the New Deal. One of the firm’s clients was Jan Dietrich (1926-2008), a well-qualified woman pilot. Jan and her twin sister Marion were among the group of 13 women, the Gemini 13, privately financed to complete the same tests as NASA’s Gemini 7 astronauts. The odds are that NASA never expected at that time that any of these women would be flown into space, but it was good publicity. Jan sought employment with Oakland based Word Airways, a charter operation. World denied Jan a position despite her qualifications because she was a woman. The airline told Jan the public wants pilots to be “tall, gray-haired men.” Unfortunately for World Airways, Congress had enacted title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII forbad discrimination in employment based on sex, race, color, religion or national origin. The southern Senators tossed “sex” into the statute, hoping it would cause defeat of the bill aimed at racial discrimination in employment. They miscalculated. The bar on sex discrimination in employment is highly popular. The case settled on the courthouse steps with Jan flying for World Airways. My assignment was to do substantial research on the case. The research also led to a Labor Law Seminar paper my last semester in Law school. One of the sources of information for the paper in spring 1970 was the Soviet Embassy in Washington. I knew women pilots flew for Aeroflot and the Russian military. The embassy responded to my request with some published material, which I could quote. I don’t have any of the legal file on the case, but I also remember an affidavit by a retired brigadier general. He wrote women could not be relied upon in flying commercial airlines because once a month …. You get the drift. Far more pervasive and pernicious than the airline bans on woman pilots were their restrictions on stewardesses, and stewards, all now called flight attendants. Many of the domestic airlines were marketing glamorous young, single female stewardesses as the reason to fly their airline. “We really move our tail for you” was one such slogan for Continental Airlines. Another was “I’m Jo, Fly me” for National Airlines. Braniff Airlines promoted the designer dresses of their stewardesses. Here’s a quick summary of the restrictions: No male stewards, except on international flights. All stewardesses must retire at age 35. Stewardesses could not be married or marry. Pregnancy was verboten. Delta Airlines was an exception. Its stewardesses could make a career of flying for Delta. The flight attendant unions fought the restrictions and with the new Title VII behind them ultimately defeated them. My seminar paper was accepted for publication by the law review at the University of California Berkeley. The cite is “Sex Discrimination in the Airline Industry: Title VII Flying High,” 59 Cal. L. Rev. 1091 (1971). The article begins: “Women have historically been relegated to a secondary role in life. Contemporary experience suggests that they may become legal secretaries, but rarely lawyers, secondary school teachers, but rarely university professors, airline stewardesses, but never pilots. The purpose of this article is to argue, based on examples of sexual discrimination in the airline industry, that society can and must change these existing patterns of unequal employment opportunities.” I am still proud of the wording of this intro. Ironically, the section on female pilots was edited out because of the length of the article. If any of the few readers of this blog are interested, I can send them an earlier draft of the article. Anna Divya, I salute you and Air India.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Have You Heard About the Trump Administration Assisting Ukraine Yesterday? Probably not?

Have you heard about the Trump Admin The ironies of 2017! The Trump Campaign has been accused of colluding with the Russians to defeat Hillary Clinton. The Clinton Campaign has been accused of colluding with the Ukrainians to defeat Donald Trump. The Russians announced the other day that they are kicking out 755 U.S. diplomats as Congress increases sanctions on Russia. President Trump said he will sign the Bill. So much for the alleged Trump-Russia d├ętente! President Reagan ran the “Bear” Commercial in his 1984 reelection campaign against Vice President Walter Mondale: “There is a bear in the woods. For some people, the bear is easy to see. Others don’t see it at all. Some people say the bear is tame. Others say he is vicious and dangerous. Since no one can really be sure who’s right, isn’t it smart to be a strong as the bear? – If there is a bear.” The Russian Bear hibernated after the fall of the Soviet Union. President Obama and his fellow Democrats refused to see the bear even when it was staring them in the face having emerged from hibernation. Governor Romney said during the 2012 Presidential debates that Russia is the greatest geopolitical foe of the United States. President Obama had a pithy response: “The 1980’s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because, you know, the Cold War has been over for 20 years.” He was caught on a hot mic before the election, telling Russia President Dmitri Medvedev that “After my election, I have more flexibility.” The media, which is so intent with its daily linking President Trump to a non-existent Russia collaboration, gave President Obama a pass. Russia invaded Georgia in August 2008, seizing South Ossetia and Abkhazia near the end of the Bush Administration. Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014 seizing full control of the Crimea, and sponsoring with Russian soldiers, tanks and armored vehicles Russia based “separatists” in the Doneysk, Luhansk, and Dombass regions of eastern Ukraine. Russia had violated the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances when it invaded Ukraine. Ukraine inherited a large army and supply of nuclear weapons when it achieved independence from the collapsing Soviet Union. As part of the nuclear non-proliferation movement, which has otherwise been a failure in Iran and North Korea, Ukraine gave up its nuclear arsenal in exchange for assurances of territorial integrity from Russia. It also leased Sevastopol in the Crimea to Russia for the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Ukraine traded its leverage for hallow promises from the Russian Bear, an erstwhile teachable moment. Russia is currently massing troops in “maneuvers” along both the Ukrainian border and the Baltic nations. President Obama responded to the Russian invasion of Ukraine by sending the Ukrainians MRE’s (meals ready to eat) when they requested military assistance. They are currently receiving some Humvees and drones from the United States. The Defense Department and State Department announced yesterday that they are considering sending defensive weapons to the Ukrainians; i.e. anti-tank weapons. The final decision would be up to President Trump. Russia quit Afghanistan when surface to air missiles started shooting their helicopters out of the air. The United States has many ways to make Russia pay for its naked aggression. The President also announced yesterdaythe sale of 700,000 tons of Pennsylvania thermal coal to Ukraine, displacing Russian coal. President Obama practiced a foreign policy of leading from behind, if not outright appeasement on occasion. President Trump has an activist approach to America’s foreign policy.