Why I Believe the Steele Dossier About Russian Interference in the 2016 Election Is Credible.
One would have to be living far off the grid indeed not to be aware of the political and media uproar over Russian interference in the 1916 presidential election. By this time, all but the ideologically blind accept as fact that the Russians interfered in the election campaign process through manipulation of social and other media, and through in-person interactions. Perhaps the most damning set of allegations were contained in a report compiled by Christopher Steele, a former Russia expert of the British Intelligence Service who was acting as a contractor for Fusion-GPS, a business research company led by Glenn Simpson. Among descriptions of specific contacts between members of Trumps campaign and Russian functionaries was a report that during a trip to Moscow, Donald Trump participated in a sex party(s) in including one in which prostitutes at his direction urinated on a hotel bed in which President and Mrs. Obama slept during an official trip to Moscow. Mr. Steele found the information from his sources to be reliable enough, and which raised concerns that the Russians might have compromising material with which to blackmail Donald Trump, that Mr. Steele referred his findings to the FBI. The “Steele Dossier” later became public. To White House Republicans and their supporters, this was all “fake news.” What should we believe? Since the matter is paralyzing the American governmental process and poisoning public discourse, one would think that knowing the truth (if there is such a thing anymore) to be important. A variety of legislative and law-enforcement entities have been addressing the matter in their own ways and for different motivations.
Earlier this month, one of an unknown number of documents prepared by one of the Senate or House committee investigations of Russian interference was made public: an interview before the Senate Judiciary Committee of Mr. Glenn Simpson on August 22, 2017. As a lover of original documents, I downloaded and read all 312 pages of the 9 1/2-hour session and also the famous Dossier that was its ultimate subject matter.
I offer a few summary comments and the basis for my opinion that the Dossier has been a self-proving document. Continue reading “The Steele Dossier About Russian Interference in the 2016 Election Is Self-Proving.”
In the printed edition of the Courier-Journal on January 25, a letter-writer contributed the following:
‘Dignity of Labor’ to get healthcare is wrong.
According to your report of Jan/ 13, Gov. Bevin wants to change Medicaid requirements to enable the “able bodied” poor to learn the “dignity of labor.” It was a teaching of the Nazis that “Arbeit macht frei.” The similarity between these two simplistic positions is too dangerous to ignore. Stephen Schuster, Louisville.
Based on reflection over the past two years, I do not deem Mr. Schuster’s reaction to be overblown. I submitted my own letter in response, but it appears that it was not accepted. Having my own “barrel of ink,” I publish it below. Continue reading “City air makes you free. A Case for Sanctuary Cities.”
[The following is the text in full of an open letter that I sent to the relevant officers of the of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC), the regional accrediting body that placed the University of Louisville on probation for issues of political interference and other reasons. I raise the same concerns that I did in a recent opinion piece in the Courier-Journal.] Continue reading “It Is Premature To Release University of Louisville From Its Probation”
Last Sunday was an absolutely gorgeous day, warm at 85 degrees, and with a relatively clear sky (for Louisville) with puffy white clouds to decorate it. It was a perfect day for a walk across the Big Four Bridge to Jeffersonville. By early afternoon when I arrived by car, the parking lots were full and people were parking along River Road as far at the University of Louisville Boathouse with more cars arriving every minute. Continue reading “Waterfront Park in Louisville: Whose Park Is It Anyway?”
Question: Why is a $3 parking fee like a poll tax?
Answer: Both keep the same people away!
Much is being said and written about the decision of the Board of the Waterfront Development Corp. to establish a $3 parking fee for access to its parking lots for 5 days a week. The authority reaps an automatic “got-cha” bonus of an additional $3 for people who overstay their welcome. I have no access to a detailed budget of the Waterfront Park to allow comment on how dire any need is for new revenue, or if there are other operational or budgeting mechanisms to support the Waterfront Park. It may well be that the Board is playing chicken with local and state governments to contribute new money or restore previous financial support to keep this wonderful community asset open. What I do have an opinion on is that the least able to pay for access to this public property must not be used as pawns in any such gamesmanship. If the Park Board actually means to enact this regressive budget maneuver, I suggest that the easy reflex to do so is an example of the under-acknowledged structural racism underlying much of our public policy. Although the impact of even $3 on distressed family budgets is color- or ethnically blind, in metropolitan Louisville, it is such families that will be disproportionally kept away. Continue reading “Is a $3 Parking Fee for Waterfront Park an Example of Structural Racism?”
Bone Cup To Pick With Heine Brothers’ Coffee.
I like going to Heine Brothers’ Coffee houses. There are several located around my house at varying distances that accommodate my energy to ride a bike on a given day. I like the fact that they are local. I like the fact that I can buy Heine Brothers’ gift cards at a 20% discount at Costco. The coffee is stronger than I make at home, but I suppose that’s the way most serious drinkers like it and I am learning. I like to go there, not just for the exercise and coffee, but because the cafés offer a get-a-way place with good internet connection that allow me to think and write without the innumerable distractions of things undone at home. (I am writing this in a Heine Brothers’ shop!) The staffs are friendly and responsive with but a single disappointment to me that is not of their doing. I am referring to failure to enforce the company’s own no-smoking policy– a directive to staff that side-steps Henie Brother’s own management policy! Continue reading “A Cup To Pick With Heine Brothers’ Coffee.”
All rational Kentuckians want the Commonwealth to emerge under your leadership into “a better place.” I am one of them. You promised to seek out common ground to make the state “the best version of itself.” Such an approach honors our state motto: ”United we stand, Divided we fall.” Given the current highly polarized nature of our current political and civil life, we face a monumental challenge together. As did many of us, I looked to your first major address as Governor last week for signals of how you would proceed – the example you would set for the executive and legislative branches of our government. To be truthful, I felt that even your very opening words were at odds with your promises. Let me explain. Continue reading “Governor Bevin – you lost me at Jesus.”
It is time to step down gracefully.
Former UofL Archivist William Morrison has offered in the pages of Lousiville’s Courier-Journal a sober, reasoned and convincing argument why, for the sake of his University and its community, President James Ramsey should step down. I could not agree more. The question currently being asked at the national higher-education level is, “How much more has to go wrong at an institution before its top leaders are held accountable.” We need to answer this question here in Louisville. Continue reading “It’s Time For University of Louisville President James Ramsey To Step Down.”
I plan to use this site to explore issues that are not directly related to healthcare.