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Tuesday
Aug292017

America, Watch Texas and Learn

When we retired, my wife and I moved to Sedona, Arizona last November. Sixty-one years ago, I was born in Baytown, Texas, about 30 miles east of downtown Houston. My two daughters and their families still live in Houston. Both have been displaced from their flooded homes. The home I sold last November has 7 feet of water in it right now. Thankfully, my daughters, their families and all my former neighbors are safe.

Since Saturday I’ve been glued to the TV watching the news coverage of Hurricane Harvey and doing my best to lend moral support to my daughters who have lost virtually all their material belongings. I try to remind them that everything truly important is safe and that anything that can be built can be re-built. I’m not sure my words help as they watch their homes fill with multiple feet of water.

Watching the news coverage does give me reason for hope. Unlike with hurricane Katrina, I’m not seeing a lot of victims standing around waiting for the government to help. I’m seeing every Texan with a boat or tall vehicle rescuing and helping their neighbors and other fellow Texans. Private citizens taking it upon themselves to give their time and resources to do everything they can to keep loss of life in Houston to a minimum. There is no talk of race or political affiliation. Just Texans, black, white and brown all doing everything they can to mitigate the suffering caused by Harvey.

Take a look, America. This is who we Texans truly are. When the chips are down, we don’t waste time and energy pointing fingers and blaming others for our plight. Our first instinct is to ask ourselves what we can do to help, then doing it. As always, my fellow Texans are making me proud to count myself among them. The rest of this country would do well to watch…

 

 

 

…and LEARN!  

Monday
Aug282017

Free Speech Isn't Free

Were you required to read George Orwell’s 1984 in high school or college like I was? How about Animal Farm? I’m getting the feeling that many (if not all) of the “Antifa” protesters gathering to counter the numerous free speech and Trump rallies across the country never experienced these two works by Orwell. In fact, I’ve seen newscasts featuring on-the-scene reporters interviewing these Antifa troops and I came away questioning whether some of these protesters could read, period. If they do grasp the concepts behind these Orwellian works, then they would realize that by suppressing anyone’s ideals, they have become what they profess to have beheld. Like in 1984, the term “free speech” has been twisted to mean “you are free to say anything as long as you adhere to the accepted verbiage of the left”. In other words, the pigs have become the farmers. Antifa, which is supposedly a condensation of “anti-fascism”, consists mostly of left-wing anarchists who (for the most part) can’t even define “fascism”. If they could, they would know just how far-removed the Trump administration is from anything remotely resembling fascism. In fact, when these lefties protest, shout down, physically assault or otherwise attempt to prohibit the free expression of ideas at these legal rallies, they appear to embrace fascism. A bit ironic, don’t you think? Hitler, fascism’s poster-boy and the person Antifa regularly equates to president Trump, employed the same tactics when dealing with those who expressed anti-Nazi ideals. When then newly-appointed Chancellor Hitler began his rise to power, his “brown shirts” routinely used violence and intimidation to squelch opposition voices. More irony. Today, Antifa protesters routinely gather en masse to bully, intimidate and even physically assault legally assembled rally-goers attempting to freely express opposing views. I submit, Antifa groups are the brownshirts of the left.

 

White supremacists are sickening, deplorable human beings. Flag-burners embody everything I detest. Both have equal protection to express themselves freely, guaranteed by our Constitution. As much as these people sicken me, I will aggressively defend their right to speak their piece. You see, I believe our Constitution is the best framework for governing ever written and there is a reason our right to free speech is codified in the first amendment. Not the second. Not the third or fourth, the FIRST. The founding fathers obviously understood the importance of assuring every citizen’s right to speak their mind without fear of reprimand or reprisal. They knew our republic could not function if the free flow of ideas and opinions was restricted or otherwise repressed in any way.

So, to all you flag-burners out there: Even though I find your method of protesting reprehensible, I believe with all my heart that you have every right to do so. If it doesn’t bother you to spit in the eye of every person who cherishes our flag as a lasting symbol of freedom and national pride, then you go right ahead and behave that way. Just know that hundreds of thousands of Americans have shed their blood to keep our flag flying so that you can perform your imbecilic, childish temper-tantrum of defiance. You have every right to burn our flag in protest. The Supreme Court has upheld that right. But, I have the right to tell you that you make me want to vomit and that whatever your cause, I will forever be against it because of your sick, moronic methods.

As I witness these Antifa “protesters” at event after event, one of their common practices has me curious. I thought it was illegal to demonstrate in public while masked in anonymity. I may be wrong, but didn’t the courts rule that KKK members could not march with their faces covered? If so, I think it a very wise decision. If a person wants to demonstrate for a cause, that person should show their face, not hide behind a mask like a coward. The Antifa “protests” are increasingly manned by persons dressed in all black with black ski masks. They look almost exactly like the murdering ISIS fanatics parading through the middle-east. Does the law only apply to southern racist cowards dressed in white? Just wondering.

From what I’ve observed, the non-descript black clothing and ski masks do serve a practical purpose. The anonymity these get-ups provide helps these anarchists avoid arrest and/or prosecution when they are caught on camera vandalizing property or physically assaulting free speech rally attendees. If a KKK member shows up at a rally wearing a “spook hat” that covers his face, he gets arrested immediately. I think the same should apply to Antifa thugs who show up in ski masks. They are equally low-life scum.

What Antifa does by staging organized, violent “protests” at free speech and Trump rallies fits the definition of repression. They go even further by staging violent events on college campuses whenever a conservative speaker is scheduled. A good example happened at Berkeley when Milo Yiannopolous was invited to speak a few months back. Antifa radicals showed up and proceeded to smash barricades and windows, set fires and physically assault students attempting to attend the event. Make no mistake, this was no “protest”. It was a riot! For the few of you who don’t know about Milo, he is a very popular Breitbart editor whose campus lecture tour is wildly popular among the new populist right. Milo rails against militant feminism, identity politics and the radically politically correct “thought police” of the left. For his views, Milo has been labelled (among other things) a “Nazi”, “bigot”, “misogynist” and “racist”. This is particularly ironic since Milo is gay with a stated preference for black men! Ironic, but not surprising. The left and their Antifa brownshirts have proven again and again that facts are irrelevant when it comes to identity politics. When they disagree with a person politically, then they feel completely justified labeling them falsely, maliciously, hurtfully. Case in point: James Damore was recently fired from Google for simply citing scientific gender studies that drew conclusions contrary to Google’s politically correct diversity policy. Certainly, Google has every right to fire any employee they choose, but this vividly illustrates the left’s willingness to damage someone’s life for the sake of political correctness. All James Damore did was state his opinion on the faults of his company’s gender policies and cite the science behind what formed that opinion. For that, Google labeled him a “sexist” and crucified him.

The same thing is happening to some extent to all of us who have the unmitigated gall to support President Trump. The leftist mainstream media routinely label us racist, homophobic, misogynist, bigot…the list goes on and on. Then, the idiots act surprised when half the country is offended and tunes them out. Consequently, their ratings have gone into the crapper and the imbeciles are too blinded by their bias to see the cause and effect. They continue to ostracize people like Milo and James Damore for simply stating an opinion that differs from their left-wing mindset of identity politics when they should give these people an equal platform. That is what would happen were they a truly objective news organization.

The left in this country, including the complicit mainstream media used to be champions of differing opinions and free expression. Now, their radical political correctness, name-calling and vilification of the right has established a political tone that has given rise to anarchists like Antifa. The free speech movement began at Berkely in the ‘60s, but alas, it seems once again that the pigs have become the farmers.

Friday
Apr142017

Finally, a President with BALLS!

So, a few days ago we found out Syria’s President Assad killed a few thousand of his own people with nerve gas. Yep, he crossed President Obama’s “red line” for the umpteenth time and decided the expedient way to deal with his opposition was to short-circuit the central nervous systems of everyone in proximity of fighters resisting his dictatorship. With the Russian’s help, he dropped a couple of tons of sarin gas in the middle of the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun Tuesday.

Thursday, after much careful deliberation with his national security team and a phone call informing the Russians of our plans, President Trump instructs two US Navy destroyers to loose 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles toward the Syrian air base where the nerve gas attack originated. 58 missiles precisely find their targets, carefully avoiding areas suspected of housing any remaining chemical weapons. One errant Tomahawk falls harmlessly into the Mediterranean. From all reports, the air base was pretty devastated.

President Trump gave the go-ahead while attending a dinner with the Premier of China, Xi Jinping and his wife who the President and First Lady were hosting at their Mar-a-Lago estate. Talk about multi-tasking! I would have given anything to see the look on the Chinese Premier’s face when he learned of the attack. The poor man had to recalculate his entire strategy of dealing with President Trump between dinner courses. For the past eight years, Premiere Xi (and all world leaders) have dealt with an America lead by a President whose eloquent prose and calm demeanor often projected quiet resolve but was rarely backed by action. Consequently, almost everyone we struck deals with ignored terms and treated America like their doormat. Who could blame them? Why would a country go to the trouble and expense of adhering to treaties, trade or defense deals when there are no consequences for breaking agreements? Indeed, China is a prime example. Despite agreements to the contrary, they continue to make military advances in the South China Sea and monetarily support North Korea’s dictator, Kim Jong-un. So now, going against long-held treaties, China claims sovereignty over islands they’ve built in international waters and North Korea continually tests nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. What does the United States do about it? Dick. Well, so far.

World leaders must be starting to realize there’s a new sheriff in town and his name is Donald. If they aren’t, they’re dopes. Speaking of dopes, what about the afore-mentioned Kim Jung-un? Sheriff Donald just directed over one hundred thousand tons of diplomacy in the form of a U.S. Navy carrier group toward North Korea. What do you imagine is going through the dictator’s crazy little brain right now? I think he’s having nightmares about a Tomahawk cruise missile finding its way through his bedroom window.

This is something Donald Trump brings to the table that the Presidency hasn’t seen since Reagan. Balls and unpredictability. President Trump understands the best way to get what you want from an adversary is to give them no clue about the consequences of their actions. That’s why this Syrian strike is so important. President Trump had to establish his willingness to bitch-slap a leader if that leader misbehaves. His predecessor did the exact opposite. His unwillingness to enforce his own “red line” turned him into a sniveling coward in the eyes of our adversaries. We’re all living with the results. ISIS is flourishing. North Korea is testing nukes and shooting off ballistic missiles like bottle rockets. China is laying claim to the South China Sea and funding Kim Jung-un’s antics. Russia is propping up Assad in Syria and assisting his genocidal attacks on his political enemies. Not to mention their aggressive military actions in the Ukraine. Iran is arguably the most blatant aggressor during Obama’s tenure. The “deal” Obama and Kerry struck was one-sided to begin with, giving Iran billions of dollars, some of it as pallets of cash. Since then, Iran’s nuclear program proceeds unchecked, they threaten our navy vessels in the Persian Gulf and even kidnap our sailors and humiliate them on camera. All the while the executive branch of our government shrugs. No more.

President Trump’s detractors point to his campaign criticism of previous administrations’ spending trillions of dollars on foreign adventures with nothing to show for it. They view this Tomahawk attack in Syria as some sort of about face. They seem to forget his promise to “bomb the hell out of ISIS”. Not that this was an attack on ISIS, but I just want to point out that candidate Trump never portrayed himself as an isolationist. I think this just happened to be the first event of his presidency that gave him the opportunity to send a message to the world that the feckless sniveling of the previous eight years was over…

…with an exclamation point!

Sunday
Feb262017

Oscar, Shmoscar

Tonight is Hollywood’s big night. It’s the night a whole bunch of wealthy mimics get together to pat each other on the back for being such wonderful artists. They hire a funny guy host (this year it’s Jimmy Kimmel) to entertain us and warm up the audience for the 3+ hour self-congratulatory marathon. It’s estimated over 30 million people will tune in to the extravaganza. (Down from 57 million in 1998. What’s up with that?) All waiting with bated breath to learn who will get the little gold trophy for “Best Cinematography in a Foreign Documentary”. Oh, I mean “Best Performance by an Actor”. Excuse me. Of course, I’m being facetious, but to get to those most-anticipated “Best Actor”, “Best Actress” and “Best Picture” awards, the public it put through an endless parade of obscure categories that few people care about save those in competition for the trophies. We’ll finally get to the meat of the event so late that everyone staying up to watch will be groggy at work tomorrow. You know, I’m OK with all that. There is a certain excitement in the anticipation and the right host can make the event very entertaining.

What I’m not OK with is being lectured to in the process. Why do actors feel it necessary to inject their politics into an event that has nothing to do with politics? Don’t get me wrong, I believe these folks have as much right as anyone to express their political views, but there’s a time and place for everything. Tuning into the Academy Awards to hear an intellectual speech is akin to tuning in to CNN for a UFC cage match. Completely non-sequitur. I know these actors are certain the world can’t wait to hear what they think of our President or the Syrian refugee crisis, but to me this behavior is the ultimate “bait and switch”. For half the viewers, we tune in to see the biggest Hollywood award show, but wind up being lectured on how deplorable and backwards our political beliefs are (if we don’t agree with some actor’s progressive leftist socialist agenda). For those actors, I say, “S. T. F. U.” Looking to an actor for political advice is about as smart as calling a plumber when you have a toothache. That type of behavior is also pretty stupid when you think about it. Why would someone who's career depends on the public's adoration purposely ostracize half their potential customers? I also submit that these same actors are the ultimate hypocrites. They fly to Hollywood in their private jets, put on thousands of dollars’ worth the clothing and jewelry, get into their limousines and get chauffeured to the red carpet. All while being guarded by armed security and safely barricaded from the “little people” who buy the overpriced tickets that pay their hyper-inflated salaries. After all that, they have the nerve to lecture me about how bigoted, racist, misogynistic, xenophobic and whatever the hell else they think I am for rejecting their politically correct, progressive views.  I wonder how many refugees and illegal immigrants are invited to the event or one of the dozens of after-parties? I’ll bet the only ones there will be tending bar, serving hors d’oeuvres or cleaning up afterwards.

The Academy Awards? No thanks. I think I’ll pirate a movie.

Tuesday
Jan312017

Somebody Needs to Say It. Radical Islam IS the Problem!

We can’t seem to make a pass/fail decision about middle-eastern refugees trying to immigrate to our country. We examine the social, political and criminal backgrounds of people from Russia. The same goes for China, India and virtually everywhere else. Why can’t we examine the compatibility/incompatibility of the political and religious beliefs of Syrian refugees? Even examining the practice will get you branded as a racist, xenophobe or any number of nasty adjectives. Leftists are crying crocodile tears and shaking their fists at President Trump’s executive order placing a temporary ban on immigration from seven countries (designated by the Obama administration) designated as hotbeds of radical Islamic terrorism. It’s symptomatic of our politically correct, globalist/elitist government and the mainstream media who promotes their agenda. Well, I could give two shits what I get called. This subject is too important for the well-being of our country to allow apathy or the fear of a little name-calling to rule the day. Innocent men, women and children are, quite literally, dying in the name of Allah while the West cowers in fear of verbal and/or political condemnation. I think it’s way past time we take a closer look at the middle-east’s jihadist version of the “religion of peace”.

Before I begin, let me state very plainly, I absolutely believe the first amendment to our Constitution, guaranteeing freedom of religion, is the most important verbiage in the entire document. Having said that, our courts have upheld time and again that religious practice doesn’t trump the rest of our laws. For example, it isn’t legal for Mormons to practice polygamy anywhere in our country. Rastafarians can’t spark up a blunt in church in states that don’t allow it. So why are we bending over backwards to import tens of thousands of people whose religious beliefs 1.) condone wife-beating as a perfectly acceptable means of enforcing her compliance and 2.) anyone who believes otherwise should be put to death? It shouldn’t matter that the behavior is spelled out in the Quran. Constitution trumps religious text every time. Islam can be freely practiced in the United States if that practice doesn’t conflict with our Constitution. Beating one’s wife violates her individual liberty (not to mention the basic immorality of the practice) and there are literally hundreds of local, state and federal statutes that forbid it. The same goes for the common Sharia practice of sexual mutilation, honor killings and forbidding women to drive, get an education, show her face in public, speak to any man who isn’t her husband... the list goes on and on. Sharia also spells out several practices that fly in the face of our First Amendment like prescribing the death penalty for simply speaking out against Islam, criticizing Allah, criticizing Muhammed or questioning any part of the Quran. Also, let’s not forget the “cruel and unusual” punishment (in addition to the death penalties described above) prescribed by Sharia like amputation of a person’s right hand if that person is caught stealing. Allowing that particular behavior in the United States would require repealing the Eighth Amendment. So, Islamic doctrine clearly flies in the face of our first, fourth and eighth Amendments. I’m sure a Constitutional lawyer could find a couple more. Is there any belief system more un-American than Sharia? In fact, Sharia law is completely incompatible with many foundational beliefs held by the western world. How can we abide importation of so many people knowing full well their religious beliefs negate any possibility of successful assimilation into western society? The short answer: We shouldn’t!

Before you start yelling about what a small percentage of Islam subscribes to these barbaric practices, here’s the really scary part…

…51% of the 3.3 million Muslims living in the United States believe Sharia law is preferable to the laws of our land. For the benefit of the people in Portland, that’s about 1.7 million completely unspooled Muslims living here NOW! Thank God we elected a man who promises to stem the tide of this scourge immigrating to our country. What I find so crazy was the media’s conniption fit over Trump calling for a temporary ban on some immigration. Commentators on CNN, CBS and MSNBC started screaming about the unconstitutional nature of banning someone based on their religion. First, our Constitution only applies to American citizens, making the entire argument moot. Second, I’m always amazed by how readily the left points to our Constitution when it fits their agenda, then completely ignore it when they want to take away our right to keep and bear arms. Just sayin’. No, I don’t believe all Muslims are terrorists. What I do believe is that all terrorists are Muslims. It isn’t our fault Islam is the religion of choice of everyone who feels the need to drive a speeding truck into a crowd of innocent tourists in Nice or into a busy Christmas market in Berlin, killing dozens of innocent men, women and children. Even the most virulent, vocal, anti-gay Southern Baptist doesn’t open up with an assault rifle into a crowded gay night club in Orlando, Florida. Buddhists don’t fly crowded jet liners into the two tallest buildings in New York City. Pick any terrorist tragedy of the last twenty years and you’ll find a Muslim perpetrator. Forgive me if I’m a little skittish about allowing tens of thousands of undocumented middle-eastern Muslim refugees to immigrate to the United States. It is virtually guaranteed that some percentage of these “refugees” want nothing more than to blow up or shoot or run over as many Americans as they possibly can. I.S.I.S. has said publicly they plan to infiltrate the refugees migrating to western Europe and the U.S. Even if that weren’t the case, why would we take the chance on tens of thousands of people who believe the only good infidel is a dead infidel? That’s right. This “religion of peace” teaches its followers that simple non-belief in Islam is a crime punishable by death and it is every true believer’s duty to be the executioner. If over half believe in Sharia law, it’s safe to assume they won’t suddenly start believing in equal rights and legal protection for women, gays, Christians or basically any non-Muslim. How can they? The version of Islam they believe in teaches them we should all be killed.

If you listen to (former) President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid or just about anyone who supports them, I am a hater. I am an irredeemable, intolerant xenophobe. Well, forgive my intolerance of someone who wants me, my wife and my children dead. The left would argue that only a tiny minority of these refugees are radicalized and that we shouldn’t condemn all Muslims for the beliefs of a few. I totally agree. I simply believe there is some other way to provide the much-needed humanitarian relief without allowing tens of thousands of undocumented Syrian refugees into the United States when our own government tells us they are incapable of properly vetting them. If only one tenth of one percent of the refugees are radicalized, we will be importing 100 to 200 radicalized terrorists if the relief effort progresses as (former) President Obama has proposed. I say, “Why take the chance?”

That is the question the left has yet to answer to my satisfaction. They simply repeat the horrible humanitarian disaster statistics.  Then they babble about the verbiage on the Statue of Liberty and how un-American it is to temporarily halt immigration from certain areas. Oh, and then they call me a racist xenophobe. I’m not advocating we ignore the refugee crisis. I’m just wondering if there is some way to solve it short of allowing tens of thousands of un-vetted people into our country when we’re almost certain some of them will be wife-beating, genital mutilating, murdering extremists. I don’t say so. I.S.I.S. says so. That aside, most of these refugees have absolutely no interest in assimilating into our culture. It is not the job of the American people to accommodate their anti-western beliefs and practices. And it certainly isn’t the job of the American taxpayer to pay to be terrorized.

I have one other question that no one on the left has been able to answer. What are all the wealthy middle-eastern countries doing to relieve the Syrian refugee crisis? I mean, besides donating millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation. I’m talking about places like Saudi Arabia and the UAE (United Arab Emirates) that have so much money, their police drive Lamborghinis and Ferraris. They’ve been making bank off the rest of the world by collecting petro-dollars by the super-tanker load. They could buy every refugee a house and new Mercedes with the change found in their sofas! For all intents and purposes, these countries are Islamic theocracies. They’re fine with the whole one-handed thief thing. They also have butt-loads of land to build refugee camps that’s a helluva lot closer to Syria than Pittsburgh or Pensacola. Do you think they know something we don’t? Do they know the vast majority of these refugees are well-intentioned people who are simply running for their lives? Do they know I.S.I.S. would suicide bomb Riyadh just as gladly as New York? Of course they do. Do you think the Saudi royal family fears being called racist or xenophobic? Of course not. People who speak out against the royals in Saudi Arabia get a one-way ticket to prison, never to be heard from again. In other words, the displaced Syrians are much more culturally and theologically compatible with Arab nations than they are with the U.S. or Europe, but the rich, Islamic nations of the middle-east refuse to have anything to do with them because they know the trouble they would be inviting if they did. Hmmm. Can we learn anything from that?

Certainly, Europe is feeling the sting of un-checked mass immigration from the middle-east. Great Britain wised up and passed “Brexit” effectively telling the E.U., “Thanks, but no thanks. We’ll govern ourselves if you don’t mind…and that includes our borders” Sweden has enacted sweeping immigration reform. Germany’s Angela Merkel’s seat as head of state isn’t expected to be renewed by the voters of her country. Her “follow-along politely” stance with the E.U.’s position of open borders has left her political position tenuous at best. Islamic terrorism has caused the senseless deaths of thousands of peace-loving men, women and children in France, Germany and Belgium in the last two years alone. I visited Paris in 2015 and wound up taking what I thought was an excessively long cab ride to the Louvre. When I questioned the cabbie about my high fare, he told me we had to go around an eight square block area, explaining that it was a “no-go” zone. At the time I didn’t know what he was talking about and just paid the fare, thinking I’d just been stiffed by another American-hating Frenchman. When I found out more about Paris, I immediately felt guilty for harboring those thoughts about someone who did me (and himself) a favor. The reality is, that is a section of Paris consisting predominantly of middle-eastern immigrants. It turns out the area is such a shit hole the Paris police won’t even go there. How sad is that? France takes in immigrants as part of a huge humanitarian relief program and those same immigrants infest a huge section of Paris and are so violent and otherwise unlawful that normal Parisians can’t even navigate through the area! The story is repeated throughout Europe. Don’t believe me? Google “Molenbeek”.

President Trump’s temporary immigration ban is meant to prevent the same sort of thing happening to New York or Chicago or Houston or…

 

…your city.