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Saturday
Nov192016

Cry-ins & Riots. The Left's True Colors

Snot bubbles for HillaryTo me, the best thing about a Donald Trump presidency is that he is the first president who will enter the White House owing donors absolutely DICK! I’ve been voting since 1976 and for the first time I feel like I’ve helped elect a man who’s first priority is to serve the electorate. And not just those who voted for him, the entire electorate. It’s a shame some don’t see things that way. You see, I actually read the Trump/Pence web site and listened to his campaign speeches. I also went to Hillary's site and read it front to back. I didn’t get my information from the mainstream media who’ve been proven to be completely in the tank for Hillary. They aren’t just biased, some of the emails Wikileaks released demonstrated active collusion with the Hillary campaign. If you rely on the major networks and CNN to spoon-feed information to you, I can understand why you would have a completely skewed vision of the campaign and why you’d believe the election should have gone your way. Well, it didn’t. Donald Trump told us about this dishonest reporting and skewed polls for weeks leading up to the election. If you chose not to listen to him, you only have yourself to blame for being clueless. Maybe now you won't be so eager to march lock-step with CNN & MSNBC.

Never mind. I just experienced a delusional moment. Liberal bots never learn. The Orwellian brainwashing is just too complete. The truth cannot penetrate. If it could, lifetime leftists would realize that norms of the past no longer apply. Democrats have always framed the "us vs. them" argument as one of race or rich vs. poor. Donald Trump has been accurately re-defining the struggle as the ruling political class vs. virtually everyone else. Boundaries can no longer be drawn between party lines. Both parties (Republican and Democrat) have fallen victim to their donors. The money required to run an effective campaign forced leaders of both parties to pander to the wealthiest one-half of one percent who expect favorable legislative and/or executive action in return for their campaign donations. Campaign finance reform legislation has done little or nothing to stem the tide of this political pandering. It's the definitive "fox guarding the hen house" situation, effectually asking legislators to police themselves. For the past thirty years, it hasn't mattered which party was in power. Our economy hasn't improved and we've been continually bogged down in fruitless foreign wars. Donald Trump recognized this, as did a large percentage of the American people. Mr. Trump saw the unrest and levereged it into a successful bid for the White House. The problem is, half of America refuses to see the real problem. They continue to cling to the stale ideas that label republicans as racists, sexists, xenophobes, etc., when those labels are nowhere near reality. In short, they've been eating too much CNN dog food. The people who support Donald Trump are quite angered by all the name-calling and on November 8th the "basket of deplorables" came out by the millions to vent their anger the correct way, by voting. When the tallies started coming in and state after state went to Trump, the mainstream media (and the robots who believe them) was shocked. They spent too much time in the weeks leading up to the election listening to each other instead of honestly reporting what I and everyone who attended a Trump rally saw; the near exuberent enthusiam of the "Trump movement". One of the Trump rallys I attended in Prescot Valley, Arizona was attended by over 25,000 people. That was in an area with a total population of 40,000! How does one explain attendance by over 60% of the populace? On a Tuesday afternoon, no less! My wife and I arrived at 09:30 for a 2 PM event and barely got into the 10,000 capacity arena. 15,000 people watched outside on the jumbotron. I don't remember that sort of enthusiasm for any presidential candidate, even Ronald Reagan. Of course, you never heard numbers like that if you listened to the MSM. Like Mr. Trump said repeatedly, "the most dishonest people" would never turn their cameras to the enthusiastic crowds. They seemed to be doing everything in their power to downplay Donald Trump's movement. And "movement" is the most accurate term I can think of to describe it.

So, to all you bed-wetting crybabies in Portland, Austin and New York: YOUR CANDIDATE LOST. Protest all you want. The First Amendment to our Constitution guarantees your right to do so. More precisely, it assures “the right of the people peacefully to assemble”. The key word being “peacefully”. No matter how non-sequitur your opinions are, people have fought and died to protect your right to express them…

PEACEFULLY.

I know no one has taught you this. After all, you are products of the American education system. It's a system that feels it is more important to provide sensitivity and sexual awareness training than teach the fundamental principles upon which this country was founded. They also seem to have missed the points about deliberately blocking traffic, torching cars and the violent destruction of other people's property. When you do that, you cease being a protestor and becom a rioter! Rioters enjoy no such Constitutional protections.

I’m paying a large sum of my hard-earned money to send my youngest of three daughters to college, just like I did for her two older sisters. She is attending Louisiana State University. Both her older sisters graduated from the University of Houston. Guess what? I have never paid either university for one of my daughters to participate in a “cry in”! Well, if I did I never knew about it and would be outraged at the university if it were true. And my kids all attended public universities where the cost is semi-reasonable. These ridiculous cry sessions, Play Dough and coloring book therapies are happening at very expensive, private Ivy-League schools. What a bunch of dopes! If I were paying in excess of $20K per semester for my kid’s education and found out that’s what I was getting for my money, I’d be royally pissed. Instead of all this infantile pampering, these coddled millennials need someone to tell them that in every election there’s a winner and a loser. There are no “participation trophies” for the losers no matter what type of temper-tantrum they throw. They need to put down their sippy-cups, get back to class and try to learn something meaningful, like basic constitutional principles. They also need to grow a pair. If Hitler and the Japanese were on the rampage today and these weenies were all we had to defend us, we’d be eating dried fish and sauerbraten for dinner very soon.

Millennials don't have these!

The good news is, although this behavior is widespread, it is still just a collection of isolated instances no matter how big the mainstream media plays it up. If you have any doubt about that, just look at the county-by-county electoral map (below). Aside from the little blue patches in the largest urban areas, for the most part this country is very, very red. Of course, one of the points of contention for these protesters is the way we elect presidents. Because Hillary won the popular vote by a small margin, these malcontents automatically start hollering about the “unfairness” of the electoral college. They are so predictable. Firstly, because they have no concept of a constitutional representative republic, which is what America is. I cringe every time I hear these idiots calling the United States a democracy. It is not. Secondly, they always throw fits every time an election doesn’t go their way. They demand the rules be changed after the fact or try to contest things in court, hoping they can get matters in front of a sympathetic liberal judge who’ll change things in their favor. If you understand the Constitution, you’d know the purpose of the electoral college. It was designed to spread electoral power more evenly (and fairly) throughout the country. At its inception, two-thirds of Americans lived in New York, Philadelphia and their surrounding areas. In their infinite wisdom, the founders saw the need to prevent these population centers from dictating policy to the rest of the country. Today? Same, same. If there were no electoral college, presidential candidates wouldn’t bother campaigning anywhere other than major metropolitan areas. States like Idaho, New Hampshire, Nevada, Utah and the Dakotas wouldn’t have much (if any) say about their destiny. If you look at how red the electoral map is after this election, 1.) it would appear Donald Trump should have won by an even wider margin and 2.) every state in the union was important to the outcome. I mean, this thing looks like a Verizon LTE coverage map!

 Electoral map by county.

In the federalist papers, John Adams said the electoral college’s purpose was to prevent “the tyranny of the majority”. He and the other founders understood how vital distribution of electoral power truly is. How long do you think the United States would have lasted if 200 years ago the people of New York and Philadelphia were the only ones that mattered in an election? The same holds true today. People on the east and west coasts flippantly refer to the rest of America as "fly-over" country. They fail to realize middle America feeds them and provides most of their energy. Their uppity attitude towards their fellow countrymen is, in part, the reason middle America turned out so fervently for Donald Trump. They looked to him to push back the tide of east and west coast eliteism and political correctness. The "rigged system" Mr. Trump repeatedly referred to in his stump speeches resonated with a middle America who ever-increasingly disagreed with the liberal "correct speak" being spouted by the Hollywood elites and mainstream media. They listened to Hillary Clinton and the establishment who backed her referring to them as irredeemable racists, sexists and a host of other slanders and knew it not to be true. As the 2016 electoral map shows quite clearly, the "fly-overs" had their say. Is the electoral college perfect? Of course not. Is it vital for the continued well-being of our republic? Absolutely!

The electoral college is so important, the founders saw fit to include it in the Constitution, knowing full well what a huge effort would be required to change it. Amendments to the Constitution require passage by two-thirds majority in both houses of congress, presidential signature and ratification by majority vote in 34 states (the Constitution actually says 2/3 of the states). Yes, they made it very hard. They made sure our Constitution would endure flippant political upheavals. They intended our Constitution be a near-sacred document requiring a serious and enduring groundswell of will and determination to change it. Thank God. Our Constitution is what differentiates us from the rest of the world. Its genius has resulted in the greatest, most prosperous and most powerful country on earth.

So, go ahead and protest. Even though over half of you didn’t vote, you do have the right to peaceably speak your mind. That even includes “cry-ins” and coloring book therapy if that's what floats your boat. All you’re doing is reinforcing opinions of the electorate in all those red counties that they voted correctly. What they know is what you refuse to see. When President Trump succeeds in making America great again, you will benefit equally. 

Friday
Oct212016

It’s Purge Time!

Has this presidential campaign been a circus, or what? I like to think of myself as a well-informed participant in our political process. I cast my first presidential ballot in 1976 and have voted in every election since. By that I mean every election, from local city council to president and everything in between. I have postponed vacation trips so not to miss my opportunity to vote. That was before the days of very early and absentee balloting we now enjoy. I say all this to emphasize my opening remark. This campaign is like none I have witnessed in over forty years of observation. Just when I think things can’t get any muddier, they do. Just when I think there’s no way more dirt can be found, there is. I expect this will continue through November 8th. Before this is over, I expect Wikileaks will release email of Hillary calling Italians “wops”, jews “kikes” and black people “niggers” while I’m sure there is a yet-to-be-released video tape of Donald Trump raping a 16-year-old girl while resting her head on a signed copy of Mien Kampf. Exaggeration, yes, but if I had predicted all the Wikileaks dumps and open-mic recordings six months ago, you would have thought I was nuts. Hell, I would have thought I was nuts!

I’ve thought long and hard about who will get my support. Last year at this time there were 19 people vying for our nation’s highest office. By the time the presidential primaries came to Texas, the field had been effectively narrowed down to ten. My first choice was to select which party primary to vote in. As a libertarian, my pickings were slim. Gary Johnson, John McAfee and Austin Petersen altogether couldn’t stir any enthusiasm and quite frankly I didn’t feel any of them had the qualifications to be president. Bernie Sanders, while making some good points about establishment and special interest politics was basically 180° away from every political belief I hold dear. Hillary Clinton was, well, Hillary. I was sick of her and her husband when they pillaged and left the White House in 2001. She has to be the most morally, ethically and politically corrupt candidate to ever seek the office. No matter what is said this campaign, my mind was made up when she left four dead Americans in Libya, including our ambassador. If she is that incompetent (if not criminally neglectful) as Secretary of State, how could I possibly vote for her for President? That left a wide field of candidates in the Republican primary. That field had significantly narrowed to two by the time the Texas primary rolled around, Trump and Cruz. What a choice, right? Well, Ted Cruz lost me with his ultra-conservative religious views and I just couldn’t imagine myself seeing his mug on TV every day for the next four years. Forgive me, but there’s something about his demeanor that makes my skin crawl. Aside from Hillary, there’s nobody I’d like to see in the White House less. In fact, I decided the most important trait for any presidential candidate this election cycle is lack of political experience. Life-long politicians working within today’s realities of special interest money and special interest agendas collect too much “favor-baggage”. The longer a politician is in the game, the more favors he/she owes to the donors who financed their campaigns. I think it’s time to eject the career politicians and clean house. No one exemplifies this trait less than Donald Trump whose comparatively infantile 16-month political career is devoid of special-interest funding. To the best of my knowledge, Donald Trump’s campaign is mainly financed by private donations averaging around $60, plus his own coffers. No big special-interest backers and no favors owed. For example, the Trump campaign makes a big deal of Hillary Clinton’s and Barack Obama’s refusal to use the term “radical Islamic terrorist” when a Muslim from the middle-east slaughters innocent civilians. Ever wonder why they are so reluctant to say the words? It’s because they take tens (if not hundreds) of millions of dollars in donations from rich Arabs in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE and others. Those donors have instructed them NOT to! If they are so accommodating to these donors, imagine what kind of marching orders they are taking from multi-billion dollar insurance companies participating in Obamacare and servicing the Veterans Administration. What sort of income tax benefits and loopholes propagate as a result of Hillary’s $350,000 speaking fee she received from Goldman Sachs? The quid pro quo never ends with her.

I truly believe America needs a real political "outsider" as president. It's time for someone who is not beholden to ANY political machine and/or special interests. Washington is badly in need of a purge that only a true outsider can execute. It needs someone willing to say "You're FIRED!" to the ruling political class and entrenched bureaucrats who've made our government the top-heavy megalith it has become; more interested in its own proliferation than the needs of American citizens. There’s a reason Congress maintains a single-digit approval rating. It’s the same reason our national debt continues to skyrocket to so many trillions of dollars the average person cannot even conceptualize the sum. Politicians cannot vote sensibly to reduce wasteful spending because their sensible vote conflicts with the wishes of the corporation or PAC that financed their campaigns. It is such a convoluted equation. A special interest donates a million dollars to a congressman who in return votes to pass legislation costing the American taxpayer billions. When did we lose site of the impropriety of this behavior? When did it become acceptable for foreign billionaires to buy access to our government through donations to a charitable foundation? When did it become acceptable to legally ruin a young sailor’s life for snapping a cell phone picture of the inside of the submarine he sailed on so he could show his kid “where daddy worked”. At the same time no criminal charges are filed on a Secretary of State who deletes and bleaches tens of thousands of public documents in defiance of a Congressional subpoena? We need someone who understands that in America the law applies to all its citizens equally. We need someone who understands the impropriety of an ex-president meeting privately on a government plane with a standing Attorney General who is supposedly deciding on criminal indictment of said ex-president’s wife.

For God's sake people! This is the United States of America, not Great Britain. There is no aristocracy here. Government derives its power from its citizens. Remember “We the people”? Politicians serve at our behest. They are not some sort of privileged class no matter how much they try to act like it. Let’s play make-believe for just a few seconds. Please, humor me.

First, imagine you just received a subpoena from the U.S. congress that mandates you produce your voter registration card. What is your first thought? Shred your voter registration card then burn the pieces? Of course not! What do you think the consequences would be if you did?

What makes a person ignore a congressional subpoena? I can only think of one thing. Entitlement. This person feels they are in a class that need not obey the law. Hell, this person must think of the U. S. congress as “little people”. How aloof is that? This incident just happens to involve Hillary Clinton, but this is just an example of what goes on within the current ruling political class on both sides of the congressional isle. It’s that sort of behavior that motivates me to cast a protest ballot for Donald Trump. Yes, he’s a blow-hard. Yes, he’s probably some sort of lech. And yes, some of his political stances border on the ridiculous, but I’m not worried about that. The Founders wisely built ample checks and balances into our Constitution to guard against the extreme.

I believe the imperitive for this election is to stick our thumb in the eye of our entrenched political establishment. “Business as usual” is no longer acceptable. We’ve been in that mode since the ‘80s and look what it’s gotten us; an anemic economy with 1% annual GDP growth, the lowest labor participation rate in fifty years, minority unemployment approaching 60%, $20T of national debt, inner-city murder rates rivaling 3rd world banana republics and a constant terrorism threat from Islamic extremists who detest our society and our values. Something has to change.

I say, if you’re gonna change then there’s no better place to start than at the top. The problem is, we’ve been dealt two absolutely shitty hands from which to choose. One candidate is a criminal (indicted or not) and the other is a lech (allegedly, but there’s so much smoke, there must be some fire somewhere). I know, I know, but what about the Libertarian and Green party candidates? Seriously? First, I could never vote for a militant environmentalist and second, Gary Johnson must have smoked too much herb through the years. The man sometimes has trouble completing his own sentences! I’ve been praying for a viable Libertarian candidate for 30 years. My slim hopes were dashed in 2012 when the Republicans and the media assassinated Ron Paul (figuratively, of course). He masqueraded as a Republican in the primaries and garnered more support than any Libertarian in history, but got bull-rushed by Romney and the RNC. That’s when I started despising the Republicans almost as much as the Democrats. Almost.

So, the presidential primaries yielded a Democrat political insider who practically defines the term and a Republican political outsider who couldn’t be more outside if he were from another planet. He’s so far outside he’s having trouble getting Republicans to support him. For me, the choice is easy. If you believe everything the press is saying (which I absolutely don’t, but for the sake of argument let’s say I do), Donald Trump is a tax-evading, racist, Islamophobic, xenophobic sexual predator. Hillary Clinton is a defender of and an enabler for a (proven) sexual predator. She accepts money in exchange for government access, thinks I am deplorable, maintains differing public and private views on critical issues and if her last name were anything but Clinton, would certainly be under indictment. Additionally, we just saw video tape of DNC operatives bragging about inciting riots at Trump rallies and explaining methods for committing voter fraud. These are contractors paid by the Hillary campaign and the DNC. This is criminal behavior! Where the hell is the FBI? Why isn’t somebody doing a perp-walk for all of this shit?

I’ll tell you why. Our justice system is totally politicized and corrupt. I think it goes all the way to the president’s desk. We’ll never be able to prove it, of course. On the same videotapes, the DNC operatives explained their “double blind” remittance methods and how those methods provide “plausible deniability” to the DNC and their candidates. J. Edgar Hoover is rolling over in his grave. The agency he spent a lifetime molding into the elite law enforcement organization that took down Bonnie & Clyde and the Mafia is now little more than a puppet for the democrats. They ignore criminals like Hillary Clinton and go after military generals whose infractions pale in comparison but happen to be on the wrong side of the political fence. The same goes for the IRS. The democrats have turned them into attack dogs they sic on conservative and religious organizations who speak out against democrat leftist agenda. The lifelong bureaucrats running these agencies and the political ruling class serving as their puppet masters need to be told, “YOU’RE FIRED!”

We all know who’s best qualified to do that.

Tuesday
Sep202016

Proof That Liberalism is a Mental Disorder

If you agree with Mrs. Clinton that half of Donald Trump’s supporters are a “basket of deplorables” then I submit that you are a bigot of the first order and your views are so misguided that the only plausible explanation is that you are suffering from some sort of mental disorder.

Do I disagree that there are deplorable people who support Donald Trump? No. Do I believe there are deplorable people supporting Mrs. Clinton? Of course. Let’s face it. A certain percentage of any populace would be considered deplorable by most reasonable, thinking persons. Child molesters, wife beaters, animal abusers and the like certainly fall into the deplorable category. Does it make sense that these deplorable people would have differing political views? Again, of course. If one of these scum support a political candidate, does it follow that said candidate bears any responsibility for endorsing or encouraging that supporter’s behavior? Of course not. The relationship isn’t reciprocal. To assert otherwise is nonsensical. So, Mrs. Clinton’s statements are non-sequitur in the base case.

Next, let’s examine the list of “irredeemable” people Mrs. Clinton puts into her basket. She listed, xenophobes, Islamophobics, homophobes to name a few. For her assertion to be logical, millions of people must be afflicted with a phobia. The dictionary defines a phobia thusly:

phobia |ˈfōbēə|
noun
an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something: he had a phobia about being under water | a phobia of germs | a snake phobia.

Mrs. Clinton characterizes people who agree with Donald Trump’s immigration policies as xenophobes. Xenophobia is defined as an intense or irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries. OK, I agree with Donald Trump’s view that our current practice of allowing anyone and everyone entry into our country, is crazy. Am I a xenophobe? Let’s see. Do I have an intense or irrational dislike or fear of Mexicans? No. (It would be impossible to live in Texas if I did!) Canadians? No. Moroccans? No. The French? No again. Do I fear the policy of allowing unchecked migration across our southern border will result in more crime, illegal drugs, gang violence and an increased probability of terrorism? Yes, and statistics bear me out. Is that fear irrational? Of course not. In Texas we live with that fear. We’re reminded of the consequences of current border policy almost every day when we switch on the evening news. By definition then, I cannot be xenophobic.

Am I Islamophobic? Let’s see. One of my best friends and business associates was born in Iran. He and his family are Islamic. I’ve been working with him and his wife for over 15 years and we’ve become close friends. I celebrated with them when they became naturalized American citizens and watched his two daughters grow up into beautiful young women. Were I to have an intense or irrational fear or dislike of Islamic people I would think all that would be impossible. Do I have an intense fear of allowing tens of thousands of undocumented, un-vetted young adult males from the middle east into our country? You’re damned right I do! Is that fear irrational? I don’t think so. Any reasonable person who cares about the safety and well-being of America and its citizens should be afraid of an exodus from the very cradle of terrorism to our country. Especially when our enemy has told us that they have every intent to infiltrate said exodus.

Homophobic? I guess not. My middle daughter is bisexual. I love and support her whether her current partner is a boyfriend or girlfriend. Believe me, I’ve been through multiple iterations of each. I admit to being ignorant about the LGBTQ community at first, but I’ve learned a great deal over the years. I wasn’t ignorant because of deliberate avoidance, any irrational fear or dislike. I just hadn’t had any exposure to it before sharing my daughter’s experiences. (Well, there was that one near miss in New Orleans a few years back. I was a bit dazed and confused.) Anyway, I think if any two consenting adults choose each other then, more power to them. Anyone who finds a soulmate in this world is a lucky individual and should be legally able to marry, co-habitate, one-night stand or anything in between. You see, I believe in legalizing freedom in America and that certainly includes the freedom to practice one’s sexual preference. Is there any less homophobic position than that?

Lastly, I’d like to address Mrs. Clinton’s accusations of racism. Here, I have no personal experience to relay. I’m as white as a human can get. My hair is blonde. My eyes are blue and my lineage is Polish. I’m married to a white, New Orleans girl whose ancestors descended from Ireland and our daughter is a strawberry blonde with hazel eyes. I grew up in a racially integrated neighborhood and attended racially integrated public schools where blacks were definitely in the minority.  And by minority I mean less than five percent. I would be lying if I said there were no racial tensions when I was growing up. It was the 60s in Texas after all. I played high school sports on teams that were around 25% black and 20% Hispanic (I dug up an old photo, counted and did the math.) and still count many of my former teammates of all races as friends. I spent the majority of my 35-year career working for the largest oil company on Earth that wasn’t only multi-racial, but multi-national. During that time, I had black and Hispanic bosses and peers and I supervised the same. To be honest, I cannot think of a single instance where I was personally involved with any work-related or personal incident of racism. I witnessed it from others on rare occasions to be sure, but I also watched my company deal with those cases swiftly and fairly. Racism and sexism simply were not tolerated.

So, I obviously fall into that half of Trump supporters who are not deplorable. Funny thing is, I’ve spent more than a little time interacting with literally hundreds of Trump supporters on social media and thousands at two separate live events. Guess what? I never saw the KKK represented anywhere, unlike those depicted in Mrs. Clinton’s attack ads. I do admit to being disappointed by the lack of racial diversity at the rallies I attended. If I had to guess, I’d estimate blacks and Hispanics made up around 20% of the crowds at each event. (One in Texas, one in Arizona. I have homes in both states.) But it was earlier in the campaign and I’m of the opinion Mr. Trump’s support among minorities is growing and that growth is accelerating. But I digress.

My point is, Mrs. Clinton blatantly insulted tens of millions of Americans with her obviously slanted statements. She made these insulting remarks as she was pandering to her wealthy supporters at a multi-thousand dollar-per-plate fund-raising event. What I found more disgusting than Mrs. Clinton’s statements themselves was the reaction of her supporters in attendance. This has gotten very little press, but I think it is very telling of the morally superior attitudes of the liberals who obviously share Mrs. Clinton’s views. As Hillary Clinton described the “irredeemable” people in her “basket of deplorables”, her wealthy contributors guffawed! How sick is that? Is this what we’ve come to in America? It makes me want to vomit. How dare we have a differing view about the way our country is governed? After all, we’re just the “little people” who are too stupid to understand how things should be done, right? We must all be afflicted with a phobia! There’s no other possible explanation.

The wealthy Hollywood-types in attendance look down their noses at the very people who made them rich. They are so insulated from the real world, they’ve created an alternate universe where Mrs. Clinton and her ilk know better than anyone what’s best for the rest of us and those of us who disagree are just mentally afflicted morons. I do so hope that on November 8th we deplorables send them a reply that lets them know in no uncertain terms, “We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore!” (Sorry about the cliché.) I am sick to death of being told that my views are the result of my ignorance and/or stupidity, when it is the “inclusive” and “tolerant” left who keep trying the same solutions to the same problems and nothing improves. To my understanding that is the very definition of a mental disorder.

Monday
Aug292016

Why I Cancelled My New York Times Subscription (and You Should Too)

I am a creature of habit. Doing certain things at a certain time on a regular basis gives my life order. My wife thinks I may take this to extremes sometimes and she’s probably right, but it is what it is. I’ll be the first to admit my behavior may border on OCD, but I like doing things the way I do them. My daily routine is something I’ve developed over many years and I wouldn’t do things the way I do without purpose. The reason I spend a portion of every morning reading newspapers is to stay informed. Not the CNN or Fox News versions of informed, but the in-depth, behind the scenes version one can only get by reading quality periodicals. The periodicals I read frequently fall into three major categories; daily news, monthly news and specialty publications. It’s the daily periodicals, the newspapers, that make up a large portion of my routine and those are the ones I’ll address here.

2011 marked the end of an era for me. It was in 2011 when I got an original iPad as soon as Apple would let me order one. A couple of months after unboxing it I began moving my classic newspaper subscriptions to digital ones. I have to admit to going through some growing pains as my morning Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Houston Chronicle popped up a notification on my iPad in lieu of showing up on my driveway (sidewalk, flower bed, neighbor’s yard, drainage ditch…) every morning. It was a huge adjustment trying to find my favorite journalists’ articles by navigating a slew of unfamiliar menus and links versus leafing over to a familiar section of a newspaper I’d grown very familiar with over the years. No more smell of fresh newsprint. No more black fingertips and nothing to roll up and swat a bug (dog, cat, wife) with. It took some getting used to, especially enduring some of the horrendous version 1.0 newspaper apps, but in just a few months I adjusted and the apps got much better. Now, when I do occasionally get a print version, I wonder how I put up with them for all those years. What, no news video? No links to the new restaurant advertised in the lifestyle section? How barbaric! Yep, I quickly became a digital convert. Now with the periodical apps at version 6 or 7 and the new retina display iPad, morning reading is the best experience ever. And I don’t even have to cover up my underwear to retrieve my papers!

I always knew the New York Times was almost as left-leaning as Chairman Mao’s little red book, but I endured (for the most part) by avoiding the editorials. I stuck to the hard news and mainly focused on the business and technology sections. The Times really does employ some of the best writers anywhere. But this election season has caused me to re-think my $20/month digital subscription fee. I expected the editorial staff at the New York Times to be pulling for Hillary as sure as the sunrise, but what I didn’t expect was their willingness to print blatant lies about Mr. Trump while completely ignoring every negative associated with Hillary Clinton. I’ve put up with this crap for a year thinking it will all be over soon and I can get back to my normal OCD behavior when the Times did something that pissed me off so badly I had to immediately cancel my 20-year subscription.

My wife and I were driving home from a trip to visit my daughter at school in Baton Rouge (Geaux Tigers!) listening to a Trump speech on the radio. He was speaking about Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama’s failed foreign policy as well as George Bush’s poor decision to invade Iraq. He spoke at length about the power vacuum created by deposing Kaddafi and Saddam Hussein and the resulting rise of ISIS. He emphasized how terrible the two dictators were using adjectives like “brutal”, “horrible” and “bad” to describe them. He went on to say that as bad as they were, their presence helped keep terrorism in check and that Saddam Hussein was particularly good at killing terrorists within Iraq. He again questioned the wisdom of the foreign policy that deposed them. Within minutes of the end of Trump’s speech, my  Watch chimed and displayed this notification from the New York Times: 

Donald Trump Praises Saddam Hussein for Being ‘Good’ at Killing Terrorists

I showed the notification to my wife and she was astonished. Unlike me, she isn’t a regular Times reader. She said, “He didn’t say anything like that!” Remember, we had just finished listening to his speech in its entirety. I told her that sort of word-smithing and taking phrases out of context is what I’d come to expect from the New York Times. She then asked me why I was paying them for distorted news. It got me to thinking. Had my OCD blinded me? Was I shelling out twenty bucks a month just because I always had and thought I always should?

I really like the Times’ technology section and their business section is second only to the Wall Street Journal, but I had to ask myself if they were worth the $20/month subscription fee. After all, I was basically ignoring the bulk of the newspaper to avoid their leftist propaganda. As a Libertarian, I’ve come to understand all news outlets have an agenda. I see the left-leanings of CNN, NBC & CBS as well as Fox and NewsMax trumpeting positions of the right. All of the above think of us Libertarians as “fringe” not worthy of covering, but being Libertarian lets me see content bias through eyes with no “left” or “right” filter. For example, a myopic leftist like Chris Breen probably views the New York Times election coverage as completely factual and fair while right-wingers like Ann Coulter probably think the same of NewsMax. Come to think of it, I can’t name a single unbiased news source, can you? In the end I decided bias is one thing, but misrepresentation is something else altogether. It’s fine to forward a political agenda within the confines of the editorial section, but it is completely dishonest to present it as “news”. With the example I just cited and many times since, the New York Times has crossed that boundary. I did a quick search on the NYT.com web site for all articles published in the last 30 days relating to Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton. I then did a quick tally of negative stories about each. I expected Hillary to get more favorable treatment, but I was a bit surprised to learn Donald Trump’s negative stories outnumbered Hillary Clinton’s 9 to 1! (For Mr. Breen and those of you in Portland, that means for every negative story about Hillary, there were nine negative stories about Mr. Trump.) Like I said, the Times’ bias was to be expected, but this is more like an unmitigated frontal assault! Both candidates have said some truly outrageous things, but the Times embellishes Trump’s many faux pas while taking every proven lie that comes from Hillary’s mouth at face value. What a shame. What I once considered to be “America’s Newspaper” has disgracefully become little more than a shill for the left. I pointed out this fact to the NYT staff in the space provided on their cancellation page. If you truly believe in unbiased news coverage, I urge you to vote with your pocketbook and do the same.

Thursday
Aug042016

It Should Be Harder to Vote, Not Easier

Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.
Winston Churchill

 

It’s difficult to express my feelings more succinctly than by citing those two quotes. But, I’ll try anyway.

Have you ever watched any “Man on the street” interviews televised by popular talk show personalities? You know the ones. An interviewer takes to the streets of America’s cities and asks random passers-by questions like, “Who won the Civil War?” or “Who bombed Pearl Harbor?” or “Who is Vice President of the United States?” and only one-in-four people can answer the question correctly. Well, guess what? Those three imbeciles who gave the wrong answer get their votes counted the same as you and I. I think there’s something basically wrong with that. (Of course I'm counting you in. If you're reading this, you are obviously intelligent and well-informed.)This is obvious testament to the complete failure of our country’s education system. It is a fixable problem, but one that will take quite a while to resolve. More on that in a moment. In the meantime, I think we should do something to prevent our country’s destiny from being decided by uninformed morons.

I think obtaining a voter’s registration card should be handled much the same way as obtaining a driver’s license. After all, immigrants are required to pass a test on basic American history and civics before being granted citizenship. A test, by the way, that only 3 in 10 Americans would pass. One could argue that with a 97.5% pass rate, immigrants are more qualified to vote than native-born Americans. They certainly have a better grasp of what’s happening in America than your average Kardashian-swilling couch potato that seems to make up the majority of the American electorate. We need a way to disqualify potential voters who can name every winner of “American Idol”, but can’t describe what the 1st Amendment to the Constitution is about. No, democracy isn’t easy and American citizens should have to earn the right to participate. Sadly, the opposite is happening. All too often, judges strike down even the most minimal local voting requirements like a valid driver’s license or other proof of residency, citing discrimination. It looks like the trend favors letting anyone with a pulse cast a ballot. (Worse than that, the 2012 presidential election saw more votes cast by deceased persons than ever before. But, I won't be discussing voter fraud here.)

A conspiracy-minded person might argue that our government is purposely “dumbing down” its citizens by promoting a school curriculum exclusive of Constitutional principles, our Founders and basic economics.  All this in an attempt to keep Americans so ignorant they won’t recognize how badly their government is screwing them. With a near $20 trillion deficit turning our dollar into a peso, terrorists running amuck within our porous borders and politicians acting as puppets for big money special interest groups, an ignorant populace is required to avoid a revolution. What better way to keep most Americans ignorant than never teaching them what matters in the first place? Far-fetched? You decide.

So, should we allow uninformed dullards to cast their votes with the same weight as those of us who understand the workings of our government and take the time to keep up with current events? I say no. There should be at least some minimum level of understanding required to obtain the right to make decisions about the future of our country. I’m not suggesting that only college grads or even high school grads be allowed to vote, but that there should be some minimal requirement for issuance of a voter registration card. To keep numbskulls out of the voting booth, we need a simple test that asks questions like “Who is the current Secretary of State?” or “How many senators are there?” or “What is the term of a Supreme Court justice?”. Not too hard, right? Hell, make the test multiple choice. Anybody should be able to answer simple questions like that, or at least enough of them to score a passing grade, right? Guess what? Over half of America can’t! In my opinion, they don’t deserve to make critical decisions about who governs us.

I say,

If you can’t point to Washington D.C. on a map, then you shouldn’t be allowed to help determine who works there!
Joseph Kelley