2.27.2016

WATCH YOUR BACK, DONALD



“...There is no act of treachery
of which a political party is not capable;
for in politics, there is no honour.”
                                         ~Benjamin Disraeli

 


     It’s a couple of days before the first “Super-Tuesday” primary/caucus event, and The League of Wealthy Political Donors still finds itself in a quandary.
     The League has done just about everything it can to topple the leading Republican candidate. My favorite dumb ploy is how they planted the laughable claim that the Democrats’ leading candidate is “afraid” to face Marco Rubio. In fact motor-mouth Rubio himself latched onto this gem, and started using it in his campaign. “I’m Hillary Clinton’s worst nightmare.” Really?
     As one wag put it, he thought Marco was a member of Menudo... or that kid on your block who always rode around with a playing card clothes-pinned to the fork of his bicycle so it would snap against the spokes and go pip-pip-pip-pip when he rode by trying to impress the girls with the “motor” on his Schwinn.
     Hillary afraid to face Marco? C’mon. That’s too silly to believe. In a one-on-one debate, she and her back-up crew (the Media) would chew up this ambitious, polite boy and spit him out like another Rick Lazio.
     Who they really fear is Trump. And why shouldn’t they? They just don’t want voters to see them sweat. They hope those who dislike Mrs. Clinton will rush to Rubio. But Donald, as we all know by now, is not so polite. Though he and the Clinton’s are friends, Donald won’t be polite to Hillary, nor defer to her because she is a woman. Can you just image what Donald might blurt out if Hillary is late getting back from her potty break, or has a coughing spell while debating on tv?
     I suspect Donald himself is surprised at the fervor of the support he has... virtually everywhere! ...he savors the possibility of hanging that golden TRUMP logo on the front gate of The White House. Hillary has become nothing more than the latest hurdle he must get over. And get over it he will. He might treat Hillary like he treated Rosie. And the public will love it! Even the Secret Service will cheer! Because, admit it, she has been asking for it for years. I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump called Bill and said, look Bill, Hill is going to be indicted, she’s going down hu-u-u-uge. Now, now... calm down, Billy. Don’t have an attack. When Im elected, Ill pardon her.

     Remember when the Republican Party pressed Trump to sign an agreement that, should he fail to get much GOP voter support (as they were so confident he wouldn’t), he would not bolt and run as an independent. To their chagrin, Donald signed it on the condition that they treat him “fairly.” Of course they had no intention of treating him fairly. What is “fair” in politics anyway? Not twisting the knife when they stick it in your back?
     But The Donald didn’t fade. He rose to the top of the national polls, as well as most if not all the State-wide polls. As much as the GOP elite and the Democrats despise Donald, many voters seem to love him. Finally. A candidate who is not a politician. Who tells it straight. I won’t even attempt to hide it... I love the guy. But this is not new for me. I have admired Donald since the 1970s, maybe even before. If you want to know why, you can find my writings on the subject over to the right of this text, in my blog archives.
     In a bizarre twist of the nominating process, showing their complete inability to cope with his popularity, the GOP elite has now embarked on another embarrassing mission. If Trump won’t go down under their intense fire, they will attempt to fund and run their own hand-picked candidate... as an independent! Of course if that agreement Trump signed is a two-way agreement, which they will now be reneging on... well... Trump will sue them too! More popcorn, please.
     Here we have all these nervous donors and lobbyists, used to buying influence with their millions millions which would be welcomed with open wallets by any other candidate but this Trump guy turns his nose up at the filthy lucre. Though I suppose, unlike the other candidates, he would gladly accept it if offered with absolutely no strings attached.

     If this Super-Tuesday goes as polls predict at the time of this writing, it’s all over. Trump will be the Republican candidate because, despite what Karl Rove and his white board are trying to sell you, the math is in Trump’s favor. Which is why Karl has to scribble increasingly arcane symbols on his board. Otherwise, Karl will be yesteryear’s pundit. Again. He may have to join the ranks of those “experts” who start up their own dopey “tv channels” on the net. Beck, Dick Morris, Levin, and more on the way... hey... maybe they can create their own network. The Hack Channel.  
      FOX’s Megyn Kelly, her bosses and her guests have been trying. Other Republican candidates have tried. GOP elite donors have been trying. Hack pundits have tried. The Media has been trying. Thousands of internet rags and trolls curse and mock Trump ten thousand times an hour. Goodness, El Chapo and Vicente Fox have been trying! Now Mitt Romney is trying. Even the Pope! But the polls suggest, so far, Trump’s supporters are having none of it. So far, his opponents and detractors have failed. So The League of Wealthy Political Donors still has the problem. In fact, because Trump’s count of delegates is starting to pile up, it’s worse now, isn’t it?
     What to do, what to do?
     If the GOP elite can’t pull off an independent campaign in time (and odds are they won’t), they may go so far as supporting an old, lying, vindictive, shrill, unhealthy, unaccomplished woman that the other side seems to have no problem with. And Priebus will ask you Republican voters for donations.

     Stay safe, Donald. Watch your back. Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.
    

2.08.2016

ADAMS’ IRATE, TIRELESS MINORITIES

 
 It does not take a majority to prevail...

but rather an irate, tireless, minority

keen on setting brush fires of freedom

in the minds of men. 
 


     Powerful words, penned by Samuel Adams.

     But is that it? An irate America declared and won its freedom from the Monarchy in the 1770’s. The Union fought for and won freedom for slaves of all minorities in the 1860’s. Americans again lit brush fires to end segregation in the 1960’s.
     No period in history ever achieves the “positive absolute.” Each era slowly, often painfully, transitions from one dominant way of thinking to the next. Sometimes, we hope more often than not, we get closer to, though never reach, the positive absolute. Perhaps one or two scorching fires per century is about all an evolving culture can absorb.  
     Unfortunately today we find more cultural brush fires burning than Southern California’s Santa Ana season. Adams’ irate, tireless minorities are at work everywhere, fanatical firebugs, hiring lawyers, organizing marches, printing posters and tweeting like nests full of hungry canaries. But many fight for freedoms they already have.
     In 21st Century America, are gays not free to be gay? Are atheists not free to mock God? Are not environmentalists free to protest on behalf of fish and bugs? Are not Native Americans free to protest against professional sports teams’ names and heralds? Are not trans-gender people free to be? Are not muslims free to exercise their religion? Are not minority races free? Are not women, who we are told actually constitute the majority in America, free? Freedom they have, and with rare exceptions, safety under the law.
      Yet, many go on preaching the myth that society inhibits them from freely exercising their chosen paths. But surely society cannot be blamed for what reluctance individuals may have to freely pursue their lifestyle. Does not The Constitution guarantee each is free to walk his or her own path?
    Methinks what already-free minorities crave most of all is acceptability and fame. Fame comes to some degree with the lighting of Adams’ brush fires. Acceptability, on the other hand, has a way of eluding their grasp. The reason is tradition. The First Amendment of this very same Constitution guarantees an equal right to express disdain for non-traditionalists as non-traditionalists express for traditionalists. So while the law guarantees one is free to choose a non-traditional path, it also guarantees critics are free to use their own rhetoric and ideas to oppose questionable change. Non-traditionalists are quick to use their Constitutional guarantees of freedom to achieve their goals; even quicker to cry foul when the other side employs its guarantees to oppose them. Yes, they like The Constitution when it supports them, but when it supports the other side... not so much.
     Some historians criticize Samuel Adams for what they judge as emotional propaganda which resulted in unnecessary deaths in the years leading up to America’s Revolution. It’s all a matter of perspective. Either way, common sense America must not pour fuel on fire, to insure Adams’ brush fires are not stoked by the irate on either side. So far, with some notable exceptions, we have done a fair job. But there is always the danger that these little brush fires spread, joining together to become terribly destructive human infernos which nations suffer from time to time.

2.05.2016

PRIDE IN ONE’S COUNTRY




     My Country
     ‘Tis of Thee,
     Sweet Land of Liberty,
     Of Thee I Sing; 
     Land where my fathers died,
     Land of the pilgrims’ pride 
     From ev’ry mountainside 
     Let freedom ring


     These graceful lyrics, penned by Samuel Francis Smith, to a melody borrowed from the UK’s rousing, “God Save the Queen,” served as one of our de facto national anthems, along with “Hail, Columbia” and “God Bless America,” before “The Star-Spangled Banner” was officially adopted as our national anthem in 1931.
     We used to sing these anthems in grammar school when I was a kid, in the years after WWII. The thought which always produced a transport of emotion in this kid was “pride” in one’s country. Today, among so many in what has become a nation of mutts – mixed salads, if you prefer – chests do not swell at thoughts of the “Land that I love,” or our “Gem of the ocean.” It’s obvious that if there is any pride among our people nowadays, what produces it is very different from in the past. It’s more like, well, we don’t really love America, we love her benefits. To many on the Left, it’s sort of like Land that I don’t love, I won’t stand beside her, or guide her, through the night with a light from a Bud. To some on the Right, the anthem runs a bit like Glen Frey’s
Ive got mine,
Dont want a thing to change,
Cause I've got mine.”

     Do educators teach, and students learn, of the proud accomplishments and traditions of our nation? The liberal theme seems to be that if they could just turn America into The United Marxist States, perhaps shucking just the downside of Karl’s failed philosophy, then they might feel some pride. Libertarians might feel it if we could just drop all those annoying restrictive laws, and allow millions upon millions of stupid people to just do what they please. And while Conservatives do express pride in the military and maybe the cops, or maybe some sports, they feel no pride in the Congress I should say the entire Federal Government – or their own Party leaders. Jane and John Q. Public have more pride in their fave football team’s logo and mascot, or in their new lawn mower, than they have in their nation. Why?
     It’s a mess. And it ain’t gettin any better.

     Lack of pride?
     A lack of pride in one’s self, one’s family and one’s community is like a barbed-wire fence which keeps the growing underclass enslaved by their street culture and scheming leaders. Lack of pride suffocates the fires of self-determination. Allows self-serving dunderheads to tell you how to live, what to eat, drink, wear, how much of this or that you can use, how to vote, and worst of all, how to think. How can anyone who has no positive accomplishments of his own feel pride in his country? He has been taught that his nation is the reason he has not succeeded. This dreadful way of thinking leads to total dependence on the government to provide whatever it takes to keep the undersheep going. Just enough to keep it going. Never enough to allow it to break free from the shackles of an ever-growing government. Can anyone feel proud in a culture like this? Ask those who survived life in the totalitarian USSR.

     So, out of this milieu comes a very different candidate for president of the United States. One who senses this lack of pride; in the joblessness of blue collar America, the hopelessness of inner city America, the ineptitude of our foreign affairs officers, the demoralization of our local and border police officers. He hears of it everywhere. So, having made his own fortunes, needing no more, he claims he owes our nation a great debt (and so he does!) He insists he will make America great again. Like it was in the years he and I were not embarrassed to sing about this sweet land of liberty.
      But the naysayers in media and politics skip gingerly over his essential idea – that under his leadership our economy and foreign affairs will improve greatly, that his policies will return our economy to it natural dynamism. He will lower taxes, which will bring business back to America, which in turn will produce more jobs, and produce excess revenue, which we can use to pay down the debt, which will once again make us the world’s acknowledged economic powerhouse, which will restore our greatness. 
     Yet the media natters and pffs! Exactly how can we trust someone who has declared bankruptcy several times to do all this? Nevermind that he has always emerged more successful in the end. Wobbly-kneed Republicans make worried faces and say yes but he’s not nice. They don’t like him. He’s too bombastic. Or, well, they think he has too much pride in his own accomplishments to be president.
     The establishment wants someone more docile. Someone whose greatest accomplishments have been more like those on the Democratic side, ie: government solutions. They want someone more... well... pliable.
     Too much pride?
     If Donald Trump can make America great again, won’t all of us feel a sense of pride in a resuscitated nation? Won’t that pride spill over into our attitudes, in our work, in our family and community, and lift the standards of our personal ambitions? Of course it will. More kids, especially those in inner cities, will once again grow up hearing about broader possibilities for them, about the national pride that inspired so many of us back in the day to climb up out of whatever socioeconomic depth we may have been in, to break the chains that held our parents. The sunlight of greater personal opportunity should warm every American’s easy smiling face.
      Wasn’t this our Founders’ vision for the future of their new republic. One free from the interference of an overly large government? Where opportunity is the fundamental engine of accomplishment and economic success? No matter how many millions of citizens might dwell within?
     The pilgrims’ pride must be everyone’s