Words of wisdom from Charles Krauthammer.

A TAKE ON DONALD TRUMP …

A different take on Donald Trump: (a non-political agenda)

Trump Is Not A Liberal or Conservative, He’s a “Pragmatist.” (Definition: A pragmatist is someone who is practical and focused on reaching a goal. A pragmatist usually has a straightforward, matter-of-fact approach and doesn’t let emotion distract him or her.)

“We recently enjoyed a belated holiday dinner with friends at the home of other friends. The dinner conversation varied from discussions about antique glass and china to theology and politics.

At one point, reference was made to Donald Trump being a conservative, to which I responded that Trump is not a conservative.

I said that I neither view nor do I believe Trump views himself as a conservative. I stated it was my opinion that Trump is a pragmatist. He sees a problem and understands it must be fixed. He doesn’t see the problem as liberal or conservative, he sees it only as a problem. That is a quality that should be admired and applauded, not condemned. But I get ahead of myself.

Viewing problems from a Liberal perspective has resulted in the creation of more problems, more entitlement programs, more victims, more government, more political correctness, and more attacks on the working class in all economic strata.

Viewing things according to the so-called Republican conservative perspective has brought continued spending and globalism to the detriment of American interests and well being, denial of what the real problems are, weak, ineffective, milquetoast, leadership that amounts to Barney Fife Deputy Sheriff, appeasement oriented and afraid of its own shadow. In brief, it has brought liberal ideology with a pachyderm as a mascot juxtaposed to the ass of the Democrat Party.

Immigration isn’t a Republican problem, it isn’t a Liberal problem, it is a problem that threatens the very fabric and infrastructure of America. It demands a pragmatic approach not an approach that is intended to appease one group or another.

The impending collapse of the economy wasn’t a Liberal or Conservative problem, it is an American problem. That said, until it is viewed as a problem that demands a common sense approach to resolution, it will never be fixed because the Democrats and Republicans know only one way to fix things and the longevity of their impracticality has proven to have no lasting effect.

Successful businessmen like Donald Trump find ways to make things work, they do not promise to accommodate.

Trump uniquely understands that China’s manipulation of currency is not a Republican problem or a Democrat problem. It is a problem that threatens our financial stability and he understands the proper balance needed to fix it.

Here again, successful businessmen, like Trump, who have weathered the changing tides of economic reality understand what is necessary to make business work, and they, unlike both sides of the political aisle, know that if something doesn’t work, you don’t continue trying to make it work hoping that at some point it will.

As a pragmatist, Donald Trump hasn’t made wild pie-in-the-sky promises of a cell phone in every pocket, free college tuition, and a $15 hour minimum wage for working the drive-through at Carl’s Hamburgers.

I argue that America needs pragmatists because pragmatists see a problem and find ways to fix them. They do not see a problem and compound it by creating more problems.

You may not like Donald Trump, but I suspect that the reason some people do not like him is because:

(1) he is antithetical to the “good old boy” method of brokering back room deals that fatten the coffers of politicians;

(2) they are unaccustomed to hearing a president speak who is unencumbered
by the financial shackles of those who he owes vis-a-vis donations;

(3) he is someone who is free of idiomatic political ideology;

(4) he says what he is thinking, is unapologetic for his outspoken thoughts, speaks very straightforward using everyday language that can be understood by all (and is offensive to some who dislike him anyway) making him a great communicator, for the most part, does what he says he will do and;

(5) he is someone who understands that it takes more than hollow promises and political correctness to make America great again.

Listening to Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders talk about fixing America is like listening to two lunatics trying to “out crazy” one another. Jeb Bush, John Kasich and Marco Rubio are owned lock, stock, and barrel by the bankers, corporations, and big dollar donors funding their campaigns. Bush can deny it, but common sense tells anyone willing to face facts is that people don’t give tens of millions without expecting something in return.

We have had Democrats and Republican ideologues and what has it brought us?
Are we better off today or worse off? Has it happened overnight or has it been a steady decline brought on by both parties?

I submit that a pragmatist is just what America needs right now. People are quick to confuse and despise confidence as arrogance, but that is common among those who have never accomplished anything in their lives (or politicians who never really solved a problem, because it’s better to still have an “issue(s) to be solved,” so re-elect me to solve it, (which never happens) and those who have always played it safe (again, all politicians) not willing to risk failure, to try and achieve success).

Donald Trump put his total financial empire at risk in running for president and certainly did not need or possibly even want the job; that says it all.
He wants success for the U.S. and her citizens because he loves his country.

God Bless America
Charles Krauthammer

REPORT ON THE KAMALA HARRIS “TOWN HALL IN LONG BEACH 4/6/2018

My wife and I went to her town hall today to cover this event for our readers. The event was not that well attended. She didn’t fill the room with supporters as she hoped.

She started the Town Hall off about 20 minutes late, to a crowd that filled about 70% of the available seats. Her opening monologue was one that I can only describe as moving center left, but that did not last long after the first few minutes.

She stated that in her mind the Federal Government had 3 basic functions:
1. Public Safety
2. Public Health
3. Public Education

She identified public safety as a catch all phrase that gives the federal government control over police and eliminates racial bias to policing. She made a few quips about Attorney General Sessions and how he is not going along with this time honored plan.  She made fun of the “border wall” to the delight of the audience and stated that we don’t need a wall, we need immigration reform, and those immigrants in limbo only help make America great again!  She got a lot of applause for that!  I found it interesting that border security and national defense was never mentioned.

She discussed Public Health with Obama Care and eventually forming a single payer health system.  Kamala stated that health care is a human right, not a right for citizens, and that all in our country should be allowed to participate, regardless of immigration status.  The crowd clapped continuously for this, and after the applause, she explained; Women are the creators of life, and should never have to pay more than their fair share for reproductive health.  More applause.  She indicated that health care is a right, not a product, and a right that all should be able to access “free of charge”.  More applause came, the crowd was ecstatic!  What she did not address was who would pay for this new free service.

Her explanation of how public education was part of this all important triad was interesting.  She said that there is nothing more important than education, and that education was the way to fight crime and inequality, not prisons.  More cheering for that statement!  She said that public education was the only way to go, and that it should always be free.  Kamala said again, that education should be available, free, and given to all in the country regardless of immigration status.  She indicated that private education was a “for profit” business and should never be allowed if we are to progress to a higher societal level.  She also said that College should be free to all.  The applause for this was deafening!  At that, she made the inference that student loans are a big problem, and should be forgiven.  More applause, the crowd was in her trance!

She then embraced historical revisionism to cement her points in the minds of her followers.  She had talking points that countered actual history to show that free medical care, free education and federal control of policing was the only way that we could continue in the 21st century.  Without spending too much time identifying all the revisionist points, she indicated that our educational system has not progressed beyond where it was 150 years ago, and that has to change, and only can with federal control.  That medical care was broken by the Republicans after Obama had it fixed, and the only way out now is single payer.  That making policing equitable for all, federal control was the only way to go there.  Although she did not explicitly say so, it sounded an awful like she supports a federal police force to replace the localized system we have now.

Then she moved on to the tax reform.  She indicated that it was destructive, did not give the Federal Government the assets needed to do its work, and that it needs to be rescinded.  She put in a few jokes about our current President and how he has no background or sense to run the country, let alone re-write the tax code.  She also put in a plug for all to turn out and vote in the mid-terms, because it is the only way for them to “take the country back”.  Lot’s of applause for this!

She mentioned immigration reform, and how the current President was not interested in it, and how he actually threw the DACA people “under the bus”.  She elevated the DACA recipients to a very high level, indicating that they are well-educated, highly productive, in the military and serving in the highest positions in corporate America.  She said that they were vetted and only those that met those highest of standards were allowed to participate.  Then she indicated how she wondered how they came up with the money to pay the $450 filing fee for DACA, and how these DACA hero’s can actually afford to walk the halls of the congressional offices daily to express their plight, based on a $7.50 per hour federal minimum wage.  That was a total disconnect with her original argument, but it did elicit cheers and applause from this audience.

She moves on to Dodd-Frank, and how she voted against weakening it for smaller business.  She tied it into the housing crisis of 2009, and how Dodd-Frank would have eliminated that.  She talked about all the people who lost their homes, and how she did not want that to ever happen again, and felt that this regulation was part and partial to eliminating that problem in the future.  She skirted around the massive amount of paperwork it generates for smaller lenders, and how it gives the biggest banks a “leg up” competing for future mortgages.  She also did not address the prohibitively large down payments first time buyers have to acquire to buy a house.  No one seemed to notice that.  Nothing was said about the Democrats pushing for liberalizing lending practices prior to the crash, putting unfit people into the purchasing mix, but that did not fit her narrative.

Kamala then hit hard on how the 11 million “undocumented citizens” in our country should be given an immediate path to citizenship (that figure has been used for at least 10 years, and an estimated 500,000 to 750,000 illegal aliens come in every year?).  She said that was unconscionable that we have not made these people whole, and that chain migration has to continue because the families of these people made them the productive citizens that they are.  Much applause here!

Then she made an appeal to all in the room that pay inequities due to race and sex should be eliminated.  She said that women only being paid 75% of men in similar jobs, and minorities paid 55% of whites in similar jobs has to end, and she said she is prepared to end it by legislation.  Sans that, she indicated that the federal court system can also do this in the form of rulings if the legislation cannot currently pass due to adverse political circumstances.  She stated that she believes in equal outcomes for all, and that this is long overdue in our society.  Lots of cheering there, especially by the union members that were there in mass.

That then bounced us to her proposal that farm workers and hospitality workers be granted minimum wage and overtime.  There were unions there for these people and that elicited a lot of cheering from the crowd.  She said it is only fair for these forgotten people to be given a break, and the only reason on the federal level that they were not, was because of Southern Democrats, inferring that it would included their personal servants, descendants of former slaves, and that got her a standing ovation.

The Q&A session was a set up.  Lot’s of people raised hands to be picked, but few were.  Most picked were officials of the democrat party, union officials, and college and university leaders.  One that was picked at random was an elderly black man, that simply stated that his group has been largely forgotten, and that the focus of the Democrat Party now seems to be supporting the plight of illegal immigrants to the detriment of the Black community.  Kamala indicated that she was black, and would never let that happen on her watch.  It already has happened, so this seemed to me as a disingenuous statement on her part.

There were no counter-protesters there, unlike when conservative politicians give their town halls.  There were no dissenting voices in the crowd, simply accolades for the Liberal Progressive Socialist cause.  For all out there that love America and what our country stands for, don’t boycott the mid-term elections, or you will be having the likes of Kamala Harris running our country!  Imagine that!

 

 

THE BARBARY WARS AND ISLAMIST EXTREMISM

Ask just about anyone today when Islamist extremism originated, you might hear that it started with 9/11, or if you ask someone a little older it might be with the takeover of the American Embassy in Tehran.  Some may even point to skyjackings that were common in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Many of us think this is a relatively recent phenomenon.  In fact, as it concerns the United States of America, this could not be further from the historical truth.

 

Islamist pirates were active in the southern Mediterranean Sea for in the 18th century.  These were the “Barbary Pirates” and they were based in the Independent Sultanate of Morocco, the 3 regencies of Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli.  These North African city states comprised the northwest corner of Africa.  Collectively they were called the ‘Barbary States”. They regularly attacked and captured merchant ships with their cargo and crew.  A ransom was demanded and if it was not paid by the specified date, the crew would be sold into slavery, and the ship and cargo would be either sold or used by the pirate states.

 

France and England both separately worked out deals with the pirates where their ships were allowed free passage.  They both paid tribute that amounted to billions of dollars in todays currency in order to acquire free ship movement in the Mediterranean.  Until the American Revolution, American ships were included in the English agreement.  After the Revolution, the English let it be known that they were no longer paying tribute to protect American ships, and many were captured and their crews were sold into slavery.

 

In 1786 Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both went to London to negotiate with the Tripoli Envoy Sidi Haji Abdrahaman.  When asked why they make war on nations that have done them no injury, he had this reply:  “It is written in the Quran, that all nations which had not acknowledged the Prophet were sinners, whom it was the right and duty of the faithful to plunder and enslave; and that every mussulman who was slain in this warfare was sure to go to paradise.”  “Also, that the man who was the first to board a vessel had one slave over and above his share, and that when they sprang to the deck of an enemy’s ship, every sailor held a dagger in each hand and a third in his mouth’ which usually struck such terror into the foe that they cried out for a quarter at once.

 

At this point in time, the United States did not have money to build a Navy or to pay tribute.  The country was just forming and there were massive debts to pay off as the result of the revolution, and there was no real authority to raise taxes at the national level.  It wasn’t until the adoption of the Constitution that the federal government could raise taxes nationally, and that was the beginning of the building program for the fledgling United States Navy.  As the navy was being built, the United States paid tribute to insure that no more of its merchant ships were molested in the Mediterranean.  It was an expensive proposition, and totaled over 10% of total federal revenue, an amount that was deemed unsustainable in the long-term.

 

In 1801, the Pasha of Tripoli, Yusuf Qaramanli, citing late payments, demanded additional tribute from the USA.  In addition, he declared war on the USA.  This was the tipping point, and America responded by sending a fleet of new, powerful ships of the line to the Mediterranean to blockade their ports, subsequently sinking many of their pirate ships.

 

The turning point in this war was when the combined fleet assaulted the port city of Derma, which was the stronghold of the Pasha of Tripoli.  The fleet bombarded the city while the United States Marines prepared to assault the city from behind.  This daring plan was implemented because all the cannon in Derma pointed towards the sea, the thinking was that no force would ever attack from behind because of the inhospitable desert environment.  They didn’t count on the innovative and tough Marine Lt. Presley O’Banion.

 

Lieutenant O’Banion, along with 10 enlisted Marines, led a mixed force of 500 Greek, Arab, and Berber mercenaries across the desert from Alexandria Egypt to assault the Tripolitan city of Derma from behind.  This was a 1000-mile forced march through very unhospitable terrain.  They got to Derma, and coordinating with the US Navy bombardment, they captured the city in just a matter of hours.  This actually is the reason why the Marine Hymn starts with “From the halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli”.  This action sent a message to the world in general and to the Islamist pirates, and that was the American Navy was a force to be recognized.  This marked the end of the 1st Barbary War, and American ships were unmolested until the start of the war of 1812, where the British fought a campaign against the USA, and enlisted the pirates to resume capturing American ships, refusing any tribute or ransom.  It wasn’t until 1815 when the USA was in a position to once again fight back against the tyranny of the pirates.

 

On March 3, 1815, the United States Congress authorized the use of force against the pirates.  The US Navy, greatly increased in size and capability since the 1st Barbary war, was dispatched to end the pirate threat once and for all.  They sent 2 entire fleets of “state of the art” warships to the Mediterranean, led by Commodore Stephen Decatur and Commodore Steven Bainbridge.

 

Shortly after passing through the straight of Gibraltar, Decatur’s fleet encountered the Algerian flagship Meshuda, and in a battle off of Cape Gata, captured it.  Shortly after, the fleet off fCape Palos captured the Algerian brig Estedio.  After another week passed by, both fleets arrived at Algiers.  They threatened total destruction of the city and port, and at that point they had the firepower to do so.  All cannon was aimed at the city, and there was much fear in the population.  The Dey himself was intimidated to the point where he capitulated.  A peace treaty was signed on the American ship Guerriere in the Bay of Algiers.  This treaty gave the Islamist’s back their ships and crews, they gave back captured Americans and their ships, and also gave back numerous captured Europeans.  They paid the USA $10,000 for seized shipping (a lot of money back then).  They also guaranteed that no ship from the USA would ever be pirated again.  No tribute was paid after that by America, and American ships had full shipping rights in the waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

 

The American Navy proved to the world that they were a force to be reckoned with.  They suppressed the Islamic pirates and got a treaty where American ships were no longer targeted again for ransoms and tributes.  The Islamists then understood that any deviation from this agreement would mean total destruction for their fleets and their city states.  That was made perfectly clear, and they never again harassed ships flying the American flag.  The 2 Barbary wars brought America into the world of major military powers.

 

The Europeans were still being preyed upon.  Their ships were still attacked and captured, held for ransom, and if not paid the crew were sold into slavery, and the ships and the cargoes were sold for hard cash.  The piracy did not end for Europeans until the French conquest of Algeria in 1830.

 

The truth to be told is that Islamic extremism as it pertains to America has been around as long as the country has existed.  It is not a new phenomenon, but something as old as Islam itself.  Even today, Islamic pirates operate off the coast of Somalia, and they regularly attack commercial shipping.  They use the Quran as their right to piracy, just as the Barbary pirates did centuries ago. They do now know that if they are caught pirating by the US Navy, there will be a price to pay, and that price is expensive.  These pirates will forever remember the USS Bainbridge, and the Navy Seal team that put an end to the capture of the Maersk Alabama.  They now know that if they even survive, the rest of their lives will be spent in a federal prison under heavy watch.  In a way they are lucky.  In the 1900’s, pirates were summarily hanged for their crimes.

 

 

Pictures from the Los Angeles “March for Life” rally.

Selling pussy hats…
Seems pretty proud of her sign.
Capitalism at work!
Hollywood marching….
Where did she get that number?
Selling water to the masses!
More Capitalism!
Oh boy!

Socialist activism….
Sign party!
Took awhile to cook that slogan up!
What they really want, but most won’t say!
Another bright boy!
Seems like the NRA can do nothing right today!
Big turn out for Planned Parenthood supporters!
Young socialist in action!
A Liberal Progressive Socialist in action!
Communist Party sign….
Panning the crowd….
Children as pawns…
What an idiot!
Children holding parents signs…
Really?
Sikhs feeding the protesters for free!

Sign from small 2nd Amendment protester group!

Police keeping the Socialists from rioting on the 2nd Amendment supporters.

Police escorting 2nd Amendment supporters back to their cars.
Just what we need, a little race baiting!
Christian preacher accosted by old Communist women.
Police coming to the rescue of the preacher.

THE LOS ANGELES “MARCH FOR LIFE” EVENT

My lovely wife Jenny and I covered this event. We took the blue line train from Long Beach to Downtown Los Angeles understanding that both traffic and parking would be a problem. We arrived about 1 hour after the initial march from Pershing Square Park to the Los Angeles City Hall.

As a side story, the trip from Long Beach to our destination was eventful. We sat next to a schizophrenic woman that was incessantly talking to her invisible friends, discussing her 4 year exodus on the streets, and how it related to the bible. Behind us were a quorum of men of color discussing their sexual exploits and their lack of regard for their partners. That was just the start of a very surreal day!

Our train ride exposed the seedy underbelly of the city of Los Angeles. After we hit Compton, we saw a plethora of tent cities lining the train line, and it did not end. It was truly depressing to see how this great city has fallen so low after the decades of Progressive leadership.

Once we got to our destination, the march was well underway. We saw young families already coming back from the march, lots of them, they were retreating and going home. That piqued our curiosity and we walked fast to the City Hall from the Square, where the march started. We were met then by many more young families that were leaving.

The event looked more like a carnival than a social justice march. There was a huge sound stage, and when we arrived a rock group was playing and the sound speakers, enough to fill a city with music, were blaring. Later, left wing speakers were discussing on stage how we had to get AR-15’s banned and that the second amendment was outdated and had to be abolished. There had to be 20,000 people staying at this rally in front of City Hall. It reminded me of a 1970’s outdoor concert. I counted at least 60 port-o-potties there. There were BBQ’s everywhere, and people were selling tee shirts and other paraphernalia that supported many disparate causes, including school shootings and other issues. They were selling tees that attacked the 2nd amendment, Capitalism, Republicanism, the NRA, nationalism, and shirts that called conservatives Nazis and Fascist’s. It is interesting to note that these Capitalists were making money selling Communism/Socialism!

We interviewed a number of people. Many were willing to talk, and some were willing to be photographed or directly quoted. Many that we interviewed were Communist and Socialist activists, and they were expounding on the benefits of “One World Governance”, the disarming of the civilian population, and embracing a Communist/Socialist form of economy in order to have “World Peace”. Others were adamant that the second amendment had to go, that it was antiquated and we outgrew it. They said that we have outgrew this amendment and no longer need to have the benefit of personal protection or have any fear of an intrusive government. Australians were there to tell us about the wonderful benefits of the disarming they did in their country. It was a ban that was only 1/3rd effective, but none of them brought that up.

As we walked through this Liberal Progressive Socialist street party, we found booths for the Communists, Socialists, the Green Party, and a host of other anti-American venues. We talked to all of them, and for the most part they believed that our present form of economic system and governance is outdated, and they have a better way. Of course that was to a tee “One World Governance” and Communism/Socialism, and the total disarming of the civilian population in order to attain “World Peace”.

Just about everyone we interviewed were blaming school shootings on the NRA. They emoted that the NRA was an arm of the Republican Party and was directly responsible for the shootings, and indicated that their money to support Republicans was blood money, and all Republicans shared responsibility for the shootings because of that. They said that the NRA spreads lies, only really protect gun manufactureers, and are directly responsible for what has happened with school shootings.

Evein though most families with children had left, there will still some there, and those were using the children to carry signs, many with expletives that imparted the idea that the NRA was totally responsible along with the Republican Party for school shootings. Their signs said that the second amendment had to go. We were aghast at this tactic and did not photograph those exploiting their own children.

There was a small counter-protest group. They numbered about 20, and were across the street from the main crowd. They had a loud speaker, and were expounding on how the 2nd amendment was something not to be vilified, but cherished. They were summarily shouted down by the “Proletariat”, and threats were made. The police ended up escorting them to their cars with an order. “Go home”, which they did. Jenny and I followed them out, but the police would not allow us to interview them.

We went back to the action, and immediately saw a preacher that had arrived. He had a very big sign pleading to the masses to repent for the good of their souls. He had a loud speaker system with an amplifier strapped to his body and was preaching the gospel. A few of the Communist women we had interviewed earlier then attacked him, knocked his mike off of his hand, and started slapping him. The LA County Sheriffs came to the rescue just in time, and stayed around him for the rest of the time he was there.

There is a sizable group of persons that are hell-bent on changing our countries direction. They are passionate, and they want to adopt a Communist/Socialist Global Governance system that would bury the United States of America. They want “One Word Governance” and their movement is very dangerous.

We will be doing another article on this topic. We have a lot of research to do on the groups that were there, and those that paid for the event. Stay tuned….. Also having trouble adding pictures, but when that is resolved, I will let you know. Have dozens of interesting pictures that I cannot seem to download to the post…..

WHY CIVILITY IS IMPORTANT IN NATIONAL DISCOURSE

All too often in today’s political and social environment civility is sacrificed and instead polarization is the result. Our two great ideological tribes are in constant conflict. On the right, on-line dialogs go to mocking mainstream conservatives as not being willing to do what it takes to win. They mock those who will not engage in the same tactics as their left-wing brethren. It seems that many on the conservative side of the spectrum seem to lean towards “losing gracefully” instead of being seen as lacking in manners.

The leftist “social justice” activists scorn engagement and civil dialog as respectability politics. They instead favor shout downs, boycotts, on-line shaming and other unproductive methods to eliminate non-conforming dialogs.

There are important issues that need to be addressed. DACA for one is something that most American citizens agree on. We want this injustice righted. These people had no choice but to follow with their parents when they decided to cross the border, and they should not be held responsible for the actions of others. Even this issue is paralyzed in the depths of the politics of polarization. The Democrat party wants to hold onto this issue as a wedge narrative for the mid-term elections. The Republican Party wants to eliminate the issue altogether by offering amnesty covering three times the number covered by Obama’s executive order, but the Democrats in congress will not vote for the solution, not a single one of them.

The truth is that neither of these ideological tribes has the true answer to our issues. They both spin their arguments largely for self-aggrandizement and acquisition of power. There is no altruism in their hearts. The polarization has caused them to grow further apart, and we are in the middle, being fed their alternative realities and becoming more polarized and angry ourselves.

Is civility a virtue? Not always. There are times when one needs to stick to their principles. There is a time to be nice, and at times one needs to fight for what they believe to be right. Jesus, someone that most think was the nicest person on earth, cleansed the temple of Pharisees and money lenders with his whip. Even God has his limits.

There are cynical calls for civility all the time. Even though both sides of the coin seem to be tolerant of their most radical oppressors, they are completely repulsed by similar actions on the other side. It is a very cynical double standard. Those that criticize Michael Moore’s latest “documentary” are absolutely engaged in conservative radio and Fox News. Conversely, on the opposing side, love Michael Moore, the mainstream media, and cannot even consider making a case that Louis Farrakhan is worth condemning.

Civility calls are often very cynical. Every time there is a shooting, the left blames the result on conservatives, and calls for them to find civility and agree with them that the reason for the shooting was conservative politics. In fact, few if any of these shootings are the results of political ideology. On the other side of the coin, conservatives make a call for civility when the left aggressively goes after a social justice issue, saying that the behavior is untenable. This type of call for civility is exploitation rather than true lamentation.

Civility is not surrender. You do not have to surrender your values. Our moral obligations are both dependent on and independent from the listener’s response. Truth is the obligation of all of us in our discourse, even if it will make someone feel bad. No one should want to harm the other, that is not the goal. One has to realize that the act of persuasion may enrage an opponent.

There are 3 key elements to civil discourse:
1. Humility – Even though you believe you know the truth, you may not have the skill to communicate it succinctly. Don’t be self-righteous, it doesn’t work and will turn off your opponent. Express your ideas with conviction. Understand that your opponent may be brilliant and at the same time wrong and stand up for what you believe. Do so in a respectful manner that is not meant to hurt or enrage, even though that may be the end result.
2. A person of conviction is relentless in expressing their ideals. They are also flexible, and undeterred by threats and verbal abuse should listen to the opposing side and analyze their line of logic. Understand that facts trump emotion and be prepared for those that would accuse you of lying or hurting feelings. That is just not an intellectually honest argument that would be put forth.
3. Understand that everything is not a “national emergency” and should not be infuriating. Thoughtful concern is something that can win arguments, or at least tone down the opposing emotions.

If we treat each other respectfully, engage to listen more than to talk, and weigh each argument for what it is worth, we will be on our way to having a more civil discourse in our society. In fact, we can learn from each other and endeavor to find that vast grey area between our ideologies. When we get there, we can come together and move our society on to greater heights. If not, we do nothing but become more divided. If we are to work towards making our nation a better place for all to live, we need to work hard to get along respectfully.

THE GUN TRAP

So much recently has been said about this topic since the latest school shooting. We have mainstream news media advocating the outlawing of a whole class of rifles. We have teenagers rallying for change, not really identifying what that change would look like, but pressing for change of some obtuse kind. There are a lot of people emoting, very little of this emotion is leading to any real solutions.

We have a problem in our country that needs to be addressed. The problem is not guns, but the type of people that perpetrate these crimes, and the lack of enforcement of existing laws and controls that preclude these people from obtaining firearms in the first place. We also need to explore how we protect our common areas from these miscreants.

Who are these people? They are those in our society that have mental issues, those that have no moral center, those who cannot distinguish between right and wrong. These people are the end result of our countries fall from being a Christian based society to one that is gravitating towards a political Atheism by design. When there is nothing offered except moral relativism, society begins to break down, and tragedies like this are bound to happen.

Why are we not catching these people before they buy weapons?  Frankly, it is because our system to catch them is deeply flawed.  States are not required to report people of interest to the federal background check system.  This is a stunning revelation that shows that little real thought went into system design.  There are also those in the FBI and local police department that ignore blatant warning signs.  This latest shooter was expelled from as many as 6 high schools, and was visited by the police at his residence dozens of times due to violent behavior.  In fact the FBI was put on notice 2X before the shooting, once being notified that this suspect was posting on social media sites that he was going to be a school shooter, and again weeks before the shootings by a neighbor that indicated to the FBI that this man had weapons and a desire to commit mass murder.  All to no avail, as the FBI and local police did nothing to follow up on this troubled individual.

We have to fix the current system.  It can work if we tighten up on reporting, and hold people responsible for the jobs they are supposed to do.  The President wants to elevate the age to 21 for purchasing a firearm, and to make the screening system more elaborate and inclusive.  He also has floated the idea that teachers should be armed, and that measure might actually have the biggest effect.  All this will make it much harder for the next person that has a desire to kill schoolchildren, or for that matter to kill anyone anywhere.

The left would like to ban a whole class of rifles.  AR15 based designs are in their sites, and they want them outlawed.  That would do nothing to solve the problem of school shootings.  There are plenty of other gun choices for them to select from, many that are also semi-automatic.  Their solution is actually not meant to solve school shootings, but to incrementally get the ball rolling towards an eventual total gun confiscation program.  This is obvious to many and will not happen.  The second amendment was actually designed to prevent the type of tyranny the left would like to implement.  Disarming our society would put us in jeopardy of losing all of our freedoms.

People cause these problems, not guns.  There never has been a gun that committed a single crime.  It has always been people.  We can in the short term come close to solving this problem by making it hard for bad people to access firearms, and insuring that we protect our common areas adequately.  Long-term, as a society we need to examine how we raise our children, how we help them acquire values and mores that make for a more peaceful and just community.

DO AMERICANS HAVE ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER?

I have been taking time lately trying to get my head around why it does not appear that there is much public outrage about the scandals perpetrated on us by the previous administration. Why is it that Americans as a whole no longer seem to care that their government went out of control in the Obama Administration, and holdovers from that era are still perpetrating crimes right under the nose of the current administration. Except for Fox News, National Review and some bloggers, there seems to be little interest in finding truth, even though these scandals make Watergate look pale in comparison.

Is it the mainstream media propping up false narratives that deflect the meanings of these scandals? Is it that Americans actually agree with the what happened, see nothing wrong with an overreaching government? What is it that precludes our population from being indignant to the point of action when presented with facts?

So many scandals have hit us in the last 9 years, including but not limited to Obamacare, Benghazi, IRS targeting conservative groups, FBI spying on private citizens, the Clinton Campaign, along with the DNC colluding to insure that Bernie Sanders would not the the Democratic Presidential nominee by rigging the primary election. the Clinton Campaign colluding with the Russians to come up with a fake dossier to put the character of the Republican Presidential nominee in question, the Obama Administration working with the FBI to sabotage the new administration, and I could go on and on and on….  So many scandals, and nothing but lies to defend them, and no resolutions in sight.

Maybe it is a collective numbness, an attention deficit brought on by a non-stop barrage of scandals?  Maybe we have as a society been so traumatized that we cannot pay any more attention to this lawlessness?  Are we trying to ignore all the scandals to hold onto some form of sanity?  I hope not because if this is the case, our country is surely lost!

I pray that we come to our senses, and hold people accountable for their misdeeds. I have faith that we are basically a good people, and that truth will become evident and good will triumph over evil, but there is much evil to overcome.

THE RIGHT MAN, AT THE RIGHT TIME, FOR A TOUGH, THANKLESS JOB. DONALD TRUMP SAVING AMERICA!

A few weeks ago, my wife and I went to the movies to see “THE DARKEST HOUR”. We don’t go to the movies much, but this topic caught our interest.  For those that don’t know, it is a movie about Britain in the early days of WW2, where Winston Churchill replaced Neville Chamberlain as Prime Minister of Great Britain, and the world was then spiraling into another maelstrom.  This new war threatened to engulf Great Britain, as the last bastion of Western Civilization left in Europe, and Neville Chamberlain and others in his party were ready and willing to negotiate surrender with the Nazi’s.  It was indeed, their “Darkest Hour”.

From political obscurity, out comes Winston, who previously was considered washed up in the political field because of his somewhat harsh leadership skills and military bent.  Dusted off, polished up, and appointed Prime Minister by the King, Winston rallied the British people, and kept the Nazi’s at bay until the USA entered the war.  His speech before Parliament, where he announced that “We will never surrender”, rallied the fighting spirit of his great nation, and lead them to eventual victory. Without Winston, surely Great Britain would have been lost, and all of Europe would have become part of the Third Reich.  This one man, through the power of personality and persuasion, saved the day.

It strikes me that sometimes, when it seems that there seems to be no way out of a bad situation, someone rises to lead a nation out of their dire straights.  The USA is in a bad situation now, with the deep state rising, usurping our elected government, attempting to “fix” elections, eroding personal freedoms, and attempting to personally entrench themselves into powerful, unelected, and uncontrolled positions in government.  These men are becoming our defacto rulers, making their own government regulations at a rate of 10X what the congress does, our elected body that is charged with representing us, citizens of the United States of America.  These bureaucrats rule as if they are part of a nobility not seen for centuries.  They seem unstoppable.  Then along comes a man for the season, a man that cannot be corrupted, a man that has a vision, a man that has promised to “drain the swamp”, a man named Donald Trump.

As with Winston Churchill, he is not popular with the “ruling class”.  He is not popular with the party that caused the problem, he is not popular with the media, and not popular with the opposition voters.  He is not a politician, and does not play by their rules.  He keeps his promises, and he has promised to “drain the swamp”, a swamp made up of bureaucrats and corrupt entrenched politicians that are bringing our country down, transforming it into some semblance of a “third world dictatorship”.  He is hard at work fulfilling his promise.  No other leader at this point in time is capable of doing this job, and time will tell if President Trump can.  He is however, our best hope, and we can only pray that his tenacity is as great as Winston’s was, and get behind him with the support he deserves in his quest to save our nation.

Afterthoughts on the State of the Union address

The Democrats promised DACA people, transgenders, and media stars to disrupt the agenda. None of that happened thank God. The President made his points, some of which the Democrats applauded him for but many that they just sat through. Next week, we will see what happens, and I think that it will be a raucous time with the news channels!

See you all next week!