Trump-kabob: Special of the Month?

It seems that the mainstream media will continue dogging President Trump until it has managed to skewer him.  Admittedly, he is quite a target for the press and all the media ‘gotcha’ experts who live for that opportunity.  After all, they think they could make an entire career with the well-aimed story that managed to cause his removal from office.

I have to admit that President Trump does cause much of his own anguish since he is not the consummate politician but instead is a successful businessman.  There are not many people used to being in command of a business empire who could turn on a dime and become the obsequious kiss-up that the press desires in the Oval Office.  That is especially true when the press was salivating over the opportunities to make this guy look the buffoon when it got him on their turf in political office.

It is true that he has provided them too much ammunition, but all this uproar would’ve been done with in a couple of weeks had the guy not been Donald Trump, the arch-villain from New York City.  He has had some difficulty in adjusting to his new spot, but he does seem to be making progress every week.

Added to all this is the simple fact that President Trump is, indeed, a conservative.  That alone would’ve assured that he was in for a real fight to gain credibility with the press; to the point that his handlers would’ve been wise to tell him not to worry about that, and have been quite public about what they’d advised him on this subject.

President Trump has made some errors in approach.  I believe his decisions on governance have been excellent, and seem to get better all the time.  He is growing in office as many Presidents before him have done.   Not many walk into that office and immediately become Presidential.  President Obama thought he’d made that happen but his situation was simply that he couldn’t overcome his swagger and his ‘stare down his nose’ approach to government work.  He was above the office from his point-of-view but deigned to bless us with his presence.

Time will tell if President Trump will overcome the press’ attempts to trip him up at every opportunity.  He has been a pretty easy target given some of his ‘people’ decisions.  But, on the ‘big deal’ subjects, President Trump is hitting way above his weight, and he is getting better by the week.  He still gives into temptation too often, but he is, at least, aware of that when he reflects.

When the big issues arise, he is quite willing and able to engage those and make the tough decisions.  He managed to get the megaphone away from Kim Jung-un, at least for now.  He has made some good and some not-so-good choices in staffing appointments but that can happen to anyone; especially when there is so much political BS going on day-in and day-out designed to embarrass him.

I don’t think we’ll see Trump-kabob on the menu anytime soon.  Those games tend to run out of steam when there is nothing to show for them.  Political capital can be wasted very easily by both sides.  The Dems have been reduced to whining about this and about that while Trump makes the big decisions in spite of them.  Some good people have been through the wringer in his behalf, but that, too, is part of the game.  They all knew of the possibilities when they signed on.

Electoral Fraud?

The Judicial Watch organization has found that that there are some 3.5 million more people registered to vote in the United States than are alive among America’s adult citizens.”  An August 16, 2017, Editorial went on to state…

  • 462 counties in the U.S. had a registration rate exceeding 100% of eligible voters
  • California has eleven counties with more registered voters than actual voters; ten of those counties voted heavily for Hillary Clinton.
  • there are 21 states that don’t have 3.5 million people in them; this can distort national outcomes.

I have direct experience in Wisconsin as a poll worker and would be surprised if there is any significant degree of voter fraud in this state, but, that said, there has been some reliable evidence of Illinois residents being ‘imported’ into Wisconsin, and permitted to vote, and then being driven home to Illinois.

Election integrity is critical in any country.  I am reminded of the purple fingers of people who had voted in a country in the Middle East being proudly displayed.  Maybe that ought to be adopted in our country but even that would not preclude an illegally-registered voter from voting.

The most recent Presidential election still has those who think that Donald Trump somehow was credited with more votes than were actually cast for him.  Those people are, almost without doubt, Hillary Clinton supporters who still think they were somehow cheated since no one in their right minds would’ve voted for Donald Trump.

Is there some level of voter fraud in the U.S.?  It would be almost impossible for there not to be some level even with the various fail safes in place.  Again, I don’t know how that could occur in Wisconsin, but that is only one state.

The Pew Charitable Trust released a report that approximately 2.75 million people had active registrations in more than one state.  They also reported that one of every eight active voter registrations in the U.S. were no longer valid or were ‘significantly’ inaccurate.  There were also 1.8 million deceased persons listed as active voters based on that report.

We would probably think that every citizen would prefer tough voter regulations assuring that each vote cast was cast by a properly vetted and registered voter.  That, unfortunately, isn’t always true.  It seems, for some reason, that former head of the Department of Justice, Eric Holder, actively blocked attempts by states to enact voter ID laws.

There are deep strains of emotion connected with politics.  Some people would win at any cost.  It is critical that we keep our elections honest and there seems no reason for anything but uniformity amongst the states, and for strict enforcement by each state with federal oversight when that proves necessary.

This, unfortunately, seems among those common sense issues that sometimes are anything but common sense.  We have to remember that politics at any level can be less-than-honest.  And, the higher the level at which this occurs, the worse the problem can become.  As much as it galls me to say this…there may be a need for federal oversight and more uniformity of voting rules and regulations amongst the states.

Our democracy relies on the faith of its citizens.

Hatred Unites…

G. K. Chesterton is credited with the observation that “It is hatred that unites people…while love is always individual”.

Our current situation echoes that statement and that is indeed unfortunate even though it appears a truism.  The ‘situation’ is, of course, that of the Charlottesville occurrence and the residue of that which continues to affect us all across this country.  Statues are being toppled or simply removed by authorities from campuses and public squares as the result of the Charlottesville experience, and in the hopes that similar occurrences will not erupt in other cities.

Frankly, there is an element in our country that looks for these kinds of excuses in order to crank up their members to perpetuate the use of issues to lay claim to be aggrieved.  The election of Donald Trump has simply provided the latest excuse for such activities.  Something was bound to bring these to the top of mind, and he is the ‘something’.

That great philosopher, Rush Limbaugh, said that “the America that used to be the beacon of freedom has become a target.  There is no place on the planet that humans would rather be than the United States of America.  And yet people born and raised in this country have been persuaded that America is a sinkhole, a hellhole, a sewer, a garbage dump, or a dungeon”.  He also pointed out that the people, the movement if you will, that was seen in Charlottesville is the same that showed up in Ferguson, Missouri to do the same thing earlier.

If that is true, then we are in for these ‘happenings’ wherever some trigger event occurs or is felt to have occurred by those who do the rousing of the rabble.  The excuses required will continue to diminish in necessary value until we get to the place where a fender-bender involving a black driver and a white driver is sufficient to ignite an event to draw the antagonists and the protagonists together to break things and disrupt our lives.

We saw the ‘less than full force of the law’ in Charlottesville and we saw the consequences of that lack of total force being used to quell the situation.  That was a bit different from what we witnessed in Ferguson, but the end result was quite similar.  Rioting, fires, thrown objects and general mayhem seem the theme of both.

Now, we have the stampede of officials to take down whatever is deemed to possibly be offensive to some who might resort to violence.  The idea that this action will serve to dissuade the rioters from their rioting is simply folly.  This will be the rear mirror event but it will still be the rallying event.

Patrick Buchanan, in a recent column, wrote: “Where does this all end?”  And then he opined “It doesn’t”.  Buchanan foresees this continuing until “America’s histories and biographies are burned and new texts written to nazify Lee, Jackson, Davis and all the rest and “until a newly indoctrinated generation of Americans accede to this demand to tear down and destroy what their fathers cherished”.  He continues with the line of thought that this will continue until all the founding fathers will have been made into “White supremacists” and history will have been rewritten.

As each new occurrence of this nature has been created by those who live for that, we will find ourselves being pinched into tighter and tighter bounds until someone finally succumbs to the public pressures and the outcry that follows, and we find we are in the minority.  Where will the ‘movement’ stop if those of us who opposed are rendered voiceless by our own actions or lack of actions?

Unless and until public officials and the leaders of our institutions of higher learning and our political leaders come to understand the gravity of each of these occurrences in terms of the totality being created a piece at a time, these occurrences will continue and the violence and destruction will increase each time there is another outburst.

No matter the name we choose to use to describe the people who/the movement which are/is at work to destroy our country as we know it today, this is very real and will only continue to escalate until it is stopped dead in its tracks.  Might sound harsh, but it is true.

 

First Amendment Rights…

Maybe it is time to re-review the First Amendment to the United States Constitution given the seeming state of our nation at the moment.  It essentially protects the right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression from government interference.

Over the course of time, our government through the decisions of the Supreme Court has made some changes to the manner in which we interpret what was written in 1791.  With changing times also comes changing interpretations if the Constitution is to be truly a ‘living document’.

We have the right to speak freely without government interference.  I do that many times a year in the form of my blogs.  If I were to try to foment insurrection, I may well have crossed over the line.  Criticism of my government doesn’t necessarily mean I am trying to overthrow the government.  The manner and the content of my blog is open to review should it appear to some authority to be over-stepping my rights.  I am my own editor, unlike the way it used to be when I first began blogging in a local newspaper.

We have the right to assemble for peaceful and lawful purposes and those purposes include the right to speak of and to our beliefs.  It has been held by the high court that the government has the right to prohibit people from associating in groups for the explicit purpose of engaging in or promoting illegal activities.  That makes sense so long as the interpretation does not limit our originally granted rights.

We are human and that seems to carry with it the thought by some that there are really no boundaries to what we express and to how we express it.  That is where we get to the Charlottesville types of situations.  That assembly was anything but peaceful and anything but respectful of the rights of others.  That assembly was a perfect way to highlight the term “anarchy”: a state of disorder due to absence or nonrecognition of authority.  There was, in my opinion, an element of both in Charlottesville given the armament held by the aggressors and the absence of a meaningful and sufficiently powerful police response at the right time.

I am obviously of the philosophy that makes people think of me as being on the right, or conservative, side of the belief system.  I am very comfortable in that skin.  Then there comes the ‘alt-right’ intruding on my world and by no means is it conservative as I am conservative.  This element of our political landscape is defined as a racist, far-right movement based on the ideology of white nationalism and anti-Semitism.  That isn’t me; never has been and never will be.

So now, we are treated to the alt-this and the alt-that.  The alt-right as stated above is defined as a racist, far-right movement based on an ideology of “white nationalism” and the “far right”.  That sounds like a simple conservative that has gone bad when it is anything but that in reality.  We see how easily we can become branded as something we’re not.  The press is the distributor of these new definitions as much as anything else, and the press in many instances is decidedly left-of-center.  Are us conservatives likely to get a fair shake in this situation?  I doubt that given that our beliefs do not align perfectly with those of the press.  Might there be a lack of adequate definition simply to tarnish the image of a ‘conservative’?

This definition of “alt-right” comes from the New York Times, incidentally.  That same piece goes on to advance the theory that there is no “alt-left”.  It quotes Mark Pitcavage, an analyst at the Anti-Defamation League, no less, as saying “alt-left” has been made up to create a false equivalence between the far right and “anything vaguely left-seeming that they don’t like”.  “It is just a made-up epithet, similar to certain people calling any news they don’t like ‘fake news’.”  I guess we know where the Anti-Defamation League is coming from.  Liberalism is pervasive.

Could there be any clearer delineation of the fact that much of the free press in this country is leftist to one degree or another in any and all things published?  I believe that to be the case.

The takeaway?  Us conservatives will always have an uphill battle to get our story across to thinking citizens.  We cannot rely on the media for anything remotely resembling a ‘fair shake’.  We must continue in any and all forms of communication to make the case for conservatism vs. liberalism.  We must be articulate and we must be bold.  We are winning the quest for believers; witness the election results across this country.   We must fight the good fight daily.  We must be aware of what the press is obfuscating each day and call the members of that ‘elite’ group of people out with the facts that exist.

 

Charlottesville Blowback…

It probably should have been expected that the Charlottesville planned riot (that seems to be exactly what it was, as contrived and organized as it was) would live on for some time so far as the commentary, the speechifying and the ridiculous positions ascribed by some.  Of course, President Trump, as usual, makes a very tempting target.  One might think there is nothing that he can ever do, other than resign, that will end the pillorying, but that isn’t true.  He will continue to be pilloried resignation or not.  He is simply way too tempting a target often as the result, simply, of who he is or what he has said or done in the past day or so.  He does seem to get in his own way occasionally.

The Charlottesville furor has, of course, spawned other outcries.  There are the continuing cries for resignation because we all know this was the fault of President Trump.   He mentioned that there was historic value in the statues and was vilified for that even though there is historic value.  We cannot be what we need to be without remembering the past which is not always a pleasant thing to remember.  Dragging a statue off its pedestal does not change reality…but it does show the idiocy of some of our fellow citizens.

Quite simply, President Trump is at the point of being damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.  He has had a bit of a different start in his first term given the eccentricities he carries along with him, but most of us recognize that he could figuratively ‘walk on water’ and still be vilified.

There are many groups that feel invested in this debacle and most are looking to see what they can gain as the result.  Some obviously find the primary focus that of race.  They see everything through that lens.  Trump identifies the statues as being historic and that makes him even a worse racist than he has been painted as being before by those same groups.  Quite simply there are things historic of which we cannot be proud but which ought to be in place as a reminder of our failings, and of the fact that we have largely overcome those failings despite what some in Congress would have us believe.

The toppling of statues in other parts of our country is, to my thinking, a desecration no matter that they might be a reminder of a racist past.  They serve a purpose for posterity.  Unfortunately, some who would seek the limelight find these statues perfect for their goals no matter that they depict people who had an impact on our history.  Some will see those people as villains while others see them as a part of our history, either good or bad.

These groups are in it for their own aggrandizement.  Groups seeking to position themselves as press-worthy too often seem to resort to ridiculous methods for exposure.

And, as was, unfortunately, to be expected we have politicians posing for their own ‘holy pictures’ by voicing their continuing angst with our President.  They either want his resignation or they want him to be impeached.  There are not many in the 535 seats of the Senate and the House who have no character flaws, or worse, of their own.  They are, as we are, human.  But too often they seem to desire to transcend their personal “humanness” with preachy statements that overlook their own weaknesses.  Gaining glory at the expense of others is all too common amongst some in this group of 535.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Antifa? Really?

First, if there is something now known as Antifa, what is it about?  This group, by definition, is anti-fascist, or against fascism.  This group is supposedly demonstrating about the situation in Charlottesville.  So, we look at definitions.

Fascism is defined as a political philosophy, movement or regime that exalts nation, and often race, above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic (vs. democratic) government headed by a dictatorial (vs. elected) leader, severe economic regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition and/or a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control where the leader has absolute control over everything. That person makes all the rules and those are enforced by his police powers and there is no way around the facts.

This group is basically aiming its venom at President Trump apparently equating him to a Mussolini style dictatorial-like leader but neglects the facts that surround this situation.  President Trump was elected by the people based on the Electoral College vote since we use that mechanism to reflect the will of the people.  In this case, the popular vote was greater for Hillary Clinton BUT the Electoral College vote was greater for President Trump, therefore he was declared the President according to the Constitution.

So, President Trump is not a dictator.  Our country is a democracy and not a dictatorship.  We elect members of Congress to make laws.  The rules of our way of operating as a country are well thought and have proved to be proper and desirable over the centuries.

Those out-of-power have a voice to reach the people just as do those in the roles of power.  We un-elect people all the time because they didn’t do what we wanted them to do.  That is how a democracy works.  The people make the decisions.  There is no one person who runs everything as a dictator does.  That kind of society can be found in North Korea but not in the United States.

The Antifa groups like the color black and they like to remain anonymous so they often wear masks.  They claim that certain types of speech are violent in and of themselves and that this, therefore, makes their own real violent tactics a necessity.  It seems that Antifa groups create their own set of “facts” to support their rationale for rioting, toppling statues, and generally disrupting society.

Antifa might have had a place in Mussolini’s time, but it has no place in our country in this day and age.  The members of this group are nothing more than violent disruptors, vicious bullies trying to force their will upon the voters who already made their desires known in voting booths.

It Is Up To Each Of Us…

In the final analysis what we believe and think is up to us.  Sure, you say.  Where did this wisdom spring from?

What drives this blog is today’s major news sources and how much what you and I see/saw with our own eyes gets changed from what we see/saw by the liberal press.  We saw what we saw in Charlottesville.  We saw what we saw in North Korea’s missile launches.  BUT, as soon as what we saw and heard gets ‘processed’ by the various news outlets, we get a different set of things we’re told we should’ve seen or that we should’ve thought.

It isn’t quite said that way but the inference is that if we saw or heard something the news source didn’t want anyone to see or hear, then we must’ve been mistaken in what we originally thought we saw or heard.  Then, as that tide builds, if we insist that what we saw or heard was accurate, we become ostracized as misinformed, mistaken or simply not wise enough to wipe our noses when they run.

If you are a bit of a news ‘junkie’ you may know what I am getting at.  We probably are more discerning if we gather input from different sources so long as we recognize the leanings of each source.  I actually have come to enjoy the meanderings of the leftie news sources, which are most of them.  I just scanned the headlines on today’s Time magazine e-news.  They are decidedly left on the majority of issues and they didn’t disappoint today.  If that were the sole source I went to and if I hadn’t been very aware of what went on in Charlottesville because I couldn’t watch anything but that, I might have a totally different take than I actually have.

Is this an intentional distortion of news by various sources?  I believe that answer is yes in some cases, maybe more than I’d like to admit.  We do have decidedly conservative sources and decidedly liberal sources for news and commentary.  True, the number of conservative sources is meager compared to the number of liberal sources.  I believe that liberal news sources are driven by liberals and that these liberals intentionally report from a “left is good” perspective.  There is no other reasonable explanation.  Their beliefs are so ingrained that they may not even be aware that this is what they’re doing, although I admit that is really hard to believe.

We are exposed to more of this ‘doctored’ news because we elected Donald Trump as our President.  That simple fact both inflamed and amazed the left that ‘we the people’ could be so simple-minded as to not see that Hillary Clinton was the superior choice.  Why didn’t we consider all the good things that came from the preceding Obama years?  We will be subjected, not treated, to this mindset from major media outlets for at least the first term, and ideally for the full eight years of a two-term President Trump.

Simply watching a Presidential press conference is all we need to see the left at work.  If we are not able to discern between the two story lines and simply accept that the louder voices are correct, then we will soon be a very left-leaning country even though many of us, I believe a majority of us, are conservative more than we are liberal.  We may have some mixed feelings given a particular subject.  But, we are conservative when the issues are potentially life-changing.

In the last Presidential election, we conservatives and those in the middle that change outcomes by where their votes go, decided we wanted a more conservative approach to the issues of the day given our past eight years with liberals driving the country.  That, of course, flew in the face of the left including the liberal-press and thus we are where we are today having to be very careful about from ‘what’ and from ‘where’ we get our news.

The last point is this: the left shows its true colors when a Charlottesville occurs.  They immediately jumped to their emotional conclusion even before the dust had settled.  Conservatives processed what we saw and heard and made an informed decision devoid of emotion.  There is a huge difference between logic and emotion.  That does not mean we conservatives are not aware of the emotional side of things.  It means that emotion is not the sole nor most important driver when we consider issues and make decisions.