Does Combat Equal Conservative?

Wisconsinites have a bit of a dilemma on their hands given that one of the candidates on the ticket for U.S. Senate is a former combat Marine who has declared himself a conservative.  The other is a woman who has earned her conservative bonafides through her work in the political trenches in Wisconsin.

Kevin Nicholson is the former Marine and Leah Vukmir is the woman who has been in the political game for some time and who bills herself as a conservative.  She has a record that upholds her claim.  He doesn’t.  He admits he was a Democrat at one time but claims that changed in part as he found himself in combat.  Just that simple, or is it?

I know Vukmir is conservative.  I do not know if Nicholson is a conservative or simply chose that label.  I do know he was heavily involved in the Democrat party while in college and that he was a staunch backer of Al Gore’s presidential candidacy.  I have the utmost respect for his military background.  And not so much given his support for Al Gore who is only slightly better than Barack Obama in my book…because Obama was so bad.

Does combat equal conservative?  In some cases yes but that does not always have to be the case.  There are thousands and thousands of Democrats who have stellar combat records, and that did not cause any of them that I know of to become conservative.  Given his backing of and support for Al Gore, I will not be able to take his word for now being a conservative.  That, as I remember Al Gore and his stands on issues, is simply too big a leap for me in terms of making one a conservative while in combat.

If Mr. Nicholson is truly a conservative, I look forward to his involvement in the conservative political world but want that assurance before taking his word for his allegiance.  I do not, by any stretch of the imagination, mean to denigrate his military service.  I value that in him no matter his political persuasion…but I’d vote for him if I knew there was ample evidence of his claimed conservative credentials.  Maybe the next time around there will be ample evidence.  If so he would certainly get a very solid look from me for my vote.

But, for now, at least, Leah Vukmir is my choice.  I know where her heart and her mind are politically.  That having been said, I earnestly hope I will see somewhere before the next election in Wisconsin after this that Kevin Nicholson has earned conservative creds I can accept as valid.

 

Mueller’s Questions Leaked?

The responsibility for Mueller’s questions being leaked can rest with one person and one person only:  Special Counsel Robert Mueller.  The idea that he has not yet posed the questions that are mysteriously appearing in public, and that since they did it must be Trump’s fault is farcical.

This witch hunt by Mueller has taken on grotesque proportions wherein leaks are played out to the press by the people who know the questions, and while the unfriendly-to-Trump members of the press (which is the vast majority) gleefully accept the leaks and publish them like good little accomplices.

Mueller is running the show; he makes no bones about what a tough guy he is so we ought to be able to rely on him and his toughness to prevent these leaks from occurring.

Trump’s Tweet: So disgraceful that the questions concerning the Russian Witch Hunt were “leaked” to the media.  No questions on Collusion.  Oh, I see…you have a made up, phony crime, Collusion, that never existed, and an investigation begun with illegally leaked classified information.  Nice!” 

If there were just one news editor who had the courage and who didn’t hate Trump so much, this crap could be laid at Mueller’s doorstep.  There are supposedly laws protecting this information and yet, it seems that the law was broken in the effort to hamstring President Trump and/or to cause him to somehow seem to be in violation of the laws broken by the legal team.

There is only one person who should have had full and complete control if he is as good at this as we are led to believe, therefore that one person has the responsibility to keep confidential information confidential.

When will the media seek answers from Special Counsel Robert Mueller?

Or, is the media simply having fun watching this happen knowing full well it is illegal and, or at the very least, certainly grossly unfair to the supposed target?  Mueller can certainly screw up his reputation quickly…at the expense of a person he seems not to have much time for…and so far has gotten away scot-free.

Thanks, media.  Thanks, Special Counsel.

Swamp Draining: 101

We seldom go for a day without hearing the phrase: “Drain the Swamp”.  We seem to expect that the people who populate the Swamp are somehow going to decide that there really is a problem and that ‘draining the swamp’ is an absolute necessity.

Okay.  Who is going to make that happen?  A brief piece put out by the John Birch Society (JBS) yesterday sums this effort up quite succinctly with a quote from our former President Garfield:

Now more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress.  If that body be ignorant, reckless and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness and corruption.  If it be intelligent, brave and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature.

You and I are the people who are going to make draining the swamp happen if that task is to be undertaken and completed.  We are the employers of those we send to Washington, D.C.  If we do not believe those people are doing the job we sent them there to do, we have the right and the opportunity to replace them.  Garfield was our President from March 1881 until later in that year when he was assassinated.  Maybe he was assassinated because of his views about Congress, even the Congress our country had in 1881.

There is a phrase that says “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”  That apparently was as true in 1881 as it is today.  If we expect that our elected members of Congress will do as the majority of us want, we have the responsibility to impress upon them the absolute necessity of doing that job and of doing it before almost anything else is done.

The John Birch Society is pledging that it will take a leadership role and is inviting citizens to sign on for the battle.  I know that members of the JBS have historically been portrayed as the “wingnuts” of conservatism by those who oppose the JBS perspective on issues.  It strikes me that this organization has the right take on draining the swamp and it also seems to have the right mentality to make it very, very uncomfortable for those members of Congress who fail to hear us,  the citizens who send them to Congress year after year.

A majority of us, if I do not miss my guess, is demanding the swamp be drained.  We do not necessarily have to become members of this or that organization although an organization which has dedicated its very existence to this battle probably is going to be more diligent than each of us as individuals.  We get accustomed to the burr under our saddle after a day or two and things go on as usual.  An organization dedicated to the goal has more compulsion to stay with the battle.

One way or the other, this battle is ours and it will only be won if we fight it vigorously.  Multiple contacts from residents of every Congressional District in the United States is part of what these kinds of efforts require in order to keep our member of Congress focused on our demands.

Many of them seem to have recognized a certain unrest in the voting population so this kind of mission might resonate now where it fell on deaf ears a couple of years or more ago.  Make contact with your member of Congress and be blunt about your demands.

This need has been recognized since 1881and likely before since Garfield ran on this theme!  Isn’t it finally about time for us to draw that line in the sand and make sure that the population of the federal swamp, all of Congress and the President get the point.  This is an ideal time for such a movement to be rekindled given President Trump in the Oval Office.

This is only about 137 years overdue.

Dems & Weed…

Rachel Lu writes a piece today titled “Why America will regret legalizing marijuana” and the first paragraph reads as follows:

The Democrats have a new moral crusade.  It’s youth-oriented and free of identity politics.  It’s got nothing to do with Trump, or Russia.  Today’s Democrats are fighting for your right to get baked.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) has brought the Marijuana Justice Act to the party.  This, if passed, would decriminalize marijuana and also expunge earlier marijuana-related convictions.  Light up and enjoy without any law to thwart your fun.  He is part of a Democrat group that touts the economic and moral benefits that will flow from his proposed law.

Lu then goes on to help us all see this is not just a Democrat issue these days.  She reminds us that President Trump has declared his willingness to protect states that have legalized pot.  John Boehner, a former Republican House member who decried marijuana then, now sits on the Board of a company that markets cannabis.  Of course, the Colorado marijuana market that is now measured in the hundreds of millions of dollars in just the first 5 years is also mentioned.  Failure to mention the fact that in five years Colorado has seen the proliferation of ‘dispensaries’, a huge increase in pot ‘tourism’ and the growing numbers of homeless addicts.

Politicians can see where this all is going and they have never refused to climb aboard any vehicle that means more votes before this, and are unlikely to begin now.  Proponents point to the tens of thousands of jobs that have sprung up in Colorado as further ‘proof’ of why we have to get onboard before this train has left the station.

A solid majority of Americans now support the legalization of Marijuana.  The younger voters are very supportive and the politicos are not too keen on blowing up that marketplace consisting of more and more votes.

Our society today struggles with holding down jobs, maintaining healthy living habits, managing personal relationships and handling money capably.  The numbers of young marrieds are falling.  Given this backdrop, we find Democrat Sen. Chuck Schumer using lines like ‘using pot doesn’t hurt anyone else’ or extolling the virtues of legalization in Colorado and Washinton states.  He seems to be unaware of Colorado’s significant increase in automobile accidents since pot became legal.

We are occasional visitors to Colorado and, given that, we see effects maybe more quickly than some residents might.  Especially if those residents benefit somehow from the legalization of Marijuana without thinking of the negative consequences it has on users and, then, on the citizens who have to deal with the potheads and the residue left behind.  The additional revenue may be nice, but the price that has for residents is not being taken into account sufficiently.

History tells us that as we increase the availability of opioids, the issues become magnified.  This is not some secret that has only recently surfaced.  There is little to indicate that this will not follow in the world of marijuana users especially when that doesn’t fill the need of the addict any longer and causes them to graduate to something stronger.

And those matriculation ceremonies happen every day in varying numbers of people who make that next move and forsake any hope they might’ve had at one time of being a normal, productive member of society.

Rachel Lu concluded her piece with this:

Here’s another lesson from the opioids.  When indigent populations are suffering, the rest of the nation can be awfully slow to notice.  Many thousands had died of opium overdoses before America started to consider that it had a bit of a drug problem. That’s not going to happen with pot, which is far less likely to kill you.  But if it took thousands to persuade authorities that OxyContin was a problem, how much havoc would marijuana have to wreak on indigent citizens and families before anyone would bother to reconsider the wisdom of legalization?  How many kids will have to be removed from their families because their addicted parents can’t quite get around to feeding them or taking them to school?  How many young adults will watch social lives and career plans disappear into the vortex of addiction, while their parents watch despondently?  These sorts of cases might not appear on Schumer’s radar, because he’s more interested in courting young voters and securing state revenues.  It’s these kinds of cases that should remind us, though, that there’s no such thing as a victimless, self-destructive habit.  Innocent people always get hurt.

 

Gowdy vs. Comey…

Fox’s Tucker Carlson interviewed Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) on Thursday evening and got a different take on former FBI Director James Comey’s version of the truth, “all but calling him a liar” in the process of the interview about Comey being fired by President Trump.

Gowdy is one of my favorite Republicans and one of my favorite Congressmen.  As a former federal prosecutor, Gowdy has a certain sense about him that we might call a ‘falsehood sniffer’ (BS sniffer might also fit).  He senses when things aren’t quite being presented in total context and calls people out for playing those kinds of word games.

Among the things that provoked Gowdy was the denial that he, Comey, had engaged in “leaking” when he gave information in the form of memos he had written about his meetings with President Trump to a friend in order to have them published in The New York Times.  Gowdy told Tucker Carlson…

“the other thing that I will tell you, Tucker, that I learned tonight is Jim Comey has a definition of the word ‘leak’ that no one else has.  What he says is a leak is what the rest of us call a felony, Gowdy said.  Leaking is disclosing a confidential conversation which is exactly what he did.” 

Gowdy’s experience as a federal prosecutor puts him in a different league than most members of the House, and in a different league so far as being bamboozled (my term) by Comey’s pontifications.  While Comey has some allies with whom he can apparently be the schmoozer-in-chief, that does not seem to work well with Rep. Gowdey who has played hardball in that league before sitting in the House.

All this goes along in the world of “The Swamp”, the District of Columbia, where people seem to breathe a rarified air that makes lying okay if done with good intent, as that good intent is defined by the perpetrator.  Were you or I to make such statements, we would be assailed as we ought to be assailed.  If, however, a member of the Swamp Society who is held in good graces by the right people decides to lie about a few things or disclose things that were to be held in confidence, that ought not to be cause for any concern even though it adversely affects one or more innocent people.

The first real concern I have, and that I think is shared by many, is the simple fact that there are more people who gullibly consume this garbage as fact than anyone can count…and these people all have the same weight to their votes that you and I have to our votes.

Another real concern I have is that this is accepted as proper practice by the members of one political party.  That party has more skeletons in its proverbial closet than the other party has closets.  I also will continue to believe that the people in the conservative world of politics are significantly more capable of being discerning than are the members of the other political party, the people of the liberal persuasion. I am certain many will disagree.

All this misapplication/misappropriation of printer’s ink and TV airtime acts in collusion with the liberal element in our U.S. political world.  That is why it is so very important for conservatives to voice their opinions, and to do so repeatedly.  I have to constantly remind myself that members of the liberal persuasion are simply seeing things through their distorted lenses and are, for the very most part, really good caring people.

There are many shades of right and many shades of wrong in politics today; that is not any different than it was yesterday but the wrong message has been fed along with government largess to many who consequently do not give any real thought to for whom they’ll vote next election.  They get from one political party and they, therefore, vote for that party.  If that is to change, we have generations of changes to be made…and we are playing against a very tough opponent.

Redistribution of OPM is magic.  Other People’s Money!

Good Deeds & Blogging for Dummies

I picked up the library copy of Blogging for Dummies, thinking it might still be a little too deep for me, and then took an older lady and her husband to a medical appointment which was very beneficial, both for her and for me.  A point for those who know me well; I know that at age 76, I must be hanging around with people considerably older if I refer to them as older than me.  Point taken.

The waiting room was filled and the rate of patient reduction seemed stagnant for a good while, so I read my book Blogging for Dummies while trying to obscure the cover so that others in the waiting room wouldn’t knowingly look at me and sort of give me that sad and sympathetic head-shake and wonder why I was not in the waiting room of another kind of physician awaiting my turn at the counseling trough.

First, I think the _____ for Dummies realm is a real goldmine.  And, I think for those of us who can overcome pride and ego, there is a good deal to be learned from those experts who try their best to make some of this lingo translate into information even I can use; hence the “for Dummies” title.  I now know, for example, that my current accumulation of knowledge on the whole Blogging thing is pitifully lightweight; so, I’ll dig deeper and deeper hoping the words don’t keep getting bigger and bigger as well as simply more difficult to interpret.

I am using one of the top three or four blogging software packages, by benevolent accident I might add, that were designed to accommodate people like me who were tech novices and who thought they might have knowledge accumulated that ought to be made available to others…hence the blogging idea.  I have learned already that I am using one of the better host packages, as I said, which was comforting and that I am not quite as erudite on the topic of blogging as I might’ve hoped.

If you follow my blogs, you know that I usually publish a blog a day six days a week.  Now I learn that there are bloggers who publish double-digit multiple times per week.  I suspect their blogs are more snippets than tomes, but still, they have come up with the subject matter to fill spaces.  Those bloggers also have cultivated an active cadre of commenters; and, I don’t know which came first, but probably the hungry audience.

I learned that there are very successful bloggers who are posting multiple times per day albeit posting shorter snippets.  Many intersperse their words with pictures, charts, graphs, etc. which is not what I had wanted to do when I began blogging.  I learned that bloggers can be more effective if they encourage back-and-forth give-and-take with readers interacting.

I learned that I am using what to most would be one of the top three blogging tools (WordPress) as my hosting site, as mentioned above, and that there are a couple of others that I might want to explore a bit given added/different features.  I think, for example, that one of the other two in the top three would’ve permitted me to have avoided a problem I encountered two or three days ago.  Time will tell.

The idea of advertising on blogs is, of course, intriguing if I thought it could be done in good taste without me looking like nothing more than a money-grubbing blogger who is in it for a buck rather than because he is driven to write.  It would be great if the Blogs were self-supporting.  I also learned that bloggers with active commenters engaging in back-and-forth banter/commentary typically have higher levels of readership blog-for-blog.   I suspect that content would be critical in that area, so I am not overly concerned with my reader counts since they continue to improve regularly.

Finally, I was pleased to see a section devoted to blogging in the business world and to learn that those blogs often surpass regular blogs in terms of viewership.  I do some of that kind of thing and may think of additional clients provided I do not water down my available time and ideas for actual current clients.  Baby steps rather than giant leaps in this arena.  But it does pay off on both ends: the blogger and the client firm both benefit.

As always, your thoughts will be appreciated.  Leave a comment with an e-mail address or send an e-mail to alc@stonezephyr.com to reach me directly.  I suspect there may be a StoneZephyr blog in the not-distant-future since I learned there are a number of multiple blog bloggers working today.  I’ve had that site for some time but not made use of it other than as the source of an e-mail account for several years.

 

Things Aren’t Always Easy…

If you are anything like me, you probably prove out today’s title as I seem to on an all-too-often basis.  My blog redesign effort falls into that category, and my patience was stretched beyond the breaking point earlier this morning.  So, the redesign continues as a ‘work in progress’ although progress at the moment is moving very slowly.

On a more positive note, the world outdoors this morning is beautiful.  The sun is shining; the temps are climbing almost daily; and, snow seems to be something we can now refer to in the past tense for a few months.  And, I accept full blame in advance for the two or three feet of that white stuff we might find on the ground tomorrow morning.

My trials and tribulations are nothing compared to those of the majority of people on this earth.  I, as have most of us in this country, have gotten so spoiled that I/we tend to think that everyone on the planet is as well off as are we.  A good friend is stranded for part of the day in a southern airport since a plane was not available on time, but she sits in relative comfort, has been able to communicate her plight so that we can change our airport meeting plans accordingly, and is safe while she waits.

We take all this for granted because it is usually failsafe and we expect the world to be that way in all respects.  My little hiccup earlier today is not even so large as a gnat by comparison.  But, I needed a few minutes to remind myself of the realities and get back into a good mood and a thankful frame of mind.

I doubt that I am alone in my oft-forgotten life of ease.  Most of us are the same in this regard.  Most of us feel pity for self while ignoring all the sorrow and suffering around us.  Most of us wouldn’t know where to begin if we were suddenly put out on the street without more than the clothes on our backs and not knowing where our next meal was coming from…if it was coming at all.

We can be our own worst enemies with our pouting and anger when things don’t quite turn out as we wanted and expected.  We do not think of those who have such much greater issues in their lives since we are very much self-centered.  We slip a quarter into the slot of the container being held by an apparently blind person, or even a dollar bill if we’ve been terribly self-centered and feel the need to be quite apologetic through the treatment of the needier person.  Too often, we are likely to turn our backs or take a detour across the street to avoid the situation we’re finding disturbing to self.

My little personal ‘hissy fit’ should embarrass me and it did obviously given the subject of today’s blog.  How many of us are there in this country today who qualify to be self-examiners?  I know I am not alone though that doesn’t absolve me.

I can take care of self just as each of you readers can take care of self.  It is what we are going to do for others who have needs greater than ours that is important.  They have those needs even though we might have had a “bad day” from our perspectives.  They have fears and concerns that dwarf those we might have, given relative circumstances.

My blogging software is still not where I wanted it to be, but I have gotten over my pique, and the software permitted this blog to be written and published.  It’s not such a bad day after all.  I hope you have that same experience with your day and with all your days to come.  They are gifts from God and it is up to each of us to make the most of them.