Monday, August 31, 2015

Random Thoughts - Sixty-Eight

It appears that Hillary has a limited support base lately. I seems to consist only of Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the, oh so, liberal press. Debbie's heavy handed attempt to control the Democrat debates is as transparent as window glass. And the lap dog press sees no problems with emails, servers, classified documents, or anything else in her highness's  realm. There are powers out there that do not want a Hillary White House. I do not believe she can prevail.

On TV cop shows, cops have partners. Always. In real life, cops travel alone in almost all cases. This last horrendous assassination of a good loyal officer proves to me that cops on the street need to be partnered up. A cop needs full focus on what he is confronting. He cannot watch his own back. And it truly needs to be watched in these ugly times. If the cops can't cover as many calls, so be it. Being a cop isn't signing a suicide pact. Cities must either add more cops or prioritize. But the officers must go home safe to their families.

When did atheism start to get more respect than religion in general and Christianity in particular. Make no mistake, atheism is a religion. It is the worship of a void in society that, like a "black hole" attempts to use that void to create power. And through the obscene use of the ACLU, they have been successful. They are quick to take offense and even quicker to get a lawyer to eradicate that offense. The worst part is that we Christians sit and take it. It is time for Christian "soldiers" to rise up and demand respect for the first amendment and for our and other religions. Freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.

ISIS is still out their. They are gaining ground and we are not fighting back. Apparently the press and the administration have forgotten about them.

And then there is that, so called, deal with Iran. It is not a deal when you roll over belly up waiting to have your tummy rubbed. That is what has happened. If the Democrats in Congress line up like good little sheep to support this farce, they should be ashamed. This one time grow a pair and support the country you are sworn to support.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Goofy Old Politicians

Give us your old, your confused, your addle pated politicians. Those that wait their turn, taking no stand for fear that they might offend someone. People willing to be led by others who walk softly and have no stick. Give us those with spines replicating a wet noodle and I will show you the Republican party since the days of Dwight David Eisenhower.

Full disclosure, I used to be one of that tarnished organization. I am not one, however, to stay long with lost causes that I have no hope to change. But change may be upon them coming at the speed of sound bites.

In this election cycle they have some all-star people seeking the Presidency. Mike Huckabee is probably the most conservative, capable, and articulate of the crowd. John Kasich, while he makes an occasional foray into liberal thought, is still solid, capable and articulate. Carly Fiorina and Marco Rubio are just two more of a lineup of great young candidates.

But I am convinced that the old guard in the GOP would have buried them all in favor of number three in the Bush dynasty because it was his turn. The same old, same old, that gave us Bob Dole and John McCain. We would have ended up with either another liberal Democrat or a supine RINO as President and the country would continue to suffer.

Then came a whirlwind out of the east. Big, loud, rich Donald Trump came raging out of New York City Creating soliloquies and chewing the scenery like a larger than life version of Lear. People don't know whether to love him or hate him but they can't ignore him. The great thing that he has done is to drive the Republican power brokers into a corner. They can't control him. Their only leverage is money and he is well equipped with that.

I will admit I don't quite know what to think. He's saying all the right things. But his politics have been all over the ballpark in the past and can he live up to his bragging? But one thing that he seems to be doing, is forcing change on the Republican party. And that is a long needed good thing.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Good Man Done Wrong

Image result for don orsillo

Support Don Orsillo

This blog will be of small interest to those who are not Red Sox fans, or at least, baseball fans. My family, and we are many, are all Red Sox fans. I have been one since Ted Williams came back after WWII. We all agree that the best thing about Sox games is the interplay between Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy. If Jerry is not available and Dennis Eckersly stands in, the chemistry is equally good. The common factor is Don Orsillo. Even if the game is bad, and oh so many are, those guys keep it fun.

So viewership is down. The geniuses in the Red Sox Department of Stupid, which is located on Fantasy Island, decide it is Don's fault. They decide that if they dump Don, the ratings will pop right back up. Here is a clue for the Department of Stupid. The ratings are down because the team stinks. Besides that, it is not what was done to Don. It is the totally classless way that it was handled. The fans expect better.

If the pitchers pitch well, the hitters go cold. If the hitters score some runs, the closers, if they can be called that, give it up. They stink. Sure they have good years. Some good years. And oh so many bad years. But don't blame Don.

So I'm calling for a boycott. I will not watch another Sox game this year. Support Don and show them what fan power will do. I ask every fan out there to share this on Google or Facebook. Let's get it out on the internet and see if we can help.


2016 The Movie

The opening scene of "2016 The Movie" is at sunrise. A bare mountain ridge, brightly lit by the early morning sun rising over the high plains. A single oboe plays a dirge in the background. But, suddenly, there is movement. Something or someone is making their way slowly to the top  of the ridge.

As the sun gets a little higher in the sky we see a magnificent dark horse standing in profile atop the ridge. It's head is held high and proud. The oboe changes to an English horn turning the theme to hope and power. Fade to black.

The scene shifts across the desert to the town called "The Free World". As the lights come up we are looking at the stage of the Free World Opry House. It is the year 2016 and it is coming up on time to elect a new Leader of The Free World.  As the scene opens, three elderly people, two men and a woman, are shuffling toward the steps leading up to the opry house stage.

The current Leader of The Free World graciously comes forward to help these older folks up to the stage. As a gentleman would, he leads the lady first. Oops, she stumbled. It almost looked like the leader tripped her. But that couldn't be. After all he gave her a very powerful position in his government. 

Next he helps the man with the big bright smile. He gives him the most comfortable chair, right in the spotlight. Then the leader turns away, apparently forgetting about the scowling old buck with the unruly white hair. He spryly gets himself on the stage and sits on the last available chair placed almost in the wings.

Cut to a shot of the audience. They are looking at the candidates and discussing them in muted tones. One says, "kind of old aren't they?" Close shot on heads are nodding in agreement. "Not too diverse are they?" More nods. "Why she's a grandma." "Yep." "I hear she likes to tell tales out of school, and tall tales at that." "And her husband likes to hang around with those hussies at the dance hall". We hear mumbling in agreement.

"That old guy with the big smile, didn't he get nailed for plagiarism a while back?" "He's the very one." "And doesn't he say some weird and inappropriate things from time to time?" "That's your man." "Doggies!" "Who's that other guy?" Oh, he's the guy that wants to tax all us ranchers and storekeepers and give the money to those folks that live under the bridge." "Why?" "Dunno." " This is not looking good." "Is this the best we can do for candidates?" Someone says, "We need a dark horse, like eight years ago." "None of these people should be the leader of The Free World."

Suddenly the sound of hoof beats pounding across the desert echo off the canyon walls. They come through town and stop in front of the opry house. A great dark horse gives a mighty whinny, rears up, and prances on it's back feet. Fade to black as full horns play triumphantly. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Yuan Two

Back in April of 2013, I wrote a blog about the Chinese economy and the yuan. I wrote this at the time:

"I saw a headline last night that stated that the Chinese yuan is strong against the dollar. That came as absolutely no surprise to me. I have written both here and on Patriot Update about what I call the "Bernanke Bubble". Part of that bubble is the printing of dollars about as fast as they can be printed. This has the effect of diluting the value of every dollar out there. I think it is a bad policy being used to cover for other bad policies.

In the long run, it is bad for our country and weakens our dollar against those with a strong money policy. The Chinese are probably foremost among strong currency advocates. They prop up the value of the yuan even through times when it should be devalued. While this sometimes angers the international financial community, it pays dividends for them." (the Chinese)

So what has happened to bring on the current debacle? The Chinese tried capitalism and liked it. They had no experience with free markets but they suddenly discovered the wonderful world of profits. So like an eighteen year old at his first fraternity party they ran amok.

Since they had no experience with a market going down, they begged and borrowed whatever money they could get their hands on and bought, bought, bought. They could pay back, out of those wonderful profits, right? Well, maybe. If everything goes according to plan.

Things seldom go according to plan. The international market got very shaky. The Chinese market quivered. The leadership devalued the yuan. And the plan fell apart. There are many Chinese out there who were, on paper, rich, last week. Those same people are, on paper, poor this week.

Welcome to your first learning experience in the wonderful world of capitalism!

Monday, August 24, 2015

I Have Been Negligent

I have been negligent in my writing lately. I apologize.  There has been a bunch of personal stuff. Like getting two grandsons off to college, arguing about some ukulele string that got lost along the way, restringing my tenor uke, and just being midsummer lazy.

I have, however, kept in touch with the news. And wasn't that a glorious waste of time. While the geniuses who dish out the pablum that they call news were fixed on Trump, Hillary, Joe, and "Black Lives Matter", there has been a face off on the Korean peninsula. North and South have lobbed artillery shells at each other. The North Korean submarine fleet has put to sea. It seems that Kim the Crazy is spoiling for a fight.

Meanwhile the Chinese economy is crashing and burning, taking large chunks of the world economy with it. As I write this, the national press seems to have discovered that the world and the American financial picture is not as rosy as the administration has painted it. Ultimately this will show people that, despite our imperfections, the American economy is the most solid investment on the planet. The power of capitalism cannot be beaten.

I see where the elderly Joe Biden has been talking to the native American princess, Elizabeth Warren, about running against the elderly Mrs. Clinton and the elderly Mr. Sanders for President. If one of them should win (scary thought) we could have an east wing, a west wing, and a geriatric ward in the White House. Could that happen? Depends!

ISIS seems to be long forgotten in the media. As they get stronger our Commander-in-Chief is working very hard on his short irons and sending off an occasional drone. God forbid we should actually try to win in a military action. That might seem scary to some weak sphinctered liberal. 

Do I sound cynical? Well, I am. We have an avaricious and incompetent government. The Fifth Estate should be taking them to task daily. But the press provides cover for the politicians. So I guess I have good reason for my cynicism. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Alas QE Alas

Barack Obama came into office on a low ebb in employment. He promised to reverse the trend and create millions of new jobs. Unfortunately, his agenda of regulation, reversing "global warming", and a government takeover of health care was antithetical to job creation.

As night follows day, his friends at the FED stepped in with a plan that was sure to work, pulling the unemployment rate right down. They were certain. They had a plan. A plan that had never been tried before. But they were certain. Quantitative Easing is a sure cure, they told themselves.

First they brought interest rates down to zero or just above. This would keep big money out of the banks and on the street. The damage to the savings of the elderly and middle class was irrelevant. 

Then they started pouring billions into a government bond buy back program. This forced more money, a lot more money, out onto the street, also. All of that cash money in the hands of the wealthy would certainly create a huge expansion in business as companies grew and hired more employees. Or so they thought.

For that to have happened, those holding on to all those dollars would have had to feel secure in their sense of what the future would hold. But there was no clear picture of future regulations or taxes. Investors and CEOs were unsure and fearful. 

Instead of expanding, they consolidated. They laid off even more employees. The new health care regulations caused them to cut back hours on existing employees. Everything went backwards and created even more money on the street.

Smart people with a lot of money don't stuff in in their mattress. They invest it. And where can one invest huge sums safely. Or at least reasonably safely. The Stock market of course. And what does one buy. Good solid American companies. So the Dow went up. The S&P went up. Everything went up except the Participation Rate. 

The rich got richer and the poor and middle class sat home watching Oprah. There would be occasional promises from the President that he was about to turn his laser like focus on jobs. He usually ended up turning it on the first hole at some country club.

So here we sit. Some seven years later. Still waiting for jobs and sitting on a major stock market bubble. That bubble has been leaking some lately. The Fed has been making some noise about ending QE, but they don't dare. They fear a major recession or a depression. And so here we sit........

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

How Can This Be?

We are inundated, on a weekly basis, with new Presidential race polls. The results vary slightly, but it usually shows Hillary Clinton beating the Republican candidates. Some people seem to find this astonishing. "How can a sixty-seven year old harridan, who is not trusted, who's politics are mired in the 1980s, be leading these bright young lights of the Republican party?" they ask.

OK, so a couple are not so bright, and another couple are not so young. But the answer is pretty simple. The Republican votes are spread over seventeen candidates. The Democrat votes are mostly aimed at two.

But time will march on and some of the Republicans will fall by the wayside. I hope the attrition will start soon. Then, if the voters have half a brain, they will migrate their votes to another Republican candidate. Those that plan to take their vote and stay home with it should be ashamed. Doing that will be a vote for the further destruction of our Republic.

We need a conservative. We need one that loves and respects our Constitution. We need one who is not afraid to surround himself or herself with very smart people who may differ in opinion. We need a President who is not so caught up in his own ego that he cannot go to the negotiation table and bring both sides into a consensus.

We need a President that will bring government back to lawfulness. One who will encourage independence in the Department of Justice.  There is just so much that is wrong, it will be a major effort to turn the Ship of State about. But it must be done.

We need the antithesis of Barack Obama. Neither Hillary nor Bernie are that person.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Random Thoughts - Sixty-Seven

It strikes me that these people calling the examination of Hillary Clinton's emails a political witch hunt, would sell their country's security down the river to cover up for one of their own. There seems to be no honor left in politics at all.

Bill Clinton and Barack Obama playing golf together. Since it didn't end up in a brawl, I can only wonder what devious plans were being discussed. Be sure, this little get together had a purpose.

Can you remember the good old days when a Presidents term in office would generate only one or two scandals? We really need to get America back to that.

 The CDC loses the diseases they are charged to control. The EPA poisons a critical river system. The IRS and the Justice Department steal the money of innocent Americans. This really defines "I'm from the government and I'm here to help you".

I don't know if Trump is just a blustery big mouth or if he would be a good President. But I do know that any reasonably intelligent person can be a good President if they surround themselves with great minds. Reagan did this. The Bushes didn't. Obama, most certainly hasn't. 

Clay Mathews of the Green Bay Packers sin was far more egregious than any thing that Tom Brady might have done. And Mathews is paying the price. But the national press has been all over Brady for months while Mathews hardly gets a mention.

Among liberals, the "Right Wing Conspiracy" card is almost as popular as the "Race" card.

Is the administration ever going to admit that our greatest threat is Islamic Jihad in general and ISIS in particular? Seven years and counting. The American people still wait.

One of our problems is that we don't have a crazy country to shake things up for those that would take us down. China has North Korea to do their dirty work. Russia has Iran. We need a real wack job to rattle their cages like they do to us.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Hillary's Choice

Hillary Clinton is no stranger to government procedures. She has spent her adult life in government. She has lived in the White House. When she lived there she took an active part in governmental activities. She was a Senator and Secretary of State. She knew what was expected of her.

She made a conscious choice to hold those rules, that she was expected to abide by, in disdain. Those rules apply to lesser lights. She was at a level superior to mere mortals. Or so she thought. But isn't that the Clinton way? Always leave wiggle room. Force people to parse every word in every sentence. And lie as needed.

Toss anyone under the bus, friend or foe or both, but cover the Clintonian butt at all cost. It never ceases to amaze how many people stay loyal to the Clintons. Back in the day, we would say that people like that were hornswoggled. I have no idea what that means, but that is what we would say.

Hillary said that nothing she sent or received was classified at the time. (italics, mine) That doesn't matter. She knows what should be classified. The fact that it wasn't marked classified or that the markings had been removed does not exonerate her from responsibility.

Just the fact that she was using a personal non-governmental server makes her culpable. If she were anyone else, the FBI would have served warrants months ago, in the middle of the night and torn her life to pieces. So she publicly gets undeserved special treatment. What ever happened to "equal treatment under the law". 

So, rather than the FBI walk in and take her server, as they should have, she turned it over to them. Surprise, surprise, it was professionally wiped clean. If those that did this deed, used military grade software, nothing will ever be recovered. Having been done by pros, it will be more than a simple reformat. It will have been reformatted. Every bit will have been written to and reformatted again. Possibly at least twice. Good bye all stored data.

This is just another example of Clintonian malfeasance. We cannot afford to allow someone like this an opportunity to be President of the United States.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

My Kindle, My Friend

I am a Reader with a capital R. I learned to read before I started school and have never stopped. I have often thought that if I had invested the money that I spent on books, I would be rich. But, as a kid, I enjoyed the world in books better than the world of reality.

I have no idea how many books I have read, but I still read two or three a week. The world has changed, my life has changed, so I do it differently now.

A few year back, I was given a Kindle e-reader for my birthday. It was love at first sight. Amazon had a site where there was a huge selection of books ranging from free to $3.99.
Most of the great classics were free. So I reread Moby Dick, The Three Musketeers, Tale of Two Cities and many more. 

There were new novelists, self published, who's books I could own for a buck or two. Many were good. A few were not so good. OK, terrible. Most could have used the services of a competent editor. I enjoyed the experience.

Then things changed again. I discovered a website named Bookbub. Seldom a book over $2.99. Most were ninety-nine cents or free. I was in love again. Some are reprints from well known authors from years ago. Some are names yet to be discovered. I mostly take the free books. These are written by folks that want to hit the big leagues so they put their hearts into every word.

Most of these books are readable and entertaining. The caveat about an editor applies even more at this level. Some are quickly discardable. Some are gems. When you discover a true pearl amidst the gravel it is a small wonder and that is a great experience.

I'm not trying to sell Kindles or to promote Bookbub. I'm just relating my experience as a reader, should anyone be looking for some inexpensive fun.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Those Whom The Gods Would Destroy

Longfellow wrote, "Those whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad." I have no doubt that the gods have targeted Hillary Clinton. There are many definitions of madness. They range all the way from anger to psychopathy. And many, not, of course, all of these have touched Ms. Clinton in her long lifetime.

In 1978 Ms. Clinton invested $1000.00 in cattle futures. A small investment but doable for a woman three years out of college with a law degree. But remarkably enough, in a short ten months, her small investment had turned into one hundred thousand dollars. Anyone who has ever done their own investing knows that the odds of this happening are in the range of one in ten gazillion. That would certainly give one the delusion, a form of madness, that they are an investing genius.

Hillary married Bill in 1975. Shortly after that he became the Attorney General of Arkansas and she was invited to be the first female partner of the Rose law firm. This certainly must enhanced her self image. It had to be her legal talent, not the fact that she had hooked up with an ascending star. Confusion, confusion, confusion.

Then there came the Whitewater Development Corporation. A questionable investment scheme where their partners, the McDougals bore the brunt of the legal problems and Ms. McDougal served 18 months in jail. The Clintons skated but carried that cloud for many years.

This was probably the start of the anger. I believe that in her soul, Hillary is a very angry women. This brought on paranoia, cover-ups and lies.  White water papers, long lost, were suddenly found in the White House. A four year effort to take over health care abandoned when the details came out. Then the Scandals. They had always been there, but then they became public.

She was supposed to win the Presidency in 2008. But out of the woodwork came Barack Obama. Her party turned on her in favor of this young upstart. She was out and he was in. That would anger anyone.

She gave up her job as Senator to become Secretary of State. After messing up the "reset" with Russia she was kept busy doing minor tasks in minor countries. Then came Benghazi and that critical televised moment when she shrieked, "what difference, at this time, does it make?" It made a lot of difference because good men died.

But now she will get her chance. Of this she has been convinced. 2016 will be her year. But suddenly, two things are converging to prevent this. She feels privileged and she has a past. As Secretary of State, she thought she could make her own rules. When it comes to national security one must go by the book. It is shear madness to do anything else.

So the gods in one final joke send Bernie Sanders, a seventy-three year old, somewhat unkempt, socialist to run against her. And he is succeeding. And the FBI is examining Hillary's email procedures. That is not looking good. Will Mr. Sanders be the candidate. I doubt it. But I also believe that the Gods, not of Olympus but of the Democrat party, do not want Hillary either. I suggest that those same gods have another dark horse candidate on standby waiting for the final destruction.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Trumpeting Trump

The most successful person trumpeting Trump, is Trump himself. To his credit, Trump is very smart, very successful, and a showman in the image of Phineas T. Barnum. He projects a larger than life and a louder than life image. He is not one who is easily ignored.

To his detriment, he has a huge ego, a conviction that he is always right, and, in spite of the fact that he bills himself as a tough guy, a very thin skin. We have just spent the past seven years under the thumb of a man with these selfsame characteristics. Can we afford any more?

What America has to decide, is will the whole of the Trump persona make a good and effective President. On the positive side, he seems to truly love and believe in America. He extols American exceptionalism. The is clearly a step up. But Trump always seems to be angry. He constantly has a look on his face reminiscent of Jeff Dunham's little friend Walter.

Mr. Trump got all in a dither when he felt that Megyn Kelly was too hard on him in the debate. Please, she is a reporter. And a tough one at that. Manly men don't pull out their cell phones and start a twitter war. Don't go negative on "The Donald" or lightening bolts may start falling from twitter-world.

Mr. Trump claims a solution to all of America's problems. He is very big on solutions but not so big on plans to execute those solutions. He claims that he will straighten out Mexico, ISIS, China, Russia, and the National Debt. And on the seventh day he will rest.

I do not dislike Mr. Trump. He is just another who was born on third base and thinks he hit a home run. But I do not think he has the temperament to be a good President. Our President cannot be perpetually angry and react in that anger. A good President cannot demand but must negotiate. A good President needs a good poker face and affability, not a scowl and a loud response. 

Mr. Trump is saying a lot of politically incorrect things that most Americans are thinking. This makes him attractive to many. But he is simply not Presidential. He is a businessman but he is not business like. He is just too much the showman.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Participation Needed

I have written about the "Participation Rate" before. Usually as a passing reference. Forget the unemployment rate. They finagle those figures. They are, flat out, unreliable. The Participation Rate is the only true and accurate indicator of the employment picture.

The Participation Rate, today, is the lowest it has been in thirty eight years. That is 1977 when Jimmy Carter was President. In other words, there was more employment under Reagan. There was more employment under George H.W. Bush. There was more employment under Clinton. There was more employment under George W. Bush. There was more employment when Barack Obama took office.

So despite his strutting and self aggrandizement and his constant promises to focus on jobs, he has failed. Not only has he failed at getting people working, those middle class people that are working, are earning, on average, ten percent less.

American citizens are not a part of Barack Obama's agenda. "Global Warming" is. In spite of the fact that there has been no warming in decades. In spite of the fact that the polar ice caps are growing. In spite of the fact that Polar Bears are happy and breeding. Barack still drags down the economy for minute theoretical gains that will mean nothing.

So coal mining jobs disappear. Whole states are dragged down as more unemployed hit the streets. But Barack knows best. And down goes that pesky Participation Rate once more. Agencies pass laws but call them regulations to prevent a conflict with Congress. These arbitrary, and often ill-conceived, regulations cost American businesses time and money to comply to. They also create insecurity. Businesses don't hire or even lay more people off. And down goes the Participation Rate.

Taxes, Obamacare, an unsure future create a shaky business climate where fewer people start businesses or expand existing, keeping the Participation Rate in the doldrums. But our President still struts on the stage, bragging about how he has fixed the economy. The only thing he has fixed is the numbers that he presents to the public. 

We will be a great country again when the government gets out of the way and lets the American people participate. There is much talk on the liberal side about income inequality. Sure, some people earn more than others. Americans don't care about that. They only want an opportunity to work and advance their own cause.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Will Long Remember

History will long remember the results of Mr. Obama and Mr. Kerry's pact with Iran. It will, in all likelihood, survive after the President vetoes the opposition bill. The Democrats will unwisely line up behind their leader and help him preserve what he sees as his legacy, when they should be protecting the United States and preserving peace in the world.

They will be long remembered, as Judas has been long remembered. Mr. Obama may get a temporary legacy. Mr. Kerry may get his Nobel Peace Prize. The members of Congress who support them won't even get their thirty pieces of silver.

Americans don't want this "agreement". They understand that we get nothing and that Iran becomes a very rich nuclear power. A nuclear power who is the largest supporter of terrorism in the world. A nuclear power run by a bunch of mad Mullahs who yearn for Armageddon.

Mr. Obama and Mr. Kerry have just handed these mad Mullahs the keys to the destruction of Israel. While Mr. Obama gave us his usual straw man, "agreement" or war, he has actually greased the long slow slide into war by kicking the can down the road. There are so many alternatives to war. But that is a place that our President chose not to go.

Yes Mr. Obama, you will be out of office by the time this ticking time bomb, that you have created, blows up. But history will long remember your name. And not in a good way. You may have a legacy that lasts five or ten or even fifteen years. But that is when history is just starting. That is what makes the difference between historians and reporters, real historians seek truth regardless of ideology.

You have made yourself today's version of Neville Chamberlain with your ill conceived ideas. What you bring to us may be so much worse.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

On Opinion

Opinions are good. They are something that everyone should have. The best thing is that you can have as many as you like. The worst thing is that so many opinions are wrong. But you're still allowed to have them.

Not only that, in this country, opinions can be freely expressed. Right or wrong. At least this is true for now. There are so many out there that would limit free expression to only what is politically correct. 

The strange thing is that the heart of limiting free expression is in the colleges. The one place where free expression should be encouraged. Whether they be right or wrong, good or evil, beautiful or ugly, opinion on campus should never be limited nor punished for representing whatever ism is unpopular at any time. That is the heart and soul of Socratic debate, where all learning begins and if done well, never ends.

Opinions even have value. I don't mean that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you find out you are right about something. I mean cold hard cash. Watch TV any Sunday morning. All those talking heads on there are selling nothing but their, usually less than humble, opinion. The spinmeisters are selling other peoples opinions to make those opinions seem great and significant. 

I have no quarrel with that. They are obvious and recognizable. That is their life and welcome to it. There is one area where I do have a problem with the selling of opinion for cash. That is when those that claim to be reporters bundle up their opinions and sell them as news. Lately, it seems that we see more of that than we see of real news. 

I love opinion in newspapers. When it is on the op-ed page. When I see opinion on page one above the fold, it reminds me why once great newspapers are failing. Aah yes, all the opinion that is fit to print.

But most of all, I love it when candidates are given a chance to express their opinion. Then to be pushed and challenged. The stress of hard and fair questioning can be a great leveler. Fair questioning. Not when the moderator brings his or her opinions into the fray as happened so blatantly in the last Presidential debates.

This is the time when opinions really count. At least that is my opinion. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Wake Up Call

I used to be an active member of the Republican party. I even ran for office twice as a Republican. As far back as I can remember, there have always been two Republican parties. There were the conservatives. They were, and still are, a majority in the party. For the most part, they are average folks who live in flyover country and who's only power is their vote.

Then there are the "middle of the road" Republicans. Those who we used to call "Rockefeller Republicans" and now call RINOs. They had the money. And with that money came the power. They are beltway Republicans, having gravitated to Washington and the surrounding environs. 

They see the success of Democrats. They consider Democrats to be a sleazy bunch of mudslingers and know that they are above that. So they feel the route to political success is to be democrat-lite. You know, clean hands and a pure heart. The problem is that they have never been able to elect a President who is one of them who isn't named Bush. So here they are, taking another walk to that well.

Then along came a Trump. Big, loud, brash, and unafraid to say things that people are thinking but saying only out among the masses. Love him or hate him, he is the best thing in the world for the Republican party and may yet be able to breath life into that decaying corpse.

If the Republican party is to survive they need a rebirth. The RINOs who gave the country a long run of drab, status quo, old, survivors with little or no vision must change. The old guard has failed. Give birth to the new. Consider what we are seeing as Donald Trump bringing on labor pains.

The press has finally found something to write about on Republican politics. People will watch the debates. They will be looking for the he or she who dares. Mark Levin claims we have lost the republic and we no longer even have a democracy. He is right. And unless we do something in this election, we may never get it back. 

Republican leadership has sold the party and the country down the river. They have had far too many bites at the apple and have failed.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Random Thoughts - Sixty-Six

President Obama greatly fears "Climate Change". At least that is what he claims. In his mind the primary malefactor is anything with carbon in it's composition. You wont find any carbon paper in the White House, I'll bet. One of the great carbon villains is carbon dioxide. So I had this scary thought. What if one morning Mr. Obama wakes up and realizes that fermentation creates great gobs of CO2? Beer, wine, rum, whiskey, even soy and Worcestershire sauces are all fermented. Their "carbon footprint is massive". This could be serious. Stock up now before it's too late.

Speaking of our President, why does he insist on trying to take guns away from honest law-abiding citizens? His latest targets being the elderly and veterans. Legal fire arms owners use their guns for sport or to protect their homes. Almost all gun crimes are done by thugs with illegal guns. So, what is his objective in trying to disarm the people who have a Constitutional right? Not that he cares much about the Constitution.

I suggested a while back a Biden - Chaffee ticket for the Democrats. Now, as Hillary's numbers fall. As her virtual nose grows whenever she tells one of her virtual truths, will the Dems actually get desperate enough to consider this? Go, Joe!

So John Kerry has achieved the diplomatic ploy of our time. Nancy Pelosi calls it a "diplomatic masterpiece". Of course, Iran is still holding four Americans prisoner. Throughout the negotiations, while they shouted "Death to America", Kerry gave them everything. Now, Ayatollah Khamenei has published a book on how to outwit the United States and destroy Israel. Great job, John!

If you have seen and heard the videos from Planned Parenthood and you aren't nauseated you have a heart of stone and a soul of ice.

If I never hear the names Kardashian or Jenner again, it will still be too soon.