Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Cutting Through The Noise...

Years ago, my piano teacher Ben Karnes, wrote this note on a piece of music I was butchering:
"If everything is important, then nothing is important."
In otherwords, if you hit every note exactly the same, then there is no music. It's just noise.

Now, Mr. Karnes wrote that in the context of musical dynamics and musicality, but I also have tried to embrace that same concept as my philosphy in life too. As in music, life has it's crescendos and decrescendos, piannissimo and sforzando moments too. But if we give every issue the same high-pitched level of importance, then none of them are really important and priorities are lost.

Maybe what we need right now is a little perspective. And with so many issues and so much noise swirling about, it is hard to cut through it all and focus on which issues are really important. Seriously, what really are the most important issues that we need to focus on right now?

Help me here because I am getting lost in the cacophony of noise. Let's have a discussion...
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Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Female Version of Rape

This just in.... "millions" of smug liberal women march... nothing changes.

Speaking of the womyn's march, let's talk about a "women's problem" that needs to be addressed. When I was young, I noticed something that society told me didn't exist. I noticed a small, but significant number of young girls who used the authorities as a weapon. These girls reported siblings, rivals and jilted lovers to teachers or parents for crimes that never happened. And when they got caught lying, nothing happened.

As I got older, I saw this grow in intensity. In college, I saw young women accuse roommates of harassment and boys who dumped them of sexual harassment that never happened. "They couldn't be lying!! Young women are innocent," said the system, "and they would never lie about this!" So what happened when the accusations were proven to be lies? Nothing, because we were told that harassment is such a horrible thing that we can't blame a young woman who lies about it... the poor dear got confused and didn't know how to handle it. The fact there was no actual harassment and that the girl just wanted revenge wasn't PC to mention.

Soon I began to notice the occasional rape allegation that turned out to be made up. Again, we were told not to judge the woman too harshly because "rape is a horrible thing." But again, there was no rape... there was just a desire to hurt someone. But you can't say this without being shouted down with cries of: "Women don't lie about rape." Except, this one did. "How dare you! You are blaming the victim!" No, the victim is the guy she knowingly, falsely accused. YOU are blaming the victim, feminists!

As an aside, there was weapons grade cognitive dissonance going on here too. At the same time we were told it was a hate crime to suggest that some women lie about being raped, we were taught that white women in the South are evil racists who routinely lied about black men raping them whenever they got into trouble. Ouch, my brain.

Anyways, false rape allegations weren't common, but they did happen regularly enough that one would have thought some degree of skepticism was called for in rape allegations. Yet, we were told it was like victimizing the woman twice to doubt even the most nonsensical rape allegations. Harassment too. Then a whole arsenal of defensive strategies was invented to make it impossible to question such claims: only one in ten rapes is reported (bullshit) so we must treat women delicately and never doubt them, and these things are so horrible that women will react irrationally afterwards like not reporting it for decades or following their attackers from job to job or speaking highly of them or asking them out or telling completely contradictory stories, and how dare you even ask questions about something so personal! You monster! They even passed rape shield laws to warp the rules of evidence to make it very, very hard to question "the victim" and to let judges throw out all kinds of evidence average people would consider very exculpatory. And even when it was proven that these women lied, nothing ever happened to them. Rape is a terrible crime after all... even when it never happened, apparently.

Then things began to pick up speed as the left embraced lies as a political strategy. Virtually every Republican politician is accused of sexual harassment by one or more women now. When feminists get really desperate, this becomes sexual assault. Stories like Duke Lacrosse go published unquestioningly even though they are easily disproven. Every female celebrity must now add an "I was raped" story to her "I was bullied" fake-news sympathy story. Moreover, seemingly every week, you now see stories in the papers about women who falsely accuse someone of rape.

Last week, we had the story of Michelle Hadley. Hadley was arrested and spent three months in jail for supposedly trying to get men on Craigslist to rape the woman who married her ex-boyfriend, a woman named Angela Diaz. The problem is, Diaz made it up. She posed as Hadley as she placed the ads. Then she falsely claimed she had been raped by someone who read the ad, and she pointed her finger at Hadley. For once, Diaz is being charged with real crimes, i.e. kidnapping, false imprisonment, and grand theft, but few false rape accusers ever are. The worst that ever happens to them is a minor charge of filing a false police report and being hugged by an army of feminists who "still believe" even after she admits lying.

Here's the thing. Anyone who has ever dealt with rape knows that rape is not about sex. It is about power and control. It is an insecure man who wants to make himself feel strong/adequate by exercising power of a helpless woman. These false rape claims and false harassment claims are the same thing done by women. These are women who want to use the authorities to gain power over other people by making false allegations. The problem is that these women get slapped on the wrist because society (led by feminists) see women as childlike and not responsible for their own actions. It is time that society recognize this and treat it accordingly.

The problem with groups like the Pussyhead Marchers is that they keep promoting this dangerous narrative: "We are strong and can do anything a man can do except be held responsible for our actions!" This march was highlighted with celebrity chicks telling false stories of harassment, discrimination and rape to weepy gullibles, statistical lies about one in ten rapes being reported and the narrative that all of Trump's lying accusers need to be believed and questioning them is "blaming the victim." This crap needs to stop.

Did you know that a 1996 DOJ study found that one in four people accused of rape are innocent. Some portion are just the wrong guy, but some portion of these were simply made up rape claims. This 25% figure has apparently remained fairly constant throughout the years. Feminists lie and claim that only 2% of rape claims are false, but there's no basis for this claim at all. But even if that number was true, that would be 1,400 false rape claims a year in the US (the FBI figure would put this at 17,500). That is more than enough to worry about the number of lives being destroyed. The problem is, this interferes with the feminist narrative that women are pure, innocent, helpless creatures who need to be believed in all their allegations no matter how ludicrous lest they break. That's unacceptable.

Thoughts?
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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Our Long National Nightmare Is Over...

Hurray, Obama is gone. We have a new President. We have a President who...

- understands business...
- understands human nature...
- is a problem solver...
- isn't lazy...
- understands that the fourth lowest growth rate in history is unacceptable...
- actually seems to care about the concerns of average people...
- actually seems to care about the inner cities...
- has already pushed companies to bring jobs to the US...
- has pushed Europe to start getting their act together on defense...
- is the first one since the rise of China to stand up to them...
- has a classy first lady...
- is the first President since Reagan to get Reaganomics...
- has shaken up some very sacred cows in need of shaking...

All before he was even inaugurated. And we are losing a President who...

- handed out reset buttons to Russia, bowed to Saudi princes, begged China to buy our debt, and let everyone else (including Honduras) walk all over us...
- only cared about disasters when they happened in liberal areas...
- got nothing done except a crooked financial bill and a destructive health care bill...
- spent his time trying to rule by executive order...
- spent a fortune taking his family on vacation...
- scared the crap out of New Yorkers...
- had an AG who thinks the civil rights laws only apply to blacks...
- made billions of bad loans to his friends...
- let GE pay no taxes on record profits...
- never came close to 3% growth in any year (first President ever... so he was historic!)...
- started more wars...
- expanded droning without review, tried to destroy the civil rights of PWOs, and did all the things he smeared Bush for...
- abandoned Poland and Georgia to Russian bullying...
- abandoned Israel to Arab bullying...
- created a deal to let Iran get the bomb...
- sold guns to Mexican drug lords...
- helped Wall Street skate by untouched for the financial crisis...
- made it harder to get a home...
- did jack for education, retirements or employment...
- punted on environmental protection...
- dabbled in race baiting when he needed votes...
- insulted our friends in Europe...
- let "too big to fail" become "WAY too f*cking huge to fail!"...
- let his DOJ create a false-rape epidemic on college campuses...
- created more debt than every prior President combined...
- etc.

Be thankful, my friends. It's over.
So what was your favorite/least favorite Obama moment? And what's the biggest thing you hope Trump achieves?
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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Inauguration Day - End of An Era/Beginning of Another

We are about to witness one of the greatest gifts of our Constitution - the peaceful transfer of government leaders. The first peaceful transfer began 220 years ago with John Adams being sworn in on March 4, 1797, and has continued 42 times with incoming President Donald Trump being the 45th* to take the helm.

And though it seems like forever (yet only 2-ish years) since the beginning of this election cycle, we are about to have our next Inauguration Day, Friday, January 20, 2017. God help us!

Below is a brief calendar of events for the next few days:

THURSDAY, JANUARY 19
Wreath-Laying Ceremony
Arlington National Cemetery
Time TBD
The incoming President and VP will lay a wreath in honor of our armed forces.

Welcome Concert Celebration
Lincoln Memorial
The incoming administration touts the event that will, “combine a diverse group of performers and is the official kick-off to the inaugural events.” President-elect Trump is expected to make an appearance.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 20
Inaugural Swearing-In Ceremony
West Front of the U.S. Capitol Building

9:30 a.m. - Music and performances by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (minus one very cranky former choir member) will perform along with Jackie Evancho and the Radio City Rockettes (minus one very cranky former Rockette).
11:30am - Cardinal Timothy Dolan of NYC will give a prayer.
12:00pm - Chief Justice John Roberts will swear in Donald Trump as #45.
TBA - Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas will swear in VP Michael Richard Pence.
1:00pm-ish - The Obamas fly off in Marine One to just beyond the White House lawn to their new mansion in D.C.
13:13pm EST- Martial law is declared/all non-whites, women, and LGBTQRSTUV lose all rights/Armegeddon begins (Just kidding!)

Actually, then everybody goes back to their hotels to get all prettified and then on to the Inaugural Balls. I hear that there will only be three balls this time around instead of the usual 10-15. One reason is there are only three, is that the Balls are usually to "thank" all the donors for all the money they gave. But since Trump mostly self-financed, well...there's not so many to have to pay back...er...thank. At it would probably be quite unseemly to have one ball specifically to thank all the Russian dignitaries and their friends. Actually, I hear that there will still be the traditional Ball for the Men/Women in Uniform that traditionally has been held for the Military. However, this year it has been expanded to include "First Responders" which is kind of nice.

Then on Saturday, January 21...the first major protest of many to come, I am sure:

SATURDAY, JANUARY 21
Women’s March on Washington
10:00 a.m. EST
Independence Avenue & Third St SW
The largest congregation of protestors — women and men alike — will come in the form of the Women’s March on Washington, set to begin Saturday morning. “We work peacefully while recognizing there is no true peace without justice and equity for all” unless, of course the organizers of the march deem that you are not worthy as they have Pro-Life women. But hey, all animals are equal, just some are more equal than others, right?

Anyhow, this is the next few days. Let's hope it all goes on without too much angst and destruction of property as promised. So out of frying pan and into the fire we go! And speaking of "fire", let's continue to hold our elected officials feet to the fire.

And as a side note: It has been reported that 92-year-old former President George H.W. Bush has been admitted to intensive care at Houston Methodist Hospital with acute pneumonia, and his wife, the 91-year-old former First Lady Barbara Bush has also been hospitalized at the same hospital. Prayers to both Pres. Bush and the First Lady and hopes for a speedy recovery.

*Even though Trump will #45, there have actually only been 44 Presidents to serve. Grover Cleveland was #22 and #24 because he was elected to two non-consecutive terms.
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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Wrong Kind of Black

Just a thought tonight on an interesting comment that is rather telling about race. The comment comes from Morehouse College professor Marc Lamont Hill. He was angry that Trump had met with Steve Harvey and other black actors, performers and athletes. Marc described these meetings as:
"a bunch of mediocre negroes being dragged in front of TV as a photo op for Donald Trump's exploitative campaign against black people..."
It's fascinating to me that a black "intellectual" would dismiss an entire group of blacks as "mediocre negroes." I can't imagine a white person could get away with saying that without Lamont trying to crucify them. What's more, he made it clear that Trump even listening to their opinions was "condescending" and "demeaning." So apparently, it is now racist for whites to talk to the wrong black people. I wasn't aware blacks had been divided into talkables and untalkables. Who knew? It's funny how Clarence Thomas doesn't have a mention in the National Museum of African American History in DC, isn't it? I guess he didn't make the cut into the talkables.

You know, I can't help but also think of the NFL, where certain quarterbacks are beyond reproach no matter how bad they are, but everyone feels free to unload on those who "act white." Hello, Russel Wilson. Hello, RGIII. "Act white" apparently means don't beat your wife, don't kill your dog, speak proper English and generally avoid the thug life. Though, I suspect it really means "be someone whites like."

I recall seeing this in the DC elections too in the 1990s when the mayor was dismissed for not being "black enough." This actually comes up a lot in politics, but that was the first time I saw it. And what did it mean? It meant that whites respected him. Oh, and Heaven help you though if you work for a white conservative, then you become a House N*gger, which seems a bit like being an "infidel".

It's interesting to me that "black culture" seems to have defined itself through anger and it pours out rage on those who lack the hateful spark. Honestly, this reminds me a bit of militant Islam or Nazism or white southern culture in the 1960's, groups who were so consumed with their anger that they let it consume them. Fortunately, I doubt that most black people fall into this culture, but for those who do, it's a definite dead end.

You know what? Maybe a guy like Harvey isn't mediocre after all? Maybe a guy like Harvey is a man with insight... a man who realizes that hating your neighbor doesn't put food on your table or solve any of your other problems... a man who realizes that maybe there is something to all this talk about us all being brothers after all, and that if we acted that way, the world just might be a better place.

Thoughts?
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Open Thread - Martin Luther King Day

I am sitting here trying desperately to think of something to write about and am coming up with nothing. So consider this an open thread day.

Well, except for this - Even though we set aside Martin Luther King Day to celebrate Dr. King and the Civil Rights movement, it is important that we listen to his words again and again:



And few of Dr. King's many famous quotes to consider:

- I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

-We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.

-Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

-The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

-Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

-Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

-I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.

-Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?

-The time is always right to do what is right.

-Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.
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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Faked MLK Outrage

So tell me again why John Lewis is supposed to be immune from criticism? Especially when he opens his flap first and fires the first shot? The answer tells you the problem with liberals.

For those who don't know, John Lewis is a "civil rights leader" who decided to attack Trump this week. Lewis, a black Democratic Congresscritter for life called Trump an "illegitimate president" and whined that Moscow helped steal the election from Hillary Clinton. Trump responded appropriately by Tweeting that Lewis should "spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results."

The Democratic outrage machine jumped into full gear:
"Let us remember that many have tried to silence @repjohnlewis over the years. All have failed." -- Nancy LaPuta Pelosi

"John Lewis is an American hero. You're a fake billionaire who won't release his taxes. Put down Twitter and get serious about governing." -- Rhode Island representative David Cicilline.
And more of course.

There are two problems with this, both of which define the core problem with the Democrats.

First, it's pretty obvious that most of the outrage is fake. Pelosi doesn't care if someone insults Lewis. If he were a Republican, she would be the first in line calling him racially insensitive words. All she really cares about is trying to stir up her brain-dead race-baitable followers. It is cynical exploitation of a non-event to generate anger.

Indeed, think about how cynical this is. Lewis fired the first shot. How can it be improper to respond to someone who just slandered you? Moreover, what exactly did Trump say that was so bad? Did Trump name-call? Did he call him illegitimate? Did he say anything at all personal? No. Lewis was an ass to be sure, but Trump made a legitimate point: he told Lewis to take care of his own house first and he pointed out that Lewis has done little to help the people he represents. If anyone in that exchange deserves the asshole award, it's Lewis.

Consider this too. Some Democrats have tried to hang their crap on the idea that this was somehow super "insensitive" because Trump said bad things about Lewis right before the Martin Luther King holiday. But let me ask this: if the proximity of MLK made this type of comment inappropriate, then why did Lewis fire the first shot? Shouldn't Lewis have respected the occasion? And how does it help to get nasty and bring politics into this as Cicilline does if we're supposed to respect the occasion?

This is all hypocrisy and the Democrats trying to turn a legitimate criticism of a man who peaked in his youth and has lived off the government for longer than my whole life into a racial issue at a time when it should be clear that Trump is the first politician since Reagan to care about the lives of black people... rather than the votes of black people. It is a diversion to keep blacks from waking up.

And that brings us to the second problem. The second problem is that their drones actually believe this faked outrage. They really believe that certain people, based on color or gender or where they put their genitalia, cannot be criticized without it being racist, sexist or whatever-the-f*ckist. They essentially see these people as sacred cows who can whine away stupidly without anyone suggesting otherwise. That is unacceptable in the free world. That is also why liberal "communities" are so messed up... because criticism gets dismissed with demonization so thee community stagnates.

Idiots.
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Friday, January 13, 2017

Stuff-e-rino

More stuff.

● The US has sent troops to Poland to be stationed there. Apparently, three NATO battalions will be stationed there. This is one of those historical moments where I think we can safely say that Poland has become part of Western Europe. Russia claims to be furious, there's nothing they can do about it.

● I'm still laughing about Obama handing out the Medal of Freedom to Joe Biden. Apparently, it was done as a surprise. How exactly can they award a medal with that supposed pedigree and keep it a secret from the recipient? Wasn't there some procedure... some investigation... some vetting? It sounds like either the medal is less meaningful than it suggests or Biden wasn't deserving. I guess they cut some corners. Of course, this is no surprise from President Lazy who got a Nobel Prize for um... uh... being black? anticipatory greatness!

● On that Trump dossier, anyone who is anyone has dismissed it. Now Biden says Obama dismissed it out of hand. The names that keep coming up, however, are John McCain and now Jeb Bush. This is not a good look for either of them and I think it will end poorly for McCain.

● Rosie O'Donnel is calling for "martial law" to stop Trump from taking over. That's right, a leftist is calling for a military-enforced coupe to keep opponents out of power. Now that's old school leftism! Hitler... Stalin... Mao all would be proud! Soon she'll be calling for lebensraum for fat chicks.

● Finally, let's play a little game. GoFundMe has become a great way for liars to make some good cash by exploiting the emotions of stupid people. The way this works is that everyone who claims to have suffered a tragedy or some outrage and needs money opens a GoFundMe page begging for cash. Some are legitimate. Sometimes, it's for the families of dead firefighters or cops or little old ladies who get kicked out of their homes. Probably as often as not however, these people are frauds. One of the biggest groups of frauds tend to be people who claim racial bias or claim to be abandoned children. There was an interesting one a few months back with a teen who claimed he had been abandoned and only wanted to go to college, but this was all a lie. Now there's one with a white chick who claims she needs money to go to college after her racist parents cut her off because she was dating a black guy.

We should have a contest. Come up with the most compelling(or ridiculous) appeal using a dog, racism, college, and illness. Winner gets an invisible t-shirt! Here's my entry:
I need $10,000 for college after my parents stopped paying for it because my dog is dating a gay black dog with a bad hip.
Your turn! Go!
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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Trump Update...

Interesting week. Things seem to be going wrong for Trump's critics.

1. They tried to attack Jeff Sessions as a racist, including taking the obnoxious step of wearing KKK costumes to his confirmation hearing. What makes the news? The idiots in the costumes and then a leftist MTV News producer who tweeted racist comments about Sessions' granddaughter being part Asian. So the story becomes about the racism of intolerant leftists.

2. Someone has been trying to drop what appears to be a sloppy, unverified opposition folder on Trump. It gets published by fake news source Buzzfeed... and no one else. And the story becomes about who created the folder: US intelligence agents or some British intelligence agent, and why John McCain was involved in this. So the story becomes about a smear attempt. BTW, if you want to see how stupid this folder is, read Peirs Morgan's takedown of it: LINK. As an aside, Buzzfeed is run by leftist editor Ben Smith who was on the Journolist and worked at Politico (a Soros organization).

3. Meryl Streep whines about Trump at the Golden Globes and the story becomes about her being anti-Semitic to Natalie Portman, her not condemning the hate crime in Chicago, and her giving a standing ovation to rapist Roman Polanski. It got ugly enough that only a few celebrities came to her support when Trump verbally slapped her, and even guys like George Clooney only gave her wishy-washy support.

BTW, Leftist Hollywood is refusing to participate in the inauguration, playing right into the elitist image problem they caused with their pre-election gloating and post-election pouting.

4. The media has become obsessed with attempts to shoot down Trump's claims: Ford didn't cancel the shift to Mexico because of Trump... but they did cancel the move. Fiat Chrysler is adding 2,000 US jobs, but swears it has nothing to do with Trump, we swear! Apple will bring back production to the US, but not because of Trump, we swear!! Mexico won't pay for the wall like Trump claims... but they will renegotiate NAFTA and they will talk about immigration. Alibaba promises to create one million US jobs, but it won't really happen like Alibaba claims! Don't believe him, wah!! Notice a pattern? Trump claims to have done something good. The media says he's lying. Then it turns out it's true. An embarrassed media switches to claiming it wasn't really Trump who deserves the credit. The end result is the impression that Trump has already scored a bunch of successes and the media is desperate to hide the truth. Winner Trump.

5. Leftist have falsely claimed that any foreign leaders who stay at a Trump property and pays for it is causing a violation of the conflicts of interest laws (something called the "emoluments clause" of the Constitution). This isn't true as there is a thing called "fair-value exchange" which allows this. Still, Trump said he would donate those payments to the US Treasury. Winner Trump.

6. Trump only has one more Cabinet Post left to fill. Do you remember all the talk about him now knowing he needed to fill so many posts and how disorganized he was? Yeah, no one else does either. As an aside, Trump has now backed a larger navy and has said that NATO is vitally important. So much for withdrawing from the world. Several members of his team, including his nominee for Secretary of Defense label Russia a threat. So much for Trump being a patsy of Russia.

7. But but there's a conflict of interest in letting Trump's son-in-law advise him! Crickets. Trump owns businesses and shouldn't be allowed in government! Crickets.

Finally, think about this. The recount blew up and shamed the Green party. The left threw such a whiny tantrum that the story became about how pathetic and undemocratic they are. The Democrats tried several things to undermine democracy, like trying to get electors to not do their duty. This week, the left tried to argue that some number of electors had been illegally seated because their addresses weren't in the right... nevermind, no one cares. All of this blew up on the left and the story became how desperate and pathetic and unAmerican the left is, or it was just ignored. Now they come across as desperate for something to change everyone's minds about Trump, and they seem like sniveling liars. Good week for Trump.

Oh, one parting question... has anyone heard anything from the army of women the Democrats found who accused Trump of rape and what not? No? Yeah, that's what happens when the Democrats don't need you anymore: they toss you back into the dumpster where they made you.
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The Top Ten Books I Read in 2016 & Books for 2017

By Kit

Note: Feel free to post your own favorite books of 2016 and books you plan to read for 2017 in the comments.

These are the top 10 books I read in 2016. I repeat the title there because I think it needs to be emphasized that these are the books I read in 2016, not books that came out in 2016. Most came out a couple of years ago but a few are even older. One was written in 1894.

I'll also list some Honorable Mentions and some books I hope to read this year.

So here they are, in no real order:

(1) Cold War: A New History by John Lewis Gaddis: If you want a good primer on the Cold War I would recommend this book. It’s short (about 260 pages) while at the same time giving the reader a detailed and very contextualized look at how the Cold War started, how it progressed through the four decades, and how it ultimately ended. The Cold War was one of America's —and the West's— great victories but it's one that has sadly been much neglected.
Also recommended: Tom Nichols’ Winning the War (if you can find it).

(2) Parliament of Whores by P.J. O'Rourke: This classic libertarian book begins like your typical drain-the-swamp screed against federal excess but that is just part of the book. It is only when you finish the last chapter detailing a town hall vote in an American-as-apple pie small Vermont town, after spending the entire book railing against the disgusting and, well, prostituted nature of the bureaucrats, politicians, and special interests groups that run our country, that he hits you with his true message: “Every government is a parliament of whores. The trouble is, in a democracy, the whores are us.”

(3) Too Dumb to Fail by Matt K. Lewis: While his main prediction, that the current anti-intellectualism by the Right would result in continued electoral defeats, was proven wrong (at least in the short-term) with Donald Trump’s stunning 2016 landslide, his points about how it hurts conservatism are relevant, especially when one considers how un-conservative Donald Trump is in certain areas.
I highly recommend reading Arthur Brooks’ The Conservative Heart in conjunction with this book for an illustration as to how the pro-limited government, pro-free market intellectual wing of the Right often fails to connect to voters.

(4) Beauty by Roger Scruton: Scruton compares beauty to “truth and goodness” as things whose appreciation and creation make life worth living and examines its various facets in the natural and man-made worlds such as art and architecture in an age of relativism and post-modernism where beauty is devalued. This is not an easy read and Scruton’s writing style can be very dense, which is why I highly recommend watching his documentary based on the book, Why Beauty Matters before trying to read the book.

(5) Rise of Christianity by Rodney Stark: Social scientist Rodney Stark examines the first 300 years of Christian history from the crucifixion/resurrection to Constantine. He shows that the religion was primarily an urban phenomenon and spread mostly first among Middle-Class Greek Jews before moving to pagans. He also points out that Christianity’s unique emphases on a paradisal afterlife for those who believed in the faith, charity towards the sick and dying, and family, with its rejections of male promiscuity and female infanticide, helped it grow.

(6) Romancing the Opiates by Theodore Dalrymple: Former prison psychiatrist Theodore Dalrymple’s book on heroin addiction is eye-opening. He tears apart myth after myth about heroin pointing out that heroin addiction is a choice. You choose to start using the drug, well aware of the dangers, and you continually choose not to quit. The ironic thing is that despite the author being very much in favor of laws against drug use, after reading the book I became more open to drug legalization.
A caveat: The book was written over 10 years ago and is about the issues of heroin addiction in the United Kingdom. So it does not entirely apply to the US.
Also recommended: His book, Life at the Bottom

(7) Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis: Lewis makes on of the best arguments in favor of natural law (called here “The Tao”) and against the dangers of Post-modernism and moral relativism, well before either had really seeped into the public consciousness. There is not much I can say here that hasn’t already been said. One of his best. Check it out.

(8) Curmudgeon’s Guide to Getting Ahead by Charles Murray: Great little book I recommend for anyone under 30. Charles Murray gives lots of excellent advice for young people entering the work force. It’s honest, straightforward, and humble. I wish I read this book 10 years ago (though I probably would have ignored its advice).

(9) A Brief History of Thought by Luc Ferry: This 300-page French bestseller recently translated into English guides the reader through the history of Western philosophy from the Stoics of Ancient Greece through the Christian Middle Ages and finally to the Post-modernists of the 20th century. For the most part, the book is lucid and easy-to-read though the parts on modern philosophy can be a chore to read, which may be more the fault of modern philosophy than Luc Ferry. Also, though he is never hostile to Christianity, as Timothy Keller pointed out, "his expression of Christian doctrine is often garbled."
Still, this is a fascinating book and a great layman's introduction to Western philosophy.

(10) The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen: Stephen King called this novella “one of the best horror stories ever written” and he’s right. It’s not perfect with chapters that bounce around in time, often relying on a tell-don’t-show method of relaying the story, and a plot so all over the map that it is almost impossible to describe, it involves a mysterious series of events associated with a beautiful woman. But, in a way, all these things work to its advantage. Stephen King also noted, it “surmounts its rather clumsy prose and works its way relentlessly into the reader's terror-zone.”


Honorable Mentions:

Experiment in Criticism by C.S. Lewis, Timothy Keller’s Meaning of Marriage and Prayer. Grimnoir Chronicles: Warbound (3rd in a trilogy) and Son of the Black Sword by Larry Correia, My Man Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse.


To-Read List of 2017: These are books I hope to read this year. I probably won't finish half of them but hope dies last —or on December 31st at 11:59pm.

Bad Religion by Ross Douthat: Working on this now. Ross Douthat explores the decline of traditional Christianity and the rise of modern heresies and new age religions.

How to Read a Book by Mortimer Adler: Been reading this one off and on for the past few months. It’s what it sounds like, a guide for reading a book well and comprehending what it is saying.

Fractured Republic by Yuval Levin: A critique of Baby Boomers’ “politics of nostalgia” where both parties look back fondly to the midcentury both economically and culturally. The writing of the book began before Trump was in the race and, if the index is any clue, the book doesn’t even mention him.

Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance: This memoir about the author’s upbringing in Appalachia was published in the summer of 2016 and quickly sky-rocketed as a best-seller.

The Happiness Hypothesis/The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt: These two books explore, first, the various philosophies in history on how to be happy while the latter explores what the author thinks are the worldviews that cause political disagreements.

Witness by Whittaker Chambers: This memoir, famous among Cold War-era American conservatives, detailed Chambers membership in the Communist Party, conversion to Christianity, and actions to reveal Alger Hiss as a Soviet spy. Codex Alera series: Having finished both the Grimnoir and Monster Hunter books of Larry Correia, I figure I need something to hold me until Monster Hunter Siege is released in August and I figure Jim Butcher’s 6-book epic fantasy series should do the trick.

Any suggestions?
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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Untitled Rant...

I just have to get something off my chest. What the wrong with the Left these days? Have they lost their freakin' minds? Two incidences hit the world this weekend: 1st the below "tweet" that was passed on to me by one of the people that I follow. Then the disgraceful rant at the Golden Globes...

First off, this tweet was passed along sometime yesterday afternoon by someone that I follow on Twitter:




This actually made my head explode (and I am still cleaning up the mess...) This stupid woman founded a company in Silicon Valley that "tweets digitial marketing, growth, and analytics". Well, let's just say that her "tweet" created a sh#tstorm in responses once it hit Middle America who oddly did not take too kindly to it. It ended sometime in the evening with her initially posting a tweet "Gone Fishing". After an hour or so when the furor did not die down, she posted one of those non-apology apologies about not meaning to insult anyone with her "inartful" tweet. [As an side: I am not really sure how what she wrote could ever be written in any "artful" way to make it less condescending and insulting, but that's just me. Maybe adding a photo of Michelagelo's David or Edvard Munch's "The Scream" perhaps?]

Let's just say that it probably was not a good choice for the founder of a tech marketing company that tweets digital marketing, growth, and analytics to post. I have a sneaking suspicion that perhaps her mea culpa was brought on when one of her moneyed clients or a board member contacted her to ask "What the h-e-double-hockey-sticks were you thinking? Do you know that you just destroy the company?". Which is probably why, in the 20 minutes that it took me to take a screen shot tonight and do a few other things, her account and that of her company TimeShareCMO went into full damage control lockdown mode and all Ms. Byerley's tweets were tucked safely away from prying Middle American eyes.
This account's Tweets are protected. Only confirmed followers have access to @TimeShareCMO's Tweets and complete profile. Click the "Follow" button to send a follow request.
Which takes me to the second part of my untitled rant - Sunday night's broadcast of the Golden Globes. Now, in all fairness, I did not watch the Golden Globes mainly because I just didn't want to. I knew exactly what was going to happen and chose not to tune in. And after reading the newspaper this morning, I just couldn't bring myself to actually listen to the YouTube replays of Meryl Streep and others droning on about how it's the end of the world as we know it now that the Clinton presidency has been overthrown by Russia, and only through the leadership of Hollywood actors will we be saved. But if you would like to talk about it please do. This is all I am going to say. They have every right to say what they are going say, but I have every right to not like it and to choose to spend my valuable time and hard-earned cash on something else other than the products that they are selling. They think they have the power, but I have something much more valuable - the power of the purse.

Let's the games begin...
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Monday, January 9, 2017

More Predictions

I'm going to make some more predictions today about the changing world. Time to get out the old crystal ball and rub it.

● In The Navy: Trump is apparently planning the largest Naval buildup since Reagan. On the one hand, this is a good idea. China is trying to build enough of a threat to deny the Navy access to the region and modernization is always good. But is there a catch? Have we reached a point where drones are so capable that naval vessels are no longer practical in a war? Seriously, if I was going to build an Air Force today, part of it would be thousands of drones all ready to play Kamikaze. In that kind of world, what chance do manned ships really have?

● Bacteria: I'm seeing evidence that medicine is slowly turning to the world of gut bacteria. It appears that the bacteria in our guts are what regulate weight and several other things. Don't be surprised if in ten years, whole segments of the pill industry collapse in favor of this stuff. As a further aside, I've seen some interesting studies which suggest that eating a huge variety of stuff will make you the healthiest. Interesting. Worth watching.

● Barbarians At The Gates: I don't see any signs that things will get better in the Middle East in my lifetime.

● Fading Away: Something tells me that China is fading away quicker than expected. They didn't manage to become a first world economy before their cost of labor got too high to support their supposed miracle. Now their demographic nightmare will be starting. Most interestingly, China doesn't seem to be throwing its weight around with the same passion as they did a decade ago. I read all of this to mean that China has peaked and is starting a fast slide down to irrelevance.

● Worried: Trump has really impressed me so far. The GOP has not. Just when it seemed that the GOP was 'getting it', they returned to their old obsession with Planned Parenthood... first flippin' priority. Clearly, they are still obsessed. Ultimately, I think this signals that a war with Trump is likely as he doesn't share their obsessions and they don't care about his agenda for jobs and irrelevant things like that! Heathen!

● Dumb As A BRIC: For the past twenty years, the financial people have been betting on the BRICs -- Brazil, Russia, India and China. Some add South Africa to that. Some add Turkey. These were supposed to be the stable economic darlings that were going to show us tired Americans how to run a business. Russia has collapsed into tyranny and cronyism... Mr. Toad's wild ride. Brazil's economic miracle turned out to be a corrupt lie, as highlighted by the Olympics and the impeachment of their grand poohbah. China is imploding in slow motion as its female-less population ages. South Africa remains a backward killing field. Turkey is rounding up 50,000 coup plotters and is knee deep in terrorism. That leaves India. One out of six ain't good. If you want to know where to put your money for the next decade, invest in the United States.

● Like Me Off Facebook: Watch for Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook to run for higher office. I'm not sure yet what he stands for, but he seems to be preparing to run for something. What's more, he has been rather rational in his positions, which makes me think he has a conservative streak. Could be important in the future.

Thoughts?
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Thursday, January 5, 2017

New York Update

The most amazing thing happened January 1 in NYC. The long-awaited 2nd Avenue subway line extension finally opened! You probably heard about as it is being hailed as the greatest achievement in NYC history! 88 years (or 99 years depending on who is relating the story) it has taken since the planning started.

Gov. Cuomo is just hailing himself all over the place because he finally made it happen when his father Mario, also Governor of NY, could not (nor any other Governor since 1928 (or 1918 depending)! And speaking as a long-time resident of the Upper Eastside, this is just...okay.

Okay, now let me tell what was planned 88 years ago (or 99 years depending):

This was the plan for the original T-Line:

If you look really close, the original T-line (that blue line) was supposed to go from 125 Street all the way down 2nd Avenue to Hanover Square smack dab into the heart of Wall Street.

What we actually got after 88 years (or 99 years depending) is this:


Four brand-spanking new subway stops that go from 96 Street all the way to 57th Street and then connects to the much older Q-Line. Now far be it for me to complain, but it took them 35 years to build the entire underground subway system and 88 years (or 99 years depending) to build four new stops that total about 40 blocks. But kudos to the MTA and Governor Cuomo for at least getting that much done.

Speaking of Governor Cuomo: What does it say about New York in general when our Governor and Mayor of New York City are both under investigation for political wrong-doing by the US Attorney's office? That can't be good for the state. And add in the weepy Clintons AND President-elect Donald Trump & family into the mix, and it's getting crowded with all of the swelled heads and rivers of tears that are flowing.

Both are under investigation for pay-to-play schemes in their administrations. Now, our esteemed Mayor is in the hot seat because he may or may not have been taking in donations to his now defuncted Campaign For One New York PAC while making deals with the same donors who just coincidentally had official business before the city. Yeah, comingling his campaign fundraising with official Mayoral duties is not legal apparently. But no one seemed to take this very seriously including the Mayor until he decided that we needed to see just how great he is doing and had this official video made courtesy of the taxpaying citizens of the City of New York that touts his many, many achievements since becoming Mayor. Oh, did I tell you he is running for re-election this year?

Well, you decide, is this campaigning or official city business?



I have already made up my mind.

And in closing, it appears that Hillary Clinton is floating that ol' Clinton trial balloon to see if anyone is interested in her running for Mayor of New York against Bill DeBlasio. She may (or may not) be really irked with him for not being as enthusiastic at her presidential run as he should have been seeings as how he was her campaign manager for her Senate run. LINK Frankly this isn't such a bad idea or even better, she should challenge Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand to win her old Senate seat back.

Anyway, fun time will be had by all.
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Thoughts

A couple thoughts tonight...

Your Legacy Is Crap: Obama had been trying to tell everyone about his legacy lately. It's been pretty pathetic. We had the "no scandals" thing the other day. Obama has also been trying to tweet out his accomplishments, as if there were any. The problem is there is nothing good to say! Even the stuff he comes up with -- long period of job growth -- just feels like a technicality. His problem is that you just can't defend: "I was a lazy ahole who couldn't even work with my own party and I didn't do jack sh*znit!"

As an aside, it's interesting that no one on the left worries about him tweeting, but they whine about Trump tweeting.

Fake News Backfire: The idea of Fake News sounded like playing with fire when it was first used. The idea was to let the MSM declare anything they didn't like Fake News and dismiss it without addressing it. It was meant to be both a way to kill inconvenient stories and to turn themselves into arbiters of who can speak the truth. But this Genie didn't stay with one master very long. Within days of the Democrats and the MSM firing it off, Matt Damon was using it against a leftist race baiter. Trump tossed the charge at CNN. The Washington Post has now been accused of pushing fake news regarding Russia. And so on. It seems that the idea of fake news almost instantly became generic to mean "got it wrong" or "people I don't trust." The problem for the media, however, is that they built this into a sort of nuclear bomb meant to wipe out the legitimacy of the party attacked... and now they are being attacked. Whoops.

Great Moves: Trump is proving to be a PR genius. Two recent examples come to mind. First, while the GOP has gone back into turtle mode on repealing Obamacare, Trump has been out there telling them to keep blaming the Democrats. That is simply good politics. To bad the GOP doesn't get it. Obama gets it. He's pushing back that the Democrats need to blame the Republicans for the repeal. He's wrong because Obamacare is so unpopular, but both the left and Trump get it... the GOP doesn't.

The second thing is Trump taking credit for all these jobs coming back to the US. Was it him? Probably not. But by claiming credit for this, he has created a picture of a wave of jobs coming back because of him. And while many of the companies are trying to claim it wasn't because of Trump, corporate America has been so weaselly when it comes to speaking the truth over the past decade that their denials are ineffective. At the same time, the left has been so over-the-top in their attacks that their debunking just gets lost in their wailing. This let Trump create a narrative. Interesting.

Good Luck, Chuck: The Democrats, particularly Chuck Schumer, suggested that they would block Trump from putting justices on the Supreme Court. This is a dangerous and stupid plan. When the GOP stopped Obama, there was a certain equity to it. He was in the lame duck period of his administration... he was looking to change the ideological makeup of the court... he had already gotten a good number of picks... and he didn't fight for his guy. None of that will apply to an attempt to block a Trump nominee. It's just going to be ugly politics.

Between the Democrats' attempt to block everything, including appointees, to fight to the death to save Obamacare and to block a replacement, and to undermine the democratic process itself, the Democrats are basically giving Trump a free pass to do as he pleases and blame them. It's a horrid strategy that comes from misunderstanding why the GOP was able to do what they did to Obama.

You Betrayed Us: There are suddenly a lot of words being spent in Democratic circles to point out that Obama left the Democratic Party high and dry and never defended them (worst showing since 1928). I'm not sure yet if this is the Clinton people firing back or if this is an attempt to unlatch his crappy legacy from the party, but either way, this has the makings of a low-grade civil war on the left. Ha ha.
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Monday, January 2, 2017

So Delusional

Team Obama is truly delusional. This weekend, Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett proved that once again. She said this:

'The president prides himself on the fact that his administration hasn't had a scandal and he hasn't done something to embarrass himself.'

snicker
snickersnicker

Obama has said this too. At the APEC forum he told Asian leaders that he was "extremely proud of the fact that over eight years we have not had the kinds of scandals that have plagued other administrations."

snickersnicker
snickersnickersnicker

Oh boy.
Benghazi Deceptions
IRS Targeting of Conservatives
Operation Fast and Furious... guns to Mexican gangs
DOJ Seizing Journalists' Phone Records in 2012
NSA Mass Surveillance of public and foreign leaders
Ransom Payments for Iranian Hostages
Bowe Bergdahl Swap for high-risk Taliban suspect
Secret Service Scandal
Clinton e-mail scandal
"If you like your healthcare, you can keep it."
The beer summit
Massive cash to Iran for the Iran deal
Solyndra and other green loans
Did I miss anything?
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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Hating Evangelicals

Interesting article the other day. You almost have to read it to believe it. It was written by Obama aid Charles Pierce for Esquire, and it is an attempt to debunk the idea that the Democrats are anti-religious or that being nicer to religious people would help the party. It is a hateful diatribe.

The premise of the article is that Obama's religious outreach guy Michael Wear wrote a book detailing all the reflexive anti-religious attitudes he saw in the administration. Wear then points out that if Hillary had gotten even a small percentage of white evangelicals, then she would have won. Pierce HATES that! Now, don't get him wrong. Pierce has "great empathy for the people whose lives feel so desperate, or whose spirituality feels so besieged, that they decided to hand the government over to a vulgar talking yam." BUT... f*ck those people.

He doesn't actually use the f-word, but he comes close. The whole article is nasty and seethingly insulting. It accuses evangelicals of whining: "When did the followers of Jesus become such delicate little snowflakes?" It accuses them of being dupes of Bush. It accuses them of being fooled by Trump, who doesn't even know what the Bible is apparently. Pierce then takes this quote to task:
"We also need to have a robust conversation about the support or allowance for racism, misogyny, and Islamophobia in the evangelical tradition."
By arguing that:
"And who, precisely, is the Democratic politician who could embark on this 'robust conversation' among religious and sexual bigots about how their dearly nurtured prejudices were not necessarily what the gospels had in mind without being condemned as a godless infidel?"
So not only are evangelicals whiny idiots, but they are racists, they hate women and they are Islamophobes. What an ass. There's more. He views abortion rights as a holy issue and laughs off the point that the Democrats no longer have room in their party for people who are pro-life because he doesn't want those people because those people shoot doctors in church and bomb clinics... that's who he thinks pro-life evangelicals are. He even bizarrely accuses Republicans of not allowing pro-choice people into their party, which is provably false just by scanning the Senate. Then he asks this hilarious, completely not-self-aware question:
"Who in a position of power in the Democratic Party is 'openly disdainful' of religion?"
Can he really not see how much venom he's poured out in this article? Can he really not see how utterly disdainful he's been of religious people? Probably not, because he doesn't use his brain to think, he emotes and the emotions he does best are hate and arrogance and disdain.

This is really the problem the left has: they truly look down on those who disagree with them and they condescend to everyone they don't like. It's become such a reflex that they don't even see how they are doing it. Anthony Bordain of all people pointed to this the other days when he mentioned that East Coast elitist liberals show disdain for the rest of us and thereby drove people into Trump's arms. Fortunately for the right, the left is so deeply into this bubble that they not only refuse to believe they are doing this, but they get angry at anyone who mentions it. So there's really no hope of them repairing their relationship with white evangelicals.

Keep it up, idiots. Hate is the new black... on the left.
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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Predictions

With the New Year upon us, it's time for some predictions.

● Trump is going to do a much better job than expected and will have surprisingly good approval ratings by summer. The economy will recover. The foreign world will calm down. The Dems will try desperately to claim that this was all Obama's doing while pulling their hair out. HATE will become the new black.

● The Dems will try to block everything. The lesson they think they learned from the Republicans was to block everything and you will become popular. They have misunderstood this badly. I don't think people will respond well to their attempts at sabotage and resistance. They really are kidding themselves if they think the public will be with them.

● The Patriots win the Super Bowl.

● Angela Merkle will be unseated in Germany, but I don't think anything will change with their immigration policies.

● The Republicans will not be able to repeal Obamacare because the CBO will undercut them. They will instead start to tinker at the edges.

● I'm starting to suspect there will be a brief shooting war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

● Homelessness, AIDS and poverty will return in the news.

Thoughts? Additions?

Finally, Scott has his yearly "Where were you?" film article. Go check it out.
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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

I'm Back!

Yo! I'm back. Had a great time... but... let me recommend that you all avoid Royal Caribbean (RCI). Here are some thoughts/impressions.

● The ship was not great. They apparently pool tips so none of the staff really cared. The result was an indifferent staff that was sometimes actually a little rude and was rarely helpful (our stateroom guy was fantastic). They were poorly trained too. I felt sad for the truly special staff members we met because they were held back by the others.

● Their water show was amazing. It was probably the best show of any type I've ever seen. Their other shows were good too.

● The biggest problem with the ship was that it utterly lacked elegance. It came across like a day at a mid-level mall, complete with gangs of Chinese teens walking back and forth pointlessly. That was the ship's target audience too, so there was nowhere elegant and nowhere to relax on the ship. Everywhere you went, even the formal dining room, they were playing pop music loudly. Disney, by comparison, was super elegant and super relaxed, but still offered lots of stimulation and excitement.

● Food is usually the biggest thing on a cruise ship. You expect original stuff, you expect high quality. It wasn't here. The main dining room reminded my of Applebys. Disney's food was some of the best I ever had.

● The most annoying aspect of this ship was that I came to see it as the SS In-App-Purchase because they stupidly nickled and dimed you throughout. To try to make and extra $2, $4, $7, they kept annoying us.

● Jurassic Park: We went to Labadee, Haiti. It turns out this is a little part of Haiti owned by RCI. It is gorgeous. It is also separated from actual Haiti by an electric fence. One of the comedians said it was like Jurassic Park, and he was right. I would have liked to see real Haiti.

● In Labadee, we took an excursion on a sail boat (1970's luxury yacht) with 6-7 other people. Oh my God, I have found my calling in life. You can't image how relaxing this was. Moreover, the Captain was fantastic. He told us all about Columbus's journey to Haiti and showed us several cool things about Haiti and then spoken generally about the world with us. We had an incredible time.

● Jamaica had the ideal port. There was so much incredible merchandise to buy. The only problem was that we got back so late that everything was closed as we raced to the ship. I was the second to last person back on the ship. Yikes! Still, Jamaica was fantastic. Last year, we visited San Martin and hated it. The people clearly didn't want us there and the tour guide spent all her time telling us how they ended slavery and now have KFC and Burger King just like you white devils - everyone seemed pissed. The people in Jamaica, by comparison, weren't hung up on the past and didn't want to be victims. They were happy, friendly, and made the best of what they had and created a pretty fantastic little country for themselves. The lesson is, live for the future, not to whine about the past.

Definitely a mixed bag. But don't get me wrong... we enjoyed the cruise a lot. We had a great time. I would definitely recommend cruising to everyone. But this is not the ship for you. There is nothing that they did that Disney didn't do better and cheaper. And frankly, I'm willing to bet that most every other cruise line does it better too.
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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah To All

Peace be with you and your family.



Luke 2:8-14 “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

And Happy Hanukkah too. Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights begins at sundown on December 24, 2016 and ends at sundown on January 1, 2017. The Story of Chanukah (Hanukkah)

Enjoy the Holidays!
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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

A ramble about Impeachment, Conflicts of Interest, and some other things

By Tryanmax

Trump getting impeached is pretty much a foregone conclusion if the Democrats get a simple House majority at any point in his presidency. That in itself illustrates just how meaningless the notion is, politically speaking. Obviously, Trump hasn’t done anything impeachable yet, not having taken office, so the Democrats have basically announced that they're planning a fishing expedition. I don’t think it will work out like they expect.

First, let me remind you that impeachment doesn’t automatically remove a president from office. Neither of the two presidents who were impeached, Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, were removed from office, and Nixon resigned before he could be impeached. Democrats seem to forget this, so right away you know there will be disappointment when they rediscover that impeachment is merely Step 1.

But let’s talk about how an impeachment might occur. As far back as April, there was speculation that Trump could be impeached on day one of his presidency if Trump University were ruled to be fraudulent. Obviously, that has been diffused, so now Democrats look like they have their eyes set on conflicts of interest. I say “eyes set” but, if the pundit chatter is accurate, there isn’t much to set eyes on. There appears to be tremendous gray area around conflicts of interest in regards to POTUS. In other words, Trump's enemies are shuffling through uncharted territory in an attempt to get him. That’s a difficult proposition.

Trump’s position isn’t without risk, either. If conflict of interest rules that apply to lower offices are ultimately applied to the presidency, Trump could face impeachment, expulsion or, if he means to maintain the presidency, some amount of damage to his business and legacy. So why would Trump put himself in such a position? Well, if he succeeds in keeping the presidency AND his business in the manner he desires, it could establish a precedent that might lower a major barrier discouraging successful private citizens from entering public office. For those of us who believe the political sphere could use more business sense, that would be a great service to the nation.

If that is the path he is taking, Trump does have some advantages. He has a Republican House and Senate for at least two years. If nothing else, this keeps impeachment proceedings at bay for that long. If Obamacare can be passed in such a timeframe, surely some legislation clearing up the murkiness surrounding conflicts of interest could be hammered out. Trump has a firewall in the form of Mike Pence, a lockstep Republican who few Democrats would wish to see in the White House. That might extend his impeachment-proofing another couple of years. Also, Trump has the opportunity to nominate to the Supreme Court in his first year, so if he did end up before them, he could have at least one judge who is open to the idea that conflicts of interest laws shouldn’t be interpreted so as to prevent qualified, successful private citizens from entering public service.

Trump didn’t campaign on conflicts of interest issues, so I have no way of knowing if any of this speculation holds merit. I do know that this is a contest Trump didn’t have to enter. That makes it seem like he wants this battle. If you have any different ideas why Trump might pick this fight, let me know.

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