Category Archives: Politics

Enemy of the People

Last week, CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta accosted White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders during the scheduled press briefing and insisted that Sanders provide a specific sound bite for the press. The incident was part of a larger issue revolving around the president’s use of the phrase “fake news” and a tweet the media believes he said the media was the enemy of the people. This topic has been all over the internet and discussed at length by the pundits and the professional talking heads ever since, but every time it is discussed, no one mentions the most disturbing issue: that of a “professional journalist” demanding a spokesperson say what he wants to hear.

Journalists are supposed to report the news in an objective manner. In an ideal situation, the reporter’s opinions and ideas are not detectible in a news story that is filled with facts and statements quoted from cited sources. In journalism classes, students are (or at least were) taught to avoid adjectives in news stories so as to avoid slanting the story. The assumption was that members of an informed society would form their own opinions based on objective information, and the free press could best serve the public by providing that objective information. Journalists did write their opinions, but they did so in the Op-Ed pages and in feature profiles; sections of the news dedicated to the opinions of the writers. These sections were clearly marked and labeled as opinion, so the reader could tell the difference between objective reporting and opinion. Yet in recent years, journalists are increasingly interjecting their own ideology and opinions in every story put out on TV, print and online, not just the Op-Ed. The practice is so widespread that it is almost impossible to find a truly objective news story anymore.

This trend seems to be stemming from a degree of self-importance that reporters have adopted in the last couple of decades. The Fourth Estate began to believe in their own importance as the “fourth branch of government” as overseer of the legislative, executive and judicial branches. While it seems that having transparence in government is a good thing and the news did facilitate that transparency, reporters began to shift the focus of their exposés on issues that the reporters felt were significant and they turned a blind eye to issues with which they agreed. One reporter once suggested that the media can make or break a president.

This is kind of putting the cart before the horse. If a president is doing something untoward or illegal, then objective reporting would reveal those transgressions and the people could take appropriate actions. Increasingly, however, it seems the press is trying to portray the activities of politicians as being illegal or immoral in order to sway public opinion against them. Such is the case with the supposed tweet.

President Trump tweeted “The Summit with Russia was a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the Fake News Media.”

Members of the media were incensed by this supposed slight and Jim Acosta decided to do something about it by addressing it with Sanders.

Acosta did not ask a question, but made a demand cloaked in a request. “I think it would be a good thing if you were to say right here, at this briefing, that the press, the people who are gathered in this room right now, doing their jobs every day, asking questions of officials like the ones you brought forward earlier, are not the enemy of the people. I think we deserve that.”

Sanders refused to grant is demand and instead leveled a rebuttal wherein she called out times when the press vilified not just the president but her as well. Acosta, not happy at being denied his boon, whined on social media and his network led a charge accusing Sanders of doubling down on the “enemy of the people” statement.

They got it wrong. First, the president didn’t say that the media was the enemy…he specified the fake news media. Granted, that is a bit of a deflection, since all the media is guilty of proliferating fake news, but he never said any network or reporter by name, so Sanders had no reason to make the statement in the first place.

Secondly, Acosta has forgotten his place. He is a reporter who is supposed to cover the news, not make it. His opinion is irrelevant, even if he is butt-hurt by a supposed slight. It was a breach of decorum and civility to even address the issue in that manner. It would be one thing to ask for a clarification about the tweet, but to demand a retraction is too much. Reporters should never command a statement from their interviewees. Ever! That is not reporting. That is commanding. If the media is commanding specific statements from public officials, then they are no longer serving the people, they are directing policy and that is not their role. Dictators demand others adopt their ideals. Anyone who forces their ideas onto others is, in fact, an enemy of the people.

If Acosta and others in the media want to be thought of as a friend of the people, they need to stop alienating the people. Go back to objective reporting, keep themselves out of the story and avoid interjecting their ideals into their reporting. It’s journalism 101, or at least it used to be when journalism was a respectable business.

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Plenty Of Blame To Go Around

The riots in Charlottesville, Virginia Saturday have been the topic of discussion all week, but most of the media discussion has been focused on President Trump’s response to it. The riots flared when a scheduled rally by several different organizations who planned to protest the removal of a statue of General Robert E. Lee, a confederate general in the Civil War, was met with counter protesters from the Black Lives Matter movement and the Anti-facist (Anti-Fa) movement. One woman was killed when someone drove a car into a crowd of protestors. The driver was arrested and identified as James Fields of Ohio, who had come to Charlottesville to join in the protest. The media was quick to single out the alt-right as the sole source of the trouble and blame them for the death. This is a complete propaganda campaign of the worst sort trying to control the public consciousness with lies and misdirection. Fortunately, President Trump isn’t playing along.

According to reports, the facts are that several groups clashed in the streets and began to argue and shout at and shove each other. Small skirmishes erupted all over the area around the demonstration which devolved into more serious violence as the day wore on. Police posted units all along the area, but according to witnesses, the police did not actively interfere until the car crash. The governor declared a state of emergency and the police cleared the area, making several arrests.

From the reports, this looks like a standard public disturbance issue with a tragic outcome culminating in the death of the young woman. Two additional deaths occurred when a police helicopter that was supporting the event crashed in the woods. The details of the cause of the crash have not been reported yet, but it is not likely the result of any action from any of the protestors since it happened away from the demonstration.

So, while this is tragic, to be sure, it is not worthy of the media coverage or social media coverage it has garnered. The reason it has gotten so much traction is that many of the groups protesting the removal of the statue are what the news media has labeled “Alt-Right” or neo Nazis or KKK. The socialist left is raising the volume on this in order to try to paint all conservatives as neo Nazis and KKK members. As if the mere presence of these groups is the sole reason for the violence that occurred.

I would never suggest that the Neo Nazi party, or the KKK embrace the true spirit of America. I do not condone any of these radical ideologies. By the same token, I do not condone the BLM or Anti-Fa movement either. Groups like the KKK and the BLM are the flipsides of the radical ideology coin. Unfortunately, the news media and the left (one in the same) favor the BLM/Anti-fa crowd and are portraying them as the victims in this melee.

They seem to forget that it takes two to fight.

Sarah Bosner, a blogger for Rolling Stone magazine mentioned observing a white man punch a black woman as though that was an example of the whole ordeal.

Shortly before the car ramming, I see a man marching with the National Socialist Movement, a neo-Nazi group, punch a black woman who had thrown ice from her cup at him. Bystanders intervene, but the police do not respond.

Her point seems to be that a big bad Nazi beat up a poor defenseless black woman. She glosses over the fact the woman assaulted the man first by throwing her drink at him. I can imagine that prior to that, she had probably already peppered him with plenty of vitriol to raise his boiling point that level. In that regard, maybe it is indicative of the whole ordeal. A lot of people got insanely angry and acted like fools. Everyone involved should be held accountable…on both sides of the issue. In fact, BLM organizers deliberately bussed in demonstrators to counter the protest. The only reason to do such a thing was to foster a conflict and in doing so, they had to know that violence would erupt. In fact, it is entirely within the realm of possibility that the violence was the expectation. They wanted a conflict to promote their leftist message and to try to paint the right in as bad a picture as they could.

President Trump seems to have a handle on this concept. His initial condemnation said that people on both sides were to blame for the violence, which is clearly true. The BLM movement already has a history of violence and killing police officers, so they clearly bear some of the blame for the violence in Charlottesville. Trump addressed the incident on Saturday:

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides,”

This covers not only the violence from the Alt-right, but also from the BLM and the Anti-Fa, who also bear equal responsibility for the violence. But this wasn’t good enough for the left-leaning media or the neo socialist on the hill, who circled the wagons to roast Trump for “supporting Nazis.” Trump’s advisors quickly coerced him into revising his statement and singling out the “Nazis” because they are so vile they must be to blame for all the problems that happened. Trump did so, but then backtracked to his original “both sides” statement, much to the frustration of the left.

Here’s the thing: He’s right about that. Sure, Nazis are bad. Sure, KKK is bad. Sure, we had a war to stamp out the Nazis in 1945. And, sure, it is terrible that people try to align themselves with that movement today. But here’s the rest of the thing: They have every right to do that. It’s called the first amendment. Citizens of the US have every right to think however they want to, never mind how stupid that think may seem. After all, so many people still think Obama was a good president. They have a right to think that. The government cannot do anything about it. The government similarly cannot do anything about stopping people from joining the Nazi party or the KKK, no matter how repugnant it may be. Just because people align themselves with the Nazis or the KKK doesn’t mean they are criminals or terrorists or that their planning to murder people. It just means they are idiots.

Where these people, Nazis, KKK, BLM, what have you, go wrong is when they commit crimes like assault or vehicular homicide because of their beliefs. On Saturday, everyone there, from all of the different groups, are to blame for the carnage and all of them should be held accountable.

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Weapons of War

The fourth US Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of the Massachusetts ban on so-called assault weapons. The ban is a reactionary piece of legislation designed to make people feel good about doing something in the wake of the horrific December 2012 Sandy Hook Newtown shooting. The language of the ordinance makes broad definitions of what constitutes an “assault weapon,” which has been the bone of contention between gun control proponents and second amendment supporters ever since the incident. Also included in the ordinance is limits magazine capacity.

The court, in ruling in favor of the ban, stated in the opinion that “weapons of war” are not covered by the Second Amendment. This is a gross error of thinking by a panel of liberal judges who clearly do not understand the history of the amendment nor its language.

The second amendment was created by congress to protect Americans’ right to arm themselves in the event of war. This war could come from foreign forces, or from the organized military of a tyrannical regime. The language says this in the first phrase: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State…” This phrase says militia. It doesn’t say Army, or even organized military. It does not call for the creation of a standing Army. It was written in such a way to state that Americans could unite into militias to defend themselves, and as such need access to arms. This presupposes that the militia would need “weapons of war.”

The Second Amendment was not written to provide Americans the right to have flint-locks, or shotguns, or even bolt-action rifles for use in hunting or even self defense. It was written so that citizens could rise up to defend themselves from the enemy in a time of war, whether that war was a world war or a civil one. This is a fundamental American right. This right is one of the things that separate America from the rest of the world, and make us the envy of other nations.

The single most popular weapon in America.

The single most popular weapon in America.

Gun control advocates claim that putting “common sense” limitations in place is reasonable. The amendment has a word that addresses this thought: infringed. To infringe is “to act so as to limit or undermine.” The language of the amendment says specifically the rights of the people to keep and bear arms shall NOT BE INFRINGED (emphasis mine), meaning shall not be limited. Our rights to possess “weapons of war” cannot be limited. To enact limitations is to violate the Second Amendment. It is plain and simple.

Do people abuse their rights? Of course they do. Do we throw out our rights because of those who abuse them? No, we don’t. In fact, we double down on defending them.

The fourth circuit is wrong in this decision. This is the result of seeding the bench with too many activist liberal judges. This case needs to move on to the Supreme Court AFTER Trump’s pick to replace justice Scalia is sworn in, so it can be reversed and our rights remain protected.

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Hail to the Chief

Ok, I can admit when I’m wrong. I’ve never had a problem with that. So, here goes. I was wr-wr-wr-wr—wr….ahem….I was wr-wr-wr-wr-wr….(I can do this)…uh, I was….not exactly right. (apologies to the Fonz).

So, Trump won after all. I didn’t expect that. But it’s all good. At least Hillary didn’t win and that was the real issue. All my concerns about her machinations to ensure her presidency are now moot. The good news is that America has a chance to have a conservative justice to replace Scalia and any judges who retire in the next 4 years, which was one of my biggest concerns with a Clinton presidency. That, and with a Republican controlled house and senate, we should have no worries about infringements on our second amendment rights for the next four years.

For these reasons, I am happy.

But now we have the Donald as president. That is…unpredictable. Granted, Obama demonstrated that the presidency can be shackled by a recalcitrant congress, so if Trump goes too far afield, congress should be able to rein him in, but the real concern will be his mouth and how he interacts with world leaders on that stage. He is used to making multinational business deals, but politics is a bit different. Hopefully, he will surround himself with competent advisors to council him on protocols for dealing with politics on a world stage and he won’t embarrass himself or the nation.

To those who bemoan this missed opportunity to have a woman in the Oval Office: please do not take this election as a reaffirmation that America won’t allow a woman to be president. This election merely asserted that America won’t allow Hillary Clinton to be president. By all means, select a more qualified candidate next time. If she is not completely crazy and an elitist, ultra leftist/neosocialist who cannot identify with mainstream America, she has a chance. Having a vagina should NEVER be a criterion upon which a president is chosen. The president should represent his or her constituency, not describe them as deplorable when they do not agree with him or her.

I am glad I was…not exactly right. It means that our election system is not totally corrupted and run completely by the media and businesses (Soros), and that citizens can determine their governance which is as it should be. That, my friends, is democracy in action, even if we don’t agree with the outcome. I was pleasantly surprised as the election results ticked in on my browser last night. I refused to watch the media’s reports as they worked feverishly to predict and direct a Clinton win.

Speaking of the media, they have been lamenting the loss of their golden child all morning, trying to explain Hillary’s loss in terms they can understand. One pundit said it was because many more white voters went to the polls that they anticipated. Another claimed it was “Whitelash” as white voters cast ballots against Obama, rather than for Trump. Really? Now it’s racist? The media spent way too much time and energy trying to sway voters to vote for Hillary, they are having fits trying to figure out how to go on in the wake of the Trump victory. If only there was a way Americans could vote the media out of office, that would be a true victory at the polls.

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The Sweet and the Bitter of Election Day

Tuesday the 8th of November, 2016 will be a bittersweet day for many people in this country, if not the whole world. It is the date that the worst campaign in the history of this country will officially end, which is the sweet part. The bitter part is that it is also the date that we will have elected the person who will no doubt go down in history as one of the worst world leaders ever. It is not because we have been forced against our will to endorse a tyrant, but rather we have degraded the principles of liberty so much that the citizens of this country no longer know any better than to elect people based not on capability, but instead on popularity. Knowledge and logic have been supplanted by feelings.

This is not new to this election cycle, unfortunately. The election of Barack Obama was the first time a president was chosen not because of skill, knowledge, or experience, but rather because of social popularity. Obama was not elected because he was the most capable, he was elected because people thought it was time we had a black man in the White House. This election is another opportunity for the populists who want social justice to ring their bell by not electing the best candidate, but by electing the first woman to the presidency. In fact, it has become the media catch phrase as pundits tout how America will make history by electing Hillary Clinton.

The social justice warriors who gave us affirmative action and hiring quotas are now trying to staff the White House, as if the qualifications for that job are limited to the color of one’s skin or the gender to which they self-identify. A knowledge of history, or law, or economics or anything understood to be a formal education are not even mentioned in the candidate selection process. None of the candidates who ran in either primary touted their academic credentials. Very few of them mentioned their relevant experience. All of them threw out their feelings on the issues about which the media had drummed the populace into a frenzy and batted sound bites around like a litter of puppies fighting over a toy, and we the people watched with similar fascination as we decried the responses that hurt our feelings and shouted along with the ones that echoed our own beliefs.

As a society, we have become so focused on feelings, that real matters that have meaning are relegated to whispers among the like minded, too afraid to speak out in public for fear of being labeled a bigot, racist, misogynist, extremist, leftist, right-wing, birther, libtard. If we cannot discuss the serious matters facing society as a whole, how can we hope to find a leader willing to do it? We can’t. This is why our politicians have become so impotent lately. They are afraid of being on the losing side of legislation being voted on by a public who cannot be counted on to actually learn anything different from their preconceived notions and ideals and who think it is time we had a woman in the White House even if that woman is a proven manipulative, elitist liar who doesn’t even think members of her own party are worthy of consideration.

Clinton said in an interview that she wants to be the president of those who vote for her and those who vote against her. Well, that is as stupid a statement as any candidate has ever made, but nothing more can be expected from someone who has manipulated the system at every turn to ensure her victory in the election, even going so far as to have defrauded the country by negotiating back room deals, including selecting her opponent, to lock in her win, no matter the outcome of the ballot count. When Hillary is announced as the winner (and she will be) understand it will not be because of the ballots cast. It will be because she defrauded an already corrupted process and was validated by a population that wanted a woman—any woman—president. Wednesday morning, there will be no more campaign commercials and no more news time devoted to the campaigns, but we will have someone who will no doubt end up being the worst president in history sitting in the White House. Bittersweet indeed.

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Sitting in Defiance

I have been reading the news and the opinions of many bloggers and pundits who have weighed in on the great Kaepernick scandal of 2016. It seems Mr. Kaepernick, quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, refused to stand for the national anthem at the last preseason game, drawing the ire of many who felt he was disrespecting the country. Kaepernick claimed he was sitting out of protest, stating “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people…” Many liberals support him while many conservatives want his head on a pike, which is the expected dichotomy in such a situation. Polemics is always a binary thing where compromise is impossible.

In the past eight years, the country has experienced a shift from the middle to extremes. Liberals are complaining that the president they supported is not liberal enough while conservative complain that he is too far to the left. Social issues that were once polite water cooler discussion material are now banned from being discussed in the workplace out of fear of creating a hostile work environment. Many people are wondering why, given the historic election of a black president, the country seems more divided on the issue of race than since the civil rights movement of the sixties. Has the country created new racially motivated laws designed to segregate and oppress a certain group of people? Have businesses enacted policies to force a certain group of people to slave away their labor for free? Has congress brought back the practice of selling people on the auction block?

Somehow, I doubt it.

Citizens of this country, all citizens of all colors, enjoy more freedoms today than at any time in the country’s history. Now, more than ever, a young “man of color” can achieve anything for which he is willing to work. Yet, with all the freedoms being afforded to every citizen, people are still operating under the impression that the country is oppressing “the black man.”

This is fallacy.

This country oppresses no one. For the last 40 years, our laws have been written to be as inclusive as the language will allow and in some cases, the language was altered to make it more inclusive. Yet, even with that, people still complain that they feel excluded. Unfortunately, there is no language to make the insane understand reality. Some people simply feel the way they feel and nothing can change that. These people feed on being a victim and if they lose that victimhood, they lose their only sense of identity.

Kaepernick was born of a white woman and a black man and adopted and raised by a white couple in a white family. He attended college and landed a slot on a professional football team. This is one of the true American dreams, especially for a “man of color.” But Kaepernick is buying into the rhetoric that the left promotes, claiming that blacks are still oppressed by “the system.” The only system Kaepernick should worry about is the one that sent him to college and pays him millions of dollars to play a game.

Media rhetoric is fueled by the tensions surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement and the anti-police sentiment that erupted out of protests of cops shooting black suspects. The media crafted a narrative that white cops are intentionally targeting and gunning down black men simply because they are black. This has been proven a false claim and in every incident, grand juries have not found the police guilty of any crime. Every “poor young man of color” that was shot by the police was in the process of breaking a law and resisting arrest. Even other allegations of police malfeasance are based on cases whereby a citizen is intentionally antagonistic towards the police. If one goes looking for trouble, one should not be surprised when one finds it.

There is no systemic black oppression going on in this country. Hasn’t been for decades. Are there prejudiced people out there who dislike blacks? Of course there are. There always will be. But there is no law or policy that directs the oppression of the black people…or any other people, for that matter. Except maybe for Christians. There are laws and cases in the courts targeting Christians. So, Kaepernick, why don’t you sit down in protest over the anti-Christian movement and Christian oppression? At least that’s a real and documented thing.

Should Kaepernick be forced to stand for the national anthem? No. Should he have stood? Yes. Was he a dick for sitting? Definitely. In this country, however, we have freedom of expression. If citizens wish to make statements in protest, they can do that. The 19th century English author Evelyn Beatrice Hall once wrote in expressing the beliefs of Voltaire, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” This is the foundation of our freedom of speech as enshrined in the First Amendment to the Constitution. Freedom of protest is a right that is protected. Kaepernick cannot be arrested nor fined by the government for sitting in protest during the playing of the national anthem. It is his right.

Just as it is his right to be an asshole.

I will not rehash what many conservative pundits have said about how men have died to protect that freedom and the wars fought to give him that freedom, but suffice to say his sitting is a slap in the face to all patriots and all those who have sacrificed for this country. Yes even the black men. It is also a slap in the face to the civil rights movement. If someone intentionally offends a group of people, that person should face consequences. I’m not saying he should be arrested or fined by the government. That would be a violation of his first amendment rights. But the NFL could fine him. The 49ers could bench him. The fans could refuse to attend 49er games out of protest. The manager could put him on waivers. None of these consequences violate the first amendment.

Kaepernick said “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” Now, that is his opinion and he is entitled to it. Clearly, he does not understand that these policemen did not commit murder, they acted in self defense. But Kaepernick has swallowed the media lie hook, line, and sinker and bought into the whole systemic oppression fallacy, like so many liberals have.

He needs to be educated, and a fine from the NFL would hopefully do just that. Don’t expect it to, however. The NFL is anti police anyway. Just ask the Dallas Cowboys, who were denied by the NFL when asking to honor fallen police officers killed during a mass shooting.

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The Fix Is Still In

Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary. How can anyone be surprised by this? Of course he did. His whole campaign was a farce from the get-go; just a dog and pony show to convince the democratic voters that they had a real choice in the election even though the Democratic National Convention had already chosen Hillary eight years ago. The only way she would drop out of the democratic primary in 2008 was if she got the party’s assurance that she would be the candidate this year. It was a done deal and all the media and all the commercials and all the hype of the Sanders’ campaign was smoke. I know the true Sanders supporter will rail at the suggestion that Bernie was not a real candidate and those supporters will trot out poll numbers showing that he did in fact have more popular votes than did Hillary, but that is irrelevant. Sanders was never going to be the Democratic Presidential candidate. I doubt he will even be the running mate.

The only reason Sanders did as well as he did is that Hillary is so damn toxic that even her party faithful can’t abide the idea of her presidency. Only the militant feminist block who would elect typhoid Mary solely on the fact that she possessed a vagina are truly supporting Hillary. Them, and the DNC financial backers, that is. The media will spend the next three months trying to convince us that she is the only person that can lead our country and they will spend millions on media to hide the truth of her misdeeds and minimize her scandals, much the same way they did for Bill in his day.

One interesting tactic that has made an appearance in social media lately is the notion that the media is anti-left. I literally laughed out loud when I read that. There is a headline where Hillary says that the media is undermining democracy, as if there is a machine driving the media against the democrats. The truth is that the leftist media recognizes the problems with a Clinton presidency and are doing the best they can to hide the crimes, but the truth is too big to whitewash over. It’s like painting a blue room white with one coat of paint. The blue is still obvious. So Clinton will smear the media to make it look like they are against her. This is lunacy. The media are the left’s lapdogs. The statement is actually true, but in reverse. Rather than undermining the democrats, the media is undermining the conservative right. Another story claimed that the democrats need to get more control of the media, because they don’t favor the left enough. This is the environment in which we the people find ourselves. We can no longer trust the fifth estate to keep government in check, especially with regard to elections.

So, Sanders is backing Clinton. No surprise there. He is actually on the short list to be her running mate, though I doubt he will get the nod. The only reason he is supporting her nomination is that she publicly stated that she will support his initiatives—free college, free healthcare, etc—on her platform, for what that is worth. Of course, it will only matter if the Dems can regain the house and senate. The scariest thing about a Clinton White House is the potential to fill not only Scalia’s seat, but others who retire from the Supreme Court over the next four years, not to mention her desire to gut the first and second amendments to the constitution.

Be scared America. We’re not out of the woods yet.

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