Monday, August 29, 2016

Colin Kaepernick Takes the Easy Way Out... Victimhood

Colin Kaepernick is certainly an articulate young man. That was obvious from his interaction with the press in the locker room where he faced a phalanx of reporters asking him about his decision to sit through the national anthem to bring attention to the "oppression" of black men. Given that this is the first year he has sat through the national anthem he was asked how his position has evolved over the years. He answered:
“It's something that I've seen, I've felt, wasn't quite sure how to deal with originally. And it is something that's evolved. It's something that as I've gained more knowledge about, what's gone in this country in the past, what's going on currently. These aren't new situations. This isn't new ground. There are things that have gone on in this country for years and years and have never been addressed, and they need to be.” (Emphasis mine.)
When asked if he personally felt oppressed he responded:
There have been situations where I feel like I've been ill-treated, yes. This stand wasn't for me. This stand wasn't because I feel like I'm being put down in any kind of way. This is because I'm seeing things happen to people that don't have a voice, people that don't have a platform to talk and have their voices heard, and effect change. So I'm in the position where I can do that and I'm going to do that for people that can't.
When asked if he’d been asked by management to tone down his comments he replied:
No. No one’s tried to quiet me and, to be honest, it’s not something I’m going to be quiet about. I’m going to speak the truth when I’m asked about it. This isn’t for look. This isn’t for publicity or anything like that. This is for people that don’t have the voice. And this is for people that are being oppressed and need to have equal opportunities to be successful. To provide for families and not live in poor circumstances. 
(Emphasis mine.)
And when asked what needed to change he answered:
There's a lot of things that need to change. One specifically? Police brutality. There's people being murdered unjustly and not being held accountable. People are being given paid leave for killing people. That's not right. That's not right by anyone's standards.  (Emphasis mine.)  Full transcript here.
Kaepernick may indeed be articulate, but alas, he’s a fool. Abraham Lincoln had it right: "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” What makes Kaepernick a fool? The fact that he parrots the Black Lives Matter lies that black men in America are oppressed and are unable to provide for their families and escape poverty because of police brutality.

Black men may indeed be oppressed by the government, but it’s not in the way Kaepernick suggests. It’s by government welfare programs that destroy families and make unwed motherhood a viable choice. It’s by the education bureaucracy that walks in lockstep with teacher’s unions and keeps inner city children from getting a decent education. It’s the myriad labor regulations that make it inefficient for businesses to hire young black men with little experience and give them an entry into the working world. And the consequence of all of these government programs is that young black men do indeed have a difficult time escaping poverty and all too often are ending up dead… but it’s mostly not at the hands of police, but rather at the hands of other young black men.

But that’s not what Kaepernick is protesting. That’s not what Kaepernick wants to change. That’s not what Kaepernick is lending his voice to the voiceless for. No, Kaepernick would rather focus on the tiny fraction of police interactions that result in the bloodshed of innocent black men. Why? Because singling out police is an easy answer to a complex problem. Like so many men of the left, Kaepernick isn’t interested in actually solving problems, he’s interested in making himself feel good about talking about them. To the left results don’t matter, outcomes don’t matter. What actually works doesn’t really matter. If it did, Kaepernick and his BLM friends would be protesting for more police in their communities, they would be protesting to throw out the teacher’s unions, they would be protesting minimum wage hikes that make it economically impossible to hire and train uneducated young men with no work experience. They would be calling for longer sentences for criminals, everyone from murders to kids involved in flash mob violence. They would be focusing on character programs and strengthening families rather than protesting police and shutting down highways.

Black men do indeed have challenges in America, but the truth is, like everyone else, they have opportunities as well. No place in human history have black men or yellow men or white men or any other men had the opportunity for success they do in the United States, regardless of their background, station, race or religion.  Colin Kaepernick has been able to take advantage of those opportunities like few others have, black or white. By foolishly choosing this position he betrays all of those young black men who understand that with good character, hard work and perseverance anyone has an opportunity to succeed in America. If black America is to be saved, it will be those men who do it, not the fools like Kaepernick and his BLM friends who would rather perpetuate a mentality of victimhood and oppression.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Thoughts on Trump - When Life Gives You Lemons...

While I’ve come to despise Donald Trump, I hope he wins in November…

Donald Trump is a lying, manipulating, protectionist big government Democrat. I’ll still be voting for him, however, because Hillary Clinton is all of that and more. She will keep the welcome mat open for illegal immigrants from all sorts of 3rd world countries in order to create more Democrat voters. Donald Trump at least claims that he will build a wall along the southern border and tighten immigration from places rampant with Islamic terror.

The other critical issue is the Supreme Court. Donald Trump released a list of potential Supreme Court nominees that has pleased many conservatives. He has stated on numerous occasions that he plans on nominating conservatives to the Supreme Court. He may not, but we know for a fact that Hillary Clinton will nominate nothing but hardcore leftists in the vein of Justice Ginsberg and Justice Sotomayor.

Together immigration and the Supreme Court are the two biggest issues on the ballot in November. Between working to turn the US into a lefty paradise of a failed 3rd world country and eviscerating the freedoms contained in the Bill of Rights, I’m not sure the country can survive another four years of the statist Obama agenda. On both issues Donald Trump claims he will do the right thing while Hillary Clinton will do the exact opposite. As a known liar we may indeed be disappointed by Trump, but at least there is a chance he will keep his word and do the right thing. With Clinton there is zero chance.

Of course, one has to wonder if Donald Trump really wants to be President. He’s been running for the job for a year – and on and off numerous times before that – but he doesn’t seem to be interested in winning. Since he secured the nomination almost three months ago, and since the convention one month ago, Trump has focused almost all of his attention on his GOP critics and the media, rather than Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton is possibly the worst candidate the Democrats have ever nominated. Apart from her demonstrated incompetence, her treachery over Benghazi, her lies about her email server, her slush fund known as the Clinton Foundation and the fact that voters seem to barely be able to tolerate her, she’s a superstar. But somehow Donald Trump has figured out how to trail someone who would probably lose to “None of the Above” if that was the only other choice. Although his trip to Louisiana and his recent mea culpa were steps in the right direction, it remains to be seen if those are the beginning of a focused campaign to win or merely a feint in a long term plan to lose.

And of course it’s comical that I get emails every day from the Trump campaign seeking money. I will never send Donald Trump a single dollar. Why? Because he’s the one who brags that he’s worth $10 billion and that he’d be the only guy in the race funding his own campaign. It’s not that I wouldn’t want to help keep Clinton out of the White House, I do, but there’s no chance I would send the Trump Campaign money that they would simply use to attack Ted Cruz or the media or some other pointless ego salving debacle rather than focus on Clinton. The truth is, if I had $10 billion in the bank, I’d be more than happy to spend at least $9 billion of it winning the presidency, because while making lots money is no doubt fun – I imagine – saving the greatest nation in history is truly something exceptional.

Donald Trumps’s basic problem isn’t that he can’t attract moderates… his problem is that much of the conservative base – this writer included – pretty much hate him. While I’ll be voting for him, lots of others, particularly those in the Never Trump camp won’t be. If he can’t get his base out, he loses going away. There are simply not that many union members disaffected enough with the Democrats to make up for tepid support from the base.

My suggestion to Trump, if he wants to reengage conservatives, would be to release a list of his intended cabinet nominees, at least for those appointments conservatives care about. For Secretary of State, John Bolton, for Secretary of Defense, the slightly damaged David Petraeus, Rudy Guiliani for Attorney General… maybe. There are others too, such as perhaps Michelle Rhee for Education Secretary and others focused on streamlining government for positions in the EPA, the Department of Energy and the IRS. The ranks of the American Enterprise Institute, the Mises Institute and the American Center for Law and Justice would be great places to start.

Of course this might not be enough and those people might not accept anyway… but the reality is, Donald Trump has to get conservatives and the Never Trump people to hold their noses and pull the lever for him, otherwise it’s President Clinton all over again. And that really is the point. I’ve pretty much come to despise Donald Trump, half for everything he’s done and half for the stupidity of the GOP establishment for foisting him on us, but as much as I despise him, I love my country more, and while I’m leery of what he might do, I’m downright frightened that the country can’t survive what I know Hillary Clinton will do.

And finally, there is impeachment.  If Clinton were to get in, there is less than zero chance she would be impeached and convicted, regardless of what she might do.  She could literally set fire to the Constitution and she'd have no problem.  Trump however is a different story.  If gets into office and he steps out of line, or the Trump University comes back with a loss, there is a real possibility of impeachment and conviction as both Democrats and many Republicans would be happy to vote for both...

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.  Donald Trump is lemonade.  Hillary Clinton is lemonade laced with strychnine... I'll take the regular lemonade, please.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Hillary Clinton: Where George Orwell Meets the Borg...

A few months ago, with his usual hyperbole Donald Trump boasted that he could shoot someone in the middle of 5th Avenue and his supporters would still vote for him. Sadly, I think he’s probably right. What’s becoming more apparent every day however is that Hillary Clinton could probably make the same boast with equal accuracy.

Why do I say that? Well, the first point is that Clinton is the nominee at all. Given the disaster Libya has become, given the events of Benghazi in 2012 and her proven lies about it, given the fact that ISIS is a direct result of the Obama Administration’s exit from Iraq – during her tenure – one has to wonder how she even made it past the first set of primaries. How is it that there was no other candidate who could come even close to beating her? While the cards were in fact stacked in her favor, while Bernie Sanders appealed to a small segment of the Democrat party, elsewhere there was never any real clamor for another candidate. Ask yourself, if Benghazi had been a GOP operation, would the Secretary of State overseeing it have been the GOP nominee four years later? Can you imagine the withering attacks he or she would have endured from the press? No chance they would have survived past March. Can you imagine the grilling a GOP Sec of State would take if he told the parents of one of the dead a lie just moments before telling her family the truth, then turned around and lied to the nation? Of course… but Clinton had to face none of that.

Next, her email problems have been in the air for years. It’s obvious to anyone other than the willingly blind that she set up that server for the specific purpose of hiding her correspondence from the prying eyes of Congress and pesky reporters with the FOI requests. And as has now been proven beyond a reasonable doubt, she lied to Congress and the American people and maybe even the FBI about her handling of Top Secret information. How is it possible that supporters feel that someone who has such little regard for American secrets should be in charge of the entire American intelligence apparatus? The security apparatus? The justice apparatus? Can you imagine the press coverage if a Republican was responsible for a breach that may have caused the death of an Iranian scientist helping the United States? With Clinton, little more than crickets.

How about the Russian Reset? Clinton famously kicked off the Russian Reset which was supposed to begin a new cooperative friendship between the US and Russia. Since then Russia has been anything but friendly. They’ve hacked American government computers, used gas as a weapon to intimidate Europe, they’ve threatened the Baltics and they’ve been harassing American diplomats across Europe. And don’t forget, a year after she left office our new Russian friends invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea, That certainly seems like she built a strong foundation of friendship.

And finally then there’s the Clinton Foundation, that billion dollar vehicle largely funded by groups – read Wall Street banks and Middle Eastern governments – who are ostensibly anathema to her basic “principles” of support for the middle class and poor against the rich and support for gay rights. The fact that the foundation seems to be little more than a vehicle for enriching the Clintons, and is now under investigation by the FBI, New York, Washington and Little Rock seems to bother no one on the left.

Getting back to the shooting of someone on 5th Avenue. Hillary Clinton is not Donald Trump. While they both may be lying, manipulative Democrats, that’s not the point. He sits at the head of a cult of personality that animates thousands of people to show up for his rallies. She is at the head of a borg where the hundreds of people who attend her rallies look as if they are punching the clock and can’t wait for the end of day whistle. If he were to die the air in the Trump movement would dissipate quickly and the GOP would find itself struggling to find a replacement who could carry the party to victory. If, on the other hand, Hillary Clinton were to die the Democrats would simply push her corpse to the side, take down the generic Clinton logo and put in her place the next functionary and things would move forward as if nothing had happened.

And that’s the point. Hillary Clinton is not inspiring anyone. She is taking her turn. She is the opposition of anything that is proffered by the GOP, regardless of who they trot out. (You may think their demonizing is Trump specific… It’s not. Remember what they did to Mitt Romney.) Like the mind numbed audience in Apple’s debut commercial in 1984… or the zombies in book itself, Democrats step in and vote for whoever is on the ticket, regardless of who that person is. And in this case of it’s Hillary Clinton. It’ doesn’t really matter what she’s done, what she’s “accomplished’ or what she stands for – if anything – the only thing that matters is that she’s not the Republican. If there was video of Clinton shooting the guy on 5th Avenue could she really still get elected and would the robot Democrats vote for her anyway? If the guy was wearing a Trump shirt I’m pretty sure they would. One has to wonder what the playing field would look like if the GOP had nominated a real conservative to oppose the borg...

Monday, August 8, 2016

The Trump Campaign for the White House: When Losing Means Winning

I don’t know what to think about Donald Trump… I was a big fan last year when he stormed the race with his vow to build a wall. I wasn’t a Trump supporter but I was very thankful that he put the issue of illegal immigration front and center of the race, exactly where it needed to be.

As the campaign wore on and contenders started dropping out I began to get a little worried but I was confident that Ted Cruz, the only real conservative in the race, would prevail. Little did I know that the dunces running the GOP would allow Democrats to pick their nominee. But alas, that’s exactly what happened and today we have a Democrat as the GOP nominee. And before someone mentions that Ronald Reagan was a Democrat for decades, yes, it’s true, but he not only became a Republican, but he became an actual conservative, which is the polar opposite of Donald Trump. Can you imagine Donald Trump coming up with this: “The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help”? Not likely. The truth is, with Trump we simply don’t know what’s behind the eyebrows…

On the one hand we know that Donald Trump has probably the biggest ego on the planet. Although born with a giant platinum spoon in his mouth, he has indeed taken that spoon and turned it into a full dining set. You may not like how he did it, but he did actually do it, all the while spending thirty years telling America he’s the greatest businessman on the planet. That’s hyperbole of course, but whatever the actual size of his bank account he’s done spectacularly well. But the question is, does this guy with the giant sized ego really want to be president?

On the one hand, it appears to be yes. He’s declared he’s running and he’s actually won the GOP nomination. The presidency is easily the most powerful job in the world, and if someone wanted to write a legacy worthy of the history books it’s a lot easier to do from the White House than it is from some random shiny tower on 5th Avenue.

But of course, with the potential to join the pantheon of names like Lincoln, FDR and Reagan comes the potential for abject failure too… think Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama. While history has lionized the former, the latter have and will become poster children for failure or worse. And the problem for Donald Trump is that bankruptcy laws won’t allow him to simply wash his hands of such failures. He won’t be able to simply rename failure as success and ride off into the sunset to the praises of the chattering classes… he’s not, after all, Barack Obama.

But becoming a great president requires more than inspiring a cult following among a small segment of nominally Republican voters. It requires the successful running of the largest organization in the United States and managing the largest budget on the planet… all while keeping the economy from falling off a cliff and ideally keeping the country safe and ideally out of a war or wars. The government of the United States is far more complex than building a few buildings, signing a licensing agreement or convincing some gullible would be entrepreneurs into taking your real estate courses. And under the glare and scrutiny of a press salivating at the idea of chronicling the mistakes of any “GOP” politician, a bankruptcy filing or tax abatement won’t be able to hide Trump’s failures. Which may be why he reportedly offered to let John Kasich run domestic policy if he took the VP job. Is Trump scared he won’t be able to actually succeed? Trump may love to talk about – rather than actually disclose – his net worth, but he knows that his path to riches was a narrow one with lots of help and an ability to intimidate opponents into quiet submission. He also knows he will have no such luxury in the White House. There he will actually have to succeed rather than just talk about it… again, he’s no Barack Obama. Trying to engineer success on that scale might simply be too intimidating to really want the job.

Which might be why some suggest he’s not really in it to win it. To wit, rather than attacking his opponent Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump has spent the lion’s share of the post convention period attacking and alienating the very people he needs on his side in order to win like Ted Cruz and Paul Ryan. In addition, he has suffered self inflicted wounds such as occurred when he engaged in a war of words with a Gold Star family. Khan may have been wrong, but the optics of a man who got five deferments during Vietnam fighting with a family who sacrificed their son on the battlefield are lost on Trump. Is it possible that Trump got into the race on a lark and stayed in simply so he could prove that he could win? Now that he’s on the big stage and has to contemplate what it means to actually govern rather than just talk about it, would he rather spend the next three months doing the Donald Trump show rather than running a disciplined campaign because he knows he can chalk up his defeat to a rigged election?

Finally there are the allegations from Trump that the vote is going to be rigged against him. Is he setting himself up to lose, purposefully? Some believe that Trump is simply a Clinton plant. That is, frankly, easy to believe. Given the chameleon like fluidity with which he transformed from embracing a Clinton embracing Democrat to an ostensibly Clinton opposing Republican, it would be nothing to publically announce a mea culpa after her inauguration and go back to being a friend of Clinton and reap the windfall that comes with helping put her in the White House. He will have in one stroke eviscerated the GOP and put a longtime friend in the White House. From the perspective of a man who has made billions from crony capitalism, this is getting the keys to the kingdom.

Whether driven by a lack of desire or in coordination with the Democrat party, losing the presidential race offers Donald Trump the potential to put a stamp on history’s accounting of him. In addition to being the greatest businessman in history, he can become the aggrieved hero who wanted to save America but who was undermined by the entrenched political establishment. For a man who more than anything loves to tell tales about his exploits and to whom hyperbole is second nature, the allure of “What if” or “I would have” is that there is no limit to how great his accomplishments would have been if he’d only been given a fair chance... And the bonus is… he doesn’t actually have to accomplish anything and no one can ever prove him wrong. I’m not sure the prospect of actually taking the job, with the ancillary risks of failure and requirements for actual results can hold a candle to that…

Monday, August 1, 2016

America's Game of Russian Roulette: Clinton vs. Trump or Revolution vs. War

I remember in 2008 I told my wife that that presidential election was the most important in a generation. I told her in 2012 that that election was the most important in my lifetime. Both of those statements were completely true. In putting Barack Obama in the White House, for the first time Americans elected a race bating closet Muslim socialist / fascist as the leader of the free world. That is of course unfortunate in many ways for many people around the world. Not only has the American economy been stuck in the worst recession in 65 years, race relations are the worst they’ve been in 50 years, our borders are practically nonexistent, freedom and the Constitution are under constant attack and the image of the United States as a leader on the world stages is in tatters.

Now it’s possible that the election of 2016 is even more important, but sadly there is no relative superhero like John McCain or Mittens Romney on the ticket. I was against both of those squishy centrist candidates from the start and would have much preferred to have an actual conservative on the ticket… but alas it was not to happen.

It was with great expectations that I looked forward to the 2016 campaign as finally an opportunity for a true conservative to emerge from the mosh pit and lead the nation to a victory over the cancer of today’s Democrat party. Unfortunately however that did not happen. Between the GOP establishment’s incompetence and fear of a real conservative, as well as the media’s love of ratings – and that includes the so called “conservative” media – today we have Donald Trump as the standard bearer for the party of Ronald Reagan.

And so it is that Americans, with a population of over 320 million people have put themselves in a situation where the only two people with a realistic chance of becoming the leader of the free world are a lying big government socialist and an uninformed narcissistic thin skinned crony capitalist with no love for freedom. This is essentially the opposite of winning the lottery. Americans have somehow managed to put themselves in a game of Russian Roulette where all of the chambers have rounds in them!

While the elections of 2008 and 2012 set the nation on the road to ruin in terms of economic stagnation, stultifying regulation, the undermining of the Constitution and eviscerating America’s position as leader of the free world, the election of 2016 will have even more devastating effects.

The election of Hillary Clinton will result in the continuation of the policies of Barack Obama, only on steroids. We will get a Supreme Court that will look to the UN charter rather than the US Constitution. We will get continued and increasing regulation which suffocates prosperity and entrepreneurship but which helps big business. We will get increases in taxes, skyrocketing government spending and more race bating. And perhaps most of all, we will surrender our borders and will transform our nation into a refuge from which immigrants can escape the third world only to then work to turn our country into a mirror reflection of said third world.

The election of Donald Trump will give us a crapshoot of broken promises, protectionism, and isolation. At the same time the 1st Amendment may go by way of the dodo bird while regulation will likely grow for the benefit of big businesses and at the expense of entrepreneurs. More ominously, a Donald Trump presidency will create great divisions between the United States and our NATO allies and others who have helped maintain a relative peace for much of the last half century. As the increasingly bellicose Chinese and Russians seek to expand their spheres of influence, the world will watch a President Trump seek to pull back the American footprint. Osama Bin Laden once said “When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature, they will like the strong horse”. In this case the strong horses will be China and Russia, and that does not bode well for freedom or peace for anyone.

So at the end of the day, Americans have a choice to make, and neither is a good one.

The first option will put Hillary Clinton in the White House, and that will lead to a fracturing of the nation, along lines of race, along lines of income, along geographic lines and fundamentally about an understanding of the Constitution and freedom. And that fracturing could very well lead to revolution. And not a theoretical revolution played out in newsrooms and college campuses and on the editorial pages of the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. No, this may indeed turn out to be a real revolution where people revolt against the tyranny of an economically and culturally oppressive government and a dearth of opportunity of any kind. It won’t show itself by a fife and drum corps marching down Main Street. No, it will be in the shadows as more police are targeted, more citizens take matters into their own hands and order starts to come apart while an increasingly militarized police force seeks to keep things in check. This revolution will look a lot more like the one that started in France in 1789 than the one that started in the colonies in 1776.

The second option will put Donald Trump in the White House and that will lead to a calcifying of the American economy, estrangement between the US and erstwhile allies, and at some point, war. And this war will not be a guerilla war fought against jihadis seeking to bring about the caliphate. No, this war will be against Russia or China. As Trump and his little hands pull back from the world stage, the Russians and Chinese will seek to expand their empires, taking Ukraine and Taiwan respectively. In both cases Trump will likely acquiesce, which will only lead to further expansion such as with the Baltics in the case of Russia and any one of half a dozen other countries or islands in the case of China. At some point the threat will become sufficiently ominous and American allies so vocal that the United States will have to engage. And unlike Korea or Vietnam or Afghanistan in the 1980s, this will not be a proxy war limited to some theater most Americans couldn’t find on a map if their lives depended on it. No, this will be a real, hot war with sophisticated enemies throwing billions of dollars of weapons at one another. One can only hope that such a conflict stays conventional…

So as we stumble towards the 2016 election Americans should be aware… they have left themselves with not only no good options, but only terrible options, both of which will likely lead to much bloodshed, chaos and possibly the end of the Republic. Good job Rush, Matt Drudge and the GOP establishment. When your country needed you, you decided to whore yourselves out to a populist megalomaniac. The citizens of dystopia in America’s future will no doubt be quite grateful to you.