Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

voting 2016-05-24 10.24.11Today is what some might consider a “minor” voting day in Georgia, in that it’s a local general election/primary poll. No one is voting for president, the US Senators and Representatives on the ballot are only battling other members of their own party, and most of the candidates for lower offices are unchallenged. But we still have a responsibility to fulfill today.

The notion that “voting is a right” has long been a matter of debate. What is not up for debate is that it is a civic duty. But our first and foremost civic duty is to be informed, aware, invested, contributing members of society.

I implore you: keep America’s integrity intact. Do not attempt to  fulfill your duty at the ballot box until you have first fulfilled those other important duties. If you have not done the research, it is instead your duty to stay away from the polls. We don’t need the ignorant, the half-awake and the barely involved deciding our future.

Two great things in one: a) Kids In The Hall and 2) mocking Social Justice Warriors.

TakeTheKeys

If you won’t give me the keys, don’t get mad if I get out of the car.

In the days leading up to the Indiana primary last week, being a Cruz supporter felt like being the only sober person trapped in a car full of loud, mean, uninhibited drunks, and no one will let you drive. I have never been so embarrassed about my country and disgusted with my countrymen – or more accurately, a specific majority of them. American culture has been so debased that 71% of those who voted in Indiana cast a ballot for either a criminal, a communist, or a con-man. They knew it, and they did it anyway.

Now we are left with Trump or Clinton; simply put, our choice is between the evils of two lessers. Eventually the carload of drunks are going to sober up and discover we have wandered into communist East Germany without passports. When they do, they’ll blame it on all the other drunks, and even us sober folks. Then they will look for a solution, and all we’ll be able to say is, “You killed it Tarzan, you eat it.”

The Trumpaloompas are annoyed and surprised that #NeverTrump movement is still there, but they shouldn’t be. It was a clear “here I stand, no matter what” pledge. It is more appropriate to be annoyed by the assertion that refusing to vote for Trump means you will vote for Clinton.* But maybe we don’t have to choose between the evils of two lessers. I usually reject an either/or premise, as it is often a classic logical fallacy of “insufficient options”. There are nearly always more than two ways.

There have been several news items reporting a sharp rise in Libertarian Party interest, discussions of independent third party runs, pledges for write-in campaigns, and other such stirrings among the disaffected. It would be a much-needed miracle for our Republic if a movement like that showed a realistic chance of making a difference. At the moment it seems to be only a pipe dream. So while I am hopeful, I am also skeptical. Time will tell. Without it, we really will find ourselves with insufficient options, and the only remaining fallacy will be the notion that casting a vote makes any difference at all.

 

#NeverHillary #NeverTrump #john1633

*Another assertion is that to vote for neither Trump nor Clinton will create by default a Clinton win. This is simply false; Clinton won when Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee. That’s exactly what #NeverTrump was trying to prevent.

Predictions on Election 2016

Posted: April 29, 2016 in Politics
Tags: ,

A few of my predictions following the 4/26/2016 primaries and the announcement of Ted Cruz running mate Carly Fiorina:

 

donald-turmp-ted-cruz

Donald Trump and Ted Cruz [REUTERS/Mike Blake]

Trump will spend the last week before the Indiana primary trying to convince everyone that the race is over, since he is the last one not mathematically eliminated from a first-vote win at the Cleveland convention. He will refuse to acknowledge that he will also be eliminated after he loses in the upcoming Indiana or California primaries. The GOP establishment and main stream media assist with this narrative.

Cruz will win big in Indiana on 5/3. It will be the start of some serious victory momentum which will bring out the long knives from Trump’s campaign, mainstream media, the Trumpaloompas, and other liberals.

Cruz will do well in California. By the time California’s primary ends on 6/7, Trump will also be mathematically eliminated from getting the 1,237 delegates he needs.

The Trump campaign will try to steal the nomination by insisting on rule changes from “must win a simple majority” to “most votes on the first ballot”. He or his mouthpieces will claim widespread corruption and use veiled threats to intimidate the GOP into cheating Cruz out of a delegate battle. John Boehner decides that the GOP caving in is his opportunity to get rid of Cruz and joins forces with the Trump campaign.

Trump will lose delegates on the second* vote at the convention and (if necessary) every vote thereafter until Cruz becomes the nominee. This will largely be because Trump failed to court those who originally backed Rubio, Carson, Kasich, Bush, Christie, Fiorina, Paul, Walker, Perry, Santorum, and Huckabee (essentially telling them “These voters, the 35% that chose me, represent the will of the people; and the rest of you, the 65%, do not – so sit down and shut up and let me win”).

The Trumpaloompas will riot and spew, and the world will be disgusted at the state of US political discourse. Democrats will campaign on how awful GOP politics is and will use Trump’s sound bites in their ads. Trump will hint at a third-party run, which by this time even his most rabid backers will ignore.

By mid-August (or at the latest, a week after the first Cruz/Clinton debate) Cruz will handily be polling 10-15% higher than Clinton.

By late October, it will be obvious that the Cruz/Fiorina ticket will win a landslide.

On November 8, Clinton will pull out a surprise win. The investigation into the well-documented massive voter fraud will immediately be halted by executive order. Bloggers, politicians, and other dissenting voices will be audited, and unless they acquiesce, jailed. Her most egregious attempts at despotism are rebuffed by veto-proof Republican majorities in the House and Senate.

(Okay, that last item may be a little too far out in the future to be accurate, but given the history of Democrat duplicity, we’ll just have to see what happens.)

 

*POSSIBLE ALTERNATIVE PREDICTION: Through some bizarre fluke of history (i.e. untimely death, plague, alien invasion, apocalyptic rapture) Cruz cannot continue his campaign all the way to the GOP convention and Trump exceeds 1,237 delegates on the second vote, winning the nomination. The Trump/Clinton debates achieve the impossible: by comparing them side-by-side, Trump makes Clinton look Presidential. Clinton is elected president in November and down-ballot the Democrats sweep the House and Senate in landslide victories. Western civilization succumbs to tyranny and degenerates into tiny fiefdoms across the globe. Just days before all the Universities are shuttered, analysts prove that a third-party bid (by any candidate at all) would have put the electoral college into play and avoided this disaster. The smoke from the fires of thousands of cities and towns blots out the sun, bringing on a new ice age. The end of life as we know it.

And Then My Head Exploded

Posted: March 22, 2013 in Politics
Tags: ,

guncontrol01A friend of mine (acquaintance, really, but I like the guy – he always seemed nice) recently posted this on Facebook:

I am not surprised by Sen Harry Reid’s treatment of “the gun bill.” Afterall his job is to get bills passed that are of interest to the Democratic Party and, in his case, the NRA’s thousands of dollars in Mr Reid’s campaign war chest. “The gun bill” will indeed be a fight up a very steep hill requiring continuing strong moral conviction, stick-to-it-tive-ness, convincing oratory, genius, and memory of the murdered children of Sandy Hook.

This time we had better not let our Congressmen go it alone. They need continuing encouragement and input from the rest of us. Join me in letting them know we want a US without killer weapons in anybody’s hands but the military and police. Remember the children.

I try to paint people in the best possible light – and so I nearly convinced myself he was being ironic, satirical or sarcastic. But it’s pretty clear: my friend is an idiot.

I nearly responded publicly to his post. I did not – not because I am afraid of repurcussions, but because I did not want to hurt my friend, or be seen as attacking his opinion. I typed a few things in as a reply, and good sense prevailed and I canceled my attempt at reason. You cannot change someone’s mind when they have their head that far up their ideology.

guncontrol02My favorite non-posted reply: “I cannot join you in your misguided dream of a US without “killer weapons” in anybody’s hands but the military and police. Tyrannies bloom and thrive in that atmosphere. Ever heard of China? Do you have the slightest idea how many millions have died because of that disparity of force? Even the most altruistic government will soon degrade into despotism if there is no barrier to it. Our founders understood this, largely because they had lived under a despotic ruler – and hoped to prevent his kind ever gaining a foothold again. You want a US in which only the government has weapons? The mere idea horrifies me.”

Annoying My Facebook Friends

Posted: January 16, 2013 in Fun, Politics

kindleI have been known to post political links, comments, cartoons and observations on Facebook from time to time. Many of my friends there are ideologically akin in our thoughts and beliefs, and enjoy the posts. A few of my friends are ideologically opposite to me, so I try not to be inflammatory when I post things. A few other friends find politics so distasteful that they object not to the specific content, but to the entire genre. I don’t wish to annoy anyone with my comments, so I give some thought to what I post. I wish others would do the same with more regularity – I have “unfriended” one or two people for the simple reason that they blasted every vapid thought in their head out to the world. It got annoying.

I’ve decided to keep my heavily partisan comments and posts here at this blog. Unlike Facebook, you already know what you’re getting, here.

I received a Kindle Fire for Christmas. One of my favorite features is the ability to send news articles, blog posts and editorials to my Kindle when I’m on my PC browsing Drudge, Townhall or National Review, so I can read the articles later. Kindle also allows me to highlight text in those articles and add my own notes. I haven’t quite worked out how useful this is, so this blog post is something of an experiment. Here are some of my recently highlighted items.

The Tea Party 2.0 by Scottie Hughes

…[In response to the mortgage bailout of early 2009,] millions of folks were united under the founding principles of the Tea Party: limited federal government, the protection of individual freedoms and choices, personal responsibility and accountability, returning political power to the states and the people and most important a free market system.

The need for those principles is only more urgent four years into the Obama presidency.   I believe the number of Americans who believe in those tents has increased over that time period, even if they do not call themselves members of the “tea party.”

The Case for More Guns (and More Gun Control) by Jeffrey Goldberg

…A survey of almost 2,000 convicted U.S. felons, conducted by the criminologists Peter Rossi and James D. Wright in the late ’80s, concluded that burglars are more afraid of armed homeowners than they are of arrest by the police.

…guns were used defensively between 830,000 and 2.45 million times each year. In only a minority of these cases was a gun fired; the brandishing of a gun in front of a would-be mugger or burglar is usually enough to abort a crime in progress.

…universities also acknowledge that they are unable to protect their students from lethal assault. How do they do this? By recommending measures that students and faculty members can take if confronted by an “active shooter,” as in the massacre at Virginia Tech.

…Otterbein University, in Ohio, tells students to “breathe to manage your fear” and informs them, “You may have to take the offensive if the shooter(s) enter your area. Gather weapons (pens, pencils, books, chairs, etc.) and mentally prepare your attack.”

West Virginia University advises students that if the situation is dire, they should “act with physical aggression and throw items at the active shooter.” These items could include “student desks, keys, shoes, belts, books, cell phones, iPods, book bags, laptops, pens, pencils, etc.”

“As a security measure, it doesn’t seem like advertising that fact is a good idea,” Adam Winkler says of avowedly gun-free campuses…

…opponents of concealed carry “make an emotional argument rather than a logical one. No one could show me any study that concealed carry leads to more crime and more violence.

[Dave Kopel says,] “Telling the population that they are incapable of owning a tool that can be dangerous means you are creating a population that loses its self-reliance and increasingly sees itself as wards of the state.” James Alderden put it another way: “Your position on concealed-carry permits has a lot to do with your position on the reliability and sanity of your fellow man.”

…encouraging learned helplessness is morally corrupt…

[Even moderate gun-control activist Dan Gross] pointed out some of the obvious flaws in concealed-carry laws, such as too-lax training standards and too much discretionary power on the part of local law-enforcement officials. [Personal note: Libertarians posit that any authority granted to government should be granted at the most local level possible.]

The GOP — Not a Club For Christians by Johan Goldberg

A few years ago, Robert Putnam, a liberal sociologist, reported this finding: As racial and ethnic diversity increases, social trust and cohesion plummets. “Trust (even of one’s own race) is lower, altruism and community cooperation rarer, friends fewer,” Putnam found… The villain isn’t racism or bigotry or anything so simple. The phenomenon is much more complex… Part of the explanation stems from the fact that people with shared experiences and cultures draw strength from working together, whereas with strangers, language often becomes guarded, intentions questioned.

Notes on ‘Not a Christian Club’ by Jonah Goldberg

Ask, say, a Catholic charity to put its faith on the back burner to accommodate atheist or Jewish volunteers, and you’ll get more diversity but less esprit de corps. It’s not because Catholics are bigots, far from it. It’s just that certain groups attract people with shared values, cultures, and experiences. Take away that appeal, and you take away the appeal for many of the most loyal and dedicated members.

What unites these groups, and dominates their discussions,  is a love of country and a commitment to conservative and libertarian principles. The diversity of adding a few non-Christians to the room has no significant effect on the groups’ cohesion. (But, just to bolster my point about diversity, if you added some people to the room who didn’t like America or who were, say,  socialists, the only things left to talk about that wouldn’t sow discord would be the weather or sports).

Obama to Boehner: “We Don’t Have a Spending Problem” by Guy Benson

…consider Obama’s mindset on America’s unsustainable government outlays.  “We don’t have a spending problem” are the words of a cloistered ideologue, considering the incontrovertible evidence.  It’s actually frightening.

For Obama, the Economy Never Comes First by Byron York

In November, the federal government’s measure of those unemployed who are looking for work, plus those who want to work but have lost hope, was 14.4 percent.

Don’t Tread on Six-Toed Cats by Jonah Goldberg

After a decade of squabbling, a federal appeals court recently sided with the Obama administration, ruling the [Hemingway Museum in Key West] must comply with the federal [Department of Agriculture] diktat or get rid of the cats [which have become a tourist attraction]. To be fair, maybe the cats are a problem. But you know what? If they are, they’re not my problem. I don’t live in Key West. In other words, what on earth is Washington doing setting cat policy — polydactyl or otherwise — for Key West, Fla.?

Occupy Best Buy?

Posted: November 24, 2011 in Life, Politics
Tags: , , , ,

I found myself driving to Best Buy on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving because my printer had run out of ink, and Best Buy has a regular Wednesday printer ink discount. This in itself is brings up an annoying memory. The last time I had to buy ink was on a Tuesday about a month ago. The under-educated teen at the register was friendly enough, and chirpily informed me of their weekly Wednesday ink specials – but not until after she had already rung up and bagged my purchase. File that under “information I could have used five minutes earlier.”

So in this distracted state of mind I approached the store and found these occupiers camped out on the sidewalk in front. Three thoughts flashed through my mind in a second: a) store display – Best Buy sells camping equipment?  b) the occupy movement hates Best Buy because the evil corporate profits and the quasi-religious holiday pandering is fully embodied in their “Buyer Be Happy” slogan?  c) there are people with nothing better to do than to camp out for two days to save $50 on a crappy made-in-China television set?

I found my ink, went to the registers and asked the cashier (not the same one as before, but her spiritual twin) about the squatters.

Cashier: Find everything?
Me: Yeah, I –
Cashier: Are you a Best Buy Rewards member?
Me: No. Did you –
Cashier: Would you like to become one?
Me: Uh, no. Are those kids out front waiting for Black Friday?
Cashier: (nods amicably)
Me: Is there anything in the store on Friday that isn’t here already?
Cashier: (shakes head amicably)
Me: So, why are they out there, exactly?
Cashier: (shrugs amicably and hands me my bag)
Me: Thanks. Enjoy your Thanksgiving weekend.
Cashier: ‘K. Bye!

I have had more stimulating conversations with store clerks than that (I’ve had more stimulating conversations with my cat, now that I think about it).  But I knew that she was an intellectual giant compared to the concrete campers out front. That’s a given if they were actually “occupiers”, but even if they were shoppers it becomes quickly apparent. Being a cashier, she can presumably do this sixth grade math (and I’ll be very generous with the numbers in this example): $150 savings divided by 30 hours equals $5/hour.

So I have the same question for them whether they are there to “occupy” or for Black Friday: Isn’t there anything more useful (or as some would say, profitable) you could be doing with yourself?