December 30, 2016

Re-imagining Veteran's Affairs

I've been thinking about Veteran's Affairs quite a bit recently. After all, it has been in the news almost daily as a tiny subset of the many problems President-elect Donald Trump has promised to pro-actively address once he takes office. The current Veteran's Administration is a vast federal bureaucracy that like all government bureaucracies no longer exists to serve veterans. The core problem with any government bureaucracy is that once the bureaucrats develop a taste for power and easy money the bureaucracy becomes self-perpetuating and self-expanding, constantly expanding funds for the bureaucrat's pay and benefits while shrinking funds devoted to providing the services they were set up to provide. Eventually we have the situation we have now, where VA hospitals cannot afford tongue suppressors or toilet paper but every year the bureaucrats get a 4% annual pay raise. Even worse, like all government bureaucracies, the operations have been slowly grinding down to a complete stop. Streamlined services and efficient resource allocation are never a feature of government bureaucracies and the current Veteran's Administration is certain proof.

There are two core problems with the Veteran's Administration: identifying veterans and then providing their services to those veterans. Now it might seem obvious and simplistic to state the problems in this way, but there is a key reality here that must be addressed before genuine reform can take place. The first problem, and the most difficult to address, is correctly identifying who is and who is not a veteran. As a result, elaborate systems are in place to identify veterans, triage those veterans into priority need groups, and then find ways to deliver services to those veterans whose needs are determined to be of the highest priority. In order to prove you are a veteran, you must take your DD214 or a certified copy of it down to a Veteran's Administration office along with identification proving you are the veteran named in the DD214. If you move, you must go through this process again and re-register at the VA office in your new city. Because of poor computerization and communication, your records may or may not manage to follow you from one place to another. If something happens while you are traveling, things rapidly become even more complicated. Worst of all, in an emergency when there is no VA hospital or VA representative, you can find yourself forced into commercial hospitals, private clinics, and so on. It might surprise most people to learn that the Veterans Administration actually offers a huge range of services beyond simple healthcare. The problem is, not all of those services are available in every office and most people within the Veterans Administration itself cannot seem to see beyond providing healthcare. As a result, we wind up with an estimated 50,000 homeless veterans that cannot receive healthcare, financial services, counselling services, or job placement services so we casually dismiss them as having "fallen through the cracks."

There are two key solutions to this mess that have nothing to do with healthcare. In fact, these two solutions have the potential to transform the Veteran's Administration from a massive parasitic bureaucracy into an efficient provider of services that not only reaches every American veteran within our fifty states, it can assist veterans living overseas and might even produce a fund surplus that could some day be used to help expand veterans services into other areas of life or even help repay our national debt.

The first part of this solution is a Veteran's Credit Union with branches in every major city and secure online banking services for every veteran who lives outside the cities. Banking is fundamental to life in our modern world. People love to hate banks. The reason they hate banks is that they feel no ownership of the funds they deposit into the bank and they chafe under the burden of repaying loans they take out from the bank. A Veteran's Credit Union would make every depositor an owner. Participation in the credit union would not only provide access to all the normal banking services, it would also provide the member an annual vote in how the credit union is managed. Because it would be a credit union and not a bank, anyone who has an account could be nominated for any of the management offices and be voted by other members into a paid position within the credit union for a limited term (usually one year, but can be up to ten years depending on the position itself as well as how the credit union is organized). Joining the Veteran's Credit Union would provide the individual veteran with the second key solution: a federal identification card that doubles as a debit/credit card.

The Veteran's Credit Union Bankcard should be a photo identification card with an embedded RFID chip and possibly even a fingerprint (an index finger or thumb perhaps). This card would of course allow the individual veteran access to their credit union services including debit services, credit services, personal loan services, reverse mortgage services, and so on. All of their credit union services would be accessed from the same photo identification card. Because they must be a veteran to participate in the credit union, this card also becomes their Veteran's Administration healthcare services identification card, giving them access to their local Veteran's Administration Hospital or Clinic with no change in their current life beyond a simple deposit in the Veteran's Credit Union. This eliminates the need to register with the Veteran's Administration as well as the need to re-register every time the veteran moves. As a bonus, this would also clear the way for billing the federal government when the veteran seeks healthcare at a private clinic or in an emergency. Billing would happen after the card is presented to the healthcare provider and would occur through the same administrative channels as normal insurance, medicaid, or medicare. This single card would also serve as proof of military service in every federal, state, and local government office, allowing the veteran access to whatever additional services are available through local governments, or from the Veterans Administration after moving to a new city. In private businesses where veterans are provided additional services such as discounts or small premiums, the Veteran's Credit Union Bankcard would provide proof of military service so the veteran does not have to carry around a copy of their DD214 in their wallet. By allowing the card to be issued to anyone who keeps a minimum deposit in the credit union ($1 perhaps, or some other arbitrary amount up to $10), requiring card renewal every five years, and making renewal dependent on maintaining that simple, small deposit, it also provides the credit union with a guaranteed reserve.

If the card is renewed every five years then as time goes on it might even be possible to apply stamps, seals, or special marks to the Veterans Credit Union Bankcard which demonstrate driver's license status, commercial driver's license status, pilot's license status, concealed carry weapon permit status, and so on. Congress, naturally, would have to pass laws ensuring that such additional qualifications are valid in all fifty states. Overseas veterans who participate in the Veteran's Credit Union might even be allowed to use the card as a passport, as official identification at American Embassies worldwide, and so on. Instead of a dozen different credit cards, debit cards, and identification cards, the veteran would be able to carry a single card and have access to their entire banking, licensing, and proof of identification requirements. As long as the card has a photograph, a secure RFID, and a fingerprint, it cannot be used by anyone except the individual veteran if it is lost or stolen. Over time this might even become the model for all sorts of other simplified identification cards such as state-issued driver's licenses, individual bankcards, or perhaps a new form of single card passport issued by governments around the world. There will be some who fear loss of privacy, government intervention in their daily lives, and so on, but this can be countered by pointing out there is no legal requirement to join the Veteran's Credit Union while there are a whole host of benefits to doing so.

Naturally, to participate in the Veterans Credit Union and receive the official identification card, initial identification would have to be established. Presentation of a birth certificate along with a DD214 would serve in the vast majority of cases. For someone who is homeless, who never had a birth certificate, or who has lost their DD214, alternative forms of identification would have to be used such as fingerprints for law enforcement background checks, DNA tests, collaborating testimony from current credit union members, and so on.

In order to insure that this credit union fulfills its primary mission of simplifying Veterans Administration services it should be a joint venture 51% owned by the Veterans Administration and 49% owned by the members, but operated and managed as a private enterprise controlled by the members. This gives Congress final approval over unsafe investment schemes, attempts to bleed off veterans deposits through exorbitant service fees, and other scams common to the banking or credit union industry. It also creates a way for the credit union to provide a revenue stream independent of taxation in the form of dividend payouts to the Veteran's Administration. Hopefully over time this might even allow the Veterans Administration to eventually become self-funding. Possibly the Veteran's Credit Union might some day even generate enough revenue to contribute to the general budget of the federal government. Also, as long as the credit union charter guarantees membership control and management, it prevents Congress from robbing the credit union to fund their deficit budgets in the way they have robbed Social Security. As the credit union expands and becomes more profitable, it could branch into other life services such as legal advice, investment advice, or private insurance (possibly through purchasing or partnering with an existing company such as GEICO or USAA). Expansion would also increase revenue flow to the Veteran's Administration so they could expand their healthcare services into areas such as life maintenance, aging maintenance, rehabilitation services, and so on. The key difference between a Veteran's Credit Union and failed schemes such as Freddie Mac and Fannie May is that the Veteran's Credit Union would be owned and managed by the members, and not by managers hired from outside, presidential appointees, federal bureaucrats, and so on. Nor would it be a burden to the federal government because there would be no provision for government subsidy, government contribution, or even direct Veteran's Administration involvement in the daily operation. A Veteran's Credit Union would be strictly for and by the participating veterans. The only reason for the partnership with the Veteran's Administration is to streamline identification of individual veterans and to provide a legitimizing authority for tying the Veteran's Credit Union Bankcard into the VA healthcare system.

Let me finish by emphasizing that this is a very broad concept, not an action plan and not a business plan. I do believe it neatly solves a huge variety of problems while improving the federal government's ability to identify who is entitled to veteran's benefits. By reducing the vast administrative bureaucracy of the Veteran's Administration into a single card provided by a private credit union, it also paves the way for a reduction in the size and scope of the Veteran's Administration which should lead to a smaller budget. Hopefully, this would help it become self-funding sooner rather than later. Eventually this should also lead to an expansion of available services as well as more efficient delivery of those services. If creation of a Veteran's Credit Union is combined with a similar joint public/private ownership of the healthcare services arm of the Veteran's Administration, there is a very high potential for very rapid reform within the Veteran's Administration itself. Last but not least, the Veteran's Credit Union would take over financial veteran's benefits such as home loans, business loans, and financial advising, moving these services off the federal budget and onto the private credit union's budget while still managing those benefits in accordance with rules and regulations set forth by Congress.

December 24, 2016

2016 Christmas Cookie Recipe

There a great deal of chaos in the world this year both politically and economically. I could easily write up a thousand words or so providing my own, unwanted opinion on world affairs. I could go into great detail about how we arrived at this mess and how we might best find our way back out of it again. However, I'm going to stick my head in the sand instead, ignore all of it, and bake some cookies.

2016 Christmas Cookie Recipe

2 cups stone ground all wheat flour
1 cup pure cane brown sugar
1 stick (1 cup) pure, unsalted butter
4 teaspoons lemon extract
2 cups butterscotch chips
1/2 can caramel flavored, sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup almond milk (for a drier dough, reduce the amount of almond milk)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Soften and cream butter. Mix condensed milk and flavor extract with softened butter. Stir in baking powder, brown sugar, and flour. Add butterscotch chips. Dough will be very dry and crumbly. Add almond milk and mix everything thoroughly. Dough should form a thick, sticky paste.

Place parchment paper on cookie trays. Drop about one tablespoon of dough onto parchment paper for each cookie. Be sure to leave plenty of room between cookies because dough will spread as it bakes.

Bake for 15-20 minutes depending on how precisely the oven controls temperature. Immediately remove from oven. Immediately remove cookies from cookie sheet and place cookies on slightly elevated open-air cooling rack.

Allow about half an hour for the cookies to cool. Once they are cool, they can be decorated with icing and sprinkles if desired.

One batch makes approximately 2 dozen cookies.

December 17, 2016

The world is still on the cusp of global war

Apparently only fifty-five people in the entire world read my August 15th post, "War is Coming". I touched on this theme again in October in two posts, "Putin vs Clinton, beating the drums of nuclear war" and, "The countdown to nuclear war has begun". Naturally, when Donald Trump won the election on November 8th I breathed a great sigh of relief because even though I knew that war was still possible, it was no longer certain. However, I did not take into account President Barack Obama's ability to stir the pot during the final days of his tenure in office.

There are many reasons why Hillary Clinton lost the election. The most important of these is that her mishandling of the Arab Spring during her tenure as Secretary of State led directly to the first assassination of an American ambassador since World War II. Make no mistake, the current chaos in both Libya and Syria are the direct result of Hillary Clinton's incompetence. When she followed up on her record of failure by making "common sense gun control" a primary issue in her campaign for president, she insured there was almost no possibility she could win against a solid Republican candidate such as Jeb Bush or John Kasich. (As I pointed out on November 14th: Hillary's stance on gun control may have helped Trump win). The final element of her defeat fell into place after Donald Trump won the Republican Primary by reigniting the wave of anti-establishment revulsion first given light over thirty years ago when the "Moral Majority" movement swept Ronald Reagan into the White House.

The Electoral College will vote on Monday and, barring a complete revolt on behalf of State Electors, Donald Trump will win by a landslide. This election, just like the election of Ronald Reagan and the re-election of George W. Bush, is exactly why we have an Electoral College instead of a straight popular vote. In a straight popular vote, the twenty counties that contain our most densely populated cities would dictate national politics to the rest of the nation.

If President Obama were a true leader, then the results of the November 8th election would have settled it. At first, it appeared he would indeed act in a mature, responsible manner. Following the election he immediately met with President-Elect Donald Trump to discuss the transfer of power. At the time, it appeared President Obama had finally become the intellectual giant his supporters believed him to be. I was pleasantly surprised at the press conference the two of them held after their meeting. For the first time in a very long time, I began to feel optimistic.

It didn't last long. Over the past two weeks President Obama has taken up his own war drum and begun pounding out a steady series of accusations against Russian President Vladimir Putin. According to the White House and a long list of mass media talking heads, Putin is behind the hacking of John Podesta's email which makes him centrally responsible for Donald Trump winning the election. Some of them, including White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, have begun to claim that Vladimir Putin himself rigged the entire American election process in order to put Donald Trump into the White House. This is a very dangerous accusation, especially if it is true! However, it seems to me this entire scandal is nothing more than an infantile rant that has no relationship to reality. Either the current administration and Hillary Clinton's massive supporter base are all suffering from the same mass delusion or President Obama is working very hard to manipulate the United States of America into a global thermonuclear war with Russia. Thanks to the Sino-Russian Treaty of Friendship signed by Russia and China back in 2001 and strengthened several times over the past decade and a half, if either China or Russia enter into a war with the United States, the other must immediately join the fight.

Just yesterday, Chinese navy personnel stole an underwater survey drone right out from under the hands of the unarmed American naval research ship sent to retrieve it. A Chinese naval vessel followed the American ship until they located the drone, then swooped in and scooped it up before the American naval personnel could conduct their own retrieval. There is no doubt the Chinese navy knew exactly where that drone was located and they could have retrieved it at any time, but they waited until the Americans were present to insure we knew exactly who had retrieved the drone. It is entirely possible that they did this in response to President-elect Donald Trump accepting a phone call from the President of Taiwan and then stating in a press conference that he was prepared to shelve permanently the fiction of "one China" that has been a cornerstone of American foreign policy since President Richard Nixon put it into place back in 1972. Yesterday China also conducted the initial live-fire exercise with the first aircraft carrier the Chinese Navy has ever owned. In this case, a refitted Russian aircraft carrier they purchased and renovated a few years ago. Just before these events by China, Vladimir Putin's office issued a press statement demanding President Obama either provide proof of the Russian hacking of John Podesta's email or cease making claims about Russian interference in the American election process. It seems clear to me that these two actions taken by the Chinese Navy were done in support of Russian President Vladimir Putin's ultimatum.

I cannot understand why no one in our government or in our media has put the two together and recognized the significance of the timing of these events. This is the clearest, loudest, most flagrant and overt challenge to American naval and diplomatic supremacy that our world has seen in over half a century. Over the past forty-eight hours our world has been catapulted from moderate international tensions over the slaughter of innocents in Aleppo to a point one very small step short of a total declaration of war against the United States by the combined forces of Russia and China. We have arrived here in large part as a result of the flawed, feckless, and apologetic foreign policy blunders of President Barack Obama in conjunction with the diplomatic incompetence of Secretary of State John Kerry. Furthermore, I cannot determine from publicly available sources if this consistent movement we have seen over the past twelve months which is leading us into a direct military confrontation between the United States, Russia, and China is a hidden agenda of President Obama himself or if it has simply resulted from the sheer incompetence of his foreign policy team.

Fox News: China Adds Point Defense Weapons to South China Sea Islands
Fox News: China Steals US Navy Underwater Survey Drone
Fox News: China's First Aircraft Carrier Conducts Initial Live-Fire Exercise
CNN: Russia Challenges US to Prove Election Hacking Claim
The Diplomat: Behind Russia and China's "Special" Relationship

December 09, 2016

Healthy, whole wheat pancakes from scratch

There are numerous things I could discuss today. The political world is, as always, in turmoil. The U.S. Senate just passed quite possibly the stupidest censorship bill in all of human history. The U.S. House of Representatives has a bill at the committee level that would make a state-issued Concealed Carry Weapon permit applicable in every state in the nation, regardless of which state issued it. China is growling about President-elect Donald Trump speaking on the telephone with the President of Taiwan and addressing her as, "Madam President". But, I am going to ignore all of it.

A couple days ago I went searching the internet for pancake recipes. I knew that the recipe could not be difficult, because so many variations are available in the boxed variety. Some boxed varieties require so many additional ingredients I've often wondered if the box itself contained anything beyond finely ground, bleached wheat flour. Every recipe I found recommended flour, sugar, milk, baking powder, eggs, and butter. Some recipes added baking soda in addition to the baking powder, some recipes added salt, some recipes added vanilla extract. Most of them had the flour, sugar, and milk in basically a 3-1-3 relationship, but some varied slightly from that foundation. Since I wanted to avoid bleached flour and bleached sugar, I knew my own pancakes would taste considerably different, but the health benefits gained from whole wheat flour and brown sugar seemed worth the risk of failure.

This is the recipe I finally created:

Whole Wheat Pancakes from Scratch

1 cup whole wheat flour
3 heaping tablespoons brown sugar
3 level teaspoons baking powder
1 level teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 tablespoons pure, unsalted butter (melted)
1 extra large egg

Sift dry ingredients together in a bowl. Form a hollow in the center, add the egg, almond milk, and melted butter. Mix well.

Heat a flat-bottomed, shallow pan over a medium flame. Test with a half-teaspoon of batter. When the batter cooks without burning, use a large ladle to pour in enough batter for a 4" diameter pancake. Cook until bubbles stop rising (about 3 minutes). Use a teaspoonful of batter to fill bubble holes, then flip the pancake. Allow it to cook about 2 minutes. Place onto a plate and serve.

However, I am much too lazy for sifting and mixing and all that bother. So I grabbed my handy Nutri-Ninja, softened the butter with 20 seconds in my microwave, and threw everything into the Ninja mixing server. Instead of using the blunt plastic blades designed for cookie or bread dough, I used the steel blades designed for fruit and vegetables. I made this choice to insure the finest level of mixing possible. Close enough to sifting for a simple experiment.

Notice I left the egg out of the ingredients photo. I am sorry about that. No excuse, really, just a simple oversight on my part. Rest assured I did use 1 jumbo-size egg in the mix. I'm not sure what purpose the egg serves, but I assume it helps everything stick together.

The first one turned out almost perfect. The second one fell apart when I tried to flip it. The other two turned out well enough that I could get three pretty pancakes for the photo at the top of the page. I used my Gotham Steel, Titanium-Copper Ceramic coated pan. Naturally, this meant nothing at all was ever in any danger of sticking to the pan. Those who use a normal pan will probably want to coat the surface with a dab of oil or butter. Also, I used a small amount of cinnamon for flavoring. Naturally, other people might want to use vanilla extract, additional sugar, whole milk instead of almond milk, flavored milk, chocolate sauce or even some chopped fruit. Whatever it is they normally like to use for flavoring when they make pancakes.

The wheat flavor was very strong, which is something I happen to like. However, there is nothing sweet about these pancakes when made in accordance with the ingredient proportions above. They are not bitter or earthy in the way anything made with whole wheat can be, but they are not sweet. Anyone who expects pancakes to taste like sugar is going to want to add a lot more brown sugar.

December 07, 2016

December 7th, 75 years after the fact

I wrote this poem on June 5, 2012, while sitting at Haneda Airport waiting for a plane. This is poetry, and by definition all poetry is fiction, so naturally some of the "facts" are presented poetically rather than historically. 75 years ago today the Japanese Imperial Navy caught the American military sitting around sipping coffee on a pleasant tropic morning and kicked our ass in a surprise attack on both the Pearl Harbor Naval Base and US Army's Schofield Barracks on the island of Oahu. Today, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan will visit the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor. That makes this the perfect opportunity to post this poem.

once upon a time this meter-deep concrete runway
lay ten meters beneath the still
pale-gray long-polluted waters
of tokyo bay

industrious people that they are
old men from noble families backed by government bonds
sipped bitter green tea served by
granddaughters of leatherworkers and undertakers
while commanding armies of younger men
eager to close the burning gap
between a war-impoverished nation
and the wealthy conquerer intent on
stealing away their sisters with tiffany promises and
designer jeans
to build!

and the young men built
casting their father's burned out war toys
beneath the gentle waves
raising up artificial islands which in turn
they buried beneath these meter-thick concrete slabs
bringing in tourists, athletes,
businessmen and bankers
transforming their ruined, ash-strewn city
into the economic miracle of modern asia

somewhere beneath my feet lies a rusting tank
that fired a salvo in defense of
a tiny hamlet on iwo jima
wounding my grandfather and
making possible the runway which
brought me here
to marry the tank commander's granddaughter

"history," i tell my teenage sons
"is never boring"

November 29, 2016

Stop being a pawn

Stolen from The Mind Unleashed
Posted without permission or approval
I didn't even bother asking.

If you know anyone who claims this childish meme is true then remind them that this is America. You are only a pawn if you choose to remain one.

Get yourself in shape, get some training, and become a first responder. Almost every EMS, Fire Department, and Law Enforcement agency in the nation is constantly hiring. If you have the right training these jobs are not hard to get.

Go to night school. Get a degree in journalism, humanities, languages, or liberal arts, then go find yourself a media job. These jobs are slightly harder to find because they are more rare and pay very little the first couple of years, but the vast majority also offer guaranteed lifetime employment and great benefits. Don't throw things at the television commentator, become one!

Go down to the county office, fill out a simple form, pay a small fee, and start your very own LLC. Read up on tax laws and this will allow you to enjoy all the same tax deductions as the international corporations. The downside is, if you fail, no one will help you pick up the pieces and start over. Sink or swim, starvation or prosperity, you're completely on your own.

Better yet, go for the big time: run for local office, serve with distinction, and then go national!

This silly meme is only true in countries with longstanding traditional monarchies and entrenched aristocratic oligarchies. We abandoned all that claptrap 240 years ago.

Stop making excuses. Stop being a pawn. Be an American. Take charge of your destiny.

November 14, 2016

Hillary's stance on gun control may have helped Trump win

The political lines are drawn on the gun control issue more clearly and unmistakably than at any point since 2000. A Trump victory will no doubt be seen as the political resurgence of disaffected white Americans, mostly men, who see themselves as left behind and ignored by the elites. The triumph of previously disrespected “Second Amendment rights,” as the Trump supporters interpret them, will be part of that Trump victory narrative.
---- Huffington Post, September 6, 2016

Here we are, a week after Donald J. Trump defeated Hillary R. Clinton in one of the most surprising upsets in American political history and still the final results are not in. Popular votes in several states are still being tallied, and two States are so close that their State Auditors are still hesitating to officially award their Electoral College votes. Nonetheless, there is no doubt that Donald Trump is the 45th President of the United States. Even if every uncounted vote went to Hillary Clinton, it would not be enough to swap the critical battleground state Electoral College votes into her column. For all practical and legal purposes, the race is over.

Democratic Party voters and Hillary Clinton devotees are still reeling from the result. They had been reassured over and over again by every media talking head, every experienced pollster, and every political expert, that Hillary Clinton was certain to defeat Donald Trump. Officially, in the minds of every expert, the election was over long before it ever started. No one could conceive of Donald Trump winning. Naturally, this has not gone over well. Experts, pundits, hobbyists, and Hillary Clinton devotees are rioting in major cities, signing online petitions, and writing long op-eds debating the merits of the Electoral College system. Those op-eds are asking once again, as they do after every presidential election, if this archaic system is still functioning in a way that accurately reflects the desires of the American people. As has happened a few times down through history, Hillary Clinton actually won the popular vote, but lost the Electoral College vote. The main reason this has happened in this particular election is that just over 50% of the American population is actually crowded into fewer than 20 counties. If the popular vote was the deciding factor, then neither candidate would have campaigned anywhere outside those 20 counties. This would have allowed those 20 counties to dictate federal policy to the rest of the nation.

There were three key areas where these two candidates had widely divergent platforms: economics, healthcare, and gun control. I'm going to ignore the first two (at least for the moment) and focus on the third. Donald Trump ran on a pro-gun rights platform. Hillary Clinton ran on a pro-gun control platform. Both platforms were extremely radical in many ways. Donald Trump's platform could have been written by myself, by the NRA, or by any of the million or so most vociferous advocates for keeping the federal government completely out of the gun control arena. He ran on a platform that emphasized no further restrictions on firearm ownership, no further restrictions on firearm transfers, nationwide CCW reciprocity, and preventing crime victims from suing firearm manufacturers. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, wanted to enforce background checks for firearm transfers between private citizens, between family members, and even for times when one friend loaned a firearm to another. She also wanted to find some means to invalidate or eliminate CCW regulations (undefined, but probably through appointing pro-gun control judges to the Supreme Court then launching legal suits against such laws). Most important of all was something she mentioned repeatedly in her debates and campaign appearances: she wanted to ban, buyback, and take other steps to remove "assault weapons" from circulation. She never used the word, "confiscate", but her policy, if implemented, would have required such firearms to be forcefully confiscated from owners who refused to participate in federal buyback programs.

Many Democrats and Hillary Clinton devotees are blaming bigotry for Donald Trump's victory. After all, he is clearly the vilest form of human being they recognize: a rich, old, white man. Therefore, their only conclusion from this shocking, unexpected defeat is that too many voters in critical battleground states were also rich old white men who simply refused to accept the possibility of a woman president. They cannot see any other possible explanation, even though Hillary Clinton only won 51% of female voters. True, she won the majority, but only by 1%! 49% of female voters cast ballots for Donald Trump. When that statistic is broken down by race, age group, and education, it does reveal some areas where Hillary Clinton won by a much larger margin, but in other areas it was Donald Trump who had the far greater margin of victory.

Many of the States that switched from Barack Obama to Donald Trump (from Democrat to Republican) also had new laws on the books which required a photo ID be presented by anyone who showed up at the polls to vote. For mail-in ballots some states required a photocopy of the photo ID, some states required the number of the photo ID, while a few states required both. All of these states had dramatically lower Democratic voter turnout, leading Democrats to reason that these new photo ID laws were suppressing minority votes, and votes by women. Their logic is based on the assumption that minorities and women don't have driver's licenses or other forms of state-issued photo ID.

However, Michigan, Minnesota, Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania, and other battleground states where Hillary Clinton was expected to win but wound up losing are also states where a large percentage of the population owns firearms. They use these firearms for self-defense, for target shooting, and for hunting. Many of them, such as Texas, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, are states that feature noticeably large concentrations of collectors and other firearm owners who have multiple "assault weapons" and are hoping to buy more in the future. Arizona and Pennsylvania, which voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 but voted for Donald Trump this time around, are also home to several companies that produce firearms, firearm accessories, ammunition, and firearm parts.

If American liberal progressives are ever going to see another victory, if the Democratic Party is ever going to run another successful presidential campaign, if America is ever going to have a woman for president, firearms will have to be accepted as part and parcel of American life. As long as gun control is a core component of the political platform of Democrats and progressives, they will not be able to achieve more than a few isolated victories in places like California, Illinois, and New Jersey where the majority of the population fears firearms and would love to see them removed from American society. Even though Hillary Clinton's pro-gun control platform is not the only reason she lost, it was most certainly a major contributing factor. Naturally, I don't know if it is the main reason, nor do I know if it is even possible to demonstrate that there is any one "main reason". I only know that there are tens of millions of American gun owners who have spent half a century fighting to restore their freedom to own firearms, use firearms, carry firearms, train with firearms, collect firearms, and enjoy firearm related pastimes. These people, both men and women, will continue to vote against any politician at any level of government who favors strict controls on firearm ownership, firearm transfers, or firearm manufacturers.

Americans love their guns. The present passion for firearm ownership is at an all time high in American society. Currently, more people own firearms and use them daily than at any time in American history. There are more firearms per person now than there were at the height of the Civil War or during the heavily mythologized "Wild West" era. This trend will no doubt continue far into the future.

November 10, 2016

Congratulations President Trump

It's been a couple days since Donald Trump was declared the winner of the 2016 Presidential Campaign. The dust has mostly settled. Most Americans have accepted the result. President-elect Trump and his team have already started the process of gathering some 4000 political appointees they will need to insure a smooth transition of power. A few minutes ago I filled out an application at their recruiting website. I've been retired six years now, and I love being retired, but it would be a great honor to serve in some small capacity under President Donald Trump. I think I would enjoy it very much. And the pay scale for most of the non-volunteer positions is not too shabby. I wouldn't get rich, but I'd have enough to pay Washington, D.C. rents and keep my belly full. I applied for multiple positions related to commerce, trade, and education, since that is where most of my skillset would best transfer over. I strongly doubt I will even receive a, "thank-you for applying" email, but that's okay. They are going to be very busy.

There has been a huge outrage over his victory. Ironic, really, when I consider how adamantly the press, social commentators, celebrities, and so on were working hard to convince all of us right-wing, radical Tea Party types to peacefully accept the inevitable appointment and coronation of Queen Hillary. I guess they got caught by surprise. Of particular interest to me is the massive outcry from parents, "What will I tell my daughter?" So much so that I wrote a letter to my own nieces and then posted it to Facebook as an open letter addressed to all young American women:

As I stated repeatedly beginning back in August, I honestly believe that if Hillary Clinton had won the election Russia would have launched a nuclear strike against the U.S., probably with the help of China. Vladimir Putin hates Hillary Clinton with a passion he has not even displayed for President Barack Obama, whom he despises utterly. The combination of belief in Barack Obama's unwillingness to engage in direct warfare and Vladimir Putin's own unwillingness to deal with Hillary Clinton as president would have presented Putin with a historically unique opportunity that has never happened before and will never happen again: the very real possibility that he could destroy America without consequence. Putin is not the kind of man to let such an opportunity pass.

Fortunately, she did not win. Donald Trump's victory in the early hours of Wednesday morning removed any motivation Putin might have to take advantage of this unique window of opportunity. Vladimir Putin believes Donald Trump is a man who can be negotiated with as an equal. Knowing Putin, he probably assumes he is much smarter than Donald Trump and will not have much trouble taking advantage of him. Myself, I recognize in Donald Trump an ancient, very effective core lifestyle strategy: always encourage your enemies to underestimate you. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, finds it very easy to underestimate Donald Trump. They point to his bankruptcies, his failed Atlanta casinos, his failed "Trump University", his multiple lines of failed retail products, and his Chinese-made campaign hats, never once realizing that they are seeing exactly what he wants them to see.

Last year, when Donald Trump stepped up to the podium and announced his intent to run for the office of President of the United States, my local barkeep and closest confidante laughed and said, "Donald Trump is a fool who will never win." I supported Senator Marco Rubio at the time, but I turned to my much more sober, highly educated, extremely resourceful friend and said,

"Never underestimate the Donald."

November 06, 2016

The facts about Hillary Clinton's "experience" are damning enough

(This image first appeared in the Los Angeles Times)

Online rumors are flying as we race down to the wire. There are rumors circulating about drug cartel connections and support for child trafficking rings by Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, or their staffs. These rumors are not helpful and prove nothing. Now more than ever we need to stay focused on the facts. In the case of Hillary Clinton and her much vaunted "experience", the facts are damning enough. There is no need for wild rumors.

1. While Secretary of State Hillary Clinton knowingly kept classified material on a home mail server.

2. Hillary Clinton's staff deleted that mail server without transferring the federal files it contained back to the Department of State.

3. While Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton often ordered her maid, who did not have a security clearance of any kind, to enter the secure room in her home, send or receive classified faxes, and print out classified emails.

4. By refusing to acknowledge or fulfill over 600 requests for additional security, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton knowingly and willingly left Ambassador Chris Stevens and his staff vulnerable to terrorist attack when at the Benghazi Consulate. When a terror attack took place and four people died (two at the Consulate, two at the nearby CIA annex), she tried to deflect blame from her own incompetence by claiming a YouTube video that insulted the Prophet of Islam was responsible for the attack.

5. While publicly catering to minorities in order to generate votes for herself, her husband, and other Democratic candidates, Hillary Clinton has repeatedly referred to those same groups using the most vile derogatory words in the English language when writing official email, or when meeting with the top donors to the Clinton Foundation.

6. While claiming to have spent her entire career supporting women and children, she has repeatedly received large donations to her political campaign funds and her charity fund from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and other countries where Shari'a law routinely results in rape victims being stoned to death or publicly flogged for exposing themselves to attack by being away from home without a man from their family present to protect them.

7. While Hillary Clinton served as Secretary of State, foreign leaders who made large-value donations to the Clinton Foundation were granted immediate official access to her. In many cases, those same foreign leaders later received preferential treatment in trade deals, technology exchange deals, weapons purchases, and other actions requiring direct approval from the Office of the Secretary of State.

8. Both Bill and Hillary Clinton have often received large-value payments as speaking fees from global banks, global academic forums, global science forums, global trade forums, and global corporations either as personal income or as donations to the Clinton Foundation. In almost every case, someone or some group present during those speeches or connected to the payment for those speeches received preferential access and treatment while she served as Senator or Secretary of State.

9. When the Clintons left the White House at the end of Bill's presidency, they took with them at least $134,000 worth of furniture and artwork that had been given as gifts to the White House during a renovation. Eventually they repaid the value, but they did not return any of the items they had taken because they considered those items to be personal gifts to themselves rather than gifts to the White House property inventory.

10. Every book written by someone who worked with Hillary Clinton as Senator or as Secretary of State has painted her as power-seeking, condescending, hateful, and completely unconcerned with the welfare and needs of the American public.

11. Last, and perhaps worst of all, Hillary Clinton has stated repeatedly that one of her priorities as President will be the creation of a No-Fly Zone to protect Syrian rebels. Such a No-Fly Zone will require American pilots to shoot down Russian warplanes. At some point, Russia will tire of losing good pilots and expensive fighter jets and will respond with an all-out nuclear attack on the United States of America. Hillary Clinton has already said, repeatedly, that if elected President of the United States she is eager to begin the process that will create conditions which can only have one outcome: a world war between the United States and Russia and whatever allies the two combatants can bring to their support.

I could go on and on almost endlessly. Hillary Clinton does indeed have the finest resume of anyone who has ever run for the office of President of the United States. The problem is, her entire resume is a list of failure, incompetence, and self-serving abuse of the responsibilities and power associated with every public position she has ever served in.

While it is absolutely true that Donald Trump is an arrogant, condescending jerk, I honestly do not understand how anyone can vote for Hillary Clinton. Her "decades of experience" is a long record of incompetence and corruption.

But the saddest part of all is that I know, even as I type these words, that this blog post will not change even a single vote.

October 22, 2016

Hillary Clinton, the Second Amendment, the Future of America

My Ruger American in .308 with Boyd's Custom Stock

According to Hillary Clinton's own webpage, the United States of America is facing a terrible epidemic of gun violence. The core problem with this analysis is that it fundamentally overlooks one simple reality: violence is violence, regardless of the weapon used.

According to the FBI Uniform Crime Reports, Table 12, in 2015 there were 15,192 murders in the United States. This represents an 11.8% increase over 2014. 11,862 of those murders occurred in cities. 6,146 murders took place in cities with populations over 250,000 while 2,231 murders happened in cities with more than 1 million people.

If we go to Table 20, we find a state by state breakdown of the different weapons used to commit these murders. This is important because different states have different gun laws. California, for example, should be the safest state in the nation because in 2015 it had one of the nation's most complex and complete set of gun control laws. When Hillary Clinton and her supporters defend strict gun controls, California is one of the first examples they use as a nearly ideal set of laws. California is also one of the most populated states in the nation with 39,144,818 people as of July 2015 (Census Bureau California Population Table). For over a hundred years California has been considered a progressive paradise, passing multiple laws covering hate crime, homosexual marriage, and medical marijuana use just in the past decade alone. All of this makes California a very good example of how all of America will be under Hillary Clinton. In 2015, of the 15,192 murders in the United States of America, 1,861 took place in California and 1,275 of those murders involved the use of a firearm. In California in 2015, 33 shotguns, 34 rifles, and 855 handguns were used to commit murder. There were also 353 murders in which the type of firearm remained unidentified. That sure does seem like a lot of bad guys using firearms in a state held up as a shining example of nearly perfect gun control.

Table 8 of the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting breaks down the California numbers by city. It is no surprise that Los Angeles leads the pack with 299 murders. In Los Angeles, just about all forms of firearm possession, sales, and use are covered by some kind of exacting regulation and taxation. By the time Federal, State, County, and Municipal gun control laws all work their magic, Los Angeles becomes one of the most restrictive cities in America for law-abiding gun owners. Despite all these regulations, Los Angeles remains the most violent city in California.

Oakland, California, with barely one-third the population of Los Angeles, is still the second most violent city in the state with 127 murders. In addition to strict limits on how many firearms a person can own, what kind of firearms a person can own, large municipal taxes on ammo sales, background checks for every firearm transfer, background checks on ammo sales, and a whole host of other restrictions on firearms, both Los Angeles and Oakland are Sanctuary Cities where illegal immigrants cannot be arrested and deported just for failing to comply with immigration laws. Both cities have very diverse populations with large pockets of mixed neighborhoods, race-specific neighborhoods, and transient neighborhoods where people come and go so often no one is ever quite sure who lives there and who is just passing through. Both Oakland and Los Angeles have lost tens of thousands of jobs over the past twenty years as industry moves overseas, military bases are reduced or closed, and corporate headquarters shift their operations to places with lower taxes and fewer state regulations on workplace safety, pollution, record keeping, and so on. Both cities also have a large gang presence with a massive underground market for drugs, firearms, prostitution, gambling, and even slaves.

Just taking California alone as an American example of the effectiveness of gun control, it is clear that within the United States of America, even in our most progressive state with our most progressive firearm regulations, violent people are still getting possession of both guns and ammunition and are using them to commit murder. This does not even take into account shootings in which no one dies, suicides, or accidental shootings. 1,275 people were murdered with firearms in California in 2015. Clearly, none of the murderers were paying attention to California's exhaustive and complete catalog of gun control regulations. Criminals, by definition, do not obey laws; therefore, passing more gun control laws on top of existing gun control laws in an effort to prevent crime is useless. The only thing it does is make life harder for law-abiding citizens to defend themselves and easier for criminals to commit violent crimes. Gun control laws empower criminals by creating a greater number of defenseless victims. California is a very good example of this principle in action.

If Hillary Clinton becomes president and appoints at least two Supreme Court Justices who do not agree with the decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller or McDonald v. City of Chicago, then all of the United States will quickly follow California down the road of extensive and exhaustive gun control laws. Fewer law abiding Americans will be able to own firearms, learn to use firearms effectively, and defend themselves against violent criminals. Criminals all across the United States will find themselves more free to operate as they become less concerned with sorting through which victims are likely to offer armed resistance and which are not. The forty year decline in violent crime that we have enjoyed will reverse direction, perhaps strongly, perhaps only over time, but it will definitely reverse direction.

People are violent by nature. Anyone who studies history knows this. We have been a violent creature ever since the first Australopithecus picked up a rock or a tree branch and used it to fight off a feeding predator so their family could scavenge the carcass. It is who we are. It does no good to pretend otherwise. Our ability to find weapons and use them to defend ourselves and advance our own agenda is one of the features that early on separated us from every other hominid on the planet. Our violence and our willingness to use whatever falls to hand as a deadly weapon is the exact quality of being human that set us on the course to advanced civilization. If Hillary Clinton takes away guns, then people will use knives and baseball bats. Even in Australia, the number one gun control example pointed to by Hillary Clinton and her supporters, violent crime is still present: people are still being murdered, people are still being raped, illegal drugs flow through the underground, gangs still try to kill each other in city streets, prostitutes and slaves can still be found hiding in the shadows.

In both America and Australia, ever since about 1990 there has been a slow, steady decline in violent crime (although in some years crime rises while in other years it falls). Confiscating a quarter million firearms from the Australian people did not change this in the slightest. True, "gun violence" has dramatically declined, but the violent criminals simply switched to different weapons. Would it really be an improvement to pass laws aimed at reducing "gun violence" in America? What will Hillary Clinton try to control next when she finds that even after successfully restricting the rights and freedoms of law-abiding American gun owners our children are still being murdered in their beds and schools, young couples are still being murdered while on vacation, and old people are still being murdered in their homes? Changing the weapon changes nothing. This is the core fallacy of Hillary Clinton's drive to undermine and eventually repeal the Second Amendment. The problem is not American gun culture. The problem is violent Americans.

All of which begs the question, "If reducing violent crime has no relationship to the Second Amendment, why is Hillary Clinton so zealous in her effort to undermine and repeal it?"


(Update, October 24, 2016)
In 1996 and again in 2003 Australia had a compulsory buyback program for law-abiding gun owners, over a million legal weapons that were made suddenly illegal through changes in gun laws were bought by local police precincts provided the owners turned them in during the amnesty period. So why are there still a quarter million firearms in the hands of criminals? Maybe because gun laws only disarm the law-abiding, making them easy picking for violent criminals. Gun control does not save lives, it empowers violent criminals.

Reuters: Australia Announces New Firearms Amnesty

(Update, October 24, 2016)
Despite being #1 in firearms ownership worldwide (no surprise, there!), it turns all the doom and gloom is very misplaced. The United States falls to #11 in gun deaths, even using the insanely inflated figure incorporating murder, assault with a deadly weapon, suicide, and accidental shootings all rolled into one number. All of the ten countries that outrank the United States in firearm deaths have very strict firearm regulations. In all ten countries, non-military/non-law enforcement citizens are prohibited from owning firearms except for a few, tightly controlled exceptions. So if only the good guys have guns, who is doing all the killing?

Telegraph: Mapping Firearm Ownership and Gun Violence Around the World

October 20, 2016

If Hillary becomes president then Syria is America's future

The Syrian Civil War began in September 2008 when a massive car bomb went off on a major thoroughfare running from the heart of Damascus to the airport. More bombs followed at intermittent intervals, some large and some small. Then, in the opening months of 2011, violent protests broke out in the streets of Syrian cities. All through this time period the only remarks from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were aimed at condemning Syrian president Bashar Al Assad. Bashar Al Assad took over Syria in July 2000 following the death of his father. For eight years, Syria was one of the most stable and peaceful countries in the Middle East. Trade flowed through the country. Cultural exchange students from all over the world came to Syria for a month, six months, or even a full year. Syrian pilots trained at American Air Force bases. Everything was fine until Barack Obama announced his intention to run for President of the United States.

Whether anyone in the American press is willing to admit it or not, Senator Barack Obama's visit to Kenya in 2006 sparked a new sense of purpose in young people throughout the Islamic World. Muslims in Indonesia, the Philippines, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Somalia, and even Kenya praised him as an African-born Muslim. Granted, he was born in Hawaii and at that point had been a member of Jeremiah Wright's radical liberation theology church for over a decade. That did not stop the rumors and op-ed writers throughout the Muslim world from claiming him as one of their own. In a very real sense, watching Barack Obama become President of the United States, receive a Nobel Peace Prize, and then give a profoundly apologetic speech to a crowd of Middle Eastern diplomats and dignitaries at Cairo University in 2009, inspired that Tunisian fruit vendor who set himself on fire and ignited the Arab Spring.

From 2009 to 2013, Hillary Clinton served as United States Secretary of State. The Arab Spring began in December 2010 and in a very real sense, is continuing to this day (at least in Syria). It was Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who set the tone for the American response to the Arab Spring. She praised every rebel group that reared its head, even those affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah. Now I don't know how much actual on the ground interference she commanded during that time. No one does. All of those records are going to be buried in some hidden storeroom somewhere and unavailable even for a Freedom of Information Act request for at least another five years. I do know, as a simple point of fact, that when they do their job well the Secretary of State works closely with the head of the CIA, the head of the NSA, the head of the SOG, and all of the other myriad black ops branches of America's hidden intelligence network. Part of her job was to organize covert operations that would help ease the Arab Spring countries through their diverse and individual transitions of power and into some form of democracy. As Secretary of State she was also responsible for influencing the outcome in a way that the President had decided would best benefit the United States of America. That is why she is giving the speech in the video above (August 2011). President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton both wanted to force Bashar Al Assad from power and they weren't real particular about who replaced him.

President Bashar Al Assad is a vile dictator. He routinely jails or executes anyone who disagrees with him. Right from the beginning, he was opposed to free elections, open courts, creation of opposition political parties, and all the other trappings of a free democracy. He ruled with a iron fist and he liked it that way. However, the writing was on the wall and multiple nearby countries offered him asylum. As late as November 2011 he had refused them all, so naturally the offers stopped coming in.

Part of Hillary Clinton's job as Secretary of State was to work behind the scenes to find some way to create an asylum package acceptable to Bashar Al Assad. Unfortunately, she failed as miserably in Syria as she had in Libya. One of the reasons she failed so badly is that right from the first riot in January 2011, the presence of terrorists trained by Al Qaeda and paid for by Iran was clear and obvious in every riot. They provoked violent attacks on police, they assassinated local government officials loyal to Assad, and they brutalized anyone who did not join their rioting. Bashar Al Assad, rightly or wrongly, was convinced that abandoning his country would mean Iranian-backed terrorists would immediately step in to fill the vacuum of power. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama, with little or or no hard evidence on the ground and against the advice of American intelligence experts, refused to believe it. Their very blind faith was firmly focused on the small groups of moderate protest leaders who by July 2011 were already at war with both the Assad government and the Iranian-backed terrorists (the very same terrorists that Iran is now helping Assad fight!).

It was very hypocritical of Hillary Clinton to attack Donald Trump in today's debate for not accepting the view of American intelligence officials that the hack on the DNC servers was sponsored by the Russian government. Back in 2011, taking the advice of those very same intelligence professionals could have prevented the collapse of Syria and eased the transition to democracy, but she refused to believe them. It is even more ironic that she tried to use our collective memory of Omran Dagneesh, a child injured in a war she herself failed to prevent as Secretary of State, to create such an overwhelming sense of guilt in the American people that they would feel compelled to vote for her for president.

I don't understand Hillary Clinton supporters. Why would anyone vote for a woman who used tragic imagery from a war she herself failed to prevent in order to con them into voting her back into a position of power where she could use that very same civil war to justify a nuclear showdown with the Russian Federation? Do not take this election lightly! If Hillary Clinton becomes president and succeeds in establishing a No-Fly Zone in Syria to protect the rebels and terrorists fighting Bashar Al Assad, then sooner or later an American pilot will shoot down a Russian warplane and that will launch us into a full-scale war with Russia, a war that will open with a Russian nuclear strike on the American homeland.

One last video. In October of 2011 America was finally able to convince the U.N. Security Council to offer a recommendation for action against Bashar Al Assad. However, in a very rare occurrence, Russia and China both put a veto on the recommendation. Is it any surprise that barely eighteen months later, China and Russia held their largest joint naval exercise in history?

Donald Trump is not "the most dangerous person in the history of America to run for President of the United States". That title clearly belongs to Hillary Clinton.

October 17, 2016

Project Veritas Reveals Democratic Party Tactics

Back in 2005 or so, when it became apparent that I would soon be headed back to the United States, I began looking at a variety of internet resources related to events in America. Some of the first perspectives I bought into were conspiracy theories about a hidden liberal progressive alliance of big business, the Democratic National Party, and a variety of labor unions backed by organized crime. I bought into it because it was so very believable. As time went on and I learned the names of the actual players on the ground, the diversity of organizations involved, and the overwhelming logistic obstacles to creating such a conspiracy and then holding it together through four generations of American politics, I was forced to accept that while some collusion did indeed take place, calling it a "conspiracy" was not warranted.

So here we are in 2016. Two of the most unlikable and untrustworthy candidates to ever survive the presidential primary season are facing off against one another in their third debate on Wednesday, October 19th. This has been one of the most filthy, despicable, socially offensive campaign seasons in the history of the United States of America. Lincoln vs. Breckenridge in 1860 was not even half as revolting as the Trump vs. Clinton campaign season has been, and we all know how that one ended. Americans are phenomenal warriors. The Civil War (a.k.a., War of Northern Aggression) proved beyond a shadow of doubt that when we turn on one another no one really wins, not even after one side is soundly defeated. Clearly, we did not learn that lesson well enough.

There are many things I have long suspected about how Bill and Hillary Clinton run their public image. I recently read a book which confirmed many of those suspicions (Book Review: Crisis of Character). I also recently looked into some of the reasons why after using their relationship to transfer mining rights to 20% of American Uranium (mostly on lands controlled by Native Tribes) to a Russian mining company, the relationship between Putin and Clinton has definitely soured. I have a few more suspicions about reasons for that relationship to shift from companionable to vicious hatred, but I have not confirmed them yet. The point is, now they are both ready to throw the modern world into a global thermonuclear war just to satisfy their personal hatred of one another (Putin vs. Clinton, Beating the drums of nuclear war). Therefore, many of the things presented in the Project Veritas tape at the top of this page do not surprise me in the least. After seeing it, my first reaction was, "I guess I should have seen it right from the start."

I spent countless hours on social media denying that there was a conspiracy to create violence at Trump rallies. I guess I was badly mistaken. It is painfully obvious that the American media flat-out refuses to cover Hillary Clinton's long record of complete and dismal failures. I did not need Wikileaks to tell me that this collusion between the media and the DNC was not accidental. Even that pales in comparison with the video above. There is more than enough evidence for a RICO case. But then, the same thing was true when she ran against Barack Obama back in 2012. The conspiracy nuts are right. Clearly there are two sets of laws: one for the American people and one for Hillary Clinton.