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.