The Missing Elephant in Last Night’s Debate Room

Last night’s final Republican debate on Fox News was certainly…different.   Something was missing.  Can’t quite name who or what it was.  But it was like this big hole where an aching tooth had once been.  Or the marvelous way your head feels after a headache vanishes that almost makes you feel light-headed.


Unfortunately for Ted Cruz, that lightheadedness led him down the trail of mistimed jokes, pointless arguing with the moderators and whining when they told him had to wait until they got to him and that bouncy giddiness you feel when the class bully is sent to the principal’s office or your pesky big brother, who’s been pointing his finger at you all through dinner, is sent to his room.


There were no barking seals in this debate, if you know what I mean. Ted Cruz didn’t have to reminding the moderators and the audience how much more at ease the room felt without its presence.  The “seal” might as well have been there, for all he kept resurrecting his memory.


Last night was just a rough night for Cruz, giving the debate victory to third-runner Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, and Chris Christie, in that order. Rubio was definitely on point, even though he is on board for legislation that will eliminate any Constitutional protections for college men accused of on-campus rape.  So much for the presumption of innocence.  No wonder Megyn Kelly.


I really must digress here and wander off onto a trivial pursuit. Megyn Kelly’s false eyelashes (and Martha MacCallum’s as well).  What were Fox’s make-up artists thinking?  Are they gay guys who hate women?  My dolls had more natural-looking eyelashes than Megyn Kelly did.  What did they use for the material on those things – hardened road tar?  It’s amazing either woman could lift her eyelids.  With enough lift, they could’ve taken off and flown around the room.


Holy mascara! Did she get bruises from batting her eyelashes?


Okay. So back to the substance – of the debate that is, not the false eyelashes.


But still speaking of Megyn Kelly. Fox News had a stand-by podium in case the missing elephant decided to occupy the room.  Mercifully, he did not.  The elephant gave numerous, vacillating reasons why he did not appear.  Finally, to give himself an out, he sponsored a fundraiser for veterans across town.


No offense to our veterans, but – whoopee. He could have held that fund-raiser anytime.  Whether it was the showman in him, the drama queen, or the narcissist, he didn’t show and no one but his own followers missed him.


My guy friend didn’t watch the debates, although I did, at least for awhile. Neither did he watch the Trump Circus.  He watched “Blue Bloods”, instead.  He said he didn’t watch because of Trump, but because he hated Megyn Kelly.  I assured him that she was her same self-conscious, smirking self.  He believes that the reason for the falsies was her own inflated image of herself as a Hollywood runway starlet, not a serious journalist.  At first, he told me he didn’t watch at all, but then flip-flopped himself and admitted he watched the very beginning to see who would be on the stage.  When he got a gander at her floor mat eyelashes, he changed the channel.


A recent look at Google shows Trump at 58 percent, with Cruz trailing at 20 percent, and the rest of the card left in the dust in the single digits (if that). Fox News had 12.5 million viewers, so clearly, someone was watching.


Trump has many young voters, as I stated in another post. He also has what I call “The Real Man” vote.   Trump makes no apologies about his view of the other sex.  He’s a Man’s Man.  He has a Man’s tastes, interests, and viewpoint.  In the 1947 film, “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir,” a growly, rumbly Captain Gregg, played by growly, rumbly Rex Harrison, blasts Mrs. Muir (actress Gene Tierney):


“Confound it, madam, my language is most controlled. And as for me morals, I lived a man’s life and I’m not ashamed of it; and, I can assure you no woman’s ever been the worse for knowing me – and I’d like to know how many mealy-mouthed blue-noses can say the same.”


Millennials don’t want to vote for a Conservative, which Trump isn’t. Men don’t want to vote for wimpy men.  Men have suffered the most by political correctness.  So along comes the most confoundedly incorrect man’s man since Captain Gregg and blast everyone, they’re going to vote for him no matter what he says; even if he boasts, “I could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and my supporters would still vote for me!”  Many of these guys would slyly comment that they’d be happy to loan him the gun, especially if it was – well, never mind that.


That’s how fed up they are. They’re necessarily college graduates, but they’re educated in the ways of the world and common sense.  If Trump is no great speaker (Obama certainly isn’t), all the better.  Confound it, they’re tired of this spit and polish and moussed hair.  They’re tired of perfumed dandies who fluff up their hair and have to go to a gym to build up their muscles because they wouldn’t know one end of a shovel, axe or hammer from another!


The Millennials who sport a week’s worth of stubble and leave their shirt-tails hanging out – well they don’t know what it means to be men; they know what it is to be slobs. Land-lubbing, latte-sipping posers!


In their eyes, Trump knows how to treat a lady and he knows how to treat what they think of as, well, to put it delicately, a witch with a “b.” They know the difference.  The former have almost disappeared and they’ve had their fill of the latter.  Q:  Why don’t you hold a door open for a lady?  A:  When one comes along, I will.  But I could be waiting here a long time.  These are guys who were raised to treat a woman like a lady, whether she behaved like one or not.


But since Feminism “blossomed” in the Seventies, women have told men to stop holding doors for them because they’re not “helpless females” and the men are happy to oblige them, even let the door shut in their faces.


That, in short, is what’s driving Trump’s Guy Vote. If Google’s 58 percent is correct (and I find it hard to believe the numbers and suspect it’s all too easy to cheat and manipulate the numbers by voting multiple times from multiple devices), Trump will sail away with the election.


For those of us who watched and aren’t fans of Trump, his absence was not missed; it was a relief. Still, this was, what, the sixth debate?  Watching was like watching a rerun.  Most of the issues had already been hashed, rehashed, mashed, and reheated.  After an hour, I, too, turned the channel.


If I had to watch a rerun, I preferred Voldemort to Megyn Kelly’s eyelashes. Voldemort is much less disturbing.



Published in: on January 29, 2016 at 5:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

Trump ‘Doesn’t Need No Stinking’ Debate

Donald Trump will be the star of tonight’s debate, even if he isn’t there.


The front-running Republican primary candidate is standing by his work that he will not appear in the debate so long as Megyn Kelly (whom he complimented during a 2011 Newsmax Republican debate) is a moderator.


Did Trump let Kelly get the best of him (during that first debate, he simply noted in a gentlemanly tone that her question wasn’t very nice and left the mudslinging for Twitter)? Or was Kelly out of line in her questioning style, digging harder than was necessary?


His followers felt she was out of line. So did I.   After listening to Rush Limbaugh yesterday afternoon, I came to the conclusion that he’s sincere in his feeling that he’d been targeted.  Although he’s the front-runner, that doesn’t make him the party piñata for every television journalist with an axe to grind.


More than once, when I’ve been a guest somewhere, I walked out when I was insulted. Trump can hardly be blamed for wanting more courteous treatment, something Fox News’ Twitter yesterday, concerning Putin and Khameini not overflowing with fairness.  That was a big hint to Trump as to what he could expect in the way of courtesy.  None.


Still, a voter can’t help wondering how the media giant will fare once he’s in office. Obama couldn’t take it.  He went for something like for over a year with barely one press conference.  And this was with a press so friendly that they practically sent him candy on Valentine’s Day.


Because he’s a Capitalist, the press is going to be rather less than friendly to him. Also, for a man who’s spent so much time in front of the camera and in the public eye, Trump comes across less than articulate in the debates.


His supporters aren’t looking for a bookworm, though. They’re not looking for the national debate champion (they ought to be, but they’re not).  They’re looking for someone who will deliver a raw, unvarnished message of not compromising our national security.  This Trump does with thunderous pomp.  No speechwriter’s prose for Trump.  Does he even have a speechwriter?


Rather, he speaks the way I’ve seen executives speak to employees at town hall meetings. Even they do a better job of it.  That’s just fine with Trump and his supporters because they’re looking for the rough and ready, not the sleek and polished.  They’ve seen the sleek and polished.  They’ve been lied to and betrayed time and again by the sleek and polished.


He’s probably better off avoiding the debates, anyway, for as some pundits have already noted, the debates are just not his forum.   Trump wants to control the microphone, the platform, and the message.  He’s a born soloist, although he readily admits to being a deal-maker, something American voters have not exactly embraced.  We’ve thrown politicians out for that very reason.


So who are these people supporting Trump, then? Judging by their coarse, profane language and idiotic style, I would guess they are his young social media specialists.  Every candidate has them.  College kids and grads set up in a room with rows of computers – or tablets – tweeting as fast and as nastily as they can to anyone who sandbags their candidate.


Verbal abuse serves them well in discouraging citizen opposition. Their counterparts in other campaigns are non-plussed.  But ordinary citizens engaging in Twitter or Facebook conversations will find no real discussions; only name-calling and profanity.


If no Conservative in their right mind, by now, would vote for Trump, then his numbers are being bolstered by moderates and young Democrats faced with two terrible choices in the primaries: a soon-to-be federal convict or an old, Socialist dinosaur.


But then they listen to Trump, who attempts (unsuccessfully) to eviscerate Ted Cruz and the Conservatives. That in itself is enough to recommend him to young Democrats, to say nothing of Moderates.  He not only “disses” them, but tells them that he plans to break most of his campaign promises, declares that he loves making deals, that he’s friends with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, and has, despite his attack on Ted Cruz, New York Values:  he believes in gay marriage and is pro-choice on abortion.


Compared to the white-haired Bernie Sanders or the haggard-looking Hillary, Trump, at six-foot two (his son, Eric, is 6 foot 5) and burly, is in prime condition. He may be 69 but he sure doesn’t look it.  He looks like he could take on Triple H, Big E, and Roman Reigns – all at one time.  The guy is ready to rumble and his supporters love it.


The message is always the same when his supporters are asked, “Why Trump”?


The four-word answer: He can’t be bought.


There are other elementary reasons (he’s a tough talker, he always seem to win, etc.), all of which outweigh the fact that he’s a compromising deal-maker, never mentions the Constitution, never talks about freedom and liberty, and objects – strongly – to being criticized.


He’s Donald Trump. That’s all that matters.  The fact that he’s a Social Liberal is just a bonus in his favor that will help him win over Moderates and young Democrats.


Taking all that account, he doesn’t need to participate in the Republican debate. He figures he’s got not just the primaries, but the whole election locked up.  And that may very well be the case.


But it’s not over until it’s over.


Published in: on January 28, 2016 at 11:44 am  Leave a Comment  

Trump: You, the People; Me, the King

Donald Trump announced yesterday that he would not appear in the Fox News Republican Primary Debate this Thursday if Megyn Kelly was a moderator. Fox News responded, ‘Whatever.  But you’re always welcome back to the debate anytime.’


After Trump tweeted a complaint about Fox News’ lack of fairness in their debates, some delver Fox News media specialist tweeted: “We learned from a secret back channel that the Ayatollah and Putin both intend to treat Donald Trump unfairly when they meet with him if he becomes president — a nefarious source tells us that Trump has his own secret plan to replace the Cabinet with his Twitter followers to see if he should even go to those meetings.”


The Donald reportedly consulted his Twitter followers to find out whether they thought he should accept the open invitation to the debate. After Fox News’ response, he categorically turned the invitation down.  This is the man who would be president?


The race is getting down to the wire and those Conservatives still considering Trump should consider that he’s made such comments as:


‘President Trump isn’t going to be Candidate Trump.’


‘We’re going to have to compromise.’


‘I’m good friends with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.’




We think he’s courting us, but he’s actually addressing himself to disenchanted young Democrats who, let’s face it, only have some really bad choices in front of them. Moderate Millennials are happy to sign on as Trumpsters since Trump is pro-choice and pro-gay marriage.


And he’s got their numbers.


He claimed in the first debate that he was a Republican and wanted to run as a Republican. He vowed that if he couldn’t run as a Republican, he’d run as an Independent.  But what does being a “Republican” really mean?


Democrats claim they have the Big Tent in politics. In fact, the Republican tent is much bigger with many different factions and many different ideologies.  This “diversity” has made the GOP leadership a craven, groveling bunch.


The GOP was initially opposed to Trump. He sounded like a Conservative.  That frightened the leadership.  They criticized him.  Conservative pundits criticized him.  Glenn Beck criticized him.  The more they criticized him, the more his base expanded.


Then, in the last debate, Ted Cruz accused him of holding New York values. Trump launched off on a tirade about 9/11 that had absolutely nothing to do with the September 11th attacks.  Did you know that Trump is a Truther?  It’s “true.”  He believes that the government played a role, if only a passive one (the Truther have been getting their clocks wiped on this one), in the attacks.


That’s almost as bad as his being an Obama “Birther.” Now, he’s a Cruz “Birther,” casting doubts on Cruz’ citizenship.  Cruz made some blunders, saying of his dumping his dual Canadian citizenship in 2014 that he “didn’t know” that it was a problem.  Cruz’ numbers subsequently went down, along with some of his credibility.


The question seems to be whether his mother ever renounced her U.S. citizenship at any point and whether she was the citizen of another country when Ted was born. Well, to use a little average gal logic, if Cruz had dual citizenship – U.S. and Canadian – he couldn’t have gotten that dual citizenship if he hadn’t had at least one American parent when he was born.  That should put paid to that particular controversy.  Let’s hope Cruz is a little more careful in his answers in the future.


Trump tried to catch Cruz out on his Goldman-Sachs campaign loan, to much less effect. Anyone who’s taken out a mortgage on a home – and that’s about 65 percent of Americans – get it.  Sometimes you have to borrow money.  Taking out a loan to run a campaign just isn’t the same as taking a campaign donation from Goldman-Sachs, as Obama did.


Thanks to Glenn Beck, once again, for giving us all the facts on his program this morning about Trump and the Atlantic City eminent domain controversy. Beck played video of Trump denouncing the home as “ugly” and pleading, ‘wouldn’t the city be better off with beautiful fountains and beautiful buildings than a, frankly, ugly house.  I think that house is ugly.’


I remember that clip now. Thanks to Mr. Beck for jogging my memory.  There is nothing more beautiful than a house whose mortgage its owner had paid off and is now freely owned for the resident to enjoy through their own hard work, rather than through government largesse.


Beck noted that the house was worth about $1 million, but Trump offered $250,000. That would have been its approximate market value before the casinos began going up.  Atlantic City was a hovel and it’s now a hovel again.  In today’s headlines, Gov. Christie is talking about a state takeover of Atlantic City.  The homeowner did hold out, then, but also won both eminent domain lawsuits.


That’s something we should note about Trump, the smart businessman; he made his money in Atlantic City, overleveraged himself by building not one, but four casinos in a glutted market, then in 2007, saw the economy tanking and got himself out again. Trump can’t be blamed for the bad economy.  The slump hit northern New Jersey, where a majority of the gamblers came from, very hard, costing us jobs and savings.  No one had the money to gamble anymore.


Once the buses stopped running (the bus company for which my mother worked looked far down the road and with criminal enterprises competing for the bus business, her company got out of the Atlantic City run business), Atlantic City became a ghost town.


That being the case, what exactly does Trump intend to do about our nation’s growing national debt? Declare bankruptcy and skip town?  America is a country, not a casino.  No one’s asked him the big question and he certainly hasn’t given any answers.  Here’s a question for us:  are we gambling with our nation’s future supporting a big-talking casino and golf-course salesman?

Then there’s the problem of eminent domain. Where does he stand on the issue of regionalization and sustainable development?  We’re talking here about the nationalization, the government take-over of private property.  We just got through listening to him say that the Atlantic City town council had “every right” to protect its interests in private property, and to favor a moneyed, corporate entity rather than an individual citizen.


Trump argued that he, and the other casino owners, would bring in plenty of jobs to Atlantic City. And they did.  But, like the middle class and senior citizen gamblers (who came more for the free lunches the casinos offered than the one-armed bandits), they bused the employees in from other places, mainly Philadelphia and the suburbs surrounding Trenton.


Out on the Atlantic City expressway, there were parking lots specifically designated for casino employees. They would park out there in the median in the middle of the highway, and take shuttles into Atlantic City.  The casinos did very little for the actual poor people living in Atlantic City in the way of jobs – and those poor people knew it.   Oh sure, the taxes helped subsidize them.  But now the casinos are history and the poor people are right where they were before.


Trump makes Big Promises. But at heart, he’s a Big Government Guy.  We all know everything is Big with Trump.  He’s famous for it.  He’s magnanimous towards the little people, in a condescending, patronizing fashion.


He won’t lie to us, exactly. But he’s not above deceiving us to get his way.  His deceit is a sin of omission.  He’ll keep his word on issues like the immigrant wall and undoing the Iranian Nuke Deal.  But he’s also a glad-hander and back-patter.  He’s a deal maker and we average Americans are not necessarily part of the deal.


The high-rollers did not build Atlantic City; it was average people like my mother’s bus passengers, gambling their life savings on the one-armed bandits, that built it. They enjoyed the “free lunch” for awhile.  But as businesses and economies run in cycles, there was a limit to the number of free lunches they were going to get.


Hurricane Sandy was the last straw for Atlantic City. Or should we call it “Hurricane Obama?”  In any case, as Trump was the “king” of Atlantic City, will America, after four or eight years of Trump – following in Obama’s footsteps, not Ronald Reagan’s (which is the era when the casinos were built and flourished)  – look like Atlantic City – all flashing lights, flowing fountains, and posh hotel suites while he was there – but an urban wreck in his (and Obama’s) wake?


You know that June 1989 picture of the lone protester in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square? It’s part of the opening of Glenn Beck’s program.  This guy here:




Think of the guy on the top of the tank as Trump. And the guy standing in front of it is Ted Cruz.  One brave little guy standing alone against tyranny and totalitarianism.


The students, ironically, were agitating for the overthrow of Communism in China. The Red Army massacred at least hundreds around Beijing and in other parts of China.  The students and their leaders were later imprisoned or managed to escape to the West.  Those who avoided prison were ostracized from Chinese society, which meant they were unable to work again.


Trump doesn’t like to be criticized or contradicted. As Rush Limbaugh points out on his radio program today, Trump controls the Media.  ‘He controls them when he’s on camera.  He controls them when he’s not on camera.  “He controls them when he’s asleep!”


What’s going to happen to dissent if and when he’s President? What is this self-promoting strongman going to do to those who disagree with him, especially if they’re speaking for people like us?


Fire them? Or fire on them?




Published in: on January 27, 2016 at 1:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

Glenn Beck Said it First

In yesterday’s post, The Art of Conservatism, I made comparisons between Ted Cruz and Donald Trump and David and Goliath.  After finishing my blog and doing some other work, I sat down to watch Glenn Beck’s 5 p.m. broadcast.  He aired a video of his endorsement of Ted Cruz for president in Iowa on Saturday.  In speech, he made many observations and said many of the things about Ted Cruz and the presidential race that I made in my blog.


Except that he said them first. I would never make statements (intentionally) that plagiarized what someone else said.  That’s not me.  However, while I knew Glenn was going to make the endorsement ahead of time (he advertised) it, I took a lazy snow day off on Saturday and watched movies all afternoon as the snow fell.  I never saw Glenn’s broadcast.


The next day, I was busy shoveling out from under 18 inches of snow. If Glenn’s endorsement was on, I never saw it.  When I did sit down to watch television, as there was nothing on, I popped in a DVD of “E.T.:  The Extra-Terrestrial” (we’d been playing a John Williams excerpt in one of our bands and I just wanted to hear Williams’ glorious music set against a wonderful, charming movie).


My blog post and Glenn Beck’s endorsement speech were pure coincidence, describing an excellent, Conservative candidate for president – Ted Cruz (his father’s book, by the way, has sold out on Amazon).


The David and Goliath analogy is an accurate one, and maybe because it’s so apt, it’s not a coincidence that more than one person has noticed it. Trump’s supporters admire him for his power, independence, and fearlessness.  He’s so rich and powerful that no one can touch him.


Presently, Trump is standing up for America. He’s touched a nerve in the American psyche concerning illegal immigrants, gun control, Islamic Jihadists, the trade imbalance with China, and so forth.


However, he’s also vowed to take on all these issues single-handedly, while also promising that President Trump will not be Candidate Trump. He will make deals (he wrote the ultimate book on the art of making deals), compromises, and trades.  He supports bailing out Iowa corn farmers who got caught short with a glut of oil and too much corn for ethanol, the stuff that made gasoline unleaded by the 1980s.


Just what he is going to do about all that corn? Give all the corn away to the poor and pay the farmers the market price with our taxpayer dollars?  Corn welfare.  Is this what we can expect from a President Trump?  Tea Party activists rallied against politicians who compromised.  Making deals is neither necessary nor democratic.


In another age, Trump would be a king, or at least, a king-maker. He makes us some promises.  A half of a loaf is not good enough when we’ve already been robbed of so much liberty.  Trump exudes strength and power, which is attractive to a weakened, enfeebled electorate.  He implies, subtly, that he will rule with an iron fist.  Take his word for it.

Better yet, see if you can find the documentary on Trump’s corporate 757. Trump is an unapologetic perfectionist.  He doesn’t take “no” for answer.  His money ensures that no one tells him “no.”  He ordered that the 757 be completely remodeled – but he gave a very short timeline for completion of the work before he wanted the plane to fly him to Scotland to fly over his new golf course.


Things went wrong, naturally. The wrong engine cover arrived late, for instance.  Then there was the matter of the floor.  Somehow, the floor wasn’t cut to the proper dimensions in the galley and it had to be redone.  The plane was going to be late for arrival at LaGuardia airport (I was surprised they didn’t redo the floor in-flight).


The plane arrived in New York. A fog was rolling in.  If they didn’t take off by 11:30 p.m., the plane would be grounded until morning and not only would Trump miss his “golf date”, he’d also miss the speech he was supposed to give later in the day in England.


However, it was the night of a political debate (a Democrat debate, I think). Trump didn’t want to miss a word of the televised broadcast and refused to leave Trump Tower before the debate was over.  He finally arrived, with only mere minutes to go before the midnight deadline.  No one dared to tell Trump to “hurry up.”  I wonder what he would have done if the plane had been grounded.  Go to the air traffic control tower and pay them off?  Or order them to let his plane take off?


A man used to playing by and making his own rules presents a problematic candidate for President of the United States. When he says he will absolutely stop any Syrian refugees from entering the country, you want to cheer.  When he vows to build a bigger, better border wall across the southern border, you sight with relief.  It’s about time someone took matters in hand.


But will happen to those who disagree with him on such issues as gay marriage or abortion? Will he have pastors who refuse to marry gay “couples” arrested?  Will climate change “deniers” join them in jail?  And what about regionalism?


The man is a builder by trade. While he’s president, he cannot engage in the trade.  But his children may be able to.  He believes in eminent domain for private builders.  Under regionalization, building will nationalized.  That means the government, under Trump, can bulldoze under any developments that stand in his way.


The woman in Atlantic City is another story. We think she was blackmailing him for more money.  I don’t know whether the house was torn down or whether it still stands there, amongst the towering casino buildings.  It reminds me of the house my parents rented rooms in when my older brother was born.  Located on Warburton Avenue in Yonkers, N.Y., my mother took us back to see it.  Two huge apartment complexes squeezed the brown cottage on either side (the train station was just down the hill).  The hospital where I was born had burned down (taking my birth certificate with it) and was replaced by another high-rise apartment complex.


The question is, does Trump understand that his powers as President of the United States are limited by the U.S. Constitution? That the greatest power lies with Congress?  That far from the American people having to get used to not having their way, it is Trump who will have to accustom himself to such limitations?  Is he going to ride a bulldozer in the Inaugural Parade?


Trump has a right to run for President of the United States, in whichever party he chooses as long as he has enough support. His supporters have the right to be able to vote for him in the Primaries.  Or they have the right not to vote for him and vote for someone else.


Those who oppose him and prefer another candidate (or are another candidate) will face a force of nature in Trump. He’s rich.  He’s powerful.  He’s physically imposing.  He’s a familiar face to Americans.  He’s bold.  He’s outspoken.  He’s brash.  And he’s nasty.  Very.


How ironic that Trump would accuse anyone else of being nasty. People love him for that reason, though.  He gained millions of viewers on his television show, “The Apprentice,” for precisely that character fault.  Trump was ruthlessly nasty when he would tell someone, “You’re fired!”  Audiences ate it up.  God knows why.  Too busy popping speed to “enhance” their work performance, then smoking weed to calm down again?  Working for abusive people is sheer hell.


But all that may matter no more than Trump Marina, his major Atlantic City error. He built a casino where not enough people wanted to go.  It was too far from the Boardwalk and even Trump himself did not have the power to force my mother’s passengers to remain on her bus to make that ride out there instead of getting out at one of his other casinos. For the record, Mom did her duty and made the effort, but they said, “No.”  I was there.  I heard them for myself.


All the power, money, and muscle in the world will not make him President of the United States if he doesn’t believe in freedom, individual liberty, free enterprise (not necessarily; not if he’s in favor of corporate welfare), and limited government. Even his staunchest supporters will insist on getting off the bus if they realize he’s taking them somewhere they don’t want to go.







Published in: on January 26, 2016 at 1:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Art of Conservatism

Since the 1960s, selling Conservatism has not been an easy job. In those days, Sodomy Laws were still on the books.  That means the police could enter a private home and arrest the residents for engaging (usually) in a consensual act in the privacy of their bedroom (or wherever).  These laws were said to be promulgated by religious Conservatives.


My parents were native New Yorkers, one born in Manhattan but raised in the Bronx, the other born and raised in Bronx County. They first moved to Yonkers.  My older brother was born in Mount Vernon, I was born in Yonkers.


When Westchester County became gentrified (a gentrification which my mother reported in the annals of Dodge Reports during and after World War II), my parents found they could no longer afford to live there, and after a brief flirtation with California living (where teenagers were already experimenting with drugs, circa 1959), they returned East to join the New York exodus to New Jersey.


Despite the Leftist definition of Conservatism, they were strongly opposed to the Sodomy Laws and were relieved when the laws were repealed. Strong Constitutionalists, they did not believe that what people did in their own homes (as long as the activity was consensual) was any of the government’s business.  Such arrests were Big Government intruding on people’s private lives.


My parents were ultra-private. My mother didn’t speak to her neighbors for years, as befitted a New York City-born woman.  The Golden Rule in The City was:  Mind Your Own Business.  You didn’t talk to anyone you didn’t already know from work or family, you didn’t even look at anyone, and you didn’t impede the sidewalk traffic; you had to go with the flow.


That didn’t mean they approved of homosexuality. Since they weren’t “church people,” however, they hadn’t depended on a preacher or a Bible study group to “help” them interpret the Bible.  They were rugged, urban individualists who read the Bible for themselves.  That Bible clearly stated that God did not approve of homosexuality. It just as clearly stated that God, not other equally-corrupt human beings, would deal with other sinners.


The Bible teaches us not to have anything to do with politics. Yet it also said that man must make some arrangements for the general keeping of order, dealing with people who steal, injure, and murder other human beings.   To that end, man must form some sort of government.  Since ancient times, man has literally “elected” kings.  For those generally illiterate times, it probably made sense.  The people selected the strongest warrior who could strategize and defend them in the event of an attack.


Some monarchs made some serious mistakes. Catherine the Great devoted funds to build more and more mosques in the Crimea (which the Communists later destroyed, inflaming the local Musselmen – historians considered the destruction ill-advised).  King Edward VIII married the woman he loved.  Maybe that wasn’t such a bad thing for England, since he was said to be a Nazi sympathizer.  His abdication gave us the most admirable (as far as monarchs go). Queen Elizabeth II.  King George III taxed the American Colonies.


If you’re a Downtown Abbey fan, you know that Lady Cora Grantham, married to the Earl of Grantham, has been drawn into a pitched battle over the fate of the village hospital. Reformers, like Mrs. Crawley (the late Matthew’s mother), want the hospital to consolidate with the larger Yorkshire hospital.  The village hospital would come under the authority of the larger hospital.


In doing so, the village hospital would benefit from medical and technical advances, more money and better treatment. The indomitable Dowager Grantham, “Violet” or “Granny” as she is called (played by veteran actress and Oscar winner Maggie Smith), is greatly opposed to the merger.  She warns time and again that once the merger is complete, the village will lose all control over the treatment and care of its patients.


The younger reformers have the final word, as Lady Cora is convinced of the benefits. The local doctor is eventually cowed by mounting pressure from the youngsters.  Last night, “Granny” final surrendered to the populist view.  But with the warning that she’d seen this kind of thing happen before, every time a government “offered” to take over a service.  They never lived up to their promises, resulting in poorer service, more expenses for the village and customers, and a general lowering of standards.


“It was our job to see that this kind of thing did not happen. That’s why our people forced the king to sign the Magna Carta in 1215.”


She goes on to predict, “Your great-great-grandchildren will not thank you for this,” she cautions them, as she hobbles out of the scene. Violet goes out but not down with her flags flying.


The current lone voice in the wilderness crying out against an out-of-control government is Sen. Ted Cruz. He is the David against Donald Trump’s populist Goliath.  Trump has readily admitted (and before this past weekend) that he would make deals, that he would compromise.


He’s admitted, and re-confirmed, that he is pro-Choice, in favor of abortion. He’s in favor of taxing the “wealthy.”  But he’s caught the nation’s attention with his declaration against illegal immigration.  He’s vowed to build a border wall (which he is capable of doing).  He’s vowed to take a strong economic stand against China (compared to Cruz’ supposed support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership).  He’s vowed to stop Islamic Jihadists from entering the country.  He’s pro-Second Amendment.  And he’s promised to bring back jobs to America from overseas.


Yesterday, he gleefully boasted how some media organization claimed that his supporters are so loyal that they would support him even if he shot someone on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. Is that Trump’s idea of New York values?  He’s donated money to both parties, although thanks to Campaign Finance Reform, he can hardly help doing so.


Trump is a thorough, fighting-spirit New Yorker. He attacks, attacks, and attacks again.  He’s like the very wealthy competitor of a company for which I previously worked.  This competitor warned the company that if they attempted any type of attack ads, he would wipe the company out.  The company backed down and forbade competitive ads.  Meanwhile, the competitor thinks nothing of employing attack ads.


A true populist, Trump states the obvious. He knows what the people want to hear.  He’s also the loudest candidate at the microphone.  A true showman, he delivers his message with such bombast (and very little in the way of content) that he makes the other candidates (except Christie) seem like pipsqueaks.  He’s publicly stated, though, that “President” Trump will not be the same person as Candidate Trump.


Straight from the horse’s mouth. How much more of a warning do we need?


The Media, meanwhile, along with the Republican Establishment has painted Ted Cruz as a cranky little troublemaker causing dissension and unhappiness in the Senate. He’s a lone-wolf stalwart in the vein of Violet Crawley-Grantham.  No one wants to dance with the lady no one wants to dance with.  Or the senator.


Few people bother to read these days. Except “Conservative elitists” as one grouchy radio commentator put it, up in their ivory towers.  I haven’t read Ted Cruz’ campaign book, yet – but I plan to.  Like everyone else, I thought it would be just another nice, but dull, biography.


The other day, I was checking out the candidates’ titles. Yes, one dull bio after another, until I got to Ted Cruz’ book, A Time for Truth: Reigniting the Promise of America.  I’ve ordered it; the book will arrive in a few days.  Happily, this is the age of electronic books and I have access to the book’s introduction, “Mendacity.”  It tells Cruz’ story of the fight over the debt ceiling.


“Pandemonium ensued. There were angry glares, heated accusations.  Red-faced name-calling echoed off the walls and vaulted ceilings in a room just off the main corridor of the U.S. Capitol.  It was Tuesday, February 11, 2014.  Another lunch of the Senate Republicans.


“I’d been a regular part of these gatherings ever since I was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012. Most, if not all, of the then forty-five members of the Republican conference usually attended; these were, literally, free lunches after all, in some of the most beautiful rooms in the U.S. Capitol.


“On Tuesdays and Thursdays, we met in the Lyndon B. Johnson Room [Ed. Note: How appropriate], an expansive chamber adorned with ceiling frescoes by the Italian artist Constantino Brumidi, a large, gilded mirror, an opulent chandelier, and marble-paneled walls. On Wednesdays, we met in the Mike Mansfield Room, a wood-paneled rectangular conference room named for the late Senate Majority Leader from Montana.


“Typically, the party lunches were civil discussions – somewhat plodding, and occasionally instructive. On this day, however, civility was not on the menu.


“At this lunch, the duly-elected members of the U.S. Senate – many who’d served in the august body for decades – were yelling. Not simply raising their voices or speaking loudly, but angrily yelling at their colleagues in the room who had committed what I had quickly come to learn was the cardinal sin of Washington, D.C.:  telling the truth.


“The events of that week provided yet another example of just how bad things in our nation’s capital had become.


“The issue at hand was the federal debt ceiling.


“Periodically, it fell to the U.S. Congress to vote to raise the amount of debt the federal government can accumulate in order to continue its current spending levels.


“As a U.S. senator, Democrat Barack Obama voted repeatedly against President George W. Bush’s efforts to raise the debt ceiling, calling the need for such a vote a sign of “failed leadership.” In 2005, Obama had declared that ‘increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally.’


“He added at one point that ‘Washing is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership.  Americans deserve better.’


“This seemingly principled position changed dramatically when Obama won the presidency. This, sadly, is not surprising in Washington, D.C. – a place where principles are fungible, often lasting only until the next election.


“Not only did President Obama abandon Senator Obama’s position on the debt; he made the situation far worse. Never in the history of our country have we had a spender like Barack Obama.  When the president took office, our debt was just over $10 trillion, itself a sizeable figure.  Today, the debt is over $18 trillion.  Just think about that for a moment – it took forty-three presidents nearly 220 years to accumulate $10 trillion in debt.  In just six years, President Obama almost doubled that.


“Our total debt is now larger than our entire economy. Today, roughly 40 cents of every dollar that the federal government spends is borrowed money, which we will have to replay for years to come.


“In the early months of 2014, President Obama was urging Democrats and Republicans to pass yet another increase of the debt ceiling, so we could spend even more. The president was demanding from Congress what he called a “clean” bill.  In the backwards parlance of Washing, the definition of “clean” was adding trillions more in debt without including any reforms to arrest Washington’s out-of-control spending.  That didn’t seem very “clean” to me.


“President Obama needed Congress’ help carry out his spending plans. I saw this as an opportunity.  Historically, the vote on the debt ceiling has proven to be one of the few tools that the U.S. Congress has been able to use to achieve any modicum of success in reining in the size and power of the federal government.


“In the previous 55 times that Congress had raised the debt ceiling, it attached significant conditions to the legislation 28 times. In 1985, for example, Congress conditioned a debt-ceiling increase on the passage of the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act, one of the most constructive bipartisan efforts to rein in spending in modern times.  In 2010, Congress used its leverage to pass the so-called Budget Control Act – which both parties touted as a serious effort to reduce federal spending.  (In reality, the BCA didn’t actually “cut” spending; it simply controlled its growth.  And Congress has already abandoned some of those modest spending restraints.)


“For months leading up to this moment, Republican leaders had pledged to their constituents that when it came time to raise the federal debt limit, they would demand meaningful spending reforms from this president. Rest assured, we were told, the Republicans would insist on it!  Those of us who had fought so hard to stop Obamacare the previous year had been told, by these wizened D.C. insiders that we had picked the wrong fight; the real fight should be over the debt ceiling.


“Indeed, just days before our combative February lunch, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, appearing on Fox News Sunday, had pledged:  ‘I think for the president to ask for a clean debit ceiling, when we have a debt the size of our economy, is irresponsible.  So, we ought to discuss adding something to his request to raise the debt ceiling that does something about the debt or produces at least something positive for our country.’


“Give those public commitments, it would have been natural to expect that our lunch discussion that day would have focused on these positive “somethings” the voters were promised, to start us on a track back to fiscal sanity.


“That hadn’t happened. Just a week earlier, the GOP leadership in the House of Representatives had buckled.  They had joined with 193 Democrats to run over 1999 House Republicans and give President Obama the “clean” debt increase that he had demanded.  Sadly, Senate Republican leaders wanted us to do the exact same thing.


“This wasn’t a total shock to me. I had figured all along that our GOP leadership, like so many times before, would offer some half-hearted proposal to deal with spending and then, under pressure, eventually surrender to the Democrats.  Caving in to the president’s demands had been our modus operandi for far too long.  But I never thought that surrendering would be our starting position.


“But it was worse than that. Much worse.


“The U.S. Senate cherishes its myriad rules, traditions, and protocols. This sometimes produces great frustration to many of us trying to get something done, since many of these rules are vestiges of a bygone era.


“But this time, the rules played to our advantage. For decades, the ordinary procedure in the Senate has been that in order to move to procced to take up a debt-ceiling increase, 60 senators must vote in favor of the motion.  At the time, the Senate had 55 Democrats, which meant that five Republicans would have to support taking up the vote.  That gave our side significant bargaining power with the Democrats and the White House.


“Obviously, the Democrats didn’t want that. But neither did the Republican Senate leadership.


“In the Senate, any rule can be change by unanimous consent, which takes [requires], as the name implies, the affirmative consent of all one hundred senators. And so, as our lunch began, the members of the Republican leadership stood before us and asked every senator to join with the Democrats in granting unanimous consent to lower the 60-vote threshold to take up the debt ceiling to just 50 votes.


“None of us should oppose this, we were told, and for two reasons. First, if we lowered the threshold, then the “clean” debt ceiling would pass, and that was very much the outcome the leadership assumed each of us really desired.


“And second, if consented to lowering the threshold, Democrats would then have to the votes to raise the debt ceiling on their own. We could all vote, “No.”  This way, we could return home and tell the voters that we had opposed raising the debt ceiling, right after consenting to let it happen.


“This time I was stunned by chicanery, expressed openly, if not proudly, to the rest of us. Looking around the Lyndon Johnson Room, named for one of the biggest-spending presidents in American history, I had a new appreciation for why we were gathered here, beneath his smiling portrait.  Most senators seemed perfectly fine with the leadership’s proposal.  There were nods and murmurs of assent.


“It was too much. I raised my hand and said, “’There’s no universe in which I can consent to that.’”


Cruz goes on to write, “’If I were to affirmatively consent to making it easier for Democratic Senate Leader Harry Reid to add trillions in debt – with no spending reforms whatsoever – I think it would be dishonest and unfaithful to the voters who elected me.’


“This was an obvious point. Every one of these senators had promised their constituents that they’d oppose tricks like this to add to our debt.   But as it happened, the only other senator who spoke up to agree with me was Mike Lee, the junior senator from Utah and a staunch fiscal conservative.  Lee, my closest friend in the Senate, was another troublemaker in the eyes of the Republican leaders.


“In the two years I’ve been in the Senate, nothing I have said or done has engendered more venom and animosity from my fellow Republicans than the simple objection I made that afternoon. Indeed, the issue coalesced the rage that career politicians already felt for upstarts like me.”


He goes on to write, “When I made my case to my colleagues, they looked at me like I was a fool. I heard more than one variation of ‘That’s what you say to folks back home.  You don’t actually do it.’  They were convinced that they had a brilliant maneuver to increase our debt without any [of their] fingerprints.  And here was a freshman senator with the temerity to screw it all up.


Don’t you understand what we are doing?  Senators thundered.  Why are you forcing us to tackle this? Why can’t you just go along?


“…it was surreal to see Republican senators – some of whom were conservative icons – turn purple over this issue.”


Sadly, average Americans, ever the pragmatists, stopped listening to the debt ceiling debate as soon as they heard that it was a lone voice against the many. Might makes right, you know.  We’re a democracy, where strength is in numbers – even if the numbers include $18 trillion dollars in debt.  No one cared if Cruz was right.  Most Americans can’t even balance their own checkbooks and are themselves deep in debt via mortgages and credit cards.  What do they know about things like the debt ceiling.


No one cared if he was right; they only cared that he was alone, out-numbered, and our social Society frowns upon loners (Ever tried going to a movie theater, an amusement park or a high school football game alone? The stares, the glares, the frowns from pairs.)  Establishment financial consultants went on the talk show circuit and assured Americans that the sky would fall if the debt ceiling wasn’t raised.  (I told my older brother, ‘Rubbish!’).


Obediently, America cowered under the auspices of men wearing green eyeshades. Pundits (except for Rush and Glenn Beck) waggled their heads at Cruz and America followed.  Meanwhile, who showed up for the show but Donald Trump.  Bold, boisterous, fearless, loud, and rich.  Very, very, very rich.  He’d be beholden to no one.  No one could buy him, even as he scoffed at the first debate that he’d bought and sold some of the very politicians standing on the stage night.


Trump was familiar, even though audiences mostly laughed at his wrestling-match antics. He had said everything the public wanted to hear during his campaign stops.  Every time the Pundit Class (including Conservatives) declared Trump dead, he rose even higher in the polls.  I wasn’t sure he’d make such a great president, but he was saying all the right things.


If they were right, and he was a bad pick, I thought the Pundit Class ought to keep their mouths shut. I believe I wrote just such advice in my blog – but I can’t remember.  The voters are angry, he reflected that anger and promised to assuage it, and anyone who attacked him, in their eyes, attacked them.  Shut up.  Shut up, shut up, shut up.


Rush Limbaugh interviewed Cruz for the August 2015 issue of The Limbaugh Letter:


Cruz: “One of the things I describe in A Time for Truth is the way [the] Republican leadership silences dissent.  They use two tools.  Number one, they cut off your money and two, the engage in public flogging.  They plant story after story in the press, beating the living daylights out of you.”


I passionately believe that, in the primaries, voters should elect the person in whom they have the most trust. If you believe in Rand Paul, if you’re a Libertarian, that’s who you should vote for.  If you’re really more of a Liberal Republican, then John Kacich is probably your guy.  If you’re a touchy-feely type of Republican, then Jeb Bush is the president for you.


But voters also have a responsibility to weigh all the pros and cons of all the candidates before deciding. They must be tolerant of opposing views without having a coronary (unless the candidate admits to being a Communist – then, have it).  Otherwise, you won’t know what you’re missing.


The candidates can argue the live-long day about the issues and how to handle. On one platform, however, a true President of the United States of America must be unimpeachably solid:  freedom.


If the candidate doesn’t believe in freedom – individual freedom – which only a limited government can guarantee, then they’re bloated with hot air. Courage won’t be found in someone pounding a podium, pointing fingers, spewing out slogans, and promising the moon, then telling you he intends to compromise with anyone with a greasy found.


Courage is the little guy standing alone against the rich and powerful (in his own party, no less), defying donors and pundits alike, risking it all for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  That’s what created America.  That’s what enabled men like Trump to become billionaires.  That’s what you should be voting for – freedom.


Think about the titles of the books the two men authored (Trump has published many books on success): Trump’s No. 1 Best-Seller, The Art of the Deal.   “Deal” is practically required reading in business schools across the country and probably around the world.  I’ve read it; it’s what Trump would call a “GREAT” book.  Well, maybe we don’t need the capital letters.  But it’s a good read about succeeding in business.  I found it inspiring, especially about a certain employee thinking beyond his cubicle walls rather pressing his nose to the grindstone.


When the other employees complained, Trump said, “The last time that guy daydreamed, he made me a million dollars. Leave him alone.”


Cruz’ A Time for Truth is less well-known.  Like National Review magazine, few beyond the “Conservative Elite” have probably read it.  You’ve seen the first part of the introduction.  This is not your typical political bio:  it’s a tell-all about the Washington about which we’ve been complaining since before the Tea Parties.


One book ends in “Deal”; the other, in “Truth.”


Which author would you trust to run America as President?

Published in: on January 25, 2016 at 2:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

D.C. Gets Hit by A Global Warming Blizzard, By God!

At this writing, Washington, D.C., our nation’s capital, is being whomped by one of the five worst blizzards in the city’s history. So far, they’ve gotten 16 inches of snow and there’s more to come.


Oh, if ever a city deserved to be walloped by a snowstorm, at this particular time, it’s Washington, D.C. Can you just see the justice, social and otherwise, in it?  I wonder what Obama is thinking of right (if he’s even in Washington)?  He and propagandists must have been working all night, plotting how to twist this blizzard into an example of climate change.


He’s got a few problems with that, though. It’s January.  It’s winter.  It’s cold out.  Washington has been known to get snowstorms, sometimes worse than the storms New York City experiences.  The eastern seaboard has been experiencing Gulf Stream flow weather for at least a year or more.  In this case, the jetstream slipped far down to the South, practically to the Gulf of Mexico.


But don’t worry. Obama and his minions will find a way to convince the gullible that this is all their fault for driving gasoline-powered cars.  Meanwhile, I love to imagine that God planned all this, to teach presumptuous global climatologists not to tell Him how to run his planet.


God pressed the button on his speaker-phone.


“Alexandra, dear, would you please contact the Seven and let them know I want to hold a meeting at 10 a.m.?”


Alexandra was deemed the worthiest secretary on Earth and was given prestigious position of Executive Secretary to God.


“It will be my pleasure, Sir,” she replied sweetly.


‘Heh!’ God thought. ‘Good help isn’t so hard to find after all.’


At 10 a.m., The Seven – Gabriel, Michael, Raphael, Uriel, Raguel, Ramiel and Sariel promptly arrived in God’s office.


“Good!” he said. “You’re all here.  I called you together because I’m quite disturbed by this constant talk of global warming and climate change.”


“Well, sir, they have made rather a mess of things down there,” Raguel reminded him.


“Oh, I know that. I’m not talking about litter or pollution.  The Americans have got in hand, at least.  The Chinese now…  But that’s not what’s bothering me,” God said, fussing with his beard.  “It’s this business of taking to forecasting my weather and criticizing it, thinking they can change it.  This has got to stop.”


“What can we do about the weather forecasts?” Sariel asked.

Gabriel laughed. “They’re always wrong anyway.”


“Yes, yes,” God said with a wave of His hand. “But it’s this Obama fellow who’s rankling My robes.  He’s going about here and there, shouting, ‘Global warming!’  and ‘Climate change!’  I’ve got to teach him a lesson, once and for all.”


Gabriel noted, “You did send that massive snowstorm to Copenhagen in 2009, after all.”


God laughed. “That was a magnificent work of genius wasn’t it?  Sending a snowstorm to a human conference on global warming!  And then they gave the fool a Nobel Prize for his ‘work’!”  He chucked merrily.  The Seven laughed, especially Uriel.


“It was amusing, Uriel, but clearly this Obama didn’t get the message,” Gabriel said.


“I’m ready anytime you are,” Uriel shot back.


“People could get hurt again,” said Raphael. “Even die.”


“Bosh! People die every day!” God scoffed.  “Gabriel tells his contacts to warn their people not to out into floods, tornadoes, and hurricanes.  Is it My fault if they don’t listen?  Anyway, I was sure that the blizzard in New Mexico and Texas would change his tune.  Texas, for heaven’s sakes!  It’s hotter than you-know-where down there.  But they still didn’t believe I did it!”


“Yet you spared the people of the Northeast, where snow and cold weather are customary,” Ramiel noted. “Why?  We didn’t think you liked New York City very much.”


“Well, no, I don’t!   It was a Christmas present to the humans in New Jersey, actually.  That Obama and those miscreants before him – Carter and Clinton – and that wicked state legislature of theirs – were responsible for New Jersey’s economic crisis.


“Thousands of people are out of work there. Some of them have had to leave their homes and move to other places, away from their families.  Others have had to beg help from the government.  I don’t want Obama helping them.  That’s MY job to help them.  By Me, I want them to look after themselves!!”  God pounded his fist on his desk.


Michael had stood by silently. “Sir?  The weather?”


“What?! Oh, yes. The weather.  That’s why called you all in here for.  I want another weather event.  I want to hit this Obama where he lives.  I want you to dump a blizzard right on top of that executive mansion in Washington, D.C.”


“What did you have in mind, sir?” Gabriel asked.


God made a map of the United States materialize.


“I want to create a high energy system right here, on the northern Pacific Coast. Bring in lots of moisture.  Then I want to lower the jet stream right down to the Gulf of Mexico.”


“It’s still there,” Gabriel reminded him.




“The jet stream; it’s still there, in the Gulf of Mexico, where you ordered it. You had requested a move, so we’ve left it there.”


“Oh, good,” God said. “I’m glad to see someone still listens to me.  The energy system will pick up lots of warm, moist air down there, then I want to send back up along the inside curve of that jet stream, combine with that other storm in the Midwest – and socko! – bury that Obama up to his big ears in snow!”


Uriel replied, “We’ll put the weather into motion immediately, sir!”


“Excellent! And Gabriel, make sure they can’t make any mistake about it this time.  I want every weather forecaster in the world to see my handiwork.  And come to think, send some of that stuff up to New York City.  I wouldn’t mind burying that ramshackle United Nations in a snowdrift.  If they think they can take over my job as Ruler of the Universe, they’ll find they’re fooling with the wrong God!  Besides, the reservoirs in that area need some moisture.  I invented the notion of ‘cold storage,’ if you’ll recall.


As it’s a weekend, none of us (who are employed) need worry about a workday commute. So enjoy the snow.  Stay home.  Don’t drive.  Take it easy when shoveling (send the teens out, if you have to do the heavy lifting).


And don’t forget to thank God, even if you’re not crazy about snow, or at least shoveling it. This is just His way of telling Obama to shovel it (climate change).



Published in: on January 23, 2016 at 3:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Black Oscars

Black actors, led by Director Spike Lee and actress Jada Pinkett Smith, along with her husband Will Smith, said on Monday they will boycott next month’s Academy Awards ceremony because black actors were shut out of nominations, and the Academy acknowledged it needed to do more to promote diversity.


The Oscar acting nominees announced on Thursday lacked black performers for a second straight year, leading to the revival of the Twitter feed #OscarsSoWhite that emerged in 2015.


The first black to win an Oscar was Hattie McDaniel for Best Supporting Actress, 1939, for her role in “Gone With the Wind.”  Although she was an Academy Award Winner, she still had to use the “black” entrance to get into the theater to accept her award.


The movies had to catch up with reality – a changing one – before black performers would receive their due in roles that didn’t portray them as slaves or servants. Not until 1963 would another black actor win an award – Sidney Poitier won the 1963 Best Actor Oscar for his role as a traveling handyman who helps nuns build a chapel in the desert in “Lilies of the Field.”  Twenty-four years had passed between “Gone with the Wind” and “Lilies of the Field.”


Nineteen years later, Louis Gossett, Jr. would win the 1982 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in “An Officer and a Gentleman.”  The next Oscars wouldn’t be so long in coming.  In 1989, Denzel Washington won the Best Supporting actor for his amazing performance in the movie, Glory. Granted, it was another Civil War movie.  But Washington wasn’t playing the house boy.


The next year, Whoopi Goldberg won a Best Supporting Actress for her role in “Ghost.” Cuba Gooding, Jr. won the Academy Award in 1996 for Best Supporting Actor in “Jerry Maguire” (“Show me the money!”).  Five years later, Denzel Washington would win another Oscar, this time for Best Actor in “Training Day” and Halle Berry would win Best Actress in “Monster’s Ball.” It was the first time a black actor and actress would take home the Best Actor and Actress Oscars in the same year.


In 2004, Jamie Foxx would win the Best Actor award for his lead in “Ray,” a bio-pic about the life of singer Ray Charles, while Morgan Freeman would take home the Best Supporting Actor for “Million Dollar Baby.”  The Oscars were coming more frequently for black actors and actresses.


Two years later, in 2006, Forest Whitaker would take home the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in the film, “The Last King of Scotland” and Jennifer Hudson would win the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for “Dream Girls.”  Mo’Nique won the Best Supporting Actress award in 2009 for her role in the film, “Precious.”


The next year, another black actress, Octavia Spencer, took home the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in “The Help” and in 2013, Lupita Nyong’o won the BSA for “12 Years a Slave.”


Fifteen Academy Awards. Anyone working in Hollywood – in the entertainment business in general – has to know that the competition is fierce just to land a role, much less win an award for it.


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences keeps its own counsel about to whom it will award Oscars. Their process is very secretive and mysterious.  The actors and actresses, directors, producers and other members usually view the films privately, with no input from audiences about which films, actors, actresses, and directors to select.  Perhaps they use a divining rod.  Or maybe they consult an oracle who throws shreds of celluloid into a little camp fire, examining the charred pieces.


How else to explain why they chose to give the Best Actor Award to Sean Penn, close friend of El Chapo Guzman, twice, while ignoring Tom Cruise in “Valkyrie” or Daniel Craig in “Defiance?”  Granted 2008 was hardly a landmark year for films (i.e., “Speed Racer,” “Get Smart,” “Disaster Movie”).


In recent times, Hollywood has done its due diligence to Blacks in its selection of films, “In the Heat of the Night,” “Driving Miss Daisy,” and “12 Years a Slave.”  The Academy has been hit-or-miss in selecting winning films in general.  It’s chosen some pretty amazing movies over the years:  “Casablanca,” “From Here to Eternity,” “The Sound of Music,” “Amadeus,” “Schindler’s List,” “Forrest Gump,” “Titanic,” “A Beautiful Mind,” “The Lord of the Rings” (a personal favorite).


And it’s chosen some duds that you can only find in the five-dollar bin at Wal-Mart: “American Beauty,” “The Artist,” “Midnight Cowboy,” “Ordinary People,” “Chariots of Fire,” “Terms of Endearment “(the top of my Worst Best Picture Ever), “The Apartment,” “Chicago,”Annie Hall.”


Of all the movies made in 1977, why “Annie Hall”?  We’re not even talking “Star Wars” here (too many mistakes:  George Lucas wasn’t worried about winning awards; he was worried about breaking even on what people told him was a sleeper, at best).  Still, who really remembers “Annie Hall” today?  “Star Wars” was the movie that changed Hollywood, parsecs and all.


There was “Saturday Night Fever.” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” (another sci-fi).  “A Bridge Too Far.” “ Heroes.”  “MacArthur”.  Clearly, voting for “Annie Hall” as Best Picture was a homage to neurotic Woody Allen.  We know how that turned out.  Uggh.


So, black actors, actresses, directors and producers, no blacks were nominated this year. What’s on the slate for 2016?  “Bridge of Spies” (a thriller with Tom Hanks), “Mad Max: Fury Road” (a sci-fi re-boot, woman revolts against tyrant), “The Revenant” (man-meets-bear, bear-molests-man with Leo DiCaprio), Spotlight (priest-molests-boys), “The Martian” (a sci-fi comedy?), and “The Big Short” (a Wall Street-basher).


“The Revenant” and “Spotlight” won’t even make it to the Wal-Mart bin because of their subject matter.  But “Mad Max” will make the bin and so will “The Big Short.” Taking into account the buzz on movies, the likely winner is The Martian, with a probable Best Actor for Matt Damon.  Tom Hanks already has two Oscars and Hollywood will want to pin the Red Star on its newest Communist actor, whom they probably consider overdue for the award.


With a woman running for president (if she doesn’t wind up prison), this is the year to watch the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories:


  1. Brie Larson (“Room”)
  2. Saoirse Ronan (“Brooklyn”)
  3. Cate Blanchet (“Carol”)
  4. Jennifer Lawrence (“Joy”)
  5. Charlotte Rampling (“45 Years”)


Variety is betting on Brie Larson, for “Room.” The actor and actress awards are almost never about the performance in the movie cited, but in the performances the Academy missed.  In the case of Morgan Freeman, he had four films in the same year, 1989, with three of the four performances “Lean on Me,” “Driving Miss Daisy,” and “Glory” absolute perfection (didn’t see “Johnny Handsome”). It took the Academy another 15 years to figure out that Freeman was a great actor (2004 – Best Supporting Actor, “Million Dollar Baby”).


Did I mention he’s black? Well, you already knew that.


Many, many actors, such as Ian McKellan (didn’t they see him in “Angels and Demons”?) and Harrison Ford (one nod for “Witness”, otherwise, take your pick of films, like “The Fugitive”) have given great performances who will never have that statue on their mantelpiece. But such actors (and actresses) have the consolation of at least having been nominated.


Some awards are totally mysterious and mystifying. Natalie Portman in “Black Swan.”  If audiences would even go to see such a dark film in the first place, is that what the Academy is rewarding women for – the films in which they appear rather than their performances?  Distaff roles (Gwyneth Paltrow in “Shakespeare in Love”)?  Aggressive, liberal attorneys (Susan Saradon, “Dead Men Walking”)?  Women boxers (Hilary Swank, “Million Dollar Baby?”), and union activists (Sally Field, “Norma Rae”)?


Where are the truly great actresses? The Katherine Hepburns?  The Greer Garsons (check her out in the 1942 “Mrs. Miniver”)?  Even great actresses took on horrible roles in horrible movies (Olivia DeHaviland, “The Heiress,” 1949) back in the old days.  Actors fared better.


But today it seems to be more about the role the actor is playing than how they’re playing it. Great movies should be about great stories and great characters, not (usually) Leftist politics.  Of course, in 2013, we had Matthew McConaughey in “The Dallas Buyers Club,” which was about a guy who contracted AIDS in 1985 who went around getting drugs for other AIDS patients.


Not that there’s anything wrong with the improvements in the treatment of AIDS. Thanks to advancements in medicine and technology, patients no longer suffer with and die from this agonizing disease.  But the Left wanted the taxpayers to pay for the treatments just the way they want the taxpayers to subsidize abortions and contraception today.  Back in the Eighties, the Reagan Administration said, “No,” and so of course that meant our Conservative president wanted people to die of AIDS.


Thanks to the Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press, movie producers can make whatever movies they like. Anti-war films go all the way back to the 1920s, with “All Quiet on the Western Front” (an incredibly sad film, quite potent for what we thought were simpler times).  “All Quiet” won the 1929-1930 Academy Award for Best Picture.  “Pro-war” movies followed during World War II.  “The Longest Day” was nominated for Best Picture, but lost out to a World War I flick, “Lawrence of Arabia”  (“Longest Day” did pick up two technical Oscars, however).  “M*A*S*H*,” which led a generation of soldiers to think that war was a Boy Scout camp-out (it may have gotten some of them killed in Vietnam later in the war), was nominated for best picture in 1970, but lost out to World War II and “Patton.”


So, you see, like everything in life, the Academy Awards are like a lottery, black people – sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t. Unlike the Miss America Pageant, the Academy Awards have been integrated since their first ceremony in 1927 (even if blacks did have to enter through the service entrance).


Black Miss America contestants must take their chances just like the other beauties. What do black performers want?  A separate category for black performers, directors, producers, and films?  Because if the Academy Awards must submit to a quota system, that puts blacks back into a segregated corner.


Choosing the Best Picture, Actor, Actress and so forth should be pretty much black and white: each should be “judged” on their merits, not on their melanin.







Published in: on January 22, 2016 at 4:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

Concerning Being Conservative

Boy, howdy! What is the matter with people the last few days?  Is it something to do with the planetary alignment?


Everyone is going crazy over this Conservative thing. “Are you?  Aren’t you?  What does it mean to be Conservative?”  Conservatives are the new Country Club Republicans!  Conservatives want to put everyone in the gulag!  Conservatives are going to round everyone up and put them into concentration camps (uh, no – but we’d send people here illegally back where they came from).  Even Conservative pundits are backing away from their own political identities.


Conservatives don’t want to play nicely! They don’t want to “share” and they don’t want to compromise. They expect politicians to be perfect and that’s never going to happen.  They’re like little children – they want everything their own way (this last was a well-known afternoon radio host) or they’ll take their vote home and then the Democrats will win again and that will be the end of America was we know.


The last time I looked, the Republicans were so much like the Democrats that some Republicans fared worse on the Americans for Prosperity Conservative rankings than Democrats did. John McCain boasted about crossing the aisle to compromise.  George W. crowed about being a “uniter not a divider”.  Mitt Romney was a thoroughly nice guy whose business, when not governing Massachusetts, was turning failed companies around.  What an endorsement for a president of the United States whose country was flailing economically.  Too bad he also endorsed a socialist, universal health care program in his ultra-liberal state.


What is so hard about understanding what being a Conservative means? Read Russell Kirk, William F. Buckley, Edmund Burke or F.A. Hayek for the answers.


We started the Tea Party because we wanted to get away from this notion that we had to “compromise’ our values – both the political and the social. The organizers of the Morristown TEA Party were nervous about addressing the social issues. I wouldn’t have, except the government had already intruded upon them.  Moles infiltrated our meetings with the object of destroying our movement; I pointed out the door to them.  The organizers got even more nervous.  They didn’t want to be branded as “partisan” or “crazy.”


If someone came into your house, insulted your decorating style – and even began rearranging the furniture, made a mess on your carpet, criticized your religion, kicked your dog, told you your kids were ugly and stupid, spat out your food, and stole your money, wouldn’t you show them the  door?


People criticized the Tea Party as “racist,” “homophobic” and every other word in the Liberal dictionary. We’re not the ones policing people’s speech, butchering fetuses or marching naked through Greenwich Village. Yet we’re not advocating blowing up abortion clinics or reinstating the Sodomy Laws, where people were dragged out of their private homes, either.


Even Tea Party administrators on Facebook are urging their followers to “promote the movement in an ‘attainable’ way.” They think Conservatives are “fanatics” simply because we insist our candidates be honorable people?  Did these Facebook people even attend one of the rallies back in 2009?  Because they don’t seem to have gotten the message.  There the real Tea Partiers and the Media’s grossly misleading portrayal of them.


I could think of a few names to call people who abort fetuses, run around naked in the middle of Manhattan, and want to force pastors and priests to marry couples against their conscience. Not to mention people who want to rob us of our right to bear arms and politicians on both sides of the aisle who think subsidies are a natural part of the government’s mandate.


That’s the talk of people who’ve been inhaling too much weed, if you ask me. Everything is not just okay. It’s not okay when you murder a human-being-in-the-making. From the moment they’re conceived, they have the spark of life.  It’s that electricity that occurs in every cell of your body from the moment it starts growing.  Without it, we’d be dead.  Bioelectric genesis, I think it’s called.


It’s not okay when immigrants arrive here early, settle into Section 8 housing and stock up WIC groceries. It’s not okay drug dealers are prowling the streets of your suburb in the open daylight.  It’s not okay to threaten some poor clergy with arrest – that’s what Lenin did, arrested clergy who refused to denounce their religion – because he refuses to marry a couple based on religious principles.  It’s not okay for the government to keep pushing the national debt into the future.  It’s definitely not okay to redistribute the wealth.  That’s a plank of Communism, not freedom.


It’s not okay for Islamic Jihadists to come here in the guise of war refugees and be told that we can’t insult Islam. It’s not okay to make some broad statement that all the world’s troubles are America’s fault.  It’s not okay to decimate our military.  It’s not okay to stifle academic debate (i.e., about climate change).  It’s not okay to say that we’re not allowed to disagree and that we must “compromise.”  It’s not okay to teach our kids that 1 plus 2 equals 5.


We’re a democracy – well, a federated republic. That means we vote for what we believe, not put the other guy in prison if we don’t like the way he thinks.


If you don’t like the notion of being a Conservative, then don’t call yourself one. Become a Moderate. Became a Liberal.  Become a Hare Krishna.  But don’t tell us who we must be in order to be “acceptable” to some brain-washed, brain-damaged Millennial.


If you think limited government, lower taxes, accountable politicians, and fiscal responsibility (the main TEA Party tenets), plus the Constitutional rights of freedom to worship, speak, think, as you please, and freedom to associate with whom you will, and a belief in the U.S. Constitution as it was originally set down by the Founding Fathers (who believed in God) are “extreme” views, then I can’t imagine why you would want to be a Conservative.


The American people are free to form, or join, any political party they wish. Those who would create a “Conservative Party” (it doesn’t exist yet; at the moment, it’s merely an ideology that either you share or you don’t) are under no obligation to modify their beliefs. Those tenets I mentioned have changed or are being transformed (Obama’s promise) and we who think of ourselves as “conservative” by definition oppose their alteration or dissolution as a degeneration, a progressive assault on freedom.


There’s no reason for us to “compromise” one single belief we hold.  We’re being accused of having a “group-think” mentality, which would be about as antithetical to freedom as a mentality can get. And maybe we are into “group-think” ourselves. But we don’t compel anyone to share those beliefs.  No one’s forcing anyone to become a Conservative, don’t be.   Become a Communist if you like or join a Coven. This is what we believe and if you like it, join us in our “crusade” for freedom.  If not, leave us alone.


Nitwits complain that the country is “divided.” Well, no kidding.  And who do we have to thank for that?  The Conservatives?  Or the Progressives, who’ve advocated and engineered these “changes” for the last 100 years?


Ideally, George Washington felt that there shouldn’t be any “parties,” soliciting for the office of President of the United States; just two, outlining how each would be the best defender of the Constitution of the United States. Some believed it was by a strictly centralized Federal government.  Others argued that the size of the federal government, as stated in the Constitution, should be limited in its powers (and size), with the majority of power left to the state governments.


Over the two and a half centuries, many things did change, in the natural course of time, that is. Travel and communications became easier.  The capital was located in Washington, D.C., at the time a central location for the seat of the federal government.


Representatives built offices – and homes – there and began spending more time shaking hands with their Congressional colleagues than their constituents. Congress and the Supreme Court began instituting changes to the Constitution.  The very first SCOTUS decision, Marbury v. Madison was a doozy:  The Court ruled in 1803 that Congress exceeded its power in the Judiciary Act of 1789.  The Court, then, established its power to review Acts of Congress and to declare invalid those it found to be in “conflict” with the Constitution.


That’s how long the nation has been divided and hurtling closer to a centralized bureaucracy and away from freedom and limited government.


With the turn of the 20th Century, a new movement in politics, Progressivism, combined with another recent movement, Communism, joined forces to establish and engineer a collective society that would ultimately banish individual rights (particularly to property).  Congress instituted an income tax in 1913.  Previously, Congress was only permitted to levy taxes in time of war or emergency.


In 1934, the Federal Communications Commission was created to regulate radio, television and any other electronic communications. That same year, the Security and Exchange Commission was established.  During Roosevelt’s unprecedented 12 years in office, he would create an alphabet soup of regulatory agencies.


In 1935, he passed the Social Security Act. Originally intended to tide retired older citizens over in a financial crisis, Social Security became a crutch upon which, to this day, senior citizens are dependent.  The framework for a bureaucratic government became entrenched.


Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson set that bureaucracy in cement when he signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act and in 1965, abolished the immigration quota system. The Civil Rights Act was actually favored by the Republicans.  The burdensome, oppressive language of the 1964 Act, essentially regulating speech, laid the foundation for our politically correct society of the 21st Century.  It also ensured that minorities, in Johnson’s words, would be “voting Democrat for the next hundred years.”


The nascent Conservative Movement was quashed by Liberal Republicans in the 1964 Presidential election by Nelson Rockefeller. It resurged, to great success, with the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980.  Conservatives – the “Silent Majority” first designated by Vice President Spiro Agnew and taken up by Pres. Richard Nixon in the Sixties – were heartened.  Liberals were infuriated, mocking Reagan, a former actor, and harassing the overwhelming majority of Americans who loved him.


If Reagan made one mistake, it was that, with the fall of the Iron Curtain, the Berlin Wall which divided that city between East and West, Communism and Democracy, he declared that Communism was dead. It was not, as much as we would have liked to believe it had been struck its death-blow in Berlin.


Like today’s Islamic Jihadists who learned from them, Communists had cells in every city in America. During the Cold War, their spies communicated with one another at the Yonkers train station, just below where we lived.  They had cells, committed to terrorism and the overthrow of Democracy and Capitalism, in every city in the world.


Their bases were in Mexico and Cuba. That’s what makes the Mexican immigrants so especially dangerous to our freedom.  Unlike the Cuban refugees who rebelled against Castro after his 1959 coup, the Mexicans, with their Chinese heritage, welcomed Communism.  Their leaders had been trained by none other than Leon Trotsky, leader of the Red Army during the Russian Revolution (Stalin eventually had him assassinated).


Trotsky believed in localized coups rather than central domination by the U.S.S.R. China, which had a strong influence in Mexico City, held the same ideology.  Such overthrows made Communist victory more certain because it wouldn’t seem like an invasion.  Insurrection would be the closest word.


That’s where America is at today. Liberal Democrats depend upon their legal status as Americans to defray any criticism.  That’s enough.  They’ve been trained to hate freedom, individual liberty, property ownership, and prosperity as selfish.  They’ve been inculcated to hate God.  The collective, the state is all.  Try criticizing climate change, the movement that will ensure the seizure of private property and the nationalization of business.


They depend upon the young, the weak, the poor, the ill-informed, the marginalized “minorities” (whose marginalization they’ve had no small part in achieving) to form their voting bloc. Where stupidity, resentment, or outright anger does not serve them as an aid, drugs will.


So here we are. Those voters are on one side of the divide and the Conservatives are on the other, with no real hope of unity since their ideologies are so polarized.  They don’t believe in freedom.  How can there possibly be any compromise on that issue?  Compromise our individual liberty and what’s left?  “Redistribute” our wealth and we’ll be the virtual prisoners of the government.  We won’t be able to criticize it, control it, or counter it, any more than we can take on one of our corporate bosses without being fired.  Deny our Christian God, and we’ll lose our souls.


That’s where we’re at. To join Socialist, progressive Communists (whatever name they want to be called today) is unthinkable.  Many are doing so blindly or out of peer pressure (how typical) with no thought for the ultimate consequences – and there will be consequences, as anyone who has studied the history of Totalitarianism can attest.


No matter how small our group, we will stand our ground. We must.  We don’t really know what the Conservative numbers really are.  They must be more sizeable than the Media or the Republicans are letting on since nearly every politician is laying claim to that ideology.


Our ability to identify them baffles and infuriates the Moderates, who wring their hands over every election. As Gov. Christie noted, Republicans are taking more state legislatures and governor’s seats.  But at what cost, we ask?  How many hands have they shaken, how much money have they given away, how many of our rights have they betrayed to achieve this “miracle”?


They accuse us of being children. But they’re the ones stamping their feet in political temper tantrums because we refuse to play with them anymore.  They worry that the Democrats will “win”.  It looks to us like they already have.  Obama has achieved every one of his agenda items, including the Nuke Deal with Iran, the closing of Guantanamo, and his crowning glory, Obamacare.


Don’t say this. Don’t say that.  Vote for this guy, not that guy, or all is lost.  Freedom is yesterday’s news.  Now’s the time for compromise.


Where is the Tea Party? What happened to it?  With the re-election of Barack Hussein Obama, where do you think we’ve been?  Homeschooling our kids, building up our politically-incorrect libraries, and supplying our fall-out shelters, of course.  God is on His way and we don’t want to be standing under any overpasses or occupying tall buildings – in fact, we don’t want to be anywhere in sight – when He shows up.


Go ahead – you tell God that He’s a crazy, violent, irrelevant, politically-incorrect myth – that He’s dead. And good luck with that.


Published in: on January 21, 2016 at 12:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

Sarah Palin and the Tea Party

Belle of Liberty’s Blog

Letting Freedom Ring

The TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party, as originally conceived, was a hoax on the part of Moderates in the Republican Party to discredit its Conservative base, who were proving to be a nuisance by staying home on Election Day when Moderates were on the ticket, thus causing the GOP to lose elections.


Back in 2009, the Morristown TEA Party had what you might call a “political advisor” whose credentials and background were sketchy, at best. Nevertheless, he knew a lot of people and was infinitely savvy about politics.


Morristown got its start, the way many Tea Parties across the country had, watching the Rick Santelli’s “Tea Party rant” on CNBC in February 2009. An internet discussion board was created.  Conservatives across the country were discussing how to create their own, local tea parties.


An event scheduler was even created to list your rally amongst the nationwide rallies. Someone reserved a date for Morristown, as well as Trenton and Newark, N.J.  Here in the northwestern suburbs, there was no way we were going to Newark and Trenton was just too far away, given the time constraints of a weekday workday.


We discussed the reservation for Morristown and we all tried to contact Morristown “Joe” but somehow he disappeared when the going got real. “So much for Joe; apparently he’s bailed,” I wrote.  “Looks like we’re going to do it ourselves.”




Others in the discussion group were worried; they hadn’t the faintest idea how to organize a “Tea Party.”


I told them that of course they did. Hadn’t they organized weddings, anniversary parties, birthday parties, PTA meetings, company events?  If they could do that, they could this.  Still, they weren’t sure.  But I was, having worked with my company’s event planner.


So that night, I sent them a prototype of an agenda. I told them what they needed to do and in what order (a podium, speakers, the Pledge of Allegiance, music, the local colonial reconstruction group, security, permits, information tables, and all the rest that goes along with it).  They took the agenda and ran with it, to great success.


But success, it turned out, was not what the Republicans who, it turned out were responsible for igniting the flame, had in mind at all. The local Republicans first tried to usurp our group’s planning efforts.  Then they tried to discourage the group from holding the rally, upsetting them with predictions that they’d be humiliated, that the rally would fail (we attracted 2,000 people; quite a large group for the relatively tiny Morristown Green; the rallies grew exponentially).


Big government, high taxes, and corrupt politicians were what upset us. The TARP bailout and the freefall of the stock markets the previous Fall were on our minds as well as the election of the obviously Communist Barack Hussein Obama.


I commented to our “advisor” when things really started rolling along (our organizational meeting had grown to 1,000 people) that it looked like it was going to be a success, although I hoped that our rally wouldn’t look like the ones we’d seen on television in February.


‘Oh yes,’ he said. ‘They’ve been planning for this for a long time.  It began in September.”


“September? But the rallies only began in February,” I noted.


“Oh no,” he said. “The Tea Party Express began back in September.  Dick Armey, Sarah Palin…” and he named some other politicians whom I’ve forgotten.  “They’re planning on doing a cross-country tour by bus.”


Some people were excited over the prospect of Sarah Palin becoming the Vice President of the United States. She appealed to average voters with her every person demeanor, her talk of small town life in Alaska, her biography where she wrote about early campaigns for the town council when she pulled her small children behind her in a wagon as she went door-to-door canvassing for votes.


Palin was a fun, outspoken person. But to me (and definitely to my mother!) she didn’t have a very “presidential” demeanor.  Her voice was too squeaky and her manner too cutesy.  Then, there was the problem of the Bridge to Nowhere.  Although I hated giving the Democrats any credit, I couldn’t helping thinking:  porkulus?  That didn’t sound like small-government thinking to me.


What’s more, she was allied with the very moderate – no, make that “Liberal” – John McCain. So was Carly Fiorina.  Why would a Conservative run on the same ticket as such an aisle-crossing back-patter as McCain?  .  She was also pro-union.  How Conservative could she be?


The Tea Party Express, with Sarah Palin as its chief spokeswoman, began rolling across the country, supposedly garnering support for “Conservative” candidates. Sometime that same year, maybe even before our first rally, the discussion group website, listing all the sites for rallies vanished.  A note explained that whoever was taking over was going to turn the TEA Party in a different direction.


I suspected that the entity was none other than the Tea Party Express. A moderate Republican state senator’s  operatives (if they even were that senator’s operatives) appeared at one meeting to disrupt the rally plans.  They particularly objected to our Tea Party’s partisan (Conservative) mission statement.  Insisting that it be changed, a loud argument broke out, with myself as the Tea Party’s attack dog.


I assured them that was not ever going to happen. I explained to the assembled group why it was important not to use any of the hyphen-partisan words and to keep Conservatism in the mission statement.  They voted in favor of Conservatism.  I haven’t been associated with the group in years – I only wanted to get them organized so I’d have a Tea Party rally to attend (!).  By now, they have changed it.  But at the time, they agreed.


As for the Republican operatives, I pointed the door out to them and suggested that they not let it hit them in their assets on the way out. The pair stormed out and never returned.  Instead, they took to website attacks, threatening to sue anyone who dared to declare that the group was partisan, or deny non-partisan membership.  In fact, there was no such thing as “membership;” if you wanted to participate, you just sort of showed, at least at first.  Later, the enacted membership guidelines, after I left.


Apparently, the Tea Party Express organizers were responsible for the rather ridiculous appearance of the first TEA Party rallies, with participants running amok, shouting, chanting, and wandering about aimlessly with no sign of any speakers or anything else that could be interpreted as “organization.”


No way were we going to do that.  Our rally was going to be civilized – and it was.


Tea Party Conservatives seem to regard Donald Trump the same way they viewed Sarah Palin. They loved her for being outspoken.  She said all the right things.  Whether she would act upon them was assumed.  I didn’t vote for her in the primary.  I don’t even remember who I cast my primary vote for; it didn’t matter – I was from New Jersey, one of the last states in the primary count-down.


The Tea Parties – and many Conservatives who are not Partiers – love Trump uncritically. They don’t think beyond his sound bytes.  That’s how angry they are.  So angry, that they don’t recognize a Progressive (Liberal, what have you) in Conservative clothing.


As I’ve advised the Tea Partiers all along through my blog, we have to be careful about trusting politicians who call themselves “Conservatives” or lure our organizers into “personal” meetings where the politician’s training as attorneys always come in handy. Our organizers at the various New Jersey Tea Parties and across the country were susceptible to what Rush Limbaugh calls “the seminarians” (well, Rush refers to “seminar callers”).


These seminar leaders, dressed in all their suited finery, convinced our leaders to abandon the rallies altogether and heed the call to campaign instead for “Conservative” politicians. As long as it wasn’t done as a group, individuals are free to campaign for whoever they wish.  My calls to keep it local and to educate the voters on issues, not shill for politicians, went unheeded.


I had a keen eye for Moderates and Liberals who infiltrated our meetings. They weren’t hard to spot, especially the women.  Being urbanites, they frequently attended the meetings dressed in high (or medium) heels.  The real Conservatives wore sneakers and jeans.  What’s wrong with heels?  Why don’t suburban women wear them, around the suburbs, that is?


Sure, they wear heels to work, but not for casual wear because the heels sink into the grass or get caught in potholes, leaving you shoeless. It also scuffs the heels and ruins the shoes.  Stupid Liberal women, clicking around in heels on relatively smooth city sidewalks and polished marble lobbies to the elevators that carry them to their carpeted offices.


And they want to save the planet.


So, rest assured, Glenn Beck and others. The “intelligentsia” of the Tea Parties are not fooled by Donald Trump or Sarah Palin, or pretty much anyone else.  We do our best to keep our partiers informed.


By the way, when Palin was endorsing Trump, did you notice her glossy fashion boots? She’s not going to tramp through any Iowa corn fields in those boots.  We Tea Party watchdogs are naturally suspicious of politicians and notice these things.  Our job is to keep our members apprised and unfooled.  Even if they don’t listen, we still bark and growl.





Published in: on January 20, 2016 at 12:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

Facing the Truth About Trump

Donald Trump wanted his chance to run in the Republican Primaries. Simply because he was a businessman rather than a career politician was no reason for the GOP to deny him the right to run on the ticket.  He had many supporters who wanted the chance to hear their candidate out, and for the rest of us to hear him.


He’s had his fair chance and now, and the Iowa Caucuses coming up on Feb. 1 and the New Hampshire primaries on Feb. 9th,  it’s time for Conservative voters to consider whether Trump deserves their vote or not.


Trump began on a hot topic: illegal immigration.  He advocates sending the illegals back (which isn’t as hard as his opponents claim; they got here, didn’t they?) and building a wall.  If any other candidate spoke about building a wall between Mexico and the United States, we’d laugh them off and direct them to the nearest sanitarium.


However, Trump is a builder. That’s what he does. He’s in the construction business.  He stated that it’s easier to build a wall than a skyscraper and he’s correct.  Walls are easier because gravity doesn’t play as much of a factor in the construction.  Building a wall won’t solve all our illegal alien problems.  Many of them arrive by airplane.  That’s how the 9/11 hijackers got here.


Trump is pro-military. So is every other GOP candidate, except Rand Paul.  The difference is Trump is louder.  His American flags are bigger, his spectacles more flamboyant, and his speeches more jingoistic (it pains me to say a thing like that, because I’m quite red, white and blue myself.  I love a parade and I love the military).  He’s also pro-gun and outraged (rightly so) that the military are not allowed to carry on their own bases.


He promises to deal with the Islamic State, that growing caliphate in the Middle East which everyone says nothing to do with that great religion of peace, Islam. Trump vows to turn back all the so-called refugees who are, in some cases, already here and are otherwise overrunning Europe.  Not all Muslims want to see a caliphate.  The last Muslim I spoke to apparently believes so, giving hints about a coming change in local politics that will represent the true population of the town in which we were talking.


Trump is eager to do something about the, frankly centuries-old trade imbalance between the West and China, specifically between China and the United States. China is eating our breakfast, lunch and dinner, he says, and it’s hard to disagree with him about that issue.  Opponents point to China’s current weak economy which is sending shivers down Wall Street’s back.


Who will the United States borrow money from if China goes under?


Finally, Trump promises to restore the U.S. economy and bring back jobs to the country. Lots of jobs for everyone, he claims.  Again, it’s hard not to cheer when you hear a boast like that when you’ve been out of work for four years.  Or six.  Or eight, if you lost your job right after the Wall Street plunge.  Obama says we’re in a recovery and experts say we’re now heading into a recession in 2016.  As far as I can see, we never recovered in the first place.


All that is well and good, but there are some things he doesn’t talk about, like the national debt. think he might have boasted that it would be wiped out. Maybe.  But not under him.


In recent days, after the debate with Ted Cruz, his true colors are starting to show and it’s something we Conservatives, some of whom are Trump supporters, must really take into consideration. Trump claims he’s a Conservative.  But is he, really?  He ran into a Conservative Wall fighting Ted Cruz.  While he won the sound byte, bouncing off Cruz, a true Conservative, threw him far back into Moderate, and Liberal, territory.


The sentence that really set Trump back was this one: “That’s what I do; I make deals.”  He claimed that the Iran “deal” was no deal because Obama achieved it, along with many other measures, with executive orders not deals, not a consensus with Congress.


This is a businessman whose best-selling book was “The Art of the Deal.” Yeah, he’s rich.  He’s made it “big.”  Everyone loves a winner.  Naturally, we would figure that a successful guy could bring America back.  Romney could have done that, too.  Only we recognized him for what he was, thanks to his Massachusetts Care – a Big Government guy.


Think back, Conservatives, and particularly Tea Party Conservatives. What was our biggest beef with Congress?  That they made deals, almost always in favor of the Progressives.  We won’t bother making any distinctions between Democrats and Blue Republicans who think they can woo Communist Mexicans who are in the country illegally and so, impress the Hispanic voters.


Fat chance of that happening. The Republicans have bent over and kissed Democrat you-know-what over illegal aliens, Common Core, higher taxes, debt ceiling increases, gay marriage, abortion, corporate and bank bailouts, agricultural subsidies, and other pork.


Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad just came out and denounced Ted Cruz in favor of Donald Trump. Trump favors corn subsidies for ethanol and Ted Cruz does not.  The fact is, Iowa farmers have grown far too much corn to the point that corn prices are at record lows – there’s a glut of corn on the market.  Gas prices are also at record lows, which means gasoline doesn’t need to be expensively enhanced with ethanol in order to prevent “climate change.”


The corn subsidies are just another example of Big Government, that other point on which Tea Parties rallied in 2009. Trump is – just as Glenn Beck has been claiming – a Big Government guy.  What else would he be?


Trump’s a guy from a Big City who built Big Buildings and hobnobbed with Big Spenders and Big Government politicians. Everything about Trump is Big.  He’s the first to say so.  He admitted in the first debate that he was that very guy who bought and sold politicians like the ones he shared the podium with that night.


In 1999, he told an interviewer that he held “New York Values,” the New York Values that Ted Cruz cited in the last debate. Trump admitted that he was pro-gay marriage, pro-abortion and pro-Big Government on many other matters.  At the time, he was a converted Democrat (he started life as a Republican, but being a native New Yorker, he did what all New Yorkers do – he went with the flow).


What’s wrong with New York City being a big city? No one knocks Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston or Miami.  Detroit…well, it was a great city, once upon a time.  The majority of America’s population has increasingly been found in urban centers.


What’s wrong with New York is this: In 1898, the beginning of the Progressive Era, the modern New York City was formed with the consolidation of Manhattan, with Brooklyn (until then an independent city), and outlying areas. Manhattan and the Bronx were established as two separate boroughs and joined together with three other boroughs created from parts of adjacent counties to form the new municipal government originally called “Greater New York.”


The Borough of Brooklyn incorporated the independent City of Brooklyn, recently joined to Manhattan by the Brooklyn Bridge; the Borough of Queens was created from western Queens County (with the remnant established as Nassau County in 1899); and The Borough of Richmond (Staten Island) contained all of Richmond County.


Municipal governments contained within the boroughs were abolished, and the county governmental functions were absorbed by the City or each borough. In 1914, the New York State Legislature created Bronx County, making five counties coterminous with the five boroughs.


The problem was that the state legislature’s incorporation of the five boroughs of New York was unconstitutional and done by fiat, without the consent of the residents of the municipalities involved. Big Government created the Big City.  Staten Island’s status as a New York county was decided by two Big Business guys in a yacht race.


So, when Ted Cruz used Trump’s own 1999 (does it really matter when he said it) statement of “New York Values,” the New York Media, Trump, and his supporters went viral, accusing Cruz of being “nasty” and “vicious”. They wanted to know what “New York Values” were.  Cruz pointed out Trump’s own interview for the answers to that question.


Trump harumphed. But when we look back, which candidate has really been nastier?  Who has Cruz actually insulted with words like “bimbo,” “boring,” (George W. Bush – “didn’t have the IQ to be president”), “a stiff” (Lindsey Graham), and “a totally overrated clown” (Charles Krauthammer – who held the very same opinion of Trump).


But we let it pass because mostly he was talking about people we didn’t like. Sometimes he was correct in his assessments:

— “Hillary Clinton was the worst secretary of State in the history of the United States,” Trump told Business Insider.

— “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” The remarks led a number of businesses to cut their ties with him.

He even made us laugh:


— He [Texas Gov. Rick Perry] needs a new pair of glasses to see the crimes committed by illegal immigrants,” Trump tweeted on July 5.


Cruz’ comments, both in the last debate and in the news, were pithier, however, and more polished.


—“Friends don’t take friends hostage.”


Then, there was this exchange in the debate between moderator Neil Cavuto and Cruz on his citizenship:


CAVUTO: All right. Welcome back to the Republican presidential debate, right here in North Charleston, South Carolina. Let’s get right back to the questions. And I’ll start with you, Senator Cruz.


Now you are, of course, a strict constitutionalist — no one would doubt that. And as you know, the U.S. Constitution says only natural-born citizens are eligible for the office of president of the United States. Stop me if you’ve heard this before. Now, you were born…




… you were born in Canada to an American mother. So you were and are considered an American citizen. But that fellow next to you, Donald Trump — and others — have said that being born in Canada means you are not natural-born, and that has raised questions about your eligibility.


Do you want to try to close this topic once and for all tonight?


CRUZ: Well, Neil, I’m glad we’re focusing on the important topics of the evening.






You know, back in September, my friend Donald said that he had had his lawyers look at this from every which way, and there was no issue there. There was nothing to this birther issue.




Now, since September, the Constitution hasn’t changed.




But the poll numbers have.




And I recognize — I recognize that Donald is dismayed that his poll numbers are falling in Iowa. But the facts and the law here are really quite clear. Under longstanding U.S. law, the child of a U.S. citizen born abroad is a natural-born citizen.


If a soldier has a child abroad, that child is a natural-born citizen. That’s why John McCain, even though he was born in Panama, was eligible to run for president.


If an American missionary has a child abroad, that child is a natural-born citizen. That’s why George Romney, Mitt’s dad, was eligible to run for president, even though he was born in Mexico.


At the end of the day, the legal issue is quite straightforward, but I would note that the birther theories that Donald has been relying on — some of the more extreme ones insist that you must not only be born on U.S. soil, but have two parents born on U.S. soil.


Under that theory, not only would I be disqualified, Marco Rubio would be disqualified, Bobby Jindal would be disqualified and, interestingly enough, Donald J. Trump would be disqualified.


Ben Carson probably got the best laugh of the night:


CARSON: Neil, I was mentioned too.


CAVUTO: You were?


CARSON: Yeah, he [Jeb Bush] said everybody. (LAUGHTER)


However, Carson has now suspended his campaign, due to a serious accident in which senior members of his staff were involved. So back to Cruz.


To get to the “New York Values” statement, this is what he said:


Not too many years ago, Donald did a long interview with Tim Russert. And in that interview, he explained his views on a whole host of issues that were very, very different from the views he’s describing now.


And his explanation — he said, “look, I’m from New York, that’s what we believe in New York. Those aren’t Iowa values, but this is what we believe in New York.” And so that was his explanation.


And — and I guess I can — can frame it another way. Not a lot of conservatives come out of Manhattan. I’m just saying.




Maria Bartiromo questioned Cruz’ assertion and Trump was quick to claim that he had “insulted a lot of people.” What the insult was exactly, is hard to figure.  Then Trump went on to invoke 9/11 to prove that New Yorkers were not hard-hearted (Cruz didn’t say that) and, in fact, were quite patriotic, and that they’d suffered through a terrible catastrophe and so therefore they should never again be criticized, even though they are not at all Conservative.


Obama won overwhelmingly in both elections in every New York City county except Richmond County (in 2008; he won in 2012 against Romney). I don’t know what the percentages or ratios were:  5 to 1?  He gained the most votes in Brooklyn (with a large Muslim population) in 2012:  604,443 to Romney’s paltry 124,551 votes.  Obama lost votes in toney Manhattan in 2012.  In 2008, he won 572,126 to 89,906.  In 2012, the vote was 502,674 to 89,559.  More Democrats (69,452) stayed home than Republicans (347).


Those 347 must have been Manhattan’s Conservative voters. So many Democrats could not possibly have stayed home.  The 69,452 must have been disillusioned Liberal or Moderate Republicans who realized apologies are not enough.


The GOP has distinctions that have vanished from the Democrat Party altogether: Liberal (as in Nelson Rockefeller, Richard Nixon), Moderate (George W. Bush – “I’m a Uniter not a Divider), and Conservative (Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan).


Marco Rubio attacked Cruz’ Conservative record. Cruz responded immediately


I’m going to get a response to that, Neil. There’s no way he launches 11 attack — I’m going to — he had no fewer than 11 attacks there. I appreciate your dumping your (inaudible) research folder on the debate stage.


So ended the debate, pretty much. But the fight between Trump and Cruz was just getting started.


Like a New York pitbull, Trump was going to let up on what he thought was an advantage for him, an “insult” by Cruz on New Yorkers and their values. Time and again, Cruz held his ground, citing Trump’s 1999 interview – in his own words, defining New York values “which are not Iowa values” – again and again.


If Trump was the victor, then why on Sunday did he (clumsily) try to invoke God and the Bible? Trump insisted he and God were good buddies, pals.  He joked that the Bible “blew away” his own best-selling “Art of the Deal.”  In Trump’s defense, it was just a joke, guys, albeit a lame one, in light of his own proclamation of “New York Values.”


This episode merely proved that New York Values don’t stand up very well in Iowa, even if its governor denounced Cruz for throwing Trump’s own words back at him. Yet we’re supposed to believe that Cruz is a nasty, insulting man and Trump a Bible-thumping gentleman.


Cruz acts the way Trump talks. In the end, Trump himself admits he will “make the deal” where Cruz will stand by what he says, no matter who feels insulted (as to actually being insulted).  Trump talks tough, but will he talk tough when dealing with the Ayatollah Khameini or will he shake hands and pat his back over champagne and caviar in Trump’s sumptuous, meticulously laid-out corporate 757?


Here’s what First Corinthians (the first letter of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians (from the city of Corinth, in southern Greece – descendants of the former Spartans) which Trump attempted to cite:


“Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one:  and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.  For we are labourers together with God:  ye are God’s husbandry; ye are God’s building.  According to the grace of God, which given unto me [Paul], as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth upon.  But let every man take heed how he buildeth upon.


“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.  Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay stubble; every man’s work shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.  If any man’s work abides which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.  If any man’s work shall be burnt, he shall suffer loss.  But he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.


“Know you not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelled in you? If any man defiles the temple God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.  Let no man deceive himself.  If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.  For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.  For it is written, He taketh the wise in his own craftiness. 


“And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. Therefore, let no man glory in men.  For all things are yours; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; and ye are Christ’s and Christ is God’s.”  1 Corinthians 2:8-23


When Trump builds a church to God, with God’s name on it, not his own (since he’s so passionate about 9/11, perhaps he could rebuild the St. Nicholas Church in lower Manhattan), and we never hear of it but by accident rather than by boasting or advertising, then we’ll know Trump is the real deal.


We already know Ted Cruz is.






Published in: on January 20, 2016 at 10:44 am  Leave a Comment