What Was the American Health Care Act?

As usual, the American people were the last to know when it came to the contents of the American Health Care Act. One of the elements, which the Freedom Caucus initially opposed but finally came around to, was the large group of people with access to neither Medicaid, Medicare, employer-supported, nor individual health insurance.


That would be most of us thrown out of work either completely or into part-time jobs with no health insurance just after the 2008 economic collapse, and in the ensuing years.


This was a bill that not only the Freedom Caucus but even Moderate Republicans initially opposed. Once they were reconciled to health care for the chronically unemployed did Ryan come close to having the votes to pass the bill no one really wanted.  Those 17 Freedom Caucus members stood fast against the bill.


The bill would have granted $35 billion to the insurance companies that wrote the bill and according to Congressman Mel Brooks (R-Ala.), speaking on the Glenn Beck program today, turn 10 million people into welfare recipients.


Obamacare was an octopus of a program that reached its tentacles into every aspect of our personal lives, employment, business, and government. What businessman would sign a 2,000-plus page contract?


Yet Pres. Trump, apparently more concerned with his first-quarter legacy than truly serving the American people, declared war on the Freedom Caucus. We who are unemployed are relieved to hear that he championed us.  However, waging Twitter War on them will only damage his reputation in the long run?


When in doubt about what is going on in Washington, D.C., I turn to my favorite Conservative magazine as a resource. This is what the editor’s published on the magazine’s website this morning concerning the American Health Care Act and the Freedom Caucus.


“In Defense of the Freedom Caucus”


By the National Review Editors


The demise of the American Health Care Act, House Speaker Paul Ryan and the White House’s ill-fated effort to reform Obamacare, has prompted a cascade of finger-pointing as Republicans try to assign blame for their recent embarrassment. The White House and much of the Republican establishment have settled on a familiar scapegoat:  the famously stubborn 30 or so members of the House Freedom Caucus.  On Thursday morning, President Trump tweeted:  “The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don’t get on the team, & fast.  We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!”


We have been not infrequent critics of the Freedom Caucus, often seem oblivious to Ronald Reagan’s observation that “my 80 percent friend is not my 20 percent enemy.” There is no doubt that members of the caucus can be frustrating and prone to unrealistic tactical maximalism.


Yet in this latest episode, the Freedom Caucus was mostly in the right (and it wasn’t just them – members from all corners of the House GOP found it impossible to back the bill). The American Health Care Act was a kludge of a health-care policy.  Described as a way to simultaneously repeal key elements of the Affordable Care Act and replace them with market-oriented reforms, the bill in its final form managed to do little of either.


Freedom Caucus members were particularly concerned about the willingness of House leaders to leave the vast majority of Obamacare’s regulations on the books – after Republicans spent seven years promising that the party would “repeal and replace Obamacare.” Even the rationale that the AHCA would be better than nothing was hard to justify; it probably would have further destabilized the individual market, while millions fewer would have been insured.


No wonder that strong-arming on behalf of the bill didn’t work. According to news reports, in the final hours, the White House adviser Steve Bannon to tell obstinate Freedom Caucus members that they “have no choice” but to vote for the bill.  It’s hard to imagine a less effective pitch to a group that has long accused Republican leaders of trying to coerce Conservatives into falling in line against their principles.


In any case, the now-or-never rhetoric around the bill has now been exposed as a convenient exaggeration. The House is exploring whether it can revive the repeal-and-replace effort, as it should.  Some members of the Freedom Caucus are demanding an immediate, straight-up repeal of the Affordable Care Act, or at least of its taxes and spending, which is unrealistic.  But for all their reputed rigidity, most of the Freedom Caucus had accepted the inclusion in the Ryan bill of tax credits for people without access to Medicare, Medicaid, or employer-provided insurance – a policy they had previously tended to oppose.


That the president has decided to declare war, at least rhetorically, on this bloc of his own party’s congressional majority is a reminder of one of the other key elements of the AHCA collapse: For all of the praise heaped on the president’s negotiating acumen, he has yet to demonstrate it in his dealings with Congress.


Trump’s tweet has all the hallmarks of ineffectually blowing off steam, since it’s hard to imagine the president and his supporters following through with the organizing and funding it would take to try to take out Conservative members representing deep-red districts.


If Trump wants to win over the Freedom Caucus – all the other members – who opposed the health-care legislation, the first step should be obvious, if more difficult and less satisfying than popping off on Twitter: Get them a better bill.


In order for the tax reform bill to go through, the repeal of Obamacare is imperative. Pres. Trump is still in his honeymoon period as a president.  He needn’t feel defensive if the first bill he supports doesn’t go through.  Perfectionist that he is reputed to be, he himself has sent newly-remodeled planes back to the hangar until the workers get it right.

The American Health Care Act was a Spruce Goose. Working with the Democrats will only bring back more of Obamacare into the plan, not remove it.


The American people (especially we late-career workers tossed to the curb by the Obama Administration) need jobs. We need insurance that we can afford.  We don’t actually need a whole lot of insurance.


We don’t need insurance companies and lobbyists telling us that we didn’t pay our fair share when we did and that that’s the reason premiums are so high. From our point-of-view, we’ve been royally cheated.  We (and our employers) paid the premiums.  Then when it came time when we might actually need the insurance, before that could happen, we were all shoved out of the bees’ nest.  Explain that, Freedom Caucus.


For this, the Trump administration is going to reward the insurance company with $35 billion of our money. That doesn’t sound like a very good deal to me.


Bullying Congress, no matter how recalcitrant, is not presidential.  Congress is a co-equal branch of the government.  The best way to win over Congress is to support a bill that lowers premiums, keeps the government out of the doctors’ office, reduces medical fraud, and eliminates all the regulations that stifle the insurance industry.




Published in: on March 31, 2017 at 12:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Health Insurance Lie: Paying Up

One argument that bolstered the alleged need for universal, single-payer health care insurance is that the young don’t buy insurance and don’t pay their share, but then when they become older and sicker, their costs become a burden to the insurance company or the company paying for the insurance.


Excuse me?! As long as I worked after getting out of college, I had health insurance.  My employer would pay the main premium, but some of the cost came out of my earnings (which was all right by me).  The only time I didn’t have health insurance was when I was unemployed (having no income, I had no money to pay for insurance).


There were times when I had to float along and hope for the best as a temporary employee. But it wasn’t long before I found myself permanently employed again.  I was careful never to abuse my insurance privileges.  I made sure I had a high deductible, paying for minor problems, like sore throats, and building my way up to paying off that deductible.


The time never came when I needed hospitalization, simply treatments for various ailments. Who did Obama think he was, blaming my generation 55 and over for not “paying” for our insurance?  We most certainly did.


Now that we’re 55 and over, millions of us have been kicked out our jobs, with no way to pay for insurance. I have friends working as many as four part-time jobs just to pay their bills, much less paying for this high-cost health care insurance.  We’re paying outrageous premiums on the basis that we hadn’t paid in when we were younger, and that’s an out-and-out lie.


For generations, companies have kicked older employees (over 55) out of the bee’s nest once they began showing signs of illness. Never mind how long the employees had worked for the company, how skilled they were, how loyal.  Hiring younger, “healthier” employees just made better “business sense” for the companies.  We paid for the insurance (or it was paid for us, although we did have to contribute) and earned our place in the companies, but it when it came time to pay up, we were out of luck.


The insurance isn’t more expensive because we’re older. The expenses come from high hospitalization costs, technology, and bureaucracy within the states which require doctors’ offices to spend more money on staff to deal with the paperwork.  My doctor’s office staff still hasn’t learned to wait at the fax machine to make sure the scrip has gone through.


Pharmaceutical companies have been reaping billions in new medicines and the bureaucrats have been reaping billions regulating them. Our litigious society has also been responsible for costly medical lawsuits and medical fraud.  People are also living longer but suffering from various ailments that cost billions.  Then there are the people in the 55-gap, like me and my friends, who have lost their employer-based insurance but aren’t yet eligible for Medicare.


Some seriously elderly people work at supermarkets and superstores to make ends meet. Work ethic champions applaud their guts and scorn those who don’t try to “power-through” a supermarket job, where they have to stand up all day or push shopping cart trains.


Meanwhile, record numbers of the 55-gap are having to go for knee and hip surgery at earlier ages, especially those who spent their careers on their feet, like teachers. Older unemployed are faced with a dilemma, take two or more part-time retail jobs that don’t offer health insurance, in order to pay the bills, and then go into debt having to pay for hip or knee surgery.


What kind of a deal is that? Interestingly, Obamacare doesn’t cover the unemployed.  The unemployed must either go on the difficult-to-obtain SSDI (for which they’ve been paying all their working lives), or sell all their assets in order to qualify for Medicaid.  Meanwhile, there’s little sympathy from the armchair pundits.  Quit complaining and get to work checking those groceries.  If your hip hurts, just take some more Tylenol or something.


Why isn’t anyone standing up for the older unemployed office worker? Because that’s just the way things have always been?  Because it’s just business?  Isn’t age discrimination supposed to be against the law?  Prospective employers are not allowed to ask your age, but they get around it by asking when you graduated from high school.


It doesn’t make any sense: Older workers are kicked to the curb, even though they have 15 years plus experience, all because they’re considered health risks even though they’ve paid into the insurance system, and so they’re pushed into physically taxing jobs in retail.  Meanwhile healthy younger workers are hired on in office jobs, with little or no work experience, because their health care costs are less of a risk to the business.


If that makes sense, I’ll eat my Slinky.




Published in: on March 28, 2017 at 12:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

Henny Penny, The Health Care Sky is Falling!!

The quarterback felt he was running against the clock. The team manager wanted a completed pass in the first quarter.  His teammates weren’t quite on board.  Some of them wouldn’t stand where they were supposed to stand.


He went back for the pass, but the receiver wasn’t there. Luckily, the pass was incomplete; they didn’t lose the ball to the other team.  Some team members were complaining about the condition of the ball itself – that it was too much like the football from last season.


Like hypercritical football fans after a new quarterback has fumbled the ball, political fans are calling for House Speaker Paul Ryan’s ouster. They’ve note, magnanimously that he initially wanted to pass on the job.  But no one else was willing to step up to the plate.


What confuses average Americans about all this is the difference between health insurance and health care. To someone like myself, health insurance has always meant coverage by my employer.  There was a deductible (usually about $1,000) that I had to pay before the insurance company, engaged by employer, kicked in.  Good.  Great.  Okay.


Essentially, the health insurance I expected was for hospitalization and catastrophic illness. I was making good money – I could handle the sneezes, sniffles and sore throats, the sprained ankle I got for jumping over a police barrier (it’s not what it sounds like) and other minor maladies (there weren’t many).  Oh, and I was able to pay for my own female health care, thank you very much.


Somewhere along the line, though, the demarcation between insurance and health care got muddled. I only wanted enough insurance so that if I had to have surgery (and recently, I came close to that point but dodged the bullet), I wouldn’t lose my home or my retirement savings.


Instead, Obamacare offered us the whole smorgasbord of health care, which came with a hefty price tag, much higher than I ever would have had to pay myself. By the time it was enacted, I was unemployed and no longer eligible for Obamacare.  Medicaid wanted to know too much information about my mother’s and older brother’s income.  I refused to tell them.


It should be enough that I have a bank balance of $200 with no income at all, since the newspaper for which I was doing freelance photography downsized all its photographers. I’d love to sign up for a low-cost health care plan, that just covers the basics mentioned above – hospitalization and catastrophic illness.


We don’t need or want a “health care” plan. We want a “health insurance plan.”  I don’t want the government – or a private insurer – or a prospective employer – paying for all my health needs.  I don’t need the government to purchase the Heather’s Tummy Tamers that aide my IBS condition.  I don’t need them to purchase Immodium or pain reliever or mouthwash.


It would be nice if someone would hire me so I could pay for these things myself. But aside from that, I’m glad the Freedom Caucus stood up to the weak bill that Speaker Ryan presented and had to pull from the vote.


Because he pulled it from consideration before it could be voted on, real affordable health care insurance for Americans that doesn’t involve government interference in our personal lives, supporting welfare families who want the government to buy their cold medicine for them (isn’t that what Medicaid is for), purchasing contraception methods for young women who can certainly afford to buy those items themselves, and doesn’t rob us of our future savings.


We’re not exactly sure what was in this bill, just as we weren’t sure what was in the Obamacare bill (now we know). But the less it looks like Obamacare, the better for us.  You can’t very well say, “We’re going to repeal Obamacare” and then hand America the Son of Obamacare.


Tomorrow is another day. Don’t try to cover so much.  Don’t make the bill so complicated.  Go back to the drawing board.  It’s okay to talk to insurance companies, who have a fiscal responsibility to keep costs down, but also talk to doctors who don’t hold with the AMA, and patients of all ages.


You might also want to look into exactly why medical costs are so high, beyond the fact that we have a large, aging Baby Boomer population. My doc says it’s all the expensive equipment.  He also says hospitals have too much power.  He also says that patients have a tendency to run to the doctor for every little ache and pain, which also drives up insurance costs.


One time I visited him because I felt like I had a fever. He was a bit annoyed with me for coming in for what he figured was just a cold (I was pretty health up until that point) until he took my temperature and saw that it was 104 degrees.


Let us hope Congress has the good sense to wade through the sheafs of paper and eliminate everything that doesn’t involve a serious injury, illness, or condition (i.e., appendicitis).


It’s really quite simple. Maybe their law degrees are getting in the way of straightening out health care.  Or maybe it’s politics and all the state health department bureaucrats who would be out of work if a health care bill is passed that allows insurance companies to sell health insurance across state lines.


As long as a federal government health department doesn’t take their place, that sounds like a great plan.


Meanwhile, take a valium and call me on Monday if your anxiety still persists.






Published in: on March 25, 2017 at 12:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Westminster Bridge Attack: Just Another Day in London Town

According to London’s Muslim Mayor Saddiq Khan, terror attacks are just part of living in a big city. Just be brave and go on about your business.  Both the London mayor and British Prime Minister refused to characterize the attack as “Islamic” terrorism.

That was how then-President Bill Clinton described the first attack on the World Trade Center in February 1993. Maybe people living in other parts of the country who had never been to New York City or held a dim view of it accepted Clinton’s announcement that the attack was merely the attack of a “criminal.”

The next year, Omar Abdel-Rahman, who helped conceived the attack, was convicted of participation in a plot to blow up bridges, tunnels and landmarks around Manhattan. Maybe residents on the Left Coast or in Middle America, who had good reason to distrust New Yorkers, thought it was just another day in New York.  But when Clinton announced that the World Trade Center bombing was nothing more than a criminal act, we were indignant.

Liberals are unabashed about throwing in additional charges in cases where the victim is a minority. They demand special civil rights prosecution for the offenders.   But in the case of Muslim terrorists, they are a special class of criminal, butchering their victims openly in the name of their religion (“Allah Akbar!!”) but protected from prosecution for a religiously-motivated crime by politically-motivated civil rights laws.

According to the U.K. Telegraph:

The attacker – now named as 52-year-old Khalid Masood – killed five pedestrians and injured around 40 other people as he mowed down members of the public with a car on Westminster Bridge – [one woman was thrown into the Thames River below, but survived] – at about 2:40 p.m., on Wednesday, before crashing into the railings in front of Parliament.

Bursting through the gate to the Palace of Westminster, he stabbed unarmed Pc Keith Palmer, 48, before being shot dead by armed officers.

Masood was not the subject of any current investigations and there was no prior intelligence about his intent to mount a terrorist attack, Scotland Yard said. However, he was known to police and has a range of previous convictions for assaults, including GBH, possession of offensive weapons and public order offences.

His first conviction was in November 1983 for criminal damage and his last conviction was in December 2003 for possession of a knife. He has not been convicted for any terrorism offences.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said research into Masood’s aliases was ongoing, adding: “Khalid Masood is not at this early stage believed to be his birth name.”

Prime Minister May told the Commons earlier, prior to the man being identified: “What I can confirm is that the man was British-born and that some years ago he was once investigated by MI5 in relation to concerns about violent extremism.

“He was a peripheral figure. The case is historic. He was not part of the current intelligence picture. There was no prior intelligence of his intent or of the plot.”

Eight people have been arrested so far, and six addresses raided across London, Birmingham and elsewhere.

The Birmingham raid took place on the Hagley Road, a mile or so southwest of Birmingham city center at 11 p.m. yesterday.  Neighbours said more than a dozen black-clad police stormed a flat on the road with machine guns.

One witness, who works in a shop near the second-floor flat, said: “The man from London lived here.” He added: “They came and arrested three men.”

Searches are continuing at the flat today after it emerged that the killer’s car had been hired nearby.

On Thursday, the car-hire firm Enterprise confirmed the Hyundai 4×4 used in the attack was one of its vehicles after an employee recognised the number-plate in online photos.

The car is understood to have been rented from a branch in Stratford, Shirley, in Solihull, just eight miles (13km) from the scene of the flat raid.

Pundit estimate that in about another 20 years – if the current low European birth rate and the rate of North African immigration continues – the native populations of Europe will be overwhelmed and under the dictates of an Islamic tyranny. There were will be no way to avoid it.

Pres. Trump wants to enact a ban on Muslim immigrants from those countries. He’s been heckled into compromising on that ban and unconstitutionally thwarted by activist judges in Hawaii.

There can be no compromise with Islamic terrorists. They surround themselves with herds of refugees driving them like sheep, acting as stalking horses – hiding themselves within the “innocent” masses –  in order to enter enemy territory and wage their battle.

United States law makes provisions, does it not, for religions that prove themselves dangerous to the population? That was the reasoning for the federal government attacking the Branch-Davidian Compound in Texas in 1993.


A religious group that originated in 1955 from a schism in the Davidian Seventh-Day Adventists (“Davidians”), a reform movement that began as an offshoot from the Seventh-Day Adventist Church (“Adventists”) around 1930.

Some of those who accepted the reform message had been removed from membership of the Seventh-day Adventist Church because of their supplemental teachings. Today, the original Davidian Seventh-day Adventists and the Branch Davidian Seventh-day Adventists are two different and distinct groups.

The doctrinal beliefs differ on such teachings as the Holy Spirit and His nature, the feast days and requirements, and who had the prophetic office since Victor Houteff’s death. From its inception in 1930, the reform movement believed themselves to be living in a time when Bible prophecies of a final divine judgment were coming to pass as a prelude to Christ’s Second Coming.

In 1993 the ATF, FBI, and Texas National Guard laid siege to their property for 51 days. The siege ended with a raid which resulted in the deaths of the Branch Davidians’ leader, David Koresh, as well as 82 other Branch Davidian men, women, and children, and four ATF agents.

The raid appears to have been the result of a power struggle between two would-be leaders of the communal group, George Rohen, son of one of the group’s spiritual leaders, and new-comer David Koresh. The groups engaged in armed conflict in a battle over the compound and leadership of the group.  That was when the federal government entered the scene and made things even worse.

The Branch-Davidians were a small, albeit violent, sect in the wastelands of Texas. Islam dates back to the Seventh Century, unchanged in its intolerant ideology towards women and non-believers.  Like the Mexican and Central and South American illegal aliens, they have been allowed to swarm our borders unchecked.

Their violence is every bit as storied as any Mexican cartel that murdered witnesses at the scene of a crime. The evidence is written into their holy books and in the writs of their genocidal clerics.  Those who would hold us back from vetting, or even preventing their entry, into the United States, have a similar agenda for destroying our society.

Our voices must be stronger and louder than that of the Deep State media, our craven representatives, or hired thugs at a staged rally. If we don’t sound our voices soon, soon we will have no voices left.

The Westminster Bridge attack was just another footstep of doom for Western civilization. British civil authority gives this advice to Londoners in case of another such attack:  Run.  Hide.  Call for help.

Is that the best we can do to protect ourselves?







Published in: on March 23, 2017 at 6:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

Fox News Throws Judge Andrew Napolitano Under the Bus

Apparently, when you appear on Fox News Channel’s morning show, “Fox and Friends,” with friends like those, you don’t need any enemies.


Last week, Mr. Napolitano, Fox News Channel’s Senior Legal Analyst and a former New Jersey Superior Court judge, reported on the morning show “Fox and Friends” that the Obama administration had asked British intelligence to wiretap Mr. Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign.


His firing by Fox News Channel is the last straw. It’s been a long while since I’ve suffered FNC to appear on my television.  I have it on right now only because they’re reporting on today’s terrorist attack on Westminster Bridge and on Parliament in London.  I regard that duplicitous news network as now just another member of the Deep State Media (since the word “Mainstream Media” really doesn’t represent Mainstream America at all, as some wag pointed out yesterday).


Fox News has leaned so far to the Left, that I’ve switched to Fox Business News for my political news. I believe Napolitano was on Fox Business Network, discussing the possibility that Obama employed the services of British Intelligence – the Government Communications Headquarters, known as GCHQ – to carry out his dirty deeds.


I was watching the broadcast. The entire conversation was speculation.  Napolitano was unapologetic in stating that he wouldn’t put it past Obama to do such a thing.  However, prodded by the host, he was careful to explain this spy-world caper theoretically. He stated that he had to be very careful in what he said because he had no actual facts, but that this was the most likely scenario.


A few days later, Fox News suspended the judge indefinitely after Pres. Trump cited Napolitano’s interview. The GCHQ was furious that they should be implicated in such a crime.  Napolitano also published his theory on his website, which hasn’t been updated since the incident.



Did Obama Spy on Trump?


Published on Mar 16, 2017


The question of whether former President Barack Obama actually spied on President Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign and transition has been tantalizing Washington since President Trump first made the allegation nearly two weeks ago. Since then, three investigations have been launched — one by the FBI, one by the House of Representatives and one by the Senate. Are the investigators chasing a phantom, or did this actually happen?


Here is the back story.


Obama would not have needed a warrant to authorize surveillance on Trump. Obama was the president and as such enjoyed authority under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to order surveillance on any person in America, without suspicion, probable cause or a warrant.

FISA contemplates that the surveillance it authorizes will be for national security purposes, but this is an amorphous phrase and an ambiguous standard that has been the favorite excuse of most modern presidents for extraconstitutional behavior. In the early 1970s, President Richard Nixon used national security as a pretext to deploying the FBI and CIA to spy on students and even to break in to the office of the psychiatrist of Daniel Ellsberg, one of his tormentors.


FISA was enacted in the late 1970s to force the federal government to focus its surveillance activities — its domestic national security-based spying — on only those people who were more likely than not agents of a foreign government. Because FISA authorizes judges on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to make rules and establish procedures for surveillance — essentially lawmaking — in secret, the public and the media have been largely kept in the dark about the nature and extent of the statute and the legal and moral rationale for the federal government’s spying on everyone in the U.S.


The mass spying that these judges have ruled FISA authorizes is directly counter to the wording, meaning and purpose of FISA itself, which was enacted to prevent just what it has in fact now unleashed.


We now know indisputably that this secret FISA court — whose judges cannot keep records of their own work and have their pockets and briefcases checked by guards as they enter and leave the courthouse — has permitted all spying on everyone all the time.


The FISA court only hears lawyers for the government, and they have convinced it that it is more efficient to capture the digital versions of everyone’s phone calls, texts, emails and other digital traffic than it is to force the government — as the Constitution requires — to focus on only those who there is reason to believe are more likely than not engaging in unlawful acts.


When FISA was written, telephone surveillance was a matter of wiretapping — installing a wire onto the target’s telephone line, either inside or outside the home or business, and listening to or recording in real time the conversations that were audible on the tapped line.


Today the National Security Agency has 24/7 access to the mainframe computers of all telecom providers and all computer service providers and to all digital traffic carried by fiber optics in the U.S. The NSA has had this access pursuant to FISA court orders issued in 2005 and renewed every 90 days. The FISA court has based its rulings on its own essentially secret convoluted logic, never subjected to public scrutiny. That has resulted in the universal surveillance state in which we in America now live. The NSA has never denied this.


Thus, in 2016, when Trump says the surveillance of him took place, Obama needed only to ask the NSA for a transcript of Trump’s telephone conversations to be prepared from the digital versions that the NSA already possessed. Because the NSA has the digital version of every telephone call made to, from and within the U.S. since 2005, if President Obama last year wanted transcripts of Trump’s calls made at any time, the NSA would have been duty-bound to provide them, just as it would be required to provide transcripts of Obama’s calls today if President Trump wanted them.

But if Obama did order the NSA to prepare transcripts of Trump’s conversations last fall under the pretext of national security — to find out whether Trump was communicating with the Russians would have been a good excuse — there would exist somewhere a record of such an order. For that reason, if Obama did this, he no doubt used a source on which he’d leave no fingerprints.


Enter James Bond.


Sources have told Fox News that the British foreign surveillance service, the Government Communications Headquarters, known as GCHQ, most likely provided Obama with transcripts of Trump’s calls. The NSA has given GCHQ full 24/7 access to its computers, so GCHQ — a foreign intelligence agency that, like the NSA, operates outside our constitutional norms — has the digital versions of all electronic communications made in America in 2016, including Trump’s. So by bypassing all American intelligence services, Obama would have had access to what he wanted with no Obama administration fingerprints.


Thus, when senior American intelligence officials denied that their agencies knew about this, they were probably being truthful. Adding to this ominous scenario is the fact that three days after Trump’s inauguration, the head of GCHQ, Robert Hannigan, abruptly resigned, stating that he wished to spend more time with his family.


I hope the investigations of Trump’s allegation discover and reveal the truth — whatever it is. But the lesson here is terribly serious. We face the gravest threat to personal liberty since the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 proscribed criticism of the government. We have an unelected, unnamed, unaccountable elite group in the intelligence community manipulating the president at will and possessing intimate, detailed knowledge about all of us that it can reveal. We have statutes that have given the president unconstitutional powers that have apparently been used. And we have judges on secret courts facilitating all this as if the Constitution didn’t exist.


For how much longer will we have freedom?


Strangely, no Conservative friends have come to the judge’s defense, except for Glenn Beck’s The Blaze.  At least they’re willing to consider his side of the story.  Citing Mediaite, The Blaze reported this:

Mediaite reports that a Fox News “source” is denying this report. TheBlaze has reached out to Fox News for clarification and will update this story further when and if the company releases an official statement on the matter.

According to the LA Times, Fox News judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano has been suspended from the network due to his comments centered around President Donald Trump’s wiretapping claims.

While the LA Times did not receive a statement from Fox about Napolitano’s status, anonymous sources claim that it will be a while before we see the judge again.

Given Fox News Channel’s decided turn to the Left, one might ask whether Napolitano was set up on that morning show? FNC’s chief anchors, Shepherd Smith and Chris Wallace, are declared Democrats.  We know what to expect from them.


If you watched the program (which most of you certainly did not, as you were working – ah, the benefits of unemployment), you’d know that Napolitano was trying to be careful. But the reporters kept pressing him on the subject.  ‘Yeah, but can you tell us this?” and “Yeah, but can you tell us that?”


I admit to being a little nervous for the judge, myself. He was clearly nervous.  Time and again he stressed the theoretical nature of what they were discussing because he, personally, didn’t have the facts.  That’s when he cited the “Fox News Sources.”  This is how it could have happened, not that it did happen, necessarily.


Speculation is a dangerous temptation in journalism, especially when you’re giving an opinion. The Democrats engage in it wholesale, joyfully:  “The Russians ‘hacked’ the elections (poor choice of words on their part)!”  “The Russians interfered with the elections!!”  “Hillary really won but lost because the Putin Propaganda machine outmaneuvered her and brainwashed millions of voters into voting for Trump!”  “Trump has ties to Russia (through a third-rate publicist and a former oil company president who’s been on speaking terms with Russia for decades)!”  “Trump’s cabinet appointees met with the Russian ambassador!! (Are we at war with Russia yet?  Have we broken off diplomatic relations with them?)”


Therefore, it’s important for them to keep up the drumbeat for impeaching Trump, as ridiculous as it sounds. Anyone who champions Trump, like the esteemed Judge Andrew Napolitano, must be thrown under the bus and silenced.  He just can’t go around giving away national security secrets like that, that the recently past president may have been spying on his political opponent before the election.


They were wiretapping a Russian gambler who conveniently enough resided in the Trump Towers? That’s a matter of a national security?  Please.  That doesn’t mean the past administration wasn’t also wiretapping Trump, the more likely scenario.


But according to Comey, he’s not obliged to answer any questions from Congress on the grounds that it involves “national security.” Now that’s Deep State.  Since he’s begun the investigation, Trump can’t fire him.  Jeff Sessions had to stand aside.  If Trump were to fire him, he would immediately be charged with obstruction of justice, just as Richard Nixon was.


At least we can say Richard Nixon did something wrong. Sort of.  Trump claims that his phones – his phones, not some Russian’s dudes, were tapped.  He’s the President of the United States and he can’t get justice.  In fact, he’s being persecuted through the Deep State Press without any evidence of wrongdoing.


I do hope someone with national clout will take up Judge Andrew Napolitano’s cause. The Judge has been an honorable and conscientious defender of the U.S. Constitution.  Someone wants him out.  What’s all very ironic about this is, if I recall correctly, he was opposed to the Patriot Act, which allowed the government to spy on American citizens.


We American Conservatives want him back and vindicated for wrong-doing.



Published in: on March 22, 2017 at 1:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

Deep State Double-Talk

The United States Government, still in some ways under the auspices of Barack Obama thanks to his delegates in the shadow government he left behind, is proceeding apace with its prosecution by proxy of Pres. Donald J. Trump.


In a hearing before the House Intelligence Committee on Monday, FBI Director James Comey said for the first time Monday that the bureau is investigating whether there was any coordination between the Trump campaign and Moscow while Russia was interfering in the presidential election.


Comey also delivered an implicit rebuke to President Donald Trump, saying that he had “no information” to support claims by the President that he was wiretapped on the orders of predecessor Barack Obama.


In a dramatic hearing before the House Intelligence Committee, Comey, once again finding himself at the epicenter of a political storm, also said that Russian President Vladimir Putin had a clear preference for whom he wanted to see as the next president — and it was not Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.


Comey’s comments represented his most explicit intervention yet in the controversy over what US intelligence agencies have assessed was a Russian attempt to disrupt the election — and a string of counter-claims against the previous administration leveled by Trump himself.


How is it that an investigation – a veritable show trial – has been launched against Trump, with zero evidence according to former CIA Director Clapper, but Hillary was never indicted after all we now know she had done with highly unlawful pay-to-play corruption (unlawful “donations” in the multiple millions) to Hillary Clinton’s Machine, the Clinton Foundation?  Selling uranium to Russia?  How about investigating her ties to Russia?


According to Katie Pavlich, Town Hall.com: “Testifying in front of the House Intelligence Committee Monday, NSA Director Admiral Michael Rogers re-emphasized that although the Russian government did in fact wage a strong propaganda campaign during the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, votes were not changed. Specifically, they were not changed in swing states Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump.


Committee Chairman Devin Nunes asked Rogers about North Carolina, Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Rogers replied by saying votes were not changed in any of them.


In January former Director of Nation Intelligence James Clapper said the same and was backed by a report issued by the intelligence community.


“They did not change any vote tallies or anything of that sort,” Clapper said.


U.S. intelligence shows Russia did mount a major campaign to push propaganda into the minds of American voters through Twitter, fake news websites and the Russian government-backed television station RT, which broadcasts in the United States.


“The Russians have a long history of interfering in elections, theirs and other people’s,” Clapper continued. “I don’t think we’ve ever encountered a more aggressive or direct campaign to interfere in our election than we’ve seen in this case.”


“All evidence points to vote tallies being unchanged as a result of Russian interference.”


From the Right.com: FBI Director James Comey confirmed during testimony before the House Intelligence Committee on Monday that the FBI is investigating Russian interference in November’s presidential election.


The investigation, Comey said, includes an examination of the alleged “links” between President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was coordination between the two during the 2016 presidential election campaign.


Comey said the FBI’s practice is generally “not to confirm the existence of ongoing investigations” but that in “unusual circumstances, where it is in the public interest, it may be necessary to do so.”


He told the committee, “I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI is investigating Russia’s interference in the U.S. election.”


Okay. So here we have our Justice Department and the F.B.I. claiming that some mysterious “link” between Russia and the Trump campaign conspired to interfere, although have no effect upon, the 2016 presidential elections.


Russian intelligence “pushed” propaganda into our brains to “make us” vote for Donald J. Trump?! Some of their conspiracy theorists point to a journalist named Michael Caputo, a former top adviser to Donald Trump who resigned on June 20 after sending a mocking tweet about just-fired campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, a campaign source had told CNN.


Michael Caputo, then head of the communications for Trump’s caucus operations team, tweeted “Ding Dong the witch is dead” following the news that Lewandowski had been fired. The conspiracy theorists claim that Caputo went on to become an image consultant for Russia’s Vladimir Putin.


The government then claimed that it hadn’t wiretapped Trump’s building, but someone living in one of his residences in the Trump Towers on the 37th floor.  Today, they claimed it was some Russian mafia gambler they were after.


But there’s still the matter of the FISA court warrant, which does apparently exist, except in Obamaworld. The Deep State Media have been working very hard to make that document disappear into the ether.  They’re claiming Obama didn’t need one – a month before the election.  So if he didn’t need one, why was one issued?


Clearly, the Deep State is setting up Pres. Trump to be impeached on grounds of conspiring with a foreign government to affect a U.S. election. Part of their evidence is all those meetings with Russian ambassadors by his key cabinet appointees.  They were careful to step around Rex Tillerson, who has had long ties with the Russian government, and not accuse him of anything.


They’re trying desperately to manufacture this non-existent evidence, claiming, according to FBI Director Comey himself that they have evidence, even though they don’t. No wiretap here; nothing to see here, move along, please.


This new “Red Scare” by the Media and the Deep State Government is curious since their own ideological proclivities, their collusion, and their manipulation of their news is precisely what has made Americans suspicious of them.


If they’re so worried about “Russian influence” why did the Senate pass the appointment of Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon, who has had decades of experience dealing with the Russians, as well as any other nation that had dealings with the oil giant?


This Caputo is a small fry. He was fired from the team even before the Republican National Committee.  Also, why is the Obama Administration trying so hard, now, to bolster its foreign policy credos on Russia and the Ukraine, pluming itself for taking an eleventh hour stance against Russia’s incursion into the Ukraine, when for the previous eight years, it had done absolutely nothing?


We’ll say it again: the notion that the Russians – the Communists of Russia – had anything to do with Trump winning the election is absurd.  It just doesn’t make any sense.  If Putin was going to secretly back anyone, it would have been the Democrat nominee.  Putin himself has said the idea is rubbish.  Yet Comey admitted that Russian propagandists have long tried to influence U.S. elections.


Yeah, we know. We’ve read it in the New York Times, the information leader of the media pack.  We didn’t need a Congressional or F.B.I. investigation to tell us that.  Why do you think we elected Trump?





Published in: on March 22, 2017 at 12:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

A-Tisket, A-Tasket, Trump Paid Lots of Taxes

MSNBC’s disclosure of some of President Donald Trump’s 2005 tax return proved one amazing thing:  Donald Trump not only paid his taxes in 2005, but it was 24 percent of his income, compared with 19 percent of Obama’s income.  He paid $36.5 million in income taxes on $153 million in earnings.


What Rachel the Marxist Maddow was after was not really whether he paid taxes, but how much money he makes in a given year. For Limousine Liberals, the sky’s the limit on high-income brackets.  But if you’re a Republican, especially a nouveau Conservative Republican like Trump, your income status gives the Liberals free rein to target you as a greedy, evil Capitalist.


Wow. Donald Trump is a Capitalist?  Who knew?


My older brother’s taxes are high. Not in the millions.  But he pays plenty for the privilege of working hard, owning his own home, and saving for the future so he won’t have to depend upon anyone else.  I’m not good at math, but I believe that Trump’s taxes are equal to about 2,000 people in my brother’s income bracket.


The question is: where does all that money go?  Do Trump’s sizeable taxes go to building up the military?  Evidently not. Have they brought down our debt?  Nope.  Have they repaired or rebuilt a single interstate bridge?  Have his taxes accomplished a single thing set down in the Constitution?


No. What Trump’s money and my older brother and his 2,000 income-tax bracket companions are paying for are bureaucratic salaries.  Northern Virginia underwent an incredible building boom shortly after Obama was elected in 2008.  Thousands of IRS agents were hired while our military was decimated, our border was relaxed, and those of us unfortunate enough to lose our jobs have had to rifle through our savings or take four part-time jobs in order to get by.


The time has come to tune out those chattering monkeys on the Fake News shows. How anyone can believe a word they say is simply unbelievable.  They must either be on public assistance, drugs or the snowflake baby bottle, filled with the Leftist Kool-Aid.


Donald Trump – a rich guy. Imagine that?





Published in: on March 16, 2017 at 4:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

A Day Without a Woman

Suffering from one of those infections to which women are prone, I wasn’t going to post a blog today.


But then I remembered it was A Day Without a Woman Day. There was no way I was going to be part of this Communist Holiday (March 8 is International Women’s Day).  The American Communists thought they were so clever, renaming the holiday for American women.  Thanks to Rush Limbaugh, however, the information got out.


International Women’s Day is just another one of those “days” the Communists use to sew division between women and men, women and their companies, women and their male co-workers, wives and their husbands, sisters and their brothers.


Thank goodness, I just happened to speak to my younger brother today. Take that, International Women.


I’m not your international sister, wife or mother. I happen to like men.  I happen to think men are superior to women in some ways.  This morning, the UPS truck pulled up.  A man was driving.  He picked up the package and brought to the common doorway.  Sometimes I see female drivers.  But not often.  Even if they could handle the packages (and there are some women who, God bless them, can tote a heavy load), they often can’t handle the stress of UPS’ demanding schedule.


As a species, women can leave a lot to be desired (not usually in that department). We talk too much.  We whine too much.  We complain too much and argue too much.  We’re very quick to pick out the faults of the other sex, but rarely examine our own.  We think temper tantrums are a natural, God-given right.  A Day Without a Woman?  Just think of the exquisite silence men must be enjoying in Woman’s absence.


We demand equal pay. We may demand it, but we don’t necessarily earn it or deserve it.  The one thing we can do that men can’t tends to get in the way.  We cost companies a good deal of time in terms of productivity (especially if one of our specialty “productions” shows up; work comes to a screeching halt).


Women have proven that they can do pretty much anything a man can do (including swear; still, I defy you to produce the woman who can naturally grow a beard) – and then they blow it by opening their mouths.


Show the importance of a woman? Show me the baby to which she gives birth and I’ll show you an important woman.  The rest is all pocket change.  Who cares if you’re the CEO of a company?  Who cares if you can weld a steel pipe?  Who cares what you do, “sister”?


If you were all that you say you are, you wouldn’t be giving yourselves a holiday, another excuse not to work while the men do.


International Women’s Day? Give me a break.


Here’s to my brothers, who are busy working today, and to the good women silently working beside them. I only wish I was.


Published in: on March 8, 2017 at 2:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

Mom and the Russian Winter Olympics Official

“I am Russian Winter Olympics Official and you MUST let me on board this bus!” the burly Russian yelled at my mother.


A snowstorm was raging, Mom was on her last run back to the Winter Olympics Village in Lake Place, N.Y. – there would be no more buses that night, and her bus was standing room only, right up to the yellow line. She was at least 20 passengers past her legal load.


Mom was at an impasse on the mountain. Did she follow the state transportation law and refuse this last group of passengers, thus probably creating an international incident?  Or did she follow common sense and humanity and let this guy – and the handful of people with him – on the bus?


“I’m already overloaded,” she said. “It’s against the law for me to allow any more passengers on board the bus!”


(“Mom!” I exclaimed, as she told me the story at our kitchen table. “You didn’t just leave that guy out in the snow?!  I mean, I know he was a Russian and all but…”


“Well,” she fretted, “I was overloaded and it was snowing. If the cops had stopped me or I’d gotten in an accident, I could have lost my license.


“So you stranded them?!”


“Oh, well, let me my finish my story!” she cried.)


But Mom knew very well what she had to do – it was also against the law and humanity to strand passengers. She’d done her duty in refusing them.  She turned in her seat and looked back to the passengers standing in the aisle.


“What do you think, folks?” she asked. “Can you squeeze in a little more and let these last people onto the bus?  I know you’re already crowed.  But there really aren’t going to be any more buses tonight.  We can’t just leave them here to freeze.”


The people murmured among themselves for a moment. Then followed a shuffling towards the back of the bus.


“Okay, driver,” a man said, finally. “We think there should be enough room now.”


The Russian Winter Olympics Official was the last passenger aboard.


“Dank you wery much,” he said. “You are wery kind lady.”


That was early 1980. Ronald Reagan was still struggling for the Republican nomination.  The Iron Curtain – the Berlin Wall – still stood between East and West Germany.  Certainly, my parents had no use for Communists or Communism.  Or bureaucracy.  Fortunately for the Russian Winter Olympics Official, God, not the state of New York, had the final say on whether he would get aboard my mother’s bus, a being whom the Russian government had discounted and outlawed.


A few years later, it would be my turn to deal with a “Russian official.” By now it was the Age of perestroika (“economic reform”) and glasnost (“publicity”).  Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachov, admittedly a very different kind of Russian from, say, Vladimir Putin, were “pals.”  The Berlin Wall was torn down and communism was defeated.


Personally, I thought the death of communism was very much a premature report. Communism was alive and well right here in the United States on college campuses, in worker’s unions, in our bureaucracy, and in our press.  I’d had a belly full of communism in college and high school.  It didn’t look dead to me.


In my career travels, I found myself temping, and then working “permanently” for a large oil company, in various departments, including Project Planning and Construction. I’ve described this job before and the encounter I had with some Russian official who might have said he was a minister of some sort – energy, probably.


I won’t bore you with too many of the detail of a story I’ve already told. Needless to say, I didn’t know what to do with him.  Unless he wanted to order a carpet, there wasn’t much I could do for him.  Finally, Olga, the Terrible, dealt with him.


Later on, I had the pleasure of speaking with the man he was trying to contact. He looked a lot like a younger version of that fellow we see on television now, our new Secretary of State.  I don’t quite understand why people take these curious assignments?  He worked for an oil company.  Why didn’t Trump nominate him to be Secretary of Energy?  I don’t know if they’re the same guy or not.  Probably not.


Oh well. Anyway, we were talking and he said that he contacted the Russian first.  I was a little concerned for this guy. Perestroika or not, I was worried he might get into trouble.


“If you contacted him first, why did he call my number?  Didn’t you give him your business card?” I cried.  The fellow looked a bit flummoxed.  Maybe the Russian official lost it.  Business cards are skittery things.  They tend to fall in between car seats and out of pockets onto the sidewalk.


According to the Democrat playbook, this fellow (who may or may not be our Secretary of State), my mother and I, should have all been placed under federal wiretap for conversing with a Russian. They use a very broad definition of “meeting” to include anything from bumping into a Russian on the sidewalk and saying, “Izvinite!” (“Excuse me”) to “Davayte zaplanirovat’ vstrechu na sleduyushchuyu sredu chtoby obsudit’ sverzheniye pravitel’stva Soyedinennykh Shtatov;  vot moya vizitnaya kartochka” (“Let’s schedule a meeting next Wednesday to discuss overthrowing the United States government; here’s my business card.”).


The Democrats began their henny-penny crying of “The Russians are hacking; the Russians are hacking!” last summer. When one FISA court refused the Obama Administration’s request for a wiretap order for Trump Towers last summer, the Democrats – with their help of their media counterparts – continued and increased their allegations – until another FISA court issued the order they wanted.


Once they began the wiretap, what did the Democrat operatives find? Absolutely nothing.  Zip.  Nada. Nichego.  Apparently, Trump was becoming suspicious and as president, they believed he would begin an investigative into Obama’s abuse of power.


So with the help of “Representative” Al Franken, they threw a curveball at Sen. Jeff Sessions during the nomination hearings for Attorney General. The question was a little like the loaded question, “How often do you beat your wife?”


Sessions had met with the Russian ambassador exactly twice.


According to Fox News and Heritage Foundation scholar Hans von Spakovsky, the Obama administration helped set up the first meeting Jeff Sessions had with the Russian ambassador in 2016. Von Spakovsky wrote at FoxNews.com that the event at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland that his employer hosted was attended by Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.


Spakovsky writes that the event was a conference titled “Global Partners in Diplomacy,” where Sessions was the keynote speaker. It was sponsored by the State Department, the Heritage Foundation and other organizations. The Russian ambassador was one of just many guests at the speech.


The hand-shaking meeting was about the equivalent to Sessions bumping into Kislay on the street (goodness knows, I’ve covered enough such events as a photographer; not exactly the forum for verbally passing on state secrets; although Obama found the noisy atmosphere conducive to passing the message onto then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that “I’ll have more flexibility [to negotiate with Vladimir Putin] after my election”).

In the second instance, Sessions met with Russian Ambassador Sregey Kislay in his (Sessions’) office, at the envoy’s request. Sessions, who sat on the Armed Services Committee while in the Senate, said they discussed a number of issues, including Russia’s involvement in Ukraine.


“We had a disagreement over that,” he said. “The Ukrainian ambassador had been into my office for a meeting the day before, and so we had a little disagreement over the Ukrainian issue.”

For not “confessing” to these “meetings” – only one of which was a true, scheduled “meeting” and which was perfectly within Sessions’ purview as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and not a matter which he necessarily had to “admit” to as though he were under interrogation for collaborating with a possibly hostile nation (the meeting itself apparently was hostile enough) – Democrats are still calling for his resignation, and a special prosecutor.



“It is insufficient for Attorney General Sessions to recuse himself from any matters concerning the presidential campaign. He must resign,” House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer thundered in a statement last Thursday.

After all, Hoyer is a Congressional Democrat official!!


The first meeting, a Republican conference to which the White House invited the Russian ambassador, could be misconstrued as a political meeting. Sort of.  But that means that the Democrats and the White House, in particular, knew about it.  The meeting was no secret, therefore, Sessions wasn’t “obstructing” the interrogation – er, investigation.


The second meeting had nothing to do with the political campaign at all, but rather a matter of national security, or at least the national security of our allies in the Ukraine. If Sessions was “schooling” the Russian ambassador, than where was the complicity.  How do Democrat charges of “collusion” stand up to scrutiny?


This is what we get for electing a clown – Al Franken – to the House of Representatives. This is also what we get for electing a communist-leaning Democrat – Obama – to two terms in the White House?


Could there be anything more absurd than a lame-duck president, Marxist in every way, along with his equally Marxist senior adviser, Valerie Jarrett, accusing a man who is probably the most Capitalist former businessman in the United States of America, Donald Trump, of “colluding” with Vladimir Putin, who wants to return Russia to the Soviet Union of the 1950s, gulags and all?


Back at Exxon, I wondered about the soundness of seeking out the Russians (the former Soviet Union) as business allies. But then, thanks to former Pres. Richard Nixon, the business door to China was thrown open in 1971.  The Chinese were more than happy to welcome American businesses and steal all their ideas, business models, and inventions.  So how much worse could the Russians be?


Russia, like China, is a military threat. Putin is beating his chest and pounding the war drums.  Donald Trump does not want to see us go to war with Russia.  Or China.  But he also knows he can’t negotiate with a weak military hand.  We must increase our military might to be prepared in case that threat turns into a reality.


In the meantime, our Negotiator-in-Chief is, for his pugnacious posing, a peaceful bull. He’s willing to try diplomacy first.  I remember the Cuban Missile Crisis.  The Russian threat and our naval stand-off result in our pulling our military bases out of Turkey.  We didn’t know it, but JKF negotiated with Khrushchev.  He negotiated badly, in my opinion, as did Pres. Nixon.


Meanwhile, the indoctrination of our nation’s youth into Marxism continues unabated. We have a single-minded policy that is attempting to criminalize the opposition.  Let us hope that Pres. Trump takes a firm hand, and makes a recess appointment of a new deputy attorney general.  The weasels (think Chuck Schumer) and vermin are clawing at the maw of freedom and justice, desperately trying to avoid the fate of despotism and bureaucracy – being flushed away by transparency and true democracy.  They’ll do anything to avoid being thrown onto the dung heap of history, as they so richly deserved.


The Democrats have no evidence, other than what they themselves have manufactured. They have no case.  They have no credibility.


They have – nothing.  Except arrogance.







Published in: on March 6, 2017 at 3:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

Minding Someone Else’s Manners

In today’s let-it-all-hang-out culture, which has dominated our society since the Sixties,  you wouldn’t think etiquette would be much of a subject for drubbing. But you’d be in error.


Many years ago (now), we were having a departmental luncheon, paid for by the department. I must admit, I didn’t hold a very high opinion of my co-workers or my supervisor.  Their manners were decidedly wanting.


Still, as I didn’t care much about them and I was tremendously hungry, I began to nibble at my meal. I was soon given to understand that I’d created a serious gaffe and was obliged to put my fork down.  Later, the said supervisor gave me a royal dressing down for disrespecting her.  This same supervisor would dress me down again for a birthday bash in which I not only grabbed a doughnut out of turn, but invited some temporary workers to partake of the breakfast feast.


I acknowledged my doughnut debacle but dressed the supervisor herself down (she was a good deal younger than I was) for her cruel rudeness in excluding the temporary workers.


You’d think I’d have known better, having been brought up amidst Admiralty Receptions. The admirals deserved my respect; I couldn’t say the same at all for that supervisor.


The year is not 1815 and we’re not guests at the Netherfield Ball. Those who’ve read Pride and Prejudice, the classic, 18th Century novel of parlour-room manners and romance, know the disgrace that improper behavior could bring upon young ladies of that era.  But in the 21st Century?


Still, some rules are supposed to still apply, even in our decadent age. One of those rules is that ladies seat themselves properly in public, with their knees together and their feet flat on the floor.  That is what I had to tell the young female pupils in my very brief career as a school photographer:  hands together, knees together, feet together.


Kellyanne Conway, one of President Trump’s senior advisors and the woman rightfully regarded as the key to his successful election as president, has come under the quizzing scorn of the “Ladies” of the Left, a word I use guardedly. Conway was photographed in the elegant Oval Office sitting on an Oval Office couch in a short skirt with her legs tucked under her and her visible legs spread somewhat apart.


“Heavens above!” to paraphrase Pride and Prejudice.  “Are the shades of the Executive Mansion to be thus polluted?!” shrieked the Mainstream Media, while college-educated Conservative women squirmed silently, unwilling to criticize a woman so critical to the election of our newly-minted Conservative president.


We were taught since toddlership that same rule I mentioned above: hands, knees, feet together on the floor (if our feet could reach the floor).  Never tuck your legs under your body while sitting.  Especially if you were wearing a dress.  Plus, always wait until the hostess signals that it’s time to eat.  Keep your elbows off the table.  Don’t talk with your mouth full.


Why such a flap over Kellyanne? This kind of gossip always brings out the Caroline Bingley in all of us, sneering at the lower classes who don’t know a cocktail fork from a dessert fork or how to eat bread properly (always pull the roll apart into small parts; never cut it with your knife).


Still, no matter how much we might want to defend her, the simple fact is, you don’t do The Wave in an exclusive West Side restaurant the way another set of co-workers did on a trip into the City after first sampling too much of the drinks at the bar in the front. Nor do we curl ourselves up on a couch in the White House as though we were getting ready to watch our favorite Pride and Prejudice movie on a Saturday afternoon when we’ve sent the kids out with their dad to play miniature golf.


We all make social gaffes, for which we suffer the consequences. However, the consequences should not go on longer than a lengthy dinner sermon by Mr. Collins or a piano concerto by sister Kitty.


Let us rather look to the example of Elizabeth Bennett’s sister Jane. “My dear Jane,” Elizabeth tells her, “you are too good.  Your sweetness and disinterestedness are really angelic…You wish to think all the world respectable, and are hurt if I speak ill of anybody.”


Mr. Bennett, their father, takes the folly of the world, his wife’s, his five daughters’, and even his own, in stride.


“For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and laugh at them in our turn?”





Published in: on March 3, 2017 at 6:29 pm  Leave a Comment