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The NFL. Children. Ignorant, Petulant and Overpaid

I’ll put the Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF as my old boss used to call it). The playing of the National Anthem at sporting events has always been for one and only one purpose. It was a way of saying, in a feel-good way that we are all in this together. The Baptist in section C row 5 seat 16, the lesbian in A 15 4, the disabled vet in F 22 12 and the Muslim in P 11 2 are all Americans. Tomorrow the Lesbian might blog about gay rights. The vet will be fighting red tape at the VA. The Baptist will decry the lack of god in schools. And the Muslim may decide to march against the travel ban.

But right now, in this place, at this happy time, we are all a part of a larger picture. Let us just for this brief moment enjoy knowing that and enjoy being together. THAT is why we play the national Anthem at ballgames. There is no other reason. There never was.

It wasn’t about wars. It wasn’t about race riots. It wasn’t about the imaginary grievances of college snowflakes. The flag itself was just a focal point; a rather pretty visual the good feelings were built around.

Well…until entirely un-oppressed, professional athletes decided to get camera time and headlines by ruining the moment for the rest of us.

It’s Not FSC’s Fault

As I read the social network comments regarding the NFL’s National Anthem controversy, I am struck dumb with the level of ignorance from which people argue. Clearly, many of the arguments are made up from whole cloth. I read one post that the National Anthem was written by an attorney who worked to free slaves.

[insert loud game show buzzer here]

Sorry! Francis Scott Key was a slaveholder who, it is said, wrote of the inferiority of the Negro race. Yes, he did represent slaves seeking legal manumission as well as slaveholders seeking return of their “property”. If he thought his client had a case, he argued it. But he was no paragon of abolitionist virtue.

I hate revisionist history worse than cooked carrots.

I read repeatedly that the song “celebrates slavery” or “celebrates the murder of African-Americans”. Leaving aside the impossibility and self-indulgence of the label in the latter example, the song does neither.

Sadly, the ignorance is not limited to silly tweets or Facebook trolls. Mark Clague, a musicologist (here defined as someone who can say anything he wants and declare it valid) is a shining example of what has become of American learning and intellect.

Clague works at the University of Michigan and is founder of the Star Spangled Music Foundation (no agenda there, right?). In a particularly non-intellectual and self-contradictory interview with the NY Times[i], Clague says the lyrics are not a celebration of slavery.

So far, true enough. They are specifically not that.

But then Clague goes on to damage a simple and true statement by slathering on his own disjointed views and projecting his own wishes and feelings on things, 200 years hence, into the minds of people who simply did not think as he does; people who did not think the way educated people think today.

In his reference to “freemen”, Clague asserts, Key was including white people AND black slaves who remained loyal to the U.S. during the war.

In other words, according to Clague, an attorney, and the author of a rather well-penned verse, had no concept of the meaning of words. At the beginning of the 19th Century, a freeman was specifically NOT a slave. Period. If I were a merchant in Philadelphia and was introduced to a Black man with whom I might do business, he would be introduced to me as a freeman to specifically delineate him from those who were slaves. This was by no means an uncommon occurrence, even in major southern cities.

Key would have not confused the two. Clague does so intentionally to burnish the image of the Anthem, which is clearly his goal.

At the same time, Clague and any other literate person who reads the lyrics and knows of the history of the time, knows the terms “hireling” and “slave”, in the context of defeating the Brits, was a reference to the mercenaries and slaves who fought for England during the war.

If you are a 100% pacifist and believe that all war is murder, then you could read into the words of FSK a justification for the murder of slaves and mercenaries in the Anthem. But that would be projecting YOUR beliefs onto the words written by another person.

Key clearly believed in the cause being contested and did not quibble about the morality of war in his verse. So in his mind, and therefore his words, there is no celebration of murder. There is only the statement that the enemy is not free from what American forces might visit upon them. This included people who lived here and fought for the Brits. The “controversial” phrase is neither celebration nor condemnation of death in war.

All I will say further about the birth of the Anthem is that it was a verse that reflected it’s time. The modern approach to that reality is to deny it by saying things like, “Don’t tell me about the morality of the time! Don’t confuse me with facts! XYZ is wrong and everybody knows it!”

Well, isn’t that just too convenient for you? The fact is, that for several millennia, it was accepted as correct that one people should enslave another. If your state went to war with another, one of the most valuable and common spoils of war was the acquisition of slaves. If you marched your god into a foreign land and they rejected that god, you could do to those people anything you wanted to.  While the Greeks and Romans would happily nuance the concept to win the loyalty of this tribe over that, the common thinking was that the conquered could be used as the conqueror sees fit. There was no moral argument against it.

We are a mere 200 years into a world where slavery is seen as a blight. Many places in the Muslim world have a lot of catching up to do to eliminate slavery all together. That’s to be understood since they actively rejected the Age of Enlightenment, where old cultural and religious nonsense started to be peeled away in favor of critical thinking.

But is it a process. One we worked through, quite painfully, 150 years ago.

There is more to Clague’s unhelpful interview, mostly about newer versions of the song written over the years by people with various axes to grind, including abolition. But they are not germane to the argument at hand as they are not Key’s words. But Clague is a “musicologist”. So perhaps I should show a bit more respect.

Meh…nah.

So What of Today’s NFL Anthem Squabble?

It might have been smart if Woodrow Wilson and Congress, when they made the Star Spangled Banner our official Anthem, had reviewed all of it. If they found controversy in the various stanzas, it would have certainly been within their power to say, “We adopt this stanza and reject the rest in the use of the verse as our anthem.” That would have been quite prescient. However, there would be no way Wilson could have possibly read anything sticky about the third verse. He was a racist. He was completely and utterly tone deaf to issues of any minority.  So talk of defeating slaves and mercenaries fighting for the enemy would have meant nothing to Wilson.

But at this moment, the Anthem is still our official song.

There is no law that requires the playing of the Anthem at sporting events. Nor should there be. This is a tradition, and a nice one.

People are free to sit, stand or chew gum while it plays. People are free to protest during it’s playing. After many decades of this without these circus stunt “protests” do I question the motivation of players who are protesting a benign song? Of course I do. These are spoiled, overpaid, prima donnas who haven’t heard the word “no” since the first scout visited their schools. Not a single one of them could articulate a true statement in favor of their “protest”.   Talk of “oppression” coming from their mouths should be an anathema to any mature adult in this country.

Even if their erroneous view of the Anthem’s lyrics were correct, there isn’t a single person alive who has actually suffered through the time in question. Not a single living American has had to deal with the issue of slavery. Only the oldest among us had to fight for civil rights. And they won! The only emotion we should feel about any of that is gratitude!

But They Disrespect Our Veterans!

If you’ve read my stuff, you’ve read that I don’t use my time in uniform as a reason to criticize protestors. I wore the uniform for 23 years to uphold the right of anyone to peacefully protest anything they want. That includes the actions of stupid, spoiled men getting paid to play a kids’ game.

But as they are free to make phony protests, you are free to counter them.

I hear talk of boycott. That might do it. But be sure to make your actions clear and accurate. They lose their meaning if you don’t.

This is my take. Player A sits on the bench, collecting camera time during the anthem. Let’s not pretend it is really anything else. That is his right. BUT he is in a uniform. While wearing that uniform, and in the performance of his duties representing the ball club, it is the club’s reaction that is the key.

The owners and stockholders of the franchise have freedom of speech as well. If a player sits out the anthem and the club doesn’t penalize him, or at least scold him publicly, the club is making one of two possible statements.

  1. We agree with the actions of Player A and believe the National Anthem and the United States are bad things.

OR

  1. We don’t agree but will coddle the spoiled brat because we care more about how much we pay him than we do about patriotism or national pride or whatever label the observer thinks is appropriate here.

But take care where you point your finger and be prepared to make your own mea culpa. Who was it, after all that made these “protestors” into more than overpaid meat hired to play a game?

Who was it that paid good money to make sports entertainment into a multi-billon dollar activity? What a waste of resources! Who is it that allows our institutions of higher learning to be football clubs and snowflake villages rather than institutions of higher learning? Who stood by and watched as our government created a publicly subsidized “bread and circus” industry we now know as professional sports?

That’s right. It is you. I would wager some the people most angry with the protestors these days are season ticket holders or viewers that never miss a game each week. But in attempting to admonish the “Frankenstein” we’re angry with, don’t minimize your role in creating it.

Still feeling passionate about your argument? I hope so. Now go out and make a valid one.

Note: The fact that NFL players in exhibition in England stood for God Save the Queen and took a knee for our National Anthem shows their complete ignorance of the history of the anthem and the history of this nation. And it demonstrates the total lack of seriousness in their “protest”.

Children!

[i] The National Anthem Racist? Beyond the Debate over Colin Kaepernick by Jennifer Schuessler, New York Times, 2 Sep 16. The Times actually refers to Clague’s emotionalist, self-serving meanderings as “scholarly”.

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Modern Fallacies of "Race" and "Heritage"

This is addressed to a small, but growing subset of our population.

In the following paragraphs, I will state several facts.  They won’t be arguable. Every literate person who reads these facts will know they are true.  But these facts will tug at the silly emotionalism too many have chosen to cloak their lives in.  These facts will stand athwart the nonsense cultural con men have been hawking for decades.

With a little luck, I will convince a few people to revive their sense of dignity and REAL self-respect and turn away from the childish thinking that keeps them from reaching their full potential and divides our people.

Fact 1: I am NOT Irish.

Throughout my childhood there was a myth about “pride” and “heritage” that was foisted on every kid I knew. It was the myth that we were “Irish” or “Italian” or whatever other label people decided to hold over from the old country.

Yes it is true, that by accident of birth, and by no other machination, I have DNA similar to that of people who immigrated to the U.S. four generations before.  In my case, the big celebration of this accident was Saint Patrick’s Day.  We would be regaled with the myth surrounding this character and we were supposed to be filled with “pride” in our “heritage”.

Pride?  Heritage?  Really?

Dismissing the banishment of snakes for the nonsense that it is, what was it about Patrick and my Irish-ness I was supposed to be proud of?  What actions were taken five generations before and earlier that I was supposed to feel somehow “proud” of.  I wasn’t there.

However my ancestors chose to survive the famine, I didn’t participate.  In parts of our extended family were people who were part of the IRA.  We were supposed to be somehow proud of that.  Leave aside the twisted animals the IRA would eventually become, how was I supposed to be “proud” of a struggle with which I had taken no part?

And from whence comes my heritage?  It damn sure isn’t from Ireland!  The ONLY tangible heritage that contributed what I would become is what my parents and grandparents provided.  And except for the silly green hats and “Kiss me!  I’m Irish!” badges I’d see once a year, that heritage was pure American.

But oh, I was told, think of the brave souls that fled the famine and came here to start a new life!

 Brave?  Well, I’ll grant you, the first man to pull a black spud from the ground to say, “Uh-oh. There’s something wrong here,” who packed his kit and got out of dodge, could be called brave or visionary.

But when the staple crop of Ireland failed catastrophically, millions of Irishmen did what every other culture had done before them.  They left.  They moved en masse searching for a place to survive.  It would have been far braver, some thought fool-hearty, to have stayed on and figured out a fix than to have left a lifetime of work and run.

I’m not saying those who did leave did the wrong thing.  But when you follow the herd, for whatever reason, you are not standing out as brave.  In this case, people were doing what simply had to be done as they saw it.  That they didn’t do it in small numbers kind of tarnishes the “brave” label.

Having settled in Philadelphia, the first generation of my family born here went of to war.   Two that I know of, Matthew Jordan and George Platt both fought for the Union at Fredericksburg, among other places.  They didn’t do that because they were Irish.  They did it because they were American.  No matter your feelings about the Civil War (or any war), you can’t get around the fact that those who fought and died, mostly thought they were doing the right thing.  But these two men were not fighting for Ireland.

Like all those who descended from other cultures, these men went on to build a life here. At the time, and in many ways today, that life is unique when set against the sweep of history. The life they built here was not an Irish life.  It was an American life.  The children they raised were American.

Some understood this and went on to do great things.  They made prosperous lives for themselves.  Others bought into the sorry groupthink that pervaded places like Boston and thought (stupidly) that their lives were somehow made better by the political vultures that fed on cultural parochialism.  All those people did was slow their own progress in this culture while enriching politicians who didn’t really give a damn about being Irish and didn’t care a lick for those that enriched them.

Still others fell in with the worst of elements.  People with Irish surnames cannot claim the moral high ground here.  The Irish mob is as much a blight on society as the Mafia, MS-13 and the Russian mob.

We may entertain ourselves and pat ourselves on the back for things with which we have no connection.  But my family, like all American families, succeeded or failed by how they approached life in the United States – not Ireland or Russia or Africa or China – but here, in this reality.

I have been troubled by these thoughts because of a resurgence of racism in this country. Class envy is resurgent too.  But I’ll deal with that in another post.

I went from pre-adolescence to adulthood in a world where everyone with the least sense of dignity looked at racial identity as a punch line at best and a cancer at worst.  Comedians rightfully portrayed the mouth-breathing White racist AND the stereotype, outdated Black Panther wannabes with equal amusement.

But in the last two decades, as the Sixties crowd moved into power, I’ve seen this trend reversed.  We are now seeing those who feed off of class and ethnic identity gain an undeserved voice.  We’ve replaced real progress with emotionalist stupidity.

In St. Louis last night (9/15/17) we saw people who are told (or decided) they must stand shoulder to shoulder with a heroine dealer who tried to run over two cops because they have a similar skin color.  Sadly, many people either believe it or pretend to believe it.

Whatever the specifics of the final encounter this criminal had with police were, we only have the legal record to figure out.  But the man himself isn’t worthy of the least consideration.  He certainly isn’t worthy of being raised on a pedestal.  He isn’t worth societal division.

But there are those who will tell you that he is.  They thrive on it.  They’ve grown rich, like those Irish politicians, convincing you that your first consideration must be the color of your skin, or a brogue, not what you need to do to thrive in society.

To my Black brothers and sisters who were born in this country, I submit facts number 2 and 3:

You are not African and you are not slaves.

I am not going to lecture you about what the word African means.  Just take my story as an overlay and compare it to your family tree.  Fact number 3 is self-evident.  Neither you, your parents nor your grandparents were slaves.  If you are not of a certain age, even your great grand parents were not slaves.  You share no connection to that world unless you chose to study the history of it.

You can no more claim legitimate pain from slavery than I can from the Potato Famine and the Irish caste system.

To let people keep you from reaching your full potential because slavery existed 160 years ago, to base your world view on that, is an insult to every person who survived slavery and went on to make a life for themselves.

Too many Black Americans have gone on to greatness and dispelled these myths.  That includes those who walk around in mansions, selling their music and talking about being oppressed.  You can enjoy their music, but don’t buy the insult to your own intelligence that says they can make it but you can’t.

I liked Tom Cruise in Valkyrie, but I wouldn’t give a warm fart for his pathetic Scientology lunacy.  And yes, that is the very same thing as believing Kanye has a point about being oppressed.  He is living proof that in the US, oppression in a function of one’s own design.  It is not an American reality.

The fact that people like those in the following paragraphs exist cannot oppress you unless you say it does.

To my white brother and sisters, I submit facts number four and five: We are not the super race.  And there is no god of white people.

Waaaaay too many of you are drifting back to that moronic, 1950’s, jerkwater way of thinking.

Many of you are also being manipulated in the same way as all cultures have been from time to time.  Many of you are unemployed or underemployed.  You’ve allowed yourselves to be sucked into a pathetic narrative that says it is someone else’s fault.  It’s not.  If you are not happy with your lot in life, it’s your fault.

As for race?  Hell, in the wider scheme of things, there is no individual race.  Dr. David Duke (the title gets funnier every time I hear it) would tell you that a white guy is a white guy and everyone else is entirely different.

[Insert loud game show buzzer here.] Sorry.  That just ain’t so.  We now know what we call our “heritage” (there’s that word again) is thoroughly intermingled going back tens of thousands of years.  Every single human being you look at every single day is a cousin, at some random distance removed. Give them a hug.

And as I said above, referring to culture vultures, many of you have enriched people like David Duke while virtually hiding from a full and happy life.

Do yourselves a favor.  Relax.  Let go of your self-imposed stupidity and join the rest of society.  If you spent as much time and money becoming better human beings and gaining real knowledge as you did on your tattoos, and listening to people like Duke, you’d all be far better off than you are.

I would submit this one assumption: The only well-off, successful, mouth-breathing racist in this country is the one who has capitalized on your gullibility.  He likely doesn’t really care about skin color.  But it’s a good gig if you want money, easy fame and a credulous following.

Finally there is this irony.

Across the color spectrum, race baiters work in tandem.  Each LOVES the fact that the other exists.  Duke needs Sharpton and vice versa.  La Raza needs the people who think everyone with a Spanish accent is an illegal. Each secretly prays that the other is kept safe and successful.

It’s the same as the zoo we have inside the Beltway.  Phony conservatives need phony liberals need each other to be loud and strong.  Neither has any intention of actually accomplishing anything.  If they did, their power would wane.  But this is an issue for a wider audience, isn’t it?

To the 80% of society (hopefully more) that doesn’t fall into the narrative of this essay, I say thank you for being you.  Don’t be afraid to invite the others to participate in a normal life.

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A Pox On All Your Damn Houses!

I’ve been looking at video of the Charlottesville riot and trying to piece it together for myself, unlike 90% of the people out there on all sides of the issue. I still have a long way to go. But here is what I’ve gathered so far, along with a few questions that have not been answered yet.

I know the mouth breathers from the Klan[1] (a leftist/racist organization) and the National Socialists (A leftist/racist organization)[2] had a permit to march and hold a rally.

  • When assembling in accordance with their permit, at what point did others approach?
  • Did those approaching them have permits for their “counter protest”?
  • I haven’t seen all the riot footage yet.   But who threw the first punch? (In one video, in at least one place, the violence was started by people blocking the march.)
  • ANTIFA and BLM both have reputations as rioters and have been seen to assault people who disagree with them. Did they start the pushing and shoving? Or the throwing of things? Or did the mouth breathers?
    • It’s more than passing strange that ANTIFA[3] is a fascist organization and BLM is a leftist/racist organization. They both have a lot in common with the inbreds they confronted in Charlottesville on Saturday.

I did catch one interesting sequence as I started to review video of some minor pushing and shoving. There is a NAZI or Klan guy staggering with a beer in his hand (he should have been arrested just for that) in the march. He is trying to push people and not fall over at the same time. Then he passes a man standing at the side of the parade route.

This was an older man. He was pepper spraying every mouth breather who passed him. He sprayed every one. Most of whom were not doing anything at all but walking. Clearly this was his idea of a “counter protest”, injuring the protestors. For that, ANYONE he sprayed had every right to break his friggin’ jaw.

Here’s what you not going to hear from politicians and chicken shit newies:

No matter what a person’s views; no matter how stupid or offensive or inflammatory we feel they are, they have a right to express those views. The Constitution covers a lot of things. Your personal sensitivities are not among them.

If a group, no matter who they are, goes to the trouble of acquiring a permit to make their point, NONE OF US has the right to stop them from carrying out their demonstration. If anyone started that maylay because they didn’t like the message the mouth breathers were conveying, that puts the mouth breathers in the right and the “counter protestor” in the wrong. Period. There is no excuse for initiating violent conflict.

I’ll take that one step further. Let’s say the morons from ANTIFA wanted to come to Biloxi and hold a rally. (I not only reject their hopelessly confused message out of hand but I know they have a reputation of acting out violently against anyone who doesn’t buy their idiot gospel word for word.) Let’s further assume that Biloxi requires a permit for the assembly and ANTIFA goes to the trouble of acquiring that permit. I can go watch them protest. I can flip them all the bird. I can attempt to talk sense into any of them who might listen to me. But I am not entitled to punch them.

Not only would I have no right to hit any of them, I don’t even have the right to occupy the same space they occupy. Everyone has the right to be secure in his person. If I were to even impede the progress of an ANTIFA goon, I would be in the wrong. And the goon would have the right to stand his ground.

Do I have a right to try to shout louder than them? Sure. Do I have a right to personally or directly threaten them or goad one or two of them into attacking me so I have an excuse to fight them? Nope. That’s inciting riot. That’s like yelling fire in a crowded theater. And again, that would put me in the wrong.

So I really am interested in seeing the police video of when and where the actually fighting started. I like to see how close the “counter protestors” were permitted to get to the marchers as they were assembling. From what I heard, conflict started right at the beginning. And if anyone has video of the old shit bag shooting pepper spray at the marchers, who weren’t doing anything to him, getting his clock cleaned, I’d enjoy seeing that. He deserved an ass kicking as much as anyone in Charlottesville that day.

Big picture comments

Everyone knows I am a staunch critic of Donald Trump. He rarely puts a foot right. But when he is right, I will say so. And the pretend media freak-out over his Charlottesville statement was an example of groupthink that would make Orwell shudder.

Trump was right in characterizing the hate as coming from many sides. The groups represented on Saturday all have violence and destruction on their record. They are ALL motivated by the pig-headed notion that everyone must agree with them or face some kind of wrath, whether it is actual violence, or just the destruction of their career or security. ALL the groups represented act out of hate and their own inability to actually present a valid argument. They all speak hatefully. They ALL have warped views of race and civil interaction.

So on this one, I give Trump kudos and the detractors a middle finger salute.

A silly side note

It is interesting to see the Dr. David Duke[4] has crawled out from under his rock this weekend trying to sound relevant. What a pussy! He always piggybacks on the pain or stupidity of others.    

Duke and anyone who follows him can kiss both sides of my hairy ass. But so can anyone who thinks Maxine Waters was helpful this weekend.

[1] Yes, the Klan is a leftist organization. They want to build a government around racial winners and losers. They want to establish a Christian theocracy. That makes them THE NUMBER ONE tyrannical, left-wing, government overreach entity in the United States today.

[2] It troubles me that more people don’t get this. The National Socialist Party. Socialist! How many stupid people out there think NAZIs are conservative or right wing? If you do, you need to go back to the third grade. There are many in the NAZI groups who think their authoritarian, racist bullshit is a form of conservatism, but then there are people in ANTIFA who don’t understand that ANTIFA itself is fascist.

[3] Oh, I know. The heads of snowflakes across this great nation just exploded. “How can you say that? ANTIFA stands for Anti Fascist”. Yeah, and North Korea calls itself a democracy. When you try to provoke cops and punch people who don’t agree with you, then you ARE A FASCIST! That is what Mussolini’s Black Shirts did in the 1920’s and what Hitler’s Brown Shirts did in the 30’s. I will assume that most of ANTIFA doesn’t have a clue what fascism is, so the name just sounds cool…to an emotionalist idiot! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3o2nxTTs4aY

[4] So he’s a doctor of what? Mouth breathing? Head shaving? Garish tattoos? Beer pong?

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Smirky Head Shakers

Those TV and Movie moments that make normal people smirk and shake their heads.

 Zips?  Really?

I imagine, if anyone was paying attention to Media Buzz on Sunday, 6 August, that FOX News got some pretty fiery emails.  We’re not talking about a super high-rated news show here.  I imagine only news and political geeks like myself actually sit through it.  But yeah, there was definitely a head shaker.

The guest at that time was Katrina Pierson, Trump hyper-apologist.  Howie Kurtz asked her about the fuss over leaks and the AG’s announcement that Justice was going to turn up the heat on leakers.

She spoke of the Obama hold-overs being the likely source of the leaking.  I would say that’s probably true.  The DC government is shot through with self-absorbed drama queens looking to get their 15 minutes.  Or they are leaking to key political people so they can feel like power players.

But in describing these pansies as an internal threat, she called them “zips in the wire”.

This is the problem when airheads hear words of movie dialog and think, “Hmmm, zips in the wire.  That’s sounds like a cool phrase.  I’ll sound cool saying it.”  The problem being that this particular airhead didn’t know what it meant.

“Zips” or zipperheads” is a derogatory term for Asians.  More specifically, in the context where it gained fashion, it refers to Vietnamese.  Ms. Pierson might have just as well said “gooks”.

If FOX didn’t get overrun with emails that is because the term has been completely lost to time or people aren’t as tuned in to offenses toward Asians as they are offenses against other races.

Personally, I don’t care.  I think we are ALL too thin-skinned anyway.  We could use some toughening up. The vast majority of our “adult” population has forgotten the adage “Sticks and stones will break my bones, etc.” 

Put more accurately, we have a population shot through with people just dying to feign offense and play the victim.  “Look at me!  Look at me!  I’m a delicate little girl!”

Anyway, I thought it was a funny moment.  And if Howie knew what the phrase meant, you’d never know it.  He didn’t bat an eyelash.

The “duh” moment is at 5:10 of this video.

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"Founded By Slaveholders", A Non-thinker's Argument

Founded by Slaveholders!

There is a popular admonition floating around about our nation’s founding. It is intended to cause deep soul searching or inflict discomfort and shame in the American listener.

A reasonable listener could be excused, with reasonable provenance, for reaching a different conclusion about the admonition and the purveyors of it.

I would take this shallow scold less seriously if it were restricted to Facebook trolls wanting to make noise and FEEL intelligent. Sadly, it has been popular on college campuses and in otherwise respected books and publications.

The Admonition

In order to “shout down” a person who may seem to some as too nationalistic or patriotic, it is popular among liberals and those who think we should be more like Europe, for example, to remind us that “all but one” of the founding fathers were slave owners. A quick poison pill qualification often follows in the form of, “…and I don’t want to hear about the morals of the time. That has nothing to do with it!”

Firstly, the pronouncement is inaccurate and shows how we have come to venerate the centralization of power that the Revolution fought against. The qualification ignores the progress already being made at that time against slavery. The qualification also rings of “…don’t try to confuse me with facts. I’ve already made up my mind!”

Well, with all due respect to those who reject any thinking on the part of the listener, I will point out the following:

The Founding Fathers, we are more and more often told, consisted of seven people. Washington, Franklin, Adams, Jefferson, Jay (I am surprised he survives this modern myth), Hamilton and Madison.

As a young adult, and an avid reader of history, I discovered this elementary school list was far from complete. We remember their names because, unlike many of the others who risked death and ruin, they stayed around after the founding to take the reins of the very power they had created by expelling the Crown. We remember their names because it is a short list and it is easy to teach children about them.

One of the sillier results of this simple-minded notion of our founding is the beatification of the U.S. Government. Most people at that time knew this was not what people fought and died for from 1775-1781. Local governance remained as the proper locus of power. But the Civil War and popular myths surrounding these seven “fathers” fostered the concept of “The United States” vs “These United States.” It cemented, sadly, the idea that real government exists only in DC. State and local governments are just the junior league. There really is an amazing number of people who think our system of government was set up so that the federal government could do as much as possible, and the state governments should bat cleanup and fight for federal dollars.

Who will deny that the average American sees an election as a populist federal exercise? I would contend that less than 10% of all Americans know who is on a state or local ballot until they enter the voting booth.

Enough on the peripheral effect. Let’s deal with who “founded our nation” and the revisionist moralizing aimed at these founders.

There were more than seven!

I was reading a friend’s FB post the other day. It made the same point that I am arguing against here. He said of the founding fathers, all but one owned slaves. When I called him on it he, for some reason, changed the term to the “founding framers”.  An odd change, and further from the truth than the original claim.

Here’s that fact that muddies the waters. There were 56 founding fathers. 56 people pledged their property, lives and honor to US independence. 56 men traveled from all over the east to Philadelphia. 56 debated seriously, often passionately, about our allegiance to the Crown. Not all believed we should break with Britain. But they would, by 2 July 1776, agree to do so. They all took the same risks. 56 families and yes, even the slaves of those who held them, were put at risk as well.

We only know the big seven as near godlike because they would hold positions of power that long exceeded the Revolution and the creation of the US Constitution. It can be argued, and history supports this, that these seven spent those decades vying for that very power.

Of the 56 who actually did the work of creating this nation, 41 (73%) were slaveholders. Not all but one.

As for the “framers” (There is no accepted term “founding framer”. That’s a new one.), 27 (49%) of the representatives from the various states were slaveholders. So from 1776 until 1787 the trend among those who shaped the nation was drifting toward abolition already.

“…I Don’t Want To Hear About The Morals Of The Time!”

Well suck it up, buttercup. You can apply modern thinking to people of other times, but it doesn’t change what has already occurred. You can wish your own motivations into the hearts of those long dead. But criticizing the constitution because some of the framers were slaveholders is like saying Mickey Mantle knew nothing about baseball because he drank too much whiskey.  To remove the morals of the time from consideration is to discount your own credibility. And it is a form of pouting.

But take heart. As it turns out, modern ideas about slavery were already taking root in some quarters during these early years. The delegates to the Continental Congress AND the Constitutional Convention who argued against slavery were not expelled from the events. In fact, the anti-slave faction was able to at least get the Three-Fifths Compromise through to blunt the voting power the slave states were claiming. Slave states were insisting slaves counted against their census. It was a small victory, but a victory.

The economics of it all

Another canard criticized along with the “morals” dodge is the economics. I have heard it said that the economics argument for not charging ahead with abolition PROVES the founders were immoral. And again, the claim is at a minimum, naïve. At any rate, it is false.

This was at the heart of the matter for people like Gouvernuer Morris and George Mason. They both expressed, quite eloquently, a fear of eternal damnation (if you go in for that sort of thing) at their holding of slaves. But they like everyone in both bodies, Continental Congress and Constitutional Convention, knew that you don’t simply declare the undoing of a massive institution, even one as onerous as slavery, at one go.

Let me give you a modern example.

There are many, I am among them, who see the Social Security system as a corrupt Ponzi scheme. It is also horribly administered and of precious little value overall. It, like Obamacare was a system destined to fail from the very start. Many of you, at or near retirement count on this program to be your lifeline in your old age. It isn’t. You will find yourself in poverty. You have no one but yourselves to blame.

It isn’t all of your own doing. The federal government has repeatedly told you it is intact and that to keep it going in the future will require only minimum adjustments. They have not stated emphatically enough that it will not provide you with the retirement income you will need to live well. They have not admitted that with each month they wait to actually fix it, there is a greater chance that those already dependent on the system will suffer. Your fault lies in having believed any of it.

All the said, you can’t take something as vast as Social Security and simply declare today that it won’t exist tomorrow. You can’t even repair it in that fashion. It takes time. The economic and social impact must be attenuated to absorb the impact. After a long hard slog of un-brainwashing people as to its value, the system must be gradually replaced by a more effective and sustainable free-market program.

Slavery was seen in the same light. Slaveholders like Jefferson and Mason knew two things. Slavery was immoral, and contract or employee work was far less expensive. They also knew that in order for the American economy to survive the end of slavery other slaveholders, at least a strong plurality, would have to see the logic of this. For an individual to simply give up his slaves in a market dominated by slaveholders would leave him at an insurmountable disadvantage. By the time everyone else might have caught on, that business may lay in ruin.

The result would be to reaffirm the need for slaves in the minds of those who were holding out.

If the government simply mandated an abrupt end to slavery across the board the economic and legal chaos would have ended the American experiment before it got started. Yes, in order for there to be an America in which we would one day end slavery, there had to be an early time in which slave state and free state would exist side-by-side.

Now, even though I am writing this paragraph, there will be people shrieking at my comparing slavery to Social Security. There is no comparison, they’ll cry. Morally, the comparison is one of degree. Certainly holding generations of Americans in forced labor, and beating them in some cases, is a far greater offense than taking their money under false pretense. But both concepts are wrong.

And I stand by the economic comparison without apology.

But Why The Silly Admonition To Begin With?

The complaint about the “Founding Fathers” holding slaves is a red herring tossed into many conversations when respect for the Constitution comes up. The fact is, if your original argument for an issue is strong enough, you can change the Constitution to reflect that.

But as I heard on Glenn Beck’s radio show a few weeks back, no one WANTS to wait that long for anything. On that particular day, Beck’s issue was tax reform. And the truth is, to have permanent and effective tax REFORM, you must REFORM tax law. Reducing taxes does very little. The government can jack taxes right back up on a whim.

The reform must take place in the way we collect taxes and how much the government is limited to collect. Beck mentioned changing the Constitution and he and the entire cast all agreed that we shouldn’t have to wait that long to get something done.

Beck is not alone. We have several generations in this country that think every notion and difficulty they have should be acted on and solved by the government NOW! And if you tell them to form an argument and see if it will pass muster and then change the constitution…

…Oh boy…

…That’s when it comes out. Having no argument or lacking the skill to make one, they simply say they shouldn’t have to follow the Constitution because it was written a long time ago by white men, or rich men, or old men, or slaveholders, or NOT WOMEN,…

The invalid arguments are endless. And they have been in play in our government since FDR. That is why we have lost so many rights and so much of our personal wealth over the last 70 years.

Through our ignorance about our Constitution the government has not only been able to whittle away what you need to succeed and protect yourself, but YOU have fallen prey to moronic arguments about the foibles and sins of the “founding fathers”, as if they invalidate our governing documents.

This, and the “poison pill” I referred to earlier, are called a fallacious argument. Look it up and learn something.

When I started to post regularly in 2012 I lamented the lack of political and social maturity in the United States. I now despair that thanks to the echo chambers of social media, things have gotten much worse.

I’d love to be proven wrong about that.

Matt Jordan is the author of Street Politics: It Ain’t Your Daddy’s GOP Anymore! Grab your copy here.

Kindle version here!

Or just start reading for free on Kindle Unlimited!

 

 

 

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THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE – Criminal Mob

And this is just one of countless cases!

The Internal Revenue Service of the United States, through onerous and thuggish actions, has marked itself as an unapologetic criminal enterprise.

Ever since the Obama Administration, without a blush of irony or shame, turned this organization loose on the American people for political protection, an atmosphere of criminality has come to dominate the actions of the IRS. They’ve been brutes for decades. But now they feel they have official sanction to be brutes.

For details on what happened to Mii’s Bridal and Tuxedo, CLICK HERE.

You’ve probably seen the headlines about the tuxedo and dress shop the IRS drove out of business without due process in an orgy of Left-Wing, National Socialist theatrics.

This isn’t the first time the IRS has not only ignored the constitution. There are rules governing the IRS itself, which clearly have no basis in civilized law. It doesn’t matter what a bunch of National Socialist liberals wrote into law. At some point (and in this case a long time ago) it becomes clear that many government pursuits run afoul of the basic protections that this very government is charged with maintaining.

If there was a single person at the IRS with an ounce of fortitude, they’d refuse to follow these mandates and blow the whistle on them.

The IRS has destroyed small businesses many times, and with the slimmest of evidence. In this case, it was the “pattern” of deposits the business was making that triggered the raid. They were making deposits that fell under a magic number.

The number is $10,000. What kind of lunacy is that?   We are told – and far too many of us accept – that criminals deposit $10,000+ at a time in banks. If you make such deposits, you are marked as a criminal and should be investigated. If you deposit less than this on a regular basis, you are clearly a criminal because you are trying to hide your criminal activity by not making deposits like a criminal would!   Am I alone in seeing the blatant, police state sickness here?

I can’t speak for the reader, but I am not stupid enough to swallow the clear intent of such nonsense. “Show me the man,” declared Stalin, hero of the American Left, “and I’ll show you the crime.”

To intentionally add insult to injury, it has been reported that the IRS punks who destroyed the lives of these business people brought children in to watch the IRS committing their felonies. This was entertainment. It was a twisted version of bring-your-child-to-work day.

What perverse conclusions were those children to draw from this experience? This is what happens, boys and girls, if you don’t blindly obey Mommy Government. Mommy Government will send a pack of losers, who could never make it in the real economy, to come and ruin you and humiliate you in front of your community.

 For all we know, these two might have been avoiding taxes. But we have not the benefit of a process of REAL justice in this case. There is no process under which the citizens have been properly informed of wrongdoing. The targets of the ruination were never given a chance to defend themselves through that same, missing process.

We have only the claim by the thugs that they are owed money, based on an arbitrary magic number. With only that to go on, the punks used the threat of force to ruin this business and the people who ran it for 35 years. They are elderly. They were surely very close to retiring. Now, they are forced to confront the government as the accuser to get compensated for their losses. The government, of course, will then take the role of the accused. Those people will never see their money again.

Here’s the most egregious twist. In order to carry out the raid, the very IRS officials responsible for it made false official statements to justify it. That’s right. Even under its own already abusive and totalitarian rules, was a rule stating that there must be a waiting period between the seizure of goods and the sale of such goods. (10 days as it turns out – by no means enough to protect the rights of the accused – but it was something) The exception is that where such seized goods would be devalued by spoilage within that 10-day period then the goods could be sold immediately.

Leave aside that spoilage is still no excuse for damaging private businesses without due process. This rule governs things like the inventory of a suspect fish market or tomato stand. But the jack-booted morons who pulled off this government-sanctioned theft used that rule to sell designer gowns. They sold them at pennies on the dollar. So along with spoilage, they weren’t concerned with devaluation. The thugs devalued the goods. They were only concerned with destroying the lives of two people who dared to defend themselves against charges leveled by a government-sanctioned mafia.

It is more disgusting than a protection racket.

The flavor of this incident is even more distasteful. It addresses the corruption and gutlessness of the IRS. I once heard an IRS agent talk about who they go after. “Small money, small problems. Big money, big problems,” he said.  In other words, going after people who push billions all over the globe in avoidance AND evasion is too much like work. And those folks can afford lawyers. It’s easier to bulldoze as many citizens as possible, damn the actual evidence, than to go after the REAL offenders.

For more details, GO HERE.

Here is what reality is supposed look like in the United States of America:

I have a right to carry and deposit as much money as I damned well please. There is no figure that automatically marks me as a criminal. Before Uncle Sticky-fingers touches a single penny of that money, they must prove that I am involved in a specific criminal act.

I’ll go one further. If there is overwhelming evidence that my money is ill-gotten (i.e., indictment is imminent) then any property seized must be held sacrosanct until all proceedings are concluded. At that time, if I am declared not guilty, ALL of the seized assets must be immediately returned to me without contest or complaint.

In the event the conscientious government employees sell good that would truly spoil in storage, 100% of the proceeds of that sale should also be held until proceeding end. And again, if found not guilty, all that money is returned to ME!

A quick review:

  • If you take something that doesn’t belong to you, you’ve committed a crime.
  • If you make false official statements to get around the law to steal something you’ve committed a crime.
  • If you sell that which you took wrongfully, you’ve committed a crime.
  • If you include children in the conduct of a crime, in any way, you’ve committed a crime.
  • If more than one person planned and arranged for any of the above acts to be carried out, everyone involved can add a count of conspiracy to each count above.

The agents in this case and many similar cases should be arrested and charged as the common criminals that they are.

Reform? Yeah, Right!

There has been a lot of noise emanating from the “Swamp” about tax reform. So far, absolutely no reform had been proposed.   There has been talk of modest cuts, to be nullified by tax increases elsewhere (border tax, gas tax). And even these don’t look likely to materialize soon.

But this will not be reform.  The cuts will be reversed as soon as the Pelosi and Schumer are take over Congress in 2018.

But real reform can be had. It can be substantial and can happen a lot sooner than you may think. But you must make certain demands.

First, congress must be made subject to the reforms. They will NEVER agree to be the authors.

Next, we ALL, Left and Right (Not the Loony Deblasio “Left” or the Directionless Trump “Right”) must get behind the Convention of States. We presently have the numbers in the state houses to make a convention occur.

But this convention must not be driven by the Bob Corkers or Jim DeMints that are currently worming their way in. Their involvement will hurt the movement more than help it. (Look at the way Dick Armey and others hijacked the Tea Party movement and turned it into an insiders’ money machine.)

This must be a movement driven by the grass roots and pushed through 34 state legislatures. And it must include REAL provisions to remove the teeth of organizations like the EPA and the IRS.

And to truly deflate the IRS, all you need is a flat tax or a point of sale tax. The strength of the IRS, and the protection offered government crony businesses, is the Byzantine tax code. Part of the Convention of States must be a slashing of the tax code. A simple code is easier to follow and easier to enforce. It will raise far more revenue and waste far fewer dollars in compliance. It is also, by its nature, more transparent.

I talk more about this in chapter 5 of Street Politics: It Ain’t Your Daddy’s GOP Anymore. Read it. Know it. Live it.

I comment frequently that average Americans, out of sheer laziness and irresponsible apathy, allow all manner of abuse to be heaped on them and fellow citizens. Well, if this incident isn’t a banner to rally under, regardless of your political persuasion, I have little faith in our future. The police state is here. The Age of Reason is under assault. It is being replaced by polarized cults blindly following “opposing” parties which are BOTH leading them in the same Orwellian direction.

Matt Jordan is a travel writer, political commentator and author of Street Politics: It Ain’t Your Daddy’s GOP Anymore! Available on Amazon and from other quality book sellers.

 

 

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North Korea: What Does Twitter Say About It?

Do we attack or shake our finger at them REALLY HARD?

There is a disturbing meme concerning North Korea crawling into the American consciousness. Depending on what occurs over the ensuing months this meme could be either disappointing to those who believe it or shattering for the entire country.

One of the more influential people I’ve heard saying it is Herman Cain. On Fox News, 5 July, Cain said [paraphrasing] if Korea did anything stupid, it would be a very short war.

 I see nonsense like this on Social Media a lot these days. We’ll kick their little asses!

 We have a choice as to what to do about North Korea. One, we let them have everything they want, while making blustery noise about it (the most likely outcome) or things continue apace until we have no choice but to attack NoKo.

There is little point in dwelling on the first option. It would look a lot like the Iranian nuke deal. We come away looking stupid and weak and feckless.

So, we’ll look at the second option. Attack.

What would such an attack look like? Who would we be fighting? What would be the short and long-term consequences?

Well, if the DC swamp hasn’t learned the lessons of history, and I see no evidence it has, we would attack the North with a force of about 300,000 troops. 85% of those doing the actual shooting will be American. 15% will be a smattering of Brits and Australians. There might be a tiny contingent of warfighters from Central Europe. A large chunk of “our allies” would be bench warmers and truck drivers from dozens of nations, claiming to be critical to the fight but doing none of the shooting and bleeding.

Globe image of KoreaThis adventure will end horribly for everyone, especially the Koreans. Millions will die very quickly. The “war” would then settle into the sickening, familiar pattern of not fighting too hard, hoping to keep the enemy at bay, while loosing a several hundred (thousand?) soldiers per week for years – for absolutely no reason. When we finally would leave the exact same people would be running a divided Korea as when we started.

But wait! There’s more.

We would have to keep China out of the conflict – or at least try. And how would we do that? We’d have to cripple their economy. There is no other way and no guarantee that such a move would work anyway.

To do so would require us to renege on our debt to them. That’s our only ace in the hole with the ChiComs.

We Lose Our Goodies!

But what would that do to us? The answer is simple. NO ONE would lend the United States an empty cereal box for the foreseeable future. Washington DC would run out of operating funds within days. The big, oafish give-away machine that is our present federal system would have to be slashed by more than half overnight.

I ask you, boys and girls, is there anyone in the “swamp” with the sack to even suggest that? Of course there isn’t.

So, you can count out defaulting on debt as a weapon or even as a means of getting the Chinese to go to Pyong Yang and assassinating the fat kid and his generals. If China doesn’t see a free-market North Korea as a good thing FOR CHINA there is no hope of gaining their cooperation. But if we go to war, we have to try to sideline China anyway.

This is why we will likely watch fecklessly, as the fat kid and his asylum become a nuclear power.

Past as Prologue

But what could push us to the brink if no one has the guts to go all out to defeat our enemy?

The answer to that is a scary one. To provide the answer, I must go back two weeks – ancient history for the average voter.

On a Friday in late June, Trump started talking about putting solar cells on the Mexican border wall as a means of making it palatable and practical. He prefaced his first mention of it saying that he just came up with the idea and probably no one else had ever thought of it.

Here’s the rub. A lot of people had heard of it. I heard people talking about it years ago. The morning radio show on the Gulf Coast was talking about it the previous Monday. It wasn’t a serious discussion, of course, but there are people out there thinking that if we added solar cells to the Wall,…why, it would pay for itself!

The reason the President of the United States was talking about such a stupid idea was because HE READ IT ON TWITTER! It was trending! I will save just how stupid this idea is for another article.

But because uneducated adults and precocious teenagers were tweeting about a photovoltaic border wall, Donald Trump latched right onto it and blabbed, probably off-prompter, and insinuated a major policy idea.

For the record, there will never be a border wall to hang solar cells on. But that’s not the point.

So Who Will Give “The Donald” Good Counsel?

What is frightening is that the same fat guys sitting at their computers in their underwear, and the same silly kids tweeting about a solar cell wall, could prompt a major announcement from a president who doesn’t even understand the technology. These are the same types of people tweeting how we could kick Korea’s ass in a day. They love the idea of us killin’ them damn commies.

How can we trust a man who is so easily baited when every adult around him for two years has failed to convince him that mature men don’t use twitter as a policy platform. This is the Trump who only last week got into the same junior high school cat fight with Scarborough and Brzezinski that he’d had with Rosie O’Donnell almost a decade before. And the remarks transmitted were every bit as childish as both O’Donnell and Trump have always been.

THIS is the same president sitting with his phone right now, reading how we need to kick some North Korean ass. If every adult in his circle can’t convince him that what he reads on Twitter is NOT grist for making major decisions, who will counsel him about war and the ruin of our economy?

The one thing that could keep us out of war, and ensures a nuclear North Korea, is that Trump wouldn’t know how to shut down half of the US Government, and his Twitter friends would tell him not to. They don’t want to lose the food stamps or mortgage write-off, or school lunches, etc.

This caution:

If anyone in authority has the slightest inkling in a dark corner of their mind that we might have to go to war with North Korea, and they want us to survive the likely outcome, they must do two things.

They must prepare the nation for an economic battering that would be almost as bad as China would experience. All business with the ChiComs could be shut down. All the money they loan us would dry up.

Any responsible leader who sees war as a possibility needs to initiate the draft – six months ago! To try and fight a “limited war” in this theater would be a greater insult to those who get killed than every war we’ve fought since 1945. And not a one of them turned out to be honorable or even effective.

To attack NoKo we would require MILLIONS of men. Many millions more than we have now. And that would only provide a vague hope of obliterating North Korea’s military. There’s no way to be sure of it and China would still be the wild card as they were in the ‘50s.

Finally, know this:

If we chose military conflict, it will be bloody and painful for EVERYONE. This will not be like Iraq and Afghanistan. The media will not report how another soldier was killed this week. If we hear at all, we will hear casualty reports that routinely reach into the thousands. At the beginning it might be tens of thousands.

If we chose not to fight we need to prepare ourselves for the Century of China. Our reign as the dominant superpower would truly be at an end. This is the ultimate line in the sand. If we cross it unprepared or chose not to cross it, we will lose – and lose BIG.

An interesting side note:  If we did decide to go all out on this, we’d have to take back the Panama Canal as well.  If you remember back in prehistoric times Jimmy Carter let go of the canal.  Do you know who runs it now?

Matt Jordan is the author of Street Politics: It Ain’t Your Daddy’s GOP Anymore! Grab your copy NOW!

Also available here on Kindle or you can just start reading Street Politics on Kindle Unlimited.

Photo Credit: global.quiz Flickr via Compfight cc

 

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The Shooting in Alexandria. Dare We Point Fingers?

There’s been a lot of hand wringing over the last 24 hours about how we must come together and not point fingers of blame about the shooting in Alexandria. Basically, I agree with that statement.

But fingers are being pointed anyway. So if we must assign blame, or at least accuse others of inspiring this loony tune to do the shooting, let’s try to keep the comments within the realm of reason.

In that spirit I will say this. Bernie Sanders, who seems to be the favorite target of the FB crowd and some commentators, is not AT ALL to blame for the toxic atmosphere we are breathing right now. Sanders is a socialist. He speaks as a socialist. He disagrees with the President and the Right Wing in general. But, when he disagrees he does so with what he sees as a reasoned argument.

Reasonable people may disagree with Sanders. I do. I don’t espouse a single point he makes on crime, the economy or anything else he represents. He is a little closer to me on 2nd Amendments Rights. But a reasonable person cannot say that Sanders inspires violence.

The weak-minded on my side of the aisle, like the safe-space snowflakes on the left, think that if you disagree with their particular cult leader, or our favorite political chant, you are a hater and the root of all things evil. This kind of mindless ranting muddies the waters.

I would recommend we pay attention to who is actually saying what and practice a bit more digression on our diagnoses.

Try this one on for size.

There is one particular group who – if there was recent external inspiration for the shooting – provided or hoped to provide the siren’s call.

Two weeks ago Nancy Pelosi, among others, put out the call for a “Summer or Resistance”. Can’t you just imagine the breathy discussion surrounding that? “Oh, we are going to sound so cool! ‘Summer of Resistance!’ That is just as cool as Hillary saying ‘Nothing Burger’! OMG! We are soooo cool!”

I am going to give Pelosi credit and say she is simply too stupid and shallow to appreciate what I am about to say. She may have just seen the phrase as good political marketing.

But there are many who do not see such a phrase as a call for good civic discourse and advocacy. For many it conjures images of violence and provides a phony blanket of legitimacy. Among those who did coin and promote the phrase, some surely were hoping to provoke exactly what we saw on that ball field yesterday. They see themselves as little Lenins. They are the same people who expect anything they think to be celebrated and will smash your skull with a bicycle lock for disagreeing*.

For MOST people “resistance” implies what it has implied since the first time organized authority existed. It means the same thing it meant in France in WWII. It means the destruction of that with which we disagree through violence or at least the threat of violence.

This type of person cannot use reason and argument to make their point. They have no argument. They only have memorized, rehearsed, emotionalist phrases. They have no maturity. They cannot simply get behind a candidate or a cause and do the hard work to win the argument.  No.  They enjoy lashing out, then blame others for their irresponsibility.

The “Summer of Resistance” will be, for many, just a childish tantrum. But for a few it may be something much more sinister.

No matter your political stripe, you would be a responsible citizen to speak out against mindless provocation and get involved on a mature level to see your interests met by your elected officials.

But by no means should you water down your beliefs. Stand up and speak your mind. Be as passionate as Bernie. Be as critical as Trump. Stake out your position and engage in the discourse. But don’t bring childish self-righteousness and distemper to the game. You won’t accomplish anything and may provoke something you didn’t bargain for. Either way, no matter your politics, no one with any self-respect will REALLY give a shit about you or your point.

How about this? Let’s make this the “Summer of Grow Up and Make Your Point Like an Adult”**.

*There were actually people saying that this violence was understandable. Well, yeah. These assholes will have to wait until next election to seek validation again. So, sure, hit a guy in the head with a padlock on a chain.

 I called it all a long time ago.  But this book is timeless.  Know this book and know politics. 

 

 

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The End of the Trump Presidency

As of Thursday, 8 June 2017, the Trump Presidency has reached a point where it has no allies. Well before this, Ryan and McConnell had alternately duped Trump into backing stupid ideas (Ryancare) by stroking his ego, or turned their backs on his agenda (taxes and infrastructure). Now they have the cover they need to simply walk away.  And they will.  These are no men of honor.

They’ll still pay lip service to doing the right thing, but they have no intention, and now no motivation, to actually lift a finger to fix anything. Within weeks, Washington DC will be every man for himself.

 This is not a pity party. Much of what we are seeing is Trump’s own doing. Through his open display of ineptitude, undercutting his own people and his mindless tweeting, Trump has made himself easy prey. If he had the least inkling to listen and learn over the last two and a half years, he would not be where he is today.

He won’t be impeached. There is nothing apparent right now which would be impeachable. In fact, he is more useful to his enemies, and those who have abandoned him, in office than he would be if he resigned.

But between James Comey and the news networks’ drama with their dipshit, countdown clocks, there will be almost no place left for the Administration to work its will.

There will be no wall, but we already knew that.

There will be no tax cuts. If there are they will be offset by Ryan’s incredibly stupid import tax.

There will be no real improvements to infrastructure.

There will be little done in the way of improving our position internationally.

Obamacare will remain intact or 80% intact. Again, thank you Speaker Ryan!

The budget will not be cut by one, thin dime.

The deficit and debt will explode as both parties in congress will embark on a vote-buying frenzy the likes of which we have never seen before. Even Obama’s monumental irresponsibility will pale.

History and Context

Source: The Daily Coin, thedailycoin.org. They have an interesting article here. http://thedailycoin.org/2017/05/14/james-comeys-brother-works-law-firm-audited-clinton-foundations-taxes/

Among the most egregious crimes Hillary Clinton committed by keeping her illegal and unsecured server during her time as SecState, was her concealment and destruction of historical records. While not as many people will die from this as those who might due to her sharing of intelligence documents, there are now historical gaps in the record.

She did slick her server, of course. She knew the device was illegal and that she held the information on it illegally. So by trying to cover her misdeeds, she not only made it easier to prosecute her, but when it is important to know what was said when, and by whom, we won’t have the information. And thanks to Comey, the damage will be forever buried.

But these historical documents are as much the concern of the Federal Code and the Federal Records Act as any of the classified documents she stole and destroyed. None of these documents belonged to her. They were entirely the property of the U.S. Government.

There are a few decent, thinking human beings left in this world who understand the importance of keeping a clear history of events for our benefit and the benefit of future generations. Clinton is not in their number. It is by DNA alone that Clinton qualifies as a human being.

Comey seems to have learned a lot from the sham investigation into HRC’s illegal servers. And it has served him well in the estimation of dull-witted people.

For starters, many actions taken by Comey mirror Clinton’s in both intent and motivation. And his explanations even surpass HRC in terms of vanity and self-righteousness. He is nowhere near as slick as Clinton. But he’s trying anyway.

Working backward from this week:

In his congressional testimony, Comey stated affirmatively that he kept memos of his meetings with President Trump because he feared Trump might lie about their conversations. With only one exception, the pleas for loyalty (not a target of these hearings), their stories jive almost perfectly. Not a whole lot of lying going on if you believe either of them.

But beyond that, our previous president had been caught repeatedly throughout his tenure lying outright about all kinds of things. Among the worst could arguably be, “everyone will save $2500 on the health insurance”, “If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor,” and the biggee: denying the administration’s knowledge or involvement in Operation Fast and Furious. (This debacle resulted in the death of a U.S. Border Patrol Agent. It also got a bunch of those little Mexican people killed as well. Offense was compounded by the harassment and denigration of Brian Terry’s family for pursuing the truth about his death.)

And those are just three of the countless whoppers told by BHO and the spineless people who served under him, including James Comey.

But Comey took no notes of his conversations with BHO. He also kept no record of his interrogation of Hillary Clinton for her crimes. She wasn’t even put under oath. And Clinton can’t go from here to there without lying, stealing or extorting. You can call Trump a lot of things. I make a habit of beating him up often. The one reputation he hasn’t earned is that of a liar. That doesn’t mean he is or isn’t a liar. But he hasn’t had the time to establish himself as one, at least not in his capacity as President.

But poor Jim was worried, so he kept notes.

The Self-Appointed AG

Comey’s story about his dealings with Trump, in sworn statements has gone from never having been pressured to stop any investigation in the spring – to – I felt quite sure he was ordering me to stop the investigation as of early summer. When was he lying? Both statements cannot be true.

source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/donkeyhotey/22492551342

 So many fascinating things pour off the transcripts here.

First when asked why he didn’t take his impressions and his memos to the DOJ, Comey gave two reasons. First he didn’t want investigators to get the impression the President of the United States wanted the investigation to move in a specific way.

Well! I’d like to thank my personal god that James Comey is the man he is. Imagine the burden he suffered. He was the only FBI guy who could have such knowledge and still remain honest and forthright. Oh heavens! What if all those average, mortal agents heard the president wanted to see Flynn left alone! They don’t possess Comey’s super human fortitude! They would be crippled by the knowledge and would stop investigating.

Oh! Oops! That’s right, they did hear it. Months ago. Comey had already leaked that conversation too. And by some miracle, the investigation continues unabated.

So instead of reporting what he thought was interfering with an investigation, which he saw as his duty (his own words) he decided to keep things to himself. After all, we only had an acting AG at the time. The acting AG was still Comey’s superior and was the correct authority to report to. But Comey appointed himself Deputy Extra Double Secret Attorney General and reported the potential offense to himself and his immediate staff.

So worried was poor Jim about doing the right thing, when he was fired from the FBI he took government documents with him and had a friend leak them to the media.

(Oh yeah, I almost forgot about this self-appointment. Comey appointed himself HMFIC of Ignoring the Federal Records Act. There was a vacancy now that Clinton was gone. He decided the memos he’d written in his capacity as FBI director about official meetings with a sitting president, were his personal property. Those memos were suddenly the equivalent of Comey, sitting in his pajamas, scribbling in his diary about hanging out with his old pal Don at a barbecue. “Dear dairy: spent the day by the pool with Donny. He’s DREAMY! I think he likes me. Tee-hee.”

But in reality he was writing about official business, which, according to Comey, showed possible corruption on the part of the president. In order to use these memos as a weapon of personal vengeance he had to break more rules. So, abracadabra, presto! The memos are now personal notes, his to do with as he wished.)

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But Wait! There’s More!

Comey’s testimony was a circus of self-impeachment and mind-blowing hypocrisy.

  1. Comey volunteered that Loretta Lynch requested he lie to the press and to congress, calling the investigation of Clinton’s illegal servers as “a matter” and not “an investigation”. Comey said he was confused and shocked by the order. This is a lie or gives lie to Comey’s “reason” for taking notes about Trump. Because when shocked or confused by a government official, we already know Comey takes note and leaks them. He did neither in the case of the corrupt lackey, Loretta Lynch.

And he was in no way confused by Lynch’s clear abetting in the Clinton cover-up. Unless he forgot all his years as a prosecutor and his years and head of the nation’s premiere investigative service.

     2. “I am not a legal scholar,” says Comey. WTF!?!? A law degree? Years as an attorney? Years as a federal prosecutor? One of the brave legal minds that held the line against making policy decisions behind AG Ashcroft’s back? Years as head of the FBI? And not a legal scholar? The convenient, disingenuous humility is…

…Excuse me. I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

  1. “I leaked information [to get a] special prosecutor appointed.” As a statement without context, that could be true, and rather prescient. But in the context of Comey’s fairy tales on Thursday, a reasonable person must stand incredulous.   As we have established here, the memos the committee were fixated on were not the only information Comey leaked. The memos about “loyalty” and discussions about Trump firing him because of the Russian investigation were leaked as reprisal for being fired. That leaves any claims of honorable motivation in doubt.

The ONLY EVIDENCE we have as to his being fired (Trump’s impetuous tweets not withstanding) is Rosenstein’s memo, which speaks simply and legitimately to Comey’s deplorable handling of the Clinton investigation. I will go a step further and call it Comey’s participation in the Clinton cover-up. There too, he appointed himself Attorney General because he knew no matter what he said about his investigation, the utterly corrupt AG was not going to prefer charges. So, he gave himself a field promotion (from Senior Investigator to Extra Double Secret AG) and declared the case was beneath prosecution, nailing his name in the pages of history as the man who saved the unworthy HRC.

This was the clearest demonstration of Comey’s desire to thwart Trump. Save Hillary, he thought, and Trump is done. Being a creature of the Beltway, he was incapable of seeing that the citizens saw HRC as even more nauseating than Trump.

It’s Academic Now

And so, we are seeing the end of the Trump presidency as an effective entity. Not because Comey was right in any of the things he’s done. Since his July 15 press conference he has rarely put a foot right. He has been motivated by two ambitions: The aggrandizement of James Brien Comey, Jr. and the diminishment of Donald J. Trump, Jr.

And the media has only helped Comey. There was no way the MSM was ever going to warm up to Trump. But the “great deal maker” handled them as poorly as he has almost everything else.  Instead of simply touting good press and ignoring, or even spinning negative reports, Trump showed he is probably the worst deal maker ever. He lacked understanding of the press and refused to approach his PR problems as tactical ones.  He treated every negative news story as a personal vendetta against him. As a result, he made enemies, even in camps with conservative editorial lines.

So Is All Lost?

There is a silver lining here. We can anticipate the actions of our bloated, corrupt federal government. We may now, as a people, have the motivation to do something about it. I have talked about this in the past and will do so in my next piece. We’ll see who is paying attention.

Here’s a good primer.

Matt Jordan is a travel writer and political commentator.  He is the author of Street Politics:  It Ain’t Your Daddy’s GOP Anymore!©

 

Posted on

How Do We Measure Up This Memorial Day?

Memorial Day, 2017

I was at Legion Post 1992, Gautier-Vancleave, waiting for our annual Memorial Day observance to begin.

Gautier mayor at podium addressing legion. He is wearing a legion shirt, He is also a member.
Gautier Mayor, Gordon Gollott, addesses Legion Post 1992
Gautier High School Honor guard. Four teenage girls in khaki uniforms and gold berets.
Gautier High School honor guard at Legion Post 1992.

I picked up a program and read the following words.

Dear Lord, Lest I continue My complacent way,

Help me remember that somewhere, Somehow out there

A man died for me today.  As long as there be war,

I then must ask and answer… Am I worth dying for?

 The verse was attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt.  And it really got me.  I got a tight throat and I had to blink and look around the room to avoid actually crying.

It stayed with me all day.  Now I sit and digest it.  Mostly, I wonder how many can truly answer that question, understanding its full meaning, in the affirmative.

I am an unapologetic political person. It is what I write most about. Today is no exception. However, I want to talk more about politics as civic engagement today.  I have been harping on this quite a bit lately.  More than I see failure or success of this party or that, I see a widespread failure of the average American to even engage.  I’ll bet many reading this groaned as soon as I mentioned politics. Many immediately clicked off and are not reading this sentence.

And therein resides an indictment.

We hear, especially today, how those who died in battle died for “us”.  Who makes up that “us”.   We hear how they died for a cause. For whom does the “cause” exist?  Who watches over and advances this cause while they venture out and die?  Are you in that number?

I would say there is a about a 70% chance that many who read Roosevelt’s question cannot say “yes” with confidence.  There is a reason for that number, I’ll get to it momentarily.  

But first, let me expand the question.  Because it is a lead pipe cinch that unless a fallen warrior knows you personally, he didn’t die for you.  He died for the people he knew and loved, he died for his comrades fighting next to him.  In some cases he died pursuing three hots and a cot.

But allowing for the ideal in every case, can you say he generally died for you?

Ask yourself:

Do you think that global warming is settled science and any discussion, or doing other than what we are told to do by our betters is grounds for insult and scorn?

Do you think we must defeat the violent, religious nut bags tearing at the fabric of all societies because we are a Christian (or whatever flavor you choose) nation?

Do you think anyone who disagrees with your favorite politician, even vehemently, is a “hater” by virtue of that disagreement?

Do you think any of the problems we have in this country are a function of race?

Do you think any of the solutions to problems we have in this country are a function of race?

Have you prevented, or by your silence, allowed the prevention of a speaker’s presence ANYWHERE, because of the views they might express?

Do you think there should be an approved code of “free speech”?

Do you avoid your civic duties like voting, reading, participating in local government functions?

Do you see snarky or trendy phrases, over reason, as good discourse?

Is shouting someone down an accomplishment?

Did you ever intentionally skate out of jury duty?

Do you believe that anyone, other than those you have contracted with, owes you anything?  Even respect?

Do you refer to the representatives you vote into office as “our leaders”?

Do you think the president’s job is to “run the country”?

Is a person who supports a cause you detest, by virtue of that support, a bad singer, actor, writer, plumber or person?  Are they then wrong on all other things?

An example of that last question is in this essay.  There is an ocean between my worldview and that of Eleanor Roosevelt.  That does not invalidate the message of the verse. It is a question worth asking ourselves.

No one is perfect.  But if you can look at the questions above and say NO to all but one or two, then you can say you fit into the concept of the “us” or the “cause” a soldier has died for.  Sadly, many cannot.

I’m going to call an audible here.  I  was going to go all radical-voter-lecture on you to address the 70% thing.  But I don’t want to totally cock up your holiday.  I’ll mess up your Tuesday instead.

I hope you all had a good three-day weekend and that you participated in some way in honoring our fallen troops.

 

Cheers.

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