Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A New Beginning

This week I left Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. They were disturbing my mind and heart. So much of the stuff there was mental vomit, from both sides. Even the conservative sites I liked had started generating things in my timeline by conservative sites publishing unsubstantiated garbage. Filtering through all the posts for what had been legitimately researched and what was just pure clickbait was wasting too much of my day.

Sure, there were the truly important things there, like updates on my nephews’ and nieces’ activities. I kept up to date on friends I can’t text any more. I’ll just have to keep up the old fashioned way: texts and phone calls. Yes, I know texting isn’t really old fashioned, but it’s nearly as direct as a phone call.

I still need a place to vent my political side, and that’s what this blog was originally set up for. So here goes some quick venting:

Trump is not a racist. He was NEVER accused of being one prior to becoming a Republican candidate. He was widely praised for his work with the Rainbow Coalition and Jesse Jackson Sr. worked closely with him. He is a billionaire who could put his money to any cause he wanted. No, Trump saying “rapists and pedophiles are coming across our border” DOES NOT MEAN THE SAME THING as all Mexicans are rapists and pedophiles, or even illegal immigrants are rapists and pedophiles. You have to stretch it, read the man’s mind and heart, and apply evil intentions to him to turn what he said into what the liberal media has claimed he meant. He’s married to an immigrant and was married to another. It would be like taking me saying “baseball’s drug testing policy allows steroid users to play” and twisting it to argue that I said all baseball players use steroids. The two are not the same without distorting what I said.

And don’t even try to claim that because the National Policy Institute or the KKK or whomever endorse Trump it’s because he agrees with them on everything. They had to choose between Hillary and Trump, four more years of Obama or four years of ending his crushing policies. Trump never once claimed white people are superior, colored people are inferior or any other statement anywhere close to that. He has more sexual and racial diversity in his executive structures than his entire industry. No candidate can control who endorses him, and nobody should have to repeatedly repudiate who endorses them to bizarre standards set by the media, standards that are raised every time you meet them so they don’t let you off the hook.

On that same note, I warned 8 years ago that calling everything racist, such as opposition to Obamacare on its merits, would result in the word having no power. It has happened. Then when Ben Carson joins the Trump administration a member of the media tweets “house or field?”. How can anybody take the term “racist” seriously when it’s applied to EVERYTHING and EVERYONE who is white and conservative by people who turn around and attack a black man for being conservative? That never ending drumbeat works great for the perpetually offended social justice warrior crowd, but the rest of America has stopped listening. Like the shepherds that ignored the boy who cried wolf, I’m afraid that America would ignore real racism now, if declared by our corrupt media.

On the subject of the corrupt media, refusing to take questions from a media outlet at a press conference isn’t a violation of the first amendment. It wasn’t when Obama froze out Fox News for a short time and it isn’t when Trump won’t let CNN answer a question. The first amendment only restricts the government from telling the press what they can and cannot write. It does not grant them the right to ask questions or to be recognized at a press conference. Nobody is stopping CNN from saying whatever they want. No government officers have shown up at their offices to shut them down for “reporting” on things they then have to retract, quietly, later. They are free to continue being the Clinton News Network or the Communist News Network or whatever biased business model they want to follow. If they can’t directly ask Trump questions, they’ll have to get it from other sources. I’m sure one of the other biased MSM sources will ask the same questions off the Journolist postings from that morning.

Another example of the corrupt media is the “Trump mocked a disabled reporter” falsehood. Trump hadn’t met with the reporter he was talking about in decades. He didn’t know the reporter he was talking about is disabled. He makes the motions that the media jumped on every time he talks about somebody being flustered, including Ted Cruz. Watch this video defense of him, it is explained best here:

Can we drop all the label throwing now, the Russia hyperbole, the attempts to divine the future off a hyperventilating liberal “press”? Let’s see what he actually passes. I’ve never seen so many “I’m scared” and “I fear for my life” tweets (before I left twitter) ever before. So who’s the side campaigning on fear? Trump never campaigned on ending gay marriage or interning anybody. Everybody needs to relax and actually address the laws and policies that come out of this administration, not try to read the future. There are a lot of things conservatives didn’t want Obama to do that pundits and others said he would. He didn’t actually do many of them.

So relax. Our republic survived Carter and Obama, it will survive Trump too. And if he’s half as bad as the liberal world claims he is, based on their mind reading and Ouija boards, he’ll only be there four years

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

What's Wrong With Our Political World

I’ve had this blog kicking around in my head for a few days, but this article in the NY Times pushed me to actually write it. I totally agree with the writer, even though he’s a liberal. See what I did there? I tried to discount that he could have a good opinion because of his politics. While a certain level of this is totally appropriate and should be taken into account, we’ve come to a place in our politics where we are completely shutting down opinions and positions and arguments we don’t like. It is important to understand another person’s perspective from which their positions are coming, but we’ve gotten to the point of completely ignoring the contributions people we disagree with can make to a discussion.

                Yes, this has always gone on to some extent, and I’ll get back to that later.

We have spent the last seven years having reporters and commentators explain away opposition to our president as racism, nothing more. Reporters do it with “some have opined that the opposition to this bill is steeped in racism” (who is some? What a convenient out). Conservatives have been wailing about Obama’s Marxist tendencies, as if that means nothing that comes out of his mouth is worth involving in the debate. We can’t have a civil discussion about voter ID and point out that minority voting participation has risen in every state that has implemented it because the people we’re trying to discuss it with are shouting “Racist! Bigot! You want to suppress minorities!” We can’t even discuss female bathroom safety without bringing into question the hearts and intents of the people involved. A recent discussion about it I was part of went straight to “evil Christians”.

                As the writer of the article I linked above points out, in many research studies it’s been shown that the liberals at these colleges dismiss the opinions of conservatives and Christians immediately, and label us uninformed, idiotic, bigoted, racist, etc. I have liberals in my own family that, despite me being a conservative myself, have an image of conservatives being racist, rich, white people with their foot on the neck of their workers. And I know conservatives who have come to see liberals as just chomping at the bit to open up gulags and throw all climate change deniers and Christians into them.

                While we look at each other like this, closing our minds to other opinions by reducing the value of the speaker to zero, we make our heads and our worlds echo chambers. But what we really need is sounding boards, open discussion, finding middle ground. We can’t have reasonable conversations about the issues of the day when liberals are told by voices on their side that conservatives want to stone gays, and conservatives are told that liberals want to post speech police on their pulpits to arrest people for their religious beliefs. Nor can we have either side threatening to do that to silence the opposition. The very basis of freedom of speech, a fundamental right for us to come to consensus solutions to issues, is everybody gets their say and the majority work it out. Both sides need to be careful about silencing, by force or ignoring, opposing views because the pendulum swings both ways.

                I firmly believe the vast majority of Americans, no matter their political stripes, are good hearted in that they want America to be safe, they want the needy fed and clothed, they don’t want people dying in the streets because they can’t get medical care anywhere. The current political climate has jaded a lot of people, for sure. It’s made people who no longer see those who truly need welfare, for all the people who are just leeching. But it’s also made people who ONLY see those who need help, not all the people who could work and take care of themselves but out of a sense of entitlement or laziness take from those who need it. Americans, though, at their heart, are a charitable, caring people who just have different opinions on how to solve the problems we need to solve. Heck, we even disagree on whether some things are problems. I realize that even in writing this it’s impossible for me to hide my own political stripes as well.

                However, I’m trying to do better at not dismissing opposing viewpoints. I took a few months off of political debates and posting stuff online and I saw all of this when I stepped back. It was shocking to realize the level of hatred laced rhetoric people direct at their opposition. I will concede there are evil people, some of them are politicians and some of them are rich. But most politicians and rich people are as good hearted and well intentioned as the vast majority of Americans and want the best for their constituents, whether they be voters or employees.

                There has always been an undercurrent of dehumanizing and discounting the opposition, but there used to be adults in the room. Social media is an unregulated cesspool in most cases where people can fling stuff around. Perhaps because of social media, however, the traditional media and politicians have stopped being those adults in the room that they’re supposed to be. I remember when Paul Ryan proposed some Medicaid reforms, to save it, and the national news played only one Democrat response: that Paul Ryan wanted to push grandma off a cliff. Conservative politicians have fed the (so far) lie that Obama plans to use his AmeriCorps rebirth to stage a coup and never leave office. I stopped watching national news after that Paul Ryan incident because they never bothered to actually review the elements of the proposal, the issues each was meant to address, and get serious Democrats to offer substantive arguments against each point. It was the last straw for me.

                I’ve heard more from the conservative side on this for the last 20 years, so I have lots more examples I could make of Democrats and liberals than Republicans and conservatives, but that’s not what this about. This is a plea to begin pushing back against people who say we should just close our ears because somebody is liberal, conservative, Marxist, whatever. When a college campus says a speaker can’t come on campus because they are conservative and their views are “controversial”, alumni and the community need to push back. The media needs to question the suppressing of speech, not the hearts and minds of the protestors or the speaker, because that’s the issue.

                Can we all please take a step back and start focusing on the issues, give every voice a legitimate opportunity and start coming to a consensus again? Can we all please drop our stereotypes of our political “opponents” and consider what their proposals can do? And most of all, can we have an open mind that there’s a good chance we could learn something? When you believe the people who disagree with you are nefarious, it makes it impossible to consider what they are saying very well could be the truth . . .

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

An Open Letter

An open letter to Obama voters, especially those celebrating big time today:

Let me recap what you voted for, and it’s all true.

17 of Obamacare’s 21 new taxes, most of which are intentionally, with premeditation, scheduled to take effect Jan 1, 2013, will hit the middle class. They will all impact job creation, as the other four are pretty big hits to business.

As a result of Obamacare rules that are set to take effect, many employers will have to reduce their staff to part time to avoid large fees and increases. To mitigate rules like that already in effect, HHS has issued over 1,000 waivers to companies like McDonald’s, a company that provided a health care option to even their part time staff, but under Obamacare could no longer do it without the waiver unless they provided them with full on, very expensive plans.

As of 2014, no matter how healthy you are, you will no longer be able to purchase a health insurance plan tailored for you. Catastrophic only plans won’t be legal any more. You will have to buy the “Cadillac” plan, or pay the IRS a fine. That “Cadillac” plan, regardless of your religious objections, will cover birth control, abortion drugs, and sterilization procedures, as well as whatever HHS decides to add to the mandate between now and then.

All this so that 9 million Americans not eligible for Medicaid can get healthcare paid for by the taxpayers. And that estimate doesn’t include all the people who will lose their employer provided healthcare because of the increase in premiums. There are MANY other things ANYBODY will object to in Obamacare, but they were pushed out past the election and you'll start discovering them soon.

By 2014 another trillion dollars will be added to our nation’s debt, which already exceeds our annual GDP by 2 trillion dollars. Every child under 18 now owes $218,000 in debt to China, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, many other countries, and Americans that hold America’s bonds. By 2016 our federal deficit will top $20 Trillion.

We will either be about to financially collapse or already be there. All the welfare programs, Social Security, Medicare, etc. will be unsustainable and millions will lose those benefits.

You may think we can just print more money, but that doesn’t work. We’ve already tripled the amount of money in the federal reserve and banks have been wise enough not to get that out into circulation, but the devaluation of our currency is already there. Germany tried to print their way out in the 1920s, and inflation destroyed their economy and led to the rise of the National Socialist Party (Nazis for short) on the shoulders of a charismatic leader. Zimbabwe tried it too. In both countries it took wheelbarrows full of their currency to buy a loaf of bread. Germany recently asked to audit the gold in the Federal Reserve so they can take the gold they have with us back to Germany, before it's worthless.

You may think we can stimulate our way out. Hoover passed a massive stimulus bill after the 1929 stock market crash, but we still went into the depression. FDR pushed through seven more stimulus bills in his first 6 years in office and the depression continued, and deepened. It got so bad that even his treasury secretary said that the stimuli had just made the depression worse and prolonged it. FDR still pushed through an eighth bill. It took the building of industries and loss of labor of WWII to get us out of the depression.

Japan had their “lost decade” of the 90s because they tried eight stimulus bills to get them out of the 1992 recession. Growth was stagnant and even with their technology industry, they didn’t share in the internet boom.

Ending the “tax cuts for the wealthiest” isn’t going to fix the deficit either. That step will bring in, at most, $80 BILLION a year, versus a $1 TRILLION a year deficit. That $80 Billion will be taken out of the economy, a portion of it wasted (won’t quibble on percentages, but some ALWAYS IS) and then spent on people who won’t work.

You reelected a president who let four Americans die in Benghazi and went to bed to rest up for a campaign party in Las Vegas. Numerous leaked documents and brave people who were there confirm that they asked for help, told DC it was a terrorist attack, and were told to stand down and die. Six disobedient SEALs saved the surviving 30 consulate staff, only to have two of them die while painting mortars now aimed at their safe house. They would have only painted those targets, because it exposed their location, if they thought they could depend on air support from the drones or C-130 Spectres. We had Delta force an hour away in Italy. I don’t care who gave the order, he is the CiC, it’s his call.

If not for all the people who have given up looking and left the labor force, our unemployment rate this month would be 10.6%. With tax increases on the job producers coming, this is only going to get worse. The new regulations in Obamacare will compound that. Unemployment is going to increase, thousands of employers have already indicated that.

Do you think he’s fixed the banking world? Why would he? His biggest donors are Goldmann Sachs, Bank of America, etc. Dodd-Frank imposes so many new regulations (only half of them took 4500 pages) that only big banks can survive. Already dozens of small banks have closed and it is nearly impossible now to start a new one. Big banks will get bigger because they can absorb the little ones AND the manpower required to comply with Dodd-Frank. However, nothing in Dodd-Frank stops them from making risky loans or investments, because they are still protected by “too big to fail” rules.

Obama has submitted four budgets. Not one has been passed. The last three went down 99-0 in the Senate. Other than those budgets, Harry Reid has blocked EVERY OTHER BUDGET from coming to a vote. Don’t try to claim GOP obstructionism, because it only takes 51 votes for budgets, they can’t be filibustered. The GOP House has submitted several budgets a year for consideration in the senate, and the GOP in the Senate has proposed budgets, but in defiance of the law, Reid has blocked, through procedure, any of those even coming up for discussion.

So we’ve been operating under continuing resolutions. Since CBO added the stimulus to the baseline, that means we’ve spent the stimulus every year. We’ve increased annual government spending 40% under Obama, yet GDP has been steadily falling off, and unemployment has been gradually increasing. It’s only stayed around 8% because of people leaving the work force.

Obama’s EPA has already forced the closure of around 100 of 450 coal electric plants in the US. Coal provides 42% of America’s electricity. By next summer another 200 plants will have to shut down. Electricity prices will skyrocket, which Obama promised his policies would do in a speech in 2007. He’s shut down energy production on federal lands and is trying to stop private drilling growth. Gas and electricity prices are about to go through the roof. The rich will absorb it by spending less, hiring less and investing less. How will the poor and middle class survive it? Energy costs cascade through transportation and production costs and affect EVERYTHING we buy, from food to iPhones. It will make manufacturing in America even more expensive and force more things overseas. It will increase the cost of food for EVERYBODY! Even ignoring the money printing inflation coming, these energy crushing moves alone will accelerate inflation to economy and people crushing levels.

We are headed back to double digit unemployment even BLS can’t hide. GM, according to experts, is two years from being bankrupt again, as the rescue did NOTHING to resolve their underlying issues. That is what Romney talked about in the editorial the NYT editors put that horrible headline on. He argued that GM should be shepherded through a normal bankruptcy process that let them shed the structural weaknesses that led to them being in trouble to begin with. Instead, this administration just threw cash at them, closed dealerships and pretended everything is rainbows and sunshine. Ohio voters that voted for him for “saving Detroit” are in for a big shock very soon.

Did you vote for him because Romney would “take away birth control”? That would be insane. He would have ended taxpayer funding for it and the mandate that insurance plans cover it. Most insurance plans cover it already, and even without insurance, it runs about $9 a month at Walmart, and a box of 12 condoms is around $6. He would not, could not thanks to a Supreme Court decision, ban contraceptives; he could only force people to take responsibility for their own sexual choices.

Did you vote for him because of equal pay rules? Did you know Obama pays his female staff about 78% of what he pays his men? Did you know the equal pay laws have been on the books since the 70s and all that Lily Ledbetter law did was increase the statute of limitations? Romney would not have repealed that and commit political suicide. What Romney would have done is help the millions of unemployed women since Obama took office find a job to begin with.

Did you vote to continue the 2.1 million abortions every year? Do you care that 30 million women aren’t alive today because they were aborted, usually as a form of birth control? The Supreme Court has ruled on that too, and despite challenges to Roe v. Wade every year by states, abortion is still legal, safe and common. Anything Congress passed and Romney signed would have been tossed out. So what’s left? Ending taxpayer funding of abortion. Since the majority of the country is now opposed to abortion, except in cases of rape, incest and life of the mother, it seems reasonable not to have the taxpayers pay for killing babies.

Did you vote out of your faith in God for the party that in three votes insisted on keeping God out of the Democratic platform, but it was put back in anyways? That’s right, the convention floor was clearly against it, but the party leaders put the language back in. Why was it taken out?
Did you vote for him for gay marriage? He told an interviewer during the campaign that he wouldn't do anything about gay marriage in his next term. He told Russia, through Medvedev, that after his next election he'd have more flexbility to negotiate with them and to pass that on to Putin. Russia is one of the most repressive nations when it comes to gay rights, after the Muslim countries, on the planet. Their current unrest is blamed on their suppression of "gay propaganda." Obama has also welcomed the head of The Muslim Brotherhood to the White House, an organization that not only has called for the extermination of Jews, but also the institution of Sharia law, which stones gays! He proudly helped The Muslim Brotherhood take control of Egypt.

Please comment. Please tell me why you voted for four more years of suffering by the middle class. Four more years of rising insurance premiums, increased taxes on the middle class, rising food and gas prices.

At best we will be in a depression in 2016. At worst we’ll be in outright civil war. There’s nothing to indicate, from Obama or Reid, that anything is going to change in 2013 from what he’s done already.

So please, tell me why you voted for this man.