Trump Energizes Phoenix, Ropes CNN

Along with millions of others, I watched President Trump’s rally in Phoenix Tuesday evening.  It was widely reported by the media.

Trump Phoenix RallyIt was classic Trump, unfiltered and in-your-face.  The overflow crowd went wild with enthusiasm.  His remarks ranged over many topics, but the president devoted much of the time to defending his statements following the recent Charlottesville racial turmoil, and criticizing the media for biased reporting.  Readers will recall the national media blasted him as a supporter of white supremacy for suggesting both sides in the ugly protest were at fault, although Trump simultaneously condemned racism and violence in the strongest terms.  Anyone who watched the Charlottesville events during the extensive news coverage would realize the president was correct, and the overall thrust of his comments was sympathetic to victims and grounded in truth.  There was no hint of racism in his remarks to any fair-minded listener.  HardWired News commented on these events in the article The Ascent of Bigotry – how the left is fomenting hate and violence, August 16.

What struck me was the stunning disparity of the media’s coverage of his Tuesday Phoenix rally.  Fox News called it energized and worthy of his best performance while pointing out his discussion of the Charlottesville remarks left out the quotes about “blame on both sides” that the liberal media found so troubling.  CNN, on the other hand, Fake News CNNgave a grim assessment, saying Trump “lied to the American people” and calling the rally proof of a “failed presidency.”  Switching between channels to catch the various after-event analysis, one would think they were hearing commentary on completely different speeches by different people given in alternate universes.

I felt the Fox News evaluation was more realistic and unbiased, while CNN’s version was off the rails.  Ironically, the CNN after-rant gave credence to Trump’s Ali Foremancharges of fake news.  One of my favorite sporting events was the rope-a-dope fight between George Foreman and Mohammed Ali, where Ali lured George into exhaustion by simply leaning against the ropes and letting him flail away until Foreman became physically spent.  At that point, Ali promptly knocked him out.  It strikes me we are watching something very similar with Trump and CNN.

Political Correctness Goes Nuclear

HardWired News reported recently (Semantics Goes Rogue, August 10) about a Portland school board’s decision to change the long standing names of Lynch elementary schools, named for the family that donated the land upon which they are built, because of fears “Lynch” would be confused with lynchings, where lawless mobs hang victims, often for racially motivated reasons.

We thought political correctness could not get more ridiculous.  WRONG!

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Robert Lee

We learned today that ESPN, the sports cable network, pulled long-standing sportscaster Robert Lee from his scheduled announcing of a University of Virginia football game.  Lee is an American of Asian heritage.  The name is a common Asian one.  Remember Bruce Lee, the Asian martial arts film actor?  Robert Lee the sportscaster is of course unrelated to the Confederate general Robert E. Lee.

It seems that with the recent unrest in Charlottesville, Virginia involving a statue of the long-dead general Lee, ESPN was concerned playcaller Lee’s name would inflame racial tensions.  ESPN offered the following explanation

“We collectively made the decision with Robert to switch games as the tragic events in Charlottesville were unfolding, simply because of the coincidence of his name. In that moment it felt right to all parties. It’s a shame that this is even a topic of conversation and we regret that who calls play-by-play for a football game has become an issue.”

You couldn’t make this stuff up.

What’s next?  Will people with the surname Roper be ostracized because the name conjures up a noose?  One can think of many other such non sequiturs.

At first blush, it’s hard to criticize ESPN for erring on the side of courtesy.  Until you consider the affront to Mr. Lee, to those of Asian heritage in general, and to all people who might be concerned about offensive racial imagery.  ESPN apparently believed themESPN Logo so stupid (they aren’t) as to think an Asian-descended football broadcaster is a backhanded white supremacist named after a Confederate general, and put on the air to rub salt in the racial wounds.  C’mon, ESPN, show a little sensitivity!

Trump Seeks a Turning Point in Afghanistan

Trump speakingOn Monday evening President Trump gave a prime time, nationally televised address on national security.  He spoke primarily about Afghanistan and related matters, setting forth five pillars of a new strategic approach.  While all were important, there seemed to be two significant departures from previous strategies.

One was a commitment to no longer coddle Pakistan.  Previous administrations walked on eggs in dealing with this complicated and important ally.  Pakistan has nuclear weapons and is the sworn foe of our friend, India.  America has acted as a sort of referee, a benefactor to both nations who steps between them to keep quarrels from becoming atomic wars.  And both have been important to us at times in sharing intelligence and some low level of military cooperation.

India is diverse, but it’s safe to say is largely Hindu, a religion whose people have not historically been antagonistic to the West.  Not so with Pakistan.  They are majority Muslim, with many of the practitioners bought into jihad and hatred of the mainly Christian, mainly Caucasian countries.  As such, while Pakistan has ostensibly cooperated with the U.S. in our war in Afghanistan, other factions within the country have offered safe haven, military and financial support to our enemies in the region, the Taliban and Al Qaida.

map afghanistan

President Trump now vows to condition our substantial economic and military aid upon the cessation of these off-the-books terrorist suborning activities in Pakistan, and consistent and genuine cooperation with our efforts in Afghanistan.  Of course, the risk is in further alienating nuclear Pakistan and driving them unabashedly into the anti-American camp with the likes of Iran and Syria.

The second thing that seemed a sharp departure from the past was a commitment to increase military activities in Afghanistan with the level and tactics driven by conditions on the ground, and not by arbitrary and publicly disclosed troop levels, budgets, and withdrawal dates.

KeaneThese and the other announced changes were widely endorsed by independent military analysts on the cable shows, including highly respected retired four-star, Jack Keane.  The left, abandoning the congressional unity of old in facing foreign threats, panned the president’s plans with a continuation of their “anything to destroy Trump – damn the consequences” strategy.

The risk of “conditions on the ground” is that it sounds like General Westmorland’s and Robert McNamara’s whatever-it-takes strategies that fed the meat grinder in Viet Nam and ultimately led to defeat.  Of course Afghanistan is not Viet Nam, this enemy has had some successes in striking our homeland, and arguably the military and political leaders have learned from history to avoid a Viet Nam style debacle.  It’s clear we cannot let Afghanistan return to the radical jihadist-led haven it was for extreme Muslim terrorists bent on killing Americans in America.

For my money, it’s time to get behind our president, put the politics of personal destruction aside once again, and bring a swift and decisive end to the Taliban and Al Qaida in Afghanistan.  Let’s hope the left can get on board.

Boston Shines with Right & Left Protests

And this is good old Boston
The home of the beans and the cod
Where the Lowells talk only to Cabots
And the Cabots talk only to God

boston.jpgAh…Boston.  The historic liberal bastion that gave us Ted Kennedy, Michael Dukakis and that poster-girl for the whacky left, Elizabeth Warren.  They claim you haven’t really lived until you’ve got scrod in Boston.

But over this weekend Boston shined with dueling protests done right.  Conservatives (not white supremacists) held a demonstration to support free speech, speaking out in essence against the efforts of the intolerant left to stifle and brand them.  The practice was lampooned in the HardWired News article of August 1, “…Berkeley…Bayonet Training…”  The legal, licensed conservative march was met with a large counter protest held by the left.

The demonstrations were orderly and largely peaceful but for a few isolated scuffles.  It Boston protestswas more like a festival, a “happening” as it would have been called in the 60s.  Now in fairness, the leftists, in true progressive fashion, did taunt the conservatives as Nazis and KKK members, which they clearly were not.  The right took great strides, admirably so, to eliminate such elements from the march.  Of course, that didn’t stop the liberals from displaying their bigotry toward their nemeses (HardWired News, August 16 “The Ascent of BigotryHow the Left is Fomenting Hate and Violence”).

I’m all for the expression of free speech and ideas through peaceful demonstrations.  And by all accounts, in Boston they remained peaceful due in good measure to professional police work that kept the two movements at a respectable distance, and jumped in to quell trouble when it did briefly spring up.  And one must acknowledge the good will and admirable character of most Bostonians.

boston-bigotry.jpgAs a conservative I continue, however, to be offended by the wrong-minded taunts of racism hurled by the left.  I’ve spent about half of my adult life as a left leaning Democrat and the other (more recent and enlightened) half as a conservative Republican.  I’ve known people with racial prejudice from both sides, but without exaggeration, I can say I’ve never met a Republican white supremacist in my life, although I can’t say as much for a few Democrats I’ve known (not characterizing them all; that would be embracing the bigotry being shown on the left).

King Rodney LabeledThere is not a thing wrong with people holding to different political philosophies.  What is wrong is violence and bigotry toward those who believe differently.  Despite the few prejudiced name-calling incidents by the left, the Boston demonstrations offered a ray of hope for civility in political discourse.  And just maybe the aspirations of a noted African-American can finally be realized: maybe we can “…just all get along.”

 

 

The Ascent of Bigotry

How the Left is Fomenting Hate and Violence

charlottesville 4Just about everyone has heard the news of the sad events in Charlottesville over the past weekend.   A violent clash of protesters from the political left and radical right occurred over the display of a Confederate statue.  The events culminated in the death of a young woman and injury of many others.  The deadly violence was perpetrated by a young man identified with white supremacists who intentionally rammed his speeding car into a group he believed represented the left, leaving the woman dead and others in critical condition.

The collective American consciousness could not but be horrified by this kind of murderous cruelty.  But the aftermath of politically motivated and misplaced recrimination is symptomatic of a more pervasive and deeply rooted problem in our country.  A problem of rampant bigotry perpetrated increasingly by the left.

The term bigotry is generally understood as the deep dislike or even hate of a group because of a belief, often self-serving and always false, that they universally share despicable characteristics.  The most infamous case may be the persecution of the Jews by Nazi Germany.  But its targets have also included other peoples including African-Americans, Muslims, LGBT, and those with a particular ancestry or national origin viewed as problematic by the bigots.  Of course, science and common sense tell us all such large groups include people of various abilities, morals and the like.  It is patently false to characterize all or even most members in a particularly negative way.

UC Berkley riots 2
UC Berkeley

Unfortunately, the extreme political left element is climbing on the bigotry train big-time.  And they are doing it with violence.  Conservatives—who usually believe that market capitalism and personal freedom advance the well being of most everyone—are labeled as haters and as such, fundamentally evil.  Right leaning speakers invited to the University of California at Berkeley have been met with clubs, mace and firebombs in the interest of assuring peace and kindness on the campus.  Hollywood griffin-trum-head.jpgis doing an excellent job of fanning the flames, as Johnny Depp asks if it is time for an actor to (again: John Wilkes Booth) assassinate a president (Trump) while Madonna declares to a gathered cheering throng she seriously considers blowing up the White House.  And who can forget so-called comedian Kathy Griffin posing with a faux severed Trump head?

Institutional bigotry on the left has risen to a new high with the recent Charlottesville events.  Donald Trump, seen by the media as the poster-child of the right, is being falsely accused of siding with the far right extremists.  Anyone who has seen the film footage of the events knows that both sides came looking for trouble, donning helmets and wielding clubs.  Violence between the groups quickly occurred, instigated in many instances by those demonstrators on the political left.  Nothing justifies the horrible deadly assault with the automobile, and no one has even implied as much.  But because President Trump said there was blame for the unrest due to the conduct of both sides, the left and their mouthpieces in the liberal media have branded him an apologist for the white supremacists.

It is noteworthy that Trump has consistently condemned and disavowed racism and associated groups, while speaking up for the rights of people of color and vowing to unite America.  His concern with terrorism originating from the radical Muslim world, and illegal entry over our southern border is equated by the liberal media to racism, while his policies are clearly anti-crime, and not anti-people.

The constant and increasingly violent condemnation by the left of people with a more egalitarian political view on the right is nothing short of bigotry.  And one of the problems with this type of institutionalized bigotry is that it legitimizes it, giving a sort of permission to those who would characterize other groups who they in turn hate, such African-Americans or gay people.  In this way, the extreme element on the left is fanning the flames of division, hatred and violence in the country.  And it seems to be spreading. Let’s hope and pray that bigotry can be ended on all fronts, or we face a very grim future.

Semantics Goes Rogue

PortlandFox News recently reported that a Portland, Oregon school board has removed the name “Lynch” from three public schools.  The schools were named for the family that donated the land years ago.

The Fox article stated

 …the names of Lynch Meadows Elementary School, Lynch View Elementary School and Lynch Wood Elementary School reminded them too much of ‘lynch mobs’ and ‘lynchings,’ conjuring the image of people being hanged by an angry mob…

Of course Portland is a bastion of liberalism, rivaling even whacko San Francisco for progressivism over the moon.  “Lynch,” as we all know, is a common name in America and has nothing to do with racism or lynching.  Remember Loretta Lynch, the African-American U.S. attorney general under Obama?  In a similar torturing of language in pursuit of the PC pure, a Washington DC public board member was fired for using the word “niggardly,” a time tested word in the English language meaning essentially “stingy” and having nothing to do with race or the justifiably hated “N-word.”

Calm down now. I’m anything but racist, with lots of black friends and two biracial granddaughters (of whom I’m immensely proud).  And I fully understand the horror of slavery and the aftereffects that plague people of color today.  But one wonders if it is black people who are startled by the everyday name “Lynch” on a school, orFront Cover JPEG - Pestilence_edited-1 the uberliberal whites who are invested in the industry of victimhood.  As an aside, my novel Caine’s Pestilence (Canniche Cove Publishing, 2011, available on Amazon) dealt with that very phenomenon.

 

I believe respect and race relations would be advanced more by common sense and Rodney Kingordinary good faith in dealing with one another, especially through language.  It’s hard to understand how racial tensions are improved by a bogus obsession with convoluting the ordinary meaning of words.  As a noted African-American once said, “can’t we all just get along?”

How the Russians Colluded in the Last Election, and WON!

Putin 2The standard narrative in Washington is that Trump or his campaign colluded with Russia to hand him the election.

This storyline is underpinned by several things.  There is the soft-on-Russia rhetoric of his campaign juxtaposed with Hillary Clinton’s tough talk.  Then there was retired general Mike Flynn’s meeting with the Russians immediately following the election, and lying about it (for which he was fired and could be prosecuted).  There were the embarrassing DNC and Clinton campaign hacked and leaked e-mails.  Then the disclosure that Trump Jr. had met with a Kremlin connected lawyer after the primaries and before the Republican Convention.  And most damning of all, against all odds Hillary LOST!  After all, what else could explain the impossible other than Russia?  Had she won, none of this would be an issue.

Now personally I’m a conservative Republican who, like many others, does not particularly like Donald Trump because of what I see as his narcissism and lack of qualifications in government.  Nonetheless, I voted for him because I agree with many of his policies, and he is nowhere near as flawed as Hillary Clinton.  But it is crystal clear he did not collude with Russia, and any Russian interference that might have occurred had no impact on the outcome.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines collusion as a secret agreement…for an illegal or deceitful purpose, substantially the same as the legal definition.  It is true that the campaign policy toward Russia was a sort of détente, not unlike Reagan’s with GorbachevRussia Reset Button or Obama/Clinton’s “reset button” approach.  Further, it is neither illegal nor even unusual for candidates to meet with representatives of foreign governments to build rapport and discuss future policy approaches.  What was absent in the case of Trump was any evidence of agreement, payment, a quid pro quo, conspiracy to commit any illegal act, or any other action that could conceivably be labeled as illegal.  And it is not just an absence of evidence that could have been cleverly concealed.  With all the leakers, admitted wiretaps of Russian conversations, and the unrelenting campaign on all fronts to implicate Trump—if there were evidence, it is impossible it would not have come out.  And even Obama’s own intelligence experts testified they could find no evidence of Trump-Russia collusion.  Yet we have nothing but innuendo, attaching nefarious purposes to benign events.

In Washington it is said if a lie is repeated often enough it becomes the truth, and this is the case with the hollow Trump-Russia connection.  It is clear the Democrats are hysterical over Hillary’s loss and desperate to discredit the hated Trump.  They are seeking a way to sabotage his conservative agenda and take back power from a disgraced administration in upcoming elections.

So how, as the headline to this story states, did Russia win, and with whom did they collude?  Obama’s own head of national intelligence, James Clapper, testified that the Russians have tried to influence elections for years.  Their purpose, according to Clapper and others in the intelligence community, is not to determine the winner—they know that is impossible in America—but to undermine the process, create doubts in the public mind, and weaken the administration.  Clapper and the others made clear no election results were altered by the Russians.  And the embarrassing e-mail leaks were minor ripples in the Clinton campaign, already awash in scandal and blunders (see the new Clinton campaign tell-all bestseller Shattered).  It’s now obvious why Hillary lost, and just about everyone agrees it had nothing to do with Russia.  But now Washington and the public are galvanized by Russia-Trump investigations and accusations.  Little is being accomplished, other than by executive order.  The Russians have clearly accomplished their goal.  The celebration in the Kremlin must be epic.

And with whom did they collude?  Clearly not Trump.  No, Russia co-opted the unwitting Schiffbut willful assistance of the Democratic Party, particularly attack-dog-designate Adam Schiff , Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.  These people have led the disloyal effort to sweep aside national unity with a false narrative of knowingly baseless accusations, all designed to undermine the constitutionally elected president.  And in so doing, paralyze the nation and deliver to Russia exactly what they wanted.

How America longs for the days of a loyal opposition of patriots dedicated to the best interests of the country rather than their own power.

 

Top Ten Things Trump Will Do if California Secedes

Calexit 3

Maybe it’s sadly just human nature to dislike people “different” from us.  Remember the 90s, when the Hutu tribal people of Rwanda slaughtered a million Tutsi people because…well, they weren’t Hutus?  Or the Serbs’ war on Bosnians.  How about book burning in Nazi Germany, where not only people but ideas were rounded up and destroyed, in the pursuit of a purified Aryan nation.

Like you, I’d prefer to believe civilized societies have progressed beyond that kind of vitriolic idiocy.  America, after all, is a mixing pot, a nation of free speech and ideas where differences are not only tolerated but embraced.  Peace, love, kindness and tolerance, the mantra arguably of the progressive left.

Only…not in uberliberal California, the land of plenty where dudes and dudettes can “chill” year-’round in the warm sunshine and invigorating ocean spray.  Where self indulgence, materialism and instant gratification have been elevated to the status of religion.  At the University of California at Berkeley, people with different ideas—political conservatives invited to the campus to speak—are met not with dissent, but with mace, clubs, and fiery riots.  “Keep the haters out!” they scream, backing it up with sticks and stones, the sole reason apparently because the conservatives, the “haters”, simply don’t think like them.  All done in the name of peace, tolerance, inclusiveness and love.

Of course we all know conservatives—Reagan, Bush, Eisenhower—aren’t haters.  They simply see a different path to national well being than do the liberals.  But like the Hutus, Nazis and Serbs of yesterday, Californians don’t see it that way.  And now our West Coast cousins have had a bellyful of us all.  A move is underfoot in California to secede from the Union, from the United States of America.  It’s called Calexit, a clumsy takeoff of “Brexit” where Britain voted to leave the European Union.  Now many of us would say “so what,” no harm—no foul.  Don’t let the door hit you in the rear on your way out.  In fact, an ingenious man has now started a business to help conservatives escape from La-La Land and relocate in sane and safe Texas.

But President Trump, always a step ahead, has developed a strategy for dealing with Calexit.  And here are his Top Ten strategies if California secedes:

Calexit

It’s great to know America is prepared for any eventuality!