Monthly Archives: September 2016

Conservative Newspapers Betray Themselves

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Let’s examine the reasoning of conservative newspapers that have endorsed Hillary Clinton instead of Donald Trump the last week-and-a-half or so. The papers in question are the Dallas Morning News, the Cincinnati Enquirer, and the Arizona Republic. All three have a long history of endorsements for Republican presidential candidates. The Arizona Republic has never before endorsed a Democrat. This examination is based on a USA Today article that can be found at the web address below:

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/arizona-paper-faces-death-threats-cancellations-after-clinton-endorsement/ar-BBwKJck?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=wispr

In the article, the newspapers, collectively, cited the following reasons for endorsing Hillary instead of Trump:

1. he is not conservative;

2. he has an “inability to control himself”;

3. he has a “long history of objectifying women”;

4. he lacks a presidential temperament;

5. he is “a clear and present danger to our country”;

6. he “plays on fear — exploiting base instincts of xenophobia, racism and misogyny — to bring out the worst in all of us, rather than the best.”

Let’s take the first point and ask which of the two candidates is more conservative, and please remember that I am not agreeing with the Donald on all his positions, nor with any particular “conservative” position but only seeing whether the newspapers’ explanations make sense

Donald Trump wants to lower taxes; Hillary wants to raise them. Trump wants to build a stronger military; Hillary doesn’t. Trump wants immigrants and American citizens to abide by our country’s immigration laws and to suffer the consequences if they do not; Hillary wants to violate our immigration laws, probably with executive orders like her potential predecessor, and she doesn’t want illegals to suffer any consequences for breaking our immigration laws. Trump wants to improve the care for our veterans; Hillary does, too. Trump supports the development of new energy technologies but wants to use the existing resources we have to create or maintain jobs and establish energy independence; Hillary wants to get rid of existing energy resources, even if it means job losses and withdrawal from energy independence. Trump rejects climate change caused by man; Hillary accepts climate change caused by man. Trump wants to keep and secure citizens’ Second Amendment rights; Hillary wants to begin to modify those rights, if not ultimately remove most of them. Trump supports the right to life; Hillary fights for the right to slaughter babies, including the right to crush their skulls after they are partially born. Trump wants our military to be able to stand up to and defend against enemy acts, including firing at our boys and girls, playing chicken with them, boarding their vessels, and humiliating them by making them kneel in front of enemy soldiers. Hillary laughs and scoffs at that, claiming it would cause another war: Our weakness and humiliation are okay to her.

More could be said, but you get the point. Trump is, at the least, more conservative than Hillary and, conversely, Hillary is more liberal than Trump. On that basis, the newspapers should have endorsed Trump, not Hillary.

Let me skip to No. 3 and I’ll return to No. 2. Number 3 is the claim that Trump objectifies women. For some, an important proof of that is Hillary’s recent assertion that Trump told Alicia Machado of Venezuela that she was fat prior to her winning the 1996 Miss Universe pageant, it appears. Some accounts detailed the fat remark as specifically being “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping”. In an interview on Inside Edition in May, Machado herself said that Trump called her an “eating machine” and told her to lose weight before her win.

If Trump walks up to just any woman who happens to be overweight, and he begins to make remarks like that, then, yes, he is being intrusive and rude. However, Machado entered into a beauty contest in which looking your best is the goal. Coaches tell football players their playing weight is excessive or insufficient, that their playing habits stink or get the job done. It’s a coach’s responsibility to communicate those negatives, even harshly or angrily, to the players so the players will improve or lose their jobs. It was Trump’s responsibility to tell Machado what she looked like and how she could correct it. Seems like it worked. Machado won the 1996 crown.

Yet Hillary herself damned the women who claimed her husband had harassed or molested them. Hillary tried to destroy their lives, creating the so-called “War Room” to crush them. She or her mercenaries frequently intimidated, threatened, or possibly attacked those who accused or who aired their accusations. Here are a couple of articles to reference:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2016/02/25/the_trashing_of_bills_accusers_what_did_hillary_do_–_and_why_did_she_do_it_129787.html

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1997-04-02/news/9704020023_1_trailer-parks-unkempt-homes-manufactured-home-communities

So much for standing up for women, eh, Crooked Hillary!?

Presidential temperament is so vague, but if I take a stab at it, I’ll approach it from this direction: I appreciate Trump’s blunt honesty. I don’t care for Hillary’s well-oiled pretenses. It has been well-documented by former secret service agents, former military men, and former White House or other staffers what Hillary really behaves like where and when American citizens cannot see her. She is nothing short of haughty, arrogant, and vicious, but she hides that lack of presidential temperament. If you are cool with that, I can’t help you. If you’re a newspaper reporter, editor, or columnist, how can you accept that? Why would you take greater umbrage at a propensity for casual, off-the-cuff remarks, usually directed at people Trump believes have attacked or offended him, and which have little to no impact on governance, than Hillary’s angry venom towards those who work for her, towards those women whom her husband has sexually harassed and abused, and towards the people she hates and about whom she keeps a list of in her little black book?

Hillary has never demonstrated a presidential temperament but a mask. What we know about Hillary is that in the pressure cooker of the White House, her insecurities and latent anger undermine her equanimity and leave her seething, imbalanced, and often out-of-control.

Presumably, the high-sounding notion that Trump presents a “clear and present danger” is based upon his temperament, and that’s been answered. I’ll just add that if Trump’s temperament was out of whack, he could not have built the multi-billion dollar business he had.

Ask yourself, “Whose temperament has led to criminal behavior, has exposed our country to cyberhacking and loss of secrets, and has led to the unnecessary deaths of four Americans in Benghazi and the subsequent lies about what happened to their survivors?”

Finally, let’s address the claim that Trump plays on fear, using racism, xenophobia, and misogyny to exploit an electoral advantage.

Trump wants to deport illegal aliens, prevent the flow of illegal aliens and illegal drugs across our borders by building a wall, and end the drain of our public treasury to give benefits to illegals. Are any of those goals illegal? In fact, don’t Trump’s proposals merely enforce our existing laws and provide the means to accomplish that, regardless of where the illegals are from? Every country in the world has immigration laws, and most have barbed wire fences or walls and checkpoints along their borders. So how can proponents of border control be racist, xenophobic, or misogynistic in any way? Aren’t Republicans and conservatives the upholders of the Constitution, in whose Article 1, Section 8 lies the genesis of immigration law and the enforcement of it?

Trump’s comments on a few, particular women may have been out of bounds or over the top, but his family and professional history exhibit a strong appreciation of and for women: he employs more women in the upper echelon of his companies than men, he pays women in his company as much as or more than men (perhaps because of better performance?); thus, women enjoy the same opportunities for advancement as men in a Trump company; he has provided a safe, pleasant, stimulating environment for his employees, and his female employees in particular view him as their champion; he deeply cares about his wife and his daughters.

Trump routinely values women highly, and he owns a long, long track record that manifests he has treated them with respect and has honored their meritorious business accomplishments. That’s not a misogynist.

On the other hand, it can easily be argued that Hillary married a misogynist, that she aided and abetted his acts of misogyny, and that she engaged in misogyny when she tried to crush her husband’s accusers, her fellow women.

Look, each citizen has to vote his or her conscience. If you prefer one candidate’s resumé over another’s, one’s ideas over another’s, or just like one candidate more than another, that’s fine.

News organs, however, claim to have examined the facts and to have made sense of them and then held them up to a standard they claimed guided them to their conclusion. In that light, the newspapers cited above erred and failed.

Which of the candidates is more conservative? Trump.

Though each of their arenas of development has differed, which of the candidates has demonstrated greater success and efficiency? Trump.

Which of the two candidates has actually been a chief executive? Trump.

Which candidate brings business and financial expertise to the table? Trump.

Which candidate brings the most experience in successful negotiations? To be fair, we must break this down. Trump earns the most consideration for experience in successful negotiations; Hillary’s experiences in negotiation are much closer to what a president ‘s would be, and that gives her the edge there.

Who has the more presidential temperament and ability to control himself/herself? Trump. The behind the scenes accounts of Trump’s behavior are vastly more favorable, even if his public persona appears a bit harsh or jagged: calm, patient, listening, learning, a quick study – all adjectives used to describe the Donald.

The under-the-mask descriptions of Hillary are much less than flattering, and they paint a picture of an anxious, insecure, volatile, secretive, take-no-prisoners person immersed in self-absorption and enrichment and willing to punish anyone she perceives crosses her.

Your choice, but let’s not pretend that Hillary is the “better” or “more “qualified” or “conservative” candidate.

Shame on the shameless conservative newspapers! They’d rather have an establishment candidate than one that represents American people and puts America first.

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Trump Wins First Presidential Debate

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Donald Trump won Monday’s presidential debate against libertine Hillary Clinton with his characteristic blunt spirit of America first, business savvy, and common sense, and he did so despite facing tougher, tilted questions designed to place him in a negative light and Hillary in a glow.

While Hillary’s sophistry appealed to conventional debate graders – we are all so used to seeing and accepting the masks politicians ties around their characters – she lost because her plans amount to a continued crippling of America.

In short, Trump generated more substance if not more details. Here are the concrete reasons – not stylistic nor conventional debate scoring points – that Trump demonstrated:

1. Resume: Trump’s successes vs. Hillary’s “bad experiences”. Once again, the Donald enumerated his business successes in building a multi-billion dollar empire and doing so by coming in under budget and ahead of time on various construction projects. Meanwhile, he pointed out Hillary’s resume of economic incompetence: her and her party’s standing by in the Senate as jobs fled the so-called Rust Belt, an area whose workers had placed their blind faith in Hillary and other Democrat leaders even as empty, decaying homes and factories littered the landscape of the Midwest, Mid Atlantic, and Southern states, killing the spirit of urban, suburban, and rural neighborhoods of whites and minorities; failure not only to improve or deter the stagnation and suffering in Americans’ economic life, including wage stagnation, but to actually provide her support for trade deals and economic policies that ripped jobs out of the hands of Americans and shoveled them overseas to the non-Americans she loves and the few she favors, crushing working Americans.

It’s simple to ask: which candidate demonstrated at the debate that he or she has the proven track record of financial management and efficient productivity? The answer is simple, too: Donald Trump.

2. National Security: Which candidate exuded a spirit of America first? Hillary gobbledygooked about her “plans” and the need to follow treaties contracted more than half a century ago and make our allies feel secure in their relationship to us, even though we are footing the bill to protect them. She spouted a platitude about nuclear nonproliferation, even though nonproliferation has been a failure. Trump clearly stated – again – that he will destroy ISIS and he will not take guff from Iran. He’s a fighter. Hillary made fun of his desire to protect our ships and our men from being threatened, boarded, captured, and made to kneel to their captors. Trump reiterated that his plan was to protect and defend America. Which is the posture of a commander-in-chief? He demands that our allies do their fair share. Isn’t that the posture of a leader who places our interests first?

We all understand that one must be careful acting in the international arena. Within that context, however, do we act with courage or do we act with submission. You have seen what has happened during the Obama administration. Hillary wants to continue his legacy.

And Hillary deliberately exposed our country’s secrets to our enemies, though she tried to downplay it last night as only “a mistake”. Can we afford mistakes like that? Is that a sign of competence or incompetence? Good judgment or bad judgment?

Add in Trump’s brilliant line he delivered last night about the cyber war being waged successfully against the United States during the Obama-Hillary time: “We’ve lost control!”

Would you rather have Trump looking out for our boys and our security or Hillary? The answer that comes out of the debate is clear: Trump.

Hillary gave us no reason to trust her on national security and kept telling us to read the lawyerly fine print in her plans. That’s not bringing substance to the debate.

3. Race Relations: Although I think Trump has had a good message to the black community, he did not articulate it as well as he could have last night. In my opinion, he should have emphasized and detailed the economic relief and opportunity he wants to bring to everyone, including blacks. Economic strength solves a lot of issues. The financial suffering and lack of opportunity blacks have undergone spurs much of the anger and violence that afflicts their communities and the extremely difficult situations in which police officers find themselves. Ironically, the trade and immigration policies Hillary has been supporting actually fuel that misery. Her proposal to “retrain” police officers is itself prejudiced and discriminatory, and it utterly fails to address the multi-sided perspective needed to sort out and improve race relations.

Unfortunately, Trump did not explicitly reiterate all the things he said during the economic segment of the debate when the issue turned to race: he will use the power of tariffs against American companies that abandon America and Americans to prevent jobs from leaving and to bring jobs back, and he will spur job creation through tax reform that will entice investors to bring back more than $2 trillion dollars they have stashed overseas. Those things are not merely “trickle down” as Hillary calumniated. They are proposals that give rogue American companies the financial push they need to act as if they had some civic spirit, even if they don’t.

The Moderator’s Questions

If anyone watched the MSNBC feed, as I did, they saw moderator Lester Holt before the debate: nervous, running out of air, gulping, clipping off words. He’s NBC’s national news anchor. Could it be that he felt the weight of the bias his questions were about to evince?

Holt did not ask Hillary any tough questions. Did not challenge her record. And only once did he mention the emails that violated our national security protocols, as if they were nothing. Yet he asked Trump about Obama’s “birther” issue, a sidetrack that has no practical impact on the policies in question to improve our country’s financial and military position. Who cares whether Trump believes Obama was born in this country? Some leaders believe in UFOs, the Illuminati, no God, God, etc., questions that are likely to have far more impact than what a person believes about Obama’s birth. Same with questions about Trump’s businesses and remarks about a woman from decades ago.

Of course, Holt tied the birther issue to race, though there is no connection. Whether a presidential candidate was born in the U.S. isn’t a racial question, it’s a question of fact that relates to constitutional law. Trump also asked about Ted Cruz’s birth in Canada, and when that came up, I heard pundits, like MSNBC’s Lawrence O’ Donnell, say they had spoken to experts who said it was a legitimate issue. The contexts of the Obama and Cruz birth questions were not the same; however, Obama himself exacerbated the birther issue by refusing for quite some time to produce his birth certificate to put the matter to rest.

Meanwhile, not a peep about Hillary’s secret, expensive speeches to Wall Street, which should have come up during the economic segment, especially when she suggested Trump was favoring the rich. Not a peep about her continuing lie about what she told the relatives of the honorable Benghazi Americans she got killed in Libya. Not a peep about her lie about coming under fire at a European airport. The list goes on. Trump stated recently that he believed Obama was born in America. But Hillary has never admitted nor apologized for her lies. Holt, and NBC, want to shape the election by the framework and details they, and their rabid pundits before and after the debate, want to funnel your vision through.

One candidate demonstrated passion and honesty last night by body language, facial expression, and articulation. Donald Trump.

Viewers saw the same old slick, veteran dissembler Hillary has refined herself into being, hiding behind a pastiche of “plans” and pre-packaged catch phrases.

And viewers saw the same establishment media, rigging the system, tilting the questions, and trying to get a toehold in viewers’ minds by applying their “conventional wisdom” onto an unconventional candidate, Donald Trump.

Govern yourselves accordingly.

The Racial Chasm

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The chasm between white and black views of racism widens. The perspectives from which Americans are viewing the drama playing out between police officers and some members of the black community on city streets and in neighborhoods move further away from each other. Each side looks at the spectacle from a different frame of mind, and the intellectual editing produces divergent understandings and feelings.

The politician Hillary Clinton, whose currency of falsehood and deception anchored in her selfish interests and self-absorption, and the profoundly superficial media that craves explosive stories and moralizations, exacerbate the conflict with their pious platitudes, race-baiting, and incendiary reporting and commentary.

What is happening in Charlotte, North Carolina, stands out as a perfect example. The cacophonous and premature protests drown out reason and sober investigation. The story about the protests eclipses the story of a police shooting. Without any investigatory results, the screecher Hillary Clinton pours flames on the crowds’ fires and declares that the shootings of black people are intolerable. She wants to appear the moral judge, even as she issues a verdict before all the facts are known. Will she retract her statements for all the cases about which she is wrong?

What Clinton does and says compromises the effort to create a society and a body politic not merely free of racism but one of citizens who hold and behave toward each other with genuine goodwill and equity.

That’s where some of the problem lies. It lies in the phraseology and the imagery often used. Who wants to object to the “shootings” or the “killings of black people”? I don’t. Does the phrase not seem to imply that police officers drive around looking for black people to pick off? Yes, phrased in that way, I object and refuse to tolerate the shootings or killings of black people, walking by the street, getting out of their cars to walk up the path to the front doors of their homes, shopping, getting an ice cream cone at the drive-through window of Dairy Queen, strolling through the park, etc. In fact, I object to and will not tolerate the shootings or killings of anyone engaged in such activities.

Let’s change the phrasing. Should we tolerate those instances in which police shoot people engaged in criminal activity, particularly violent criminal activity, when they are black? When a person attacks a police officer, leaves, and returns to attack him again, and that person happens to be black, does the police officer have the right and the duty to shoot him? When the police ask a citizen to exit his vehicle with his hands in the air or clasped behind his head, and instead he exits his vehicle with his fist wrapped around a gun, does the police officer have the right and the duty to shoot him, whether he is black or not?

Is not the blame for the situations just described squarely on the shoulders of the person who made the decision to attack or threaten to attack?

Sometimes, perhaps many times, a predisposition to ascribe police actions to racism itself produces racism in the person who feels that way. The converse remains true, too. White people often hold an emotional view of black people that effects and confirms the violent characteristics they just “know” exist in “those people”, and nature’s Oedipus effect generates the self-fulfilling prophecy to which such people clung.

This may have been the principle that operated in the case of a South Carolina state trooper in 2014 who shot a 35-year-old man, who was black, as the man complied with the officer’s command to get his license, and in the case of a deputy in North Charleston who shot and killed a black man as the black man ran away from him during a traffic stop. The former was arrested and charged with what appears to be the most serious form of aggravated battery under South Carolina law (the victim recovered, and the charge carries a maximum 20-year sentence upon conviction). The latter was arrested and charged with murder.

In spite of appearances, every case should be soberly and fully investigated. Every case should be soberly and equitably prosecuted, without passion or prejudice. The process and the verdict should conform to law, and the law should conform, in my opinion as best as possible, to a higher integrity. The presumption is innocence, whether the defendant is black, a police officer, oriental, Middle Eastern, a Ku Klux Klanner, a black panther, a creepy looking fellow, a person with a disreputable or disagreeable personality, a Muslim, a communist, rich, poor, or somewhere in between, etc.

We need – all of us – to live up to the standards embedded in our Declaration and in our Constitution, standards we claim to cherish. We may need to discover some synthesis or refinement of those moral and legal principles that most everyone can accept and support and live with; not a perfect synthesis, but an acceptable and supportable one that contains shared ideals. Then, we have to start living those standards in our hearts, in our minds, with our tongues, and with our actions.

If the protests are meant to push for a lively, open, and honest debate from all sides about racial attitudes, let them be kept peaceful, and let us heed the protests and get to work. If the protests are little more than police baiting or an opportunity to engage in or support criminal activity, then conflict will ensue and discussion be derailed. In the latter case, the chasm would only grow.

Both sides, or the many sides, have the obligation to come to the table and listen. Both have truths to convey and both have illusions to dispel. While I reject the notion of “white privilege”, I do accept the notion that more whites have enjoyed a more advantageous position in American social, political, legal, and economic structures and more blacks a less advantageous one.

I would be classified as “white” (I am half Hispanic and half Celtic), so I will say this: It is incumbent in a special sense for we whites not to blow this opportunity to help bridge the racial divide and heal this nation’s wounds. We’ve been patching them up for too long. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., appealed to white people through our faith, the Western faith, of Christianity and our Western philosophy of the Greeks and Romans via the Renaissance with great power and eloquence. We rewarded him with disdain, twisted our own faith to accommodate our biases and bigotries, and we attempted to discredit Dr. King by labeling him a communist and an adulterer.

It makes no difference whether he was or wasn’t. If you can find a perfect man outside of Jesus Christ (and some would disagree with me there), please let me know. We have accepted or allowed plenty of blemished leaders, even among our Founding Fathers. The question is whether Dr. King spoke truth and love and reason. Did he have America’s best interests at heart? He did, and we foolishly and mulishly rejected his pleadings for peace, equality, and unity.

In spite of our foolishness and mulishness, we made progress. We elected a black president. More blacks than ever are involved in political bodies across the nation and nationally and in our economic, legal, and social structures. While this is good, some stress too much the quantity of blacks involved or black involvement. What has really been missing is the quality of our civic life. Races will relate well and equality be achieved when hearts are right and goodwill is expressed routinely. When that happens, the effects will be more profound and longer lasting.