Category Archives: Politics

Who is John McCain?

“To our allies: bipartisan majorities of Americans remain pro-free trade, pro-globalization & supportive of alliances based on 70 years of shared values. Americans stand with you, even if our president doesn’t.”

John McCain Tweet of June 9, 2018.

John McCain, United States Senator from the State of Arizona, those are your words. You haven’t apologized, so I think you are standing by them. I did a little research on you, just a little. Turns out, you’ve been in Congress almost as long as I have been out of college. You first ran for the House of Representatives in 1982 after leaving the Navy in 1981. You have been in the Senate from 1987 up until the present time. You say you’re a Republican—and though it is a personal reflection on my part—I cannot remember a single time that you voted in favor of a conservative Republican piece of legislation, not a single time when your vote actually counted, not once. If memory serves, you’re always part of one of those “gangs”—you know, “The Gang of Five” or “The Gang of Eight,” who usually stand in the way of some important piece of conservative legislation. (Usually one that I and millions of others favor.)  I could go through your voting record here, boring my readers; however, it is well known. No, I am not going to waste their time. You, sir, have a much greater sin for which I would like you to answer. I doubt you’ll take the time, so I’m going to have to leave your answer up to the Almighty.

Since you are suffering with cancer and dying, I wish to be somewhat delicate with my observations and criticism. (I have prayed for you, by the way.) Cancer is horribly, wretchedly painful. I know, because I have watched my best friend and many other friends and relatives whom I have loved dearly die from this dreaded scourge. Herewith a short list of the types of cancer: pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, metastatic lung cancer, the last having claimed my dad. He survived the battle of Iwo Jima, but metastatic lung cancer claimed this fearless Marine in his 89th year. Watching cancer steal one of the brightest Marines to ever fight in the Corps was horrific and personally devastating, to say the least. Thus, I mean it when I say I do not wish you any more pain than what you presently suffer. I do not even wish you that pain, because I have empathy, even for those to whom I am manifestly politically opposed. On some level, one must have compassion for one’s enemies, Would you not agree? I use the term enemy here as a figure of speech, a metaphor, if you will. Not that you are my enemy—though we seem diametrically opposed when it comes to our interpretation of your constitutional duty—disagreeing mightily about what you tweeted. Many would question my compassion for having taken you on at this time in your life while on your deathbed. I would not have done so, but apparently you chose to enter the political fray right up until your last breath, so as far as I am concerned, your tweet invites a response, a defense of our Constitution, the very same gifted to us by God through our framers.  I never learned to fence, but I venture to say, “A sword raised by one’s opponent from any position is an invitation to spar, thrust and parry.” 

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Photo credit: Boris-B/Shutterstock

Before I go any further, I must acknowledge your service in Vietnam and most definitely your time as a prisoner of war, where from all accounts, you endured unspeakable horrors, cruelty, and torture—conduct on the part of your captors and beyond squalid conditions that would surely have killed me—and behaved in an exemplary fashion. You even let other prisoners return home first. Your conduct made you a hero to me because you behaved in a most heroic manner. Unfortunately, a man who is a hero at one time in his life does not always behave heroically. History is replete with tawdry examples of the fallen soldier, heroic in battle only to live the remainder of his life as the worst of alcoholics in peacetime. Fallen, his heroic deeds may ultimately outweigh his misdeeds, but judgement is for the fine screen of history and the even finer screen of our Lord.  Thankfully, some, like Louis Zamperini, find Christ and redeem themselves during their lifetimes.  Humility through Christ is the key to redemption.   

Thank you, Senator McCain, for your service in the Navy and for your exemplary, brave conduct while a prisoner in Vietnam. 

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Photo credit: r.classen/Shutterstock

Let us return to the present: Senator McCain, did you not take an oath to support and defend the Constitution? I double-checked just now and the oath which the Constitution requires you to take has been in force since the 1860s. The primary purpose of the present wording, according to www.senate.gov, was to root out traitors. Remember these words?  You should; you have repeated them often enough. 

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God. Senate Oath of Office.

So, Senator McCain, you did take an oath. You took an oath before God to “support and defend the Constitution…against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” What about “…bear true faith and allegiance…”?  Tell me sir, where does “pro-globalization” fit in? I am puzzled. Where exactly is the “pro-globalization” Article in the United States Constitution?  Our Constitution has seven Articles. Globalization isn’t one of them.  I do not see it in the Sections either. Forgive my ignorance, but is not globalization a process whereby the nation state—in this case the United States of America—is minimized in favor of a global entity run by a largely unaccountable administrative bureaucracy answering only to a ruling elite? How is that “supporting and defending” our Constitution?   What about “We the People…”? Have you ever noticed that “People” is capitalized? Capitalization must mean that the framers of our Constitution thought that we the people were important.  Did I miss something? 

What exactly do you mean by the words “pro-globalization”? And, while I am on the subject of your tweet, what do you mean by undercutting our duly elected President of the United States, Donald J. Trump? (Sorry if you dislike him.) Did not the Electoral College settle the matter of who is in charge at present? Poor Hilary, if only she could accept it, but that would mean adhering to the rule of law. (Forgive me, I digress.) What about the old adage: “Politics ends at the water’s edge.” Remember that oft quoted line? One of your fellow Republicans, Arthur Vanderberg, said it. What is it about your ego that you would not take his sage advice:

To me, “bipartisan foreign policy” means a mutual effort, under our indispensable two-party system, to unite our official voice at the water’s edge so that America speaks with maximum authority against those who would divide and conquer us and the free world. It does not involve the remotest surrender of free debate in determining our position. On the contrary, frank co-operation and free debate are indispensable to ultimate unity. In a word, it simply seeks national security ahead of partisan advantage. Every foreign policy must be totally debated (and I think the record proves it has been) and the “loyal opposition” is under special obligation to see that this occurs.

I found the above  quotation in  The Huffington Post .

Here we are with President Trump travelling to North Korea to potentially end the Korean War, a war we have been engaged in for all intents and purposes since June 25th 1950, and you, rather than stand down and show unity with our President to the face of our enemy, decide to undercut him with a tweet to the world. Tell me, do you remember when Jane Fonda visited the North Vietnamese while you were in prison in Vietnam?  Did that help your cause? While you were in the Navy, were you ever insubordinate to your commanding officer? No? Why then do you think you can dictate foreign policy to the world, usurping the role of President Trump, our duly-elected commander-in-chief?

A wise friend once told me: “People don’t change; you only get more of the same.”  You might say the good become better, and the bad become worse. Having been betrayed many times, and literally having had to jettison all manner of scoundrels from my life, I quite agree.  To this I might add: “True personal change is rare. A person only changes if he or she sincerely wants to change, and if the benefits of such change outweigh the negatives.” So, during the past 36 years, what happened to your character in Washington, D. C.? What became of the man who made the nation proud back in 1973? By the way, did you read my last blog entitled: “If You Can’t Say Anything Nice…” about Ivanka Trump, wherein I wrote that I thought the word weasel should be in the dictionary as a definition for the word politician? Just curious.

Toward the end of a man’s life, one can see who he really is, and what is important to him by his deeds and the the company he keeps. One can take the measure of the man, so to speak. Personally, I would rather remember the John McCain who behaved so admirably in Vietnam. I sincerely doubt I am alone.

Sandman

 

(Photo credit at top of page-McCain: Krista Kennell/Shutterstock)

Reluctant Warrior

Tonight, as I sit here, I am just about out of energy. For me, like most people, I was busy with life today, working in the morning and tending to a doctors appointment in the afternoon. As I recall, I sent the Republicans to congress with specific in instructions to undo the damage done to our country by former President Barack Obama, the greatest danger to this republic since Franklin Roosevelt.  I sent the Republicans to Washington to neutralize the opposition, not to cave into it or to adopt the opposition’s agenda.

With the news that a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill has left the House for the Senate, I am finished with the Republicans. Finished. Rumor has it that President Trump is going to sign the bill after it leaves the Senate. If so, I am finished with him too. Finished. He was America’s last hope. I voted for him for that reason.  Hillary would have destroyed this country in about the time that it has taken President Trump—fighting the Washington establishment at every turn—to implement just a portion of his his much touted conservative agenda.

Initially, I was a Ted Cruz man, backing him with donations and purchases of his book until it was clear he was not going to win the 2016 election. Reluctantly, I turned to Donald Trump, ultimately voting for him for only two reasons: In a speech before the Union League Club of Philadelphia, he came across in no uncertain terms for strong borders and a strong, powerful military. Those two issues stood out, because I would argue that one cannot have a country without those two elements: strong borders and strong military. One must have a strong, enforced, impenetrable border, and one must project a strong military in order to have a country, not to mention be a great power. Open borders are unenforceable borders, carrying with them so many of the social ills—gangs, the violent crime, rampant drugs and re-emergent diseases—we have today.  

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Photo credit: Susan Schmitz/Shuttersock

If I were to list my top six goals for the Republicans and President Trump, they would be these: 1. strong borders (immigration), 2. strong military, 3. defund and replace Obamacare with a free market healthcare system, 4. reform or replace the Veteran’s Administration, 5. protect the Second Amendment, and 6. defund Planned Parenthood. I haven’t heard much about items 3 through 5, but I know that it doesn’t look like President Trump is going to get much of what he wanted, except more military spending and a small down payment on the border wall. Meanwhile, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the Democrat Party—crowing—seem to be implementing their agenda lock, stock and barrel. Particularly disgusting to me as a right to life advocate is that Planned Parenthood will still be funded. Yes, Planned Parenthood, the organization that sells human body parts from aborted babies. Ugh. Reminds one of the apostolic Israelites sacrificing of  their children to Moloch. 

All my voting life, I have heard the same inefficacious Republican song and dance and watched the  same vapid dog and pony show.  “We don’t have the House or the Senate or the White House. We are powerless. We only have the House. Give us the Senate, and we’ll stop the Democrats. We need the Presidency before we can really effect change.” O.K., so now you Republicans have all three branches of government, and and what do we get? A Democrat fantasy wish list come to life.

As I said, I am finished with the Republican Party.  Finished. Henceforth, I shall give no money to you, not a dime.  If you want money, go sleep with Tom Donohue, again.  

President Trump, a long, long time ago, I met you. For a short while, I was beginning to like you, because you stood up to the Democrats. I was able to overlook some of your quirks and moral failings. You took the Democrats on. With every victory, I cheered you from the sidelines.  If you want my vote in the next election, you had better veto this outrageous $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill. Lack of resolve against such egregious government waste will put you in the same base category as the Republicans—whom I detest. If you don’t have the spine to veto the bill, I wouldn’t blame Melania if she left you. Wives will put up with a great deal, but generally they don’t like feckless husbands.

Sandman

 

(Photo credit at top of page-Fork in Road: Pavel_Klimenko/Shutterstock)

 

Who Controls the Past?

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Photo credit: RODKARV/Shutterstock

I think we all ought to reread George Orwell’s 1984, as we are living it. Do you remember this quotation?  Every once in a while, I remind myself:

“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”

I would argue that those who want to pull all of the statutes down of anyone whom they consider offensive for representing any ideology with which they disagree is attempting to control the past.  They are, it is rumored unwitting dupes, “useful idiots,” to quote Lenin, of men like George Soros, who learned well the lessons in propaganda the Nazis taught:  “A lie told once remains a lie but a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth.”

Sandman

 

(Photo credit at top of page-Clocks-Pawan S/Shutterstock)

North Korean Missile Crisis

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Photo credit: Rex Wholster/Shutterstock

As I listen to the various statements by President Trump in response to the missile provocations by North Korea, I am reminded of this address by our late President John F. Kennedy, which I present in its entirety: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgdUgzAWcrw. As of tonight, this YouTube video has had only 173,546 views. If more people took the time to study history, perhaps events like those we are witnessing now would not repeat themselves with such alarming regularity.

Now is the time when we all ought to pray that our leaders, indeed all world leaders, exhibit not only courage, but forthrightness and wisdom in their thinking as we navigate these treacherous straits. I further earnestly pray that President Trump takes the counsel of our Lord in every decision.

Sandman

Brexit

Brexit.  Yes or No? Of course, I don’t know anything. If I did, I’d bet the right way and be on a plane to the Bahamas to buy a second home. I’m willing to bet that Brexit happens.

As a trader, I am short-term neutral to long-term short.  I’m taking this trade or trades because the conventional wisdom is that Brexit can’t happen, that shouldn’t happen, etc. In the stock market you learn that when everyone is long something, it’s time to get short. Play for the outlier, not the conventional wisdom.

What is overlooked here is the voice of the people in Britain who are faced daily with an onslaught of Muslims who seek to change their culture and their very way of life.  Has the European Union really worked for the British?  Is the average British citizen brave enough to state publicly that it hasn’t and why?

The question really is whether or not the Muslim migrants have enough power to vote in favor of staying with the European Union, thereby swaying the outcome in their favor. That is an open question.  Once the floodgates allow enough people of a distinctly different culture in, the culture of the host country is forever changed.  I, for one, am praying that the scales haven’t been tipped so far.  It is also a question of the interests of the people who control the money, versus the interests of the populace.   Money vs. people. For the longest time here in the United States, the moneyed interests have won, hence we have a political class that completely ignores the will of the people in furtherance of its own ends.

It will be interesting to see how things play out.  If Britain no longer controls her own destiny, then there will really be only five countries left to defend Western civilization and the Judeo- Christian way of life: The United States, Canada, Israel, Australia and New Zealand.

We shall see.  Paying tonight for Britain.  May God be with her.

Sandman

(Photo credit – top of page-Union Jack: STILLFX/Shutterstock)

Gun Control

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Photo credit: Aleksei Gurko/Shutterstock

Have you ever noticed that the people who are the most ardent supporters of gun control have either Secret Service protection, their own specially dedicated police force or their own private security to keep them safe?

Talk to any policeman or woman and he or she will say, “We cannot be everywhere all the time.” Given that scenario, what are people supposed to do to protect themselves? 

I don’t buy the liberal fantasy that you can round up all the guns everywhere. No matter what laws are in force, the criminal element will still have guns. You may be able to force legal gun owners to give up their guns–through fines and threats of jail time–, but criminals are in the business of breaking laws. Accordingly, they will still have guns, and guns–much like drugs are today–will be sold to the highest bidder in a huge black market. 

If you want to solve the problem of gun violence in schools overnight you must take down those  “gun free zone stickers” and install metal detectors and station armed and plain clothes security guards in the schools. We have them everywhere else: airports, train stations, corporate headquarters. Planes have air marshals.  Security is a modern fact of life.

When I was staying in Colombia, the hotel I stayed in had armed security and security cameras. My drivers for the most part were either a retired detective or retired military officer. When we drove to a mall, our car was routinely sniffed by a bomb sniffing dog.  Far from being scared, I grew accustomed to these security measures and saw them as welcome additions. In fact, if there was a bombing in Bogota, the army would come and surround the hotel with a ring of protections, making it the safest place in the city. 

Sandman  

(Photo credit-top of page-pistol: Windew/Shutterstock)