Category Archives: Politics

Homeless: A Man Without a Country

Homeless

A few months ago, I concluded I am a man without a country.  “How can that be?”, you ask.  After all, I have a home, a rather spacious, nice home near the beach in a generally warm southern state right here in the good old USA. I pay income and property taxes on time to the federal government, the state government, the county and my municipality.  So far as I know I am not in arrears, so there will be no sheriff’s sale of my property to the highest bidder. I vote in the majority of elections. For timing reasons—mostly travel and not being in the right place—I have missed a few elections over the course of my life, but not many more. (Can’t see that elections matter all that much anymore.) With perhaps two exceptions, I have always voted for the Republican or the conservative candidate believing that, on the whole, Republicans were for “less government and lower taxes.” I have now permanently dismissed the “Vote Republican for less government and lower taxes” slogan as nothing more than a political bromide, a political platitude. I have more or less permanent indigestion from being enticed to swallow the policies that Republicans and their democratic allies have cajoled me to ingest.

In 2016, it took a change of heart for me to vote for Donald Trump for President, as I didn’t really care for him, and I liked his style of campaigning even less. Two considerations turned me toward him, enabling me to vote for him:  1. My best friend Hank proudly admitted that he was an ardent Trump supporter. I have known Hank almost 55 years. We’re cut from the same conservative cloth. Knowing that Hank liked Donald Trump encouraged me to reevaluate his candidacy. 2. I listened intently to Trump’s speech before the Union League Club in Philadelphia prior to the election, wherein he unequivocally stated that he was for strong borders and a strong military. “O.K.,” thought I, “If Trump is for strong borders and a strong military, then I will vote for him.”  After all, without borders, you haven’t a country and without a strong military, you haven’t one either. With both— even if you are on the other side of the political argument—we can argue all day long about policy differences. With neither, we will spend the majority of each day defending ourselves, our lives and our rights: what I would indelicately refer to as “struggling to prevent having your pocket picked and your ass shot off.” I know someone in the military who had that happen to him in battle. As he sadly told me, missing one cheek is extremely uncomfortable when one is sitting.  I would hate to lose both.

So, I am a man without a country, soon to be, anyway. Why? My vote doesn’t count and the institutions I support and believe in—the church, a government based on the Constitution of the United States of America and a free press— where open and honest debate are encouraged— are not being supported by those for whom I vote and those who claim to uphold the Constitution and champion the First Amendment. Neither of the latter two institutions is being supported by those who have benefited the most from them: millennials. Even my college, whose founding dates back to before the founding of our country, doesn’t encourage open and honest debate. Seems the snowflakes on campus are not limited to wintertime. Many, if not most all, of the professors are liberal, just like when I attended, and my college sports the typical array of liberal cause-embracing campus organizations and special interest groups. The college accepts federal money for the usual reasons, student loans, for instance, which gives the federal government enormous sway and control over many decisions. (In contrast, Hillsdale College does not take any federal money for any reason, and so the federal government does not affect policy and influence the curriculum in the way it does at my college.) Hello Hillsdale! Might you have space in one of your dorms? I am open to being a perpetual student. 

In my youth, I believed that my civic duty was to vote to elect candidates whom I believed would carry out my wishes. As a conservative, I always voted for less government and lower taxes at all three levels of government: local, state and federal. Voting since age 18—I am now 60—in 42 years, the closest I ever came to achieve that for which I voted was during the Reagan administration, January 20, 1981 to January 20, 1989.  What a blessed time! What an inspiration Reagan was! He had charm and a knack—honed over many years in films and hosting “General Electric Theater.” 

So, here’s my record: 42 years of voting and only 8 years of achievements. How does that happen in a center-right country? It happens because of character weakness of the men and women for whom I have voted. (Mostly men, come to think of it.) Every election my candidate would make promises, and after every election cycle he would break them, often with apologies for not having had enough like-minded men and woman on our side to make a difference. Balderdash! Almost every single time. Phooey! Additionally, it’s not possible for me or the average citizen to watch every single piece of legislation wrought by these men and women. Weasels will ultimately only serve themselves. Making at least some effort to keep them in check, taking my late father’s sage advice, I would call and write or email on issues of great concern to me, often hoping to influence votes, but as far as I could tell, that never happened, not a single time.  At some point it became clear to me that my candidates were always going to vote the way they wanted—serving their own narrow political interest—no matter what I had written or said on the phone. Clearly, powerful, influential forces worked behind the scenes, pressuring these men and women with much greater will than the drive to embrace the concerns of their constituents. Otherwise, we would have almost no peacetime federal debt (currently $22 trillion), lower income taxes, a solvent social security system, no AMT, no inheritance tax, and we surely wouldn’t have the sham of all shams, Obamacare.

Along came Donald Trump, not my favorite candidate.  (I was a Ben Carson man, then a Ted Cruz man.) Although I deplore some of his methods and tactics, Trump beat 16 candidates, if memory serves, most of whom were RINOs (“Republican’s In Name Only”). I remain mystified as to what the Republican National Committee was thinking when they allowed such a crowded field, unless the unspoken goal was to assist the GOP voter in diluting his vote and his losing faith in the electoral process in order to elect Hilary Clinton. To my mind, having more than 6 challengers in any political party is a waste of time and money. I haven’t funded the RNC in years. I will give them my money when you produce a candidate that truly lowers my taxes and gets rid of the AMT. 

Donald Trump beat every candidate to the cheers of millions who attended his rallies.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t one of them; I never caught the fever. Despite early misgivings, on Inauguration Day he even had me popping champagne and weeping for joy that the scourge of Barrack Obama’s presidency had finally ended. I loved President Trump’s inaugural address—taking to my feet and applauding several times throughout. “How could anyone who loves America not be ecstatic?”, so I thought.  As I replayed President Trump’s speech again recently, over and over I pondered, “Whatever happened to that promise?” I believed in him, but it looks like he too, is going to let me down. So sad! Beyond sad, it’s a tragedy for the nation, for America. For sure a reluctant convert, I felt he was the only political hope I had left.

Lately, I have been thinking, “When are we conservatives going to mobilize?” As I wrote earlier, I for one am choking to death on political bromides and platitudes. To hell with them and those who utter them!  We citizens write our representatives. We vote for those whom we think will fight our battles, ending up with the likes of Senators Thom Tillis and Susan Collins. We converse endlessly among ourselves—expressing vehement outrage, outright disgust and forlorn chagrin, but we do not cause change like the liberals. We don’t take peaceful protest to the streets. Despite the prevalence of Fox News and AM talk radio, we’re perpetually on the losing end of every legislative battle with such vacuous compromises that just put us further behind. We have a minority of the press outlets in our own country.  Forget about the new media. I used to have a voice on the internet, now I am shadow-banned by both Facebook and Twitter.  Where is the counterbalance for that? “Hello FCC?, I would like to report an oligopoly.”   Meanwhile, someone like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez grows in power by preaching lies to the exponentially-increasing uninformed.  Spouting pure sophistry—I hesitate to use that word— as her specious sanctimony insults the logic of the sophists. Joseph Goebbels….here we go again. This time the goal is to politically suffocate the conservative citizenry and euthanize our once magnificent republic.

I pose the question: “Do I really have to vote anymore?” If my elected representatives from the President on down betray my trust, that’s bad enough. Worse, the opposition party, the Democrats, openly advocate socialist policies, open borders and confer de facto citizenship to anyone, regardless of health or criminal history. Democrats have fought every single attempt by President Trump to secure our southern border, aided and abetted by feckless Republicans. Democrats openly advocate letting millions of people flood our country who—strangers to our culture and the rule of law—come without money, without jobs, without certificate of vaccination, and often with violent criminal records. Staunchly opposed to the Second Amendment for their own citizens (us), Democrats see no problem with letting illegal alien gun smugglers and terrorists flow across the border at will. Illegal aliens don’t pay taxes; they draw from the federal and state funds of those of us who do.  Without controlling this rampant illegal immigration, the Democrats will nullify my vote if they haven’t already. 

If I pay taxes to a corrupt system to support those who do not pay taxes, doesn’t that make me a bound serf?  After all, I am forced to pay by threat of legal confiscation of my property. In some states, illegals can vote without ID, and they can receive benefits. Arguably, by receiving benefits and not paying taxes, illegals enjoy more rights than I do. Only a fool would vote to elect leaders who prioritize the rights of non-citizens over his own rights as a citizen.  Yet, with very few exceptions, that is exactly what most Americans, including myself, end up doing.  Wittingly and unwittingly. 

By nefarious design of politicians whom I once trusted, almost voiceless and soon to be disenfranchised, truly, I am a man without a country.

Sandman

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Image: Billion Photos/Shutterstock

 

Photo credit: top of page: Everett Historical/Shutterstock

Wall? What Wall?

Wait, something doesn’t add up: If you’re President Donald J. Trump and you have a 52% approval rating from the American people, and you are negotiating with Congress, asking for $5.7 billion to fund a border wall along our southern border, and you only get less than a quarter of what you requested, $1.375 billion, even though you shut the Federal government down to make your point, you lost. In my rarely humble opinion. We, the American people, just like Charlie Brown have been rolled again! We’re being played….

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Photo credit: diy 13/Shutterstock

Lest I remind you ladies and gentlemen in Congress:

“The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”
— U.S. Constitution, Article VI, clause 3

Here it is, just in case time has played tricks on your memories:

“I, (name of Member), 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” (5 U.S.C. §3331).

If you won’t properly fund the wall to protect our southern border, it strikes me that you are in violation of your oath of office.

What obligation do I have as a citizen to follow your laws, when you will not abide by your oath of office in pursuit of your most fundamental obligation as my representative?  After all, you are in effect saying that my citizenship has no value….

 

Photo credit: top of page – Sherry V Smith/Shutterstock

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