Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Looking For A New Political Tribe

Swimming upstream is nothing new to me, I have never been in calm waters. Recently when I decided that I must cut bait with Donald Trump, I assumed that there would be plenty of tents available to me. I have always considered myself a conservative independent. What I'm finding out is that the country has become so polarized, that there only remains for or against Trump, nothing else.

Even such prestigious sites as AmericanThinker have a distinct slant, now pro Trump. While there are Independents Against Trump, there are no Independents for being independent. when I refer to independent, I don't mean that you won't vote for either party, but that your vote isn't based on party.

In addition to writing molovinsky on allentown since 2007, I have another blog titled Rainy Morning Chronicle. On that venue I place posts that are not Allentown centric, such as this one. If that's not enough of me, there are also two facebook pages...  Allentown Chronicles majors in Allentown history and minors in local politics. The facebook page Rainy Morning Chronicle mirrors the blog of the same name. If there are any other people out there who are not polarized,  perhaps you can direct me to your tent?

Monday, October 14, 2019

Reactions To My Trump Divorce

The push back against my divorce from Donald Trump was adamant. To a Republican friend, it was only a matter of time before I would be advocating  redistribution of wealth. When I republished the post on a conservative social media track, the nicest comment was calling me a traitor.

Because the straw that broke my support was the green light given Erdogan, I felt compelled to find informed analysis contrary to mine.  I say informed, because many Trump supporters don't seem heavy on that trait.  I did find some analysts who felt the Turks were coming anyway, and Trump either had to reposition our forces, or fight another ally, Turkey...  They discounted being able to dissuade Erdogan from crossing the border.  However, that viewpoint makes one doubt that Trump can now get Erdogan to slow down his attack,  despite threats of economic sanctions.

Getting back to this question of how informed Trump supporters actually are, I watched a segment of Trump's rally on Friday night in Minneapolis.  Many of those present were wearing red shirts and being delighted by Trump saying that "Biden kissed Obama's ass."  While some newscasters complained about how unpresidential that comment was,  all I could think of was the Jerry Springer show.

While it is apparent that those willing to dress in a red tee-shirt won't change their support of Trump over the plight of the Kurds,  how many are like me remains to be seen. .  My support for Trump didn't flip just because of the Kurds, but rather a build up of winces...you can only wince so many times.

Friday, October 11, 2019

My Experiment With Trump Is Over

When Trump was elected in 2016, as a conservative I approached his term with guarded optimism.  After all, maybe an outsider wouldn't be a bad thing, especially aided by some people whom I respected.   Over the next two years, as these advisors peeled off,  I said well,  some of them are still on board, until they were all gone.  I did cringe when Trump berated the departed, who all knew more than he would, ever.

Allowing Turkey to enter Syria, at the peril of the Kurds, is the deal breaker for me. While diehard justifiers might cite ending endless foreign missions,  it was neither the time or the place for that.  We are clearly serving Turkey's interests, not our own.  Trump's ramble about the Kurds not being our allies in WW2 pretty much sums up his lack of any historical perspective.

Assuming Trump remains the Republican nominee in 2020, I may be forced to vote for the Democrat, whoever that may be.  This experiment in outsider governance is over for me.  I suspect that I may not be alone about this being a deal breaker.  Many of his supporters consider themselves patriots,  and the notion of abandoning an ally in the field is completely contrary to their values.  One thing is certain,  there are no new supporters coming forward to replace them.  Trump may soon feel like the Kurdish fighters he abandoned.

photo of betrayed Kurdish fighters

Friday, September 13, 2019

I Watched The Debate

For most of my life I have been registered as an independent. Recently, Rick Santorum stated that he agrees with 90% of what Trump does, and 20% of what he says. I would change those figures to about 50% and 5%. While I think that Bill Weld has traits to support, his chances of getting on the Republican ticket aren't much better than mine.

With the above options in mind, last night I stayed up to watch the Democratic Debate. I was hoping to maybe find someone to reluctantly support.  Soon I fantasized about trap doors, so that I could pull a lever and drop some of the contestants off the stage. Then I started thinking about a dart gun, so I could tranquilize Bernie, and energize some of the others.

Toward the end of the long evening, I put on my record player and fell asleep.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Opioid Lottery Ticket For Cities

The city of Allentown, Pennsylvania announced that it is suing big pharma for the opioid crisis. Allentown joins about 200 other cities in purchasing this lottery ticket. I have mixed feelings about the current suits against pharma regarding opioids. Although I realize that many abusers have overdosed, at what point do these suits discourage drugs companies from new research? The drugs were developed for people needing relief from severe pain. While some doctors may make the drugs too available for patients, the leap to Allentown suing is opportunistic. While the drug companies appear to be a soft target for the current addiction of choice, should distillers be held responsible for the alcoholics? Perhaps Afghanistan could pay remuneration for the heroin problem?

However, these suits are a popular notion with the left, making the man pay, and retribution against capitalist greed.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

A Republican Primary

Readers of this blog, on the web version, know that I have a campaign logo for Bill Weld on the sidebar. However, they may not know who Bill Weld is. Weld is challenging Donald Trump, and hopes to be on the Republican primary ballot. I believe that his effort was greatly enhanced this past weekend when Joe Walsh also announced his candidacy.

Although I doubt that Trump would participate, perhaps a network will sponsor a debate between Weld and Walsh. A debate might give the notion of a Republican coup some traction. Although the two men are quite different, both bring experience and reason to the table. Both men articulate how Republicans are dissatisfied with Trump's demeanor, but the question of course would be if there is enough political courage to dump an incumbent.

Hopefully, only one of the challengers will end up on the primary ballot, because two them on the ballot would split the Republican dissatisfaction to Trump's advantage.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Roosevelt Converts Jews

When Republicans ask me about Jewish voting trends, I usually reply that the Jews don't know that Roosevelt died, and that he didn't particularly like them anyway. They have been genetically programmed for the Democratic Party, since their great-great grandmothers thought Roosevelt was helping them. Jewish support for Obama slipped from 78% in 2008, to 70% on Tuesday. Although that is a significant move of the needle, considering how important Israel is to the Jewish psyche, and how little affinity Obama has for that nation, genetics still prevailed.

reprinted from November of 2012

UPDATE AUGUST 22, 2019:  Although over the years I have written many posts about Jewish voting and Israel,  between Netanyahu, Omar, Tlaib and Trump, the topic is front and center.  In the last couple of days we read about Trump and the trope.  Years ago, Art Linkletter had a program called Kids Say The Darndest Things.   Kids, not unlike Trump, don't have the filters that society places on us over the years.

While in the movies, John Wayne and James Stewart were idolized for plain talking, that trait is certainly not expected or appreciated in politics.   Although not expected, I guess the question for 2020 will be how many people appreciate it?

Saturday, August 17, 2019

American Jewish Opposition

Jewish opponents of Trump were handed a paradoxical gift last week when Netanyahu switched course on Omar and Tlaib.  First, let's establish that most Jews are Democrats, and that Democrats dislike Trump, like no other president in memory.  Many of these Jewish Democrats only tolerated Netanyahu because of their affinity for Israel.  They would prefer a more liberal leader in Israel, even if Israel is in a constant state of seige.  The apparent rapport between the despised, and the barely tolerated, further annoyed them.

When Trump tweeted that Omar and Tliab hate Israel, and that no goodwill visit would ever change their attitudes,  nobody, including the most pollyanna,  could dispute that assessment.  On social media, one non-Jewish liberal after another, started commenting how they always had supported Israel, but that this decision changed their mind. One second later, they were already complaining that Israel should be more respectful to our congress, because of all the foreign aid that they receive.  Seems like it didn't take much to erode their support.

Some Jewish periodicals, mostly liberal by definition,  exclaimed Netanyahu's strength as overrated, bending under Trump's thumb.

Israel survives in a hostile neighborhood by realizing that the few offers of truce that come their way, always serve the purpose of their enemies. Who would have thought that in the 21st century, that they would also have to contend with American Jewish opposition.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Democratic Boxing Tournament

Yesterday,  molovinsky on allentown featured one of my posts from the Joe Louis boxing era. During that period people would sit around the radio and listen to the event. I do not get CNN on my limited television package, so I ended up listening to some of it on my computer.

I mostly heard people interrupting each other, with Elizabeth Warren being the main interrupter. I did hear Bernie Sanders say that He wrote the damn bill. This morning I read that it was the knockout line of the debate. Before I fell asleep, I also heard him say that under his plan I could get a hearing aid with my medicare. I could use that.

I understand that the rest of the tournament is tonight. Because I keep baker's hours, I couldn't stay up that late even if my TV received CNN. But, I figure if Joe Biden can stay up and stand on the stage, I should be able to stay awake long enough to listen to some of it.  Anyway, who knows what I'll get promised tonight?

Monday, May 6, 2019

Free Speech In Our Political Climate

I'm a sucker for historical markers. Whenever I see one, I stop and read it. The marker shown above is on a brownstone on E. 13th Street, in NYC.  I wasn't familiar with Emma Goldman.  For her free speech she was arrested several times, imprisoned, and eventually deported back to Russia, from where she emigrated as a young woman.

A Democrat candidate for Northampton District Attorney lost supporters and her campaign manager because in 2016 there was a Donald Trump sign on her side door.

The Trump Derangement Syndrome is so strong that anything less than totally hating him is considered consorting with the enemy.  When the result of a differing political opinion has such a consequence, is freedom of speech impeded? I believe that indeed it may be.

A facebook friend posted that Trump and his corrupt family have to be surgically removed from our Government. I no longer believe we can wait until 2020. Writing that about another president, in another time, might have been considered seditious.

We have entered a period where any present or even past consideration of Trump is the sole litmus test for a candidate.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Wrestling With Trump

The headline of a letter to the editor caught my attention, Trump’s policies more important than his faults. Although the particular letter didn't elaborate much on anything, that headline captures my dilemma. I agree with Trump on numerous polices, he is just so very inappropriate with his messaging. To many people who don't disagree with the policies, the messaging is so offensive, they can give no credit to policy. To them he is a constant irritant, who must go.

I recognized and wrote about the Trump Derangement Syndrome before the term was coined. Trump is the first thing they lament upon wakening, and the last thing they despise before sleeping. I have lost numerous readers by giving him any credit for anything.

This blog is produced in both web and mobile versions. Those who read the web version can see the Bill Weld For President logo on the sidebar. Nobody, including myself, gives Weld much chance in the Republican primary. To me he symbolizes the concept of keeping the current policies, but with a different messenger.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Israel In Today's American Politics

These are trying times for American support of Israel.  As Democrats and the media obsess against Trump,  that vilification is being smeared on Netanyahu, and Israel itself. The media is delighted by corruption charges against Netanyahu, and paints him and Trump as brothers from the same mother.  Between Netanyahu being described as Trump's friend,  and new critics of Israel in Congress,  American support is being tested.

This new packaging of Israel by the left creates a dilemma for American Jews, who overwhelmingly vote Democratic.  I'm sure that support of Israel will remain as part of the party's platform,  but historical canards about Jews and Israel will only increase in the new climate.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

No Valentines At Parkland High In Florida

Today is the one year anniversary of the mass shooting at the High School in Parkland, Florida. Their congressman, Ted Deutch, who is a Bethlehem, Pa. native, is hoping that the proposal for universal background checks can pass a house vote. A proposed counter amendment, that domestic violence victims can buy a gun with no background check, shows how irrational the gun debate has become. 

Being a right leaning independent, my blog audience tends conservative. Yesterday's post on molovinsky on allentown, supporting Mark Kelly for senate, illustrated the divide on this issue. Electronic background checks only take a few minutes to complete, when purchasing a gun. Although true that this measure will not prevent shootings in itself, there is no reason not to vet everyone before they purchase a lethal weapon.

As an avid supporter of the 2nd amendment, I do not buy the NRA's slippery slope argument. I believe that I can best protect my gun rights by conceding that some regulations can be rational, such as mandatory background checks.

Giffords and Kelly on Capital Hill

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Pelosi's Choir

Often  in the course of blogging I offend a few people, sometimes many more.  When I saw all the congresswomen dressed in white, although I know that it was supposed to represent homage to the suffrage movement,  I thought that it would be more liberated not to be in any costume.  Of course the women also didn't show much individuality by demeanor, either being stern faced or all clapping at the same time....They looked like a choir, being led by Nancy Pelosi.

The congresswomen with political ambition beyond the choir, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand, dressed themselves, but not in white.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Morning Call Joins News Ban

Last night on the Call website, in the top roll of articles was a commentary piece from the Washington Post.  The column, written by Erik Wemple,  justifies CNN not covering the recent press briefing by Sarah Sanders,  because of White House lies. He also cites frequent distortions and falsehoods.  If these are not justifications enough, he adds their bogus pronouncements and concludes that CNN's audience appreciates discretion in what news is presented.

Now, I understand that there is a history of tension between CNN and the Trump administration. However, with CNN's dominant position in media,  democracy would be better served by allowing the public to hear the briefings.  Instead, we have a major cable and internet provider deciding what is news worthy for us, with a major paper justifying the censorship. Then, that attitude is passed on to  minor markets,  like Allentown.

If Trump felt as if he was mistreated by the press in 2016,  he hasn't seen anything yet,  if he runs again in 2020.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Political Prisoners In America

Diviners of this blog know that I'm conservative, but not partisan.  I recently received a call complaining that my recent posts were too nostalgia driven,  with not enough local politics.  Although, I'm planning to address that complaint in the near future,  today's post takes us national.

As one who does not suffer from Trump Derangement Syndrome,  I can still appreciate the theatrics of Trump ending the shutdown, juxtapositioned with the arrest of Roger Stone.  Add Stone doing the Nixon salute,  and the weekend was setup for liberal madness.  I almost expected to see dancing in the streets,  Rio style.  When Stone came out of his arraignment in Fort Lauderdale, and stated that his arrest was political,  while the liberals in the street were shouting lock him up, he seemed to have a point. When the FBI raided his house at 4:30AM, SWAT style, and CNN was there, Stone seemed to have a point.

As I write this early Saturday morning,  I'm sure that that the writers at Saturday Night Live are up and at it also, unless they too were tipped off... then they probably started the rehearsals earlier this week.

Monday, December 24, 2018

The Resignation Of James Mattis

Jim Mattis was a hybrid general...part Mad Dog, part intellectual. Between his military retirement  and his appointment as Defense Secretary,  he was the Annenberg Fellow at the Sanford's Hoover think tank. He was equally at home reading Paul Linebarger's classic 1948 Psychological Warfare, or sleeping in a foxhole in Afghanistan.  As Commander of the Joint Forces, and then NATO,  his commitment to allies was bedrock.  When Donald Trump announced our withdrawal from Syria,  Mattis could no longer in good conscience serve as our 26th Secretary of Defense.

That decision by Trump also cost us the service of Brett McGurk, who was the leading envoy in the war against ISIS.  It is my hope that John Bolton remains as National Security Advisor, and that Mike Pompeo stays on as Secretary of State.  The country needs Trump receiving good advice, even if he fails to listen.

Mattis arriving in Afghanistan in 2001 to take command

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Leaving Syria

The Kurds are a stateless ethnic minority that live in parts of Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey. They had provided the only security afforded to Christians and other minorities in Iraq.  They have been on the front line fighting against our common enemies in both Iraq and Syria. 

Kurdish forces in Syria are considered a nationalistic threat by Turkey, which has announced intentions to attack them. Donald Trump's announcement to withdraw ground forces from Syria seems to clear the way for such actions.

The Kurds once again will be left to their own devices for survival. If we have returned any favor for their help against Isis, it is not apparent.

Likewise, Israel will be defending against Iran in Syria by itself. With John Bolton being part of the administration, I had hopes for more engaged resolve.

pictured above Kurdish female fighters

Sunday, November 25, 2018

The Devil Of Ocean Paradise

The resort town's boardwalk is partially open during the cold winter months for the hardy of spirit.  The stores that remain open were purchased mostly by middle eastern immigrants, who overpaid for their piece of the American dream in the dying resort.  Their mortgage demands every nickel they can muster,  and their large families are eager to practice their broken English on the few customers willing to brave the boardwalk's cold winter wind.

All their stores sell the same things...  brightly colored candy, souvenirs and small toys designed to make children nag and beg.  Along with the stores there is a strip of game stands, where during the warm summer breezes,  fathers and boyfriends hope to win a stuffed animal.  During the winter, the steel garage doors are closed on all these stands, except for one.  The immigrants with their broken English cannot lure in players, but the Devil can.

Oversized brightly colored stuffed animals adorn the stand. Music from the 70's pulses from one loud speaker,  while the Devil commands the occasional passing man to "show her that you care by winning a bear."  Please don't misunderstand me, he is not Satan himself, but a minor devil.  He can give you a cold, or ruin a first date,  but he has no power over life and death.  Even those he afflicts can purchase redemption. Inside the stores there are chocolate wafers for sale,  covered with white candy sprinkles.  For a mere $26 a pound, the bad omen can be eaten away.

This minor devil came from Coney Island a decade ago.  Brooklyn's Brighton Beach area started gentrifying in the late 90's, and the dress up spread to adjoining Coney.  Doc, the minor devil, thrived on hearty spirits, but not heady minds.  His move to Ocean Paradise was a win-win.  While the owning immigrant gets to keep almost all the money the stand takes in,  Doc gets to dispense a headache or two each weekend.  He has a room at a nearby old motel owned by the same family, and enjoys the middle eastern food that he has eaten since time immemorial.

If you walk on the boardwalk during the winter, you better dress warm, and not be tempted to show her that you care.

photo depiction of a fictional place and character

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Amazon Burps America

For two years Amazon burped over 235 mayors across American to spit up more generous incentives than their competition, in order to win the vaulted second headquarters... Newark offered $7Billion.  While the mayors burped their hearts out for Mr. Bezos, in the end he divided the prize in two, but keep the whole incentives. While the winners, NYC and Arlington, will give $billions in credits and grants,  there are no guarantees, but one, from Amazon.

The one thing Amazon guarantees is the further demise of retail, and the tax base in our cities across America.

One of the factors was supposed to be cost of living for the employees. In NYC, a one bedroom apartment hovers at about $3,000, and rising, with both Amazon and Google on the horizon.

Arlington is across the Potomac from Washington, D.C.  I didn't know what to expect from the Washington Post about the decision, Amazon owner Jeff Bezos also owns the paper.  Apparently, they decided the decision gave the Post an opportunity to appear fair and balanced,  mentioning some negatives in Amazon's contest.

The Morning Call has filed a right to know in regard to the incentives Pennsylvania offered.  The state is resisting,  claiming the offer is proprietary, because of offers to future employers.  I think the taxpayers should know how good our baby politicians can burp.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Hatred Of Trump Bankrupts News

The hatred of Trump has changed the nature of journalism in the United States.  While several years ago certain select media were known for their bias,  now it's become difficult to find an impartial source.  Both CNN and The Washington Post have foregone any pretense of objectivity.  My use of the word bankrupt in the headline refers only to journalistic integrity,  the slanted news may well be very profitable.

While CNN and The Washington Post presented Trump as a laughing stock at the UN,  The Wall Street Journal presented his speech without such editorial comment.  Although he may be both inarticulate and undiplomatic,  he is correct that we have been bankrolling those who oppose our own interests.

Last night 2, 499 liberals and one conservative attended the Joan Baez concert in Philadelphia.  After the show, Ms. Baez took a knee and told the audience that they must resist.  Although her sincerity is beyond doubt, I wondered what improving matrix she actually opposes....

Friday, June 29, 2018

The Lehigh Valley Railroad Piers

In this era of class warfare, while we worry that the rich are only paying 35% income tax, instead of 39%, let us be grateful that once upon a time we had the Robber Barons. In this era when we have to pay their mortgage for developers to build on Hamilton Street, let us be grateful that men built railroads with private money. Let us be grateful that incredible feats of private enterprise built piers, bridges and trestles. Trains allowed us to move vast amounts of raw and finished materials across America. This network allowed us to protect ourselves during two World Wars, and provided the prosperity upon which we now rest.

The Lehigh Valley Railroad tracks extended from their piers in New Jersey to the shores of Lake Erie. The Mile Long Pier in Jersey City was the scene of German sabotage in 1916. A train full of munitions, awaiting shipment to Europe, was blown up on July 30th of that year. In 1914, the railroad built the longest ore pier in the world, in Bayonne. The ore would come from Chile, through the new Panama Canal, for shipment to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Prince William's Great Grandmother

Long before Prince William walked down the aisle in Westminister Abbey, his great grandmother, Princess Alice (Princess Andrew of Greece), walked there during the wedding of her son Phillip, to Princess Elizabeth. Princess(Alice) Andrew, later at the Coronation of Elizabeth, wore the habit of a nun. An extraordinary woman, she had founded a nurses order composed of nuns in Greece. She modeled the order after one started by her aunt and mentor in Russia, whom she had visited many years earlier. Born Princess Alice of Battenberg, she married Prince Andrew of Greece in 1903, assuming her new title.
During the Second World War, she hid a Jewish widow and her children in Athens, saving their lives. In accordance to her wish, she is buried in Jerusalem, next to her cherished aunt Duchess Fyodorovna, in the Russian Orthodox Church of Maria Magdalene.

When Prince Charles attended Simon Peres' funeral in Jerusalem in 2016, he visited the church and his grandmother's tomb. This coming week his son, Prince William, will visit the tomb.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Liberals Who Love Immigrants

Liberals helping immigrants are the nicest liberals in the world.  What can actually be done with $4,000 pouring in each minute for the cause?  Because the immigrants are still illegal, and must be detained or deported under the law, perhaps the fund can be used to buy them condominiums or time shares in Acapulco?  Here is the USA, it reminds me of Habitat For Humanity.

Although the Habitat homes are supposed to be built with help from the lucky recipients, they never really put in any sweat equity. In reality, one organized church group after another lines up to work and feel good about themselves. What could be less American than an instant home that you didn't work, earn and save for?  The homes are usually occupied by recent arrivals to an area, with no local roots or even history of working.

To build a future slum, infuse it with guilt and a few liberal advocates, and then let it simmer for a few years.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

World News And Trump

While the media in the United States generally is beyond skeptical and critical of Trump's summit meeting with North Korea, the rest of world recognizes the meeting as historic.  Most articles outside of the USA start out with... U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un pledge to work toward complete denuclearization of Korean Peninsula.  This is not to say that they're reporting this as a done deal, but rather giving the intentions of Trump and Kim Jong-un some benefit of the doubt.

While the USA media dwells on Kim's human right abuses, we as a country have hopefully moved on from imposing regime changes.  To the rest of the world, where news doesn't have a marketing segment objective,  the historic meeting only increases optimism that a threatening rogue state may actually want to enter a new era.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

No Credit Ever For Trump

In the media, especially dominant CNN,  Donald Trump gets no points for his historic breakthrough with North Korea...  Instead he is accused of abetting our enemies, and abandoning our allies.  Never mind that the North Korea breakthrough involved significantly reducing the threat of nuclear war, while the discord in Canada deals with the price of diary products.  Never mind that both actions were calculated to put United States first.

Not giving Trump any credit is even fashionable in the Republican Party. The party hierarchy has taken a wait and see attitude.  Needless to say, the Democrats are outright hostile... "President Trump has granted a brutal and repressive dictatorship the international legitimacy it has long craved," proclaimed Chuck Schumer.

Trump will remain politically a populist outsider. He can govern without being embraced by his Party. How the Party will fare remains to be seen.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Trump Derangement Syndrome

Well over a year ago I wrote about a new Trump induced mental illness, which the psychological world would have to identify and name...They have, and they're calling it Trump Derangement Syndrome.  The media is using the term to describe Robert De Niro's F-bomb rant about Trump at the Tony Awards.  Of course ranting about Trump at award shows by the current and former Hollywood pretty boys and girls has become the norm.   I suppose Trump and the Me-Too Movement give the superficial Dress Up Nights some social meaning.

What I find interesting about this predictable behavior at these shows is an unintended result. While they are preaching to their choir,  they are also creating a backlash of support for Trump.  They are framing Trump as an underdog,  harassed by the Elites.  What is De Niro going to do at the next show,  drop his pants and moon Trump?

Thursday, June 7, 2018

New York City Police Revolvers

Starting in September,  no NYPD officer will still carry a classic American revolver. The change in policy will not be noticed by the public, because there were only about 150 officers still using a wheelguns, out of 34,000. In 1994, the department officially switched over to semi-automatic pistols, but officers at the time could still opt to remain with their Smith*, Ruger, or Colt. That means that any officer still carrying a revolver has been walking the beat for over 24 years.

It also means that there will no longer be an American gun manufacturer filling the holsters of NYPD.... the new weapon choice is either Glock or Sig Sauer.

*most duty revolvers were Smith&Wesson, model 10 or 64.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Irony In Pennsylvania

The Overseas Chinook was built in the Philadelphia shipyard by the Aker Company in 2010. The oil tanker shuttles between the Sabine Pass Refinery in Louisiana, and Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale.   Credit former mayor/governor Rendall for advocating to continue shipbuilding at the former Navy facility.  It was a joint effort between the federal government (Jones Act), Philadelphia and Pennsylvania.  The shipyard provides high quality jobs, building real things which continue to serve our economy.  Pennsylvania is now trying to induce Amazon to locate their proposed east coast headquarters in Philadelphia.  Coincidentally,  the Amazon campus would be on the business park section of the navy yard.

Amazon has issued requests for proposals to American cities, claiming that the new headquarters might eventually employ up to 50,000 people.  Amazon sells things mostly made in China to American consumers over the web.  In the process they are essentially putting the brick and mortar retail sector out of business. The incentives offered to Amazon from Philadelphia alone are valued at over a $billion dollars.  While Philadelphia would benefit from Amazon,  I find it ironic that this virtual monopoly can demand subsidies, while decimating our shopping malls.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Steve Bannon Mainstream

Fareed Zakaria's interview with Steve Bannon on CNN gave middle America a unique glimpse into the strategist who helped elect Donald Trump.  Bannon's background in finance and political publishing had helped him flesh out the populist movement in America.   He totally dismisses the personal insults of himself by Trump, and instead praises Trump for starting to renegotiate our place in the world economy. On the other hand, he didn't hesitate to disagree with his former boss about Jeff Sessions, who he thinks is doing an excellent job.

Bannon sees Trump as a populist managing to work within the Republican establishment.  The Bannon/Trump plan is to curtail immigration, both illegal and legal, which they regard as steady source of unfair competition to American workers. Likewise, tariffs must be put in place to stimulate American manufacturing. They credit the plan for the historically current low employment rates for black workers.

Bannon even sees the current polarization of the country as a positive, reflecting the deconstruction of the previous status quo. He believes that the November midterms will indeed be a referendum about Donald Trump.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Roseanne Barr And Starbucks

Tuesday was quite a day for the self-righteous.  Roseanne Barr lost her show despite her apology for a crass tweet, and Starbucks trained their baristas not to engage in unconscious bias, however that can be done?  I've previously mocked Starbucks for their absurd overreaction to a unfortunate incident.  Their new policy of allowing table space and bathrooms for non-customers cannot have good results.  My hardcore subscribers know that I'm not much for political correctness, and those who want to make being a victim a career.

The Me-Too Movement has become predatory itself....It even ate Al Franken.

I certainly understand that racism is real, and  reducing prejudice is a most desirable goal.  However, I don't think that smelting down a statue of General Lee that stood in a New Orleans park for 100 years will accomplish the task.  The statue is now gone, and so is the educational opportunity associated with it.

We have to learn the difference between teachable moments and burning people at the stake, or worse, commercializing the PC response.  The Starbucks school yesterday was such a public relations response, nothing more. Unfortunately for Barr,  the anti-Trump entertainment industry relishes her execution. If ABC hadn't fired her,  I suspect that in some future show Barr would have turned the incident into a teachable moment.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Overpreaching At A Royal Wedding

Bishop Michael Curry got carried away with his 15 minutes of frame, by about 5 minutes.  His sermon concept was appropriate,  but the delivery was way too long. There were too many examples of each point that he wanted to make.

Most reviewers, especially the British, are too polite and politically correct to bluntly say that he was supposed to complement the service, but not dominate it.  One review said that he stole the show.  The problem is that it wasn't his show to steal,  it was a royal wedding.  Guests, both invited and vicarious virtual,  came to witness a wedding, not a sermon.

I fully appreciate that Meghan and Harry wanted to blend their cultures at the ceremony.  Bishop Curry was a good choice to speak,  but fewer words would have been better received.

Never the less, I wish to express my gratitude to Harry and Meghan for their kind invitation.

Published from The Savoy Hotel, London, England

Friday, April 20, 2018

Spongebaths For The Homeless At Starbucks

Starbucks, in their yearning to be politically correct,  has probably irrevocably degraded their brand, at least in the urban markets.   The policy of restricting restroom use to paying customers is standard procedure in large urban areas.  A white middle class woman told me that she was denied use of the restroom for not being a paying patron at the same Philadelphia Starbucks at the center of the controversy.

Apparently, it is a Starbucks CEO tradition to let PC race ahead of common sense.  Last year they promised to hire 8,000 immigrants.   While nobody is waiting for the immigrants before they buy their latte,  the homeless will start availing themselves of the restrooms.  While my liberal readers, all six of them, will welcom the better restroom facilities for the homeless,  their tune may change next time they use the bathroom in a Philadelphia Starbucks.

If Starbucks' corporate reaction to the incident wasn't enough,  now the Philadelphia Police Commissioner is walking back his previous support of the arresting officers.  He has apologized to the two men arrested, who refused to leave as instructed by the responding officers.  While only reinforcing victim mentality,  I don't see anything productive in these reactions.

photocredit: Bryant/Philadelphia Inquirer

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Everything Through Trump Prism

There was quite a bit of buzz about the Rosanne show redo. While it did very well in the number of viewers,  facebook and other social media were awash with snarks, almost all based on the snarker's view of Trump. Because Roseanne portrayed a supporter, or at least a voter for Trump, Trump's opponents took to spraying their venom on Roseanne. She's a pig, as crude as ever, was the overall tone of their rants.

I never imagined that Trump would polarize the country in the way that he has.  The liberal media has taken to considering Saturday Night Live bashes as news.  Roseanne Barr has always been well tuned to popular sentiment,  and I suspect is well poised to produce another classic series. ADDENDUM: An opinion piece on CNN concedes that the show is good, credits the known liberals involved, such as Sara Gilbert, but discredits Roseanne. That so typifies the distorted prism through which MSM has chosen to operate.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Right Time For John Bolton

I fully understand that many liberals have the notion that John Bolton is a warmonger....That is simply misinformation. As I was impressed with Trump's selection of Rex Tillerson in year one,  I consider Bolton another quality appointment.  I believe that in our extreme polarized political climate, any appointment made would be criticized.  However, considering Iran's aggression across the middle east,  Bolton has the necessary background to inspire caution in our adversaries.

Bolton, in addition to being a former United Nations Ambassador, was involved in national security positions with both Bush Administrations. He may well be the most informed candidate on national security issues that Trump could have chosen.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Trump Watchman For Jerusalem

Isaiah 62:6-7
Upon your walls, O Jerusalem, I have set watchmen; all the day and all the night they shall never be silent. You who put the LORD in remembrance, take no rest,  and give him no rest until he establishes Jerusalem and makes it a praise in the earth.
There is no shortage to the international sentiment always aligned against Israel. Yesterday we were told that Trump's intention to move our embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem could disrupt the peace process, and incite a violent pushback from the Arab world. As for the peace process, understand that Hamas controlled Gaza still calls for Israel's destruction. Understand that the Palestinian Authority on the West Bank financially rewards the families of their martyrs, when they kill Israelis. Violence in, and from the Arab world is a fact of everyday life, not tied to the peace process or our embassy's location.

Trump said in his statement on Jerusalem that he was acknowledging a reality. Another reality is that for 70 years Israel has been only tolerated, but never really accepted on the world stage. It survives in this harsh climate only because of courage.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Trump And The Jews

The Jewish reaction to Trump's statements about Charlottesville can be viewed within the larger political arena;  The overwhelming majority of Jews are Democrats, and voted for Hillary Clinton.  They join those who haven't gotten over the election last November, and bash Trump as the numerous opportunities arise.  That said, people marching with torches shouting Jews Will Not Replace Us leaves quite a jarring impression.

As a political conservative of the Jewish faith, I have no delusions about anti-semitism. I think that it is everywhere, just under the surface. I think that many non-Jews share the misconception that there is some secretive Jewish network,  helping Jews succeed at the expense of everyone else.  If such a network exists,  they must have misplaced my address.  These misconceptions have existed for almost two thousand years,  and I choose not to blame Trump for them.

Trump's presidency has been a series of poorly worded sound bites.  His background in commercial real estate development didn't require political correctness.  He was suggesting that everybody who was protesting against removing a statue of Robert E. Lee wasn't evil,  and that not everyone favoring its removal was pure in their intent.  He was not defending Neo-Nazis, or their  hatred of Jews and blacks. In our current era,  nothing elicits more reaction than an accusation of racism.  Even Mitt Romney joined the drum-beaters this weekend.  I didn't realize that he was interested in 2020.

 Most of those criticizing Trump for not providing moral clarity last week would not be satisfied regardless of what he had said, or didn't say.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

We Are Still In

Lafayette College has joined and signed the We Are Still In agreement,  a reaction campaign against Trump not signing the Paris Accord.  The college's president said climate is not a partisan issue.  Bi-partisan and college hardly go together,  they're much more comfortable with bi-sexuals than Republicans. : )  Anywho, although it's wonderful for the college president to be pro-active about climate change,  I wonder how she is preparing the students for jobs in the real world.  Trump didn't sign because he doesn't believe in climate change, but because he's afraid that the accord may make United States less competitive in world markets.  By most standards we are already more advanced in pollution measures than most countries.

Institutional politics are the current public relations rage.  Amazon, which opened in the Lehigh Valley with horrendous working conditions in its warehouse, signed on to the agreement. We are a Sanctuary City and Starbucks pledged to hire immigrants. Years ago a coffee house charged a buck for a cup, and people talked politics. Now they charge $4.19,  and pour their politics down your throat.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Anything Anti-Trump Is Tolerated

I have a liberal acquaintance who has no toleration for any humor that is at the expense of homosexuals. He is even offended when you're not up to date on current designations of the various gay groups and new subgroups.  However, he wasn't offended by Stephen Colbert's homophobic remark about Trump and Putin.  Of course, worst than these late night jokes, is that the Democrats are reduced to these previous second string comedians being their de-facto party leaders.  In some cases they actually believed their act and ran for office, enter Al Franken.  I see commercials for Samantha Bee, whoever the hell she is.  In every one she is bashing Trump.  What would all these comedians do had Hillary won?

Meanwhile, in the real world, Trump has been assembling a first rate team, like Rex Tillerson and Jim Mattis.  The actions taken, such as the strike on the airbase in Syria,  have been measured.  Yesterday's decision to arm the Kurds again shows realistic analysis and resolve.  However,  regardless of accomplishment or facts,  the liberals will wait up for the late night bashing.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

A Farewell To Hope With No Change

In my lifetime I listened to a lot of presidents speak.  The first one I remember is Dwight Eisenhower.  Although he wasn't much of a speaker,  certainly John Kennedy could turn a word. However,  I have never heard anyone better than Barack Obama.  Obama is so eloquent he need not restrain himself with the truth or facts.

The Democratic choir in Chicago Tuesday night heard Obama concede that  although the factory jobs are gone, we still need more unionization.  In the same paragraph, he also advocated for a larger safety net.  Old mantras die hard.

One of the most glaring reality checks about the speech is that Chicago is the murder capital of the world, with over 750 fatal shootings in 2016.  Hope alone can't get you safely down the street.

As Obama's golden words soared away from practicality, he cited his effort to close Guantanamo Bay, and avail our terrorist enemies the benefit of our justice system in New York City.

The disconnect between empty words, no matter how well spoken, and current events, is why Trump is being sworn in next week.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Jews In Jerusalem

Except when barred by one conqueror or another, Jews had lived in Jerusalem since King David. Prior to Jordanian rule in 1948, there was a Jewish majority for 150 years. In 1864, eight thousand of the fifteen thousand population was Jewish. By 1914, two thirds of the sixty five thousand residents were Jewish. In 1948 the United Nations Partition Plan divided the British Mandate of Palestine into two states, one Jewish and one Arab. Jerusalem was to be initially an international city, with access guaranteed for all. This plan was rejected by the surrounding Arab nations, which attacked Israel in concert immediately upon the UN vote. When the truce was declared, Israel had survived, but East Jerusalem(walled Old City) was in procession of TransJordan. The Jordanians subsequently destroyed over 50 synagogues in the Jewish Quarter, which dated back to the 1400's. For hundreds of years both Christians and Jews were prohibited from building higher than Muslim structures. The few synagogues which survived were the ones built mostly below street level. The oldest surviving synagogue, The Jerusalem Synagogue, was built by the Karaite Jews in around 900. Shown above is the Ben Kakai, a Sephardic Synagogue built in the 16th Century.

Perhaps the most famous synagogue destroyed by the Jordanians was the Ashkenazi Hurva Synagogue built in 1720, it's dome visible in the top center of this photograph from the 1920's. It's replacement was completed in 2010.

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Self-Marginalization of Dr. Stein

When Jill Stein campaigned for President she defended herself against taking votes away from Hillary.  She claimed that Hillary was just the status quo, and not really progressive.  The Green Party is now saying that they're not doing the recount for the benefit of any one candidate, but for democracy. Well, we know that they're not doing it for Jill, because she only got about 1% of the vote.  She is now getting more contributions for the recount than her campaign generated.  She has become a willing tool for those despondent over Hillary's loss.  Clinton's campaign staff will be on the ground monitoring the recount.

Trump's victory was pure democracy.  He had no get out the vote organization,  no ground game.  If history will show any shenanigans in the 2016 election, it will be in this recount,  not on November 8th.  As someone who ran himself for office twice as an independent,  I find this action disappointing.  It depreciates the Green Party to the children's Junior Achievement section of the Democratic Party. In essence, Stein is a front for Hillary to recant her concession.  Jill Stein's legacy will be the confirmation of Trump's victory, instead of the principles on which she had run.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Obama Preaches To The Choir In Philadelphia

On  Sunday morning, a black power broker from Philadelphia stated that Pat Toomey has done nothing for the black community in Philadelphia. A journalist present, explained that Toomey has been the leading conservative Republican for gun control, while shootings have taken the lives of almost three hundred  blacks a year in the City of Brotherly Love. The black broker replied,  but Toomey hasn't come to their churches, and spoken directly to them.

President Obama came Monday night, and not only spoke, but preached to the choir.  His sermon even had a well rehearsed amen in the background. His supporters claim that he is a legal scholar, but all I heard was a  politician, promoting another one. Obama started out at the Democrat convention twelve years ago, as an eloquent speaker promising hope and change.  Last night, he ended his career by wrongly claiming that United States is more respected now than before,  and that its workers are better off.  Although, he certainly remains as eloquent of a speaker as ever, and he may still even inspire hope,  he certainly brought no change.  In addition to Hillary, his sermon gifted McGinty, who besides being one of ten children, appears to have no qualifications.

There will be free rides in Philly today, just call Uber, and say that you're a cog in the vote machine. Additionally, a settlement was forced upon the SEPTA board, to maximize the turnout.  Last night, Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen weren't the only showmen in Philadelphia.

Friday, November 4, 2016

For My Gun Rights, But Against The NRA

As a gun owner, I'm a supporter of the 2nd Amendment. Although, that is a right which I defend, as an engaged citizen I appreciate living in a society of laws. There are rights and laws, and we can all live within them. I do not blindly consider every regulation as a curtailment of my rights, or as a slippery slope which will erode them. I can exercise my rights in a responsible manner, without purposefully provoking those who feel differently about this issue.

Each November the NRA sends it's current and former members a card telling them whom they should vote for in their district, to protect their 2nd Amendment rights. Although, their member magazine often features hunting rifles, the organization must also think of their members as sheep, who should only care about one issue.  As Americans we should guard our right to own firearms,  but never tolerate being told how to vote.

reprinted from December of 2014. Shown above is a 38 special, gifted upon Frank Sinatra by the Miami Beach Police & Firemen's Association.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Sex and The White House Campaign

The years have bestowed journalist status upon Wolf Blitzer.  Last week, when he interviewed Kellyanne Conway, Trump's campaign manager, he asked her about the now infamous 2005 tape leak. Although, she stated that she had seen it, he proceeded to have the tape run for the viewing audience. He then had the tape rerun, between each question he asked her.

Last night, Melania Trump suggested to Anderson Cooper that the media is driving the salacious nature of this election, rather than the actions of her husband. To a large extent that is true. The media has fixated on these revelations, and have made them the issue. Years ago, in the era of Walter Cronkite, such accusations would have been considered off limits.

Certainly, Walter would not have run the tape over and over again.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Hurricane Trump

Our political traditions become more cut-throat each election cycle. We now have what has become known as the October Surprise. In this election, Clinton has been aided by a press hostile to her opponent, and the Washington Post did Hillary's dirty work for her. By Saturday morning Donald Trump had replaced Hurricane Matthew as the headline. The tape released on Friday certainly didn't disappoint any Trump haters. It provided all the proof they needed that the candidate has arrested development in his attitude toward women. However, as vulgar as the tape was, our political system now has its own vulgarity. Besides hearing it in Trump's own words, was anything unknown revealed? Trump's video apology was done well enough. Although, rather stiff and scripted, he did indeed apologize, and promise to be a better person. He also shared the blame with the Clinton's, accusing Bill of numerous sexual improprieties, and Hillary of complicity in covering them up.  We are no longer in the era of the Brady Bunch.  While it seemed somewhat like a juvenile excuse to mention the Clintons,  in truth. they had desensitized America to hanky panky by politicians, even in the White House.

From a ethical point of view, Trump's apology was inadequate, but this is politics. He managed to take the best shot against him, and essentially set the bar lower for himself with his upcoming debate with Hillary.  He once again seemed to be best about making lemonade,  if nothing else.

Trump, under incredibly adverse circumstances, spoke fairly well during the debate.  Despite the infamous tape released just two days prior, despite a format aligned with Hillary's experience, Trump managed to hold his own, and even put Hillary on the defensive.  However, Trump's new problem may well be the spectacle he conducted before the debate.  Bringing out Bill Clinton's former accusers was anything but the contriteness recommended by those knowledgeable in damage control. His body language during the debate, although improved since the first encounter, also lacked discipline 

Another consequence of the 2005 tape was that Trump, in addition to debating Hillary, has to contend with numerous Republicans disavowing support.  As an independent, who is critical of partisanship, that jumping of ship amuses me. The first to jump were previously the last to support him.  Some pundits are declaring the Trump ship dead in the water,  and those on the undercard better jump to survive.  I believe that they are confusing this election with a regular campaign.  Trump's base will stand by, and those who have disavowed him may actually suffer.  Trump has always been an independent,  he was just running on the Republican ticket.   The Democrats and the media just assumed that the tape would make Trump unacceptable to all but the most deplorable.  I see no such movement by the public away from him.  Americans appreciate a sense of fair play,  and Trump may have actually gained some sympathy votes for the ploy against him.  All in all, like a hurricane, it made for a messy aftermath.

To commemorate the Trump tape release, I have placed a poster on How To Train Your Wife on this blog's sidebar, visible on the web version.  I should clarify that I too found the 2005 tape reprehensible. However,  if I had supported Trump before its release,  I would not change my vote because of it.  Trump supporters had seen the nude pictures of his current wife and accepted the fact that he's a political Hugh Hefner.  America has become jaded enough to know that Sunday school teachers don't win primary elections.  The web site Politico was portraying the Trump supporters outside Trump Tower on Saturday as only the diehard wacko's.   Many substantial supporters, wacko by no measure, are standing by Trump.  Their opposition to politics as usual in Washington continues, and they still see Trump as a possible vehicle of change.  Welcome to democracy in 2016.

Monday, October 3, 2016

The Entitlement People vs. The Silent Majority

The title for this post is derived from a comment submitted to a prior post.  The commenter was hoping that the silent majority comes out  from the shadows and votes for Trump, to begin to change the status quo.  As an advocate for decades on local issues,  I think that, unfortunately, the key word is silent,  and if so,  it doesn't matter if they are a majority or not.  Now, I will say this;  I believe that Trump has motivated a previous uninvolved citizen,  and I believe that such people will come out and vote for him.  The question is how big is that constituency?  The Democrats do have an organized ground game.  I think it's fair to say that the Trump camp is completely unorganized at getting out the vote.  He is depending on individual volition,  which doesn't have a strong track record when it comes to voting.

We are in an era where political fortune is determined by the entertainment industry.  The liberals are willing to have their opinions shaped by the writers for  Jon Stewart and SNL.  Likewise, the conservatives look for guidance from Rush Limbaugh and other talk show disc jockeys.

I'm blessed by not being politically invested in this presidential election.  When I go to breakfast the morning after, on November 9th,  I will be equally entertained by both the happy camp winners, and the despondent losers.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Trump Wins Debate

Recently, I did a post on the liberal hysteria about Donald Trump.  I put the piece on social media, and the group went crazy.  Rather than discuss the media phenomena to which I was referring,  they went right after Trump, as on cue.  I believe that this hysteria is fueled by their perception that indeed Trump may win the White House.  In another recent post,  I questioned the validity of the local college poll, which had Mrs. Clinton ahead by 9 points.  One week later, they report that the lead has shrunk to 3 points.  I believe that one week later, they realized what fools they had made of themselves, and decided to be more honest in their new tally.

We then learned that Mrs. Clinton will be prepared for the debate.  Two months ago, they considered the debate a joke,  after all, Clinton went to law school, was a senator and Secretary of State. Then, we learn that she will be prepared.  In other words,  they lowered the expectations about her performance.

Last night, after the 90 minute rumble, the pundits agreed in unison that Hillary had won. They found her more presidential, and felt that Trump went down too many rabbit holes.  They are wrong. Who won is who moves up and down in the polls. I believe that the upward move will be by Trump.  The public is not satisfied with the status quo, and has lost faith in damn statistics.  The case to be made was for change,  and Hillary failed to convince that she could bring any.