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.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Trump In The White House

I'm so amused at the liberals and their fear of Trump. They actually equate a victory by him with the end of the earth. Let me assure them that we will all still be here for the 2020 election, when they can again let their hysteria go wild.

It would be incorrect to interpret this post as pro-Trump, rather I remain amazed at the hostility towards him by the Clinton supporters.  I see otherwise rational people pulling their hair out about his candidacy.

It is my intention to vote for Mr. Johnson.  However, I will remain in the United States after whoever wins.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Obama's Gift To Trump

While another immigrant terrorized NYC with bombs this past weekend, Obama told the United Nations that walls only imprison us. He is so in love with the sound of  his own voice, that he doesn't understand how out of touch his words actually are.  While his words didn't even electrify the choir to which  he was preaching,  outside that building, his words were totally off-key.  He doesn't understand that Lady Liberty didn't mean to welcome blood hungry terrorists with meat cleavers. Pictured above a NYC cop, several days after being attacked by another terrorist just last week.

Obama is actively campaigning for Hillary Clinton.  He did her no good with his UN speech.

Friday, September 16, 2016

X-Raying Trump and Clinton

Nothing exemplifies the difference in media treatment more than the controversy about the candidates's health.  While Clinton literally collapses,  the liberal media is concentrating on the disclosure that Trump doesn't exercise.  To me, it doesn't appear that Hillary works out too much either.  Putting aside political bias,  it takes no doctor to see that Trump is in better shape.  Although that certainly doesn't qualify him as a better candidate,  it does disqualify any media pretense for objectivity.  Both of the candidates are pushing 70.  Many of us that age don't have the energy to attend a rally, much less give one every night.

As someone who is basically non-partisan, it has become more difficult to discern attempted truth in the news.  Truth seekers must mix numerous sources,  then go through an elaborate filtration process to distill small drops of it.  We have come to rely on those sources which lie the least.

illustration credit: Ben Garrison@grrrgraphics

Friday, November 27, 2015

President Trump On Hope And Change

I was going to put up a picture of a murdered Christian woman in Syria, impaled by a cross, but it's just too horrible an image to use to make a point;  That point being we're concerned about words that hurt, or being perceived as xenophobic.  While they bury those murdered by terrorists in Paris, Obama wants to accelerate closing Guantanamo Bay, he's worried about legal rights. To paraphrase a movie, Obama wants to bring a knife to a gunfight.

As details emerge about the police shooting in Chicago, apparently his inspirational speeches about Hope and Change hasn't translated into changing any facts on the ground, even in his home town, with his former presidential aide as mayor.

The press is appalled, because they think that Trump may have mocked a reporter with a disability. I'm worried by journalists being beheaded for trying to report the news, not Trump being politically incorrect.

I can't say that I'm surprised that hope alone doesn't do anything.  I think,  to the chagrin of my liberal associates,  if the election was held tomorrow, ............

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Rumble At The Reagan Library

As a conservative independent, I have no use for Hillary Clinton, and less for Bernie Sanders. Even though I'll be late opening the bakery this morning, I stayed up last night and watched the debate. I was actually more impressed with the undercard. Sans Santorum, Pataki, Jindal and Graham were compelling. But, as Marshall McLuhan said, the medium is the message, and those gentlemen, relegated to the second tier in the second debate, are no longer part of the medium.

 On the main card, the overly crowded field was almost like cage wrestling, too many people vying for camera time. In that regard, I felt that CNN had the camera on Trump a disportioncate amount of time. For foreign policy geeks, hearing that Trump will surround himself with experts, as opposed to being one, must be excruciatingly painful. I believe that if Marco Rubio could make himself appear older, he would be a real contender. I might send him some of my gray hair dye, it has helped me looked more distinguished. Getting back to McLuhan, Trump may have again stole the show by default. Although Jeb Bush was more aggressive, he only managed to play into Trump's portrayal of him as unenergetic. In that regard, Ben Carson appears to be self medicated. The other doctor, Rand Paul, also cannot shed the Trump barbs. Huckabee has cast himself more as a pastor than a viable politician. Both the governors, Walker and Kasich, failed to stand out. Ted Cruz presented himself well, but the media has marginalized him as too right for America. Although Christie held his own, he still looks like he caused that traffic jam at the bridge, trying to get to the donut shop before it closed. Certainly, Carly Fiorina also held her own, but I don't think that she has enough spunk to break through this large men's field.

I'm back to Marshall McLuhan and the persuasive media. If Trump produces some commercials which succeed in adding some world expertise to augment his bravado, the White House might become the next reality show.

Friday, August 7, 2015

The Republican Hairstylist

I thought that Marco Rubio did very well last night, but he looks so young.  He should dye his hair gray like I do, to look older (I do it to look more distinguished). Trump, of course. could also use some hair advise. I thought it was unfair of Fox News to not let Huckabee hold his guitar. Maybe some of them should have been able to hold a rifle.  Bush, they should have butched up with some dried blood, a scar and maybe a bandage over his knuckles. Christie should have worn a white Colonel Sanders Suit, and went with a Boss Hogg approach.  Carson needs some anger in his voice, or maybe a prescription induced twitch.  The others blended into the stage curtain.

ADDENDUM: A couple of weeks ago,  I thought that Hillary was a shoo-in.   The Democrats, because of so many Republican candidates, were talking about the clown car.   I have since changed my mind.  Even MSNBC could talk about nothing this morning but the Republican debate.  The large field will dominate the news for many months to come,  and that is the name of the game.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Obama and The Urban Thug

A segment of this country, and Obama's White House, have been apologizing for the urban thug, riot after riot. After the riots in Ferguson, these apologists blamed the lack of diversity. Time after time, Obama's Justice Department indicted and investigated the police, resulting in a self-imposed restraint. Yesterday, as tension grew in Baltimore, this police restraint had consequences, Baltimore was torched and looted. This resulted not from a lack of justice or diversity in Baltimore, but from a political climate which wants to excuse every urban thug, as being oppressed and lacking in opportunity. Besides those excuses being delusional, they haven't diminished the looting in fifty years.

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Obama Cult

Obama gave a very good performance at the Correspondents Dinner, he did everything but sing and dance. Of course it was an audience that loves him, the press. The ultra liberal Huffington reported each separate quip in a separate article. The left gushed that he bashed the entire Republican field. What a performance, but, unfortunately, he's President. In that role, objectively, things aren't going so well. We  now have a Middle East policy that's only reactive at best. While terrorism is becoming more and more widespread, he still wants to close Guantanamo Bay, and afford our enemies an OJ defense in NYC. While he himself now calls The Affordable Care Act Obama-Care, and considers it his legacy, doctors are retiring in record numbers, because of the paperwork and reduced compensation. His support is based on personality, not on performance; That is his true legacy.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Defending Israel

Netanyahu's speech to Congress, scheduled for early March, has become a point of multiple controversy. Did Boehner invite Netanyahu as a partisan to embarrass Obama? Did Netanyahu accept for political purpose back in Israel? Is the invitation and speech so diplomatically uncomfortable as to constitute disrespect to United States? One thing for sure is that there is much more consequence for Israel than United States with any nuclear deal made with Iran. As the United States becomes involved in the ever changing dynamics of the Middle East conflicts, it is Israel which is in the cross-hair of Iranian produced missiles, not America.  According to Netanyahu, “Iran continues to forge ahead through the rubble of the new Middle East; it has already taken over four capitals, Damascus, Beirut, Baghdad and now Sana’a. Now it wants to open a third front from the Golan Heights.” Netanyahu said that if that was the way Iran acted without nuclear arms, “Imagine what it will do when it has nuclear weapons.”

Under the dire circumstances facing Israel, I do not find Netanyahu's speech either political or undiplomatic. However, I believe that those terms apply to our Congress members who choose not to attend.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Moshe Dayan

Moshe Dayan on born on a kibbutz near the Sea of Galilee in 1915. When he was 14, he joined the outlawed Haganah, an underground defense force to protect Jewish settlements from Arab attacks. Although caught and imprisoned by the British for two years, he would fight for them in Lebanon during WWII, losing his eye. In the 1948 War of Independence, he fought on all the fronts, defending Israel; by 1953 he was Chief of Staff of the Israeli Armed Forces. In 1956 he led the Suez Campaign.

In 1967 he was Defense Minister for the Six Day War. He remained in that position through the War of 1973. Although a genuine hero in every sense of the word, he was held responsible for the initial success of Egyptian forces in the surprise attack on Yom Kippur (1973), and would resign from his position.

Israel is too small of a country, and it's enemies too numerous, for any miscalculations regarding it's security.

Friday, December 12, 2014

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.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Jew Killing, A Long Tradition

In response to the synagogue killings in Jerusalem, the media has been speculating about a religious war. I'm not sure where those reporters have been for the last 3,000 years, but killing Jews is a historical sport. Almost every language even has special words for the ritual. For many centuries before the Holocaust, killing Jews was called a pogrom. In 1929, the Jews of Hebron were massacred. Yes Dorothy, there were Jews living there long before Israel was created in 1948. There's even a long tradition of killing Jews in their synagogues. Twenty two Jews were murdered in an Istanbul Synagogue in 1986.

What's new is that Jews in Israel are capable of shooting back, capable of defending themselves. Although the world is used to dead Jews, they don't like Jews who fight back. For Israel's audacity to defend itself, it is called racist, apartheid and even nazi. Fortunately for Israel, it doesn't allow those insults to deter them from defending themselves.

Friday, April 18, 2014

A History Lesson From Ukraine

The famous photograph above is called The Last Jew in Vinnitsa. It was taken in Ukraine in September of 1941, when the Nazis shot every Jew in that city within five days. The flyers ordering Jews to register, distributed in Donetsk the other day, harken back to the Holocaust. All together, over 750,000 Jewish men, women and children, were shot to death in Ukraine during the war. Out of a population of 4.3 million, Donetsk currently only has 17,000 Jews. The flyers were a provocation of unknown origin, as opposed to a real threat, but they did make world news.

In Jerusalem, The Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary, a small order of Protestant nuns formed after the war in Germany, is closing it's retreat for Holocaust survivors. The order originally had come to Israel to work in hospitals as repentance for the Nazi crimes against the Jews.  Although the last of the survivors is passing away,  hatred is alive and well.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Jewish Republicans, Two For One Special

As a group, it's hard for the Democrats to find one that they can count on more than the Jews. In 2008, Obama received 78% of their vote, and still received 75% of their support in 2012, after bashing Israel for four years. Last week, the Republican Jewish Coalition held their meeting in Las Vegas, at Sheldon Adelson's Venetian Hotel. They certainly didn't need such a large facility, Jewish Republicans could barely fill the small banquet room at a local Holiday Inn. Jews are less than 2% of the population. Allowing for independents, Republican Jews are less than 20% of that small number. Never the less, the press was climbing over each other to cover the event. Two of their favorite targets were in one room, Israel supporters and Republicans.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Bad Aftertaste From Anthony Bourdain Show

The producers of Anthony Bourdain's food show came up with a good recipe; Mixing food and political commentary on a travel show enabled them to graduate from The Food Network to CNN. However, the recent show on Israel left many of his previous fans with a bad aftertaste. In the show's introduction, obviously taped after production, Bourdain acknowledged that the show may cause some consternation among it's viewers.  Had the show been produced by a Palestinian Ministry of Propaganda, it could not have been more slanted to their point of view. Graffiti by Israelis is painted as a threat to Palestinians, while actual attacks by Arabs are not mentioned. The wall is portrayed as a prison for the Palestinians. Most walls, as stories, have two sides. Why the wall is necessary wasn't discussed. We were shown that the Palestinians in Gaza were living in squalor, from the diaspora. Bourdain omits the reality that the Arab collective nation has refused since 1948 to recognize Israel's right to exist, and had encouraged most of the Palestinians to leave the Jewish section temporarily, until Israel could be destroyed. The Bourdain crew failed to show Gaza City, a modern seaside metropolis. Bourdain has always owned the commentary on his programs, sometimes even saying that the producers want him to do this, but in all honestly he must do that. He consequently must own this program on Israel. He is entitled to his perspective, and I'm entitled to switch channels.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

History Passed By Obama Today

Today Barack Obama explained how the Syrian gas massacre demands immediate action, for which there is no rush. He emphatically articulated the moral need for decisiveness, which he will pass on to Congress to debate back and forth. He gave a masterful lesson in triple talk, that will long confuse the world. He warned our enemies, with steely resolve, that our red lines are written in disappearing ink. He reassured our allies that they are truly alone. History passed by Obama today, but he was eloquent.