I believe what I say and believe I am right. Thus, the title of my column, Undeniably Right. Take it as you will, that I'm a conservative or I have a huge ego and believe I am always correct. Sometimes those things overlap, sometimes not.
The Republicans have failed to accomplish much this year despite having the numbers that put them in control of the federal government. Now I am not including President Trump in this criticism because he has done as much as any other president in the first six months of his time in office. Could he be a little more forceful in pushing the political elite to get something accomplished? Probably so, but he has taken a step in that direction with his comments regarding letting Obamacare implode if Congress can’t get a bill passed. But those are thoughts for another day and another column.
Despite what the liberals in the media, the political elite, or the general population will tell you, Trump was elected to drain the swamp in Washington DC. I think that is the one common denominator among all of the people who supported Donald Trump, in addition to not liking Hillary Clinton. I don’t know that there was any other one issue, whether it be building a wall, improving the economy, decreasing the size of federal government, or any other big issue that united supporters of Donald Trump more. We are tired of the way our elected officials and bureaucrats in the federal government treat us as serfs.
Clearly it was not going to be an easy job, but I don’t think any of us thought that the pushback from the powerbrokers in Washington DC would be this vituperative. (You public school graduates can ask Siri what that means.) I think most of us knew that those on the left side of the aisle would push back as hard as they could against President Trump—that includes those in the media—but the hatred they have shown has gone beyond anything we could have imagined. I don’t think any of us thought that the Republican leadership would fight this hard against Trump, to the point that they have abrogated their duties and once again failed to deliver upon their own campaign promises.
Every one of them has campaigned, for example, making a promise to repeal Obamacare. In fact Republicans voted seven times to pass legislation that would have repealed Obamacare sending it to the president’s desk for his signature on a couple of occasions, where it was vetoed. Now that they have the opportunity to present that very same legislation again, they don’t have the backbone to do so. It proves once again that it’s not about keeping promises to us but about retaining power and control over us.
But it also goes deeper than that. The media won’t cover this or want to discuss it, but many of us still support President Trump and are really upset with our elected officials in Congress. In fact we are so upset with them that there will be primary challenges for them in 2018 and/or 2020. Many of them could lose those challenges. Or will they? There is no doubt in my mind that many constituents are flooding their elected officials offices with emails, letters, and phone calls expressing their dissatisfaction with the way they have acted over the last six months. But those elected officials are not scared of their constituents. If they were we would have health insurance reform and a tax cut already.
But clearly they are not afraid of being reelected or the wrath of those people they supposedly represent. Some of that could be due to the way the media is portraying us and the bubble in which those in Washington DC live. But I think there’s a bigger reason they are not afraid of being reelected or ousted in the next election. The money people, the lobbyists, the billionaires, corporations are the ones that are really in the ears of our elected officials telling them not to listen to us. Those are the people that are pushing our elected officials to ignore their own campaign promises and the clear message we sent to Washington with the election of Donald Trump.
When Trump was elected, I said that we had the duty as citizens to ensure that our elected officials adhered to the promises made during their campaigns and his. That we had to be vocal in our support of those promises made to us. There can be no greater example of why the swamp needs to be drained than what we have seen over the last six months. We must be vocal right now in letting our elected officials know we want things to change. But more importantly in 2018 we must elect new representatives who promise to return the power to the people and take it away from the morass that is Washington DC and our political process. The changing of the way things have been done for 40 years will not happen overnight, but it will happen if we keep our focus and hold people accountable. Something we have not done in decades.
I am going to start a campaign. In fact I will send a petition to President Donald Trump if I can get enough signatures. I know that my liberal friends will get on board immediately, and I hope my conservative friends will do so as soon as they hear my logic for this campaign.
I want to ban the penny. But this has nothing to do with the idea that the penny cost so much to make and we don't use it anymore but it has to do with the fact that's undeniable; the penny is racist. You cannot argue with my logic.
First of all let's talk about the color of the penny. It is different from all of the other coins. No, I'm not talking about the Susan B. Anthony dollar or any of those coins that were created and minted in the last 20 to 30 years because those were created at a time when political correctness ruled.
I'm talking about the coins that, along with the penny, were created: when old racist white men made the decisions about what our money would look like. The penny is the only one that is a different color and it's darker.
And the penny is worth the least of all the other coins that we have. We value it less so we made it a darker color.
And as I said it is the least valuable of all the coins that we have. Kind of like how we treated black people in this country or anyone with darker skin for that matter.
Look who is on the front of the penny-Abraham Lincoln. Do you think that's a coincidence? There's no way that it is. We know well that Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. I'm sure that the people who made the decision about the penny wanted to point out to everyone the difference between the penny and the other coins.
Where can you use a penny these days? You can't put it into a vending machine to buy some potato chips or a candy bar or a soda. You can't even put it into a bubblegum machine to get a toy or a treat. There are pay phones still in this world but you've never been able to use a penny. It's kind of like saying: "we don't want your kind in here."
And what do you do when you get a penny in change at the convenience store or supermarket? You throw it away into a little container there on the counter hoping someone else will need it. If you see a penny on the ground in the parking lot you don't bend over to pick it up but you will for one of those silver coins. You value it less then the other coins, which are essentially white.
So you see, using "logic," we need to get rid of the penny because it is racist. There is no argument and if you disagree with me then you are a racist bigot.
The University of Texas has for the first time signed a sponsorship agreement with a beer company, to support their athletic department. It may be one of the first athletic departments at a major university to sign a direct sponsorship agreement with an alcohol company. And this has some people losing their mind. I’ve heard everything from it will encourage kids to drink, to encouraging adults to drink more, to its unseemly for an alcohol company to sponsor athletic programs. Really?
First let’s look at the relationship between athletics and alcohol. Tailgating especially at football games with her college or professional, go hand-in-hand. They are not drinking soft drinks exclusively at these events and many programs or teams serve beer in the stadium. Heck, Sonny Jurgensen, former quarterback for the Washington Redskins was infamous for playing drunk or hung over from his activities the night before. The Oakland Raiders became famous for having beer in the locker room before and after games not to mention the movie North Dallas Forty, which documented the antics of the Dallas Cowboys under Tom Landry. Most professional sports teams still provide beer in the locker room after a game.
Let’s not forget the Miller Lite commercials from the 70s and 80s in which personalities from the sports world hocked the product. The relationship between alcohol and sports is long-standing. Just ask any guy or gal who has played slow pitch softball.
And the idea that having Corona sponsor Longhorn athletics is somehow going to encourage more undergraduates to drink is ludicrous. When is the last time you were on a college campus? They don’t just drink at athletic events, they drink all the time. Did the sun come up today? That’s a good reason to throw a keg party! Your roommate failed his biology 101 test for the fifth time? Time to make some jungle juice! Besides, most college students I know are not going to drink Corona, it costs too much. They are drinking PBR, Schlitz, or Kansas Wheat Beer because you can buy a case for $3.95
And let’s not get started on the argument that adults will begin drinking at athletic events just because of a sign on the stadium. I really could not find anything on the Internet that even remotely suggested that adults or teenagers began drinking just because they saw an advertisement. Yes they might change the brand of what they are drinking but to go from abstinence to abuse of alcohol en masse just doesn’t happen.
Finally there was an argument that because many of the students are under the age of 21 they should not be exposed to advertisements for alcohol of any type. That’s right, because not telling our kids the truth or not exposing them to things that they can’t have or shouldn’t have has worked so well for the current generation of snowflakes who need safe spaces when someone says the word “Trump”.
The simple fact is this, there’s nothing wrong with having Corona or any other adult beverage company as a sponsor of college athletics. The money will help out the entire athletic department not just the football team and the student-athlete will benefit from that influx of money. All of these specious arguments about the potential of harm are just more liberals trying to control our lives and keep us from having any fun. Yes there are probably people who will abuse alcohol but there is plenty of help for them and we don’t need to keep the 97% of our population who can handle it from having the fun they want and deserve to have because 3% of our population might suffer harm.
We need to get away from this liberal idea that if a very small minority of our population might be offended or suffer in some way because of what the vast majority of us are doing or want to do offends them then we must all stop doing it. So now I’m off to have an adult beverage or 12 and I’ll get a designated driver to take me home. But by gosh I’m going to have a lot of fun in the meantime.
More liberal logic: California State Atty. Gen. has banned travel by government employees to several states such as Texas, that have policies regarding LGBT issues with which the California State Atty. Gen. does not agree. However they oppose Pres. Trump's travel ban from countries where members of the LGBT community are put to death because of their lifestyles.
Talk about a swamp. The investigation into Michael Flynn has not turned up any credible evidence about collusion with the Russians. What it has turned up is the fact that the acting director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, had sexual discrimination and harassment charges filed against him by a female special agent in 2014. Michael Flynn gave a statement supporting the agent's claims. Guess who started the investigation into Michael Flynn? That's right, Andrew McCabe. Doesn't that seem like a conflict of interest at best and a political witch hunt at worst?
The Congressional Budget Office has scored the Senate Republicans replacement for Obama care. First of all let's be very clear that the Congressional Budget Office has never even come close when scoring bills like this. For example they thought 4 million small business owners would enroll in Obamacare's small business program. To date, 230,000 businesses have enrolled. Their estimates of the amount of subsidies needed for the Obamacare exchanges have been off by over 100% every year. That being the case, they anticipate that 22 million people will leave the exchanges between now and 2026 if the Senate's plan is implemented. Of course you've heard that in the media and from the left wing in Washington. Approximately 15 million of those people will leave voluntarily, that's the part that are not telling you. The bill gets rid of the individual mandate and many of those leaving the exchanges will likely purchase insurance in the private market again because several analyses of the bill find that premiums in the private market will decrease. In fact a couple of insurance companies have said they believe the premium reduction will be 30 to 40% and they will be able to offer plans with low deductibles and lower premiums. That doesn't sound quite as bad, does it?. Not to mention that with the elimination of the 30 hour work week requirement under Obamacare, many more people will return to full-time work and should be able to afford their own insurance again.
Think about this; the telephone was invented in 1876 but it wasn't until 1982 that you could actually take the phone out of the house. For 106 years you were relegated to a 4-foot circle around your refrigerator while talking on the phone and now you're ticked off because you can't get coverage in the middle of the Gila Wilderness.
It is amazing what people will say to try and rationalize the outcome of the election. On Rachel Maddow's show shortly after the Democrats lost the election in Georgia's sixth Congressional District one of their analysts was saying that the rain, which was very heavy, negatively affected the Democrat turnout. So what he's saying is the Democrats didn't feel strongly enough about either voting for the Democrat candidate or against Pres. Trump or that they were afraid they would melt in the rain. Which isn't a stretch given the fact that the liberals continually tell people that they can't handle adversity themselves. The same analyst went on to say that more rain fell on the heavily Democrat populated portions of the district as compared to the Republican portions of the district. So you're telling me that God or Mother Nature doesn't like the Democrats?
The Democrats are also claiming in all four losses in official elections that the narrow margins of victory actually show that people are getting tired of Pres. Trump already. That doesn't appear to be the case but let's not forget a couple of key facts: first of all President Trump's margin of victory in Georgia for example was just over 1%, the Republican candidate's victory was about 6% so that seems to be a move in the direction of the Republicans and Trump, doesn't it? Also, in Georgia's congressional district, that district has been redrawn a couple of times since people like Mike Price and Newt Gingrich won by large margins so you are not comparing apples to apples.
I have said this about anyone who is entrenched in the power structure in Washington DC but it is more applicable to the liberals than anyone else: it is not about solving problems, it is about controlling our lives. Our elected officials and bureaucrats in federal government want power more than anything else and that DOES include solving problems.
Look at every problem they have claimed to address from economic issues to societal inequalities to the deficit, it doesn't matter, none of those problems has gotten better by their own admission. And since the election of Donald Trump we have seen those on the left side of the aisle, including many Republicans, fight the President tooth and nail to prevent him from draining the swamp.
President Trump has held a large number of meetings with different constituencies. The common theme among all of those meetings is how impressed the attendees are with Trump. Even those who disagree with him philosophically have said that they believe he listened to them and took their advice to heart and that he truly wants to address the issues and solve the problems.
So if you are a member of a group that is invited to the White House to speak to Donald Trump, wouldn't you jump at the opportunity? Wouldn't you at least give him a chance, based upon the experiences of everyone else, to hear your concerns and listen to what you want? Apparently not if you are the Congressional Black Caucus. Trump has invited the members of the caucus to come to the White House and address issues that are important to them and the people they represent. The caucus has refused and the reasons for their refusal show that they are grasping at straws.
And it also proves that it is about power and perception rather than really solving problems. Because think about this, what is the worst thing that could happen? They have a productive meeting with President Trump in which he hears their concerns and then he does nothing. At least you and I would think that's the worst thing that could happen.
But for the Congressional Black Caucus, they could then go back out to their constituents and say this president doesn't care about them. He heard what they had to say and he did nothing. But really, the worst thing for the Congressional Black Caucus is that Trump listens to them and acts upon their concerns. And then horror of horrors, some of the problems facing the CBC's constituents are solved!
If that were to happen Trump would be seen as a hero and the Congressional Black Caucus and the liberals just cannot have that. Despite what you see in the news, Trump has accomplished quite a bit in the first few months of his presidency and the members of the caucus know that. They cannot take the chance that the president can be given any credit for any positive things happening in our lives.
Back to the reasons they are giving for not being able to meet with the President: the first one listed by many members of the caucus is that Trump's assistant, Omarosa Manigault, signed the invitation "Honorable Omarosa Manigault," a title they say she has not earned and that it was offensive to them.
They also claim that the logistics of getting 50 members of the caucus together are difficult, but don't they hold meetings regularly? I'm sure that not everyone can make all of their meetings but they hold them anyway. You would think that a meeting with the President to address grievances would be something that most of them could make room for on their calendar.
Other members have given excuses such as not wanting to pose for a photo with the President for fear that someone thinks they are supporting Trump and having been able to avoid that in past meetings, they think avoiding a picture in the Oval Office would be impossible. they are also upset that he has not done anything to address their concerns but if you haven't expressed them to him and giving him options to address those, what do you expect him to do? Is he supposed to read about your concerns in the mainstream media because all he reads or hears in the press are the vile things that you are saying about him.
Quite simply this is not about solving problems, this is about their having power over our lives plain and simple. It's also about being shortsighted and petty; but what would you expect from a group of liberals?
I don't post a lot of political stuff on my Facebook page, which might surprise some of you. Part of the reason is the vitriol that is hurled my way when I do. Liberals are very good at telling us to be open minded and tolerant but they certainly cannot practice what they preach. The other reason is posting political topics also reveals just how ignorant so many people are about our world. In an age where more information is more readily available to us, I'm flabbergasted at how uninformed many people are.
A perfect example is a comment I posted about this lawsuit against President Trump. 196 Democrats are suing him saying he violated the emoluments clause of the Constitution. That lawsuit it complete and total bull crap. President Trump's business interests predated his election to office. He is not active in running those businesses and he's not done anything, as far as promulgating rules that would give his businesses an advantage over other similar but competing businesses.
I went on to point out that the last two Democrat presidents left office with a higher net worth than when they entered office, making sure to clarify that their increases in net worth did not include the book deals or speaking contracts they signed upon leaving office. I also said I was more concerned about Senators and Representatives that did the same thing.
Oh my, the responses were typical, hatred and vitriol spewed my way without addressing any of my points; calling me a hater, deplorable, etc., but not in such nice words. But a couple of my friends went on long tirades about how both Clinton and Obama, along with both Bushes completely divested themselves of all business interests when they took office. Um, no, they did not. They may have put those interests into a blind trust or at least claimed to have no contact with the people running their investment portfolios but they did not divest of their business interests.
One of those people also claimed that it is a law that elected officials divest themselves of all business interests. And this person is a teacher to boot. No wonder we are not educating our little snow flakes very well.
Another friend pointed out the donations made to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary was Secretary of State and a U.S. Senator. My liberal friends claimed that was made up and never happened; one went as far as to say the Clinton Foundation was not created until she left office. You know what? Ignorance should hurt, a lot.
We know that you generally can't have a civil conversation about politics with a liberal and that you most definitely can't get most of them to even consider your point of view. But there is no excuse for ignorance is our society. Saying that the media presents biased information is not enough; we know they do. But the source information is out there; transcripts from Congressional testimony for example.
Being accurately informed does take some work, but with the consequences being so important, our freedom, liberty, livelihoods, isn't it incumbent upon each of us to be skeptical and to put forth that effort? Isn't it incumbent upon each of us to be accurately informed?
We've spent another week in Ireland and Scotland logging some miles through the countryside this week as opposed to spending more time in the cities last week. I've had some more time to get to know what's going on in this part of the world, both politically and socially, so you'll have to suffer through some more observations much like I've had to suffer through instant coffee and what they heretically call ‘bacon.'
Since we've spent more time in the car this week, I've had a chance to listen to the radio. Country music is huge here. I mean HUGE. They not only adore Tim McGraw, Faith Hill and all of our country music stars (who put on concerts here regularly) but they have their own country stars who are actually pretty good.
In fact they love American culture here. USA network, Spike TV, CBS Action network, and others are carried here in Ireland/Scotland. It's like watching TV at home in a lot of ways. Not to mention other series or programs that are featured through on demand programming such as Netflix. We've been asked 3-4 times a day where we're from and everyone knows New Mexico. Thanks to Breaking Bad.
Did I mention their bacon is not bacon and it sucks? It's basically grilled ham. And it sucks. Darn third world countries.
Roundabouts are not bad things, in fact they work quite well. However they would not work in the states because drivers need to have simple common courtesy and patience.
Country roads are indeed narrow and nerve racking. Speed limits on those roads are high, usually 60 mph or so. Imagine driving down Texas St at 60 mph with 2 way traffic. Now you know what it's like. Oh and with the cars parked on one side of the road.
Did you know the Irish Republican Army is still active? I did not until they stopped a plot to plant at a bomb in Dublin last week. If you don't know about the IRA, Google it.
I was prepared for a lot before we came to Ireland/Scotland, so there haven't been any big surprises. But there have been some things that I didn't really understand how prevalent or how true the stereotypes were. For example, there's no doubt pubs are popular, but you cannot fathom how many there are; every 3-4 shops in city centers are pubs.
The food isn't as bad as you've heard; but it's not good. It's bland, very bland. Maybe that's why they love haggis; which isn't as bad as you've been led to believe. It might have the most taste of anything we've eaten.
There are 9 quintillion ways to cook potatoes. The Irish use only 5 of those ways: mashed, boiled, a potato pancake, baked, French fries (chips).
Last night I had ‘bacon ribs.' Turns out they are baby back ribs and they don't season them. The sauce they put on the side is ranch dressing. How can a country survive like this?
Individually they are very nice, friendly people. But based upon their history, they are a violent lot. Lots of fighting, rebelling, killing of people they don't like; heck they even kill some people they like. Liberals think America is a violent country; they clearly don't know history.
Speaking of killing people they like; back in the 1400s or so, the British were tired of the rebellions under King Charles I. His noblemen liked the King but the constant fighting was wearing thin and they were going broke. So it was decided that he not only needed to be removed from the throne but that he had to be killed. No one in England wanted the job of detaching Charles' head, so Scotland sent a couple of enlisted men to do the job. On the appointed day lots were drawn and one of those young men found himself lopping off the King's melon. He was given a bar back in his hometown that operates to this day, The King's Head.
They hate smoking; you can't even display the cigarettes openly and the packages all have graphic pictures of lung cancer and other diseases. Yet everyone smokes. EVERYONE.
They hate the National Health System. At the major hospital in Cork, the cardiac emergency unit is only open M-F between 9-5. So don't have a heart attack outside those hours; they won't accept you as a patient. I listened to a radio program that talked about all the problems yet they can't believe that we don't have ‘free healthcare'.
You don't tip waiters or anyone else for that matter. All are paid the minimum wage or more.
The value added tax is used so when you checkout at the store, there is no tax added, you know already exactly what you are going to pay. But the prices of things are higher than they are in the states, even the locally produced items-a gallon of milk is about $5 US. But people don't realize how much of that cost is the VAT. Buying a wool sweater and shipping outside the country? There is a 20% savings and they'll ship it free anywhere in the world. Think about that.
Except for hotel rooms and rental cars; the tax can be as much as 40% in some areas.
It's green. Really green. And the cows are huge. The cows are what our bison want to be when they grow up. Not sure what happened to our Angus cattle after they got to America. Maybe it's the grass here.
There aren't any power outlets in hotel room bathrooms. None. Only for electric shavers. Usually there's only 2 outlets in the entire room; you have to unplug the TV to use the computer or hair dryer. Each electrical outlet has its own power switch.
Our hotel in Glasgow had a card slot into which you had to insert your room card in order to use the lights in the room. They only give you one card key; that way when you leave the room, the lights go off and stay off. It's because they get their power from windmills and they need to use as little as possible. The staff hated it but loves the idea of alternative energy.
We had a hot water urn in every hotel room. Those things heat up the water, about 8-10 cups, in less time it takes your wife to get mad when you don't take out the trash immediately. It's great! Why don't we have these?
They love their history and do all they can to preserve it. Every town has an old church and it's usually the biggest building in the area. Each town also has at least a plaque if not a statue commemorating their most important citizen in history. Most are honoring some king or nobleman who fought the English or supported Robert the Bruce or the Stuarts and so on. One town had a huge statue of their local hero, who was able to drink an entire cask of Guinness in one long sitting. People come from all over the country to kneel at his pedestal.
It's been a great trip, very educational and fun. If you get the chance to come here, do it. The cost of travel is not bad if you work at it; we paid $750 for our round trip ticket and don't have 30 stops; direct flight from San Francisco to Dublin. Hotel rooms can be expensive but if you watch on Hotels.com or similar sites, you can find bargains for the best hotels, inns and B&Bs. Get a car and travel outside the cities if you want to know what the country and its people are really like.
We've been traveling in Ireland and Scotland for about a week now. As many of you know it's nice to go abroad to see and experience things that you can't see or experience in America. And boy, have we had some experiences!
Let me say first of all that I am now convinced that Irish/Scottish cuisine started off as a dare. "I dare you to eat that." For some reason they decided to keep on doing it. I will say that Haggis is not as bad as everyone tells you; it's at least edible and there are other things that are worse.
Here breakfasts are more of the main meal of the day and are huge, even by American standards. Eggs, 2-3 kinds of potatoes, tomatoes, baked beans, mushrooms, breads, those are the staples. The meal keeps you full most of the day, until about 3:00 or so, hence tea time. If you are a fan of spicy foods, bring the spice with you, you won't find it here.
Driving in either country is either a lot like the U.S, such as some of the major highways, with the obvious exception of being on the other side of the road, or it's like driving in a Mario Kart game. The back roads are tiny and people don't even think about going the speed limit until they get into a school zone. But they are much more friendly and tolerant than American drivers. The road systems are horrible from the standpoint that there is no rhyme nor reason to how they are laid out. If you don't have GPS, you are doomed.
One o the undeniable truths of life is that every stereotype has some basis in fact and that's been proven once again. You cannot understand a word that a Scot says if he's been drinking. Just nod your head and agree. Women here all seem to wear yoga pants and the men would like to but can't. So they wear skinny jeans; very tight skinny jeans. You can't un-see that.
Public transit runs very well in Ireland; but once again it's run by private companies and there are 3-4 different companies running buses. Easy to get around, buses generally run on time, are clean and fairly easy to figure out routes.
The media is what American 'journalists' want to be in their dreams. Their biases are laid bare in news broadcasts for all to see. News reports are little more than editorials and of course lean very far left for the most part. And most do hate Trump's policies. There are exceptions of course, Al Jazeera being one of them. They report the news including how well Trump was received on his trip to the Middle East and Europe. And that his recent announcement about the Paris accords was greeted with derision in environmental circles but lauded by others in the scientific community. You won't see that in the MSM will you?
We don't have enough pubs in America. In Ireland drinking at 9:30 a.m. is considered a late start, not the sign of a problem. People gather in public houses to socialize and have a couple of pints. Their attitudes towards alcohol are much different. Responsible adults aren't punished for the actions of those who aren't. It's not that way in most other areas of society but it is with the public houses.
But they probably have more pubs because the weather is generally horrible. I've never seen so much pasty white skin in my life! Cloud cover is the norm and when the sun does shine, it's not for long. You'd also better have a good pair of sunglasses because the clothing comes off and it's like being snow blind while skiing.
Things are different here, as I'm sure they say when they visit us in America. Some of it's good different; some of it's bad different (like the national health service); some of it's indifferent different. Being exposed to different cultures is definitely a good thing though.
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