Slogging Through the Mud

Today we are in the midst of the exciting climax of the soap operatic confirmation process for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The story is full of all the glitz, glamour, and sex of any “quality” drama. All the sordid accusations and denials currently are being exchanged on Capitol Hill.

The problem being, of course, that we are talking about the nomination process for the highest court in the nation. We naturally want the nomination and confirmation of such a high-ranking official to be above such ridiculous television dramas. But what should we expect from our current leaders? What should we expect from the schizophrenic, pussy-grabbing narcissist who occupies the White House? What should we expect from the hypocritical Republican Party, which is full of members claiming religious conviction yet kissing the ring, even If sometimes hesitantly, of said Narcissist-in-Chief? And finally, what in the world should we expect from the Democratic Party, that institution that is obsessed with fraudulent virtue signaling? The answer, obviously, is that we should expect nothing different. However, it is up to us to demand a change in course.

Our liberal democracy depends on the structure provided by our laws. They protect the abused while also guarding against persecution by accusation. Our democracy depends on everyone having a fair hearing. A fair hearing means that you take both accusations and denials seriously. At the end of the day, if there is evidence, you reject the nomination and convict, if evidence is sufficient. If there is no or very little evidence in the light of counter-evidence or testimony, then you declare a person not guilty and approve them for office, in this case.

The accusations against Kavanaugh should be taken seriously. Furthermore, it is highly legitimate to question the morality, particularly in regard to sexual matters, of nominees chosen by the president who once boasted that he could grab pussies without consequence. For any Trump fan to be incredulous at the lack of confidence in the morality of Trump appointees is absurd. Of course the morality of Trump’s nominees should be suspect! Trump is the type of person who tends to attract sycophantic apologists who share his loose employment of an ethical compass. Now, of course, this is not everyone around Trump, but he seems to attract a greater share than most people. While a person whom Trump nominates may have had a long career without any ethical stains, just a mere association with Trump invites political attack from Trump opponents looking for a window of opportunity through which to thwart his administration. That is the type of political scrutiny that was invited by all those who voted for Trump. Those voters should not be surprised.

Sadly, the sycophants supporting Trump are not limited to his administration; they permeate the country, including Congress. Thus, it is only natural to doubt the thoroughness of Senate Republicans’ examination of Kavanaugh’s record and personal background and the seriousness with which they take accusations against him. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did no favors to the credibility of Kavanaugh’s confirmation process when he stated, in advance of the hearing on Ford’s allegations, “In the very near future, Judge Kavanaugh will be on the Supreme Court.” He should be committed to an impartial process, not a rubber stamp. In similarly dismissive fashion, Senator Dean Heller called the accusations a “hiccup.” Senator Orrin Hatch flatly said of Dr. Ford, “I think she’s mistaken.” He further went on to dismiss the stain of the supposed attempted rape on Kavanaugh’s current moral character. It would be highly preferable for Hatch to actually weigh the accusations and responses to them after having both people questioned more thoroughly. Shooting off judgements like this does not help the process. Unfortunately, the list of fawning support of Kavanaugh and dismissal of Ford goes on. Thus, doubts about Republican’s capability and/or willingness to handle the confirmation process in a fair manner are well justified.

That said, expecting competency and fairness from the Democrats is foolish. In a vibrant democracy, we should welcome and expect political scrutiny. However, that opposition must be credible to be of any benefit, and that is lacking. They are doing everything they can to sell the righteousness of their cause. The problem is that they are frauds.

Senator Feinstein, Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, withheld information about Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s attempted-rape accusation against Kavanaugh until the practical last minute of the nomination process. That action wreaks of a political stunt and served no purpose to protect Ford, despite Feinstein’s claims to the contrary.

Calls made by Democrats for an FBI investigation smack of being just a distraction and delaying tactic. Back during the confirmation of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court in the midst of the Anita Hill accusations against him, then-Chairman of the Judiciary Committee Joe Biden (somewhat of a prominent Democrat) dismissed the relevance of the FBI investigation that was done at the time. He recognized then what Republicans are asserting now: the Judiciary Committee is fully capable of conducting investigations into these matters, and it is the Judiciary Committee that will make a recommendation to the full Senate, not the FBI.

Democrats are proclaiming that women accusers should be believed, a very politically advantageous line of attack that totally undermines the rule of law. The just, moral course of action would be to take all accusations seriously but also insist on proof to back up those claims. Believing accusations without evidence just leads to modern-day witch hunts. We would have each party persecuting the other whenever they were in power, and likely eventually, one would take power and never let go of it.

Of course, the proclamation to believe all women accusers is one that Democrats routinely ignore when it is not to their advantage. U.S. Representative Keith Ellison, who is Deputy Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, has been accused of domestic abuse by a couple former girlfriends. He also happens to be running to be attorney general of Minnesota. Where is the chorus of Democrats denouncing Ellison and forcing him to resign from all his offices due to the accusations against him? There is none. The 800-pound sexual transgressor in the room is good old Billy. Bill Clinton has been accused by multiple women of sexual impropriety, including violent actions. Juanita Broaddrick’s allegations against Bill Clinton are highly credible. Even still, she generally is dismissed by most Democrats while Bill Clinton is still accepted as a hero by most of them.

Then there are those Democrats that do believe accusations against fellow Democrats or know for a fact about admitted sexual abuse by other Democrats but choose to overlook it. Senator Corey Booker admitted in an article he wrote to groping a girl in high school. How dare he criticize Kavanaugh? Booker should resign if he would apply the same standards to himself. Senator Tom Carper admitted to slapping his first wife. Good grief! He should resign, as well. Now enters Bill Clinton back to center stage where we find that he had a young female intern suck his dick under his desk in the Oval Office. We were there when he wagged his finger at the nation and the intern while condescendingly referring to her as “that woman.” Where is all the outrage crashing on the head of Bill Clinton? His abuse of his position to manipulate a young woman employee should have seen him run out of polite circles if the #MeToo movement means anything.

This naturally brings us to Hillary Clinton, the biggest fraud the Democratic Party has trumpeted in recent years. She, of course, is seen as a victim of Bill’s transgressions. However, did she honestly not see what was going on all those years? Furthermore, Juanita Broaddrick also credibly claims that she was personally threatened by Hillary. Hillary Clinton is promoted as this big champion for women’s equality and power. Give me a break! The message there is that you should stick with a man no matter how disrespectfully he treats you or treats others to get ahead; forget about your own talent and self-respect and forget about the worth of others. On top of that, you should turn a blind eye, publicly demean, and intimidate other women whom have been abused by such a man. It would have been a travesty for the advancement of women in society if Hillary Clinton had been elected president, and as the father of two daughters, I would have been ashamed. (Sadly, given the 2016 election results, I also am ashamed of our current president. It was a truly horrible no-win situation.)

We now come back to the primary actors themselves. Dr. Ford’s accusations are serious and should be treated as such. Rape is a threat that any of us dread for ourselves or loved ones. We must give those allegations their due consideration. However, thus far, all four people whom Ford has identified that could corroborate her allegations have instead cast doubt over her claims. One of Ford’s friends posted a ridiculous Facebook post saying that she remembers everyone talking about something happening at the party. Vague gossip is not evidence. That does not mean that Ford is lying or mistaken in her memories, but it definitely is an indication that she possibly could be. Kavanaugh’s other accusers that have come forward face similar problems. Key parts of their stories have been cast into doubt as supposed witnesses contradict the claims. Other accusations are wholly anonymous, raising huge red flags as to their legitimacy. Nevertheless, the accusations are serious, and it is worth finding out how much truth, if any, there are to them. Further examination is necessary.

Brett Kavanaugh, the focal point of this entire process, has not been helpful, either. He has flatly denied all allegations, which if true, is wonderful. He went so far as talk about his extended period of virginity, holding it up as a supposed example of his virtue. However, this morally pure projection of himself has come into question as comments from old schoolmates, in old yearbooks, and in a speech he made about his high school days have come to light. Those comments strongly suggest that a significant amount of alcohol was consumed by Kavanaugh in school and that he might have been less than chaste in his interactions with women. Now, most reasonable people do not expect their government officials to be morally pure, but when a person strongly suggests that they are in light of strong counterindications, a reasonable person cannot help but wonder about what that person is hiding. Further examination is necessary.

The only way to restore some sanity to this process is to try to inject some level of objectivity. All sides should be questioned and heard in today’s testimony before the Judiciary Committee. Everyone should then take the time to consider that information for more than just one day before a recommendation vote is held in the committee. All other current accusations also should be considered as information continues to come to various senators on both sides of the aisle. Finally, the FBI, as per Democratic suggestions, should be asked to do a thorough examination of the accusations that have come forward so far and any that come forward in the next 30 days.

Republicans are now howling in disgust at these suggestions, particularly about the FBI examination; however, it is the correct thing to do for several reasons. While it is true that the Senate is capable of doing all examinations that the FBI could do, the FBI has the reputation for greater objectivity. Having the FBI on the job can add assurance to the public that this confirmation is being handled in a fair manner. The pause in the hearings produced by the FBI investigation would last through the upcoming elections and make the nomination process less of a political football. Of course, it always will be political, but the pause could make it less political, at least temporarily. The image of all parties involved could substantially be improved by a demonstrated willingness to go through reasonable, objective processes to uncover the truth as best as possible. Additionally, while it is possible for the Senate to gather the same basic information as the FBI, the more intimate, non-partisan nature of an FBI investigation could likely produce some greater cooperation from witnesses and, thus, a bit more information. That could be enough to add shades of meaningful context to an otherwise he-said, she-said fight. Furthermore, an FBI report that bolsters Kavanaugh’s credibility would make Democratic objections out as political hackery, while a report that bolsters the allegations against him should be viewed as welcome information to Republicans who could dodge a political bullet of confirming a sexual predator. I am sure Republicans would prefer having the opportunity to confirm a different person for the job than to have the specter of an impeachment of a sitting Supreme Court justice should allegations be proven true after a Kavanaugh confirmation. Finally, taking this step back and bringing in the FBI can demonstrate to the public that the Senate is pursuing a compassionate and fair process in this age of greater awareness and intolerance of sexual assault. It would show that all accusers will be treated with respect but so will the accused. In that way, the Senate could set a pattern for a gradual healing of the wounds caused by sexual assault and show that our nation truly must be one of justice for all.

So, let’s come at this with clear heads. Take a step back and think how you would want to be treated if you had been harmed, how you would want to be treated if you had falsely been accused, and how you would want your loved ones to be treated if they were in either situation. If we do that, and we tell our politicians to do the same, then we can develop a better society in which to live. I hope that we will do this in this Supreme Court nomination process. If we do not, then we must do it soon before our socio-political dialogue goes from horrible to catastrophic. I know that there are enough people out there willing to come together to restore our national community, so let’s make it happen.

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Through the Storm

Airs of moral superiority are swirling around this election day with tornadic ferocity. The intensity of these winds is due to the populist but hypocritical hot air emanating from the mouths of the two major-party candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and many of their most fanatical, myopic supporters. Whichever direction the vote goes today, these winds are very likely to increase in ferocity and further batter this country in the months ahead.

Weathering this storm depends on you. It requires that you be of independent mind and keep pressure on politicians of all sides and not be a simple loyalist. It requires that you take your blinders off, look at your neighbors face-to-face, drop the hypocritical stances, and start talking about issues honestly without partisan labels or baggage. Only then can the heated winds of rhetoric calm. We then will be able to see clearly that there is a much wider and richer America out there, an America beyond the two-party duopoly manipulating our political process, an America beyond the team-sports mentality dividing us against one another, an America where people agree much more on major issues than the vested political interests want us to believe, an America that is ready to accomplish amazing things by not allowing politics to dominate every aspect of our lives. We will be awed with the spirit of cooperation and accomplishment that will sweep the nation.

But…, I say again, that depends on you. Approximately 90% of the likely voters in this election, if recent polls are to be believed, will cast their ballots for one or the other of the two major-party candidates. Those voters have so bought into the two-party system that even though those voters say and know that the system is not offering them the options that they want, those same voters feel compelled to continue voting for one or the other major-party candidate despite there being several other options available. Thus, voters will do as they have repeatedly done in almost every election for decades. If you are, indeed, among the roughly 90% of voters casting a ballot for a Republican or Democrat in Tuesday’s presidential election, the perpetuation of our current political environment is your fault. The system certainly depends on you, and I predict, sadly, that you will not let it down.

I know, I know, you HAVE to vote for your preferred candidate because the other major-party candidate is ssssooooo horrible. I get the sentiment, really, I do. The problem is that both of these people are horrible candidates. They are both horrible for our government, horrible for our nation overall, and they are simply horrible people. Their words and actions have proven this to be true.

If you do not realize this, then you are still in the denial stage of your mourning for your favorite political team. As the two parties continue to collapse under the weight of their failings, you will progress through the stages. It will be painful, but you’ll get through.

So, how and when can we expect to make it through this storm? We will make it through only when we use our collective pressure to force the politicians to be the public servants that they claim to be. It would be wonderful if the politicians then rose to meet this challenge. However, by far the most likely scenario is that our favored parties will only complete their failures. At that point, we will realize that they offer nothing of worth. The parties will collapse without our support, and the winds of heated rhetoric will cease. We then will have the opportunity to drop our own party labels and drop the partisan labels with which we view others. As others, in turn, do the same, animosities can be dropped over differences that do not really exist, and new political coalitions can begin forming to get past those minor differences that do exist to achieve more for the American people than has been accomplished in decades.

A great American middle will arise to check the extremists to our left and right. The great American middle believes in personal responsibility but also compassion for those that fall through the cracks. It recognizes that Constitutional protections enable the rule of law to shield us from the political biases and personal grudges of government officials. It understands that fossil fuels will not last forever, that access to many of those fuels forcees American involvement in unstable areas of the world, and that those fuels have polluting impacts on the environment. Yet, it also knows that reliable access to electricity is critical for our modern lives, that “green” energy options are most often not as environmentally sustainable as their sales pitches suggest, and that climate is more complicated than the simplistic warnings issued by global warming alarmists. The great American middle does not care whom you marry just as long as you don’t force them to participate in your ceremony. The great American middle recognizes that it is not scientifically credible to assert that a just-fertilized human egg is a human being, but it also recognizes that it is equally unscientific to deny the humanity of a baby just because it has not yet left the womb. The great American middle understands that the right to bear arms enables Americans to protect themselves both from routine dangers and from encroachments of a tyrannical government. The great American middle supports limiting the terms of members of Congress and forcing those Congressional representatives to pass a balanced budget. The great American middle demands that parents have total freedom to send their kids to schools of their choosing. It demands the opening up of medical markets so that patients have a wide selection of medical care and associated insurance best suited to meet their needs. As each accomplishment is made by a rational middle, the extremists become increasingly impotent.

Achieving anything on these and many other important issues will require earnest conversations and, possibly, some grand compromises. However, in a political environment in which failed political parties have lost much of their influence, overcoming the points that divide us can be so much easier. So, I say, let’s get on with it. Hang onto your hats and increase the pressure on our politicians to serve us and not themselves. If we do it together, the facades of partisanship separating us from one another can fall, and we then can truly be amazed by what we can accomplish together.

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Fifty Shades of Trump

Fifty Shades of Grey became a bestselling book sensation and then a movie over the course of the last several years. The title character, Christian Grey, self-absorbed and thin-skinned, seeks to dominate others financially and sexually. He is a ruthless businessman that does not let others stand in the way of what he wants. His sexual preferences go beyond simple kink to the point of subjugating women to his punishing whims. The reasons for the novel’s success, particularly the fawning admiration that many women show for the title character, are beyond my comprehension.

As the title of this blog suggests, one particular candidate for president might have more than a passing similarity to Christian Grey. Yes, Donald Trump is that candidate. While I do not suspect that Trump has a sexual toy room (I do not even want that image in my head), he does have a particular habit of utilizing sexuality as a weapon. Furthermore, Trump, like Grey, focuses everything on himself and has no capacity to tolerate any criticism. He is a self-absorbed prima donna. The reasons for Donald Trump’s success as a presidential candidate, particularly the fawning admiration that many supposed Constitutionalists and supposed Christians show him, are beyond my comprehension.

Despite a great many people seeing the same obvious negative comparisons as me, there are millions of other Americans that defend Trump as if he were some heroic knight rescuing our nation from the troubles that plague it. And my response to their assertions is, “Really?! Are you serious? Have you actually taken a look beyond his own boasts to examine his record of words and actions? You really need to wake up and have a look before it’s too late.” So, let’s have look.

The most titillating of all of the comparisons between Christian Grey and Donald Trump are focused on sex. The sordid details of the Christian Grey character can be discovered in the book and movie. The details of Trump’s sexual obsessions are regularly viewable in the news.

The Donald has long been in the tabloids for his many love interests and his affairs. “So what?,” people might say. Fair enough. They do not necessarily impact the job that he might do in public office. The real issue is how, like Grey, Trump uses sex as a tool for manipulation and abuse.

Trump regularly uses sexuality to put others down. He distills the value of women, even professional women, down to their physical appearances rather than their professional skillsets. It’s as if he thinks that a woman’s physical beauty and competence are intimately linked such that she must be physically beautiful to be considered amazingly competent, and if she is not beautiful, then she is not competent.

One of the most shocking comments was when he said to Celebrity Apprentice contestant Brande Roderick, “that must be a pretty picture you dropping to your knees.” The statement is shocking by itself, but hearing it and watching a video of it reveal the contemplative pause he made as he was mulling over an image of her in his mind. Trump and Piers Morgan shared knowing chuckles and looks.

The example most relevant to this presidential campaign was when Trump referenced then-candidate Carly Fiorina by exclaiming, “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!” Trump subsequently tried to weasel his way out of it by claiming that he was not really talking about her looks, but Carly called him out on it in the subsequent debate, and the shell-shocked look on his face revealed him for the fool that he is.

The other prominent incident from the current campaign was at one of the debates in which Trump tried to deflect a legitimate question about his treatment of women by not addressing the issue and proceeding to demean the woman asking the question. Megyn Kelly asked about many of his derogatory comments about women, and he made comments that, “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever.” Many took the words and tone to be suggestive of bleeding associated with menstruation. Is he suggesting that a woman cannot ask a tough question without it being attributed to some mood connected to her female functions?

Donald Trump rises to another level of disturbing, however, when he comments about his daughter, Ivanka. He has talked about how beautiful she is, including her “great body.” On “The View,” he said that he would perhaps be dating her if she weren’t his daughter. On “Wendy,” Trump was asked what was the thing that he most has in common with Ivanka. His response: “Well, I was going to say sex, but I can’t relate that to—” as he points to her. Ivanka is a business professional that works with his businesses. I know that he was “joking,” but could he not think of anything work-related or some recreational activity that he had in common with her? Furthermore, it is every parent’s right, including fathers, to be proud of their children, even for superficial things such as looks. However, Trump’s comments are for the most part creepy, particularly when you consider them in light of his comments and treatment of other women.

Trump’s sexual obsession does not just extend to women. He feels the need to brag that he is a very good lover, and he will take the opportunity to demean other men. He even took that to a debate where he belittled the looks of Rand Paul. There are many other examples, but they generally are not as atrocious as comments made about women.

Nevertheless, I cannot get the impression out of my mind that if Trump were president, we would witness the laughable spectacles of Putin and Trump competing to demonstrate to the world who is most virile. Who can build the biggest wall, who can intimidate the most countries, and of course, who has the hottest wife and mistresses? The behavior of these two men is so ludicrous that I honestly would not be surprised if they made locker room comparisons. Yeah, they are both that pathetic.

This world is superficial enough. Do we really want to raise our children in a nation where the president reinforces the shallowest of behaviors almost every five minutes? We need to encourage our children to develop their own abilities and meaningful relationships rather than being consumed by their physical appearances and fragile social networks. Good looks and popularity are nice, but they can warp our priorities and destroy the true richness of life.

Donald Trump’s sexual obsession bleeds into his business dealings as the arousal he gets from being a wealthy businessman is readily apparent by the way he struts around like a peacock showing it all off. He uses money as the ultimate yardstick with which to measure himself against others. At his campaign launch, Donald Trump bragged about how rich he was as a qualification for him to be president. He has belittled Mitt Romney as not being as wealthy as he is. And if he demeans Mitt Romney for his comparatively low level of wealth, then what in the world does he think of the average American? You can be sure that it is very little indeed.

Despite Trump’s boasts about his wealth, it is widely believed that he stretches the truth about its size. Is that why he is dodging on releasing his tax returns? Maybe he is embarrassed to reveal how small his pe.., I mean, pocketbook, really is.

Donald Trump definitely has achieved business success. He deserves credit for the quality of many of his properties, media ventures, and other products. However, he regularly boasts that he is always successful at business, that he is always a winner. When pushed on these assertions, he tends to backtrack somewhat, but nevertheless, his boasts keep reappearing.

Time magazine did a good summary of “Donald Trump’s 16 Biggest Business Failures and Successes” (9 failures, 7 successes) in August of last year. This list is not comprehensive of either his successes or failures, and it is important to note that all successful people and businesses have their shares of both. However, this Time list provides a reality check to anyone that thinks that we should just trust Trump to do the right thing because he is so successful. His failures include personal misjudgments, bankruptcies, hubris, the inability to hire the smartest people, and deceit (for which Trump is still in litigation and will likely be making a court appearance this summer). He is not the universal winner that he makes himself out to be.

Donald Trump’s successes also are not simply due to his overwhelming talents (as he tends to describe them with terms such as genius, great negotiator, pick the smartest people, etc.). His success is built upon the shoulders of others. There would be nothing wrong with that, of course, if he gave his benefactors proper credit and if he did not attempt to grind so many others of them into the ground.

The success of the Trump brand was built upon the success of his father, Fred Trump. Donald does give his father credit, but he is very dismissive of its importance. To get started, he received a loan that he referred to as “a small loan of a million dollars.” Yeah, I think many people could have done well with funding of a million dollars. The assistance continued, but in a scheme to avoid financial reporting, Fred Trump had a lawyer buy over $3.35 million worth of casino chips at Donald’s Trump Castle casino and then simply not using them, thus, effectively giving the casino a loan. They were busted and fined for the illegal loan, but Donald still benefitted.

Donald Trump also has benefitted from extensive subsidies and tax breaks from local, state, and federal governments for his projects. While it is common for real estate developers to receive breaks for new and redevelopment projects, Donald has pushed those to their limits, twisting the parameters of government programs while giving substantial donations to government officials. These breaks withheld from taxpayers many millions of dollars that would have supported government services, thereby pushing higher taxes on others to pay for them. Trump added insult to injury by engaging in unusual accounting schemes to dramatically reduce his tax liabilities even further. Trump also has petitioned for the lowering of real estate tax assessments for some of his properties. This is a common practice when an owner feels that a property is over-assessed, but the reductions of over 80% that Trump received for some of these properties were out of the norm received by most other properties in those communities. Thus, Trump added further burdens to taxpayers who lived there.

The most egregious of all of Donald Trump’s actions that he has personally taken and continues to defend is the utilization of the government power of eminent domain for general redevelopment efforts, not just public use purposes. Trump colluded with governments to use this tactic several times, but each time he has failed. He’s even taken the tactic international as he attempted to force elderly people out of their seaside Scottish cottages to make way for another golf course. He demeaned the people as pigs, and the people of Scotland rightly turned against him and told him to take a hike.

Donald’s failures at this legal “theft” for his own benefit were why he is so enthusiastic in his support of the U. S. Supreme Court’s shocking decision to uphold governments’ expansive use of eminent domain in Kelo vs. The City of New London. The decision created a gross expansion of the parameters of eminent domain, which traditionally had limited the definition of “public use” to those uses that were for direct public benefit such as roads, schools, and utility lines. “Public use” had been opened up to mean anything that benefits the public by generating higher tax income or some other amorphous public benefit. Thus, anyone’s property could be taken, with some compensation, and handed over to private developers to build what government officials consider to be a better, nicer use.

The Kelo decision shocked Americans of both political parties and caused many new local and state laws to be passed to restrict their respective governments from exercising the power of eminent domain in such a manor. Trump has the opposite view because the decision gives extensive power to government and to people like him who wield considerable influence over the politicians that enforce that power. It puts the boots of big government and big business squarely on the necks of average Americans in a coordinated attack. It succinctly demonstrates that Trump absolutely cannot be trusted to break the grips that big government and big business have on our politics, economy, and personal freedoms.

Donald Trump’s insults to hardworking Americans, however, do not end there. He employs sleight of hand with the immigration issue. Donald Trump vaulted his campaign to the top of the pack riding on the promise to build a wall on the Mexican border and deport all illegal immigrants. However, he has vacillated back and forth on the issue. In late 2012, Trump lamented the fact that Romney and other Republicans were too “mean spirited” when it came to dealing with Hispanics, and in 2013, he was very supportive of the authors of the Gang of Eight immigration bill (which actually did include a wall despite not being a good bill). Now, Trump is claiming that the wall was his idea, that he will build it HUGE, and that he will deport all of the illegals. It is, therefore, very logical to assume that once political circumstances change sufficiently, so too will his position on the issue. This is particularly true since Trump is a big fan of using low-wage foreign workers at his own properties. Donald Trump cannot be trusted to stick up for hardworking Americans; his own interests come first.

The Christian Grey character ruthlessly pursued his business goals, as does Donald Trump. All of their efforts are put into achieving business success. They so completely subsume themselves in it because it is one of the security blankets in which their fragile little egos are wrapped. This leads them to pursue goals in ways that blur in their minds many moral issues that are distinct to others. Thus, for Christian Grey and Donald Trump, every issue fragments from black and white into many shades of gray that are filtered through the whims of the ever-changing demands of their own egos.

How on earth can anyone think that the political realm is any different for Donald Trump? It is not; it is simply another arena in which he can build up his ego. There is immense power and prestige that comes with being President of the United States. And tell me, what president (or vice-president and many high-ranking cabinet officials) in recent memory has not come out of the presidency with a potential for multiple millions of dollars in annual income? The presidency has a multiplier effect on whatever income potential a person might already have had. A President Trump would come out the other end of his term(s) in office on a path to immensely more wealth than he had going in. Anyone that posits the theory that Trump is so wealthy that he does not have anything to personally gain from the presidency is kidding themselves. Politician is just another business venture.

Indeed, politician is a role that Donald Trump actually has been playing for just about his entire life. He has simply thus far remained on the unelected side of things. His lifelong efforts at buying influence with politicians are well-documented and even admitted to by him. He has flirted many times with running for president, each time circling closer and closer to actually engaging in a full campaign effort.

It was easy for many on both sides of the political divide to dismiss Trump as no more than a passing interest of voters on their way to more serious candidates. However, they failed to realize that Trump is playing the political game supersized. A master of showmanship, he disguises his history of political maneuvering and outright flip-flops (Democrat or Republican? Nobody knows!). As long as he says something with enough bombast, the people will believe just about anything. This is even true of things that are outright lies as long as you repeat them often enough. A few examples are presented here: he was against going into Iraq (lie), he was against going into Libya (lie), he does not want government-run healthcare (lie), Ted Cruz’s ads lie about Trump’s record (lie; the ads simply repeat Trump’s own words), and punishing tariffs against Chinese and Mexican goods will benefit American workers and will not cause American consumers to be crushed under mountains of growing prices (li…well, not so much a lie as a delusional fantasy of which he might have actually convinced himself). As is evident, Trump has had great success with these lies and fantastical delusions.

In fact, there was a dedicated group of political spinmeisters in Central Europe in the early-to-mid-20th Century that was very successful for a while with this same technique: lie big and lie often. Trump must have read his European history. Maybe he has discovered their missteps and is now trying his hand at perfecting the technique.

“Now, wait a minute.,” you might be saying. “All of this is starting to sound rather extreme.” Well, maybe you’re right. I mean, one can be assured that as long as you agree with what Donald Trump is saying at an exact particular second, it does not matter what he said a few years ago, months ago, weeks ago, days ago, minutes ago, one minute ago, or even one second ago. All you have to do is say, “I agree, Mr. Trump.” In that way, you, too, can be a loyal employee of Trump Nation, Inc. In that way, everything will be awesome, everything will be cool when you’re part of HIS team.

Team Trump is a team that appreciates the value in that old proverb, “If you cannot say anything nice about Mr. Trump, do not say anything at all.” After all, Mr. Trump says that he is a man that has never done anything in his life for which he has needed to ask God’s forgiveness, so why in the world would anyone think that they ever would have anything about which to disagree with him. Thankfully, Team Trump knows of many ways to keep team discipline, with Mr. Trump himself giving them examples. He has demonstrated that a lighthearted joke now and again about hurting journalists is a playful way to keep the media on your side. Another hilarious one is to threaten to blackmail journalists and anyone else with revelations of their secrets unless they keep their stinking mouths shut about their criticisms. Or you just attack them with crazy lawsuits just to keep them preoccupied. One of the most hilarious methods to shut up non-team-players is to pick out a physical feature to make fun of, particularly if they have an actual physical disability (because, you know what, those individuals actually are pathetic human lifeforms). In group meetings, it is important that you make clear to the audience that they should beat the crap out of any dissenters because they really do deserve it, and Mr. Trump will personally cover any legal costs that they might incur due to their violent attack of another person. Also, that dissenter must immediately be thrown out without their coat, most especially if the temperature outside is below freezing. Oh, and before I forget, it is critically important when you are speaking before Jewish groups that you tell them that you do not want their money lest they try and influence you (as Jewish groups are wont to do). In all these things, it is important that you not ever completely rule out placing entire classes of citizens into a government registry, just in case they need to be closely monitored and managed; make sure that they feel that ever so slight pressure to stay off any such non-team-players list. Finally, and this is really important, throw out a little suggestion every other week or so that Mr. Trump’s devoted team members are so loyal that he could do anything, even publicly murder someone, and they would not turn their backs on him. That really underscores the fact that it definitely is more cool to be part of the team.

Yeah, sounds like a plan, right?…..

It is important to emphasize that, my sarcastic comments aside, every single one of the above-mentioned tactics have been utilized by Donald Trump in this campaign. Additionally, he has a long history of using some of these and other tactics throughout his career. If ever there was a thug running for president, he is it.

Trump cannot stomach those that disagree with or criticize him. He does not merely get upset, he uses strong-arm tactics to attempt to put others in their place. How does that translate to a leader of a nation of over 310 million people? It means that there will be countless disagreements with him that will occur, and he will have many levers of power to deal with those dissenters. Both Bush and Obama have abused their powers. Trump is even more used to getting his own way, and his ego is supersized. We can expect presidential abuse of power to accelerate, not just continue, under a President Trump. Our very own American Putin-light would be bullying all dissenters. It is not a stretch to imagine that executive actions might be taken that would directly or indirectly work to suppress that dissent.

For those that have been unaware of details about Trump, now is the time to educate yourself before you make a dreadful mistake. For those that are aware but somehow think that he is all bark and no bite, you are beyond naïve; we cannot afford to indulge your foolishness. For those that are fully aware and support Trump because you want him to act exactly how he says he will, you have revealed yourselves to be frauds. Any of your claims that you are Constitutionalists are revealed to be utter falsehoods. Any of your claims to be Christians or people of common morality are obvious lies. Trump’s positions are not rooted in the Constitution or common morality; they are rooted in the cult of his own personality and the ethos of us versus them. We now part ways.

The colorations of Mr. Trump’s positions are not reflective of any underlying political philosophy; they simply are reflective of him. All his actions and statements are filtered through the dark, clouded prism of his ego such that they blur clear distinctions between right and wrong into many different shades of gray. This allows Trump to justify whatever position he chooses at any particular moment. The end result is an image that reveals a somewhat faint, yet distinct hint of fascism. I will NEVER support that.

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The Nature of Citizenship

In recent weeks, there has been a lot of talk about the Constitution’s requirement that a U.S. president be a “natural born citizen.” This conversation is nothing new. The most prominent target in recent years has been Barack Obama. The latest variant of the topic centers around Ted Cruz. He has faced this before, even prior to his presidential campaign. The issue had receded, however, until other candidates found it convenient as a tool to halt his recent rise in the polls.

One can see the appeal of this “natural born citizen” line of attack. Most importantly, the attack takes out an opponent without ever having to win on any substantive political issues. You win by simply disqualifying the opponent. Who wouldn’t love to just be ushered into a nomination, or better yet, into the Oval Office itself simply because your opponent is disqualified from the contest? (What an especially convenient attack for those low on substance.) The other appeal is that this strategic victory can be achieved while claiming the ultimate mantle of the American political experience: Constitutional Defender. The attacker can righteously proclaim that they are upholding the intent of the Founders, and thus, the liberties that the Founders intended to protect through the Constitution. (Yet, it is ironic that the “natural born citizen” qualification so often is a line of attack utilized by those that show little genuine respect for or knowledge of the Constitution and little inclination to defend it.)

As a basic qualification for the presidency, the answer to the question of whether a candidate is a “natural born citizen” is essential. The great problem with this line of attack is that it has been used in circumstances in which it is utter nonsense. I can see the intellectual temptation of wanting to apply the interpretation of “natural born citizen” at the time of founding to today. The problem is that you are trying to attach an old definition to a type of classification (citizenship, and specifically “natural born citizen”) that has steadily changed throughout the years, with the general trend toward expansion of its scope. The term “natural born citizen,” then as now, refers to people that became citizens simply by the nature of their births. Confusion comes in because those to which that designation applies can and has changed by legislation from Congress.

Some people desperately persist, however, by questioning how it could be that we let Congress change the definition of “natural born citizen” when we would not accept them changing the definition of freedom of speech or religion, the right of assembly, or to keep and bear arms. Well, quite simply, Congress was granted explicit authority to regulate citizenship, which has always included the authority to legislate those that are naturalized citizens at birth, but Congress was NOT granted ANY such authority in relation to the other rights. There was no restriction placed on those that Congress could grant naturalization at birth. Thus, people every day are considered natural born citizens because the facts of their births, and nothing else, made them citizens. This was the case for Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, Donald Trump, every other current candidate in the presidential race, and even current President Barack Obama.

A simple comparison of the basic characteristics of the various rights discussed in the Constitution reveals a fundamental distinction: some are natural rights while one is civil. Rights to speech, religion, assembly, self-protection, these are rights that you have because of the fact of your existence without depending on the existence of a government. If you were born in the middle of nowhere without any civil codes, you would have those rights because they are natural rights. You naturally have rights to protect yourself, believe what you want, say what you want, and gather with whomever you want wherever you want, assuming, of course, that you are not intruding on the personal space, safety, etc. of others. Now, at some point you might meet up with others, exercise your respective rights of assembly, and declare one to another that you respect each other’s rights so as to keep the peace between you. You might then organize a government to ensure that all parties actually respect those rights. The processes by which this government is created and acts in turn create all sorts of civil rights.

We are fortunate to have such a government that was established through our Constitution. However, that document did not create our natural rights; it simply laid out an agreement for their universal protection. Citizenship, however, was a right that the Congress was given explicit permission to legislate since citizenship is not a right that you would be born into if you were born in a place without civil codes. Citizenship is not a natural right; it is, in fact, the first CIVIL right. It is granted to you by the agreement that you reach with those that you encounter in the wilderness. Citizenship is your membership to the club, and the qualifications of that membership are defined by the club. Therefore, it is obvious that the government has the right and responsibility to decide who is a member by birth and who is not.

Ted Cruz is a member in longstanding since he was a member from the very second of his birth. Now that we’ve cleared that up, we can discuss the real substantive challenges this nation faces, such as intrusions on our natural and civil rights, the economy, terrorism, and energy independence, just to name a few. Why are The Donald and his lemmings ducking and weaving? You gotta wonder, or isn’t it obvious?

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The Sad State of Things

It’s sad that so many people in this country and the world believe that the government should be the primary determinant in their lives.  It is very telling that Obama was endorsed by Hugo Chavez, Vladimir Putin, the Castro brothers, the Communist Party USA, and leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood.  After all, it is only natural that tyrants would want support from one another in their efforts to roll back the democratizations the world has seen in the past two decades.

I hope that more Americans question their reliance on government in moments such as when they are filling out their health information forms that must be submitted under ObamaCare to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in 2014.  Do Obama voters honestly believe that it is a good idea that the IRS is the primary enforcer for America’s health insurance regulations?  Do Obama voters have even the remotest clue that many, many employers across the country will be forced to postpone hiring plans, cut back many of their employees to part-time status, or actually fire workers all to avoid cost burdens of ObamaCare?  Sadly, I do not think that most Obama voters realize any of this because they seem to buy into misleading political slogans without having a clue of how the world actually works.

Nothing is free.  Benefits paid for or mandated by the government are ultimately paid for by somebody, and many times, by everyone.  We pay for them in higher taxes, higher insurance premiums, and lost employment opportunities.  And, contrary to what many who cannot do math believe, higher taxes on the rich would not be sufficient to cover the bills.

As the paraphrased saying goes, “A government large enough to provide all your needs is big enough to take them away.”  It is not just bad luck that has caused Europe to be in constant debt turmoil, it is a direct result of governments that are way too large, suck way too much money out of the economy, and are way too involved in their people’s lives.  We will only have limited chances in the coming few years to avoid this ditch.

The really said thing is that all of this is just the tip of a very large iceberg of bloated, corrupt government that has no respect for individual rights, only collective ones.  I hope that this ship can be turned around before it’s too late.

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The Communist by Paul Kengor

I want to share with you information about a new book, The Communist:  Frank Marshall Davis:  The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor, by Paul Kengor.  I heard Paul Kengor interviewed on the Glen Beck radio show, and I am buying this book.  President Obama may or may not ascribe to all of the views of his mentor, Frank Marshall Davis, but it is disturbing to see how many of the ideas of Davis have slipped into Obama’s agenda and rhetoric.

Learn about the new book The Communist:  Frank Marshall Davis:  The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor by Paul Kengor that is described here on The Blaze website.

You can buy the book from The Blaze, Barnes & Noble, or Amazon.

Barack Obama mentioned “Frank” many times in his own book, Dreams from My Father.  It is interesting that he chose not to ever mention his last name.  I think that we all should look for the answers to why.

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Thanks for Supporting the Effort

Thank you so much for the comments of support that this effort has received so far.  I really do hope that you will share this website and overall effort with others so join together to pledge to restore freedom.  We need to use this time now to recruit as many voters against President Obama and any collectivists in Congress.  Our time is short.

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Why All the Fuss?

A lot of people may be asking, “Why did you do a new version of the Declaration of Independence to protest President Obama, and why make a website about it?”  To many of you, the answers are obvious.  Others of you, however, may think that the complaints that I have listed are just rehash of the complaints of many others or that a new Declaration is over the top.

Many people feel exactly the same way as I do about the disaster that is the Obama Presidency.  I mean, I am not the first to list complaints against the President and his political allies.  Many conservative political commentators and average citizens have made their complaints known about President Obama.  Additionally, I am not even the first to do a Declaration of Independence from President Obama, from collectivism/liberalism, or both.

I have written this Declaration of Independence from President Obama (and collectivism) and designed this website to make the new Declaration a plan of mutual action.  That is exactly what the original Declaration was.  The original signers committed the thirteen colonies to a conflict with Great Britain that would open the world to freedom.  The ending summed it up:  “we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”  Today we must not rehash, but we must specifically lay out our grievances with President Obama and pledge ourselves to action to redress them.

To those that think that a new Declaration of Independence is over the top, perhaps a bit dramatic, I say simply that the problems in our nation have reached crisis levels equal to the task of dismantling our national covenants.  If you do not feel the same, I urge you to read through our Declaration of Independence from 1776 and then read through our Constitution (including all amendments) that established our governmental framework.  After you have read through those documents, think about your own life with the freedoms that you enjoy and the dreams that you expect to fulfill.  Then in this context, think about the policies of President Obama and his political allies and whether those policies promote individual aspirations or rather enlist individuals in fulfilling the aspirations of the government.  Consider also whether their policies honor your civil rights as innate to your being or whether their policies enforce the idea that you only have those rights that the state chooses to grant.  If you do that, I believe that you will conclude with me that all the freedoms that we take for granted are in jeopardy.

Finally, I do not believe that holding up our nation’s political leaders to a comparison with the Declaration of Independence and Constitution is ever over the top.  We and they should constantly be mindful of the ideals those documents espouse and the governmental limitations and structures that were put into place to achieve them.  When our leaders do not live up to the standards of those national covenants, it is our right and responsibility to vote them out of office.  There is nothing over the top in that.

So, please consider joining me and making the pledge to vote out President Obama and collectivism on November 6.  Together we can preserve the rule of law and keep our nation free.


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The Beginning

Well, I have finally gotten my website up.  I was hoping to get it going right after July Fourth, but it is almost two weeks later and just getting going.  It has been quite an education for me and my wife, Melissa, about setting up a website.  She did all of the graphics and layout work and offered suggestions on my text.  The site is not complete, but the heart of it is there, and this is, of course, an ongoing conversation about defending our liberty.  I thank Melissa so much for her work, love, and support.  There is no way that I could do this without her.


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