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Monthly Archives: December 2015

ChristmasTreeLet me begin by wishing one and all a very Merry Christmas.  Not to diminish the pomp and circumstance to the greeting of Happy Holidays but the Christmas is one of those words that brings out the best of me.  It brings out the inner child in me and many others that represents total innocence and infinite wisdom; which is our only hope for both the nation and the word.  While many make New Year’s resolutions to save more money and give up vices (not that I blame them, especially those with vices), I would like to resolve to not be obsessed with being politically correct all the time.  So if I want to say Merry Christmas or make reference to God, I will do so with my head hung high and with great pride to be one of God’s children.

Second of all, although it is disappointing that we are forced into going to war to stop ISIS and to recognize enemies of freedom and democracy at face value, as we countdown to December 25th, I would like annunciate my prayer and wish for what Christmas really should be about; Peace on Earth.  My Christmas wish cannot be manufactured in a North Pole workshop and be delivered by a jolly old elf dressed in red on a reindeer-driven sleigh.  In fact it is not something that can be delivered this Christmas, next and probably not the one after.  My Christmas wish is that ISIS is the last world-wide hate group we have to deal with in our lifetime and that the world can unite for the ultimate cause, the ultimate glorification of God, Peace on Earth.  I cannot say too much about the debates this week that we don’t already know, and I really need to see Republican debates when the field of candidates gets smaller; say only three (3) Republicans on stage, which will force them to use two and a half hours to discuss policy specifics.  But now through Friday, I hope all the candidates in both parties are just taking a holiday break and hold off attacking each other until after the New Year.  Let us set a worldwide example for Peace on Earth. 

To all of you, my sentiments, my wishes, my tidings:

Christmas is Christmas all over the world
People are people all over the world
We’re all God’s children, the big and the small
With smiles on our faces we stand ten feet tall.

It makes no difference wherever you roam
You can go far or stay right here at home
Turkey and mistletoe, snowflakes and toys;

Bells ring
Children sing
For Christmas is Christmas all over the world.

 

 

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Republican ElephantI offer this reply to the reader who told me my comments are biased against Trump and that I don’t represent the real values of the party. Donald Trump does not represent the real values of the party.  The Great Ronald Reagan would not hold his head high for Donald Trump as an heir-apparent, as it were.  The Republican Party is not the party of bigotry and hatred.  We are the party of Lincoln.  A Trump presidency will put this nation in total chaos.  We still have a month or so before the Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire Primary and we still have a lot of much better choices than Donald Trump.  As registered Republicans, we have the power to vote in our respective primaries and nominate the best man (or woman), who I don’t believe is named Donald Trump.

Alas, I am a Republican and although not on the far right, I am a conservative.  But I am an American first and I believe the party and the nation would be making a fatal mistake to put Donald Trump in our nation’s highest office.

Republican ElephantWhile I do not allow CBS’s Face the Nation to regulate what is said on The 7 Train, I do from time to time share something learned from the age-old public affairs television program and/or anything that can be derived.  The show on the morning of Sunday, December 13, 2015, included coverage of a focus group discussing the [relative] failures of Barrack Obama and why they are gravitated to Donald Trump.  At one point, the group was asked with a show of hands if they would break away from the party to vote for Trump if he were not the nominee and ran as an independent.  Seventy percent of the group raised their hands for the affirmative.  The interviewer responded with the remark “the Republican establishment just died today.”

While one focus group does not have to power to kill any establishment, as it were, it brings up a powerful point and puts the Two-Party System, for all intents and purposes, on trial.  The modern day Republican party is, for better or for worse, a two-faceted party.  The birth of the second faction (now known better as the Tea Party) began in the mid-1990s when the former Dixi-crat faction of the Democrat Party (a faction of southern Democrats established shortly after the Civil War that was generally more conservative than grass-roots Republicans ) disbanded and southern conservative power shifted to the Republican Party, ultimately arousing the mid-western states as well.  Although I could never support the old-time Jim Crowers and John Birchers, it did serve to create a distinct liberal party and a distinct conservative party.  But the Tea Party faction has never been tested for the infiltration of an outsider like Donald Trump.  Trump is neither grass-roots nor Tea Party, but his own third faction, a faction that caters to Washington outsiders; you would have to include Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina in that faction albeit they do not share most of the Trump vision.  If Donald Trump’s candidacy is leading registered Republicans away from the establishment, we have a serious problem.

The near death of the Republican establishment, and for that matter, the same scenario if the rival Democrat Party were to lose their establishment, is a harbinger towards a one-party system, consisting of the surviving major party and a nationwide citizens-action group supporting unaffiliated rabble rousers; placing the Republic in serious jeopardy.  The mission statements for the creation of the Two Party System and the abandonment of the quasi-multi party system at the birth of our nation include to ensure a majority, not simply a plurality, and to encourage both parties to utilize the Platonian Dialectic to establish the most truthful solutions in a world of very little absolute truth.  The Democrats are not right all the time and we Republicans are not right all the time.  The process of thesis plus antithesis forming a synthesis, hence, a new thesis with a corresponding antithesis; continuing the process until equilibrium is reached.  Checks and balances keep the branches of government in check, but cannot sustain when everyone is in cahoots with the same ideal; which means either everybody is right or everybody is wrong and if everybody is wrong, everybody believes they are right.  Gridlock is frustrating.  A congress dominated by one party; that is the opposite of the president’s party, but not a large enough majority to override a veto is frustrating and has led to government shutdowns in the near past.  But in order to have a free country with a representative democracy, this is the price we pay.  If the Two-Party System goes, so goes the Republic.

I wonder how many Trump supporters also support the reinstatement of Pete Rose in Major League Baseball.  Undeniably, Peter Rose is the all-time hit leader and base hits of the past cannot be taken back.  We cannot arbitrarily recognize Ty Cobb as the all-time hit leader and pretend the career of Peter Rose never happened.  When it comes to sports halls of fames, baseball suffers the ultimate anomaly, the all-time leader in base hits is not in The Hall.  But if you lived through the 1989 baseball season when the allegations on Rose’s gambling on baseball games, including with his own team, the Cincinnati Reds, baseball buffs from all walks of life had to accept the sacrifice and ban Mr. Rose before he destroyed the integrity of the game.  For the same reasons, we cannot allow Trump to spread his rhetoric and fear and rip down the Republican establishment brick by brick.

In a free speech society, we cannot silence Donald Trump, we can only hope he trips on his tongue, as it were.  We cannot ban him from the party, the RNC cannot expel his candidacy, and no one can stop him from running as a third party independent as all aforementioned actions are exist within constitutional boundaries.  It is up to registered Republicans across the nation to band together and select a different candidate in the primary or caucus of which [you] will participate.  There are thirteen others and Hillary can be defeated, not by the candidate himself (or herself), but by WE THE PEOPLE who can select a candidate of whom we can form a common bond and put forth our faith that this candidate can implement a limited government scenario that works and is compatible with twenty-first century America, balance the budget to give us more options economically, and keep us strong against our enemies abroad.  American Democracy is far from perfect, but it still beats the rest of the world’s alternatives.  To maintain such lofty status in the world and in the history of the world, Trump must lose, America must win.

Republican ElephantI am only discussing it because it was brought up about a week ago.  Personally, I find it strange to talk about a brokered convention (or open convention for that matter) before the Iowa Caucuses are underway.  Let the primary and nominating process go its course first and see how we stand after candidates drop out and how the delegates are ultimately divided.  If any one candidate achieves 1,236 delegates (50% + 1), he (or she) is in like Flynn and there is nothing anyone opposed can do about it.  Second, it is not something you prepare for, per say.  If it happens it happens.  If no one candidate has that magic number 1,236 on ballot #1, delegates are released from their committed candidate and may the best man (or woman) win.  There is nothing more to it.

There is popular belief that Reince Priebus and a handful of morally upstanding Republicans, mainly the Republican establishment, want to instigate a brokered convention to get rid of Donald Trump in the event that he can achieve the delegation requirement before July 18th in Cleveland due to his inflammatory remarks against all Muslins and his little regard for the Constitution.  Granted, in 1980, the DNC at New York’s Madison Square Garden attempted to open the convention and oust President Jimmy Carter due to his brother Billy’s involvement with the Libyan government.  The difference is they did not disrupt the primary process; they waited until the convention was underway and the DNC took a roll-call vote among all the states to vote aye or nay.  The nays had it and the Carter-committed delegation prevailed.  As much as I see a Trump candidacy being a huge mistake on the part of the Republican Party, an attempt to pre-empt the primary system is a low blow to registered Republicans like myself who cherish our right to vote in primaries just as much as our right to vote in general elections.

The last Republican nominated by a brokered convention was Thomas E. Dewey in 1948.  Not only Generation X, but even late Baby Boomers like myself (a Baby Boomer by definition is anyone born between 1946 and 1965; I was born in 1962) have never seen it.  It would be an interesting political mechanism to study, as it were.  But that does not mean one should root for it.  I did not see the Holocaust either and I pray to God I never see one in my lifetime.

In addition, using a tool like a brokered convention (should it come to that) to dump Trump is an exercise in futility.  He has the financial wherewithal and he will run as a third party (pledges mean nothing to him) and he will help Hillary Clinton win by splitting the Republican vote among Trump and the establishment nominee creating the Teddy Roosevelt Bull-Moose effect. 

I pray with you that [our] party does not nominate Donald Trump.  But do let the nomination process (primaries and caucuses) run its course and see what happens.  Trump can still run as a third party independent if another Republican is nominated; but at least then he is not the people’s [party’s] first choice and he is more likely to go the way of John Anderson (1980) and H. Ross Perot (1992).  Let’s be education on how a brokered convention works, but let’s not instigate such an event; not now.

ChristmasTreeYet another reason why as loyal to the Republican Party as I would like to be, I simply cannot support Donald Trump and pray to God he is not ultimately the nominee.  Ban all Muslims?  That is a prelude to another holocaust; Hitler banned all Jews and murdered many of them.  We hear words like internment.  Trump’s edict is totally unacceptable.  Not all Muslims are bad.  All members of ISIS are bad, but ISIS makes up less than one percent off all Muslims in the world and all races, creeds, and religions have both good and bad people.  There is no place for bigotry and hatred; especially around Christmas time when the message to the world is Peace on Earth.

Every now and then I hear on the radio a Christmas rendition of Snoopy and the Red Baron where for this one day; the Baron does not shoot, forces Snoopy to land and calls out, Merry Christmas, my friend.  So here is what I propose.  The Republicans have a debate scheduled for this coming Tuesday (12/15/2015) and all Republican hopefuls have to do their thing to win the debate.  Once the debate adjourns, from 12/16/2015 through the day of the Epiphany (01/06/2016), let them all put down their difference, Hillary and Bernie as well, and just be at peace with each other, drink a holiday toast, share laughs and discuss family.  No, we cannot call a truce with ISIS at this time, but we can lead by example the quest for the true meaning for Christmas, Peace of Earth. 

Christmas is Christmas all over the world.
People are people all over the world.
We’re all God’s children, the big and the small…

Yes, we are ALL God’s children.  I am a Republican.  But I am one of God’s children first.  A family man second.  And an American third.  All other attributes, political party and ideology, favorite sports team, special skills and interests, all come below those three things.  Let’s put are differences aside for the holiday season and wage peace on Earth.  After the holidays, the Iowa Caucus will kick off the nomination process and the gloves will be off, as it were.  But for now, let us glorify God, even if you call him Allah or Yahweh, and spread his message for Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men (and women).  Merry Christmas or best wishes on whatever holiday you celebrate.  And God bless the United States of America.

American-Flag1In light of terrorist attacks in Paris, France and in San Bernardino, California, politics once again is forced to shift gears from the economy and balancing the budget to foreign policy and anti-terrorism measures.  We have to do what we have to do; but part of the problem is we are distracted too much.  We need to achieve a balanced budget in order to maintain a strong military defense.  Furthermore, military defense is the one service the federal government is constitutionally obligated to provide.  If we have kicked the can as far as it will go and cannot afford to meet the basic financial requirements of the Constitution, we are headed for national bankruptcy.  And if we sacrifice fundamental freedoms, we are a doomed nation.

We must not allow the horrific events going on the world, even when they hit home, to take us away from our goal to achieve financial responsibility and financial stability.  First of all, that is exactly what the terrorists want.  If they want to destroy America and the American way of life, their best chance is to allow us to become financially insolvent to face a subpar military both in equipment and in manpower.  This is one area where Ron Paul is wrong and Marco Rubio is one-hundred percent right.  We have to make it work without draconian cuts to the military, the Department of Defense, Homeland Security, and protecting our borders.

It may not have been the case in George Washington’s day, but today, economic and foreign policy are two cogs in the American machine whose teeth collide as they spin.  If one stops, the other stops.  In a book by Jim Witt, Road Signs for Success, Witt discusses the job prospect and how outsourcing has drastically and permanently eliminating jobs, even for those college educated who graduated at the top of their class.  Witt wrote the book in 1997, four years before 9-11 and states in the paragraph, Even the military is cutting back….  This was an area former President Clinton missed when he submitted a balanced budget at the end of his presidency but left the military deficient when it came to preventing the attack.  We need to build a strong defense through a strong economy which requires a balanced budget.  If you ever studied fundamental calculus mathematics, we are integrating by parts; this process usually requires more than one pass with the chalk or mechanical pencil before we derive an equation that can be solved using fundamental mathematics.

As we  approach the last debate of 2015 on December 15th and just over a month away from the Iowa Caucus kicking off the campaign [nomination] season (the campaign season is already underway), I know I will be disappointed even in the candidates who perform well with the questioning focused on foreign policy and antiterrorism.  I really want to hear more on balancing the federal budget, simplified tax codes, reduction in entitlements, and job creation.  Hence, a new corollary to the Schoenhaus Theorem: the strength of our defense is directly proportional to the strength of our [domestic] economy. 

I will discuss more in detail on a future post, but I want to close with the following.  During the holiday season, a popular catch-phrase that comes up in carols and in conversation is Peace on Earth.  If we are the superpower and the world leader and the world’s top spokespeople for peace on Earth, let’s first make peace among our rival political parties, our peers, and with the people of other nations who may have live by different ideologies and belief systems, are just as much God’s children as we are and let the ultimate authority judge them, not us.  My prayer is that our elected personnel in Washington, our state capitals, and in our town halls realize that although they may be political rivals, one’s personal politics is only one of many threads that make up the whole person and do not dismiss that person as a friend just because you disagree with one thread.  Peace on Earth and Goodwill to [Men].  (Men refers to mankind and does not exclude women).

American-Flag1All twenty-first century politicians, Republican or Democrat, liberal, moderate, or conservative, are now faced with a new dilemma that can change not only the shape of foreign policy in this country, but in the degree of freedom in the freest country in the world forever.

Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither, said Ben Franklin.  I have always believed that has been part of the character make-up of the American people.  Less than a year away from the nation’s bi-sesquicentennial (250th birthday on 07/04/2016), there is apparently a drastic shift in mentality among younger generation of Americans with many elders rethinking the wisdom of Ben Franklin.  With all due respect to George Washington, we would have probably been forced into a world economy even if the historical events that led to NATO and other permanent alliances.  But this is the first time in the history of this country we are forming disunion factions within our own borders and would like to profile them in ways that infringe on their rights as Americans.

A poem written by Emma Lazarus The New Colossus is engraved on the Statue of Liberty and ends with

…”Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost [sic] to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

 Although the poem does not empower any American anymore than does the preamble of The Constitution, like the preamble itself is the mission statement of The United States of America, the Lazarus poem is a subset to that mission and is a precursor to a vision statement to provide a haven of freedom to those from oppressed lands who risk their lives to set foot on the soil hallowed by from every mountainside, let freedom ring.  Metaphorically speaking, that inscription has been covered with an oversized Sorry, We’re Closed sign the shop on the corner hangs in the window after hours and the golden door Lazarus refers to has been boarded shut.

Today’s American takes an attitude America is for Americans.  I plea with any Generation-X-er or Millennial to do some research and realize if not a Native American once referred to as American Indians, you are of immigrant descent.  We are the globe’s ultimate melting pot for all nationalities and belief systems, religious or otherwise.  How do you call yourself a conservative if you don’t understand this?  If we are one nation under God then we are saved through the grace of God and to sacrifice liberty for security, not only chips away at the foundation of freedom this great nation was built upon, but also creates doubt in one’s belief in God.  Even if you are not religious, God, godliness, and scripture provide the only natural source of morality within the human species.  Even atheists understand why some people must believe in God although they personally do not.

I have said time and time again that a balanced budget is essential if America is to be restored to its lofty status in the world.  We were tested to the match on 9/11/2001 when Bill Clinton, to his credit, gave us a balanced budget but we had to go back into debt to fight the war on terrorism.  We cannot make draconian spending cuts with respect to defense, but then again, the military is the one service the federal government is obligated to provide—even in 1789.

Do we repeal the 2nd Amendment?  Although the NRA slogan If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns should be taken with a grain of salt, no extreme gun control laws are going to prevent Sandy Hook, Paris, or San Bernardino from happening, the latter two ascribed to radical Islamic terrorism.  If you intend to do bad and break laws, gun laws are no exception.  The other extreme would not work either where you would require everyone at the age of the majority to carry a gun unless categorized as mentally unstable.  First of all, if you have the right to bear arms, by default, you also have the right not to bear arms and mandates are just as much as an obstruction of freedom as prohibitions.  This is why I don’t understand how Obamacare is constitutional.  Personally, you have to be plum loco to not want health insurance in the world we live in today. But mandates and fines via the income tax are not the way to go.  And the only precedent the liberals quote is the requirement to purchase a musket during the American Revolution.  Back then, we did not have a constitution and we were not a sovereign nation until we actually won the war with Great Britain.  Federal statutes setting standards for employers to offer health insurance to all full-time employees, no refusals to cover pre-existing conditions and allow children on parent’s health plan until age twenty-six, plus offer health savings accounts, is the way to go.  There are some good reasons to have some gun control, but sacrificing liberty for security is not one of them.

With a balanced budget, we can ensure a strong military defense from now until the end of time.  We cannot be isolationists especially if a nation like Iran ever gets a nuclear bomb.  What we can do is be the world’s ultimate example for freedom.  The price we pay for that is we have to be a superpower in the world and we have to be militarily strong no matter what.  We need to have lower corporate taxes to keep corporations in America, manufacturer, and develop domestic energy sources so we can be less dependent on hostile and tyrannical nations but we must maintain our identity in the world as the melting pot for those seeking freedom from oppression
with natural born Americans leading the way, leading by example, and ensuring the government makes the preservation of freedom its number one priority.  Yes, I subscribe to America First.  But we have to earn it everyday and maintain an open-door policy with respect to planet Earth.