Wednesday, September 28, 2016

President Narcissus Strikes Again

America's most self-centered, ego-maniacal President in modern history threw a hissy fit today because, *GASP!*, the United States Congress exercised it's Constitutional authority to override his veto of a bill allowing the families of 9/11 victims to go to court and sue Saudi Arabia. Note please that it does not guarantee any compensation, it merely gives these citizens the right to address an alleged wrong in a court of law, a basic right under, you guessed it, our Constitutional system of government. It wasn't really close. The Senate voted 97-1, with only irrelevant crony Harry Reid to cast a sycophantic and empty gesture vote against. The House voted 348-77 to override his veto. Again, this ability is a central part of the checks and balances system that President Obama so loathes.

The backlash by the Hectorer-In-Chief was swift and predictable. White House Mouth of Sauron spokesman Josh Earnest called it an embarrassment:

“I would venture to say that this is the single most embarrassing thing that the United States Senate has done, possibly, since 1983,” Obama spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters aboard Air Force One.

If he thinks that is the most embarrassing thing the Senate has done in the last 33 years, he is not really paying attention. You could pretty much pick any action taken by the Senate on a random day and find something more embarrassing. Again,  the real outrage here is not the veto per se but the idea that the peasants in the United States Congress should show such contempt for their Glorious Leader and His Divine Will. I mean really, how dare the ignorant, unwashed Congressmen question the decree of President Obama? Don't they know that He rules from on high by Divine Mandate, or in other words by His Own Will?

The Dear Leader Himself weighed in, calling the veto a "mistake". Of course anything anyone does at any time that is not blessed by Himself is of course a mistake. He complained that it was, again *GASP!*, a POLITICAL VOTE! A political vote?! In a political body?! Cast by....politicians?! Thwarting another politicians, er, Imperial Majesty?! The horror of it all!

He went on (of course, my emphasis):

Obama did, however, say “all of us still carry the scars and trauma of 9/11,” acknowledging that the victims of the attacks deserve support and compensation for their losses. The White House administration established a victim’s compensation fund. Regardless, the president said he feels the law could have a damaging impact on the U.S. 

Obama told Tapper that the U.S. has set up a “status of forces agreements,” which guarantees that any deployed U.S. troops are protected from similar private lawsuits — a deal that is acknowledged by several countries because the U.S. honors it with them as well.

Ah, I see. Someone else commits a terrorist attack on American soil, murdering almost 3000 American citizens, supported and funded in all likelihood by a foreign government and of course their families should be compensated!

By their fellow Americans. 

Read that again. American citizens should have to pay to compensate other American citizens for a terrorist attack by foreigners with the support of foreign governments. That is kind of like making he family of a murder victim reimburse the murderer for the cost of the bullets.

America is responsible for compensating Americans murdered by foreigners. Only in the fever swamp of Obama's imagination does that not cause outrage.

If we are concerned about other countries suing our troops who are deployed there, then I have a swell idea. Don't deploy our troops there. They don't get sued and we save a ton of money. Win, win!

Maybe it was a political stunt but I would rather that our citizens get their day in court than have the Administration sweep Saudi involvement under the rug. I mean sure, the Saudi's are our buddies (except for women visiting their kingdom) and buy lots of guns from us that they use to starve and slaughter people in Yemen but that all pales compared to the embarrassment felt by our Luminous Star.

Never in my memory has their ever been a man who is so unsuited to the job of President than Barack Obama. He is simply too small of a man to hold the highest office in this land or any other.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Cops And Context: A Plea For Common Sense

Before I start. two opening points.

First, being a cop on patrol and responding to calls is a highly dangerous, immensely stressful job. A person in a call center can take the next call without worrying about getting killed. A cop has that thought, they might be killed, just about every single time they do their job. I would not do their job even if I was able to do so within the boundaries of my faith. I think that for the vast majority of cops the last thing they want to do while on duty is pull their gun and want even less to have to use it.

Second, there are obviously people who are bad people on police forces around the country, just as their are bad doctors and bad garbage men. Racism exists among some cops. An attraction to having power over others and a license to commit violence also exists. Police are the primary enforcement mechanism of the coercive state. As such I am naturally a little suspicious of the police.

As of this morning, the violence in Charlotte is undiminished. More cops hurt by rioters. More stores looted, property damaged. A man is in critical condition right now after being shot, allegedly by someone other than the police. The national guard is being mobilized.

It is a scene we have observed again and again. For people like me who live way out in the country, it is fairly remote and distant but it certainly reinforces the idea of cities as dangerous places you don't want to go. For people who live in urban areas it is a growing reality, a new "normal" of discontent and violence.

I am not looking to comment in general about the logic of protesting violence with more violence, including damaging your own neighborhoods. I am just asking for some common sense.

The response in Charlotte at first blush seems to me, not to put too fine a point on it, insane. People are rioting and causing damage and injury because a cop shot a man holding a gun who refused a lawful order to drop it. I believe in an absolute, unalienable right of free citizens of the United States to keep and bear arms. I also recognize that the police, while in the act of carrying out their duties, have a perfectly reasonable expectation that a person with a gun who is asked to drop said gun or otherwise remove the immediate threat it poses because of a volatile situation. Too many cops get shot in this country to expect cops to wait until someone actually starts shooting at them before returning fire. If I were legally hunting and came across a game warden, I would set my gun down or at least break open the action so it wasn't an immediate threat. That is just common sense and common courtesy. People with any background in handling guns safely and properly understand why a gun in your hands can be seen as a threat.

My point here today is simple. Those who are in leadership positions within the black community have a responsibility to show some common sense for the sake and protection of their own people and it is absolutely necessary if they are going to make a difference. Here is what I mean. If you respond to what seems to be a completely justifiable shooting like the one in Charlotte and previously of Michael Brown in Ferguson in the same way you do what looks like a sketchy shooting in Tulsa, you completely lose your credibility. I believe the average citizen of this country, white or black or whatever, understands why the cop in Charlotte shot Keith Lamont Scott. So when you have religious leaders who describe it in terms like "modern day lynching" and threatening more violence if "justice" is not served and you have people attacking cops and looting Wal-Mart in response, it looks like people are just taking advantage of a situation to carry out depraved behavior.

When you respond to every shooting, justified or not, with the same message, it looks to the rest of the country like you are anti-cop and anti-law and are simply looking for an excuse to cause mayhem. It is sort of a "boy who cried wolf" situation. If you say "this is unjust!" when someone is shot without provocation but you also say "this is unjust!" when someone is shot for a valid reason, it all starts to sound the same and your message is diluted. If your concern is a perceived propensity for cops to use lethal force against black men that is unwarranted by the situation, then stop sticking your face in front of any microphone you can find when someone is justifiably shot. If you don't, people will stop listening to you and nothing will ever change. If you think that cops should never shoot anyone then you are dumb and should just shut up in general.

By all means, speak out when there is injustice being done but first take some time to think through what qualifies as unjust and what doesn't. A man in the dark with a gun in his hand who refuses clear, verbal instructions from cops to drop it is an immediate, lethal threat that cops have to respond to. The shooting of an armed black man by a black police officer is sad and unfortunate but completely justified if the facts bear out the description from the police.

So please just take a moment. I know we are in an era of immediate feedback to every event but take some time to think about what is just and unjust before calling for justice. If the black community leaders in Charlotte said something like "This was an unfortunate loss of life but it appears to be justified. Let's let the investigation take it's course and in the meantime let's focus on situations where the shooting seems unjustified", it would quell many of the violent "protests" and place the focus on where it needs to be.

When you cry wolf and paint with the broadest of brushes regardless of the facts, you dilute your message and are rightly discounted by most Americans. That isn't helping anyone but the people who have a vested interest in stirring up racial division wherever possible.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Political Hypocrisy At It's Finest, Fauxcahontas Style

So, far left Senator Elizabeth Warren took the time yesterday to grill the CEO of Wells Fargo, one John Stumpf about the recent banking scandals where many bankers were engaged in shady behavior that was rewarded. Now Wells Fargo has got some 'splaining to do and I am writing some notes of my own using my experience as a bank manager but I couldn't help but notice the faux outrage from Senator Warren who seems to think that the CEO of Wells Fargo should resign and be criminally investigated. Of course this is the same stalwart defender of honesty and ethical behavior who endorsed Hillary Clinton for President.

Unethical behavior at a business? Off with his head!

Unethical behavior while a public official? Let's elect her to be our next President!

Hypocrisy, thy name is Elizabeth Warren

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Wow. Megalomaniac Much President Narcissus?

President Obama has apparently decided that after almost 8 wasted years of his Presidency the time has come to use the time he has left in office to campaign for Hillary Clinton on the tax-payer's dime. Perhaps he is having a tough time getting a tee time at his favorite golf courses. Anyhoo, last night Obama said something very telling last night to the Congressional (Liberal) Black Caucus, emphasis mine :

President Barack Obama said Saturday night he will take it as a "personal insult" if the African-American community fails to turn out for the presidential election and encouraged black voters to support Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

Obama delivered his final keynote address to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, symbolically passing the torch to the person he hopes will succeed him next year. Clinton, his former secretary of state, was honored for becoming the first female presidential nominee of a major party.

Obama said his name may not be on the ballot, but issues of importance to the black community were, including justice, good schools and ending mass incarceration.

"I will consider it a personal insult, an insult to my legacy if this community lets down its guard and fails to activate itself in this election," Obama said with a stern look and booming passion. "You want to give me a good send-off, go vote."

Wow. You know what is really insulting? One man declaring that if blacks don't vote (and of course mindlessly vote for only Democrats), it will be a "personal insult" and "an insult to my legacy". Read his words again:

I will consider it a personal insult, an insult to my legacy if this community let's down it's guard

It is true that many Presidents are concerned about their legacy and how history will view them, especially near the end of their time in office. No one that I know of has scolded an entire group of people because if they don't do what he says, based solely on the color of their skin, it might taint his legacy. Who else is so pompous that they arrogantly command people to get out and vote for someone else because not doing so might make Obama look bad?

Of course his sycophantic would be successor who is banking on the black vote:

"We need ideas not insults, real plans to help struggling Americans in communities that have been left out and left behind, not prejudice and paranoia. We can't let Barack Obama's legacy fall into the hands of someone who doesn't understand that, whose dangerous and divisive vision for our country will drag us backwards," she said.

I guess when you are despised by the people of America and known as a dishonest snake oil salesman, you have to appeal to blacks to vote for you so that they don't taint the all-important legacy of President Obama. Hillary's entire campaign revolves around a) staying out of sight as much as possible and b) pointing out that she in not Donald Trump. There is no real reason to vote for her unless you just care about the first female President or not having Trump as President. It is the weakest argument of any Presidential candidate I can remember, 

Sssh! Don't interrupt me peon! I'm
pondering my legacy!
I have noticed through the disaster known as the Obama Presidency that he references himself more than any President in my lifetime. His speeches are full of "I" and "me" no matter what the topic. To him the Presidency is nothing more than a global platform to remind everyone of just how great he is. This angry rant about black voters not tainting his legacy is outrageous. When I say he shows signs of megalomania, I am not engaged in hyperbole. You really kind of need to be arrogant in some respects to be successful at certain jobs. I think of surgeons, of jet fighter pilots, sports. A quarterback who is uncertain of himself is going to get sacked a lot. A surgeon who is afraid to make a decision knowing it is the right thing is going to kill a lot of patients. So much more is true to become President. You have to go out day after day and tell the American people that out of some 300,000,000+ Americans, you and you along are the right person to run this nation. It takes some pride. But Barack Obama has taken that to a whole new level. No one else has been so open and unapologetic about using the power and prestige of the Presidency to showcase himself, his purported brilliance and charm. When he uses the bully pulpit to harangue and scold Americans like a bunch of children, wagging his finger at us and telling us how much we have disappointed him yet again, he exposes his contempt for the American people and America itself. 

Next January can't come soon enough. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Criminal Activity Isn't The Crime, Feeling That You Need To Commit Criminal Acts Is The Crime

If the title of this post makes no sense to you, be relieved because it means you still are at least somewhat sane. If the title of this post makes any sense to you whatsoever you need to seek professional help.

So in the "Irony" category comes a story of a "Black Lives Matter (*When Killed By Cops)" activist who was robbed at gunpoint near the University of Houston where he is a grad student. The reason that this is ironic is two-fold.

First, here is a young black man being robbed by another young-ish black man. Black on black crime is a vastly more serious problem that the cases of excessive and/or unjustified lethal force by cops toward young black men but that gets very little press.

Second, what did the "Black Lives Matter" activist, Jerry Ford Jr. (no relation to former President Gerald Ford), do when he was robbed? Well is seems he contacted....the police. Weird how that works, given the rhetoric out of the BLM movement you would think he would be more scared to call the cops than be robbed at gunpoint.

What really makes this article so insane is this comment from Mr. Ford:

"It's becoming a pattern. I hope they would take a bigger stance and put more security over here because you have a lot of people walking back and forth to class," Ford said. 

As scary as this was, Ford actually feels bad for the guy. 

"I would've gave him money," he said. "I would've talked to him because the real crime is why is he in that position that he feels the need to come and hang out at a college campus and rob people of stuff they worked for."

A couple of thoughts. First Mr. Ford is calling for more security or a "bigger stance", not sure what that means because I am not a graduate student, (and this is off-campus) which presumably means....more cops. I thought cops were scary and all a bunch of trigger-happy racists? Wouldn't having more cops around make things worse?

Second, setting aside the statement "I would've gave him money" coming from a grad student, Mr. Ford immediately assumes that this gunman is actually the victim, forced into a life of crime because of white privilege or latent racism or whatever excuse he could come up with. This guy didn't really want to chat. He wanted Mr. Ford's money and was quite willing to threaten Mr. Ford's life with a gun pointed at him to get Mr. Ford's money. We call those sorts of people "criminals", regardless of their skin color or circumstances. Lots and lots of people grow up poor and with various barriers that make success more difficult. Very few of them point guns at people and steal their money. Poverty doesn't automatically make you a criminal and it never, ever, ever excuses stealing from someone and threatening their life.

Third, I like the last part decrying the act of: "rob people of stuff they worked for". That is precisely what the government does every day. A person works for a paycheck and the government takes part of it away from them and the threat accompanying that act is every bit as real as a gun pointed at you outside your apartment. Weird because a lot of BLM activists seem to think that they are right to demand what others have worked for but not when it is "stuff they worked for".

I wonder if they cover the idea of irony with grad students at the University of Houston?

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Right, That Must Be It

Last night Hillary Clinton, perhaps caught up in the fervor of speaking to America's new favorite protected class, homosexuals, in much the same way she gets caught up speaking at black churches by adopting a risible "black accent", made a keen observation about Trump voters backed up by mounds of facts. She stated that half of all Trump supporters were motivated by hate:

"To just be grossly generalistic, you can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables," Clinton said. "Right? Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it."

She added, "And unfortunately, there are people like that and he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people, now have 11 million. He tweets and retweets offensive, hateful, mean-spirited rhetoric."

Clinton went on to say that some of these people were "irredeemable" and "not America."

As if Clinton has any idea of what is or is not "America".

So according to Hillary Clinton there are at a minimum some 5-6 million American citizens who are supporting Trump because they are racist, sexist, blah, blah, blah. Her evidence for this incredible observation is that she says it is so. Millions and millions of Americans are haters and that is why they support Trump and not her, because after all there can't be any other reason to not support Mrs. Clinton. Right? Well in the same CNN piece I linked above we see a graph of a recent poll that suggests that people are voting for Trump not so much because they are sexist/ homophobic /racist / whatever but because Mrs. Clinton is the one who should be seen as being in the "basket of deporables".

Oops. It looks like Hillary is just a lightning rod, someone who is virulently unlikable and has such a sordid past that millions of people rightly don't trust her as far as they could throw her. No doubt that all of those people who are against Clinton are sexist. There is no reason any rational person would not support Hillary apart from irredeemable sexism. Or maybe there is...

Hillary Clinton has been in the public eye since her "husband" became President. She has consistently left a trail of corruption and the occasional "suicide" in her wake. She is an unpleasant person even in public unlike most politicians who can at least pretend to be a decent person in front of the camera and her statements above, far from being "startlingly blunt", are actually par for the course with her. Being vindictive and nasty is her main mode of operation. Recall the "vast right wing conspiracy"? Far from being "startling blunt", Clinton has always made sweeping, ad hominem accusations against anyone who dared to question her or her husband. Before she announced she was running again this campaign she already had incredibly bad polling numbers. As a people we have had a taste of Clinton in power and we don't want anymore, thank you very much.

Imagine the outrage from the Clinton campaign and her media lapdogs if Trump said that half of her supporters were unemployed, lazy, drug using, welfare recipients (for the record, he might very well have said exactly that at some point.). You would be hearing outrage about racism, dog whistles, etc. until the cows came home. You don't have to guess anyway, just recall the outrage over Mitt Romney's private comments about the 47%. It is a sign of how bad things are for her that she is starting to trail in some polls and even CNN is reporting her comments, even though they had on a professional Clinton defender who invoked the laughable "alt-right" conspiracy to explain Clinton's statements. As an aside, "alt-right" is just the modern iteration of "vast right wing conspiracy". It is essentially meaningless but it makes for a convenient way to discredit any opposing argument, as if anyone who marks a ballot for someone other than Hillary Clinton is a Grand Wizard of the KKK.

What I take from Clinton's comment is something that is pretty simple and that has been obvious for her entire campaign, and really her entire career, and that is a revulsion toward working people who are not on board with the social revolution. When I was younger the Democrats at least pretended to be on the side of the "working man", pursuing policies that they said would help blue collar workers. Now those workers, many of whom are unionized, have no place at the table for the new and improved Democrat party. The Obama/Clinton Democrat party is focused on the elites in coastal cities, including and especially Wall Street millionaires at banks and hedge funds (and if you think they have been paying her millions in speaking fees because they think she is going to "crack down" on banks, you have no idea how the world works), minorities, especially Hispanics, and above all else the sexual revolution. Promises of stuff like "free" college are just ways to get low information voters to show up and vote for that "free" stuff. The real target audience for Clinton are people who advance the cultural revolutionary movement to remake America into something very different from what it has been in the past. It is a movement that champions the self, self-expression and especially self-gratification, above any other issue and is run by the bureaucratic elites in Washington, the education establishment and cultural icons who help fund the movement and give it credibility. Anyone who works for a living doing regular stuff and is worried about the direction of this country, which any sane person should be, must be racist or homophobic just like anyone who wonders why black lives only seem to matter when a cop kills them is racist or someone who is concerned about "transgender" men showering with their daughters must be homophobic.

As much as they want to let this latest outrage slide, I am hoping the media will continue to call her out on it. You can't try to take the moral high ground by slandering millions of Americans. Of course the moral high ground in this campaign looks more like a cesspool but that is what he have to deal with.