Sunday, June 24, 2018

A look back for new visitors and followers

Some five years ago I embarked on a series of essays outlining my philosophy and my thought patterns. I completed 13 and posted them. I still have #14 in the works, but it struck me that it might be useful to some people if I posted the links to the first 13. I will warn  you that you might need to keep your Funk and Wagnall's handy or at least a passable Webster’s.
Hence, here they are:
May you find them enlightening, informative and thought-provoking. I make no claims of omniscience or any special wisdom. These truly are the thoughts of an old warrior-journalist monk. They merely are worth what you can take away from them in your own thoughts.

I now include a few more links for you to read somewhat to round out the collection

I probably will add more to the list as time goes by but you can go back through the list in the right column yourself and pick and choose.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Trump Derangement Syndrome

Ok, before we start:
1. I apologize for having neglected to maintain my blog for the past year. I could lay out a litany of reasons and excuses, including being very lazy, but basically it seems that every potential entry gets overcome by events and the world moves on. The only thing that doesn’t seems to be the Presidency of Donald J Trump and the constant drumbeat of efforts to convince people he is unfit for office and should be removed.
2. My opinion of President Trump is that he is a somewhat self-centered, narcissistic, arrogant, unconventional individual who for some reason has inspired virulent hatred, a lifetime of jibes and mockery and a certain measure of envy and resentment for being a rather successful (to the tune of several billion dollars) American entrepreneur and corporate business person.
Now, on to my discussion of the title of this post: the Trump derangement syndrome.
Mr. Trump has been the favorite pin cushion of both the tabloid and mainstream media since I was a first a news editor at a daily newspaper back in the 1980s. What that means, I think, is that he has a lot thicker skin then his detractors give him credit for. However, it also means that lots of ink and airtime has spent to belittle and mock him, despite the fact that even with his various peccadilloes, he actually built a successful business empire and ran a successful political campaign (on his first try) that allowed him to win the office of president of the United States. Neither is a mean feat on their own, and the latter literally was against all the odds.
Now, let me point out that the man is neither stupid nor irrational. Unconventional? Oh, definitely yes. However, one does not build a multi-billion-dollar corporate empire by being either stupid or irrational. One may be eccentric or different like Howard Hughes or Henry J Ford, but that is not being mentally unbalanced.
And it has been nearly a century since someone won the office as a relative political novice. Usually, candidates have to try and fail several times before reach the peak of the political ladder in this country. So, despite all, you have to give him some credit for doing it.
So, you don’t like his policy proposals and plans, or the way that he approaches dealing with a host of issues. So what? The old saying that “elections have consequences” holds just as true for President Trump as it did for President Obama or any of his predecessors. If you were happy with the direction the country was going under Obama, and now the country is going in a different direction, you really need to get over it as did those who didn’t agree with the transformation agenda Obama proposed had to do.
It is interesting to note that the president was able to convince Congress to pass a tax cut that actually cuts taxes for 8 of 10 Americans and not just the 1 percent at the top. It also lowers the tax rates for American corporations to which the corporations responded with a modicum of jubilance. Some even went so far as give their employees bonuses and others actually gave out raises. Now, I am trying to see the down side to all this money flowing back into the U.S. from shelters and havens, but I can imagine those who can see no good coming from Trump or the GOP undoubtedly will find it. To me their cries of despair are a bit Orwellian in which good is bad and bad is good.

Now, where his detractors see and claim he allegedly is a budding tyrant, I see someone who has respected the road blocks to his policies and plans by the courts and Congress.
For example, the courts hammered him on his immigration plan (although in some estimations it was a severe overreach by the Judges), and he respected the various court orders and went back to the drawing board twice and while it is still being litigated, it appears that the third try – with a little tweaking – is going to pass muster with the Supreme Court of the United States.
He wanted an out-and-out repeal of Obamacare. He didn’t get it. Congress just wouldn’t agree to it.
Some tyrant there. It is, however, a clear demonstration on how the American system of governance is supposed to work. Unfortunately, his detractors are so obsessed with overturning the results of the 2016, they can’t see this apparently and take solace in it.
To those people I suggest they stop obsessing about it.

For those obsessing over Michael Wolff’s book. I merely shake my head in wonder. I suspect it should be taken with a liberal amount of salt and cynicism. First, even the author has admitted in a multitude of interviews that he made up stuff to fill in the gaps. This would be consistent with his track record as a gossip journalist in New York City where he has been accused of making stuff up a multitude of times.
Secondly, with his admitted credibility problem, it becomes problematic to separate the wheat from the chaff, the true from the false. Yes, there probably nuggets of truth in the book, but – honestly speaking – most of those truths were known to the electorate before he was elected to president. However, for those who truly can’t accept Trump as president, it becomes a case of the book is so salacious and fits their narrative so well, it has to be true … even if it is not.
To that end, I commend this article for your perusal.
Book too good not to believe in the LA Times

I know I haven’t read the book, so I really suppose I shouldn’t comment, but I will. It is the hysteria and hyperbole that bothers me. The fact that the author says his book will bring the president down and have him removed, I also find disturbing. It seems to me that certain groups whose ox is getting gored have decided that to heck with our federal democratic form of government, they are going to overthrow it and destroy the nation.
Damn it folks, get over it. You have 2018 here now and in November you can change the make up in Congress and legally stymie everything Trump does in the next two years. Then in 2020, you can vote FOR someone to replace him and if a majority of people in a majority of states by electoral vote agree with you, he will be out of office on Jan. 20, 2021, and you all can back to status quo ante and business as usual. If you believe in the American system, please stop going hysterical every time he tweets something. Did you ever think he might be doing it just to push your button and distract you from things that really are going on. Like a magician, watch this hand while the other hand does the real magic.

Ironically, if you look at the results of what his administration has done in its first year, you will find that it mostly has had a positive impact, or so says the New York Times (if you want to believe them). Hmm, strange. I would commend this article for your perusal:
Trump has accomplished much to counter the gossip
Finally, I find it amazing that the major news media basically played down this story or just ignored it.
Trump says he is open to talks with Kim
I mean he opens the door to talks with the little rocket man and nobody thinks that is important or worthy of extensive discussion. How myopic is that? Maybe he isn’t into a race to push the damn button,

Now, I am through with this rant. You are welcome to leave comments either here or on my Facebook page. You won’t hurt my feelings. I already am in my safe zone.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Trump intel files

To put it bluntly: What a mountain out of a molehill.

I am going to make this short and sweet. If I was in either President Obama’s shoes or President-Elect Trump’s, and the heads of the US intelligence agencies came to me and said that the Russians had a built a dossier on either leader, my reaction would be: What’s in it? And if you don’t know, you guys are not doing your jobs. Oh, and you do have similar dossiers on Putin, and all his key personnel, as well as the leaders of every other country in the world and their personnel? If you don’t, then you are fired and I need someone who can do your stupid jobs.

Then I would say to the FBI, I hope no foreign intelligence service surprises you with something out of their dossiers that you already haven’t already uncovered (and told the subject about) on any one who has undergone a full background investigation as part of their security clearances … and that means everybody. You will guard this information with your lives, but if you also will review the file with the subject should anything come up, derogatory or not. Do you understand? … if you have to react to this stuff, then you are not doing your flipping job. You are fired and I need to get someone who knows what your flipping counter-intelligence job is.

If it upsets you that Putin may have such a file, grow up and get over it.

There is an axiom in diplomacy and war that goes something like: Know your enemy. And if you are not keeping every tidbit about your opponents (and friends) in the Great Game, then you are going to get burned, and probably badly.

I know, it isn’t a very progressive attitude, but the object here is not to lose or get killed.

That is why the whole freaking thing being hyped by CNN and other news outlets really is making a silly mountain out of a freaking molehill.

Nuff said.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

How soon we forget

Okay, I will be bad with this one … I ain’t gonna provide you with the relevant links, because – Hades, I going to assume that you follow the news. If that distresses you or diminishes my remarks here, so be it.




What bullshit. First of all, they may have something on the new president, but I find that dubious.

Second, the stories – as so far as I can ascertain – are based on an anonymous memo or memos from an alleged agent for British intelligence that make a number of non-specific allegations against Trump and that the Russians have enough dirt on him to blackmail him that have been neither validated or substantiated by either US or British intelligence agencies.

In other words, we are talking about rumors that have had no substance to them.

When I was an editor, I would toss the offending reporter out of my office and tell him that A) we don’t do anonymous sources, B) especially without some documentation, especially not documentation attributed to someone no one can identify. C) Go back and come back with a story you can verify and is substantiated by some recognized official who is willing to go on the record and provide facts that can be independently validated. Until then, this story is spiked.

The irony in this, to me, is for the last 15 years these same people have been trashing George Bush for allegedly lying about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction, the capabilities to make more and the resources on hand to do it.

Unfortunately, even the New York Times has had to recant that canard. Still these people who bashed Bush, however, continue to perpetuate their mythology.

Now, it can be said that the intel people had a whole lot more physical and verifiable evidence that Saddam and his minions had WMDs than there seems to be the case with this story about Trump. Strange, we are supposed to think that the intel folks led us astray in Iraq, but are impeccably correct in this hogwash.

Now if it is a crime to seek ways not to get provoked into a war with Russia … or China … or any other country like North Korea, then lock me up for I am all for it. Not to say that if such a war needs to be fought, I wouldn’t volunteer for active service (but I am too old and wrecked for it), but it damn well had better be for a damn good reason. American lives are too valuable to me.

Yet is seems that Democrats (liberals and progressives) have been trying to provoke a war with the Russians. Please guys, unless you are willing to take up arms yourselves and fix your bayonets …. then take some advice from those who have and would do so again: Shut The Fuck Up. (apologies for my bad language here and there).

I doubt very seriously my progressive and left leaning brethren are or would be willing to put their lives on the line here.

Remember, there is no evidence of the Russians tampering with the election … only evidence (which is disputed) they wanted to influence American voters … Hell, I think ALL the heads of state in Europe were trying to do that as well as in Latin America, Africa, and all of Asia. Why single out the Russians? Missing the old Cold War tensions?

I am sorry, folks, but as my Pappy used to say the rumors about Trump really are a tempest in a teapot.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

My Philosophy 101

Three years ago I embarked on a series of essays. I completed 13 and posted them. I still have #14 in the works, but it struck me that it might be useful to some people if I posted the links to the first 13. I will warn  you that you might need to keep your Funk and Wagnall's handy or at least a passable Webster’s.

Hence, here they are:


May you find them enlightening, informative and thought-provoking. I make no claims of omniscience or any special wisdom. These truly are the thoughts of an old warrior-journalist monk. They merely are worth what you can take away from them in your own thoughts.

President Trump

Here we are almost at Christmas … and various and sundry people are still throwing hissy fits over the outcome of this year’s presidential election. Da-yam, I don’t remember the hissy fits being this bad when President Obama was elected in 2008 and 2012.

Of course, I was in the hospital for the 2008 election, so I probably missed a bunch of stuff.

Still, while I have no problem with progressives, liberals and Democrats doing whatever they can do to impede  the new president’s agenda in the halls of Congress, because that is fair game and to be expected. I do have problem with all sorts of political leaders and celebrities promising to incite civil disobedience between now and the inauguration and at the inauguration. Civil disobedience invites less than civil violence and that is not fair game, nor should it be expected.

Folks, by following the rules of the federal republic, Donald J. Trump won and Hillary Rodham didn’t. Accept that as a given and move on. We are a federal republic and we do have the Electoral College for a reason … and that reason was readily apparent in this election. The system is designed a) to protect the country from electing a purely regional candidate, b) to protect the rights of minorities (in this case all those people who live in flyover country) and c) to protect state rights by ensuring that voters from one state cannot dominate the electoral process.

Clinton’s victory in the plebiscite literally came in merely two states: New York and California, where her victory margin was something on the order of 7 million votes. In the remaining 51 states, districts and territories, she lost by 3 million votes. Giving her roughly a 4 million vote lead in the popular vote. The founders, in their brilliance, foresaw this happening and, hence, invented the electoral college.

It is not racist or denying anyone their vote. It was in recognition of the fact that this nation was set up a FEDERAL REPUBLIC.

If you don’t like that: GET OVER IT. Go back to school and study your basic American history and civics (if you can find such courses that aren’t trashing both).

Another thing, we can only have one president at a time, and right now that person is Barrack Hussein Obama. He WILL be president until noon on Jan. 20, 2017, and you need to get with that fact.

People need to stop freaking out over every tweet, announcement or appointment coming out of the incoming administration as it takes form. None of it is formal policy, and it can’t be: Remember, 1 president at a time.

And Congress has a huge say in what President Trump will be able to do … so let’s all calm down …. then take a huge chill pill as I am wont to say … and let this brilliantly designed system put together in the summer of 1787 work out the kinks.

However, I realize I am preaching to audiences who are blinded by their own perceptions and unwilling to open their minds.

OH WELL …. sigh, I can only try.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Debate reaction

The third and final presidential debate is over, and – frankly – I don’t have a clue who won.

But the media and social media exploded over Donald Trump’s statement that on whether he would accept the results of the election that he would leave people in suspense until Nov. 9.

How short are the memories of the American people? How many people expected Al Gore in 2000 not to accept the results of the election? He didn’t … and he and the Democratic party really did their best to overturn the results of the election in Florida by stopping the count and then demanding a selective recount.

Lawyers representing Al Gore totally ignored the legitimate and legal process in every state – including Florida – for contesting counts and demanding recounts. Unfortunately, to follow the law, it would have been after the initial counts would have reported that George W. Bush had won in Florida, and hence in the Electoral College. That would never stand, so the nation was treated to about six weeks of legal battles that a) should not have happened the way they did, and b) ultimately did not change the results of the election that would have been the results had the law been followed.

Now, if you don’t think that is what happened, you need to go back and look at the timeline of events and review what the Florida state rules say about vote counts, etc. You also need to go back and look up the stories buried in the fall of 2001 about a recount in Florida sponsored by a host of major news organizations (looking at a variety of permutations) that still came down with a Bush victory. Granted not a huge one, but it only takes one vote to tip the scale one way or another.

Trump really has made the same case … except for the hyperventilation of those who freak at his every statement.

If the Trump campaign follows the laws laid down in each state, in my humble opinion, he is welcome to challenge the outcome in any state and not concede the election based on initial returns and counts.

If you all have a problem with this; get over it.

It is how he won the nomination … by playing by the freaking rules. If he continues to play by the rules, then he is welcome to have at it.

As for the rest of the debate: it pretty much was what I expected, although I have to agree that Trump gave his best performance of the three debates.

I also thought the moderator did the best he could in trying circumstances.

But who won? Elifino. I guess we will get that answer when the vote counts are completed after Nov. 8. 

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Trump reaction

Note: this section will not be G-Rated … Not even PG … it will be at least R …

WARNING: There will be obscenities and profane language past this point. I have been politic; you have been warned!

WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON! America (especially in its national media) is going fucking bonkers because one of its political leadership candidates talks of bawdy things (in a younger iteration) and shows that he is a God-damn, arrogant, loud-mouthed, profane, self-centered, self-absorbed, ruthless, son-of-a-bitch … so what else is new. Get the fuck over it. It ain’t the first time it has happened.

People are going ape-shit crazy calling him to withdraw his candidacy because he told some broadcast flunky off mic that he likes to fondle pretty women … what a bunch of fucking hypocrites. Damn, if there is a male in the room over, let’s say, 45 who hasn’t engaged in bowdlerized, locker-room talk about women and braggadocio about what they would like to do … excepting possibly those men who are gayer that the three-dollar bill … I probably would call them a liar and be right. I can’t say much about people younger than that because I haven’t sat in on many of their conversations, but what I have heard makes me think they aren’t much different.

Folks, take a fucking chill pill. The God-damned politically correct shit has to stop.

The problem with Trump is that he actually talks like he is one of the plebeians … you know, us common folks who actually worked for a God-damn living and not made a living getting paid by the government/state for a career.

I find all this faux-horror at Trump’s tax returns, his sexually explicit talks with people (especially those with recording devices, which is stupid, but then, what the hell, we live in a gotcha by the balls society these days), so freakingly fucking hypocritical that it sort of makes me want to stage a French Revolution here in the US? Trot out the guillotine for the “aristocracy”!!!!

Where is the Red Queen when we need her? Off with their fucking heads! 

I guess I have fallen a long way from my perch among the elites of the world as a college graduate who was the editor of one of the 1600 daily newspapers (at the time) in the USofA, assistant editor at another, editor at a three-times a week paper, and editor of four different weekly newspapers, not including a weekly and an every-other-day newspaper I produced in a war zone.

I no longer have much patience with progressives and those who education or position places them above the fucking masses. I am reminded to tell them, despite your fucking smarts, or God-damn worthless pieces of paper, social, economic or political positions, you stupid over-educated dumbshit assholes, you still put your panties on one leg at a time just like the rest of us idiots.

You know the people you find deplorable may be crude and rude, but they are people. They might not have high-fluting degrees or education, or even money or wealth, but they still are functioning human beings, who can – when called upon – actually have a thought or two in their head … and those thoughts just might be worth listening to. A lot may be stupid or silly thoughts, but given the facts, their common sense will usually win out.

So, Trump is a ruthless, fucking billionaire (or just a multi-millionaire, what does it matter) corporate slob of a businessman, that has never stopped such people from running and serving in public office before. Cue the damn Virginia planter class or the fucking Ivy League country club shit heads

The question you really should be asking yourself, you fucking dumbbells, is has he broken the law? How did he make those billions? By himself or surrounding himself and delegating to a vast corps of really competent deplorables?   I really don’t think he did it selling favors, like a former Senator from New York and Secretary of State, along with her sexually obsessed husband who is an ex-president now, who actually did “it” with a God-damn intern in the Oval Office … or was it her oval orifice … shit, I don’t even know any more ... much less really give a shit.

How many laws, lies, and other shit does Trump’s leading opponent have to break, say and do before you get the message that she really is a bunch of crappola. Do you really want that crappola? Do you really want the fucking status quo candidate to keep things running down the same God-damn track we have been going for the last 10 or so years … so be it … vote for the piece of shit.

Another question: Why is the “establishment” fucking going freaking ape-shit over the possibility of Trump being president? What is it they really are so fucking scared-shitless about? Do they know something about the checks and balances built into our system of governance that we don’t know that makes them think we can’t survive a loose-cannon? What is it that we have had for the last 25 fucking years? Cannons lashed down so tight their pussies squeak? I think they are just afraid he will upset the status quo and maybe, just maybe, fucking change the way things have been run in our fucking capital for that last shitting century or so. Maybe that is the change we need, fucking stupid America.

Now I am not saying anybody should vote for the jerk Trump, or anyone else, but I am saying look at what they say they want to do … ask yourself if those things are what you really want done or if they really are sustainable or just pipe dreams … or just products of your own envy of those who have shit you don’t. … then reach down and vote for the candidate who can win AND do the least amount damage to what freedoms you, as an individual, still have in this country.

One last point, a historical one: The last time the elite was in this much of an uproar, I think, was 1828. You know when that rude, crude and obscene Tennessean Andrew Jackson was elected and the Virginia planter class and the New England lawyers had a hissy fit over this frontier braggart capturing the White House. He was a populist too, if I remember my history correctly and really changed the course of politics and the shape of the American democratic republic. Is that what they are so afraid of?

Anyway, I apologize for my fucking profanity, but I am becoming more and more like the old fucking grunt soldier I was part time, rather than the urbane, cosmopolitan, liberal arts college-educated elite journalist I once was.

Still, I raise my rye on the rocks to all of you who are a) Americans and b) deign to read this rant. (tonight is was Canadian rye, tomorrow night it will be my Gordon’s vodka … I alternate nights on which poison I drink on the rocks).

May you all find your path blessed by the Divine, and you have the strength and courage to endure whatever travails may lie ahead of you personally and (if it so applies) as an American.


Footnote: This is a succinct summation why I don't give a fucking rat's ass about Trump's "hot-mic moment". OK, I am done

Monday, August 15, 2016

Words to live by


This came in an e-mail from a friend of my … I find it rather enlightening and entertaining.


Golden Sayings of Chanakya


Learn from the mistakes of others… you can’t live long enough to make them all yourselves.

A person should not be too honest. Straight trees are cut first and honest people are screwed first.

Even if a snake is not poisonous, it should pretend to be venomous.

There is some self-interest behind every friendship. There is no friendship without self-interests. This is a bitter truth.

Before you start some work, always ask yourself three questions – Why am I doing it, what the results might be and will I be successful. Only when you think deeply and find satisfactory answers to these questions, go ahead.

As soon as the fear approaches near, attack and destroy it.

Once you start a working on something, don’t be afraid of failure and don’t abandon it. People who work sincerely are the happiest.

The fragrance of flowers spreads only in the direction of the wind. But the goodness of a person spreads in all direction.

God is not present in idols. Your feelings are your god. The soul is your temple.

A man is great by deeds, not by birth.

Never make friends with people who are above or below you in status. Such friendships will never give you any happiness.

Treat your kid like a darling for the first five years. For the next five years, scold them. By the time they turn sixteen, treat them like a friend. Your grown up children are your best friends.

Books are as useful to a stupid person as a mirror is useful to a blind person.




    Saturday, April 30, 2016

    Random thoughts for the end of April 2016

    Reminder: Some of the comments below are links to stories being commented upon. I urge you to read the links for background to my commentary.

    Once more I venture into the wilderness of my thoughts, which I share with you who dare read my wanderings. However, I know, that on some fronts I am not alone in the wilderness; that there are others who share my questions and views of the world and in that I take heart.

    You may or may not be among them, but I welcome you and challenge you to consider the things herein. If you disagree, give me your intellectual arguments, your non-visceral reasons, why you stake the ground you stand on. You see, I find far too many people aren’t really thinking about their positions, say, in the presidential campaign but are merely reacting emotionally to the various candidates. Far too many people seem to hate the candidates who oppose their favorites rather than merely disagree with their proposed policies and solutions to the various problems facing the nation.

    For example, this commentary does a far better job of explaining what is, and what is not, "democratic" in our political process than my earlier feeble efforts.

    You see, I see the process working as it is supposed to, as it was designed to. Nothing more and nothing less. To quote Yogi Berra: “It ain’t over until it’s over.” Despite the whining and statements to the contrary, until you win, the game ain’t over and the “losing” side should – no make that needs to - play on until the last second of the game and until the last out is played. It is the old saying that “Quitters never win. Winners never quit.”

    I respect Bernie Sanders announcement that he is not going to just drop out of the Democratic race, even though it is pretty apparent that Hillary Clinton will most likely be crowned on the first ballot. It is as it should be.

    I respect Ted Cruz for his efforts to plug on until the convention, even though everybody is telling him that it is a losing effort (even if he could win on the second or third ballot should Donald Trump come up short of a first round coronation). This is as it should be.

    Or have we raised a nation of quitters? Or complainers because we have to meet certain standards because those are the rules? Nobody has changed the rules. They are the same as when the game started. You may not have not understood the rules because you didn’t know them, but whose fault is that?

    Here is a commentary by the redoubtable Thomas Sowell on winners and whiners. Which are we people? 

    Now, it should come as no surprise that I am not a big supporter of Donald Trump. That does not mean that I might not vote for him if the choice comes down to him, Hillary Clinton or some third party candidate who doesn’t stand a lick of a chance of throwing the vote to House. I would, because, at the moment, the choice is quite stark … the manipulative, criminal, anti-individualist whore vs. the manipulative sideshow barker. I’ll swallow my principles and vote for the barker as hopefully the lesser of the evils.

    I have more to say … but I find I don’t have the emotional energy to put it down.

    Pray tell, I urge you to disagree with me and tell me where I have erred.