Loving the United States

With all that goes on, it really isn’t hard. Now, first off, before anyone decides to come along and point out the sins of the United States I’d like to first point out a couple things:

1. There is no sinless nation. Whatever you can dredge up about the United States can be matched (or, very often) exceed by other nations on the level of sin.

2. I really do know all our national sins. In fact, if you’re getting your list out, save it. I probably know it better than you. My knowledge of history really is rather encyclopedic – I currently have somewhere north of 300 books in my personal library, most dealing with history…and I’ve probably read into the thousands of books over the course of my life…most of them about history. Seriously, I’ve got it – I know.

But it is still easy to love the United States. Not least, of course, because to love means to love the unlovable – it is when the United States is at its most unlovely that the true patriot stands ever more firmly beside her. And right now, we’re a rather unlovely prospect.

We’ve got millions of people in jail – many for crimes which only a liberal could think up. We’ve got abysmal poverty in a lot of areas in the nation. We’ve got a host of illegal immigrants which are brought here by a Ruling Class only interested in political calculations and cheap labor. A great number of our young people are ignorant of basic facts – and deliberately made that way by our public school systems. We’ve got a class of elitists battened on to our government, determined to grab what they can regardless of the fate of the nation. About 20% (my guess) of the population actually hates the nation they live in (not enough to leave it, of course). The wide world looks with contempt upon us – certain that our great days are behind and the wicked actors in the world are certain their time has come. The leading candidates for the Democrat party nomination are someone who should be indicted and someone who is convinced that socialism is a good idea. Over on the GOP side, the leading candidate is a demagogue who, I worry, doesn’t really know what he wants to do – but is determined to do it, anyway.

And it’s a great country – the best ever devised by the mind of Man. Trouble is, even the best thing devised by Man is bound to be horribly screwed up. But, still, we are the nation which leaps into action to help others. We are a nation of astonishing generosity within. We are a kind people who merely wish everyone to live as they see fit. We are an amazingly powerful nation which has not used it’s power for conquest. I know a lot of Progs think we have, but if we really were an Empire, the world would look a lot different…not better, but very different…mostly with the American flag flying over millions of square miles of land which is currently independent…and independent by our leave, as if we weren’t around, other nations would have conquered them a long time ago. We are, warts and all, a shining city on a hill – and will remain so, I think, for quite a long time.

I believe that because I believe that the seeds of regeneration are already sprouting within us. Do keep in mind that historical forces on the verge of triumph usually look like they are at death’s door – while that which appears to be all-powerful is usually already falling into the ash heap of history. The poisons which entered the United States well more than a century ago have burnt themselves out – still holding the reins, they appear powerful, but they are actually a spent force. I mean all that, for lack of a better phrase, left-of-center, Progressive nonsense which had the fundamental flaw of thinking that the “smart people” could organize everyone for the benefit of all. That is done. It is finished. It is despised and on it’s way out – and not just here, but around the Western world.

Oddly enough, it is the Trump phenomena which awoke me to the death of Progressivism – not that Trump has a clue, but the fact of Trump. The fact that he’s risen so far and appears invincible (though, of course, he still may wind up losing the GOP nomination). All of the forces of the Status Quo have been marshaled against Trump…and it, so far, hasn’t made a dent. And what did Trump do to gain this? He just spoke against it – and didn’t back down when he was told that he daren’t speak against it. Trump isn’t the man who will fix things. Supposing he gets in, any good he does will, in my view, be in a real sense accidental. But he has shown – and will continue to show – that those who have been ruling over us and wrecking every last thing they can get their hands on can be defied…and defied rather easily. Some time after Trump, someone else will come along and tap into the ocean of people sick to death of things as they are and bring about the real changes people want.

This is the United States of America, after all. We did such a good job that it took more than a century of Progressivism to mess it up (in Europe, which could never hold a candle to us, it took less than 20 years). People were willing to put up with the nonsense because for the longest time it didn’t have any immediate, negative impact on most people. But now it is having an impact – a very bad impact. People have been demanding change for 20 years and they haven’t been getting it. But all this has served to do is expose the Ruling Class for the liars they are. People know, for a fact, that as long as those in power remain in power, nothing will get fixed…and, so, on to Trump. He’s a lot of things, but he hasn’t spent his whole life ruining things, nor the last few decades serially lying to the American people about what he’s doing. He might make some fabulous mistakes if he gets into office, but fabulous mistakes are different from (and more forgivable) then horrible screw-ups deliberately concocted by people who have been lying to us about their intentions.

To me, it is all a sign of the basic health of the American people – a willingness to take matters in hand and smash a system which has become hopelessly corrupt. There’s life in the old girl, yet – America is not finished, not by a long shot. We might have a decade or two of “interesting times” as it is said, but I think that by the time I head for the hereafter, America will be the great, vibrant, free nation my grandfather was born in.

64 thoughts on “Loving the United States

  1. Shawny Lee January 22, 2016 / 3:12 am

    It’s about expectations and we’d better get real about them. No one president could possibly fix what we the people have allowed to go wrong for decades. The solution is us. It always has been. But what one can do is courageously raise the issues important to we the people again, to promote those things we have in common and which have always united us as Americans rather than all of the petty things pedaled to divide us, intimidate us and make us fearful. Whatever you believe about Trump, he is positive and empowering at a time when we have lost our voice and any representation in our government. When our economy collapses, we will need a builder, not the wrecking crew from hell we have been living with. It will take a long time to bring us back around to our great, vibrant, free nation our grandfathers were born in. It may be our children and grandchildren who get to see that. But many, many already paid in blood to preserve the dream of liberty we have let slip away. If all we are able to do is begin to turn the ship around in the storm, begin to relight the torch of liberty all the world can see again. I’ll stand beside anyone who’s going there. It it isn’t the next president, you can be sure it will be someone from the ranks of those patriots who love this country.

    • Shawny Lee January 22, 2016 / 4:16 am

      p.s. The reason Trump is so popular is that the corrupt establishment, all of them from both sides of the aisle, fear him. If we want liberty back we must make them fear us. We could do worse than to unite behind someone who reminds us what fearless looks like.

      • Amazona January 22, 2016 / 10:55 am

        I agree, the Establishment has to fear an uprising of independent Americans who will no longer tolerate their shenanigans. I think it is great that Trump is stirring up those people, getting them energized. I don’t disagree with his basic message.

        What concerns me is the assumption that because he says the right things, with which we agree, he is the right person to lead the country. I say almost exactly the same things Trump has been saying, and what’s more, I was saying them when he was still saying the exact opposite. But I am the first to admit I am not qualified to be president. Merely thinking the right things and saying the right things is nowhere near being the best person to actually be the president.

        I would be right in the forefront of Trump supporters, going to rallies and waving banners. if all he was doing was energizing the electorate and then pointing out the best person to implement what he is stirring up. He is an excellent stirrer-upper.

        What concerns me is the fact, known and even admitted to by him, that he is an opportunist. In business, that is not necessarily a bad thing—-if you have to contribute to a Dem to get something done, well, that’s business. In politics, opportunism is just more of what we are fighting in the first place, a government with no core beliefs, which will do whatever appeals at the time. I am not talking about the art of compromise, I am talking about not having a firm commitment to core values.

        Trump says he is now pro-life. But Trump also says he thinks his sister, an uber-radical Lefty with a commitment to abortion, would be a wonderful Supreme Court justice. Trump says he believes in the Constitution, but he also believes it is OK to exercise eminent domain to force people out of their property so others can make money on it.

        The worst thing about Trump is that he is equally convincing no matter which side of any argument he is advancing. The best thing about Trump is that he is white—-because at least we can address his message and his past without being called racist.

  2. Cluster January 22, 2016 / 8:38 am

    America will be the great, vibrant, free nation my grandfather was born in

    Well I hope you’re right but that will require a sea change in attitude amongst many of our fellow citizens. America is more of an attitude than it is a land mass.The “land of the free” and “home of the brave” defines a mindset of personal courage and responsibility and socialism is the antithesis of that mindset. If people would only understand that they are far more capable of taking better care of themselves in a free marketplace economy, than any government is in a heavily regulated economy, our future might become that vibrant and free nation, but until then we will continue to be pulled down by those who seek the security promised by pandering politicians.

    In re: to the US being a noble country, and yes I will be a little racial here. I am fed up with this open season on white Christians that progressives, blacks, hispanics, Muslims and nearly every other ethnicity is currently engaging in. I will remind them that this is a country founded by white Christians and Deists, and it is only in this country that they are free to express their anti white Christian rhetoric. How ironic is that? Name one country founded and governed by a black, hispanic, or muslim that allows them the same freedoms. Name another country that has provided a higher standard of living amongst all classes of people. Name another country that people literally risk their life trying to get to, and name another country that has sacrificed more in the liberation of other people than the US. For all of our flaws, and there are quite a few, no other country has accomplished more good in this world in a shorter amount of time than the US, and I think that should be a legacy to be celebrated and continued, not torn down. If we allow this country to slip into the malaise and mediocrity of socialism, our national attitude will be lost and we will become just another country in a long line of other countries wholly dependent on the benevolence of a ruling class.

  3. Cluster January 22, 2016 / 8:52 am

    And just a few other thoughts. I had to laugh when Bob Dole spoke out against Ted Cruz yesterday. Here’s an establishment guy who is still living off the tax payers dime telling the tax payers what is best for them and who they should elect, to which I say thank you for your service Bob but please STFU.

    And did you hear John Francois Kerry admit yesterday that yes, in fact some of the billions of dollars that Iran will receive as a direct result of Obama’s misguided judgement will be used to fund terrorism?? Imagine that. I am a little surprised that this entire administration hasn’t been impeached and brought up on criminal charges.

  4. Cluster January 22, 2016 / 9:05 am

    And as usual, AT has another great article related to this topic. The articles definition of the establishment:

    1. A preponderance of current and retired national office holders whose livelihoods (re-election for current office holders and lobbying or consulting for retired politicians) requires fealty to the Party in order to maintain financial backing as well as access to government largess;

    2. The majority of the media elite, including pundits, editors, writers and television news personalities based in Washington and New York, whose proximity to power and access is vital in order to gratify their self-esteem and to sustain their standard of living;

    3. Academia, numerous think-tanks, so called non-government organizations, and lobbyists who fasten onto those in any administration and Congress for employment, grants, favorable legislation and ego-gratification;

    4. The reliable deep pocket political contributors and political consultants whose future is irrevocably tied to the political machinery of the Party; and

    5. The crony capitalists, i.e. leaders of the corporate and financial community as well as unions, whose entities are dependent on or subject to government oversight and/or benevolence and whose political contributions assure political cooperation.


    • Shawny Lee January 25, 2016 / 3:11 am

      Exactly, those who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo for their own special self-interests.

  5. Retired Spook January 22, 2016 / 9:34 am

    Some time after Trump, someone else will come along and tap into the ocean of people sick to death of things as they are and bring about the real changes people want.

    The secret will be to do it in a patient and constructive way, because, if things get as bad as many of us fear they might, the urge to destroy those responsible is going to be overwhelming. But regardless of how it happens, I think the Left always underestimates the power of the human spirit’s inherent urge for freedom.

    • M. Noonan January 23, 2016 / 12:47 am

      I did say we could have a decade or two of “interesting times”…it could get much, much worse before it gets better…but I think it will get better.

      • Amazona January 23, 2016 / 12:55 am

        Don’t forget the old Chinese curse—“May you live in interesting times”.

  6. dbschmidt January 22, 2016 / 7:32 pm

    One needs to look no further than Thomas Jefferson for a great deal of what is happening around us today.

    The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground

    Then again, he also proposed the solution

    God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. … What country before ever existed a century and half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.

    “Today’s” issue of the Caliphate was also considered during the time of Jefferson. It is not a new issue as people believe. Tripoli, Crusades, etc. Does anyone realize that America stopped all immigration after the end of WWI till almost the start of WWII just so the new immigrants would assimilate. The “new” America is nothing but enclaves of people that do not want to be American but bathe in all of the benefits of being in America.

    The Ambassador [of Tripoli] answered us that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.

    Of course the answer was provided.

    When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    But, I fully believe America will always prevail because of the beliefs of our forefathers.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with inherent and inalienable Rights; that among these, are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness; that to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

    BTW, the “pursuit of Happiness” was a change from the “pursuit of Property” in an effort to force an end to slavery sooner rather than latter. Nowadays, it is the Federal and State governments using “eminent domain” to pick winners and losers while restricting the people from their, the people’s, land for their own good.

    Nevertheless, the founding fathers made this declaration possible by treasonous means.

    For the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.

    As I did many years ago when I signed a blank check for the amount of up to my life to America and it defense joining the U.S. Marines.

    America shall not perish from the face of this earth as long as I, and many others, have a breath left in my body.

    • Amazona January 22, 2016 / 8:07 pm

      And to get as far as possible from the intellect, reasoning, and eloquence of my favorite Founder, we have this: http://reason.com/blog/2016/01/20/sarah-palins-bizarre-rambling-speech-was

      I haven’t watched Sarah Palin’s speech about supporting Trump. I liked her back in ’08 but after a couple of years started to think that liking was based on not really knowing her very well. When I heard she was coming out for Trump I thought “There are some who think Palin is the reason we lost the election in 2008—she seems to be going for a two-fer”.

      It was interesting to read an article about the speech. Peter Suderman’s article starts with: ” Sarah Palin’s bizarre, rambling speech last night endorsing Donald Trump didn’t make much sense (it’s already been described as “post-apocalyptic poetry,” which may not be entirely fair to either poetry or the apocalypse). “ and goes on from there.

      It finishes with: ” In a way, then, Palin’s speech was the perfect endorsement for Donald Trump’s campaign: an incoherent mess of angry, resentful sentiment, delivered in a way designed to provide the maximum in media spectacle. Palin effectively—and, okay, somewhat poetically—captured and amplified the identity-politics-driven nonsense that feeds both the candidate and his supporters. “

    • Shawny Lee January 22, 2016 / 10:02 pm

      All you have to do is scroll down the list of authors as you read. These aren’t conservatives opposed to Trumps nomination, but they are mostly all well known establishment mouthpieces opposed to Trumps nomination. A year ago that might have been effective. But when the establishment GOP would actually unite to try to destroy their own front-runner rather than this administration or the other DNC candidates, you know they must be desperate to maintain their status quo no matter which party will secure it for them. Think about it. Not even the left has put together a hit piece like that. But the last time the people rose up behind a non-establishment candidate, the GOP did the same. When will we stand against this corrupt establishment if not now?

      • Shawny Lee January 22, 2016 / 10:37 pm

        BREAKING: National Black Republican Association Endorses Trump http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/breaking-national-black-republican-association-endorses-trump/
        The chair of NBRA, “Lieutenant Colonel Frances Rice, United States Army, Retired is a native of Atlanta, Georgia and retired from the Army in 1984 after 20 years of active service. She received a Bachelor of Science degree from Drury College in 1973, a Masters of Business Administration from Golden Gate University in 1976, and a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of California, Hastings College of Law in 1977. In 2005, she became a co-founder and Chairman of the National Black Republican Association, an organization that is committed to returning African Americans to their Republican Party roots.”

      • Amazona January 23, 2016 / 12:13 am

        I’ve been reading most of these people for years and do not consider them “..well known establishment mouthpieces ..” If you bothered to read what they said, instead of just scanning the list and then arbitrarily dismissing them as ” establishment mouthpieces ” you would have seen a lot of calm, rational, well-thought-out concerns.

        “But when the establishment GOP would actually unite to try to destroy their own front-runner rather than this administration or the other DNC candidates, you know they must be desperate to maintain their status quo no matter which party will secure it for them.” just makes no sense at all. Republicans are talking about Republican candidates, which is what we should be talking about. The whole thing about the primary races is to evaluate every single person in the running for the nomination.

        I am just amazed at the claim that this “establishment” arm of the GOP is out to “destroy” Trump. Before he decided to run for the presidency, Trump WAS the establishment. True, he was more the Dem establishment than for the GOP, but he was the poster boy for crony capitalism and everything the establishment stands for—higher taxes, using the power of the government to take over private property so cronies could make more money, abortion, socialized medicine, entitlements, big government, and so on. Some people didn’t pay enough attention to know any of this because until Trump decided to run most people didn’t pay much attention to him, other than watching him be an entertainer. There is absolutely nothing wrong with going back over his record and pointing out that his entire life has been a contradiction of the persona he is presenting now. It is fascinating to see him defended now as the “anti-establishment” candidate.

        I have two big questions for Trump supporters. One is why we should believe what he says NOW, when it contradicts everything he has said and done for the past twenty or thirty years, and one is why we should believe that he won’t go back to his old ways once he has gotten what he wants, which seems to be the presidency. That might be two versions of the same question.

        I read the most amazing things written by his fans. I just got an email which praised him as a blue collar boy from Queens whose middle class background lets him understand the common man. Yeah, if the son of a millionaire who grew up in a 23-room house with a chef and a chauffeur, who went to private schools, qualifies as a “common man blue collar” type. But really—this is what passes as an explanation for admiring him. We are told he is a self-made man, when he got his start working with his millionaire real estate magnate father, and then by borrowing money from him. This same author was quite impressed that Trump had married three beautiful women, but neglected to mention that Trump had invited his mistress to go to Aspen when he took his wife and children there, and it was an encounter between wife and mistress that led to his first divorce and acquisition of Wife # 2. He was unfaithful to her, too, and is now married to a woman whose nude and nearly nude photos are all over the internet. Yet the same Republicans who deride the sleaze factor of Bill Clinton seem quite comfortable with the sleaze factor of Donald Trump.

        I look at our current president, who is a petulant vindictive manchild whose biography is mostly invented, and wonder why so many people are so excited about electing another petulant vindictive manchild whose biography is mostly invented.

        I just don’t get it. I can understand why people would support literally ANY of the other hopefuls, even Bush, because I can see that each of them has something to offer. I just truly do not get the attraction to Trump. I get liking what he says, enjoying watching him say what we have all been wanting to have said, but I just fail to see how being a reckless loudmouth translates from folk hero to president. It is the very things that make him so attractive as a folk hero type, taking on the sacred cows, that also make him such a terrible choice as president.

        I just genuinely do not understand how or why people think he would make a good president. I just don’t get it.

      • M. Noonan January 23, 2016 / 12:45 am

        I think what NRO did was fine, as far as it goes – but the trouble is that it will be entirely ineffective. In fact, it is probably making the Trump voters just dig in their heels all the more.

        What the GOP needs to do – what Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio needs to do – in my view is to cast off the past. Think anew and act anew. The people despise Business As Usual…even a lot of our Progs are fed up with it (and thus they are giving a big boost to overtly socialist Sanders…yep, he’s an economic illiterate, but at least he’s proposing to do what a large segment of the Democrat base wants done; honesty is refreshing). Trump is part of the fusion-party which runs this nation…makes deals, passes money around, makes sure that the favored people get awards and get ahead…he’s claiming, now, that he’s abandoning that to save America. Fine and dandy – but I think a broad attack on things as they are, which would include Trump, would shake loose just enough of his supporters to ensure a series of early primary wins for either Cruz or Rubio. But it has to be an all-encompassing attack…go after the banks, the corporations, the unions, the bureaucrats…the whole host of parasites destroying the Republic. Will Cruz or Rubio do that? I don’t know. It means no more money from these people to campaign with…but I think that if one of them did it, the people would provide the $100 million necessary to carry the race.

      • Cluster January 23, 2016 / 9:49 am

        In my opinion, for whatever it’s worth, Trump is a pragmatist more than a partisan. In short, Trump gets things done. Now that could be bad considering his more liberal positions of the not too distant past, or it could be a good thing considering his position on the border, immigration, ISIS and tax reform. It’s a gamble, but someone has to break up the stranglehold that the Clerisy (political class, media, corporate interests, and big education) has on this country. They all swim in the same small pond and attend all the right cocktail parties and that includes the folks from the National Review.

      • Amazona January 23, 2016 / 12:23 am

        My biggest problem with Obama voters is that they have not voted for him because they endorse his political philosophy, they just LIKE him. Now I am seeing Republicans doing exactly the same thing with Trump.

        How many Trump supporters support him because they agree that the country should have a single payer health care program, run by the government? How many agree with him that using eminent domain to kick people off their property so it can be taken over by people who want to use it to make money is perfectly acceptable? How many people agree with him that his wildly radical Leftist abortion-promoting sister should be on the Supreme Court? How many conservatives agree with the stance he took on banning “assault rifles”?

        On the other hand, how many Republicans love Trump because he is angry and tells it like it is?

      • Amazona January 23, 2016 / 12:25 am

        And just what, exactly, does the bio of the chair of the NBRA have to do with anything? The official statement from the NBRA is straight out of Crazytown.

        “As citizens who happen to be black, we support Mr. Trump because he shares our values. We, like Mr. Trump, are fiscally conservative, steadfastly pro-life and believers in a small government that fosters freedom for individuals and businesses, so they can grow and become prosperous. “

        “fiscally conservative”—-yet wants the government to be the single payer for health care, and wants to expand Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid

        “steadfastly pro-life”—for the past year or so, before which he was steadfastly pro-abortion

        “believer in a small government that fosters freedom for individuals…” —-but thinks it is OK for the government to take away private property to make it available to big business so the government will get more taxes

      • Amazona January 23, 2016 / 12:49 pm

        “In my opinion, for whatever it’s worth, Trump is a pragmatist more than a partisan.”

        Cluster, why do you think it is OK for an alleged conservative to not be “partisan”? Isn’t that basically what we are supposed to be looking for? Someone who is NOT the other side, someone who DOES have a commitment to conservatism rather than Liberalsim? I’m utterly baffled by what appears to be some degree of praise for Trump, because he is not partisan.

        I, for one, WANT a partisan president. I WANT one who is absolutely, clearly, without question, NOT a Liberal. I want one who not only has a coherent political philosophy, it is a political philosophy that is so NOT Liberal that the differences are clear and easy to understand. And I want one whose conservative credentials are lifelong, or at least go back far enough to show a true, serious, evolution from early Liberal tendencies.

        ” In short, Trump gets things done.”

        Just HOW does he “get things done”? It is easy to “get things done” when you own the company, when you are willing to bribe politicians to vote for things that help you “get things done”, when you can bully and bluster to get your own way. Just how does that translate into working with a large and philosophically and politically divided body like Congress? Sorry, when I hear Trump trumpeting how he will “get things done” I hear echoes of Obama ruling from the Oval Office, “getting things done” by regal fiat without being hampered by Congress or the Constitution. (Oddly/sadly these echoes seem to energize Trump’s base rather than alarm them.)

        This “…could be a good thing considering his position on the border, immigration, ISIS and tax reform. “ Which position on each? The immigration position of making more money by hiring illegal aliens, or the one wanting to just ship out 11 million people, or the one about building an ever-increasing-in-height-as-his-rhetoric-soars wall that somehow, for some reason, will be paid for by someone else? Which ISIS position? The one leaving ISIS up to Putin or the one involving killing the families of terrorists or the one about bombing whole areas of the Middle East into scorched earth? Which position on tax reform? The huge tax on “wealth” ?

        “It’s a gamble, but someone has to break up the stranglehold that the Clerisy (political class, media, corporate interests, and big education) has on this country.” Let me get this straight. Are you actually saying you think we should roll the dice on someone whose current claims of political philosophy can most kindly be described as “pragmatic”, because he MIGHT be able to somehow “… break up the stranglehold that the Clerisy (political class, media, corporate interests, and big education) has on this country…” just because of who he is and what he is? Kind of like Obama being able to do such wondermous things as hold back the rise of the oceans, without any coherent plan or policy, just by being Obama? That kind of gamble?

        And we just dismiss thoughtful and accurate observations of Trump by claiming that they come from “establishment” types, such as THE NATIONAL REVIEW ???? I’m getting kind of a creepy feeling here, a sense that we are approaching a cutoff line where educated, thoughtful, articulate people are dismissed because these are going to be seen as signs of being ESTABLISHMENT, and credibility is given only to the crude, the rude, the brash, and the incoherent. When Thomas Sowell is considered “ESTABLISHMENT” then we as a nation truly are in a death spiral.

      • Amazona January 23, 2016 / 1:04 pm

        Cluster, you only seem a very little bit concerned about Trump’s “..more liberal positions of the not too distant past..” but you neglect to mention just how “not too distant” in the past those positions defined him. You seem to qualify a repeated support of and commitment to a large and powerful Central Authority that can be part of business as only a “more liberal” position, though it is completely in accord with hard-core Liberal policies and agendas.

        The article I linked has a piece by Glenn Beck, one of those dismissed by Shawny as “establishment “ that says in part:

        ”…three policies provided the fuel that lit the tea-party fire: the stimulus, the auto bailouts, and the bank bailouts. Barack Obama supported all three.

        So did Donald Trump.

        While conservatives fought against the stimulus, Donald Trump said it was “what we need,” praising Obama’s schemes of “building infrastructure, building great projects, putting people to work in that sense.”

        Donald Trump told Sean Hannity, “I was [Obama’s] biggest cheerleader.”

        In 2011, according to the website OpenSecrets.org, “the largest recipient [of Donald Trump’s political spending] has been the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee with $116,000.”

        How about this, from what is truly the “not too distant past… “In a 60 Minutes interview with Scott Pelly, Trump aggressively supported universal health-care, saying, “This is an un-Republican thing for me to say. . . . I’m going to take care of everybody. . . . The government’s gonna pay for it.He supported the prosecution of hate crimes. He favored wealth-confiscation policies. He supported abortion rights.”

        Just curious—does it make your blood run just a teeny bit colder to hear a presidential candidate announce “I’M going to take care of everybody” and then “the government’s gonna pay for it”? Doesn’t that have an absolutely Obama-esque ring to it? HE will make it so, whatever IT is at the moment, and then for damn sure “the government’s gonna pay for it”.

        Dana Loesch wrote: ” Trump wrote in his book The America We Deserve that he supported a ban on “assault weapons.” Not until last year did he apparently reverse his position. As recently as a couple of years ago, Trump favored the liberal use of eminent-domain laws. He said that the ability of the government to wrest private property from citizens served “the greater good.” Is that suddenly a conservative principle?”

        What I am seeing here is EXACTLY what I saw in the Obama Phenomenon. It is a demographic that feels angry and put upon and impotent, rallying around a demagogue because he tells them he feels their pain, he is their Messiah, he is the one who by the sheer strength of who is will solve their problems, fix what they think is wrong, and make them feel better. It is another appeal to emotions rather than intellect, touching on sore points and promising solutions, immediate and almost miraculous solutions, regardless of reason. I am seeing more of the tent revivals of the Obama campaigns, with a pudgier and pastier demagogue calling people up to testify and be saved.

        Do you know what I am NOT seeing? I am not seeing any of the Trump fanatics paying the slightest bit of attention to the facts that are laid out before them. I am not seeing any of them wondering why someone whose love of this country is greater than his ego is willing to throw the election to the Dems by running as a third party candidate if he is snubbed and not nominated. I am not seeing any rational assessment of the reality of the Two Trumps—the Trump we saw leading up to 2015 and Trump Redesigned for appeal to people who want to think of themselves as conservatives.

      • Amazona January 23, 2016 / 1:26 pm

        What’s a “hate crime”? That’s what Orwell described as a Thought Crime, or being prosecuted not for what you do but for what you think.

        Or, in this country, what someone has decided you think, whether you think it or not.

        It leads to things like assigning different values to life, much as we do with abortion. With abortion, the value of life is determined by how long it has existed after it was created. It is a more elaborate and lethal form of ageism, which is decried by the Left except when it suits them.

        It also applies to people outside the womb. In this particular kind of Groupthink, where a crime is dependent on a thought, if two people are shot in a robbery, a white man and a black man, shot by a white man, the life of the black man is considered more valuable, as the penalty for killing him is greater than that for killing the white man, based on the determination of the Thought Police, who sniff around looking for Thought Crimes.

        BTW, Trump supported both abortion and the establishment and prosecution of Thought Crimes, presented as “Hate” Crimes, and based on pretty much any kind of criterion other than simple humanity.

        In the old days, BT, these were not considered to be “conservative values”. Now they are OK if there are in some vague and undefined “past”. Are they still there, tucked away in a vest pocket to be brought out later when there is another shift in “values”, along with single payer health plans, gun control, and entitlement programs? Guess that’s a gamble some of us think we ought to take.

    • Amazona January 23, 2016 / 11:49 am

      You must be very happy.

      If Trump fans could come right out and say they know all about his Liberalism, his lifelong commitment to crony capitalism, his support of abortion on demand, his statement that he wants single payer health coverage “and the government’s gonna pay for it all”, his idea of who he would put on the Supreme Court, etc. and still think he is the best of all the potential candidates, at least they would be honest. If they would just come right and say “I am perfectly fine with having an extremely vulgar man with no boundaries represent my country, and me, to the world” at least they would be honest.

      I am merely pointing out that the Trump fans are idolizing an invented Trump, Trump 2.0, a Trump that does not exist and never has, a Trump invented by Trump because,. as Cluster says, he is a pragmatist and knows how to get things done and to get the presidency he has to come up with a different Trump than the one who has been a Liberal in word and act for the last couple of decades. And I am pointing out that every single defense of Trump I have heard simply ignores the documented truth about him, and is based on a wholly invented (and brand new) idea of who he is and what he represents.

      I want more for my country. I am tired of being ashamed of who represents us on the world stage.

      Oh, I will vote for Trump if the people in this country are not tired of having a Liberal with a fantasy past and the conviction that he will be just the bestest most wonderfullest president EVER just because of the awesomeness of his own personal power and decide they want to shoot for another four years of the same. I will do it because I think that even Trump is better than anything the Dems will put up, because even Trump has to pay a little attention to conservatives and the Constitution sometimes. I will do it in spite of believing that while Michelle Obama broke protocol by putting her arm around the Queen, Trump will probably slap her on the ass—if he is allowed into the U.K. in the first place, that is. I will do it in spite of knowing that as soon as Trump has the brass ring, the best ego award there is, he will jump right back to his Liberal ways—leopard, spots, etc.

      We keep hearing that we are no longer a nation with two parties, but a nation with one party that just has some with a D after their names and some with an R. I am certainly seeing that here.

      The view from outside Trumpmania is of a bizarre phenomenon, where masses of people who loudly identify themselves as “conservatives” line up in passionate support for the least conservative of all the potential Republican candidates because they have made the conscious choice to simply accept a brand new, shiny and untested, assertion of values never before shown by their guy. He’s just their guy, and that’s all they care about. And I am seeing something even more bizarre—that is, this same mob claiming that their guy is the anti-establishment guy, in spite of his unblemished establishment credentials, and then bragging that he is supported BY THE ESTABLISHMENT. (http://republicannewswatch.com/wp/?p=13982 )

      This isn’t like watching a slow motion train wreck, this is like watching a high-speed train wreck on steroids, with a flaming dirigible crashing on it.

      • Retired Spook January 23, 2016 / 12:03 pm

        What she said.

  7. Cluster January 23, 2016 / 11:09 am

    You know where it is not snowing? Phoenix. 75 degrees and clear blue skies today 🙂

    • Amazona January 23, 2016 / 1:13 pm

      Get back to me when it is 107 in the shade and we have cool dry breezes coming in off the mountains and a high of 91. Skies here are also clear, blue and sunny. The snow is melting and I am going to do some masonry work next week if it gets up in the low 50s, which is indicated.

      • Cluster January 23, 2016 / 5:09 pm

        The link isn’t working but I am rooting for Manning tomorrow

      • Amazona January 23, 2016 / 7:25 pm

        It doesn’t seem to work but Spook found it anyway, I thought it was pretty funny, and I, too, am hoping the Broncos can pull it out. Without a decent offensive line Manning is a sitting duck and at his age I don’t know how many hits he can take, so we all worry a little. Hoping Kubiak got in his order of Sticky Finger gloves for the receivers.

      • Retired Spook January 23, 2016 / 9:56 pm

        Try this link.

  8. Amazona January 23, 2016 / 3:45 pm

    I listen to what a potential candidate says, to help me decide if he or she is someone I would trust with the presidency, someone I think not only can but will do the job, and can and will work to bring the nation back to its Constitutional basis. And I look at the potential candidate’s history, and how he or she defends any changes in beliefs, because the most important things to me are commitment to Constitutional government, character, consistency, and competence. I can understand a change of attitude on an issue such as abortion or gay marriage, but not on basic Constitutional values.

    Then I listen to the supporters of the potential candidates, to see how they explain or justify their support. When I do that, I find all sorts of interesting things. It is fascinating to see the determination to support a person who did not exist prior to the end of 2014, and to see the deep-down political philosophies surface. This is a very interesting example, in a series of responses to a Trump-praising (who cares what he used to do, he is a businessman who can get things done and we also shouldn’t care that he tried to use the government to force a widow off property he coveted) article. (emphasis mine)

    johngalt 5 hours ago
    ” attempted to buy some widows’ beach home for four times what it was worth” NO! He attempted to steal this property through the force of law. There is a big difference. Obviously Trump did not offer four times the worth or the owner would have sold. The true worth was up to the owner. If you have no respect for property rights then you have no respect for the Constitution and the very basis for this country means nothing to you. Legal theft is stril theft and the willingness to engage in this attitude speaks eloquently and forcefully to the character of the players. The same conclusion applies to a cavalier attitude toward just debt. Thieves and deadbeats deserve no consideration when applying for positions of public trust.

    Dolleric 2 hours ago
    “Owning” your property doesn’t give you the right to do anything you want with it. You are permitted to use some of the nation’s property as long as you pay the tax and abide by the rules. The woman was trying use the favorably located property (no credit to her) to extort a large sum from Trump. Only a lawyer could find her cause worthy of championing.

    johngalt 18 mins ago
    Thank you for the comment, Comrade.

    Now go back to read the Trump supporter’s concept of individual rights, property rights, etc. “Dolleric” comes right out and excuses Trump’s efforts to force a woman off her property because he wanted to build something there, with “You are permitted to use some of the nation’s property as long as you pay the tax and abide by the rules.” and “The woman was trying use the favorably located property (no credit to her) to extort a large sum from Trump.”

    So if someone has “..been allowed to use THE NATION’S PROPERTY” that was OK, as long as she paid her taxes and abided by “the rules”, but thinking she had the right to decide whether or not to sell that property, or determine the price for that property, was not allowed and was considered an effort to “extort” money from Trump.

    The mind boggles.

    I wonder if he thinks the exorbitant rates charged by Trump for the “use” of “the nation’s property” (just held in Trump’s name) is extortion. He clearly thinks that the foresight of acquiring attractive beachfront property is, and I quote, “no credit to her”—because she did not create the ocean? Because she was not responsible for people wanting to live near the ocean?—so, many years/decades later she has no right to profit from that decision?

    Now I would write this person off as just a very confused Marxist, except for the fact that he is using his wildly radical Leftist political philosophy to defend Donald Trump.

    • M. Noonan January 24, 2016 / 2:10 am

      Some people just don’t get the concept of what a right actually is.

      I’ve been in favor of abolishing the property tax for some time now – at least for a person’s primary residence and for individually or family owned farms, factories, mines and retail establishments. Yes, I’d rather pay more in sales and/or income taxes to make up the difference, if necessary. If you don’t own your property, then you’re nothing but a serf – and soon to be a slave.

      • Amazona January 24, 2016 / 2:27 am

        I feel the same about inheritance taxes. That money has already been taxed, perhaps several times. That property was no doubt purchased with after-tax dollars. It comes down to, if you can’t do what you want with it, it isn’t yours.

  9. Amazona January 24, 2016 / 2:32 am

    Back to Trump threatening to run as a third party candidate if he is not nominated—-now we have yet another egomaniacal billionaire threatening to do the same thing on the Dem side. (OK, so his official designation would be “independent”.) So much for “third party” candidate—we might have a cage match to sort out who is the 3rd party candidate and who is stuck with 4th party status. From the Wall Street Journal:

    Updated Jan. 23, 2016 11:59 p.m. ET

    Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is seriously considering a run for president and is asking aides to explore a potential bid.

    What a race that would be—three old white socialists trying to elbow each other out of the way to the Oval Office, a Dem version of Curly, Moe and Larry Run For Office, with Cruz as the sole conservative. (If Bernie gets the Dem nomination, he can take over Hillary’s place—it still works out the same.)

    I can see the debate now:

    Trump: My way is best
    Hillary: My way is best
    Bloomberg: My way is best
    Cruz: The Constitutional way is best

  10. Amazona January 24, 2016 / 11:17 am

    From Sioux Center Iowa:

    Donald Trump boasted Saturday that support for his presidential campaign would not decline even if he shot someone in the middle of a crowded street.

    “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters,” Trump said at a campaign rally here.

    Well, his ardent followers love him “because he says it like it is”. He clearly knows that his fans will not be swayed by fact or character, much like Hillary’s. And no doubt his fanatic base won’t even mind being characterized as such. You can almost see those little bobbleheads nodding away.

    And oh, he “jokes” about suing Ted Cruz “just for fun”.


    • Cluster January 24, 2016 / 12:59 pm

      What needs to be acknowledged is that Trump is running away with the GOP nomination. So just how Constitutionally conservative is the GOP base? What also needs to be acknowledged is that electing “establishment conservatives” in the past hasn’t moved the needle at all towards constitutional governance. The strongest constitutional voice out there is Cruz, and he is being crucified by the GOP establishment, and apparently a second choice amongst GOP primary voters. I think that conservatives have been lied to so many times that we have just become numb to any politician who espouses conservative ideals. There is a long list of “conservatives” who the National Review enthusiastically endorsed from Bush I, to Bush II, to McCain, to McConnell, to Boehner, etc., etc. and that hasn’t exactly turned out well. Trump is not my first choice or even my second choice, but I will vote for him if he wins the nomination. I can’t imagine a country led by Clinton or Sanders. I’ll take my chances with Trump.

      • Cluster January 24, 2016 / 4:15 pm

        Glenn Beck is an effeminate loser. Why anyone listens to him is beyond me

      • Amazona January 24, 2016 / 3:28 pm


        Yes. In a choice between two men who are equally unconservative, Beck chose the one who is at least open and honest, and consistent, in his political philosophy.

        I think it is a case of “at least we know what to expect from Bernie”, whereas Trump is all over the board, being for and then against and then for and then against, etc., on nearly every issue. Bernie has a consistent and clearly defined political philosophy, while Trump has just latched onto a word (“conservative”) he thinks will get him traction. Bernie ‘s history of having a child with a woman long before marrying her is small potatoes compared to Trump’s sordid history of serial adultery and crude bragging that ““My fingers are long and beautiful, as, it has been well documented, are various other parts of my body” and in general Bernie, while being a terrible choice for the presidency, is far less likely to expose the United States to even more ridicule.

    • Shawny Lee January 24, 2016 / 2:52 pm

      Uh, of course he couldn’t just shoot somebody and not lose supporters. And his base is not made up of fanatic little bobbleheads, though that does sound exactly the way Gruber and much of our current leadership would classify most of the stupid voter base in general. Ted Cruz has also been ostracized and anyone who supports him classified as radical right-wing extremists, by the GOP and nearly all of his colleagues in Congress who he has failed to rally around those bills he supports. Do you believe that should Cruz pull ahead in support, the establishment will not do exactly the same to him that they are now doing to Trump, the same thing they have done to Cruz all along? You must think folks have a very short memory, or that they are all uninformed voters who just haven’t done enough research to come to your conclusion. I don’t think I’d make that assumption. But then I’m an older, primarily issues voter, who wants to see a candidate walk the talk once in office. There are no guarantees any of them will or will be able to fulfill their campaign promises but one of Trump’s assets is that he would not start out beholden to any special interests who financed his campaign. The only question I have in my mind about him is whether or not he will indeed faithfully execute the law, whether equal justice under the law will become a standard under his administration and whether he will call for investigations of some of the criminal activities still ongoing in this administration because I believe until some of the systemic corruption is addressed this country won’t recover to any significant degree and we will continue to have little to no representation no matter who we elect as president.
      Regarding the eligibility lawsuit, although a number of them have been filed, those suits are very unlikely to ever be heard because no one with standing is bringing them. If the issue is to be finally settled, Trump or one of the other candidates Cruz’s being on the ballot would impact are the only ones who would have standing. So I hope it’s not a joke.

      • Amazona January 24, 2016 / 3:48 pm

        Hmmm. You are clearly quite a Trump fan.

        You claim to be a “primarily issues voter”, yet your criticism of Cruz seems to be that he has not won any popularity contests. And you hope Trump is not joking about suing Cruz, even though he admitted he would do it “for fun”.

        You are sticking with your claim (which I do not doubt you believe) that Trump is anti-establishment being hounded by the establishment, though his entire history has been one of establishment lap dog, financial supporter and beneficiary of the establishment, and the criticisms of him are coming from conservatives. It is convenient to try to change the dynamic of the argument by just redefining those conservatives as “establishment” but the facts don’t bear that out.

        As far as being an “issues voter”, that is exactly the kind of voter I think is destroying the country. “issues” are usually emotion-based preferences that don’t, constitutionally, belong in the scope of federal authority, but they offer a way to appeal to people on an emotional level while avoiding a discussion of a political philosophy.

        I have heard Trump base his appeal on pure emotion. If you can quote a coherent promise from him that he will absolutely adhere to the Constitution, will absolutely respect the division of power dictated in no uncertain terms by the Constitution and will never attempt to use the office of the presidency to do an end run around Congress, if you can show me where he has committed to shifting much of what now goes on in the federal government to the states where it belongs, I will have more respect for your passion for him.

        ” but one of Trump’s assets is that he would not start out beholden to any special interests who financed his campaign. “ Why not? He has been quite open about his belief that “things get done” when business gives money to politicians who then do what business wants. Your comment seems to be based on two things. One is that he will suddenly do a complete about-face and not be the kind of politician he has historically supported in exchange for special treatment, and the other is that his claim of having enough liquid capital to finance his own campaign is true. He may have the net worth he brags about, but is he willing to liquidate it, if he even can in this economic climate, to get the cash to fund his campaign?

        As for the comment that he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and not lose any support, your ongoing support for him after he said that is kind of interesting. True, he has not challenged that claim by actually shooting someone, but you don’t seem to mind being classified as that kind of blindly adoring fan.

        There is a wikipedia piece that starts off pretty admiring of Trump, with a lot of skating past some of his more sordid history, such as his sexism, misogyny, buying of political favor, and so on. But when it gets into the documented history of shady dealings, working with organized crime, lawsuits and so on.

        He is an ugly man with an ugly past, and has convinced a lot of people that saying whatever will appeal to the masses is the same thing as having both a genuine commitment to these new beliefs and the ability to follow through.

  11. Amazona January 24, 2016 / 3:53 pm

    This is from an email I sent to some friends this morning, as part of a discussion of the Trump phenomenon. I don’t expect it to change any minds: it is just an explanation of my point of view.


    I am starting to think I might have to choke down a Trump presidency, which I think is basically something that could only happen in a Jerry Springer country. But it is way too early right now to know what is going to shake out. He just bragged that he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and not lose voters, which is pretty much a slap in the face to those supporters, coming right out and saying he is smug and cocky about being their idol and they have no standards and are just as mindless and lacking in discernment as Hillary supporters. It is also more of that whole massive ego thing, which I am starting to see as ObamaEgo doubled down. Obama didn’t brag about being considered the guy who could probably walk on water after he rolled back the tide, but Trump comes right out and says he can. In one interview where he praised Obama as a “champion” he went on to say “I’m a champion all the way”. There is a point where confidence becomes pathology, and I think that point is far far back in Trump’s rear view mirror.

    I see so many correlations between Trump’s rise and Obama’s. For one thing, I think it is clear that they were/are both orchestrated by the same Establishment, one that has read the tea leaves (and I do not mean TEA Party leaves) and realized that this country, after years of being primed by Leftist propaganda and lowered standards, is ripe for demagogues. It is like a political version of Ebony and Ivory. Both arrived on the scene as political newcomers. Both have depended heavily on rewritten and sanitized histories. Both rally hyper-emotional support for THEM, not for the policies they represent (either openly or covertly) but for THEM, as super heroes here to save the day thanks to the immense wonderfulness they represent. Both make outrageous promises that can’t possibly be kept, and both have tent revival style gatherings that reek of carny appeal.

    Obama played to three basic demographics. One was surly, resentful, black people who had been nurturing grievances for their whole lives and felt powerless to change anything or, as we have since learned, to retaliate. One was white guilt Libs who only cared about how voting for a black man would make them feel. And one was the “push any button that has a D in front of it” politically ignorant Democrat. He also appealed to hard-core Leftist ideologues, who realized the meaning of what he said, but there are still not a lot of them.

    Trump has basically one demographic base, which is just like the black base for Obama—surly, angry, resentful, tired of feeling impotent but not having a very clear idea of what to do about it. He is herding them like a manic sheepdog, away from people like Cruz who really DO offer a way to fight back but in a calm and rational way, yipping and yapping and nipping at their heels, with the backing of the same Establishment that provided support for Obama. His style is different: Obama was very well controlled, with disciplined speeches choreographed with reverb and “inspiring” backdrops, while Trump is freewheeling, feeding off the crowd and playing to what seems to get the most applause at any given moment. You can see those beady little eyes flicking back and forth, working out what to blurt out next that might get even more cheers and whistles. (That’s why, when his comment that he might just “sue Cruz for fun” fell flat, he immediately backed off with a weak “Just joking” and went back to the raw meat he throws to his audience.)

    But what has really jumped out at me is the rallying of supporters who ignore real, legitimate, concerns about the content of the candidacy and instead refer to any effort to look at it as HATE. In Obama’s case, it was RACISM/HATE. Now it is just HATE. There is absolutely no attention paid to the content of concerns—-anything not swooning over Trump is just plain HATE. Even Townhall today is all about HATING Trump, and bleating that this is just soooo soooo wrong. One of the articles is Trumpesque in its incoherence.

    As I have said, when I fell in love with a history buff who was fascinated by war history, I got a lot of exposure to it. I was not very interested in weaponry or troop movements, but as I got more and more exposure to military history I found myself focusing not on “what” but on “why”. That was the beginning of my fascination with politics. So I spent a lot of time studying propaganda and the mass manipulation of emotion by demagogues. That is probably why I am more sensitive to it than most.

    I saw a modern-day Hitler in Obama, even before the speeches in front of edifices that looked like they could have been designed by Albert Speer, with emotion-stirring reverb in the sound system. I watched him very closely, and I saw a disturbing amalgam of Adolf Hitler and black tent revival rhetoric and style. Obama was in a different time and place, where overt world domination is not as easy to dream or attempt, but he did his part in weakening the formerly strongest nation in the world to make it easier for others to dominate it. It always creeped me out.

    Now the same hairs are standing up on the back of my neck, as I watch Trump act out the same script, backed by the same back-room Establishment he has convinced his adoring flock he is really out to get. I think Trump, unlike Obama who has always been a true ideologue, is primarily motivated by such an immense ego the word does not even really apply. Some call him “pragmatic”. I call him an opportunist, fueled by narcissism on a scale so grand it boggles the mind, and needs the Oval Office and Air Force One to even begin to satisfy it. It needs a bigger stage than casinos and condos. It needs THE WORLD.

    Line up nearly all of the contenders—Hillary, Bernie, Trump, Bloomberg—and they are pretty much the same as far as outcome is concerned: bigger and more powerful government with the power shifting to the Oval Office and away from the Constitution. away from Congress and the states. I see only Cruz, with Rubio a less reliable possibility, as a truly different choice, which is why they, especially Cruz, are being targeted with such vehemence.

    • Cluster January 24, 2016 / 4:24 pm

      I would vote for Trump 7 days of the week and twice on Sundays before I would ever vote for Bernie. I will take my chances with someone who knows how to run a business before I would ever vote for some POS socialist who has sucked off the government teat his entire life. People like Glenn Beck and the national review club are part of the problem.

      • M. Noonan January 24, 2016 / 8:29 pm

        Pretty much have to – I do know a lot of GOPers who, however, won’t…on the other hand, Trump does seem to be drawing a lot of Democrats to the GOP. If someone doesn’t get out there soon and credibly out-populist Trump, he might win this whole thing easy.

      • Amazona January 24, 2016 / 9:30 pm

        I am not a big Beck fan but he does make some good points sometimes. “Effeminate”? I never got that, and I don’t really understand why that should affect an opinion of what he says.

        As for NRO, I get it every day and find a range of political philosophies, but am quite comfortable with most of the opinions expressed. For example, I really like and admire Thomas Sowell, who does not strike me as Establishment. I have read several of his books and think he is a bright star in the conservative constellation. I find a lot of criticism of RINOs and Establishment types like Rove and Graham. I don’t necessarily have to agree with every word of every opinion to respect the writer.

        I certainly don’t agree with voting for Sanders instead of Trump, but I can understand why someone might say that. I don’t for a minute think he meant that, any more than people who say they will leave the country if X is elected. I was really responding to the smug quote that was presented as if it means something. It doesn’t. But it is a good example of what seems to pass for discourse on the merits of a Trump candidacy. I agree with you that Sanders is a horrible person and I, for example, couid not and would not vote for him.

        There just seems to be this free-floating rage that is getting more and more wide in focus. Your statement ” People like Glenn Beck and the national review club are part of the problem.” is a good example, Glenn Beck has done nothing to further erosion of Constitutional law. On the contrary, when he did his history lessons I thought they were better prepared and more comprehensive and informative than anything I have ever seen—-and they all focused on pride in the country and allegiance to the Constitution.

        Maybe if we had a more focused target for our anger we would be, as a nation, less vulnerable to hucksters and con men.

      • Cluster January 24, 2016 / 9:43 pm

        The few times I have tuned into Beck on Blaze he is wearing some Ivy League sweater and sitting in an easy chair. Not exactly a strong image. I also like NRO and particularly Steve Hayes but I think we need to realize that our current national problems supersede the luxury of going for constitutional purity and weakening our own candidates. We are $20 trillion in debt, our borders are a sieve, jihadists are burning people in cages and wanting to do the same to us, our youth is over 50% unemployed, our elected officials outright lie to us and cover up their incompetency at all costs, and the racial divide is at dangerous levels. This country is a mess so I think it’s important to stop Hillary and the socialist at all costs and that means laying off of Trump and supporting him if he wins.

      • Amazona January 24, 2016 / 10:25 pm

        When I was scrolling through some online news stories I ran across one about Beck’s health problems. I was amazed to learn how close to death he has been, and the horrible symptoms he has had to deal with for years. He talked about how his co-hosts and camera operators learned to recognize when he was crashing, and shift the cameras to the other guys, who would pick up, sometimes in the middle of a sentence. He finally learned that he is suffering from severe adrenal fatigue. His adrenal glands basically stopped functioning, leading to sudden bouts of excruciating pain (feeling like shards of glass were embedded in the bottoms of his feet as one example) seizures, muscle weakness, physical collapse, brain fog, and a generally terrifying experience. Before he was finally diagnosed, several doctors told him to just quit working, go home, and spend what time he had with his family. I guess he just bundled up more and sat down more, so he could keep on keeping on.

        Guess that all came across as wussy to some people. Because I remember how fragile I felt after a brief but life-threatening episode a few years ago, I personally have a lot of admiration for him even showing up at all.

        Looked in on the Arizona/Carolina game for a while. It is very……bright. I don’t think I have ever seen professional football in such vivid uniforms, esp. Carolina, which looks like they got their unis out of closets in Barbie’s Beach House. Oh, those blue legs! But it didn’t look like I would have to stick around to know how the game turns out. Unless Arizona mounts an amazing comeback, it looks like I’ll be seeing more of those bright Carolina outfits again in the Super Bowl.

      • Amazona January 24, 2016 / 10:26 pm

        …. that means laying off of Trump and supporting him if he wins…” …OR doing what it takes to keep him in line, as much as possible.

      • M. Noonan January 25, 2016 / 12:41 am

        I’ll vote for Trump if I must, but I’ll be an opponent voting for the lesser of two evils.

  12. Amazona January 24, 2016 / 9:37 pm

    This is a quote from Thomas Sowell:

    “The idea that someone quite different from those who led a nation into disaster can be expected to produce an improvement is a non sequitur that has seduced many people in many places and times.

    Germany’s Weimar Republic was nobody’s idea of an ideal government but Hitler’s reign that followed was far worse in every way. Many Americans denounced the rule of the Shah of Iran, but he was never a worldwide sponsor of terrorism, like those who replaced him.

    A pattern that would appear in many other places and times was one in which people’s hopes became focused on someone new, charismatic and with ringing rhetoric– but utterly untested for the job of governing a nation.

    That is where we are today.”

    If I were to tell you he wrote this in 2008, about Barack Obama, you would agree. If I were to tell you he wrote this last week about Trump you would probably call him an Establishment NRO hack who is a Trump HATER–or at least this is the impression I get from your posts lately.

    • M. Noonan January 25, 2016 / 12:40 am

      The only proper revolution is a restoration – and, so, the only good revolution so far in history was the American revolution…all the Founders were really trying to do was restore the rights they and their ancestors had held…while the British government was trying to usurp them. Reading the history, I was surprised that the Brits never got it into their heads to ensure that the colonies had representation in Parliament. It would have only taken 25 or 30 Members from the colonies to cover it; just as it was in Britain, they could have ensured that the franchise was narrow and pretty much restricted to people who backed the government in general. True, travel times were long, but not insurmountable. And if there had been representation, it would have made it hard for rebels to gain traction…but, also, harder for the Brits to just brazenly impose taxes on the colonies. And the Brits never figured it out – they could have kept the British Empire mostly together had they just extended representation to Canada, Australia, etc. They would have lost India and most of what they had in Africa, come what may, but they’d still be a global super-power. Weird how short-sighted people can be.

      • Shawny Lee January 25, 2016 / 4:08 am

        I agree. It seems those interested in ruling rather than serving the people walk a one-way path toward their goal. I do think that counter-revolution must come before a restoration. It is our government and those they follow in the globalist movement which started this revolution we have allowed for so long. And I think we must first stop the downward slide before we can repair the damage. It’s very late in the game and will require extraordinary effort from the people if we are to avoid the last alternative our founders had to resort to.

    • Amazona January 25, 2016 / 12:45 pm

      Shawny, I agree that we have to stop the downward slide before we can start to move up again. I could not agree more. As far as I can tell, you and I disagree on only one thing, and that is on the best person to start this halting of our death spiral.

      Let’s start with a supposition. Let’s start with the assumption that Donald Trump’s abrupt shift to a more conservative belief system includes a belief in governing according to the Constitution and is wholly, 100%, honest and sincere and has become an unshakable core belief.

      Taking this as a fact, that would leave us with discussing which approach to halting and then reversing this plunge into chaos and full Leftist misery would be the most effective. There is no way to know for sure, but we can at least look at the differences in approach to this problem between Trump and Cruz.

      When a situation is so dire, with so many problems on so many fronts, I agree that there is some merit in being a brash, even reckless, personality who is energized by every counterattack, who doesn’t give a flip what people think of him, whose personal style is to charge full speed ahead like a giant bowling ball intent on simply knocking down anything in his way. I can see that. This is not a person I would want in charge after all the pins are knocked down, because this is not the kind of person I think would be best for a nation that is not in crisis, but I can see the benefit of having this kind of personality be the point of the spear.

      There is also a lot to be said for the more intellectual, systematic, approach, that focuses more on fixing things than breaking them so they can (hopefully) be reassembled in a better configuration.

      And that is how I envision the difference between Trump and Cruz, given the assumption laid out above. I see one approach to our problems, Trump’s, as being a giant wrecking ball slamming into big problems with abandon, leaving chaos in his wake but at the same time dismantling a lot of the bad stuff. Maybe he could be surrounded by people who could put the pieces back together in a better way, or maybe the restructuring would have to wait for his successor, a builder rather than a knocker-downer.

      I see Cruz’s approach as more precise, more surgical. This could be more deadly, though less dramatic and with less crowd appeal. And I think it would be more effective, in the long run.

      By the way, this kind of job doesn’t need someone who is running for Most Popular, whether you have the precise watchmaker approach which understands how the thing works and goes inside it to replace the broken parts or the hit-it-with-a-hammer approach that says “I’ll put it back together later”. What it does require—no, what it does DEMAND, is someone with a crystal clear focus on putting the nation back on a Constitutional track.

      • Shawny Lee January 25, 2016 / 4:33 pm


        There’s no question in my mind that we share a love of this country and want to reverse this destructive course we’re on. What I see is that Trump, even if he dropped out of the race tomorrow, has already been successful at 1) Reclaiming the dialog from the mainstream media and the left which was one of our biggest challenges. 2) Uniting and empowering Americans across party lines and ethnic divides. 3) Acknowledging on a national stage, the real fears, concerns and frustrations of mainstream America who have been ridiculed, silenced and gone unrepresented for so long. 4) Encouraged many Americans that he can be successful because he already has been and they can see tangible results on their behalf. 5) Unapologetically promoted National pride and “America First”. 6) Promotes policies, many of which are already laws passed by Congress that had widespread bi-partisan support but which were never enforced by either party in office (so it’s not surprising they still support them now, particularly the immigration laws). 6) Has not hesitated to openly identify the enemies of our nation when our leadership and the media have not only refused to but tried to discourage us from doing so while our enemies openly threaten to destroy us and have carried out attacks to back their threats.
        7) Understands economics and has addressed the House of Congress in the past on changes that could be made to stimulate the economy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rksd80-FCAw He speaks in terms of what he’s most familiar with but very knowledgeably of the laws and impacts.
        I had been a huge supporter of Allen West but his voting record after elected did not bare out his campaign promises. I had been a huge supporter of Scott Walker because he walked the talk, delivered on his promises to Wisconsin voters, and was very disappointed that he was unable to get his campaign off the ground. I personally like Carson and Cruz but at this point in time I believe we need a major,resounding victory which leaves a clear message that business as usual will no longer be tolerated and that we are willing to unite, regardless of color, sex, age or political party and we will be heard. I believe Cruz has shown he is a Constitutional conservative, but much of the voter base has been deliberately raised ignorant of what that means or it’s importance. Can he bring in the blacks, the disillusioned democrats who do not support the socialist takeover of their party but firmly believe in their social programs, or even many of the social conservatives? I’d like to think so but he hasn’t been successful at it so far, not even gaining consensus with his own peers in Congress or widespread support of conservatives nationwide. I think we must win this election with a united America and move forward from there. I don’t see anyone else who is already doing that but Trump.

      • Amazona January 25, 2016 / 5:18 pm

        Shawny, if Trump were to back out and shift his support to Cruz, in my mind he would qualify as an All-American hero, because of the things you mention.

        I am with you on 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7. As for 4, I guess I don’t understand what you are getting at. I am fine with crediting Trump with achieving a lot of success, but I am offended by the narrative that he did this on his own, pulling himself up by his own bootstraps out of the middle class due to his drive and genius, etc. He had a lot of advantages, an elite private school education, to being able to build on what his father had learned the hard way to get to his own success, to being basically interned in his father’s business to learn from the inside out using his father’s money, to starting off with what amounts to $1.4 million in today’s money in his own account, to his willingness to work with shady characters and the mob to get his work done, to essentially bribing politicians for favorable legislation and support. I admit that a lot, if not most, people who started off with his original advantages could not have taken them as far as he has, but I am tired of the narrative that he can stand as an example of how anyone can make it big in this country, blah blah blah. I’m not sure if that is what you are getting at, but that is something I keep hearing.

      • Shawny Lee January 25, 2016 / 6:19 pm

        Just a response to Amazona’s question about number 4 in my comment below. I wasn’t referring to his personal business success at all. I was talking about all the other items listed that he has already accomplished in a few short months against the current administration, against the mainstream media, against the establishment elitists of both parties, against political correctness etc. These are no small things from someone who hasn’t even been elected.

      • Amazona January 25, 2016 / 6:51 pm

        OK, thanks for that explanation, Shawny.

        I get the first part of liking Trump, which is that he is willing to use his big voice and big presence to say what the Little Guy has been saying all along but hasn’t been able to turn into a national conversation. I get that, and I appreciate that.

        I am just not able to leap across that huge chasm between being an effective voice of the people and being the Leader of the Free World. I just don’t agree with a lot of people that a talent in one area, no matter how large, automatically translates into qualification for the presidency. I have all the admiration in the world for Doctor Carson, yet never thought he was qualified to be president. Having the right ideas is not the same as having the right qualifications.

        There are a lot of things I think are important characteristics in someone I would be comfortable with a my president. I want someone who knows the difference between brave and reckless, for example. I don’t want a president who comes across as someone whose idea of funny is “pull my finger”, whose schtick is being crass. I want a president who inspires respect because he is seen as someone with the courage to make the hard decisions, not feared because he is a loose cannon who might do anything at any time and has a history of making rash decisions based on emotional reactions to things.

        I love Donald Trump. I mean, I LOVE him—-as a guy whose reckless, brash, F ’em if they can’t take a joke, overweening sense of his own specialness lets him charge ahead and forge new ground. But I want him to do that, get the ball rolling, get the topics out there in the sunlight where they can lose a little of their volatility so someone else can pick up where he left off and tackle the big stuff and at the same time seem moderate because Trump was so —- immoderate. I want him to say “I can clear the land, I can even build the foundation, but we need a craftsman to build the house, and that ain’t me” and hand off the support he has built to someone who can use it to the best advantage for the country.

  13. Amazona January 24, 2016 / 9:39 pm

    Different topic—what did you think of the Broncos/Patriots game? A lot of people thought the Broncos were terribly outclassed by New England, and I think the game put that to rest. Except for the last two minutes of the game, New England was outplayed all the way, and even then the Broncos stopped them.

    And as an example of pure class, look at the comments of Peyton Manning about Brady and his team and coach.

    • Cluster January 24, 2016 / 10:17 pm

      That was a great game and Denver’s defense is outstanding. Manning has always been a class act and is getting every ounce of football he has left out of his worn out body and hopefully he has enough for one more good game.

    • M. Noonan January 25, 2016 / 12:35 am

      It was a great effort by the Broncos – I’ll still have to put the Panthers as the favorite for winning the Super Bowl, but Cam and the boys will have trouble dealing with the Denver defense.

      • Cluster January 25, 2016 / 8:05 am

        The Cardinal’s disappointed us once again but we are use to that here in the desert. 🙂 Cam and the Panthers look to be unstoppable. Denver will have to play their very best game to win. My prediction Carolina 31 Broncos 13

      • Amazona January 25, 2016 / 12:20 pm

        I didn’t watch a lot of the game and I am not familiar with the Panthers in general, not being a football watcher in general and just following the Broncos,with an occasional college game every now and then. However, from what I did see, Arizona didn’t give the Panthers much of a fight. From what I saw, if yesterday’s Broncos met yesterday’s Panthers, the cats would have had a much harder time of it.

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