Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Republicans Worse Than Democrats

Count me with the 62% who feel betrayed by the Republican Party. Two out of three Republicans believe the Republican Congress “has not done anything to stop the Obama agenda,” according to a recent Fox News poll. And the pundits wonder why outsiders like Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and Carly Fiorina are doing so well?
Born a Boston-Irish-Catholic-Democrat, I became a former-Democrat around 1993. I resigned from the party and became an independent. I’d register Republican just before a primary so I could vote, and resign from it when the voting was over. After a while, I’d forget to resign, so I guess I’m still in the book as a member of the GOP but I have little enthusiasm for it. When John Crybaby Boehner resigned last week as Speaker of the House, I said, “Yes!” and did a fist-pump. Then I waited for Mitch McConnell to follow, but so far he hasn’t.
Lately I see Republicans as worse than Democrats. At least Democrats admit they want to keep their socialist, tax-and-spend, head-for-bankruptcy policies going to the bitter end. They’re honest about it. Republicans like Boehner and McConnell say they want to cut spending, say they want to repeal Obamacare, say they want to defund Planned Parenthood, say they want to stop illegal immigration, but do they really? Uh-uh. They just want to seem like they do so they can keep their jobs.
It’s either that or they don’t have any courage. They’re deathly afraid of being blamed for shutting down the government if they cut funding for Planned Parenthood’s used-baby-parts industry. Their knees shake worrying that the mainstream media will call them racist if they oppose President Obama. They’ll fund the war on babies to avoid allegations they’re waging a war on women.
Planned Parenthood is America’s biggest abortionist. They dismember more than 300,000 babies a year — one every 90 seconds. Yes, they also pass out birth control and do breast examinations, but there are countless other local health clinics that do that. Give them the money instead. President Obama supports Planned Parenthood because it dismembers babies, which he euphemistically calls “women’s health.” It’s all about abortion.
Now over to the current budget crisis. The Constitution requires Congress to pass budget. After watching the Planned Parenthood videos, the Republican majority in Congress wants to stop sending Planned Parenthood $500 million every year. The president promised to veto any budget or continuing resolution without it. If he does that, government shuts down. So here’s the question: how come it’s Congress’s fault? It’s the president’s veto that shuts down the government. If the mainstream media then blames Republicans in control of Congress for the shutdown, why not point out that it was the president’s veto that made it happen?
“Yeah, but the president said he would veto any bill that doesn’t contain funding for Planned Parenthood!” they’ll yell, “And Congress went right ahead and passed one, so it’s Congress’s fault!” The mainstream media are a Ministry of Propaganda for Democrats. “The president staked out his position and the Congress deliberately crossed him!” They’ll declare. “It’s all their fault!” So just on this one issue, it’s plain that Republican leadership defers to the president. They let him set the boundaries of what can be done and what cannot because they’re afraid of the media. That’s what enrages the Republican base, myself included.
Then there’s the Iran nuclear deal. It’s actually a treaty, and the Constitution requires a two-thirds vote of the Senate to approve it, so a confrontation between the Republican-controlled Senate and President Obama loomed. What did Mitch McConnell do? He supported a bill that called it an “agreement” instead of a treaty, that would require a two-thirds majority to stop! That meant Democrats only had to come up with 34 votes instead of 67! Republicans could have stopped the deal but, again, they wimped out, betraying their base.
Among the Republican candidates for president, one who seems to understand how the base feels is Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. At the little CNN debate preceding the main event, he said if the Republican majority cannot send a bill to the president cutting Planned Parenthood funding, it’s “time to get rid of the Republican Party!” When Boehner announced his resignation as House Speaker, Jindal was speaking at the Value Voters Summit in Washington. His response? “That’s one down, [and] 434 more to go,” Jindal told the crowd to loud applause. “Folks, it is time to fire everybody in D.C. and the reason I’m saying that is, right now, we’ve got a choice between honest socialists on one side and lying conservatives on the other,” he said. “Mitch McConnell, it’s now your turn!”
Get rid of the entire Congress and start over? Not likely to happen, but a movement to do so would certainly shake it up. I’m for it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Carry Your Own Water, Mr. President

I wouldn’t have thought much about it until the mainstream media went into high dudgeon. It’s been interesting to watch feeding frenzy over what Donald Trump should have said when a questioner maintained President Obama was a Muslim. “He should have corrected the questioner!” they insisted. Trump said he has no obligation to defend Obama, and he’s right. Methinks the media protesteth too much. Chuck Todd continued to gnaw that bone when interviewing Trump on “Meet The Press” last Sunday morning. George Stephanopoulos worked it over on his program too.
Various polls have shown that as many as 54% of Republicans, 26% of Independents, and even 10% of Democrats think Obama is Muslim. Let’s review some of the possible reasons so many Americans believe this, shall we?
Obama’s father was Muslim. His stepfather was Muslim. He registered as Muslim when he went to a Muslim school in Indonesia. Back then his name was Barry Soetoro. As an adult, he decided to change it and go by Barack Hussein Obama, a distinctly Muslim-sounding name. Yet whenever conservatives dared to so much as utter the middle name Obama himself chose, the mainstream media went ballistic. Even John McCain chastised one of his hosts for referring to his opponent as “Barack Hussein Obama.”
When being interviewed by George Stephanopoulos back in 2008, Obama slipped, and said: “You’re absolutely right that John McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith…” at which point Stephanopoulos interjected: “my Christian faith,” and Obama dutifully repeated as Stephanopoulos instructed: “…my Christian faith.”
In 2008, when the Hillary Clinton campaign was accused of circulating a picture of Obama wearing Muslim clothing, Obama objected, saying, “[People were] saddened when they see these kind of politics.” Obama had visited Kenya in 2006 and tried on some Muslim garb, but so what? Why get all excited when a picture emerged? Why would anyone be “saddened”? Why should the picture have been kept hidden? No reason, unless he was trying to hide something.
As for Obama’s Christian bona fides? Well, President Obama said he attended the Reverend Wright’s United Church of Christ in Chicago for twenty years. He said Wright performed his wedding and baptized his two children. Yet when videotape emerged of antisemitic, racist sermons Wright delivered in that church, including one in which he yelled: “No-no-no! Not God bless America — God damn America!” Obama claimed he was shocked and never heard of Wright saying any such thing. When challenged on this, Obama said, "I don't think my church is actually particularly controversial,” and the Reverend Wright "is like an old uncle who says things I don't always agree with.”
Not particularly controversial? As a lifelong Christian, I can’t say I’ve ever known one who wouldn’t be shocked to hear sermons like that in any church. For him to excuse Wright that way would kindle doubt about just what kind of Christian Obama considers himself to be. The Reverend Wright’s outrageous exclamations sound more like they come from a radical imam in an Iranian mosque than from a pastor of a Christian church in America.
President Obama issues presidential proclamations for all Muslim holidays, including this one on Ramadan from 2011:

On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I want to extend our best wishes to Muslims in America and around the world. Ramadan Kareem. Ramadan is a time when Muslims around the world reflect upon the wisdom and guidance that comes with faith…
There was, however, no Easter proclamation that year and Christians across the country objected. Since then Obama has issued Easter proclamations, but he had to be prodded. People notice this and it’s no wonder opinion polls reflect doubt about the veracity of what Obama claims his religion to be. They also remember statements like: “If you like your policy, you can keep your policy, period,” as well as others now too numerous to count. They’ve learned that lying comes easily to President Obama.
Islam would consider Obama to be Muslim because both his father and the stepfather who adopted him were Muslim. According to Daniel Pipes, an Islam specialist and president of the Middle East Forum

Islam is a patrilineal religion: In Islam, the father passes his faith to the children, and when a Muslim man has children with a non-Muslim woman, Islam considers those children Muslim. Mr. Obama’s grandfather and father having been Muslims — the extent of their piety matters not at all — means that in Muslim eyes, Mr. Obama was born a Muslim.”
I’ve seen no record of Obama ever renouncing his Muslim faith. To do so would make him an apostate, an offense punishable by death according to Islamic law. I don't know if the president is Muslim or not, but it's not unreasonable for people to suspect he is. Donald Trump is absolutely correct. Obama has to defend himself when accusations like this come up. It’s not up to anyone else. It’s his job, but he sits back and lets the mainstream media do it instead.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Visit Europe While It Lasts

All roads lead to Rome and that’s where I’m going in a couple of weeks with my wife and grandson. I booked the trip before my son died in June, and part of me is sorry I did because I don’t have as much enthusiasm for it since he passed. This grieving process is sapping my strength. Hopefully that enthusiasm will return when we all get there. The trip is paid for and I’ll make the best of it.
Our 14-year-old grandson, Riley, already knows quite a lot about Rome and he’ll be fun to have along with the eternal city and its environs being so saturated in history. I also know that Italy is changing fast and it may not exist in its present form much longer. All of Europe is being transformed by a Muslim invasion and by decades of socialism, so much so that many refer to it as “post-Christian.” Many churches, for example, are being sold off and reopened as mosques. The Eurozone is paralyzed by welfare states full of dependents and pensioners they can no longer afford.
Hagia Sophia became the Blue Mosque

For months I’ve tried to book a personal guide. Several were recommended by friends who have been to Rome and given me contact information for them, but they don’t get back to me. Last week I contacted the Lewiston, Maine travel agency that booked our Israel trip to see if it would give me a contact. A woman there said she’s not surprised at the lack of response because “that’s how they are in Italy; they procrastinate.” I’ve given up on a personal guide so now I’m booking small-group tours of the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s, the Coliseum, the Forum, and so forth.
One of Rome's hop on/hop off busses

Happily, I saw on Trip Advisor that Rome has a “hop-on, hop-off” bus system. When visiting Dublin, that was a great way to spend the first day — on the open upper deck listening to the bus driver wittily describe what we were seeing as we passed by. Unhappily however, I read reviews of Rome’s “hop-on, hop-off” busses and they were dismal. “Stay away!” and “Don’t bother!” and “You’re better off walking!” said virtually all commenters who had happily used them in other European cities. Rome is different, they said. Employees are rude; the busses are dirty and disorganized. Forty-five-minute waits at bus stops are the norm.
Dark clouds over Rome, again?

A July article in the UK Telegraph said: “The Eternal City is facing crisis, with its administration engulfed in corruption scandals and debt, its roads scarred by pot-holes, the main airport partially closed and a growing immigration crisis… ‘Rome is on the verge of collapse,’ Giancarlo Cremonesi, the president of the Rome Chamber of Commerce, told Reuters. ‘It is unacceptable that a major city which calls itself developed can find itself in such a state of decay.’”
My wife Roseann at her grandfather's house in Greece

Last year my wife and I toured Greece with her family. While her grandfather’s village in the Peloponnese seemed in fine shape, the rest of the country looked like a basket case teetering on bankruptcy. In Athens, graffiti covered nearly every vertical surface reachable by a vandal with a spray can. Across the countryside, abandoned construction projects were everywhere. After we left, Greeks elected a left-wing government which said to the EU: We don’t plan to pay back the billions you’ve already lent us, and we demand you lend us more! Italy and Spain, also on the brink, watched to see if the EU [European Union] would cave in to Greek demands. It did. How long can countries in southern Europe spend beyond their means? How long will northern Europe keep bailing them out?
Where it stops, nobody knows

We plan to spend most of our time touring sites in the city, but I rented a car and we will go into the Italian countryside for at least a couple of days. I want to get a feel for the country and the only way to do that is to go off the beaten track. So-called refugees from Africa and the Middle East are flocking into Italy, which is trying to get other European countries to take them. Pope Francis is asking every Catholic parish to accept a family, but there seems to be few of them — 80% of the wave of “migrants” making news lately are young men in their 20s and 30s. There are very few women and children or elderly. Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic are suspicious. Most are said to be of “fighting age” and ISIS said its fighters were among them. Many rejected food aid because it came in boxes with Red Crosses.
I’ll be asking ordinary Italians their opinions. I suspect they’re much like ordinary Americans concerning illegal immigrants here: They don’t agree with the elites.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Has Everyone Gone Crazy?

“If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs…” was a tool Rudyard Kipling used to measure a man in the early 20th century. I think he’d agree that in the 21st century, it has gotten much harder. A few examples:

One — The “smartest guy ever to become president” is pushing a peace agreement with Iran, the biggest terrorist nation on earth. We’re about to release $150 billion Iran will use to perpetrate even more terrorism against us and our allies. Our wicked-smart president tells us not to worry when over a million Iranians chant “Death to America!” and “Death to Israel!” because they don’t really mean it. Iranian leaders promise to “wipe Israel off the map” but they don’t mean that either.

Two — A local Maine daily showed a picture of a woman with a buzz cut and wide eyes with a confused and profoundly troubled expression. A sane person senses immediately she’s mentally ill and she’d just been arrested for murder. As the Portland Press Herald reported it:

Police said MacCalister saw Wendy Boudreau [her victim] in the parking lot and followed her into the store. In the ice cream aisle, he grabbed Boudreau from behind and slit the woman’s throat, Kennedy wrote. Others in the store then responded to screams. Alexandra Gogos, who works in the Shaw’s bakery, ran to the scene and tried to stop Boudreau’s bleeding. Gogos asked MacCalister, “Why? Why did you do this?”
MacCalister replied, “She looked at me funny.”
Another witness who responded to Boudreau’s screams, Benjamin Williams, also asked MacCalister, “Why?”
“I’m off my meds,” he said. “She looked at me wrong.”

Victim Wendy Boudreau
I feel bad for Boudreau’s family, of course, and for MacCalister as well. She’s haunted by mental illness, but the saddest part is how the media call her “he.” MacCalister “presents” as a man, so we’re all expected to go along, even when we consider her sexual confusion another dimension of her mental illness. If she “presented” as Napoleon, would the media then call her “Emperor”?

The York County sheriff said he can’t decide whether to house MacCalister with men or women. I have some advice for him: Your instincts tell you MacCalister is a woman, sheriff. Trust them. Don’t let the PC Thought Police convince you that you’re wrong or you’ll become just as crazy as they are.
Prosthetics for UK prisoners

Three — That’s already happened to jailers in the UK. They have to call men “Miss” when male prisoners are sexually confused, or pretending to be. Such prisoners are also to be provided with prosthetic breasts and prosthetic female genitalia they can strap on. While normal prisoners are required to wear prison uniforms, “inmates who wish to transgender may wear high heels, lingerie, dresses, wigs, make-up, nail polish, suits and ties, and other body coverings as well as,” according to gendertrender.wordpress.com and the UK Telegraph. Do you suppose some of those cons could be con artists? UK taxpayers must also fund “gender re-assignment” surgery and hormone treatments. Massachusetts taxpayers are too in that very blue state to our south. Our colleges and universities — schools at all levels — are teaching that “gender” is fluid and can change on a whim, also with our tax money.

All of which reminds me of another British thinker, George Orwell, who pointed out that: “Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them.”

Four — All this craziness is having an effect. In the UK, for instance, the International Business Times reports that half of 18-24 demographic say they’re not exclusively heterosexual, while those in older demographics have traditional tastes. This plays against the carefully constructed leftist narrative that “gay” people are born that way — which they insist is the case even though scientific evidence to support it is slim or none.
About 3500 students passed through my classroom during my 36-year teaching career, including my own children. I heard about their former classmates who had claimed to be homosexual in high school or college and lived that lifestyle. Sometimes I was surprised and sometimes I wasn’t, but then I learned several were wrong about their homosexuality and ultimately married people of the opposite sex. Now they’re happily raising families.
Five — Leftist members of our Supreme Court recently claimed to find a right for people of the same sex to marry in our Constitution and are imposing it nationwide — no matter that millions and millions of Americans believe homosexuality unnatural and sinful, along with every major religion on earth for millennia. Kim Davis, a clerk in Kentucky, refused to issue a marriage license to homosexuals on religious grounds and went to jail for it. Even though another clerk issued the license, Davis remains in jail at this writing.
Kipling also said you’re doing well when:

...you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken 
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, 
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, 
And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools.