Category: Sally Zelikovsky

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David French Contradicts Himself


National Review’s David French penned an article in which he calls on the New York Times op-ed author, Anonymous, to reveal himself and present evidence that the nation’s security is at stake, the president is unhinged, and the minions in his administration are concerned.  “[I]f you truly believe the president is unfit, basic patriotism demands nothing less” than Anonymous show the courage to come forward and present his case, under oath with evidence before the American people, who have a right to know. 

I used to admire David French — ex-military, an accomplished attorney, a prolific contributor to National Review, a pundit extraordinaire.  But his article starts out with the admonition “For the good of the nation, you must identify yourself and back up your claims about the president with hard evidence.”  Throughout the article, French repeatedly demands that Anonymous present the evidence for his or her claims.  Evidence, evidence, evidence!  I couldn’t agree more.

For such a diehard #NeverTrumper as Mr. French, I cannot help but wonder if deep down he actually hopes Anonymous complies.  It certainly would vindicate the #NeverTrumpers and their compatriots on the left.  And, I say this, fully acknowledging that he does include in his article room for doubt, questioning whether there is “real fire behind all this smoke” and covering his behind with the acknowledgement that Anonymous’s claims just might not be truthful. 

But here is where David French contradicts himself and loses the reader as well as credibility as the brilliant legal mind he is supposed to be.

There is a lot of talk about the kind of behavior that’s “priced in” with Trump. Aside from the cultists, millions of voters cast their ballots knowing that he was a flawed man. They knew, and still know, that he’s cheated on his wife. They wished, and still wish, that he wouldn’t rage on Twitter, that he showed more self-discipline, and that he had more integrity. But they preferred him to Hillary Clinton, another corrupt candidate.  [Emphasis added.]

For someone repeatedly calling for the outing of those subverting the Trump Agenda as well as evidence of Trump’s insanity and the chaos in the White House — all in the name of patriotism — he puts in this gem that we all know Trump cheated on his wife. Curious. 

Maybe he believes if he says it enough, his readers will accept its veracity.  It’s a classic litigator’s technique — you state things you intend to prove in a case as facts in your opening and closing statements, in your briefs to the court — counsel will refer to his client as John, the kind-hearted family man who is devoted to his wife and attends church religiously, whereas opposing counsel will refer to him as the accused, a cold-blooded sociopath who murdered his family. Attorneys will consistently refer to the evidence they introduce as actual, indisputable facts that corroborate their version of the case, knowing that the evidence will, in the end, be judged by the triers-of-fact whether jury or judge. I cannot help but wonder if that’s what French is doing here.

Or… did I miss something in the news?  I know the left and other Trump haters are convinced of Trump’s infidelities based on accusations by the porn star and the playboy bunny (you see?  I intentionally did not humanize them with names).  His payoffs to them further corroborate in their minds, his guilt.  But like all the other male victims of #metoo who have been forced out of positions of power, have lost their livelihoods and reputations simply based on the unsubstantiated accusations of myriad women (who, by the way, do a disservice to women who have actually and provably been sexually harassed, recipients of unwanted sexual advancements, lewd behavior in the office, sexual assault or rape), where’s the evidence that Trump actually cheated on his wife? 

You know, David, all I have to do is place myself in a room with you at some time, engage you in conversation, maybe even have a drink with you outside of whatever event it is we attend together, maybe even cultivate a business friendship with you, and then hurl an accusation that you made advances on me or slept with me in my apartment, late one night without any more specificity, without any witnesses or cameras.  And then someone supposedly objective and legally consistent could pen an article about you and conclude — in the absence of concrete evidence whether beyond all reasonable doubt in a criminal matter or by a preponderance of evidence in a civil matter — that we all know you “cheated on your wife.”  If you are unpleasant enough in personality or disliked enough in your profession, it could make for an easy fall from grace, regardless of your guilt or innocence.  Thus, “you too” could lose your job, reputation, and maybe even your marriage if you have one. 

Right now, women hold incredible power without having to meet the legal standards for proof.  The He Said/She Said stalemate of yesterday, has become the She Said checkmate today.   The requirements for proof have to be applied consistently whether the accused is Charlie Rose, Leslie Moonves, Ryan Seacrest, or, I’m sorry to say, David, yes, Donald Trump, too. 

You ask Anonymous to “Name yourself.  Let America test your claims.”

Well, let us test your claims:  please enlighten us with the proof we all apparently have that President Trump cheated on his wife, because I, for one, am clueless.

If the proof is there, that will be priced in when he next runs for office — by cultists and supporters alike.  Or, maybe they’ll be swayed by the lessons from the Clinton years that what a President does in the bedroom has no bearing on his performance in the Oval Office.  

Regardless, French should take a hard look in the mirror because, when it comes to evidentiary proof regarding President Trump’s behavior, he appears to have more in common with Anonymous than he might like to admit.

National Review’s David French penned an article in which he calls on the New York Times op-ed author, Anonymous, to reveal himself and present evidence that the nation’s security is at stake, the president is unhinged, and the minions in his administration are concerned.  “[I]f you truly believe the president is unfit, basic patriotism demands nothing less” than Anonymous show the courage to come forward and present his case, under oath with evidence before the American people, who have a right to know. 

I used to admire David French — ex-military, an accomplished attorney, a prolific contributor to National Review, a pundit extraordinaire.  But his article starts out with the admonition “For the good of the nation, you must identify yourself and back up your claims about the president with hard evidence.”  Throughout the article, French repeatedly demands that Anonymous present the evidence for his or her claims.  Evidence, evidence, evidence!  I couldn’t agree more.

For such a diehard #NeverTrumper as Mr. French, I cannot help but wonder if deep down he actually hopes Anonymous complies.  It certainly would vindicate the #NeverTrumpers and their compatriots on the left.  And, I say this, fully acknowledging that he does include in his article room for doubt, questioning whether there is “real fire behind all this smoke” and covering his behind with the acknowledgement that Anonymous’s claims just might not be truthful. 

But here is where David French contradicts himself and loses the reader as well as credibility as the brilliant legal mind he is supposed to be.

There is a lot of talk about the kind of behavior that’s “priced in” with Trump. Aside from the cultists, millions of voters cast their ballots knowing that he was a flawed man. They knew, and still know, that he’s cheated on his wife. They wished, and still wish, that he wouldn’t rage on Twitter, that he showed more self-discipline, and that he had more integrity. But they preferred him to Hillary Clinton, another corrupt candidate.  [Emphasis added.]

For someone repeatedly calling for the outing of those subverting the Trump Agenda as well as evidence of Trump’s insanity and the chaos in the White House — all in the name of patriotism — he puts in this gem that we all know Trump cheated on his wife. Curious. 

Maybe he believes if he says it enough, his readers will accept its veracity.  It’s a classic litigator’s technique — you state things you intend to prove in a case as facts in your opening and closing statements, in your briefs to the court — counsel will refer to his client as John, the kind-hearted family man who is devoted to his wife and attends church religiously, whereas opposing counsel will refer to him as the accused, a cold-blooded sociopath who murdered his family. Attorneys will consistently refer to the evidence they introduce as actual, indisputable facts that corroborate their version of the case, knowing that the evidence will, in the end, be judged by the triers-of-fact whether jury or judge. I cannot help but wonder if that’s what French is doing here.

Or… did I miss something in the news?  I know the left and other Trump haters are convinced of Trump’s infidelities based on accusations by the porn star and the playboy bunny (you see?  I intentionally did not humanize them with names).  His payoffs to them further corroborate in their minds, his guilt.  But like all the other male victims of #metoo who have been forced out of positions of power, have lost their livelihoods and reputations simply based on the unsubstantiated accusations of myriad women (who, by the way, do a disservice to women who have actually and provably been sexually harassed, recipients of unwanted sexual advancements, lewd behavior in the office, sexual assault or rape), where’s the evidence that Trump actually cheated on his wife? 

You know, David, all I have to do is place myself in a room with you at some time, engage you in conversation, maybe even have a drink with you outside of whatever event it is we attend together, maybe even cultivate a business friendship with you, and then hurl an accusation that you made advances on me or slept with me in my apartment, late one night without any more specificity, without any witnesses or cameras.  And then someone supposedly objective and legally consistent could pen an article about you and conclude — in the absence of concrete evidence whether beyond all reasonable doubt in a criminal matter or by a preponderance of evidence in a civil matter — that we all know you “cheated on your wife.”  If you are unpleasant enough in personality or disliked enough in your profession, it could make for an easy fall from grace, regardless of your guilt or innocence.  Thus, “you too” could lose your job, reputation, and maybe even your marriage if you have one. 

Right now, women hold incredible power without having to meet the legal standards for proof.  The He Said/She Said stalemate of yesterday, has become the She Said checkmate today.   The requirements for proof have to be applied consistently whether the accused is Charlie Rose, Leslie Moonves, Ryan Seacrest, or, I’m sorry to say, David, yes, Donald Trump, too. 

You ask Anonymous to “Name yourself.  Let America test your claims.”

Well, let us test your claims:  please enlighten us with the proof we all apparently have that President Trump cheated on his wife, because I, for one, am clueless.

If the proof is there, that will be priced in when he next runs for office — by cultists and supporters alike.  Or, maybe they’ll be swayed by the lessons from the Clinton years that what a President does in the bedroom has no bearing on his performance in the Oval Office.  

Regardless, French should take a hard look in the mirror because, when it comes to evidentiary proof regarding President Trump’s behavior, he appears to have more in common with Anonymous than he might like to admit.



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The Rise of the Tech Geeks


Who says resistance is futile?  Add Brian Amerige at Facebook to the extremely short list of young tech heroes for creating quite a brouhaha in Silicon Valley when he penned an internal memo entitled “We Have a Problem with Political Diversity” (as in “Houston, we have a problem.”)  Trust me: it is a huge step for mankind when a young person in the Bay Area’s maturation chambers for progressivism calls for more political diversity.  Although it might seem futile upon first blush – after all, Facebook has approximately 25,000 employees – Amerige has so far been joined by over 100 fellow Facebook employees, which, in the alternate universe of Silicon Valley-San Francisco, could be paradigm shifting.  While liberal-social-progressive ideas dominate in America’s Tech Heartland, there is also a strong, libertarian “Don’t Tread on Me” culture as well that doesn’t like to be told what to think, eat, buy, or say.  At a time when so many of us have lost all hope in the younger generations, along comes this chap at Facebook who is intent on holding Zuckerberg and Co.’s feet to the fire!

The New York Times reports:

“We are a political monoculture that’s intolerant of different views,” Brian Amerige, a senior Facebook engineer, wrote in the post, which was obtained by The New York Times.  “We claim to welcome all perspectives, but are quick to attack – often in mobs – anyone who presents a view that appears to be in opposition to left-leaning ideology.”

Well, beam me up, Scotty!  While this may seem elemental to most politically active conservatives, it is earth-shattering for some young people.  But this is how it should work, folks.  It’s always best when people rise up within a company and hold their bosses, boards, and management accountable.  If Facebook says it is tolerant of all viewpoints, but then acts inconsistently with that, it will either succeed in the charade and lose employees and consumers or, as is being attempted now, be called to task. 

A company is pretty much free to manage and strategize as it wishes as long as it doesn’t violate someone’s federal or state civil rights, or state employment laws, security laws, etc.  If a group within the company doesn’t like the corporate culture and cannot change it, then that is the group’s problem, not the company’s.  So if a company wants to embrace a liberal culture or liberal political ideology in its marketing and there is a group within the company that is against that, if the group’ can’t persuade the company to change, its members will have to either endure it or leave.  They might even get fired for not being team players. 

If this company wants to market its products or services to the broadest public, being constrained by a political or cultural viewpoint might not be the smartest thing to do because consumers are free to choose with whom they do business.  If your ad campaign caters to the LGBTQ community, don’t be surprised if those opposed to the redefinition of marriage or to transgenders in the military buy those products or services elsewhere.  Sorry, but we aren’t quite at the point where a company can force us to buy its products – although that future might not be far off, given the monopolistic tendencies of Amazon, Facebook, and Google.     

When all is said and done, efforts by courageous people like Mr. Amerige or James Damore at Google can be successful only if the group stands its ground internally and is supported externally by swarms of free speech-loving, tolerant conservatives, Republicans, libertarians, and anyone else who believes in freedom of thought.

This is clearly a test as to whether or not Facebook really is such an open-minded platform or is, in actuality, as agenda-driven as most of us know it is.  A private or even publicly traded corporation can have a strategy whereby it imposes a monolithic political, religious, or cultural ideology on the purchasing population, but it will have consequences in a society whose citizens are free to think.  If a company is interested in attracting the largest number of consumers, it must keep things neutral.  If its M.O. is to impose a political or cultural view on its consumers, it will have a limited market from which to choose. 

Now, that is okay.  There are companies that market to religious Jews, Christians, conservatives, and liberals, etc.  They are providing a service to those sub-markets, and the managers and investors understand that the broader public likely will not purchase the goods and services they offer, whether it is Medi-Share marketing health insurance that creates of pool of insurance within the Christian community or JDate, which is an online Jewish dating service, or Rush Limbaugh, who caters to conservatives, or Mother Jones, which publishes the news from a far left, progressive, Marxist perspective. 

If Facebook wants to be an arm of the Democrat-Media-Propaganda Complex, it has my blessing, but…it has to own up to that and change its mantra from “a platform for all ideas” to “a platform for the Democrats.”

As long as evil tech giants and social media behemoths seek to create a dystopian world by “idea cleansing” and launching virtual pogroms against conservatives, libertarians, and conspiracy theorists (who, by the way, also have First Amendment rights), we will need to support tech geeks who see the light and are willing to fight the fight.  This isn’t the first time, nor will it be the last, that a small group of tech renegades will come up against the walls of a monolithic corporation, government, or evil genius intent on running the world for his own gain – ideologically or monetarily.  The question is, will they be willing to sacrifice the few for the many in order to live long and prosper in a free world?

Who says resistance is futile?  Add Brian Amerige at Facebook to the extremely short list of young tech heroes for creating quite a brouhaha in Silicon Valley when he penned an internal memo entitled “We Have a Problem with Political Diversity” (as in “Houston, we have a problem.”)  Trust me: it is a huge step for mankind when a young person in the Bay Area’s maturation chambers for progressivism calls for more political diversity.  Although it might seem futile upon first blush – after all, Facebook has approximately 25,000 employees – Amerige has so far been joined by over 100 fellow Facebook employees, which, in the alternate universe of Silicon Valley-San Francisco, could be paradigm shifting.  While liberal-social-progressive ideas dominate in America’s Tech Heartland, there is also a strong, libertarian “Don’t Tread on Me” culture as well that doesn’t like to be told what to think, eat, buy, or say.  At a time when so many of us have lost all hope in the younger generations, along comes this chap at Facebook who is intent on holding Zuckerberg and Co.’s feet to the fire!

The New York Times reports:

“We are a political monoculture that’s intolerant of different views,” Brian Amerige, a senior Facebook engineer, wrote in the post, which was obtained by The New York Times.  “We claim to welcome all perspectives, but are quick to attack – often in mobs – anyone who presents a view that appears to be in opposition to left-leaning ideology.”

Well, beam me up, Scotty!  While this may seem elemental to most politically active conservatives, it is earth-shattering for some young people.  But this is how it should work, folks.  It’s always best when people rise up within a company and hold their bosses, boards, and management accountable.  If Facebook says it is tolerant of all viewpoints, but then acts inconsistently with that, it will either succeed in the charade and lose employees and consumers or, as is being attempted now, be called to task. 

A company is pretty much free to manage and strategize as it wishes as long as it doesn’t violate someone’s federal or state civil rights, or state employment laws, security laws, etc.  If a group within the company doesn’t like the corporate culture and cannot change it, then that is the group’s problem, not the company’s.  So if a company wants to embrace a liberal culture or liberal political ideology in its marketing and there is a group within the company that is against that, if the group’ can’t persuade the company to change, its members will have to either endure it or leave.  They might even get fired for not being team players. 

If this company wants to market its products or services to the broadest public, being constrained by a political or cultural viewpoint might not be the smartest thing to do because consumers are free to choose with whom they do business.  If your ad campaign caters to the LGBTQ community, don’t be surprised if those opposed to the redefinition of marriage or to transgenders in the military buy those products or services elsewhere.  Sorry, but we aren’t quite at the point where a company can force us to buy its products – although that future might not be far off, given the monopolistic tendencies of Amazon, Facebook, and Google.     

When all is said and done, efforts by courageous people like Mr. Amerige or James Damore at Google can be successful only if the group stands its ground internally and is supported externally by swarms of free speech-loving, tolerant conservatives, Republicans, libertarians, and anyone else who believes in freedom of thought.

This is clearly a test as to whether or not Facebook really is such an open-minded platform or is, in actuality, as agenda-driven as most of us know it is.  A private or even publicly traded corporation can have a strategy whereby it imposes a monolithic political, religious, or cultural ideology on the purchasing population, but it will have consequences in a society whose citizens are free to think.  If a company is interested in attracting the largest number of consumers, it must keep things neutral.  If its M.O. is to impose a political or cultural view on its consumers, it will have a limited market from which to choose. 

Now, that is okay.  There are companies that market to religious Jews, Christians, conservatives, and liberals, etc.  They are providing a service to those sub-markets, and the managers and investors understand that the broader public likely will not purchase the goods and services they offer, whether it is Medi-Share marketing health insurance that creates of pool of insurance within the Christian community or JDate, which is an online Jewish dating service, or Rush Limbaugh, who caters to conservatives, or Mother Jones, which publishes the news from a far left, progressive, Marxist perspective. 

If Facebook wants to be an arm of the Democrat-Media-Propaganda Complex, it has my blessing, but…it has to own up to that and change its mantra from “a platform for all ideas” to “a platform for the Democrats.”

As long as evil tech giants and social media behemoths seek to create a dystopian world by “idea cleansing” and launching virtual pogroms against conservatives, libertarians, and conspiracy theorists (who, by the way, also have First Amendment rights), we will need to support tech geeks who see the light and are willing to fight the fight.  This isn’t the first time, nor will it be the last, that a small group of tech renegades will come up against the walls of a monolithic corporation, government, or evil genius intent on running the world for his own gain – ideologically or monetarily.  The question is, will they be willing to sacrifice the few for the many in order to live long and prosper in a free world?



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Of Death and Politics


How far does a president have to go in acknowledging the death of a political luminary?  Does the deceased deserve the same level of condolence if he was a bona fide political enemy of the president versus an ally?  We know that when Republicans die, Democrats and their supporters in the Democrat-Media-Propaganda Complex often celebrate their demise.  They do not show any restraint in their postmortem comments because they feel justified in stating publicly that the world is now better off and no longer contaminated by a conservative politician who was pro-wall, anti-illegal immigration, pro-gun, or anti-abortion.  If the dearly departed was a religious Christian, he is openly mocked.  Republicans are generally regarded as such abominations to the left-wing agenda and societal advancement that their deaths are seen as celebrations not for the life they led, but for the lives in this country they can no longer soil. 

There is no denying that President Trump and Senator McCain were oil and vinegar, cobra and mongoose, with an unfiltered and palpable disdain for one another.  It doesn’t matter who lobbed the initiating insult.  They equally exchanged nasty barbs and damaging criticisms. 

Trump had several choices: (1) say nothing about Senator McCain’s passing, for which he would be endlessly bludgeoned by the press and punditry; (2) extol the virtues of the deceased in a manner clearly at odds with their relationship and invite endless bludgeoning from the press and punditry for being a hypocrite; or (3) pay polite and respectful condolences to the family, honor his death holding the flag at half-mast, and leave the praise-filled eulogies to those who could do so sincerely…and be bludgeoned in the punditry and press because he didn’t deliver enough praise or keep the flag at half-mast long enough.  In case you don’t know it, the Democrat-Media-Propaganda Complex is hysterical about Trump’s response to John McCain’s death. 

The offending Trump tweet that has been the source of so much ire on the part of the punditry and press reads as follows: “My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain.  Our hearts and prayers are with you!”  The flag at his Virginia golf course was lowered to half-mast in Senator McCain’s honor, as was the flag at the White House.  Apparently, the White House flag was raised back to full mast after 48 hours.

In defense of President Trump, I will say this: maybe he wanted to honor the man but also not be a hypocrite about their relationship.  In fact, McCain had been planning his funeral while battling brain cancer and specifically requested that Presidents Obama and Bush speak but did not request the same of President Trump.  That is certainly the right of McCain and his family, and we should respect those express wishes. 

It looks as if the president has done just that.  He has yet to come out and tweeted: Not asked by McCain family to speak at funeral.  Sad.  Nasty people.  Wouldn’t have anything nice to say about him anyway.  He didn’t ignore the death of Senator McCain, but instead sent his condolences to the family with the proper meter and tone.  Had he uncharacteristically praised McCain, that would have been more evidence that he was a hypocrite, flip-flopper, and liar.  The press-pundit-pol response would have been swift and jarring. 

Maybe the press is just perturbed that President Trump actually handled himself quite presidentially this time, showing a modicum of respect due the family while being true to the nature of their relationship. 

Also, I’ve noticed that media tributes to some people who pass away have gotten longer and more drawn out than in the past.  These selected deaths dominate the news cycle as if they were a cataclysmic natural disaster. The press and punditry perseverate on the deaths of some luminaries for days on end, the tributes are round-the-clock, and everyone who has a story to tell must be aired.  I find myself, after the initial announcement – whether it is John McCain or Charles Krauthammer – binge watching anything I can find to avoid the constant and repetitive news coverage.

Death is part of life.  Some people live more consequential lives than others, it’s true.  And those deaths and the lives led will be highlighted in the news cycle in ways most of us – no matter how consequential our lives might be to our families and friends – will never receive.  Ours will be a one-paragraph obituary in a local newspaper; there will be a funeral or memorial; friends and families will mourn, sit shiva, or attend a wake; and then life goes on. 

Now, some will argue that John McCain deserves more coverage than other politicians, war heroes, ex-presidential candidates…because he was all three, because his life was so consequential.  But I wonder if that is what is really going on here.  Let’s see what happens to Senator Bob Dole or President George H.W. Bush when they pass away.  Maybe I’m wrong, and they’ll be celebrated to the same extent as John McCain, and that is just how the 24-hour news cycle covers the deaths of political luminaries and celebrities.

But with all due respect, I cannot help but wonder if part of this outpouring – especially from the left-wingers and the Democrat-Media-Propaganda Complex – is because McCain not only sided with the Democrats on issues like immigration and outwardly despised Trump, but gave Trump the finger on repealing Obamacare.  Many believe that his thumbs-down vote was personal and emblematic of their mutual disdain – I’m not going to do something you want so badly and need me to be the deciding vote on, even if I agree with it in principle and despite the fact I got re-elected to vote in favor of repeal.  I’m going to stick it to you because of the nasty things you’ve said about me.  Maybe then you will learn your lesson.  If you want me to cooperate, you have to be nice.

I can understand that.  Trump hit McCain in his pithy core with his comments about his heroism and capture.  That was too close for McCain to just brush off.  McCain clearly wanted to make one last dig at Trump before he left this Earth, and he did, by asking non-sitting presidents to eulogize him.  That trumped anything Trump could say or do, and I think our president knows this.  So far, he has given this shot to McCain.  And so it should remain.

I hope Trump can continue to ignore the current wave of criticism and just leave his condolences where they are and not feel compelled to say anything further. 

We turn the other cheek when someone dies.  We don’t speak ill of the dead.  We don’t speak of their failures, and we don’t reference their negative attributes or personality flaws.  (Unless you are a liberal commenting on the death of a conservative you despise.)  If anything, we candy-coat their lives.  We all have had people in our lives die whom we really didn’t like, love, or respect, but whose funerals we had to attend or to whose families we had to send our condolences.

We don’t stand up and correct the record at a funeral.  We hold back our true feelings when we express our sympathies.  We don’t say, We are so sorry to hear about the death of Bob.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family even though he owes me money, said horrible things to me about my children, was a liar and a louse.”  No, we let it go.  Or we don’t attend the funeral or bother to send a card.

I am certain that Trump did not expect to be invited either to attend or speak at the funeral, and, indeed, he was not.  I also conjecture that had he been asked to attend or speak, he would have done so out of respect and would have comported himself appropriately.  Further, I do not think the president was morally obligated to say anything about John McCain’s death, however, sending out a respectful tweet and lowering the White House flag to half-mast was the right thing to do.  It was downright presidential.  And he should just leave it at that, knowing that the Democrat-Media Propaganda-Complex will never let it go.

How far does a president have to go in acknowledging the death of a political luminary?  Does the deceased deserve the same level of condolence if he was a bona fide political enemy of the president versus an ally?  We know that when Republicans die, Democrats and their supporters in the Democrat-Media-Propaganda Complex often celebrate their demise.  They do not show any restraint in their postmortem comments because they feel justified in stating publicly that the world is now better off and no longer contaminated by a conservative politician who was pro-wall, anti-illegal immigration, pro-gun, or anti-abortion.  If the dearly departed was a religious Christian, he is openly mocked.  Republicans are generally regarded as such abominations to the left-wing agenda and societal advancement that their deaths are seen as celebrations not for the life they led, but for the lives in this country they can no longer soil. 

There is no denying that President Trump and Senator McCain were oil and vinegar, cobra and mongoose, with an unfiltered and palpable disdain for one another.  It doesn’t matter who lobbed the initiating insult.  They equally exchanged nasty barbs and damaging criticisms. 

Trump had several choices: (1) say nothing about Senator McCain’s passing, for which he would be endlessly bludgeoned by the press and punditry; (2) extol the virtues of the deceased in a manner clearly at odds with their relationship and invite endless bludgeoning from the press and punditry for being a hypocrite; or (3) pay polite and respectful condolences to the family, honor his death holding the flag at half-mast, and leave the praise-filled eulogies to those who could do so sincerely…and be bludgeoned in the punditry and press because he didn’t deliver enough praise or keep the flag at half-mast long enough.  In case you don’t know it, the Democrat-Media-Propaganda Complex is hysterical about Trump’s response to John McCain’s death. 

The offending Trump tweet that has been the source of so much ire on the part of the punditry and press reads as follows: “My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain.  Our hearts and prayers are with you!”  The flag at his Virginia golf course was lowered to half-mast in Senator McCain’s honor, as was the flag at the White House.  Apparently, the White House flag was raised back to full mast after 48 hours.

In defense of President Trump, I will say this: maybe he wanted to honor the man but also not be a hypocrite about their relationship.  In fact, McCain had been planning his funeral while battling brain cancer and specifically requested that Presidents Obama and Bush speak but did not request the same of President Trump.  That is certainly the right of McCain and his family, and we should respect those express wishes. 

It looks as if the president has done just that.  He has yet to come out and tweeted: Not asked by McCain family to speak at funeral.  Sad.  Nasty people.  Wouldn’t have anything nice to say about him anyway.  He didn’t ignore the death of Senator McCain, but instead sent his condolences to the family with the proper meter and tone.  Had he uncharacteristically praised McCain, that would have been more evidence that he was a hypocrite, flip-flopper, and liar.  The press-pundit-pol response would have been swift and jarring. 

Maybe the press is just perturbed that President Trump actually handled himself quite presidentially this time, showing a modicum of respect due the family while being true to the nature of their relationship. 

Also, I’ve noticed that media tributes to some people who pass away have gotten longer and more drawn out than in the past.  These selected deaths dominate the news cycle as if they were a cataclysmic natural disaster. The press and punditry perseverate on the deaths of some luminaries for days on end, the tributes are round-the-clock, and everyone who has a story to tell must be aired.  I find myself, after the initial announcement – whether it is John McCain or Charles Krauthammer – binge watching anything I can find to avoid the constant and repetitive news coverage.

Death is part of life.  Some people live more consequential lives than others, it’s true.  And those deaths and the lives led will be highlighted in the news cycle in ways most of us – no matter how consequential our lives might be to our families and friends – will never receive.  Ours will be a one-paragraph obituary in a local newspaper; there will be a funeral or memorial; friends and families will mourn, sit shiva, or attend a wake; and then life goes on. 

Now, some will argue that John McCain deserves more coverage than other politicians, war heroes, ex-presidential candidates…because he was all three, because his life was so consequential.  But I wonder if that is what is really going on here.  Let’s see what happens to Senator Bob Dole or President George H.W. Bush when they pass away.  Maybe I’m wrong, and they’ll be celebrated to the same extent as John McCain, and that is just how the 24-hour news cycle covers the deaths of political luminaries and celebrities.

But with all due respect, I cannot help but wonder if part of this outpouring – especially from the left-wingers and the Democrat-Media-Propaganda Complex – is because McCain not only sided with the Democrats on issues like immigration and outwardly despised Trump, but gave Trump the finger on repealing Obamacare.  Many believe that his thumbs-down vote was personal and emblematic of their mutual disdain – I’m not going to do something you want so badly and need me to be the deciding vote on, even if I agree with it in principle and despite the fact I got re-elected to vote in favor of repeal.  I’m going to stick it to you because of the nasty things you’ve said about me.  Maybe then you will learn your lesson.  If you want me to cooperate, you have to be nice.

I can understand that.  Trump hit McCain in his pithy core with his comments about his heroism and capture.  That was too close for McCain to just brush off.  McCain clearly wanted to make one last dig at Trump before he left this Earth, and he did, by asking non-sitting presidents to eulogize him.  That trumped anything Trump could say or do, and I think our president knows this.  So far, he has given this shot to McCain.  And so it should remain.

I hope Trump can continue to ignore the current wave of criticism and just leave his condolences where they are and not feel compelled to say anything further. 

We turn the other cheek when someone dies.  We don’t speak ill of the dead.  We don’t speak of their failures, and we don’t reference their negative attributes or personality flaws.  (Unless you are a liberal commenting on the death of a conservative you despise.)  If anything, we candy-coat their lives.  We all have had people in our lives die whom we really didn’t like, love, or respect, but whose funerals we had to attend or to whose families we had to send our condolences.

We don’t stand up and correct the record at a funeral.  We hold back our true feelings when we express our sympathies.  We don’t say, We are so sorry to hear about the death of Bob.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family even though he owes me money, said horrible things to me about my children, was a liar and a louse.”  No, we let it go.  Or we don’t attend the funeral or bother to send a card.

I am certain that Trump did not expect to be invited either to attend or speak at the funeral, and, indeed, he was not.  I also conjecture that had he been asked to attend or speak, he would have done so out of respect and would have comported himself appropriately.  Further, I do not think the president was morally obligated to say anything about John McCain’s death, however, sending out a respectful tweet and lowering the White House flag to half-mast was the right thing to do.  It was downright presidential.  And he should just leave it at that, knowing that the Democrat-Media Propaganda-Complex will never let it go.



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My Theory of Everything


Stephen Hawking certainly was right about one thing, even if he was wrong about others.  “Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet,” Hawking said.  “And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.”

Sure, look up at the stars and dream and ponder and question and fantasize, maybe even theorize.  Try to make sense of the universe, and one day you might be a great philosopher or a theoretical physicist or even…a rabbinic scholar.  And even if this doesn’t happen, at a minimum, you will join the ranks of most humans who, since the dawn of time, looked to the heavens trying to make sense of it all – an irresistible pastime that seems to be inherent in our collective DNA.  

But is there room in the dreaming and stargazing for those who believe in both science and the divine, or are the two mutually exclusive, as today so many claim?  Is there any leeway in Hawking’s “brief history of time” for a fellow scientist committed equally to scientific inquiry and to G-d, or would such an individual be regarded with revulsion?  Hawking’s first wife, with whom he apparently re-established a close relationship in his later years, is supposedly a religious Christian.  One would have to assume he had some degree of tolerance for his religiously devout wife of thirty years.

As for Hawking’s pearl of wisdom that “there is always something you can do and succeed at,” who can disagree with that? 

The problem I have with this quote from Hawking – and I readily admit I haven’t read all of his views on the subject – is with his comment about feet.  Now, it’s possible that a man who was confined to a wheelchair might have found that gawking at his feet all day was a fruitless enterprise.  In some sense, directing curiosity to untangling the mysteries the universe was a perfect vocation for a brilliant mind bearing witness to a horrible disease wresting control from his body.

But if I were speaking to a room full of confused but eager high school students – most of whom will never achieve the intellectual magnificence of a Hawking – I might temper his comments a bit while instilling the requisite amount of inspiration for the next genius.

The strides we make in understanding the universe and the world around us do not always stem from contemplating the stars and dreaming – or, to be more precise, do not necessarily result from dreaming as a singular activity.    

There are those who succeed by dreaming alone, those who succeed by doing, and those who succeed by a combination of both.  And while knowledge and progress are the ultimate goals, we encounter failure with greater ease and frequency in any series of experiments or attempts to innovate than we do success.  It is not uncommon for our desire to land the big one to turn into a quest for the great white whale – ever elusive to the point of our own downfall.

Young people need to understand this as they are pushed to pursue careers in STEM.  There is an episode of The Big Bang Theory that illustrates this in a humorous but sad way.  An older professor dies, and, while cleaning out his office, the gang finds a bottle of champagne with a note from his mother instructing that it be opened upon his first big discovery.  Their curiosity takes on a life of its own when they find spiral notebooks filled with numbers, and they wonder whether this was incomplete but groundbreaking research – his first big discovery.  Unable to decrypt the numbers, they visit the deceased professor’s office mate, who is living alone in a run-down apartment.  He bursts their bubble when he reveals that the books were calorie diaries the professor kept, believing that calorie restriction is the key to longevity.  The dearly departed did not accomplish anything significant in his career, and when the boys ask about his office mate’s accomplishments, he sarcastically remarks that yeah, sure, run-down apartments like his are what they give out as Nobel Prizes. 

Maybe the fictitious professor would have fared better in the private sector or honing his skills as a teacher.  Let’s face it: there are times when dreaming gets you nowhere in life, and at some point, you will be forced to look at your feet and see where they can take you instead.  Throughout the course of humanity, there have always been people who contributed to human knowledge and scientific inquiry not by pondering the imponderable, but by inventing something practical. 

Sometimes, our feet will lead us down a successful, fruitful path.  Sometimes, the practical can lead to the dream and even the answers.  Sometimes, ignoring the questions on a daily basis can lead to the solutions.  Sometimes staring too long at the stars and pondering comes at the cost of our happiness, our sense of fulfillment, and a meaningful life.  Often we are left with a sense of weariness pondering the same unanswerable questions, making little headway with any quantifiable scientific progress. 

Sometimes we get so involved with our dreams that we lose connections to our families.  Master dreamer Stephen Hawking got divorced from his first wife, Jane, after thirty years of marriage.  Hawking’s resounding success in the wake of A Brief History of Time took such a toll on the family that she “felt that the family had been left behind.”

It’s quite possible that we might not ever get answers to certain questions about humanity and the universe – at least not that our puny organic brains can currently comprehend.  It’s quite possible that science can only take us so far. It’s also possible that our thirst for knowledge can sow the seeds of our own destruction, as Stephen Vincent Benet wrote about in By the Waters of Babylon.  We tend to focus on nuclear bombs and war as the means to our demise, but a DIY biohacker or artificial general intelligence just might do us in.

Sure, look up to the heavens and ponder, dream, fantasize, question, and theorize.  If your passion is to wrestle with infinity, query your heart out – maybe someday you will discover something that expands our knowledge about the universe. 

But don’t be so quick to judge those scientists who are also believers or us lower life forms slithering around in the primordial goo, whose limited nervous systems can’t fathom the unfathomable and are inclined to believe in something bigger than ourselves.  Before you reflexively dismiss those who believe in a higher power, take a moment to reflect on the following:

Scientists, geniuses, theoretical physicists, and technologists often ask the rest of us to take their latest working theories on faith until they can be proven, many of which they ultimately abandon.  And some of the greatest scientific minds ask that we take on faith their highly credible, earth-shattering theories that will change our understanding of everything until the time comes they are able to prove them.  Humanity has invested untold sums in high-powered telescopes, space exploration, probes, and ROVERS; on Fermi Lab and the Hadron Collider smashing atoms in search of the tiniest of particles…all in an attempt to prove theories to which we cling based only on our faith.

Is having faith in scientific gospel at all different from having faith in G-d?  Are labs and colliders designed to uncover knowledge about the universe truly different from our monasteries, seminaries, and houses of worship?  Can’t we have faith in both?

I do agree with Hawking that we should look to the heavens and dream because, if we can imagine it, it can happen – practically every tool, process, discovery, and piece of technology we have created started in our minds’ eye.

But here is where I disagree with Hawking: don’t forget to mind your feet, because your feet are what will carry you forth in life.  Sometimes your feet will take you down a singular path and sometimes multiple paths.  Sometimes your journey will be a straight, predictable trek, and other times it will be a circuitous mess, a maze in which the end is not apparent.  Your feet will bring you accomplishments and failures that will define your life.  And in the end, when you look back on your life, you will understand that it had to be the way it was to make you the person you will be when your time to leave this blessed Earth comes. 

Focusing on the stars as a discrete pastime or career choice can indeed be rewarding, and a few just might have a profound impact on the world.  But beware that fixating on the stars alone and ignoring your feet can keep you in a dream state for so long that you might actually lose time (and hope and love and family – which also define our humanity and place in the universe) as life passes you by.

My theory of everything is that it is all a balance.  Look up to the heavens and dream, my children.  But keep your feet firmly planted on the ground, ready to kick into gear when you need to travel to an alternate destiny.

Stephen Hawking certainly was right about one thing, even if he was wrong about others.  “Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet,” Hawking said.  “And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.”

Sure, look up at the stars and dream and ponder and question and fantasize, maybe even theorize.  Try to make sense of the universe, and one day you might be a great philosopher or a theoretical physicist or even…a rabbinic scholar.  And even if this doesn’t happen, at a minimum, you will join the ranks of most humans who, since the dawn of time, looked to the heavens trying to make sense of it all – an irresistible pastime that seems to be inherent in our collective DNA.  

But is there room in the dreaming and stargazing for those who believe in both science and the divine, or are the two mutually exclusive, as today so many claim?  Is there any leeway in Hawking’s “brief history of time” for a fellow scientist committed equally to scientific inquiry and to G-d, or would such an individual be regarded with revulsion?  Hawking’s first wife, with whom he apparently re-established a close relationship in his later years, is supposedly a religious Christian.  One would have to assume he had some degree of tolerance for his religiously devout wife of thirty years.

As for Hawking’s pearl of wisdom that “there is always something you can do and succeed at,” who can disagree with that? 

The problem I have with this quote from Hawking – and I readily admit I haven’t read all of his views on the subject – is with his comment about feet.  Now, it’s possible that a man who was confined to a wheelchair might have found that gawking at his feet all day was a fruitless enterprise.  In some sense, directing curiosity to untangling the mysteries the universe was a perfect vocation for a brilliant mind bearing witness to a horrible disease wresting control from his body.

But if I were speaking to a room full of confused but eager high school students – most of whom will never achieve the intellectual magnificence of a Hawking – I might temper his comments a bit while instilling the requisite amount of inspiration for the next genius.

The strides we make in understanding the universe and the world around us do not always stem from contemplating the stars and dreaming – or, to be more precise, do not necessarily result from dreaming as a singular activity.    

There are those who succeed by dreaming alone, those who succeed by doing, and those who succeed by a combination of both.  And while knowledge and progress are the ultimate goals, we encounter failure with greater ease and frequency in any series of experiments or attempts to innovate than we do success.  It is not uncommon for our desire to land the big one to turn into a quest for the great white whale – ever elusive to the point of our own downfall.

Young people need to understand this as they are pushed to pursue careers in STEM.  There is an episode of The Big Bang Theory that illustrates this in a humorous but sad way.  An older professor dies, and, while cleaning out his office, the gang finds a bottle of champagne with a note from his mother instructing that it be opened upon his first big discovery.  Their curiosity takes on a life of its own when they find spiral notebooks filled with numbers, and they wonder whether this was incomplete but groundbreaking research – his first big discovery.  Unable to decrypt the numbers, they visit the deceased professor’s office mate, who is living alone in a run-down apartment.  He bursts their bubble when he reveals that the books were calorie diaries the professor kept, believing that calorie restriction is the key to longevity.  The dearly departed did not accomplish anything significant in his career, and when the boys ask about his office mate’s accomplishments, he sarcastically remarks that yeah, sure, run-down apartments like his are what they give out as Nobel Prizes. 

Maybe the fictitious professor would have fared better in the private sector or honing his skills as a teacher.  Let’s face it: there are times when dreaming gets you nowhere in life, and at some point, you will be forced to look at your feet and see where they can take you instead.  Throughout the course of humanity, there have always been people who contributed to human knowledge and scientific inquiry not by pondering the imponderable, but by inventing something practical. 

Sometimes, our feet will lead us down a successful, fruitful path.  Sometimes, the practical can lead to the dream and even the answers.  Sometimes, ignoring the questions on a daily basis can lead to the solutions.  Sometimes staring too long at the stars and pondering comes at the cost of our happiness, our sense of fulfillment, and a meaningful life.  Often we are left with a sense of weariness pondering the same unanswerable questions, making little headway with any quantifiable scientific progress. 

Sometimes we get so involved with our dreams that we lose connections to our families.  Master dreamer Stephen Hawking got divorced from his first wife, Jane, after thirty years of marriage.  Hawking’s resounding success in the wake of A Brief History of Time took such a toll on the family that she “felt that the family had been left behind.”

It’s quite possible that we might not ever get answers to certain questions about humanity and the universe – at least not that our puny organic brains can currently comprehend.  It’s quite possible that science can only take us so far. It’s also possible that our thirst for knowledge can sow the seeds of our own destruction, as Stephen Vincent Benet wrote about in By the Waters of Babylon.  We tend to focus on nuclear bombs and war as the means to our demise, but a DIY biohacker or artificial general intelligence just might do us in.

Sure, look up to the heavens and ponder, dream, fantasize, question, and theorize.  If your passion is to wrestle with infinity, query your heart out – maybe someday you will discover something that expands our knowledge about the universe. 

But don’t be so quick to judge those scientists who are also believers or us lower life forms slithering around in the primordial goo, whose limited nervous systems can’t fathom the unfathomable and are inclined to believe in something bigger than ourselves.  Before you reflexively dismiss those who believe in a higher power, take a moment to reflect on the following:

Scientists, geniuses, theoretical physicists, and technologists often ask the rest of us to take their latest working theories on faith until they can be proven, many of which they ultimately abandon.  And some of the greatest scientific minds ask that we take on faith their highly credible, earth-shattering theories that will change our understanding of everything until the time comes they are able to prove them.  Humanity has invested untold sums in high-powered telescopes, space exploration, probes, and ROVERS; on Fermi Lab and the Hadron Collider smashing atoms in search of the tiniest of particles…all in an attempt to prove theories to which we cling based only on our faith.

Is having faith in scientific gospel at all different from having faith in G-d?  Are labs and colliders designed to uncover knowledge about the universe truly different from our monasteries, seminaries, and houses of worship?  Can’t we have faith in both?

I do agree with Hawking that we should look to the heavens and dream because, if we can imagine it, it can happen – practically every tool, process, discovery, and piece of technology we have created started in our minds’ eye.

But here is where I disagree with Hawking: don’t forget to mind your feet, because your feet are what will carry you forth in life.  Sometimes your feet will take you down a singular path and sometimes multiple paths.  Sometimes your journey will be a straight, predictable trek, and other times it will be a circuitous mess, a maze in which the end is not apparent.  Your feet will bring you accomplishments and failures that will define your life.  And in the end, when you look back on your life, you will understand that it had to be the way it was to make you the person you will be when your time to leave this blessed Earth comes. 

Focusing on the stars as a discrete pastime or career choice can indeed be rewarding, and a few just might have a profound impact on the world.  But beware that fixating on the stars alone and ignoring your feet can keep you in a dream state for so long that you might actually lose time (and hope and love and family – which also define our humanity and place in the universe) as life passes you by.

My theory of everything is that it is all a balance.  Look up to the heavens and dream, my children.  But keep your feet firmly planted on the ground, ready to kick into gear when you need to travel to an alternate destiny.



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Trump's Game of Stones


“I think Joffrey is now the king in America,” “Game of Thrones” creator George R.R. Martin told Esquire magazine. “And he’s grown up just as petulant and irrational as he was when he was thirteen in the books” — hardly surprising from a man whose show portrayed the decapitated head of Bush ‘43 on a spike alongside the severed head of series favorite, Ned Stark. While the fan base and the entertainment industry undoubtedly share these views, they have it all wrong. If anything, Donald Trump is more Daenerys Targaryen than Joffrey Baratheon — they even have the same initials, an unusual whitish-yellowish coif, and three grown kids loyally by their sides.

Pick an evil character on the show — Joffrey, The Mad King, Ramsay, or Cersei — and your average leftwing drone sees Trump. Never mind that he is holding true to the Forgotten Masses, like Daenerys. Trump’s priority does not reside in the feelings of transgenders, terrorists, Democrats or the Senators in his own party. His focus is on the policies, changes, and actions he promised to those who stepped out on a precarious limb and voted for him. Daenerys and Trump might be highborn, but both lead with a sincere passion for and connection to the common man; and both endeavor to upend the system and wrest control from people who govern the old way, replacing it with a system that unleashes freedom, uplifts the enslaved, and remembers those who have been forgotten.

Daenerys survives raging fire without so much as a scorch mark, much the way Trump emerges unscathed from every conflagration we are told will be his last. But lately, run-of-the-mill conservatives fear he is flailing in the flames with a communications team that seems incapable of putting the right messengers with the right messages in front of the cameras and fails to tout his successes on the front pages.

But these criticisms belong to a different political universe where Republicans played their political games with tiddlywinks as opposed to the stones Trump has at his disposal and is employing.

The conservative grassroots implored Bush ’43, GOP presidential nominees McCain and Romney, Speakers Boehner and Ryan, Majority Leader McConnell, and the parade of nimrods chairing the RNC to take a different approach communicating our policies and accomplishments. For the last 15-20 years our national voice and messaging has been consistently lousy and no match for the ingenuity and forward-thinking communication strategies of the left. Our political spokespeople are too cerebral and verbose, their soundbites don’t stick, their use of social media neophytic, and, well, they just don’t fight back — they are too cordial, too respectful of dissent and opposition, and too unwilling to risk their reputation and electability calling out the hypocrisies and slanders of the left.

The time to play that political media and communications game has long passed. When our politics was more civil and our media more neutral, we could dally in and do fairly well in that ballpark, even when we played with tiddlywinks.

But when the rules began to morph during the Reagan and then Clinton years — crafted and controlled by what Breitbart called the “Democrat-Media Complex” — Republicans naively continued to play with tiddlywinks while the left delivered political death blows — clearly on a different playing field. Republicans garnered a handful of successes — minor setbacks and defeats the left could swallow knowing that their future victory was all but assured as long as the GOP played polite politics while Democrats took no prisoners. 

The left-wingers worked the media-PR-communications game hard while right-wingers bumbled along in the delusion that because ours was a center right country, we would ultimately prevail when intelligent, informed voters experienced the poor results of liberal policies firsthand. Yet, with every outrageous Democrat accusation, mischaracterization, talking point and soundbite leveled against Republicans from Reagan to the present, the left made powerful propaganda inroads; with every feel-good policy and free-be, America’s socialists bought more votes; with activist judges and a strategy to fight tomorrow’s political battles from the inside, progressive radicals wielded complete dominion in the schools, media and culture; and, with every election — mid-term or presidential, local or national — it became harder for the right to fight the left in politics, in general, and the media, in particular. 

Republican leadership let opportunities slip through their hands by ignoring the pleas for change from the grassroots all because experienced pols knew better (how paternalistically liberal of them).

We conservative “plebes” have known at least since Bush ’43 that the GOP was not playing the media game properly — we saw it when Bush failed to pushback against the accusations that 9-11 was our fault, that the war was a subterfuge for oil, that Katrina was the result of racism, and that his policies benefited the rich only; and, when he didn’t hammer the air and soundwaves day-after-day, hour-after-hour touting our record GDP growth and unemployment for some 6 years. We saw it again in the entire presidential candidacy of John McCain and, again, on full display when Romney let Candy Crowley body slam him about the Benghazi videotapes. From political “advice” I’ve received over the years from Republicans supposedly in the know, their MO is that if you defend yourself, you come across as defensive and all you accomplish is to keep negative stories — however fallacious — alive in the press. The best you can do is briefly acknowledge or apologize for whatever it is, then briskly move on to state your viewpoints.

Okay, there is some truth to that but we are in a different political reality today — one where America teeters on the brink of losing all she is; where traditional families are under attack; where true liberty has been bastardized; our judiciary is controlled by radical activists; and our schools, media, and culture are lost to the left-wing agenda. People sense that it just might be too late to fix any of this. They no longer want their political representatives to be genteel and accommodating to their political enemies. They want them to fight back at least as hard if not harder.

Over the years, conservatives found ways around the Democrat-Media Complex starting with groundbreaking talk radio with Rush, which spawned an entire industry of talk radio. Fox News gave voice to conservative points of view and was so successful nationally, that the left vowed to take it down — and continues to take responsibility for doing just that with the attacks on Ailes and O’Reilly. Glenn Beck reached a wide audience straddling radio, TV, and the internet. And Drudge upended it all with his internet news aggregator.

In hindsight, these were all necessary steps along the way to where we are today. But the fact is, it was all just talk. We needed action.

Enter: Breitbart and the Tea Party movement. The Tea Party took the fight to the streets and made noise — showing up to town halls, getting involved in campaigns and elections, being a counterpresence to the left — and Breitbart taught us all how to fight back against the fake news with facts and conviction. He got in their faces. If you called him a racist, he wouldn’t turn the other cheek, play nice and hope it would all go away. He’d challenge you right out of the starting gate with facts and evidence to the contrary.

But fighting back and taking on the lies of the left — whether Breitbart or the Tea Party — are only as good as the ability to disseminate the truth. Although the internet was a paradigm shifter, if only like-mindeds access your site, watch your YouTube videos, or follow your tweets or Facebook posts, who are you really reaching?

The right, in general, and the Tea Party, in particular, hit a media brick wall during the Bush and Obama years that still exists. That wall is the Democrat-Media Complex which keeps the truth relative, filters the news as it sees fit, constructs the news as it wishes, and blacks out news that runs contrary to its needs. And they say walls don’t work!

No matter how refined our messages, no matter how slick our messengers, no matter how passionate our movements, rallies and protests… the harsh reality is we cannot get favorable headlines, we cannot get on the front pages, we cannot get the MSM to present our points of view, let alone the truth or alternate facts. Our ideas are as good as unspoken.

So, in 2016, the people opted for something more drastic, more “in your face,” more responsive to the forgotten and silenced, silent majority.

Trump is proving every day that he will not turn the other cheek, take the high road, or ignore left-wing attacks, accusations, and invective. He will not respond passively, giving life to left-wing lies, when Democrats hurl dung at Republicans like raging chimps. 

Trump is crude and unfiltered in a way that makes Republicans who still think old school squirm. Unlike standard politicians who don’t attack back but skirt around an issue or simply reiterate their point of view, Trump will not only attack the attack, but the attacker as well. He is effectively immune from their hype.  Show him a pussy hat and Madonna or Wynona angrily gyrating and threatening him, and he could care less. Most Republicans, by contrast, would recoil in embarrassment, apologize profusely, attend re-education seminars, and bow to the politically correct gods.

Trump might be an idiot and a fool and completely out of his league. Or, he just might know that the DMC will not treat him or any other Republican or conservative fairly — cognizant that he can’t get his message out, let alone on the front page with a truthful headline.

If Rush, Beck, Fox, Breitbart and the Tea Party were paradigm shifters — and they were — then Trump is a paradigm shifter upending the status quo — throwing tweet-after-tweet and comment-after-comment at the DMC like chum to the sharks. And these arrogant, self-righteous, pompous, johnny-know-betters, fall for the bait every time. Good. While they have their feeding frenzies, Trump is beginning the process of unraveling the most odious of regulations, reversing executive orders and policies, and hopefully, if the morons in Congress ever get it together, undoing laws and tax burdens the left has inflicted on the Forgotten Ones.

Trump is doing what we tried for decades to do — be heard and effectuate real change — not perpetuate the status quo as dictated by the political elites and entrenched establishment. He recognizes that this cannot be accomplished playing their game — where they craft the rules, have all the pieces, and control the board. We might occupy the moral high ground, we might be sincere and nice and generous in our dealings with our enemies, but that’s a game we will lose.

He understands that the wall built and maintained by the Democrat-Media Complex is holding us prisoner and must be torn down brick-by-brick. He is playing a game of stones — the stones you hurl and the ones of courage and chutzpah. No tiddlywinks in his arsenal.   

We can continue to play a losing game or grow some stones and play to win. In choosing allegiance to Daenerys, Varys says “I choose you because the people have no better chance than you.” 

That’s exactly why the people voted for Trump. The status quo is a guaranteed loss. But trading in an endless supply of tiddlywinks for the stones to fight back, is the only and best chance we have. 

“I think Joffrey is now the king in America,” “Game of Thrones” creator George R.R. Martin told Esquire magazine. “And he’s grown up just as petulant and irrational as he was when he was thirteen in the books” — hardly surprising from a man whose show portrayed the decapitated head of Bush ‘43 on a spike alongside the severed head of series favorite, Ned Stark. While the fan base and the entertainment industry undoubtedly share these views, they have it all wrong. If anything, Donald Trump is more Daenerys Targaryen than Joffrey Baratheon — they even have the same initials, an unusual whitish-yellowish coif, and three grown kids loyally by their sides.

Pick an evil character on the show — Joffrey, The Mad King, Ramsay, or Cersei — and your average leftwing drone sees Trump. Never mind that he is holding true to the Forgotten Masses, like Daenerys. Trump’s priority does not reside in the feelings of transgenders, terrorists, Democrats or the Senators in his own party. His focus is on the policies, changes, and actions he promised to those who stepped out on a precarious limb and voted for him. Daenerys and Trump might be highborn, but both lead with a sincere passion for and connection to the common man; and both endeavor to upend the system and wrest control from people who govern the old way, replacing it with a system that unleashes freedom, uplifts the enslaved, and remembers those who have been forgotten.

Daenerys survives raging fire without so much as a scorch mark, much the way Trump emerges unscathed from every conflagration we are told will be his last. But lately, run-of-the-mill conservatives fear he is flailing in the flames with a communications team that seems incapable of putting the right messengers with the right messages in front of the cameras and fails to tout his successes on the front pages.

But these criticisms belong to a different political universe where Republicans played their political games with tiddlywinks as opposed to the stones Trump has at his disposal and is employing.

The conservative grassroots implored Bush ’43, GOP presidential nominees McCain and Romney, Speakers Boehner and Ryan, Majority Leader McConnell, and the parade of nimrods chairing the RNC to take a different approach communicating our policies and accomplishments. For the last 15-20 years our national voice and messaging has been consistently lousy and no match for the ingenuity and forward-thinking communication strategies of the left. Our political spokespeople are too cerebral and verbose, their soundbites don’t stick, their use of social media neophytic, and, well, they just don’t fight back — they are too cordial, too respectful of dissent and opposition, and too unwilling to risk their reputation and electability calling out the hypocrisies and slanders of the left.

The time to play that political media and communications game has long passed. When our politics was more civil and our media more neutral, we could dally in and do fairly well in that ballpark, even when we played with tiddlywinks.

But when the rules began to morph during the Reagan and then Clinton years — crafted and controlled by what Breitbart called the “Democrat-Media Complex” — Republicans naively continued to play with tiddlywinks while the left delivered political death blows — clearly on a different playing field. Republicans garnered a handful of successes — minor setbacks and defeats the left could swallow knowing that their future victory was all but assured as long as the GOP played polite politics while Democrats took no prisoners. 

The left-wingers worked the media-PR-communications game hard while right-wingers bumbled along in the delusion that because ours was a center right country, we would ultimately prevail when intelligent, informed voters experienced the poor results of liberal policies firsthand. Yet, with every outrageous Democrat accusation, mischaracterization, talking point and soundbite leveled against Republicans from Reagan to the present, the left made powerful propaganda inroads; with every feel-good policy and free-be, America’s socialists bought more votes; with activist judges and a strategy to fight tomorrow’s political battles from the inside, progressive radicals wielded complete dominion in the schools, media and culture; and, with every election — mid-term or presidential, local or national — it became harder for the right to fight the left in politics, in general, and the media, in particular. 

Republican leadership let opportunities slip through their hands by ignoring the pleas for change from the grassroots all because experienced pols knew better (how paternalistically liberal of them).

We conservative “plebes” have known at least since Bush ’43 that the GOP was not playing the media game properly — we saw it when Bush failed to pushback against the accusations that 9-11 was our fault, that the war was a subterfuge for oil, that Katrina was the result of racism, and that his policies benefited the rich only; and, when he didn’t hammer the air and soundwaves day-after-day, hour-after-hour touting our record GDP growth and unemployment for some 6 years. We saw it again in the entire presidential candidacy of John McCain and, again, on full display when Romney let Candy Crowley body slam him about the Benghazi videotapes. From political “advice” I’ve received over the years from Republicans supposedly in the know, their MO is that if you defend yourself, you come across as defensive and all you accomplish is to keep negative stories — however fallacious — alive in the press. The best you can do is briefly acknowledge or apologize for whatever it is, then briskly move on to state your viewpoints.

Okay, there is some truth to that but we are in a different political reality today — one where America teeters on the brink of losing all she is; where traditional families are under attack; where true liberty has been bastardized; our judiciary is controlled by radical activists; and our schools, media, and culture are lost to the left-wing agenda. People sense that it just might be too late to fix any of this. They no longer want their political representatives to be genteel and accommodating to their political enemies. They want them to fight back at least as hard if not harder.

Over the years, conservatives found ways around the Democrat-Media Complex starting with groundbreaking talk radio with Rush, which spawned an entire industry of talk radio. Fox News gave voice to conservative points of view and was so successful nationally, that the left vowed to take it down — and continues to take responsibility for doing just that with the attacks on Ailes and O’Reilly. Glenn Beck reached a wide audience straddling radio, TV, and the internet. And Drudge upended it all with his internet news aggregator.

In hindsight, these were all necessary steps along the way to where we are today. But the fact is, it was all just talk. We needed action.

Enter: Breitbart and the Tea Party movement. The Tea Party took the fight to the streets and made noise — showing up to town halls, getting involved in campaigns and elections, being a counterpresence to the left — and Breitbart taught us all how to fight back against the fake news with facts and conviction. He got in their faces. If you called him a racist, he wouldn’t turn the other cheek, play nice and hope it would all go away. He’d challenge you right out of the starting gate with facts and evidence to the contrary.

But fighting back and taking on the lies of the left — whether Breitbart or the Tea Party — are only as good as the ability to disseminate the truth. Although the internet was a paradigm shifter, if only like-mindeds access your site, watch your YouTube videos, or follow your tweets or Facebook posts, who are you really reaching?

The right, in general, and the Tea Party, in particular, hit a media brick wall during the Bush and Obama years that still exists. That wall is the Democrat-Media Complex which keeps the truth relative, filters the news as it sees fit, constructs the news as it wishes, and blacks out news that runs contrary to its needs. And they say walls don’t work!

No matter how refined our messages, no matter how slick our messengers, no matter how passionate our movements, rallies and protests… the harsh reality is we cannot get favorable headlines, we cannot get on the front pages, we cannot get the MSM to present our points of view, let alone the truth or alternate facts. Our ideas are as good as unspoken.

So, in 2016, the people opted for something more drastic, more “in your face,” more responsive to the forgotten and silenced, silent majority.

Trump is proving every day that he will not turn the other cheek, take the high road, or ignore left-wing attacks, accusations, and invective. He will not respond passively, giving life to left-wing lies, when Democrats hurl dung at Republicans like raging chimps. 

Trump is crude and unfiltered in a way that makes Republicans who still think old school squirm. Unlike standard politicians who don’t attack back but skirt around an issue or simply reiterate their point of view, Trump will not only attack the attack, but the attacker as well. He is effectively immune from their hype.  Show him a pussy hat and Madonna or Wynona angrily gyrating and threatening him, and he could care less. Most Republicans, by contrast, would recoil in embarrassment, apologize profusely, attend re-education seminars, and bow to the politically correct gods.

Trump might be an idiot and a fool and completely out of his league. Or, he just might know that the DMC will not treat him or any other Republican or conservative fairly — cognizant that he can’t get his message out, let alone on the front page with a truthful headline.

If Rush, Beck, Fox, Breitbart and the Tea Party were paradigm shifters — and they were — then Trump is a paradigm shifter upending the status quo — throwing tweet-after-tweet and comment-after-comment at the DMC like chum to the sharks. And these arrogant, self-righteous, pompous, johnny-know-betters, fall for the bait every time. Good. While they have their feeding frenzies, Trump is beginning the process of unraveling the most odious of regulations, reversing executive orders and policies, and hopefully, if the morons in Congress ever get it together, undoing laws and tax burdens the left has inflicted on the Forgotten Ones.

Trump is doing what we tried for decades to do — be heard and effectuate real change — not perpetuate the status quo as dictated by the political elites and entrenched establishment. He recognizes that this cannot be accomplished playing their game — where they craft the rules, have all the pieces, and control the board. We might occupy the moral high ground, we might be sincere and nice and generous in our dealings with our enemies, but that’s a game we will lose.

He understands that the wall built and maintained by the Democrat-Media Complex is holding us prisoner and must be torn down brick-by-brick. He is playing a game of stones — the stones you hurl and the ones of courage and chutzpah. No tiddlywinks in his arsenal.   

We can continue to play a losing game or grow some stones and play to win. In choosing allegiance to Daenerys, Varys says “I choose you because the people have no better chance than you.” 

That’s exactly why the people voted for Trump. The status quo is a guaranteed loss. But trading in an endless supply of tiddlywinks for the stones to fight back, is the only and best chance we have. 



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