Presidential Candidates 2016

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The best way to find out the truth is to settle for nothing less.

Here are seven of the presidential candidates who, in my assessment, are significant in terms of the impact that they could have on the election of 2016.  The names have been arranged alphabetically, no hierarchy intended.

Click on the names to connect directly to the campaign websites for each individual.  You can find info, statements on particular issues, and all the political propaganda you can handle!

Take the time to learn more about these people, regardless of their party affiliation.  For better or worse, these men and women represent the chosen few, some of whom will lead us into the next phase of U.S. history.

Ben Carson – Renowned neurosurgeon, non-politician and, relevantly, African-American.

Bernie Sanders – Senator from the state of Vermont, self-declared socialist

Carly Fiorina – Businesswoman, CEO and also non-politician

Donald Trump – Need I say more?  Probably… sure to follow.

Hillary Clinton – Ditto Trump

Jeb Bush – Former Governor of the state of Florida, brother and son of former presidents

Marco Rubio – Young Cuban senator from the state of Florida.

Rand Paul – Libertarian senator from Kentucky, son of previous presidential contender Ron Paul

Ted Cruz – Conservative to the hilt, the first Hispanic American to serve as a U.S. senator representing Texas.

Straight Outta GQ

ben-carson-donkey-hotey11-450x321Two sides are engaged in a fierce ideological struggle to win over the hearts and minds of the citizens of the United States in order that the principles composing those ideologies might be put into effective action by a legitimate governing body.

How can this task be accomplished?  How to persuade, compel or simply overpower the opposition in order to win elected office and govern accordingly?

Here are two recent examples highlighting the opposing perspectives and differing approaches between the so called left and right on just one particular issue.  These are the modern methods of these two sides:

Ben Carson speaking publicly on responding to a mass shooter:  “Not only would I probably not cooperate with him, I would not just stand there and let him shoot me. I would say, ‘Hey, guys, everybody attack him. He may shoot me, but he can’t get us all.’

The article: Fuck Ben Carson

And his response: We should pray for them.

If I am being honest, I have made extensive use of the ‘F’ word on many an occasion and do not shirk from its usage as a variable part of speech.  However, call me old fashioned, but I still value honor between professional opponents, at least as it extends to the public realm.  Look no further to find evidence of the deterioration of not only the integrity of the media as a societal institution, but the complacency of detractors to look no further for the truth.  For if GQ says it, it must be true.

The article went on to sing further the praises of the Republican contender, “You know, the only thing more alarming than Donald Trump leading the Republican presidential field is the fact that Ben Carson is the guy right behind him. While establishment puds like Jeb! Bush and Marco Rubio can’t decide if they want to beat Trump or emulate him, the Good Doctor made it clear this week that he is not only willing to replicate Trump’s signature brand of hot-garbage-spewing, but he’ll say even DUMBER shit.”

This tripe bears witness to the incessant acrimony that plagues the leftist, progressive mentality. It never finds alleviation, and no peace of mind can assuage the perpetual hatred that these folks possess in their hearts.  There is no wise commentary, no enlightening aphorism meant to elevate the conversation and actually make progress.  There is simply name-calling, ad hominem attacks and an entirely dismissive attitude of a legitimate point-of-view.

Furthermore, the tendency of the lefty mentality is to impose this disposition onto society-at-large, seeking to further restrict onto those who agree with Dr. Carson.  Despite the attempts that have been imposed however, in the form of outright gun bans in urban areas and the adoption of gun-free zones, gun violence still mysteriously occurs where gun violence is not allowed.

Some folks don’t like guns, don’t want guns and would rather die before picking up a gun to hurt another living thing, even in self defense.  That is a perfectly acceptable position and I can support such conscientious objectors.  However, just as they have a right not to fight back, to peaceably submit in a movie theater or college classroom, the rest of us have a right not to be made dead by a tragic, sickened individual.

This really is the primal, prehistoric, primitive defense mechanism that living beings have always possessed as a means of survival:

1. Recognize threat

2. Respond to threat using fight or flight

3. If selecting flight, stretch legs

4. If selecting fight, get weapon

5. Use legs or weapon depending on previous decision, see step 2 – fight or flight

As humanity has progressed, the weaponry has progressed too.  Instead of clubs and board-with-nail, we have Sig Sauer and Glock to protect and defend. (not to mention entertain future fossil hunters)  Admittedly, there is a case to be made against personalized nuclear devices and a reasonable debate can be had as to where that line is but the current 12 v. 17 mag capacity BS is missing the shark because, once again, for the cheap seats, criminals do not obey the law.

I have my personal grudges with the positions taken on some issues by Ben Carson but on this one we agree.  And when the opposition has resorted to vulgarity and playground strategery, I think that’s game.

Mic drop.

Boom!

I Side With…

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On both sides of the spectrum, the gaps are being filled (and then some for Republicans) with potential nominees for the upcoming presidential election of 2016.  Can’t wait for the TV ads to start a-rollin’!! (Insert disgusted groan)

The Democrats are running with Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, with Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren still kinda, sorta, maybe on the fence, but only if our country needs them.

The Republicans seem to think we need them desperately, all of them.  Social issues conservatives, a doctor, a TV personality tycoon, fiscal reformers along with tried and true (and previously failed) men and women.

More will be written, both here, there and everywhere, regarding these folks and the election in general.  But for starters, I wanted to share and interesting source for information on the issues and the candidates as they currently stand.

Take this rather thorough quiz at the following site:

https://www.isidewith.com/elections/2016-presidential-quiz

It will match you with current candidates from both parties.

Murder in the Sanctuary City

Golden-gate-bridge-sunsetHow many times have you heard it said “the law is the law” as a justification for or against a particular action?

As members of a relatively free society we are able to pursue the life, liberty and happiness that our founding principles afford us.  But only activities within the established legal confines are deemed acceptable while certain proscribed actions result in a variety of consequences and punishments.  The vast majority accept the law and live accordingly everyday.

But a disturbing trend continues where designated officials, the very authorities in charge of enforcing our laws, shirk the legal constraints of society.  And in so doing they leave law-biding citizens vulnerable to the elements that the law is meant to protect against.

The recent shooting of Kathryn Steinle at Pier 14 in San Francisco is a tragedy rooted in the dereliction of duty of the city’s leaders.  San Francisco prides itself on being a so-called “sanctuary city” where immigration status is a non-issue, despite federal laws to the contrary.  The result of this “compassion” led to an inevitable consequence, the murder of a young woman.

The shooter, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, had been deported on five separate occasions yet successfully returned each time to the United States, finally landing in San Francisco.  And in San Francisco, legal immigration is not worth supporting and illegal immigration is not worth pursuing.  “San Francisco and SFSD policy is to deny ICE detainer requests, barring special circumstances, such as a warrant for a suspected violent offender. The ICE detainer request was denied, and on April 15, 2015 Lopez-Sanchez was released. Two and a half months later Kate Steinle was killed.”

The same story notes that “Sanchez said he knew San Francisco was a sanctuary city where he would not be pursued by immigration officials.”

The hubris of the San Francisco policy is that it upholds its own relative standard, dismissing the  objective legal one, and does so at the expense of other values that such progressive ideology purports to extoll:

The man was on drugs, not busy at a job that Americans don’t want to do, as the justification for allowing illegal immigrants to remain so goes.

He somehow has access to a gun (he claims he found it) which would suggest that gun control measures are also lacking, not in substance but in practical application.  In other words, they exist but don’t work.

The cries for such control that follow tragedies like mass shootings, along with the regulations on smoking and trans fats, stem from the benevolent desire of the state to protect us from ourselves.  But keeping this guy out of the country, where he would not have been able to shoot Kathryn Steinle, is not a compassionate enough reason to enforce the laws regulating immigration.

Here is a guy who shoots a woman, thus conducting his own private, literal, War on Woman.

And for the animal rights folks, “Sanchez had initially told police he had shot the gun at sea lions, ABC 7 reported.”

But even an event as exposing as this will not sway the feeling-based, subjective reasoning that is a direct and tragic insult to the rule of law.  The mayor of San Francisco stated, “Let me be clear (a subconscious nod to the president I’m sure): [the policy] protects residents regardless of immigration status and is not intended to protect repeat, serious and violent felons,” he said.

He reveals the necessity of law by refusing to support the law.  Of course it is “not intended to protect repeat, serious and violent felons.”  That’s the very definition of an Unintended Consequence.  They occur without intention but nevertheless result from the flawed policy of his sanctuary city.

But do you know what the Intended Consequence is of immigration laws that deport, incarcerate or otherwise eliminate people like Lopez-Sanchez from our society?  That’s right! It prevents them from being on drugs at Pier 14 with a gun at the same time as Kathryn Steinle.  That law helps promote a sanctuary city for the legal citizens who reside there.

The law is the law because it was created following the rule of law.  If laws need to be changed, updated, amended or discarded there is a process that allows for such legal evolution.  But until they do change, we are subject to those laws and the corresponding penalties should we break them.  I sometimes speed, jaywalk and used to smoke in public in the city of Burbank (similar restrictions exist in Boulder). But I don’t get to absolve myself from consequence because I view those laws as mean, discriminatory or otherwise not worthy of my adherence.  No, I get a fine because I am subject to such laws and must follow them.  All of them.

This mayor, the president, all executive government officials of every city, state and the federal government are tasked to enforce existing laws, as well as follow them.  When they start choosing which ones they will enforce, people die, literally.  When they choose feelings and ideology over legal doctrine, they become rulers, not public servants.

Kathryn Steinle is dead because a man shot her in a drastically misnomered sanctuary city.  That man was subject to the law, and its punishments, on numerous occasions.  But because relative, subjective compassion rules in the not-so-sanctuary city of San Francisco, the law has become a suggestion, more what you call guidelines than actual rules.  This tragedy could have been prevented by the rule of law.  But those in power decided that “the law is only the law if I agree with it.”

Israel’s Return of The Right

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“Israel is the one country in which everyone is pro-American, opposition and coalition alike. And I represent the entire people of Israel who say, ‘Thank you, America.’ And we’re friends of America, and we’re the only reliable allies of America in the Middle East.”

-Benjamin Netanyahu

Life is granted upon birth.  Survival is not.

For early man survival was THE constant focus that required rigorous effort.  Food, clothing, water and shelter were not given tools upon self-realization.  They had to be scrounged and forged within a world full of hostile forces seeking their own ends.  Any human misstep could cost not only one life, but had the potential to extinguish an entire species, not two steps away from its nascence.

And so it goes with Israel.

Here is a video, that is also up on the site under MEDIA, that presents an overview of the problem in the middle-east:

The problem in the middle-east in a nutshell: one side wants the other side dead.  And the side that is to be dead doesn’t want to be dead. So, regardless of rhetoric, rigid ideology, criticism of foreign policy or accusations of unsubstantiated responses to “minimal” attacks, Israelis have once again seen fit to elect a prime minister of the “extreme right” persuasion. (I have yet to find an establishment mass media piece that refers to the Likud party in any other way.  Just like American conservatives, they are always described as “extreme” by the dominant liberal establishment mass media*)

Israel only exists because of its ability to defend itself against the foreign invaders who have, since its inception, sworn to wipe it off the map:

Iran making a plan to destroy Israel

A list of Arab threats leading up to the Six-Day War

A student at UC San Diego (Must Watch!!!)

Info on the 1948 War

Unlike the current administration in the United States, Israel does not have the luxury, time or inclination to assuage the feelings of CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) when it cries about faux-Islamophobia, or psycho-analyze the motives of ISIL or Major Nidal Hasan.  Israel has rockets at the ready, to be used in counter-strikes in the name of national defense.  Bombs may explode, children will be kidnapped and synagogues are brutally assaulted.  That nation faces a daily existential threat, not from sociopathic headhunting pyromaniacs an ocean and a half away who ostensibly don’t know the true meaning of Islam, but right next door and just across a stretch of desert.  Benjamin Netanyahu understands this threat and is not afraid to confront its true nature.  That is why he was re-elected.

Bibi (nickname for Netanyahu) has been called out for his pre-election cry that Arabs were voting in droves, and he has since publicly stated his regret for making this statement.  He has been criticized for alienating his allies and for his violent opposition to a two-state solution.  (Ironically, the misnomered Palestinians aren’t too keen on the idea either)  And he has developed a tumultuous relationship with the current President of the United States.

But, to paraphrase infamy, what difference at this point does it make?  Israel wants to survive.  President Obama is a FINO (friend in name only) to Israel and has openly spurned the best interests of his “ally” in order to woo the charlatans in Tehran.  If the USA truly supports Israel, then support Israel.  Dismantle Tehran, the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIL et al.  Stop positing a Palestinian state when the very people who would receive such a state are not interested in COEXIST-ing. (my apologies for the dose of reality to the bumper sticker crowd)

There is every justification for forming an alliance with and defending a people who wish to live and survive a peaceful existence.  Especially when their enemies are our enemies.  Sadly, Israel has known aggression for its entire life  A nation formed from the ashes of the Holocaust, was present not one year before it was attacked.  Yet, it remains.  When it is attacked, it fights back and has long caught on to the cowardly manner by which its enemies fight: storing arms and military outposts among children, in schools and hospitals.  With Bibi at its head, Israel will continue to fight.  Because it must.  Against any manner of foe, with or without its tenuous allies.  The Israeli people, at least enough for re-election, know that this is the man for the job.  That is why they left Israel’s Right of Return to the (extreme) Right.

*The D.L.E.M.M. (dominant, liberal, establishment, mass media) was coined by Mike Rosen as an acronym of essential parts describing the media in the United States.

Eureka!

california_sealUndocumented workers.  Undocumented aliens.  Illegal aliens.  Illegal immigrants.  Whichever euphemism is in vogue they all attempt to describe the pressing issue of people crossing the borders of the United States without permission; or initially receiving work visas and staying past the designated date.  On the horizon is an executive order to end all executive orders: President Obama is prepared to unilaterally grant amnesty for millions of people fitting the above descriptions.

So, let them come and stay.  With one minor stipulation.  They must all reside within the state of California.

The recently reelected Governor of California Jerry Brown stated back in August that all illegal immigrants can find a home in his glorious state.  “You’re all welcome in California.”  So, let them have it.  The residents of the Golden State have seen fit to continually elect Democratic representatives, giving that party complete dominance over the state legislature and the executive office.  Now, this is how you get things done in government!  Or, at least, this is how you get things done according to one agenda, based on an ideology driven by compassion and devoid of fiscal limitations and unconstrained by economic reality.

Los Angeles and San Francisco are two of many sanctuary cities in California where inquisition by state or federal authorities as to the citizenship status of residents has been deemed passé.  And really, who can blame them.  The effort to enforce existing law is a tiresome endeavor.  It requires the violation of the rights of those who have only basic rights to begin with, not constitutional protections.  Moreover, such intrusions would be mean spirited, not at all within the benevolent confines of the compassionate blinders by which the chosen powers that be choose to view the world.  Criminals or children, it doesn’t matter.  These people have families that should not, under any circumstance, even if public safety or societal solvency is at risk, be made to separate (even if the entire family could choose to remain intact and leave the country together).

Businesses in California have seen fit to employ illegal immigrants.  They operate with minimal consequence in the name of necessity and compassion.  They need workers to do that which (supposedly) American workers will not.  Never mind that income and revenue reflect a severe artificiality when these businesses and workers do not trade in an open market.  Illegal immigrants make much more than they would in their home countries, even though what they make is below any market minimum.  Despite the effects on pay, unemployment and worker safety, let these business operate out of necessity for low-skilled, low-paid labor while flaunting the critical bonds of free markets and legality.

So let them have it…

Hear ye, hear ye.  Come one, come all.  The Californian Progressive Agenda sends an open invitation for the citizens of the world to come and live in the beautiful Golden State.  Once situated, everyone can go to school, drive a car, get a job and, if they so desire, seek refuge through any entitlement program that is or will be in existence.  Our hope is to create an endless supply of voters that support the unsustainable promises of the party of the left.  High speed rail running on wind and solar through the fields and cities where every worker makes fifteen dollars an hour while living in a three bedroom, three bath and driving a Chevy Volt.  Disneyland on weekends.  No plastic bags.  And taxes to be paid by the millionaires and billionaires who have earned their living through no effort of their own.  After all, they didn’t build that.  Businesses don’t create jobs.

Elections matter.  Elections matter.  ELECTIONS MATTER.  California as a collective has made its bed.  The leaders, while not unanimously elected, are in office and have set an agenda.  So, let them have it.  The world is full of literally billions of people who would like to live under the protections of the United States.  The fact is that, in the existential name of survival, the country must be discerning with regards to which individuals enter and become citizens.  At times low skilled laborers are needed.  Other times call for highly skilled professionals.  The ability of an immigrant to aid this nation and assimilate to its culture is the proper measure when assessing an applicant for citizenship.  Those who have not even applied, taking full advantage of a feckless system, must enter the queue.  Meanwhile, they can all move to sunny California for a trial in irrational compassion.  Blessings be upon them courtesy of the duly elected executive leaders of the state of California and these United States.

A Republic for Republicans

2-8-13-republican-elephantAt the close of the Constitutional Convention on September 17, 1787, as Benjamin Franklin left the hall in Philadelphia, he was asked, “What kind of government have you given us, Dr. Franklin?” He replied: “A republic, if you can keep it.”  As Republicans come to Washington after winning in this landslide election, they will ask the American people “What have you given us?”  A republic, if you can keep it… Republicans!

Majorities rule in this two-party system of ours.  The Democrats, led by the president, had their time to impose the agenda of ever more expansive government.  Now, the political pendulum has once again swung the other way.  Congressional Republicans have an opportunity to lead us off of the statist path to Bankruptcyville and walk the road less traveled of constitutionally limited government.

But where to begin?

Politicians have this annoying habit of overreacting to any event and attempting to assuage any fears by banally claiming “We must do something!”  While specific, focused action is needed, more and more interference via arbitrary legislation is not an effective means to govern, and be perceived to govern, effectively.  Never forget, the next election is less than two years away and many more people will pay attention to that one.  Perception is reality.  The Republican party must act in such a way that conveys courage, stability and control.

People of all political persuasions respond to honest conviction.  This is what made Barack Obama so appealing to so many voters.  He was passionate about his beliefs and fought against all odds to achieve his goals.  Or at least that was the perception.  Republicans are in a prime position to harness charisma, take advantage of the zeitgeist and use popular support to direct the nation.  Better yet, they have a blueprint for successful governance.  Unlike progressive policies that promise much but deliver misery, conservative principles have their foundation in respect for individual rights, the basis of the idea that is the United States.  The Constitution, while a bit dusty from lack of use, is the go-to guide for how to deal with the issues of the present day.

My Two Cents:

In many cases my ideology goes further than these recommendations.  However, politicians must deal within the confines of political reality.  Ideology is about ideas, politics is about winning elections.  You cannot govern if you don’t win.

– Allow the continuation of the Keystone XL Pipeline…finally.  It has been studied, and studied…and studied.  We all hate oil spills.  We all love oil (if only through the de facto behavior of driving our cars and using anything made of plastic).  Until “clean energy” sources can pay their own way, we need oil.  This pipeline is simply an example of a societally approved trade-off between risk and reward in the modern world of industry.

– Immigration reform must occur once existing law has been enforced.  Close the border.  Not so we stop people once they get into Texas but make it so no one can enter Texas without proper documentation.  Deport anyone stopped for breaking the law and found to be in the USA illegally.  Next, law-biding immigrants, here to work, albeit illegally, must be identified and put on a pathway to apply for citizenship.  Basically, enforce current immigration laws while dealing with the people who have come in while we were not enforcing such laws.

– Communicate sound economic principles about the national fiscal situation.  Social security, Medicare, Medicaid, all entitlements are simply borrowing against the future.  Fiscal solvency is a fantasy as long as progressive policies promise to give and give in the name of altruistic compassion.  The money is not in the vault.  There are only IOUs that will soon come due.

– Value the rights of the states and leave social issue oriented legislation to them.  I.E. legal pot, abortion laws, same-sex marriage, etc. should be determined on a state-by-state basis.

– The minimum wage is an artificial tool, earned by 2-3% of the workforce, that generates much sympathy.  However, this present day government wage and price control is here for awhile.  Raising the minimum wage will make Republicans a more populist party which in turn can siphon votes from their progressive counterparts.  This could be done under the umbrella of a complete economic overhaul.  Such a plan could reduce corporate taxes to stimulate business growth (corporations don’t really pay taxes by the way, you do), lift all sorts of business restricting conditions from the EPA, OSHA, IRS et al., and then look to phase out all wage and price controls like the minimum wage.  Again, deal with political reality while transforming our country for the future.  Communicate the benefits of supply side economics while defending free market capitalism against the fallacious arguments of those like Hillary Clinton who seek to prey on the rampant economic illiteracy of the electorate.  Educate voters, and potential voters, of all economic levels, as to the benefits of free markets.  Make it personal.  Demonstrate that no matter how much progressives promise, they cannot deliver on those promises.  (See the economic data regarding the war on poverty)

– Defend against unfounded attacks on conservatism, free markets, capitalism and the personalities of those pursuing such ends.  Racism, sexism, trickle-down economics, tax breaks for the rich, millionaires and billionaires, blah blah blah…  The DNC and Democratic candidates have tried it and this time they lost.  Stand up to claims of racism or sexism with facts, not further acrimony.  Court those voters who truly do not know what Republicans can offer because they have always been told about the evil GOP.  Dismiss the epithets against free markets.  The USA is the most prosperous, benevolent nation the world has ever known.  We have a mixed economy, based in free market capitalism.  That’s the evidence.

The reality (ergo, the perception) seems to be that as much as Hillary is the chosen one, she is not a great candidate.  Let her make her “businesses do not create jobs remarks and she will sink herself yet again.  2016 will be another pinnacle election year, a battle in the war of ideas where voters will once again choose in which direction this country should go.  Over the, (less than) next two years Republicans can show us all that there is another way.  A constitutional way.  They can demonstrate why we should vote for the party of Lincoln and Reagan; They can show us the greatness this country can do so that the darkness before the dawn that has been the last 6 years can give way to morning in America once again.