Interview with Kathleen Saucier

It was my pleasure to interview Kathleen Saucier, the mother of imprisoned sailor, Kristian Saucier, who was sent to jail for a year for having six pictures/selfies on his cell phone that were considered confidential. Even though there is no evidence that Kristian transmitted pictures anywhere and was only doing what so many of us do with our phones, he’s in jail while Hillary Clinton is still walking free after causing far more harm with her private email server containing hundreds of classified emails, all the way up TS: SAP.

Our out-going Commander-in-Chief has pardoned or commuted a record number of felony convictions while in office, but he refuses to address the obvious double-standard surrounding this particular case. Perhaps, with enough awareness and sharing their story on social media, President-elect Trump will once again be asked to clean up yet another steamy pile left behind.

 

Maybe #fakenews represents lies Leftists tell themselves

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I’m already tired of the phrase. Fake news.

Hillary Clinton began spouting it nearly non-stop following her concession after the November presidential election cycle. That phrase was gobbled up by the brainless fowl in the mainstream media who were all too willing to parrot the latest talking point meant to deride deplorables. It has been uttered by professors, students, elected officials, government spokespeople and even the president of the United States of America. And, as usual, Leftists are fantastic at propaganda and misleading terminology.

Think about the construction of the phrase:

Fake – A thing that is not genuine; a forgery or sham.

News – Newly received or noteworthy information, especially about recent or important events.

Butt them together and the impression it creates in the head of the listener is of an effort by some to forge or invent stories that pass themselves off as factual about current events. Thus, Hillary Clinton desperately wants her supporters to believe there was a concerted effort to create false stories in the media to derail her campaign and that’s why she lost.

So, let’s see if we can document some of the more glaring instances of “news” stories that I believe fall into the category of fake news:

  • It starts with Dan Rather reporting about physical evidence, showing then candidate George W. Bush had misled the public about his service records from his time in the military. It wasn’t until someone realized the font and spacing in those documents could have never been made by any typewriter that existed at the time, that the story fell apart. Dan Rather was forced to resign, but has made a slow come back, going so far as to now lecture us about fake news.
  • What about Hillary Clinton’s story about that time she landed in Bosnia under sniper fire? Only, that never happened, even though it was widely reported in the mainstream media.
  • Did you know Hillary said she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary for his exploits? The mainstream media was enthralled with the imagery conjured by that relation. Unfortunately, Hillary was a toddler before Sir Edmund Hillary climbed Mount Everest.
  • Brian Williams had to resign as the anchor of NBC Nightly News after he was caught in not just one lie about being under fire in Iraq, but a history of lying, embellishing and fabricating “facts” to go along with a narrative in which he believed.
  • Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton told the world that the attack in Benghazi, that left our Ambassador and three other patriots dead, was the result of a badly produced YouTube video, which appeared to mock the prophet Mohammad. The mainstream media reported that line for months.
  • The death of Trayvon Martin was sold as a racist attack by a “white” hispanic. The mainstream media was caught editing the 911 call, photoshopping images and repeating a false narrative over and over. A jury, when presented with all of the facts, acquitted defendant Zimmerman.
  • Hands up; don’t shoot! Remember that one? The gentle giant who was just minding his own business when a diminutive white cop decided it was his turn to randomly shoot and kill a defenseless black man? Unfortunately, once again, when the facts were presented in a court of law, a jury realized the media had been spinning a yarn as thick and long as any told around a campfire.
  • Rolling Stone magazine got themselves in hot water with their report on rape on the campus of the University of Virginia? Even after the reporter was caught in a deceitful story, her excuse was just because this one event wasn’t true, didn’t mean a rape culture did not exist on campus. Again…the narrative and the belief was more important than actual facts.
  • Remember Hillary’s incident this past September when she had to leave a 9/11 memorial? At first the media (taking the talking points from her campaign) said she was just over-heated from the weather — until the weather reports didn’t jive with that line. Then the video surfaced of her stumbling and falling head-long into her vehicle and the story shifted to pneumonia. But, just a couple hours later, Hillary emerges from her daughter’s apartment, playing with her grandchild, leading many to ask why anyone with something as infectious and debilitating as pneumonia would be up and about playing with a child? That’s when it shifted yet again to just a mild case of the flu. So many shifts and the mainstream media was okay reporting it as fact every step of the way.

These are all just a handful of stories I have recalled off the top of my head. It barely scratches the surfaces of stories that had been reported from actual news media outlets — not from blogs, podcasts, social media posts or memes. I have not even started down the road of man-made climate change stories that have been found repeatedly false, misleading or reliant on flawed computer modeling or altered data!

Let’s fast-forward to the election cycle where pollsters, news agencies, talking-heads, radio personalities, bloggers and social media mavens put forth data, charts and interviews proving that Hillary was going to win the presidency and Trump was a lost cause. Many (not all) in the #NeverTrump movement relished in their daily, non-stop, lambasting of Donald Trump and any of his supporters.

During all of this, millions of Americans, tired of being labeled, shouted down, called all manner of horrible names and accused of siding with the worst possible hate-groups in our nation’s history, decided to keep quiet. Exasperated at trying to engage in conversation, they opted instead for silence or passive agreement just to avoid confrontation. And while the silence became deafening to those who were paying attention, the WikiLeaks emails began to pervade social media, eventually getting into the mainstream media newscasts, albeit begrudgingly.

At no time did the DNC say the information contained in those emails was untrue, save for Donna Brazille, who was caught sharing debate questions with Hillary Clinton, only to resign her position at CNN in shame. Instead, democrats and the campaign chose to blame “Russian hackers”, trying to get everyone to look at the shiny object across the room instead of the glaring black and white facts staring them in the face. The experts told us it would not affect Hillary’s coronation. She was going to be the next president of the United States of American. Even President Obama admitted he was made aware of potential hacks from outside entities (still yet to be proven), but wasn’t worried enough to do or say anything about it. We can surmise, by his own words when he said he would leave it for Hillary to address, he believed her election was a foregone conclusion. Makes you wonder if it was that negligible prior to the election, why is worth blaming today?

Now, in the weeks since the election of Donald J. Trump, the chorus of sore losers continues to yell FAKE NEWS from the rooftops, rather than deal with reality. It has to be some nefarious foreign government who changed the course of the election. The polls and pollsters convinced them of a win. The talking heads on television confirmed it nightly. Social media was the only place where the whisper of the truth could be heard if one wanted to listen. But, hey, social media isn’t news, right? It’s all fake there.

The whining, stomping, tantrum throwers still refuse to accept reality. They tried protesting, violence, recounts, threatening electors and produced Hollywood videos in an effort to change the results of November 8th. In the end, in a display of wonderful irony, it was a handful of Hillary electors who changed, or wanted to change, their votes.

It seems to me, given all we know and all we have experienced, there is something else afoot here. In every instance of false reporting documented above, at the root was a reporter (or news agency) who so wanted to believe the narrative of their story, objectivity was kicked to the curb. The story line fit their world view, therefore it had to be true. The idea it was they, themselves, putting out a “fake” story still has yet to cross their minds. The fake news has to be elsewhere.

It makes me wonder if, at some point, Leftists will come to realize the fake news they keep talking about is the lies they keep telling themselves?

Lies, damn lies and reporters

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By  |  December 8, 2016, 05:00am  | @ewerickson

 

On September 11, 2016, Hillary Clinton left a 9/11 memorial service early. Her campaign vigorously denied Republican claims Clinton was ill. The press ridiculed Republicans for suggesting it, calling them conspiracy theorists.

Shortly thereafter, a video appeared showing Clinton collapsing. Secret Service agents caught her and helped her into a van. Republicans took it as confirmation Clinton had a health problem. Undaunted, Justin Miller of the Daily Beast tweeted, “Trump and the right have so traduced Clinton’s health that coughing or getting too hot is made out to be signs of illness.”

“Hillary Clinton left the 9/11 memorial ceremony early on Sunday after feeling “overheated,” her campaign said,” a Politico reporter wrote. Peter Daou, a former adviser to Hillary Clinton, tweeted, “To Hillary haters jabbering about NYC weather, I LIVE HERE. I usually play outdoor summer hoops and today it was too hot even for a stroll.” At the time Hillary Clinton left the 9/11 memorial service the temperature was in the mid-seventies with a mild, cool breeze, and low humidity. The high in New York City that day was 84°F, apparently a temperature in which “it was too hot even for a stroll.”

Once conservatives pointed out the inconvenient truth of the weather, the Clinton campaign came up with their third excuse. Hillary Clinton had bacterial pneumonia and her doctor put her on antibiotics. Why then, Republicans wondered, did the Clinton campaign release pictures of Clinton playing with her grand daughter after leaving the 9/11 memorial? If she had to be put on antibiotics, surely it was not healthy to play with a toddler. But the media again dismissed the questions as an unhealthy fixation and conspiracy theory about Hillary Clinton’s health. The poor lady had pneumonia.

The next day, on September 12, 2016, Bill Clinton addressed a crowd in Las Vegas and said Hillary Clinton had the flu. So, to review, first she did not leave the event in ill health. Then a video surfaced and she left not in ill health, but because she got overheated. Then the temperature data was released and she left in ill health with bacterial pneumonia, but was not contagious and could play with her toddler grandchild. Then it was the flu.

To raise questions about any of this was to be dismissed by the media. Donald Trump’s suggestion that the election was rigged was an affront to democracy until he won. Then it was okay to believe the Russians stole the election. Republicans obstructed Barack Obama’s nominations so much it was okay for the Democrats to scrap the filibuster, but the GOP better keep it for Supreme Court nominees.

Trump did terribly with black and hispanic voters, the media told us, until we learned he bested Mitt Romney with those groups. Trump won because of fake news reports reported the same press that reported the ISIS loving Orlando night club shooter shot up the place because of a gay relationship the FBI says never existed.

This last week, Donald Trump nominated General James Mattis to lead the Defense Department and General Jack Kelly to lead the Department of Homeland Security. “Three generals and maybe a fourth. Can we just cut to the chase and call ourselves a junta?” tweeted Julia Ioffe, a writer for Foreign Policy magazine and the Politico. After nominating Iowa Governor Terry Branstad of Iowa to be the Ambassador to China, liberal writer Ian Millhiser tweeted, “I’m sure the governor of a small, rural, landlocked state full of white people will totally know a whole lot about China, and stuff.” Governor Branstad is friends with Xi Jinping, the President of China.

I recount these things to note the one group in America refusing to do any post-election self reflection is the media. Convinced of their righteousness, they will continue to hold Trump voters in bitter contempt, they will continue to suggest Republicans are conspiracy theorists while peddling their own fake news and conspiracies as true, and they will refuse to admit they got anything wrong in 2016. Reporters used to report what happened. Now they tell us what to think and resent like hell that any of of us might think differently.

Make the political argument, not the personal attack

CheetoJesusSomething has been irking me for a while now. Initially, I couldn’t put my finger on it. It’s been building over the last couple of months. It’s not so much the entrenched corners so many have willingly put themselves in when debating the virtues and vices of the presidential nominees, though that is a part. It has more to do with the tenor of those who have been aligned with the voice of conservatism.

One of the founding ideas behind Freedom Cocktail was to create an environment for the free exchange of ideas and dialogue, so long as civility remained the setting and logic and reason the atmosphere. Any object could be set on that imaginary stage (or bar) and discussed, so long as those conditions remained. Over the 4+ years of our existence, we have had posts covering everything from current events to philosophical views on raising children, our changing culture and everything in between. In every case, no one resorted to name-calling. With each successive post, acute attention was placed on not ignoring contrary facts or shifting arguments away from contrary evidence. It is something we pride ourselves on when we identify as conservatives or Libertarians.

One of my favorite quotes, in terms of debate, comes from former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. “I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.” That comment has always stuck with me and helps to drive my choice of words whenever I debate someone, whether in writing or in person.

I appreciate my Libertarian friends who have almost always backed the Libertarian Party candidate. When they write about their decision to back Gary Johnson here in the 2016 race, they are being consistent with their ideals and firmly held beliefs. And, generally speaking, they do not delve into personal attacks or Mad Magazine-style lambasting.

On the flip side, Leftists cannot help but fall into the 3-step playbook whenever they are trying to engage in political commentary — they will first shift the subject when anyone is able to rebut their initial claim; they will then ignore the facts being presented to them (or anything contrary) that would force them to revise their initial claim; and, as a final step, will resort to name-calling. They cannot help it. They may never admit they are wrong, but as Maggie Thatcher was keen to notice about human nature, when you have not one single political argument left, all that remains are emotional outbursts designed to attack personally.

Much like Maggie, I swell with joy and pride when I can drive a Leftist to resort to their 3-step playbook, turning them into red-faced blowhards, vomiting nonsensical platitudes and horrible vulgarities as fast as they can conjure them. I know, I should not take joy in the emotional wreckage I have wrought by the judicious application of logic and reason, but I’m human, too. I have my weaknesses.

On almost equal footing to the personal insults, what angers me (and most conservatives) is the notion that Leftists have of themselves as being so much smarter, they need to think for the rest of us. They want to tell us what food to eat, what light bulbs to use, what cars to drive, how much we should earn, how much health insurance we need and how to raise and educate our own children. They convocate in their Ivory Towers and their hallowed halls of Marxist principles, doling out their wisdom to the rest of the poor, common-folk, too uneducated and unenlightened to know what’s best for them. So what if the messengers do not need to heed their own advice — so long as the masses conform, the select few are entitled to the spoils, are they not? Ever wonder why it’s okay for Leonardo DiCaprio to own a mega-yacht, Al Gore to fly on a Gulfstream and Bernie Sanders to buy his 3rd mansion while the rest of us are scolded for firing-up a grill or driving a 4×4? It’s because, in their minds, they are part of a different caste and as long as the vast majority can be convinced to go without and relegate themselves to the bottom rungs, the elites get to break their own rules. After all, they are so much smarter and better than the rest of us, we should just be thankful they allow their wisdom to be forced down our throats, right?

This brings me back to my quandary.  I’ve already written my thoughts about the #NeverTrump movement (here and here) so I will not belabor my earlier arguments. I’ve said all I think I can to sway someone with my point-of-view. However, what I want to do is implore those who have gone all-in on the #NeverTrump movement is to consider a couple of thoughts.

CheetoJesus2First, your choice of words and phrases. Take a lesson from Maggie. Terms like Cheeto Jesus, The Angry Cheeto, Cheez-Whiz and the Clown Prince of Politics are not political arguments. Equally, to label supporters of Donald Trump as members of the Branch Trumpidians, Trumpites, Trumpettes, Trumpeteers, Trump-chumps or Trumpkins is akin to trying to win a debate by calling someone ugly. Or fat. They are insults and devoid of any political merit or substance whatsoever. Sure, to those in the same caste, it’s uproariously funny. Like the rich, mean girls teasing the poor kid from across the tracks, everyone knows it’s wrong, except them. And it eventually turns sympathy toward the one being personally attacked.

Which brings me to the self-righteous, we-know-so-much-better-than-you, that is equivalent to the hubris exhibited by the elites on the Left. It is the height of arrogance to presume you belong on a different plane than everyone else simply because you deem it so. No one likes to lose, but worse is the loser who takes their ball and goes home, only to blame everyone else for why their team had to quit the game.

But it’s not fair!

Every parent, at one time or another, reminds their children that life isn’t fair. Sometimes, the bad guy wins. Sometimes, you don’t get what you want just because you demand it. Sometimes, you have to act like the grown up and press on, waiting for the next opportunity to present itself.

Be a member of #NeverTrump. You have every right to choose whom you wish to vote for and where you will throw your support. But keep the principles of logic, reason and civility foremost in mind. Choose your words and your arguments carefully to avoid mirroring the very same tactics and behaviors we detest in those who would prefer to have dominion over every aspect of our very lives. Otherwise, all you will succeed in doing is solidifying the support of those whom you offend and alienate those who might otherwise be open to a more persuasive and dignified alternative point-of-view.

People should vote their conscience

cruz-trump-2016I’ve been known to “real-time” tweet during political events, like the State of the Union address or the primary debates for both the Republicans and the Democrats. Thousands of others do the same. It has become a means for political junkies to feel like they are making their voices heard. Social media is an amazing innovation. Anyone with a smartphone, tablet or computer connected to the internet can become a news-talk station of one.

In the last few days, I’ve decided to spend less time commenting (in fact very few tweets each evening) and more time reading what others were saying. I started to experience that sinking feeling you get when you sense something is going wrong, but are powerless to stop it. There were some very good tweets, with thought-provoking analysis and insights, on both side of the aisle. Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority seemed to be involved in a contest to see who could be fastest with a smarmy, wry tweet full of hyperbolic vitriol. Very few were listening and even fewer could maintain a civil discourse. There was no conversation taking place. Both sides were entrenched, having painted themselves into their respective corners with such a wide gulf between, that both sides felt they needed to fire intercontinental ballistic insults in an effort to score a hit.

It was all about finding a GIF or a screen grab and rapidly making a meme to share. It was about crafting venomous retorts, full of bile with a hint of acerbic wit.  Sometimes the insults were moronic; others sophomoric. Some were full of utter hatred. Across the spectrum, emotions were running high and, for the most part, were ruling the day. Logic and reason were lost in the deafening white noise of nonsensical protestations.

A very good friend of mine has repeatedly stated that both candidates are equally unqualified. A new hashtag has begun to run — #NeverHillaryandNeverTrump. In fact, I am hearing from more and more who will not vote at all. Those who are thinking of voting have said, beyond finding a third party candidate or a write-in, their conscience will not allow themselves to vote for the “lesser of two evils.”

First, let me try to get you to think about this for a moment. This coming election cycle has candidates across the board: local elections, state-wide races, congressional races and the presidency. Though the presidential race bring out the masses, it’s the local races that have an immediate impact on our day-to-day lives. No matter what, you must vote! Do not stay home because of only one line on the overall ballot.

Second, I want to address this notion of “the lesser of two evils.” I am so tired of this hyperbole. It is an overused and ridiculous cliche. But, let us go with that, since so many buy into this platitude, hook, line and sinker. Is not another way of saying one person is less evil than another, is to say that one person is better than the other? After all, what makes one person “less” evil than another? It’s because one person has a little more good in them than the other? If that is the case, why can’t we turn it around and say you have to pick the best of the two options before you?

We are so mired in the negative that we now spend all of our energy literally trying to find something wrong with everything! We are quick to complain, slow to praise. We go out of our way to post lines and lines of angst and frustration on social media and rarely take a moment to spread joy and happiness. If you doubt me, just go through your feeds right now and take a quick tally of the posts in the last few hours? Unless all of your friends are crazy-cat-ladies, it will be easy to show how social media has become the conduit for negativity. We look for “perfect” candidates and then spend our time and energy looking for any misstep, flaw, problem or difference of opinion they may hold and then publish those failings (in our minds) to the masses online.

Let’s take this one step further. Let’s pretend we have convinced ourselves that both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are so terrible, that neither one deserves our support. Are they both equally terrible? Do their poisonous spheres reach equally wide? Do their evil tendrils fill the same number of cracks and crevices? Are their villainous dispositions equally capable of corrupting the exact same number of hearts and minds?

Alternatively, does Hillary Clinton surround herself with the same kinds of people with which Donald Trump surrounds himself? Has Hillary Clinton’s accomplishments mirrored, precisely, those of Donald Trump’s? Of course not. Despite what Leftists wish, we are all individuals and thus are all unique.

So, if we believe in the uniqueness inherent within each of us, it becomes clear that even if someone isn’t your preferred choice, you can pick the better of the two. It isn’t about some self-imposed morality. The choices laid before us were a result of millions of shared voices. Just like the world really is not out to get you (being you are 1 of billions), the world is not out to hold you responsible for the presidency. The only way that holds any truth is if you are the only one who votes. To think your one vote is tantamount to 30 pieces of silver is to suffer from extreme delusions of grandeur.

Donald Trump was not even in my top 10. I kept waiting, like so many, for him to wash out with his many missteps and stupid comments. But, people are angry with career politicians and the corruption of big government. People are tired of sending fresh voices to change the direction of our nation only to see the hammer of special interests and powerful insiders crush the good out of people. Americans, by and large, are tired of being lied to, with one empty promise after another spewing mindlessly from the lips of our elected leaders. For years we’ve heard the rising cry for an outsider — someone with no connection to Washington, D.C. And, when that guy comes forth, warts and all, he wins more primary votes of any Republican in the modern era. That same “fly-over” country that we all defend from the elitists in the northeast and the left coast are the same ones who wanted Trump.

You cannot in one breath, talk about the collective wisdom of the common man in middle America, and then in the next, wail about them being misguided and fooled into selecting the wrong candidate. You do not get to move the goal posts because you are disappointed with the way the game is going. And the worst move you can make is to self-righteously proclaim you are so superior to everyone else that you are going to take your ball and go home under the guise of now being morally superior, all while abdicating your personal responsibility to do your civic duty.

The primaries were a chance for everyone to get in the pit, slinging as much mud as we could at each other, battling it out until one survivor remained. That was the time to bite, kick, punch, scream and rally forces to do battle. The smoke has now cleared and though we all have our various collective wounds, the internal fight has to end — for the sake of our nation.

I mentioned above that it is impossible to see both candidates as the same. One is better than the other, if only in the influence they will have on our body politic for years to come. I do not believe there is anyone who thinks Hillary Clinton will submit Constitutional conservatives to the Supreme Court. She will do all she can to infringe further on the 2nd Amendment. She will continue to explode our national debt. She will continue to shrink our armed forces, ignore the problems inherent with illegal immigration and open borders, allow more and more unfettered refugees from Islamic held territories into our country, expose our national secrets, will lie uncontrollably and will be able to be bought by the highest bidder. We all know this. This is not conjecture. This is fact. This is her track record and there is no indication she would act differently as Commander in Chief.

Is it possible that Donald Trump would nominate liberal judges to the Supreme Court? Yes, but seems less certain based on the list of names he said he would consider. Would he work to infringe upon or repeal the 2nd Amendment? He has repeatedly said he wants to protect it and is proud of being endorsed by the NRA. Will he explode the debt? Perhaps. He has mentioned a number of programs and initiatives, but he’s also said he wants to bring business back to America by lowering the corporate tax rate to 15%, making it one of the best rates in the industrialized world instead of one of the worst. As a businessman, he wants to win, so why would this be different as the CEO of the US economy? Trump has declared a need to rebuild and strengthen the armed services because he wants to restore law and order, both domestically and in terms of national defense. We know he wants to close the open southern border and fix illegal immigration. Is he lying? He wants to stop the influx of refugees from known terrorist strongholds. Will he pretend he never said that? Will he expose our national secrets? Will he lie uncontrollably? Will be be able to be bought by the highest bidder? I do not believe it, but only time will tell.

One final thought if you are still part of the #NeverTrump crowd (and was the subject of a prior piece I wrote last month), Congress is the check and balance against the power of the Executive Branch. Many of the initiatives President Obama has been allowed to push through are not because it was allowed by the Constitution, but because the Congress chose to abdicate their own responsibilities in keeping his overreach in check. Given the two possibilities facing us, which candidate would make it easier for Congress to fight future overreach? Would fear of being labeled misogynistic continue to have the same paralytic effect as being labeled racist has had?

I’ve heard many say they must stay true to their conscience, which will not allow them to vote for Donald Trump. At first glance, I understand from where that is coming. I would like to look at this, but from a different angle. I would prefer to ask, is allowing someone with Hillary’s known record, over Donald’s unknown, to ascend to the presidency, an act of good conscience? Based on the facts we all know, I would argue that it is far more objectionable to let Hillary win. Trump might be a horrible alternative, but when compared to what we know, to elect not to pull the lever for him is the real unconscionable act.

Hillary’s email server: willful deceit or gross negligence?

Comey and Hillary

Earlier today, much of our collective breaths were held as FBI Director James Comey took to the microphones to discuss the finality of the investigation into then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. One line stood out prominently in his opening comments: No one knows what I am about to say.

Really?

Let us examine the timeline from Tuesday of last week through to today’s press gathering. In a secret meeting, that was not supposed to be known, but was somehow accidentally discovered, the public found out Bill Clinton and Attorney General Loretta Lynch met on a runway in Phoenix, AZ for an impromptu discussion. The controversial liaison erupted in the media and online about the nature of that meeting, given the FBI investigation was ongoing and their recommendations would eventually land on Lynch’s desk. Why would the Attorney General of the United States put herself in a position of the appearance of impropriety by agreeing to a secret meeting with the husband of the woman who was being criminally investigated?

The initial response was, it was a “chance meeting” where they discussed the Clinton’s grandchildren, golfing and other non-official topics. Isn’t it odd, though, they had their security details stationed outside the plane and not on-board? No one was left within earshot of any of their conversation.

While we were all asking, “What did they really talk about?” the Justice Department was busy filing a brief to protect any and all emails that took place between the senior staff of the Secretary of State’s Office and the Clinton Family Foundation. All of those senior staff were under the direction of Hillary Clinton. Why did those emails need to be isolated and sealed for more than 27 months? (We still have to wait and see if the motion is granted.)

By Friday, three days after the meeting between Lynch and Clinton had been taking up all the oxygen in the room, the Attorney General, through a spokesperson at the DOJ, said she would accept whatever recommendations that were given to her by her senior prosecutors and the FBI, to include FBI Director James Comey. This gave rise to varying predictions from all the talking heads across every cable-news network. Some said Lynch met with Bill Clinton to let him know his wife was going to be indicted, but Lynch was going to insulate him and the Clinton Family Foundation through her action to block the release of those emails. Others saw the opposite, that Hillary was going to be safe, but only as it related to the private email server, and Lynch was trying to protect the family by sealing the emails between the Secretary of State’s Office and Clinton Family Foundation personnel. Regardless of the finding of the FBI investigation into her use of a private email server to conduct government business, the question still remains: why isolate those emails?

On Saturday, the FBI spent 3½ hours interviewing Hillary Clinton, an indication their case was moving toward completion. The meeting was said to have been voluntary on the part of Hillary Clinton, who met with several investigators at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C. The talking heads were back throughout the weekend, concluding the FBI had all the information they needed and the interview was meant to see if she would contradict herself or their findings. Who knew we were less than 48 hours away from the big press release by the FBI Director himself?

Earlier today (Monday morning), the press reported Hillary Clinton would be flying with President Barack Obama on Air Force One to a campaign appearance in Charlotte, NC, where the President would help the presumptive democrat nominee in her bid for the presidency. Once bitter rivals during her former attempt to win the office, and many have suggested there is no love lost between the Clintons’ and the Obama’s, this projection of solidarity has been one of the strongest shown yet by the President toward Hillary Clinton.

Then, just a few hours after the announcement of Hillary Clinton and President Obama flying together to a rally, FBI Director James Comey takes the stage to tell us about the FBI’s investigation into her private email server and it’s outcome. At this point, having read this far, you likely know the FBI has determined that no reasonable prosecutor would bring charges against herAfter spending more than 15 minutes explaining all of the rules and statutes she broke, detailing the missing emails they had to piece back together, the exhaustive search to rebuild whole conversation chains, the many emails that were classifed, some to the highest level possible at the time they were being sent/received (not just up-classified after-the-fact) and the likelihood hostile actors infiltrated her private email server, FBI Director James Comey came to his odd conclusion. “No reasonable prosecutor would bring charges.”

Wait…what?

This can only lead to one of two conclusions:

  1. There is an act of willful deceit taking place within multiple agencies in the Executive Branch; or,
  2. There is an act of willful negligence and incompetence within multiple agencies in the Executive Branch.

There can be no other way to interpret the timeline of these events.

Let’s look at FBI Director James Comey’s statement that no one had any knowledge of the findings of the FBI investigation, nor the words he was about to say. If that’s the case, why did Attorney General risk the optic of being caught with Bill Clinton, less than one week before the FBI’s findings? If she knew there would be no recommendation for charges, it means James Comey is lying. If she didn’t know, it means Loretta Lynch was incompetent in her lack of basic judgment.

Similarly, President Obama publicly revealed he would attend the rally with Hillary Clinton just hours before Comey was set to read his statement. Why would the President put himself in the situation of being joined at the hip with a woman who was going to be indicted? Once again, it appears Comey must have been lying about no one knowing what he was going to say. Otherwise, it means the President was showing a lack of judgment by taking a major risk in being seen on Air Force One with someone about to be charged with felonious activities.

Finally, going back to Comey’s full statement — the overwhelming majority of which castigated Hillary Clinton and the Secretary of State’s Office with an intense tongue-lashing for their incompetence and gross-negligence in the protection of highly classified information and proper regard for national security — how can he let her off the hook by claiming there wasn’t enough evidence of an intent to break the law? He just spent a quarter of an hour detailing all of the evidence. Besides, how many times have we heard the phrase, ignorance of the law is no excuse?

Are we really going to accept that a former First Lady, a former US Senator from the state of NY and a former Secretary of State had no ability to understand the importance of protecting our national secrets? Are we to allow the smartest woman in the room to use the “whoopsie” defense? Is FBI Director James Comey letting Hillary Clinton off simply because she looked at him and said, “My bad”? What does this say about the confidence in the FBI’s ability to do their job?

Either Hillary Clinton is one of the most incompetent, ignorant, grossly negligent and disqualified person to ever be considered for any state office, let alone the Presidency of the United States, or she has been willfully deceitful, flouting the law and demonstrating her unworthiness to be President. Regardless of political affiliation, painting Hillary Clinton in either light leads to the same conclusion — she is unfit to be the Commander in Chief.

She is either grossly negligent or she is willfully deceitful. Or maybe she is just too big to jail.

 

Maybe Congress will do its job if…

TrumpvHillaryI almost always try to choose my words carefully in any situation. Maybe it’s my background as a writer (both fiction and commentary). Maybe it comes from my many years behind the radio microphone. Perhaps it comes from being a husband to my wonderful wife and father to our four beautiful girls. Or maybe it’s a combination of all of the above, sprinkled with a healthy dose of rationality and reason.

I am not a #Trumpkin. But, I’ve never been #NeverTrump. Throughout the primary season, I was not a fan of Donald Trump. But, I didn’t feel the need to make ultimatums about him, either.

My hope is for everyone to read this article to the end before making up their minds about my reasoning, and I worry the only way to accomplish this is to put all of the aforementioned caveats in place. I’m not trying to alienate either side — at least, not yet.

The art of having a conversation is dying faster than teaching cursive in elementary school. It is becoming lost in the noise of all the hashtag-Never X (#NeverX), where X is someone’s rage du jour. A conversation does not mean you have to agree with the other party. It does not mean they have to change their minds after listening to you. It means each party is granted equal opportunity by the other party to present their thoughts and ideas. It’s an exchange. Each party takes time to listen and digest the words of the other before responding. Maybe common ground can be found. Maybe we agree to disagree. Maybe we learn some new perspective and it helps reform or reshape our own views. Maybe we do the same for someone else.

This has always been the underlying goal of every piece we publish here at Freedom Cocktail. A logical, reasoned conversation in order to educate and learn at the same time. When we shout others down and invent some new-found right in the Constitution of not being exposed to any contrary thoughts or ideas, there is no conversation. And, without the conversation, there is no growth. None.

Onto my topic.

Over the last 7+ years, the Congress of the United States of America has not functioned as the Founding Fathers intended. Not even close. Our Constitution created a unique form of government based on the principle of three, co-equal branches of government. Not one strong branch, one middle-ground branch and one weak branch. The checks and balances inherent were put in place to make sure all three branches remained separate but equal.

This has not been the case since President Barack Obama took office. The Executive Branch has given us countless examples of presidential overreach — from the gun-running scheme of Eric Holder’s DOJ with Fast and Furious, to the President picking and choosing which laws (or parts of laws) should be followed or ignored, to the IRS targeting conservative organizations and colluding with the DOJ, to the back-door methods of legislating through regulation via the EPA, the FCC, the State Department and more.

Congress, specifically the opposition party, though labeled obstructionist, has been unable or unwilling to stop the Obama agenda since he took office. Without a single Republican vote, Obamacare went sailing through the Congress on the eve of the Christmas holiday. The government (specifically the Executive Branch) now effectively controls 1/6th of the US economy.

In their quest to control or curtail the 2nd Amendment, through multiple executive orders, our President has unilaterally expanded background checks, closed supposed “loopholes” and tightened the process for law-abiding gun owners because, “Congress won’t act!” He has openly admitted he will take pen in hand because the legislative branch of government will not do what he wants.

President Obama is quite shrewd. He always sets the table with a negative before imposing his will, playing the part of the reluctant hero. He will paint the other side with words like, “they have failed to act,” or, “refuse to take action,” or, “continue to ignore the will of the people.” It is then followed by a pronouncement that he will somehow have to find a way to impose his will and make legislation happen without Congress. Hillary Clinton has often applauded this maneuver, stating, “Congress won’t act; we have to do something.” And now she is the presumptive Democrat nominee to become the next Commander in Chief. Why would she not want to have the same authority?

This premise that Congress exists solely to pass the laws demanded by the President flies in the face of how our country was designed to function. Congress is a separate but equal branch of government. Not a lesser branch or a powerless branch. Equal.

Obama asks Jefferson about Constitution flawThe fact the Legislative branch can stop the agenda of a sitting president is not a flaw in the design — it is intentional. Our Founding Fathers never wanted (nor should we) a king! No matter how much you may want the agenda of one president implemented by executive decree, are you equally willing to accept the same authoritarian form of governance when the opposition is in office?

The logical question to ask is why have legislators allowed themselves to be relegated to mere marionettes, attached by strings to the will of the President and the Executive Office? It’s fear. Fear of being labeled racists. Fear of being derided for opposing his agenda because of a false narrative over skin color. Fear of being mocked and scoffed by the mainstream media for being bigots and obstructionists solely due to the race of the President. As a result, the Republicans in Congress have refused to wield their Constitutional authority to be the check and balance against the will of the President. They have not exercised the powers granted to them to ensure a balanced and stable government, regardless of whom is in office. They have abdicated their role for fear of being painted as racist, bigoted, backward neanderthals, and have set a dangerous precedent, which must be reversed if we are to remain a Constitutional Republic.

Now imagine what this same Congress will do if Hillary Clinton is elected president? All of the same fears will remain because an all too-willing propaganda wing of the Democrat Party, the mainstream media, will just replace the word “racist” with “misogynist” and the word “race” with “sex”. Imagine four (or eight!) more years of a castrated legislative branch. We are already on the cusp of monarchical governance after almost 8 years of the current regime. How much longer can we go before the role of president becomes, for all intents and purposes, an actual monarch?

We need the Legislative branch to start working as designed. We need legislators who revere and follow the Constitution. I know there is a sub-set of the body politic who believe being a “true conservative” means never compromising your principles. There are some who will vote for some third or fourth party candidate so they can feel good about #NeverCaving. If only it were such a black and white case to make.

Can a wall be built if Congress refuses to fund it?

Can executive orders installing backdoor legislative programs be implemented if Congress withholds the tax dollars necessary to make them happen?

Can Supreme Court justices be whisked through and appointed with wanton disregard for their backgrounds if Congress chooses to live by the advice and consent clause?

It should never matter the race, sex, religion, age, sexual identity or preference of anyone in office. Congress should have been doing its job all along, but they have allowed themselves to become irrelevant. It is going to take some time before the Legislature feels comfortable wielding their Constitutional authority again.

If you really want to help this Republic get back to it’s Constitutional roots, we need to get the Legislative branch to stop living in fear. Like it or not, putting Donald Trump in office, a white male, an unprotected class, may be just the shot of chemotherapy this Congress needs to shed the cancer of fear and inaction. It is not going to be pretty. It is going to make us sick. But, it is the only logical choice if you do revere our Constitutional Republic.

 

Another #SOTUdrinkinggame2016

SOTU2016

The State of the Union is tomorrow. This will be President Obama’s last of his presidency. Because we are heading into a massive election year, both nationally and locally, it’s likely the President won’t spend a lot of time (at least, not to us) on new policies or initiatives. He’s already enacted volumes of executive orders and has legislated via government regulations rather than through the Legislature. He will spend a lot of time talking about the policies he likes, the ones he’s pushing and those of his party. He’s not going to endorse a candidate, but he will endorse the current socialist road we’ve been traveling down for the last seven years.

If you think my use of “socialist” is harsh, I only point out that the Chair of the DNC, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, refuses to be able to come up with the difference between being a democrat and being a socialist. Nor could Hillary Clinton, for that matter. Bernie Sanders is a self-avowed socialist, running for President under the DNC. If they see no distinction, why should I?

Moving on, tomorrow night will likely be filled with repeated calls to continue along the same road. There will be stern, paternal warnings that Republicans want to take the country back to before the Civil Rights era and the time of Jim Crow. We will sit through a cacophony of over-the-top applause from the useful idiots, while others will make a show of arm-folded scowls and exaggerated head shakes. We will get to see how Paul Ryan conducts himself beside the clown-faced grins of Joe Biden, both sitting directly behind President Obama. I’ve said this before, but if someone were to edit the #SOTU with calliope music to play in the background, the well of the House would actually look like some Kabuki merry-go-round — everyone taking turns jumping up and down, but (much like the country) going nowhere except in obstinate circles as the nation swirls the drain.

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union speech on Capitol Hill in WashingtonAfter the #SOTU, we will then get to sit through hour after hour of political analysis. We’ll have the propagandist wing of the Democrat party (the mainstream media) telling us how brilliant and amazing he is. Turn a channel or two either way and you’ll have the opposite view.

Which brings me around to the only way I’ve been able to manage my way through the last seven of these speeches to our nation — the #SOTUdrinkinggame! Maybe this year it will be #SOTUdrinkinggame2016, who knows? What is the State of the Union drinking game, you ask? It’s really quite simple. Take a moment today or tomorrow and think about all of the words/phrases you might expect the Commander in Chief to use during his State of the Union and put them down on paper. As an option, you can choose to add a second column, detailing just how much you drink each time that word or phrase is uttered. Maybe it’s a shot! Maybe just a sip. You decide.

Here’s a partial list I’ve been working on for tomorrow night:

Words/phrases that result in taking a sip (liquor or wine) or a swallow (beer):

  • Common sense gun control
  • Plug the gun-show loophole
  • Most gun owners agree in common sense background checks
  • Easier to buy a gun than a book
  • Felons should not be able to buy an assault rifle online
  • Mocking those who think there’s a government gun grab in the works
  • Mocking the candidates running for GOP, specifically Donald Trump
  • Any use of fair, fair share or leveling the playing field
  • Gone from the worst economy under George Bush to one of the fastest growing
  • Time for the rich to stop getting wealthy off the backs of the middle class
  • Need to implement a living wage / increase the minimum wage across the country
  • Any cherry-picked stats about the growth of economy
  • Climate change and the Paris meeting held late in 2015
  • This was the hottest year on record
  • ISIL (pronounced – Eye-sill)
  • Islam is a peaceful religion
  • Affordable Care Act is working, reducing costs and providing coverage to millions who didn’t have it before
  • America will continue to welcome refugees from all nations
  • America was built by immigrants
  • Free college
  • Any mention of someone who wrote him a letter or sent him an email
  • For each guest invited by the administration who is called out in the gallery

Items that require a shot (or several large swallows of wine or beer):

  • For every 10 uses of the word, “I”
  • For every 10 uses of the word, “Me”
  • For every 10 uses of the word, “My”
  • For every 10 uses of the workd, “Mine”

There was a time when the State of the Union had it’s purpose, but that has long since been ignored. Under our current ruler, it might as well be named the State of Fundamentally Transforming America (SOFTA — which is what we’ve truly become), since this president has repeatedly shown he has no problem enforcing parts of laws he likes, changing parts he does not and ignoring others he finds unnecessary.

Just remember, this president has made a legacy for himself of stating facts as he sees them, quoting data he believes to be correct and making up everything else in between. He’s Harold with his purple crayon, creating his own reality while being devoid of any sense of the word. It must be a nice affliction to have — to invent history and facts as you need them to be, to align with your worldview. It may be a way to live in Lenin’s push for blissful ignorance, but it’s not how I would expect the leader of the free world to behave.

And for that reason, I’ll be playing the #SOTUdrinkinggame2016 with much gusto. It’s about the only way I’ll be able to make it to the end. BTW…if you are interested, I’ll be real-time tweeting throughout, so follow me on Twitter (@alanjsanders) and see how bad my typing gets by the end! I’ll just blame it on Siri.

Cheers!

SOTUdrinkinggame

Sissy Journalism Fails to Cut at the Roots

Benghazi. Benghazi. Benghazi. For a week now, the angle to come at this has plagued me. What are we dealing with? What’s the story? A terrorist attack spawned by an anti-Muslim movie? An unchecked riot? A lie from the Obama Administration about what exactly happened? What’s the biggest thing worth covering here? Who cares, right Hillary?

In discussing this issue with my partner here at Freedom Cocktail, Alan J. Sanders, he encouraged me to ask why the Fourth Estate, the press, isn’t going after the Benghazi issue. Why is the Fourth Estate not upholding its check on government tyranny, largess and cover-ups? Why has the Fourth Estate failed in its duty to cover the Obama Administration’s lies about Benghazi? While I agree more hunting on this matter would be a positive thing, I think there’s a bigger, more neglected story here.

Then, this morning, on The Libertarian News and Commentary Facebook page, they displayed a picture of a car with this bumper sticker: Critical Thinking: The Other National Debt. Sometimes, the angle writes itself.

The most frustrating, yet enjoyable part about writing is the quest. Most writing isn’t done at the computer. Most writing isn’t done hunched over a leather bound journal. Most writing isn’t done on a yellow legal pad. Most of my writing is done while I’m driving, lying on the couch, staring out my window, watching my kids play in the front yard or wandering through a museum. These are the times when a writer plays hide-and-seek with the topic at hand. And once found, then, and only then, does he pick up the pen.

The story surrounding Benghazi is big. It is not just about Benghazi, this story spans back to American beginnings with war with the Barbary States. This story runs through America’s history culminating at its worst on 9/11. And it has most recently shown itself in Boston where two Muslims, taking the Qur’an at its word, caused chaos during the marathon.

This story is so big…and the Fourth Estate seems to care only whether or not Benghazi was the result of a terrorist attack or an uncontrolled riot and how far the Obama Administration went to cover up negligence.

Hillary Clinton may have been somewhat right regarding the Benghazi incident; in that, what difference does it make if it was “…because of a protest or…because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans?” In either case, what Benghazi was was a continuation of Muslims, holding to Muslim belief per se, going after the infidels. Yet the Fourth Estate remains silent about it. Instead they want to know if the Obama Administration covered up a terrorist attack by using a cover story about stirred up Muslims over a YouTube video. It kinda-sorta doesn’t matter. In either case, we’re dealing with stirred up Muslims who really believe.

Since its beginnings, the United States has had to bump and grind with Muslim, not extremism, but Muslim belief per se, as defined in the Qur’an. The Qur’an makes no mistake that unbelievers are condemned to be tortured, killed and maimed in the name of Allah. There are over one-hundred passages in the Qur’an calling it the duty of a good Muslim to wage war against the unbeliever, that the duty of a good Muslim is to “Slay them wherever you find them” Qur’an (2:191-193).

The banter over Benghazi, the fact that Muslim belief per se is the problem, is not being addressed by the Fourth Estate. I am quite sure the problem is that the press is scared to step on the toes of a religious belief and seem insensitive, while those very toes deserve to be crushed. The press is bogged down with whether or not the Obama Administration lied about what took place. And, while this is a worthy path to travel, the bigger, and neglected, story is that we still have a lot of medieval thinking fuckers out there with no regard for human life unchained by their Holy Book’s rules.

We are lucky that most Muslims don’t take every word of the Qur’an as action items. We are also very lucky that Jews and Christians have cherry picked the pleasant parts from the Old and New Testaments and conveniently forgotten (or ignored) the passages calling for forms of torture and butchery on par with the horrors in the Qur’an. Wouldn’t it be quite awful if modern Jews and Christians still stoned to death unruly children? (Deuteronomy 21:18-21). Or if they demanded a God-Given right to own slaves? We are lucky indeed, that the modern world of scientific findings and a maturing social collective has weeded out, for the most part, the practice of such ancient thinking and customs. We are lucky most people, even though they continue to call themselves Jews, Christians or Muslims, have chosen to remain friendly and civil to each other, to practice their customized versions of old religions and not infringe on their neighbor’s rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We are lucky that most people, regardless of religious belief or lack thereof, do practice critical thinking, reason and logic on a regular basis.

* Critical Thinking.

* Logic

* Reason

These attributes, if practiced regularly and routinely, can save us from future Benghazis, Boston Bombings and future Manhattans. If only the people responsible for those atrocities had thought it out critically, they might have seen how misinformed they were. These, attributes, if ingrained in youth, can save kids from gun violence through either neglect, misuse or out-right abuse. It can also save kids from taking candy from strangers or losing their lunch money to the latest playground scam. It can save adults from get rich-quick schemes, being taken by a “psychic”, falling for a charismatic leader with poor intentions or anything else in the Land of Woo. These attributes and these alone, should become habits, practiced in every aspect of life, and these alone will save you from being taken in by liars, deceivers and con-men. Even if they turn out to be members of the Obama Administration who spun Benghazi to put themselves in a better light.

The Fourth Estate should be showing the face of an authoritarian group of Muslims trying to bring back the Ottoman Empire. It should be exposing this for what it is: One group of people wanting to tell the rest of us how to live and committing violent acts when we don’t do so. Instead, we’re caught up in more trivial matters. Until we pull up our big-boy pants and address the real cause of Benghazi, Manhattan and Boston, we’re going to get hit again. It is here, I wish more journalists travelled. It is in these waters, the more serious truth seekers should be wading. It is in times like these, I truly miss journalists like Christopher Hitchens. We need more Hitchens.

christopherhitchens460

The State of the Union

So I took a sabbatical from politics to concentrate on putting the final edit on my novel. I also joined a writer’s group to spar short stories back and forth and see how creative we could get. And look what happened while I was away? Barack Obama is back in the White House. What the hell happened? Didn’t we, here, at Freedom Cocktail give you enough data to see that big government is a very poor way of governing? Perhaps we didn’t.

A funny thing happened after my last posting about September 11th. On that day in 2012, we had the United States Embassy in Libya put under siege. That snowballed into other U.S. embassies around the Middle East being attacked by disgruntled civilians. Or were they? Hillary Clinton didn’t seem to care to explore the motive when she said, “Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make?” (Which, if we did explore the reason, might expose the American public to the fact that the U.S. has used and nurtured Muslim extremism even after 9/11).

Then, in November, Barack Obama was re-elected. When the Republican Party settled on Mitt Romeny as their candidate, I was certain Obama was going to win this. The Republican Party overlooking Ron Paul, again, and also thumbing it’s nose at Gary Johnson, made it clear they are not the party of small government they advertise themselves out to be. With their pick of Romney, I was sure Obama could stay home, not participate in any debates and not run any ads and still win. But Romney gave him a run for his money and by early October, I thought it really could go either way. Yet, in the end, Obama took the office. But he didn’t win it by a landslide. In fact, you have to go back to the 1984 election to find a major difference. (Reagan: 54,455,472; Mondale: 37,577,352). After that, it’s as if voters were flipping a coin. Take a look at the vote totals from 1988 on and you’ll see the results are so close, it’s as if voters see no difference at all between the candidates. But that’s because, to me, their really isn’t unless you entertain third party options.

So a few weeks before the November election, I was in my living room looking over my absentee ballot. And damn it, no Gary Johnson for President option! The Libertarian Party got screwed again and weren’t allowed on the Michigan ballot. I’ve voted LP since 1996 and haven’t looked back. What was I to do? Well I held my nose and had an affair on the Libertarian Party and marked in the oval for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. But it wasn’t enough. Obama won anyhow. 2012 was the most expensive election in the history of elections (by some estimates, costing six billion) only to end up where we already were. If anything, this should tell you how government works. The next time you hear someone declare that we could have better schools or less violence or whatever if only the government spent more money, well…I digress.

Speaking of schools, on December 14, 2012, the Big One hit. And everyone went ape shit. Shortly after 9:30 AM that morning, Adam Peter Lanza, douche-bag extraordinaire, took his mother’s Bushmaster rifle and gunned down twenty first-graders and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary. This one choked me up. My son is a first-grader. And my wife is a pre-school teacher. So this was really close to home. But reason and logic always prevails after the tears. I don’t think teachers should be required to carry firearms but should have the option. A better solution would be to have armed security. Paper and coin are protected better than our children. In fact, how pitiful we actually advertise the vulnerability of our schools by posting signs that read “Gun Free Zone”. Might as well also read, “Psychos and Maniacs Welcome”.

The Libertarian Party released the best Tweet shortly after which read, “To the celebrities and politicians who are demanding stricter gun laws: how about first disarming your own bodyguards, as a show of faith?” Tru dat. The most secure individuals are always the first to argue that the common man has no need for an assault rifle. I’ve often wondered what a Holocaust survivor would say if they got some media time. Or these guys:

Gun-control-japanese

No need to reinvent the wheel or divulge into a pro-gun argument. I already did that. But I will make a quick addition to it. It’s been said that the Founding Fathers couldn’t envision the power of today’s firearms. I disagree. They were well aware that rocks gave way to swords which gave way to muskets and cannons. That was a larger leap than the musket to the Bushmaster. Yet despite their knowledge of the evolution of weaponry, the 2nd Amendment was created. Why? Again, not for hunters. Bearing arms has to do with securing your personal self defense and repelling invaders, domestic or foreign and; most importantly, repelling a tyrannical government should it arise.

Now we come to the State of the Union Address. Every time I hear a president deliver it, they start off by saying that the State of the Union is strong. And I always disagree.

My vision for America remains stuck in about the year 1800. Without government interference in every little detail of life (as it is now) look what happened. All the great revolutions and inventions from 1800 to 1900 were huge leaps in raising the standard of living for everyone, rich to poor. Yes, yes, I am aware slavery was still legal until the Civil War clarified things. It’s forever a black eye on my country. But note that in keeping with the spirit of the Constitution, it did end. I sometimes wonder if the Civil War had to be fought at all. The Industrial Revolution, which culminated in the 1840s, gave rise to energy and machinery that would have gone on to replace slave labor without need for a war.

In this year’s State of the Union Address, we were treated to more of the same. More government solutions to solve what prior government solutions couldn’t fix. These government programs are like a game of Opposite-Jenga. Keep adding and adding, piling and patching, until you can’t recognize the thing you started out with.

As an example, in the 2013 State of the Union Address, Obama said, “Already the Affordable Health Care Act is helping to slow the growth of health care costs. The reforms I’m proposing go even further.” (emphasis added). So the AHCA wasn’t right the first time? Where does it end?

President Obama also proposed making high quality pre-school available to every child in America and raising the Minimum Wage and working to strengthen families, securing the Internet, etc. Apparently, there’s nothing the federal government shouldn’t be a part of. Obama said, “…the United States will join with our allies to eradicate such extreme poverty in the next two decades, by connecting more people to the global economy, by empowering women, by giving our young and brightest minds new opportunities to serve and helping communities to feed and power and educate themselves, by saving the world’s children from preventable deaths, and by realizing the promise of an AIDS-free generation, which is within our reach.” That, is pretty much everything. Yet in the beginning of the Address, he acknowledged, “The American people don’t expect government to solve every problem. They don’t expect those of us in this chamber to agree on every issue.” So which is it?

Let me be clear. I want all of this too. All classic liberals like myself do. We just see government getting in the way of achieving all this. Left to the free market, all of this would happen. But it’s clear from the Address that we’re going to continue down the path of government trip-ups and missteps.

President Obama also continues the Fencing-for-Dollars between the States. He proposed rewarding schools that develop partnerships with colleges and employers and “The States with the best ideas to create jobs and lower energy bills by constructing more efficient buildings receive federal support to help make it happen.” It makes no sense at all to be collecting money from the States only to have the States send their congressmen and women to Washington to try to get it back.

The most revealing part of the State of the Union Address was when Obama, in one sentence, pretty much told us that the Federal Government screws us. He said, “The American people have worked too hard, for too long, rebuilding from one crisis to see their elected officials cause another.” Yep, that’s exactly what keeps happening. I’m reminded of Michael Cloud’s Road Runner (free market) / Coyote (big government) analogy.

Again, we here at Freedom Cocktail want all the good things in life too. We are just certain that government solutions are no solutions at all. And with the re-election of Barack Obama and all the government interventions laid out in the State of the Union Address, it’s clear we here at Freedom Cocktail have a lot of work to do. We have a lot of convincing to do. Time to get started.

And now for a game of Pictures That Make Democrats Whine. My kids are ready if we’re ever invaded. See?

willowrun379

Pic courtesy of the British 9th Parachute Battalion.