Wednesday, July 29, 2020

The "Wisdom" of Chicago Mayor Lightfoot

Lori Lightfoot’s election on May 20, 2019 as Mayor of Chicago with 73% of the vote was a breath of fresh air in the troubled city. She ran against corruption, a chronic problem in Chicago and Illinois. She started office with a reform agenda. It was her first run for public office. She had held appointed positions, including President of the Chicago Police Board and Chair of the Police Accountability Task Force. She knew where the problems laid with the Chicago Police Department, a department with a poor image in the minority communities. Mayor Lightfoot has been a major, indecisive disappointment. She’s faced many problems, not of her making. First are the systemic budget problems, especially the near-bankrupt pension system. The hole just gets deeper and deeper. Her approach to the fiscal problems is the usual false panacea of tax increases. Second came the Coronavirus, knocking the economy for a loop. She shut down salons and hair stylists under her stay at home order to fight the virus. Mayor Lightfoot the very next day made a visit to her hair stylist. She justified the double standard by saying “I’m the public face of this city. I’m on national media and I’m out in the public eye.” A poor example for the people for Chicago. Then came the George Floyd killing in Minneapolis and the ensuing riots. The large Columbus statue in Grant Park was vandalized on June 13. Then came the young, woke mob on July 17. They tried to pull the statue down, chanting “Columbus was a murderer! Columbus was a thief!” Chicago police saved the statue with 18 officers injured. As Chicago blew up, White House Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany called Mayor Lightfoot “the derelict mayor of Chicago, recommending the mayor seek federal help in securing the city. The Mayor responded in kind “Hey, Karen, watch your mouth.” “Karen” is hate speech, the new epithet for white women. President Trump offered to help Chicago with its crime problems. She threatened to sue President Trump if he sends federal troops into Chicago, adding “I don’t need leadership lessons from Trump.” How’s that leadership thing working out for Chicago Mayor Lightfoot? She further stated “We’re not going to have tyranny in the City of Chicago.” Blood in the streets is OK. Her statements were echoed by Governor Pritzker: Bringing in feds is “a wrongheaded move on the part of Donald Trump.” Senator Duckworth espoused “The Trump Administration is using this as another opportunity to trample on the First Amendment rights of Americans.” Memo to the Governor and Senator: First Amendment Rights do not include riots, looting, arson and attacking federal facilities. Mayor Lightfoot said in May “What I really want to say to Donald Trump ‘begins with F and it end with you’” Federal officers are in Chicago helping the city address its exploding crime problem. The Mayor Monday co-signed a letter with the mayors of Portland, Seattle, Washington, D.C., Albuquerque, and Kansas City asking Congress to enact a statute preventing the President from sending federal law enforcement officers to cities without the consent of the cities. The mayors, especially of Portland and Settle, remain clueless. She’s worried about a census undercount in Chicago. Her response was to don a lime green cowboy hat, harken back to Batman in Gotham, and dispatched “Census Cowboy” on a horse through Chicago to encourage participation in the census: “Giddy up Chicago. I’m calling on the Census Cowboy to help improve our Census response rates across Chicago. Make the census Cowboy proud by filling out the Census today ….” She added “Let’s do this Chicago. Let’s make the census Cowboy proud.” Send in the Census Cowboy while random shootings are climbing. John Catanzara, Fraternal Order of Police President in Chicago, sent an open letter to President Trump asking for help in Chicago. He called Mayor Lightfoot a “complete failure.” She called him a cartoon character” and a “clown” “seeking relevance.” She called the letter a “craven political move.” Save the Census. Let the shootings go on. Chicago counted 1,901 shooting victims from January 1, 2020 to July11, up 550 from 2019. 17 were fatally shot during the Fourth of July weekend, including a 7-year old girl and a 14-year old boy. 70 were wounded. Three children were killed the preceding week. Memorial Day Weekend witnessed 18 deaths and 45 wounded in one day. The homicide numbers were up to 353 for this period, up 99 from 2019. 32 homicide victims under 18 this year, up from20 last year. 63 were shot with 12 fatalities from July 18-20. An additional 23 were shot, with 4 fatalities on Tuesday, June 21. 15 were shot outside a funeral home in a drive-by shooting. Reasons for the rise in shootings include the rise in gangs and the drug trade. Her solution to the deadly crime wave: She removed two Columbus statues in the dead of Friday night, Saturday morning July 24.

Friday, July 24, 2020

What's With 57+ Days of Portland Riots? Mayor Ted Wheeler is a Fellow Traveler

Portland, Oregon, the Rose City, Stumptown, has a recent history of riots. Much of urban America demonstrated and marched in protest of President Trump’s election in 2016. Portland rioted. Peaceful demonstrations against the George Floyd murder were first in the nation. Riots, looting and arson soon sprang out of the peaceful protests. The protests on May 28 turned into riots, looting, and torching. 57 days and counting. Portland Police officers took a knee with protestors on May 31. Solidarity did not last - Tear gas by the afternoon. Thomas Jefferson was pulled down on June 14 in front of Jefferson high school. George Washington was toppled on June 18. An autonomous social media group called the Pacific Northwest Youth Liberation Front claims credit for serving as information hubs for the protests. It described itself as a “decentralized network of autonomous youth collectives dedicated to direct action toward total liberation.” At one time during the daily protests, they unsuccessfully tried to emulate their compatriots in Seattle by creating their own autonomous zone, The Chinook Land Autonomous Territory (CLAT). On the other hand, Representative Earl Blumenauer, whose Congressional District includes part of Portland, said the Portland protests weren’t as bad as they appear: “To be sure, there are some people who have strong feelings and there are some who have done things that are inappropriate and unlawful.” He said “the challenge of our local officials and our state officials to manage it. Not having someone unwelcome, uninvited and unprepared coming in to take this difficult situation and make it worse.” Molotov cocktails and laser blinding flashes into the eyes of law enforcement officers is apparently nothing serious with the Representative. Nor apparently are protestors with hard-knuckled gloves, firearms, batons, and knives. Just a few spoiled wokes blowing off steam! Scores of officers have been doxed. One assumes that even if it autonomous, someone controls the web site. One further assumes the federal government is monitoring the site and putting together a criminal case against several posters. Membership in the Communist Party was illegal for several years during the Cold War. Those not formally members, but aligned with the Communist Party, were called “Fellow Travelers.” Mayor Wheeler is not apparently a member of Antifa or BLM, but he is clearly a fellow traveler, very simpatico with them with hatred towards law enforcement and the federal government. His power is enhanced because he also serves as the Police Commissioner. The “demonstrators” are his people. He is one with them. Portland protestors rallied against ICE in June 2018 seeking to abolish ICE and end the Trump Administration zero tolerance immigration policy. They blocked the entrances to the ICE field office. They erected tents around the building. ICE agents during the July 2018 protests called 911 several times while being harassed, threatened and followed home. Their calls were ignored because Mayor Wheeler ordered the Portland Police to not assist the federal agents or agencies. The feds are on their own. The federal government thereupon sent extra forces to Portland to protect federal assets, such as the Mark Hatfield Federal Building and Courthouse. A 2018 video showed Aitifa protestors blocking traffic and harassing motorists. The police stayed aside even as the protestors smashed the window of a 74 year old driver. The car sustained thousands of dollars in damages. Mayor Wheeler said “motorists should feel completely safe coming into downtown Portland.” Andy Ngo, a conservative social media activist, was severely beaten by Antifa thugs on June 29, 2020. Motorcycle officers a block away watched and did not intervene. The Portland Police Association President issued a statement the next day, saying the Mayor must “remove the handcuffs from our officers and let them stop the violence through strong and swift enforcement action.” The Mayor claims to have been in Ecuador at the time on a wildlife tour. A courthouse is a symbol of justice and the rule of law. The rioters are constantly attacking the federal Mark Hatfield Federal Courthouse with Molotov cocktails. They are throwing objects at the federal officers and shining lasers into the officers’ eyes. Three officers may be permanently blinded by the lasers. A federal officer was struck with a hammer on June 11 outside the federal courthouse. DHS released a timeline showing the rioters assaulting law enforcement officers with hammers, lasers, slingshots, and fireworks. Other had sledgehammers, tasers and “flaming debris.” These rioters are not peaceful protestors. Mayor Wheeler on the federal officers: ”They’re not welcome here. We haven’t asked them here. In fact we want them to leave.” “They are sharply escalating the situation. Their presence here is actually leading to more violence and more vandalism.” He said “Keep your troops in your own buildings, or have them leave our city.” He asked they remove the graffiti on the way out. He further accused President Trump: “This is part of the core media strategy out of Trump’s White House: to use federal troops to bolster his sagging poll data.” It’s even worse. Mayors like Ted Wheeler, Lori Lightfoot, Jenny Durkan, and Keisha Lance Bottoms, refuse to believe that it’s their people rioting, looting, and torching. They further do not want to admit they failed. They are failures. Appeasement did not stop Hitler. Nor does it stop Antifa and their thugs. Mayor Wheeler appeared Wednesday night at a “listening session.” He stood in front of a fence outside the federal court house. He went to say he was with them; the feds must go. He was doing everything possible “to get federal officers out of Portland.” “I am here tonight to stand with you.” He thanked the protestors for opposing the federal “occupation” of Portland. He shouted “Black Lives Matter.” He added “so if they’re launching tear gas against you, they’re launching tear gas against me.” They did. None of that mattered to the Portland mob. He wouldn’t promise to abolish the police. He was greeted with obscenities: “Fuck Ted Wheeler,” “He doesn’t get to speak; he’s a fucking fascist. Fuck Ted Wheeler.” Another called the mayor a “fucking asshole.” Chants went up “tear gas Ted has got to go.” One ominously warned “Your house next.” They demanded his resignation. Objects were thrown at the Mayor. His security team escorted him out, but not before being tear gassed by the feds. The “protestors” followed him and tried to assault him.” His response: the tear gas was unjustified and called it an “egregious overreaction,” and “urban warfare.” He had shouted “Black Lives Matter,” but the rioters and protestors are overwhelmingly young whites. Mayor Wheeler may not have noticed the protestor demands projected on the Portland Justice Center behind him: 1) Defund @PortlandPolice by at least 50% 2) Free all protestors from jail 3) Get feds out of #Portland 4) Resignation of @tedwheeler. Mayor Wheeler and his ilk are the pale imitations of the ineffectual Alexander Kerensky between the fall of the Tsar and the Bolshevik Revolution. Portland’s City Council passed an ordinance Wednesday that banned the Portland police from working with federal law enforcement officers. The Council on June 17 voted to cut $15 million from the Police Department budget. The only negative vote was from a council members who thought the cuts were not deep enough. Jo Ann A Hardesty is a Portland Commissioner. She accused the Portland police on July 15 of being “saboteurs” who sat the fires after infiltrating crowds of protestors. She said: “I want people to know that I do not believe that there are any protestors in Portland that are setting fires, that are creating crisis. I absolutely believe it’s police action, and that they’re sending in saboteurs and provocateurs into peaceful crowds so they can justify their inhumane treatment of people who are standing up to their rights.” That was an absolutely false statement. Yet it reflects the mindset of several in the Portland area. Commissioner Hardesty and Governor Brown accused the police of being “too aggressive.” The Commission also volunteered to take over the police from the mayor. The latest is Portland issuing a cease and desist order to the federal government to remove the fencing protecting the courthouse. The city claims the fencing is blocking a bike lane. They claim the barriers and unpermitted and represent a hazard to the traveling public. The bike lane “is the premier bike facility into downtown Portland.” These civic officials are living in LaLa land, and I don’t mean Los Angeles. Portland will get no relief on November 3. Mayor Wheeler is in a runoff with Sarah Iannarone for mayor. She Is a community activist and democratic socialist, far to the left of Mayor Wheeler.

Monday, July 20, 2020

C. T. Vivian (1924-2020); John Lewis (1940-2020): R.I.P.

Cordy Tindell Vivian was born in Boonville, Missouri on July 30, 1924. His family moved to Illinois. He encountered segregation in Peoria, Illinois. He started a successful sit-in to desegregate lunch counters years before the Montgomery Bus Boycott He quickly joined MLK’s inner circle of advisors. He served as National Advisor of affiliates for Dr. King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). He was interim director of SCLC in 2012. He was an organizer of the Freedom Rides. John Lewis, Diane Nash and he led the successful effort to desegregate Nashville. The enlightened Mayor agreed with them that segregation was immoral. Both John Lewis and he had their confrontations with Selma’s (Dallas County) vicious Sheriff Jim Clark. The Reverend led 100 marchers to the courthouse steps in a voter registration drive. He asked Sheriff Clark to let the marchers enter the Selma courthouse to escape a light rain. He said to Sheriff Clark: “You can turn your back now and you can keep your club in hour hand, but you cannot beat down justice. And we will register to vote because as citizens of these United States we have the right to do it.” The Sheriff’s response, captured live on national TV, was a roundhouse blow to Reverend Vivian’s face. John Lewis and C.T. Vivian, as well as the other Civil Rights leaders, knew their lives were at risk daily. They were prepared to die for the cause. Reverend Vivian said: “Going to Mississippi in 1961 was a whole different world. You knew you could be killed there.” Reverend Vivian led scores of sit-ins, marches, and demonstrations. He was incarcerated in 1960 in the Hinds County (Jackson, Mississippi) Penal Farm, wherein several guards viciously beat him. He almost drowned in St. Augustine, Florida at the hands of a racist mob in 1964. He created a predecessor to Upward Bound, providing scholarships to hundreds of students. He founded institutes and centers to advance civil rights and fight the KKK. He led a campaign to save Morris Brown College, a historic black college, in Atlanta Reverend Vivian was a strong advocate of non-violence. Too bad today’s violent mobs don’t heed his words: “Nonviolence is the only honorable way of dealing with social change, because if we are wrong, nobody gets hurt but us. And if we are right, more people will participate in determining their own destinies than ever before.” He also said in a 2012 interview: “Nonviolent, direct action makes us successful. We learned to solve social problems without violence. We cannot allow the nation or the world to ever forget that.” Both Reverend Vivian and Representative Lewis spent their lives advancing civil rights and equal opportunity. They go back together over 60 years to Nashville. They worked together; they worked concurrently; they worked separately, but always with a common goal of promoting equal rights. Representative Lewis was more of the public face than the Reverend, who acted more in the private arena, but who scores of times led sit-ins, boycotts, marches and demonstrations. Both were arrested s cores of times. John Lewis is the better known of the two civil rights leaders. Representative Lewis entered the political arena, serving in Congress for 34 years. He co-founded and led the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), which staged sit-ins throughout the country. The young John Lewis quickly became one of the “Big Six” organizers of the 1963 March on Washington. The March is best known for Martin Luther King’s great I Have A Dream Speech. The 23 year old John Lewis also spoke. His speech had a different tone: “By the force of our demands, our determination and our numbers, we shall splinter the segregated South into a thousand pieces and put them together in the image of God and democracy. We must say ‘Wake up America, Wake up! For we cannot stop, and we will not and cannot be patient.” John Lewis outlived the other five, Martin Luther Kings, Jr., A Philip Randolph, James Farmer, Whitney Young, and Roy Wilkens. Many heroes, including martyrs, emerged from the struggles. John Lewis became the living symbol of the Civil Rights Movement, a national treasure if you would. He earned it with his blood. He was one of the original 13 Freedom Riders. Governor John Patterson and Montgomery Police Commissioner L.B. Sullivan (the same L.B. Sullivan who claimed libel in in New York Times v. Sullivan) had promised the safety of the Freedom Riders when they arrived in Montgomery. Colonel Floyd Mann, who headed the Alabama State Patrol, did not believe them, but the state troopers lacked jurisdiction in the city. The riders arrived at the Greyhound Bus Station in Montgomery, Alabama not to police security but to a KKK mob. John Lewis was knocked unconscious. Another, Jim Zweig, was almost killed when Colonel Mann intervened with the state troopers. Colonel Mann is also credited with saving the lives of John Lewis and William Barbee. The riders lived to fight another day. He said of the Greyhound Bus Station attack: “It was very violent. Thought I was going to die. I was left lying at the Greyhound Bus Station in Montgomery unconscious.” Reverend Vivian was severely beaten in Mississippi on a Freedom ride. John Lewis was in the lead in the first Selma-Montgomery Voting Rights March. He was one of the first attacked by Sheriff Clark’s deputized mob on the Norman Pettus Bridge on. John Lewis’ skull was fractured on March 7, 1965. Bloody Sunday was the spark that directly led to enactment of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Representative Lewis later said: The troopers came towards us, beating us with whips, nightsticks. I was the first to be hit. Knocked down. My knees went out from under me. I thought I saw death. I thought I was going to die on that bridge.” He was appalled at the killing of George Floyd, but stated “We all live in the same house, not just the American house, but the world house.” John Lewis, a victim of violence, remained an advocate of non-violent protests. Both moved to Atlanta to continue their work. Both Reverend Vivian and Representative Lewis received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama. Ironically, both C.T. Vivian and John Lewis died on the same day, July 17, 2020, just as John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on July 4, 1826, the 50th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. C.T. Vivian John Lewis Two great Americans, who defied violence, instrumental in changing the course of America.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Queen Elizabeth Knights Captain Sir Tom Moore

Captain Sir Tom Moore Was Knighted Today by Queen Elizabeth Captain Tom Moore is an inspirational story in a time of distress, such as the current coronavirus pandemic. The captain turned 100 on April 30, 2020. He trained as an engineer, but was then drafted in 1940 into the Duke of Wellington Regiment. He entered the British version of our Officer Candidate School. He was commissioned and transfered to the Royal Armoured Corps. He served in India, Burma and Sumatra during the war. He fought in the brutal Burma Campaign. He survived the war and dengue fever. The indominable Captain Moore was treated two years ago by the British Health Service for skin cancer and a broken hip. He is grate for the NHS nurses. He also bought a treadmill afterwards for his rehab. He decided to walk 100 laps in his garden to raise £1,000 for the NIH workers. He did it “for the sake of the nurses.” Each lap was 25m, 82’ in his garden in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire. He began his “Tom’s 100th Birthday Walk For The NHS” on April 6. He completed his 100th lap early on April 19 with an honor guard from the Yorkshire Regiment in a live broadcast on the BBC. A large Captain Tom billboard overlooks Piccadilly Circus in London. David Beckham paid him a visit, naming him the first member of the Lionsheart squad of heroes. He already became an honorary colonel of the Army Foundation College. The knighthood investiture was a British throwback to the Great War. The young Princess Elizabeth joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service and trained as a truck driver and mechanic. Elizabeth Windsor was serving her country then as she does in a more regal way today. The two veterans met for the first time with Captain Tom wearing his medals. Captain Moore’s daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore, owns a consulting firm. She sent a letter to local media. The story went viral as if it had originally been posted on social media. He suddenly became a national hero, an inspiration. He received over 220,000 birthday cards. He completed his 100th lap on April 16. The Royal Airforce did a flyover, April 30, on his birthday with a Hurricane and Spitfire, their two great fighter planes from the war. Prime Minister Boris Johnson called Captain Tom a “Point of Light.” One tribute was “A beacon of light through the fog of coronavirus.” £1,000? No, £32,794,701 – roughly $40 million. Piers Morgan contributed £10,000. Prince William contributed. The Queen knighted Sir Captain Tom Moore on the grounds of Windsor Castle, the first time she’s been seen in public for some time because of Covid-19. He called it “an absolutely outstanding day.” He already became an honorary colonel of the Army Foundation College. The 94 year old Queened knighted the 100 year old veteran. He stood during the ceremony, joking to reporters before the ceremony: “If I never kneel down, I’ll never get up again.” His entrance into Windsor Castle was heralded by bagpipers of the Royal Regiment of Scotland. His legacy will live on in the Captain Tom Foundation.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

The Answer to Minneapolis, New York, Seattle, Los Angeles to Defund the Police is Political: Vote the Radicals Out

Elections have consequences. If the voters of Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Portland and Seattle et al continue to elect radical city councils, district attorneys and mayors, they deserve the consequences. The die is cast. Will law-abiding voters vote out the radicals or retain them in office. The law or the mob? Which will it be? Hardly anyone, except for the attorneys who represent the four Minneapolis police officers, can defend or justify Derek Chauvin’s murder of George Floyd. A national consensus quickly arose for police reform, the form of which remained to be decided. Then though the call for (reasonable) reform metamorphized into “Defund the Police.” Black Lives Matter controlled the agenda. Many of the elected Democrats are zealot, woke, social justice warriors who view the military and police as instruments of oppression. They sympathize with the protestors. That doesn’t explain tolerance of rioters, looters, and arsonists. They so hate the police they are willing to imperil public safety. New York Mayor De Blasio, who made clear from his election he loathed the NYPD, avidly cut roughly $1 billion from the NYPD $6 billion budget. The NYPD also eliminated the 600 officer Street Crimes Plainclothes Anti-Crime unit, whose charge was to keep armed felons off the City’s streets. The stated purpose of the disbandment: to build “trust with the community through respect, accountability, and transparency.” Good luck with that! Appeasement does not work. The Minneapolis City Council over the objections of the equally radical but incompetent and shell socked Mayor Frey wants to totally remove the Minneapolis Police in 5 years. They’ll start with 50% as a down payment. The Seattle City Council over the objections of the equally radical but incompetent Mayor Durkin wants to cut the Seattle Police by 50%. For now! More to follow. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti led the Los Angeles City Council in slashing the LAPD budget by $150 million, cutting its ranks back to 2008 levels. LA is both a city and county. The LA Sheriff Office patrols unincorporated areas of the county as well as cities which do not have their own police. The County Board cut the Sheriff’s budget by $400 million earlier in this year and then by another $162 million on Monday, June 29. The county’s suggestions were to abolish or shrink the Special Victims Unit (children, rape and human trafficking), Operation Safe Streets (gang control), Major Crimes Bureau, and Fraud and Cyber Crimes Bureau, as well as the Mental Evaluation Team. Supervisor Kathryn Barger averred: “I would like to take a moment to reiterate my commitment to public safety.” George Orwell is looking down: “I told you so.” In addition the LA Unified School District Board cut the LA School Police by 35%, $25 million, with 65 officers being laid off. The only good news this year is if the students do not return to live classes, the need will reduce. The chair of the Philadelphia Black Lives Matter wants total elimination of the Philadelphia Police Department within 5 years to be replaced by some sort of community based security, she doesn’t know. She asserts the community is better without police. How has that worked in Seattle’s CHAZ?CHOP Zone, Atlanta’s Rayshard Brooks’ site, and the shooting galleries of Baltimore, Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia? How about the 49 days and nights of riots in Portland? The public should decide the future of law enforcement. They will have the opportunity in Minneapolis. Eliminating the Minneapolis Police Department will require a charter change by the voters. The proposed change is currently before the Charter Commission. If they approve it, then it goes to the voters. My prediction is that law and order will prevail, and a revamped police force remain. I suspect even many residents of the inner city, who live under the police boot, will want to retain the police. No matter how much they may abhor the MPD, they have to live with the increasing crime, including drug dealing, gangs, shootings and killings, in their neighborhood in the absence of police. I do not believe mothers and fathers want their young children senselessly gunned down: Vernando Jones, Jr., Royta DeMarco, Secoriea Turner, Natalie Wallace, Jace Young, Davonte Bryant, Devall Gardner; the ever rising death toll. If the voters decide to oust the police, they will live will the consequences. However, a vote to retain the police will not stop the bleeding. City councils control the budget. Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, and Seattle make it clear they will continue to bleed, defang and demoralize the police, imperiling the safety of their residents. The solution is to vote the radicals out of office. That too is not totally possible since many cities today elect their boards by district. Seattle has seven district and two at-large seats. The Kshama Savants may continue to be reelected. Yet, voters must do what they can in these often low-turnout elections. Make it a large turnout by the people.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

What to Expect from the Biden Presidency

What to Expect From the New Biden Administration The media and polls have essentially declared a landslide Democratic landslide. Democratic candidates are outraising Republicans. The woke are energized against the President. Wait a moment; the election is 112 days away. Anything can change. Vice President Biden suffers from chronic foot in mouth disease. He can’t hide in the basement until November 3,200. As an aside, here’s my prediction if President Trump wins reelection. The riots and lootings the country has just suffered through will return with a vengeance. Peaceful demonstrations and protest parades occurred four years ago. Not so peaceful this year! So why this blog now? I was musing about it this past week as perhaps my last blog. Fortunately the Covid-19 test was negative. The Vice President tweeted on July 5 We “won’t just rebuild this nation – we’ll transform it.” President Elect Obama said five days before his inauguration that he would transform America. We know how that worked out. Biden pledged fealty to the teacher’s unions: “This is going to be a teachers-oriented Education Department of Education.” “You ‘ll have an NEA member in the White House.” What about the students? He promised no federal money, not even a penny, will go to charter schools. What about the students in the inner cities? Vice President Biden is an internationalist. Reinstatement of the Paris Accords. Reinstatement of the Iran nuclear accords. Continuation of the Obama-Kerry-Clinton foreign policy of naivete. The Vice President is pro-Israel, but against annexations. He’s big on tax increases. Echoing Walter Mondale, he said: “If you elect me, your taxes are going to be raised.” Income taxes. Corporations taxes. Eliminate capital gains taxes. Social security taxes. Estate taxes. Eliminate deductions. That’s a historically disastrous act in a time of economic distress. $15/hour minimum wage. Another tax on employers that will increase unemployment, especially in minority communities. No new fracking, well maybe, not sure, misspoke, don’t know. He defends the World Health Organization (WHO), which collaborated with China to deceive the world on Covid-19. Expanding ObamaCare. How has that worked out with the VA and Indian Health Service? Open borders. Citizenship for the undocumenteds already here. Partially defunding the police and penal system. Funding should be redirected away from the police to public schools, summer programs and substance abuse treatment. $300 million for community policing. $2 trillion green energy makeover. Goal of Zero emissions by 2035, but he said we only have 9 years!. Solyndra anyone? Eliminate “no-knock” warrants, the danger of which was highly foreseeable prior to Breonna Taylor’s tragic killing in Louisville. Severe restrictions on no-knock is fine with me. Should the penal system be used to rehabilitate or punish? Biden’s response: “One of the things we also need to be doing is fundamentally changing way we deal with our prison system.… It should be a rehabilitation system, not a punishment system.” Not a novel concept, but one which has repeatedly failed. Corruption. A radical, oops “progressive,” vice president. “Buy America;” $700 billion in purchasing U.S. goods and research and development. The $400 million for Buy America sounds good, but is a drop in the bucket of America’s economy. The R & D already has tens of billions pouring into America’s great research universities. Speaker Pelosi’s House of Representatives passed several bills that were going nowhere this term, but will be pushed to quick passage in the Biden Administration’s first 100 days. A Democratic Senate will rubber stamp the bills. The Senate will discard the filibuster if they have less than 60 Senators. If the Democrats control the President, House and Senate, they will stack the Supreme Court and lower courts. The District of Columbia will be granted statehood. That should be unconstitutional under the Constitution, which calls for a federal district (Art. I §8(17), but not with the revamped Supreme Court. Two more guaranteed Democratic Senators. A bailout of the bankrupt Democratic states, such as Connecticut, Illinois, and California, not to mention scores of cities. The First Amendment will not protect Hate Speech or Freedom of Religion. Pro Choice will outweigh Freedom of Religion. The Second Amendment will disappear. Gun control, except in the inner cities. Universal voting by mail. With ballot harvesting. Trillions; trillions; trillions! Inflation!

Sunday, July 12, 2020

My Suggestions for President Trump's National Garden of American Heroes

President Trump addressed the nation on July 3, 2020 in front of Mount Rushmore as America was undergoing a paroxysm of cultural and heritage destruction. Statues were falling and burning, rioters rioting, looters looting, arsonists burning, and the famous becoming non-persons. Columbus, Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Grant, Francis Scott Key, Colonel Shaw and the 54th Regiment, Abigail Adams, 9/11 Memorials, Emancipation statues. Churches defaced and burnt. Lenin remains standing in Seattle. Cultural nihilism was at work. The mobs controlled the streets of several cities. President Trump, in the height of the turmoil, announced the National Gallery of Heroes. 31 Americans will initially be memorialized in the National Garden. He signed an executive order to implement his proposal. The Garden will include “historically significant Americans” who “contributed positively to America throughout our history.” They can include the Founding Fathers, abolitionists, religious leaders, police officers “killed in the line of duty” and opponents of National Socialism (NAZI) and international socialism. It will be opened to public figure nominees “who made substantive contributions to America’s life or otherwise had a substantial effect on American history.” He specifically mentioned Christopher Columbus and Fr. Junipero Serra. President Trump was sending a message to America. He expressly acknowledged that none would have led “perfect lives.” Of course, we all have human frailty. Few Americans in history could claim sainthood. The President’s initial nominees: John Adams, Susan B Anthony, Clara Barton, Daniel Boone. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, Henry Clay, Davy Crockett, Frederick Douglass, Amelia Earhart, Benjamin Franklin, Billy Graham, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King, Jr., Abraham Lincoln, Douglas MacArthur, Dolly Madison, James Madison, Christa McAuliffe, Audie Murphy, George S. Patton, Jr., Ronald Reagan, Jackie Robinson, Betsy Ross, Antonin Scalia, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Harriet Tubman, Booker T. Washington, George Washington, Orville and Wilbur Wright. 8 women, 5 African Americans. Quite a worthy selection, albeit tilted to the conservative side. Two problems exist with the list. The first is the initial listing of only 31great Americans. America has had hundreds of thousands, in not millions of founders, builders, and heroes, often unsung. No listing can include them all. The second problem is that so many of today’s young people are clueless as to who these people are. The President provided for additions. Here are some suggestions in no particular order, with more to follow later: Jayne Addams Rachel Carson John Muir Congressman John Lewis and Diane Nash, stalwarts of the Civil Rights Movement Joseph McNeil, Franklin McCain, Ezell Blair, Jr., David Richmond, The Greensboro Four Tuskegee Airmen Cesar Chavez & Deloris Huerta, co-founders of the United Farm Workers Madam C. J. Walker, pioneering African American entrepreneur Amadeo Peter Giannini, founder of the Bank of America, brought retail banking to the people Henry Ford Andrew Carnegie Thomas Edison and Nicola Tesla Alexander Graham Bell Steve Jobs Paul Allen and Bill Gates Juan Trippe Conrad Hilton and J. Willard Marriott Walt Disney Irving Berlin Bob Dylan Mark Twain John Paul Jones Thayer Mahan Dwight D Eisenhower Ulysses S Grant Baron von Steuben Lafayette Jim Bridger Geronimo, Sitting Bull, Tecumseh, and Chief Joseph Thomas Watson, father and son Theodore Roosevelt Franklin Delano Roosevelt Lyndon Baines Johnson Wesley Powell Jesse Owens Charles R Drew John Roebling Washington Roebling Samuel Gompers Walter Reuther Charles Lindberg James Madison Thurgood Marshall Ruth Bader Ginsberg A. Philip Randolph Floyd Mann Frank M. Johnson, Jr. Frederick Law Olmstead DeWitt Clinton Gorge Washington Carver President Trump’s goal is July 4, 2026, the 250th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Happy Birthday America

Happy Birthday America Welcome to the 244th Anniversary of America’s Declaration of Independence. It’s an unusual Fourth, missing most of the fireworks, parades, flyovers, and beaches. Much of America is shut down. Is America at war? Yes. America is fighting two wars at once: Covid-19 and the decomposition of the American ethos and heritage, often referred to as a Culture War. The Coronavirus will be defeated, or at least contained, as with the normal flu. History tells us pandemics run their course. The questions are when and how. Let’s look at the Declaration of Independence. The governing ethos was the Divine Rights of Kings, and sometimes Queens, emperors, sultans, and shahs in 1776. One swore an oath to the Crown who had near absolute power over the people. Some dents were made in England under the Magna Carta of 1215, but the British rulers remained autocrats, bending the legal system to their bow. 55 men on July 4, 1776 signed the Declaration of Independence, pledging “to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor.” They would have been hanged and properties forfeited if the Redcoats had won the War. “We hold these truths to be self-evident ….” 1,500 words; 1,500 words of one of the most revolutionary documents in world history. An experiment in self-government, the freedom of the individual, was unleashed on the world. “We hold these rights to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The concept was the people would control government rather than the government people, especially the Divine Right of Kings. That governments derive “their just powers from the consent of the governed” was revolutionary. It still is in much of the world. 1788 saw the writing of the Constitution followed in 1791 with the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights grants us our freedoms and liberties. The purpose was to protect the people against the government. The critical provision in the Constitution was Article V which allows the Constitution to be amended. The Constitution has thus been able to evolve over 232 years. The founding documents put America on the course to American exceptionalism. America was an experiment in unleashing the human spirit. Immigrants from around the globe fled poverty, oppression, and semi-serfdom in the old country to seek opportunity in the New World. American became a people, but not one based on ethnicity, race, religion, gender, or skin color, but on a culture, ethos, and shared values. Equality is the goal. Equality of Opportunity not result. American history, as with the history of any people, has shameful periods: the Native Americans, slavery and Jim Crow, the anti-Asian animus, starting with Chinese immigrants, especially on the West Coast, limited rights for women, periods of xenophobia and racial discrimination. Only the 5% of white, property owners had voting rights at the nation’s founding. The genius of America, especially but not exclusively through the Constitution and Bill of Rights, has been over the span of 244 years to rectify those wrongs. The dreams of the founders will never be completely fulfilled. Lenin’s socialistic dreams floundered early into a dictatorship. America has evolved and grown through constitutional amendments, statues, demographics, and the openness of the American people to change and grow. Sadly, we don’t study them much in school anymore with many educators teaching what’s wrong with America. Especially ”Civics” and even courses in American history are rarely required today. They are taught America is a racist country, the new phrase being “systemic racism.” They are taught that America fosters inequity. They believe the New York Times 1609 Project which says America was built upon slavery introduced by England in Virginia in 1609. America They are taught that the slave freed themselves. Lincoln simple issues a paper. They are taught systemic racism keeps Blacks and Hispanics down in America. Nikole Hannah-Jones, who won a Pulitzer for her 1609 Project, claimed “The Patriots fought the American Revolution in large part to preserve slavery in North America.” No serious scholar believes that. These propositions are a large part the drivel that is being taught in many schools and colleges today, portrayed in Hollywood, reinforced by the mainstream media, and spread through social media to the impressionable young people, ignorant of American history. They believe in concepts of White Privilege, microaggressions, hate speech, safe spaces, and systemic, capitalistic inequality, leading to intolerance. The Founders wanted to build on their existing rights; today’s nihilist want to destroy, deconstruct America’s ethos and heritage to create a whole new system, whatever that is, probably socialism. Sounds like the French Revolution and Madam Guillotine. Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of September 22, 1862 is not valued. It did not end slavery. It offered freedom to the 3.5 million slaves in the Confederacy who could walk to freedom in the lines of the Union Army. • "That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.” It required a constitutional amendment, the 13th Amendment, to end slavery throughout the United States. President Trump spoke at Mount Rushmore yesterday, a flashpoint in the new Cultural War because it honors two slave owners, Presidents Washington and Jefferson, and Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt because they are, I guess, Lincoln and Roosevelt. The President spoke to traditional American values. Several commentators accused him of igniting the cultural wars. ”Igniting” is an interesting choice of words. I do not see President Trump igniting police stations, police cars, restaurants, retailers, and churches. I do not see President Trump tearing down and even burning monuments. I don’t see President Trump defacing the Jefferson Memorial, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Grant’s monument, and the Pioneer Woman’ statute. Nor do I see President Trump seeking to remove Walt Whitman from Rutgers Camden. The actions of these mostly young, nihilistic radicals remind me of the young people unleashed by Chairman Mao in his Cultural Revolution, the Taliban blowing up the Buddhas, and ISIS destroying the cultural heritage of Iraq and Syria. Culture wars? The Democratic National Committee deleted this tweet Tuesday: “Now he’s holding a rally glorifying White Supremacy at Mount Rushmore – a region once sacred to tribal entities.” Joe Biden’s remarks today said America’s history is “Fairy Tales.” He added America needs to end systemic racism, whatever that is. Joe Biden has always been a weathervane of the Democratic Party. Systemic Racism? The new buzz words. Systemic racism in a country which twice overwhelmingly elected an African American as President? Systemic racism in a country with three African American, three Asian and four Hispanic Senators? Senator Kamala Harris is both African American and Asian. 116 current House of Representatives are non-white. General Colin Powell served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. President George W. Bush’s two Secretaries of State were General Powell and Condoleezza Rice. Kenneth Chenault retired 2018 after two decades as Chairman and CEO of American Express. African Americans serve as attorney generals, district attorneys, mayors, and police chiefs, as well as university presidents. African Americans have been governors of Massachusetts, New York, and Virginia. Hollywood, broadcasting, and the media are wide open today to diversity. Miss America, Miss USA, and Miss Teen USA were all African American women in 2019. Systemic racism – NO! It’s just a catchy, political campaign tagline probably run through focus groups. Of course problems exist. Housing discrimination continues. Too many live in cramped multi-generation housing. Consumer fraud is a problem. Law enforcement has kept a boot on the communities. Crime. Medical care can be poor with large numbers of asthmatics and diabetics, with hypertension, and cardiac conditions common. Problems in the inner cities – Definitely. The way up and out is usually through education, the military, music, and sports. Scores of books and sociology reports have been written on the problems of the cities, especially inner cities. Here’s a limited take by me. Nikole Hannah-jones is absolutely right about the education problems in the inner cities, but she’s wrong about the current reason. Racism was a major historic cause, including racial redistricting of school zones. The public schools are often failing. Individual teachers and principals make a difference for many students, but many schools do not fairly serve the students. If students can climb their way out of the inner city, overcoming obstacles, then a phrase from decades ago comes into play: “To be young, gifted, and Black.” Favoritism awaits in the colleges and the job market. The problem is not racism, but the lack of charter schools. Parents strive to give their children a meaningful education. The elected officials in these cities are progressive Democrats, but not with charter schools. They have entered into an unholy alliance with the teachers unions to block, suppress, defund, and otherwise cripple charter schools. The result is to condemn many inner city primary and secondary school students to an inferior education. A large coterie of charter schools can put competitive pressures on the public schools, which is intolerable to the monopolistic teachers unions. Changes in a democracy come through the democratic process, not by mob rule. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, and Cesar Chavez proved non-violent action can drive change and reform. I’m proud to be an American. I’m not proud of some of our history. America has come a long way righting the wrongs of the past, fulfilling the aspirations of the nation’s founders, slaveowners or not.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Memo to President Trump: Reelection Campaign

The GOP is suffering from the summer doldrums. The polls for the President are dismal. Biden outraised Trump last month. The economy is in the tank because of the Coronavirus followed by the rioting and looting of America – two crisis not yet under control. The media have already written your political obituary. They are saying the older voters are abandoning you. So are the Evangelicals. And the suburbs. Blue Collar workers are going back to Good Ole Joy. Don’t believe it. Republican elected officials sense a Democratic blowout on November 3, 2020, the same blowout that was predicted for November 8, 1916. Get out of your rumored funk. You’re getting plenty of advice, much contradictory. Remember, campaign gurus do not decide the election. You do! You are the President. You control the Bully Pulpit, the mainstream media notwithstanding. You control the message! The American people need to know you are in control. Yesterday is not enough; the question is what have you doing for us now? Remind America why they elected you. Remind America of all the promises you kept. Tell America that was just the beginning. Here’s what next. You have a vision for America. Joe Biden doesn’t always know what he’s running for or where he is. Make America Great Again was a great slogan. You made America great. The economy, the military, and most of all American Pride. You did it over the opposition of the Never Trumpers, sufferers of the Trump Derangement Syndrome, the Democrats, the mainstream media, Hollywood, the colleges, the elite, and the Deep State. What’s Next? Keep America Great? Only if you lay out a vision for the next four years. Cut the gratuitous negativity about Biden. He can self-destruct on his own. Contrast his failed policies and rhetoric of the past with your vision of the future. How you will make America even greater. Let the doubters understand that even today, July 3, 2020, they are better off than with four years, even one year of Biden. Tell the American People, not today but in a few months when emotions subside and reason returns, what the Black Lives Matter Manifesto contains. And tell the people again, and again, and again. In doing so you must also remind the African American community what you have done for them in the past four years: criminal reform legislation, record minority employment before the virus struck, the freeing of wrongly incarcerated blacks. Actions! Not Words! There’s a backlash coming. Start Saturday on Mount Rushmore, a symbol of America’s great leaders and American Pride. Explain Mount Rushmore is one of the great symbols of America. Remind the American People that both Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton campaigned in 2008 at Mount Rushmore. Explain the Declaration of Independence. Read part of it, especially the introduction: “We hold these rights to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Explain to America the greatness of our history. Why America succeeded and remains a beacon to people from everywhere to claim a piece of the American Dream. The Democratic governors and mayors who tolerated the riots, looting and arson, and then are removing America’s heritage and pride, and their damaged cities. Remind Americans that’s the future of America under monolithic Democratic leadership in the next four years. Show the videos on Minneapolis, Seattle, Washington, D.C., New York City, and San Francisco. Show the carnage and homeless. Remind the American People They Are Proud to be Americans! You won’t reach any of the Wokers. They are not your audience. You need to assure the American people you are working for them. Use the Bully Pulpit almost every day from here to election day. Talk about Covid-19. Reassure the people. Keep it to 15-20 minutes. Don’t wing it. Present known facts and favorable actions. Don’t hesitate to point out the Henry Ford Health System study found hydroxychloroquine significantly reduced the death rate of Covid-19 patients in the study. No heart-related side effects occurred in the hydroxychloroquine patients. 2451 patients were in the study. 13% of the patients treated with the drug survived version a 26% death rate for those who did not receive it. You’re not good at reading verbatim. President Obama’s forte was the teleprompter. Reading doesn’t stimulate you the way your speeches from the heart do. You can do it by showing emotion in reading the remarks. Support the police and law and order. The American People do not support the defunding of the police. They want reform. Propose and re-propose and re-propose meaningful, reasonable police reform. Talk about the rising crime rates, the horrific crimes in these Democratic bastions. The Democrats are handing the law and order issue to the Republicans. Save the histrionics for your political rallies. The American People need assurance now. Let the media criticize you for your religious statements an calling the law and order campaign another Willie Horton ad (which was first used in 1988 by Senator Al Gore). Let them! They will simply relay your views to the public – free publicity. Let Joe Biden hide in the basement as you daily comfort the American people.