SOTU 2019: On Socialism

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Wit, Wisdom & Wokescolding

There is nothing worse than the point in an argument or debate when you realize you are wrong. If you engage in enough discussions, especially those that are political in nature, it’s inevitable that you will find yourself in that position. It is impossible or at least highly improbable that you will understand every key issue you are confronted with. Instead we tend to focus on the issues that matter most to us. We spend our time learning them, understanding the arguments and getting to the point where we understand the complexity of the issues so that we can in turn explain them simply to those who have not taken the time to do so. There are only so many hours in a day and only so much time you can give to any subject. As Richard Feynman said, “I was born not knowing and have had only a little time to change that here and there.”.

Though being wrong does not feel good it should not be allowed to be a deterrent from engaging in those conversations in which you are not an expert. How else are we to learn? We should embrace the chance to discuss, ask questions and become familiar with the facts as they pertain to the issue. Ignorance is not a crime nor should it be viewed as a reason to dismiss a person’s opinion. Rather it should be viewed as an opportunity to teach and possibly learn a new perspective that you hadn’t though of previously. But we must also be careful not to mistake a difference of opinion with ignorance. They are in no way the same and to make the assumption of ignorance is what leads to dismissive and disingenuous discussions that lead to stagnation with no forward progress. Unfortunately this tends to happen a lot.

Political discussions devolve into an exchange of parting shots aimed at those on the other side. Pointed words aimed at not only the issue being discussed but the character of those who oppose our views. More often than not Democrats tend to do this by focusing on the moral character and intellect of the person they are debating. Republicans proclaim to focus on facts and ignore emotional responses as nothing more than opinions that carry no relevant weight in the discussion. After all, as Ben Shapiro says – ‘Facts don’t care about your feelings’ and that mantra is carried by many Conservatives. The problem is that you can readily find moral reasons or facts to uphold any side of an issue you debate. So the questions are: which is correct? How do we determine what side of the issue is the one we should choose to work towards finding a solution that best suits that side of the argument?

I found myself in this position Wednesday evening while discussing with two others on social media the Electoral College. I raised the discussion point contending that the Democrats in the House are attacking the Constitution itself by submitting H.J.Res.7 that would abolish the Electoral College. The two individuals I was discussing this with took the stand that the E.C. is essentially a relic that was pro-slavery and therefore should be abolished with the Popular Vote replacing it. I disagreed with their reasoning and stated that I believe the E.C. should remain and be protected. The sides we took are not the issue I’d like to discuss here, but rather what happened as we debated the issue.

The conversation quickly became a listing of educational resume from one of the two who support abolishing E.C., that my sources provided in support of my view are not academic institutions and the constant statement that I am out of my league on this matter because their education is superior to mine. The second supporter of abolishing E.C. was not on the attack as much as the first, but was dismissive of any responses I had no matter their validity (like the fact that slavery is no longer a thing). Simply put the problem was both sides were convinced their side is the correct side. We failed to acknowledge that both could be true at the same time.

Did the E.C. benefit southern states by the Three Fifths Compromise allowing slaves to be counted for representation in the House? Of course it did. To bring the example to present day it would be the equivalent of us allowing Illegal Immigrants to be counted on our census thereby giving more representation to those states supporting sanctuary cities like California, Illinois and New York. Republicans would lose their collective minds if that were to happen, just as the Democrats rightly objected to the Three Fifths Compromise. Was the E.C. specifically written to support slavery and allow a skewed electoral process? Absolutely not. Additionally, neither of the two have yet to provide facts supporting their argument despite multiple requests for them to do so. I only received an NPR article explaining why some scholars believe it to be so, but no hard evidence just conjecture. Federalist No. 10 and No. 68 explain how the E.C. protects against factions and what Alexis de Tocqueville called ‘the tyranny of the majority’. Nowhere do those papers indicate slavery as a necessary cog to make this engine work.

Instead we volleyed shot after shot at each other’s education, the quality of information being shared, some name calling and a lot of snarky comments along with a lot of wokescolding towards me. I regret to say this conversation thread lasted many hours. As would be expected no middle ground was to be found. It essentially ended with the posting of memes at my expense and the classic ‘no point in arguing with someone who needs to double down to support an illegitimate treasonous president.’. I find many of my discussions with Liberal Democrats end with them ending the conversation by similar means instead of providing persuasive evidence to support their views.

We are seeing the exact same behavior playing out in Washington D.C. today in regards to the Government shut down over border security. President Trump is refusing to budge on $5.7bil for a wall/barrier. Speaker Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Schumer refuse to provide the funding for something they believe to be ineffective and immoral. Thus, the shut down continues on into its 28th day – the longest Government shut down in our nations history. Neither side realizing that both of their visions of border security can be true at the same time. The Democrats know barriers are a necessary part of border security and have voted many times before in the past for precisely that. President Trump knows the Dreamers path to citizenship is important to the Democrats and their base. There is a deal to be made here where both sides could walk away with political wins. Provide funding for the barrier, give DACA recipients a pathway to citizenship and reopen the government. America sees this compromise – why can’t Congress?

Perhaps bipartisan debate by We The People of the United States of America is actually the first step in getting our elected officials to do the same. After all, we elected them to office so it is really not all that surprising that they mimic our actions and behaviors when we debate with each other on social media. But there is an expectation that those in Washington D.C. would conduct themselves better. It literally is their job to find compromises on issues such as this. Maybe we should first hold ourselves to maintain civility, decency and the truth in our own conversations before expecting the same from Congress? Lead by example with civil discourse and respect. Following only the facts to support our positions with reason and compromise at the forefront of the discussion.

Now wouldn’t that be something!

Biden The Bully?

At a University of Miami event for college Democrats, Joe Biden made reference (again) to taking President Donald Trump to task and beating him up for his “locker room talk” circa the Access Hollywood released video/audio with Billy Bush.

But only if they were back in high school.

Does that make it okay?

I seem to recall President Trump catching a lot of flack over what the Democrats viewed as advocating for violence against those with opposing political views at his campaign rallies.  The cries were loud enough to warrant a SNOPES.COM “fact check” of the issue.  You can read that article here.

SPOILER ALERT:  They said it’s “TRUE

I encourage you to read the article if you have the time.  If you do you will see that then candidate Trump was not blatantly calling for violence just for the sake of violence.  In all cases it was a response to a Democratic protester who started assaulting those in attendance of the Trump rallies.  The comments typically were made while he was pausing his speech in order to allow security to subdue and remove the violent “protesters”.  In the instance where then candidate Trump said he would punch the assailant it was in response to someone who tried to rush the stage at him and the Secret Service had to subdue and remove them as well.

I had this very discussion on Twitter back on 07 MAR 2018.  You can see a graphic that I made that captures the conversation if you click here.  I pretty much make the same argument as I just did above, but those involved in the discussion went on to claim criminality in the statements.  Their argument is that assault is against the law and those who advocate for it should suffer the penalties as if they conducted the actions themselves.

Hmmm…I wonder if they feel the same about Joe Biden’s comments?  I’ll be sure to tag them in this post and hopefully they will respond.

It seems that the liberal media beacon CNN seems to disagree with them, however – as you can see in the segment below.

Chris Cilliza referred Joe Biden’s comments as nothing more than “bravado”.  Then he goes on to say:

“…that there is absolutely a strain of thought in the Democratic Party that you have to stand up to the bully.”

He then continues on and finally comes to the point I actually agree with.  That being that there was absolutely nothing that Joe Biden could have said at that event that the Democratic base would disagree with.  There is nothing “too negative” about President Trump for the Democratic base.  His belief is that the Democratic Party as a whole didn’t stand up to the bully (i.e. President Trump) enough and that is how he won the presidency.  Forget the fact that you had an awful candidate in Hillary Clinton.  That had nothing to do with it evidently.

According to what Cilliza says in this piece, the Democrats lost because they didn’t stand up to the bully.

So why is it okay for Democrats to “stand up to the bully” and advocate violence in this manner, but it is somehow not okay for then candidate Trump to do the same and stand up to the “protestors” who were attempting to assault him and who were actually assaulting those people who attended his rallies?

It is yet again another frustrating example of what is okay for one side is not okay for the other side and is viewed as a moral sin against humanity.  An evil that we must smite at all costs. I’m certain we will see some form of this moral virtue signaling as we move closer to the 2018 mid-term elections.  I don’t see any other solid political ground they are making their campaigns on other than the “Anti-Trump” platform – so why not?

The Democratic Party simply does not understand that by doing this they are losing their supposed moral high ground.  It may even lead to them losing something more tangible in the mid-terms, though – as in seats in the House and Senate.

Signature2_RWB_BOLD_22 FEB 2018

 

Another Terror Attack In London Prompts Travel Ban Tweet From President Trump

London Bridge - London England

For the third time in as many months the citizens of London find themselves the victims of a terrorist attack.  As of writing this there have been seven deaths reported and 48 people injured in this latest attack.

While all of the world watched the events unfold, President Trump took to Twitter placing policy before compassion.

POTUS_Tweet1_03JUNE2017POTUS_Tweet2_03JUNE2017

President Trump and his administration have spent months defending what many have called a travel ban on Muslims.  The President and his administration have continuously pushed back on calling it a travel ban, yet last night President Trump called it just that breaking their own narrative.

It is the inability of the administration to control its own narrative that continuously cause the media to hound them for clarification which then leads to frustrated and often heated responses from the lectern from Press Secretary Sean Spicer aimed at reporters.   While entertaining, they are hurting this administrations ability to govern and that, in turn, hurts all Americans.

The Executive Order Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States (EO 13769), its proper name as entered into record by The White House, that President Trump referenced in his Tweet called for a 120-day suspension of travel from seven countries as identified by President Obama’s administration as “presenting heightened concerns about terrorism and travel to the United States.”.  The order also goes on to state the following:

“During the 120-day period, the Secretary of State, in conjunction with the Secretary of Homeland Security and in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence, shall review the USRAP application and adjudication process to determine what additional procedures should be taken to ensure that those approved for refugee admission do not pose a threat to the security and welfare of the United States, and shall implement such additional procedures.”

We are now 128 days from when the Executive Order was first signed and subsequently had an injunction placed on it preventing it from being fully executed.  Though it specifically stipulates that the clock does not start on the 120-day period for the USRAP application and adjudication review until it is executed – what has the administration done to date in regards to the review?

The Executive Order has been stalled by the courts and is likely facing a lengthy legal debate.  We are now beyond the time stipulated in the order if it would have been made effective without injunction.  Shouldn’t proper vetting practices have been reviewed and implemented?  President Trumps administration has not used this time wisely by not doing the actual work of the order that adds value and protects our citizens.  Instead they spent it trying to defend the negligible part of the order.

The true value to this Executive Order is the review of the application process and implementing proper security protocols to ensure safe and legal entry into the United States that also accounts for stopping and/or deterring entry into the United States by those who seek to do its citizens harm.  It is not necessary to suspend travel for such an insignificant window of time in order to conduct this review.

President Trump should withdraw the Executive Order and save the tax payers from paying for a legal process that is unnecessary and refocus his administrations energy on the application review and implementing vetting practices that could prevent events similar to those that have plagued London for the past three months from happening here in the United States.

Rosenstein Recusal Is Possible, But What About Mueller

According to an article posted by the Associated Press today, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said that if he were to become a subject of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible ties between President Trump’s campaign and Russia’s government that he would recuse himself of any oversight of Mueller.

Rosenstein during the AP interview indicated that he has already spoken to Mueller regarding this matter.  In regards to the conversation he had, the article quotes Rosenstein as saying “He’s going to make the appropriate decisions, and if anything that I did winds up being relevant to his investigation then, as Director Mueller and I discussed, if there’s a need from me to recuse I will.

The interview with the AP was part of the discussion around Mueller taking over a separate criminal probe of President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.  It is possible that the probe could branch out and into the roles of the attorney general and deputy attorney general in the firing of now former FBI Director James Comey.

Robert Mueller and James Comey have a close personal relationship.  They both shared the moniker of FBI Director and Comey was seen as Mueller’s protege when he succeeded him in that role in 2013.  They also stood united in 2004 as then deputy attorney general Comey and Mueller as FBI director as they intervened at the then ailing Ashcroft’s bedside over the re-authorization of an NSA spying program under President G.W. Bush.  Both men threatened to resign their posts over the matter.

For me this brings forth a question pertaining to the investigation Mueller is overseeing as special counsel regarding possible Russian ties to President Trump’s campaign.  If Rosenstein should end up recusing himself from having oversight of Mueller in the investigation based on his writing of the letter supporting the firing of James Comey, should it not also stand to reason that Mueller should resign as special counsel for the investigation based on conflict of interest?

There are laws surrounding the appointment and oversight of special counsels.  In particular 28 CFR 600.7 where in section (d) it states:

“The Special Counsel may be disciplined or removed from office only by the personal action of the Attorney General. The Attorney General may remove a Special Counsel for misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest, or for other good cause, including violation of Departmental policies. The Attorney General shall inform the Special Counsel in writing of the specific reason for his or her removal.”

Given their relationship, should the scope of Mueller’s investigation into possible ties between President Trump’s campaign and Russia’s government broaden to bring the firing of James Comey into view – that is exactly what should happen.  Whether or not this will become an issue remains to be seen and depends greatly upon exactly where Mueller’s investigation leads.

 

 

Plot Twist: The Comey Memos

I had originally wanted to simply send a tweet out regarding my thoughts on the Former FBI Director James Comey and the memos that have Washington D.C. in a buzz for the past 24hrs.  But some thoughts are simply too long for Twitter.

As I continue to watch coverage of this latest development and read the slew of articles that are coming at break-neck pace, there was something said that sparked a thought.  Sen. James Langford was on Special Report with Bret Baier tonight discussing the investigations, the memos, etc. he alluded to something I bet the Democrats didn’t think about.  I’m paraphrasing here, but Sen. Langford hypothesized that though the Comey memos are currently being sought out in regards to Former National Security Advisor Gen. Michael Flynn and President Trump allegedly asking Comey to “…let this go” that they could possibly have an impact on the Russia Collusion investigations.  The thought being that they could be all interconnected.

That got me to thinking.

Let’s say they succeed in obtaining the Comey memos for – oh, I don’t know . . . say the past year.  And if  Comey was as diligent as we are lead to believe he was in regards to documenting important discussions and meetings he had, it could stand to reason that we may get a glimpse into other things as well that he was investigating.  Say for example . . . memos regarding Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

Call me cynical, but the irony would be almost too much to take.  Think about it.

THE SCENARIO:  The Democrats and the Left Wing Media are in a constant frenzy to find any shred of evidence to demonize President Trump and his Administration.  They latch on to the latest “smoking gun” and demand the memos be released, an investigation launched and Impeachment proceedings start.  But blinded by their absolute rage over losing the Election in November and doing whatever it takes to get President Trump out of the White House – they now have inadvertently exposed information within other memos Comey may have made.  Information that would ultimately lead to charges being brought against their beloved Hillary.

Could you imagine the look on President Trumps face if he were to be exonerated of any wrong doing and then to add insult to injury for the Democratic Party they actually did . . . as they chanted during the campaign . . . lock her up?

Of course this is all conjecture and will never happen, but oh what a plot twist that would be!  Given the first 117 days of the Trump Presidency, does it really seem all that far fetched?  If I have learned anything during my studies of the current political landscape – anything seems possible these days.

-BK