Monday, September 30, 2019

Trump Double Bitch Slaps California


Very few things in the news section of my daily paper can even produce a smile anymore. Until today.......when I literally laughed out loud.

To explain. Some of you may remember that, last week, President Trump's EPA ruled that California will no longer have an Emission waiver that grants that state the right to impose tougher emission standards than EPA's own national standards.

This infuriated California liberals, most specifically Governor Newsom, who "did not pass go" and went directly to California's liberal judges to secure an injunction against the EPA ruling.

I was all set to take a seat in the bleachers, to see how this feud was resolved. And while I was waiting my morning newspaper arrived and I read the half column that sent me into mild hysterics. Seems the EPA has now declared California not in compliance with clean air standards. Accordingly the EPA is threatening to withhold federal funds from California until they meet national emission standards.

Let's face it folks. Any fair minded person would consider these two virtually opposing dictates something of a historic bitch-slap. Trump's EPA backhands California last week for being too strict on emission standards, then whiplashes the other cheek this week, declaring California guilty of inflicting pain and suffering on some 34 million Californians who can't breathe an ounce of clean air.

Is President Trump and his EPA minions wrong? I think so. You can hardly tell someone to fix something, then take away their tool box.

And yet I just love this! This has been Trump's strategy in his war on the left through the nearly first three years of his term. Whether it is sneering at the Congressional Democrats and their never ending investigations, or banging out early morning tweet storms, Trump continues to leave Democrats stunned and not a little paranoid over what he will do next.

Clearly President Trump would not have to war so much with Democrats if his party wasn't so populated with inarticulate pansies who refuse to be front line soldiers for conservative causes. So, it's up to Trump to tweet and sneer and bitch slap Democrats into a state of confusion that leaves them politically impotent.

And I smile (and sometimes laugh) at how much fun it is to watch it all.

Friday, September 27, 2019

The "New First Amendment"; Read The Small Print


Amendment I to the U.S. Constitution:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

That old rascally 1st amendment that once caused town halls to flourish, so that Americans might air out their opinions on the public square, is under full frontal attack in the past few years.  Those town hall meetings, once held in a church, or town library, or local school auditoriums are dying a slow death.  Should one want to attend one, and stand up to speak your mind, you are most likely to be shouted down by those holding a different point of view.

I think America lost her civility about the time those Vietnam war protestors took to the field.  The rules changed.  The only ones heard were those with the biggest bull horn, or in the greatest numbers.  That was about the time Norman Rockwell's America bit the dust.

Sadly, today, Generation Z has taken suppression of speech to whole new levels.  Anyone with a conservative thought, or anyone who expresses a tiny doubt about climate change, or racism, or fiscal responsibility are either outright barred from campus, or shouted down without a single word uttered by those who believe freedom of speech is only for them.

In 2018 the Foundation For Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) joined with YouGov.Org to conduct a survey of college students on matters of free expression.  The results were scary.  Seems that, while 96 percent of college students said it was important that their civil liberties be protected, the vast majority of them citing freedom of speech as most essential, Generation Z has chosen to add some small print to the 1st Amendment.  

Seems that 57 percent of Generation Z believe free speech is an option, only if you are not offending anyone.  Pretty hard not to offend anyone so let's pretty much gag anyone that offends anyone.

70 percent of those students say extracurricular activities that exclude anyone, regardless of their lack of ability, or disqualifying skill sets needs to be shut down.  That would seem to preclude pretty much everything; collegiate sports, managing and writing for the school paper, sororities, or the formation of political clubs that do not conform to the morals and morays of a single soul.

Ten percent of students surveyed said it is perfectly acceptable to employ violence to silence speakers they do not agree with.  

In a 2017 university survey, conducted jointly by the Knight Foundation and Gallup, 37 percent of students said if they couldn't keep a speaker with a conservative view off campus it was perfectly okay to stand up and shout them down.  

We see these kind of tactics played out all across America now.  If one cannot win a debate on facts one is free to suppress the free expression of another; most especially when you don't agree with them.

It's ironic that, for more than 300 years, the campus was supposed to be the place for human beings to explore a wide range of philosophies.  Given the leisure to do so, it always seemed that some of America's best ideas originated on a school campus.  Today those who populate our campuses are far more reactionary than the older generations who are supposed to be carrying that banner around.  Now it's the young people who are set in their ways.  Well indoctrinated by a liberal education system, these strange new creatures will not tolerate anyone who suggests they might be wrong about something.

Generation Z says they still believe in the First long as you read the restrictive fine print proscribing the 21st century's new limitations. 

Sad.  Damned Sad.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

GOP to Texas "We'll Have A Blue Christmas Without You"


Last weekend I read an opinion piece that suggests Texas will go Democrat Blue within the next four years.  Frightening!  And seemingly unbelievable until one considers that a pothead named Beto nearly beat Ted Cruz a couple of years ago.  Nearly beat one of the strongest conservatives in the U.S. Senate.

Was that Democratic wonk just spreading bullshit?  Apparently not, according to some stuff I dug up online.  Seems that, though a Democrat has not won statewide office in Texas since 1994, the cancer of liberalism has spread from its Austin bastion and is now infusing Dallas and environs, with San Antonio and Houston in its sights.  

Apparently one of the factors in Democratic progress has been the influx of "immigrants" from California and elsewhere.  Liberal "immigrants" have been arriving at a 25 percent faster pace that those moderates and conservatives arriving from elsewhere.  If that trend continues you may as well write the political obituary for the GOP.  The Democrats, who now own California, Oregon, Washington state and the northern eastern seaboard lock stock and barrel, would command overwhelming electoral numbers that flyover, conservative America could not possibly overcome.  Add Texas's 38 electoral votes to California's commanding 55, Illinois's 20, New York's 29 and Philadelphia-driven Pennsylvania's 20 and the Dems are over half way to electoral victory.  Hell, the news media could just begin declaring a Democratic victory about two minutes after the polls close.

And don't expect my home state of Arizona to be a Republican lock.  We just elected a Democrat to the Senate for the first time in 30 years.  Arizonans, like citizens from the other 49 are being lured by the free government gravy other states have enjoyed in recent years, even as those generous benefits sink the liberal states toward bankruptcy.

Perhaps, as many of my readers have suggested, the Democrats will field candidates so absurdly left wing that we'll be saved from an overwhelming blue wave in 2020.  Please let that be so.  I want that kid with his finger in the dyke to hang on until they play taps for me in Arlington.

But if Texas drifts any further left we'll certainly hear that melodic "We'll Have A Blue Christmas Without You".

Sad.  Damned Sad.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Democrats: "I'll Have A Double Order Of Hypocrisy, Please


Did President Trump make U.S foreign aid to the Ukraine conditional on digging up dirt on Joe Biden? Maybe we'll know when Trump releases the transcript. Would not be surprised to hear that the President's conversation might have been along those lines. However, the second question should be "is there a legal basis for President Trump's request? Or was it just political?

Let's explore that a bit. Some of you may recall that the questions about Biden and his son, Hunter's integrity was raised long before Trump raised the issue. If one were following the news just a few years ago government watchdogs were questioning why the Ukrainian government would pay Hunter Biden a nice fat salary to sit on a Ukranian gas company's board of directors. When Biden was questioned about it he said he and his son never discuss business so, in his capacity as Vice President, he exerted no improper influence toward proffering foreign aid to The Ukraine. Does anyone buy that, folks? Did Democrats raise a stink about it? The answer to both of those questions shoaled be a resounding "no".

Perhaps any Biden corruption can be answered with Joe and Hunter's visit to Beijing, China in 2013. Vice President Biden was supposedly on an official visit to China and he just asked his son to "tag along". That sounds innocent, right? Except a few short months after the two Bidens returned from China the Chinese government invested $1.5 billion (billion with a B!) in Hunter Biden's investment firm. Coincidence, or corruption? I vote the latter. Did the Democrats investigate, or even raise the matter as an issue? They were silent as church mice.

So, tell me, my Facebook friends. Are you worried that Trump questioned the Ukraine about possible Biden corruption? Or will you join the Democrats in still another foray into getting our President impeached?

Democratic hypocrisy is beyond credible belief, except for their left wing lemmings.

Sad. Damned Sad.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Food "Uncertainty"


Since there are so many government giveaways these days those who wish to buy your vote with a good ladling of government gravy are finding it difficult to come up with still another solution for a problem that doesn't exist. That is particularly true for the art of feeding the America gullet. Case in point: Since anyone willing to troll a school bus will find childhood hunger is no longer an issue. Kids stepping off that school bus, after a two block ride to school, provide a pretty good look at the nutrition profile of the typical American kid. If we can believe the medical numbers fully 30 percent of those kids will prove to be medically obese. 20 percent of them will be either pre-diabetic or already suffering from adult onset diabetes, attributable to their lack of physical activity and unhealthfull diet. Alas these "it takes a village" kids are problematic for our liberal politicians. They can no longer proclaim childhood hunger as a least with a straight face. (Or maybe they's politicians are the grand masters of deceit)
Ah, but I digress. Having solved childhood hunger through overly generous government giveaways, liberals have now re-branded, now calling their newly created cause "Food Uncertainty".
What exactly does that mean? If an American kid downs two Big Macs, a large bucket of fries, and a half gallon of Coca Cola, what does food uncertainty mean? Does it mean there was not enough money left for two apple pies and a chocolate fudge sundae?
By means of soup kitchens, food banks, food stamp cards, and the furnishing of two meals at the local public school how is it that any American kid is either hungry or "food uncertain?"
If you really want to see childhood hunger just take a tour of Asia, or sectors of the Middle East, or the African continent. Those kids aren't "uncertain"....they know damn well when they go to bed hungry. 
On a more general note let's look at the profile of American folks who are claiming poverty. With virtually the entire American populace enjoying air conditioning, big screen televisions, smart phones and expensive gaming systems, just how impoverished must we consider them? My generation, and those who preceded me, had none of those luxuries. Were we impoverished? We didn't think so at the time. But then we never considered ourselves victims of a capitalistic society. And you might ask 90 percent of folks elsewhere in the world if they consider folks with those amenities "impoverished".
For a few years of my childhood my family often suffered from the "bare cabinet syndrome". That's what I call "food uncertainty". We did not have access to food banks, soup kitchens, food stamp cards (even welfare recipients were provided a box of commodities.........not a marketable charge card) and free school lunches.
We Americans need to get real about the preponderance of false negatives. Except for the one percent who are homeless there are very few of us who go hungry. As for food uncertainty, well, the only ones I personally know who suffer from that condition are old people trying to pay rent and utilities, pay for their medicines, and still have enough left for food. Childhood hunger? Just follow one of those school buses. Sit patiently behind it and watch how many kids are waddling toward the entrances to their schools.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Lost in America: Buy More Poligrip, Joe, And Hang In Till Super Tue...

Lost in America: Buy More Poligrip, Joe, And Hang In Till Super Tue...:                                                                         In last week's Democratic debate Joe Biden was a sad sack ...

Buy More Poligrip, Joe, And Hang In Till Super Tuesday


In last week's Democratic debate Joe Biden was a sad sack that's hung around the circus too long.  Nearly incoherent as he referenced record players as a solution for Black urban Ebonics and poor school performance, he was equally clumsy when trying to defend moderation in governance.  At one point you saw old Joe's dentures slipping, then pausing and using his tongue to push his dentures back in place.  Nothing says old like a tube of Poligrip that's past its expiration date.

But, unlike his fellow Democrats, I'm not going to blame Biden's seemingly unending gaffes on his age.  Hell, he stumbled over the English language similarly when much younger, in his two earlier runs for the White House.  Did surgeons extract some essential brain tissue forty years ago when they extracted Biden's brain tumor?  Quite possibly.

Just this weekend I read an editorial in the New York Post, advising Joe to drop out now, to provide room for another moderate Democrat to cross swords with the batshit crazy wing occupied by Kamala and Bernie and Liz.  

I beg to disagree.  I want Crazy Joe to die a slow political death, with each succeeding month of gaffes dragging him further down in the polls.  I want Joe to double his Polygrip applications and to try and keep his foot out of his mouth long enough for Super Tuesday.  As "center-lane Democrats" cling to Joe as their only sane alternative against financial armageddon it will be interesting to see what the American political center does to try and defeat President Trump.  The longer the choosing process, the bigger the political whirlwind will be come March.

With California,  Washington State, Oregon and New York delivering victories for Crazy Liz, Biden picking up a couple of midwestern states and scattered selections on the eastern seaboard, the Democrats ought to be in dandy shape before their convention.   And we just might see a floor fight that produces a reproduction of the George McGovern convention in '72.  (And we all know how that turned out, right?)

This all looks pretty sweet to me.  I do not want Biden leading the ticket come next summer.  The choice will then be having to select between two crazy old men who are rapidly reaching the end of their cogent years.  Given a choice I am absolutely sure that moderate Democrats would opt for Joe in lieu of Trump.  

Nope.  We need one of the batshit crazy lefties to be leading the ticket next summer.  We need Liz to explain how she pays for free day care, free university tuition, free health care for all, how she'll pay for  giving students a free ride by wiping out their student debt, et al.  Cause the numbers don't add up, even if she taxes Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos, and Bill Gates and the rest of America's rich into the poor house.  Those centrist Democrats and moderate Independents will run right to Trump as soon as they get a look at Liz Warren's horrid math skills.

So stick around, Joe.  Use Gorilla Glue if you have to.  Keep on fighting, Joe.  Keep on talking about imaginary combat zones, record players, and Indian 7-11 franchise owners.  Then, after the dust has settled you can go back to Delaware and take pot shots at the neighbors with that shotgun.

Oh, and I might add:  if President Trump could just keep his mouth shut next year his chances would be immensely better.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Make The Other Guy Pay.............Please


A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll noted that 69 percent of Americans want swift action to combat climate change. In that same poll Americans were asked if they'd be willing to pay an extra $100 dollars a year on their electric bill in support of alternative energy. Only 29 percent said they were willing to shell out that extra hundred bucks.

In the last economic summit held in Davos, Switzerland the world's billionaires convened for caviar and filet mignon, spa treatments and to attend meetings focused on better economic practices. Those hundreds of billionaires politely listened to climate change activists, then politely applauded, before some 317 of the conferees climbed back into their private jets and headed home.

In the 1960's scientists predicted the population explosion would lead to mass world wide starvation by 1990, cause the world could never raise that much food. After that came the "Acid Rain Crisis", then the ozone hole, then "weather weirding" and now global warming. (In the last century weather scientists have predicted both global cooling and global warming more than a dozen times).

All of those armageddon false alarms has not deterred our climate radicals. Of late it has been Democrats and the Hollywood elite who exploit climate fears. Bernie Sanders says we need to kill more babies, lest we be unable to feed them all. No fewer than a dozen Presidential candidates demand immediate action to reduce our carbon footprint, even as they themselves drive off in a parade of black gas-guzzling SUV's, headed to the airport where they climb into their private jets. Just the other day Joe Biden promised to take millions of gasoline vehicles off the roads. The next day he attended a rally sponsored by an oil company. Recently Hollywood elites, Silicon Valley billionaires and politicians flew into a Google Camp on climate change over in Sicily, Italy. 117 of them arrived by private jet, not a single one of them willing to "ride share". And perhaps the biggest hypocrisy comes from Barack and Michelle Obama, who just paid more than $15 million for a Martha's Vineyard estate that Barack swears will be under water within 15 years.

Is climate change man made? We don't as yet know for sure. Is climate changing? Bet your booties........its changed a hundred times over the ages. Can we do anything about global warming and polluting our skies? Damn right we long as it comes from someone else's dime.

Only one thing we know for sure. As long as our cultural elites and our politicians exempt themselves from any responsibility us peasants aren't likely to sign up for the pain and expense.

Put the tab on someone else's bill. Make the other guy pay..........please.

Monday, September 16, 2019

A Mexican "Karma Combo" With A Side Of "Ouch!"


The Supreme Court's ruling on Wednesday that uphold's President Trump's right to force Central Americans into pleading asylum in the first country they arrive in has sent shock waves through Mexico's halls of government.

Specifically, according to the now decades old Refugee Accords, asylum seekers were suppose to plead for asylum in the first country they come to. Unfortunately for the U.S. Central and South Americans have chosen to cherry pick their asylum choice and it is always the U.S. due to liberal court ordered benefit mandates that reaps the refugee a sweet life, paid for by the U.S. taxpayer.

Then, this past spring, Trump's Justice Department read the fine print on those original refugee accords. And it seems our masters at the United Nations gave us an out......suggesting that refugees seek asylum in the first country they transit through.

Well the liberal San Francisco-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals stepped up and cried "foul"......injuncting Trump's Justice Department from enforcing those refugee guidelines.

On Wednesday The Supremes happily stepped up and ruled the 9th Circuit's meddling in this country's immigration policies as beyond their authority.

As a result of the Supreme Court's decision tens of thousands of Central Americans, awaiting asylum hearings, are running around down in Mexico with their hair on fire, and Mexico is in a tizzy trying to decide how they are going to deal with potentially millions of their southern neighbors who, previously, they could just shuffle north to the U.S. border.

Reports from the liberal Gannett newspapers are reporting refugees awaiting an asylum hearing over in Mexico are crying "but we don't want asylum in Mexico.....we want the Sugar Daddy a little further north!"

Mexico, in turn, is both shocked by the Supreme Court decision, while trying to figure out what to do with all those caravans. "Hey, this isn't fair!", says Mexico. "We shouldn't have to provide Mexican government benefits to those who are coming here illegally!" (How's that for a little bitch-slap Karma for a country who has dumped their worst on the U.S. for decades.)

So the feeling among folks who believe immigration laws should be enforced are a bit gleeful this week. Mexico and their Central and South American neighbors have just been served "the Karma combo" with a side of "ouch!" Good for them............they deserve to get a dose of the bitter medicine they've been forcing down American throats for decades.

Glad. Damned Glad.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Godless Democrats?


Wow!  Just read a poll that says the current crop of Democratic Presidential candidates might be in trouble with their "third pillar" of electoral support.......Blacks and Hispanics.  Seems Black and Brown people are staring at their electoral choices, mouth agape, saying "what the hell?"  

Seems that Democrats of color, who traditionally give 90 percent of their votes to Democrats, are now desperately searching for a candidate that makes sense to them.......that might improve their lot.  And they are not seeing it.

Minorities are scratching their heads over "green new deals", climate change, or government gravy give-aways they know will never happen.  But the biggest breach between today's Democratic candidate crop seems to be the Democratic party's war on religion and active denial of God.  Blacks overwhelmingly still gather on Sunday in their Baptist churches, sing 400 year old hymns, then retreat to the church yard for ribs and sweet potato pie.  Similar sentiments are being registered in the homes of Hispanic families, many of whom the Catholic church is an integral part of their lives.

Frankly I had never thought of this aspect of voter demographics.  I thought all Democrats were willing to worship at the altar of a government agency that dispenses a government check.  Apparently not.  

We learn something every day.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Schooling The Teacher's Unions

Remember when AT&T had a monopoly on the phone business? Remember when you paid ten bucks for a 3 minute long distance call? (today I can talk or text all day on my bare bones phone plan if I want to) Remember when you couldn't own your own phone......and had to shell out monthly to rent one of Ma Bell's phones?

What a transformation in communications, huh? Well the American education system is slowly being dragged, kicking and screaming, into a new 21st century model. One that gives parents greater freedom with their choices of where their children go to school.

This week Arizona is celebrating the 25th anniversary founding of charter schools, this despite massive opposition from the teacher's unions and Arizona Democrats. Fortunately charter school foes are losing the battle. Today hundreds of thousands of Arizona kids enjoy open enrollment in public schools. Parents are now free to send their kid to any school in any district, as long as you can get them transported to that campus. Lousy schools are now suffering and funding is drying up for those schools offering sub-par educations and the performing schools are being rewarded with higher enrollments/more funding. On the charter school front the results have been more dramatic. Parents are now finding their kids scoring higher on both national and Arizona Merit achievement tests. And over in the public school nirvana of California their own Stanford University measured charter school performance across 43 states. The found charter school kids scored higher on achievement tests, experienced greater success in entering college, and scored better paying jobs when they graduated.

While I still believe that K-16 education will someday be administered via a home computer (brick and mortar schools have just become too expensive), it is heartening to see the teacher's union monopoly finally going the way of Ma Bell. Parents should never have to bow down to the ogre of an education monopoly that leaves their kids illiterate, educationally capable only of flipping burgers and marching for a "livable wage".

Three cheers to charter schools. Three cheers for Arizona who not only encourage charter schools but backs it up with tax write-offs to folks who wish to donate to those charter schools.

No one wants a Ma Bell type of monopoly when it comes to their child's education. (Yes, many of our liberal neighbors send their kids to charter schools, even as they campaign against them.)

Monday, September 9, 2019

De Tocqueville Was Right About "These Americans"


In the 1820's French journalist Alexis De Tocqueville travelled about America..........writing about this "new species of man" who are doing their best to create a nation where individual freedom is valued highly, but cling to a totally new idea.....that, by banding together as community one can create an earthly Eden. 
Let's face it; De Tocqueville was a bit of a romantic when it came to this new America. Totally enamored by a Republic then only forty years old, De Tocqueville chose to take a break from a class society Europe, and travel among a people who each believed they were as good as the next guy. Poor Americans felt no envy of wealthy Americans for it was their dream too to someday achieve that same level of prosperity. 'Ol Alexis wrote that, because there was no class envy, Americans were the happiest folks on earth.
De Tocqueville spoke of American town hall meetings, of community barn raising, of helping neighbors get in their crops, of responding to sickness or death in the community with healers and hot meals. He wrote about the American justice system where a citizen would be tried fairly by a jury of his fellow citizens. He wrote about the American's "stiff backbone", fighting for fairness and justice when he thought others were being unjustly treated.
But De Tocqueville found the American belief in both individual initiative and community effort the most impressive. He could not imagine where Americans got the idea that they could be both selfish and generous in the same breath. Americans in De Tocqueville's day would not hesitate to say that a man should make it on his own, yet hurry to that same man's aid when the fates turned bad for him.
I was reminded of that this week as I watched a hundred young people join together to sandbag the homes of the elderly and handicapped in prepping for Hurricane Dorian. I saw Red Cross volunteers in Phoenix set off in aid vans to the eastern seaboard, prepared to feed and medicate storm victims. Just this week in Sun City I read of our CAN (Community Action Network) take a break from cleaning commons grounds, and voluntarily making home repairs to their elderly neighbors to run off and take over Meals On Wheels deliveries when that agency became understaffed.
All of those projects take a back seat to the thousands of everyday heroes who volunteer in our hospitals, our classrooms, who prepare meals in soup kitchens, then scrub pans after. Somehow, despite our many societal failings since De Tocqueville was touring America, that sense of American volunteerism remains as spirited today as it was two hundred years ago. Perhaps even more so.
Personally I'd like to thank the Krogers for putting up and taking down flags on Memorial Day, for Larry's pooper scooper labors, for those here who support suicide prevention efforts, who valiantly champion anti-bullying efforts, who invest their money in St. Jude's Children's Cancer Research Hospital, for all of you who believe in the sanctity of the individual, yet time and again join forces with your fellows to make this a better world.
Perhaps De Tocqueville said it best with this simple quote: "America is great because she is good". May it always be so.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Wiping Away The Chinese Smirk?


Did anyone catch the PBS Frontline series on the U.S.-China trade war this week? I give the two part series a C+ for journalistic fairness. Although they tried to paint President Trump as a bombastic and inconsistent trade negotiator, they did at least present a wide array of viewpoints regarding the merits of trade tariffs. And they did wander down the crumbling ruins of Dayton, Ohio and Pittsburgh and other manufacturing ghost towns...........American jobs surrendered to the Chinese and elsewhere in Asia.....even as previous American Presidents stood by and let it happen. And they did interview steel and other industrial workers as they sat in obscure coffee shops.....paying for their cup of coffee via a welfare or unemployment check. And, to a man, those poor unemployed stiffs were rooting for President Trump's efforts to return jobs to America.

Perhaps most telling were the astoundingly candid interviews the program conducted in China. Those Chinese businessmen wore smirks on their faces as they declared their rights to their Communist masters manipulation of Chinese currency, their government's total control over national production, national finance, and targeted subsidization of industries, enabling Chinese industry to undercut a free market America on product pricing. Even Chinese technology cybertheft and mandatory American technology transfers as their god-given right.

It seems to me that China is in the "smirk stage". They very much enjoy their $385 billion trade surplus over the U.S. and regard Trump's tariffs as a temporary bump in the road. President Xi is confident that Trump will be defeated next year......then he can resume the perpetual raping of the American economy....just as they've been doing for a decade.

When asked about the U.S. Democratic Party one independent China trade analyst said any of the current Democratic Presidential candidates would be acceptable to China. Said he couldn't think of anything better than the U.S. plunging deeper into national debt as they implement programs that encourage sloth and discourage manufacturing productivity by raising business taxes and laying on more restrictive government regulations.

The Chinese, by their very nature, always think long term......economic dominance as marathon and not a sprint. So they are more than willing to wait out Trump's defeat, faces brightened with self satisfied smirks.

One American economic analyst reminded viewers that economic collapse always precedes the collapse of civilizations. China is counting on our demise. And they may be right. President Trump seems to be the only leader in Washington who is listening to those blue collar unemployed men who dwell in all those American manufacturing ghost towns that now blanket middle America. If President Trump loses this trade war you can count on America becoming a poor satellite of China. Even if you don't like Trump you ought to be rooting for him to win this tariff war. You ought to be praying that he continues to maintain the strength of character that causes him to listen to the lament of that multi-million blue collar army that's hurting so badly. And you ought to be willing to pay more for your Chinese-made Walmart shit, and cut rate clothing, and basketball shoes.

Meantime the Chinese smirk. And await a Democratic victory in 2020.

Sad. Damned Sad.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Lost in America: Basking In Cinematic Excellence

Lost in America: Basking In Cinematic Excellence:                                                                         After maybe the twelfth viewing in my lifetime of "12 A...

Basking In Cinematic Excellence


After maybe the twelfth viewing in my lifetime of "12 Angry Men" I'm ready to elevate the film to my top ten favorite films of all time.

All star cast of the best actors of the 20th century.....("more stars than there are in heaven"), tight script, a plot as relevant today as in 1957 when it was made, scenes packed with words that ring so true, and a "film weather" that ought to have won an Oscar for special effects.

Henry Fonda, Jack Klugman, Ed Begley, Robert Webber, Jack Warden, E.G. Marshall and a tortured Lee J. Cobb that should have won an Oscar, Fonda a close second for his placid, thoughtful portrayal of a man with a serene soul. It was the film equivalent of playing Aaron, Mays and Mantle in the same outfield.

The setting is a steamy summer in New York City, a trial that, were it not for Fonda, would have sent a minority kid from the tenements to an early death in the electric chair.

The trial concludes and the jurors retire to the jury room. The closed room is steamy, one small wall fan failing to fend off the rivulets of sweat running down juror faces, then steaming down into shirt and tie and seersucker suit coats. The majority of the jury are ready to pronounce "guilty" on the first roll call......Fonda the lone holdout.

Faced with a full frontal assault from the other jurors, Fonda slowly rises, pleads his doubts as he sifts through the evidence. One by one, he sows seeds of doubt in each piece of evidence. He is met with anger....anger harvested from sundry sources; Begley with his ethnic prejudices, Warden with his bitches at the length of the process, half a dozen others infected with the 50's man's benign indifference, Cobb seething with an internal anger that no one can explain.

At some point during the deliberations the urban gray skies open up and a steady rain begins to fall outside. As rivulets of rain stream down the windows like so many tears the twelve men think, feel, examine their own prejudices and motivations, then retreat for awhile to their "public selves" the tensions ebb and flow....eyes brighten, then dim by turn, frown lines form between brow and along the lifetime of crow's feet below the lash of eye.

As Fonda systematically sows those doubts, pointing out inconsistencies during the trial, a guilty vote turns to "not guilty".

Once biases are confronted, stripped naked for self examination, as evidence is looked at with a fresh eye, as speculation is accepted or rejected, we see that jury room as a microcosm of mid-century civilization, one or another juror wallowing in their biases, others seeking redemption of the soul in new truths.

Cobb is the lone hold out in the end, his inner torture finally revealed with the slap of wallet on table, a single photo slipping out onto the table. And Cobb's inner tortures are finally revealed. And with that revelation he becomes more human as he, in total emotional surrender, casts the final "not guilty" vote.

The final scene has Fonda, stepping out into a New York afternoon, the rain cleansing the air.....a metaphor perhaps for the cleansing that went on in that jury room. Fonda steps lightly down the marble stairs, his "everyman" persona joining the clumps of humans in the streets below, hurrying home for dinner, for a beer or martini at their favorite watering hole, to a liaison with a mistress, or just home to the wife and kids for a meatloaf supper.

The credits roll. And I, viewer, stand up from the easy chair, realize the muscles in my neck are thick with tension from a presentation of the human condition on a 46 inch screen. And feel glad that all manner of human is capable of redemption. And who could ask for more.