The contenders

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The 2020 Election is fast approaching and this time the Democratic Party has a lot to gain. This go-around in American politics they currently have 23 announced candidates for the Office of President. The largest group in more than 40 years. And there are yet others thinking about getting into the race as well.

So looking at the demographics of the Democratic field we have the youngest candidate just 37 years of age and the oldest is 77 years of age. There is about a 3 to 1 male to female ratio. In hard numbers that is 16 males and 5 females running for the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party.

There are 7 current sitting US Senators. Four current sitting US House members. And 2 former US House members. There are 2 candidates that are former Obama Administration officials.

One former state governor with 2 current sitting state governors in the race. And at lastly there are 3 current sitting mayors. All of these vying for the Democratic ticket.

Although these candidates have a wide set of skills and experiences, some not helpful at all as President of the United States. They all have somethings in common with one another.

They all promote Leftist ideals of Socialism that have never worked in practice. These ideals are contrary to the founding principles of the United States as clearly written in the US Constitution and writings of the Founding Fathers.

They all promote so-called solutions to both real and imagined issues facing the nation and the world by spending money. This money must come from taxes or tariffs as the government is not a producer of any goods. Thus they are promoting increased taxation on everyone even if they deny it.

They are all against everything that President Donald Trump has done, which is a good number of things. President Trump has fulfilled campaign promises of his own and those promises that past Presidents have failed to accomplish.

Our taxes are lowered. Strangling regulations have been removed. Our economy is booming. Our allies and friends have our respect again. Israel, our only true ally in the middle-east, has it’s capital of Jerusalem recognized by the placement of our embassy.

And our enemies know that it is not business as usual anymore. America has awoken from its long slumber and is taking back what belongs to her. So even our enemies fearfully respect the US once again. And world peace is at its strongest point in many decades.

What do any of the Democratic candidates offer in exchange for your vote? Nothing but the end of American Exceptionalism, the end of our great Republic and wanting to replace it with a flawed democracy or socialist state.

Despite having 23 candidates the answer is already crystal clear for November 2020. The Trump Train isn’t stopping and everyone will need to be onboard.

Tlaib’s latest anti-Semitic invective continues bad trend – Guest Contributor Ari Kaufman

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On the heels of Rep. Ilhan Omar’s multiple anti-Semitic smears I’ve written about, a fellow freshman congresswoman in the Midwest continues the bad habit. 

An old rule of debate is the first person to use a Holocaust analogy loses. Perhaps Democrat Rep. Rashida Tlaib (MI) never learned this rule.

Less than a week after Holocaust Remembrance Day, she commented, among other things during a fawning left-leaning Yahoo podcast entitled “From Rashida With Love,” that thinking about the Holocaust gives her a “calming feeling.”

A BDS supporter, Tlaib went on to say that her Palestinian ancestors were impacted by the Holocaust’s aftermath, all while defending the one-state solution to theoretically resolve tensions between Palestinians and Israelis.
{It should be noted that the “one state solution” is an absurd, deadly policy supported only by extremists like Hamas terrorists. It effectively means the eradication of Israel, the first and only home of world Jewry after thousands of years of persecution. That is a genocidal policy supported by a U.S. politician.}
After her horrific rhetoric Tlaib, like Omar, conveniently played the victim and predictably engaged in straw man attacks, writing in part on Twitter: “Policing my words, twisting & turning them to ignite vile attacks on me will not work. All of you who are trying to silence me will fail miserably…it was my ancestors — Palestinians — who lost their land and some lost their lives, their livelihood, their human dignity, their existence in many ways…”
Rashida Tlaib is a public figure, and like any politician, we will carefully listen to and closely analyze her words. No one wants to silence her. She knows this and her feckless comments do her a disservice. 
As to the substance, her claims are simply inaccurate. Palestinians did not “lose” anything after World War II. 
Once liberated concentration camp survivors left the nightmare of war-ravaged Europe, many of these Jews journeyed to their Biblical homeland of Israel to reunite with long-lost family and friends. Rather than greeting them, as Tlaib’s revisionism would have us believe, Arabs quickly rioted and convinced the compliant British to halt Jewish immigration. 
As soon as Israel finally and legally became a state in 1948, Arab countries quickly declared war on the new nation. They fought, and Israel miraculously prevailed. Since then, Palestinians could’ve had their own state many times, yet their belligerent leaders always refused, since the ultimate goal is the destruction of Israel, not peace. 
Jews were also in the Holy Land at least a thousand years before Arabs existed and constituted the majority in sparsely-populated Jerusalem since the early 19th century, as well as a clear majority along the Mediterranean coast since the 1910s. Arabs were a very small group in an area basically destroyed by the Romans 2,000 years before. 
And were regional Arab leaders three generations ago philo-Semitic, as Tlaib may have us believe? No, the precise opposite is true.
Haj Amin al-Hussein, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem (Muslim leader of Palestine during the Second World War), infamously met with Adolf Hitler late in 1941, where he thanked the Fuhrer for the “great honor he had bestowed” by receiving him. He also conveyed thanks, sympathy and “admiration from the entire Arab world” for support Hitler had shown in public speeches for the Arab and “especially the Palestinian cause.”
Indeed the Mufti sought a “Final Solution of the Jewish Question” just as much as the Nazis did.
Whether in America or Europe, open season for Jew hatred seemingly continues. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democrat leadership inexplicably missed an easy opportunity in March for a resolution specifically condemning anti Semitism after Omar’s dangerous bigotry. 
Until repercussions for repugnant, hurtful comments by left-wing politicians occurs, we are unfortunately likely to see more of this disgraceful, vile rhetoric, including violence like last month at the San Diego synagogue.

A California native, former school teacher and military historian, Ari Kaufman has worked as a journalist for various publications around the country since 2004. He lives with his wife in Minnesota.

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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Happy Mothers Day to all the mothers out there! Now, for a bit of bad news. We’re in the midst of a Constitutional crisis! And if we don’t address it, our country will be irrevocably damaged, the Presidency will be forever tarnished, Tyler Perry will make another Medea movie, and untold other horrible things. (At least, that’s what the Left keeps telling us this week.)

With all of the problems (real and imagined) we have to deal with, the Left’s drumbeat of “Constitutional crisis” may either be worrisome or tiring to the point where we just accept it in the hopes it will go away. Well, as a Mothers Day gift to you, I’m going to do my best to take away that fear and misery so you can have a good day. (And I didn’t save the receipt, so you can’t return it.)

Constitutional crisis

What the Left believes it means – a matter that threatens the very fabric of our country and system of government

What it really means – a matter where the Left tries to use the Constitution to hide the real crises

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: The Left loves to control the language as a means to control how people think about an issue, and the use of Constitutional crisis is no exception. Even when we don’t think about it, we still have a deep respect for the Constitution because it’s the cornerstone of our country. So, when paired with “crisis,” we tend to take it more seriously because of this respect for the Constitution.

This leads us to the question of whether we have a Constitutional crisis right now because of President Donald Trump and his Administration. To hear the Left talk about it, we’re either not in one and heading towards one 0r are in one and we need to act now. To someone like you and me, the answer isn’t so clear cut, but the phrasing makes it sound and feel like we are, and that’s what the Left is going for here: emotions over logic. Once you let your emotions run the show, the Left has their hooks in you and they won’t stop exploiting your emotions to make a point

The danger of that approach, though, lies in repetition. When such an emotionally charged phrase like “Constitutional crisis” gets used repeated or used in situations where it doesn’t really fit, it loses its power and people start to question its use across the board. It’s the “Boy Who Cried Wolf” phenomenon, or in this case, the Party That Cried Collusion. Once we’ve reached that stage, even real Constitutional crises get painted with the same broad brush and general apathy sets in.

Spoiler Alert, kids. We’re getting there.

After 2+ years of pounding the collusion drum like a John Bonham solo, the Mueller Report was a disappointment to the Left because it wasn’t the slam dunk the Left thought (i.e. prayed) it would be. Now, because it didn’t pan out, the Left needs to drive home the Constitutional crisis point to make up for the collusion point being ineffective. And, to make matters worse, they are using the same playbook now that they did when Russian collusion was the hot topic on the Left.

Which brings us to the next logical question: are we in a Constitutional crisis because of the Trump Administration? The answer is…well, complicated. To be fair, there are some actions and decisions Trump made that trouble me as a Constitutionalist. In his favor (and to my general dismay), he’s continuing a long line of Presidents who have treated the Constitution as a paper napkin at a barbecue joint. The continued use and abuse of the PATRIOT Act, eminent domain abuse, the bullying and blackballing of conservative voices in the public square, and many others I can list rise to the level of Constitutional crisis.

Trump winning an election and exercising power permitted by the Constitution? Not so much.

Even the most recent “example” the Left trotting it out may be in the kiddie pool of Constitutional crises, that being Attorney General William Barr declining to give additional testimony before Congress about the Mueller investigation after being subpoenaed by the House Judiciary Committee. On the one hand, it makes it look like Barr, Trump, and the whole Administration has something to hide which gives emotional heft to the Left’s argument. On the other hand, what good would it do? Barr testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee and gave answers to questions the House Judiciary Committee would probably repeat, so it’s a waste of time.

But there’s another, more sinister reason House Democrats want Barr to testify again: to try to catch him in a lie and, thus, try to discredit his previous testimony and keep both the Constitutional crisis and Russia collusion narratives going. If you doubt this, consider the fact Leftists are demanding we see the unredacted Mueller report in direct defiance of a law Democrats put into place following Kenneth Starr’s investigation into Whitewater prohibiting the release of grand jury testimony in the circumstance we find ourselves in today. And the cherry on top of this collusion sundae is the fact no Congressional Democrats with the authority to see the mostly unredacted report have done so.

This is the point where many people jump off the bandwagon and start asking questions. Are Leftists really as concerned about the Constitution as they say they are now, or are they just using it as a shield against earned criticism from the Russia collusion narrative going belly up? Let me consult my Magic 8 Ball here…there we go…yep, Signs Point To They’re Making Shit Up.

To be fair, neither major party has a good working relationship with the Constitution in decades. But one party has consistently used it as both a bludgeon and a shield to justify their actions and beliefs, and it’s not the Republicans. Ever since Trump won in 2016, the Left has tied itself into knots trying to either undo the election or make it so Trump and his supporters pay for their “wrongthink” whenever possible. The great irony here is neither of those options are in line with what the Constitution actually says. And the matter is worsened by the fact most of what the Left wants to hold Trump accountable for occurred before he was elected President, thus creating a new Constitutional question they haven’t considered in their rush to bring down the President. I wouldn’t call that a Constitutional crisis just yet, but it could become one if the Left doesn’t think about it soon.

Oh, who am I kidding? They won’t even think about it for a microsecond because the answer may doom the Trump Russia narrative.

From where I sit (in my living room, by the way), the Left’s use of “Constitutional crisis” is a political ploy to keep beating a dead horse to the point PETA is organizing protest marches against it. The best advice I can give you is to dig into some of the real Constitutional crises out there (like the ones I mentioned above) and compare them to the Left’s caterwauling over a situation that boils down to not wanting to accept the 2016 election results.

Wait, didn’t someone say not accepting the results of an election was bad? It was someone famous…a woman I think. Wonder what happened to her…

My 2019 Commencement Address

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Although you may not be able to tell from the weather outside, Spring is finally here again, as is graduation season. Appropriately enough, it’s also the time when I wait patiently for invitations to speak at graduation ceremonies that never come. Maybe it has something to do with a) not being famous enough, b) not being a rich enough alumnus to justify it, or c) they’ve read my past commencement addresses and said “Hard Pass.”

Regardless of those, I want to present to you the speech I would give (and am still willing to give) to this year’s graduating classes.

Hello, students, faculty, and family of the Class of 2019! If you are seeing and/or hearing this, we have survived yet another doomsday scenario dreamed up by people who claim to have all the answers. As a commencement speaker, it’s assumed I have all or at least most of the answers to what lies ahead. And you’d be right…and wrong.

You ever have that dream where you arrive to school on the last day for a final and realize you haven’t studied, the test has already been distributed, and you’re wearing nothing but a pair of pink Victoria Secret panties with matching bra and a pair of Crocs? Okay, maybe that’s just me, but the point is you’re scared, vulnerable, and don’t know what to do next. Welcome to Adulthood 2019, kids!

Instead of telling you to put on a brave face and go out and pursue your dreams, I’m going to level with you. It’s okay to be all of those things. Half the battle of being an adult these days is dealing with the anxiety that comes from being an adult these days. The other half of the battle? Knowing.

GI JOOOOOOOOOOOE!

Okay, bad 80s reference there.

The point is it’s okay to be uncertain in uncertain times, and we’ve hit the jackpot on the Slot Machine of Uncertainty lately. Whether it’s global climate change, the economy, tensions around the world, or where to get a good cup of coffee, there are always going to be problems that are too big for any of us to solve. And, yes, I know you think you have all the answers because I was once in that same position when I was your age. But all it takes is one person or situation to change all of that.

For me, it was the professor of my very first class at the University of Northern Iowa, Dr. John Eiklor. I walked into the auditorium for my first lecture thinking I was so brilliant and above it all, and 45 minutes later, I walked out realizing I needed to get my ego checked and my brain engaged. And since then, I have devoted myself to two causes. First, learning as much as I can to become more well-rounded, and second, never walking into an auditorium ever again. Well, that last one didn’t turn out so well due to having 6 more years of college to go at that part of my life, but the first one is still going strong.

Even though my desire for knowledge has continued, there are still some things where I’m just as clueless as ever. Like the Man Bun. No matter what, it rarely looks good on anyone unless you’re a samurai, and even then there is room for doubt.

Just like in life.

Soon, you will be faced with making adult decisions and you will make mistakes, just like I have. But it’s in the lessons we learn from those mistakes that make us who we are as adults. If it hadn’t been for Dr. Eiklor giving my ego a hard check into the sideboards, I don’t know if I would have been smart and brave enough to know that I didn’t know. Okay, that sounded better in my head, but the point is to always leave room for doubt in your lives because it’s in those gray areas where we find ourselves, both figuratively and literally, and maybe have some fun along the way. Instead of being bi-curious, be try-curious and try whatever suits your fancy. You will emerge from the experience richer than when you started it.

Just a word of warning, though. There are two consistencies in life. One is inconsistency. The other is there will always be bad movies coming out of Hollywood. We can’t overcome the latter, but we can overcome the former by keeping an open mind. Just because something worked for you now doesn’t mean it will always work. The worst thing you can do in your lives is to self-restrict your field of vision.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t some hard truths that can’t be swayed, however. I wanted to be a great basketball player in my teens, and I would be if I didn’t have the physical attributes of a three-toed sloth with narcolepsy. I still love to play, but I know I won’t be the next LeBron James and most likely neither will you. Welcome to the club!

Wait a second…did I just stumble across a nugget of wisdom here? Yes, yes I did. When all else fails, find common ground with people. So much of the stress we face in life comes down to us focusing on our differences instead of the really important stuff like what unites us. So, what should we be doing? Binge watching Netflix, of course! Well, either that or figuring out we’re different, just like everyone else!

Confusing, isn’t it? Well, that’s what awaits you once you walk out of here and into the next stages of your lives. Life isn’t supposed to make sense, folks. It’s supposed to be lived.

And that’s the best answer I can give you as far as what to expect out there in the Real World. You won’t have all the answers either, but at least you’ll know you won’t and that it’s okay not to have them. Just do right by yourself and others and you’ll be fine.

Thank you for listening and not throwing sharp and/or heavy objects at me. Congratulations, Class of 2019!

Game Publishing Dilemma

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I’ve been a table-top gamer for many decades now. During that time, I have played and GMed in a lot of game sessions using a vast number of rule sets or systems.

But when I look back only three of those rule sets are my favorite to play in or run. This doesn’t mean I don’t like the others by any means. It just means that three of them are my favorites.

Those three rule sets are:
1) The d6 system by West End Games
2) FUDGE by Grey Ghost Games
3) TinyD6 by Gallant Knight Games

These are just my top three favorites. I do enjoy others as well.

I have used many rule sets over the almost 40 years since my homebrew campaign started up with friends back in high school. From running whole story arcs with one rule set and switching to another for a single-shot adventure or two. And then changing again for the next major story arc.

So here I stand again at the crossroads of my great campaign setting. And I’ve debating with myself to create a published rule set for it. That of course brings me back to my top three favorite systems again.

I have private notes detailing the campaign setting into each of the three systems. None of them are 100% complete and they all get tweaked from time to time as I learn about other ways of using those rule sets and incorporate that information into my campaign of six-guns, sorcery, and psionics. Even with the incomplete notes, I could easily run an adventure using any of those systems around a gaming table.

So here is the point that has been driving me a bit crazy. Which one do I concentrate on?

Due to current licensing and other legal restrictions I am not able to publish my TinyD6 details. They are fine to use around the gaming table with friends but nothing more. Perhaps in the future this option will be available but at this time I must scratch it off the list.

The other two systems are open and very available to use in publishing material on my own setting with my own rule adaptations. And I already love both of those systems. I would like to spread the popularity of both FUDGE and the D6 system so this too has created a dilemma.

How do I choose one over the other?

Then I remembered. In the back appendix of the Fate 2 Fudge Edition book is a section on how to use Fate, which is derivative of FUDGE, with D6’s. I could do the same for FUDGE itself.

With that revelation I would be combining two of my favorite rule sets together. It was the perfect answer to the dilemma I was facing. I don’t have to choose. I can use both.

Thus I will work on the combination of FUDGE that uses d6’s like the D6 system. And the resulting hybrid will be FUDGE D6 for the Teara Adan campaign setting.

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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Amid all the talk about important issues (like Avengers: Endgame being soooooooo awesome), the country of Venezuela has been undergoing internal strife that has come to the surface in the past few weeks. To give you the short version of events, their economy sucks, their current leader is a tyrant not above using the military to kill people, and there’s a new guy trying to take over with the support of the United States.

Naturally, the Left, with all of its vast foreign policy knowledge and gravitas, is siding with the dictator.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-On’tKnowShit) recently said the sanctions we put on Venezuela crippled its economy, thus causing the unrest there. (Of course, it couldn’t have been because they dabbled with socialism during a time when there was oil money coming in like a giant petroleum slot machine looser than Bill Clinton’s morals, right? Naaaaaaah!) The concept of sanctions in general is interesting and deserves a closer look.

sanctions

What the Left thinks it means – harmful foreign and economic policy decisions designed to force countries to adopt our standards

What it really means – a step designed to  try to prevent war

The way sanctions work is by cutting off a need for a certain country, like money or medicine, in the hopes they’ll get their acts together and stop being assholes. Granted, sanctions don’t always work because in order for them to be effective, the target country has to believe the sanctions have teeth to them.

Remember Saddam Hussein? This is a perfect example of the sanctions with no teeth approach. The United Nations imposed strict sanctions against Iraq when he was trying to make moves on Kuwait in 1990. After their first attempt failed, they imposed more sanctions noting Iraq failed to comply with their initial sanctions. After Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm showed Saddam had the strategic acumen of Wile E. Coyote, Iraq at least tried to pretend they were complying. Of course, they weren’t, but they knew the UN was (and still is) all talk and no action unless the US gets involved again.

So, what did 10+ years of UN sanctions get us? A second trip to Iraq, more lives lost, and sand getting into the nooks and crannies of a lot of good men and women. Then, when it was time to go back to war, the Left came out against Iraq War II: Electric Boogaloo demanding we give the sanctions that didn’t work in the first place more time to, well, not work.

Venezuela is different, however. Their economy was already tanking like Adam Schiff’s chances of being anything more than a bug-eyed freak with more leakage problems than a Wiffle Diaper before the sanctions were put in place. And from there, it only got worse. I’m talking literally eating zoo animals due to widespread starvation worse. And many of the same Leftists who wanted us to let the sanctions work in Iraq blamed sanctions for Venezuela’s mess. And this is while they’re saying we shouldn’t get involved militarily.

That’s the part the Left doesn’t get about sanctions. You can’t pick and choose when you support them, especially if you’re wanting to avoid warfare. The military has three main jobs: kill the enemy, break their stuff, and prevent the enemy from doing the same to them. When we go to war, we can’t half-ass it. That’s right. We have to whole ass it! But the thing we try to do before then is to exhaust all possible options.

That’s where sanctions come in. As much as the Left thinks we’re a bunch of shoot first, ask questions never cowboys, we don’t automatically break out the new toys against an opposing country. If so, Israel wouldn’t have a problem with its neighbors anymore…because there wouldn’t be enough of them to form a softball league. When asking nicely doesn’t work, we have to try to flex our might in another way, and that means cutting countries off from money and/or goods. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but at the very least it shows we’re willing to give these countries a chance to redeem themselves either through willing compliance or through the threat of revolution. If that doesn’t work, then we consider warfare.

Put another way, sanctions are meant to be a deterrent to war, not a cause of it. If the Left really is against military action, they should consider supporting the sanctions until the leader chosen by the country’s legislative body is put into power. Either that or get ready for war (and I don’t mean organizing anti-war protests or trying to get President Donald Trump impeached).

Of course, these are the same people who sided with the dictator, so the chances of them making a smart decision here are slim.

Oh, well. At least Avengers: Endgame kicked ass, right?

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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When you consider the clown car of Democrats running for President right now, there are some names that come to mind. Kamala Harris, Joe Biden, and Elizabeth “Chief Running Mouth” Warren, for example. Somewhere further down the list is Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat from Hawaii. To put it mildly, she’s not quite as entrenched in Leftist ideology as most of the people in the clown car with her. In other words, she has her head out of her ass.

Recently, Ms. Gabbard gave a speech at the “She The People” conference where she was attacked, not by conservatives, but by Leftists including the Women’s March because she…refused to call herself a woman of color. If that isn’t grounds for her to be drummed out of the country, I don’t know…what in the blue hell the Left is thinking! At any rate, we have an opportunity to delve deeper into the concept of people of color.

people of color

What the Left thinks it means – groups of diverse individuals whose experiences should be recognized and celebrated

What it really means – another way for Leftists to separate people

The Left loves to break down Americans into labels they determine and, thus, control. In the Leftist hive-mind, every person is the sum total of their parts: race, gender, gender identity, economic status, and so on. Once they figure out what constitutes you, they take this information and create concepts intended to appeal to those different elements of who you are and make you into Leftists.

And for the most part it works, but not always. So, what happens when you refuse to abide by the Left’s interpretations of what you should be? They “otherize” you. It’s like you don’t exist, or they try to make you feel you like you shouldn’t. Just ask Tulsi Gabbard.

The funny thing is the only diversity the Left doesn’t care about is ideological. Although Gabbard is not the second coming of Ronald Reagan by any stretch of the imagination, she is more conservative than Leftists like. The fact she didn’t mention anything about her own status as a woman of color at the She The People event is one of the smartest things she could have done because it shows she doesn’t subscribe to the concept of using that status to advance her political career.

But not to Leftists. The fact she is a woman of color means, in Leftist thinking, she has to make it the focal point of her entire being. And because Gabbard isn’t doing that, the Left sees it as a betrayal of all women of color. After all, if a woman of color breaks off from what the Left thinks women of color should be, it might…inspire others to follow suit. And once that happens, they might…stop voting for Leftists! And we can’t have that, can we?

To borrow a phrase from a certain former President, yes we can.

The Left’s strengthening by division only works if you don’t feel you have any power to affect your life in any way. Once you realize what kind of power you have, the Left’s promises don’t look so good, especially when you have to give up your individualism to fit in. And there’s no guarantee you will stay in the Left’s good graces, even if you do everything they say and think the way they do.

Just like Tulsi Gabbard.

The thing is people of color don’t need to fixate on their race to get ahead, and conservatives don’t want them to. They just want you to pull your own weight. If you do that, you’re cool to the Right And most of the time, they won’t tell you what to say and do. They’re too busy working to bother with running your life.

I don’t care what you call yourself or how you self-identify, but just know that when you do, you’re purposely separating yourself from the rest of the world. That will build walls where they may not be needed and keep us separated as a country. Be proud of who you are, but don’t let it become your totality. I want you to expand your horizons, not because it hurts Leftists, but because it will make you a better person.

And when you really think about it, we’re all people of color. So, why would it matter what color you are? In short, it doesn’t. Only to people who wish to control you think it matters. But here’s the kicker. The Leftists attacking Tulsi Gabbard for not identifying as a woman of color when it’s clear she would be considered as such shows their commitment to diversity isn’t even skin deep.

And it also shows how clueless the Left has become.

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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There are times when a topic for a blog post is harder to find than the point of an Elizabeth Warren Presidential run, but there are other times when the perfect topic drops into your lap. Ladies and gentlemen, the latter occurred, thanks to the Mueller Report.

Whether you were hoping Robert Mueller’s report would exonerate or condemn President Donald Trump, the world waited with bated breath for a 400+ page report with redactions. It was almost like watching fans waiting for the next Harry Potter book Harry Potter and the Quest to Buy J. K. Rowling a 43rd House. And what we found was…well, let’s just go to the definition and analysis.

the Mueller Report

What the Left thinks it means – a report that proves Donald Trump obstructed justice and worked with the Russians to steal the 2016 Presidential election

What it really means – one of the most expensive door jams in American political history

I’m not usually cynical, but when it comes to politics and the theater of the magnitude of the Mueller Report, it’s hard not to be. From the beginning, I felt it was going to be an inconclusive waste of time (and taxpayer money) because no one was going to be happy with the outcome. If the report proved beyond a reasonable doubt Donald Trump worked with the Russians to win the 2016 Presidential election, a good chunk of the country would say it was fake news, no matter how well sourced it was. If the report showed Trump was as innocent as a newborn, a good chunk of the country would claim the report was a sham and that Trump used his power and influence to affect the outcome.

And what we got was firmly between these two extremes. A redacted report (as required by law after the Starr Report) made the Left mad because they know there’s good stuff that proves Trump is guilty. And even if there isn’t, they claim there’s enough there to warrant impeachment. The report also made Trump supporters ecstatic because it showed (even with the redactions) that the President wasn’t guilty and the investigation was a sham from the word go. To me, however, the Mueller Report doesn’t prove Trump’s guilt or innocence because it wasn’t meant to do either.

At its core, the Mueller Report was a mutli-million dollar job project for people who want to keep our eyes off the real issues in this country, not the least of which being the federal government spying on a private citizen in the hopes of getting some dirt to help a severely flawed candidate limp into the White House because it was “her turn.”

But I’m totally not cynical.

Yes, there were a number of Trump associates who plead guilty to crimes…that were unrelated to the campaign itself. Yes, the funds seized from the aforementioned guilty parties was more than the cost of the investigation…which ultimately didn’t turn up anything concrete about the actual subject matter of the investigation, Donald Trump. Yes, the report uncovered suggestions that Trump may have possibly broken the law…but leaves that open to interpretation to the point of being irrelevant. Yes, the report did leave the job of holding the President accountable to the crimes (real or imagined) to Congress…which is what they are supposed to do anyway. In other words, we’re pretty much back where we started, but now we have a report.

Yay for us?

The real kicker here is the Mueller Report might be worthless at the jump because it may not be used as grounds for impeachment. Under that little document the kids today call the Constitution, a President can be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors. But what if the crimes are committed before the President is sworn in? That’s a question the Left hasn’t thought to ask before now in their rush to impeach Trump, and it’s a question the Right hasn’t thought to ask before now in their rush to defend Trump. And it’s a pretty big question to be overlooked.

Put simply, the Mueller Report is a lot like making hot dogs: you’ll enjoy it better if you don’t think about what went into making it. The problem (among several I could rattle off here) is the reason we have the report in the first place is fundamentally flawed and politically motivated, which makes any result questionable at best. I’m not a fan of the President, but I have to call bullshit when I see it, and basing an entire impeachment case off the Mueller Report and what lead up to it is USDA Grade A all-American bullshit. Expecting good results from bad faith is foolish.

It’s important that we separate the report from the man, however. Robert Mueller may be a choirboy or a criminal, but until we know the man, we should not judge him. From where I sit, he has kept his mouth shut for the most part while investigating the allegations, so that speaks well of his commitment to justice. Let’s not malign him until he acts or says something that warrants it.

In the meantime, let’s direct our ire towards the Mueller Report and make sure we’re not getting caught up in the debate over minutia coming from it. There are serious legal, Constitutional, and ethical concerns that need to be addressed before any action can and should be taken.

But knowing politicians, they can’t be bothered with said concerns because they ruin the political narrative.

But, still totally not cynical.

See Something, Say Some Things

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It’s been about 2 weeks since Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) said the following:

CAIR was founded after 9/11, because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.

Since those words were uttered, Rep. Omar has gotten death threats (according to her) and more than a little push-back from people from all sides of the political spectrum. Rep. Omar’s defenders say her comments were taken out of context and actually meant something completely different. Her detractors say her comments downplayed the events of 9/11 and the feelings over those lost and left to carry on after the attacks.

I’ve waited a while to write about this because I wanted to dig a bit deeper and make sure I wasn’t doing what both sides of this controversy were doing: taking a side and ignoring any facts that contradict that side. After reading Rep. Omar’s comments in context, I have a few things to say.

Death threats are not cool, period. I don’t care if you’re so conservative you make Ronald Reagan look like a hippie or if you’re further left than an outfielder playing the third base line, threatening to harm or kill anyone is not the way to make your point, win friends, and influence people. And that goes double for anyone who acts on those threats. There’s a reason we’re on top of the food chain, and it’s not because we look snazzy in dress clothes. It’s because we’re supposed to be able to think. Rep. Omar doesn’t deserve death threats from any person, period. Instead, vote her out of office.

What Rep. Omar said wasn’t hate speech. I’m sorry, my Right-leaning brethren and sisthren (I may have made that last word up, but hey.). What she said wasn’t hate speech; it was stupid speech. Any time there’s miscommunication, the message and/or the messenger may be to blame. Given the sensitive nature of 9/11, it is vital to show careful consideration to the words chosen as to avoid unintentional misinterpretation. Rep. Omar and/or her speechwriter failed miserably here. Even if her intent wasn’t to downplay the events or the perpetrators of 9/11, her wording made it seem like she did. Thus, the backlash. Which brings us to…

Context matters, and not just in the moment. Rep. Omar’s defenders say her words were taken out of context, which is all too common an excuse for when Leftists make incredibly stupid comments that can be interpreted in a bad light. In context, it’s unclear who Rep. Omar was referring to by the “some people did something” line, and people adding context only muddies the water. Could it be she was referring to people attacking Muslims and non-Muslims alike in the aftermath of 9/11? Sure. Could she be playing defense for her religion? Absolutely. Could she be hinting at an oft-repeated, but utterly discredited myth that Israel was behind 9/11? Possibly. In the larger context of previous comments she’s made, one could make the argument Rep. Omar had a hidden motive like the ones I mentioned and others I didn’t. But to say Rep. Omar’s comments could only be taken in one context (that, surprise surprise, makes her seem either like a martyr or a monster) is ignoring the totality of her statements, ideas, and attitudes. And speaking of context…

Donald Trump and the New York Post didn’t take Rep. Omar out of context. Regardless of what the defenders of Rep. Omar say, her words were not taken out of context. They may not have been a full quotation, but that doesn’t negate the fact there is a legitimate interpretation of her words that she may not have intended, but is there. Claiming it was is a little intellectually dishonest and more than a little hypocritical, given Rep. Omar said President Trump was “not human” not that long ago. Live by the “otherizing” of an opponent, politically die by the “otherizing” of an opponent. And furthermore…

Donald Trump and the New York Post didn’t incite violence. If claiming Rep. Omar’s comments were taken out of context was intellectually dishonest (which it was), claiming President Trump and the New York Post incited violence is the Big Kahuna of intellectual dishonesty in 2019. The worst you can say is the Post cover was provocative to the point of exploitation, but nowhere in Trump’s tweets or in the Post’s reporting of the controversy is there a call for violent action. And don’t give me that “it was subtle” crap because it’s a double standard. If we have to be generous in giving Rep. Omar the benefit of the doubt with her 9/11 comment, the same standard should apply to Trump and the Post. But, it doesn’t because it ruins the narrative that Rep. Omar is being picked on by the mean ole Trumpmonster!

Silence isn’t golden, and neither is race and gender baiting. Since the controversy blew up (if you’ll pardon the bad turn of a phrase), Rep. Omar hasn’t retracted her statements or offered additional clarification. I’m sure she’ll get around to it once she’s done blaming the backlash on her gender and race. Yeah, not a smart move. Although I’m sure there is a lot of pushback due to her race and gender (and even her religion), there is a lot of it that has nothing to do with any of that, but rather the content of her words combined with the lack of a plausible explanation. When even Leftists are telling you what you said was troubling, Rep. Omar, you might need to take a step back and look at it from their perspective. The more she relies on the race and gender card instead of the “I screwed up and I’m sorry” card, the harder it will be for her to be forgiven.

Not all Muslims are like Rep. Omar. With all of the controversy, you may not have heard some of Rep. Omar’s critics…are fellow Muslims. And, no, it’s not because they think she didn’t go far enough. They actually don’t think she’s a good representative of their faith, and I tend to agree. Muslims attacked us on 9/11, but they’re not the representation of all Muslims, nor should they be. When they sympathize with the 9/11 attackers and those who share their interpretation of the Quran, then they cross that line, but not before. I don’t want Tom Arnold to be representative of all Iowans because we also have Brandon Routh and Jason Momoa, and those two were Superman and Aquaman. Instead, treat every Muslim like we would like to be treated, and nobody gets hurt.

I feel really sorry for Nancy Pelosi. Rep. Omar and her cohorts, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and the Socialist Socialite (D-UH), have given Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi a lot of headaches since becoming members of the House of Representatives in January. From making absurd and hateful statements to the rollout of the Edsel of the green movement called the Green New Deal to taking up all the oxygen that other freshmen Democrats could be using to advance ideas, Pelosi has her hands full. Part of me says, “You got what you wished for” and leave it at that, but a part of me feels sorry for her because I don’t think she could have ever imagined three freshmen Democrats making such a mess out of what should be an easy time of making a cogent argument in favor of their policies. Instead, she’s having to put out fires like Squad 51 of “Emergency!” while spinning more then Enrico Fermi on the Silly Silo out at Adventureland and trying to keep the various factions within the House Democrats from creating a rift so vicious it makes the Hatfields and McCoys look like an Amish pillow fight. If the Democrats lose the White House and one or both branches of Congress in 2020, a good chunk of the blame will lie at the feet of Pelosi not being able to draw attention away from the 3 Stoogettes long enough to formulate actual policy.

That’s all I have to say for now, but if I don’t stop now, I’ll get off on tangents that nobody wants me to visit.

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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There have been some major news stories breaking over the past week, but none has been bigger than WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange being arrested in London at the behest of the United States. Assange is a polarizing figure to many. To some, he’s an unsung hero who kept governments’ feet to the fire. To others, he is a dangerous individual who should have been arrested and jailed a long time ago.

And, as you might expect, the Left has been conflicted over his work. When it was George W. Bush getting skewered, Leftists loved Assange. When it was Hillary Clinton catching his ire, he was a Russian asset. And when President Donald Trump said he liked WikiLeaks and asked them jokingly to get her emails, Assange became persona non grata to the Left. (Persona non grata is Latin for “person without cheese.” Or something like that.)

Time to delve into the wonderful world of WikiLeaks and Assange.

Julian Assange

What the Left thinks it means – a dangerous individual who is a threat to international security

What it really means – a 21st Century version of a hired gun

The Left’s attitude towards Assange is no surprise to me because they’ve played this game before. Remember Cindy Sheehan? The Left loved her when she would protest against George W. Bush, but when she decided to run against Nancy Pelosi, Sheehan was painted as an unstable grieving mother who couldn’t find her way out of a ditch with a map, a ladder, and a sign. The Left will use whomever they want in whatever fashion they want until that person becomes a liability to them.

And Julian Assange fits that bill perfectly.

I’ve been following his efforts to shine light into the cockroach infested halls of government for years, and it’s clear he has no allegiance to any one ideology or movement. He is truly a merc with a modem. That can lead to some interesting discussions about the morality and legality of what he does. On the one hand, he is revealing information the powerful don’t want you to know (or in Hillary’s case relying on the stupidity of her campaign staffers to openly give out the information inadvertently). Knowledge is power, especially in the Information Age. Yet, what if that information results in an innocent party getting hurt? Some could argue people like Bradley “Chelsea” Manning were damaged by working with Assange. And he/she may not be the only one, just one of the more visible victims.

This raises a question that hits at both the legal and moral parts of this discussion: is disobeying a bad law for good ends justifiable? Not an easy one to puzzle out, is it? Once you factor in such elements as severity of the crime (stealing a loaf of bread to feed your family versus stealing a loaf of bread to kill your family), the frequency of the crime (a first-time offender versus a serial killer who uses baked goods to kill his victims), circumstances (a poor child versus a rich white man who washed out of culinary school and wants to take revenge on the world), and so on, the hard and fast solution we want becomes murkier and harder to obtain. Yes, Assange broke the law in at least 2 countries, and the reasons behind that lawlessness may be the result of a lawless process, but it’s hard to get past the fact the law was broken.

Of course, none of that means jack squat to the Left. They will justify lawlessness in pursuit of their own ends without fail. How do you think Al Sharpton keeps getting sweet gigs in spite of his criminal behavior? The minute Sharpton flips the script and sounds like Rush Limbaugh with a tan, the Left will turn on him faster than you can say Tawana Brawley.

But this relationship isn’t one way. Seems the Left had no problems wanting Assange taken out. I seem to remember someone from a recent previous administration who wondered out loud whether Assange could be taken out with a drone strike, but I can’t remember who that was…I’m sure it was nobody important. After all, the previous President would never let someone make a joke like that or make a similar joke about his daughters and the Jonas Brothers.

Anyway, even a joke like that would be enough to motivate him to counterattack in the only way he knew how: by releasing damning information about Hillary Clinton. Personally, I’m surprised he had the bandwidth, storage capacity, and patience to limit it to just her emails, but bully for him all the same.

Here’s where I part company with Assange. Although he’s shown he has no allegiance to the Left or the Right, I can’t quite trust him. Call it the David Brock Effect. Brock was a Republican (or so the self-professed liar said in his book Blinded By the Right), but then shifted hard Left. Whenever someone shifts that drastically, even if I agree with the outcome, I can’t completely trust that person. People with integrity can change their minds without it affecting their core convictions. I don’t get that from Assange, just like I don’t get it from Brock because I’m not convinced they have core convictions beyond the here and now. That tells me their convictions can be bought and sold depending on who’s cutting the check. What’s to say Assange doesn’t goes after Trump tomorrow if George Soros drops a few million dollars in his lap?

Granted, this is speculation on my part because I don’t know Assange well enough to say definitively. He may be as consistent and dogged as I am to get to the truth. We will see in the coming weeks and years whether he is an opportunist or a soothsayer. In the meantime, I will enjoy the Leftist meltdowns.

Popcorn, anyone?