Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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Remember Stacey Abrams? If so, I’m sorry. If not, she’s a former Democrat candidate for Governor of Georgia who lost the election by 55,000 votes, but contends she was robbed of the election. Well, she’s back, both as an on-again off-again Vice Presidential candidate and as the leader of a relatively new organization called Fair Fight 2020 whose focus is on…get ready for this…election security.

The Left’s overt concern for election security isn’t new. Since President Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton in 2016, the Left has offered up any number of solutions to what they perceive to be lapses in protecting the election process in America and making sure the current system is reformed to avoid another election debacle.

If you sensed a tinge of sarcasm in my typing, you would be correct. There is a lot to unpack regarding the Left’s newfound love of secure elections, so let’s get started!

election security

What the Left thinks it means – ensuring all votes are counted and all threats to a democratic election are minimized, if not eliminated

What it really means – securing elections so only Democrats can win

The Left hasn’t always had a great track record when it comes to election security. From the dead voting in Chicago to mysterious votes appearing out of nowhere to elect former Senator Al Franken, the Left has always managed to find ways to circumvent existing laws through a combination of registration fraud (i.e. ACORN), favorable judicial rulings that make no sense (i.e. Franken’s election), and controlling who counts the votes (i.e. George Soros’ plan to fill state election officials with individuals sympathetic to Leftist causes). Like I said, there’s a lot to unpack here, but I’ll try to keep it brief.

Back in 2000, Democrats cheated and still lost. At that time, they started coming up with all sorts of reasons why our elections were substandard (without ever considering the fact Al Gore was a horrible candidate). They insisted upon electronic voting options, which were easily hacked and provided no paper trail of a person’s vote in case of a malfunction. That’s not counting all the glitches in the electronic voting system.

But the interesting part of this isn’t what the Left has proposed, but what it hasn’t proposed. Simple ideas like paper ballots, photo ID required to vote, and limits on early voting aren’t even being considered and are actively opposed by the very Leftists who say they want secure elections. They will give you any number of reasons why these ideas need to be opposed (usually revolving around allegations of racism, voter intimidation, discrimination, or some combination of buzzwords). Yet, none of these reasons make sense if election security is really the name of the game.

But it’s not, and it never has been.

The Left’s dedication to bureaucracy gives them a decided advantage in elections, that being they know the rules inside and out so they know how to circumvent them. That advantage has been threatened by voters deciding not to vote for Leftists because they’re nuttier than squirrel shit. So, instead of finding candidates that can’t be insane, gaffe-prone, or dumb, the Left blames the election process and the voters for “voting wrong.” Why else do you think the Left is okay with publicly naming and shaming Trump donors? Because in their minds, Trump voters should be ashamed of voting and supporting the President.

The fact Trump beat their best efforts to rig an election has been eating at the Left since 2016, and their recent support of election security is a part of that. The Left needs to find a balance between making sure the voting system is as restrictive as possible to outsiders and keeping the systems they’ve put in place to secure more Democrat victories from being discovered and then used against them. Plus, the more screwed up they can make election security, the better their argument that it’s screwed up and needs to be fixed becomes.

Voter ID is a prime example of the Left’s strategy. It’s not that hard to get an ID card, no matter what the Left tells you. Many states offer free or low-cost cards. All it takes is the effort and desire to get one. If election security were the Left’s real aim, they would support it, but they don’t because it screws up some of the mechanisms they have in place to rig elections. Leftists love early voting and absentee voting because they can secure votes from people who can’t vote for one reason or another (usually because the voter is dead, but not removed from voter rolls yet.) With voter ID, people who can’t produce proof of who they are can’t vote, which ruins the Left’s usual tactics. Without it, they can gin up as many votes as they want or need to meet their goals.

One thing the Left can count on, though, is the Right playing by the rules…most of the time. Let’s be honest here. Politics is one of the dirtiest games around and both major parties bend, break, and puree the rules on a regular basis. Having said that, the Right still has some sense of duty to the law that the Left gave up a loooooong time ago in order to win elections. Make no mistake, the Left is as concerned about election security as they are about Pat Paulsen coming back to life and running as a Democrat. Everything they say with regards to election security is designed as a smokescreen.

And the best way to fight it is to support actual election security efforts. Showing your ID at a polling place takes only a few seconds, but it does more to protect the integrity of an election than the Left cares to admit. Same with paper ballots, auditing election rolls on a regular and more timely basis, and any number of other common sense options the Left rejects out of hand. If you want election security, fight for the solutions to make elections more, not less, secure. And don’t be dissuaded by those who call you a racist, bigot, or some other name because you do. Remember the Left’s entire purpose isn’t to improve our election system, but to improve the chances Leftists get elected.

Then, maybe Stacey Abrams can go back to pretending to be Governor of Georgia.

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!

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?

Guest Opinion – “College Admission Sweepstakes” by Ari Kaufman

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A friend recently told me to discontinue sending her e-mails because her son is “preparing to apply to colleges” and would thus need his mother’s constant attention and assistance.

I was miffed, recalling that the boy just turned 16. I’m aware of crafty college coaches recruiting players in eighth grade but I was unsure why my friend needed to devote so much time to this oft-overhyped decision.

When I applied to college about 25 years ago, my mom was helpful, but there were no online applications and, therefore, no opportunities for incessant e-mails to the high school guidance counselor or university administrator.

Unlike the homes I’ve recently visited, my family’s dining room table wasn’t  littered with brochures from a dozen schools. There was no calendar planning when we’d go on the “East Coast trip,” (Maryland, Virginia) the “West coast sojourn” (UCLA, Stanford) nor the “Big Ten trip,” centered around football schedules for the likes of Michigan and Wisconsin.

And after my school of choice didn’t accept me, we didn’t call on an esteemed alumnus to write a persuasive letter to the dean, requesting further consideration and review of my extracurriculars. (Yes, I know several upper-middle class people who’ve done exactly that, and it usually worked.)

The class of 2019 will decide on college — or work, as many intrepidly eschew college’s high costs for vocational schools and quicker paychecks — in the next few weeks, and it’s an overplayed decision, which becomes less essential each year.

As we recently witnessed via the massive university admissions bribery scandal, the playing field isn’t legitimate either, and disingenuous influence comes in a variety of ways if you’re well connected. In fact, insecure parents often care more than the children.

For many parents, it’s a mad dash of planning frivolity, all for an indefinite result, long-term debt and what some deem an overpriced participation certificate (I say this as someone with a graduate degree and PhD wife.)

Especially within the humanities (full disclosure: I majored in political science, and my current job has nothing to do with my field of study), colleges are not about teaching skill sets nor preparing students for real world careers; they’re about credentialing, social connections and, yes, status. Credentialing occurs the minute you get accepted to the university, while social connections are created by one’s mere presence at university. Status is via your diploma and often more important for the parents to boast about with bumper stickers and school sweatshirts. Education itself? Usually secondary.

Actress Lori Laughlin’s daughter, Olivia Jade, may have come across vacuous in her YouTube video saying she didn’t care about school, but she was mostly correct; she doesn’t need to go to college. She’s wise to drop out! At age 18, she was already a more successful entrepreneur than any of USC’s faculty who’ll teach her. Blame the rich parents for their insecurity and wasting hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars.

A few decades ago, it mattered a bit where you attended college, and more importantly, what you learned. Some employers likely cared, professors were more objective, grades weren’t inflated, and fewer people attended graduate school.

Thirty years ago, a majority of students could probably identify Iraq on a map, the name of Germany’s chancellor or what the First Amendment entails.

Not so much anymore. The facts, polls and anecdotal evidence don’t lie.

Recent grads I know were unaware of who Robert F. Kennedy was, what socialism is, and when the Gulf War occurred. There was an economics graduate from a top school who had never been introduced to Milton Friedman’s brilliant theories (I’m certain he knew Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s warped theories, though.)

So, since where one attends college is becoming immaterial, why all the stress?

Unlike 1959 or 1979, now that delaying one’s entry into the workforce is common via grad school, the institute producing your bachelors’ diploma is truly less imperative.

Yes, succeeding at certain schools in certain majors holds weight in certain fields, but that’s a very narrow area. It mostly depends upon where your future boss puts value. In the various jobs and careers I’ve had, no supervisor cared one iota about my grades or where I went to college. None. My work ethic, integrity, experience and production mattered more.

Parents need to realize this, relax, and relay this information to their offspring. But, in my experience, and this week proves it again, they don’t.

There are paid “educational consultants” in high-achiever enclaves for parents looking to pick the proper preschool. And the pressure to get into the “right” college is being felt by parents of children not yet in high school.

When I taught a group of soon-to-be ninth-graders many summers ago at the University of Vermont, one precocious student’s parents picked him up the final day and whisked him on a weekend tour of New England campuses.

I’m afraid to guess what that kid’s next few years were like.

 

https://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/2019/03/13/college-admissions-scandal-mad-raise-better-humans/3155698002/

https://www.townandcountrymag.com/society/money-and-power/a26812285/william-singer-college-admissions-scandal/

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lveMkZc-NRE&feature=youtu.be

https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/lori-loughlins-kid-olivia-jade-said-she-didnt-really-care-about-school-in-vid-amid-college-scam-charges

https://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/21/revisiting-the-value-of-elite-colleges/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lveMkZc-NRE

https://pagesix.com/2019/03/14/lori-loughlins-daughters-drop-out-of-usc-after-admissions-scandal/?utm_campaign=iosapp

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.

 

Childish Social Media

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On social media there is a growing trend of users who get upset with you when you comment on their public posts. I guess they don’t understand what social media is all about. So here is a primer.

Social media is first of all social. That means not just you but a group of people. If you don’t have any friends or follower on social media what would be the point of sharing something.

Social media secondly is about sharing. Your likes, your dislikes, your political views. Your faith or lack there of. Your vacation pictures. The pictures of your children, grandchildren, or pets. You can share your pet peeves, favorite recipes, and so much more.

With social media you can share these things and a lot more instantly. You can share them with your friends, your family, your co-workers. And it can be shared by their friends, family, and co-workers as well. And even further to people you may not even know yet.

So I am surprised when someone gets upset with something they shared with the entire world. Not everyone is going to like or agree with things that you share.

This needs a solution and I have it. It’s very simple too. If you find yourself upset over comments made on something that you shared with the world then you need to get over yourself first. You did share it. What did you expect?

If you don’t want any comments or don’t like the comments you get. Well, it is your page or wall. Feel free to delete them, but they might come back if you do. The better solution is to not post anything that you don’t want commented on in the first place. Everything posted on social media is subject to comment. Not all comments will be positive.

Looking at Facebook, you do have options on who a post is shared with … this too can help limit the comments. Use this instead of posting it to the whole world of “public”. Post it so only you can see it.

Just don’t complain that it’s your page or wall when a comment is something you don’t like. That is childish.

Starship Design Blunder

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Starship design in most science-fiction doesn’t make a lot of sense. This is true across most science-fiction franchises. Star Wars, Star Trek, the original Battlestar Galactica, and many others.

The design problem is the placement of the bridge. In many of these starships the bridge is located behind a glass window looking out into space. And it is located at the front and center of the ship.

This makes the bridge an easy target during combat. It’s not well protected and it sticks out like a sore thumb.

The bridge dome at the top of every Federation starship’s saucer shaped primary hull. The front windows of the bridge of the Battlestar Galactica in the original series was shattered more times that I can count in battle. And the bridge at the top tower of an Imperial Star Destroyer of the Galactic Empire in Star Wars.

These are all advanced civilizations but they don’t protect the nerve center of their warships. At least this was corrected in the reimaged Battlestar Galactica series as it was within the hull and well protected. It used sensors and small craft to view what was happening outside instead of a glass window.

Having the bridge exposed is just a bad design. In any of these stories I would target the bridge location in every engagement. Concentrated firepower would get through any energy shields and completely disable any ship targeted.

UFP and Communism

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A lot has been written about the futuristic universe of Star Trek. Most articles have been on its technology and how that influenced our technology. There is no doubt on this aspect. We can see it all around us.

The economics of Star Trek has been touched on by a few. There are different theories on this but I subscribe to the theory that the United Federation of Planets has become a communist state. It didn’t start out that way mind you, but by the time of The Next Generation the change has been nearly completed.

Some have stated that to express the idea that the Federation is communist is being lazy. And that might be the case if one doesn’t present the abundant evidence that supports the statement. And others flat out refuse to accept that the Federation is communist. Not their beloved science-fiction franchise that can do no wrong.

But the evidence is clear in this case. The Federation has become a communist state.

Below is a sampling of the evidence taken from an article that was previously written on the subject that goes into far greater depth than I’m going to go into here in this posting. However the article will be posted as a PDF that you can download and read for yourself as well with the overwhelming evidence that supports that the Federation is communist.

In Communism and the Federation there are no property rights. There is no wealth, no money, and no buying and selling of personal goods. Also wall street and investments are also non-existent. And due to these factors people live in a very Spartan lifestyle.

In Communism and the Federation the State controls all forms of transportation. We see this in Star Trek all the time. There are no personal or privately owned star ships. The skies above Earth are empty. Movement is tracked as everyone must book passage on a Federation owned ship to go anywhere. No one even owns a private shuttle craft.

In Communism and the Federation the State controls communications and thus limits Freedom of expression, speech, and even the press. We have never even seen the press in the Federation. Every bit of news comes from the government. The subspace relay network is owned by the government, there is no alternative to long range communications. Personal data isn’t encrypted either as its been shown throughout the series that personal information can easily be obtained. Only Federation officials and ship captains can send secure communications.

In Communism and the Federation religion has been eliminated and so has the traditional family. Promiscuity is wide spread and even encouraged. Throughout TNG and beyond there is no mention of God or Jesus anywhere. Christianity has been stamped out.

In Communism and the Federation the State controls all industry. There are no corporations by the time of TNG era. No logos across known space for any company. And no patients either, everything created is in the public domain.

The points I just listed are the tip of the iceberg. Check out the attached PDF file for the drilled down examples and details concerning these points and many more. Once you have finished this reading, you will know that the Federation is communist.

A Tale of Two Catastrophies

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When you really think about it (and I do because I really have no life), the confirmation hearings for potential Supreme Court Justice Brett “the Hitman” Kavanaugh are shaping up to be much bigger than whether Kavanaugh gets fitted for a robe before Christmas and whether he’ll carpool with Ruth Bader Ginsburg. There are high stakes here for both sides, and eventually there will be winners and losers. Oddly enough, the Left seems to be full of losers, both in the confirmation hearings and in general, but there’s one loss they haven’t considered yet, and given how much time they’ve spent on it, I’m surprised (well, not really) they have overlooked it.

Over the past several months, Leftists have loudly defended the FBI against attacks from President Donald Trump. According to them, it is traitorous to question the loyalty and competency of the men and women who work for the FBI (Lisa Page, Peter Strzok and James Comey, notwithstanding). You couldn’t swing a dead cat and not hit a Leftist voicing support for the FBI or without getting in trouble with PETA.

For some reason, though, the loud Leftist voices have gone silent. Is it because the issue is dead? Not really. President Trump still has concerns, at least some of them valid, at how the FBI conducts itself. Although the frequency of his Tweets on the matter have decreased somewhat, the animosity is still there. But something else is going on that has to do with the FBI: Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing and the controversy surrounding it.

To put it mildly, Leftists have jumped on the allegations against Kavanaugh like Rosie O’Donnell on an all-you-can-eat buffet line. Now, here’s where the plot thickens like the aforementioned O’Donnell’s blood after said buffet. Kavanaugh has had six, count ‘em, six background checks done up to and including the Supreme Court. Who conducted these checks?

If you guessed the FBI, you would be correct. If you guessed anything else, you don’t get to move on to the lightning round, you don’t get a year’s supply of Rice A Roni or Turtle Wax, and you don’t even get a lousy edition of the home game. However, you do get a trip around the world as Regis Philbin’s travel buddy.

Six FBI background checks, and not a single shred of evidence linking Kavanaugh to the sexual assaults he’s been accused of. This leads to two possible conclusions. One, there is nothing there that would support the allegations, and two, the FBI missed the same signs six times. Both have the potential to rock the Left to its core, but the latter makes it harder to operate in my opinion because of the remedy they’ve suggested to address the allegations against Kavanaugh: have the FBI open an investigation on whether he sexually assaulted women.

To put it another way, the Left wants the same people who conceivably overlooked the same issues multiple times to look into a situation they conceivably overlooked multiple times. That’s like trusting Hans Blix to find WMDs in Iraq…oh, wait.

The Left is forced into a Kobiashi Maru of their own making. Either they trust the FBI to investigate Kavanaugh while ignoring the six previous times they did just that, or they have to admit the FBI was right all along, thus negating the need for another investigation.

But let’s not tell them just yet. I want to see the looks on their faces when they watch their pro-FBI rhetoric explode in their faces.

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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With Hurricane Florence on the minds of people on the southern Atlantic coast, many eyes are focusing on the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA. To say the men and women who staff FEMA are under a lot of pressure is like saying Nikki Minaj is a talentless hack: it’s accurate, albeit understated. And when you have so many people directly and indirectly affected by what you do, you are expected to perform well under that pressure. Even one screw up can mean you turn into a pariah.

I’m looking at you, Michael “Brownie” Brown. These days he’s managing a Fryalator at the Regional Shanty of Flapjacks (their motto: Try our Possum and Pancake Combo Because ‘Murca.)

Leftists seem to have a love/hate relationship with FEMA. On the one hand, they have an incredible amount of power as a result of tragedy and have people relying on them for help. On the other, occasionally FEMA is run by a Republican, which makes their statist wet dreams a bit less enjoyable, but gives the Left an excuse to exploit tragedy to further their own political ends. So, any day ending in “day.”

Let’s take a closer look at FEMA, shall we?

FEMA

What the Left thinks it means – a competent federal agency that works well when a Leftist is running it, but is a failure when a conservative or Republican runs it

What it really means – a government agency that both fulfills a need and infuriates small government types

And, yes, I am one of those small government types. Having said that, there are some problems that can only be handled at the federal level because of the sheer logistics necessary to resolve them. Imagine renovating a large house. Even if you are a Ron Swanson-level handyman, there are going to be some jobs you are going to need to hire out to do. You know, like if your house is lacking a floor…on every floor.

This is what FEMA does, in essence. They are the people who get hired to handle the big jobs we can’t do ourselves. And just like with every job, there are people who will go the extra mile, and there are people whose greatest effort of the day is walking over to the coffee pot. Think Congress with tool belts.

We saw the impact of this recently in Puerto Rico. Although President Donald Trump called FEMA’s reaction to Hurricane Maria “an incredible unsung success,” the visuals make it hard to take the President’s word for it. Many parts of Puerto Rico are still without power, people are sick and dying, and food and water isn’t getting to the people who need it. Even though Trump has a point about the successes of the response getting overlooked in light of the devastation, we can see where there are areas of improvement.

Therein lies one of my problems with FEMA: we keep seeing these areas of improvement without seeing anyone addressing them. Whether it was the FEMA trailers going unused and the misuse of federal funds to subsidize porn (you read that right, kids) after Hurricane Katrina to case after case of bottled water and food going unused because they weren’t distributed, you would think FEMA would be better at the logistics than they appear. Granted, whenever you deal with people, there are inefficiencies built in, but when your job is literally to help get areas affected by natural disasters up and running, the expectation is that you should be good at it.

This issue isn’t made any easier by adding politics into the mix, as the Left is wont to do with, oh, everything. It always amazes me how inept FEMA is when there is a Republican President and how exceptional that same agency is when there is a Democrat President, at least according to the Left, even though we keep seeing the same problems regardless of the party of the President. Pointing fingers may help the party, but it doesn’t matter to someone whose house was destroyed by a hurricane.

What we need is accountability at FEMA. Considering we are still cleaning up after Katrina in spite of the fact it occurred over a decade ago tells me there is room to improve, but that won’t happen in the current environment. America deserves a FEMA that not only delivers on the expectation of addressing issues after a disaster, but does so with an attention to the money being spent and how it’s being spent. And there has to be follow-through. When Puerto Ricans are dying because they don’t have access to bottled water, it shouldn’t take a year to find out about it and address it.

Maybe it’s time for a FEMA for FEMA. Instead of assuming the next disaster will be the one FEMA gets right, let’s prepare for success before it happens. Weather is unpredictable, but the response shouldn’t be. Figure out how non-government entities address disaster responses and replicate that at the federal level. Maybe take a cue or fifty from insurance companies who do at a smaller level what FEMA does on the federal level.

But perhaps the best thing we can do to help FEMA is to be thankful they’re there. Flaws and all, FEMA does a lot right and it shouldn’t be overlooked in the name of political points or personal drama. Let’s make it easier for FEMA to do their jobs without the hoops and bureaucracy that make the simplest tasks an exercise in futility, red tape, and forms in triplicate. The easier we make it for FEMA, the better the responses will become.

And if you’re in Florence’s path, stay safe.

Gotcha Day

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Today is my dog Chico’s “gotcha day.” This is the term for when a pet gets adopted from a shelter and becomes part of the family, but it feels a lot like a second birthday for my little buddy.

My wife and I were looking to add to our family, but with my wife’s allergies, we had to be careful. After a couple of failed attempts to find the right dog, we went to our local Animal Rescue League to check out two Bichon Frises named Freddie and Fannie. (At the time, I worked at a mortgage company that will remain nameless, but can be identified as one that has a billion dollar fine hanging over its head, so the idea of having dogs named after two major players in the mortgage industry.) As we walked by his pen to see Freddie and Fannie, Chico jumped and caught my attention. Little did we know it was at that moment Chico jumped into my wife’s and my hearts.

We spent a little time with Freddie and Fannie, but they didn’t seem to take to us very well. As we thought about leaving, my wife suggested we check out Chico. And am I glad she did! Spending time with Chico showed us he was fun, lovable, and above all else the piece of the puzzle my wife and I needed to find to make a whole family. Even though he was 9 at the time, it didn’t matter to us. The three of us bonded in the time we spent with each other. An hour later, we walked out of the ARL with Chico and started our new lives together.

When my wife and I adopted Chico, we didn’t know a lot about his history, so we had to learn by trial and error. From what we were able to gather from his mannerisms, Chico had a tough life. His previous owners gave him up after only a week because they felt he wasn’t potty trained right. He also came into our home with a distrust of men, which made things a little awkward for me since, well, I am one. I also had a slight fear of dogs stemming from a childhood incident where a dog scratched me on my forehead when I tried to pet it.

After months of trying to figure each other out, Chico finally got comfortable enough with us to start playing and being more outgoing. He still has issues to deal with, but my wife and I keep those issues in mind and act accordingly. Now, four years later, Chico is a happy little guy.

Aside from celebrating Chico’s “gotcha day”, I do have a serious message. Don’t overlook the older animals looking for homes. Sure, they’re not as cute as puppies and kittens, but they’re no less loving, no less deserving of a good home. They may have issues as Chico did, but they need love and understanding. And, as Chico did for me, they teach us to be better people.

So, if you’re looking for a pet, adopt, don’t buy. You will save a life and experience a whole new understanding of love in the process.