Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

During the heady days of the 2016 Presidential campaign, then-candidate Donald Trump promised to build a wall on our southern border and have Mexico pay for it. Leftists and the media (who are pretty much Leftists) scoffed at the idea and dismissed it as folly. Well, they’re not laughing much now because there may be a government shutdown unless Congress authorizes funding for the wall. And, if now-President Trump is to be believed, Mexico is paying for it indirectly.

In either case, what started out as an over-ambitious DIY project has turned into a controversy involving accusations of racism, questioning of the President’s manhood, and the impact of illegal immigration on our country. Not since Pink Floyd has a wall been such a source for symbolism. And, like the aforementioned Floyd film, we might need some drugs to fully appreciate it.

Absent the chemical components, though, you have me. May God have mercy on our souls.

border wall

What the Left thinks it means – a racist structure designed to prevent immigrants from seeking asylum in America, a structure to show off Trump’s manliness to compensate for other areas

What it really means – an idea that sounds good on paper, but has issues that need to be addressed to be effective

That’s right, kids. The wall is a great idea on the surface because it is believed to be a strong statement America is finally ready to defend her borders. The problem is a wall is only as strong as the will of those who want to circumvent it. No matter how high we build a wall, there are still tunnels underneath it that will allow illegal entry into our country. Instead of looking up, our leaders need to be looking down and shoring up the tunnel situation.

Now that we’ve discussed the serious matters surrounding the border wall, it’s time to move into the silly matters, namely the Leftist outrage over it.

Leftists have built a narrative that Trump is a racist, and everything he does (in their eyes) only proves it. That’s what is known as confirmation bias, folks, but I digress. To the Left, building a wall is racist because it prevents Mexicans and other “brown-skinned people” from entering our country. Wellllll…that’s a vast oversimplification of the issues at hand, and the devastation is in the details. First, the wall in and of itself isn’t racist because…now follow me here…it’s an inanimate object with no self-awareness. You know, like Chuck Schumer. You can ascribe racist notions to it, but that doesn’t make it racist. Racism requires the ability to hate another race or deem your race superior.

But is the border wall proof of Trump’s racism? That’s hard to say without knowing what’s in the President’s heart, you know aside from blood and muscles and stuff. Although he’s said and done some questionable things both before and after he became President, I don’t have enough information one way or another, and anyone who claims otherwise is trying to sell you something. In this case, I have to give the President the benefit of the doubt and come down against the wall being a racist idea. If anything, it’s a sign of his lack of racism and desire for all Americans to be seen as Americans first. (Which leads Leftists to scream about him being a racist Nazi, but that’s a blog post for another time.)

Then, there’s the Left’s attempt to whitewash the illegal immigration element of the border wall by turning every illegal immigrant into a monolith. Two tiny problems with that: 1) not all of them are seeking asylum, and 2) not all of them are innocent women and children. Over the past several decades, our political leaders have opened the gates and pussyfooted…sorry, front-hole-footed around the issues that came from our benevolence and compassion. It’s not a coincidence scam artists use both of these to get what they want from their marks, and it’s the same thing with illegal immigration. We have created an incentive-rich environment for people to come here, and that has in turn created an entire underground market for people looking to skirt the law to do just that. Of course, this is the same government that gave us the War on Drugs, so it’s not out of the question for them to apply the same losing strategy to illegal immigration.

Speaking of losing strategies, Leftists also love the point out the wall won’t work, using some of the same ideas I mentioned earlier. Does this mean I’m turning into a Leftist again? Nope. Been there, done that, still smell like patchouli and failure. What they’re missing is the idea that a wall can be effective when enforced vigorously. Look at Israel. They have a fence that makes the Maginot Line look impressive, but they make it work because they care about keeping their country secure from unwanted guests, albeit unwanted guests with bomb vests and death wishes to beat the band. Closer to home, though, take a moment to document how many Leftists are against the border fence. Then, see if they live behind a fence or in a gated community. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say there are enough to render the Left’s “fences don’t work” arguments null and void.

Now, let’s delve into the more puerile element of the Left’s anti-wall sentiments. I’ve seen teenage boys with more restraint than the Left when it comes to sexual matters, and current House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s statement about the wall being a symbol of Trump’s manhood is no exception. Believe it or…well, just believe it, Leftists are obsessed with sex on a level that makes Larry Flynt look like a Puritan. Their ideology is built around who is doing what to whom and how it benefits them in the short term, so it’s not surprising Pelosi would try to turn the border wall into something phallic. Well, soon-to-be-Madame Speaker, to paraphrase Sigmund Freud, “Could you lay off the sex talk for once, please?” Oh well, sometimes a wall is just a wall.

More to the point, Pelosi’s statement and its subsequent repeating within the Left detracts from their message because it makes them look silly and immature. You could have said Trump was a doody-head and at least retained some gravitas, but as it stands you look like you’re not serious about addressing the issues. (You’re not, of course, but that’s not what you need to broadcast right now.) Plus, you gave the President the ability to strike back just as poorly as you did and look like a victim in the process. Brilliant!

The border wall is a lightning rod for controversy, both real and ginned up for publicity, and it won’t do what is promised, nor will it get at the root of the illegal immigration problem. It’s going to be a multi billion dollar Band Aid that we’ll pay for and always feel the pain no matter when it gets pulled off.


Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

Once again, the eyes of Americans are drawn to our southern border as hundreds of people are heading there to try to enter our country. These potential immigrants are currently moving from Central America through Mexico, fleeing their homelands and requesting asylum.

At least, that’s what we’ve been told. The truth, as they say, it much more complicated.

Since both the Left and the Right have mischaracterized the migrant caravan, I can’t let either side slide on this. So, consider this a Bipartisan Lexicon Word of the Week.

migrant caravan

What the Left thinks it means – poor souls who deserve to be let into our country to start better lives

What the Right things it means – poor people who are trying to invade America and take jobs from us

What it really means – poor souls being used as political pawns or trying to use our immigration system to their benefit

Let’s deal with a few facts here. First, the people currently traveling through Mexico are trying to escape conditions that make “Mad Max: Thunder Road” look like “Heidi.” This is not a healthy environment for cockroaches, let alone human beings. Let me put it this way. If moving to Mexico is an upgrade, your home country sucks. End of story.

Second, Mexico has extended asylum to the caravan, and the members have refused it. On top of that, some have been complaining about the charity they’ve gotten from the Mexican people, saying it wasn’t new or good enough for them. It’s gotten to the point even Mexicans are tired of the migrant caravan. One poll I read showed they had a 49% disapproval rating among Mexicans polled. If it goes any hire, Donald Trump might let them in so he can look good by comparison.

Third, not every person in the caravan wants asylum in the traditional sense. The normal process for asylum or amnesty is through official channels, such as an embassy, consulate, or at the border itself, and it must be crystal clear at the time those seeking it arrive at the aforementioned locations. If you rush the border, get knocked back, and then ask for asylum, that’s not the way to do it. However, that’s the way at least some members of the caravan (and their Leftist supporters) want it to happen, and it makes a mockery of the existing process in place that millions of legal immigrants have used to come here. If getting asylum is as easy as throwing rocks at Border Patrol agents, you’re pretty much negating the need for borders. Which, by the way, is an idea in Leftist circles that has gained traction thanks to influence (and tons of money) from your pal and mine, Uncle George Soros.

Fourth, the media aren’t telling us the truth. Yeah, like that’s a shocker! The photos we see are often of women and children crying or otherwise being subjected to what we’re told is horrible conditions under the direction of that mean ole evil super-racist Donald Trump. I mean, he ordered the Border Patrol to shoot tear gas at those poor innocent migrants! That’s practically chemical warfare! And it’s exactly what the previous President, Barack Obama, did at least once a week on average since 2013. Furthermore, the majority of the people in the caravan aren’t women and children. They are…adult men. Hmmm…I seem to remember another group the media told us were totally peaceful women and children and turned out to be mostly men prone to violence. I wish I could remember who they were. Oh well, I’m sure they haven’t caused any trouble since migrating to various countries…

When it comes down to it, neither the Left nor the Right have taken the right approach to the migrant caravan. They aren’t all innocent, as evidenced by members of the caravan throwing rocks at Border Patrol agents, but they’re not all invaders. From what I’ve seen, unless the caravan has heavy artillery coming behind them, they aren’t in a position to invade an open bar, let alone America. We need to take the time to separate the good from the bad and make sure those who are legitimately seeking asylum here are given a chance to get it.

Here is my step-by-step guide to making that happen.

1) If they want asylum, they have to say it from the get-go. No ambiguity, no throw rocks, get knocked back by tear gas, and then say you want asylum. Call it the Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace approach.

2) For those who get past step 1, make sure to have all necessary personnel and logistics in place to process their requests quickly, yet thoroughly. If the asylum seeker’s story checks out, get them in here and under the care of those who will handle the next steps. If the story doesn’t check out, politely decline their request, give them a care package of some sort with food, water, and other supplies, and send them back. And no double-dipping!

3) Respond in kind where appropriate. Yes, I know rocks can be deadly, but for the most part they are non-lethal weapons. Tear gas is a bit much. Try something closer to bean bags or rubber bullets, stuff that won’t cause permanent damage but will be a reminder to behave around the Border Patrol.

4) Stand firm. Leftists are going to make hay out of this issue no matter what happens, so there is a temptation to give in a little bit to keep the heat off. The problem is if you give a Leftist an inch, they will take a light year and complain about it being too short. As long as the position taken can be defended from a policy, logical, and ethical standpoint, stick with it. And, if you want to throw in an extra twist, ask the Leftists to come up with a better plan. They’ll scatter faster than high schoolers at a keg raid.

These are simple short term steps that will hopefully become long term solutions, but they are needed more than ever. The migrant caravan now may turn into a wave of immigrants later, which is exactly what the Left wants because it satisfies two of their main goals: overwhelming the current system to the point it collapses, and a constant stream of voters for Leftist policies. The best way to curtail that is to figure out how to address the problem and stick with it. But until we come up with a solution, let’s not pretend the caravan is squeaky clean or black-hearted until we get more facts. A great man once said, “Trust, but verify.”

And that man…was my Uncle Steve. And now you know the rest of the story. Good day!

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

The Resistance is active again. In between calling President Donald Trump a racist because feefees and filling social media with hashtags and talking points, they’re telling us to vote in the midterm elections. And with all the campaign literature clogging up our mailboxes, who knew there was an election coming up?

But this isn’t just any midterm election. This is the one that could mean the difference between saving our country and an existence that would make “The Handmaid’s Tale” look like a Norman Rockwell lithograph. The Resistance even adopted a slogan: Vote like your life depends on it because it does. Let’s see…breathing, food, shelter…nope, don’t see voting as a fundamental need.

What is it about Election 2018 that has the Left hyperventilating more than a claustrophobe trying to get out of a paper bag while breathing into a smaller bag to try to fight off a panic attack? Good thing we have a blogger who can shed some light into this. But since she’s out of town, they’re letting me take a crack at it.

Election 2018

What the Left thinks it means – the most important election in history, but only if Democrats win

What it really means – a repeat of past midterm elections, just with more Leftist freakouts

After not being able to impeach the President or even make him look even the slightest bit like the evil fascist warmonger they’ve tried to make him out to be, the Left has put a lot of focus on the midterm elections. In doing so, they have tried to keep spirits high by predicting a “blue wave” and avoided talking about party mistakes and candidate scandals. And to be fair, it’s not like the Democrats have a member of the Democratic National Committee who is accused of assaulting a woman, right?

Okay, scratch that.

The Left has put most of their electoral eggs in the 2018 midterm basket because they feel they have no other way to stop Trump. They’ve tried yelling at us, calling Trump supporters horrible names, attempting to assault and/or kill Republicans, and generally dismissing voters not like them as dumber than Forrest Gump on a five year binge on old school NyQuil. You know the kind I’m talking about. The NyQuil with enough alcohol in it to drop a rhino while clearing up its sinuses.

Anyway, the Left’s attempts to persuade people not already on their side to join up haven’t worked well. Maybe it’s, oh I don’t know, the fact you treat us like crap? Just thinking outside the ballot box here, kids. So, after over 2 years of taking the same approach to attracting potential voters, the Left has gone into overdrive to try to persuade people to vote for their candidates. And, in a clear sign they’ve learned from past mistakes, they’re doing the same thing they did for the past 2+ years…only louder.

The Left says they need to win the midterm elections to ensure Trump is kept in check and to try to reverse the horrible things he’s done, like…tax cuts that benefitted a vast majority of people? Well, they haven’t really ironed out all the details yet, but by Election Day, I’m sure they’ll have something…

The real reason I think the Left is obsessed with the midterm elections is because they’ve been out of power for a while, and they don’t like it. Remember how Democrats acted in 2007 after they took back the House from Republicans? They acted like they were going to be in power for a long time, and the election of Barack Obama in 2008 only fed into that idea. Well, apparently a long time only lasts 4 years in Leftist time because Republicans took back control of the House in 2011. Shortly after that, the Senate went Republican and left all the rules former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made to come back and haunt the Senate Democrats. What can I say, Mr. Reid? Mitch McConnell warned you.

Now with Donald Trump sitting in the White House and the prospect of conservative Supreme Court Justices looming on the horizon, the Left have a perfect storm of impotence on their hands. They’ve let power slip out of their hands and they’re willing to do anything to get it back, including actions they would have decried if Trump and the GOP had done them.

We’ve spent a lot of time in this blog entry on the Left, but the question remains: how important are the 2018 midterm elections? To political junkies on both sides of the political aisle, they’re pretty important. To average folks like you and me? Not so much. In the end, one group is trying to take jobs from another group because the first group says they can do the jobs better since the other group is a bunch of dunderheads with IQs somewhere in the neighborhood of toe jam. And the other group is trying to prevent the first group from taking power because they are doing the best they can while the first group is slightly smarter than bread mold. How convincing these arguments are depends on who listens to and believes them.

I may follow politics like I do professional football, but I don’t think any politician is going to have that much direct impact on our lives. In groups, yes, but individually, no. I look at it this way. Most of the time, these folks don’t bother to contact me when they’re about to vote on legislation, so I don’t bother to consult them when it’s time for me to vote. If they come around, I’ll listen to them and consider their viewpoints. Otherwise, I’m fine voting for whomever I feel will do the best job.

That’s why I’m voting for my dog, Chico.

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

Leftists have been complaining about stolen elections since they started losing to candidates they felt had no chance of winning. After all, they had only the best candidates who were smarter and better suited to leadership, right? Who could forget the campaign brilliance of 3 time Presidential loser Al Gore and 2 time Presidential loser Hillary Clinton?

One of the favorite terms tossed about since President Donald Trump took office is Republicans cheat through a process called gerrymandering. I’m not exactly sure how to mander Gerry, but it’s worth taking a look at for no other reason than it gives me something to write about.

gerrymandering

What the Left thinks it means – a form of cheating done by Republicans to ensure they retain political power at the expense of our democracy

What it really means – a form of legalized cheating done by both major parties to ensure they retain political power at the expense of logic

In short, gerrymandering is when political parties in power redraw Congressional districts after they get census results. In recent years, this means Republicans have more of a hand in the district redrawing process than they have in past years. And, as a result, districts seem to be drawn by drunk spiders rather than reasonable methods like…oh, I don’t know…splitting up districts geographically without considering political leanings. Yeah, I know I’m a bit of an oddball when it comes to this, but hey, it’s my lot in life.

This is not to say Democrats don’t do and haven’t done the same in the past when they’ve held power. In fact, they do, and quite often with the same logic applied to letting Mel Gibson give a speech at a bar mitzvah. Take the House members of the Congressional Black Caucus, for example. Back in the 1990s, the Left decided only blacks could represent blacks, so they drew up Congressional districts that would allow just that. And, boy, it worked well. It not only gave us the psychotic brilliance of former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, but it gave us plenty of other dim bulbs who wouldn’t be getting into Office Depot let alone political office.

Of course, the Left doesn’t consider this to be a problem because…reasons. And in a rare display of bipartisanship, the Right agrees.

I, however, see a problem with gerrymandering regardless of who does it. First, it makes zero sense from a logical sense. I know, expecting politics to be logical is like expecting Michael Avanetti to stop chasing ambulances, but it doesn’t negate the point. When your Congressional district changes borders from block to block depending on what side of the sidewalk you live before expanding to include entire neighborhoods, it’s hard to argue the districts make sense.

Second, it shows a lack of political courage. If you have to redraw districts to ensure an outcome, you are rigging the results barring a political upheaval that would make the French Revolution look like a Buddhist picnic. What’s wrong with advancing a better argument in your favor? Why do we need racially-minded redistricting if all people are supposed to be equals under the law? It’s nothing short of cowardice to be afraid to face opposing ideas.

The third, and the most pressing one to me, is the fact gerrymandering is ultimately pointless. As we’ve seen with the Congressional Black Caucus, it’s easy to create districts that fit a specific political and/or social goal. That creates a natural pushback that gives politicians a vested interest in breaking up those districts when they can. If that pushback leads to upheaval, it creates a desire for the other party to return to or even expand their original district borders.

Mutually Assured District Destruction at its finest, kids.

What gets me is how the Left takes the concept of gerrymandering and completely misuses it. Although it can be argued it has had an impact on previous elections, it has nothing to do with Senate and Presidential elections. Yet, whenever Leftists talk about what they see as political shenanigans by Republicans, they throw around gerrymandering like a gangsta rapper throws around the word “ho.”

And remember, kids, Leftists are the smart ones.

Right now, gerrymandering is a problem made worse by both major parties trying to jockey for any power they can muster, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Typically I’m not a fan of adding laws to the books, but in this case I’m willing to make an exception. Call it the Congressional District Sanity Act. Under my law, gerrymandering for political, racial, or other reasons would be outlawed, and Congressional districts would all be redrawn to ensure representation actually resembles the population in the districts. I’m looking at you, Maxine Waters, whose actual home in her district bears little resemblance to the homes in the majority of her district. And I’m willing to bet many of her constituents wouldn’t be welcome at Auntie Maxie’s house. Don’t want to associate with the hoi paloi, after all!

Gerrymandering shouldn’t even be on the table in politics today or the future. The fact both sides see nothing wrong with it as long as they’re doing it speaks volumes about how little they care about representing the people.

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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.

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

During the recent confirmation hearings for Brett “the Hitman” Kavanaugh, reporters became fixated on a particular gesture, not by Kavanaugh himself, but by a woman sitting behind him. She was caught on camera making what appeared to be the “OK” sign with her hand. Which means, according to Leftists, she was a white supremacist because the “OK” sign has been co-opted by white supremacists. Therefore, according to Leftists, Kavanaugh cannot be confirmed because…white supremacists.

Is it just me, or does it seem like the Left is seeing white supremacists under every rock, bed, and bedsheet? (Well, in some cases, they can be found under bedsheets, but not that often.) Even though the woman in the video, Zina Bash, is Mexican, Jewish, and had grandparents who were Holocaust survivors, she has to be a white supremacist. I mean, who else would work in the Trump White House, right?

This week’s Leftist Lexicon will delve into white supremacists and see whether the Left may be onto something. Or if they’re just on something.

white supremacists

What the Left thinks it means – racist alt-right conservatives who have been emboldened by Donald Trump’s Presidency to come out and cause trouble

What it really means – a small group with bullhorns convincing people they’re bigger than they actually are

One of the great Leftist narratives against President Donald Trump is that he is a white supremacist because he hired Steven Miller and Steve Bannon, both of whom either identify as or hold views similar to white supremacists. Of course, his years of being lauded as a friend to blacks gets, pun unintended, white-washed with this approach, but when you have a narrative to push, facts just get in the way. Hence, guilt by association.

Funny how that doesn’t go in a different way, say…oh, I don’t know…with a religion that has members who are violent and want to kill people who are different than them. Oh, well, #NotAllMuslims and such.

Depending on who you ask, white supremacists are either popping up in greater numbers or are inspiring other white supremacists to become emboldened and embrace their hatred. The Southern Poverty Law Center has been keeping track of white supremacist activity for decades and they’ve been some of the ones who have lead the charge to let people (read: Leftists) know about the wave of white supremacy across the country. Granted, this is the same Southern Poverty Law Center who labeled the TEA Party a hate group, but had to be shamed into including black, Muslim, and other racist groups in their hate watches, but hey. Credit where credit is due.

While the SPLC tends to have a hair trigger when it comes to white supremacists, it is safe to say there are such people out there in America right now. Whether they’re as prevalent and as pervasive as some on the Left suggest is subject to debate. Personally, I don’t see white supremacists as frequently as Leftists do because, well, I’m just not that bat-crap cray-cray. The Left has taken themselves so seriously that they can’t recognize when they’re being trolled.

And that’s the case with the “OK” hand sign. Contrary to Leftist belief, it didn’t originate with white supremacists nor was it coopted by them. As with many things these days, this idea started with the Internet and a group called 4chan. They created an operation titled “Operation OKKK” where they tried to convince people the hand sign was a symbol for white power. And, buddy, it caught on like wildfire! No matter how many times it’s debunked, the Left (and certain members of the white supremacist movement) treat it as gospel.

Remember, kids, the Left are the smart ones who only want facts and say reality has a liberal bias.

In spite of their relative small portion of the population as a whole, let alone the white portion of it, white supremacists are getting more attention. But it’s not because they’re getting bolder and don’t have to hide anymore in the era of Trump. It’s because Leftists give them the attention in the first place! By looking for white supremacists everywhere under the sun, the Left has given them the opportunity to perform for them (or at least give the appearance of performing). And given how the Left doesn’t let facts get in the way of a good crisis narrative, I wouldn’t be surprised if real white supremacists felt they had to come out and correct the record, if you’ll pardon the expression.

But being more prominent doesn’t mean actual numbers. That’s where I think the Left gets it completely wrong by design. They need white supremacists to be numerous to justify their “Trump is a white supremacist” narrative, and they have the tools (read: the media and political figures) to make it seem real. Frankly, though, I think it goes deeper than that.

Think about it for a moment. What ideology promotes the idea that “The Man” is keeping minorities down while never actually investing in the futures of those minorities? What ideology promises to empower people of color while never really giving them positions of power? What ideology has white people claiming to be “woke” without them giving up anything of value to the people they believe are being oppressed?

Can you say “Leftist”? I knew you could.

Maybe the country’s biggest white supremacy group is the DNC and its Leftist allies.

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

This past Thursday, 350 newspapers joined in an editorial writing campaign lamenting President Donald Trump’s attacks on the press. And because it’s a social media age, it came with a hashtag, #FreePress. These editorials and the hashtag are designed to make people aware of the vital role a free press is to maintaining a healthy democracy.

Or at least that’s what they say.

Freedom of the press is a hot-button issue, partially because of President Trump’s seemingly endless attacks on the press, and partially because the press has earned quite a bit of scorn in recent years. (I’m looking right at you, Jim Acosta and April Ryan.) Whether you consider reporters to be brave warriors against an oppressive government (which begs the question of why they’re allowed to report if the government is so oppressive) or stenographers for the Left, it’s a good time to discuss freedom of the press again.

freedom of the press

What the Left thinks it means – the freedom for the press to publish what it wants without government interference

What it really means – the freedom for the press to publish facts and let the people decide without government interference

The Left loves to conflate what they think freedom of the press is with what it really is because, to them, a free press should be unfettered by editorial, social, or political norms. And for a long time, it was. Where the two concepts part company is that the former doesn’t take said norms into consideration anymore when deciding whether to run with a story or sit on it for a while. Remember, some of the same people who decry Trump’s attacks on the press were pretty silent during the Clinton and Obama years in spite of the egregious acts those two Presidents took against the press.

Or was it that the press allowed themselves to ignore?

There’s the rub. (Settle down, Mr. Clinton.) The media have immense power to create a perception of reality simply by deciding what deserves our attention and how it’s presented. The free press are gatekeepers of information and can either promote or kill a story with a single editorial decision. Such power needs to be used judiciously and impartially as possible. Unfortunately, the free press has decided to abuse that power to cater to an ideologically-driven audience. And it worked for a long time.

Then, talk radio, Fox News, and the Internet came into being. Although they too fall into the same trap the press has, they provide an alternative view to what is being presented by other sources. You know, like the 350 newspapers parroting the same editorial about how freedom of the press is important? The Left has always seen talk radio, Fox News, and the Internet as one-offs that can be ignored/discarded/mocked, but they miss one important element: these sources are also branches of the free press tree. Just because they’re ideologically different from you doesn’t make them any less factual or balanced.

And speaking of balanced, who do you think is the most balanced news network in reporting on President Trump? That would be…Fox News, with a smaller difference between positive and negative coverage than the rest of the free press. MSNBC, CNN, the New York Times, and others have made it a personal vendetta to spew as much negative news about Trump as they can. Trump could walk on water and they would say it’s because he’s afraid to swim.

The #FreePress situation is a self-inflicted wound from people who keep turning the handle of the Gatling gun pointed at their feet in the hopes a bullet will ricochet and hit their target. Their main problem unless they change their tactics is they’ll either run out of bullets or run out of feet without even getting in a shot on their target. Say what you will about freedom of the press, but what we are seeing now from the press isn’t something that necessarily should be shrouded in the concept of a right. What the free press is doing currently is a disservice to the bedrock principles that made freedom of the press worth fighting for in the first place.

When I was just starting to learn about how to be a reporter, my journalism professor drove it into my head to leave my feelings out of what I saw and report on what happened using the best judgment available. The example he used was whether a newspaper would be okay to run the picture of a dead body next to a story about a gruesome murder. Would the picture be newsworthy? Absolutely. Should it be run? That’s a tough call. The editor making that decision would have to balance the benefits of running the photo against the negative implications that would arise from running it.

Today’s loudest defenders of freedom of the press have their thumbs on the scale of that decision, and it has created an environment where there are people who actually do want to limit the freedom of the press, including our President. And last time I checked, the President has access to nukes, so it might be a good idea to slow your roll a bit.

Having said that, freedom of the press isn’t under assault as much as those proclaiming it is are trying to make it out to be. Unless, of course, you consider being held to a level of accountability to be oppressive, which news flash…IT ISN’T! Journalism isn’t an occupation for the faint of heart, and those who take up that line of work deserve a level of respect until they try to take shortcuts, either out of laziness or out of allegiance to an ideology. And if it’s not one, it’s the other.

If the #FreePress crowd is really concerned about the negative image they’ve cultivated (admitted with President Trump’s help), they need to take a step back and do an honest accounting of what they’ve done and continue to do. Take the emotions and politics out of it and deal with the facts. If you can’t do that, you are part of the problem and you need to relearn Reporting 101. If you can and you feel you did nothing wrong, see the previous point. If you can and you can’t take pride in what you’ve done and do, then fix it and encourage others to do the same. To borrow a different hashtag with a similar sentiment, #WalkAway.

And to the reporters, editors, and media types jumping on the #FreePress bandwagon under the guise of protecting freedom of press, remember one thing. Freedom is a constant fight. You don’t get it by virtue of your occupation or ideology; you earn it by working to preserve it. A hashtag and a constant stream of negativity towards a President you don’t like in defiance of the truth, or conversely a constant stream of positivity towards a President you do like in defiance of the truth, doesn’t cut it. Earn the respect you seek.

Are We Sure CNN Isn’t the Enemy of the People?

A provocative, clickbait title from me? Yep! But unlike the other clickbaity things you’ll see on the Internet, this one actually has some meat to it.

CNN crime and justice reporter Shimon Prokupecz tweeted that the judge in the Paul Manafort trial will be hearing a motion by media types (lead by guess who) to allow the unsealing of the names and addresses of jurors, as well as other secret parts of the trial not yet unsealed. Let me put it another way. CNN (who really isn’t a party in the trial aside from reporting on it) filed a motion with a judge (who has the legal authority to make rulings on motions by parties involved in a trial) to reveal information about that trial, including identifying information of the jurors charged with giving a verdict on that trial.

Anyone else see a biiiiiiiiig problem with that?

Under the current legal set-up, jurors are allowed to speak to the press if they choose after a trial is over, which is fine. Often this provides valuable insight into the trial, such as why some people shouldn’t serve on juries. The important part of this is choice. Jurors aren’t required to speak or justify their decisions to anyone.

With one motion, CNN wants to strip away that choice under the auspices of a need to know. And the judge agreed, saying, “A thirsty press is essential in a free country.”

Good to know we have such thoughtful judges serving in our judicial system, huh? (By the way, that was sarcasm.)

This is bad precedent and even worse policy in today’s hyper-partisan environment. It wasn’t that long ago that a lunatic decided to shoot Steve Scalise over an ideological difference. Heather Heyer was run over and protesting while protesting against white supremacists in Charlottesville. And let’s not forget our good friends Antifa and BLM in this conversation. Regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum, it’s becoming dangerous to have an opinion.

Good thing juries aren’t in the opinion business, right? Oh, wait!

Regardless of when CNN and the rest of the media get the jurors’ information, it will have a dangerous effect on jury trials going forward because it will be used by everyone from CNN to the Podunk Super Shopper to get information they have no legitimate claim to in the name of a story. That will put pressure on anyone called for jury duty to come to the “right” decision if only to preserve his or her security. Imagine serving on a jury where the facts state the defendant is guilty, but public opinion says he or she is innocent and the press will let people know who you are and where you live. The pressure would be unbearable and will lead to unjust decisions based on emotion, not on facts.

Granted, our judicial system makes bad decisions all the time, but that isn’t a justification for taking the step CNN took. There is no legitimate need for them to have juror information and other sealed documents from the trial.

But here’s the M. Night Shyamalan twist CNN and the media haven’t considered. If the judge rules in CNN’s favor, Paul Manafort’s legal team has solid grounds for a mistrial and/or an appeal. The judge has already shown an inability to be impartial by entertaining CNN’s motion and the pressure on the jurors to come up with a particular verdict to try to appease a partisan audience all but guarantees an unfair trial.

But, hey, who cares about the rule of law, amirite?

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

It’s been a bad stretch for CNN over the past couple of years. Once they were the beacon of news reporting, able to get the hottest stories before anyone else and bring it to their audience with solid facts and analysis. Today they are getting beaten in the ratings by The Food Network. How did CNN go from the #1 news source in the world to making The Weekly Reader look like they have gravitas by comparison?

Do what Leftists do: blame Donald Trump.

Although Trump’s use of “fake news” to describe CNN has a lot to do with it, there are several other factors that play just as important a role. I hope you brought your hazmat suits because this one’s gonna be toxic!

CNN

What the Left thinks it means – a news network targeted by conservatives and Trump supporters for telling the truth about Donald Trump

What it really means – a news network that has lost its way in the pursuit of being liked by Leftists

Although CNN has been around for a couple of decades, people really took notice of it during the first Gulf War in the early 1990s. They had reporters on the ground (including one Wolf Blitzer whom we’ll be talking about here in a bit) giving up-to-date reports on the fighting in Kuwait and how our military forces fared against Iraq’s military. That impressed a lot of viewers, myself included, and it made me proud to be learning the journalism trade at the time.

Shortly after the Gulf War ended, CNN went back to reporting the news, and giving airtime to a certain Democrat President who wowed audiences, ate Big Macs while being seen jogging almost every day, and seemed to echo what the media wanted to hear. Yes, CNN had a serious man-crush on Bill Clinton, and that crush grew into another arm of the White House Press Office. Slick Willie could do no wrong in their eyes.

After Clinton left office, CNN remembered “Hey, aren’t we supposed to be watchdogs against the government?” and went back to reporting hard news. When Barack Obama was elected, those watchdogs went back to being lapdogs and had a new man-crush to impress. Now, we’re back to CNN being watchdogs, albeit deaf, dumb, and blind ones. Although I do hear they sure play a mean pinball.

Today’s CNN bears little resemblance to the CNN of the early 1990s. Here are a few of the current “stars” on CNN.

Wolf Blitzer – a reporter who cut his teeth in Iraq, but got stomped like a new kid in a rough school during an episode of Celebrity Jeopardy where the questions were dumbed down

Jim Acosta – a Sam Donaldson clone washed in hot water, always shouts questions at the President even when told not to, gets threatened by people chanting “CNN sucks” and flipping him the bird

Brian Stelter – host of a program “Reliable Sources” but gets so many facts wrong people are thinking his show is ironically named

April Ryan – a White House correspondent whose questions rival those of Jim Acosta at asking ideological “gotcha” questions based more on fee-fees than facts

Chris Cillizza – a political editor who is concerned about the incivility against the media in this country while unwittingly contributing to it

And there are many, many more. Right now the only passible journalist at CNN is Jake Tapper, and he’s 50-50 at best. Still he has a higher batting average than the bulk of CNN reporters and newsreaders.

Put simply, if CNN were a theatrical production, it would definitely be a Greek tragedy because they keep harming themselves unintentionally while in the pursuit of looking like they’re on top of their reporting game. And they have their enablers…I mean fans who will defend them against any insults slung their way by Trump supporters and other people who don’t think CNN’s doing a good job.

Guess which group I’m in.

And before the Left goes to their default excuse, my disdain for CNN has nothing to do with Trump. It does, however, have everything to do with what I consider to be professional malpractice. I studied journalism in college, so I know how the way reporters are supposed to do their jobs. What we’re seeing out of CNN in 2018 is The Resistance with press passes. Oh, they’ll claim to be doing their jobs and wrap themselves in the First Amendment, but they don’t realize when people tell them CNN sucks or flips them the bird, those people are exercising their First Amendment rights. The same Amendment that gives CNN the right to report on the news of the day gives people the right to react to that reporting, or in many cases the lack thereof.

Just look at how Jim Acosta and his cohorts have reacted to a recent Trump rally in Florida where people were very expressive with their disdain for CNN. They and many others painted those Trump supporters as a hate mob fueled by the President saying CNN was the enemy of the people. Well, here’s a thought: maybe you’ve earned that designation by playing favorites instead of playing fair. There are limits to this, though. The minute you physically attack a CNN reporter, you have taken this disdain too far. Flipping the bird to Jim Acosta isn’t nice, but it’s not violence, nor does it provoke violence (except possibly for the target).

Let me give CNN a piece of free advice. Get back into the reporting business. It’s Journalism 101: the reporter should never be the story. Remember Dan Rather? Although he’s a darling of the Left now, he let himself become the story when he tried to make George W. Bush look like a draft dodger who went AWOL. The problem? The facts didn’t match up with the reporting and Rather had to resign and be forever tainted as a liar. Apparently, lying about a Republican is a resume enhancer to the Left.

Instead of learning from Rather’s mistake, CNN is doubling down and making themselves look foolish in the process. (Which I’m perfectly fine with, by the way.) But if CNN wants to be taken seriously as a news network in the future, it needs to dump the Rather reporting method and go back to what got them to being a respected news organization in the first place.

If not, expect reruns of infomercials to beat CNN in the ratings.

Book ‘Em Danno

Forbes recently ran an opinion piece by an economist who said we no longer needed public libraries because people have Amazon and Netflix. Considering my wife is a public library director, you can guess I thought he was…how can I put this…out of his pea-pickin’ mind! So many people disagreed with the notion that the piece was eventually taken down, but not before the writer’s popularity went down faster than the Titanic.

As utterly disturbing as this economist’s views were, some of the comments in opposition to them were equally disturbing because the commenters decided to inject politics into the discussion. And guess who they blamed for this economist’s views. Donald Trump. After all, Trump is the source of all evil in the universe (after beating out the Loknar in the Intergalactic Electoral College vote), so why wouldn’t he be to blame for people thinking public libraries are worthless?

Well, I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say it’s because…Trump has nothing to do with that point of view. It’s a stretch, I know, but it’s one I’m willing to make.

The problem with discussions like whether public libraries still have worth in a society where our phones we carry around can look up anything under the sun is that it far too often becomes muddled in tangential ideological muck that takes our focus off the issue. I’m not a Trump fan, but even on my worst days, I wouldn’t dream of blaming him for said days. Ditto when Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and so on were President. (Although I suspect Jimmy Carter may have had a hand in me losing my lunch money on a class field trip to the zoo back in 1978, but I don’t have any concrete proof…yet.) In short, if you’re using this or any other issue that has nothing to do with politics as a soap box to make a political statement, just don’t! Not everything is political, and not everyone has to be on ideological point all the time.

As far as the economist’s viewpoint on public libraries, he’s off the mark by…let’s just say a lot. Amazon and Netflix are great, but they both require a little something the kids like to call the Internet. And as technologically saturated as we are, there are people across the country who do not have reliable Internet service. And, no, this is not a plea for there to be universal Internet access. But there is one place in just about every community that has Internet access: the public library.

Aside from using the Internet, public libraries provide other services ranging from photocopying to access to books and movies to educational programs for young and old alike, and that’s only scratching the proverbial surface! Public libraries provide much more than the tax dollars necessary to keep their doors open and their lights on. They provide a means to expand our minds, open our hearts, and maybe just escape our normal lives for just a bit. Put another way that is sci-fi related (since I’m a sci-fi geek from way back), your public library is a TARDIS that can take you anywhere and anywhen you want to go.

I know “anywhen” isn’t a word, but work with me people, okay?

Call me old fashioned (or just old, for that matter), but I always get a thrill when I walk into a library and just browse the aisles for old favorites and potential new favorites. And it’s for that reason I will always be an ardent champion for public libraries.

That, and the fact my wife knows where I live.