No Deal or No Deal

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Remember the Iran Deal, that great initiative from the State Department designed to get Iran to curb its nuclear ambitions? Well, it turns out Iran may not be following the spirit of the deal, in spite of following the letter of the deal.

Now, who could have seen that coming? I mean, aside from anyone not in the Obama Administration.

Not that I’m questioning the brilliance of the same Administration who came up with the brilliant concept of “hashtag diplomacy” and gave Samantha Power, Marie Harf, and John Kerry jobs. Far from it! I’m questioning the sanity of said individuals because no matter how you slice it, the Iran Deal makes the Minnesota Vikings giving up draft picks to get Hershel Walker seem brilliant. Come to think of it, that may be one of the conditions of the Iran Deal.

In the art of the deal, it takes two parties willing to negotiate in good faith for anything to happen. (Say…The Art of the Deal would be a great title for a book! Now, who would we get to write it?) If there are any misgivings or dishonesty, the deal will go south fast.

At the risk of metaphysical levels of understatement, Iran is not going to deal with us honestly, no matter what John Kerry says. How do I know this? Do I have a secret Bat Phone that connects me to Iran? Do I have more eyes and ears on the ground than a crash between trucks hauling potatoes and corn? Nope.

I understand Iran wants to kill us.

And I’m not sure John Kerry got the memo on that. It’s not like Iran is hiding its disdain for us, either. Their political and religious leaders out and out say it. Maybe we should chip in to get Rosetta Stone for the State Department so they can get up to speed quickly, or as quickly as the sloth-like government gets.

In the meantime, we’re having to deal with the consequences. Honestly, I believe Iran already has nuclear weapons (thanks in part to other countries who want us to go the way of “Hot Tub Time Machine 3”), and have a vested interest in playing a game with us. Think it won’t happen? Google “Hans Blix” and “Iraq WMDs” and get back to me.

Hopefully, the next President will be smart enough to tell Iran to take their deal and shove it. Until then, we should be prepared to watch Iran take more liberties, and watch President Obama and his State Department look like Joe Biden at a MENSA meeting.

Or on any given day.

Where Do We Go From Here?

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To say the 2016 election has been contentious wouldn’t be an understatement; it would be the Mother of All Understatements. Republicans going against Republicans, Democrats going after Democrats, Independents going out for pizza. This whole political season is insane!

But once both major parties decide on their candidates, everyone will be holding hands and singing campfire songs, right? Oooooooh, sor-ray. That’s going to be easier said than done for both the Elephant and the Donkey because they’ve decided the primary process is more of a bloodsport than a debate of ideas. And this is just the prelims, kids. Once Democrats and Republicans choose their respective candidates, it’s going to make the Hatfields and McCoys look like the Bradys and the Cleavers.

As someone on the outside looking in, I don’t see how the two major parties can reconcile completely. Both are struggling with a simple binary issue: winning vs. staying true to their core ideologies. The leadership (if you can call it that) from both sides is trying to make people believe it’s either-or when it’s not. You can win and stay true to the party’s core, but you need to have a candidate that is willing to do both instead of siding for one at the expense of the other.

We’ve been told it’s better to have someone who agrees with us 75% of the time win than to have someone who agrees with us 0% of the time win. In theory, it’s not a bad argument. In practice, however, sometimes the 75% with us candidates prove to be with us far less frequently. Remember when Republicans jumped for joy at John Boehner becoming Speaker of the House, wresting the gavel from Nancy “Botox Is Bad, Mkay?” Pelosi? Yeah, how’d that turn out again…oh yeah, Boehner rolled over like a submissive dog in a centrifuge. In fact, even the most seemingly conservative politicians occasionally get a case of Washingtonitis, a malady that makes principled people turn into jellyfish, but with less backbone.

Fortunately for the Republicans, Democrats have their own Washingtonitis epidemic to worry about. The very fact Bernie Sanders can garner more than 3 votes total shows me the Left is fragmenting even worse than projected. Say what you will about Sanders, but one thing you cannot say about him is he’s afraid to speak his mind. (Granted, his mind is filled with ideas that have gone the way of David Duke’s potential rap career, but at least he’s sticking up for them!) Yet, thanks to the power of the Super Delegates, Hillary Clinton is beating Sanders in the delegate count. Put simply, a Super Delegate is someone the Democrats pick to have additional voting power over the average person. And when you consider an absolute slug like Alan Grayson is a Super Delegate, you know it’s a stupid system.

At this rate, we may be seeing the end of the two-party stranglehold on the Presidency and moving towards a political system that is more confusing and segmented than the gender pronouns on Tumblr. If that happens, you will find me on a beach somewhere reenacting the final scenes from the original “Planet of the Apes” when Charlton Heston finds out he landed back on Earth.

And while we’re here, if there are any damn dirty apes reading this, keep your stinking paws off of me!

Who Watches the iWatch-men?

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It was a battle of two heavyweights. In the blue corner, the United States government. In the, well, equally blue corner, Apple. And the tech world couldn’t microwave popcorn fast enough to keep up with the exciting twists and turns.

For those of you who haven’t heard, the FBI wanted Apple to break into an iPhone previously owned by one of the San Bernardino shooters, stating they wanted the information from the phone in case there was news about impending terrorist attacks. Geez, everyone knows that sort of thing gets sent into the Cloud these days…

Anyway, Apple refused, citing their belief the government would use whatever they created to hack into one iPhone as a “skeleton key” for other iPhones. As a result, the government sued Apple. Then, miracle of miracles, the government figured out a way to get into the iPhone (i.e. they got a 4 year old to do it) and suddenly dropped the suit against Apple. So, win-win, right?

Not so much. On the one hand, Apple still has the proprietary technology used in iPhones, but now they know the government has figured out a way to circumvent that technology. And, surprise surprise, the government isn’t going to let Apple have information on the security flaws with the iPhone.

On the other hand, the federal government attempted to force a major company to help them with a terrorism investigation. At first, it was a request, but once the government lawyered up, it turned into an attempt at forced compliance. But as long as it was for national security, it makes it okay, right?

Wellllll…that’s where the problem lies for me. After 9/11, government found a new excuse to take more tax dollars to fund pet projects by slapping a “national security issue” sticker on proposed spending. Want your local First Responders to have a Sherman Tank for weekends? It’s national security! Want to bail out the airline industry, which was already failing before 9/11? It’s national security! Heck, I’m surprised the National Endowment for the Arts didn’t try to get more funding for itself by claiming bad art is linked to national security.

Regardless, the Apple standoff showed us there is a fine line between freedom and security. I’m not a big fan of getting attacked by terrorists, but I’m also not a big fan of government using the threat of a terrorist attack to justify further overreach into our freedoms. Especially when it’s clear the government may not have needed Apple’s cooperation in the first place. So, why did the government go through the motions of this Kabuki theater?

Control.

Once you give the government a little bit of control, they aren’t too keen on giving it back. That’s why it’s important to use some critical thinking when a situation like what happened to Apple arises. What happens from here is dependent upon the morals and ethics of the government.

In other words, we’re screwed.

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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Greetings one and all, and welcome to the inaugural edition of the Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week!

If you’re like me (and if you are, I’m sorry), you go big or you go home. Or you go big and go home. Or maybe you go to Big’s home…oh, you get the idea! This week’s dip into the Leftist Lexicon is one of the Big Kahunas of the Leftist world.

The f-word. (No, not that f-word, you naughty little monkeys!) This f-word:

Feminism

What the Left says it means: economic, social, and political equality between men and women (Essentially, a definition so vanilla it is poisonous to humans in its pure form.)

What it really means: a movement that believes men suck, but should still have to pay for everything

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, current feminist dogma believes all men (including the men who support current feminist dogma) are scum. In fact, SCUM (the Society for Cutting Up Men) happens to be a real group that some feminists agree with! Wow. We’ve gone from burning bras to burning men over an open spit within a few decades.

But surely not all feminists are that extreme, right? Nah. The ones who want to cut up men are few and far between. Of course, there are feminists who want to kill, enslave, or put men in camps away from women. Whew! And I was afraid we wouldn’t find any reasonable feminists!

Granted, these are extreme examples. Most current feminists, especially those who believe in what is called “Third Wave Feminism”, don’t go as far as SCUM does. They do, however, find men to be as useful as Cliff’s Notes for a drug test. Oh, sure, they’ll use men to get ahead, but they don’t actually consider them to be equals or anything! That would be sexist because it would give in to the patriarchy!

Let that sink in for a moment. Considering men to be equals is sexist because it gives men power, which according to current feminist dogma they already have all of to start with. That’s like…oh, I don’t know…saying Black Lives Matter isn’t racist, but saying All Lives Matter is. Good thing we don’t have anybody who believes that, right?

(Don’t worry. I plan to tackle patriarchy in a future edition of the Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week.)

A facet of modern feminism is a desire to control everything so the truth doesn’t get out about just how screwed up feminism has become. Not to mention, if they control everything, they get to dictate how others should live their lives. Of course, they would need to get a handle on what they actually believe outside of “We want to control everything.”

Two great examples of just how screwed up current feminist dogma is can be found in two seemingly unrelated subjects: Slut Walks and video games. The former is a movement supported by feminists to take back “slut” and make it empowering instead of insulting. The latter has many of the same feminists who support Slut Walks howling in disgust at how women are portrayed in video games. Often this disgust is boiled down to video game women being scantily-dressed or without any real defining characteristics to make them seem real.

In other words, feminists love sluts marching in public, but not scrolling across television screens in video games (which, by the way, I’m sure they don’t really play that much). And nobody within the feminist movement today sees the contradiction. But that’s what feminism has become: one mass of man-disdaining contradictions.

Kinda reminds me of a couple of old girlfriends I had…

A New Feature!

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For those of you who enjoy my musings (and even for those of you who think I’m the worst hack since Lizzie Borden), I am happy to announce a new (hopefully) weekly feature.

Have you been confused by some of the new words coming from the Left? Do you wish there was a way to learn about these new words without having to delve into the world of microaggressions, white privilege, and gender fluidity? Well, now you can, thanks to your humble correspondent. Starting soon, you will see the Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week. Not only will you get the definition of the word, but you will also get what it really means as well as a brief commentary about the word.

Be watching this site, and as always, keep your feet on the ground and your head on top of your neck!

Mr. Obama Goes to Cuba

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As I write this, President Obama is in Cuba as a part of his Administration’s attempts to normalize relations with the island country. And with this Administration’s track record in dealing with foreign countries with a history of hating America, what could go wrong?

Well, plenty, actually.

Let’s not kid ourselves here. Our relationship with Cuba is Ike and Tina Turner level bad, and no amount of good will on our part will change that. Why? Because Cuba hasn’t changed yet. It’s still being ruled by a Castro, Raul to be precise. And Raul is just as reluctant to give up communism as his brother Fidel was. That means there is a natural tension between the US and Cuba. After all, we took down communism in the form of the USSR in the 80s, and some things don’t just fade away. There are still plenty of leaders willing to try to fill in the gaps left by the absence of the Soviet Union, including the current dictator…I’m sorry, leader of Russia, Vladimir Putin. You know, the guy who still thinks the Soviet Union was a good idea and refuses to be swayed by pesky things like facts and history?

And that’s not counting China, North Korea, and much of the Middle East, all of whom have not just a beef with us, but an entire cattle ranch.

On the other side of the equation, we have America, a country that has fallen pretty far down the world rankings in the past couple of decades. Our leader is a man who isn’t geopolitically savvy by any stretch of the imagination making the third worst foreign policy decision in his Presidency. (The first and second being making Hillary Clinton and John Kerry Secretary of State, although they flip-flop positions like…well, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry.) The Iran Deal was bad. The Cuba trip has all the makings of Bay of Pigs II: Electric Boogaloo because there really is no logic behind it, just President Obama’s decision to make it so.

To put it another way, our enemies get a foothold 90 miles off our mainland, and we get…photo ops with Obama standing in front of a giant Che Guevara mural. With Photoshop and Twitter, we could have accomplished the same thing under Obama’s “hashtag diplomacy” strategy and without having to add to Obama’s carbon footprint. Then again, maybe he’s getting some cigars out of the deal and didn’t want the hassle of trying to go through Customs with illegal contraband.

Either way, normalizing relations with Cuba just doesn’t sit well with me because we’re not getting much out of the deal. Just like our attempts to normalize relations with China under George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton by ignoring their human rights violations and giving them Most Favored Nation status, I see Obama’s efforts with Cuba winding up as a big blunder that is quickly forgotten by both sides.

The President We Deserve

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If current events are any indication of future outcomes, we are looking at Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as the Presidential nominees for the Republican and Democrat Parties respectively. People on both sides of the aisle are salivating at this possibility of these two titans locking horns in November.

On the one hand, we have a man who isn’t known for his tact being the head of the diplomatic corps of the most powerful country in the world. On the other hand, we have a woman who isn’t known for her integrity having the ability to sic the power of the federal government on anyone who dares oppose her. And when these two forces clash, we could be seeing a bloody political war that will make Thunderdome look like a church picnic.

There was a time when Trump and Clinton wouldn’t even be elected assistant to the assistant to the dog catcher, let alone to the most powerful position in the country. But here we are on the verge of electing either one of them.

Is anyone else really scared right now? As we prepare for the first post-Obama Presidency, we have to be careful not to give in to our worst instincts and elect someone unprepared for the gravity of the position. With both Trump and Clinton, I’m not sure either one is ready to be President. After nearly 8 years of an unprepared and unwilling student as President, we can’t make a mistake this time.

Trump could turn out to be a Republican Obama, and Hillary could be Obama’s third term. Neither one appeals to me all that much. But unless something major happens to one or both campaigns, we’re looking at the possibility one or the other happening.

And then we’ll get the President we deserve.

An Open Letter to President Obama

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President Barack Obama
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC

Mr. President,
Hey! How are the wife and kids? How’s the short game treating ya?

If I may be serious for a moment, I know you’re in the process of picking a replacement for late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and you’ve run into some opposition from the Senate Judiciary Committee (who is using the same argument you, Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Charles Schumer, and Senate Democrats in 1960 used, but, hey, who’s paying attention right?). You and I are not on the same page politically, but it’s time we put that aside for the betterment of the country.

That’s why I’m offering to be your nominee to replace Justice Scalia.

Now, before you start sending the authorities to my house to determine my sanity and whether I’m a threat to myself and others, let me explain. I have given this a lot of thought and I think I would be the perfect candidate for many reasons, the most compelling of which are as follows:

  1. I wouldn’t consent to a Senate confirmation hearing. The Constitution states the role of the Senate is to give “advice and consent” to any nominations the President makes. As a Constitutional scholar yourself (or as your followers…I mean supporters keep reminding us you are), you can see there is no requirement to hold any hearings on my nomination, just to give advice and consent. Instead of a stuffy Senate meeting room, we could have the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee come over to either my house or yours and just hang out with a few beers. And from what I’ve heard, you guys do make a pretty good brew in the White House!2. I wouldn’t allow my feelings to get in the way of doing my job. This country is fractured on many levels, so clear thinking from the highest court in the land is essential. Unfortunately, the High Court has allowed emotions and political leanings get in the way of making just decisions with respects to the Constitution. I may not like some of the things you’ve proposed, but I would give them a fair hearing before I rendered my decision. If your ideas are great, they should be able to stand on their own merits in the marketplace of ideas.

    3. I’m not a lawyer or a judge. Yeah, at first that sounds like a knock against me, but hear me out. I have been studying the Constitution since 1987 and feel I have a pretty good grasp and respect for it. That cannot be said of some of the people on your short list. Instead of relying on the simple language of the Constitution, too many lawyers and judges attempt to use legal reasoning so tortured it’s against the Geneva Convention just to get what they want codified into law. I don’t care about being famous; I just want to make something complex simple, and I bring that to the table.

    4. I would make both major parties mad at me at some point. Again, this seems like a negative, but it’s actually a positive. Democrats and Republicans (and their lawyer buddies) love to push for their agendas to be reflected in judicial rulings. I eschew that kind of thinking in favor of original intent. That’s bound to put people’s panties in a bunch!n I mean, how DARE a Supreme Court Justice do his or her job the way the Constitution says!

    5) I would be a LOT of fun! Ask anyone who has worked with me in a cubicle farm about how I would decorate my desk. Imagine that kind of spirit in a black robe and, BINGO!

    The ball’s in your court…er, green. I will await your call, email, Secret Service detail, cease and desist order, whichever you feel is appropriate to address my offer.

If You Break It…

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Former Senator and 1996 Republican Presidential candidate Bob Dole recently endorsed Marco Rubio, saying Rubio “wants to grow the party unlike [Ted] Cruz.” Dole went on to say in National Review:

We have to have a nominee, Republicans, who can bring the party together and reach out to moderates and independents and not just the far right-wing.

Although this is an admirable goal on paper, it hasn’t really worked out so well. Since Ronald Reagan, moderate Republicans won 3 out of the past 7 Presidential elections (which Dole should know considering he was one of the moderates who lost the Presidency). And the moderates who won? They both had the last name “Bush.”

Republican leadership loves to talk about attracting moderates and independents, but it tries to do it by acting more like Democrats. In a battle between real Democrats and Democrat Lite, the real Democrats will always win because they are the genuine article. Or at least as genuine as current Democrats can be.

So, this begs the question of why Republicans keep trying to be Democrat Lite when they keep losing Presidential elections using that approach. Say what you will about Ted Cruz, but he stands for something. Whether you agree with that something is immaterial to the point I’m trying to make. In fact, the rise of Donald Trump can be linked to the growing disappointment with how quickly Republican leadership rolls over for Democrats.

That’s right, kids. Trump is a monster created by…the squishiness of Republicans like Bob Dole. Of course, they won’t admit it, but they don’t need to.

But here’s the other thing Dole and his cohorts are missing. How many people would be willing to vote Republican if the GOP started acting like Republicans again? I have been greatly disappointed in Republicans in recent years because it seems most of the leadership seems to be ashamed to stand for the conservative/libertarian position. Perhaps it’s because they have spines of Jello, or maybe they’re afraid of what the media would say about them if they dared to challenge the Leftist narrative.

Guess what, kids. The media don’t care. They will continue to say whatever they want, regardless of whether it resembles the truth. Why try to curry favor with that nest of vipers? On the off chance they’ll say something nice about you (which usually only happens when these Republicans attack the ones taking a stand)?

It’s moderate Republicans like Bob Dole who broke the GOP, and unless grassroots Republicans stop settling, the party will be broken for elections to come.

There’s Something About Bernie (and Donny)

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This post may get me in a bit of hot water with frequent readers, but here goes.

Here’s a hypothetical situation for you. Let’s say there was a candidate named John Smith who decided to run for President. At first, he’s seen as a lightweight because of a decided lack of experience in the public arena. Yet, Mr. Smith overcomes this by promising the moon and the stars without actually providing specifics. The electorate, not being as informed as they should be, started listening to Mr. Smith and even agreeing. As a result, Mr. Smith gains enormous popularity with segments of the electorate and eventually wins office.

Of course, this isn’t really a hypothetical situation. It happened in 2008 with Barack Obama, and it’s happening again with Democrats and Republicans. In the blue corner, we have Bernie Sanders, an avowed socialist promising free college educations, free health care, Free Willie, and anything else that comes to mind. In the red corner, we have Donald Trump, a businessman with a penchant for controversy and promises of building a wall and having Mexico pay for it. In both cases, their followers are as fired up as they can be and believe whatever the candidate tells them. When pressed for specifics…well, let’s say neither one has solid footing.

This is a problem, kids. Although this is still the prelims, it’s getting close to the time when candidates actually have to show their work. Repeating “red meat” phrases doesn’t do that and, if anything, shows there isn’t much meat there.

And when you consider those “red meat” phrases have already come under scrutiny (progressive economists say there’s no way for Sanders’ plan to work, and Mexico has already laughed off paying for the wall), it’s time we start looking for specifics, lest we get caught up in a cult of personality.

When you consider how the last one ended up, we should be very careful right now.