Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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The big news of the past couple of weeks has been the corona virus, mostly because the Left and the media (but I repeat myself) keep talking about it. While a lot of heat surrounds President Donald Trump because of the way the Left has framed his actions and his use of the term “Chinese flu” to describe the corona virus, there is another player who needs to feel the heat a lot more than the President.

I’m speaking of China, the little country that could…be responsible for the corona virus. Of course, the Left doesn’t want you to remember that because…Orange Man Bad, I guess. But we shouldn’t take our eyes off China because they hold a lot of cards.

China

What the Left thinks it means – a country that is being unfairly maligned for the corona virus and is being used by President Trump to stoke racism and xenophobia

What it really means – a country that has a long history of shadiness

It wasn’t that long ago the media were using “Chinese flu” or “Wuhan flu” to describe the corona virus. I’m talking, say, two or three weeks ago. Now, they’re saying using “Chinese flu” is racist. (Of course, they’re not because they’re the good guys! Just ask them!) Oddly enough, it was also around this time, say two or three weeks ago, that China started saying how racist the term was.

And just like that, the Left became the official American mouthpieces of the Chinese government. Given their proclivity to hate America and especially Trump’s America, I’m guessing it didn’t take thirty pieces of silver to get them to jump.

Of course, this overlooks a tiny little detail: the first cases of the corona virus came from Wuhan, China. Whether it came from a lab or from bats is still being hotly debated, but we won’t delve into that because 1) it distracts from the main subject of this edition of the Lexicon, 2) I don’t know what to believe, so I’m staying silent, and 3) it reminds me too much of Champ Kind’s restaurant from “Anchorman 2.” Chicken of the cave, indeed!

In recent years, China built a reputation as a global economic superpower, due in no small part to having Hong Kong as well as a place for cheap products and even cheaper labor. Also, they were starting to ramp up their industrialization and using more coal and oil than they had in previous years. Now, who could be helping them with that? Could it be…Russia?

Yep.

Over the past century or so, China and Russia have been mortal enemies and convenient allies, but lately they’ve been the latter more than the former. And they both have a burning desire to see America go the way of Betamax. Having Russia and China being chummy is a bad sign, as anyone who remembers the former Soviet Union and communist China can tell you.

What is also troubling about China is the fact they own a significant portion of our national debt. All it takes for them to send us into an economic F5 that would make the 2008 mortgage crisis look like forgetting a can with a nickel deposit when you go to the recycling center. To put it more crudely, they have America by the short hairs.

Then, the corona virus happened. Not only has it caused medical and economic distress, it has exposed China as a bad faith player in global affairs. They hid the outbreak, told the world everything was under control, and downplayed the severity. Of course, they have a vested interest in lying to us because they don’t like us very much and feel no responsibility to look out for anyone but themselves.

And now, they’re blaming America for their screw-ups and the “racist” language of using “Chinese flu” or “Wuhan flu” to describe the corona virus. Nothing like a little scapegoating and virtue signalling between enemies, right? But the more information that comes out about the corona virus, the more it seems China is neck deep in the quicksand.

As I’ve said with Russia, I’ll say with China: they cannot be trusted and should treated with the Ronald Reagan “Trust but verify” approach. Given how China has bungled or mislead its way through the corona virus situation, we cannot afford to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Of course, the Left will point to Donald Trump and say we can’t trust him because he’s lied about the corona virus. This is a diversion from the actual issue and provides cover for China while at the same time advancing an ideological end. And, for now, it seems to be striking a cord with Americans. Depending on what poll you read and/or believe, up to 60% of Americans don’t think the President has done a good job handling the corona virus. The Left hopes this will make the President easier to beat in November.

The problem is, like the corona virus, this too will pass and we will have to deal with the reality of the situation. China is still a major player in this situation, and no amount of blaming Donald Trump will change that. The sooner we can find a way to get out from under China’s thumb, the better.

Considering they’re the ones making our vaccines, that will be easier said than done. Neither the Left nor the Right have a good enough handle on China to take the steps to that end. As we’ve seen, the Left wants to be propaganda partners, while the Right wants to be business partners. In order for us to make any progress, we need leadership who understands China is as trustworthy as a Bill Clinton wedding vow. I’m not convinced President Trump quite gets it yet, but I get the feeling he’s starting to get it.

In the meantime, we should keep an eye on China and how often they lie to us in the name of national self-preservation, but we should also temper our reaction to them lying. The corona virus is no excuse for attacking people who appear to be Chinese. It’s also not an excuse to stock up on toilet paper, but here we are. And we need to focus our criticism on the Chinese government, not the people themselves. The citizens are just as much victims in this situation as we are.

But we should still mock the media and the Left for swallowing China’s lies so easily. These are the same people who call Trump supporters dumb, so any backlash they get for being taken in by China is something they’ve earned. And far be it from me to deny them the ridicule they’ve so richly deserved!

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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As the dust from Super Tuesday settles, there are still matters to be resolved, as in picking which of the remaining members of the Democrat Clown Car gets to run against President Donald Trump in November. However, there is a common thread within the Left that has been making the rounds as we get closer to Election Day: Trump has to go.

As with all great (and not-so-great) things in modern America, it started with a hashtag, #votebluenomatterwho. The idea, much like the people who seem to be putting the hashtag on anything they Tweet from political observations to tuna noodle casserole recipes, is simple. No matter who the Democrat candidate is, the Left has to unite behind that candidate if he or she (but most likely he) is to beat President Trump. As a rallying cry, it’s effective. It’s short, has a nice cadence to it, and you can dance to it.

So, put on your dancing shoes and read along (unless you get motion sickness, then you don’t have to do both simultaneously) as we delve into the Twitterverse again.

#votebluenomatterwho

What the Left thinks it means – a slogan to unite Leftist voters behind any and all Democrat/Leftist candidates in November 2020

What it really means – a slogan that encourages lazy knee-jerk thinking to benefit the Left

Back in the good old days when men were men and women were men and everybody was really confused, we didn’t have political parties. We just has people considering the facts of an issue, weighing their beliefs against the beliefs of public officials, and voting for the best candidate. Then, somebody came up with the idea people couldn’t be trusted to do all of that, so political parties were born, or spawned from the depths of Hell if you prefer. Nowadays, all you need to know about a candidate is if he or she had a D or an R behind his/her name to determine whether the candidate gets your vote. It’s made things simpler, for sure, but it’s also made us simpler in the process.

Somewhere along the line, we were told if we belonged to Party A, Party B was less trustworthy than CNN’s reporting, and those were your only two choices. That’s like saying the only two ice cream choices are chocolate or vanilla. And if you decided to vote for, say, Rocky Road, you were throwing your vote away or, even worse, your vote other than for chocolate or vanilla was actually a vote for chocolate or vanilla. (Yes, folks, that’s just as stupid as it sounds.)

Well, the #votebluenomatterwho comes from the minds of those who came up with the idea that not voting for one of the two major parties means you voted for one of them. It’s a nice little shortcut that takes the pressure of getting informed before voting for a candidate off your shoulders, so now all you have to do is go to the voting booth and pull the lever, mark the box, or touch the screen so only Democrats get your vote. Or you can make it easier and just assume room temperature. Then, you don’t even have to come back from the dead to vote because the Left will do that for you!

Meanwhile, we the living (an interesting and depressing book by Ayn Rand that’s worth at least one read-through, by the way) are left to figure out why we should follow the hashtag’s instructions in the first place. Are Democrats/Leftists better capable of addressing matters of state? Not really, as evidenced by the Iowa and Nevada Democrat caucuses this year. The fact they made a simple process of counting votes into a living modern art piece that not even the participants fully understand should disqualify any Democrat/Leftist from ever holding office higher than city librarian, and that’s with the added stipulation that they are closely supervised so they don’t eat and/or sniff the glue. And if that isn’t enough justification for you, let me point out that of the handful of candidates remaining, only two of them can remotely be considered mentally stable enough to assume the Presidency, and one of those is Joe Biden. In a race where your safe candidate is a guy who at any moment could start a nuclear strike because he thought the red launch button was an Easy Button from Staples, you know you’re screwed.

That underscores one of the major flaws in the idea behind the hashtag: it assumes the eventual candidate can’t do any worse than Donald Trump. Given the folks still vying for the Democrat nomination, that’s a pretty big assumption.

Another major flaw in the #votebluenomatterwho is it buys into the two-party idea. I haven’t always voted for Republicans or Democrats, but when I have it’s because I believe the candidate was the better person for the job. As I’ve gotten older and much more cynical about the two-party system, I’ve decided to keep the voting-for-the-best-person part of my strategy and dumped the party model altogether. And I’m proud to say I’ve written in candidates when I wasn’t convinced anyone else on the ballot was up to the task. If you want to vote for a Democrat/Leftist for President, go for it, but do it because you think he or she is worthy of your vote. If you still have qualms, don’t just relent in the hopes the next talking head with delusions of adequacy can do the job. In the end, the only way anyone is going to know who you voted for is if you tell him or her. That’s the beauty of a private ballot: you’re not required to report on your vote and justify it. This isn’t the former Soviet Union where your choices were a Communist who already had the job and a different Communist who wanted the job and the Party made sure you voted for one or the other. You can vote for who you want. If you hate Trump and hate the eventual Democrat candidate, seek out the other parties’ candidates and see if you like them or even just hate them less. Then, the only one you have to be accountable to is yourself.

This last major flaw, and this is a big one, is it strips away voters’ freedom to choose. For an ideology that claims to love choice, the Left gets mighty prickly if your choice isn’t what they want. Now, consider how many women vote for Leftists because of abortion on the basis of “my body, my choice.” Well, if it’s a woman’s body and a woman’s choice, why should she be forced to vote for a Democrat? If you think she’s perfectly capable of terminating the life of a child inside her womb, you can’t turn around and say she’s not capable of deciding on who to vote for, and of the two scenarios, only one guarantees the death of one of the participants. Take a break from your Handmaid’s Tale cosplay and try to reason this out. Or, if you don’t mind spoilers, you can’t, not because you’re not capable of doing it, but because it makes zero logical sense. It’s infantilizing women to think they can’t make up their own minds about whether to vote for a candidate. Why vote blue if you lean more Green, as it were? And why should anyone, let alone women, be subjected to the No True Scotsman of ideological litmus tests?

While the Left tweets #votebluenomatterwho as a means to rally the troops, it’s something far harder to justify and remain consistent. Then again, if the Left worried about being consistent, they would have dumped the lot of the candidates they had running in the first place. 

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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Politics isn’t touch football, as recent Presidential campaigns have shown. When you decide to run for President, your life goes under the microscope so your opponents know where to attack you for maximum effect.

With Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, that seems pretty easy, but the Left can’t quite bring themselves to attack him directly on substantive matters. Instead, the focus is on his supporters, colloquially called “Bernie Bros.” Not every Bernie supporter is the same, but there seems to be a common thread with the Bernie Bros that doesn’t help the candidate nor make the Left look good.

Which is why I’m bringing it up in this week’s Leftist Lexicon!

Bernie Bros

What the Left thinks it means – a group of primarily male Bernie Sanders supporters who act like violent, racist, misogynistic goons whenever anyone criticizes their candidate

What it really means – a group of Bernie Sanders supporters acting like, well, Leftists

Recent populist Leftist movements seemingly come from diverse backgrounds, but beyond the outer wrapper, they share many traits, ranging from a belief capitalism has failed worse than Joe Biden’s ability to know what state he’s in to universal health care to a $15 per hour minimum wage, even suggesting the rich in this country should be held accountable for economic inequality. Some groups like ANTIFA or Occupy Wall Street don’t publicize all of their beliefs, but they’re there in the fine print.

So, which candidate of the past few years has found a way to coalesce the various groups with the same or similar beliefs? Why, it’s Bernie Sanders, America’s favorite Grandpa (next to Grandpas Jones, Simpson, and Munster, of course)! And with that combination of grassroots support comes the various negatives of said groups. You know, like violence, sexism, and general buffoonery?

This is not to say all Bernie supporter act like the Bernie Bros. Many are good people who just want a new direction and fairness for all across the board. (Oddly enough, many of them also haven’t passed Econ 101, but that’s not important right now.) As with any group of political supporters, there are going to be scumbags and bad hombres. Donald Trump has them, Joe Biden has them, even Hillary Clinton had them. (This latter group was called “Hillary’s 2016 Presidential Campaign Staff.”) And now Bernie has them, thanks to the Bernie Bros.

And just like with ANTIFA and Occupy Wall Street, the Left has little or nothing to say about the Bernie Bros because these group represent potential Leftist voters. So, they plead ignorance or try to deflect the criticism by invoking Donald Trump and MAGA supporters who “did worse.” The problem is…well, the Bernie Bros have not only done worse, but more frequently and with larger political implications. The Left paints Trump supporters like uneducated troglodytes who are threatened by anything that could interfere with their ways of life. They’re set in their ways and have to be dragged kicking and screaming into a better (i.e. progressive) future. In some cases, the Left has Trump supporters pegged. Now, what if I told you the Bernie Bros are a variation on that theme?

Bernie Bros have verbally attacked women, blacks, gays, and others who either disagree directly with Bernie’s positions or who don’t actively agree with them. They paint anyone who isn’t slurping the Kool Aid like the enemy. There is no middle ground with them; it’s their way or the highway.

Hmmm…sounds eerily like…the way the Left describes Trump supporters! Dun dun DUNNNNNNNNN!

The politically damaging part comes at the ballot box. The more Bernie Bros act up and get called out on it, the harder it gets for Bernie to gain traction in the communities affected by the Bernie Bros’ behavior. If the choice in November is between Trump and Sanders, there will be a number of voters in the aforementioned blocs that would either not vote or vote for someone other than Bernie. If the former occurs, it hurts Democrats down ticket by siphoning votes away from preferred candidates. Want to keep the House and take the Senate and White House in November? That ain’t the way to do it!

On a larger scale, the Bernie Bros present a unique challenge. As much as the Left tries to brush boorish behavior by trustworthy Leftists under the rug, they really can’t do that with the Bernie Bros. For one, the Left still doesn’t understand internet and social media culture as well as they think. Just having a Twitter handle and an Instagram account doesn’t make you PewDiePie. Just because you have the tools doesn’t mean you know how to use them, and as we’ve seen with the 2020 Democratic Clown Car, they’re treating everything like a nail (which would be great if their only tools were hammers, but they’re packing Whiffle bats).

To his credit, Sanders has disavowed supporters who treat others poorly (albeit he didn’t call them out by name like President Trump did with white supremacists). But until the Bernie Bros realize the jerks he was disavowing were themselves, they aren’t going to change, and the Left isn’t going to make them because they value the White House more than the rhetorical structural integrity of their platform. No matter how much the Left hates Donald Trump, it’s hard to defeat him when the guy running against him has supporters who actively dissent from stated Leftist ideology when it suits their needs.

Leftists not being good long-term thinkers. Who saw that coming?

In the meantime, it will be interesting to watch Bernie Sanders simultaneously support progressive causes while accepting support from people whose support for said causes are tied more to him than to the causes themselves. Bernie Bros aren’t the albatross around his neck; they’re the millstone around the neck of the albatross around his neck, and Bernie’s wearing cement galoshes. 

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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There is a phrase that has been batted around lately more than a tennis ball during a long rally at Wimbledon: rule of law. But for once, it’s not the Right that is doing the batting. It’s the Left. It seems they’ve become acutely aware of the concept after claiming President Donald Trump believes he’s above the law due to his recent impeachment acquittal in the Senate. On top of that, the President has also suggested the Department of Justice look into the conviction of former Trump associate Roger Stone (and with good reason if the recent news around the judge and jury in his case are accurate). Now, the Left is on their outrage soapboxes demanding the President and the Right respect the rule of law.

As you might guess, I take the rule of law seriously, or at least seriously enough to write a weekly blog post highlighting the Leftist take on the phrase.

rule of law

What the Left thinks it means – following the letter and spirit of the law

What it really means – following the letter and spirit of the law even when it’s politically inconvenient to do so

The Left may have the trial lawyers in their back pockets (and their hands in the back pockets of the trial lawyers for that matter), but that doesn’t mean they have a healthy respect for the law. What they do have is a healthy respect for those who can create laws through rhetorical or contextual devices that judges who are already predisposed to agree with the outcome will allow to stand in court. From the bizarre arguments from Roe v. Wade to the more recent, yet equally bizarre, legal arguments requiring Christians to act against their faith to accommodate same sex marriages, the Left figured out how to get what they want without consulting the voting public: file a lawsuit! Then, it’s just a matter of crafting a legal argument so seemingly air-tight that no appeals court could overturn it and, voila, you have a law and the rest of the country has to go along with it.

Of course, once that happens, the Left demands everyone follow the letter and spirit of the law with no deviations whatsoever. On the other hand, if it’s a law they don’t like, they feel it’s morally justified to defy the law. Sanctuary cities, anyone?

It’s this duplicity when it comes to the law that rings hollow when the Left talks about the rule of law. The recent impeachment fiasco…I mean trial is a nice microcosm of this. Remember when the Left jumped all over Mitch McConnell and other Republican Senators to recuse themselves because they already made up their minds on impeachment? On the surface, it seems like a reasonable and legally justifiable position. Of course, that same argument could have been applied to Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and a whole host of Democrat Senators who had not only made up their minds to impeach the President, but made it a part of their regular communication with followers, constituents, and fawning media types.

And let’s not forget one of the articles of impeachment had zero basis in law, but it didn’t bother Senate Democrats enough to make them vote with the law and not with their party. But hey, party over country is a Republican thing, right?

If you haven’t recognized this Leftist tactic, it’s right out of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. They are trying to hold the Right to the rule of law (or at least the Leftist version of it) while ignoring it themselves, and until recently it was virtually foolproof. Then, as more conservatives and Republicans began to educate themselves on the Left’s tactics, they started to call out the Left and flip the script on them. Not only did the Right flip the script, but the Left flipped their lids, as well as their talking points, to the condition we’re in now. To use a more modern bit of terminology, we’re in the Upside Down.

Or at least some of us are.

Although it’s nice to hear Leftists take the rule of law seriously for a change, it’s based on the politics of the situation, not out of any core principles they have. In fact, the same Leftists going after President Trump for alleged violations of the rule of law were conspicuously absent when President Barack Obama took similar action on matters more pressing than a Tweet about Roger Stone.

This is where it’s important to take the politics out of the rule of law. President Obama violated the law on several occasions and many, including your humble correspondent, were justifiably outraged. President Trump, I feel, has violated the law as well, and only some of us are outraged. By letting our politics guide our decision-making, we can justify poor behavior for the sake of rooting for “our team.” But wrong is wrong, no matter whether we love or loathe the criminal. An eye for an eye may be a boon for the eyepatch industry, but it’s a poor way to enforce the law. It has to be enforced across the board for the rule of law to have any weight.

That is why Lady Justice is blind. Either that or it was an unfortunate recreation of a scene from 50 Shades of Gray, but in either case, we need to be absolutely sure we are standing for the rule of law in every case. Donald Trump isn’t my cup of Earl Grey (not of the 50 Shades variety), but I want him to be extended every legal opportunity I would get as an American citizen. The Left doesn’t want that, though. They want to prosecute first and ask questions never, all under the guise of defending the rule of law from the man they’re trying to prosecute. Call me crazy, but doesn’t that sound a lot like abuse of power? And, if so, where are the Left’s rule of law hawks on impeaching Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, Jerrold Nadler, and the whole cast of characters involved with the impeachment process? I’m sure they’re working on it, right after they try to impeach President Trump for something else that may or may not be against the law.

After all, it’s not like Leftists are known to be hypocrites, right?

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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With President Donald Trump being acquitted by the Senate on both counts of impeachment, the Left has gone crazy…well, crazier than normal…and normal is relative when it comes to the Left. Let’s try this again. The Left hasn’t taken the President’s acquittal by the Senate very well. Some have gone so far as to say we’re on the verge of a dictatorship, while others say we’re already there. After all, the Left has all this evidence of President Trump acting and sounding and looking like one, so how come nobody else can see it?

Well, to paraphrase a former President, that all depends on what your definition of dictatorship is. Which is great for me because it gives me this week’s Leftist Lexicon topic!

dictatorship

What the Left thinks it means – a form of government where there is an all-powerful leader, what we are experiencing now or will be experiencing soon

What it really means – the go-to excuse for when the Left fails in imposing their will, used interchangeably with fascist

The Left thrives on oppression, real or imagined, as a means to control how people think. Most of the time, this oppression is imaginary, but it’s just as effective at getting mush-minded people to agree with them and act accordingly. After all, if you feel you’re oppressed, it means you are and, thus, can claim victimhood, which is the coin of the Left’s realm. Of course, the more boxes you can check off on the Oppression Checklist, the more oppressed you are. After that, there’s a whole hierarchy of oppression that is an M.C. Escher/Rube Goldberg/Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” flowchart, and there isn’t enough booze or drugs to make heads or tails out of it. Needless to say, you shouldn’t even try unless you want to end up like Keith Richards and be 1000 years old.

That need for victimhood drives the Left’s perception of the Trump Administration being a dictatorship, more so after the Senate acquittal. They complained about the Senate trial not allowing witnesses (in spite of the fact the House Managers called 17 witnesses and didn’t bother to do even a little legwork to enforce the subpoenas filed against members of the Trump Administration so they might get home for Christmas break sooner). They said it wasn’t right for Senate Republicans to coordinate with the President on a defense. They screamed about how it wasn’t fair some of the jurors in the Senate trial said they would vote to acquit before the trial began (while saying nothing about the multiple Democrat Senators who said they would vote to convict before the trial even began). All of this and much more is proof the President is now a dictator and above the law, and it has the Left protesting loudly on social media and in public.

Let that last sentence roll around in your heads for a moment. Leftists say we’re in a dictatorship while they complain online and in public…without the President arresting them for speaking out against him. Either Donald Trump is the most incompetent dictator in world history or, now hear me out here, he’s not a dictator. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say the President isn’t a dictator, and not because he hasn’t arrested me for making fun of his haircut. In fact, has anyone been arrested for just making fun of President Trump? Not that I’m aware of. Even most of the people who have openly opposed him haven’t seen the inside of Gitmo or any other prison for that matter. It’s only the extreme cases that get a visit from the Secret Service because that’s their job. Even if you humor the Left on this, the lack of incarceration for protesting the President is hard to overlook when making the case we’re in a dictatorship.

Good luck trying to convince Leftists of that, though. They are bound and determined to be under a dictatorship even if it doesn’t kill them. The odd thing is they aren’t opposed to being in a dictatorship as long as they’re in control of it. Some of the same folks who paint Trump as a dictator are strangely quiet on actual dictatorships in the Middle East or try to whitewash Leftist dictators like Pol Pot. For some examples closer to home, check out some of the antics the Left pulls on college campuses to stifle conservatives. That’s what makes their vocal opposition to dictatorships so disingenuous to me. You can’t pick and choose when it comes to dictatorships. Once you allow one to curry your favor, you lose the moral high ground.

Let’s just say the Left ceded that moral high ground a looooooong time ago.

In the meantime, we have to stay on our toes to ensure we don’t become an actual dictatorship. For all of the faults I find with President Trump, wanting absolute power doesn’t seem to be one of them. I understand he likes to be in control of situations based on the way he’s conducted business, but I’m just not seeing where he’s enacting anything that would lead to him becoming President for Life. If anything, he’s acted better on improving things at home by removing government regulations and making a positive impact abroad by expanding gay rights protections in countries that don’t have them. You know, like those Middle Eastern dictatorships the Left conveniently overlook?

Just because President Trump was acquitted by the Senate of two of the weakest impeachment articles in our history doesn’t mean we’re becoming a dictatorship or that we’re already there. It simply means the House Managers didn’t give the Senate much to work with. Even in real criminal trials, you can’t try to prosecute someone for a crime and expect the defense to prove your case for you. And no amount of screaming, pouting, fuming, or general jackassery will change that.

Of course, it makes it easier for us to spot the loonies, so at least we can be entertained.

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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Ah, early February. The sun is on the verge of shining. The birds are still wintering in Boca, and the nation’s attention focuses on my home state of Iowa because, for a little while, it becomes the center of the American political universe. Front-runners, also-rans, and never-should-have-been-allowed-to-runs show up in big cities, small towns, and various eateries in an attempt to persuade potential caucusers to support them.

And after the votes are counted, they disappear like Bill Clinton’s pants at a sorority sleepover.

As a native Iowan, I wanted to give a bit of insight into the caucuses, especially from the standpoint of the Left, who aren’t fans of the state or the caucuses in general.

the Iowa Caucuses

What the Left thinks it means – a pointless venture that eliminates potential Presidential candidates before more important states get a chance to vote

What it really means – an excuse to pretend to give a damn about Iowa every 4 years

As a native, I can tell you Iowa isn’t exactly the epicenter of excitement, especially for people who don’t come here on a regular basis. The media tend to treat Iowa like an undiscovered country where they are the ones to make first contact. Coming from people who refer to Iowa as “flyover country,” it’s not surprising. The Left doesn’t like people who aren’t from the upper East Coast or the West Coast, and it comes out in how they try to approach people like me to get statements for their fluff pieces masquerading as hard news.

Once you get beyond the media coverage and the Leftist derision, the Iowa Caucuses are a pretty interesting dichotomy in how the two major parties operate. The Republicans gather in their precincts, hear from supporters of different candidates, hold votes for the candidates, elect delegates to the next level of the party nomination process, maybe vote on planks for the state party platform, verify who will submit the results to the party, and adjourn. The process usually takes an hour or two depending on the contentiousness of the debates, which is to say they’re as contentious as an IBM management meeting. It’s focused, allows for discussion, and efficient.

For the Democrats…let’s just say herding cats is more structured than their process. They get together in a room and gather in groups depending on who they favor. After some candidates are eliminated due to lack of viability, the other groups can persuade the supporters of the “non-viable” candidates to caucus with their candidates. This process can go on for hours because sometimes it can take quite a lot of cajoling to get someone caucusing for a candidate to get him or her to switch teams.

On a side note, I’m surprised that doesn’t cause more chaos given how emotional Leftists get. I mean, if you spent months canvasing for Joe Blow only to have Joe not win the nomination, how likely would you be to put your full support behind one of Joe’s opponents? And on the other side of the equation, how pissed would you be if you did the same for Joe’s opponent and to have to give up a delegate spot to someone who didn’t support your candidate from the jump? (And for the record, this is typically what happens on the Democrat side to secure a “viable” nominee gets proper representation.)

And remember, kids, these are the same people who want the government to provide for us because they think we’re too dumb to look out for ourselves.

Underneath the shaking hands and kissing babies is a media whose job it is to cover the campaign for people outside of Iowa. And make no mistake, I would say most of the media folks hate being here. Granted, when they come here it’s usually cold, windy, and snowy, so it’s hard to put our best foot forward without getting frostbite. Even so, with the kind of attitude Leftists give off, it’s not unusual for Iowans to still be friendly and genuine. That can be off-putting for someone who is used to having to be wary of people who will stab them in the back, figurative and possibly literally. This happened to a friend of mine from New York City who came to cover the Iowa Caucuses for a website I used to run many many years ago and she was struck by how nice everyone was. And before you knew it, she and her husband moved to St. Louis and are now enjoying the Midwest niceness.

Maybe that’s why the media think we’re uneducated rubes. In their cynical minds, no one can be that honest about their intentions, so it’s obvious we’re the defective ones and we need the Left to tell us what to think and do because that’s what they do! But here’s the thing: Iowans are what we are and we’re smarter than you think. Granted, it can be argued the Democrats’ caucus structure proves otherwise, but that’s the outlier here.

Along with the condescending Leftist attitude, there’s an idea in Leftist circles that the Iowa Caucuses shouldn’t be first in the nation because it prevents bigger states like California from voting for who they want when it gets to be their turn. They also mention Iowa is mostly white and doesn’t represent the diversity of the country, so naturally Iowa isn’t a good place to start a Presidential campaign. Try telling that to campaign financiers. For all of its faults, Iowa has media markets that are far cheaper than the media markets just in one community. And, if you really think about it, the sheer expense of running a single 30 second ad on a TV station in, say, Los Angeles would prevent other states from voting for who they want because it would knock out or prevent lower-tier candidates from getting votes.

Funny how the Left doesn’t think about that, isn’t it?

This year, the Iowa Caucuses are going to be a chance for Democrats to showcase their clown car of candidates, while the Republicans should be able to go home early. And after the confetti and the parties, the campaigns and media move towards New Hampshire and Iowa becomes a political afterthought until Election Night.

And you know…that’s the way we like it.

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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Recently the Doomsday Clock got to within 100 seconds to midnight, so if your date has to be home by then, you have a little over a minute to get him or her home before his/her parents get mad!

Seriously, though, we haven’t heard that much about the Doomsday Clock in recent years because it hasn’t really been that relevant since the end of the Cold War. Kinda like NATO with Swiss timing. Although its initial intent was to give us a visual representation of an impending nuclear doomsday, its purpose has expanded to include climate change. In other words, it keeps track of two bombs.

With the furor building over the change to the Doomsday Clock, I think it warrants a closer look at it.

the Doomsday Clock

What the Left thinks it means – a useful tool to reflect how close our world is to irreversible destruction

What it really means – an arbitrary measure of a doomsday that isn’t coming anytime soon

The Doomsday Clock was created in 1947 by Hyman Goldsmith and Martyl Langsdorf to show how close we were to atomic warfare and destruction with midnight being last call for humanity. Since its creation, different people have been responsible for determining when and how much the clock hands change with the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist’s Science and Security Board making the current final decision. In 2007, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist included climate change in their determination of how close we were to utter destruction.

I did a bit of reading on who is on the Science and Security Board so you wouldn’t have to, and one thing struck me time and time again: a decent number of these folks have Leftist ties. Ranging from former Obama Administration officials to California Governor Jerry Brown, the Science and Security Board is a virtual Who Cares of scientists and political folks all striving to make it seem like we’re on the verge of destruction. Of course, they consult with their peers in various scientific fields, but they are the ones who make the final decision.

In other words, a self-perpetuating echo chamber that would make Greta Thunberg jealous.

Now, if you’ve read my previous posts on the subject of climate change, you’ll know I think the science is as slanted as a ski jump, so you can guess how I feel about it being added as a criterion of the Doomsday Clock being changed. However, its inclusion at such a late date is telling. Remember how global warming was going to kill us all in the 90s? Yet, the aforementioned brain trust didn’t think it was as serious a problem until 2007, which was when we started seeing how the climate models that all pointed to climate change being a major problem were more buggy than an Amish tailgate party. And it was during the time when global temperatures were cooler than we were being told.

But, hey, science and stuff.

At the end of the day, though, every tick of the Doomsday Clock isn’t based on anything concrete, just feelings. Whoa oh oh, feelings. And it’s not even feelings based on actual data. The last time the Doomsday Clock was changed was in 2018, when it clock read it was two minutes to midnight. (Come to think of it, that would be a great heavy metal song! Wish someone would write it!) The world hasn’t gotten that much more dangerous for a while, but the clock kept moving in spite of the facts on climate change alone.

The more you look into the Doomsday Clock, the more you see the political machinery within it. In their 2012 announcement, the board praised the Arab Spring (which made the world much more dangerous), the Occupy movement (which had nothing to do with either nuclear weapons or climate change, but still managed to leave a lot of trash for others to pick up), and political/social movements in Japan and Russia that still had nothing to do with either of their concerns. The kicker for me was their 2015 announcement speaking glowingly of John Kerry and relying upon the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for their message on climate change. Don’t pat yourself on the back too much, Mr. Kerry, or you might have to apply for another Purple Heart….

As it stands, the Doomsday Clock is driven by ideology more than ideas, which makes it unreliable as a means of telling anything, let alone time, and it should be treated as such. I trust the blinking 12:00 AM on an old VCR more than I trust the Doomsday Clock because there’s at least some practical logic behind how to change the time. Plus, there’s a chance the VCR might still work, so there’s that. As for the Doomsday Clock, it should be sent to the junkyard where it can keep the rats and the rust company.

And the worst part of the Doomsday Clock? It’s not even digital.

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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The Iowa State Fair occurs in August, but we’ve entered a new fair season thanks to Leftists. Democrat candidates for President talk incessantly about fair wages. House Democrats are demanding the Senate hold a fair trial. And Leftists are demanding the rich pay their fair share.

All this fair talk and not a single corn dog to be found.

On the plus side, we can revisit a Leftist chestnut in the current context! Not as good as a corn dog, but hey.

fair

What the Left thinks it means – making things equal for the less fortunate, often involving taking from the plenty to give to the less fortunate

What it really means – an arbitrary word that can’t be achieved, even with an overbearing bureaucracy

We all want things to be fair because we’re not assholes for the most part. When something bad happens to us, we demand something happen to balance the scales (usually involving lawyers, some of which appear in TV commercials during “Maury”…not that I know about that, mind you). It’s even written in our founding documents in a fashion when referencing “all men are created equal.” America is a country where fairness is cherished and appreciated.

And that’s why the Left tries to inject it into every policy they advocate.

Take the “paying your fair share” concept. The Left continues to push the idea the rich aren’t carrying their share of the fiscal burden in America. And they’re right; they’re paying more than their fair share. When the top 10% of earners pays in the neighborhood of 90% of the tax burden, that’s not a fair system by any stretch of the imagination. But to the Left, it’s still fair because…the rich make more money, so they can afford to pay more!

In other words, the Left thinks a minority of the people paying the clear bulk of the tax burden isn’t fair, and the only way to make it fair is to have this minority pay more. Seems as legit as a Nigerian prince offering to share his fortune with you via email.

The same concept of fairness permeates the other Leftist ideas I mentioned. Essentially, the Left feels fairness only goes in the direction they want it to go, and it’s usually someone else who has to do the heavy lifting to make it happen. House Democrats put up laughable articles of impeachment, but it’s the Senate who has to call witnesses to ensure a “fair trial”. Workers aren’t getting paid enough, so companies have to bump up pay in order to have a “fair wage.” And anyone who disagrees with these just isn’t on board with fairness and that makes them meanie-heads!

Actually, it means we don’t share the same definition of fairness.

I’m going to rope in a bit of economic theory here, so if you’re not into that, skip ahead a couple of paragraphs. I promise it will be more entertaining than Al Gore giving play-by-play at a curling match.

Leftists believe in a “zero sum game.” If someone succeeds, it’s always at the cost of those less fortunate.  This, of course, is bunk. Wealth and poverty aren’t linked in that way. Bill Gates didn’t get ahead because he stole from Joe Sixpack. Instead, he got ahead by selling Joe Sixpack computers with buggy operating systems. You know, just like Grandpa did it!

The problem with a zero sum game mindset is it ignores the fact there is an infinite number of ways to make a buck, which means there is an infinite number of bucks to be made in our economy. As long as there is a need for a product or service, there will be a way for someone to make a profit. You could have a job that requires no discernable talent (like being a YouTube celebrity or a Congresscritter), but that doesn’t mean someone like me who is, thankfully, neither can’t make a buck or two in the same, similar, or different fields altogether. Our economic system is funny in that way. Just because someone gets ahead doesn’t mean we can’t get ahead, too.

There is another term to describe the Left’s concept of fairness, and that word is vengeance. The Left doesn’t want things to be fair because it cuts into their schtick, which is to convince people of how unfair everything is and then con them out of money to try to make things fair. And once they have your attention, it gets easier for them to manipulate you into agreeing with Leftist policies. They might even convince you that you’re a victim of unfair treatment and you need to make things right by sticking it to The Man.

See why I think vengeance is a better descriptor of what the Left means when they talk about fairness?

The part that escapes the Left more than their unintentionally ironic definition of fairness is it can never be totally achieved, even under the Leftist utopia being promised in all the brochures. That’s because we’re all different with different skills and abilities, educational backgrounds, socioeconomic circumstances, and so on. As much as I love to play basketball, I know I can’t turn it into a job with the NBA (not on a winning team, at least). Instead of trying to make the NBA put me on a team while talking about how unfair it is that I’m not already a starter, I’ve accepted my limitations, namely my entire basketball-related skill set. I don’t begrudge anyone using their talents to make money.

And that’s what the Left can’t do. Without a potential victim, the Left has no way to convince people how unfair things are in America. Maybe that’s because there are comparatively few actual victims of unfairness in America. We have a ways to go with the justice system and certainly with taxation, but by and large we are a fair country and always strive to do better. Some things can’t be fixed with more taxes on the wealthy, a $15 per hour minimum wage, or calling witnesses at a Senate impeachment trial, but a lot of things can be fixed by recognizing the Left only wants fairness for themselves, not for everyone. Even when they call for fairness, they feel they have to be on top.

And believe me, that would be the least fair result ever.

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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House Democrats, after not learning their lesson about how impeachment backfired on them worse than Wile E. Coyote in a Road Runner cartoon, took another step towards trying to rein in President Donald Trump’s powers in the aftermath of the Iran attack. After not being briefed before the President launched the attack that took out Iran’s number 2 military leader (now he’s numbers 2 through 1 billion), the House passed a non-binding resolution that would forbid the President from blowing up more Iranian terrorists without Congressional approval. This was done under the auspices of the War Powers Resolution of 1973, also called the War Powers Act.

Although the War Powers Act (I’ll call it that for the rest of the piece because it’s shorter and I like it) has been used in a handful of situations since its inception, people, and most notably our elected officials, still don’t quite understand it in full. Even your humble correspondent had to do a bit of research on it to make sure I understood it, and if I can do it, people who get paid to write laws can do it (hopefully).

And with that being said, let’s get right into it.

the War Powers Act

What the Left thinks it means – a Congressional check on the President to avoid getting us into wars Congress doesn’t approve

What it really means – a bad idea made worse by partisan bickering

In short, the War Powers Act gives the President the authority to enter a military conflict for a limited amount of time before Congress needs to declare war and, in exchange, the President has to brief Congress within 48 hours of any military action. In the recent Iran situation, only one of the conditions was met, that being the military action. As far as the briefing, one could argue they were informally briefed by the media covering the action, but a formal briefing wasn’t offered. That angered House Democrats because…well, I’m not completely sure. Given how some Democrats were upset that President Trump didn’t act sooner, you would think they would be happy we finally did something.

And they were…kinda. But that’s a blog for another time.

The point here is President Trump is now under the microscope again for attacking Iran after they attacked our embassy and may have planned further actions against Americans in the region. We can argue the ethics of what happened all we want, but there is one thing that is crystal clear: President Trump was authorized to take action under the War Powers Act without getting Congress to sign off on it.

I can understand why the President may not have wanted to let Congress about his Iran attack ahead of time. Between the leakers, the Muslim sympathizers, and the general dullards, I wouldn’t trust them with my junior high locker combination, let alone something like information about a missile strike. Even after they were briefed, Congressional Democrats weren’t satisfied with the information and said there wasn’t enough persuasive information that Iran was going to attack again. Of course, the 40 years of Iran yelling “Death tp America” might have been a hint, but hey.

Although I believe the President was legally authorized under the War Powers Act to take action against Iran, I have to say it’s bad law because of how it circumvents the Constitution and cheapens the act of war. The President is the Commander in Chief, meaning he controls the military. Congress, on the other hand, has the authority to declare war. By allowing the President to engage in war-like activities, even if it’s done in the name of protecting us, Congress’ role in the process of war is negated. What good is getting Congressional approval to engage an enemy if the President can order an engagement prior to even talking to Congress? It’s like giving your credit card to a shopaholic for a week before setting limits to his or her spending. You know, like Congress does with our tax dollars.

What’s more, the War Powers Act ignores the human toll of war (or pre-war if you will). For every death or injury, every father or mother deployed under it, every family that is disrupted even temporarily, the War Powers Act doesn’t justify it. If we are going to strike at an enemy, it has to be done under the auspices of an actual declaration of war, not a 60-90 day window that can be extended with a Congressional vote. Not only is that far too late in the process for my tastes, it’s disrespectful to the men and women of our military and their families. We owe it to them to have the courage to put forth a united front against an acknowledged enemy.

And that’s impossible in the current political climate. Between the two poles, there is a lot of moral posturing and hatred that prevents the sober analysis of the facts necessary to declare war. Just look at the number of Leftists who blamed Trump for Iran taking down a commercial airliner because they claim it wouldn’t have happened if President Trump hadn’t acted. There’s an entire ideological side determined to blame the President for every ill and the facts be damned. And there’s an entire ideological side determined to defend the President, also with a facts be damned attitude. Meanwhile, those of us in the middle are getting exhausted trying to reason with both sides to try to get us all on the same page. As it stands, we’re not even reading the same book in the same language, which makes the likelihood of getting people to rally behind a common enemy like Iran pointless and impossible.

Which makes the War Powers Act one of the most dangerous laws on the books right now.

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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The new year started off with a bang, literally in the case of the late Major General Qassim Suleimani. Seems the good Major General got blown up in a strike in Baghdad, due to his involvement in a little act of violence against the American embassy in Baghdad. Oh, and his role in killing 600 Americans.

And now the Left is defending Iran indirectly by saying “He was a bad guy, but….”

Although there is a lot of attention being paid to Iran (after a lot of money was paid to them by a previous Administration who came up with a dumbass plan Iran wasn’t complying with), not much is known about the country itself and the Islamic theocracy in charge there. I’ll do my best to alleviate that here, and maybe throw in a few jokes.

Iran

What the Left thinks it means – a country that has suffered from American intervention, but was complying with the Iran Deal

What it really means – a country that has benefited from Leftist foreign policy failures

It’s time for a story. There was once a time in our history when Iran wasn’t the douchecanoe of a country it is today. It was the late 1970s, when polyester was the fabric of choice, KISS made a disco song, and Iran was lead by a man named Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, otherwise known as the Shah of Iran. Although he had a great deal of support in America for his more progressive (good progressive, not the Leftist version) approaches, the religious leaders and many of his countrymen disliked him and eventually overthrew him, replacing him with Ruhollah Khomeini (otherwise known as Skippy). The Ayatollah Khomeini went the opposite direction, turning Iran from a place where women could drive in public to one where shouting “Death to America” was their national pastime.

Since then, Iran has been a rigid theocracy, the kind the Left keeps telling us is right around the corner if we let those evil Christians take over! Being a Christian myself, I can see where the Left is coming from because there are some real loons out there (I’m looking at you, Westboro Baptist Church). However, I doubt the Left’s fears of a Christian theocracy are as well-founded as we think. Speaking as a Lutheran, we can’t even decide on what flavor of Jello goes best for a potluck. What makes you think we’ve got a master plan to take over the country? This ain’t The Handmaid’s Tale, kids, and we’re nowhere near it. But you know where it’s a reality?

Iran.

But, now the Left gets to pretend like they care about war with Iran because of President Donald Trump turning Qasem Soleimani extra crispy. The fact is Iran wants us dead (as evidenced by their “Death to America” chants) and will stop at nothing to make that happen. For the past 40+ years, America and Iran have been going around and around. More accurately, Iran has been getting wound up and yelling at us while America has pretty much been ignoring it. Although this approach may work with a child’s tantrum, it doesn’t work in geopolitics. All this has done is allowed Iran time to plan and develop technology that can be used to attack us.

Enter the Iran Deal. While Leftists defend this diplomatic effort from the Obama Administration to exchange lifting economic sanctions against Iran for Iran promising not to further develop nuclear technology for weapons while allowing it to continue to develop that technology to generate energy. Now, the funny thing is Iran is sitting one of the world’s biggest oil deposits, which makes it odd for them to start developing nuclear energy. Add to that the fact the Left likes nuclear energy as much as they like Ronald Reagan. Yet, the Iran Deal was heralded as a huge step forward towards reducing tensions in the area.

Oh, and the matter of a few billion dollars sent to Iran by the Obama Administration.

And what did it do? Nothing. Well, except make Iran richer and better able to develop its nuclear program.

I have been of the opinion that Iran has been developing nuclear weapons for a while now because, well, it suits their needs. Being radical Muslims, Iran has no problem lying to non-believers, as their reading of the Koran goes. And since we’re the Great Satan, they feel they’re justified in whatever they need to do to bring us down. Lying is no big deal if it leads to the end they desire.

You know, just like Leftists.

From a military standpoint, Iran has a vested interest in keeping the world in the dark about just how far along they are and in what direction their nuclear program is taking. It’s classic misdirection, and America has been taken in by promises that don’t pass the smell test. How do I know this? Because even with President Trump pulling out of the Iran Deal, Iran continued to violate terms of the agreement, as established by the foreign leaders who didn’t want us to pull out in the first place. The sensible question we should be asking is why Iran wouldn’t stick with the deal even if one of the principal partners backed out.

Because they had already achieved their goal: to bring America to heel. I maintain even if we stayed in the Iran Deal they had no intent of ever keeping up their end of the bargain because they saw what Saddam Hussein did in Iraq after Operation Desert Storm. For those of you who don’t remember, Saddam kept the UN weapons inspectors busy and distracted while they continued their chemical and biological weapons development, but the UN and Iraq both maintained the inspections and sanctions were being followed.

At least until they weren’t.

While I don’t necessarily want war with Iran, it’s insane to think President Trump’s actions in taking out Suleimani are going to make our relationship with Iran worse and lead to World War III. At worst, Iran still won’t send us a Ramadan card. But the Left need us to think this way because they have already invested a lot of time and energy trying to paint the President as a foreign policy idiot savant, minus the savant. As brutish and wrong-headed as the President is on a lot of subjects foreign and domestic, taking out a terrorist, which Suleimani was, is not a bad thing. Iran isn’t a country who will respond well to a sternly worded memo. They will, however, understand a show of force that can turn Tehran into Detroit with better water in a matter of minutes.

The Left needs Iran to be a victim of America and for the Iran Deal to be successful. With one military strike, Donald Trump has blown that right out of the water.