Propaganda ministers reap what they sow

© 2016 Jim Spence - In just three weeks Democrats will be able to truthfully “say” they HAD a two-term president from 2009 to 2017. The GOP said the same thing until Richard Nixon resigned in disgrace in 1974.
Obama lives in the post-shame era. The late night talk show comedians don't even make fun of Obama like they have every president before him. I have a New Years prediction for you. Prepare for a return to normal. I predict right now on this site......that late night talk show hosts will tell a joke or two about Trump after he takes the oath of office.
History suggests that Mr. Obama and Mr. Nixon have so much in common. Both conducted themselves distinctly....as remarkably dishonest liars. Nixon surrounded himself with liars and so has Mr. Obama. Eventually Nixon resigned in disgrace because he was caught in a web of lies. Mr. Obama has been caught in one lie after another too. However, it is very fortunate for him that CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, NPR, the New York Times and the Washington Post are defined by their own dishonesty. Mr. Obama’s lies are condoned by those who should expose them. What a waste of 1st Amendment protection. Not coincidentally, the Fox News phenomenon is no surprise. The popularity of Fox, which has eclipsed ESPN in cable/satellite network viewership, can be explained by millions of Americans rejecting the con games of Obama adoring by the rest of the media.
Lying is insidious. Think about parents who let their children tell lies without consequence. Unrepentant liar children grow up to be sorry adults like Nixon and Obama. Getting away with lying has defined Obama’s entire life. It began long before he became president. He lied on his student aid application decades ago when he claimed he was NOT an American citizen. He did so to get foreign student aid. To stay comfortable in lifestyle Obama had to lie. He was lazy. His grades were not going to produce academic scholarship dollars. Obama may be lazy but he is smart. He realized that claiming he was a foreign student would create cash for him to spend. Obama lied to get what he wanted, and he got away with it.
After Obama’s political ascendancy, his volunteer propaganda ministers defended his lies. Anyone who dared to question the citizenship of the half-white Obama, the citizenship he himself had denied for money, was branded as a racist. They simply hated the half of him that is black. The dismissive birther label was coined and plastered on all interlopers. CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, NPR, the New York Times and the Washington Post made up one hell of a support group for Obama. It never occurred to anyone at these completely discredited media outlets to report that Obama himself was the original birther.
Remember Jonathan Gruber? Gruber was the architect of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Like so many who work with Obama, Gruber is a serial liar. Gruber was caught on several videos insulting American voters and bragging about how lies were used to pass the law.
"It's a very clever, you know, basic exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter," Gruber said at the Honors Colloquium 2012 at the University of Rhode Island.
And at the University of Pennsylvania in 2013 Gruber said, "If you had a law which said healthy people are going to pay in -- if you made it explicit that healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed, OK? Just like how people -- transparent -- lack of transparency is a huge advantage. And basically, you know, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever. But basically that was really, really critical to getting the thing to pass."
Like Obama, Mr. Gruber captures the essence of the elite Democrat’s attitude towards voters. Elite Democrats think they are so much smarter than voters that their willingness to lie to people to advance their agenda is justified. Read Animal Farm if you are confused about this mindset.
Fast forward to the dawn of 2017 and consider the final days of the Obama presidency. He is still at it. It appears his presiding over the disintegration of his party is going to culminate with his feigned outrage over the “Russian interference in our elections.” What this actually means is that during the Democratic primary season, hackers based in Russia exposed the lies being told to fellow Democrats by the Democratic National Committee. It seems there was an incestuous relationship between so-called news reporters in the Obama propaganda ministries and the leaders of the Clinton Campaign. Their lies and their super delegate cheating schemes were hurting Bernie Sanders badly and the far left fringes of the Democratic Party did not like it. What Clinton boss John Podesta gave the hackers on a silver platter by clicking on a phishing email was leaked to media members willing to publish the filthy facts.
Here is the con. Everyone including Mr. Obama already knew the Clintons were cheating Bernie Sander’s brains out before the so-called Russian hacks of the DNC. Obama and his henchmen were hoping that most Democrats would not care about these revelations of Clinton cheating. It turned out most Democrats didn’t care about the cheating......so Sanders got beat.
Folks, the hack story died months ago. However, what Mr. Obama did not count on was Trump beating Clinton seven weeks ago. When Trump astonished America and captured the win that was supposed to go to Clinton, the initial shock eventually wore off. Since mid-November all of the Democrats, including Obama, have been trying to come up with a plausible narrative of lies to justify blaming others. The goals were to absolve themselves of any fault, and discredit Trump before he takes office. Not exactly accepting the election result.
Democrats began with the most reliable con angle they know. They made the charge of racism. But this con wouldn’t stick. Next, Democrats tried the sexism charge. But that bogus excuse did not stick either. Next Democrats blamed the Electoral College. This angle, and the subsequent coup attempt with electors also fell flat. Finally, the Democrats came up with their last stand. It is the lie they are going to stick with until eternity (or 2020). It goes like this: “The Russians helped Trump, and by god they are going to be sanctioned!”
Earlier this week Obama feigned toughness. He doesn't do tough well. He is more of a pillow than a Putin fighter. Still he had to run the con. Out went 35 Russian diplomats. That will show those sons of bitches! We will teach them a lesson for helping Trump. The charade was so comical the Russians didn't even respond by tossing out a few American diplomats.
This Russian hack ruse is a huge and historical lie. Naturally it is repeated by the propaganda ministries. It is simply more executive branch fraud a la Nixon.
While Obama is once again disgracing himself, the amazing part of his existence is that he is like the child who was never punished for lying and cheating. Obama will get a free pass from the propaganda ministries for what amounts to him sanctioning Trump because Hillary got caught cheating Bernie.
It is a fitting parting shot for Obama. One more lie piled on a life of deception that has been propped up and propelled by CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, NPR, the New York Times and the Washington Post.
What the ministers at America's premier fake news outlets don’t realize is that the Americans have learned to lie too. They lie to pollsters about who they approve of. They lie to pollsters about who they will vote for. It is the law of the jungle. The law Obama has popularized.
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2017 - 36 years since the last renaissance

© 2016 Jim Spence - I find myself thinking about the retirement of Thomas Sowell more and more.....even after paying tribute to him in my previous column. Sowell isn't dead, but 2017 won't be the same without him.

For the last thirty-three years I have worked in an industry where there are great rewards for being correct, and very severe penalties for being wrong. At Spence Asset Management we work in the belly of free market capitalism, a place where risk and reward are a way of life and clear thinking is a must. The price of being dead wrong is often so severe it keeps us up at night. I do not get the impression that most Democrats ever even consider the idea they might be wrong, let alone what being wrong might cost them. It is not their world to pay for thinking errors. They prefer to think deep thoughts and deny failure. This has been a way of life for Mr. Obama.

The cold reality of confronting risks regularly explains why I hold a very deep aversion to any sort of extended contact with progressive Democrats where ideas are exchanged. Astonishingly, their approach to decision-making is simply not based on risks and rewards or results. I say this because there are far too many policies that clearly don’t work that progressive Democrats want more of. 

It is hard to count all of the failing policies we have seen over the last eight years that Democrats continue to pretend are working. Rather than provide a long list of all of the bad ideas Democrats insist on embracing, let’s get to the heart of this conundrum. Why would anyone pretend that a litany of bad ideas that are proven failures are actually good? 
Thomas Sowell provides the answer with this gem of a quote - "Much of the social history of the Western world, over the past three decades, has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good." 
Democrats are very much into their feelings. It is the most bogus of all alleged substitutes for actually thinking. Quite often Democrats will delude themselves into believing their feelings are actaully critical thoughts. Engage a Democrat for a few minutes. I know this is going to be very tedious, but if you haven’t done so recently, please do it. Notice how they will always tell you how they “feel” and rarely tell you how they “think.” It is the essence of progressive Democrat to feel more than they think, and this essence leads to an endless supply of costly follies. I asked a Democrat a couple of years ago why with strict gun control laws in Chicago, were there so many shootings (60 over Christmas 2016) and why would laws like those everywhere improve public safety. He admitted there was no data to support the safety argument. He said he would......get this......"feel better" if there were more laws making it harder to buy guns everywhere.

Michael Swickard wrote a wonderful column (see below) on barking less and wagging more. He referenced a bumper sticker for this cheery thought. I saw the same sticker on another vehicle and liked it too. My problem with the proverbial wagging of my tail at progressive Democrats is they do not live in my world where doing stupid things is extremely costly. Again it is Thomas Sowell who best summarizes how dumb this is with the following quote -
"It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong."
Let's return to a basic question. Why do so many Democrats pretend Obamacare works? The answer is they pretend it is working because Obamacare has NOT cost them dearly, like it has millions of other Americans. They do not share the burden of stupid policy. Those who have paid the price hate Obamacare.

Why do most elected Democrats pretend there are no risks associated with bringing Muslim refugees into the U.S. from countries that teach all children and adults to hate America? Again the answer is simple. It is because they work in places with armies of armed security guards. They never consider soft targets like those in Orlando or San Bernardino simply because they do not occupy places that are soft targets. It is very easy to simply be in favor of disarming law abiding citizens when you yourself have armed guards protecting you. There is no cost to them.

Of course the bad ideas Democrats support kind of goes on and on. As we move into 2017 Donald Trump has said in ways never before heard from an elected official heading to Washington, that he is going to begin to correct many of the things that have cost Americans deeply.......but cost elected Democrats still in Washington absolutely nothing. We shall see about these Trump promises in good time. A lady asked me the other day if I was optimistic about Trump. I told her I had learned to keep my expectations of what can be accomplished in Washington D.C. very low because most people who work there, both Democrats and Republicans pay no price for being wrong.

What is wrong with America? There are still far too many incumbent Democrats pretending what they vote for is working, while they pay no price whatsoever for being dead wrong about how they "feel."

It is my guess that 2017 is shaping up to be a watershed year in America. It is either going to be a renaissance the likes of which we haven't seen since 1981, or a major disappointment. Let us pray for the former.

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Announcement that should have rocked the nation

© 2016 Jim Spence - Yesterday was a very sad day for me. One of my heroes announced his retirement. The man is a famous author and former Professor of Economics at UCLA. He should be much more famous than he is.
Thomas Sowell (not Barack Obama) should be the most famous black American man alive today. All of America is worse off that Sowell is not more famous than Mr. Obama. And even more sad, blacks are infinitely worse off because most have never heard of Thomas Sowell or studied his teachings.
There was no fanfare in the news media regarding Sowell's retirement announcement. In an era where so many Americans with distant African relatives have been able to gain remarkable notoriety for various accomplishments, it is curious that this man has been virtually ignored by pop culture and the mainstream media.
I have quoted Sowell dozens of times. I have read hundreds, if not thousands of his columns. Sowell has taught me far more than any high school teacher or college professor I ever interacted with. And yet I have never met Mr. Sowell. Maybe I will do so before one of us passes away. 
Thomas Sowell is a man is in possession of perhaps the rarest gift of all…….profound wisdom. Like all talent, intellectual talent is God given. However, unlike athletic talent, intellectual talent is not physical in nature. Intellectual talent that is developed and converted into profound wisdom does not diminish with the passage of time. Mr. Sowell's talents have grown with the passage of time.
Thomas Sowell is eighty-six years old now. He should be mentioned in the same breath with Mahatma Gandhi or Martin Luther King. Though he has been fabulously successful as an author, Sowell is not widely read. Astonishingly, unprincipled reprobates like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have been showered with mainstream media attention and treated as noteworthy blacks instead of embarrassments, while Sowell is ignored.
Thomas Sowell
The so-called leaders of the African American population, starting with the Obamas, have had Sowell's wisdom being published right under their noses. Instead of availing themselves of it, they have chosen to render a great disservice to society by refusing to embrace the basic common sense that Sowell has taught all these years. In doing so, they have cultivated disastrous consequences for America.
Witness the four dozen shootings in Chicago over the most recent holiday weekend. This sort of family destroying mayhem takes place daily in metropolitan areas all over America. It has been going on for most of my adult life. While the race hucksters and pimps cynically wait for black criminals to be shot by white cops, events they can use as opportunities to engage in lucrative fund raising, Thomas Sowell has tried for many decades to help America assist the black community in getting out of the abyss. In ignoring Sowell Democrats have fostered in the very policies that have sunken the inner city cultures they claim to care about, deeper and deeper into the depths of despair.
The Sowell retirement announcement could be viewed as an opportunity for America to heed the wisdom contained in dozens of his books listed below:
Wealth, Poverty and Politics, Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy, Intellectuals and Race, Intellectuals and Society. The Housing Boom and Bust, Applied Economics:Thinking Beyond Stage One, Economic Facts and Fallacies, A Conflict of Visions: The Ideological Origins of Political Struggles, On Classical Economics, Black Rednecks and White Liberals, Affirmative Action Around the World, Basic Economics: A Citizen's Guide to the Economy, The Einstein Syndrome: Bright Children Who Talk Late, A Personal Odyssey, The Quest for Cosmic Justice, Conquests and Cultures: An International History, Migrations and Cultures: A World View, The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy, Race and Culture: A World View, Inside American Education: The Decline, The Deception, The Dogmas, Preferential Policies: An International Perspective, Choosing a College: A Guide for Parents and Students, Marxism: Philosophy and Economics, Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality, The Economics and Politics of Race: An International Perspective, Ethnic America: A History, Markets and Minorities, Knowledge and Decisions, Race and Economics, Classical Economics Reconsidered, Say's Law: An Historical Analysis, Black Education: Myths and Tragedies, Economics: Analysis and Issues.
America should do itself a favor and drink from this incredibly deep well of timeless wisdom. It is not too late.

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Swickard: For 2017 let us wag more and bark less

© 2009 Michael Swickard, Ph.D.  The year 2016 will go down as being extra contentious. Every presidential election brings out the barbs by partisans but this one was worse. I hope 2017 features the mantra: wag more and bark less. I saw that on a bumper sticker and liked it.
            The problem is that many people continue spewing hate from the election which didn’t change things then nor now. There are many still trying to change the presidential election but that hay is in the barn. Others have gotten addicted to the ways of spewing poison and do so whenever possible.
            This is very apparent on our roadways where nice driving is an exception rather than the rule. The other day I was behind a woman who was waiting for someone to finish their turn. Neither the woman nor I could proceed but the person behind me was losing his mind. Yes, it was a young man. He was honking and waving at me but I couldn’t move.
            We were making this young man be several seconds late. Oh, my. He finally came by me waving and cursing and swerving at me and the lady in front. Oh, my. It appeared he intended to pull in front of me and come back and punch me which would not have ended well since I was armed.
            Instead he screeched off and ran a red light. Oh, my. In a matter of seconds his road rage almost caused several accidents. Why did this person feel entitled to act like an idiot? Perhaps it is because he does so online continually and his troll behavior has gone to his driving.
            There is an epidemic of rage driving and dare I say new rules might be needed. I’m not one to want more legislation since we have a million rules for every person. Still, this might need something like if you are caught driving aggressively the first time, you lose your driver’s license for five years. That will make you older and you will be so glad to get your license back.
            * Note, I have been told that if you take the driver’s license away they will just drive and threaten people anyway. I believe we can incarcerate them until they are too old to drive if they want to be mule-headed.
            Wait. I was wanting to talk about wagging more and barking less. Shuckins, it is so easy to bark. And there are things that should be barked at but I want this next year to be one of more wagging and less barking. So first, we must heal the partisan wounds and become one nation rather than two fighting camps.
            Again, that won’t be easy since many of Americans have gotten such a thrill out of being a jackass to the other people in our country. Mostly, this is online and in the media. When I lived in a small New Mexico town for many years this was rarely done.
            The reason was simple: if you said something rude about one of the people you would see that person at coffee break and at lunch and at the town meeting. That person would play pitty-pat with your head for being such a wise guy. So, we were a bit more genteel because any slight was dealt with right away.
            To their credit there are some media editors that attempt to take the slights out of discussion but it is like trying to wipe the stripes off a tiger. We Americans are getting wrapped around the political axle about Russia or China or countries in the Middle East.
            The truth is contained in a statement made in 1848 by Henry John Temple Palmerston, “We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.”
            The same is true for both of our political parties where it doesn’t matter which party, it matters which interest. My interest is that Americans get along better and not be so belligerent to those around them. For the year 2017 and beyond let us Americans wag more and bark less. A very Happy New Year my friends.

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Chasing them down to harass them

© 2016 Jim Spence - When I read about Ivanka Trump and her three children being harassed by a gay man with his adopted son in his arms yesterday, I thought back to the evening when Kristi and I attended a gay wedding a couple of years ago. Two men we were friends with were getting married. One of the men had worked for me for many years as a computer programmer. Eventually, I introduced him to his current employer when my company no longer needed a full time programmer. We had a great time at this wedding. On the morning following the wedding, I emailed my lesbian cousin and told her that I wished that her wedding had been the first gay wedding we had attended.
Both of these gay men like my cousin, are committed Democrats, as are most gays. And in case this is the first column of mine you have read, while I am fine with gay marriage, I am anything BUT a committed Democrat. Still, as a freedom loving American, I am for everyone having freedom, not just people who think like I do.
The behavior of the gay man who accosted Ivanka Trump and her children yesterday was premeditated and astonishingly rude. His own spouse tweeted the following:
“Ivanka and Jared at JFK T5, flying commercial. My husband chasing them down to harass them.” 
The gay man who chased down Ivanka Trump and her three children is a lawyer from Brooklyn. No doubt, as an openly gay man he has been on the receiving end of unspeakable rudeness. Yet somehow, he decided that it was OK for him to engage in behaviors associated with boorish jackasses. I looked around the news wires this morning and there were no condemnations of this jerk or his actions by any Democrat news sites. There were actually some progressive sites that blamed the jackass's behavior on the victim of his harassment. That is a pity.
There is a question posed here. Was this jerk’s incredibly obnoxious behavior, behavior that got him tossed off the airplane, outside the norm for gay people? It might well be. I do not claim to be an expert on how gays behave these days. But the smart money is already betting what he did is not outside the norm for Brooklyn lawyers.
Kristi and I were reminiscing this morning about a dinner invitation we received from a couple of gay men a few years ago. Kristi had worked with one of the men named Paul, for several years. Kristi and Paul were and still are good friends. Paul does bookkeeping for my younger brother. Paul is a wonderful human being. For reasons I cannot explain, when we sat down to eat, this man’s partner, Frank, insisted on swinging a pleasant conversation to politics. Kristi and I demurred. We understand the political leanings of most gay people. We also knew that our own political leanings were unlikely to match up with those of our hosts. We listened without comment as Frank railed passionately against everything Republican, everything Christian, and everything having to do with business. Eventually, when Frank realized he was dominating the discussion, he solicited a response from us. My wife and I looked at each other. I decided to try as best I could to dance around the idea of expressing of my own views, while not necessarily pretending I agreed with his ranting. Frank picked up on my non-affirmation immediately and decided to go nuclear, He said, “I have no respect whatsoever for anyone who voted for George W. Bush.”
Again Kristi and I looked at each other. We had both voted for George W. Bush, not once, but twice. As was the case with everything else Frank said, we smiled, let the statement go, and changed the subject. 
It turned out that Paul was appalled at his partner Frank's behavior. Paul followed our move to change the subject. It was too late. From that point forward, though politics was dropped, the evening struggled to an early conclusion. Naturally, we scratched these men off of the list of people we might enjoy spending time with socially. At Paul's insistence, Frank called both of us the next morning to apologize for his behavior. I gladly accepted Frank's apology as did Kristi. We never received an invitation to Paul and Frank's wedding, though we certainly supported their right to marry.
What happened to Ivanka Trump and her children yesterday came as no surprise to me. What you find out early on, when you have many friends in the gay community, is that there is nothing special about the gay community. The gay community is pretty much like every other community. There are more than a few spectacularly rude people in the gay community too. There are more and more gays these days who think they have a right to cram their views down other people’s throats, whether their views are solicited or not. The great difference between gays twenty years ago and gays today is that the rude gays are very public in the way they mistakenly cloak themselves in a sense of moral superiority. And as is the case with non-gay communities, some in the gay community think their moral superiority somehow justifies boorishly rude behaviors.
There is good news and bad news. Gays have truly felt free to come out of the closet, which is good. And many gays finally feel free to conduct themselves in public as rudely or even more rudely than non-gay rude people. How liberating and disappointing this all is.
Now comes the question. Will polite gays condemn rude gays in public? That would be a sign of true liberation.

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Observing great coaches and winning teams

© 2016 Jim Spence - America has been building up to this cataclysmic political moment for years. Lately Democrats have sunk to offering weird explanations of the moment from their political intensive care units. Democrats have lost so many state houses and governorships, in addition to the U.S. Congress, White House, and Supreme Court. They are going to be out in the cold for the time being.
Why?
Millions of Americans have finally begun to realize that Democrat Party politicians have been doing their best to divide the country along racial, ethnic, religious, gender, income, and even sexual preference lines for many decades. While this strategy has worked politically many times, it is truly a losing mindset for America. Still, from a marketing standpoint, one must give credit to the American Democrat Party for re-inventing itself. The Democrat Party overwhelmingly favored slavery when the Civil War began. And as much as a hundred years later, not much had changed in the Democrat Party. A smaller percentage of Democrats supported the landmark Civil Rights legislation in the 1960’s than Republicans. Not surprisingly, few Americans know this fact, because Democrats have controlled public education for decades. Democrats don’t teach history according to the facts. History is taught for political purposes. Simply ask a dozen Americans if they know which party opposed slavery during the Civil War. The majority will say Republicans favored slavery. Ask a dozen Americans which party supported civil rights legislation in greater percentages in the 1960’s and hear their answers. Most are equally oblivious.
Democrats have been concentrating on building racial paranoia within the black and Hispanic communities for my entire lifetime. If you wonder if this assertion is true I would simply invite you to read Michelle Obama’s thesis when she was at Princeton. It is one of the most paranoid anti-white rants ever published. The fact that racial paranoia is now a mainstream viewpoint in the Democrat Party is evidenced by the fact that Mrs. Obama remains a seemingly respectable public figure.
Democrat rhetoric has been a declaration of war on non-socialist whites in America for decades. Anti white man indoctrination campaigns go on every day in Democrat-run classrooms around the nation. Brainwashing exercises are designed to either convert young whites to socialism or brand them as white supremacists. This propaganda is standard academic fare at universities all over America too. In my own private conversations with Democrats, I have been called an “oppressor” several times simply because I am a white man. The hazing goes on and on. It is very hurtful.
The Trump cabinet will contain accomplished men who happen to be white. The mere skin color and gender of Trump’s nominees is cause enough for damnation by Democrats in the news media. Still it was encouraging to hear what legendary running back Jim Brown said to an astonished Democrat reporter last week after exiting from his meeting with Donald Trump. The reporter asked Brown to respond to the fact that a bunch of “white men” will serve in the Trump cabinet. Brown told her that the three most important men in his long life were all white. He said he does not see people based on their skin color. “I am not a victim,” he added. The reporter’s expression turned from hope that he would take the bait, to astonishment that he didn’t.
The simple explanation of what America has chosen to respond to these days can be had by observing basketball, football, baseball, hockey, or soccer games. All winning coaches teach a "team" approach. On winning teams, various players assume various roles that help their teams function at the highest level possible. There are players of all different skin colors on all championship teams. Black coaches win championships with white players. White coaches win championships with black players. Winning players work together towards common goals.
It goes deeper. Every team encounters referees who occasionally make bad calls because sport official’s efforts at enforcement of rules are never perfect. However, it is clear that the teams that win championships are NEVER the teams that are encouraged to be suspicious of their teammates based on race, income, or ethnicity. Suspicion and paranoia are negatives that winners avoid at all times. Champions know they must concentrate on the difficult tasks at hand. Competition is embraced and competitors on other teams are respected instead of being dismissed as morally inferior.
Contrast what winning teams do with the way historical legacies are handled in various political arenas. Seventy-one years after World War II the French and German people are trying valiantly to hold their economic union together. No French political leader in the 21st Century holds Germans born sixty, seventy, or even eighty years ago responsible for Nazi atrocities. Contrast this mindset with the standard approach to the atrocity of slavery that ended one hundred fifty-three years ago in America. Just the other day Mr. Obama found it useful to raise the divisive specter of slavery. We have not overcome it yet, Obama lectured. He was basically admitting his own losing frame of mind by even mentioning this ancient history. Curiously, Obama simply can’t quite let that terrible chapter in American history go……so long as there is still a single drop of white guilt to be wrought by bringing it up. He still thinks it is smart to talk about American failures that occurred 153 years ago.
Mr. Obama is our coach for another thirty-one days. However, Mr. Obama and other Democrats do not behave like championship coaches. Not teaching the team approach explains why Democrats were not rehired. Instead of appealing to America’s best instincts so our nation works as a team, Democrats are continuously trying to lay guilt trips on people who had nothing to do with either slavery or those dreadful Jim Crow laws.
The point here is simple. Dividing is easy. Uniting is difficult. Losing is easy. Winning is difficult. Pissing and moaning about bad officiating that cost Americans dearly one hundred fifty-three years ago is easy. What is easy is almost never a winning strategy.
Mr. Obama and his Democrat insistence on emphasizing the negatives represent a stark contrast to the viewpoint of Mr. Trump. Trump talks endlessly about hard work. In fact, Trump constantly talks of the basic importance of work itself. Work is one of the words he uses most often. It is no surprise that Mr. Trump out-worked Hillary Clinton. And even in the wake of his victory, Mr. Trump still talks about America winning during every stump speech. Trump looks at America as a team. He does not care what color the skins are of the players on our team. Trump instinctively knows that a winning team cannot be divided.
Know this. Democrats are going to continue to fight the uniting of America at every turn. Sadly it is for this very reason that Mr. Obama failed to help raise the living standards of all the players on the American team. Obama felt and still feels that it is necessary to divide the American team for Democrats to hold power. Hillary Clinton was under this mistaken impression too.
America responded to Trump in spite all of his grotesque character flaws because America wants to win. Democrats just don’t seem to get that. They seem to prefer to dwell on past injustices and whine incessantly instead of uniting the country. This was not a winning message in 2016 and it never will help America compete, even if it wins elections from time to time in the future.
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Forget Russian hacks, Wayne County hacks should be in the headlines

© 2016 Jim Spence - The recounts pressed by the Green Party as a fundraising scheme were stupid. Or were they? Unless you were paying close attention, you probably missed the incredible revelation that came out of the Michigan recount. Wayne County, Michigan is basically Detroit. It is the place we should all be reading about instead of Russia. But of course the national attention span is quite short, so the GOP is missing a great opportunity to provide even more proof that elections are and have been corrupt in metro areas all over the country.
Today we are reading about the Electoral College as it casts its votes. And the Democrats are sticking to the irrelevant and also dubious claim that Hillary Clinton won the “popular” vote. The national news media should be calling on Wayne County to do some serious explaining regarding the vote count there. Why?
It turns out that 37% of all precincts in Wayne County, a county that voted more than 4-1 for Hillary, had their ballots tossed on the recount. The ballots were tossed because they did not reconcile with the number of voters who signed in and voted at those precincts. In fact many precincts in Wayne County recorded many more votes cast than there were registered voters on the rolls. This is fraud.
How could this happen you ask? Virtually every large city in America has become a crime infested place, and not coincidentally, a place run by Democrats. If Democrats are running the city you can make book it is a crime cesspool. Voter fraud has been taking place in these types of areas for decades. If you have any doubts, read the book Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy by John Fund. If you you don't have time to read the book watch this video shot by James O'Keefe. In it you will see just how brazen the vote cheaters are.
Here is the deal. Voter fraud is just not something that scares people in the inner cities. When inner city inhabitants see hardened criminals pass through the revolving doors of the local criminal justice systems dozens of times without consequences, they begin to put a crime like voter fraud into perspective. If someone robs at knife point and they are back on the street quickly, do you think Democratic precinct captains are at great risk because they are fudging a few thousand ballots for the Democrats? Who is going to report them? And who is going to jail them in a place where 95% of the people are in favor of the candidate they are cheating for? The only time it gets sticky is on a RECOUNT, like the one the Green Party demanded in Michigan. Then you discover the evidence of widespread fraud.
When you look at the American electoral maps, a clear pattern emerged many decades ago. Big cities in almost every state vote Democrat in overwhelming numbers. And Democrats in every state fight photo voter I.D. laws like they fight nothing else. Despite the fact that Americans produce photo I.D.’s to cash checks, use credit cards, rent equipment, fly in airplanes, etc. Democrats pretend that asking someone for an I.D. before a vote is racist. Of course Democrats pretend that pretty much everything is racist.
One question remains. Why isn’t the GOP pushing for a criminal investigation into the actions at the precincts in Democrat controlled and terminally corrupt Wayne County? The answer is simple. The GOP has better things to do because the GOP finally won this year anyway. And of course Democrat judges in inner cities like Detroit benefit in many ways from voter fraud. Why would these Democrats take action against themselves when corruption is a way of life?
When you think about it, Wayne County is all the more sad for Hillary Clinton. It would seem that despite the tradition of widespread cheating conducted by Democrats in inner city precincts all over the country, there were simply not enough Democrats in those places who liked Hillary enough to really cheat hard for her. Now that's a weak candidate. For Obama they cheated their brains out.
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Swickard: Christmas Holiday Constitutional Amendment needed

© 2009 Michael Swickard, Ph.D.  In 1870 our country had thirty-seven states. By then thirty-three of these states already had done something that the United States Federal Government finally did that year. It was name Christmas an official holiday. Alabama was the first state to name Christmas as an official holiday, doing so in 1836.
            On June 28, 1870 President Ulysses Grant signed the legislation to make the federal holiday of Christmas. There wasn’t opposition because most politicians didn’t want to be known as opposing Christmas.
            I have written about this previously but it still seems we Americans are conflicted. People seem glad to have the day off but the core issue involves the question: is Christmas a religious holiday?
            Of course, since it celebrates the birth of Jesus. Can this religious federal holiday be allowed by the United States Constitution? We have done it for a very long time and we are doing it this year for certain.
            The Supreme Court did not stop Nativity Scenes in 1984 but the high court has not ruled directly on the constitutional issue of the Federal Holiday of Christmas. I do not want the Supreme Court deciding if Christmas should be a federal holiday. Rather, this should be decided in the legislative process.
            The only way to insure Christmas remains a federal holiday is to pass a Constitutional Amendment naming December 25th as the Christmas Federal Holiday. When passed by Congress then the constitutional amendment must be passed by thirty-eight states to become a part of the United States Constitution.
            To take the other side, if enough federal or state legislators vote against the constitutional amendment then that’s the answer as to if our nation should have a Federal Christmas Holiday. But an overwhelming group of federal and state legislators would rather set their hair on fire than be known to have voted against Christmas.
            I am willing to see the federal holiday of Christmas be retired if enough members of Congress and members of state legislatures put their name on a vote against the Christmas amendment. This would settle the issue on constitutional grounds.
            We must do so because the “Politically Correct” crowd has threatened lawsuits on many government entities including public education. In most public schools, Christmas became Winter Holiday without a vote in Congress.
            This spilled over into the business community. Citizens quelled it when they announced no Christmas greetings, no shopping from us. The stores caught on. They can also say Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah or anything else but they cannot omit Christmas greetings and still get our business.
            When some of our laws are in effect repealed by special interest groups without elected representatives voting, our representative form of government ends. The only way to proceed is a up or down vote on Christmas in our country. Our representatives must be put on the spot to vote up or down.
            I do not blame public schools for casting off Christmas songs, plays and pageants when our Representatives and Senators do not stand up for Christmas. They have let unelected people force the issue.
            Now I do not have any trouble with the separation of the biblical story of the Baby Jesus in the public schools. Leave that to the parents and Churches. However, in the effort to not say Christmas, traditional songs cannot be sung.
            Also, Santa Claus is politically incorrect so students are not permitted a classroom “naughty or nice” song. Teachers are instructed in many schools to have nothing to do with Christmas.
            For me it will always be the Christmas Holidays. Some of my most treasured memories are of Christmas with my family. Friends have come and gone, loved ones are around me while others have passed. They still figure brightly in my memory.
            I agree with Erma Bombeck, “There is nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child.” Or to be able to celebrate Christmas with a child.
            There is a need for a Constitutional Amendment on Christmas so some Federal Judge does not take it away from our country or even the Supreme Court. Merry Christmas to you if you celebrate Christmas. Happy Holidays to you if you do not. 
Email: drswickard@comcast.net - Swickard’s new novel,   Hideaway Hills, is availableat Amazon.com

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A new theme song

© 2016 Jim Spence - The Democrats kind of like theme music. In 1992 they adopted a Fleetwood Mac song, “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow.” They played that song over and over the night Bill Clinton beat George H.W. Bush. It might be worth adopting again. Consider some of the lyrics:

If you wake up and don't want to smile
If it takes just a little while
Open your eyes and look at the day
You'll see things in a different way
Don't stop thinking about tomorrow
Don't stop, it'll soon be here

Sometimes after a loss, it is a good idea to look in the mirror and blame bad execution and a really bad game plan. The Democrats had a really bad game plan that included taking Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Ohio for granted. Democrats thought these states were pretty much in the bag. Doh!
Instead of working hard, Hillary decided that she could take time off in August and September and simply argue that grown men should be allowed to pee or poop in little girl’s rooms all over the nation if they simply said they "felt" like a woman. She insisted that anyone who didn’t buy into her pee and poop viewpoints was a bigot. Hillary repeatedly suggested that the epidemic of cop killings by blacks, was actually a white person problem. She blamed the legacy of slavery and white people's blind spots.
Hillary repeatedly pretended that allowing tens of thousands of people to come to America from countries that routinely brainwash their children to hate America, was still somehow not dangerous, despite San Bernardino and Orlando.
The list of bad game planning goes on and on. Hillary insisted that America never differentiate between LEGAL immigration and illegal immigration. She doubled down that Obamacare was great despite the fact that everyone knows it is horrible. She was caught repeatedly lying about Benghazi and the body count in Libya and she was caught lying about sending classified emails from an unsecured server.
The Democrat’s dubious 2016 game plan actually started with the Clintons seizing control of the Democratic National Committee. In classic Clintonian fashion, they got the how to win delegate “rules” stacked in their favor. Many Democrats (all Sanders supporters) called this Clinton effort "cheating."
It is actually quite ironic that the Democrats are now whining about the winning the popular vote after they shafted Bernie Sanders every time he won the popular vote. Recall that in Democratic primary win after primary win, Bernie Sanders won the popular vote by huge margins.....but mysteriously Bernie Sanders never won the state delegate counts by huge margins.......thanks to the Clinton's advanced "rules" fix, Bernie Sanders always got fewer delegates than he earned…….while Hillary always got more delegates than she earned. This is how the Clintons roll...they hack things with political knives, and they thrive on planting fake news.
The Clinton scamming went on and on. Unfortunately for the Dems, her campaign chief John Podesta was such a dumb bozo he decided he could open an email from a dubious source without any risks. It was shortly thereafter, that we all learned the extent of the Clinton’s chicanery when his emails were copied and released to everyone in the Sanders campaign and in the media. The Podesta clicking blunder exposed the deep and insidious collusion of many members of the mainstream media with the Clinton campaign to the detriment of Bernie Sanders. Oh and yes, the Ruskies may well have been the senders of the bogus email that Podesta was too dumb to delete.
After the election results proved just how bad the execution and the game plan was, the Clintons initially did what they were supposed to do. They conceded and made a solemn pledge to accept the results and work with Trump. Gee, the pledge seems to have had a short shelf life.
Democrats have now “collectively” (pun intended) decided that they cannot get over the idea they are going to be almost completely OUT of power for at least two years. They also realize they lost their chance to poison the Supreme Court for decades. The loss of power is killing them.
The first excuse for the loss was the fact that racism carried the day. This didn’t stick because um…..Hillary is white and the same counties that voted for Trump voted for Obama. Next the Dems played the sexism charge. But that didn’t stick because Trump did well with women. The flimsy homophobe, islamophobe, etc. charges against Trump voters came next but also failed to stick as a narrative. The Dems also tried blaming FBI Director James Comey, but that didn’t stick either because everyone knew Comey let Hillary get away with murder.
It is now very clear that Democrats have organized and made a collective decision to run with the “blame the Russian hack,” angle. Democrats have proceeded with this line of bull by using “unnamed sources” at the CIA to suggest that Russians where behind the Podesta hacks that exposed Clinton corruption and benefited Trump "unfairly." It is kind of tough when you get caught cheating Bernie Sanders and it helps Trump.
Amazingly, the White House is refusing to allow their now politicized CIA, to brief Congressional CIA oversight committees on this absurd claim. Instead the White House has shamelessly gotten on board with the latest sham on the public without producing any evidence.
White House press secretary, a man named perfectly for his job (josh earnest), was telling reporters just yesterday that even Trump must have known the Russians were behind the hacks. This too must be particularly galling to Bernie Sanders since this must now go on the gigantic list of all the things Bernie does not know.
It might be time for a new Democrat theme song. Allow me to suggest the Eagles song off the Hell Freezes Over album. It is called, "Get Over It":

I turn on the tube and what do I see
A whole lotta people cryin' "Don't blame me"
They point their crooked little fingers at everybody else
Spend all their time feelin' sorry for themselves
Victim of this, victim of that
Your momma's too thin; your daddy's too fat
Get over it
Get over it
All this whinin' and cryin' and pitchin' a fit
Get over it, get over it
You don't want to work; you want to live like a king
But the big, bad world doesn't owe you a thing
Get over it

Get over it Democrats. You got your butts kicked for reasons too numerous to count.
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Trying to measure the immeasurable in education

© 2016 Michael Swickard, Ph.D.  “It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.” Albert Einstein
             Sorry Albert, the first death in a heavily administered public school education system is student curiosity. Most students initially come to school curious about everything but if their curiosity is not nurtured it dies as does their desire to learn.
            To really learn using literacy and numeracy the student must perceive an internal need for those abilities. This is where higher order thinking skills develop. But these activities are on the decline because of testing-fixated administrators.
            America has gone on a journey to measure education which is immeasurable for administrators fixated on accountability. The core of education: curiosity, is being ignored so that the administrative testing mission can be achieved.
            Example: lately there is a push to constrain teacher absences even when teachers are sick. New Mexico reportedly saved three million dollars last year by strong-arming teachers to come to school even when sick and therefore not use substitute teachers. How does having a teacher with active pneumonia in school help anything?
            An army of armchair accountants in the public schools are counting things to be able to say which schools are good or not. They count teacher absences and what parents answer on surveys and how the bulletin boards look and which bubbles children mark on tests.
            It’s a scam and most people in education realize that public school education has been hijacked by administrators intent only upon gaining power and money. They are enabled by politicians only intent on gaining power and money. If America had enemies, what would they do different in our public schools? Nothing! They are being destroyed as if an enemy were intent on their destruction.
            When I judge public schools, I look for active curiosity in that school’s students. If they sit in mind-numbing silence preparing for an endless supply of mind-numbing tests, they are intellectually dead. Mostly, the testing-fixated administrators cause the intellectual deaths of the school’s students.
            Very active student led classrooms are run by teachers who give lots of items of curiosity to the class and direct gently the students to uses of literacy and numeracy. These isn’t one model of a curiosity based classroom, it depends on the students that year in that classroom not the curriculum directors.
            Teachers must be agile to find what each year’s students find interesting and tie it back to the need for literacy and numeracy. It can be done but not in schools dominated by top-down testing fixated administrators.
            Those administrators who live by the constant use of tests are trying to measure the immeasurable when it comes to education. They focus on tests to induce teachers to juke the system by having students study for the accountability tests rather than spending their time on learning activities.
            One of the most stressful jobs is being a bus driver since there is a time schedule but the driver cannot control the traffic. Likewise, teachers are put in a system where curiosity, the core of learning is removed yet their job evaluation is put on testing to which the students have no interest. Very stressful.
            I would like to see schools return to a curiosity based curriculum where there are many activities designed to stimulate student curiosity. Return Art and Music to prominence along with having an active garden in each school tended by students. They will plan and direct the growth then harvest and use the products.
            Also, I think that elementary school in the fourth grade should start teaching students to fly using flight simulators. It stimulates geometry and percentages and the language of flight. I also think a virtual zoo should be at every school so that teachers can see which animals capture the attention of their students.
            We must do away with the notion that if students are happy, they are somehow not getting a good education. Nothing could be further from the truth.
            Walt Disney wrote, “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” If this current generation of administrators kill the curiosity in our young people, what will be our nation’s future? Very bleak.

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The One (wink) China Policy

© 2016 Jim Spence - Having written hundreds of columns over the years involves the occasional prediction gone awry. I want to plead guilty to the charge of underestimating Donald Trump for eighteen months (May 2015 – November 2016).
It’s a funny thing. Until Trump carried Ohio, Iowa, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, I really figured he was un-electable. What do I think now? We have a saying at the office. If you aren’t right, you are probably wrong. And if you aren’t wrong, you are probably right. I have made a pact with myself to stop underestimating Trump or trying to predict with certainty what he will do next. Still, certain patterns are emerging.
For a month now, I have been watching the guy I underestimated continue to do what he was doing before. Millions of people continue to underestimate him. Trump owns the stage in America. Trump toys with the news media like nobody I have ever seen. A wide range of people working in the news media (except Fox) revile Trump. Still, this same news media behaves like a clueless retriever puppy for Trump every day. An army of Trump-hating reporters can be counted on to furiously chase down, shake, and chew on any stuffed toy (tweet) that Trump tosses across the room for them to fetch. CNN in particular seems to have an inexhaustible supply of people who are committed to underestimating Trump while simultaneously taking the Trump bait every day.
Consider the conniption fits had by various reporters at ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, NPR, etc. when they learned of Trump’s taking of a congratulatory phone call from Tsai Ing-wen, President of Taiwan. Reporters immediately went berserk about Trump’s affront to America’s “One China” policy. What would this do to the attitude of the totalitarian regime in Communist China? My God, Trump isn’t even president yet and is already provoking an international crisis!
Here’s a cold hard fact about the One China policy. While it is true that we have no diplomatic relations with Taiwan (at the insistence of the communists with one term president Jimmy Carter), we have continued to sell billions of dollars of arms to Taiwan ever since the day Carter decided to recognize the commies under their own duplicitous and symbolic terms.
It is the classic Democrat misnomer to use words that are meaningless because they grossly distort reality. America’s, "One China" policy is a ruse. America wouldn't sell billions of dollars worth of arms to Taiwan over the last thirty-seven years if we had a real One China policy.
What is the upshot of the Trump phone call with Tsai Ing-wen? A bunch of Trump-haters are wringing their hands, and whimpering about diplomatic protocols. They convince themselves they have the right to be outraged at Trump’s behavior, while Mr. Obama has been approving of the sale of billions of dollars worth of weapons to the Taiwan government. Yes, I said the "Taiwan government," the same government that somehow does not exist because we don't officially "recognize" it.
The irony is even deeper. Everyone knows that these American arms are used by Taiwanese to defend themselves against an attack by the mainland communists that we do officially "recognize."
This glaring contradiction is largely ignored by the media in concluding that it was totally "inappropriate" for Trump to take a call from one of Taiwan’s democratically elected leaders.
Call me crazy but it is my guess that if the communist dictatorship can get past the fact that billions of dollars in arms sales go to Taiwan via the U.S., they will be able to get over the absurd "controversial" congratulatory phone conversation too.
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Serving "public" interests or "private" interests

© 2016 Jim Spence - Arthur Schlesinger wrote a book entitled, “The Cycles of American History.” The book was published thirty years ago. Unfortunately, Schlesinger had a problem with basic logic. It began almost immediately in the book when he made the same bogus assumption most Democrats make. He assumed that Democrats serve the “public” interests, while Republicans more selfishly serve, “private interests.”
In the book Schlesinger attempts to build a flimsy case of “cycles,” wherein American voters alter course fairly regularly between leaning towards favoring "public" and then "private" interests.
I posed a couple of questions to the Democrat who recommended this book to me a few decades ago. The same two questions continue to go unanswered to this day.
Question 1: John D. Rockefeller built his Standard Oil empire after the Civil War. In doing so he facilitated quantum leaps forward in living standards and also saved whales from extinction (whales were hunted for their oil). Rockefeller became fabulously wealthy. So here is the question: In the aggregate, did Rockefeller serve the public interests or private interests?
Since most Democrats are reflexively envious and/or suspicious of wealth, they quickly answer – Rockefeller served PRIVATE interests, without any reservations.
Question 2: Rockefeller donated more than 95% of his accumulated wealth to charities before his death. He also established the University of Chicago and contributed generously to many other institutions. He bequeathed untold millions to the Rockefeller Foundation, which has funded some of the most important medical breakthroughs in history. Rockefeller left a small fraction of his wealth to his heirs. Today the Rockefeller heirs are mostly limousine riding Democrats who rail at Standard Oil’s successor (Exxon Mobil), as if it is some sort of public pariah. Again this begs the question: did Rockefeller with all he did for living standards all around the world, medical science etc. serve the “public” or “private” interests? 
This is usually when the silence sets in and the subject changing process begins.
The election of Donald Trump is nothing if not instructive about what types of people might best serve the public interests. Watching Democrats writhe in anguish and bathe deeply in their hypocrisy is profoundly illuminating. Democrats pretend that anyone pursuing business interests is cloaked in a degree of selfishness that all squeaky clean government employed bureaucrats are somehow immune from. This is delusional and here is why.
We are to forget the bureaucrats who thought it was a great idea to piss away billions of other people's dollars on bankrupt alternative energy companies because they bundled campaign funds for Mr. Obama in 2008 and again in 2012. We are to forget the hordes of crony capitalists who have been slurping at the public troughs under Mr. Obama’s watch. We are to forget about hundreds of highly paid individuals working at the V.A. who seem unwilling to manage that government system so that returning vets can get the health care they earned while trying to dodge bullets and bombs overseas. We should also forget the thousands of highly compensated Pentagon bureaucrats living luxurious lifestyles in Virginia and Maryland who refuse to reform their resource management incompetence because it might affect next year’s budget allocation.
According to Schlesinger and the Democrats, all people who cash government paychecks are, dedicated “public” servants, and all business people are by default, prone to be influenced by dangerous conflicts of interest.
You can understand what is going on with the news media and higher education and their false narratives on public and private interests in the wake of last month’s election. We are now to believe that because Donald Trump continues to own stakes in hundreds of businesses, these overwhelming conflicts actually disqualify him from serving any “public” interests. This is the most convenient self-serving argument yet for institutionalizing incompetence, lethargy, and sloth. The idea that business people are disqualified from serving after winning elections, by virtue of their selfish ways, is the essence of the Democrat's absurd delusions.
If you talk politics with Democrats you will get a sense of the moral superiority they believe they possess when compared to all business people. They are morally superior by virtue of the fact that they are not business people. The condescension is subtle sometimes, but quite overt most of the time. The only way a business person can get a moral pass from a Democrat is if they embrace the notion that more government power over everyone is always the solution to every problem.
So here we are in December of 2016. A businessman is preparing to take the oath of office next month. He has the backing of pro-business majorities in both the House and the Senate. America has turned away from government worship. As this process unfolds, Democrats are continuing to make some of the most inane assertions ever uttered. They don’t simply want Trump to put his vast holdings in a blind trust, which is not required by law, they want him to sell every business interest he owns immediately. Check out this enormous list of his holdings in a recent filing.
A forced sale of his holdings would fetch what all forced sales fetch......very low prices for everything he has built.
Just how absolutely absurd the idea of forcing the sale of everything in a short period of time is, would never occur to most Democrats. They simply can’t grasp the absurdity because they have lived lives as anti-business zealots. The idea of building things is foreign to them, let alone throwing these things away after they have been built. Ooops, I forgot, Mr. Obama made the assertion that business people didn’t build their businesses, the village did. Democrats lap up this kind of tripe every day.
In a speech in North Carolina last night Trump said America is going to become a wealthy nation again. He smiled and said this will be good. It is a sign of the times that Trump felt it necessary to remind America that being wealthy is good. Most Democrats are very much like the Rockefeller heirs. They think they came into existence to spend someone else’s wealth. They feel they have no duty whatsoever to learn where wealth comes from or how it gets created. Accordingly, they can’t understand why having someone leading the country who does know these things, is a very good idea.
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Workers of the world self-destruct

© 2016 Jim Spence - At the beginning of the year my daughter sent me a frantic email from Portland. It seems that her husband, who works for a contractor that paints jet airliners for Boeing, spotted union organizers hanging around the plant. Eventually they made inroads with the brainwashing and it looked like they were going to get the workers to force a vote to unionize.
My daughter said she was freaking out because the young couple had finally gotten on their feet financially after years of struggling and she was terrified that the actions of the proposed union, if they won the vote, would destroy the economic viability of the company and eventually cost her husband his job.
I weighed my response to her for a few days and thought carefully about her concerns. My response was to suggest she organize an educational campaign at the plant and also save every nickel of discretionary income they had for an emergency fund.
Her husband did his best with the rank and file. He warned them repeatedly of how unions tend to price themselves right out of their jobs. Not enough of the employees listened to him and in the summer the workers voted to unionize the plant.
What followed was predictable. The union negotiated for much higher wages than were justified based on skill levels and also lobbied for drug tests to not be so “random,” so the often stoned workers could know when to be clean. Additionally the union insisted that when workers did test positive, they would not be fired for creating a safety hazard for others, but instead that the company would pay the hefty costs for their rehab.
The company contract was up for bid by year end and unfortunately, management had to add all of the additional costs the union had piled onto the operation this year into the new bid.
Low and behold the company lost the contract and everyone at the plant is getting laid off.
In communist Portland, a place where businesses are treated like monsters, the union warnings fell on deaf ears. Portland is a place, much like New Mexico, where people come out of high school and college without even the most basic understanding of economics. They got greedy and they got burned.
My daughter and her husband are now scrambling furiously to put their contingency plans into action. The clueless workers who got conned by the union activists are suddenly mad as hell at the union organizers for talking them into self-destructing. It is a story that has played out in every state without right to work laws, including New Mexico.
Speaking of the clueless, in New Mexico we are back at it again after a brief flirtation with chances for prosperity. Democrats now run both legislative bodies again. And with the oil and gas businesses in New Mexico reeling from the heavy hand of dumb laws passed under Bill Richardson and kept in place by Senate Democrats, state tax receipts from the industry have dried up.
In typical fashion the Democrats, who love to spend oil and gas revenues, are whining because the golden egg laying goose they poisoned, is not pumping out as many eggs.
Does anyone notice the link between unions, Democrats, and self-destruction? My daughter and her husband do. They saw the self-destruction coming from a mile away.

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Swickard: Good presidents and bad

© 2016 Michael Swickard, Ph.D.  “The measure of a man is what he does with power.” Plato
             The first President in my memory was Dwight Eisenhower. I was born when Truman served but don’t remember him. My father was a career military man. He happily had a badge, “I like Ike.”
            As someone who studies Presidents, it seems that in a hundred years people may consider Eisenhower the best president of the Twentieth Century. What he did with power was good and he didn’t tell the press.
            What makes me think of this is social media proclaiming the best and the worst Presidents without research. We must agree on how to judge a President. Many Presidents were very popular during their lives and subsequently dropped as details of their presidency came out. Warren G. Harding was one.
            Here are my five worst presidents: absolute worst was Teddy Roosevelt. Next was James Polk. Then Andrew Johnson. Next was Lyndon Johnson and fifth worst was Herbert Hoover. I can write a thousand words about their actions that landed them on my bad list. Maybe later.
            My pick for best presidents involves them doing things that others of their generation would not have done. Washington set the bar high. After him I admire Abraham Lincoln who no one expected to be nominated. He was awful his first year as he tried to grow into the job. Then providence smiled upon him for the ages.
            Lincoln almost single-handedly ended slavery in our country. He didn’t run to do it but came to understand how he needed to use his presidential powers. Likewise, Thomas Jefferson was bright but there were a dozen bright politicians when he decided to run for President.
            Once in office Jefferson allowed his curiosity of plants and animals to evolve into sending the Corps of Discovery under the command of Lewis and Clark across North America. In a three-year period, what was known about the North American West was increased way beyond anyone’s expectations.
            Speaking of a good president: Calvin Coolidge agreed to be Vice-President but did not have greater expectations. He was a quiet effective person who when thrust into the presidency took us out of a bad economic time and give us the “Roaring Twenties.” He like Eisenhower did not toot his horn so many people do not realize how good both were at being president.
            Ronald Reagan likewise took our nation out of a bad economic time and gave us nearly two decades of prosperity. He almost single-handedly took the Soviet Union down when no one thought it could be done. And he inspired many Americans with his presidency.
            Which brings us to Donald Trump. No one can tell how he will be viewed in a hundred years and as the saying goes, “A hundred years from now it is all new people.” But there are things we can see both good and bad that give us a framework to watch him as he conducts his four years of being president.
            Trump already is someone that does not do like the swarms of politicians do in our nation’s capital. That may be both good and bad. Not many thought he had a chance to win but he did. In that he is like Lincoln who ended up with the nomination while the political leaders scratched their heads and wondered how he did it.
            Lincoln also was a polarizing figure where he was loved or hated. In fact, nine states seceded from the Union before he was inaugurated based on their hatred of him. Trump is also like Jefferson in that he is interested in lots of stuff, but not politics.
            We can see that Donald Trump is his own man and no one waving money will get his attention. Like Lincoln newly elected Donald Trump is hated by the press.
            He can grow into the job of the presidency or not. Only time will tell. He may join the others on my list as a great president but he must do things, not just talk. We have had enough talk, it is time for action to get our people back to work and the economy going. Let’s see how he uses his power.

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The lamest of all lame ducks

© 2016 Jim Spence - Over the years in these columns I have opined frequently on the incredible Democrat bias of the news media and entertainment industry. Not much has changed. There is a very overt attempt to indoctrinate the masses to vote Democrat and accordingly, hate Donald Trump. Businesses are treated as slimy pariahs who are not to be trusted……except for news media businesses and entertainment businesses, which of course are supposed to get a pass from the public, despite the fact they engage in for profit enterprise each day. The exception is Fox which is evil because it is not overwhelmingly biased towards Democrats.
You have seen this incredible bias play out in every nook and cranny of society. It has been especially prevalent in the comedy routines of late night talk show hosts where the person with the title, President of the United States, has been fair game for as long as there has been television. This tradition stopped abruptly in 2009 when Mr. Obama somehow became the first untouchable to ever occupy the White House. When Jay Leno resumed the tradition of cracking jokes about the president, his ratings soared. However, Leno mysteriously got crosswise with NBC executives despite his soaring ratings. It is no secret that NBC is run by people who have been acting as Democratic Party surrogates for decades.
While Donald Trump looks to be the most unconventional man to ever take the oath of office, one entertainment industry tradition seems sure to return now. The comedians, who have handled Mr. Obama more carefully than a newborn baby, are back on the attack now that Trump is the President-elect. It is still refreshing despite the fact it is quite one-sided. The unwritten "HANDS OFF of Mr. Obama" rule is racism, pure and simple, by cultural elites.
The political optics this week could not have been starker. Video of Mr. Obama mocking Trump’s claims that he would save jobs like those at the Carrier air conditioner plant in Indiana resurfaced. These videos were played on Fox News only. However they were widely viewed because Fox has taken the bulk of the news market share for this very reason. The video of Obama saying the Carrier jobs were lost, was played again and again......while Trump……um…….saved those jobs in Indiana. Trump saved those jobs simply by picking up the phone and calling the CEO.
The White House response to having egg on its face, and the response of the non-Fox media, helped everyone in America recognize what has been going on. While the media elites have been trying to protect Mr. Obama, it is clear that he is now the lamest of all the lame ducks. Instead of applauding the short circuiting of untold economic misery in the Indiana town, Obama’s surrogates at ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, NPR, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, made it clear they couldn’t care less about another 1,000 American who WANT TO WORK, but were going to lose their jobs. Nope. Nobody in the White House, or in their cheer leading section, cared that the job losses would trigger untold millions in taxpayer assistance to the unemployed while these pour souls tried to sort out their lives. The White House and their media stooges also didn’t care about the millions Carrier will now invest to upgrade the plant.
America got a good look at the essence of the Obama economic legacy this week with the Carrier story and then the jobs report, which came out late in the week. The bogus calculation of the unemployment rate was the headline. Only Fox pointed out how absurd it is to ignore the fact that more than 95 million Americans of working age don’t work. We have NEVER had a number like this in our country before. The American adult population that does not work is at an all-time record high.
The reasons why so many Americans don’t work are pretty simple. Public education does not prepare young Americans to be productive and big government feels it is on a mission to get citizens addicted to freebies. Young American adults maintain unsustainable lifestyles with student loans. Instead of working as apprentices, these types of jobs are nearly impossible to find, thanks to the heavy burdens placed on employers by Obama's regulators. Businesses that might otherwise hire the next generation into entry level jobs, don't do so. This predicament is the essence of Obama's Marxist approach until the economy collapses, as it did in the Soviet Union and in other places like Venezuela. This was going to be the end result of the Obama vision......trickle down poverty. Trump's actions on the Carrier situation may be a hint of the changes on the way.
In the meantime, the Wizard of Id cartoon parody above says it all.
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Exploring the feigning of outrage

© 2016 Jim Spence - Feigning outrage is not a marketable skill……..unless you are a Democrat politician seeking more power. 
Witness the selection of former Goldman Sachs partner Steve Mnuchin as incoming Treasury Secretary along with the absurd response of leading Democrats. The very same people who supported Hillary Clinton, the conspicuous candidate who delivered ½ hour speeches to Goldman Sachs in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars, are now feigning outrage over Mnuchin's nomination. All this feigning went down while the House Democrats re-elected 77 year old Nancy Pelosi to lead them yesterday.
Anyone without severe ocular degeneration can see that the Democrats have very serious problems on the national level. The list of re-treads running the Democratic Party in the House of Representatives (Pelosi, Stenny Hoyer, and James Clyburn) looks more like a list of House members who are most likely to require assisted living than a list of people capable of proposing solutions to solve the problems they have given us.
There are samples of feigned outrage by Democrats everywhere, not just on display after the nomination of Mnuchin. Over Thanksgiving weekend there were 68 shootings in Chicago that left eight dead. The murder total for the city that is run by Obama’s former chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, will pass 700 in 2016. The response? There is not a peep of outrage from Democrats, despite the fact that the vast majority of those murdered in Chicago are black. The story is the same in Democrat run Detroit, Baltimore, Newark, St. Louis, etc. 
No, the Democrat's feigned outrage must be reserved. It is withheld for the higher purpose of race baiting. Democrats are more than willing to hold back until a black criminal is killed while putting a cop’s life in jeopardy. This is when Democrats pretend to become upset and they will spring into action sponsoring Black Lives Matter protests. Democrats will also use these situations to try to convince otherwise reasonable people that the only thing cops really care about is killing blacks. Astonishingly, Democrats still think doing this and slapping the racist label on opponents is a smart political strategy after getting whipped by Donald J. Trump.
Still, the consequences of Democrat's feigned outrages are grave. Police officers are being gunned down all over America in 2016. This comes thanks to the Democrats indifference towards the safety of law enforcement officials and other first responders.
What is really going on in America is pretty simple. If you follow the actions of elected officials each day it doesn’t take long to understand their values and priorities. Both the incoming and outgoing presidents leave evidence trails of what they care most about. Mr. Obama, who sent nobody....not a soul to Margaret Thatcher’s funeral, is sending a couple of dignitaries to Fidel Castro’s funeral. Mr. Obama is also working feverishly behind the scenes this week to convince crony capitalists at General Electric and other monster-sized corporate dinosaurs to invest in Cuba. He is desperate to help Raul Castro hold on to his dictatorial power and Cuba to remain Marxist. On the other hand, Donald Trump has been working successfully with both Ford and now Carrier to save thousands of American jobs, jobs that seemed bound for Mexico just a few weeks ago.
Fortunately, despite all of the misguided feigned outrage by Democrats, there is an incredible sense of new hope in America. Consumer confidence is skyrocketing. America is about to take a bath and be able to wash away a significant portion of the horrible stink that has invaded our entire existence over the last eight years.
We are just 50 days from a sorely needed injection of common sense into our system while feigned outrage gets relegated to the back burners in America. Big government zombies won't disappear. Feigning outrage will be resurgent again someday when public education, the entertainment industry, and news outlets like ABC, CNN, NBC, CBS, NPR, the New York Times, Washington Post etc. figure out how to successfully poison America's thought processes again.

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