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The United States Senate

© 2016 Jim Spence - A person would be hard-pressed to locate 100 people in one location who are more self-centered, ego maniacal, and astonishingly arrogant than those who refer to themselves as United States Senators. It is virtually impossible to overstate the gulf between what these 100 people are actually worth and what they think they are worth.
For seven long years New Mexicans listened to GOP Senators from other states promise over and over that on “day one,” when Republicans regained control of the White House, they would repeal Obamacare. Most Americans realize that Obamacare is a bureaucratic monstrosity that is wrecking both the quality and pricing of health insurance for millions of Americans. It has been a great financial atrocity that those Americans who actually set aside money in their family budget to PAY for their own health insurance are getting screwed daily because the GOP Senators are no better than Democrat Senators who also refuse to fix this horrific problem.
Senators have a curious way of making decisions as to what they will support and oppose. They don’t actually care what works or what fails. And they will often vote against what they said they would support five minutes earlier.
GOP Senators are particularly infuriating these days. While they talk a good game at their fundraisers, ultimately they do not care how all-encompassing the control by Washington D.C. becomes when it comes to running the lives of Americans who are more than capable of running their own lives. There is a fundamental truth here. GOP Senators are cold calculating bastards who serve themselves first, last, and always.
The system stinks. Senators live lives that are all about unearned privilege. They don’t pay for much of anything. Instead, practically everything Senators need is paid for by someone else. So many Senators go to Washington with very little, only to retire five or six terms later with great gobs of money. Retired New Mexico Senator Jeff Bingaman is a prime example. Bingaman and his wife milked the system like few others ever have.
Last week a really bright man, Jamie Dimon, who is the CEO at J.P Morgan, admitted it is actually embarrassing to be an American who travels abroad. He indicated this is true because of all the stupid excrement (I cleaned up what he actually said) that goes on in Washington. What Dimon was alluding to is all the really simple things that could be done to solve problems in America……that never get done. Again, I think you need look no further than the U.S. Senate for an explanation as to why America cannot do even the most simple things like tax reform and health care reform.
GOP Senator Mitch McConnell is supposedly the majority leader of the Senate. He is neither. He cannot lead and he has no majority. How this guy continues to head up the GOP in the Senate speaks volumes for what the criteria is to be voted in as a Senate “leader.”
And of course here in New Mexico we contribute mightily to the dysfunction in Washington D.C. in general and the Senate in particular. In Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, New Mexico sends two of the most deceptive and disgraceful politicians to ever occupy public office to a place where 100 of the most disgraceful politicians from other states congregate. Udall and Heinrich do nothing but fundraising when they are not telling bald-faced lies and pissing away other people’s money.

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Swickard: We are addicted to our addictions

© 2017 Michael Swickard, Ph.D.  “We aren’t addicted to oil, but our cars are.” James Woolsey  
            While that sounds good, it’s wrong. Our cars are inanimate so they can’t be addicted to anything. It is we, ourselves, who are addicted to transportation. This is not a bad addiction like to drugs, speeding or ignoring railroad warning lights which can get you killed.
            The transportation industry is addicted to energy. Electric transportation is more addicted to coal than oil but all transportation other than sailboats are done with energy. They only work for us when the energy is abundant, dependable and cheap.
            Most people are unaware of how important energy is in our lives. But know this: without energy, there would be little available food or water and most people on Earth would die.
            We are so accustomed to having energy at our fingertips that we do not normally think about it. Flip the switch and the light comes on. Maybe some few people living out off the grid could survive for a while. The rest of us will perish without energy.
            There are more addictions in our society that we do not think of often. Driving much of our society is the entertainment industry. It is so pervasive that we, as a society, are ignoring great threats to our society because we are enmeshed in our entertainment society.
            Many people are more concerned about the fortunes of the Dallas Cowboys than the threat of a huge asteroid killing off life on our planet. Or global thermonuclear war. Or some disease with no cure extinguishing the human race.
            The social networks all run on devices that are operated using electricity. Many people are so addicted to these social connections that they will risk death while driving rather than put off looking at the device for a few minutes.
            Imagine the day that the electricity quits. Millions of people will stare at their dead cellphones in confusion. There’s no way to lodge a complaint without electricity. They will have to speak to real people around them instead of being in their own world online. How awful.
            My Great Grandfather came from Sweden to New York and then New Mexico at a snail’s pace. However, I could get on an airplane and be home in New Mexico in one day. Amazing.
            People are very concerned about whom is dancing with whom but not how redundant are the systems protecting our electrical grid. Or with the environmental push against coal and oil what we would do instead of coal and oil?
            The first thing we must do is admit our addictions and if they are good addictions make sure every effort is made to protect those energy resources. The point is that we should not look down our noses at those people who work in the oil patch.
            Especially just because they are covered in black gold and are a bit wiffy after working all week. We should thank our lucky stars that someone is making our addictions work.

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Jane Sanders was a target of Clinton oppo research

© 2016 Jim Spence - Sometimes you write a pair of columns that seem to be unrelated, only to see them become related as new facts come out in the open. Two columns back, I wrote a piece on the corruption and/or incompetence of Bernie Sander’s wife Jane, when she ran Burlington College into bankruptcy. In my last piece I wrote about the essential realities of opposition research. It seems that these two themes are now inter-related.
Bernie Sanders, the Venezuela-style socialist from Vermont has been dodging questions surrounding the terrible scandal his wife is embroiled in this week. Bernie is lying through his teeth when he claims that an FBI probe of his wife Jane, is simply based on partisan politics. How can Jane’s deep troubles be partisan, when the investigation into her bogus loan application for Burlington College, began under President Obama’s DOJ?
What does seem chillingly ironic is that the investigation was all part of the hopes of Hillary Clinton’s opposition research efforts. Hillary’s oppo research strategies on Bernie were revealed as a result of Wikileaks exposing the Clinton campaign’s email communications. It is particularly rich that Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta and his Clinton campaign team wrote a memo entitled “Sanders Top Hits-Thematics.” In this memo they discussed the damaging truth about Jane Sander’s role in the college’s demise.  Of course the same FBI investigation that was going on in Loretta Lynch’s DOJ is now going before a grand jury. It is possible Jane Sanders will be indicted for making false statements on a loan application. We shall see.
Here is an excerpt of what was in the Clinton Campaign’s opposition research memo:
“I think our first question is how are we going to defeat Sanders. … he's not who he says he is -- gun votes, DSCC money, Jane. There may be other options too but these seem to be the strongest attacks to consider. How we undermine Sanders candidacy is our threshold question. We have a meeting scheduled on Thursday to discuss next steps on Bernie Sanders … we'd like for everyone to come having reviewed the material and ready to discuss which hits and themes we want to deploy. (Jane) O’Meara Sanders brokered a risky and potentially fraudulent purchase that nearly bankrupted the college. After several years as the president of Burlington College, Jane O’Meara Sanders resigned amid speculation that she conflicted with the board and [didn’t] bring in enough money for the school. Critics later tied her to the school’s financial trouble after she brokered a deal to borrow $10 million to buy land for the college. Members of the lending agency expressed concern over the college’s ability to repay the loan, and one suggested that if O’Meara Sanders was not involved, the loan would not have been approved.”
Despite the fact that Jane Sanders drove Burlington College right into bankruptcy, she took a $200,000 golden parachute when she left the college dead and broke. This special treatment doesn’t quite square with Bernie’s penchant for claiming he is all for the little people. People who did what Jane Sanders did don’t get golden parachutes for failing……..they get fired and they get sued.
Opposition research should be front in center in the political discussions in the media. But it isn't.
Instead of learning more about how Democrats used oppo research on Bernie, we are watching the media circus try to crucify Donald Trump Jr. for meeting with an attorney/lobbyist well known by Obama’s DOJ. Despite the fact she could not deliver the kind of dirt on Hillary that the Clinton’s have mined for against their “enemies” every day of their political lives.....the media thinks this is.....get this......"Russian collusion."

Can you say “absurd hypocrisy and double standard?” I knew you could.

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The Master - A.F. Branco Political Cartoon
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String him up!

© 2016 Jim Spence - Opposition research. Want some? Let’s review what opposition research is. According to Wikipedia, “Opposition research (also called oppo) is the practice of collecting information on a political opponent or other adversary that can be used to discredit or otherwise weaken them. The information can include biographical, legal or criminal, medical, educational, or financial history or activities, as well as prior media coverage, or the voting record of a politician. Opposition research can also entail using "trackers" to follow an individual and record their activities or political speeches. The research is usually conducted in the time period between announcement of intent to run and the actual election; however political parties maintain long-term databases that can cover several decades. The practice is both a tactical maneuver and a cost-saving measure. The term is frequently used to refer not just to the collection of information but also how it is utilized, as a component of negative campaigning.”
For the record, let’s give credit where credit is due. The Clintons wrote the book on winning elections with opposition research. They used it often until the mainstream media chose Obama over Hillary in 2008 and stopped running stories planted by the Clintons. Yep......the Clintons had all sorts of dirt to throw at Mr. Obama in 2008 and they threw and threw it. But the mainstream media wouldn’t carry most of the stories. And if they did carry them they mentioned them in passing before moving on quickly. No harping away every day.
Any successful Republican over the last century has also used oppo research, though only Richard Nixon and Barack Obama dared to use the government to gather information on political opponents. Nixon was justifiably demonized and impeached for this nasty practice, while Obama got free passes. This is part of the reason why most people have no interest in getting into politics.
What about the media? The media seems to forget that the practice of gathering oppo research is common place. Now that Trump Jr. was caught hoping he was going to be given some oppo stuff to toss in the direction of the Clintons the media is SHOCKED by this behavior.
Under-publicized facts about various Democrats and Russia are everywhere. Remember when Clinton campaign manager John Podesta was business partners with the Russian government and his company got $53 million from the Russian government investment fund called Rusnano that was started by Vladimir Putin and is referred to as "Putin's Child"? The reason you don’t remember is this situation was damaging to Podesta and the Clintons.....so the mainstream media ignored it.
Remember when Bill Clinton received $500,000 for giving a “speech” in Moscow? Clinton was paid by Renaissance Capital, a company tied to Russian Intelligence Agencies. The reason you don’t remember this story is because this is not the sort of thing the Democrat dominated media was ever interested in reporting on either.
Remember when Hillary Clinton approved the sale of 20% of U.S. uranium to the Russians while she was Secretary of State? This transaction gave control of nuclear material to Rosatom the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation. Of course you don’t remember. Russian collusion was never the narrative the Democrats wanted the media to advance when these deals were being made. And remember when Hillary lied through her teeth about this deal and said she wasn't a part of approving it……before her emails were leaked showing she actually did approve it and then lied about it? Once again, how could you know this? Did NPR, CBS, ABC, NBC, MSNBC, or the New York Times report this story? Forget it. It wasn’t going to happen, because it would have hurt the candidate these "reporters and editors" wanted to beat Trump. Remember when $145 million went to the Clinton Foundation from the shareholders of the uranium company sold to the Russians? How could you? No reporting of this either. Remember when the Clinton Foundation accepted millions in donations from the Russian chairman of the company that was part of the Russian Nuclear Research Cluster? Of course not. How about the money that came from the wife of the mayor of Moscow, who was a puppet of Putin's and went to the Clinton Foundation? Of course you didn't. There was not a peep on this story either. The mainstream media had no interest in any Russian stories.......until recently.
Remember when Barack Obama told Mitt Romney during the 2012 campaign that the 1980's called and wanted its “Russian policy” back. Obama scolded Romney during the campaign repeatedly and scoffed at Romney’s assertions that the Russians were a serious threat. This was widely reported by the propaganda ministers back in 2012 to prop up Obama and make fears of Russia brought up by Romney seem silly. Obama kept lecturing us that the Cold War was “over.” Well, apparently the Cold War got started up again right after Hillary lost to Trump.
Now Donald Trump Jr. has been caught trying to snag some juicy oppo research from a Russian lawyer. It turns out there was none to be had. He got duped into taking a meeting with a bogus come on from a lawyer.
Well, it is obvious what we need to do. Get a rope and string Donald Trump Jr. up right now!
Is anyone sick of the way we get manipulated every single day by the media as it pursues its vendetta with anyone who beats a Democrat in an election?
I am.

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The Sanders ran out of other people's money

© 2016 Jim Spence - My oh my. It looks like Jane, the wife of avowed Vernont socialist Bernie Sanders, ran out of other people’s money. Of course this is what happens when socialists are put in charge of anything. Basically they run things into the ground and then……..they run completely out of other people’s money. Puerto Rico is a great example of this.
The story is all too familiar. For some odd reason Vermont keeps sending Bernie Sanders to the Senate to represent them. And for an even odder reason Jane Sanders was chosen to run Burlington College. Jane Sanders, who never saw any government proposal to manage something she did not like, decided that Burlington College needed a new ultra expensive campus on Lake Champlain. And apparently Jane Sanders became so ego invested in this idea, she began to make promises neither she, nor Burlington’s small list of donors, could keep. The results were predictable. The college closed and people lost their jobs while millions of federally insured bank deposit dollars were lost.
The investigation into the ways that Jane Sanders duped bankers into giving her control over millions of dollars that Burlington could never repay is escalating, while both of the Sanders claim the entire process is about politics. Sadly, all of the lost jobs at Burlington and the money lost by the taxpayers on the defaulted loans are the farthest things from the Sander’s minds.
The Washington Post picked up this story and quoted David Dunn, one of the school’s trustees, as saying that although Sanders’s fundraising figures were inaccurate, he thinks she had, “good intentions.” Dunn also said, “For me, personally, I don’t believe she (Jane Sanders) had malicious intent. I don’t think it rose to that level. Jane had an agenda that she wanted what was best for the college," he said. "And she stretched it beyond its capabilities.”
That pretty much sums up what happens with Democrats and socialism. Their intentions are good. Kind of like the lovable idiots we all know who piss their money away as a matter of routine. There are almost always gross miscalculations made by Democrats with an agenda, that do not have to include any financial realities. We see this process unfolding everywhere. Places like Detroit, Chicago, the entire state of Illinois, Puerto Rico, are pretty much the same. These locales are either bankrupt or moving quickly towards bankruptcy by people like Jane and Bernie Sanders. It is sad that Sanders devotees are so clueless they refuse to even acknowledge the possibility that Bernie will run out of other people’s money........like Jane did at Burlington College.
Oh and get this. After moves that bankrupted and closed the school, moves that cost taxpayers a fortune, both Bernie and Jane have decided to blame......get this.....it is so creative........Donald Trump.

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Swickard: The surprise of that surprised look

© 2017 Michael Swickard, Ph.D.   It seems odd to me that some of the most learned people in our society should look surprised when in New Mexico over the last six years college enrollment has dropped fourteen percent. What bothers me is the look of surprise on their faces.
            Instead, they should have a knowing looking, “Yeah, that makes sense that fewer students are enrolling.” After all, they are a big part of why college enrollment dropped.
            It isn’t just one thing that is changing the enrollment. Let us count the reasons enrollment is dropping: first, tuition in New Mexico’s colleges and universities has risen steadily for twenty years. We are talking dramatically.
            Twenty years ago, when I was at New Mexico State University, it was about $600 a semester for tuition and fees. Now it is more than $3,500 a semester for tuition and fees. In the old days, you could pay the tuition and fees out of a part-time job during the semester. No longer.
            Yet the wages for college graduates have not risen. So, it costs more to get a professional job that pays the same. And, colleges don’t discourage students taking coursing in majors where there are few if any jobs.
            Graduates are ending up with tens of thousands of dollars of debt in a slowing economy. There are less jobs. Recent college graduates are finding themselves living back at home because no one has a professional job for them.
            Some graduates have taken minimum wage jobs but with the minimum wage rising businesses are cutting back which further makes get a job harder, especially that first professional job. It is somewhat a spiral of problems: it costs more to graduate and pays the same or less today or even worse, there are no jobs.
            Now it might surprise you or me that the rising tuition prices and a falling job market could influence college enrollment but the wise people in our society at those institutions of higher learning had to know that pushing the tuition up would cause a drop in enrollment.
            Which is why I wonder about that surprised look. The retailer J. C. Penny recently had a great commercial, Dog House. It showed men who thought that a vacuum cleaner was a great birthday gift for their wife. They found themselves in a Dog House with other clueless men, all of them having a surprised look on their faces.
            Not that I will give love advise often, but if I was to buy a vacuum cleaner for a woman it would only be if I had a note from said woman indicating the brand and model with instruction to bring one home. Otherwise it is flowers, chocolate and jewelry.
            You can do as you like. Just don’t look surprised if you end up in the Dog House like the commercial shows. Especially don’t stand there with a surprised look on your face.
            But here we are with our colleges acting surprised right after they raised tuition - again.

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International standards for "nationalism" are a one way street

© 2016 Jim Spence - Having been around 61 years now, I’ve either observed or participated in athletic contests of one sort or another for almost my entire life. Athletic contests, like music contests, chess contests, orchestra competitions, choir contests, dance contests, etc. are great character developers for young people. All around the world young people learn that life is competitive by playing games where the idea is to KEEP SCORE.

Even with all of the commercialization of the Olympics, the bottom line is the event tends to bring countries together, which explains why radical Muslim terrorists did their best to destroy the Munich games in 1972. Many forms of competition are constructed by civilized societies to bring out the best in human beings. Drawing out the best in people occurs through lengthy processes. These processes gradually produce attitudes stressing dedication to excellence through work ethic. The key to getting the most out of competition is to understand that it is the process and not the results, that produces the performance wonders.

It is interesting that Mr. Obama said recently that he really appreciated George W. Bush's silence during his administration. It is interesting only because Obama opens his yap nearly every day to criticize his successor. He shrugs off his lack of silence he admired in Bush by saying he still has "responsibilities."

More than bad-mouthing Trump, Obama lectures all Americans on the dangers of too much patriotism and nationalism. When we hear Obama pontificating on nationalism, Kristi and I are reminded of our experience at the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament in New York back in 2002. We watched match after match on the old Grandstand Court one day during the first week of the tournament. When an Argentinian player won a crucial point, the flag of Argentina came out and was waved relentlessly by a row of Argentinian fans who chanted in approval. Everyone thought it was cute. So cute in fact, that we all chuckled. A match later, it was a Croatian player's turn to get support from his countrymen. When he made a big shot on a critical point, the Croatian fans, who also brought their nation's flags into the arena, chanted loudly for their player. In fact, they continued to do so after every winning point late in the match. Everyone in our seating section thought the Croatian boys who were chanting were sort of cute too. As we continued to watch the matches throughout the day, we realized that very few people in our section were actually speaking English to one another. It was truly an international event that brought everyone to New York to root for their favorites from their countries. Still later in the day, a match involving an American player was played. At a critical point in this match, the American came up with a brilliant shot and took command. When he did, a half dozen American young men, seated in a single row near the top of the stadium cheered loudly, waved the stars and stripes, and chanted U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A!  Immediately there was a remarkably obnoxious groan coming from the majority of fans in our section. Kristi and I looked at each other and wondered what had just happened? Here we were in New York, surrounded by international fans who thought the nationalistic chants throughout the day were "cute"......until the American fans joined in. It was then that the attitude of the international crowd shifted 180 degrees. It seems that the Americans were boorish for doing exactly the same thing as other fans.

This essence of this story is absolutely true and it is a microcosm of the world we live in today. A little good old fashioned nationalism disguised as rooting for your guys and gals in athletic competitions is fine......unless Americans do it. It is the same double standard that most of the international community applies to our relations with them. Trade is supposed to be one way.....we are supposed to yield to their way. Military obligations go one way. We protect and they enjoy the benefits of our protection. Immigration views are one way. Our borders should be open and theirs closed to whoever they say they are closed to.

The difference between Democrats and Republicans is pretty simple. Democrats don't even notice this double standard exists. Republicans do notice the one way streets and resent it. Of course I am speaking of Republican voters not elected officials. GOP voters get branded by Democrats and non-Americans as being jingoistic for their awareness of the hypocrisy. And of course, Mr. Obama epitomizes the hypocritical people from most other nations at tennis tournaments. His attitude reflects that of his mentor, Jeremiah Wright. Obama is a horrible self-appointed referee who would love to see America stifled and cheated in every game we play.

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Saying it doesn't make it so

© 2016 Jim Spence - Barack Obama once said that the minimum wage should be enough feed a family of four. Of all the stupid things Obama has said, this is the dumbest. It is as if Obama thinks that the level of SKILLS one has developed is unrelated to basic compensation levels. This is classic Democrat ass-backwards thinking. In their fantasy worlds, Democrats insist that the government should determine the wage levels first, and the skills of the employees are an afterthought for the market to figure out.
Here is a little advice. If all you are qualified for is a zero skill job, you might want to develop some more attractive skills first, and put off the procreating until later, because minimum wage laws won't help you.
What are employers willing to pay young, inexperienced teenagers, with no skills? The answer is so much less than what government's artificial minimum wage, that employers simply won’t hire them. And if they are on the payroll when artificial pricing of wages kick in, many lose their jobs. Regardless of what Democrats wish for, the minimum wage is zero. It will always be zero. Employers live in the real world not a fantasy world.
Democrat-dominated Seattle passed a law that hikes the minimum wage to $15 an hour in steps over the next couple of years. The results were predictable. Too many workers who were not worth what employers had to pay to keep them, began losing their jobs. The law should have been named, “The incentive for self-service kiosks and robot development law.”
Not long after the Seattle wage law was passed, the University of Washington engaged in a lengthy in-depth study on the effects. Predictably, researchers were poised last month to issue a report that found the law actually hurt instead of helped, the wage earners at the bottom of the skill ladder.
Remarkably, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, who did not “like” the advance notice of what the scientific findings were, contacted University of California Berkeley professor Michael Reich. Reich, a research findings for hire guy, was willing to come up with "different" findings for Mayor Murray on short notice with no data. Reich agreed to counter the effects of the University of Washington study. Unfortunately for the quashing of science, the emails between Reich and Murray were made public. The response by the Democrats was to attack the real researchers despite the fact they used authentic data and employed academic rigor while Mr. Reich played the role of scammer.
What the likes of Barack Obama and the Seattle mayor rendering young people unemployable actually does, is increase the idle time for young people. This happens during the stage of their lives when young people should be learning to develop solid work habits.
We all know young men and women who don’t have jobs. We know that many of them are up at all hours of the night. What many do not know is millions of young people are addicted to and playing video games instead of developing useful skills. For many hours every day, instead of focusing on academics, millions of young people, mostly young men.....play games. Sadly, the technology/programming associated with video gaming has progressed faster than young people’s job skills. The result of combining artificially high wage laws with the availability of nifty gaming programs is a sociological disaster. We have millions of young people who are unemployable.
Kimberly Young, PsyD, clinical director of the Center for On-Line Addiction and author of Caught in the Net: How to Recognize the Signs of Internet Addiction -- and a Winning Strategy for Recovery says, "I've had so many parents call me over the last year or two, particularly about the role-playing games online. It's a clinical impulse control disorder." It is becoming obvious that gaming can become an addiction in the same sense as compulsive gambling. It is clearly an epidemic.
Here is the point. With the help of Democrats, who dumbly think they can simply make a law that artificially jacks up the value of unskilled labor, we are screwing up our society. Because many forms of unskilled labor are NOT worth anywhere near minimum wage, young people are economically excluded from entering the workforce. Instead of developing skill they develop entitlement mentalities. And they have plenty of time to get themselves addicted to playing video games. This insures that they will remain non-productive for many years.
Nobody can GIVE a human being real self-esteem. Real self-esteem must be earned though fulfilling potential in the work force. We deny our young people the opportunity to gain all that comes with a understanding work ethic. And as we do so, we all pay for this stupidity. Even those of us who already knew, without a government research project, that "saying" an hour of unskilled labor is worth $15........doesn't make it so. What a travesty.

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"Fake" is everywhere

© 2016 Jim Spence - Independence Day is here. America finds itself in the most bizarre circumstances. There is a collective hatred of Donald Trump in pop culture the likes of which has never been seen. Democrats openly hate him in ways that are almost unimaginable. So many people say such astonishing things.
It does not stop there. The ruling GOP elite, which strangely enough, neither rules, nor is elite, can’t stand Trump either. Elected GOP officials who hang out in Washington won’t lift more than a finger to fix our problems. Perhaps it is for fear that Trump might get credit......or they will get the blame from pop culture. Those of us who pay attention to all of this simply shake our heads every day.
One of my friends used to say that in America we have a rule. “Anything worth doing, is worth over-doing.” And with this American penchant for overreach, comes a conundrum. Not everything is phony these days. But almost everything is phony. Hollywood purportedly abhors violence, but Hollywood sells violence every day in the theaters. Not only does the American entertainment industry sell violence by the bushel, it does so while pretending to be morally superior.
The news media now refuses to be independent reporters of the facts. Instead, while pretending to present facts, the news media actually advocates a wide range of very bad public policies that are proven failures because it is the collective opinion that socialism is good despite all the evidence to the contrary.
The education system has morphed from teaching fundamental truths to brainwashing kids to oppose free market capitalism. Curiously, public education officials wonder why home schooling has proliferated. We have a friend that works at a university nearby where budget cuts have been a way of life the last five years. He told us there were several of his colleagues touring Hawaii on the government dime last week. It seems that the cash strapped university still has departments that empty out the remainder of their reserves near the end of the fiscal year to avoid facing budget cuts. The idea that all the fat has been trimmed from higher education is a sham.
Republicans pretend they understand the insidious nature of government over-reach, but cannot unite and govern around such a basic principle as stopping over-reach. Most Republicans who go to Washington in the House and Senate are presidential wannabe phonies. 
Apollo, the dog formerly known as "Trump"
And then of course there is Donald Trump. Trump was such a crass showman, such a ridiculous exaggeration, that when my little labradoodle puppy arrived with the name “Trump” on his name tag in 2012, we changed his name. We have never been fans of the phony also known as Donald Trump. However, when faced with the idea that Hillary Clinton would occupy the White House and name Antonin Scalia’s replacement on the Supreme Court, we held our nose and voted for Donald Trump.
The point to be made here is pretty simple. Almost everything you see out there these days is phony. Hollywood actors, actresses and producers are mostly fakes. They sell the same things they decry. GOP Senators are a bunch of phonies. They swore the first thing they would do if America elected a GOP president was repeal the ACA (Obamacare). They have done no such thing. Public education is a crass system designed to promote socialism and undermine free market capitalism. Heck, even the Weather Channel tries to con us. The dangers of every storm are promoted for ratings. Their meteorologists promote the idea that we should build our lives around our ability to contain the variability of weather patterns. There is sort of baloney being shoved our way every day.
Late night talk show hosts, who have made fun of every president, refused to lay a finger on Obama for eight years. Now they are back, lampooning Trump every day. Fakes.
Let’s finish up by explaining the Trump phenomenon. Trump is show business. He is just like every other segment of society hoping for influence (Hollywood, the news media, primary and secondary education, the GOP Senate etc.). It is all just show business. Every other influence-seeking segment of society hates Trump because he is show business too. I suppose most of these types think we don’t know they are all fakes too.
Some might wonder how anyone can defend Trump. Actually it is pretty easy. At least Trump has signed a few intelligent executive orders rolling back the idiocy of the Obama years. And at least Trump has proposed a number of very helpful public policy changes.....which are now stuck in the do-nothing GOP Senate. Trump is popular with millions of Americans because millions of Americans are sick of all the phonies out there. It takes a phony to fight a phony system seems to be the idea. Trump seems to be the only one trying to get something done. Those who hate Trump seem to do so because they hate him more than they love America. It’s a tough 4th of July. Watching fake unfold every day is no fun.

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Swickard: They will insure you lose on insurance

© 2017 Michael Swickard, Ph.D. “Most of the great problems we face are caused by politicians creating solutions to problems they created in the first place.” Walter E. Williams
             Healthcare is the battleground today because one set of politicians today are creating solutions to problems Congress caused in 2009. Shall we fix those problems or create even more problems?
            Caught in the middle are the American public who pays more and get less service. Why? Because the political healthcare plans are financial redistribution plans, not actual healthcare plans intending to provide better service for less money.
            The current healthcare plan in our country known as Obamacare came into being promising to lower costs. But the first action was to hire millions of lawyers, consultants, account managers, technical directors and bureaucrats to run the healthcare system. It suddenly costs more for healthcare.
            Who can possible looked surprised when healthcare cost much more because of it being the feeding bucket for millions of political people who are creating solutions to problems they created in the first place. They will insure you lose on insurance.
            One fact about healthcare not being discussed is that the political pushers of these new plans have and are making out well. When we have dysfunction in our country we should note who is making out well in the chaos. Namely: the politicians of both political parties.
            So, let me ask: why would either political party come to the aid of the country when both sides are doing well themselves with the chaos they are creating? They will not.
            My older brother Bill was born at home. The home in question was twenty miles south of Carrizozo on my Grandfather’s ranch. He was born in the front bedroom with Dr. Klump attending. The bill in 1947 for Bill was forty dollars. It paid for the doctor to attend.
            There was nothing in the bill for any account managers, tax consultants, primary attorney, secondary attorney, the lead consultant on births, the yada yada yada. Just what it cost the doctor to attend the birth.
            What I have is Dental Unsurance. It looks like insurance but doesn’t work. But there is millions of people in the company making money while not doing anything of value for the customers. Why? Because the politicians have set this system up.
            How to make healthcare better? First, stop making it worse for political gain. If you are in a hole and don’t like it first stop digging. That is what America must do. Rather than come up with a more involved system of bookkeeping and rules and regulations, we must step back.
            The media will make every step toward less government sound like the Black Death of 1346. It will not be but the scaremongers will point out that any reduction of government intrusion will kill at least 700 Billion people this week.
            There’s only 7.5 Billion people alive now, should I react to politicians saying 700 Billion people will die if we pull back on government intrusion? Nope.

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Denial is the great enabler

© 2016 Jim Spence - Consider all of the losses at every level of government that have occurred under Nancy Pelosi’s House leadership and Obama’s stay in the White House. The totals are staggering. The net loss is 1,042 state and federal Democratic posts. This includes congressional and state legislative seats, governorships, and the presidency. And with all of these devastating losses came the appointment of Neil Gorsuch instead of a Ruth Bader-Ginsburg clone to the Supreme Court.
When you dive down into the details it is amazing. Democrats have seen their 55 U.S. Senate seats fall to just 46. Their U.S. House seat count has plummeted to just 194.... down from 256.  Democrats have just 16 sitting governors, down from 28.
Ohio Democratic Party House member Tim Ryan said before he failed to depose Nancy Pelosi as House Minority Leader, “We’re not even a national party at this point. We have some support on the coasts, but we’ve lost the support of middle America, and we’ve got to make some changes. So I’m pulling the fire alarm here, because the house is on fire.”
There are two basic questions that need to be answered by onlookers 1) Why is the Democrat's house on fire? and 2) What are Democrats doing about it?
There is an amazing head scratching "denial" situation unfolding. It is inexplicable until you start to realize there has been an epidemic of denial within the Democratic Party for several decades. At any level of human endeavor, denial is an intellectual cancer. Sadly, the Democrats have had if for quite some time and now it is spreading like stage 4 cancer.
Their house is on fire because they insist that government is the solution to every problem. They have insisted on pretending that big government actually works when it doesn’t in the vast majority of instances. Democrats deny that illegal immigration is a problem and argue for ignoring basic border security. Democrats use the tax laws to punish productive workers and use excessive regulation to punish productive employers. Democrats pretend weather variability is new. Then they pretend they can control weather variability by punishing energy companies and increasing energy costs for consumers. Democrats resist welfare reform insuring that able-bodied adults are not forced to either work or do without. Democrats defend criminals with long arrest and conviction records and throw law enforcement officials under the bus.
Most important of all, Democrats pretend most white people should be treated with suspicion because any opposition to failed Venezuela-style socialism is linked to whites and their persistent racism. 
Once a political party has made pretending a way of life, there are no boundaries on dysfunction. Witness what is happening now in the wake of all these devastating losses that Democrats have taken at the polls. Efforts to unseat Nancy Pelosi continue to fail. It should come as no surprise that Democrats in Washington continue to cling to Pelosi, despite all of the telltale signs that she is suffering from the onset of dementia. Democrats deny what everyone can see in Pelosi's public appearances. Pelosi gets lost in mid-sentence, engages in nonsensical pauses, and then veers off on irrelevant ramblings. She jumps from topic to topic, often unable to articulate on a fundamental level let alone finish her thoughts. You can see the sad unraveling of what is left of Pelosi's mind in many of her recent public appearances, including this one.
Why won’t Democrats gently nudge Pelosi aside, if such a thing can be done in politics? The answer is simple. Once Democrats get comfortable with engaging in habitual denial that their public policies are working, it is very easy for them to watch Pelosi, as she is today.......and be completely comfortable arguing that she hasn’t lost her mind. This is the essence of denial.
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Happy Independence Day – Big League!
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Just stand there and take it.

© 2016 Jim Spence -  Just stand there and take it. Essentially this is the demand of the indignant propaganda ministers also known as the mainstream media. This all has materialized in the wake of scandal after scandal regarding what they (major news networks) engage in each day. Specifically CNN has been caught repeatedly in outrageous reporting scams that are nothing more than naked aggression against the person they perceive, because he is not a Democrat, to be their enemy. Of course, we are talking about one Donald Trump.
Caught on camera by increasingly legendary investigative reporter James O’Keefe, CNN producers were shown admitting that they are routinely instructed to smear Donald Trump virtually every day for ratings. It is show business not journalism. Of course, fifty percent of the voting public has known this to be the case for years. I have railed against the propaganda ministry on these pages since the inception of News New Mexico.
The “rules” that CNN and every other major news outlet want you to live by are simple. Just accept the fact that every single story they publish will be slanted. For eight years they ran a publicity protection racket for Barack Obama. Before the Obama love affair they blasted away at George W. Bush every day.
Not only was Obama lavished with praise, the results of one failed Obama policy after another were twisted to make the outcomes seem almost acceptable. Republicans have been demonized as a matter of routine and bullied into acting out of fear instead of the nation’s best interests. You can see this in the GOP Senate, where talk is cheap and egos have no bounds.
How did the journalism profession disintegrate into a sham? The answer is gradually. Freedom of speech is a wonderful thing. But like all wonderful things, it comes with abuses. The transformation of journalism from unbiased reporting of facts to nearly 100% opinion disguised as news has accelerated in the last twenty years. Prior to the arrival of Fox News, the Democrats held a virtual monopoly in the media. It became so overt and grotesque that Fox saw a huge segment of the market that was being ignored. Despite all the brainwashing efforts, half of the nation knew they were being lied to and Fox figured it out. With arrival of Fox came the the unveiling of the obvious. How could every story be covered so differently at Fox?
To be fair, Fox is nothing more than a mouthpiece for the GOP. But fair is fair. Fox is outnumbered when you consider the fact that ABC, NBC, CBS, NPR, MSNBC, Bloomberg, CNN and almost all major newspapers are completely in the tank for the Democrats. It would be comical if it wasn’t so tragic.
Donald Trump now calls these networks the “enemies of the state.” No doubt these are very harsh words. Chuck Todd of NBC says Trump is engaging in a war on the “truth.” Todd of course considers himself an apostle of the truth, despite the fact he is part of the sham.
This week CNN reporters are expressing concern for their safety and they are blaming Trump’s harsh rhetoric. Poor little things. He won’t just accept his role as their punching bag. No, Trump won’t just stand there and take it. He hits back and half the nation applauds. Well what do you know? There is hope. The bullies are getting punched.

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Democrats are Looking for Mr. Goodbar

© 2016 Jim Spence - The Democrats loved the Clinton presidency, but most blindly loyal Democrats still don’t know why they loved the Clinton years beyond the fact that he won two consecutive terms. Clinton did something that had not been done by any Democrat since FDR. He won not once, but twice. When you experience that sort of a drought, you just want to win.
What history does not teach, because history is taught mostly by Democrats, is that Clinton’s success was based on his unique ability to REJECT all the dumb ideas that Democrats tend to coalesce around. We are talking about the kind of ideas that are now creating chaos in Venezuela, where the citizens are finding out what it is like when the government runs everything and makes promises it can’t possibly keep. 
Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich worked together to pass welfare reform. Clinton said, “the era of big government is over,” as he signed the bill. Well not quite. He never believed it was over, he just said it. And when the end of big government policies worked, Clinton took most of the credit, without mentioning that the private sector was scoring all of the points.
Still, it is important to consider all the one term Democrats since WWII. Harry Truman, who drove himself home to Missouri after leaving the White House, never cashed in on his fame like the Clintons or the Obamas. Kennedy was killed by a socialist. LBJ and the hapless Jimmy Carter were both one-term guys.
Why have there been so many one term Democrats since WWII? The Democrats always screw things up more than the GOP when they take the reins of power. And people get mad as hell until they forget and try them one more time. Democrats punish hard workers and they reward those who don’t produce. This explains why after Obama’s two terms were completed, the Democrats had been decimated by the voters. Democrats lost 1,000 legislative seats nationwide, a slew of governor posts, the White House, the U.S. Senate, and the U.S. House of Representatives. Oh and by the way, they lost all chances to dominate the Supreme Court for the next thirty years.
If you get away from the dysfunctional cities that line both coasts and the big cities that support gang and drug cultures in the heartland (Chicago, Houston, St. Louis, etc.) most of America flatly rejects what the Democrats peddle. In 2017, Democrat leaders are older than dirt. Pelosi, Sanders, Schumer, Warren, and Feinstein all look like they are ready for adult diapers.
What has been the reaction of the Democrats as they have lost one special election after another with Trump hatred flowing like lava? They are dreaming of another Watergate. In fact Democrats are wishing so hard for a Trump impeachment they are trying to manufacture the required scandal. It isn’t working. Three CNN employees were forced to resign earlier this week for publishing gross lies. All three CNN employees were committed Democrats, which seems to be the sole mindset of journalists these days.
The Democrats conduct is mindful of the role Diane Keaton played in the 1970's film, Looking for Mr. Goodbar. The film depicts a young teacher looking for excitement outside her ordinary life. Keaton’s character flirts with dangerous partners, which is a metaphor for the Democrats flirtation with groups like the cop killing advocates in the Black Lives Matter crowd. She has an affair with an aging married college professor as did the Democrats with Bernie Sanders. The one-night stands went on and on for Keaton in the film, and the coalitions she formed got very seedy. Eventually, Keaton's character wound up engaging in alliances with violent people. It is mindful of the way too many Democrats tried to rationalize the shooting of GOP House Whip Steve Scalise a couple of weeks ago. More than a few Democrats were caught on camera or tape suggesting Scalise got what he deserved. This sort of reckless attitude towards violence is dangerous to everyone.

Eventually, Keaton’s character in Looking for Mr. Goodbar crossed the danger line one too many times, just as Democrats are doing with opposing border security and making open-ended promises to refugees from Christian-hating countries. Democrats flirt with disaster when they demand ZERO enforcement of our immigration laws. Keaton’s character wound up with an ex-convict who attacked her. He didn’t just beat her, he raped her, and then stabbed her until she was dead. The Democrat’s coalition, which contains millions of violent Black Lives Matter types, millions of angry entitlement-oriented socialists like the one who shot Steve Scalise, millions of illegal alien gang member types, and tens of thousands of Islamic radicals disguised as refugees, are a perfect metaphor for what lies ahead. As Democrats search endlessly for Mr. Goodbar……er…..a 21st Century Watergate scandal, their coalition includes people who are threatening to kill others. Lots of others.

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Swickard: Funny is all around us

© 2017 Michael Swickard, Ph.D.  “Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious.” Peter Ustinov
             No matter where I am I find funny things all around me. While I have a serious side, it’s connected to my comedy side. I should have a sign on the back of my head, “Clown on board.”
            At the hospital for a blood test I was asked, “When and where were you born?” I answered, “I was born August 24, 1950 at 11:35 a.m. in Delivery Room B, Holloman Air Force Base Hospital with Capitan Wilbur Anderson attending.” Yep, they looked up.
            I find so much funny day to day. Example: one day when I was doing talk radio I found a newspaper story that workers at the Federal Mint were striking. I read the headline, “Union workers at the Federal Mint strike demanding to make less money.”
            My motto is: blessed are they who can laugh at themselves for they shall never cease to be amused. At a Sonic, there was a gap of time between when I pushed the button and the order taker answered. She said, “Sorry for the wait…” I immediately said, “I’m not sorry, I got this extra weight here and enjoyed every bite of it.”
            The order takers said, “What?” I replied, “Never mind.”
            I love two story buildings with an elevator. When someone walks in I ask, “Which floor?” They look confused and say, “Two.” I punch the button and reply, “Good choice.”
            I have always admired cartoonists so much so that many years ago I started a cartoon strip and actually got one newspaper to carry it. The name was: In The Dark. All that was shown was the talking bubbles on a dark background. The dialog was funny such as: Why are the classroom lights off… budget cuts… what are we studying? The Dark Ages.
            Several months into the run the newspaper editor asked me, “What do your characters look like?” I replied, “They look like they are standing in the dark.
            He got a puzzled look on his face and asked, “You don’t know how to draw, do you?” I smiled, “Not even a stick figure so that’s why they are in the dark.” Go figure, he cancelled the strip and called it the stupidest thing he had ever seen. Perhaps it was, but I can put cartoonist on my writing credits.
            A couple of sayings: Doing it the hard way is always easier. And, easy money is always the hardest. Lead me not into temptation… I can find it myself. If you keep your feet firmly on the ground, you’ll have trouble putting on your pants.
            There was a question sent to some electrical workers in a neighborhood after a resident called management to report that they were cursing. The reply was, “Me and Amos was climbing up a pole when Amos dropped all his tools on my head so I said to him ‘Please be more careful’ or words to that effect.” I find that funny. 



The NMSU Aggie Football team was on a 17 game losing streak



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Warping the Hamilton legacy - ignoring the Bill of Rights

© 2016 Jim Spence - Once upon a time American school children were taught why the Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution) were required to be added for the Constitution to be ratified. The History Channel took a shot at U.S. history last year with a documentary on Alexander Hamilton. The show included plenty of commentary from left wing newsman Tom Brokaw and New York Times/Democratic Party political hack/"economist" Paul Krugman.
Hamilton's story presents an interesting challenge for the Democrats even though they love the idea that Hamilton favored a strong central government. A strong central government runs counter to the fact that Hamilton was one of the authors of the Federalist Papers, which opposed a stronger federal government. The two-hour piece seemed innocuous enough unless you understood how short it was on crucial details.
To be sure, Hamilton was a business-oriented politician who understood the importance of the nation having fungible debt (trading freely in the marketplace) and a common currency. He also knew the Articles of Confederation, which was the governing document of the nation until it was replaced by the Constitution, was too weak to help the young American nation develop into a superpower. Unfortunately, instead of the show teaching the viewer about Hamilton in the proper context, it takes on a tone that goes something like this: “Let us show you why even a founding father businessman like Hamilton knew the United States government needed to be all powerful, with an iron grip on all aspects of life.” Of course this slanting of the Hamilton story is very far from the actual Hamilton world view. Instead, it represents the view of modern-day Democrats wanting to twist history out of context to fit their opinions.
There was never a single mention of the Bill of Rights during the segment of the show on the ratification battle for the U.S. Constitution. This battle pitted Hamilton against Thomas Jefferson. Anyone with an ounce of understanding of the ratification battle knows that the Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments) were required by virtually every founder as protection against government, which they all knew would ALWAYS be grabbing for more and more power. It is the essential nature of government.
The ratification battle was not a case of big government types versus limited government types. It was a process of making sure those who fought and won the revolution against an oppressive government only granted LIMITED powers to the new central government. Arming the government with powers to dominate all aspects of life was NOT something anyone, least of all Hamilton, wanted to do. Sadly, America has lost its awareness of how important the Constitution and Bill of Rights were to strengthening the central government, while also limiting it. The five year battle and victory over the oppression of George III could easily to forfeited with the stroke of a pen had it not been for the Bill of Rights.
Since the time of Hamilton, America has increasingly neglected the basic education of its citizens. You can see it in the way Democrats have chipped away at constitutional rights in an effort to control all of us from Washington D.C.  
Consider the 1st Amendment. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” The Little Sisters of the Poor had to sue Barack Obama to exercise their freedom of religion. So did Hobby Lobby.
Amendment II: “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Democrats do everything in their power to infringe on the rights of the people to KEEP AND BEAR arms. There is nothing ambiguous about this fact nor is there anything unclear about the amendment.
Consider Amendment # IV: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” The federal government subjects hundreds of millions of citizens to unreasonable searches and seizures at airports every year. The TSA seizes water bottles, hand lotions, tooth paste, and God knows what else.
How about Amendment V? “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” The oppressive tax system takes private property away from law abiding citizens every day for wasteful public use. The examples are everywhere.
How about Amendment VI? "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.” Does anyone believe the court system is much more than an extortion mechanism for trial lawyers and a farce for the rest of us?
Amendment VIII: “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” Does anyone think that the fines Americans are assessed by Obamacare for not buying health insurance are not excessive?
Look at Amendment IX, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” The EPA seems to feel it has title to and rights to dominate everything.
Amendment X reads, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” As a matter of routine. the federal government holds the states and citizens hostage taking powers and controls it was specifically prohibited from seizing by the Constitution. Forcing people to buy health insurance under threat of a fine is a power NOT delegated to the United States by the Constitution.
Perhaps the reason why the producers the show about Alexander Hamilton skipped over the facts about the Bill of Rights including how integral those amendments were to the ratification of the Constitution because they knew those protections have been reduced to the object of ridicule by anyone who is literate and chooses to read the document. 
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Swickard: The smoking hot days of summer

© 2017 Michael Swickard, Ph.D.   For some of our fellow residents here in New Mexico there has been surprise that the daytime temperatures have suddenly been in the triple digits. And it is real dry here, too.
            The answer is simple: New Mexico has been in a drought for 280 million years, come next August so it should not come as a surprise, but it does for many of our residents.
            Newcomers can be excused because they have not lived somewhere that the seatbelt buckle in their car can be used as a branding iron if it was in the sun. And coins left on the seat of the car will leave an impression if they are in the sun. People bump their heads on the inside car roof when the pain travels from posterior to head.
            But these last few days people have been talking incessantly about the triple digit heat in New Mexico and other states. Entertainer George Burns was asked, “George, how is your wife?” He answered, “Compared to what?” That’s the answer for the heat wave.
            Some say wryly, “It’s a dry heat.” New Mexico is less noteworthy than Phoenix where 120 degrees is their fate. And that temperature in Phoenix doesn’t warrant more than a passing notice by their news media. “We see here where a highway has melted, details at six.”
            What to do here in New Mexico when it is broiling hot? We can prepare a couple pans of cookies to bake on the dash of the car which has two values: you get cookies and it functions as a car air freshener.
            Obviously, we should stay in a cool place and not be out mowing the lawn. Well, I say obviously because some New Mexicans are out mowing the lawn in the heat and with the sweat pouring off of them they ask, “Hot enough for ya?”
            Mostly what I have noticed these last few days is the look of surprise that somehow it got this hot. It does pretty much every year but the last time was about one year ago. We need to do something about that short-term memory loss, eh?
            It is similar to when the New Mexico winds start in March which they do start every March around these parts. People look surprised that parts of Arizona are moving to Texas by air over around and through us. It does so every year.
            What to do? Enjoy the scenic New Mexico vistas, even if they are hot. And enjoy the taste of hot green chile. Not the garbage from New York City, but real New Mexico Green Chile that announced its presence with authority.
            Remember, we are a friendly people so don’t be troubled that we wave hello in our car. We’re just being friendly.
            Likewise, we are averse to anyone telling us how they did things back where they came from. Just suggest whatever without mentioning back home. Especially, don’t tell us how hot it is back home, you are here now.

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Shoot them.....they are morally inferior

© 2016 Jim Spence - The would-be killer of House Whip Steve Scalise was a Bernie Sanders volunteer. He wanted to make sure he was shooting at Republicans when he approached the baseball field where the GOP team was practicing for a charity event earlier this week. And despite some incredibly inflammatory reactions by various Democrats, like the Nebraska black caucus leader, who said, the whole shooting was “funny,” many op-ed pieces have wondered instead why we Americans are so divided.
Explaining why we are so divided is pretty easy. It plays out at the family level all over America…….including our family. Yes, we have Democrats in our family and we also have Republicans. More than anything else my spouse and I prefer libertarian ideals which are long lost in the entitlement era.
It has been an interesting process to witness the morphing of the political discussions at our family gatherings since we were young adults. In the 1970’s and early 1980’s the elders in both my family and my wife's family tended to dominate the political discussions. Mostly we just listened. Their biases were towards the Democratic Party and against Republicans. These elders tried, eventually in vain, to convince us that the “greater good” required European-style socialism. Who else but an immoral person could be against the greater good, was their argument.
The problem with their greater good argument was that as we matured, we realized that the facts simply did not support their claims. As the 1970’s ended and the 1980’s began, Marxist China had to embrace a healthy dose of free market capitalism to end the mass starvation brought on by decades of big government socialism. The Soviet Union did the same to avert financial extinction a decade later. History is littered with failed socialist regimes. The statement by Ronald Reagan that “government was not the solution but the problem,” was proven to be true over and over again. To us facts mattered. By the 1984 election we knew despite what our Democrat parents told us that what they had been peddling was total baloney. We stopped voting for Democrats and we said so.
By the mid 1980’s we were saving and investing a very significant portion of our modest income. We did without many things and “cool stuff” while most others in our peer group spent their money on all the latest discretionary items. With reserves building, we ran across opportunities and our income gradually increased. Most notably, along the way to success, the family political discussions became edgy. People like us, who voted for candidates who seemed to be for more limited government, were told repeatedly that the main reason why we did so, was because we were unconcerned about others, just ourselves. At virtually every family gathering it was inferred that we were selfish, greedy, and lacking in compassion for others. Even as we began to make more and more charitable contributions from our increasing disposable income, the morally inferior inferences continued non-stop from the Democrats in the family. It didn’t take long before it was made abundantly clear that it did not matter how much we paid in taxes or gave to charity, we would always be morally inferior because “we did not pay our fair share.” In some years, we paid more in state and federal income taxes than our harsh judges earned before taxes. We never knew what class warfare really meant until this corrosive process was well underway. 
Eventually, and many years ago now, we made the decision to resist all temptation to discuss politics at family gatherings. While we remained quiet, and or changed the subject, the sniping and morally inferior inferences tossed in our direction continued. If only people like you would pay your fair share, we heard on so many occasions.
Image result for hodgkinson gunman in virginia
Virtually every holiday season became an endurance contest. How many times could we tolerate the jabs and needles that suggested because we reject the false premises of socialism, we were selfish and greedy. These slights often took place while we were cooking and cleaning up after our guests who scarcely lifted a finger.
Are we surprised that a gunman and Bernie Sanders supporter from Illinois, who has been photographed holding a poster with the same sort of class war phrases directed towards us, would open fire on a group of GOP Congressmen and women while they were preparing to raise funds for charity? Why would we be surprised? Our business is barred from providing services for public pensions in the state of Illinois because we are white and male. This unconstitutional Illinois law is the handiwork of a state that has been dominated by the Democratic Party for decades…..the same sort of Democrats who infer at every turn that anyone who is not a Democrat is morally inferior. Steve Scalise's would-be assassin was simply trying to rid the country of derelicts because he had internalized the moral superiority delusion of his party and resorted to violence.
Now into my early 60’s I avoid most family gatherings if I even suspect the Democrats are going to be present. Why hang out with people who think I am morally inferior and have told me so many times? Would they shoot at me? Only metaphorically.

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What do you expect?

© 2016 Jim Spence - Let’s see if we notice a pattern?
Recently hard-core Democrat comedienne Kathy Griffin produced a video of herself holding a bloody severed Donald Trump head. "It was Trump's fault," she said when CNN dropped her from next year's New Year's Eve telecast for her appalling behavior. "He (Trump) drove me over the top," she whined. Now that's funny.
There's more. Much more. Shakespeare in the Park in New York City has approved a modern version of Julius Caesar for this summer where the lead, a Trump look alike, is actually assassinated. The New York Times reviewer loved the play, giving it a sterling review. The implication? Kill!
In recent years the Black Lives Matter crowd, which Hillary Clinton cow-towed to every chance she got, has called for and managed to influence people enough to get some to engage in execution-style killings of law enforcement people. If you try to offer your support for the dead cops families by wearing a "blue lives matters" t-shirt.........Democrats will call you a racist.
And just this morning James T. Hodgkinson, a certified Republican-hating Democrat from Illinois, shot four people including a GOP Congressman at a baseball field in Northern Virginia.
Ummmm......what do you expect?
The patterns suggest we should expect more of this hatred-filled violence regularly. These acts of violence have been assisted by ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, NPR, CNN, The New York Times, the Washington Post, and nearly every newspaper in America. These outlets print not just the quirky truth about Donald Trump, which does enough damage to his political situation on its own, but vile lies. When the drumbeats of anger are beaten while directed towards high profile Republicans, you can expect more than a few Democrats to resort to violence. Does the media and leading Democrats want violence? Probably not. They just cannot control their hatred.
Obviously these patterns are unprecedented. Recent studies have showed that the negative coverage on Trump is about twice what it was for George W. Bush, and four times more than it was for Obama. The fomenting and encouragement of violence is not being orchestrated by radical fringe groups, it is being done by seemingly respectable people doing national news broadcasts on television. Add to this the fact that high ranking leaders within the Democratic Party are also fomenting violence. DNC chairman Tom Perez has been giving one profanity-laced speech after another, even with children present. Perez is on the record exhorting the sort of hatred that used to be over the top at skinhead conventions. This is mainstream Democratic Party politics by the chairman of the party now. New York Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand got into the mix recently when she dropped the F-bomb at a technology conference.
You also see the fomenting of anger and violence play out in the form of violent property-destroying protests against freedom of speech on the campuses of California Berkeley and UCLA. Folks this is the tip of the iceberg. This sort of thing is going on in many other areas. The hope must be that Democrats will intimidate those who do not agree with them into silence.
What can you expect in the aftermath of these shootings today? Look for Democrats to call on all elected officials to sacrifice more of their personal freedoms for more controls by big government. Within a week of today the dead Democrat who shot these innocent people won’t be blamed for anything. It will be his self-operating gun that takes the fall. The NRA will be the real culprit. Just sit back and watch this happen.
It continues to be truly amazing that people who enjoy the protection of armed body guards at taxpayer expense never demand a vote to disarm the people protecting them. In fact they vote regularly to provide more security…….for themselves. The would be mass murderer this morning was shot and killed by Capital Police who were there to protect elected-officials. Good for that law enforcement contingent and THANK GOD the would-be murderer wasn’t black. If he had been black we could see hints there might just have been some racism involved in the volley of shots fired by officers at him while he was firing away. We have already seen this happen in other locales where the gunman was black.

Of course, in reality Mr. Hodgkinson was just another angry Democrat who could not come to terms with being on the losing side of an election. If it had been you or me at that park this morning and no congressmen, we would have had to rely on our 2nd Amendment rights, which of course Democrats would like to usurp with unconstitutional laws. Adequate security is only something that self-important Democrats require....not the millions of minions out there who serve the state.

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