A follow up

The rules are found on pages A62-63 of the league’s game operations manual:

The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem.

During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.

Jim's note - It looks like the NFL is mimicking Barack Obama's take on immigration law. When it doesn't fit your narrative, ignore your own written rules.
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Avoid pissing contests with skunks

© 2016 Jim Spence - There is an old saying. Don’t get into a pissing contest with a skunk. You both will get hit, and the skunk will like it.
For several decades the GOP found itself in battle with progressive skunks. GOP politicians have never quite known how to deal with them, since outside of Fox News the progressive skunks have thousands of friends in the media. In short, these progressive bullies have gotten their way in America for some time now with very few cultural victories had by those who dare to challenge them.
Along comes Donald Trump. The first thing Trump did in his new career as a politician last year was to engage in high profile pissing contests with Republican candidates. Both Trump and his targets seem to have gotten hit, but Trump liked it and he won easily. Not sure? Just ask Jeb Bush.
Before we explore the latest pissing contest between Trump and NFL players and teams who held the mistaken notion they could get political at football games without being called out, there are some things about the NFL that most people do not know. The NFL made a deal with Obama’s Defense Department a few years back to “Support the Troops.” The Defense Department handed over tens of millions of dollars to NFL owners to “stage shows” of their patriotism in the hopes for the D.O.D. that it would be easier to recruit. Before these deals were made, many NFL teams stayed inside during the playing of the national anthem to talk strategy. However, once the taxpayer money went into NFL coffers, the NFL made it mandatory that every player be on the field during the anthem. Essentially, the NFL sold images of players applauding military heroes, who were introduced prior to the anthem. So.......just in case you think the NFL decided to be a little more patriotic on its own, think again. They got paid to put on a show. And a portion of this money ultimately made its way into the pockets of the players in the revenue sharing deals their union made with the owners. Only in America can you sell faux patriotism at an enormous profit.
If there is one thing that we can all agree on it is this: Trump loves to fight. And the NFL, which wanted to have things both ways, finally got called out on its incredible hypocrisy. Trump, like many of us, became disgusted with the politicizing of football. But unlike the rest of us, Trump is in a position to expose the way in which the players and the teams wanted to litigate their partisan politics right before kickoffs.
The clueless NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and about 150 clueless players took the bait yesterday. However, not every player took the bait. It seems that Pittsburgh Steeler coach Mike Tomlin wanted every Steeler to stay in the locker room yesterday to avoid the "appearance" of being involved in a pissing contest. It was sort of a pissing, without actually claiming you are pissing sort of strategy. Tomlin wanted to do a passive-aggressive piss at the national anthem, if you will. Apparently, the consensus to do this was REJECTED by U.S. Army veteran Alejandro Villanueva. Villanueva, a Steeler, was not having any of it. The three Afghanistan-tour veteran left the Steeler locker room by himself, and stood visibly in the tunnel with his hand over his heart while the anthem played. The image was startling and not at all what the would be pissers in the NFL wanted to see. It was however, precisely what pisser in Chief Trump wanted to see. The progressive Democrat media is going berserk with this battle as is Fox. 
Rest assured Trump is going to win this tussle. The NFL was already suffering from declining ratings thanks to its politicizing. Now the NFL finds that the spotlight is shining brightly on what they have been doing. And instead of the players finding more appropriate forums for expressing their political views, they have doubled down on stupidity with more than 150 scurrying out into the open.
Watch how free markets work here. Contrary to what the players think, nobody “has to” watch the NFL games and nobody “has to” buy a ticket to watch them live. The markets are about to teach the NFL that it is not “entitled” to scoop billions of dollars out of the U.S. economy. Instead, the NFL must re-earn customer loyalty. Predictions?
Watch for season ticket sales to plummet next year. Watch for advertisers to re-think the bloated prices they have to pay to align themselves with the NFL, a venue that is starting to reek. Ad prices on NFL games are going to plunge followed by bids for rights to broadcast the games.
Something about the NFL was starting to stink last year. We all thought it was just Colin Kaepernick. The stench spread. And now the entire NFL, minus Alejandro Villaneuva, smells like a skunk. It would seem that the NFL has chosen to get into a pissing contest with a skunk.
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Swickard: Political disrespect and making positive change

© 2017 Michael Swickard, Ph.D.   “I think Dr. King, if he were alive today, he wouldn’t disrespect the flag or the anthem; he would use his words and his voice to send a message for positive change.” Kimberly Guilfoyle
             The National Football League has players who are taking a knee during the national anthem. They are expressing their displeasure with American injustice. Worse, young people who are just imitating these icons are being disrespectful to our country without understanding the issues.
            My response has been to shun them. For this reason, I am not watching NFL games this year. Know this: if a high school or college team has players disrespect our flag and anthem, I will be out of that stadium quickly.
            It is the right of those athletes to make these gestures. And it is my right to not give them any money or attention. Should there be a law against disrespecting our country? No, each of us has free speech rights but we cannot exercise those rights without responsibility for our actions.
            There is only one of me so just one person shunning the NFL will have no effect. Still, it is my choice to respond. They don’t have to even acknowledge my actions.
            I am curious why they think this will address their perceived injustices and make changes. It would seem that we as a nation must make positive changes if our nation is to prosper.
            The world is so much better because of our country and the leaders of our country including the founders. As I wrote previously in this column they were all imperfect people. However, we are better off because of them. But, of course, we can always improve our country.
            In the above quote, there is the thought that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would have used his words, his voice to make a positive change. I like that. We do need positive change in this society that has fallen into the grasp of hate speech and fake news.
            Dr. King died in 1968. Unfortunately, his greatest thought seems to be forgotten: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
            These protests and much of the politics of our society today is about the color of skin and not the content of character. We do have voices telling us the way to make our country better.
            Morgan Freeman said, “Dr. Martin Luther King is not a black hero. He is an American hero.” He also said, “I am going to stop calling you a white man and I’m going to ask you to stop calling me a black man.”
            That is a direction for change that will make a difference. Let us not divide our country and the people of our county. Rather we need to come together as a nation. We must do so one citizen at a time.

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The market will sort this out

© 2016 Jim Spence - Freedom of speech is a wonderful concept. The reason you know freedom of speech is great, is because the countries you don’t want to visit let alone live in, tend to ban freedom of speech. Not surprisingly, the worst nations on earth employ the harshest punishments whenever someone says something the dictators don’t like.
The 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is pretty simple. It protects American citizens from our government. It reads: 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.”
How far does the guarantee of freedom of speech go? It is an interesting question to ask. Courts have established the idea that yelling “fire” in a crowded theater and causing a stampede, is not protected speech. However, organizing a political rally and chanting, “Down with this, or down with that,” is protected. The dividing line seems to be when people begin to infringe on the property rights and/or personal safety of others.
Again, because freedom of expression is a delicate matter, the courts almost always side with the citizens instead of the government, unless free speech endangers the safety of others. Of course, rioting protesters who destroy the property of others, are not exercising free speech, they are committing crimes.
This brings us back to the increasing presence of the culture war in America. Half the players on Baltimore and Jacksonville took a knee this morning before the game in London. It seems that the NBA and NFL think it is OK for players to exercise freedom of expression……sometimes. Taking a knee during the national anthem is OK, but certain forms of celebration, say after scoring a touchdown etc. is deemed illegal. 
It is important to remember that sporting events are not peaceable assemblies, they are entertainment events with customers paying to be there. Interestingly, the NFL players union has decided that players decisions to engage in political protest during the national anthem should be protected.
Let’s be clear about the customers here. Tens of millions of people find the taking of a knee during the national anthem to be offensive, just as tens of millions of people find both racist rhetoric and race baiting rhetoric offensive.
Do players have the right to offend during the course of business with customers? Do private businesses have the right to fire people for exercising freedom of speech, if the exercise itself financially damages their business? We are not talking about a government attempting to ban free speech……we are talking about private sector interests being allowed to protect their interests by keeping their customers happy with the overall business transaction/entertainment experience. These are interesting questions.
The courts have held that businesses have the right to fire people for offending their customers. ESPN fired Curt Schilling because he tweeted, not during a broadcast, but on his own time, the idea that he thinks men should pee and poop in the men’s room.
The point here is actually pretty simple. Americans all have a right to offend our elected officials, but Americans also have the right to protect their businesses from moron employees who insist on offending the customers. This explains why Colin Kaepernick does not have a job. He runs off customers in droves. If I have an employee who runs off my customers, I am going to fire that person.
It is going to be fun to watch all of this play out. NFL and NBA owners have shown themselves to be quite tolerant of political speech being inserted into their business relationships with customers. We will see how far this goes now that it looks like the NFL is finally starting to pay a price for allowing millionaire employees to question the fundamental fairness of American citizens who are sitting in the stands with expensive ticket stubs in their pockets.
Never one to keep his mouth shut, Donald Trump has weighed in. He suggested that employees who offend customers should be fired for doing so. Sounds like Trump is siding with the customers. And the response from both the NBA and the NFL was swift. It seems that when it comes to answering the question of whether or not America is basically fair, the debate is on and the NFL thinks the national anthem is a suitable forum. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who makes about $15,000 per concussion each season, suggests that it is Trump who is divisive. This seems strange. Trump is simply suggesting that the players who insist that America is unfair actually created the "divide." Trump has sided with the tens of millions of fans who are offended because they think all in all, America is pretty darned fair.
How did we get here? Essentially, these cultural wounds were healing nicely until Mr. Obama came along. Obama’s primary emphasis in governing was to encourage socialists to use phony racism accusations as battering rams against anyone resisting the failed policies of socialism. It looks like the cancer of the Obama era is in stage four in America. It is my prediction that professional sports businesses that allow millionaire employees to offend their patrons, will find that their businesses deteriorate. It is already happening. A steady decline from here seems imminent because no business can allow its employees to routinely insult the intelligence of its customers without paying a steep price.
What should we do? Let's sit back and watch. Let the whining millionaires galvanize around freedom of expression during the course of business, and let the customers who disagree, weigh alternative entertainment options. The free market for expensive tickets and commercial laden television broadcasts will sort this out, just like the market sorted out the competing views in the 2016 election. It is now the NFL and NBA that want to sew politics into the fabric of their businesses. We shall see how that works out for them.
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The party of slavery

© 2016 Jim Spence - Tim Daughtry wrote a great piece on the Townhall website earlier this week on “liberal privilege.” My take was a somewhat different, though I will borrow heavily from his intellectual blueprint.
Significant cultural changes are afoot in America. The NFL’s television ratings, seen as invincible just two years ago, are in free fall. I must admit I am not a participant in the quiet NFL boycott taking place, despite being personally disgusted with the behaviors of a few freshly minted millionaires trying to convince us of the victim con.
An interesting question is: What is happening to the NFL? The answer is pretty simple. Activists in the NFL, with assists from idiots like ESPN’s Jemele Hill, speak of “white privilege” and “white supremacy.” In trying to con us, they engage in relentless attacks on the fairness of America’s fundamental culture. Astonishingly, it does not seem the least bit contradictory for people like Marshawn Lynch and Colin Kaepernick to rake in astronomical salaries, while claiming that they are the poor victims of racism. It is no wonder that ticket buyers and TV viewers are growing tired of the non-stop assault narrative that accuses the same Americans who make people like Kaepernick, Lynch, and Hill rich, of being inherently racist and unfair.
In one of the 21st Century’s greatest ironies, American Democrats, in their blind hatred of Donald Trump, continue to advocate more strongly than ever, policies that promote government-mastered slavery. Favoring public policies that defy basic freedoms by controlling what everyone else does, including what they have, what they say, and what they think is the cornerstone of Democrat thinking. Like the Democratic Party founders, the plantation owners of the south, 21st Century Democrats also do not want to encounter opinions that contradict theirs. And to counteract those who do not want to be enslaved, Democrats try to brand every non-Democrat a racist or sexist. Comically, in Democratic primaries, Democrats resort to calling each other racists too. In the Obama vs. Clinton power struggle of 2008, the Clintons were branded racist. After all they were white, and in the party of slavery power struggle, they had the gall to criticize Obama and question his dubious credentials.
Since these absurdly dishonest Democrat tactics have stopped working in national elections, Democrats are now resorting to violence and destruction of the property of others to squelch free speech that opposes their effort to impose total control on people who want freedom. In a sense, Democrats think they should be your judge, your jury, and your executioner. As such, they will resort to violence, or at least look the other way while others who feel as they do, perpetrate violence. Democrats justify their ignoring of violence by other Democrats by virtue of seeing themselves as morally superior. It is the classic end justifies the means that takes place in all dictatorships.
Democrats feel because they are morally superior (like plantation owners did) that they alone should be charged with establishing the standards by which others must live. Democrats feel they should be free to criticize others……however any criticism of a Democrat is evidence of irredeemable moral flaws (i.e. racism, sexism, etc.). It is a not so cleverly disguised intellectual protection racket they run for their own benefit.
High profile Democrats constantly claim to hold exclusive title to the moral high ground, simply because they condemn the use of fossil fuels and support gun control. These same people (Al Gore, Leonardo DiCaprio etc.) have gigantic carbon footprints flying here and there in their private jets, while living in huge energy-glutton mansions. They also flank themselves with armed body guards 24 hours a day.
Democrats routinely brand all black Republicans as Uncle Toms. They also find it completely fair to engage in character assassinations of all prominent GOP women. However, they think all Democrat blacks and women should be off limits to any criticism. Any questioning of the hypocrisy of any Democrat who is female or black is proof of the racism and/or sexism of the questioner. This is text book delusion for the party of slavery.
Perhaps the most amazing aspect of Democrats continuing to embrace the false intellectual tenets that formed the foundations for trying to justify slavery, is that they want to be judged by how they feel, not by the results produced by their policies. Democrats find basic outcome analysis to be tedious. They want the stated “intent” of their hopelessly failed social policies to matter, not the fact that their policies actually impoverish and enslave people. Accordingly, no matter how severely Democratic policies have harmed black families, Democrats continue to disavow the results of what they do while pushing for more of the same. The destruction of the black family by Democrats is blamed on “racism” and America’s fundamental unfairness, instead the root cause, which is Democrat's insistence on being the masters of the modern U.S. plantation.
Democrats also demand utter control of an educational system that mass produces students who cannot read nor do basic math with any proficiency. The most essential points of American history are not taught in Democrat run schools, including the fact that Democrats have always been the party of slavery. It is clear that this fact is intentionally hidden, lest the students connect the dots and realize that nothing has changed except the narratives in the Democrat’s manipulative rhetoric. The party of slavery understands that the best way to hide the fact that they are anti-freedom, is to accuse their opponents of precisely what Democrats are actually guilty of. Yes Democrats favor indoctrination masked as public education, to continue to hold people in government-sponsored slavery. Government has simply replaced the plantation owner as the new “master.”
Not everyone gets it. The grossly flawed Donald Trump represents the antithesis to everything the party of slavery stands for, while the GOP Senate kind of likes being masters too, though they would never admit it.

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The saddest thing of all

© 2016 Jim Spence - It would seem that the Republican-controlled Senate is going to make one final run at repealing and replacing Obamacare. We will see if Senate Republicans have any sense of duty. The current proposal being pushed by Lindsay Graham and others is much better than nothing. However, only time will tell whether people like Rand Paul, Lisa Murkowski, John McCain, and Susan Collins will vote for “improvement,” or continue to sacrifice an improvement, because it is less than perfect. I for one have no faith in these people.
In the meantime consider one of the most profound descriptions of what Barack Obama considers his signature achievement (Obamacare). The description goes something like this:
Obamacare is an onerous law passed by a Democrat-dominated United States government, that requires EVERY adult U.S. citizen to PROVE they bought health insurance.
At the same time that Obamacare was passed by these Democrats, Mr. Obama issued a decree to law enforcement that instructed officials to NOT require every adult living in the U.S. to prove they were a citizen.
Allow these facts to soak in for a moment. If you are citizen you must PROVE you bought health insurance or be heavily fined. However, if you are not a citizen, and are living here in the U.S. in direct violation of federal law, you get a complete pass.
It is not just Barack Obama who was whacked out enough to think this is fair. Democrat dominated city councils and county commissions, including several in New Mexico (Las Cruces, Santa Fe, etc.), think this is fair. The people running Las Cruces, not only believe that the health insurance proof requirement on all citizens is good policy, they also believe that adults living here illegally, who refuse to prove they are citizens, should be allowed to completely ignore our immigration laws.
There is an even greater irony in this. Democrats think people living here illegally should be entitled to receive free health insurance that is paid for by those who are forced to buy over-priced health insurance, simply because they are U.S. citizens. Let that sink in.
It would seem that Americans have been letting it sink in. Working people voted for Donald Trump, not necessarily because they liked him, but because they had grown very tired of this sort of hypocrisy from Democrats.
Despite everything that gets reported as "news" at places like ABC, NBC, CBS, NPR, CNN, MSNBC, and even ESPN, millions of working people truly hate what Democrats are doing to them.
Of course there are many places where people vote Democrat like robots…..places like Las Cruces and Santa Fe. Democrat voting robots don’t care that New Mexico has more people collecting welfare and other giveaways from the state and federal government……..than this state has people actually WORKING and paying taxes. New Mexico voted for Barack Obama twice. And in doing so New Mexico voted to fundamentally transform America. The Democrat's idea is to punish workers and reward a complete absence of productivity. Both of our U.S. Senators embrace this philosophy. Why are 95 million adults not working? Because they don't have to.

Amazingly, the Republicans in the U.S. Senate are not sure they should do anything to reverse any of these atrocious national trends. That is certainly the saddest thing of all.

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Most Democrats defend, protect, and promote, National Socialists

© 2016 Jim Spence - A couple of deeply disturbing incidents on college campuses in America recently, have illuminated problems that have been festering in America for several decades. These incidents demonstrate how badly America is failing when it comes to preserving our basic freedoms and our fundamental way of life. It is difficult to imagine how.....with everything that is going on.....it will end well for us.

Incident #1) A Conservative Jewish political activist, Ben Shapiro made a speech last Thursday night at the University of California Berkeley. A hostile crowd estimated at more than 1,000 outside the speaking venue chanted slogans and cheered counter-speakers who denounced Mr. Shapiro as a get this………”fascist.” Four people were arrested outside the hall where Shapiro spoke for bringing weapons into a six-block zone near the hall, which was heavily patrolled by campus officers and Berkeley police.

The protesters were as ignorant as can possibly be imagined. They carried signs calling the Jewish Ben Shapiro, a Nazi. Calling a Jew a Nazi is um....astonishingly ignorant and stupid. The media completely legitimized this group.

Incident # 2) Recently, a Princeton Constitution Day Lecture was titled, ”‘Fuc_ Free Speech.” It seems that Princeton professor Carolyn Rouse stated that we should………get this…..“Rethink academic freedom and academic values” and that “The way in which free speech is being celebrated in the media makes little to no sense anthropologically. Put simply, speech is costly,” Rouse said. “So, contrary to the ACLU’s statement on their website regarding the role of free speech on college campuses, the academy has never promoted free speech as its central value.” She called for bureaucracy to determine what can and cannot be said. The media looked the other way.

The objective of the Democrat protesters in incident #1 and the Democrat college professor from Princeton in incident #2, are the sort of people that receive political cover every day from elected Democrats and their friends in the media. Let's get to the point here. Democrats are National Socialists. They demand a system where our national government be allowed to control every aspect of life. And they also repeatedly call for free-market capitalism to be completely dismantled. Again, let's call this what it is.......THIS IS NATIONAL SOCIALISM.

For these Democrats to claim that anyone voicing objections to their national-socialism philosophy should be stifled and squelched is scary. And even worse, for these views, which are treated as "mainstream" everyday at universities and media outlets everywhere in America, are perfect examples of the rise of EXTREME NATIONAL SOCIALISM in America.

The uneducated don't have a clue what national socialism actually is. Let me help. Be reminded of a nation in central Europe that hated “capitalist” Jewish business people and also opposed free speech that was not regulated by the higher ups. Once these types gained control in that nation they took care of capitalist Jews and not just the pesky activists like Ben Shapiro. The took care of all Jews. I won’t bother to list the names of the camps they sent the Jews to who thought just like Shapiro.

It is a strange thing. I never thought I'd see the day when American campus bullies, dressed in black uniforms with hoods, and carrying dangerous weapons, would be coddled by Democrats. These stiffs actually throw around terms like "Nazi" to describe Jewish Americans who disagree with them.

Let's not mince words here. Most Democrats defend, protect, and promote the same sort of national-socialism these Democratic Party thugs do.

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Are there any leaders in the GOP Senate?

© 2016 Jim Spence - There has been so much written about how disappointing the GOP leadership in Washington has been since the inauguration. There has been no shortage of finger-pointing, but those of us who pay attention know where the problem lies.

Many of us were in the camp that was most skeptical about whether or not Donald Trump would do what he said he would do after the election. No longer. Trump's appointment of Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court was very reassuring. And his policy proposals have been pretty much spot on. Trump has erased many of the dictator-like executive orders issued by Obama, who issued “decrees” in lieu of actually following the constitution and passing laws through Congress. Trump for the most part has been the freshest breath of air we have seen in thirty years.

It is Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan who have failed America….especially McConnell. McConnell has been so ineffective that anything Paul Ryan has managed to get done in the House has either been held up or voted down in the Republican controlled Senate. This is a failure of leadership pure and simple.

The big question is this: Do GOP Senators have any idea how mad GOP voters are at them? It seems doubtful. The things coming out of the mouths of people like Mitch McConnell, Lindsay Graham, and John McCain suggest there is not only a disconnect between these self-important chumps and their own constituencies, but also a feeling held by them that they are immune from all scrutiny. This should not be.

How would we possibly know if there is any life left in the U.S. Senate where every possible improvement in America goes to die? You would see Mitch McConnell thrown out of the leadership post on his backside.

Are there any real leaders in the GOP Senate? Even one? For the time being the answer has to be a resounding NO.

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Swickard: More money attracting festivals

© 2017 Michael Swickard, Ph.D.   One morning in my coffee shop, we convened our own Chamber of Commerce. Business has been slow in our little slice of heaven so we needed to come up with some ways to induce folks to come and spend dollars.
            We really didn’t want lots of people to move here and clog up the roads and stores. Rather, we would like people to come, spend money and then go home.
            I took out a piece of paper to jot down ideas. One person said that the way to make money was to have all sorts of festivals such that out-of-towners came and spread cash around.
            I mentioned that Roswell had the Aliens Festival. We pondered that moneymaker. When I mentioned to one of the leading citizens in Roswell that the alien story was suspect, he said, “But they bring hundred-dollar bills.” Then he smirked.
            Many years ago I wrote a column about that Roswell Smirk. We could have that smirk if we could just invent a good festival.
            First, there could be Dust Day in March and April. Southern New Mexico is noted for the dust storms, maybe we could get people to come. Probably not. I have thought that instead of a Rain Meter, I should invent a Dust Meter. After a two-day windstorm, it would show 1.3 inches of dust was in the air.
            We were going well and the ideas flowed like coffee. There was Waffle Days on the first Tuesday of November to coincide with the elections. The agricultural members offered: Pig Days, Chicken Days, Cow Days, Goat Days… the group paused.
            From one table over a vegetarian offered Tofu Days which was followed by Road-Kill Days. No interest in either. More practical was Rusty Old Cars Days, Bow Tie Days, Halitosis Days which brought out Onion Days.
            Two months of every year about fifty percent of the onions consumed in our country come from Southern New Mexico. That festival could be sponsored by one of the many mouthwash companies.
            Horned Toad Days were offered along with Siesta Days. I was in favor of that. I have never been disappointed in a good old afternoon nap. There was Nothing Much Happening Days but that didn’t get a second.
            One of the coffee drinkers pointed out, “We don’t need days, we need nights for festivals. During the days, we are all working other than our coffee breaks.”
            That caused the conversation to slow down because one person pointed out that having something at night was fine as long as they could get home by nine, which is their bedtime. There was an early to bed, early to rise comment which we all knew was true.
            Let us reason together as to more festivals in our area to pick up any stray tourist dollars. Send me via this news outlet your ideas.
            Something like Geezer and Geezerette Days might just be the money ticket. I would fit in. Consider that the fifty-yard amble could make the evening news.

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Is America the land of the free and the home of the brave?

© 2016 Jim Spence - Millions of people all around the world want to come and live in America. Thousands have died trying to do so. Tens of millions of people already live here illegally, daring to break our immigration laws for a shot at the American dream.
So the questions begs, why are scores of black NFL and NBA players refusing to respect the national anthem? Ostensibly, it is because these men feel the nation is over-run with white supremacists and bad cops. Let’s think about the national anthem these millionaires have such a big problem with.
"The Star-Spangled Banner" lyrics come from "Defence of Fort M'Henry," which is a poem written two hundred and three years ago. The author, Francis Scott Key, was a witness to the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British ships in my home town Baltimore, Maryland during the War of 1812. Key was inspired by the large American flag, the Star-Spangled Banner, flying above the fort. Most Americans do not know the song was not made the national anthem until March 3, 1931. Most people do not know that just yesterday a Francis Scott Key statue was desecrated by people who are not enamored with America.
The final two lines of the song’s first stanza are worthy of discussion.
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
It would seem that more than a few black NFL and NBA players do not feel that America is the land of the free and the home of the brave. They join many others in the Democrat Party who feel the same way.
It seems to me that those who refuse to honor America with a simple show of respect, make a glass is “half empty” versus glass is “half full” argument about our country, including its legacy.
Below are a few relevant questions regarding what are the most significant facts regarding America’s legacy?
  • Is the fact that starting about twenty-four generations ago and ending about seven generations ago, white European slave traders went to Africa and bought black men and women, who were captured and sold into slavery by other blacks, and re-sold to white Americans among the most important facts we should know about America’s past?
  • Is the fact that 500,000 white men fighting on the Union side died to free slaves six generations ago, one of the most important facts in American history?
  • Is the fact that all the white owners in major League Baseball refused to hire black players in America until the late 1940’s more important than the fact that all owners stopped this practice three generations ago……right after Branch Rickey showed them how stupid they were?
  • Is the fact that TODAY the vast majority of white, male-owned investment firms are barred by law from managing public funds in places like Illinois and other Democrat dominated states the basis by which we should judge America?
  • Is the fact that today Asian-American students have to sue dozens of universities all over America for equal admissions treatment, because black and Hispanic students are admitted with lower academic credentials based merely on their ethnicity, proof that 21st Century America is inherently anti-Asian?

Race, race, race. This is all Democrats want in the dialogue except in places like Illinois or in the admissions departments at many major universities. Stoking black and Hispanic paranoia is the goal. This is how you get and keep people to tolerate the scourge of big-government socialism.

The ultimate point here is simple. America is nowhere near perfect. Anyone with a lick of sense already knows this. However, black NFL and NBA players who think America’s glass is half-empty are half-wits. America's fairness glass is more than half full. It is much more than half full. NFL players are paid just under $2 million per year on average. In the NBA the average salary is almost $6.4 million. There are freshly minted millionaires coming into the NFL, the NBA, and in other entertainment industries each year. The list of successful blacks and Hispanic Americans is long and deep. 
Consider the diversity implications of these facts. Only thirteen percent of America’s population is black. Whites make up sixty-three percent of the population. Yet nearly seventy percent of all NFL players are black and nearly seventy-five percent of all NBA players are black. This means blacks are five to six times more likely to secure these incredibly high paying jobs as their overall population numbers would suggest. Whites obtain about one third to one half of the representation in these jobs that their population numbers suggest. The numbers for Asians is astonishingly low.
One of the ways you know there is a racial con going on in America is that we don’t see or hear any of the diversity pimps arguing that the NFL and NBA owners are made up of a bunch of racist black supremacists. And forget about the entertainment industry. No chance.
There is an alternate view to the black supremacist argument, which is of course the correct view regarding business people. All teams in the NFL and NBA want to compete and win. These businesses, like all others, want to survive and prosper. Accordingly, they sign the best players they can get their hands on.
Is America the land of the free? Only a freshly minted multi-millionaire jerk would argue NO, when he or she is free to capitalize on his or her God-given talents and skills developed in.......America. 
Is America the home of the brave? Consider the brave police officers who were murdered in Dallas last year while protecting Black Lives Matters protester’s rights to march and protest. Sadly, it was the pampered, coddled, and violent radicals within the ranks of that evil movement that fomented the murder of the men protecting their rights under……..the constitution.
Ask the question is America the land of the free and the home of the brave at a Democrat Party fundraiser. The eyes will roll. If you persist in asking most will either groan loudly, shout you down, or beat you up.

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We never had hurricanes

Jim's note - It is amazing to take in. On a continuous basis, the con job being perpetrated on the general public becomes more and more outraegeous. Democrats, particularly Hollywood types, now routinely pretend that there never were any devastating hurricanes, until the use of fossil fuels became widespread a few decades ago.
Earlier this month there were record cold temperatures recorded in the Great Lakes region of the U.S. But according to the Democrats, climate deniers are supposed to ignore all of the cold temperature data because it does not fit the Democrats narrative that oil and gas companies are "bad."
Legendary cartoonist, and longtime friend of News New Mexico, Tony Branco captures the "settled science" on climate change with this cartoon.
  

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Swickard: That fine barnyard smell

© 2017 Michael Swickard, Ph.D.   American agriculture, which a hundred years ago was where many people worked is now just a very small sliver of the overall workforce. Consequently, many people occasionally notice the smell of barnyard animals and find the smell objectionable.
            Likewise, many agricultural colleges are shunted off to far corners of universities since frankly those Ag Colleges have that fine barnyard smell which offends people who are not from an agricultural background. Yet, everyone likes to eat. Everyone needs agriculture.
            In the year 1900, about a third of all Americans were living on farms and ranches. Those people knew that fine barnyard smell and were not put off by it. In fact, if you are like me who has spent plenty of time on ranches, cow flop smells just fine.
            The petroleum industry says their smell is the smell of money. Well, the smell on farms and ranches is organic and is in my humble opinion much better.
            You might ask: what does this have to do with the price of steer manure? You see New Mexico’s Land-Grant University, New Mexico State University, is fixing to select a new president.
            The very real danger is that the NMSU Regents might select someone who doesn’t know and like that fine barnyard smell. Don’t laugh, it has happened several times and New Mexico State University suffered.
            The selection of University President establishes the identity of the University. Every institution of higher learning has an identity and for Land-Grant institutions, that identity is unique for their state.
            For more than a hundred years NMSU was and is the Land-Grant institution in New Mexico. There are five pillars of a Land-Grant institution: Agriculture, Engineering, Military Science, Education and Service to New Mexico. No other institution of higher learning in New Mexico has this mission.
            The problem is that some sophisticates in the head shed have been appalled and dismayed by the fine barnyard smells that’s just upwind of them. One NMSU President was overcome with disgust by the smell and complained bitterly. Wrong president and that person did leave.
            The current NMSU President grew up on that fine barnyard smell and often has had bits of organic material on his boots. It never has bothered him. This was true for most of the other NMSU Presidents through the years.
            I have a test to put potential NMSU Presidents through before we should take them seriously as a replacement for outgoing NMSU President Garrey Carruthers. They must be able to really talk agriculture before they talk anything else.
            If they can’t tell a steer from heifer I don’t want them anywhere around NMSU. Yes, the hoity-toity sophisticated crowd would never participate in a cow-chip throwing contest. So what?
            A real agriculture person, male or female would. It is the identity of NMSU. I pray that the NMSU Regents and the smarty-pants consultants understand the difference between NMSU and all of the other institutions of higher learning.
            The next NMSU President had better like that fine barnyard smell.

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Taking a knee

© 2016 Jim Spence - Seven generations ago more than 500,000 men, mostly white, gave their lives to free African Americans held in bondage by southerners, virtually all DEMOCRATS. As recently as 1965, when the U.S. Senate passed landmark Civil Rights legislation, a higher percentage of DEMOCRATS voted against the passage of that law, than Republicans.
You have to hand it to Democrats…..no political party in the history of civilization has reinvented itself more effectively than the Democrat Party in America. Anyone who disagrees with the talking points of 21st Century Democrats is branded a racist. The news media laps the con artist drivel like dogs…..providing an amazing assist to the party of American slavery.
Consider what goes on around the nation and the world. In Zimbabwe, under black rule, President Robert Mugabe says gay people are “worse than dogs and pigs.” In Mexico, there is so little opportunity for people to improve their lot in life they attempt illegal border crossings into the U.S. by the tens of thousands every month. So successful have they become in doing so, the number of Spanish-only speaking people living in the United States has skyrocketed. Sometimes it seems that everyone from everywhere else is trying to escape to America. You can’t blame them. Americans are free.
Somebody should report these facts on freedom to the black NFL players, who have decided there is so much “oppression” of members of their race in America, that kneeling during the national anthem to show their anger over the situation is in order. Yes, there are dozens of recently minted millionaires living in a fantasy world of false victimhood.
Of course there are many African Americans who count their lucky stars they were born here. Heroes like Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams know this is true based on their life experiences, including overt racism. However, the voices of reason from Sowell and Williams are stifled for fear by Democrats and their news media buddies, that these brilliant black men will ruin their con game.
Consider the tale of two NFL quarterbacks. Both have virtually been ostracized by all NFL teams. One was a Heisman Trophy winner and the other a Super Bowl runner-up. What got these men in trouble? Everyone knows the story of Colin Kaepernick. He was adopted by white parents and raised in a loving and comfortable home. Kaepernick made millions of dollars in the NFL before league defenses exposed his deficiencies as a quarterback and he exposed his deficiencies in mentally processing basic information. Last year Kaepernick decided to become an “activist.” His cause? He decided to denigrate law enforcement officers everywhere and refer to them as “pigs.” He also decried “white privilege” at every turn. Conveniently, Kaepernick never mentioned the lives of 500,000 white men who gave their all to set slaves free seven generations ago. Needless to say, Kaepernick was exercising his freedom of speech which is the right of every American. And now, NFL owners are exercising their right to not put a player on their team who has outraged ticket purchasing fans in every market. Nobody wants to hire a schmuck.
Sadly, many more black players in the NFL have joined in denigrating the fundamental fairness of America. And it is not a coincidence that the NFL saw its ratings plummet the very same year Kaepernick and his ilk decided to poop in their own punch bowl. Yep, these freshly minted millionaires, in the most free and tolerant nation on earth, decided it might be a good idea to try to injure the golden goose that made them rich.
What about quarterback Tim Tebow? Tebow won a national championship at the University of Florida and the Heisman Trophy ten years ago. As a pro he led the Denver Broncos to an overtime victory in the playoffs, over the Pittsburgh Steelers. What got Tim Tebow in trouble? Like Kaepernick, NFL defenses began to understand his deficiencies as a quarterback. And Tim Tebow annoyed some people with his freedom of worship. Tebow routinely thanks God for all that he has. Tebow has more strange ideas. He does not believe in pre-marital sex. He goes to church. He is openly Christian. Oh, and get this…….are you bracing yourself? He is pro-life.
Now, there is actually a good reason for the outrage of Tebow being pro-life. His mother, who went in for pre-natal tests when carrying baby Tim, was advised in the strongest possible terms to abort him. The reason? He was not going to be “normal.” Tim’s mom chose not to kill Tebow in her womb. And twenty years later, Tim was named the Heisman Trophy winner. It turns out Tebow is really glad his mom didn’t snuff out his life before he could see what he could do on this earth.
Consider the NAACP, who has nothing to say about the ostracizing of the “controversial” Tim Tebow, the millions of poor white people in the Appalachian region, the murders of tens of thousands of young black men, by other young black men in our inner cities, or the millions of abortions of potential Tim Tebows in the black community. The NAACP held a press conference last month to protest the fact that NFL owners have actually exercised their right to react to what Colin Kaepernick can do on the field, including denigrate America on a very fundamental level during the national anthem. It seems that the NAACP doesn’t merely want free speech for Kaepernick, it also wants thought police to force the acceptance of his numerous deficiencies on the NFL team owners.
Make no mistake. Colin Kaepernick is getting precisely what he deserves. The 49ers paid him millions in a free and open market transaction.
Nobody should shed a tear for Tim Tebow. His fate, like all of ours, is in God’s hands. However, there is one thing for sure. When Tim Tebow takes a knee, it is for all the right reasons.

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Swickard: The God-Awful mess made in New Mexico

© 2017 Michael Swickard, Ph.D. “What the diary does not reveal… is the appalling fact that from late 1945 until 1952 Japanese medical researchers were prohibited by U. S. Occupation Authorities from publishing scientific articles on the effects of the atomic bombs.” John W. Dower
             It wasn’t the effects of the atomic bombs on Japan that prohibited Japanese medical researchers from publishing on the effects of the atomic bombs. Rather, it was how that information would be seen in New Mexico which never suspected a lurking killer.
            Three weeks before the atomic bombs were dropped on Japan, a concept test was made at New Mexico’s Trinity Site. This was an atomic device equal to what was used on Japan.
            There’s no doubt that in Japan people were sickened by the resultant radiation. But there wasn’t that realization in New Mexico, even to this day. In fact, there’s resistance to that notion.
            J. Robert Oppenheimer was the head of the Los Alamos Laboratory that developed the first nuclear weapons. The “Manhattan Project” initially produced three nuclear devices.
            The first, a plutonium implosion device, was detonated July 16, 1945 at New Mexico’s Trinity Site. Oppenheimer remarked the explosion brought to mind the words of the Bhagavad Gita: “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” I certainly understand that thought.
            That Plutonium scattered over New Mexico. Two nuclear devices were used as bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. On August 6, 1945, what was called “Little Boy” a Uranium fueled bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Three days later “Fat Man” a plutonium implosion bomb was dropped on Nagasaki.
            These unconventional weapons allowed Emperor Hirohito to wrest control from the Army and surrender to end World War Two. The Emperor had been trying to stop WWII for years. The power and control in the 1930s and 1940s in Japan was the Army, under General Hideki Tojo. The nation was not under the power of Hirohito who was only a figurehead leader.
            One positive for Japan was that the scientists saw how the New Mexico ground blast spread so much contamination that they exploded the two nuclear bombs at 2,000 feet to get the blunt force trauma on the site but not contaminate it as had happened in New Mexico.
            The military send lots of scientists to Hiroshima and Nagasaki to monitor the radiation but seem to have not done so in New Mexico. Or, perhaps they did and the government authorities realized what a mess they made in New Mexico. Worse, they didn’t want the role of cleaning up this God-Awful mess. Curious, eh?
            As the decades have passed and the New Mexicans who were sickened by the plutonium passed, the interest in this story has gone from very little interest to no interest at all except for those people effected.
            I don’t believe there’s a risk now but government is supposed to protect the citizens. Our government hasn’t even said they are sorry for the God-awful mess they made and all of the people they sickened.

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Fifteen people tell the truth

© 2016 Jim Spence - If you have been a reader of the opinions posted on this site, you knew long ago that we have been no fan of many aspects of K-12 public education or higher education. The reasons are numerous and they have been listed frequently.
This week a curious “declaration” was released. It was signed by a handful of professors (15) from Ivy League schools. The declaration FINALLY recognizes the problem that has been America's elephant in the room for several generations. Signed by scholars from various academic fields, the declaration urges college students to get this…………..”declare their independence.”
While the arrival of this profound declaration is pretty late, it is still welcome. No doubt it is the “minority view” on college campuses everywhere. And sadly minority "views" have been the whipping boys.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the professors who signed this document issued a disturbing warning regarding, “the vice of conformism” on college campuses and suggested that students should learn to: “Think for yourself.”
It is a sad state of affairs that such a declaration even has to be made in places of higher learning where the teaching of critical thinking should be the primary mission. However, it is clear that at least these educators are now willing to openly admit that public education facilities have been gradually transformed into indoctrination centers. Those willing to surrender their freedoms for the sham idea that government can solve everyone’s problems have dominated higher ed for several generations. Consider some of the language contained in the declaration to explain why this is so:
“At many colleges and universities what John Stuart Mill called “the tyranny of public opinion” does more than merely discourage students from dissenting from prevailing views on moral, political, and other types of questions. It leads them to suppose that dominant views are so obviously correct that only a bigot or a crank could question them.
Since no one wants to be, or be thought of as, a bigot or a crank, the easy, lazy way to proceed is simply by falling into line with campus orthodoxies.
Don’t do that. Think for yourself.
Thinking for yourself means questioning dominant ideas even when others insist on their being treated as unquestionable. It means deciding what one believes not by conforming to fashionable opinions, but by taking the trouble to learn and honestly consider the strongest arguments to be advanced on both or all sides of questions—including arguments for positions that others revile and want to stigmatize and against positions others seek to immunize from critical scrutiny.”
Professors from Harvard, Princeton and Yale, signed this declaration, which was published by Princeton’s James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. It would be terrific to see academics all over the nation actually DEBATE the validity of the declaration. It is unlikely this will happen because of course most professors are in fact "immunized" from critical scrutiny.
Princeton’s Robert George, one of the signers of the document added this:
“The central point of a college education is to seek truth and to learn the skills and acquire the virtues necessary to be a lifelong truth-seeker. Open-mindedness, critical thinking, and debate are essential to discovering the truth. Moreover, they are our best antidotes to bigotry.
Merriam-Webster’s first definition of the word “bigot” is a person “who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices.” The only people who need fear open-minded inquiry and robust debate are the actual bigots, including those on campuses or in the broader society who seek to protect the hegemony of their opinions by claiming that to question those opinions is itself bigotry.
So don’t be tyrannized by public opinion. Don’t get trapped in an echo chamber. Whether you in the end reject or embrace a view, make sure you decide where you stand by critically assessing the arguments for the competing positions.”

Those of us who have routinely decided where we stand based on critically assessing the arguments for competing positions, and have rejected all forms of Marxism that are the foundations of Democratic Party thinking, encounter the tyranny these fifteen professors speak of virtually every day. America can do better. Sometimes desperately needed reforms begin with fifteen people telling the truth.

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Media lies and distortions are growing exponentially - All sides WERE to blame in Charlottesville

© 2016 Jim Spence - You simply cannot make this up. Donald Trump was crucified by the media and even some members of his own party (assuming he has one). Yes the GOP hacks also took the bait after Trump said he saw wrong being done by both sides in Charlottesville a couple of weeks ago.
Now mind you, it should have been clear to anyone with half a brain that there was scum, real scum on both sides at the Charlottesville protests. There were "activists" in both groups just looking for a fight.....just looking to get violent.
How was this basic fact handled by the media? The answer is in typical fashion. The media simply did not want to report the truth. What they wanted instead, which is pretty much all they ever want any more, was to find a way to use the horrific Charlottesville incidents as a way to damage Trump. So instead of the media reporting that there were in fact slime bags from both camps in Charlottesville committing acts of violence, the media obscured the truth and then made it look like Trump supported the only jackasses involved in the fights.
Suddenly, there is a problem developing with that absurd narrative. As the violent left wing slime balls, who should have shared the blame for Charlottesville continue to move from place to place, the truth is becoming obvious. It is violent left wing jackasses who are continuing to commit criminal acts of violence. Last weekend they showed up in a city with a Democrat Mayor, who felt compelled to tell the truth.
Yes, in Berkeley, California, Democrat Mayor Jesse Arreguin said that authorities have a huge problem with “left-wing violence” and accordingly, they should classify members of Antifa, which is the Democrat group that was also engaged in violence in Charlottesvile, as a criminal gang.
The Berkeley mayor's suggestions were prompted by a peaceful demonstration in Berkeley’s Martin Luther King Civic Center Park over the weekend that was marred by violent left wingers.
The trouble began when black-clad Antifa counter-protesters in hoods showed up and started beating up people. These punks, wearing masks to prevent being identified by law enforcement officials, actually jumped over police barriers and chased protesters, beating several mercilessly.
Ultimately, the Berkeley police department arrested ten of these masked criminals and used tear gas to disperse the rest of them.
Mayor Arreguin went even farther, saying this of the same group Trump included on his list of instigators, “They come dressed in uniforms. They have weapons, almost like a militia, and I think we need to think about that in terms of our law enforcement approach.”
For the record, a gang in California is defined as, “An organization of at least three persons, with a common name, or identifying mark or symbol, which engages in criminal activity.”
So let us process all of this. Trump was crucified and damaged politically for insisting that “all sides” were to blame in Charlottesville. It turns out that all sides were to blame.
How does this plain fact get reported? The Berkeley Mayor has been afforded the right to speak the truth about the same thugs President Trump took note of with no repercussions. That sounds about right and it also explains why very few well-informed individuals believe anything coming from propagandists like CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, NPR, the New York Times, the Washington Post etc. The track record of lies and distortions continues to grow exponentially for these hacks who don't report the truth, but try to obscure it instead.

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Arpaio deserves a medal.....and a pardon

© 2016 Jim Spence - Ever drive to Alamogordo, Ruidoso, or Albuquerque when you were running late and come upon a long line of cars at the U.S. Border Patrol checkpoints between Las Cruces and these places? Well, what can you do? It is just the way it is, right? We spend $3.7 billion dollars per year to keep the borders secure right? Otherwise we have chaos. Well not really. We have chaos. Just go to any emergency room anywhere if you don't believe it. The U.S. Border Patrol should have a branch office in emergency rooms.
Recently there was a report released by the Center for Immigration Studies. The report quotes former immigration judge Andrew R. Arthur as saying that under Barack Obama some 100,000 cases were “quietly closed with no action taken.” But the figure could be as high as 200,000. The judge had much more to say. He thinks the Obama administration's use of the practice of simply closing cases with no action taken may have been one of many ways it cooked the books as it relates to the true number of cases that are pending adjudication before the immigration courts.
As was the case with the well-chronicled IRS abuses of power under Obama, “Prosecutorial Discretion” became the sly method for not enforcing any laws the Democrats did not like, but could not get changed under the U.S. Constitution. Judge Arthur says there is no longer a “blanket abdication of authority,” in his report titled, "The Immigration Court Backlog Is Larger than We Know."
This situation illustrates the ultimate waste of resources that is so common in Washington D.C. We pay $3.7 billion per year for the Border Patrol, and then Democrats allow immigration law violators to stay inside our borders permanently. This practice was no secret and it infuriated millions of Americans. One American in particular who was infuriated was Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona. Arpaio did his duty. He enforced the immigration laws. This of course, got him crosswise with the OPEN BORDERS obsessed Obama administration. Eventually, Joe Arpaio was cleverly ambushed by Obama officials. Outlandishly, DOJ lawyers schemed with a local judge in Phoenix and charged Arpaio with minor offenses associated with his decision to enforce the immigration laws. The charges were minor enough in nature to prevent Arpaio from be able to request a jury trial. However, they were just serious enough, and timed perfectly, to smear him in the media and get him beat in his re-election bid last year. Open border Democrats in the media in the Phoenix area poured the racism charges on thick to insure Arpaio’s election defeat. He lost narrowly last November.
When Donald Trump pardoned the 85 year old sheriff last weekend, the howls from the Democrats were predictable. Everyone knows Democrats scream racism like it is a bodily function. What was astonishing were the comments from some GOP lawmakers who are revealing just how corrupt they are, and how deep their disregard for fairness is. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan had this to say:
"The speaker does not agree with this decision. Law enforcement officials have a special responsibility to respect the rights of everyone in the United States. We should not allow anyone to believe that responsibility is diminished by this pardon."
John McCain tried to con Arizonans: "No one is above the law and the individuals entrusted with the privilege of being sworn law officers should always seek to be beyond reproach in their commitment to fairly enforcing the laws they swore to uphold. Mr. Arpaio was found guilty of criminal contempt for continuing to illegally profile Latinos living in Arizona based on their perceived immigration status in violation of a judge’s orders."
McCain added that Trump's pardon, "Undermines his claim for the respect of rule of law as Mr. Arpaio has shown no remorse for his actions.”
Respect for the rule of law? Allow me to pause to fight back the wave of nausea that arrives anytime McCain speaks. Arpaio was one of the few law enforcement officials in the nation who actually respected the law. In a county plagued by gang violence associated with tens of thousands of illegal aliens, it was Arpaio who not only RESPECTED but also enforced the rule of law.
Sadly, Paul Ryan and John McCain join the growing list of stale and unprincipled rogues who need primary challenges from reputable individuals. The GOP needs to take a bath. It really stinks.  
This is modern America. Somehow Arpaio’s enforcement of the rule of law has been twisted so that the lawbreakers get immunity, while the sheriff becomes subject to prosecution. He faced a misdemeanor charge in front of a biased judge thanks to the dirty politics of Barack Obama and leading officials in the GOP are OK with it.

Joe Arpaio should not have only gotten a pardon, he should be given a presidential medal in a White House ceremony.

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Swickard column: It's not if, it's when

© 2017 Michael Swickard, Ph.D.   Watching the Hurricane Harvey disaster in Texas causes me to wonder why it came as such a surprise. Yes, it was stronger than had hit for many years. And the way it hit caused feet of water instead of just inches.
            Still, that is hurricane alley and there are many examples of hurricanes devastating the area with storm surge water or just buckets and buckets of rain. What I really wonder is why many people didn’t have any disaster supplies set aside.
            Supplies such as food, water and batteries are easy to store in case of a hurricane. And again, they are in hurricane alley.
            I’m not talking about should they leave or not from where they live. That is their minute by minute decision based on how the storm is tracking and how much risk they care to take. But that is not my central concern.
            Rather, my concern is that so many people “flooded” the stores ahead of the storm trying to get food and water with which to ride out the storm in their own houses. Why were they just then trying to get supplies?
            They know they are in a hurricane zone. Yet hours before the landfall of the big storm people were just then starting to go to stores looking for water and food. Why were they not prepared already?
            Many hurricanes have pounded their area in the past. Example: A Category 4 hurricane hit Galveston, Texas, on September 8, 1900 causing perhaps ten thousand deaths. Back then there were no systems in place to warn the residents.
            Today we have nonstop weather reports that warn of approaching storms. Yes, sometimes they are wrong but if people prepare with food and water along with batteries for radios and flashlights, they are not out that much money. Why not already be prepared?
            But the same could be said for any place in our country. A disaster will happen wherever you are in some form like in New Mexico during a very cold spell in February 2011. There was no electricity for days. Some people had a very hard time because they had not prepared.
            Unfortunately, the answer often is that some people never prepare. They assume the electricity will always work.
            Likewise, the same is true for people traveling in remote areas of our state who do not bring water, food and blankets. Cars will break down. Sometimes there is no cell service. Sad to say at that point there is going to be some suffering people.
            We must prepare in case of disaster. How? We need to have at least a week of food, water and supplies for ourselves and family plus what we will give to neighbors who didn’t prepare.
            Why would we give to our neighbors? Well, for one thing the lights will come back on so you don’t want to deny your neighbors who will remember your wonderful charity or how they were treated poorly.
            Again, you have been warned to prepare. 


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They don’t really know how to win

© 2016 Jim Spence - You have to laugh at Republicans these days. They don’t really know how to win. What I mean by this is the GOP wins, but they really don’t know what to do when they win.
Barack Obama was the worst president in the history of the nation. His policies were a disaster for our country. If you are having trouble believing this, take a look at what happened to his party. Over eight years it was destroyed. In my lifetime, the Democrats have not been as out of power at all levels as they are right now. The only things they control are crumbling under their mismanagement.
But Obama knew how to win. He told us he won, and reminded us that his election and re-election mattered. He was sure right about that.
Tell Mitch McConnell what winning means and you get a blank stare followed by excuses. Many of the other GOP Senators and House members behave the same way. Recently the GOP leadership in Congress declared a recess. They quit working after literally doing NOTHING for seven months. It took them forever to simply get Trump’s cabinet nominees approved. After that.....nothing.
Why is this the situation when all we heard before the election last year was the very first thing the GOP was going to do, if Trump beat Hillary, was repeal and replace Obamacare?
There are a few theories out there on why the GOP is so hapless. Let's explore the most plausible one.
Senators and House members are notoriously sensitive to what they “hear” from constituents. The trouble is the GOP elected officials forget who their constituents are. Most GOP voters I know do NOT go to town hall meetings held by their Senators or House members and give these elected officials verbal affirmations. Remember who GOP voters are. They are people who pay for their own health insurance (the expensive crappy insurance Obama invented), they hold down jobs, they raise families, and most important of all, they value their precious spare time. They don't waste their down time stroking the insatiable egos of elected GOP officials. Who does show up at GOP candidate town hall meetings? The answer is pretty much the opposite types of people. Yes, Democrats would be people who go to these charades. They do so in MUCH HIGHER PERCENTAGES than Republicans. Why? They want to get government to pay for their health insurance. They don’t hold down stressful jobs, don’t raise families, and have all sorts of spare time on their hands to be "activists."
Of course I am painting with a broad brush here but......I am reminded of what one of the first requirements for being a conservative is. That would be having something of value to “conserve.”
The amazing thing that has happened over the last few weeks is the way Mitch McConnell has flipped on those who voted for him. The first thing McConnell WAS going to do (repeal and replace Obamacare) has moved completely off of his to-do list. These days the first thing he does is lecture us on how Mr. Trump does not understand how hard it is to actually do the first thing McConnell said he was going to do.
Mind you Mitch McConnell is the Senate Majority Leader. This means HE SPEAKS for the GOP when it comes to Senate business. Mix in the dumb sort of things that come out of John McCain’s mouth when he is in between mistresses and chemotherapy, plus various and assorted back stabs of Trump from other GOP Senators who have become miffed that Mr. Trump actually remembers their campaign promises, and “voila” you find yourself laughing at these losers. You also wonder why you half believed what they said last year. The GOP Senators don't like Trump.....fair enough, neither do I. But they don't like their colleagues or their constituents either. I guess when you like yourself so much it is hard to like anyone else.
No folks.......Republicans in Washington really don’t know how to win. They really don’t know what to do when they win. The idea of actually following through on their sacred promises seems almost like an absurd expectation. Only children don't understand the GOP Senate is packed with con artists.
In the meantime, the news media is trying to scam America into thinking that the violent Democrat radicals are blameless when it comes to the divisions in our country and that somehow we were all really "united" before Trump came along. The violent radical left is actually chock full of criminals and America has not been united since James Monroe was unopposed nearly two hundred years ago in seeking a second term.
The good news for the GOP is America’s heartland knows that open borders are a disaster. It also knows that grown men should not be allowed to pee and poop in the ladies room. They also know the GOP voters are not composed of 60 million white supremacists. And most important of all......if the GOP Senate won’t help Trump fix the mess he has on his plate, they know it is because the GOP Senate does not want to fix it. Life is just too easy doing nothing.

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