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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Swickard: Use lottery to fund math education

© 2017 Michael Swickard, Ph.D.  Surveys on American saving and investing indicates many Americans have no investments. Their plan for old age is to win the lottery. While I agree: “No dreamer too small, no dream too big,” there are limits to what society should encourage.
            People who understand math do not believe in the lottery. It’s like someone jumping out of an airplane without a parachute with the intention of landing on something soft. An action slightly possible but not probable.
            The New Mexico Lottery, under the guise of raising money for education, preys upon math challenged people. The ads suggest riches will shower down if you buy a lottery ticket.
            The proceeds from this tax on people who don’t understand math does go to education. However, it goes to general education, in fact, anything students wants to study. The tobacco settlement has the tobacco companies funding anti-smoking campaigns.
            Likewise, the New Mexico Lottery should go directly and entirely to math education. Every dollar should be channeled to making New Mexico students the envy of the nation when it comes to math.
            The first time I voiced this position I admit I was just trying to get a rise out of people, which I did. Upon reflection, I believe I stumbled onto something. If people can buy lottery tickets with the expectation of winning, they are showing their lack of math education.
             We should take their lack of numerate ability and use it constructively so that future generations don’t end up in the same condition. That’s the tobacco settlement method and it applies to people who lack numerate ability to the point that they think buying two lottery tickets significantly improves their chances of winning.
            The operational concept most lacking in people who are not numerate appears to be the ability to think in scale, to judge two things as they relate to each other in mathematical terms. People can buy a lottery ticket occasionally if the mood strikes. But at those odds, don’t expect anything but dreams.
            Once I was flying out of Chicago on a commercial airliner. We were on the ground in a long line of jets waiting to take off. The man next to me confessed that he was petrified of flying but had to make this trip.
            I pointed out the window. “There are over a hundred jets ready to take off just right here. Thousands of airplanes are in the air.”
            “Gosh,” he said, “I hope we don’t run into any of them.”
            I continued, “The scale of airline dysfunction (I didn’t want to use the word ‘crash’) is about one plane in two million flights. Not bad odds.”
            The guy next to me brightened slightly. “But what if this airplane is the one in two million?” he questioned.
            “Then whoever has a window seat gets a good look at it coming.” That sent him back into gloom. I forgot to ask if he had a lottery ticket, but I bet he did. He needed some math education.

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North Korean style journalism in America

© 2016 Jim Spence - Everyone in the malignant world of journalism was watching the testimony of James Comey this week. Sadly, instead of reporting exactly what Comey actually said and did not say, most of the propaganda ministers in the dozens of media outlets that collaborate with the Democratic Party (virtually all media outlets except Fox), decided to report what they wished Comey had said. Such is the way of the world in the U.S. these days. We live in a country where the utter failure of our public education system is put on display every single day.
The all-out assault on Donald Trump continues 24 hours a day, seven days a week. However, there is so much more to the insidious ways in which propaganda ministers and opinion manipulators attempt to create fake news stories and block real news stories from being reported. There is something very strange about Democrats these days. Their compulsive desire to mask the dangers threatening the entire world by radical Islam takes on all sorts of remarkable behaviors. I’ll cite two more examples to drive home this point.
Democrats in the news media are providing a great disservice to the rights of women by not providing any measurable coverage of the first federal criminal case of female genital mutilation in the state of Michigan. It is a horror story associated with Islam that keeps getting bigger while Democrats insist on looking the other way and not reporting on it. It seems that Detroit Doctor Jumana Nagarwala has been accused of performing horrific mutilation procedures on dozens and dozens of young Muslim girls. Another Muslim physician, Dr. Fakhruddin Attar has also been arrested and charged with despicable crimes. The evidence strongly suggests that between 2005 and 2017 as many as 100 girls or more had their genitals mutilated by Nagarwala to prevent them from experiencing the pleasure of having sex later in life. This story was reported locally in The Detroit News. Apparently, the estimate of the butchering of 100 young Muslim girls is a conservative figure according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Woodward who is prosecuting the case. Where are the feminists when you need them? They are all bashing Donald Trump instead.
Another story, this one fake, has gotten zero coverage in the media. It is a story of CNN attempting not to report the news, but to create the news. It seems that CNN clearly wants there to be news reports out there that Muslims in London abhor the acts of terrorism that have taken place there recently. No doubt there are more than a few Muslims in London that actually do hate terrorism. Unfortunately, CNN wanted to report Muslim's dislike of terrorism so much, CNN actually “staged” a Muslim protest against terrorism........so CNN could then report about it.
The problem with what happened in London this week is CNN reporters and producers were caught on videos orchestrating the entire event instead of simply reporting on it. A Youtube video taken by Claire Jordan depicts the actual scene of the “protest.” In the video, CNN employees are shown preparing alleged protesters for their on-air shot. There were actually more members of the press at this alleged protest than actual protesters. On the video CNN employees are seen handing out bouquets of flowers and protest posters to the bystanders. None of the protesters brought flowers or posters. These Muslim women are clearly shown taking the posters given to them by CNN employees, then getting instructions to cross the street, and then being choreographed by CNN producers and reporters as they set up the “protest shot” that CNN used in their broadcast. Some protest.
This practice is mindful of the films that occasionally come out of North Korea showing hundreds of North Koreans bursting into tears at the sight of their beloved Kim Jung II. Just like Kim wants to be loved by those he dictates to, CNN wants Muslim women to engage in spontaneous protests in London to express their disdain for terrorism. The trouble is Muslim women don’t organize protests against terrorism.
CNN wants Muslims to be what CNN wants them to be so much, this means CNN will 1) refuse to cover the mutilation of young Muslim girls in Michigan by their parents and Muslim doctors and 2) stage phony protests in London so they can depict Muslim women as CNN wishes they actually were.
The bottom line is in countries where Islam is the dominant religion, hatred of the west is drilled into the minds of all the children. In these same countries, young girls are mutilated and the butchering of innocent people who are not Muslim is routine. 

You wonder why Americans in the heartland don’t trust ABC, NBC, CBS, NPR, MSNBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post and CNN? It is because all of these outlets engage in crass propaganda creation. They do it 24 hours a day seven days a week.

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The GOP is all talk

© 2016 Jim Spence - It is important to recognize how politics has evolved in America. Democrats have changed quite dramatically, and so have Republicans.
Harry Truman was a communist fighting Democrat in words and in deeds. There are none left in America. Truman also saw the excess power of unions as a threat to America and he fought them too. John F. Kennedy, like Truman, was also an ardent anti-communist. And much to the chagrin of 21st Century Democrats, who would like to alter documented history, Kennedy was an successful income tax rate cutter. Even the hapless Lyndon Johnson, who was America’s worst president of the 20th Century, used the U.S. military in Viet Nam to fight the spread of communism. Make no mistake; communism and socialism are pretty much one and the same. Truman and Kennedy understood that the spread of communism/socialism was a threat to basic freedom. This stands in stark contrast to 21st Century Democrats who have all sold their souls and their freedoms to the fantasies of socialism as if they were naive Venezuelans. Unlike 21st Century Democrats, Truman and Kennedy were not stupid about conceding fundamental truths.
Today Kennedy and Truman would fit the philosophy espoused by the GOP. Of course espousing a philosophy is one thing, and doing something to prove you believe what you say is another. But I digress to skip ahead.
As time has passed in America, it has become clear that Democrats are in favor of advancing a single point of view, from which all their public policies are to be driven. Democrats always want more government.....period. It does not matter what the issue or problems to be solved are, Democrats want government to get bigger. The solution to every problem in the mind of every Democrat is more government.
The last real effort to curb the size, scope, and control of the U.S. economy by our government came after Bill Clinton’s drubbing in the 1994 Congressional elections. Clinton, who blew with the political winds instead of having any core beliefs, actually teamed with Newt Gingrich to pass legislation that diminished, or at least held in check, the size of government. The result was the continuation of the Reagan recovery that was a watershed period in U.S. history.
Since the end of Clinton’s presidency there has been virtually no effort made by either party to work together to engage in an honest assessment of the capabilities of government and only fund aspects of government that are effective. George W. Bush did cut tax rates, but he also made government bigger. And during the first two years of his first term, Barack Obama made government infinitely more intrusive and wasteful by increasing taxes, exploding the rate of growth in government spending, doubling the national debt, and insanely regulating all forms of private enterprise.
The mid-term elections in 2010 put an end to the Democrats control of Congress, but not to the growth of government. The 2010 elections also rang in the emergence of a governing strategy in the White House that remains to this day.
In 2017, the way that America is controlled and regulated can be summarized with a single sentence. The president signs executive orders in an effort to govern, while Congress behaves as if it is against everything and for nothing.
Mr. Obama used executive orders to expand the size and scope of government in ways that are difficult to over-state. Obama tried to govern without ever passing or repealing a law. Bureaucrats became economic segment dictators under Obama. And Obama's use of executive orders forced Republicans to sue in the courts. Often in the courts, after lengthy legal delays, judges often stuck down Obama's over-reach and forced him to follow the constitution. However, while proceedings dragged out, untold damage was done to thousands of businesses and dozens of industries. You can expect the Supreme Court to affirm Trump's executive authority, but it will take time to get to those rulings.
Mr. Trump is using executive orders to undo much of what Mr. Obama did to harm American businesses with executive orders. While businesses have been getting life preservers tossed to them by Trump, it has been amazing to see the press suddenly discover the perceived dangers of executive orders. After ignoring the fact that it was the primary governing strategy of Obama for the final six years, the press has decided executive orders are only good if a Democrat uses them. And perhaps equally amazing, with full majorities in both houses, an executive order is now the only thing America has going for it.
Image result for mitch mcconnellOver the last eight years or so I have used this column to rail against all that hurts America. My columns often echoed the same chorus of “words” that were being sung by the GOP in Washington D.C. Mitch McConnell could be heard lamenting the difficulties of being in the minority from 2009 until 2011. Then he whined about divided government for the balance of Obama’s presidency, even after the GOP regained the House and then the Senate. Paul Ryan did the same as the GOP’s V.P. nominee in 2012 and then as House Speaker.
The GOP Congress is all talk. They have a White House that will sign their bills, but they won't produce any. Votes to repeal Obamacare came in a steady stream so long as the GOP knew Obama was there to veto them, or at least the Senate was there to filibuster them. Now that Obamacare has finally been repealed by the House, the Senate, for all the talk from Mitch McConnell and his brethren, has stalled the elimination of this catastrophic law. Tax reforms? Forget it. Nothing. You get a budget proposal from Trump that tries to reign in the size and scope of government control over all aspects of America and GOP Senators Lindsay Graham and John McCain tell the media the proposals are dead on arrival. There is nothing more worthless than a tenured U.S. Senator who will never be president.
Image result for paul RyanThe results of GOP Congressional intransigence are unconscionable. Washington D.C. is a sprawling cesspool of malignant bureaucracy. What was plaguing America under Obama is still plaguing America. Despite the fact the GOP has majorities in both houses of Congress, the White House, and the Supreme Court, outside of Trump’s executive orders, nothing has been done to shrink to cancerous effects of big government. Yes, Trump is working each day. And Trump is taking all of the heat for trying to make a difference. In the meantime, the GOP Congress is still talking while doing nothing. It is the most pathetic development possibly imaginable for those who realized thirty-seven years ago that Reagan was right when he said, “Government is not to solution, government is the problem.”
All incumbent GOP congressional leaders should face primary opposition and be replaced by real leaders.

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A fascinating look at Primate Research

© 2016 Jim Spence - A few years ago behavioral psychologists at a major university did a groundbreaking study on tribes and rituals within primate populations. They started with a cage containing four monkeys. Inside the cage the researchers hung a banana on a string from the top of the cage and then placed a set of stairs under the banana. If a monkey climbed to the top step he could reach the banana.
Before long one of the more ambitious monkeys went to the foot of the stairs and began to climb towards the banana. The psychologists waited until the monkey had climbed two of the five steps and then they turned a hose on ALL of the monkeys, and sprayed them for several seconds with a heavy dose of very cold water.
Apparently, it still seemed reasonable to the monkeys to go after the free banana after the first water spraying because after a short passage of time, another monkey was observed making an attempt to get the banana. As soon as the second monkey began to go up the stairs, the researchers sprayed all four of the monkeys with another blast of cold water, sending them scurrying to the far corners of the cage.
After a much longer wait, a third monkey approached the stairs. This time the other monkeys, nervous about the cold water backlash, physically prevented him from climbing the stairs. He quickly yielded.
The next stage of the research project involved removing one of the four original monkeys from the cage and replacing him with a new monkey that had been kept elsewhere out of sight and sound. Almost immediately the new monkey noticed the banana and moved towards the stairs. When the new monkey took the first step all three of the other monkeys attacked him violently. After the poor new monkey waited a couple of hours he made a second attempt. Again the other monkeys pounced on him, bit him, clawed him, and beat on him. From this point forward the new monkey ignored the banana.
Image result for monkeys in cagesNext the researchers removed another of the original four monkeys, and replaced him with another new monkey. Not long after the second new monkey’s placement in the cage, the newcomer could not resist the banana and he went to the stairs. Just as was the case with the first new monkey, the second new monkey was attacked by the other three monkeys, including the previous newcomer, who actually took part in the punishment – with great enthusiasm. The researchers surmised that this monkey must have felt that he was now part of the "tribe" who understood the ritual.
Eventually, the researchers replaced a third original monkey with a new monkey, and then the fourth.  Each time the newest monkey tried to get on the stairs only to be attacked by the other three monkeys.
Having replaced all of the original monkeys with new monkeys in this behavioral experiment, none of the monkeys now occupying the cage had ever been sprayed with cold water for going towards the banana. But each knew the ritual, despite the fact that none of the monkeys could possibly have any idea why they were participating in the beating of any monkey that might try climbing the stairs.
After this pattern went on and on, the explanation behind this research of primate behavior was actually pretty simple. In the minds of these monkeys, they had become part of the “tribe.” They engaged in a nonsensical ritual because that is what they had always done.
This experiment explains perfectly the tribal behavior in both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate. It makes perfect sense to grab free bananas, just as it makes perfect sense for everyone to eliminate hundreds of billions of dollars in wasteful spending. However, when all the monkeys in any primate tribe get conditioned, even conditioned to stop acting in their best interests, they become monkeys living in a cage......the cage we know better as Washington D.C.
Considering the mountains of data on this subject, perhaps it is time to replace ALL of the monkeys in Washington at the SAME TIME. It is the only way to end the nonsensical rituals that serve very little purpose.
Please do not misunderstand my reason for sharing the conclusions of this groundbreaking primate research with you. I mean no disrespect whatsoever towards monkeys.

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Swickard: Harming students with summer vacation

© 2017 Michael Swickard, Ph.D.   If we know allowing academic skills to go unused causes those skills to atrophy, why have three-month summer vacations in public schools? And, why is there the notion that after high school graduation people don’t need to use their academic skills to retain them?
            The reason some high school graduates cannot read, write coherently or do math to an adequate level is not because they haven’t been taught these skills. Rather, it is that the students have allowed their academic skills to degenerate by not using those skills.
            The students are victims of the gap between being able to use a skill and the subsequent loss of the skill. If a skill such as writing or math is not used in a certain amount of time it will be lost. Some lose their skills slowly, but everyone will lose their skills if enough time passes without the skills being used.
            Summer vacations are harmful to students since most do not continue to use their academic skills, in fact, most do not open a book the entire vacation. When the students come back to school, the first two months are getting back to where the students were before the summer vacation. What a waste of academic time.
            The benefits of three months off are: janitors can leisurely wax floors, teachers get summer jobs or return to college and parents can send the kids to relatives. Students work on their tans, play video games late at night and sleep until noon.
            The three months off looks like everyone gets what they want. In the short term that is true, but the tragedy is that in the long term, students are short changed their proper education by these summer vacations.
            At high school graduation, students are told in glowing terms that they have achieved a great wisdom. They are finished developing their skills and no longer have to use these skills regularly. Many high school graduates believe those graduation speeches.
            The truth is they will achieve wisdom when their kids graduate from high school and not before. Their high school skills have a shelf life, like bread has a shelf life. They must use the skills regularly to retain those skills. If, at age twenty-five, the former students lack skills, most often these skills were lost from lack of use rather than never having been developed.
            Students must use their academic skills during their days in school and during the rest of their life. Summer vacations are one of the biggest threats to their ability to progress in school. It isn’t the vacation per se that harms the student, it is any time that months pass without the person using their academic skills.
            When that happens some people ask, “Why didn’t those darn schools teach them anything?” The answer doesn’t matter. Whether they had those academic skills and then lost them for lack of use or never had those skills, it’s all the same in the end.
            They do not have those skills.

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