Populists May Doom Us All

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Populists May Doom Us All
I never use the “Hitler card” lightly; in fact, I don’t think I have tossed it out there before. But this is no time to be cautious when Americans’ freedoms are at stake. After watching the Republican debate on February 13, 2016, I thought to myself that if the polls still called Trump the winner after that performance, the dangerous populist movement was well under way. Well, here we are! 

Anyone who actually watched the debate – with eyes open and just a tad bit of objectivity – would clearly see that Donald Trump revealed his true nature and political leanings, and that he had a poor debate performance. His claims that President George W. Bush didn’t keep us safe from the 9-11 terrorists attack hinted of conspiracy theory and doesn’t reflect reality. His love of eminent domain – even for private enterprise uses such as malls and casino parking lots – was never shared by republicans and conservatives in the past. His ideas on tax policy, Planned Parenthood, universal health care, and many other issues have been banner ideas in the other party, not the GOP!

Blindly accepting someone’s claims and ideas without analyzing truth, instead disregarding facts and reality is a dangerous development. The German people did that in the 20s and 30s and up rose Adolf Hitler. Trump reminds me of Hitler somewhat. I think Trump sees himself as never wrong and above critique and perhaps even God-like. 

This is a Republican primary. Where the hell are the republicans? Are they really going to toss out their principles and sense of morality because Trump said he would build a wall and make the Mexicans pay for it. Are you that superficial, republicans? 

I know a lot of independents and democrats that are staunch Trump supporters. That is why I do not believe the so-called experts who say if Trump is the nominee, he would not be elected. I think he would win the election. It is up to the republicans to come to their senses and nominate a conservative, or even a moderate for god sakes, but not a liberal populist with a dangerous lack of knowledge (what’s a nuclear triad?), no moral compass, an over-abundance of vulgarness and conceit, and contempt for the Constitution. This man should not be the one with his finger on the button or the one who will select the next few Supreme Court Justices. Our freedom, way of life, and maybe even our lives will be on the line. No, this is not hyperbole. It is a distinct possibility.

Republican Values

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An Open Letter to the Republican Party: Local, State, National

I have been a Republican for 40 years , ever since I voted for Gerald Ford in ’76, and witnessed, with dismay, the enthusiastic outburst within my Navy Boot Camp barracks when the Company Commander announced Jimmy Carter had won the election. (confession: I strayed once when I was stationed on the Left coast; there was something in the water!)

An American first, Conservative second, and then Republican, my loyalty lies with the United States Constitution and this great nation. I realize that the Republican Party needs to be a “wide tent” accepting many people with varied viewpoints, not just those that share my own conservative beliefs. Calling moderates “RINOs” and right-wingers “extremists” is not constructive or beneficial to the party, or America. I also don’t believe that if there was a conservative candidate that had a check mark next to every single conservative talking point, that that person should necessarily be the appropriate nominee, just as I do believe we NEED more than one party in our system; we NEED varied opinion and ideas. No one person or party is perfect and knows all at all times. A candidate with a staunch conservative record could also lack character and integrity, virtues I believe are crucial in a leader.

That being said, I have some deep concerns about the direction of the party, and I appreciate you taking the time to read and consider them. Please, do not take any of this personally.

America has taken an ideological turn to the left in recent years, and the Republican Party has been affected as well. As they say, the pendulum continues to swing. One thing that has been fairly steady in the past few decades, though, is republicans sticking with certain principles, such as those listed in the official Republican Party Platform: limited government, maximum freedoms and liberties, free enterprise, constitutional government, and restoring the American Dream. There is one candidate, if you look deeper and care about facts, that may be the polar opposite of these principles, and could tear the party, and the country apart more than has already been done. Here are some examples:

  • Giving fuel to Hillary Clinton’s claim that Republicans are waging a “War on Women” is not the way to win a general election. Donald Trump’s disgusting attacks on Carly Fiorina and Megyn Kelly and others does not exemplify the values I have always associated with the Republican Party. The despicable comments he made regarding Fiorina’s looks and Kelly’s “bleeding” lady parts (you know that is what he meant) should make every republican shun him. Both of those ladies possess the character and integrity that Trump seems to lack. But those comments actually helped drive his polls up. That deeply disturbs me, and it should you, as well.
  • Being captured on the battlefield and becoming a POW is not a dishonorable act. Unless your name is Bowe Bergdahl and you purposely left your post in search of comfort or alliance with the enemy, you are an American hero. John McCain was our nominee a few years back. As a conservative, I wasn’t overly-enthused about his candidacy, but I voted for him. More importantly, I recognize that his service in Vietnam as a warrior and a POW was honorable and heroic. Donald Trump only likes veterans who “weren’t captured.” Does that mean he also does not like veterans who had the audacity to be wounded? What does he think about our fallen heroes? The Republican Party that I knew valued every veteran who served honorably whether republican, democrat, or independent.
  • Republicans have always been the advocates of freedom, individual liberty, and limited government. Many in the party were outraged in 2005 when the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision proclaimed that the government could take an individual’s property and hand it over to commercial enterprises if it fosters economic development. Trump wholeheartedly agreed with that decision and has even used it in his business dealings. Stealing someone’s property for another’s business venture is not a Republican value.
  • For years Trump was pro-choice and even favored partial-birth abortions. Then, as he contemplated a run for president a few years ago, he suddenly had a change of heart and flipped to pro-life. Whether you are pro-life or pro-choice, was this sudden switch believable? His views on universal health care fit more in the Democratic Party instead of the GOP.
  • The bankruptcies Trump’s businesses have filed over the years harmed not just his lenders. Banks and other lending institutions don’t just eat those losses, they pass them on to consumers. Us! Additionally, the banks needed bailouts, in part because of these types of business practices, and Trump supported us taxpayers paying the bill. Paying his bills. He also stiffed contractors and other hard-working Americans. If Capitalism is the “Force,” then Trump represents the “Dark Side.”
  • The Donald has made the core of his campaigning a melting pot of insults, liberal solutions, personal and vicious attacks against fellow republicans, and dishonesty. Unprofessional. I wonder if he is also hiding ulterior motives and ambitions. Former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger once remarked that presidential candidate Barack Obama was a charlatan, who was deceiving the nation, and would ultimately harm it. He was right. I fear the Republicans now have a charlatan in their midst in Donald Trump.
  • Trump’s widely recorded public tantrums remind me of a four-year-old than of a person that could be sitting in the Oval Office with the power to wage war and dramatically affect all of our lives.
  • The damage Barack Obama has done to this country in so many ways will still be coming to light well after he is out of office. When I raised my hand to “preserve and defend” the Constitution, I meant it. I will never vote for a candidate whom I believe will harm the Constitution and this country. That includes Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump. If my preferred candidates are not nominated, I could vote for Bush, Christie, and even Kasich, but never Trump.

I uphold the former Republican values, not the ones that appear to be taking shape today. Trump talks tough on illegal immigration (something many of us are in agreement) and “promises” to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it; this “talk” does not qualify him as our nominee. We should look, instead, at his long history of comments and acts on a wide assortment of issues, and make a decision on them and not on his sudden flip flops on issues that make it appear he is more aligned with the Republican Party. Do not succumb to populism. His fellow candidate, Senator Ted Cruz, brought up Trump’s New York values. I go further and question today’s republican values. If they continue to align more with the other party I will be saddened that after forty years I must seek a divorce. I will have no part in harming this country or ignoring the Constitution. I fear Trump will not make America great again. Instead he will push it over the edge of the cliff where Barack Obama has placed it.

If you support Donald Trump my hope is that you will take a closer look at his record through the years. Please do not pick him for his rhetoric of the past few months. Thank you for reading this letter.

P.S. It interesting that former President Jimmy Carter’s favorite “republican” candidate is Donald Trump, because Trump is “malleable!”

 

Republicans: Don’t Do It!

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Former Secretary of State, the late Lawrence Eagleburger, warned that the nation was about to elect a charlatan in presidential candidate Barack Obama, one that would severely harm the country. I believe his prediction came true when democrats made Obama their nominee and then Americans made him president. Now it is the republicans turn. Donald Trump is not the candidate that many of his supporters believe that he is. He is using trickery, deceit, and populism to gain access to the most powerful office on Earth, where I believe he would wreak havoc on peace, freedom, and prosperity.

Trump is no conservative, and even exhibits few “moderate” leanings. He is a liberal. He is not a friend of veterans in spite of what he now claims, certainly no friend of former POWs, who had the audacity to have been captured by the enemy. (Remember that conversation?)

The Donald is a friend of universal health care, the Clintons, eminent domain, spending other people’s money, fiscal irresponsibility (he became a billionaire in part because of bankruptcies and stiffing loaners, consumers, and taxpayers), using the most vulgar and insulting kind of negative campaigning, stimulus packages and bank bailouts, and many other non-conservative and non-centrist issues. He supported late-term abortions, seems to oppose Israel in favor of the Palestinians, and has demonstrated a disturbing lack of knowledge on critical national security issues. (e.g. Marco Rubio had to school him on what the nuclear triad was and its importance.)

Republicans: Don’t do it. Don’t make the same mistake the democrats made with Obama. Don’t put another charlatan in the Oval Office. Look at everything Trump has said and done in the past few decades, and contrast that with what he has said while campaigning. Look closely at his behavior and actions. Think about it. What if he is, indeed, a fraud?

The Donald: Only love man, only love!

 

 

Painful Principles

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An irritating conundrum has plagued me in recent months. My conservative principles are clashing. Mind you, I am not so rigid as to disregard any efforts in negotiation or compromise in order to make progress, whether in politics, or life in general. Honoring core principles does not require a closed mind or laser-like narrow focus. It does require thoughtful analysis.

The possibility that our choices for the next United States president could be Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, or Bernie Sanders has caused this conflict. Now, I know that a lot of you, my friends and family, really like these candidates, and I am not condemning you for your choice. Yes I am. (No I’m not)

Like a lot of you, in the past I have sometimes voted for the “lesser of two evils.” I have sometimes pinched my nose shut and voted for the candidate whom most closely demonstrated a history of conservative principles and traits. Whether you lean to the left or to the right, no one candidate exhibits your “perfect” idea of a nation’s leader.

There are situations, though, that produce nominees that are so far away from your political philosophy, that voting for Micky Mouse would seem more appropriate. For me, I have one underlying principle that I cannot violate. I will NOT vote for a person whom I believe will disregard the Constitution on which this country is founded, or who will damage America, as I believe Barack Obama has done. I will not do it. I would rather vote for a moderate such as Jeb Bush, or a liberal as John Kasich rather that vote for Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, or Bernie Sanders. Any of these three candidates would so change America, for the worse, in my humble opinion, that I would not be honoring the oath I took every time I re-enlisted in the Navy, to defend the Constitution. I still honor that oath and always will. A vote for one of them would be like ripping apart the Constitution.

So, if the polls and media talking heads are proven correct, then I will be forced to “write-in” my choice of candidate instead of voting for the nominee. You might say that I am throwing my vote away. Possibly. But I will not treat the Constitution as a paper target at a shooting range. I swore to defend it, not attack it.

Politics & The Phoenix

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If I had a choice among sipping tea laced with polonium-210, munching down on some Amanita phalloides (Death Cap mushrooms), taking a wicked whiff of a white powder that would give me Bacillus anthracis, or doing none of these, I would do nothing.

The first three choices are fatally toxic, just as I believe Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders would be to America. I believe in the Constitution and maximum liberties for Americans. These three do not. I believe character and integrity should be traits American presidents should possess. Trump and Clinton lack these strengths. If Trump is the republican nomination, I will, for the first time in my adult life, write a different candidate other than the nominee in on my ballot. Some would say I am throwing my vote away. I disagree. I will be principled and not populist. I will forsake the poison and wait for another day when some sanity is restored, after we have hit rock bottom.

I am not waiting for the perfect candidate. There is no such thing. I can compromise and shift priorities and sometimes choose the lesser of evils, but not when the toxicity is fatal to all that I believe in. I’ll wait for the Phoenix.

Why So Hateful?

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People should be able to be philosophically opposed on just about any issue without having to resort to hateful exchanges. I have witnessed people from all spectrums of political leanings engage in this conduct. I hope I have not been part of this nonsense. Perhaps it is my conservative bias that causes me to remember the more hateful and despicable attacks come from the left, but like I said, I’m probably biased. Maybe it’s easier to forget or give a pass to those that share your philosophy.
Hateful and pointless attacks do not accomplish anything to win someone to your way of thinking. All it does is reflect on what kind of person you are and causes others to lose respect for you, if they ever had any from the start. Of course, people’s definition of what is hateful, mean, or despicable can be remarkably and creatively different from your own. Some people take offence at the most benign commentary.
The folks making the disparaging comments know if they are being hateful. If the intent is to insult, berate, emotionally destroy, or perform character assassination, then that is obvious to most. However, honest, civil debate or certain elements of comedy, for example, are not usually meant to be hateful. How many comedians throughout history have made jokes that contain funny insults or get a laugh off of a stereotyped target group? Yes, some cross the line and their joke goes flat. If political correctness rules out ALL of that material, there will be quite a few open slots on late night tv and at standup comedy joints.

The hate is everywhere. Facebook, Twitter, Radio & TV News and Talk Shows, on-line newspaper readers’ commentary sections, bars and restaurants, everyday conversation. Not all the time of course. But enough to be a distraction to the important things of the day.

I am for passionate, honest debate, free speech, and varied opinion. But lies and insults are not opinion. They are lies and insults. Profane, personal attacks are just mean, not thoughtful speech.

Great Pond Outdoor Adventure Center

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Having a super time at Great Pond Outdoor Adventure Center north of Aurora, Maine. Spent Independence Day weekend and this week here in the 1991 class C motorhome I got for my birthday/Fathers Day.

Spending time among fellow veterans and active duty military brings back lots of great memories. We have been coming here on and off since the mid-1980s. We have rented yurts, cabins, tent, and RV spaces through the years.

Randi has had a blast swimming, hiking, kayaking, and riding in the pontoon boat. She also likes hanging out at the Recreation Hall.

For fellow veterans, what is your favorite military recreation area? Besides Great Pond, the Hale Koa Hotel on Waikiki Beach ranks high, Key West Facilities, and Gulls Cottage/Prospect Harbor Lighthouse also here in Maine (Brenda & I got married in Gulls Cottage.)

Impeach Obama Bandwagon

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Many of my fellow conservatives have jumped on the Impeach Obama Bandwagon, some from the very beginning of his presidency. I disagree with that effort.

Democrats, apparently most Independents, and even some republicans voted for Obama—twice. He won his elections with his campaign promises of “fundamentally changing America.” That is exactly what he is doing, especially in these last 2 years of his administration.

If some of his supporters did not know what fundamental means, then they should have looked it up. Obama has not hidden his agenda. He just doesn’t talk about it much. Yes, he and his administration have lied about key components in order to get them passed by Congress or the courts. ScotusCare, for instance. His overall world view and path he has set America on is not buried in a deep cave, though. He is succeeding in changing America from its foundation roots, and also away from the free enterprise/capitalistic form of economy that we have been used to for most of our history. I heard one political pundit remark that in recent history Ronald Reagan was the last president to change America in a substantive way. Obama is undoing Reagan’s legacy, and then some. And Americans VOTED for this change!

It sickens me that Obama is, in my opinion, damaging this nation perhaps beyond repair, but democracy can be messy, and we are witnessing it at its messiest. Granted, there are elements of the Obama “regime” that are not acting like a democratic government and more closely resemble despotism. He has been aided in unbelievable fashion by the mainstream media in getting away with these undemocratic actions. When you have a propaganda machine at your command, you can get away with an awful lot of misdeeds. Many regimes throughout the 20th century stayed in power in this manner. There is only one news network where you can hear both sides of issues and actually view news about the federal government and Obama administration that other networks suppress. But this network is unmercifully vilified by the president, his supporters and propaganda machine. That reason alone is cause to watch it!

Republicans messed up when they impeached President Bill Clinton in the 90s. Yes, he got caught breaking the law with perjury. Although I believe both Clintons are guilty of more serious corruption and other crimes, Ken Starr and others could never pin them down with solid evidence. Hillary is, so far, getting away with similar behavior now. But impeaching a president on a perjury charge was a huge mistake. Most Americans assume all politicians lie constantly, especially if confronted about their sex life.

Similarly, governors and congress members of both parties have been subject to recalls or impeachments following their democratic election. What is it about democracy that so many do not like or respect? These governors, congressmen, and the president have more elections coming up and can be voted out of office if the Silent Majority got vocal for once and started taking their country back from the socialists, communists, and radicals. We don’t need impeachments, or a coup, or any other effort. Just speak out, and VOTE!

There are those, especially on the right where I hang out often, that promise they will refuse to vote if THEIR candidate is not nominated. That attitude only helps the other side win the day and continue to turn America into a socialist or communist nation. I admit, there are one or two republican candidates whom I believe would do more harm to our country than a couple of the Democrat candidates. If they were the nominations, I would not give up my right and duty to vote. I would vote for the candidate (repub or dem) whom I believe would damage America the least, then wait for the next election. It is not sacrificing principles to remain in the political arena and exercise your voting rights if your primary candidate does not win.

Our biggest effort, which we can start working on immediately, is to try and change minds about the direction America is heading. There is even much work just within the republican party on that end. A politician puts a lot of emphasis on constituents’ demands. We need to change those demands. That is the only peaceful revolution that can restore freedoms and liberties and the American Dream.

Impeachments should be reserved for more serious crimes than lying about sex or being too blunt in rhetoric or voting for a particular bill. This is America. Keep your faith in our Republic as long as it still has a chance of surviving.

Private Enterprise Limiting Freedom, Choices

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The Silent Majority has often allowed government to reign in the freedoms and liberties that our Founders saw fit to gift all the generations to follow. Now the silence is permitting private enterprise to further limit the choices we have as Americans in purchasing inventory.

The unfounded and knee-jerk reaction to the horrible murders at the church in Charleston, South Carolina last month created a wave of anti-confederate and anti-American history. Walmart, Amazon, Apple, Target, TVLAND channel, and other retailers have vowed to remove confederate items from their shelves and programming.

The confederate flag is symbolic in different ways to different people. They all have a right to their viewpoints. However, they do not have a right to usurp others ability to purchase a confederate flag, or whatever item of the day is being satanized at the time. But that is exactly what has happened. An extremely vocal minority on social media has corporate executives shaking in their boots and peeing their pants. They have chosen to ban these items (once their inventory is depleted and profit secured) to placate these loud voices. Those who value the confederate flag have had their choice made irrelevant, politically incorrect, and deemed Un-American. It will not stop there, believe me!

The families and friends of the victims in Charleston reacted in the exact opposite way after the massacre. They espoused their love, forgiveness, and understanding and united their community in a remarkable fashion.

The murderer is the sole individual that should be held accountable, not 70 million southerners or an entire nation. Just because the killer was a racist and had previously posed with a confederate flag does not make everyone who displays that flag a racist. Just as the KKK carrying American flags does not make every American a racist. Confederate merchandise had nothing to do with those murders, and a people’s history and heritage should not be erased because of it.

Corporate America has decided otherwise. And it is YOUR fault. Unless you have already contacted these big box businesses and told them you will not tolerate this behavior, you are part of the problem. Americans can no longer remain silent and hope others will come to their senses. The political correctness crowd is way too organized and vocal about their wishes. I believe they are still in the minority in the USA, but they are loud and effective. They make things happen. They “git er done!”

It is no longer sufficient to just email your congressman now and then on a topic you care about. The Silent Majority MUST break their silence and be heard. It is so easy today to contact businesses and politicians. Facebook, Twitter, email, websites, old-fashioned mail and phone calls, all work. That is what the PC crowd knows and practices all the time. They are winning the day, and American liberties and choices are dwindling as a result.

These corporations value one thing above all else: money. If the majority of folks, whom polls indicate are not offended by the confederate flag and whom cherish their freedom and choices, would all speak out at once, these business execs would realize real quick who has the bigger purchasing power and how their own business would be impacted if a boycott would take hold. They are good at math.

It is the same issue with NBC and Univision dropping Donald Trump-owned or sponsored programming because of his political remarks regarding the southern border and illegal aliens and Mexicans. I am not a Trump fan, but he spoke his mind as we would hope all presidential candidates would do, and his words were blunt, but true. The truth hurts and apparently it must be vanquished.

Enough of this PC madness. Silent Majority, get your heads out of the sand and get in the arena. It is easy to do and it is vitally necessary.

BTW, I am writing this essay on an Apple Macbook Air. It will be the last Apple product I own if that company does not reverse course and stop embracing every liberal and PC craze that comes along. Next time my iPhone, iPad, or computer is in need of replacement, I will be shopping Android or some other brand of personal computer.  I am also striving to stay out of Walmart or using amazon.com. Capitalism and censorship are not a great mix.

Hams & Preppers

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The Preppin Side of Ham Radio:

FCC-licensed Amateur (HAM) Radio Service operators have long enjoyed a wide variety of ham radio communication frequencies, modes and activities, including using satellites and communicating with the International Space Station, operating leading-edge digital modes, as well as time-tested Morse Code, single sideband, and other aspects too many to mention for this article. One commonality with an increasingly popular trend across the country is with “Preppers.”

Those with a “survivalist’s” mentality are usually Do It Yourself folks that prepare for the worst and create a lifestyle and home that they hope will survive many cataclysmic events. Preppers might expect a future with an “emp” burst from a nuclear weapon detonated in the upper atmosphere, rendering modern electronics useless with the resulting destruction of microchips, and other solid state circuitry in just about every modern appliance out there.

Let’s put it this way. If you are familiar with the tern “Faraday Cage,” then you could be a prepper or a ham radio operator.

The Federal Communications Commission tasks ham radio operators with training for and providing backup disaster communications. When a major catastrophe occurs, whether natural or man-made, existing communication systems, including public safety and cellular and landline phone systems become degraded or rendered inoperable from being overloaded, or equipment malfunction. Earthquakes, hurricanes, and terrorist attacks are just a few examples when hams are called to duty.

Many hams train frequently to make sure their skills and equipment are up to the task. Peer through a ham’s shelves and cabinets and you will find more batteries than that of the average bear. Flashlights, power packs, Go-Kits with survival gear and food, compasses, and first aid kits crowd the shelves. Boxes full of AA, AAA, C, D, and Gell cells, 6-volt lantern batteries, and an assortment of lawn & garden tractor batteries, and heavy deep cycle batteries are not uncommon in the “shack,” garage, or vehicle.

Many Preppers strive to be “off-grid” with solar panels, wind power, and generators. Check into any ham radio net and you will find some that are also off-grid, or at least capable of using non-commercial power.

Hams can deploy to a disaster scene and using their own equipment and power sources, can be up and on-the-air in short order. Most hams know how to make emergency antennas from scratch, and some even build their own transceivers. So Preppers and Hams are a natural fit in many ways.

The Faraday Cage is a shielded storage container that, if constructed correctly, can block the destructive Electromagnetic Pulse energy created when a nuclear weapon goes off in the upper atmosphere, or when a HUGE geomagnetic storm hits that region of the planet. In these worst case scenarios, the ham, or Prepper, would still have a radio to use for listening to broadcasts outside the disaster zone, or to communicate with other people that were also protected from the emp burst.

Now, if you come across a prepper or ham that has lined his ball cap with aluminum foil, then just slowly turn around and walk away. On second thought, RUN! RUN fast! He just might attempt to explain this special hat.