#ColinKaepernick has every right to decline standing to honor the awesome country that created an environment where he could earn one hundred and fourteen MILLION dollars from playing a kid’s game.
He can be a “representative of the African community”, even though he is half white, and was raised by white adoptive parents after his black father ran from his responsibilities.
He can make stereotypical, vague, insulting, racist, anti-white statements if he wants to.
Fans can also root against him, and call him out just like we did when Browns RB Isaiah Crowell tweeted out a disgusting cop killer meme right around the time of the Dallas police assassinations.
My main complaint is that he needs to be specific.
A few cherry picked cases that get 24/7 coverage on MSNBC, does not prove that everything everywhere is racist all of the time.
That schtick has worn out it’s welcome.
America is a mostly amazing place that is filled with endless opportunities for people and families that work hard, and make solid decisions.
Colin, there are always ways to improve life in the U.S.A, and some very real problems do exist.
But this isn’t 1860. This isn’t 1960.
You play in a league that is 69% black (according to the most recent 2014 numbers), and have made a boat load of money doing so.
When Walter Scott was shot and killed by former officer Michael Slager in South Carolina a few months ago, he was fired and charged with murder,…as he should have.
I like to think that in America, we get a lot of the easy cases right, however,….. like the Kelly Thomas case,….sometimes we get it wrong. (Watch and listen to the video if you dare.)
Perhaps most importantly, sometimes we desperately need more facts BEFORE rushing to judgment.
We must demand that all police officers wear body cameras (that cannot be turned off) at all times to give us more information, that will protect both police and civilian alike.
But be specific. Don’t just give me:
“America is racist.”
Go ask fellow professional athlete Dwyane Wade about what happened when his cousin was recently shot and killed in Chicago.
Did it happen because of the injustices toward people of color, or was it the result of infringing on the rights of the good people of Chicago to carry their 2nd amendment protected firearms, mixed with the justice system letting violent monsters back onto the streets far too soon?
Call out a case, and let’s hash out and separate: what we CAN PROVE,… from what we THINK might have happened.
This is crucial.
Defend and argue these issues in a specific way.
We deserve at least that much.
We also deserve more respect than to constantly have to defend ourselves from baseless accusations.
And regardless of what both Democrats & Republicans have asked our brave men and women to do over the past few centuries,…they deserve more respect than what you provided.
They have given EVERYTHING to defend your right to toss around a ball in exchange for more than a HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS.
Many of these service members are battling PTSD, and are dying on fake waiting lists at the disgusting and disgraceful V.A. facilities.
That we can PROVE.
That is a FACT!
Call me old fashioned if you will,……but I’m much more likely to defend a military member, than a spoiled professional athlete any day of the week.
#ColinKaepernick has every right to decline standing to honor the awesome country that created an environment where he could earn one hundred and fourteen MILLION dollars from playing a kid’s game.
Yes, You Should Vote…!
(Because The Government Clearly Does Not Want You To)
by Bud Stratford
Sunday, August 7th, 2016
Like anybody else on Facebook these days, my news feed is often saddled and sullied with all kinds of crazy catcrap. Probably because crazy catcrap is the one thing that Modern Americans can readily produce both efficiently, and consistently. Especially on the internet. Because nothing really brings on the crazy catcrap like unabashed anonymity does.
Today, I read another un-original, echo-chamber op-ed piece about why you shouldn’t bother to vote. As if we didn’t have enough ignorant apathy floating around as it is. In this piece, the author claimed (like so many other ignorant and apathetic morons are claiming these days) that this whole election is bought, paid for, predetermined, and rigged anyway. As such, “wisdom and reason” dictates that your vote will be rendered meaningless by some shadowy power structure somewhere. Namely, within The Government itself. Or, The Privately Owned Federal Reserve. Or, The New World Order. Or, The Illuminati. Or, The Moneyed Elites. Or, whoever is supposedly running the world these days.
Of course, this flies completely against any semblance of “wisdom and reason”. Especially when everyday, practical experience flies in the face of these assertions. Of course, you should vote. Of course, it matters. And of course, it will count. Because if it really didn’t matter, and if it really didn’t count… there would be nobody, from anywhere, trying to dissuade you from doing it.
But of course, everybody and their frenemies are practically falling over each other this year, trying with all their might to keep you out of the voting booth. Including The Government, itself. Which is the best reason of all to make the time and effort to do it. Specifically because, The Government doesn’t want you to.
The Government has a long, detailed, and endlessly documented history of making the things that it wants you to do, quite easy. Likewise, it also has a long, detailed, and endlessly documented history of making the things it doesn’t want you to do, quite difficult. Nay impossible, actually. We all know it’s true; common sense tells us at least that much. Even if we don’t remember it that often. And what The Government clearly does not want you to do, is to get up, get out, and vote.
A couple months ago, I got a ticket up in Holbrook that illustrates my point perfectly. The officer stopped me, checked my credentials, went back to his cruiser, and returned holding a citation for me. Yup, I got a ticket. But being relatively new to Arizona, I wasn’t entirely sure what my options were, or how to go about pursuing them.
Basically, I had two options. Fight the ticket, and “prove my innocence”… which immediately runs contrary to our rule of law and common sense, of course. How in the world can you ever “prove innocence”, anyway? And aren’t we already innocent until we’re proven gulty…? Well, it was explained to me by my friendly officer (that my tax dollars bought and paid for, mind you) that because he, the officer (who is respected by the law) wrote the ticket… then I, the defendant (who is clearly not respected by the law) am automatically guilty because the “preponderance of evidence” immediately goes against me in the court of law. “Preponderance Of Evidence” in this case meant that because he thought I was guilty enough to write me a ticket, then clearly, I must be guilty as hell.
But if I really wanted to fight this stacked and staggered system, well, I was still free and clear to do so. All I had to do was to plead not guilty on my ticket; send it to the court; make the five-hour trek up to Holbrook to appear in court on a day and time of the court’s choosing (not mine); and bring irrefutable proof of my innocence along with me. Easy enough, you might say. Although it seems like a ginormously impossible pain in the ass to me.
Or: I could choose to simply plead guilty, and pay the fine. That involved signing on a dotted line on my citation, writing out a check, and dropping it in the mail. And, I had a whole month and a half to do it before I’d get into any further trouble. Much, much easier. Even you’d have to agree with that.
This isn’t an isolated case. Everything The Government does is aimed at getting you to do what serves their better interests. Like, paying taxes. Figuring out which deductions you’re entitled to is again, nay impossible to do (unless you’re a high-priced CPA or a tax attorney). However, actually paying the taxes is remarkably simple. Again, it’s as simple as signing a dotted line, and mailing a check. Funny how The Government works, huh…?
Signing up to give your life to The Military is pretty easy, quick, and simple to do. Getting your life back, though…? Nay impossible.
Paying fuel, excise, and highway use taxes is really easy. We do it quietly, silently, and automatically every time we buy gas. But getting that pothole fixed in your neighborhood…? Yeah, right. You might as well just forget about that one.
Voting is just like anything else. They make it a giant pain in the ass in the hopes that you won’t do it. Wouldn’t it be great if cops pulled you over, just to verify that you had voted? “Oh, you haven’t? Here, it’s really simple. Just take this ticket, pick a candidate, and mail it in before November 11th (or whatever). Take your time, it’s no rush.” But of course, that would cost revenue, not generate it. And it would be a public service, not a public disservice. So of course, the government will never do it.
If government really wanted you to vote, they’d make a phone app that would let you do it from anywhere, anytime you wanted. They would let you vote from your home or office computer. Funny that you can file your taxes from your home office, but you can’t vote from there. Clearly, it’s because government would rather have your money then your vote.
Then, you have all of the other factors keeping you from voting as well. The candidates both suck. There is very little access to third parties… which I’m sure is orchestrated by the two “major” parties to keep themselves in power. Do you think that maybe the two “major parties” exert some pressure on the media to not cover alternatives…? I’m sure they do. Then, candidates routinely lie through their teeth and break laws, and yet they never seem to be held accountable by anyone at all. I find it strikingly odd that the president… the most powerful elected official in the country… is subject to term limits, but nobody else is. Then, you have massive media telling you that voting is a huge waste of time and energy, and that it doesn’t count for anything anyway. And then they wonder why voter turnout is in the toilet. But secretly, I think they all prefer it that way. They probably love having their candidates voted into power by a small minority of ignorant and insane (but, highly motivated!) citizenry that is blissfully aligned with their own special interests. But all the while, nobody is looking after our collective interests as a nation. Because the majority of us are still sitting at home on our couches, convinced that we can never make a difference.
If we… the silent, apathetic majority that “can’t make a difference” actually decided to get out and vote en masse, we could make a huge difference that could never be rigged, tampered, “lost”, or thrown away. You might be able to “lose” a few thousand ballots here and there, but you can’t possibly hope to “lose” millions. You might be able to stop a leaky faucet, but stopping a sea change is a hell of a lot more difficult. If we ever hope to take our country back… well, we have to stand up, and start taking it back. Exercising your right to vote… which is one of the few rights that we still have left to freely exercise, by the way… is a damn good start.
I think that’s the best reason of all to stand up, be counted, and make that happen.
And if The Government doesn’t like it, oh well. Screw them.
Welcome to 2016, where we find ourselves hurtling towards an historic crossroads! So far, we have been witnessing an absolutely spectacular election, the kind that people could be talking about for generations to come. The position for the ‘most powerful person in the world’ was about to be passed on, and the political stakes had never been higher. We had experienced some memorable elections in this lifetime already, but this one had the potential to surpass them all. In fact, you could completely get away with calling it a ‘yuge’ deal. Yes, you read that right.
A few highlights from our lifetime:
1940: Franklin D. Roosevelt is so popular that he becomes the first and only president to run and win an unprecedented 3rd term!
1948: Truman defeats Dewey. Goes down as the greatest upset in American history.
1960: Nixon vs. Kennedy (enough said)
1972: Unlikely underdog George McGovern becomes the grassroots nominee set to take on the mighty Nixon and put an end to his war-mongering ways. He secured the nomination, but the candidacy quickly collapses after a debacle with the VP pick. Ted Kennedy didn’t want it, and the ‘dream-team’ ticket died. Ultimately and unfortunately, the campaign chose to cozy up to the Democratic establishment, and pick one of their pawns. They felt they would need all the help (big labor etc.) they could get to beat Nixon, and decided to make a compromise. Perhaps it was a good idea, but it quickly turned bad once it was revealed that ‘their guy’ had a history of mental health issues, and was probably unfit for the position. Under pressure and against the clock, the campaign slipped up and didn’t completely vet their guy. An honest mistake, but it turned into a public relations disaster, and was followed by a devastating landslide defeat. It also paved the way for the DNC to create ‘superdelegates‘ to make sure no ‘outsiders’ messed with their plans again…
1980: The great Reagan dethrones Jimmy Carter. America gets its swagger back.
1988: “Read my lips: No new taxes!” George Bush delivers one of the most memorable lines in political history. He makes the bold promise at the Republican National Convention and it becomes the defining moment in securing the ‘88 election. However the pledge failed, and likely cost him in his re-election.
1992: The three-way? Uninspiring incumbent George Bush Senior vs. charismatic newcomer Bill Clinton vs. Independent billionaire Ross Perot. Not only was there a third party involved for a change, he also happened to be a very serious contender! The increasingly popular Perot was even an improbable front runner until he suddenly and seemingly inexplicably dropped out. He later alleged that he was threatened by the GOP and the ‘George Bush people.’ The only thing that was certain was that the establishment must have been terrified of Perot. After surviving that scare, Democrats and Republicans teamed-up to take over the debate process, making it almost impossible for a 3rd party to threaten their two-party duopoly again.
2000: The great recount resulting in Al Gore’s eventual concession to George junior: After a national spectacle and some suspected shenanigans, George ‘Dubya’ emerges victorious as our 43rd president. He seemed likable enough, but went on to become a sort of laughing-stock sock-puppet of sorts. Was he really a bad guy? Or just a useful idiot ‘front-man’ being pulled in dark directions by a shadowy cabal of war-mongering neocons? Either way, we wound up involved in a new, ‘never-ending’ war on terror. Thankfully, it only started out as a living nightmare. Eventually it would just numb into what some would refer to as the ‘new normal.’ The 2000 election also gave new meaning to the political phrase; “elections have consequences.” as it sure was easy to second-guess this disaster of an administration. It’s difficult to imagine a worse scenario, but I guess we’ll never know. And to be fair, the jury is still out on Al Gore. Is he really this sincere guy doing his best to help save the planet? Or is he just another version of an establishment ‘front-man’ scheming to gain power while lining his own pockets? The great ‘man-bear-pig’ made many bold claims about undeniable ‘man-made’ global-warming, but the predictions have failed miserably so far. Was it all just science-for-profit? It sure seemed to be as political as it was scientific. And since there was no indisputable evidence of any significant temperature increases, ‘man-made global warming’ soon evolved into something called ‘climate-change.’ And then there was something about a ‘pause’ or ‘hiatus.’ Despite claims that the science is already settled; we’re still waiting for the great debate to finally prove it one way or the other, once and for all. Because if Al Gore had his way, we would probably be living in ‘coffin-sized’ apartments while he lectures us about reducing our carbon footprint… from his beach-side mansion. Despite the election controversy of 2000, we may have been stuck with a lose-lose scenario at the end of either outcome. Would you rather have the never-ending war on terror? Or the never-ending war on human activity?
2008: Rising democratic superstar Barack Obama reinvigorates the base, rallying around ‘hope and change,’ and ‘yes we can!’ Barack goes on to beat Hillary Clinton and John McCain to become our nation’s first black president!
As you can see, there were quite a few good ones, but could the election of 2016 be the most epic ever? We were a nation that had lost its identity. A nation that had lost its way and was in dire need of new direction. We once stood proud, the envy of the world. And then we slowly devolved into some kind of ‘Dystopian‘ absurdity that we were collectively creating as we stumbled into the future…
The 21st century in America has been a disaster for us so far. A contested election, 9/11, missing WMD’s, war-crimes, never-ending war on terror. Rise of the empire, rise of the police state, TSA, NSA. Stock-market crash, housing crisis, “too big to fail,” too big to jail. And then the nightmare finally ended! The Bush administration gave way to Obama and his big promises to turn everything around! We were sold ‘hope and change…’ but it really just turned out to be another version of ‘business as usual.’ ‘Transparency’ became secrecy. The Obama Deception. Scandals that aren’t scandals. Stonewalling. Mandatory ‘affordable’ health care. Raising the debt ceiling doesn’t raise the debt. Radical Islam that isn’t radical. Signing something you promised you weren’t going to sign as soon as you thought we weren’t looking. Political correctness. Rise of the social justice warriors. Quantitative easing, economic misinformation, secret trade deals. Proxy wars, killer drones, ‘moderate’ rebels.
Wow, all that in only 16 years? Not even close, as that list is far from complete. Meanwhile, our corrupt and incompetent politicians continued to raise taxes, spending every last dime, and still had to borrow roughly 14 trillion dollars more on top of it! They actually had to raise the ‘debt-ceiling‘ a dozen times, and have now saddled us with nearly twenty trillion in total debt! Imagine our great-grandchildren spending their lives paying off somebody else’s great-grandchildren because of the short-sighted foolishness of their ancestors! Does that sound like a civilization that’s destined for great things? Or does that sound like a civilization that is heading for a fall like Rome? The America that we used to know was gone, and a rotting empire was all that was left of it.
Congressional approval was less than 10% (which still seemed kind of high). And that was also about the same percentage of people that still trusted the major news media that was controlled by mostly six mega-corporations. The ‘news’ was now bought-and-paid for. Real journalism was dead, and objective media was a thing of the past. Today’s variety was either liberal or conservative, and both had mostly morphed into mouth-pieces for the establishment. Why bother to keep the public informed when it was easier, safer, and far more profitable to push propaganda and pharmaceuticals instead?
The times had rarely been more troubling, and we only had a few candidates to choose from to try and fix this mess. Were any of them even capable of turning this around? If so, which one has what it takes? Whose world would you rather live in? What kind of future will they lead us to? Perhaps we should ponder the possibilities:
Bernie Sanders has been a surprising contender with a fighting chance to win… provided he and his followers can find a way to conjure up a contested convention in Philadelphia. Or if Hillary is forced to drop out for whatever reason (a legitimate possibility). However, that is not a guaranteed path to victory as Bernie would still have to battle one of the bosses in the Democratic establishment. The good news for the Bern supporters is that the old guard Democrats have a serious lack of talent in their ranks, and were already forced to go ‘all-in’ with Grandmother Hillary. Without her, they would be forced to play one of their emergency backups: Joe ‘gaffe-machine’ Biden or ‘Hail-Mary’ John Kerry. All Hillary had to do was give them her endorsement, and they would get her delegates (in theory). And as long as they win the election, Hillary gets an easy pardon! The Democrats stay in power, the system stays rigged, and the status-quo wins again! Then keep an eye on the party as it tries to create even more super-delegates for ‘next time’ to prevent another Bernie from ever scaring them again.
The bad news for Bern supporters is that there is very little chance of him winning, and he will have to face a brutal uphill battle the whole way there and beyond. First, Hillary would have to step down. Then he would still have to beat Biden and the DNC machine in a hotly contested convention. If he somehow manages to survive that ordeal, he will then be tossed into a grueling cage-match with a completely different animal named Donald J. Trump. Bernie will probably need a miracle… but even if he gets his wish, he still likely has one more obstacle: a republican controlled congress that would keep him locked in a box no matter what. Bernie’s first term could be a complete waste, and the second term (if there is one) offers no guarantees.
The idea of Bernie for president is intriguing… in theory. He’s a likable and interesting character for sure, but not exactly presidential. It would be fun to watch him take on Wall Street and the 1%, but would he be strong enough to do something about it? It would be curious to see how he could handle an audit of the Federal Reserve, but would he be able to finish it off it it became necessary?
Hats off to Bernie, he made a great run and a great story-line. But it’s time to face the reality: he is an old man with old ideas. Socialism is not some fresh new concept, and is a poor path to promote prosperity. Dragging the Democratic party to the deep-end of the left is not the answer. Getting outside the box is. How are you going to fix a broken system with failed ideas from the past? Bernie seems like a good guy, but he’s got the wrong solutions. Capitalism is not the problem, crony-capitalism/corporatism is. We should strive to be like Switzerland, not Sweden. Big corporations might be bad, but big government isn’t any better. Maybe a small-government, small-business model might be a small step in the right direction? We have to respect the Bern for making the election entertaining, and exposing the corruption of the Democratic establishment. He had a good run, but he is not going to be the guy that saves America.
Okay, how about Hillary Clinton? On the surface, she seems like the perfect pick: powerful, connected, experienced. She definitely has what it takes to be the president, and she’s a woman! We’ve never had a woman for president before! She has all the qualifications, plus a chance to make history! What’s not to like? Unfortunately, almost everything about her…
Hillary Clinton is so corrupt, people don’t even try to defend her corruption anymore. She has so much baggage that Donald Trump publicly refers to her as ‘crooked Hillary,’ and there’s nothing anyone can do about it! All the Clinton campaign could do in response was to try and come up with an equally brutal nickname for Donald (but failed). Hillary is openly corrupt, and we all know it. We are completely aware of ‘her ways’ and don’t seem to care. We accept it, because that’s just the ‘way it is.’ So what the hell is wrong with us?
No, seriously: what the hell is wrong with us? As it stands today, Hillary appears to have the nomination locked-up. However, the nomination is technically not locked-up since she has such serious lingering legal issues, she could actually be forced out of the race!
That said, what kind of case can we make for Hillary Clinton? Should she even be able to run? Or should she be focusing on a criminal defense case? She may call it a ‘security review,’ but don’t be fooled by the fluffy language. Take it from the FBI director, she is under a criminal investigation.
Hillary has not had a very good record of success lately. She could have become president in 2008, but was outmatched by Obama and his fresh energy and enthusiasm. He was clearly the best choice at the time, but it eventually came back to haunt the Democrats in 2016, because they had no other options. Hillary could have easily beaten John McCain in 2008, and gone on to become the first woman president. And regardless of how good or bad her administration might have been, the Democratic party would still have Obama on-hold for 2016 to be their next superstar. But now it is Obama’s administration that is ending, and all the Democrats had left was an older, crankier version of Hillary Clinton. But before they could conduct her coronation ceremony, Bernie bounced in and canceled their plans. Now a 74 year old socialist was giving Hillary and the Democratic machine a serious run for their (dirty SuperPAC) money. And it took most of the media, and an army of status-quo supporting super-delegates just to keep him at bay.
Hillary was a war-hawk senator who voted to send our kids into Iraq. She also represented Wall Street and supported the bailouts. Her term as Secretary was disastrous, ending up in resignation during a confusing firestorm of controversy and health problems.
There is no shortage of scandals and unanswered questions that have been plaguing Hillary for a number of years, but three recent complications have clearly landed her in hot legal waters lately, and need to be displayed and discussed. All three issues intertwine to an extent, but we’ll start with the “damn emails!”
When Hillary first started her tenure as Secretary of State, she decided she should set up her own personal private email server. In fact, she arranged to pay one of the State Department staffers $5,000 to make her request a reality. Following so far? Hillary was assigned an official government account specifically for security and transparency. Except she went out of her way to sneak around the system, leaving some of our most sensitive secrets and information vulnerable to anyone attempting to access them.
Hillary Clinton put her personal priorities ahead of ours in an effort to shield us from her activities. It was careless, illegal, and at our own expense; potentially endangering everyone in the country. In defense, she claims that previous secretaries also set up personal accounts. That is true, but she is also playing you for stupid. Previous secretaries used both a personal and official account. Hillary never actually used her official account. On a hilarious note, there was a memo found later that had been sent out to all State Department employees warning to urge caution with their email usage! Was she the one that sent it? Or was it only ‘done in her name?’ What difference does it make? Rules are for other people, not for Hillary!
Some of the highlights of Hillary’s house of email horrors:
- Hillary’s dirty little secret server gets exposed to the public.
- Instead of just turning over the server, Hillary scrambles into damage-control mode and gathers the staff to sort through her secret email collection. They decided which were worthy for the public, deemed the rest personal, and then ‘wiped’ the server clean. It wasn’t suspicious or inappropriate activity by any means, as she clearly wasn’t hiding anything at all. Unless the last sentence was dripping with sarcasm (it was).
- Plays dumb when asked about ‘wiping’ her server; “what, like with a cloth or something?” Clinton’s remark becomes an instant media sensation.
- Releases 55,000 pages of emails: Sure, maybe her staff deleted about 30,000 or so, but they were probably just personal, and we should take their word for it shouldn’t we? Besides, she still released 55,000 pages of her emails, and that sure sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? And why pages? To prohibit search terms? Or just to be a bitch? Probably a bit of both. Did several trees became collateral damage in Hillary’s quest to conceal what really happened that night in Benghazi? Perhaps.
- Hillary was busted dealing with shady Sidney Blumenthal, someone she was warned not to associate with. He was her go-to guy for off-the-record intelligence gathering, and he also became a documented weak-link to expose her leaky email security setup.
- Romanian hacker Guccifer admits accessing Hillary’s personal email on more than one occasion. Claims it “was easy!”
- Russia also allegedly has 20,000 of her emails in their possession.
- Claimed she only had one email device for convenience, but that was a big lie.
- Claimed her email contained ‘personal communications’ for her husband Bill. But it turned out that he doesn’t use email!
- Assured us that she did nothing wrong because other secretaries had used personal email accounts too! So they had one account for work, and used another separate account for their friends & family? What a concept! Except they actually used their official government account for their official government business…
- FBI recovery finds over 2,000 classified email exchanges, including 22 that were marked ‘top secret!’
- Hillary later claims that everyone at the State Department must have known that she used a separate account. So does that mean it’s equally everyone’s fault now?
- Hillary’s five closest advisers have already been interrogated by the FBI.
- One of them (Cheryl Mills) stormed out of her meeting because they apparently asked about something they weren’t supposed to ask. Are they already working out deals behind the scenes? Nothing to see here!
- State Department can’t find four years worth of emails from Brian Pagliano (the tech expert who took the $5,000 to move Hillary’s secure government accounts to a private server). Is that a ‘conspiracy’ in itself to evade federal transparency laws? It was rumored that Brian might make a deal and work for the FBI, but instead decided to invoke his 5th amendment right an astonishing 125 times at his recent deposition!
- Hillary claims it’s just a ‘security review.’ But that’s just ‘fluffed-up’ wordplay for ‘criminal investigation.’ She is later corrected by the FBI director!
- The State Department’s inspector general has bad news, reporting that Hillary violated federal records law, left herself vulnerable to hack attacks, and failed to deliver her emails to investigators as instructed.
Needless to say, Mrs. Clinton sure has a lot of explaining to do. What are you hiding in those damn emails Hillary?
Does it have something to do with the Clinton Foundation? Because that could help explain a lot. How does this charity work again? Where does the money go, and how is it spent? And who are the Clintons taking money from? Special interests? Foreign interests? Is it appropriate for a sitting Secretary of State to accept large ‘donations’ from foreign interests? Did you know the Clinton Foundation has already taken over $100 million from the Persian Gulf States alone? It makes you wonder what they are receiving in return for their very generous donations?
For example, is that $100 million going to needy children? Or is it being used to fund revolutions? Or maybe to take-out Gaddafi? Have him killed disgracefully, and then laugh about it on TV? Or was that a coincidence? Did it cost extra? Or maybe they were trying to ‘send a message’ to Assad? Stop, I’m not suggesting that’s what happened… but it certainly could have been what happened! And since we don’t have the damn emails, I think it’s fair-game to speculate… I mean, why did we suddenly have to go and overthrow Gaddafi again? Was he that bad of a guy? Or was he just ‘bad for business?’
Seriously, try and picture your favorite president (past or present) funneling money from fascist foreign regimes through some shady foundation in secret… does that thought sit well with you? Would it be fair to ask whether that money is influencing some of our nation’s foreign policy decisions? Like I don’t know… eliminating Gaddafi, and secretly funneling his weapons to “moderate” (violent Jihadist) rebels to help overthrow Assad? As I said, fair-game. And that leads us to…
They begged for help, but were ignored. And when they finally came under attack, they were left to die. Sound familiar? Where was Hillary at 3am again? Sound asleep? Or giving stand-down orders to a proposed emergency rescue mission? So many unanswered questions still remain!
Some say the Benghazi hearings have been a waste of money. Really? It’s laughable when these politicians keep raising our taxes, spend it all, borrow another half-trillion on a ‘credit-card,’ and then act like they suddenly care about saving taxpayers some money! Are they still seriously planning to someday pay back the 20 trillion dollar impossibility that we refer to as the national debt? What’s a few extra million, or even billion dollars at this point? This could be the biggest political scandal in history, dwarfing Watergate by comparison! How can the cost be relevant when the truth has no price? The Benghazi investigation is worth every single inflated dollar that the Fed can print out of thin air!
Then they claim that there have been enough hearings, and that this is just turning into a ‘republican witch-hunt.’ Is that true? I guess that all depends: have all of the important questions been answered already? Or has Hillary, the State Department, and the Obama administration been stonewalling every step of the way? The truth is that they could easily make this whole ‘Benghazi thing’ go away if they wanted to, so why don’t they?
It’s easy to believe that they could be hiding something. But regardless of who did what, no matter who was at fault; there is one simple, almost guaranteed way that Benghazi goes away for good: drag it out as long as possible and have Hillary win the election. Once in power, she would almost certainly find some creative way to bury Benghazi into a bureaucratic black-hole… perhaps with a single stroke of her pen? But therein lies the problem that faces us: how can we risk allowing a (possible) criminal to have the power to cover-up their own crimes? Not that I’m implying she’s guilty… but what if she is? And we let her run out the clock and get away with her misbehavior?
Let’s simplify this even further…
Two candidates are running for president. One of them happens to be under a criminal investigation! Do we:
A. Make sure all questions are answered before they take office?
B. Allow them to drag it out until they take power and put an end to their own investigation?
Conclusion: Do I have to point out how foolish and dangerous it would be if we picked B? Regardless of how you feel about Hillary, we have to protect the integrity of our constitutional institution. In other words: How can we consider an inauguration before the conclusion of the investigation?
Remaining questions must be answered to our satisfaction, and there is nothing to lose in doing so. No offense, but she’s really not worth rushing into power at the expense of our entire national security structure. Not to mention the rest of our four-year future together.
Now getting back to Benghazi… perhaps a few highlights to share?
- On the anniversary of 9/11, a U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya comes under attack. Four Americans including an ambassador are killed in the aftermath.
- News bombshell drops, exposing email exchange from the day of the event explaining that the Benghazi incident was the result of an organized terrorist attack. It was significant because it contradicted the administration’s story that the violence was caused by a ‘spontaneous uprising resulting from an offensive YouTube video.’
- The day the ‘liberal media died?’ The ‘Obama friendly’ media completely freaked out and went into panic mode after the email revelation. Benghazi backfired big-time, and it looked like a legitimate scandal was about to go supernova! And it was just two weeks in front of the election! What was the so-called ‘liberal’ media going to do?
- A. Throw Obama under the bus?
- B. Come to his rescue?
- C. Do their jobs as professional journalists: gather the facts, press for answers, and report the truth to the public as objectively as possible?
- Well it’s definitely not A or C, but I guess we will have to wait until the truth finally comes out. Regardless, the media got a miracle in the form of ‘super-storm Sandy.’ And just like that, the Benghazi incident was an afterthought. Sandy dominated the news cycle, sweeping away everything in its path. And the ‘liberal’ media was going to ride that storm until the end of the election, and did!
- It turns out that Hillary’s State Department ignored or rejected over 600 requests for additional security to protect our ambassador behind enemy lines in Benghazi.
- America, Britain and the Red Cross were all threatened to leave Benghazi. Britain and the Red Cross were attacked and evacuated the city. We knew we were next, but chose to stay. Why?
- No rescue attempted? They claimed it would take too long, but that was debatable.
- Stand-down orders? Apparently there were, but it’s unclear if they came from the station chief at the nearby CIA annex, or maybe from someone ‘up above’ including Obama or Hillary?
- The war on terrorism was not going so well. The Obama administration were really proud of themselves after ‘killing’ Osama Bin Laden, but now we were under attack, and the enemy looked stronger than ever. What happened?
- Hillary Clinton lied to the victim’s families when she was already well-aware of what really happened that night in Benghazi. Hillary promised them that she was going to go after those responsible… that damn filmmaker and his offensive YouTube video!
- The administration had their lackey Susan Rice go on TV and tell the big BS story to the American people. Did she know the full-story? Or was she being used as a useful-idiot?
- Obama addresses the United Nations, spending several minutes condemning the YouTube video that he knew had nothing to do with the Benghazi attacks. Not only was it manufactured misinformation, but it almost sounded like Obama was cleverly trying to criticize free speech in the process. Think about it, we could have prevented all that violence if we could have just banned that video before anyone saw it, am I right? But no matter how obscene or offensive it was, we were helpless to do anything because it was protected by the Constitution…
- “What difference does it make?” Cold-blooded Hillary chills congress, and creates an unforgettable media spectacle!
- What were we still doing in Benghazi anyway? Running weapons to so-called “moderate rebels” that later became ISIS?
- Hide, silence, threaten, or kill the witnesses? Or is this still a ‘republican witch-hunt,’ and a ‘waste’ of tax dollars?
- The security team from the nearby CIA annex go public, claiming that they had to disobey their ‘stand-down’ orders to conduct a rescue operation on their own. Their compelling story is made into a Hollywood movie.
- The State Department was stonewalling every step of the way.
- Half of the Benghazi committee were pathetic, partisan-hacks that were obstructing the investigation on-purpose to protect their party from imploding.
Benghazi goes way beyond Watergate, way beyond Nixon. It’s the kind of monumental political scandal that could threaten the entire ‘established order’ of Washington! And maybe we won’t find anything, but can you imagine if we did? The magnitude of the truth could absolutely devastate Hillary, the Democratic Party (what’s left of it), the Obama administration, and the ‘liberal’ media that were complicit in it!
As you can see, we have a few issues to fix before we hand Hillary back her old keys to the White House. It doesn’t matter how much it costs, these investigations must be completed before she can be allowed to take office. This isn’t an option, it is an unavoidable, mandatory requirement of her vetting process.
She had a sordid history, mountains of baggage, a shady foundation, and a pending criminal investigation? And this is the best the entire Democratic party had to offer us? Surely, there must be some good reason? What argument can we make on her behalf? Is it because Hillary is such a nice lady?
Except there is nothing to suggest that Hillary is some kind of warm, caring, or genuine person at all. Absolutely none. And everything to suggest she is a cold, ruthless, power-hungry political monster. Secret-service dreads working for her, and considers her assignment a punishment. One of her former agents is even breaking his silence, sharing his stories, and spilling her secrets in a soon to be best-seller warning everybody about what kind of person she really is. The word is that the Clinton campaign is very worried about its release, but it doesn’t take a book to tell what a phony, scripted, mean, and nasty person she is. Hillary acts like a spoiled queen, and looks down on everyone around her.
I’m sorry, have you heard any good Hillary stories lately? Hasn’t she been in the public spotlight long enough to have a few by now? Does she have a sweet side? A healthy sense of humor? She did make a few self-promotional cameos on Saturday Night Live, but has there been anything worth noting that was off-script? Of course there was that one time when she joked about the death of Gaddafi, but that was mostly disturbing…
Okay fine, she has a few scandals, and she’s a bossy, nasty, horrible bitch from Hell… but we’ve never had a woman president before! And she has the most experience!
Experience at what exactly? Stirring up problems? Enriching herself at our expense? Getting away with whatever she wants? Why don’t we take a look at some of her recent experience, shall we? As senator, she voted for the Iraq war, the big bailout, and the Patriot Act. Do I need to say more? And then she had a truly terrible tenure as Secretary. She worked to help install the Muslim Brotherhood into power in Egypt. Then she oversaw the overthrow of Gaddafi, and the devastating destabilization of Libya. Iraq imploded, Afghanistan dragged on. Al Qaeda seemed to disappear for a while… but they were just transforming into a bigger, badder version of itself called ISIS. How did they get so powerful? Was it because all those “moderate rebels” that we were arming and giving training to, turned against us? Whose idea was that again? Maybe it will make more sense if you try to picture the following scenario…
The public will not support an invasion of Syria, what should we do?
A. Leave the country alone. There are far bigger problems in the world. Assad might be a bad guy, but he’s not worth our trouble.
B. Give weapons and funding to radical Jihadists that we will sugar-coat to the public as “moderate rebels.” Since we can’t put our own ‘boots on the ground,’ we will arm and train these animals to fight on our behalf. It’s the perfect proxy war! What could go wrong?
What could go wrong? The destruction of Syria, thousands of lost lives, genocide… not necessarily from Assad, but from our new rebel friends! Welcome to Sharia Law Syria! And when the people finally flee from the country, it will create a huge refugee crisis caused by the unintended consequences of our Middle East meddling!
Wow, what would we have done without someone as experienced as Hillary in command of the State Department?
Okay fine, but what about all the good stories? She’s certainly been around a while, yet most people struggle to list any of her actual accomplishments, Hillary herself included! Can you think of any? Give up? Don’t worry, neither can her own followers!
The point is, what does experience matter if you don’t have any notable accomplishments, but do have a record of failure along with a reputation for reprehensible behavior? Does that sound like presidential material to you? Or is everything just one big made-up republican conspiracy? Now stop being sexist you racist!
But seriously, all negatives aside: what is the upside of a Hillary Clinton presidency? Does she really bring anything new and exciting to the table? Or will her administration be ‘business as usual?’ I think it’s reasonable to assume that it would be some kind of cross between Bush and Obama… but how is that going to help us? If the last 16 years have been a big problem, then how can ‘more of the same’ be the solution? Isn’t that also the so-called ‘definition of insanity?’
Of course that leads us to the next question: what is the downside of a Hillary Clinton presidency? I guess that depends, how far down does the bottom go? And how far could the country conceivably capitulate in 4 or 8 years? Hillary is already a known war-hawk that takes fat-cat cash from Wall Street. How about secret trade deals, a foreign policy determined by the highest bidder, wide-open borders, and political-correctness on overdrive? A war on guns, speech, and climate-deniers? How would you like to live in an Oligarchy on our own road to a neo-feudalistic Dystopia?
But please, feel free to paint a pretty picture of our lovely future together with
Queen President Hillary as our ruler…
For the reasons listed above, some to follow, and for the volumes of material we could never possibly cover in one sitting; I cannot see how we could seriously consider Hillary for president. This is not going to be a repeat of the ‘good-time’ 90’s with Bill (who has been fading away fast by the way). This is a completely different world, and we know a lot more about the Clintons now than we did back then. All is not what it seems to be, but let’s take a break from Hillary, shall we?
Joe Biden is currently in standby as the stand-in in case Hillary gets indicted or can’t go for whatever reason. They try to hide this guy because he’s a walking gaffe-machine. While he certainly creates some entertaining media highlights, they are not the most ‘presidentially appropriate.’ Either way, Joe is an old establishment dinosaur who would only run for one term as a temporary, super-awkward extension of the Obama administration.
In order to invigorate the base, Joe Biden would probably need to pick popular progressive populist Elizabeth Warren as his VP. She has a reputation of being supposedly tough on Wall Street, even though she doesn’t seem to have the results to back it up. For example, if she really wanted to help the American people so badly, she should have helped them audit the Federal Reserve. But she declined, instead opting to try and change the diversity of the Fed’s upper chain of command. On the surface it’s not a bad idea; instead of having a bunch of old white guys making all the policy decisions, why don’t we throw in a few other people from different backgrounds? It sounds nice, except it ignores the fundamental problem with the Fed. How would changing a few members of the board fix the 20 trillion-ton monstrosity that’s already been anchored to the ankles of the American people Liz?
Elizabeth Warren would easily ignite a spark of enthusiasm in the election, and she is clearly the coveted prize for Joe or Hillary. However, it is hard to imagine that scenario doing much good for anyone. For some reason, the base thinks she’s kind of a big deal… but to be fair, there aren’t many other options. She’s a 67 year-old one-term senator that wouldn’t have that much power as the number-two anyway. She may have made a good team with Bernie, but how is she going to be ‘tough on Wall Street’ when she is sitting under the crushing weight of ‘crooked’ Hillary Clinton? Liz is older than you think, but tougher than she looks. I don’t dislike her by any means, but I’m not entirely sure what all the hype is about either…
And that brings us to our last candidate, Donald J. Trump:
People can complain all day about how dangerous Donald Trump is for the country, but is it true? Two points:
1: Even if he did turn out to be dangerous, at least you could say there was a chance that he wouldn’t be. The alternative (at this point) is Hillary, and we already know how dangerous she would be. Even in the worst-case scenario, the difference between the two is that Hillary’s danger comes with a guarantee. Donald comes with some risk, but at least there’s some upside and guaranteed entertainment value. You cannot make the same case for Hillary!
2: Who is Donald dangerous for? Crooked politicians? Criminal illegal aliens? ISIS sympathizers? Political correctness? The mainstream media? The Democratic Party? The Republican Party? The Bush family? The Clinton family? If anything, Donald is dangerous to the ‘established order’ of things as they were… but isn’t that precisely what the American people have been looking for?
Like him or loathe him, Donald Trump happens to be one of the smartest, toughest, most successful, and most interesting people in American history. Do you agree with that statement? Or do you believe that he is stupid, weak, boring, and forgettable? Exactly. He is an American icon that has been a household name for over 30 years. The Donald is truly one-of-a-kind, and a larger-than-life character. He was always around for an opinion, and we enjoyed his honest answers and confident delivery. Best of all, he was never afraid to speak his mind, and give the public something to talk about…
Donald also teased around with the idea of running for president for almost as long as we’ve known him, and he usually left the possibility open that he might jump in at the right time someday. And then 2016 came along…
Of course he wasn’t taken seriously at first, and wasn’t expected to last long. The GOP didn’t want anything to do with him, and the media did their best to discredit him. But it all backfired because the public wasn’t buying it. They were fed-up , and really began to resonate with the Donald Trump rhetoric. Every attack on him just seemed to make everyone that much more determined to win. And the people were getting behind him in droves…
He persisted against the odds until he eventually emerged as the last republican standing. Now it was time for the ultimate showdown with ‘crooked’ Hillary: The establishment’s last hope? Versus an outspoken, self-funded populist? Was this really happening? Or was this something out of a Hollywood movie? One thing was for sure; the establishment was not happy. This election was supposed to be Hillary vs Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio. But now they had an outsider disrupting their plans…
How would the empire strike back? What was the establishment going to do about their Donald Trump problem? In an era of politically correct hypersensitivity and social justice warriors; it was obviously time to play the race and gender ‘cards!’
Donald Trump has found himself embroiled in controversy regarding his views on the border and immigration. Some of the criticism is fair-game, some of it is off-base, and some of it deserves further clarification. First off, I’m not a big fan of the whole wall idea. I understand why a country like China would want to build the Great Wall. It makes sense to prevent violent hordes of barbarians from pillaging your villages. Ancient civilizations were full of castles and city walls. But that was a long time ago, surely there were better solutions today?
Maybe I’m wrong? Regardless, here are two things I do know:
2. There are two radically different directions we can take on our border/immigration policy depending on who wins this November. And that leads us to the predictable question; which path would you prefer?
- A secure border.
- A 50 foot-tall wall if we need to.
- A possibility of deporting a portion of the people that are here illegally.
- A happy border patrol
- A temporary travel ban for people coming from countries that we are at war with. Our national security is too important.
- A policy supported by the leader of the Nation of Islam?
- A completely wide-open border.
- An overwhelmed border patrol that aren’t allowed to do their jobs, but are afraid to speak out about it.
- Let all OTM’s (other than Mexicans) go wherever they want in the United States. Welcome package includes free transportation! Just show up at a future court date! Don’t worry, the system is so backed up, it will be several years before they ask you to show-up, and most are going to be ‘no-shows’ anyway!
- Anchor-babies: Every child born in this country will be guaranteed full-U.S. citizenship with all of its privileges, regardless of whether their parents were U.S. citizens or not. That also includes anyone that is here illegally. And it doesn’t matter if the parent(s) broke the law on-purpose for the sole-purpose of exploiting that particular legal loophole in the law either. Because we were such awesome humanitarians!
- Change the phrase “illegal alien” to “undocumented immigrant.” We have to be more respectful about the illegals, I mean ‘undocumented immigrants.’ They may be in the country illegally, but that doesn’t give us the right to be insensitive about it!
- Give them driver’s licenses. Seriously. They need to have insurance don’t they?
- Are they able to vote too? Would the answer surprise you?
- Sanctuary cities. What if an illegal, I mean undocumented immigrant gets in trouble? They can’t go to the government for help! What should we do? How about we set up special places where they can get away with any crime imaginable, but legally shield their identity and activities from our own authorities? What a great idea!
- Let anybody and everybody into our country, including unvetted war-zone visitors and refugees: are they good people, or are they ISIS sympathizers? Who cares, stop being racist!
As you can see, there’s quite a difference in policy. But if you had to pick one, which would it be? Did you pick option B? Or are you a racist? Donald Trump may have made some insensitive remarks regarding his views on the border and immigration, but to suggest that he or his followers are racist as a result is ridiculous.
But wait, he was endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan, and then there was that time when he re-tweeted a meme with false crime statistics that made it look like blacks were dis-proportionally killing whites! First of all, just because the KKK is racist doesn’t automatically make Donald a racist. They were going to endorse someone weren’t they? Besides, there are going to be plenty of extremist groups that will likely endorse Hillary. Does that mean she shares their views? Of course not. And yes, one time Donald re-tweeted a meme with some misleading crime statistics. Did he create the meme? No. Was it an honest mistake? Most likely. Did some pundits in the ‘progressive’ media make a dis-proportionally huge deal about it? Absolutely.
Regardless, we’ve known this man for thirty years and never suspected that he was a racist. But now that he’s in the race for the White House, we are led to believe that Trump and his followers have suddenly become hate-filled white-supremacists? Is that because his opponents in the media said so? Or is it because radical anti-Trump activist groups (some funded by shadowy pro-Hillary ‘philanthropists’) are protesting and disrupting events? Be careful before you buy the BS, you are probably being played for a fool…
So is Donald Trump a sexist? Ironically, this issue isn’t shaping up to be the advantage that the Clinton campaign was counting on. And it appeared so obvious on the surface: The potential first woman president vs. a man who has a history of involvement with super-models, and is on his third marriage. A man who owned beauty pageants, and doesn’t hold back from blunt criticism…
For Hillary, it must have seemed like a dream scenario with potential material laying everywhere; this was going to be easy! Except there was one ‘yuge’ problem… no matter what they might find, Hillary and her husband were horrible hypocrites that were a hundred times worse!
How can you play the ‘gender-card’ on someone, when your own husband is a well-known sexual philanderer? Several of Bill’s mistresses are even household names! How many have you heard of? Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey, Juanita Broaddrick, Monica Lewinsky? And that’s just scratching the surface. One of his former flings spoke of Bill bragging about bedding over 2,000 women! There were the affairs from ‘back in the day,’ the ones while he was governor of Arkansas, the ones during his presidency, the ones after, and the recent one the secret-service refers to as ‘the energizer?’ All the while he was ‘with’ Hillary? Is this some kind of sick joke?
And speaking of Hillary, Bill once boasted that she had ‘been with more women than he has!’ And while far more discreet then Bill, she has had her own share of curious relationship rumors, featuring her assistant Huma Abedin, Webb Hubbell (Chelsea’s real father?), and even Vince Foster! Regardless, it appears the Clinton ‘marriage’ is nothing more than a ‘sham-for-show’ for two political sociopaths that are addicted to power, money, sex, and secrecy.
I’m not trying to pass judgment, I just want to ask an honest question; how can we seriously consider electing these awful people into power again? Despite the obvious problems, the Clinton machine was still strong. And they had an army of assets, allies, and useful idiots in the media to continue corrupting and controlling their confused cult-followers. Please don’t let these people prey on you! And yet it gets worse, much worse…
Donald Trump is no angel. But compared to the Clintons he is. Yes, Donald went over-the-line and overboard with the Megyn Kelly ‘gotcha’ moment at the first debate. Her question was ‘debate-ably’ fair-game, but Donald wasn’t expecting it, and didn’t handle it well. Then he doubled-down and made it downright ugly… for a time. But it’s over, and Donald and Megyn have since ‘buried-the-hatchet.’ Almost literally…
Then there was a recent New York Times article that outlined several of Donald Trump’s dealings with women to show us what an insensitive creep he was. Except the ‘star of the story’ was outraged, and went public to denounce the Gray-lady’s shady smear-piece. Oops.
Meanwhile, it’s on record that Bill Clinton has actually settled rape cases. Some have even alleged that he’s raped more women than Bill Cosby! And yet it still gets worse. As it turns out, one of Bill’s best buddies is a convicted pedophile named Jeffrey Epstein. He was a wealthy ‘philanthropist’ with a ‘stunning’ piece of property out in the Virgin Islands. In fact the place even had a nickname: Orgy Island! And it’s on-record that Bill Clinton took at least 26 flights there! Jeffrey’s private plane was even said to have a mattress on board for him and his elitist perv-pals to play around with one (or more) of his sex-slaves. Did somebody just say sex-slaves? Yes, Jeffrey Epstein was known for indulging in underage sex-slavery! Does that automatically incriminate Bill, or make him a pedophile too? Not necessarily, but he certainly has a lot of explaining to do…
At this point, it would be hard to dismiss any sexual deviancy stories when it comes to Bill or Hillary Clinton. They have created quite the history together, and it’s far from healthy. He is a well-documented sex-addict with an array of affairs. And if you dare decide to kiss and tell, Hillary will make your life like Hell. Outside of being a woman, Hillary is no champion for women’s rights. She tries to destroy her husband’s victims, and collects money from countries that treat women worse than animals.
Either way, for every negative we can find on Trump, there is something dramatically worse about one (or both) of the Clinton’s:
- Donald is on his 3rd marriage, but the Clinton’s have a pretend marriage for ‘political’ purposes. Not to mention a long history of sexual misbehavior…
- Trump University has come under scrutiny, but what about the Clinton connection to ‘Laureate Education?’
- Donald won’t release his tax returns? Okay, but what about the secrecy of the Clinton foundation donations? And several unresolved scandals?
Is this even a fair comparison anymore? Hillary shouldn’t even be there. She shouldn’t be considered, shouldn’t be eligible, and shouldn’t be running for any kind of position of power, period. However, we could also say the same thing about Donald Trump. He shouldn’t be in this race either, but not for the same reasons as Hillary. Donald should be out on a golf course somewhere enjoying himself, chiming in from time to time to give an opinion on something. And if the country were better off, he probably would be. But the country is not better off, it’s far-from. And that leads us to an interesting revelation…
Donald has debated for four decades about the possibility of running for president someday if needed. And then 2016 arrived, and the country had never been weaker. It was losing its greatness, forgetting its history, and reinventing its identity. Deluded, degraded, divided, and dumbed-down; the country was in demand of a sobering reevaluation. The clock was running out… at this point, what did we have left to lose? Besides, even if we were destined to fall, why not go out with an amazing story to tell?
And speaking of stories, who else was going to step-up and take on the almighty Hildabeast? She was always angry, and still bitter about 2008. She felt entitled, and had been planning to be our president for most of her life. Soon she would be in her oval office, laughing maniacally with her staff; “what scandals?” And “Ben Ghazi who?” It was time to close the door on the America that you used to know… first she was coming for the guns, and then she was coming for the Drudge! It was time to settle a score with so-called ‘patriots’ and conservative media. Secret international trade deals were up next, and foreign policy would be available to the highest bidder. Washington and Wall Street were scavenging the last scraps of the middle class, and the immigration policy was launching into overdrive. Things were about to change all right; and by the time those fools realize how bad they’ve been conned, it will be too late! They will have signed away their sovereignty, given away their guns, confused their culture, diluted their votes, and thrown away their voice! Welcome to the New American Century suckers! Vote for Hillary 2016! Anyway, it was all in good fun to imagine. And yes, it may have been a story, however it honestly wasn’t hyperbole. If Hillary had her way, this country was headed toward some troubling times…
But what about Donald Trump? Isn’t he just the ‘lesser of two evils’ anyway? Traditionally when someone uses that phrase, it means that both candidates are ‘bought and paid for.’ They may disagree on some of each other’s policies, but they are both in the pockets of the establishment so it does not matter which one you vote for. In fact, we’ve only had a handful of serious candidates in the last 50 years or so that were not already ‘pre-selected’ for us:
George McGovern: A good man, but was crushed in a landslide by Nixon.
Ronald Reagan: He won, but was allegedly controlled and influenced by his establishment VP, former CIA director and future president George H.W. Bush.
Ross Perot: He was the unlikely front-runner until he got chased out by the ‘Bush people.’
Ron Paul: It looked like he had the delegates to win, but he was cheated at the Republican convention by a last-minute rule change. He had won the required five states to win the national nomination, but that was the rule from five minutes ago. The new rules now required eight states to be eligible. All the GOP needed to do was hold an aye/no (yes/no) vocal vote to approve the new rules, and they would be made official. And to make sure they won, the GOP had their House Speaker named ‘Boner’ to hold the ‘vote.’ He was an orange-hued stooge who stood on stage and shouted; “the aye’s have it!” Except they definitely did not have it. But ‘Boner’ wasn’t conducting an official vote, he was just reading the script from the TelePrompter! The Republican establishment was rotten, deceptive, dishonest, and apparently terrified of the ‘Ron Paul Revolution.’
Bernie Sanders: he should have retired, but there was no one else to run against Hillary Clinton in the primary. She was bad news, and he gave her a surprisingly strong challenge. However, it was going to take a Clinton conviction or a convention-day miracle just to get to the next stage. Bernie may not win, but at least he helped expose the corruption of the DNC machine and its rigged, super-delegate shenanigans. Hopefully, Bernie will stick to his principles even if defeat. You can’t run as anti-establishment, lose, and then tell your followers to vote for the establishment candidate. Then he would be perpetuating the very problem he was trying to protect the people from! Besides, he owes the party nothing; please walk away with your dignity Bernie!
Donald Trump? A self-funded billionaire that wasn’t taking big donations to influence his decision-making. He was his own man, and told crowds at speeches that ‘he didn’t want their money, he just wanted their vote!’ The Republican establishment didn’t want anything to do with him, but they were so worried that he might run against them as a 3rd party, that they made him pledge his loyalty to them in the event he lost. Except the GOP got more than they bargained for; Donald’s popularity exploded, and he went on to defeat all 16 other candidates, storming to a decisive victory. Donald Trump was supposed to fail and be pledged to the Republican party, but now it was the Republican party that was pledged to him.
The plan backfired, and that didn’t sit too well with the old-guard, status-quo GOP. Several of the old dinosaurs even claimed they would rather vote for Hillary! But that leads us to another important point: how can you be an ‘establishment candidate’ if the establishment doesn’t want you as their candidate? And that was the big difference in what separated Donald Trump from say, Mitt Romney. On the surface, they were both billionaire businessmen running as Republicans. But beyond that they were quite contrasted with much different agendas…
In 2012, the GOP tried to force-feed their Fox-faithful followers on one of their two preferred, pre-selected candidates that the party had already picked out for them: Rick ‘Bush 2.0’ Perry or ‘moderate’ Mitt Romney. Perry wound-up self-destructing during the debates, leaving Romney as the last hope to fend-off the Ron Paul Revolution and fall to Obama. However, I never could understand why Mitt Romney wanted to run for president in the first place. He was a wealthy and devout religious man with a large family. Why would he want to deal with all of the responsibility and stress of being commander-in-chief? He already had a great life, and had all the money in the world. It made perfect sense for the GOP elites to want him elected, but he had little appeal to the rest of us in the real world.
In 2016, the GOP tried to force-feed their Fox-faithful followers on one of their two preferred, pre-selected candidates that the party had already picked out for them: ‘Brother’ Jeb Bush or ‘Manchurian’ Marco ‘the robot’ Rubio. But this time around, they were both taken out of the race; and far earlier than anyone could have anticipated. Donald Trump was a different animal, and a force to be reckoned with. The GOP then tried to latch onto Ted Cruz or John Kasich, and even flirted around with the idea of bringing back Mitt Romney! They tried everything they could, but the Donald Trump phenomenon was just too powerful. Unfortunately for the GOP, they were stuck with him whether they liked it or not.
Be warned however; there is still the possibility that the Republican party could pull off some kind of last-moment election-day surprise at the convention in Cleveland. It’s not completely out of the question, and could still be ‘in the cards’ somewhere. It would be desperate, dangerous, and downright suicidal for the party, but there might be a slight chance to protect the establishment… by ‘taking a dive’ and handing the election to Hillary. The GOP can not get away with cheating Donald Trump and expect his supporters to vote for the ‘new guy’ that stole his place. It was time to face facts: the only sure way to beat Hillary in November was to jump on the Trump bandwagon…
And to finish my previous point, Trump was not like Romney. And not just because the old-guard didn’t want him. Unlike ‘moderate’ Mitt, Trump acts like he actually wants to be president, perhaps even needs to be. Not to feed his ego, but out of survival instinct to help save his country. I guess you will have to ask yourself: do you believe that Donald Trump would be running for president if the country was doing really well? I personally don’t, and think that he sees the dangerous direction we are heading towards, and wants to try and make a difference while he still can. He could sit on the golf course and watch the country go off the cliff, or he could jump in to try and ‘save the day.’ And honestly, who was better qualified than him to get the job done? To pull off the impossible? Either way, Donald was up for the challenge, and it was hard not to respect him for it…
But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves just yet. Donald Trump could very well be the ‘real deal,’ but we must be careful not to get carried away with the ‘cult of personality’ either. One of the biggest obstacles we face as a nation is the two-party system ‘school of thought’ that has helped divide and conquer us. Instead of a country full of informed, independent political thinkers; we had been mostly sorted into one of two categories: Democrats or Republicans. The parties and their ideologies had become so strong that they began to resemble modern-day religious institutions. And we had the same problem with the media, as they were rarely ‘objective’ anymore. As stated above, the news was now labeled ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative,’ and usually worked hand-in-hand with the two big parties. Where was I going with all this? Simple: don’t be a cultist!
It’s extremely important that people learn from their past mistakes and not be cult members for Donald Trump. The Bush, Obama, and Hillary fanatics have hurt us all, and America can’t afford to mess this up again. The Bush regime got away with war in large part because the Republican cultists believed everything they heard from the ‘conservative’ media. Then the Obama regime came in and got away with scandal after scandal after scandal (so far). It was made possible because the cultists on the left believed every talking-point manufactured from the ‘liberal’ media. It was painful to watch as people from both sides were completely oblivious that they were all being played for fools. They knew the ‘other side’ was bad, but failed to ‘look in the mirror,’ and realize how dreadful their own side was as well.
The good news was that the people were getting wise to the game, and trust in Washington and mainstream media had never been lower. Donald Trump was also a special case, because he didn’t quite fit into the partisan duopoly. Most of the media seemed ‘out to get him,’ but they also loved hosting him because he was a guaranteed ratings ‘rain-maker.’ Regardless, the big fear with Trump was that he had the potential to turn into an authoritarian. Anything is possible, but he’s running for president, not King. Therefore, he would still be bound by the Constitution to ‘check and balance’ him. But ultimately, it was going to be up to ‘we the people’ to work together to keep his authority in check, and hold him accountable for his actions. Give Donald the benefit of the doubt, but definitely not become the cultists that we used to criticize.
One thing was for sure about 2016: this was an amazing and incredible time to be alive, and we had front-row seats witnessing an election for the ages. Now who was going to emerge victorious and guide us into the future?
- Bernie was a great character, but he really didn’t offer anything innovative or exciting. Converting a crony-capitalist America into a Socialist system was a waste of time and a lost-cause at best. Bernie may have had old ideas and misguided solutions, but at least he was a good guy. He should use the time he has left to
study Switzerland, and recant the ‘error of his ways’enjoy himself in other ways.
- Hillary was rotten and corrupt. Say hello to Globalism, secret international trade deals, unaccountable bureaucracy, oligarchy, money in politics, scandals on steroids, open borders, ‘immigration’ in overdrive, invincible ISIS, and foreign policy for a price? Does that sound like the kind of future you want to live in? Good, now kneel before your queen!
- Donald was a fierce nationalist, an American icon, and a potential presidential contender since the 80’s. He always said he might jump in someday if needed, and ‘someday’ finally arrived. Someone needed to march down to Washington and shake things up, and it was hard to envision anyone better suited for the task. America was in need of a serious wake-up call, and it got one.
To simplify further, we had three potential presidential futures:
- Bernie needed a miracle, but would be ineffective at best.
- Hillary was status-quo at best, with zero upside and nearly unlimited downside!
- Donald was the ‘wild-card.’ Was he going to “make America great again?” Who knows? But it sure was going to be fun to watch!
And that is what everything finally boiled down to. No matter how you felt about Donald Trump, he was the only potential difference-maker available. And as an added bonus, he provided unlimited entertainment value! How could we possibly pass that by?
Sure, he might be an egomaniac, but maybe America needed an egomaniac? Hey, at least he was our egomaniac!
Does America deserve Donald Trump? I guess that all depends; were we being punished, or did we catch a lucky break? Think about this for a minute: what if Donald had decided to stay home instead? We could have been stuck with Hillary vs. Jeb! Would you rather experience the most hopeless and depressing election ever? Boring ‘brother’ Jeb vs. ‘crooked’ Hillary? Or would you prefer to have another option? Because we happen to have one! He’s a billionaire businessman, a reality TV star, and one of the most recognized and respected personalities on the planet. He’s a natural leader, speaks his mind, and knows how to get things done. Most importantly however, he loved his country and wanted to make it great again…
Now doesn’t that sound like the best option to you? Or would you prefer the wicked-witch of Washington and her sexual-predator husband? It couldn’t get any more obvious than that. It was time to make history with an epic political tale to tell. America had only one choice this November, and his name was Donald J. Trump. Now pass the popcorn, and enjoy the show!
-Peace and Love
“You Don’t Understand God”
By TNAM Founder,
I was once both a bartender, and a promoter at a club in Long Beach, CA.
I could just feel that the clientele was becoming rough and sketchy, so I bounced,…… just a few short weeks before a shooting.
It is unlikely that the fallen in Orlando, FL had a similar warning.
I went to go see Collective Soul a few months ago because my buddy Johnny has been drumming with them for a few years. The show was at the historic Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles, and it was held on the same night of the Bataclan attacks in Paris while Eagles Of Death Metal performed.
My friends & I had to point out the emergency exits we would use, and set multiple cascading checkpoints in case we got separated in a chaotic event and had to meet back up.
(Note: You and your loved ones should do the same when at public events.)
This world is a disgusting place sometimes.
I would say the world has changed, but it has always been this way. Read the bible,…it is full of brother killing brother, slavery, kingdoms, warfare, treachery, deceit, and political espionage.
Nothing has changed.
So,…in a sometimes horrible world, how should we navigate this?
Well, as a bartender or promoter, I would want to be armed to defend my life.
I would want certain security staff armed. I would want the managers armed…..just in case.
Folks,…these sniveling cowards are aiming at soft targets like schools, and concerts because they know the victims are sitting ducks.
Low hanging fruit.
Apples in a barrel.
However you want to describe it,…..disarmed people are easy to kill.
There is zero amount of legislation that can regulate evil except by meeting it with equal force.
It ALWAYS takes a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun.
(Yes,…I know this guy worked security, but he was not a good guy. He was a lone wolf in sheep’s clothing.)
I wish every school shooting was ended by a trained heroic sheepdog of a teacher who snuffed out a threat to his flock.
I wish this Orlando idiot would have only been able to get a couple of shots off before a bartender blew his brains out.
…I mainly wish that I didn’t have to wake up to this story today. I wish there was a leprechaun with a pot of gold for me at the end of the rainbow too, but sadly,…that is a fairy tale.
The reality is, that bad people do bad things.
Do not use the killer’s name.
Do not read it, write it, learn it, or say it.
The devil needs no more free advertisement.
If you think your God wants you to kill….then you don’t understand God.
Prayers for comfort, peace and security.
The New American Media
While I slither down the rabbit hole of exclusive insight, global economic crisis’ and escalating war scenarios
I frequently ask myself “what am I searching for and how did I get here?”
Like a weary traveler collecting postcards, I gather pieces of information to share with the masses via media.
While practicing in this field, or what many would call a career, I am often blind to the fact that people are changing around me.
Within this changing process lie a breed of people who are engaging in relationships, moving in together, and ultimately collapsing into love.
Is there something they know that I don’t?
Am I always the last one who’s allowed to dance with the girl with the pretty smile?
As a media personality I have had the opportunity of circumnavigating the world while filming, reporting, eating, drinking and inspiring others while being inspired myself in one sitting. The dreams I had growing up stood the test of time.
Inside, I’ve always known that there’s something more to my quest rather than information and idea sharing.
There’s a design for life and I’m catching on to it.
Many years under my belt, I am beginning to figure out that I am subconsciously chasing my true love.
In doing so, I am finding glimpses of her in every corner of the world.
My solitude towards the imaginary soul mate in my mind burns like a bonfire set a blaze by a mad man.
The clues to her whereabouts are scattered throughout different continents.
Sometimes these tidbits ring true in airport terminals among perfect strangers.
When I start getting closer to what I seek, the Universe pushes me away. I look to discover the lesson to be learned.
However, the chase continues and all caution is thrown into the wind.
The art of psychological warfare in this game of love is one to be appreciated, so I practice it.
It’s like the lever in the school hallway that says “Pull in case of Emergency”. So I pull.
Force, fraud & coercion aren’t part of this action.
An involuntary relationship is not only depressing, but rather insulting.
Patience, persistence, and compliments are key components to this art form.
My words and actions are best in complementary form. At least from my research.
In past experiences:
She found me in a hotel lobby once. I offered her roses. She offered me promise. Reality offered me an eviction notice.
Expiration dates do exist. Its my job to recognize them as they’re usually next to the cliché womanly road blocks.
Another instance I was enticed to visit her in a foreign country.
With the US in my rear view mirror, the chance of new beginnings were exciting.
Like a sleuth, I gathered evidence and participated in the casual flirtation.
As time built, I was deemed misguided for merely reflecting on what was given to me.
I became a statistic, another casualty of war.
What is my purpose?
Maybe I am destined to be the off-the-wall story teller.
What I do know, is that my journey isn’t over just yet and my true love does exist. She exists in many forms.
When I am in a crowded hall I see her smile across the way. When I finish a bottle of pinot noir I can hear her call my name like a songstress in the night. While I strum my guitar she knows I am playing for her and her only.
My love is pure and beyond room temperature. When she enters a room a drum beat ensues and heads quietly turn.
She can’t be copied or compared to any other.
My true love may not have the physical form as my imagination may lead me to believe but her spirit is near.
Time reveals her face to me little by little.
I’ve learned that being open minded, and a little different than the rest, can take you a long way in this life.
In a world where people make the same mistakes, being different is a revolutionary act.
By: Dean Ryan
“The Hail Mary” Becomes “The Hail Carly” For Ted Cruz’s Presidential Bid. Opinion Article By: Brian Engelman
Today, Ted Cruz held a press conference to announce that he has selected Carly Fiorina to be his running mate. That’s great & all, but he isn’t in the lead, he just got dominated in the “Atlantic Primaries” where he lost all 5 contests, and this potentially great idea just might have moved the needle,…if it had come weeks or months ago. Wayne Gretzky once said “You miss 100% of the shots that you don’t take”, but I think he meant “in regulation”. There is no time on the clock. He has been mathematically eliminated. It’s over. I don’t blame Ted for trying, but his timing is bad.
I have long hoped that candidates would name their “Dream Team” as early as possible so that we can imagine what the whole cabinet would look like. Just imagine if Ted had named every person who dropped out of the race to his squad. Sure,…Jeb’s 3% isn’t impressive, but what if it were added to Ben Carson’s 5%, or Rand’s 4%,….or whatever. You get the picture. There were many candidates who bowed out, but they could have brought their supporters if they joined Cruz when they left. If he had said, “hey, don’t worry,…your candidate is joining my team. A vote for me is not only a vote for your candidate, but it’s also a vote against “The Donald”.
I think it could have worked. Hell,…I know it could have worked. I did something similar in High School.
I put together an intramural basketball team during my Senior year when I noticed that most of the best ballers in school weren’t playing on the Varsity team for various reasons. I loved to play, & thought it’d be cool to assemble a Globetrotter-esque super group, so I approached my football coach Mr. Nowak who was also running the league. He told me there was just one team opening left, so I signed up my team on the spot. I paid the admission fee, & claimed the last opportunity.
It was true that at the time I didn’t have any players on that team, but I did have a plan, if only a last-second gamble.
I went up to about 10 of my friends and asked them if they wanted to join my team of one. Keep in mind, although I played all the time & was a solid player, I stood 5’10” & fell somewhere on the “average to good” skill spectrum. This wasn’t LeBron asking Kevin Love to join a super group. I was just a dude with a strong work ethic & hustle, & some decent fundamentals. Point being,…the opportunity to join my team wasn’t all that appealing, but playing with my fantasy team was an idea that proved to be irresistible.
When I told each player who was on the team, I rattled off the names of 10 of the best hoopsters in school. When they heard that all-star roster everyone said yes, I ended up with the team that I had in my mind all along. We went on to win the Championship that year, and it was a magical season. It happened because I just snuck in at the deadline, and took a gamble that paid off. Cruz would have been the guy asking Mr. Nowak for a team after the full schedule had been finalized.
All I know for certain is that I can’t shake the phrase “too little, too late” when thinking about Cruz, although in sports, there really isn’t too little time to make a game-changing play. Recently we saw game 3 of Cavs V. Pistons in the 1st round of the playoffs that featured Matthew Dellavedova rifling an amazing bull’s eye, cross-court pass to Kyrie Irving in the corner who swished a dagger of a 3 pointer with just .7 seconds left on the shot clock that essentially closed out the game. With .7 seconds left, some people might wonder “why even try”? But in sports, with time on the clock, you always have a chance.
Then in game 4, Kyrie hit a half court shot at the buzzer to close out the 3rd quarter, & another with under a minute left to play in the game. Cavs fans are getting used to it at this point. Cleveland is no stranger to big plays at the last second, as the 1980 Cleveland Browns even earned the nickname “The Cardiac Kids” because of all the nail biting, come from behind victories. Cleveland is also a sports town that has seen THE MOST misery & heartache of any 3-team sports city in America. “The Shot”, “The Drive”, “The Fumble”,…these are all last second plays that doomed the Cleveland teams of the past.
Who knows, maybe Trump won’t get enough of the vote to become the nominee and I’ll look back on this column and think about how silly & naive I was to doubt Mr. Cruz’s master plan. “It was so diabolical and I wrote off the strategy it too early” I might reflect. Who knows. This is a crazy year. It’s the wildest political season I’ve ever seen, so I can’t really discount any of it.
The Drudge Report lead story shows a picture of Ted & Carly with the title: “It ain’t over till the skinny lady sings”. We’ll just have to wait until the end of this race to see if Cruz’s strategy pays off with a potentially raucous Cleveland Convention. When I said earlier that “it’s over”, …well,…that isn’t exactly accurate. While it is true that Ted cannot reach the magic RNC number, he could prevent Trump from getting there, and it would essentially force an overtime. If 2 NFL defenses don’t allow the other team to get into the end zone in regulation, then overtime starts with a 0-0 score.
If Cruz/Carly/Kasich can keep Trump from getting 1,237, & the RNCC ends up going to the second, or third, or 4th ballot resulting in a Cruz nomination, both Cleveland and the Republican party would turn upside down & inside out (especially if the Roger Stone prediction/plan comes to fruition).
If the Ted Cruz “half court shot” actually works, you might even see bigger Cleveland riots than if the Cavaliers can finally bring a Championship to the title starved city that has been waiting 52 years to celebrate.
The “Hail Mary” has been replaced with the “Hail Carly”.
George Carlin once said: “When you’re born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you’re born in America, you get a front row seat.” When you root for Cleveland laundry, you get a front row seat to watch your teams repeatedly snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Wouldn’t that be exactly what would happen to Trump if he finds a way to blow this lead???
“What better place than here? What better time than now?” (Rage Against The Machine, “Guerilla Radio”).
In the season of Trump, we have officially watched reality t.v. morph into politics. The key to ratings lie in outrageous & erratic behavior that either makes us laugh, or makes us cringe. What better place than Cleveland to potentially watch a train wreck from the front row seat!
By Brian Engelman
The Arrogant Bureaucracy:
My day of press conferences and peaceful protests
by Bud Stratford
Friday, March 18th, 2016
Yesterday, I went to Los Angeles to attend a homeless rights protest on the steps of Los Angeles City Hall. The protest itself was scheduled to run between 11:30 am and 2 pm. But the city council, represented by city councilman Curren Price, scheduled a pre-emptive news conference for 9:30 am on the very same steps that the protesters were scheduled to meet at, at 11:30. Having extremely short notice of this sudden change in plans, I hastily amended my travel plans so that I could be in downtown Los Angeles by 8:00. I am, after all, “the press”. Being “the press”, I thought it was pretty important for me to be at that press conference, come hell or high water, and regardless of how much sleeplessness, exhaustion, and Los Angeles rush-hour traffic I would have to battle along the way.
That press conference became the defining moment of my day. That was an unfortunately enlightening experience. Admittedly, my experience with my government is fairly nonexistent, outside of paying the occasional parking ticket (or my taxes, which are fundamentally similar). And my experience with press conferences is even less existent than my experience with city government. So, I basically had no idea what to expect at all.
But in my mind’s eye, I was pretty hopeful. I figured that if anyone would take the time to listen to the press, or their constituency, it would surely be a city councilmember. They are, after all, the lowest possible rung in our political hierarchy. As such, I assumed that I would be able to talk to this guy, maybe ask him a few questions, and get The City’s perspective on this whole dilemma of tiny homes for the homeless, and what The City could do to work with all parties involved. “All Parties” being the many, many parties… both public, and private… that would like to work [together], in a pro-active fashion, to solve the homeless problem in Los Angeles.
How wrong I was…
The News Conference
The news conference was interesting. All of the “bigger media players” seemed to be present, and accounted for. I saw reporters there from the local Fox affiliate, as well as from The Los Angeles Times. There was a small horde of cameramen and photographers. There was myself, representing the International Network of Street Newspapers, based in London, England. There was also an abundance of journalists representing “the new, independent media” (including an outlet quite literally called, “The New American Media”). There were a handful of “homeless activists”… allies of Elvis Summers, the homeless-house builder. And then, just before the news conference started, Elvis Summers arrived on queue, fashionably punctually, with his trademark bright-red-dyed mohawk, and an extemely dapper (and stylish) black suit. The crowd immediately rushed toward him, excitedly wanting to either ask him questions, or to show their support. He was clearly “The Rock Star of The Moment”.
I’m pretty sure that made Curren Price none too happy. The glare in his eyes made that much, readily and obviously apparent.
The Curren Price Initiative
The news conference started with Curren Price front and center behind the podium, and a large number of his supportive entourage standing behind, and beside him in apparent solidarity. Included were homeless advocates, city bureaucrats, and a small handful of homeless people… including a mother, and her 7-year-old (or so) daughter.
The theme of the press conference was pretty straightforward: tiny houses for the homeless are not an admirable, or even acceptable, option for the city’s homeless. This was repeated several times, through the mouths of a parade of speakers. Instead, it was up to the city bureaucrats to solve the homeless dilemma. Apparently, it’s always been up to the city bureaucrats to solve this dilemma. They just haven’t had the initiative, or the plan, to solve it.
Until now. Two hours before Elvis’ protest was scheduled to begin.
The Conspiracy Theory
Somebody brought up a great question to me, as I stood there listening to Curren Price speak. The question was, “If the city is so determined to solve the problem, then why haven’t they done anything meaningful to address the problem, until today…?”
“That’s a great question. I’m not sure. I don’t live here. So, I wouldn’t know.”
“Well, I do”, said my mystery source.
“Okay. Tell me. What is it then?”
“They’re making money off the homeless.”
“By being well-paid city bureaucrats that make their living off of ‘helping the homeless’. And they perpetuate their paychecks, by not helping them at all. It’s in their better interests to make sure that the homeless stay on the streets, where they’re highly visible. So that the problem looks even worse, so they get even more funding to ‘fix’ the problem. But, they can’t actually solve the problem. Because if they actually solved the problem, they’d be out of a job. And their paychecks would cease to exist. Unlike the homeless, The Bureaucrats go home to nice, comfortable houses every night. That their city paychecks pay for. If the homeless had homes, the bureaucrats would be out of their homes, and on the streets. And no bureaucrat is going to tolerate that change of fortune.”
I have to admit that this line of logic only makes perfectly plausible sense. Maybe, the city doesn’t really want to solve the homeless problem. Maybe, there really is too much money at stake.
Within moments, Curren Price confirmed beyond any reasonable doubt, just how much money was on the table.
By my count, that number is $2,030,300,000. And counting.
Curren Price and His Entourage made a big deal out of the piles of money that they’ve “adopted a plan” to spend, attempting (but, not guaranteeing) to solve the homeless problem in Los Angeles. Whether these funds have been earmarked or actually budgeted, was left entirely unclear. “The Adopted Plan” is a $2 billion strategy, including another $30 million to provide “outreach, coordination, showers, storage and other services”. Furthermore, Price dedicated another $300,000 to “intensive outreach” in his own district.
Thus far, that money has bought and paid for the following results: it has paid for 120 shelter referrals and placements; it has provided 210 people with “direct services and transportation”; and, it has referred 41 others to “mental health and medical services”. Veronica Lewis of SSG/Hopics, an outreach agency, said that another 100 people had found homes through city- and-county funded programs in the last 18 months.
These staistics, by the way, were all outlined in the LA Times story on the press conference yesterday. They’re consistent with the numbers that I heard floating around at the news conference, myself. Unfortunately, I didn’t see any written documentation or statistics, backing any of these “facts” up. And the speakers spoke so fast, and so vaguely, that I barely had time to write everything down. Let alone, make any sense out of it.
But, the overall truisms remain: the city has “adopted” $2,030,300,000, and has “helped” exactly 471 homeless people, in vague and undefined ways, with that money thus far. That seems like a pretty awful return on investment to me. But, what do I know? I’m not a well-paid city bureaucrat…
The LA Times also noted that “the number of people housed in Price’s district was not available”. But what the LA Times didn’t tell us was how easy it is to find good, solid estimates regarding those numbers.
Thankfully, I have a smart phone that can readily access Google from any place on the planet, at any time I want. Even from downtown Los Angeles, at noon, on any given Friday. Had Curren Price wanted to access the homeless numbers for his district, as well as for the metropolis at large, he could have gone to www.laalmanac.com and seen the numbers for himself. Just like I did.
In the Los Angeles Metropolitan area, there are approximately 82,000 homeless people on the streets on any given night. 12,356 of those are classified as “chronically homeless”. “A high percentage- as high as 20 percent- are veterans”, it adds. “Unaccompanied youth… are estimated to make up from 4,800 to 10,000 of these”. These are direct quotes from The Los Angeles Almanac. And they illustrate just how atrocious and intractible the homeless problem in Los Angeles really is.
Politifact (www.politifact.com) reports that, according to HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, “it costs [taxpayers]… about $40,000 a year for a homeless person to be on the streets”. If he’s right, then Los Angeles taxpayers are spending $40,000 per year for 82,000 people to be homeless, for a grand sum of $3,280,000,000 per year. That’s $3.28 Billion dollars that Curren Price’s taxpayers are spending every single year on a problem that he has “adopted” only $2 Billion dollars to solve.
Elvis spends about $2500 on every homeless house he builds. If that’s accurate, then Elvis could house the city’s 82,000 homeless people for about $205,000,000. That’s $205 Million. Not, Billion.
And those people would have their own safe, secure, and private houses. Not just, a cot in a shelter where they’re forced to sleep in open space, completely vulnerable, and surrounded by total strangers. Many of them with severe physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral issues.
Which even the city admits is true. Because they’ve “adopted” part of their budget to providing “mental health and medical services”. Which they wouldn’t need to fix, if the problem didn’t exist.
The Former Teacher
One of the most vocal speakers at the press conference was June Richard. Mrs. Richard is a former teacher at LAUSD in Los Angeles. She spent quite a bit of her angry time at the microphone… and make no mistake, her countenance was one of an extremely angry woman both during, and well after, the press conference… glaring at, and speaking directly to, Elvis Summers and his supporters.
“Your houses are not a solution to the homeless problem in Los Angeles!”, she seethed. These houses are unsafe for the city. The homeless people that inhabit them, can (and according to June, do) use them as a convenient cover for drug use and prostitution. They take up space on the sidewalks that force children to walk on the streets, which is unsafe for the kids. Those same homeless people leave their sewage and trash everywhere, making the whole neighborhood an eyesore. These, are Mrs. Richard’s contentions.
The one argument that was mysteriously left unsaid… but, we all know it’s true (including June Richard, I’m sure)… is this: “homeless houses” bring down the property values in the neighborhood. And this, I suspect, is precisely why it was left unsaid. Because it sounds “mean” to put your own self-serving economic interests above the humanitarian interests of those who have nothing in life, besides a donated tiny house, and some other “bulk trash” items.
I had the chance to talk to Elvis later, regarding June Richard’s assertions; June Richards would hear nothing of talking to Mr. Summers, herself. The only evidence that I saw of her “reaching out” to Elvis, was to cuss him out on camera. Footage that Elvis still has readily accessible on his smart phone.
Elvis, for his part, does not disagree with anything that June Richard said at the press conference at all. She’s absolutely right. The streets are no place for homeless houses. They certainly could be used to house all sorts of illicit activities (although he does disagree in regards to how often this actually happens). They do pose an obstacle for pedestrians walking the sidewalks. The trash is an obvious problem… although the homeless cannot be blamed, or held accountable for all of the trash on LA’s streets. Elvis noted that when the police came to impound the tiny houses as “bulk trash” and removed them from the city sidewalks, the city (for whatever reason) left behind the “bulk trash” that was inside the houses, as well as all of the “bulk trash” that just happened to be surrounding them. So apparently, bulk trash does not figure into the city’s definition of “bulk trash”. Only tiny houses do.
Still, none of this matters. “The issue…”, Elvis shouted over his mega phone… that he had pointed directly at City Hall, just so everyone could hear him loudly and clearly, “…is about shelter…! People need shelter…! And my houses give them a safe, secure place to sleep at night…!”
And Elvis is right. Although the City Council would have no way of knowing that. Because they’ve never slept in a tiny shelter before.
But I have.
Our Incompetent Government At Work
Although Curren Price was not available to answer questions after the news conference… and neither was his “handler”, who I’ll always remember as “The Man In The Electric Blue Suit”… the rest of his entourage milled around for a while after the conference networking, taking advantage of photo ops, and generally schmoozing up a storm. I had the chance to ask many of them if they’ve ever slept in one of Elvis’ tiny houses…? They all looked at me a little strangely… as if I was some sort of reporter from Mars or something… and kindly advised me that, no, they certainly hadn’t. And they certainly would not, under any circumstance. Because of how “unsafe” and “unsanitary” those homeless houses are. That they’ve never seen. Nor, spent any time in.
One of the things that I really wanted to do while I was in Los Angeles, was to sleep in an “Elvis Summers Homeless House” for myself. Unfortunately, this was not a possibility this weekend. Of the 37 Homeless Houses that Elvis and his volunteers have built, 3 were impounded by the city, and are currently in gated in secure (and well-armed) storage at an undisclosed location (out of fear of Elvis finding them, and stealing them back, I presume), awaiting a change in city ordinances that would allow for the city to permanently destroy them.
Of the remaining 34 houses, 8 more are in storage at a similarly undisclosed location (out of fear of the city finding them and stealing them from Elvis, I presume), along with the personal affects of their former residents. The remaining 26 houses are completely unaccounted for. That’s “the official story”. The truth is that nobody really knows where they’re at. The most that anyone knows is that, hopefully, they’re doing their intended job somewhere in Los Angeles.
I’m still able to speak from experience here, even though I was not able to sleep in an “Elvis Summers Homeless House”, per se. I did, however, spend a month of homelessness sleeping in my micro-camper. Which is essentially an “Elvis Summers Tiny House” on wheels. Specifically, bolted to a small, Harbor Freight trailer. Like Elvis’ tiny homeless houses, it was cheap enough to build… it cost almost exactly the same $2500 that it costs Elvis to build one of his tiny houses… and it’s similarly (un)equipped with only the very basics required for a sound night’s sleep. Namely, a roof; a [locking] door; a ventilated skylight (two, actually); a Sealy Posturpedic queen-size mattress of plush and pampering quality; and some swanky, stylish, color-coordinated bedding. I’ll include some photos of my stylish setup, so you can judge for yourself just how “unsafe” and “unsanitary” it really is. And of course, I still sleep in it on a frequent and regular basis. Sometimes, even with my girlfriend. It is, after all, a camper.
And I can do it legally because “camping” is legal in many, many places. Which sort of opens a door, doesn’t it, to solving the “homeless problem”…? At least, on a temporary basis…? “Homelessness”, per se, might be quite illegal (and trust me, it really is). But by simply re-titling them “campers”… suddenly, opportunities arise for a completely legal, temporary housing paradigm. Not a permanent solution, to be sure. But a workable, practical, and temporary one nonetheless.
Which is all Elvis Summers ever wanted in the first place.
Homeless Houses, Homeless Approved
Immediately after the news conference concluded, the homeless lady that had spent the entirety of the news conference to Curren Price’s immediate left came running up to me, with her little daughter in tow, and promptly asked me how she could sign up on the waiting list to get her own tiny house. I was a little dumbfounded, naturally enough. For one, I had no idea that there was a waiting list for tiny houses. And secondly, I had naturally assumed that she was a supporter of Curren Price. Not, a supporter of Elvis Summers.
“Oh, no. I love what Elvis is doing. I’m homeless. So I really want to get on the waiting list.”
“If you don’t mind me asking, but how did you end up on the podium today with Mr. Price…?”
“Somebody just asked me to show up and stand there. So, I did. But I was really hoping to talk to Elvis.”
Elvis, as it turned out, did have a volunteer there, at City Hall, taking names for thier waiting list of homeless people that wanted tiny houses of their own. A few hours later, I checked back in with her to see how she was doing. She had a very long list of names in her hand. She had clearly been very, very busy.
“If you don’t mind me asking, but how do you find these people that are on the waiting list…? Aren’t they a little difficult to track down…?”
“Oh, they’re easy to find! Most of them have ‘Obama Phones’.” She showed me the list… and sure enough, she had a very long list of both names, and telephone numbers. Very quick, very simple, and very easy. I was impressed. Here’s a gal that knows how to get stuff done.
There must have been over fifty names on that list.
The Elvis Summers Vision
As I mentioned above, Elvis Summers never intended for these homeless houses to be out on the streets, or taking up space on the sidewalk, spreading poop and trash all over the place, and putting little children in harm’s way. What he really wanted… and, what he’s always wanted… is a safe, secure place (with some minimal sewage, water, trash, and security infrastructure) to put them. A place where the homeless could live short-term, within a sensible budget. Where they could get the help they need at one central location to permanently transition off the streets, and into employment and permanent housing. In short: a temporary, transitional campground. That could be placed on any one of Los Angeles’ multitudes of public spaces, or abandoned properties.
I never did get to interview Elvis directly for this story. He was an extremely popular figure yesterday, and everybody had a zillion questions that they wanted to ask him. That’s what separates Elvis from his detractors in city hall; Elvis is at least approachable, accessible, and willing to answer any and all questions, regardless of how long it takes, and regardless of who might be doing the asking.
Yesterday, he spent roughly four hours answering questions and being interviewed by dozens of reporters, well-wishers, supporters, and average people. I was invited to sit in on no less than a dozen of those interview sessions. And because all of the reporters on hand asked so many questions… many of those same questions were literally asked over and over again… I ended up not having to ask Elvis a single question, myself (although I did ask Elvis a few follow-up questions the next day, via cellphone text). I just noted the answers from all of the other reporters’ questions.
One of the most interesting interchanges I heard, was regarding Elvis’ experience with the city. Had Elvis reached out to the city to collaborate, or to get authorization to build these houses? Or to find a place where they could stand, legally and safely…?
“Oh, many times. Many, many times.”
How many times…?
“Honestly? Too many to count.”
And what was the city’s response…?
“Initially? Nothing. Nothing at all.”
How, and when, did the city finally reach out to you…?
“That’s a weird story. I was invited to be interviewed by National Public Radio. Of course, that’s a nationwide news media. Along with me, NRP invited a representative from the city to be interviewed as well (Joe Busciano, from Council District 15), to give the other side of the story. Not even a half-hour after that interview, I had an e-mail from the city in my e-mail in-box.”
What did it say…?
“In a few words…? ‘Watch Your Ass’. The tone was definitely, very threatening…”
The Precedents for Elvis’ Vision
Once again, widely-available and easily accessible information that is quickly obtained via Google tells us that not only is Elvis’ vision practical; it’s already being done with some success in many other cities and towns across this country. “Occupy Madison” of Madison, Wisconsin is building micro-houses on wheels to house their homeless.
Portland, Oregon has a tiny house village called “Dignity Village”, where the homeless build their own cottages (at an average price of $3,300 each), police themselves, and have access to not only basic services, but also to community WiFi and a big-screen TV in their common-area yurt.
Austin, Texas has a very similar tiny house village for their homeless citizens called “Community First Village” that has “a medical facility, a workshop with loaner tools and resources to help with education and job placement”.
The Atlantic has a great story about a tiny house community in Nashville that is located behind the Green Hills Church; those houses cost about $7000 to build, and are truly adorable by almost any measure.
The list continues to grow. There’s a church initiative in Seattle that is building heated tiny houses for about $2,200 a piece. Hope Village in Fresno, CA; River Haven in Venture, CA; Opportunity Village and Emerald Village in Eugene, OR; Second Wind cottages in upstate New York; and Quixote Village in Olympia, WA, are even more examples of an emerging, innovative, and truly nationwide trend. I suspect that there might be even more by now that just haven’t been widely reported, outside of their local newspapers and television stations. But clearly, there’s a movement at work here. And by all accounts, it’s working fairly well. Elvis is quite aware of this. Even if the powers that be in City Hall aren’t.
Apparently, the powers that be at the Los Angeles City Hall aren’t even quite competent enough (yet) to figure out how to use Google, read the (many) media reports on these communities, and research these things. Let alone, to reach out to any of these established communities to see how they did what they did, and what the practical results of their combined efforts have been.
And they’re clearly not innovative and forward-thinking enough to embrace the ideas that work, and make those ideas work for the homeless of Los Angeles.
But Elvis Summers is.
The Curren Price Photo Op
After the news conference concluded, Curren Price made his way from behind the podium, through a gaggle of news-media types asking quesitons (that he was not answering, or even commenting on, according to The Man In The Electric Blue Suit), and strode purposefully across the plaza to where Elvis Summers was quietly standing, smoking a cigarette. Curren Price said a few indistinct words, grabbed Elvis’ hand, smiled for the camera… flash! went the proverbial bulb… and then he turned on his heels, and quickly walked away. Leaving Elvis, and the media, mouths agape and sort of stunned.
“What did he say?!”, everybody asked within nanoseconds.
“He said, ‘I’m not against you. I just think you’re doing it all wrong’.”
Did he elaborate…?
What were you thinking…?
“You know, I was actually pretty excited when I saw him walking towards me. I was thinking, ‘Is this it? Is this the chance I’ve been waiting for? Is this the day that I finally get an audience with the city council, so I can speak my piece, and maybe work with them on a more permanent, or a more sustainable solution? Something that we can all collaborate on?’ My mind was rushing. I was really happy to finally have a personal word with this guy that’s been shooting me, and the homeless of this city, down for so long.”
Did you say anything back to him…?
“No. I didn’t have a chance. I had barely opened my mouth, before I realized that he was already gone…”
Bud Stratford can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. But like most people these days, he’s much easier to find on Facebook.