Quick Thoughts on Yesterday’s Press Conference

I think an important point needs to be made. Yes, antifa are violent thugs who purposefully hurt innocent people to make a political point. They should be condemned by everyone, and the people comparing them to WWII vets are insulting the brave men who stormed the beaches of Normandy. 

The problem with Trump’s statement yesterday is not that antifa are the good guys; they’re not. The problem is that that is not the issue at hand. There is a time and place to condemn antifa, and it is not after a white supremacist murders a woman.

There were people wearing MAGA hats mixed in with those waving swastika flags and chanting racist slogans. The organizers of the rally publicly claim Trump as an ally. The country needed to hear the president disavow any association with those who idolize America’s greatest sin or our greatest enemy. Instead he claimed many of those on the side with swastikas were “very fine people.” This completely nullifies earlier statements that did condemn racist groups because it convinces white supremacists that when he disavows them he is just saying what is expected of him but does not mean it. 

Whatever you think Trump believes in his heart, the scum who look up to Hitler believe he supports them. Trump’s statement yesterday only reinforced that belief and emboldened them. That is why yesterday’s press conference was so horrifying. That is why Trump cannot be trusted. 

Baby Charlie Gard died at the hands of the British government

Baby Charlie Gard died yesterday. If you are not familiar with his story, little Charlie was born in Great Britain less than a year ago with a muscular disease called mitochondrial depletion syndrome. Charlie’s illness is very rare and often, but not always, fatal. That caveat is an important one, because despite Charlie’s parents having an expert on the disease willing to treat their infant son and more than enough funding to pay for it without government assistance, the British government and European court of human rights decided it was illegal to try to save an innocent child’s life.

Think on that for a moment. If Charlie’s loving parents tried to bring him to the United States for possible life-saving treatment, they would have been charged with kidnapping and spent their son’s final days in jail, while their boy died on the orders of their government. After appealing the British government’s decision all the way up to the European court of human rights, Charlie’s parents were just about out of options.

In a statement released by Charlie’s parents the day they decided to end their appeal to allow treatment, they said independent experts reviewed Charlie’s medical records and concluded he could have been saved if he was treated earlier. In other words, Charlie could still be alive today, next year, ten years from now, if months had not been wasted begging the British government to do nothing but get out of the way and let Charlie receive his medicine.

This is monstrous.

For the last eight years, conservatives have been mocked for warning of “death panels” resulting from socialized medicine. While certainly sensational, “death panels” were used to describe rationing, which is a real concern in countries like Britain where the government has taken over the healthcare industry. Charlie Gard’s case is a step further, as his parents raised enough money to pay for his treatment without any government assistance.

Instead of rationing, Charlie’s death points to a much deeper and much more profound concern: that big government in general, and socialized medicine in particular, gives government the impression they have a right to make important life decisions for us. British and European government officials sentenced Charlie to die not even out of a perceived benefit to the state, which would be bad enough, but because they decided they knew better than Charlie’s parents and the doctor who wanted to save him. They knew better, and they used the power of the government to enforce their decision that baby Charlie should die.

We can only guess what would have happened if Charlie’s parents had been allowed to bring him to America for treatment. Maybe it would have been ineffective and he still would have died yesterday. Maybe it would have only prolonged his life a few more weeks so he could at least see his first birthday. Maybe the proposed treatment would have worked and saved Charlie’s life.

We will never know because instead of allowing Charlie’s parents to treat their child, the British government treats its subjects like children. An infant, an innocent child, died before his first birthday, having been prohibited potentially life-saving treatment by his own government for no other reason than they took it upon themselves to decide his fate.

This should serve as a warning to us in America. A government big enough to give you everything you want is also powerful enough to take away everything you have – even your child’s life.

Give Trump a Break

As big promises continue to go unfilled, some people have started blaming Trump for governmental inaction. They say Obamacare repeal has not passed because instead of giving speeches and holding rallies to sell the bill to the American people, Trump instead spent his time golfing and insulting morning cable news hosts over Twitter. Others say Trump damaged chances to pass a repeal bill by constantly alternating between championing the bill, calling it “mean,” saying we need to pass it now, and saying Congress should do nothing until Obamacare fails on its own.

They also say there has not even been a proposal made for tax reform, building a wall on the southern border, and many other important issues due to what they call Trump’s short attention span and ignorance of details and the basic functioning of the Federal Government.

Some even question the billionaire’s management skills. They point to Trump’s statements that he would hire the best people, and yet there is a steady stream of senior level government officials either quitting or being fired so early in the administration. Did he not hire the best people like he promised, they ask, or his he now firing the best people and hiring people who are not as good?

I understand the urge to mock Trump for his failures. After all, he did say it would be easy and bragged about how much winning he would have. He said only he could fix it, and the failures of previous leaders proved they were stupid. It might be tempting to turn those words around and use them against Trump.

But we have to recognize that being president is harder than anyone could have known. Making deals is an art, not a science. It is not something you can learn by just reading a book.

Any day now, Trump will use the vast swath of goodwill he has stored up with Congressional Republicans. All the time he has spent talking with and supporting senators will pay off when he calls in the favors he’s built up. He can do this because he’s smart. He knew that if he routinely insulted legislators he needs support from it could backfire in critical moments. That’s why he would never do something so idiotic as to threaten to withhold Interior Department funding from the senator who chairs the subcommittee that appropriates funding for the Interior Department. Those are self inflicted wounds the stupid politicians of the past might have been unable to avoid, but a genius businessman like Trump would never fall for it.

Yes, Trump made big promises and has accomplished almost nothing. Yes, Trump repeatedly bragged about his brilliance and skill, and is now fairing worse than those he called stupid. But his failure to do what he promised or even show much interest in it does not make him a failure.

Republicans who supported Trump in the primary might be rethinking their position now, wondering if they made the right decision. Don’t! It was impossible to know back then that an inexperienced reality TV show host with a history of liberal positions, bankruptcies, and investigations for fraud could be anything other than a great president.

Besides, who else were you going to support? Rubio? Cruz? Walker? Perry? Jindal? What are the odds that a Senator or Governor with a proven record of conservatism and understanding of government would have done any better?

Don’t blame yourself. Don’t blame Trump. The real problem are those weak kneed Republicans who refused to support the bill Trump said is mean and shouldn’t be passed. Congressional Republicans are clearly sabotaging Trump’s administration and making him fire his National Security Adviser, FBI Director, Chief of Staff, etc. less than half a year into his administration. If you want to know why White House staffers are constantly leaking to the press or publicly feuding with each other, look no further than Ryan and McConnell. It’s their fault. All of it. Trump is a genius. Or so I’m told.

Keep Calm and Get Excited

Looking at the country’s reaction to the accusations of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, I’m reminded of a scene from one of America’s great cinematic classics: The Boondock Saints.

In the NSFW scene, Rocco bursts into the apartment, wildly and uncontrollably flailing around trying to escape danger but accomplishing nothing more than creating chaos. The MacManus brothers don’t seem to believe there is any danger. Daryl doesn’t even have his crossbow nearby. As the brothers tell Rocco to calm down, he turns and yells “you start getting excited!”

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America – The Best There’s Ever Been

Let’s start this off with a simple fact: America is the greatest country that ever was or will be. Qarth can suck it.

America is, without question, the richest, most powerful, most influential country the world has ever known. But more than that, modern society would be impossible without the United States. I am currently writing this post on my phone, which would not have been possible without America. An American did not just invent the specific iPhone I am using, but the genre of cell phones itself. Nor is the cell phone the only American invention that has transformed our daily lives. Far from it.

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3 Cheers for Alex Jones

If you don’t know who Alex Jones is, he’s what medical professionals would call “a nut job.” He’s a loon. He promotes conspiracy theories that people with tin foil hats think go too far.

Among other conspiracy theories, he is a 9/11 truther, thinks the Sandy Hook massacre was a false flag operation to push gun control (and maybe never even happened), promoted the pizzagate conspiracy that a DC pizzeria secretly operated a child sex ring with Hillary Clinton, believes the moon landings were faked, that a shadowy global organization (Illuminati?) secretly run things, and most famously, that the Pentagon is turning frogs gay. He has threatened to kill agents of the CIA, NSA, FBI, FEMA, or any other tentacle of the New World Oder that might try to stop him from telling the “truth.” Look it up. He really said those things.

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Who is to Blame for Political Shootings?

Here are the facts: in the early morning hours, a gunman shot several people, severely wounding a member of the US House of Representatives. Almost immediately, some people began blaming the shooting on a climate of hate stoked by the opposition party.

Those were the facts in 2011 when Jared Lee Loughner shot Rep. Gabby Giffords in Tucson, AZ, and those were the facts yesterday when James Hodgkinson shot Rep. Steve Scalise in Alexandria, VA during practice for a charity baseball game.

In 2011, many prominent Democrats blamed Republicans, and Sarah Palin in particular, for the shooting. They argued the anti-Obama and anti-government rhetoric of the Tea Party, along with a map Palin created with cross-hairs over 20 Congressional districts she was targeting in the upcoming election, caused a climate of political hatred that manifested itself in an act of political violence.

Today, some Republicans are likewise blaming Democrats. They point to the over the top rhetoric about Trump – that he is a Russian spy, a dictator, stole the election, is not a real president, “resist!”, etc – and argue this created a climate of political hatred that manifested itself in an act of political violence.

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