Monday, November 28, 2016

How do you Grieve for Someone you Never Knew?

I did not expect this to ever be the subject of a blog post for me. I never expected to tell the story I'm about to tell. I'm not even sure I can get the words out the way I actually want to because I have literally never dealt with a situation like the one that this post is about. I didn't even know the torrent of emotions I'm feeling now existed before hearing the news that brought it about. But I need to get this off my chest so that I'm not letting my responsibilities fall by the wayside due to grief.

I suppose I should start at the beginning. Seven years ago, my wife and I had the privilege of hearing that a married couple we were friends with had recently become pregnant with what we would learn later was a baby girl. That baby girl has been a part of my honorary family since the day she came into the world, and my wife and I love her as if she were one of our own. She is a bright spot to any day, good or bad, and always manages to cheer me when I'm feeling down.

Recently, we heard that this couple was pregnant once more, and all of us were feeling a kaleidoscopic array of emotions from nervousness to incredulity to surprise to anticipation. We didn't know how far along the mother was at this point, but it didn't matter. The family was growing. In our minds we began, subconsciously and consciously, considering what this would mean in regards to changes to our lives. I was concerned because of the financial changes that they would experience with another child, but I was also excited. I was going to be an uncle again. How could I not look forward to that?

Sadly, that will not come to pass. My wife and I learned mere minutes ago as of this writing that our expectant mother friend has recently miscarried, and now what was once an atmosphere of crackling anticipation is now a cloud of grief and loss that threatens to overwhelm me even as I write. Throughout all this, I've been asking a question and have yet to come up with an answer:

How do you grieve for someone you never knew?

My little niece/nephew (I don't know which it would have been.) will not be a part of our or her parents' lives, and a hole is now left in my heart where that child would have taken their rightful place as a member of my extended family. I am very protective of everyone I consider family and would do whatever I could to help them in any situation for no other reason than because they're family, but I find myself powerless in the face of this tragedy. I can do nothing. There is no magic set of words or actions that can restore this child to life and allow her to find her way in the world. There is no rules committee to petition or argue with to change the outcome of these events. There is literally nothing I can do to fix this, yet that is the only instinct I feel at the moment. There should be something for me to do to help, but there is nothing. No matter what words I offer or actions I take, this innocent child will still be dead, and her mother will still be overcome with grief and loss that will never fully go away.

This angers me. I hate it when I can do nothing to help people that clearly need it. I can't even point them in the direction of someone who CAN help them, because I don't know who can help in this situation. Beyond prayer, there is nothing that can even ease the pain of losing a family member, even (or perhaps especially) one you never even had the chance to meet. To see grow and experience life for themselves. The whole thing is a mass of wasted potential and opportunity and to me there is no greater tragedy than that.

I don't know what else I can say to this. There are just no words.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Every Little Thing She Does

My wife and I recently were treated to a movie by my mother as an early Christmas gift, and we chose to see the new Harry Potter spin-off film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The story involves the fictional author of a the required magical textbook of the same name. Newt Scamander, the author in question, travels by ship from England to New York City in the years following The Great War to research his book and eventually publish it.

I was a fan of Harry Potter from the moment I first heard Hedwig's Theme in the movie theater the Christmas of the original film's release. Once I saw that movie and was introduced to the wizarding world, I made every effort I could to find and finish the other books in the series that were published at the time (which meant, of course, that the second and third novels were all I had to go on.) I read both of those in one night each. Never before or since has a novel series held such rapt attention for me, and the same has held true for the new spin off film, which reports say will spawn a bevy of its own sequels, and tell the story of how Albus Dumbledore defeated Gellart Grindlewald in a wand duel that shook the world.

It's very rare that a continuation of a series can evoke the same sense of wonder and excitement as its parent series, but Rowling succeeded here, offering up an entirely new perspective on a comfortably familiar universe, and showing us the American side of the same world inhabited by The Boy Who Lived.

The movie takes place shortly after the end of World War I, and as mentioned above details the adventure of Newt Scamander through New York City to retrieve his lost menageary of creatures that have escaped from his magical carrying case. Along the way he befriends a disgraced magical law enforcement officer, a would be entrepreneur and "No-Maj" (Muggle) named Kowalski, and a legilemense who happens to be the sister of the aforementioned law officer. Along the way they are pursued by an anti-magic group called the Second Salemers, as well as magical law enforcement when things go wrong for the group.

The film was a rollicking adventure of excitement and wonder, just like the previous films and gave an entirely new perspective on the wizarding world. So much story telling potential was revealed by not focusing on a boarding school and its students, and set my mind ablaze with possibilities regarding the rest of Rowling's creation. I am waiting with bated breath to see the sequel.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Everyone is the Hero of Their Own Story

I am so over the Hamilton incident. For those of you who read this and haven't heard, VP Elect Mike Pence was booed and jeered at during and after a performance of the hit Broadway musical Hamilton while out for a night at the theater in New York City. After the show, the cast (who all happen to be Hillary supporters, incidentally) delivered a statement to the VP elect that reads as follows, from fortune.com:

“We have a message for you, sir. We hope that you will hear us out,” he said. “Vice President-elect Pence, we welcome you, and we truly thank you for joining us here at Hamilton: An American Musical. We really do. We, sir, we are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights, sir. But we truly hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us, all of us. … We truly thank you for sharing this show — this wonderful American story told by a diverse group of men, women, of different colors, creeds, and orientations.”

The actor in question, Brandon Victor Dixon, delivered the statement to raucous applause from the audience. I can only presume that, this being New York City and based on that reaction, the audience had a majority of Hillary supporters there that night. That's nothing more than an educated guess, but the evidence is there. I have a special problem with specific part of this statement, however. Specifically this part:

We, sir, we are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights, sir. But we truly hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us, all of us.

Do you notice what he said there? The "diverse America" that was "alarmed and anxious" that Mike Pence and Donald Trump would not work to protect the civil rights of all Americans. I don't seem to recall the Left questioning the last administration about whether or not they would work to ensure the rights of "all Americans" who are a part of this "diverse America" of which Dixon was speaking. My question is this: Why is the left anxious and alarmed when a Republican is in office, but not when a Democrat is in office? 

I cannot for the life of me understand why the political left in this country constantly paints Conservatives as the villain. Or, at least, that was the case until I remembered an old adage about storytelling that I heard several years ago. Namely, everyone is the hero of their own story. We constantly hear about how the Democrats are the party of the people and how they value the working class. They see themselves as heroes. But how are heroes defined? Put simply, heroes are defined by their villains. Every good hero is defined by their villains. Iron Man has The Mandarin and others like Crimson Dynamo and Justin Hammer. Captain America has the likes of Red Skull, Baron Zemo, and Arnim Zola. The Hulk has the The Leader and the Abomination, and modern liberals have modern Conservatives.

I've been actively following political news since 2008, when Barack Obama's administration took power from George W. Bush. What I remember of that time is a turbulent eight years full of far left political shenanigans, chicanery, and trickery in an attempt to pass every pet project the Democrats had in development for decades. Universal Health Care, amnesty for illegal immigrants, the whole shebang. And they proceeded to attack it with gusto for two years. Up until the first Big Red Wave of 2010. During that time, and for the next six years afterwards, I heard the word "racist" more than at any other time in my life, and I heard it most often in reference to Conservatives, coming from the mouths of loud and proud liberals. Why was this, I continually asked myself. I agonized over this question for eight years until recently, when the simple answer hit me like a ton of bricks: Democrats see themselves as heroes of the working class, but every hero needs a villain. And to liberals, those villains are conservatives. Don't believe me? Check out a few of these quotes from the last administration's biggest supporters:

Starting first with Jay Rockefeller, now-retired Democratic Senator from West Virginia in 2014:
Opposition to Obamacare is because people made up their mind they don’t like President Obama because of his color … or something of that sort.

The video of said quote can be found here.

Or how about this gem:

"This is about hating a black man. This is racism, straight up..."

-Jeneane Garofalo in 2010, in regards to the then-emerging TEA Party protests against Obamacare,

And in accordance with the rule of three, here's this final gem:

“We saw in droves, you know, the Latino community moving over to the Democratic Party largely because of the tone. You have even Republicans in the Republican Party who are Latino just disgusted with the tone. These guys have to be very, very careful. The other thing that these guys know is that those, you know, crazy crackers on the right, like if they art with their very hateful language, that is going to kill them in the same way that they learned at their little retreat that let’s not talk about rape.”

Saturday, November 19, 2016

VP Elect Mike Pence Booed and Lectured at Hamilton Performance

The Chicks on the Right have reported a story recently about Vice President Elect Mike Pence being jeered and booed while attempting to enjoy a performance of the smash Broadway musical Hamilton. According to their newest writer, Kimber, Pence was booed and jeered by most of the audience and cheered by others throughout the performance. According to her sources, links to which can be found here, during the reprise of "You'll be Back" the actors were forced to pause the song several times because of the unruly behavior of the audience. To top things off, at the end of the show, the actors themselves got in on the act of singling out the Vice President Elect by proceeding to politely lecture Pence about how to do the job for which he was elected. Here's the video:



The actor who spoke, for his part, was polite, but when reading between the lines, it's obviously something of a finger wagging lecture he's giving Pence. But, this isn't a question of politics. This, for me, is more about theater etiquette than anything else.

I have been an avid theater goer and community theater actor since 1999, when my mother and I saw a high school production of Hello, Dolly my Freshman year. That was when the seed my mother planted in me as a child through constant lecturing about Shakespeare began to grow into a real passion for the stage, and three years later I would take the stage as Johnathon Brewster in a production of Arsenic and Old Lace. It is for this reason that I'm about to say the things that follow:

This was horrible theater etiquette, on both the part of the audience and the actors. People do not go to see a Broadway play in order to be singled out and lectured about how to do their jobs, and they certainly don't go to be sneered at or jeered by the rest of the audience. Mike Pence, whatever his political or personal opinions about things, is just as American as anyone else in that theater, and I am more than willing to bet that nobody in that theater paid to be lectured like a five-year-old with his hand in the cookie jar. Whatever your political opinions, NO ONE deserves to be treated like that.

Why did the actors feel the need to do this, exactly? I really want to know. The Vice President's function in government is limited to stepping in if the president becomes incapacitated to the point where he can't perform his duties as President of the United States. Other than that, Pence has the completely optional job of presiding over the Senate, but that job is only necessary when the body is deadlocked and a tie needs to be broken. With the Republican's majority in Congress being what it is, I don't see the need for him to break very many ties in the near future. 

I can guess why the audience members decided to boo him, though. New York is heavily liberal, thanks to New York City housing the majority of the state's population, and that population being a left-leaning collection of individuals. Hillary Clinton won New York in the election as well, and was Senator of New York for a while. It makes sense that she would have a lot of supporters there. This does not, however, make their behavior any less childish or infantile. I can imagine that if it had been Joe Biden in the audience, and the actors had decided to lecture HIM about it, people would be u pin arms. There would be calls of "disrespect" and "unprofessional behavior" from sea to shining sea and back again. And rightly so. This kind of behavior is not acceptable no matter who your VP or President is, and this audience and those actors really should have known better. Especially the actors. 

That said, I'm still hoping to one day be able to afford to see Phantom on Broadway one of these days.

Friday, November 18, 2016

President Elect Trump to Officially Announce Cabinet Appointments Friday

There has, understandably, been a lot of talk about President Elect Donald Trump's cabinet picks over the last few days. Rumors abound about who will take what position, and how soon they'll take it. thus far, only three appointments are reasonably certain at this point: Attorney General, National Security Advisor, and CIA Director. Respectfully, the three men most likely to be chosen for these positions are: Senator Jeff Sessions, Lt. General Michael T. Flynn, and Mike Pompeo.

Senator Sessions's appointment is already causing the Democrats to cry "RAAAAACIST!" due to some allegations made by then-Senator Joe Biden in the eighties under Ronald Reagan's tenure as Chief Executive. The New York Times's article on the subject is refreshingly neutral in tone, though they do make a big deal about allegations presented during Sessions's ill-fated confirmation hearings by the Judiciary Committee about supposedly calling a black man "boy" and referring to the NAACP and other civil rights groups as un-American. This humble blogger has not found any proof regarding the allegations being true or not, so innocent till proven guilty in my book. Even if he did say such things, though, it doesn't mean he isn't a good pick for the job of AG. The website ontheissues.com states that Sessions has a 0% rating by NARAL and 20% by the ACLU, indicating that he won't be a friend of theirs when and if he accepts the position. So far so good.

I already voiced my approval of Michale Flynn as National Security Advisor based on his credentials here.

Which leaves Congressman Mike Pompeo. Pompeo has been offered the post of CIA director by President Elect Trump, as mentioned above. Let's see how he measures up. According to ontheissues.com:

Click here for 4 full quotes on Homeland Security OR background on Homeland Security.
  • Commit to strong national defense. (Nov 2010)
  • Voted YES on extending the PATRIOT Act's roving wiretaps. (Feb 2011)
  • Sponsored opposing the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty. (Mar 2013)
  • No transfers of Gitmo prisoners to US or abroad. (Jan 2015)
There seems to be a running theme with the three men, in that their immigration stances all run pretty close together in terms of similarity. In this humble blogger's opinion, The Donald is shaping up his administration so that it'll be easier to build the wall.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Donald Trump's First Cabinet Pick?

I've been a rather avid follower and commentor at Chicks on the Right since their founding in 2008, at the beginning of the Obama years. They were a breath of fresh, humorous, Conservative air in a toxic atmosphere of Leftist propaganda and ridicule,which is why I still follow them now. If you read this and haven't given them a visit, you can do so here.

According to them, President Elect Donald Trump has offered the position of National Security Adviser to Lt. General Michael Flynn. Who is that, you may be asking, if you're as ignorant of Trump's cabinet choices as I am, so here's the scoop:

Wikipedia has him listed as former director of the DIA from 2012 to 2014, commander of the Joint Functional Component Command for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, and chair of the Military Intelligence Board from July 24, 2012, to August 2, 2014. Prior to that, he served as Assistant Director of National Intelligence.

I would say this gives him a host of credentials that make him at least an adequate choice for the job. Given Trump's reported history of choosing competent people to delegate decisions to, I'd say this is a good sign based on that. Word has yet to come as to whether or not Lt. General Flynn has accepted or declined, but I have a feeling we'll be hearing about that within the next few days, or possibly weeks.

The LGBTQ Community is Afraid of William Pryor. Who is William Pryor?

Someone named William Pryor is currently on the short list for President Elect Donald Trump's pick for the Supreme Court. This is, admittedly, the first time I've heard of this man, so I did a little digging trying to find out who he was. A quick Google search reveals that the LGBTQ folks are up in arms over the mere possibility of this man becoming a Supreme Court Justice, so I decided to find out why. Here's what I found:

Gay advocacy site The Gaily Grind has claimed that Judge Pryor believes gays should be jailed simply for...being gay. Looking a little further into the matter, I discovered that their idea that this man wants such a thing is because of a legal brief in which Judge Pryor wrote that there is no fundamental right to homosexual sex, and that he upheld a Texas anti-sodomy law on that basis.

Lambdalegal.com also believes this to be the reason Pryor is unfit to judge, but offers nothing tangible other than that single legal brief and the anti-sodomy law that was, I found out, struck down by the Supreme Court ruing on Lawrence v. Texas. The actual quote provided in regards to said sodomy law, however, reveals a different story:

"Petitioners' protestations to the contrary notwithstanding, a constitutional right that protects "the choice of one's partner" and "whether and how to connect sexually" must logically extend to activities like prostitution, adultery, necrophilia, bestiality, possession of child pornography, and even incest and pedophilia," Brief of the States of Alabama, South Carolina, and Utah as Amici Curiae in Support of Respondent, Lawrence v. Texas, No. 02-102

An objective observer can see from that quote alone that Judge Pryor is not saying that homosexuals should be jailed for for simply existing, as The Gaily Grind's headline and article claim. Rather, a more objective look at the quote tells us that Judge Pryor is saying simply that in order for the argument of a constitutional right to homosexual behavior to hold water, we must also apply that logic to other sexual activities such as the above listed in the quote. In order for a statement to be logically sound, it has to hold up in more than just one instance, and the idea of a constitutional right to be gay means that there also has to be a constitutional right to those, and a host of other behaviors for which there exists no inherent constitutional right.

I would have used a different list of behaviors, honestly, but the argument is still sound, and has nothing to do with jailing anyone. In fact further looking into the linked Wikipedia entry at the beginning of this post, it seems that above all, Pryor puts the written law above personal feelings, just as a judge is supposed to do. The following quote sums it up rather nicely:

Pryor received national attention in 2003 when he called for the removal of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who had disobeyed a federal court order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the Alabama Judicial Building. Pryor said that although he agreed with the propriety of displaying the Ten Commandments in a courthouse, he was bound to follow the court order and uphold the rule of law. Pryor personally prosecuted Moore for violations of the Canons of Judicial Ethics, and the Alabama Court of the Judiciary unanimously removed Moore from office.[5]

Hardly the attitude of an anti-gay theocrat tyrant, wouldn't you say?

In fact, the only sites I see decrying the possible appointment of Pryor are severely biased left-wing  and pro-LGBT sites such as Advocate, Gaily Grind, Pinknews, and others. To me, this smacks of simple fear mongering and paranoia over the unknown. There is no evidence anywhere that I know of, whether verbal or written, to suggest that the claim is true. More evidence to suggest that fears over William Pryor are unjustified can be found in the supposed "story" of William Pryor posing for a gay magazine a couple of decades ago. Well, Snopes has a few things to say about that

Some People Just Can't Let it Go

Denial is prevalent this election season. I'm no stranger to it myself, since I was in some amount of denial after the 2012 election and had witnessed Mitt Romney's loss to Barrack Obama. I made a promise to myself after that night that I would never get so emotionally invested in an election again. Fast forward four years to 2016 and the election of Donald Trump as our 45th president, and I am now on the other side of the coin, finding the utter denial and refusal to accept the results of a free and fair democratic election, thinking to myself "was I this distraught? Was I just as absurd looking as these folks?" All over youtube, snarky videographers are putting together various compilations of the complete and utter emotional devastation being felt by the left. Even supposedly impartial media personalities like Van Jones and James Carville are completely destroyed to their very core and are having a devil of a time not showing it. If they bother at all. In the case of The Young Turks, they didn't even bother to seem impartial once the final returns were in and called Americans "dumb" among other insults that we've all heard on the schoolyard when we were age ten and under.

Some of the denial is more mature sounding, but it's still denial. It's not crazy violent like the #notmypresident folks, nor is it grating to the ears like this person's temper tantrum was on youtube. Some of it sounds downright sophisticated, honestly; at least until you actually look at and listen to what is being said, and then you realize it's just another temper tantrum, but with a more verbose vocabulary.

This brings me to a woman named Rebecca Solin, whom I ran across while perusing Hotair.com's front page.  She wrote a column recently for The Guardian entitled "Don't Blame Hillary Clinton. It Took Decades of Scheming to Beat her.

Miss Solin is, it should be noted, an avid Occupy Wall Street supporter, according to the essays she's written about them on her site, and insists that the reason Hillary was beaten was because of a decades long scheme committed by Republicans to ensure that she would never set foot into the Oval Office.

This is, quite frankly, patently absurd. The tone of the article is one that reeks of conspiracy theorist garbage. Take the below quote:

...Trump was such a weak candidate it took decades of scheming and an extraordinary international roster of powerful players to lay the groundwork that made his election possible. Defeating Clinton in the electoral college took the 2013 gutting of the Voting Rights Act by Republican appointees to the supreme court. It took vast Republican voter suppression laws and tactics set in place over many years. It took voter intimidation at many polling places. It took the long Republican campaign to blow up the boring bureaucratic irregularity of Clinton’s use of a private email server into a scandal that the media obediently picked up and reheated.

The supposed "gutting" of the Voting Rights Act (which to this day has not disenfranchised anyone who had the legitimate right to vote as spelled out in the Constitution) had nothing to do with Clinton being elected and everything to do with updating a now outdated law for the 21st century. The Voting Rights Act, when written, made it abundantly clear that there was no longer a need to peek over people's shoulders and make absolutely certain that blacks weren't being disenfranchised. This isn't 1953 anymore. With the advent of such things as the internet, not to mention statewide voter protection laws that have been passed, those provisions of the act are no longer effective, and thus, worthless.

She also went on to criticize James Comey and his reopening of the FBI investigation into Clinton's emails. Her tone is nothing less than dismissive towards the embattled FBI director:

It took James Comey, the director of the FBI, using that faux-scandal and his power to stage a misleading smear attack on Clinton 11 days before the election in flagrant violation of the custom of avoiding such intervention for 60 days before an election. It took a compliant mainstream media running after his sabotage like a golden retriever chasing a tennis ball. It took decades of conservative attacks on the Clintons. Comey, incidentally, served as deputy GOP counsel to the Senate Whitewater committee, that fishing expedition that began with an investigation in a messy real estate deal in Arkansas before Bill Clinton’s presidency and ended with a campaign to impeach him on charges related to completely unrelated sexual activities during his second term.

Once again we are presented with the ever-ready argument of Clinton mishandling classified information on a private email server as a "faux scandal" and thus not worthy of even talking about, much less investigation by the feds. Where she really goes off the rails, though, is with calling the main stream media "compliant" when the only sources this humble blogger saw reporting on the scandal were internet resources like Fox and The Blaze. Never mind, also, that when Comey made his statement saying that Clinton would face no charges despite clear evidence of guilt, he was the best friend Democrats ever had, and then when the investigation was reopened he suddenly became public enemy number one.

She then goes into detail about how evil Trump supposedly is, complaining about how his ten year run of Celebrity Apprentice "deified" his supposed behavior, and take a swipe at everyone from global warming skeptics to Vladimir Putin:

It took a nearly decade-long reality TV show, The Apprentice, that deified Trump’s cruelty, sexism, racism and narcissism as essential to success and power. As the feminist media critic Jennifer Pozner points out: “Everything Trump said and did was framed in a way to flatter him, and more importantly, flatter his worldview.” The colossal infomercial fictionalized the blundering, cheating businessman as an unqualified success and gave him a kind of brand recognition no other candidate had.

And:

...
Many intelligence experts say it came from Russian hackers, and Putin made it clear that he favored Trump’s win. The day Comey dropped his bombshell, the New York Times ran a story reassuringly titled Investigating Donald Trump, FBI Sees No Clear Link to Russia with its own astounding, underplayed revelation buried inside: “Investigators, the officials said, have become increasingly confident, based on the evidence they have uncovered, that Russia’s direct goal is not to support the election of Mr Trump, as many Democrats have asserted, but rather to disrupt the integrity of the political system and undermine America’s standing in the world more broadly.

So, let me get this straight: Trump, Wikileaks, Vladimir Putin, and global warming skeptics are to blame for Clinton's loss. I will give her a break here and say that Trump's time in the media spotlight did help him win the election. I myself was imagining him in full suit and tie, turning the Oval Office into a version of the board room from Celebrity Apprentice and pointing at various cabinet officials and giving them a terse "you're fired" should they fail to meet his standards on the job. The difference between me and people like the author of this piece, however, is that I was doing it jokingly. Like many, Rebecca Solin has decided that the nation has now turned into a four-year episode of Trump's old TV show, with a healthy garnish of racism and Nazi Germany for flavoring. I suppose that's why his detractors use the name "Drumpf" when referring to him in a negative light.

She almost gets it right with the following analysis into the left's constant disparaging of fly-over America and white Conservative Christians:

And it took a shortsighted campaign of hatred on the left, an almost hysterical rage like nothing I have ever seen before about any public figure. Some uncritically picked up half-truths, outright fictions, and right wing spin to feed their hate and rejected anything that diluted the purity and focus of that fury, including larger questions about the other candidate and the fate of the Earth. It was so extreme that in recent weeks, I was attacked for posting anti-Trump news stories on social media by furious people who took the position that to be overtly anti-Trump was to be covertly pro-Clinton. If the perfect is the enemy of the good, whose friend is it? The greater of two evils?

So close, and yet the paragraph is really just another complaint. She's right about the media picking up half-truths and outright fictions and running with them, though what sort of "right wing" spin she's talking about I have no idea, since she doesn't go into it. It sounds to me, honestly, like she's trying to dismiss any pro-Trump media stories as spin. It would certainly fit with her image of Trump as a "deified" sexual predator, narcissist, and all around demon in human clothing. She conveniently forgets, of course, that there are plenty of people on the right who didn't like Trump at all.

Entirely-too-long story short, Solin and those like her are simply upset and blaming everyone but the person with whom the blame actually lies: Hillary Clinton. Her scandals and, in some cases, her own words, doomed her campaign. The fix was in from the beginning regarding her run against Bernie Sanders, who appealed to the youth in a way Hillary just could not do. Color me skeptical, but when you have to rig the primary by convincing unpledged superdelegates to vote for you before the votes are completely in, that amounts to a bit of suspicion. Her attempts to appeal to the youth vote came off as stiff and robotic, like this cringe-worthy video she took of herself "chillin'" during the campaign.

That, and her words about coal miners being put out of a job, whether taken out of context or not, spelled certain doom for her in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, two very prominent coal-producing states within Coal Country.

In short, Miss Solin, it wasn't because Trump is the devil that Hillary lost. It was because Hillary Clinton, for many reasons, sabotaged her own efforts unwittingly, and was unable to shake the scandals surrounding her. Call them faux all you want, but the reality is that they cost her the election, as the level headed among us predicted long ago.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Not the President we Want, nor the President we Need, but Perhaps the President we Deserve

Let's just get this out of the way right off the bat. I don't like Donald Trump. I don't think he was in any way a good candidate for the Presidency of the United States, nor did I support him in the primaries. I was hoping someone with more gravitas would win. Specifically, I was a Ted Cruz supporter and was rather upset when he lost. Upset enough, in fact, to pick fights with just about anyone who dared gloat over the fact that Cruz lost. Most of this happened in online comment threads, so nothing really came of it except a whole lot of mean words. I suppose I thought it would be cathartic after becoming so emotionally invested in the primaries. I hadn't, apparently, learned my lesson from 2012, where I had become so emotionally invested in the election (to the point where I really did believe that we were utterly screwed and there was no way back after Obama's second election victory.)

Let's get something else out of the way as well. I voted for Donald Trump despite the fact that I live in California. I voted for Donald Trump because, like many, I wanted something different after eight years of liberalism. I didn't even want the eight years of liberalism, truth be told. I voted Republican every election since I turned 18 (except 2004, when I was disgruntled over both candidates. I'm not proud of that, either.) The reason I personally voted for Donald Trump is because, quite frankly, I wasn't going to take another four to eight years of liberal superiority complexes looking down on me and my Conservative friends and family and calling us racists and/or sexists for daring to exist. But I, obviously, wasn't the only one who voted for Trump. Millions of people did. Let's take a look at why that is.

The general consensus among right leaning voters is pretty much what I stated above. People voted for Trump because they were tired of eight years of virtue signalling and condescending reminders of how racist/sexist/homophobic/Islamophobic they were on any given night of the week. There was even a video by a British comedian detailing every single point  in that regard with hilariously crude accuracy. People were browbeaten into silence by the hyper PC attitudes of the left, and so they spoke the only way they could: With their vote. Look up the Bradley Effect and you'll find another example of just this sort of thing happening.

The thing is, guys, we deserve Trump as a candidate. However good or bad he might be as a president, his election is the result of eight years of anger and frustration that I and many others like me were feeling during that time. People don't like being called names. Everyone with half an ounce of common sense knows this. People don't like being lied to. Anyone with half an ounce of common sense knows that as well. Yet the media and the pundits, and Hillary Clinton's ground team seemed not to understand this, even after two straight election cycles where they might have kept the White House, but they lost everything else. We well-read folks like to call that a Phyrric Victory. Looking at it a couple of days later, though, Phyrrus of Epirus likely would call the entire eight year Democrat debacle what it is: a crushing defeat.

People are giving all sorts of reasons that Hillary lost, from blaming James Comey and his second investigation into the emails, to the ever popular "racist/sexist/homophobic" garbage that they resort to when they have nothing else to use, Comey's decision may have had an impact in a couple of states, but no way it had the same amount of impact in all of them. Traditionally blue states like Wisconsin have plenty of reasons not to vote blue after the last eight years, and it's my personal belief that the successes of Scott Walker as governor, not the least of which was fighting off a recall election with more votes than the initial election that got him in, had more of an impact than Comey did.

As for Pennsylvania, that's coal country. I'm willing to bet that Hillary's own words regarding putting coal miners out of a job had more to do with their decision than Comey's emails or any sort of racism or sexism.

Regardless of the outcome, Donald J. Trump is now, as of this writing, choosing his cabinet and preparing for four years of a job that reports say he never expected to actually be hired for. Wouldn't be the first time such a thing has happened, though, even in our history. Look at Warren G. Harding, after all.