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As I was sitting in traffic the other day, I was listening to various Congressmen bloviate about Senator McCain’s passing. Mr. McCain died on August 25th of cancer. His death and subsequent funeral caused wall-to-wall news coverage.
For the record, I certainly would not wish for the demise of anyone, but I am grateful Mr. McCain will no longer be serving in Congress. Thirty years of “serving” is far too long for anyone to be in control – it’s not a retirement home. That applies to any Congressmen in office over ten years, in my opinion. Additionally, the fact that President Trump and Sarah Palin were not invited to the funeral, but Obama performed a eulogy, speaks volumes for what I suspected about Mr. McCain. He truly was part of the Swamp.
Getting back to me in traffic though, what really caught my attention was the mantra “public servant” that kept being repeated. About the tenth time I heard one politician call another politician a public servant, I came close to losing my lunch, right there in traffic.
Surely the word “politician” used in conjunction with “public servant” must be a clever oxymoron perpetrated upon us. Somehow, those three words just don’t fit together. When the group of politicians that form our House of Representatives and Senate, collectively known as Congress, have an approval rating of 17%, I really don’t think we are being publicly “served” by their existence.
Looking up the term “public servant,” among other definitions, it really is a word used to describe a politician. Webster must have had a sense of humor when coining that phrase.
This got me thinking of other words or phrases that seem to fall out of the mouths of others as if we are all in equal agreement. We’ve become so used to hearing some words repeated that they have taken on a meaning for which they were not originally intended. Consider:
Impeachment: This word is thrown out about Trump so much by the media and screwball politicians that it has become nearly innocuous. For the record, to be impeached does not mean removed from office – just ask Bill Clinton. It means to level charges, which then have to be proven and voted upon by the Senate. Removal from office then takes 67 Senatorial votes to become effective. With this bunch of Senators, we couldn’t get 67 to agree what salary increase to vote themselves. And the worst part of hearing the word impeachment bantered about ad-nauseum, not one person could tell you the single act for which Trump should be impeached.
Political Correctness: Wikipedia states that the term “political correctness” is used to describe language, policies, or measures that are intended to avoid offense or disadvantage to members of particular groups in society.”
In our culture today, it has become perfectly natural that we now avoid certain “words” because they might be offensive to somebody else. “Words!” So, in theory, if I do something really stupid, you can’t call me a knucklehead because it might be offensive to other knuckleheads. What happened to your first amendment right to say what you think? If you call me a knucklehead, whether I deserved it or not, it is then my right to a) explain why I am not a knucklehead; b) atone/apologize for my knuckleheaded behavior; c) avoid you; or d) give you a knuckle-sandwich. Well, option “d” might be a stretch, but it’s not my right to censor your right of free speech. It’s words, not bombs. But today, we shun those that might want to use their right of free speech so that somebody else might not be offended. And the real problem with this, it builds upon itself, snowballing out of control, until it has become “Exhibit A” as a term of which we are not all in agreement.
Undocumented immigrants: The media spits this term out like it is just generally agreed to by the rest of the country, sort of as natural as breathing. No, “Ms. Bubble-headed Bleach Blonde” – they are not “undocumented immigrants,” they are illegal immigrants and it’s time for the media to state it. Follow the laws of the country or change the laws, but don’t pass off words to the masses as if we are dimwitted. In the meantime, if someone is here illegally, nullify their Democratic vote and send them back to their country of origin.
I’ve exceeded the amount of “words” allowed for publication, but know that there are many more “bombshell words” that could be similarly cussed and discussed another day.
A day doesn’t go by when we aren’t apprised with Robert Mueller’s pursuit under every rock for anything smelling of Russian Collusion during the 2016 presidential election. In my judgement, “Russian Collusion” has come to mean “someone conspired with somebody in Russia to do something shady to influence our election so Trump could win,” rather than Hillary. Perhaps someone can explain where I might have gone off the rails again with my opinion.
An examination reveals a cost exceeding seventeen-million-dollars to us “chumps” (“taxpayers” would have been a more apt word had I not been raised in Chebanse.) The investigation has now been going on since May of 2017.
There have been some arrests and indictments. They include Russians who will never see an American court room and a legal blitzkrieg resulting, in my view, rather harsh imprisonment conditions for a tax-cheating, temporary Trump campaign manager. If everyone who was a tax cheat got solitary confinement, as Manafort did, maybe we would induce Al Sharpton to pay his back taxes too.
There have also been some sophomoric shenanigans concerning an affair between two amorous FBI agents, and a lawyer singing for his life after it was learned he too had been derelict paying his taxes. Anybody know what tax cheats and prejudiced FBI agents have to do with Russian collusion?
Thanks to the investigation, and dishonest media sources, we know a little more about Trump’s friends, sex life, bimbos, lawyers, and finances, but in sixteen months, nothing connecting Trump to Russia. Any day now, I expect Mueller to indict Baron Trump for chucking a spitball at a picture of Hillary during the campaign.
One wonders, given Mueller’s obsession with anything Russian, and directive to investigate the propriety of the 2016 presidential election, why nothing has crossed under his nose regarding Hillary. Supposedly, Mueller was selected as special prosecutor because of his impeccable credentials and integrity. He was said to be the “right man” to smite any election interference and bring those unruly Russians back in line.
So, given the reservations had about the election, why would there not been equal suspicion for the other candidate, Hillary Clinton?
We know Hillary’s staff rigged the Democratic primary against Bernie Sanders. That was revealed by Donna Brazile, the Democratic National Chairwoman, in her recent book. This scam happened during the 2016 election, nullifying the candidate of twelve million voters. Seems like an important detail, but, to date, Mueller hasn’t revealed anything.
Most reasonable thinking Americans have some notion that Hillary’s State Dept. might have had some nefarious business dealings with a company called Uranium One. While she was Secretary of State, through a complicated transaction, Russia wound up buying 20% of our uranium. The primary use of uranium is for nuclear purposes, as in power plants and weaponry. Which one do you think Russia is using it for?
Uranium One, while negotiating the details with Hillary’s State Dept., just happened to contribute millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation (and Slush Fund). And, wouldn’t you know it, at the same time all that was going on, Bill Clinton managed to get a speaking gig for a Russian investment bank involved with stock in Uranium One. Bill got a half million dollars for his oratorical abilities. Mueller evidently is satisfied with that arrangement too.
Now, in all fairness to Bill, he did receive speaking fees at least that large or more for thirteen different speeches, so the Uranium One transaction was not his only golden payday. Don’t let the fact that eleven of those big speaking paydays happened while Hillary was Secretary of State cloud your judgement. Mueller certainly doesn’t.
We now know it was Hillary who paid the one million dollars for the infamous Steele dossier, which was a report to dig up dirt on Trump, produced by a British spy, who got his information…wait for it…
The DNC then used that same dossier to get FISA warrants from liberal judges to spy on the Trump campaign. And yet, Mueller’s prodigious proboscis hasn’t even snuffled.
These are just Hillary’s shady deals involving Russia and election we know about, which was Mueller’s mandate. Think of all the other misdeeds she undoubtedly has pulled off.
It appears to me the inhabitants of the Swamp, including evidently Mueller, cannot fathom that Trump won - the election had been rigged for Hillary. Therefore, to beat them, Trump surely had to have some intervention by another entity, country or perhaps…another planet.
By the way, if I should happen to die in the next few months, please know that I was not considering suicide at the time of my demise.
“If you don't read the newspaper, you are uninformed. If you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed.”
I’m not sure what events of the period prompted the irascible Mark Twain to quote those words but, like most of his quips, the words seem to ring true today.
One would think that any news publication worth its salt would print or broadcast news fairly and balanced. The news organization might also offer assessments from both sides of any newsworthy item. Unfortunately, that is not the case in most instances.
Most of the people at any media organization sees the world from a different point of view than more than half their audience. According to a 2018 Gallup poll, the American population considers themselves to be 40% conservative and 25% liberal, with the rest seeing themselves as moderate. However, it has been estimated that 85% of all journalists lean Left. Ironically, or in my opinion, woefully, that is about the same number of liberals as our educators in colleges and universities.
The reason, as one newspaper insider informed me, is the way universities grind out students. Young journalists enroll in college with little to no political persuasion, meet a wave of near-Socialist educators, and graduate as full-fledged liberals, blindly hurdling towards socialism themselves. For the record, I still believe Socialism is anti-American, and it is this trend that is so concerning to me.
Unfortunately, fair and balanced doesn’t seem to be a standard anymore, if it ever was. Tabloids such as the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and even the mighty New York Times have gone off the rails, suffering momentously from TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome.)
The Post is currently owned by Jeff Bezos, the world’s wealthiest person, who bought the paper in 2013 for $250 million. Bezos also founded Amazon, the retail behemoth that Bernie Sanders pointed out correctly, pays no federal tax. The Post, a flagship arm for “The Swamp,” has been around since 1877 – and has never endorsed a Republican for president.
The Tribune was founded in 1847 as an anti-Democratic newspaper. It never endorsed a Democrat for president until Chicagoan Barack Obama ran in 2008 – a span of 161 years. They employ perhaps the best opinion writer in the business with John Kass, always found on page 2. From there, the rest of the paper is a parade of articles and op-eds committed to bashing Trump, the guy the Tribune didn’t endorse. One would think, while sitting in the nations murder capital and in a city that hasn’t had a Republican mayor since 1931, the newspaper would have plenty of bashing to report on right within its own county.
The Times - Should I waste your time explaining? If one doesn’t know the Times is decidedly liberal, one shouldn’t really be voting. Google their recent hire of technology writer Sarah Jeong to their editorial board. Read about her detailed hatred of white folks. Had she used any other color than white, she would have been tarred and feathered…and unemployed. While browsing, read something by Socialist Paul Krugman. What kind of fair and balanced reporting do you think might come from this organization?
These are just a few examples of major media companies and their contempt for Conservatism and/or Trump. If the leaders are doing this, wouldn’t it follow that others are practicing journalism with an agenda also? Ponder the fact that 92% of ALL of Trump’s media coverage has been negative, despite the many positive changes he has accomplished.
Right here in this paper, it could be said the editorial staff and writers content lean decidedly to the left…some to the point of having TDS themselves. Yet, the five counties the Journal primarily serves all voted decidedly for Trump. You might want to think about that the next time a headline or editorial is kicking our president again, particularly if the content has been outsourced from the Post or Associated Press.
Also, do you scan headlines looking for columns of interest to decide what to read? More often than not, the author did not write the headline. The editor does. Slapping on a laissez-faire biased headline might dissuade people from reading an acerbic but well-written commentary…like mine, which may relegate it to the bottom of the bird cage. For that reason, scanning only headlines for worthwhile news may be a disservice to you and your understanding of what is really going on around you.
In conclusion, I am reminded of another quote we should never forget. Nazi Propaganda Minister, Joseph Goebbels stated, “Let me control the media and I will turn any nation into a herd of pigs.”
Saturday, August 4, was a holiday. You didn’t know about it? Me neither. It was Barack Obama Day in Illinois, the only state that observes the holiday. It also happens to be Mr. Obama’s birthday, which, in my mind, makes one wonder why Hawaii didn’t join in the observance. Asking for a friend.
In honor of our previous president’s official day, there were fifteen shootings resulting in one death. It was part of yet another blood bath for the weekend that Chicagoans all-too-regularly endure. Depending on your source of news, there was somewhere in the neighborhood of 66-71 people shot and twelve died. Disgustingly, an 11-year-old and a 13-year-old were also killed. A 17-year-old young lady was shot in the face.
Emergency rooms were packed at local hospitals. One hospital had to stop receiving emergency cases for a period of time due to the influx of people.
If you can believe the numbers from various internet sources, 1,785 people have been shot this year so far in Chicago. One has to take that with a grain of salt as it appears most of the numbers are fudged in some way or another. Type in “Chicago’s murder rate” into your favorite search engine and you will get many different sites, all with diverse numbers and separate ways to crunch statistics, depending on the political persuasion of the writer.
But Chicago politicos will point proudly that this is 480 less people than last year, as if that is comforting to the 1,785 people and their families that have been shot, or the 300 that have been murdered. Somehow, it just doesn’t give me any additional courage to make a trip to any of the world-class hospitals in the area on a Saturday night. Don’t think I’ll be trying any of the local beaneries either. Next time you hear one of the politicians mention how much the number is down, remember that they catch a meager 20% of the people doing the shooting.
An exasperated Police Department Patrol Chief, Fred Waller stated to reporters Sunday “By no means do these statistics mean we have a victory, but I promise you we won't be defeated ... by a small element committing these reckless acts."
By all appearances, Chief Waller looks like an honorable constable, one the city should be proud to employ. A black man, he is third in line in the Chicago police pecking order. The top Chicago cop is Eddie Johnson, also a black man. Nearly all of this mayhem is going on in the predominately black south and west sides of Chicago. You can bet these types of weekends would not be tolerated in the “lighter” North Shore.
At what point will Chief Waller and Superintendent Johnson stop listening and participating in the politicians’ shenanigans in order to take the streets back from the gangs, thugs, and malcontents? Rahm Emanuel has, in my opinion, one concern – Rahm Emanuel. He will do anything to stay in power, including allowing innocent children to get mowed down, and then show up afterwards with his crooked smile to give platitudes and empty promises.
The time has come to stop vaguely describing the problem, and making empty promises, to acknowledging the reality of the mess you have collectively created and do something about it.
A few points for Chief Waller and Supt. Johnson:
* Those are your brothers and sisters being mowed down on the streets. You know this is nothing more than blatant racism, so why are you putting up with it? And do you really believe allowing protestors to march along the city’s main arteries, clogging traffic, is going to help save one person on the West Side? All it does is piss off the people caught up in the quagmire who are powerless to do anything. In my lifetime, I have found an upset person is unlikely to commiserate with your problems.
* Chicago already has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country. How many more times are you going to roll out the tired mantra about too many guns? Sorry guys, that dog won’t hunt.
* Chicago hasn’t had a Republican mayor since 1931 – do you suppose that might possibly also play a part in your dilemma?
* Out of fear, nobody is going to finger anybody. So why not plaster the south side with anonymous hotlines?
Ira Acree, a pastor on the West Side, hit the nail on the head when he said, “this weekend’s horrific violence underscores that two Chicago’s exist—one that is thriving and largely inoculated from the shootings and another that’s been ravaged by disinvestment and indifference from the city’s politicians.”
Stop the indifference, gentlemen – politics be damned, clean out the debris of the gangs and drugs, even if it takes bringing in the National Guard to help sweep the streets. Once the streets have been brought back under control, watch investment bloom.
President Trump would more than likely be very interested in helping with the situation – just mention it in your next press conference.
If you are looking for usual wit in this commentary, stop and go on to the next column. You won’t find any – there’s no humor to be found in today’s subject.
In fact, my mission today is to scare the hell out of you. So much so, that readers might be motivated to lend thoughts or expertise to help our community, state, and country.
Do you realize that just in the last twenty years or so our children and/or grandchildren have become even more vulnerable to being killed or maimed than before that date? Do you also understand that those same children and/or grandchildren are more disposed to actually become killers themselves, wreaking havoc on anyone unfortunate enough to be in their way?
I’m writing about texting and driving – an “innocent” scourge that has become every bit as lethal as drunk driving. I say innocent as nobody ever got out of bed one morning and said he/she were going to kill somebody with texts. And I doubt there are many of you reading this column today that actually texts while driving, if you text at all.
This is primarily a problem of younger folks – the invincible set. If you don’t believe that, the next time you’re stopped at a traffic light, look around and see what younger people, generally under 35, are doing. If there is a slow car in front of you holding up traffic, chances are good that it is someone texting.
This is nothing like knowingly getting inebriated and impaired, then getting behind a wheel, despite all the warnings and harsh penalties advertised everywhere, for doing so. This is much more innocent than that, but equally as deadly.
Do you realize there are 9 deaths and 1,000 injured every day as a result of texting and driving? That’s 1.5 million accidents per year. Texting while driving causes 5 times more accidents than drunk driving.
Did you know the average time to read a text is 5 seconds? That’s 5 seconds with eyes and focus not on the road. In that time, a car traveling 55 MPH can travel the length of a football field. Texting while driving triples the odds of a road departure and multiplies by seven the odds of running into something in your lane.
According to Virginia Tech University, you are six times more likely to get in an accident while texting as opposed to driving drunk!
I could go on with more stats until your eyes crossed but know that teenagers are the worst at this practice…the very people who need to keep their eyes on the road most.
Obviously, none of us want to see our teen-aged child or grandchild maimed, or worse, killed – a loss from which a parent never fully returns. And equally as bad, imagine the angst of a teenager having to live life knowing they killed someone because they were texting. It would be a heavy burden to carry the rest of a person’s life.
Obviously, this is a critically serious problem, and will get worse before it gets better. I’m not one to advocate passing more laws to control people’s behavior every time there’s an issue. There are too many laws on the books now. I realized a long time ago, you can’t legislate morality or common sense. If you don’t believe that, just take a look at those doing the legislating.
But, I would be for requiring technology companies or cell providers to put restrictions on the phones or service whereas texting and internet surfing do not work in a moving vehicle, even if one isn’t the driver. And hands-free calling should be all that is available in a moving vehicle. One touches the phone while moving, the phone turns off. This technology should not be that difficult and will save countless lives.
Being around trucks all my life, I am also very aware of all the statistics involving trucks and automobiles. If your teen is texting and anywhere near and 80,000-pound truck, your teen in gambling his life. Folks, the car will come in second place every time, and rarely is there a second chance. In the crash posted, the phone was in the drivers hand - his head was in the backseat.
I was one of the worst phone abusers while driving. I’ve reformed – one of our kids rear-ended a guy, totaling the car. It was enough for me. Miraculously, nobody was hurt, but there before the Grace of God…
It is imperative that we, as a society, crack down on those people texting while driving – they are imperiling us all.
You know what really grinds my gears? Self-righteous, politically correct people discrediting others in an effort to censor or take away the 1st Amendment rights of other American citizens.
No, this rant isn’t about my recent sabbatical from the Journal. Professional athletics is what got my attention, but my tirade can apply for just about any incident happening in America.2018.
A recent article reports the National Football League has ordered Jerry Jones, of the Dallas Cowboys, to stop talking about the National Anthem matter. You might recall there is an ongoing issue where athletes are kneeling in a personal protest during the Anthem, causing a rift throughout the country. In response, Mr. Jones made it a policy when playing football on his team, the player would stand during the Anthem.
Mr. Jones holds the Dallas Cowboys franchise. His total player compensation will be in excess of $178 million this year. As Mr. Jones owns the team and is paying players generous wages, it should be within his right to instruct team personnel to stand for the Anthem while on his (and our) time. Mr. Jones understands that players protesting is bad for his business.
This directive irked some folks and the media used the opportunity to stir the pot. When one stirs the pot, it becomes odiferous, and sells news. Now the NFL has ordered Mr. Jones to keep quiet. One would think it’s his team and prerogative to set policy. Don’t like it – then don’t play there or watch the team. Is it within the rights of others to confiscate Jones’ 1st Amendment right or to run his company? Tragically, in today’s PC society we seem to have come to accept this.
There is also the case of Sean Newcomb, a pitcher for the Atlanta Braves. The twenty-five-year old got within one out of tossing a no-hitter, a major achievement in baseball. Rather than bask in the glory of a great accomplishment, or agonizing over how close he got, the young man was hounded by the media because he used “offensive” language on Twitter…when he was eighteen-years-old.
A few thoughts have gone through my mind…
Who was the troll digging back years on professional athletes, or anybody for that matter, in order to stir trouble? Has said troll ever done or said anything offensive in his/her life, or are they the second coming of Jesus Christ?
Why is this a story in USA Today? It happened seven years ago, and like it or not, Mr. Newcomb has a right to say whatever he wants – even if it is stupid or insensitive - it is his 1st Amendment right. If there is someone offended by it, then it is their prerogative to ague, shun, sue, or, I suppose, even hit Newcomb in the mouth. It’s also the right of USA Today journalist not to watch Newcomb pitch, or even boycott the Braves. However, nobody has the right to control Newcomb’s thoughts or mouth.
Does it make a seasoned reporter feel good to take down a young man who made some youthful indiscretions? Now Newcomb will have to take diversity training…for something insensitive he said seven years ago! He was a teenager. Most of us would be in prison if we were thrown in jail for saying something stupid in our youth.
Furthermore – Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Josh Hader and Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner also had tweets dug up from seven years ago and have had to apologize and attend diversity training. Interestingly, the ballplayer’s apologies seemed to be in a canned format, indicating to me the M LB is coaching them, hoping everyone will hold hands and sing kumbaya, so MLB can get back to the business of raking in billions of dollars.
There were no acts of contrition forced after the court-jester’s attack on Sarah Sanders at the White House correspondent’s dinner. Instead of an apology and sensitivity training, she used the event as a springboard for her career.
It was also certainly acceptable by the media and liberals in general when a restaurant owner kicked Ms. Sanders out of her beanery. Despicable, but she did own the place. How is that different than Jerry Jones and his Dallas Cowboys business?
Or how about Obama’s Reverend Jeremiah Wright of “g..damn America” fame? Remember him? Other than being shunned by Obama, there wasn’t much outcry from the media then.
How is it rappers can say whatever they want, but that right is not extended to the rest of us? Nobody seems to escape the crosshairs of any self-respecting rapper.
Not sure which is more infuriating, the double standard or the suppression of Rights, but I know I am offended.