Is This the ‘New Norm?’

Like most people growing up in the middle of the 20th century, I thought my upbringing was ‘normal.’ At the time, both Grandma P and I thought that we were what was called ‘middle class.’ We did not have any more material possessions than anyone else, but we did have everything that was needed to grow and prosper. We each had two loving parents. My farm family always planted a huge garden. That was because my grandmother was raised during the time of the Great Depression, and was damn well bent on the fact that none of us was ever going to starve! When the peas in the garden were ripe, we had peas for two meals a day until they were gone. (Mercifully, we did not have to eat peas for breakfast!) When the lettuce was ripe…same thing. We were subjected to this kind of diet for every vegetable that could not be frozen or canned, throughout the entire summer.

We were raised to respect authority and our elders. It did not matter if that authority was a teacher, preacher or policeman. I received the do as the cop tells you speech’ at an early age. The second part of that speech was that I should not do anything so stupid as to need a policeman’s involvement. You know those things: speeding, drinking, stealing, yada yada. Some of my most serious discipline, as handed out by my father, ‘Big Daddy G,’ was because he heard that I had misbehaved in class. (Amazingly, the husbands of 3 of my 6 elementary school teachers worked with my dad! He never attended parent/teacher conferences. He got reports every frickin’ day!) By today’s standards, my actions would draw a smile. By ‘Big Daddy G’s’ standards, corporal punishment was required! (And received!) Big Daddy G was a strict adherent to black and white. Shady gray was never a part of his color palette. There was no room for compromise as to what was right, and what was wrong, as that line was never allowed to blur.

I recited the Pledge of Allegiance, every day for my entire 12 years of school. We stood at attention, with our hands over our hearts as we were saying it. This is what you did in a small, blue-collar, midwestern community where practically all of your parents and teachers survived the Great Depression and fought in World War II. They were a tough generation to have survived so much. They had no compunction to be ‘soft’ on the children they brought into this world.

For all of us, the ‘baby boomers’, our childhoods were not draconic. We were being parented! Our parents, because of their experiences, imparted their values on us. They also implanted expectations as to what we could become with effort. They never waivered in their love of country or their belief that America was indeed the ‘land of opportunity.’ For all of us that are from this generation, this was ‘normal.’ So what has happened?

Defunding the Police

This past summer has seen destruction and carnage in many of our major cities. Minneapolis, because of the death of George Floyd. Seattle and New York saw rioting and looting. Portland will probably be in the Guinness Book of Records for allowing a riot to go unchecked for over 100 days. Anarchists seized a multi-block area of Seattle that was allowed to go unchecked for over a month. During my youth, these actions would have been unthinkable. During my youth, there would have been swift justice dealt to the perpetrators of these incidents before the loss of property and the loss of life. So what are the responses of the mayor’s of these communities? Well, in Minneapolis, because of the unfortunate death of George Floyd, there has been a movement to defund the police. The George Floyd incident was the excuse given for all of the rioting and destruction that has taken place. So the media has turned the spotlight on the police as being the villains in this surrealistic scenario, followed by the total lack of common sense and action by the mayors and governors of the affected states and cities. I would like to point out that this anti-cop attitude began with our last black President, who stoked the fires of racism by stating, “If I had a son, he would be just like Trayvon Martin.” There you have it. Black thugs are all good. All cops are bad. Is this the new norm?

Media Bias

There was a time in one of my classes when the teacher had us perform a political debate. This particular debate was about the upcoming election between John Kennedy and Richard Nixon. My family were all FDR democrats, so I was on the Kennedy side of the equation. I slam-dunked the election debate in our favor by quoting and producing an article that had been printed in the largest major newspaper in our state. (It still is!) Because of the validity attached to that article and because of the status of that newspaper, the Kennedy side won! How much of what you read or see in a newspaper would you believe today? How much of any media source do you believe today?

I very much remember when Richard Nixon resigned as POTUS, because of the Watergate scandal. Do you remember that this whole scandal was exposed because of investigative reporters? Yup. Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, both working for the Washington Post, exposed the scandal and brought down a presidency. Ah yes….those were the good old days! So where did these investigative reporters go? Have they not heard of Hunter Biden? The fictitious Steele dossier? The Russian collusion hoax? The politicizing of the FBI and CIA? Benghazi? The Clinton emails? The Clinton Foundation? The Uranium One deal? Holy cow! You cannot shake a stick without hitting on what should be a slam-dunk for getting a bushel of Pulitzer Prizes by exposing liberal maleficence! But sadly, the media is liberal, too. So no real investigative reporting has ever been done on any of these subjects. Is this the new normal?

Social Media Bias

Did you know that 65% of all Americans receive their news on social media? Yup. And considering that in our recent election, the big social media outlets took it upon themselves to block any info concerning Hunter Biden as it relates to his father. They had no problem with the fictitious Steele dossier, or anything that was anti-Trump, but they decided that there was not enough evidence to allow the Hunter Biden story.

So rather than being a conduit for ideas, these large social media outlets have decided to discard the first amendment, and inhibit the free speech provided by our Constitution. Trump has been likened to Hitler, but yet, it is the left, biased media that is exerting dictatorial, discriminate authority…much like Hitler! The new norm?

Antifa and BLM

Call me a racist, but I happen to believe that ‘ALL LIVES MATTER!’ And, yes, that includes black lives as well. If you believe that Black Lives Matter is some sort of civil liberties organization, you had better go on-line and read their website. They are a politically socialistic organization with a huge socialistic agenda. Antifa? Antifa keeps trying to purvey, along with the help of the liberal media, that they are a group fighting fascists in America. Fascists? I am pretty sure we killed most of the Fascist bastards with the deaths of Hitler and Mussolini. I am pretty sure that these fascists are fictitious, much like the Steele dossier, in order to justify their illegal actions. And like BLM, they are attempting to put ‘lipstick on this pig,’ to make it appear as a civil liberties organization. Like BLM, they are not a civil liberties organization. Check them out. So here you have it. Two organizations largely responsible for the destruction of property, businesses and the livelihoods of thousands of Americans trying to pass themselves off as civil liberties organizations. The new normal?

There are a plethora of items that could constitute being the ‘new normal’ from when I was growing up in our great nation. Can we not count our election ballots in one night? In 1960, all ballots were manually counted, and we knew who the POTUS was before we went to sleep. Do we attempt to change our history by destroying buildings and statues that represent our past? Is ‘shaking down’ foreign countries by our politicians and their family members the ‘new normal?’ Do we think our country is so terrible, that we have to take a knee during the national anthem to show our displeasure? Is this the new normal?

I will tell you that as a senior citizen, I am not pleased as to what kind of country we are leaving our children and grandchildren. Even though we did not grow up having the technological marvels that we take for granted today, we had opportunity and a burning desire to improve ourselves. Call me naïve, but I believe I grew up in a better America.

P.S. Ode to Beau

My friend, Beau, recently passed away. Beau was the father of the Bijou Mauler, who was my proof reader for the beginning of my blog. Beau always read and commented on each of my blogs. He also forwarded my blogs to his many friends. I jokingly referred to him as my ‘best disciple.’ He was, without question, my most fervent reader. You are sadly missed, because you were a fantastic person, husband, father, and grandfather. Rest in peace, Beau!!

I LOVE FOOTBALL! I HATE DISRESPECT!

I love football!

I love football so much, that I had credentials to coach football after graduating from college. I played football for 5 years in school. I never played beyond high school, because, as the old saying goes: ‘if you can’t do it, you teach it.’ I fit that mold perfectly.

My uncle was a very good football player. He was so good, he was offered a full scholarship to play football at a Big Ten university. But he wasn’t good enough to avoid fighting in World War II. He lost the ‘life lottery’ because he graduated from high school in June of 1942. There was an insurmountable amount of pressure put on him by the people of our patriotic, small town. “How can you think of going to college to play football, when there is a war going on!” He succumbed to the pressure and enlisted in the Army. After four years in the Army, combat in the jungles of the Pacific theater, war wounds, malaria and dysentery, his college career and playing football ambitions had vanished at war’s end. But he still loved football, and, just as importantly, he got me interested in football. We watched football together.

Now this next sentence may stun some of the readers that know me personally. Until 1961, my uncle and I were Green Bay Packer backers. Yup. We were cheeseheads in abstentia, as we were not natives of Wisconsin. But in 1961, the two closest teams to our state were the Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs. Now I realize that the Chicago Bears may have been closer than Kansas City geographically, but we never had any love for those Chicago Bears. (Still don’t!) Then it occurred. For us it was bigger than winning a small lottery. (OK. If it was Powerball, that would be a bigger deal!) It ranked with Moses receiving the ten commandments. It was more earthshaking than the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883….we got our own, in-state professional football team! Yup. Our home state got the almost 4 time Super Bowl champion Minnesota Vikings.

My uncle and I were in heaven. We loved the game. We admired the coaching. We cheered on the players, and of course, we had our favorite players. Our first quarterback was a very young Fran Tarkenton. He led our new team to an upset victory in their very first game, over those thugs, the Chicago Bears. I had an opportunity to meet him and get his autograph after his football career had ended. Fran is in the Football Hall of Fame, and was a very, very successful businessman in his own right. Amazingly, our biggest rivalry developed with our former favorite team, the Green Bay Packers. Whenever the Vikings play the Packers, the TV viewership is typically one of the top three viewings during the entire football season.

We also very much enjoyed the pre-game pageantry. What is not to like about bubbly, attractive cheerleaders whipping the hometown crowd into a frenzy. The bands. The singing of the national anthem. The coin flip. It was all very exciting. It was our way of escaping the rigors of everyday life and enjoying the entertainment provided by our favorite sport.

But my uncle and I were not impartial. We watched the Olympics, both summer and winter, beginning with the 1960 Olympics held in Rome, Italy. These Olympic games were the first ones broadcast on TV, and we became Olympic junkies. I still am. We also watched basketball. But my uncle was a hard working farmer, with 14-16 hour days not being uncommon. He had a dairy herd as well as growing crops for feed and crops for cash. It was tough. But when sports were on television, he and I were all over it, as he made time to watch.

So why have I taken time to write about my love of football?

Because, this past weekend, the Minnesota Vikings played the Green Bay Packers in the home opener. Yup. It was the biggest rivalry in our conference being played in the first game. I did something this past weekend that I have not done for over 60 years. I did not turn my TV to football. Specifically, I did not watch the Vikings, or any other team, and have no intention of doing so again for the rest of the season.

Why?

Because changes in our society have permeated my favorite sport where it has slipped from the role of providing me ‘escapism’ and entertainment to becoming something in line with a ‘paid political announcement.’ God knows we have had enough paid political announcements during this election cycle.

The owners of these football franchises are all ga-billionaires. Their two assets are the stadium and the players. The majority of players in the NFL and NBA are black. So, to protect their money stream, they need to appease their players. To cave in to a misguided social convention, the owners and the NFL decided it would be appropriate to play the national anthem and the ‘black national anthem’ at the beginning of all the home opener games.

How did this play out in practically all of the stadiums? Well, all of the players, both black and white, stood for the ‘black national anthem.’ A sure-fire indication of respect for whatever the ‘black national anthem’ is suppose to represent. Then….when the U.S. national anthem was being played, the majority of black players took a knee. At this point, as my blood is beginning to boil, I must say that the only thing that is greater than my love of football, is my hate for anyone that disrespects my country, my flag, and my anthem.

So let me ask this question. How do you expect to gain respect for your race, for whatever cause you represent, or for your ‘black national anthem’, when within 5 minutes you show disrespect for the flag and anthem of the country that so freely allows you to speak and act?

Let me be clear. I, like the majority of white people in this country, AM NOT RACIST! No one cares what black athletes do on their own time, but you polluted my favorite sport by turning it into a ‘low class political campaign ad.’ For the owners of the NFL: Did you think this ‘black national anthem’ was going to eliminate ‘systemic racism’ or possibly fan the flames of racism? Isn’t our country, ‘One nation under God?’ Do you think allowing players to take a knee during the national anthem is just ‘boys being boys?’ The millionaire players and the ga-billionaire owners may have money, but let me point out that you have a noticeable lack of respect and common sense.

There are two separate issues involving the beginning of these football games. Firstly, the owners and players have not done one thing to contribute to protection of this country other than pay your taxes. In the meantime, people fought and died in wars since 1775 to create and preserve this great nation. You disrespect everyone that has paid the ultimate price. You have disrespected soldiers, policemen, firemen and other first responders by taking that symbolic, ‘screw this country’ knee during our anthem. And, ironically, you demand respect for the ‘black national anthem’ and your political beliefs. Stupidity personified!

Secondly, as mentioned, you polluted my escapism and entertainment by injecting your political/societal beliefs into a game. Why do you think people watch and play sports?

I was trying to avoid this subject, but I cannot continue without it. I do not believe in ‘societal racism.’ No one in the U.S has owned a slave or been a slave for at least four generations, probably longer. We continue to hear drivel about ‘slave reparations’ in this country. Really? How about reparations for the families of the 600,000 white guys that died fighting for freeing the slaves? Remember? Those guys fought under the flag that many of these black athletes are disrespecting. Again…ironic.

So let me be perfectly clear to anyone of color that may read this article: I and the greater majority of white people in the United States do not hate you because of your color, we are appalled by your actions. 95% of all blacks are killed by other blacks. Rioting, looting and destruction are not ‘peaceful demonstrations’ and are not protected by the First Amendment. Many of the businesses destroyed in the Minneapolis riots were minority owned businesses! Again, ironic. (Too many ironies in this blog.) Black Lives Matter is not a civil rights organization, but a political organization with a socialist agenda. (Check their website!) Yet, I am referred to as a ‘white supremist’ if I say, ‘all lives matter.’ Now who is promoting racism?

So, I have made the decision that my life will be just fine without any sport that wants to inject political/societal beliefs into the game. Sadly, goodbye professional football or any other sport that disrespects our flag, national anthem, or history.

I subscribe to the Morgan Freeman theory; “racism will disappear when we quit talking about it.” Amen.

We Need To Chose Our Heroes Wisely!

My! I haven’t written a new blog for quite some time. With so many things happening to us personally and throughout the U.S., it has been rather difficult. Firstly, my 10 year old computer died as the result of an untimely meeting with a Covid-19 hammer. Yup. My next door neighbor maliciously beat its brains out before I disposed of it. It was old, and could not recover from the Covid-19 hammer beating. It refused to wear a mask.

My new computer is much smaller, prettier, and much more capable than the 10 year old computer. So, here I am. Tickling the keys on a new, responsive keyboard.

The biggest challenge for me is to decide what to write about. Covid-19? Who in hell is not tired of hearing about that? I do find it interesting that the news reports the deaths, new cases and new hospital covid-19 patients on a scoreboard. You remember what a scoreboard is? Its those things we not longer see, because WE DON’T HAVE ANY SPORTS! Somehow, that scoreboard usually never reports the number of cured cases.

I could write about the upcoming elections. And…once I am done puking, I may do that, too.

How about those peaceful riots that somehow managed to burn and destroy major U.S. cities in the name of racial equality and police brutality. Apparently, our nation hates the police by wanting to defund them, and finds a myriad of ways to justify all of the destruction to businesses, government buildings, parks and statues. In Minneapolis, the mayor and the governor waited 4 days before attempting to end the massive destruction that destroyed/damaged over 500 businesses! But wait….it gets better. After not taking any action, the Governor of Minnesota had the audacity to request funds from FEMA, because he claimed the destruction to Minneapolis was a natural disaster! So Governor, let me help you out about what constitutes a natural disaster. Hurricane Katrina was a natural disaster when it hit Mississippi/Louisiana. Hurricane DumAss did not hit Minneapolis, it only hit the state capitol building. Wisely, President Trump refused the funds.

So, I have decided that we need to write not about the obvious, but rather play a game of ‘Who Am I?”

Who Am I?

I served in the U.S military for 33 years. I was director of the Defense Intelligence Agency for two years. I was the 24th National Security Advisor. Part of my military career was shaping U.S. counterterrorism strategy for dismantling insurgent networks in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Who Am I?

Who Am I?

I played high school and college sports. I was a hip hop artist. Between 1997 and 2005, I was convicted of eight crimes. I served 4 years in prison for aggravated robbery. I have been arrested nine times and served many months in jail as a result. Most of my jail time was for drugs, theft and robbery. I worked as a bouncer.

OK. For my brilliant readers, you have already figured out that the two individuals are LtG Michael Flynn, and George Floyd. So which of these two individuals is a true hero, and which is not.

Michael Flynn served with distinction is every facet of his life. His military career is impeccable. But Michael made the mistake of being lured into the quagmire of the political arena after military retirement. He resigned his position of National Security Advisor after 22 days on the job. Purportedly, it was because he misled VP Mike Pence about the nature and content of his communications with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Unfortunately for Flynn, the government was not done with him, even after his resignation. He became a target in the Mueller investigation. (My previous blogs discuss the validity and motives of that investigation. Investigate all things Trump!) Flynn was set up by an interview with James Comey, As a result of charges, in December 2017, Flynn formalized a deal with Mueller to plead guilty to a felony count of ‘willfully and knowingly’ making false statements to the FBI. He did this because he was facing financial ruination, as his attorney bills exceeded $6 million! In January of this year, (with a new attorney!) Flynn moved to withdraw his guilty plea. On May 7, the Department of Justice announced that it intended to drop all charges against Flynn. But woefully, politically oriented district judges are not dropping the charges. Common sense would dictate that charges would be dropped that were based on a politically motivated investigation that was founded on false documents and personal malice. It appears Michael Flynn’s legal woes will not be over any time soon. Because of his past, and because of his defense of the United States through military service, would he be considered a hero?

Before anyone gets their undies in a bunch, I want to emphasize that the death of George Floyd was a tragedy. I would say, “All lives matter,” including George Floyd’s, but then I would be branded a racist and white supremist. However, let the facts and history show that George Floyd was no saint. He was a criminal that, on numerous occasions committed criminal activities, often with a weapon. In his youth, he was athletic. He played both football and basketball. At 6’4″ and 235 pounds, with a recent job of being a bouncer, he would be a physical force with which to contend. The Minneapolis police department knew him well and of his criminal history. I am not trying to justify the police procedure during his death, or get into the findings of a drug (fentanyl and methamphetamine) laden autopsy. What I am saying is that the death of this ‘non-saint’, resulted in his being buried in a gold casket, with Al Sharpton delivering the eulogy. His death also triggered some peaceful protests which were well-founded and well attended, but were quickly highjacked by looters, vandals and professional ‘hell raisers,’ which resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars damage in many major U.S. cities. Is he a hero?

So what has been the aftermath for these two individuals?

For Michael Flynn, his footnote to history will be that he was the shortest serving National Security advisor at 22 days. His legal problems are spitefully ongoing. My hope would be that if Trump gets reelected, he would be appointed head of the CIA or the FBI. How ironic that he could head one of the two organizations that were largely responsible for his political downfall and public humiliation. There are rumors he may win a very large settlement because of the maliciousness of the actions and allegations against him. Who would pay? Possibly the U.S. government, even though I think James Comey should pay….on his way to prison for politicizing the FBI. The principle reason for LtG Michael Flynn’s woes? He supported Donald Trump. The deep state leftist government hacks could not allow that.

Following George Floyd’s death, many colleges and universities created scholarships in Floyd’s name. Street artists globally created murals honoring Floyd. Depictions included Floyd as a ghost in Minneapolis, as an angel in Houston, and as a saint weeping blood in Naples, Italy. Many other murals depicting his death have been painted in other major cities throughout the world. He has often been referred to as a ‘hero,’ even though there is not one item in his past that would indicate heroism. Unabashedly, the virtual Democratic convention honored him last night with a memorial. No mention of fallen service men and women. No mention of fallen police and first responders. The Democrats decided to bestow ‘virtual sainthood’ on a person least deserving of the honor.

So, like many of you, I am confused and confounded as to how our country went from castigating a person that protected our country, to honoring a person that was pretty much a career criminal. So here is my question for all of you……what would George Floyd’s footnote to history be if the policeman responsible for his death was black? Would we have even heard of George Floyd? Maybe we would still have heard of it, as the mantra ‘racial inequality’ would have waned in favor of ‘police brutality.’ But, I am convinced that the left wing professional agitators would not have missed the opportunity to do their damage, they just needed a cause. Antifa and BLM needed another cause. The democrats and their left leaning media just cannot get enough mileage when a white policeman kills a black thug.

Are either of these men heroes? I guess that would be for you to decide. Personally, I believe Michael Flynn approaches my idea of a hero. George Flynn, does not.

Rest in peace and God be with you, George. We may not have known who you were if it were not an election year.

Were We in Africa, or were we in China?

Our last cruise was somewhat confusing. Were we in Africa, or did we revisit China?

Why would I open my blog with such a comment? Well, it is because Grandma P and I just completed our last bucket list cruise, by sailing around the African continent for what should have been 78 days. We began by boarding the ship in Bristol, England. We then went to Portugal, Morocco, Cape Verde Islands, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Seychelles Islands, Comoros, Maldives, Sri Lanka, India, Egypt and Jordan. It was a fantastic adventure! We primarily wanted to see the animals of Africa and visit the sites of Petra, Jordan and the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. We were very successful with seeing the animals. We saw all of the Africa big five: lion, leopard, elephant, cape buffalo and rhinos. Our favorite animals, however, were the giraffes and the zebras. We also saw ostrich and about twenty different kinds antelope. The animals of Africa are very diverse and very interesting. To relate that riding a camel in Jordan was a ball-busting experience, would be an understatement.

Our trip was cut short because of the coronavirus pandemic. After Jordan, we were to go through the Suez canal, and visit the countries of Israel, Malta, Spain, Gibraltar, and Ireland. We were denied entry to any of these countries even though we did not have the virus on our ship. They would not even allow us to dock for food and fuel, even with passengers remaining on the ship. So…we sailed for fourteen continuous days from Aqaba, Jordan to Bristol, England without stopping. We arrived two days early. Bummer. But it all worked out and we got home two days after leaving the ship.

However, there was something else that we saw on this cruise besides all the amazing animals and wonderful sites. In practically every country we visited, we saw the influence of Communist China.

For example, in Walvis Bay, Namibia, the Chinese built this extremely large sea port. That is where we docked. This port not only had facilities for cruise ships, but huge facilities for shipping containers. Chinese shipping containers! Let me be perfectly clear, the Chinese did not build this facility out of the kindness of their hearts. They expected to be paid, and in Namibia, the payment was in the form of uranium! Yup. Namibia has uranium and the Chinese are taking it as payment for the port facility. Our tour guide was very upset about this trade arrangement with China.

In tiny Sri Lanka, the Chinese were building a modern, extensive highway system. This road network included all kinds of toll booths, and numerous concrete bridges. The Sri Lankan government approved this project and was paying for it on a 99 year lease! I do not know of any concrete bridge close to salt water that will last 99 years. Who do you think will be happy to do all future repairs at additional costs? China!!

These are just two of the examples of how China has become the preeminent trading partner to the continent of Africa. In Kenya, they constructed a railroad. In South Africa, many sea ports. In Tanzania, sea ports and road networks. These are just the projects that we saw, or were told to us by the locals in each country. China, China….everywhere!

Until 2007, the United States was the largest trading partner on the African continent. Since that time, China has become the largest trading partner and their influence in the region is accelerating at an amazing rate.

How did this happen?

Many of you that read this blog are old enough to remember in the late 60’s and early 70’s when the majority of African nations were striving to gain independence from their European colonial overlords. In many instances, these independence efforts fomented in civil wars. Eventually, all of these countries were successful. But there was one amazing event that should have been better recognized by the Western world. China, one of the most repressed civilizations in the world, always supported the faction in each country that wanted independence! In some countries, the Chinese provided money and weapons to those factions. This should have disturbed the Western world because Chairman Mao and his successors surely did not want a free and democratic China, but were supporting the factions that wanted to rid colonialism on the African continent. By 1978, China was giving more aid to Africa than the United States!

Eventually, the European countries did grant autonomy to each of the African nations. Some times this was a result of negotiation and some times it was a result of war. In the end, colonialism disappeared across the African continent.

Now each of the newly independent African nations faced the challenge of determining what type of government they would establish. In some of the countries the choice was easy. A dictator would assume power, usually through the use of guns and bullets. The guns and bullets made the choice easy for the constituents. In other countries, it was a little more complex. For instance, in South Africa, Apartheid was eventually abolished and we all witnessed the historic event of Nelson Mandela becoming the first black president in a predominately black country after serving 27 years in prison.

So now each country had some form of government without the involvement of European colonialism. And, as we are well aware, some of these countries ended up with politicians and leaders that were neither educated nor experienced enough to be effective leaders. But the one thing the majority of these new leaders and politicians promised to the newly liberated masses, were social -welfare programs for the improvement of their respective countries. Unfortunately, promising something and paying for something are two sides of the same shovel. The end result is the same, you end up in the hole, and that was what happened to many of these countries. They instituted programs that were not affordable. This was done to remain in power and to remain popular. To make matters worse, some of these leaders were crooked and unscrupulous and they robbed their countries of what resources they possessed. (Power + Prestige=Money! One of my favorite previous blogs!)

Enter the Chinese. In 1980 the total for Sino-African trade was US $1 billion. In 2005, that total was US $40 billion. In the first 10 months of 2012, that total in trade had reached $164 billion. What do you think that number is today? By having observed tens of thousands of Chinese shipping containers on our cruise, I can assure you it is exponentially higher! It is estimated that 800 Chinese corporations are doing business in Africa. These corporations are primarily investing in infrastructure, energy and banking. This Chinese investment has had positive and negative effects in Africa. It has created more jobs, but is has also displaced African companies.

Maybe the Western world should have seen this coming. Since 1997, over 40 African heads of state have visited the Peoples Republic of China. Firstly, the Chinese outsmarted us by supporting the ouster of European colonialism. Then, again as a part of their long term strategy, they have slowly increased their presence on the continent by providing long-term, low interest loans. Western countries would provide loans with higher interest and shorter terms and expect to be repaid with money. China will take money or, as in Namibia, resources.

Who is to blame for allowing all of this to happen? Well, we are to blame. And when I say we, I don’t just mean the Western world governments, but also you and I. Our western world society is a society of consumerism. We want cheap TV’s, cheap computers, cheap cell phones, cheap clothing, yada, yada. And where did we get these cheap items? Well, we bought them all from China. Unfortunately, we made the Chinese rich with our lust for cheap material needs and have done so for the last 40 years! Western world companies could not resist moving all of their manufacturing facilities to China to take advantage of cheap labor. The Chinese, being smart and patient, has kept their currency artificially low to supply our needs for decades.

What has China done with their new-found wealth provided by the Western world? Firstly, they have drastically upgraded and increased the size of their military. You just never know when you may need a well-armed collection agency, and the Chinese are getting one. Secondly, they are investing in third world countries, such as in Africa to gain resources and political influence throughout the region. (The majority of African nations supported the Chinese efforts to replace the Republic of China of Taiwan in the UN. Only one African country has a relationship with Taiwan today.)

Make no mistake about it, China wants to be the one and only world power. They have long range goals and are patient enough to see those goals come to fruition. A destroyed or crippled American economy, or a destroyed western world economy, would go a long way to assist China in meeting those goals. (Coronavirus?)

The Democratic Platform: ‘deja vu’ all over again!

Did you have favorite television programs while growing up? I sure did. In my time, I enjoyed Bonanza and Gunsmoke as westerns. I really enjoyed The Man from Uncle and I Spy for spy shows. And, I could not get enough of the Carol Burnett Shows for comedy. Luckily, practically all of these shows are now available on networks that specialize in reruns. But here is the problem. After watching the original shows and then watching each show as a rerun two or three times, I lose interest. After all, how many times can you watch the same show over and over and over again without losing interest?

Now I need to time travel from the past to the present and as to what is happening on the political scene. Other than the negative mass media coverage of Donald Trump’s tweets, the next most media consuming event is the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. To say that there are a plethora of candidates would be an understatement. To say that there are a platoon of candidates would be more accurate. There are so many candidates, that I have lost count! I thought there were 22 or 23, but I see the upcoming debates are only for 20 candidates. Did some candidates drop out or were they hired to join the Mueller investigation posse? No doubt with Mueller’s concern about Russian influence in our last presidential election, he will now want to focus on what the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton election team had going with the Russkies! (Okay, I am dreaming. That would never happen with the team of Clintonites he had on his staff.)

Here is where I segue my last paragraph with my opening paragraph about reruns of television programs. After watching a television show three times, I would lose interest and quit watching that program. After watching part of the Democratic debates, I lost interest and quit watching. Why? Because the Democrats have not come up with an original thought and it is a rerun of the garbage they have been spewing for way too many years.!

Free health care for everyone! And with a unanimous show of hands, the candidates all agreed that that would also include ‘illegal aliens.’ Or, in the parlance of the political correct, ‘undocumented immigrants.’ (If an illegal alien can be an undocumented immigrant, does that mean a dope pusher is an undocumented pharmacist? Does that make a bank robber just performing an undocumented withdrawal?) Free college education for everyone! Free this! Free that! Free! Free! Free!

Is there a word in the English language (or press two for Spanish) that could possibly be more liberal with other people’s money than the word socialist? Just how would all of these ‘free’ entitlements be paid. Well, that is an easy question for Bernie Sanders. Because for Bernie, there are words in America that are naughtier that the four letter words we heard as kids. The word profit, is a naughty word. If you follow Bernie’s logic, which is in line with the other candidates, a corporation or business should be ashamed, and punished for making a profit! That punishment would come in the form of higher and higher taxes. And, we will need more government regulation and intervention to control those greedy profit makers! Did you notice how many times the words ‘large corporations’ came up in the debate. Oh yeah, those large corporations are what is wrong with America. Have we heard this drivel in the past?

The other source of funding, and another place to punish is the talk about the ‘upper 1%.’ Of course, this refers to the top 1% of those with wealth in our country. Hereto, these people need to ‘pay their fair share.’ Bernie goes on to attack Trump by saying that he passed tax reform that unjustly helped the top 1% over all other taxpayers and wage earners.

I am becoming comatose listening to the same reheated, rehashed garbage coming from the liberal left, just as I have lost interest in multiple reruns, because their platform is a rerun on a continuous loop. And….don’t let reality cloud a faulty accusation.

The liberals have need to take a fact check into reality and, just as important, into economics. Firstly, only a small portion of the total federal government tax revenues come for businesses and corporations. That number has fluctuated over the years, but for 2018, corporate income taxes accounted for only 6% of the federal tax income! Personal income taxes accounted for 51% of the federal tax income. Payroll taxes accounted for 35% of the federal tax income, with miscellaneous taxes accounting for the last 8%. Bernie wants to do a WWF style smack-down on those corporations that only contribute 6% of the federal taxes to support all of his socialistic programs. What would be the result of that economic taxation maneuver? Hate Trump if you want, but his economic policies have stimulated the economy to the point of experiencing the lowest unemployment rate in 50+ years! Like Ronald Reagan said, “The best welfare program is a job.” And gosh darn it, by eliminating government regulations and intervention, and by lowering the corporate tax rate, that 6% (corporations and businesses) have created many more people contributing in the form of personal taxes. If the socialist left-wing dingbat democrats have their way, this trend would reverse. Corporations would again relocate manufacturing and corporate headquarters outside of the US. Higher unemployment would follow, just like during the 10+% unemployment during the Obama years.

Another democrat mantra….”the 1% need to pay their fair share of taxes.” Really? In 2016, The top 1% of the wealthiest people in America paid 37.3% of all federal income taxes. The bottom 90% of wage earners paid just 30.5% of all federal income taxes. Another statistic? The top 50% of all wage earners paid 97% of all the taxes. So you think the IRS codes are skewed unjustly to benefit the top 1%, as asserted by the liberal left? Well, in 2016, the top 5% paid an average of 23.5% in taxes. The top 1% paid 22.9%. (Better accountants?) But the bottom 80% paid a tax rate of 15.6%. So….what part of this is unfair? Wouldn’t fairness, in this age of political correctness and equality, mean that everyone pay the same tax rate? What would those rates be if all those socialistic programs were put into effect? 40%? (If we were lucky!) 50%? (Probably not enough!) 80%? (Probably!)

So, dear readers, here is a summation of my observations of the Democratic presidential candidates and of the democratic platform:

  1. Like before, the democrats are fomenting the belief that in America, it is ‘us versus them.’ They foment this belief by unscrupulously advancing the belief that the 1% are entitled, and the rest of you are being screwed. Trump is responsible…so he needs to be impeached.
  2. Corporations and businesses are your enemy, especially those that have the audacity to make a profit. Never mind that they provide jobs, expand the economy and raise the standard of living for their employees. If they make a profit…Trump is responsible…so he needs to to impeached.
  3. Trump needs to be impeached. (Heard this before?) I have never heard one reason or charge that would warrant this….but Trump needs to be impeached.
  4. Trump is guilty of treason. (See number 3 above.)
  5. Have you ever heard one solution advanced by any of these candidates that would address some of the more serious problems facing America? Me neither. All I have heard so far is free this, free that…yada, yada, yada. Never mind China, illegal immigration, Iran, etc.
  6. Speaking about illegal immigration. I find it interesting that practically every Democratic candidate is a lawyer and does not know the definition of the word, ‘illegal’, as in illegal alien. How do you uphold and defend the constitution of our great country, and not know the difference between legal and illegal. Just sayin’.
  7. Another democratic mantra…’if at first you don’t succeed, begin labeling and name calling.’ Trump is a racist. Trump is a sexist. Trump is this, Trump is that, and anyone who votes for him is ‘deplorable and incorrigible.’ Enough name calling! Advance something that would be good for our country without putting our grandchildren in indebted servitude.
  8. Speaking of servitude…have you picked up that the government (meaning you and me) should pay blacks for slavery reparations? Have you met any blacks lately, or within the last 150 years that were slaves? Trolling for votes. A desperate, stupid move that divides this country further, but yet they blame Trump for dividing the country.

In an odd way, I find the liberal platform sort of creepy. It reminds me of my parents lecturing me when I was young about not taking candy from strangers. These liberals are trolling for votes by offering candy in the form of all kinds of unaffordable freebies. The question becomes, ‘are you smart enough to not take the candy?’

So like too many reruns of the same episodes of the same show, I will probably tune out most of the Democratic presidential debates until they get down to less than a platoon of candidates. It’s boring and it is certainly repetitive. Like Yogi Berra said, “it’s deja vu all over again.” That is the political correct way of saying….same crap, different day.

PS. If you would like to learn why we have a platoon of Democratic candidates, please read my blog entitled: P + P = M The New Political Formula