Tuskegee-Airmen

Get Off Your Knees and Honor Your Country!

Next weekend, our country will again be commemorating Veterans Day.  Yes, November 11 is once again upon us.  Most everyone knows why the holiday is celebrated on November 11.  World War I hostilities ended on the 11th day of the 11th month at 11:00 AM in the year 1918.  An armistice was finally reached and recognized the ending of a war that truly had countries from most every continent involved.

On November 11, 1919, President Woodrow Wilson issued a message to his countrymen on the first Armistice Day.  It was a passionate speech about what was sacrificed in order to win that war.  But Veterans Day did not begin in 1919, as a matter of fact, neither did Armistice Day.  The United States Congress adopted a resolution on June 4, 1926, requesting that President Calvin Coolidge issue annual proclamations calling for the observance of November 11 with appropriate ceremonies.  But…A Congressional Act finally approved on May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday: “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day.”  So there you have it.  The war ended in 1918, a speech was made in 1919, a recommendation was made for celebration in 1926, and finally, yes, finally it was made a national holiday in 1938.  (19 years, and we want tax cuts by Christmas!  I digress)

(William Armstrong, James Calhoun, John Chavis, Samuel Jefferson)

But another large scale happening occurred, which ultimately became known as World War II.    In 1945, a veteran from Alabama, Raymond Weeks, had the idea to expand Armistice Day to celebrate all veterans, not just those who died in World War I.  He took his idea to then General Dwight Eisenhower.  Again, with the speed of a snail, it took until May 26, 1954 for a bill to be signed which would recognize all veterans, from both world wars on Armistice Day.  But just days later, on June 1, 1954, Congress amended the bill replacing ‘Armistice Day’ with ‘Veterans Day,’ and it has been know as Veterans Day since.

Regardless of what we call the November 11 holiday, we Americans oftentimes forget about the sacrifices that have been made to protect this great nation.  For instance, during World War I, America lost 63,100 people in combat fighting in Europe.  Thus the origination of the holiday.  In World War II, 419,400 American service people lost their lives defending this nation in particular, but also protecting the world from the tyranny of the Axis Powers.  During both World Wars,  American men and women were killed.   People representing  all the races living in the United States were also killed.  For informational purposes, 36,516 American lives were lost fighting in the Korean Conflict.  Viet Nam was responsible for 58,209 American lives lost.  All of the Islamic terroristic fighting that has taken place in Iraq, Afghanistan and in other countries where we are attempting to wipe out Islamic terrorism have accounted for about 9000 lost American lives.  If you are a ‘big picture’ person, let it be known that since our initial fight for independence for Britain in 1775, it is estimated that over 1,354,600 people have lost their lives to defend (and create) this country.

(Maurice Esters, Samuel Foreman, Joseph Gordon, Oscar Hutton)

So, in recognition of this very special day, Veterans Day, I would like to recognize one amazing group of people for their heroics and actions during World War II.  This particular group was a unit within the Army Air Corps.  To best describe the unit, let me relate their war accomplishments:

  1.  1578 combat missions, 1267 for the Twelfth Air Force, 311 for the Fifteenth Air Force
  2.  179 bomber escort missions, losing bombers on only seven missions and a total of only 27,    compared to an average of 46 among other 15th Air Force P-51 groups
  3.   112 enemy aircraft destroyed in the air, another 150 on the ground and 148 damaged
  4.   950 rail cars, trucks and other motor vehicles destroyed (over 600 rail cars)
  5.   One destroyer put out of action, 40 boats and barges destroyed.

This unit was not without recognition.  During its wartime experience, it received the following awards and decorations:

  1.  Three Distinguished Unit Citations
  2.   One Silver Star
  3.   96 Distinguished Flying Crosses to 95 Airmen
  4.   14 Bronze Stars
  5.   744 Air Medals
  6.   8 Purple Hearts

(Charles Johnson, Samuel Leftenant, Andrew Maples, James L. McCullin)

Have you figured out which unit I am describing?  I am sure that some of my military history friends have already figured it out, but let me be more descriptive.  I am describing the 99th Pursuit Squadron, the 99th Fighter Squadron, and the 332nd Fighter Group with its three Fighter Squadrons, the 99th, 100th and 301st Fighter Squadrons.  There you have it!  Still no recognition?  What if I were to tell you that these were the units of the Tuskegee Airmen, the all black aviators of World War II.  They were also known as the ‘Red Tails’ because of the distinctive red on their rudders and on the red stripes on the  noses of their airplanes.  Now do you know who they were?

This was a truly remarkable unit.  In all, 992 black pilots were trained in Tuskegee from 1941-1946.   355 of these pilots were deployed overseas, and 84 lost their lives in accidents or combat.  The toll included 68 pilots killed in action or accidents, 12 killed in training and non-combat missions and 32 captured as prisoners of war.

What makes these people exceptional, other than their war fighting skills, is that the Tuskegee Airmen were the first African-American military aviators in the United States Armed Forces.  During World War II, black Americans in many US states were still subject to the Jim Crow laws and the American military was racially segregated, as was much of the federal government.  The Tuskegee Airmen were subjected to discrimination, both within and outside the army.  And yet, they volunteered to defend this country and defeat the tyranny of the Axis Powers.

So let me put this in a clearer perspective.  These people, from this unit were considered second class citizens, they were discriminated against on a daily basis, and yet they gladly volunteered to fight for the United States and die for a country that had not treated them the best it could.  But yet, they were on their knees to God, and on their feet, at attention, saluting the flag.

Where has this country gone wrong?  We have black and white over-indulged athletes taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem.  We have rap artists with album covers showing the death of the POTUS.  Yet, there is not one of these black entertainers or black athletes that ever, ever faced the discrimination that was prevalent during World War II and what the Tuskegee Airmen faced.  So, for clarification I need to ask the question that is on the minds of most Americans……“What the hell is your beef?”  Can you verbalize it, as I have not heard an intelligent answer.  And, if as I suspect, you cannot verbalize your beef, my next question is. “What the hell is your problem?”

I keep hearing this gibberish about the lack of respect.  If that is truly what this whole little charade is about, let me be perfectly clear about expressing the thoughts of the majority of Americans:

  1.  Americans love fun and games and entertainment.  We especially love them because they provide us with a diversion from our everyday lives.  It is our way of ‘taking a trip without leaving the farm.’  We do not want the people who provide us with this entertainment to begin using their platform to advance some cockamamie  form of political correctness, social injustice, or advancing some b.s. political message or cause.
  2.  Don’t think for one nanosecond that your disrespect for our flag, our anthem, our country and the people who protect it is going to garner one drop of respect for whatever your cause may be.  If your cause is to irritate and piss off the American public that pays your exorbitant salary…you have succeeded.  We do not think of you as geniuses.  You are entertainers, and very disrespectful at that!  You not only exhibit disgrace for this country, but for your ancestors that have made the ultimate sacrifice.  Your ability to run off at the mouth has been paid for by their blood.
  3. If you need to demonstrate your opinions, do it on your own time.  Your employer does not need to support your negative behavior.

I highlighted the accomplishments of the Tuskegee Airmen because of what they did and the adversity they faced in realizing these accomplishments.  I have the utmost respect for these honorable men.   I  respect and revere all of those individuals that have placed their lives at risk to protect this great nation.

The best advice I have heard lately?  “It is time for this nation to stand at attention in front of the flag, and to take a knee in front of God.”  Veterans Day gives us this opportunity.

Oh, I almost forgot.  Those names that are placed between the paragraphs?  Those are names of Tuskegee Airmen that made the ultimate sacrifice fighting for our great nation.  Those NFL knee takers would be wise to crack open a history book and really learn what duty, honor, and country meant to the real heroes, under the most adverse circumstances.

God Bless America and those people who have protected it, past and present.

(PS.  There have been calls for an NFL boycott next weekend.  You knee benders may just be surprised when America demonstrates its disdain for your actions.   Maybe you will get the message when NFL revenues decline….along with your privileged salary.)

Hilary-Clinton-Swamp

How Deep Is That Swamp?

Stop the presses!  Man the ramparts!  Fill the moats!  Double up the manpower on the ‘Clinton Suicide Prevention’ hotline!

Frankly, I am concerned about the psychological condition of the the Hillary Clinton supporters that have now found out that the Russians did not assist Donald Trump on the way to the presidency.  Could Hillary actually have lost the election for other reasons?  I am concerned about the psychological mental imbalance that the 50 million liberal wonks, who are now clutching their teddy bears for comfort,  must now be suffering because of her defeat.  And…..there is even talk that Hillary may indeed have been the person colluding with the Russians!  Could this get any worse?  How could this possibly be?  But never fear.  I, Grandpa T, am going to attempt to talk you down from your precipice of despair.

Let us take a trip down memory lane.  In 1992, the United States elected a POTUS named William Jefferson Clinton.  He was charming.  He received an overwhelming amount of female votes because of his appeal over his competitors.  (George H.W. Bush in 1992,  Bob Dole in 1996)  And, as later proved, he had the morality of a snake.  Yes, Bill decided to take up with a White House intern, and their affair became public.  But , Bill, being the power seeking cur that he was, lied about the affair just prior to the upcoming reelection campaign of 1996.  “I did not have relations with that  woman.”  And, you liberal wonks, decided that your man just could not be lying like a cheap rug, and decided that because ‘boys will be boys’, you reelected him.  Later, Bill was charged with being a sexual predator.  More importantly, he was required to pay, as a result of a court case, damages to one or more of his victims.  But during all of this, while he should have been impeached, his loving wife, Hillary, stood by her man.  And, because a better script could not have been written by the National Enquirer or by Hollywood, she was regarded as the ever dutiful wife.  As her reward for supporting Bill (and to maintain power), Hillary ran, and won a senate seat in a state she never lived in, New York.  Hillary lamented the fact that on the day that they left the White House, they were broke.  Small wonder, because that’s what sexual predator settlements do to your net worth.

I must interject at this point, that in my entire business career, if someone has deplorable morals regarding their personal lives, they very often have these same morals with their business life.  I digress.

Because of book deals and exorbitant speech fees, the Clintons’ made a quick financial recovery.  In 1997, they founded the Clinton Foundation.  This foundation is headquartered in New York City, but any donations funded to the organization go through Canada.  The reason is because Canada has laws protecting the identity of anyone contributing to the foundation, both foreign and domestic.  After being sanitized, the funds are then forwarded to New York.

So, during the same election that George W. Bush was elected in the fall of 2000, Hillary was elected to her first term as a U.S. Senator from New York.  She was reelected in 2006.

Now the presidential election of the fall of 2008 rolls around, and Hillary believes that she is finally going to get her shot at becoming POTUS.  But…no…this upstart named Barrack Obama, a relative unknown politician receives the Democratic nomination.  Why?  Because every political poll at that time showed that she would lose the election, regardless of the Republican challenger.  So the DNC made a bold and desperate move and nominated Obama.  After his win, Obama appointed Hillary as the Secretary of State.  As it turned out, a very nice consolation prize for supporting him during the election campaign.  The Clinton’s kept their fingers in the political power pie!

I have to backtrack and say that for the purposes of intrigue, the next part of this article should be held to last.  It would provide for a dramatic ending.   But for the purposes of accurate chronological portrayal, it needs to be discussed next.

During Hillary’s tenure as Secretary of State, somehow the Obama administration decided it would be a wise decision to sell Russia 20% of our enriched uranium reserves.  This occurred in 2010.  Perhaps you have heard about it recently as it is dominating the news?  Now I will admit that in 2010, I wondered, as a concerned citizen, why we would sell enriched uranium to a questionable Russian entity.  Why would Congress allow such a transaction to take place?   Well, part of my wonderment has recently been fulfilled when it was reported that this transaction took place because they bypassed Congress.  A decision of that magnitude, with worldwide implication made without Congressional approval!

So why, dear readers and liberal wonks, was this transaction allowed to take place?  And…more importantly, what did Russia do with that enriched uranium.  Let me assist both the liberal and conservative readers by attempting to talk you off the precipice of despair.  The ‘why’ portion of this ordeal is easy.  It was done for MONEY!  Lots and lots of money!  Some in the form of kickbacks, and some in the form of $140 million contributions from Russia to the Clinton Foundation.  In the meantime,  Bill was receiving exorbitant fees for 20 minute speeches in Russia.  Let me interject that the scab is just now being torn off this wound.  The number of people involved, the members of the past administration involved, and the amount of monies being involved will blow your mind once this has been investigated.  We are talking billions!  And the Clinton’s are in this up to there necks as Hillary was deeply involved in this transaction occurring.

One question not being asked is, ‘what did Russia do with the enriched uranium?‘  Now the official response from this whole can of worms is that they would sell the enriched uranium back to the United States.  Does that make sense?  Why would our country buy back what we already own.  Here is my fear, and for once I hope I am wrong.  What if Russia sold this enriched uranium to Iran?  What if Russia sold it to North Korea.  There are billions of dollars at stake here, and our country delivered $1 billion to Iran, in cash, during the Obama administration.  Would this not be treason of the highest magnitude?  Could Iran or North Korea use our own uranium to attack us or our allies?  If so, there should be people in prison.

Now we get to the 2016 elections.  Hillary’s time has come.  She and the DNC decided to undermine Bernie Sander’s election campaign.  But, what the hell, Hillary deserves to win regardless of the cost.  But the upstart Trump needs a political haircut.  Enter…..Fusion GPS.  Ah yes.  Fusion GPS is a company founded in 2011 in, of all places, Swamp Central, also know as Washington, D.C.  Their primary business is opposition research.  They will research a political opponent for a fee.  One of their first targets?  Mitt Romney.  If they do not find any dirt worthy of a good smear campaign, they will make dirt up.  Then they will hire some down and out reporter or author to submit the recently fertilized dirt to a media source.  There are no shortage of media sources that will publish fiction as fact, especially if it is against a Conservative or against the POTUS.   Of course, the article will be submitted stating that it was thoroughly researched and investigated.

So now, we find out that the Trump dossier, that damning piece of evidence that has triggered all kinds of investigations into Trump’s alleged ties with the Russians, is more fictitious than ‘Alice in Wonderland.’  And who paid the $9 million to Fusion GPS for this great work of fiction?  These guys received their payments from the DNC and the Clinton Campaign Committee.

This little dust-up, much like the enriched uranium scandal, are just beginning to surface.  All kinds of election laws were broken because of this.  And now, we have Robert Mueller and his hired team of 17 attorneys, investigating alleged ties between Trump and Russia, based on a fictitious piece of literature generated by Fusion GPS.  Did I mention that Robert Mueller was Director of the FBI during the Russian uranium purchase?  This investigation is going to cost the taxpayers millions, and who should pay for that?  I think the Clinton’s should pay for the whole damn thing.

Another very disturbing fact that has surfaced during this Fusion GPS affair, is that the CIA  and FBI took this garbage as fact, and consequently were granted wire-tap privileges of Trump because of it.  How frickin’ incompetent are these organizations?  If our two primary intelligence agencies can’t separate fact from fiction, our country is in a world of hurt.

So for my liberal wonks that need to come to a logical, analytical stage of emotional fulfillment as to why Hillary lost the election, grab your teddy bear tighter and let me offer the following:

  1.  Bill and Hillary have always been about money,
  2.  Bill and Hillary have always been about power, because power equates to money.
  3.  Bill and Hillary do not care one bit about average American Joe.  They hob nob with celebrities with money, not the working people in Wisconsin.
  4. Hillary spent over $1 billion on her election campaign.  Where did that money come from?
  5. Lying and declaring ignorance are not uncommon to Bill and Hillary. (Or the DNC.)
  6. Neither have been forthcoming about their personal lives.  Don’t expect anything better in their political lives.
  7. Hillary is not  a likable person.
  8. When in doubt as to the Clinton motivation, refer to 1 and 2.

So in the spirit of easing your troubled minds about Hillary’s loss in the last election, here is my soothing, conciliatory advice for you and your teddy bear, “Sorry.  But your candidate sucked!”

It is obvious from the recent events that draining the swamp is going to take bigger equipment and more equipment.  Many people believe that Donald Trump is brash and unreasonable.  I am beginning to think he has the patience of Job.  If I were him, I would immediately terminate any of the Obama strap hangers that have proven to be incompetent, non-trustworthy, or colluding to halt any progress for his administration or are attempting to cover-up the numerous transgressions of the past administration.  Make America Great Again!

USA-Communism

We Defeated the Communists, and Then We Became Them!

My oh my!  Recently, there has been no shortage of world-wide events that have distracted our government from taking care of domestic issues.  There was hurricane Harvey, hurricane Irma, and now, once again tearing through the Caribbean, hurricane Maria.  These were catastrophic to the United States, and they totally destroyed some small Caribbean countries.   Last week, there was a ‘bucket bomb’ that exploded in a London subway.  And, much like an infant with a broken rattle, we can always count on Kim Jong-un to fire another missile anytime he thinks he is not getting enough attention on the world stage.

Because of these major events, not much attention has been given to our domestic problems. Obama Care has not been repealed or replaced.  The tax codes have not been revised.  And, have you recently heard any news referring to the federal budget?  This got me to wondering.  How is the federal government currently spending our money?  It is our money, isn’t it?  More importantly, how has the government spent our money in the past?  So, as a matter of personal interest, I have decided to compare our 2016 federal budget to the 50 year earlier, 1966 federal budget.  This was not an accidental choice, as I graduated from high school as a wet-behind-the-ears, know-it-all eighteen year old in 1966.  And, yes, I can still muster up enough memory to remember the era.  Let me set the stage.

1966

1966 was just over 20 years after the completion of WWII.  There were no shortage of veterans from that war.  They were our parents.  We fought an on-going war in Korea.  Because of what was called the ‘domino theory’ we sent military advisors to a country called South Viet Nam.  Eisenhower began this program, Kennedy expanded it, and Lyndon Johnson turned Saigon into the  twenty-third largest American city.  Little did we know in 1966 that Viet Nam would ultimately cost us over 57,000 American lives.

Our WWII ally, Russia, was now our dreaded enemy.  They became the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), which was comprised of Russia and all the countries it decided to keep in its ‘sphere of influence’ after WWII.  The majority joined unwillingly by the use of Russian military force. We had NATO, and the USSR had the Warsaw Pact.  They built the Berlin wall and shot anyone that tried to cross it.  Winston Churchill dubbed this policy of isolation as the ‘Iron Curtain.’

In 1962, we had a little dust-up in the Caribbean called the Cuban Missile Crisis.  The USSR wanted to install nuclear warheads and missiles in Cuba.  US versus USSR.  Kennedy versus Khruschev. Good versus evil.  Eagle versus the bear.  Democracy versus communism.  According to all historical accounts, it was the closest the world has come to a nuclear holocaust.

In 1963, Kennedy was assassinated.  (I was hoping I would find out who was responsible before I died, but time is running out!)

On the domestic front, the ‘baby boomers’ were entering the workforce.  As a high school graduate, there were three life choices available:  go to college, get a job, or get drafted.  That was pretty much it.  The economy was booming because there was a war to fuel it.  Just about anyone that wanted a job had a job.  As eighteen year olds, we could not wait to move away from home and become independent.  We never moved back home.

With these events as a background, how did our government spend our money?  Our GDP in 1966 was $4.12T.  The total government receipts were $689B.  Our total outlays were $708B.  (Yes!  We dealt in billions and not trillions!)  Our deficit that year was $19.5B.  Ah yes, don’t you long for the good old days now?  42% of all revenues came from individual income taxes.  Payroll taxes accounted for 20% and corporate taxes accounted for 23% of revenues.

On the spending side, 43% of all funds were spent on national defense.  But here is the biggie….medicare and general health spending was only 2% of the budget that year.  Spending on social security, unemployment and labor in 1966 was about 23% of all outlays.

In raw numbers, the Dept. of Defense got $298B, Health and Human Services got $30.1B, Social Security Administration got $109B, Treasury got $61.9B and NASA got $31.2B.  The Treasury received their money largely to pay the interest on our $1.74T national debt.  Of course there are other departments, but these are the largest and pertinent to this blog.

2016

Now we fast forward 50 years to 2016, the last year of the Obama budget.  There were only two budgets put forth by the Obama admistration in his eight years as POTUS.  Harry Reed, the senate majority leader, promised not to bring a budget to the senate floor and the ‘gatekeeper from hell’ kept his word.  In 2016, the government took in $2.99T in tax revenues.  (Yes, we got to the trillions!) 49% of these revenues came from individual income taxes.  Payroll taxes accounted for 33% and corporate taxes accounted for 9% of total revenues.  The national debt now exceeds $16.7T!

The sources of revenue did not change substantially in 50 years.  But how the revenues have been spent have significantly changed.  Remember that the defense department accounted for 43% of the 1966 budget?  Well, even with all the shenanigans going on with terrorism and wars, the 2016 budget only spent 15% on the defense department.  Wow!  Where did that money go?  The 2% of monies spent on medicare and general health spending in 1966 now consumes 28% of the spending.  Spending on social security is now 37% of the budget as compared to 22% in the past.   Entitlement programs now consume 65% of our national budget!

The raw numbers are staggering.  The Dept. of Defense now spends $515B.  The Dept. of Health and Human Services goes from $30.1B to a staggering $995B!  The Dept. of Treasury goes from $61.9B to $484B!  Much of this is to pay the interest on our growing, inflated national debt.  Not to be outdone, the Social Security Administration received a nice bump, going from $109B to $866B!  NASA, on the other hand, had its 1966 budget of $31.2B reduced to $17.2B in 2016.

I need to provide a small history lesson at this point.  Do you know what the original responsibities were of the federal government?  Why the federal government was founded?  It was founded for two reasons; national defense and international trade.  End of list.  It is astounding how the federal government got to its present size.  Back to the blog.

There are some logical explainations for these large differences in these federal budgets.  In 1966, the huge ‘baby boomer’ generation entered the work force.  They worked.  They paid taxes.  They paid into the social security fund.  In 2016, guess what?  The ‘baby boomers’ aged.  They retired and they began collecting the social security in which they paid for after about 50+ working years.

In 1966, there wasn’t any government provided health care program.  We never expected a federal health care program.  But now look at what is happening.  Obamacare happened, and it has pretty much been a mess ever since.  Everyone agrees it needs to change, but we can’t get two people in a room of 100 senators to agree on how it should change.  Personally, I think the federal government should get out of the health care business altogether, but the proverbial cat has been let out of the bag.  Unlike the old days of 1966 where we did not believe in such a thing as a free lunch, we have people perfectly capable of working that expect a free lunch.  In 1966 we were raised under the mantra that, ‘you ate what you killed.’  Now our national conscious is that everyone should eat, even if they haven’t done one thing to feed themselves.

As amazing as it is to see the differences in our budgets after 50 years, it appears this is outdone by our expectations as to what the government owes us in entitlements.  Most of these entitlements did not exist 50 years ago, and yet we survived.  This is borne out by a Health and Human Services budget that is over 30 times larger than in 1966.  (Think ‘welfare’)

During the Cold War, we spent trillions of dollars to defeat those socialistic Communists.  Russia has turned from its socialistic/communistic society.  You remember socialism/communism.  That is the economic and political theory that advocates the means of production, distribution and exchange should be regulated by the community (government) as a whole.  Our electorate has seen fit in the last 50 years to elect officials that institute welfare programs that we can’t afford,  with money we don’t have, for people who should not receive them.   We have given up our independence.  Now, with our dependence on our federal government, we have taken the place of the former USSR.   Have we become the New Socialists/Communists?

It gives a whole new context to the motto, ‘Land of the free……..’

Polls2

Polls Are Like Rectums—–Everyone Has One!

True or false.  Recently, there was a poll result posted on an online news agency that said that 50% of the people polled believe that President Trump should be  impeached.  (Cue the Final Jeopardy music, Johnny!)  Time’s up!  Put down your pencils.  The answer is….true.

This got me to thinking.  If I were to conduct a Grandpa T poll with the following question, “What is the name of the  legislative procedure by which Congress votes to remove the POTUS”  I would be safe to bet all the money under Grandma P’s mattress that over half the people in the United States would not know the answer or how to spell the word ‘impeach.’

As you are well aware, there are no shortage of polls.  Everyone has them.  How many times a month do you get that nuisance phone call, expertly disguised by indicating that it is originating in your area code, about all kinds of topics.  Some of my latest calls were about: ‘How satisfied are you with your present bank?’  ‘What is your opinion about abortion?’  (I steer very clear of that particular question, as I think it is more fitting for the female gender.)  ‘Of the following items, which have you heard of or used previously?’  ‘Which company provides you with car insurance?’  ‘Will you answer a few questions about your experience with…..(fill in the blank)’  Those are the easy polls.  Pesky, but easy.  Then we get to the political polls, and that is the topic of this blog.

Whenever you see a political poll, there are certain factors that need to be considered in determining the polls validity.  Here is my list of  ‘common sense’ factors.

  1.  Who is conducting the poll?  There are no shortage of political poll takers.  Fox news conducts polls.  So does ABC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN and just about any other acronym media source.  The written media conduct their own polls.  One of the oldest poll taking organizations is the Gallup Poll.  George Gallup began taking polls during the 1936 election between Franklin Roosevelt and Alf Landon.  A competing poll was taken by The Literary Digest.  The Literary Digest predicted an Alf Landon victory, whereas George Gallup predicted an FDR victory.  Gallup was correct, and his organization is still in business over 80 years later.  The Literary Digest was wrong and immediately went out of business.  Another pioneer in poll taking was Elmo Roper. He predicted three FDR election victories beginning in 1936.  (Interestingly, both Roper and Gallup incorrectly predicted Dewey’s win over Truman in the 1948 election!)  These are some of the most well known political poll takers, but there are numerous political  and private organizations that take polls involving politics.
  2. Why are the polls being conducted?  While many of the polls are being conducted to inform the electorate, would you believe that many polls are being taken to sway the electorate? Unfortunately, it is true.  Oftentimes, polls are released to make an election front-runner look like a shoe-in, and to persuade an ‘undecided voter’ that if you want to back a winner….vote for our candidate.  Do you remember this happening anytime in recent political history?  How many polls did you see before our last presidential election that indicated that Donald Trump was going to be POTUS?  All of the polls indicated that Hillary Clinton was for sure going to be the next POTUS. As the election day approached, I did observe one poll indicating that Hillary was going to win, but now the numbers were within the ‘margin of error.’  The liberal biased media trumpeted the pending Clinton win, and even carried it into election night when the election took a turn for Trump.  I digress.  Polls are also taken to define an underdog in an election.  This is done to gain support through empathy for a candidate.  In conclusion, while some polls are conducted to be informative, many are conducted to sway the opinion of the electorate because of an underlying political agenda.
  3. Where are the polls taken?  If you were a poll taker in the poll that indicated that 50% of the people of the United States think that Donald Trump should be impeached, do you think you may get different answers in Beverly Hills, California versus what you may get in Beverly Hills, Texas? When I see the results of a poll that is absurd, like the Trump impeachment poll, I always find myself questioning as to where that poll was taken.  Was the poll taken in front of the Lincoln Memorial or in Lincoln, Nebraska?  You can bet your rootin’, tootin’ pearl-handled second amendment six-shooters that if an organization is taking a poll for the purposes of political dissuasion or to support their political agenda, they are going to conduct the poll where they expect to find the answers they desire. (Would it be unreasonable to believe that some numbers may be created and fictitious, especially with regard to the biased media?  Possibly fake polls like fake news?)
  4. How many people were canvassed for the poll?  Very few polls actually give the number of respondents to a poll.  Only 10% of the people respond to poll questions!  Because of technology involving communication, 90% of the people do not answer poll questions.  I do not answer any questions on all those pesky calls we receive on our landline.  But many people do not have landlines and there are laws prohibiting robo-calls to mobile phones.  There is a whole ‘poll science’ that evolves around how modern technology has effected poll numbers and poll results. With all of that being said, do you think a poll with 100, 1000, or 100,000 respondents would be more indicative?  Of course, the larger the sampling, the more statistically accurate the poll.
  5. What are the poll questions being asked and how are the results being reported?  Here is exactly how the Trump impeachment 50% poll was reported:  According to the latest poll, 50% of Americans believe that Donald Trump should be impeached.  There was no mention of who conducted the poll.  There was no mention of where the poll was taken.  There was no mention of the number of respondents.  There was no mention of what the question was that got the result.  What if the question was this, ” Do you think Donald Trump should be impeached if we invade Canada?”  I can see getting 50% positive results to that question.  But I would be hard-pressed, without any of the details of this poll that a 50% impeachment of Trump could be obtained.  Could this particular poll be fictitious?  Could it have been published to make the POTUS look bad?  Did someone have a political agenda?

I am afraid we are all the victims of biased media.  Let me offer an imaginary scenario as offered by my neighbor, John the retired cheese-head cop.  John said, “If Donald Trump said he liked puppies, the media would report: Donald Trump hates cats and old dogs.”    This seems like a fair assumption coming from a retired chief of police.

So, in the spirit of this blog, I Grandpa T, am going to conduct my own poll.  I am now a renowned pollster representing the ‘Buttwipe Survey’, or BS for short.

Question #1.  How many believe that people appearing at marches or demonstrations dressed like ninjas should immediately be arrested, handcuffed, castrated, and jailed before they have the opportunity to partake in the demonstration?  (Okay.  Forget about the castration.  That would be sexist in the event that some of the ninjas are women.)

Question #2.  How many believe that all professional athletes be required to stand, with hand over heart, during the National anthem, because they are entertainers and we want to be entertained and if we wanted a political statement, we would attend a political rally?

The results are in!  Of the one person I canvassed, they responded positively to both questions.  (I could have tripled my respondents, but that would require ringing the neighbors doorbell and I am watching golf on the TV.)

Anyway, readers, you are all smart enough to get the idea.  Not very many of these polls are accurate or scrupulous.  Whenever you see a poll, think of the five items that we covered in this blog to determine its validity.  Remember….polls are like rectums, everyone has one.

PS:  This is Labor Day and I want to thank and honor all of those hard working people who have made this a great nation.  I also want to thank my readers, as I have gone over 600,000 unique hits on this blog.

Identity-Politics

Identity Politics: Am I an ‘ism’ or an ‘ist’?

Gosh.  Being a ‘seasoned senior citizen,’ I thought my life was pretty much determined and established.  About ten days ago, as a result of the riots and protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, I am now confused about my identity.  I have recently learned that I am a nationalist, bigot, possibly a neo-nazi, racist and white supremacist!  Who knew?  And….I may unknowingly belong to the Ku Klux Klan!  I have an AAA card and an American Legion membership, but I did not think that made me a Klan member.  I asked Grandma P if there have been any bed sheets missing lately.  She confirmed that all bedding is in place and in order, and she would be happy to cut holes in them as long as she could also lop off a few of my masculine body parts.

Why have I become all of these things?  Well, according to the mayor of Charlottesville, the DNC (Democratic National Committee) and Nancy Pelosi; the protesters in Charlottesville were all Trump supporters and they were all nationalists, bigots, neo-nazi, racist and white supremacists, so….by extension, anyone who voted for Donald Trump is all of these things!  Because it has been well trumpeted (notice this irony?) and advertised in the liberal media that that is his political base and as a result, that is how he got elected.  The media just cannot come up with enough words ending in, ‘ist’ or ‘ism’ to describe their venomous attitude to the POTUS or to his supporters.

When I initially heard that there were a bunch of ‘nationalists’ protesting in Charlottesville, I thought the members of the baseball team from Washington, D.C.  was there in protest to save the Civil War statues. (Washington Nationals)   Obviously that was not the case.  But the word, ‘nationalist’ has an almost patriotic sound to it, so the media quickly shifted to the other derogatory words: racist (one of their favorite words!), bigot, white supremacist and neo-nazi.  I believe the KKK did actually hold a small rally the weekend before the biggie protests.  It was peaceful.

So now the big protest weekend takes place in Charlottesville.  And….I hope you are as confused as I was initially when I say that I did not know who the home team was and who was the visiting team. I would have had a difficult time knowing which uniform to wear and which banner and big yellow finger to wave.  The supposedly bad guys protesting the removal of the Civil War statues had a permit.  The supposedly lily-white patriotic counter-protesters did not.  And, not surprisingly, violence erupted. Unfortunately, three people lost their lives over this event.  (The moron driving the car into the crowd was a counter-protester, not a Trump supporter protester as originally reported.  Have you noticed how quickly his name disappeared from the media after learning which team he played for?)

Who did the Democratic mayor of Charlottesville blame for the violence in HIS city?  Donald Trump, of course. Who did the DNC blame for the violence?  Donald Trump, of course.  Trump condemned the violence, condemned bigotry, and stated that there were “bad people on both sides.”  Apparently his condemnation of the radicals on the protesting (with permit) side was not harsh enough and he became the target of the media, members of his own party, and a bunch of consulting CEO’s on his economic board that felt he was not definitive enough in his condemnation of the protesters, while he should have exulted the patriotic counter-protesters for their actions.

But never fear!  I, Grandpa T, in the search for at least a partial truth began watching YouTube videos of the event to see what was transpiring that day.  Here is what I found.  The counter-protesters marched down the street wearing matching helmets and carrying shields with identical paint schemes on them.  It looked like a marching band, and it looked a little too coordinated to have been a random counter-protest.

So I have a question for the mayor of Charlottesville and the Charlottesville police department. When you see people marching down your streets wearing matching helmets and carrying matching shields, exactly what part of this scenario did you think was going to end peacefully?  Why were you not proactive in arresting or at least restraining the opposing groups from meeting?

Trump did his part in condemning both sides, much to the dismay of his political opponents.  The police and the mayor did not do their job and tragedy resulted.

Now the following weekend, we have a protest in Boston.  This time the protesters are a little more defined.  They are marching in support of the ‘Freedom of Speech.’  This seems harmless enough as this directly supports the rights of the First Amendment to the Constitution.  Don’t most people support the right of the ‘Freedom of Speech?’  Well….apparently not.  The counter-protesters during this march were five to six times larger than the protesters.  And they protested.

Now I am totally confused.  How in the hell do you counter-protest the ‘Freedom of Speech?’  If you don’t like the ‘Freedom of Speech’, what is your alternative?  Are you intelligent enough to realize that by counter-protesting, you are actually exercising your ‘Freedom of Speech’ rights?

The City of Boston and the Boston police department, unlike Charlottesville, were proactive.  They kept the marchers and counter-protesters apart, thus preventing any violence.

Now we need to take a step back and look at the two issues that caused these marches and counter-protests.  Charlottesville was supposedly about protesting the continued removal of Civil War Statues.  OK.  I had a minor in history in college.  How exactly, do you change history?  I am sorry it occurred, but it did happen.  America needs to grow up.  There are no people in this country who have been slaves and there are no people in this country who have owned slaves.  So I am going to make a novel suggestion, and here it is:  ” Rather than viewing these statues as something oppressive, we should rather view them as a reminder as to how far our country has matured and evolved in the last 150 years.”  If the black race is finding these statues racist, then you should remember that more white people fought and died for the end of slavery.  That effort was led by a Republican, Abraham Lincoln.  It was the Republican party that fought for and granted Equal Rights. The Democrats, particularly the Democrats from the South, fought against it for decades.  But you will never see the liberal media put a positive spin on these statues or that they should be viewed as historical and with a positive connotation.  Don’t like the KKK?  Well, that group was founded and manned by Democrats.

The Boston marchers were about protecting ‘Freedom of Speech,’ and yet, a horde of people appeared to counter-protest.  90% of the people in the United States support the ‘Freedom of Speech.’  62% of the people believe that Civil War statues should not be removed.  But yet, we get protesters, sometimes violent protesters, appearing to disrupt these marches.  Why?

Well, it makes more sense if you realize that these counter-protests are not about the issues, they are about ‘identity politics.’  That is the new catch-phrase, so you may as well get acquainted with it.  It is identifying everyone, especially Trump supporters, into an ‘ism’ or ‘ist’ derogatory name, and attempting to convince the voting public that they are bad and the reason you are feeling discriminated against or down-trodden is because of them.  The liberal media takes it a step further and attempts to convince you that Trump won the presidency because of them.  So, it is the racists, nationalists, bigots, white supremacists, neo-nazis and Ku Klux Klan that make up the entire Trump base, and they are responsible for the destruction of poor Hillary Clinton.

Nothing could be farther from the truth, and I am none of the ‘isms’ or ‘ists.’   I voted for Donald Trump because I was tired of ‘political correctness’ ruling our society.  I no longer wanted to decide which of three gender bathrooms I had to use.  I voted for Donald Trump because I have more respect for a successful businessman than I do for an underemployed lawyer that became a politician.  I voted for Donald Trump because I wanted to see this country run with a budget and to eliminate the waste, fraud and abuse that has become the norm in Washington, D.C.  I voted for Donald Trump because I did not want another candidate that was beholden or obligated to a particular lobby group.  I wanted a POTUS that supported the military and law enforcement.  I voted for Donald Trump because I thought Hillary Clinton would have made a crappy POTUS.

A word to the liberal media and the DNC and its cronies.  We, the Trump supporters are getting damned tired of being lumped into a group of ‘isms’ and ‘ists’ just so you can advance your tired liberal agenda.  We, the Trump supporters, realize that your 24/7 agenda is to again create racial division within our country for your political gain.  We, the Trump supporters, are intelligent enough to see that your organized counter-protests are an attempt to derail our government workings and to scuttle the Trump agenda.  All of this is being done at the detriment of the United States and to get your sorry asses back in power in 2018.  America is watching and America is wise to your methods.

How amazing would it be if the Democrats would spend as much effort on governing this great country as they are in organizing counter-protests.  Get to work!