Category Archives: Politics

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 Obama Care has not been repealed or replaced.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!

Send-In-The-Clowns

Don’t ‘Send in the Clowns!’ (The Looney Clowns are Already Here!)

In the last blog I quoted a line from Shakespeare.  In this blog, I am quoting the name of a composition by Stephen Sondheim which he wrote in 1973 for the musical, A Little Night Music.    Do you remember who first recorded ‘Send in the Clowns?’  Many famous musicians have sung it, including Barbra Streisand, Judy Collins and the most famous version on the ‘Simpson’s’ by Krusty the Clown. But the first person to record the song, after it appeared on Broadway, was Old Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra, in 1973.

But I digress.  I have finally decided that what has changed most significantly during my lifetime, and not in a better way, is entertainment.  For the purposes of this blog, specifically ….comedy (thus the clowns).  What constitutes good comedy today, compared to what was good comedy 50 years ago?

Well, one thing that I have noticed, is that somehow, comedians today think they have transformed themselves into mental giants overnight.  In addition, they have taken it upon themselves to routinely inject their political beliefs into their routines.  They do this with malice, with venom, and with a large dose of aggression that certainly was not present in the comedy of my youth.

Everyone knows what comedienne Kathy Griffin has done recently.  She, in the hopes of having her head sculpted into a memorial atop the Hollywood hills, held up a severed, bloody head of Donald Trump, in pure ISIS fashion.   Besides doing this deplorable act, do you know what the most idiotic part is of this whole ordeal?  It was Kathy Griffin’s surprise about the backlash that occurred by her actions.  She thought she would be beloved by the radical left.  She thought she would become the poster girl for Hollywood and its left leaning politics.  She thought she was being funny.  But then the backlash occurred and it took aim where it hurts the Hollywood elite the most….in the pocket book!  Yes, their god is money and once taken away, they lose faith.  In this instance, sponsors began withdrawing their support and as a result, her New Year’s Eve gig with Anderson Cooper was canceled.  Ouch!  But the idiotic Kathy was not done.  She apologized for doing the act, but she did not apologize to the POTUS or his family.  She did not apologize to Baron Trump who was traumatized by seeing his father’s severed head on national television.  Then she decided to strike back by saying that the Trump family are a bunch of bullies and have “broken her” and ruined her career.  Ruined your career?  You are a D level actress/comedian that has pandered sleazy comedy and sleazy events for years and now you think your career is over?  I sure as hell hope so!  What part of this action on your part was funny?

But wait, another intellectual giant has weighed in to defend Kathy Griffin.  That intellectual giant would be none other than Ace Ventura; Jim Carrey himself!  Here is what he said about comedy: “It’s the job of the comedian to cross the line at all times.  That line is not real and if you step out into that spotlight and you’re doing the crazy things that (Trump) is doing, we’re the last line of defense. The comedians are the last voice of truth in this whole thing.”  Nothing is politically motivated in that statement.  (Yeah, right.)  Exactly, Mensa Jim, is that line that has to be crossed at all times? Respect? (check).  Viciousness? (check).  Politically maligned?  (check).  Common Sense?  (check). Entertaining?  (check).  Funny?  (check).  Are these the components of the imaginary line?  If they are, Kathy Griffin, and your dumb-ass comments defending her are definitely over the line!  What’s this B.S. about the ‘last line of defense?’   I am convinced that the last thing you cowardly wienies would do would be to take up arms and defend this country.  You may defend your country club, but not your country.

Unfortunately, Kathy Griffin is not alone on her ‘cross the line’ diatribes and actions.  Stephen Colbert is so far left politically that it is amazing he can stand up straight.  But….Stephen Colbert has an audience and he uses his platform to spew his malicious venom all in the name of comedy.  Here is a part of one of his monologues when he begins ranting about Trump: “Sir, you attract more skinheads than free Rogaine.  You have more people marching against you than cancer.  You talk like a sign language gorilla that got hit in the head.  In fact, the only thing your mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin’s cock holster.”  Granted, I do find humor with the Rogaine part of the monologue, but then he ‘crosses the line.’

Not to be outdone, we have Bill Maher.  While on his HBO program Real Time with New York magazine reporter Gabriel Sherman on a Friday night, the 61 – year – old made the incest joke about first daughter Ivanka Trump’s relationship with her father President Donald Trump.  He said: “What do you make of Ivanka and her efforts to sort of humanize her father?  We see all this misogyny at Fox News, we see it in Donald Trump himself.  A lot of us thought, Ivanka is gonna be our saving grace.”  Maher then took it a step further and mimicked Ivanka performing a sex act on her father.

Here is my question.  Why are these two disrespectful, constipated at the mouth morons still on television?  Well, I answered the question earlier in this blog.  Money is the god of Hollywood and these two bring in lots more to their respective networks than Kathy Griffin could ever dream about. She was expendable….they, because of their earning potential, are not.  It would be the proper, respectful, action to take to can both of them, but don’t ever expect something proper and respectful to ever come out of Hollywood.

It is obvious that Ace Ventura never watched or followed the comedy of his predecessors.  During my youth, the comics were extremely funny and they did not have to ‘cross any line!’  Grandma P’s favorite comic was Red Skelton.  He was on TV for over 20 years, from 1951 to 1971.  He ended every show with the words, “Good Night and God bless.”  His shows were hilarious as he was also a talented mime.  His most memorable character was Clem Kadiddlehopper.

I had two favorites.  In the early 50’s and 60’s it was Jackie Gleason in The Honeymooners.  He was a bus driver in New York (Ralph Kramden) and his next door neighbor was Art Carney (Ed Norton), who played a sewer worker.  Their wives were played by Jane Meadows (Alice) and  Joyce Randolff (Trixie).    His ‘get-rich-quick’ schemes provided for a solid basis in humor.

But, my all time favorite comedy show was the Carol Burnett Show.  It ran continuously from 1967 to 1978.  Her supporting cast included Vicki Lawrence, Harvey Korman, Tim Conway, Lyle Waggoner, and for a short time, Dick Van Dyke.  The show was made up entirely of skits, and, done before a live audience.  Some of the routines were hilarious.  What made them particularly funny was that oftentimes, there was ad-libing taking place, especially by Tim Conway.  The reactions of the other actors was as funny as the skit itself as they were completely caught off guard by his shenanigans.  I recommend watching the films of this show.  You will see what comedy was meant to be.

There were many other comedians that were extremely funny.  Don Rickles, Ernie Kovac, Johnny Carson, Jay Leno,  Joan Rivers, Phyllis Diller, Phil Silvers, Dick Van Dyke, Lucille Ball, Morey Amsterdam;  these were just some of the funny, humorous comedians of my youth and you know what?  They did not cross any damn line to be funny!  They may have all pushed the envelope on occasion, but they were never disrespectful, crude or vulgar.  They never, ever used their fame for a public political stage.  They knew what their position was in our society, they were there to provide entertainment for the family.  

So the clowns of the present could definitely learn from the clowns of the past.  No one, and I mean no one, is interested in your crude, malicious political commentary.  It is classless humor coming from classless people.

Damn.  I miss the old days of comedy.

Shakespeare-kill-all-lawyers

Let’s Kill All the Lawyers!

‘Let’s kill all the lawyers’ was a line spoken by Dick the butcher (how appropriate!) in Shakespeare’s play, Henry the Sixth, part 2, act 4, scene 2.  Dick’s Utopian idea to kill all of England’s lawyers is his addition to the promises of the traitorous Jack Cade, who envisions a quasi-communistic social revolution with himself installed as autocrat.  Why would Cade want this revolution?  Cade alleges that all lawyers do is shuffle parchments back and forth in a systematic attempt to ruin the common people.  His demagoguery is simply a calculated appeal to simple folks’ longing to be left alone.  Holy bat crap, Robin, does any of this sound familiar?

I have three close, personal friends who are all lawyers.  Each one is a very great guy and fun to be with.  But you know what my real problem is with lawyers?  Well….here it is….there are just too damn many of them!

This is just not a personal opinion, but an opinion that can be verified with statistics.  Do you know how many people graduate from law school in the United States each year?  Well, that number would be approximately 50,000.  Do you know how many lawyers the United States needs each year?  Well, that number would be about 25,000.  Doing simple division from Mrs. Meyers’ third grade class tells me that 50% of graduating lawyers do not end up in the legal profession.  What other college degree would do this?  Doctors?  Teachers? Nurses? Accountants? Engineers? Without doing the research, I am confident that the vast majority of people with those degrees will find employment in their chosen profession.  Over 70% of all lawyers in the world are in the US even though we account for only %5 of the world population!  That equates to one lawyer for every 300 people in America!

As parents of future college students, you may want to evaluate the profession that your future college bound student is pursuing.  This is especially true if they are thinking of a legal profession. There is more bad news!  These are the words of the managing director of Daimler Benz: “In the US, young lawyers already don’t get jobs.  Because of IBM Watson, you can get legal advice (so far for more or less basic stuff) within seconds, with 90% accuracy compared with 70% accuracy when done by humans.  So if you study law, stop immediately.  There will be 90% less lawyers in the future, only specialists will remain.”  He goes on to say many other predictions for the future, but you get the gist of his message.

Here is my second problem with lawyers.  What do they actually do?  Well, some time ago I attended a sales convention that was geared toward construction general contractors.  I forgot who the guest speaker was, but we had many good ones.  Fran Tarkington, Joe Theismann, and Brian Billick (All football players and coaches.) were all speakers.  I digress.  The speaker at this particular convention pointed out that general contractors ‘created wealth.’  By constructing buildings, this allowed companies to expand, thereby causing them to purchase more equipment and material and requiring them to hire more employees.  This stimulates the economy!  Hip-hip-hooray!  What do most lawyers do?  Well, they bring lawsuits and handle divorce proceedings.  Yes, I know this is a simplification, but indulge me by following my reasoning.  Our guest speaker at this convention went on to say that, “attorneys do not create wealth, attorneys redistribute wealth.”  If you have ever been a party in either a lawsuit or a divorce, you will recognize the brilliance of this statement.  They take money from one party, and give it to another.  All of this after a healthy legal fee has been collected.

There is a third reason why I don’t like lawyers.  I think some lawyers are destroying our country…piece by piece.  

Do you think the cost of health care is too high?  Why is that?  Well, one reason is because we have become a litigious society because of all those lawyers.  Some medical specialties can have medical malpractice insurance costs exceeding $200,000 per year per doctor depending on their medical specialty and location.   Some states have placed caps on the size of a medical malpractice claim. George ‘Dubya’ Bush tried to establish medical malpractice limits throughout the US during his first term.  It was defeated by a congress that was full of……. quess what?  Lawyers!  But the lawyers are not done.  How many times have you seen that TV ad that says; “If you have used drug XYZ anytime in the last 250 years and suffer from or experience any of the following 539 symptoms, you may be entitled to a settlement!”  Call the following number: 1-800-WESUE4U.  Who do you think answers that phone number?  The FDA?  Disease Control?  Your local doctor?  NO.  You are calling a law firm and they are bringing suit against a drug company.  The drug companies protect themselves with very expensive product liability insurance which again increases the cost of drugs and health care.

Remember, only 50% of all law school graduates find employment in the legal profession.  Where do the unlucky 50% go?  I know some that are excellent real estate brokers and insurance agents and I am sure that they end up in other interesting fields.  But unfortunately, many of these lawyers end up pursuing a political career, and that is where they can do the most damage.  Do you know where you can find a whole slew of lawyers?  Washington, D.C!  One out of every twelve residents in Washington is a lawyer!  Holy double bat crap, Robin!  Washington accounts for only 1/5 of one percent of the US population, but has one of every 25 lawyers in America!  Luckily for us, there is a decreasing trend in the number of lawyers in congress.  Today that number is slightly less than 40%, compared to 80% in the late 1800’s.

But do you really want to know where you can find the most lawyers, those people that are masters at redistributing wealth?  In the Democratic Party, which in one article is referred to as the ‘Lawyer’s Party.’  Need proof?  Barack and Michelle Obama are both lawyers.  Bill and Hillary Clinton are both lawyers.  John and Elizabeth Edwards are both lawyers.  Every Democrat nominee since 1984 went to law school, although Al Gore did not graduate.  Every vice presidential nominee since 1976, except for Lloyd Bentsen, went to law school.  Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are both lawyers.  The Republican Party is significantly different.  Both Bush presidents and vice president Cheney were businessmen.  Newt Gingich was a history professor.  Tom Delay was an exterminator.  Dick Armey was an economist.   Paul Ryan has degrees in economics and political science.  Former House Minority Leader John  Boehner was a plastic manufacturer.  Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is a heart surgeon.  And of course, our current POTUS is a businessman.  Do you remember the last Republican president that was a lawyer?  Gerald Ford, over 40 years ago.  Oh, the Republicans have let a couple of lawyers sneak into the party, most notably Vice President Mike Pence and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The Republican Party is made up of real people doing real work, who are often the targets of lawyers.

Why do I think lawyers are destroying America piece by piece?  In the words by author Bruce Walker: “Lawyers seek to have new laws passed, they seek to win lawsuits, they press appellate courts to overturn precedent and lawyers always parse language to favor their side.  But it is an awful way to govern a great nation.  When politicians as lawyers begin to view some Americans as clients and other Americans as opposing parties, then the role of the legal system in our life becomes all-consuming.  Some Americans become adverse parties of our very government.  We are not all litigants in some vast social class-action suit.  We are citizens of a republic that promises us a great deal of freedom from laws, from courts , and from lawyers.  Today, we are drowning in laws; we are contorted by judicial decisions; we are driven to distraction by omnipresent lawyers in all parts of our once private lives.  America has a place for laws and lawyers, but that place is modest and reasonable, not vast and unchecked.”

He summarizes by saying: ‘Perhaps Americans will understand that change cannot be brought to our nation by those lawyers who already largely dictate American society and business.  Perhaps Americans will see that hope does not come from the mouths of lawyers but from personal dreams nourished by hard work.  Perhaps Americans will embrace the truth that more lawyers with more power will only make our problems worse.”

I could not have said it better, so I did not try.

Some of my liberal readers may take exception with my statement calling the Democratic Party the ‘Lawyers Party.’  It should be easier for you to understand when you know that 97% of the political contributions from the American Trial Lawyers Association go to the Democrat Party.  Then you realize who is responsible for our medical and product costs being so high.

So in the broadest sense of the word, “I really hate most lawyers!’  (Except Duane, Don and Jim.)