Monthly Archives: July 2015

It’s Freedom of Speech, Stupid! (Unless I Disagree.)

During my lifetime, I have been involved with business and selling.  One of the many business mantras was that: “Fifteen percent of the customers will occupy 85% of your time.”  For me, this pretty much proved to be true.

Now, after retirement, I believe this business mantra can be ever so slightly reconfigured to apply to today’s society.  I am convinced that “Fifteen percent of the population is doing 85% of the bitching, promoting and protesting in America.”

Do you remember who Dylann Roof is?  Dylann is the psychopath that walked into the Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, and shot and killed nine black members of the church in June.  A tragedy by any measure.

Fifty years ago, the American public would have branded Dylann a psychotic psychopath, and left it at that.  Today….the media and the reality show-based mindset of the American public will not allow such a simple distinction.  Today…we have to know why.  Did Dylann have a difficult childhood?  Did Dylann have an abusive father?  Was Dylann bullied as a child?    Do you get my drift?  It was so much easier to label him a ‘whack job’ and move to the business of dispensing justice for the crime.

But wait…just like in the informercials…there’s more!  Some enterprising member of the media found a picture of Dylann standing next to the Confederate flag.  And there you have it.  Dylann was not responsible for the tragic killing of those church members…the flag was responsible!  (I am sure you can find a picture of Bill and Hillary standing next to a Confederate flag, as Bill passed legislation during his term as Governor of Arkansas to fly it above the state capitol!)

The Confederate flag.  The Stars and Bars.  That banner that was once served by such evil people as Jefferson Davis, Robert. E. Lee, James Longstreet, Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson and a host of other devious Southerners.  And so…the typical American behavior of overreaction, fueled conveniently by the media, begins.

I need to digress for a paragraph to inform the misinformed that the reason the Civil War was fought was not primarily because of slavery.  The primary reason is because of states’ rights and the federal government imposing its will on the free-minded, independent Southern states.  It is well documented that Lincoln would have allowed the continuance of slavery to stop the horrible conflict, which was tearing the nation apart. This war took a toll of over one million people that were lost to battle or to disease.  It affected military and civilians alike.  Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863.  This document freed all slaves.  With the North ultimately  winning the war in 1865, slavery was truly abolished in the United States.

The four evil Confederates I referred to in a previous paragraph?  They were all noble gentlemen, fighting for a cause in which they believed.  Robert  E. Lee was offered overall command of the Union armies.  He declined because his home state, Virginia, joined the Confederacy and he felt compelled to support his home state.  His family plantation is now Arlington National Cemetery.   Rest assured, these people did not fight this war solely to keep a race in bondage.

But somehow, because of the media, the 15% that I referred to in paragraph one, and our American propensity to overreact for the sake of political correctness, that historical flag has been denigrated to represent all things evil.  This flag has undeservingly become the one and only symbol of slavery,  Slavery that has been abolished in America for over 150 years!  Will the media or black race ever give this issue a pass?  Must we erase history and heritage in order to move forward in peace?  Can we not learn from our past and grow from knowing it?

The reactions to the flag after the picture of Dylann Roof standing next to one?

TV Land has cancelled The Dukes of Hazzard reruns because the General Lee (an automobile) has a Confederate flag on the door.  Did you know that show ran for seven seasons and had 145 episodes?  It was a popular show.  It was popular when people would determine what was appropriate or not by voting with their TV remotes.  If you didn’t like the show, you had the choice of watching something else.  But that doesn’t satisfy the 15% protesters and bitchers.  They will not be satisfied until their will is imposed on the other 85%.  Thus, the cancellation by TV Land.

Next to football, NASCAR is my favorite sport.  I like NASCAR and golf for one very simple reason.  Unlike other sports, there are no walk-outs, lock-outs or hold-outs.  As one driver put it, “if you want to make more money, go faster.”

NASCAR was originally founded using drivers, mechanics and pit crews that were involved in the  moonshining business.  Yup.  These guys were good drivers because of their ability to outrun the revenuers.  Again, for the uninformed, this moonshining business was predominantly found in the Southeastern states.  Not much moonshining was taking place in Montana, Michigan or Maine.  It was mostly in Virginia, Georgia and both North and South Carolina.  All of these states were, at one time, part of the Confederacy.  The man credited with organizing and founding NASCAR was a gentleman named Bill France, Sr.  Old Bill passed on the scepter of responsibility to Bill France, Jr.  Little Bill has since passed it on to Brian France, making NASCAR a family affair for over 50 years.  So what has one of my favorite organizations decided to do?  Why, they have requested from their fans that they no longer bring or wear any confederate flags to the NASCAR racing events.  Is this a good business decision considering that your organization was founded in the states of the old Confederacy?  Aren’t your most supportive fans from the same area?  Isn’t that request a violation of the freedom of speech?

NASCAR did not stop with this request.  NASCAR has taken it upon themselves to move their awards banquets from Donald Trump-owned resorts because of some of his recent comments,  with which they disagree.  So now, NASCAR has thrown its hat into the political arena.  You may or may not agree with what Donald Trump has been saying, but I believe he has the constitutional right to say what he thinks as guaranteed by the First Amendment.  Apparently, NASCAR disagrees.

NASCAR made these two decisions within a week of each other, all for the appearance of ‘political correctness’ in the eyes of their sponsors.  I have a bit of advice for NASCAR.  Stay out of the political arena!  You will not have to worry about political correctness with your sponsors if you don’t have any viewers!

The state of South Carolina has decided to remove the Confederate flag from the capitol.  I have no problem with that, as it was determined by vote of the South Carolina legislature.  After all, this tragedy took place in their state.  At least it was not done by a federal mandate.

What truly amazes me is that since the tragic murders of the nine black people, there have been proposals to remove statues, rename parks and streets, and even remove bodies of Confederate war heroes from public cemeteries.  OMG!  Get a grip!  The overreaction rock is rolling at a dangerously fast pace.

So now I want to pose a question.  Do you really believe that over 15% of the population has that much concern over the Confederate flag?  If someone wants to display or wear the Confederate flag, isn’t that their privilege under the First Amendment?

Here are some of the things that we have endured over the years, all in the name of Freedom of Speech:

Burning of draft cards during the Viet Nam War years.

Burning the American flag during the Viet Nam War years.

Having Jeremiah Wright, the professed religious advisor to the POTUS giving a speech in which he says, ” God damn America.”

Anything that comes out of the mouth of Al Sharpton.

The American flag being used as a beach towel, swimsuit, and being imprinted on toilet paper.  (It disturbs me that Willie Robertson, of Duck Dynasty fame, wears a sweat band of the American flag.)

A myriad of  stupid comments spoken by politicians or celebrities, too numerous to mention.

The salient point of my blog is this, regardless of the issue, whether it be about the Confederate flag, same sex marriage, or whatever:  it appears that 15% of the population is doing 85% of the bitching and protesting.  The silent majority chooses to be just that: silent.  Unfortunately, with the assistance of the media, our politicians are passing legislation based on the voices of the loudest, most often heard minority.  This is done with the dangerously tacit silence of the majority.  A majority that appears to be too frightened to disagree, for fear of being labeled “a racist” or worse.  Being a realist, much like being a hard worker or a person of hard-earned wealth, is being the bad guy in America these days.

The Mauler just returned from a weekend visiting family in New Orleans, where she grew up.  New Orleans – a place rich with history, a city also grappling with its Confederate past, a city also giving in to the pressures of social media in the aftermath of the South Carolina tragedy, as they consider removing a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee, as well as other monuments that acknowledge the Confederate past.  By removing this history, the Mauler fears New Orleans is removing the very reason people visit The Big Easy – to  see a city that has endured and grown and flourished because of and despite its history.

Everyone supports the freedom of speech, unless they disagree.  Then the 15% rears its ugly head.

Why Hillary Will Win in 2016

I have published 52 posts.  One of those posts was written by Dr. Walter Williams.  Every once in a while, someone authors an article that is excellent.  Here is another one of those articles.  It is written by a rabbi; Rabbi Steven Pruzanshky.  Rabbi Pruzanshky is the spiritual leader of Congregation Bnai Yeshurun in Teaneck, New Jersey.  He writes his own blog.  He does possess some notoriety.  As I googled Rabbi Steven…. his name came up without adding his last name.  Gee….if that would only happen with Grandpa T!

But I digress.  It has always amazed me that the majority of people of the Jewish faith vote for Democratic candidates.  This puzzles me in that Israel could not have had better allies than our former Presidents Nixon, Reagan, Bush and Bush.  The jury is out on our current POTUS and his support for Israel.

Anyway, I am not of the Jewish faith, but this article crosses all religious boundaries and is applicable to all faiths and all Americans.  Here it is:

“The most charitable way of explaining the election results of 2012 is that Americans voted for the status quo – for the incumbent President and for a divided Congress.  They must enjoy gridlock, partisanship, incompetence, economic stagnation and avoidance of responsibility.  And fewer people voted.

But as we awake from the nightmare, it is important to eschew the facile explanations for the Romney defeat that will prevail among the chattering classes.  Romney did not lose because of the effects of Hurricane Sandy that devastated this area, nor did he lose because he ran a poor campaign, nor did he lose because the Republicans could have chosen better candidates, nor did he lose because Obama benefited from a slight uptick in the economy due to the business cycle.

Romney lost because he didn’t get enough votes to win.

That might seem obvious, but not for the obvious reasons.  Romney lost because the conservative virtues – the traditional American virtues – of liberty, hard work, free enterprise, private initiative and aspirations to moral greatness – no longer inspire or animate a majority of the electorate.

The simplest reason why Romney lost was because it is impossible to compete against free stuff.

Every businessman knows this; that is why the “loss leader’ or the giveaway is such a powerful marketing tool.  Obama’s America is one in which free stuff is given away: the adults among the 47,000,000 on food stamps clearly recognized for whom they should vote, and so they did, by the tens of millions; those who – courtesy of Obama – receive two full years of unemployment benefits (which, of course, both disincentives looking for work and also motivates people to work off the books while collecting their windfall) surely know for whom to vote.  The lure of free stuff is irresistible.

The defining moment of the whole campaign was the revelation of the secretly-recorded video in which Romney acknowledged the difficulty of winning an election in which “47% of the people” start off against him because they pay no taxes and just receive money – “free stuff” – from the government.

Almost half of the population has no skin in the game – they don’t care about high taxes, promoting business, or creating jobs, nor do they care that the money for their free stuff is being borrowed from their children and from the Chinese.

They just want the free stuff that comes their way at someone else’s expense.  In the end, that  47% leaves very little margin for error for any Republican, and does not bode well for the future.

It is impossible to imagine a conservative candidate winning against such overwhelming odds.  People do vote their pocketbooks.  In essence, the people vote for a Congress who will not raise their taxes, and for a President who will give them free stuff, never mind who has to pay for it.

That engenders the second reason why Romney lost: the inescapable conclusion that the electorate is ignorant and uniformed.  Indeed, it does not pay to be an informed voter, because most other voters – the clear majority – are unintelligent and easily swayed by emotion and raw populism.  That is the indelicate way of saying that too many people vote with their hearts and not their heads.  That is why Obama did not have to produce a second term agenda, or even defend his first-term record.  He needed only to portray Mitt Romney as a rapacious capitalist who throws elderly women over a cliff, when he is not just snatching away their cancer medication, while starving the poor and cutting taxes for the rich.

During his 1956 presidential campaign, a woman called out to Adlai Stevenson: “Senator, you have the vote of every thinking person!”  Stevenson called back: “That’s not enough, madam, we need a majority!”  Truer words were never spoken.

Obama could get away with saying that “Romney wants the rich to play by a different set of rules” – without ever defining what those different rules were; with saying that the “rich should pay their fair share” – without ever defining what a  “fair share” is; with saying that Romney wants the poor, elderly and sick to  ‘fend for themselves” – without even acknowledging that all these government programs are going bankrupt, their current insolvency only papered over by deficit spending.

Similarly, Obama (or his surrogates) could hint to blacks that a Romney victory would lead them back into chains and proclaim to women that their abortions and birth control would be taken away.  He could appeal to Hispanics that Romney would have them all arrested and shipped to Mexico and unabashedly state that he will not enforce the current immigration laws.  He could espouse the furtherance of the incestuous relationship between governments and unions – in which politicians ply the unions with public money, in exchange for which the unions provide the politicians with votes, in exchange for which the politicians provide more money and the unions provide more votes, etc., even though the money is gone.

Obama also knows that the electorate has changed – that whites will soon be a minority in America (they’re already a minority in California) and that the new immigrants to the US are primarily from the Third World and do not share the traditional American values that attracted immigrants in the 19th and 20th centuries.  It is a different world, and a different America.  Obama is part of that different America, knows it, and knows how to tap into it.  That is why he won.

Obama also proved again that negative advertising works, invective sells, and harsh personal attacks succeed.  That Romney never engaged in such diatribes points to his essential goodness as a person; his “negative ads” were simple facts, never personal abuse – facts about high unemployment, lower take-home pay, a loss of American power and prestige abroad, a lack of leadership, etc.  As a politician, though, Romney failed because he did not embrace the devil’s bargain of making unsustainable promises.

It turned out that it was not possible for Romney and Ryan – people of substance, depth and ideas – to compete with the shallow populism and platitudes of their opponents.  Obama mastered the politics of envy – of class warfare – never reaching out to Americans as such but to individual groups, and cobbling together a winning majority from these minority groups.  If an Obama could not be defeated – with his record and his vision of America, in which free stuff seduces voters – it is hard to envision any change in the future. The road to Hillary Clinton in 2016 and to a European-socialist economy – those very economies that are collapsing today in Europe – is paved.

For Jews, mostly assimilated anyway and staunch Democrats, the results demonstrate again that liberalism is their Torah.  Almost 70% voted for a president widely perceived by Israelis and most committed Jews as hostile to Israel.  They voted to secure Obama’s future at America’s expense and at Israel’s expense – in effect, preferring Obama to Netanyahu by a wide margin.

A dangerous time is ahead.  Under present circumstances, it is inconceivable that the US will take any aggressive action against Iran and will more likely thwart any Israeli initiative.  The US will preach the importance of negotiations up until the production of the first Iranian nuclear weapon – and then state that the world must learn to live with this new reality.

But this election should be a wake-up call to Jews.  There is no permanent empire, nor is there an enduring haven for Jews anywhere in the exile.  The American empire began to decline in 2007, and the deterioration has been exacerbated in the last five years.  This election only hastens that decline.

Society is permeated with sloth, greed, envy and materialistic excess.  It has lost its moorings and its moral foundations.  The takers outnumber the givers, and that will only increase in years to come.  The “Occupy” riots across this country in the last two years were mere dress rehearsals for what lies ahead – years of unrest sparked by the increasing discontent of the unsuccessful who want to seize the fruits and the bounty of the successful, and do not appreciate the slow pace of redistribution.

If this election proves one thing, it is that the Old America is gone.  And, sad for the world, it is not coming back.”

The problems we face today are there because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living.

There you have it!  Would it surprise you that the good Rabbi Steven Pruzansky has been described as a radical?  Personally, I think the good rabbi has hit the nail on the head….about many things affecting this country.  He refers to the current happenings as being a ‘wake-up” call to Jews, I think it should be a wake-up call to America.  Thankfully, we still have educated and informed people such as the rabbi that will state the truth.