Politico disapproves of Donald Trump’s insistence on running only English-language campaign ads:
Trump’s English-only campaign. Paying little attention to shifting demographics, the Republican nominee offers nothing in Spanish. (emphasis added)

While the majority of Latino voters are English-speaking, Trump’s refusal to campaign in Spanish is a powerful symbol of how little heed Trump has paid to America’s shifting demographics. Latinos now make up about 10 percent of the national vote, with electorally potent concentrations in crucial battlegrounds such as Florida, Colorado, Nevada and even North Carolina.

Let’s look at the language question alone, separate from the campaigns’ issues: Should politicians run campaign ads in a foreign language?

The whole “you must speak to the Hispanics in their language in order to get their vote” is condescending, insulting and patronizing.

Look, I have no problem if anyone running for office speaks the language(s) their parents taught them at home to an audience of similar background. Imagine that you are of Welsh ancestry, for instance, and you are addressing the local Welsh society to talk about your campaign: somebody decides to close the event with a rousing chorus of Suo Gan and you know the words because your mom used to sing it to you when you were little? By all means, knock yourself out and sing your heart out. If you are fluent enough in Welsh (not many people are), indeed, say a paragraph in Welsh.

Just make sure your grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation are really good, whatever language you speak. Your audience can tell.

What is insulting is the assumption that in order to communicate with Hispanics, they must be addressed in their language.

For starters, experience and travel have taught me that there is no such thing as “Hispanic.” I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, where I lived for the first nineteen years of my life. I have as much in common with the average Peruvian as I have with the average Thai. Most of that commonality derives from the fact that we are Americans choosing to live here most of our lives.

Then there are the politicians who supposedly speak Spanish.

I am a former Berlitz instructor, and having listened to Tim Kaine’s rather pained Spanish, I’d give him an “A” for effort, but he could use a good language coach. Marco Rubio, who grew up in a Spanish-speaking household, has perfect Spanish. Ted Cruz, who did not grow up in a Spanish-speaking household, wisely refrains from inflicting his Spanish to the public at large. I really really don’t want to hear Hillary or Trump or Johnson or Stein in Spanish.

And let’s not ignore the one fact that even Politico begrudgingly acknowledged: the majority of Latino voters are English-speaking.

How much of a that majority consume their news in English? Eighty percent.

Eighty.

So if a PAC decides it’s a good idea to spend big bucks on TV ads in whatever language, fine by me. Just don’t do it out of a misguided notion that it’s because “you must speak to the Hispanics in their language in order to get their vote”.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

It’s been a couple of days since riots hit Charlotte over a black police officer shooting a black man.

There has been violence there has been looting but for a moment lets note one other thing.

One of the biggest worries for the Hillary Clinton campaign has been the indifference of black voters to her as a candidate. This has been a constant worry for national Democrats as they fear a drop in black turnout will hurt candidates all the way down the line. If they are to retain their power and influence and the money that comes from it, it is VITAL that the black vote be energized.

That’s why the facts in Charlotte don’t matter.

No amount of physical evidence concerning the suspect being shot will matter, no amount of looting caught on camera matters, no amount of violence by protesters matter, all that matters is advancing a narrative that energizes the black voter and prompts them to turn out to vote for Hillary clinton.

Now my newest writer JD Rucker things that this is a bad idea rather than a good one for the Clinton campaign:

Hillary can neither distance herself nor embrace them. She’s walking the tightrope of appearing to be sympathetic without sounding as if she approves of their activities. Her Twitter account the last couple of days has had reactions designed to appease every side, followed by a flurry of unrelated Tweets to bury her perspectives away from scrutiny.

and his opinion is supported by this fact:

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton condemned the police shooting of Charlotte resident Keith Lamont Scott, but has yet to comment on the rioting which spread violence throughout the North Carolina city on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Rioting she dare not condemn.

But in the end I suspect the reality is that Clinton is in a lot more trouble than the MSM will admit and the big swing to Trump represented a lot of people who are no longer afraid to say they’re with him. Thus turning out the Black vote becomes even more vital, not only for Clinton but the Democrats as a whole and as they can’t point to actual progress for Black America in the Obama years the only way to do so is to create a racial incident in the hopes of generating anger.

For this reason I suspect national Democrats consider Charlotte a godsend, a risky one to be sure, but as their panic in the party increases any methods however risky will be considered legit.

Fyi: If you wondered why the left has embraced the idea of relative truth, now you know.


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“What the hell have you got to lose?”

Donald Trump on why black voters should consider voting for him

On the day after a group of Hillary supporters in North carolina decided the best way to protest police was to loot a Walmart the Massachusetts Supreme Court, the court that decided that John Adams put a right to gay marriage in our constitution has brought us this gem of a ruling: (Via Kevin Daily of the Daily Caller)

We do not eliminate flight as a factor in the reasonable suspicion analysis whenever a black male is the subject of an investigatory stop. However, in such circumstances, flight is not necessarily probative of a suspect’s state of mind or consciousness of guilt. Rather, the finding that black males in Boston are disproportionately and repeatedly targeted for FIO encounters suggests a reason for flight totally unrelated to consciousness of guilt. Such an individual, when approached by the police, might just as easily be motivated by the desire to avoid the recurring indignity of being racially profiled as by the desire to hide criminal activity. Given this reality for black males in the city of Boston, a judge should, in appropriate cases, consider the report’s findings in weighing flight as a factor in the reasonable suspicion calculus.

Or to put it another way, the Massachusetts Supreme Court rules that Boston police are such racists that it is reasonable for a black person to flee is approached by police.

Now given what happened with gay marriage the implication of such a ruling if applied nationwide could be astounding but lets consider something else.

Massachusetts is a state that has voted GOP one in my lifetime in a national election (1984 Ronald Reagan). Boston is its capital and you would be hard pressed to find a more liberal city in the US nor one that votes for Democrats more lopsidedly. These are facts everyone knows, but let me point out one fun fact from Answers.com that you might not know

boston-mayor

So it is the opinion of the Massachusetts Supreme court that the end result of 86 years of Democrat rule is Boston is a police force so racist that for a black man, no matter how innocent, fleeing from police is a perfectly valid response.

This leads to a rather obvious question for Minority voters in Boston with an election coming up that echos Donald Trump:

If 86 years of Democrat rule has brought you to this point, what do you have to lose by voting Republican?

It took 86 years to break the curse of the Bambino in Boston, perhaps it’s time for Boston to break this curse too.


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I’ve been a regular visitor at Real Clear Politics for many years. It’s a very interesting website, especially when you look at the trends in headlines.

One emerging trend is the combination of the words fail (or failure) and Clinton. You find it three times today:
Will Democratic Success Breed Clinton’s Failure?
Clinton Air War Fails to Sink Trump
Hillary Clinton Is a Failure at Fighting Terrorism

In the first article, Michael Barone asks,

The Obama 2012 campaign showed that organization and data-mongering are most useful when messages are conveyed not by TV spots or robocalls but by actual volunteers concerned about similar issues. How many of these can Hillary Clinton inspire?

In the second article, Niail Stanage points out that Clinton’s campaign is outspending Trump’s 5:1, to little effect,

When outside groups supporting Clinton’s candidacy were included, the total spend on her side reached $156.6 million. The comparable figure for all pro-Trump advertising was $33.6 million.

Clinton is a slight favorite in the race, but the huge disparity in spending has failed to break the contest open. Data website FiveThirtyEight gave Clinton a 56 percent chance of winning as of Tuesday afternoon, while the RealClearPolitics average of national polls showed her with an edge of about 1 percentage point.

In the third, Charles Hurt describes Hillary’s tenure as Secretary of State as

a woman who has been a cornerstone of the current administration’s foreign policy who failed to develop even the slightest strategy for fighting terrorism or, at the very least, keeping it off of America’s shores.

But wait, didn’t the media and the Dems (but I repeat myself) assure us that Hillary was unstoppable?

Could it be that a larger segment of the American public finds her dishonest, untrustworthy, a liar, and gasp! unlikeable enough they won’t vote for her?

I don’t know about the polls. I do know that last Friday Donald Trump managed to convince 8,000 people to attend his Miami rally. Now, let me point out a number of things:
Friday night is a big night in Miami – lots and lots of clubs and restaurants attract thousands of regulars.
Last Friday night there were two big concerts, Kanye West and Meghan Trainor. Traffic was expected to be so bad the Miami Herald ran an article telling people to stay away from downtown.

Eight thousand people showed up on short notice anyway; many were turned away at the door. Trump took Hillary’s Deplorables theme and ran away with it. Before the rally he visited Little Haiti.

The last time Hillary held a rally in Miami, 1,500 people turned up. This week Hillary is canceling events, no reason given.

We’ll see if she shows up at the debates.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S, and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

deadelephant
RIP GOP

by baldilocks

Barring something (sort of) unforeseen, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States. That one of them will be the Leader of the Free World in January is merely the tail end of an ideological splintering that has been going on since the end of Ronald Reagan’s second term.

And today, we have the President Reagan’s Vice President and successor driving my point home.

Former President George H.W. Bush is bucking his party’s presidential nominee and plans to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, according to a member of another famous political family, the Kennedys.

Bush, 92, had intended to stay silent on the White House race between Clinton and Donald Trump, a sign in and of itself of his distaste for the GOP nominee. But his preference for the wife of his own successor, President Bill Clinton, nonetheless became known to a wider audience thanks to Kathleen Hartington Kennedy Townsend, the former Maryland lieutenant governor and daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy.

The former president has chosen not to comment on the topic–at this point–and his spokesman tells the reporter in spokeshole-speak that it’s none of the public’s business how the elder President Bush plans to cast his vote. Bull Twinkies.

President GHW Bush would never have told Townsend—a Democrat, of course–what his plans are if he didn’t want that information in public. The man is 92-years-old and he doesn’t care anymore, as if he ever did. If the report is true, call it one more stab into the heart of the old GOP.

It’s almost dead, Jim.

Update (DTG): One more thing I’d like to add to Juliette’s piece.

All this stuff happens for a reason, this story came out at this time for three reasons

1. It was necessary to change the subject from the Terror attacks which hurt Hillary

2. It was necessary to get this out there so Lester Holt could ask Donald Trump about it before the 1st debate.

3. This is a blatant attempt to bait Donald Trump to attack President Bush allowing the MSM to feign moral outrage over his response and demand every GOP senate candidate, congressional leader and spokesman to denounce Donald Trump for attacking the 92 year old ex-president.

How obvious can you get?

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism—->>>>>baldilocks

I must say nothing amazes me more than this meme that we keep hearing after very single attack by an Islamist:

The CNN report itself — the written report, not the clip above — is another marvel, making the story about everything else but the terrorist attack. Paragraph after paragraph of quotes appear in the article about religion of peace, worries about backlash, members of the Somali community worried that their families may have been victimized, before it actually gets to the attacks. It barely mentions that Adan demanded to know the religion of his victims, noting only that he “made a reference to Allah” and “asked at least one person if they were Muslim.” That sounds rather … polite, no? Well, except for the whole attempted-mass-murder thing.

The big story here isn’t the “potential for backlash.” It’s the terrorist attack that nearly took nine or more lives in the sleepy community of St. Cloud. Maybe other outlets will focus on the real story.

The “concern about a backlash” meme is so often repeated that it’s rarely questioned by the left, but two words illustrate how idiotic it is:

Emmett Till

For those of you who don’t know your history Emmett Till was a 14 year old chicago boy who was lynched during a visit to Mississippi in 1955 for the horrible crime of supposedly flirting with a white woman which apparently upset the sensibilities of certain folks.

It’s worth noting that Emmett Till’s murder was not unique in the era of Jim Crow:

From 1882-1968, 4,743 lynchings occurred in the United States.  Of these people that were lynched 3,446 were black.  The blacks lynched accounted for 72.7% of the people lynched. 

That works out to about 1 black man lynched every ten days during that period of time.

What does this have to do with Islamic Terror?  Think about it for a second.

Ask yourself how you would react to local police after a lynching during the days of Jim Crow stating:  “They were unclear on the motivations for the attack” and local and national newspapers gave credence to such a statement?

Ask yourself how you would react if after a lynching local and national media in unison said the primary thing to worry about would be a backlash against whites over lynchings of blacks?

Ask yourself how you would react if local and national media insisted that the Jim Crow culture had no bearing on the decision of groups of “lone wolfs” who lynched blacks or that any connection with the culture of Jim Crow to lynching was illegitimate?  

Because when you claim that we are unsure of the motivations on Islamic Terror, when you go on about a potential backlash against Islam over terror attacks and you insist that the culture of Islam has nothing to do with the motivations of terrorists & that moderate Islam has no obligation to help the FBI weed out potential terrorists, you sound just like an apologist for Jim Crow circa 1930.

Closing thought as I’ve already said during Jim Crow you had one black man lynched every 10 days. As of this writing it has been 5488 days since Sept 11 2001 and in that time there have been 29,258 attacks by Islamic terrorists worldwide, an average of one attack every 4 1/2 HOURS a rate over 53 times the rate of lynching in the US during Jim Crow.


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One of the things that has confused me quite a bit in the battle for charter school both in general and here in Massachusetts per question 2 is the math behind the opposition.

As a rule the voters who tend so support charter schools the most are the very poor voters whose children are trapped in failing schools that many of the opponents of charter schools have failed to serve.

And while the Teachers unions are almost completely united against charter schools many individual teachers are not all that pleased with their unions decisions and when given the chance to abandon the unions as they were in Wisconsin, left them in drove.

This would indicate a giant contradiction, one would think that rather than opposing and jeopardizing one’s base, one would embrace them, additionally simple math will tell you that even if the teachers were united against charter schools the number of students and parents would benefit from them vastly outnumbers them, after all every kid that goes to a charter school is one less added to an existing classroom.

So why are so many leaders willing to fight against them? the Answer comes from some figures concerning students teachers and bureaucrats put together by Ben Scafidi of Kennesaw State University.

staffing-1992-2014
Yes you are seeing that right, since 1992 staffing has increased at a rate nearly double as students and even more incredibly administration has increased at an even greater rate than teachers.

Now one might argue that the increase in teachers is a good thing as it would result in smaller class sizes but can you really argue that we schools needed that incredible increase in administrators?

and what does that kind of increase in administration beyond the increase in student cost?

what-if-national

That’s an awful lot of money being spent that to provide jobs for bureaucrats.

As far as Massachusetts goes, here are the number

ma-chart

the Numbers of teachers has increased at a rate 100% higher than then number of students, But as you can see the number of school administrators by a rate 150% more than the increase in students.

How much did all those administrators cost Massachusetts?

ma-savings

Now you might say “but datechguy, hasn’t all these administrators and extra teachers paid off?”

Not according to the stats

results

I interviewed professor Scafidi at the amplify choice event in Denver last month about these figures.

The current system is only been successful at one thing, providing patronage and jobs to every bureaucrat that needs it.

And it’s to protect that $395 Million in patronage locally and 27.1 Billion in patronage nationally and the power that patronage provides that those fighting charter schools are really looking to protect.

Attacks in New Jersey, New York, and Minnesota on Saturday were, by definition, terrorism. Websters’ Dictionary says that terrorism is “the use of violent acts to frighten the people in an area as a way of trying to achieve a political goal.” Today, we can add “religious goals” into the definition as well since nearly all acts of terrorism are done in the name of Islam.

I’m old enough to remember when the dystopian vision of George Orwell’s 1984 was as impossible to see in America as communism or anarchy. Now, it seems to be a race between the three most destructive societal establishments to see which one can take hold first. At this point, the most likely winner would be the totalitarian police state of 1984 creeping quickly into the thoughts of Americans because media’s and politicians’ mastery of doublespeak is polluting the cultural awareness.

Most non-conservatives don’t even think twice when the media questions Donald Trump about why he called the explosion in New York City a “bombing.” They want us to ignore the fact that dumpsters do not blow up by themselves. They definitely want us to pretend that Trump was evil for calling it a bombing while Hillary Clinton was righteous for calling it a bombing moments later.

Even this morning after it was revealed that there was a second bomb in the form of a pressure cooker rigged with a cellular detonator, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said that it wasn’t terrorism. Keep in mind that he acknowledged it was an “intentional act” but wouldn’t say terrorism. What other motives can there for intentionally blowing up a dumpster on a busy street in the busiest city in America?

Even when Governor Andrew Cuomo comes out and admits it was terrorism, he has to add a qualifier to it by saying that it wasn’t “international” terrorism. Does that make you feel better?

Folks, that’s doublespeak. Just as Ft. Hood wasn’t “workplace violence,” the Chelsea bombing wasn’t a “waste management mishap,” though today it wouldn’t shock me to hear it called that by the press or the White House.

Pipe bombs in New Jersey are terrorism. Men asking people if they’re Muslims and referring to Allah before stabbing them is terrorism, but somehow the motives are still being questioned. It’s as if we’re so scared as a society to jump to conclusions that we won’t come to conclusions at all. This is a dangerous mentality for any nation that’s specifically targeted by multiple terrorist groups who have inserted or indoctrinated their agents into the population.

The key to the government’s success in 1984 was in how they redefined truth. History was whatever the government said it was. People were attacked for speaking the truth and rewarded for agreeing with the government’s lies. Their best weapon was the fear of consequences that they were able to impose on the people. They had to fear everyone they talked to, even family. Their best agents were children. The way that liberalism and doublespeak are spreading through the country, specifically within our education system and media, it’s no longer impossible to imagine a dystopian America within our generation.

I understand that there was a severe backlash against Muslims after 9/11. Only the truly deplorable of the country (by the real definition, not Hillary’s) would want a repeat of that. More recent history has shown us that it’s no longer a major concern. I’m sure that CAIR or a leftist activist organization can produce statistics that show a spike in hate crimes following terrorist attacks, but I would question the validity. We’ve seen enough terrorist attacks in recent years (heck, months) to know that even after confirmed attacks by radical Islamic terrorists, the instant backlash is minimal or nonexistent. The real fear, one that is actually righteous, is that of the hatred that drives people to take action well after the fact. The arson of the mosque attended by Orlando terrorist Omar Mateen didn’t happen in the hours immediately following the attack or even the days when it was hot in the news and confirmed as being a terrorist attack. It happened three months later. In other words, anyone jumping to an early conclusion had zero bearing on the follow-up crime.

People are fond of saying that “words matter” this election cycle. I agree. I just wish the media and politicians would use the right words. These acts were terrorist attacks, period. More may be coming. We must remain diligent without allowing fear to paralyze us. This means calling things by what they are. Terrorism is terrorism. Labeling it otherwise is dangerous and stupid.

Castle San Miguel
Castle San Miguel
We left the abbey heading for Shirine of the most blessed sacrament, picking up our guest house people on the way.

There is a single entrance to the site down a country road filled with farmland horses and cattle grazing calmly nearby giving no clue as to what is to be found at the end of the road.

There were very few members of the group who had been to the shrine and the Castle that sits upon it but even so it remained an imposing sight as you approach it.

When you walk into the medieval style keep this is what you see

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The Conference Room
this is the area used for conferences dining (items are catered and brought in). It also contains the rather large and very catholic gift shop full of coins, prayer cards and medals. As our catholic supply store in the Fitchburg area closed I loaded up on small bottles for holy water to be given out a few of which I filled from the taps connected to huge tanks of holy water kept in the nativity area next to the castle

For those who are not catholic be aware that all such items are just that items that can be bought and sold until blessed by a priest or deacon, once blessed they can NOT be sold either by a gift shop or by the person who had them blessed. No legit catholic gift shop will sell a blessed item.

The Courtyard
The Courtyard

We then filled into the conference room for a talk on the origins of Mother Angelica, her vocation and the Shrine of the most blessed sacrament. I set up a mic for the talk next to her podium so I caught all of her speech but in the Q & A you’ll only hear the “A” not the “Q”

When the talk was over we headed for mass at the lower chapel where Mother Angelica is buried. No photography is allowed there so naturally I have no images to show you. I was struck that not only was the Liturgy of the Eucharist celebrated Ad Orientem but communion was received kneeling at the altar rail with an altar boy holding a salver under a chin, both of which I found very appealing.

Touring the Eucharistic Center
Touring the Eucharistic Center
After mass we had some time before our tour of the John Paul II Eucharistic Center we spent some time at the grave of Mother Angelica. We pressed rosaries against her grave that the station planned to give away and prayed a rosary for the person who would be receiving it.

A bit later we visited the Eucharistic Center. The last time I was there the young knights of the Holy Eucharist were the tour guides, but they had been transferred to Nebraska so a gentleman name Micah gave the tour.

When the Tour was over he took a few minutes to speak to me about his job.

The Vast Collection of Relics of Saints
The Vast Collection of Relics of Saints

When the tour was over and after a quick sandwich we had free time. I spent mine at Mother’s grave with several hundred rosaries saying a Hail Mary over each as I touched them to her grave.

Soon it was time to head back to St. Benedict Abbey where I visited and filmed the famous Grotto.

And interviewed Brother Christopher who gave us the history of brother Joseph

From there we were back to the cafeteria at St. Bernard Abbey where I interviewed one of the students who attended the school.

At St. Bernard Abbey
At St. Bernard Abbey
However at this point things took a turn for the worse. Our bus driver had been a tad under the weather on day one, by that evening he was in horrible pain. we had a pair of nurses on the trip who took a look at him and it was decided he needed to get to the local hospital. We had no way of getting him there. The Taxi services stopped running early, there was no Uber or Lyft and we failed to get ahold of the local parish or Knight of Columbus that we hoped to get a hand from. Eventually our driver drove to the hospital in his bus with our nurses with him while the rest of us took up a Rosary Circle. One of the Nurses takes up the story.

In the end our driver got the treatment he needed while a substitute driver arrived from Atlanta while he waited to be treated. Ironically our substitute had driven for our tour leader Maryann before and while our primary driver would have a day of rest we would be getting ready for our trip to the EWTN studio the next day.


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Keep your eye clear, and hit ’em where they ain’t

Willie Keeler

Four Years and six months ago I was in NH for a NRO event along with a lot of other bloggers and reporters after all of us watched one of the GOP primary debates that was notable for George Stephanopoulos suddenly asking Mitt Romney a question about contraception that had everyone, including Romney scratching their heads. It had not been an issue in the campaign nor in the country or years and while Roman Catholics will tell you artificial contraception is a sin to my knowledge Mormons have no problem with it.

That night everyone was talking about how weird the question but a few days later things became clear as the entire media jumped on this as an important issue.

You see many things were going badly in the economy, in foreign affairs and the folly of Obamacare were just starting to become apparent, the Democrats needed a distraction to protect the president so they pivoted bringing out an issue that had been settled for years to change the submit and hit republicans at the same time.

It’s sort of like the tactic used against Ted Williams in the 40’s called the Williams Shift repositioning players completely to change the dynamic of his hitting.

tedwilliamsshift It the same tactic used against David Ortiz today in an attempt to make those hits come with a little more difficulty.

While both Williams and Ortiz had occasional failures against the shift, in the end their skill levels were/are so superior that the shift could not stop them from hitting through it and as both demonstrated regularly if the ball is off the wall or out of the park no amount of shifting is going to make any difference.

Alas for the GOP Mitt Romney was no Ted Williams or David Ortiz. Romney being Romney and the GOP being the GOP, they fell hook line and sinker for this nonsense hitting directly into the shift and giving the media exactly what they wanted. It was one of a series of foolish and timid moves that turned what should have been a very easy election for the GOP into the disaster that the next four years of Barack Obama became.

Fast forward to 2016. Hillary Clinton has had the worst week in the history of history, the attempt to portray health questions as a conspiracy theory have failed. Leak after leak makes her look bad. The polls have gone south, Trump has bested her in a televised forum and thanks to his new campaign team has not only avoided mistakes but gotten positive press and cultural coverage that even playing the David Duke card has not been able to counter and if that’s not bad enough ISIS continues to advance, the refugee crisis continues to fester and Obamacare exchanges are dropping like flies What does one do if you are the palace guard for Democrats mainstream media?

Why you play the “shift” card and trot out birtherism.

The fact that Barack Obama has barely four months in office and that it’s an issue that nobody cares about doesn’t matter. The media needs to change the subject so suddenly the entire press corps decides there is no bigger issue to settle and they will not stop asking about it until Trump satisfies them.

In other words the shift is on and they are daring Trump to hit it over or through them counting on the fact that despite his media skills he is not enough of a Ted Williams or David Ortiz to successfully hit through the shift.

But while it’s true that Donald Trump is no Williams or Ortiz, he’s also no Mitt Romney and his new campaign team of Breitbart’s Stephen Bannon and Kelly Conway are not the normal GOP consultants advising him to hit into the shift and take their chances.

Instead Trump announced a press conference to address the issue, the MSM rushed to cover it live (something that they have been a lot less enthusiastic to do since he became the nominee) ready to take his statement and pound him with question after question, furthermore as he was apparently “running late” they continued to promote the event to ensure the maximum viewership when he did make his statement…

…and then this happened

The media found themselves giving their audience 20 minutes of military heroes endorsing Trump on live TV before he finally came on Camera to say

“Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it.”

Not only did Trump get the media to cover his endorsements but he got them to cover live his pronouncement that “birtherism” was a construct of the Hillary Clinton campaign. (a Statement spin not withstanding backed up by on CNN by a Clinton campaign manager but by a respected veteran journalist former McClatchy Washington Bureau Chief James Asher.

A story repeated on the McClatchy site yesterday

“During the 2008 Democratic primary, Sid Blumenthal visited the Washington Bureau of McClatchy Co.,” Asher said in an email Friday to McClatchy, noting that he was at the time the investigative editor and in charge of Africa coverage.

“During that meeting, Mr. Blumenthal and I met together in my office and he strongly urged me to investigate the exact place of President Obama’s birth, which he suggested was in Kenya. We assigned a reporter to go to Kenya, and that reporter determined that the allegation was false.

“At the time of Mr. Blumenthal’s conversation with me, there had been a few news articles published in various outlets reporting on rumors about Obama’s birthplace. While Mr. Blumenthal offered no concrete proof of Obama’s Kenyan birth, I felt that, as journalists, we had a responsibility to determine whether or not those rumors were true. They were not.”

Blumenthal, who worked in the White House with President Bill Clinton and later was employed by the Clinton Foundation, could not be reached Friday but said in an email to The Boston Globe, “This is false. Period.”

In other words the Trump campaign instead of hitting into the shift as he might have been inclined under the old management team, poked the ball into the empty left field for an easy double.

The fit this gave the entire MSM was epic which comes from a single miscalculation.

You don’t have to be a David Ortiz or a Ted Williams to beat the shift, you just have to be good enough to go the other way and hit the ball where they ain’t.

And Trump is.

Update: Don Surber adds a bit of Irony:

For a decade, the city wanted the grand post office turned into a hotel. Trump did it. Today was the opening of the hotel. That was the reason for the event — not to discuss birtherism, which was the Clinton Camp’s topic of the day.


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Crashed like a rock this afternoon and so instead of FINALLY getting back to the story of my trip to alabama (whose story was partially destroyed in the great website crash of this week.) let’s take a look at three stories dripping with Irony this election season.

BLM matter leader mugged by reality:

There is an old saying that a conservative is a liberal mugged by reality. I guess this applies to Black Lives Matter members too:

A University of Houston grad student active in the local Black Lives Matter movement is suddenly all for police patrols in his neighborhood — after he was robbed at gunpoint outside his apartment.

That can’t be right, we all know that the primary danger to young black men are evil police aren’t they?

Jerry Ford Jr., described as one the leaders of the BLM movement on campus, tells KTRK that he spotted the young man loitering outside his apartment one evening last week but thought little of it. But when he went to unlock the door, the man pulled a gun and stole Ford’s wallet and cell phone.

Ford lives at an apartment complex just a few blocks from the UH campus in an area that has seen a spate of robberies and thefts in recent weeks, including the burglary of dozens of vehicles. Because the housing is off-campus, it is not patrolled by University of Houston police officers. Ford says that needs to change.

Of course even being robbed doesn’t change some things

“I would’ve gave him money,” he said. “I would’ve talked to him because the real crime is why is he in that position that he feels the need to come and hang out at a college campus and rob people of stuff they worked for.”

But this doesn’t make things any less ironic

Ford, who is running for Texas State Representative, is one of the leaders of the Houston chapter of Black Lives Matter. The group has, among other things, supported the divestment of police forces around the country

and And the ultimate Irony:

Houston police say the suspect is a black man around 30 years old, 5’6 to 5’7, around 150 pounds with medium dreadlocks. He was wearing dark shorts and a camouflage shirt. If you have any information on this robbery, you’re asked to call Crime stoppers at 713-222-TIPS(8477).

this explains why CNN et/all doesn’t consider this a national story. I suspect this young man will go all Jessie Jackson when walking the streets in the future

Even Rev. Jesse Jackson once said, “I hate to admit it, but I have reached a stage in my life that if I am walking down a dark street late at night and I see that the person behind me is white, I subconsciously feel relieved.”

Meanwhile it seems that it’s not just Black lives matter folks being mugged by reality as some Hillary Clinton donors have discovered that just because Hillary spends so much time with wealthy fund raisers that she’s not an elitist. She treats the poor the same as the rich, as a permanent source of revenue:

Hillary Clinton’s campaign is stealing from her poorest supporters by purposefully and repeatedly overcharging them after they make what’s supposed to be a one-time small donation through her official campaign website, multiple sources tell the Observer.

The overcharges are occurring so often that the fraud department at one of the nation’s biggest banks receives up to 100 phone calls a day from Clinton’s small donors asking for refunds for unauthorized charges to their bankcards made by Clinton’s campaign. One elderly Clinton donor, who has been a victim of this fraud scheme, has filed a complaint with her state’s attorney general and a representative from the office told her that they had forwarded her case to the Federal Election Commission.

And these small donors are giving us a preview of what a Clinton administration will look like

The fraud specialist said that Clinton donors who call in will attempt to resolve the issue with the campaign first but they never get anywhere. “They will call the Clinton campaign to get their refund and the issue never gets resolved. So they call us and we just issue the refund. The Clinton campaign knows these charges are small potatoes and that we’ll just refund the money back.”
The source said that pornography companies often deploy a similar arrangement pull. “We see this same scheme with a lot of seedy porn companies,”

Shades of Bill in that last line.

I’m reminded of Mel Brooks old 2000 year old man bit with Carl Reiner when he said that Robin Hood rep for giving to the poor was only due to his PR man Marty that Robin in fact: “Stole from everyone and kept everything.” (see 17:05

That’s our Hillary an Equal Opportunity money grabber.


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911-des-plainesBy John Ruberry

This morning Hillary Clinton suffered what is being called a medical episode in lower Manhattan where she may have fainted, but she certainly had to be helped into a van by campaign aides as her knees wobbled, as you’ll see in a video. She’s was in New York to attend a Ground Zero 9/11 memorial service.

The Clinton campaign claims that the Democratic nominee was “overheated,” but so far there are no reports of anyone else among the thousands in attendance at the somber event being overcome by heat. Temperatures were in the late 70s in New York this morning. Today’s incident comes just six days after a four-minute long coughing spell during a Labor Day speech in Cleveland by Clinton, followed by a shorter one on her campaign jet, which the campaign blithely brushed off as related to allergies. Even hardened liberal Chris Cilizza of the Washington Post says that questions about Hillary’s health are legitimate ones, not just fodder for conservative conspiracy theorists.

wallace-road
Henry Wallace was pushed aside for Truman

It’s been said that Clinton is the most dishonest person to be a major party nominee since Richard M. Nixon. It’s now fair to say that she’s the unhealthiest one to run as a major party choice since another New York state Democrat, Franklin D. Roosevelt, won his his unprecedented fourth-straight presidential election in 1944.

Party bosses knew that FDR was sick in ’44, and fears that Russia-loving leftist Henry A. Wallace, his vice president, could succeed FDR as president was the primary reason Democratic leaders convinced him to dump Wallace as his running mate for Harry S. Truman. The press was rabidly pro-Democrat–sound familiar?–and it had for years covered up that Roosevelt was unable to walk, so it of course assisted in obscuring the president’s newer health concerns. But the what we now call the media didn’t convince everyone. So FDR was compelled to strenuously campaign in the autumn of that year–while of course America was at war–which likely further weakened him.

And how sick was Roosevelt?

In World War II Behind Closed Doors: Stalin, the Nazis, and the West, Lawrence Rees wrote in 2009 about Roosevelt’s health at the Yalta Conference in 1945:

Much has been written about Roosevelt’s physical state at the conference. Those who worked closely with him, like George Elsey, had noticed a profound deterioration of the president’s health over the previous months, and Churchill had remarked on how sick Roosevelt looked at the Quebec meeting in September. At Yalta, Lord Moran, Churchill’s doctor, recorded: “Everyone seemed to agree that the president had gone to bits physically…I doubt, from what I have seen, whether he is fit for his job here.”

John "Lee" Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven
John “Lee” Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven

Roosevelt was clearly duped by Joseph Stalin at Yalta, where he handed eastern Europe to the communists, including Poland, for whom Great Britain and France went to war after the weaker nation was invaded by the Nazis, which of course is how World War II began.

Do we want another ill–or yes, I’m going to say it–dying president to be swindled by another Russian leader? Or by Iran? (Of course, that is what happened with a presumably much healthier Barack Obama.) Or by anyone?

Roosevelt, as we all know, died three months after being sworn-in as president for the fourth time.

Oh, yes, I’m aware the John F. Kennedy had Addison’s disease, which was hidden from the public, but he had suffered from the ailment since the 1940s. His sister, Eunice, also had Addision’s, she died at 88. JFK’s health problems were partially attributed to his abuse of prescription drugs.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

donthinkYou know he’s right…

Confidential. Secret. Top Secret. We hear these terms thrown around concerning Hillary Clinton’s emails. But what do they really mean? If you don’t handle classified information (and most of you don’t), it’s hard to understand the impact of losing classified materials. Worse, most security people aren’t going to comment on it, and aren’t even allowed to visit sites like Wikileaks.

To attempt to demonstrate the damage disclosure can have, let’s use a football analogy. Imagine you’re a college football coach and play against other rival teams in your conference. You are trying to keep your plays and recruiting strategy hidden from the other teams, who are trying to figure these out in order to beat you. By the way, you’re doing your own spying on them as well.

fantasyfootball

Confidential information is classified information that if revealed would cause damage. In our analogy, imagine if a rival coach got ahold of your weekly schedule while you were recruiting. He could see where you were traveling and who you were meeting, which he could use to craft a better deal to try and steal those people away from you. But if he only had a one-week schedule, it might damage your recuriting, but only for a limited time.

weeklycalendar
Recruiting in the south huh….not a chance!

Secret information would cause serious damage if revealed. If one of your players used a hidden video camera to tape a rival teams practice and key plays, that would give you a massive advantage over them. Not only that, but it would take some time for the team to build new plays, practice them and roll them out, which allows your team to pummel them during the season.

footballpracticeTriple option? Nobody uses that!

Top Secret information causes grave damage if revealed, and is often used to protect “sources and means.” In our example, imagine if we had hidden a wireless video camera that was capturing our rival teams every practice. If the rival team discovers that we have a video of one practice, they might not know about the hidden camera, just that someone at some point took a video. They might spend time building higher fences or trying to conduct practice at night, even though none of those actions block our hidden camera, because they only had access to our Secret information.

hiddencamera
Yup, keep building those walls higher…

But, if they discovered the existence of the hidden video camera, that would be really bad. First, it probably took us a lot of time and money to hide the camera, which is now wasted. Worse, what if our rival team is really cagey? They could run a fake practice where their team uses lineups that they know will make it into our hands, only to use different ones during an actual game. Their knowledge of the source of the information makes it Top Secret and gravely damages our ability to win a football game.

There is one more type of classified information called a Special Access Program. SAP is so sensitive that there is a separate access list for who can access the information. In fact, SAP may be so protected that unless the program manager tells you about it, you won’t even know it exists, and not even know its cover name.

specialaccessNext thing you’ll tell me is that it costs millions of dollars…

A football SAP would be if you as coach had a rival player that you were paying off to pass information about that rival team. You wouldn’t risk telling your players about it. If your rival coach figured it out, the player could be banned and you could face expulsion from the conference and get fired. Disclosure would be catastrophic and cost you dearly.

So while the loss of any classified hurts, there is a scale for it. Confidential hurts in the short term, Secret a lot more, and Top Secret and SAP will almost definitely get people killed and cost millions of taxpayer dollars to fix. So when Snowden sells our Top Secret information to the Russians, he is not just a traitor, but he is costing you and every other taxpayer millions of dollars for the intelligence community to try and rebuild new access.

When the breach consists of multiple thousands of emails, containing information ranging all the way up to SAP and was caused by gross negligence, yes, you should be angry.


This post solely represents the view of the author and does not represent the official views of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other branch of the US government. It also doesn’t contain any classified information, unlike some people’s emails floating around on the Internet.


If you liked this, you might like reading my thoughts on Darth Vader, and maybe even buy my Kids Book on the Navy.

Yet one more instance of the Most Transparent Administration™ conducting itself in the era of Smart Diplomacy™: Launder $400 million in exchange for five hostages, refuse to call it a ransom, and then launder $1.3 billion more. Make sure it’s all in cash, à la Breaking Bad, load it in pallets, and fly it in, so you bypass the international banking system and Constitutional prohibitions.

The WSJ reports,
U.S. Transferred $1.3 Billion More in Cash to Iran After Initial Payment. First $400 million coincided with Iran’s release of American prisoners and was used as leverage, officials have acknowledged

The Obama administration followed up a planeload of $400 million in cash sent to Iran in January with two more such shipments in the next 19 days, totaling another $1.3 billion, according to congressional officials briefed by the U.S. State, Treasury and Justice departments.

The cash payments—made in Swiss francs, euros and other currencies—settled a decades-old dispute over a failed arms deal dating back to 1979.

On that arms deal, Stephen Green points out that

 The arms deal “failed” because the government we had signed it with ceased to exist, toppled by the Ayatollah Khomeini — whose supporters attacked the US Embassy in Tehran and took 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.

To this day, Iran celebrates the anniversary of the Embassy attack with annual anti-U.S. rallies.

But back to the WSJ (emphasis added),

The Obama administration briefed lawmakers on Tuesday, telling them that two further portions of the $1.3 billion were transferred though Europe on Jan. 22 and Feb. 5. The payment “flowed in the same manner” as the original $400 million that an Iranian cargo plane picked up in Geneva, Switzerland, according to a congressional aide who took part in the briefing.

The $400 million was converted into non-U.S. currencies by the Swiss and Dutch central banks, according to U.S. and European officials.

The Treasury Department confirmed late Tuesday that the subsequent payments were also made in cash.

Must I remind you, Obama took to the airwaves last month and bare-faced lied to all, smirking,

“We announced these payments in January. Many months ago. Th-that wasn’t a secret; we announced them.”

Following the latest news,

Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) introduced legislation on Tuesday that would bar such payments to Iran in the future and seeks to reclaim the $1.7 billion for victims of Iranian-backed terrorism.

Good luck with that.

Last month Claudia Rosett reported that Treasury made thirteen equal payments of exactly $99,999,999.99 each to the State Department under the generic heading of settling “Foreign Claims.”

Rosett points to The Judgement Fund, which is used for bypassing the Constitution:

The Judgment Fund has long been a controversial vehicle for federal agencies to detour past one of the most pointed prohibitions in the Constitution: “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.”

The Judgment Fund, according to a Treasury Department Web site, is “a permanent, indefinite appropriation” used to pay monetary awards against U.S. government agencies in cases “where funds are not legally available to pay the award from the agency’s own appropriations.”

Rosett asks,

And why were the 13 payments in amounts of one cent less than $100,000,000?

Who knows? Is there a rule or procedure which specifies that all payments of $100 million or more are referred to an official that would not have been agreeable to the transfer?

What we do know is that the Obama administration has laundered money for the Ayatollahs.

Parting question: Does that constitute an impeachable offense?

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S, and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

Katherine McClintock: [after walking out of her bedroom to find G.W. and Mrs. Warren at the bottom of the stairs] What’s going on here?
George Washington McLintock: [Intoxicated, with Mrs. Warren sitting on his lap] Now Katherine, are you going to believe what you see, or what I tell you?

McLintock! 1963

While I was traveling to Alabama for the WQPH Pilgrimage retreat at St. Bernard Abbey & the EWTN Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament yesterday interviewing business owners and monks, Hillary Clinton was on the campaign trail and reminded everyone why her campaign doesn’t like questions about her health:

Now I give her full comic marks for the “Every time I think about Trump, I get allergic.” line, but this can’t be a good thing the weekend that an FBI report came out with Mrs. Clinton claimed her inability to remember briefings was due to a concussion and reports that Dr. Drew lost his CNN show for questioning her health.

Now of all the reasons why I object to Hillary Clinton as a potential president her health is the one I blame her the least for, it is what it is and that’s likely not in her control, but what I CAN do is call out NBC for this pathetic attempt to explain this coughing fit away:

Clinton’s conservative opponents have sought to raise questions about her health, though they have produced no evidence to indicate she is unwell.

That last line is pretty cute as it is Mrs. Clinton her own remarks to the FBI that has produced evidence that she is unwell not to mention that the article itself said the following two paragraphs previously

The former secretary of state has suffered from coughing fits at times throughout the Democratic presidential primary, but has not had a public coughing fit recently. However the frog in Clinton’s throat on Monday was one of the most aggressive she’s had during her 2016 run and left her almost unable to finish her remarks.

So I guess technically that line was true, her opponents have not produced evidence that she is unwell Mrs. Clinton has through her own testimony to the FBI & this public coughing fits.

But of all the lines in this story the most comical one was this:

After the event, campaign aides attributed it to allergies. Allergens were high in Northeast Ohio on Monday, according to pollen.com.

Well, if allergens were high in Northeast Ohio according to pollen.com and NBC is going to report this as the reason for her cough and then provide evidence to suggest it’s not odd that she’s coughing due to the pollen count there is one obvious question I have for them:

Where are all the other coughers?

It would seem to me that if a news organization is going to give credence “oh it’s just allergies” line and backs it up with a pollen count there should have been plenty of other people in the crowd coughing, or sneezing etc.   In fact given that allergies are pretty common and a large crowd at such an event (at least large by Clinton standards vs Trump standards) it’s inevitable that there should have been plenty of people in the crowd coughing up a storm just like Hillary and not only in the crowd but among the campaign staff and with the press corps.

So I’d like to know where NBC has the video of all the other people so overcome by the pollen count in the crowd coughing, wheezing etc due to the pollen count?  I’d be delighted to see it and I’m sure everyone else would too, unless of course you are going to argue that the members of the general pubic, the press corps and the Hillary Clinton staff has access to anti-allergy drugs that are either unavailable or more effective than those available to a former first lady.

Closing thought:  How much to you want to bet that the next time this happens a member of staff starts coughing for the sake of the “pollen count” meme?

Update: A great question on twitter as I announced this post as upcoming

Hey it’s not like we have 30 years of Hillary clinton video to look for this stuff do we?


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Southwest Detroit
Abandoned home in Southwest Detroit

By John Ruberry

Yesterday Donald Trump continued his outreach to black and inner city voters by speaking at Great Faith Ministries in Detroit’s Barton-McFarland neighborhood. Even on the Motor City’s low standards this is an especially depressed part of the city, three years ago the area just east of Barton-McFarland was named the most dangerous neighborhood in the United States.

Rather than focusing on over fifty years of Democratic failure in the Motor City–Detroit has not had a Republican mayor since 1963, Trump uncharacteristically took a modest tone at Great Faith.

“But today I just want to let you know that I am here to listen to you, and I’ve been doing that and we had a fantastic interview with Bishop [Wayne T.] Jackson.” Trump said from the pulpit. “It was really an amazing interview. He’s better than the people who do that professionally. It’s true, it’s true. He’s better.”

“Our nation is divided. We talk past each other and not to each other.” Trump continued. “And those who seek office do not do enough to step into the community and learn what is going on. They don’t know — they have no clue. I’m here today to learn, so that we can together remedy injustice in any form, and so that we can also remedy economics so that the African-American community can benefit economically through jobs and income and so many other different ways.”

When is the last time Hillary Clinton, in one of her increasingly infrequently public campaign appearances, said she was there to learn?

Trump decried the sidelining so many African America youths with “unfulfilled potential…tremendous potential,” adding, “Our whole country loses out when we’re unable to harness the brilliance and the energy of these folks.”

When Trump was finished speaking he received a standing ovation.Trump Pence

Donald Trump will not win a majority of the black vote in 2016. He won’t even come close. But unlike recent Republican nominees, the political newcomer is campaigning outside of his party’s comfort zone. As a political newcomer, Trump doesn’t reflexively subdivide Americans into different voting blocs. There is too much this-is-a-black-problem-in-the-ghetto type of thinking in this country. What’s wrong in the inner city is an American problem.

Trump gets it.

Related post:

I walked its streets–the tragedy of Detroit

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

disillusionedby baldilocks

It’s an odd feeling to begin to believe that you wasted your youth. It’s what I’m beginning to believe about my own.

Back when I was a skinny little critter, I wasn’t popping out illegitimate babies or selling/smoking weed or selling/shooting heroin or streetwalking or being a groupie to sports/pop music icons. I spent my youth as an enlisted woman in the USAF, and held a compartmented security clearance during the last “battles” of the Cold War.

We won, they tell me.

My DD Form 214—Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty—states that I had these two specialties (jobs): 1) Germanic Crypto Linguist, and 2) Slavic Crypto Linguist, Russian. Long-term training is required for the languages alone; that part comes first. Then there’s the second part of the training, the classified part–the part which one doesn’t even get to experience if something icky is uncovered in the background check. (When that happens, the person is pulled out of training altogether and, if they are lucky, they’re assigned another specialty. Unluckiness gets one kicked out.)

In this other part of the training, we learned all about our security clearances, how to handle classified information, the penalties for mishandling classified information, and what to do when mistakes are made. This very pertinent information is instilled and measured–tested–before any sensitive information is revealed to us.

It isn’t rocket science and, if I recall correctly, it takes only a few days. Most of us had high school diplomas only or a bit of “higher” education and very few of us were over 25 years old. It’s true, however, that we qualified for the specialty because of our measured high ability to remember when to breathe and remember when not to.

After that, there was the job itself. Stressful at times, but the great thing about it was that we knew why we were doing it and we knew who our enemies were–or so it seemed at the time. And after the victory was won, it was comforting to have been a tiny part of that.

Again, so it seemed at the time.

It was good for my personal self-respect to know that I was capable of loyalty and able to keep a secret—and not just because I would go to jail if I didn’t, but because I had given my word. These days, this is called adulting.

There are a few who held the linguist specialty who broke their word; the one referenced in the link defected to East Germany, had to spend some time in prison and, poetically just, is stateless. (Allegedly, he’s here in the USA and is, I guess, just another illegal alien.)

The rest of us are proud of what we achieved…but, as I look at the Labor Day weekend sub rosa news, I wonder whether we really achieved anything.

Hillary Clinton, wife of a former US President, a former US Senator, a former US Secretary of State, and the 2016 Democrat Party nominee for US President herself, has blatantly and openly violated everything for which I and many of my oldest, dearest friends stood.

But she hasn’t been charged with any of the TENS OF THOUSANDS security clearance breaches which she knowingly and willfully committed. She says that she can’t remember anything about it.

My black ass.

And the worst thing is that the investigative arm of this government admits it and will do nothing. She won’t serve time for treason or spend any time stateless. And she knew that long ago, knew before the first server was planted in her house. And now, so do we.

I should have spent the 1980s smoking weed.

BTW: Day 25 of not smoking anything.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism—->>>>>baldilocks

I woke up unusually early this morning, so I naturally (ehem!) looked up my Twitter feed, and came across this from Juliette,

Indeed.

While I prepared breakfast (huevos rancheros with bacon, in keeping with the tex-mex theme), I pondered the delicious benefits of having a taco truck stop by near my house every day at noon:

  1. A choice of freshly-prepared, tasty food.
  2. It would encourage entrepreneurship and small businesses.
  3. It would probably mean that local governments reduced the red tape associated with such an enterprise – a woman can dream!
  4. Last, but not least, it may put Taco Bell out of business. (Disclosure: I got food poisoning at a Taco Bell years ago.)

Win-win.

It wasn’t until after I finished eating the huevos and bacon and putting away the dishes that I wondered why #TacoTrucksOnEveryCorner trended.

Sooper Mexican explains,

In an absolutely bizarre segment on MSNBC, the Latinos for Trump founder says that if we don’t elect Trump, you’re going to have taco trucks everywhere!!! I’m not sure why he’s against deliciousness, but there you have it.

Say whut?

Sooper Mexican gets to the core issue much better than the guy on TV,

Having been raised in California, I think I get what he’s trying to say, but he’s using the worst example ever because taco trucks are AWESOME. It is true, however, that we’ve been far too lax with illegal aliens in America, and it’s allowed a secondary culture to thrive – one that isn’t assimilating. And that’s a problem. We need to preserve American culture and our principles, and when we don’t even do that among our own native-born kids, we shouldn’t be surprised when immigrants, legal or otherwise, don’t assimilate into that culture either.

But c’mon dude, lay off the taco trucks, they’re amaaazing. That’s the worst argument everrrr!!!

In the interest of culinary diversity, I would not only love a nearby taco truck, but also a gyro truck, a pastrami on rye truck (complete with egg cream, of course), an empanadas truck, and a cubano sandwich truck. On a rotating basis, they would round up the work week nicely.

Speaking of cubano sandwich trucks, if you haven’t seen it yet, watch Chef. Funny and delicious.

Now if you will excuse me, I think I’ll make nachos for lunch.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S, and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

liberal-tebow-800Yup, sharing this on Facebook totally made you a hero!

Were you angry about Colin Kaepernick not standing for the pledge of allegiance? Plenty of people on Facebook, Twitter and Reddit were.

Guess what? Colin doesn’t care, because he thinks you’re a sucker.

Sadly, he’s probably right. Kaepernick makes his money playing football. Plenty of you reading this will continue to buy NFL tickets, watch NFL on TV, and buy NFL merchandise. But you’ll put your little Facebook rant and say “See, I got him good!”, while Mr. Kaepernick laughs his way to the bank.

Addicts also rationalize this sort of behavior. I’ve watched many Sailors throw away a perfectly good career because they couldn’t stop snorting cocaine or drinking excessively. Every one of them had a “rational” explanation in their head that eventually collided with life’s hard reality.

SJWYeah, I’m like this most days…

So yes, I’m accusing you of addiction. You don’t really care about what Kaepernick says (or doesn’t say), because you’ll continue to fuel his expensive lifestyle. It’s not just the NFL though. How many of you “conservatives” still drink your 75 adjective coffee drinks from Starbucks, despite their support for Planned Parenthood’s continued genocide of innocent children? Is it because you just can’t find another caffeine fix, or do unborn lives not matter?

plannedparenthoodmeme
That caramel macchiato hates unborn and black lives

The truth is that unless you actually stand up for what you believe and change your behavior in real life (and Facebook isn’t real life), every Kaepernick and Starbucks will continue to trample on your beliefs, because your cowardly addiction gives them an unlimited license to do so.

This is the last week for Da Magnifient Prospects if you like RH NG36B share his work and hit DaTipjar and mention him




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and if you want to fight the MSM company store join the Have Fedora Will Travel pledge drive to send me to cover Donald Trump on the road

CJ Pearson says he supports Donald Trump.
CJ Pearson says he supports Donald Trump.

He’s young, black and says he supports Donald Trump.

If you haven’t heard about him, he’s 14-year-old CJ Pearson, a ninth-grader from Georgia who has criticized Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Not surprisingly, he’s faced an onslaught of vitriol from Democrats and other leftists. But some conservatives, such as RedState’s Erick Erickson, see Pearson as a social media wannabe who should sit on the sidelines until he grows up.

In a column this week in Time, Pearson offered his view of the presidential race.

“I believe that the future of America is post-party politics. I hope that in 10 to 20 years, the near constant issue of partisanship will be a distant memory,” he wrote.

That sounds about right to me.

“As a young black male, I’ve seen my community flailing and struggling due to the disastrous impacts of the Obama political agenda, and I refuse to allow the possibility of a Clinton presidency to extend that suffering,” he added.

I can’t say I disagree with him there.

“Trump’s message to young people of color is simple: what do you have to lose?

“In my young optimistic eyes, after the last eight years of the Obama presidency, there is little left to lose. There is only room to do better, and there is only one goal: to make America great for every American.”

Check.

The entire column can be found at http://time.com/4470565/teens-for-trump/

Erickson criticized Pearson when he announced that he was leaving behind the failed campaigns of Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, where he served as head of “Teens for Ted,” and joining the ranks of Bernie Sanders’ supporters.

“[S]top embarrassing yourself, shut up, and go live life. Pay attention to politics, but also pay attention to movies, sports, girls, your parents, your preacher and your surroundings. Come back when you are eighteen, your voice has deepened, and you’ve passed your final growth spurt,” Erickson wrote last December. See the entire column at http://www.redstate.com/erick/2015/12/09/dear-cj-pearson-shut-up/ 

Erickson has a point that Pearson’s conservative bent may blow with the wind, but I see the underpinning of Trump and Sanders’ campaigns as quite similar. The two presidential candidates demonstrated the disdain Americans have for the political status quo.

What’s important to me about Pearson is that he asks a critical question about the lives of black Americans: Are they truly better off under Democrats?

Pearson realizes he and his fellow black Americans are not better off. I couldn’t agree more.


Christopher Harper, a longtime journalist with The Associated Press, Newsweek, ABC News and The Washington Times, teaches media law. Read more at www.mediamashup.org

*****************************************
A note from DaTechGugy:
I hope you enjoyed Christopher Harper’s piece. This is the last week for DaMagnificent Prospects so if you like Chris check out & share his stuff. In case you missed his other pieces, here they are:

Budding reporters and politics
Give terrorists what they deserve: anonymity
The ‘BS’ factor
A Godless Olympics
A true American ally




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and if you want to fight the MSM company store join the Have Fedora Will Travel pledge drive to send me to cover Donald Trump on the road

Donald Trump heads to Mexico today to meet with president Enrique Peña Nieto. The ninety minute meeting is scheduled for 3pm Mexico time (2pm Eastern), after which Trump flies to Phoenix for his immigration speech.

Whether you like Trump or not, you must admit Trump has guts.

This week Mexican media have been obsessing over the sudden death of singer Juan Gabriel. Normally Spanish-language media in the U.S. dedicate most of their air time taking out the sledge-o-matic and going full Gallagher on Trump, but they are pikers compared to Mexican politicians and Peña Nieto himself, who has compared Trump to both Hitler and Mussolini.

By going to Mexico before today’s speech on immigration, Trump has everything to gain.

Larry O’Connor explains (emphasis added):

This is a chance for Trump to show that he can play the role of statesman and diplomat.

A fearless one at that,

After all, if he’s willing to meet with the Mexican President after all of the rhetoric from his campaign and the vitriol from critics of his order security policy, he could do business with anyone. The meeting cuts directly across one of the more effective memes of the Clinton campaign in which the former Secretary of State has been able to capitalize on the perception that Trump is an inexperienced loose cannon who would embarrass the United States on the international stage.

If Pena Nieto decides to grandstand and trash Trump after the meeting by suggesting that he is unqualified to deal with international issues, he could actually help Trump by making the GOP candidate look like “the bigger man” and allow the billionaire real estate magnet to proclaim that it’s the Mexican government that is intransigent and this is why the US needs to take a hard line.

And, to top it off, Trump can claim in his immigration speech that he pressured Peña Nieto into listening to him.

Never mind that Peña Nieto invited both candidates; “The world is run by those who show up”, and Trump is the one who showed up for the meeting.

The Hillary campaign is having conniptions. Trump went to Louisiana to bring flood aid, while Obama played golf. Trump’s now in Mexico while Hillary seethes.

While Hillary is trying to run the clock to the November election, don’t forget there’s the “days since she gave a press conference clock,” too.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S, and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

strawberries_moldy
Yummy

by baldilocks

The main reason that this country is in deep trouble is that facts which used to be routinely instilled into public school students are no longer. I’m not even talking about how to use facts during the process of connecting dots with events and coming to cogent conclusions. I’m referring to the facts themselves–simple events and straight-forward declarative statements. For those under a certain age, the facts either do no exist, or worse–they have become mutilated into something unrecognizable, mutilated by scattered “thinking.”

Example: a certain American profession athlete decides that he will not only openly forego paying traditional respect to the American flag during the ceremonies which routinely herald the beginning of sporting events in the USA, but will openly disrespect that flag. The athlete explains his stance via Social and Mainstream Media outlets, which, of course produces an avalanche of reactions from countless sources.

Many who defend the athlete’s stance have cited the First Amendment and that is where, in my opinion, the real trouble shows itself.

The First Amendment reads as follows:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

It’s a straight-forward statement about what congress—the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives combined—may not do, with respect to its reason for existence: making laws.

So, it would seem simple to conclude that the First Amendment has absolutely nothing to do with the controversial statements and actions of the athlete in question, right? Hahaha!

All too many of our fellow citizens cannot (will not?) wrap their minds around this simple bit of logic: if congress isn’t making laws about speech, religion, press, etc. then the mention of the 1A is a non sequitur where any statement is concerned or with any expressed criticism of said statement is concerned, including all of the latter regarding this athlete.

(Wait. Should I explain what a non sequitur is? Eh, look it up yourself.)

I’ve had people argue with me about this and get angry when I try to show it to them. Not only do many citizens not know this, but they don’t want to know it.

We can take this seemingly small controversy and apply it to objective knowledge itself. Call it the fruit of post-modernism. It tastes rotten and it’s probably poisonous.

I’m praying that more of us will swear off of it and I think it will happen. But it won’t be without pain.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism—->>>>>baldilocks

 

 

 

Street gang temple, Chicago's South Side
Street gang temple,
Chicago’s South Side

By John Ruberry

This morning on Fox News Donald Trump spokesman Ben Carson said, “If we are going to make America great we cannot have large pockets of dysfunction.”

Carson was responding to questions about the latest mainstream media tantrum about the Republican nominee Tweeting about Friday the murder of Nykea Aldridge in a violent Chicago neighborhood, the cousin of Chicago Bulls player and longtime all-star Dwayne Wade, where he indelicately predicted a groundswell of support for his campaign.

But as I remarked in this space a month ago, Trump is the first Republican presidential nominee in memory to make a concerted effort to appeal to black voters and he correctly points out that the Democratic Party, whom African Americans have reflexively voted for en masse since the 1930s, is failing inner city blacks. A few days before Aldridge murder Trump was offered this statement by Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, “Did you know that murders in Chicago are up 50 percent this year from last year? And they can’t solve it.”CoJCZVfUMAAMJlm

The political newcomer replied, likely correctly, that the wrong people are in charge in Chicago and based on a conservation that the political newcomer had with an unnamed senior Chicago police officer, that violence in America’s third largest city could end in a week. Okay, that’s a major piece of hyperbole, there will always be some violence everywhere. What police department is able to prevent an angry person who hits a spouse over the head with a frying pan during an argument in their kitchen? On the other hand, a noticeable drop in Chicago violence of course is a possible, and of course, a desirable goal.

Detroit hasn’t had a Republican mayor since 1963. Chicago hasn’t had a Republican mayor since 1933. Both are dominated by “large pockets of dysfunction.” Some Chicago politicians have a cozy relationship with street gang leaders.

It took a Republican, Rudy Giuliani, to turn around New York City, which was believed to be ungovernable prior to his two terms as mayor.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

This election has been one of confusion.

We see the MSM spinning and editing Donald Trump for electoral purposes

We see polls showing results all across the spectrum

We see huge crowds at Trump events & diddly for Clinton yet we’re told she’s a shoe in

We see talking heads saying a lot of things but not actually reporting a lot of things.

I’ve reached the point where I have no idea what’s actually going on. I hate that and I suspect you do too.

Rather than just bitching about it I propose a solution.

DaTechGuy’s 20 (or 30) days of Trump

 

My proposal is that I follow the campaign for 20 (or 30) days.  Report at each stop , do my patented interviews with those who attend Trump events, get credentialed at pressers interview campaign people (& Mr. Trump himself if he is willing) and basically report first hand on what I see and what is going on rather than counting on the MSM or anyone else doing so.

I submit that I am an excellent choice for this because:

My biases are out there, I endorsed Ted Cruz Sept of 2015 and then Trump July of this year. I have been both willing to praise and critique Trump.

I have interviewed Trump fans all over you can directly see my work and how I approach it.

I have questioned Trump at press conferences and have covered such events live in the past so you’ve seen my work and what I do.

It’s been shown that I don’t edit my videos so you will see what is actually shot

And while many have disagreed with me over the years I’d like to think I have a rep of saying things as I see them and not being for sale to anyone except you the reader.

 

What it would involve:

I would be thinking of either a 20 day period from October 18th to November 6th  or a 30 day period from Sept 13 to Oct 12th  (I have a commitment to cook at a Knights of Columbus Charity dinner Oct 16th so I have to be home for that).

Basically I would travel by air, living out of my suitcase flying to the various cities where Trump is appearing, renting cars to head for and hit Trump events, Shooting videos and writing stories and then back to the airport for the next leg all the while finding time to eat, sleep and get laundry done in between so people are willing to approach me to be interviewed.

This would not be cheap.  I would not only have to spring for hotels, rented cars, meals, cleaning, gas and internet but I’d also have to replace my pay from my overnight job that I would have to get a leave of absence from.

It will also be tiring but I can’t see it being more tiring than working overnight 5 days a week.

 

What it will take:

There is no way I can even think of doing this unless I have the cash on hand in place to pay for it, particularly as I can’t guarantee that I’d have a job to come back to if I do this.

So I’m leaving it up to you dear readers.

If I can get $20,000 in pledges by Sept 7th and have them redeemed by Sept 10th I figure I can afford to do the 30 days of Trump coverage listed above, being able to pay expenses while still being covered if I have to risk my night job to do it.

If I can get $15,000 in pledges by October 10 and have them redeemed by October 15 I can do the shorter 20 days of Trump.

(If I raise the full $35 K I’ll do both adjusting the schedule slightly to allow myself to make it home for my son’s birthday)

Now I know this is not an insignificant amount of cash but it’s also going to be a significant amount of work and travel not to mention a lot of time spent away from my wife and family including my son’s birthday depending on which way this goes.  Furthermore you will know that you’ll be seeing things as they are from a person you presumably trust.

So here is how it will work, if you are willing to pledge an amount toward this project contact me by filling out this form  

Once I get the required pledges I’ll contact you for payment and then contact my employer to get a leave of absence (or give notice if necessary).

If I don’t get the required pledges or if people don’t come through with the dough in time to do this, then I’ll stay put and keep doing what I’m doing.

We often hear people say they want honest reporting on the campaign as opposed to what the MSM offers well if you’re willing to support me in doing it, I’m willing to provide you with it.

The Wall Street Journal reports on the latest fad: Getting up at 4AM – not because you have to, but because you want to.

When I commuted to NYC from Convent Station, NJ (no, I have never lived in a convent; Convent Station, between Morristown and Madison, is named after the convent of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth and the train station was built during the 1870s to serve the Academy of Saint Elizabeth, now a College), I used to get up at 5:30AM.

I was in bed by 9PM. Then on Saturdays I slept until 10AM. Not being a real-early morning person, the sleep deficit seemed to accrue faster than if I slept from 11PM to 7AM.

I had a long commute, but would get to work at least an hour before official opening time, and was able to have a full breakfast, get a lot of work done, and tend to priorities before the normal interruptions of the day started.

The 4AM crowd, however, seem rather more intense – some recommend sleeping in your gym clothes.

The key to enjoying the early morning quiet time, however, is not sleeping in your gym clothes and rushing off to the gym before the crack of dawn; Rather, the key is being able to have a block of uninterrupted time with no outside distractions, where you can focus on the day’s priorities.

This means you are unplugged (no phone calls, texts, Facebook or other social media), are not available for interruptions, and, in my case, are  not listening to music, the TV. You are exclusively paying attention to the task at hand.

If the only way you can do so is at 4AM, all the more power to you.

However, in my case, I’ve found that – especially when my son was a baby – dedicating an uninterrupted twenty-minute block of time (a “unit”) during the day to a single, focused task was more effective than any other time management technique I tried. With a little practice, you can even estimate (“this will take three units”) how long it will take to get things done.

And you’re not sleeping in your gym clothes.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S, and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

trump_pointing
This guy wants you to stop whining

I have a concealed carry permit.  I don’t brag about it or bring it up in conversation.  I don’t tell people when I’m carrying a weapon.  I just follow the laws and blend in, and I find most permit holders do the same.

In Texas, that apparently isn’t good enough, as hundreds of people found it appropriate to wear dildos to class.  Concealed carry folks wanted to carry in the classroom to protect students and faculty from mass shooters.  I’m not entirely certain the purpose behind open carrying dildos.

PM9This will protect you from a mass shooter. A dildo…not so much.

But it’s not just gun rights.  Heaven help you if you express conservative views.  At my college, I spoke out against affirmative action, something that the Supreme Court eventually decided was wrong.  No matter.  Rather than a civil discussion, I was harassed.  At the same college, it was OK to openly harass members showing pictures of aborted babies, but harassing someone defending abortion was an attack on women’s rights (despite statistics that many women don’t support abortion).

gallupabortion
Looks like a heck of an even split, although you wouldn’t guess that from news coverage

After enduring that harassment, I’m perfectly OK with liberal heads exploding over Donald Trump.  I don’t agree with all his policies, but he brings a smile to my face when liberals gasp over how crass and rude he can be.  Newsflash: it’s the same rude and crass behavior that you dished out to me and others over the last 15 years that we quietly absorbed.  Stop whining when the quiet kid you picked on suddenly finds a bigger bully.


The views expressed in this blog post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense, or U.S. Government.


NG36B is a military blogger who regularly blogs at The Navy’s Grade 36 Bureaucrat. If you love your kids and America, you should buy his Kindle book about the Navy and read it to them every night.

And hit Da Tip Jar and mention him so that he can win Da Tech Guys competition!


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Lost in all the talk about the Cajun Navy and the job that they are doing are a fact that everyone outside of Louisiana seems to have missed that is perfectly illustrated by Pat Austin of DaTechGuy’s Magnificent Seven

A week after the cataclysmic event, the national media is slowly beginning to notice that Louisiana is flooding.

The scale of the disaster is huge:

In Livingston Parish, 87% of the homes there flooded.  In Baton Rouge, at least 40,000 homes are believed to have flooded.  Most of these people don’t have flood insurance.  The numbers are staggering.

Livingston Parish’s web site is here According to Wikipedia:  Livingston Parish Louisiana is 703 square miles just under 58% of the size of the state of Rhode Island, with over 100,000 people living there, and that’s just one parish in Louisiana.

Rod Dreher wrote about it at the time with a headline:  What the Hell is Wrong with the National Media:

The sheriff of Livingston Parish is saying that over 100,000 people in his parish alone lost everything they own. But hey, on CNN, Adele’s not Beyoncé, a sportscaster is on TV in his drawers, and Donald Trump is hearing things. Haw haw!

It’s not just them. On the CBS News webpage as I type this, the lead story is the arrest of a suspect in the murder of Muslims in Queens. If you want to find out the latest in what is shaping up to be one of the nation’s worst-ever natural disasters, you have to scroll way down, past several Olympics stories (including an explainer of why the water in Rio pools turned green), a piece on Hillary’s promise to love Scranton, a piece about a California fire that destroyed 175 structures and left “dozens of families homeless,” and a piece about a New York woman who says her head felt like it was going to explode when she was struck by lightning.

Look, nothing against the lighting-strike lady or those dozens of California families who are without homes tonight. But guess what, CBS? In Ascension Parish, just south of Baton Rouge, 15,000 homes and business are underwater!  

and he followed up a week later noting that even when they bothered to get around to it now that Trump and Obama has visited it still doesn’t reflect how bad things are

 

I watched a report on NBC News last night about what we’re going through here, and was struck by the enormous distance between what they showed on that short clip, and the reality that people here see every day. It is much, much worse than most Americans know (see this for one glimpse, and imagine this multiplied by tens of thousands). The need is so great that there is no way this or any government could respond effectively to it on their own.

There is a simple reason for this and Ed Driscoll nailed it a bit ago

there’s no political angle to beat up Republicans, when the state’s governor is a Democrat, and so is the president.

Or as Jim Geraghty put it 

If you view the national news media, based in New York, Washington, Los Angeles and a handful of other cities, as way too monolithic in its political views and driven by conscious and subconscious agendas, the half-hearted-at-best interest in these stories isn’t that hard to explain. These stories aren’t easily used to advance the narrative that Republicans are bad and Democrats are good.

This is cause and effect at its finest, the flooding and destruction in Louisiana is not helpful to the media’s cause, thus the effects of said disaster, the suffering, the homelessness, even among poor blacks who might be expected to vote democrat simply doesn’t count.

This is what our media culture has become and at National Review a commentator asks the obvious question:

It’s great that we all realize this. But what does one actually do?

That’s on each one of us.


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I was reading R H’s post A robot could replace your crooked real estate agent and fully understand why he wants a robot to replace RE agents.

You see, I’ve been a licensed real estate agent since the late 1980s. I was active for a few years.

The office I worked in closed over a decade ago. I was young and naive back in the 80s, but even to my young and naive eyes it became clear that some of the people I was working with would do anything for money.

And I mean anything.

The thing is, the ones who really outperformed everyone were the most professional and ethical agents.

Having learned that, when it was time to sell my Princeton house, I had a rather long conversation with the local office’s manager to ask him which of his agents he considered the most honest. He recommended Beatrice Bloom.

Home buying or selling is an extremely stressful, emotional experience. The advantage to having a good agent is that you have an experienced person with professional distance working with you.

It all works best when you are prepared. Here are a number of suggestions:

If you are a buyer:

Talk to your bank and find out what you can afford. Stay in that range.

Decide where you want to live.

If your target area is too expensive, are you willing to sacrifice space for location? Do you rather have a larger house in a nearby suburb instead?

Get as much information as you possibly can over the internet.

  1. For instance, here are the best New Jersey school districts. School district ratings and property values are directly related.
  2. Use Trulia, Realtor.com, and Zillow. Look at their listings, and read all the information on each.
  3. Crime statistics are also available online.

Now is time to interview real estate agent(s). Preferably, ask friends to recommend someone they have worked with. Make sure to check references on any real estate agent you interview. Walk away from anyone who does not meet your standards.

Once you have found a house that seriously interests you, make sure  to check out the flood plains map in city hall before you make an offer.

Have a real estate attorney, i.e., an attorney specializing in real estate. A good real estate attorney may find information on the property (not just the routine title search) that you need to know.

Be there for the termite and structural inspection.

If you are a seller:

Make sure you really want to sell. Set a timeline.

Use Trulia, Realtor.com, and Zillow to view the closing price of nearby properties comparable to yours.

Have a house inspection.

Declutter, clean, and invest in having the house staged. Clean some more.

In order to get maximum selling price, your kitchen and bathrooms must be updated, the house must meet all code regulations, and the entire property must be in pristine condition. Do not expect a buyer to pay top price otherwise.

Be realistic about your selling price. If your listing price is too high, no one is going to buy your house. No one is even going to make you an offer.

Before you list, interview your prospective agent(s), and check their references. Get in writing what services the agent provides (video, brochures, open house) aside from the basic multiple listing service. Beatrice even has an app for house showings that includes scheduling and feedback.

Disclose all known problems or defects with both your real estate attorney, and with your listing agent, before you list. If you know, for example, that your septic tank must be replaced, put that in writing to both your agent and your attorney when you list. You can get sued for nondisclosure.

Don’t be home when the house is being shown.

Once you have accepted an offer, make sure to ask your agent what the schedule is (inspections, mortgage commitment) and verify it has been met.

Pay attention to what your agent and your attorney are telling you.

And how did it all work out?

My Princeton house was under contract within six days from when it was listed. It closed on schedule. Beatrice’s commission was 5% of the selling price. She earned every cent.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S, and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

 

 

 

One of the great problems with the #nevertrump movement among conservatives is a basic fact of life noted in his post The 2016 conundrum for the Right: Truth-telling or cheerleading? by Ed Morrissey:

In the interests of telling the truth, I’ll disclose now that I plan to vote for Donald Trump. Perhaps I’ll write a separate post explaining how I made that decision, but the short version is that Hillary Clinton must be stopped and he’s the only way to make that happen.

That’s a much shorter version of my Donald Trump or Civil War I Choose Trump post detailing why Hillary Clinton must be stopped.

However thanks to various missteps, a united front by not only the MSM but the primary social media outlets such as Facebook and twitter who have, as expected in an election year dropped any pretense of being unbiased, and the efforts of the #NeverTrump Crowd the odds of us living under a Hillary Clinton presidency are increasing by the day.

And while the MSM and liberal owners of social media giants will rejoice I’ve been flummoxed by the lack of worry by #nevertrump over the consequences of a Hillary presidency, particularly since I see no reason why they should assume that they would be immune to any of the consequences that a newly empowered Hillary Clinton and “justice” department will vent on conservatives in general and Christians in particular.

At least I was until I saw yesterday’s headlines concerning the Clinton Foundation and Hillary’s time at State:

More than half the people outside the government who met with Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state gave money — either personally or through companies or groups — to the Clinton Foundation. It’s an extraordinary proportion indicating her possible ethics challenges if elected president.

At least 85 of 154 people from private interests who met or had phone conversations scheduled with Clinton while she led the State Department donated to her family charity or pledged commitments to its international programs, according to a review of State Department calendars released so far to The Associated Press. Combined, the 85 donors contributed as much as $156 million. At least 40 donated more than $100,000 each, and 20 gave more than $1 million.

This being the case, the plan for conservatives in a Hillary administration is obvious.

Rather than spending money on think tanks, electing officials, grass roots organizing or educating the American people on the reasons why fiscal and social conservatism produces positive results for both society as a whole and for individuals in particular, conservatives can instead choose to take advantage of a fact noted by Reince Priebus on CNN:

Since it’s clear that Hillary Clinton can be bought all conservatives have to do is make sure we aren’t outbid.

Worried about taxes? $10 Million in the right hands will keep them low. Upset about gay marriage or the transgender stuff from the feds. Satisfaction is just $25 million away. Concerned about the Supreme Court? $100 million is the difference between Hillary appointing justice Warren or Justice Sessions. Want immigration laws enforced? $250 million will get it done and if you double it you might even get a wall.

And with the drop in oil prices making things difficult for the gulf states it might even be possible to outbid the Muslim Brotherhood’s supporters to make sure help actually gets sent in the next Benghazi situation, bid high enough and she might even denounce islamic terror.

I must commend the #nevertrump crowd for figuring this out before I did.

And to the Bernie Sanders supporters who sent those $10-$50 contributions have decided to Support Hillary Clinton over either Jill Stein, Gary Johnson or even Donald Trump.

You asked for it.


The Clock is ticking for Da Magnificent Prospects You can check out their work Monday evening, Tuesday at Noon, All Day Thursday and Saturday at noon. If you like what you see from them consider hitting DaTipjar in support of them (and please mention their name when you do) as both internet hits and tipjar hits will be part of scoring who stays & who goes.

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Thorin Oakenshield:Do not speak to me as if I were some lowly dwarf… as if I were still Thorin Oakenshield. I AM YOUR KING!
Dwalin:You were always my king. You used to know that once. But you cannot see what you have become.

The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies (2014)

There have been many things about this election season that have been troubling, the MSM incredible bias (even worse than normal), the Hacking (which while to the GOP’s advantage and revealing many relevant facts still a bad precedent), the dirty deals in government to protect Hillary Clinton from the consequences of her actions (consequences that the government had no trouble bringing down on an enlisted sailor not named Clinton.)  The coarseness of the campaign and some of the horrible lies told about Ted Cruz (oddly enough for a “liar” the list of his “lies” seems oddly absent and the cheating of Bernie Sanders by the Democrats (Sanders would be as bad if not worse than Clinton but cheating him is still wrong).

But for my money the worst things I’ve seen is watching conservative activist, activists who have worked on key issue together for years at each other’s throats over Donald Trump.

Full disclosure, I’m a Ted Cruz guy, I’m still a Ted Cruz guy, I endorsed him last year and supported him through the entire primary process.  When the GOP establishment, when faced with the reality of a choice between Trump & Cruz, as predicted choose Trump in the hope of getting rid of the gadfly who had held them to their promise, I called them out on it and fought.  When there was still the slightest chance that Donald Trump might not get the needed delegates to clinch the nomination before the convention I stuck with Cruz and if he runs in 2020 I’ll still vote for him.

But in the end regardless of my opinion, the GOP voters, those folks that we conservatives claim to be carrying the banners for, decided they liked Donald Trump.  They gave him overwhelming wins in a crowded field and even when the field narrowed he won over and over again.  I talked to the Trump voters, interviewed them and in Trump they saw a can do attitude, a get things done attitude.  A person more interested in progress than political correctness and willing to say aloud truths that others ignored.

So as I did with Mitt Romney, I threw my support to Donald Trump and before the convention endorsed him.  It was not the most flattering endorsement but from that point I was with Trump and that was it, but even though I disagreed with those who thought otherwise, just as I did with those who stayed home vs voting Romney in 2012 or McCain in 2008, and consider the potential result disastrous for the country I presumed that they came to this decision in good faith, just as I assumed they believed that my decision to support the GOP nominee was reached in the same honorable way.

Alas it seems this attitude is the exception, not the norm.

For as much as both the online #nevertrump and #evertrump sides dislike Hillary Clinton and her media enablers their real hatred seems to be for each other.

For one side the the never trumpers are traitors, who are simply enabling the left, betraying the cause and are acting like sore losers unwilling to accept the will of the voters.

For the other side, the #ever trumpers are not only traitors who have abandoned conservatism by back a NY with a long liberal record but fools who are willing to overlook Trump record and faults and basically follow a demagogue for the sake of a GOP win.

Seeing both sides so willing to abandon allies that they fought beside for years over this I can’t help but think of the Hobbit, both the book and the movie Thorin Oakenshield’s obsession with the Arkenstone  and willingness to think the worst of family and friends:

Thorin Oakenshield:I have been blind… but now I begin to see. I am betrayed!
Bilbo Baggins: Betrayed?
Thorin Oakenshield: The Arkenstone.  One of them has taken it.  One of them is false.
Bilbo Baggins:Thorin… the quest is fulfilled. You’ve won the mountain. Is that not enough?
Thorin Oakenshield:Betrayed by my own kin…
Bilbo Baggins:N-no, uh. You made a promise to the people of Laketown. I-is this treasure truly worth more than your honor? Our honor, Thorin, I was also there. I gave my word.
Thorin Oakenshield:For that, I am grateful. It was nobly done.  But the treasure in this mountain does not belong to the people of Laketown.  This gold is ours. And ours alone. On my life, I will not part with a single coin. Not one piece of it.

This is the obsession that I perceive.  Both sides see the GOP as the Arkenstone, theirs by right.  The Never Trump by their years of conservative activism to advance their cause and struggle to put a conservative on the ballot, the Ever trump by their primary victory driven by voter turnout above and beyond the numbers of the past.  They see the other and usurpers and disrupters, their years of fighting side by side meaning nothing and like Thorin they are blind to an important fact.

Come November 9th no matter the result they are going to need each other, either to advance the conservative cause in a Trump administration or to stop a Hillary administration from destroying what Obama has not had the chance to (although no amount of unity will stop her from reshaping the courts and turning them into a place where conservatives are guilty by reason of their existence).

The failure to recognize this and to believe the worst of each other and act accordingly is unworthy of us. It’s a perfect manifestation of the sin of pride going before a fall, and unless this changes fast we are going to create a divide that can only aid our enemies both domestic and foreign in their attempt to make the decline of America irreversible.

I’ll give the last word to a different movie and character.  Benjamin Franklin from 1776

Dr. Benjamin Franklin: How DARE you jeopardize our cause, when we’ve come so far? These men, no matter how much we may disagree with them, are not ribbon clerks to be ordered about – they are proud, accomplished men, the cream of their colonies. And whether you like them or not, they and the people they represent will be part of this new nation that YOU hope to create. Now, either learn how to live with them, or pack up and go home!

The choice, dear conservative friends is ours, may we make the right one, for our sakes and that of our country.

Update: I’m with Glenn, A spouse willing to ditch you over a vote for Trump is no true spouse.


Today starts the last two weeks of our 6 week tryouts for Da Magnificent Prospects You can check out their work Monday evening, Tuesday at Noon, All Day Thursday and Saturday at noon. If you like what you see from them consider hitting DaTipjar in support of them (and please mention their name when you do) as both internet hits and tipjar hits will be part of scoring who stays & who goes.

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I got to Redstate a tad late on the final day as I had crashed the night before quickly and needed to pack. The Hotel agreed to hold our bags as checkout time was noon and our flight wasn’t until 6:50 pacific. As soon as I was done I headed over to Redstate and the interviews began

I talked to Kevin Boyd who had also attended Amplify choice

And then managed to speak to Katie Pavlich

It was interesting to note the fame she had gained over the last few years didn’t keep her from manning the registration table greeting people as they came

Followed swiftly by Ed Morrissey who also talked a little Pope Francis with me

But the interviews were not confined to TV personalities and bloggers I talked to attendees such as Todd

and Joan

who had offered me & dawife a ride to the airport which would have been our backup emergency plan

In between interviews I also saw the presentation of Senator Cory Gardner

Sen Cory Gardner
Sen Cory Gardner

And Carly Fiorina, whose speech I was tweeting out as it happened

It’s my opinion that other things not withstanding the highlight of redstate was when Leon Wolf opened things up to the crowd, I wrote about that here.

And later interviewed Leon about it.

One of the most interesting interviews of the trip was with Kelly Maher who not only talked policy but carries a Wallaby in her purse

For those of you who skip the interview I wasn’t kidding

Welby the Wallaby at Redstate
Welby the Wallaby at Redstate

But in the end my flight time ruled the roost so I had to head out but I managed to catch Pundit Pete who had attended both Amplify choice and redstate on the way

I caught the springhill suite shuttle back to the hotel and after gathering our stuff waited a bit while they made one more run before taking us to union station. As Valery & I waited Amelia Hamilton showed up with Kimberlee Kaye and together they were my final interview of the trip

From there came the shuttle, the train the airport and the flight. Denver was behind us and the storms that had been hitting New England ahead but our oldest and his friend were there to pick us up and get us home and by 3:30 AM on Sunday I was able to put my head to pillow and sleep in my own bed.

As good as the week was, that was a real pleasure.

Dash: But Dad always said our powers were nothing to be ashamed of, our powers made us special.
Helen: Everyone’s special, Dash.
Dash: Which is another way of saying no one is.

The Incredibles 2004

Last Sunday when I woke up after getting home from Denver I turned on the TV as I got dressed for the Madonna Della Cava festival and noticed a commercial playing attacking Charter Schools and question 2 which began with the words.

“400 million dollars, that’s how much charter schools will drain from Massachusetts public schools this year”

Under normal circumstances this would be more background political noise that I would ignore but I had just come back from the Amplify choice conference put on by the Franklin Center where we spent a day and a half listening to speakers talk about Charter Schools both in Denver and across the nation.

And having attended said conference I knew that best the “Save our schools” crowd was being deceptive and at worst they were lying through their teeth because that statement ignores a cogent fact about charter schools…

Charter schools are public schools.

That would seem to be a rather important fact for that argument but an ad saying: “400 million dollars, that’s how much money will be spent on some public schools instead of others this year”  is unlikely to scare voters.

From that point the ad argument doesn’t get better.

400 million syphoned from local districts that desperately need it.

Except for the fact the Charter Schools are still part of the school districts that they are located in.

400 million that won’t fund more science and technology…

Actually the 400 million will just fund science and technology at a different school as anyone who joined me in visiting the Denver School of Science and Technology last week would know and met Sheila…

…and some of her classmates

The three wise young women
The three wise young women

…would see that science would not suffer, it will prosper.

arts or preschool, counseling or smaller class sizes

In fact charter that money would not only fund smaller class sizes which are the norm at charter schools but would fund them for groups that traditionally don’t get them as this enrollment chart shows:

In fact the STRIVE charter schools in Denver enrollment is 97% of color reflecting the neighborhoods they operate in.

$400 million unavailable to the 96% of students who don’t attend charter schools

That sentence is funny , it would be just as accurate to say to describe the $1.013 billion budgeted to the Boston Public schools as….

$1.013 Billion dollars unavailable to students who don’t attend Boston public schools”

…which again isn’t going to scare anyone.

The “save our schools” ads when they finish with

“Let’s improve public schools for all students, not just a select few.”

Forgetting for a second that by this argument your public school should not get a new lab because said lab is not for all public school students, just for the select few that go to it. It ignores that fact that the rising tide of Charter schools tends to lift all boats as evidenced by the results in Denver before expansion of charter schoolsDenver mid 2000'sand after
denver after

What is this ad actually arguing? It’s arguing to keep schools that are failing from having to compete with schools that are not, and it’s counting on the fact that most of the people seeing this ad, did not attend the Franklin Center #amplifychoice event this year.

Or to put it another way this “save our schools” ad is completely dependent on its audience being uneducated and uninformed about the results charter schools bring to protect failing public schools

Rather ironic isn’t it?

If you want to find out more about charter schools check out the #amplifychoice hashtag here or check out these posts at DaTechGuyblog:

Denver Day Two The Zoo and then Six #AmplifyChoice Conference Interviews

Denver Day Three Part 1: Panels and speakers

Denver Day Three Part 2: Da Writers at #AmplifyChoice

Denver Day Four Part 1: #AmplifyChoice on the Road


There were a lot of expenses involved in a week in Denver not the least being missing a week’s pay from my job. If you’d like to help me cover them please consider hitting DaTipJar below

Also this is week 4 of our 6 week tryouts for Da Magnificent Prospects You can check out their work Monday evening, Tuesday at Noon, All Day Thursday and Saturday at noon. If you like what you see from them consider hitting DaTipjar in support of them (and please mention their name when you do) as both internet hits and tipjar hits will be part of scoring who stays & who goes.

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Yes, there are more important items in the news (the Iran ransom laundered money, Obama’s golfing while the floods rise in Louisiana, and the latest Clinton Crime Family™ goings-on, for starters).

There’s also the story of the reprehensible American swimmers at the gas station, over which Brazilians are having conniptions while ignoring the body parts  washing on their shores and the six Brazilians a day who die at the hands of state security forces.

Today’s feel-good story (which is actually from April last year) involves Usain Bolt, Olympic champion from Jamaica, and other olympic runners at the Mano A Mano challenge,

Brazil’s three-time Paralympic sprinting champion Terezinha Guilhermina unveiled her new guide on Saturday (18 April) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, none other than Jamaica’s six-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt!


The third Mano a Mano Challenge will reach its climax on Sunday (19 April) when Bolt will compete in the 100m. Saturday saw the qualification races for the men’s and women’s 100m. Bolt will race against Brazil’s José Carlos Moreira, the Netherlands’ Churandy Martina and the USA’s Ryan Bailey. The women’s race will feature Jamaicans Veronica Campbell-Brown and Kerron Stewart, plus Brazil’s Vitória Cristina Silva Rosa and the USA’s Carmelita Jeter.

There will also be a Paralympic race, featuring Alan Oliveira, who won 200m gold at London 2012, plus US sprinters Paul Peterson and Richard Browne, and Germany’s Felix Streng.

It turns out Bolt is a regular at the Mano A Manos, having attended for at least three consecutive years. You can see some photos of the 2013 here.

While NBC and mainstream media outlets have chosen to ignore the importance of religion among athletes, and favor peripheral tabloid-scandal stories that have nothing to do with the sports achievements, the athletes themselves are living lives that inspire and help others.

Just like other human beings who try to do what’s right.

And that is the feel-good story beneath it all.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S, and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

The bus from the Springhill suites hotel took us to the Grand Hyatt where Redstate was taking place on the 2nd floor:

Red state
Red state

I arrived in time to catch the tail end of Amb John Bolton’s presentation

Amb John Bolton at Redstate
Amb John Bolton at Redstate

Ken Cuccinelli

Ken Cuccinelli at Redstate
Ken Cuccinelli at Redstate

and colorado GOP Senate Candidate Darryl Glenn who impressed everyone who heard him

Darryl Glenn
Darryl Glenn

But since the full speeches of them all are available in better quality online I went straight to what I do, interviews

I started with Dave who I hadn’t seen in years.

And Diana

I also talked to Amanda of the Future female leaders who provided Ice Cream

and local write in candidate for state senate in district 21 Kara Palfy

Dave Weigel of the Washington Post was there

My primary camera died during the interview so I continued it with my emergency backup camera and spliced the two of them together.

There was a table for Bill Whittle.com and while Bill wasn’t there Carla was

and as promised Larry O’Connor

I love that he brought up the Breitbart table interview, it’s one of the highlights of what I do

Matthew Bellis of Liberty Healthshare also gave me a few minutes

I was invited to a reception that night put on by Liberty Healthsare and Valery who had been doing other things the last two days decided to join me.

As she arrived I managed two more interviews one with Casper Stockham candidate for Congress CO-1

and radio talk show host Steve Kelly who was broadcasting live during the presentation

But for all of the pleasures of seeing interesting events and learning new things, and the joys of meeting new people and seeing old friends the highlight of both Redstate and Amplify choice was the same, the chance to introduce these friends I’ve met from blogging to my wife Valery and vice versa.

Nothing tops that.


There were a lot of expenses involved in a week in Denver not the least being missing a week’s pay from my job. If you’d like to help me cover them please consider hitting DaTipJar below

Also this is week 4 of our 6 week tryouts for Da Magnificent Prospects You can check out their work Monday evening, Tuesday at Noon, All Day Thursday and Saturday at noon. If you like what you see from them consider hitting DaTipjar in support of them (and please mention their name when you do) as both internet hits and tipjar hits will be part of scoring who stays & who goes.

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Mark Ripptoe is all for ending the Olympics; Among other reasons,

The arguments against the Olympics are important. The Olympics are no longer the most important event within most of the sports contested. The professional versions of the games events have their own world championships, at which the best athletes compete for Real Money, not just medals. All sports within the International Olympic Committee have their own annual World Championships, meets that happen more frequently than every four years and which form the basis for the training schedules of most athletes.
. . .
But even more offensive to sensible people everywhere is the abject silliness of the media coverage of the Olympic Games. The focus of the coverage has shifted from the sports and the athletes’ performances to the human interest stories that are, at best, extremely peripheral to the contests.

Then there’s the exorbitant cost of the Rio Olympics, which were were 51% over budget, to the tune of $1.6 billion, the month before they opened. The final tab will be even higher.

Former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva sold the Olympics to the world and to his countrymen as a shining example of the success of his socialist policies. How did that go?

Since Lula left office, Brazil’s economy has crashed and some analysts partly blame the large public spending during his tenure as president. Widespread corruption involving Brazil’s oil giant Petrobras is also cited as a key reason for the country’s state of crisis.

Dilma Rousseff, Lula’s hand-picked successor, was suspended in April by Brazil’s House of Representatives. She faces an impeachment trial in the weeks following the end of the Olympic Games. Rousseff is not accused of corruption herself, but of allowing it to happen.

For his part, Lula has just been ordered by a federal court to stand trial for obstruction of justice. He is separately under investigation for possibly receiving favours from companies linked to the corruption at Petrobras.

That is the Brazilian backdrop to this year’s Rio Olympics. An economy in free fall. A suspended president undergoing impeachment. And Brazil’s most popular politician, Lula, facing criminal prosecution.

Before Rio, there was Greece, where the 2004 Olympics pushed the country into a financial disaster. Indeed,

host countries such as Brazil may find themselves diverting resources to make a statement to the global community, that can — though not always — come at the expense of real needs and their vulnerable citizens.

Most of the host countries are woefully unable to provide the infrastructure and facilities required for world-class events. Sochi‘s plumbing failures pale next to Rio’s green pools, invasive capybaras, floating limbs, and falling cameras (and don’t get me started on the sofa).

But worse of all is the pervasive corruption of the Olympic committee officials. Just today the BBC reports that police in Brazil have arrested the head of the European Olympic Committees, Irishman Patrick Hickey, in Rio over illegal Olympic ticket sales.

Yes, you read it right: the head of the European Olympic Committee got busted for scalping.

Enough. It’s time to end it.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S, and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

Day Four in Denver and the last day of Amplify Choice started with a Bus Trip to a pair of charter Schools in the Denver area and me being me I took advantage of the time waiting for the bus after mass to interview bloggers Art Gallagher

and Mark Lerner

some bloggers during the wait for the bus

and then on the bus to interview Aaron Gardner

Once we got to STRIVE Prep the CEO Chris Gibbons gave us a presentation

Chris Gibbons of STRIVE Prep
Chris Gibbons of STRIVE Prep

He discussed STRIVE, how they operated, the various cost saving functions (for example the multiple schools shared a single administration, cafeteria and gym) The college acceptance rate (97%) and took multiple questions from the audience.

When the presentation was done I interviewed the community outreach manager for STRIVE

I was very impressed at the idea that even though there is a waiting list for all the grades for the school that they go door to door to recruit students so the whole community knows the possibilities.

We then headed or the next school when Will Franklin who I interviewed the day before produced a Drone with a camera on it from his backpack to take aerial photos of the schools.

We then walked to the nearly adjacent Denver School of Science and technology, Where we were given a brief introduction of their methods

As we were going upstairs for our final presentation I spoke to one of their graduates Shelia who was college bound.

once upstairs we had a second presentation where questions were taken. Here is a brief excerpt.

at the end Shelia and two other students who had graduated and had internships in companies also took questions.

The three wise young women
The three wise young women

All three where immigrants or children of immigrants and all had excelled. What impressed me the most was when I asked the responsibilities of a work environment was not unfamiliar thanks to the expectations from their time at the School of Science and Technology.

This officially concluded Amplify choice but there was still the bus trip back and there were still interviews to get one on the way back to the bus with Rich Eber:

And one on the bus with blogger and radio talk host Abdul Hakeem Shabazz

When we got back to the hotel those staying for the box lunch stayed. Others were heading to Union Station and their outgoing fights including Darvio Morrow who would be my last very brief interview of Amplify choice cut off by loud cleaning and the impending bus trip.

But there was no more time, the bus was leaving, Amplify choice was done, it was time for Redstate


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The speakers and the presentations are obviously the meat of the Amplify Choice conference but no less important are the writers / blogger who attended and I spoke to as many as I had time to.

Since there wasn’t a lot free time I struck the lunch ine:

I spoke to Kemberlee Kaye of Legal Insurrection

and Ernesto Cullari

And Will Franklin

We would see him again tomorrow

Once the presentations were over it was time to clear the room for dinner so I packed up as soon as I could and caught managed to talk to Heather Kays

We saw a glimpse of her during the Ben Scafidi interview and she was on the panel of reporters who cover the subject as well (Incidently her piece at Watchdog.org Teachers and tummy tucks: Buffalo’s $5 million bill for cosmetic surgery is a must read.)

and of course old friend and past Magnificent Seven writer AP Dillon

Her going onwards and upwards is the reason why we are interviewing Da Magnificent Prospects

Just before the dinner keynote & managed to grab Fay Anderson

Her point about the safety of charter schools as a motivation for parents was repeated in the keynote and is well made.

And my last interview of the night was James Foytlin

Now some of you might think that these are a lot of interviews, I suspect that if you do so, you’re new to this blog because I still had two more days in Denver to go and you ain’t seen nothing yet.


There were a lot of expenses involved in a week in Denver not the least being missing a week’s pay from my job. If you’d like to help me cover them please consider hitting DaTipJar below

Also this is week 4 of our 6 week tryouts for Da Magnificent Prospects to replace AP Lady Liberty Dillon that I interviewed above, You can check out their work Monday evening, Tuesday at Noon, All Day Thursday and Saturday at noon. If you like what you see from them consider hitting DaTipjar in support of them (and please mention their name when you do) as both internet hits and tipjar hits will be part of scoring who stays & who goes.

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After a pleasant reception at the end of day 2 for attendees on Day three in Denver the Franklin Center event began in earnest with the speakers.

It started with a presentation from the Colorado League of Charter Schools which documented the improvements in Denver since the rise of Charter Schools.

The fact that if a Charter school doesn’t perform it closes makes a huge difference in terms of performance, the people involved know their jobs and business are on the line.

The Next speakers were State Rep Angela Williams & Dr John Evans who talked about the political struggle to get these things into law Rep Williams (who is running for state senate) noted the need to keep people at the table and Dr. Evans talks of the various struggles.

The compromises involved in getting bills passed is considerable. The way I see it the problem is less the local pols who either having children or friends with children in the system have an intrinsic interest in success but the national groups have an intrinsic interest in seeing it fail.

The independence institute came up next with three speakers Pam Benigno

Ross Izard

and Erick Valencia who I didn’t managed to get an interview with

The Blaine Amendment designed as an Anti-Catholic measure which failed on the national level but was pushed as a requirement for statehood by congress has been used as a club against the progress of charter schools. On the bright side it likely means that Islamic schools pushing sharia are not going to be funded either which is something that didn’t come up in any of the panels but which hit me right off. It also struck me that if, as the various presentations suggested that losing regulation was such a benefit for charter schools why not repeal these rules altogether for all schools?

There were many other presentations including the makers of Frack Nation

Education writers at Amplify Choice
Education writers at Amplify Choice
(who advised us to tell a story with clear heroes an villains) A talk on home schooling (which was due to a suggestion by one of the attendees, A strong talk on the constant legal battles on the state level (Since the federal win on Zelman vs Harris was 5-4 I expect to see the left go federal again) A presentation on what was done in Douglas County (where accountability is king and every single innovation involved long protracted legal fights) and some panels consisting of some of the writers who attended (those interviews will later) but from my conversation with the writers who attended the most popular speaker, bar none was Professor Ben Scafidi

His presentation was on statistics and the raw numbers and was DEVASTATING. It displayed that the schools systems were adding administration at a rate MUCH greater than the increase in students and teachers. His presentation was very tweetable

Even more devastating was the fact that even in states and districts like Louisiana and DC where the student population fell, the number of administrators still soared. It’s basically a jobs programs for bureaucrats.

At the end of the evening was dinner presentation by Ed Choice formerly the Freeman (as in Milton Freeman) foundation which talked about how this fight for school choice will makes all the difference for those who are trapped in bad schools and poor education.

Bottom line I learned that there is a lot going on in the fight for school choice that I had no idea about. I’m pleased to say that I came away much better informed.

A postscript. Just a few days later back home I would see a Wisconsin State legislator on CNN defending rioting and looting while talking about people who have no hope to get out of poverty. the presenters at Amplify Choice are fighting hard to give that hope through educational opportunities that are not defined by class or race lines.

I wonder how many of those office holders decrying such situations spend their time on the federal state and local levels fighting against groups like Ed choice and people like our presenters to maintain the status quo?


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During the 4 pm hour on Sunday while as I scrambled to upload the last of my videos from Denver I turned on CNN in time to see Wisconsin State Senator Democrat Lena Taylor dismiss the looting and violence in Milwaukee saying “I don’t care about the buildings” She went on talking about the pain and hopelessness of those who committed the looting and rioting, talking about their lack of employment among other things.

Before we lament the fact that seeing an elected official running for re-election defend riots and violence is no longer a shock in America and forgetting for a moment that in living memory we had this thing called the “Great Depression” where unemployment pain and hopelessness abounded nationwide, yet still didn’t lead to the riots, looting and burning that have now become practically a norm for Democrat dominated cities in the Obama years, let’s play a thought game.

Even though the last time a republican was mayor of Milwaukee construction of the RMS Titanic had not yet started and the Cubs were world series champions let’s pretend, just for a moment, that State Senator Lena Taylor was not a black Democrat but a Republican of any color or race and ask: “How would the media react to those statements?”

Here’s what I think:

If Senator Lena Taylor was a republican then her statements defending the rioters would be the lead on every single networks. We would see panels of “experts” speak with astonishment deploring such a sentiment.

We would see newspapers print headlines in bold type and huge fonts screaming GOP defends rioters, and editorial pages from Boston to LA would talk about how the low the party has gone.

On panel shows we would see Paul Begala, Chris Cuomo, Donna Brazile David Axelrod talk about how Donald Trump needs to disavow Senator Lena Taylor. We would see Chuck Todd and George Stephanopoulos and John Dickerson challenge Donald Trump and his surrogates to do so repeatedly and press them repeatedly until those words came.

Furthermore it would not stop with Trump, we would see Harry Reid, Claire McCaskill and Nancy Pelosi demand that every Republican running for the US Senate or the House denounce Senator Taylor, reporters from CNN, NBC, MSNBC, ABC, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the LA Times and the Washington Post would hound candidates from Kelly Ayotte to Marco Rubio to denounce the remarks of State Senator Taylor and until and unless they did promptly they would run story after story about their fecklessness in the face of a pol defending riots and lawlessness.

And when the presidential debates rolled along Hillary Clinton would challenge Donald Trump to once again denounce Senator Taylor on the stage and the unbiased moderators from the media would join in that demand, and no matter what his answer or actions the story on every major network would be how Donald Trump addressed GOP support for rioters and looters.

That would be the case if State Senator Lena Taylor was a republican and said what she said on CNN sunday afternoon.

But Lena Taylor is not a republican, so none of the networks will find her statements worthy of the front page. No new broadcast will lead with her words. If the subject of her words even came up in newspapers or on cable news panels of “experts” would decry the hopelessness of the black community and cite slavery (even though Wisconsin was admitted to the union in 1848 as a “free state”) and discrimination as the underlying causes of the riots.

No member of the media will link Senator Taylor’s remarks to Hillary Clinton, Begala, Cuomo, Brazile and Axelrod will not demand that Hillary Clinton disavow them and if a Trump surrogate or Trump himself demands it Chuck Todd and George Stephanopoulos will dismiss it as a ploy to divert attention from the polls..

If Paul Ryan or Mitch McConnell or Reince Priebus demand that every Democrat running for the US Senate or House candidate denounce Senator Taylor’s remarks, it will be at best dismissed as not having anything to do with elections in NH or Florida or Colorado or at worst be denounced instead as an attempt by the GOP to spread racial division.

And when the presidential debates roll along if Donald Trump brings up these remarks challenging Hillary Clinton to denounce them Hillary Clinton will play the race card and the moderators will scold Donald Trump for being divisive and the story on every major network will be about Donald Trump playing the “Willie Horton” card.

And that my friends is the difference between an unbiased media and one that consists of Democrats with bylines.

Closing Thought. If I was running the Donald Trump campaign I would have Mr. Trump mention Senator Taylor’s remarks in every speech in every state he’s in. I’d demand democrats across the board denounce them and ask loudly why the MSM is not doing so. And if challenged I would ask the same question that this post is titled: Imagine If Wisconsin State Senator Lena Taylor was a Republican. I’d make every Democrat and member of the media defend Senator Taylor’s remarks so every voter watching could see them do so.

But that’s me.


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During my stay in Denver I went to daily mass on a regular basis, you would often see the homeless congregated there.

Christopher approached me asking if I knew if there was a soup kitchen nearby. Not knowing denver I couldn’t answer that question but I did know there was a McDonald’s next door to the Basilica so we went there and he spoke to me over breakfast

There are in fact such places in Denver such as the Denver Catholic Worker Soup Kitchen and a list of such services avaialbe in the city can be found here.