Ever since the nomination of President Trump the media began to recycle those tired old clichés.  I’m sure you know the ones I’m talking about.  The most often recited claims are that all those on the political right are Fascists and those same people are all bigots.   Neither of those claims is remotely true but that does not stop the media from spreading them.

A thorough analysis of the first claim will prove it to be factually and historically flawed.  At the historical root of this claim is a tiny bit of truth.  Dating back to before the French Revolution, members of the Fascist party did sit on the right side of parliaments in Europe while the Socialists sat on the left side.  This artificial model, based on seating arrangements alone, is the historical basis for this claim. There is no commonality between the political philosophies of the European Fascists and the political philosophies of the right-wing political movements that exist in the United States.  The framers of the Constitution created their own model to describe the political spectrum, one that is based entirely on fundamental truths about the nature of government.  Using this model, which has been called the founders model, you can accurately place any form of government or political philosophy on the political spectrum based on its actual characteristics.  W. Cleon Skousen discussed the founders’ model in great detail in his masterpiece “The 5000 Year Leap.”

The founders’ model measures the size and scope of government for any given philosophy.  On the absolute right of this model is no government.  What results with no government is anarchy because people are not perfect; some injure others and interfere with the fights of others.  A certain level of government is needed to prevent this from happening.  On the left is an all powerful totalitarian government where no freedom exists.

The first constitution of the United States, the Articles of Confederation, created a government that was too far to the right.  This government was too limited and anarchy resulted.  The framers of the Constitution sought to correct this by creating a government a bit more to the left.  The government created by the US Constitution was powerful enough to prevent anarchy but limited enough to prevent it from interfering with the rights of individual citizens.  The fundamental characteristics of this government were: all government power rested with the people, a small and limited government of enumerated powers, a clearly spelled out written constitution, government power distributed between many levels, a free market economy, maximum freedom, and a focus placed entirely on individual rights.    The philosophy fully embraced by the framers of the Constitution when they wrote the Constitution is Classic Liberalism, which is the opposite of Modern Liberalism.  Classic Liberalism and the Constitution are to the right of center on the founders’ modem.

Right leaning Libertarians are the closest modern equivalent to classic liberals.  Conservativism is more to the left on the founders’ model because that philosophy wants the federal government to intrude more when it comes to social issues.  This move to the left results in a government large enough to move the needle just to the right of center.  Conservatives believe in individual rights, a constitutionally limited government, and free markets.  They however try to use the federal government to ban those practices that they find morally unacceptable.

Here is how Merriam Webster’s online dictionary defines Fascism.  As you can see Fascism is primarily characterized by a strong totalitarian central government, collective rather than individual rights, and a market that is not free at all.  Fascism in near the absolute left of the founders’ model.  Unlike Fascists, Conservatives believe in free speech so they do not silence those they disagree with.  Also conservatives do not focus on race.  Conservative favorites include Thomas Sowell, Clarence Thomas, Allen West, and so many other African Americans,

Socialism and Communism are both farther towards the absolute left of the founders’ model.  They feature more totalitarian government, more collectivism, and less freedom.  Modern Liberalism and Progressivism have a lot in common with Fascism, Socialism, and Communism.  Liberalism and Progressivism both feature much larger and oppressive government, less freedom, collective rights rather than individual rights, and a much less free market economy.  Also these philosophies focus extensively on race with identity politics.

Intolerance and bigotry are not the exclusive domain of the political right unfortunately the media continuously makes that claim.  Intolerance and bigotry are tragic human failings that encompass the entire political spectrum.  Because the political left believes in much larger governments intolerant and bigoted people on left can do more harm.  Hitler was a fascist therefore he was a left winger.  The Nazi Party was the National Socialist German Workers Party, sounds very left wing to me.

All hate groups such as the Klu Klux Klan and neo Nazis are labeled right wing but are they?  Democrats formed the Klan during reconstruction.  Most Klan members are Democrats.  The Southern, slave holding States were controlled by Democrats along with the Southern states during Segregation.  As I stated earlier Nazis were on the political left.  The Neo-Nazis advocate for the same National Socialism therefore they are also on the left. This article shares my assessment.

The Tea Party, which is the most right wing of all political movements based on its political philosophy, was vilified right from the start as a mob of racists and bigots.  There was never any proof of these accusations.  There were racist signs seen at Tea Party rallies but these racist signs made up roughly 3 percent of all Tea party signs, that is according to the a New York Times survey.

We must correct these incorrect statements whenever possible.

by baldilocks

Today’s funded disruption of peace happened in Charlottesville, VA.  At least one death has occurred – a driver intentionally plowed a vehicle into a large group of pedestrians.

People want to know how I “feel” about it, or at least they claim to want to know that.

From what I can see, I’m supposed to publicly condemn one of the participatory groups in this deadly farce, whether it’s the White Nationalists, ANTIFA, or BLM.

I have written more than once about the latter two, and one can logically assume that I do not subscribe to the ideology of the former. So, when people ask me what I think about all this, I am suspicious, as if they are giving me an opportunity to flash the sign of which gang I belong to. To attack or not to attack? Crips or Bloods?

People have even become angry with me today because I haven’t been all-Charlottesville all-the-time since the crack of dawn. I’ve been resisting putting forth another opinion piece or railing against violence or lamenting the dead because:

  • I despise virtue-signaling, shame-mongering, and poorly targeted poo-flinging, and, most importantly,
  • Most protests and riots are intentionally seeded – with death and destruction being features rather than bugs.

The funders of multi-act plays like this, like Baltimore, and like Ferguson hope that most of us are busy hounding each other over meaningless ideological purity tests, defending individual honor, and pointing fingers. That makes hiding sensitive actions easier. What kind of actions? I don’t know, but I prefer to wait and watch.

And I am not a member of your gang.

UPDATE: Two more dead.

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 tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

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!

Republicans back home are apparently getting an earful from voters who can’t understand why Democrats got things done with smaller majorities and the GOP does nothing.  Apparently just like Mitch McConnell comment concerning President Trump, we GOP voters expected too much in thinking the party actually meant what they said about repealing Obamacare once they had the majority.

I like Jeff Sessions but his decision to recuse himself on the Russia Matter was the single biggest mistake of any person in this administration from day one. Apparently he forgot the hardball that was played against him back in the days when Democrats had at least a semblance of sanity.

You would think that after the last 20 years the GOP would learn that the media is not their friends never has been there friend and never will be their friend. Then again you would think they would have managed to repeal Obamacare too

There are days when I ask myself “Why does Jake Tapper stays at CNN as I can’t imagine it doesn’t much for his reputation?” At least until I ask the question: “What outfit in the MSM could he go to these day that wouldn’t hurt his reputation?

The Premiere for my new radio show on WQPH went about as bad as one could get, from the pouring rain that dropped attendance to the technical issues that led to dead air at the time to the person who backed into my wife’s car at the end. The show will be rebroadcast next week, I guess we got all the bad luck out of the way early.

Dana Milbank says there is no such thing as a Trump Democrat. Might I suggest he checks out my interviews covering three of his events here here and here.

I rewatched the movie 1941 last weekend. Even without the classic John Williams score I can’t see how this movie doesn’t leave absolutely everyone simply dying from laughter.

How do I know the RedSox are Serious about winning it this year? They were willing to release Pablo Sandoval and eat the $50 mil he’s owed.

Everyone seems to be obsessed with Tom Brady’s Age. Is it really too much to wait until he’s actually thrown a pass before deciding how well he’s held up?

Finally Spike Lee denies he’s behind the rally in favor of Colin Kaepernick at the NFL in protest of him not being signed by an NFL Team. Given reports that Kaepernick has already turned down at least one contract offeredy perhaps the next protest in front of Colin’s or his girlfriend’s house.

Kindling, pretty much.

by baldilocks

Last day filling in for Fausta.

Still waiting for Former President Obama, actors Danny Glover and Sean Penn or director Oliver Stone to comment on the downfall of Venezuela. Breath not being held.

Venezuela’s currency, the bolivar, is disintegrating at an incredible pace under the country’s political and economic crisis that has left citizens broke, desperate and in many cases, homicidal. The depreciation accelerated this week, after a disputed vote electing an all-powerful “Constituent Assembly” filled with allies of President Nicolas Maduro, which the opposition and dozens of countries have called illegitimate.

Just two days ago, on August 2, we reported that one dollar would buy 14,100 bolivars, up from 11,280 the day before.

The next day, the bolivar slumped nearly 15 percent on the black market, to 17,000 to one US dollar. Today, it has crashed again, tumbling 16% to 20,142, and down almost 40% in just the past three days.

(…)

A kilo (two pounds) of rice, for instance, cost 17,000 bolivares. The crisis biting into Venezuela since 2014 came from a slide in the global prices for oil [sic]– exports of which account for 96 percent of its revenues.

The government has sought to monopolize dollars in the country through strict currency controls that have been in place for the past 14 years. Access to them have become restricted for the private sector, with the consequence that food, medicines and basic items — all imported — have become scarce.

According to the International Monetary Fund, inflation in Venezuela is expected to soar above 700 percent this year. In June, Maduro tried to clamp down on the black market trade in dollars through auctions of greenbacks at the weekly fixed rate, known as Dicom. There is also another official rate, of 10 bolivars per dollar, reserved for food and medicine imports.

“Things are going up in price faster than salaries,” noted Zabala, who spends 10 percent of his income on diabetes treatment, when he can.

Meanwhile, Maduro who earlier this week was branded a “dictator” by the US State Department, has vowed that a new constitution the Constituent Assembly is tasked with writing will wean Venezuela off its oil dependency and restart industry, which is operating at only 30 percent of capacity. But Maduro, who links the “black dollar” with an “economic war” allegedly waged by the opposition in collaboration with the US, has not given details on what would be implemented. Instead, on Thursday Maduro promised that “speculators” setting their prices in line with “the terrorist criminal dollar in Miami” would go to jail.

(…)

Venezuela has to make major debt payments, with a $3.4 billion dollar-denominated payment for state oil company PDVSA looming in October. It is increasingly unclear if the company will make the payment.

But, remember folks: this isn’t the result of socialism, because true socialism has never really been tried yet!

(Thanks to Instapundit)

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 tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

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! —->>>>>

Update DTG: Instalanche Well Done Juliette!


Update DTG: The layoff bleg continues $915 down $1585 to go by Aug 10

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From: theconservativetreehouse.com

So let’s start with the obvious: I wasn’t a fan of President Trump’s speech at the Boy Scout Jamboree. It started off OK, until he said “hell,” and then it went downhill. Personally, I’m more disappointed that he missed an opportunity for a great speech than with any one thing he said.

Now that is off my chest, here’s another thought: Catholic Churches need to stop abandoning Scouting. In fact, I’ll say that if you’re a Catholic Church and don’t have a Scouting program, you’re probably guilty of neglecting your parish’s young men.

Continue reading “Don’t abandon Scouting”

I am in physical pain every single day of my life and I have been for the entirety of the twenty first century thus far. Pain keeps me from falling asleep when it is time for bed, wakes me up during the night, and it is what wakes me up completely every single morning. I am ruining my insides, probably, from all of the over the counter stuff I take which does little to help.

There was a time when I took prescription pain medication (opiods) and I was able to be much more productive because intense physical pain also saps a person’s mental and physical energy, and when I hurt less I can do more, but I stopped taking those medications when it became too much of a hassle to get them, what with the “pain contracts” and the drug testing, and the stigma and all. Getting off pain meds was very unpleasant, but so was the sneering contempt I was subjected to whenever I had to mention that I was taking prescription medication to treat chronic pain or try to find a new doctor who would prescribe them or even just the way I was looked down on at the pharmacy when it was time to get those scripts filled.

It seems these days that medical professionals will subject their patients to just about anything in order to avoid providing actual pain relieving medication to people who are suffering from physical pain – from anti-seizure medication to people who do not have seizures, to anti-depressants to people who are not suffering from depression, to botox (botulism!) injections, to steroid pills and injections and whatever else they can think of (other than pain medication – duh) regardless of the potentially devastating side effects (side effects that can be far worse than those of prescription narcotic pain killers or the slim possibility that a person may misuse said pain medication), all because of the so-called “opiod crisis” that primarily involves heroin addicts and others who are getting and abusing drugs obtained more often on the street than from medical providers; and the government’s hair on fire response to the “crisis” is to extend the “war on drugs” to become a war on nice normal people who happen to have medical need for effective pain medication.

What happens when people who are in far more pain than what I have to live with are denied the relief they used to be able to obtain? Well, they could look elsewhere and get themselves some street drugs, despite the risks of getting bad medicine or getting caught, or they could suffer and lose quality of life (as I have opted to), or they can take the ultimate (and very sad) action to end their never ending pain by taking their own lives.

Doctors are afraid to prescribe pain killers to people who are legitimately in horrible pain, people who obtain relief from prescription pain medication are living in fear of losing the only thing that helps them live anything close to a normal life, and people who cannot obtain relief are suffering needlessly because of a rabid prohibitionist hysteria of “we know what’s good for you so we will hurt you for your own good”ism.

The thing I miss most about pain killers is that they worked for me and allowed me to do more with my days and my life, but I do not miss all the aggravation involved with legally obtaining them or the stigma surrounding their use. I hurt more than I need to just so some nanny staters, hand wringers, control freaks and bureaucrats can feel good about themselves for “doing something”. So I guess my suffering isn’t completely for nothing, right?

*******

MJ Stevenson, AKA Zilla, is best known on the web as Zilla at MareZilla.com. She lives in a woodland shack near a creek, in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about, with her family and a large pack of guardian companion animals. 

Generating visitors from search engine results is big business. In fact, competition is fierce when it comes to gaining a high placement on the almighty Google search results. Even a website that covers a niche subject will find it hard to stand out from like-minded businesses.

However, there are a number of steps that can be made that will help with pushing your website up the Google search rankings. Some of these are easy such as changing the image file names, while others will require plenty of dedication like producing regular blog content.

With that said, read on for five big steps to optimizing your website for SEO.

  1. Conduct keyword research

Relevant keywords that match your website’s subject matter will help boost attaining targeted visitors. As for how to conduct keyword research, there’s many detailed guides out there to offer assistance in that regard. Although utilizing Google AdWords is a good starting point.

  1. Implement those keywords

Once you’ve done that research, you need to place those keywords within your content! With that said, it is vital that you do this in a subtle fashion. Shoving in keywords in a ham-fisted way will not only spoil the overall quality of your content, but Google will also not appreciate this blatant keyword stuffing – to the point where they might punish your website when it comes to its search engine ranking position.

  1. Deliver beneficial content

Great content is going to draw in visitors for various reasons. Engaging and well-produced content is going to help retain customers. Such content is going to be shared by those that enjoyed it. Google appreciates such content and will push it up their search results.

As for producing rich content, ensure it is grammatically correct, enjoyable to read and full with visual content such as pictures/videos that will capture the reader’s attention.

  1. Change page titles and image file names

These might be seemingly small changes, but they can produce a big impact. Changing your page titles from something generic to ones that contain keywords will help with being spotted by search engines, as will changing the image file names in a similar fashion.

If you need help with fine-tuning your site or with any of the other aforementioned points, don’t be scared to hire someone to help. If your website is on the WordPress platform for instance, get in a professional WordPress Developer to check your website. After all, they might be able to spot beneficial changes that you have previously overlooked.

  1. Speed it up

Slow performance is a curse that nobody wants to suffer from with their website. If a site hasn’t loaded in a swift fashion, it can lead to potential visitors giving up within a couple of seconds and going to a competitor’s content instead. It goes without saying that is a bad thing for a number of reasons. To add to the bad news, Google is also punishing websites that are slow to act. Thankfully, you can make use of PageSpeed Insights to identify and rectify those speed-related issues.

The Annual Wellness Visit, a provision of Obamacare, is one of the most significant invasions of personal privacy you’ve probably never heard of.

I didn’t know about AWV until strolled into my doctor’s office for my annual physical and received a four-page questionnaire about my health. Some physicians decided not to offer the assessment because of the complexity of the requirements, which includes 54 different parts, but many doctors adapted to Medicare’s version of preventive care and provided these visits

Little did I know that the form would be sent to the federal government for its perusal. Also, the form is for those on Medicare, which I do not use. But I had turned 65 since my last checkup, so the front desk gave me the form.

The form asks for an extensive personal and family medical history. Here are some of the other questions:

–Are you sexually active?
–Do you have more than one sexual partner?
–Do you use illegal drugs?
–Do you always fasten your seat belt?
— Is there any clutter in your walking space at home?
–Do family members report that you have difficulty remembering things?

Here’s a beaut:

–Draw a clock in the space below.
–Set the hands to show 11:10.

I wonder what will happen when those who use digital readouts are asked to draw a clock!

The idea behind this form is to standardize treatment for those on Medicare. To me, the motive is far more sinister. Under the guise of helping seniors, the government can collect key information for Medicare benefits and approval for healthcare costs.

If, for example, you admit that you are more than a social drinker, you may be unlikely to get much help for problems associated with alcohol abuse. If you don’t eat a government-recommended diet, you may be unable to get help for myriad issues. The potential exclusions seem endless.

I am more than willing to discuss various issues with my doctor, but I don’t want the government prying into the information on the form.

It turns out that you don’t need to have an Annual Wellness Visit, and you don’t need to fill out the form.

After I learned that I didn’t have to answer the questions for the federal government, I asked that the form be shredded. I suggest anyone over 65 do the same. It seems rather ridiculous that I can vote without providing ID, but I’m supposed to give up all this private information to the feds. I suggest Congress eliminate this serious intrusion to our privacy under Obamacare. Maybe the Republicans can at least agree on this!

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT —  Last week Mark Rougeau at Rolling Stone wrote about the “hardcore” Pokemon Go players in the Los Angeles area. A casual player, Rougeau found himself in the world of hardcore Pokemon Go players after a post he made on Reddit begrudging gym turnover in his neighborhood brought him more attention than he intended.

Many are under the impression that Pokemon Go died after the initial flurry of play when the game launched but one look at ticket sales at the embarrassingly epic fail of Pokemon GoFest in Chicago this weekend would belie that.  Thousands of players descended on Grant Park in Chicago hoping to catch rare Pokemon and capitalize on special bonuses released just for the event.  Sadly, Niantic, did not plan well. Servers crashed, players were shut out, and the CEO of Niantic was booed from the stage when he came out to apologize for the problems.  Epic fail.

Scoff if you will, but some of these players came from all over the country and even from other countries. They bought airline tickets, hotel rooms, planned vacations, only to be stuck in long lines waiting to get into Grant Park and then shut out of the game once they got in.

By mid-afternoon Niantic was refunding ticket prices due to the “degraded experience” and giving players $100 in Pokecoins which can be used in the store to purchase a variety of items such as Pokeballs, extra storage, and incubators for hatching those eggs you get from Pokestops.  When problems persisted and the live stream wouldn’t even work, Niantic finally released two of the “legendary birds” in Chicago and then the rest of the country to appease wildly disgruntled players who were burning up social media in disgust and frustration with the mismanagement and poor planning.

Pokemon Go players are indeed hardcore.  The casual players have moved on but the ones that are left are serious:

When Pokemon Go launched in July 2016, it became an instant cultural phenomenon. It seemed like everyone was playing it, and if you weren’t playing, you were marveling about how it had caused the world to go crazy. Mainstream news outlets covered the “Pokemon Go craze” while players gathered in the hundreds and thousands to hunt for rare Pokemon in large cities like Los Angeles, Seattle and New York.

By the fall, the world appeared to have moved on, their precious Pokemon trapped forever in Poke Balls that would never again be tossed.

There are people that have become mini-celebrities over this game, famous on YouTube or famous in their own community for hitting top levels and holding down gyms for extended periods of time.

Intense rivalries can sometimes arise between teams (Mystic, Valor, Instinct) in areas and most players are hardcore angry about “spoofers” or cheaters.

I’m sort of a casual player of the game and have been since its launch (level 34, Mystic); most players I’ve met watched the show when they were kids and collected cards. I’m too old for that but I did buy cards for my son who collected them. He’s twenty-five now and he plays the game, too.  We play it together and it’s been a sort of fun thing we do together. Even Rougeau notes that aspect of it:

In a game with players as dedicated as those who love Pokemon Go, it’s inevitable that some ugliness will emerge. But many of the players I spoke with also said Pokemon Go is their social life. It’s how they met their friends. It takes them to places they’d never normally go, and they’ve gone on adventures that they cherish.

After Niantic’s release of the “legendary birds,” my son and I spent the day with 50 or 60 local players in a Telegram call-out group running from gym to gym to battle and collect these pixelated creatures.  It’s crazy, I know. But somehow it’s fun, too.  From a cultural aspect it is simply amazing to me to see literally 50 or 60 people (just in OUR group, there are others) descend from locations all over the city on one gym to battle a Lugia or Articuno.  It’s intense. Are there better things we could be doing?  Maybe. Are there worse things we could be doing?  Definitely.  Is it any different than the guy going out to play golf or the lady going out to shop garage sales? Nope.

The people I’ve met on these runs are great people and are of all ages and professions. There’s a chef, a marine, a commercial fisherman, a landscape man, a couple of stay-at-home moms, a teacher…it’s not just pimply kids that live in mom’s basement.

And it’s fun.

Niantic has invested a lot in this game and has worked hard to keep it engaging for players with special events, a slow rollout of Pokemon creatures, various challenges and now the epic fail event. Hopefully they will figure out what went wrong with the Chicago event and do better next time. Meanwhile, people are still spending money to play the game. You can play for free but I doubt you’ll find a hardcore player who hasn’t bought an incubator or some Pokeballs in the shop.

As the initial infatuation with the game has faded, the hardcore players remain and Niantic is cashing in. The subculture of players is huge and they are serious.

This isn’t about a bunch of pixels to them.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

President Trump swore into office six months ago, and his foreign policy has been interesting to watch, since he:

  • Started with solid Secretarys of State and Defense
  • Didn’t have an immediate 9/11 event to respond to
  • Has had a chance to travel and negotiate high level deals

The past six months have shown he has a fairly regular negotiating style:

  • He walks into every deal saying “I’m going to change this deal”
  • He makes an initial offer
  • He changes the deal in some way, although it might be more symbolic than actual

So how has he done so far?
Continue reading “Challenging the status quo: Trump’s Foreign Policy”