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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Hillary's Ethos of Pandering


Hillary Clinton is a chameleon. She can't help it; she's been around Bill too long. The difference is that Bill Clinton could pull it off. People actually thought he was one of them. He was called the "first black president," and not altogether ironically. When he said "ah feel yer pay-uhn," a good number of Americans felt it was sincere.

Hillary wants that so badly. She tries, you've got to give her credit. Recently, she boasted about her love of hot sauce to Charlamagne Tha God in an interview to build up her base in New York. Granted, she's mentioned this before, but in this context the intention was obvious. I love hot sauce, too, but I'm not going to randomly bring it up in an interview with a couple of African-Americans.

Bill Clinton, on the other hand, really did love a good Southern-style barbecue. He was from Arkansas, after all. His nickname as president was Bubba. He didn't randomly mention to black people how much he loved ribs and fried chicken--he just ate it at every opportunity. (Besides, anyone with a lick of sense knows that virtually all Southerners love that stuff. People just attribute it to black people because much of Southern culture migrated to the cities during the Great Migration.) Now I think he's a vegan, but he still gets credit for growing up a poor Southern boy.

This is far from the first incident of pandering that backfired for Hillary, however. Perhaps her most infamous episode was when she slipped into a "blaccent" when quoting James Cleveland. Actually, it was an attempted urban African-American accent that evolved somewhere in the middle of the quote into something that resembled a Massachusetts, Kennedy-style accent. You can witness it here.

She wants black people in America to see her as a sympathetic friend, and thus she portrays herself. Sadly, according to insiders, she's not the same person in her private views. In 1994, her more authentic feelings emerged, possibly on accident, in a speech on "super-predators." (See her in context here.) Dick Morris and other insiders constantly heard her and Bill using racial slurs, especially with regard to Jesse Jackson.

Hillary wants to be everything to everybody. Obama managed to accomplish that, she thinks, so why can't I? Both of them suffer from the same dilemma, though--in trying to stand for everything, you really stand for nothing.




Thursday, August 18, 2016

Race and Ethnicity in Grammar




"A grammar post? Brain...officially...bored."

Okay, I get it. When we think of interesting subjects, grammar is usually among the most remote. However, I have some questions and concerns over how we refer to racial and ethnic groups in written English and what that says about our inherent biases.

I'm a Spanish teacher. In Spanish, racial and ethnic groups aren't capitalized. Granted, lots of things aren't capitalized: languages, months, days of the week, words in a title besides the first one... Still, that fact both reveals and shapes how people consider issues of race and ethnicity. Most Latin-Americans are racially mixed. In fact, it's often difficult to impossible to nail down your racial roots, although it's safe to make a few broad generalizations in most cases. For example, if you are from Mexico and have naturally dark-brown skin and very Caucasian features, you are most likely part Spaniard and part Indigenous. I notice that I'm confused even now--do I capitalize the word Indigenous in this case? In Spanish, I don't. My theory is that nobody cares what race you are enough to capitalize it. Heck, we don't say "white people" in Spanish, we say "people light-in-tone" (personas rubias)-- the color comes after the fact that they're people.

So why does the APA style guide say we need to capitalize colors when they refer to race? It doesn't make any sense to me. Besides, as humorously noted in the film Cry Freedom, "black" people are more brown than black, and "white" people are more pink than white. Why reinforce these artificial extremes by making them proper nouns, names rather than adjectives?

You will notice that I go back and forth between capitalizing these terms and omitting that capitalization. My natural inclination is not to do so. I will capitalize nationalities; it seems close in intent to capitalizing the names of the countries from which people come. Luckily, I am not alone in my opinion of capitalizing racial labels. College campuses are gradually coming around, although they still capitalize in the case of African-Americans, but advise not to do so when referring to races in general. I personally don't comprehend that distinction. How are races imaginary colors in one case, but legitimate names of ethnicity in another? Also, such usage assumes that all American black people feel part of a common ethnic culture. This is false and, frankly, demeaning, just as demeaning as suggesting that there is one uniform white ethnic culture in this country. It is so obviously untrue as to be laughable.

I will try never to capitalize races in this blog again. Capitalizing them seems unnatural, so it shouldn't be that hard. If I do, it will be evidence that political correctness is still lodged in some deep, undeveloped crevice in my psyche. I apologize for that if it happens. I blame my Liberal college professors. (Liberal is capitalized here to demonstrate that they are not liberals in the classical sense.)

By the way, I also resent capitalizing, and referring to in general, hyphenated Americans. I'll do it so people will comprehend what I'm writing, but I long for the day when it will no longer be necessary.


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Hillary's Leaky Campaign

Uh-oh... They're on to me.
It's no secret that I'm anti-Clinton. Let's put that out there. No secrets, unlike other commentators who pretend to objectivity. I'm also a resigned Trumpist; I would have preferred Carson or Cruz, but if I have to pull the switch for a lesser evil than Hillary, so be it. Trump will be amenable to working with a Republican legislature. If Hillary is elected, we'll have at least four years of the legislature serving simply as damage-control.

Still, it can't be denied by even anti-Trumpers that the Left is in full defensive mode over the Wikileaks so far and the promise of more to come. "Crap! They outed us to Bernie's folks! What if they go beyond the tip of the iceberg?"

No Democrat administration is going to convict a Democrat presidential nominee. The hope this would happen is like hoping for a Star Wars sequel as good as the original trilogy. Ain't gonna' happen. Neither are the problematic emails in question going to be released, ever. They weren't classified, but they're too classified for the public to see, as if such a position makes any rational sense.

So who comes riding in astride a white horse but a shirtless Putin. Okay, we can't prove it was him, but come on. Should we care who it is? No. We're inventing enemies out of thin air here. We're even coming around to admitting that Syria might not be as bad, at least for our interests, as we've cast them, so Putin's support of Assad shouldn't be a factor except as an embarrassment to "red-line" Obama. Forget the Russians--the truth about the people we're voting for is what should matter, but the media don't want us to know that truth. Indeed, they are angry that someone has managed to circumvent their control over what the American public is allowed to know. They've felt that way ever since Rush Limbaugh busted through their Iron Curtain in 1992. (By the way, 1992 is the year I started caring about politics. Thanks, Rush!) So now we get to find out about people besides Republicans like Nixon. Dang it!

I, for one, am ecstatic about this particular Wikileak. The site is generally anathema in my sight, but it's having a redemptive moment. Even a broken clock is right twice a day. Even Hitler loved animals and passed laws against animal cruelty (unless they belonged to Jews, in which case losing your beloved master isn't exactly happy time). We get to know exactly what Hillary cares about and what she's saying to her co-conspirators! Awesome! We get to see the Democrats' opposition research on Donald Trump! Score! We get to know the good, the bad and the ugly about both sides. This means we get the truth about both nominees. Why is it that the Left is apoplectic over this? Don't they want us to know Trump's dirt? Or is it perhaps that Trump's dirt pales before Hillary's infected filth?

We'll see, I guess. Donald Trump doesn't seem worried. He seems to be an open guy--too much of an open guy, if you ask me. The man can't shut up! However, in that way he reminds me a bit of George W. Bush. When asked the name of the prime minister of India, Bush admitted he didn't know it off the top of his head. He didn't pull the classic political maneuver of answering the question he wished they'd asked. That's how Trump would handle the situation as well. In fact, he'd call them out and lambaste them for using gotcha journalism.

(By the way, it may seem conspicuous that there is no link to Wikileaks here. There are, after all, usually a good number of relevant links in my posts, and there are a good number in this one. However, on principle, I won't link to an organization that endangers U.S. personnel by revealing our classified information about them. You'll have to find them, rather easily, on Google.)



Friday, July 29, 2016

A Green Bernie?

Hmm...
The Green Party is angling to grab up Bernie Sanders as its presidential nominee now that it's become obvious the Democrats used him as a tool. (See link here.) Hillary just lost a lot of support; why not redirect that support away from Trump and into another channel? From a liberal perspective, that would be the best bet.

Sanders has already left the Democrat Party. (I can't bring myself to call it democratic considering the super-delegates.) Read the comments in the following article. (Link here.) The liberals are angry. Sanders supporters are not going to flock to Hillary--Bernie's speech was like that of a hostage with a gun to his head in an ISIS video. It fooled no one.

I hope Bernie runs. I disagree with him on everything, but he's sincere. You can't say that about Hillary Clinton.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Democrat Machine Exposed


I cannot grasp why so many Democrats are suddenly shocked and surprised at the fact that the primary election was rigged, the DNC conspiring with the media to portray Bernie Sanders as a fringe candidate unworthy of serious consideration. I mean, that's what he is, but his policy proposals were perfectly in line with the values of the Democrat Party.

Still, it has been long known that the real power in the Democrat Party is held by the super-delegates. The party insiders control the outcome of the primary election, a system which could only be overcome by a landslide against the party's pre-selected nominee. Unless Sanders won by over 712 delegates, Hillary was going to be the nominee. Period. The Clintons have a great deal of control over the party mechanisms, and that control extends to votes. Many people owe them favors. Hillary is now cashing in her chips.

Whenever there is real and documented voter fraud, it is to the benefit of Democrats. When a whole district voted for Lyndon B. Johnson in alphabetical order, it was demonstrably fraudulent. Yet, the Democrat Party in Texas upheld the obviously manufactured votes. When Democrats fight every attempt to assure that only citizens are voting, and that people actually identify themselves to ensure that nobody is simply voting in their name, it is an obvious tactic to preserve the ability to manufacture votes. This is something we should have learned from the ACORN debacle, in which Disney characters and the whole Yankees team were registered to vote fraudulently. (Not to say that the Yankees can't vote, but that they shouldn't all be voting in Peoria.)

We're Democrats and we vote!
The real problem lies in the supposition of Progressives in general that the people are too stupid to know what's good for them and must be forced to comply with Progressive ideology. Hence the courts are used to overturn Conservative ballot measures and legislation, even when these fall outside the Constitution's explicitly-stated jurisdiction. Conservatives like Justice Scalia, who believe in using the wording and context of the original document as intended by those who wrote it, rightly wish to keep the Court's ruling within Constitutional boundaries. The Constitution reads:

Article 3, Section 2 of the Constitution states exactly in which cases the federal courts, including the Supreme Court, may rule. The Constitution further grants Congress the right to define and provide boundaries for the federal courts' jurisdiction.

It also defines the areas in which the states have autonomy in the Tenth Amendment:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

This is a difficult sentence to misinterpret. Its wording is clear and concise. It is also the most widely ignored sentence in the U.S. Constitution. Democrats do not care for the rule of law, unless they are laws written by Democrats. They do not like rules or limitations on their power of any kind. It should not surprise Bernie Sanders and his supporters that the system is rigged. Granted, Bernie had never registered as a Democrat until he decided to run in the 2016 election. He was therefore unprepared for the way the party operates. Still, he is a Progressive and thus familiar with the tactics of Saul Alinsky--do or say whatever you must to attain power.

The email scandal (the second now involving Hillary Clinton and/or her surrogates) exposes just who she and her ilk are. Do we really want that to run our country?

I, for one, say no. I hope Bernie's disillusioned supporters will join me in that decision.


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Alton Sterling, Dallas, and the Voices of Unreason


Nobody wants to feel that their life is hanging by a fragile thread, subject to the slightest disruption, ready to snap and fall into the abyss. We want to feel safe and secure. We want to be able to trust that we can go from place to place and not be in mortal danger. We especially want to feel that those sworn to protect us will keep us from harm, not be sources of harm.

These are false expectations, of course. Our lives are constantly at risk. Being hit by a car, struck by lightning, having a seizure or a stroke while on the toilet--these and many more random events take the lives of people constantly. However, we cherish the illusion of security in a random world. This is why the idea of a police officer killing an unarmed citizen is such an abominable thing to society. We don't want to believe that a simple mistake could cost us our lives.

However, for race-baiting opportunists to label law-enforcement as racist murderers is both tragic and farcical. As Dinesh D'Souza pointed out in The End of Racism: Principles for a Multiracial Society, there is a difference between racism and profiling. Racism is the belief that one race is inherently superior or inferior to another on biological grounds. The inferiority is an innate, inborn quality that cannot be overcome. Profiling is simply the acknowledgement that different groups of people, for cultural reasons, believe and behave according to patterns. He gives the example of a taxi driver avoiding black passengers. The taxi driver might indeed detest black people in general and thus be a genuine racist. Another possibility is that the driver knows the crime rate in Harlem and doesn't want to go there.

I know, it still feels racist, even as I write it out. But logic doesn't concern itself with such feelings. I had a similar experience in Ecuador. I tried to hire a taxi to take me to the area in which I was serving as a missionary. The driver refused to go, saying it was dangerous, so we agreed to be dropped off at the freeway exit. Odds are that this driver, or someone he knew, had been the victim of the residents of that neighborhood.

Law-enforcement officers interact with a great many people on a daily basis. Much of this interaction is negative. They observe patterns and types of people, not merely racial groups but cultural ones. A group of young people sagging their pants and wearing baseball caps with the tags still on, whatever their race, is going to get more police scrutiny than a group of young men in properly-fitting Boy Scout uniforms. Unfortunately, the culture of sagging pants and disdain for authority figures is more prevalent in some races than others. (If only we could make that culture disappear!) Thus we see that a disproportionate number of certain races will be scrutinized due to cultural cues.

It is culture, not color, that is the determining factor.

It is itself a breed of racism that we tend to identify the two as one. Our DNA does not come with a culture. If it did, there would be only four cultures in all of the world, one for each race. (Some argue that there are five races, but let's not over-complicate things.) Police learn quickly that interaction with the ghetto-welfare culture tends to be negative, and that this culture is much more prone to criminal activity. My term, the ghetto-welfare culture, is much kinder than Ken Hamblin's term, by the way.


With regard to the Alton Sterling case, as with others, the issue is the inherent resistance to authority of the ghetto-welfare culture. Sterling was a repeat offender, in and out of the criminal justice system many times. He knew what to do to be arrested peacefully, and he failed to do that. As a convicted felon, he was not allowed to have a firearm.

Some groups, such as Black Lives Matter, assume from the start that if an African-American is shot by police, the police are guilty. This is ridiculous. They also assume that police are supposed to allow their attacker to get a shot or two in before retaliating. This is also ridiculous. The television trope of a police officer shouting to a suspect "drop your weapon" three or four times before taking the shot is inaccurate and leads people to have false expectations. If a person is resisting arrest and police have reasonable suspicion to believe that he or she has or is reaching for a weapon, police can and will shoot. What else are they supposed to do? If the suspect were allowed to fire first, we'd be running very short on police in this country.

It is time that Black Lives Matter as well as other militant groups (FYF comes to mind) be treated as the criminal organizations they are. According to the RICO statute, originally designed to shut down the Mafia, members of a criminal organization can be charged with crimes of which any member is guilty. Once we establish that those who target police have an association with BLM, we can arrest the whole group and hold it accountable. It is high time that we do so.

Al Sharpton and other career racialists also need to be shut up by a bold presentation of the facts. They'll rant and rave, call us names, and pout like angry three-year-olds, but the truth will out. Voices of reason say, "Look at all of the evidence before you make a conclusion." Voices of unreason, like BLM, Sharpton, FYF and others, say, "Damn the evidence! We're mad!"

It's sad that we have allowed the voices of unreason to dominate the discussion on these issues. An illogical society won't last long--look what happened to the Soviet Union.  

Friday, July 22, 2016

Trump's Speech: Red Flags and Green Flags





After watching Donald Trump's speech last night, I am struck by a few contrasting feelings. I suppose I should jot them all down and see if anyone else feels the same. This will be by no means a comprehensive list, but simply some areas of hope and some areas of concern for me personally. If you have any to add, please do so in the comments section.


1. Donald Trump shouted every line. Okay, so the presentation should count for less than the message, but watching him gesticulate, yell, and pause for dramatic effect seems a bit too similar to a totalitarian dictator for my tastes. Did someone reincarnate Juan PerĂ³n and teach him the virtues of capitalism?




2. The man asks for our trust a lot. "Trust me." "You gotta' believe me." It may be just a personal quirk, but Trump needs to learn to limit his asking for trust to once per speech. It sounds too needy.


3. Again, considering the venue I have to be forgiving here as well, but Trump seems to think of the office of president as having a great deal more autonomy than the Constitution grants it. "I will..." statements were constant and huge promises were made of actions that the president can't authorize on his own. That seems a little too Obamish for me. The Constitution properly limits the executive power to, well, executing the law. If he meant that he will finally enforce and execute all of the laws passed by Congress that Obama has flaunted or nullified, he has my vote. If he meant that he will do them with or without Congressional approval, we have a problem.


4. Donald Trump is a protectionist. I love this! Going on about the special interests, including crony capitalists, who have bought the Clinton campaign was a great idea. We export jobs because some in the business sector want to buy labor at an abusively-low cost and sell finished goods at high cost to American consumers. This makes perfect business sense, but it's bad for the country.


5. Lowering taxes will increase cash flow, which will increase revenue. You can find a crap-ton of articles online right now by liberals who are apoplectic over Trump's proposals to lower taxes and have money to rebuild the military and our infrastructure. These liberals haven't the foggiest comprehension of simple market economics. People react in predictable ways to incentives. When you increase the costs of offshore labor for our market (tariffs) and decrease the cost of relocating that labor to the United States (tax cuts), you create a huge incentive to bring jobs here. Combine that with controlling and enforcing immigration laws and you have a huge benefit to low-to-medium wage laborers. You won't need to pass new minimum wage legislation; wages will rise as the natural result of more jobs and fairer competition for them.


6. Donald Trump doesn't get education policy any more than current Democrats or Republicans do. He wants to enable all kids' parents to send their children to safe schools. Step back and think for a moment-who precisely is making schools unsafe? Are the teachers and administrators running around shooting and stabbing the student body? Of course not. His goal is laudable but impossible and based on a false premise. Schools aren't failing students; too many students are failing schools. The system is allowing this to happen without consequences for the student. Until this is addressed, the ownership of schools, whether public or private, will not change a thing. Mike Pence should be able to address this considering the number of charter schools closed due to failure to increase their students' test scores in Indiana. A lengthy but comprehensive plan to fix this problem is already on this blog. (Click here.)


Don't take it personally-I'm only angry because this is a public school!


7. After all is said and done, and considering I'm not the biggest Trump fan on Earth, the speech left me feeling hopeful. It was quite optimistic, but realistically so. "Yeah, things suck right now, but we're Americans. We can fix this because we can do anything we set our minds to." I don't understand how the media is portraying this as a pessimistic speech or convention, except that it's been honest about the problems we face as a nation.


Well, like I said, this is but a short list of my impressions from last night. Feel free to add your own; I'd love to see what others think about the speech, provided you actually watched the whole thing and aren't just reacting to what you've read about it as relayed by others.