You can learn a lot from graphs.

Have you been wondering when the next recession will occur? The shaded areas are recessions. Get ready.

I like job creation as much as any Republican, but is this how we should be doing it?

Leftists keep beating the drum that everyone should be terrified of global warming. If you have been following my posts you are well aware that I have great disdain for global warming alarmists. In this huge survey (>6.5 million votes) it appears people aren’t very caught up in the rhetoric of the leftists.

Always good to know where your money is going. You don’t need an accounting degree to realize that this is unsustainable. And, by the by, “income security” are programs like food stamps, antipoverty programs, etc.

To be honest I was surprised that we come in at the number six position and in essentially a photo finish with Italy. And clearly, China and India don’t need robots.

I feel honored to live in the most generous nation on earth. And all the other nations on the chart combined give less than 65% of what Americans give.

This is simply FYI. Good for Alaska. The other top states are also the most expensive states in which to live.

And another FYI.

Ya’ think Trump is angling at NAFTA negotiations? “The Art of the Deal.”

Roy Filly

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Some good news for average Americans.

Few things resonate more with average Americans than seeing their paychecks increase. Whoever said that Americans “vote their wallets” knew of what he/she spoke.

When Obama took office median household income was $56,731. When he left office that number was $56,516 — a decrease of just over $200.

President Trump promised to help the middle class. No one is more “middle class” than someone earning the MEDIAN income. It is the very definition of middle class. So did President Trump help them?

[Source: Bad news for Dems: Household income hits all-time high under Trump and he’s getting credit for it, Investors Business Daily Editorial]

Median household income has been steadily increasing under Trump, rising to $61,483 last month (a 9% increase over Obama’s parting level – see footnote), according to Sentier Research. This also means that household income is now higher than it’s been in at least 50 years — after adjusting for inflation. That also means it is the highest since the Johnson administration!

Polls now show (Gallup Tracking Poll) that 67% of Americans say it’s a good time to find “a quality job” which is the highest since Gallup started asking this question 17 years ago. Under Obummer the highest it ever reached was a paltry 45%.

Even CNN’s poll finds that 57% of Americans now say “things are going well.” (The CNN reporter committed harakiri after being forced to give that report “on air.”)

Despite the nonstop drumroll from the main stream media that Donald Trump is “incompetent,” “unfit,” “ignorant, ” and an “idiot,” 68% of the public now say Trump’s policies deserve some of the credit (and that from a CBS poll – not exactly a network that backs the President).

[From the IBD Editorial] Consider this: President Obama raised taxes, imposed massive new regulations and mandates, and routinely berated the private sector. The economy responded with the worst economic recovery in modern times.

Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress have gone in the exact opposite direction, with sweeping tax cuts and significant deregulation. And since then we’ve seen growth, income, optimism all moving upward.

And thanks to HP for sending this to me.

Roy Filly

Footnote:

Under Obama, household incomes continued to fall steeply for two years after the recession officially ended, and then took four years to make up that lost ground. Incomes then flatlined again, posting no overall gain. Importantly, the recession officially ended in June 2009 – a mere 5 months after Obama became president (and had been going on for 13 months under the Bush administration). He was President for another 91 months! Donald Trump only has been president for 16 months.

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Guest post on Socialism.

Dear Readers,

As you know my readers will at times send me their thoughts on various issues. When their writings strike a chord with me and I will ask their permission to post their thoughts on The Rugged Individualist. Dr. Wood, a longtime reader and commentator on The Rugged Individualist, shared his take on Socialism. I think you will benefit from reading this.

Roy Filly

The Destructiveness and Divisiveness of the Acceptance of Socialism

It has become concern to me to see the continual ramifications and new applications of the irrational thinking of the scope of the socialist philosophy.  The great Austrian economist, Ludwig von Mises, extensively revealed and described in his expansive book, Socialism, this historically-falsified system.  But, socialism has again become widely disseminated in the US school and university structure of today.  It has become the central core of the present Democrat party and its allies in the mainstream media.  It is the basis upon which the tremendous opposition to President Trump, capitalism and the concepts and basis of the founding beliefs of this nation have been attacked.  These are individualism, the right to bear arms, respect for and ownership of private property, capitalism’s free-market economy, patriotism, respect for religion and free speech and government being subservient to the citizens.

Of great importance is socialism’s rejection of the religious belief in God, the driving power greater than man and the source of the highest conception of morality and rational behavior.

Belief in God inspires the acceptance of moral convictions of honesty, integrity and respect for life and other human beings.  Because of socialism’s inclusion of and support for atheism, the concepts of morality and integrity are cast aside, since to the socialist philosophy, “the end justifies the means.”  This rejection of the belief in a supreme being is also a rejection of the embodiment of the highest of man’s conceivable virtues of morality and ethical behavior.  Absent such belief, the conceited concept of man’s being the most intelligent of the animal kingdom, produces the arrogance of doing whatever the believer wants in order to achieve his goals.

Since the socialists contrarily claim that morality is relative, I believe this is one of the greatest reasons for the horrific societal divide of today. This dividing influence even extends into the traditional family structure of this country.

Before and during World War II, the Pledge of Allegiance was recited daily in school, and the courses of civics and US history were requirement for graduation from high school.  That way the citizen children of this great nation were made aware of the tremendous tradition of liberty and freedom and felt patriotic to The United States of America.

Gradually and insidiously, the important US history taught was diminished and ultimately eliminated from the 1960s on. The Pledge was deleted and even physical education classes were no longer required.  In order for this erroneous belief system of socialism to have any acceptance it must be and has been presented as the only “superior societal system.” Teaching free-market capitalism and republicanism is entirely ignored.  I believe this was the most important step in getting this erroneous system to become so widely accepted.

The conservative writers and commentators continually repeat their basic belief that the US Constitution is being attacked and disregarded.  Of course, this is easy to observe, but the fact that the founders bestowed upon Congress in the Constitution the power of taxation, they inadvertently sowed the seeds of the misuse of political power. The ability ‘legally’ to confiscate private property by means of taxing creates (at least subconsciously) the resentment and anger of helplessly losing what was rightfully earned by each individual citizen.  Thus, it is easier to understand the anti-authority position of the hippies and why it was easy to propagate.  Therefore the stage was set for accepting the dangerous but “sounds-good” tenets of socialism.  A thorough discussion of the rational alternative to taxation is the insurance mechanism to support national defense and the non-coercive aspects of the political State.  It is clearly presented and explained in the astoundingly important book, “Capitalism The Liberal Revolution” by Frederic G. Marks, JD.  The book is on the internet.

A large part of the history of civilization is that of dictatorships and coercive societal organizations.  Against that backdrop, the brilliant concept of the republic of the United States was born in liberty and freedom.

Sadly, and very observably, the believers in and proponents of the socialist philosophy and mentality adhere to the principle that the end justifies the means.  So, frequently, when the Leftwing, ‘liberal’ political party loses a vote or an opinion, they resort to vitriolic reports and statements that inspire young (and even older) enthusiastic, opposing crowds, which often become mobs. These are formed to incite chaos and violence to enforce their side of the issue.  Most recently after the 2016 general election, riots were organized by Leftwing leaders with funds from ‘liberal’ donors, most prominently George Soros.  These were formed to attempt to negate the legal 2016 presidential election. Private property was attacked and destroyed like breaking shop windows and burning cars.  That party does not respect and uphold proprietary restriction on their actions as do those believing in “law and order.”

The huge contrast of the two societal systems at odds today is readily observable.  So, in order better to recognize and understand the mechanism of the socialist (collectivist) assaults I wish to enumerate and point out the many accusations and negative epithets one will see in the printed media and hear on the radio and on TV.

One of the most significant triumphs of the socialism infiltration into this country is the quantitatively extensive, but insidiously gradual, alteration of the basic education system of the country to a ‘liberal,’ collectivist one. A major factor for this to happen was the change from individual community-guided education of the important basics of math, grammar, science and history to a countrywide, politically-inspired and government-instigated standardizing of education.  The gradual ‘progressive” alteration could thus spread over the country without having to influence each community separately.

Going back to the post-WW II 1960s, the hippie movement of anti-authority influenced large numbers of those outspoken young people to go into teaching and take their beliefs with them, which included the ideas of the Marxist Manifesto of the laborers influencing their work in manufacturing and government becoming the distributor of sustaining welfare and inspiring “equality” of people and their incomes.

Another major factor was the education establishment’s bizarre experimentation in schooling.  This, of course, was related to altering the basic norms and traditions of the US successful but more strenuous and demanding education standards.  Knowledge of grammar, mathematics and science is not the goal of ‘progressive’ education.

The expectation that each individual child was responsible for his performance began to change.  The emphasis began to be on bestowing artificial congratulation for any work done so as to help the students to feel better about themselves.  However, that has resulted in artificially inflated opinions about themselves thus making them unwilling to tolerate criticism. How in the world can our youth learn to overcome adversity and difficulty in order to learn to accommodate and so to advance to maturity, if everything is easy and they become accustomed to praise in order to boost their self-esteem without actually earning it?  Add to that, only one societal philosophy was presented.   Then, is it any wonder that the last two decades of the so-called Millennials are so quick to join anti-capitalistic and anti-“conservative” causes and demonstrations?  In fact, this problem of bestowed high opinions of themselves can lead to becoming aggressive and even violent when criticized.

According to author, C. Bradley Thompson (March 10, 2018); when denied logic, knowledge and truth and given only “relative morality,” is it any wonder that today’s young people are left with nothing but their untutored “feelings” and “emotions” as their guides through the difficulties of adolescence? And further, Thompson writes, “Americans . . . should abandon the deadly experiment in “Progressive” theories of education and restore a curriculum that emphasizes reason over emotions, knowledge over feelings, moral judgment over moral agnosticism and self-control over self-expression.”

In order now to make it easier to recognize the subtle promotion and the not so subtle advancement of this destructive belief system, I wish to list so many of the cynical names used against any opposing people or organizations and then describe other methods the ‘liberals’ use to denigrate any opposition.  So, I start with a list of the denigrating labels used:

  1. homophobe
  2. xenophobe
  3. racist
  4. sexist
  5. white supremacist
  6. misogynist
  7. cancer ravaging our nation
  8. use of the f . . . bomb to put down the other side
  9. endanger global security (ref. to Iran pullout)
  10. moron, idiot, not fit to be president (at Donald Trump)

On university campuses, one hears over and over the loud (and sometimes violent) resistant demonstrations against any invited “conservative” speakers. David Horowitz and Ann Coulter are two of the best-known targets of such intolerant action.

A prominent example of derision of anything politically conservative on campus is the report of a sociology professor, Howard Finkelstein, at Brookdale Community College in New Jersey in April 2018, when he yelled, “Shut the f . . . up!” when a student attempted to articulate his beliefs about sexual harassment.  There are many, many more such outbursts reported.

In honest and proper debate, the first debater presents his side of the subject.  The opponent then presents his side.  Discussion follows in which each debater can answer questions and defend his(her) position. One of the cardinal rules of proper debate requires respect of the other, although disagreement persists.  Bilateral respect precludes any vile or degrading speech and any coercive or violent action.

The #MeToo Movement is another degrading aspect of the socialist mentality.  It is an inappropriate attack upon the manly virtues of gentlemanliness and chivalry and the female virtues of modesty and prudence so appropriate in the United States.

There just seems to be continual new approaches by the denizens of socialism to denigrate this society’s standards of privacy and propriety. Witness the attempt to have both sexes use the same restroom, the push to legalize “same-sex marriage” and the multiple-media quickness to be on the support side for LGBT persons and also the transgender recognition.  Now add the latest pressure by the noisy cadre of ‘liberal’ tradition-dissenters; namely, the admitting of girls to the Boy Scouts.  The far-reaching, negative ramifications of this politically correct concession are yet to be experienced, though easy to foretell.

Anger of being opposed by patriotic Americans produces hatred in the ‘progressive’ mobocracy.  It is deep angry arrogance.   The ‘liberals’ accept no other system of thought and continually oppose conservatives at every chance they get.   In the first year of Donald Trumps’ presidency, it is reported that ninety-one percent of the biased news media descriptions of the President have been negative.  His positive accomplishments run counter to their belief system and are reported only by the relatively few conservative voices of radio, television and written reviews.

Another front of opposition to healthy traditions is the insisting on the sameness of the genders. This has resulted in the inclusion of females into our hardened military forces. This has introduced many unnecessary problems, not the least of which is the basic female lack of strength when compared with the male physical capabilities.  Of course, I must admit that women can perform so many of the non-fighting support jobs that one must accept there are places for women in the military, but not in the front-line fighting forces.

Illegal immigration takes a center stage position of difference in accepted country values. For the collectivist ‘progressives,’ the importance of earned legal immigration takes a back seat to the Democrat desire to achieve more votes and to reinforce their disregard for the importance of private and national property.  It us simple for ‘liberal’ politicians to dole out citizens hard-earned tax revenues in forms of welfare and free education to illegals with no demonstrable regard for the sovereignty and importance of true citizenship of the nation.

Another example of acceptance of the socialist beliefs is the result of the Obama orders.  By his actions, it is easy to conclude that B. Obama’s motivating belief was that of anti-capitalistic socialism.  His support of the Muslim movement coincides with Islam’s anti-Western culture.  Though he pronounced conservative statements, he belied those pronouncements at every turn with his multiple anti-free-market economy business regulations.  Although most of those were quiet presidential orders and unreported by the media, by reviewing the long list of Obama-regulation reversals by President Trump in his first year, one can quickly appreciate their large number and realize the negative effects they had by the reduced industrial and small business output and the increased general unemployment in the country.  It certainly can be understood that President Trump is not divisive.  He is uniting people as they see the increased employment throughout the US and the resultant increased income from the greater employment and the effects of the reduced income taxes he promoted.

This whole change in perception and appreciation of the many societal norms are so promoted by the biased print and network sources as to try to convince the whole nation that the above-mentioned entities are so widespread that they must be assumed to be the major thinking of the country.  They are not, but for so many of the uninformed citizens, they tend to find it easy to consider that such are the new norms.

As president Reagan used to say, “There they go again.”  I think the same thing when I hear the ‘liberals’ projecting  “divisiveness.”  Actually, it is they who are divisive..  They continuously gripe, that conservatives are the dividers.  Yes, in a sense they are, but conservatives expose the concepts of socialism and its actual disregardfor the basic concepts of the United States.  That divides the socialists from the conservatives.  The truth is, ‘liberals’ are really the perpetrators of the present political and moral divisiveness.

Patriotism and love of country are unifying.  Diversion away from patriotism and love of country are the true dividing of interests.  Unbiased polling corroborates the majority of legal Americans to be religious and patriotic Americans.  Witness the election of President Donald Trump.

This nation faces the tyrannical prospects of socialism, similar to the English tyranny, which our forefathers bravely faced and defeated in order to establish “One nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.”

I have herewith tried to clarify what the enormous impact of the present belief in socialism has and what its negative effects have on our country both politically and economically.  I believe that those millions of us who reject socialism must use our minds and our pens to go on the offensive to fight this insidious war against the principles of our republic.

Respectfully,

David L. Wood, May 20, 2018

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Hey, Blue Wave! Wave bye-bye!

The Democreeps have been oh so confident of taking back control of the House of Representatives and, possibly, the Senate, as well. Their enthusiasm was not unfounded. Historically, in every midterm election since the Civil War, the party in power (President in office of the same party) has lost, on average, 32 seats in the House and two in the Senate. Only 24 are needed to flip the House and 2 to flip the Senate. Also their base is all het up, not because of Democrat party initiatives (can’t think of any), but because they are seething with hated of Donald Trump.

However, the statistic upon which they have leaned most heavily is the so-called “generic ballot.” The generic ballot is a poll question that asks whether registered voters would vote for Democrats or Republicans for Congress, and historically it’s been a decent predictor. In the week ending December 17, 2017 Democrats led Republicans in the generic ballot by a whooping margin of 14.5% (46.7% for Democrats and 32.2% for Republicans).

That all sounds bad for the Republican Party, but wait… Reuter’s, a well respected polling institution, and one that is considered “Center” in political views has published its most recent generic ballot survey. (It is better to click on the link to see this interactive posting of the survey data over time.)

For the week ending May 20, Republicans are at 40.7 percent while Democrats have slipped to 34.5 percent. The Republicans have taken a six point lead! That’s a 20-point swing in less than 6 months!

Of course, I’m not saying that Republicans are “out of the woods,” but the Democrats must be sweating bullets right now! (Oh, I take that back. Democrats aren’t allowed to own bullets.)

Roy Filly

 

 

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The Wall: Are ye fer it or agin it.

For the purposes of this post I will assume you are an American citizen, you are a landowner and you are a Democrat. Would you complain to the civil authorities in your district if dozens of high school students were trekking across your property every day and refused to stop? Probably. I am more confident you would complain to the civil authorities in your district if you found dead people on your land (and not just one time, but more than 10 times)? Would you complain to the civil authorities in your district if you found that people from a different district were defecating and urinating on your property and dumping their garbage, as well?

Let’s just say that Nancy Pelosi would be up in arms about it (she lives in Pacific Heights, San Francisco which is without question one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the world – average sales price: $5,795,188).

What would be an INTOLERABLE number of people trekking across your property? One hundred? One thousand? One hundred thousand? I hear you saying, don’t be ridiculous Dr. Filly… one hundred thousand people! From where would they all come, ask you? Good question, answer I. They come from Mexico and it wasn’t one hundred thousand. It was 500 thousand, and those were only the ones that were caught and counted!

[Source: Arizona Border Ranchers Live in Fear as Illegal Immigration Crisis
Worsens, Judicial Watch Editorial.]

John Ladd owns a cattle ranch in southeastern Arizona. It has been in his family for well over a century and sits between the Mexican border and historic State Route 92.

  • More than half a million illegal immigrants of several dozen nationalities have been apprehended on Mr. Ladd’s cattle ranch.
  • 14 dead bodies have also been found.
  • 200 to 300 illegal aliens are caught daily passing through his property.
  • He is also “fortunate” to have a “shit ditch” (his characterization) because illegal immigrants use it as a toilet and trash can.

There must be some sort of barrier between Mexico and his ranch, say you. Indeed there is, say I. Clearly the “barrier” isn’t effective. Here is what is present:

  • A 60-foot wide dirt road, known as a federal easement, separates Ladd’s ranch from Mexico.
  • Some portions have an 18-foot iron fence along the border that Ladd says illegal immigrants “easily climb with a pack of dope.”
  • Other sections have a laughable wire fence that has been repeatedly penetrated with vehicles speeding through from Mexico.
  • Some areas have been visibly patched where holes were carved out for passage.
  • the Border Patrol installed concrete barriers along a busy two-mile stretch across the 60-foot dirt road, right in front of the barb wire barrier on Ladd’s property line to stop smugglers. “Smugglers even put a hydraulic ramp, so a car or truck could blow through,” Ladd said.
  • Ineffective or faulty surveillance equipment in the region that smugglers easily evade.
    “The smugglers know the radio range and avoid it,” Judd said,

Is there a solution? Of course, there is a solution, It’s called a WALL! No one had a worse problem than Israel where illegal border crossers were hell bent on murdering Israelis. What to do? What to do?

Here’s “what to do!”

 

 

 

 

It looks formidable AND IT IS! But did it have any effect? (See below.)

I wonder what happened in 2012?!?!

Roy Filly

 

 

 

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Newsflash: Democreeps are hypocrites.

Of course people change their minds. Currently Senator Diane Feinstein’s position on a variety of immigration issues can be found on her website. But allow me to summarize:

  • Senator Feinstein has come out “in fierce opposition” to all three of President Trump’s executive orders dealing with travel bans from failed nations known to send terrorists to the USA. She doesn’t simply “oppose” them. She “fiercely opposes” them.
  • Senator Feinstein cosponsored S.Res.56 which expresses that the U.S. should welcome refugees and asylum seekers regardless of whether they are from nations that have little or no control over documentation of those emigrating to the USA.
  • Introduced the Agricultural Worker Program Act to provide immigrant farmworkers with protection from deportation and eventual citizenship. 
  • Senator Feinstein voted against the “Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act” (i.e., she id FOR sanctuary cities).
  • Senator Feinstein voted against “Kate’s Law” that would increase the maximum prison term to five years for an undocumented immigrant who reenters after being denied admission, excluded, and deported, or removed. 
  • Senator Feinstein voted against the “American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act” (i.e., she isn’t concerned about “enemies”).

So pretty much she stands with the most liberal Democrat “talking points.” But that’s now. What were her views in 1994 when she sided with the then talking points of President Clinton?

What do you know about that? Can anyone say HYPOCRITE!

And thanks to ALF for sending this to me.

Roy Filly

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Let’s talk torture.

Gina Haspell, President Trump’s nominee for CIA Director (and the first woman to be nominated for the post) was confirmed by the Senate. Of course, first the Democrats dragged her over the coals for having participated in “enhanced interrogation” of terrorist prisoners. I don’t usually like Democrat tactics, but this is an issue that all Americans need to consider.

Is torture ever justified or is it a universally immoral act? I, of course, have my own views, but I recently read an article by one of my Gurus, John C. Goodman, and it definitely made me consider carefully my position. Perhaps it will do the same for you. I encourage you to read his excellent article in its entirety.

[Source: On Torture, by John C. Goodman]

Consider the following proposition: a terrorist (or kidnapper, if you prefer) has buried your child. Air will give out in 24 hours or less. He (or worse, she) refuses to divulge the location. Would you torture him/her to save your child? What if the “torture” was to slap him/her really hard or punch him/her in the face. Would you go that far?

I know you have heard of waterboarding. But can you list the “enhanced interrogation” techniques that have been banned? There are thirteen of these “torture techniques.” How many do you know (footnote)? Hopefully, you read the footnote otherwise you’ll be lost. Now return to the proposition. Your child is running out of air! Would you “torture” the assailant with “an attention grasp” (that’s one of the banned “torture techniques”) or would you let your child suffocate in a grave?

I’m not offering “an absolute answer.” I don’t have one, although I know what I would do.

We live in a world that is awash with ethical relativism (abortion is murder/abortion is a maternal right). Can one even entertain the possibility that torture is the ethical thing to do in certain circumstances? [Directly from the Goodman article] Lifeboat ethics. Believe it or not, there are certain circumstances when ethics simply do not apply. Imagine you and one other person are in the middle of the ocean with a lifeboat built for one. What should you do?

According to (my admittedly lay interpretation of) Emanuel Kant’s universalizability principle, ethical behavior requires that you act on a principle that can be applied to everybody else – not just you. Let’s say that you selfishly push the other person aside and grab the lifeboat to save yourself. If the other person acts on the same principle, he will push you aside. So, you both can’t successfully act on the same principle.

On the other hand, suppose you behave altruistically and sacrifice yourself for the other person’s benefit. If he acts on the same principle, he will sacrifice himself for you. And you both drown.

Thus, in this instance, ethics cannot be applied .

There are other such ethical conundrums. [Directly from the Goodman article] The idea of trading one life for another has fascinated ethical philosophers and psychologists alike. In one thought experiment, a runaway trolley is barreling down the track, about to kill five people. However, you can save the five by pulling a switch – diverting the trolley to a different track where only one person will be killed. Should you pull the switch? 

Obama was heralded for banning the use of the techniques listed in the footnote. He was also heralded for ridding the world of Osama bin Laden. Now it is time for proposition number 2. Would it be more “moral” to waterboard a terrorist or put a gun to his/her temple and pull the trigger? Would you prefer to have your brains splattered on a wall or be subjected to “an abdominal slap?” I don’t know about you, but the answer to that one seems pretty straightforward.

Let’s return to Osama bin Laden. You are all aware that he was killed by special operators on the direct orders of the Commander in Chief, President Obama. Also, several other males living in the compound were killed. Here are “the facts”:

  • The operators were not in their military uniforms.
  • None of those killed were armed.
  • None resisted.

Was this moral? These men could have been captured. So in essence these were straight up assassinations. I say hurray! But that doesn’t alter the fact that these men were assassinated. So return to proposition number 2 now. Would it be more “moral” to waterboard Osama bin Laden or put a gun to his temple and pull the trigger? And did you hear any of the Democrat Senators that grilled Director Haspell raise a question about this (or at the time)?

So President Obama was praised for ending “enhanced interrogations” and to the best of anyone’s knowledge, no one was ever waterboarded during his administration. However, it would have been difficult to waterboard a captured terrorist BECAUSE HE DIDN’T CAPTURE THEM. HE KILLED THEM!

Obama ordered more people killed (outside of war fighters) using drones than all previous presidents combined.

  • None of those killed by drones were in uniform.
  • None were resisting.
  • A fair number of innocent civilians were killed in the attacks. (The US’s estimate of the number of civilians killed – between 64 and 116 – contrasted strongly with the number recorded by outside agencies, which at 380 to 801 was six times higher.)

So again I return to proposition number 2. Would it be more “moral” to waterboard a terrorist or put a gun to his/her temple and pull the trigger? You may substitute Hellfire missile for “gun” at this juncture in the discussion.

It is likely that every nation in the world has resorted to torture. But the USA is the only country that admits it, holds public hearings on the matter, and let’s you watch the proceedings on CSPAN. Also, even if you are a hardcore Democrat you must admit that the “enhanced interrogation techniques” employed by the USA are a far cry from electrodes to the genitals or ripping out fingernails.

Roy Filly

Footnote:

Thirteen “enhanced interrogation techniques” were used by the CIA after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. These are the methods, as listed in a May 30, 2005, Justice Department memo to the CIA:

1. Abdominal Slap— The purpose was to cause the detainee to feel fear and despair, to punish certain behavior and humiliate or insult the detainee, according to a description in government documents, obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union in 2009. The interrogator stands about a foot from the detainee’s stomach, and slaps the detainee with the back of his hand. The interrogator’s hand is held with the fingers together and straight and slaps the detainee’s abdomen. The CIA was using this technique prior to 2004 without approval by the Justice Department.

2. Attention Grasp— The interrogator grabs the detainee by the collar, with two hands, and pulls him closer in, according to a description of the technique by former CIA acting general counsel John Rizzo. Rizzo described this technique being used on Al Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah in his recent book, “Company Man.”

3. Cramped Confinement— The interrogator would put the detainee in a box, sometimes big enough to stand in, for up to 18 hours, or one only big enough to curl up in for up to two hours, Rizzo said in his book. The interrogator had the option to put a “harmless” insect inside the small box when the technique was used on Zubaydah, because he hated bugs, Rizzo said.

4. Dietary Manipulation— This technique involved switching from solid foods to liquid. For instance, in August 2002, Zubaydah was put on a liquid diet that consisted of Ensure and water, the Senate report said.

5. The Facial Hold— The interrogator holds the detainee’s head so it can’t move and puts one hand on each side of the detainee’s face, keeping fingertips away from the detainee’s eyes, Rizzo explained in his book.

6. The Facial Slap/Insult Slap— The interrogator slaps the detainee in the face, with fingers spread, striking between the chin and earlobe, Rizzo explained in his book. The idea, Rizzo said, was to startle or humiliate the detainee, Zubaydah, and “disabuse him of the notion that he wouldn’t be physically hit.”

7. Nudity— This technique was used with others. For instance, a detainee would be forced to stand for prolonged periods while nude.

8. Stress Positions— The purpose of these techniques are to stimulate mild discomfort from extended muscle use, according to a description in a government document obtained by the ACLU. Two such positions, used on Zubaydah, were to have him sit on the floor with his legs stretched out in front of him and his arms above his head, or kneeling on the floor while leaning back at a 45-degree angle, Rizzo said in his book.

9. Sleep Deprivation— Detainees were kept awake for up to 180 hours, often standing or in a stress position, the Senate report said. Sometimes, the detainees’ hands would be shackled above their heads. At least five detainees had “disturbing hallucinations” during this technique, and in two of those cases, the CIA continued the practice…

10. Wall Standing— A detainee faces a wall, standing about four feet away. The interrogator has the detainee reach out his arms toward the wall so that his fingers are touching it. The detainee would have to hold that position indefinitely, according to a description by Rizzo about this technique used on Zubaydah.

11. Walling— Interrogators slam detainees against a wall. In one instance, Zubaydah was slammed against a concrete wall, the Senate report said. On March 22, 2003, Al Qaeda leader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed underwent “intense” questioning and walling. Giving up no new information, interrogators water-boarded him. After an hour of that, he said he was “ready to talk,” the CIA said.

12. Waterboarding— The detainee is strapped to a board or bench, and water is poured over the detainees face to simulate drowning. According to the Senate report, the technique brought on convulsions and vomiting, immediate fluid intake, and involuntary leg, chest, and arm spasms. Abu Zubaydah became “completely unresponsive, with bubbles rising through his open, full mouth.” Zubaydah was described as “hysterical” after these sessions and “distressed to a level that he was unable to effectively communicate.” At one point, Khalid Sheik Mohammad was water-boarded 65 times between the afternoon of March 12, 2003, and the morning of March 13.

13. Water Dousing— Naked detainees were held down on a tarp on the floor, according to the Senate report. The tarp would be pulled up around them to make a bathtub. Cold or refrigerated water would be poured on them. In some cases, detainees were hosed down over and over again as they were naked and shackled, standing in a sleep deprivation pose.

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Politics in cartoon form.

Despite the mainstream media constantly stating (regarding the Mueller investigation) “we don’t know what we don’t know,” we do know a few things. None of them implicate our President in Russian collusion. Hillary, on the other had, well…

Oh, happy day!

On a similar note…

The Democreeps keep touting “The Blue Wave.” Looks more like they should “Wave Goodbye to the Blue Wave.” The Rugged Individualist plans to make his final assessment on November 7, 2018.

I was trying to remember the last time a Democreep said something positive about President Trump and then… SURPRISE!

The Obama campaign looked nothing like the Obama presidency. Trump, on the other hand…

Remember this one? And, didn’t he do that in “collusion with Russia?”

You would think the Democreeps would have learned by now that Americans vote their wallets (lowest unemployment rate, take home pay up, taxes down, GDP up…).

Pretty much says it all.

Roy Filly

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For your consideration.

For all of the leftists who consider President Trump the Devil incarnate, here are some graphs that tell a quite different story.

Among the most telling statistics of how the nation is doing is the statistic on the direction the country is headed. This months assessment is that it rose 7.4% to reach 44.9. That, however, is a number that requires some context. The longterm average of this statistic is 41.6. Even more telling is that under Saint Barry Hussein Obama it averaged only 37 during his eight year term. When President Trump was elected it stood at a mere 29.6 which means that it has risen a whopping 52% under the Trump administration. Tell me, have you seen a lot about this on CNN?

Another very important statistic about how Americans feel is the Quality of Life statistic. It currently resides at 62.7. Again, some context is needed. That is the highest level it has reached since 2004. The all-time high for this index is 63.1 (i.e., we are close to the highest index EVER). And, importantly, what was the average index under Obama? It was a piddling 53.7.

As a proud American I wish to see our country held in high esteem. The Standing in the World Index posted a sharp 13.8% gain in May to 47.7. It stands above the long-term average of 45.5 and well above Barry’s average of 42.6.

As well, we need to view these amazing statistics through the prism that the mainstream media (MSM) has been demonizing our president non-stop since he was nominated and he has been “investigated” relentlessly. Well, the fawning MSM didn’t help Obama’s statistics and apparently haven’t hurt President Trump’s statistics.

And thanks to HP for sending this to me.

Roy Filly

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The leftist plan to subvert the Constitution.

Say what you will about leftists (and I have always had some choice words for them) a lack of cleverness isn’t one of their faults. I was not aware of this scheme and, quite frankly, it may work. The left has found a way to eliminate the electoral college without amending the Constitution and THEY ARE WELL OVER HALFWAY THERE.

[Source: Connecticut Subverts the Electoral College, Rejecting Its Own History, by Tara Ross]

In the 2000 and 2016 presidential elections the Democrat candidate won the popular vote but lost the electoral college vote. This is not news to my readers. The Dems went ballistic – “hanging chads” (2000) and the Hillary “I-can’t-believe-I-lost-tour” coupled with “the resistance” (2016). Therefore, in their “logic” they need to eliminate the electoral college and the Constitution be damned. However, they fully realize that amending the Constitution is an arduous process (footnote) and one they almost certainly would lose. What to do? What to do?

Well, they have a plan which subverts Article V of the Constitution. They have been working diligently to achieve the desired result and with the most recent victory they are 64% of the way there!

What are you talking about, Dr. Filly, ask you? I am talking about a plan that avoids the passage of a Constitutional Amendment but, nonetheless, results in the popular vote determining the President of the United States, answer I.

[From the Ross article] Opponents of the Electoral College achieved an important victory… when Connecticut’s legislature passed the so-called National Popular Vote compact. Democratic Gov. Malloy is expected to sign the measure.

Most Americans have never heard of the National Popular Vote compact, but it is shockingly close to causing a major political and legal firestorm. It is a clever scheme to change how we elect the president without the bother of having to pass a constitutional amendment.

States that approve this legislation enter a simple compact with one another. Each participating state agrees to allocate its electors to the winner of the national popular vote regardless of how its own citizens voted. The compact goes into effect when states holding 270 electoral votes (enough to win the presidency) have agreed to the plan.

With Connecticut’s vote, 11 states and the District of Columbia have now approved the measure, giving the compact a total of 172 electors. It needs only 98 more to reach the 270 mark.

This concept, of course, would ultimately be adjudicated by the Supreme Court. It is worthwhile for all Americans to remember that Hillary Clinton’s popular vote emanated from (essentially) two states. More than 20 percent of Clinton’s 65.8 million votes came from New York and California. Indeed, if we remove those states from the national tally, Clinton loses by more than three 3 million votes.

My friends, this is more than a little scary.

Roy Filly

Footnote:

The authority to amend the Constitution of the United States is derived from Article V of the Constitution. After Congress proposes an amendment, the Archivist of the United States, who heads the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), is charged with responsibility for administering the ratification process under the provisions of 1 U.S.C. 106b.

The Constitution provides that an amendment may be proposed either by the Congress with a two-thirds majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate or by a constitutional convention called for by two-thirds of the State legislatures. None of the 27 amendments to the Constitution have been proposed by constitutional convention. The Congress proposes an amendment in the form of a joint resolution. Since the President does not have a constitutional role in the amendment process, the joint resolution does not go to the White House for signature or approval. The original document is forwarded directly to NARA’s Office of the Federal Register (OFR) for processing and publication. The OFR adds legislative history notes to the joint resolution and publishes it in slip law format. The OFR also assembles an information package for the States which includes formal “red-line” copies of the joint resolution, copies of the joint resolution in slip law format, and the statutory procedure for ratification under 1 U.S.C. 106b.

The Archivist submits the proposed amendment to the States for their consideration by sending a letter of notification to each Governor along with the informational material prepared by the OFR. The Governors then formally submit the amendment to their State legislatures or the state calls for a convention, depending on what Congress has specified. In the past, some State legislatures have not waited to receive official notice before taking action on a proposed amendment. When a State ratifies a proposed amendment, it sends the Archivist an original or certified copy of the State action, which is immediately conveyed to the Director of the Federal Register. The OFR examines ratification documents for facial legal sufficiency and an authenticating signature. If the documents are found to be in good order, the Director acknowledges receipt and maintains custody of them. The OFR retains these documents until an amendment is adopted or fails, and then transfers the records to the National Archives for preservation.

A proposed amendment becomes part of the Constitution as soon as it is ratified by three-fourths of the States (38 of 50 States). When the OFR verifies that it has received the required number of authenticated ratification documents, it drafts a formal proclamation for the Archivist to certify that the amendment is valid and has become part of the Constitution. This certification is published in the Federal Register and U.S. Statutes at Large and serves as official notice to the Congress and to the Nation that the amendment process has been completed.

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