Apr 25, 2018

Trump Is Not Republican, Democrat, Conservative or Liberal

His only ideology is "what works and common sense"

Is Trump a Christian? He says he is, but so did Obama and Hillary.
Even if he isn't, he has done more good for our country in 14 months than any of his colleagues have in a lifetime of politics.
Only God can judge his soul, but you and I can judge his achievements. If the country folds up tomorrow, it will be because of what Liberal Democrats and Republicans have done, not Trump.

I reprint this email from a friend because I agree with his, and fellow blogger Mychal S. Massie's bottom line conclusion that President Trump is neither a contemporary Republican nor a 
socialist Democrat, a Conservative or Liberal, but a Pragmatist who deals only in logic, realism, problem solving, and, in general, what works.... He does not comprehend  ideology without reason or politics without national benefit. He has little time for anything which does not produce a worthwhile conclusions and doesn't care much about what anyone, who disagrees with him, thinks of him. RB 

(Definition: A pragmatist is someone who is practical and focused on reaching a goal. A pragmatist usually has a straightforward, matter-of-fact approach and doesn't let emotion distract him or her.)
This blog first appeared in The Daily Rant under the title "Trump Is Not Conservative, He's A Pragmatist".

"We recently enjoyed a belated holiday dinner with friends at the home of other friends. The dinner conversation varied from discussions about antique glass and china to theology and politics.

At one point, reference was made to Donald Trump being a conservative, to which I responded that Trump is not a conservative.

I said that I neither view nor do I believe Trump views himself as a conservative. I stated it was my opinion that Trump is a pragmatist. He sees a problem and understands it must be fixed. He doesn't see the problem as liberal or conservative, he sees it only as a problem. That is a quality that should be admired and applauded, not condemned. But I get ahead of myself.

Viewing problems from a Liberal perspective has resulted in the creation of more problems, more entitlement programs, more victims, more government, more political correctness, and more attacks on the working class in all economic strata.

Viewing things according to the so-called Republican conservative perspective has brought continued spending and globalism to the detriment of American interests and well being, denial of what the real problems are, weak, ineffective, milquetoast, leadership that amounts to Barney Fife Deputy Sheriff, appeasement oriented and afraid of its own shadow. In brief, it has brought liberal ideology with a pachyderm as a mascot juxtaposed to the ass of the Democrat Party.

Immigration isn't a Republican problem, it isn't a Liberal problem, it is a problem that threatens the very fabric and infrastructure of America. It demands a pragmatic approach not an approach that is intended to appease one group or another.

The impending collapse of the economy wasn't a Liberal or Conservative problem, it is an American problem. That said, until it is viewed as a problem that demands a common sense approach to resolution, it will never be fixed because the Democrats and Republicans know only one way to fix things and the longevity of their impracticality has proven to have no lasting effect.

Successful businessmen like Donald Trump find ways to make things work, they do not promise to accommodate.

Trump uniquely understands that China's manipulation of currency is not a Republican problem or a Democrat problem. It is a problem that threatens our financial stability and he understands the proper balance needed to fix it.

Here again, successful businessmen like Trump who have weathered the changing tides of economic reality understand what is necessary to make business work, and they, unlike both sides of the political aisle, know that if something doesn't work, you don't continue trying to make it work hoping that at some point it will.

As a pragmatist, Donald Trump hasn't made wild pie-in-the-sky promises of a cell phone in every pocket, free college tuition, and a $15 hour minimum wage for working the drive-through at Carl's Hamburgers.

I argue that America needs pragmatists because pragmatists see a problem and find ways to fix them. They do not see a problem and compound it by creating more problems.

You may not like Donald Trump, but I suspect that the reason some people do not like him is because:

(1) he is antithetical to the 'good old boy' method of brokering backroom deals that fatten the coffers of politicians;

(2) they are unaccustomed to hearing a president speak who is unencumbered by the financial shackles of those who he owes vis-a-vis donations;

(3) he is someone who is free of idiomatic political ideology;

(4) he says what he is thinking, is unapologetic for his outspoken thoughts, speaks very straightforward using everyday language that can be understood by all (and is offensive to some who dislike him anyway) making him a great communicator, for the most part, does what he says he will do and;

(5) he is someone who understands that it takes more than hollow promises and political correctness to make America great again.

Listening to Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders talk about fixing America is like listening to two lunatics trying to 'out crazy' one another. Jeb Bush, John Kasich and Marco Rubio are owned lock, stock, and barrel by the bankers, corporations, and big dollar donors funding their campaigns. Bush can deny it, but common sense tells anyone willing to face facts is that people don't give tens of millions without expecting something in return

We have had Democrats and Republican ideologues and what has it brought us? Are we better off today or worse off? Has it happened overnight or has it been a steady decline brought on by both parties?

I submit that a pragmatist is just what America needs right now. People are quick to confuse and despise confidence as arrogance, but that is common among those who have never accomplished anything in their lives (or politicians who never really solved a problem, because it's better to still have an 'issue(s) to be solved,' so re-elect me to solve it, (which never happens) and those who have always played it safe (again, all politicians) not willing to risk failure, to try and achieve success).
Donald Trump put his total financial empire at risk in running for president and certainly did not need or possibly even want the job; that says it all.
He wants success for the U.S. and her citizens because he loves his country !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Apr 20, 2018

A Title For This Post Escapes Me Since I Don't Curse


On Capital Hill, It's Open Season On Religious Beliefs

From One News Now

Apparently it's now in vogue – if you're a liberal senator – to question President Donald Trump's nominees about their faith and religious beliefs. 

For the third time in the last year or so, a Trump nominee was grilled in a Senate hearing about his or her faith. The latest was Mike Pompeo, President Trump's nominee for secretary of state. In addition to questions about various foreign affairs, Senator Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) (pictured above) tore into Pompeo's views on marriage and sexuality. 

Booker: "So you do not believe it's appropriate for two gay people to marry?" 

Pompeo: "Senator, I continue to hold that view. It's the same view ..." 

Booker: "Do you believe that gay sex is a perversion? Yes or no." 

Pompeo: "Senator, if I can ..." 

Booker: "Yes or no, sir. Do you believe that gay sex is a perversion, because it's what you said here?" 

Pompeo vowed to continue treating everyone working under him fairly and with respect. Booker finished by saying he doesn't believe Pompeo represents the values of the nation. (See last week's verbal exchange below) 

Travis Weber of Family Research Council recalls two other times recently when liberal senators suggested Christians with biblical views of sexuality don't belong in public service. 

Weber "Several months ago [both] Amy Barrett, nominated for the judiciary, and Russell Vought, nominated for the executive branch, were questioned in a very improper manner about their religious beliefs – as if that was the determining factor whether they were going to be voted for," he notes. 

Barrett was challenged by California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein; Vought was berated by Vermont Independent Senator Bernie Sanders. 

Weber says the line of questioning from Booker, Feinstein, and Sanders isn't only unfair, it's unconstitutional. "[It's] highly improper, unconstitutional, very inappropriate – and we want to call attention to this and ask people to stand with Mike Pompeo," he tells OneNewsNow. 

Toward that end, FRC is circulating a petition to the U.S. Senate condemning the religious litmus test that's being applied to Mike Pompeo. 

Booker 'out for blood' 

Senator Booker didn't stop at questioning Pompeo's beliefs on marriage and sexuality during the recent confirmation hearing. The Democratic lawmaker also grilled the nominee about his contacts with two prominent critics of radical Islam: Frank Gaffney, president and founder of the Center for Security Policy, and Brigitte Gabriel, founder and president of ACT for America. Booker asked Pompeo why he didn't denounce Gabriel. 

Booker: "Were you silent? Did you ever call her out on her remarks that were hateful or bigoted? 

Pompeo: "Senator, I've spoken to a number of groups, and I believe my record with respect to tolerance and the equal treatment of people ..." 

Booker: "Yes or no, did you ever call her out?" 

Pompeo: "Senator, I couldn't tell you. I don't recall each statement that I've made over 54 years." 

Brigitte Gabriel, during a subsequent interview with OneNewsNow, made two basic observations about Booker's line of questioning: 

Gabriel "First of all, it is disgraceful the way Booker conducted the questioning of Pompeo and the questions that he asked him," she commented. 

And Booker, she argued, was clearly out for blood. "The left has lost their mind. They are out to destroy anybody who does not adhere to their ideology and their way of thinking," she continued. 

"... They are labeling anybody who does not agree with them as someone who is 'nuclear' and should be avoided at all costs – especially someone like me, who speaks about national security, protecting the United States, [and] fighting to secure our freedoms. That was too much for Mr. Booker." 

Gabriel – like FRC – is calling on concerned citizens to contact their senators and urge them to support Pompeo's appointment as secretary of state.

Apr 18, 2018

U.S. Direction Could Be Determined In AZ, NV, TX

Take a friend and vote early Nov.6 ... Especially in Arizona, Nevada and Texas. Yes, that is 7 months from now, but the "RIGHT" people won't be elected on Election Day but in the 7 months of work leading up to it.

Keep our country heading in the "right" direction for out children's sake. If its not too late already.

OK, so the Texas, Liberal Democrat, Beto, is prettier than Conservative, Republican Ted Cruz. But, that's the way 16 year old boys pick a girlfriend. And that's the way a city-slicker picks a horse. But this ain't a High School dance or a horse show. Its a dance with the devil and a race to the finish line or renewal line of the U.S. Constitution and Freedom. We Conservative Christians can't take politics for granted any more. Politics is another word for either our liberty or an evil tyranny. Our united vote will determine which kind of "politics" we get... RIGHT or what's LEFT after the vultures leave.

Ted Cruz, though slow to give his support to the most Conservative candidate in the 2016 Presidential (and Vice Presidential) election, is, nevertheless by far the best man for the office he holds as U.S. Senator from Texas. He has fought the Liberals, Democrat and Republican, ever since he was elected in 2012. That is why the Liberal, Socialist Establishment of both parties hate him so and though Cruz is more accepted by Texans than Beto O'Rourke, the Liberals have given twice as much campaign money to Beto  than Conservatives have to Cruz. 

This IS a horse-race, in that Cruz is running a horse whisker  ahead of the Democrat ... with half the campaign donations. The Democrats are desperate to defeat Cruz and thereby neutralize Conservative content and control of the U.S. Senate.

Here is what is happening in Texas which may change the direction our Nation goes...

 From The Hill News
Poll: Cruz running neck and neck with Dem challenger

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is in a statistical dead heat with Rep. Beto O'Rourke (Texas), his Democratic challenger, a poll released Wednesday showed.
The first Quinnipiac University poll of the race deemed it too close to call. Cruz leads O'Rourke by 3 percentage points - 47 to 44 percent - which falls within the margin of error.
Eighty-seven percent of Democrats said they support O'Rourke's bid to replace Cruz, according to the poll, while 88 percent of the state's Republicans said they back the incumbent.
Forty-six percent of Texas voters view Cruz favorably, while 44 percent who view him unfavorably, the poll found. By comparison, 30 percent of voters view O'Rourke favorably, 16 percent view him unfavorably and 53 percent said they don't know enough about him to form an opinion.
O'Rourke has drummed up significant momentum in his race to unseat Cruz and become Texas's first Democratic U.S. senator in more than two decades.
He reported a fundraising haul of $6.7 million in the first three months of 2018, compared to Cruz, who reportedly raised $3.2 million in the same time period.
President Trump won Texas in the 2016 election with 53 percent of the vote, while Democrat Hillary Clinton received roughly 43 percent of the vote.
It seems impossible that 43% of voting Texans wanted Hillary, but that's not the first rabid rabbit Satan has pulled out of his hat. RB

Apr 16, 2018

Wings Of Life: The Beauty Of Pollination/Fertilization... "After Their KInd"

              Plant or human
"Whose seed is in itself, after his kind"

"And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good." Gen. 1:11-12.

God did a similar thing in the creation of animals and finally in humanity, those created in His own image and likeness... us.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over (it)...." Gen.1:27-28.
As you read about the beauty and purity of plant pollination, below, keep in mind that human "pollination" between the like species of man and woman... that fertilization is also supposed to be beautiful and pure; according to God's intention that it be between husband and wife partners only.
Not the result of illicit and promiscuous, fleeting relationships based on sinful lust with no life commitment to each other. We are not plants or animals but created in the "image and likeness" of God. Even so, the resulting human flower, if there be one, of an illicit relationship, is not at fault, but is a precious and eternal soul.... to be loved and tenderly cared for. RB

Wings Of Life: 
From USDA Forest Service

Pollination is the act of transferring pollen grains from the male anther of a flower to the female stigma. The goal of every living organism, including plants, is to create offspring for the next generation. One of the ways that plants can produce offspring is by making seeds. Seeds contain the genetic information to produce a new plant. 

Flowers are the tools that plants use to make their seeds. The basic parts of the flower are shown in the diagram below. 

Seeds can only be produced when pollen is transferred between flowers of the same species. A species is defined .... 'population of individuals capable of interbreeding freely with one another', but because of geographic, reproductive, or other barriers, they do not interbreed with members of other species.  

How does pollen get from one flower get from one flower to another? Flowers must rely on vectors to move pollen. These vectors can include the wind, water, birds, insects, butterflies, bats, and other animals that visit flowers. We call animals or insects that transfer pollen from plant to plant “pollinators”. 

Pollination is usually the unintended consequence of an animal’s activity on a flower. The pollinator is often eating or collecting pollen for its protein and other nutritional characteristics or it is sipping nectar from the flower when pollen grains attach themselves to the animal’s body. When the animal visits another flower for the same reason, pollen can fall off onto the flower’s stigma and may result in the successful reproduction of the flower. 

Pollen from the anthers of Flower 1 is deposited on the stigma of Flower 2. 0nce on the stigma, pollen may “germinate,” which means that a “pollen tube” forms on the sticky surface of the stigma and grows down into the ovule of the plant. 

This growth can result in successful fertilization of the flower and the growth of seeds and fruit; or, A plant can be only partially fertilized, in which the fruit and/or seeds do not fully develop; or, The plant can completely fail to be pollinated, and may not reproduce at all. 

Plants can be: Self-pollinating - the plant can fertilize itself; or, Cross-pollinating - the plant needs a vector (a pollinator or the wind) to get the pollen to another flower of the same species. 

See The Beauty Of Pollination ...

Read about “The Birds and the Bees”…

Apr 15, 2018

Raising Kids Requires A Pound Of Grace For Every Ounce Of Effort

Successful Parenting Is Impossible Without God's Help

If you succeed, these days, in raising a teenager to twenty without them getting killed, pregnant, addicted, or dying of adolescent affliction, you either prayed more than Mother Teresa, or you are one of God's miracle workers. Either way a constant up-flow of prayer and down-flow of God's grace is imperative. It is a spiritual battle to keep a Christian child growing spiritually strong in today's worldly atmosphere of "everything goes", whoever, whenever, wherever, however and why ever. Do your own thing. Live life your way is the rule. If it feels good...do it. Let yourself go. Be you. Get while the gettin's good. No limits. No tears. No fears. No regrets.  Everything Christian is out of date. Christians are the bad guys. Homosexuals are gay, sweet and "just in love". Abortion is "freedom of choice". Right to life is unreasonable and evil. It is the "ME" generation. I saw a news brief in which the cop asked the teenage boy, "Why did you kill that old man?" To which the young thug answered, "He ain't never done nuthin fo me." I guess that doesn't count the old man paying taxes all his life so that killer's 3 generations of his family could live on welfare and never even seek a job or pay taxes.

How did our nation get in this impossible dilemma of hellish contradiction? How can we Christians ever turn it around and at least get America back on track? Our only hope is the Blessed Hope. Our only power is the Holy Spirit. Our highest calling is worship, prayer, faithfulness, consistency and witnessing God's truth to the world.

Isaiah, the prophet of God, recognized, in his day, the the same problems we have and blamed it on his nation's sins....

"Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward."

So, when we do the same thing ... why do we expect a different result?

Apr 14, 2018

Guessing Is A Paltry Substitute For Facts Of Truth

I write this blog because over 60 years of ministry I have heard people say, "He thinks", "She things", or "You think" ....thousands of times. And 99% of the time, the guesser was at least 90% wrong. 

The best way of knowing someone's mind is to ask them and then compare what they say with their past history of doing. They only tell you what they want you to know, and never what they don't, but it's a starting place for analysis. Reviewing their past history, which you already know, is better than consulting a room full of third person guessers. And when you are considering your own or someone else's true feelings, life, death or eternity, you had better not neglect to hear that book full of quotes from God's word through dozens of His prophets, apostles and disciples who wrote volumes about God's will, truth, salvation, and human nature.
"If any man ... consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ .... He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions ... wherefore cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth ... from such withdraw thyself." 1 Tim.6:3-5.  "Doting about questions"   means to be enthralled to obsession with giving your opinion on every question. Which, of course, usually stirs up  "envy, strife, anger, and evil surmisings".   All of which lead to "perverse disputings"   among  "men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth."

"Evil Surmising"   is simply  "false supposition", or inaccurate speculation. In other words ... unfounded guesswork ... evil guesswork.

"Evil Surmisings" have been planted in the receptive minds of foolish men since the beginning of time ... and before that by Lucifer, which caused him to be cast out of heaven where Eve found him under the forbidden tree. He was the first user of "evil surmisings". Then he passed it on to Eve when he asked her a leading question... 

"...Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every   (lie)   tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it,   (God didn't say that)    lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."  He twisted what God had actually said. Even accused God of lying ... and then professed to know what God was thinking. That is evil surmising ... He was telling Eve that God was just selfish and surmised that God didn't want any competition to His exalted position. He is still using his same old twisted lies and delusional guesswork to mislead the weak with his evil surmisings. If we are not consistently seeking God's will we make ourselves vulnerable to evil surmisings, by Satan and by his his followers.
I saw an advertisement of an upcoming TV special they tagged, "All About God". A "documentary" on God has to be full of "surmisings", which, on its face is an "evil" endeavor. "All about God" is too big a subject for a measly human to cover with any accuracy whatsoever. We can't even accurately write all about another person and get it right. 

It is, at the least, juvenile and an unprofitable waste of time to surmise what other people may be thinking, what they intend to do, and their unknown reasons for acting as they do, or what we think are their motives. If we could accurately, analyze all of the possible reasons why someone says or acts the way they do, the unimaginable range of possibilities would fill a thousand pages. There is no way, no matter how convinced one may be, of the accuracy of their guesswork, to know what someone else is thinking. A group of friends sitting around trying to figure out why Joe or Sue said, or did, what they said or did, is common but unproductive. "Well maybe he thinks his wife thinks he thinks she doesn't love him". "Maybe, but I think he thinks his wife thinks he doesn't love her." "Well that may be but I think they think we think ..." These Guessing Games, of human nature, head off in 360 degrees of different directions, each one aimed around the world on vastly differing, though parallel, trajectories. So the first thing to do to know what is on some else's mind is  to ask them. Even then, the whole truth seldom comes forth. Historic facts, prayer and a person's past actions are far more valuable in charting one's course, in dealing with other people, than guessing. 

We must follow our Lord in all human relationships and in judging other peoples' intentions which are known only by Him and by themselves. Life is complicated enough without guessing what someone is thinking. Listening to the guess work of other evil surmisers is even less productive. Guessing is seldom accurate ... though to many evil surmisers, their guessing is gospel. It's why Jesus told us,  "Judge not, that ye be not judged..." Matt.7:1.

Apr 10, 2018

Right To Guns Is For Protection From Bad Gov. Not Bad People

... or hunting, or snakes or bad dogs.

This is a film production, but the incident really did happen, in 1946 just after WWII, in  Athens, Tennessee. Athens is about 23 miles north of Cleveland, Tenn.
This revolt by the town's citizens, led by brave young veterans of the recent war, is the primary reason our founders gave us the 2nd Amendment to our incredible 
U. S. Constitution. Their intention in giving us  "The right of the people to keep and bear arms"  was included more to protect us from the possible emergence of another  tyrannical government, which they had recently  experienced, than from individual attackers or hunting.

Click on the blue and then the link.

Apr 6, 2018

Nobody Has A "Right" To Serve In The Military

Or as an astronaut, brain surgeon or 747 Pilot ...

So, if you were in charge of military selection, would you accept a 14 year old or an 80 year old? Would you enlist a drug addicted, pregnant prostitute or a 36 inch tall, one handed, one eyed twenty year old with rings in his nose, tongue and ears? How about an illegal Russian alien and member of the New York Russian Mafia? There are dozens of reasons a person could be rejected from serving as a warrior in our nation's wars. Here is a defense of our military rejecting people who could only be a hindrance to military order and an obstacle on the battle field. The author is unknown. I love Trey Gowdy, but he didn't say it. RB

Nobody has a “right” to serve in the Military. Nobody.
What makes people think the Military is an equal opportunity employer? Very far from it.
The Military uses prejudice regularly and consistently to deny citizens from joining for being too old or too young, too fat or too skinny, too tall or too short.
Citizens are denied for having flat feet, or for missing or additional fingers. Poor eyesight will disqualify you, as well as bad teeth. Malnourished? Drug addiction? Bad back? Criminal history? Low IQ? Anxiety? Phobias? Hearing damage? Six arms? Hear voices in your head? Self-identify as a Unicorn?
Need a special access ramp for your wheelchair? Can’t run the required course in the required time? Can’t do the required number of push-ups?
Not really a “morning person” and refuse to get out of bed before noon?
All can be reasons for denial.
The Military has one job. War. Anything else is a distraction and a liability.
Did someone just scream “That isn’t Fair”? War is VERY unfair, there are no exceptions made for being special or challenged or socially wonderful.
YOU change yourself to meet Military standards. Not the other way around.
I say again: You don’t change the Military… you must change yourself.
The Military doesn’t need to accommodate anyone with special issues. The Military needs to Win Wars.
If any of your personal issues are a liability that detract from readiness or lethality… Thank you for applying and good luck in future endeavors. Who’s next in line?

Apr 3, 2018

Calif. The Petri Dish Of US Culture Of Microorganisms

Discovering The Culture Of Destruction

California has long been known as the National Trends Setter.

This from CBS Evening News
By MELISSA MCNAMARA CBS October 30, 2006

California Is A Political Trend Setter

It began in 2004 when California voters thumbed their noses at federal restrictions on embryonic stem cell research and approved a $3 billion initiative. At universities around the state, brand new labs will soon be up and running.
"We're lucky to be in California, where the majority of the public supports this work," says Dr. Arnold Kriegstein of the University of California San Francisco Institute for Regeneration Medicine.
Six more states now are following California, funding stem cell research the feds won't.
Global warming is another example. As Washington argues — and does little or nothing — California has passed the nation's most restrictive law on greenhouse gas emissions.
"This will lead to us leading the way for other states and for other nations," Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said at the bill signing.
Calif. has also been the trend setter in illegal immigration, sanctuary cities, loss of businesses, Americans migrating out of the state, lavish salaries for state workers, criminal gangs, high taxes, and one political party Democrat control.  RB ___________________________
Here is an up close, insider study of California's trend setting to ruin.


This is an article from Victor Davis Hansen, a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University (Emphasis added by Mr. Hansen)

The last three weeks I have traveled about, taking the pulse of the more forgotten areas of central California. I wanted to witness, even if superficially, what is happening to a state that has the highest sales and income taxes, the most lavish entitlements, the near-worst public schools (based on federal test scores), and the largest number of illegal aliens in the nation, along with an overregulated private sector, a stagnant and shrinking manufacturing base, and an elite environmental ethos that restricts commerce and productivity without curbing consumption.

During this unscientific experiment, three times a week I rode a bike on a 20-mile trip over various rural roads in southwestern Fresno County. I also drove my car over to the coast to work, on various routes through towns like San Joaquin, Mendota, and Firebaugh. And near my home I have been driving, shopping, and touring by intent the rather segregated and impoverished areas of Caruthers, Fowler, Laton, Orange Cove, Parlier, and Selma. My own farmhouse is now in an area of abject poverty and almost no ethnic diversity; the closest elementary school (my alma mater, two miles away) is 94 percent Hispanic and 1 percent white, and well below federal testing norms in math and English.

Here are some general observations about what I saw (other than that the rural roads of California are fast turning into rubble, poorly maintained and reverting to what I remember seeing long ago in the rural South). First, remember that these areas are the ground zero, so to speak, of 20 years of illegal immigration. There has been a general depression in farming - to such an extent that the 20 to100 acre tree and vine farmer, the erstwhile backbone of the old rural California, for all practical purposes has ceased to exist.

On the western side of the Central Valley, the effects of arbitrary cutoffs in federal irrigation water have idled tens of thousands of acres of prime agricultural land, leaving thousands unemployed. Manufacturing plants in the towns in these areas - which used to make harvesters, hydraulic lifts, trailers, food-processing equipment - have largely shut down; their production has been shipped off overseas or south of the border. Agriculture itself - from almonds to raisins - has increasingly become corporatized and mechanized, cutting by half the number of farm workers needed. So unemployment runs somewhere between 15 and 20 percent.

Many of the rural trailer-house compounds I saw appear to the naked eye no different from what I have seen in the Third World. There is a Caribbean look to the junked cars, electric wires crisscrossing between various outbuildings, plastic tarps substituting for replacement shingles, lean-tos cobbled together as auxiliary housing, pit bulls unleashed, and geese, goats, and chickens roaming around the yards. The public hears about all sorts of tough California regulations that stymie business - rigid zoning laws, strict building codes, and constant inspections - but apparently none of that applies out here.

It is almost as if the more California regulates, the more it does not regulate. Its public employees prefer to go after misdemeanors in the upscale areas to justify our expensive oversight industry, while ignoring the felonies in the downtrodden areas, which are becoming feral and beyond the ability of any inspector to do anything but feel irrelevant. But in the regulators' defense, where would one get the money to redo an ad hoc trailer park with a spider web of illegal bare wires?

Many of the rented-out rural shacks and stationary Winnebago’s are on former small farms - the vineyards overgrown with weeds, or torn out with the ground lying fallow. I pass on the cultural consequences to communities from the loss of thousands of small farming families. I don't think I can remember another time when so many acres in the eastern part of the valley have gone out of production, even though farm prices have recently rebounded. Apparently it is simply not worth the gamble of investing $7,000 to $10,000 an acre in a new orchard or vineyard. What an anomaly - with suddenly soaring farm prices, still we have thousands of acres in the world's richest agricultural belt, with available water on the east side of the valley and plentiful labor, gone idle or in disuse. Is credit frozen? Are there simply no more farmers? Are the schools so bad as to scare away potential agricultural entrepreneurs? Or are we all terrified by the national debt and uncertain future?

California coastal elites may worry about the oxygen content of water available to a three-inch smelt in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, but they seem to have no interest in the epidemic dumping of trash, furniture, and often toxic substances throughout California’s rural hinterland. Yesterday, for example, I rode my bike by a stopped van just as the occupants tossed seven plastic bags of raw refuse onto the side of the road. I rode up near their bumper and said in my broken Spanish not to throw garbage onto the public road. But there were three of them, and one of me. So I was lucky to be sworn at only. I note in passing that I would not drive into Mexico and, as a guest, dare to pull over and throw seven bags of trash into the environment of my host.

In fact, trash piles are commonplace out here - composed of everything from half-empty paint cans and children's plastic toys to diapers and moldy food. I have never seen a rural sheriff cite a litterer, or witnessed state EPA workers cleaning up these unauthorized wastelands. So I would suggest to Bay Area scientists that the environment is taking a much harder beating down here in central California than it is in the Delta. Perhaps before we cut off more irrigation water to the west side of the valley, we might invest some green dollars into cleaning up the unsightly and sometimes dangerous garbage that now litters the outskirts of our rural communities.

We hear about the tough small-business regulations that have driven residents out of the state, at the rate of 2,000 to 3,000 a week. But from my unscientific observations these past weeks, it seems rather easy to open a small business in California without any oversight at all, or at least what I might call a "counter business." I counted eleven mobile hot-kitchen trucks that simply park by the side of the road, spread about some plastic chairs, pull down a tarp canopy, and, presto, become mini-restaurants. There are no "facilities" such as toilets or washrooms. But I do frequently see lard trails on the isolated roads I bike on, where trucks apparently have simply opened their draining tanks and sped on, leaving a slick of cooking fats and oils. Crows and ground squirrels love them; they can be seen from a distance mysteriously occupied in the middle of the road.

At crossroads, peddlers in a counter-California economy sell almost anything. Here is what I noticed at an intersection on the west side last week: shovels, rakes, hoes, gas pumps, lawnmowers, edgers, blowers, jackets, gloves, and caps. The merchandise was all new. I doubt whether in high-tax California sales taxes or income taxes were paid on any of these stop-and-go transactions.

[The hi-lighted paragraphs are ways in which at least some of the nearly 47% of U.S. non tax payers are able to get by]

In two supermarkets 50 miles apart, I was the only one in line who did not pay with a social-service plastic card (gone are the days when "food stamps" were embarrassing bulky coupons). But I did not see any relationship between the use of the card and poverty as we once knew it: The electrical appurtenances owned by the user and the car into which the groceries were loaded were indistinguishable from those of the upper middle class.

By that I mean that most consumers drove late-model Camry’s, Accords, or Taurus’s, had iPhone, Bluetooth’s, or Blackberries, and bought everything in the store with public-assistance credit. This seemed a world apart from the trailers I had just ridden by the day before. I don't editorialize here on the logic or morality of any of this, but I note only that there are vast numbers of people who apparently are not working, are on public food assistance, and enjoy the technological veneer of the middle class. California has a consumer market surely, but often no apparent source of income. Does the $40 million a day supplement to unemployment benefits from Washington explain some of this?

Do diversity concerns, as in lack of diversity, work both ways? Over a hundred-mile stretch, when I stopped in San Joaquin for a bottled water, or drove through Orange Cove, or got gas in Parlier, or went to a corner market in southwestern Selma, my home town, I was the only non-Hispanic - there were no Asians, no blacks, no other whites. We may speak of the richness of "diversity," but those who cherish that ideal simply have no idea that there are now countless inland communities that have become near-apartheid societies, where Spanish is the first language, the schools are not at all diverse, and the federal and state governments are either the main employers or at least the chief sources of income - whether through emergency rooms, rural health clinics, public schools, or social-service offices. An observer from Mars might conclude that our elites and masses have given up on the ideal of integration and assimilation, perhaps in the wake of the arrival of 11 to 15 million illegal aliens.

Again, I do not editorialize, but I note these vast transformations over the last 20 years that are the paradoxical wages of unchecked illegal immigration from Mexico, a vast expansion of California's entitlements and taxes, the flight of the upper middle class out of state, the deliberate effort not to tap natural resources, the downsizing in manufacturing and agriculture, and the departure of whites, blacks, and Asians from many of these small towns to more racially diverse and upscale areas of California.

Fresno’s California State University campus is embroiled in controversy over the student body president's announcing that he is an illegal alien, with all the requisite protests in favor of the DREAM Act. I won't comment on the legislation per se, but again only note the anomaly. I taught at CSUF for 21 years. I think it fair to say that the predominant theme of the Chicano and Latin American Studies program's sizable curriculum was a fuzzy American culpability. By that I mean that students in those classes heard of the sins of America more often than its attractions. In my home town, Mexican flag decals on car windows are far more common than their American counterparts.

I note this because hundreds of students here illegally are now terrified of being deported to Mexico. I can understand that, given the chaos in Mexico and their own long residency in the United States. But here is what still confuses me: If one were to consider the classes that deal with Mexico at the university, or the visible displays of national chauvinism, then one might conclude that Mexico is a far more attractive and moral place than the United States.

So there is a surreal nature to these protests: something like, "Please do not send me back to the culture I nostalgically praise; please let me stay in the culture that I ignore or deprecate." I think the DREAM Act protestors might have been far more successful in winning public opinion had they stopped blaming the U.S. for suggesting that they might have to leave at some point, and instead explained why, in fact, they want to stay. What is it about America that makes a youth of 21 go on a hunger strike or demonstrate to be allowed to remain in this country rather than return to the place of his birth?

I think I know the answer to this paradox. Missing entirely in the above description is the attitude of the host, which by any historical standard can only be termed "indifferent." California does not care whether one broke the law to arrive here or continues to break it by staying. It asks nothing of the illegal immigrant - no proficiency in English, no acquaintance with American history and values, no proof of income, no record of education or skills. It does provide all the public assistance that it can afford (and more that it borrows for), and apparently waives enforcement of most of California’s burdensome regulations and civic statutes that increasingly have plagued productive citizens to the point of driving them out. How odd that we over-regulate those who are citizens and have capital to the point of banishing them from the state, but do not regulate those who are aliens and without capital to the point of encouraging millions more to follow in their footsteps. How odd - to paraphrase what Critias once said of ancient Sparta - that California is at once both the nation's least free and most free state, the most repressed and the wildest.

Hundreds of thousands sense all that and vote accordingly with their feet, both into and out of California - and the result is a sort of social, cultural, economic, and political time-bomb, whose ticks are getting louder.

Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, the editor of "Makers of Ancient Strategy: From the Persian Wars to the fall of Rome”, and the author of "The Father of Us All: War and History, Ancient and Modern."

Apr 1, 2018

This Teacher Nailed The School Violence Problem

She Is On The Job, At The Scene, Every Day

Florida’s Teacher of the Year Bluntly Writes 
WHY School Violence Is Out of Control

Kelly Guthrie Raley has been teaching for 20 years and currently educates kids at Eustis Middle School in Lake County, Florida. Just last year she was named the 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year.  The day after the horrific shooting that took place at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, she posted a rant on Facebookthat has since gone viral. In the post, she talked about parental responsibility, compassion, and respect...and more than 823,000 people have "liked" the post and agreed with it, while more than 649,000 have shared it with others.
Here's what Mrs. Raley had to say:
Okay, I'll be the bad guy and say what no one else is brave enough to say but wants to say. I'll take all the criticism and attacks from everyone because you know what? I'm a TEACHER. I live this life daily. And I wouldn't do anything else!

But I also know daily I could end up in an active shooter situation.

Until we, as a country, are willing to get serious and talk about mental health issues, lack of available care for the mental health issues, lack of discipline in the home, horrendous lack of parental support when the schools are trying to control horrible behavior at school (oh no! Not MY KID. What did YOU do to cause my kid to react that way?), lack of moral values, and yes, I'll say it-violent video games that take away all sensitivity to ANY compassion for others' lives, as well as reality TV that makes it commonplace for people to constantly scream up in each others' faces and not value any other person but themselves, we will have a gun problem in school. Our kids don't understand the permanency of death anymore!!!

I grew up with guns. Everyone knows that.

But you know what? My parents NEVER supported any bad behavior from me. I was terrified of doing something bad at school, as I would have not had a life until I corrected the problem and straightened my ass out.

My parents invaded my life. They knew where I was ALL the time. They made me have a curfew. They made me wake them up when I got home. They made me respect their rules. They had full control of their house, and at any time could and would go through every inch of my bedroom, backpack, pockets, anything!

Parents: it's time to STEP UP!

Be the parent that actually gives a darn!   Be the annoying mom that pries and knows what your kid is doing. STOP being their friend. They have enough "friends"  at school. Be their parent. Being the "cool mom" means not a damn thing when either your kid is dead or your kid kills other people because they were allowed to have their space and privacy in YOUR HOME.

I'll say it again. My home was filled with guns growing up. For God's sake, my daddy was an 82nd Airborne Ranger who lost half his face serving our country.

But you know what? I never dreamed of shooting anyone with his guns. I never dreamed of taking one! I was taught respect for human life, compassion, rules, common decency, and most of all, I was taught that until I moved out, my life and bedroom wasn't mine...it was theirs. And they were going to know what was happening because they loved me and wanted the best for me.

There. Say that I'm a horrible person. I didn't bring up gun control, and I will refuse to debate it with anyone. This post wasn't about gun control.

This was me, loving the crap out of people and wanting the best for them.

This was about my school babies and knowing that God created each one for greatness, and just wanting them to reach their futures.

It's about 20 years ago this year I started my teaching career. Violence was not this bad 20 years ago. Lack of compassion wasn't this bad 20 years ago. And God knows 20 years ago that I wasn't afraid daily to call a parent because I KNEW that 9 out of 10 would cuss me out, tell me to go to Hell, call the news on me, call the school board on me, or post all over Face Book about me because I called to let them know what their child chose to do at school...because they are a NORMAL kid!!!!!

Those 17 lives mattered.

When are we going to take our own responsibility seriously? 

Guns aren't the problem.

The current culture is the problem.