28 April 2016

Time to Support Trump (sob)

Donald Trump easily swept five primaries yesterday. It was a blowout. We know that Trump is the only one who is mathematically even able to hit the 1237 delegate mark, Ted Cruz cannot (and Rubio is still beating Kasich in delegates.)

Today Cruz announced Carly Fiorina as his VP running mate. Very nice, but what is the point here? The race has been lost. It's time to let it go. I know, he wants to fight it out at the convention. I would agree if the race were neck and neck between Trump and Cruz, but it's not. Trump is way ahead in the number of states he has won. Unless something major happens between today and the convention and Cruz magically makes up a crazy number of states and it becomes even between them - it would be ridiculous not to give the nomination to Trump.

Again, I am not a Trump supporter. Rather, I am simply looking at this race and trying to understand what's going on. For Cruz (and Kasich) to keep fighting is silly. It's time to be gracious losers and bow out.

14 March 2016

Prediction: John Kasich vs. Donald Trump

My prediction is that Governor John Kasich is not going to support Donald Trump if he gets the Republican nomination. I've been thinking this thought the last few days and I think I'm getting "official" confirmation of that tonight... CNN's Anderson Cooper asked Kasich if he'd support Trump if he were the nominee and he declined to answer. Basically he said, we'll see.

If Kasich does announce that he will not support Trump as the nominee, it will open the door to other establishment candidates to announce the same.

I hope Kasich understands that he will be destroying the party when he makes his announcement.

09 March 2016

Vote Trump Over Clinton or Sanders

I can tell you why I'd vote for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. I trust Clinton as far as I can throw her. Median income is down, minorities are doing worse than they've done in a long time. Clinton is part of the problem. She is doing nothing to differentiate herself from the policies of this president. People are hurting across the board. And yes, I do blame Clinton for the death of four Americans, and lying to their families about a stupid video which she admitted under oath she knew not to be the problem.

Bernie Sanders, I believe is more sincere, but seriously flawed. We're so far in debt right now, all the programs he's proposing would destroy the country. Socialism is not a good solution to our problems, and we have serious problems. Blue collar workers are working ever harder, competing against legal and illegal immigrants. The establishment on both sides of the aisle don't get why Sanders and Trump people are upset. I'd vote Trump any day if he were the option.

28 February 2016

Let Democracy Work

I am clearly not a Donald Trump fan, nor will I pretend to be.

There is a lot of talk revolving around what will happen if Donald Trump is able to collect enough delegates to win the Republican nomination for President. Some are suggesting that the "establishment" do something and somehow make it impossible for Trump to gain the nomination. I think this would be a terrible mistake.

Just because the Democratic party's nomination is rigged, doesn't mean that the Republicans should follow suit. Trump's rise is due to the Republican "establishment" ignoring the will of the people who put them in office. We gave them both the Senate and House of Representatives believing that they would stop the Obama Administration, and they didn't. Just a couple months ago the Republicans passed a budget that would add another trillion dollars to the deficit. A trillion more here and a trillion more there, maybe we'll be talking about real money. It's almost laughable.

If the establishment does anything to stop Trump, outside of Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz getting enough delegates - Trump can rightly say that the nomination was stolen from him. He can point at the establishment's interference... the same establishment that created him as the leading candidate. His supporters will not support the establishment nominee (and those who may not have supported him originally), the Democrats will win, and the Republican party will fracture. To even consider intentionally handing the election to the Democrats, is beyond my comprehension.

The party must let this nomination process take its course. Elections are about choices. The establishment blew their chance to lead. I do not support Trump, but I do support democracy in action. If he ends up being the Republican nominee, the party must work with him and put the country back on track. For the establishment to expect our support after derailing Trump (if it comes to that), they would be delusional.

Let democracy work.

23 February 2016

Edmund Burke and the Presidential Election of 2016

After the South Carolina primary, the Republican race looks like it is finally shaping up... sort of. Donald Trump won handily. Jeb Bush did the honorable thing by leaving the race. I wish some of the other second tier guys would too.

Hillary Clinton won Nevada in a squeaker against Bernie Sanders. Whether or not she wins the nomination, which seems somewhat probable, Sanders is putting up quite a fight. A self-identified Socialist is neck and neck with wannabe-Socialist Hillary Clinton. Quite a show.

I am currently reading Edmund Burke, his speech on Conciliation with America (1775). I highly recommend it. It's an English perspective on the difficulties they were having with the American colonies and Burke's suggestions on what to do about them. I haven't finished it yet, but his perspective is fascinating - he focuses on what makes Americans special - the focus on freedom.
In this character of the Americans, a love of freedom is the predominating feature which marks and distinguishes the whole; and as an ardent is always a jealous affection, your Colonies become suspicious, restive, and untractable whenever they see the least attempt to wrest from them by force, or shuffle from them by chicane, what they think the only advantage worth living for. This fierce spirit of liberty is stronger in the English Colonies probably than in any other people of the earth...
Reading Edmund Burke, brings the reminder of who we, Americans, are at our core. The harsh dissonance between who we are in our being and who is leading the polls in our ongoing Presidential election is painful and disheartening.

Donald Trump, Republican front-runner is a demagogue. While some of what he says may be true, and much is not, the way he says it and who he insults and blames along the way is disturbing to say the least. He brings out the worst in people. Nativism is making a comeback. He is a populist whose current platform does not reflect other earlier political beliefs. How do we know which policies reflect the "real" Trump?  The lack of respect for his rivals, his putdowns of POWs (while referring to Senator John McCain), along with attacks on women is way out of line and completely unpresidential behavior. It is inexcusable and unacceptable.

The fight between the Socialist and the wannabe-Socialist is uncomfortable to watch. Sanders has always been a Socialist. Clinton has not, and watching her move left, attempting to usurp Sanders' supporters, we can see how far the Democratic Party has fallen. Tax, tax, tax. Free, free, free... are the bywords of the Democrats. While not as obnoxious as Trump, Clinton and Sanders are demagogues in their own right. Identity politics and class warfare are used to divide us, and are so commonplace, we don't even identify them as demagoguery when they clearly are. Our current Demagogue-in-Chief, rather than follow up on his 2004 Democratic National Convention focusing on bringing all Americans together, spent his next 7+ years in office using inflammatory speech and demagoguing anyone and everyone who disagreed with him. I almost fell off my chair when I heard him lament the state of political discourse at his last State of Union address.

This presidential election is painful when we see the frontrunner of one party and both candidates of the other use language that is anti-individual and anti-liberty. Aside from his other nonsense, I have yet to hear Donald Trump condemn the use of eminent domain for private use - taking private property not for the public good, but rather for usage by private companies. I have only heard from Sanders and Clinton about more regulation and more taxation. What we are seeing here, to borrow a phrase, the larger the government, the smaller the individual.

Returning to Burke's description of Americans.
...a love of freedom is the predominating feature which marks and distinguishes the whole; and as an ardent is always a jealous affection, your Colonies become suspicious, restive, and untractable whenever they see the least attempt to wrest from them by force, or shuffle from them by chicane, what they think the only advantage worth living for. 
It worries me that this "jealous affection" of liberty and freedom is no longer, and the suspicion of government is long gone only to be replaced by demagoguery and what can be gotten for "free".

Thomas Jefferson offers this thought, ""The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground." Is this an inevitable truth?

This election should make us look long and hard at ourselves and decide who we are at our core and how we want this to translate into action for the future.

2016 is a turning point in American history. What kind of America will we be leaving our children?

03 January 2016

2015: The Year of the Power Vacuum

To summarize the crazy year of 2015, it was the year of the power vacuum.

* The United States stepped back on the world stage - Russia and China stepped forward.
* Iraq, Libya and Syria are becoming increasingly lawless - ISIS has established a caliphate, Sharia laws included.
* Establishment Republicans have lost the trust of the mainstream, everyday Republican - Donald Trump is the response.

Most importantly to note, the "war on terror" has been put to rest by the Obama Administration. While this happened already more than a few years ago, as some might say the chickens have finally come home to roost. This lack of proactive anti-terror action has led to a vacuum which Islamic terrorists are comfortable to make their moves against the West. Obviously, any attacks on Jews in Israel doesn't count as "real" terrorism, so we won't discuss those (since nobody seems to notice or care, aggravatingly enough). But the two attacks in Paris, along with the attack in San Bernadino, California are unfortunately just the beginning. Terrorists are stepping into the vacuum of the lack of proactive anti-terrorism action. We will see where this leads us.

2016 awaits with all its promise... I wish all of us a Happy and Healthy New Year ahead.

14 December 2015

Canadian Citizenship Here We Come

Well, I've been here in Canada for almost 7 years. I am what you call a "permanent resident", which basically means that I can do everything (like work) but I don't have the right to vote. Of course, I could maintain that status, but I feel that if I live in a country, I should do my best to be a part of that society. I also don't want to have to redo the paperwork maintaining the status of being a permanent resident every five years.

I just took and thankfully passed my citizenship exam - 19 out of 20, not too bad. The exam wasn't terrible, everything was in the booklet that we are supposed to study from. It was really interesting studying from the booklet. It's fun to see what a country feels a new citizen should know coming into the society - distilled down, the "Discover Canada" booklet still covers 51 pages of information. Everything from the economy to the national sport of hockey. I should probably go find a study booklet for US citizenship and see what we find most important to impart to our new citizens.

As I checked out of the testing area, I spoke to the officer at the front desk- he congratulated me on a job well done and even gave me tiny Canadian flag for my efforts. He also said that I would be called to participate in the Canadian citizenship ceremony in about 2-4 months time.

At that point I'll be taking the Oath of Citizenship:
I swear (or affirm)
That I will be faithful
And bear true allegiance
To Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second
Queen of Canada
Her Heirs and Successors
And that I will faithfully observe
The laws of Canada
And fulfil my duties as a Canadian citizen.
Interestingly enough, the booklet gives an understanding of the oath:
In Canada, we profess our loyalty to a person who represents all Canadians and not to a document such as a constitution, a banner such as a flag, or a geopolitical entity such as a country. In our constitutional monarchy, these elements are encompassed by the Sovereign (Queen or King). It is a remarkably simple yet powerful principle. Canada is personified by the Sovereign just as the Sovereign is personified by Canada.
All nice and good, but for the proud American that I am, I admit that I cringe when I read the oath and the explanation. I'm pretty okay with pledging allegiance to Canada. In truth, it makes my life easier and I really do want to vote if I'm planning on living the rest of my life here... but to the Queen, not so much.

Funny enough, I came across an article this weekend dealing with this exact dilemma. I'll quote the whole article here.
An Israeli math professor took his oath of Canadian citizenship in Toronto last week, then immediately recanted the part about swearing allegiance to the Queen, calling it "repulsive". He pledged his loyalty to Canada and its people instead. Dror Bar-Natan, 49, was one of three residents who were part of a failed constitutional challenge to the oath that was dismissed by the Ontario Court of Appeals in 2014. But the court said new citizens are free to publicly renounce the royalty portion of the oath if they disagree with it. The University of Toronto professor, who has been in Canada for 13 years, told the citizenship judge in advance of his plans. The judge thanked him for his honesty. - Canadian Jewish News, Dec. 10, 2015
Will I renounce that part of the oath? Probably not. But it's nice to have the option. Now we just wait to get my notice to show up to get sworn in. Definitely something to look forward to.

09 September 2015

It's the End of the World As We Know It, and I Feel Sick

I really have to stop watching the news. It amazes me that the world is falling apart and no one has noticed.  I feel like I'm a Chicken Little crying out that 'the sky is falling' and it's of no consequence to anyone.

Muslim refugees from Syria are being welcomed with open arms, sometimes with applause (like they've accomplished something). Are these people going back to the Middle East anytime soon? Of course not. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims are invading Europe, being hailed almost like conquerers. Charles Martel must be spinning in his grave. Today they are refugees... in five years or even fewer, they will be comfortable in their new host countries, demanding civil rights and social services. Perhaps they will go to the free European universities and wave Hezbollah and Hamas flags, fitting right in with the Boycott Israel crowd.  Modern Europe is dead.  The demographics don't favor the Europeans with their less than replacement birthrate.

The Pope himself has called on parishes across Europe to take in these refugees. Where has he been this past year? Has he brought attention to the destruction of the ancient Christian communities in Syria and across the Middle East? No. It's a disgrace. Christians are being beheaded wholesale, women and children are being sold into sexual slavery and he doesn't say anything worth mentioning. Ah, but the Syrian Muslim refugee crises... and we get a response. I do not understand and I am not impressed.

Of course this is all aside from the Iran deal, giving them billions of dollars to allow them to continue their terrorist activities around the world (the Obama administration expects that they will) - removing sanctions and allowing them to join the nuclear family in 15 years (that's a joke, they'll have it sooner).

This coming week brings us the Jewish holiday of Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year. It's a solemn two day holiday, where we recognize the King of Kings, the Ruler of the Universe. It's the beginning of a time of judgement, not only for the Jewish People, but also for the entire world. We hope and pray that this craziness will end, that there will be true peace for everyone.

It's my prayer that the coming year be full of good news, good health, clarity, and success for everyone out there. Shana Tova U'Mituka! Wishing a Sweet New Year to you all!

09 August 2015

Republican Debate and Canadian Leader's Debate Reviewed

The debates were fun.

I saw part of the 5 o'clock Republican debate -- boring! I'm glad I caught some of it, but wish it would have been just Bobby Jindal, Carly Fiorina and Rick Perry. Lindsey Graham didn't do himself any favors, I'm sure he's a smart guy, but he didn't present well. He kinda just droned on whenever it was his turn. I thought Fiorina was the best of the crowd.

The 8 o'clock Canadian Leaders Debate, on the other hand, was fun to watch. Mclean's Magazine put it on - the moderator asked a question, then basically stepped back and let the four of them fight it out. Fantastic. That was a real debate. Justin Trudeau of the Liberal Party, did decently, and tried to stake out a middle ground. Thomas Mulcair, NDP (Socialists), who is a smart guy, came off kind of out of it the first hour, topped off with a strange smile. Someone must have told him to look friendly and speak slowly. Elizabeth May of the Green Party is also quite smart. She attacked Mulcair and came off sounding like she knew what she was talking about. Stephan Harper, Conservative Prime Minister, was attacked by all three and didn't seem at all shaken. I just wish he wouldn't use the phrase, "Let me be clear" so much!

The 9 o'clock Republican debate was a whole lot better than the 5 o'clock version, and it certainly helped to have an audience. Donald Trump imploded within the first five minutes by saying that he wouldn't guarantee that he'd support the Republican nominee if it weren't him. How obnoxious. Overall, there weren't so many standouts - Marco Rubio surprised me by being better than I thought. Dr. Carson did a fair job, but he's going to need to talk faster. Scott Walker, disappointed me with his stance that he didn't think abortion was a viable option even when the mother's life was in danger. Jeb Bush, was boring.

I thought the moderators from Fox News did a good job. I liked their pointed questions specific to each of the candidates. For those complaining that Trump was ambushed, that is a joke. Trump announced to everyone that he was going to be himself and not prepare... therefore, he rambled, he insulted, he did exactly like he said he would - he was himself. In other words, he was a disaster, and it's his own fault.

I had a good time Thursday night, hope you did too!

04 August 2015

So Many Debates, So Little Time

It's true. Thursday is going to be a busy night.

Fox News is hosting the first Republican debate... and here in Canada that same night we'll be having the Leaders Debate in the oh so long, 11 week campaign for Prime Minister. Yes, you read that correctly, 11 weeks. The media here is so excited - 11 weeks of what to discuss, debate, bore us all with instead of... a whole 5 weeks! Incredible.

As soon as the kids are in bed, you'll know where I'll be... flipping the channels back and forth. Although I'd love to take a watch at 5 o'clock with the candidates who didn't make the top ten cutoff for the 9pm debate - Henry Hugglemonster, Jake and the Neverland Pirates or Princess Sophia - may be playing instead. Oh well, such is a happy life with little kids.

Enjoy the debates!

30 July 2015

Show Us the Planned Parenthood Videos!

Jimmy Kimmel gets choked up talking about the killing of a famous lion - and I should feel bad. I don't. I'm not a hunter, nor do I care about it. I do care about the videos about Planned Parenthood - let them come out. If they have nothing to hide, and they stand by everything they do - let those videos come out.

Kimmel gets choked up about a lion - I'd like to see him get choked up about the real war on women. Women get to be the next best thing to G-d... a creator of life. I don't say that lightly. Dr. Ben Carson made an interesting point a few nights ago (I apologize, I can't remember where and I'm paraphrasing): Women have been convinced that rather than being G-dlike, being the protector of the potential and growing life, rather, we are being attacked by that invader... it may even have to be destroyed in order to live our own lives. A mistake being erased. What a backward way of thinking.

An animal life is something important. Killing an animal illegally is wrong. Period. But a human life is something completely different - something special. There's something really wrong with our society when there is this disconnect between seeing the death of an animal as something that warrants death threats against the hunter and videos of fetal body parts getting a yawn.

Supposedly there are nine videos made in this Planned Parenthood series - let us see them all. The media should cover this story - which they aren't. If Planned Parenthood has nothing to hide, then let Planned Parenthood announce to the world that THEY want to see the videos come out. Otherwise, I will assume that they have everything to hide.

This is the real war on women.