Orlando…

Godspeed to the brutally murdered, peace to their loved ones,  and a speedy recovery to all of the wounded.

This was a horrific tragedy. Unconscionable. Senseless.

Now is NOT the time to politicize the situation.

Yet, it Has already been been shamelessly used to promote agendas.

That is revolting.

I will certainly weigh in with a discussion, but in due time, and with great respect for the victims of this outrage.

County Wicklow, Sea Trout and Jameson

On a rare “non-political” note… I recently purchased an interesting looking bottle of Jameson, barrel aged in Oak Ale barrels (it doesn’t say they are Guiness, but I assume). I am sipping it, and it’s bringing me directly back to a “bucket list” fishing memory – of dubious origins that is an entirely different story – that took place in the wee hours on a private stretch of river in the outskirts of the town of Enniskerry, County Wicklow, just outside of Dublin Ireland. It was a small stretch, densely choked with vegetation, that reputedly carried occasional runs of sea trout. It was the most technical fly fishing I have experienced in my 48 years. It was in the middle of the night, with a half moon, on completely unfamiliar water. I may have had a single, subtle take during the hours that I fished. Or maybe it was a stone or branch, maybe even a fallen leaf that I failed to recognize under the pale moonlight dancing across the water. I can’t say for sure.

What I can say is that despite the circumstances that led me to this stretch of private water (it is a vintage story) with the landowner and his neighbor, I somehow earned a bit of comraderie with my reluctant host. Following our piscatorial pursuits (the neighbor had briefly hooked, then lost a fish), my host invited me back to the barn for a few belts of Jameson. All was forgiven, and a friendship had been forged.

Which brings me right back to now. On my couch, with the murmur of cable news in the background pontificating about Trump and his protesters.

This Jameson. It’s good. Not exactly the same as that night in County Wicklow, but close enough to bring that amazing night’s adventures to the forefront of my cerebral cortex.

Strange how our palate can be so remarkably connected to our memories!

“Willie in Charge”

Would any other Presidential candidate proclaim they were putting their spouse “in charge” of the economy if they win?

(Never mind that the aforementioned spouse is directly responsible for NAFTA [leading to companies moving to Mexico] and the expansion of the CRA [“community reinvestment act” which REQUIRED banks to make sub-prime loans, which were then backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac/govt, who then approached Wall Street to monetize the loans and sell them based upon the implied credit backing of the govt.] But I digress. Again.)

As HRC has said herself, “What difference does it make!!!”

Trump vs. HRC

Donald Trump is not the anti-Christ, nor is he Hitler reincarnated.

Hillary Clinton is not Mother Theresa nor Margaret Thatcher reincarnated.

Neither the Republican nor the Democratic Party elites have a monopoly on intelligent membership. Both sides have some very articulate, thoughtful and honorable representatives, and both have ignorant, self righteous, subversive hooligans.

What I find particularly disturbing as I peruse social media, though, is how far the left has taken the vitriol hatred.

In “the good old days”, the vitriolic hatred was lobbed at an individual leader (President Bush was a heavy target, as was Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to a lesser extent), but NOT an entire class of voters.

Today I see quite a lot of anti-Obama sentiment, which mostly appears to be related to his policies, actions and ideology. Nothing new there, except perhaps the arrows of “racist” flung by Obama supporters. By itself the accusation has been game changer, because the power of the word and it’s meaning has the impact of suppressing thoughtful discourse and effective opposition on Capital Hill. For nearly 8 years the accusation has virtually stifled the debate and opposition. The Republican leadership has been out maneuvered by a word.

The rest of us have become immune to the rhetoric. Like in the “boy who cried WOLF!”, the power of the “Racist!” retort (in lieu of – more eloquent defense of the man or his liberal policies/agenda) has lost it’s power among main stream America.

And so the vitriolic language from the left has exponentially escalated, and more specifically is now aimed at an entire electorate rather than a political representative. “Trump supporters” are now labeled – as a class – as ignorant, hate speech racist sociopaths hell bent on violence against everybody….

Yet the actual ignorant, hateful violence and suppression of voice/expression/assembly is coming from the left? The violence appears to be Bernie Sanders supporters, and the various racially affiliated “activist” groups of rioters and looters, who are openly supported by the leadership on the left.

And it’s working! Peruse the comments from our fellow Americans on social media and your will immediately recognize a pattern.  Apparently ANYONE who would choose Donald Trump over HRC (or Bernie) is a mentally disabled sibling of Satan himself, who most certainly isn’t “even a college graduate”. As if a BA from a University is an anointment to righteous wisdom (good luck with that degree in Art History, but I digress…)? Or that the voice and opinion of a middle class skilled worker – you know, the plumbers, electricians, mechanics and farmers of our great nation – is negligible because they are “uneducated”.

“Stupid Trump voters!” they cry! And worse.

Trump supporters, (To which I am not affiliated) by and large, seem to me to support a change in policy, in political direction and in leadership, but do NOT appear to be aggressively vitriolic towards people other than Capital Hill insiders. And they seem to be a very diverse group socially, ethnically and economically. I’m not seeing Trumpsters trying to suppress others opinions, speech or assembly. They are not looting and rioting. They are quietly assembling a majority. And when they do, I think the odds are fair that indeed a united electorate WILL make America great again – with or without Mr. Trump.

Minimum wage reality

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Witness, dear friends, an example of “the law of unintended consequences” in action. Shrill voices demanded – and received – $15 an hour minimum wages. The increase makes these machines way more economically viable. And no sick leave, no bad attitudes, no lawsuits for discrimination…

Logic for the illogical

So an anti-hunter acquaintance of mine says; “if animals had guns and could shoot back, bet you wouldn’t hunt them”.

My reply, “so allowing “defenseless” animals to arm themselves with a gun, theoretically, would make it fair?”.

He says; “yes, of course!”.

My reply, “so you are saying arming the defenseless, so they can defend themselves, makes sense?Great concept!”

“Do you think it applies to people, too?”

Silence ensued.

Syrian Refugee Solution

I have an idea for the Syrian refugees: everyone is “vetted” first, of course. Women and children are welcome to come and stay on limited visas – maybe somewhere in the prairie states. All men between 18 and 45 are conscripted into their own unit of the Army (Syrian liberation Army of America). We’ll train and arm them in Saudi Arabia – and our special forces will lead them in battle in their home country to eradicate Isis and Assad. We would find out very quickly who was real and who are ISIS infiltrators! Once the enemy is eradicated, they no longer need asylum, the women and kids go back, and we help rebuild the infrastructure. In theory we would then have a friendly ally in the region.

For the aspiring “1%’er”

Who doesn’t aspire to be, or at least dream of winning the lotto and becoming, a “1%’er?”

And once you make it – because about 1% does (I’m not a smart man, I just read the number, Jennie) – what’s the “consensus” that your idea of “fair share” as it relates to taxation has an immediate change in meaning?

The reality is that it is exceptionally easy to envy, and even easier to think of all the ways to spend someone else’s money. It all changes when others are voting to control your money. Truth is, over 50% of our population pays little, if any, Federal Income taxes. Yet those good folks are now being manipulated into voting for things that have no direct financial impact on them – but very significant indirect impact.

These are difficult times, my friends, and I see no logical resolution in the near future.