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Maybe half of America have Lost their Minds

In a recent article in Cracked the author tried to explain the “Trump phenomena”. It was a pretty good article people should read it. I have my only conclusions, but want to take a brief moment to expound and rant.

“I am one of the “deplorables” Hillary Clinton speaks so fondly of. So many of my friends are absolutely baffled, still, how I can publicly support Donald Trump. I am a college graduate, religious Jew and live in the suburbs. I work in light manufacturing, and seen how the American manufacturing worker has gotten absolutely screwed. Not your typical Trump voter. Let just explain in one short and hopefully eloquent rant.

Here’s the way I see the United States actually succeeding in a world global market. ---Fix the damn trade deals. Yes, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are correct; and so is Donald Trump. The only place someone can go and work on the “line” is at McDonald’s. Fast food has now become our great manufacturing base. Thank you Clinton for NAFTA, that killed our middle class, manufacturing and the hope that anyone could work hard and make a better life.

The second reason is the world, yes, I want America to be involved in foreign policy and not take a ridiculous back seat to every single other country. It sucks. The past 8 years have been an utter disaster; electing the woman who implemented much of that just doesn’t sit well with me. I will grant that Trump hasn’t had the background as Hillary, but considering the Iran deal, the Russia reset, Libya and other decisions; it’s hard to take her seriously.

Taxes, because it really is always about the economy stupid. I tend to agree with both sides when they mention that the middle class is getting squeezed. The only way to fix that is to readjust the trade deals but also create an environment where corporation large and small pay the same rate with no carve outs. Even JFK pushed for a lower corporate tax rate. And yes, Trump is the only one pushing for a sane tax policy.

So there you have it. And if you think telling me and finding more tapes of Trump proving that he is a pig is going to change my mind, it won’t. I want policy. I want someone who has the policies that I just showed you. That person is not Hillary Clinton and it never will be. So the three reasons I am voting for Trump are Taxes, Trade Deals, Foreign Policy. If that makes me deplorable then so be it.

Oakland County Water Resource Commissioner Jim Nash Gives Himself an Award

On August 2, 2016, Jim Nash received an award from the Clinton River Watershed Council for raising money for their organization. Mr. Nash is currently running for re-election as the Oakland County Water Resource Commissioner. Questions arise as to the legitimacy of receiving this award considering that the Clinton River is extremely contaminated. Why is the watershed acknowledging the person who is faulted for poisoning the Clinton River?

“…ongoing contamination problems are almost exclusively of nonpoint source origin” –Michigan DEQ.

This contamination in large part comes from many of the lakes and rivers in Oakland County, under Nash’s prevue. According to the group Save Lake St. Clair, this pollution was caused in part, by Oakland County.

”We dumped in over 429 million gallons through the Conner Creek Tributary to Detroit into the Detroit River on July 8th as a RTB event…
The Conner Creek Tributary … have dumped over 3 Billion Gallons this year as a RTB (retention basin event). “

Why was Nash given an award, when he hasn’t done anything to deserve this recognition?

The answer unfortunately is, cronyism. The executive director of the organization is, Anne Vaara. Ms. Vaara is also the active secretary of Pure Oakland Water.

“Pure Oakland Water is a Michigan not-for-profit organization dedicated to protecting Oakland County and regional water resources through public education, community organizing, environmental advocacy, and promotion of a sustainable future.”

Of course the chair of Pure Oakland Water is none other than Oakland County Water Resource Commissioner - Jim Nash.

The web of organizations seem like an easy way to self-congratulate, without actually doing the main job of having safe and clean water. Oakland County should not sit on the sidelines and allow politicians, who don’t have any sort of background in science to pollute our water. Let us learn our lesson from Flint and fire Jim Nash in November.

Be More Negative about Israel

I am proud to announce that, in my own small way, I've joined the ranks of Pamela Geller, Michael Oren, and other truth-tellers: a speech I was scheduled to give about Israel got cancelled because it was too positive.

It all started some months ago, when I was talking about Israel to a fellow we'll call "Fred." One thing led to another, and I ended up offering to give a presentation about the "startup nation" to a local business group he was a member of. Although I didn't know him very well, Fred, an older retired gentleman, was always friendly whenever we talked, and he seemed enthusiastic about my speech.

Last week I sent him my PowerPoint, which, as promised, focused on Israeli innovation, with some names and dates thrown in. Imagine my surprise when I got the following in response:

"My main suggestion is to avoid a talk of all hype and occasionally indicate where Israel could be more open and sensitive to world opinion."

Well, I don't happen to think that Israel needs to be more "sensitive" to a world that dislikes it. I told Fred that.

"Pure propaganda, we don’t need," Fred responded. "I’m thinking this is not a good fit for our club. I think we should cancel."

Wow.

Are statistics and history now considered "propaganda" if they show Israel in a positive light? Should Israel feel guilty it has produced 12 Nobel Laureates, or that it invented drip irrigation and the Intel 8088 chip, and the Palestinians didn't?

What exactly does Fred want Israel to be more open to?  The constant stream of criticism leveled at it by the UN and its hideously corrupt Human "Rights" Council, where countries like China and Cuba sit in judgment of the only democracy in the Middle East?

Being "more sensitive" means apologizing: for winning more wars, sustaining fewer casualties, being smarter than the enemy. Being sensitive means not firing back if Hamas is shooting at you from a mosque, because "world opinion" will not like it. What other country is expected to put the world's opinion above the safety of its own citizens?

As it happens, Fred cancelled my speech the same day 13-year-old Hillel Yaffa Ariel was murdered as she lay sleeping in her bed. Her crime was being Jewish. She was stabbed 18 times by a Palestinian teenager, whose mother later praised him as a shahid, a martyr.

How would Fred like Israel to handle this? Should they be "more open" to the idea that "the Occupation" excuses the most depraved attacks, and have the good taste  not to complain so much when a 13-year-old is savagely butchered?

Elie Wiesel, who died yesterday, said “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

Fred might want to think about that.

Israel in Real Life

I've been a pro-Israel blogger for some years now, but I had never actually visited the country until last month, when I went on a tour given by the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute.

Among other activities, we: went to Masada, swam in the Dead Sea, saw Qassam rockets in Sderot, walked around the Kabbalistic city of Safed, visited the Knesset, had a lunch at a kibbutz and a barbecue at a tank battalion base, heard Natan Sharansky speak, and wandered around the Christian, Jewish, and Armenian—but not Muslim—quarters of the Old City of Jerusalem, all in nine days.

The visit confirmed my impression of Israel as a miracle. Seventy years ago it was a barren desert, a vestige of the Ottoman Empire then under nominal British control. After fighting—and prevailing—against five Arab armies in 1948 (and in between regular attacks for the next 60+ years), Israel has somehow found time to set up a functioning pluralistic democracy and a lively free press, make amazing archaeological discoveries, invent drip irrigation, win a few more wars, and become a hub of medical and tech innovation, all while giving its people (including its Arab citizens) a standard of living unmatched in the neighborhood.

It's the only place in the Middle East where you can be a gay Muslim and not fear for your life. The only place in the Middle East where you can write nasty things about political leaders and not risk jail. The only place where Jews, Arabs, and Christians can serve together in parliament. (Although that's kind of a trick question, since there aren't any Jews left in Arab countries to hold public office.)

Israel isn't perfect, of course. There's plenty of corruption and stupidity, just as there is in any other country. And life is not all milk and honey for the hapless Palestinians, although a lot of that is their own fault. But we don't expect perfection from any other nation; why do we require it from Israel?  Doublestandard much?

One of the images I will always remember is the IDF soldier with braces. We saw her near the Western Wall, dancing and laughing with her compatriots. A strawberry blonde, dressed in Army fatigues, her gun slung around her shoulder, she couldn't have been more than 18 years old. She was just a kid—she still had braces on her teeth!—but in the eyes of the world she is an evil baby-killer. Is it ignorance or hate that fuels this? Either way, all we can do is continue to tell the truth and hope someone listens.

Why Silicon Valley should Worry about Merrick Garland

The President has finally chosen his pick for the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland. While much has been written about his judicial views, one thing stands out in particular; he does not view the second amendment as something to be protected. This one aspect about Judge Garland should be scrutinized for all angles. While gun owners might have an issue with his nomination, Silicon Valley should as well. There has been a brewing war between Apple and the FBI about the IPhone encryption program. This is not a new battle; it dates back to the 90’s.

During the Clinton administration, the second amendment played a crucial role in trying to curb encryption.  Encryption takes electronic information and scrambles the data to make sure that only the recipient is able to decipher the message. If you are sending unimportant messages to your friend, the government really doesn’t care. If you are a terrorist planning an eminent attack, it is a big problem.

The so called “Crypto Wars” was an effort by the Federal Government to maintain full control over cryptography devices. During that time the government claimed that these devices were a weapon and therefore covered under the second amendment.  The government claimed that this technology can help plan attacks of foreign entities.

As technology has developed, Apple is now the leader in encryption and the iPhone represents the latest battle between the Tech world andthe Government. Even though this case has seemingly resolved itself, Apple and tech should be on alert. One of these cases will very likely end up at the Supreme Court. With the court holding at 4 conservative and 4 liberal justices, the Obama pick of Merrick Garland will change it to a 5 to 4 liberal court. In fact Apple’s CEO, Tim cook has already brought up the Second amendment as a backing for his case against the government.

Judge Garland has shown to be more liberal in his interpretations of the Second amendment. It would not be a huge stretch that the Second amendment will be argued in relationship to phone encryption. If Mr. Garland is confirmed, it could have not only a lasting impact on gun owners, but the technology sector for years to come.

Trump’s Elephant and the Hypocrisy of Everybody

This column was originally supposed to be titled The Trouble with Trump. My initial intent was to use his comments last Wednesday to expose his lack of any policy to support his statements and his clear inability to think through and understand an issue. I had a plan, a good plan to pull the wool off everyone’s eyes with regard to what Trump actually said and what he should have done had he understood what he said. I had several discussions with various friends on Thursday to ensure that my understanding of the law was correct and that my logic was sound.

As I continued to mull over what I wanted to write, I found myself watching the Kelly File because The Blacklist was still on break. Then I heard Mark Thiessen say the following and my head has not stopped spinning since:

"Well, basically what it is, what Donald Trump said about abortion is something that no conservative would say. But it's something that a liberal pretending to be a pro-life conservative would say. It's like when he say[s] two Corinthians instead of second Corinthians. It's a tale that he really is not conversing, doesn't understand what pro-lifers really believe. He said in that interview with Chris Matthews, he said, this is a direct quote, conservative Republicans would say, yes, they should be punished. No, they would not say that. And what Donald Trump does is because he doesn't understand what conservatives think or he doesn't understand what pro-lifers think, he repeats the liberal caricature of conservatism and he says it because he thinks that is what conservatives want to hear. 
But it's really what Liberals what to hear because Liberals and Democrats want to run against the caricatures of conservatives, they want to run against the Republican who wants to put women in jail. Not the Republican who wants to stop abortion because women are victims just like the babies are. So, he doesn't understand the issues. And so he's saying things that are utterly silly."
That is what all of this has come to, a bunch of mumbo jumbo.

Donald Trump accidentally hits on the crux of the issue, the elephant in the room nobody wants to talk about and everyone attacks him from all sides of the issue, both conservatives and liberals, pro life and pro choice, Ted Cruz and John Kasich, Hillary Clinton and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Mark Thiessen says, well, that.

And then Trump takes back what he said, multiple times in case we didn’t understand him the first time, because that seems to be happening to him a lot in this campaign, right?

But is what Trump said wrong? If abortion were illegal then the law would be broken, right? So shouldn’t the lawbreaker face some sort of punishment?

I know, that’s called a logical argument, and coming from Trump I am shocked, shocked I say!

It’s a big elephant, the law I mean, in this hypothetical scenario where Trump bans abortion.

And what would the punishment be? It’s actually quite obvious. Let me present a scenario:

Kevin premeditatively kills Dave. Kevin is guilty of first degree murder. But John ordered Kevin to commit the murder. John is also guilty of first degree murder. Now let’s say John is Jane, and Jane has Dr. Kevin abort her viable fetus, Dave. Is not Jane just as guilty as John of first degree murder?

The slogan is “My Body, My Choice,” right?

This elephant in the room is the real issue that nobody wants to talk about. Conservatives don’t want to talk about it. Liberals don’t want to talk about it. Pro Life and Pro Choice lobbyists don’t want to talk about it. Ted Cruz and John Kasich don’t want to talk about it. Hillary Clinton and Debbie Wasserman Shultz don’t want to talk about it. The main stream media doesn’t want to talk about it. Conservative and liberal news outlets don’t want to talk about it. And Fox News doesn’t want to talk about it.

Why?

Because apparently following Trump's statement to its logical conclusion will cause the end of life as we know it or something like that. But really because Mark Thiessen is right about one thing: Everyone on both sides would rather argue against caricatures of each other’s positions than admit the logical repercussions of their own positions.

I present hypocrisy at its finest, the whole lot of them!