Friday, January 13, 2017

Stream of consciousness Tweets finally scared me into worrying about Trump as President

There are times when Donald Trump’s Tweets cause mainstream media and political enemies to go insane in their attempts to discern what evil intentions he communicated in 140-characters or less. Then, there are Tweets that will go mostly unnoticed by the media but that actually worry me greatly. This morning was such an occasion.

In a 45-minute Tweetstorm that started before most Americans were awake, Trump unloaded a stream of consciousness that makes me wonder about him. I’ve never hid the fact that I’ve opposed him for a long time, nor have I tried to hide my mild surprise that many of his actions since winning the election have been positive. I’ve taken on the mindset that when he does good things, I’ll praise him, and when he does bad things, I’ll oppose.

What he Tweeted this morning wasn’t really anything new. Here’s the Tweetstorm in question:

Trump Tweetstorm

None of it seems too bad, right? Individually, any of these Tweets are harmless repeats of things he’s said in the past. Taken as a whole, I’m suddenly concerned. Is this really how he thinks? He came out with kudos for his cabinet, a humblebrag of sorts. Then, he alerted everyone about the source of fake news that hit him this week, making sure to continue his attacks on the intelligence community. Hillary Clinton was the next target – “guilty as hell.” He ends it with an attempt to be clever by calling Obamacare the “Unaffordable” Care Act.

Again, it seems like no big deal, but consider one thing: this was 45-minutes worth of thoughts that the next President felt needed to be said. Set aside the grammatical errors that make George W. Bush seem like the 2nd least intelligent President in the modern era. Consider the fact that Trump needs to be focused if we’re going to get out of the mess that Barack Obama has put us in.

That’s what worries me. It’s not the attacks. At this point, we just have to accept that our President has thinner skin than Kim Jong-un. It’s not the inability to communicate cohesively. Twitter allows communication blemishes to be excused away in this modern era of emojis and hashtags. The thing that worries me the most is that his stream of consciousness is undisciplined. It reveals that Trump can’t keep a coherent thought in place long enough to make the tough decisions.

His Tweets have given us an unprecedented glimpse into the thought processes of a President. It’s much easier to see how he failed so miserably at dozens of endeavors outside of real estate, entertainment, and political campaigning. My concerns of the past that have been repressed recently are creeping back very quickly. This guy really is an idiot and he’s about to be running the nation. The only solace I have left is knowing that at least he’s not Hillary.

via Soshable

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

7 hour meeting. Sushi reward.

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Sunday, January 8, 2017

It’s time for Christians and conservative to end our addiction to Hollywood

A decade ago, I received a job offer in southern California. The money was much better than I was making in Oklahoma, but the cost of living essentially made it a wash. What prompted me to move my family to the left(wing) coast away from conservative Oklahoma was Hollywood. I had a screenplay that was nearly finished and having access to Hollywood an hour away made pitching it much easier.

In other words, I wanted to be part of Hollywood. No, I wasn’t into the glitz or the glamour. I’ve always enjoyed good storytelling and creativity was being stifled in favor of unnecessary sequels (everything was about franchises back then) and horrific reboots. I had a winner that was almost complete and Hollywood needed a fresh voice. I was going to give it to them.

Life happened. I advanced in my job much faster than expected, gaining partial ownership of the company in less than a year. With my new partners, we formed another company, sold it along with the first company, and it became clear that my dreams of revamping Hollywood needed to go on hold while I built another company. Today, I have a great screenplay that I’m confident could get bought. It will never be seen by anyone in Hollywood. Living here for a decade and watching the leftward lurch of the industry made me realize that I no longer want to be a part of that world.

It’s not just the politics and lack of creativity. The rampant militant atheism that was once quietly chuckled about behind the scenes has emerged as a blatant badge of honor worn by so many. There are notable exceptions such as Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt, but the fact that they’re notable for being willing to discuss their faith is a testament to the heathen nature of the entertainment industry.

Tonight, while much of America watches the Golden Globes, I will be busying myself with work. It’s not easy for many of us that loved Hollywood in the past to avoid this staple of life distractions, but it’s something that needs to be done. Christian conservatives in particular should do what we can to find new pastimes instead of supporting the people who oppose most of what we believe. They promote “tolerance” while demonstrating very little of their own when it comes to conservative responsibility or Christian morals. They demand “justice” to be served while condoning lawlessness at the border. They tell us they won’t support the President of the United States before he’s even sworn in while giving tearful goodbyes to the most failure-laden leader in American history.

With all this, so many of us still pay good money to see them perform. No more. I’m done. That’s not to say that I’m boycotting movies and television. I’m simply going to be extremely selective. I’d rather see a good movie with a conservative message than an award-winning liberal flick. It’s not going to be easy since there are no “Christian conservative movie ratings” apps that I know of (someone should build one or let me know if there’s one already). I’ll have to go with my gut and read reviews of trusted conservatives. To that end, I will also try to put some reviews of my own up on this site when I find shows that are worthy. No promises – I haven’t seen very many this year that fall into that category, but now that I’m looking, hopefully more will come available.

Christian conservatives often rail against the liberals and atheists in Hollywood, then we support them with our dollars and watch their awards shows. It probably won’t change any time soon, but if there’s a way to make them change, it’s by supporting those who are ideologically aligned with us and avoid those who are not. That doesn’t give us many options, but it’s better than encouraging their agenda by buying tickets to their shows.

via Soshable

Friday, January 6, 2017

Will “Mexico’s gonna pay for it” become Trump’s “Read my lips, no new taxes”?

Four years is forever in the world of politics. We’ve seen shifts in ideology happen in months, even weeks, so the thought that actions today can dramatically affect an election nearly four years away is ludicrous, right? As fickle as American voters seem to be, there’s one thing that works in spite of the passage of time: recorded sound bites.

Donald Trump has a problem with his wall. Reports started popping up yesterday that his promise to have Mexico pay for the wall may be broken with some of his first actions. Congress is likely going to have to fund the building of the Mexican border wall with taxpayer dollars. Some of us have assumed this would be the case since his first ludicrous proclamation that Mexico would be paying for it, but it’s just starting to hit home now.

Since he’s always known that it would be nearly impossible to make a sovereign nation pay for something they don’t want, he started mitigating the potential damage back in October by saying that Mexico would reimburse us for the price of the wall. The spin is already starting. First, they were supposed to pay for it. Now, they’re supposed to pay us back for building it. Starting around noon today and with every future financial interaction with Mexico, we’ll hear that these are example of how he’s making them pay for it. We’ll probably hear about how Ford pulling out of its Mexican plant is the first batch of dollars that will be used for the wall. In fact, every job we “get back” from Mexico will be used as an example of wall-repayment.

Here’s the problem. None of these claims will change the fact that American taxpayers will have their dollars put into building it. Keep in mind that I’m not against this; we’ve needed stronger border security for decades and if there’s an opportunity to finally build a wall without adding to the budget, I’m all for it. The problem is twofold: they won’t be cutting other portions of the budget to make up for the added expense and he used this line to mislead the people.

Some will argue that he was just new to politics, that he wasn’t aware that Mexico wouldn’t be paying for it. Others will say it was hyperbole on the campaign trail. Therefore, the only possible excuses are that he’s an idiot or a liar. Either trait would have prevented him from being President if he didn’t run against the only candidate who lies even more than he does.

What does this mean for 2020? It could be huge. If he’s not able to tangibly get Mexico to pay for the wall, he’s going to get hammered by the Democrats. As they learned this year, showing poor character or having as his only qualification the fact that he was born rich weren’t enough to sway the people. However, Americans still do not look kindly on failed promises, particularly when they’re the primary talking point used by a candidate. Every President fails in many or even most of their promises, but they have to keep the big ones. Had Barack Obama failed to get Obamacare passed, he would have lost in 2012. If George W. Bush had failed to protect Americans after 9/11, he would have lost in 2004. If Bill Clinton had not kept his promise to engage an economic plan that would “compete and prosper in the world economy,” he would have probably still beaten Bob Dole in 1996, but not as badly (granted, his economy benefited from the rise of the internet, but the economy still thrived on his watch).

George H. W. Bush also had a big campaign promise: no new taxes. Backed into a corner, he ended up raising taxes in his first term. This hurt him dramatically because of an extremely well played sound bite that hit television and radio constantly in 1992. “Read my lips. No new taxes.” This was an isolated sound bite that tanked his chances.

“We’re going to build a wall and Mexico’s going to pay for it.” This phrase was uttered probably north of 100 times by Trump during the campaign. If he doesn’t deliver and American taxpayers are stuck with $10-$70 billion to build and yearly maintenance fees in the billions as well, the Democrats are going to paint Trump as either an idiot or a liar. It may stick. There’s no shortage of sound bites and the message can resonate if he doesn’t have a successful first term.

I’m all for a wall. I just wish he would have been up front about it to Americans instead of giving millions of people the false hope that he was going to force a sovereign nation to pay to defend our borders from their citizens. This may come back to haunt him and the Republican Party in 2020.

via Soshable

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Chicago proves if you can’t take all the guns, it’s best to take none

There are nations around the world that do not allow their citizens to carry firearms. America is not one of them and it never should be. As our founders knew all too well, a citizenry must have the ability to defend themselves against an oppressive government, even if it’s one’s own government.

Chicago doesn’t seem to get this. They continue to allow criminals to get guns through various sources while preventing law-abiding citizens from carrying them. Here’s the thing. In a nation with over 300 million firearms, there are two choices. You can either take them all away or allow the people to have the rights granted to them by the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution to defend themselves, their families, and their neighborhoods, or you can take all of the guns away completely. Since the second option is (thankfully) impossible, it’s time for Chicago to reverse their position and allow their citizens to defend themselves.

As the New York Daily News reported, Chicago with its incredibly Draconian gun laws had more homicides in 2016 than New York and Los Angeles combined.

The data released Sunday are staggering, even for those who followed the steady news accounts of weekends ending with dozens of shootings and monthly death tolls that hadn’t been seen in years. The increase in homicides compared to 2015, when 485 were reported, is the largest spike in 60 years.

New York City logged 334 homicides in 2016, according to NYPD data. LAPD data shows that there were 294 homicides in Los Angeles in 2016.

The people have the right to defend themselves. You can’t stop the forces of evil from arming themselves, whether it’s with guns, knives, trucks, or bombs. Instead of taking guns off the street, now is the time to put more guns in the hands of people who can make a difference. When the police can’t handle it, the only line of defense against a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

The post Chicago proves if you can’t take all the guns, it’s best to take none appeared first on Conservative Haven.

via Conservative Haven

Cafe 8 1/2: The problem with using review sites for political revenge

Modern businesses depend on review sites. In particular, restaurants often live and die by reviews on Yelp and other popular review sites because internet “critics” are any given customer. Some people (I’m one of them) use review sites almost exclusively when deciding on new places to go eat.

Cafe 8 1/2 in Honolulu learned the hard way that getting political can be bad even if your particular message happens to be popular in your area. Donald Trump didn’t win Hawaii, but that didn’t stop a ton of Trump supporters from bashing the Italian restaurant on Yelp after they posted an idiotic sign on on their front door:

As reported by the Washington Examiner:

Cafe 8 1/2, an Italian restaurant in Honolulu, Hawaii, received hundreds of complaints on its Yelp page Tuesday after posting a sign on its front door that banned those who voted for President-elect Trump from eating at the establishment.

“If you voted for Trump you cannot eat here! No Nazis,” the handmade, yellow sign stated.

Hundreds of Trump supporters wrote on the restaurant’s Yelp, Facebook and Google pages complaining about the political statement, while others criticized the food and environment.

Since the news broke, Yelp has been flooded with negative reviews (and a few positive ones in an effort to counter the effects). This makes people feel good that they’re speaking out about poor practices, but here’s the thing. It doesn’t work. Yelp was quick to jump in and work on fixing the problem.

Reviews of AntiTrump Cafe in Honolulu

In our super-connected world, it’s easy for people to take a stand for or against a particular business or individual based upon their political opinions. Using review sites to hurt a business will invariably lead to very little actually happening to that business. That’s not to say people shouldn’t speak out. There are better places to do it other than review sites. Social media, blogs, local publications, and online forums are much better for these activities because they’re much less likely to be censored.

Before anyone complains about censorship by Yelp, it’s important to remember that they are a site dedicated to reviews based upon quality of services or businesses made by people who have actually experienced them. It’s their site and if they choose to remove reviews from people they don’t feel actually ever visited the establishment, that’s their prerogative.

Voice your opinions. Just do it in places where they can have a real impact. Yelp and other review sites aren’t those places.

The post Cafe 8 1/2: The problem with using review sites for political revenge appeared first on Conservative Haven.

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Sunday, December 18, 2016

Only 28 American refugees fled to Canada after the election. None of them were celebrities.

Remember the rash of vows by American celebrities that they would leave the United States if Donald Trump won the election? With nearly a month-and-a-half to plan and execute their exodus, a total of none of them have left.

Social media buzzed about the masses of “regular” people who would leave as well. Canada was prepared to open the floodgates and take in the survivors of the American apocalypse with open arms. Since the election, a total of 28 Americans have applied for Trump-related refugee status. Unfortunately for these endangered liberals, their requests might not work even with so few of them.

According to Heat Street:

Of the 28 who applied, it’s possible none will be approved to relocate to America’s northern neighbor. The CBC found only two successful claims for asylum out of hundreds of cases filed from the U.S. since 2010. There was no successful claim out of the 170 filed in 2015.

The bad news for the rest of us is that the leftist Hollywood types have failed to follow through with their threats as well. According to The Blaze:

Among those who said they would leave are: Bryan Cranston, Rosie O’Donnell, Jon Stewart and Whoopi Goldberg, Miley Cyrus, Amy Schumer, Cher, Samuel Jackson, Lena Dunham, Barbara Streisand, Raven-Symone and others.

None of them have followed through and several have said following Trump’s election to the White House that they were simply “joking” when they made their vow.

Just when conservatives thought we’d have fewer progressives to deal with, they declined to follow through with their promises. This is just another case of how liberals are often all bark, no bite.

The post Only 28 American refugees fled to Canada after the election. None of them were celebrities. appeared first on Conservative Haven.

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Christians who opposed Trump must open their minds to the sovereignty of God

I thoroughly opposed Donald Trump through the primaries. When he was nominated, I searched for a conservative alternative. On election day, I didn’t vote for either of the major party candidates and “wasted” my vote (though I could write a tome about the fact that there’s no such thing as a wasted vote, but now’s not the time). As I posted yesterday, things have changed. He’s now going to be President and we must push him in the right direction.

There’s another angle that I didn’t address yesterday: the conscientious Christian worldview. My opposition to Trump was not based solely on my faith and my view that he doesn’t share it. There were more political reasons that fueled my opposition. Other Christians opposed Trump specifically because of his stated lack of understanding and adherence to a Biblical worldview. To those of you who fall into this category, I now ask you to follow a new direction regarding the President-elect.

You don’t have to like him. You don’t even have to support him (though any American President deserves our respect even if only for the office itself and its role in defending the Constitution). All I’m asking is that you view his presidency with an open mind based upon our understanding of the omnipotence and sovereignty of God.

Do I believe that God “chose” Trump as so many Christians have postulated? Yes, but not for the reasons that people like Michele Bachmann have suggested. Instead of Trump being chosen to make America great again, I believe it’s more likely that he was chosen much in the same way that Saul was chosen. Through the prophets, God warned Israel that they didn’t need a king but they essentially demanded it, so God gave them the reprehensible King Saul. This decision led to David and Solomon, so an argument can be made that Saul was a necessary evil to get to better kings. Unfortunately, Solomon was followed by Rehoboam who effectively split the nation for nearly three millennia.

We must always remember that God is in control. Free will is granted to men, but it is God’s will that brings about our leaders. That’s not to say we have no responsibility for matters. It’s often challenging to reconcile the free will granted to man with the supreme will that enacts God’s plan. I can’t offer a simple explanation other than portions of the Bible that prove it to me, but there’s a long explanation (more like a theory) that I may tackle some day. In the meantime, we simply have to accept the Biblical validity of these apparently contradictory concepts.

God could make Trump a great President. He could turn him into the downfall of the nation. He can use him as a tool to usher in someone else, to take down a system, or to take individual actions that fulfill portions of God’s plan. As Christians, we have to shift from the campaign perspective that Trump isn’t the right man for the job to the post-election perspective that he’s the person we need to watch and even guide at times.

Nothing is impossible for God. If He can free the Hebrews from the clutches of the Egyptians, he can make Trump fulfill whatever role he’s intended to play in God’s plan. That means that we cannot allow our personal distaste or mistrust cloud our own Biblical worldview. We need to watch what happens and react accordingly without the bias we may feel against the President-elect. We don’t have to like him nor trust him, but we should be watchful of his actions and react to where they lead us. When he does well, support him. When he does poorly, we may dissent. It’s the only truly Biblical way to handle any politician.

The difference between Trump and past Presidents is that Trump makes it harder to both support and oppose. That paradox has spread to his supporters. As such, we must remain diligent. Just because we don’t know God’s plan doesn’t mean we ca’t recognize it as it plays out.

via Soshable

Saturday, December 17, 2016

From #NeverTrump to #StuckWithTrump: Why I now focus solely on the issues

There haven’t been very many times that I praised anything about Donald Trump on this blog. Most of those moments were in relations to Hillary Clinton, the only Democrat so distasteful that she could lose to him. I consider myself the hipster version of #NeverTrumpers; I opposed his liberalism before it became cool.

Things have changed. He’s going to be the President of the United States in a little over a month. There’s no longer anything for me to oppose about him as a person or a candidate. It’s not that those issues disappeared. It’s that opposing them no longer offers any benefit. It’s time to shift gears and focus on the only things that are politically important for the next 2-4 years (depending on how the GOP performs in the 2018 election): the issues.

I’ll be first to admit that some of Trump’s choices for cabinet have been positive. It’s not like I expected to hate all of them, so this shouldn’t come as a surprise. James Mattis and Jeff Sessions are both solid choices. Mick Mulvaney could turn out to be an excellent choice and, though I know very little about him, David Friedman seems to have the right perspectives on Israel.

They say when you’re going to say something mean about someone, you should start with the positives. So far, those are all of them.

Before I get to the negatives, it’s important to understand my stance. With Trump and the GOP in charge in Washington DC and in most states, this is a grand opportunity. I go in with low expectations about how they will handle their power because they’ve given very few indications they will use it appropriately. As a proud member of the new Federalist Party, my greatest hope in American government is that Washington DC will dramatically reduce its own powers in all three forms: budget, bureaucracy, and power. That should be the primary long-term goal of the GOP, but so far it seems to be very low on the totem pole. In fact, it seems like most of the talk out of Republicans lately have surrounded measures that will increase budgets while only offering token reductions in bureaucracy and power.

This is why it’s all about the issues for me going forward. If I allow myself to look at the individuals, my low expectations will go even lower. The people in charge, from Trump to Mitch McConnell to Rex Tillerson to Paul Ryan, all seem to be against the concept of reducing government power. They talk about smaller government, but the changes they’re proposing are infinitesimal compared to the actions that are truly necessary.

Briefly, here are the issues that concern me. Each could have their own set of blog posts written about them, but I’ll keep it limited to bullet points. If you don’t recognize that these are problems, it would be hard to convince you even with longer explanations.

  • Carrier’s crony capitalism deal
  • Taking down defense industry stock prices with Tweets that hurt American investors
  • Touting a $50B investment from a “Japanese firm” that gets the vast majority of its funds from Saudi Arabia
  • Reince Priebus
  • Outrageously expensive infrastructure plans (for which Trump is leaning towards the Schumer plan rather than the McConnell plan)
  • Ivanka’s daycare initiative
  • Obamacare uncertainty (this isn’t hard: assess, prepare to replace, repeal, then replace)

There are other potential concerns from the relationship with Vladimir Putin to his softening on illegal immigration and deportations, but those and most other concerns can’t be fully understood until he’s in office. Items in the list above are all already concerning.

When the government does the right things, I’ll cheer regardless of who’s doing it or their party allegiance. When they do the wrong things as most of them are wont to do, I’ll oppose loudly. This is no longer a question of personalities or history. With the election over, it’s all about the issues, so they will become my primary political focus. I encourage everyone else to take a similar approach.

via Soshable

Tuesday, December 13, 2016


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