When Cathy and I went to New York City during the 15 year anniversary of 911, we learned to use Uber. One of the best things about that was speaking with the different drivers, all residents of Manhattan to get their perspective of the Big Apple before and since that tragic day.
One of our drivers was an Israeli national who was driving a delivery truck directly into the area when the first plane crashed into the South Tower. He immediately called his wife as she was working across the street from the World Trade Center and he wanted to see what she knew and be sure she was safe.
His story was incredible as he eventually raced to the scene to dig out survivors, while not knowing if his wife had made it out of her office or even escaped the explosion. She was not an Israeli national but was a native New Yorker, and although she did escape unharmed by the attack, he said she was ultimately victimized.
As we exited his car he said "I have no problem sleeping at night because I grew up in Israel with bombs going off everywhere all of the time. But my wife, having been so insulated from war living in America, is to this day traumatized by her memory of 911 and has serious insomnia. She watched people leap from the top floors to their death to escape the flames."
As we watch the bombing of Israel today it is frightening how insensitive many Americans have become to the anti-semitism and bigotry our Jewish allies have to endure every single day of their existence. And equally disturbing is the selective amnesia many Americans seem to have about 911 and the fact that it was an attack designed to ultimately undermine our unity and moral strength and solidarity with Israel.
Almost 20 years later and Israel is still under relentless attack and America today is more divided than at any time since the Civil War.
I first posted this in August 2017. Nearly two years later it is worth another look even though it essentially says what we all knew: Trump was right about the spying and damn near everything else he has said about the Deep State coup efforts of former Obama appointees and Clinton snowflakes.
Everyone from Charles Krauthammer to Morning Joe Scarborough has their pointed tongues out for Donald Trump. They all say things like, "Belittling your Attorney General" is no way to treat your cabinet. "Trump is his own worst enemy," referring to his daily tweets. Or, Trump's claims that "serious numbers of illegal voting" may have cost him the popular vote, which is always 'qualified' by commentary that those claims are totally "unsubstantiated" and "false".
Let's just start by saying that in an unnerving and overwhelming number of instances, Trump's "outrageous lies" have been, more often than not, proven to be true.
Starting with the claim that John McCain was not his idea of a hero. The MSM went bonkers (which is laughable because just one election cycle ago they trashed McCain as an alt-right ideologue). But in the end, the myths and the truth about McCain supports Trump's position.
Trump has claimed that millions of illegal votes may have cost him the popular vote. In California alone, recent studies show that hundreds of thousands of votes came from areas that have more registered voters than people eligible to vote!
Trump claimed that EPA rules were hurting US employment figures. He was roundly criticized because the media focused on select industry regulations to make their case that more regulation would increase jobs (even as seven years of Obama era EPA expansion hadn't helped the 93 million unemployed find work anytime soon).
This misuse of the English language is probably the most galling aspect of the blatant leftist attempt to effect a coup. I cannot stomach supposedly educated, highly compensated, and oft quoted officials dropping pejorative words into their comments, when the correct word would have performed just as well. Unless, of course, they are purposely trying to create anger or frustration with their audience.
There are literally thousands of examples, but let's just talk about two: Trump 'slammed' Jeff Sessions when he was interviewed by Sean Hannity.
" If I had known he would recuse himself, I probably wouldn't have chosen him to be my Attorney General."
This was characterized by the MSM as as an 'attack.' Later, Trump said Sessions was 'very weak' in his position regarding investigating Hillary's email and unmasking transgressions. For this Trump was said to have 'ridiculed' Sessions.
If my boss was accused of ridiculing every employee he criticized, he would have been out of a job. In fact, it is his job to analyse and fix the shortcomings of his employees. Trump is an expert at that, and though he may not be the most charitable person when it comes to job reviews, he gets results.
I guess in the media and government, the concept of accepting responsibility for your actions is alien. Listening to your boss point out your shortcomings at your job is now considered 'ridicule'.
This is leftist petulance and ignorance of our language, and how the real world works. Evaluating the effectiveness of an employee is called running a business. It isn't always pretty or comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, but if you have ever worked for highly successful people you know they are rarely the most likable people in the room. In my experience, they are Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: when work is over, they can be charming and approachable, but during working hours, don't waste their time with small talk or inaction. Running the most powerful country on Earth leaves no room for error, or for being 'very weak' at your job.
And what about the unmasking by the DOJ leading up to the election? Trump claimed to have discovered that his 'wires were tapped' by Obama. Technically, 'wiretapping' is vernacular of another era. Only in third world countries do the CIA or the FBI climb phone polls to tap the gangsters. So the MSM had a field day with this quote, because they knew they could characterize his claims as 'unsubstantiated.' He was accused of lying, because the press announced that there is no proof of 'wiretapping.'
But we now know that someone leaked information about telephone calls by Mike Flynn, Donald Trump Jr., and others working inside the Trump campaign. How were these conversations acquired? Trump used the wrong term, but the facts are on his side; the emails that Wikileaks put out about the DNC proved that Loretta Lynch, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and John Podesta (and many others) had access to conversations that they could only have acquired by someone illegally unmasking the protected conversations of innocent Americans.
The fact that they arbitrarily chose to start the score card then is telling, because all of the issues that they claim he lied about are the core issues of the left: immigration crime rates, gun deaths, the Russians attacking our democracy, Obama's birth certificate, universal health coverage, big oil and gas deals, police brutality, and the size of the crowd at Trump's swearing in ceremony or how many times his face has appeared on Time magazine, etc, etc.
"We are using the word “lie” deliberately. Not every falsehood is deliberate on Trump's part. But it would be the height of naivete to imagine he is merely making honest mistakes. He is lying." (NY Times)The word lie is a tool that is more destructive than suggesting Trump misstates or exaggerates.
People who suffer from liars syndrome, who recklessly lie about just about everything, are usually unmasked at some point. Their friends and family, those closest to them are the first ones to recognize the problem. If Trump were a pathological liar, don't you think there would have been a line several blocks long, of people who know Trump well, lining up to point his out to the voters? What about his ex-wives, his former employees, his housekeeper's, his subcontractors, and even his kids? Many of those now screaming about his inability to tell the truth were all but best of friends 5, 10 or 15 years ago, whooping it up at high society social events, weddings and graduations at Martha's Vineyards, or one of Trump's resorts. Where were/are these people? Are they all under a threat? All they all dead? Oh, sorry, that would be Hillary's detractors….
There is no mention of his long history of real estate success, his business acumen or how he works with manufacturers, builders, or bankers. The NY Times list of lies is so obviously slanted to reflect the arguments ideologues have over what is 'true' and what is 'hateful' or 'biased' that is hard to take it seriously. They are taking the tweets, the rally speeches, the political rhetoric of a Manhattan business bulldog and trying to compare it to polished politicians, campaign operatives and lawyers, or a media spokesperson.
Just as the editors of the NY Times piece states, not every falsehood is deliberate. But isn't that universally true? What Trump accomplished, beating Hillary at her own game, is so far fetched, so unprecedented, and so offensive to the left, that they have to resort to ad hominem attacks on his character, on speech patterns, even the brand of clothing than Melania wears.
The media lies by omission, ignoring proof that many democrats, journalists, and editors have colluded to create a narrative to try to discredit everything about Trump, so as to eventually remove him from his duly elected position in the White House. Some of which borders on treason since it so overtly calls for the overthrow of a duly elected government.
We can take some solace in the fact that they do not find fault in many things Trump has said about really important issues. Since it isn't listed, I guess we can assume they are OK with other pronouncements of Trump's administration. According to the NY Times piece, Trump hasn't lied about the IRS illegally investigating the Tea Party, or how it refused to grant them the same tax exemptions they routinely grant to Islamic or Progressive political organizations.
He hasn't lied about the massive fraud found in many of the Obama era military programs, where 6.5 trillion tax dollars were apparently misplaced and untraceable.
He is apparently telling the truth about the Paris Climate Agreements, where the US would have been on the hook for upwards of 3 billion dollars (some say the number is closer to $3 trillion after all is said and done over 30 years).
He has been honest, I guess, since the NY Times doesn't challenge his assessment that Hillary and Obama left a void in the middle east, which allowed ISIS to form a massive army by grabbing abandoned US military weapons. Or that since Trump took office, we have had only one online video of a German hostage being beheaded because they couldn't collect a ransom for him, versus the almost nightly parade of beheadings, tortures and mass murders starting in 2014.
No, they do not talk about Trump's lies about building a wall, restarting the economy, fighting and winning the war on radical Islamic terrorism, or reducing regulations on business and entrepreneurship. Or fixing the ObamaCare clusterf**k, or rebuilding the support for and the necessary equipment required for our military, immigration and police operations. Or how the Veterans Administration has modernized it's approach with integrated outsourcing, fostered by Trump's appointee, Dr. David Shulkin, who has extensive VA experience, but also seems comfortable thinking outside the bureaucracy-box.
We are coming to the end of the First 200 Days of the new administration and we have learned a lot.
I guess the question is, who will outlast who? Will Trump survive a full term, or will much of the fake news media go under first? But all is not lost, because as of right now, DJT is in charge, and the unhappy people are on the outside looking in...
This story was posted on FaceBook from Kari Wade, who, with her family, owns a ranch just 50 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border.
"Just read a comment on another friends post and the comment said, "Where's the fire?"...as in reference to building the wall/more technology on the border states. Let me tell you where the fire is...
The "fire" is finding dead bodies on your ranch, the "fire" is finding domestic pig ears in your drinkers when there isn't a domestic pig for 25 miles, the "fire" is waking up to unknown people talking in your attic, the "fire" is dogs barking all night when your closest neighbor is 7-25 miles depending on the direction to just realize there are people outside your barn, the "fire" is having to come home after dark and have to carry a rifle to go feed your livestock after BP tells you that they only caught 9 of the 15 they are looking for.
The "fire" is making a choice...do I take my child with me to a dark barn to feed and hold the flashlight or lock him in the house, so you lock him in the house and call a friend to let them know he's home alone and if they don't hear back from me to come check on us.
The "fire" is you don't feel comfortable letting your child play outside without being in eye shot of them. The "fire" is having large drug busts on your ranch. The "fire" is feeling sick to your stomach every time the helicopter swirls your house because you know they are chasing people because you can hear them on the speaker talking to them.
The "fire" is seeing the BP camera set-up 1/2 mile from your house. The "fire" is coming home after dark...your children are driving in front of you as one is of age to drive, and there are officers on your road watching illegals 1/4-1/2 mile from your house and you have to call your children and tell them to keep driving, don't stop at the house.
The "fire" is coming home to your backdoor wide open.
The "fire" is real for me, my family, and my community."
Recently, the issue of President Trump attacking the memory of the late Arizona senator John McCain has reared its ugly head once again. During the debates before the election, Trump said "He's a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren't captured."
That was taken as a direct insult to the veteran McCain who spent 5 1/2 years in captivity in North Vietnam. People said Trump should not impugn the reputation of a veteran, especially one who suffered as a prisoner of war. That is a fair criticism, but Trump was responding to the elevation of McCain to a "Wartime Hero" status, and who had implicitly said he thought Donald Trump "fired up the crazies." I wrote about that at the time, because I was one of the 'crazies' McCain was impugning.
When considering the idea of running for President in 2012, Trump knew he would be up against McCain. It was at that point that they began to undermine each other's credibility.
We can all agree that Trump and McCain didn't like each other. They clashed on a lot of foreign and military policy, but especially over illegal immigration. McCain had a hard time distinguishing between legal and illegal immigrants. He was a symbol of the entrenched Washington beltway establishment that consistently ignored the impact of the flood of unvetted, undereducated, and essentially unskilled immigrants across the country.
For that McCain was praised by Democrats as a Maverick Republican. In Trump's view, that means he was disloyal. When McCain reneged on his campaign promises to repeal Obamacare and became the deciding vote to sink the Republican repeal package, he sealed his reputation as a political traitor to Trump.
Liberals loved him, Trump conservatives, "not so much."
McCain embodied the inertia Trump confronted on every issue, every newscast, and every legislative action. The Washington establishment and the mainstream media does whatever they can to impugn Trump, while simultaneously elevating his opposition to newly defined levels of respect and significance.
When during the 2016 Republican candidate debate, Trump was confronted with McCain's hero status, he repeated his assessment: "Does being captured make you a hero? I don't know, I am not sure."
We have to ask ourselves, are all vets heros? What about those that perished in service? Are all of them ranked by the same definition of hero? If so, then what about all of those that threw their body on a hand grenade to save their fellow soldiers? Where do they rank?
We often refer to doctors, nurses, first responders, police and firemen as heroes. Then, in the same breath, we say they are underappreciated. To me, under appreciating heroes is an oxymoron. Just because they are in a unique position to be heroic, that doesn't mean they are all heroes all of the time.
This is where the perversion of our language issue comes in again, because it seems the value of too many terms have been rendered meaningless. We can't bestow that 'hero' title to every statesman in history. No one would suggest that all past and present public servants are heroes. People throw around words with little or no concern for the effects of the dilution of their meaning.
That is why the military bestows medals of honor, to distinguish exceptional efforts and circumstances from the everyday, though unforgiving, occurrences of wartime service. No one can take the value of a medal away from the recipient. McCain was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal and a Bronze Star, which speak for themselves. That makes McCain a highly decorated military veteran.
My point is, there has to be some qualification of the term hero.
The standard Merriam dictionary definition is:
1 : A mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent
endowed with great strength or ability.
2 : An illustrious warrior.
3: A man admired for his achievements and noble qualities.
4 : One who shows great courage.
McCain definitely fits that generic description. But so does millions of people. Is that what we mean when we call someone a hero? Is the kid who hits a walkoff homerun in the College World Series really a hero?
We can't just bestow that rank upon everyone that served in the military or are emergency and police professionals or won a game with the swing of a bat. Whether a soldier spent years in solitary confinement or in a tank waiting for an IED to blow their legs off, they all went to hell and back for our country. If that makes all of our soldiers heroes I think it dilutes the tribute.
At a meeting of world leaders, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called McCain an “American patriot and hero whose sacrifices for his country, and lifetime of public service, were an inspiration to millions.” McCain did serve his country. He did endure torture and imprisonment. He was relentless in his pursuit of political significance. He will be remembered as a unique historical figure in modern American history.
But he was no Neil Armstrong.
Upon closer analysis McCain pissed a lot of people off. He consistently voted against traditional Republican platforms. He pushed for liberal environmental federal standards, for comprehensive immigration reforms (viewed as amnesty by conservatives) and strongly criticized American anti-terrorism policies regarding interrogation and imprisonment at Guantanamo Bay. John Kerry considered offering him the Vice Presidential slot during his Presidential run.
McCain justified his rogue voting record as "doing what's right for America." He was definitely not a party loyalist. Republicans could not trust him to support their agenda. Maybe democrats would classify McCain as a hero, but the Trump Movement certainly wouldn't.
Trump was not suggesting that what McCain did was of no value, but getting accidently caught in enemy territory, then spending the entire war in a prison cell is incredibly brutal and the level of self discipline and commitment has to be enormous to survive. That is noble and deserving of our highest degree of recognition and gratitude.
What happened to John McCain was terrible and he did nothing to deserve it. He served his country and he deserves to be remembered as a leader and selfless contributor to our country and its legacy. But his service was most certainly not heroic.
When someone acts heroically, it is on purpose, not by accident.
A friend of mine wrote this recently. I loved it and without his permission I am sharing it with you. I hope he won't sue me...so for now he will remain anonymous.
...One characteristic of propaganda is the creation of associations. Images do this superbly, but words can do the same. If the propagandist can do so, he or she will create a link between his or her target and an established lightning rod for distaste. He or she will create an association which, if effective, will work towards defeating the enemy without a shot being fired; in other words, a defaming association can effectively argue against an opponent without any other arguments being made. "Oh, you're just one of them."
"The white MAGA male" is an example.
Let's say you feel the solution to the world’s ills are to tax and share. And, perhaps, you don't like white males, something needs to be done about "those people," and one solution is to open the border and turn the white male into an powerless minority. You also see Donald Trump as an embarrassing icon of intolerance, bigotry, racism, misogyny, and stupidity, an opinion you feel most people share. Well, make an association. A reporter writing an article which appeared in Times magazine implied that there are people doing just that. With no intention of making an attack himself - he was only alluding to the association others are making - he stated in an article on a confrontation in D.C., "It's one more case of white, MAGA males behaving like white MAGA males." So, you see, people who want to close the border, fight China's business and trade policies, and oppose socialism and communism didn't vote for the president because he was the only one promising to rectify these issues; they voted for the president because they are like him. Publish well-timed photos of white males looking angry or smug, as was the case in the D.C. confrontation, and the association is complete. That is propaganda, and if it is effective, one does not have to consider and argue against a point of view; one simply has to pull out the appropriate card and announce, "You don't want to be that person, do you? Do you?"