Not a Candidate; A Warning

The following is a guest post from Mike Banzet, a retired major in the U.S. Air Force, and author of A Flower Shop in Baghdad:

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Donald Trump has been much in the news lately. Republicans seem to really hate him, Democrats really, really hate him, the media hates him, and apparently, everyone in the rest of the world hates him. He uses course language: “stupid” is the favorite descriptor for a wide range of dysfunctions, and his policy solutions are usually a three step process.

1. I’m Awesome.

2. I’ll find Awesome people.

3. There will be an Awesome result.

And yet Trump is well ahead of the field, blowing through super Tuesday like a hairy tumbleweed. Of the other top Republican contenders one is an accomplished lawyer who has won the right kinds of cases, including at the Supreme court; articulate, smart, patriotic, but unfortunately, looks a bit like “Count Chocula”, and people seem to think that’s “creepy”. The other believes that the reason this country exits is to provide a place for refugees to come to and thinks he is running for President of Cuba.

Then there is John Kaisich, who apparently is there to get snacks for the candidates. In a just world, Ted Cruz would be measuring the drapes in the White House. But he’s not.

Why?

Donald Trump is no great conservative champion: he has proven through the years to take whatever positions are most advantageous to him at the time. To be fair, that was his only responsibility; growing his business, making more money and employing thousands of people while getting fabulously wealthy himself. In order to do that he has paid for many politicians, including the Clintons. He overpaid.

But so what? What have the great conservative champions done for the party of the right? The recently passed omnibus bill has pulled back the curtain on the inner workings of the exclusive Washington club.

Where the little folks who elected this bunch of integrity traders are a distant, if considered, thought.

The omnibus was a complete invalidation of the reasons that conservatives were elected in the first place. So all of grade A, super conservative, by-the-book, National-Review-Approved-Conservatives accomplished no more than if all conservatives had voted for liberals.

I don’t even need to know a thing that was in the bill. If the opposition gushes that it was a complete victory and they got more than they expected, that’s good enough for me to condemn Republicans.

Whether by cowardice, incompetence or corruption, the Republican party is ineffective. In spite the inherent disadvantages of being the party of grownups, America sent alleged conservatives to state and federal positions in historic numbers in recent elections. And have produced nothing of note, except smug Democrats. If the other team is doing celebrations, you are in the wrong end-zone.

And what does that have to do with Trump? Everything. As mentioned above, he doesn’t have much on the way of provable bona-fides for the conservative club. He seems like a blue collar guy who just happens to have tons of money, fame and lots of hair products. He doesn’t have a lot of specifics on his positions, and isn’t super articulate in the ones he does have. Ironically, he’s really not a good candidate for either the Republicans OR the Democrats. So what is he?

A warning.

Donald Trump is a step in the continuum that, if not interrupted, ultimately results in the exercise of the Second Amendment. When the First Amendment loses its voice, the Second clears it’s throat. For so many in this country, the government has become unresponsive to them; growing ever more oppressive and aloof. The voting booth is where those issues are supposed to be rectified, but what happens when, through the proper exercise of voting; the government still tacks ever more leftward? The people haven’t; the government has. A large swath of the electorate feels alienated and oppressed by elected officials who refuse to live under the laws they pass.

The Founders had a remedy for that. After penning the rulebook for how the U.S Government is supposed to work, they realized that they should probably write down the rights of the people, just in case anyone got confused about who was supposed to serve who. And to serve as a restraint on an overreaching government, they put a couple of steps in the part of the rulebook that talks about people’s, individual (not collective, or as agents of a state) rights.

The first safeguard was speech. Through speech, and lots of it, there would be redress for an ever expanding government and any muffling of speech that was noxious to the ruling class. Like, “Don’t Tread on Me”. Now, the muffling is accomplished through safe spaces, trigger warnings, and the ever tiresome “-phobic, or -ist” slurs. And the shrinking violets we’ve elected allow themselves to be bullied into compliance with outrageous initiatives. Common sense, fiscal restraint and the will of the people evaporate as representatives that were elected based on one set of values suddenly see that looking the other way on illegal immigration or continuing racial and sexual discrimination results in them being able to command a slightly higher price for their integrity as they sell it off, slice by slice.

And then comes Trump.

Whatever the man’s failings, giving a hoot about what people think is not one of them. His narcissism is second only to the current White House Occupant. But it also makes him resistant to being swayed by negative comments, and the constant bullying of the left. If anything, he seems to thrive on negative energy. Not by rethinking positions, but by taking his ball and going home or doubling down. Don’t think he can build a wall? Well, he will, AND he will make Mexico pay for it. Mexico says no? It just got ten feet taller. An incredibly vain person has their strengths, and if their issue lines up with yours, you have a huge ally.

So, I don’t care about Trump’s conservative pedigree. We elected a whole raft of conservatives to the Senate and the House who’ve been waiting for something, I guess. If he just controls immigration, strengthens the military, and puts some discipline into government spending, that would be a HUGE win. The shrieking, mewling, crass bleats of the left will mean nothing to him, and may embolden him to greater issues. He can be a loud, obnoxious spine for the conservative cause.

The fact that he’s a candidate at all is an indicator of the times, the growing restlessness of a population that is frustrated that no one is listening. And every time someone criticizes Trump for the things he says, they are merely reinforcing the fact that the normal methods are becoming less and less effective.

In other words, Mitt should shut his pie hole. It’s ludicrous to have to defend thinking that illegal immigration is bad. That the Iraq War was a huge victory until the Democrats forfeited the sacrifices of their betters in order to skulk away from our young allies. That a country should be able to pay its bills.

Even if that means that trans-gendered tree frog mating habits in Zimbabwe must go un-studied.

The only thing that will hurt Donald Trump is if he starts backtracking on his signature issues. If he starts smelling like another politician, then he’s toast, and people will start applying the same rules to him as they do to others. Right now, he gets a pass. A scent of betrayal and he won’t.

He’s not the best candidate, but he’ll do. At least he’ll be crazy on our behalf.

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2nd Marine Knocked Out, Left For Dead in DC

By now you have probably heard of Chris Marquez, the decorated Marine vet who was brutally assaulted by Black Lives Matter supporters outside of a McDonald’s in Washington DC, on February 12. If not, you can read about it here.  Two of the thugs have been arrested for that assault. 

What most people don’t know is that another Marine was also viciously attacked on the same night in another part of the city. This case is even worse than the other, and it happened in a DC neighborhood that is considered upscale and safe.

Well it wasn’t safe for 35-year-old Michael Schroeder, who was attacked from behind, robbed, and left for dead for over an hour in frigid temperatures.

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Via WUSA 9 News:

Temperatures had dropped down to the teens in weather reports. Laying in the cold, dragged between two cars, face-down, head bashed-in and cash missing is how Schroeder’s family says police found him in the Glover Park neighborhood. Thankfully a dad and son driving by in a taxi saw Schroeder and called the authorities.

Unfortunately, because Schroeder was cold-cocked from behind and instantly knocked out, he has no description of his assailant(s). Surveillance cameras apparently were not able to catch the assault.

 

“I wasn’t trying to find trouble. I was actually just trying to walk home,”  Schroeder told WUSA.

That’s the last thing Schroeder, an Operation Iraqi Freedom Marine, says he remembers. He was out drinking with friends that night and separated to go home. In nearby surveillance cameras, you see Schroeder near Wisconsin Avenue NW before 2 a.m. He cuts through a parking lot to 37th Street NW, but after he turns the next thing he remembers is ambulance lights.

A D.C police report says two officers responded to a 911 call and found Schroeder laying face-down between town cars. The report says he felt very cold, appeared highly intoxicated and was bleeding from the back of his head.

Surveillance video shows Schroeder walking through a parking lot at around 1:34 a.m. Police say they responded at around 2:47 a.m. but that same surveillance footage shows the ambulance arrival time as about an hour later, at around 3:47 a.m. The family believes the actual emergency response time was 3:47 a.m.

Schroeder’s twin brother, who is also a Marine, believes Michael laid there for at least an hour and said that, according to doctors, his injuries are consistent with someone attacking from behind.

“This will probably go down as an assault or attempted robbery but when you hit somebody in the head and that hard enough to fracture their skull with something harder than a metal or fist, it should be looked at as attempted murder.”

 

A GoFundMe page was created to help Schroeder pay for his medical expenses which will include months of physical, occupational, and speech therapies in order to gain back what was taken from him in this senseless attack.  Any extra money, the family tells  WUSA9 “will go to the Recon and Sniper Foundation, a veteran non-profit.”

A GoFundMe account has been set up for Marquez, if you would like to make a donation click here.

Kudos to WUSA 9 News for covering this story. Hit the link if you want to see the interview with Schroeder and members of his family.

America 2016: Ben Shapiro and Friends vs The Left-Wing Mob at CSU-LA

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Yes, this guy is wearing a freaking beret.

On Thursday, author/commentator/blogger/talk show host Ben Shapiro went ahead with his speech at CSULA that was cancelled by university president William Covino earlier this week and then “uncancelled” at the last minute. Shapiro had announced that he was going ahead with the speech regardless of it being cancelled.

Three hundred or so “student-activists, outside agitators, and professors” formed a mob at the university student union to protest the the event, with many of them blocking people from entering the auditorium. “This is what democracy looks like!”

Via The Daily Wire:

As Shapiro spoke to a relatively calm audience inside, protests erupted outside the event room. Protesters assaulted, harassed, intimidated, shouted down, and berated event-goers, according to Daily Wire reporters on the scene. One attendee claimed that he got “punched in the ear” by a protestor. Before the speech began, members of the school’s black student union reportedly assaulted Breitbart journalist Adelle Nazarian.

“You’re here to incite violence!” the protester repeatedly shouted through his bullhorn. (By being there, she did seem to incite their violence.)

A handful of university police roamed the student union, peering in and out of the central demonstration site. However, the officers refused to respond to the chaos and allowed protesters to physically block access to the event space. Three lines of protesters stood in front of the door, telling those interested in attending the speech to “F*ck off.”

Daily Wire reporters were told to walk away as protestors stood as sentries in front of the door, using their bodies to block all entry to the event room. CSULA is a taxpayer funded public institution. The protestors turned self-appointed gatekeepers effectively denied access to a public space. None of the individuals blocking the door were security guards or police officials.

Here’s the audio of Shapiro’s speech.

 After the speech, campus police told Shapiro that it was literally “a threat to life and limb” for the audience members to go out there. So they were stuck in the auditorium until the Maoist mob had dispersed.

As Shapiro said, “this is America 2016. Unbelievable.”

Our youth have been community organized into insanity.

You can view more videos from the event, here.

Trumping Washington

Anyone up for another guest post from another former Airman?

Move over ReekoFlowershop in Baghdad author Michael Banzet has some compelling thoughts on the 2016 race, too, and I’m more than happy to share them:

Donald Trump has been much in the news lately. We can’t turn on the television without seeing him spouting his particular bromides about, well, everything.  His policies are simple to understand.  He will be the best at everything, and if you don’t think so, you’re stupid.  “Stupid” is the favorite descriptor for a wide range of dysfunctions; why spend too much time thinking about exactly what the specific shortfall or solution is, when, for so many things, “stupid” suffices?

And yet Trump is ahead in almost all polls for the Republican nomination, so I think the question is simply, why?

Donald J. Trump is no great conservative champion: he has proven through the years to take whatever positions are most advantageous to him at the time. To be fair, his previous responsibility was to grow his business, make more money and employ thousands of people while getting fabulously wealthy himself.  In order to do that he has paid for a few politicians, including the Clintons.  He probably overpaid.

He’s not really a conservative.  

So. What.

What have the great conservative champions done for the party of the right?  The recently passed omnibus bill has pulled back the curtain on the inner workings of the exclusive Washington club.  Where the little folks who elected this bunch of integrity traders are a distant, if even considered, thought.  The omnibus was a complete invalidation of the reasons that conservatives were elected in the first place. So all of grade A, super conservative, by-the-book, National Review Approved Conservatives accomplished no more than if all conservatives had voted for liberals.

I don’t even need to know a thing that was in the bill.  If the opposition gushes that it was a complete victory and they got more than they expected, that’s good enough for me to condemn Republicans.  Whether by cowardice, incompetence or corruption, the Republican party is ineffective.  In spite the inherent disadvantages of being the party of grownups, America sent alleged conservatives to state and federal positions in historic numbers in recent elections.  And have produced nothing of note, except smug Democrats.

But, why?

Why do the duly elected conservatives fail so miserably to enact the very positions they were elected to support?  I think it’s a very basic human behavior; the desire to be liked.  

After all, it’s much more fun to be liked than to stand and tell people cold truths that might make them uncomfortable.  Nobody likes to be the guy at the party to tell people to quiet down.  It’s more fun to yell and scream until the police come, and then complain about the “man”. It’s safer to blame poverty on an unequal distribution of wealth, rather than suggest individual behavior influences outcomes.  That’s the left’s advantage. When was the last time a Democrat tried to arrest runaway debt, justify a strong military, or get entitlements under control?  There isn’t much debate that those things are necessary to a strong, healthy country, but the left has a tough time telling the truth about what it’s going to take to remedy those problems.

It’s easier to blame Republicans, because they are the grown-ups that tell us we have to go to bed.  That there have to be reductions.  That the current fiscal path is unsustainable.  That reductions to our military make the world more dangerous, not less. That science is not what some people agree on.

So, it’s tougher to be a Republican.  But if you’re elected by the majority of people in your precinct, whatever the size, why wouldn’t you follow through on the promises that got you elected?

People might say mean things about you or may persuade you that there is a lot of money to be made by abandoning smaller government or suddenly see that looking the other way on illegal immigration results in you being able to command a slightly higher price for your integrity, as you sell it off, slice by slice.

And then comes Trump.

Whatever the man’s failings, giving a hoot about what people think is not one of them.  His narcissism is second only to the current White House Occupant.  But it also makes him bulletproof against being swayed by negative comments.  If anything, he seems to thrive on negative energy.  Not by rethinking positions, but by taking his ball and going home or doubling down. Don’t think he can build a wall?  Well, he will, AND he will make Mexico pay for it.

Think about the similarities between Trump and the President.  It’s like sides of the same coin.  They are both easily offended, both take disagreement as a personal affront, and if their issue fails, its someone else’s fault.  In the case of our President, its usually because he didn’t dumb down an explanation enough for the rubes he’s unfortunate enough to rule. In the case of Trump, there’s a mean girl at the debates.

But, an incredibly vain person has their strengths as well.

If their issue lines up with yours, you have a huge ally.

So, with the Marx Brothers and Sisters on the left, conservatives really have no other choice than to elect from the stable of characters on the right.  And, of the top three, I will not vote for someone who thinks he is running for El Presidente of Cuba, and refers to Cubans as “my community”. So that leaves Trump and Count Chocula.  I really like Ted Cruz, and think he would be a much better representative of this country, even if he’s Canadian. He’s an F-117A precision strike aircraft to Donald’s lumbering B-52 carpet bombing the left.  They both get the job done, it’s just how much collateral damage you get. They are both hated by all the right people and don’t seem to be bothered by it.

So, I don’t care about Trump’s conservative pedigree. We elected a whole raft of conservatives to the Senate and the House who’ve been waiting for something, I guess.  If he just controls immigration, strengthens the military, and puts some discipline into government spending, that would be a HUGE win.  The shrieking, mewling, crass bleats of the left will mean nothing to him, and may embolden him to greater issues.  He can be a loud, obnoxious spine for the conservative cause.

The fact that he’s a candidate is an indicator of the times and the desperation conservatives are feeling. He’s not the best candidate, but he’ll do.  If he is the Republican nominee, I’ll pull the trigger.  At least he’ll be crazy on our behalf.