The Party of Pinnochio

You watched the vice-presidential debate this week between Mike Pence and Kamala Harris. I know you did.

The candidates defined the massive ideological and moral divide in our country right now, and I found myself reducing that difference to one single thing: honesty.

One one side you have Republican Mike Pence, a very devout Christian who is so scrupulously honest that he has never once joined a woman in a room without his wife present. Pence does not lie. Pence CANNOT lie. He would explode if he ever told a lie, and he wears his faith proudly on his sleeve.

On the other side you have Kamala Harris, who grew up in the Democrat culture of dishonesty. She launched her political career by sleeping with San Francisco mayor and state assembly speaker Willie Brown, who was married at the time and 41 years her senior. Brown then appointed her to two political posts.

The debate moderator, Susan Page of USA Today, framed every question in a way that was critical to President Trump and his policies. One of her questions stated that despite a fragile economy (not mentioning Trump’s record success before the China Virus) the Biden/Harris website declares their intention to implement the $4.1 trillion “Green New Deal”. She asked Harris to elaborate. Harris responded, “Joe Biden will not ban fracking. That is a fact! That is a fact!” She was either caught in a whopper of a lie, or her campaign’s website is dishonest. There is no wiggle room between the two.

Harris declared at one point that, “On day one, Joe Biden will repeal Trump’s tax cut” and later insisted that “Joe Biden will not increase taxes on anyone making less than $400 thousand dollars per year.” Pence about came out of his shoes, pointing out that eliminating the Trump tax cut would instantly raise taxes for the lowest earners by at least $2000 per year. Harris’s face revealed her embarrassment at being caught again in a bald-faced whopper.

Pence later asked Harris point-blank if she and Biden intended to “stack” the Supreme Court. After several attempts to divert, she shook her head and mumbled a sheepish laugh. Busted again.

Sticking to the Democrat playbook, Harris repeated the Charlottesville quote where Trump said there are “fine people on both sides” of the protest and she conveniently left out the next line in which Trump condemned white supremacists and neo-Nazis. Is there any American so uninformed that they still fall for that lie of omission?

The brazenness of Harris’s dishonesty was shocking and icky to Pence, as it should have been to any alert viewer. It makes one want to wash his hands, regardless of any virus. Exaggeration is expected in a political campaign, and vague promises are commonplace. But in the past, outright lies by candidates had consequences with the voters if proven. Democrats no longer fear having lies blow up in their faces, because, to them, the end now justifies the means, and apparently at least half of Americans no longer value the truth either.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ on the Right Side

Lie to me
It doesn’t matter anymore
It could never be the way it was before

Lie to Me – Jonny Lang

Toxic Mask-ulinity

Everybody is wearing a mask these days. Except me.

photo by Sky News


I am done with masks. I hate them. They steam up my glasses, I feel like I’m choking on stale air, nobody can hear what I’m saying, and they don’t stay where they belong anyway so I’m always poking, pushing, and tugging at my mask.

I don’t even know why everybody is wearing masks when so many medical experts and studies say masks don’t work against coronavirus.

“The main transmission path is long-residence-time aerosol particles
(< 2.5 μm), which are too fine to be blocked, and the minimum-infective dose is smaller than one aerosol particle.”

— Denis G. Rancourt, PhD


The only benefit, according to psychotherapist Amy Morin, is that wearing a mask may be good for mental health because it gives the wearer “the illusion of being in control.” Of course, it’s only an illusion. Because the damned things don’t actually work.

The key word from Morin’s study is control. That’s what mask-wearing is all about. The Center for Disease Control (there’s that word again) reported in May that masks don’t work.


Some government officials (can you say Governor Cooper?) want to control our behavior, throttle our economy, and influence our election. And they have found all it takes is a mask, some totally arbitrary rules with winners and losers, and a little public shaming.

This week a small Ohio woman was assaulted and tasered by a very large policeman for not wearing a mask as she watched her son’s football game. Nobody other than family was anywhere near her, so obviously the arrest was not about safety, it was about control.

The other day I saw a young woman sitting alone on a bus bench with nobody within blocks of her, wearing a mask. It was just sad.

It seems to me that many people wear masks to avoid political incorrectness rather than a dread disease.

I’m done with it. Those who are afraid of a “pandemic” disease that has been over-hyped, misreported, and weaponized by officials for political gain should just relinquish control of their lives to the government and stay home.

Yesterday at the grocery store I walked past the “mask required” sign at the door and grabbed a cart. I glanced around the store to see if any other rebels were going mask-less like me and saw only one. As our carts passed we fist-bumped and exchanged smiles, to the horror of a group of terrified millennial women nearby.

Call it “Toxic Mask-ulinity”.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

All day long, wearing a mask of false bravado
Trying to keep up the smile that hides a tear
But as the sun goes down, I get that empty feeling again
How I wish to God that you were here

Baby Come Back – Player

The Latest North Carolina Presidential Poll

My son uses disability busing to get around Charlotte, NC. Totally blind, Jeff is a news junky and very interested in politics. So on his bus trip to the gym today he took a political poll on the upcoming presidential election.

Poll size: 1
Sex: female
Race: African American
Age: 40-ish
Occupation: bus driver
Union member: yes
Government employee: contracted

Jeff asked his bus driver how she is going to vote in the upcoming election, and found out she is an enthusiastic Trump supporter. As I got Jeff off the bus, she told me, “We had such a nice visit. Jeff is a Trump fan, too!”

I acknowledged, “Yes, I know.”

She said, “I just love Donald Trump! I don’t care about his personality, I only care about what he gets done.” She added, “All of us black folks in North Carolina are behind Trump. He’s going to win, you know.” I don’t care even a tiny bit about skin color, but she thought it was important to make that point.

So according to Jeff’s poll, Trump will win 100% of the female votes in North Carolina. And all of the black votes. And all of the government employee votes. And all of the union employee votes. And all of the ordinary go-to-work-every-day folk votes.

Margin of error is plus or minus 5%.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

You better shape up, ’cause I need a man
And my heart is set on you!
You better shape up, you better understand
To my heart I must be true!
Nothin’ left, nothin’ left for me to do.
You’re the one that I want!
Ooh, ooh, oooh, honey!

You’re The One That I Want – Olivia Newton John and John Travolta


What Do You Want?

When I was a kid I was a baseball pitcher. One coach gave me a great bit of advice. He said, “before every pitch, picture in your mind exactly what you want to happen.” He was right. I learned that if you first “see” an inside fast ball ripping past the batter at his fists, it’s more likely to happen than if you just wind up and throw it. You have to know what you want to make it happen.

Later, in business management, I was taught to actively plan all the time, to determine what result we would consider a “success”. In other words, to picture the desired outcome.

I don’t think enough people have considered what results they want from our leaders and our government. How many times have you heard “I really like how Trump has improved the economy and got our troops back home, but . . .” The “but” is always something about his personality, not his performance. But . . . he’s a bully. But . . . he’s too rich. But . . . he has orange hair. Or the “but” is some lie from an anonymous source that is too ridiculous for any thinking person to even believe.

So here’s what I want from my federal officials, prioritized:

  • I want our officials to follow the Constitution explicitly and protect our individual freedoms and rights as outlined there.
  • I want the federal government to get out of the way and let our free market economy roar. A few regulations that prevent citizens from being taken advantage of are in order – laws that can’t be administered by the states. But it had better be a pretty obvious threat, and a pretty transparent and straightforward solution. And no picking “winners and losers”.
  • I want the federal government to protect our states (yes we are a group of sovereign states, not a nation-state) from outside threats, including invasion of our borders.
  • I want the federal government to represent our citizen’s best interests with other nations regarding international trade.
  • I want the federal government to provide a safety net – economic, medical, humanitarian – for Americans with disabilities, disaster relief, and other needs we are unable to deal with ourselves as states or individuals.

That’s it. Our Constitution is about perfect as it is.

No, I don’t want the federal government to educate my kids, or make decisions about my property, or redistribute income, or build hospitals, or fund police departments, or solve global warming. Not their job.

We not only have to vote for candidates who we think will do what we want, we also need to demand what we want from officials once elected.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

So tell me what you want, what you really, really want
I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want!

Wannabe – the Spice Girls

The Foreign Policy President

When President Reagan said “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall,” he set the bar high for future American leaders when it comes to bold foreign policy endeavors. He never shrank from a challenge, never wavered in his convictions, never ran from a threat. Respected and sometimes feared, Reagan was one of a kind. Or was he?

Surprisingly, we now have a president who might achieve even more.

Last week President Donald Trump announced that the United Arab Emirates and Israel had signed an agreement to normalize relations between the former adversaries. While the Democrats and their lap-dog media put all their energy into preventing Trump’s re-election, his administration was quietly brokering a deal that may result in a Middle-East peace that has eluded his predecessors.

Many more Arab nations are expected to follow suit, opening communications, travel, shared security, religious pilgrimages and commerce throughout the region. The gains are multilateral, not just favoring Israel.

“President [Donald] Trump is the best friend that Israel and the Jewish people have ever had in the White House and will be remembered in Jewish history forever,” said Yair Netanyahu, the son of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He then went on to tell the American audience that, “the vast majority of Israelis adore America and adore President Trump. He is a real rock star in Israel.”

blaze tv

President Trump, with no political education or experience, is racking up foreign policy wins.

  • Trump is bringing American soldiers home after decades of pointless wars, much to the chagrin of neo-cons.
  • NATO members now pay more for their own military protection after being called out by the American president, reducing the financial burden for US taxpayers while improving defensive readiness.
  • His opposition to China’s bullying of other nations is picking up global support, highlighted by his throttling of Huawei’s 5G security threat. China knows that Trump will lead a newly-aroused world coalition against any imperial moves on Hong Kong, Tibet, or Taiwan, and will not flinch in trade negotiations.
  • Trump’s “America First” border and immigration policies find strong favor among US citizens, even while he offers protections for DACA.
  • Trump’s support for Brexit threw a monkey wrench into the EU’s sovereignty-eating machine.
  • The world-wide pandemic, whether real or contrived by his political enemies, appears to be only a bump in Trump’s economic road, with astronomical third-quarter growth predicted.
  • Our president has shown that he is more than a match for the ambitious and clever Russian president, having hit every Putin curve ball thus far into the bleachers.

There is actually one more cherry on the foreign-policy tree that is now seemingly within Trump’s reach. It is no longer unthinkable that the Korean peninsula could be reunited, eliminating regional instability and nuclear threat.

President Trump’s critics never offer a rationale for their Derangement Syndrome other than dislike for his personality. As for me, I’m not tired of winning yet!

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

I’m winning, I’m winning
I’m winning, I’m winning
I’m winning
And I don’t intend losing again

Winning – Santana

Basketball Lives Matter

I keep seeing articles and posts and newscasts telling me that blacks and whites in America are supposed to hate each other.

That may be true in downtown Minneapolis (I doubt it) but it’s not even remotely accurate in my South Carolina town.

At least twice a week I go to my local YMCA for pickup basketball games. Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I am white, 66 years old and one year removed from major brain surgery, but I just love to play basketball. Most of the guys I play with are in their twenties, a few high schoolers, a few middle aged, and I am the “old man”. I feel blessed to be able to compete well enough to be part of the group.

Our players are about half black and half white. If you believed the network news, you would think that when we pick teams for a game, it would be the angry black guys against the angry white guys. And that a black guy would never pass it to me, an old white guy. And that if a black dude gets knocked down, I would never stop to pick him up, or vice-versa. And that we couldn’t possibly laugh together, compliment each other, root for each other, and just generally have a great time sharing our love for basketball.

But it’s true.

At the store, in a restaurant, at a gig, in church, I see people of all colors and classes smiling and enjoying each others’ company. I see black families, white families, mixed-race families interacting with warmth and joy. Kids play together without even noticing skin pigment.

Racism, black or white, is just not tolerated in my town. And I suspect that my town is pretty typical of most American towns. Before you call me naive, I must admit that bigotry does exist, but that is mostly on the part of far-left idealogues, who insist on categorizing people by physical characteristics instead of judging character.

So what’s up with all these network and internet reports of out-of-control racial hostility in America? COULD IT BE THAT SOMEBODY IS TRYING TO MANIPULATE US FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES?

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

I said if you’re thinkin’ of being my baby
It don’t matter if you’re black or white

I said if you’re thinkin’ of being my brother
It don’t matter if you’re black or white

Black and White – Michael Jackson

America Won’t Survive Without Private Property Rights

photo of gutted Minneapolis storefront by Fox 9 TV

“This was going to happen with or without us,” he says. “First thing, we decided we’d be respectful. I told our staff, ‘Let them write on the pavement and on our neighbors’ walls. Let them bring whatever they want to bring and leave it wherever they want to leave it. We’ll figure it out later.'”

“The throng . . . spray-painted and Sharpied . . . every available surface, mostly in English, but also in Spanish and Italian, along with the consonant-rich dialects of Eastern Europe and the Balkans. Arabic characters flowed on downtown L.A.’s sidewalks next to Japanese kanji. [Soon] there was no room left on the streetlights and storefronts.”

You’re thinking about rioting and property destruction in Los Angeles, right? Actually this was a Sports Illustrated report about the public response to Kobe Bryant’s untimely death. It took local property owners around the Staple Center weeks to clean up and repair.

What struck me as I read the report is the disregard so many people now have for private property. Whether mourning the loss of a local sports legend, or expressing anger over the death of a criminal suspect at the hands of overzealous or malevolent police officers, or just enjoying an opportunity for mayhem, these young, urban people do not even consider that the property they are defacing or destroying actually belongs to somebody who worked hard, saved and invested. Maybe somebody who looks just like them. Maybe their moms and dads.

It’s a leading indicator of our country’s slide toward Marxism and Communism, where all property (except that belonging to the elite leaders) belongs to the government so nobody is responsible for damage. The police, at the direction of local government, will not protect private property or allow us to protect it ourselves, and even public monuments and buildings fall prey to angry mobs.

Think of Cabrini-Green, the government housing project in Chicago that in the 1960s became a violent, third-world shit-hole because its residents had no ownership, no “skin in the game”.

If you are an American who has worked, saved, and invested in a home or business, and are relying on your constitutional guarantee of property rights, don’t blink – we are 116 days from an election that could turn the American Dream on its head.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side



And far away, they burn their buildings
Right in the face of the damage done
We are the fortunate ones
Who’ve never faced oppression’s gun

Rebellion – Linkin Park

Blackometer Needed

I am not a racist. I am not a racist. I am NOT a racist!

No matter how many times a news pundit or protester or politician says I am a racist, I deny it – only God knows what’s in my heart. I subscribe to MLK’s wisdom: judge a man not by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character.

I don’t deny that racism in America did exist, or that it still does exist (with bias by somebody of every race against somebody of every race). But our nation has made great progress in overcoming bias in my lifetime. I just don’t see much real racism on a daily basis, and I live in the South!

So I have a hard time understanding the Black Lives Matter movement and demands for reparations and charges of white privilege that are in the news every five minutes. These serve two purposes: to create conflict and profitable ratings for the liberal news media, and to promote violent anarchy, Marxism and one-world government for George Soros and the other evil rich guys.

I see mostly white liberals protesting, and I suspect these are the real racists. Liberals want to categorize everybody by pigment, gender, and any other subgroup they can use to divide and conquer. And if they, the white liberals, have misgivings and guilt about racism, then they think all white people must be racists, too, and must be made to feel guilty. Why do liberals automatically assume every unpleasant incident is racially motivated? Some people are just a**holes to everybody, regardless of pigment. But most Americans have no axes to grind, and don’t care about skin color any more.

I just can’t understand how BLM (Black Lives Matter, not the Bureau of Land Management) plans to distribute their proceeds and their punishment based on race. How is “blackness” defined, anyway? Do you use a color chart from Home Depot? Should really-really black people be paid more reparations than “coffee-with-cream” people? Do their lives matter more?

Or is there a test that precisely determines the percentage of African Slave ancestry a person has in their DNA? What about the millions of black immigrants from Africa who arrived in the USA in recent decades with no slavery in their family histories – are they entitled to the same reparations as an American black whose great-grandfather was a slave in Alabama? What about Asian and Middle-Eastern people who are descendants of slaves – do they get reparations and preferences, too, even if they are not black?

What about mixed-race people? Barack Obama had a black father and a white mother. Is he only oppressed 12 hours per day, or six months per year, as opposed to LeBron James, who is oppressed all the time? Do these guys both get reparations even though one was elected president by white voters and one makes a gazillion dollars selling his shoes to white kids?

Same thing with white privilege. How snow-white does one have to be, and how rich, to have privilege? There are employment cases all over America indicating that white job applicants (especially males) face insurmountable discrimination in many companies and governments against minorities. Their lives don’t matter.

If you can’t define a problem, you can’t solve it. So until we come up with some math and technology to measure “blackness” and “whiteness” BLM will have to go back to the drawing board. There will have to be a functional “blackometer” and maybe even a “whiteometer” for this BLM and white privilege stuff to work.

Maybe Joe Biden and his Chinese buddies already have this technology. After all, he determined in a split second that if an African American didn’t vote for him, “He ain’t black!”

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Black Betty had a child (Bam-ba-Lam)
The damn thing gone wild (Bam-ba-Lam)
She said, “I’m worryin’ outta mind” (Bam-ba-Lam)
The damn thing gone blind (Bam-ba-Lam)
I said “Oh, Black Betty” (Bam-ba-Lam)
Whoa, Black Betty (Bam-ba-Lam)

Black Betty – Ram Jam

How to Solve All of Our Government’s Problems

Today I am not going to whine or point fingers. Instead, I am going to take my best shot at problem-solving. Stick with me.

Back in the early 1980s TQM (Total Quality Management) was all the rage in corporate America. The TQM movement started when the US Army hired Dr. Edwards Deming to take over economic development in post-war Japan. Deming applied quality improvement techniques that transformed Japan from a nation of shoddy third-world trinket-makers to a wealthy nation of world-class manufacturers. His astonishing success gave rise to the thought that maybe the world could be saved after all.

As a young executive, I was asked to select and implement one of many popular TQM programs to make sure that our company stayed at the leading competitive edge of our industry. After looking at the alternatives, I chose the Philip Crosby Theory because it just seemed so simple and common-sensible. The Crosby Theory is based on these principles and definitions and provides tools to achieve them:

  • Quality is defined as conformance to requirements
  • Quality defect prevention is preferable to quality inspection
  • Zero defects is the quality performance standard
  • Quality is measured in monetary terms – the price of non-conformance

A government, like a business, is a group of people trying to get something done together in their common interest. And in government, like in business, if there is no agreement on what the requirements are, or how to tell if we are meeting them, there is zero chance of success.

Read the list above again and imagine all the ways that our government could be improved if these principles were applied. How many problems would this solve!

By defining what the requirements are, we would stop wasting time, money and effort doing things that half of our citizens don’t want done. We are fortunate to have a constitution written by geniuses that clearly defines what our government is expected to do.

Another great way to avoid wasting time, money and effort is to prevent problems instead of dealing with them after they are discovered. This would indicate that the single most important thing to our nation’s future is the improvement of our education system. We could apply TQM to that, too.

A major problem with our system of government is there is no standard of performance. That’s why our growing budget deficits and debt seem insurmountable and inevitable. If we are going to survive, we have to have achievable expectations of our government officials and hold them totally accountable.

And how would we measure our success? The only known way to measure anything is numerical. “Niceness” is not a measurement that can be agreed upon. “Respect”. “Caring.” “Fairness”. “Equality”. None of these are objective measurements. Let’s face it, government is all about using our shared money to improve our standard of living. All adults strive to financially improve every day. And no matter how much they “care”, elected officials can do nothing other than spend – or not spend – our money. Measurement of our government’s success must be statistical, not emotional: GDP growth, per capita income, consumer financial security, etc. We want all the graphs to point upward.

Okay, I gave it my best shot. Surely government can’t be that simple. Or can it?

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Ain’t no need to complicate it, we both know that’s overrated
We’ve been there, its safe to say it ain’t our style, yeah
It’s like one, two, three
Just as easy as can be
Just the way you look at me
You make me smile

SIMPLE – Florida Georgia Line

Who Will Have the Next Revolution?

We see news of protests on a daily basis now, from every corner of the world.

photo by WireNewsFax

Hong Kong has erupted in street protests over the Chinese Communist Party’s aggressive push to strip the “autonomous” region of its freedoms guaranteed under the 1997 agreement when the UK gave clear title to the CCP.

Protestors continue to march in Venezuela, demanding the ouster of dictator Nicolas Maduro after suffering through years of economic devastation and loss of personal rights.

Ethnic attacks in Mali and DR Congo have inflamed citizens to the boiling point. In the Middle East civil unrest in several nations including Yemen, Syria and Libya have become a fact of daily life.

And in the US this week, riots have erupted in several cities over the police killing of a black man during an arrest in Minneapolis. This follows weeks of protests at state capitals by conservative activists who oppose the government’s coronavirus-inspired economic shutdowns. America is polarized, with every news development devolving into a red / blue showdown. There doesn’t seem to be even an inch of middle ground in our political turf-war. The very structure of our constitutional government is in play as lines of authority continue to break down. The separation of powers as defined in the constitution is taking a beating as rogue judges attempt to override executive and legislative authority, while corruption runs rampant and unpunished.

Tensions between the ruling class and the governed simmer all over the world. We know that civil unrest can lead to civil war or bloody revolution, and the results can lead to positive change or down the highway to hell.

The world is now averse to hot wars, but in the USA we openly hope for revolutions in Iran, Venezuela, Syria and China that lead to regime change. Do they wish the same for us? The US has shown a proclivity to get involved in foreign civil wars in the past, with less-than-stellar results. And we are seeing our adversaries brazenly meddling in our domestic affairs lately.

Could we be the first in line for civil war or revolution? Will we soon be watching bloodshed in Hong Kong or Tehran? Or will they be cheering while watching ours?

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

You say you want a revolution?
Well you know,
We all want to change the world.

Revolution – the Beatles