It’s Time for a Rational Drug Policy

photo courtesy The Guardian

What are the top domestic problems in the USA? We can negotiate the order of importance, but I bet we agree on the list.

  • Rising Net Cost of Living
  • Border Enforcement
  • Availability and Cost of Health Care
  • Broken Families
  • Homelessness
  • Failing Schools
  • Increased Crime and Lax Law Enforcement

On his daily radio update, Bill O’Reilly offered a pretty simple and cost-effective solution to the problem list. Stop drug and alcohol addiction. It really made me think.

He listed the problems caused by addiction. The majority of homeless people, criminals, and child abusers are addicts. Half of unemployed men are addicted to opioids. The economic cost of accidents, mistakes and absenteeism attributable to addiction is gargantuan. Businesses can’t find workers. Medical facilities are overrun with sick addicts who can’t pay for their care. Kids with horrible home lives due to addicted parents have little chance to become successful adults. Street crime is way up and most of it is perpetrated by addicts. Families are destroyed by booze and drugs.

O’Reilly reported that ever since we started viewing drug use as a victimless crime, and addiction as an illness, our drug problem has worsened. Now with lax law enforcement and a wide-open border, it is out of control.

Clearly, many of our domestic problems would be solved, or at least greatly improved, if we had a way to stop addiction. But that’s impossible, isn’t it?

Not according to O’Reilly. He said after WWII when the Chinese communists made the use and sale of opium illegal and in some cases punishable by death, addiction was reduced from 25% to virtually zero. And he points out that Singapore’s zero-tolerance policies toward drugs has made that nation nearly drug-free. This proves that drug addiction is not an illness, but a problem that can be solved by policy and enforcement.

Many Americans blame our open border, the “supply”, for the drug epidemic. Obviously an open border along with no consequences for selling and using drugs is a recipe for disaster. But what if we were to attack the “demand” side of the equation?

O’Reilly calls for a law that requires apprehension and “confined rehabilitation” for illegal drug use in the US. The deterrence effect would be dramatic. With no drug cartels extorting wannabe immigrants and smuggling fentanyl and other nasty stuff into our country, the border would become pretty manageable. And with drug overdoses and other drug-related illnesses down, some medical facilities could be converted to rehab lockups. Reduced crime would have a lot of benefits. Whole departments, like the DEA, TSA, ATF and others could be eliminated or merged, largely replaced by a drug enforcement and rehab agency with some real teeth.

Hmmm, a healthier, safer, more productive country and (bonus) a leaner, more functional federal government – Bill O’Reilly, I think you are on to something.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

I caught you knockin’ at my cellar door
I love you baby, can I have some more?
Oh, the damage done
I hit the city and I lost my band
I watched the needle take another man
Gone, gone, the damage done

The Needle and the Damage Done – Neil Young

ENES KANTER FREEDOM – NBA JOURNEYMAN, CONSERVATIVE SUPERSTAR

ENES KANTER FREEDOM – photo courtesy MSNBC

I love basketball. I played and coached basketball for most of my years on God’s green earth.

Okay, I know, it’s hard to love the NBA when the players, owners, and league officials cowtow to communist China, Nike, and anybody who promises MORE MONEY, while disrespecting the United States by kneeling for the national anthem.

But stick with me for a minute. I have always been a Utah Jazz fan. We lived in Utah back in the Stockton and Malone days – back when the “pick and roll” was sacred and all players stood at attention during the national anthem. I taught my daughter the pick and roll when she was 9 years old.

Like many fans, my team loyalties continued well after leaving the local markets. I still love my Utah Jazz and my Kansas City Chiefs, having lived in those areas, watching hundreds of games, and being caught up in the local pro team frenzy. (Add the Saskatchewan Roughriders Canadian football team from our Montana days.)

So when former Utah Jazz center Enes Kanter (now with the Boston Celtics) jumped into the headlines as a shining conservative star, outspoken in his opposition to Chinese dictator Xi Jinping’s oppression of Uigher Muslims and Venezuela’s totalitarian leader Nicolas Maduro, it got my attention.

Last year when the left gained the upper hand in US politics, the NBA was quick to play the race card, with LeBron James leading the charge against “systemic racism” and criticism of the USA, our values, and our history. At the same time, the NBA embraced Nike, a known civil rights abuser in China, and the Chinese Communist Party, whom the NBA had been courting for many years as a mass consumer of all things NBA, including broadcasts and licensed products.

When the Chinese abuse of Muslims, aggression against Taiwan and Nepal, confiscation of shipping lanes in the South China Sea and crackdowns on civil rights in Hong Kong hit fever pitch, the NBA, including its leading celebrity LeBron James, was dead silent.

Who stepped up in defense of civil rights and freedom? A first-generation immigrant from Turkey, Enes Kanter.

Kanter is, by NBA standards, a journeyman. I was struck by his athleticism and drive when he played for the Utah Jazz, and he plays the same role for the vaunted Celtics. Still, Kanter is not a “star” like LeBron.

But he is a superstar to American conservatives, because he is a strident, if lonesome, voice against totalitarianism, anywhere in the world.

Kanter, a native of Turkey, grew up in fear of totalitarian government. The New York Post quoted Kanter saying, “I remember a teammate posting something online against [then-President Barack Obama] and I got nervous for him,” he recalls of the high school incident in 2009. “I asked him, ‘Dude, what are you doing? They will put you in jail.’ He laughed hysterically and said I was confused. I was shocked that, within the next two days, the police did not come to his house and pressure him to say he was sorry or take away his family. If you did that in Turkey, you would be arrested for sure.”

Now, Kanter speaks out against oppressive regimes, and he understands the danger we face as the United States slides toward the same fate. He even legally changed his name to Enes Kanter Freedom to celebrate his new life in the USA. He recently became a US citizen.

Kanter’s fervor for freedom has not come without cost – he has been threatened by the Turkish government that imprisoned his father, and he faces kidnap and arrest if he leaves the USA.

Kanter has been a regular on conservative TV and radio stations as a beacon for freedom. NBA legend Dominique Wilkins recently surfaced as a supporter of Kanter and his mission. Meanwhile, the NBA continues to embrace the “woke” agenda while ignoring civil rights abuses.

“When I was nine years old, my mom told me to always stand up for what’s right — even if it means sacrificing everything,” he said. “From that day forward, I have always been outspoken. Now I am on a big stage and there are so many dictators out there who are destroying people. God gave me this platform, and I have to use it for the good fight.”

So my first pick for the NBA all-star team is not LeBron James, or Steph Curry, or James Harden – great players all. My favorite player is now Enes Kanter Freedom, a true – and new – American Patriot.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Sometimes I feel like a motherless child
Sometimes I feel like a motherless child
Sometimes I feel like a motherless child
A long way from my home
FREEDOM – Richie Havens

INCOMPETENCE!

Does this sound like anybody you know? Hmm . . . maybe our federal government? Maybe the Biden administration? Maybe the Democrat Party under Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer? The crazy team on the Marxist crazy train?

Does the term “incompetence” bring to mind minority leader Kevin McCarthy or Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, neither of whom has ever initiated or demanded a regular-order federal budget, instead playing the “continuing resolution” game year after year?

Is it just me, or is the incompetence of our elected officials becoming absolutely mind-boggling?

Anyone who has owned a business, or has been a manager at any level, or for that matter, has been a line-level employee who gives a damn, completely understands the term incompetence. It just can’t be avoided. It slaps you in the face when you see it. Incompetence is so intolerable, and smells so bad, that families go to war over it. Workers quit their jobs over it. Customers flee from suppliers over it.

Have you had a boss who is or was incompetent? Did it piss you off so badly you couldn’t even see straight?

Just for fun, let’s look at some specific recent examples of the incompetence of our national leaders:

  • Our nation needs a low-cost, reliable energy supply and just one year ago enjoyed economic success and foreign policy prowess as the world’s leading producer of energy
    • until the Biden administration cut off pipelines and drilling, while pressing for scientifically indefensible green policies, and advocating for competing nations’ carbon-based energy development, even begging OPEC to increase oil production to hold down the inevitably skyrocketing gas prices
  • Americans endure endless business, education and home life shutdowns, mask mandates and vaccine requirements due to questionable government and media COVID-19 “science”
    • while our federal government overturns all existing border controls and encourages tens of thousands of illegal migrants to walk into our states without any vetting or medical clearance, and while hundreds of thousands of American COVID patients die without being allowed access to proven, inexpensive therapeutic drugs
  • Federal budgets blow trillions of taxpayer dollars on corrupt schemes to reward political supporters disguised as “community organizers” who work feverishly, and illegally, to ensure the re-election of their leftist sugar daddies

The founders of our nation embraced a free-market economy and expected that government would dovetail into a routine that rewards competence. You build a better mousetrap at a lower price, and you are rewarded. I think almost everybody feels that government should run like a business – after all, what else does government do but receive and distribute money?

So how the hell did our government, made up of those we have elected, become so INCOMPETENT?

The only way out of this mess is to do what any business must do to survive. Find employees and managers who are competent, and FIRE all the incompetents.

Tom Balek, Rockin’ On the Right Side

Feeling better now that we’re through
Feeling better, ’cause I’m over you
I’ve learned my lesson, it left a scar
And now I see how you really are

You’re no good, you’re no good, you’re no good
Baby, you’re no good!
YOU’RE NO GOOD – Linda Ronstadt

Can Anything Good Come From This Man-Made Crisis?

Ten years from now, what will Wikipedia say about the Coronavirus Crisis of 2020, when many of the most successful nations and their citizens will have been reduced, at least for a while, to second- or third-world status?

What will our grandchildren think of us, knowing that we chose to destroy our own companies, industries, family savings, careers – not to mention burying the kids in debt – in exchange for the possibility that a few already-medically-compromised senior citizens might extend their lives by another year or so? Will there be a chart comparing the lives actually saved from the virus to the lives destroyed by the imposition of martial law?

Probably not, because facts and numbers don’t matter any more. There was a time when issues were won by the person (or group or nation) who possessed the facts, or made the best case from a logical, numbers-based examination including historical honesty, instead of feelings and “nice-ness”. Now, group-think and political correctness rule. We no longer have to analyze facts, because the winner is always the one who gets the most “likes” from his friends.

Is there anything good that can come from this? My hope is that after this self-forced error has run its course, we will have learned a few things.

Maybe we will learn to be independent thinkers again, not so quick to trust the “experts”, the career politicians and the news media. We might even question the motives of decision-makers when they don’t seem to make common sense.

Maybe we will understand that in its current form our government reacts to any threat by throwing our money at it in a childish panic. After all, the only thing a government official can do is spend our money – unlike the private sector, which can actually create things of value and solve problems. Maybe we will be moved to change our government structure to prevent these harmful knee-jerk mistakes. Maybe we will be more pro-active and prepared for threats.

Certainly some marginal businesses and industries will perish. Certainly other new business opportunities will appear. Certainly some unscrupulous, powerful people will get richer (somebody please check out George Soros’ net worth before and after the man-made “crisis” of 2020). The businesses that survive will be leaner, stronger, and quicker than they were before.

We might finally realize that our education system is a shambles. Through the lock-down we proved that we can home-school our children, and they actually come out of school smarter than when they went in. We also showed that on-line learning is a more efficient model than exotic campuses full of imperious, overpaid, Marxist instructors.

And it’s possible, just possible, that the “one world” agenda of open borders and happy, smiling faces moving unfettered and unvetted across the globe will be proved inferior to smaller, self-governed and self-contained nations who defend their values and identity. And that there are considerations other than short-term profit in foreign trade and immigration decisions. We might learn to trust, but verify, the intentions of other nations.

One thing is already clear. The world is made up of “blamers” and “solvers”. God grant us the strength and smarts to choose wisely so we never have to go through this again.

Tom Balek- Rockin’ on the Right Side

Seems this world has got you down
Your feelin’ bad vibrations frown
Well, open your eyes girl, look at me
I’m gonna show you how it ought to be

We’re gonna’ have a good thing
Such a good thing baby

Good Thing – Paul Revere and the Raiders

Bang Your Head With the Left

My conservative friends and I become more and more baffled every day at the logic-defying behavior and attitudes of our leftist brethren.

Today’s news features Image result for NRA blood on your handsyet another protest march – ostensibly inspired by school kids, but in reality organized, funded and scripted by hard left political organizations, and super-hyped by their allies in the news media.

It is just one more of the many provocations by today’s Democrats we endure day-by-day, hour-by-hour, demanding that we all must do something that doesn’t make any sense. When confronted with one of these absurdly irrational arguments I go through a head-shaking mental check-down.  In this case:

  • How do we responsible, licensed gun owners have “blood on our hands” whenever a criminal perpetrates a crime?
  • Assault is already illegal.  Does adding more laws make it even more illegal?
  • Criminals, by definition, break laws.  Does limiting gun rights for everybody make criminals less likely to break the law?
  • The left seizes every opportunity to protect criminals and to hamstring and disrespect law enforcement.  How can they be surprised when more crimes happen?
  • The students who shoot up their classmates are almost always from fatherless homes.  Why is the left so hell-bent on destroying the nuclear family and lauding single-motherhood?
  • And why aren’t these protester kids in school?  Do their school boards sanction political indoctrination without the participation or consent of parents?  Is this just the tip of the indoctrination iceberg?

I recently had an extended conversation on gun rights and school safety with an anti-gun group called “Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America“.  Well, it wasn’t really a conversation – a thinking person’s concept of conversation is that it requires listening as well as speaking.  Leftists never listen.  My logical challenges to their lengthy list of vapid talking points went completely unanswered.

One of the “Moms” told me directly that I should not be trusted to carry a concealed weapon.   She said if a terrorist or mentally ill person came in shooting the place up, she would try to talk him out of hurting anybody.  She absolutely did not want me to protect her with my gun under any circumstances.

My head physically shakes again just remembering it.  You see, I grew up in a world where some truths are just obvious.  If you bang yourself in the head with a rock, it will hurt.  Nothing can convince me otherwise.   But somehow, today’s Democrats have convinced a large number of Americans that a rock on the head is a good thing.

Pick your rock.   Should we invite everybody in the world to come and live here, no questions asked?  Ouch, not good.  Should we encourage our young children to choose the gender they want to be?  Dang, that’s gonna hurt.  Should we categorize and make assumptions about people based on their skin pigmentation?  Ooh, that’s gonna leave a mark.  Should we let anybody vote, any time and anywhere, without even asking for identification?  Oww!

No wonder my head hurts every time I turn on the news.

Tom Balek, Rockin’ On the Right Side

I got the boys to make the noise
Won’t ever let up, hope it annoys you!
Join the pack, fill the crack
Well now you’re here, there’s no way back

CHANGE – It’s Not Going to Get Any Easier

“Crabby” warning.

America is in the middle of a BIG CHANGE.

Change is inevitable, and we ultimately have to accept it.  The hard thing, though, is that change is never smooth, gradual and comfortable.  It comes in fits and starts, and is often jarring if not downright scary.  We are in one of those scary times.

Even though we have to accept change, we don’t have to like it.  And there is a lot of stuff going on that I don’t like.

I don’t like the fact that our economy used to be more fairly balanced, but now there is a huge and growing chasm between the “haves” and “have nots”.  It’s going to get worse before it gets better. Unrest and violence are not out of the question.  Why?

America was once a “melting pot” of people from different backgrounds and abilities who all shared common values and felt a part of something bigger than themselves.  Now we have splintered into a balkanized bunch of minorities.  And I will point the finger directly at “progressive” political leadership over the last decade or so.  The “divide and conquer” strategy used by liberals has worked brilliantly.  Democrats have taught everybody to identify with a subgroup and then established victim-hood status for each, promising to save them from everybody else in exchange for votes.

It starts in our schools and colleges, where students from one or more of the victim-groups of poor, non-white or immigrant, non-Christian, gay/trans, single mothers, etc. are vaulted to hero status.  Self-esteem is guaranteed to them all without regard to merit.  Those born in America with white skin are assumed to be bigots and racists, normal heterosexuals are assumed to be narrow-minded homophobes, and hard-working achievers are assumed to have only succeeded at the expense of others.  The “privileged” must sheepishly walk on broken glass in penance and apology to the “victims.”

Worst of all, our education system that once drove students to seek excellence now allows (perhaps encourages) minority students to feed a culture that values being “bad-ass” over being academic.  Schools fail to enforce discipline, tolerate or endorse illicit sex and drugs, and openly assail capitalism, patriotism, family values, and Christian religion.  Graduation rates plummet as growing numbers of kids would rather avoid learning anything to meet the approval of their peers than work for an educational foundation promising a successful future.  Many schools numbly accept poor classroom performance out of fear of being labeled racist.  As a result nobody flunks and standards sink to the lowest common denominator.  Speaking of common, where is the “rigor” we were promised with the roll-out of Common Core?  Employers are frantic at the dearth of trainable graduates.

You may be thinking, “Yeah, but my school is great.”  Everybody says that.  Look at a couple of textbooks.  Sit in on an assembly.  K-12 is scary enough.  College has become a place for children to abscess and rot.

There will always be a few high achievers, and they will have an ever-easier path to the top as more “victims” fall into the abyss of low expectations.  And the Democrats salivate waiting for them at the bottom of the hill with free stuff in one hand and a ballot in the other.  The few at the top will be richly rewarded and the masses at the bottom will fight for crumbs from their government.  The culture war has only just started, and I can’t envision a happy outcome if we don’t shift our direction.

Bitching about change is easy.  Minimizing the damage is hard.  Change doesn’t have to be for the worse.  We just can’t give in to political correctness, laziness and demagoguery.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They’re quite aware of what they’re going through

Changes – David Bowie

 

 

What’s Wrong With You? Don’t You Care?

I’m glad that many people are generous and caring.  I know that there are some among us who have problems and need help.  I’m happy to help someone in need, like most Americans are.

In fact, statistics show that Americans are more kind and caring to strangers than pretty much any group of people in the world.  When a disaster occurs in any corner of the globe, it is expected that the USA will be there to help pick up the pieces with military, financial, and humanitarian assistance.  And at home we not only support charities, we also provide a safety net of food, housing, medical care and other benefits through our tax dollars.

Generosity was expected of the mostly Christian men and women who founded and developed our nation.  Our pioneers valued hard work and honesty too.  Anyone who took unfair advantage of this generosity was shunned by society.  But as our government and our daily lives became more secular over the years, generosity has come to be viewed as a weakness by the unscrupulous, and the number of reprobates and schemes exploded as government officials learned they can build lucrative careers by giving away other peoples’ money.

We moan about our crushing national debt while politicians claim they can’t cut spending because it is mostly untouchable mandatory “entitlements”.  How naïve or apathetic does one have to be to not see the enormous waste, fraud and abuse in these entitlement programs?

I remember my shock the first time a drug addict offered to sell me food stamps on the street at 50 cents on the dollar.  It had never occurred to me that food stamps could be sold.  Yesterday I was in line at the grocery store behind a veiled Muslim woman and her husband, both dressed to the nines, and venting their displeasure to each other (in Arabic) about the cashier who struggled to separate valid food stamp items from the others.  The wife used her EBT card for the legitimate groceries, and the husband paid for the non-qualifying products with his American Express card.  I didn’t follow them to the parking lot, but I would bet they loaded their groceries into a new luxury car.

One of many problems with ObamaCare is the costly expansion of the Medicaid program to include middle income Americans who can no longer buy health insurance through normal channels.  Concurrent with the failure of ObamaCare is an epidemic of opioid addiction, overdoses, deaths, and the related social costs including unemployment and destroyed families.  Some politicians claim that even more Medicaid spending is required to address the burgeoning opioid problem.  In reality, expanded Medicaid has largely caused the opioid epidemic as millions of people now walk around with unlimited health care credit cards in their pockets and it is only too easy to report aches and pains and ask for opiates which can be easily sold for cash.

Signs appear on the street offering to buy diabetes supplies for cash, next to signs in Spanish advertising tax filing help and promising large refund checks for merely listing dependents.  Education grant checks go to people who never appear on campus.  Couples live together and raise families but never marry because they would risk losing earned income credit and other entitlements.  I could list schemes and scams for the rest of the day and not even scratch the surface.

The Tin Man wanted a heart. The scarecrow wanted a brain.  The cowardly lion wanted some courage.  There’s no reason why we can’t have all three.  We should all care about others, but we have to be smart enough to avoid abuse, and strong enough to say no once in a while.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ on the Right Side

Don’t you see
You’re hurtin’ me
Don’t you care?
Don’t you care?

The Buckinghams – Don’t You Care

 

What The Hell Is ‘Mad Dog” Up To?

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

With all eyes on the middle of the swamp, riveted on the battle over the repeal and replacement of ObamaCare, a little drama has been percolating, unwatched, over in the far corner under the cypress trees.

Not long ago, General James Mattis rode President Trump’s full-throated endorsement to the lofty post of Secretary of Defense, past eminently qualified candidates like Sen. Jeff Sessions, Rep. Mike Rogers, and veteran security advisor Stephen Hadley.  The men overlooked for the job had several things in common – all are Republicans, are loyal Trump supporters, and are broadly respected in conservative circles.

Mattis had a few things going for him, too.  People called him “Mad Dog”.  He once said, “it’s fun to shoot some people.”  He also once said he is opposed to the Iran nuclear giveaway.  Did I say his name is Mad Dog?

President Trump was so impressed with old Mad Dog he slam-dunked him right into one of his most critical cabinet posts.  Congress didn’t hesitate to give Mattis a waiver allowing the recently-retired general to bypass the required 10-year waiting period between active military service and SecDef.  Why, Leon Panetta himself personally campaigned for Mattis.  What’s not to like?

Wait a minute, Leon Panetta?  The guy who viscerally hates Donald Trump?  The far-left, Obama insider, Democrat apparatchik who was one of the biggest moving parts of the Clinton Machine?  That Leon Panetta?

It gets weirder.  Old Mad Dog’s first big recruit was Anne Patterson for undersecretary of defense for policy.  Patterson gained notoriety as a honcho on Hillary Clinton’s team for her support of the Muslim Brotherhood regime that failed so spectacularly in Egypt.

General Mattis also flirted with Democrat Michele Flournoy, founder of the far-left Center for New American Security and former Obama undersecretary of defense for policy, for a sub-cab post.  Flournoy ultimately turned him down because Mad Dog is not quite leftist enough to suit her taste.

Mattis’ latest pick is Rudy DeLeon for undersecretary of personnel and readiness.  DeLeon is a senior fellow at the Center for America Progress, whose current stated mission is to undermine the Trump presidency.  CAP was created and developed by John Podesta (there’s that name again) and is funded by George Soros.  According to Jordan Schactel in Conservative Review, DeLeon signed on to a letter that calls Trump’s national security order restricting immigration “beneath the dignity of our great nation” and advised government workers to apply “discretion,” in an attempt to essentially undermine the president’s initiative.  DeLeon is a big proponent of Obama’s nuclear giveaway program to Iran.

I can’t see any reason why a person with DeLeon’s pedigree wouldn’t fit perfectly into Trump’s administration, can you?

General Mattis’ appears determined to load up the administration with as many Trump-haters as he can find, as if there aren’t enough enemies left over from the Obama regime already.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Big man, walking in the park
Wigwam, frightened of the dark
Some kind of solitude is measured out in you
You think you know me but you haven’t got a clue
Hey Bulldog!

Hey Bulldog – the Beatles

 

Think Our News Media is Bad? You Should See the UK!

sky-news-trumpI just spent a week in the UK and was anxious to observe the political mood of the Brits.  I expected their focus to be on Brexit, their new prime minister Theresa May, the impact of immigration in the UK, the pound vs. the euro – you know, British stuff.

After a long red-eye flight, and suffering a butt-dragging case of jet lag that first evening, my son and I had an early dinner and retired to our hotel room.  We soon learned that British television is abysmal – mostly old American reruns and effete comedy that’s just not funny.  But that’s okay, we are both news junkies, so I switched to BBC News.

To my surprise, every minute of programming on the Beeb was a non-stop assault on Donald Trump.  There was no balance, no “other side”, no pretense of fairness or even any attempt at honesty.  And no non-Trump news at all.

So I switched to the other news network, SkyNews.  It was worse!  Nothing but unbridled, hair-on-fire, heads-exploding, cobra venom spit in the eyes of Donald Trump and all the Americans who chose him to be their president.  MSNBC is Mister Rogers compared to British television news. And nothing changed for the entire week of our visit.  Both networks ran anti-Trump propaganda full-time, 24/7.   Only passing mention was given to the fact that Parliament was engaged in a pretty significant discussion about whether they would honor the people’s vote for Brexit.  The newspapers (which are free and stacked up on street corners every evening) were also fixated on all things American, with only a smattering of local news.

We were given a warm welcome in the pubs and at the football (soccer) games.  Like us, British guys love beer, football, and politics and are ready to discuss all of the above, especially with a couple of Yanks.  They were very curious about the Trump phenomenon, and were surprisingly up-to-speed on American politics.  But then, why wouldn’t they be?  That’s all they get on their news networks.

I was surprised to find that most of the Brits we met were on the conservative side, despite their hard-left news media.  They understand our “drain the swamp” revolution and see parallels with their own Brexit experience.  But some can’t get past our new president’s persona.

“I agree with everything that Trump is doing,” said one new friend over a couple of pints.  “But I can’t support him because he hates women.”  When I pressed him about what that meant, he said he just can’t tolerate a president who goes around grabbing women by the pussy.   Groan.

Another conservative limey said he agrees with American conservatives right down the line, with one big exception.  “Why do you all think you need guns?  Your crime rate is terrible.”  I had to explain that’s why we need guns.

Like American lefties, British liberals love to protest.  They even feel compelled to protest about an election that took place 3,500 miles across the pond.  There are subtle differences, though.  Left-wing British protesters don’t break windows and start fires, and left-wing American protesters don’t give a rat’s patootie about who is elected on the other side of the planet.

I left my British friends with this advice:  don’t believe what you see and hear on the television!  I guess the same advice would serve us Americans well, too.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

We don’t believe what’s on TV
Because it’s what we want to see
And what we want we know we can’t believe
We have all learned to kill our dreams

We Don’t Believe What’s On TV – Twenty One Pilots

 

This fun young duo is filling venues all over on their US tour and were nominated for three Grammy awards.  Check ’em out!

Trump’s First Thirty Minutes in Office

trump-phone

 

[operator]:  Good morning, Mr. President.  I hope you will enjoy your first day in the Oval Office.

[Trump]: Thanks, Rosie.  But just remember, one screw-up and You’re Fired!  You’ll be back cleaning bathrooms at ‘The View’ with those other ugly broads in a New York minute!

[operator]:  Of course, sir.  I have made your first call – President Putin is on the line.

[Trump]:  Hello, Vlad.  Hey, I just wanted to let you know, no hard feelings about hacking the DNC.  I don’t blame you, it’s a hell of a lot of fun tweaking that bunch of whiney snowflakes, isn’t it?  I would have done it myself, but I can barely do Twitter.  Anyway, what do you say we get together next week and make a plan to take out those ISIS bastards once and for all?  Should be fun!  Later, comrade.

[operator]:  Mr. President, President Kim Jong-un of North Korea is ready to speak with you.

[Trump]:  Is that you, King Kong?  I have a message for you on my first day in office, you fat little f***, so listen up.  If you test one more nuclear device, if you launch one more missile – if you so much as pee one drip outside your hole in the floor, my boys will turn your God-forsaken armpit of a country into a flamed-out marshmallow on a stick.  You got that, Ping Pong?  Fagettaboutit!

[operator]: President Trump, the president of Mexico, Enrique Pena Nieto has been holding for you.

[Trump]:  Hello?  Hello?  Now, Enrique, please stop crying.  It’s . . . there, there, Enrique, it’s . . . now please . . . Look, I know it was Vicente Fox that said he wouldn’t pay for my f***ing wall, not you.  Enrique?  You need to get yourself together amigo, call me back when you can talk.  Okay, Adios.

[operator]: Mr. President, I have reached Prime Minister Trudeau of Canada.

[Trump]:  Well hello, there, neighbor!  I called to invite you to join me later this week, eh?  We need to work on our plan to make North America the energy powerhouse of the world.  I am so ready to get everybody back to work and our economy flying, eh?  Our low energy cost will attract the best manufacturers from all over the world.  What a one-two punch, eh?  Heck, if Mexico cleans up their act, maybe Enrique will want to join the party, too.  He’s got a lot of good workers down there, eh?  All right, my friend, let’s start Monday.  Oh, and by the way – let’s talk about that “Liberal Party” of yours, eh?  Okay, bye.

[operator]:  Mr. President, our conference call with the leaders of Germany, France, Great Britain and Japan is ready for you.

[Trump]:  Fellows, thanks for joining me on this call.  Oh, and you too, Frau Merkel, sorry.  I just wanted to let you know that I bought the UN building in New York City this morning.  Yes, and I am evicting all of those whiney little despots so I can turn it into a first-class resort hotel.  Right.  Last I heard they are going to meet up in Kinshasa.  I don’t know, it’s somewhere over there in Africa.  But hey, I thought we could start our own little club, you know?  We could watch each other’s backs and get some of these messes cleaned up, instead of paying for all those other little piss ants to cause trouble all the time.  Then if some of these other countries want to stand up for democracy, and human rights, and free trade and forget about getting rich by global warming hoaxes and identity politics, maybe they can join the club later on.  Right.  I’ll see you guys at Mar Largo next month.

[Trump]: Rosie, hold my calls for a while, I have to straighten out the tax code, fix our immigration problem, and get a new health care system running.  But I should be done in time for my 4:00 pm tee time!

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right SideListen kid, you paid for the call.
You ain’t bad but I’ve heard it all before.
Don’t call us, we’ll call you!
Don’t call us, we’ll call you !

Don’t Call Us, We’ll Call You – Sugarloaf

 

Jerry Corbetta, founder and leader of the Denver band Sugarloaf, passed away a few months ago.  Sugarloaf had some monster hits in the seventies and they are as crisp today as they were then.  I feel a tiny connection to this band – I played in a band with a guy who played in a band with a guy who played for Sugarloaf.  Probably every musician in the world has played with every other musician in the world, twice removed!  Anyway, enjoy this classic – sorry, no live video of this song.