Leader of the Pack

photo courtesy of HotCars.com

While the mid-term election was no fun for real conservatives, it sure put a spring in the step of media pundits, Democrats, Never-Trumpers, and Senate and House leaders Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy.

Before the week was over, every political junkie was obsessing over (a) who is at fault for the “red fizzle” and (b) who would be the new House (majority) and Senate (minority) leaders.

The folks in my opening paragraph quickly blamed former president Donald Trump, whose alleged failures included endorsing weak GOP candidates who ultimately lost (his actual record was 216 wins to 19 losses), not spending his entire super PAC on candidates (he spent $16 million out of his estimated $100 million war chest), and taking a verbal shot at his presumed 2024 presidential opponent, Ron DeSantis, just before election day.

Conservatives, meanwhile, faulted GOP leadership. The Big Macs (McCarthy, McConnell and Ronna Romney McDaniel, RNC chairwoman) made their share of unforced errors, funding such stellar conservatives as Lisa Murkowski, while snubbing Trump favorites Masters, Oz and Bolduc. And some say the party’s policy messaging was not strong enough to win on-the-fence voters.

Despite a challenge from Florida senator Rick Scott, McConnell was elected Senate minority leader, on a 37 to 10 vote thanks to Murkowski and other members of the Quid Pro Quo Caucus. McCarthy, on the other hand, appears to be on the way out. Russ Vought, president of Citizens for Renewing America and Trump’s OMB director, told followers tonight that no fewer than 37 Republicans are firmly against McCarthy and that Andy Biggs will likely be the new speaker. Lee Zeldin, who narrowly missed in the New York governor’s race, is vying to replace McDaniel for the chair of the RNC.

In the bigger scheme, neither Trump nor the Big Macs were responsible for the “red fizzle”. The Democrats in battleground states have expanded their cheating playbook to include “malfunctioning” (thus unavailable) voting equipment and late, late, late ballot counts, resulting in some upsets that were beyond absurdity. In fact, the Democrats have become so skilled at election cheating that some Republicans fear they will never win another election unless they learn to cheat even better.

Now I have good news and I have bad news.

First the bad news. Most Americans have no clue who the leaders of the House and Senate are. They are not aware that hundreds of political prisoners have been held by our Democrat administration for two years in putrid conditions without due process. They don’t know that our economy is a $40 trillion house of cards. They are blissfully unaware that our president is fatally compromised to the Chinese, the Russians, the Ukrainians, and whoever else his corrupt family has sold influence and US assets to. They know nothing because our media/government/education cabal keeps the truth hidden from them.

Now the potentially good news. We may have the most conservative group of congressmen and women ever. And we have the opportunity to put new congressional leaders in place who are principled and driven, and who understand the urgent danger our nation is in. They may not be able to pass laws through our feckless Senate or our administration. But they can expose the fraud and corruption with investigations and hearings. They can defund or destroy the corrupt three-letter agencies that have been weaponized against the American people. They can shut down the government if they have to. And they have the power to wake up America’s sleeping voters to the shame that we have become, perhaps in time to save us from the fate of Cuba and Venezuela.

Of course, all of this was possible at times in the past when we had a congressional majority. But without a courageous and moral leader of the pack, our lawmakers have been stymied.

I hope we get it right; this may be our last chance.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

I met him at the candy store
He turned around and smiled at me,
You get the picture? (Yes, we see)
That’s when I fell for the leader of the pack

LEADER OF THE PACK – the Shangri-Las


Welcome to the U.S.S.A.

At the height of the cold war with the USSR in the 1960s the KGB was feared by the free world. The sinister intelligence and enforcement arm of the Kremlin ruthlessly found, tortured and murdered anyone who didn’t agree with Soviet leadership.

Far away from the Soviet tundra, America was still riding a post-war wave of patriotism and bravado. We laughed at cartoon KGB goofs Boris and Natasha, the hapless Sergeant Schultz of the “Hogan’s Heroes” WWII prison camp sitcom, and the ruthless but doomed Soviet tyrants in James Bond movies as a release from the horrific thought that a government would weaponize a clandestine security agency against its own people.

But wait a minute, isn’t that what our own FBI is doing today? Yesterday’s news dump featured the Durham probe of the deep state attack on President Trump (and thus on all Trump supporters and voters), which has now proved beyond any doubt that Hillary Clinton’s campaign hired a tech company to hack Trump’s computer systems before AND after the 2016 presidential election to try to dig up dirt and plant the seeds of the now debunked “Russia, Russia, Russia” hoax. Like Boris and Natasha, our own FBI was fumbling around right in the middle of it: Clinton attorney Michael Sussman brought the fake “evidence” he mined from the illegal wiretaps of servers at Trump Towers and the White House to the FBI trying to implicate the president in some nefarious relationship with a Russian bank. Rather than investigate and take down Sussman, as was their duty, the FBI just shrugged the whole thing off, probably to hide their own involvement.

Former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith was sentenced to a year of probation for altering an email that resulted in improper FISA approvals of surveillance measures against Trump.

FBI officials Strzok, Page, McCabe and Comey shamelessly plotted ways to damage the president who was at the top of their organizational chart.

The FBI has reached a new low on the American respect-meter, with 46% of Americans expressing distrust of the agency after the FBI was implicated in promoting the Jan. 6, 2021 “insurrection”. A year later 71 political prisoners were still in jail in DC in inhumane conditions.

The FBI was caught red-handed setting up a fake kidnapping of Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Six years ago the nation was aghast when President Obama’s FBI agents murdered innocent Idaho rancher Lavoy Finicum. This pales in comparison to the 75 deaths in Waco in 1993 when President Clinton’s FBI needlessly burned down a religious compound full of men, women, and children.

Americans are coming to grips with the fact that our own intelligence and law enforcement agencies are no longer on the side of the citizens. The FBI and other three-letter agencies (CIA, DOJ, IRS, BLM, ATF) are now weaponized by leftist administrations to find, investigate, harass and punish citizens who disagree with the party in power.

In the 1960s we also were amused that the USSR had no free press, and the newspapers and televisions only reported what the government told them to. Would we have imagined that sixty years later American kids would have to wear masks at school all day? Or that companies would fire employees who refused to be injected with dangerous, unproven and ineffective vaccines? Or that our elections would be run like those of the Soviet Politburo?

Who would have thought that our government in 2022 would be modeled after the 1960s USSR?

Nikita Khruschev must be laughing and banging his shoe on a table in hell.

Tom Balek, Rockin’ On the Right Side

I know when you're out
I know when you're in
I know where you're goin'
'Cause I know where you've been

I SPY FOR THE FBI – Jamo Thomas




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

The “China-fication” of America

(Color China Photo via AP, File)

Two months into the Democrat takeover of our nation, I am plenty worried. Not about myself and my wife. Not about our children. Our grandchildren? You bet.

As I recover from the shock of a stolen election followed by the unraveling of all the progress made over the last four years, my worldview has begun to clarify. I think I am finally beginning to understand what’s going on.

My son asked me today, “Do you really think we will never again have a fair election?” After some thought, I had to admit that the likelihood of a real election in our near future is pretty remote.

Look at it this way – the Democrats now have control of the three branches of federal government, the news media, the education system, the military, the judiciary including the Supreme Court, the FBI/DOJ/CIA/State Dept., the entire federal bureaucracy, most of corporate America, the internet, social media, pop culture, entertainment and sports. Their control is so complete that they are able to steal an election in front of God and everybody, get away with it and laugh about it, with virtually no opposition. They can presumably do that again, repeatedly. How in the hell could we traditional Christian conservative Americans expect to ever gain back even a tiny portion of control over our government or our destiny without a deadly civil war?

It appears that the United States (and perhaps the civilized world) has come to accept the Chinese model of government, culture, and morality as the new paradigm of success. After all, the communist leaders of China have maneuvered their huge nation from abject poverty and utter failure to world champion status in just a few decades. Yes, their model richly rewards the ruling elites while “genociding” or “disappearing” unwanted citizens. Yes, their air is unbreathable, their genome-bending diseases are unstoppable, and any disagreement with the CCP is brutally, even militarily, extinguished. But the billions of people in the great Chinese middle class have been elevated to a sustainable, somewhat comfortable standard of living. That is, as long as they do as they are told, maintain an acceptable social score under constant surveillance, and accept mediocrity for their entire lives.

We apparently want the same one-party control system that China has. No need for citizens to make decisions of any kind. No need for freedom of expression, religion, or truth. The government knows best, just shut up and live.

There’s only one problem here. China was able to build their system by using and abusing American knowledge, creativity and money. If America wants to emulate China, who will we look to as our “cash cow” to finance our growth and progress? Guatamala? Mexico? Using the wealth they pilfered from us, China has already taken over most of the third-world at breakneck pace.

With Democrats now controlling every aspect of American civilization, and promising (already delivering) the China model to our nation, those of us over age 40 who give a damn about our grandchildren don’t seem to have a lot of options.

But there is one last hope. And it is that individual states will re-affirm their sovereignty, rights and freedoms under the Constitution of our forefathers. If there is no room for the “Make America Great Again” spirit in our nation, I pray to God that there is room for it in our states. If we have hope to restore the USA to greatness, that hope lies in the flyover states, not the metropolitan coastal areas that are willing and happy to sell their pitiful, fearful souls to the federal government for promise of a crust of bread. May God bless the United STATES of America!





I stumble into town just like a sacred cow
Visions of swastikas in my head
And plans for everyone
It’s in the white of my eyes

China Girl – David Bowie

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

More News From the Real World

Yesterday a big truck pulled into our driveway to deliver a refrigerator.  The delivery men were both young, athletic, hard working African-American dads.  One has month-old twins and the other has a couple of young daughters.

After finishing the work, they took some time to visit with us, and I accepted their admiration for my awesome man room.  They were impressed by our new home on the lake, and I could see them wondering, how does a guy get one of these?

My “dad” buzzer went off.  I just can’t resist an opportunity to coach enterprising young people.  I am an unapologetic card-carrying disciple of free enterprise and American capitalism, and nothing makes me happier than seeing a young person who wants to move up and achieve a better life for his or her family.  At risk of embarrassment, here is our conversation, condensed.

Worker 1: “That is a big, beautiful house.  How did you guys get here?”

Me:  “You know, my wife and I started out dirt poor.  We had absolutely nothing.  But we worked hard, and saved, and kept working and saving, and here we are.  It’s America!  We are living proof that the American dream is real and success is out there for anybody who is willing to work for it.”

Worker 1: “I’m thinking about starting my own business, I have a couple of ideas.”

Me: “Owning your own business is great.  If I had known how fun and profitable it is to have your own business, I would have done it long ago.”

Wife: “And it’s a great time to start a business. The economy is booming!  There are all kinds of opportunities right now.  Companies are starting up and growing and hiring people because of the tax reform.”

Worker 2: “Yeah, business has really picked up.  Our company can’t find enough people to hire.”

Wife:  “I’m a Trump supporter and he has really turned things around after Obama.”

Workers 1 and 2 simultaneously:  “That’s for sure, Obama didn’t do us any favors!”

Me:  “Maybe the best thing Trump has done is get rid of all the crazy regulations.  We moved here from Montana, and the oil and coal and mining and agriculture industries have taken off again there because Trump got the EPA and other agencies to back off.”

Worker 2: “I’m going back to school to finish my classes in underwater welding.”

Me:  “Wow!  That sounds like a great career with a lot of demand.  Are you a welder now?”

Worker 2: “Yes.”

Me: “Well if you want to make some big money in a hurry, go to the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota and eastern Montana.  Welders there can make six figures because there is so much demand.  Even drivers make big money, and the employers pay for CDLs, help with housing, and have good benefits.  It’s not a great place for the family, but a lot of young guys buck it up for a year or two, make some big money, and then they are set.”

Wife: “There are always great opportunities somewhere.  You may have to move, or do some kind of work you don’t want to do.  We have all done work we didn’t want to, but that’s part of building wealth.”

Me: “I’ve always said I can do anything for a while.  You don’t have to bust your rear end and save your money forever, just for a while.  Then things get a lot easier.”

Worker 2:  “Well, maybe I’ll have a place like yours some day!”

As I said in my last post, don’t believe the silliness you see and hear on the evening news.  They would have you believe that young people, especially minorities, are angry and oppressed.  The leftist politicians and talking heads predict a “blue wave” led by socialists who will save us all from the greedy corporations.

It just isn’t true.  These young African-American dads are typical of the guys on the street that I enjoy meeting and with whom I am proud to share our great American heritage and values.  They understand responsibility, work and reward, they respect employers and capitalism, they know when somebody is trying to blow smoke, and they are optimistic about the direction our country is headed.  And – surprise!  They love Trump!

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Stand in the place where you live (now face north)
Think about direction, wonder why you haven’t before
Stand in the place where you work (now face west)
Think about the place where you live
Wonder why you haven’t before

Are You a “Maker” or a “Taker”?

photo by Kenneth Song

There are “makers” in this world and there are “takers.”  Some produce more than they use, and some don’t. We are at a point in our crazy history when the number of takers is right on the cusp of outnumbering the makers.

My father left me only a few gems of wisdom; here is perhaps the best:  “Son, there is no such thing as a free lunch.” Sadly, half of our population believes it is possible for the government to provide free college, free housing, free medical care, free food, and even free spending money to anyone who wants it.  Actually, the socialists (who have taken over the Democrat party) claim we all “deserve” free stuff.

No, there is no such thing as a free lunch, or free anything for that matter.  If government gives something to one person, it must be taken – at threat of physical force – from somebody else.  By definition, that is theft.

People are charitable by nature, and most will give some of their own property to someone who they feel is truly in need.  But our Constitution does not say that the government has the duty or the right to force one citizen to give their property to someone else whether they approve or not.

Thank God there are people who care and give freely of their time and money to others. While many Americans (and many illegal aliens) sit and complain, demanding free stuff and benefits that they have not earned, a few “makers” are hard at work trying to make our nation a better place for the generations that will follow.

I have a friend who was diagnosed with a rare cancer several years ago and was given three months to live.  He is no longer able to operate the business he built through years of hard work and risk.  But he continues to work every day for conservative leaders and to promote legislation that will benefit all Americans.  “I can’t just quit,” he says, and “leave a mess for the kids and grandkids.”  Everything he touches ends up better than the way he found it.  He is a “maker.”

Another friend has spent her entire life defending American traditional values, especially the rights of the unborn.  Despite withering physical problems that would stop most people in their tracks, she still teaches and convinces and cajoles those who don’t understand the “free lunch” problem.  Those who are lucky enough to meet her are inspired and blessed.  She is a “maker”.

My adult son is totally blind.  Despite his college degree, the job market has not exactly welcomed him with open arms.  So he volunteers his time as a reading tutor for at-risk sighted kids, and works at a hospice soothing dying patients in their final hours with a little conversation, a magazine article, or a bible reading.  He’s a “maker”.

President Trump left a lucrative business career, spent a huge amount of his own money, and has withstood inhumane abuse from the media and opponents from outside and within his own party.  He could be multiplying his wealth and enjoying life with his beautiful wife and family.  Instead, he works long hours and take all the heat his enemies can dish out, because he loves our country and knows what is needed to set us back on the course to prosperity and success.  President Trump is a “MAKER.”

I, and most people who want the best for our nation and all of its people, celebrate President Trump and the other “makers”.  And frankly, we are repulsed by the “takers” we see on our television screens and computers every day.  There is no middle ground.  Each of us must choose a side.  Maker – or taker.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

I hope you always forgive and you never regret
And you help somebody every chance you get
Oh, you find God’s grace in every mistake
And always give more than you take

My Wish – Rascal Flatts

 

Please watch this beautiful vignette of some American “makers”, Rascal Flatts.

Forget Politics – Think Economics

Politics is too much.  It’s just too big.  So many issues, policies, personalities, feelings, fears, doubts, lies, propaganda.

Everything is hyped and overstated.  The political and cultural divide grows wider and deeper by the day.  In the jumble and tumble of daily politics and market-driven “news” it’s so hard to stay focused on what is real and important.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes for me all of the posturing and gamesmanship gets to be too much – too damned much to digest and bring to any kind of focus or certainty or closure.  Too much grey area and not enough black and white facts. It’s no wonder so many people tune out and continue their lives in blissful disengagement.  I’m not able to do that (you probably aren’t either) and I find myself sometimes needing the “click” of a padlock – the binary knowledge that I know something is right, and imperative, period.

About every ten years or so I come full circle back to what I know in my guts to be true about life, and how we as Americans (and for that matter as human beings on planet Earth)  are wired to make the right choice and do the right thing.   And the path revealed is not political. It always comes back to economics.

To hell with politics.  Every human being on the planet – basket weaver in India, farmer in North Dakota, factory worker in China, soldier in North Korea – has this in common:  we get up every morning and set out to improve the standard of living for ourselves and our families.  Period.

Isn’t this true?  Can you disagree?  We all want a little bit better life for ourselves and the ones we love.  It is a universal truth – a metaphysical fact.  Forget religion.  Forget political party.  Forget culture, education, race, gender, age, nationality.  We all want the same thing.  Better food.  A nicer house.  Less hard labor.  More quality time with our loved ones.

We, the people of the United States of America, have been a beacon of inspiration and righteous success since our nation’s noisy and unconventional birth.  We have improved the standard of living for not only ourselves but also for people all over the world on a quantum scale ever since we became a “thing” in 1776.   We have set the standard.  We are the land of opportunity, the place to be, the bad go-getters and the mean motor-scooters.  We have what it takes.  We know what it’s all about.

Don’t we?  Lately we aren’t so sure.  I mean we did, but do we still?

We Americans have generally credited our political system for our success – our Constitution, our three branches of government with built-in checks and balances, our Bill of Rights, etc.  Great.  It’s all good.  But there’s more to it.

I submit that our American success story is the result of our economic system – free enterprise and free markets, equal opportunity, and minimal government intervention.

Because the truth is:  every human being is ruled by self-interest.

It’s not a bad thing.  We work hard to provide for our families.  We help those in need because we know we may, ourselves, some day need help.  We look for ways to meet the wants and needs of others in the market because that will reward us, as well as them.

Some will say that free markets favor the greedy and unscrupulous.  But America, born a Christian nation, avoided that problem.  We trusted each other.  We were raised to be moral, honest citizens.  We believed in fairness.  Our word was our bond.

As long as America is a Christian nation, and makes decisions based on economic merit, and values honesty, we will be fine.  But we must each shoulder our responsibility.  For every political issue or question we should consider: will this course of action help improve the standard of living for all Americans?  And will it be fair to all Americans?

Anything outside that simple framework just really doesn’t matter.  Try looking at any political issue or question in these terms.  Improved standard of living + fairness/honesty (Christian morality).  The correct path becomes pretty obvious.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

I’ve got to get it somewhere
I mean, you never know, maybe
You’re dreaming

Too Much – Dave Matthews Band

 

The always awesome Dave Mathews Band:  it’s just Too Much!  Especially drummer Carter Beauford.

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

 

 

Bye Bye California

Calexit

Poor California.  She is just trying to be nice, and all she gets from most of her brothers and sisters is derision and ridicule.

She wants to save the planet, so she destroys her agricultural industry by diverting all the Central Valley’s water into the ocean to protect a tiny fish.  She feels sorry for poor people from all over the world, so she opens her borders and gives away her peoples’ jobs, streets and money.  She even chose to be a sanctuary state, so that illegal aliens who commit violent crimes won’t be sent away.

She says marijuana is cool and should be legal.  She thinks anybody should be able to choose their gender, and change it at any time.  She believes white people are mostly racists, men are mostly rapists, and if guns were outlawed, nobody would ever be killed again.  Except babies in the womb, who are terribly inconvenient.

The rest of the family just doesn’t understand her, Daddy Trump is threatening to send her to bed without supper, and poor California is so upset she wants to run away from home.

A group called Yes California leads the secession movement, saying:

Being a U.S. state is no longer serving California’s best interests. On issues ranging from peace and security to natural resources and the environment, it has become increasingly true that California would be better off as an independent country.

Their website lists many reasons why California should secede.  Their liberal values are impeded by our federal laws.  They are tired of contributing to the United States’ military apparatus, and think separation from the USA would make them less likely targets for terrorists.  They are convinced that their votes don’t count because of the electoral college, and as a result they now must bear the ultimate insult in the form of President Trump.

The California secessionists are right about one thing:  secession is a perfectly legal and legitimate option to states.  Despite Lincoln’s heavy-handed and bloody suppression of the southern states during the Civil War, and the federal corruption and abuse that continued for decades after his death, our Constitution allows and anticipates that states can leave the union.  The nation was created by the states, not the other way around.  The notion that secession is treason is nothing more than revisionist history.

Should anyone find the possibility of a state splitting the sheets with its mother country unthinkable in this day and age, consider Catalonia, whose citizens voted for independence from Spain and hope to raise their own flag by the end of this year.

Secession is complicated.  Will California pay its share of the national debt?  Will the USA have to shut down its military installations?  Will Trump have to build a wall around California to keep illegal immigrants from fleeing to Nevada when the state runs out of money?

Anyway, I say go for it, California.  You don’t have to put up with us meanies any longer.  Go ahead and secede.  Party on.

Just don’t call us to pick up the pieces when the fun is over.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

You can go your own way
You can call it another lonely day
You can go your own way
You can call it another lonely day