No More “Fake News” – Repeal ObamaCare Now!

coverbatboyThis just in: the mainstream news industry has confirmed the existence of “fake news”.

It’s not yet clear exactly what qualifies as “fake news”.  Some online political trouble-makers have learned that there is nothing to prevent them from writing stories that are flat-out untrue.  Worse, they have learned that lazy mainstream journalists and pundits will often repeat their fabrications without an ounce of verification.

The label “fake news” can apparently be used by a reporter to discount any news that doesn’t support his ideology.  It is also acceptable for one to use fake news to plant his own ideology in the minds of the low-information masses.

And there has been, especially in the recent election silly season, a serious epidemic of Facebook and Twitter users (of all political persuasions) sharing and re-posting titillating but bogus information without testing its veracity – or even reading anything more than the title.

Now, I can cut Average Joe and Jane some slack for not knowing journalistic “best practices”.  But it’s pretty hard to excuse paid media professionals who engage in fake news.  Facebook and Google claim they are going to crack down on fake news.  Who can take them seriously after they were caught manipulating search results and “trending” lists to drive viewers toward their left-wing point-of-view?

After all the hand-wringing and accusations about fake news, it is astonishing how left-wing media pundits still have no shame about making their own false or misleading public statements.  On last weekend’s Sunday news shows, the “media professionals” strapped on their Pinocchio noses and went to work.

Karine Jean-Pierre dropped this little stool on ABC’s This Week : “Donald Trump does have a vote in Congress to repeal, to take away, health care from many Americans.”

There was no mention of how many people lost their private coverage due to the ACA.  In fact, she didn’t mention ObamaCare at all.  No elaboration on how Congress’ proposed replacement plans are designed to cover more people rather than fewer.  Certainly no reporting on the need to beat back the crushing cost increases taxpayers currently bear (my forced ObamaCare premium is 400% higher than my private insurance was, and is now mostly subsidized by the taxpayers.)

Jean-Pierre just laid out her fake news “fact” that President Trump wants to take your health insurance away.  Job done, let’s go get a Starbucks.

During that same show, there was an advertisement paid for by the taxpayers, encouraging viewers to sign up for ObamaCare.  The ad’s appeal is that “most people who are enrolled receive ‘financial help’ with their premiums” – specifically, your individual premium might be as high as $650 per month, but you might only pay $50 per month.  Fake advertising news alert:  it’s not “financial help,”, it’s a taxpayer-funded subsidy.

If ObamaCare is such a good deal for everyone, why do we have to pay for TV advertisements to drum up business?

The left-wing media has become so adept at “fake news” that half of the Democrat party’s sobbing supporters believe Vladimir Putin actually hacked into the voting machines and threw the election for his buddy Donald Trump.

Here’s hoping the incoming administration will discard the corrupt mainstream media like a Hillary Clinton disk drive and take its messages straight to the people by whatever alternative means are available.  Because chances are, if it came from the mainstream media, it’s fake!

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

You’re a fake, baby
You can’t conceal it
Know how I know?
‘Cause I can feel it!
You’re a fake, baby
No rhyme or reason
‘Cause in your mind it’s lyin’ season.

FAKE – Alexander O’Neal

Now here’s a funky one!  O’Neal on Soul Train, mid 80s.

 

 

 

Right and Wrong

ussoldierafghanistanThroughout our nation’s history there has been conflict between religion and government.  In fact, our nation came to be largely because of this conflict.  And our founders established, through the first amendment to our Constitution, that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

The USA was born as a Christian nation; developed by Christians, and governed by Christians.   Still, the separation of church and state has been, and remains, the subject of considerable debate.  That’s partly because we view most offenses in terms of severity.  A crime, in the eyes of government, might fall anywhere in the range of “not so bad” to “extremely bad”.  Some crimes are rigidly enforced by the government; others are completely overlooked.  Sometimes overlooking a minor crime can lead to one that is unthinkable.

When it comes to that “extremely bad” category, we Americans pretty much unanimously agree on one thing.  Regardless of religious or political affiliation, we do not tolerate the murder of innocent people.  Period.  Anybody disagree with that?  Anybody?

It’s the ultimate “right” and “wrong”.  Most of us believe we’re born with an understanding of it.  Still, we allow a few excuses for murder.  Insanity.  Crime of passion.  Capital punishment? Abortion?  War, maybe?

What happens when another culture or religion has a different view of “right” and “wrong”?  Some radical Muslims are raised and required to believe that the murder of non-Muslims is not only acceptable, it is righteous.  Their treatment of women, children, and minorities is abhorrent to us.

Should we non-Muslims accept their religious belief that the murder of innocent people is okay, in the name of tolerance?  Conversely, if a non-Muslim kills a Muslim terrorist to protect innocent lives, is that righteous?  What about killing a communist (that’s government, not religion) to protect innocent lives?

What sometimes seems simple (right vs. wrong) seldom is.  There comes a time when tough decisions must be made, by our mortal American men and women – soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen and political leaders.  All we can do is base them on who we, as a nation, are and what we believe to be true and right.

Maybe that’s why “our” God gave his only son to die for our forgiveness, and to grant us peace.

Merry Christmas and God bless our military men and women and our leaders.

Rockin' On the Right Side

Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing over the plains
And the mountains in reply,
Echoing their joyous strains.
Gloria, in excelsis de-o

Pentatonix – Angels We Have Heard On High

 

 

 

Maybe It’s Time To Retire My Obama Phone

obamaphoneI have had some fun over the past several years at President Obama’s expense.

Those of you who have rocked with me for a while remember that several years ago I applied for, and received, an “Obama Phone” – a free cell phone, with 250 free minutes and unlimited texts.  I only got my free phone to prove that anybody can get one, and to show how ridiculous and unmanaged the whole program is.  My application, and my renewals, have been completely honest – no mis-stating income or anything.  Now, I’m not going to lie to you.  We live a pretty fine Southern lifestyle here on the lake.  But I still qualified for a free phone, and I contend that anybody who asks for a taxpayer-subsidized ObamaPhone will receive one too.

President Obama didn’t actually start the free cell phone program.  It debuted under President GW Bush and his Congress as a well-intended but soon-corrupted “LifeLine” benefit for us poor folks, funded by a tax on the cell phone bills of all you rich folks.  During the free-stuff-for-everybody Obama years, the profiteering cell phone providers, led by Mexican kingpin Carlos Slim, really got with the program.  Soon it was Party Central, and people were dancing and singing and selling free ObamaPhones all over the place.

Here’s a fun exercise:  type “Obama Phone” into any search engine.  Go ahead, try it!  Up pops a whole bunch of “providers” who are more than happy to set you up for a free cell phone, courtesy of the taxpayers.  The really cool one is ObamaPhone.com.    Here’s part of their sales pitch:

Millions of Americans have been economically devastated by the economic meltdown, by the deep recession that followed it, and by the nation’s ongoing economic struggles. Many of those needy Americans have reached the point where they consider a telephone a luxury that they cannot afford.

The Obama Phone program (also known as Lifeline Assistance) can lift that burden. More than 20 million Americans have already received a free Obama Phone and get 250 free cell phone minutes every month.

I was so grateful for my free phone that I made my own little musical thank you message to my friend Barack.  The phone was free, but even though I was a Tea Party guy, he still sent me an email asking me for five dollars every day.

Well, now that President Obama is about to retire, maybe it’s time for me to retire my ObamaPhone too.

Which raises the question:  Will Trump and the Republican House and Senate finally put an end to this stupid-ass, corrupt entitlement program once and for all?  Or will we all be carrying Trump-a-Phones for the next eight years?

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

 

Russians? Chinese? They Are Just Spies Like Us

spyvsspySadly, the glory days of Spy vs. Spy are gone.  No more encrypted notes taped under park benches.  Forget about secret meetings in parking garages.  Throw away your fountain pen with the camera in the cap.

Was that sultry Russian babe James Bond’s friend or enemy?  How did Maxwell Smart get such good phone reception in his shoe?

Today’s spies aren’t nearly as cool and clandestine as the spooks we grew up with.  You won’t find them sneaking through the fog in trenchcoats with microfilm and hidden cameras, digging up tidbits to sell to the KGB or the CIA.  But there are still plenty of them, and they are gainfully employed by governments all over the world.  They spend their workdays in front of a computer screen, looking for an open port or a compromised password.  They write worms of code that can be planted in a target computer to reveal government secrets from yesterday, today, and into the future.

Democrats and the mainstream media (sorry, redundant) have suffered ‘hair-on-fire syndrome’ this week, blaming Russian hackers for helping Donald Trump defeat their heroine Hillary in the presidential election.   It’s amusing on a number of fronts.  They want to impugn Trump because somebody hacked their DNC servers and emails.  They assume it was the Russians, but they don’t know.  They don’t seem concerned about the ugly Democrat secrets revealed.  They can’t explain why Russian president Putin would prefer Trump to their golden girl.  Wasn’t it Hillary who gave 20% of our strategic uranium supply to Russia?

Vladimir, when asked by a reporter about Russian hacking, said, “It wasn’t us, but thanks for the compliment.”

“There’s nothing there benefiting Russia,” Putin told the Russia Calling conference. “The hysteria is simply to distract the American people from the contents of what the hackers have posted.”

Putin doesn’t deny that his government employs hackers.  He would be foolish to do so, at a time when China, the United States, and many other governments are feverishly at work trying to dig up each others’ secrets.  China, in fact, is setting the bar high for other wanna-be hacker spies.  They nailed the personnel records of 4 million US government workers.   Oops, make that 21.5 million government workers.  They busted into the White House, the US Postal Service, the State Dept., and the NOAA.  They infiltrated the FDIC.  It may be hard to find a government server that hasn’t been hacked by the Chinese.  Several years ago the Chinese Army filled a building with hackers, and has since built a small high-tech city around it, putting a whole lot of their espionage eggs in the computer hacking basket.

And if stealing secrets isn’t bad enough, foreign hackers are developing offensive weapons that could black-out our electrical grid, bring the stock market to a screeching halt, or make our barely-functional air traffic control system totally dysfunctional.  Chances are some or all of these dastardly deeds are already do-able.

As early as 2011 the US government recognized hacking as the next big thing in intelligence and intrigue, ramping up to hire its own army of geeks.  Mum has been the word since then, but it would be naïve, to say the least, to think that we haven’t tried to sneak into Putin’s database.

As to the latest knots in the Democrat underwear about Trump conspiring with big, mean Putin against poor little Hillary (who got her own top-secret server hacked by lord-knows-who) – I say, fagettaboutit.  It’s Spy vs. Spy all over again, and our spies had better be at least as smart as the other guys spies.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

Hey don’t feel afraid
Of an undercover raid
There’s no need to fuss
There ain’t nobody that spies like us!

Spies Like Us – Paul McCartney

 

Abuse – The Dirty Little Secret of the Illegal Immigration Issue

immigrants

The assumption is that conservatives oppose illegal immigration and open borders because we are selfish.  Some say we just don’t want to share the wonderful opportunities and wealth in our country with outsiders.  Others call us racists.

Do I believe in “America First?”  Sure I do.  I think that American citizens should have first claim to jobs, schools, and taxpayer-provided benefits, and I know that in a world with poverty in every corner, the combination of open borders and liberal benefits for immigrants is unsustainable.

Closing our borders is not just to protect those on the inside.  Here’s the dirty little secret:

Illegal immigrants to our country are often abused.

Human trafficking is commonplace, and some who seek the good life in America pay a heavy price.  Many immigrants fork over their family’s life savings or even borrow money to pay coyotes and arrangers for their passage.  Forced prostitution and enslavement are more common than we would like to believe.

But even after an illegal immigrant has landed inside our borders, dangers abound.  Immigrant laborers often earn less than minimum wage, work long hours, and live crammed twenty to a room, unprotected by our laws and in fear of deportation.  Without education or language skills, they are easy prey for unscrupulous profiteers, both foreign and American.

Some time ago I reported that a beloved local businessman and school teacher, Jesse Campbell, was murdered at his home by Kevin DeJesus, an illegal Mexican who had worked for him as a laborer.  At first blush, it appeared to be another one of those “bad illegal immigrant kills innocent American citizen” episodes.  But here’s the rest of the story, reported in the Rock Hill Herald after the murder trial:

DeJesus’ lawyer said Campbell’s “secret double life,” of extortion for sex led to the vicious death. There was a struggle for a gun after Campbell forced DeJesus to perform a sex act, and refused to pay DeJesus for work done at the home, according to testimony.

Campbell had, in this case and at other times with other Hispanic men he hired, “refused to pay them unless they had sex with him.”

Dejesus will serve a 12-year sentence and then be deported.

Some will say that the solution to the abuse of illegal immigrants is to give them amnesty and full access to the protections enjoyed by American citizens.  But the only real-world solution is to prevent them from entering illegally in the first place, for a number of very good reasons.  A nation without borders and laws is not a nation.  It makes more sense to help other nations improve their own governments and living conditions.  And we can’t afford to care for the poor of the entire world within our borders when too many of our own American citizens struggle as it is.

We must seal our borders.  For our sake, and theirs.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

Tax the rich
Feed the poor
‘Til there ain’t no
Rich no more

I’d Love to Change the World – Ten Years After

Here’s Alvin Lee’s classic, from 1971 – a time that was a little less politically correct than today.

 

 

Lindsey Graham: Everybody F***ing Hates Me

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

Poor Lindsey Graham.

He’s the senior senator from the great state of South Carolina; a Republican who has held his office since 2003.  And yet very few people in his own home state can stand the sight of him.

Democrats hate him because he is a Republican.  Republicans hate him because he is a Democrat with an R behind his name.  He votes against his fellow Republicans 69% of the time.

One might ask, “How the hell does somebody like Lindsey Graham get elected in South Carolina?”  Well, it’s complicated.

You see, the last primary election in South Carolina featured six contenders for his Senate seat who filed as Republicans.  Five of them actually were conservative Republicans.  The sixth was Lindsey Graham.  Now, the Democrats knew they had no chance of winning the Senate seat in a conservative stronghold like South Carolina.  Fortunately for them, South Carolina has “open primaries”, where anybody from any party can vote in whatever primary they wish.  And the Democrats wished to elect Graham, knowing he will vote their way in the Senate most of the time.  They got him through the primary, and the general election went predictably easy for the guy in the “R” column.

At a time when Americans are dancing in the streets over the Trump-induced death of the liberal left, Lindsey doesn’t even pretend to be conservative.  He’s for big bailouts.  He busts his butt to preserve the corrupt corporate-crony Import/Export Bank program.  He leads the fight for amnesty.  After President Obama encouraged illegal immigrants to get out and vote, Lindsey excoriated President-elect Trump for even suggesting that vote fraud is possible.

Graham routinely supported even the most liberal nominees.  He scoffed at the Tea Party.  To everyone’s astonishment, he ran for President, but never advanced from the kids’ table in the debates, dropping out before spending any of his campaign funds.

There was a time when the Senator had one thing in common with Republicans – his support for a strong military and a generally hawkish outlook on foreign affairs.  But even that is no longer completely in step with recent conservative sentiments.  Strong military, yes.  Protracted and expensive engagement in foreign entanglements without an end game or any obvious American interests served, not so much.

Washington, DC can be a lonely place sometimes.  And Lindsey Graham may be the most hated man in town.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

In a trap, trip I can’t grip
Never thought I’d be the one who’d slip
Then I started to realize
I was living one big lie,
She f***ing hates me

She Hates Me – Puddle of Mudd

Draining the Swamp Is Easier Than Fixing the Schools

President Donald Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos

President-elect Donald Trump and his choice for Education Secretary Betsy DeVos

Everyone knows that we must “drain the swamp” to get our nation back on track.  Corrupt and self-serving Washington, DC insiders have colluded with big business, big media, and big education to lock themselves to the trough at the expense of working Americans.

The incoming administration is already setting up its swamp-draining apparatus, and there is optimism in the air.  Trump has shown that he will take his case straight to the American people, bypassing the corrupt news organizations.  And he is bringing outsiders to the Beltway who have little patience for the Machiavellian status quo.

I’m confident that reforms can be made, and quickly, in our federal government.  But that only solves part of the problem.

Our American education system, from kindergarten through college, has been churning out brainwashed dumb-bots for decades, and our collective IQ is dropping like Wile E. Coyote from an Arizona cliff.

Now, if that statement made you spit coffee on your lap, good.  We need to wake up.

You may be thinking that there are some schools with problems, but your local school is just fine.  “Our teachers are nice and the kids are polite.  The football team wins most of their games and 95% of our graduates go to college.”

Here’s an exercise for you – you can do this intellectually if not physically.  Grab an average high-school sophomore from your local school district.  Can he find Egypt on a globe?  Can she make change?  Can he calculate percentage in his head?  Can she name the first three American presidents?  Could he change a tire?  Could she bake a cake?  Do they know who fought in World War II and why?

I’ll bet you could do or answer all, or most, of the above when you were 15.  Your parents could.  So could your grandparents.  Trust me, your grandfather could calculate gas mileage in his head.  Your son probably doesn’t know what gas mileage is.  If your sophomore can pass the above test, he or she is part of a very tiny minority in this country.

You might say, “Yes, but my sophomore can operate a smart phone.  And she is very socially aware.”  Okay.  Try using her anti-bullying training to jump-start her car when the battery is dead.  See if his gender-identity sensitivity classes can help him prepare a simple tax return.

Today’s students spend as much time, or more, being “educated” as you did.  But the quality and quantity of knowledge they obtain is not even close.  There are only so many hours in a day, and in a childhood.  I call the waste of our students’ precious time “educational rape.”

When faced with the question “How can we improve education?” the knee-jerk answer is “School Choice!”  Unfortunately, if the choices are all designed and staffed by the same people who screwed up the traditional schools, the results might be even worse.  I have to tell you, I have visited many ballyhooed “choice” schools that were more politically-correct indoctrination centers than the schools they replaced.  And I didn’t find even their “star” students to be very well-prepared for success in the real world, be that college or career.

So how do we drain the school sewers?  Honestly, it can’t be done from Washington, DC.  Schools must be designed, organized, and operated by states and local districts, because presidents and congressmen and bureaucrats in Washington, DC can’t see what is happening on the ground in Billings or Topeka or Charlotte.  Our new Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, should agree that most functions of the federal Dept. of Education should be eliminated.  We still need to ensure fair treatment of special needs and at-risk students. This is a case where federal mandates are in order, and they must be aligned with federal funds.  But most curricular and methods decisions should be made locally, with local funding.

Competition from school choice is great.  Participation by private employers – awesome.  Private and religious schools?  Home schooling?  Excellent.  Vouchers?  Yes.  Still, until and unless we parents get involved in our local schools, driving the educational process as active patrons and school board trustees, it will be more of the same.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right SideSomebody once told me the world is gonna roll me
I ain’t the sharpest tool in the shed
She was looking kind of dumb with her finger and her thumb
In the shape of an “L” on her forehead

All-Star – Smashmouth