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A BIG WEEK FOR NEWS 5 Nov. 2017 PDF  | Print |  E-mail

A BIG WEEK FOR NEWS

 

5 Nov. 2017

 

Dear Friends and Patriots,

 

            This has been a busy week with lot of interesting things to report on and think about.  Consider each topic below as a mini-article.  I could elaborate for several pages on each, but I have too much to do at work and home to dedicate that much time, and I suspect I’d only wear on your patience.  So, here’s my synopsis take on things in the news today.

 

PRESIDENT TRUMP:

             Our President is off on a big tour of Asia.  He seems pretty comfortable with things at home.  If he wasn’t, would he have extended his tour so he could go down to The Philippines and attend the upcoming Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit being held in Manila?  He originally didn’t plan on going, but now he is.  That’s a good thing, too.  If he’s going all that way to promote better trade deals, why skip out on the ASEAN meet?  We have negative balances of trade with almost all those nations, too.  China and Japan aren’t our only trade problems. 

The trip seems to be going well so far.  He and Prime Minister Abe of Japan get along like first cousins.  It’s that golf thing, you know.  Bill Clinton and Barack Obama hobnobbed with famous athletes and actors on the links, but Trump has always used golf courses as extensions of his office.  He seems to understand how that bonding thing works.  I hear he’s a pretty good scratch golfer, too.  At least that’s what Rush Limbaugh says.

            It’s hard to overestimate the potential of the President’s journey.  He’s obviously working on several aspects of his administration’s agenda:  developing better trade relations and agreements, achieving stability in the situation with North Korea, explaining the direction of his administration so Asian leaders won’t misunderstand what they see and hear from the media, re-visiting our Status of Forces agreements with Asian nations, determining a common approach on international Islamic terror issues, and promoting Trump’s vision of freedom in the world.  That’s a big plate-full!  But, it looks like he can tote the load, so let’s sit back and watch what happens.  We should all hope good comes of it that benefits us and the Asian nations.

            Meanwhile, back at home, the slow coup continues.

 

THE “TRUMP MUST GO” MOVEMENT:

                       This weekend was successful for President Trump, as far as we can see, but not so much for one group of people back home.  The 4 November Anti-Trump-Pence rallies held in 20 cities across the nation were pretty much a bust.  The sarcastic reference to them in some places is ANTIFAIL.  And, those rallies were a failure, and for several good reasons.

            The radical street movement in this country has very little actual support.  They can mass their demonstrators in a single location, assuming the pay and expenses are guaranteed up front by their financial backers.  But to pull off a 20+ city event on the same day; now that takes a lot more dedication than they could muster.  If you read the RefuseFascism.org web site you’d know they and their partners, the Revolutionary Communist Party of America and various ANTIFA groups planned on mass demonstrations.  Crowds of 20 to 100 people does not constitute “masses.”  In a city the size of New York you can gather more than 100,000 people to watch a pet parade.  The radicals managed over 1,000.  In some places, notably in Austin, TX the police presence far outnumbered the demonstrators.  Folks, that’s not indicative of any popular support.  The reasons should have been evident to the organizers far in advance of Saturday, but they weren’t paying attention.  Just think about one thing those guys didn’t get – how much support do you suppose an organization named Revolutionary Communist Party of America can actually muster?

            This was posted on the RefuseFascism.org web site today:

 

Several thousand people took to the streets in over two dozen cities on November 4 around the slogan This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must GO! From the 40 in Austin who stood up against 250 armed militia to the diverse crowd of 1500 at its height in New York to the spirited hundreds in Chicago, with a lot of high school youth, who marched with drums through cold November rain… this was a real beginning.

 

I sort of like that “armed militia” part, don’t you?  I’m certain in a progressive sanctuary city like Austin if there were actual armed militia they’d have been encouraged to leave or be arrested.  Those “armed militia” referenced were all badge-wearers.  But, that simple fact doesn’t sell the program of the progressive left, does it?  And note there were “spirited hundereds” in Chicago and “a lot of high school youth.”  Gee, the very thought chills my bones.

            A bit farther down the page is this additional information:

The beginning momentum must now be built upon.  Refuse Fascism has called for demonstrations next Saturday, November 11 focusing on both the threats of war and actual aggression being carried out, and then another demonstration on November 18, which again brings in the all-round threat posed by this regime to the many targeted groups and to humanity as a whole.  Both these days must witness a growing momentum to this movement, unlocking the sentiment of literally tens of millions into a movement that can actually drive out this regime.

We need you.  We need you to generously DONATE, as we went deep into debt for November 4 and now must do even more in the two weeks now directly upon us.

Now, we’re getting somewhere!  This is really great information.  It reveals weaknesses in the organization of this group.  They have apparently abandoned all notions of setting up encampments until the Trump-Pence administration is driven from office.  No, they aren’t doing that part of their original plan.  Evidently there’s not enough winter campers in their groups.  They do understand camping out for “the cause” is no more than hollow words.  It’s impractical to try to do.  They’d just look ridiculous.  So, they’re going to stick to Saturday rallies in hopes that people with real jobs and real responsibilities will show up to augment their paltry presence into some number that’s a bit more respectable.  And did you catch the big word in that last paragraph?  They went into debt and need donations!  That statement reveals whoever is funding them is getting a bit tired of throwing money away.  There’s some kind of expectation of results.  No results = no cash.  They have no operating capital now, and no popular support.  This alone is the death knell of this self-styled movement. 

This is why the President feels comfortable leaving the country right now – he already understands the joke many of the rest of us are just now getting figured out.

You must wonder why I raised your awareness of this cabal of fools the way I did.  It was for one reason only.  Movements like this one always have the potential to persist if people don’t pay attention to them and formulate counter strategies.  They must always be acknowledged, assessed, studied, and countered in some way.  To leave them alone is to accept the actual dangers they present.  So, help me keep an eye on them.

 

 THE BOWE BERGDAHL VERDICT IS IN:

             Bowe Bergdahl was treated rather gently by his court martial judges.  It appears he may never go to jail, despite the facts that he deserted and aided the Taliban in their strikes against US forces.  The court was addressed by several soldiers who were wounded in action during the search for the missing soldier and the wife of a soldier who is now incapacitated due to a head wound suffered during one of those searches.  One might think their testimony to the dramatic and lasting effects of one Private’s bad behavior would impress the court.  It would seem that wasn’t the case.  The presiding judge evidently gave more weight to the stories Bergdahl told of his treatment by the Taliban and reports of psychologists and psychiatrists who had examined him.  Even though there were many casualties, both killed and wounded, among those who searched for him, no guilt was laid on Bergdahl beyond the charges he pled guilty to.  The court apparently determined he’d suffered enough.  They let him walk.  Oh, it’s true he was awarded a Dishonorable Discharge, reduced in rank, and was docked some months of pay, but he will not go to prison.  As of today he also gets to keep the back pay he accumulated while consorting with the Taliban, reportedly around $300,000.00.  Current and former military members are registering their disbelief, disappointment, sometimes outrage at the verdict.  They expected justice, but the verdict seems to give very little of it.  

            There is at least one additional level of review before Bowe Berdahl’s case is closed.  The commanding General of the base where he was tried has a say.  If he believes the judgment of the court is erroneous he has the authority to set aside the court’s verdict.  It’s rarely done, but the mechanism for justice is there.  Now, we have to wait and see.  Some may say they wouldn’t want to be in that General’s shoes.  Personally I would love to.  The entire Army needs evidence of justice they can understand.   Today they don’t have it.  Perhaps one General can restore the integrity of the service so diminished by this verdict and all the crazy goings on that exemplified the Bradley Manning case.  Perhaps one General can restore the Army’s faith in military justice.  In doing so, perhaps that one General can restore America’s faith, too.

  

THE SAUDI CROWN PRINCE MAKES A NAME FOR HIMSELF:

             Saudi Arabia is getting to be quite an exciting place these days. Last week the Houthi rebels in Yemen shot a missile at Riyadh.  The missile was shot down, but there’s a real statement being made there.  The Saudis thought they could decimate the Houthis in a week or so, but haven’t proven yet they can do more than irritate that Iran-backed rebel group.  There’s been some changes recently in the Saudi constellation, partly as a result of that failure of their military.  Those changes are affecting far more than the military.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a son of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, is supposedly an anti-corruption zealot and reformer.  He publically announced no one would be safe if found involved in any form of official corruption, whether prince or minister.  Evidently the Crown Prince is serious and is now making good on his promises. 

In the past few days government security agents have arrested numerous members of the Saudi royal family as well as several government ministers. The Crown Prince also ordered the seizure of private jets owned by those arrested.   The princes in hot water aren’t in prison, though.  They’re being put up in the Ritz Carlton Hotel in downtown Riyadh.  One of the detained princes is actually the owner of the Ritz Carlton.  It makes me wonder what their room service guidelines are. 

In case you’re wondering, most of the princes now in 5-Star detention are older cousins if the Crown Prince.  They’re members of what passes for the power establishment in the Saudi kingdom.  It appears there a sort of generational coup in progress.

Saudi Arabia has a reputation for not having leniency for anyone convicted of a significant crime.  I recall a young princess who was caught alone with her commoner boyfriend some years back.  Both she and the boyfriend were beheaded in Riyadh’s public square.  The Saudis rarely play around.  But, the Crown Prince may not be like predecessors.  He might make another power move and show leniency to his cousins.  He’s already made some interesting edicts.  Just a week ago he issued a proclamation that allows women the right to drive cars.  Imagine that!  He also issued some guidelines for the Mutaween, the Wahhabi religious police, which have the effect of limiting their authority to punish religious infractions.         

Stay tuned; this is getting very interesting.

 

THE IMPENDING TAX BILL:

             The House of Representatives is getting ready to move out on a tax bill.  What are the chances of this bill being any good?  The President campaigned on tax reform.  Do any of you think what we eventually see will be reform or rearrangement?  The smart money is on the latter.

            There are too many forces lined up against those promoting actual tax reform.  There are too many lawyers in Congress who want to go home and not be attacked by all the tax attorneys in their states and districts.  There are too many CPAs and general tax accountants who would need to find another accounting specialty to ply their trade. Almost every page of the 75,000+ tax code has at least one special interest group that gains by its existence.  That means there are literally thousands of lobbying groups dedicated to maintaining the status quo.  Yet, we dare to hope that something positive will come of the current effort.  Pardon me for being a cynic, but I just don’t see much happening that I’ll be willing to applaud.

            The President wants corporate tax rates to come down.  They should.  It’s true that most people don’t understand corporate taxes.  If they truly did they’d want those rates to be at zero.  But, because they don’t, they constantly complain about corporations not paying more taxes.  If you’re in that camp, please contact me.  I can explain the truth of corporate taxation in less than five minutes.  But, because Congress is made up of people who represent other people, and so many who don’t get it, don’t ever expect the corporate tax rate to go to zero.  It’s too bad, really.

            While we’re contemplating income tax reform we all should think about debt and deficits.  We are now over $20T in debt.  That level of debt should crush us, but we seem to be ignoring it in rather fine fashion.  Our deficit this year is expected to top $700B.  We should be shrieking about that number, but only hear it whispered about now and again.  The question on everyone’s mind should be similar to the question that should have been asked before the Obamacare vote in 2010 – how exactly do we afford this?

            Congress promises tax cuts when we’re trying to understand how to fund a debt crisis.  Congress promises relief when they not only can’t balance a budget, they can’t even construct a budget.  Is it me, or is this rather peculiar.

            Oh, there are ways out of our debt and deficit troubles.  There are two things that need to be done.  One is increase revenues.  The other is to stop spending! It’s possible that revenues will actually increase with a personal income tax cut.  But, if the profligate spending doesn’t get tended to, it will be of little overall value.  Our government needs to go on a serious diet.  We need to see the closure of a whole catalog of government oversight agencies, and perhaps even a couple of executive departments.  We all know which ones need to go.  But, do any of us have illusions about that happening?

            I have few personal hopes of seeing a truly decent tax reform law.  If you are more positive about it than me, more power to you.  Let’s wait and see if your positivity trumps my cynicism.

 

THE GREAT BAPTIST MASSACRE IN TEXAS:

            Another mass shooting.  This one on the anniversary of the infamous Fort Hood Massacre.  The killing took place at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.  The killer is identified as a 26 year old white male named Devin Patrick Kelley, who was wielding a Ruger AR556, which is yet another AR-15 clone.  So far it appears 26 members of the church were slain and at least 20 wounded.  The killer was engaged in a bit of a gunfight by a neighbor who came out of his house carrying his shotgun.  That forced Kelley to flee the scene, with the church neighbor and a passing motorist in pursuit.  His car was found several miles down the road with him dead inside.  There’s not enough information to determine if Kelley shot himself or died of wounds from the neighbor’s gunfire. 

There’s not a lot of public information on Mr. Kelley, but what’s there is problematic.  He was booted out of the Air Force on a Bad Conduct Discharge (what we in the military call a Big Chicken Dinner) after spending a year in prison.   He was convicted at court martial of domestic abuse after being arrested for beating his wife and two-year old child.  His wife filed for a divorce, which was granted in a matter of days.  All that tells me the guy had serious anger issues that may have never been resolved.  It also tells me he should have been a registered felon and should not have been able to procure a gun.  Yet, he did procure his gun about a year ago.  I wouldn’t want to be the gun dealer who sold it to him.

Mr. Kelley evidently came from a family of some means.  His parents own an 80+ acre piece of property outside New Braunfels, TX, a town north of San Antonio.  Devin Kelley, his second wife and their child lived in a converted barn in back of his parent’s home.  His wife and child still live there, I assume. 

There are dozens of questions regarding this incident, but there seems to be some kind of purposeful limit to what’s being revealed to the public.  Perhaps that’s a wise thing.  It’s better for officials to remain mute than to fall prey to the urge to yak endlessly about things that are mostly rumor and innuendo, then have the media question the integrity of everyone involved.

There are already a lot of rumors out in social media.  Of course, they don’t appear as rumors.  They appear as confirmations, which of course they aren’t.  It’s rumored Kelly was a member of an Antifa group.  It’s rumored he attacked the church while dressed in all-black garb and a mask.  It’s rumored there were two shooters at the church, not just Kelley.  It’s rumored he went to the church pulpit with some kind of communist dogma in his hand and demanded it be read to the congregation.  Yes, there are all kinds of rumors, some that sound plausible, and some that are just plain stupid.  Believe what you will.

Was Devin Kelley a true lunatic?  Was he in some psychotic state that turned him into a mass murderer?  Did he just snap?  Anecdotal evidence doesn’t quite support that idea.  What would lead a person to attack a church in a town over an hour away from where that person lives?  No, there’s something more to this.  But, I don’t think there was any political aspect to it, nor do I think it’s in any way related to Fort Hood.  As bad as it may sound to say it, I do hope to learn it was all personal and that Kelley had a specific target at the church.  I don’t want to think of the other possibilities or that he was just intent on killing as many people as he could, just for the thrill of doing it.  I’d truly hate to learn all those people died just because one man decided to make them nothing more important to him than another notch.  That would be too hard to comprehend.

 

A THOUGHT ABOUT THAT LAS VEGAS STORY:

             Is it just me, or is there a near-blackout on information regarding the recent incident in Las Vegas?  I’m seeing all kinds of information that indicate the FBI and other agencies have practically shut down all communications regarding the event.  I’ve seen published reports of people who have tried to validate the people who were reported killed in Las Vegas who supposedly are non-existent or who had died previous to the incident.  The longer this story takes to reveal the stranger the stories get.

 

THE REAL RUSSIA COLLUSION STORY GETS STRANGER:

            Follow the money!

            Evidently John Podesta was paid over $30M by the Russians for some “work” he did for them.  Really, a progressive think tank did something for the Russians that’s work a payday?  How odd.  Now, we’re seeing Podesta’s name linked to child prostitution and trafficking.  How much is real?  How much is smoke? 

            It appears more and more the Democrats have decided to throw off their albatross named Hillary and chart a new course.  Elizabeth Warren made noise about her certainty that Hillary Clinton had rigged the Democratic Party nomination.  Then Donna Brazile came out with a book that makes a very similar statement, plus many more that indicate her discontent with the party and the Clinton domination of the nomination process.  What’s the real news here, folks?  Once we all saw the party’s super-delegates were all pledged to Hillary everyone should have figured out the fix was in against Bernie.   Bernie himself must have known and just got caught up in his apparent success and forgot that he was hand-picked to lose.  Bernie’s role was as a stalking horse.  He was there to help with publicity and the appearance of a challenge to the pre-ordained party nominee.  We could see that, but now we have confirmatory evidence by the statements now in evidence.

            Two thoughts come immediately to mind.  These attempts to distance from Hillary – are they defensive?  Are they purposeful attempts to claim ignorance of things readily apparent to all who were paying attention?  How many are actually involved in the Clinton-Russia conspiracy?  Another thought . . . does Donna Brazile have a lot of personal security around her.  If not, she might think about that.  She might also hire a food taster.  If I was her, I wouldn’t trust my best friend anymore.  She’d do better if she started hanging out with Fox News people.  Everyone else is gunning for her.

 

A BRIEF MAGA REPORT:

              I’m into the fifth month of my downtown Mobile demonstrations.  Things are going rather well, though I admit if not for the presence of my great friend Dick Coffee I’d be mighty lonely.  Not many people stop and inquire about my purpose.  The people who do are delightful, though.  And, we have charming neighbors, Nevada and her daughter Jeannine.  They operate the food wagon that’s outside Government Plaza most days.  They’re great people.  I’ve even met Nevada’s son, Charlie, who’s now in the process of reading every one of my books.  I think Charlie and I have a future.  We’ll see, but I’m hopeful he’ll help push the MAGA message to all who are willing to hear.

            I’m not certain how long I’ll be doing my demonstration.  I’m not very cold tolerant anymore.  I didn’t move to Mobile County so I could be cold in the winter; quite the opposite.  I may soon be out on nice days and missing on those either too cold or otherwise inclement.  Maybe I’ll return to full-time status in the spring, but if the political climate of the country doesn’t indicate a need for me to demonstrate, I may just start actually eating my lunch every day.

That is all for this fun-filled week.  I hope everyone is well and enjoying all these shows.  We are living in exciting times.  I can hardly sleep anymore.

 

In Liberty,

Steve