Friday, April 15, 2016

In the Tank for Trump

While i am not a full on #nevertrump person, I am as close to that as possible.  The only reason I can see myself voting for Donald Trump in the general is the hope that he will appoint a conservative supreme court justice, but since Trump has no idea what it means to be a conservative, I doubt he would be able to identify a strict constructionist jurist to nominate to SCOTUS.

Having said this, it has been quite discouraging to watch as the conservative media engage in a civil war over the Donald.  As a person who thinks Donald Trump is not only unqualified to be POTUS, but he is unfit for the office, I cannot understand why people like Anne Coulter have openly supported Donald Trump.  But at least she is not hiding her support.  Its people like Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham that seem to be in the tank for Trump while feigning neutrality.  I turned on Laura once in the past 4 months (after at one time listening to her every morning for at least 30 minutes before getting to work) and she was actually critical of Donald Trump, so I may have to reconsider my feelings toward her.

Sean Hannity, on the other hand, might as well just come out and support Trump, since he seems to be a full throated mouthpiece for the Trump campaign.  Sean has said that he offers equal time all of the candidates, and while time wise that is true, as Red State points out equal time does not equate to equal treatment.  While Sean asks the other Republican good hard questions, Trump gets almost exclusively slow pitch softball questions that a 10 year old could answer (of course Trump is about 10 years old in much of his thinking, so maybe that is all he can handle).

But its not just the softball questions that Sean asks; its his unabashed defense of Trump.  This past week Sean has been ranting about what happened in Colorado trumpeting Trump's assertions that he was somehow cheated out of delegates in the Rocky Mountain State when how Colorado had (stupidly) decided to hand out their delegates was known LAST AUGUST.  What really happened is that Trump got out-maneuvered by Ted Cruz and his superior ground game. The Donald lost because he had not hired the best people and is not running the greatest campaign ever.

I'm also disturbed by how Sean has overlooked a myriad of statements and actions by Trump (not just this year) that illustrate a lack of idealogical conviction, a lack of depth, and ultimately a person who is just not a true conservative.  Just because he wants to build a wall, and "make a America Great Again" doesn't mean that he is a conservative.  Pat Gray of the Glenn Beck program posted this on facebook as commentary to the above cited Red State article.

"And when you claim on-air that "you can't think of a SINGLE issue where Trump's not conservative"...that one had to make even Trump himself, grimace.
By the way, let me help you with that: Universal Healthcare. 
VERY not conservative.
How about this? Eminent Domain. Not conservative.
Let's not forget: Trade Tariffs. Not conservative.
Funding Progressive Democrats so they can be re-elected? Super-mega-doppler, NOT conservative.
Even WANTING Hillary at your wedding? Not conservative.
On Abortion: "The law has to stay. Keep the law." On the other hand. When President: He'd "change the law." Not conservative.
He supported, and as far as I can tell, is still fine with the Bailouts and TARP. He's had plenty of bailouts in his business life, so, why not? Well, because it's...not conservative.
Attacking Megyn Kelly?!?!?! That's not even human, let alone conservative"
While i am not a huge Glenn Beck fan but Pat is spot on.  Trump is not a Conservative and Hannity is letting his support for the guy cloud his judgement. I had not been a regular listener or watcher of Hannity for a while, but he has lost all credibility with me now, and I'm done with him for good.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Losing Faith in Conservative Media, Especially Drudge.

This election has divided not just the Republican party but the conservative movement.  I listen to a lot of talk radio (when I can).  I for at least a few minutes most days listen to Rush, Glenn Beck, Hugh Hewitt, Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, and Michael Medved.  Let me preface the rest of my comments by saying, Rush has always been one of my favorites and while that has waned some in the last couple years I still listen to him regularly and have always really liked his show.  Lately I have listened to some Glenn Beck, but can only stomach about 20 minutes of him at a time.  I used to listen to Laura Ingraham a lot in the mornings, but she seemed to become a one issue host (immigration) and I do not listen to her much anymore.  I must confess that my two favorites are Hugh Hewitt and Michael Medved each for their own reasons.  I am sad that Hugh has gone to East Coast mornings as I am not awake that early.  I love Hugh for all of the pundits from both sides of the political isle that he has on his show and for his commentary. He sometimes is a bit too establishment for me in his thinking, but he is still a good conservative. I love Michael because he welcomes debate and uses the facts to just destroy left wingers that call up to his show.  As for news, I also frequently went to the Drudge Report as I felt it was a good conservative news aggregator.

Having said all of this, it is becoming extremely difficult to listen to any of these people anymore. To me it sounds like Sean and Laura are in the tank for Trump.  At least Sean tries to say he is fair, but it is clear that he loves the Donald and wants him to win the nomination.  Laura is almost that bad.

What has really upset me is that The Drudge Report is fully in the tank for Donald Trump.  Drudge, who I used to go to regularly has gone off the rails.  The latest is the headline today that announced that Colorado cancelled their state Republican caucus.  While this is true, it is old news.  They decided this last summer before Donald Trump even announced he was running  but Drudge is shouting it this just happened.

Look at the image.  It is of a voter probably from one of the past votes in Iraq when they dipped their fingers in purple ink to signify they had voted.  Couple the image with the misleading headline and you get propaganda that Hilter himself would be proud of.  There may be some fury among Trump supporters, but this is what the Colorado Republican party did almost a full year ago.  Trump should be more mad at himself for not having a better organization than Ted Cruz and getting out maneuvered in Colorado (which is what happened).

Drudge has lost all sense of objectivity.  He finds every story he can to smear Cruz and even if it is not a good smear the Drudge headlines are worded in such a way to make them seem worse than they really are.  It is just disgusting.  Drudge is the Roger Stone of the conservative news world.

One would think that a conservative news sight would try to stay a bit neutral but it what Drudge is now doing has caused it in my mind to lose ALL CREDIBILITY.  I have stopped reading Drudge with any regularity and am saddened by what I used to think was a great news aggregate.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Why I Cannot Support Trump Part 1

As a long time conservative and a member of the Republican party, I cannot remember a time when I was more disgusted with people in my political party than I am right now.  I simply cannot understand how anyone could ever vote for Donald Trump, much less any Republican.  Yes I understand that Trump's rhetoric has tapped into an anger that has been brewing among a segment of the population in the United States.  I get that anger.  I have been completely frustrated with the "Establishment" and the many times that they have just rolled over and not fought President Obama, even after the American people gave them control of both the House and the Senate.  But despite this anger and frustration, never once have I even considered voting for Donald Trump.  Here's why.

First, Donald Trump is not a Republican.  Sure he may be registered as one, but for much of his life, he not only showed disdain for Republicans, but has given financial support to many liberal Democrats over the years, including Hillary Clinton and Mario Cuomo.  Even if you buy the argument that Trump gave money to Republicans too, how does this atone for giving money to democrats and their causes.  Trump has tried to dismiss this criticism by saying that he gives money to as many candidates as he can, so that they will "do what he wants:

“I gave to many people before this. When they call, I give. And you know what, when I need something from them two years later, three years later, I call them. They are there for me.”  Donald Trump at the first Presidential Debate
How is this a good thing?  In essence Trump is bragging about how he has bought influence.  This is not a virtue but rather he has helped to corrupt our political system by buying political influence.  Not only does this put him firmly in the middle of the Establishment that he claims to not be a part of, he is a very part of the corruption that most Americans are disgusted by.

Second: Trump is not Conservative.  I was watching him I think on Fox News where he was trying to reemphasize his conservative credentials.  He said, "I'm very conservative on the border.  I'm very very conservative on trade," and then he went on to say how conservative he is on different issues.  This people, is not a conservative.  Conservatives are driven by the principles of limited government, individualism and adherence to the Constitution.   You can click here to read in greater detail the driving principles of a Conservative.

Trump does not have a clue what a conservative is. Just because he is says he is "conservative" on this or that issue, does not make him a conservative. In fact, his plans to fix things, do not involve limiting government but rather he talks about how he is going to fix them?  How does  a President who is supposed to go through congress to do anything, implement these changes without expanding government?  Trump never talks about limiting the size and scope of government, rolling back regulations, and empowering states and municipalities.  He simply talks about how he is going to fix everything through the sheer force of his will and ego.

I will add to this but this is just the start of my personal issue with Donald Trump and why I, as a principled conservative, cannot vote for the man.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

A Quick Thought in the Wake of the Oregon Mass Shooting...

Someone posted to Facebook the following clip from the 60's TV Show Dragnet. You can click on the link to watch it. It is interesting that 60's Televison was doing a much better job of defending the institutions that made this country great, rather than spend all of their time tearing at the fabric of this country with cynical derision, but that is a discussion for another day.

Anyway, One thing stuck out to me. Joe Friday, in his rant, asks if 50,000 death's as a result of traffic accidents were somehow more moral than the # of soldiers who died each year in Vietnam. So it got me thinking, and i looked up the current statistics. The best number I could find was from 2013. In that year just over 35,000 people died in traffic accidents. About 32,000 people die as a result of guns.  But this is all gun deaths.  Comparing apples to apples, accidental gun deaths are not near as high as car accidents.

My point is.  More people die as a result of car accidents than guns.  Yet there is no politician screaming about mores stringent traffic control laws.  Consider. Both guns and cars kill people.  And in fact, if the government were to outlaw driving, because traffic deaths were totally preventable, then would not such a law be way way more effective in stopping deaths than proposed gun confiscation laws (BTW, confiscation is the only way to stop accidental gun deaths, that is of course if people all do give up their guns.)?  But no one is calling for this.  More than 150,000 people die each year due to doctor's negligence or mistakes.  Again many of these deaths were preventable, but no one is calling for the outlawing of doctors as a medical profession.

Do you see my point?  While gun deaths are tragic.  They are no more tragic than other types of untimely deaths.  The constitution, however protects citizens from government trying to take guns away.  They put it there on purpose.

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Great Food Truck Race Season 6 Finale.....The Fix Was in.

I am not one to ever comment about reality TV, and other than CBS's the Amazing Race and Top Chef on Bravo, I do not really watch much of it at all, but I did get into the Great Food Truck Race on the Food Network with host Tyler Florence this season. The main reason I got interested is because a local food truck here in Utah called Waffle Love was on it.  I had never eaten their food before watching this show, (I have since and I must say that they make the best waffle I have ever tasted) so other than the fact they were local to me I did not care all that much.

I think to everyone's surprise outside of Utah Waffle Love just killed it each week. They were either #1 or #2 on every episode and never were at the bottom and in fear of being eliminated.  Regardless, Tyler Florence clearly started to show his bias against Waffle Love.  He at least three times criticized their cooking chops but had earlier praised their challenge food.  But the finale, in my opinion, was the most egrigeous example of favoritism I have ever seen.  First some more background.

The GFTR usually gives aspiring food trucks a chance to realize their culinary dream by giving the winning team a new food truck at the end of the season. Season 6, however gave established food trucks the opportunity to go after $50K and the right to be called the greatest food truck in America.  Each week basically went the same way. The trucks were given a challenge to cook something. The winning truck for the challenge would then be given some type of advantage, usually in the form of cash added to their till.  (I remember one week a team getting an extra $1000).

To make a long story short, it came down to Waffle Love and Phonomenal Dumplings.  Each week teams were eliminated because they had the lowest amount sold for the week.  But in the finale it was not about how much sold but rather an Amazing Race type of finish where they had to do basically three challenges in Chicago, after completing the cooking challenge in St. Louis.  This is where the fix, to me became obvious.

The challenge was fair. The two teams were given the same ingredients (Pork Steak, Chicken, and Hamburger) and had to create three dishes that would be judged independently.  During the cooking Tyler Florence visited each truck and asked them what they were doing. When PHO explained they were making a mushroom stuffed hamburger, Tyler gave them a suggestion to stuff it with more than just mushrooms and to add cheese as well (might have said other ingredients too).  When he spoke to Waffle Love he gave no help to them.

During the tasting the pork steak went to Pho and the chicken went to Waffle Love so it came down to the hamburger.  And of course Pho won this part and were given the advantage (which I will explain in a second). But it must be noted that the judges said that the stuffing in the hamburger was delicious and can then be assumed that it was the stuffing that won them the challenge. So in other words it was basically Tyler Florence's dish that won the challenge.

Now the advantage was not cash in their till. No, this race came down to who could sell ethnic inspired dishes in the different ethnic neighborhoods in Chicago.  The two teams had to go to Chinatown, Little Italy and Little Greece(?) and sell 50 dishes of ethnically inspired food at each stop. Once the finished selling their food at their three stops, they just had get in their truck and race to a finish line. Pho, for winning, the challenge only had to sell 20 dishes at their first stop.  This is like holding 200 meter dash, but giving one of the competitors a 50 meter lead.

Needless to say Pho won.

I went through Wikipedia's entries and found that it looks like this was the only season finale that did not come down to who sold the most.  I have no proof, but I think they changed the rules of the game to give Pho an unfair advantage.  It was the only way to even make it close. Consider that Waffle Love was first or second in sales in every other week.

Now I was rooting for Waffle Love but did not care all that much and wanted to see a good finale.  This was a joke. Tyler Florence helped and was rooting for Pho the whole time.  He made it clear when he told Pho that they were not in the right neighborhood in Greek town and had to go back and resell their food.  He told them, "Come on. You can do this."  Even with the fact that they had to go back and resell, their advantage was so great that there was basically no way they would lose.

What a waste of my time. I will not be watching this noise ever again. #epicfail #greatfoodtruckrace