Various GOP leaders remain openly hostile to Donald Trump even as he wraps up the GOP nomination. Included are Sen Lindsey Graham, Sen. Ben Sasse, and Gov Mitt Romney to name just a few. They object to some of Trump’s policy positions, but their main objection is to Trump’s personal style when speaking and his endless flexibility defining and re-defining the details of his stands on issues.
These GOP leaders need to understand that Trump’s style has been shaped not only by his business career but also by his experience as a successful reality TV host.
Before going on about Trump, a word or two has to be said about prime time shows. In general American entertainment TV has sunk to a very low level. Shows that attempt to use multi-syllabic words, complex plot lines, historic references in dialogue, etc. find themselves with low ratings and short lives. Today successful TV shows exhibit loud language, action, quick movement, great simplification, and little demand on the viewer’s attention span. Complex plot lines and characters are avoided. The complexity that exists usually comes from some technology: a machine, computer, smart phone, etc. Actors represent generally two dimensional creatures possessed of limited vocabulary and lots of action.
Why has entertainment TV become so shallow? Consider the audience. They have been the subject of homogeneous dumb-ed down k-12 education followed by “college level” courses that increasing resemble vocational training rather than mind expanding liberal arts. These denizens of the young and middle aged cohorts of the American population have also been further influenced by short entertainment clips on Facebook, YouTube, etc. The short video has replaced the written word and many people have reduced attention spans. They have to have movement, loudness, simple language, etc. It is no wonder that successful TV shows resemble a loosely connected string of clips featuring the same characters in ever changing scenes.
Turning back to Trump, it becomes more apparent why he has sparked interest regardless of his message. Trump is very skilled at short punchy statements, he uses short words in short sentences accentuated by well timed movements and facial expression. He is a showman who understand where his audience is .... ”what they like”, “what they can handle”. .
But there are issues mixed up in the midst of all this Trump showmanship. “Ban all Muslims (till we figure it out)”, “Build a wall ( have the Mexican pay for it)”, “Make them pay a 35% tax (when they try to import a product formerly made in America)” etc. When Trump qualifies his short statement there are still many problems unaddressed. If an impossibility is pointed out, Trump backtracks instantly. He is like a businessman who wants a deal and is prepared to be very flexible.
Trump’s GOP detractors can’t stand his public personality but they are equally frustrated by his instantaneous backing and filling on the issues. These GOP leaders take the “art” of politics seriously and can’t stand a showman who disregards the established rules of their “art”.
But the public has moved to a new “lower” level and they like Trump’s earthy style and accept his “backing and filling” on issues. Modern Americans have been facing unprecedented change and have been personally “backing and filling” a lot to make ends meet. Americans seem to understand sub-consciously that success comes from being flexible ..... perhaps on issues for the country and perhaps on job choices for themselves.
So what are GOP leaders to do? They can work for Trump’s defeat perhaps by supporting the Libertarian candidate or even Hillary Clinton. But longer term Trump’s patented “low brow - flexible on issues” approach is likely to pop up again and again in the future GOP primaries. Trump might go away but Trump-ism is likely to be a recurrent part of the GOP going forward. So everyone should buckle up their seat belts, grab some popcorn, and enjoy the next 20 years of GOP politics....... (prepared by Hugh Murray on May 15, 2016)
BUCHANAN TO OBAMA ..... By Patrick J. Buchanan
You say we need to have a conversation about race in America. Fair enough. But this time, it has to be a two-way conversation. White America needs to be heard from, not just lectured to. This time, the Silent Majority needs to have its convictions, grievances and demands heard. And among them are these:
First, America has been the best country on earth for black folks. It was here that 600,000 black people, brought from Africa in slave ships, grew into a community of 40 million, were introduced to Christian salvation, and reached the greatest levels of freedom and prosperity blacks have ever known. Jeremiah Wright ought to go down on his knees and thank God he is an American.
Second, no people anywhere has done more to lift up blacks than white Americans. Untold trillions have been spent since the '60s on welfare, food stamps, rent supplements, Section 8 housing, Pell grants, student loans, legal services, Medicaid, Earned Income Tax Credits and poverty programs designed to bring the African-American community into the mainstream. Governments, businesses and colleges have engaged in discrimination against white folks with affirmative action, contract set-asides and quotas to advance black applicants over white applicants. Churches, foundations, civic groups, schools and individuals all over America have donated their time and money to support soup kitchens, adult education, day care, retirement and nursing homes for blacks.
We hear the grievances. Where is the gratitude?
Obama talks about new 'ladders of opportunity' for blacks. Let him go to Altoona? And Johnstown, and ask the white kids in Catholic schools how many were visited lately by Ivy League recruiters handing out scholarships for 'deserving' white kids?
Is white America really responsible for the fact that the crime and incarceration rates for African-Americans are seven times those of white America ? Is it really white America's fault that illegitimacy in the African-American community has hit 70 percent and the black dropout rate from high schools in some cities has reached 50 percent?
Is that the fault of white America or, first and foremost, a failure of the black community itself?
As for racism, its ugliest manifestation is in interracial crime, and especially interracial crimes of violence. Is Barack Obama aware that while white criminals choose black victims 3 percent of the time, black criminals choose white victims 45 percent of the time? Is Obama aware that black-on-white rapes are 100 times more common than the reverse, that black-on-white robberies were 139 times as common in the first three years of this decade as the reverse?
We have all heard ad nauseam from the Rev. Al about Tawana Brawley, the Duke rape case and Jena. And all turned out to be hoaxes. But about the epidemic of black assaults on whites that are real, we hear nothing.
Sorry, Barack, some of us have heard it all before, about 40 years and 40 trillion tax dollars ago. ...... (posted by Hugh Murray on 6/08/2016)
In his new book, By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission, the famous sociologist Charles Murray has drawn out several historic threads. These indicate that Law Making and Law Enforcement has evolved from a Limited Governmental model hemmed in by Strict Legal interpretations, to a wide reaching government possessed of massive discretion. ... His analysis leads him to use the word “lawless” to describe America’s current Legal System
His particular objections fall into several areas:
1) Size of Government in general and the movement of power to the Feds from the States: Here Murray notes that the Federal govt. now controls through direct spending, transfers of funds with strings attached to the States and localities, and direct regulation. 50% plus of all activity in the country.
2) Who are the people directing all this activity: Here Murray notes that nearly all decision making is being directed by “experts” in government agencies who have been given large general grants of authority by Congress and when they trample on individual rights the courts have chosen a “hands off” policy by giving these regulators wide discretion enforcing their own rules.
3) The Courts and regulatory tribunals give less and less attention to the Constitution, the actual law enacted by Congress, and precedents: Here Murray points to wide use of discretion in decision making from the Supreme Court down to the novice regulator or lowly administrative law judge operating in one of the 70 independent agencies. Because of this similar cases can achieve widely different results despite parallel fact patterns .
4) In the Criminal Law: The high court and law makers have not dealt with the rampant use of plea bargaining . This processes allows prosecutors and regulators to “expedite” justice by offering alternatives to their target, “you can ask for a hearing, or trial, and risk a huge penalty or accept our view of the situation and get for certain a light penalty”. This process puts great discretion in the hands of prosecutors and regulators. To put this it in perspective only 2% of criminal cases go to trial.
5) Regarding the all pervasive presence of lobbyists in Washington. Murray notes these lobbyists are like locusts swarming over the capitol city trying to gain advantage in the hall of Congress and in regulatory agencies. Their goal is to retain advantages gained earlier (e.g. by getting govt. contracts, favorable laws or rulings, etc.) and avoid future set backs ( e.g. the reduction of government financial involvement, change in laws or rules that make competition more likely, etc.).
6) The ability of regulatory agencies to write regulations that impose criminal penalties . Here Murray is alarmed by the number of regulations that outlaw things that are not obviously wrong and provide criminal penalties for acts (or omissions) that are not obviously wrong. Here Murray uses the example of a supervisor who was off duty when an employee accidently cracked a oil line causing some oil to flow into a creek. The supervisor nearly went to jail on criminal charges but ended up just getting probation.
Click here for .... A More Detail Review of Chas Murray's Arguements..
In closing, it should be mentioned that Randy Barnett a Constitutional scholar at Georgetown University has said this opening section of the Chas Murray book is a great 80 page introduction to this problem. .... .(prepared by Hugh Murray on 6/10/2016)
History of Islam
Islam started in 609 when the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mohammad in a dream. He then began to have more dreams and to create the Koran. For twelve years Mohammad opeated in Mecca and in 622 moved to Medina a largely Jewish community in Arabia asked him to arbitrate some local disputes. As he had more dreams and learned more about Jewish practices, he created an alternative religion somewhat similar to Judiaism which the local Jews generally rejected. At this point, Mohammad decided to turn his followers into a army which he used to defeat s Jewish force near Medina.
Islam is both a political and a religious system. The year selected to start the Islamic calendar indicates Islam is primarily a political system. Similarly the word jihad appears 28 times in the Koran. The word refers to war against unbelievers 24 times while the remainding references refer to the internal struggle against personal sin.
This religion’s armies enjoyed much success in its first 100 years. It advanced westward across North Africa, then across Spain into the wine country of western France. It also moved eastward toward India . Additional, Muslim traders carried Islam peacefully to ports around the Indian ocean.
A big internal split occurred in 680 between those that wanted an inherited Caliphate (Shite) and those wanting court insiders to pick the leader (Sunni). After unkept promises and deadly plots against the heir of Mohammad, the parties had a battle at Karbala which the Sunni side won.
A Muslim Renaissance occurred in the next 400 plus years. The Islamic world produced great minds like Al Farabi (mathematics), Averroes (philosophy), and Avicenna (medicine). But when military set backs began to occur the leadership gave up on advanced, enlightened thinking and instead stressed strict religious practice.
In mid 1700's Ibn abd al-Wahhib (1703 - 1792) developed an even stricter Islamic interpretation that opposed all honoring of Islamic “saints” or even the prophet’s feast day. This strict monotheism was probably done to counter the Christian doctrine of the Trinity and the honoring of saints found in Christian lands .
This version of Islam found a home in Saudi Arabia that was at that time fighting for its independence from the Ottoman Emperor in Istanbul.
Islam is both a Religion and a Political System (see PolitcalIslam. Com)
Islam is a “religious - political system” that believes it must dominate all people everywhere to create universal peace through submission to Islam. Political control is therefore most important. (See first full paragraph on the top of col 3 in this article (see handout))
Once conquered conversion of non-Muslims was/is encouraged through discrimination against non-Muslims which can take different forms.
A St Louis area Rotary Club had an organization named Mosaic present at one of their meetings. The speaker brought a Buddhist friend to add color to her talk about Mosaic's program that welcomes foreigners to St Louis.
Her Buddhist friend was from Malaysia, a majority Muslim country. He spoke for a few minutes about the Mosaic help he received. Afterwards a Rotarian in casual conversation asked “what brought you to St Louis?”. He said he came to go to a university. He went on to say in Malaysia you have to be Muslim to go to a university.
When asked why he didn’t included this part of his story in his formal remarks to the club. He said Mosaic doesn’t like that part of his story so he leaves it out.
Islam, like Orthodox Jews, have lots of detail laws, do’s and don’t ... both view God as Law giver and Judge.
Orthodox Jews try to follow the 630 detail laws set out in the Book of Leviticus. And some of these laws are manifest in Israel’s codified law.
Islam has even more Sharia laws that derive from the Koran. Many of these are incorporated in codified law found in all Muslim majority countries.
Christians see God through Christ as .... a savior, .... a friend, .... a helper, ..... only secondarily as a judge.
Christianity started as underground, non-political movement in the Roman Empire, but evolved in a quasi religious/political system under the Popes.
Then, because of widespread fighting between Protestants and Catholics, Christians signed the Treaty of Westphalia (1648) that forced religion to be separated from politics. This separation has allowed western civilization to accommodate all creeds and even non-believers.
Now back to Islam, ..... The Koran envisions a strong autocratic ruler that can enforce Islamic Law on all. Additionally Islam authorizes immoral behavior to strengthen Islam. (e.g. lying to non-muslims, killing those who leave Islam after age 12, etc )
Since we are talking about a religion its main 5 or 6 tenants should be noted: Accept Allah and Mohammad as his prophet, help the poor, pray 5 times daily, fast during Ramadan, go on Hajj to Mecca (if able) , and engage in Jihad, which can mean internal struggle against sin or exterior struggle against non-believers. Different parts of the Koran give different meanings to Jihad.
Interactions with West
Islam’s many advances toward western Europe were turned back: (1) in 732 at Tours (in western France), in 1529 outside Vienna, in 1571 in a Sea Battle off Lepanto (now Nafpactus, Greece) which allowed Christian shipping to function again in the Mediterranean , and then again on Sept, 11 & 12 in 1683 outside of Vienna.
(Major portions of eastern Europe were under Muslim rule for centuries. For instance, Serbia fell in the mid 1300's and regained its independence in the 1830's.)
Additionally in 1099 Crusaders captured Jerusalem, and in 1492 the last Muslim city in the Iberian Peninsula fell. A few years later, the Christian rulers of Spain required all Muslims to convert to Christianity or leave for North Africa.
However the biggest defeat of Islam was when a Mongol army sacked Bagdad in the 13th century.
These set backs made Islamic religious practice more conservative. Rather than double down on innovation and building up their military, they turned to religion.
In the 20th century things got even worse. The Ottoman Caliphate allied with Germany in WWI and lost; so they had to suffer Christian occupation and political division in the 1920's
Muslim lands then got secular Muslim rulers - strongmen to enforce a new modernism with only an overlay of Islam. They had to accept the creation of Israel. And could not exclude western dress, movies, literature, etc.
However, oil made Saudi Arabia very wealthy and with its Wahhabi connection it was able to spread conservative Islam via clerics, mosques, madrases, etc across the world. The Saudi government has a cabinet post, manned by a Wahhibi cleric, that oversees all this overseas activity.
Today wherever Muslims live there is roughly a 50/45/5 split within the Islamic community. About 50% want to be modern and practice a version of Islam stripped of its political aspects, 5% want to kill Christians and Jews, and 45% will help the 5% do their evil work. From this grows the various Islamic terrorist organizations and the “one off” violent individuals acts. It is estimated that there are about 15,000 Muslims in the US who comprise the 5%.. (See ClarionProject. org)
However, there is some good news. The oil price is down so some Saudi money is drying up. This means the conservative outreach will be somewhat reduced.
Looking ahead .... Long term the west needs a wedge that forces Islam to separate religion from politics. If none is found , the violent acts should continue. ................ (prepared by Hugh Murray on 6/17/2016) .
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This page hopes to bring a common sense, old fashioned view to today's news. The comments displayed on this page were prepared by Hugh V. Murray, who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org