Category Archives: Government Corruption

Presidential Trust–Trump’s Turn

Almost two years ago I wrote a piece on Presidential trust. You can read it at the following link.

https://ayearningforpublius.wordpress.com/2015/02/06/presidential-trust/

And now a disturbing commentary shows up in todays Wall Street Journal –

A President’s Credibility

Trump’s falsehoods are eroding public trust, at home and abroad.

If President Trump announces that North Korea launched a missile that landed within 100 miles of Hawaii, would most Americans believe him? Would the rest of the world? We’re not sure, which speaks to the damage that Mr. Trump is doing to his Presidency with his seemingly endless stream of exaggerations, evidence-free accusations, implausible denials and other falsehoods.

The latest example is Mr. Trump’s refusal to back off his Saturday morning tweet of three weeks ago that he had “found out that [Barack] Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory” on Election Day. He has offered no evidence for his claim, and a parade of intelligence officials, senior Republicans and Democrats have since said they have seen no such evidence.

Yet the President clings to his assertion like a drunk to an empty gin bottle, rolling out his press spokesman to make more dubious claims. Sean Spicer—who doesn’t deserve this treatment—was dispatched last week to repeat an assertion by a Fox News commentator that perhaps the Obama Administration had subcontracted the wiretap to British intelligence.

That bungle led to a public denial from the British Government Communications Headquarters, and British news reports said the U.S. apologized. But then the White House claimed there was no apology. For the sake of grasping for any evidence to back up his original tweet, and the sin of pride in not admitting error, Mr. Trump had his spokesman repeat an unchecked TV claim that insulted an ally.

The wiretap tweet is also costing Mr. Trump politically as he hands his opponents a sword. Mr. Trump has a legitimate question about why the U.S. was listening to his former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, and who leaked news of his meeting with the Russian ambassador. But that question never gets a hearing because the near-daily repudiation of his false tweet is a bigger media story.

FBI director James Comey also took revenge on Monday by joining the queue of those saying the bureau has no evidence to back up the wiretap tweet. Mr. Comey even took the unusual step of confirming that the FBI is investigating ties between the Trump election campaign and Russia.

Mr. Comey said he could make such a public admission only in “unusual circumstances,” but why now? Could the wiretap tweet have made Mr. Comey angry because it implied the FBI was involved in illegal surveillance? Mr. Trump blundered in keeping Mr. Comey in the job after the election, but now the President can’t fire the man leading an investigation into his campaign even if he wants to.

All of this continues the pattern from the campaign that Mr. Trump is his own worst political enemy. He survived his many false claims as a candidate because his core supporters treated it as mere hyperbole and his opponent was untrustworthy Hillary Clinton. But now he’s President, and he needs support beyond the Breitbart cheering section that will excuse anything. As he is learning with the health-care bill, Mr. Trump needs partners in his own party to pass his agenda. He also needs friends abroad who are willing to trust him when he asks for support, not least in a crisis.

This week should be dominated by the smooth political sailing for Mr. Trump’s Supreme Court nominee and the progress of health-care reform on Capitol Hill. These are historic events, and success will show he can deliver on his promises. But instead the week has been dominated by the news that he was repudiated by his own FBI director.

Two months into his Presidency, Gallup has Mr. Trump’s approval rating at 39%. No doubt Mr. Trump considers that fake news, but if he doesn’t show more respect for the truth most Americans may conclude he’s a fake President.

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I close with an excerpt from my article of two years ago:

“ … Why does the air pressure in a football cause us to question the honesty of a football team? … why is the honesty of an NBC news anchor all of a sudden a big issue? …  but the moral vacuum of a president earns just a yawn as we reach for that next beer and handful of chips?

Rush Limbaugh frames it well when he asks – Why Do We Demand More Integrity from the News Anchor Than the People He Reports On? (Search for this in http://www.Rushlimbaugh.com archives of Feb 11,2015)

Is there a George Washington or Abraham Lincoln on the American leadership horizon? … “

Don Johnson – March 2017

Going Back to First Principles

“A first principle is a basic, foundational proposition or assumption that cannot be deduced from any other proposition or assumption. In mathematics, first principles are referred to as axioms or postulates.”

The first principle I am talking about is  what has, over these past 210+ years, demonstrated that the United States of America is “exceptional.” That first principle is the United States Constitution, along with it’s birth certificate the Declaration of Independence.

And what is that “demonstration?”

Of the estimated  100 to 110 billion people who have lived at any time, and anywhere around the globe, an estimate of something less than 5% have ever live in a free society that we in American have come to take much for granted.  And further, of those 5%  (probably even much less), most live or have lived in the United States of America since 1789 and those nations that have come to adopt the American Constitutional Republic for of government.  (ref: 1)

That’s a pretty good track record for the American way. On the other hand, for  the remaining 95%, we have a bleak record of war, slavery, misery and early death. Yea I know, we still have those things in our modern world, but were I a betting man I would choose the American way – the “exceptional” way.

So it’s this —  the 3%, 4% or 5% of those blessed with living in a free society — that make America an exceptional nation. It’s called liberty and opportunity, and it’s the first principal of this nation we call the United States of America. 

I am continually drawn back to this first principle. It is what I more and more look to in judging and selecting our political leaders, and how I will judge them as they lead. On the other side of that same coin, the disregard of this first principle is more and more what I will use to criticize and reject candidates and leaders and their policies.

The alternative is to flirt with a return to that dark word of the 95%.

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In a near future article I will take a look at what a British news service (BBC) has to say about American Exceptionalism. Read it at — Donald Trump and the end of American exceptionalism?

Ref: 1: https://ayearningforpublius.wordpress.com/2017/02/28/the-miracle-of-freedom-the-american-baseline/  (With embedded references)

Don Johnson – March 2017

The Miracle of Freedom– The American Baseline

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(Click on the image above to see the book)

An excerpt:
“ … A deeper look at the human record reveals a series of critical events, obvious forks in the road leading to very different outcomes, that resulted in this extraordinary period in which we live. These tipping points-foundational events that allowed for the marriage of Greek philosophy and Judeo-Christian theology-laid the bedrock for democracy and freedom in our modern age.

Seven of the most important of these historical tipping points would be:

1. The defeat of the Assyrians in their quest to destroy the kingdom of Judah
2. The victory of the Greeks over the Persians at Thermopylae and Salamis
3. Roman Emperor Constantine’s conversion to Christianity
4. The defeat of the armies of Islam at Poitiers
5. The failure of the Mongols in their effort to conquer Europe in AD 1241
6. The discovery of the New World
7. The Battle of Britain in World War II

It is important to understand that, in and of themselves, none of these events created the gift of freedom that we enjoy today. However, each of them proved to be a critical tipping point in which the future of the world was altered, creating the cradle in which the gift of democracy could be born and flourish in our day. (And yes, there are many other events that would make this story more complete, but time and space must limit our effort to just these seven.) … “

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I’ve just finished my second reading of this book (above) and have started a third reading  — it’s that important.

The authors highlight the astonishing fact that freedom as we know it here in America and much of the West, has been virtually non-existent for the 100 to 110 billion people who have lived anywhere and at any time on this earth – probably something less than 4%. And of those 4%, most have lived in the United States and those nations influenced by our free society in the very short 200+ lifespan of this nation — since the ratification of our constitution.  A Constitution and nation of “We the People …”    This Constitution, along with a Free Market Capitalist economic system has brought more liberty, opportunity and prosperity for more people than any other system ever tried in the history of the world and among those 110 billion people – an Exceptional Nation. 

Sorry Bernie Sanders, but many others have added adjective phrases in front of the word Socialism, and now you with Democratic Socialism. All those preceding your new brand of socialism have failed – often catastrophically.  Try looking at modern day Venezuela.

In January 2017, 2017 we witnessed the 56th consecutive peaceful transition of power in the United States from one political party to another. No revolution, no coup d’état, no violent take over by assassination. Contentious yes, but ultimately peaceful with the incoming and outgoing Presidents standing together during the transition.

The George W. Bush Al Gore election was very close, and was hotly contested by the Gore camp, including a significant delay of the Gore concession which greatly reduced the time available to Bush to assemble his incoming team. Ultimately the Supreme Court pronounced for Bush and the Gore camp backed off  and a peaceful transition once more took place.

The John F. Kennedy – Richard Nixon election of 1960 likewise was extremely close.  Richard Nixon, citing “for the good of the nation” did the honorable thing and conceded the election to Kennedy rather than pushing for a recount or court action. 

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But this election cycle feels very different to me. Different and sinister.

Since the election of November 2017 we have seen an extraordinary number of tactics aimed at undermining the Presidency of Donald Trump.  I’ve written about this recently at https://ayearningforpublius.wordpress.com/2017/02/04/is-what-were-witnessing-in-the-us-a-slow-motion-downhill-slide-into-a-coup/ 
Is what we’re witnessing in the US a slow-motion downhill slide into a coup?

Here is an excerpt from that article:

“This question posed at the link above (from Australia) is aimed at President Donald Trump. But from what I’ve seen since the election, and especially noticeable since the inauguration, if anything, would point that question directly back to the progressive left.

The failed electoral recount effort – the denouncement of the Constitutional Electoral College voting method – riots in the streets of Washington on inauguration day – demonstrations around the country – Congressional (Democrat) boycott of the inauguration – immediate congressional (Democrat) announcement of total resistance to Trump in the Congress – Soros funded(?) spontaneous demonstrations at airports –Soros manipulation(?) of some 56 abortion advocacy groups promoting the Women’s March – riots and shutdown of free speech at UC Berkley – the immediate calls for impeachment – assertions that the new President is mentally ill – accusations and insinuations that Trump is planning a coup – visual insinuation of assassination as on the cover of a recent Irish magazine … and more it seems daily.  .. “

What I see in all this is a Saul Alinsky style of demonization of the President of the United States. This demonization is all the more potent with the advent of social media such as Facebook, Twitter and the very blog I am writing on now.

A recent example of this social media demonization is the exploitation of an incident reported by an Australian author — 
Australian children’s author Mem Fox detained by US border control: ‘I sobbed like a baby’ . Did this happen as she reported it? Probably, and if so it is indeed deplorable on the part of those responsible. It seems to me more of an example of a bad incident being promoted with the agenda of demonization. She herself cites this incident in contrast with 116 previous visits to the US without incident.

I’ve lived through the 60s and remember the chaos then. I remember the hatred hurled against Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon (especially) and then Ronald Reagan. I remember the hatred hurled against George W. Bush. Today’s chaos has the feeling of being much more sinister, filled and fueled with much hatred, and potentially more dangerous than those in the past, and gets me to the quote from John Adams, our second president.

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other … “ John Adams.

What we have now, in addition to political chaos, is a frightening moral decline which I have witnessed over my lifetime. Prior to the 2016 election, and with both candidates, I felt we had indeed arrived at that time of which Adams (and others of his contemporaries) wrote – a time of an immoral and irreligious people. Are we as a people at such a place? I recently wrote of scraping the bottom of the barrel with both candidates and lamented the prospect of, for the first time in my electoral life, truly having to vote for the lesser of two evils.  I’m convinced had Hillary Clinton been elected, we would indeed have accelerated further down that path and the nation would suffer from her deep corruption. But Donald Trump is now President. Have we received a reprieve and course correction with his election? I hope so, and judging from the people he has surrounded himself with I have hope. But that hope is tempered, not only by the flaws of this man now our President, but perhaps more so by a nation and its people who, for example, have allowed our federal government to dictate and enforce a so called “gender fluidity” which obliterates known and obvious genetic, anatomical, biological, historical and cultural differences between boys and girls – men and women. This cannot end well with this and future generations. It is this sort of law making and regulation dictates that renders our Constitution “wholly inadequate.”

What I see in all this, is an attempted coup d’état from the left – an attempt to end the streak of peaceful transitions at 56.

And that gets me back to the book and it’s premise of American Exceptionalism.

If we see the toppling of the US government by these extra-constitutional means, what will we get in its place? Will it be a Barack Obama waiting and organizing in the wings ready to reclaim power? Will it be a Bernie Sanders wannabe introducing a real no-kidding socialistic state? Will it be a Donald Trump indeed claiming dictatorship over this nation as Caesar did  with Rome in crossing the Rubicon, as Trumps many enemies fear? Who is to say, but I for one am willing to let the Constitutional process play out and work for change through the Constitution and the electoral process (remember – it’s the Electoral College that counts.)

The stakes are extremely high, and have been so since the late 1700s. As Ronal Reagan has said:

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.

The results of a failure of our Constitutional Republic most likely would be a return to those very dark ages the authors talk about in their book. There are those waiting in the wings for a collapse of the American/Western civilization. They are not good people. They live in places like Tehran, Moscow, Beijing, Pyongyang, and even within the borders of the United States of America.

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As a final note. In reading the account of the Mongol Horde of Genghis Khan I am reminded of former Secretary of State John Kerry’s characterization of the American military  in Vietnam:

“ … They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country. … “

And a few excerpts from the book regarding Genghis Kahn:

“ … Some of the refugees from previous engagements had made their way to the capital, telling of entire cities razed, thousands of beheaded bodies stacked outside the city walls, everything of value taken, including a frightening number of slaves. … “

“ … They were using children – Khwarizmi children taken from the outer province – herding them before their army to protect them from the arrow that would soon come raining down. … “ 

And yet John Kerry reached a level of power whereby he was able to engineer an “agreement”  with Islam which most likely will result in nuclear tipped missiles in flight to Israeli cities in yet another attempt to complete Hitler’s “Final Solution.”

Watch this video to see a more truthful telling of the US Military in Vietnam —
http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=the+lucky+few&view=detail&mid=35ECE68C0B870759E33735ECE68C0B870759E337&FORM=VIRE

 

Don Johnson – February 2017 

About the authors of the book:
Chris Stewart is a bestselling author who has published more than a dozen books. He is a world-record-setting Air Force pilot and president and CEO of The Shipley Group, a nationally recognized consulting and training company.

Ted Stewart was appointed as a United States District Court Judge in 1999 by President Bill Clinton. Prior to that, he served as chief of staff to Governor Michael O. Leavitt and in various executive positions in government.

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A few further references …

Seven Days in February – by Victor Davis Hansen

Trumps’ critics, left and right, aim to bring about the cataclysm they predicted.
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(Click on the image above to read the article)

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glenn_Greenwald

Glenn Greenwald: What The ‘Deep State’ Is Doing To Trump Is ‘A Prescription For Destroying Democracy’

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(Click above for the article)

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“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free. “

Ronald Reagan
40th president of US (1911 – 2004)

How High Is Your Moral Bar?

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http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2016/10/12/have_you_seen_this_obama_video

For the die hard liberal/progressive Democrat left there are two moral bars at play – two bars that define what is morally acceptable in the culture and in political candidates.

The first bar is that which is acceptable behavior to the political Democrat left and to much of the American media.

That bar is very low and rapidly approaching ground level. Currently that bar is so low as to require – by government decree – that boys be allowed to use the girls rest rooms and locker rooms. President Barack Obama through his Department of Justice is in the process of redefining what people have known and accepted for millennia – that boys are different than girls and appropriate accommodations to these differences are made in the form, for example, of separate locker rooms, showers and restrooms.

That the state of North Carolina felt it necessary to codify into state law the distinction between the genders has caused a firestorm of reaction from many quarters; PayPal, Dow Chemical, the NBA, the NCAA, Google and other businesses oppose North Carolina’s new anti-LGBT law. And of course the Obama Justice Department has filed a law suite against the North Carolina law.

This pushback against millennial long gender differentiation is couched in terms of LGBTQ equity and equal protection. But one of its most destructive effects is the unnecessary and unjustified recruitment of many teens, our children, into the LGBTQ life style. This recruitment is based on nothing more than the legal and scientific torturing of very radical agents such as Obama who truly mean to “fundamentally transform the United States of America” – politically as well as culturally and spiritually.

The next and very predictable lowering of this leftist bar is to legitimize and legalize pedophilia, and demonize those that would oppose – dumping them into Hillary Clintons “basket of deplorables.” .

Will we be hearing a righteous outcry in the main stream media about the truly shameful behavior of President Barack Obama as shown in the video above? No – for that behavior rises above the ground level moral bar of the truly radical left.

Will we be hearing and seeing a very public apology from the President of the United States? No – his rock star popularity assures his rise above the left’s deplorable moral bar.

Will we be hearing and seeing a public and sincere apology from former president Bill Clinton and his enabling wife Hillary to those four women present at the recent debate as well as to Monica Lewinsky who’s seaman stained blue dress stands as clear evidence of the depravity of the Clintons. No – They also rise above the moral bar steadily lowered over decades by the leftist elite of this nation.

The second bar is that which is unacceptable behavior to the political Democrat left by those opposing the agenda of the left.

This second moral  bar of the left is wholly imaginary. The left sees a true moral bar such as in the Ten Commandments, and seeks to usurp it and use it as a bludgeon against its enemies.  They see the package and its beautiful wrappings and try to pull it down to the depraved level  of their first bar. But they only see the pretty wrapping and refuse to unwrap the package to see its true content.

The purpose of a moral bar – a thought and behavioral standard if you will — is to be a positive, protective and constructive force. It protects and builds up. It protects a family against a husband and father bent on satisfying only selfish needs at the expense of a wife and children. These selfish needs often include the acquisition and discarding of Playmates in the Hugh Heffner tradition, with the first discard being wife and mother. A true moral bar is also a positive and constructive force contributing to the strengthening and continuance of a moral community, culture and nation.

When the liberal/progressive left takes on the veneer of moral outrage at the transgressions of an enemy it is used to destroy that enemy. Destroy but not admonish and correct one who fails the moral standard. This is in stark contrast to reasons for having a moral standard at all – to prevent bad behavior, to correct bad behavior and hopefully to return a transgressor of the code to a semblance of good societal standing. A good example of the positive working of a true moral standard would be the life of  Chuck Coulson I encourage you to investigate the life of this man who was redeemed through the positive workings of a true moral standard rather than him being destroyed by the false moral standard of the left.

The picture I see that perhaps best contrasts  a true moral standard with a false standard is

Image result for the thieves on the cross with jesus

the two thieves hanging on crosses along with Jesus.

Both began their time on the cross by mocking and blaspheming Him, as did many of the spectators. One of the thieves responded in faith to the message of salvation and was taken to paradise that very day. He is the one usually referred to as the thief on the cross, while the other man did not respond in faith and is now suffering from a deadly and eternal mistake.

In the context of the transgressions of Donald Trump in this 2016 presidential election, and the continual bombardment of those transgressions, I am reminded that Donald Trump is the one on his cross who has acknowledged his transgressions and has apologized for them.  His enemies on their crosses continue with no repentance of their transgressions, and hypocritical mocking of the one on the other cross.

How high is your moral bar?

A good place to learn and reflect is at the Ten Commandments.

 

Don Johnson – October 2016

 

 

https://youtu.be/dGJIB5cO0cQ

I’m Voting With a Hope to “Keep the Republic”

“ … At the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787,  Franklin was queried as he left Independence Hall on the final day of deliberation. In the notes of Dr. James McHenry, one of Maryland’s delegates to the Convention,  a lady asked Dr. Franklin “Well Doctor what have we got, a republic or a monarchy.”  Franklin replied, “A republic . . . if you can keep it.”

I have just received my absentee ballot and will mark it for Donald Trump and Mike Spence.
You may ask how I could do that after what Trump was caught saying.
This comment below from a FB commenter echoes my thoughts accurately, and in reading this I can completely remove Trump from my rational and look exclusively and only at Hillary Clinton and the entire ruling and completely corrupt Democratic Party — you might want to do the same.
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” … I am still voting for Trump! …..I was asked tonight how I could ever support Trump after the comments he made over 11 years ago about women and if I would still support him if he made those comments to my daughter? My response was this….If he had put our nations security at risk, I would not vote for him. If his organization received large donations from countries that killed women and gays, I would not vote for him. If he boasted 30 Years of government experience, but still could not discern if an email was classified or not, without someone letting him know if it was or not, I would not vote for him. If he boasted about how he has defended children his entire life, but is for abortion, (even late term, when the child can feel pain) I would not vote for him. If he wanted my 3 year old Granddaughter to go to restrooms with men dressed as women, I would not vote for him. I have taught my daughter and will teach my granddaughter to disregard sexist remarks and move on, especially when they were made so many years ago and, also to forgive those who say they are sorry. If he caused lives to be destroyed in Benghazi and then lied to the faces of the parents as they stood at their child’s casket, I would not vote for him. If people who came against him mysteriously turned up dead, I would not vote for him. If he suddenly developed a southern accent when he was in the South, campaigning, I would not vote for him. If he continually broke the law and that was ignored, I would not vote for him, but right now, the only person who does all these things is Hillary. Right now, the fact that Donald made these remarks over 12 years ago, does not move me. I’m bigger than those remarks and we all have said stupid things throughout our lives. To me, the fact that Hillary lies continuously, is a much bigger problem. … Rant over… Still voting for Trump. … “

I’m Don Johnson and I approve this message! 

I will not be a party to the continual corruption and destruction of this great nation!

 

Don Johnson – October 2016

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams – 2nd US President.

Official Presidential portrait of John Adams (by John Trumbull, circa 1792).jpg

I would add to Adam’s observation that our Constitution not only was made for, but indeed requires a moral and religious people

Sad to say, but we are now living in the day and the culture of which Adams was warning about. The era of Barack Hussein Obama has greatly accelerated this slide into an immoral and irreligious nation.

Being in such a state, it is becoming ever more apparent that the Constitution Adams talked about is indeed wholly inadequate in the governance of this nation. Our leaders and potential leaders, in the persons of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are neither moral nor religious in the sense of the Judaea/Christian Biblical world view which spawned the then new nation and its constitution. Donald Trump seems to fall into that category as well, but such attributes have not (yet) been tested in the crucible of national leadership.

Could it be that George W. Bush will be the last moral and good President, as well as a good man?

 

Don Johnson – August 2016 

 

Hillary Clinton:” I Will Stand Up Against The Gun Lobby”

P1060993

http://www.snopes.com/politics/guns/switzerland.asp

Switzerland has one of the highest gun ownership rates in the world, with 45.7 guns per 100 residents (ranking below only the United States, Serbia, and Yemen in this measurement).
A list of countries by
firearm-related death rate shows Switzerland as having 6.4 firearm deaths per 100,000 population per year, a figure considerably lower than in the United States (10.27) but higher than a number of other countries. As for gun-related crime in general, a 2001 BBC article reported that in Switzerland “the gun crime rate is so low that statistics are not even kept.”

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National Rifle Association (NRA) Statistics

Total number of members of the NRA
4.3 million

Total number of Firearms owned by U.S. civilians (2010)
300 million

Total number of U.S. Firearms owned by civilians that are Handguns
100 million

Gun Ownership Demographics

A 2005 nationwide Gallup poll of 1,012 adults found the following levels of firearm ownership

Total Percentage of Households owning a Firearm
42%

Total Percentage of Individuals owning a Firearm
30%

Total Percentage of Males owning a Firearm
47%

Total Percentage of Females owning a Firearm
13%

Total Percentage of Whites owning a Firearm
33%

Total Percentage of Non-whites
18%

Total Percentage of Republicans owning a Firearm
41%

Total Percentage of Independents owning a Firearm
27%

Total Percentage of Democrats owning a Firearm
23%

In the same poll, gun owners stated they own firearms for the following reasons

Total Percentage who own Firearms for Protection Against Crime
67%

Total Percent who own Firearms for Target Shooting
66%

Total Percent who own Firearms for Hunting
41%

The following are estimates of private firearm ownership in the U.S. as of 2010

Households With A Gun
40-45%  47-53 million

Adults Owning a Gun
30-34% 70-80 million

Adults Owning a Handgun
17-19% 40-45 million

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The following are some very unofficial estimates on NRA members committing murders:

The homicide rate in the US in 2010 was 4.8:100,000
There are 4.3 million members of the NRA.
On average, this would mean that there were 206.4 murders for the total 4.3 million NRA members (4.8 * 43) : (43 * 100,000).
Which counts down to 0.0000048 murders per NRA member.

So the so-called “gun lobby”  of 4.3 million NRA members is not a group of Americans that needs to be “stood up to” by a pandering politician —  especially by such profoundly dishonest people such as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

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Consider this:

The Swiss army has long been a militia trained and structured to rapidly respond against foreign aggression.

The US Constitution’s second amendment was added primarily as an individual citizen’s protection against a future federal government  that would at some point turn against its own citizens. It was not added to protect sportsmen, hunters, target shooters and such.

Don Johnson – August 2016

 

Is there still a Constitutional/Conservative Republican Party? A Follow Up IMPORTANT

Further to my recent post Am I still a Republican? Is there still a Constitutional/Conservative Republican Party? I’ve read a couple of articles this morning in the Wall Street Journal that greatly encourages me:

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. Photo: Reuters

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. Photo: Reuters

House Republicans Have a Better Idea

Meanwhile, Trump fires his campaign manager—a wise move but very late.

By Karl Rove  June 22, 2016 6:39 p.m. ET  

WSJ | 2016-06-22T22:39:00.000Z

(My emphasis added)

Donald Trump has already squandered six weeks by insulting a “Mexican” judge born in Indiana, offering conspiracy theories, and needlessly attacking defeated rivals. His fundraising is dismal and his staffing inadequate. All this comes at the expense of focused attention on his Democratic opponent. Now the presumptive Republican nominee has fired his campaign manager—a wise decision, but very late.

Meanwhile, the Republican House is methodically laying out a comprehensive agenda to spread prosperity, protect the nation, uphold the Constitution, reform health care, and—with its presentation Friday of a comprehensive tax-reform plan—create jobs, grow paychecks and boost the economy.

This agenda, dubbed “A Better Way: Our Vision for a Confident America,” is Speaker Paul Ryan’s brainchild, but the work of the entire Republican conference.

Mr. Ryan rolled out its first plank June 7 with an audacious reimagining of policies to help Americans rise out of poverty. The initiative would require those on welfare to seek work while providing them better access to job training and assistance. It would reform poverty-fighting programs to help people move from dependency on government to lives of independence and personal responsibility.

Republicans followed the next day with a robust economic package, based on the premise that increasing prosperity requires expanding free enterprise and rewarding hard work. The plan aims to relieve the enormous regulatory burden on businesses; expand affordable, reliable energy; curb lawsuit abuse and crony capitalism; limit Washington’s micromanagement of community banks and the financial decisions of ordinary Americans; and block government bailouts.

On June 9, Republicans issued a new national-security plan to protect the homeland, defeat radical Islamic extremism, and restore confidence among our allies and respect among our adversaries.

A plan followed to rein in executive overreach and strengthen accountability and transparency in Washington. Republicans would restore constitutional checks on spending and the budget—including by halting illegal executive-branch spending and overturning expensive new regulations pushed through by lame-duck presidents.

Last week, the House GOP also released a detailed proposal to replace ObamaCare with a package of reforms centered on the patient and doctor. These include making health insurance portable so workers can take it from job to job, increasing the use of health savings accounts, permitting insurance sales across state lines, allowing small businesses and individuals to band together to get lower prices, expanding wellness programs and reforming medical liability.

On Friday, Republicans will add to their agenda a bold and provocative tax-reform package aimed at a simpler, flatter, fairer tax code that encourages jobs and growth while restoring the competitiveness of American companies.

The way that the tax reform package was drafted illustrates how the whole agenda came together. Building on the work of his two predecessors, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady of Texas held six meetings with the GOP conference over a number of months to hash out ideas. A task force solicited proposals from dozens of congressmen; reached out to job creators, free-market think tanks and center-right economists; and canvassed Republican lawmakers to ensure consensus.

If “A Better Way” has a shortcoming, it’s that it is large and sprawling, consisting of dozens of proposals. But each plank of the agenda draws on principles congressional Republicans can use to tell Americans what they will do next year, regardless of who is president.

If Donald Trump occupies the Oval Office, Washington’s center of gravity will shift toward Congress, as industrious House and Senate Republicans drive the legislative agenda. If Hillary Clinton is president, “A Better Way” will give Republicans the intellectual ammunition to offer a competing vision that—if they retain majorities in Congress—may drive her toward cooperation.

Apart from its merits as policy, “A Better Way” demonstrates that there is much more to the modern Republican Party than Donald Trump. He casts a large, ominous shadow, but light can break through the pall. House Republicans are working hard to distinguish themselves and their party’s principles by presenting an agenda for the 21st century.

Their efforts are vital to the GOP’s success in November and may determine Mr. Trump’s political fortunes. The shame is that he’s making their work harder.

_______________

Some links:

http://abetterway.speaker.gov/?platform=hootsuite

http://www.speaker.gov/press-release/better-way-do-people-s-business

As a Constitutional Conservative I like what I am seeing here. I hope Trump buys into what the House has laid out because Lord knows, he himself brings little but a loud and narcissistic mouth.

Further, this plan would seem to provide an American Agenda that hopefully would do much to cripple partisanship and get to a place where a President, Senators and Representatives represent the best interests of Americans and not Republican-Americans or Democrat-Americans. 

If the House is sincere in this effort, and can pull this off, I see it as going a long way toward restoring an almost dead Constitutional Republic. Remember the exchange between Benjamin Franklin and Mrs. Palmer in 1778:

The deliberations of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 were held in strict secrecy. Consequently, anxious citizens gathered outside Independence Hall when the proceedings ended in order to learn what had been produced behind closed doors. The answer was provided immediately. A Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

And what is a “Constitutional Conservative?”

A Constitutional Conservative can be viewed as one who whishes to preserve those elements of the Constitution that give governance to “We The People … “ Meaning limited government and separation of powers among the three branches of federal government; Executive-Legislative- Judicial, as well as separation of powers among the Federal Government and the Various States, as well as between the Federal Government and the Individual citizen. . 

Don Johnson – June 2016

Connecting a Few Geo-Political Dots

Remember back in the immediate post 9/11/2001 world there was considerable discussion about how the government failed to connect intelligence dots that may have prevented the carnage of the 9/11 suicide missions against the US.

Here’s some dots that in todays world seem to be begging for connection lest we lurch into a period of substantial national and world chaos.

The dots?

First Dot — The national debt. looking back a few years we have Adm. Mike Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warning that the ballooning national debt represents the most serious national security threat the US faces.

Here’s some of his reasoning:

“ … And the reason I say that is because the ability for our country to resource our military — and I have a pretty good feeling and understanding about what our national security requirements are — is going to be directly proportional — over time, not next year or the year after, but over time — to help our economy.

“That’s why it’s so important that the economy move in the right direction, because the strength and the support and the resources that our military uses are directly related to the health of our economy over time.” … .”

And more …

“ … Actually the way I said it was — and I still believe this — that it’s the single biggest threat to our national security. Obviously it’s complex, but the way I looked at it, if we didn’t get control of our debt, there would be continued loss of confidence in America.

I was in the military for over 40 years, and one of the principles I kept with me was that there’s an expectation globally that the U.S. will lead. Questions about that expectation have certainly risen in recent years. The fact that there’s even a question about that is worrisome to me, and I think needs to be for a lot of people. … .”

So what does this mean in terms of American military strength?

As the national debt continues to rise we would expect to see less of the tax base available for maintaining the military in an increasingly dangerous world. We now have close to 20 trillion dollars in debt … and what do we have to show for it? A diminishing and hollowed out military capability reminiscent of the Carter years when much of our naval aviation capability was grounded for lack of fuel and spare parts. 

Next Dot – A Hollowed  Out Military.

Defense budget cuts are now showing up as illustrated by this recent report on the mission status of Marine Corps F/A-18 fighter bomber fleet.

“ … Today, the vast majority of Marine Corps aircraft can’t fly. The reasons behind the grounding of these aircraft include the toll of long wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the fight against ISIS and budget cuts precluding the purchase of the parts needed to fix an aging fleet, according to dozens of Marines interviewed by Fox News at two air stations in the Carolinas this week.

Out of 276 F/A-18 Hornet strike fighters in the Marine Corps inventory, only about 30% are ready to fly, according to statistics provided by the Corps. Similarly, only 42 of 147 heavy-lift CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters are airworthy. … .”

If you spread this Marine situation across all the services and then refer back to Adm. Mullen’s  concerns about American leadership and world confidence in that leadership, it becomes very disturbing for the near term future — especially as potential and actual belligerents such as Russia, China, Iran and others are increasing their military presence and threats around the world. 

And finally we come to an extensive analysis of the stability of the world through the eyes and studied wisdom of historian and commentator Victor Davis  Hanson – yet another dot to connect.

Next Dot — The De-Stabilization of the World.

I’ll let Hanson’s words flesh out this final dot.

“ … In 1939, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and French Prime Minister Édouard Daladier warned Adolf Hitler that if the Third Reich invaded Poland, a European war would follow.

Both leaders insisted that they meant it. But Hitler thought that after getting away with militarizing the Rhineland, annexing Austria, and dismantling Czechoslovakia, the Allied appeasers were once again just bluffing.

England and France declared war two days after Hitler entered Poland.

Once hard-won deterrence is lost, it is almost impossible to restore credibility without terrible costs and danger. … .”

Note well the final words in this snippet from Professor Hanson Once hard-won deterrence is lost, it is almost impossible to restore credibility without terrible costs and danger.” ________

Are we on the brink of terrible costs and danger because of a national disregard for the lessons of history – or worse, a general and willful ignorance of those lessons?

 

Don Johnson – May 2016

The Irony of Bernie and Seattle

Bernie

I find great irony, contrasts, contradictions and not a little troubling concern when I see that Bernie Sanders was victorious in the state of Washington (read Seattle).

Seattle can rightly be viewed as the apex of Free Market Capitalism, with the likes of Microsoft, Amazon, Boeing, Costco, Starbucks and others creating much employment, economic opportunity and great wealth for many, not only in Seattle but around the nation – indeed the world. How many years was Bill Gates the richest man in the world? How many millionaires did he create?   The last ten years or so of my working career was centered around developing software using Microsoft Windows and Microsoft software development tools.

Then we have Bernie Sanders, the self professed Socialist, which puts him in the camp of the central planners of history – the central planners of those glorious reaches for utopia via those many failed 5 year plans. Those central planners who seek to level the playing field and eliminate that dastardly “income inequality” and make us all economically equal (except for those exempt central planners with the mansions and lavish dachas in the countryside).

Swinging back to Seattle, we see that grand golden goose that has laid so many golden eggs for so many.

440px-Simpleton_finds_The_Golden_Goose_-_Project_Gutenberg_eText_15661 

And we see that very rich man along with his wife who are in the process of giving their wealth away. Giving it away in ways that benefit many of the sick and poor around the world. And they are doing this in the grand tradition of the free market enterprise system – they give this wealth away voluntarily and without the coercion of those Bernie style central planners.

So we have the irony of a Bernie Sanders seeking to confiscate the wealth of a Bill Gates – wealth created from that golden goose called Seattle and redistribute according to needs as determined by those central planners in their dachas.

Is the Golden Goose an endangered species?  

dead-goose-taxidermy

Don Johnson – March 2016