Evil Termites

 

Because our gasoline is so very expensive (due to gross over-taxation) I usually gas up at the independent station at the intersection of Magic Mountain Parkway and Bouquet. While I was there the other day filling the tank on my happily un-PC gas-guzzling SUV, I noticed a billboard – a sign – on the south side of the intersection. It read:

“CHOOSE CHILDREN OVER GUNS

Our Congressman Steve Knight Has an A from the NRA

Call Him and Ask Why”

Below that was a line naming the sponsors of the sign, a local Dem/socialist activist group.

When I moved here in 1984, like many people one of my main motivations was to escape the leftist swamp of LA city. The Santa Clarita Valley was an oasis of conservatism. Pickup trucks abounded. My wife’s BMW was a rarity. Cows grazed on the grounds next to College of the Canyons, a common sight when one took the Valencia Boulevard off ramp from I-5. Where the mall is now was nothing but vast onion fields from which hot air balloons launched on Sunday mornings if the wind was calm.

If you’ve ever wondered where Cinema Drive got its name, there was a small multiplex theater located on the intersection with Valencia Boulevard, with a little Sutter’s Mill restaurant on the other side of the street, one of the very few eateries in the area.

We were regularly mocked and ridiculed by the nabobs in LA, particularly those in tony enclaves like the Westside and Beverly Hills. “Redneck cowboys” and “hicks” was a pretty common theme.

Meantime, we “hicks” were enjoying a “small town” quality of life that attracted other like-minded people, and so our valley grew in population, which drew further development in the form of businesses relocating to the area, and amenities – such as the mall and restaurants – opening, further enhancing the area’s desirability, and drawing evermore people eager to enjoy the area’s ambience.

Of course, some of those people happened to be some of the same folks who previously scorned and mocked us, and recently included a Westside lawyer who carpetbagged his way here just in time to qualify himself to run for Congress as our local Representative. But I’m sure that was all a big coincidence… right?

It’s always been interesting to me how leftists move to conservative areas to enjoy a better lifestyle than the place they’re leaving behind, but then try to impose the same political agenda that turned their prior home into the very swamp they’re trying to escape.

They’re like evil termites. They wreck the home they live in, then fly off to find some new home to wreck.

Anyway, I decided to check further, and confirmed that the dreaded NRA did, indeed, give Knight a 93% back in 2016, which sounds like an “A” to me. Great! Even more reason to vote for him (as if there was any doubt to begin with)!

I have no idea why our local lefties think this is somehow a negative. Do they think the NRA is some faceless, shadowy, monolithic conspiracy of evil villains scheming to somehow subvert the will of the people while sacrificing little kids to their nefarious agenda? A bunch of solitary old childless misanthropes sitting around in their bathrobes plotting to cache an armory in the dream of overthrowing the government? Illicit gunrunners and covert international weapons dealers swindling their way to vast riches?

What nonsense. Time for a reality check. It’s an organization of millions of like-minded everyday people, some of whom are probably your neighbors, who think that the Second Amendment literally means they have a right to own guns; who have families – including kids – of their own; who actually believe they have the right to have the tools necessary to protect their kids and family; and who want to share the shooting sport experience with those family members, as hard as that might be for leftists to grasp.

And as far as I know, not one single NRA member has ever been involved in any mass shootings anywhere.

The whole meme of “CHOOSE CHILDREN OVER GUNS” creates a false dichotomy that should more believably and accurately be stated as “CHOOSE CHILDREN AND GUNS”.

These election-year anti-gun jihads usually don’t work out too well for the left outside of urban metro areas. Just ask Al Gore and John Kerry. If there’s anything that can motivate those gun owners who are usually pretty lazy about voting, this is it.

As Napoleon Bonaparte reportedly said, “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake”. I hope that sign stays right there through November.

 

 

©Brian Baker 2018

(Also published today in my local newspaper, The Signal)

 

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Both Political Parties’ Establishments Don’t Get It

Donald Trump’s election to the presidency was as clear a clarion call as there could be that “business as usual” was no longer acceptable to the voters. The GOP Establishment seems to be utterly deaf to the message.

We’ve seen this reality play out from Trump’s first announcement of his candidacy right through to the present day.

During the election primaries, none of his opponents thought he had a slightest chance of actually winning the nomination, an incredulousness shared by the party machine. They mocked and belittled him, refusing to take him seriously. They were utterly stunned when he went on to actually win that primary.

But did that win alert the GOP that something profoundly different was going on this time around? Nope.

Many of Trump’s former opponents refused to endorse his candidacy, a few even threatening to endorse his opponent, Clinton. The GOP’s candidates for other offices continued to run on the promise to “repeal and replace Obamacare” in their own campaigns, repetition of a 7-year-old party campaign theme. But clearly, most of them didn’t take Trump’s campaign seriously, either.

How do we know this? Because when the most shocking and unexpected event took place, and Trump actually won the General Election, nobody was prepared to actually move forward and fulfill the promises they’d campaigned on for many years.

Having secured both chambers of Congress and the White House, was the GOP now prepared with a “shovel ready” plan to actually live up to and fulfill that years-old campaign promise of getting rid of Obamacare?

Not even close. They had absolutely nothing, because, as a party, they’d banked on the idea that Trump had absolutely no chance of actually winning the election.

In scientific parlance, this is what’s called “stupid”.

Compounding the problem, that stupidity continues, with no sign of abating. The “Never-Trumpers” are still in full roar, glorying in their “moral superiority”, reminiscent of Nero fiddling while Rome burned, utterly oblivious to the voices of that plebian mass in fly-over country that elected Trump. Elitist snobbery personified.

On the other side of the aisle, Hillary Clinton’s defeat was sending the same message to the Democrat Party, with the same result: deafness and denial.

When the campaign season opened the Establishment Democrats deemed Clinton the ordained candidate, and no other “mainstream” Democrat even threw their hat into the ring.

And then along came Bernie Sanders, the Democrat equivalent of Trump, an “outsider” who wasn’t even a member of the Democrat Party, having been elected throughout his career in the House and Senate as an “Independent” who only caucused with the Democrats.

To the consternation of the Establishment Democrats, Sanders’s candidacy put the coronation of Clinton in serious jeopardy, to the point that party officials conspired with Clinton campaign people to cheat Sanders out of any chance of winning that party’s nomination. Needless to say, the Sanders supporters were outraged by this when it became publicly known.

Once Clinton had secured the nomination, the DNC and her campaign apparatus evidently felt so confident of her chances of winning, and so scornful of Trump, that they decided to concentrate their campaign on the coastal urban centers and special-interest coalitions that in reality were already in the tank for her, utterly and completely ignoring everyone in “fly-over country”, as well as the masses of people who were ardent and now-outraged Sanders supporters, essentially wasting their time, energy, and resources.

Then the unthinkable happened. Trump actually won.

The result? A Democrat party in complete disarray and dissension, to the point of being in a shambles. A schism over what the meaning of such an unexpected and catastrophic loss means.

The Clintonistas are welded to the idea – really just an excuse – that it was “the Russians” and Comey at fault, unwilling to accept that Clinton was a terrible candidate who ran an incompetent campaign.

The Establishment, with a very few exceptions, can’t seem to decide whether their message to the electorate was too far to the left, not far enough to the left, too married to “corporate” interests, or what.

The very few who seem to get it have said that their party needs to take a serious look at the direction they’ve taken and the policies they’re promoting, and that it could be that the emphasis on social engineering – letting men use the same bathrooms as little girls, amnesty for illegal aliens, and the like – taking priority over bread-and-butter concerns about jobs and the economy may just be a very big mistake. The far-left culture-war policies that play so well in the coastal blue regions and some other major urban areas don’t go over at all well in areas outside of those enclaves.

Unfortunately for the Democrat party, if they want to be relevant on a national scale moving into the future, those voices really are being lost in the wilderness.

I think voters are clearly signaling to their respective parties that the old “Establishment” way of doing business isn’t going to cut it anymore. In the case of the GOP, that means they’ll no longer accept empty campaign promises that aren’t followed up with serious and concerted effort to actually implement the promised policies if elected. For Democrats, it means dropping the obsession with Social Justice and class warfare, and directing attention to matters that are of more concern to average everyday Americans.

Will anyone in either party “Establishment” pay any attention?

I don’t think Trump is the causative agent of any of this. The success of his primary campaign, and Clinton’s failure to beat him in the general election, are merely symptomatic of a greater dissatisfaction in the body politic, and the results of the last election – from primaries to general election – were the overt expression of that exasperation.

What’s truly interesting is how both parties are suffering at the same time from the same kind of malaise and disaffection. How this will play out at the polls is anyone’s guess.

Or in the streets.

 

 

©Brian Baker 2017

(Also published today in my local newspaper, The Signal)

Impeachment Hysteria Versus Reality

 

Our family is very politically aware (and fortunately for us and family comity, all conservatives), and as everyone with a pulse knows, virtually from Inauguration Day there have been calls for President Trump’s impeachment. The hysteria seems to be reaching a crescendo recently, dominating news coverage, and as a result I received an email the other day from one of the younger members of our clan, a Millennial:

“Hello there!

“What do you think the odds are of Trump getting impeached? That’s all I see in my news feed now!

“Brett R.”

To answer Brett’s question, I think the odds of that are pretty much zero. First of all, you’ve got to understand that the “news” feed is all pretty much just biased – and I mean to a point I’ve never before seen in my lifetime – agenda-driven rubbish.

But to the actual legalities, there has to be actual “cause” for impeachment. Per the Constitution, that means “high crimes or misdemeanors”. So, what actual “crimes” or “misdemeanors” has Trump actually committed? None that I can think of.

Then there’s political reality. Impeachment takes place in the House, and conviction takes place in the Senate and requires a 2/3 vote of the Senators to do so and remove him from office. Both the House and the Senate are controlled by the GOP. So, what are the odds of ANY of that actually happening?

Precedent. Only two sitting Presidents have ever been impeached: Andrew Johnson and “Quick-Zipper Bill” Clinton. Neither was convicted. Johnson’s impeachment was purely politically motivated, based on his Reconstruction policies, and his conviction was one vote shy. Clinton actually had committed a crime – perjury – and yet wasn’t convicted in the Senate. So, particularly in light of Pantsuit Hillary’s federal felonious actions with her email rig and the failure to indict HER, I can’t see any way an actual impeachment takes place.

Another political reality. I think impeaching Trump would actually BENEFIT him. We saw the same dynamic when Billy-Bubba was impeached: his popularity actually increased. I think the same dynamic would inure to Trump. There’s a VERY large percentage of people in this country that are simply fed up with the SOP of how both major parties have been conducting business over the last few decades. Trump’s election is the embodiment of that frustration. Impeaching him… the consequences of that could be beyond imagination.

All these impeachment noises are being made by left-wing radicals spouting moronic sound bites for public consumption; people like Maxine Waters and “Nancy the Red” Pelosi. It’s become Dem/socialist SOP to act like silly, spoiled children. And all the while they’re doing it they’re losing actual political power all across the country with the exception of a few blue coastal states like Commiefornia and Taxachussetts.

I see this as simply political Kabuki from the American socialists. Think about it. If Trump’s impeached and convicted, that doesn’t roll back the election clock and make the Pantsuit Lady President. Mike Pence becomes President! They know that as well as I do. And that would be about the worst thing that could happen to them and their agenda, because he’s as clean as a whistle, and a great conservative. It would absolutely CRUSH their political aspirations. The whole point of this impeachment drivel is to try to keep Trump off balance, and to delegitimize him in order to try to weaken him. An actual impeachment would be a huge strategic error on their part.

Like I said, I think the chances are pretty much zero.

 

 

©Brian Baker 2017

 

(Also published today in my local newspaper, The Signal)

 

Is There A Lesson In Trump’s Win?

trump5

 

Well, the election’s over, and now we know who’s the clear and indisputable loser: Clinton, and the country dodged a major bullet.

But I’m more interested in considering what dynamic was in play that propelled a candidate like Trump to win the GOP nomination at all, and ultimately the election.

For about twenty-five years, since the administration of Papa Bush, the Establishment GOP has continually drifted leftward, all the while trying subtly to redefine “conservatism” while claiming to support the traditional principles represented by the official party planks (or positions). This manifests itself each election season when the candidates on the stump promise to aggressively fight for those principles, but once elected fail to follow through on those campaign promises, instead offering tepid resistance to Dem/socialist programs, and half-hearted efforts to further a conservative agenda, when they’re not offering their own “progressive” programs, such as Bush 2’s “No Child Left Behind”, Scrips for Seniors, and amnesty for illegal aliens; McCain’s amnesty support and lack of Second Amendment support; the despised Common Core; as well as other examples.

This is also illustrated by considering their presidential candidates post-Bush 1: Dole, Bush 2, McCain, and Romney. Not one of them is a bona fide conservative. It’s also underscored by their congressional leadership: Boehner (until recently) in the House and McConnell in the Senate.

Predictably, as this drift has become more and more obvious, the traditional “base” of the GOP has become ever more disenchanted and disaffected. We saw this manifest itself with the rise of the Tea Party, a phenomenon to which the Establishment GOP reacted badly,2008-tea-party_004 with scorn and disdain instead of contemplating it as a symptom of organic and systemic problems. The Establishment elites simply knew better; the Tea Party was a disorganized bunch of uneducated yahoos who didn’t know what was good for them; and they could be minimized and ignored with impunity. All the while the percentage of the electorate registered as Republicans continued to fall while the percentage registered as Independent continued to rise in virtually direct proportion, a crystal clear bellwether to anyone actually paying attention.

Unfortunately for the Establishment GOP, they weren’t paying attention.

And this time around, the pressure in the boiler had built up so much that it exploded. One man put himself forward as the anti-everything: anti-Establishment GOP; anti-liberal; anti-illegal alien; anti-mainstream media; anti-gun control; anti-Big Government… all those hot-button issues that the “uneducated yahoos” the Establishment GOP so despised found so important. Further, he didn’t talk down to those “yahoos”. He COURTED them! He catered to them. He spoke THEIR language!

And how did the Establishment GOP react to that? By trying to rally around and promote more of their same, tired old offerings: Jebbie!!! and Kasich, “moderate” drones. What about the actual conservatives in the race, Cruz and Rubio? Well the Establishment hated them almost as much as Trump, and didn’t have any qualms about making that clear.

So when the dust finally settled, and Trump was the official nominee, did the party regulars and the rest of the Establishment GOP rally around their candidate and do all they could to help him succeed? Far from it. In acts of astonishing perfidy, not only did they abandon supporting him, but many of them – yes, I’m looking at you, Bushes – actually made a point of supporting his opponent, the despicable Clinton, an act of betrayal that will be long remembered.

That perfidy actually goes to the heart of the problem: that the Establishment GOP, at least at the national level, suffers from an elitism – “Beltway-itis” – that’s made them blind to the reality of what they need to do to regain and maintain their viability as a truly k-street“national” party. They inherently disdain the Joe Sixpacks that make up their natural base. They apparently prefer acceptance at K Street social functions over getting down in the mud with the people they absolutely need if they want to succeed.

Trump was the natural result of that disease. He was the revolt the GOP has long had coming, and to which it was willfully blind. And his success, and ultimate election to the office of President, IN SPITE of the Establishment GOP, should make them step back and take a long and hard look at how they want to approach the political arena as the country moves into the future.

The question now is: will they actually learn something from this?

 

©Brian Baker 2016

 

(Also published today in  The Signal)

Three Men in a Small Boat

A Modern Parable

Three men are in a small boat far from shore. The boat is being circled by hungry sharks boatwhen it suddenly springs a leak. Two of the men start desperately trying to fix the leak and bail out the boat, but the third man starts examining the tools, and complaining about the quality of the bucket.

That’s pretty much where we find ourselves in this election cycle.

There are two lousy candidates running for President (and two minor candidates who are a complete waste of time and attention as they’re an irrelevant sideshow). One of those two is going to be elected President. That person will be deciding who to nominate to replace Scalia on the Supreme Court (SCOTUS), possibly THE most important decision a President can make, because the effect of that decision can last for decades. That President will most likely be appointing one, and possibly two, more within a pretty short period.

Trump has promised to replace Scalia with a nominee of like kind, and has released a list of very appealing candidates. Clinton has very publicly stated that she thinks the Citizens United (First Amendment) and Heller (Second Amendment) rulings should be reversed.

That issue alone makes the choice a very easy one. One candidate will do his best to nominate SCOTUS Justices who will work to preserve our constitutional rights; the other will try her hardest to sink those same rights.

It’s an easy choice for any conservative to make. As repulsive as Trump is, Clinton is worse by orders of magnitude. And we have a ship of state to save!

Oh, but wait…!

The NeverTrump people are much more concerned with preserving their own conservative “purity”, and won’t vote for Trump. The quality of the bucket… or candidate… is belowboat2 their standard of acceptability. They absolutely REFUSE to compromise their “integrity” by deigning to use such low-quality tools. For them, it’s nobler to let the damned boat… or country… sink than to soil their hands with such demeaning material.

They fail to recognize, or accept, that when the boat goes down those hungry sharks are going to gobble them up right along with the guys who tried desperately to keep the boat afloat.

Because the sharks don’t care.

©Brian Baker 2016

 

(Also published today in my local newspaper, The Signal)

 

The Fat Lady Ain’t Sung Yet

fat-lady

In my circle I’m regarded as kinda the “go-to guy” on political issues, and I have a pretty good record on predictions of trends and outcomes. Everybody’s come to me and asked me to analyze this race and predict who’s going to win. As I tell them, I just don’t know. I’ve never, ever seen anything like this in my life.

The aspects that make prediction so hard are these. This is the first time I’ve seen an election in which neither candidate has a strong base of support. Look at the numbers on their personal qualities. Both are regarded as pretty repulsive candidates. The result is that the voters going to the polls aren’t voting FOR anyone. For the most part they’re going there to cast votes AGAINST someone else. I have no idea how to factor such a phenomenon into a quantitative assessment, and I don’t think anyone else does, either.

Polls are dependent on people answering pollsters honestly. But what happens when a large number of people are embarrassed about their actual opinion, and lie? It skews things, and again we have the uniqueness of an election in which both major candidates are an embarrassment for a lot of people to admit to supporting.

Polling results can be “pushed” by the phrasing of questions asked. There’s absolutely NO doubt that the MSM, which sponsor most polls, have committed themselves to Clinton. They haven’t even tried to hide it this time. So how has that affected the polling questions they’ve formulated, and the consequently skewed results, leading to inaccurate conclusions? Again, hard to quantify.

The majority of the people voting FOR Clinton (as opposed to AGAINST Trump) are the party faithful, and they’d vote for anybody who won that party’s nomination, and quite happily. But that’s not at all the case with Trump. Those who actually want to vote FOR him (as opposed to AGAINST Clinton) managed to essentially take over the GOP nomination process and force him down the party’s throat. It was a populist uprising. A revolt. Many are party members, or former members, but many are people who feel that the GOP – and probably both parties – haven’t represented their interests for a long time. They joined the GOP to support Trump into the nomination, but they’re not committed to that party at all. How can they be categorized, and consequently polled?

There’s an “enthusiasm” aspect which pollsters have started to acknowledge in recent years that has an effect on voting turnout, and that turnout can have a major impact on election outcome. But again, in a race between repulsive candidates, how can you quantify that “enthusiasm”? Will one’s enthusiasm to vote FOR a candidate be more meaningful than another’s “enthusiasm” to vote AGAINST that same candidate?

There are other factors, too, but I think these are the big ones. That’s why I think the results of this race are still up in the air. I don’t find any of the current polling, or predictions, to be persuasive, frankly. It could be a squeaker either way; it could be a landslide blowout, either way. I just don’t have a clue, and I don’t think the pollsters do, either.

In support of my thesis, here’s a (Link) to an interview with John Zogby that was conducted a couple of days ago. Zogby’s one of this country’s most prominent and reliable pollsters, and the title of the article says it all:  “Pollster John Zogby: Presidential Race Far From Over”.

There’s still time to save this country, folks. Let’s get out there and do our part.

 

 

©Brian Baker 2016

 

“Double Standard” and “Hypocrisy”: Words Completely Inadequate to the Task

It turns out that Donald Trump has in the past made some very raunchy jokes about women, the kinds of things we only expect to hear from juvenile boys in the locker room, and in Seth Rogan “comedies”. I’m sure that comes as a big surprise to absolutely no one, except maybe some yokel living in a cave somewhere, completely isolated from TV and newspapers and utterly oblivious up to now of who Trump even is.

Of course, the Dem/socialists and their sycophants and accomplices in the mainstreamfainting-3 media are all over this like white on rice, throwing fainting spells, gasping into their hankies, and ginning up their faux outrage machine.

Right along with them are the pansies from the Establishment GOP, those spineless hacks who wouldn’t know an actual principle if it walked up and smacked them in the face. The same pantywaists who thought “Jebbie!!” was a great candidate, when they weren’t out losing their own elections; people like John “Amnesty” McCain, and Mitt “Aw Shucks” Romney.

Were Trump’s comments despicable? Sure. Were they illegal? Nope. Did they affect any US policy? Nope. Was anybody hurt by them? Nope, except maybe the “feelings” of some liberal snowflakes somewhere, since there were no “trigger warnings” issued so they could go to their “safe spaces” to hide from those “microagressions”.

In the meantime, there’s Bill Clinton running around in this campaign drumming up support for his wife, all the while being fawned over by that same mainstream media. Bill Clinton the convicted perjurer and accused serial rapist. A guy who, as his state’s Governor, corrupted state cops into being his personal pimps. The same guy who sexually molested at least one young female intern right in the Oval Office while President, giving new meaning to the words “there’s nothing like a good cigar”.

The candidate he’s on the stump for? His wife, Her Royal Arrogance, Miss Pantsuit Clinton, an unindicted federal felon and pathological liar, whose career of corruption is so far-reaching – from Travelgate to the Rose Law Firm to the “Bimbo Eruptions” right up to her email scandal and sham “Foundation” slush fund – that just about everyone who enters her circle gets sucked in, like light into a black hole. A woman whose policies as a failed Secretary of State have led directly to the meltdown in the Middle East, to the cost of thousands of lives and a vast amount of this country’s fortune.

Yet what do all those allegedly “objective” reporters, and columnists,  and limp-wristed political hacks focus their attention on?

Trump’s stupid jokes.

glaring-lightThe only real upside to this election that I can see is that the overwhelming hypocrisy of the mainstream media AND the Establishment GOP, as well as the absolute lack of any standards of decency of the Dem/socialist party, are all being fully exposed in the harsh glare of the spotlight for all to see.

Will this country apply its collective wisdom to benefit from this experience?

 

 

©Brian Baker 2016

 

The “Weekend At Bernie’s” Campaign

weekend-bernies

 

Remember the 1989 movie “Weekend at Bernie’s”? Two amiable losers try to convince everyone that their dead boss is still alive by hauling his body around everywhere, manipulating his dead limbs, and posing him like a mannequin in various party settings.

Well, in a presidential election year that seemingly couldn’t get any more bizarre, what with the two leading candidates in a dead heat for the Least Popular Person On The Planet Award, we have a new wrinkle thrown into the mix.

At last week’s New York City event commemorating the 9/11 Twin Towers disaster, Hillary Clinton collapsed and had to be hustled into a waiting van by her aides and security detail and rushed to either a hospital, or her daughter’s apartment, depending on who’s telling the story. Video of the event has gone viral, and shows Clinton collapsing and being hoisted into a van, losing one of her shoes in the process, which was later retrieved by an NYPD cop.

Clinton’s health has been at issue for quite a while, and this certainly adds fuel to the fire. I sure can’t remember any candidate in my lifetime who’s had so many overt and obvious health concerns, what with all the hacking and coughing, weird facial expressions and gestures, and need to be physically helped up and down stairs (as seen in so many pictures). And now this latest episode.

It got me to wondering if she’d ever actually tell the truth (for once!) about her health issues, and withdraw if she wasn’t really physically up to the job.

Frankly, I don’t see her dropping out even if it ends up being the “Weekend At Bernie’s” campaign.

clinton-stairsI can see her being carried around by Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills, propping her up under each arm, with sunglasses perched on her face. Everything she’s done since her perjuring husband left office in 2001 has been geared toward running for Prez; she’s a complete megalomaniac; and at her age this is her last and only chance.

So prepare yourselves, folks! This truly bizarre campaign season is poised to become even weirder!

 

 

©Brian Baker 2016

 

 

California’s Death Penalty Repeal: Is Justice Served?

death chamber

 

On 19 August the Signal, my local newspaper, published an editorial entitled “Our View: Yes on Prop 62” in which they supported that ballot proposition, which would abolish the death penalty in this state. You can read their editorial here: Signal editorial 

I might be more inclined to support this idea if a “life sentence” actually meant the bad guy was going to die in prison. It doesn’t.

FAR too many times they’re paroled out, or released because of “health concerns”, or get their case reopened because some lawyer found some technicality to exploit leading to a new trial LONG after witnesses have died or disappeared or forgotten details of the crime, and evidence has deteriorated.

Their victims don’t get to benefit from any of this kind of “compassion” and “justice”. They get to just stay dead.

The death penalty is only meted out to the worst of the worst. Read about Clarence Ray clarence allen 2Allen, the last guy executed in this state: Clarence Allen pdf . The guy was a waste of skin, and doesn’t deserve anyone’s sympathy.

Further, the fact that no one’s been actually executed since 2006 simply means that the process has become too protracted. Simplify and speed up the appeals process, and limit convicts’ number of bites of the apple. As it stands now, clever attorneys simply file appeal after appeal in a generally successful effort to run out the clock on these guys.

To quote the Signal column, “According to Amnesty International USA, 10 wrongfully convicted individuals were released from death rows across the country in 2003 alone”.

That could have several different meanings. Procedural errors in the prosecution comes immediately to mind, for example, which is in no way the same thing as innocence.

In fact, at best all that statistic really does is suggest that the appellate process is successful in preventing wrongful executions. At worst, it suggests that a lot of people are gaming the system. Either way, if there were even one actual instance of a convict being wrongfully executed, I’m sure we’d have heard about it.

Further, there’s a cost to many of our social policies. Thousands of truly innocent people die every year in traffic accidents. But we don’t ban cars, nor do we have a maximum speed limit of 15 MPH. We simply accept those deaths as the cost of that policy.

I know that if my daughter were murdered I wouldn’t think justice had been served until her killer was put to death, because that’s when the punishment truly fits the crime. Even at that, I’d be settling, because those few who get the death penalty have to have committed crimes that were especially heinous, and the state’s execution process is merciful by comparison to their crimes.

And that’s the bottom line. The criminal justice system is part of our social contract, put there to prevent our society from becoming a place in which people are all running around meting out their own personal justice. BUT, society’s “justice” must be perceived as being actually just, and letting merciless killers live out their natural lives while their victims are permanently dead is no justice at all.

 

 

©Brian Baker 2016

(Also published today in my local newspaper, the Signal)

 

The GOP: Stuck On Stupid

In the week or so that’s passed since Trump secured the official GOP nomination as their candidate for President, I’ve watched that party tear itself to shreds.

As I noted in my last column, “The GOP is in reality the PSP — the Perpetually Stupid Party”.

For years they’ve ignored their inherent base supporters, traditional conservatives, instead treating them like redheaded step-children. The unrest of that base has long been obvious, as evidenced by the failures of McCain and Romney in their own presidential bids, not to mention how tight Bush’s two contests were against incredibly inept opponents, Gore and Kerry.

Did the PSP learn anything from all those years of declining support? No, they did not. And the result is the success of the populist uprising led by Trump.

Like it or not, he is the official candidate of the Republican Party.

hissy fitSo, what’s been the response of the usual suspects, the Establishment GOP hacks that have led that party ever-leftward? To throw an extreme hissy-fit, like a passel of spoiled brats. Is Trump a great candidate? Heck no! I spent a year pointing out some of his obvious flaws. But he IS their candidate, won fairly and squarely.

His opponent is Her Royal Arrogance Clinton, probably the single most beatable Dem/socialist in a couple of decades; a woman with more baggage than a cruise liner.

But instead of rallying around their official nominee, the PSP is indulging in a nihilistic paroxysm of pique and self-destruction. Many of the former candidates are refusing to honor their pledge to support the eventual victor of the primary, a pledge that Trump finally and begrudgingly did sign. Where’s their honor now? At least one prominent member of the PSP – Meg Whitman – has gone so far (as of this writing) as to actually endorse Clinton. Amazing!

circular firing squadThe end result is that the PSP has set Trump as the target of their circular firing squad.

The possible upside to all this turmoil is that we could hopefully see the GOP, like a phoenix arising from the ashes of its own destruction, change its errant ways and rededicate itself to actually acting like it believes in the principles it claims to support.

The downside is that it’s taking place at the worst possible time, when the Dem/socialist candidate is a person so unfit for office, and whose policies are so destructive, that the country might never recover if she wins the election.

How will this all play out? I guess we’ll soon see…

 

 

 

©Brian Baker 2016

(Also published today in The Signal)