Topping the blog lists!

You made Thinking Out Loud one of the top ten conservative blogs on "Top Political Blog" site (on April 28, 2012) with an international audience. On February 18, 2013, we hit in the top 50 of ALL political blogs. (This changes all the time, so keep reading.) Thank you.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Words

A painter paints, a musician makes music, an actor acts and a writer writes. But why? What process do these artisans go through? And why?

Words. I seek them out like a deer seeking nourishment through the cold winter. Every step leading me through the vast white wilderness, not knowing where or if I will find the victuals that will carry me onward. As they escape me, I struggle on, hopeful and desperate. Weak and soul weary, I can not go back, yet I fear I can not go forward. Fear and panic lead me to despair. Hope and the promise of life lead me down the next path. Blindly I search.

The page before me is as blank as the deepest snow, no familiar landmark nor trail to guide me. Yet it is in this vast empty wild I find the solace for which my soul yearns. Even in its vacant form, it yields the promise of things to come. For without the unfilled page, there is no canvas which to lay bare my soul, no field for the seeds within my mind to bear flower.

Then, as I despair most, they come unbidden and whole from within me.

Words, the paint that colors man's tapestry from centuries past. The whole of humanity's experience that give meaning to life and love and desire and pain flow from me.

Then comes the fear. Fear of acceptance, of rejection. Who will read, why will they read . . .will they want to read. Yet does it matter? Though it shouldn't, it does. Fear. It is the killer of dreams, the torturer of dreamers.

Am I a dreamer; are my thoughts the dreams? What vanity makes me believe my words matter; that I matter? Do I? Do they?

Doubt creeps into the darkest corners of my soul. The corners from whence no good comes, where even I fear to peer. It spreads, like a vile disease, devouring hope and dreams.

The words falter, my chi suffers a grievous blow. I am undone.

But am I? A new thought springs anew within.

No, I do not matter; my words and dreams and hopes and desires do not matter.

For they are me whether the world exists or not. My essence flares again as I regain this simple truth. Though I do not matter, nor do my words matter, they are mine nonetheless. And I have no choice but to do what I must to survive. The words must continue to soar forth from me. If they do not, I die. For it is who I am. I can be nothing less than who and what I am.

I am a writer. I have always been a writer. I must always be a writer. For a writer writes because he must, and for no other reason.

And so the words continue, free from the doubt, free from the vanity, pure and complete.

I am at peace.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Ironic, No! Sad, Yes!

Not a long blog. Just a telling one.

Don't you think it just a tad sad - I would say "ironic" but that word is not proper - that the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement is now to be know as the place where free speech died?

Berkley, you may not like what the man has to say, but YOU said he has a right to say it.

Agree, disagree, I don't care. But I would never stop you from saying it.

Have a great day - if you can.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

DeVos Not Fit For ANY Cabinet Position, INHO

A friend of mine, a college professor – who is often on the opposite end of the political spectrum than me, I might add, yet we still seem to remain civil and can actually have intelligent conversations concerning the subject – shared an interaction with Senator Tim Scott (R-SC).

As you can read, she has been teaching for some time and actually has reason to be concerned with the nomination of the Secretary of Education – it is her career and passion to teach young (and old, like me) minds. So for her, and millions of teachers out there, the selection of the next Secretary is a personal issue for them.

(I start off with the comment my friend made on Facebook that accompanied the letter back from the Senator)

“FYI and for the record, I have been teaching for 19 years and find DeVos to be completely unsuitable for the position. I had to earn a degree in education to stand up in front of my students. She has no such degree and no such experience with our public schools. She did donate a hefty sum to Scott's campaign so take that as you will.”

(And now, the letter.)

Dear Mrs. XXXXXXXX,

Thank you for contacting me in regards to President Donald Trump's nomination of Betsy DeVos to serve as the U.S. Secretary of Education. I appreciate your input on this issue and the opportunity to respond.

As you may know, a new president must nominate hundreds of top political officials to fill out the new administration and this process typically begins before the sitting president leaves office. There are three stages to this entire procedure: the first step is the nomination by the newly elected president, the second step is the consideration and confirmation by the Senate, and the third step is the appointment by the president if the nominee is confirmed by the Senate.

My role in the process of appointing top political officials is explicitly laid out in Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution, which states that the president shall nominate with the "advice and consent" of the Senate.

I believe a great education is one of the most essential things we can give our children, and it is important that the American dream remains in reach for every American. However, despite tripling federal investments in K-12 education since 1965 and increasing involvement from the Department of Education, substantial achievement gaps persist and our rankings among other developed countries in math, reading, and science continue to decline. A larger federal government is not the solution to any of the challenges we face as a nation, and it certainly is not the solution in education.

For decades, Mrs. DeVos has been an advocate for parents who simply want more choice in determining the best education for their children. Her passion for helping children is undeniable and I am optimistic that, if confirmed, her leadership will help generate innovative solutions that will unleash students' potential like we haven't seen before.

I grew up in a low-income community and almost failed out of high school. Since coming to Congress in 2010, I have been a strong supporter of school choice. My mission has always been to help kids growing up in poor neighborhoods, like the one I did, to achieve their dreams. My desire to achieve that goal has not and will not waiver, no matter who leads the Department of Education.

Like me, Mrs. DeVos supports and respects the value of a public school education. But if a school is unsafe or unable to adequately prepare students, she believes that parents should have the ability to pick a better, safer school for their children; whether that school be public, private, or charter. Mrs. DeVos is a supporter of all schools.

Rest assured, I am fully aware of the gravity of this decision and I will not consider it lightly. I will be sure to keep your thoughts in mind as the Senate begins the confirmation process.

Again, thank you for sharing your perspective with me; I hope that you will continue to do so in the future. If I can ever be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me or a member of my staff.

For more information, please visit my website at www.scott.senate.gov and subscribe to my monthly e-newsletter. I also encourage you to follow me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SenatorTimScott and Twitter: www.twitter.com/SenatorTimScott for daily updates.

Sincerely,
Tim Scott
United States Senator

I responded to my friend - and I would say the same thing directly to Sen. Scott, given the chance - “Perhaps you can remind Sen. Scott that being an advocate and passionate about something does not translate to being qualified. I have been an advocate of NASA and passionate about us doing more to get us back out there and doing interplanetary exploration. But that hardly makes me qualified to run NASA. Nor does it even make me qualified to be an astronaut at NASA.”

Just because a President nominates an individual for a cabinet position (or Supreme Court . . . or anything really), doesn't mean Congress HAS to confirm them. I mean, if I were President and I had to fill all these positions, I would look to those I know for both possible candidates for those positions and recommendations to fill them. Doesn't mean I KNOW the right person for the job.

That's where the confirmation process comes in. That's where you look at the person and say yes or no. That's when you LOOK at their qualifications.

Their qualification! Not what they are passionate about! Not what they have been advocates of or for!

And DEFINITELY NOT in response to how much money they have or have given to you. (The latter of which might look suspiciously like a bribe – just saying!)

As for DeVos herself? Here is a little bit about her qualifications . . . or lack thereof.

  • She was chair of the Michigan Republican Committee. Not a qualification for Secretary of Education.
  • She is married to the Heir of Amway. Not a qualification.
  • She was the chair of American Federation for Children. Not a qualification and actually seems like conflict of interest type of thing.
  • She is head of many philanthropic groups. Not a qualification. Means she's rich, not qualified.
  • She has a Bachelor's degree in business administration and political science. A qualification, but not what one would say is a good one.

There are those that may point out the precedent set by previous Presidents where the Secretary of Education did not have a degree in Education. True.

She was George W Bush's Secretary of Education did not have one in Education. But that really didn't work out too well, if you recall. Margaret Spellings, one day after being confirmed, threatened PBS demanding they nit air an episode where an animated bunny learns about maple syrup from kids with lesbian parents (despite the fact that the episode only has the kids saying they have a mom and a stepmom, which can easily be assumed to mean dad got remarried . . . . but Spellings' mind went to the lesbian route and was offended by it). She advocated “No Child Left Behind”, and insulted Connecticut when it resisted by calling the state (not a person but the whole state) bigots. As for the student loan controversy, this followed her to University of North Carolina, where the decision to bring her in as President led to the resignation of the university's board chair.

Spellings made over $330,000 working for the Apollo Group, the parent company of University of Phoenix, a for-profit online college that has been widely criticized for taking advantage of its students and delivering poor results. Although federal education funds account for nearly 90 percent of the company’s revenue, graduation rates were as low as 4 percent under Spellings’ tenure.” ~~ News Observer, November 2, 2015


And finally, as recently as 2016, Spellings Presidency at the University was marred by her lack of discretion, insulting the LGBT community. (Seems she really still has a problem with lesbians, like she did back in 2005.

So do we want someone like Spellings? Is it a good precedent to follow, having someone in the position to oversee the nation's education system, policies and all, without a degree in education? And honestly, coming from someone who is highly educated but holds no actual degrees, do you really want someone as Education Secretary to only hold a Bachelor's degree . . . and in political science?

I think not.

As much as I thought, way back 2011, that Tim Scott was an intelligent individual who wants only what is best for his constituents, I must now say things have changed. Scott has become a party tool. Instead of dispensing his duties for the benefit of South Carolinians, he seems to only hold what the party wants him to hold as important. His response is a political one. Not a response one gives to his constituents. (And its a form response, as others have gotten the same . . . exact . . . letter. Just the name is different.)

As for the letter? It begins, very condescendingly, as though speaking to a child, when – in fact – he (or his staff) knew they were speaking to an educator with nearly two decades teaching. Very insulting. Then it goes on to sound like a press release praising DeVos . . . . not a good sign when this person is supposed to still be weighing the facts in a confirmation hearing.

There is the line about DeVos supporting public education. In actuality, her work has been more for the benefit of private institutions then for helping the public education system.

And then there is (especially in reference to the comment above about the DeVos support for the Scott campaign) the political donations. The DeVos family has been donating HUGE sums of money to Republican Party SuperPacs and individual campaigns (such as Tim Scott, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina) for decades. And do they do this out of the goodness of their hearts or because they believe in the party or the candidates (remember, she once called Trump an “interloper” and representative of the Republican Party)? In truth, in a 1997 Op-Ed in Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper, DeVos wrote "[M]y family is the largest single contributor of soft money to the national Republican party….I have decided, however, to stop taking offense at the suggestion that we are buying influence. Now, I simply concede the point. We expect to foster a conservative governing philosophy consisting of limited government and respect for traditional American virtues. We expect a return on our investment; we expect a good and honest government. Furthermore, we expect the Republican party to use the money to promote these policies, and yes, to win elections."

This is a telling passage in this OpEd by DeVos. But the whole editorial is even more telling. She states that “[i]n politics, money is speech. You don't have free speech without it.” She seems to feel that those with money “know more” than the politicians, therefore, their money is important to a role in free speech of all Americans. She likens campaign finance reform to an assault on free speech, saying without the big money she and groups like labor unions spend during a given election year allows voters to be more informed when they vote. Yet in the same article she states how the labor advertising done by labor unions were “misleading, and in some cases, dishonest.”

DeVos finishes off this article with a dire extrapolation of the McCain-Feingold finance reform bill.

“For those who support attacks on free speech, such as those in the many versions fo the McCain-Feingold bill, perhaps they should be thinking through to its long conclusion. They must be willing to place limits on the number of news stories the media can run, the number of editorials they can print, the number of newspapers they can sell, and the number of news shows they can air. If we are going to restrict free speech, we need to do it for everybody.”

The ideals she expresses throughout this editorial equating money with free speech, the way she places on the same level news stories and paid for political advertisements, is so far afield of free anything, let alone free speech, that one has to wonder how her priorities in life got so skewed.

Is this a person we want shaping the educational system in this country?

For my money, which is nowhere near as much as the DeVos family fortune, I can't see how anyone, even someone who benefited from this huge resource of cash, can think she is right for this or any other political position.

Senators like Tim Scott should be appalled at the level of sanctimony and privilege DeVos displays in this article.

(Unfortunately, if you read Scott's letter, it sounds his mind has been made up, despite the opposition by his constituents. One has to wonder, if not for those he represents, then for whom does he act as cheerleader for DeVos.)

I include as much information and resources as I can in this editorial of my own. I let you, the reader take form it whatever information you can glean and make up your own mind. Because, as always, this is just me, Thinking Out Loud.

Have a great day!


Charles

Author's Notes:
  • The October 6, 1997 op-ed DeVos wrote for the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call is not available online. The archives editor at the paper has sent me a copy of the piece and I include it here.
  • An email to Senator Scott's office, specifically to his Communications Director Sean Smith, about claims whether DeVos contributed to his campaign have not been responded to as of yet. I guess you can take that as either a “no comment” or as “we don't care to respond to an American citizen's request for transparency. (Or maybe its just a “we're too busy to answer some nobody journalist's question” response.)

Friday, December 16, 2016

Hypocritical President Slams Russia Without Knowing US History

President Obama slams Russia and declares retaliations for their "interference in US elections. And people cry foul as Trump slams CIA for its reports about Russian involvement in our elections. (The latter I will address later.)

But I have to stand dumbfounded at facts that seem to slip the minds of those declaring this reason enough for a war with Russia or for invalidating our election process.

Kind of hypocritical of Obama and the US to freak about Russian interference in US Elections. Example after example shows the US involvement with the overthrow and undermining of governments throughout the world and over decades.

Here's just a few:







More recently





I cannot understand how this really intelligent man, who is a Constitutional lawyer yet trashes the founding document with almost every edict he issues, would be such a hypocrite about others interfering with our elections . . . . 

Okay, never mind. Any intelligent individual can see this administration is out of control. And the blind sheep who follow all of these far left and far right are the ones who keep putting these megalomaniacs into office.

Outside of the facts, the rest is simply my opinion, my take on things. And you can either agree or disagree. Because this is just me, Thinking Out Loud.

Have a great day.

Charles

Friday, September 30, 2016

Another Reason To Say NO To Hillary Clinton for President

Need a reason to say "NO!" to Hillary Clinton for President?
Hillary Clinton and her "superpredator" quote.
Here is a link to a Washington Post piece in February of this year, where during a primary stop she grew irritated by a woman who demanded Clinton apologize for her remark in 1996 (although she said "those kinds of kids" and did not directly call them "black youth") - which she didn't originally recognize as her own quote.

(Incorrect meme floating around the internet.
No attribution is offered but can be found on
Facebook page.)


Clinton only apologized in the Post AFTER the event that caused her during the Primary to be confronted by this quote. (But in the scope of fairness, it must be noted that while she was referencing black gangs in her speech she never said "black youth". She said "those kinds of kids".)
The woman raising the issue was chastised by organizers and Clinton, and escorted out. And THIS is the woman who wants us to elect her President? Saying she is better than Gary Johnson? Saying she wants us to BELIEVE her? What a true travesty that people in this country would continue to support her.
Clinton is a bully. And this is not just me saying something mean. This is fact supported by incident after incident of her actions. The Primary stop in Columbia, South Carolina is just one of many where her arrogance is on direct display, yet millions flock to her.
Why?
Based on her record and her actions, I can only conclude that they do so because she is a woman. And they want a woman President . . . no matter what. No matter how unethical, immoral, stupendously arrogant that woman may be.
Although my detractors will call this a misogynistic statement (they are the same who say any disagreement with the President is racist - both completely false observations), it is not. I would vote for a decent qualified woman the same way I would vote for anyone running for office.
I don't want a white President. I don't want a black President. I don't want a woman President. Nor a Republican / Democrat / Socialist / Etc, etc President. I don't want ANY "Fill-In-The-Blank" President.
I want a decent, qualified, ethical, moral President who has the interests of the country - not their own or their financial backers or some party driven agenda crony or some court of world opinion - the best interests of the United States of America as their central motivation.
But I tell you here and now, and you can look it up - in fact I WANT YOU TO LOOK IT UP - for yourself. Don't listen to what people say about the candidates or their speeches or their motives, listen to what the candidates SAY and DO themselves. Look at what they HAVE DONE to see what they will do.
Don't be sheep! Don't listen to the SPIN DOCTORS! Think for yourselves!

(In case the above link does not work, copy and paste this in your browser: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/02/25/clinton-heckled-by-black-lives-matter-activist/)

Another Reason To Say NO To Hillary Clinton for President

Need a reason to say "NO!" to Hillary Clinton for President?
Hillary Clinton and her "superpredator" quote.
Here is a link to a Washington Post piece in February of this year, where during a primary stop she grew irritated by a woman who demanded Clinton apologize for her remark in 1996 (although she said "those kinds of kids" and did not directly call them "black youth") - which she didn't originally recognize as her own quote.

(Incorrect meme floating around the internet.
No attribution is offered but can be found on
Facebook page.)


Clinton only apologized in the Post AFTER the event that caused her during the Primary to be confronted by this quote. (But in the scope of fairness, it must be noted that while she was referencing black gangs in her speech she never said "black youth". She said "those kinds of kids".)
The woman raising the issue was chastised by organizers and Clinton, and escorted out. And THIS is the woman who wants us to elect her President? Saying she is better than Gary Johnson? Saying she wants us to BELIEVE her? What a true travesty that people in this country would continue to support her.
Clinton is a bully. And this is not just me saying something mean. This is fact supported by incident after incident of her actions. The Primary stop in Columbia, South Carolina is just one of many where her arrogance is on direct display, yet millions flock to her.
Why?
Based on her record and her actions, I can only conclude that they do so because she is a woman. And they want a woman President . . . no matter what. No matter how unethical, immoral, stupendously arrogant that woman may be.
Although my detractors will call this a misogynistic statement (they are the same who say any disagreement with the President is racist - both completely false observations), it is not. I would vote for a decent qualified woman the same way I would vote for anyone running for office.
I don't want a white President. I don't want a black President. I don't want a woman President. Nor a Republican / Democrat / Socialist / Etc, etc President. I don't want ANY "Fill-In-The-Blank" President.
I want a decent, qualified, ethical, moral President who has the interests of the country - not their own or their financial backers or some party driven agenda crony or some court of world opinion - the best interests of the United States of America as their central motivation.
But I tell you here and now, and you can look it up - in fact I WANT YOU TO LOOK IT UP - for yourself. Don't listen to what people say about the candidates or their speeches or their motives, listen to what the candidates SAY and DO themselves. Look at what they HAVE DONE to see what they will do.
Don't be sheep! Don't listen to the SPIN DOCTORS! Think for yourselves!

(In case the above link does not work, copy and paste this in your browser: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/02/25/clinton-heckled-by-black-lives-matter-activist/)

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Electoral Vote Myth The Establishment Wants You To Believe

Just this afternoon, an intelligent woman who was in the Trump corner but was willing to entertain the idea of Gov. Gary Johnson in the debates, if not in voting for him. She was willing to listen. Now, after last night's first Presidential debate (in which Johnson was excluded), she is adamantly for Trump. She declared that no one should vote for Johnson because it would sway the electoral to Clinton.

When I told her that Johnson still had a chance to win the election, she insisted he did not. “Don't you remember the Bush Gore election, where Gore won the popular vote and Bush won the Electoral College vote?”

This did not sit right with me, so I went back to my Government 101 recollections. And figured out that the major party campaigns want to perpetuate the falsehood that Governor Gary Johnson, as a third party candidate, cannot win the electoral vote. If they get everyone out here in reality land to believe their lies, they don't have to face the truth.

That they could lose.

Okay, here's where the lie of the Electoral College option falls apart.

There are 50 states and the District of Columbia. Each state has a set of electors in the Electoral College. They vote for the candidate who won the popular vote, or the candidate of the party who wins the popular vote.

And in 29 states plus the District of Columbia, this is true. They have laws governing this process. In 21 states, they do not. These states can vote for whoever they want, no matter the popular vote.

Now to be fair, they usually do. But there are no laws that would restrict them.

But lets get back to those 26 states plus DC that do have these laws. These states are: Alabama, Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

So let us presume that the outcome of these states only are a popular vote win for Gary Johnson. Those states are obligated, under law, to vote for the winner of the popular vote. I then added up all the Electoral votes of these states. And do you know what I came up with?

293!

That's right, if Gary Johnson were to win the popular vote of these states, he would have more than the 270 Electoral votes to win. And that's just winning these 26 states and DC. ANY combination of different states would win him the election.

Now I know you might keep saying, he doesn't have a chance of winning these states. A third party candidate can't win. And this is exactly the thing that Trump, Clinton, the GOP and the Democrats what you to believe.

But here is an interesting statistic that comes from The Federalist website (http://thefederalist.com/2016/05/16/these-numbers-say-a-third-party-can-win-the-presidency/):

“Is it possible for a third-party candidate to actually win states? In 20 percent of twentieth-century elections, third-party candidates did just that (Roosevelt in 1912, La Follette in 1924, Thurmond in 1948, Byrd in 1960, Wallace in 1968). Now, none of them won the right combination of states to deny other candidates a majority, but that also happened twice, in 1824 electing John Quincy Adams and in 1876 electing Rutherford B. Hayes.”

So the myth, the fallacy, the outright LIE by Clinton and Trump and the establishment absolutely falls apart.

Now that I have busted that myth, I want you to all consider letting the pollsters and the Commission on Presidential Debates know that you want Gary Johnson in the next two debates. Because a third voice is so very much needed.

Especially now that you see the truth of their lies to you, the voter. They steal your choice. They steal your voice. They will steal the election from the will of the people.

Voting for the lesser of two evils is STILL voting for an evil

Don't for AGAINST someone. Vote FOR someone.


The American people deserve ALL the information to make their decision. Not just the information they want you to know.