Thursday, July 7, 2016

Random Thoughts for July, 2016.

Random Thoughts for July, 2016. By Robert A. Hall
Feel free to post or forward.

Sorry this is posted late; I was in the VA hospital. I coughed up some blood, which they seemed to think was a bad sign. Apparently have pneumonia in my old lung.  Home now on an antibiotic IV. I think I'll be fine.

One of the nurses, Heather, said to me, "I don't see how anyone can work at the VA and not believe in God."

Nurses seem to spend more time entering data into the computer than they are allowed to spend on direct patient care.

The stock market seems back from the Brexit panic. I sat tight in our IRA. These bumps always are recovered from. Some people lost money selling, others made it by buying at the bottom, but trying to guess when that is is tough.

To Republicans withdrawing their endorsements of Donald Trump--what, you couldn't see this disaster coming? It's going to get worse.

Prayer for the Candidates
Heavenly Father, we pray that you are watching over our presidential candidates, Hillary and Donald, and will see they get everything they deserve, everything they have coming to them. We pray you will fill their hearts with humility, so they may come humbly before you to seek forgiveness for their Earthly transgressions, as should we all. We pray for the election of a candidate with humility an integrity, who has the welfare of the people at heart, and not self-aggrandizement and self-enrichment. We ask that your protective hand be over your people so that we may come through this trial by fire, and build a better, freer, more just society that keeps famine and pestilence and coercion and violence at bay, where everyone may worship you according to the dictates of their own hearts. Amen.

June 30 is gone. I can't believe it. Summer is flashing by. (Just wanted to be first to say it.)

Racists used the slogan, "Segregation Today, Segregation Tomorrow, Segregation Forever." At some point, segregation stopped being racist and became a scared liberal talking point. When I was at UMass, blacks segregated themselves in an all black dorm beyond Lester Maddox's fondest hopes. That movement has grown with BLM and current universities where blacks have to have segregated "safe spaces," so they won't have to mingle with whites. Wasn't that what the KKK wanted in the bad old days? Wasn't that the goal of Jim Crow? I mean back when Blacks were "colored people" instead of "people of color."

I know a lot of conservatives who are not fanatic Donaldcrats, but will vote for Trump as being marginally better than Clinton on some issues. "Yes, he stinks," they say, "But I hope as President he'll do a few good things too." (What a fervent endorsement!)  "Besides," they say. "Congress will keep him in check." Oh, you mean like it kept Obama in check?"

If a Hollywood star is against your candidate, you say, "That over-paid, under-educated airhead should stick to entertainment." If the star is for your candidate you say, "It's nice to know there are still some clear-headed, intelligent thinkers in Hollywood."

Q: What will Donald Trump do about the latest political development? A: Relentless whining, vile insults, bullying and threats. Same as always.

Here's an idea for a two-hour presidential debate. The questions do not come from the moderators or public. Each candidate gets to submit ten questions that the moderator will ask in turn of the other candidate. Questions limited to fifteen words, so they do not become infomercials. Each candidate gets five minutes to respond, warning at four, mike cut off at five. Then the candidate who submitted the question gets three minutes to respond, doubtless with a prepared answer. Unless the first candidate answered so well or poorly that the prepared response was screwed up. Five minute opening and five minute closing statements. We might learn as much from the questions they choose to ask as from their responses. (A friend suggested penalties, maybe electric shocks, for not answering the question. Great idea--that would triple the audience size.)

When you yell at the dog, and he comes and licks your hand, it's hard to stay angry.

Donald Trump is destitute of the most rudimentary knowledge we need in a president. His knowledge of economics, foreign affairs, the military, the mechanics of government, the Constitution, the balance of powers and much else is about an inch deep. Unfortunately, both Hillary Clinton and her long-time friend, supporter and contributor, Donald Trump, are lacking in the most basic integrity, honesty and principles we would want on the Town Council. I cannot vote for either.

One of the Iron Laws of Economics is that if you reward a behavior, you get more of it. And if you punish a behavior, you get less. When we recognize, validate and even honor the purveyors of violence, chaos, anarchy and barbarism, be they Bernie supporters, Trump supporters or BLM activists, we get more violence, chaos, anarchy and barbarism. If you make breaking the law respectable, you get more law breaking. If you make free-riders into a protected class, you get more free riders. And thus the Republic spirals down to collapse or authoritarianism.

One of the problems with attacking Clinton's or Trump's character is that neither one has any character. And neither they nor their core supporters care a whit or are the slightest bit embarrassed.

If thugs stopped carrying guns, we'd have a lot fewer dead thugs. If cops stopped carrying guns, we'd have a lot more dead cops.

I think both Clinton and Trump could use the slogan, "Not as bad as her/his past would make you think." And, "Not as bad as the other candidate."

Individuals who are rich in opinions while being poor in knowledge are usually flush with excuses as well.

If you believe that the law should silence opinions that you find hateful, or that people who disagree with you on political issues should be punished with fines, job loss or perhaps more stringent measures, you are in very good company: Stalin, Mao, Mussolini, Hitler and the fundamentalist Islamic Imams, among others.

I think Donald Trump's idea of "giving back" is paying his creditors three cents on the dollar.

From my friend Todd: I admire those who can suffer in silence. I can do the suffering part, but the silence is a real challenge.

Nothing is as common on all sides of the political divide as fervently held beliefs unsupported by facts.

If it weren't for people trying to get money out of us, we'd get very little mail.

Not that my wife is squeamish about violence, but she shuts her eyes when the boulder falls on the coyote.

The Hillary versus Trump debates should be called the Featherweight Championship of the World.

When someone says, "I can't cook," it either means they are too lazy to do so, or too dumb to follow directions.

Don't cry because it's over. Smile because you got away with it.

Trump treats everyone who disagrees with him with contempt. Republicans who he demeaned, bullied and insulted now getting in to bed with him for party unity or hope of political reward have earned that contempt.

"If I had a nickel every time a GOP official called Trump's behavior 'unacceptable' but accepted him as the nominee, I could start a fake college." –Andy Smarick

Compassion for those who deserve compassion spreads love and compassion in ever-widening ripples. Compassion for those who deserve contempt spreads contemptible behavior even further and faster. Which is why seeing American soldiers and Marines risking their lives to save kids in the midst of killing the enemy should come as no surprise.

Donald Trump may be the only Republican who could lose to Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton may be the only Democrat who could lose to Donald Trump. Both parties put their worst candidate forward.

Too many people think they should tell you how to run your life when they are not doing a decent job running their own.

"When the party system regulates, argument address the deaf" --Barbara Tuckman, The First Salute.

People see my Marine hat or tee shirt and say, "Thank you for your service" to me all the time. I was thinking recently that I don't believe I heard that once in the first twenty years after I came home from Vietnam.

It's going to be a long campaign between two bottom-feeders, to see which sociopath wins in November. You will need an expanded vocabulary to describe both candidates. May I offer odious, mendacious, meretricious, execrable, abhorrent, abominable, repugnant, repellent, duplicitous, paltering, perfidious, prevaricating, and spurious to get you started.

If you don't raise your sons to be warriors, your daughters will be the slaves of the sons of warriors.

Since gender is now "just a social construct," doesn't that make languages that have gender for nouns, like German and Spanish, sexist and non-PC?

The day is fast coming when liberals will have to decide if they wish to defend gays from murder, apostates from execution, accused adulterers from stoning, little girls against having their genitals mutilated at age four and being married to old men at age nine, and women against a suffocating blanket of oppression and complete male dominance, or they wish to defend multiculturalism by defending these abominations of Shari'a Law against a supposed "Islamophobia."

When you are clearly smarter than someone, you must realize that they probably don't know it. And if they do, it may create an animus towards you.

21st century invitation: "Let's go to lunch. Don't forget your phone so we won't have to talk."

Being a citizen doesn't make you an American. Being a patriot who believe in American values like tolerance, free speech, free press, free markets, freedom of religion, individual rights, limited government with checks and balances, and so on makes you an American. That pretty much leaves out white supremacists, black supremacists, Hispanic supremacists and Islamic supremacists, among others, though they are often citizens.

I prefer poetry from the era when it wasn't considered great because it was incomprehensible.

When reporters approach their stories with an agenda, they inevitably prefer and emphasize facts that support their cherished narrative, and downplay or disregard those that do not. This is not journalism, it is writing fiction.

The same people who fret that Trump is going to establish a dictatorship are also working hard to be sure everyone is disarmed in anticipation of that event.

Troops are always expendable to protect the national interest, as defined by our imperfect political leadership. We knew that when we raised our hand to take the oath. What sticks in the craw of Americans about Benghazi is that it appears that four American lives were expended to protect the interests of the Obama reelection campaign.

Some people's idea of conversation is a never-ending stream-of-consciousness litany of unrelated complaints.

Perhaps we could convince the White Supremacists and the Islamic Supremacists that Gutenberg was a Jew and thus they should have nothing to do with the printed word.

Progressives build castles in the sky--and then cannot escape from them.

The anti-Trump protestors are nourishing the demagogue.

When you ask a teen what's new, good chance they will say, 'Nothing." But "nothing" is very scary. You jump in the getaway car, turn the key, and nothing! You pray for rain to save your crops and nothing! The bad guys are coming up the hill. You pull the trigger and nothing!

Ideological purity is often a fatal disease, as you deal with those without your worldview. "My way or the highway," often leaves you without less pure allies with whom you might have won. People will unite against you, leaving you going down the highway without that attainable half-a-loaf and your opponents victorious. But you will feel self-righteous in your defeat, so I guess that's worth something.

There is almost nothing of substance that you can do that some cleric of some religion will not happily declare to be the blackest sin. I tend to agree with Robert Heinlein that sin is hurting other people unnecessarily. But I also believe there are sins of omission, where you fail to extend help or friendship or interest or even a listening ear to someone badly in need. Unlike Mr. Trump, I ask God for forgiveness of these transgressions every day, and to help me do better.

Do you think that coexist bumper stickers and Gun free Zone signs would have stopped the Nazis? It takes two sides to make a peace, only one to make a war.

Ah, summer. Saw some kids playing "Kick the Can," and "Capture the Flag." Just kidding--I didn't see anybody. They were all inside playing video games.

Only in America: I read that Catlin Jenner is upset that only one of her kids invited her over for father's day.

I prefer the small, local celebrations. I'd take a fair or festival in a small country town over New Year's Eve in Times Square or Mardi Gras any day.

The more they award kids unearned self esteem, the more those kids do things that are not worth being esteemed for. If you want to earn self esteem, try Parris Island or MCRD San Diego.

I have friends who plan to hold their noses and vote for Donald Trump and friends who plan to hold their noses and vote for Hillary Clinton, judging one or the other marginally less odious than the opposing candidate. From my conversations, perhaps a majority of the country finds both odious. Personally, I cannot hold my nose tight enough to vote for either. I think the stench would cling to me for the rest of my days.

14 people are dead in a hotel siege in Somalia. Doubtless Obama will blame the NRA, our weak gun laws and bitter Christians.

You cannot have socialism without coercion, as people have to be forced to do what they don't believe is in their interests, but the socialist elites believe is in the general interest. Of course, the general interest always requires the elites to live well.

The Brexit doesn't surprise me. I've always thought the EU was a nutty idea. It's like forming an economic union with your feckless, spendthrift brother-in-law. You both get to spend what you want, but are responsible for each other's debts.

How about a USExit from the UN. I'm tired of paying people to under-mind freedom and bash our laws and culture.

If Benedict Arnold ran for office as a Democrat, the media would say his efforts to shop West Point were "old news."

The breathtaking complete lack of principles in Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump is so strong that most people cannot believe it. It's like meeting a person who is alive but has no heart. You assume there just has to be one there somewhere and use verbal make-up to disguise your discomfort with the phenomenon.

I wonder if being an old, beat-up veteran entitles me to a service dog. My preference is for one that plays the bagpipes.

If wishing worked, I'd be young, healthy, wealthy and good-looking. And all the murders, drug dealers and jihadist in the world would be dead.

For the True Believes, any suggestion that Trump or Clinton is not perfect in everyway is ignored at best or savaged at worst.

I expect some mainstream Republican will accept the VP spot under Trump out of a sense of duty, hoping to moderate him. I expect that person will be bullied, insulted, demeaned and marginalized anytime he or she goes off the reservation, and will end up disillusioned with a damaged reputation by November.

I received a fund-raising letter from Trump. I wrote back that he had promised to self-fund, didn't need my money.

Get the collection! My “Random Thoughts” from 2008 through July, 2013 are collected in this book: The Old Jarhead's Journal: Random Thoughts on Life, Liberty, and Leadership by Robert A. Hall
The Old Jarhead’s Journal is a collection of Random Thoughts on politics and life and Conservative Political Essays, mostly published on the author’s blog, including the essay “I’m Tired” which went viral on the Internet in 2009, “The Hall Platform,” “This I Believe,” and “Why I’m a Republican.” While they will be of interest to conservative thinkers, they are collected here in book form as a service to readers who wish to give a copy to favorite liberals and watch their heads explode. All royalties are donated to the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund.


Robert A. Hall is a Marine Vietnam Veteran who served five terms in the Massachusetts State Senate. He is the author of The Coming Collapse of the American Republic. For a free PDF of Collapse, e-mail him at tartanmarine(at) Hall’s eleven books are listed here: His blog of political news and conservative comment is

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