About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Scrutinizing Claims Of Racism Leveled Against Donald Trump

"Has nothing to do with anything except common sense. You know, we have to stop being so politically correct in this country. And we need a little more common sense.  And I'm not blaming. I'm proud of my heritage, we're all proud of our heritage. But I want to build a wall. Now, the Hispanics, many of them like what I'm saying. They're here legally. They don't want people coming and taking their jobs and taking their house and everything else. They don't want that." – from one of Donald Trump's many interviews earlier this month in which the media focused on Trump's comments about U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel's perceived inability to preside fairly over the civil fraud lawsuits against Trump University.  Trump cited "an absolute conflict" in the case on the judge's part because of the judge's Mexican heritage which Trump felt would have a natural opposition to Trump's campaign stance against illegal immigration & Trump's pledge to build a wall "between here & Mexico."
 
Trump's recent remarks, some of which are above, saying a judge presiding over a lawsuit involving one of Trump's businesses was biased because of the judge's Mexican heritage is "the textbook definition of a racist comment." – House Speaker Paul Ryan ripping into Trump's above statement.  Ryan went on – "I disavow these comments.  Claiming a person can't do the job because of their race is sort of like the textbook definition of a racist comment.  I think that should be absolutely disavowed.  It's absolutely unacceptable."  Ryan was joined in this opinion by Republicans Mitch McConnell (KY), Mark Kirk (IL), Jeff Flake (AZ), Lindsey Graham (SC), Kelly Ayotte (NH), Rob Portman (OH), Jeb Bush, & Newt Gingrich.
 
"Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences our gender & national origins may & will make a difference in our judging . . . I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life." - Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor speaking in 2001 @ Berkeley College when she was a judge of the U.S. Court Of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  Sotomayor joined the Supreme Court in August 2009 & was the first justice of Hispanic heritage, the first Latina, & its third female justice.  Sotomayor was confirmed by the Senate 68 to 31 despite a litany of similar comments like the ones above indicating a problem with her being able to live up to her oaths of office to impartially discharge all of her duties in supporting & defending the Constitution of the U.S. 
 
 click on image to enlarge
 
The purpose of this post is to scrutinize the positions of news reporters, politicians like Paul Ryan, & Supreme Court justices – especially as they relate to claims of racism leveled against Donald Trump.  It is not to go over the merits of the Trump University case other than to say that Trump is a man of tremendous accomplishment whose instinct is to naturally protect his business interests.
 
Ryan's quotation & just about all of the news reporters have had a field day calling Trump racist over his remarks about Judge Curiel.  Since the race card is played just about every day – & most of us are sick & tired of it – it is important to remember that racism is quite often not involved in what is called racism by the media & race hustlers like Jesse Jackson & Al Sharpton.
 
Racism is defined as
1) The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races, &
2) prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior.
 
The common thread in both definitions is that racists think their race is superior to another's & of course Trump's comments have never portrayed this sentiment about Judge Curiel or anyone else.  Trump says it is just common sense & inherently obvious to think this judge will not favor him in the referenced case – Trump does not say that the judge is incapable of presiding over the case because his Mexican heritage in & of itself is the basis of an inferior intellect, which would be a racist comment.
 
But Ryan's above comments, & just about every Democrat speaking about anything remotely close to the race topic, are known in the political world as identity politics - they are examples of pandering to interest groups that have been identified as being beneficial to their political careers – @ our expense of course. 
 
Identity politics has been around since the 1970s – they are political arguments that are designed to win the approval of groups with which some people identify – in this case Ryan & the Republicans are pathetically trying to appeal to Hispanics by pretending to identify with Hispanics' perceived point of view regarding this judge, who most Hispanics never heard of.  But it is just enough for Ryan to know that Judge Curiel is Hispanic & any comment concerning his heritage must be racist.
 
So in considering whether Trump is right or wrong concerning this judge of Mexican heritage please look @ the ruling earlier this month of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court Of Appeals that determined, by an 11 to 7 margin, that Americans have no Second Amendment rights to carry concealed guns in public.  My point is not to analyze the merits or lack thereof of the case but to highlight that the decision was 11 to 7.  What is it that made these supposed learned legal authorities differ so greatly on their legal opinions in the case if not for heritage, race, ethnicity, nationality, culture, or identity.
 
But the judiciary problem gets worse & more obviously biased when you consider the Supreme Court where we have come to talk about the liberal justices & the conservative justices who all take an oath to judge impartially in accordance with the Constitution but split along these conservative-liberal lines.  There are four justices (Ginsburg, Breyer, Kagan, & Sotomayor) who consistently vote liberal, two justices [Thomas & Alito (& Scalia before his death in February)] who consistently vote conservative, & two justices (Roberts & Kennedy) who are swing justices who vote whichever way the wind blows that day making up law as they go along.
 
Consider the results of two cases decided by the Supreme Court this past week.
 
In the first case the Supreme Court, in a split 4-4 decision, rejected BO's executive actions that completely bypassed Congress in expanding executive authority regarding the granting of amnesty to over 4 million illegal aliens.  The case provides a lesson in 8th grade civics involving the separation of powers of the three branches of the federal government - specifically that Congress is the branch that writes laws not the executive branch.  The question as it pertains to this post is why in the world was the decision not 8 to 0?  Based on this ruling that found half the justices on the Supreme Court could not render a decision without drawing on some ulterior motive
it is not unreasonable to think that a judge of Mexican heritage who was born in Indiana might not rule in favor of a man who wants to build a wall on the United States southern border with Mexico paying for the wall.
 
In the second case the Supreme Court, in a 4 to 3 decision (Kagan recused herself), voted to uphold racial preferences in admissions to UT @ Austin.  Talk about racism.  The only embarrassment greater than the Supreme Court's voting record is that the American people let the politicians, including the justices, get away with it.  In this current case the wind blew Kennedy to overturn his opinion of a 2013 case (Fisher v. UT @ Austin) by opining that university admissions are defined by "intangible qualities. . .which make for greatness" not the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution.  Abigail Fisher, the white student who was denied admission to UT Austin because she was not Black or Hispanic, said "I am disappointed that the Supreme Court ruled that students applying to the University of Texas can be treated differently because of their race or ethnicity."  But returning to the point of this post – how unreasonable is Trump in thinking he will not get a fair shake from Judge Curiel based on the results of another high profile case that ruled in racism's favor by the highest court in the land?
 
Now the above quotations from Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor don't just illustrate the liberal-conservative divide in the American judiciary system highlighted in the examples above – when there should be no such divide in a blind justice system – but they prove Trump's concern about Judge Curiel's Mexican heritage is well founded.
 
Trump's contribution to America as President will be to do away with the political correctness that doesn't allow the country to see right from wrong – buffaloed by claims of racism like in the flawed, inaccurate, mistaken, bogus, groundless, ill-founded, & unsupported Mexican heritage judge matter - not just in the judicial system, but 1) in reversing the policy of anchor babies' claim to birthright citizenship that if not reversed will overrun the country with the poorest, least educated, & lowest skilled people, 2) in defunding sanctuary cities that
assist & relieve illegal aliens by providing welfare to people who are dangerous to all Americans like the man who killed Kate Steinle in San Francisco, 3) in limiting the immigration & migration of Syrian & Iraqi refugees who could have significant portions of their populations that are Islamic fascists who want to do Americans harm, & 4) in
enforcing existing immigration laws & establishing borders for our country.
 
The above issues are the bedrock issues that supersede the importance of policies or programs of any candidate regarding economics, tax reform, deficit reduction, jobs creation, or national defense because without corrections to these issues we really don't have a country – which is the path BO has put us on & Hillary Clinton is only too happy to follow suite.
 
One more thing regarding Sonia Sotomayor.
 
Earlier this past week the Supreme Court ruled 5 to 3 in the Utah v. Strieff case that Edward Strieff had been properly arrested when stopped by a police officer on drug use suspicion.  After the officer ran an identity check on Mr. Strieff he discovered a traffic warrant for Mr. Strieff's arrest & accordingly arrested him – not because of the drug use suspicion that Mr. Strieff was stopped for but because of the traffic warrant.  Sotomayor wrote one of two dissenting opinions & true to her previous statements highlighted hereinbefore brought racial politics into her opinion.  Although Mr. Strieff is white & the case had nothing to do with race Sotomayor managed to write "it is no secret that people of color are disproportionately victims of this type of scrutiny."
 
Now just imagine the next President nominating several Supreme Court justices who intentionally disregard the Constitution & issue decisions like those highlighted above – something that Carol imagines all the time.  Just try to imagine what America would look like with six or seven of the nine justices being like Sonia Sotomayor? 
 
Donald Trump also imagined this when he said "The executive amnesty from President Obama wiped away the immigration rules written by Congress, giving work permits & entitlement benefits to people illegally in this country.  This split decision also makes clear what is @ stake in November.  The election, & the Supreme Court appointments that come with it will decide whether or not we have a border &, hence a country."
 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Solutions - Challenge Quiz

Congratulations to everyone who responded to the subject quiz.  The comments show that those readers who responded enjoyed the quiz whether they got the correct answer or not.  There were five correct answers.  Click on Challenge Quiz & go to comments @ the end of the post to see all of the responses I posted, including the correct answers.
 
I love reading the way people approach these problems – I always learn so much as did the long time subscriber who wrote "Please send me the answer - thanks so much!  Wish I could have gotten into this one, has to be solved with algebra for me, but I don't remember how!!"
 
I learned more from that comment than any other.
 

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Challenge Quiz

Although the outcome of the last quiz (4 sample practice questions from the 2015 standardized Scholastic Aptitude Test [SAT] – click on SAT Practice Quiz) was only one responder getting both math problems correct I know that people really like quizzes – about as much as I like "Man on the Street" interviews.
 
Below is the latest math challenge quiz from The Little Book Of Big Mind Benders
 
I will post all correct answers on RTE or will send the answer to anyone who requests it if no one gets the answer right.  In responding please include your reasoning or explain how you got your answer.
 
Challenge Quiz:
 
Zane is older than Mabel, & both have two-digit ages.  Zane's age is the same as Mabel's age backward, & Mabel's age doubled is within a year of Zane's age.  Without using trial & error - how old is Zane?