'87 Sir

Thirty years of service ----USNA Class of 1987 '87 Sir

Thursday, August 25, 2016

So fans of Vince Flynn and his indomitable character, Mitch Rapp, were very saddened at his passage in 2013 from prostate cancer at only 47. However, we may rest assured that Mitch is in good hands with the next book in the series, The Survivor, by Kyle Mills. Now, I have never heard of this new author, but I can tell you, he is very good. I went back to re-read the previous book, The Last Man, Vince’s last novel before his untimely death, since I knew that The Survivor was a sequel of sorts, and I have to say I was very impressed at how smoothly one book flowed into the other. 

Mr. Mills has definitely got the characters, theme, and general attitude of Vince’s books down to the letter. I literally read this book in 2 days, consuming pages like Hillary Clinton consumes Saudi money through her foundation…in an endless stream. The plot and pacing are superb and I was actually getting nervous that this book was going to also leave me hanging…which it kinda does, but not in one of those DAMN, I have to wait another year ways. I have already noticed the next book by Mr. Mills is almost here, and have, of course, pre-ordered it from Amazon.

For fans of political or spy thrillers, if you have never read one of these books, you’re definitely missing out. Vince was one of my must read authors, along with Brad Thor and JD Robb (yea, what can I say I have eclectic tastes). Few books can actually make me INTENSELY dislike the villains and cheer for the heroes, but these books definitely can.

The entire series is really top notch. If you are looking for fast paced reads with excellent characters and plots, Vince Flynn…and now his estate I guess, will fulfill your need. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic..

So we are less than 90 days out to Election Day and Republicans are rearranging the deck chairs and fighting for life boat seats as they attempt to escape what many consider to be the sinking ship of the Trump campaign.

So in this blog post I am not going to debate polls, gaffes, or even the utter incredulity many Americans feel at having to choose between these two candidates.  As I tell my liberal debate partners, I am no Trump fan, but there is no way in hell I can vote for Hillary.  I suspect far too many Americans feel my pain, voting AGAINST, instead of for a candidate.

I can only say, as a life long Reagan Republican that my disappointment in my party runs deep and will take a long time to mend.  

Not that I will become an Independent, since I consider most of those knuckleheads just liberals too cowardly to just come out and say they are pseudo-Democrats....you know like Bernie Sanders is an INDEPENDENT...yea right....

And forget about Libertarians or Greens, when you build your politics around the right to smoke dope, you are pretty much dead to me.

SO what the hell is happening to my Republican Party?  Darn good question, and sadly, not one they are asking themselves.  




As Trump loves to point out, and I alluded to in my earlier blog post,  he absolutely DESTROYED a field of 16 candidates, many of them with excellent name recognition and huge war chests.  IT wasn't even a real contest...none of them, and there were some truly excellent candidates, came even close.  Now personally,  I would have loved to be campaigning for Scott Walker or Rick Perry, but they couldn't defeat a loud mouth, obnoxious political neophyte.  GOOD GRIEF, now I wonder how any of these men would have stood up to the Hillary juggernaut.

SO, the question remains, if Trump is SO horrible, how did he win?  

Well, quite simply, because the entire Republican party is dazed and confused after eight years of pummeling by the Obama Administration and it's allies in the journo-entertainment-cocktail party industrial complex, as I like to call it.

What do I mean by this?

Well for eight years, with one notable exception, Republicans have ceded not only the political field, but the entire political narrative to Barrack Obama and his minions.  

How have they done this you ask?

Well, first, they fell for the trap of not really criticizing Obama's foreign policy blunders, economic malaise or lawless behavior, both within the Administration and his own personal verbal assault on law and order in the form of our nation's police forces.  They feared being called racists and the cry of simply opposing him for being our first black President.

Here's a clue fellas---the media, Hollywood, Obama, and every single Democrat were going to call you racist and bigoted anyway...so grow a pair and criticize him just like every white male President has been criticized.  DUH.

BUT more than that, and being intellectually honest, with the sole exception of the Sequestration deal, the Republican leadership didn't really have any good alternatives to the Obama Agenda.


I said it...I have to admit sometimes I have a challenge discussing (okay arguing) politics with my liberal counterparts since the Republicans actually DID not put forth any bold legislative agendas.  Did they become the party of NO as their critics claimed.  Well, partly.  There were RIGHT to say no to most of Obama's agenda, but from a PR point, that clearly wasn't enough.  They had to have SOMETHING else to offer, and in this case...sorry John Boehner was just not a big thinker.  He accomplished the sequestration deal, which although it is having a long-term detrimental effect on our military readiness, at least kept Obama's excesses under control.  

WHICH is kinda funny when liberals run around patting themselves on the back about Obama's $1T deficit reduction...clearly Common Core Math, but nonetheless I think our Republican Congress might have had a LITTLE bit to do with it.  Obama's yearn for dictatorial powers never quite achieved the ability to control the country's credit card completely. 

But back to my point, love him or hate him, Newt Gingrich was a very effective Speaker of the House.  AND he had a vision, the Contract with America, which put Bill Clinton on the spot.  Although they didn't get everything, they at least had a roadmap, a plan, and talking points to rally the troops and talk to the country.  And they got a surprisingly large amount of their agenda passed.  Now we can be sure Obama would have wielded his veto pen like a 9 iron against anything the Republicans did, but then they could at least have a talking point about how OBAMA had no other plans...I mean think about it, what BOLD legislation has this Administration proposed since the train wreck of Obamacare?  NONE that I can remember...shoot, not even an immigration reform package...Obama just whipped out his dictator card and used an Executive Order.

The Republican Party needs a platform...an agenda...that can rally the troops, whether Trump wins or loses.  AND, here's the dirty secret...they need to be bold and different, and stop trying to be "Democrat-lite" politicians...how does the old joke go--"Hey, we're Republicans, we're not as bad as you think."

What do I mean by this...well, Republicans can never out Santa Claus the Democrats...anytime the Republicans try to use government to help some problems, the Democrats can always trump them (no pun intended)..examples...

Republicans- "We need intelligent immigration reform to help protect our borders and provide a path to citizenship."
Democrats- "IMMEDIATE AMNESTY!  And sign them up as Democratic voters!"    

Republicans- "We need to reform our student loan system to help ease the ability to pay them back."
Democrats- "FREE COLLEGE FOR EVERYONE!  And sign them up as Democratic voters!"

Republicans- "Welfare reform helps put people to work and improve their lives."
Democrats- "MORE FREE STUFF PAID FOR BY RICH PEOPLE!  And sign them up as Democractic voters!"  

Now I exaggerate a little bit....but not much... Democrats have an instinctive, permanent ability  to propose government as the cure for all of society's ills, as long as they are in charge and can tax the crap out of everything...and the money doesn't run out.

NOW, conservatives know better...people need to learn to take care of themselves with as LITTLE government help as possible...not NO government help, but minimal government help.  WHY?  Because anytime you take help from the government, you cede control to the government.

REAL Republicans need to get better at articulating this...what the government gives you, it can take away, and a whole lot more.   

Maybe the current Republican leadership will get their act together and come up with a 21st century version of the Contract with America to deal with things like REAL Health Care Reform when Obamacare collapses, real immigration reform, real counter-terrorism and homeland security, and a REAL economic program that goes beyond the mantra of "Free Trade" to rebuild our industrial capacity and make America a real economic engine again.

I hope so...we'll see.