Monday, September 19, 2016

The scene: Oregon fans flock to Lincoln ... and feel the love

By Clark Grell, Lincoln Nebraska Journal Star

There's something neat about mingling with the opposing fans when they come to Lincoln. I always like hearing their stories

For example, Jim Wickre of Medford, Oregon, was here on an all expenses-paid trip, thanks to son John and daughter Jennifer. it was a gift for his 70th birthday.

So the tree were decked out in Oregon gear and taking in the sights of Memorial Stadium before kickoff Saturday. John, 35 (actually 33) came in from Kentucky and Jennifer, 33 (actually 35) from Washington, D.C.

The tree love going to Oregon Road games.

"We've been to a lot of road games," Jennifer said "This is the nicest fans we've ever seen."

Nebraska fans have heard that before, but the Wickres can't stress it enough. "Everyone comes up to you sand says "Welcome to Nebraska" and "Have a good game tomorrow," Jim said

The Oregon fans were fun. They're a passionate bunch (and they're kinda hard to miss when they don the bright-green and yellow).

Thursday, May 19, 2016

This is how fascism comes to America

Robert Kagan is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a contributing columnist for The Post.

"The Republican Party’s attempt to treat Donald Trump as a normal political candidate would be laughable were it not so perilous to the republic. If only he would mouth the party’s “conservative” principles, all would be well.
But of course the entire Trump phenomenon has nothing to do with policy or ideology. It has nothing to do with the Republican Party, either, except in its historic role as incubator of this singular threat to our democracy. Trump has transcended the party that produced him. His growing army of supporters no longer cares about the party. Because it did not immediately and fully embrace Trump, because a dwindling number of its political and intellectual leaders still resist him, the party is regarded with suspicion and even hostility by his followers. Their allegiance is to him and him alone.
And the source of allegiance? We’re supposed to believe that Trump’s support stems from economic stagnation or dislocation. Maybe some of it does. But what Trump offers his followers are not economic remedies — his proposals change daily. What he offers is an attitude, an aura of crude strength and machismo, a boasting disrespect for the niceties of the democratic culture that he claims, and his followers believe, has produced national weakness and incompetence. His incoherent and contradictory utterances have one thing in common: They provoke and play on feelings of resentment and disdain, intermingled with bits of fear, hatred and anger. His public discourse consists of attacking or ridiculing a wide range of “others” — Muslims, Hispanics, women, Chinese, Mexicans, Europeans, Arabs, immigrants, refugees — whom he depicts either as threats or as objects of derision. His program, such as it is, consists chiefly of promises to get tough with foreigners and people of nonwhite complexion. He will deport them, bar them, get them to knuckle under, make them pay up or make them shut up.

That this tough-guy, get-mad-and-get-even approach has gained him an increasingly large and enthusiastic following has probably surprised Trump as much as it has everyone else. Trump himself is simply and quite literally an egomaniac. But the phenomenon he has created and now leads has become something larger than him, and something far more dangerous.
Republican politicians marvel at how he has “tapped into” a hitherto unknown swath of the voting public. But what he has tapped into is what the founders most feared when they established the democratic republic: the popular passions unleashed, the “mobocracy.” Conservatives have been warning for decades about government suffocating liberty. But here is the other threat to liberty that Alexis de Tocqueville and the ancient philosophers warned about: that the people in a democracy, excited, angry and unconstrained, might run roughshod over even the institutions created to preserve their freedoms. As Alexander Hamilton watched the French Revolution unfold, he feared in America what he saw play out in France — that the unleashing of popular passions would lead not to greater democracy but to the arrival of a tyrant, riding to power on the shoulders of the people.
This phenomenon has arisen in other democratic and quasi-democratic countries over the past century, and it has generally been called “fascism.” Fascist movements, too, had no coherent ideology, no clear set of prescriptions for what ailed society. “National socialism” was a bundle of contradictions, united chiefly by what, and who, it opposed; fascism in Italy was anti-liberal, anti-democratic, anti-Marxist, anti-capitalist and anti-clerical. Successful fascism was not about policies but about the strongman, the leader (Il Duce, Der Fuhrer), in whom could be entrusted the fate of the nation. Whatever the problem, he could fix it. Whatever the threat, internal or external, he could vanquish it, and it was unnecessary for him to explain how. Today, there is Putinism, which also has nothing to do with belief or policy but is about the tough man who singlehandedly defends his people against all threats, foreign and domestic.
To understand how such movements take over a democracy, one only has to watch the Republican Party today. These movements play on all the fears, vanities, ambitions and insecurities that make up the human psyche. In democracies, at least for politicians, the only thing that matters is what the voters say they want — vox populi vox dei. A mass political movement is thus a powerful and, to those who would oppose it, frightening weapon. When controlled and directed by a single leader, it can be aimed at whomever the leader chooses. If someone criticizes or opposes the leader, it doesn’t matter how popular or admired that person has been. He might be a famous war hero, but if the leader derides and ridicules his heroism, the followers laugh and jeer. He might be the highest-ranking elected guardian of the party’s most cherished principles. But if he hesitates to support the leader, he faces political death.

In such an environment, every political figure confronts a stark choice: Get right with the leader and his mass following or get run over. The human race in such circumstances breaks down into predictable categories — and democratic politicians are the most predictable. There are those whose ambition leads them to jump on the bandwagon. They praise the leader’s incoherent speeches as the beginning of wisdom, hoping he will reward them with a plum post in the new order. There are those who merely hope to survive. Their consciences won’t let them curry favor so shamelessly, so they mumble their pledges of support, like the victims in Stalin’s show trials, perhaps not realizing that the leader and his followers will get them in the end anyway.
A great number will simply kid themselves, refusing to admit that something very different from the usual politics is afoot. Let the storm pass, they insist, and then we can pick up the pieces, rebuild and get back to normal. Meanwhile, don’t alienate the leader’s mass following. After all, they are voters and will need to brought back into the fold. As for Trump himself, let’s shape him, advise him, steer him in the right direction and, not incidentally, save our political skins.
What these people do not or will not see is that, once in power, Trump will owe them and their party nothing. He will have ridden to power despite the party, catapulted into the White House by a mass following devoted only to him. By then that following will have grown dramatically. Today, less than 5 percent of eligible voters have voted for Trump. But if he wins the election, his legions will comprise a majority of the nation. Imagine the power he would wield then. In addition to all that comes from being the leader of a mass following, he would also have the immense powers of the American presidency at his command: the Justice Department, the FBI, the intelligence services, the military. Who would dare to oppose him then? Certainly not a Republican Party that laid down before him even when he was comparatively weak. And is a man like Trump, with infinitely greater power in his hands, likely to become more humble, more judicious, more generous, less vengeful than he is today, than he has been his whole life? Does vast power un-corrupt?
This is how fascism comes to America, not with jackboots and salutes (although there have been salutes, and a whiff of violence) but with a television huckster, a phony billionaire, a textbook egomaniac “tapping into” popular resentments and insecurities, and with an entire national political party — out of ambition or blind party loyalty, or simply out of fear — falling into line behind him."

mp reads snake poem to discuss immigration, terrorism

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump read a poem about a snake at a rally in Ohio to discuss immigration and terrorism. (Reuters) That this tough-guy, get-mad-and-get-even approach has gained him an increasingly large and enthusiastic following has probably surprised Trump as much as it has everyone else. Trump himself is simply and quite literally an egomaniac. But the phenomenomething larger than him, and something far more dange

Sunday, May 01, 2016

NEVER Trump!

Donald Trump is a cancer on the Conservative movement and the Republican Party that must be removed ! George Will in his column said it best today:

Donald Trump’s damage to the Republican Party, although already extensive, has barely begun. Republican quislings will multiply, slinking into support of the most anti-conservative presidential aspirant in their party’s history. These collaborationists will render themselves ineligible to participate in the party’s reconstruction.

Were he to be nominated, conservatives would have two tasks. One is to help him lose 50 states -- condign punishment for his comprehensive disdain for conservative essentials, including the manners and grace that should lubricate the nation’s civic life. Second, conservatives can try to save from the anti-Trump undertow a saving remnant of senators, representatives, governors and state legislators.

Friday, March 04, 2016

# Never Trump!

I have been a Republican since I worked for Richard Nixon in 1960. As a kid I had a poster of Nixon on my bedroom door from 1960 through 1962. In 1963 I read Barry Goldwater's book  "Conscience of a Conservative" and became a Conservative Republican with emphasis on the Conservative. I used my allowance to send away for Goldwater bumper stickers and worked in the Draft Goldwater movement. I joined Bill Buckley's Young Americans for Freedom  and helped form a chapter in my home town of Coos Bay/North Bend, Oregon ("The Thomas Jefferson Chapter" to be exact). I joined the YAF chapter at the University of Oregon in 1967 and became its President in 1968. I campaigned for Reagan in 1968, 1976,1980 and 1984. I voted in the General Election for Nixon in 1968 but refused to vote for him in 1972 because of his imposition of wage and price controls, his trip to Red China and his refusal to level with us on Watergate. I have voted for every Republican nominee since, even when I had to hold my nose. From the time I was an college undergrad through today I have always had a poster or picture of William F. Buckley hanging in my dorm, apartment or each of the homes I have owned. I am and will always be a Conservative.

 I pledge on everything I hold dear including my honor that I will NEVER vote for Donald Trump!!! The man has the emotional level of a 4 year old and the personality of a tyrant! The man is crude, a show off, a con artist and the worst of all a cruel bully.

He is not interested in policy issues and has no philosophy or core values other than self aggrandizement.

But, what about Hillary! No one is more angry about the last 7 years of Obama. Just read deep into this blog to see my opposition and despair to Obama and Hillary on so many issues. She needs to be indicted and sent to prison for her criminal negligence for the secret documents on her  private email server. She and Bill through their foundation are a classic examples of crony capitalism. Her actions or should I say inactions at Benghazi have made her disqualified to be President!  The cover-up afterword's is even worse. Too bad there aren't people of conscience in the Democrat party who will speak out on these issues that should cut against the grain of liberalism.

Ben Shapiro a young attorney and Conservative writer and activist makes a compelling argument for my decision:

The counterargument to the #NeverTrump movement comes down to two words: Hillary Clinton. Trump will supposedly close the borders (a lie); Hillary will not. Trump will appoint conservative Supreme Court justices (unlikely); Hillary will not. No matter how bad Trump is, the argument goes, conservatives have a duty to back the anti-Hillary.
I think Trump will get blown out in a general election. But let’s assume that these critics of #NeverTrump are right. Let’s assume that but for we #NeverTrump voters sitting out the election, Trump would become president, and Hillary would go down in flaming defeat. And let’s assume that Hillary Clinton will appoint terrible justices, destroy the military, and usher in the apocalypse. Why in the world would conservatives live with President Hillary Clinton on their consciences?
Because first, it’s not on our consciences. It’s on the consciences of the people who went along with this nomination. We did not select Trump. We will not vote for him.
And if we are going to save the country, it will not rest on one or two justices on the Supreme Court. It will rest on the will of the people to resist tyranny. That will start at the state and local level. It will start with the people.
It will start with conservatives willing to say “no.”
Because if we never say “no,” we will never have the opportunity to say “yes.”
We must have a conservative party. The Republican Party is not that party, and has not been for a very long time. The Obama administration has brought about a unique moment – a transformational choice for the Party. Will they abandon all conservative principle in pursuit of victory, or will they turn back to the conservatism they supposedly espouse? This entire election cycle, the answer has been the former. In fact, for virtually my entire life, the answer has been the former. Establishment Republicans abandoned Reaganism for Bushism, and then abandoned Bushism for McCainism, and then abandoned McCainism for Romneyism. Until the last five minutes, they were ready to embrace Trump himself rather getting behind Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX). Now they call for conservatives to swallow hard and unify behind a man who opposes all conservative principles – to save conservatism!
In every election cycle, the establishment insists that we unify behind a candidate who does not reflect conservatism because elections are always a choice between the two worst options. They blackmail conservatives into supporting candidates who undermine the message and morality of our mission. Now Trump does the same. The establishment created the Donald Trump phenomenon with their “best of two bad options” logic, and now Trump is using that logic to destroy conservatism openly. The establishment doesn’t object to Trumpism. They only object to Trump. Strip the drunken boor antics from Trump, and you’ve got John McCain who will lie transparently to pander to the populist wing.
We don’t have to be complicit. As Ben Domenech is fond of citing, Alexander Hamilton once wrote, “If we must have an enemy at the head of government, let it be one whom we can oppose, and for whom we are not responsible.” Let us not be our own enemies.
Now is the time to say no.

I only disagree with Shapiro  on Ted Cruz who would be my second choice, my first being Marco Rubio, who I believe is just as Conservative and more electable.

In the end, long after this election, I want to be remembered for the stand I took against the forces of authoritarianism, fascism and bigotry who were on the march in my own Republican Party. I must do this to keep faith with Lincoln, Goldwater, Reagan, Jack Kemp and Bill Buckley.


Monday, February 29, 2016

Republican Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse on why he can't support Donald Trump! A true Patriot!

To my friends supporting Donald Trump:
The Trump coalition is broad and complicated, but I believe many Trump fans are well-meaning. I have spoken at length with many of you, both inside and outside Nebraska. You are rightly worried about our national direction. You ache about a crony-capitalist leadership class that is not urgent about tackling our crises. You are right to be angry.
I’m as frustrated and saddened as you are about what’s happening to our country. But I cannot support Donald Trump.
Please understand: I’m not an establishment Republican, and I will never support Hillary Clinton. I’m a movement conservative who was elected over the objections of the GOP establishment. My current answer for who I would support in a hypothetical matchup between Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton is: Neither of them. I sincerely hope we select one of the other GOP candidates, but if Donald Trump ends up as the GOP nominee, conservatives will need to find a third option.
Mr. Trump’s relentless focus is on dividing Americans, and on tearing down rather than building back up this glorious nation. Much like President Obama, he displays essentially no understanding of the fact that, in the American system, we have a constitutional system of checks and balances, with three separate but co-equal branches of government. And the task of public officials is to be public “servants.” The law is king, and the people are boss. But have you noticed how Mr. Trump uses the word “Reign” – like he thinks he’s running for King? It’s creepy, actually. Nebraskans are not looking for a king. We yearn instead for the recovery of a Constitutional Republic.
At this point in Nebraska discussions, many of you have immediately gotten practical: “Okay, fine, you think there are better choices than Trump. But you would certainly still vote for Trump over Clinton in a general election, right?”
Before I explain why my answer is “Neither of them,” let me correct some nonsense you might have heard on the internet of late.
***No, I’m not a career politician. (I had never run for anything until being elected to the U.S. Senate fifteen months ago, and I ran precisely because I actually want to make America great again.)
***No, I’m not a lawyer who has never created a job. (I was a business guy before becoming a college president in my hometown.)
***No, I’m not part of the Establishment. (Sheesh, I had attack ads by the lobbyist class run against me while I was on a bus tour doing 16 months of townhalls across Nebraska. Why? Precisely because I was not the preferred candidate of Washington.)
***No, I’m not concerned about political job security. (The very first thing I did upon being sworn in in January 2015 was to introduce a constitutional amendment for term limits – this didn’t exactly endear me to my new colleagues.)
***No, I’m not for open borders. (The very first official trip I took in the Senate was to observe and condemn how laughably porous the Texas/Mexican border is. See 70 tweets from @bensasse in February 2015.)
***No, I’m not a “squishy,” feel-good, grow-government moderate. (I have the 4th most-conservative voting record in the Senate: )
In my very first speech to the Senate, I told my colleagues that “The people despise us all.” This institution needs to get to work, not on the lobbyists’ priorities, but on the people’s:
Now, to the question at hand: Will I pledge to vote for just any “Republican” nominee over Hillary Clinton?
Let’s begin by rejecting naïve purists: Politics has no angels. Politics is not about creating heaven on earth. Politics is simply about preserving a framework for ordered liberty – so that free people can find meaning and happiness not in politics but in their families, their neighborhoods, their work.
Now, let’s talk about political parties: parties are just tools to enact the things that we believe. Political parties are not families; they are not religions; they are not nations – they are often not even on the level of sports loyalties. They are just tools. I was not born Republican. I chose this party, for as long as it is useful.
If our Party is no longer working for the things we believe in – like defending the sanctity of life, stopping ObamaCare, protecting the Second Amendment, etc. – then people of good conscience should stop supporting that party until it is reformed.
Now, let’s talk about voting: Voting is usually just about choosing the lesser evil of the most viable candidates.
“Usually…” But not always. Certain moments are larger. They cause us to explicitly ask: Who are we as a people? What does the way we vote here say about our shared identity? What is actually the president’s job?
The president’s job is not about just mindlessly shouting the word “strong” – as if Vladimir Putin, who has been strongly bombing civilian populations in Syria the last month, is somehow a model for the American presidency. No, the president’s core calling is to “Preserve, Protect, and Defend the Constitution.”
Before we ever get into any technical policy fights – about pipelines, or marginal tax rates, or term limits, or Medicare reimbursement codes – America is first and fundamentally about a shared Constitutional creed. America is exceptional, because she is at her heart a big, bold truth claim about human dignity, natural rights, and self-control – and therefore necessarily about limited rather than limitless government.
America is the most exceptional nation in the history of the world because our Constitution is the best political document that’s ever been written. It said something different than almost any other government had said before: Most governments before said that might makes right, that government decides what our rights are and that the people are just dependent subjects. Our Founders said that God gives us rights by nature, and that government is not the author or source of our rights. Government is just our shared project to secure those rights.
Government exists only because the world is fallen, and some people want to take your property, your liberty, and your life. Government is tasked with securing a framework for ordered liberty where “we the people” can in our communities voluntarily build something great together for our kids and grandkids. That’s America. Freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of association, freedom of speech – the First Amendment is the heartbeat of the American Constitution, of the American idea itself.
So let me ask you: Do you believe the beating heart of Mr. Trump’s candidacy has been a defense of the Constitution? Do you believe it’s been an impassioned defense of the First Amendment – or an attack on it?
Which of the following quotes give you great comfort that he’s in love with the First Amendment, that he is committed to defending the Constitution, that he believes in executive restraint, that he understands servant leadership?
Statements from Trump:
***“We’re going to open up libel laws and we’re going to have people sue you like you’ve never got sued before.”
***“When the students poured into Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government almost blew it. They were vicious, they were horrible, but they put it down with strength. That shows you the power of strength. Our country is right now perceived as weak…”
***Putin, who has killed journalists and is pillaging Ukraine, is a great leader.
***The editor of National Review “should not be allowed on TV and the FCC should fine him.”
***On whether he will use executive orders to end-run Congress, as President Obama has illegally done: "I won't refuse it. I'm going to do a lot of things." “I mean, he’s led the way, to be honest with you.”
***“Sixty-eight percent would not leave under any circumstance. I think that means murder. It think it means anything.”
***On the internet: “I would certainly be open to closing areas” of it.
***His lawyers to people selling anti-Trump t-shirts: “Mr. Trump considers this to be a very serious matter and has authorized our legal team to take all necessary and appropriate actions to bring an immediate halt...”
***Similar threatening legal letters to competing campaigns running ads about his record.
And on it goes…
Given what we know about him today, here’s where I’m at: If Donald Trump becomes the Republican nominee, my expectation is that I will look for some third candidate – a conservative option, a Constitutionalist.
I do not claim to speak for a movement, but I suspect I am far from alone. After listening to Nebraskans in recent weeks, and talking to a great many people who take oaths seriously, I think many are in the same place. I believe a sizable share of Christians – who regard threats against religious liberty as arguably the greatest crisis of our time – are unwilling to support any candidate who does not make a full-throated defense of the First Amendment a first commitment of their candidacy.
Conservatives understand that all men are created equal and made in the image of God, but also that government must be limited so that fallen men do not wield too much power. A presidential candidate who boasts about what he'll do during his "reign" and refuses to condemn the KKK cannot lead a conservative movement in America.
Thank you for listening. While I recognize that we disagree about how to make America great again, we agree that this should be our goal. We need more people engaged in the civic life of our country—not fewer. I genuinely appreciate how much many of you care about this country, and that you are demanding something different from Washington. I’m going to keep doing the same thing.
But I can’t support Donald Trump.
Ben Sasse

Monday, February 22, 2016

I will NEVER vote for Donald Trump!

Resistance to Trump is a test of character & integrity. Where you stood will be remembered long after this election.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

National Review: "Against Trump"

I have been a conservative and reader of National Review since the draft Goldwater days of 1963. Never been more proud of the "Flag Ship" of the Conservative movement! Trump is a dangerous man.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing". Edmund Burke

Against Trump      
By The Editors — January 21, 2016

Monday, January 18, 2016

Movie Review: "13 Hours"

Ever since I was a kid I have been drawn to movie  about men who stand and fight against overwhelming odds hoping for reinforcements that never come. These man are always given a way out with all sorts of intellectual reasons why they should not make a stand but chose to stand and fight with their buddies for the cause of freedom!

In 1955 it was Fess Parker at the Alamo in Disney's "Davy Crockett"!

In 1960 it was "The Alamo" again, only this time with John Wayne.

In 2001 it was "Black Hawk Down" about Americans fighting war lords in Mogadishu Sudan.

In 2016 we now have "13 Hours."

All the movies were based upon real events! The two Alamos as well as one done in 2004, with Billy Bob Thornton as Crockett, are about men who are left without help because Sam Houston had none to send but they "buy time" for Houston to build a Texan army. "Black Hawk Down" and "13 Hours" are about Americans who are deserted because U.S. civilian leadership find intellectual reasons why it would be unwise to commit additional forces. After "Black Hawk Down" Bill Clinton at  least had the decency to replace his Secretary of Defense. After the events of "13 Hours"Barak Obama, his Secretary of State and his current National Security Advisor all  chose to lie to the American public for political expediency. In fact, Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton lied to the families of the 4 Americans killed at Bengasi over their caskets when they arrived back in the U.S. at a short ceremony.   The lie is that they died because of a video rather than a lack of security in a terrorist attack.

"13 Hours" is told from the point of view of retired military special forces personal who have been hired as civilians to provide security at a secret CIA base in Bengasi, Libya. The move is very well done and is a running battle of 13 hours telescoped into a 2hr 24min movie. The move is based upon a book by one of the surviving security personal. The movie is powerful showing the attack and the difficulty the "soldiers" had in dealing with the CIA bureaucrats. The movie draws you in emotionally with both tears and anger. You are glued to the screen! I left the theater angry. The acting and production values are high quality... very much like "Black Hawk Down".  I will get it on Blu-
ray as soon as it is released.

The morning after the battle our President flew to Las Vegas for a fund raising event and even before the battle was over our Secretary of State went to bed!!!!! YES, I am angry!!!!

On a positive note, it is affirming that America is still able to produce men who are willing to run to the sound of gunfire when duty calls!