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The most important races of 2018: Part 1

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The most important races of 2018 Part 1

I don’t normally do article series, but this time I must. I break this up not because of volume but instead because of metrics this because there are different measurements of importance that would yield different results. Both measurements have long term potential but for different reasons. The first one is the more immediate importance, and this focuses on personnel.

Primaries have the chance to nominate ideological champions over “practical” politicians. Nominating the next Rand Paul or Ted Cruz would be a major impact on the Senate, Congress or Governorship for perhaps decades to come, and also a major impact on the state and country. Therefore, much of the races mentioned in this session will focus on the primaries for their higher emphasis on the individuals running as opposed to which party holds or doesn’t hold the seat. This measure of importance brings more Senate seats while the second is more focused on states.

This isn’t about races that are hotly contested, rather it’s about races with a good chance to send a very strong candidate that will shake things up in some way shape for the state or nation as a whole.

US Senate – Missouri

Claire McCaskill won her seat in 2012 against a self imploding candidate. Now she’s in trouble in a high stakes Senate race. Her potential challengers are numerous. A lot of personalities are hedging their bets. Steve Bannon’s horse is State Attorney General, Josh Hawley. Hawley resembles Ted Cruz, in that they both were on the winning sides of a major SCOTUS decision. For Hawley, it was Hobby Lobby. Hawley won the Attorney General seat in 2016 and is already seeking election into a higher, easier, office. Perhaps that’s a character flaw, or perhaps a sign of great ambition. The biggest conservative objection on paper is his over-admiration of Teddy Roosevelt. He is a strong candidate; the only thing holding him back is Bannon.

Then there’s former Libertarian challenger to Gary Johnson, Austin Petersen, a darling of conservative Twitter. Petersen is a pro-life Libertarian who wanted to rebrand the party in the same way, Rand Paul wants to rebrand Republicans. Wanting the best chance at making an impact, he switched parties to run for Senate. Petersen is a disciple of Ayn Rand, and with that comes atheism. Petersen is a grassroots candidate to watch out for.

Other candidates, I wouldn’t suggest are as strong as these two. But also keep an eye on conservative prodigy, Courtland Sykes. Courtland Sykes appears to have conservatism and also a solid military background. The other likable campaign touch is his two term pledge. We’ll see if he has the drive and skill to campaign in a crowded field.

Missouri presents a chance to put a really good conservative in the Senate, something there is a massive shortage of.

US Senate – Wyoming

John Barrasso finds himself facing reelection. Barrasso is a conservative on matters of guns, but is hardly frugal in countering the deficit. Expect a challenger or two… Erik Prince is considering the run. He would be Bannon backed for his informal ties to the Trump administration transition team. Prince very wealthy and could pose a threat if money won races. Then there’s Foster Friess. Friess is a Christian who so happens to be a highly skilled investment manager. The Trump administration decision to betray the Iraqi-Kurds nudged him into teasing a Senate run. Freiss seems like an ideal candidate for conservatives in Wyoming should he decide to run. But odds are, one of these rich guys throws their hat in to upset the incumbent.

US Senate – Arizona

Arizona has sent some terrible senators to DC. Several attempts to primary John McCain turned fruitless. However, anti-establishment now need not campaign against an incumbent seeing as Jeff Flake would rather not seek reelection than lose. This leaves a hotly contested field. Kelli Ward is first to stand out. She lost to McCain but had her sights set on building her base for another try. Ward stands as the current frontrunner in a Flakeless primary.

Another possible name is Martha McSally. Big government republicans are seeking replace Jeff Flake with McSally. McSally is no ally of Trump and resides in swing district that could have her returning to the private sector come 2019 anyway. So a Senate run may the best way to avoid losing should Democrats mount a sizable attack for her seat, which they should.

Another GOP candidate is the extremely young looking Craig Britain is running on an ambitious “Taxation is theft”, end the Fed platform. Then there’s Nicholas Tutora a health care (repeal and replace) focused candidate.

The Democrats will look to compete in this race. Kyrsten Sinema is a more centrist democrat who is in favor of Kate’s Law but not withholding funding for sanctuary cities as the representative from D-9. Expect a more hardline liberal to challenge her. This race may not provide an ideal conservative or liberal but to Republicans, it is more about retaining the seat with an Arizona Senator who won’t be an obstacle.

US Senate – Texas

Ted Cruz doesn’t seem like he has all that much competition but nonetheless keeping him in the Senate is vital to conservatives. Losing him would spell death for conservatism. That being said, expect democrats to throw another Wendy Davis into this fight, not someone who can win, but someone who can diametrically oppose Ted Cruz.

US House – Paul Ryan’s seat

This 1st District of Wisconsin is safely Republican, for now. Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan faces general unpopularity and a big name primary challenger Paul Nehlen. Nehlen lost embarrassingly last time and is looking to try again, much like Kelly Ward, though not as bad. Nehlen is a hardcore Trump MAGA spout who has reportedly gone off the Alt-Right deepend even for Breitbart folks. The Paul alternative is Nick Polce. Polce is running on opposing career politicians, which Paul Ryan certainly has become as opposed to a hardlined MAGA approach. This more grassroots approach could make this primary quite interesting.

Governor of California

This race seems solidly in the hands of liberals as its gearing to be a competitive primary between union favorite, Lt. Gov Gavin Newsome, and former LA mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Unless Peter Thiel runs or a Roy Moore sized scandal erupts conveniently before the election, one of these two is the likely next governor. This race is important because of California’s continued sprint into liberalism. Although perhaps this the years of Jerry Brown will make a republican candidate a viable option much like how Larry Hogan became Governor of liberal Maryland. It’s hard for people to knowingly vote for higher taxes. And with Trump tax cuts, an anti-tax Republican may find themselves in a more formidable position.

US Senate – Maine

This seat was won by independent candidate, Angus King, in 2012. The state of Maine politics is currently in a heated partisan gridlock. 2018 is a big year for Maine, and the Senate race could very well be wide open. Angus King won in 2012 with a majority vote likely due to his history as Governor. King may seek to straddle the partisan fence, but it won’t be as easy now that he has a Senate record of voting staunchly liberal. It would be strategic for Democrats to let their ally go uncontested but it seems a further left candidate could divide liberal voters. Zak Ringelstein, is pro medicare for all which is a further sign of the left moving left.

This opens the door for GOP candidate Erick Brakey. Brakey is a State Senator with a solid conservative record and is also a libertarian turned Republican. Brakey would be a solid conservative Senator for Maine to make up for the RINO Susan Collins. This race is early and has the capability of a three way split that favors Brakey the most since King can’t really run on a bipartisan record that appeals to Republicans.

US House – Illinois

Generally speaking, Senate races are almost always more important than House races. However, this Democratic seat looks like it could be upended by a leftist candidate. Rep. Dan Lipinski of Ill-03 is regarded as one of the most conservative Democrats in Congress. He faces a challenger whose pro-abortion and far more anti-Trump. Marrie Newman is a fearsome primary challenger getting loads of support including Daily KosYou don’t often hear about Democrats being primaried for being too moderate or conservative. The ideological splits in the Democrats are sure to increase as they veer towards socialism. This primary looks to be the first battle in a potential intra-party war.

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Culture and Religion

Remember what’s important in life

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We all deserve forgiveness, the benefit of the doubt, and need to be reminded of what really matters from time to time. When you encounter someone who does something rude or mean or bad, avoid labeling them as a rude or bad person. Instead, give them the benefit of the doubt that they were just having a bad day/week/year and they are in a place where they have forgotten about what really matters in this life.

That it’s not about wealth and acquiring stuff. It’s about relationships and how we spend our time together. It’s about lifting each other up.

Have you ever gotten into that rut, where you have been hyper-focused on your job, or your hobby, or self-improvement? You were doing really well! You’ve gotten ahead, acquired a lot of great, new things; you make more money now, and you’ve gotten really good at whatever it is you were working on.

But then… You watch a show, a movie, maybe hear a song or a sermon, or read a story about humanity and how short this life is; About how we treat each other when we are trying to acquire too much… and it’s never enough; it’s never big enough; it never satisfies us.

But when you get that message again from that show… You recognize it, and you wake up. You stand up in the room, and you look around, and you see that all over the room everyone else still has their heads down. And very few are standing with you. But you see it now, and you say to yourself, “Why was I so focused on that? That doesn’t matter! My kids are growing up! My parents are aging, my grandparents dying. And I’ve been missing all of it… For what? For a house that’s 1000 sq. feet bigger? For a car that can drive a little faster?”

We all get sidetracked and stuck on this misleading path. That’s why we need to give each other the benefit of the doubt. Try not to label people as “bad guy” just because they did something once or twice, and recognize that people deserve forgiveness, and just need to be woken up again.

Remind them. Remind me when I forget. Please. It’s about Love. Family. Friends. Relationships.

Sell everything you own if it’s blinding you. Buy experiences instead- Experiences that you can share with one another. Hug. Laugh. Cry. Touch. Share. And remember. Remember what it’s all about.

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Culture and Religion

A Memo to the Liberty Grabbers of the Left from the Pro-Liberty Right.

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Hat Tip: Nazis Are Socialists (Meso)

A dose of reality for you Leftists opposing freedom on behalf of the gun owners of America.

Seeing that we gun owners been your rhetorical punching bag for several weeks, there are a few things we would like to point out to you folks opposed to the most essential of Liberties. You’ve spent all manner of airtime talking down to us, dictating what we ‘need’ with regard to our basic human rights. So now it is time for you to listen to a couple of brutal truths in the matter. These aren’t going to be ‘politically correct’, by any means, but such is usually not the case with cold hard reality.

From your ever so self laudatory language, you Liberty grabbers on the Left like to think of yourselves as noble warriors, out there ‘changing the world’ for the ‘Common good’ [Gemeinnutz in the German vernacular]. Fighting for Socialister. Social ‘Justice’ and all manner of flowery folderol [Cue mournful violin music]. Yes, you think of yourselves as ‘sacrificing’ for the ‘the children*’ no matter what that entails. Whether it’s all manner of fame on Youtube or Facebook, to endless praise from your echo chamber, there are no limits as to your willingness to signal your virtue to everyone.
*Unborn children excluded

Well, sorry to break it to you, but in the words of the Marchers: “We call BS!”

The fact is there is nothing more selfish than demanding that others be deprived of their ‘essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety’ for yourselves. You want others to sacrifice their freedom for some mythical gains in your perceived security. It would be one thing for you to give up your Liberty, but that isn’t the case is it? You are marching to demand that the basic human rights of others be stripped from them, that is self-centred in the extreme.

“Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves” ― Abraham Lincoln

Empathy is a very important human quality, so perhaps you should consider giving up some of your essential liberties to understand what is at stake for those of us on the Pro-Liberty side of the aisle. Maybe you should demand that you be stripped of your First amendment rights? Or perhaps Liberty Grabbers groups should be licensed before they can demand that others be deprived of their rights?

Oh, what’s that you say? You have a Constitutional right to free-speech or freedom of the press? That those rights ‘Shall not be infringed’? [to coin a phrase] Or that the slightest amount will lead to a slippery slope towards the loss of them all. Welcome to our world, where every time a Leftist lunatic decides to go on a mass murder spree, our Constitutional rights are suddenly on the chopping block. With it just being a question of how much of those rights we’re going to lose – if not everything.

Can we dictate what you ‘need’ in exercising your Rights?

Can we demand that you justify the keeping of your liberties? Can we arbitrarily decree that certain modes of speech are ‘Militaristic’ in style? Do you really ‘need’ to appear on the Tele 30 times a day? Do you really need a ‘high capacity’ smart phone? Do you really need to fire off 5 tweets in a minute just to kill off a basic human right?

Hypocrisy on parade: Liberty Grabbers have guns to protect themselves while denying that right to others.

Please note that the people in the Liberty Grabber movement you idolize are also complete hypocrites in that while they work tirelessly to take away our property and our Liberty, they are safe and secure surrounded by ARMED security. Yes, think about it, the people who rail against guns have no problem being protected by them. Were they to be true to their words, they would disarm their security details. If Citibank and Bank of America didn’t care to be hypocrites they would dismiss their armed security and announce it to the world. Oh, they have to deal with threats? So do the rest of us – and yet they want to make everyone else vulnerable to those threats while they stay safe and secure.

Here’s a hard dose of reality for you: We gun owners protect everyone, even you Liberty Grabbers.

The truth is that while you uselessly virtue signal your inestimable magnanimity, it is those of us on the Pro-liberty side who work to keep you people safe. This may come as a shock, but if you live in one of the states or localities that value Liberty, you are around concealed weapons every time you go out in public. Yes, you might find this to be too scary to think about, but every day you are protected by the deterrence effect of ordinary folks just like you [aside from their cherishing freedom that is] carrying around *Gasp* Firearms hidden from view.

Consequently, you don’t know who might be carrying a gun…. and neither do the criminals. Thus the value of an armed citizenry. They don’t know who may have the means to defend themselves, so they don’t know who to victimize, therefore everyone is protected.

The exception being The “Gun-Free” zone, that vestige of the Utopian fantasy world of the Left. Most mass shootings take place where the innocent are denied their basic human Liberty of self-defence. So what does that mean for you Leftists of the so-called “Party of Science”? It means that your absurd idea that a sign will stop a mass murder results in dead children. That is what you want everywhere, how does that even reach the threshold of rationality?

If you aren’t going to thank us for keeping you safe, could you at least leave us alone?

So why is all of this important? Because the people you have demonisd for weeks are the ones keeping you safe. Those you label as terrorist, splattered in blood are the people providing for your security. How is that for irony?

  • We’re the ones who take the time endure the draconian hurdles put in the way of our basic human rights.
  • We’re the ones who take the time to select the proper firearm and holster to carry concealed out in public.
  • We’re the ones who practice with our weapons in case an emergency arises.
  • We’re the ones who carry a cellphone and extra magazines for that potential emergency.
  • And We’re the ones who will most likely have to deal myriad legal problem and legal fees for merely protecting ourselves, our families and even you people should it be necessary.

Now, we don’t expect you people to grateful for this protection you are afforded. Goodness knows you wouldn’t lower yourself to talk to those of us on the Pro-liberty side. But could you at least acknowledge the effort and perhaps stop obsessing over taking away our Liberty that keeps you safe?

 

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Foreign Affairs

Trump went full Globalist First with Syria strikes

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President Trump should redirect aid to Guatemala from nations who voted against the Jerusalem move

Too often we find ourselves in emotive cycles. For instance, mass shootings are used by the anti-gun crowd as a means to motivate a legislative attack on our Second Amendment. Likewise, chemical weapon incidences in Syria are similarly used to create an emotionally based reason to use military action. We are quick to assume that the Assad regime was responsible for the previous high profile uses of chemical weapons in the Syrian Civil War. This started under the Obama administration with his famous “Red Line” blunder in which he declared any use of chemical warfare unacceptable even if against the Al Qaeda affiliates or the JV team, ISIS. Trump, in contrast, followed through on Obama’s blunders, when the cycle repeated itself again.

A little over a year ago there was a chemical weapons attack in Khan Sheikhoun, in a province most openly ruled by the rebrandings of Al Qaeda. This incident led to Trump ordering airstrikes on Syria betraying his campaign promise of staying out of Syria. This attack was carried out under false and premature pretenses. This is an instance where the intelligence community says one thing but evidence says another. But before you defend the intelligence community’s infallibility, look back to how they insisted the DNC was hacked despite the lack of evidence, specifically from the server, that a hack took place. And so the Russian Farce Began. Theodore Postol, a professor at MIT and former DoD scientific adviser pointed out the staged nature of the evidence regarding sarin gas attack in 2017. He ultimately showed that the crater and canister that is credited with the chemical weapons rocket was detonated from the ground, not the air. Read more about his findings here. The point is: the emotive response automatically assumes that the Assad regime carried out the attack. There have been many chemical weapons uses in the war, but only about three or four have gotten media notoriety. I don’t deny that the Syrian Arab Army has used chemical weapons ever, but I seriously doubt the nonstrategic use of chemical weapons that occurred in these notorious incidences. Though as described below, this incident had a strategic outcome.

With the most recent incidence, guilt has already been pointed at Assad restarting the cycle. I don’t care to defend Assad in this instance. I do however want to call Trump and his supporters out on their own support of globalism. So let’s assume Assad carried out this attack. Let’s assume Assad gassed Al Qaeda territories a day after launching a new offensive and because he did, the terrorists surrendered. Why should we care?

The easiest reason to dismiss is that striking Assad is beneficial to America’s Middle Eastern strategy. This would imply that there has been a strategy in the Middle East. But even if we soften strategy to “interests” striking Assad is counter to America’s interest. Al Qaeda has lost in Syria and is clinging to certain besieged areas. In the particular area of this incident the group that was beseiged was called the “Army of Islam”. How does weakening the army that has done more to fight Al Qaeda and ISIS than the US in the last decade benefit Americans or their interests? If Hezbollah, a terror organization sponsored and allied with Assad, were alleged to have been responsible, this would be a different story. But instead, we target the one belligerent in the Syrian Civil War that can actually stabilize the region, even if slowly.

You could then claim about civilian deaths which have been a constant theme in this war on all sides. Most recently, this year Turkey has taken to slaughtering Kurds in its land grab of Northern Syria, but Donald Trump doesn’t seem to care about the death toll there. Nor have other brutalities in Syria been enough for Trump or Obama, to act. Assad, along with every belligerent, has killed civilians in this war. Why are these deaths special? News flash they aren’t. A person is a person is a person. A person dies whether being shot, stabbed or gassed. The people who died in the gas attack were no more important than the people who died in gunfire or strategic bombing. Every person has a moral worth that is irrelevant to their cause of death. So this isn’t about civilian deaths. This is about chemical weapons in and of themselves.

So now that we established Trump attacked Syria because of chemical weapons, now lets dive in to why he’s a globalist for it. Trump wanted to send a message that the use of chemical weapons is unacceptable. But why is it unacceptable? What makes chemical weapons different than bullets and shells. Why is gas morally reprehensible and incendiary bombs permissible? There is no logical way to construct an argument that chemical weapons are impermissible while nuclear, radiological, and biological aren’t (though biological weapons are difficult if not impossible to control thus having little strategic use.) If we are to accept that weapons of mass destruction are morally wrong to ever use, then it would be inconsistent to not favor disarmament. Furthermore as Americans we would have to admit that the use of atomic bombs was a immoral decision if we do insist that the use of WMDs is morally impermissible.

I refuse to accept these premises and rewrite history in a globalist politically correct way. So why are chemical weapons such a big deal? The short answer is that the UN says they are a big deal. After World War 1, the League of Nations sought to outlaw chemical warfare and war in general. The ladder was ineffective. Though chemical weapons didn’t see as much light in World War 2, more extreme weapons did. Since its founding, the UN has sought to control what weapons a country can have. In addition to chemical weapons, there’s the anti-nuclear proliferation treaty. Article V of the NPT requires disarmament which nuclear nations have thus far refused. Some nuclear nations tolerate this treaty because they don’t want have-nots to get nukes. Others such as Israel, India, and Pakistan recognize that the UN wants to place limitations on their self defense capabilities. UN limitations on chemical weapons are similarly globalist schemes for the UN to encroach on a nation’s sovereignty. Chemical weapon use is wrong according to international law, not in and of themselves. As Ben Shapiro noted:

One of the arguments for intervention in Syria is that if we do nothing to reimpose the Obama red line in Syria, chemical weapons use will become more common. That’s probably true. But it’s also true that if someone attacked Americans with chemical weapons, we would end them. Furthermore, not all chemical weapons are the same: some are indeed weapons of mass destruction, but others are not as dangerous in scope as cluster bombs. Do the 500,000 dead in Syria’s civil war care whether they were killed by Russian cluster bombs or sarin gas?

So when Trump attacked Syria, he wasn’t responding to a threat nor can we really say it was about the people killed. He was upholding the UN’s power which Syria defied. This is where Trump goes full globalist. Never go full globalist. To repeat myself: he had the United State’s military attack another country because of a violation of international law! In the United States, international law has very little power here. This was established in Medellin v Texas. The globalist community cares not about American interests. Do we not remember when the UN condemned America’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital? It was allowed by Congress for decades. The UN would want nothing more than for America to relinquish its power.

Globalist First

All of Trump’s talk of nationalism is really a farce. He had our military act on a globalist cause, not “America First”. Trump may talk tough on tariffs, but globalism isn’t really about economics, its about sovereignty. Being “tough” on China doesn’t benefit America First. Instead these tariffs are now the biggest  threat to our economic security coming out of the Great Recession. Bombing Syria doesn’t benefit America first. It benefits Turkey and their terrorists. It benefits the UN. Trump wasted military resources doing the UN’s bidding instead of making America or its allies safer. Trump upheld UN norms instead of his lawful duties as defined by Congress and the US Constitution.

In an America First foreign policy, we would have seen if the President had gone through America first. Congress. Instead Trump relied on a thumbs up which he got from the globalist community.

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