Topic #1: Details regarding the bombing on Christmas Day in Nashville are still very sketchy. The suspect has been identified as a 63-year old white man, with extensive knowledge of various technologies, but any motives behind the incident remain unclear.
Thoughts and Observations:
- There are actually two positives from the news, if you can call them that. First, only the bomber died, with three other bystanders sustaining injuries. The second is that there wasn’t a gun involved. If this had been a shooting, the entire situation would have been politicized by the time we all sat down for Christmas dinner, and anti-gun activists would have already been calling for gun legislation. The bomber packed his RV full of explosives, and so far no one has been calling for any bans on RVs, fortunately.
- The only person responsible for this bombing, apparently, is the bomber and that is where the focus should be. Personal accountability is fundamental. If it turns out he had help, then those individuals are also responsible and should be held accountable.
- Early indications are there’s a good chance this individual may have suffered from some sort of mental illness. One line of inquiry by investigators is that he may have believed certain politicians and Hollywood celebrities are actually lizards in disguise. It seems likely that he may have indeed been a troubled soul.
- The mentally ill in our country continue to be largely neglected and ignored. Assuming that the suspect was in fact mentally ill, we may never know for certain if there was anything anyone could have done to prevent it. But burying our heads in the sand and hoping the problem goes away is not a solution. Ignoring mental illness and focusing on gun legislation, or knife legislation, or RV legislation isn’t going to get the job done.
- Case in point on how public officials mishandle the mentally ill: consider the homeless. According to the LA Times, 29% of homeless people in California are mentally ill. And how did California address the situation? They passed the Right to Rest Act in 2018, which allows, among other things, homeless people to “use public space without discrimination based on their housing status.” Because for leftists, that’s compassion. Don’t tend to the mentally ill and drug addicted, simply let them live on the streets and defecate on the sidewalks, because that’s being kind.
- There are no easy answers, and there are legitimate concerns with infringing on an individual’s civil liberties in addressing mental illness. Lowering the standards for forced treatment and/or conservatorship, for instance, can be problematic. But we as a society, and our public officials in particular, need to take a serious look at the issue of mental illness and how to address it. The next time an event like this happens might be a lot worse.
Topic #2: The two U.S. Senate runoff races in Georgia between Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler and Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock will be held on Tuesday, and the campaigns were at full-throttle this week.
Thoughts and Observations:
- Total money raised between the four campaigns has shattered all previous records, with over one-third of a billion dollars in only two months. Ossoff leads the way at $107million, followed by Warnock at $103million, Perdue at $68million and Loeffler at $64million. For such a critical race, it’s highly disappointing to see the Dems with such a large lead. Republican support should have been much stronger.
- There appears to be, predictably, an extremely high amount of early voting. Pundits are pointing to that turnout as a bad sign for the GOP, but don’t count on it.
- Also predictably, polls are showing both Democratic candidates with leads. Ossoff shows leading Perdue by less than a percentage point, and Warnock shows leading Loeffler by 1.8%. Call me a skeptic, but I don’t believe any of them. Let’s not forget, the last polls before Election Day in November showed Joe Biden defeating President Trump by as much as 11%, when his actual margin of victory was closer to 4%. Those same polls showed a “blue wave” coming in the House and Senate, but Republicans actually picked up double-digit seats in the House, and held onto four Senate seats they were supposed to lose.
- I’ve been optimistic about the Republicans chances since November, and I continue to be. I will be surprised if the Republican candidates don’t win both seats on Tuesday.
- In a clever political move by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), both Loeffler and Perdue announced their support for increasing the stimulus checks from the COVID relief bill to $2,000 per person. McConnell, however, shut down a vote on the increase. McConnell’s maneuver allowed the two candidates to voice support without actually having to vote for the increase, as opposition to it would surely have had a negative impact on voters. Meanwhile McConnell has delayed, or perhaps thwarted, the increase which is the responsible thing to do.
- For clarity, the first COVID relief checks were warranted, without question, as the pandemic crushed the entire economy. But with this latest bill, there are plenty of states that have been careful with shutdowns, leery of the impact it will have to their economies, whereas other states seem to not care at all about the economic impact. People love getting “free” money, however, even when their government can’t afford it.
- Campaigning has been intense, and sometimes ugly. Both President Trump and Joe Biden have appeared at rallies in Georgia, along with their running mates Mike Pence and Kamala Harris. What has to be a questionable strategy, however, is the amount of Hollywood celebrities who have weighed-in on the races in support of the Democrats. If you’re a Georgia voter and you see Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick and Justin Timberlake giving their opinions on who you should vote for, unless you’re a under the age of twenty-three there should be only one thought in your mind – “Shut the hell up, Hollywood.”
Topic #3: Alec Baldwin’s wife Hilaria has claimed for years that she was born and raised in Spain, and immigrated to the U.S. at the age of nineteen. Eventually her story unraveled, culminating this week with her admitting that she actually grew up in Boston.
Thoughts and Observations:
- If this had happened to just about anyone else, the story would have fizzled out after a couple of hours. But it happened to Alec Baldwin who is a total pud, and that is what makes this story so wonderful.
- What’s funnier – the fact that Alec Baldwin is the person this happened to, or that his wife’s name is Hilaria?
- For those who contend God has a script-writer helping him beyond the Pearly Gates, it’s hard to argue. In the last three months we’ve had the following three stories: CNN’s Jeffery Toobin greasing Weaser on a Zoom call, Eric Swallwell shagging a Chinese spy, and now this. It’s like an SNL episode… back when SNL was actually funny.
- Mrs. Baldwin made her confession on Instagram, explaining to her followers, “Yes, I am a white girl. I am a white girl.” For those of us who were previously unfamiliar with Hilarious Hilaria, it turns out that that not only did she pretend to be an immigrant, she also pretended to be a non-white immigrant. We can add Hilaria Baldwin to the list of Elizabeth Warren, Rachel Dolezal and all of the other white women who have pretended to be minorities over the past few years.
- Can someone please explain – if white privilege not only exists but is as prevalent as our friends on the Left tell us it is, why would these people need to pretend to be non-white? Wouldn’t it make more sense for them to exploit “white privilege” and proudly tell folks how white they are? And, while we’re at it, when was the last time we had a politician/celebrity pretending to be white who was in fact non-white? Wouldn’t that be the trend if white privilege was actually real? Hmmm.
- In addition to lying about her origins and race, Hilaria was also apparently fond of putting on a fake accent. A really, really bad fake accent. It’s understandable why someone would want to shed their Boston accent – with “pack the caaa” instead of park the car, and “Tawmy Breedy” instead of Tommy Brady – but for crying out loud lady, you’ve got to do better than that.
Topic #4: Speaking of Spain, on Monday it was announced that health officials in Spain would be developing a registry of citizens who refuse to receive COVID vaccinations. Additionally, Spanish health officials will be sharing that information with other nation states within the European Union.
Thoughts and Observations:
- Like many authoritarian oversteps, it appears that this latest example is starting with good intentions. Spanish officials have made it clear that vaccinations are free and optional, and that their rationale behind sharing such information is to protect public health. But Americans and freedom-loving people everywhere should be deeply concerned about such actions.
- The obvious question that Spain’s policy begs to be asked is this: where does this slippery slope end? In the name of “public health,” will they begin sharing information on individuals who have been infected with sexually transmitted diseases? Those who use tobacco? Those who have used controlled substances in their past?
- If we’ve learned nothing else from the handling of the COVID pandemic it’s this: government officials will use the virus to justify any power grab they see fit. If we yield to efforts of sharing our personal health information with anyone, particularly foreign governments, that is a slippery slope indeed.
- For those muttering, “that will never happen here,” think again. Leftists in America worship Europeans, and view them as being on the cutting edge of everything from fashion to public policy. Once it happens in Europe, it’s only a matter of time before a leftwing Democrat suggests the idea for the U.S.
- I plan on getting vaccinated as soon as it is made available to me. Yes, I have reservations about the long-term side effects, but I have much more serious worries about the long-term impact of COVID. Nonetheless, that’s my decision and no one else’s business other than my doctor. For those of you who feel otherwise and are determined not to get vaccinated, that too is your decision and of no concern to anyone. Our health officials should have plenty of anonymous data on vaccinations and their effect on herd immunity without infringing on our civil liberties.
Topic #5: A pro-democracy teenager in Hong Kong named Tony Chung has been sentenced to four months in prison by Chinese authorities for insulting the Chinese flag and unlawful assembly.
Thoughts and Observations:
- Note that Chung’s offense was not burning or otherwise destroying the Chinese flag, but was instead simply “insulting” it. How did he insult it? By throwing it to the ground at a protest outside of a U.S. consulate building.
- Chung is also facing charges of “money laundering and conspiring to publish seditious content” along with “secession.” If found guilty of secession, he could be sentenced to life in prison. Seriously.
- While China has clearly shifted to a free-market, pseudo-capitalistic economy, their approach to human rights is as disturbing as ever. American leftists who say otherwise in their efforts to portray China in a favorable light are once again lying.
- Make no mistake, it’s not a coincidence that this young man and others were protesting outside of the American consulate. Oppressed people around the world continue to look to America as a beacon of freedom. Some have speculated that Chung may have been intent on seeking asylum, but it seems more likely that he and his fellow protesters chose the location simply to send a message to China’s regime.
- President Trump’s foreign policy achievements have been absolutely monumental. What he has accomplished in the Middle East, his approach to NATO, and the USMCA treaty, among others, has been utterly groundbreaking. But if there is one shortcoming with Trump’s foreign policy efforts it has to be with Hong Kong. From the beginning, pro-democracy demonstrators there have looked to us for support, and could be witnessed flying our flag and singing the Star Spangled Banner early on. President Trump really should have done more to support them.
- A fascinating aspect of the Hong Kong protests, along with others in Asia including those in Thailand, is the age group of the protesters. Tony Chung is one of the movement’s recognized leaders and he’s only nineteen years old. Several in Thailand are even younger. Compare those youngsters to the very few in the West – including Sweden’s Greta Thunberg who is admired for her “bravery” while she regurgitates all of the talking points of our mainstream/leftwing media – and the Asian teens are showing true courage. Well done to you all.