Summer Fundraiser 2016, Day Six
It is ninety-three days and counting until the 2016 Presidential election comes to a merciful end.
Fortunately, you don’t have to wait that long for the Summer Quarterly Fundraising to be complete. We’re up to Day Six already! No, I’m not looking forward to the end of it: the day after this is over, I’m scheduled for a root canal. For sure, I’d much rather be talking to y’all.
This fundraiser has been a success. I’m glad for us and I’m glad for Vlad, and I particularly enjoy being grateful. Gratitude is a mental state that brings its own blessings on one’s health. That’s one reason I always get a kick out of sending Vlad his share; he has ADD comparable to mine, so he never remembers our tithe. To further confuse him I find some kind of Canadian “this-day-in-history” and use it for the subject line. So for fun I looked at today: “Happy Beaver Wars” would be the subject line because, ta da, in 1689 some unfriendly Iroquois surrounded a French village and did Iroquois things to the inhabitants. I won’t mention those things since we know the Native People were full of peace and goodwill. White man did something bad, obviously. Or maybe the Iroquois had read the Koran for directions?
When our old mom ’n’ pop internet service went out of business we had to find another email provider. This new edition is nice, I suppose. More up-to-date bells and whistles, etc. But with this one I don’t get to see individual Pay Pal notifications as I did with the old system; they all go into the Baron’s box. Now if I want to know, it requires logging in to PP. In a way that’s better, since it’s a whole-mind experience; I get to see everyone at once. Noticing lots of old donors… umm… make that “repeat” donors… is fun. But there are a few missing ones too, which worries me a little. I mean, how do I find out if someone died? It’s not as though a reader is likely to say to their family, “Hey, I read Gates of Vienna so if anything happens to me, be sure to let them know”… Sheesh, even some of our family members don’t know about GoV. Ah me, we live in such fractious times. When the Civil War starts at least things will be out in the open.
So ninety-three more days of political fun and games. As I write this, it’s how long you have to
suffer wait until it’s over. Or for some of us, how long you have to wait impatiently until you can vote. While in reality those times are identical, the time really does seem to expand if you’re one who is wishing fervently that the whole blankety-blank thing were over with right this minute. Oh, and there’s a third category: those who are avoiding the whole thing, having decided to sit this one out. I’m not one of those.
When we settled on this theme — The Dog Days of Summer — for our fundraiser, I’d pictured us covering ball games or lazy afternoons under the hickory tree. Since a friend (and commenter/donor) recently got a new dog, I thought we might end up in a discussion about the ways dogs and humans fit together. None of those happened, at least not in detail, but the subject of dogs and politics has never been far from my mind since the two political parties in the U.S. settled on their respective candidates and the general consensus is that they’re both pretty much dogs. I happen to agree with that third category — about our presidential candidates — but not for the reasons you might think.
Our friend’s description of his dog intrigued me. I’d felt compassion for his grief when he wrote a moving email to tell me of the death of his beloved family dog, an irreplaceable pet. We both agreed that grief needs space and he was adamant that they’d wait a bit… but then a friend was forced to give up his dog because he was moving… and you can guess the ending: they had a new (well, a slightly used) dog in the house. So much for recovery: my friend needed exercise badly to keep his health stable so he had a new companion with an entirely different style than his old friend of many years. I could feel his joy and sense of purpose as he went about fitting in this new family member.
I envied him; allergies won’t permit me to have a dog, much as I would like one. However, I began studying dogs again, partly because of my friend’s stories, and partly because this fundraiser about Dog Days was coming up soon. And thirdly, because the relationship between humans and dogs is fascinating. We have much to learn about one another and the more we know — both humans and dogs — the richer we’ll be for it.
Dogs are a fascinating subject. I love to read stories about the ways in which their abilities have been developed and utilized in Afghanistan. The relationships that develop between soldiers/handlers and their dogs are truly amazing — and humbling, as you realize how little we really know about unspoken communication. The men and women in the military who have trained with dogs swear by the experience. They say it increases the abilities of the soldier and for those lucky enough to have a dog in combat, the likelihood of returning home is higher.
When wounded vets have been given service dogs, their post-military life often improves markedly. It seems as though the more severe the injuries, the more recovery is possible via their work with their service dogs. And it is real work to train a dog and to train his human. You have to learn to think like a top dog in order to become his owner. In order to have a truly happy dog, you have to overcome the dog’s desire to lead you. That desire is normal, but allowing it to happen makes for an eventually unhappy dog. That’s why, when vets are given service dogs, they have to be trained to lead the dog, to become the master.
Leadership is a crucial virtue, and one that can be developed. For those who don’t possess the character required, a cat is a better choice. Or a parakeet. The cat says, “You’re not the boss of me, buddy,” and for those of us who don’t want to work that hard, a cat is a good choice. Especially if you are plagued with mice. The dog, on the other hand, says, “No matter how I test the limits, please be the boss.”
I knew we had a president with few leadership qualities when I saw his dog walking him. Now maybe Obama never wanted the darn thing, maybe he was told to get a dog for “image” purposes. Whatever. Before “Bo” (how tacky — giving your dog a name that amounts to your own initials??) we didn’t see any pictures of Obama with a dog. However, he did say in his book, “Dreams From My Father” that on occasion in Indonesia he ate dog. Somehow I don’t think that’s the same thing.
In my adventures in the intertubes, I happened upon a website with a list of the twenty-six (!!) things you have to do to make sure the dog knows you’re in charge. Until I read her instructions, I’d never realized how much like raising children is the task of being a dog owner. Or how much it parallels being a good leader of people. In her introduction to the rules, this breeder says, “A dog that knows his place in his human pack is a happy dog. A dog that does not is a confused dog and can exhibit many unwanted behaviors because of it”. It’s the same for the human family, though the behaviors one requires are obviously different.
For parents the job is to establish moral authority with our children. If we do that — and it’s a complex vocation, is parenting — then we’ve succeeded at life. Doesn’t much matter what else we do if we do that one well. One of our donors wrote a book on education; in its time the book was well-known. In sending a thank-you acknowledgment for his gift I asked if he planned to write another book on the subject. I’ve forgotten his exact words, but he said more or less, “No, my job now is being the head of a large family. I’m the paterfamilias.” I thought to myself: “Lucky family”.
At the end of her list, the dog trainer says:
Last but certainly not least…when you are around your dog avoid emotions such as fear, anxiety, harshness or nervousness. Your dog can sense these emotions and will see you as weak. This will escalate your problem as your dog feels an even stronger need to be your leader. Think Big and Powerful and be calm, assertive, and consistent. Remember, there is no hiding our emotions from our dogs. They can, in a sense, read our minds in reading our emotions. This energy is the universal language of animals. Talk less, using more body language. Picture yourself, in your own mind, as big, powerful and very sure of yourself. Pull your shoulders back and stand up straight. Your dog will feel this. This is your number one resource when it comes to communicating with your dog. Your dog will be happy and secure knowing he has a strong pack leader to care for him.
That’s the job of a leader, too. No, leadership is not parental, but it partakes of some of the same concerns and goals. There is a certain demeanor that both possess.
I don’t know the elected heads of state in Eastern Europe well enough to say with confidence whether there are leaders among them or not. Since the press is essentially untrustworthy, it is up to us to discern leadership, to see who or what emerges during a crisis. It is at that point we must judge him, both on his behavior and what he says to his people. Remembering that it is a leader’s job to contain his people’s anxiety, Viktor Orbán appears to me to be a leader.
And whether we like him or not, Vladimir Putin is certainly a leader in the eyes of his people. The rest of us are uneasy about Putin, but when have we ever trusted any Russian leader? There has always been East (China, et al) and West (Europe, et al). Russia, though remains a tertium quid. When it became obvious that Putin was behind the terrorist outbreak at the Istanbul air terminal, we all knew it was payback for Turkey’s major error in judgment when it failed to adequately apologize/ beg/ get on his knees for the grievous sin of shooting down a Russian warplane that strayed over from Syria. Caught between a rock and a hard place, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan waffled. I would call the faux “insurrection” of the Turkish military and the bloody slaughter that continues following his humiliation at Putin’s hands proof of Turkey’s slide into Islamic despotism. Just one more country gone while Obama looked on passively.
Israel’s Prime Minister? I don’t know. The press is unreliable about Israel, and much of the Israeli press appears to be Left. Caroline Glick analyzes Netanyahu’s new alliance with Putin and sees hope there. Before Obama’s treachery in the Middle East, I’d have said it was a bad idea. Now I don’t know that Israel has much choice. Obama’s obvious hatred of Israel, his desire to be to Iran what Nixon was to China even if it lays open ever increasing threats in Palestine, Jordan, and Lebanon, leaves any Israeli leader looking for other choices. I don’t think you’ll see the childish games Obama played with Israel on display anywhere else. They were — still are — sickening to observe in a world leader.
Which brings us to our very own Top Dogs in this current presidential campaign. I know much more about Hillary than I do about Donald Trump.
Unfortunately, what I do know about Hillary has been floating around in my head since 1993 or so.
What I know about Hillary comes from those who have worked closely with her or for her, especially those who were required to serve her in one capacity or another and are willing to speak. Hundreds aren’t, and for good reason.
What I know about Hillary goes back a long way, well before the internet. Back then, the Baron and I subscribed to The American Spectator and it was that magazine which first exposed Hillary’s demeanor in dealing with underlings. That information in its original form doesn’t appear to have been digitized. Later, I will check to see how far back the archives of AS go. Since they were hounded almost into oblivion by the Clinton lawyers they may have decided to let sleeping dogs lie. But there are a few newspaper reports from 1993, including this one from The Los Angeles Times:
Troopers Say Clinton Sought Silence on Personal Affairs : Arkansas: The White House calls their allegations about the President’s private life ‘ridiculous.’
LITTLE ROCK — Four Arkansas state troopers have revived allegations and offered new details about extramarital affairs that caused a crisis in Bill Clinton’s campaign for the presidency. Two of the troopers say that Clinton, as President, sought to discourage them from speaking out by offering them federal jobs.
The troopers, who were on Clinton’s security detail for several years while he was governor, describe a pattern of deception and indiscretions and say that he required them as state employees to go beyond their duties as bodyguards to help him conduct and hide these activities.
Bruce R. Lindsey, a senior White House official and Clinton confidant, said: “These allegations are ridiculous. Similar charges were made, investigated and responded to during the campaign. There is nothing that dignifies a further response.”
Responding late Sunday night to questions submitted by The Times last Thursday, Lindsey said the President had called one of the troopers. But “any suggestion that the President offered anyone a job in return for silence is a lie,” he said. […]
It came down to “who are you going to believe?” After much reading on both sides, I went with the troopers. They had nothing to gain from what they did, and a great deal to lose.
I remember reading about women who reported being approached by Hillary as she quelled “Bimbo eruptions” — i.e., the hundreds of women who’d serviced Bill during his years in Little Rock. His compulsive satyriasis was a standing political joke in the 1990s. It probably still is.
There’s a lot more chicanery just in that one story. David Brock, who wrote the original expos for AS later recanted the whole thing, leaving the Arkansas troopers holding the bag. You have only to page down a little way into that 1993 LA Times reportage about Troopergate until you hit the excuses for presidential sexual misconduct; the MSM immediately haul out Thomas Jefferson for comparison. Given what they know now, would those reporters play it any differently? I doubt it: there are too many rewards for being on the Clintons’ “side”.
Eventually Brock was rewarded by the Clintons for his betrayal of the troopers; he ended up as head of an NGO “Media Matters for America”.
But that isn’t even the tip of the iceberg; it is impossible to investigate Hillary Clinton’s life and not be appalled by the level of opportunism and lawlessness that ruled in the House of Hill and Bill. The fact that there is a whole industry devoted to exposing the Clintons’ criminality — and that none of those authors have ever been sued — speaks to the problem of her leadership: she has neither the integrity nor the temperament for leadership. Hillary Rodham Clinton cannot contain her anxiety, her rage, or her overweening ambition.
Hillary has been in public life in one form or another since the 1980s. In all those years, she has accomplished nothing of lasting value. One has only to look at her latest effort — her years as our Secretary of State — to see the paucity of her service. She has enriched herself beyond belief, but has produced absolutely nothing for us in return. Her joint legacy with President Obama has been a ruin of the Middle East and North Africa. One has to ask if the destruction they visited on that part of the world was deliberate or simply inept? Either way, it makes the idea of her presidency truly alarming.
But, you say, surely you don’t want Trump instead? Well, that’s some choice, isn’t it?
From a wider view, Donald Trump’s candidacy is simply part of the wave of populism that is sweeping the western world. Geert Wilders, populist extraordinaire, has endorsed him. So has Victor Orbán, he of the Fence.
Donald Trump’s life is an open book. You know the Democrats have spent huge amounts of money and devoted thousands of man-hours to digging for dirt on Donald. They can’t find anything, so they’re reduced to calling him names.
Is Trump a bombast? Yes. Are his policy statements sometimes contradictory? Sure. But those are glitches that will disappear — every candidate makes them and his are no worse than average.
Trump is a fervent patriot, and we need one back in the Oval Office. He promises to lead, and America is desperate for leadership. We haven’t had a real leader since Ronald Reagan, though he was not without his flaws. He left government bigger than he found it, but there was never any question that he loved America. He wasn’t cool like Obama (thank heavens), and he was a man of his word. He made mistakes — not following through on the bombing of the Marine barracks in Lebanon was a serious, mortal error that we would pay for down the road. But all in all, Reagan was good for the country.
Trump recognizes the problem of terrorism. He’s not afraid to say the word. He’s not afraid to say we should carefully vet every Muslim who wants entry into the country.
If Trump were elected we would have a shot at ending the worst strictures of political correctness that have reduced so many to silence.
If Trump were elected, we’d have the chance to re-establish our sovereignty at our southern border.
If Trump were elected, we’d have someone with vast experience at negotiation. He’s an expert negotiator, and America would never come out holding the short end of the stick.
If Trump were elected, we’d have a chance to reclaim some of the strained relations Obama has caused around the world. Sure, the cool, sophisticated leaders in Europe would treat him as they treated Reagan… until they learned, as the world leaders in Reagan’s time did, that Donald’s momma didn’t raise no fool.
Look at what Trump did to the Republican Party: it is in ruins now, as it well deserves to be. For far too long it’s been willing to play second string to the Democrats as long as the Dems let it stay in the game. That farce is finally finished, and it was Donald Trump and Donald Trump alone who did it. The GOP(e) deserved to die.
If Trump wins the presidency, which I hope he does, he will demand — and get — a return to civility. He is used to being the Top Dog and he knows how to keep the rest of the pack in line. Washington may well empty out if Trump wins — as it did under Andrew Jackson. And as it did under Jackson, the rest of the country will cheer.
My concern, and it has been a concern for some years, is the total control the Democrats have over urban areas. It has been known for a long time they control the vote when they need to do so. Does Trump have enough moxie to overcome that obstacle? It’s a big one.
Despite the bilious hatred of the chattering classes telling us Trump could never win the nomination, there he is on the campaign trail and there they are with the same old mantra: “Trump will never, ever win
the nomination the presidency”.
If the vote is counted honestly Donald Trump is likely to win in November. He’s vital, successful, and in his hometown, New York City, poor kids say they want to be Donald Trump when they grow up. No, they don’t want to be like him, they want to be him.
Who in the world would want to be Hillary?
Here’s a listing of our donors from yesterday:
Stateside: Arizona, California, Illinois, Maryland, New York, Ohio, and Virginia
Near Abroad: Canada
Far Abroad: Australia, Germany, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the UK
Someone asked us to break down where in Canada donors come from, and the Baron assures me he’s working on it.
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