Libertarian view

First glorious year of King Trump’s reign

year
The Teddy Roosevelt of our times.

KING TRUMP was crowned one year ago today, and a glorious year it has been. In no particular order, read and rejoice at this partial list of accomplishments:

  1. No planes crashed. Last year there were no fatalities in commercial air travel. Worldwide! That was the first year ever. It was, of course, also the first year of King Trump’s reign. Coincidence? I think not.
  2. Unlike Obama, Trump does not kowtow to foreign bigwigs, especially the really nasty ones, and there are lots of really nasty ones. Trump is no throne-sniffer. Weepy Barry Obama was a world-class throne-sniffer.
  3. The economy took heart at the election of The Donald sending the stock market into record territory. The Dow soared 31 percent. Money is good, as is capitalism. Socialism baaaad. The Democrats’ economic God, the sleazy Paul Krugman, said the global economy would collapse if Trump became president. Whoops-a-daisy! Back to the drawing board wid ya, Paul, ya nincompoop!
  4. The overall unemployment rate has fallen, but did you know that the jobless rate for blacks has dipped to the lowest level since 1972? Yes, those very same people who voted against the Donald in droves like clueless, black sheep have had their job opportunities rise in Trump’s first year in the Oval Office.
  5. Put Neil Gorsuch, an upstanding man, on the Supreme Court.
  6. “Climate Change” is removed from the national threat list, whatever that is. Anyway, it’s good to make it official that climate changes sometimes, and there’s not much of anything you can do aside from sending Al Gore a financial contribution. But there are other, even better, changes to the national security strategy. Just take a look.
  7. Israel, Christianity and Judaism back on top with Trump! It’s important to remember that Israel, unlike the Mohammedan states, does not oppress women who are included in the military. Mohammedan women are never in their military because they can hardly step outdoors without a male chaperone.
  8. Trumpian tax cuts are boosting economic confidence! Last year was the best for U.S. manufacturing since 2004.
  9. The Mohammedan murderers in ISIS have taken it on the chin since Trump entered the Oval Office. ISIS made lots of progress during the eight years of Weepy Barry, but dem days are over!
  10. Trump cuts $255 million in military aid to Pakistan for 2018 due to Pakistan’s lame efforts against terrorism. It was Pakistan where Osama bin Laden was hiding in plain sight near a Pakistani military base. In response, Afghan elders awarded King Trump with a genuine gold Medal of Bravery.
  11. In a similar vein, Trump’s United Nations ambassador, the staunch Nikki Haley, announced in late December a fat reduction in U.S. funding to the United Nations to the tune of $285 million smackeroos. My hope is that the United States will come to its complete senses and toss the anti-American United Nations into the Atlantic Ocean. Be gone ye knaves and nincompoops!
  12. The swamp level is falling, just like he promised. Hundreds of federal positions have been eliminated in the first year of Trump’s glorious reign.
  13. During the presidential campaign, Trump vowed to kill two regulations for every new regulation issued. In fact, far more than two have been zapped for each new regulation. Regulations generally hamper the economy and citizens.
  14. Trump pushes for voter-identification laws. Sensible nations require voter ID. Mexico does. I have mine. The Democrats don’t want voter ID because so many of their voters are not legal voters.
  15. The recent citizen protests in Iran were loudly supported by Trump. When something similar happened in 2009, Weepy Barry kept his mouth shut. Sad.
  16. And just this week, King Trump announced the Fake News Awards. Not surprisingly, CNN scored big-time.
  17. And one more time: No airliners crashed. Anywhere!

You likely saw few or none of these stories in publications like the failing New York Times and the leftist Washington Post.* And, as we head into the second year of King Trump’s glorious reign, clueless, dreamy-eyed leftists across the nation continue to wail, pout and kick their heels on the floor because they lost the election, fair and square.

What’s not to love?

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* A recent nonpartisan study showed that about 90 percent of mainstream media stories about Trump over the past year were negative. Yuge bias! Sad.

Mexican life

Retirement is the cat’s pajamas

gent
No, this ole gent is not me. He’s not reading a Kindle.

I HAVEN’T worked one day for pay since Dec.19, 1999.*

It’s not rare that people, almost always men, drop dead not long after retirement due to having lost their life’s purpose. I did not suffer that issue.

I’ve never known what my life purpose is,** which simplifies things.

catBut it’s been almost 18 years now, the best 18 years of my life. Another world, another life, another wife, another language. I done good.

There’s something strange about living days, weeks, months and years without a job and you still have cash in your wallet. We have money due to Social Security (thanks, Uncle Sam), a small corporate pension (thanks, Hearst Corp.) and investments (thanks to wise me). Let’s hear it for capitalism!

Though I have no paying job, I do have work, almost daily. Why, just this morning, I swept the sidewalk and adjoining strip of street out front. I dumped the dirt, and it was all dirt, into a bucket, and I tossed it into the ravine.

This sort of thing does not provide life with meaning, but it does keep the sidewalk clean. That has societal value, I think.

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* A date as tattooed on my brain as is my birthday and my Air Force serial number.

** My fallback meaning-giver is Emily Dickinson whose quote elsewhere on this page does the trick for me. Were I a Christian or a Jew, which I am not, that would replace Emily Dickinson, one supposes.

The Odd Pot

All shrugged out

I MET AYN Rand, briefly, at a talk she gave in 1963. It was in a smallish meeting room in a second-floor walk-up in San Francisco. I was 19 years old.

I do not recall the circumstances of being there. I had not read Rand and only knew she was famous, and the talk was free. She was there with her sidekick Nathaniel Brandon.

Flash forward more than half a century. About a month ago, I decided to read Atlas Shrugged, her magnum opus. I skipped the warm-up novel, The Fountainhead, which is somewhat less wordy, and went directly to the 1,188-page Shrug.

One of my few conscious objectives on retiring 17 years ago was to read more books. I have always been a reader, but I decided to do even more. Before retiring, I had generally avoided extremely long books for no better reason than shiftlessness.

Plus, it interfered with my drinking.

Since moving over the Rio Bravo, however, and sobering up, I turned to some really lengthy works. War and Peace, Anna Karenina, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, etc.

All great books and, brother, are they long.

Tolstoy, I like. Dostoyevsky, not so much. I bogged down in Crime and Punishment. I made even less progress with One Hundred Years of Solitude, which I tried to read long before moving to Mexico. Maybe I should try again, but doubt I will.

Back to Ayn Rand. She’s famous, so I thought I should read her main work. I bought it on Kindle for under $5.

And I dove right in.

A wag described Rand’s works as twice as long as phone books and half as interesting. Shrug was interesting enough to hold my attention but just barely. A couple of times I decided to abandon the effort, but I soldiered on … and on … and on …

Until this week. I made it 67 percent of the way through. Kindle tells you that. I can go no further, pooped out.

Rand’s take on things is not complicated. She calls it Objectivism. You owe nobody anything, and nobody owes you anything. There is nothing metaphysical, no afterlife, no way to know anything except by reason. Your main interest should be yourself.

* * * *

My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.

* * * *

It was surprising to see her curse notions (in 1957) that today are known as political correctness. For instance, the requirement to embrace the “correct” opinions and even, to a degree, the proper personal pronouns.

Rand and I do, however, share quite a few values of the libertarian stripe —  an aversion to taxes, a love of capitalism, minimal government and a dislike of obligatory altruism, something that should be a personal choice.

But I also believe in an afterlife. Rand did not.

Rand and I are polar opposites of Pocahontas Warren, Red Bernie, Crooked Hillary, Screaming Dean, Weepy Barry and all the other heroes of today’s Democrat Party, the party of income redistribution and pink “pussy hats.”

But if you’re ever tempted to read Atlas Shrugged or The Fountainhead, I suggest you go instead to CliffsNotes.

Edición dominical

Just like home

SEVENTEEN YEARS ago when I packed my two bags and flew to Mexico alone to reinvent myself in late middle age, I arrived in a spectacularly strange world.

Many of the things I was accustomed to simply were not available down here, and most of those things were commercial. I am a fan of capitalism and the goodies it offers.

Flash forward from 2000 to 2017 and — oh, my — how things have changed. Just about anything you can buy above the Rio Bravo is now available Down Mejico Way.

There is even a Mexican version of Amazon.com even though I much prefer our homegrown MercadoLibre.

The list of Gringo chain stores in Mexico is too lengthy to repeat here, and it seems to grow longer each year.*

I was particularly delighted when Bed Bath & Beyond, one of my favorite stores when I lived up north, opened recently in the nearby state capital. I shop there often.

There are eight BB&Bs in Mexico. Six are in Mexico City or its environs. A seventh is in Cuernavaca, the not-too-distant Mexico City playground,  and the eighth is in our capital city, the only one relatively remote from Mexico City.

Why were we chosen over the considerably larger burgs of Guadalajara or Monterrey? God knows.

Mexico commercially improves on a daily basis. You can now get most of what is available to the Gringos up north. Plus, we have great tacos, fresh avocados and beautiful babes.

Best of both worlds.

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* Very incomplete list: Best Buy, Sears, Costco, Walmart, McDonald’s, Burger King, Chili’s, Sirloin Stockade, iHop, Home Depot, Office Depot, Office Max, KFC, DQ, Starbucks.

(Note: We don’t depend entirely on the Gringos for great shopping. For example, the Mexican chain El Palacio de Hierro — The Iron Palace — will knock your high-end socks off, especially the flagship store in Mexico City’s Polanco.)