Thoughts on the Presidential Candidacy of Republican Senator Ted Cruz

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After finishing first in the Iowa caucus and third in the New Hampshire primary, Republican Senator Ted Cruz’s campaign has built up a head of steam. This makes me happy. I believe he would make the best president of all those running for the office. Read on to find out why.

A Principled Conservative

Although the 2013 federal government shutdown caused me considerable personal difficulties, I believe it was one of the most principled Conservative political stands of my lifetime. President Barack Obama has never been willing to compromise with the Republicans on anything and so was not going to give in this situation. After a week the point had been made and the GOP should have caved. That it was allowed to go on for sixteen days was a strategic mistake on behalf of Cruz. Nonetheless, the shutdown signaled Cruz as the standard bearer for Conservative ideology in the U.S. Congress.

Illegal Alien Amnesty, Citizenship and Voting Rights

With a single exception, I do not believe that Cruz has ever done anything to diminish his Conservative credentials. This one exception is, admittedly, a big one.

Cruz did, for a time, argue in support of a bill co-authored by fellow Republican presidential candidate, Senator Marco Rubio that would have granted illegal aliens amnesty and allowed them to eventually become U.S. citizens and voters.

What follows is text I wrote for a blog post on Rubio: “Illegal alien activists have done their best to downplay the number of such immigration criminals in the United States. The truth of the matter is that no one knows precisely how many illegals reside in the country but some have placed the number as high as thirty million. Regardless of how large the number is, what can be said with certainty is that if they become voters the Republican party, which offers opportunity and not handouts as the affirmative action supporting Democrats do, will never again win a presidential election. This is because 90% of these additional voters will cast their ballot for the Democrats.

The Democrats know this and it is why they are pushing so hard for citizenship for illegals. They have run this play before. In 1965, Democrat Senator Ted Kennedy completely rewrote the U.S. immigration policy. Prior to that time the vast majority of those who were allowed to relocate to the U.S. and become citizens and voters came from Europe. They were natural constituents of the Republican party. Kennedy’s rewrite of the law flipped things around. Ever after it has been very difficult for a person from Europe to gain citizenship and voting rights. Since the passage of Kennedy’s legislation in America the vast majority of new Americans have come from third world countries and have been natural constituents of the Democrat party.”

Cruz eventually came to oppose Rubio’s bill and went on record saying so. He has stated that he does not support amnesty and citizenship for illegal aliens. I am willing to believe that he has seen the light on the issue.

Alleged Dirty Campaign Tactics

Recently Cruz and his campaign have been attacked for what has been referred to by some as “dirty” campaign tactics. I admire that Cruz seems to have a bit of Tony Saprano in him. For the last almost sixty years members of the Democrat party have often conducted their campaigns like street brawlers and fought for electoral office with a no-holds-barred approach. This has often given them an edge over Republicans whose campaigns typically reflect the manners of gentleman and gentleladies. I am certain Cruz, if he gets the nomination, will fight fire with fire and match whatever tactics the eventual Democrat nominee may use against him. We know the Clintons are dirty. It could get real ugly.

Likeability

Another knock against Cruz is that he is alleged to be not liked by his fellow members of the Senate and House of Representatives. Cruz graduated near the top of every school he attended. Liberal icon Alan Dershowitz has said Cruz was the brightest law student he ever had at the Harvard Law School. He has argued nine cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Cruz has performed very well in debates. There can be no doubt he is the smartest person running for president in either party.

People as smart as Cruz are often arrogant, aloof and dismissive. It would not surprise me if he is as unlikeable as his critics claim. Why in the world would this matter to a voter? When I vote in my own state primary I will not be casting a ballot for the person I think would make the best friend. I will be voting for my party’s nominee.

When I vote this primary season I will be voting for Ted Cruz because he is the most Conservative candidate running and therefore will make the best president of the bunch. I hope you will as well.

If you enjoyed this blog post, please consider sharing it on Facebook or Twitter.

 You may also want to follow my blog and follow me on Twitter (T.J.Kong @Ride_the_bomb).

You can email me at T_J_Kong@yahoo.com. I always welcome suggestions for blog topics.

 I also have a YouTube.com channel called: “Ride the Bomb!” See https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpauuMnQBSI2FWgFiScj2mw

I believe in free speech and so I approve all blog comments. No exceptions.

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A Review of Episode Five (“Babylon”) of the Return Run of “The X-Files” (Some Spoilers are Revealed Below)

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Episode Five (“Babylon”) of the Return Run of “The X-Files” left me more conflicted than any installment of the series ever has. Read on if you wish to learn why the show pulled me in two different directions.

Islamofascist Terrorists on Television

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I was shocked by the first few scenes that depicted an Islamic fascist terrorist cell, two of its members entering an art gallery, explosions and people catching on fire.  Arabic terrorism being featured on television dramas is not common these days. The belief that such depictions are racist (or in some cases the fear of being labeled racist) has made them few and far between. (The pure insanity of associating a religion-related issue with race is a subject better left to another blog post.) More usual is the fantastical image of a white male terrorist dressed in typical American clothes and carrying himself in a typical American manner that we see in the “See Something Say Something” videos that play on endless loops at every major train station in the United States.

I applaud “The X-Files” for having the courage to show the television viewer Muslim terrorism in all its horror. The show deserves credit for its willingness to accept absurd criticism from individuals such as  Price Peterson, who wrote in his tv.com review that the episode “included some of the hoariest, most stereotypical terrorism imagery of the past 15 years.” How in the heck could the word “stereotypical” apply here when 99% of the terrorist attacks against the U.S. since the year 2000 have been conducted by Muslims? Using the word “stereotypical,” as well as using the word racist in the context of Islamic terrorism, are two prime examples of how the Left tries to win politically by changing the definition of words.

The Politics of The X-Files

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There is also much about the episode that I condemn. Before the terrorist attack one of the terrorist suffers racist and xenophobic insults at the hands of three “red neck” Texans. In the eyes of “The X-Files,” Texans are seen to be as almost hateful as the terrorist and stereotypes are acceptable when they involve white Southerners. (Price Peterson did not feel moved to point out this stereotype in his review.) Another implication behind the behavior of the Texans is that the conduct of the U.S. and its citizens is at least partially responsible for terrorism. This point is further brought home  by a cable news debate several minutes of which are seen and/or heard during the episode. The argument is disgusting.

About half way through “Babylon,” F.B.I. Special Agent Brem (Eric Breker) expresses views about Muslims and terrorism that are only held by a minuscule percentage of the American population and no F.B.I. agents that exist outside of movies and TV shows. The audience is condescended to when Agent Dana Scully, portrayed by Gillian Anderson, responds to his rant with the line: “Not all Muslims are extremists, certainly.” Even a young child knows this. The lesson is repeated when two Homeland Security agents converse in Arabic later on in the show. Are we all grade school students who need to be reminded that some Muslims are working in law enforcement to keep us safe in the U.S.?

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Before Brem exits the episode he explains that he wants a terrorist in a coma, who is actually a “beautiful baby boy,” because he did not activate his suicide vest, to remain alive so he suffers. When Scully says she “witnessed unqualified hate that appears to have no end” later in the episode she is talking not of the “beautiful baby boy” terrorist but of Brem and a nurse.

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This white female nurse (Janet Kidder) in question tries to kill the terrorist by turning off his respirator. When she is interrupted she takes the bizarre step of utilizing the opportunity to express over-the-top opposition to Islamic refuges entering the U.S. I assume “The X-Files” creator and episode writer, Chris Carter feels that consulting the online terrorist membership directory will be enough to vet those refuges and ensure that no terrorists enters the U.S. disguised as refugees. The fact of the matter is that many of those who request asylum either have no paperwork or destroy it before it can be checked. Such people can claim to be anyone and none of their assertions can be verified. Terrorists have already entered the Europe and the United States while pretending to be refuges. Will Carter allow any of the refuges to crash at his mansion until they can get settled?

The nurse, of course, had to be a white person because the Left believes that non-whites can never be prejudiced. I am surprised the nurse was not a man since in the eyes of people like Carter, white males are responsible for all that is bad in the world.

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Moral Equivalency

The overarching theme of the installment was moral equivalency. Carter wants us to come away from the episode with the sense that the average citizen of the U.S. is little better than a Muslin terrorist. This point is touched upon during a discussion that takes place during the final scene in which violent passages in the Koran and the Old Testament (or Tora) are compared. The comparison is flawed for several reasons. The number of Christians or Jews who commit terrorist acts after claiming to be inspired by their respective holy books is so small as to be statistically insignificant. Only a small minority of the world’s Christians and Jews interpret their holy books literally. By contrast, 100% of the planet’s faithful Muslims believe every word of the Koran was dictated by God to Mahomed and therefore believe the Koran is the literal word of God. Keep this last point in mind the next time you hear a terrorist justify terrorism by quoting from the violent rhetoric of the Koran.

Miller and Einstein

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Moving on to more lighthearted criticism, the episode introduced us to F.B.I. Agents Miller and Einstein. Lauren Ambrose brought to life a mildly interesting character in Einstein.  Robbie Amell’s Miller looks more like someone you might see posing outside an Abercrombie and Fitch store with no shirt than an F.B.I. agent.  The concept that the two are meant to be young versions of Agent Fox Mulder (portrayed by David Duchovny) and Scully was just plain silly in a stupid and boring manner of speaking. Is Carter really setting the stage for “The X-Files” to continue on with these new characters after Duchovny and Anderson either quit the show or age out of their roles?

A Major Continuity Error

IMG_0722.JPGThis photograph was taken from my TV and is the best I could do. On both the left and the right sides of the gallery you can see fire balls, smoke and debris from two different bomb detonations.

Before I close I must bring up a whopper of a continuity error made by those who created “Babylon.” It is obvious that, as previously mentioned, the show wants the audience to accept that only one of the two terrorists who walked into the art gallery detonates his suicide vest. However, the viewer is clearly presented with two distinct explosions and two different fireballs during the art gallery scene. This would suggest both vests had to have been detonated. If they were, however, both terrorists would have been blown to smithereens and neither one could have later been seen lying in a hospital bed and in a coma.

Despite the hammering I have given the episode in this review, I nonetheless found it to be fun and thought-provoking TV. Check my blog next week for a review of the season finale.

If you enjoyed this blog post, please consider sharing it on Facebook or Twitter.

 You may also want to follow my blog and follow me on Twitter (T.J.Kong @Ride_the_bomb).

You can email me at T_J_Kong@yahoo.com. I always welcome suggestions for blog topics.

 I also have a YouTube.com channel called: “Ride the Bomb!” See https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpauuMnQBSI2FWgFiScj2mw

I believe in free speech and so I approve all blog comments. No exceptions.

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Senator Rand Paul’s Presidential Candidacy

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I agree with Rand Paul on a number of important issues. I wish I could go full Libertarian and support him over all other candidates. However, I lack enough confidence and trust in the average person to do so. I think it might be dangerous for me to give some people too much freedom. I also worry about isolationism. I think the Muslim refugees streaming into the West shows what happens when we disengage with the world.

We Should Error on the Side of Freedom

I do believe we should always try to err on the side of freedom. I am grateful that Rand Paul can be counted on as an outspoken voice of Libertarian ideals. I just don’t want him to be the GOP’s candidate for president.

Update

Edit: On February 4, 2016 Paul announced that he was suspending his presidential campaign. It has been suggested that what sunk him was his advocating an isolationist foreign policy at a time when American’s fears over terrorism are justifiably rising. I think there is a lot of truth to this argument. However, I feel another factor is that there are just not enough pure Libertarian Republicans to support a Libertarian  presidential candidate like Paul.

I think that in the end the sum total of Paul’s political career will look much like that of his father’s, Senator Ron Paul. Ron ran for president time after time but in the end only succeeded in spreading the worthy message of Libertarianism. The likelihood is this is the best that his son will ever be able to hope for.

If you enjoyed this blog post, please consider sharing it on Facebook or Twitter.

 You may also want to follow my blog and follow me on Twitter (T.J.Kong @Ride_the_bomb).

You can email me at T_J_Kong@yahoo.com. I always welcome suggestions for blog topics.

 I also have a YouTube.com channel called: “Ride the Bomb!” See https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpauuMnQBSI2FWgFiScj2mw

I believe in free speech and so I approve all blog comments. No exceptions.

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My Two Cents on Billionaire Presidential Candidate, Donald Trump

trump thumbs up.jpgIt could very well be that when all is said and done Donald Trump will have received more media coverage than any presidential candidate in U.S. history. A good deal of what has been written and uttered about him has been nonsense. I wish to have my say on the man and hope to write something meaningful.

Pre-Politics Trump

Many of us who live or have lived in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut tri-state area know Trump from before he became a reality TV star and subsequently became heavily involved in politics. We can recall that over the years Trump has gone on record with many Liberal statements and positions and even publicly supported Democrat politicians.

Trump Version 2.0

During this campaign season Trump has taken very Conservative positions on the issues of the day. I like much of what I have heard. Trump’s supporters have assumed that Trump version 2.0 is “The [real] Donald” and his conversion is genuine. I have my doubts despite his campaign rhetoric. I believe that that which is good for business and the economy are the only issues Trump is truly passionate about. This is not a bad thing. The average household income of Americans is lower now than when Barack Obama took office. The percentage of able-bodied Americans in the workforce is lower than at any time since the 1970s. Obama’s economic policy has been a disaster for the nation. A president like Trump who is Conservative when it comes to business and the economy could turn the country around.

However, I am certain that on all other issues, a Trump presidency would reflect the views of his cabinet, advisers and vice president. If he selects a Liberal Republican to be his vice president and Liberal Republicans to advise him and serve in his cabinet (none of which would surprise me) his presidency will be Liberal on all issues not related to business or the economy. Voters need to be comfortable with this possibility if they are going to support Trump this primary season.

Protectionism and Isolationism

Trump supporters should also give careful consideration to his public statements supporting protectionism and isolationism. History has shown protectionism does not work. Nations that are hit with tariffs respond in kind. It is a zero-sum gain. It is better to aim to win economically on a free market playing field. The impact of the Muslim refugees streaming into Europe demonstrates why an isolationist foreign policy is a very bad idea.

Trump’s Demeanor

It is impossible to write on Trump and not comment on his demeanor. He is crude, direct and abrupt. Such people do not typically win popularity contests. Since an election is a popularity contest, Trump’s manor may hurt his chances of winning his party’s nomination and the general election.

Presidents are role models for children and represent Americans to the rest of the world. They should be dignified, refined and respectful. President Barack Obama’s frequent use of foul and offensive language is one of the reasons why he disgusts me so much. If Trump really wants to be president he should start acting presidential. Hillary Clinton was right to say so.

Trump and “Lost Voters”

Perhaps the most interesting thing written on Trump to date is the recent argument that he may be able to benefit from “’lost voters.” These are people who are defined as having rarely or never voted before and who will vote for Trump because they believe they have found a candidate who has their interest at heart. Just as Obama was able to win two elections with record low white support by relying on record high minority turnout, Trump may likewise be victorious as a consequence of a new and never before seen dynamic in electoral politics. He may have to if he is to win because the positions he has taken on issues appears to be unlikely to garner enough support from the independent voters who in a typical election year determine which party carries the day.

Trump has taken us all on a wild ride. It is unlikely to become dull anytime soon. Grab some popcorn, watch how it all unfolds and let us enjoy the fun together!

If you enjoyed this blog post, please consider sharing it on Facebook or Twitter.

 You may also want to follow my blog and follow me on Twitter (T.J.Kong @Ride_the_bomb).

You can email me at T_J_Kong@yahoo.com. I always welcome suggestions for blog topics.

 I also have a YouTube.com channel called: “Ride the Bomb!” See https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpauuMnQBSI2FWgFiScj2mw

I believe in free speech and so I approve all blog comments. No exceptions.

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