Author Archives: cliffgephart

Youth Sports… the Cliff and Jamie Story

Cliff Bottom Row 2nd from Left Jamie 2nd Row 2nd from Left

As a young kid I participated in many sports including baseball, basketball, BMX racing, tennis and others. Along the way I gathered many lifelong lessons and relationships that I carry to this day. As a parent I have made sure that sports are a part of my Daughter and Sons lives so they to will benefit from the enormous value that sports can contribute to ones development and character. Recently I was reminded just how important sports were to my development and the lessons and memories that will live with me for a lifetime.  I never accomplished much as an athlete like most and I refuse to create some false narrative to brag to others about how great I was, like so many others do.  Often we hear from people that tell us how great they were at sports, how they should have been a professional, how something or someone kept them from realizing their full potential.   We all have heard stories like this and simply take them with a grain of salt, smile and secretly know it’s a bunch of bullshit.   In full disclosure, I was an OK athlete, not usually picked last but rarely picked first, I was kinda small and skinny for my age as I grew in my later teens.

 

149595_1718147555694_4701184_n

I coach my son’s competitive baseball team and it is a very difficult balance between competition, fairness, winning, development, parents expectations, kids feelings, proper training, tough love and sanity.   This summer our team is slotted to go to Cooperstown to play at the birthplace of baseball and have a magical baseball experience with a group of kids that have known each other and played together since they were 6 years old.    During the spring season prior to this summer we lost a few players and families because they felt our team wasn’t competitive enough, wasn’t able to win enough or had kids on it that weren’t good enough to play with them.  This event troubled me deeply as I lost a dear friendship because of it.   I was unwilling to alter the team and change the roster and cut kids based on talent and deny them the Cooperstown  experience that we have been anticipating for years.   During the Spring we did loose a few more games because of the defections, we were not as competitive but looking back I wouldn’t have changed a thing.    Cooperstown is supposed to be the pinnacle of youth baseball, an experience that these kids will treasure for a lifetime and something I was not willing to rob any of them of regardless of our win / lose record.    I never thought I owed anything to the families of our team beyond Cooperstown but I knew I owed them that and I wasn’t willing to trade friendships and loyalty for any amount of wins.

A few years ago I connected with a former teammate of mine and was deeply touched and profoundly impacted by a simple conversation on Facebook messenger.  I am sure Jamie doesn’t know how much he impacted me but it was significant and I would like to thank him for doing so.   Jamie (James) Mills reached out to me on Facebook and just wanted to say hi to an old friend never thinking about the impact that a simple message would have on me.   When I played with Jamie he was an extremely good baseball player the one I thought as a young kid could be a professional, the one I thought could really become a famous baseball player.  Jamie was a big kid for his age, hit home runs and threw the ball so hard my mom had to cut up a sponge so I could put it in my catcher mitt so my hand could handle the abuse.  Jamie and I didn’t go to the same high school, didn’t socialize in the same friend circles and haven’t seen each other since we were 12 years old because I went and played baseball at a different park.  When I look back on my baseball career the glowing memory or thing that I remember the most was that I was Jamie’s catcher.  In my mind I identified my entire baseball memory as the kid that caught the best stud pitcher in the area, his success was my success.  During our brief Facebook messenger conversation I mentioned to Jamie that my son plays baseball and I asked him what became of his baseball career, thinking he might have played in college or maybe the pros.  This was his response that for some reason affected me so much… You mentioned playing ball with your son making you think of the past, I honest feel that when you were my catcher I had the most fun and pitched my best games. I never amounted to much after that (as far as baseball is concerned). I used to wish I went farther in baseball but I think I was just meant to be a soldier and a pilot”.

In the moments after reading Jamie’s message I realized I had no idea how many games we won or lost, I have no idea what my batting average was nor could I begin to tell you the details of any game I played in with Jaime.   What I did know is that it was the experience with Jaime that was forged in my memory, it was the friendship that was created and that will never be forgotten.    Jaime didn’t talk about our record or stats his first description of our playing days was “fun”.  As a coach I constantly struggle with the pull of competition, winning and my competitive spirit but I often find myself remembering a short Facebook message from a friend I once played with a long time ago to help guide me.   I know I have not always made the right decisions as a coach but I know deep down I have tried my best to manage the expectations of 12 kids, 24 parents,  step parents and some grandparents.   It isn’t easy being a youth coach but I haven’t regretted it a day and if asked to do all over again I would say yes faster than a Nolan Ryan heater.  I want to say thank you to all the players and parents that have allowed me to play a small role in their lives.

Advertisements

Worthless un-Americans…

49ers-colin-kaepernick-and-eric-reid-kneeling

HUMAN EXCREMENT

Recently the ass hat Colin Kaepernick has decided that the lives of men and women who have given and are wiling to give the ultimate sacrifice aren’t deserving of his respect.   I find the lack of respect for our country and Kaepernick’s fellow Americans completely disgusting and reprehensible.   This vile action is spreading across the country like the zika virus.   From overpaid whinny professional athletes, pathetically useless millennials to our youth disrespecting our country, our people and our flag has become the “IN” thing and it is F#(k!N& sick.    This conduct has led to the complete dissolve for the rule of law and caused much of the chaotic happenings that has inhabited weaker minds in America.  Most aren’t even sure what they are protesting other than their lives suck without the thought that it is maybe because of their actions that their lives suck.

Regardless of your opinion of how you feel about what is happening in your country today, you still need to stand up and respect it.   Americans have fought and died for EVERYONE to have rights, from African Americans to all women not just white men.  More than a hundred years ago hundreds of thousands of WHITE MEN died to give African American’s their freedom.   Think about that for a moment…. White people died for Black people in America…..dead-soldier-antietam359,528 Americans died fighting for the freedom of enslaved blacks in America, these people deserve your respect and for you to stand for the Anthem.  It was the love of country that made segregation obsolete, thousands of white American men and women stood up for equal rights of all people and these are the people we should stand for when the national anthem is played .  It was for love of country that made America a better place for all not a perfect place or ideal place.

We all know that America is not a perfect place and it never will be, because “perfect” has a different meaning to each of us.   What America offers is the pursuit of happiness and the opportunity to be anything you want to be.  America does not guarantee or insure your success or happiness.   This ability to be whoever you want is never more evident than in our outgoing president.  The day America elected a biracial man named Barack Hussein Obama is the point where we can no longer claim that opportunity doesn’t exist.  Some may have to work harder for opportunity, some may hit roadblocks, some may feel like the deck is stacked against them but at-least in this America they have a seat at the table.

Those who aren’t willing to stand for the national anthem are misguided fools who have no idea of the history that has led us to this point and the sacrifices Americans have made.  The new brand of worthless Americans don’t realize that they are not standing in affirmation to what is happening but are offering respect to what has happened.   To all the Colin Kaepernick’s, Mike Evan’s and countless other Americans that are unwilling to support and honor the country that provides you the very blanket of freedom to do stupid shit, I say F#(% YOU…  protestFor whatever lame bullshit excuse you decide that disrespecting America in some public fashion is a good idea, why don’t you go try that shit in a VFW, Arlington cemetery or other place where those is attendance will pull your pants down and spank you right there if front of everyone for being the spoiled little disrespectful brat you are.. If there is a better country with more opportunity in it, I suggest you go there….  I will personally purchase the one way ticket for you.  God bless America and oh by the way… Merry Christmas.

Worthless Americans…

49ers-colin-kaepernick-and-eric-reid-kneeling

A National Disgrace

Recently the ass hat Colin Kaepernick has decided that the lives of men and women who have given and are wiling to give the ultimate sacrifice aren’t deserving of his respect.   I find the lack of respect for our country and Kaepernick’s fellow Americans completely disgusting and reprehensible.   This vile action is spreading across the country like the zika virus.   From overpaid whinny professional athletes, pathetically useless millennials to our youth disrespecting our country, our people and our flag has become the “IN” thing and it is F#(k!N& sick.    This conduct has led to the complete dissolve for the rule of law and caused much of the chaotic happenings that has inhabited weaker minds in America.  Most aren’t even sure what they are protesting other than their lives suck without the thought that it is maybe because of their actions that their lives suck.

Regardless of your opinion of how you feel about what is happening in your country today, you still need to stand up and respect it.   Americans have fought and died for EVERYONE to have rights, from African Americans to all women not just white men.  More than a hundred years ago hundreds of thousands of WHITE MEN died to give African American’s their freedom.   Think about that for a moment…. White people died for Black people in America…..dead-soldier-antietam359,528 Americans died fighting for the freedom of enslaved blacks in America, these people deserve your respect and for you to stand for the Anthem.  It was the love of country that made segregation obsolete, thousands of white American men and women stood up for equal rights of all people and these are the people we should stand for when the national anthem is played .  It was for love of country that made America a better place for all not a perfect place or ideal place.

We all know that America is not a perfect place and it never will be, because “perfect” has a different meaning to each of us.   What America offers is the pursuit of happiness and the opportunity to be anything you want to be.  America does not guarantee or insure your success or happiness.   This ability to be whoever you want is never more evident than in our outgoing president.  The day America elected a biracial man named Barack Hussein Obama is the point where we can no longer claim that opportunity doesn’t exist.  Some may have to work harder for opportunity, some may hit roadblocks, some may feel like the deck is stacked against them but at-least in this America they have a seat at the table.

Those who aren’t willing to stand for the national anthem are misguided fools who have no idea of the history that has led us to this point and the sacrifices Americans have made.  The new brand of worthless Americans don’t realize that they are not standing in affirmation to what is happening but are offering respect to what has happened.   To all the Colin Kaepernick’s, Mike Evan’s and countless other Americans that are unwilling to support and honor the country that provides you the very blanket of freedom to do stupid shit, I say F#(% YOU…  protestFor whatever lame bullshit excuse you decide that disrespecting America in some public fashion is a good idea, why don’t you go try that shit in a VFW, Arlington cemetery or other place where those is attendance will pull your pants down and spank you right there if front of everyone for being the spoiled little disrespectful brat you are.. If there is a better country with more opportunity in it, I suggest you go there….  I will personally purchase the one way ticket for you.  God bless America and oh by the way… Merry Christmas.

THE FREE JOLLY PHONE

This election the great Republicans of Pinellas County have a choice. The choice comes down to conservative thought, actions and beliefs. We have all watched the video of the Obama Phone Lady, in fact more than 9 million people have viewed this video.   Now I know Obama didn’t start the program, but a conservative government should have stopped the abuse.  Here are some of the facts.  The phone is free, 5oo minutes a month are free and unlimited texting.  Now some will argue that for safety and getting a job one needs a phone.  No one needs unlimited texting and I certainly don’t want to pay for it.   The only requirements to get this phone are 2 things: 1) Identification 2) your food stamp card.   I tried to get one from a guy pushing them down by the bus terminal.  I was denied because I did not possess a food stamp card.  This phone is being promoted to the low income population, given away to anyone already on the dole and being paid by the 47% of Americans who pay into the system.

I called Representative Austin Scott’s office of Georgia who sponsored H.R. 5525 – End Taxpayer Funded Cell Phones Act of 2016 to discuss the reason for the bill.  According to Representative Scott’s office the bill was put forth to STOP issuing cell phones.  During my conversation I concluded this bill was an attemp to stop the government waste we hear so much about.  The house vote went almost straight down party lines with all but 7 Republicans voting in favor and every Democrat voting against except 1.

Of the 7 Republicans who don’t see issuing free cell phones as a waste of government resources, one lives and represents the great peninsula of Pinellas.  Representative David Jolly voted against H.R. 5525 – End Taxpayer Funded Cell Phones Act of 2016, in-favor of continuing a program that enriches the telecom industry on the backs of tax paying Americans for a non-vital government program that most would consider a luxury.        I personally believe that a cell phone is not a necessity that the federal government needs to provide to its citizens and therefore a waste of taxpayer dollars.    If you think David Jolly wasted your dollars than you do have a choice.

 

General Mark Bircher

The Republicans of Pinellas do have a choice and I think it is a better choice.  If you haven’t already mailed your ballot in, I urge you to look into Mark Bircher for Congress.  Take 2 minutes to compare Mark Birchers accomplishments to his opponents and the decision will be easy to make.  Take 2 minutes to compare Mark’s beliefs and it will be easy to vote for him.  Take 2 minutes of research and you will realize that Mark Bircher is the best man to send to Washington, he just might not have the name recognition or the backing of the Republican machine.   I’m going to vote for Mark.  I am not a political operative, insider or fanatic, I am just a guy who has done some research and made a decision and wanted to share my thoughts with those in my district.   I’m voting for Mark, because I would have never voted against ending free cell phones like Jolly.   Watch the video below and ask yourself this… Would you want that to continue?  

http://www.MarkBircher.com

 

 

Conservative -vs- Liberal

[ File # csp6502397, License # 2856694 ] Licensed through http://www.canstockphoto.com in accordance with the End User License Agreement (http://www.canstockphoto.com/legal.php) (c) Can Stock Photo Inc. / iqoncept

There is a war on ideology in the United States that is at the very core of the country we were, are and will be.   Some conservatives believe any deviation from the Declaration of Independence is treason while those on the other side think we should shift to a more open inclusive society where the government plays a larger roll in our lives.

The reason America has been so great for so many years is because past generations have fought to hold onto and support the principles that were cast in the birth of this country.  I recognize that there are certain things that absolutely must have been changed, (i.e. slavery, women’s rights, etc.) to advance as a society but many others should NEVER be altered like the 2nd amendment, free speech and the absolute basis of our economic society CAPITALISM.   The Birth of this country started when the citizens were fed up with the amount of taxation and government imposition on them and they had this little so called “tea party”.

work·fare
ˈwərkˌfe(ə)r/
noun
a welfare system that requires those receiving benefits to perform some work or to participate in job training.

We can only ask so much of the producing population to contribute to the finances of the country while those who feel entitled demand more and more.   In the past citizens who weren’t able to find work would continue to attempt to find anything, often taking something that was much less than they had before there situation worsened.  Today it appears that our society is willing to accept the limited amount of government assistance they get, likely because it has expanded so much over the years.  Today those on public assistance get housing, healthcare, education, child services, food, telephone, health insurance.  It is likely that those services combined equate to more than $16,328 per year which is the amount of a full time minimum wage job. Some have estimated that the combined basket of services have a value in excess of $50,000 per year.

Unless those who are on public assistance feel a sense of pain they will have no incentive to better their situation.  We have moved to a place in this country where the millennials believe that they are entitled to a certain lifestyle.  This belief is based on the system that has been growing and being implemented over the past 30 years.  No one should be given anything by the government without something in return such as work.  If you get housing you should be required to volunteer so many hours, if you get a phone, then guess what, you work for that also… Soon those receiving benefits will seek out greater opportunities because they are now being required to offset their benefits with efforts.

This is the conservative / liberal struggle. Conservatives believe in the no free lunch way of life while the liberals want to blame big business and the 1% fat cats.  This divide is getting larger allowing for the Bernie Sanders of the world to gain traction because those who have been receiving government assistance will continue to want more and more and this creates a vicious cycle causing those in the system to have no incentive to get out.   The way to stop the cycle is to create an incentive of those in the system to get out, the incentive could be a job that doesn’t suck.

Why Do I Support TRUMP?

IMG_1771Supporting Donald Trump has created a dynamic that I have never experienced before.   The detractors are so animated and aggressive that simply saying I support Trump indicates I’m a racist, bigot privileged Caucasian.   I believe it is this experience that caused Donald Trump to not do so well in caucus states where you must openly support him.   It is because of some of Trump’s positions that are important to me that I support him and it is because of some of his positions that many question my choice.   Donald Trump may not be a “true conservative” in the sense of the word that the Glenn Becks of the world like.  Donald Trump may not be a polished politician that so many are used to hearing.  Donald Trump may often speak before analyzing every aspect of topics put before him.  Donald Trump may have radical opinions and solutions to some of America’s issues and problems.

Often I think Donald Trump identifies problems facing America and is bound and determined to bring them to light and finding a solution to solve them.   Job loss is a definite problem in America, so why not limit those coming here and exasperating the problem… The Wall.  Limiting the amount of any refugees, immigrants or those taking resources from other legal American citizens seems completely rational.  Why would America not build a wall to stop anyone from coming in and taking “American” resources that could be given to our homeless, veterans, elderly, handicapped, or used to pay down our ever mounting national debt?  The Muslim issue is real and needs to be addressed and dealt with.  The Muslim community will not speak out against the so called “radicals” so someone has to and Donald Trump has.  His stance may have been aggressive, but so is the problem, but at least he recognizes there is a problem and wishes to do something about it.  I have often heard that the first step in solving a problem is recognizing there is one.  The list goes on and on… American security, trade deals, deficits, UN and more that Donald Trump has brought to the political forefront and if not provided a solution he has at the very least started the conversation.IMG_2144

Whether Trump is a populist, Republican, Independent or conservative he in my opinion is the best one suited to deal with the problems I believe exist in America today.    The first day of Trumps campaign captivated me with the mantra “Make America Great Again”.  When I hear this slogan I often think of Tom Brokaw’s book, “the Greatest Generation”.   I don’t think I live in the greatest generation, I believe that America has lost it’s way has become soft and has become too corrupt.   I am supporting Donald Trump, not because I am looking for the most conservative candidate, not because I am looking for the most politically astute candidate but because I am looking for someone who doesn’t need the job but is willing to do it because it needs to be done.   Of all the candidates on both sides of the isle, Trump is the one who needs to be President the least and had the most to lose in seeking it.  I do realize that Trump is an ego maniac and being the President is the crown jewel of an ego manic.   I am sure some will say that he is a loose cannon who can’t be presidential’; to that I ask, how could he obtain what he has without the ability to get along, be diplomatic and posses the necessary intellect.  We should be thankful someone has risked so much to fight for America, and that is why I am supporting Donald Trump and I hope you do also.  Go to http://www.facebook.com/TrumpTampaBay12491848_222204134780139_3671718929075970969_o

Don’t Hate the Coach

327For 5 years I have dedicated myself to coaching my Son’s baseball teams, but this week was the most extreme event of all.   A seventy five year old Grandfather threatened to hit me in the face.  I’ll get to this later, but first I want to share with you my journey as a Coach.

Five years ago I walked into a youth Baseball Park to sign my then 6 year old son up for recreational youth baseball.  I was immediately asked if I would help coach a team and I reluctantly said yes but was unsure of my ability.  Soon after I agreed to help coach I was asked if I would be the Manager of that team,  The park wasn’t able to get enough managers, I once again reluctantly said yes.   Over the past 5 years and 14 different baseball seasons I have either coached or managed the team my son has been associated with, with what some would consider decent success.  As a highly competitive person, coaching youth sports becomes a huge balance between player development, player happiness, competitiveness, parent satisfaction, personal interest and team success.  It is difficult to achieve all of these at the same time without one of the other aspects suffering a bit.   I always use the term, “everyone can’t play shortstop”.

Lets talk about DADDYBALL for a moment.  Often parent’s claim daddyball when the coaches son always pitches, plays shortstop or bats towards the top of the lineup.  Daddyball is certainly a real thing and if egregious should be addressed, but often I find that the coaches children are at the top of the skill level on most teams.  I also know there is a phenomenon we should call BleacherDad/Mom, this is where the parents seem to want to control the coaches decisions from the other side of the fence.  Please know that as coaches, we are cognoscente that you are out there, have opinions and 2nd guess everything we do.   This is simply the greatest challenge that a coach with a heart, feelings and desire to do the right thing struggles with the most.   Every parent in the stands focuses on their child while in the field or up to bat and is always biased towards the betterment of their child.  I have never seen a parent take a photo of another persons child and post it to social media.  Youth coaches don’t get paid, rarely are thanked and expose themselves to extreme scrutiny season after season and guess what they also have a bias towards their child and must struggle with it constantly.    When things are equal or close to it, it is likely that a coach is going to express bias towards their child.   As much as no one wants to hear this, it is true and maybe that is the payment a coach gets for sacrificing thousands of hours of coaching.   Every parent of a child playing baseball wants to control where and when their child plays but unfortunately for those in the stands only the coaches can actually control this; hence the DADDYBALL effect.

So this week, I was screamed at, cussed at and threatened with physical violence from a grandparent of a former player.  I was told that “I was a horrible coach”, “his grandson knows more about baseball than me”.  Most of the things that were said are a blur because I was screamed at with a finger in my face for more than 20 minutes.   Not sure what to do or how to handle the situation, I merely stood there with my hands behind my back and let the man vent until he allowed me to speak.   The crux of the issue was that the player was removed from the team for many reasons including the mother expressing to one of the coaches that “he is going to stop playing baseball and focus on basketball”.   Apparently missing several games, practices and showing lack of commitment to the team isn’t acceptable reason to replace a player.  After sharing with the grandfather all the reasons that the team decided to go a different direction that weren’t given to him by the mother he reluctantly seemed to accept what I told him, kinda apologized and shook my hand.  Regardless of how it ended I was hurt and disturbed that a parent/grandparent was so angry with me and believed that I affected his grandson so badly that he wished to do me harm.   After pondering if coaching is worth the scrutiny, stress and hatred that comes with it I seriously considered stepping aside and listening to my wife who has preached that coaching only makes people hate me.   I have realized that the desire to share the youth baseball experience with my son is so much more important to me than those that I may offend, I will continue to coach.  This decision came from the result of multiple conversations with parents, coaches and trusted individuals.

Remember most coaches that volunteer their time, resources, knowledge, compassion, passion, finances, emotions and heart are doing the best they can.  Just as there is no book or class on how to be a parent there is no real book on exactly how to  coach each and every team. Coaching is a very fluid situation with many people, feelings, opinions and outcomes.  If you believe the person who is coaching your child is trying their best cut them some slack and if you don’t then volunteer yourself.

 

 

 

 

The Trump Situation

448Trump is like a bear that has come into the presidential campsite at night and no one has a gun big enough to kill him or run him off, all your going to do is piss him off and then you are going to be destroyed.

It began as the summer of Trump, which was supposed to cool off; then the fall of Trump and now it’s the winter of Trump. The problem the political nation is having with Trump is that all the rules, standards and norms have been thrown out the window.  In traditional politics there is an expected cause and effect phenomenon choreographed by the political insiders and the media. The media has no control over Trump and the Republican party has no control.  MONEY, is the thing that controls most elections, candidates and voters and Trump doesn’t need or want anyone’s money. Most politicians buy media (TV, radio, print & digital) with the money they get. Trump, because of his personal brand recognition and ratings value doesn’t need to spend a dime to get attention, they come to him, causing even less need for other peoples money. What does the establishment do if they no longer have a way to get the elephant to move, a stubborn headstrong elephant.  The inability to control, impact or steer Donald Trump is the most exciting problem in American politics.
425

Trump has been able to do something the Republican party has wanted to do for decades… reach marginal republicans, independents and possibly some democrats. The establishment talks about expanding the party, but they really don’t want to… TRUMP DOES.  Often we hear that Trump isn’t conservative enough, has supported personal interest in the past that weren’t in line with the republicans talking points and might skirt too close to the democratic line.  For all the reasons that the republican establishment hates Trump, those are the reasons the moderates and fringe voters have gravitated to his campaign.   Trump will likely do something that has not been done in decades… expand the base, energize the electorate and get the folks to the voting booth.   Trump supporters are staunch in their support and unlikely to change or shift allegiance mid stream (thats been proven over and over).  I anticipate Trumps support to grow slightly as other candidates drop out or become unelectable.  As most, I tend to not tell people of my support for Trump because of the backlash or explanations I might be forced to give, if this sentiment is the norm we may see an even greater margin of victory for Trump.

Why are so many passionate for Trump? Trump says the things many believe yet won’t say, lives the life we all want but won’t admit and may end up with the job we all aspire but likely could never achieve.  I don’t believe Trump is a racist, I think he generalizes situations that involve similar people like the Mexican wall and the Muslim crisis. muslim terror  The reason Trump is categorized as a racist is because he speaks without a filter like 99.9% of the world.  It is this lack of filter that attracts some and pushes away others.  The real question will be; does the Trump phenomenon get people to the polls?  As someone who attended a Trump rally, I believe the answer is yes, people will pull the lever for trump in big numbers.

The establishment better get used to the fact that TRUMP might be the nominee.

Am I Republican Enough

On Air

Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or Independent, that is the question.  Often people ask me what political affiliation I am and I immediately reply Republican with a disclaimer or caveat.   I find it difficult to toe the republican line with every issue, but I certainly am not a Democrat, I could be a Libertarian I guess.  It seems today that if you aren’t a hardcore ultra conservative you are then shunned by the Republican establishment.  Often I hear that this candidate isn’t conservative enough or he’s not a true conservative.  Does one have to score a 100 on the Republican test to pass?   Here are a few of my beliefs, you tell me what I am.  I call myself a Republican because those are the ideas and beliefs I most identify with and agree with, but not 100% so some might call me a RINO, which is ridiculous.

  1. I am not in favor or unneeded entitlements (welfare for capable people) or services that truly aren’t needed like, free cell phones.  There should be a much greater scrutiny of recipients and expectation.  If you receive funds, housing or services then you should have to work / volunteer in your community.  We must help only those who CAN’T HELP THEMSELVES.
  2. I am in favor the of 2nd amendment.  Guns don’t kill people and if made illegal only criminals will have them.  No matter how much the President cries, criminals will get and use guns.   I have guns.
  3. I am in favor or STRICT immigration.  I know we are all immigrants except for native Americans, but that argument is no longer applicable.  If we limit the immigration to only those capable of improving the “AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE” America would be better.  NO WELFARE FOR IMMIGRANTS…PERIOD.  Immigrants must assimilate.   Refugee Immigrants from Muslim countries must be prevented from entrance to America, valid travelers for business and commerce is ok.
  4. I believe Muslim’s must speak out against the so called “radicals”, which they aren’t.   Muslim entrance to the United States must be curtailed.  We need to strike down any “sharia law” crap.  America should be concerned about the Muslim movement.  People speak of islamaphobia, which sounds like a unnatural fear.  The reason for the fear is real and needs to be dealt with.
  5. I am not in favor of abortion, but I don’t think I have a right to prevent a woman from having an early term abortion.  I once heard the statement, “if you don’t believe in abortion, don’t have one”.
  6. The environment and wildlife needs to be protected and cherished.  Commerce can not come at the total expense of the planet.
  7. We need a strong military, but must be cautious with it.
  8. We CAN NOT give everyone a free education and healthcare.  People should have to pay for some of their own things.  America has become the greatest country because of it’s capitalistic approach to its economics.   What works in smaller countries doesn’t necessarily translate here.
  9. I believe in the death penalty for the most heinous of crimes.
  10. Veterans should be helped before 1 more immigrant is allowed in this country who is provided $1 of American aid.
  11. NO illegal or undocumented person in America should be given citizenship or be allowed to stay.  You must come to this country the proper way and then you should be received with open arms.

I grew up in a poor house with democrat parents.  My Mom told me that democrats were for the little guy who needed help.  After college I began to have my own opinions and became a republican because I didn’t think it was the governments job to help me, it was mine.  These are some of my beliefs and thoughts, certainly not all of them.  Leave a comment and let me know who you think I am or who you think you are.

 

GOP Debate Scorecard

debate Last Night was an exciting night for the GOP.  This was the last debate of 2015 and the last chance for some of the bottom feeders to garner any attention.   There didn’t seem to be any revelations or moments of surprise but there were moments of success for some but not nearly enough to make an impact on the national polls.   The resounding theme centered around the remaining 9 candidates offering opinions and input regarding Donald Trumps positions, statements and talking points.

As has been since the early summer, Donald Trump continued to be a political vacuum.  It was obvious that the moderator Wolf Blitzer  centered most questions and topics towards Trump, which seemed to be the correct thing to do based on his standing in the polls and the ground swell of attention he gets from the voters.  I don’t think there was a moment or performance during the debate that would shift mass support from one candidate to another.

Donald J Trump–   Donald Trump did his thing, remained constant in his message (Making America Great Again).  Trump seemed a bit reserved and a little less on the offensive than the past with exception to Jeb.  The most entertaining jab was when Trump talked about how Jeb was moving farther away from the center and soon will be off the stage based on poll numbers.

Ben Carson–   Dr Carson continued on his sleepwalking tour.  I would only hope either of my children are half as successful and Dr. Carson but he just seems to be a bit to lethargic for the highest office in the land.  I know Teddy Roosevelt coined the phrase “Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick”, the problem with Carson is that it is apparent he doesn’t carry a big stick.  Carson will continue to slide because it is apparent he doesn’t have what it takes to win and voters will gravitate towards a winning spirit.

Rafael “Ted” Cruz–   Ted Cruz seems like the most likely person that has any chance of catching The Donald in the next 40 days before the first caucus in Iowa.  Cruz seemed to do his best to seem presidential, conservative and powerful all while not poking the bear (Trump).  Cruz may have garnered some votes away from some of the other candidates with the exception of Trump.

Marco Rubio–  As someone who has spent time and supported Rubio during his Senator run, Rubio was typical Rubio last night.  Rubio has an amazing gift of orating his position that draws people in.   Rubio took a few shots regarding his position on immigration and being a member of the “gang of 8”.   If Trump wasn’t on the ballot, Rubio would have a chance, he can hold his own against Jeb, Cruz and the rest but his amazing charm isn’t allowed to shine in the Trump world.

Jeb Bush-   Jeb appeared like your friend that is just a bit awkward but has been your friend since birth so you hangout with him.  Jeb always seems to be searching for the correct word to say and it just seems choppy as opposed to someone like Rubio.  Have you ever seen that kid in the store who wants something from his mother but can’t have it?  That is Jeb Bush.   Someone has told him that last night was his last chance and he seemed desperate but just isn’t capable of a smooth delivery.   Jeb has no chance of regaining his chance of winning the nomination.  Before every baseball season there are favorites to win the pennant and fall short, Jeb was the preseason favorite.   There aren’t enough games left in the season for Jeb to make a run.

Chris Christie–   Christie is most likely the person that helped his campaign last night with his I WILL PROTECT YOU rhetoric.   Christie must have appealed to those out there that are fearful of attacks and Islamic dangers.  That said, I think when Rand Paul called Christie out for wanting World War III that affected my senses more than anything.  As quick as I was impressed with Christie’s stance on ISIS, it is a whole different set of circumstances going to war with Russia.   I don’t think we can shoot down Russian jets and think that is going to end well.  Christie set himself up to be the Attorney General by repeatedly touting his prosecutor resume.

Carly Fiorino–   Carly did nothing to improve or hurt her campaign last night.  She tried to explain how the private sector in silicon valley could be persuaded to aid America in the global fight on the web.  She stressed not talking to Putin and others from a position of weakness, I just don’t think these are the hot buttons of the likely GOP primary voters.  Carly has no chance of moving up in the polls.

Rand Paul-  Rand Paul continued on his I’m a different kind of Republican tour.  Many of the points Rand made were valid and made sense, they just aren’t in the same vein as the likely voters.  If there were no parties and politics were a free for all, Rand would appeal to many people across the aisle.  Rand also lacks the swagger and look of a president in this highly media saturated world we live in.

John Kasich-   Every time I hear Kasich speak it seems like he is using this as his re-election campaign for Ohio.  Kasich has no reason to be on the stage with the other candidates, he adds nothing to the discussion and is useless to bringing any relevant points or new dynamic.  I am not sure what anyone sees in Kasich when you have so many other polarizing candidates on the stage that could appeal to issues important to you.   Kasich was upset that he was rarely addressed or provided an opportunity to speak, he should just be honored to be on the stage.

Just my thoughts…