Friday, July 29, 2016

Dr. Ming Wang honored as Nashvillian of the Year

Dr. Ming Wang
Today at the Kiwanis Club of Nashville luncheon at the Patron Club located in the Bridgestone Arena in downtown Nashville, Dr. Ming Wang was honored as Nashvillian of the Year. This is the 35th year the Kiwanis Club of Nashville has presented the award. Previous recipients of this prestigious honor have included Martha Ingram, Roy Acuff, Jack Massey, Phil Bredesen, Vince Gill, Tim Corbin, Mike Curb, Frank Wycheck, Darrell Waltrip and Mayor Karl Dean.

 The selection committee was spearheaded by George H. Armistead, III, one of the three original architects of the award. Dr. Wang was presented with a commemorative plaque along with a commissioned caricature.

Dr Ming Wang is director of Wang Vision 3D Cataract and LASIK Center, a world-renowned laser eye surgeon, author, and philanthropist. In a press release the Kiwanis Club said, "Dr. Wang receives the award by exemplifying the qualities of Outstanding Nashvillian of the Year and the Kiwanis International Vision. Dr. Wang worked diligently to make the world a better place, when he established the Wang Foundation, helping patients from over 40 states in the U.S. and 55 countries, with sight restoration surgeries performed

“It is difficult to know anyone who works as hard giving back to the community and changing the lives of children as much as Dr. Ming Wang,” said Kenny Markanich, president, Kiwanis Club of Nashville. “He has helped countless children through the charitable outreach of his foundation, giving free surgeries to repair their vision.”

Dr. Wang actively contributes to the Nashville community as the founding president of the Tennessee Chinese Chamber of Commerce and as an honorary president of the Tennessee American-Chinese Chamber of Commerce. The mission of these two chambers is to help educate Tennessee businesses about China, helping Tennessee to increase its export to China. He is also a co-founder of Tennessee Immigrant and Minority Business Group, an organization that provides support to the diverse cultural and ethnic businesses in our community.

I know Dr. Wang due to his political activity. He is active in the Republican Minority Coalition, an organization dedicated to broadening the base of the Republican Party and attracting immigrants and minorities. With power point charts, Dr. Wang gives a powerful talk showing that by 2040 America will be a minority-majority country and if America is going to remain a free and prosperous nation, we must attract minorities to the Republican Party.

Rod Williams and Dr. Ming Wang
Dr. Wang has a compelling life story having lived though the Chinese Cultural Revolution. During that dark period of Chinese history millions of innocent youths were deported to remote areas to face a life sentence of poverty and hard labor. Through his own tenacity and his parents’ tireless efforts to provide a chance of freedom for their son, Ming eventually made his way to America with $50 in his pocket, where against all odds he succeed and earned a PhD in laser physics and graduated magna cum laude with the highest honors from Harvard Medical School and MIT. He embraced the Christian faith and tackled one of the most important questions of our time – Are faith and science friends or foes? – which led to his invention of a breakthrough biotechnology to restore sight.

At the luncheon today, Dr. Wang spoke of his Christian faith and the blessing of liberty and his love of this country. Congratulations to Dr. Ming Wang for a well-deserved recognition.

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Tennessee Right to Life endorsements

For more information, follow this link.

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Vote for Steve Dickerson Tennessee State Senate District 20

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My recommendations for School Board and who others are endorsing.

District 1, Sharon Gentry
On August 4th we will be filling the seats of five of the nine school board members. The school Board elections, in my view, are extremely important and many people do not give these elections the attention they deserve .  For one thing, the school board spends 41 percent of the Metro's budget which this year was in excess of $2 billion.  That is a lot of money.  For another thing it is embarrassing how poor Metro schools are performing and I believe we can do better. It is true we have some excellent schools in Nashville, but most of the really good Metro schools are magnet schools or charter schools.  In deciding where to live, middle class and upper middle class parents often see the choice between Williamson County and sending their child to a public school versus Davidson County and sending their child to a private school.

All taxpayers and voters, whether they have children in the school system or not, have a stake in the
quality of Nashville public education. The quality of education can impact the poverty rate, the crime rate, economic well being of our community but most importantly the lives of children.

A Disgruntled Republican's recommendations.
District 3, Jane Grimes Meneely
I have attended one candidate's  forum, have watched the Tennessean interviews with the candidates, studied the candidates web pages, read everything I could find in the local press about the races and have followed the candidates' campaigns fairly closely. I have met several of the candidates.  Also, while I do not watch every school board meeting, I watch a large number of them and have seen the school board in action.

In District 1, I am supporting Sharon Gentry for reelection. She has been a good chair of the School Board. With such a divided board and with some volatile personalities to content with she has managed to keep the board functioning under trying circumstances. With several new members and a new Director of Schools we need some continuity on the Board.

District 5: Miranda Christy
In District 3, 7 and 9 I am supporting the challengers because they are not Speering, Pinkson, or Frogge. Those three incumbents desperately need to be replaced.  I would support anyone who was their opponent. They seem to favor mediocrity in education and the teachers union over excellence in education.  They oppose innovation and reform. They have a knee-jerk reaction against charter schools. Charter schools have shown a remarkable ability to excel where traditional schools have failed.  In many Black communities, many Black young men are headed to college instead of prison due to a charter school education.  The act of chartering a charter schools, however, should  be a deliberative process and charters must be held accountable for their results and if they do not perform better than the traditional school was functioning, then they should lose their charter. We need people on the school board who are open to charters and recognized their potential for improving public education.  The three challengers to the aforementioned incumbents appear well qualified and committed to public education.

I live in District 7 so I have followed that race the closer than the others. I am really impressed with Jackson Miller and think he has the skills, heart, and background to make a great school board member.

Below are my recommendations. To view the candidate's website, click the link.

District 1: Sharron Gentry
District 7: Jackson Miller
District 3: Jane Grimes Meneely
District 5: Miranda Christy
District 7: Jackson Miller
District 9: Thom Druffel

The Tennessean Endorsement.
The Tennessean almost always endorses a Democrat instead of a Republican in partisan races except in those cases where the Democrat nominee is a screwball wingnut disavowed by the Democrat Party. One knows the Tennessean's point of view so should not be surprised when the Tennessean endorses the most liberal candidates. Still, I am somewhat  perplexed that The Tennessean would endorse Will Pinkston over Jackson Miller.  The Tennessean, I think, has been  fair in pointing out how divisive and dogmatic Will Pinkston has been on the school board. Also, many liberals now support charter schools and this issue is no longer a right-left divide and The Tennessean has generally supported education reform and excellence in education. Since the mayor is supporting Will Pinkson and The Tennessean blindly supports the mayor, this may have been a case of supporting the team and not wanting to see the mayor's stature diminished by supporting a losing candidate. To read The Tennessean's endorsements follow this link. Here are The Tennessean's endorsements:
District 1: Sharon Dixon Gentry (incumbent)
District 3: Jill Speering (incumbent)
District 5: Miranda Christy (open seat)
District 7: Will Pinkston (incumbent)
District 9: Thom Druffel (challenger)

District 9: Thom Druffel
Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce endorsements.
The Chamber has been a strong advocate for education reform and excellence in education so I am somewhat perplexed that they failed endorse Jackson Miller over Will Pinkson, choosing not to make an endorsement in that race. Here is the link to The Tennessean story on the Camber's endorsements and hear is a link to the Nashville Scene's report on the Chamber endorsements.
District 1: Sharon Gentry
District 3: Jane Grimes Meneely
District 5: Christiane Buggs and Miranda Christy
District 7: No endorsement
District 9: Thom Druffel

SEIU endorsements.
SEIU has surprised no one by endorsing those candidates who support unions above students. An SEIU enforcement is valuable in telling me for whom I would not want to vote. For the SEIU narrative on the candidates they endorsed follow this link. Here are their List of endorsements:
District 1, no endorsement
District 3, incumbent Jill Speering.
District 5, SEIU endorsed Christiane Buggs
District 7, the union is supporting Will Pinkston
District 9, SEIU Local 205 endorsed incumbent Amy Frogge

Stand for Children.
Below is the statement of Stand with Children that accompanied their endorsements:
With a committed Mayor and the recent selection of Dr. Shawn Joseph as Director of Schools, there remains one major missing piece to improving our public education system: a better school board.

On the current Board's watch the achievement gap between low-income students and their more privileged peers grew by 11%; in Memphis that gap was closed by 19% during the same timeframe. On the current Board's watch the number of Nashville schools on the state’s Priority List of lowest-performing schools increased 250% (from six to fifteen).  Finally, only 14% of MNPS graduating seniors are considered “college ready” according to the ACT College Readiness benchmark.

There are great things happening in Metro schools, but clearly we have work to do. Instead of concentrating on how to close the achievement gap, improve chronically low performing schools, or better prepare graduates for life after graduation, several members of the current Board instead spend the overwhelming majority of their time attacking public charter schools, many of which are the district’s top-performing schools. This obsession with charter schools has crowded out discussion of tangible, scalable solutions.

The 86,000 MNPS students who have just one shot at a great education deserve better leadership than that.  Their families and our community do, too.

This election offers Nashville an exciting opportunity to turn the page on the dysfunction and stagnation that have plagued our school system the past several years. Imagine for a moment that we spent the next four years not rehashing the same old fights, but instead debating the best way to attract and support a great principal at every school; the best way to retain and develop our incredible educators; the most innovative ways to support our growing immigrant populations; and or the best way to ensure schools receive adequate and equitable funding and support. Think of the impact that might have on the 86,000 kids that walk into a Metro school every day.

District 1:  Sharon Gentry
District 3: Jane Meneely
District 5: Miranda Christy
District 7: Jackson Miller
District 9: Thom Druffel

I cannot find the endorsements from the teachers union (MNEA), however I could guess who they will be supporting. If MNEA post endorsements, I will update this page. 

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Republicans have a problem: Trump-Putin

By Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post, July 27 at 2:01 PM - ... Donald Trump in a news conference this morning gave the Hillary Clinton camp more ammunition than Democrats could possibly hope for in their effort to show Trump unfit for the presidency.

His invitation to Vladimir Putin to help him in the election was as jaw-dropping as anything he said in this election. He told reporters, “Russia, if you are listening, I hope you are able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by the press.”

....One can only imagine, if the roles were reversed, they’d be racing to the microphones to denounce Clinton as unfit to serve.

House Speaker Paul Ryan’s office mustered a simple, blunt statement: “Russia is a global menace led by a devious thug. Putin should stay out of this election.” Unfortunately, his party’s nominee — whom Ryan will continue to endorse — does not see things that way.(link)

My Comment: I wrote a post yesterday, Hillary Clinton may actually be the lesser of two evils, in which I argued that the primary reason Clinton may be the lesser of two evils is because I feared Trump's was weaker than Clinton of keeping America safe. I offered examples of Trump' weak position on NATO and his failure to mention the threat of Russian aggression in his speeches. I also referenced the mutual admiration between Trump and Russia's Putin. Now this.  It is unacceptable that a candidate for the president of the United States ask a foreign power to involve itself in an American election. I am still undecided on who is the lesser evil but went from thinking it was Trump to being undecided.  I look forward to a foreign policy debate between the two.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Hillary Clinton may actually be the lesser of two evils.

Recently I explained why I would not be choosing the lesser of two evils and voting for Donald Trump. Due to the fact that we do not have national elections for president but instead have fifty state elections for president and Trump will carry Tennessee and Tennessee is a winner-take-all state, I can safely vote for a third party or skip voting for President and despite what people say, the effect of doings so is not a vote for Hillary. I have the luxury of not voting for the lesser of two evils.

I don't believe Donald Trump is really a conservative and gave examples of why I believe that. I said that if someone put a gun to my head, however, and I had to choose between Trump and Hillary and those were the only two choices then, I would chose Trump. My primary reason for choosing Trump as the lesser evil is that I think he would make better Supreme Court appointments.

Recent events however have made me start to  rethink my gun-to-the-head, lesser-of-two-evil  choice.  Maybe, Hillary is actually the lesser evil.  One of the most important duties of the president is to protect our country.  In my view, collective security though NATO is one of the things protecting our nation.  Since the demise of the old Soviet empire and the rise of Putin, it appears he has been trying to reestablish the old Soviet empire as a Russian empire. I believe a strong NATO is essential to the security of our nation.

During the RNC, I was pleased to see Trump criticize the Obama-Hillary foreign policy including the rise of ISIS and Iran's path to becoming a nuclear power. I was pleased to hear Trump say he would rebuild our depleted military. I was disappointed, however, that he did not warn of the danger of China annexing the South China Sea by building island military outpost throughout the region and I was especially disappointed that he did not mention Russian aggression in eastern Europe. While I am concerned about ISIS, I think Russian adventurism may be a greater threat to our security.  I would have liked to have heard him say that America would strengthen and stand with our NATO allies. Instead, in previous comments he had indicated a lack of commitment to NATO.

Trump had not only indicated he may not honor our NATO commitments but has had words of praise for Russian strongman Valdimir Putin.  Now, it appears that Russia has hacked DNC emails and released them in what appears to be an attempt to damage Hillary Clinton's candidacy and help Trump. If more evidence emerges that Putin prefers the election of Trump to that of Hillary Clinton, then I must conclude that Putin thinks Trump would do less to frustrate Russian plans for counquest than would Hillary.  If that is true, if Hillary Clinton is a greater threat to Russian ambitions than Donald Trump, then Hillary may be the lesser of two evils.

Below are news reports that make me rethink who is really the lesser of two evils.

Remember when the Republican Party was a reliable foe of Russia's autocratic leaders? It actually wasn't that long ago. When President Barack Obama forged the New Start treaty with Moscow in 2010, Republican leaders opposed the treaty in part because Russia under Vladimir Putin could not be trusted with an arms control agreement.

Now Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for president in 2016, is suggesting he may not honor U.S. commitments to NATO, which exists to counter Russian aggression. In an interview with The New York Times, he said he would come to the aid of Baltic states if they were attacked by Russia only if "they have fulfilled their obligations to us."

This is not a unique position. The view that America should not necessarily honor its mutual defense agreements in NATO is popular among many foreign policy academics, particularly those in the "realist" school. Many progressives too, like the editors of The Nation magazine, have mused that America's push to expand NATO is the root cause of Putin's aggression in Ukraine.
‘DNC Hacker’ Unmasked: He Really Works for Russia, Researchers Say
The hacker who claimed to compromise the DNC swore he was Romanian. But new research shows he worked directly for the Vladimir Putin government in Moscow.
The hacker who claimed to compromise the DNC swore he was Romanian. But new research shows he worked directly for the Vladimir Putin government in Moscow. The hacker who claims to have stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee and provided them to WikiLeaks is actually an agent of the Russian government and part of an orchestrated attempt to influence U.S. media coverage surrounding the presidential election, a security research group concluded on Tuesday.

Thatfinding matches the political motive that U.S. officials told The Daily Beast they have seen in Russia’s hacking of the DNC. The FBI said on Monday that it was investigating the breach, which a growing number within the Obama administration believe was designed to embarrass Democrats, exacerbate tensions between Hillary Clinton and her former rival Bernie Sanders—as well as his voters—and ultimately to give a boost to Republican nominee Donald Trump.  - The Daily Beast

CREDIT FOR the internecine furor that disrupted the Democratic Party on the eve of its convention should go to Vladimir Putin. As The Post has reported, cybersecurity experts say Russian intelligence operatives were likely responsible for the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s computer network, as well as for leaking to the Moscow-friendly WikiLeaks website some 20,000 emails. - Washington Post
 Putin repeats praise of Trump: He's a 'bright' person ...
Russian President Vladimir Putin again complimented Donald Trump on Friday, calling him a “bright” person.

Putin, who was speaking at the Russian Economic Forum in St. Petersburg, said he would work with any of the presidential candidates, but specifically lauded Trump for his comments on improving relations between Russia and the United States, according to the Associated Press.

Trump has welcomed Putin's comments in the past, calling the Russian strongman's praise "a great honor" in December.

"It is always a great honor to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond," Trump said. "I have always felt that Russia and the United States should be able to work well with each other towards defeating terrorism and restoring world peace, not to mention trade and all of the other benefits derived from mutual respect."
Asked what he thought of the high number of Russian journalists who have been murdered during Putin's tenure, Trump responded, “He’s running his country, and at least he’s a leader, you know unlike what we have in this country." Politico
I look forward to hearing a foreign policy debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. As much as I detest Hillary Clinton and agree with those who chant, "lock her up," I want to know who is most likely to keep America safe. I want to know who will stand with NATO. I want to know who will keep North Korea from becoming a viable nuclear threat, who will at least attempt to keep China from annexing the South China Sea, who will vow to keep shipping lanes open, who will strengthen NATO and stand up to Russian aggression. Hillary Clinton may actually be the lesser of two evils.

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One would think the police would want to know about even minor crime.

Last night my car was broken into. I live in the Woodland in Waverly neighborhood and we have on-street parking. My car was not really "broken into;" I unintentionally left it unlocked. The thief did not do any damage to my car.  They dumped the content of my console and glove compartment onto the front passengers seat. The only thing taken was a GPS. I hardly ever used it anyway, most often using my phone if I need a map and driving instructions. That was no big loss.  I had a little metal container that I keep change in and they did not even open it.  It may have had three dollars in change in it.  I had an old brief case in the car with some old personal documents and junk paperwork. The brief case had been in my car for months and I had just never taken it in.  The thief rifled through it but took nothing. This was a minor annoyance but did not ruin my day.

When I got to work, I thought I should report it and I called the non-emergency police number.  The person on the phone took my name and make of my car and then said they would have to send a police out to take the report.  I said, it was really no big deal and I didn't need to see a policeman, I just wanted to report it.  I was told the police do not take crime reports over the phone. Why? It would seem like as waste of time to send out a policeman to report what I just wrote.

One would think the police would want to know about things like stolen bicycles and broken into cars.  You would think a data base would tell police where minor crimes are occurring and guide them in where extra patrols are assigned or where more education in needed telling people to lock their valuables.  This is not that big of a deal, but one would think the police would accept reports of minor crime by an Internet link or a phone call.  I wanted to report the break-in but did not care enough to wait for a policeman.

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Family Action Council of Tennessee provides an excellent voter guide. See Bill Bernstein's profile.

Family Action Council of Tennessee provides an excellent, easy to use, voter guide. All of the candidates running in contested races for Tennessee House or Senate in the August 4th primary are profiled and the data is searchable by candidate's name or by district. If you don't know your district, there is a handy "Find Your District" button. If you want to compare candidates in your district, you can click on the "Candidate Comparison" button.

While FACT is primarily concerned with social issues, candidates are asked their position on various other issues such as how they stand on raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour and their position on requiring Tennessee's electors to to cast their vote based on who wins the national popular vote. The profile of each candidate also includes a link to the candidates website. There are also some open-ended essay questions.  Unfortunately, some candidates failed to complete the survey.

Here is the link: Check out our Voter Guides

As an example of what you will find in the FACT voters guide, here is the profile of my friend Bill Bernstein who is running in the Republican primary in District 50. 

Candidate Directory

Bill Bernstein

House District50

Candidate Headshot

Incumbent or New


Party Affiliation




Candidate Email Address

Campaign Website URL

Campaign Facebook Page


Would you support or oppose legislation that would prohibit abortion except when necessary to prevent the death of the mother?


Would you support or oppose legislation that would make sexual orientation a new protected class under Tennessee’s civil rights laws?


Would you support or oppose legislation that would make gender identity/expression a new protected class under Tennessee’s civil rights laws?


Would you support or oppose a bill to amend Tennessee’s marriage statute to expressly authorize the issuance of marriage licenses to two people of the same sex?


Would you support or oppose legislation that would establish a $15 per hour minimum wage in Tennessee?


Do you support or oppose the proposition that a person should be allowed by law to use the bathroom or locker room that corresponds to the gender they identify with?


Would you support or oppose a law creating the office of Solicitor General, a lawyer to serve as the state’s advocate in the court systems, to be appointed by the General Assembly?


Do you support or oppose the U.S. Department of Justice redefining the word “sex” to also include gender identity for purposes of Title VII and Title IX?


Would you support or oppose legislation, like Insure Tennessee, that would expand Medicaid coverage in TN beyond the Medicaid eligible population?


Would you support or oppose legislation that would prohibit state courts or any local government from ordering a privately owned business to participate in activities associated with solemnization or celebration of a marriage through the provision of goods or services if participating would violate their beliefs regarding the nature of marriage?


Do you support or oppose the legalization of marijuana for recreational use?


Would you support or oppose legislation to award all of Tennessee’s Electors in a presidential election to the Party of the candidate who wins the national popular vote?


Do you support or oppose the legalization of horse racing tracks in Tennessee at which bets can be placed on races?


Would you support or oppose a nominee to the TN Supreme Court if there is credible evidence that the nominee believes the state or federal constitution should be viewed or interpreted as a “living” document?



Explain your view of state government’s role in relation to economic growth and/or job creation.

Government can do one of three things when it comes to job creation:
1) It can steal jobs. It does this by imposing taxes on productive companies and individuals and giving some of it to less productive companies. That effectively takes the potential job growth the productive company could have had and gives it to the less productive company.
2) It can kill jobs through high levels of taxation and regulation. Many businesses become non-viable in the face of mandates like healthcare, min wage laws and the like and shut down or never get started.
3) It can do neither of the first two and allow companies to form and expand naturally. I support the third alternative.

Explain your views regarding the roles state government and parents have in elementary and secondary education.

Parents have the primary responsibility for educating their children the way they see fit. The state can merely facilitate that through state-sponsored schools. I favor devolving power and responsibility to the lowest possible level.

What is one of the most satisfying things you have ever done or accomplished and what made it so satisfying to you?

While I could choose many answers--a stable 26yr first marriage, building financial security for myself and family, my transition from a secular alienated Jew to a religiously observant educated one--the thing that stands out most is homeschooling my older son. I began when Viktor was in 3rd grade and we continued through 6th grade. I taught him math, English, history and Hebrew texts. He came with me to meet with lawyers, real estate agents and bankers. We developed a close relationship that obtains to this day (he is a 21yr old junior at University of Illinois in their Computer Science department). My children are the only thing I really leave behind on this Earth and I am proud I have helped produce a mature adult with excellent judgment who will contribute much to those around him.

What personal qualities or experiences do you think will best serve you in your role as a state legislator?

I have had a variety of experiences including international travel and living abroad that bring with them broader perspectives. I have been an avid student of economics, history, and politics for probably 30 years and have developed a strong set of values based on both knowledge and rational argument. In school I was trained to examine evidence, weigh it, develop arguments for a thesis and then answer or develop counter-arguments. I believe I bring a clarity to any discussion of issues and views that are defensible based on facts and logic.

What bill passed in the last General Assembly that you would have voted against and why, or what bill did not pass in the last General Assembly that you wish had passed and why?

The session was rich in bad legislation so choices are hard to make. The $30M secret "appropriation to nowhere"--Gov Haslam's request for money with no accountability at all ranks high on what's wrong with our state government. But the standout here is the bill to name the Bible as official book. While I revere the Bible and study it weekly, and appreciate the role it has played in this country's development, the bill was grandstanding to an audience, created unnecessary controversy, and ultimately served to divide Tennesseans to no effect. It was probably unconstitutional as well. I oppose "feel-good" legislation that does not achieve goals but merely serves to "make a statement."

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Monday, July 25, 2016

Teacher's union mails deceitful campaign piece

Deceitful mailer from MNEA
The Metro Nashville Education Association has mailed a campaign piece endorsing Christiane Buggs with the message, "Let's keep progress going by re-electing Christiane Buggs."

The problems is that Christiane Buggs is not an incumbent.  Unfortunately, some low information voters will cast a vote for an incumbent, thinking that if they are already holding the office they are the most qualified to hold the office.  MNEA has issued an apology but is not going to mail a correction to all of those who got the deceitful mail piece. Maybe MNEA was not purposely deceitful, maybe they were just stupid. They said the mailer language was a mistake. If it was a mistake, then MNEA is too uninformed or stupid to have their endorsements taken seriously.

The best candidate for School Board in District 5 is Miranda Christy.

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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Trumps acceptance speech at the RNC shows he is not a conservative.

This is what I posted o Facebook immediately after Trump's speech on Thursday night:

I was ready to be persuaded to get on board for Trump tonight, but I was not persuaded. I think the Obama-Hillary foreign policy has been a disaster and liked that criticism, but much of the other left me unconvinced or even displeased. Much of it was out of the liberal play book.
I don't want the government in charge of insuring equal pay for equal work. I don't want universal government child care. While I am an enthusiastic supporter of parental choice in education, I don't want the Federal government mandating it. I want a smaller Federal role in education not a larger roll. Education is primarily a state and local issue.
While we have seen police assassinations in the last month, it is not a national crisis. Crime has been constantly declining for about 20 years. We do not have out of control crime in this country. We have seen a recent uptick but crime is primarily a local and state issue, not a federal issue. I am not persuaded we need a massive public works program to build airports, roads, bridges, and railroads. We had a massive failure of public works projects when Obama took office. I don't know that a Republican administration can do public works better than Dems. How are we going to cut the $20+ trillion national debt and have a massive project to rebuild American infrastructure?
I agree we need to punish and deport illegal immigrant criminals. Illegal immigrants committing crime should not be released but I think the problem of criminality among illegals was exaggerated. We need to secure our borders and get control of immigration but I am not convinced that building a massive wall the length of the Southern border is the best approach.
On trade, Republicans have been stronger advocates of reducing trade barriers than Dems. Advancing freer trade is one thing Dems got right. I am not convinced that we have gotten the short end of the stick in trade deals.
How does a free country prohibit American companies from relocating to foreign countries? I favor tax reform so American is more attractive to companies, but Trump said he would stop companies from relocating.
And I do not want the Federal government to assume student debt. Maybe we need student loan reform, so risk is evaluated before loans are made but I did not like his pandering to those with high student loans. Easy student loans is one thing that has made college more expensive.
While I cheered a few times, the overall tone of the speech left me cold. I would prefer Trump appointing Supreme Court judges rather than Hllary and think she is a despicable person, but Trump only looks good when compared to Hillary. I cannot get enthused.
As I reflect on what I wrote Thursday night, I double down.  What amazes me is that people who have been conservative all of their life, the grassroots activist of the party, can cheer such liberal rubbish. The build-the-wall and the tough-on-crime might be though of as conservative positions but but even those are populist-tinged pandering positions, not primary to a conservative ideology.

Trump made a strong case, with which I think few Republicans would disagree, that Hillary Clinton is dishonest and botched handling foreign affairs leaving the world worse than she found it. Other than those positions, he threw a bone to conservative by saying he would repeal and replace Obamacare and that he would appoint conservative judges but most of the speech called for more and more government interference in our lives, consolidation of power in Washington, and an imperial presidency. He did not advocate smaller government.  If you missed the speech, I encourage you to watch it in the video below and this ask yourself, "Does this guy sound like a Republican?'

Prior to Trump taking the stage he was introduced by his daughter Ivanka.  Her speech would have been more fitting introducing a Democrat candidate.

Here is what Ivanka had to say about what her father would do:
He will work for equal pay for equal work ...As president, my father will change the labor laws, ...
The equal pay for equal work argument is mostly bunk anyway.  When other variables are held constant, the difference is pay is negligible. She repeats the same old liberal argument that women only make x% of what men make ignoring career choices and other factors.  Even if the pay gap was real, do conservatives want federal bureaucrats dictating pay rates for individual employees? Do we want a massive bureaucracy that looks over an employer's shoulder to make sure he is paying his employees fairly?  Do we want that additional bureaucratic drag on the economy? This is anathema to what we believe.  This is not free enterprise and smaller, less intrusive government.
He will focus on making quality child care affordable and accessible for all. 
I am not believing I am hearing this at a Republican convention. Are Republican ready to embrace a large new entitlement and government expansion? 

Here is Trump's speech:

The speech is long.  To better reflect on what Trump actually said, I would suggest reading the speech at this link.

Here are highlights that should cause any American pause and some that would have gotten boos if a Democrat would have said them.
I have joined the political arena so that the powerful can no longer beat up on people that cannot defend themselves. Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it.
"I alone can fix it." That sounds like the strong man on a white horse. His arrogance  and egotism should cause us concern.
when I take the oath of office next year, I will restore law and order our country
Despite exaggeration and distorting the extend of crime and police assassinations, crime is a state and local issue primarily.  Most laws that criminals violate are state laws. The federal government could beef up the FBI to investigate organized crime and increase prosecution of federal crimes, but other than that there is not much the Federal government can do.  Congress can appropriated money to provide grants to local police forces, but that is something that when done under Clinton, Republicans opposed.  We do not want a national police force.  Do we really want a leader strong enough to "restore law and order?" I don't. I don't want one person to have that much power.
I’m going to make our country rich again. I am going to turn our bad trade agreements into great ...
Too much of the "I."  The strong man stuff scares me. A little of "I will propose ...," or "with the help of Congress ..." would be reassuring. We have seen President Obama abuse the office of the president numerous times, from over twenty changes to Obamacare, to changing immigration policy, to making recess appointments when Congress was actually not in session.  I want someone who will be respectful of the constitutional limits on the presidency and the separations of powers.  I want less imperial presidency, not more.
 it was Bill Clinton who signed NAFTA, one of the worst economic deals ever made by our country.
Yes, it was Clinton who signed it but the NAFTA negotiations were going on before he ever took office. Clinton had to defy the more liberal elements of his own party to get NAFTA though. Most Republicans supported it and it has been a benefit to the U. S., Canada, and Mexico.
I am not going to let companies move to other countries, firing their employees along the way, without consequences.
In a free country, how do you stop a company from relocating? We can change tax policy so they do not want to leave, but are we to build walls to keep people in as well as walls to keep them out? Think about that statement. Is that not scary talk?
She has supported the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
 The "she" is Hillary Clinton.  While there was some Repubican opposition to TPP also, it had more Republican support than Democrat support.  In the House, 190 Republicans supported fast track authority to advance TPP and only 28 Democrats (link). This trade deal was one of the rare cases in which Obama got more Republican support than Democrat support.
Our roads and bridges are falling apart, our airports are in Third World condition, .... We will build the roads, highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, and the railways of tomorrow.
He says he is going to do this with all of the wealth created by the better trade deals he will negotiate and the wealth created by cutting taxes.  I agree corporate taxes need to be cut. I believe cutting taxes and reducing regulatory reform will revitalized the American economy, but fear his trade policy may impoverish us. In any event, it is way to early to talk about massive new federal public works programs. First, we must bring down the $19 trillion dollar debt.

The Trump speech at the convention was what settled the issue for me. I cannot vote for Donald Trump.  Other statements of his had scared me. Statements he had made indicated he would betray or dismantle NATO and words of praise for Russia's Putin, and he had said time and time again things he would do as president apparently thinking he will have the powers of an emperor. I had also been put off by his remarks demeaning John McCain for being captured, making fun of a disabled person  and disparaging things he had said about certain women.

I was hoping I would be reassured that while he shoots off his mouth without thinking sometimes, he is a sane, reasonable person and basically a good person and a person of conservative views. I was hoping he would reassure me.  I was not reassured.  I now do not even believe he is a real Republican. It strikes me as a liberal statist populist nationalist running as a Republican. I do not think Trump is a conservative; if he is, then I am not that kind of a conservative.

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