This will be my last column at the Greenville Times Examiner. It has been a privilege to be able to express myself in this publication for the last four and a half years. I want to thank Colonel Bob Dill for allowing me to be part of his enterprise. I also thank those who have helped in producing the paper over my time here, and those who read my columns…thank you. It was my hope to be always interesting, sometimes humorous, and to demonstrate Col. Dill and my shared devotion to the First Amendment…I trust that goal was achieved.

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s2smodern

President Trump has called newspapers “enemies of the people.” That assertion is part of his also calling media in general “fake news.” An analysis by Harvard of media stories found that in the last 18 months, 93% of the stories were negative toward the President. It is understandable, then, that the President feels newspapers are his enemies, if not also enemies of the people.

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Some say the Democrats are poised to take back the House in Congress in the November elections. They must gain a net of 25 seats to do so. If the turnout of Republican voters in November is like it was in the Ohio special election of District 12 in August, the Democrats may well regain the majority. Why would people vote for a Democrat in 2018 in a Congressional election…that is incomprehensible. The answer must be that people don’t know what being a Democrat means.

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My Mother’s full name was May Robinson Harris Weston Thompson. Our ancestors on her side of the family first came to these shores in 1632, in the second John Winthrop flotilla, to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Not to be confused with the colony at Plymouth Rock, the Mass. Bay Colony was founded where Boston is today. 

By the time of the American Revolution some 140 plus years later our family had added many other kin. The Robinson branch of the family tree had at least two men who were influential and clearly were American Patriots. John Robinson, from Westford, was elected Lt. Colonel by his militia regiment from Northern Middlesex. His cousin, Lemuel Robinson, owned the Liberty Tree tavern in Dorchester and he, too, was elected Colonel of his militia for Dorchester. The Patriots known as the Sons of Liberty headed by Samuel Adams met at the Liberty Tree Tavern in the years leading up to the start of the American Revolution.

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Projection means blaming others for behavior you engage in, it’s an attempt to hide your own conduct behind a smoke screen of distraction. For example, after two years of digging by a team of Hillary diehards, Bob Mueller has not found one iota of proof that Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with the Russians to steal the election of 2016. To the contrary, what has been unmasked is that Hillary’s campaign did collude with the Russians, which is why the whole fabricated assertion was made in the first place. That is how projection works, blame the other guy for what you have done.

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It’s true, life imitates art.

In 1960 there was a cult movie called, “Little Shop of Horrors.” It was re-released in 1986; its new lead actor was a fella named Rick Moranis who played the owner of a flower shop. One day he cuts his finger and lets the blood run into a small plant. One thing leads to another and over time the small plant grows to a massive size, and becomes addicted to blood. That, of course, is a metaphor for the institution of government in America. We have fed it our blood, it has become addicted to blood and has grown so large it is trying to take over our lives.

The Founding Fathers of America were a remarkable group. Not only were they able to design a model of government unsurpassed in human history, they were also willing and did pledge, “Our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.” That was no idle pledge, in fact, they put it all on the line.

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Take a deep breath and calm down. This public service announcement is directed at all parties currently hyperventilating, for whatever the reason.

The recent affront to Congressman Trey Gowdy by the always ludicrous poser Adam Schiff D-Calif., calling him “one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse,” was over the line. Such comments shadow other, more bombastic and even more absurd comments by ‘Mad’ Max Waters, D-Calif, who called for outright violence against all Trump supporters. Those are members of Congress, Democrats mind you, elected by some obviously confused, if not disturbed, element of Americans. Here is a brief menu of some other issues offered by the Democrats, over which you are expected to become hysterical.

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The political issue that will be front and center from now going forward will be a judicial one: stare decisis. Simply defined that means, using prior judicial decisions, and precedent, as the main legal support for a decision under consideration. Proponents of this well-established approach suggest that, barring any new shift in circumstances, we should let existing rulings stay in place…even if wrongly decided.

We will, for example, hear a great deal about Roe v. Wade in the coming months. The opening created on the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) by the retirement of Justice Kennedy opens a huge can of worms. The Democrats have already announced that all 25 people President Trump has started to consider for the appointment are, “not qualified.” Such is the ‘my mind is made up, don’t confuse me with facts’ approach of Senate Democrats under Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. If you wonder why Congress has a favorability rating in single digits, look no further than such obstinacy by Democrats.

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The left, by which I mean those who call themselves ‘progressives,’ have lately stepped over the line and come completely unhinged. The benign sounding ‘Purple Revolution,’ has taken on a more sinister and darker hue. What we have here is the development of a case study in how one can make depression your attitude of choice. Progressives simply cannot, and indeed, they refuse to even try to get over losing the 2016 election for President.

We have for some time suffered the antics of the useful idiots of the left, those incapable of thinking for themselves, who never rise above the emotional level of life. Do not ever mistake emotions as a better mechanism for decision making than thinking. Emotions are the first reactions to events after which one can then engage the brain and start thinking. Progressives make no attempt to go beyond the emotional level; they refuse any suggestion that thinking might improve their experience in daily living.

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If asked to describe your spouse what words would you chose? Trustful, faithful, funny, sexy, understanding...can you put in words what makes a good marriage? Maybe the best answer is one like Supreme Court Justice Potter Seward gave when asked to describe pornography he said, “I know it when I see it.”  
When I was a new teacher in a public high school in the 1969-70 school year, I took a job as a cashier during the Christmas holiday at a liquor store. One day two seniors came to the register, each with a basket full of booze. Not sure whether they should be rung up separately or as one purchase I asked, “Are you two together.” Without a moment’s hesitation the woman replied, “24 hours a day.” Thus was I introduced to what retirement really means on a daily basis.  

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We celebrate Veterans Day every year, in tribute to Veterans past and present. It’s a chance to salute those who, in Mr. Lincoln’s timeless words, are willing to give, “The last full measure of devotion.” To be clear; it’s devotion to you, to this country and to our way of life. If one takes a minute to think about that the disdain shown by anyone “taking a knee” becomes problematic.

In 2010, then Lt. General John Kelly gave a speech at the Semper Fi society in St. Louis. He did so a few days after his own Marine son was killed in Afghanistan. Kelly currently serves as Chief of Staff for President Donald Trump. In his speech, Kelly described the circumstances of a 2008 suicide bombing in Iraq that claimed the lives of Marine Cpl. Jonathan Yale and Lance Cpl. Jordan Haerter. Kelly put both Marines in for a Navy Cross. As recounted in the WSJ, this is the story:

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CueTom Dooley by Kingston Trio, and substitute Tom Steyer…” Hang down your head Tom Steyer, hang down your head and cry, hang down your head Tom Steyer, poor boy you’re bound to die.” It is the only inescapable truth, we are all going to die, and nobody can buy their way out of the last act.

Tom Steyer is a progressive billionaire who puts his money where his mouth is on myriad political causes. Rumor has it he is considering a run for Governor of California, a perfect clone to current Governor Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown. Tom Steyer made his money on Wall Street investing in companies like Exxon he now vilifies as an environmental activist.

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In September of 2016, SC Senator Lindsey Graham- along with Sen. Tim Scott and others introduced a bill that became known as “The Taylor Force Act.” In late February, 2017 they reintroduced it in the current session as S-474. If you are looking for a single piece of legislation that you might focus on to lobby your elected officials to pass, the Taylor Force Act is a worthy vehicle for your attentions.

Taylor Force was a 29-year-old American whose all-too-brief life was none-the-less well-lived. A graduate of West Point, Taylor had shown his ambition and dedication to purpose early in life by becoming an Eagle Scout. He ran track and cross country, so he was an athlete as well as a very bright guy. He served in Iraq and Afghanistan fulfilling his commitment to the Army before retiring. Taylor was a graduate student in Vanderbilt University working on his MBA when he took a trip to Israel. The purpose of the trip was to observe global entrepreneurship; Israel is a leader in business start-ups and tech innovations. It was there that Taylor Force, an already accomplished young man full of still greater promise was killed by a Palestinian terrorist.

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Donald John Trump (DJT)  is now the 45th President of the United States (POTUS). Since many people apparently won’t accept that the campaign is over, I allude to election results by calling this column, “The Early Returns are Promising.” We can now make the clear distinction between what DJT said, and what he now does as POTUS.

As I write this, DJT is finishing his first week in office. In a flurry of actions, that included 12 Executive Orders (EO’s), he has rescinded the ACA, approved the XL Pipeline, stopped funding abortions done abroad, rescinded NAFTA and announced there will be an honest DOJ investigation of voter fraud in California.

Many people did not realize that Obama had rescinded a Reagan EO stopping the practice of taxpayer money being used to pay for abortions outside the US…Trump put Reagan’s EO back in place. The North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA), involves Mexico, Canada and the USA. Trump and private sector unions agree it caused American jobs to leave the country. Trump articulated his goal throughout the campaign; he wants to renegotiate a new NAFTA, one that puts “America first.”

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Barack Obama will forever be remembered not just in America, but all over the world. When trying to nail down a single word to describe Obama’s foreign policies, the sure winner is: feckless. It is defined as being “weak; ineffective.” By golly, that is perfect.

Obama himself defined his leadership style as “leading from behind.” That is stunning because it articulates in his own words that he had no clue what it is to be a leader. He certainly didn’t provide any leadership either at home or abroad. Let’s review a few of the more memorable failures in leadership of Barack Obama as President of the United States (POTUS).

Recently Obama put the capstone on his tenure as POTUS by betraying Israel at the United Nations. There is little doubt that Obama sees the resolution he pushed through the UN Security Council denouncing Jewish settlements as a demonstration of his leadership. As his former Professor at Harvard Law Alan Dershowitz said, “Obama deceived me, he said he would have Israel’s back and instead he stuck a knife in it.” The US abstained from the vote that Obama engineered, thus allowing it to pass.

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Sen. Harry Reid is retiring effective this January. So along with the celebration that Barack Obama’s term as POTUS is over, we can be thankful that the grandson of a horse thief is also gone from public life.

Harry Reid was a pauper when elected to Congress and retires as a multi-millionaire. His financial improvement was not due to his sparkling personality, even in Washington, Harry Reid had a well-deserved reputation as being prickly. But he was a formidable foe, and both his financial upgrade and his power in DC was owing to his ability to be obstinate. Harry Reid usually got his way, and that tells you at least as much about the other Senators as it does him. Suffice it to say, SC’s Lindsey Graham did not have the backbone to defy Harry Reid.

The rules of the Senate are what governs their procedures; they don’t conduct business under Mason’s Rules of Order. The Senate of the US has its own rules, and that is what most folks do not understand. We hear how the Senate blocked some measure by the filibuster, which always required 60 votes to overcome. It is rare when the Senate can get 60 members to agree on something, so that was a high bar, and Harry Reid used it to obstruct all manner of policy. Their hidebound ways were often criticized as counter-productive, few measures cleared the Senate. But there was always an ace in the hole, so draconian they called it the “nuclear option.” The fact is nobody from either party was willing to invoke a change in the rules to make it easier to approve a bill.

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Mike Scruggs