Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Great Walmart of China


Dear Mr. McMillon:

I would like to first say that I'm not a big fan of the confederate flag although I do support people's right to own it and fly it. I also support your right not to sell it. However, something you said on CNN has stayed with me. You said, "We just don't want to sell products that make anyone uncomfortable."

Mr. McMillon, I've felt uncomfortable about some of your products and I figure now is the time to let you know about it so maybe you can stop selling those items, too.

I don't have precise numbers but best estimates are between and 70 and 90 percent of your products are made in China. I do hope you're aware that China is governed by a brutal communist regime that has killed millions of its own people and has enslaved or imprisoned millions more.

Consider this:

And if you think that's all history, think again.

  • Amnesty International says today countless numbers of Chinese are routinely rounded up and sent to 'Re-education Camps' for up to four years for doing something as innocent as speaking out against their government.
  • China continues to persecute people for their religious beliefs.
  • China continues to torture innocent citizens.
  • China continues to control information to its people through Internet and media suppression.
Two years ago a woman in Oregon bought Halloween decorations and found a note inside from a Chinese worker. It asked the recipient to send the letter to the "World Human Right Organization" saying that "thousands people here who are under the persicution (sic) of the Chinese Communist Party Government will thank and remember you forever."

Ironically, when one was able to buy the General Lee car from the TV show Dukes of Hazzard in your stores, it was made in China.

In light of what I've just laid out, it's apparent that the words 'Made in China' are far more offensive than any flag could ever be. Unless, of course, that flag happens to belong to the People's Republic of China. Which is for sale right now where? At Walmart.


Phil Valentine
Talk Show Host
Westwood One Radio Network

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Study: Conservatives believe more in free will than liberals

I’ve long maintained that the solution to much of society’s ills lies in one simple phrase. Personal responsibility. Now there’s a new series of studies that appears to back that up. And an interesting side bar is that conservatives might be better at dieting than liberals.

Why is that? The studies show it has much to do with one’s perception of free will. The researchers defined free will as the belief that a person is largely responsible for their own outcomes. Conservatives agreed with statements like “Strength of mind can always overcome the body’s desires.” Joshua Clarkson, the lead author of the study, told the LA Times, “Conservatives tend to believe they had a greater control over their outcomes.” In other words, the studies indicated that liberals tend to believe that taking full responsibility for their outcomes would cause them to suffer from more guilt and frustration.

This led the authors of the study to conclude that conservatives are more likely to stick to a diet because they believe that the outcome is based on their own actions. The LA Times seemed fixated on dietary habits in conjunction with the study but it really has more far-reaching ramifications.

Conservatives were far more likely to agree with the statement “People can overcome any obstacles if they truly want to.” Think of what a difference that makes in people’s everyday lives. Liberals want you to think that you’re a victim of your circumstances. Heck, they want you to think you’re a victim, period. That mindset leaves people trapped in their present condition. It robs them of hope. It destroys their incentive to make something of themselves.

We all have it in us to do better. We all have free will. It was that free will that drove a rag-tag country to independence and, later, to become the beacon of freedom and prosperity for the rest of the world. People who tell you that you can’t change your circumstances are either those too lazy to better their own lot or those to whom you are dependent.

The only time in this study where liberals outperformed conservatives was when participants were provided with fake research that said free will was an obstacle to success. After reading the article, conservatives performed worse on the test than did liberals. Why? Because they had been convinced that they couldn’t do something.

Isn’t that really what liberalism preaches day in and day out? Liberals drill into people’s heads that they can’t possibly make it on their own. They need the government to give them food or shelter or financial assistance. They tell them that they aren’t responsible for their poverty. It’s the corporations and the rich folks who have robbed them. 

The cold reality is most people in America who are poor are poor because of bad choices. Liberalism teaches them that’s not so. I saw a woman with a ‘Will Work for Food’ sign just the other day. She had multiple tattoos and I couldn’t help but wonder how much food the money she spent on those tattoos would buy. Liberalism shifts the responsibility to someone else.

It’s all about personal responsibility. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. If everyone were to take responsibility for their own actions and stop blaming others or looking to the government we would all be much better off.

The good news is we’re not hard-wired to be conservative or liberal. Despite the belief to the contrary, we do have free will. People can change. Societies can change. There’s hope for a more self-reliant — and thinner — America.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, The Phil Valentine Show.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

It's all black and white

The left may have inadvertently stumbled across the solution to race problems in America. I’m sure you’ve heard the saga of Rachel Dolezal. That’s the woman in Spokane who pretended to be a black woman even though she’s lily white and rose to chapter president of the NAACP. (More on her psychosis in a moment)

Does this mean Robert Downey, Jr.
is really a black guy?
Whoopi Goldberg embraced Dolezal's delusion that she was black. “Look, just like people say, ‘I feel like a man, I feel like a woman, I feel like this.’ She wants to be a black woman, fine.” So, there you have it. If she “feels” like a black woman then she is. Easy as that. Race problem over. All I have to do is say I feel like a black man or, heck, a black woman, and that’s who I am. Conversely, anyone black can feel like they’re white. No more victims. No more talk of reparations. Problem solved.

Emotions have long been the currency of the liberals. Everything is about feeling. There’s no logic to it, no common sense. Bruce Jenner puts on a wig and make-up and calls himself Caitlyn and the media fall all over him. He’s still got the equipment. He’s still got the same voice. She’s a man, man. Just because Bruce Jenner feels like Caitlyn the left embraces it. Those who use logic know that he won’t be a woman until he gives up the family jewels.

We’ve been heading toward this moment for a long time. Looking back, it’s hard to believe it took us this long to get here. Being a liberal means being able to suspend reality. It means wallowing in emotion. It also means being gullible. Rachel Dolezal is no more black than I am. It doesn’t matter what she “feels” like she is. She’s a white woman pretending to be a black woman.

Why? Well, that’s the interesting question. My shade-tree psycho-analysis sees it stemming from her parents’ adoption of four little black kids. They were somewhat younger than Rachel. She probably saw her parents doting over those little kids and developed a complex. Now, I don’t think she sat down and plotted this whole thing out. It just sort of happened. She got into African studies because of her adopted siblings. That led to taking up various causes on their behalf. She began working with black folks on black issues and before she knew it she was assuming the identity of a black woman. Then she went all out with the hair and the skin. I must say, she’s a much more attractive black woman than she is a white woman.

I believe part of her wanted to play the victim, too. She once sued Howard University because she was passed over for a teaching position. She said, at the time, it was because she was white. I guess she figured, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Maybe that added to the psychosis. “It is a very private matter,” she said, “especially getting into somebody’s childhood and past.” As the left likes to say, she has issues.

But, the primary question is can you will yourself to be something you’re not? Whoopi Goldberg sounds Jewish but she’s not. Rachel Dolezal looks black but she’s not. Bruce Jenner looks like a woman but he’s not. This is really a wake-up call for America. As much as this country loves reality shows we’re somehow not ready to deal with reality.

A man is a man. A woman is a woman. White is white and black is black. It’s pretty simple, really.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, The Phil Valentine Show.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The fast-track picture is coming into focus

I’m sure you’ve worked a jigsaw puzzle before. You know how it goes. You find a little piece of an eye then you find the other pieces around the eye. You branch out and connect an ear and another eye and pretty soon you start to make out the whole face.

Such is how it is with this fast-track Obamatrade legislation. This is the bill that’s so secretive that members of the senate are only allowed to view it in a secret chamber where they can’t make copies or take notes. It’s a trade bill. Why all the secrecy?

The face of this trade bill is starting to reveal itself, albeit slowly. I’ve been scratching my head wondering why the president would need broader power in negotiating trade agreements and why one of those agreements, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would be so secretive. 

President Obama and advocates of TPP in Congress — both Democrat and Republican — have touted the bill as a way to beat China in international trade. That has a lot of appeal on both sides of the aisle. Trouble is, Obama has admitted that China wants to become a part of the deal and he’s in talks with them to do just that. Such contradictions don’t slow down TPP water-carriers like Republican Congressman Mimi Walters who seemed unfazed by the contradiction.

But that’s exactly where the problem with fast track authority lies. Of course, we don’t know the specific language since we, the people, are not allowed to see the bill, but some who have paint a disturbing picture. They say that Obama — or any future president — can negotiate a trade deal like TPP, get it approved by Congress then add a country like China after the fact. If that’s true, it’s doubtful that many congressmen would support it but they don’t know what’s in the bill. Even Congressman Walters, who’s running point for John Boehner and the leadership, admits she hasn’t read the bill.

This is unprecedented. George W. Bush, at the start of his presidency, asked for fast-track authority but he released a draft text of the deal. Perhaps Obama learned from that and realizes secrecy is his ally. Can’t blame him for trying but I do blame Republicans for trusting him. This is a president we can’t trust with the power he already has. With the wave of his pen he tried to give amnesty to millions of illegal aliens until the courts, not Congress, stopped him. He signed his own Obamacare legislation into law then unconstitutionally picked and chose portions to either delay or modify or ignore. And they want to give this guy more power in trade deals? With a bill that the vast majority of Congress hasn’t even read?

I don’t think so.

Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA) has written a letter to the House leadership urging them to delay a vote on fast-track legislation until the text of the bill has been made public. Seems like a reasonable request. He points out that the “Living Agreement” authority inside the bill is what’s so troublesome. This “Living Agreement” would allow Obama and TPP signatories to add other countries to the agreement without having to seek approval from Congress. Now you know why this thing is being kept locked up behind closed doors. If the American people ever got a load of that there’s no way this thing would pass.

Why Republicans in Congress don’t see this is beyond me. Is it true? Is there really a “Living Agreement” provision inside the bill? Let us read the bill.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, The Phil Valentine Show.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

How far will we go with religious rights?

I must preface this piece by noting that I am a huge proponent of the constitutional right to practice your own religion. Religious freedom is the foundation of our republic. However, the recent Supreme Court decision regarding a Muslim girl and Abercrombie & Fitch is troublesome.

In an 8-1 decision, the high court ruled that Abercrombie & Fitch violated a 17-year-old’s rights by denying her a sales job because she wore a head scarf, or hijab. The girl was rejected under Abercrombie’s “look policy.” Justice Clarence Thomas was the sole dissenter in the ruling, saying that “mere application of a neutral policy” does not constitute discrimination. And he’s right.

Digambar monks don’t wear clothes. Does that mean one can now walk into a mall anywhere in America and be protected by his constitutional religious rights? How far do we go with this hijab business? The niqab is a veil which covers the entire face and it’s worn by some Muslim women. Should Abercrombie be forced to hire someone wearing that? The answer is obviously “no.” Then how could the court possibly rule in favor of the hijab? If your answer is the hijab is not nearly as noticeable then you’re missing the point. The court ruled that Abercrombie had to accommodate her religion. If we’re talking about constitutional religious rights then degree is not the issue.

What is at issue is a business’ right to employ the people they believe are best for their business. It is certainly plausible that a girl with a headscarf might be a distraction on the sales floor. Just as a sales person with a big gold cross hanging from her neck might be.

During the religious holiday Thaipusam, Hindus pierce various body parts with skewers, large hooks and small spears. How would you like that guy helping you find a top to go with that skirt?

I’m a Christian but for several years I was required to work on Sunday. Did that violate my religious rights? No, and here’s why. I have the option of not working at a place that requires me to work on Sunday. The Muslim girl had the option of taking off the hijab or working in a job that doesn’t require a dress code. She chose to keep it on, which is her right, but a business has the right to employ people who conform to its dress code. If not, how far will this silliness go?

I’ll tell you where it’s going. Business will be forced to shut down five times a day to accommodate Muslim prayers. They will be required to include Muslim, Hindu and any other religious holidays that reflect their work force and before too long productivity will come to a screeching halt.

I get the religious freedom thing. A business should not force you to check your religion at the door. However, you should not force a business to drop everything to work around your religion. I’ve seen articles that state the high court has taken an expansive view of religious rights recently and point to the Hobby Lobby/abortion pill case. That case is almost in direct contradiction to this one. In the Hobby Lobby case the court prevented a business from being forced to do something. In this case, it’s the exact opposite.

As our world grows, this country will continue to be exposed to more and more religions with which we are heretofore not familiar. This will include all sorts of strange practices. That’s all well and good but how far should a business have to go to accommodate them?

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, The Phil Valentine Show.