Wednesday, April 25, 2018

It's the crazies, stupid!

It’s almost like a broken record. Man shoots up school, or Waffle House, or fill-in-the-blank, and we immediately launch into a debate about guns. Obviously if the police were carrying guns when they finally apprehended this monster then guns aren’t the problem. Crazy is the problem.

Once again there were alarm bells going off all around this guy who shot up the Waffle House. Arrested for trespassing after he went to the White House and insisted on taking a meeting the president. There are reports that he threatened people with his gun. Finally, the sheriff’s deputies pay him a visit at his father’s crane company and take away his guns and his gun permit. They leave the guns in the custody of his father with strict instructions not to give them back to his son. What does this idiot do? He gives the guns back to his son, even after he, himself, had alerted the police that his son thought he was being stalked by Taylor Swift and was suicidal.

They say you can’t fix stupid and that may be true, but you can sure put stupid in jail. I’m not a lawyer, but I can’t imagine how this father is not charged with accessory to murder. He’s like the guy behind the wheel in the getaway car at the bank robbery. Something goes wrong and somebody’s killed and this driver is going to be charged with murder.

Nashville’s acting mayor was immediately on Twitter after the Waffle House killings calling for a ban on ‘military weapons.’ It may very well be that his ‘military weapon’ jammed on him, giving James Shaw, Jr. the split-second opportunity to wrest the gun away from him. Had he used the pistol that was in his possession instead, such an opportunity may never have presented itself.

And what a juxtaposition between James Shaw and Camera Hogg down in Florida. Shaw truly is a survivor of a mass shooting. Hogg was not even on the scene when the bullets were flying. Camera Hogg has exploited the tragedy to get his face on every network multiple times. Shaw has shunned the spotlight and says he doesn’t want this event to define his life. Camera Hogg has turned the Parkland tragedy into a traveling one-man show about him. James Shaw, on the other hand, has started a fundraiser for the victims because he believes that’s where the focus should be.

The focus on solutions should be on the mentally ill. I’ve written in this space about how much things changed after the 1975 Supreme Court ruling. However, we’re missing the main point of that ruling. They said you can’t lock up the mentally ill against their will unless they’re a danger to themselves or others. I would think taking away someone’s guns indicates they’re a danger to themselves or others. Why was this guy not committed?

Think about that. If he’d been committed as he should’ve been then four people would be alive and this guy could be getting the treatment he needs. Too late for all of that now.

I would urge every single person reading this column to get off the sidelines and start reporting dangerous people. I’m not talking about Trump supporters or Hillary supporters or NRA members, as some fear will happen. I’m talking about people who are obviously unbalanced and are doing or saying things that would make them a danger to themselves or others.

I’m not talking about locking up everybody who thinks Taylor Swift is stalking them. But they sure don’t need to own guns.

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

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Much ado about Facebook

The frenzy around Facebook is a bit perplexing. I firmly believe the vast majority of Americans have no idea what this case is all about. They think Facebook has sold deep, dark secrets about them. What they don’t understand is they are the ones who gave away the secrets.

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg was called before Congress recently to explain how a third party gained access and then sold information about Facebook users. What Zuckerberg failed to adequately explain is we gave them everything they got.

This is not a case of someone stealing identities. No credit card numbers were stolen. No Social Security numbers were leaked. Plain and simple, what Cambridge Analytica got from Facebook is a profile you painted when you posted to Facebook. Your likes and dislikes, your habits, your personality are all intertwined with your profile and postings.

As this whole so-called scandal was taking flight I was listening to a BBC interview with an American professor who sued Cambridge Analytica last year. British law requires them to hand over any information they may have accumulated on citizens upon request. He got several pages that painted a profile of him. What he found outrageous is they had him pegged as “very liberal.” He’s a college professor, so go figure. The host asked him if they had correctly identified his political persuasion. He said they had and that’s what prompted him to sue. He accused them of spying on him in the polling booth.

You would think a reasonably educated college professor would immediately understand that no one was spying on him in the polling booth. They didn’t have to. All they had to do was read his anti-Trump/pro-Hillary rants on Facebook to figure out he’s “very liberal.”

No surprise that Facebook lists me as very conservative. Do I care? Why should I? I am. Plus it keeps me being bombarded with ads from the global warming kooks. I happen to be a big fan of targeted advertising. So are advertisers. Instead of the old shotgun approach, they can now target ads specifically to people who will be more receptive to them.

For example, my car got totaled recently and I was searching for another one. I was continually shown ads relating to the type of car I was looking for. No trucks. No motorcycles. Just the car I was wanting. I actually clicked on several ads because they were helpful. That’s basically what Facebook does. They’re not following you into the polling booth as people have been led to believe. However, it’s the political angle that has so many people upset.

It’s like these people who constantly post their political rants don’t realize that anybody can read them. When some robot reads them and creates a profile, they get angry.

If you’re curious, you can actually see your advertising profile with a few clicks on Facebook. I won’t detail how here. Just do a search for “get your Facebook data.” They know I live away from the town where I was born. They know I’m a frequent traveler. They know my birthday is in September. They also know I’m very conservative. How do they know all this? Because I told them. In fact, I’ve told the whole world.

What’s troubling about Facebook is not that they’re actually reading my posts, it’s that they’re throttling and outright banning people like Diamond & Silk. At least the House members had the good sense to shift the focus to that.

So, you post what you had for dinner and someone actually cares. Advertisers. Surprise!

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

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

What to do about Mueller

How’s this for a theory? Robert Mueller is setting himself up as a kamikaze. He has nothing on Trump and is going to antagonize him until he fires him. Then the Democrats and the Never-Trumpers in Congress can cry “obstruction of justice” and they impeach and convict him.

Sound crazy?

The folks on MSNBC are already salivating over the dream scenario of Trump defying a Mueller subpoena to be interviewed and wondering out loud what happens when the U.S. Marshals show up at the White House gate.

In other words, there are plenty of folks in this country who would welcome even a constitutional crisis if it meant getting rid of Donald Trump. They hate him that bad. Let me tell you just how bad they hate him. They hate him so bad that they would rather have a conservative evangelical who opposes abortion and gay marriage in the Oval Office instead. For the left, that’s deep hatred.


There are myriad reasons, but his personality is the primary driver. He’s egotistical. He’s bombastic. He’s unapologetic. All of these traits play well in the celebrity world, but when you couple them with common sense conservative policy they become intolerable.

Donald Trump is no rock-rib conservative. What he is is a practitioner of common sense. That tends to lend itself to conservatism. You see an invasion of illegal aliens and you want to build a wall to stop it. Common sense. You see businesses being driven out of the country so you propose cutting taxes to bring them back. Common sense. The fact that he was for gay marriage before either Hillary or Obama is inconsequential. It’s these other issues that make him dangerous to the left.

They’ve been constantly disappointed for the last 18 months. First it was the shocking loss by Hillary Clinton. Then they pinned their hopes on a recount. Didn’t happen. Then it was the Electoral College not seating him. Didn’t happen. All they have left is impeachment. Robert Mueller was supposed to be the conduit through which all their dreams flowed, but after a year of fishing expeditions he’s got nothing.

Their only hope now is that Trump gets mad enough to fire Mueller. He has every reason to. By most accounts, he has the authority to. That doesn’t mean he has to. He would be much better served to ignore Mueller, but I’m sure that’s nearly impossible. Eventually one would think he’d blow. That might be underestimating Donald Trump.

So many people think he’s a loose canon, a guy who flies by the seat of his pants (or any other cliché you can think of). I happen to believe that every tweet, every off-the-cuff remark, every flaming response to an attack is carefully planned. One need only go back to his Twitter feed to see that much of what was lampooned in the press has come to fruition. Anybody forget his “Trump tower has been wiretapped” tweet? Me either. After months of ridicule, it turns out he was exactly right. And what must be extremely frustrating is there’s no special counsel looking into who was responsible. But they’re raiding Trump’s lawyer’s office looking for Stormy Daniels dirt.

It’s like People Magazine is calling the shots.

I think it’s safe to say there was never any Trump-Russia collusion. Despite the lack of evidence the anti-Trump forces want him out at an any cost. They’ve carefully set the perjury trap. They’ve even enticed him with the juicy lure of Robert Mueller’s head.

I just hope he doesn’t take the bait.

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

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Illegal caravan heads our way

Like a slow swarm of bees we watch the caravan of illegals move across Mexico toward the border with the United States. Now they have a list of demands. No, I’m serious. The group Pueblo sin Fronteras, which means Town Without Borders, demands that we respect their rights as refugees and their right to dignified work. They demand that we open our border because they are “as much citizens as the people of the countries” where they travel.

No, you aren’t.

And that’s the basic point in all of this. Look, I understand Honduras is, well, what President Trump said of some of those third world countries some time back. I’ve been there. Beautiful country from the standpoint of nature but it looks like a landfill. Trash and shanties everywhere. My gosh, you should see the spaghetti of wires wrapped around the utility poles. Obviously there’s nothing resembling a codes department there. The reason it looks like a dump is because it, like many other third world countries, is a corruptocracy. That’s my word, by the way. It ought to be in the dictionary.

This group also has some demands for Central American countries which really nails the problem. They demand an end to political corruption. They demand an end to violence against women and the LGBTQIA community. (Don’t ask me what all those letters stand for.) They demand an end to failures for victims of domestic violence, extortion, threats, and homophobia. They demand an end to corruption between gangs, the police, and the government, and an end to murder with impunity and gang recruitment of youth.

All that’s good stuff. Then why are you coming here? What if these corruptocracies meet your demands? You won’t be there to enjoy the fruits of your labor. You don’t need to march to America, my friends inside Town Without Borders. You need a revolution.

Let me tell you a little story about how we got all this cool stuff in America. Once upon a time we had carved a civilization out of a wilderness. We were pretty much self-sufficient. We had built our own cities, made our own laws, created our own businesses. It then dawned on us that we were paying taxes to a country clear across an ocean yet we had no representation in its parliament. We decided we didn’t want those people telling us what to do. So we took up arms and we fought them for our own country. We won, and we fought over a heckuva lot less than you folks are fighting over down there.

From our end, we need to cut off all aid to any and all of these corruptocracies. Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala receive $750 million in what’s called the Northern Triangle aid package. We buy $4.8 billion worth of goods from Honduras each year. Stop both of those until Honduras cleans up its act. Same for Mexico. Same for El Salvador and Guatemala and any country that keeps its citizens in poverty.

The interesting part is this Northern Triangle aid package is contingent upon their proving that they are improving “human rights, law enforcement, and justice.” If we have a thousand-plus caravan of refugees heading for the United States then apparently they have not improved much of anything.

So, turn the caravan around. Head back to Honduras. Demand change. We’ll help you apply the pressure. And if all else fails, do what we did. Take up arms and take your own country back. Because you don’t have a right to come in here no matter what you’ve been told.

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