Friday, May 31, 2019

The bums are out of control

Homeless people are taking over. I know we’re supposed to be sympathetic, and I am. I’ve worked with the homeless in varying capacities. I’ve given my time and money. I have a special place in my heart for the truly needy. But I fear too many are taking advantage of our generosity.

Take the ubiquitous person at the off-ramp with the sign. Usually it reads something like ‘Will work for food.’ The only problem is they won’t. There was a piece on Fox 17 in Nashville about a fed up local man who decided to shame a panhandler. He made up his own sign—He Can Get a Job—and stood next to the man as he tried to swindle pocket change from passersby.

In places like San Francisco the homeless problem is out of control. They’ve taken over the streets. There’s trash and human waste everywhere. There’s even an app to help you avoid the piles of stinking doo-doo. And used needles litter the landscape. Is this the liberal utopia we’ve been promised?

Here’s the deal. There’s a big difference between truly homeless people and plain ole bums. It’s the bums who’ve taken over the streets. They bug tourists in downtown Nashville. They camp out on the sidewalks of Los Angeles. The liberals who run these cities have no idea what to do about it. The solution is very simple. You outlaw it then enforce the law. This is the way things used to be done. There are probably panhandling prohibitions still on the books in these cities. Either they’ve been repealed or they’re purposely ignored. The bums have taken advantage of the situation and now they’re overrunning the streets.

I discovered a little “homeless community” recently. There’s an area I frequent that has a Walmart and a Lowe’s. I notice a different bum working the traffic light near by. And I see them wandering the parking lot. Then I was sitting in the drive-thru getting me a biscuit recently when I noticed a congregation of bums in the parking lot next door. I drove by slowly and discovered it was a small city park. As I drove by the park I noticed through the trees some tents pitched. Putting two and two together I figured out this is where these bums were living. There were whiskey bottles and trash strewn everywhere.

So, why haven’t the cops broken this little bum city up? Probably because they have bigger fish to fry. Or maybe because nobody complains. Or they don’t complain loud enough. Bums everywhere is a sure sign that your area is hitting the skids. It’s like gang tagging. Once you see gang tags on stop signs and overpasses you can bet the clock is ticking before your neighborhood becomes a dump. 

We can either collectively stand by and watch it happen or we can start raising hell with the people who run our towns and cities. Those of us who pay massive property tax bills should demand that the authorities protect our property values by not allowing the bums to take over.

Yes, I’m concerned about why so many of these people have become bums. I suspect substance abuse is a large part of the problem. However, allowing them to take over large swaths of cities is not helping to get them off the streets. If these people are run off from every piece of public land in the country maybe they’ll finally seek the help they need. Allowing them to continue to panhandle doesn’t mean you have a big heart. Appeasement is not compassion. 

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show on SuperTalk 99.7WTN in Nashville. He's also co-host of The PodGOATs podcast.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Is going back to the moon worth it?

Before we get into this I don’t want anyone thinking I’m a space curmudgeon. I loved Star Trek. (Star Wars, not so much.) I think space exploration is exciting. I’m old enough to remember when we landed on the moon. You’d be amazed at how many people are alive today who weren’t even born the last time we went to the moon in 1972. Now it’s been revealed through a leak of documents that NASA plans to build a permanent base on the moon and launch 37 rockets there, all by 2024. My question is, is it worth it?

Not just going back to the moon. Is the space program itself worth the money? First of all, good luck finding out how much we’ve spent on the space program. There are thousands of articles on it. Maybe hundreds of thousands. I couldn’t find one that told me how much we’ve spent on the space program since Project Mercury in 1958. It looks like that would be an easy number to quantify. Maybe they don’t want us to know. Suffice it to say it’s in the hundreds of billions, perhaps trillions.

Has it all been worth it?

Talk to space proponents and they’ll tell you yes. They’ll tell you that we discovered all sorts of beneficial things because of the space program. And not just Tang and a pen that writes upside down. Things like LEDs and infrared ear thermometers. Artificial limbs and improved radial tires. Memory foam and enriched baby food. Cordless vacuums and freeze drying technology. That’s all true, but again I ask. Has it all been worth it?

I guess the bigger question is what is our end goal with space? Is it to militarize it? Is it to colonize it? Or is it just to ride around and see what’s out there? NASA has a mind to colonize the moon. This sounds all futuristic and everything, but is it practical? I mean, who really wants to live on the moon? Oh, plenty of people say they do, but do they really? When push comes to shove will they board a spaceship and banish themselves to that lonely rock in the sky? I doubt it.

Why would they want to? Some will tell you we’re running out of space here on Earth and we have to explore the possibility of colonizing another world. We are a very long way from being full here on Earth. You could give every family of four 4,300 square feet to live in and fit the whole world’s population in Texas. I gave that stat out on the air one time and a guy called in and asked, “Why would we want to do that?” It’s just for illustration purposes. Imagine that. Everybody in the world fits in Texas and you have the rest of the world that’s still empty. Think we’re running out of room? Not even close.

So why this obsession with colonizing the moon? You want my opinion? Too much sci-fi. It’s somehow romantic to think about living somewhere else besides Earth. But it’s not practical, nor is it even remotely necessary.

Does that mean we shouldn’t have a space program? No. It means we should prioritize. We should spend our limited resources wisely. There’s really no reason to go back to the moon. Been there, done that. There’s certainly no benefit in colonizing the moon. Unless, of course, we’re going to send all these people who are obsessed with colonizing the moon. Then the rest of us can spend our tax dollars on some things we actually need.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show on SuperTalk 99.7WTN in Nashville. He's also co-host of The PodGOATs podcast.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Don't fear the Chinese trade war

Everybody’s freaking out about a trade war with China. What’s the worst case scenario? That we no longer do business with China? That would be fine by me. China is on just about every group’s top 10 list of human rights violators, usually at the very top. It’s a brutal communist regime that’s killed tens of millions of people. An estimated 45 million died under Mao. Tens of millions of Chinese have been murdered since then.

The problem is most Americans don’t care. All they care about is how much that TV at Walmart costs or the price of their smartphone. I’ve often said if we could have a world mall where people went into each country’s store and could see through the glass into the back room how these products were manufactured they’d never buy Chinese again. They use so much slave and near-slave labor. And child labor. Yet nobody sees it, so nobody cares.

I care.

I’ve been on a mission for many years to reduce my consumption of Chinese goods. It’s almost impossible to keep from buying Chinese. I even wrote about in a chapter of one of my books. Where did the publisher choose to have the book printed? China! You can’t get away from it.

President Trump’s goal is not to end trade with China (although I wish it were). It’s to level the playing field. China’s been stealing from us for decades. No president before has had the gall to stand up to them. We’ve just rolled over while they stole our intellectual property. We turned a blind eye while they slapped tariffs on American goods to keep them from competing with Chinese goods in China. Trump has had enough.

I was reading a piece from CNBC about how Wall Street investment banks were preparing their clients for the worst. They act like China’s the only place on earth that some products can be made. That’s exactly what China’s led us to believe all these years. It’s just not true. If you think manufacturing everything in America is too expensive then consider Taiwan or South Korea. Sure, it may be more expensive than China, but they wouldn’t be using slave labor either.

Not that that matters to anyone.

Here’s the irony. We have all these dirt people who pay exorbitant prices at places like Whole Foods just because they think they’re saving the planet by buying from ‘sustainable’ sources. They don’t give a rat’s rump about slave labor in China. They lecture us about buying local. How local is that wide-screen TV you bought from China?

If you’re worried we’re too dependent on China you’re on the right track. I don’t look at this trade war with China as a problem. I look at it as an opportunity. Now’s the time to really start paying attention to what you’re buying. Check the labels. Start weaning yourself off cheap Chinese goods. Start worrying about the slaves who make your shoes rather than some fantasy of global warming.

And you wanna talk about pollution? China leads the world in real pollution. See all those people walking around Beijing with surgical masks on? It’s not because they’re trying to avoid CO2. It’s because they’re smothered in real pollution: smog. We stop buying from China and start buying from countries that actually care about clean air and clean water and we really help the environment.

You like clean air? You like clean water? You hate slave labor? You hate child labor? Then it’s time to use this trade war to our advantage. Stop buying Chinese products!

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show. He's also co-host of The PodGOATs podcast.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Mayor Pete is NOT president-ready

What qualifies a person to be president? Interesting question. Pose it to a hundred people you’ll probably get a hundred answers. Most will say experience. That can either be in the business world, as in President Trump’s case, or political. What kind of political experience? Most of our presidents have first been governor somewhere. A few, like JFK, were senators. How about mayors? After 9/11 Rudy Giuliani was touted as a contender. They called him ‘America’s mayor.’ 

OK, a mayor. How about the mayor of Davenport, Iowa? Come on, Phil. Don’t be ridiculous. The mayor of Davenport? What could possibly prepare him or her to be president? I happen to agree with you. By the way, did you know that Davenport, Iowa has more people than South Bend, Indiana? Yeah, Davenport’s the 300th largest city in the country. South Bend is 301. What’s my point? My point is the only reason Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, is getting any attention at all is because he’s gay. Don’t believe it? Tell me the name of the mayor of Davenport. Exactly.

There was a talk show host who went on BSNBC and made this very point. The left came unglued calling him every nasty thing in the book. But it’s true. Mayor Pete is getting traction because he’s gay. Not that he doesn’t have a nice resume. Harvard. Pembroke. Oxford. Former naval intelligence officer. Impressive if he were running for re-election as mayor. He’s not. The 37-year-old darling of the left is running for president. Stop and think about that for a second. Do you think you’re qualified to be president? Me neither. Imagine the ego it takes to believe that you can go from mid-size-town mayor to the White House. That you’re even remotely qualified. That in and of itself is problematic. But there’s more.

Buttigieg (pronounced Boot-edge-edge) is for single-payer healthcare. In other words, government-run healthcare. He’s for more gun control. He’s for amnesty for illegal aliens. He’s for the insane Green New Deal which would bankrupt the country were it ever implemented. He’s called ‘climate change’ a national security issue, though he didn’t elaborate. He wants government-subsidized solar panels for every home. He’s totally against using fossil fuels (although I suspect he uses a ton of them on the campaign trail). 

Oh, and he’s gay.

See what I mean? He’s no different from any other socialist out there except he has little real world experience in either politics or business. If he were straight he would be dismissed as a joke. So, is being gay some sort of qualification for being president? It would appear so, at least with a lot of people on the left. You can’t point to anything else that distinguishes him from any other mid-size-town mayor. That has to be it. And it’s not only sad, it’s rather frightening.

I thought we were supposed to not notice or care if someone was gay. That’s pretty much how I run my own life. I judge you on who you are, not what you are. Maybe I’m too radical for my time. If being gay is not supposed to matter then why does it matter in the case of Pete Buttigieg? That’s the point. It shouldn’t.

Don’t get me wrong. Buttigieg is impressive. Well-educated, military man, well-spoken. He just doesn’t have the experience to be president. Not to mention his politics are way too far left. Run for senate or governor, Pete. We’ll see you back here in twelve years.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show. He's also co-host of The PodGOATs podcast.