Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Trump is exactly right on Baltimore

The Democrats are quick to call anyone who shines a bright light on the problems they’ve created a racist. Too many Republican politicians are afraid to speak the truth for fear that the “racist” label will end their careers. President Trump has no such fear. If you’re not a racist then you have nothing to fear by highlighting the colossal failure of the welfare state.

This is an easy problem to solve. The reason Baltimore has the highest murder rate of any large city in America is because of public housing. We've warehoused the most desperate people of society in one place for one-stop shopping for the drug dealers, the pimps, and the gang leaders. Ask any cop in any city where the crime is and he/she will tell you, "The housing projects.”

While the mainstream media were fixated on the shooting at the garlic festival in California they ignored the mass killing in Chicago. That same weekend 9 people were murdered, another 39 were wounded. It just wasn’t by one gunman. The sad part is the Chicago killings are no longer news. They happen with regularity, and they all have a common denominator. Public housing.

If you do a cross reference from the local CBS affiliate’s story in Chicago with a list of public housing from the Chicago Housing Authority you get the clear picture. Altgeld Gardens, Lawndale, East Garfield Park. These were some of the neighborhoods where the 9 murders occurred. These are also neighborhoods where the public housing projects are.

We can do better. And we need to start now.

It's time to tear them down and start from scratch. The welfare department should be transformed into a jobs match program. What's your skill? We have a job opening in Nebraska. But I don't want to leave Baltimore. Too bad. That’s where the job is. If we took that approach we’d separate the needy from the greedy and we would solve not only the poverty problem but the gun violence problem as well.

And don’t tell me it’s too much of a burden to ask someone to move. I left Greensboro, NC for Nashville, TN because there was no job for me in Greensboro. I had to eat. We should only be taking care of the those who can't take care of themselves. Everybody else? Out.

This is what you do for people you love. Got kids? Do you trap them in dependence by begging them to move back home, or do you help them make a life of their own? Same thing for everybody else in society. That is true compassion. Trapping people in Baltimore with a 50 percent unemployment rate is not only not compassionate, it's cruel.

It took Donald Trump to bring this reality to everyone's attention. We shouldn't trap people in a rat-infested neighborhood. Or, as Bernie Sanders called Baltimore, a third world country. Incidentally, Bernie got absolutely no flack for his characterization of Baltimore. He was right and so is Trump. And so is the former mayor of Baltimore, Catherine Pugh, who said in a local news feature last year, “You can smell the rats.” She added, “We should just take all this sh*t down.”

Is it cruel to want to set these people free? Is it cruel to stop making excuses for why they can't succeed? Is it cruel to want to stop the cyclical dependency so people can live full and fruitful lives?

Liberals see these people and assume they just can't do any better. I see these people and know they can't do any worse.

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, July 24, 2019

I can tell you where 'The Squad' leads

The terms “racist” and “Nazi” have been bandied about as of late so cavalierly that I thought the whole affair deserved closer examination. Up until now I’ve always thought these words were the equivalent of running out of bullets and throwing your gun at the other person. I’ve decided—in today’s context—there’s much more to it.

The Trump haters fall into several different camps with entirely different agendas. First there’s the Never-Trumpers. These are usually conservatives, or at least moderates, who find Donald Trump to be a vulgarian and beneath the dignity of the White House. I can sympathize with this group. I get it. He’s certainly not like any other president we’ve ever had. Who among us hasn’t wished that he would tweet less? I think this group is allowing their personal animus toward the president to blind them to perhaps the most amazing economic resurgence of our lifetimes, but I get why they don’t like him.

Then there’s the power class in Washington. This includes people like Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. These are the political game-players. They’re accustomed to shifts in power, and they position themselves to take full advantage of their opponents’ weaknesses. They’ll throw in the occasional barb of racism just to stir the pot, but it’s unlikely their hearts are in it. They’ll simply say and do anything for political expediency. 

We start to move into dangerous territory with this next group. These are the Trump-deranged. The people like Rashida Tlaib who, in 2016, was pulled kicking and screaming from a Trump rally like a raving lunatic. Two years later she’s elected to Congress. A few months after that she’s part of ‘The Squad’ who essentially run things in the House of Representatives. These are the firm believers that Trump is a Nazi and a racist despite no evidence to support it. They are just one degree separated from the most dangerous faction which seems to be a fringe group to the casual observer. But remember, Rashida Tlaid was foaming at the mouth at Trump rallies just three years ago.

I’m talking about Antifa. This is the Gestapo arm of the movement. The irony is Antifa supposedly stands for anti-fascist. This band of violent thugs is the very embodiment of fascism, except they’re actually communists. This is something that confuses most people. They believe communism and fascism are on opposite ends of the political spectrum. In reality they’re two wings of the same ugly bird of prey, and they’re fighting over control of you.

The Squad has refused to denounce the violent thugs of Antifa. They routinely descend on rallies like a swarm of locust, faces covered in black bandanas, wielding clubs, rocks, and fists against anyone who opposes them. Because if you’re against the anti-fascists, they reason, you must be a fascist. In other words, you must be a Nazi.

And this is the interesting revelation I’ve discovered. These hurled insults of “racist” and “Nazi” are not so much designed to inflict pain on those they’re thrown at. They’re designed to solidify the resolve of the one who hurls them. These invective epithets are their way of convincing themselves that you are the worst scum imaginable in order to justify any means necessary to destroy you.

After the recent dust-up between the Squad and President Trump I saw a commentator on MSNBC. He said that after the tweets there was no longer any doubt that anyone who voted for Trump was a racist.

Their justification for violence has been set. They simply now await their Kristallnacht.

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, July 17, 2019

The Squad's real agenda

The mainstream media are fixated on President Trump’s tweets. Did he use the best choice of words? No, as is sometimes the case with this president. Was his point valid? Yes. His point was there are certain lawmakers who have a general disdain for this country. That’s the point that’s being ignored by the media as they try to paint his tweets as racist and xenophobic. The ‘xenophobic’ angle was obviously part of the Democrats’ talking points in the wake of the now-infamous tweets aimed at the ‘Squad.’ Nancy Pelosi and others screamed that these women are Americans. Then how could a tweet attacking them be xenophobic? One wonders if those hysterically screaming the accusation of xenophobia actually know what it means.

Let’s dig a little deeper into what precipitated the tweets from Trump.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took a well-publicized trip to the border. Either she was told, or she made it up out of thin air, that the Border Patrol was forcing women to drink from toilets. Now, common sense would tell you that’s not true. Her default assumption was that the United States was evil. The truth is these facilities were equipped with sink/toilet combinations. The sink’s at the top. The toilet’s at the bottom. These women were drinking from the sink, not the toilet.

Congressman Ilhan Omar has made many disparaging remarks about America. It’s obvious she’s no fan of Israel either. Is she antisemitic? You could certainly draw that conclusion. However, every criticism of Israel is not automatically antisemitic.

Jonathan Pollard was one of America’s most notorious traitors. He was caught passing top-secret classified information to a foreign country. What country was that? Israel. So let’s dispense with this nonsense that simply criticizing Israel makes you an antisemite. To do so deflates the real antisemitism that seems to surround Omar.

Do these women dislike the United States? America sure does seem to be their go-to whipping boy. 

But here is the underlying point most everyone is missing. The comments coming from the ‘Squad’ are seen as anti-American, but America is not the real target. Capitalism is the target. We just happen to be the country that’s doing capitalism the best. These women believe our economic system is unfair and racist. They look at raw data and come to emotional conclusions.

They look at stats like blacks making up 40 percent of the prison population when only 13 percent of the country is black. That has to be racism, they say. The stat they ignore is that half the murders are committed by blacks, primarily black males. The other stat they ignore is that over 90 percent of their victims were black. In other words, if you start turning loose black murderers from prison you’re putting black people in danger.

They look at raw stats like black home ownership and black income as indicators that the United States is racist. Or, more specifically, that capitalism is racist. Under President Trump we’ve seen black unemployment hit its lowest level in history. Same for Hispanics. Employment is the quickest way to lift people from poverty.

You can throw all the money you want at poverty. And we have. About $15 trillion. The poverty rate is roughly where it was when we started. Socialism is not the answer. Capitalism is. Instead of throwing more money at the problem we should be creating opportunity by allowing the private sector to create jobs. That’s not a race issue. It’s a human dignity issue. Donald Trump is solving that problem. The Squad is trying to stop him.

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, July 10, 2019

News Flash: Men and women are not equal

It’s time we stopped lying to women. Women are always told, ‘You can do anything a man can.’ It’s simply not true. Yes, I know I run the risk of being called a male chauvinist pig. I’m not. Men who say this are simply patronizing women. It’s time to put a stop to it here and now.

Yes, there are plenty of things women can do as well or even better than a man. Women can be doctors and lawyers and scientists. I believe we’ll have a woman president in the not-too-distant future. If we elect her because she’s the most qualified candidate and not just because she’s a woman then she will be able to govern as well, if not better than, a man.

There are some things a man can never do. Women are uniquely qualified to be mothers. Despite headlines like “British man, 21, makes history by giving birth to baby girl,” it’s not true. Biologically it’s impossible. Men can’t have babies. Just because you ‘identify’ as a man doesn’t make it so.

There’s one arena where women just can’t compete with men. Athletics. After the U.S. women’s soccer team beat the Netherlands there were chants of ‘Equal pay.’ Do women get paid less than the men? As even the Washington Post acknowledged, “It’s tough to make a straightforward comparison of the earnings for men and women players.” That’s because the teams have different pay structures. If you’re a contract player for the women’s team you get a base salary plus performance-based bonuses. Male soccer players in the U.S. don’t get a base salary. They get paid when they play. The obvious question is why the contract players on the women’s team aren’t demanding that non-contract players get paid what they’re getting.

The difference in pay is simply a matter of pay structure. The men run the risk of making far less if they don’t advance to the World Cup, as was the case this year. The women are paid regardless, and garner smaller bonuses for advancing. But it also has to do with how much each team generates in revenue for the United States Soccer Federation. According to the USSF, if you include fiscal year 2015 when the men won the World Cup then you find the men brought in $10.8 million more for the federation than the women did.

The pay squabble in soccer is a different issue than athletic ability. Most people will agree that the men’s team this year, which didn’t make the World Cup, would beat the women’s team on the field. The most famous battle of the sexes was tennis greats Bobby Riggs and Billy Jean King in 1973. King beat Riggs in straight sets. King was 29 years old. Riggs was 55. What’s lost to history is Riggs’s victory earlier that year to Margaret Court who was the top female player in the world. Riggs beat her in straight sets.

Even the Williams sisters knew they couldn’t compete with similarly ranked men. They said they could beat any man ranked outside the top 200. Karsten Braasch, ranked 203rd, stepped forward and beat both sisters back to back on the same day.

There will never be a female Tom Brady. There will never be a female Michael Jordan. This is not male chauvinism. This is simply a fact. We should all acknowledge that instead of lying about it. And we should all be good with it. Many men will publicly repudiate such claims, but women should know that’s only the proverbial pat on the head.

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, July 3, 2019

Is the 'Hands-free Driving' law a violation of your rights?

There are now 19 states that have passed ‘Hands-free Driving’ laws. Although they differ slightly in language, the aim in all is the same. Keep people’s eyes off their phones and on the road.

My opinion on the issue has evolved over the years. When cellphone bans were first talked about it was really a solution in search of a problem. Bluetooth was not in widespread use either, which would mean your phone would be useless as long as you’re mobile—sort of the opposite intended use of a mobile phone.

Now we have the data, and here’s how it breaks down. Distracted driving accounts for about 10 percent of all fatal crashes. Of that 10 percent, about 15 percent involve cellphones. To be honest, that leaves a lot of distracted driving unchecked. Other forms of distraction include talking to other passengers, adjusting the radio or climate control, and eating. These new cellphone laws are not going to eliminate the dangers of distracted driving, but they’re a step in the right direction.

Once the problem of distracted cellphone users reached the point of needing a solution I changed my opinion. That change has left me with the label by some as a big government neocon. That’s short for neoconservative, if you’re not familiar with the term. It’s a moniker that’s been applied to everyone from John McCain to Laura Ingraham, so I’m not sure how effective it is in dinging the recipient. But I received it in the spirit it was hurled. I get it. I understand why people are wary of new laws. What I don’t get is this leap of logic that supporting a ban on using your cellphone while you’re driving will ultimately lead to all of our guns being confiscated.

Some things are just common sense. When common sense ceases to be common you need laws. Look, I know some people who can hardly drive, let alone drive with a phone in one of the hands that should be on the steering wheel. I’m a big believer that your primary job when you hop behind the wheel of a car is to drive it. That may sound sarcastic but it’s not. I tell my kids that your one goal when you close that driver’s side door is to get from Point A to Point B safely. Everything else is secondary to that.

My wife loves to talk on the phone. She also hates learning new technology. It took this law to get her off the handset and onto Bluetooth. I think she’s going to find it immensely more convenient. I’m going to feel much better about her safety.

Which leads to a major point about driving. Safety is the most important issue on the road. Getting there takes a back seat to safety. Arrive alive. That’s the goal. It doesn’t matter how much faster you were than the other guy if you never make it. Too many people drive like it’s a competition. I have to raise my hand to that. Just this morning I had two people jockeying for position on an interstate onramp. One looked like someone’s grandmother. I don’t know where Grandma was going in such a hurry, but I got out of her way. A younger me may have been sucked into the competition.

Driving isn’t a race. It’s also not a right. You have to earn your way on the road by passing a test. That test doesn’t end when they issue your license. The daily test is safety. We’re all a little safer when everyone is watching the road.

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.