Trump, the Apostle Peter and the Lesser of Two Evils

e45e2a15-4f27-4a8e-92cc-afe964e2a24cThis is post is really directed at Christians who like to call Trump evil or who think that voting for him is voting for the lesser of two evils. 

Is picking Trump for President evil? Is that what Scriptures teach us? Do we even know what evil truly is? I’ve heard a bunch of Christians throw that around but I have yet to see anyone rightly bring the Word to this.

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Trump’s Recognized Conservatism

A common refrain on the primary circuit was that Trump was not a true conservative. This sentiment was not without merit – Trump was a businessman, not a politician, so to be successful in his home state of New York, you couldn’t afford to be a partisan  with the political rancor. He also espoused some liberal ideas in the past and disagreed with the Iraq war and Bush’s nation-building doctrine. All of those things painted Trump as more of a centrist liberal rather than a red-meat conservative.

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Ministers of Disinformation

I actually found Trump’s acceptance speech inspiring and offering a brighter, stronger America. Even 75% of CNN’s viewers felt the same way. It wasn’t dark or racist or any of the lame labels that the left wing media tried to portray it as (which left me wondering if which speech were they watching). Even the left wing fact checkers said that Trump quoted facts accurately.
The fact that the media tried to portray it as negative, dark, and racist reminded me of the Iraqi Minister of Disinformation mohammed_saeed_al-sahaf.jpgthat would make all kinds of bold statements on TV about how the Iraqi forces were beating up the Americans while Americans tanks could clearly be seen in the background advancing into Baghdad.
Trump spoke to the average American who is concerned about the direction of this country, the future of their children, the safety of their families, and the condition of their finances.
And while the media was heralding their elitist ideas and poo-pooing the speech, the audience looked past them and was watching the Trump tanks advance their position and topple the statue of left wing, elitist, globalist ideals.

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Will new Macs be “One More Thing” on March 21?

File Mar 10All eyes are turning to Apple again, not because of the dustup with the FBI over unlocking an iPhone (which raises serious Constitutional issues) but because on March 21, Apple will be hosting an event to reveal new products.

Of course, the media seems to be fawning over a new smaller form factor iPhone but the rumor mill has been virtually silent on two major products that are long overdue for two key products, the Mac Pro and the 15″ MacBook Pro notebook. So Apple may allow for the rumor mill to build some momentum around the keynote highlight while saving these computers as a “one more thing.”

The MacPro is seriously in need of an overhaul as I have heard even die-hard Mac-loving professionals claim that they can build a PC that is faster than a MacPro and use the favored NVIDIA cards for key professional applications for a lot less than a MacPro.

Now, cue the howls from the Mac faithful that these are fair-weather fans and not true Mac users. But these professionals have a point. Profitability is important and when your delta in cost between a loaded PC and MacPro is more than several thousand dollars, that’s tough to swallow.

Alas, all is not lost. Apple did not build a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in the US only to let the MacPro fail. There is still a big market for a professional level Mac. In my estimation, since it has languished for several years, Apple probably went back to the drawing board to think about what went wrong and how to fix it right – the Apple way.

I would not be surprise if the MacPro doesn’t get updated until the World Wide Development Conference but that conference has lately been primarily been focused around software, rather than hardware.

The other product that is MIA is a real improvement to the 15″ MacBook Pro. While it did get faster storage and Force Touch trackpads last year, the processors remained the same 2014 year processors instead of updating them. I expect a new line of MacBook Pros with USB C, possibly a Lightning port for audio and charging Apple devices, the new Intel Skylake processors, a thinner form factor and possibly a multi-speaker audio for a more surround sound experience like the iPad Pro.

The only other thing I would like to see is an improved display that makes the sharp display on the Dell XPS look like a tube TV from the 60’s. Okay, that’s wishful thinking.

But one more thing – bring back quad core Mac Minis.

 

Mitt Romney has Some Trump-splaining to do

Guess who said this four years ago? 

From TrumpHotelCollection.com

 
“Donald Trump has shown an extraordinary ability to understand how our economy works, to create jobs for the American people. He’s done it here in Nevada. He’s done it across the country. He understands that our economy is facing threats from abroad. He’s one of the few people who stood up and said, “You know what, China has been cheating. They’ve taken jobs from Americans. They haven’t played fair. We have to have a president who stands up to cheaters.”
 
Mitt Romney.
Trump is still the same guy Mitt. Except now he plans to do something about all these inequities and suddenly you’re backing off? What – did you think there was going to be an easy way to right all these entrenched interests? 
And just so you understand, when Trump said that he admires Putin, he’s talking about his strength and resolve of leadership, not his specific policies. It doesn’t seem too long ago that everyone (conservatives and independents) were admiring Putin’s strength against the backdrop of Obama’s weak resolve.
 
That’s why the anti-establishment movement is so strong between Trump and Cruz. It’s all talk and no action in DC and the middle class and poor people continue to be left behind.
 
One way or another, I hope this cabal ends and America gets restored to 

The Politics of Hate

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I hate how much the word “hate” is used these days in politics. It’s an over-the-top, bombastic way of attacking political opponents with shallow factual support. It’s unfortunate in this day and age when you make a decision against the interests of a group for another, it’s considered “hate”.

Specifically, a lot of people are saying that Trump is inciting “hate” against immigrants and Muslims with his stance on immigration and terror. But what if Trump just loves the American people (which is made up of people of all races) and wants to protect their interests?

After all, the border town are a mess with crime, drugs, rapes, murders that stem from illegal immigration. I am an immigrant myself but I came here legally. Because of that, I have a high regard for the law. When you break the most basic of laws to sneak into a country and have to continue breaking laws to live there, that makes you a lawbreaker even if you just want a better life and don’t commit any serious crimes. If I tried to sneak into Mexico to live there, I would end up in jail – and possibly dumped in a gutter.

Does that make Mexicans racist?

Of course not. There is a historic basic principle of sovereign nations that a nation without borders is not a nation – as the Eurozone is quickly finding out. America has the most generous immigration but the system is being taken advantage of. In the early 1900’s, we even stopped all immigration for a while to allow time for current immigrants to assimilate. Our elders were wiser when they realized that assimilation was important to build a united America.

So I don’t hate Mexicans. And neither does Trump. That is such a silly notion and is beneath the intelligence of the average person. I love them just as much as any other race. And my heart goes out to the millions of Mexicans that are suffering in Mexico because of decades of corruption and political elitism – the same thing that is slowly eroding America today.

That is what Trump and the majority of Americans have realized.

The same thing goes for Muslims. I don’t hate Muslims. Heck, some of them are my good neighbors. Does it make sense to push the pause button on immigration until we figure things out so we don’t have another San Bernadino or 9/11? Does that mean we hate all Muslims or do we love America so much that we want to protect our interests? What about all the Muslims here legally who have fled war zones and terror? Do they want to see an America bringing terrorists back in to repeat the mass killings in their birth country under the guise of kindness? There are a lot of grieving families right now who have lost loved ones that would beg to differ.

If Trump wanted to expel all Mexicans or all Muslims, then we could label it hate like Hitler did when he wanted to exterminate all the Jews. When you talk about hurting people or killing them just because of their ethnicity – that would be hate. But we’re not talking all Mexicans or all Muslims. And we are not talking extermination either. If Canadians were sneaking across the border in droves to live here illegally, we would be talking about them too.

What we are talking about is protecting America’s interests and security so that it can continue to be that beacon on a shining hill; a place where all peoples can come together under a unique Constitution in all the world to chart their own path and forge their own destiny.

Otherwise, if the doors remain wide open without due process, we will soon become a jungle and helpful to no one, not even to its citizens.

For All You Christian Trump Haters

What I find interesting is that too many Christians are using un-Christ-like language to condemn what they see as un-Christlike behavior by Trump.

Isn’t that the kind of hypocrisy Jesus spoke against? Are we not proud and judgmental in our own eyes? Sure Trump can be over the top but is he really the monster that Christians are making him out to be? Are you any better?

I mean, isn’t this the guy that started a show that uses its profits to go to charities? Isn’t this the guy that upon hearing a sad case of a dying child that needed an emergency flight that the airlines would not provide – that he provided his own corporate jet, at his own cost to fly the child and his family across the country? Is this not the guy that paid to have a stranger’s house completely rebuilt because of a tragedy?

Is this not the guy despite having two divorces, his ex-wives still love and support him? His children love and support him? Isn’t this the guy that after demanding some upgrades at one of his golf courses, went around and personally handed each worker $100 and thanked them for their effort?

How many of the so-called “Christian candidates” in this race have displayed anything like this in the private life when the cameras aren’t rolling? I mean, wasn’t Ted Cruz the one who tried to nail a guy in prison to the full extent of the law when the guy was convicted on an unfortunate technicality.

Where is the mercy? Jesus told us that we shall know people by their fruits while we are focused on what he’s saying.

How many other candidates have turned $1 million into $10 billion which requires incredible business acumen – a 10,000x return. How many have had to do business under the policies of our government and under foreign governments? How many other candidates are used to running organizations employing tens of thousands of people?

I hear crickets.

Sure he has had some business failures – let me tell you a secret. Most millionaires and billionaires have several business failures. Even Mitt Romney did. That’s the nature of our world. That’s why starting a business involves something called risk. It’s something the average person avoids but the successful do not.

And they will all tell you that if you haven’t failed, you aren’t trying hard enough.

Tell me, those of you who rail against Trump – how many of you have never responded sharply to someone who personally attacked you? How many of you always treat your wives great and never bring up any of her past faults when things get emotional?

I hear crickets.

Did you see how Trump congratulated Cruz on his wins last night? It was genuine. Did you see how Trump accepted Christie’s support even though Christie originally threw his delegates behind Rubio and Christie lambasted Trump in the debates.

That takes a huge heart.

Trump may not be precise on every bit of policy like some of us want. I get that. And sometimes he can seem petty when personally attacked. I get that too. And he may not be able to spout off articles of the Constitution like a Ted Cruz or sound Reagan-esque like a Rubio.

But Trump knows something that Mitt Romney did not – you have to play hardball to win against the Democrats. They play for keeps while historically we have played to appear as Mr. Nice Guy. Trump is playing a long game while we’re still focused on the primaries.

Trump is not focused on the values issues. He is not running to be your pastor. He is running to do what governments should do, not what the church is supposed to do.

Some of us are so focused on political purity that we would rather commit political suicide and endure four more years of an extension of Obama’s policies. Who would we then blame that because we cannot get 100% of what we want, we settle for zero. Politics is not a zero sum game.

Neither is your Christianity.

In fact, what if we were to discover that what we think internally is far more sinful than what Trump says outwardly?

And in case you’re still not convinced, Jesus selected Peter to essentially found the church. In case you don’t remember, Peter was a loud mouth, over the top braggart that at one time wanted to literally destroy a group of people because they wouldn’t welcome Jesus and the disciples. And he denied Jesus three times.

At least Trump is kind to Christians and has proven his generosity to those who are in need even if he can’t quote chapter and verse.

My New Commuter Car

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From Ferrari’s Official US Website

The Cocoa Elephant’s new daily driver (video).

With all this political stuff flying back and forth it’s easy to forget that there are a lot of great things going on in the world. While some people may rail against the 1% as if they stole their lunch money, I admire the 1% because they employ thousands and create a tremendous amount of economic activity.

I also have a high appreciation for Ferrari and what the brand stands for. Although I will likely never own one, I’m glad that there are companies out there that pushes the envelope of design and passion. It’s rolling art, auditory pleasure and practical.

Practical?

Yup. Ferrari today introduced a new vehicle called the GTC4Lusso that seats four, is four wheel drive (actually all wheel drive), and a decent trunk space. All fronted of course with a powerful V12 engine and cosseted in high grade leather, carbon fiber, or whatever skin trips your trigger. And a top speed over 200 mph when you’re running late for that meeting.

I’m not ready to take on a mortgage to buy a Ferrari but the increase in heart rate and joy when one passes by is enough for me.

The Cocoa Elephant can dream can’t he?

Trump IS the Third Party

 

Screenshot of Donald Trumps campaign website

Screenshot of Donald Trumps campaign website

What pundits and voters are starting to realize is that Trump is the third party right now. 20,000 Democratic voters in MA just left their ranks to register as GOP for Trump. Trump is doing what no GOP candidate has done since Reagan – attract broad crossover votes.

Trump is doing what the other GOP candidates haven’t figured out yet – you have to play hardball to win against the Democrats. Second, Trump established his brand as brash and imperfect so that when something negative comes out, it doesn’t affect his brand. But the other candidates set themselves up as morally superior, kinder, gentler, etc. – the moment they go negative or something comes out about them, their brand takes a big hit.

The fact that many in the “establishment” in DC hate Trump and would float another candidate or even support Hillary in the general election just shows you how far they are from the rank and file voter.

I’m not voting for Trump. In fact, I’m not voting for anyone. I’m just analyzing the race.

But it’s clear that Trump’s phenomenon has as much to do where the electorate is at as is the candidate himself. A fact that seems to be lost on the politically elite class.

Which is why we already have a third party that has invaded the GOP and American politics.

The Propensity for Purity

While many conservative voters are energized about the 2016 election, judging from Twitter activity and online discussions, there is a growing problem amongst the digerati. This problem is a demand amongst conservatives for political purity on an issue or set of issues that s/he subscribes to. You can see this especially in the comments section of any article mentioning any political person or issue.

These current voters seem to have forgotten the Reagan principle that if a candidate agrees with 80% of your position, you should be able to vote for that candidate. No one candidate can reflect all of your values nor should you assume that all of your values are correct. Abstaining from voting for a candidate because s/he only agrees with you 80% means that 100% of your values will not be presented if your side fails to win. That’s a terrible loss to live with.

So while we can armchair jockey back-and-forth about who your favorite candidate is, just remember come Election Day it’s better to get 80% of your values sworn into office than none at all.