Author Archives: Brian Drake

Another Reason You’re a Racist

You gotta love the Daily Kos, where all the liberal fruitcakes find a welcome environment. Recently they ran a post entitled “You might be a racist if…..” and compiled a list of indicators that proves how white people dislike non-whites. The sad thing is, they’re serious. As a heart attack.

Some examples from the post–my own parenthetic snark has been added for comedic relief:

You are oblivious to “white privilege”. (Because all whites are born rich and get everything handed to them. I’m proof.)

You have to build your own compound in North Idaho because the rest of North Idaho is not “White” enough for you. (A true racist would live in South Idaho.)

You still insist president Obama is from Kenya. (This has not been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. It says so on the Internet.)

You still refer to Mexicans as beaners. (I prefer wetbacks, actually.)

You think racism is a thing of the past OR that any brown person who objects to your lovely unkind generalization about brown people is themselves racist against white people — because unfortunately you are not sure what racism is. (Wow. That’s a lot of words in one sentence. You must have gone to college.)

You indicate “some of my best friends are . . .” (Retarded? Indian? Republican? This means nothing.)

You continually say, “I hate rap and hip hop. It’s not music.” (Oh, so if dislike something mainly performed by black people, that means I hate black people? This argument makes no sense.)

And now let’s add one more item to the list. If you enjoy peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, you might be a racist.

Some wetback school principal in Oregon–ooops, I’m sorry, a Mexican-American school principal in Oregon–came up with this one.

I’ll tell ya….I cannot put into my own words what Verenice Gutierrez, the principal at Harvey Scott K-8 School, says, so I’m just going to quote a chunk of the article. To wit:

“Verenice Gutierrez picks up on the subtle language of racism every day.

Take the peanut butter sandwich, a seemingly innocent example a teacher used in a lesson last school year. ‘What about Somali or Hispanic students, who might not eat sandwiches?’ says Gutierrez, principal at Harvey Scott K-8 School, a diverse school of 500 students in Northeast Portland’s Cully neighborhood. ‘Another way would be to say: “Americans eat peanut butter and jelly, do you have anything like that?” Let them tell you. Maybe they eat torta. Or pita.’

Guitierrez, along with all of Portland Public Schools’ principals, will start the new school year off this week by drilling in on the language of ‘Courageous Conversations,’ the district-wide equity training being implemented in every building in phases during the past few years. Through intensive staff trainings, frequent staff meetings, classroom observations and other initiatives, the premise is that if educators can understand their own “white privilege,” then they can change their teaching practices to boost minority students’ performance.”

In other words, what you eat, whether you realize it or not, makes you a racist, and makes children cry.

(Also, in a continuing example of our crumbling education system, teachers have to learn how they themselves are awful for being white in order to properly teach the non-white. The future is in good hands!)

Now you know, you racist, peanut-butter eating cracker. Shame on you for being alive. I bet you use white bread, too. Typical. You should only use wheat bread to prove your racial sensitivity; either that or use torta. Or pita.

I’m not sure how much racism still exists in our country. The left keeps racism alive by telling us how racist we are depending on how we think or act, and there’s something wrong with that. Is it part of a thought-control effort, do they hate America, or are they just trying to get stuff?

So remember this list as you prepare for your day, and for God’s sake pack your peanut butter and jelly sandwich in a racially non-specific carrying container. Do not use a brown paper bag.

 

BRIAN DRAKE is a 20-year broadcast veteran in California and the author of The Rogue Gentleman, a thriller in the tradition of Vince Flynn and Brad Thor. Follow him on Twitter.

Batkid Did More than Save Gotham

Nobody at the office got any work done yesterday. We were all watching the live video of Batkid saving San Francisco–I mean, Gotham City. Of course, I should amend that statement: I work for a major radio station in SF, so watching Batkid was my job. We had to make sure people knew where the action was, and keep them up-to-date on the latest developments. It’s not every day that the Riddler robs a bank or the Penguin kidnaps the mascot of the local baseball team (to remain nameless, because I’m an A’s fan). When we switched over to business news at one point, somebody called and said, “We don’t care about the stock market, put Batkid back on.”

All work days should be so tough.article-2507890-196FB24500000578-710_634x495

At first I thought this would be a great local story. Make-A-Wish and San Francisco teaming up to give a 5-year-old cancer survivor the chance of a lifetime, to be a genuine superhero, because what 5-year-old boy doesn’t dream of that? When we first heard of it, many eyes rolled. How silly it sounded. Nobody expected the city to grind to a halt for one of the best reasons imaginable. Crowds turned out all over town to watch Batkid; the local paper printed up a special edition (with articles written by such legends as Clark Kent, who isn’t cheap); we had a chopper tracking the motorcade, but the Batmobile was so fast our pilot couldn’t keep up! Our reporters on the ground, believe it or not, got stuck in traffic. Events moved so fast that we almost missed the Riddler’s capture.

But this story didn’t stay local. It went, as the saying today goes, viral. The national media was there, too. Twitter exploded with activity. Even President Obama got involved, because he can’t let anything happen without him, but this time I don’t particularly mind. Obama is news; what he says is news; when he said, “Way to go, Batkid,” that clinched the deal. Batkid became a thing.

It’s not hard to see why. This is the only feel good story we’ve had in the last decade, a decade filled with political strife, terrorism, economic collapse, doom and gloom, and that goddamn Miley Cyrus. Batkid is the only story–the only story–to make everybody stop focusing on themselves and the rest of the world’s garbage and pay attention to a boy who survived cancer and wanted to run around and be silly. We all got to be silly with him, and for one day, our problems went away. You can’t buy a day like that.

It’s unfortunate that, in our 24-hour non-stop news cycles, this story will fade by Sunday. It may make a “week in review” segment on the Sunday morning talk shows, but by Monday morning, Miles Scott and his adventure will be gone. San Francisco will have returned to normal, if by “normal” you mean one of the worst examples of liberal government in the world, where the streets have an awful stench, traffic is a nightmare, Subway can’t sell a foot long sandwich for $5 and you can’t get a good burger for under $10 because of local taxes, some of which go to fund healthcare for the city’s ten million homeless derelicts who crap in the street.

But yesterday, that didn’t matter. I actually liked being in San Francisco yesterday. And the irony is, Miles Scott is from Oregon. Portland, apparently, was too busy to bother with him. Suck it, Portland.

 

BRIAN DRAKE is a 20-year broadcast veteran in California and the author of The Rogue Gentleman, a thriller in the tradition of Vince Flynn and Brad Thor. Follow him on Twitter.

Richard Nixon, Jack Benny, and Barrack Obama Walk into a Bar

It’s hard not to chuckle when Greg Gutfeld and his Fox News Red Eye team flash “Obama-geddon-care-o-gate” on the TV when the president’s health law comes up for discussion. I’m frankly surprised that the right wing hasn’t officially added the suffix “Gate” to Obamacare by now, considering the lies upon lies, the incompetence, and the overall disaster of the ACA.

I’ve been a student of the original “gate” scandal, Water, for some time. The reveal of Deep Throat was a Watergate fan’s Superbowl–finally, we knew the whole story. I’m also a collector of old time radio shows from the Golden Age of broadcasting, and many of my recordings were taken from broadcast replays in the 1970s. So what does Obamacare, Richard Nixon, and old time radio have in common?

I was listening to an episode of the Jack Benny show the other night, and often with those ’70s replays, whoever recorded the show let the tape run longer than the actual problem, and the station went into a top-of-the-hour news update after the show ended. The reporter read a set of headlines, mostly concerning Watergate, which was exploding. Among the breaking news, the reporter quoted experts who said the fate of the country hinged on the outcome of the scandal. We had never faced anything like it. Did the Constitution properly detail how such a situation should be handled, or would we have to create new rules to deal with the aftermath? Would Nixon resign or be impeached? You could cut the uncertainty and fear with a knife. Thirty years later, listening to this in my bedroom, it added a dimension to the Nixon scandal that shouldn’t have surprised me, but it did. I can tell you the facts of the Watergate scandal and how it ended, but I could never fill the in-between real-time gaps where the country, at the height of the scandal, had no idea what would happen, or how we would carry on.

As I watch the continuing developments of Obamacare and the seemingly dismantling of the U.S.A.; listen to the nail-chewing worry of the right wing; the pessimism of my friends; my own thoughts about how we’re finished; I find myself listening again and again to that news broadcast. The fear is the same.

I can’t see thirty years in the future, but I know one thing: we’ve survived The Worst before. Like Gerald Ford said, the system works. There are other non-political elements that suggest, to me, it’s a harder battle this time (that’s another column) but the system indeed worked, and, in an ironic twist, Nixon lived long enough to become a respected elder statesman, and the nation mourned his passing as if Watergate had never happened (which shocked liberals from one end of the country to another). Back in 1992 my high school Republican buddies and I had a joke: “He’s tanned, rested, and ready–Nixon in ’92!” We were criticized by one of our older teachers of making light of a horrible period in this nation’s history, and I can only imagine that thirty years from now I might say the same thing to a kid who makes an Obama joke, and he’s going to wonder why I’m making such a fuss.

Some of you are going to say that I don’t get it. This is the Last Stand. If we fail here, we’re history. I’m not saying you’re wrong, and I don’t mean we should stop fighting because “it’s all going to work out” or some “hopeful” garbage like that. What I mean is we need to consider history in how we approach the battle, and we need the confidence of history as we press our counterattack. Chicken Little need not be a part of the team. We have enough trouble with John Boner (ooops, I mean Boehner), John McCain, Karl Rove, and the rest of the GOP Establishment who have no interest in fighting, and are actually working against us. We may be surrounded, but at least we know where the enemy is. That narrows things down a bit.

 

BRIAN DRAKE is a 20-year broadcast veteran in California and the author of The Rogue Gentleman, a thriller in the tradition of Vince Flynn and Brad Thor. Follow him on Twitter.

Thoughts on Veterans Day

On this Veterans Day I find myself on the couch after a three-week work marathon catching my breath, and all over the news, Facebook, even next door, there are signs of thanks and appreciation for our fighting forces. Check that. People are just plain gushing over soldiers, to the point where one fellow I know once said, “Dammit, I wasn’t a hero, I pushed paper and screwed around a lot, stop thanking me.”

It’s hard for me to join in on the celebration. It’s not that I don’t appreciate veterans. A lot of the men I grew up with, including my father, served somewhere in Vietnam, and they weren’t average grunts. My father was a Ranger; my ROTC drill sergeant, for another example, was First Air Cav. My father doesn’t talk much about the war but Sergeant Gomez would never shut up about it. He always had a story to tell about that place, either when shooting the bull or including the anecdote in a lesson. I actually think he enjoyed being there.

But as I sit here watching a television program called Vietnam in HD, thinking of my father and Sergeant Gomez, the contrast between now and then is more clear than ever.

What makes it hard for me to join in on the verbal masturbation over today’s fighting forces and, allegedly, those of the past, is that I believe we are seeing the left and anti-war forces trying to correct their atrocities of the past. The way Vietnam vets were treated upon their return is one of the biggest black eyes in this nation’s history, and, oddly, something they took in relative silence. The Vietnam vet never needed a Jesse Jackson to tell people they should be treated better, but, somehow, over the years, regret for that treatment has boiled to the surface. Who knows where or when it began, but you can probably say that as soon as some dumb hippie’s son went into the army, the hippie thought, “I hope nobody spits on him when he comes back.” And then, “Uh-oh, isn’t that what I did?”

When the first Iraq War ended, we saw the first of the Appreciation Thing begin to take place, and it has grown since. Yeah, it’s a Thing. It’s Cool to Like Soldiers, stinky. Problem is, the wrong people think it’s cool, and they think it’s cool for the wrong reason. (They also think it’s cool to say they support the soldiers but not the policy, which you can’t do, but that’s also another column.) I don’t think, deep down, these people really appreciate anything, they just don’t want to feel bad like their parents. This Thing is all about not feeling bad.

The Right Wing isn’t any better, as they try to distinguish themselves from the left by being Uber Patriotic ‘Muricans. And their efforts to overcompensate for the left is equally disgusting in my eyes. I’m looking at you, Sean Hannity.

But let me try and communicate some genuine appreciation today, not just because our fighting forces defend the country. They also put up with a lot of crap, from the 90 Day Wonders of West Point to the bureaucratic dip-dunk pencil-necked REMFs to the idiot Lt. who’s old man pulled strings for his cushy assignment to the overall insanity of military life that makes you want to scream because It’s Like Nothing Else and those of you who know, know exactly what I mean. I should have gone myself, but at the time I didn’t want to work for a draft dodger who would inevitably ask me to make a sacrifice he refused to make. At least I had the choice, and the Veteran gave me that choice. The Veteran gave me a lot of choices, actually, starting as far back as a cold day in April, 1775, and even if we’ve never served, our duty is to make sure those that follow have the same choices we did.

 

BRIAN DRAKE is a 20-year broadcast veteran in California and the author of The Rogue Gentleman, a thriller in the tradition of Vince Flynn and Brad Thor. Follow him on Twitter.

 

Sacrifice for the Future….Because it’s Time

Ever since the roll out of Obamacare, we have been pummeled by articles and television news stories about how many people have since lost their insurance and have to pay more on the government plan. Obama’s promise of keeping the doctor you like was indeed false, and there has been much weeping and gnashing of teeth, negative comments made toward our president, and a general feeling of unease throughout the land.

What I want to know is, when are you racist white crackers gonna quit complaining and realize the opportunity we share.

It is an honorable thing to suffer for the first black president. Don’t you realize that this is your opportunity to redeem the country? Now is the time to look your black neighbor in the eye and say, “I’m paying more for health insurance as a way to apologize for my great, great grandfather owning your great, great grandfather.” Then hug it out, dawg. Write that premium check with a smile! We’re making history! Yes we can!

If your premium is too high, quit buying Starbucks every day. Knock off the bon bons. Tell Ronald McDonald his wallet will be a little lighter from now on. You don’t need no cable TV. You don’t need no fancy car. You don’t even need no house! Turn your back on the frivolous emptiness of spend-spend-spend and you will be able to pay for not only your healthcare, but for everybody else’s healthcare too, because it’s time this nation got civilized like Europe. If it’s good enough for France, it’s good enough for the rest of us.

I have a dream that, in the future, black presidents will not be judged by the debacle of their administrations, but by the color of their skin, that we won’t be hatin’ or try and fight the progressive plan, because that would mean we still have a long way to go. I have a dream that when a black president is opining before a large group of people, that we will not heckle. We will not protest. We will sit quietly and take in the teachable moment being handed to is. Because we deserve it. I have a dream that the opposition party won’t hold their ground against their Democratic opponents during a government shutdown, and will mercilessly attack those renegades who do, because to resist is racist, and we’re bigger than that. We’re ‘Merica!

I have a dream that racist white America will cleanse itself from the past, and march forward into a bright future where we will take a step back because it’s time to let the people who have forever been regarded as less-than to take center stage, and shape this country into what it was supposed to be, where we can stand by and watch the formerly oppressed get ‘er done!

I have a dream that in the future, I will have less money for myself, and that’s okay, because it’s time not to be selfish. I dream of a day when there will be less prosperity because we have to support our brothers. I am my brother’s keeper! And my sister’s. And my cousin’s. And my neighbor’s. And my neighbor’s children. And my neighbor’s children’s friends! It’s a sacrifice. But a worthy sacrifice, like the one Jesus made, and if Jesus can sacrifice, then, by gosh-darn-diddly, so can you. If you aren’t sacrificing, then you must hate Jesus. Why do you hate Jesus? Why do you make Jesus cry?

I have a dream that…..wait, what? You mean all of this is already happening?

Well.

I guess dreams do come true.

 

BRIAN DRAKE is a 20-year broadcast veteran in California and the author of The Rogue Gentleman, a thriller in the tradition of Vince Flynn and Brad Thor. Follow him on Twitter.

Obama Hates Black People

You may recall that, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, it became popular for black Americans to quote a certain rap star and say, “George Bush hates black people.” Because blacks in New Orleans were suffering. But the shoe is really on the other foot.

I don’t understand how black Americans can say with a straight face that Obama is for them, not when you have an article such as the one written by Kevin D. Williamson in the National Review Online. The text of his piece shocked even my jaded eyes.

Williamson proves that point that Obama in general and the Democrats in particular really care very little for black Americans. He says, “Fifty years into the Democrats’ declaration of a war on poverty and President Kennedy’s first executive order for affirmative action, while spending $300 million a year on worthless diversity workshops and singing endless verses of ‘We Shall Overcome,’ after enduring endless posturing from Barack Obama and the moral preening of his admirers, that is what black American families have to show for themselves: an average household net worth of $4,955. The average white household in these United States has a net worth of $110,729. Black Americans’ median net worth is less than 5 percent that of white Americans.”

Read that again and really take it in. We have a large population in this country kept perpetually poor by political design or by choice, and I’m not sure which is worse, or a greater insult to the idea of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. How can you pursue when you barely have enough to survive?

Williamson continues: “Everywhere it has been tried, the Democrats’ dependency agenda has been a social and economic catastrophe for black Americans — and a full-employment program for Democratic apparatchiks. This is not a conspiracy — it’s right out there in the open, every time a Democratic politician knows that he can count on 90 percent of the black vote without lifting a finger, winning the opportunity to add four more years to the 50 years of broken promises Democrats have made to black Americans, who lag their fellow countrymen on practically every social indicator. ‘These Negroes,’ said alleged civil-rights hero Lyndon Baines Johnson, ‘they’re getting pretty uppity these days, and that’s a problem for us since they’ve got something now they never had before: the political pull to back up their uppity-ness. We’ve got to give them a little something — just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.’ So far, the LBJ plan seems to be working perfectly.”

This is nothing less than an effort on the part of Democrats to keep a class of people so tied to their tethers that they could never break free and discover their own potential. Of course, that assumes black Americans indeed want to do that, and go ahead and call me a racist, but I don’t see a lot of that happening here in the San Francisco Bay Area. I see a lot of the opposite. There are a few that have risen above, but they still cow tow to the left’s party line. I don’t know a single black person that didn’t vote for Obama. “Because it’s time,” they say, whatever that means.

Has there ever a greater example of cutting off your nose to spite your face? I don’t think so. Yet generations of blacks have been convinced that it’s the only way to be taken seriously, and I shudder to think what would happen if they suddenly switched sides and let the Republicans have a go. Probably not much, thanks to wussies like Boehner, McCain, Rubio, et al. One can hope that should this country have a chance to return to real economic prosperity that the blacks would not only take advantage, but prosper with the rest of us. That’s what the United States is all about, everybody getting a shot at the gold. Instead we have a class of people who think that they’re only value is as a victim, waiting for a hand out, it’s everybody else’s fault, etc., etc., and George Bush hates black people.

If Obama cared so much about blacks, the Washington Post would not report that black unemployment is sky high. Quote: “….the rate for adult black men, those 20 years and older, jumped to 14 percent last month. That’s up from 13.5 percent in August and only slightly below year-ago levels. It also contrasts with 6.1 percent unemployment for white men in that same age group.”

Fourteen percent. That’s a disgrace. This is not the America I want. This is not the America we could have. Instead of trying to raise a segment of the population out of the gutter, we give them free cell phones and food stamps.

Because it’s time.

As long as we have a class of perpetual victims, this is the America we get. Fifty years and counting. I don’t see it turning around.

 

BRIAN DRAKE is a broadcaster in California and the author of The Rogue Gentleman, a thriller in the tradition of Vince Flynn and Brad Thor. Follow him on Twitter.

John Boehner Becomes a Man

Maybe you saw House leader John Boehner on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos. I missed it, but a written account of the interview shortly after may make me take back everything bad I have ever said about Mr. Boehner. It appears he has received a dose of courage from the Wizard, and is ready for a fight.

He is now on record as saying there will be no let-up in the GOP “shutdown stance” until the President decides to negotiate. Of course, so far, Obama is not budging. He’s not talking. Period. Playing golf and discussing how the Washington Redskins have an offensive name? Sure, he has time for that. But that’s it!

Boehner told Stephanopoulos: “He knows what my phone number is, all he has to do is call….The president just can’t sit there and say, ‘I’m not going to negotiate.'” He said it all without shedding a single tear! Where has this version of Boehner been all this time? What brought about this change? How did John Boehner finally find his testosterone?

The GOP has found their feet because of the Syria debacle. Obama doesn’t have Putin to bail him out this time. I don’t think anybody has truly realized how much damage the red line that the President says he never drew caused.

The GOP thinks they can win this showdown, despite polls saying they’re taking the blame. If Boehner and Company stay on point, which they’ve been doing the last few days, stressing that they’re ready to talk and ready to partially fund the government in the meantime but the Democrats won’t budge, they may turn the tide. The Democrats are depending on public opinion to pressure the GOP to cave, but that’s a strategy about as good as “hope”. Obama is steering the ship. Right now he’s sitting at anchor. He can’t do that forever, especially if the public sees no effort from him. If the situation were reversed, the GOP would have a problem. But this can quickly become Obama’s problem if he’s not careful. We know from past experience that Obama caves when the heat’s on.

So turn up the heat, Johnny! Political theater has never been so fun!

 

BRIAN DRAKE is a broadcaster in California and the author of The Rogue Gentleman, a thriller in the tradition of Vince Flynn and Brad Thor. Follow him on Twitter.

Ted Cruz Opens his Mouth and Lets out the Stupid

We all have been watching the recent political soap opera with high interest. It was great to see Ted Cruz filibuster for 21 hours, unlike John Boner–I mean, Boehner (why can’t I get that right?)–and John “Ancient Gasbag” McCain, who attacked him for it (along with other Republicans). Finally, there was somebody who was going to take a stand against….wait, what?

Exactly. It’s nice to know that Republicans are against Obamacare. But what are they for? I’m having a hard time supporting the home team in this shutdown because I don’t know what they are counter proposing. Apparently they have an alternative to the ACA, but after the opening announcement was made, it faded very fast, and there has been no further mention of it. The Republicans aren’t selling their plan. They are so busy telling us what they’re against, we have no idea what they’re for. In other words, they are giving no reason for even us, the hard core base, to support them. The talking heads have better ideas than the people we vote for. Perhaps we need to elect Greg Gutfeld, TV’s Andy Levy, and Greg’s repulsive sidekick Bill Schultz to run the country.

I watched Ted Cruz on The O’Reilly Factor tonight, where Mr. O came up with very good points pretty much echoing the above, and all Cruz did was repeat the party line. I’ve tried getting my liberal friends (everybody needs one!) to explain why they think Cruz is an idiot (that’s all they seem to say about him) and all they can do is intensify the word idiot. I think they’re right. All Cruz said in response to Mr. O’s remarks is that it’s the Democrats fault. They aren’t negotiating. Bla bla bla. He really is an idiot. In the face of terrific common-sense, Cruz dug in his heels….for what? GIVE US A REASON TO SUPPORT YOU! GIVE US SOMETHING TO WORK WITH! It’s great that you’re against something, but WHAT ARE YOU FOR??????

All I know for sure is that Ted Cruz likes White Castle hamburgers. He said so during his filibuster. But everybody likes White Castle….unless you’re a communist.

So enjoy the shutdown, I guess. I have no idea what the plan is. I don’t think even John Boner–I mean, Boehner (dammit!)–knows. It seems the GOP is flailing in the dark, and since Cruz is Canadian, that should terrify him (because Canadians don’t like the dark) but he’s apparently acclimated. All we know is that the GOP doesn’t like Obama. Or something. Does anybody have a flipping idea what we’re doing here?

BRIAN DRAKE is a broadcaster in California and the author of The Rogue Gentleman, a thriller in the tradition of Vince Flynn and Brad Thor. Follow him on Twitter.

Jaden Smith Has His Finger on the Pulse of Modern Education

Perhaps you heard the other day that Jaden Smith, son of actor Will Smith, sent out a tweet that stirred up a hornets nest of criticism. Take a peek:

“School Is The Tool To Brainwash The Youth.”

He continued:

“If Everybody In The World Dropped Out Of School We Would Have A Much More Intelligent Society.”

Jaden Smith is 15 years old, and if we take the comments at face-value (who didn’t hate school at that age?), they are easy to dismiss. But let’s ignore face-value for a moment and assume he knows exactly what he’s talking about. He has, apparently, reached the same conclusion many of us have who suffered through public school, who found that when we questioned authority, were told we were behaving inappropriately. When I say “question authority” I don’t mean we were doing anything particularly “wrong” in the usual sense. Maybe we were writing conservative editorials in the school paper, or writing essays in English class that went against the established narrative. Maybe we wrote that popular culture and the growing trend of “if it’s true for you, you shouldn’t be judged” was corroding our nation. Maybe we refused to write about something else, even when enough teachers complained to the point the principle invited you into her office for a chat.

Of course, you can’t be given detention or expelled because you wrote something teachers disagree with, especially since they had no cause for doing so (you didn’t use profanity, didn’t attack a religious or ethnic group, etc.). The only thing you did wrong was not write what they were telling you to write. Why the fuss? Because other students were reading what you wrote, especially the school paper editorials, and maybe there was a danger that others would convert to your way of thinking.

One reaction to Jaden Smith’s tweet pretty much sums up all of the responses I looked up: “He has such a huge group of fans that really look up to him,” Us Weekly reporter Jennifer Peros told ABC News. “So this isn’t really the example you should really be setting.”

Exactly. Heaven forbid that young people actually question what so-called authorities tell them.

Now, we do need basic education. No question about that. But after so many “they never taught me that in school” moments as an adult, I have come to realize that school really wasn’t there to teach me anything except conformity. And when I didn’t conform, I wound up having to explain myself to an authority figure who thought she knew better, yet was in the untenable position of being an educator telling me not to think and explore other ideas.

If you can break away from the collective group-think of modern education, as Jaden Smith suggests, you might actually stand a chance of truly learning something.

And what drives Jaden Smith’s point home is a new text book that, basically, rewrites the entire Constitution, and is aimed at “advance history” students. Brainwashing 101.

We used to say, “Don’t trust anybody over 30,” which was fine until one turned 30. And then it became, “Don’t trust anybody.” Especially teachers.

Teachers are the new sacred cows. They are not to be criticized in any way and if you do, you are tarred and feathered. I have little respect for a collective industry that follows progressive policies and passes those policies onto kids in the name of “education.” I know many teachers, and they are good people. I like dating teachers because when you do something wrong, they make you do it over again. But the good ones are a drop in the bucket compared to the juggernaut of the educational industry that has a death-grip on your kids’ necks.

You know what I’ve also learned after 38 years on God’s green earth?

Sacred cows make the best burgers.

 

BRIAN DRAKE is a broadcaster in California and the author of The Rogue Gentleman, a thriller in the tradition of Vince Flynn and Brad Thor. Follow him on Twitter.

The Day Vladimir Putin Pulled a Wyatt Earp

I don’t know whether to laugh or marvel at the alleged ingenuity. I really don’t think Obama and Kerry are that smart.

London, Monday, September 9th, 2013. Secretary of State John Kerry, who served in Vietnam, made an off-hand remark during a press conference that Syria could avoid a U.S. missile strike if they turned over their chemical weapons–“….every single bit….to the international community in the next week. Turn it over, all of it, without delay, and allow a full and total accounting for that.” Kerry added: “But he isn’t about to do it, and it can’t be done, obviously.”

Well, before you can tell somebody that they can’t do something, you are more than likely interrupted by the guy who just did it.

Russian President Vladimir Putin jumped in, saying that the Russians would be happy to collect Syria’s chemical weapons, more than likely because they sold them to Syria in the first place, but that’s another story. The hand-over will only work if the U.S. called off military action, he said, and the diplomats have been buzzing ever since.

There are two interpretations that, as of this writing, are making the rounds.

The first says that Kerry spoke off the cuff, and the unplanned remarks have thrown a monkey wrench into the enforcement of the “red line” thing that Obama says he never said. One article I read referred to a Congressional staffer calling this an “unmitigated clusterf***”. One pictures Obama standing in front of the mirror trying various chest-puffing poses before going on TV to tell the American people that the very threat of a strike scared Assad so much that he actually wiped with his right hand before grabbing at the thread of hope offered by John Kerry, who served in Vietnam, and knows a thing or two about kicking ass.

The other interpretation says that Obama, knowing the American public is against this, and that he’ll likely lose the Congressional “mother may I” vote, spoke with Putin at the G20 summit about this idea, and they agreed that John Kerry would float the boat at the London presser to see if Assad took the bait. The diplomats have been working out the details ever since, and this is how Obama solves problems: without firing a shot, unlike that idiot George W. Bush, who invaded two countries and still couldn’t catch Osama bin Laden. Obama will go on TV to tell Americans that he was going to bomb, but now he won’t, and isn’t he the best president ever?

Like Alice in her Wonderland, I’m not sure what to believe. I know what I want to believe, that Vietnam-vet John Kerry screwed up. But I also know a thing or two about back-room politics. Study the history of the Reagan presidency and you’ll find many examples of similar fake-outs and changes in direction. Congressional resistance and public opinion told Obama that he couldn’t win. Nobody cares about his red line or dead Arabs. I’m sure the unknown consequences of a bombing–the promised Syrian and Iranian retaliation, the Russians pledging to support Syria–reminded him, as it reminded me, of how World War I started. The first black president didn’t want to go down in history–if recorded history were to survive–as the man who began World War III because he drew a red line that he says he didn’t draw.

And Vladimir Putin, riding into town like Wyatt Earp–“Hand over your guns and throw up your hands!”–is the one who really saved the day. Without his promise to take charge of the Syrian chemical weapons, John Kerry would still be sitting in London telling us how this wouldn’t be possible.

 

BRIAN DRAKE is a broadcaster in California and the author of The Rogue Gentleman, a thriller in the tradition of Vince Flynn and Brad Thor. Follow him on Twitter.

More Questions About Syria

I have a feeling Syria is going to dominate our discussions for the next several weeks, perhaps even months, as the government tries to decide what to do. Personally, I think Congress will vote to allow missile strikes. What that will lead to is anybody’s guess, either an escalation that will involve ground troops, or, hopefully, nothing at all. But as we approach another 9/11 anniversary, I am concerned with what I read about who is funding and/or supporting the rebels.

When conservative pundits started throwing around statements that al-Qeada was behind the rebel groups, I, at first, shook it off as more right-wing paranoia. When they kept saying it, I decided it was time for a little research, because it is a troubling thought to think that we may be supporting the enemy.

Here is a Business Week article which mentions the terrorist connection in the first couple of paragraphs.

Here is a report from Breitbart.Com that mentions the same thing.

The proof is out there. We indeed may be assisting al-Qeada by bombing Syria. Why is this not being talked about more? Am I not watching the right news outlets, or is the media, in its unwavering support for Obama, ignoring these apparent facts?

We won’t get any help from elected Republicans, apparently.

That blithering, good-for-nothing, geriatric gasbag John McCain, who served in Vietnam, is too busy playing video poker during the Syria hearings to bother mentioning the connection, yet he says we need to support military action. John Boner–I mean, Boehner–is for a bombing. Surprisingly, he didn’t burst into tears while saying so.

So we can’t count on Republicans to ask the questions; we can’t count on the media, either; what are we to do?

Proponents say we need to smack down Assad because he’s done something terrible; personally, I think we need to assist him in this fight. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, right? If al-Qeada is trying to establish a home base in Syria, with its own government, we need to stop that. They failed to establish a base in Egypt, from all accounts; we kicked them out of Iraq and Afghanistan (though Iraq is still to-be-decided), why not do whatever we can to keep them on the run? We’re blowing up their leaders every chance we get; why change the strategy now?

Proponents add that if Assad uses chemical weapons in his own country, he may fire them at Israel. True enough, but, at this moment, that is mere supposition. Iran may fire nukes into Israel, too, but nobody seems upset about that idea.

Assisting Middle East leaders against a common enemy is nothing new. We helped Saddam Hussein fight Iran when it was in our interest, and later used the intelligence gained in that assistance to wipe him off the face of the earth when the time came. We aided the Afghans against the Soviets, and later bombed the daylights out of them when they let bin Laden and his gang stay rent-free.

Assad is no hero. He certainly deserves a smack, but it has to be done right. If this situation weren’t so cloudy, I’d probably be writing a different column and supporting John Boner–I mean, Boehner, darn it–and John McCain in their support of Obama, God help me.

Whatever happens, it won’t be pretty. If Congress blocks the play, Obama will shoot off some missiles, anyway. Because he has to. He’s already gone struttin’, drawing his red line, even though he claims there isn’t a red line. We can’t win here.

 

BRIAN DRAKE is a broadcaster in California and the author of The Rogue Gentleman, a thriller in the tradition of Vince Flynn and Brad Thor. Follow him on Twitter.

Republicans Want to Kill Kitty Cats

Why is it that the Republican party cannot, for some reason, let loose a candidate who doesn’t make himself look like a horse’s ass whenever he opens his mouth? Here’s what happened:

In New York City last Thursday, a pair of kittens wandered onto subway tracks. The transit authority stopped train service for about half an hour while officers rescued the kittens. Some New Yorkers, showing how the city seems to be populated by one funny-talking sourpuss after another, got upset over the delay, mostly because they missed Jeopardy! The consensus among the angry was that the kitties should have been left to die. Nice going, New York. This is why terrorists blow you up.

The most offending part of this story, however, concerns comments made by Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota. When asked if he would have stopped the trains to save the kitties, this Tony Soprano wannabe said, “We don’t stop trains fer kittens, fuhgeddaboutit!” Then, realizing he had made an ass of himself, added that such a decision wouldn’t be made by the mayor anyway, but it was too little too late. His comment ranks as one of the most asinine quotes ever uttered by a Republican, probably worse than Todd Akin’s rape remarks. Is this the best the GOP can do? Does the party expect to win elections with these nimrods? Fuhgeddaboutit! The Democrats just won New York City.

On a side note, we couldn’t help but notice that one of the kittens was black, but President Obama has yet to weigh on on the matter. Perhaps, if Obama had cats, the black cat might be his.

The rescued kittens were taken to a shelter where hopefully they will be adopted by somebody who is not a jerk, but since New York City has a population of almost nine million people, it’s going to be a long wait.

One wonders what the reaction would have been had puppies wandered onto the subway tracks, but it’s also moot point. As Joe Lhota might say, “Neva happen!” Dogs are smarter than cats. They know better.

 

BRIAN DRAKE is a broadcaster in California and the author of The Rogue Gentleman, a thriller in the tradition of Vince Flynn and Brad Thor. Follow him on Twitter.

Adventures in Syria

If there is any indication that Obama’s lack of leadership has hurt the US, it is the current situation with Syria. 

He is unable to build a coalition the way Bush did. He may have had British PM David Cameron convinced action needs to be taken in the wake of Assad’s chemical attacks against his enemies (ie, his own people), but Parliament told him no. This is the first time in a long time where a PM has been told no by Parliament regarding usage of the military. You can chalk this up to two reasons:

One: Bush and Iraq. Apparently the Brits are still upset that Bush fabricated intelligence from MI6 to justify action in Iraq. (Fool me once, shame on me; fool me twice….um….well….you’re not going to fool me again.)

Two: The Brits know Obama won’t do anything except shake his fist before he says, “Oh, never mind,” and returns to the golf course.

It’s likely a combination of both, but with more emphasis on the second. Do they really think Obama means what he says, or can pull it off? Probably not, so why waste the time and money?

In the wake of the British vote, the haughty John Kerry, who served in Vietnam, made a speech where he praised France, our “oldest ally”, for (verbally) supporting military action. Yeah, France helped us beat Britain 237 years ago, and have been surrendering ever since, but I suppose the “oldest” title still applies. I’m sure the British are stunned by the remark, and they may have even stopped laughing by the time you read this.

So, instead, Obama, as he searches the golf course for a solution, is tossing around the idea that the U.S. will go it alone on this one. ‘Merica, heck yeah! Get ‘er done!

Obviously this “no confidence” vote does not sit well with the administration, nor does it make us look good. There was a time, not so long ago, when this wouldn’t have happened.

There is a third reason, I suppose, and it’s certainly an unspoken one. 

Is it really a crisis when Arabs kill Arabs? Are we really worse off because there are now less Arabs in the world? The CIA says just over 1400 people were killed in the chemical attack. That means there are 1400 less Arabs to fly planes into buildings. The media and the politicos are trying to make a case that we need to do something, but I’m not sure the public cares. Maybe we’re all still upset about Iraq.

It’s a disaster all around. But Obama drew a red line, said, “Don’t y’all cross this, I mean it,” and now he has to follow through.

Ultimately the president is going to launch a missile off the deck of a ship, hit a camel in the butt, and declare victory. He’ll go on a national speaking tour and tell us how he, alone, gave Syria the what-for just like when he killed bin Laden and the rest of the world better remember not to mess with the U.S. See how that rhymed?



BRIAN DRAKE is a broadcaster in California and the author of The Rogue Gentleman, a thriller in the tradition of Vince Flynn and Brad Thor. Follow him on Twitter.