Conning Julius Caesar

Don’t fall for the con.

By now, you’ve all probably heard of the protesters rushing the stage during the Public Theater’s outdoor production of “Julius Caesar,” In New York’s Central Park. The play, itself, has garnered controversy, because the lead character has a certain “Trumpesque” look about him.

The play has previously been put on with an Obama-like lead, and in fact, the play is about the folly of political assassination (not the glorification of it).

Laura Loomer, an alt-right nut, who works for a website called The Rebel rushed the stage last Friday, only to be quickly dragged away, to a chorus of boos.

Fellow alt-right conspiracy theorist and Trump loyalist, Jack Posobiec, was along for the ride, to video the planned mayhem. He conveniently waited for Loomer to be taken away, then timed his own protest, accordingly.

https://twitter.com/JackPosobiec/status/875884114280423428

I could make some really pointed remarks about the First Amendment, and how “our side” have always been the champions of free speech, but then, the alt-right aren’t really “our side.”

No, rather than point out the amazing resemblance between what Loomer and Posobiec did, to what leftists are doing all over American college campuses these days, I think I’ll talk about motivations, because motivation matters.

Loomer was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and trespassing. In pretty much any district in the United States, those are relatively minor offenses – more nuisances, than offenses, really.

Loomer had barely been dragged from the stage before the hashtag campaign, #FreeLaura began making the rounds on social media. Posobiec pushed it out, along with the newly registered website, FreeLaura.com, to the alt-right masses, and it caught hold.

Then came the plea for help with Loomer’s legal fees. This awesome freedom fighter and warrior against community theater productions she and her cohorts don’t understand needed $25,000 to keep fighting the good fight.

That would be $25,000 for what could, at most, amount to a $1,000 fine.

It doesn’t stop there.

The website, FreeLaura.com was apparently registered several hours BEFORE Loomer rushed the stage in Central Park.

Talking heads for the right have long decried the “paid protesters” that seemed to permeate the process throughout the recent election season. They are right to do so. There is no doubt that some of those who have shown up at rallies or town hall events, professionally printed signs in hand, were not spontaneous, concerned citizens.

Coming from North Carolina, I know for a fact that liberal groups bussed in protesters from outside the state to make life uncomfortable for our Republican lawmakers.

That being said, we lose the right to be indignant over the actions of the left when there are those who claim to be members of the political right doing the exact same things.

What Loomer and Posobiec have done appears to be even worse.

They’re not just protesting a play, with a plot or theme they don’t grasp. They appear to be actively trying to prey on the fevered mindset of their base, conjuring up visions of leftist propaganda, with ill intent, in order to fleece their followers and enrich themselves.

For reasons such as this, actual conservatives would rather gnaw off a limb than be connected to the alt-right, in any forum.

Menstrual Equity, or What Happens When Government Officials Have Too Much Time On Their Hands

Modern America has a lot of deep and complicated issues to deal with – race, immigration, healthcare, The Bachelor.

With so much to attend to it’s hard to imagine our government officials fitting one more thing on their plate, but have no worries. Representative Grace Meng (D-NY) isn’t about to let anything slip through the cracks. New York’s 6th District representative has taken up a cause that is sure to flow through the American conscience and make us all red with rage – menstrual equality.

What is menstrual equity? In a recent interview with Marie Claire magazine Meng described it as the fight against “period-shaming” and claims the laws in our country encourage women to feel shame about their periods. Her solution is to introduce more laws to help normalize the reality of this bodily function and provide feminine hygiene products (are we allowed to refer to them as such anymore? I can’t keep up these days) for the needy, poor and imprisoned.

Did you know that there are girls who skip school when they get their periods? If they can’t afford pads or tampons and don’t want anyone to see they’ve stained their clothes, they may feel like they have no choice. That’s not just something that happens in developing countries. It happens right here in the United States. Right in my home district of Queens, New York.

At her website, Meng says her bill would:

  1. Allow individuals to buy menstrual hygiene products with money they contribute to their flexible spending accounts.
  2. Provide a refundable tax credit to low-income individuals who regularly use menstrual hygiene products.
  3. Allow grant funds from the Emergency Food and Shelter Grant Program, which can be used by homeless assistance providers for essential household items, to be used for menstrual hygiene products.
  4. Require each state to provide menstrual hygiene products to female inmates and detainees, at no cost and on demand, as a condition of receiving funds from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program.
  5. Direct the Secretary of Labor to require employers with 100 or more employees to provide menstrual hygiene products to their employees free of charge.

Meng’s concern here isn’t all that misplaced and as ridiculous as a “Menstrual Equity Act” sounds (and it does sound utterly ridiculous to say out loud), part of the congresswoman’s concern about inequity in feminine care is founded. Her home state of New York levies a tax on tampons and sanitary pads as “luxury goods” which is grossly offensive and yes, sexist. Meng decided that period equity shouldn’t stop at a tax, it should be a nationwide concern.

I appreciate the congresswoman’s concern for female hygiene and accessibility to necessary products and I definitely stand with her on removing that ridiculous tax on tampons.

Either a 9-year-old child or a dude that came up with that one because only someone who doesn’t menstruate would ever connect a period with “luxury.”

“What’s wrong with you today, honey? You’re so cranky!”

“Oh, I’m luxuriating this week. I’m on my luxury!”

The problem with this (again, oh-so-ridiculous sounding) legislation is that it’s legislation. Like most full-time politicians, Meng is proposing to solve a problem with more rules.

There is nothing new or secretive about women and periods. There is no shortage of access to feminine products in this country. Shelters, private charities, government programs and any human just looking to be generous all know how to find tampons and pads. There is no charitable program in this country that provides direct basic services for women that doesn’t deal with the realities of a woman’s menstrual cycle. All of those needs are provided for by people who understand that most women menstruate every month and thus need sanitary supplies. There is no need to legislate something people are already doing.

On top of that, Meng (like a good Democrat) is asking that taxpayers pick up the cost of periods by funding “free” hygiene products and even offering a tax credit for low-income women who purchase them every month.

So let’s see- she wants old women who don’t have periods anymore and men to pay for my tampons but only if I’m poor. If I don’t qualify for the income requirement I’m out of luck.

Age discrimination and income discrimination.

This is what happens when our representatives are full-time residents of congress. They get bored. They have nothing better to do than dream up new bills so they can have their name attached to something and get their per diems just for showing up every day.

Women have been figuring out their periods just fine for millennia without Meng and her fellow Democrats forcing everyone else to think about them constantly. Of course our periods are nothing to be ashamed of and of course we are still reluctant to talk openly about them in public. That doesn’t mean women are ashamed or shamed. Much like having a bowel movement, a period is a natural function of the body that is also a very private function for obvious reasons. We don’t need to publicly fund every private biological function.

We certainly don’t need to legislate periods.

 

New York City Bodegas to Launch Peaceful Protest Against Trump’s Travel Ban on Thursday

And this will help?

Maybe.

New Yorkers should plan on doing all of their shopping tonight, early Thursday, or wait until Friday.

Why, you ask?

Because in protest over Trump’s recent travel ban, bodega owners in New York City plan to take the day off, en masse.

“This shutdown of grocery stores and bodegas will be a public show of the vital role these grocers and their families play in New York’s economic and social fabric,” the organizers of the event wrote on their Facebook page.

The Yemeni-American community apparently dominate the grocery market in New York City. Yemen is one of the countries affected by the ban, so this is their way of getting back at the president.
The Thursday strike is set to take place from noon until 8 p.m., with over 1,000 stores slated to participate in the protest.

“[D]uring this period, grocery store owners will spend time with their families and loved ones to support each other; many of these families have been directly affected by the Ban,” the organizers wrote.

So this is about as peaceful – though ultimately useless – of a protest as I can imagine.

I much prefer this to the ready-made signs, chanting, window-breaking, car-burning, assorted vandalism and graffiti of the usual leftist protest.

We have seen the ugliest elements of human nature ooze into our streets during this election season. It has been heartbreaking to see, for anyone who truly loves their country.

We’re also seeing such inner-party friction on the right, with well-known media figures gleefully promoting the destruction of other Republicans who don’t fall in line, that you have to wonder if they were ever a part of the small government, free market, pro-Republic party, to begin with.

If every protest was focused on family time and just unplugging from the nastiness for awhile, I think we’d see the dialogue elevated to a new age of civility.
We should all long to see that.

We Should Encourage Gov. Cuomo’s NY Abortion Rights Amendment

It’s amazing what happens when Republicans have all the levers of federal power in their hands. Blue states suddenly remember we have a Constitution that includes states’ rights and a 10th Amendment. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he plans to codify abortion rights into his state’s constitution.

The Democratic governor announced the plan at a rally supporting Planned Parenthood in Albany, saying that it was important to guarantee abortion rights in the state at a time when they seemed under threat at the federal level.

His proposal seeks to put an amendment on the ballot, which would take several years because two consecutive legislatures would have to approve it before putting the question to voters.

“Let the people decide,” said the governor, “because this is still a democracy and New Yorkers want to protect a woman’s right to choose.”

This signals that the abortion-loving left is scared President Trump may actually appoint enough conservative, originalist SCOTUS Justices during his term to finally overturn Roe v. Wade. It would take more than one Justice, who were unafraid to take on the sanctity of stare decisis in the high court.

I am pro-life. I understand that the emotional and knee-jerk response is to remind Cuomo how the U.S. Constitution supersedes state constitutions. Surely he already knows this.

But that’s not the correct response. The cure for Roe isn’t creating a right in the U.S. Constitution for the unborn to live–it would be nice to dream that, but cultural reality prohibits it. The cure to Roe is overturning the federal government’s right to regulate it in the first place.

As for the facts of abortion, Roe is in sad shape. Science is on the side of pro-lifers. Medicine is on the side of life–fetal pain, heartbeat, and bodily functions all point to the personhood of a fetus, which is nothing more than a word to describe a yet-to-be-born baby human.

Unfortunately for pro-lifers, these facts were discarded, legally-speaking, in the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision.

The emphasis on the unborn child completely overlooks the fact that the Court’s rationale for the abortion “right” shifted dramatically in the 1992 Casey decision, where it became a sociological rationale that women need abortion as a backup to failed contraception. Facts about fetal development have no bearing on this sociological rationale.

To truly overturn Roe, the Court will need to find a compelling social reason to restrict abortion as a consequence of failed contraception. Culturally, that’s what it has become–a right to avoid a “mistake” (as former President Obama called it). The people’s right to characterize lifestyles and promote the life of one over another’s “mistake” is basic to democracy.

If New York wants to make convenience for women’s sexual promiscuity a higher moral imperative than the life of a baby, that’s their failing before God. But it only enhances the case that the federal government has no place dictating that right to all 50 states. I say let them do it.

I hope Gov. Cuomo succeeds and ensconces abortion into New York’s constitution. I hope that the SCOTUS then finds states have a right to regulate abortion according to their citizens’ wishes, and eliminates the “penumbras” and “emanations” of the 14th Amendment which the authors never meant to imply or embrace.

When this happens, we’ll find a whole lot of judicial errors requiring reversal and redemption. Eventually, even Obergefell v. Hodges might succumb to federalism.

If New York can codify a woman’s right to kill her baby in utero, then Georgia should be able to codify the right of that baby to live. Georgia (and other states) can also codify the natural and biological rights of people to live with the two chromosome-determined genders inherent in our DNA.

Let the Democrats, and Gov. Cuomo, proclaim federalism from the rooftops. Of course, the next time Democrats own the federal levers of power, they’ll change sides, but while the harvest is ready, we should help them make hay.

Democrat Senator Opposes Giving Mad Dog Mattis a Waiver

Democrat Senator Kirsten Gillibrand opposes giving General James Mattis a waiver to become Secretary of Defense. Gillibrand, who is a liberal who loves the Iran deal, hates that Trump nominated a Secretary of Defense who actually wants to keep the country safe from radical Islam.

Because Mattis has not been retired from the military for seven years, he will need a waiver from both houses of congress. The nation maintains the rule of civilian control of the military and makes it difficult for career soldiers to become SecDef. The only soldier to get a waiver was George Marshall, author of the Marshall plan, after Harry Truman nominated him.

With ISIS on the march, China and Russia saber rattling, and Iran talking about expanding its nuclear program, Mattis makes a great deal of sense for SecDef. That is exactly while Gillibrand and other Democrats will talk about their respect for him, but try their best to block him.

BrewBrawl Week 4: Giants vs Packers

Another great autumn weekend, another amazing opportunity for two of my favorite things–
football and craft beer!

This Sunday’s matchup, New York Giants vs Green Bay Packers, has all the makings of a very interesting game. While both are recent Superbowl champions, the 2016-17 season is off to a rocky start, with both unexpectedly defeated by the injury-plagued Minnesota Vikings.

As for their respective brews, I am anxious to see how this week shakes-out. While ‘The Creature” Black IPA had been drafted for the Packers in week 1, one of my go-to American Pale Ale’s was absolutely the perfect fit for the Giants… So, without further delay, lets play BrewBrawl!

[Rules Refresh: Based solely on name and/or label appearance, a craft beer is assigned by me to each team. The matchup’s will reflect the two teams playing Sunday Night Football that week. Thus, all post-season playoff games and championship rounds are TBD.]

New York Giants vs. Green Bay Packers

dales-pale-aleNew York Giants: Dale’s Pale Ale
Oskar Blues Brewery
[American Pale Ale] 6.5% ABV
65 IBU
Assertive but not overpowering. Medium bodied, prickly, slightly resinous with lively carbonation. Easy to drink with a clean finish.

the-creature-web1Green Bay Packers: The Creature
Urban Legend Brewing Company
[Black IPA] 8.5% ALC
85 IBU
A sturdy dark, malty flavor with rich, fruity hop aftertaste. Creamy, medium body making it easy to drink.

While it is clear these two beers could not be more different, the authentic deliciousness of ‘The Creature’ Black IPA was far-and-away the star of this game. Don’t get me wrong, as previously stated, I frequently buy and enjoying drinking Dales Pale Ale; especially when I am entertaining and want a reliable, middle of the road American Pale Ale option for my guests. And still it’s clear, ‘The Creature’ is not your typical beer, but the stuff of champions.

WINNER: Green Bay Packers/ The Creature

Please be sure to join me next week for: Indianapolis Colts vs Houston Texans…

 

Trump Got Fewer Votes Than Bernie Sanders In NY

We must remember one thing about New York. Donald Trump received 234,137 fewer votes than the loser on the Democrat side Bernie Sanders.

newyorkprimaryvotes

In fact, Hillary Clinton received more votes than the entire GOP field combined.

New York will not be a red state in the general election. The last time New York was a swing state was in the late 19th century. The last time New York went for a Republican was for Reagan in 1980 and 1984. As we’ve noted before, Trump is no Reagan. Trump isn’t even a Romney, who lost New York 63.3 to to 35.2 percent.

In a Trump vs. Clinton race, states that would normally be “safe GOP” become swing states. Utah, Texas, Missouri, Arizona, and even Georgia would become fertile territory for Hillary. Game it out however you want.


Click the map to create your own at 270toWin.com

To even try to beat Hillary, he’ll have to veer so far left that there won’t be much daylight between them anyway. It will be a general election between Hillary and Friend of Hillary.

But it won’t matter. The Democrats could put a Capuchin monkey on the ballot in New York and it would beat anyone with (R) after their name. If Trump wanted to win New York, he should have run as a Democrat.

We should remember this come June when Trump will try to make nice to all the GOP delegates who pledged #NeverTrump.

How Trump Can Steal New York Against ‘The Will Of The People’

Today is the big day–it’s primary day in New York. The state that is likely to give Donald Trump his biggest win yet, and the first closed primary state to likely hand him an actual majority of votes, could allow him to steal more delegates due to its arcane voting laws.

Steal? Well, yes. If you use Trump’s definition of stealing, meaning getting delegates that weren’t specifically voted to you by “the will of the people.” In fact, Trump could conceivably take New York with less than 40 percent of identified Republican voters. Here’s how.

No early voting

Unlike 37 states, voters in New York can only vote on Election Day. Period. And if you want to vote absentee, you have to provide a valid excuse, like you’re out of town or have a disability. You either come to the polls or you don’t vote. Period.

It’s a given that Cruz has a better ground game than Trump, but not in New York. In the cities, it’s easier to get to polls with public transportation and ample city services. In the more rural areas, it might as well be western North Carolina or Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. You have to get there for your vote to count.

If you’re in “the city” or Long Island and there’s a 2-hour line at closing time, you can bet the polls will stay open for the last voter. In Skaneateles, tiny Onondaga County, if you don’t make it to the Fire Hall or the Presbyterian Church between noon and 9 p.m., you can’t vote.

Those rural counties are far more likely to break away from city-dweller Trump.

Very early registration

Voter registration closed on March 25, 25 days before Election Day. If you didn’t register by that date, you don’t get to come to the dance. There’s no same-day registration. Even so, new registrations in Rockland and Westchester counties over the past 10 months topped 35,000, with more than 3,600 party affiliation changes and 1,800 unaffiliated voters joining a party.

The spike in interest in the primary means headaches for local election officials. Westchester County Board of Elections Commissioner Reginald LaFayette said the message to residents on Tuesday is simple: If you’re not registered with one of the two major political parties, stay home.

“Don’t come to the dance if you’re not going to dance,” said LaFayette, who is also the county’s Democratic Party chairman. “We’re very much concerned that people that are not eligible to vote will show up, people who aren’t registered to vote.”

Very closed primary with > 6 months of lock-in

This is the most draconian rule in New York: if you were a registered Democrat (meaning you voted Democrat in prior primaries), or if you were an independent, and wanted to vote in the Republican primary, you had to change your party affiliation by October 9, 2015. That’s more than 6 months prior to Election Day.

This will disenfranchise nearly 30 percent of New Yorkers, including, most famously, the Trump children, who didn’t change their registrations from independent to Republican in time.

[Source]

For comparison’s sake, there wasn’t even state-specific polling available for New York until March of this year. National polling on October 9 had Trump at 23 percent, Carson at 17, Rubio at 10, Cruz at 7 and Kasich at 2.9. Everyone thought Trump would flame out. If you were an independent and don’t like Trump, you were locked out. Sorry, Charlie, your vote doesn’t count.

Provisional ballots, closed rooms, and purges

New York law requires voters to prove their eligibility, leading to charges of voter suppression and even a lawsuit. Voters who believe they are eligible but Board of Election records don’t show their claimed status may use a provisional ballot, but those ballots are subject to what the suit calls “one of the nation’s most opaque and oppressive voter laws.”

The suit also claims “purges” which have caused voter rolls to change without consent of the voter.

One Brooklyn resident recounts registering as a new voter last month and, upon being unable to find her registration, calling the Brooklyn BOE only to be told it was probably lost in the mail. Photojournalist Natalie Keyssar said she registered by mail within 48 hours of the March 25th deadline for forms to be postmarked, and that when she returned from an assignment in Mexico on Friday, she looked online to see where to vote, but found she is not registered. Repeated calls to the county board didn’t go through, and after an hour of trying again today, she said she reached a Ms. Jackson who told her that she “shouldn’t have left it till so close to the deadline,” that the office was receiving some 2,000 forms a day towards the end, and that her record can’t be found, likely because it hasn’t been processed yet.

This is unlikely to affect Trump’s totals, but over a large state and millions of voters, essentially there’s no option for last-minute changes in a very close district. This could potentially determine whether a district yields all its delegates to Trump or they are split proportionally.

The disenfranchised and stolen districts

With somewhere around 27 percent of New York voters disenfranchised (including Trump’s own children), Trump could conceivably win all of the state’s 27 districts with only 73 percent of voters who wish to cast Republican primary ballots. He could win some districts with just 40 percent of the voters and receive 2 delegates with the third place finisher shut out.

Let’s say, for example, if Trump gets trounced in the 8th and 15th districts (relatively speaking), Brooklyn and the Bronx, respectively, where lots of African-American and Jewish voters are grouped against him. Let’s say Trump clips Cruz by 5 points in the 8th, but Kasich finishes a point ahead in a close race. Cruz gets no delegates despite getting over 30 percent of the vote. If Trump gets 50 percent plus one vote in the 15th, he takes all 3 delegates.

In this way, Trump could win every single delegate in New York with only 38 percent of the “real,” Republican vote. So much for “the will of the people.”

And Donald complains about Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming, where the delegate rules were published for months and he only needed to do a better job organizing. In New York, Cruz had no chance from the beginning.

If any primary in America could be called “rigged,” it’s New York. And you won’t hear a single peep from Trump or his surrogates. Not one single word.