The Trump Strategy in Syria, An Analysis on Day 1

Syria

The Trump Strategy in Syria - An Analysis on Day 1

By Thomas Wise

A few moments ago, President Donald Trump struck Syria with between 50 and 60 Tomahawk missiles. I do not have much more facts than this at present, but I do not need them to tell you what's happening.

Within the last few days, Syrian citizens were gassed with chemical weapons, and children died. The Right was aghast. The Left was aghast and blamed Trump for a tepid response. Obviously, the blame game was on.

During 2013, then-President Barak Obama set a "line in the sand" with President Bashar Assad of Syria. At that time, chemical weapons were ALSO used against Syrian citizens. It is still not clear who used these weapons, neither in 2013 nor 2017. Yet it seems beyond dispute that Syrian citizens were and are being gassed with chemical weapons stored in Syria.

Here is a fact: between 2013 and 2016, Barack Obama dropped many thousands of bombs on Syria. There was no clear reason given why, and no strategy specifically stated for the raining down of bombs. Many made their own conclusion that it was in retaliation for the gassing of Syrian citizens. Without a concrete battle plan to study, the people of the USA and the world were guessing.  As usual, Obama made moves, and the world scurried to put a positive spin on it.

Meanwhile, a Syrian refugee crisis grew from continued US and other intervention in the Syrian Civil War. All this did was send many tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of Syrian citizens out of Syria. They went to many nations, in Europe and the Americas. If one wished to take a NEGATIVE spin from the Obama "Strategy," it could be he WANTED these refugees.

There is NO doubt that Obama, Merkel and other Western leaders had such a plan ready. For when these refugees hit the borders of Eastern Europe, the border guards were told to stand down. How strange! National borders were opened wide for scurrying refugees from war-torn nations that habitually harbor terrorists! Obama, Merkel, and the rest were embracing, even pleading for, these anonymous and often dangerous refugees. Not only from Syria, but also from OTHER nations Obama was bombing, such as Libya and Somalia.

Now, in 2017, President Donald Trump has swiftly attacked Syria in clear retaliation for gassing citizens. Whether you agree with the move or not, at least we know WHY Trump is doing it. Whether you want US intervention in the Middle East or not, you know the reason and goal. At least I think I know, and I believe you know.

President Trump is also not a fan of letting refugees enter the United States. Therefore, one might say that bombing Syria in this manner, clearly and swiftly, is a way to make Syria safe again. Yes, I understand, not while the bombs are dropping. However, if Trump can get Assad's attention, the Syrian Civil War might cool off enough so refugees can go home. At the very least, refugees would no longer have any back-story to tug at our heartstrings. Why would they need to come to America if their country is safe again?

Naturally, this takes time. The Syrian Civil War was not built in a day, and the Obama-Merkel refugee strategy has been in place for too long. Too many doors (and windows) are still open for all kinds of people to emigrate to the USA. President Trump has often spoken about making "safe zones" in the Middle East so refugees can stay close to home.
Whenever you want to make a safe space, you have to clear the area.
The gassing of Syrian citizens was simply a major event that paved the way for a Trump strategy.

What is this Trump strategy?

It could be that ISIS used the chemical weapons and blamed it on Assad. It could be that the CIA used the chemical weapons and blamed it on Assad. In either case, the point was to put pressure on President Trump's administration, to test their mettle. Perhaps one might say "it is a trap, government" but it is a chance that must be taken. President Trump really has no choice, since he criticized Obama for doing nothing, even if Obama did random violent things to Syria.

Above all, the Obama strategy must be dismantled. Not only the strategy to inject foreign viruses into the West (yes, Obama is a traitor, in my opinion), Trump must also dismantle the Deep State that plans, permits, and foists treasonous moves against America. I hate to say it, but we are fighting the viruses deep within our own government. Bombing Syria is a step towards ferreting out these elements, as well as standing ground.

President Trump has a duty to live up to his tough words, but also to smartly take down the Deep State. Whoever dropped the chemical weapons must be stopped.

What if it was Assad who used the chemical weapons against his own people? Then Trump wins three ways:
(1) he does what Obama did NOT do - clearly, swiftly, and boldly strike Assad,
(2) he ends the refugee immigration into the West, and
(3) he intercedes in the plans of the Deep State to keep the war going.

There is another possibility: that Assad is working with Trump to ferret out ISIS and/or the CIA Deep State. I am not sure I believe Assad is a good guy, but if I am right, it would be an interesting ploy. This is truer if Assad was formerly on the side of Obama and/or the CIA (not ISIS, however).

How does Russia fit into this? It is clear Russia has economic interests in Syrian stability. Yet Trump taking out the chemical weapon elements in Syria is NOT a direct link to helping Russia. If it DOES help Russia, it is only a by-product of the Trump strategy already delineated.

Of course, Obama's crew is not stupid. They KNOW this possibility exists that Trump could win both the outward and inward wars, and the evil forces are already deploying anti-Trump factions, saying he is helping Russia.

So, there you have it: day 1 of President Trump striking Syria. If you think this is a new war, please remember that Obama bombed Syria many thousands of times in 2016 alone. This is already authorized action, even expected and hoped-for action. In sum, this is a good, if necessary move, by the Trump administration.

God bless this nation and the world.

TRUMPCARE – Fake News

Trumpcare

TRUMPCARE - Fake News!

By Thomas Wise

In recent weeks the press has decided to dub the House Republican "healthcare" bill, which purportedly repeals Obamacare, "Trumpcare." Nothing could be further from reality.  President Donald Trump did not WRITE the House bill, and (as of this writing) he has not SIGNED any such bill into law.  The House bill is entirely the brainchild (or godson, if you will) of Paul Ryan, and should rightly be called "Ryancare" or, in its Latin name, Piecus Crappus.

The fact that President Trump has rallied for this bill, or appeared to rally for it, is moot. If the bill never passes, it cannot get signed, and therefore can't be called Trumpcare. To compare, "Romneycare" was both a concept from, and signed by, Mitt Romney. "Hillarycare" was a project written by, or at least with significant input from, Hillary Clinton, even if it was never signed into law. Moreover, good old Obamacare, while not from the "mind" of Obama per se, WAS in fact signed by Obama.

So why does the dishonest and self-aggrandizing press print such obvious fake news as calling the Ryan bill "Trumpcare" when that is so easily rebutted?  Basically, the press knows humans are lazy, prone to believe repeated memes (even if false), and are largely without access to truer facts than the media supplies. Simply, they call it Trumpcare because you BELIEVE it. If you did not buy it, they would change the name quickly to suit the absorption rate.

Why is this important? In the grand scheme of things, it is not. However, in the context of the dissolution of our society, it is another "brick in the wall." Our inability or reluctance to ferret out the truth, and to demand it, will be the death of us. Whether the press is trying to convince us that ISIS is not Islamic, or that Hillary Clinton did nothing wrong (or pick your favorite peeve), it is evidence that journos think they rule us. This would not be so important except that our leaders appear much of the time to be weak-willed puppets. Thus, it is left to the press to lead.

Is this true? Are we so desirous of leadership that we will choose between inept politicians and sneaky journalists? I'm sorry to say, yes.

Think about it - Congress has a terrible approval rating, yet they continue to be reelected. According to Gallup (journos, nevertheless), public approval of Congress stood at 19% in January 2017 and 24% in March 2017.

 

This means between 3-in-4 and 4-in-5 people thinks Congress is terrible. Even so, 95% of Congressmen are reelected year after year. Since the year 2000, Representatives have been reelected on average about 94% of the time (in 2010, the reelection rate was 85%). For Senators, the reelection rate has been on average (over the same time period) about 85%.

You can squawk all day about them dirty rotten politicians, but the fact is (unless term limits are ever ratified to the Constitution) you will probably be putting up with that same idiot next term.

President Donald Trump (and many others) have asserted that the media has an even lower approval rating than Congress. Is this true? Politifact did a study on this assertion and found it to be "mostly false" (SOURCE). 

What a surprise, the media defending itself while at the same time hitting President Trump, while at the same time trying to appear unbiased and humble! What a joke.

The press has a habit of misidentifying, or perhaps it would be better to say RE-identifying, such political footballs.  Why? Simply, the press is not on your side. When I say "your side," I mean both the Left and the Right. The press is for ITSELF, and no other. They only cheer on "freedom of the press" if it means they get to produce the news and you get to consume it. It is for them to label and inform (or misinform) and for you to believe. This is what the press as a whole believes, and how they act.  Period.

Is this a new phenomenon? No, not really. The press has basically always believed itself to be the ultimate power on Earth, making kings and shaping kingdoms. In the Bible, the serpent falsely reported to Eve that God was lying, that the fruit would not cause her to die. Why? To undermine the true power. Unfortunately for Adam and Eve, fake news cost them (and us) dearly.

Even those journos (media types) who fashion themselves as real watchdogs are apt to view themselves as the true power, overcoming the "evil press" with "true facts." I am not saying there aren't good eggs out there (I can name a dozen off the bat), only that, in the end, we rely on THEM for truth without actually witnessing the events they describe. Even those media types who purport to watchdog the media have this ego trip, thinking they alone shape public opinion. Perhaps I exaggerate by reporting on such reporting, but in essence, this is factual.

This article is hardly exhaustive, but you get the point: the media is dishonest, and we know it, but we do nothing about it. Just as we keep reelecting people we supposedly can't stand, we keep watching the news we supposedly think is fake.  As long as we watch fake news, they will produce fake news. For this reason, the media feels no obligation to refrain from calling Ryancare "Trumpcare."

Doing so serves an immediate purpose, which is to undermine President Trump, who is at odds with the media’s world-shaping mindset. It also serves another immediate purpose, to saddle President Trump with a healthcare bill that is no less than "Obamacare light" (to use a media meme). It also serves an agenda, to retain Obamacare in the public sphere, which serves to retain Obamacare itself. Why? It makes no difference if Obamacare is a failure, the media must never admit that failure. That admission would negate eight years of sycophantic fawning and shed a little light on media lying and hypocrisy. This makes no never mind for the older consumer but, the younger consumer, already seeking news from alternate sources, would be more motivated to steer clear of fake news. THIS is the TRUE goal of media: to continue shaping their world in their image without losing young viewership to truer forms of media. Thus, the attacks by fake news on Breitbart, Infowars, Fox, and outlets that at least TRY to give a less putrefied version of the news.

Fake News! - The media controls the media. They do not. YOU control the media when you hold them accountable. Exercise your right to know as many factual things as possible so you can stitch together a truthful narrative for yourself, and not lazily depend on media bias and self-interest.

Is The Fake News Real- Rockville and Landon Edition

Rockville

Is The Fake News Real? Rockville and London Edition

By Spencer Harris

Is The Fake News Real? Rockville and London News(Written in ironic pentameter)

Why is there seemingly more and more fake news stories being circulated to the public? One reason is the exponentially increasing number of sources. There are thousands upon thousands of websites, magazines, newspapers and news channels that produce information every minute of every day. Here at Taylored Thoughts, we take pride in writing real stories about fake news (Some of us under our pseudonyms) to enrich the minds of our readers. This is not to say that 100% of the population blindly follows what is fed to them by the media. Whatever that number is, let's say 30%, it is then multiplied by word of mouth or social media or through other various channels. It would be fair to estimate that any story could be accepted by 45% of the people out there waiting to consume it. The premise that controlling the content of the media means controlling the masses is common sense logic. Though there are exceptions and some room for argument, most news outlets in America are in step with the policies and ideology of the Democratic Party. This prioritizes and drives the stories they cover as well as the stories they ignore.

Two recent and tragic events within as many weeks clearly put this into perspective. Unfortunately, the lack of a source of information on one side necessitates some speculation. However, using historical media practices, it becomes easy to fill in the pattern. The most recent event was a terror attack in London. A radicalized, London-born Muslim named Khalid Masood (born Adrian Russell Elms) used an automobile to drive across Westminster Bridge ultimately arriving at the north side of Parliament. Along the way, he ran over and stabbed several people leaving five people dead including one officer and himself.

The other incident involved the brutal rape of a 14-year-old freshman girl in Rockville, Maryland by two illegal immigrants – one an 18-year-old Guatemalan, the other, a 17-year-old El Salvadorian (called “dreamers” because it sounds so noble I suppose). Both were, curiously enough, also freshmen at the same high school. This gruesome act happened in the school’s bathroom on March 16th at 9 A.M.

Both instances are horrific in nature. One happened on this side of the globe and was national in scope. The other occurred in a country that is a reflection of our own but has been ensnared in the globalization concept of an open Europe. I suppose if you had to weigh it without diminishing the importance of another, a terrorist attack would garner more attention. When I went searching for additional details of the story, I found exactly what I expected to find. The terror attack was downplayed to a lesser degree while the story was breaking. As I was following the London attack, one thing hit me: the London police said they were (and I am paraphrasing here) treating it as a terror incident until they had information proving otherwise. CNN's website referred to it as a “London Incident.” When researching the Rockville story, I unexpectedly found that national news reports for CBS, NBC, and ABC along with cable’s CNN and MSNBC gave a combined total of ZERO coverage time to the Rockville rape. A story this tragic and potentially impactful was ignored by some of the biggest names in the information industry. In one of their prouder moments, CNN did manage to squeeze in a hard-hitting report about how President Trump was "afraid of stairs" - a man who has built some of the tallest buildings in the world and who frequently deboards airforce one by walking down a mobile stairway.

If you have paid attention at all to the news cycle, you know this lack of coverage happens, and you also know why. The left in America continues to bend over backward to find new reasons why America and the intolerant western culture are to blame for the outrage of certain Islamic terrorists. There is a moral imperative on our part to put our safety aside while making sure any incident involving radical Islamic terror does not necessarily mean ALL Muslims are bad people. No shit. Any rational person will generally give people the benefit of the doubt before condemning them. It is the same rationale that tells me the left, in general, is fraudulent when they say things like “cops kill black people,” “we should all pay more taxes” or “Republicans hate immigrants.”

This brings me to why the network news affiliates were lacking in their coverage of the Rockville rape story. The Democrats use the media much the same way they use immigrants and the impoverished inner cities to spread their marketing. The media is the awkward debate student, and the Democrats are the starting quarterback. As such, the media will do anything their friends on the left need or want. It is difficult to say that the Democratic Party is directly controlling the media programming, but many network executives have political ties through marriage or direct relation.

Currently, illegal immigration is a political goldmine for the left. They portray the president and his policy of (brace yourself) upholding the law as somehow inhumane. I would argue that enforcing the law could have prevented the Rockville student’s rape, or Kate Steinle’s death and is, therefore, the most humane path to take. Apprehending criminal immigrants who are here illegally was one of the promises the President made during his campaign, and he is holding true to it. The left hates this policy and continues to drive a narrative of resistance. I have asked, researched, got ridiculously high in an effort to alter my thought processes and still have not figured out why. They will say, “We are a nation of immigrants”(not applicable to Elizabeth Warren). Again, I know this, but they make no designation between illegal and legal immigrants. There is also no line between immigrants – who are people – and immigration – which is a policy. I see no compassion for this plight of injustice once the cameras turn off and the lights go out. Every one of those legislators has a fence around their houses and locks on their doors. However, they continue to foster and encourage local and state governments to defy federal law thus creating anarchy. Uber-liberal politicians like New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio further cultivate fear by telling families that ICE agents will come to schools and churches to apprehend illegal immigrants. They use public resources to “educate” them on how to handle ICE agents as far as asking for a warrant, not talking without an attorney, etc. "We must not separate families," they say. Tell that to the Steinle's.

Fortunately, this tactic looks to be failing as evidenced by the amount of red that was on the electoral map in November. However, they continue to push false narratives and redirect information to fit their message. Unfortunately, without an email, office memo or phone call recording (shout out to Wikileaks and the CIA), there can be no direct evidence to show this, so it will have to remain a theory. It sounds a little wild until you see how many stories about the supposedly Russians rigging the elections that CNN runs daily. I am convinced it is on a loop. As a news organization that runs on integrity, why would you continue to run periodic reports on something with no proof for months? Compare that to zero coverage on a story that should make everyone sick with concern. While you are in a thinking mood, ask yourself who would benefit the most from pushing fake stories while giving not a single second to something like the rape of a child. What is more important to us as a nation? CNN should be out of business. The fake news is out there without a doubt, and it is not exclusive to pushing inaccuracies. The information determined by them to be unfit to broadcast can be just as telling as something inaccurate. Sifting through the garbage to try and find something of use is definitely a full-time job, but hopefully, your new-found logic proves it to be a vital one.

BREAKING NEWS: Maddow is a Moron

Maddow

BREAKING NEWS: Maddow is a Moron

By Spencer Harris and Rose Taylor

Well, that was underwhelming. After a massive build-up about President Trump's Tax return unveiling, one thing was finally proven: President Donald J. Trump is a very wealthy man who paid the legally required amount of taxes. He even filed them correctly which is more than I can say for myself. So thank you, Rachel Maddow, for showing the country once again that the left will run like hell without thinking to try and put forth the slightest possibility that the President might have done something wrong at some point in his life.

The night began with a tweet from Rachel Maddow of MSNBC, claiming they had President Trumps tax returns (seriously).

Social media buzzed with the anticipation of what, exactly, this tweet meant. The left immediately assumed their narrative that President Trump unlawfully evaded paying his taxes would be vindicated. The right assumed that no one in the IRS would lack the mental capacity to realize that leaking President Trump's taxes (which is illegal) would be a terrible idea.

The first question I had was how these 'tax returns' came into the possession of such a hard hitting news platform? Things like Donald Trump’s 15-year-old tax return do not just show up out of the blue. It was reported that they were put in an investigative reporter’s mailbox. This "reporter"  turned out to be David K. Johnston-a Trump biographer. I am sure it was put there by the Russians – right after they gave Jack those beanstalk beans.

When I was a kid, I remember a huge build up to a Geraldo Rivera special. Rivera was going to open Al Capone’s vault on the air. He did. It was empty. That empty vault was so much better than this. At least that could have been categorized as a current event. The tax returns in question by Maddow turned out to be from 2005. First the stern warning of the highly anticipated Stella blizzard that turned out to be a dud and now this?  Hell of a great job on the news today mainstream media.

Although the focus of Maddow's report was supposed to be the newly obtained copies of President Trump's taxes, she spent 20 minutes reciting a monolog of leftist conspiracies. Her 'breaking news' turned out to be not so 'breaking.' In addition, she was outflanked by none other than the President. The White House released a statement confirming the tax return with correct numbers an hour prior to her show airing. What followed was a world-class display of journalistic desperation – and it had to be. The left has been pushing the “Trump does not pay taxes” and the “Russian” narrative since election day. They had to get something out there to (dare I hope) put some closure to it all - especially with the new narrative that the Russians were involved in President Trump's tax return for that year.

Trying desperately to conflate him with some kind of scandal, Maddow mentioned that then citizen Donald Trump bought a $40 million house in a down market and subsequently sold it for $100 million. Maddow referred to the buyer as a (dramatic pause with equally dramatic music) “Russian oligarch” that was somehow tied to a Russian bank which was, in turn, somehow associated with Wilbur Ross – the current Secretary of Commerce. Time after time there were insinuations of possible ties to Russia or something equally nefarious without offering a shred of proof and simultaneously being ominous. For good measure, she even threw in a reminder that some U.S. Attorneys were recently fired. How that relates I have no idea.

The media behaves like some sort of journalistic masochist. They keep coming back to take a beating over and over by sticking their speculative necks out only to get them chopped off while they proceed to run around like tonight’s chicken dinner. A New York Times reporter went so far as to ask someone to commit a felony by soliciting the President’s tax returns. Can anything be more desperate? These people are actually willing to violate the law just to try to make someone look bad – and might not accomplish that at all. The media is supposed to be on the side of the people, to be the watchdog for those who cannot keep a watchful eye.

Maddow's report devolved quickly into a petition being circulated and signed requesting the release of full tax returns along with pictures of chicken balloons sporting a Trump haircut. The highlight of the evening came when Maddow announced she had three whole pages of the $150 million tax return and waived them around like a winning lotto ticket. Having lost the ability to claim that President Trump evaded paying taxes, she speculated whether or not he paid enough in taxes. In the span of about an hour, the left went from “he paid zero taxes” to “he paid $38 million in taxes” to “should he have paid more?” They failed to mention that the percent of taxes that he paid was relatively high. Tucker Carlson highlighted on his show that President Trump paid more in taxes than Barak Obama or Bernie Sanders- and this was over ten years ago! Conservatives on Twitter were having a bit of fun with this new knowledge - Thank you, Rachel!

 

Without fail, she also touched on the question of his charitable donations. Did he donate enough? Ok then.
It appears we were all deceived once again at the thought of the news providing news. It felt much like your first sexual experience. You talk about it for six weeks, it happens, and the actual experience is not nearly what you thought it would be. We still have no proof that the Russians did anything other than what they normally do concerning the US elections and FAR less than Obama did in the Israeli elections in 2015. I am sure an Emmy nomination next year for “fearless reporting” is in the cards for Ms. Maddow. The only suspense that remains is waiting to see what memes will come of this and what the SNL skit will be this weekend.

The next theory: Donald Trump let this get out to make the mainstream media look even more incompetent. I was not aware, until now, the mainstream media could possibly look more incompetent. Maddow single handily destroyed a leftist talking point all the while believing she had stumbled upon a breaking news story. All of America was left wondering what the hell had just happened. By the way Rachel, Trump killed Kennedy and Elvis is still alive.

Oh, and in case you missed it, here are a few hilarious tweets highlighting the sheer ineptness of poor Rachel Maddow's attempt at investigative journalism. Bless her heart.

Why Do We Need A Day Without a Woman

A day without a woman

Why Do We Need A Day Without a Woman? A Guys Persepctive

By Spencer Harris

As a guy with enough humble opinions to last six lifetimes, I was not incredibly surprised by the announcement of the whole 'A Day Without a Woman' thing. Sure, it seems impressive to get that many people that don’t work or who are in college to take a “personal day” to let America know that being a woman is an accomplishment to behold. It made me think; is it really? I know I am going to get ripped for this because I am a guy and can’t possibly know why this is an important day for a woman. Just speaking biologically, I have a 50/50 shot right? In fact, if you have ever seen Jurassic Park, you know that all humans start out as inherently female, but receive an extra hormone at the proper stage of development and thus become males. So in a sense, you beat the odds when you become a male – until you start dealing with females, I suppose.

As a certified representative of the male species, I feel I can speak for most of the guys out there. I do not consider myself that unique or so over-the-top intellectually that I cannot relate to, or speak for, the general male population- so here it goes. I actually went into this march  with an open mind. I am not one to do copious amounts of research and barf up stats to prove a point. I believe what I believe and you probably believe differently than me. As far as I am concerned, that is good enough. I rely more on personal experience than anything else. This is why I do not go in for couple’s therapy or any other sort of counseling. I do not believe anyone can read a book and solve my problems – the very problems they never heard until 5 minutes prior.

When I was in school, every girl I knew was, overall, a better student than me. They were smarter, more detailed and on the road to success. They did not complain when they got the worst jobs on research projects or had to pull the D student along in a group presentation or whatever. In short, almost ALL of them were ahead of me at graduation. Perhaps this is why I never bought into the “equal right” grievance. Sure, that happened in the 50’s and 60’s, but by Mary Tyler Moore, that was coming to an end- Then I tuned into yesterday’s event.

As you may or may not know, I was in DC for the original women’s march on January 21st. Everyone I talked to (a small sample of about 20) was upset or oppressed, but NONE of them could tell me why. Fast forward to yesterday, and it was déjà vu. This group of gals looked exactly like the group of students from Georgetown and George Washington Universities from late January. On top of that, the stories of schools closing since all of the teachers felt the need to project their lack of appreciation really soured this whole mess. We all know teachers, real teachers not administrators, barely live above the poverty line. It is disgusting. Now your dashing literary guide here reveres teachers above almost all others. The teachers I know do it because they want to make a difference – perhaps this was their motivation to attend the march. Sadly, they were overshadowed by the mundane, mindless chanters of what is becoming the mainstream left. Let’s start at the top. The organizer of this march was, get this, a freaking convicted terrorist who lied about her criminal past in order to gain her U.S. citizenship in 2004. She was convicted of immigration fraud in 2014. If you read her website, she sounds more like a national hero than a criminal. So immediately I thought- this is not pro-woman, but more anti-American. I know, I am jaded and unfair. Then you get this burst of genius:

 


 

So who births the other half? This ludicrous statement not only lacks common sense but does nothing to advance the grievances that plague today's modern woman. “Oh Spencer, that is the fringe left,” you say? Fine. I concede that point as narrow.

HuffPo Cate Blanchett

Here is another example from well-known actress Cate Blanchett. Generally you would not say something like this if you want to be taken seriously. 

WHAT?!?!? Now I would have to argue that if this were true, then no one would believe in abortion of any kind. Let me give you some perspective. For a guy, if your moral compass is in your penis, it actually means you have no moral compass. This may represent the intelligence and attitudes of a part, half, or the majority of the left. Who knows? The problem is that in the absence of knowledge you will plug in anything for its substitute. This is a daunting problem today and one that sabotages both sides of any argument. When you have a gathering like this, and all you hear are mindless chants and thick-headed statements, it reduces the attention paid to what may be a real problem (see the daily accusations of racism). Admittedly, I was blowing this off by the time they reached 1602 Pennsylvania Ave.

I have always thought if you were a strong woman, you did not have to tell anyone. It just came across in your aura and people knew. It transcends politics and ideology. Andrea Tantaros is a strong woman. Laura Ingraham is a strong woman. Megyn Kelly is a strong woman. Hillary Clinton projects strength, but I do not consider her a strong woman. She blames others too much for her pitfalls. You have to think about the strong women in your life. My mother is a strong woman. She left her family in Australia when she was 20 and came to America with nothing after marrying my father. My wife (who reads this and whose husband wants to buy a ’67 Camaro) is a strong woman. She puts up with me. My boss is a strong woman (see wife comment). My teachers were strong women. Most of the women I served with in the Army were stronger than most of the men I served with, and yes, my editor is a strong ass-kicking woman. Get this: strong women attract strong men and vice versa. That couple is now twice as strong, so they have strong kids and on and on. They did not need a march or a bullhorn to let people know they are strong. You just know. The strongest women around went to work yesterday to provide for their families or to keep people safe or just because that was what they thought they should do. I like to believe they are stronger because of us. Who else will open jars, smash spiders, change a light bulb, remove dead animals, bury family pets, etc.? They most likely would, but it makes us feel needed when we do those things. I did not have to watch a demonstration to know that women should be appreciated. That is up to me to do. I respect women - if for nothing else than putting up with men. The marches and demonstrations only erode that.

 

Now is he your President

Joint Session

So... Now is he your President?

By Spencer Harris

Can the country ever become united again? If you watch the news, you have to consider it unlikely. Tonight is President Trump’s (still sounds funny) first address to a joint session of Congress, and the country could not be more divided. Every group needs an identity to push their message whether it be LGBTQSDTC (or whatever it is now) or the Tea Party. Forging that identity requires distinguishing yourself in ways that bring your fight to the front lines to make that message the most effective. Take into account each party’s honored invitees; the difference could not be greater in contrast. The president invited, among others, Jamiel Shaw, Sr., the father of a high school football star whose son was fatally shot by an illegal immigrant in 2008. In comparison, Democrats invited several people who were essentially stuck at the airport. One of these changes our lives forever and the lives of others who will never know what they missed. The other is a problem I have gone through but is being amped up by political fervor. We have to become more focused if we are going to become the great nation we all want to be. I am not exactly sure what the direction or tone of tonight’s speech will be. The next step is to wait until the president enters Statuary Hall and proceeds into the Congress.

I am a people watcher. Anyone who has known me for any amount of time will back that up. Did anyone else see Congressman Ryan pop a Life Saver in his mouth prior to the beginning of the speech? I enjoy the pomp that goes into any presidential event. Before anything starts you can see whose side people are on and a weird twinkle in the eye of the party in power. As the president is announced and enters, the division becomes more apparent. In a show of solidarity, Congressional female Democrats tried to show a united front by wearing all white as a shout out to Queen Democrat Hillary. They didn't realize the entire internet would liken it to a Klan gathering - this was historically ironic, to say the least (If you are lost, please see the spiritually moving article “Today’s Fake News Becomes Tomorrow’s Fake History” by Spencer Harris). The applause is about 60% enthusiastic and 40% polite. You have to wonder how nervous he is. In a way, this is the first real push towards his re-election unfiltered by news or surrounded by pageantry. The first thing I notice is that his jacket is buttoned – a welcomed reversal of his inaugural address. He seems rather at ease. He approaches the podium and acknowledges the Vice President (who could be Race Bannon’s doppelganger) and the Speaker of the House, hands them a copy of the speech and is ready to begin.

After the applause dies and starts and dies again, with Melania looking so Melania, he begins. He starts off playing the hits – a recognition of Black History Month and condemnation of a recent shooting in Kansas City and other recent violent acts. There are many references to liberty and justice and of America being a torch that will light up the world. The speech is one of the dreams of a great America which has become a nightmare. He builds slowly, describing a sovereign country that has felt a need for change but has lost its way. The speech shapes up with a certain duality that aptly describes the current vibe of the country and how it is being once again returned to the people that fostered it for almost 241 years. He throws in a placating “Make America Great Again, House” and the crowd erupts – more than half of them anyway. The lack of applause is understandable. A little over 12 hours earlier the President was blaming the previous administration for information leaks and saying that one of the senior Democrats in the House, Nancy Pelosi, is “incompetent.” It would be hard for me to argue with their lack of enthusiasm.

His plan is bold yet grand. It is difficult to imagine how vast our visions are for the same America where we all live. He continues with his achievements since he has taken office. It is hard to believe he has only been in office for just over a month. He is not the orator that President Obama was – far from it. However, he connects in a common sense way that is easy to understand, yet far from simple. His next comment addresses his goal to build the wall and his plan to create an office called V.O.I.C.E. (Victims of Immigrant Crime Engagement). In short, the program blocks any resources used to advocate for undocumented immigrants' rights and instead earmarks them to help the victims of immigrant crimes and their families. Makes sense right? This yields the most split reaction of the night – half the room stands and applauds; the other half sits and boos. The first rah-rah moment comes next. He does not pause. He does not wince. He leans in and says quite simply, “We are also taking strong measure to protect our nation from radical Islamic terrorism.” It has been a while since the President said those words in such a forum. It felt good. He then confirms our alliance with Israel. At this point, Democrats are looking around wondering what is happening. His tone remains calm but deliberate. He articulates with a bleak honesty the current state of our economy but tempers it with successes and a promise to turn it all around.

The president continues to push for immigration reform, the repeal of ACA (Obamacare if you do not know), and a focus on infrastructure. He also gets in a sly dig by mentioning that the current governor of Kentucky states that Obamacare is unsustainable in his state – pretty shrewd considering the Democratic rebuttal is to be given by, get ready, the former governor of Kentucky.

It was good to see role models such as Denisha Merriweather recognized for their positive achievements and not their victim status. The president continued by imploring people to work together and showing a genuine support for law enforcement. Then comes what is commonly being referred to as the defining moment of the speech. The widow of Ryan Owens, Carryn Owens, was recognized as a tribute to the ultimate sacrifice of her husband’s life. If you did not tear up during that applause, it is very likely you do not have an ounce of empathy. In the end, he even threw in a “God Bless the United States.”

By the end of the speech, he seemed to look at the Democratic side of the room with an urge to have both parties work together – not for a better legacy for him, but for a better America. He offered a message that the status quo does not have to remain the status quo. Things like poverty will never be eliminated, but the cycle can be broken if the opportunity is there. There was (dare I say) a renewed optimism that has been seemingly lacking in recent memory. He asked the people to believe in America – to believe in themselves. Republicans and Democrats can work together- of course, they can. However, for some unknown reason, they refuse to. Common sense tells you they can work together, but when you try, it is difficult to name something about which they agree. They will say they agree in public. However, it is easier to be politically expedient at the moment.

The speech itself could be the beginning of a discussion at least. However, as soon as it was complete, Democrats scattered like the roaches when you turned the light on in your college apartment. There was not a handshake or a congratulatory nod to be found. Republicans said it was more than expected. It is hard to say if that was a result of low expectations, but they generally saw it as rather optimistic. Of course, you can dissent, but I do believe an honest person who claimed to want to work together would give it the benefit of the doubt.

The bottom line is that it was just a speech - just words. If you believe the President, the ultimate direction of America is up to the citizens of the country. We will determine the course and the future successes of our country. The next chapter is unwritten, but the feeling of the future, to me, has a tremendously positive direction for everyone. Love him or hate him, President Trump is breaking the mold and going in bold new directions. He is going to make mistakes. In four or eight years he will be a footnote in history and the people will remain. E Pluribus Unum. Out of many, one.

Flynn Resignation

Flynn Resignation; Citizen wire Taps; and a Ton of Speculation

By A.H. Sullivan

Monday, February 13th, 2017 – Michael Flynn resigned from his appointed position of National Security Advisor in President Trump’s Executive Cabinet. The week leading up to his resignation, General Flynn (Ret.) was consistently bombarded with political and media scrutiny. News stories have highlighted involvement by the FBI and the then acting Attorney General in interviews with General Flynn about the discussions. It is documented that the Attorney General notated to the President that she feared Flynn was “susceptible to blackmail” by the Russian government due to the new findings that Flynn had mislead American political officials on the contents of the calls.

Shortly after all of this took place, a source inside the political structure departments (judicial, justice, executive, etc...) leaked this confidential internal information to David Ignatius (Washington Post), who then printed the classified information. The media onslaught immediately began, quickly escalating to calls for investigations and resignations.

At this time, there have been no charges filed and no further investigation on Flynn’s conversation with the Russian Diplomat. In fact, some have leaked that Flynn never engaged directly in a discussion about any protected topics. Thus stating, nothing illegal has been proven to have taken place.

It will come to many that this is, in fact, ALL we know on a factual level. All other information being thrown around is purely speculation. Whether that is well researched and source backed speculation or not is up to the readers and audience to determine for themselves.

Anti-Flynn Speculations
Currently, speculation of Flynn’s discussions with Russia has garnered almost absolute condemnation in the course of 3 days. These speculations have led many to the full belief that Flynn discussed sanctions, and his plans to lift them, with the Russian Diplomat directly and unequivocally. This is not in fact known, as anti-administration individuals are predominantly pushing this narrative. At this point, all reports for this are simply unverifiable.

More speculation has risen as to why the White House did not respond accordingly to the Department of Justice and Attorney General’s claims about potential danger with Flynn in office. This has evolved into an obvious high-level government conspiracy which has very little evidence other than circumstantial claims and timelines.

Finally, these particular anti-Flynn speculations have fueled the lingering Presidential ties with Russia’s Vladimir Putin. While this issue continues to be a partisan argument, it is nonetheless still, unproven and ill-evidenced.

Pro-Flynn Speculation
There are two sides to every story, so highlighting the pro-administration speculation is also necessary. Many commentators and political experts have cited that this is a concerted effort at continuing to delegitimize the Donald Trump Presidency. President Trump has repeatedly called the Russia conspiracy “Fake News” predominantly being pushed by left-wing media sources. The President’s supporters continue to back this claim up as well.

Other speculations have included Flynn being forced out by Media over-involvement, and hypocrisy of reporting. Many conservative factions have argued that Media bias is evident in the way mainstream news organizations have purposefully over reported and over speculated (beyond reasonable suspicions) on the Flynn resignation to the general public specifically to stir public emotions. This is why prominent talk radio host Rush Limbaugh has called the mainstream (drive by) media the ultimate resistance to the Trump Administration.

Fox News’s opinionated writer and host Sean Hannity has also weighed in giving compelling circumstantial evidence as to why this resignation is the result of an obvious Democrat Sting Operation.

Again, we must all remember that on both sides of this issue, we can only describe these opinions and claims as circumstantial at this point. Whether or not the “evidence” seems stacked in your belief’s favor, remembering this involves both Government and the Media – both institutions less than credible and fact-based, especially in recent history.

What Should YOU Worry About
Tying in the speculations and the currently known facts, there are many important implications of this case ordinary Americans need to be worried about.

First, General Flynn’s conversation would have taken place before Trump was inaugurated, meaning the evident wiretaps by the Justice Department and FBI would have been conducted before Flynn was a government official. This means Flynn’s phone conversations were those of a Private Citizen. This could be a breach of privacy, although this has been defended as common practice for those transitioning into the government spotlight since Flynn was on Trump's transition team. Still, where does this line end and the next one begin? If the FBI can wiretap a transition team member’s phone calls, how far does that go into civilian life where we have privacy clauses against our government. Additionally, the NSA is supposed to obtain a FISA order to gather information from private citizen phone calls.

Second, there are government officials that have NOT resigned or been fired for far worse in past administrations. This has led many to want more transparency as to why Flynn left (or was asked to leave). It could be that the pressure was just too much, but some, like investigative journalist Bob Woodward, stated: "All my alarm bells went off. Why is he gone for this? I think lots of people had the same feeling who are in the media. So they're asking the question, 'What really goes on here?'" Now this may fall into the speculation category as well, but a real need for transparency in our Government and Media is necessary. If it is a government conspiracy or a Media effort, the American People need to question any analyzations that are circumstantial in nature consistently.

Third, and finally, the release of the confidential wiretap information is indeed a crime. That means the individual(s) need to be prosecuted for the transgression. Americans must always be worried about high-level individuals releasing confidential material to the public. There are correct and proper whistleblower procedures that individuals with damning evidence of foul play need to follow, not resort to public release. Piggybacking off of this worry, there has been a discussion about whether the Reporter (David Ignatius) will be prosecuted for covering the leak or not. Gregg Jarrett (a Fox News Anchor and Former Defense Attorney) claimed in a piece about prosecuting the reporter:

“This would be a mistake. While the statute itself clearly criminalizes the publishing of classified material, the First Amendment should and must render that portion of the law unconstitutional as it applies to a journalist. The Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…” Just because Congress made such a law does not mean it can survive constitutional challenge”.

Anytime government infringes on the rights of the people, all citizens should be hyper vigilant. The American People must watch this closely, and if the Reporter is charged, it means the government has stepped into a realm of attacking free speech and freedom of the press. The Constitution encourages a free press to check the government, which many have felt the Media has forgotten.

Going forward, I urge readers to continue to receive information from multiple sources. With the vast issue of partisan reporting, circumstantial evidence can always be made to sound extremely convincing. At this point, we are not sure what the final outcome of this situation will be but as far as we can tell, General Flynn is no longer the National Security Advisor to the Trump Administration, and the government will continue with appointing a replacement.

Regardless of what is discovered in the future, a call for more transparency by all involved members must be demanded. One party in this ordeal is either lying or more deeply involved than one can discern simply from reading the headlines.

Asset Forfeiture – The Purpose and the Misunderstanding

Asset Forfeiture – The Purpose and the Misunderstanding

By A.H. Sullivan

Headlining currently, is the topic of Civil Asset Forfeiture and Donald Trump’s support for the procedure. Multiple news agencies are reporting that Libertarians (classical Tea Partiers) have begun criticizing the President for his perceived stance. It is important to remember that this legal program has been in law since really the early 1980’s. There has been some evolution to the controversial legal capability, but for the most part, has fallen from headlines for many years until now.

Before moving forward, what is Civil Asset Forfeiture exactly? The United States Department of Justice describes it as a program that:

“encompasses the seizure and forfeiture of assets that represent the proceeds of, or were used to facilitate federal crimes. The primary mission of the Program is to employ asset forfeiture powers in a manner that enhances public safety and security. This is accomplished by removing the proceeds of crime and other assets relied upon by criminals and their associates to perpetuate their criminal activity against our society. Asset forfeiture has the power to disrupt or dismantle criminal organizations that would continue to function if we only convicted and incarcerated specific (particular) individuals”.

Now, this passage makes it sound like this program does nothing but protect us as a community. It would be unfair to say that this program has never been effective in completing the mission the Department of Justice has set out to accomplish. The issue arises in the citizens’ liberty during the enforcement.

Civil Asset Forfeiture, in layman’s terms, allows criminal justice officials the power to seize personal assets in any capacity under the interpretation that the said assets were used or are being used in conjunction with federal crimes. The pivotal piece of this law that must be understood, however, is that to perform this asset forfeiture, no conviction is necessary. The program works entirely off a series of interpretations and suspicions by the law enforcement officials. This allows the possible subjectivity of the officers to enter every situation. There are many documented cases where lawful, innocent individuals have had their assets seized according to a reasonable suspicion. In theory, this goes against all that American Justice stands for; especially the innocent until proven guilty clause. This particular legal procedure allows the justice system to perceive you guilty until you can prove your innocence. Liberty leaning politicians have long fought against this law, but it proves to be another example that the majority of people would rather sacrifice liberty for security (regardless of whether that is perceived security or real protection).

Now that we understand Civil Asset Forfeiture, beyond the rose colored lenses, why are Libertarians attacking Trump? In a recent meeting with local law enforcement officials, President Trump seemed to side with pro-asset forfeiture individuals. He also appointed Jeff Sessions to the Attorney General cabinet position, who has been a long time asset forfeiture proponent. This is what essentially set small government lovers into a tirade. This public outcry consisted of criticisms that this program creates a profit incentive for law enforcement agencies across the United States. Profits from Civil Asset Forfeiture have dramatically risen from just over $93 million in 1986 to over $4.5 billion in 2014. With countless examples of departments using this program to seize control of assets and in turn situations, solely for the purpose of profit, opponents of the program have claimed the law allows far too much room for government corruption. Supporters often combat these criticisms by citing the number of effective forfeitures that are being used to repay affected families of the crimes committed against them.

It is believed that Libertarians will have to continue to be disappointed in this program’s status in America for some time, as the President/Attorney General/and a majority of the Republican and Democrat Party are pro-Civil Asset Forfeiture. Libertarian National Committee Chair Nicholas Sarwark told Fox News that Civil Asset Forfeiture is “government theft of individual property that flips the nation’s legal system on its head.”

Libertarians are calling all Americans to reach out to their respective Senators and Representatives to enact legislation to finally repeal this anti-Liberty law.

Follow me on Twitter

Judge Issued Stay Order on Immigration Executive Order

Judge

Judge Issued Stay Order on Immigration Executive Order

By A.H. Sullivan

Dominating the nation’s television sets are the controversial Executive Order issued by President Trump on January 27th, and now the issued stay order on critical portions of the immigration “ban” by Judge James Robart of the US District Court for the Western District of Washington state. The stay order was issued Friday, which essentially left the Executive Order in limbo, returning immigration operations to pre-Executive order process. Both sides of the aisle are vigorously fighting for their views to be honored at the conclusion of this legal proceeding.

President Donald Trump’s administration has been pleading for the Executive Order to be reinstated as the legalities of the situation ensue. They are arguing the stay order allows an open window for possible terrorists and illegal immigrants to enter the country quickly before a legal decision is made. The opposition claims (as reported by CNN) President Trump has violated the “Establishment Clause in the First Amendment to the Constitution because it shows government preference for one religion over another, and Equal Protection Clause -- part of the 14th Amendment -- because it discriminates based on religion and national origin”.

How can you accurately dissect and analyze the two different opinions regarding this Executive Order? It is important to start with identifying the extreme differences between illegal and immoral. Was the Executive Order illegally issued, implemented, or constructed? The simple answer is no. The Constitution and the United States Congress have given the President power to One, issue Executive Orders (regardless how one feels about the use of them); Two, change or implement immigration clauses and processes to better protect the United States.

Now, is the Executive Order immoral? That subjective determination is viewed differently across the board. Most Democrats believe this Order is just that, wrong and un-American. The problem with this defense is that there is no provable understanding as to why this is immoral. The Stay Order issued by Judge Robart has been met with heavy and unwavering criticism concerning the alleged lack of legal analysis and the possible Partisan purposes at the helm of the Order.

Recently, Republican Senator Mike Lee (Utah) has stated that after reading all of the Executive Order and Legislative powers concerns in regards to immigration, he sees no illegality in the issuance of this immigration “ban”. He added that he disagreed with the implementation and roll-out of the order, but also acknowledged that it was his opinion and not rooted in lawfulness. After reading the stay order, Senator Lee claimed on the Glenn Beck Radio Program, that he had never seen a legal order of this magnitude, issued with such few words and with such little legal analysis. It is significant that one of the more respected legal minds in Congress views this stay order to be misguided at best or solely based on Partisanship from what others have gathered.

So what happens next? Where do we go from here regarding the immigration order? The restraining order issued (stay order) will be reviewed and decisioned by three West Coast Circuit Judges today (February 7, 2017) at 6:00 p.m. (ET). This will determine whether the stay order against the Immigration Executive Order is valid or not. If it is decisioned as valid, more legal proceedings will take place deciding whether the Executive Order can be implemented again differently to accomplish the administration’s purpose while not infringing on any clauses to the 14th and 1st Amendment. If the stay order is reviewed and denied validity, the Immigration Executive Order will be reissued as law. Regardless of the resolution in this hearing, an appeal will most certainly follow rendering the previous resolutions as temporary. Let us all remember the Supreme Court is currently in partisan gridlock. This means a final decision of the validity of either the Stay Order or the original Executive Order may not be made anytime soon.

While partisanship questions of the court directing the hearing this evening have been raised, supporters of the Immigration “ban” will have to wait unnervingly for the ruling of validity. For those who oppose the Executive Order, the West Coast Circuit Court decisioning this hearing, they can rest assured that this judiciary is known to be one of the more liberal/Democrat courts in the United States.

SCOTUS Pick: Protests and Filibuster Now Dominating Media

SCOTUS

SCOTUS Pick: Protests and Filibuster Now Dominating Media

By A.H. Sullivan

Tuesday, January 31st: President Trump announced that his nomination for the vacant Supreme Court seat, previously held by Antonin Scalia, was to be Neil Gorsuch. The media onslaught immediately erupted. Protests at the Court steps commenced and media pundits’ slanted analyzations of his record became the talk of the town (more appropriately perhaps - the country). However, It is important to take a step back and present this nominee with the credibility he deserves.

Gorsuch graduated from Harvard Law School in 1991. He then spent multiple years at an Oxford University constituent college in England, under a multitude of renowned philosophy and law professors, while earning his Doctorate of Philosophy. Gorsuch clerked under two separate Supreme Court Justices and also spent time in the Department of Justice. His most prominent career steps came while on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals which he began in 2006.

Gorsuch has ruled and opined on many higher profile cases (most notably is that of the Hobby Lobby Case) in which he has consistently upheld strong conservative decisions. Many conservative figureheads in politics and media have been stalwartly vocal about their acceptance of Gorsuch’s nomination. Some figures to mention are Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Paul Ryan, Fox News (wide acceptance), Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity. Although, anyone involved or connected to politics knows that with one side approving, there is another side dissenting.

Democrats have vowed to make approving Gorsuch all but impossible, even before Gorsuch was named as the nominee. Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon stated, “This is a stolen seat. This is the first time a Senate majority has stolen a seat…We will use every lever in our power to stop this.” This quote has come from recent speculation (and admittance to date) that Senate Democrats will filibuster Gorsuch in his nomination hearings. These outcries are in response to how Republicans handled Obama’s Supreme Court Justice nomination after Justice Scalia’s death, Merrick Garland.

Merrick Garland was nominated for the empty Supreme Court seat in March of 2016. Republicans stated they would not be registering an appointment hearing on his behalf, due to the fact that 2016 was a Presidential Election year. Prior to Merrick Garland's nomination, there had not been a Supreme Court nomination in the final year of an exiting president since Johnson in 1969; However, those nominations were ultimately withdrawn for that reason. Democrats accused Republicans of using an informal type of filibuster, in which Republicans accused Democrats of purposefully rushing a nomination in Obama’s exiting presidency year.

To begin this current nomination review, defining a senate filibuster may be a good place to start. A filibuster is a political tool/procedure (in today’s terms) in which discussion and debate over a proposed action in government are uncharacteristically extended, allowing for members of the governing body to delay and/or prevent a solution vote or confirmation.

We must not forget that Senator Murkley, as previously discussed, was a leader in the proposing force that worked to change the legality of the filibuster procedure just a few years ago. This has received much attention, bringing forth accusations of hypocrisy and the playing of political party line games in the Senate.

Trump has pressed Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell heavily, in case that Senate Democrats filibuster these hearings successfully, he would like to see a 'nuclear' decision be made by the Senate Leadership in favor of Gorsuch. A nuclear option was originally presented to Presidential Nominees in 2013 by (at that time) Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Senator Reid verified this option for nominees to more easily appoint former President Obama’s cabinet and lower court nominees; this decisively suppressed the opportunity for Republican Senators to filibuster the so mentioned nominees.

The nuclear option was not approved to be used in Supreme Court nominations, however, which would require a similar initiation, by now Senate Majority Leader McConnell, to extend the option to SCOTUS nominees. This possible expansion of the nuclear option is at this point, an overwhelming emphasis of discussion between Republican and Democrat-leaning media.

The waiting game is now upon us to see how the Senate will handle this Administration’s Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch. Staunch conservative principled individuals will seek to confirm him as soon as possible, while progressive principled individuals will seek to deny him as vigorously as possible.

Those who thought the politicization of the SCOTUS was over, they have been proven to be exceedingly wrong. A long partisan battle is ahead of us, so settle in and get comfortable.