Dave’s Dozen: 12 Brief Observations on the News

In an effort to be less essay-y, here’s the first in a series of bite-sized comments and observations about events in the news.


Mr. Trump seems to have no intention of moderating his practice of popping off on Twitter. At some point soon after the inauguration, one of these 2:00 a.m., 120-character spleen ventings  is going to trigger a market crash or major international incident. Mark my words. However . . .


As regular readers of this blog well know, I’m no Trump fan. But I must admit that his cabinet appointments have been very good, in my view. If he makes a comparably good nomination to the Supreme Court, then his administration will be off to an encouraging start.


The Obama Administration has used it’s final weeks in office to undermine and further isolate Israel. Here’s a big inconvenient truth . . .

As I’ve pointed out before, all conflict in the Middle East—including the ongoing horror show in Syria—is rooted in the 1500-year-old Sunni-Shiite rift. If the world’s Arabs, Muslims, and UN bureaucrats got their fondest wish and Israel ceased to exist tomorrow, that war would only intensify. With the distraction of Israel removed, Sunni and Shia would continue slaughtering one another in earnest. Imagine a hundred Aleppos.

But sure, Mr. Kerry . . . stubborn Israel is the “obstacle to peace” in the region.



Yes, the Russians had a preferred outcome in the recent U.S. presidential election. So did the Chinese. And the French, British, Micronesians and North Koreans. In fact every rational nation-state on earth roots for a side in every U.S. presidential election, in accordance with their own national interests.

The Russians clearly favored Trump although their broader goal is simply weakening our nation by undermining public confidence in the system. The Chinese were pulling for Clinton (a sketchy relationship between the dictatorial Chinese regime and the Clintons goes way back.

That said, Mrs. Clinton lost because she was an unappealing candidate and ran a crappy, incompetent campaign. Full stop.

But yes, the major parties in our previous election gave us a choice between a candidate in bed with the Chinese and and one sympathetic to Putin. That’s a lose-lose proposition for the U.S..

Speaking of meddling in the elections of sovereign foriegn nations . . .


Did you know that Mr. Obama’s campaign organization dispatched a team of his best advertising and social media gurus to Israel in 2015, in an effort to unseat Benjamin Netanyahu? They did. He failed. But he tried.


The infamous “Russian Hack” of the recent presidential election was basically two compromised email accounts, those of long-time Clinton associate John Podesta and the DNC.

What most Americans don’t recall (or never heard about at all because the mainstream media downplayed it) was a massive and successful Chinese cyberattack on the actual U.S. government back in 2015.

That attack exposed reams of personal information, including social security numbers, of roughly 4 million current and former federal employees. There was no high profile expulsion of Chinese diplomats after this embarassing breech came to light.

Indeed, there was no publically disernable response at all.

Want to see something deliciously awkward? Here’s ABC White House correspondent John Karl asking Mr. Obama’s spokesman why the Russian hack was treated as a big deal while the much more serious Chinese attacks were a non-issue.


For a brief history of cyberattacks on the U.S by foriegn governments, Reporter Sheryl Attkisson’s “Eight Facts of the ‘Russian Hacks‘” is most illuminating (and troubling).


Back when I was convinced Hillary Clinton was going to win the election, I believed that meant a war with crazy Russia was a small but increasingly real possiblity; but that military conflict with crazy China would be unlikely. I’m convinced Trump’s surprise victory reverses that equation.

Odds of conflict with Russia lower. Odds of onflict with China, higher.


Riots and looting broke out across Mexico last week when the government raised the price of gas. History reveals this is the inescapable result in any nation in which the government seizes the power to set prices and wages.


Watched the Golden Globes and it confirmed what I already knew. Left-wing Hollywood is nearly delirious with secret, giddy delight at the opportunity to courageously “speak truth to power” again.

It’s been eight long years since the world’s most pampered, privileged, and coddled people could signal their virtue to one another by shaking an angry fist at the White House and wagging a shaming finger at the rest of us.

Many of these frequently use their formidible creative gifts to hack furiously at the civilizational branch upon which we all sit.

And Meryl Streep is their queen. . .


NRO’s David French, on Streep’s speech, neatly encapsulates my thoughts:

“I have no particular affection for Trump, but I positively loathe the condescension, alarmism, ignorance, and self-regard of the wealthy Hollywood Left, and each of those elements was on full display in Streep’s speech.”

Please read the whole thing. French makes some very important points.

Also re: Ms. Streep . . . When you’re a Progressive and you’ve lost Piers Morgan, you know you’re on thin ice.

A Personal Reflection on a New Year’s Day

As I sit down to tap out a few lines here in the opening hours of 2017, I’m mindful of some sage, three-fold advice from Benjamin Franklin.

“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.”

On those first two items . . . “Check” and “Check.” But that third challenge? Am I, today, “a better man” than I was before this most recent orbit of the sun? Frankly, I’m the wrong person to render that assessment. Better to ask the woman who’s lived with me the past 29 solar orbits. Or my friends and co-workers. They know truths to which I am blind.

Of course, my hope is that this deep winter solstice finds me at least a click fairer, kinder and less self-sufficient than the last one. Those being the three key metrics of the Micah 6:8 scale:

“. . . the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”

By the way, I hope to do more writing in this space in the months ahead. My pitifully infrequent offerings over the last ten years have tended to fall into one of four broad categories:

  • Theology and Spiritual Things
  • Public Policy; Current Events and Cultural Trends
  • History
  • Family (musings about milestones, life, etc.)

A savvier blogger than I would focus on just one of these areas and forget the others. This is precisely what all the experts recommend to those who desire to find fame and fortune in blogging. “Pick a topic you’re passionate about,” they say. “And write frequently and briefly on it.” In other words, specialize.

Well, I obviously don’t do that. I read with ravenous interest across a  crazy variety of subjects every day—faith, science, tech, history, archeology, psychology, economics, geopolitics, etc.—and love to share synthesized insights about the same in writing.

In other words, I’m a generalist, not a specialist, and it seems the world increasingly belongs to the specialists.

What’s more, I’ve come to grips with the reality that I’m not actually a blogger. I am an essayist at my core. I can’t write short. Well, I can, I just have little interest in doing so. This, too, limits my readership.

I’m at peace with the fact that many people will glance at the length of even this relatively short post and skim it or skip it . . . even as social media has our attention spans shriveling further like grapes in the West Texas summer sun.

Nevertheless, I hope to do more of this over the next 12 months, and even crank out a book or two. I’m working on one right now. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, we are well and grateful. My bride and I have launched three offspring into the world with happy results. I really like and admire the people our children have become. We’ll become grandparents for the first time in a few short months. Twin girls are on the way.

But enough about me. As Alfred, Lord Tennyson once wrote: “Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, “It will be happier.”

I’ve heard Hope’s whisper. And I believe her.


CryBullies and Tantrums From Sea to Shining Sea

Photo: Margorie Owens, WFAA.com

Photo: Margorie Owens, WFAA.com

For the fourth night in a row, noisy throngs of the usual suspects have marched through the streets of Dallas and other urban centers chanting silly chants:

“Hands too small! Can’t build a wall!”

Of course, we all know and fear the awesome election-voiding, mind-changing power of a wicked burn that rhymes.

The marchers in each city are almost certainly the same tossed salad of marxists, anarchists and identity politics grievance mongers who can be counted on to take to the streets every time there is a left-wing cause to promote for sympathetic evening news coverage.  And as is so often the case with these “spontaneous” uprisings, billionaire George Soros is paying the bills.

Now, I may be misreading the current situation but I get the impression that many on the Left are unhappy about the presidential election result.

They punted Hillary!!!

The bad people . . . they  punted Hillary!!!

As I’ve repeatedly pointed out, I was not, and am not, an enthusiastic Trump supporter. There were a half-dozen highly qualified Republican candidates I would have loved to have had the opportunity to support. But the major media, by focusing incessantly and exclusively on Trump during the primaries—both for ratings and in a cynical ploy to hand pick Hillary’s challenger—denied me that privilege.

The histrionics and pants-wetting by many Hillary advocates over the failure of their candidate has been one of the most extraordinary things I’ve ever witnessed. In addition to the protests, which in Portland have turned violent and destructive, we’ve had a torrent of embarrassing crazy talk from celebrities. So be it.

For the most part, the rage, name-calling, and foul-mouthed caterwauling that has followed Trump’s decisive electoral college victory has only served to reassure those Middle-American swing voters who now determine our national elections that they made the right choice.

By the way, I chuckled to learn today that more than half of the Democracy Now! protesters arrested in Portland last week hadn’t even voted. I’d bet a week’s pay that most of the others voted for third party candidates like Jill Stein.

Of course, if the average age of an outraged chanting hippie in the streets is 25, that means that he/she was roughly 13 years old the last time the Democrats lost a presidential election and around nine for the bitterly contested Bush vs. Gore outcome of 2000.

In other words, they have no experiential framework for putting this loss into context or perspective. What’s more, most have been taught a nonsense version of history by the educational system that is constantly reinforced through pop culture and media.

Compounding this is the liberal echo chamber they’ve lived in their entire lives—swaddled in a comforting blanket of media reassurance that they are right and righteous.

A big reason for the magnitude of the shock and awe for many is that they were so sure they were going to win. In fact, in the middle of the day last Tuesday, Hillary and her team were already popping champagne open on the flight back to New York.

Why? How? What now? Some strung-together random thoughts:

  • Liberals spent the last eight years cheerleading Mr. Obama’s steady expansion of presidential and executive branch power (executive orders, weaponizing the IRS, EPA, Justice Dept., etc.) Conservatives warned them that this is a bad idea. They cautioned that the separation of powers built into the Constitution through a delicate system of checks and balances was a vital safeguard against tyranny. Now Progressives are pooping themselves at the prospect of turning that enhanced Executive power over to someone they loathe and fear. (See Proverbs 26:27)


  • Over the last four years, even while middle Americans struggled through a stagnant economy that hemorrhaged real jobs while creating hundreds of thousands of new baristas, waiters, and bartenders, they:
    • Had Obamacare jammed down their throats even though clear majorities opposed it.
    • Had same-sex marriage jammed down their throats even though clear majorities opposed it (even in California, which passed a referendum on it, only to see it nullified by the courts.)
    • Then immediately saw “transgender issues” pushed to the top of the dominant media culture’s national agenda, before most of the nation had a chance to process the end of marriage as civilization has known it for millennia.
    • Saw the rule of law eroded and wages for the working poor weakened through encouragement of illegal immigration.
    • Watched professional athletes use a local issue (policing) as a rationale to disrespect and show disdain for the national anthem.
    • Spent eight years being called a racist by talking heads for expressing honest, legitimate policy disagreements with the President. (Chris Matthews, Bill Maher, The View ladies, ad infinitum.)
    • Been the focus of a constant stream of mockery, derision, and condescension out of the media capitals of Los Angeles and New York–via television, movies, and music.
    • Watched North Carolina be treated like a leprous pariah by pop stars and national sports organizations for passing a commonsense law to keep men out of ladies restrooms.


  • Words like racist and misogynist are important. We need them. They describe real things. Which is why it is tragically wrong to abuse them to death as the dominant media culture has done for years now. When you use the word racist as a club to silence disagreement or shame-shun decent people who simply disagree with you, you drain these words of their meaning and power.


  • When it became clear on election night that Donald Trump was going to win the presidency, after I picked my jaw up off my fuzzy slippers, I made the following prediction to my wife: “God help us. We’re going to see a bunch of celebrities running for president in four years.” Within 72 hours I’d heard Chris Rock, George Clooney, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as potentially interested in running. Good luck with that.


  • Finally, in one sense, it didn’t matter who won this election. A lot of bad things were already baked into the cake during Mr. Obama’s tenure, particularly during his second term. In fact, if you’re looking for a truly tragic election outcome, you’re late. It occurred four years ago. Everything Mitt Romney warned about during his campaign has come to pass. All of it. But he lost, in part because a critical mass of evangelicals and catholics couldn’t bring themselves to turn out for a Mormon because “magic underwear” or something.

Reminder: We Still Elect a President, Not a King

President Obama seems to be the only high-profile Dem/Lib in the nation with any sense of perspective about the Trump win.

Perhaps that’s because he is more keenly aware than almost any living person of the limits of presidential power in our system. (Of course, he spent the last eight years trying to find ways around those limits.)

See, for example, this:

“Obama expresses frustration on Guantanamo Bay: ‘I have not been able to close the darn thing'”

About Last Night

Well, I didn’t see that coming. Seriously, you could knock me over with an “I Voted” sticker.  Clearly, I’m not alone. Almost all of the polling was wrong. Not even Mr. Trump’s internal polling reflected what we saw last night.

I’ll post a more thoughtful take at some point. As numerous posts below make clear, I’ve been grieved by the nature and quality of our choices in this election but I viewed Mr. Trump as the less objectionable option.

I have no idea what a President Trump actually believes or what he will do. But I know very well what Ms. Clinton would have done and none of it would have been good for the nation.

I must admit however, watching the network “journalists,” pundits, and other liberal talking heads last night try to maintain their composure while reporting what was, to them, the unthinkable and unanticipated end of the world, was the most entertaining experience I’ve had in years.

One More Quick Thought About This Nightmare Election

Permit me to tack one additional point onto the book-length dissertation below.

In a scenario in which there are no great options at the top of the ticket, it’s important to consider who the vice-presidential candidates are. This is especially so this time around because I believe there is a much greater than normal chance that, whichever candidate wins, he or she will not serve a full term.

Both Mrs. Clinton’s mysteriously volatile health and long-standing habit of ignoring the law mean her term could easily be cut short. I also find it easy to imagine Mr. Trump quickly getting fed up with the suffocating constraints and crushing burdens of occupying the Oval Office and simply walking away, claiming that he’d proved that he could win.

In either case, the running mate becomes President. The good news for those pondering a vote for Trump is that his running mate, Mike Pence, is a exemplary human being and would make a fine president.

An Open Letter to Young Believers Casting Their First Presidential Votes


Dear young Christian,

First of all, I’m sorry.

I’m sorry the two major-party choices before us in the presidential election are the worst in living memory . . . perhaps the worst in our nation’s history. Oh, how I wish we had better options. Sadly, we do not.

In contrast, back in 1980 having just turned 21, I had the privilege of casting my first vote for a president for Ronald Reagan. I never had cause to regret it. History Note: Voters back in 1800 (slightly before my time) got to choose between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson for president.

You, young Christian, are being asked to choose between, on one hand, a power-hungry, deeply corrupt, profoundly unpleasant individual who amassed enormous wealth in shady ways while treating little people like dirt,  . . . and on the other hand, Donald Trump. (It’s a joke!)(sort of)

This is, in ancient Star Trek terms, a Kobayashi Maru, that is, a no-win scenario that both tests and reveals your character.



You may think you cannot vote for Mr. Trump. I get it. I really do. But for future reference, it’s important that you know that he is in no way representative of Republicans or conservatives. He is a lifelong Democrat and a frequent donor to Democrat causes and candidates through the years, including numerous donations to the Clintons.

In fact, recently leaked emails of Democrat insiders and powerbrokers reveal that they conspired with powerful members of the media to make sure Trump got the nomination precisely because he was they one they wanted to run against.

Indeed, Trump was probably the only major Republican candidate whom Hillary had any hope of defeating. He was hand-picked by the liberal establishment to be her opponent.

Nevertheless, as I said, I get it. What I don’t get are the indications I’ve seen that you and many other young voters who sincerely love God and follow Christ are considering voting for Hillary Clinton.

Before you walk into the voting booth, perhaps for the very first time, please allow me to share a few thoughts about that.

You’re Voting for a Person, Not a Narrative

In this Postmodern era, idealistic young people tend to be suckers for a good narrative. “First woman President” is a certainlly a compelling storyline. Because . . .

Girl Power!

Girl Power!

Here’s the problem with that. Your romantic narrative won’t be serving as president. A flawed, twisted, broken human being will.

Eight years ago millions who really should have known better couldn’t resist the romance of being “a part of history” and therefore voted for a narrative: “America’s first black president!”

And the last eight years have been an unmitigated catastrophe . . . not just for our nation but for the world. (The true magnitude of the Obama disaster will not become fully evident to all for several more years.)

There are countless lame reasons for voting for a candidate. But none is lamer than “because she is a she.”

Furthermore, if you vote for Hillary . . . 

1. You’re Voting Against the Interests of the Unborn

Hillary Clinton is a long-time BFF of the abortion industrial complex and she has repeatedly voiced her support for very-late-term abortion and partial birth abortion. Read this.

  • Question: Which killed more Americans last year. (A) Guns (B) Later Term Abortion {20+ weeks of gestation}.
  • Answer: Abortions . . . the kind of abortions your Hillary vote will help protect, promote and fund.

You can try to rationalize this reality away if you want but it won’t change a thing. Your Hillary vote is a vote for perpetuating the horrors of the abortion industry.

2. You’re Voting Against the Interests of the Working Poor

Copies of her speeches to giant, multinational banking groups exposed by Wikileaks reveal that Mrs. Clinton favors an “open borders” approach for the U.S.. This means the flood of illegal immigrants that have been pouring into the nation for the last few years will only increase after she’s elected.

Few Christians seem to understand who this policy hurts and helps. It helps the big businesses looking for cheap labor. It hurts the working poor by driving down wages. There’s a reason that both the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (representing giant corporations) and the Wall Street Journal (advocating for the same) both favor the same open borders policies Mrs. Clinton advocates. It’s what the fatcats want.


#LetThemIn Because I want to keep my labor costs super low!

Yes, the immigrants seeking a better life here merit our compassion as Christians. But voting for open borders is nothing more than being generous with someone else’s money.

It’s a mighty cheap form of compassion that helps one poor person at the expense of another poor person while costing you little or nothing.

3. You’re voting against the interests of Christians and other non-Muslims in the Middle East.

The rolling horror, rape, death, and sex slavery show called the Islamic State (formerly known as Al Qaeda in Iraq) could only have arisen in the vacuum created by Mr. Obama’s rapid and ill-advised withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq—endorsed by then Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

They have rivers of blood on their hands.

This is on you, Obama voters.

This is on you, Obama voters.

Mrs. Clinton’s entire tenure as Secretary State is littered with awful decisions and preventable disasters in the Middle East (See: Libya, Benghazi).

4. You’re voting against the freedom-of-conscience interests of churches, Christian organizations, and individual believers. 

Across this land, Christian mom-and-pop business owners increasingly face a terrible choice. They must either lay aside their biblical convictions about marriage and morality or face being driven out of business by threats, harassment, litigation, or prosecution.


So is this.

The election of Hillary Clinton can only accelerate this trend. Vote for her and you’re complicit.

5. You’re voting against the the rule of law and the health of our increasingly fragile democracy.

Trump is certainly an unsavory character. I’ve written hundreds of words on this blog criticizing him. (See here and here, for example.) But Hillary Clinton is something far worse than a rich buffoon. She is a rich, cold, calculating criminal. She is at the center of the sleaziest, most corruption-riddled, amoral, political machine this country has seen in more than 100 years.

She brazenly used her tenure as Secretary of State to shake down wanna-be political appointees and foreign nations for enormous contributions to the bogus Clinton Foundation—little more than a giant slush fund for bribery, graft and corruption.

In a fairer, more just society Hillary Clinton would have been indicted months ago. This was self-evident even before the recent flood of incrimination and embarrassment from Wikileaks. Her emails, which she went to great lengths to hide from federal investigators, reveal even greater depths of criminality. You’ll find a good overview of the ugliness exposed by Wikileaks here.

Your little contribution to a Clinton victory will make you a part of the demise of the rule of law.

6. Finally, you’re voting against your own interests.

The last eight years of Mr. Obama have made the future problematic enough. Regardless of any B.S. you’ve heard about student loan forgiveness (sorry, that’s not happening), the coming Clinton Administration will do nothing but damage your prospects for the future even further.

What Really Matters Here

Once again, I’m sorry your options aren’t any prettier here. And the mathematical realities of the electoral college mean that the results of the election are going be what they’re going to be—no matter how you or I vote.

Barring some huge, unforseen development, Hillary is going to win.



That means all you can do at the presidential level is make sure your conscience is clear for the next four-to-eight years.

But the answer is not to simply stay home on election day. There will be dozens of other races on your ballot in which you can have an impact for the unborn, for freedom, and for opportunity. Vote for life and liberty.

Please think about it. More importantly . . . pray about it. The wonderful thing about the private ballot is no one but you and God have to know how you voted.

* * * * *

Full Disclosure: As for me, for all the reasons cited above and dozens of others, I will be holding my nose with one hand and voting for Mr. Trump with the other. (It won’t be the first time I’ve had to vote in this manner and I’m sure it won’t be the last.)