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Hillary Clinton – A Non-Entity With No Credibility

Last Sunday the Wall Street Journal published an article which referred to Hillary Clinton’s recent “hawkish” views. This article was objectionable in my view because it provided some semblance of credibility to Hillary’s political posture. This attempt at foisting some credibility upon her is totally and completely misplaced. She is not qualified to hold any public office. She is unqualified and incompetent. Period. The views I posted on this site some 2 years ago about her tenure as secretary of state are still relevant to her purported qualifications for office today. Here is what I wrote.

The Secretary of Mistate, Mistake, er, State.

What makes a great Secretary of State? By what marks is he/she defined? Carrying out the president’s foreign policy? Getting treaties signed? There are no easy definitions. But you know a great Secretary when you see one.
Appointing Hillary as Secretary of State, as his first cabinet post, marked Obama as a lightweight, because she is a lightweight. She is in fact a no- weight. I can’t begin to find any credence in this appointment. At the time of her appointment Hillary had no experience in foreign affairs; she never wrote, lectured, taught, or spoke on it, nor has she done anything since her appointment to distinguish her as as deserving of the appointment, nor as being a great or even a good one.

Maybe it’s because Obama has no foreign policy to speak of, none that can be defined.
Her lack of experience in public office preceded her into the present job. She was elected to the U.S. Senate – in a very liberal state of course. But she flew in on the back of her husband, an impeached president, who disgraced himself, his family, the White House and the country. She certainly was no leader of any kind in the senate, not having introduced any resolutions that come to mind.

Even before that when entrusted with “Hillarycare” by husband Bill, this endeavor, decried by many as a form of socialized medicine, was a miserable failure. The book, “It Takes A Village,” ostensibly written by her, did nothing to further the cause for her program. The book was a fraud, falsely proclaiming a crisis in education and then clamoring for government intervention to cure the non-existent crisis.

Once in a while Hillary makes a little whimper of noise about one thing or another, but in actuality she does nothing. Joining other nations in favor of a change of leadership in Syria does nothing to show her leadership. Clearly, on Obama’s part, the appointment was an act of political expedience, just to get her out of his way and keep her quiet – so far as attacking him or his administration, that is.

Today’s (2/25/12) liberal leaning LA Times carries an article proclaiming that “Clinton Hints at Coup Against Assad.” The writer, Patrick J. McDonnell, attempts to provide Hillary with some credibility by pointing out that she is one of the leaders of a coalition calling itself “Friends of Syria.” The writer credits her with calling for Assad’s security forces to oust him, citing the cases of Tunisia and Egypt, where militaries stepped in to oust “longtime autocratic leaders” (i.e., dictators) after popular protests. Of course, joining others in the swell of protest against Assad does not exactly stamp her as a leader.

A clear sign of her lack of credibility is the fact that as of 2/24/12, she has no part in talks between the U.S. and North Korea concerning food aid to the impoverished country, dismantling of its nuclear weapons program, and other issues. The U.S. is represented by Glyn Davies, who is described as special representative for North Korean policy. Hillary is nowhere in sight.

The main problem with Hillary’s holding any public office is that she has little if any credibility. Remember, when she ran for president, she was caught in a bald-faced lie – claiming she was caught in sniper fire in [Bosnia] when landing there during a visit. This was a total lie, which she later admitted. So, can you believe anything she says? As all trial lawyers will know, there is a jury instruction you can ask the trial judge to give if the evidence warrants it i.e., falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus. What this means is that if the jury finds that the defendant (or a witness) lied about one thing, the jury can find that the defendant (or witness) lied about everything.

And of course hubby Bill was no slouch at lying either.

So much for Hillary’s credibility. Who’s going to believe her?

It’s not to late for Hillary to remove herself from the limelight and move into the kitchen, where she can concentrate on making toll house cookies. There, at least, she can hopefully avoid putting her foot in her mouth. But, of course, with her, anything’s possible.

Copyright 2012. Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.

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Remembering President Richard Nixon – 40 Years Later

On March 1, 2012, I published a blog about President Richard Nixon. He resigned from the presidency 40 years ago, on August 9, 1974, the only president to do so. Despite the shadow of Watergate, he accomplished a lot as president. To honor his presidency, here is a reprint of my blog.

PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON’S EMBRACE OF “RED CHINA” – A MASTER STROKE OF FOREIGN POLICY.
The impact of relations between the U.S. and China should be examined in the context of President Richard Nixon’s legacy.

Before Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping’s recent visit to the U.S. fades from memory, and bearing mind the occasion of President Obama’s visit to China in 2009, it is fitting to put those visits in historical perspective. Recall that it was President Richard Nixon’s historic trip to Peking in 1972, some 40 years ago, which opened the door to improved relations with “Red China,” as the Chinese mainland was then known. This trip took place after two decades of bitter hostility, isolation, and non-existent diplomatic relations between the U.S. and China. The two countries had no framework in place for dealing with each other.

Some would say there is nothing about Richard Nixon worth remembering. But if one can cast aside the disgrace of Watergate and the horrors of Vietnam, horrors he inherited from his predecessor, Lyndon B. Johnson, and focus instead on the visit to China, it stands out as a major foreign policy accomplishment, one which should have earned Nixon the Nobel Peace Prize. Whatever else the personal shortcomings of Richard Nixon were, and there were apparently many, credit should be given where credit is due. Opening up the gateway to China was a brilliant master stroke of foreign policy which revolutionized world diplomacy and world trade. It was all the more remarkable in light of Nixon’s strong anti-communist stance during his political career.

The benefits of Nixon’s decision cannot be understated. What had been a miniscule dollar amount of trade between the two countries, roughly five billion dollars in 1979, has grown to the staggering total of between four hundred billion and five hundred billion dollars today. Moreover, cultural exchanges continue apace, involving many hundreds of exchange students. Last year there were over 3 million mutual visits between the two countries. Further, China, while still harboring a communist government, embraces an emerging capitalist economy, resulting in an ever improving life style for its people. For example, China today is the number one automobile market in the world. American capitalistic icons GM and Ford are strongly entrenched there, as are McDonalds and Coca Cola.

Obama’s 2009 meeting with Chinese President Hu, and his recent meeting with Vice President Jinping is hopefully a harbinger of deepening ties between the two countries, as well as mutual cooperation on trade and other issues.

However, historical perspective notwithstanding, the fact remains that Obama received a tepid response in his efforts to gain China’s cooperation in responding to the global economic showdown. This may be due to China’s recognition that America should focus on its own problems first, or it may be that China is simply not impressed with Obama and his administration.

It is clear that Obama is an excellent politician and a gifted speech maker, but it is equally clear that he is simply a novice when it comes to government management and making major decisions. He has no experience at all in administration and governing of anyone or anything. In other words, he comes across as a lightweight president, a figurehead, who has yet to prove himself as a leader. So, China has humored him, adopting a wait and see attitude before agreeing to anything. It remains to be seen whether Obama will have any real impact on the course of world affairs or whether he will be swept into the dustbin of history.

Copyright 11/20/09, updated 2/27/12, All Rights Reserved. Arnold G. Regardie.

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Writing Goals For Clear Writing

To become an accomplished writer is not an easy task. But to write clearly is a goal eminently worthy of achievement. There are many pitfalls to to be encountered on the road to clear writing. Here are a few.

Lack of experience in writing will show up first. The best approach to achieve clear writing is to just write. You just have to do it. There’s only so much reading you can do about writing before you actually start to write. It’s just like reading about hitting a golf ball or tennis ball – you just have to go out and do it to become really proficient. The more you write, the better you will become. You will also gain one very indispensable element – self confidence.

There are also goals to reach for in the process of overcoming impediments to improving your writing. The first is to write with a purpose and this in turn requires knowledge of your subject matter. This is key. If you don’t know what you’re writing about your readers will see it quickly. This kind of writing will damage your credibility immeasurably and cause your readers to regard your work product with justified skepticism. So to insure writing success, know your subject matter thoroughly. Become an expert on it. This will pay vast dividends for you.

It is also important to know your target audience – know who you’re writing for. It makes a big difference so far as your content is concerned if you’re writing for a sophisticated readership or for people who are less knowledgeable. If your writing is over the heads of your readers it will fall flat. If it is too elementary it will not be well received. So you must know who you’re writing for.

Use an everyday approach in your writing. Write like people talk, in a conversational tone. Avoid jargon or legalese where possible.

Emphasize important points by underlining, capitalizing, or otherwise highlighting them. This will help your readers to focus on what you’re really trying to say. Hit these points hard to draw attention to your message.

Be concise in your writing. Avoid long, rambling explanations. A good discipline is to start off each paragraph with a topic sentence. Fill that paragraph with subject matter that is relevant to that sentence. Good paragraphing can go a long way to holding a reader’s interest. Short paragraphs are often better than long, drawn out ones.

Learn to punctuate correctly. Good punctuation pays off by helping the reader to digest your writing and by showing the reader you really know something about writing.

Use the right word. Having a workable vocabulary is an indispensable tool to clear writing. It is worth extra time on your road to clear writing to work on vocabulary building. Look up and list all new words. Read extensively. Learn how experienced writers use their words – this can be an education in itself and well worth the while.

Finally, avoid spelling errors at all costs. Poor spelling will mark you as an amateur faster than anything else.
Read and reread your manuscript over and over to make sure all spelling is correct. In this process polish it up so that it flows smoothly. Also important is visual attractiveness. A long, dense paper with poor spacing and paragraphing will discourage a reader from reading it.

As you can see clear writing requires close attention to many aspects of writing. There is more, much more to be said but these points will help you immensely on the road to writing success.

All of this and more is covered in my book, “The Art of Clear Writing,” available on amazon.com kindle books and in print.

Copyright 2014. Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.

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Adding Sound and Color To Your Writing – Still A Viable Concept

Over a year ago I wrote about adding sound and color to your writing. It still makes sense today. For those of you who missed that blog, here is what I wrote:

Clear writing requires a writer to have command of words and use of proper syntax. Both are essential to become an accomplished writer. Syntax is defined as the orderly, logical sequence of words to have maximum effect on the reader.

To me however, syntax is indistinguishable from sound and color. I cannot conceive of a situation where a writer can have good syntax and not have sound and color. For this reason sound and color have no such ready definition as syntax does. These elements of writing depend on the writer developing a feel, an ear, for his writing. For most writers, this only comes with time and experience. So, how do you know when you have it?

The ability to develop sound and color in your writing really depends on how well you apply yourself to the task of writing. I have consistently stressed my belief that clear writing is an art form, which can be attained with constant regular practice. It is only through the pursuit of this undertaking that you will come to recognize your voice as a writer.

It is hard to add sound and color to your writing unless you know what it is. The rhythm of your writing will reflect its sound and color. Listen to your writing as you write, then revise it to achieve effective rhythm. This means choosing words that fit in well with surrounding words. Jerky or monotonous sentences lack sound and color.

For example, the following sentence is repetitious and somewhat monotonous:

He was an exceedingly orderly company commander. When promoted, he became an efficient regimental commander.

Improved version:

As a company commander, he did things by the book; as a regimental commander, his efficiency was unsurpassed.

In the following example, sentence fluency has been hampered by excessive modification:

The man in the car opened the
door quickly and went hurriedly
into the restaurant.

Improved version:

The driver quickly abandoned the
car and vanished into the restaurant.

There are two ways to know when your writing has sound and color. First, you will feel it in your writing; the second, a bit more objective, a reader will remain fixed on what you have written and then compliment you on it.

The late William Manchester was a superb writer; the pages of his writing full of sound and color. His biography, “Winston Spencer Churchill, The Last Lion – Visions of Glory: 1874-1952”, Dell Publishing, 1983, speaks for itself. The following passage, (p. 7), is illustrative:

“Men who think of themselves as indispensable are almost always wrong,
but Winston Churchill was surely that then. He was like the lion in Revelation, ‘the first beast,’ with ‘six wings about him’ and ‘full of eyes within.’ In an uncharacteristically modest moment on his eightieth birthday he said: ‘It was the nation and the race dwelling all around the globe that had the lion’s heart; I had the luck to be called upon to give the lion’s roar.’ It wasn’t that simple. The spirit, if indeed within them, lay dormant until he became prime minister and they, kindled by his soaring prose, came to see themselves as he saw them and emerged a people transformed, the admiration of free men everywhere.”

Adding sound and color to your writing doesn’t apply to every writing project. It may not fit at all into, say, a simple job application. But the experience of trying to add sound and color to your writing will help you acquire an ear for your writing, that sense of knowing the power of your words. It will help you to write more efficiently and more clearly.

As has been oft-mentioned in my book “The Art of Clear Writing,” (available on amazon.com through kindle books and in print), clear writing is not easy. But the point bears emphasis. It takes work, lots of work. That’s the surest way, however, to improve the clarity of your writing. I’m reminded of books I’ve read about trying to hit a golf ball or a tennis ball. There’s only so much reading you can do before you actually go out and swing a gold club or a tennis racket. So it is with writing. Mastery of the guidelines and techniques explained in my book will go a long way to improve the clarity of your writing, but you still have to write to achieve maximum effect.

Copyright © 2013. Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved

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Free Enterprise – The Key To Reducing Unemployment

I am in the business of network marketing, a business which can be very rewarding depending on one’s dedication. The other day a speaker at one of our regular weekly meetings, a marvelous speaker by the way and one who has been eminently successful in the business, talked about slavery. The speaker, an Afro-American, likened people who are stuck in present day economic ruts to those who were once bound in involuntary servitude. It was a profound message. Those who put their minds to it were able to escape slavery. Those who have the right mindset can escape unpleasant present day circumstances.

The key is mindset, which can be the answer to the economic doldrums of many Americans today. To put it another way, financial freedom can be had by those who are willing and determined to get it. I am a strong believer in capitalism, bolstered by free trade. It may not be a perfect system but it has resulted in unparallelled economic growth for the United States. To be a successful entrepreneur is to know and enjoy the life most people only dream about.

Today’s economy is struggling, beset by overly big government and an administration in Washington that simply doesn’t understand business, to put it mildly. It is an administration which believes that government can solve all, or at least most, problems. It is the wrong approach. The emphasis should be on reducing the role of government in everyday life and encouraging individualism. Successful entrepreneurs should not be punished by excessive regulation and confiscatory taxes. In California for example, a new corporation must pay a minimum of $800 in franchise taxes, whether successful or not. This is one of the reasons California has become known for an unfriendly business climate.

But despite the struggling economy, there are still rewards to be had, opportunities to be pursued. This was the point of the speaker I referred to above. Many people simply accept present day circumstances without really trying to find a way out. They are “slaves” to a situation they don’t enjoy. Obstacles can be overcome, and there are obstacles in every walk of life. But there are also results which reward those who persevere many times over. As part of my business, I read about success stories every month in the magazine I get as part of my business, stories that come from all over the world. People overcome incredible hardships once they put their minds to it.

I believe network marketing provides an opportunity to take yourself out of the ranks of the unemployed or underemployed, if that’s where you are, and to “promote” yourself to a position to secure your financial future. Don’t let the lack of money stop your mission in life. I got into the business to help a family member improve his circumstances. I was well past normal retirement age when I signed up, but I’m a firm believer in the old adage, “better late than never.” So its not too late, or too early for that matter, to get started.

At a business convention I attended recently, Donald Trump was one of the featured speakers. Among other things, he said that he wants to see America great again. Amen to that! But also, importantly, he emphasized that mindset is important, vital, to success. Do not quit. Be tenacious. Make up your mind you’re going to succeed. Every person living in this great country and enjoying its many freedoms has an obligation to make it better, to give something back. You can do your part by helping yourself, and others, to a happier life.

Copyright 2014. Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.

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An Immigration Update – Bill O’Reilly’s Take

I’m a long time follower of Bill O’Reilly on Fox News and find his reporting usually to be in depth, factual, and concise. Recently he suggested that viewers check out his suggestions to solve the immigration crisis as found on his website, BillO’Reilly.com. I did that and found many of his suggestions to have some merit. Here is a sampler, mixed in with some of my own thoughts.

Much of the problem lies with the failure of President Obama to be preprared for this crisis. He has had five and one half years to get his act together on this as well as other problems and has done virtually nothing. Mexico itself is a primary issue. Tougher policing of that country’s northern and southern borders would be a first step. Increased surveillance by Mexican police and military forces on the southern borders would help to stem the flow of would be illegal immigrants from Central America on their way to the U.S.

The same steps should be taken to help secure Mexico’s northern border with this country. The U.S. should have sent national guard troops to the border long ago. Apparently the president is now moving in that direction. Also, the U.S. should send patrols by U.S. aircraft into Mexican airspace to target activity by cartels and smugglers.

The trouble with these steps is getting Mexico’s cooperation and that perceived difficulty, in my opinion, is because Mexico is still fighting the Mexican-American War, i.e., there is lingering great resentment towards the U.S. over how the war ended. Remember that in the Treaty of Gualdalupe-Hildago, signed in 1848, Mexico ceded to the U.S. huge amounts of territory which now comprise California, Nevada, Utah, most of Arizona and New Mexico, and parts of Colorado and Wyoming. But the threat of trade sanctions against Mexico would certainly get that country’s attention.

As concerns the illegals presently in the country, O’Reilly advocates having them register at the nearest post office within three months with name, address, and birth date. Failure to do so would be a felony, justifying deportation in and of itself if convicted by a special immigration court. Registration would result in the issuance of an ID card which would be used to apply for a work permit. Registrants unable to find work would be deported, as would be criminals, addicts, etc. Those desiring citizenship would have to get in line behind all others. Entitlements would be denied to illegal aliens although their children would be eligible to receive benefits. This is not amnesty but a vetting process. A hard working, honest individual should be able to find a place in this country but there is no guarantee.

Illegal immigration is a huge, complex issue and there are no easy answers. But these suggestions outlined here would be a productive start.

Copyright 2014. Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.

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A Centennial Salute To The Babe

Lost amid all of the swirling problems arising from the Middle East and the Ukraine, among others, and the many scandals engulfing Barack Obummer, er, Obama, is the fact that this year marks the 100th anniversary of Babe Ruth’s breaking into major league baseball. Babe Ruth is one of the great athletes produced by this country. His feats deserve some recognition in this centennial year.

It was 100 years ago, 1914, that The Babe, as a 19 year old, jumped from reform school into the major leagues. Enrolled at St. Mary’s School for Boys, Baltimore, Maryland, since he was about 6 years old, in and out since then but mostly in, he was signed to his first professional contract with the then minor league Baltimore Orioles. Later that year he was sold to the Boston Red Sox.

Hidden among his many batting feats is the fact that Ruth was a premier American League pitcher for many years. He won 89 games for the Red Sox from 1914 to 1919, including 23 wins one year and 24 another. He also pitched 29 consecutive scoreless World Series innings during that stretch, a record that lasted for many years.

In 1919, after recognizing Ruth’s value as a hitter, Ruth became an every day player, playing as a full time outfielder for Boston. It was a momentous year for Ruth as he hit 29 home runs, setting a new major league record. No one had ever hit that many home runs in a single season before. But the best was yet to come.

Following the 1919 season, Ruth was sold to the New York Yankees. Harry Frazee, who owned the Red Sox, was also a Broadway producer and he needed money for a new show, “No No Nanette.” The sale of his biggest star helped to ease his financial strain.

In 1920, his first year as a Yankee, Ruth hit 54 home runs, an astounding feat, and another single season home run record. Ruth thus virtually single handedly helped the world of baseball awake from its lethargy following the Black Sox scandal of 1919, as fans clamored to get a glimpse of this budding new star. And then in 1921, as if to prove the previous year was no fluke, he hit 59 home runs, yet another single season record, the third year in a row for new home run records, a feat never since duplicated, as he led the Yankees to their first American League pennant. It was the first of many to come.

The 1920s was to see Ruth continue to hammer out home runs, including 60 in 1927, a record that stood for many years. In 1925, he was joined in the Yankee lineup by first baseman Lou Gehrig, who batted fourth, right behind the Babe. Together they became an integral part of the famous “murderers row” as the lineup was to become known, a lineup that was to give headaches to many pitchers in the coming years.

Ruth retired in 1935, finishing with 714 career home runs, a record that stood until finally eclipsed by Henry Aaron many years later. He was one of the charter members of baseball’s Hall of Fame, being one of the first five players elected in 1936.

Babe Ruth was truly a giant among baseball players. No one else in the annals of baseball has been both an outstanding pitcher as well as a great hitter. Ruth did a lot for the game of baseball. His accomplishments should be remembered as long as the game is played.

Copyright 2014. Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.

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