Friday Firesmith – The Shining City on the Hill

When Ronald Reagan was President, he decided to bomb Libya in general, and in particular to send a message to Muammar Gaddafi, who claimed Reagan was trying to kill him, and that might be true. It didn’t have a dramatic effect on how Libya did business, but it did tear up some Libyan assets and it did let folk know that Reagan would shoot at you. I didn’t much like the man as President but that was one thing that Ronald Reagan did that I thought was important; those people who do not respect you ought to fear you if you are President. Reagan had a pretty good idea of what was going on around him, at least early in his presidency. There are those who say that the Libyans were tipped off. It’s interesting that there were Russian ships in the harbor at Tripoli that night and the Russian and the Libyans were pals.

Of course, Twitter didn’t exist back then, but I cannot see Reagan doing this:

We’ve gone from The Great Communicator to the Big Twit, apparently.

Reagan, when asked if he thought the Iranians, who were holding 44 Americans hostage, were afraid of him, he said, and I am paraphrasing, “We’re not afraid of them and they aren’t afraid of us” and then he smiled and said no more. The same day Reagan took the oath of office the Iranians released the hostages. I don’t see him doing anything like this:

Reagan, for all his faults in what he did in office, never came off sounding like he was a shot of espresso away from hysteria. Also, he had a pretty good rapport with Congress, except when he got caught in the Iran-Contra Affair, which isn’t relevant to this post. Reagan was smooth when dealing with opponents. His “There you go again” and “I won’t use my opponents age against him” citing “inexperience” when asked why someone younger than he might a better president. This was not classic Reagan:

Of course, while candidate Reagan was never at a loss for words and sometimes harsh with his criticism of those he was running against or those in office, Reagan was a True Believer. He would have never taken sides with any other country against someone in office in this country. He once called the regime in the old Soviet Union, “an Evil Empire”. Here’s Trump, early on, slobbering…

I’m pretty sure that whatever happened in Syrian missile attack was done with the consent and the approval of Trump’s “best friend”. Whatever has happened or will happen, none of it is going to go on without Trump contradicting what he once condemned. I’ve been watching politics since Richard Nixon was president and I cannot remember anyone holding that office who was even remotely as clueless in foreign affairs as this nutcase.

Uh huh.

I said it before and I will say it again; I never liked Reagan as a President, but the man believed in this country. Ronald Reagan, in explaining what his vision of The United States of America said we would be like a “shining city on a hill” that the rest of the world would see how a free people lived.

Mr. Trump, no one can see your vision because it doesn’t exist. You’ve taken the party of Reagan and sold it to the highest bidder. You’ve become an international joke and a national embarrassment.

You, sir, are no Ronald Reagan.

Take Care,

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

63 thoughts on “Friday Firesmith – The Shining City on the Hill

  1. The countries being bombed are the ones who refused to allow other countries to force them to open up their banking systems to the western model.
    As in :- We have cocked up our financial system so give us cash or we will bomb you.


  2. Hmm. This is the first president I’ve liked since Reagan. I don’t care for all the pomp and flair, but I love the direction we are moving.


    • Like in moving towards war? We will need to drastically increase our armed forces. Make sure you are first in line at the recruitment office. If you’re past the age to enlist, then make sure your children are in that line.


    • Like everyone except Trump and his buddies paying higher taxes? Like everyone, especially women, losing medical coverage? Like not only denying climate change, which the general (educated) consensus believes to be true, but also actively working to make it worse? Like defunding any government program that benefits society in general?

      W’s tenure as “worst president ever” was surprisingly short.


      • Grog, I served under Reagan when he was President and it was scary.

        This man scares me more. For all his faults, I think Reagan truly believed in America. I haver no idea what Trump believes, and I am not sure he knows either.


      • What is in the drinking water these days? People keep saying progressively idiotic stuff. Sometimes I think they just want to create controversy with what they say, but then you realize they’re completely serious! Trump’s administration is the biggest clown-show in the history of the USA. I’m still waiting for him to promote El Chapo to be the head of the DEA. His other choices are just as absurd, and then people show up dazed and confused and say he’s awesome! WTF?!?!?!?


  3. I’ve got to say that I am really, really tired of Mike’s Friday Firesmith political ramblings. I go to Bits & Pieces each morning for a bit of lighthearted humor. It’s time to pull Mike off your site as far as I am concerned. If he wants to influence other’s political views, then let him do it the way the rest of us do; Start posting on your Facebook page.


    • I agree. I don’t want to scroll through all of his drivel to get to the content I come here for. Just link his stuff, or get rid of it all together.


    • Jody – I don’t agree with your thinking on this. Mike has a point of view and deserves the right to express it as he sees fit. I don’t agree with what he says but we NEED to let him say it. If we start banning what we don’t agree with then we look like the leftists who are always protesting on campuses (the supposed home of free speech) whenever a conservative is scheduled to speak. Look at Berkeley in California – anytime someone is there that they don’t agree with there are riots, and burning of cars, and stone throwing, and screaming, and yelling in protest. The right of Free Speech is for both sides. If we don’t agree with what is being said, as Paul says – don’t listen. BUT – don’t shut down someones ability to express their views or your right to speak not may, but will be next. I stopped reading Mike’s political opinions a while back, and I have been coming to this site for a good number of years. He can have some interesting thoughts about other subjects but I think his political opinions are wrong so I try not to waste time reading them. I would NEVER deny him the opportunity to put them out there though and be mocked for them.


    • I agree with both Jody and Chris on this one. I have been visiting B&P for about 8 years or so and have seen lots of changes to the site. Some I like and some not so much. I agree with Jody in the sense that Mike’s posts don’t always seem to jive with the overall tone of B&P. B&P was always a few humorous and entertaining moments that I spent at the beginning of my work day, it kinda helped me get going. I also agree with Chris (and Jonco) that it is their right to post or not post what they feels is appropriate. As it is mine to read or not read what I like.


    • Jody, negative comments are worth the same as those that are positive. Look back over my articles. See those with the most comments? Political, all of them, nearly.

      I write what sells, and you just helped me.



    • You’re tired of them but you couldn’t stop yourself from reading it. That means you care about what he says. He just doesn’t say what your brain wants to read. That’s called “challenging stupidity”.


  4. I liked the idea of the MOAB. No boots on the ground. My thoughts are, if you don’t like the idea, you are an ISIS supporter.


  5. After he was asked about the gassing incident in Syria, he said he was elected Potus of the US, not Potus of the world. I hope it’s not universal love for this fool, but approval of the signal he sent allies, so they could breath a sigh of relief, and enemies to wonder WTF would this nut do next.
    The attack itself wasn’t very effective, but the signal was strong.


  6. Thank you, Mike, for your excellent expose on Trump’s delirium. Prior to being in office, and when he had no great political aspirations, he said what he truly thought. Now that he’s (unfortunately) the President, he acts simply to get a reaction, to get more attention, to ensure that his wealth continues to grow and that his power continues to increase. He has NO interest in doing what is best for humanity, including the citizens of his country. The amount of taxpayers’ money that he spends travelling to his ‘other White House’ every weekend could save entire programs that he has now cut.
    What is even more horrendous, is that, despite receiving expert advice that his supposed war on terrorism is only making matters far worse, he recklessly continues on the same route. He is trading exclusively in fear-mongering, not on sound reasoning. Very distressingly, the cold-blooded extremists acting in foreign countries are highlighting to the citizenry that Trump’s response to their countrymen/women being murdered by their own leader is killing them with American weaponry, his response to their trying to save their families by fleeing the danger, is bombing them where they are, and his response to the human-rights horrors that they are dealing with everyday is for Trump to ensure that his money-making investments in their country are protected. This results in people, while not holding extremist views, beginning to feel that maybe the extremists have a point. That is what ISIS is hoping for, and sadly it may be beginning to work. While Assad’s recent gas attack killed close to 100 civilians, including children, so far, the U.S. (who was already bombing Syria making the recent airport attack nothing new), has taken hundreds and hundreds of innocent lives, including bombing apartment buildings, churches, schools and even wedding parties. It’s damn hard to be appreciative of someone “saving” you by murdering your family. The likelihood of feeling hatred toward someone who did that is pretty strong. Trump has received that advice many times, but he has expressed his belief that the number of innocent victims are ‘irrelevant’. His view? “Bomb the hell out of them.”


    • Hi Di!

      Unfortunately “bomb the hell out of them” didn’t work in Nam. It didn’t work in Afghanistan for the Soviets. It won’t work anywhere else, regardless of the size of the bombs.

      It did work in Japan, but look at what it cost to make it work.

      The question here is this one: What are we willing to pay for what we want?

      But first, what is it we want?

      Thank you for your support. I hope to keep earning it.


  7. Mike, if you weren’t such a judgemental prick, your commentaries might not be half bad. Getting sick o’ your crap.


    • Jim,

      You can: (1) Keep bitching. Jon still gets paid.
      (2) Stop bitching and stop commenting. Jon doesn’t get paid.
      (3) Write an angry letter to Jon expressing your unhappiness. Jon is going to look at the hits this article got an even if there was only one or two, he wouldn’t listen to you because this is his site, and he’s worked hard to get it where he wants it, and he isn’t running a democracy.
      (4) Stop insulting me. That actually works.


  8. Things change once you are privy to information not previously known. If I said I was going to trust God for my healing while healthy, that’s one thing. But, if I should change my mind after getting a diagnosis from my physician that isn’t what I wanted to hear, am I now a nutcase? Once again, we armchair quarterbacks are quick to point the finger without giving enough time to get as Paul Harvey so often said “the rest of the story”. Me thinks letting someone live rent free in one’s head is making one mad…


    • Dave, yeah but,

      Trump is working for me. I think I’m allowed to question my employees.

      Here’s the thing, Dave, and it’s a scary thing.I would like to know what the plan is. I don’t need the details, I just want to know where this guy is headed. And I don’t.

      Is that too much to ask?


      • Mike- Yes, President Trump is your employee, just as he is mine. However, we didn’t hire him to do the job; he was elected to do the job. I also agree that it would be nice to “know where this guy is headed”, unlike his predecessor who promised the most transparent administration in history and also said that he would be a one term president if he didn’t cut the deficit in half during his four years in office. Clearly both promises didn’t come to pass, but at least we (thought) we knew “where this guy [was] headed”. And, you’re correct: it is not “too much to ask”. We just might not get the answer we want until (as I pointed out via Paul Harvey) we hear the rest of the story. See, being a sound bite society, used to instant gratification, we have become desensitized (and even somewhat impatient) to the big picture. As Veruca Salt said in Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory: “but I want it noooooooooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwww!” It just doesn’t work that way in the real world. Finally, time will tell. And I once again encourage everyone to calm down, take a breath and see where this thing goes. Aside from all that: I thoroughly enjoy your web site. Especially all the photos and jokes. Cheers!


        • Dave, you’ve said that before.

          Were things better when you first said it or worse?

          Are they better now?

          Are we great again yet?

          Okay, it’s not been 100 days, but you have to admit the man doesn’t look more sane right now than he did 86 days ago.


        • What exactly is the difference between “We hired him” and “We elected him”? Dave, you seem to think that the hiring process is not an election. It may not always be an election with tens of millions of people, but every hiring is conducted with votes, be it in the government or the private industry.


        • Trying to hold Obama accountable for not cutting the deficit in half is disingenuous because he barely had a filibuster-proof majority in Congress for maybe five weeks. Everything Obama needed to get done was shot down by the GOP in the Senate. The larger fault at issue was Reid who should have revoked the filibuster early on.

          However, Cheeto-boy is a different issue altogether because his failing to keep promises is directly his fault. He complained about Obama playing so much golf but claimed he would not have time to do so because he would be busy “working”, yet he’s been down at his resort on the course nearly every week. He complained about Obama’s ties to Goldman-Sachs, yet many in his own administration are from there. He complained about Obama’s vacations, yet he already has spent more taxpayer dollars in three months than Obama did in three years. He said he would release his taxes after he won. He hasn’t. He said he would appoint a special prosecutor to indict Hillary Clinton. He hasn’t. He complained about stupid wars and is working on starting more. He said he’d get tough on China and now he’s rather cozy with them. I could go on, but what’s clear, he had most likely had no intention of keeping his promises, but only told voters what they wanted to hear. Which any person would have seen through if they actually took time to educate themselves. Anybody whose favorite book is PT Barnum’s “The Art of Money Making” should be some sort of indicator of his willingness to help others.

          At least Obama managed to lower the deficit despite the adversity he had to deal with. All of Cheeto-boy’s broken promises rest solely with him.

          As for the rest of the story, that remains as to what all the investigations find on any Russian connections.


          • C.A.I – Two things: Cheeto-boy? So, I suppose it is okay if someone were to refer to Obama as Oreo-boy? And, how in the world can you say that Obama “managed to lower the deficit”?! Everything I read clearly shows that Obama ran up the deficit more than any other President before him. Sheesh!


            • Nope. You would be as usual, incorrect. He inherited a $1.3 trillion deficit and by the end of his fourth year, which was his first term, the deficit about $1.1 trillion.

              The most recent year available is 2015 and those numbers are at $438.9 billion*. In case you can’t figure it out, that’s less than what it was in 2008.

              *At least this what the Department of Treasury says ( I realize that’s not a right wing site, but I tend to avoid those when I need real facts.


              • C.A.I., you can tell by my above post that I think Trump suffers from an easily diagnosable mental illness and the chances of him taking down the whole of North America become greater every day, which is beyond terrifying.
                However, we may not agree with Dave in Battle Ground, but sarcasm and insults are not likely to lead where you want it to go. Sometimes people have a different opinion simply because they have not been exposed to the same information as you. Dave was not being disrespectful, he was asking questions and stating his opinion. You seem very knowledgeable. Please just express your awareness of actual facts. Other people’s awareness will follow. Thanks.


              • Sorry Diane, but I have to disagree with you about him not being disrespectful. His use of excessive punctuation and his interjection express disrespect. As for sarcasm and insults, I find them suitable to the individual I am speaking to especially when the moment calls for it. I’ve already said I have a low tolerance for willful ignorance and that is exactly what they live on.

                Different opinion are fines, but when an “opinion” has no basis in fact because their source lacks any credibility, then that opinion is wrong.

                At one point I tried rationalizing with them, but rational thought is outside their purview. Their basis of thinking is purely emotional with no basis in reality or facts. They rely on propaganda from a network that was solely created to benefit one political party (Fact: Ailes first presented the idea to Nixon and wanted to call it GOP TV). A long process has created a network of right wing outlets that reach out to the most negative elements of people and use that easily manipulated emotion of hate to make these people vote against their own interests.

                Think Scientology when it comes to a conservative voter. The “church” does all it can to shield their flock from the truth, getting them to live on a steady diet of confirmation bias.

                Having said that, understand that when two politicians agree to a debate, they aren’t up at the podium to change the mind of their opponent, but rather they are trying to persuade the audience. My tactics, while you may disapprove, make an effort to clearly point out the lack of critical thinking being employed by my opponent. I already know, there is no truth or fact that will have them change their mind, because they are in a cult and they aren’t allowed to think outside of what they are told to think.

                To reiterate, my purpose isn’t to sway my opponent, but rather to catch the eye of the reader who only reads the debate and sees one side that has facts and logic win over a side that only spouts unreliable talking points. This is why I often post sources to my statements, so the one person who really wants to know the facts can check out what I say and weigh it against the other side who only uses talking points that they hear in their echo chamber of media outlets.

                Yet, even tho I attach links that support my statements, like the Church of Scientology, they would rather discredit the messenger rather than debate the facts. However, what I presented here was a solid fact that clearly proved his “opinion” to be wrong. So can he admit that? Well, let’s look at his own words:

                “But that type of mentality will only resolve the rest of us to discount what you have to say, even if the essence of what you have to say is right.”

                It isn’t “essence” it’s solid fact through and through. This is why I don’t take the approach you speak of Diane. These people belong to a cult and have had their emotions used against themselves to manipulate their thought process. But did you see another tactic they use to avoid acceptance of error on their part? He chose to dismiss it because he implied his “feelings are hurt.” So, as conservatives are prone to do, he uses the victim card. This isn’t the action of a mature adult, it’s the reaction of a spoiled 10-year old who has been caught in a lie.

                Yes, there was a time I played the game of calm and rational debate, but I came to realize that they have no use for truth, facts or rational thinking. They exist purely on an emotional level with no basis in reality. They are a cult who live on a steady diet of misinformation and hate.


            • If Obama had a spray-on tan that made him look BLACK, then YES, you could call him OREO-BOY, now, if a person has a spray-on tan that makes him look ORANGE then YES, THEY CAN BE CALLED CHEETO-BOY. Don’t be silly. Nobody made fun of the way “Trump was born”. That’s stupid.


            • What is most interesting is that the bulk of my reply is Cheeto-boy’s broken promises, but instead he chose to debate Obama’s record. So it seems he doesn’t care about Cheeto-boy’s broken promises or he is unable or perhaps unwilling to defend Cheeto-boy simply due to party preference and caring nothing for our country and its people.

              It leads one to wonder if Cheeto-boy took a dump on the US Constitution and proceeded to set it on fire, if he would still have no issue with Cheeto-boy, but if Clinton were in office it’s a safe bet he would be demanding impeachment claiming her pantsuits make her unfit for office.


              • You know the old Mark Twain words: “It’s easier to fool someone than it is to convince them they’ve been fooled.” Instead of people cutting their losses early and disavowing the orange clown for his goofs, they’ll stick with him to the end and look extra-dumb in his final days.


        • After the comments about Trump being an employee or otherwise, it made me laugh to see this article. Apparently, this fellow, U.S. Republican Representative Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma, says that Americans DON’T pay his salary. No – instead, he claims, ” Bull crap, I paid for myself. I paid enough taxes before I ever got here and continue to through my company to pay my own salary.” and then, ““I’ve paid more taxes inside my own company and personally than I’ll ever receive from being in Congress.” He also says that he’s glad that his congressional position is not how he makes his living, despite still cashing his $174,000.00 paycheck. The scariest part, though, is what he says about why he ran for office. While saying that it’s an honor and a service to be a legislator, he also stated that, “I would have never run for office if it wasn’t for the fact that my biggest threat to my company was the federal government and the overreach of the EPA.” Ah, what? So, in other words, he represents the people in order to increase his own position of power and wealth. Silly me, and I thought it was to represent the people who elected him. How could I be so wrong?
          Full article here:


  9. “The same day Reagan took the oath of office the Iranians released the hostages.”

    Just know this. Reagan’s team made a bargain with Iran to hold the hostages until after the election. Reagan promised them weapons if they did.

    As for being headed to war with Trump…well, that’s pretty much guaranteed. When popularity goes down, they start a little war to boost their points. Reagan did it with Grenada and Bush Sr did it with his Gulf War. The mere fact that he sends 52 Tomahawk missiles and doesn’t even hit a runway suggests that was nothing but for show. Mind you, he gave them a heads up to move their planes, so if the point was to incapacitate an airport, it was a huge failure as was proven the next day when planes flew from there. Despite that, his popularity went up and we all know what an attention whore he is, so now he has gotten a taste of what it takes to be popular.

    Now we have two identical mentalities taunting each other. Both Kim and Cheeto-boy not only are thin-skinned little twats, but both are also mentally unstable.


  10. To many here it must feel good to finally have a President you can freely express your disapproval of without being accused of being a racist. For eight years those who disagreed with Obama had to curb their tongue and measure their words carefully so as to not be accused of being a racist. And Barack Hussein Obama made sure to remind us that he was black at every opportunity to keep that alive. So much for healing the rift between blacks and whites. At any rate, go ahead with your hate fest. Continue to bad mouth the President. Call him all the names you like. Wish him ill if you choose. But that type of mentality will only resolve the rest of us to discount what you have to say, even if the essence of what you have to say is right. And that’s a cryin’ shame.

    P.S. – Thanks Dianne for your grown up point of view. It was refreshing to say the least.


    • “For eight years those who disagreed with Obama had to curb their tongue and measure their words carefully so as to not be accused of being a racist.”

      Eight years of comment threads all over the Internet, not to mention various “news” sources, prove otherwise.

      “But that type of mentality will only resolve the rest of us to discount what you have to say, even if the essence of what you have to say is right.”

      Because it’s more important to disagree than it is to be right. Gotcha.


  11. HJ – Re: “Because it’s more important to disagree than it is to be right. Gotcha.”?
    Dave did point out that it’s “a cryin’ shame” that it happens but in reality, it does and that’s just human nature.
    How something is presented is sometimes more important than what you’re trying to present and using disparaging names can compound the effect.
    Take Hillary’s “deplorables” comment for instance. Ya’ know there’s a very good chance that if she hadn’t used that word in the way that she did we most likely wouldn’t be having this discussion about Trump right now.
    Again, to get back to the human nature part, reflect back on Mike’s post here and many of his previous ones about Trump. He obviously despises the man but he refers to him as a person and refrains from calling him demeaning childish names. I believe that Mike is smart enough to know that were he to begin a post with “Cheeto-Boy”, that there are a good many readers that are going to discount anything that he writes from that point on in the post as nothing but drivel. He could write the most intelligent, damning, factual post that might possibly convince Trump supporters to turn tail and disavow him but if people are going to take offense to the tone of his writing and discount it in it’s entirety because of some poorly chosen words or phrases, then what’s the point?
    Others should take heed to Mike’s style.


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