Sorry…It’s NOT Racist!

I totally missed this during the Super Bowl this past Sunday. I’m not sure if you heard about it or not, but I knew when I saw the picture of former Arizona Gubernatorial candidate, Kari Lake sitting during the song “Lift Every Voice And Sing”, sometimes referred to as “The Black National Anthem”, I had to comment on it. And no…I’m not racist. I’m an American. There is a difference.

Kari Lake chose to stay seated during the inclusion of the song which came before America The Beautiful, and one of the neatest renditions of THE National Anthem, I’ve ever heard from country music star, Chris Stapleton. I will say that I held my nose in November when I voted for Lake for Governor over eventual winner, Katie Hobbs. Like the guy that endorsed her, I appreciated her stances on a lot of the issues. What I didn’t like was the lack of experience, lack of knowledge of how the political game works, and the lack of what I would call “character”. Sorry, but you don’t fight the outcome saying, “Those bastards are evil and this bitch is going to fight them”.

But I will commend Lake for this reason. At this point in our country’s history, we are ONE national under God. Not two. We have ONE National Anthem, not two. I get it that blacks may feel they are owed something, and that life is unfair because 160 years ago some of their forefathers were slaves. That was terrible and wrong. No person ever has the right to “own” another person. But that has nothing to do with whites and blacks today. Personally, I feel what happened back then was reprehensible. But it had nothing to do with me. In fact, as some folks in my family have done my family tree going back quite a ways, we weren’t even here in the 1860’s. So, sorry, not guilty on this one, and don’t try to make me feel bad for it.

I was never in favor of Colin Kaepernick’s stunt when he decided to protest the way blacks were being treated by kneeling during the National Anthem. I’m not in favor of two National Anthems, and I wouldn’t have stood for this one either. If the NFL wants to do a song prior to the National Anthem and have someone sing this, I don’t have a problem with that, but certainly don’t introduce it as a “Black National Anthem” (they didn’t), and don’t ask people to stand. I’m not going to stand for it anymore than I’m going to kneel for the real National Anthem. And if you believe that makes me a racist, I’d basically be fine with that. You choose what you need to do in life, as long as you’re not breaking the law, and I’ll choose what I need to do. I never once gave you permission to put a label on me, just as I’ve never put a label on you.

This country is divided in so many ways right now that for one group to try and divide us even further is dead wrong. It flies against everything our Founding Fathers fought for. And yes, they were white men. I don’t apologize for that one either because if they hadn’t done what they did back in the 1770’s, you wouldn’t be able to call people racist, or think you’ve written a second National Anthem. Those “white supremacists” did a pretty damn good job of putting a country together, and frankly, I think it’s racist to call them anything but American heroes.

I usually don’t get involved in race here for one very simple reason. It doesn’t matter. I don’t care where you come from, so long as you got here legally, I don’t care what color your skin is, I don’t care if you’re male or female (and those are the only two genders…sorry Millenniums!), I don’t care if you’re rich or poor, and I don’t care if you’re smart or dumb. It doesn’t matter to me. And frankly, I don’t think it should matter to you what I am. We both are, and that’s enough. Learn to live with it and deal with it. I’m not going to sit here and tell you, “Oh, but I’ve got black friends”, and that makes what I’m saying right. No, what makes what I’m saying right is the fact that we are PEOPLE. And as long as I give the proper respect to you initially, and let you earn the respect I give you from that point on, it should be fine.

By the way…it’s not “racist” when three black police officers beat up a black man. It can’t be racist if they are all of the same race. How about three black police officers doing their job and going too far against someone that was resisting arrest? I’m not saying the three shouldn’t be charged in the guy’s death. I’m saying don’t call everything that happens in this life racist, just because you don’t agree with it. It’s not.

And it’s not racist for Kari Lake to choose not to stand to a song that a group of people hold dear. I think it’s fine if blacks hold that song as special. There’s nothing wrong with that. But don’t expect the entire country to rise and give it the credence we give The Star Spangled Banner, just because you feel put upon. Life doesn’t work that way, and the sooner you learn it, the better off we all will be.

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Lake Loses Bid, Vows Appeal

Before we get going with today’s blog, as you can see with the HUGE banner above, you can now LISTEN to The Lone Cactus as a podcast on Amazon Music. Just go to, and search for The Lone Cactus Podcast. You’ll see all of my blogs as podcasts if that’s how you choose to enjoy! OK, commercial is over!

I’m not sure if you’ve been following Kari Lake’s saga in her bid to become Governor of the state of Arizona. But if you haven’t, let me enlighten you. Kari Lake was a former newscaster for over 25 years on the Fox affiliate (channel 10) here in the Phoenix area. Now, being on Phoenix TV means you basically reach all of Arizona. There are only three cities of any size in this state. There is Phoenix, where about 60% of the population resides in Maricopa County, then you’ve got Tuscon to the south, and Flagstaff to the north. Tuscon has about a half million people. Flagstaff has 76,000. The drop-off after those two is severe.

Lake mentioned during her actual campaign that if she lost it would be due to ballot fraud. She wasn’t going to accept losing at any cost, regardless of how one-sided it was. It turned out, it wasn’t one-sided. She lost by a very close margin after all of the polls had her leading by three or four points, but usually within the margin of error. She immediately cried “FOUL”, saying that in Maricopa County, there were printer problems with the ballots and that a large number of the ballots weren’t counted as they should have been because someone messed with the printer settings. That meant that the scanner that actually tabulated the ballots couldn’t read the ballots and they were kicked out.

So, after losing to Katie Hobbs, who by the way, was the Secretary of State, and in charge of the election, Lake had several Republicans not certify the election. It wasn’t until a court ordered the election certified that it was done. At that point, Lake filed a lawsuit claiming ballot fraud.

She lost that lawsuit this past Saturday, when Maricopa County Superior Court Judge, Peter Thompson, a Jan Brewer appointee (former Republican Governor), ruled in favor of Hobbs, stating that Lake’s attorneys had failed to offer any legitimate proof that the ballots were tampered with in any way. Lake tweeted out Saturday morning after the ruling, “My Election Case provided the world with evidence that proves our elections are run outside of the law. This Judge did not rule in our favor. However, for the sake of restoring faith and honesty in our elections, I will appeal his ruling.”

Now, Lake has vowed to take it all the way to the United States Supreme Court. But she’d better hurry. Hobbs gets sworn in as Governor on January 2nd. I doubt the Supreme Court is going to hear anything between now and then. In fact, I think it’s a very long shot that they hear anything period. My guess is, they are going to reject the hearing altogether.

OK, that’s the backstory. Kari Lake has pulled a page right out of Donald Trump’s playbook. She let it be known very early on that she wasn’t going to accept defeat in the election, regardless. And she hasn’t. I think all of this positioning has actually done to her what it’s done to Trump, which is, it hurt her moving forward. It’s one thing if you lose a close election, and want to file a lawsuit to make sure it was legit. I get that. And she had some reason to believe that there was some shenanigans going on, especially with her opponent being the Secretary of State that basically ran the elections. But when you start off during the campaign saying it’s fraud if you lose, that doesn’t bode well. And when you refuse to accept defeat, even after the lawsuit, proclaimed dead by a judge from your own party, because your attorneys didn’t show any proof? Well, that hurts you in the long run. You become a sore loser.

Let’s look at the growing list of sore losers that refused to accept defeat. Go back to 2000. I know Al Gore eventually conceded the presidential election to George W. Bush, but he wasn’t gracious about it. And he hasn’t been elected to anything since (not that he’s tried!). Look at Georgia gubernatorial candidate, Stacey Abrams. She refused to accept the 2016 election results in that race. Then she race again in 2020, and lost by an even larger margin. Donald Trump continues to this day to deny he lost the election in 2020 to Joe Biden and has stated more than once that he should be installed as president, or at the very least there should be a “do-over” election. Now, he’s declared for the 2024 presidential race, and there are more people that are backing Ron DeSantis for the nomination than Trump. Kari Lake is going to face the exact same results.

She has been mentioned as someone that would take on either Kyrsten Sinema in 2024, or Mark Kelly in 2026 for their US Senate seat. I can’t see her winning the nomination, much less the general election. She needs to take Newsmax up on their job offer, and quietly slink off to Boca Raton, Florida and become an anchor there. It’s the best thing for her, and it’s the best thing for Arizona.

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Is Kari Lake OK?

I supported Kari Lake in her run for Arizona Governor. Not because Donald Trump endorsed her. That had nothing to do with it. And not because I thought she was the better qualified candidate for the job. She wasn’t. Katie Hobbs, who so far, has won the race and will take over the seat on Sunday, January 2nd, was much more qualified. She was after all, the Secretary of State. Now, I’m not saying she was great in that job, or that she’ll be a good Governor. Only time will tell. But on the surface, she has more political experience than Lake, who was a newscaster for the Fox affiliate out here for like 25 years.

But I’m beginning to wonder if Kari Lake is OK.

Lake was speaking at Mar-a-Lago last Thursday night at a Trump function. Here’s what she had to say: “To watch these evil bastards…to watch them steal this in broad daylight, and if they think they are going to get away with it, they messed with the wrong bitch.”


I mean, I get it that she’s upset that she was leading in the polls right up to election day. It was within the margin of error on most polls, but she was indeed leading. And since the election, she has come out and said numerous times that the election was stolen from her. She recently got a limited win, when a judge said that her team could look at 50 ballots that she said spoiled and not counted. They’ll get a look at a random 50 ballots, and have a chance to see another 50 ballots from six separate Maricopa County polling places.

Lake has maintained from the get-go that there were printer and tabulation issues in 70 of the county’s 223 polling places. She claimed that there were tabulator breakdowns at 59% of the voting places on election day. And that when all is said and done, she is the rightful Governor of the State of Arizona.

The election, however has been court ordered to be verified, and it was. Governor Doug Ducey, and Secretary of State, Katie Hobbs (yes, the same person that’s going to be sworn in as the new Governor) both certified the results as a result of that court order.

Now, that’s the backstory. I understand that when you’re in a close election, and you lose, you have a tendency to want to believe the election was stolen from you. And I’m not saying it wasn’t. I’m saying you have to let this stuff play out. And it is playing out, but Arizona isn’t Florida. It’s more like California in that it takes forever around here to get election results tabulated. Don’t forget, they just finished the Maricopa Country recount of thousands of ballots this year from the 2020 presidential race. Donald Trump had claimed that Maricopa County had problems and that HIS race was stolen from him. Well, the Republican officials that performed the audit at the State Fairgrounds (taking over the arena where they hold the concerts), showed that Joe Biden did indeed beat Trump, and actually beat him by a wider margin than originally thought.

I am interested to see how this plays out. Democrats did exceptionally well in most of the down-ballot races here in November. They took most of the state-wide offices, leaving I think Kimberly Yee who won reelection, was the only state office holder to win from the Republican side. Maybe they also got the Superintendent of Schools, I’m not quite sure I remember that one!

But it’s troubling to hear Kari Lake talk like that. I know she’s upset…but that’s not the type of person I want to run our state. I think she would be tougher on the border issue than Hobbs, and I think she probably would have problems working across the aisle with the Dems in the State House. But I’m really perplexed that she’d take the rather radical stance that she’s taking. Now, I may very well get proven wrong. If those ballots show irregularities, hey, I’m all for an all-out recount looking for hanging chads and the like (we don’t do that here…we fill in boxes with Sharpies). But it seemed to me Lake was very early to call this a fraudulent election. She did it during the campaign. It was almost like she knew if she lost she was going to cry foul. In elections, you have winners and you have losers. And in a lot of cases, especially in purple states like AZ, they are close. At some point, you have to pull up the big-boy pants and admit defeat.

I’ll wait for the results of these ballot checks…but I hope Lake does it with class, not like Trump did. We don’t need another Donald Trump (one is too many at times!)

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Can We Do Something About Misleading Campaign Ads?

They are all over the place. If you happen to live in a state where you don’t have a Senate candidate running for reelection, get down on your knees and thank God Almighty that you are spared the nonsense that some of us have to go through. And the problem is, at the present time, there is nothing we can do about it.

I’m talking about the lies and distortion of political advertising.

I’ll give you several examples about what I see here in the desert where we have a close race between incumbent Mark Kelly (D), and newcomer Blake Masters (R).

Kelly has come out and said that Masters wants to do away with Social Security and Medicare. That’s not true at all. What Masters has said is that it may be time to actually privatize Social Security. And he’s right. The left is making this sound like it’s some big deal, when every person working today (unless you’re extremely lucky to still be getting a pension when you retire) is invested privately in the stock market through your 401k. And the GOP wishes to privatize Social Security doesn’t have a thing to do with anyone currently on it. It’s a lie that Kelly loves to tell.

You’re hearing a ton of ads (mostly through PAC’s) that Republicans want to ban all abortions. That’s nowhere near the truth. Republicans have offered a few alternatives to a complete ban, such as Mitch McConnell’s 15 week limit for abortions, but it’s a states’ rights issue, not the federal government. I know it pisses off the left to hear that each state has the right to decide the future for themselves, but that’s the Constitution. The Supreme Court ruled correctly on this one.

And we get the over-blown resume-padding from incumbents that say they’ve done much more than they’ve actually done. Kelly has ads saying that “He passed a bill to improve Arizona’s infrastructure.” No…HE didn’t pass it. His party passed it. It’s not like he was sitting in the Oval Office, pen in hand ready to sign the bill when it arrived. He was told by Chuckles Schumer to vote yea on it, and he did. That’s not him “passing” anything. And he’s said this on a lot of different accounts.

Then there is the name calling. Here in Arizona, we’re in the midst of not only a Senate race, but also for the Governor’s mansion. Kari Lake (R), a former newscaster for 27 years is running against Katie Hobbs (D) the current Secretary of State. Lake has been leading by 3 points for quite some time now. It hasn’t changed. But leave it to the PAC’s to call her names like “Kari Fake” and say that she’s doing all sorts of nasty stuff. We really don’t hear much about this on the other side, though it does exist.

I’m just getting sick and tired of the lies and half-truths that are being told in political advertising. The sad thing is there isn’t anything you can do. Radio and TV stations are obliged to run the commercials they are given, regardless if they are true or not. And they can’t edit or change them in any way. When I was working in Ohio back in 1984, there was a guy running for President in the Ohio primaries that used the word “BS” (but said the actual word) in his campaign commercials. We couldn’t do a damn thing! We had to air it as we got it. So, if these politicians want to lie or twist the truth or mislabel something, they can do it without fear of retribution.

That needs to change. It would be nice to get back to the point where these ads actually told me WHY I should vote for a candidate, not how the other person should be in prison!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Here’s What America Thinks Midterms Are About…

I’ve spouted off pretty regularly now about how the GOP isn’t getting their message across, and how the Dems are trying to make this about abortion and taking away Social Security. Well, that’s nice that the parties are trying to define the election, but in essence, that’s not what matters. It matters what the PEOPLE think the midterms are all about. And it’s a pretty interesting comment.

It’s a referendum on Joe Biden.

At least that’s what 46% of the respondents to a survey taken by Rasmussen say. 40% say it’s about candidates and local issues, and 14% aren’t sure (still on summer break?).

A solid 50% of the 1,000 people surveyed said that if the Republicans win the House or Senate, that Joe Biden should temper his politics and become much more moderate.

So, what does that all mean? If a plurality of voters think that it’s all about Biden this time around, this should be a massive red wave, even with the meager Biden wins that he’s had in the last few weeks. And it raises a very interesting point. One of the major comments I keep getting from people is that Democrats don’t want to debate. We’re seeing it here in AZ, and you see it with the Fetterman/Oz battle in PA. It’s happening in a lot of other places as well.

When one side doesn’t want to debate it’s usually a sign that they are so far ahead in the polls that they can’t possibly do anything but fall if they debate. Usually it’s only the people trailing in the polls that want to debate because they feel they have something that will damage the leader. But in this case, it’s entirely different. The Democrats know they are going to have to distance themselves from Biden, and defend him because he’s in their party. That isn’t sitting well. So, they decide that they just don’t want to go through the hassle of prepping for a debate.

However, there are exceptions to that rule, and I can point to Fetterman/Oz, and here in AZ, the Governor’s race between Kari Lake and Katie Hobbs as an example. In both situations, the Republican candidates are extremely well versed in television. Oz had the “Dr. Oz” show on TV for years, and Kari Lake was one of Arizona’s most prominent newscasters for decades. Fetterman, having just suffered a stroke earlier this year is having problems speaking (Sorry John, I’m not making fun of you, I’m just stating a fact), and Hobbs is a career politician, not someone well-versed in television.

While Hobbs hasn’t chosen to debate Lake at all, Mark Kelly, himself on the hook for several lies in his political ads, has agreed to debate Blake Masters for the US Senate seat. But that’s simply because the race has tightened immensely in the past two weeks. Kelly had a 15 point lead a couple of weeks ago. Today it’s down to four. And Masters hadn’t run many ads throughout the summer months, but he’s starting to buy up TV time left and right, even though Kelly is outspending him 10-1.

The real focus on the midterms seems to be Joe Biden. If that’s the case, screaming that MAGA Republicans are a disaster for the democracy isn’t going to bode well for the Dems, even though there are several in Congress that echo Biden’s sentiments.

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!