Friday, December 31, 2010

Over 100? Shut up

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This is what passes for informed television and print journalism today. Is it even calculable to determine how many people saw this on MSNBC and agreed? Or how many took away from it the belief that our Founding Document is expired?

A twenty-something egghead gets on television these days and expresses as journalistic and academic doctrine the notion long harbored by our youth - myself included - privately for centuries; that "old people" don't have a clue. It was a conviction I held as sacred until I became older and wiser, and I'm sure all of us have learned the very same lesson. Well, at least those of us who have actually "grown up". We were young, and we were wrong.

Once there was a time when it was possible to avoid the trash of television without switching the damned thing off entirely. Watching the news or information-only channels - and avoiding the idiotic "sitcoms" - was safe ground. Then the commercials started to creep in. You know, the ones that increasingly depicted the parents as morons while the adolescent ran the spot. It was subtle, it was subliminal, and it was effective. It became accepted that the young had the answers in this new age, and the elderly - anyone over 40 apparently - were behind the curve.

Now the game has expanded. No longer is it about setting the clock on the VCR, or getting new "apps" on the Droid. Now it's about what makes this nation function, and suddenly Ezra Klein is the voice of the New World. To kids like him, "thou shalt" is a foreign language, and has "no binding power on anything". And I'm sure that those "F"-looking S's in the original draft of The Constitution have poor Ezra all "verklempt".

That is strange, since I'm willing to bet that at least once in his relatively new existence on Planet Earth, he has forwarded - via electronic mail - the Cambridge University study which has the letters all jumbled. Heck, even geezers like me are familiar with it.

This study found that the human mind is an incredible processor of garbled information. "According to research at Cambridge University, it doesn't matter in what order the letters in a word are, the only important thing is that the first and last letter be in the right place." As in:

Reading test: the paomnnehal pweor of the hmuan mnid.
So what does young Ezra find so confusing in The Constitution? Could it be the rules themselves? Perhaps people like Ezra - both young, impressionable, and tools of older enemies of freedom - are simply being manipulated by the "education" they have received at the hands of like-minded adults. One such educator - in the incarnation of William Ayers, and now a member of AARP - once advised his then-contemporaries to "kill your parents".

There can be no doubt that there is a segment of our society that has long held a deep loathing for our Founders, and an even deeper aversion to authority. Now, people like Ezra Klein exemplify the culmination of decades worth of the "education" that has been inflicted on our youth. This new generation is no longer content to merely parse the language and meaning of the Constitution. The bold, new tactic is to utterly declare it moot.

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Monday, December 27, 2010

The Faith of Gore's Apocalypse

What Does "Global Warming" Mean?
Initially, it was all about the science. We were told that the leading scientists from around the globe were in total agreement that Man was destroying the planet. We were admonished that to deny it was pointless and foolish, and that further debate was unnecessary because, as they said, the "science is settled".

When some started to doubt them, they were cast as heretics and dangerous lunatics. Some of the disciples even went so far as to try to have the doubters treated as criminals. The strange paradox that resulted was that Science became the arch enemy of Faith, or vice versa, and became the glove that fit my affinity for the ironic perfectly.

While I rarely rely on Wiki-anything for information, a simple definition of the term "science" seems like a harmless diversion. "Science (from the Latin scientia, meaning "knowledge") is an enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the natural world. An older meaning still in use today is that of Aristotle, for whom scientific knowledge was a body of reliable knowledge that can be logically and rationally explained."

In other words, science is rigid, and must follow rules that are either so, or not so. If X=Y and Y=Z, then X must equal Z. There is no room for ambiguity. Faith, on the other hand, is exactly that; a belief in something that cannot be either proved or disproved. You either believe, or you do not.

Whenever some horrendous event occurs and innocent people die, atheists always ask, "If there was a God, how could He let this happen?" The faithful try to explain that God gave Man free will, and they will be judged at the End, not as a running commentary.  That's when the atheist usually snorts and dismisses the explanation as rubbish, and touts science as a pure and provable way of life.

The irony lies in the fact that now, these same stuffy people are trying to say that sometimes X doesn't equal Z because Y is sometimes moody. This is precisely why the global warming alarmists changed shirts, and are now known as "climate change" alarmists, although they loath the term "alarmist". They claim that they are just trying to prevent us fools from destroying ourselves.

Quite naturally, with the extreme cold currently ravaging most of the Northern Hemisphere, and snowstorms raging out of control, people who doubt the theory of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) are now even more skeptical. We were told that the planet was heating up. How could we huddling for warmth, then?

From a wonderful article in Investors Business Daily:

  Based on global warming theory — and according to official weather forecasts made earlier in the year — this winter should be warm and dry. It's anything but. Ice and snow cover vast parts of both Europe and North America, in one of the coldest Decembers in history.
A cautionary tale? You bet. Prognosticators who wrote the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, global warming report in 2007 predicted an inevitable, century-long rise in global temperatures of two degrees or more. Only higher temperatures were foreseen. Moderate or even lower temperatures, as we're experiencing now, weren't even listed as a possibility. 

 But the New York Times' Judah Cohen insists on carrying the water of the alarmist crowd, telling us that this cold and snowy winter weather warming! Writing on the Times' Opinion pages on Christmas Day, Cohen offers this gem:
That is why the Eastern United States, Northern Europe and East Asia have experienced extraordinarily snowy and cold winters since the turn of this century. Most forecasts have failed to predict these colder winters, however, because the primary drivers in their models are the oceans, which have been warming even as winters have grown chillier. They have ignored the snow in Siberia.
Last week, the British government asked its chief science adviser for an explanation. My advice to him is to look to the east.
It’s all a snow job by nature. The reality is, we’re freezing not in spite of climate change but because of it.
Got that? We don't have to worry about frying to death because of global warming. We have to cool the Earth in order to stay warm. Further, as the Cancun Summit recently reinforced, the only way to accomplish this is for "wealthy" countries - like the United States -  to begin transferring $100 billion per year to developing countries. Ask any "climate change" expert how this could possibly be, and they are now likely to tell you that "you've gotta have faith".

My, how times have changed. Brr.

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Wishing You All a Very, Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to All My Readers

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Spammer in Chief

Baghdad Bob may as well be POTUS
I have been inundated lately with emails from "President Obama", and despite my efforts to block them, they just keep on coming. One, sent from a surrogate but signed "Barack", prompted me to respond in my best, respectful rebuttal possible, and even asked to be removed from the mailing list, stating in no uncertain terms my political proclivities.

When that attempt failed, I marked subsequent electronic correspondence as "spam". Still they get through. So I decided that perhaps public ridicule might ultimately put an end to any further attempts to propagandize me.

So I will now post the latest email in original form, italicized, with my running rebuttal in normal font. It will either free me from further annoyances at the hands of the White House, or will get me on a no-fly list. (And, of course, allow me to counter the ridiculous claims of "progress" as running commentary).
Friend --
This time of year, Americans around the country are taking the time to exchange heartfelt messages with friends and loved ones, reflecting on the past year. They write of achievements and setbacks, of births, graduations, promotions, and moves.
These messages allow us to overcome the miles that separate us. And they allow us to continue one of the most basic American traditions that has held folks close for centuries -- the simple sharing of stories.
And as families gather around holiday tables this season, we also have the opportunity to share the stories of the change this movement has achieved together.
It is a narrative woven by individuals across America -- in big cities and small towns, hospitals and classrooms, in auto manufacturing plants and auto supply stores.
OK, you had me going there for a second. Like a Louis Farrakhan sermon, you opened with a fine message, but equally rivaling Louie, it quickly went down hill. Um, Mr. President? As families gather around holiday tables this season, there will certainly be shared stories of your handiwork, of that I have no doubt. As a general rule, though, "achievement" is usually associated with the positive. In your case, that is not so.
These are stories of rebuilding, and of innovation. Stories of communities breathing new life into old roads and bridges, of local plants harnessing alternative fuel into new energy. Stories of small businesses getting up, dusting themselves off, and beginning to grow again. Stories of soldiers who served multiple tours of duty in Iraq now coming home -- and enjoying the holidays this year in the company of loved ones.
These are stories of progress.
They unite us, and they are ours to share.

I have no idea of what is being rebuilt, but if you mean our great nation is being "reconstructed", on that point we can agree. As for innovation, Mr. President? Innovation is discouraged by your regime, strangled in the cradle by burdensome regulations and suffocating scrutiny. And please give one example of a small business, any small business, dusting themselves off and growing. 

Regarding the returning soldiers enjoying being home for the holidays, I will have to take your word on that, as your New World media only sees fit to report when an American soldier "abuses" an enemy warrior. Feel-good reporting is a thing of the past where our military is concerned.

The reforms that we fought long and hard for are not talking points.
And their effects don't change based on the whims of politicians in Washington. They are achievements that have a real and meaningful impact on the lives of Americans around the country. They are achievements that would not have been possible without you. PROGRESS localizes them -- and brings them to life.  
Again, Sir, I cannot make it any clearer that I am not a supporter, nor did I fight for any of your reforms. I fought against them, only to be ignored. The vast majority of the electorate has likewise been ignored as your agenda has rolled inexorably forward much akin to a Tienanmen Square tank, slowed only by the Tea Party movement. That movement, I might add, was at the root of your opposition and not the "whims of politicians in Washington". Some of them still do listen to the People.
It tells of how a green technology business in Phoenix, Arizona, is using a grant through the Recovery Act's Transportation Electrification program to bring the first electric-drive vehicles and charging stations to cities around the country.

Mr. President, precisely what is it that you think generates electricity? Do really purport to claim that these electric vehicles, dependent on traditional fuel sources to provide their charges, will be better for the planet? And are you really still attaching your agenda to the crumbling global warming bandwagon? Please, strike me from your mailing list, OK?
It tells how, thanks to closing the "donut hole" in prescription drug coverage, a diabetic woman in Burlington, Vermont will no longer have to choose between purchasing her monthly groceries or the insulin she needs to survive.
 That's actually a pretty good one. It leaves me wondering if her nutritional choices would lead to an exclusion in the new Obama Care plan, where Michelle may deem her unfit for benefits due to poor diet.
It tells about how 136,000 Pennsylvania residents' jobs were saved or created by the Recovery Act.
How what? Wait a minute! What the hell does that even mean?  I tried to ignore the earlier reference to the Recovery Act, but no, you couldn't let it go. OK. What did the Recovery Act actually do, Mr. President? What was "recovered"? Certainly, no argument can be made that our anemic economy has recovered. No proof can be offered that a single job has been saved. And to have the temerity to use the word "created"? Really?!?

And about how, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, 22,900 small businesses in Utah's 2nd Congressional District are now eligible for health care tax credits -- and how 17,500 residents in Idaho's 1st with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied coverage.
There are thousands more stories like these.
In the coming days, as we gather with our loved ones at dinner tables around the nation, let's pass them on. Let's celebrate the spirit of service and responsibility that brought them to fruition. And let's steady ourselves with the resolve to continue pressing forward.
With one last breath - or stroke on my keyboard, as the case may be - I beseech thee to cease and desist from these insidious emails. I can say with great conviction that this holiday season, as my family gathers at the dinner table, we will be passing on little more than meat and vegetables. (Please put in a good word with Michelle, won't you?)

Our conversation, however, will center more on grabbing the line, digging in our heels, and resisting your pressing "forward", by pulling with all of our might until more can arrive to grab the line and help not only slow your "forward progress", but to ultimately reverse its course.

Of special note, this odd disclaimer was at the bottom of each intrusion:

Paid for and authorized by the Democratic National Committee,
This communication is not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

Democratic National Committee, 430 S. Capitol St. SE, Washington, DC 20003

Contributions or gifts to the Democratic National Committee are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.

"Paid for and authorized..." , how much did our government spend on free email???


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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Homogeneous Tea Party? Never!

March of the Plain Soldiers
This is for anyone who has recently been referred to as a "domestic threat" or a hate-mongering, right wing extremist. I feel your pain, brothers and sisters, but have no fear, there is a new Sheriff of Mediocrity poised to seize the brass ring of blandness with a level of excitement not witnessed since Pat Paulsen ran for President of the United States.

They are the group "No Labels", a consortium of like-minded individuals passionately committed to accept without question virtually anything the government wishes to inflict upon them. Their slogan is "No Left, No Right, Forward", and their doctrine is to firmly refuse to take a stand on any issue. Other than labels, of course. Labels are bad.

A simple Google search for this raucous new venture will reward the viewer with all the thrills of an Amish barn-raising and inspire chills to rival a summer in the Sahara. Or perhaps a more accurate assessment would be the comparison to trying to choose the right medication from the medicine cabinet after all of the labels have been removed from the bottles. Maybe the more adventurous would prefer the analogy of a plethora of cleaning products similarly unidentified. "Will I or won't I explode?" Brr.

After a year of terrifying displays at a multitude of Tea Party events in the past year, now we have the specter of No Labels looming on the horizon. Imagine wandering harmlessly into a gathering of several dozen people, unwittingly, and discovering too late that they are No Labellers? What a horror as they approach in a small group, muttering inaudibly and inanimately that they plan on taking no actions when they reach you? Please, try not to have nightmares because of this scenario.

OK, enough with the frivolity. While it is great fun to ridicule the "moderates", I do not believe that this gang will maintain such a philosophy for long. In fact, I doubt that they are moderates at all, but are merely masquerading as such as a means to diminish the mood of a large majority of Americans who genuinely are upset over what our government has been up to lately. In other words, No Labels is a poser group.

Their primary goal will be revealed in short time as nothing more than an attempt to counter the Tea Party movement, perhaps the most successful grass roots effort this country has ever seen. The efforts by every entity - from the alleged mainstream media to the Department of Homeland Security - to marginalize the Tea Party have failed, as they were all based on lies. So now this new campaign has materialized.

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, as the old saying goes. Or, in this case, pretend to be less vitriolic and more reasonable. But one can't possibly be reasonable with those who refuse to listen to reason. True moderates' only conviction is that they have none. These Label folks have some, or they would never have been able to organize anything. Interesting, then, that they want us to go along to get along; to move Forward.

Where is "forward" is the question most on my mind these days, however. Where is that place we are being asked to follow them into, and what happens when we get there? Exploration is for science, not for societies. Therefore, I don't want to stand by and wait to see what happens when we explore fiscal and judicial experiments. Besides, history teaches that tinkering with the successful formula eventually destroys it.

The Tea Party embraces the principles of our success as a nation. Opponents mockingly ask what would have happened if we had resisted the efforts of Christopher Columbus or any similar brave pioneers who have allowed for the advancement of humanity. (Oddly, these same Liberals denounce the Space Program as a waste of money, despite the enormous medical and technological benefits over the past half century as a result).

Regardless of the argument, I still maintain that we are better served as a people when we calmly and respectfully resist the radical transformation of our greatness through firm and active participation despite the ridicule heaped upon us. It is better than succumbing to the whims of the elite "intellectuals", as the Stepford Wives approach endorsed by No Labels would have us believe.

I refuse to be homogenized. How about you? Got milk?

(Special hat tip to Sleeping Giant)

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Spendaholics: Why the Tax Cut Compromise Was Necessary

The Triad of Redistribution
In 2009, the 111th United States Congress passed H.R. 1105, otherwise known as the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009, and it was considered a massive expansion of government spending at a time when the deficits were mounting rapidly. At $410 billion, it contained $8 billion in pork.

It was one year ago, December of 2009. It was also long before the government heard the loud shouts of "STOP!" from the electorate in the form of voting this past November. No matter, the lame-duck session of Congress - a collection of soon-to-be-unemployed politicians - have decided to have one last laugh on the American people.

Not only did the mobility-impaired water fowl ignore the people this year, they have upped the ante, significantly. This December - today, in fact - the Congressional leadership dumped upon its membership a nearly 2,000-page bill calling for a new omnibus spending package of $1.1 trillion. Yes, trillion, with a "T". At 1,924 pages, the spending proposal amounts to nearly $572 million per page. While that may stun some people, there is more. Much more.

The Republican side of the aisle, according to Minority leader Mitch McConnell, knew nothing about this bill until it was plopped before them. Even more stunning is that the disabled drakes want an immediate vote.

Here's why this is so important, as if there were a need for further explanation. While the outrage of such reckless fiscal policy would normally be sufficient on its own, my reasoning for the title should serve to allay the ire of those who stamped their feet at the so-called "Bush tax cut compromise".

If nothing is done, and the taxes are raised again by this administration and current Congress, it is estimated that an additional $200 billion - seized from the people - will flood the coffers of the federal government, and mushroom to $3.8 trillion over the next ten years. Given what we already have learned of the gluttony of our "public servants", it is unreasonable to expect that increasing the taxes of the American people will ever be applied to reducing the deficit, which is the only reason the people would have for accepting such an injustice.

No, nothing would be gained by these tax hikes other than the further subjugation of even more of the populace and, as a result, increased dependence, which is exactly what the Left wants. Just like the pusher, Liberal politicians know full well that without a dependent constituency, power will be lost. Can't have that, can we?

Even if the omnibus spending bill is not directly related to the tax compromise, it is most assuredly indicative of why a deal was so crucial. Give a little or lose a lot. If you're a young reader, and time still passes slowly for you, I say try to hold on while this plays out until 2012. If you're my age, you already know that two years is but the blink of an eye, and we can weather this storm while holding our breath.

The key is that we can prevent an enormous influx of cash for the Democrats, who would have burned through it faster than General Grant took Richmond. In any event, I maintain that the Republicans still have a grasp on what they're doing. We have mere weeks until we can prevent Obama from further running up the credit card. Hold on.

Have faith.

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Fair Share of Taxes

Equal is Equal, Period
The disgusting class warfare that continues to rage in this country - waged by Democrats, and applauded by Liberals - is based upon a lie that should be self-evident to even the most politically unaware of our citizens. Yet all it takes is to read the comments after any article dealing with taxation in America, and it is clear that too many people want to be subsidized by those whom they envy and despise, simply because they themselves have not achieved the same level of success.

We constantly hear the cries of these people demanding that "the rich pay their fair share" of taxes. While that is an annoying and misguided complaint, it is more annoying that the plaintiffs engage in it without the slightest idea of why, other than that they have heard their politicians make the same argument.

Percentages do not lie, however, nor do they discriminate. Therefore, even if the burger-flipper pays the same percentage as the corporate CEO, the actual amount of the remittances is enormously disparate. For the sake of simplicity, we'll use a ten percent federal tax rate, where person A has an annual income of $100,000 and person B has an income of $1,000,000. Person A has a tax liability of $10,000, whereas person B has a tax liability equal to person A's entire income, or $100,000.

There is an incredible irony in our tax codes and the expectations of the alleged champions of the poor. While we are incessantly bombarded from the Left regarding "fairness for all", those same people somehow think that it is perfectly fair for person A to have a ten percent tax liability while saddling person B with a fifty percent burden. When depicted in simple language, the injustice is stark.

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont
For example, how is taking one tenth of one person's earnings and one half of another's considered "fair? Senator Bernie Sanders, the self-described Socialist from Vermont, thinks that person B "has enough". Envy, sinful though it may be, is still the prerogative of the individual. But when that individual has the power of confiscation of others' property, it is a dangerous emotion.

What if that individual, in this case Bernie Sanders, should decide that person A also has enough? Who is to say that the person earning half of person A - or $50,000 annually - won't demand some of what person A earns?

The arrogance of our elected officials, Sanders included, in claiming that the government can't afford to allow the people to keep what they earn is stunning and frightening. It has actually gotten to the point where the federal government believes that all money is theirs, and we get some only through the grace of their magnanimity. What is truly frightening in that mindset is the fact that the federal government is insatiable in its need for more and more money.

They show virtually no fiscal restraint, believing that theirs is an endless supply of constituents' cash. Sadly, we have allowed that seed to germinate through passivity, or worse, active participation by an equally envious portion of the population. Those who have succumbed to the seductive notion of a Nanny State, and become conditioned to accept reliance and dependence, have aided and abetted the theft of a nation.

Worse yet, the philosophy of confiscatory Socialism - here in America - has comfortably emerged unashamed from the shadows, parading around like a proud peacock courting a mate. Once there was a time when the proponents of such policy were careful in how they chose to present the ideas, delicately avoiding the overt endorsement of anything Socialist or Communist.

No longer can that be said. Today, we have Bernie Sanders, a member of the United States Senate, proudly wearing the badge of Socialist, and unabashedly expounding on what he considers to be the virtues of such a system. Generation Y, having been subjected to two decades of deprivation of proper education and a healthy dose of counter indoctrination, proudly and ignorantly wear Che Guevara tee shirts and listen to a White House member extol the merits of Mao Tse Tung.

Is it any wonder that the pitchfork-and-torch-bearing mobs rally for the heads of the successful?

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Very Basic Question

By the Grace of Government?
You work hard every day, trying your best to earn a living and provide for your family. 40, 50, or 60 hours of your labor went into earning your salary, and at the end you get two days of "rest", if you're lucky, and a paycheck. So whose money do you receive at the end of the week?

If you had to pause for even a second to think about that, please stop reading right now and join the Communist Party, for you have clearly surrendered more than your earnings. You've also turned your back on your heritage as an American. While most people realize that there is a cost for the seemingly seamless services that their tax dollars buy, the line has been crossed from fees for services to confiscation with a vague promise that - if you behave - those services may be provided with conditions.

The latest debate over whether to "extend the Bush tax cuts" in Washington has been framed in a way that should anger every American. Our politicians - our alleged "public servants" - are busy arguing over how much of our money we can have, but perhaps the most chilling philosophy of the Liberals on the Hill is the arrogant idea that they cannot afford to allow us to keep what we earn.

Do these members of the ruling elite truly think that the American people will tolerate being forced to work for a government allowance, much as we did as children who were cared for by our parents? It may be a bad analogy, since our parents were actually trying to teach our young minds the value of labor for wages. But now our own government wants to continue treating us as children long after the lessons of our parents have been well learned. Though we were at the mercy of what our parents considered a fair wage for the chores they chose for us, they did let us keep all that they paid us.

Another deceitful tactic of the Left in this battle is the mislabelling of the debate, calling the extensions of the Bush-era tax cuts...another tax cut. All an extension will really do is maintain the current tax rates, which have been in place for nearly a decade. So, to be acutely accurate, what the Democrats want to do is basically raise taxes - in the middle of a terrible economy and record unemployment - on the only taxpayers who have the ability to hire workers.

People like Nancy Pelosi don't agree that raising taxes on the employers will hurt the economy. To the contrary, she believes that raising taxes on those who offer jobs will benefit those who don't have one. If you don't see that this will only increase the number of people who don't have a job - and thereby necessitate higher taxes on the job creators - then there is no hope for you.

There can be no question, however, that what the Democrats have been attempting is nothing more than a tax hike in the middle of a recession, something that any economist worth his salt would excoriate as destructive.

Again, while most people realize that in order for a massive society like ours to function, taxation is an excepted way to pay for the services we enjoy. Where the lines of ideology diverge is when we are taxed at ever increasing levels, only to learn that our money is being squandered by a bureaucratic monolith, and spent on monuments to themselves, and silly studies to learn things that will ultimately benefit no one but the recipients of the grants.

The question, then is: whose money is it, anyway? While there is a concerted effort by Liberals to force us to feel ashamed for our so-called greed in wanting to keep what we have worked for, they are simultaneously attempting to use our religious beliefs as a club, reminding us that God would want us to be generous. How ironic that they do this while ripping our holiday symbols away as we carol and donate.

Here's an idea. This Christmas, all I want is to have my country back. I really don't think that is too much to ask, just as is the simple principle of deciding how best to spend and donate that which I have earned. (Here's the hidden answer. It will come in handy on the test. It's my money!)

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Monday, December 6, 2010

This is Our Identity

My greatest fortunes have been my upbringing in a relatively Conservative enclave in what is now surrounded by a sea of electoral blue, and the parents who raised me with common sense. It still took me twenty years to discover that I lived amongst the enemy.

That's right, I said it. If President Barack Hussein Obama can call true Americans "the enemy" on TeleMundo, I am perfectly comfortable in turning the tables, revealing the nefarious intent of those among whom I now reside. That residence may have been my genesis, but I did manage a brief escape in which I experienced life amidst real people and true Americans. I learned much, and discovered my values as a very young man.

Antithetical to my geographic proximity, I'd always harbored an affinity for classical music and, even more strangely, bluegrass. Being born and raised in New York, a mere sixty miles from Manhattan, one would naturally assume that I would absorb the mentality of the Lib City, but that never happened. Out here, we remained insulated from the insanity of our urban neighbors, and for that I shall be eternally grateful.

It didn't hurt, either, that shortly after graduating high school, I moved to Georgia for six years. Even though I was certainly no city boy, the move terrified me, coming on the heels of the movie Macon County Line. I was convinced that my cousin and I would get pulled over on I-95 and brutalized in a southern jail just for the crime of being "Yankees". That didn't happen, and I was more at home in the South than I was up North. And one of the best friends I had there was a bonafide country boy from way out in the woods.

What was funny about Steve at first was that he assumed I'd have one of those hard-core New York accents, which I never did, even as a child. I, on the other hand, automatically assumed that he would be knowledgeable about pickup trucks and shooting guns - which he was - but he was also a very intelligent man  and a deliberate thinker. The only cliché that could possibly be applied to Steve was the slowness of action renowned in the South.

I learned much more during my time in Georgia about the American fiber than I probably would have by remaining sequestered on Long Island, as many of my classmates and friends did. I have no doubt that I would have learned it eventually through age-acquired wisdom, but I benefited from Georgia - and Steve - at a very early age. The lessons stick with me to this day. It is probably one of the reasons I get so annoyed when limousine Liberals denigrate "fly-over" country as inhabited by stupid people. When the lights go out, we'll see who needs whom the most.

I have another cousin who grew up here in the Liberal bastion of the Empire State, and who permanently migrated to the deep South many years ago. He has been a birdie in my ear for a few years, warning of the imminent collapse of our society and the resultant exodus of starving, helpless Liberals streaming out of the big cities - like so many mindless, voracious zombies - in search of sustenance.

It is a shame that the people of this country have allowed themselves to become so segregated by their government that they may eventually end up killing one another over something that was once taken for granted; food. It must also be noted that food is still plentiful in this country, so long as one knows how to hunt it and prepare it for consumption. The tragedy lies in the fact that nearly half of our population - perhaps more - have lost that basic skill through the soothing reassurances that government would always provide.

And so I return to my point about bluegrass music. Inner city denizens may roll their eyes and giggle at the very mention of it, but the music is a wonderful celebration of our original frontier spirit. The lyrics are pure inspiration, and the melodies are a delight even when no vocals are necessary. Choctaw Hayride is a prime example. If you can sit perfectly still while listening, please let me know. Enjoy.

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Monday, November 29, 2010

The Curious Case of Brian Aitken

Brian Aitken of New Jersey
Proving that justice is not only blind, but sometimes quite dumb - and I don't mean mute - the strange and tragic story of the plight of Brian Aitken is the epitome of the insanity going on in America.

Brian Aitken is a young man of 27 who moved to Colorado from New Jersey, where he was born and raised,  several years ago. There, he met a woman who was also from New Jersey, and the two married. Shortly thereafter, the couple had a son, but the pair broke up when the boy was just an infant, and mother and son moved back to New Jersey.

Wishing to be close to his son, Aitken later decided to move back as well, and began making the preparations. Those preparations included learning how to legally transport the three handguns he purchased in Colorado back to New Jersey, a state with very strict gun laws. Starting in late 2008, Aitken made the first trip back home to New Jersey, the first of several to bring his possessions to his parents' home in Burlington County, until he could find his own apartment.

In December of 2008, Aitken and his friend Michael Torries - who had found an apartment together in Hoboken, NJ - made the final trip out to Colorado to retrieve the last of Aitken's belongings, including the guns. Before they left, Aitken researched and printed out New Jersey and federal gun laws to ensure that he didn't break any laws regarding transporting firearms across state lines. He also called the New Jersey State Police prior to leaving Colorado seeking their advice on how best to proceed. He wanted to make sure he didn't run afoul of the law. He followed all directions to the letter. It didn't help.

Brian Aitken and Son
In January of 2009, Aitken drove to his parents' house to get the rest of his belongings. He had been having difficulties with his ex-wife, who was refusing to let him see his son. He was obviously stressed about it, and his mother, Sue, noticed. A woman who works with children who have mental health problems, Sue Aitken has been trained to call police when someone appears distraught and may pose a threat to themselves, so when her son left, that's what she did.

Concerned about her son after he left, Sue Aitken called 911, but thought better of it and hung up. Too late, the police were at her home a short time later. Sue told the police of her concerns, and the police called Brian, who was driving to his apartment in Hoboken with his possessions in his car. The police told him to return to his mother's home, which he did, willingly complying once again with the instructions of law enforcement.

When he arrived, police determined that Brian was not a threat to himself or anyone else, but searched his car anyway. They found his guns, which were locked, unloaded, and stowed in the trunk, just as he was instructed for transport. Police arrested him for illegal possession of a firearm.

When Brian purchased the weapons in Colorado, he had to pass FBI and CBI background checks. He owned the guns legally, and transported them legally based upon the advice he sought from every law enforcement agency he could imagine he would need to avoid any trouble. Now he was facing trial in Burlington County, New Jersey.

The trouble really began when Brian drew Superior Court Judge James Morley, who was denied re-appointment by Governor Chris Christie after his inauguration. More on that later. A key element in Brian Aitken's defense was his right to transport legally purchased firearms between residences in New Jersey, which is precisely what he was doing.

Superior Court Judge James Morley
Police deposed that their search of Aitken's vehicle revealed many of his other belongings, which he was in the process of bringing to his new apartment in Hoboken. Judge Morley curiously forbade the jury from hearing that testimony in court. The jury expressed a clear level of discomfort in the prospect of convicting Aitken by asking the judge - on three separate occasions -  about exceptions to the law regarding the transportation of firearms. The exemptions are primarily for off-duty officers and security personnel, but also extend to hunters and those transferring weapons between residences. Morley ignored all three requests.

Judge Morley defended his decision to deny the jury of such testimony, declaring that it "wasn't relevant". In a subsequent telephone interview, Morley said:
"There was no evidence that Mr. Aitken was moving. He was trying to argue that the law should give him this broad window extending over several weeks to justify driving around with guns in his car. There was also some evidence that Mr. Aitken wasn't moving at all when he was arrested, but had stored the guns in his car because his roommate was throwing a party, and he didn't want the guns in the apartment while guests were there drinking."
Even if that were true, all it could possibly demonstrate is yet another, deeper level of responsibility on Brian Aitken's part, to have enough sense to remove even unloaded firearms from an apartment full of drunken revelers. No matter to the state of New Jersey, or Judge Morley, whose manipulations forced the jury to convict.

So, the man who did everything he could to stay within the boundaries of the law is now in prison, and as a result of his incarceration, has also lost all parental rights to the son he so desperately wished to be near. In August of 2010, Brian was convicted and sentenced to seven years in prison for a "crime" he tried valiantly not to commit, and by a judge who manipulated the trial to achieve a desired outcome. That judge, as noted earlier, was denied tenure by the state of New Jersey's new governor for a few previous questionable decisions and their related opinions.

Judge Morley once opined after a case of a 45-year-old teacher's aide, accused of having sexual relations with a 16-year-old student, that said aide was not a "sexual predator". In another case, involving a former Moorestown officer charged with four counts of animal cruelty for having oral sex with cow calves, Morley ruled that there was no evidence of animal cruelty. Then the man, Robert Melia, was arrested for alleged sexual assaults of three girls, and a search of his computer revealed videos of him "allegedly" receiving oral sex from the cows. Now Melia is awaiting trial on 48 other counts.

And Brian Aitken is in prison.

If you'd like to help Brian, visit this site:

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Friday, November 26, 2010

About That Tea Party Longevity...

Think It's Got Legs?
Is the Tea Party movement dead, or dying? Some have said as much, but thus far there has been no evidence to back up such claims. There was a lot of bluster by terminal politicians leading up to the mid-term elections to that effect, but such false bravado was akin to a bludgeoning victim screaming, "That didn't hurt", as each blow drains a bit more of his life.

After the Democrats suffered their own figurative bludgeoning in the elections, Rep, Boyd Brown (D-S.C.) told an audience of high schoolers that the Tea Party was a "fad", and that he thought it would "go away". Mayor Mike Bloomberg of New York City also labelled the movement a fad. And leading up to the mid-terms a year out, soon-to-be-former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi audaciously condemned the Tea Party as an "AstroTurf" movement.

It was a curious statement at the time, but one that recently has me pondering a few questions regarding its validity. Does AstroTurf have roots? After all, Madam Pelosi's comment was designed to cut into the credibility of the movement, suggesting that it was not of the revered family of "grass roots" efforts, but rather more of a machine of wealthy Conservative zealots, controlling the stupid masses through talk radio.

 Is it ever necessary to mow AstroTurf? Any sports fan would know that the very idea of AstroTurf was borne of maintenance needs. Stadiums that hosted multiple home teams, for example, were spending vast amounts of money on seeds and labor to keep up the pristine appearances in heavy traffic. Yet, the Left  has been on a continuous crusade to cut down the Tea Party, "fake grass" movement. Odd.

Finally, does AstroTurf have spores that can be spread aloft in the trade winds, carrying them to germinate and grow in distant lands? From what we already know about the product, the obvious answer would be "no". And yet, we learn now that the Tea Party movement is not restrained to the shores of the United States, at least not any longer.

Anyone who has been a regular reader of mine is well acquainted with my affinity for the ironic, and this latest development fits the bill quite nicely. While the Left has been urgently trying to declare a time of death for the Tea Party movement, it must be noted that it never really died in the first place; it merely lay in a dormant state for a few centuries. It was started originally as a protest against King George of England over his crippling taxes and finally spilled over (pardon the pun) into Boston Harbor in the eighteenth century. Here's where the irony comes into play.

FOX News is reporting that the Tea Party movement has taken (root?) in...England! While we certainly harbor (apologies again) no ill will over the original motivation for the Tea Party idea, it is still rather delicious that the people from our former reason to protest have now joined the band. On a more serious note, what this says about the entire notion is telling.

The Tea Party ideals have been with us for as long as we've drawn breath, embedded in our souls and always with us. We've just neglected them as we've progressed, feeling secure in our various degrees of personal success and concentrating our efforts on our own improvement. It wasn't until our own government began to actively impede that progress that we finally pulled them out of storage. Those on the Left, opposed to personal liberty and responsibility, might refer to this as having opened Pandora's Box. I prefer to think that the Beast has been released.

How big and how bad is this beast? Well, so far it has demonstrated a powerful yet peaceful method, and that is good. What's important to realize, however, is that this is no longer an anomaly here in the U.S., but something based on a principle that knows no boundaries, and one that Ronald Reagan articulated quite well. Freedom is the natural state of Man, and something which cannot be bestowed by other men.

We know it, and now so do the Brits. Anyone else want some? Hey, let's do tea!

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Ain't That America

A Spirit That Refuses to Die

How did John Cougar Mellencamp and I become such bitter enemies? No, I have never met the man, but I despise his politics even as I love his music. And while his celebrity makes him very familiar to me, he has no inkling of my existence, even though he equally loathes my political philosophy, as far as his interviews have betrayed.

I have been hit hard today from two directions. The obvious assumption would be that those directions are polar opposites, but that is not the case. I just finished reading chapter one of George W. Bush's Decision Points, and took a break to watch Glenn Beck. I mention this because I no longer care what my critics may say nor how they may scoff sneeringly at my words. Such scorn has lost all meaning as our path has become clear to me.

Those of us who care enough to publish our thoughts share a common thread; we love this country too much to see it perish. The only barrier to cooperation has been a decided line of demarcation set for us by powerful ideologues who have manipulated us toward opposite corners of the ring. Divide and conquer...sound familiar?

Glenn Beck has been talking about the small town of Wilmington, Ohio, a town that should have been declared dead due to its rate of unemployment, but which has refused to succumb to extinction. Wilmington, through its collective, stubborn determination has instead relied on the principles that made America what it became through the same ethic. They are not waiting for the behemoth of the federal government to save them, and thus will avoid the Sopranos-style quid pro quo that such acceptance would entail.

God bless Wilmington. That tough little town should serve as the model for our overall renaissance, a pattern for us to follow so that the dress still fits. For far too long, we have drifted with the winds of figurative fashion, following mindlessly like the seeds of the dandelion, only to infest the lawns of our neighbors.

Our ever-expanding urban centers are festering pools of dependence, bitter reminders of the spoiled fruits of government dominance. In stark contrast to the fiercely independent spirit of ordinary people like the denizens of Wilmington, big cities are indicative of what the controlling influences of "benevolent" tyranny reap.

While reading Decision Points - a splendid book, by the way - I was struck by the observations of a young George W. Bush on a visit to China while his father was stationed there as Ambassador in 1975. Stating that the "contrast was vivid" in comparing a vibrant capitalist society to that of the dreary reality of Communism, Bush wrote, "I was amazed to see how a country with such a rich history could be so bleak".

But what really leaped out at me were his words in this passage from Page 23:

"China's experience reminded me of the French and Russian revolutions. The pattern was the same: People seized control by promising to promote certain ideals. Once they had consolidated power, they abused it, casting aside their beliefs and brutalizing their fellow citizens. It was as if mankind had a sickness that it kept inflicting on itself. The sobering thought deepened my conviction that freedom - economic, political and religious - is the only fair and productive way of governing a society."
That was the observation of a future United States president, thirty-five years ago, and it belies an evident truth today. What we're experiencing in this country now is but the beginning of our end, the anathema in its infancy. And while folks like John Cougar Mellencamp - liberal to the core - are diametrically opposed to such a philosophy, they unwittingly aid in its propagation.

Mellencamp wrote about small towns frequently in his songs, celebrating the strong spirit of the people in this country. Never once did I hear him sing the praises of tyranny. "Ain't that America, you and me?" With a small degree of literary license, I must say that it almost ain't. Comparing the small enclaves like Wilmington and it's determination to survive with Detroit, a city that surrendered without so much as a whimper, gives one hope that there may at least be portions of the country left should we fail to save the whole thing.

Personally, I'd prefer an all-out rescue. The emergence of the Tea Party movement and the results from earlier this month are an encouraging start. For that, I am thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. God bless.

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Or Forever Hold Your Peace

Will America Emulate China?
I thought it might be prudent to get this piece out before Attorney General Eric Holder has the power to flip the switch on Sanity Sentinel and ban all of my content. Once AG Holder has that power, he may determine that the links, videos and photographs contained on this site constitute "copyright infringement", and I will be silenced.

Welcome to 21st century America and the era of Obama's Hope and Change. It is rapidly becoming a barren, lugubrious wasteland reminiscent of our worst nuclear-winter nightmares, a once gloriously free and industrious land choked into moribundity by the Progressive Socialist stranglehold. I'm reminded of an old Polaroid that was never properly protected by the felt roller, discovered decades later in the bottom of a drawer, once a colorful, cherished memory now reduced to an ashen image of the past.

So many societies have historically experimented with the philosophy of totalitarianism masquerading as compassion - and failed miserably - that we should know better than to keep trying, but the powerful are a stubborn lot. Then again, the powerful never understood the pain of what they had wrought until they lost. Expend no sympathy on their behalf, however, because whatever they experienced at the end was nothing compared to the devastation left in their wakes.

A few days ago a bill flew through the Senate Judiciary Committee with no resistance, passing unanimously. That bill was the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA), and what it will do is to give the United States Attorney General the ability to shut down any website he deems to be in violation of this bill. He will have the authority to simply turn off any website on a whim.

COICA is ostensibly designed to protect Hollywood, music and media from piracy, but it's language is much broader than simply trying to prevent theft of copyrighted material. Yes, the AG will need to obtain a court order before acting, but the parameters for enforcement are so expansive that virtually any site he visits may suffer censorship and banishment. If copyright infringement is deemed to be "central to the site's activity", it will meet the criterion for action.

The chilling aspect of this is, even hyper links to another website may be considered grounds for termination, even if there has been no "crime" committed. For a good example, take a look at The Drudge Report. (Oops, I just did it!)

Matt Drudge's site is hugely popular, generating over nine billion hits in the past year. But his site is nothing more than a news aggregate source, consisting of nothing but links. While he has broken no laws, and while he has not been to sued to the best of my knowledge, it stands to reason that his site would be the first casualty of Lord Holder's reign.

 The good news is that the bill will not go before both full houses for a vote until next year, supposedly. One would think that in the new session of Congress, passage of such a thing would have little chance of success. But just the very idea that our government is even considering placing that sort of power in one man's hands is startling, at best.

Combined with elected officials openly calling for the shutting down of information television and radio stations, this is precisely the sort of thing that we the people must be ever vigilant against. We now live in a country built on freedom and personal responsibility that has been reduced to a government prison. They are taking our property, seizing our finances, and controlling our diets and habits. Now they are attempting to remove our ability to know about it.

The Tea Party movement probably never would have happened without the free flow of information. I maintain that that is exactly the reasoning behind these tactics by the government. If they can isolate us and silence us, we are lost forever. We simply cannot allow that to happen.

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Channeling Chavez

Two Peas in a Pod?
"There's a little bug inside of me which wants to get the FCC to say to FOX and to MSNBC: 'Out. Off. End. Goodbye.' It would be a big favor to political discourse; our ability to do our work here in Congress, and to the American people, to be able to talk with each other and have some faith in their government and more importantly, in their future." - Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)
Never has America been this close to Socialism, nor have our elected officials - all of whom swore an oath to uphold our Constitution - been this bold in their contempt for our most cherished document. Certainly many of us have caught glimpses of the true face of half of our Congress, but only when the mask slipped ever so slightly, and quite inadvertently. None of us ever expected that they would eventually rip the disguises off in broad daylight and reveal their true intentions. But they have.

The truly puzzling aspect of this development is the fact that Democrats who espouse the socio-economic enslavement of their constituents continue knowingly at their own peril. They must know it after the Tea Party tsunami of the mid-term elections. Could they possibly be so naïve as to believe that the wave of sentiment that swept this nation was nothing more than a fluke? Perhaps the more important question might be, if not, what do they actually have planned?

Pondering the possibility of some uber-nefarious scheme, words such as Rockefellers's would be in line with the need to conceal such a motive. Think about it; he is advocating for the United States federal government to shut down two giants in the information media, to silence two of the most popular sources for the people. In other words, he wants to douse the spotlight on Congress "ability to do our work here".

Fortunately for us, Rep. Rockefeller exposed his wishes in an arena in which his ilk has no control. FOX and MSNBC are privately broadcast stations on cable, and therefore not subject to the whims of power-hungry Socialist politicians. Still, the alarm bells are ringing. How far will these people attempt to traverse the road to totalitarianism?

Soul Brother Smile and Handshake
Hugo Chavez has been closing broadcasting companies critical of his regime and seizing industries in Venezuela, ostensibly for the "benefit of the people". President Obama seemed rather chummy with Chavez during his visit to that country early in his own reign, even accepting a revolutionary tome from the Venezuelan leader. If we are to accept the premise that Obama is the academic sponge we're told about, it would only stand to reason that he absorbed the message in that book post haste. His own actions since that visit seem to validate such a notion.

The Obama administration and its operatives have been quite vocal about their disdain for FOX News, declaring the NewsCorp outlet as a pseudo-news organization, and denigrating its personalities as clownish "entertainers". Likewise, the administration has attacked successful talk radio programs and hosts in the same vein, working feverishly with its cohorts in Congress to reinstate the poorly nomenclatured "Fairness" Doctrine.

While proclaiming a desire for "openness" and "transparency", the machinations of the temporary monopoly that one party briefly enjoyed was all about stifling opposing viewpoints and concealing its own motives. Thankfully, the people mobilized through the Tea Party movement and implemented an almost immediate cessation of such activities.

It must be noted, however, that if the Democrats had succeeded in their primary goal - the silencing of their perceived enemies - we would have had virtually no chance of victory, however slight it may have been. And remember the president's own words, in which he told a Univision interviewer - whose target audience is comprised of Spanish-speaking viewers - that Republicans, and by inference, Conservatives, are the enemy.

Americans have spoken at the polls, and we've stated emphatically that we do not want the governance of Hugo Chavez. We've also made it abundantly clear that we loathe his message even more when spoken vicariously through our own president and his surrogates.

We're at the point where none of them wishes to listen. That's fine, because we have effectively preserved our right to purge them for their arrogance. And so we shall.

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Think the American Spirit is Dead?

Think again. A 13-year-old boy in Denair, California was told that the American flag proudly flying from the back of his bicycle may cause "racial tensions" and a potentially unsafe situation for students. He was told he could not ride onto campus with the flag any longer.

The story caused such an uproar that the school, Denair Middle School, relented. Great. But just to accentuate the idiocy of their initial position, a group decided to rally behind the boy, Cody Alicea. That group was the Patriot Guard Riders.

If you don't feel your chest swell with pride, or get a lump in your throat, somethings wrong. Enjoy!

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

And Justice for All?

Why would anyone need a waiver from
something so wonderful?
In true shoot-from-the-hip fashion, the Triad of Obama, Reid and Pelosi rammed through a program they touted as a special gift to the American people, a most fair form of health care that would ostensibly benefit all, including the poor. We were told of the unfortunate multitudes of people suffering illnesses because they couldn't afford the treatment that the wealthy could afford. Most of us knew the scheme was a charade, but the Triad successfully inflicted it on us anyway.

The closer we get to its actual implementation, the more people resist. Unfortunately for the "little guy", only those with the financial resources to fight Obama Care have thus far been able to opt out. That is because, armed with a battery of expensive lawyers, these entities have procured from the government a total of one hundred and eleven waivers, and counting.

High-powered unions and large corporations are securing exemptions at a rapid pace. The questions must be asked, then, if Obama Care is so great, why are so many fleeing in terror? Why do they absorb such great costs to fight it legally?

The only answer that makes any sense is that they have already spent huge sums to study the potential impacts on their ledgers from this disaster, and that they made the decision that it would better to lose a little now than lose a lot later. That tells me that there is something terribly wrong with this impending crippler for our personal finances and the overall economy.

From the administration that trumpeted a new age of government transparency and open governing, we now have a law about to take effect that will be selectively enforced. The entities permitted to ignore this law are those whom Chairman Obama decides may be exempt. As pointed out in the video below, the Obama administration has implicitly admitted that this is a bad law, thus the need to grant 111 waivers.

I tried to find the buried story on the Health and Human Services website, to no avail, which also speaks volumes to the promise of transparency by the new administration. Suffice it say that despite the alleged urgency of this law - and the resultant need for speed and the lack of understanding by those who voted for it - its passage was a huge mistake. Hopefully our new Congress will be able to starve it to death by withholding appropriations.

As Newt Gingrich would say, I hope this travesty "withers on the vine".

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

To Fetch a Pail of Water

It is hard to fathom that - in a country once as free as the open frontier - we could find ourselves today fighting a daily battle to retain our liberties. It's equally difficult to imagine that what was once considered normal is no longer viewed that way.

Despite the claims of the Left that there is no war on Christianity, no matter how contrary to that claim their constant assaults appear, God and prayer are seen today by too large of a portion of our society as antithetical to our well being. There are plaintiffs against God in our Pledge of Allegiance, there are demands to remove all vestiges of prayer from government entities, and there are litigants who say that the Ten Commandments should be removed from courthouses.

It then must be considered insanity that a member state of the Union is seriously debating whether to incorporate Shar'ia Law into its legal system. How serious is the debate over something we once would have scoffed at? So serious that on Election Day two weeks ago, the state of Oklahoma had a ballot initiative to ban the use of Shar'ia Law in its courts. Naturally, there are now pending lawsuits.

But let's forget the hypocrisy of pushing for the use of Muslim laws here in America when Liberals have exhausted themselves trying to remove the tradition of our Judeo-Christian laws. Instead, let's examine why it would be foolhardy to implement Shar'ia in the first place.

For an example of Shar'ia Law, we'll take a look at a recent case in Pakistan, where a Christian mother of five has been sentenced to hang by the neck until dead. What kind of heinous criminal is this woman who deserves such a brutal end? Certainly her crime must be so horrendous that she must be removed from the Earth, leaving her five children without a mother. To the adherents of the gentle Muslim faith, it was.

Asia Bibi is a married, 45-year-old mother who has not only received the death penalty, but she's been held in prison since June of 2009. She was working as a farmhand tending a field with other women last year when she was asked to get water for the workers. When she returned with the water, a group of Muslim women refused to drink it because it was touched by a non-Muslim and, therefore, "unclean". Words were exchanged over it, but nothing evolved from there.

But a few days later, Asia Bibi was set upon by an angry mob of Muslims, and police were summoned. They took her to a local police station "for her own safety" because the mob, including clerics, wanted her dead. But after being rescued by the police, she was then charged with the crime of blasphemy against the Prophet Mohammed, based on the words of those Muslim women from the field.

So, to sum it all up, a Christian woman in a predominantly Muslim country is to be put to death for bringing her co-workers water while laboring, and was offended by their lack of gratitude. No one in the angry mob, who threatened or attempted to murder her, has even been arrested. And this is what we are fighting in America now?

It is stunning that the crowd that believes that a Jewish or Christian high school football coach leading his team in prayer before a contest - that may find one of them injured - is dangerous to our society, also thinks that the prospect of stoning and "honor" killings by decree of Shar'ia Law is some twisted form of tolerance.

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Vietnam Outrage Continues

Vietnam Vets Left Out in Cold Again
Today, as we commemorate the men and women of our military for the incredible bravery and sacrifice that is responsible for the blessings of our nation, I would like to begin on a positive note by offering my deepest gratitude to each and every one of them. That gratefulness is extended to the living and the dead, as well as the young and the old.

I am saddened, however, that the gradual transition of attitudes in my country has left behind - and even insulted - so many who deserve the same level of respect. It began with the Korean War, which to this day is still neither considered an actual "war", nor an action that is technically over. That particular action has remained in official "cease-fire" status for six decades.

Veterans of the Korean War do not enjoy the benefits - for whatever they're worth - of other veterans of "actual" wars. They do not qualify for membership in local VFW organizations where they live, nor are they offered a military flag upon their deaths. My father-in-law, a Korean War vet, passed away a few years ago, and as we prepared for his final resting, I wanted him to have a flag for his service. I was prepared to buy a flag to drape his coffin. It wasn't necessary.

Another soldier, himself a veteran of the Army as a Ranger, procured one on my father-in-law's behalf, and from the United States Army. In an act of camaraderie that touched me in ways I cannot describe, that soldier  not only obtained the flag my father-in-law should never have had to ask for, but he presented it at the burial in military tradition, while in full dress uniform. That young man was not yet my son-in-law, but would eventually marry my daughter. My thanks for his initiative - nor my astonishment at this selfless act - can never be adequately expressed.

Yet, while that memory is seared in my mind forever, it serves as a constant reminder of the indignity it suggests for those without the loving and devoted family such as mine, without which many are relegated to oblivion forever, their sacrifices discarded and bravery forgotten without reverence, simply because of callous bureaucrats so absorbed in their political careers that they have long dismissed the very reasons for their existence.

The Vietnam veterans have likewise been betrayed by the country they served, and continue in that vein. Their long-overdue Wall in Washington was the culmination of not only their continuing battle, but that of their civilian support team; grateful patriots. My friends from that war have told me that it only relieved some of the sting of the shameful reception they endured upon their return to the country for which they fought.

So every year we have Veterans' Day, a time when we offer our thanks to those brave souls, hold parades for them, and now, in the electronic age, pay tribute to them all over the Internet. Sadly, what still eludes the "Vietnam Alumni" is the recognition they have never been given by the body that sent them to that Hell, a Hell that they faced with valor, and for which they were greeted upon their return as villains.

Yesterday, Jim Robbins of the Washington Times wrote an article that should make all of us sick. Robbins reports that Congress, two years ago, authorized the Pentagon to move forward with plans to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War to "thank and honor" those veterans. Finally, justice would be served, right? Not so fast.

A commission was formed to make all of this happen in the "spirit of the intent of Congress". From Robbins' piece in the Washington Times:

The Defense Department also was charged with coordinating, supporting and facilitating "other programs and activities of the Federal Government, State and local governments, and other persons and organizations in commemoration of the Vietnam War." The proposed budget for the commemorations was $100 million, which was less than the amount spent on the World War II and Korean War commemoration efforts. For example, the 1984 commemoration of the Normandy landings alone cost $38 million.
The idea was to have a series of commemorations that would begin in 2009, 50 years after the July 8, 1959, Viet Cong attack at Bien Hoa killed Army Maj. Dale R. Buis and Master Sgt. Chester M. Ovnand, the first two names on the wall of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The commemorations were slated to continue until 2025 and the 50th anniversary of the fall of Saigon.
In other words, the cost of this belated expression of appreciation was to cost us an average of just over $3.8 million per year, if my math is correct. And yet, the man given oversight over the anniversary commission for the Vietnam veterans has slammed on the brakes, claiming "fiscal restraint". That man is Michael L. Rhodes, director of administration and management at the Pentagon.

Just this week it was announced by our Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, that the United States (that would be you and me) will be giving the Palestinian Authority $150 million. At a time when the economy is paramount in all of our minds.

So on Veterans' Day, keep in mind that in the New America, we can happily deny - once again - the honor of our veterans from the Vietnam War because of costs, but we can send $150 million to the Palestinian Authority without qualm.

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

So Long Toots

I've tried really hard to refrain from using videos on the main page here, but when I stumbled on this gem, it was just too hard to resist.

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Justice as a Misnomer

We hear the word "justice" tossed around quite frequently these days, and often in startlingly cavalier fashion. While America is a nation of laws, its people are ever increasingly being subjected to the whims of its government under the guise of justice. It is a cunning practice, for who could legitimately argue against fairness?

The accelerating attacks on liberty are all bolstered by the spectre of justice in many forms. Social justice, economic justice, racial justice and the like have become a natural part of the American lexicon, and people numbly nod in agreement without so much as a casual thought as to what those things mean to themselves. Sooner or later there is going to come a shocking "wait-a-minute" moment, and then all Hell will break loose.

As government takes on more and more responsibility for our care, - or seizes it as the case may be - they also claim more of the necessary control in order to rein in associated costs. The latest example of this is the city of San Francisco's mandate that McDonalds cease and desist from selling Happy Meals. The reason? Obesity, and the cost associated with medically treating the ailments associated with being fat. Oh, McDonalds can still sell food, thanks to the gracious magnanimity of our "public servants", but they cannot package it with toys.

Add then to the list the moniker of nutritional justice. Just as social justice has outlawed your right to engage in a legal activity - smoking - in certain public settings, just as racial justice has criminalized speaking to someone in a cross manner or criticizing a person of different hue, and just as economic justice has suddenly made the redistribution of personal finances an acceptable practice in a nation that has redistributed more than its share of blood to fight such a thing, now we have our government dictating what we eat and drink.

The governor of New York, David Paterson, has also delved into the arena of government mastery, proposing taxes on sugary drinks and considering additional taxes on "other obesity-linked foods such as hamburgers and chocolate bars." Paterson attempts to justify these positions by claiming that the state would be able to better cover "the $7.6 billion the state spends every year to treat diseases from obesity." (Forgive my ignorance, but I thought that's what personal insurance and pro-rated premiums were for).

David Chapman has covered this in Townhall .com. Here is a sampling:

As it happens, soda taxes may affect only the people who don't need affecting. California Polytechnic State University economists Michael Marlow and Alden Shiers, writing in Regulation magazine, noted data showing that "taxes on alcohol consumption significantly lower drinking by light drinkers, but not heavy drinkers." One study found that a 58 percent tax on soda would "drop the average body mass by only 0.16 points" -- on a scale of 30.
Restrictions on fatty food are no more promising. Suppose a 5-year-old has a Happy Meal every week (which is how often new toys appear). Economist Michael Anderson of the University of California at Berkeley tells me that while a child who dines on fast food may get a couple of hundred extra calories, that's not much compared to the 11,000 calories she is likely to eat in a week.
Perhaps our elected officials should focus on the criminals who have slowly forced our children indoors and thereby into such sedentary lifestyles. Perhaps they should focus on releasing the taxation stranglehold on the people so that we may slow down enough to enjoy healthier meals at our own discretion. Maybe we would all benefit from lower stress levels through the absence of worry over how to make enough money to give more to a monolithic government.

As for McDonalds, I would love to see them sell the toys separately, and have parents buy food in a box, adding the toy before they bring the food to the table or to the home. That would be poetic justice for the ruling elites.

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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Crashing the Party

West will join the CBC
After the Democrats took control of Congress in 2007, Tennessee Democrat Stephen I. Cohen became a freshman Congressman. Representing a predominantly minority district, Cohen thought it would be a good idea to join the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). The problem was, Cohen is white. He was rejected by the Caucus, despite being a Democrat, simply because of his skin color. Ostensibly seeking the counsel of the membership in the belief that he could better understand his constituency, it's just as well that he was rebuffed.

This year Republicans turned the tables on the Democrats, figuratively smashing them at the polls. There were also some new Black Republican Congressmen elected. One of them was Allen West, a U.S. Army Retired Lieutenant Colonel, now Congressman-elect of Florida.

West is a no-nonsense man who doesn't buy into the notion that people of his color cannot succeed, and he has backed up that belief with solid actions. Both he and his wife, Angela, have proven that Blacks are no different than Whites when properly educated and motivated. And West doesn't have a very high tolerance for those who refuse to accept that simple truth.

To accentuate his point, he plans on joining the CBC in the 112th session of Congress, and he's not going to wait for an invitation. He was recently a guest on the Steve Malzberg Show, a radio program found on WOR 710 Radio, New York, weekday afternoons at 4:00 PM. Here's what Mr. West had to say:

It should be interesting to see how Allen West is received by the CBC, currently an exclusive club for Black Democrats. As noted, the CBC is more about being representative of Black "victims" than their other Democrat constituents. And after the treatment of White Democrat Stephen I. Cohen, as well as a similar rejection of White Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif thirty-five years ago, West will be the first Black Republican to join.

West, saying that it's so important "that we break down this quote unquote monolithic voice that continues to talk about victimization and dependency in the black community" seems poised to not only represent a fresh new beginning in race relations in America, but a promising beacon for the Black youth today who have been force-fed a steady diet of negativism.

God bless you, Allen West, and the best of luck in your new career.

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The Olbermann Affair

I feel true sympathy for the few thousand people in this country who actually depend on Keith Olbermann for their news, or even on MSNBC for that matter. For obvious reasons, that pity is derived from the fact that those people will now be deprived of their beloved bloviator. For peripheral reasons, it is because they have been so misinformed over the course of his career.

Olbermann has been suspended without pay indefinitely from the floundering cable network for violations of the corporation's rules regarding political contributions. Already the Liberal Progressive machine is mobilizing, ready to defend Keith with every lie and obfuscation in their play book. These modes of defense will be coupled with the obligatory "the other side is doing it too" excuse.

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has fired the first salvo. Sanders, an Independent (cough, cough) has written a brief letter published by Politico demanding the immediate return of Olbermann to the airwaves, and his salary. And he employs the predictable plaintive wails usually reserved for children deprived of candy and equally devoid of reason. In his letter, Sanders makes the claim:
"At a time when the ownership of Fox News contributed millions of dollars to the Republican Party, when a number of Fox commentators are using the network as a launching pad for their presidential campaigns and are raising money right off the air, it is absolutely unacceptable that MSNBC suspended one of the most popular progressive commentators in the country."
Imagine Sanders' outrage had it been announced that FOX's Sean Hannity had made the maximum individual contribution of $2,400 to three different Republicans. Ah, but Sanders didn't mention that, he cleverly used a much larger figure - "millions of dollars" - as News Corp's contributions as a whole. This serves two purposes; it indicts an entire organization while giving his intended audience a comparative source of outrage, one they would never think to question.

That's why I'm here.

First, News Corporation is free to make political contributions, just as are major airwave networks and competing cable networks. Keith Olbermann was an employee of one such entity who was found to have violated one of its rules. And while Olbermann's own network took him down, the commentators of FOX News have been under constant attack by the competition who have repeatedly demanded that they be silenced. Big difference.

Sanders got his figures from the recent disclosure that News Corp. contributed a million dollars to the Republican Governors Association, a fact that the Left viewed as a perfect "gotcha" moment despite CNN's having reported on it in August. Sanders saw an opportunity to paint FOX as a purely partisan organization based on the disparity, as did the very network that just canned Olbermann. That being said, if Bernie Sanders wants to play the "who's worse" game by attempting to portray Olbermann's contributions as small and insignificant in contrast to those of all of News Corp., I say "my serve".

While Democrats - holding hats in hand - complain bitterly about the possibility of "anonymous corporate donors" , they seem to have no problem spending the money of the workers they claim to champion, nor the money - by extension - of taxpayers. News Corp. has donated a few million dollars to Republican candidates and PACs. But the three largest unions in the country have donated more than $150 million to Democrats. (Most of that money is derived from the dues of union members, which is supposed to pay for benefits and retirement).

Barack Obama was the largest beneficiary of campaign contributions from BP Oil, not only a large corporation in the oil industry, but a foreign corporation to boot. Yet the Democrats complain of corporate financing influencing our elections.

Back to the point, though. Liberal interests and politicians have been scheming for years to somehow get FOX News shut down and silenced. Now they are allegedly outraged over one lunatic getting suspended for breaking his employer's rule. Media Matters is already whining that Sean Hannity and Neil Cavuto made contributions to Republican organizations, thus fulfilling the promise of the "they're doing it, too" excuse.

One small problem with that argument, however; News Corp. doesn't ban the practice. Neither do some large broadcast companies, whose employees donate to all kinds of causes, politics included. Olbermann hasn't been silenced, as Bernie Sanders intimates, he's been disciplined. It happens all the time in the grown-up work place. If Keith has a beef with that, perhaps he should take it up with his shop steward.

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