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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fun With Isomorphism: Bush 41 Is To Supermarket Scanners As Obama Is To Engineers

President Obama has blamed our unemployment problems on:
  1.  ATMs
  2. Automatic Check-In At Airports
  3. George W. Bush
  4. The Tsunami
  5. The Virginia Earthquake
I am not qualified to speak on items 4 & 5 because I am not a geologist and I did really poorly in Earth Science in 10th grade, even though my teacher wore a lab coat and was very serious about the earth and science. For the sake of argument, let's say that George W. Bush started it which means it certainly looks like Obama is not competent enough to clean it up, so that leaves us with items 1 & 2.

The problems caused by Items 1 & 2 started in 1992 with our then-president George H.W. Bush:

George H.W. Bush thinks bar-code scanners are amazing
in 1992, and before you know it we're all out of work.
Even though the incident was played up and hyped into legend instead of fact, it pretty much sunk Bush's re-election campaign. He came off as out-of-touch with those of us who are constantly over-charged at the Shop-Rite by these uncaring robots, and Bill Clinton was able to come in and feel the pain Bush was obviously too elite to feel.

This brings us to our current president who is actually so out-of-touch he thinks all engineers should have jobs, except for civil engineers, but that's because we're not re-building our infrastructure anymore.
Ed. Note: Hey, wait a minute! Wait just a doggone minute! Somebody needs to find out where all that money we spent on shovel-ready projects went, so we can employ all of these civil engineers.
Having worked in the computer industry since 1980, and having seen pretty much everyone I ever worked with (including me) get booted out of the computer industry, or "high-tech sector," I can easily answer the question you'll see the President answer incorrectly in this video:

The woman's husband is a semiconductor engineer who has been out of work for three years. That sounds about right. We've been churning out hardware and semiconductor engineers in this country for thirty years, which was a good thing thirty years ago, but the problem is, we don't build hardware in this country anymore and our slice of the semi- business has shrunk to embarrassing levels.

In this clip, the President shows both his arrogance (this is interesting, send me his resume), his ignorance (from what I've been told high-tech engineers are in great demand), and his talent for shameless pandering (I will follow-up on this and see what I can do).

The actual answer is: Software engineers are in demand, but since we don't do hardware manufacturing in this country anymore and we're just about out of the semi- business we have no need for all of the talented and experience hardware and semi- engineers we have.

Maybe the President should stop pretending he knows what he's talking about and put some effort in to getting his head around the enormity of the problem caused by the death of American ingenuity and manufacturing. Here's a hint Mr. President, it's not because we don't have talented and smart people in the tech-sector, it's because we don't have talented and smart people in the government.

When Americans make as much of a fuss about President Obama's inability to understand why this woman's husband can't find a job as they did about George H.W. Bush not being familiar with supermarket check-out scanners, then I'll have restored faith in our collective futures.

Monday, January 30, 2012

How To Argue With A Liberal - Part XIV

Over the weekend I got in three separate arguments with some people who are far, far to the Left of me. When I got involved, I thought we were going to be having civil and respectful discussions (I know, I'm an Idealist). I stayed nice, but my opponents did not -- and the angrier they got the more fun I found myself having.

I have lots of experience getting insulted by Liberals, but very little experience getting insulted for the things I actually say (or write). Typically the epithets get hurled in my direction over things I didn't say. People tell me they want me to get run over by a bus, or that I am a Fox News watching piece of excrement, or that I am a dangerous old racist white person. My first wife and her family all openly prayed for the bus bit, but otherwise the other two things aren't true (except for the old bit, but I'm a helluva lot younger than that creepy Baby Boomer guy you see on TV playing Born To Be Wild with his daughter's rock band). I have several year's of published material to bear out how horrible, or unhorrible, I may or may not be, so when the slurs come at me they don't change my mind about myself.

I'm here to help. I want to instill that same confidence in you so you can go out and try to teach a Lib how the world works.

First, the Four Stages of Arguing With A Liberal:
  1. They paint you as an extremist
  2. They condescend and patronize, questioning your intelligence
  3. They hurl epithets and insults. Hint: The worse the language is the madder they are
  4. They go silent
Don't give up, even if you are an extremist.

When you get to Stage 2 you will likely be accused of watching Fox News non-stop, and this condescension may even take the form of you being called a "Bush defender." You're halfway there. Don't stray from the course.

Once you get to Stage 3 you can begin to relax -- you're almost done! Feel confident you have made your case once the f-bombs and wishes for your ugly and untimely demise begin. If you're only being called a 'fool' or an 'idiot' you need to put a little more effort in. At this point you will come up with the most concise and intelligent points you are capable of, but they will be for naught because your argument will remain unanswered.

Because after that, your opponent will go silent.* Don't go back and taunt them because that will only start you both back at Stage 1. Smile smugly and make a little tick mark in that tattered and frayed copy of the Constitution you carry with you. You do carry a copy of the Constitution with you, right? Good.

These rules apply to verbal conversation as well as social media and digital arguments. The stages don't vary, so stay calm and carry on.

Here's a list of words and accusations you should be prepared for:
  1. Racist. If you are a racist then you are stupid, if you are accused of being a racist without any corroborating evidence the accuser is stupid. You can't let yourself get offended over baseless accusations but you better make sure you are honest with yourself
  2. Fox News Watcher: To the Left this seems to be the worst thing you can call somebody. It's their codeword for "doltish moronic automaton who doesn't think for themself." Don't bother addressing this one, but if you feel like it you might want to taunt them for taking Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart and Bill Maher seriously. The choice is yours. I find that people have a special allegiance to Colbert and they get really, really mad when you call them on it
  3. Bush Lover. Don't even bother explaining that you don't like big-government presidents regardless of party affiliation, because you'll just sound like someone trying to defend something just for the sake of defending it. I sometimes like to explain to my opponent what a brilliant person G-Dubya must have been because he screwed things up so bad not even a genius like Obama can fix them. This usually shuts them up or disarms them. Again, with the choice thing
  4. Tea Party Goon. Don't bother asking when the last time a Tea Party gathering turned violent like the Occupy Oakland movement heroes who broke into City Hall this weekend and were so confused about what they're pissed off at that they destroyed a display of grammar school kids' artwork. Just ask them to defend the seedier sides of the Occupy movement. If they resort to using the term "Tea Bagger" call them a homophobe. They freakin' hate that and are never prepared for it.
  5. Rich Guy Lover. Don't bother asking your opponent if, given the choice, they would rather be a horrible billionaire or a scruffy loser occupying public property in the name of, er, something. Of course the Occupier will twist his dreads and scratch his pale skin as he earnestly tells you that if he was a billionaire he would "help the poor." Just tell them that somebody has to pay for all of this mess, and its obvious it not going to be him.
So there you have it, you are prepared for a verbal war with almost everyone. Stay the course, avoid acting like your opponent and explain the facts as best you know them. We're the adults in the argument so we should strive to keep it civil and keep the lines of communication open. Remember, as soon as you resort to name-calling you have proven your lack of grasp of the facts -- dont' be like them! 

Of course, when that fails, you can always resort to telling your opponent you have to leave because its time to pick up Muffy at the Mercedes dealer.

 * - There is one caveat to Stage 4. Occasionally you will come across a nattering nabob of nincompoopery who has completely run out of things to say, but doesn't bother to stop saying them. Don't confuse this for a lack of silence -- just because the mouth moves doesn't mean the brain is engaged.

Note at the Bottom: There are no Parts I through XIII, I was just hoping to get as many liberals as possible to search this blog for hours looking for them. Sort of an educational ploy.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

New Jersey Man-Child Charged With Firebombing Synagogues In New Jersey

Anthony Graziano, 19, of Lodi, New Jersey, is being held on $5,000,0000 bail for allegedly firebombing two synagogues in New Jersey. Additional charges were filed after police found a cache of material Graziano was allegedly collecting for future attacks.
On the morning of Jan. 3, authorities responded to a fire at Congregation K'Hal Adath Jeshuran in Paramus, when members smelled gas in the building and contacted authorities. Fire and police officials determined an accelerant had been used in the rear of the building to start a fire. The fire had quickly burned itself out, and no injuries were reported.

In the early morning of Jan. 11, police said Molotov cocktails were thrown at Congregation Beth El in Rutherford, igniting a fire in the second-floor bedroom of Rabbi Nosson Schuman's residence. The rabbi, his wife, five children and his parents were sleeping at the time. - Samantha Henry, AP

Anthony Graziano, 19, Lodi, NJ
Bergen County Prosecutor's Office / AP Photo 
A recent high school graduate, Graziano is unemployed and does not own a car. He used a bicycle to travel to the scene of his alleged crimes. Police found that bicycle along with glass bottles, motor oil and other devices used to make incendiary devices in woods near the Jewish Community Center of Paramus.

Graziano was arrested this week and entered a not guilty plea at his arraignment on nine counts of attempted murder, bias intimidation and arson charges for a Jan. 11 attack on a Rutherford synagogue and a Jan. 3 firebombing of a Paramus synagogue. If convicted on all charges, he could face at least 95 years in prison.

Assuming Graziano is guilty as charged, one need look no further than his obvious depraved hatred and bigotry for an explanation for his crimes.

I am troubled by the reference to Graziano as a teenager in every media report I have read or heard about his alleged crimes. Typically, once criminal suspects over eighteen are identified, they are referred to as adults, not teenagers. By referring to Graziano as a teenager, he is granted an excuse.

"Oh, that Anthony, what a knucklehead! But you know how those teenagers can be."

An act of vandalism committed by a thirteen year-old is a completely different thing than firebombing a family of five in an attempt to burn them to death, but by referring to Graziano as a teenager, the implication is that he is just a kid, and well, you know, kids will be kids.

I know that in the America of 2012, the government has conditioned us to believe that "children" as old as twenty-six should still be covered by mom and dad's health insurance, but in the world of reality, by the time you reach nineteen, you've got to step up and shed the protective "teenager" shroud.

At nineteen, a person is able to join the military and vote for the people who put the military in harm's way. A nineteen year-old can sign contracts, own a home and do other things the rest of us adults can do (except drink legally -- but that's the product of knee-jerk governance rather than any form of common-sense).

So how is it a nineteen year-old is able to be an adult in the legal world, but is referred to as a teenager when charged with attempted murder?

Information for this column was gathered from multiple sources, including the Associated Press.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Freedom Friday, Because Non-Stop Politics Is Kind Of Annoying But People Can Occasionally Be Awesome

I'm watching the debates, I'm listening to Newt tell me he's a Reagan Republican while he attacks Mitt for his wealth, I 'm watching Mitt campaign in his jeans so he can look more like me, I'm watching President Obama deny Keystone XL and then claim he is for all forms of energy exploitation. And I'm watching all of America sit back, scratch their heads, and watch as the circus parade passes by.

So, I said to myself, "Look, this is boring and nothing changes, and quite frankly I don't like any of these guys. It's Friday and I need a break from politics."

I agreed with myself and immediately went in search of stories about people. Regular people who like to do things other than shout at people, or depend on the government to guide them to the Promised Land.

I found two, and they both involve toys:

The first story comes to us from the Siberian city of Bernaul. The people of Bernaul are unhappy, and not surprisingly, their unhappiness comes from something other than the Siberian winter. They are unhappy with their government, because their government does not want them to protest about anything -- especially the government. This is also not surprising because Siberia is part of Russia, and we all know what Russians think of their own people.

Russian protesters in Bernaul go for the stop-action 60s-era Christmas
Special look as they protest their government.
Photo: Sergey Teplyako/vkontakte

Prosecutors are looking into the legality of the tiny little protesters, which include South Park figures, Lego Men and other cute and adorable stuffed animals who apparently think living under the Russian government sucks too.

Some of the signs read: "I'm for clean elections" and "A thief should sit in jail, not in the Kremlin."

This is a wonderful example of why people are so much better at everything than bureaucrats.

For the complete story read the Guardian/UK article from January 26, 2012.

The second story also comes to us from the Guardian/UK, and it also features a Lego Man -- or in this case, a Legonaut.

Presumably while other Canadian teenagers were playing hockey, either on the ice or on their Playstations, Mathew Ho and Asad Muhammed, both 17, spent about $400 and a few Saturdays building a spacecraft for their Legonaut. Using a commercial weather balloon and lots of ingenuity, the two sent their sky pilot to 80,000 feet above the earth.

Cameras attached to their spacecraft took 97 minutes of stunning video of the curvature of the Earth. A handsewn parachute helped the Legonaut safely return to the ground, and a GPS attached to the craft helped the teenagers find it after it landed about 80 miles away from where it was launched.

People like this give me hope that all the people in the world haven't just given up like some gray Orwellian mass of automatons. I just hope the prosecutors in Bernaul realize how stupid it is to get to the bottom of a protest being staged by toys. I also hope that some American teenagers don't try the Legonaut stunt because I'm sure they would violate at least 350 different Federal regulations in the process.

Read the complete story of the Canadian Legonaut and his Earth-based flight crew in the Guardian/UK article from January 26, 2012.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I'll Buy Me One of Those iPhones, As Long As You Don't Mention the Icky People Who Made It For Me

That darling of the 99%, Apple Inc., posted some amazing end-of-year results yesterday.
  • 73.3% revenue increase over last year totaling $46.33 billion
  • 118% increase in net income over last year totaling $13.06 billion 

Occupy Wall Street protester captures the action on his iPad
last Fall. By the way, remember the kid in the center of the
picture? He's a Columbia grad with a trust fund.

Everyone loves Apple and the deified Steve Jobs. Apple is the very model of a successful, modern corporation, and Occupying things would be ever so hard without iPhones, iPads, and iPods. Plus, their stuff is just so...cool!

I am thinking that Lai Xiaodong's family's love of Apple and Foxconn, a major manufacturer for Apple, is probably not as deep as your's is.

Xiaodong was a 22 year-old worker at Foxconn whose job it was to polish the aluminum backs of iPads. He died two days after suffering burns over 90% of his body and the loss of most of his face in an explosion in Foxconn's Chengdu factory in May of 2011.

Several days after Xiaodong died, factory works drove to his family's village to deliever his ashes. A few days later, the company sent a check for approximately $150,000 to the family. Prior to his death, Xiaodong's salary was $22 a day.

Safety standards in Chinese factories are low to non-existent, but then again, the savings on safety concerns -- and worker salaries -- gets passed on to American consumers (and consumers around the world), and after all, Chinese people are trying to take over America, and well, they live in China for Pete's sake. 

Lest you think I'm picking solely on Apple, I'm not. I own Apple products. Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Motorola, Nokia, Sony, Lenovo, and Toshiba are also on an extensive list of other companies whose factories have their workers toil in horrendous working conditions. Some of these conditions include seven day work weeks, workers being forced to stand without rest until their legs are too swollen to move, safety concerns such as exposure to toxic chemicals and the dust build-up at the Foxconn factory that killed Lai Xiaodong and three others and injured eighteen.

I'm not mounting some holier-than-thou soapbox here and admonishing you to throw away all of your Chinese-made products. The money has been spent and the damage has been done and we can't retroactively change that. But consider this: Americans would never buy products from US companies that forced their workers to labor under these conditions in America. But somehow its okay for American companies to sub-contract foreign companies that treat foreign workers on foreign soil like slaves? We all like our cheap electronics, and that's why US consumer goods manufacturing doesn't exist anymore.

Our current economic climate is tough, but you'll never convince me you're suffering if you own an Apple product, so don't even bother trying. We, as consumers, are also responsible for the treatment of Chinese and other foreign laborers, because we are an intrinsic connection in the wheel of economic-slave labor.

I'm not urging you to put down your iPod (although you would enjoy music a whole lot better if you listened to it as it was intended to be listened to) and I am not asking you turn off your Toshiba flat screen TV.

But maybe it's time we stop blindly worshipping companies because they are cool and have hip marketing campaigns. Maybe we should stop being lemmings who crave things just because other people have them without any concern for the people who built them for us. Maybe the next time we buy a product we should be responsible people and find out just exactly what it is we are buying.

We cannot be a freedom loving people if we pursue life, liberty and happiness on the backs of others. This is what you've all been complaining about. Right?

Increasing our standard of living at the expense of slave and indentured labor was repugnant 200 years ago, and just because we've forced the economic-slave labor force out of sight doesn't make it any less repugnant now.

The statistics and details for this column came from NY Times Business Day January 25, 2012 and The Atlantic Wire January 26, 2012.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

This White Libertarian Talks About Race

I'm not going to follow the herd and talk about the State of the Union address last night. The President didn't offer anything new, so I'm not going to waste our time dissecting the same old rhetoric.

Last night I got in a discussion with an acquaintance about race and politics. Although we're separated by about three decades in age, our politics and our race, we are connected by our civility.

My friend stated he was angry the Republican presidential candidates were portraying all African-Americans as "lazy and weak." He went on to say the perception of conservatives is this lack of desire to work is a major cause of the current economic climate we find ourselves in. He was sincere and not trying to goad me into a circular argument.

He was specifically referring to Newt Gingrich's suggestion that programs in urban areas should be aimed at teaching kids about work and the pride of ownership of one's own destiny. Unfortunately, this is what Newt meant, but it's not what he said. Either out of ignorance or a desire to garner attention, Newt uses words that are inflammatory to people who are not fully engaged with him. Because of this, his very worthy messages get lost on those he would most hope would listen to him. This is not leadership, it's politics.

Like it or not (and personally, I don't), our society allows words to have multiple meanings, depending on who is uttering them.
  • Ghetto. It's an Italian word that was originally used to describe the section of Venice that was inhabited by Jews. It morphed into a word that means any area of a city inhabited by poor people. Now, to a vast majority of people, it means urban areas predominately inhabited by African-Americans. If you are trying to successfully convey a message, you have to understand what your listeners are going to hear.
  • Foodstamp. This one really, really irks me, but to an unfortunately large segment of the US population, this word invokes "African-American." "Welfare" doesn't, but "foodstamp" does. Again, it's incumbent on the messager to either re-define the word or avoid it.
When I was a kid, if was happy I was gay. Words change, like society does. Now I don't have to necessarily be happy to be gay, as lots same-sex couples are going to find out as more and more states allow same-sex marriages.

Conservatives wear their frankness and honesty as a badge of honor. In reality, to a vast majority of people who think they disagree with them, their words come across as insensitive and spiteful. I don't make the reality, I just report it.

So when Newt talks about teaching kids that pushing a broom after school is a good thing, what gets heard and regurgitated is that Newt thinks black kids are lazy and dangerous and they should be kept in their places by teaching them janitorial skills. When this slaps Newt in the face like a branch let loose by the person walking ahead of him, this misinterpretation makes him indignant. It happens to all well-meaning conservatives. That's why we fail so often in the arena of ideas.

Maybe we on the Right need to customize our message for people who have been raised on racial division and a constant buzz in their heads that the US and it's white majority are inherently unfair. The racial divide in this country is real and it needs to be addressed. It is a divide of perception unlike the actual horrific divide of the 20th Century, but it is a divide nevertheless. I stated this and mentioned my deep disappointment that Barack Obama has been a miserable failure on this point -- and my words were met with solid agreement.

My acquaintance then went on to say that "successful people, black, white, Asian, and Hispanic, are afraid" of raising up poor blacks for fear of losing their own success.

I replied that I was sad to see that we live in two completely different Americas, and this is where the communication began to break down. It stayed civil, but my assertion that there simply aren't groups of people in this country actively keeping other people in poverty to protect their own wealth was met with a derisive laugh. I asked him to think about the possibility this was a perception that was removed from reality through years of propaganda from people who earn their livings being race baiters, and that got us nowhere.

Because I believe what I believe, it's up to me to figure out a way to communicate my message in a way that will get it across to someone who is firm in his belief that I am wrong. It is not his responsibility to look beyond my words to find their true meaning.

This is good advice for all of us...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Campaign Speech In Front of People Other Than the Same Old Union Hacks and School Children

Tonight is the Sate of the Union Address, or as the President calls it "A Campaign Speech In Front of  People Other Than the Same Old Union Hacks and School Children." The President will promise a lot of things and place all of the blame squarely on the political opposition. If you are shaking your fist at me because you think I am a racist for not supporting the President, understand that I have said, and will continue to say, this same thing about every President, whether I think they are trying to "fundamentally change" America or not.

The State of the Union is a great time for a President go over his list of failures and get all indignant about them while we bob our heads like chihuahuas on the rear decks of our grandmother's '64 Impalas. If you buy into anything that gets said then you are, well, grandma always said that if I couldn't say anything nice...

I would like for the president -- any president -- to stand up there some day and just say, "Look the State of the Union is pretty crappy, and since I'm in charge I guess it's kind of my fault, so that being said, I'm going to adjust my trim a bit and get us sailing in a different direction." I would also like my first wife to give me back the years she stole from me by giving weedwhackers and paint brushes for Christmas, and telling me all the bills were paid.

Anyway, politics is on everybody's mind, especially since American Idol will get pre-empted, so I would like to offer you a reminder of why you keep coming back to this blog.

Here's a fun little political quiz game you can play with your Democrat friends. I like to call it "Fun With Positives," and as the name implies not only is the game fun, but it also proscribes saying negative things to prove your point.

Here's the rules:
  1. You must state your political case by stating what you (and your candidate of choice) stand for, only.
  2. You cannot mention the name of any opposition candidate, person, or party.
  3. Even an incumbent is a candidate in an election, so don't get cute.
If you break any of the rules you prove that your political beliefs are not well formed or based in actual fact, and so I win.

A sample game might sound like this:

YOU: Why do you support [insert name of generic conservative presidential candidate here]?
ME: He believes, like I do, in small government that exists as a tool to success, not as a means or an end to it.
YOU: But [insert name of potential future failed president here] he's rich, so he's inherently unfair and he ties dogs to the roof of his car.
ME: I remember when I was in my twenties, people aspired to be rich, now they just aspire to bitch. I like rich people more than I even like middle-class people. Rich people very rarely storm the gates of the Bastille. And as far as tying a dog to a car, what are you going to tell me next, that he only pays 13% in income taxes? Why is that important to you, because you are a class-warfarist?
YOU: Okay, moving on, but what about that other guy [insert name of potential future failed president here], he's had multiple marriages and he thinks black kids should be janitors
ME: Frankly, I could care less about his marriage record, because when I was in my thirties we had a president who was kind of messy in that department and I learned from the monolithic media that a candidate's personal life didn't matter, because it was -- personal. As far as the janitors bit, you are obviously not paying attention. You brought race into this, not him, so what's that say about you? What I got from his speech was that kids from low-income families could gain a measure of self-esteem from learning early how to earn their own money. You might be surprised by this, but there are poor people from all the colors of the rainbow. I had a paper route when I was twelve and I bought a Schwinn Varsity from the proceeds. I wish I still had that bike.
YOU: But what about [insert name of current and future failed president here] don't you like? Pretty much his race, right?
ME: I don't like people who believe that the government -- any government -- should be central to people's lives. Whether it's a busybody on my local school board who sides with the teacher's union and PTA, or that obnoxious guy on Facebook who is always making fun of people who don't think like he does. I want a president who is all in as an American. One who is not just a self-serving party politician who puts his own position and power ahead of the success of the American people. I dislike politicians who believe that votes come from suffering, and therefore become purveyors of it.
ME: I win. At the very root of libertarianism is the uplifting of the human spirit that enables people to reach their fullest potential and the incumbent joy that comes with witnessing other people's success. Try it some time. As for me, I am going to vote for the candidate who comes closest to my beliefs knowing full well that there is no such thing as a perfect candidate for everyone.

There is no doubt that the monolithic media and the Left in this country own the dialogue, but that doesn't mean those of us who truly feel differently shouldn't put our best efforts into taking the dialogue back.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Suddenly I'm An 'Insurgent?' And Here I Am Thinking I Stood For American Principles

After Newt's not-so-surprising win in South Carolina this week, the monolithic* media (MM) has been scrambling around trying to figure just what the hell is going on. Using a word -- insurgent -- that makes most Americans extremely uneasy, the MM is trying to maintain the status quo by isolating those of us who are truly unhappy with the state of our nation from the rest of you who are content with the sorry state politics as usual has put us in.

Let's look at "establishment" versus "insurgency":

First, we have the Establishment Republicans. In Reagan's time they were referred to as "Country Club Republicans." They are a scourge on American politics because they tell us they are different than Democrats, but they're not. They're exactly the same. Here's some Country Club Republicans you might be familiar with:
  • Mitt Romney. Not only is he Country Club, but he's the guy on the membership committee with the reserved parking space by the practice green
  • Chris Christie. That is why Christie is such a great conservative governor for New Jersey. New Jersey would shrivel up like a slug in a salt flat with a real conservative in the Statehouse, so we have to be content with Christie. It's a start
  • Newt Gingrich. Don't let his "Reagan Republican" bit fool you for one second. The Newtster is a bona fide tweed and khaki wearing Republican who just hides it behind anger and indignance, and a desperate need to differentiate himself from Mitt
  • Every Republican Club member east of the Central Time Zone. (I stopped going to Republican meetings in 1993)
Now let's look at the insurgents who are scaring the Vente Lattes out of everyone, including the Occupy Wall Street kids, who, if they stopped for a second to actually think about things, would realize the similarities of cause:**
  • Rick Santorum. I know he looks like a frat boy from Cornell with a trust fund, but he's not. He's an actual real-life smart-ass from a blue-collar background. He's got the anger of Newt without the book smarts. He's also got the same problem Obama has: both were short-serving US Senators without much of a record to lean on. Oh., wait...
  • Ron Paul. Ron believes in small government, states' rights, elimination of the Federal Reserve, self-sufficiency, American exceptionalism, among other old-fashioned American things. And he's the insurgent? And you Republicans are okay with that?
  • Me. I want to go to work and make some money and take a vacation when I can afford it. I want my kid to go to college and the be able to pursue a career. I want to pay as little in taxes as possible, and I don't want the money I do pay in taxes going to government waste, political cronyism, Socialist Utopian fantasies, GM, the Bank of America, or green energy. I want this ear infection I have to go away and I want to keep the doctor I've been going to for ten years to help me get rid of it without some government stooge interfering. I want every American to be free and I want people who want to come live here to do it legally and then enjoy the same fruits my country offers. I want to be left alone so I can leave other people alone, so we can all go about our collective and individual businesses.
Yup, I am an insurgent.

* - I have been taken to task for referring to the msm as the MSM, because some people think there are factions in the media that represent all sides of the argument. Unfortunately, those folks are wrong. The mainstream media in the US represents shareholders, soap manufacturers and housewives (because they spend money on soap) and people who think the government (me) should pay for their Hoverounds. If you spend your time arguing the differences between Fox News on one side and everyone else on the other, you are missing the point. So, now it's the monolithic media (MM).

** - I refer only to those Occupy folks who are not just lazily looking for a church to crash in and a free lunch. I'm talking about the original vast majority of the movement who are as dissatisfied about things as I am, but who just aren't as sure as I am about the root cause of the cesspool we are currently wading in.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Barack Obama: The Perfect Candidate

The field for the GOP nomination for president has been narrowed down to four, and very likely by this time next week there will only be three left. The Democrats are making great sport of the messiness of the GOP primary process. That's mostly because Democrats typically anoint their nominee (unless it's someone icky and female like Hillary), while the GOP vetts and studies their candidates before letting them carry the flag.

There is one other reason for the Democrat's delight at the GOP nomination and primary process: In 2008, the Dems fielded the only perfect candidate in the history of the country and they sure as hell aren't going to admit to any lapses in judgement now.

Here's a quick look at the imperfect GOP field:
  1. Mittt Romney: He's been portrayed as a slicker version of Clark Griswald after apparently driving around New England with his dog strapped to the roof of his car. He's also got a problem explaining perfectly normal and logical tax returns and investments, and then there's all that messy liberal stuff he did in Massachusetts that people like Chuck Todd want to ride him on but they can't because, well, libs avoiding eating their own. Mitt's also a one percenter, so we all know how Americans feels about successful people.
  2. Newt Gingrich: For a pretty ugly guy, Newt's got a lot of 'splaining to do when it comes to his relationships with the opposite sex, and his angry ex-wife isn't helping at all. Then there's his petulance, his history as a lobbyist, and that credit line at Tiffany's that only one percenters have.
  3. Ron Paul: Besides the fact that he thinks Iran's quest for nukes shouldn't be interefered with, he's also got that newsletter that he either did write or didn't write, or he did know about or he didn't know about, but he's a racist regardless.
  4. Rick Santorum: Despite having lost his bid for re-election to the US Senate by the biggest margin in history, Rick's general craziness is offset by the fact that he is not candidate 1, 2 or 3.
Here's a quick look at the most perfect candidate of all time, Barack Obama:
  1. He's brilliant, and you gotta trust me on this, because no one has ever seen any of his his grades.
  2. There may or may not have been sexual harassment claims filed by two of his former Harvard students, but we shouldn't examine this because we don't want to appear racist or anything.
  3. He may or may not have been born in the US, but Donald Trump has bad hair, so you're crazy to even ask about it.
  4. He may or may not have been aligned with radicals like Bill Ayers, Michael Pfleger and Jeremiah Wright, but even if he was, so what?
  5. Michelle Obama may or may not have had to surrender her law license, but she's not president, so stuff it.
  6. Obama may or may not have patronized bath houses in Chicago frequented by the elite of Chicago's "down-low" gay scene, but you're a homophobe for even thinking about it.
  7. There are no ex-girlfriend's, bosses, employees, friends, neighbors, people who cut him off in traffic, or anyone else coming forward to talk about Obama when he was in his twenties and thirties. It's almost like he just appeared one day. Like a miracle or something. Sort of like Jesus, only way better, because who wants to get involved with religion?
  8. He's really rich, but he didn't earn his money in business or anything horrible like that, so I guess he's not a one percenter, and only old white guys are in the one percent, except Steve Jobs, who was old, white and really rich, but he invented the iPad and iPhone and who could live without those? plus, Steve is dead, so he doesn't count.
So, if you ignore a few things, you have the perfect candidate, and now we find out last night that he sings Al Green tunes better than Al Green, so he's like this great president and he's better than Justin Beiber. How cool is that?

Barack Obama is perfect, not like those nasty Republicans, who, like the rest of us, have actual real histories from their actual, real lives.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Foodstamps: Liberal Codeword for Racism. Their Racism, That Is

In past columns I have explained how Newt Gingrich is not consistent when he says he is a "Reagan Conservative," or any type of conservative for that matter. Newt is attacking Mitt because Newt pays taxes at a rate of 31% (like me) and Mitt pays at a rate of 15%. I bring this up again today because Newt is hammering Mitt for it, and well, Newt is being a faux-populist, a class warfarist, and a bit of a moron. We have a "conservative" in the White House who feels the same way about wealth as Newt does.

But today I learned that food stamps are racist and this is making my head explode. Not because this is such a stupid thing for an adult person to believe, but because I have to defend Newt on this. I am growing tired defending two guys I really don't like. My ying is fully at war with my yang, and right now I am sincerely wishing Ron Paul wasn't so naive.

On the Today Show this morning, Ann Curry got all up in Newt's grille about Newt's use of the term "foodstamp president" for Obama, when Curry really knows in her partially developed political brain that Newt meant something about black people. Newt stood her up on her pointy head on the point.

I actually know real white people who are on foodstamps, so I'm not really sure what Curry and her ilk are stabbing at. Does she think that only black people are on foodstamps? Do white people who are on foodstamps not count for anything? What about Hispanics, are they black, or white, or invisible?

An adult human being who lives in America and who gets upset because they actually think the word "foodstamp" is a white person's codeword for "black" should be ashamed.

And just FYI, Newt is referring to the fact that under the guidance of President Obama more people are depending on foodstamps than at any other time in history, therefore, he is the "Foodstamp President."

I am saddened by my logical conclusion that Libs and Dems are unaware that white people are also suffering under this current Administration.

I'm going to say what needs to be said here, and if you get mad at me for it, then you need to have a deep, introspective, honest talk with yourself: When Libs like Ann Curry get up in arms about foodstamps being a racial thing, they are showing their inherent racism and condescension. Conservatives and Libertarians, (who actually understand conservatism and libertarianism) see people. By their reaction to the word "foodstamp" it's obvious that Liberals and Democrats see color and class.

This is not my problem, it's yours.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

"Fifteen Percent! How Does He Manage To Pay Less Than The Middle Class?"

This is what the well-informed newsmaton on CNN just said in reference to Mitt Romney's Federal tax rate.

She said this because she does not understand the tax code, she only understands class warfare. She is all aflutter because Mitt Romney is a rich white guy who pays 15 % on investment income which is "less" than what normal downtrodden people like you and me pay on our income earned from labor. Somehow this is Mitt Romney's fault -- not the Federal tax code's fault. Incidentally, Congress writes the tax code, so the CNN newsmaton's beef is with the US Congress, not Mitt Romney -- unless of course her beef with Mitt is because he is a rich, white guy.

What a silly and vapid country we live in that a guy who has money is blasted for following the law and paying taxes how he is instructed to pay them.

For everyone whose bloomers are bunching up in all sorts of uncomfortable ways about Mitt Romney paying 15% (as prescribed by law) on his investment income, I have a solution for you.

Flat tax.

Even better, a flat tax on consumption, leaving labor untaxed.

You're welcome. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

How Is It We Continue to Be Surprised By the Depravity and Vulgarity of War?

As long as war is regarded as wicked, it will always have its fascination. When it is looked upon as vulgar, it will cease to be popular. -- Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist

I make no excuses for the four representatives of my country who defiled the dead bodies of their enemies. I am also not so naive as to think that urinating on the bodies of a fallen enemy is the first heinous act committed during war. I am outraged by this but no more outraged than I am everytime I see a casket, or a body, or a maimed soldier trying to piece his or her life back together. (The Pentagon has since confirmed but not released the identities of the soldiers and are not disputing the authenticity of the video)

A few years ago, I spoke with a soldier whose country and branch of service I'll keep private as per his wish. He worked in the medical corp in Afghanistan. A badly burned and nearly dead little girl was brought to this soldier's compound by her father. The little girl's body was so badly damaged by a bomb intended to kill Taliban insurgents that this soldier and his commanding officer had no choice but to overdose the child with morphine.  That day, at least four lives were destroyed by war. This soldier's actions were necessary given the situation, but that necessity does not lessen the vulgarity.

Of course the Marines in this picture cheapened the perceived values of all Americans and set back foreign relations by a measure of years. Of course I am disgusted by what I saw, but I am no more disgusted by this than I am by all of the other stories of death and mutlilation I am aware of.

This is what happens during war.

Americans have come to believe that war is antiseptic and something that happens to other people in other lands. Then, when the daily depravity of war slaps us in the face we act surprised and indignant. We have disconnected the killing of people via drones and missiles from the killing of people by young men with guns. We send soldiers to kill but we demand they remain civilized. This my friends is the depraved behavior at the root of what these soldiers did, and we as a country should all take responsibility for it. Until we take that responsibility we should stop with the faux-outrage.

We have been at war in Afghanistan for ten years, and we barely pay attention to the death and mutilation anymore. Yet somehow defiling dead soldiers is suddenly wrong? I think we all need to check our personal and collective values.

War is necessary at times, but until we understand that war is always necessarily depraved we will continue to be outraged at the wrong things.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Newt Gingrich Is the Best Friend Two-Term President Obama Has

Mitt Romney won New Hampshire last night, but the media all told us he would win because Mitt owns a house in New Hampshire, so no surprise there.

In other news, "conservatives" Newt Gingrich, Jon Hunstman and Rick Perry attacked free-market capitalism in a sad continuance of their desperate attempts to be taken seriously in the race for the GOP nomination. Calling venture capitalism "vulture capitalism" (as Perry did) might play well to the Occupy Wall Street crowd, but to serious people who understand how things work, its embarrassing.

Newt has proven that every one of us who had concerns about his lack of personal discipline were right. Because of his petulance and narcissism, Newt has done nothing but give the Democrats an incredibly large garrison of political ammunition to use against Romney should he win the nomination. Out-of-context attacks like quoting Romney as saying he "liked to fire people" are exactly the kind of fodder the Dems need to fire away at in the general election -- the fact that he was talking about using the power of the market to fire under-performing service providers, and not actually firing human beings in his employ, notwithstanding. And anyway, even though the economy is bad, if a person isn't doing their job they should be fired. There's lots of people who need jobs who can take their place. I think the ability to fire people is actually a good asset for an executive to have. But then again, I am an adult.

While Newt touts his "Reagan Republican" credentials with every breath, attacking capitalism was not part of Reagan's rhetoric. Reagan's "11th Commandment for Republicans" also advised against attacking other Republicans. If Newt was indeed a "Reagan Republican" he would know this.

Newt was also the big whiner in Iowa because of attacks on him by Romney supporters. Add "hypocrite" to Newt's lengthy list of personal accomplishments.

Newt's desire for revenge for perceived slights is far outweighing his abilities as a statesman, and he is damaging the party. If you want to make Barack Obama a one-term president, you people in the loyal opposition better turn your backs on Gingrich quickly before his thin-skin and petulance single-handedly hands Obama a second term. It's time for Gingrich to realize he is not a "Reagan Republican" and that his constant reminders that he is a conservative are ringing hollow.

Let's look at the other candidates:
  • Ron Paul has started listening to his advisers and is actually beginning to explain the Libertarian position quite lucidly. If he can overcome some of his more ill-advised statements early on in the campaign he just might be able to correct his course enough to be a factor. I did name Paul one of the most dangerous men in America from a Libertarian POV, but it seems he has abandoned the paleo-Libertarian mindset for one that can actually translate well to the rest of America.
  • Rick Santorum does not have the temperament to hold the office of President, but quite frankly that didn't stop America from electing Obama, so we'll have to wait and see on that one. Santorum is kind of conservative, but his record shows he never met a big government program he didn't like. 
  • Rick Perry is just kind of dopey, so his stupid attacks on capitalism and Romney can be excused -- to a point. I would take him seriously as a candidate if his campaign had actually bothered to get his name on the ballots in all the states holding primaries. We'd all be better off if Perry would just slink back to Texas as soon as possible.
  • Jon Huntsman will become the darling of the Left Wing MSM in the coming days because of his ties to Obama and his family wealth. As far as having conservative bona fides -- not so much. He would serve the party he professes to belong to well by pulling out and endorsing one of the other serious candidates.
Republicans, Tea Party activists, independents, libertarians, embarrassed Democrats, dopey intellectuals and neo-Cons: it's time to get serious. Let the vetting and nomination process continue so we don't wind up with an adulated but flawed president like the Democrats foisted upon us. Stop the sniping, grow up and present a united front. All efforts should be on winning the White House, not personal revenge and scorched earth campaign tactics.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Now That New Jersey Is Completely Fixed, NJ Democrats Declare Gay Marriage "Top Priority"

Before all of you haters run to your Urban Dictionaries to come up with clever new insults to hurl at me, let me explain a few things first:
  • It is completely wrong for partners, regardless of sexual orientation, to be denied access to the same privileges as partners in heterosexual relationships
  • As a Libertarian I have no interest in dictating how the personal lives of others are lived, as long as their behavior does not infringe on my right to live my life peacefully
  • As a Christian I realize that my faith does not include marriage between partners of the same sex, but it also teaches me not to judge others, lest I myself be judged
  • As a person who understands the machinations of politics, I realize Gay Marriage is a wonderful tool to use against so-called Conservatives and people who generally populate the "Right"
  • Although I am politically not opposed to gay marriage, I have a hard time living in a state where the dominant legislative party (Democrat) calls the matter a "top priority" when the general standard of living for all of us New Jerseyans, even the non-Gay ones, still sucks 
Okay, now that I've cleared that up, let me get on with it.

In 2009, NJ State Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester) abstained from a vote on legalizing gay marriage in New Jersey. This was a purely political move by the ever-political Sweeney that allowed him to remain silent on the issue of gay marriage without annoying his party. However, Sweeney now claims his 2009 abstention was "wrong" and that he' s had a "change of heart." Don't be fooled by this bit of honesty and introspection. Sweeney has not changed his core beliefs one iota, but core beliefs don't matter when a good political fight can be waged against one's enemies.

Yesterday, Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-Essex) vowed at a press conference that passing gay marriage in New Jersey would be a "top priority" in the upcoming legislative session.

Oliver and Sweeney couldn't give a rat's hindquarters about gay marriage. I say this because when they had a sympathetic Governor (Jon Corzine) they did absolutely nothing to further the cause of civil rights for homosexuals. In fact, Jim McGreevey was actually gay and they still did nothing to further the cause of civil rights for partners in homosexual relationships.

But now they have Chris Christie to contend with, and Christie is riding high and sniffing around at the buffet table of national politics. What better way to give the national Dems something to hang their hats on than by forcing Christie's hand to either veto or sign the legislation? For all of you non-New Jersey types, this is how we play politics in the Garden State.

Hopefully either Sweeney or Oliver will take this actual list of political priorities for all of the citizens of New Jersey, regardless of sexual orientation, to heart:
  1. Ridiculously high property taxes that are crushing the working poor, working class, middle class, arrogant wealthy class, and everyone in-between
  2. Horrendously high corporate tax rates that guarantee long-term unemployment stays high
  3. An eroding middle-class tax base
  4. A crumbling infrastructure
  5. Corruption and double-dipping at all levels of state and local government that exponentially increases the cost of living for all New Jerseyans
  6. An antiquated and unwieldy public school system that ties the hands of teachers and ensures political cronyism and distorted salaries at the administrative level
  7. Crumbling inner-cities that are in desperate need in spite of the incredible amounts of money New Jersey taxpayers are forced to funnel to them through Democrat-controlled political machines
  8. A tax burden that is making people under thirty realize home-ownership in New Jersey is simply not feasible
  9. A regressive tax system that includes raising tolls on major highways 100% without realizing this toll increases hits the "working class" and people who are struggling to get by the hardest
  10. Gay Marriage
So, in conclusion, I would just like to say to Stephen Sweeney and Sheila Oliver that what you perceive as "priorities" in your out-of-touch world of politics does not translate well in the real-world of people trying to make a life for themselves. I am for equal rights in the eyes of the law for all people, but maybe, just once, you long-term, politically entrenched busybodies could prioritize for all of the residents, not just the politically expedient ones.

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Arrest and Imprisonment of 17 Year-Old Ameer Fathi

At 5:15 AM on January 2nd, fifteen riot police stormed the Muharraq, Bahrain, home of seventeen year-old Ameer Fathi and arrested him.

Ameer suffers from bladder and kidney ailments as well as epilepsy and severe sleep apnea. His sleep is monitored nightly by family members to ensure his breathing remains normal.

At 11:30 AM on January 1st, Ameer left his home and visited his mosque. He left the mosque in the afternoon and returned to his home around 3:00 PM. Shortly after 5:00 PM Ameer returned to the mosque and attended a prayer class. After that he attended a Shi'a Ahlulbayt (family or household) ceremony at a Matam (a Shi'a congregation hall). All of this activity took place in the neighborhood of Karimi, which is where Ameer and his family live.

Ameer left the Matam around 10:00 PM and visited relatives with his mother, returning home at 12:30 AM on January 2nd. There is no eyewitness account or other record of Ameer having any contact with police or government authorities during the previous day. Ameer's whereabouts during the day are also corroborated by non-family members who were with him or saw him.

(Bahrain's ruling class is from the Sunni minority. Hammad bin Isa Al Khalifa, a Sunni, became the Emir of Bahrain in 1999. In 2002, he declared himself the first King of Bahrain. In the spring of 2011, members of the Shi'a majority demanded more power within the Sunni-led minority government. At that time the government began it's crackdown on the majority protesters, including mass arrests without cause.)

At 7:00 AM on January 2nd, Ameer's father arrived at the Muharraq police station to see his son and find out why he was arrested (Ameer's father also suffers from a heart ailment). Ameer's father was able to get a glance at his son from a distance, but was not allowed to speak to him or contact him in any other way. Several hours later the police told Ameer's father that his son would be taken to court on the 3rd and that he could see him then.

On the morning of the 3rd, Ameer's father attended court along with the families of other boys who were arrested around the same time as Ameer (it is unclear how many -- or if any at all -- of the other boys also attended the ceremony at the Matam on the first). Ameer was not present in court. His father inquired as to his whereabouts and was told he was "in the hospital." He was given no other details. That evening the family again requested information on Ameer's condition, but were given no information.

The next morning the family was told that Ameer was in the infirmary at the jail and he would be detained for 45 days. Ameer did finally call his family that evening (January 4) and stated that he was "fine," although his mother told me via email that "his voice was not usual" and that he "was  so sad and upset." He asked that fresh clothes be brought to the police station so they could be transferred to him at the prison.

After the family got word that Ameer had arrived at the Dry Dock jail his mother went to visit him, but the police would not allow her to see him. As of the early evening of January 6th, Ameer had still not been allowed any contact with his family other than the two brief phone calls. His family had also not received any updates on Ameer's medical condition.

It may be easy for some of us to dismiss this story as just another example of the turmoil in the Middle East. Many of us will avoid letting this story affect them because of cultural or political differences, but the fact is we are talking about a seventeen year-old boy in ill-health who was removed from his home by the police and whose family is being denied information about his whereabouts or condition. There are countless stories like Ameer's in Bahrain, and as Americans, we are tied to each one.

The situation in the Middle East is no longer front page news here in the United States, but that does not mean that families throughout the region are still not suffering at the hands of brutal dictatorships. As Americans, we are inextricably linked to the region through commerce and politics. The US Navy 5th Fleet is also based in Bahrain, not far from where Ameer was arrested and where he is currently being detained.

As a country, we cannot continue to allow ourselves to remain dependent on the vagaries of foreign dictators because of our lack of political will at home. To turn a blind eye to Ameer and his family, and to the countless others like them in Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria and Iran, is disgraceful. Should we intervene militarily? Absolutely not. Should we raise our voice in support of freedom and follow through with the political and economic will to severe our ties with those who would arrest 15 year-old boys for no other reason than attendance at a religious service? Absolutely yes.

America still is the last, best, hope for personal liberty in a world that is quickly turning away from freedom. Our government needs to be told by its people that we will no longer allow our good name to be used to prop up brutal dictators because of political expediency at home and abroad. For every drop of oil we insist on buying from the supporters of Bahrain's brutal dictator (i.e Saudi Arabia)because we lack the intellect to develop our own domestic reserves, we share in the misery of Ameer's family. For every story like Ameer's we choose to ignore, we dig the grave of freedom just a little bit deeper.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sarah McKinley, Being Used By the Arrogant Mass Media to Make Fun of People In Flyover Country, Should Be Heralded As An Example of Civic Responsibility

Eighteen year-old Sarah McKinley of Blanchard, Oklahoma, is a mother of a three month-old son, who also lost her husband to lung cancer on Christmas Day.

Copyright CBS News
On New Year's Eve, Dustin Stewart, 29, and Justin Martin, 24, both of Blanchard, attempted to break into McKinley's home, possibly in an attempt to steal prescription painkillers the men surmised might be in the home. There is also the possibility Stewart had other motives for the break-in. There is some evidence of a history of harassment of McKinley by Stewart, and two of McKinley's dogs were recently found dead due to unknown reasons.

The men knocked on the door for twenty minutes, while McKinley blocked it with a couch and called 911. Read the story and watch original video report from KOCO-TV.

Here is a portion of the twenty minute 911 call McKinley made:

McKinley: There's a guy at my door. I've got some dogs that keep coming up missing. This guy's up to no good. My husband just passed away. I'm here by myself with my infant baby. Can I please get a dispatch out here immediately?

Dispatch: Hang with me a second. Are your doors locked?

McKinley: Yes, I've got two guns in my hands. Is it okay to shoot him if he comes in this door?

Dispatch: Well, you have to do whatever you can do to protect yourself. I can't tell you that you can do that, but you have to do what you have to do to protect your baby. Is he trying to get in the door?

McKinley: He just keeps knocking.

Dispatch: Okay. Alright. Do you have like an alarm on your car you can set off with your remote control that might scare him and get him away?

McKinley: No, I don't.

Dispatch: Alright. That's okay.
At that point the dispatcher transferred the call to another dispatcher. The second call was not recorded.

Shortly after the call was transferred, Stewart broke through the door, brandishing a knife. McKinley shot and killed him. Martin fled after the gunshot and turned himself in later that night.

Police arrived at McKinley's home shortly after the shooting. The county McKinley lives in is rural and covers approximately 12,000 square miles. Those two factors make immediate police reponse nearly always an impossibility.

Authorities have decided not to charge McKinley in Stewart's death, following provisions in Oklahoma's law that allows a person to use deadly force in self-protection. Stewart's alleged accomplice Martin will be charged with 1st degree murder under an Oklahoma statute that holds a perpetrator liable for deaths occured during the comission of a crime.

Copyright 2012 ABC News
The silly and idiotic MSM in the United States and the UK are touting this story with headlines such as "Make My Day, Pistol Packing Mama," and using disgracefully posed pictures of McKinley pointing her shotgun at the camera Jed Clampett-style.

Copyright 2012 ABC News
The frivolous way the media is handling this story, and the way they are taking advantage of McKinley and her ordeal, misses the bigger, more serious point entirely.

Regardless of how over-reaching a state is allowed to become, it is folly to believe a state can effectively protect its citizens 100% of the time. Therefore, citizens must retain the right to protect themselves. The primary duty of every citizen in a free society is self-protection. It's a shame the MSM can't see that.

The Blanchard Police Department has set up a fund for Sarah McKinley and her baby. Checks are mailable to:

Chickasha Bank & Trust
1525 N Council Hwy 76
Blanchard, OK, 73010
For persons wishing to make a credit donation by phone, the phone number of the bank is 405-485-2300 (please ask for Leah).

Portions of this story were also compiled from the following: UK Daily Mail Online, KOCO-TV, News OK Community Blog

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Post-Hawkeye Look at the GOP Candidates

Sometimes the Iowa caucuses mean something, sometimes they don't. There is too much flux in the current GOP race for anyone to decide anything definitively, so anyone who tells you something finite is either looking for ratings or full it -- or both.

Here's a look at what we do know, and as always, the point of view here is of what is best for personal liberty and self-determination.
  1. Mitt Romney: (Rising) He has the money and the organizational skills culled from having lost the race in 2008 -- that's a good thing, even though the pundits and MSM would have you believe that once you lose a race you are a loser. I'm glad no one told Reagan that in 1976. Is Mitt a "Conservative?" Probably not, but then again, you most likely aren't either. Does he have some troubling legislative actions in his past? Yes, but he actually has a record as opposed to the guy currently in the White House, which allows us to question his views as they stand today and to hold him accountable. 
  2. Rick Santorum: (Rising) Because he is a former US Senator I don't believe he should be the nominee because Congressional foolishness put us where we are today. Like it or not he is a part of that problem. That being said the attacks against his "big government' votes notwithstanding, he is a small government-type. I'll support him if he is the candidate, but America is well-advised to put an executive in the Executive Office. We've got a legislator there now, and that's not working out so well.
  3. Ron Paul: (Rising) Too bad his son Rand isn't running, because Rand knows how to espouse the beliefs of the movement far better than dear old dad. For the record, Ron is for adherence to the 10th Amendment and a lessening of the Federal government's role in our daily lives. That's a good thing. The next time some dope tells you Ron is for things like legalizing drugs and whatever nonsense they've been spoon feed, simply point out that he believes it is a state issue, not a federal one. Paul's foreign policy is a disaster and far too extreme for the real-politik world we live in right now. Paul has also been in Congress for thirty years, so he cannot hide from the fact that he is part of the problem.
  4. Newt Gingrich: (Plummeting like a rock) Newt is like that friend or relative of your's who is brilliant and has tons of potential but will never amount to anything because his emotional well-being is suspect. His tantrums against Romney are just inexcusable for a grown man, let alone one who wants to lead the free world. Newt wants us to believe that when someone points out his weaknesses he is being attacked, but when he attacks someone he is merely telling the truth. That asinine logic should disqualify him immediately from taking part in the national dialogue, and that's a damned shame because Newt is a big thinker of brilliant thoughts and we could use his intellect -- if he could only manage to leave his tantrum-prone self at home.
  5. Rick Perry: (Falling gently like feather) Perry is not really interested in running for president. He might like to be president, but so would I, but I'm not going to stick my neck out to do it -- so I understand where he's coming from. He would make an excellent executive at a time when that is precisely what the country needs most, but he's just not the guy.
  6. Michelle Bachmann: (Thud) She lost any chance she had when she came out like a National Enquirer-reading housewife during the trumped up Gardisil-Rick Perry nonsense last summer.
  7. Jon Huntsman: (Drifting aimlessly through space) According to all of the pundits, Huntsman is suddenly now the conservative torch bearer with loads of foreign policy experience and he is going to crush everyone in New Hampshire and save America. Not likely.
So there you have it. Eleven months to go and the loyal opposition is doing exactly what it is supposed to do -- vetting its candidates for the most important office in the world. Which we should be reminding our Democrat friends at every opportunity they did not do when they foisted Barack Obama upon an unsuspecting world.