Thursday, April 21, 2016

Our Age of Un-enlightenment

     As I watch in general the world, and specifically our nation, from the narrow window that is every individual's point of perspective, I have come to the conclusion that we have regressed. This regression has been, in recent years, an accelerated descent into an age of un-enlightenment. It seems as though the more technologically advanced we have become, the more unenlightened we have also become. I am not suggesting that technology is a causation of the condition of un-enlightenment, only a corollary. The real cause is a much more nefarious infection called Leftism.
     Intimated and inspired by the Left is the radical environmental movement, where its devotees have elevated the earth and its nature contain therein to the level of God, deserving of worship and praise. The individuals who have sanctified the climate through sacrifice of reason, are a throwback to other unenlightened periods in world history. As the simple peasants of unenlightened times imparted certain religious and mystical powers to the earth's accouterments, so do the modern day climate change zealots impart their own misplaced religious devotion to the object of their faith.
     Additionally inspired by the Left is their unenlightened sacrament of erasing the distinctions, placed their by nature, between males and females of the species. This is so egregiously backward as to have no equal in world history. For even the most simple-minded and irrational peoples of the past recognized the undeniable separation between the male and female sexes. The most recent violation of natural logic on this subject is the Lefts insistence that restrooms, previously assigned on the basis of one's genitals (not their feelings), be converted to symbols of Leftist intolerance for nature's truth. And as in every foray into un-enlightenment that the Left has pulled our nation into, the obliteration of the female and male sexes is a tyranny imposed on the vast majority of society by a vocal and miniscule minority.
     The current campaigns to win the presidency this Fall is glaringly exemplary of how far down the rabbit hole of un-enlightenment we have traveled. The front-runners on both sides of the political aisle are the quintessential examples of un-enlightenment. Both have character flaws one could drive a truck through, and ethics and morals that one would be hard pressed to find with an electron microscope. Added to these serious foibles is neither one's ability or willingness to step outside the vacuous shadows of their vapid rhetoric. Proof of the un-enlightenment is not so much in these individuals, but in the fact that a substantial number of people support them. Once again the Lefts emotionalism over intellect has even infiltrated the Right.
     Yes my friends, we have entered an age of un-enlightenment that could last quite a while. As communication has become easier, we meaningfully communicate less. As information becomes more ubiquitous, the truth becomes more scarce. As more of our population graduates college, our national intelligence quotient has collapsed. As our ability to do good has been made more possible through our prosperity, it seems we have chosen to feel good instead. And as quickly as we entered a new period in world history that should have lead to paradise, we have just as quickly set it ablaze with moral abandonment and selfishness ushered in by the Leftist ideology of the last fifty years.

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Choice Between Arsenic and Hemlock

  I just realized it has been weeks since I have made a new post to this blog. That is what happens when one is working 70 hours a week, and is unable to find the time for even routine chores let alone commenting on the political machinations of the day. I do have some thoughts however on the recent complaining of Donald Trump about the Republican primary process and the yet another position on the Trump campaign by the ever-fluid Mark Levin. I will try as hard as I can to make sense of the senselessness of both topics and tie them together in a nice, neat package.
     The Trump campaign and his goose-stepping followers, realizing that the myth of overwhelming support for Donald Trump is drifting away like the vapor from an E-cigarette, have now begun to blame the Republican primary process for their candidate's electoral impotence. Both the candidate and his votaries have said the Republican primary process is corrupt and must be changed. Odd how they seemed blind to the flaws in the system only a couple months ago when the Trump campaign appeared unstoppable. And there does not seem to be any whining about the primary process from Donald Trump and his marionettes about the primaries he wins, only the ones he loses.
     So according to the Trump campaign the only fair primaries are the ones he wins, all others are corrupt and should go the way of the typewriter and the phone booth. Anyone who is being intellectually honest at all would admit that if The Donald had clinched the nomination by now we would not be subject to the constant whining about him being treated "unfairly." The whining by him and his devotees are a consequence of his inability to rise above 35% support and clinch the nomination with the accumulation of the 1237 delegates needed to be called the Republican nominee.
     As for Mark Levin and his constantly changing political values, I have to say I agree with his recent sentiment of not voting for Donald Trump under any circumstance. Although his reason for doing so is because of his perception that the Trump campaign personally attacked him, and not because he understands that Donald Trump would be a bigger disaster for the country than Hillary Clinton. It has been amazing to watch "The Great One's (that is what Mark Levin's trolls call him)" shifting position on The Donald. In the span of only six months Mr. Levin has gone from full-throated support for Mr. Trump, to now saying he would not vote for him if he is the nominee. Talk about values built on sand.
     As for all those who say Donald Trump could not be worse than Hillary Clinton, and might, just might be slightly better; is this what we have come to in this nation, i.e. voting for someone who we think can not be worse than the most corrupt and inept candidate to ever run? And who says Donald Trump could not be worse that Hillary Clinton? This is the most irrational reason to vote for a Republican candidate I have ever heard. To state categorically that Mr. Trump would not be worse than Hillary Clinton begs the question: Have these folks been paying attention to this campaign? Some on the Right have such a hatred for and a vendetta against Hillary Clinton that they are willing to elect someone worse just to keep her out of the White House.
     Not that I cherish a Hillary Clinton presidency. I do not. But a Trump presidency promises to be as bad if not worse. Let us hope that our choice is not between arsenic and hemlock, because neither is pleasant to think about and both will lead to a greater demise than we have already experienced.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Ethos of Large Government and Smaller Citizen

     There is an ethos of political thought that postulates our politics has become so consuming in American modernity because government has become so large, thus becoming more intrusive in the lives of its citizens. An ever-increasing federal authority is at least partially responsible for the political season going from occupying the space just before elections, as was the case for much of our history, to gobbling up most of the oxygen in media and elsewhere. It is this ethos of the relationship between a growing government and the importance of politics to the average American that I see as a major reason for the appeal of Donald Trump by some Republican primary voters.
     First some facts. The latest polling data shows that only seventeen percent of eligible voters have voted in the Republican primaries. Of those seventeen percent, only a third have supported Mr. Trump. So in other words the claim by some of his zealots that "America loves Trump," is simply not borne out by the math, which shows he has about six percent support among the total number of eligible voters. Still there is substantial support for part time businessman-part time reality TV star-part time politician.
     When asked why they support The Donald, his votaries can only grasp at the straw of his bombastic invectives as proof of his strength. They see him as some kind of protector, as the simple peasants would have seen a king in a time long ago. It is not important to Trump supporters what he believes (if anything) or what form his policies might take if he is elected president. They are mired in the base instinct of supporting the man they see as the strong horse. This emotional response is a result of the ethos of expanding government, and the corresponding growth in the importance of politics in the lives of the citizens.
     My theory is supported by the fact that those who support Mr. Trump are not concerned with the traditional tenet of conservatism, i.e. limiting the size and scope of the federal government. In fact, Donald Trump's stated policies would actually increase the size of government, not shrink it. His vacuous campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again," is a harbinger of that expansion under a President Trump. Those who think America is not great unless Mr. Trump is president, and only the federal government under his guidance can make it great, have shown a limited understanding of what made America great to begin with.
     The support for Donald Trump as president is not surprising in this Leftist infected culture where the weakening of self reliance has become an epidemic. It is just surprising to me that it seems to have metastasized in what was once the conservative movement. And those calling themselves conservatives, then looking for a father figure as president, is a disgusting development that I find abhorrent. It was not that long ago that a celebrity referred to Barack Obama as a father figure for the country and these same conservatives pilloried him for it. Now it seems they are supporting a man for president whose only apparent qualification for the job is the perceived strength that his followers have lost in themselves. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

March 15-The Death Knell for Trump Campaign

     After the primaries of yesterday, March 15, 2016, the Republican field has narrowed yet again. A field that began some 12 months ago with 18 candidates, is now a three man race, made so with the exit of Marco Rubio after the Florida senator could not garner a win in his home state. Ohio governor John Kasich however proved he could win, albeit in his home state, yet he was the only non-Trump candidate that won a state. Nobody knows how the race to become the Republican nominee will end, although one can make the case that Donald Trump may have reached his peak and is on his way to losing the nomination.
     With many of the remaining states awarding their delegates on a proportional basis, and with Mr. Trump needing 60% of the remaining delegates to clinch the nomination outright, there is little chance that the Republican convention in Cleveland this July will not be an open one. Mr. Trump has not even gotten near 60% of the vote in any of the proportional states that have already had their primaries, there is nothing to suggest he will do so in the remaining ones.
     Mr. Trump and his glassy-eyed devotees understand this fact, even if it is on a very basic level able to be grasped by their limited intellectual acumen. This is why they have been lately making noise that if Trump has the most delegates at the end of the primary process, and is short of the 1237 needed to clinch the nomination, he should be awarded the nomination anyway. This ignoring of the rules because they interfere with one's political agenda is not conservative or based on traditional American values.
     Of course no one could accuse the Trump campaign and his deluded votaries of being either conservative or tethered to the values which founded this great nation. That is what makes his campaign so surprising to me, one who always thought this kind of chicanery and deceit was a tenet of the Left and did not have a home in the Republican Party. The Trump campaign, and more importantly the churlish manner in which his supporters have conducted themselves, has illustrated to me that Leftism has indeed infected the Republican Party.
     But I digress. I think the March 15 primaries might just become the death knell for the ill-advised Trump campaign. For if he does not reach the required 1237 delegates, and the convention in July is an open one, he will not survive when delegates are able to vote their conscience and are not bound by polling results. If this happens, John Kasich could be seen as a compromise choice and may just win the nomination. Whatever the outcome, for the sake of the Republican Party, the conservative movement, and the nation, Mr. Trump must not be the nominee.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Carson The Anti-Trump

     With the announcement by Dr. Ben Carson that he is suspending his campaign, the field for those seeking the Republican nomination to represent the GOP in this November's general election has once again narrowed. Dr. Carson realized, as all second tier candidates realize at some point, single digit support is not going to win the White House. But with the departure of the good doctor there is a sense of sadness in my heart, for the Republican Party, for the political process, and for the country as a whole. You see, Ben Carson was the anti-Trump. Not just the opposite of the front runner in the level of support for his campaign, but the opposite of the front runner in his maturity, manner, demeanor, and sensibility.
     Where Ben Carson grew up in abject poverty, raised by a single-mom, Mr. Trump was coddled in the palace of wealth built by his father's business acumen. Where Ben Carson struggled as a child (with the constant support and guidance of his mother) to rise from the bondage of the ghetto, Mr. Trump's only struggle was how fast he could return the silver spoon to his mouth once it was again filled with the sweet sauce of wealth he did not earn. And where Ben Carson dedicated his life and career to healing the sick and saving lives, Donald Trump dedicated his to the pursuit of narcissism and self aggrandizement.
     Ben Carson is a warm Summer breeze gently rustling the leaves on the tree of change. Donald Trump is a gale force hurricane uprooting that tree and rendering it useless. Ben Carson speaks with the precision and accuracy of a surgeon's knife. Donald Trump speaks like a shotgun fired into the openness of an empty landscape. Ben Carson is not hurtful, vain, deceitful, vacuous, or possessed of guile. Donald Trump is all of those things.
     Ben Carson is a man who has developed a substantial set of values over a life time of experience. Donald Trump's values are malleable and ephemeral like a high school romance. Dr. Carson manipulates nothing to his own ends. To Mr. Trump, manipulation of anything he can is the ultimate end. Ben Carson is a giant of a man who seeks to build up others to his level. Donald Trump is a small and petty man who seeks to increase his stature by climbing over the bodies of those he tears down.
     Yes, I am saddened by the departure from the Republican presidential race by one of the most decent men to have ever entered a political contest. And I am dismayed and flummoxed by the current front runner having substantial support among people from a Party who claims values as their watchword and decency as their anchor in the sea of political discourse. It speaks ill of us as a Party specifically, and more generally as a nation, when voters choose to support the Trump over the anti-Trump.

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Willful Blindness of Trump Support

     No one with even a modicum of intellectual honesty could have watched or listened to the Republican debate last night and concluded that Donald Trump is anything but an intellectual lightweight and a congenital liar, just like the beneficiary of his political donations, Hillary Clinton. Not only should The Donald have been thoroughly mortified by being exposed as a man of the Left by his fellow debaters, but his supporters, if they were being the least bit rational, should run away from him in droves. From his blatant lie about his position on healthcare exposed by Ted Cruz, to his juvenile response to moderator Hugh Hewitt because he dared ask a question Mr. Trump did not like, once again Donald Trump has shown himself not only to be unworthy of the Oval Office, but any position  in government short of that of Johnny mopping toilets in some remote government installation.
     But it really is not Donald Trump's fault, after all he has more than likely been a defective human being most of his life. No, I blame the those who have bastardized the term conservative in order to feel some self-justification and self-righteousness for supporting a candidate who is as far away from the definition of that word as his likely Democrat opponent, should he actually win the Republican nomination.
     Conservative talk show host Dennis Prager says often that Leftism is the most dynamic religion of the last hundred years because of its ubiquitous presence in education, entertainment, media, and even in this nation's religiosity. Now it appears Leftism has infected the Republican Party and conservative movement, as evidenced by the support for Donald Trump.
     The real delusion of Trump supporters is not only that they believe he can or will actually do what he says, but that they are somehow anti-establishment for supporting a candidate that is far Left of the so-called Republican establishment.  It is probably the biggest political dichotomy I have seen or read about ever. The Trump supporters seem uniquely blind, almost willfully so, to the serious flaws of their candidate that would preclude him from the running for most who call themselves conservative. This kind of willful blindness was not even this hyperbolic in support for President Obama in 2008, a real achievement for Trump supporters.
      The problem with those who say they will vote for Trump against the Democrat, if he is the nominee, is that they miss the bigger picture. If a Democrat like Trump can run for and win the presidential prize as a Republican, what is the point? The president is leader of his Party. In Trump's case he will blend the two Party system into a one Party rule. And that my friends will be much worse for the country than four years of a Democrat president with a Republican congress.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Who Benefits From Bush Withdraw?

     The "Let's make a point crowd" is celebrating Donald Trump's victory in the South Carolina primary last weekend. Marco Rubio and his supporters are also celebrating a second place finish in said primary contest. The Ted Cruz campaign is trying desperately to convince themselves that their third place finish in South Carolina is not a harbinger of a campaign that may be running afoul of a Republican electorate that may be coming to grips with a reality that if the Republicans do not sport a candidate that can win in November, the Democrat will most assuredly win. The Carson campaign, which ever increasingly is an army of one, is vowing to fight until the end. John Kasich is hoping to hang in until the Ohio primary on March 15, hoping for the surge he has promised supporters is coming. And Jeb Bush has called it quits in his bid to be the third Bush to become president.
     The Jeb Bush campaign ending in a crash and burn style reminiscent of the Hindenburg serves to illustrate two very important items. One, that money in politics does not have as much influence as some wish to convince the gullible that it does, and two, that Donald Trump has hit a ceiling in this campaign which may reverse itself into a floor as more candidates drop from the race. I have always maintained that the Trump campaign is one that depends on a crowded field. And that a candidate which has the highest negative numbers in presidential history can not even win his Party's nomination, much less the general election, with such animus aimed at him by a majority of Americans.
     The most likely beneficiary of the Jeb Bush withdraw from the race is Marco Rubio. In fact, with each of the remaining candidates, their exits from the race would most likely be a boon to the Rubio campaign. His recent surge and the sobering up of the Republican electorate that they must nominate someone who can actually beat Hillary Clinton, bodes well for a Rubio nomination. With Rubio poised to gain more support, and Trump having hit his limit of support, the two thirds of Republican primary voters who not only do not support Trump but have a vomiting reflex at the sound of his voice, will inevitably give their support to Senator Rubio.
     Donald Trump is many things, conservative is certainly a proven commodity he does not posses. Marco Rubio has that specific commodity in spades, and provably so. So why do so many so-called conservatives support Trump? It is simple: They care more about making a point and sticking it to the so-called establishment that has been demonized by some in Right-Wing radio, than nominating someone who can win. Not that congressional Republicans have not made mistakes, but the Trump supporters, and to a degree Cruz supporters, have succumb to the temptation of making themselves feel good instead of actually doing what is good for the country.
     The best that Trump can hope for is that Rubio does not get the required delegates, which will mean a brokered convention in Cleveland this July. After which when he loses such a battle he can go third Party based on the Republicans "treating him unfairly." This of course will precipitate a Democrat win and all those self righteous emotional cripples that support Trump can get on their high horses and say they told everyone that Rubio would not win. Not acknowledging that they would be the cause of such a loss. But delusion is the main ingredient in the Trump stew, and his supporters lap it up and ask for seconds.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Marco Rubio "Gets It!"

     So the final Republican debate before the nation's first primary in New Hampshire today is over, and the endless analysis has been in full swing since Saturday night. Much of that analysis has focused on candidate Marco Rubio actually using the same words to answer the same attacks from the Republican version of Jabba the Hutt, Chris Christie. My, my where has our politics gone when a politicians actually repeats himself? The fact that Donald Trump's campaign is exclusively anchored in the redundancy of the ridiculous has somehow eluded some of Senator Rubio's harshest (and I might add most childish) critics. But then Trump supporters are nothing if not blind to the same flaws in their candidate that they exaggerate in others.
     No one who is criticizing Mr. Rubio for his repeated answer has actually dealt with the substance of what he stated. This is a tactic learned by the Left from Saul Alinsky and passed to the Right through useful dupes like Mark Levin. I agree that Marco Rubio could have handled his canned response much more effectively, but it does not mitigate the fact that Marco Rubio "gets it," and Chris Christie, et al does not. And the "It" is the fact that Barack Obama is not the disease but just the latest symptom of the disease.
     Barack Obama has executed a brilliant plan that Leftists have dreamed about for generations. He has struck just the right balance in the economy, which encourages dependence, while at the same time is growing just enough to silence critics. He has used race and victim-ology to enact a bigger role for the federal government in local policing. He has been successful in his foreign policy of reducing American influence in world events, which has been a core dream of the Left for many years. He has increased the role of government in individuals lives while reducing it in the world at large. And all this he has done by dancing around the edges of constitutionality.
     Marco Rubio was right and wise to highlight that the Obama America is one of design, not incompetence. And furthermore, that Leftism is the cancer that eats away at the heart of American values and the healthy body of Liberty. Senator Rubio understands better than the spittle-producing Christie how important it is for us as conservatives not to focus on Barack Obama (who is leaving office in less than a year) but on the cause of our discontent and sickness. And that cause is Leftism.


Thursday, February 4, 2016

A Culture of Name-Calling

     Young children on a playground will often participate in a favorite juvenile tradition, i.e. name calling. Usually the target of such an activity is one who is perceived to be different from a norm imposed by the standards of the group. Other times the target is another child who is perceived to be weaker or stronger than the name caller. The act of name calling is meant to achieve two results; a) to marginalize the target from the rest of the group, and b) to make the name caller feel superior. Our recent political debate, especially on the Right, has degenerated into a hyper-version of the school yard tradition of name calling.
     The reckless abandon with which some on the Right have succumbed to the ignorance of name calling is an alarming development. We see this behavior being enacted by some in talk radio, so-called conservatives on social media, and in the general population of those on the Right side of the political spectrum. I have grown ever so weary of the ease with which the insult of Rino (Republican in name only), or "establishment" is withdrawn from the intellectually lazy holster of those who disagree with a Republican leader on even one issue.
     To Witt: Consider the case of Marco Rubio. Here is a guy who most conservatives agreed was the kind of candidate they would want to represent the Republican Party in a presidential election. Senator Rubio makes the "mistake" of trying to work with the majority Party in congress at the time, the Democrats, and a Democrat President, to achieve the best result he could under those conditions to solve the issues surrounding illegal immigration. For that "mortal sin" he has forever been labeled a Rino/member of the establishment.
     The real dichotomy of the position of those who call Senator Rubio a Rino for supporting the Gang of 8 bill, is that they also say the same thing about former Speaker John Boehner, who opposed the Gang of 8 bill and essentially kept it from coming to a vote in the House of Representatives. But this is exemplary of the complete capriciousness of the name calling Right. There is no real rhyme or reason to their tactics. They are more about demoting the esteem of those with whom they disagree in the eyes of others, than they are about promoting any superior ideas or values of their own.
     Another prong of the name calling strategy is to mis-characterize a person's position as something that it is not so they can be figuratively tar and feathered with an untrue accounting of their beliefs. Again, taking the example of Marco Rubio and the Gang of 8 bill, those name callers on the Right characterized the bill as amnesty. This of course is the dirtiest of words for those one-issue voters who think illegal immigration is the most serious issue facing this great nation. But the Gang of 8 bill was not about amnesty at all, as any intellectually honest person who read the bill would acknowledge. But the name callers do not deal in truth, but narratives that they create which advance their political agenda.
     The Democrats and those on the Left have always populated the school yard of political debate. It is just a shame that so many on the Right have now followed them to that playground of the weak-minded and intellectually immature. We can measure our dedication to our Founders' values, and the principles enshrined in our founding documents, by the honesty and decorum with which we conduct ourselves in the public arena of political debate. Under those terms, some of the members of our conservative movement have failed miserably.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Politics of the Extemporaneous

     If there is one thing I deplore it is pettiness. The pettifoggery of focusing on the insignificant, even if it may contain a kernel of truth, is in my opinion dishonest and a betrayal of the truth. It seems as though the single-minded focus on the extemporaneous has become a mainstay of our politics on the Right. The Left of course has engaged in this practice for many decades, in fact their entire ideology is centered on diverting the public's attention from what is truly important to that which is much less significant. But this behavior, or more to the point, this bad behavior, has grown into a cancer on the Right which threatens to destroy the healthy tissue of our principles.
     I submit as evidentiary to my thesis the recent campaign to nominate a Republican candidate to challenge the Democrat nominee to become the next President of the United States vis-a-vis this November's election. There is myriad issues being discussed and debated in the campaign, that is a fact. But the main thrust of focus in both the Left stream and Right stream media are the issues that run contrary to the tenets of importance as they relate to choosing another president to lead this country through the next four years.
     The entire campaign of the front runner, Donald Trump, is built upon the foundation of frivolity. And that inconsequential-ality of frothy rhetoric has spilled over into the other campaigns in the Republican presidential race. It is the substantial support for Donald Trump and his methods of campaigning that has caused the other campaigns to devolve into the kind of childish behavior that many of the practitioners of such behavior have criticized. To Witt: the incessant focus by some on whether or not Ted Cruz is even eligible to run, in consideration of his Canadian birth to an American mother.
     Then there is the recent dust-up over some Cruz campaign staffers forwarding an erroneous media story about his fellow candidate Ben Carson dropping out of the race. Anyone who reads my blog on a regular basis knows I am no Ted Cruz fan. But I can believe in a major campaign inundated with the thunderstorm of media and information, erroneous information could be forwarded about a fellow candidate. And while Ted Cruz's staffers were guilty of not properly vetting the story they received from CNN, I do not believe it was a deliberate attempt to sabotage the Carson camp.
     Conservatism has always been about accepting the truth whether or not it may support the conservative goals in the short term, because it will always support the principles of Liberty in the longer term. I am chagrined to see many of my conservative brethren boarding the train of devolution that is fueled by the extemporaneous. The petty bickering and name-calling that has become more prevalent on the Right recently is not worthy of the conservative principles of Ronald Reagan, William F. Buckley Jr, Jack Kemp, et al. We would be wise as conservatives to once again set ourselves apart from the Left by living the values of the constitution and the intellectual temperament of the aforementioned individuals.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Hash Tag: RancherLivesMatter

     The Oregon standoff that started with anti-government separatists occupying federal property because their "principles" gave them permission to do so, and ended with one of the ring leaders of the group, Levoy Finnicum, receiving his wish to "die for the cause," is exemplary of what happens with the break down of the rule of law. The very nature of groups like the Oregon vigilantes is that they become demented by the delusion that their "cause" is above the law. It is the path for all extremists to become hopelessly drunk on the wine of their own self-righteousness and empowered by their mangled interpretation of shared values.
     I am not here to prosecute the merits of the grievances that lead them to such heights of irresponsible and anti-social behavior, but rather to evaluate how it worked out for them in the end. These ranchers may have a legitimate gripe against an ever encroaching federal government, but they lost any support from the general public when they allowed themselves to occupy not only federal property, but a pedestal that sits high above the rule of law. If there is one thing the average American dislikes more than out-of-control government telling them what to do, it is out-of-control zealots who break the bonds of civilized society to prosecute a war against what they see as oppression.
     I suppose the sparse supporters of Levoy Finnicum and his gang would point to the rugged individualism of the western ranchers as the motivation for their behavior. But rugged individualism does not translate into an excuse for anarchy. Whether that anarchy is in the wide open spaces of a wild life preserve in Oregon, or the tightly populated city of Baltimore Maryland. When believers in a cause become the purveyors of violence, their cause ceases to be of importance and their behavior becomes paramount.
     I am not much of a Twitter user, but I fully expect (if it has not already happened) for a new hash tag campaign to emerge named #RancherLivesMatter. They already have their own version of "Hands Up, Don't Shoot." As repulsive to the values of the rule of law the actions of the BlackLivesMatter group are, as consistent conservatives we must also find just as repulsive the actions of the RancherLivesMatter folks. The seeds of anarchy which germinate into the full fledged flower of tyranny, must be opposed by all those truly interested in the cause of Liberty and the continuation of the values enshrined in this great nation's founding documents.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Misdirection of the Trump No-Show

     Tonight is the final Republican debate before the first salvo in the primary voting, i.e. the Iowa caucuses. It will proceed, sans the front runner in the race, Donald Trump. The Donald has made a very public display that he will not attend the debate being hosted by Fox News, and in part moderated by Megan Kelly. Mr. Trump has spared no decency or decorum in expressing his dislike for Megan Kelly, who in the last Fox debate had the unmitigated gall to ask Mr. Trump some pointed and tough questions. But as is the habit of a well practiced Alinsky-ite like Donald Trump, his absence is not so much about harming Fox, but the Republican Party.
     Candidate Trump's strategy from the beginning, I believe, has been to run third Party. He said as much in the beginning, and then pulled back from that position because it was too early for him to do so successfully. He first needed to secure the far Right vote of the Republican Party, and the moderate vote in the Democrat Party. He has successfully accomplished the former and is now working on the latter by not only skipping the Fox debate, but holding his own event at the same time on MSNBC, the mouth piece network for the Left.
     Donald Trump's vociferous whining about "not being treated fairly," first by the Republican Party, then by Fox News, has a certain appeal to those on the Left and their constant emphasis on victim status. After all, they elected Barack Obama in large part because he is a member of one of the Lefts victim groups and deserved to hold the highest office in the land. So Mr. Trump's appeal to those moderately on the Left can be attributed to the same victimology which elected our current Commander In Chief. In other words those on the Left see Republicans as the enemy, and the enemy of my enemy, i.e. Donald Trump, is my friend.
     No one could argue that Donald Trump is not a narcissist. And what more spectacular way to feed the narcissistic hunger in a man than to create and head a new political Party that he thinks, in his own narcissistic mind, is going to start a national movement to elect him president? At worse Mr. Trump can play spoiler to the Republican Party, the members of which he accuses of being unfair to The Donald. That would ensure an electoral victory for the enemy of his enemy, Hillary Clinton. A second best to he himself becoming the president. And besides he can run again in 2020 to dethrone the Queen of emails when the nation becomes weary of her and her husbands antics.
     So whether Fox News suffers tonight in the ratings from a Trump no show, or whether they do not, the real target of the Trump strategy is the Republican Party. And I am surprised by the number of those on the Right who support his efforts. They have been softened as targets for such a strategy by the constant drumbeat against the Republican "establishment" by the Alinsky conservatives like Mark Levin, et al. I would like to ask these folks who is going to defeat the Democrat nominee other than a Republican nominee? The dream of a third Party coming out of nowhere and sweeping the nation is the fodder of the narcissistic mind of Donald Trump and his supporters.

Monday, January 25, 2016

The Emotion-Over-Intellect Syndrome

     Well the wild-eyed, locust-eating, cave-dwelling Trump supporters are at it again. They have previously ignored the positions that their candidate has taken that do not fit their wishful thinking about him. On every issue, from amnesty to xenophobia, Trump supporters seem not so concerned about the position their candidate takes, but how loudly he takes it. And their only reasons for supporting the billionaire real estate developer seems to be his money and his mouth. The former, in their opinion, makes him somehow more saintly than other candidates, the latter makes him somehow more authentic. This would be all fine and good if they allowed for the same from his detractors.
     The recent dust-up among Trump supporters over National Review's symposium issue, Against Trump, is illustrative of the complete hypocrisy endemic in support for The Donald. It appears from the stand point of Trump supporters that their candidate is the only one who is allowed to speak his mind and have an opinion. Those who would pierce the thin vale of reality that surrounds his candidacy are persona non grata in the opinion of the robotic crowds that slavishly follow Mr. Trump from campaign stop to campaign stop.
     I can not say that I have never seen anything similar in American politics to the disconnect between Donald Trump's supporters and the reality of the man himself. I saw the same devotion to an empty slate in 2008 as it applied to Barack Obama. In both cases the votaries of these two candidates are supporting what they hoped their candidate would be, and not what they actually are. They wish so hard for a savior that they attach that label to a man who plies the electorate with platitudes and manipulates the emotions of the malleable. After all, emotions are a very powerful force in the human, much more powerful than the intellect.
      And so it is the emotions-over-intellect syndrome that causes Mr. Trump's supporters to demonize National Review's contributors for having a different opinion. And it is the emotion-over-intellect syndrome that causes otherwise smart people to twist themselves into pretzels when asked to explain their support for Donald Trump. The emotional argument that he would be better than Hillary, not necessarily the best candidate. Or the emotional argument that he does not need specifics because he will "figure it out" when he gets into the Oval Office. Or the emotional argument that he is somehow beyond corruption because he is self-funding.
     But the most detrimental and most emotional outburst is the one that aims to shut down the free speech of those who would dare oppose The Donald. Instead of dealing with the substance of the National Review's contributors, the Trump supporters react like snarling dogs protecting the fenced-in area of their candidate's fragile and vapid candidacy.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, and the Political Gamble In Which They Engage

     Presidential campaigns have ebb and flow. Leaders emerge and fade, supporters for one candidate change their allegiance to another, and in the end when the dust settles it is the candidate who is able to inspire support among the greatest number of primary voters who wins the prize. The Republican race to become the Party's representative in this November's general election is no different. With one caveat, there seems to be a conspiracy afoot in Right-Wing talk radio. Now, as a rule I am not susceptible to lending credence to conspiracy theories. But the recent, sudden, and jarring switch of support from Donald Trump to Ted Cruz by Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin leads me to believe there is something more present than just a come-to-Jesus moment for both men.
     For the last several months both "conservative" talkers have been evangelists for the Trump campaign, even in the face of the candidate's own non-conservative views and behavior. And then as if a switch was activated, both Limbaugh and Levin have become Cruz backers. The excuse given by both is the recent attacks by Mr. Trump aimed at Mr. Cruz, and the formers support for ethanol subsidies in the all important caucus state of Iowa. Both reasons have been present in the race for sometime and hold very little credence to the intellectually honest.
     And then of course there is the Sarah Palin endorsement of Donald Trump in the campaign, which I think has played a bigger role in the alacrity engaged by Mr. Levin and Mr. Limbaugh in switching support from Mr. Trump to Mr. Cruz. Sarah Palin, for those that do not remember, endorsed Ted Cruz in his race for the senate way back in 2010. Back then it was the conservative values of the Tea Party that Mrs. Palin brought to bear in helping Mr. Cruz become Senator Cruz. For that moment in time the Tea Party was a benefit to the Reagan conservatives, since, they have moved quickly into the liability column as a result of their evermore radical views.
     Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh are both entertainers and businessmen first, and defenders of the Reagan conservatism faith second. Being lead by ratings also causes one to become somewhat of a gambler in political talk radio. Both Limbaugh and Levin gambled that Trump was going to become the Republican nominee, so they fell in step behind the Left-leaning real estate developer. Both men (maybe after meeting with each other and mulling the polls) have now switched their bets to Cruz, seeing Trump's popularity fading to the fringe. Helped along by the intellectual lightweight and fringy Right-Wing maven of conservative fluff, Sara Palin, and her endorsement of The Donald.
     Of course none of my theory can be proved, that is why it is a theory. It just seems awful suspicious to me that both men would be so in-the-bag for Donald Trump, and then both switch their allegiance to Ted Cruz in lock step. If it is not part of a larger conspiracy, it is one of the great coincidences in American politics. We shall see once the voting begins next month in Iowa whether or not Mr. Levin and Mr. Limbaugh's bets on Cruz pays off, or if they will once again have to change their bets to another candidate they see emerging. Both men risk looking even more foolish as the wheel slows down and their bets are still so fluid.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Broad Brush Syndrome

     There seems to be an inordinate amount of emphasis in our current political climate being placed on the activity of over-generalization, i.e. painting with a broad brush. This destructive behavior is found on both the Left and Right sides of the political ideology circle, and it is at the core of the modern Lefts bible, Saul Alinsky's Rules For Radicals. The most disturbing aspect of this sickness to me is that it appears to have spread among those on the Right at an alarming rate, metastasizing in the current campaign to choose a presidential nominee to represent us this November. I can not help but acknowledge that those who paint with a broad brush have willingly replaced art with artifice.
     I have glanced this issue in other blog posts, such as my post of yesterday, Establishment: The New Scarlet Letter. I can not imagine any intellectually honest person refusing to recognize the polarization of our politics, not only inter-Party, but intra-Party. The Broad Brush Syndrome has been applied to every serious issue facing this great country, and even to some inconsequential ones as well. From Muslim immigration to President Obama's birth certificate, one only has to spend 10 minutes on social media to find zealots who proselytize one or another extreme views on myriad political subjects.
     The inter-Party polarization is somewhat understandable, although not entirely productive, but the intra-Party polarization is the most severe form of political suicide. Nothing good can be achieved for the people of the United States of America when the political leaders of an ideology are daily painted with a broad brush by the media representatives of that ideology. The Broad Brush Syndrome is illustrated on a daily basis by the falling in and out of political favor simply by a candidate or politician giving support for a point of view that has been defined to be treasonous by the keepers of the faith in talk radio or other media.
     The artifice of painting with a broad brush is a necessary function of it, as those afflicted by the Broad Brush Syndrome must engage in a corollary activity, i.e. piling on. Piling on has become the bread and butter of some political pundits, surpassing their primary function of informing intellects, and drifting headlong into shaping opinion. And in an effort to shape others opinions to their own twisted views they must paint with a broad brush and engage in artifice. Which takes the form of committing the sin of omission (ignoring anything good about their intended target), and the sin of commission (deliberately misrepresenting the actions or words of their intended target).
     The Broad Brush Syndrome is by far a greater destructive force than any of the issues painted by it. It eats at the very heart of self-government, civil political discourse, and even Liberty itself. As the great writer, producer, and creator Rod Serling once said, "In order for civilization to survive, man must remain civilized." The current state of politics, both on the Left and the Right, has become uncivilized to the detriment of our republic. And the Broad Brush Syndrome is an essential aspect of that downward spiral.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Establishment: The New Scarlet Letter

     Yesterday, nasally voiced hockey-mom, former governor of Alaska, and former vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, engaged in one of most irrelevant and inconsequential acts of political theater that exists in American politics, i.e. the endorsement. I say irrelevant because I am not sure there has ever been any empirical studies done that support the notion that an endorsement actually changes any political race in favor of the one being endorsed. Usually it is an exercise of the endorser trying to benefit from who they see as being likely to win the race. Evidentary of the former statement is the fact that there are few examples of high profile individuals endorsing candidates that are a long shot.
     Even in Mrs. Palin's bid to live in the vice president's mansion with her family (I can just see Sarah passing Todd food at the dinner table using pool cues ala The Beverly Hillbillys), she and her running mate John McCain were endorsed by independent Democrat Joe Liberman. I am not sure how many of those who voted for Senator Liberman actually threw their support behind McCain/Palin just because Joe said to. That is the problem with endorsements, anyone who respects the endorser enough to follow their advice were probably already going to support the endorsee.
     But I digress. The thing I wanted to talk about today is not so much the Palin endorsement of Donald Trump, but the language of the Alinsky conservatives used in her speech. Mrs. Palin used the term "establishment" several times, as has become the habit of those, who in the model of Saul Alinsky, aim to marginalize those they see as their political adversaries. I have to hand it to the Alinsky conservatives like Mark Levin, et al, who have used the tactics of the Left to convince their glassy-eyed followers that establishment is a bad word, and then apply that label to anyone they may disagree with on one issue or another.
     The application of the term "establishment" has been one of the most overused political ploys in recent years. And here is the funny (and very sad) thing: It is applied against members of the users' own political Party. In some people's twisted view, politics has become the only profession in the world where less experience is preferrable (actually in many persons' view no experience is preferrable). In the view of the politically radicalized, being established in a field of endeavor is a bad thing. And being a complete neophite with no track record or resume in that field is now the ideal.
     The term "establishment" has become the political version of the Scarlet Letter,a badge of shame applied by the hubris to anyone they want to destroy politically. I am not saying that there are not members of the established politicians in Washington that have done wrong by the American people, or even that they should not be voted out of office. But to label everyone in the established power structure as a traitor or treasonous, or as a Rino, is the height of ignorance in which only someone who is committed to generalizations as a political ethos can engage.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Right-Left Tug-Of-War

     President Obama's final State of the Union speech last night was a surreal mixture of Reagnism and Alinskyism. The former illustrated by his strong language on the greatness of America, the latter by his continued insistence on his failed Leftist ideology as the best means of organizing and administering a society. Barack Obama stood before both Houses of congress, members of the Supreme Court, and the American public and waxed eloquently about the exceptional country in which we live. It is unfortunate that he has proven by seven years of his actions and rhetoric that he does not actually believe in that exceptionalism or even understand what defines it.
     Many conservatives are criticizing the president today because he downplayed the threat of Islamic terrorism, which he would not define as such. And as much as President Obama downplays the threat, some on the Right have engaged in just the opposite tact, i.e. exaggerating the threat for political gain. I do not agree with President Obama's characterization of ISIS as "a bunch of guys in the back of pick-up trucks" or "tortured souls devising plans in their basements and garages." I also do not agree with some on the Right characterizing the threat of radical Islamist terrorism as "World War III."
      I have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach having to say this, but I agree with the president that this fight in which we currently find ourselves is not an existential threat to the greatness or existence of our country. However, I am chagrined over his apparent unwillingness to engage the enemy fully and wipe them out completely. But the fact that an American is more likely to die from slipping in the bathtub and hitting their head, than they are from the result of a terrorist attack, is not exactly endemic of the end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it scenario that some on the Right seem intent on convincing the public that it is.
     The far Left and the far Right can not be more different and at the same time more alike. For instance, the Left for many years pushed the figure of 40 million Americans living their lives without health insurance. The number in essence was true, however over half of those Americans were young and chose not to have coverage. Another substantial percentage were actually temporarily uninsured because they were between policies. And even more were the result of people who qualified for government healthcare through Medicaid, but for some reason never signed up.
     On the other side of the political spectrum are those on the Right who have proffered this notion of 92-94 million unemployed Americans. It is true that of working-aged Americans there is somewhere around 90 million that are not gainfully employed. However, millions of those are early retirees that have union or other pensions. Another chunk of that 90 million figure are Americans on disability. I am not in any way saying that the employment status in this country is just Jake, but neither is it an unmitigated disaster and the worse we have seen in our history. Historical perspective is sorely missing on both sides of the political argument.
     The exaggeration on both sides of the political circle have lead to many Americans resigning themselves from the political process altogether. This is extremely unfortunate. My goal, which I have been pilloried for from both sides, is to look at the un-sanitized facts to arrive at a conclusion based on the intellect, not the emotions. But politicians and political pundits both depend on energizing the emotions of the public to advance their own selfish agendas. The president's State of the Union speech, and much of the response to it from the Right, is illustrative of both sides in a tug-of-war trying to pull the American public over the line of reason to their perspective extreme narratives.  

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Hypocrisy of Expecting More From Our Leaders

     The subject of my blog post today is one that I have written about prior. At the risk of engaging in redundancy, I will try to express some new thoughts and observations in an attempt to explain what I see as a dichotomy in our culture as it relates to our politics. I have noticed many people, especially among my fellows on the Right side of the political spectrum, criticizing the federal government for that in which they engage themselves. I do not want to be mistaken for someone who thinks there are no flaws in our current federal behemoth, only that it is expected, being populated from a culture that is seriously flawed.
     Primary to my discussion is the federal debt, which is now 110% of the Gross Domestic Product (basically the economic output of the nation). But a recent article in Forbes magazine makes the salient point that the average American has debt that is around 350% of their own personal GDP. That means that at least some of those criticizing the federal government for their over-spending (which no doubt is troubling), are themselves practicing the same profligate spending in their own lives. I have in recent years been flummoxed by those people who expect the federal government, with all its taxing authority and thousands of bureaucrats dependent on federal spending, to somehow be more fiscally conscious than they are themselves in their own lives.
     An additional area of criticism of the federal government by many of its citizens is the dishonesty with which our leaders conduct themselves. But these same individuals do not perceive the log in their own eye as they pick out what many times are splinters from the eyes of their leaders. Exemplary of this behavior is the relative ease with which many Americans will "fudge" personal information in order to get a loan or lower rates on insurance. Or the many parents who will help their children cheat on school projects by providing much more than just guidance, sometimes doing  most of the work themselves. There are myriad examples of the daily dishonesty of people who criticize their leaders for dishonesty. From lying about a child's age to save money on movie tickets or restaurant meals, to stealing their employer's time by spending work time on social media when they are suppose to be performing the task for which they are being paid.
     I am not sure how we as a people expect our leaders to be far superior to the culture from which they spring. If the well is polluted, then the water one extracts from the well will be polluted as well. This is why term limits on members of congress is such a foolish pursuit. One will not obtain unpolluted water from a polluted well by dunking the bucket into it at a faster pace. And while the sentiment of "Change Washington" makes for pithy campaign slogans and bumper stickers, the center of our political system will not be changed until the polis around it is changed. We must change the culture before our politics will be changed. And those who are unwilling to change themselves and their communities, and expect national politicians to do so, are living in a hypocrisy which I think is more damaging to the long term health of this country than the ephemeral corruption of their leaders.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Spread of One-Issue-Pathos

     I have been trying to put my finger on the source of my discomfort with members of my own political ideology on the conservative side. It is not only the divergence from Reaganism lead by talk radio hosts like Mark Levin. Nor is it the recent tendency for those on my side of the political circle to engender the tactic of marginalization enshrined in Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals, the bible of committed Leftists. And while playing fast and loose with facts, not only about political opponents but those on our side, has been a recent strategy of some who call themselves conservative, it is not the totality of solicitude I have felt lately.
     The real source of my frustration with members of my own political brethren is something I call one-issue-pathos. Many have become so focused on one issue that they have religified it to the point that it is the only factor present in their decision to support a candidate or not. Some of these issues include, but are not limited to, illegal immigration, presidential eligibility, the funding or defunding of Planned Parenthood, the Second Amendment (or any other one amendment they feel a candidate does not support), et al.
     It is not just the rabid support for one issue over all others that concerns and chagrins me, but the metrics those suffering from one-issue-pathos use to arrive at their sometimes twisted conclusions about one candidate or another. Exemplary of the previous statement is how some have characterized Marco Rubio as an "open borders" advocate because of his work with the "gang of 8." This legislative subset was joined by the Florida Senator during his first years in that body, and the group's goal was to advance illegal immigration reform consistent with the political realities of having to obtain support from a Democrat-controlled Senate and White House.
     Senator Rubio has for the record stated many times he is not for amnesty or open borders, but does support stronger border security and weeding out illegals. But his actual position does not mater to those suffering the affliction of one-issue-pathos. They just engage in two other tactics they learned from the Left, i.e. demonizing and marginalizing. By advancing a narrative that establishment members of the Party are Hitler-esque, they can then apply that label to anyone with whom they disagree on one issue or another. They further marginalize those who do not goose-step along with them by using the pejorative Rino (Republican in name only).
     As the destruction of Reagan conservatism is carried out by those who claim the mantle of "true conservatives," those on the Left rub their hands together with glee over the success of the Alinsky conservatives, a success which has alluded those on the Left with the same goal. To clarify conservatism for those who have forgotten what it is, or who may have never know what it is in the first place; conservatives do not speak ill of their fellow Party members (Ronald Reagan's 11th commandment). They also consider someone on their side with whom they agree 70% of the time (also a major part of the Reagan ethos). A conservative accepts political realities and knows that half a loaf is better than no loaf when negotiating with political adversaries (a practice on which Ronald Reagan hung his political hat).
     As we enter the meat of the 2016 presidential campaign, those who have become zealots for nihilism, would be well served to re-examine the conservatism they so boldly claim as their own. I am not sure what they are practicing, or to what good ends they think it will lead. But progress in politics is like progress on the football field; rarely does it come all at once, but is gotten a yard at a time, a first down at a time, and finally the ball is advanced over the goal line. There is no path to victory in one-issue-pathos. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

What the President's Executive Gun Control Really Means

     So today is the day that President Obama announces his executive action proposing new controls on the sale and purchase of firearms in the United States. The stated goal by the president is to reduce the amount of violence that individuals perpetrate on our society with the improper use of firearms. I refuse to accept the president's and others' characterization of violent acts using the term gun violence. That term, like social justice, is an instrument of the Left whereby they modify a real concept, i.e. justice or violence, with a prefix to the word that destroys its meaning and allows laws to be enacted based on the mangled result.
     I am a strong proponent of the Second Amendment, so much so that I am not in favor of 90% of the controls we currently have. The words in the Second Amendment, shall not be infringed, have long ago been buried by a mountain of infringements. The Framers of our constitution did not mean for the Second Amendment to apply to government control of the military as some anti-Second Amendment people try an argue. If that were the case they would not have repeated themselves in Article 1, Section 8 where they gave congress the authority over the military. They further would not have put such a collective right in the Bill of Rights, which outlined individual rights for the most part.
     All the above being said, I think President Obama's executive order on gun control is more about style than substance. I do not see it as being, as those on the Left are hoping, a panacea to eliminating innocent deaths as a result of the illegal use of firearms, or as those on the Right see it, a prelude to gun confiscation by an out-of-control federal government. There are literally tens of thousands of gun regulations and laws on the books throughout this country, most of which are never enforced. The President's dog and pony show featuring new gun control laws will, in my humble opinion, be just one more.
     President Obama knows he has no chance whatsoever of confiscating Americans' guns. However, he can enact his executive order which makes him look as though he is doing something, without actually doing something. And the more over-reaction there is on the Right, like the Oregon idiocy, the more decent, law-abiding, constitutional-loving Americans he can convince he might have a point. I think it is wholly appropriate for those on the Right to outline the constitutional challenges to President Obama's gun control executive order, but it is just the latest drop in a bucket that has been filling for decades.
     The president's executive order is illustrative of the misguided strategy of some on the Right placing all the focus on Barack Obama. The focus in this case should be on the bucket of laws and regulations that already exist, not this new drop being added. It (the executive action) is not going to lead to a police state, or the confiscation of guns currently in the hands of private individuals. But how some on the Right react (or over-react) to it will be the determinant of whether or not it will achieve its goal of weakening the Second Amendment right for millions of Americans.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Say Goodbye to NSA Metadata, Say Good Bye to Reason

     One of the still smoldering issues (at least for some of the more paranoid on the Right) in 2015 was the National Security Agency's metadata collection program. This was the program whereby computers culled through the phone numbers of billions of transactions a week to look for patterns that might be related to terrorist activity. A very useful tool that has little or no implications to the privacy of the average American. It is the same process used by the Post Office for the last 60 years to evaluate patterns in mail fraud by reading the outside of envelopes. The NSA's metadata program was the 21st century version of reading the outside of the envelope.
     Of course Ted Cruz, et al have effectively hamstringed the NSA from providing this protection to our country with legislation passed last year which gutted the program. There is no constitutional basis for opposition to the metadata program, and that is why Senator Cruz and his gang of privacy crusaders decided on a legislative route instead of a challenge to the program in the courts. If it truly was illegal based on the constitution, then why not challenge it in the courts?
     But I digress, retuning to the NSA's metadata program as an assault on the constitution, the Amendment most often sited by the privacy crusaders to support their position is the fourth. But the Fourth Amendment says that people have a right to be secure in their private papers, etc. Phone numbers are not private papers, or even owned as property by the individuals that use them. They are issued by the Federal Communications Commission to the service providers who in turn lease them to the customer. That is why one can not simply keep their phone number if they cancel service altogether, it gets reassigned to a new user.
     The entire argument of the privacy crusaders seems so surreal and farcical. People who post every excruciatingly boring detail of their lives and thoughts, including information on their bowel movements, on social media; along with pictures of all the guns they own and them doing childish and scatological things to pictures of the president, are worried about the NSA collecting the 10 digits of the phone number they are currently using to do those things?
     It seems my dear friends that we surely have entered the age of stupidity. What kind of reasonable person would trade their own safety, and the safety of their country, just to keep secret the ten digits in their phone number?

Friday, January 1, 2016

Tamir Rice: A Case of Bad Parenting, Not Bad Policing

      The death of Tamir Rice, the young man who was shot and killed by Cleveland police in 2014 while he was in the commission of a crime, has sparked outrage among the race-baiters and their mob of the easily riled. Tamir Rice was indeed only 12 years old, but was five foot seven and weighed 175 pounds, not exactly the innocent 8 year old of the pictures plastered by the media for public consumption. And the "toy" gun he pulled on police was in reality an Airsoft pistol with the orange tip removed, which made it look even more like the Colt 45 it was made to replicate.
      Tamir was in the process of threatening people with the gun in a high crime area of Cleveland, an area where there had been past shootings, including police officers who wound up on the wrong side of those shootings. He was threatening enough for those working at the Cadell Recreation Center that day to call police for fear that he might hurt someone or worse. It was these facts that drove the urgency in the officers' response, and that urgency was heightented to an even greater level when Tamir was told to put up his hands and instead reached in his waisteband to pull out the pistol.
      To be sure, the untimely death of Tamir Rice was very unfortunate. But while everyone is feeling horribly for his mother, I have to ask, "Is there sympathy available in the reasonable heart for one who is so complicit in a loved one's death?" You see, Tamir Rice's death was not a result of bad policing, but bad parenting. It was not the police who allowed the young man to be waving a gun at strangers in one of the highest crime areas of Cleveland. And it was not police who could care less of the whereabouts of this young man until something tragic happened to him. It was not police who abdicated the parental responsibilty to guide their child into constructuive pursuits instead of neglecting his descent onto the path of wannabe thug-hood.
      The Cleveland Police Department, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, and two out-of-state independent organizations all investigated the shooting, as well as it having recently been considered by a grand jury. All found from the evidence that the police did not act unreasonably or with any criminal intent. Of course for the mobs that now rule our cities, and are pandered to by local politicians, facts mean little when a black teen is shot by police. In their warped and mangled opinion, the police are always wrong and should have been willing to take a bullet, instead of the young deliquent who was threatening the citizenry with what looked like a real gun.
     So shame on Tamir Rice's mother for not making her son's life a cause before he threw it away. And shame on the professional agitators, who call themselves activists, for being active only after the death of a young man can be used to feather their public personas, instead of advocating for change in the black community that could prevent such deaths. Shame as well on public officials and politicians who allow our streets to be ruled by the mob because they do not have the courage to keep law and order. And finally, shame on all of us for ignoring the downward slide in our culture over the last 50 years from a society where young men wanted to be police officers, to one where they recklessly pull firearms on them and are held blameless for doing so.