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.