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Can’t go very far today on social media and not find a reference to, or a conversation about “Civil War 2”.

In fact, a repeat of the Civil War has been the topic du jour for the last couple of weeks.  I have given the potential of one a lot of thought, only because I find the idea very disturbing.  It’s not easy to comment on, or write about.  I have been a student of military history for most of the last 30 years.  I have read many books on World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and going back to the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, and even before that, the Austro-Prussian conflicts of the 1860’s.  I am not an expert. I don’t consider myself one. I am, however, well read on the subject, and I do know what I am talking about.  I understand diplomacy, power politics, and influence.  I also understand how wars come about, and I also understand how they can be stopped.

So, back to the subject at hand.  The reason many people are talking, Tweeting, writing, and Facebook-posting about the possibility of a second Civil War, is because this country, at this point, is as about as divided as it was back prior to the first Civil War.  The political divide in this country right now, appears to be deep and wide.  Well, it is if you are on social media.  It seems that the most intense arguments about it are on Twitter, or Facebook, or Gab.ai.

The most common arguments I see regarding the Civil War, and the potential winners and losers, comes from many a right-wing person, based on the assumptions that because the Left is so anti-gun, that, they would have no idea how to operate a firearm, and the good patriots on the Right would be able to defeat the Left without working up a sweat.  Then there is the Left, where they assume everyone on the right is a simpleton, and incapable of having enough brain power to figure out how to fight.  Granted, those are broad, general statements, but they are true in that broad, general sense.

I will get back to the above premise in a bit, but first a discussion of the possible catalyst that would start this war.   First of all, lets look at the last decade or so.  We spent eight years under an administration that, at best, was questionable in it’s respect for America, and it’s people.  We were “bitter clingers” or, as coined by possibly the most unlikable presidential candidate in history, “a bunch of deplorables.”  We spent eight years being lectured to, told our values were silly, and stupid, that we had no idea about anything, and that we were racist, misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, and on and on.  Middle class, blue collar, white America was bad. In fact, we were so bad, as to be beyond redemption.  It was this kind of attitude many Americans, me included, were tired of hearing. Donald Trump, as we all know, was elected simply because everyone was just sick and tired of the condescension from the people on the Left who considered themselves our moral, and ethical betters. (full disclosure, I am not a Trump fan, nor did I vote for him)   So far, it is Trump, or rather, the Left’s reaction to Trump being elected that is driving most of the Left’s fits at the moment, and many of them cannot see their way past it.  Right now, their hopes are on a “blue wave” in November taking Congress from the GOP, and “fixing everything that is wrong” including impeaching Trump.  Would that be the event that starts the conflict?  The thing is, on some levels, the conflict has started, and has been for a number of years now, it’s just a matter of if and when the first shots will be fired. Right now, it is a war of words, and is being fought on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media outlets.  Many folks are content to lob insults at one another, spread “fake news” and generally be disagreeable.  Right now, the discussion is all hypothetical, and I hope it stays that way.

What would that conflict look like?  Who would be on what side, and how would the sides (there would be multiple sides in this, trust me) organize, and along what lines?  First of all, lets make one thing clear:  The Left would have the advantage in the early part of the conflict, simply because they are organized.  Very organized.  It’s undeniable, and if you dismiss that organizational ability, you do so at your own peril.  The Left, at the very least, would be able to pull together an organized front initially.  In fact, many Lefties on Twitter, and Facebook, are certain that they would be victors without firing a shot, simply because their ability to organize and bring many resources to bear on a given issue, or event, or place, would discourage the Right, and bring even more people to the Left’s cause.   On some level, that may be true.  However, the one thing the Left does, is they believe in their own intrinsic superiority, both moral, and intellectual, and they believe the Right is incapable of having even the basic knowledge needed to fight back.  A large majority of the Left is college educated, and from that is where they draw the assumption that they know better.  What they continually underestimate is the fact that people on the Right are also capable of organizing.  Also, there are many people on the Right who are more than capable of bringing together large numbers of people to a cause.  The Right does not organize like the Left does, they never have.  The only part of the Right that does have any organization, and can put large numbers of people “in the streets” are the Pro Life groups.  Look at the “March for Life”. It brings upwards of several hundred thousand people to Washington to march in support of ending abortion.  Additionally, there are other marches in other cities across the country, each one organized locally, by other anti-abortion groups, that are part of the national movement.   The Right, while at a disadvantage initially, would be able to ramp up an organization in a fairly short amount of time.

I have been reading quite a few articles, and tweets, and FB posts about the potential for such a conflict, and the one thing that strikes me is the dismissive attitude both sides display toward their would-be opponents.   The Left assumes the Right is a bunch of uneducated rubes, incapable of organization, and they can defeat the Right at their leisure.  Conversely the Right believes the Left is a bunch of “soy boys” that are too afraid to pick up a gun, and if they did, they wouldn’t know what to do with it.  The Right also assumes that because many veterans tend to lean to the Right of the spectrum, that they have a distinct advantage as far as tactical, and strategic knowledge, and therefore would be able to defeat the Left at their leisure.  Furthermore, the Right also believes that if armed conflict were in the offing,  many on the left would run scared, unable, or unwilling to stand up and fight.  It’s dangerous to make those assumptions, about either side.  In general, when it comes to war, there is an old axiom: “No battle plan ever survives first contact with the enemy”.  That means, that any plans, assumptions, ideas, or knowledge of your enemy’s intentions, as well as any strategies for taking on the enemy go out the window, and need to be revised as soon as the fighting starts.  Both the “Right” and the “Left” are going to be surprised at what their opposite numbers bring to to the battlefield, as it were.

So, lets now look at the premise that many on the Right think fighting the Left would be easy, because so many are afraid of guns, very few of them have military experience, and, they would be less than willing to engage in a pitched battle of any kind.

First of all, on the subject of guns, shooting, and learning how to shoot:  Learning how to shoot a gun, in all honesty, is not hard.  My oldest son, a six year Army veteran, and combat veteran as well, could take any group of people who know nothing about weapons, and teach them the basics in one morning.  By afternoon, he could have them shooting.  Within a week, they would be shooting well enough to hit their target at least 50% of the time. Within two weeks, it would be 75% of the time, and 50% of the hits in the “X” ring on the target.  To be honest, in combat, that could be good enough.  Shooting is like anything else, the more one does it, the better one becomes.  Anyone on the Left who is skittish about guns, could have those reservations overcome within an hour.  The same with anyone on the Right as well.  The operation of many semi-automatic rifles is pretty simple from the standpoint of the user.  Load the magazine.  Insert it in the weapon. Pull the charging handle to chamber a round.  Take off the safety.  Aim.  Squeeze the trigger. “BANG!”  In an afternoon’s time, most anyone unfamiliar with a rifle, would be familiar enough to operate one without guidance.    Let’s also remember that ANTIFA, for the moment is aligned with the Left.  The Left, in addition to being supremely organized, also has their “militia” if you will, in the form of ANTIFA.  ANTIFA is the left’s street brawlers.  ANTIFA is the core, they are the “true believers”, and it would not be a big transition to go from pipes and baseball bats, to AR-15’s and AK-47’s.  They would be the first to fight, and they would fight with zeal.  If all of ANTIFA, however many members they have, were to be turned loose, they would be a force to be reckoned with. Many of the members are hard liners, and committed communists.  If the country ever got closer to a conflict igniting, ANTIFA would require little in the way of provocation.  The Right has no such organization.  One may be inclined to include neo-Nazi groups as “Right-Wing” but, those groups are so small, and would actually, in my opinion would serve their own goals in such a conflict.  The same could probably be said for ANTIFA, but at the outset, the would be aligned as much as they could with the rest of the Left.

The US Military.  How would they figure in this conflict?   I would leave that to people out there who have served, and know their fellow servicemen and women.  However, in a general sense, and based on what I have witnessed while visiting my son at various Army bases (Ft Hood, Ft Sill, Ft Benning, etc)  and heard from my son, as well as friends and other acquaintances who have served, the military would most likely stand with the American people.   For the most part, military personnel tend to lean right, they all come from different backgrounds, and there is no guarantee that all military members would align with the right.  There are many people in uniform, and veterans, that align to the left.  It’s a given.  Remember Spencer Rapone, the West Point cadet, who had “Communism will win” written inside his hat, and he displayed that for a photo which quickly went viral?   Right there, that is proof that not all members of the military have the country’s best interests in mind.  That leads us to the veterans.  Again, same thing.  I know one veteran, a former Marine, who is a hard-core leftist.  He spent 8 years in the Corps, leaving in the mid 1990’s.  If there is one, there are many more like him.  I still think, however, that many vets would align with the side that wants to preserve this country as it has been, vs the side that would wish to transform it to something else.  Many of the vets that I have met over the years (I met quite a few, actually) have always been supporters of America, the Constitution, and the people.  To a large number of them, the oath to “Defend the Constitution” is sacred, and is something they committed themselves to, even after hanging up the uniform.

Let’s also be real here for a bit.  Much of the clamoring, writing, and speaking about the possibility of a Civil War, leaves out the reality of what such a conflict would bring.  For starters, any kind of conflict that starts, is likely to spread unless the military is called out to put down the insurrection, and put it down quickly.  Once the violence spreads, it would be difficult to contain, especially if it is over something that has inflamed the passions of both sides.  We can count on a few things:  Food shortages would be almost immediate.  The inner cities would be the first to run out, followed by outlying areas.  The rural areas where the food is grown, would be set upon by mobs of city dwellers looking to feed themselves, and their families.  Street fights, and fighting in urban areas would be intense. Many people would be killed, simply trying to escape.  As the conflict spread, there would be widespread damage to infrastructure. Initially it would be the buildings in the neighborhoods, and as the fighting became more organized, and the sides began to align, damage to infrastructure such as roads, railroads, bridges, power and water distribution, oil and gas facilities would increase as each side sought to deny the use of such facilities to the other.  Additionally farms would be destroyed, crops burned, livestock killed in order to prevent the other side from having an adequate food supply.  The destruction of farms would resort in massive food shortages almost immediately,  and a famine in very short order. In short, if the conflict were to last more than a year, tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people would be dead. Hundreds of thousands more would be injured. Millions would be displaced.  The numbers would only increase as the fighting went on.  The continued fighting, would only draw more and more “ordinary” people in to the conflict as a means of providing for themselves and whatever is left of their families.  In order to survive, many Americans would align themselves with which ever side offered them the best chance of surviving without having to fight.  Its a normal human instinct to seek out shelter, and sustenance in times of trial.  Many people fight for it, others acquiesce to whatever power is in charge in order to survive another day.

At the outset the fighting, once started, would be contained, if you will, to the groups of “true believers” on both sides.  Many average Americans would do their best to avoid conflict, for the simple reason that many of us are not willing to pick up arms against our neighbors.  I could not see myself holding my neighbor and her husband at gunpoint.  This is a lady, despite her politics, bakes my family Christmas cookies every year, and is one of the nicest people I know.  I couldn’t see myself facing down the gentlemen who own the auto repair shop behind me, or opening fire on them.  Could I really shoot Mr. Carson down the street?  Would  Bob and John and their wives be combat ready if I were to call on them to join me in attacking our neighborhood enemies?  What about Leon and his kids? Would they launch pre-emptive attack against the rest of the neighborhood?   I can’t comprehend a battle between people, that despite some differences, are actually friends.  These are people that share back porch cookouts, walk their dogs  together, and cheer on their kids on the local high school sports teams.  This is where the ultimate price would be paid.  Those who push the prospects of another civil war, are those who are ignorant of it’s costs, and assume it would be an easy victory.  Whatever victory there would be, it would at best be Pyrrhic, and far from “easy”

That leads to another consideration.  IF American were to plunge into all out Civil War, the international community would hardly stand by and watch.  By that I mean there are several countries, China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea to name a few,  that would actively do what they could to continue to sow chaos, ramp up the fighting, and even support the Left with weapons and materiel.  Any one of the above mentioned would cheer at the prospect of a divided America, fighting itself, and leaving itself open to eventual conquest, or, at the very least, destroyed so much, that it becomes the worlds largest 3rd world country.  The price to be paid, should such a thing happen, is unfathomable.  This is where I have my issues with those who talk so openly, and casually about a “2nd Civil War”.  Of all I have read, no one has given any consideration to what would happen once the international vultures started circling the American corpse.   It would be inevitable that our enemies would love nothing more to carve up what is left of this country, and erase American influence and culture from the world.  The Chinese would most likely be the first to arrive, only because they have the most capabilities in that regard.  Moving troops by air, or by sea, is something they have the logistics for. China’s influence would either take the form of support for the left leaning forces, or as an outright belligerent.  Taking over and subjugating the American continent, would allow China to dominate the world. Europe, pretty much prostrate already, wouldn’t have much to say in the matter.  What about Iran?  Iran would, and if you don’t believe it, you are foolish, use it’s Hezbollah-linked mosques and other groups to carve out it’s own sphere of influence, perhaps even mobilize, and import jihadists to join the fight in an effort to defeat both sides, and spread Islamic dominance to the Western Hemisphere.

Speaking of the Western Hemisphere, an American Civil War would have lasting, and powerful economic impacts on the rest of North and South America.  What would Canada do?  Close its borders to refugees?  Americans wishing to avoid the violence and conflict would be streaming both north and south to get away.  Imagine a war in a country of 340 million people, and the sheer number of refugees that it would produce.  It would overwhelm both Mexico and Canada, and their respective Immigration ministries. Both countries would have to close their borders with the US within a few months of start of hostilities because of the sheer number of people trying to get to safety.

Yes, this is a doomsday scenario, but, a renewed Civil War could not be anything but that.  It wouldn’t happen in a vacuum.  It wouldn’t be a lark, or something that would be settled in a couple of weeks.  The first Civil War lasted four years, and consumed vast amounts of treasure, as well as millions of lives.  In today’s USA, it would be even worse, because of the much larger population, and it’s diversity, as well as the changes in the world in the 150+ years since the first one began.  In 1861, China was far from a world power, Russia was  a European Power of sorts at the time,  and Iran was known as Persia, and was a monarchy.  In the last 150 years, China is the most populous nation in the world with the largest military.  Russia is resurgent, and flexing muscle worldwide.  North Korea is a hermit kingdom, but, if given the chance, would love to have some influence, and Iran is the regional power player in the Middle East, and is more powerful than it ever has been, and is looking to expand it’s influence.   These are the countries that would not only benefit from an America in chaos, but would also be the ones most likely to take a piece of the continent for themselves.

So, how about this.  Let’s stop pretending a renewed Civil War would be a minor conflict, that would be easily won by one side or the other.   Let’s look at it for what it would really be: Wholesale destruction and death on a scale never seen in this country before.  It would be end of the United States of America, and when the smoke cleared, it would be a nation of destroyed cities, starving and decimated people, and a  powerless government, with the real possibility that a large chunk of the country being occupied by a foreign power.  Let’s quit kidding ourselves, and lets get off of the stupid path toward conflict many seem to be eager to set us on.  Let us start calling out those who wish to put us on that path.  A country that is headed toward a civil war, has a dark, and dangerous future that nothing good will come from.  At best, it would wreck the United States of America for at least a century.  Does anyone really want that?  I know I don’t

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I rarely interact on Social Media, especially on Facebook.  I hang out on Twitter, comment from time to time, but I avoid arguments, and disagreements at all costs.

Why?

I am tired of it.  Since November of 2016, I do little more than read others people’s FB posts, I almost never post to my timeline.  For me, there is precious little that is worth reading any longer, and, add to that, there is nothing worth responding to.   All I ever see is the latest “I hate Trump” or “MAGA” type post. Or the latest “Anti gun” or “Pro 2A” post.  The problem with the posts are not the content, but, rather the attitude with which they are served up.  It’s a “this is what I believe, and f*** you and go to hell if you don’t agree”  No one has rational discussions any longer, and I do mean no one.

I am also tired of the conspiracy theories surrounding, well, you name it; Las Vegas, Parkland, Newtown, etc. etc.  The worst part about all of this, is these posts are coming from people that I know to be intelligent, and, I thought, reasonable.  Many of them old classmates, and others that I have known for 30 years.  Politics, and one’s political views have become the yardstick, (and with some people the only yardstick used to measure someone’s worth.) .  I have witnessed lifelong friendships come to an end, over a vote, or a political stance.  There is no “opinion” any more, there is “My post is irrefutable fact, and f*** you if you don’t think it’s true”.  People post things that they find, somewhere in the deep, dark bowels of the internet, as truth.  Not only truth, but incontrovertible, irrefutable, truth, because their favorite website, blogger, or pundit said it.  In this day and age, it’s not “for” or “against”, no.  It’s “you must believe or you are a heretic, and must be destroyed”.  It happens on both sides.

If you are pro 2nd Amendment, you are branded a “baby killer”, an “NRA Terrorist” or you “Support the murder of children” and the ownership of “weapons of war”.  If you want support Gun Control, then you area “gun grabbing communist” or a “traitor”, or an “anti-freedom leftist”.  No quarter is given in these arguments.  There is no discourse, only insults, and if it’s a woman posting her support of  2A, it’s the most vile sexual type of insults I have ever seen.  There are threats, and more insults.  Hashtags are thrown around like so many bean bags.  Frequently posts are in all caps, as people become more and more unhinged.  Eventually the donnybrook loses steam, and everyone is on to something else, but not before feelings are hurt, anger flairs and relationships are strained, if not broken.  I am amazed at the hurtful things people, especially family members, say to one another over a discussion of politics.  Isn’t family supposed to be better than that?  It is the disagreement that severe that some stop talking to siblings or parents?  How crappy is that?  I don’t always agree with my brothers, or my sister, but I would never, ever stop talking to them over their stance on something.  My dad, if he were still among us, would not stand for it.  I feel bad for those people who feel that a relationship, especially a long-term one, be it familial or romantic, has to end, because of a political opinion.

I hate all of the stupid fighting, and when one side presents the other with facts, then the arguing switches to whose “facts” are more factual.  We get our news and information from many sources these days, unfortunately, we all know about “fake news”, and in many cases, the “facts” as presented, depending on which “side” is presenting them can vary.  In more than a few cases, news sites will post a story, and include facts that only support their side of the argument, then other people quote that source as being proof that they are right, while the other side of the argument cites a story about the same issue from a news site, or blogger, or pundit, that includes information that supports what they have to say.  It’s exhausting.  Woe to the person who enters into the fray, in an attempt to be reasonable, cites a balanced story on the issue, then they get torn into from both sides.  The worst part about all of it, are the vile insults that people hurl at one another, either strangers they don’t know, or people that they do.  It’s unreal, and it almost hurts to watch it.

An example of what I describe above, goes like this:  I will use the latest raging debate over guns, that is burning up social media.

Friend A; (a long time friend of mine) Posted a story about a study done by two criminologists, citing the number of times a gun is used to defend life and property, and stops a crime in progress.  He posted his comments, as well as a link to the study, so anyone reading his post can avail themselves of the information, and read the study in it’s entirety.   Several people posted comments after reading the story, and the study.  The comments are all positive.

Stranger A:  this person pops up in a comment, after a news story that this person believes “debunks” the study by the two criminologists.  The news story takes the study to task, and selectively cites facts that support the gun control side of the argument.  So Stranger A, goes off on a paragraph long screed about the NRA, and evil corporations funding gun companies, buying politicians, and etc, etc, etc.  Friend A politely asks Stranger A to read the study.  Stranger A replies he doesn’t need to because the article he read speaks for itself, and he knows the study was funded by the NRA and the gun makers (it wasn’t) so, of course it is going to back up their claims.

It’s this kind of attitude, the “If you are against gun control, you are for the deaths of children” is really rather tiresome, and it is a tactic used by many in an argument to deflect from their arguments shaky ground.  It is also used as a way to end the argument, because the tactic forces the other person to argue that they are not “for the killing of children”, which then puts the anti-gun person on the offensive.  Or, it forces the other person to walk away from the argument, because it just got stupid.  The tactic is designed to shut down debate, and silence opposition.  People on both sides use it.  It’s not a “left” or “right” thing.  So, the above exchange over the study went back and  forth, but the problem is, everyone wound up arguing with Stranger A about how they are not for the killing of children.  It was several comments before someone else got the argument back on track.

The point of the anecdote above is an example of what typically happens on social media.  The other phenomenon is the habit among many to read the headline of a posted story, and then comment on the inaccuracy of the story   It is embarrassing when someone I know, and always figured was intelligent, decides to go off on an article they did not even read, and puts their intellectual laziness on display.  It is amazing to me how little there is in the way of critical thinking.  What ever happened to analysis, reading comprehension, and logical thought?

It is indeed sad, that the current level of debate on Twitter, and Facebook resembles an argument between a bunch of 12 year old kids on the school playground.  It really is.  The crises that face this nation are not going to get solved by emotional outbursts, name calling or finger-pointing.  The problem is, no one wants to hear the other side out.  It is as if we all want our side to be the only one that prevails.  When you get right down to it, the truth to just about any of the issues is much more nuanced, it hardly black and white.  In the studies mentioned in my anecdote, each one can, when facts and passages in the study are cherry-picked and taken out of context, support either the pro-gun, or the anti-gun side of the argument.  However, that kind of cherry picking does little to shed light on the problem of violence in this country, and what effective steps can be taken to curb the violence.   The same could be said of any study, on any of the issues that face the nation.  The sad fact is, that any side in an any argument wants to be the “only” side that is right.  It’s as if being right, and defeating one’s enemies is more important than solving, or working towards solving an issue.  “All or nothing” rarely works.  When one takes a position that the only way to solve an issue is an “all or nothing” solution, then people on the other side of the issue, are going to be unwilling to talk, much less compromise, or reach an agreement.  This is also how fights start, because once an argument gets to the point where one side feels compelled to use force to convince the other side, then all is lost.

All I know is, and I urge my kids to do this all of the time;  If you are going to debate a question, come to the table with facts, and research, and also come to the table with an understanding demeanor.  Disagreement is not a personal attack.  One can understand the other side’s point of view, without resorting to personal attacks, name calling, and the like.  If you have made your point, and the other person, or group, still disagrees, then, move on.  You have made your point, you stood by your argument, and that’s it.  One cannot change another’s mind, well, can rarely change it.  The most that can be done is “agree to disagree” and move on.  There is nothing wrong with that, either.  Everyone has different beliefs on everything, from the big issues of the day, to the question of whether or not a hot dog is a sandwich. (it’s not.  Stating my position right now) or whether or not ketchup belongs on that same hot dog (It doesn’t, at least if you bought it from a hot dog stand.  If you made it at home, then, ketchup is permissible).  It is those differences that make us who we are, and one is not “less” because one believes differently than someone else on any given subject.  We sometimes forget we are human, and we should never dehumanize someone else over a disagreement  Ever.  It’s wrong, and leads to all kinds of scary things on a larger scale.

For those interested.  The link posted by my friend is below.  Read it and decide.  The article cites at least 3 studies and has links to them.  Read it.  Thank you.  Article my friend posted  I offer no opinions here.

The Sanctity of Life.

Is there such a thing?

Does life really matter?

Does it matter, in the big picture, to anyone?

I hear people talking about “the sanctity of life” and it usually in connection with abortion, euthanasia, or, something similar, and, in that same conversation, it’s not too far from it’s neighbor “dying with dignity”

Since the Charlie Gard episode exploded on the scene, I was really beginning to think that we live in one big “death culture”.  Think about it.  It seems like the human society as a whole has become so fatalistic, that many people seem resigned to the fact that death is really no big deal.

Let’s take abortion for example, and this is a subject that is a sore point for me.  Ever since I was old enough to understand what abortion was, the thought of it horrified me.  Way back in 8th grade, (Catholic grade school) as part of one of classes, I don’t remember which, we held a debate about abortion.  I remember being on the “pro life” side, and doing what research I could on the subject (note, this in 1980,) During the course of the lesson, I remember thinking “how could anyone knowingly, willingly, kill their own child?” 

Fast forward 37 years, and I still think that way.  The debate still rages, both sides trying to prove why they are right.  I know both sides haves some people who are passionate supporters for their side, and are vocal about it.  I get where we come from on the “pro life” side.  It’s really a simple argument.    That’s not what I am going to go into here, because it’s been articulated before.  What I don’t understand, is on the “pro-abortion” side (I refuse to call it “pro choice”) there are people who are unapologetic in their support for, and desire for abortion to be available all of the time, everywhere.

I am often taken aback at the tone many abortion rights supporters and groups take when it comes to defending a woman’s right to kill her child.  I have never seen strident language like the language many abortion supporters use to defend killing.  That’s what it is though, it’s death.  It’s death inflicted on an innocent human being because the mother thinks them “inconvenient”, or a “burden”.  When looked at in it’s proper light, “abortion” (which is too clean sounding a word for the procedure, I always liked “Induced Fetal Death”) the attitudes of abortion supporters seem almost bloodthirsty, as if killing babies is their goal.  They pay lip service to “women’s health” and etcetera, but what they really want to do, and see, is death.  Specifically the death of babies.

What drives a person to this level?  One can blame feminism, and one can also blame the society as a whole for being blase toward death, and violence for that matter. But, that is not what I am looking for.  How does one get to the point where they area a cheerleader for death?  During many protests in support of Planned Parenthood, I saw people carrying signs that said “Abortion for all” and “Abortion at any time, without apology”, and similar signs, saying vile things about children, Christians, and Republicans, and other pro-life types. Obscenity laced speeches about the same.  Fist shaking women demanding that not only should baby-killing be considered normal, but also, that the government should pay for it.  Even more disturbing, some of these women are mothers, and brought children to these protests.  I can’t help myself for feeling sorry for some of these women.  I really want to know;  Is killing babies that big of a deal to these women?   Why is it so important that so many children be put to death?  Furthermore, why do women like this seem to celebrate it?  Has feminism come so far, (or maybe, sunk so low) that they are intent on ignoring basic humanity regardless of the cost?  By cost, I mean the societal, moral, and ethical cost but to the personal cost to themselves?   Many of the “men” I see at these protests, or, rather in video footage of the protests, are along the lines of the “Pajama Boy” from the Obama Care ads from a couple of years back.  Men, who are men only in name, and have wives or girlfriends that are more masculine than they.  Men who meekly acquiesce, in some cases, to the killing of their child.  For these men,  it is a cop out, an admission of weakness, and an inability to stand up and take their responsibility.  They were “man” enough to get into bed with the woman, (honestly, sex is the easy part) but, now they are not man enough to say “That child is my responsibility too. (And before you judge, I was in that exact situation 28 years ago, I stood up and took my responsibility seriously, and married the mother of my child, and committed to raising him, which I did, along with four more kids over the years.  I stood up, I took responsibility. If I was man enough to have sex, then, I was man enough to raise the result of that encounter) For the record, the marriage didn’t last, but because I took parenting seriously, that now 28 year old is building a life of his own, as are his  two siblings from that marriage.  So, I took responsibility, and even, took custody of my kids when the situation arose, and raised them.  Like a man, and a parent should.   All of that, however is not the point.

The point is the evil that seems to lurk in those who support abortion.  I just don’t understand it.  They come at it with a passion, and it is visceral, and it is aggressive, and it is also “expsosed fangs and claws” kind of blood thirsty.   Yes, that is my take, because that is how many of them come across.  There seems to be no room for discussion on the issue, on the sanctity of life, or the moral aspects.  It’s as if all humanity has been abandoned in the name of making sure the deaths keep coming.

Why?

Why is killing babies so important?  It’s as if these people would do anything to prevent their “right” to abortion from being taken away.  What is it about abortion rights that makes these people react like they do?

Maybe, because abortion gives them a direct and easy way to rid themselves of the consequences of their lifestyle?  Perhaps, but that almost seems too simple.  There are other things men and women can do to prevent pregnancy that are simpler and less invasive.  The abortion procedure itself, despite what activists say, is not a simple, or painless procedure, and there is a psychological component to it that is never spoken about.  So, it would seem that solely using abortion as a form of “birth control” would be a something of an ordeal to go through.

It also seems that many of these women who are the loudest defenders of abortion rights, also seem to be ardent feminists, is it possible that in their desire to advance feminist causes, these women have abandoned their inherent “femaleness”?  From my observations, based on the things they say, it would seem that way.  Are they that caught up in feminism, that they are denying the things that make them women, in order to detach themselves from their gender?  Because if they can approach the feminist causes seemingly without conscience, especially on the abortion front, then, it would seem to me the only way they could do that is to put aside the fact that they are   “women”, so it allows them to approach the fight without any moral, or ethical concerns?  Perhaps detaching themselves from being women allows them to distance themselves from the reality of what they are doing?  If you think about it, advocating for abortion means you are actually advocating for the violent, traumatic death of a child.  An unborn child, but a child all the same.  By couching it in the guise of “women’s health care” and “women’s rights” they give it a veneer that hides what it actually is.

If you are one of those who watched the Fox GOP debate the other night, then you are one of many who saw what amounted to a verbal fistfight.   For the record, I did not watch the debate. I also have not seen much of the video from the debate that has made it’s way around social media, and the like.  So, this is not an opinion piece about the debate, in fact, I didn’t really care much about the debate.  Too many candidates, and I need some time to watch the process and see who rises to the top.

When I started “Chairman of the Awkward Squad” a few years ago, my goal was to write as comprehensive a political blog as I could.  I like to write, I enjoy politics (or, at least, I used to) and I have strong opinions. (Just ask anyone I know.)  However, post 2012 election, I stopped.  I pretty much gave up on politics, following politics, the GOP, and all of the like.  Yes, I paid attention to the news, followed my Twitter feed, and in general kept as informed as I could, but I just didn’t, and I couldn’t jump in to the fray any longer.  The 2012 election soured me, really soured me, and, quite frankly, pissed me off.  Why?  Never in my life have I ever felt so betrayed by the politics I believed in.  Never in my life have I felt so lied to by the GOP, and really, conservatism in general.  I quit listening to Rush, reading Red State, and backed off of any conservative media, with the exception of a few Twitter feeds that I enjoyed, and some blogs in other places.  Romney was a nice man, but didn’t stand a chance, and yet, throughout that cycle we were sold a bill of goods regarding him.  When the returns came in on Election Night, the betrayal bit deep.  I was led to believe that Mitt had a chance.

Now we are approaching 2016, and I feel compelled to get back into following this stuff, and perhaps opining on some of it.  First off, I am not surprised by the size of the GOP field.  When election time starts to approach,  everyone with an idea, and that thinks they have a chance, jumps in. I was also not surprised by Trump’s entry, because, well, he’s Trump, and he is always looking for the spotlight. (If you have ever watched
“The Apprentice” you understand)  I figured he would flash in the pan, and be gone.

It would appear my assumption was wrong.

The reason, and I hear this from my FB feed, and friends and co workers, Trump is resonating, is simply because he is saying what people, who are fed up with everything that is going wrong in this country, want to hear.  What Trump is spewing is really nothing more than populist horse-hockey, that is designed to rabble rouse and nothing more.  Furthermore, and I remembered this from Queen Hillary’s Senate run, that Trump was one of her donors, and a supporter.

What is this guy doing trying to be a Republican?  Or, even worse, trying to portray himself as a Conservative?  Trump has a been a business man, and, I have always assumed, based on past behavior, a Democrat.

What Trump is doing, is trying to divide the vote, really.  He is a spoiler, a distraction, a carnival barker.  As I said above, he is saying the things that the discontented want to hear.  That is what is causing him to poll well.   A third party run?  Yes, most likely.  Why? Because he will cull away all of those in the GOP, if you will, who focus on one issue.  In this election, it will be Immigration.  He is appealing to those who are tired of the immigration crisis in this country, but, he is also appealing to those on a more baser level.  The racists, the xenophobes, and those who wish to just trash anyone who isn’t them.  I see it in my Twitter feed, and my Facebook feed, and, with an issue that requires a thoughtful, and comprehensive approach, shouts of “Build a wall” and “Send ’em all back!” are not a solution.  It’s rabble rousing at its worst.  Not only that, they are little more that catch phrases for people to rally around, and don’t require much thought.    Additionally, the stupid spat with Megyn Kelly of FOX is a distraction, and a device to further the moribund “war on women”, by providing fodder for the lefty pundits to bash conservatism with.

Trump is something the GOP, and this election cycle does not need.  With all of the crisis, both current and looming, that this country is facing, there is no room for someone who is going to nothing more than pound a fist, and shout catch phrases.   Has Trump said one word about how he would deal with Iran? or ISIS?  If he has, I haven’t heard it.  Because of his business acumen, he may be good on the economy, but occupying the White House is more than a one-dimensional job.  He knows it, and we know it, and we also know, like our current occupant, he is lacking in what many perceive as necessary skills.  Statecraft? Trump as no idea what that is.

Also, in the vein of what this country doesn’t need, is another Bush, and, we don’t need Christie either.  Those two really need to take off their RINO suits, and put on the “D”, because, really that is what they are acting like. (I don’t have time in this blog to go into it, perhaps later….)

I haven’t settled on any one candidate yet.  Too many to keep track of, and I am looking for someone to emerge as a leader.  There a couple who are starting to show some potential, but I will reserve my judgement for later.

So, I am getting back into this, and I will most likely regret it.  Look for more.  It may, or may not be interesting.

 

 

Over the last coupld of years, we have had the tragedies of Newtown, Connecticut, and Aurora, Colorado, and several smaller incidents where a person entered a public venue, with the intent of killing others.  With all of that, one would think this is a nation where the national sport is shooting one another.

At least, that’s how it sounds when you hear the media report it.  They mention the gunman, sure, but, they don’t mention him as the cause of what happened.  I cried the day it happened.  Never in my life have I seen a tragedy such as the one that unfolded. It was truly horrifying. Nothing more can be said about it, that hasn’t already been said.

Tell me, though, would you ever hear, or read something like the following, from today’s newspapers, and news channels?

Six people were killed today, by a Chevy Silverado, after the pickup crossed the centerline on the highway, and plowed into the a minivan carrying a family of six………..

Of course not, the story lead, or headline would mention the drunk driver, would it not?  Yes, it would.  It would say “Intoxicated driver kills 6 on the expressway” The pickup truck would be mentioned as the vehicle, not the cause.  The cause would be the intoxicated driver.

Why is not so when there is a mass shooting?  The emphasis is put on the weapon used, not the state of mind, or the motivations of the person pulling the trigger.  In order to shoot someone, you have to pull the trigger, do you not?  Yes, you do….

So, that brings to the fore, the question no one, at least, not anyone in the media wants to have to try and answer: The moral questions surrounding why someone would do what they did, be it Newtown, or Aurora Colorado, Klackamas Mall,…. the list goes on.  Those who wish to ban guns only want to talk to you about how evil guns are, not about how evil the people might be that are doing the shooting.  That puts the onus on the deed on the person, not the weapon.  They want the weapon to be the focus, not the person, because it then becomes a moral argument, not a political one.   They don’t want moral arguments.

Enough of that though.  Both sides in the gun debate have staked out their positions quite well.  We know where they stand, and each side considers the other one evil incarnate.   But, the debate doesn’t stop there, in fact it doesn’t even start there.

It starts with our society. It starts with each of us as individuals.  It starts with the current social and economic climate, and it also includes the entertainment outlets in side our society.   As a people we have lost, or have almost lost, the moral recognition of right and wrong.  It has gone to “shades of grey”.  We can’t judge, we can’t point out mistakes, we have to worried about “self esteem”, we can’t be negative, and we cannot ever point out the moral failings that lead to poor life decisions, and then the results of those decisions, which generally involve guns.   In addition a bigger, and even more uncomfortable question comes up:

“What do we do with the mentally ill.”

In the shootings of the past year or so, the shooters involved have had mental issues, serious mental issues.  Why were they not treated? Locked up?  How did they get access to weapons? Why didn’t someone do something about them?

If one has never dealt with mental illness, then one is probably ill prepared to deal with, or even spot  someone who may have a problem.  Think about it:  If you do realize someone you know, or know of, may have a mental problem, who do you talk to about it?  Many families don’t even recognize a family member with a problem until something happens, and even if they do, it is a long struggle to get them help, medication, or, in extreme cases, put in an institution. Some families just hope the problem is a “phase” or something that their loved one is going through.  Mental illness in children is tough to recognize, diagnose, and treat.  Most insurance doesn’t cover the medications or treatment.  Obamacare?  Not going there.  Nope.  Leaving that alone for now.  Many families cannot afford the cost of long-term institutionalization of someone.  Most, if not all of the states have cut out, or drastically reduced the budget for any mental health  facilities they run.  So, what do we do?

This nation has a problem:  We have lost whatever moral code we used to live by.  We live in a “me first, the hell with everyone else” kind of society.  Right and wrong are relative, not absolute.  Our children are taught in college, and even younger that morals are what one feels they are.

We have also lost God.
Yes, I said it.  We have systematically cut God out of our culture.  Why?  Why are we afraid of God? Because God is the absolute moral authority, and the Holy Bible is the book that spells out that authority.  I can hear you readers now, either turning away from the screen, saying something rude, or clicking the mouse to go to another page.    We are afraid of God, because we are afraid of accoutability, we are afraid of judgement, and to be quite honest, we don’t want to be told that what we are doing is wrong.  So, we rationalize it, we minimize it.  We compare ourselves to others, such as “Well, I might be bad, but I am not Jeffery Dhamer”, so then we can go on with our lives, because we are “Not as bad as……” .

The society we live in is a compilation and combination of everyone’s “bad”.  The crappy things we do to ourselves, our family members or others adds to the sum total of the evil in our society.  We may not “feel” it is wrong, but it doesn’t make us any less wrong, and it desensitizes us to the wrongs of others.  “Judge not, lest ye be judged” we say in our most righteous voice possible, and this bible verse, translated in context means “Hey, do what you want, and I’ll do what I want we won’t say anything.”

So, we go along merrily, ignoring the evil that builds around us, and that we contribute to.  Pretty soon, we have a society of fatherless kids, teenagers dropping out of high school, divorce rates through the ceiling, alcoholism, drug use, and perversions everywhere. We look at what our society is and then say “Well, that’s normal.”

It’s the normal that is killing us, It’s the “normal” that is contributing to the morass that we are in.

Banning the gun because of Newtown, or Virginia Tech, or Columbine makes as much sense as banning cars because of drunk drivers.  No correlaltion? Really?   If one is the cause of mass shootings, then the other must be the cause of drunk driving.  After all, if we are going to excuse the shooter’s lack of morality, then we must excuse the drunk driver’s as well.  “But the gun is the cause, without the gun, then those people couldn’t have killed so many people.”   Well, yes, and no.  If there were no guns, do you think the shooters in any of those situations would have said. “Oh, crud, no guns, I guess I can’t kill all of those people.”   If we were a gun free society, heck, if the gun didn’t exist, would it not stand to reason that someone who wanted to kill other people would have used a different weapon?  Just because there is no guns, does not mean there is no evil.  Do you think, if there were no cars, we would have no drunks?  No, drunks would exist, they would be using whatever form of transportation was being used, and yes, people would still die at their hands.

But that is not how, or where we live, so the above is moot.

I can go on at length about responsible gun ownership, about responsible gun owners.  I won’t. It’s all been said. And, I must note, that just because someone is a gun owner does not mean they are not capable of evil. And, by the same token, because they own guns, does not mean they are evil.  I own a car, but I am not a drunk driver.  But, many drunk drivers own cars.  Just like many people who own guns are not criminals, but many criminals have guns in their possession.

The action taken, the pulling the trigger, or turning the key, is dependent on the level of moral responsibility that resides in that person.  The decision to take that action can be influenced by impairments, be they induced by mental illness, or too much to drink, or by being too angry, and not caring about what happens after the action is taken.

 

It’s been a tough couple of years for me, since the last election. My view of this country, it’s voters, and it’s political process took a beating, and since then, hasn’t improved. I have watched every scandal unfold over the last couple of years under this administration, and with each and every new revelation, I think: When is someone going to do something?

I mean, really do something.

We are the American people, all of us, from where ever we came from, whatever our lineage, born here, or not, this is our country, and, we are watching it be dismantled. Every freedom we cherish, and live for, every institution that made this country what it is, is being taken apart.

Piece by piece.

Now, mind you, we are not watching in silence. Oh no, our voices are raised, our Twitter feeds are full of our opinions, our Facebook timelines decry all of the government excess. Among our friends and confidantes, we pontificate, we expound, we point out the wrongs, the injustice. We sign online petitions, we vote in online polls. We scream “how dare they!” and “This is America, they can’t do that:”. And yet they do, over, and over and over. But, we raise our voices still louder. They do it again. Perhaps along with the raised voice, we pound our fist on a table, for emphasis, because “We aren’t going to stand for this! This is Americaaaaaa!”. But yet, they still do it.

Just hashtag it already.

We shout “Where is the media on this?” We all know where the media is. The “media”, that feckless collection of sycophants who have sold their souls to their agenda. They will never report on what is going on. The major media in this country has Joseph Goebbels dancing with glee in his grave. His methods are back in use, 80 years later, with the same results. The cold, hard truth is, well, no one knows what “truth” is anymore. Our so called “politicians” are the other collection of spineless sycophants who have sold their souls for votes, or recognition, or their agenda. None of them stand on any principal, unless that will get them someone’s vote. Then they are all over it. Until they get re-elected, and then they conveniently forget their promise. We have the “Conservative” media, such as it is. Yes, there are people of integrity, those who wish to report facts, and tell it how it is, and not how they feel about it. Unfortunately, there are many so-called “conservative media” sites that indulge in the same lies, distortions, misrepresentations, and bias that the mainstream engages in. These days it is very hard to tell what the truth is, and what is really going on. I am convinced that there is not a single person of integrity, that I can trust in the mainstream, and very few in the “Conservative” media. I watch the news sometimes, just to watch them deliver their pile of pony pucks with a straight face, in its own dark way, it’s entertaining. Through all of this, we demand that the “media” get involved and start reporting. Folks, they are reporting. They are reporting exactly what they want you to hear, and see, according to the agenda they are following.

Inaction follows inaction.

All I see are words. I don’t see any action. We are like a group of people in a burning house, hoping someone picks up the fire hose and saves us all. As far as every scandal that is plaguing this country. Action needs to be taken, and not words.

But no one will.

The news media won’t because, well, because they are on the same side as the administration, and, quite frankly, they won’t be biting the hand that feeds them.
Our politicians won’t because the risk to their precious careers is too great. Not only that, they have no guts, or integrity.
The people? What about us. What is our role in this farce? Where are the patriots? Where are those that would lead us out from under this mess, and restore some sort of prestige back to this country’s name, and rectify some of the wrongs that have been committed?

The truth is, a police state is just around the corner. We are standing on the cusp of it, and as we click the “send” button for every Tweet, or Facebook post, or other social media, while we watch out TV, listen to our music, and pound our fists about the injustice of all that is around us, we are being set up. The rug, folks, is going to pulled out from under us. How, when, and where is anyone’s guess. It is, however, going to happen.

Can it be stopped? I don’t know, but then, that is up to us, isn’t it?

Today. 9/11

I am sitting in my living room.  The house is quiet, the kids have all gone to school.  A light breeze blows through the open window next to me, while the sun shines in a bright blue sky this morning.

I still feel it.  It never goes away, not after 11 years.  It was a morning like this, that tragedy, aggression, and, quite frankly, an act of war was perpetrated on this country.  The memories are haunting to me.  I remember with striking clarity the events of that day, and the days after.   I have never visited Ground Zero, or the memorial site, not that I don’t want to,  I have just never had the money to travel to see it.

It is incongruous, sitting here, it’s a bright sunny September day, and it feels out of place.  It’s like this day is completely locked in to those horrific scenes from New York.  Even more so, it happened on  Tuesday, my day off from my Computer Technician job that I had at the time.

The TV specials that will air tonight, and probably throughout the week, bring home every memory, which are still as vivid in my mind now, as it was on the day it happened.

America changed that day.  We all saw it, we all remember it.

Now, those changes have changed again.  This America that we have today, is not as united as we were in the aftermath of 9/11.  We are divided among party lines, among class lines, and among racial lines as well.   We are a country that is hurting in ways that will not heal overnight.   But, someone has to bring the healing in order for that to happen.   The agents of divisiveness are the ones that are out there now, claiming to be the “healers”.

We walk through the morass that this country has become on some levels, a growing dependency culture, millions unemployed, optimism at an all time low… and we have an Administration, that is trying to tell us that this excrement sandwich that they are trying to feed us, is roast beef, and we should pick it up and enjoy it.

On this 11th Anniversary of 9/11.  I sit and remember America.  My country. Our Country.  The nation of people that have adapted, and overcame throughout history.  We are the American People.

We don’t belong to Government.  They belong to us, and it’s high time they are reminded of that.

This our Country built by those who have come before, from every corner of this earth.

This is a country of people.  Of Free Citizens, of self determination, and a desire to not only succeed, but excel.

I am tired of those who wish to apologize for, or try to minimize our greatness.  Our greatness as a country was earned.  Not given.  It was earned through the blood, sweat, toil and sacrifice of 230 years  of people just wanting better for themselves  and for others as well.

This is America, in all it’s stunning imperfection.  I love my country, and it’s people.

I don’t get it.

The absolute gushing over Clinton that occurred last night during his speech.  I watched.  I wondered.  I laughed.

Not at the speech, as riddled as it was with inaccuracies, distortions, and not a few lies, because we have heard that all before.  It was the gushing that was on Facebook, my Twitter feed, and, visible among the audience.

And then, there was this little gem from ABC’s Rick Klein, posted on Twitter.

______________________________________________

What is with this garbage?  First of all, my fifth grade daughter can write better than that, and so can my sixth grade son, and he would have used more stirring imgery.   I don’t get the fawning, the absolute sycophancy (is that even a word?) from the media and others on the left.  After the speeches at the RNC, there was praise and similar reaction from the right, but I don’t recall reading anything like the above.  That’s not praise, that is starry-eyed-teenage-girl-infatuation-puppy love type reaction.  That’s the kind of thing a seventh grade girl writes about One Direction.   (note, the above tweet has been removed from Mr. Klein’s timeline….just sayin’)

Predictably, Chris Matthews, he of the “thrill” up his leg, gave us this semi-obscene, and strange little tidbit:
MSNBC's Chris Matthews
“I always figured that if Bill Clinton landed on Mars. He would know how to do it with them. He would know how to reproduce,” Matthews said. “He would know everything. He would just instinctively know how to talk to people. They would be laughing in about five minutes. The Martians.

What the hell is that about? Between the the thrill up his leg, and his vision of Bill Clinton reproducing with Martians, I think Chris Matthews has finally gone ’round the bend. I don’t even want to dissect, analyze, or even discuss that bit….I think we would be probing areas of his mind that are better left unprobed.

And then, there is the semi-orgasmic offerings from quite a few women around the Twitter verse as well, at the hashtag #veganfox. (Apparently Mr. Clinton has decided to be a Vegan…. okay… whatever) I came away from that hashtag feeling like a voyeur outside of someone’s bedroom.

Camera shots out to the audience, that were enraptured by his living organism of a speech, showed more than a few women with the bedroom eyes turned on.  All of those independent, strong, feminist, “I’ll-never-be-held-back-by-a-man”, women were looking like they were going to be leaving wet spots on their seats……

Nothing, however, will compare to tonight, when the Left’s very own “Messiah” takes the stage, and accepts the Democrat nomination for President.

The reaction to the speech, may require towels.

Friday will be full of more airy, pseudo-poetic, sycophantic ravings about Mr. Obama’s speech, as the left wing media will try and remind us, that President Teleprompter is indeed a great orator.

Like I said.

Get the towels.

H/T’s…

Twitchy Team for the Rick Klein Tweet

Washington Examiner for the Chris Matthews quote

The environment.

A subject sure to inflame passions just as much as politics or religion these days. In some ways, however, it is intertwined with both, because, for some, the Environment is a religion…

The left wants to rid us of fossil fuels, nuclear power, and any other form of energy that they don’t deem as being “green”.  The right wants oil independence, developing energy sources within this country, because that will create jobs, grow the economy, and reduce costs of everything.  It will bring prosperity to more people, and more prosperity is a good thing.

So, the left cries “No! We must think of the environment” Oil is bad, it spills, in contaminates, it fouls the air we breathe.  Spent nuclear fuel can poison a large area for generations. Coal poisons the air we breathe…. and it goes on, and on.

The right cries “Yes!” We must think of future generations, and our own independence, we must provide a stable, secure nation for our children to grow up in”. Oil is good, we have invented many things that use oil, and the derivatives we gain from refining it, it is efficient, and readily available.  Coal is abundant, it is also efficient at producing electricity, and we need cheap electricity.  Spent nuclear fuel can be safely stored for generations, where, if properly done is poses little or no risk……

And the argument goes on.

Both sides, in their own minds, are right about this.  Both sides deem their desires rational, by the standards they set for themselves.

Let’s take another look at things…. from a “common sense” standpoint.  From the view of a regular American guy, with a family, who is smart enough to understand a few things.

The Left wants solar, wind, and bio fuels.  The Right wants oil, coal, natural gas, and nuclear power.  The left wants fuel efficient hybrid cars, perhaps, mandated by the government.  The Right also wants fuel efficient cars, and they also want to leave the choice of what we drive up to us.

Reduce, Recylce, Reuse… make “Gaia” happy.  Please Mother Earth.

In the Bible, God gave man dominion over the earth, and all of its creatures, plants, and birds of the air. (See Genesis 1) But he also commanded man to be a “good steward” of the earth, and to take care of it.

So, in all of this rancor surrounding the “environment” I decided I would ask some questions, and try and find the answers, and see what kind of energy makes sense for the planet.

On a recent road trip to go photograph trains with my kids, we were driving west on I-88 on our way to a town called Rochelle, IL. Along the way, I happened to notice a wind turbine farm had sprouted up, since I was last out that way (about 4 years ago). I had never seen a wind turbine outside of photos, so I was impressed with the size. The wind farm itself, had a surreal look about it. It was odd to see so many huge three-bladed propellers (or would they be “impellers” since the wind drives them, and not the other way around?) so high above the ground.  The wind farm stretched as far as the eye could see. My kids (10 and 11) began to ask questiosn about how they work, how much electrcity they produce, and etc.  Which got me to thinking.  How much do they produce, and how efficient is it?  In addition to that, I couldn’t help but notice that the wind farm took an awful lot of farm land out of commission.  I could see the old barns and silos, on what had obviously been a farm, prior to becoming what it is now.  That got me wondering about land use, and the effect large numbers of these wind farms could have on farm productivity…. So, I when I got home I cracked open the laptop, and began looking.

After reading various web pages, and blogs, as well as forums and such.  I came away from the whole thing, thinking that there isn’t much in the way of rational thinking when it comes to the energy debate, especially from the Left.

As a “regular guy” who, like millions of others, works, and raises a family, I want, and need energy prices to be affordable. What are we supposed to do? Operate like Pakistan where they practice “Load shedding”? “Load Shedding” is a practice where power is turned off to large portions of various cities, to insure enough electricity for is available for “vital” functions. This is usually done for 8-12 hours a day, and its “rolling” so the same place isn’t affected every day.  If this nation goes down the path of relying solely on “renewable” energy, and continues the shuttering of coal fired power plants, that is where we will be.  Of course, I am sure the Washington, and Hollywood “elites” wouldn’t have to suffer through such a thing, should that come to pass.

The simple truth is: What we have now, works.  You want your renewable energy?  Fine.  From a common sense standpoint, it would assist in making our current resources last longer. But, don’t try and force it on the rest of us as a “solution” for something that isn’t broken.    If an individual feels the need to go “all solar” for their home, then, more power to them, so long as they foot the bill.  (Currently, a solar panel large enough to generate enough power to run everything in an average home runs about 16,000.00 for a 285 square foot panel)

So far, all I have seen from the left, and from the President, are hugely expensive, fantasy-type solutions, that are simply going to cost the average citizen more money. It’s not a “solution” at least, not from a common sense, practical, and economical standpoint.

Cross Posted to Red State.

Liberal Indecision…

It’s fun, to watch liberals get all jammed up over something that puts them in a position where they find themselves outraged by a crime, or violation of someone’s rights, but that violation was committed by a group that they support. If the circumstances weren’t so tragic, it would be comical.

What’s the conundrum for today?  Well, it’s the case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the Iranian woman convicted of adultery, and sentenced to death via stoning.  Yes, stoning.   By Islamic Shari’a law, that is the penalty for committing adultery. It is unclear if the man in this situation was punished or not.  If the sentence is carried out, she will be buried up to her shoulders, and then stoned by a group of people.  Think about that for a moment, folks. Islam, the religion of peace, and harmony, states that this is the punishment for committing adultery.  Now, what does this have to do with being a “conundrum” for liberals?

It’s simple. Liberals adhere to the principal, that everything is relative, and that there is no universal truth, and that to impose one’s beliefs on another person or culture is wrong.  But, liberals also claim to be the champions of women’s rights.  When Iran was named to the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women the most vocal liberal women’s group NOW (National Organization for Women) said little in way of protest.   However, mention the words “pro-life” and out comes vitriol, anger, and protests.  Claims that conservatives, Christians and pro-lifers are “anti-woman”, and “full of hate” and want to violate the rights of women.  But, the stoning to death of a Muslim woman, who, as it turns out, may not have done anything wrong at all, is okay…Well, maybe it’s not necessarily “okay” but they are not going to come out and say it’s wrong.. Lest they offend the Muslims of the world, who most liberal groups support, because they view the Muslim people as downtrodden, and persecuted, and constantly refer to Islam as the “religion of peace”.  (That’s why they fly airplanes into skyscrapers, or set off car bombs that kill innocent women and children)  So, here is your typical liberal, stuck in a moral quagmire because they simply cannot decide if the stoning, and violation of Ashtiani’s rights is wrong, given the context that it is being done by a Muslim.  However, if a Christian were to stop and counsel a woman who is about to walk in to an abortion clinic, that is “hateful” and “violating women’s rights”…. The histrionics would be legend.  But, somehow the stoning (or, hanging, or beheading) of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani is……..what?  I mention the hanging or beheading, because if they choose not to stone her, she is still under her death sentence, and therefore, the other styles of executions are options.

While there is outcry from various groups around the world, and in Iran itself, the execution could still be carried out.  The simple thing here is that this situation does not require much thought.  It’s wrong, plain and simple, and even if the woman did commit adultery, which is also wrong, she does not deserve to be stoned to death.  Most liberals, if not all of them, are the typical “archetypal secular progressive” who believes everything is relative, and there is no universal truth, and that to push one’s views on another is taboo, unless of course, they are trying to push their views on someone, then, that is okay.  They are quick to jump at conservatives and Christians for being “judgemental” and “intolerant”, when it is they themselves who display their intolerant and judgemental character every chance they get. (i.e, disagree with President Obama, and you are racist)  Within their philosophical viewpoint are thousands of subtle variations, which further muddies the waters of the liberal thought process and moral fabric.  The same holds true for pornography.  It’s obvious that it objectifies women, but, at the same time, they do not wish to condemn it, because then that would require taking a moral stance on the subject, which is difficult to do, because they are full of relativism, and “moral equivalence”.  However, they are quick to judge anyone who does not agree with them, and when faced with logic and facts tend to fall back on personal attacks, ridicule, and belittling.  They also bristle when their morality, or lack thereof, or their stance on any subject is questioned.   Their basic style of arguing their point is to do their darndest to shout the other person down, to the point where the other party gets tired and walks away, and they claim ‘”victory” for their side, when actually all they did was prove nothing but the emptiness of their argument.

Somewhere in Tabriz, a woman sits in a cell awaiting a fate that can scarcely be imagined.  Some of us who have read the story of this woman are outraged at a government and religious-legal system that allows such barbarity.  Others, who have nor moral compass sit and equivocate, vacillate, and then fail to arrive at any condemnation, because, after all, everything is relative.  They may express sympathy for the woman, but moral outrage is something they are incapable of….. lest they offend someone.