Latest Entries »

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.

 

 

Advertisements

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

“Yes, America has a way of making the impossible seem inevitable in retrospect. But of course it has never been inevitable – it has taken leadership, courage and an unwavering faith in our values.”

As I watched Condeleeza Rice last night, that line stuck in my mind.  In fact, I kept thinking about it while I was working last night, and then catching up on Twitter and my other news feeds.

During the perusal of my RSS last night, that line echoed in my head as I came across a photo of a “Code Pink” protester dressed as a female body part, and holding a sign that said “Abortion on demand”.  The juxtaposition of that image, and Ms. Rice’s speech showed just how stark the contrast is between those who believe in this country, and those who don’t.

I saw some more photos this morning, all taken at the convention.  Ann Romney, Janna Ryan, Condi Rice, Mia Love, as well as a few others.   These women are proof of the line from Ms. Rice’s speech, and again, I contrasted these photos, showing strong, intelligent, graceful, and even beautiful women with the photo of the protester dressed as a, well, you know……

One group of photos showed accomplishment, achievement, intelligence, generosity, and purpose.

The other photo showed “gimme, gimme, gimme”.

There is no other way, in this country to get anywhere.  You go as far as you allow yourself. You go as far as the effort you put into your life takes you. But, that is something that is falling on deaf ears with many in this country. We have gotten to a point where success, any kind of success, is vilified, demonized, and even, if some had their way, criminalized.

I saw another picture. It was of one of the Occupy Movement protesters, holding a sign that said “What about me?” And then, I looked at my wall, and there was a photo of my dad.  Dad worked hard. Dad demanded that we work hard.  Dad guided us, and filled us with the values of hard work, honesty, integrity, decency, faith in God, and faith in our abilities.  Dad was a manager, a firefighter, and then Fire Chief, he was also a small business owner.  Dad could burn the midnight oil like nobody else, get up the next day, and do it all again.  I remember the times when I was a petulant teenage know-it-all challenging any value he held, and remember being shown, not told, how I was wrong in my self-righteous and self absorbed beliefs.  I was shown  the example Dad showed and lived.  See, he didn’t tell me, or my brothers and sister, he showed us.

So, with that image in my mind, I see this clean cut college student, smart phone in hand, back pack on his back, with the logo of a popular computer manufacturer on it, doing his best to look like he is down and out, holding a sign that said “What about me?”

Gimme, gimme, gimme.

You have to.

I need.

Gimme, gimme, gimme.

Entitlement abounds.  People, especially young people, not only want, but demand that things be given to them at the expense of others.  And when someone dares to speak about how that isn’t going to be, the speech is met with viciousness.  Not disagreement, no. Viciousness. Verbal attacks calling for the destruction, death, or injury of the speaker. If that speaker just happens to be a “person of color”, the attacks are even worse.  It’s not fringe lunatics doing this either.  It’s the mainstream.  Actors, Actresses, “news” anchors, commentators on national networks. This isn’t disagreement, this is hatred.  It is “You either agree with me, or face the consequences”.

This is where we are at.

We live in a society that is more than ever before, lazy, self indulgent, demanding, and amoral.  We are at the precipice.

We are at the cusp of a future that can either lead us back, or take us out.

It’s not just about the President we elect either.  It starts, or ends, with the decision that is made in November.  It is going to take more than a Presidential election, or even gubernatorial, Congress, or Senatorial.  Those are all starting points.  The changes, the real changes have to come from the people.  We have to start pushing back against the tide of corruption, ignorance, immorality, decay, debauchery, and destruction that this society has become. We, as a people, have to pick up the standard of values, and start carrying them.

We have to be like my Dad.  We have to show, not tell.  Dad did things for people without any other consideration, beyond the fact that they were a person who needed something. We don’t have to do big productions, we don’t have to call attention to calling for a moral shift.  We just have to act. When we act in the small ways, eventually, it changes the big things. We start, by teaching these things to our kids.

This is the future of the United States of America. Romney and Ryan can set the course, we must steer the ship. It’s not enough to have jobs and prosperity.  We have to show what this country has always been about, we have to live the values, not just talk about them.  It may seem impossible, but,  we must make it inevitable.

Jesus told us to “be the light of the world” and a “city on the hill”.  That we must do.  Whatever your faith, it is what we must do.  We must bring this country back, not only in the economic, and leadership sense, but as a society of values.

It can’t be any other way.

“Gaffe”  A word heard quite often, especially during a Presidential campaign. Sometimes, after long days and weeks on the road, candidates say something silly.  Other times, their true colors are revealed, and then sometimes, they speak, and say something that manages to make people angry, and make headlines.

Example: Todd Akin.

Todd Akin was asked, during an interview with KTVI-TV,  about “abortion in the case of rape or incest” and he said:

“It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” Mr. Akin said of pregnancies from rape. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.”

“legitimate rape” are the two words that will go down as the words that potentially doomed, but definitely derailed, a campaign.  I have no idea where he got the whole “has a way to shut that down” idiocy from.  I can understand a gaffe, but, this wasn’t a gaffe. Akin’s remarks smack as uninformed, and uneducated.  Precisely how the left views most pro-life conservatives, and his remark played right into their hands.

Now, we are dealing with a totally derailed GOP message.  We have gone from “Jobs, Economy, Energy” to “Abortion and rape”.  This fits in the Left’s “War on Women” meme (I hate that word) that they have been pushing for the last few months.  Even Sandra Fluke is getting mileage out of this, and is coordinating with Barack Obama on an email that will continue to lump all of us Conservatives, and Republicans into the same box, under the “War on Women” meme (again, I hate that word)

Right now, we have lost the message.  The Romney campaign dodged this whole mess by condemning Akin’s remarks. If they hadn’t, or had remained silent for more than 10 minutes on it, the media would be spinning Romney into this.  Not that they haven’t tried, but, had Romney’s campaign remained silent, the media spin would have been more damaging. By condemning the remarks, Romney did put some distance between his campaign and Todd Akin’s stupidity.

However, that isn’t going to last very long. The longer Akin is in the race, the more likely it is that it will do damage (how much, remains to be seen) to the Romney campaign. Right now, the focus is off of the real issues, and on to this stupid sideshow.  It’s where the Obama campaign wants the focus, and actually needs the focus to be. They need it off of Medicare, Obamacare, jobs, unemployment, gas prices, energy in general, national security, and any other actual issue that he has a poor record on.  Right now, Romney and Ryan are still out there spreading their message, in an effort to keep the focus where it needs to be.  That can’t last if this Akin business persists. Eventually they are going to have to answer to it as well, even though their condemnation of his remarks have pretty much made it clear.  The Left is trying to tie this into Paul Ryan as well, and the more it stays out there, the more likely it is.

The other part of this is the usual “If a Democrat had said this he would have gotten a pass”.  Yes, a Democrat would have.  Get over it.  We need to stop complaining about the “unfairness” in media reporting.  it’s deliberate.  We know that.  Now stop.   We are never, ever, ever, ever, ever going to get a fair shot from the media. Ever.  Stop complaining.  Right now, we have a problem.  We have a candidate who failed us. Something needs to be done. Right now, this idiot, and his remarks are taking up news cycle after news cycle, and drowning out the real message that Romney/Ryan are trying to get out there.

I am not saying that our chances of winning in November are ruined.  What I am saying, is the longer this plays, the more the focus is taken off of the real issues.  We can’t have that.  This country cannot afford it.  We can not have the terms “legitimate rape” be the defining terms of this presidential election, not when so much is at stake. We need to define the terms of this election, we cannot let the Left define them for us.  However, when a remark such as Akin’s is made, we have lost the battle for definition, and are on the defensive….Again.

Todd Akin has to go.

From everything I have read, he doesn’t want to.  A PPP Poll released yesterday shows him up over Claire McCaskill by 1 point.  It was a poll that had a Republican sample that was 9% larger, and thereby seems to have skewed the results, in an effort, it would seem, to convince Akin he still has a chance.  He ruined his chances with a remark that was woefully uninformed and, ignorant.

Todd Akin needs to be convinced that the best thing for him to do is to get out of the race.  However, the public spectacle that would ensue if he doesn’t get out, and the GOP, or someone, sues to have him removed, would also serve to damage our efforts.  Trying to run a 3rd candidate would only guarantee MacCaskill gets another term.  It’s not a good situation, and the best thing for him to do, is to decide to get out, and let the damage get repaired.  His selfish intrasigence will only serve to make matters worse.

“Watch your mouth”

Words that my father and mother always used to speak (or shout) when one of us kids’ vocabulary wandered into “off color” territory.

Those words should also apply to political candidates.

Todd Akin should have, this past weekend, at least ordered his thoughts before speaking.  His remarks were out of line, and completely ill-informed.  When one wishes to speak on a subject, one should had least have some knowledge of that subject.

Unfortunately, knowledge escaped Mr. Akin.

Once remarks like his hit the airwaves, no explanation, no matter how reasonable, or, truthful, is going to bring those words back, nor change the interpreted meaning.  Note that I said “interpreted meaning”. In many cases, especially things said during a political campaign, people hear what they want, as opposed to what is being said.  Akin’s remarks just fed into the “war on women” narrative, being waged by Left. However, in his case, his remarks needed little interpretation.

What Mr. Akin should have said, in response to that reporter’s question was: “I am pro-life. Next question please”, or, “That’s a decision between a woman and her doctor, abortion in the case of rape, incest should be on a case by case basis”  The first response would have put the the Left in to it’s usual response mode, decrying all Republicans as “anti-woman” and etc.  But, at least the answer would have been un-ambiguous, and pretty much benign, and therefore, of limited value to the pro abortion crowd.  The second response would have gotten a negative reaction from many pro-lifers, but, since it is such a touchy issue, the response would have been muddled at best, and not approaching “outrage” levels.

Unfortunately, Mr. Akin did neither.  He said something, that in his mind probably sounded reasonable and well thought out. After he spoke, it sounded so off key, and out of line, it couldn’t help but garner the reaction that it did.

So, now, amid calls for Mr. Akin to step down, this campaign has now become about abortion, and women’s rights. Mr. Akin has just handed the Democrats something to run with, something they will use to overshadow the economic issues that are the most important thing going on right now.

“See, Republicans HATE women.”

I can hear it now. There is nothing like using a moral/social issue to trump the economic ones that Romney has been beating up Barack Obama with over the last week. Especially one that inflames passions on both sides.  The Romney campaign, in a move that absolutely reeked of wisdom, condemned Mr. Akin’s remarks, and moved on, thereby distancing themselves from the problem.  For if Romeny were to embroil his campaign in this Missouri Mis-step(right into it) it would have completely taken the focus off of the major issues, and focused it completely on a sideshow.  The Obama campaign, however, would love the focus to stay right there, because it plays into their hands, and they can get a ton of mileage out of this and the “war on women”.  They can use it to steer the narrative, and keep it, (and voter’s minds) off the economic, energy, and employment issues that are really the central issues.  Not only that, it gives every floundering Democrat a lifeline to grab on to.

Mr. Akin, please step down.

Seriously. It’s time to go.  We need the focus off of you, and on the economy.  You are not showing “courage and determination” by staying in the race, you are showing that you don’t get what you said, and how much damage it has done.

In a sane world, explaining what you really meant, along with an apology probably would have cleared things up for some people However, this is not a sane world. This is politics.

A presidential election year, no less.

Something like this has consequences, especially when the stakes are this high.

Sorry, Mr. Akin, but, really, it’s time to go.

Gun Control.

When you get right down to it, it is an argument that is probably never going to end.

Before I get into it. I am pro gun, and I am pro 2nd Amendment.  If I had the money, I would probably own some firearms. A good friend of mine has a pair of M1 Garands that I covet…(The WWII historian in me….)

Whenever there is a mass shooting, such as the Aurora, CO. theatre, or the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, the folks  on both sides of the debate, step into the spotlight.  I keep hearing both sides, and in listening to their arguments, it is truly an “all or nothing” fight.  Pro gun Advocates will not budge from “shall not be infringed” and the Anti-Gun zealots will not budge from “ban all guns everywhere”.

I often wonder, and I have debated with friends, and family, if there could ever be such a thing as “reasonable restrictions” on gun purchases, etc.  (I shudder to even use the word “restriction” here) When that subject comes up, one must begin to think:  “What constitutes reasonable”?

Is there even such a thing?

Both sides of the argument say “No” in the loudest voices possible.

So, I set out to explore, theorize, think about, whatever, would constitute a “reasonable” restriction.  Here in Illinois, one is required to register with the State Police, and obtain a Firearm owner’s Identification Card (or FOID) before purchasing a firearm.  Most other states do not require such.  In Illinois, one is also subject to a criminal background check before being allowed to purchase a weapon.  I have heard that these restrictions, if you want to call them that, are considered “reasonable” because it doesn’t “infringe” on ownership, it just forces you to wait a few days. (Which, when you think about it is an infringement). The logic behind that line of thinking goes something like this: If we force would-be gun owners to wait a few days, someone who is purchasing a gun to commit a crime, might change their mind, while waiting for their gun.  First of all, most criminals obtain guns illegally in the first place. So, the “reasonable” criteria went out the window on that one.

The more I thought about what constitutes “reasonable” would be considered “restrictive” by the pro-gun crowd, and “not restrictive enough” by the anti-gun crowd.

My friend, the M1 Garand owner is very much in favor of Concealed Carry. Something most gun-hating liberals froth at the mouth over when they hear those words.  I am in favor of CC as well.  I simply think it’s a good idea. So, when thinking about what constitutes “reasonable”, I began to trip over the same thing: What one would consider reasonable, both sides of the argument are not going to agree to, because it either restricts, or isn’t restrictive enough.

There seems to be no compromise on this issue, and even, in my own mind, I struggle to compromise.  A “common sense” approach? Who is going to define what is “common sense” when it comes to gun ownership. I have thought that, perhaps a mandatory training class on the use, and storage of the weapon, perhaps held by one’s local police department.  I mean, “common sense” would tell one, that if one buys a firearm, then one should be trained in its use, storage and cleaning,  A mandatory shooting class, perhaps?  Perhaps one that would teach the new gun owner how to load, sight, and fire. But, then, anyone that I know that has bought a gun, the first thing they do is learn how to use it, and take courses on how to use it in defense of their home and family.  So, making such a thing mandatory might be seen as “too restrictive”, in addition to redundant. And, the anti-gun folks would think something like that would be beyond crazy, because if you teach someone to use a weapon…they might use it. Or, they would want the class to focus on making  its use as difficult as possible. Also, according my friend, most, if not all gun shops offer beginners courses on firearm ownership, safety, firing, cleaning, etc. It would be up to the gun purchaser to sign up for those classes.

The gun argument, if anything, is more emotional, than it is logical, especially from the anti-gun crowd.  Both sides use statistics, numbers, and other arguments to persuade, and trot out emotional charged anecdotes to make their cases.  Unfortunately the anti-gun crowd fails miserably in this realm, because they trot out the same tired old stories.  In my mind, an armed person, who knows what they are doing, can be a deterrent to a criminal, or other individual who wishes to do harm.  Criminals like to live as well, and most of them are not going to take unnecessary chances, none of them want to face down their would be victim, or victims if they are armed.  The anti-gun crowd doesn’t think so.  They think one more armed person is going to add to the problem.  Or, even worse, that the criminal will take, and use the gun against the person trying to defend themselves.

So, as I think about things further, I begin to realize, that in all honesty, there is no solution. And, there probably shouldn’t be. The main problem in this society, is not the guns. It’s the people. It’s the lack of respect for life.  The lack of morality. The lack of respect for right and wrong. And, the need, for whatever reason, to meet any slight, either real, or perceived, with deadly force.  The real problem, lies within us.  I know, from my long experience as a 9-1-1 Operator and fire fighter, there are always going to be violent, hateful, destructive people, who are going to prey on society as a whole, or those they perceive as weaker, or more vulnerable than the rest, and because of that, having the right, and ability to defend oneself is a necessity.

The other thing I also realize, that the anti-gun crowd is not interested in protecting rights, or anything like that.  They just want to disarm us, because, in their convoluted logic, that makes for a safer society.  However, real logic would dictate that our society would be anything but.

The conclusion I have come to is that there really isn’t a reasonable solution to this argument, or, maybe  the way things are, is perfectly reasonable.  Some people in our society can’t live with that.

 

Chicken, and Free Speech

The whole “Chick-Fil-A” thing this past twenty four hours was not about gay marriage, contrary to what some want to believe, or some would want you to believe.

It was about Freedom of Speech.

In it’s simplest form, that’s what it was about. It was about showing support for the one right we have that probably matters the most.  The right to express an opinion without fear of prosecution, persecution, censure, or any other kind of binding restriction.

Why were the people there?  They can’t all be intolerant-Christian-anti-gay-bigots, can they? Because, as we all (are supposed to) know, Chick-Fil-A is run by a bunch of intolerant, hateful people…….. you know the drill.  Anyone who comes out in disagreement with anything the Left says, is a hateful, intolerant bigot.

Well, the Left, those people who are full of love, and charity and kindness, and most of all “tolerance” would like you to believe that.  The twitterverse was alive with tweets from those tolerant people, wishing death, disease and diarrhea on those “Christian bigots’ who were enjoying their chicken sandwiches, and waffle fries. I find the use of “Christian” and “bigot” in the same phrase by people whose very lives are defined by bigotry of the worst kind, quite ironic.

Anyway.  The issue at hand was not gay marriage, or gay rights, or what have you.  In fact, let me go on record as saying, I really don’t care who you sleep with. It really doesn’t matter to me.  However, the militant, gay activist left seems to want to make it my business, and make it matter to me.

The real issue at hand was freedom of speech, and the reason for the huge turnout at these restaurants, was not a repudiation of gays and their desire to be married, it was about people being fed up with a bunch of bullies trying to silence someone who voices their opinion, an opinion that they are entitled to.  There were people from all walks of life at the restaurants, eating chicken to show support for the freedoms that matter to all of us.

Sorry, progfail lefties. Your attempt to silence a person, and demonize their business failed miserably, because by and large, Americans, despite the disparity of our beliefs,  like to be able to speak our mind without being punished by those who think they know better than the rest of us.

The statement that was made today showed that Americans simply are not going to tolerate this kind of infringement on our freedoms.  The statement was not made by conservatives, or Christians, or bigots, or racists… it was made by Americans.  People sick and tired of groups of people, as well as a government that think they can dictate what we should be thinking.