Tag Archive: conservative


Outside of Donald Trump, one of the biggest issues that seems to take up most of my Twitter and Facebook feed, is gun rights, and the associated Second Amendment legislation stuff that goes along with it. For much of my life, I never paid very close attention to Second Amendment rights, and things like that, always figuring they would always be with us, it’s not that I am against guns, or I didn’t care, I just didn’t pay attention.

Now, guns have never been a part of my life, outside of the odd BB gun.  My dad never owned any, but I did have an uncle who had a few guns.  However, even though guns were never part of my life, I was pretty familiar with them.  Being a military historian, and avid student of World War II, becoming familiar with guns, at least on paper, is part of learning about the history of the conflict.   That being said, I had always wanted to shoot a gun for real, however, being that I grew up here in Illinois, my dad couldn’t just go out to the local sporting goods store, by a .22 and bring it home for me to plink away with.  As I grew up, and became of age, I did manage to get a Firearm Owner’s ID card, but never bought a weapon, because money was always needed for something else.  Anyway, the upshot is, I never really paid much attention to 2nd Amendment stuff, but I did know that anti-gun types were rather irritating.

Fast forward twenty years, and things have changed.  Still not a gun owner, but,  I was gaining a better understanding of what the “gun grabbers” were up to, and what gun rights supporters were doing to counter that.  I began to understand that 2nd Amendment rights dove-tailed with First Amendment rights as well as all of the other rights in the Bill of Rights.  Even more so, I have also had a very strong belief that everyone has the right to defend themselves, by what ever means necessary, and, if that self-defense includes a gun, well, then, so be it. Honestly, a person gets shot breaking in to another person’s house, the, that person had it coming.   Don’t want to get shot? Then don’t do things that will lead to that happening.  Harsh? Well, yeah, but that’s how it goes.  If one intends to harm someone, and that individual gets hurt, or killed, because their intended victim put up a fight, well, then, there is no sympathy, or excuse.   But, enough of that.

A couple of years ago, as my two oldest sons became of age, they relocated to Texas (one because Uncle Sam said so) and, I had always heard that Texas, as far as guns went, was considered by many to be a “free state” in that regard.  Certainly, less restrictive than Illinois.  Two years after they both moved down there, okay, one was stationed there, and the other moved there, figuring he would do better making a living than he would in Illinois (He was right).  We decided to take a vacation to Texas to see both boys, and see the sights.

And get in a bit of shooting.

Yes.  That was the main reason outside of seeing my sons (one of whom was back from his second tour of Afghanistan): Getting a chance, finally, to shoot a gun for-real.

I had never handled a gun, a real one, but, in the late 80’s I was building model guns from model kits that our local hobby shop sold.  They were expensive, but, when finished, they acted like their real life counterparts.  On our first trip to the range, I was about as excited as a kid at Christmas.  I was looking forward to shooting both rifles and handguns, and my better half an I agreed that the kids (my two youngest were in Junior High at the time) if they were allowed to shoot at all, we would rent them .22 caliber handguns.  Full disclosure:  I will admit that I found the fact that one can rent a gun at a range rather interesting, because I had never heard of that before. (Remember, I was rather naive on the “gun culture”) At the first range we went to, we were warmly welcomed.  The employees were super friendly, and they went over the range rules with the seriousness that they required.  The range also had a gun store, and that is where we paid for, and rented the guns, signed the paperwork, and got our lessons on how to load, hold and shoot the 9mm Beretta, .45 M1911 and the .22 Ruger for the kids.  After that it was into the range.

Shooting was fun, I was nervous at first, but was able to handle the weapons with confidence, and I found I also enjoyed helping the rest of the family with loading, and clearing the guns.  Like I said, I had never used one, but I had  accumulated knowledge on how they worked, so I was ready to put my “book” knowledge to real life use. We had a great time interacting with the range staff, and some of the other shooters that were there. I also enjoyed talking shop about the various weapons with the range staff, as well as some other folks there.

It was this trip that moved me from being a passive 2nd Amendment guy, to an active one.  I gained a deeper understanding about guns, the people who own them, and how important those rights are to us.  Not only that I learned that shooting is fun, and it’s a worthwhile activity.  But, I began to understand the Second Amendment even more.  I am a holder of a gun card again, here in Illinois, but after a second trip to Texas this year to see my sons, and my brand new daughter in law, and for some more shooting, I am thinking that moving to Texas would be a great idea……

So, now, I stand for the 2nd Amendment, and I am not passive any longer. I follow what is going on with gun laws around the country, as well as legislation, and I pay attention to those politicians who wish to restrict our rights.  I know now, its a never-ending battle, because, fighting for one right, means fighting for all of them.  I am actively aware of things that go on now regarding gun rights, as well as encroach on free speech, and other rights.   To those who are passive on the issue, or or those who would say “Well, I am not a gun owner, so it doesn’t matter”. I say this:  As Americans, we should be vigilant in protecting all of our rights, fighting for all of them, not just the ones we feel we “are part of”. Because if we fight for one, and not others, we stand to lose them all.

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The View From Here.

I guess I can say that we live in “unique”, for lack of a better term, political times. Never before in my life, do I remember this kind of dynamic between people and politicians.  Growing up, and in my youth, I learned that politicians are the people who run things.  Not always trustworthy, always glad handing, speaking, and making promises, but people who ran things all the same.  There was then, as now, a certain level of cynicism regarding the process (especially since I live in the Chicago area) but, you could generally count on the politicians to go to Springfield, or Washington and “bring home the bacon” as it were.  You voted for the guy who got that done, and that pretty much was the way it went, or, it was my perception of it,  There was also the sense that the person in office, be it in Springfield, or Washington, was part of the place he or she came from. You knew where that person grew up, what Chicago neighborhood, or suburb they came from.   That person carried with them some of the traits from where they grew up, one could identify with them, one could actually feel, that that elected person, knew from whence they came. It was comforting in a way, because the person that everyone elected was “one of them”.  If you lived in the same town, or neighborhood where an elected representative was from, you got to hear stories from the people who knew that person as a child, or student, or altar boy, or cheerleader, or whatever.  They may have been a politician, but they were “your” politician.

Not only that, you could count on seeing them at the local neighborhood festival during the summer, or at the County Fair, Village Picnic, or “Gathering on the Green”, walking around shaking hands, swapping stories, greeting old friends, and neighbors.  In many cases, whether forced, or sincere, these elected officials acted as if they were still part of the old neighborhood.  You could actually talk to them, shake a hand.  Perhaps they walked about with a couple of assistants, but they were there and they were visible.

Yes, it was still politics, and yes, they were still politicians, doing what politicians do, but at least, back then, they gave the impression that they wanted to talk to their constituents, and remind the voters that they  themselves came from the same place, and they were their champion in Washington, or the state capitol.  As I stated, in a way, it was comforting, if I cast my vote for my Congressman, or State Representative, I felt more or less, that they would take my interests to Springfield, or Washington with them.  Of course, it wasn’t always the case, but, hey, these were politicians, we expected this from them. There was still corruption, scandal, and all of that, let’s be honest, politics has always been that way.  Back then, however, I always had the impression that most politicians devoted some effort to connecting with their constituents.  It’s never been perfect, and never was, but back then, 25, 30, 40 years ago, it was different in some ways.

That was then, this is now.

Back then, the impression I got, was that my elected representatives were accessible, on some level.  If you spoke to them, wrote them a letter, sometimes you got a form letter, other times, you got a personal response, but, you got a response from them.  These days, I am not so sure.

Regardless of the charm they try to exude, many of our elected officials come across as fake, and arrogant, and above the rest of us.  Condescension seems to be the norm.  We are dismissed with a pat on the head, and a condescending form letter reply to our concerns.  Sometimes, we don’t even get that.  We might get a tweet, or even, a Facebook response with an emoticon.  It feels like a brush-off, a “Get away from me boy, you bother me”.   In Springfield, as in Washington, we have  elected people who just don’t mesh with us anymore.  Summer Festivals?  Sure, their staff is there, with pamphlets, and a booth, and brochures touting accomplishments. Questions?  Concerns? “Sure, the Congressman is on Twitter, and Facebook, be sure to “Like” us!”  The elected representative might even show up at the event for some photo oppurtunities, with other local politicians, and perhaps labor, or civil rights leaders, but not with the people who put them in office.

What has been even more transforming over the last twenty years or so, is their transition from “politicians” to “Ruling Class”.  It started with Bush and Clinton back in the early 90’s.  You  could see it, the sense among the elected, that they were there, because somehow, they knew better than us.  The attitude is prevalent on both sides of the aisle.  There are no more “men and women of the people” in our Statehouses and especially in Washington.   We are given the brush off, we are spoken to like wayward children.  Even campaign literature has a note of condescension to it.  They are, for the most part, Ivy League educated, or products of elite universities. Taught by the same professors, the same theories, and develop the same attitudes and outlooks. In the “Ruling Class” Democrat and Republican are indistinguishable. Through the 90’s the Clinton’s and their ilk began to solidify the “Ruling Class” as it were.  If there were starting point for the elite arrogance that pervades these people, it would have to be the Clinton Administration.  Yes, the first Bush Administration had it too, but the Clintons and their ilk brought it home.  They institutionalized it in Washington.  They made it part of the landscape.  The attitude, however, infects every one of them in Washington, even to the lowliest intern.   The Clintons were the first to tie the bonds between Washington and the Hollywood Left.  No longer did we matter, here in the rest of the nation, we became “Fly-over Country”.   Hollywood’s big and powerful slept in the White House, hung out with the Cliintons, testified in Congressional hearings (remember the whole Alar thing? Actresses giving speeches to Congress on the dangers of the chemical, because they played a farmer in a movie) Spoke on Climate Change (then “Global Warming) policies.  All of the sudden, we had Hollywood types telling us to listen to Washington because they knew better.

Through the Bush Administration, it ease off, but not much. Hollywood may not have been visiting as much, but the arrogance and elitism were still there. Government became bigger, and more bloated, and more bureaucracy  With Obama’s entry into the White House, it only got worse.  Hollywood was back in the White House, bigger than before.  The arrogance grew in volumes, and politicians turned their backs firmly on the American people, and began a process of dividing us against one another, and also beginning to show shades of the tyrants they wish to be.  Obama began acting like the emperor that he wished he could be, what he displayed he wanted to be with his “I have a phone and a pen” comment.

What also changed was everyone’s perception of the government.  Instead of being ‘the government” they became “The Government”.  Back in my formative years, Washington was viewed with a bit of disdain, and cynicism.  Why not?  Bureaucracy moves slowly.  Getting anything done requires massive amounts of time, energy and paperwork.  Washington was an annoyance, something to gripe about, but not really worry too much about. We could go about living our lives without worrying about the government doing anything to us for the way we lived, unless, of course, we ran afoul of the law, and got the FBI’s attention.

That is definitely the one thing Obama changed.

I never used to fear the government.  I do now.

Are they going to come kicking my door down, and take me away somewhere? No, I don’t think they will, but I live with the fact that now, it is much easier to run afoul of the government than it was at any time in the past.  More regulations, more rules.  Special interest groups that used to be fringe organizations, are now sitting in the White House helping to draft policy. Groups that want to take away our rights to speak our minds, to own guns, to travel where we wish, even groups that want to regulate the lunch you send with your kid to school. It was never like this. I didn’t have to worry about my barbecue grill and it’s capacity to pollute.  Now I do. I never had to worry about “Carbon foot print” or “thought rape” or “hate thoughts” or “white privilege”. I have to now, however.  I don’t want to do that anymore.  I don’t want to have to worry about my grill, and the smoke it emanates, or if something I say is going to come back to haunt me in some way, or even worse, demonize me for simply having an opinion.

As an everyday American, I feel less like a citizen, and more like a subject.   When looking at the broader landscape, it is not hard to see how a Bernie Sanders and a Donald Trump are rising now.  Many people see Washington the same way I see it: Overbearing, intrusive, and bigger than it needs to be, as well as totally disconnected from the needs of this nation.   American citizens are wary, suspicious, and cynical, and we feel like no one in Washington even knows we are here. Crisis come and go, people die, and the President picks and chooses where he is going to get involved.  His disdain for American people is evident in the way speaks, and his actions while in office.  A crisis finds him on the golf course more often than not. Only the plight of certain people and groups in this country garner his attention, and then, it’s fleeting at best. There is no leader in Washington.  The Republicans we elected have waffled and caved, disappointing use even further.

Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are packing in the crowds, garnering TV time, and dominating news cycles. I do not support either Sanders, or Trump.  But, I fear either one of them could get into office, simply because a sick and tired America wants someone who will do something to fix what is wrong with this country, and not really care how it is done, just so long as someone pays attention to us, and fixes some things. Or, at the very least, kicks most of the elites out of Washington.

On the GOP side, we need to dispense with The Donald and his Circus.  We need to take on Hillary, and Bernie, and repudiate their ideas.  We need to unite everyone as an American, and find a way to begin healing this nation.  Four years of Trump, Hillary, Biden, or Sanders will just make things worse.

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.

Presidential rant….

Mr. President, here are a few things that I don’t need, and perhaps you don’t understand, and you need to realize them.  You see, when you took the Oath of Office, you signed on to lead this country, not sit on the sidelines, whine and cry, and blame George Bush, Big Business, Wall Street, or anyone else you see fit to demonize because you have no clue how to run a country.  But, Mr. President, that is not to say you are clueless in how to implement your agenda.   At one point or another, you are going to have to reckon with the American people.  All of us.

I don’t need you to send your people around the country telling me how great your Health Care Plan is, because you think I don’t understand.  I do understand, completely, what your plan is about, and I don’t want it.  Stay out of my life, my doctor’s office, and everything else.  I am not some uneducated individual that doesn’t understand, or grasp your greatness, and your benevolence.  I know a socialist when I see one.  I grew up in Chicago, and I am self-educated in politics.  I saw you coming the day you announced your candidacy.

I also don’t need your stimulus packages.  Where did you learn how to budget?  Do you even have a concept about how an economy works?   Of course you don’t, because what matters to you is gaining control of as much of it as possible.  What happens to the country after you gain control matters not, just so long as you and your “friends” (people like you don’t have, or make friends, you have alliances of opportunity) benefit from it.

One thing we do need is jobs. I need one, my neighbor needs one.  See, Americans, contrary to what you believe, like to work, earn money, and have a nice living.   We don’t need a government to take care of us.  Maybe some people out there want you to take care of them,  but by and large, the majority of us don’t.   We are self sufficient, intelligent, and fairly well-educated people.  We aren’t stupid, we know what you are up to.  If you pay attention to polls, you would see that we know it, and don’t like it.  But, you don’t pay attention to that, the only thing you and your ilk pay attention to is the expansion of your individual power, and the control of as much as possible, so you can spread the wealth around to those you feel are “oppressed” or “less fortunate”.  The problem with that idea, Mr. President (to paraphrase Margaret Thatcher) is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.

But you will push on with your agenda, because, it’s not about us, the country, prosperity, or anything like that.  It’s about you, it’s about power, and it’s about control.  You and those who surround you are absolutely convinced that you know what is best for everyone, and the rest of us have no clue.  Actually, it’s not what a bout what is best for us, it is what about what is best for you to force us to serve you and the self-appointed elites you surround yourself with.  We are also smart enough to realize something that the sycophants that surround you don’t realize, they are expendable, like I have previously mentioned, they are allies of convenience, to be disposed of when they outlive their usefulness to you.

No amount of TV ads, personal appearances – by you, or someone acting on your behalf – are going to help.  You can’t polish a turd, Mr. President, and that is exactly what you are trying to do.

As a student of history, it doesn’t take much to realize that the old, tired, liberal/socialist ideas haven’t changed in 100+ years.  Your ideas aren’t fresh.  They are old, tired, tried, and tried again, and doomed to failure.  Besides, the fractious nature of all the liberal/socialist groups out there almost guarantees there is going to be some infighting, as each tries to out do the other in the quest for power.

…However once they succeed in overthrowing all existing situations and conditions, these disciples would only begin quarreling among themselves for dominance.  Indeed, that is the hidden aim of all of them.  At present they are fighting in a common cause, but that is in the back of their minds.  The greater their zeal to bring the victory of their new legislation the less intention anyone of them has in obeying it himself.  What they seek is to exploit the misguided masses as the soldiers in their struggles, and then to sacrifice them to their own self-seeking….”  (Alfred Krupp, 1878)

I am sure you know who Alfred Krupp is, Mr. President, I am sure that he was raked over the coals by your Marxist professors as an “evil capitalist”, and, the fact that he was an implacable foe of Socialism.  He was no Ferdinand Lasalle, or Karl Leibknecht, that’s for sure.

The fact of the matter is, Mr. President, we know what you are up to.  It’s amazing to me, though, just how many people out there just can’t see what the rest of us do.  They are blind supporters of you, “useful idiots” in Lenin’s mot. In other words, they will do your bidding, because they are so blinded by your “star power” or whatever it is.  I honestly think many of them think that the legislation, and new taxes, rules, laws, and what not that you have already passed, or trying to pass, will not affect them.  I really think many of these people believe that the new tax laws, health care laws and what not, are for “the other guy” and not them.

Unfortunately, we are stuck with you, as it has been said, “Elections have consequences” and now we are seeing them.  I could go on about the greatness of this country, and how dare you sacrifice it, and what not, but I won’t.  I won’t because I know you don’t care.  This country and sacrifices made to establish it mean nothing to you and those like you.  You pay lip service to it in your speeches, but, I know you ain’t feeling it.  You could care less about everyone in this country, you display your contempt for us daily.  We see it, we feel it, we know it….   And we can’t wait to vote it out of office.