Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Story Worth Repeating

Today's news is full of negativity, but occasionally a story comes through that shows real human compassion, even from the corporate world.

The story revolves around a seven year old girl named Jada Harper with an inoperable malignant tumor in her brain, which has recently caused her to fall into a coma. Jada is hooked up to a respirator and may wake up, but she will have brain damage. Doctors have given her three months to live at this point, so her family wants her to spend as much time with them as possible before she dies. Her mother, Wanda, faced a problem. The only way to get Jada back home would be to fly her, as there were issues transporting her by ambulance. Not only were air ambulances expensive (ranging from $10,000 to $40,000), but nobody was able to transport Jada from Houston, Texas, to Arkansas.

Enter Federal Express. Starting with nothing more than a discussion between a family friend and the principal of Jada's elementary school and a telephone call to a determined employee, FedEx arranged for Jada to be flown home to be with her family during her final months. As much as people like to bash corporations, this is one time even the anti-corporate side would have to admit FedEx did a good thing here. It didn't take an act of Congress or a Presidential edict to do it, either. All it took was humanity and determination to move a mountain, or in this case a young girl.

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Murder in Kentucky

Recently, the body of a part-time Census worker, Bill Sparkman, was found bound, naked, and hung with "FED" written on his chest in marker. It was a gruesome scene to say the least, but not quite as gruesome as the Left's attempt to pin this on conservatives, especially Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.

I'll be the first to admit that the Right has anti-government people on its side, and some of those folks aren't exactly on speaking terms with reality. However, it should be pointed out that these type of people on the right are no different than the environmental and animal rights groups like the ELF and the ALF on the Left: fringe players that take an idea to an extreme that their more mainstream counterparts would not advocate.

With law enforcement still investigating the murder, it's easy to get caught up in the speculation game, which is one reason Leftists are trying to pin the murder on people like Beck and Limbaugh. However, it's just as easy to pin the murder on others, such as drug dealers. From what I've read, Sparkman was found is a neck of the woods (literally) where people have meth labs and pot fields, and it's just as likely that Sparkman could have stumbled upon such an operation during his Census job. Granted, this is also just speculation, but it's speculation that isn't being taken into consideration by those pinning the murder on the Right.

Until the final reports come in, it's premature to blame anybody for Sparkman's death, but it's never premature to express sorrow at the family's loss. As quick as we are to point fingers, are we as quick to show kindness to the family during this time of duress? Left or Right, Democrat or Republican, that's someone we all can do, and really should do.

If we have the time to say "Glenn Beck is responsible for Sparkman's death," we have time to say, "Sparkman family, we are so sorry for your loss."

Saturday, September 26, 2009

So Iran Signed a Treaty, Huh?

A Leftist blog that simultaneously bashes me while copying everything I do on this site recently put up a post about Iran signing a non-proliferation agreement and stating that the fact that Iran claims to be using the uranium in question for power is proof enough that they're abiding by it. Thus, the Leftist also states that Iran is abiding by international law.

Funny thing about that. Seems Iran has another source of energy: oil. Iran has the second largest oil reserves in the world. Combine with that the fact that Iran has the second largest natural gas reserves in the world, and you have a country that is pretty well-off on the energy front. So, why would they need to build nuclear power plants?

For the Leftist who blogged about my previous post, it's not for power generation.

What the Left continues to fail to understand is that Iran isn't going to be honest with us, just like Saddam Hussein wasn't honest with us. Remember, Hussein agreed to the terms of a UN cease fire that required him to stop developing chemical and biological weapons and allow UN weapons inspectors to come and inspect everything in Iraq. When it came to actual follow-through, however, Hussein didn't comply. He refused to let the weapons inspectors inspect some of his palaces, and only allowed cursory inspections of other areas of Iraq.

Also, it should be pointed out that the particular "flavor" of Islam that Imadinnerjacket follows allows for Muslims to lie to infidels to gain their trust and then either convert or kill them. You read that right, folks. Imadinnerjacket has no problem lying to those who are not of his faith, as we've seen with his contradictory statements about Israel. In numerous speeches, he has attacked Israel and the US and threatened to destroy us both. Then, when faced with his words, he simply pretends he never said them.

And Leftists think a little thing like a signed nonproliferation treaty will stop him?

Another question that comes to mind is what kind of penalty would there be for Iran if they don't abide by the treaty. My guess is that the punishment wouldn't be too severe, or at least not severe enough to be a deterrent. And, no, UN sanctions won't be enough to make Iran behave because the UN is either toothless or corrupt, as Hussein proved in the 90s. Granted, this hasn't done much to stop the Left from kowtowing to the UN at every opportunity, but the rest of us aren't so quick to get on our knees.

Once again, the Left takes an enemy at face value, in spite of that enemy's continued disdain for the truth and abiding by agreements. Of course, the Leftists will continue to crow about how Obama used "diplomacy" to "isolate Iran", but they said the same things about Saddam and Iraq after the UN cease fire from 1991.

They were wrong then, and they're just as wrong now.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Aren't You Glad the Adults Are in Charge of Foreign Policy Again?

Yesterday, our good friend Mahmood Imadinnerjacket gave a speech before the United Nations and said that Iran was developing a second nuclear reactor. This shocked a lot of people, not the least of which being President Obama.

Okay, by a show of hands, who wasn’t surprised by Imadinnerjacket’s revelation? That many, huh?

This should come as no surprise to anyone who paid attention to Iran over the past several years. In other words, this should come as a complete surprise to the Leftists. While they were being wowed by his humor, Henry Winkler looks, and education, he was playing them for fools. And the Left was all too willing to be fools for Imadinnerjacket.

Now with a Leftist in control of the White House, we’re seeing world leaders who could do little more than talk tough under George W. Bush start to act up. Kim Jong Il, Hugo Chavez, and other leaders around the world have a low opinion of Obama, just as they did with Bush. The difference is that Obama’s a bit above Bush in that he’s more likely to be the type to play nice with them, even after they’ve betrayed him several times over.

The problem is that, in spite of his well-stamped passport, Obama is still very green when it comes to international affairs. And who is Obama’s foreign policy expert? Joe Biden. If there are any situations that arise and require an international response, we’re pretty much screwed.

And don’t think Imadinnerjacket and the rest of the world doesn’t see this. Watch them to exploit this weakness in Obama’s cool exterior more and more in the coming years, and they will, if they haven’t already. We could easily see Obama morph into a latter day Woodrow Wilson, someone who thought he was the smartest guy in the room when it came to international affairs, but who was outmaneuvered by those far smarter than he. And I think we know how the League of Nations and the Treaty of Versailles turned out.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Why This Matters

With all the fluff that passes for news these days (see Kanye West at the VMAs), often issues of real impact either get a cursory glance or get downplayed so their significance is obscured to the average media consumer. I hope to change that with a new feature I'll be rolling out called "Why This Matters." The purpose of this is to give these overlooked or downplayed issues the attention they deserve.

And since there have been more than a few stories like this recently, this edition will be packed.

. Most of the media won't tell you this, but the ACORN scandal goes far deeper than just a few "bad apples" that make the organization look bad. The corruption within ACORN is more widespread and complete. Remember the "ACORN 8"? These folks are the ones who are exposing the purely political dealings that have transformed an organization with arguably good goals into a monster that is little more than an arm of the DNC. The more people like Glenn Beck look at ACORN, the more we see the reach and potential reach of the organization, including possible direct connections with the Obama White House. When a corrupt organization like ACORN has this much reach and power in government, it has the potential to transform the country in a way that will ultimately damage it.

- Removing the missile defense from Europe.
Some would say that our missile defense in Europe is a relic of the Cold War, but that's the wrong approach. The missile defense shield being removed is a betrayal of Eastern Europe and of America. For those who don't know, Eastern Europe has some of the most pro-American people in the world. The EU doesn't have the military force to protect Eastern Europe from their former master, Russia, and given the EU's apparent ideological bent, there may not be the desire to protect them. In short, they need us to go to bat for them, and thanks to President Obama, they're without a batter. How this betrays America is that Obama is taking his cues from Vladimir Putin, a world leader that really doesn't like America. Given Obama's utter lack of knowledge of world affairs, having the President give in so easily to Russia's demands is not a surprise. Let's not forget George W. Bush trusted Putin and Putin had utter disdain for him. Don't be surprised if Putin holds Obama in the same low regard, especially after being able to get the latter to capitulate to Russia's demands.

- Obama's Czars. The DNC is starting to strike back at Glenn Beck and others who have raised concerns about the number of czars President Obama has, pointing out that George W. Bush allegedly had more. However, this doesn't negate the heart of the argument: having czars in the first place usurps the power of the Cabinet. Look at some of the czars under Obama. You'll notice that a number of those jobs would normally fall under the auspices of a pre-existing Cabinet post. The Left is also trying to downplay the significance of this by saying that some of the czars were approved by the Senate. But not all have, but they're still doing the work and still exercising the power granted to them by the President. And, yes, I'm against the concept of czars under any circumstances. If you need a czar to do something that a Cabinet post should be doing, either you have no faith in your Cabinet or you're trying to circumvent the process and get your agenda put into place.

- Net neutrality. On the surface, "net neutrality" is a good idea because it prevents Internet service providers from putting priority on some Internet traffic or suppressing other traffic. Where the idea goes awry is in the potential for government abuse. Let's face it, the federal government doesn't have a great track record when it comes to only taking as much power as it needs to run something, so allowing them the power to force private industries to change the way they do business will not end well. This is a first step towards government control of the Internet, which will control the flow of information getting to people. And when you consider most people today get their information from the Internet, what better way to further control what people see, hear, and believe.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Overplaying the Race Card

After watching video after video of ACORN employees "helping" two people posing as a pimp and a prostitute looking to get a home loan to start a brothel with underage illegal immigrants, ACORN is fighting back. They've already suggested that they would file suit against Fox News Channel and the aforementioned actors/filmmakers, and...they're claiming racism.

The Tea Parties have been covered somewhat derisively or dismissively by the mainstream press, using terms that describe the protesters as "angry conservatives." Some commentators, including Janeane Garafalo, have said that they felt these protests are...racist.

Representative Joe Wilson (R-SC) made quite a stir by yelling "You lie" during a health care reform speech before a joint session of Congress. Although he was reprimanded by the House of Representatives, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd suggested that Wilson's outburst was tinged with...racism.

Then there's Representative Henry Johnson (D-GA). When asked about whether Wilson should be reprimanded, Johnson suggested that if Wilson wasn't punished, he suggested it would be...racist.

Then, there's the commentary about criticism of President Obama. The content of the criticism doesn't seem to be considered. Instead, this criticism is being dismissed guessed it, racist.

After President Obama ran as a "post-racial" candidate (and was dubbed as such by those in the media), watching the Left play the race card as frequently as they have is both funny and disturbing. It's funny because the Left has turned a vital weapon in their rhetorical arsenal into a subject of ridicule. Seriously, crying "racism" in lieu of a response these days will garner more snickers than shock because of the absurdity of the circumstances in which it's most often being cried these days. Next time a Leftist calls you a racist for one reason or another (unless you actually are being a racist, mind you), ask them to produce proof. They'll get that "deer in the headlights" look because the Left isn't ready to defend the accusation; they've gotten used to making the accusation and letting the target go on the defensive.

Where the playing of the race card today is disturbing is in the area of race relations. At some point, we all have to realize that calling someone racist when there is no basis for it cheapens the concept to the point of ineffectiveness. Is there real racism out there? Absolutely, albeit at a far lower level than some would lead us to believe. Does every criticism of the President or of ACORN find its basis in race? Absolutely not. Does even a majority of this criticism qualify as racist? Absolutely not. But to hear the Left talk about it, racism is everywhere and we're just too blind to see it.

The irony is that these are the same folks who claim to be keeping up Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream...of colorblindness. Calling someone racist with no basis in fact hurts that dream and it doesn't help race relations in the least because both sides may start to believe it's real. Blacks have used white guilt for decades, and it's time to stop because it ultimately hamstrings you, just as Affirmative Action has. As for my fellow whites, we need to stop feeling guilty for racism that we didn't have a part of and didn't do because when we accept blame for it, we empower those who would use it against us.

Fortunately, I think we're seeing the tide turning on that front, due in no small part to the overuse of the race card by those who have relied upon it working to get what they want. Not everything done is due to race, and the sooner the race hustlers and white guilt crowd figure this out, the sooner we'll be able to call out the real racism going on out there.

And then, maybe we'll see Dr. King's dream become a reality.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Kirk to Obama-prize

In Star Trek lore, there's a Starfleet exercise known as the Kobayashi Maru. What this exercise teaches cadets is that there are sometimes no-win situations and that good Captains make the best of a bad situation.

Right now, President Obama is seeing a Kobayashi Maru right before his eyes with the health care debate. Democrats are urging the President to ignore the Republicans and get a health care reform bill passed. Republicans don't have the votes to stop any reform bill by themselves, but they've been buoyed by moderate and conservative Democrats who are not sold on the reform notion just yet.

Obama, to his credit, has said he wanted a bipartisan bill. Obama, to his discredit, has not followed through on his call for bipartisanship, if Republican Representative John Boehner can be believed.

Even some Leftists are not happy with Obama, stating that if the health care reform bill doesn't include a public option, they won't vote for it. Yet, one of the reasons there isn't bipartisan support for health care reform right now is the public option.

This puts Obama in a no-win situation. If he doesn't include the public option and tries to be more bipartisan, House Democrats may not vote for the reform bill, killing it in the House. Given the amount of time, energy, and press time devoted to the reform effort, the failure of any reform bill in the House would hamstring Obama's Presidency and put him on the fast track to being a lame duck President.

On the other hand, if Obama pushes for the reform bill to be passed without Republican support, it may pass Congress and be signed into law. Although this looks like a victory for Obama, it's really not. Without Republican support, any reform fiasco becomes the Democrats' fault. You can't keep referring to "the party of no" as the reason things didn't turn out so well because they didn't have anything to do with the bill being passed. Given how Obama and those who support health care reform have made the issue into an urgent cause, any delay in implementing the reform bill will not please the people. Of course, this is the federal government we're talking about here! They're fast as lightning, aren't they?

Whether it's the clowns to the left of him or the jokers to the right, Obama finds himself stuck in the middle of a no-win situation. Unlike James T. Kirk, however, Obama can't cheat his way out of it. It's his baby to deal with, and nobody else's.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Things That Make You Go Hmmm...

With all due respect to C & C Music Factory, here are a few questions that have come up for me within recent days.

- Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid today told President Obama that they have the votes to pass health care reform. If they have the votes, why didn't Pelosi just call the vote today?

- Van Jones quit this past weekend from his post as Green Jobs Czar, citing a "vicious smear campaign" against him by critics such as Glenn Beck. All Beck did was point out different things Jones said and gave both audio and video of statements if he had them. So, where's the smear if you're quoting the man?

- Barack Obama gave his education speech today. In that speech, he referenced education 10 times, but he used the word "I" 56 times. If the speech was about education, shouldn't "education" have been said more than "I"?

- Joe Biden recently said that the stimulus was working. Just a couple of months ago, however, he said the Administration didn't have a handle on the economy yet and that it was worse than they had imaged. So, if they didn't understand the economy two months ago, how can they suddenly understand it now?

- Part of Obama's speech today dealt with personal responsibility. Considering he's continued to blame George W. Bush for the state of the economy and the country now, when will Obama start following his own advice?

- Yesterday was Labor Day when the American worker was celebrated. As many people know, union members tend to vote Democrat by a large majority. Given the status of jobs in states like Michigan, where unemployment has been in double digits for a while and a Democrat is Governor, why would any self-respecting union member think the Democrats represent the working people?

- Obama announced that he is thinking of adding a "sin tax" to fizzy drinks to fight obesity. Considering some of those drinks would include diet drinks and carbonated water, what would be the purpose of taxing those drinks when they don't add to the problem the tax is supposed to address?

I figure that'll be enough to keep you busy...and enough to make the Left's collective heads explode.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Quick Hits

Yeah, I know I haven't blogged. Sue me.

- A new way to look at the Left. You know how the Left calls people who don't believe Barack Obama is a natural born citizen "birthers"? Wouldn't that make people who opposed the "birthers" "deathers"? Think about it, won't you?

- And Gore says conservatives are the factually challenged ones? The Leftist blogosphere was all abuzz a couple of weeks ago when Glenn Beck took a week off from his radio and TV shows. Although there was no independent confirmation of it and all factual information pointing towards Beck being on vacation (because, well, there's an email from July 2009 stating that he would be taking a vacation on the week in question), they were convinced Beck was suspended from Fox News for saying he thought President Obama was a racist. (Considering the actual "offensive" statement was made the month before the "suspension," wouldn't that be a big red flag that it wasn't really a suspension? I'm just sayin'.)

- And speaking of Gore... Al Gore and Bill Clinton shared the stage recently at a meeting of Tennessee Democrats. (Yeah, I was shocked Tennessee had Democrats, too!) Both of them had the same message: we need to pass Obamacare for moral reasons. Maybe it's just me, but I don't think Bill Clinton's the best guy to be talking about the moral reason to do anything.

- A rarity from the Left. I'm not a fan of Code Pink in any manner, but I do have to give them credit for doing something that I didn't think they'd do. When Obama and his family went on vacation on Martha's Vineyard, Code Pink followed him and protested the war. That takes the courage of one's convictions, and it should be commended.

- May I have a word with you outside? Is it just me, or does the Obama Administration have it in for the CIA? After Leon Panetta urged against a federal investigation into alleged torture by the CIA under George W. Bush, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that a federal investigation may soon be underway. The big question I have is why. Is it a means to go after George W. Bush and Dick Cheney? Is the Obama Administration trying to keep Panetta (a Clintonite from way back) in line as a means to keep the Clintons in line? Is he throwing in the towel on the War on Terrorism? Whatever his reasoning, Obama will be in for a world of hurt if he allowed Holder to go through with his investigation.

- Like a lead zeppelin. I'm not referring to the way a certain classic rock band was described before it hit it big. I'm referring to President Obama's poll numbers. Depending on the poll, Obama's approval numbers are hovering slightly above or slightly below 50%. That's quite the drop from just a few months ago, when Obama's approval ratings were in the 80-90% range (and that's before he even had a chance to do anything as President!). As his poll numbers drop, watch Obama carefully. He'll either try to appear more moderate as a means to bail himself out, or he'll throw up his hands, give up, and shoot for the moon. With the makeup of Congress, I'm thinking he might try the latter.

- I'm sick. That is, I'm sick of hearing all the talk about H1N1 being a serious epidemic. For all of the media hype and posturing done by some, H1N1 may not be as serious as we've been lead to believe. In situations like this, it's important that we follow the money, both literally and figuratively. The government wins by appearing to be heroic when it looks like it's doing something about H1N1. The media win by getting people overworked about H1N1. The pharmaceutical companies win because they can make money off any H1N1 vaccines they invent. And all because we're turning into hypochondriacs over something that is merely a variation on the human flu.

And finally...

- A movie worth seeing. Hollywood has not had that great a summer, but there's a movie out now that is worth the price of admission. It's "The Goods" starring Jeremy Piven. If you grew up watching "Used Cars" (and who didn't?), you'll find a lot of the same comedic elements in here. Plus, seeing Ving Rhames deliver a particularly offensive line involving James Van Der Beek of "Dawson's Creek" fame is gold, man! Check it out now or when it comes out on DVD. And tell 'em Thomas Lindaman sent ya.