Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Resolutions for Other People

Another tradition I had at CommonConservative.com was an annual column where I made New Year's Resolutions for other people since I was so bad at making them for myself. Since I still suck at it, I put together a list of resolutions for others because, dang it, I CARE. (That, and it makes up for the lack of blogging recently.)

To President Obama, I resolve you pick up a leadership training course and fast. Blaming Republicans for your failures (and there are many) isn't the sign of a great leader. It's the sign of a poor leader who can't or won't take responsibility for his/her actions and instead deflects blame to others as a means to protect his/her ego.

To Nancy Pelosi, I resolve you take a hard look at your performance as Speaker of the House. I know what you think you did, but what you did was to alienate people of your own party in an attempt to force through your agenda. As a result, your accomplishments were meager at best. Sure, you passed a version of health care reform, but it was a bill that will get challenged in court and possibly be deemed unconstitutional. And your lame excuses and stupid comments ("We have to pass the bill to know what's in it.") insults the intelligence of average Americans. But at least you got the menu changed in the House cafeteria.

To Harry Reid,I resolve you count your blessings. You dodged an electoral bullet this past November and by all accounts, you haven't earned your position as Senate Majority Leader, but you survived. The next time, you may not be so lucky. Not every Republican is Sharron Angle.

To John Boehner, I resolve you pay attention to the TEA Party movement and bring the Republican Party back to its small government roots. What has happened over the past two years isn't a fluke. It was the direct result of Republicans moving to the Left in ideology and spending. Ignore the TEA Party movement, and you'll find your tenure as Speaker of the House to be a short one.

To Sarah Palin, I resolve you learn to pick your battles. There are a lot of conservatives and Republicans who attack you, but you don't have to respond to them all. Take the time to judge the legitimacy of the charges and respond accordingly. If you know it's complete crap, laugh it off.

To Janet Napolitano, I resolve you learn to do your job. Since taking the job, you've shown an incredible lack of understanding of even the basic functions of the Department of Homeland Security. Seriously, sending DHS agents to the Gulf Coast to oversee the oil spill? More airport security regulations that make do nothing to help security? Not working on a way to secure our borders? Lady, you're a long way from competent.

To George Soros, I resolve you spend more of your money trying to take down Glenn Beck. That way you lose more money on a futile effort.

To the TEA Party movement, I resolve you stay true to your roots. Now is not the time to compromise with those who want to see your message diluted or distorted for political gains. Stay intellectually honest and stay on our politicians if their ideas run counter to yours.

To Lady Gaga, I resolve you let Madonna know you stole her shtick, circa 1990.

To Sean Hannity, I resolve you expand your horizons to pick up more than six basic talking points to repeat every day and to use other guests than your usual ten who you seem to have on every week for one reason or another. Seriously, you're boring and it's amazing someone else hasn't overtaken your position as second most listened to talk radio show in the country.

To America's enemies around the world, I resolve you remember we have an election coming up in 2 years, and if current trends continue, you won't have Obama helping you by being incompetent.

To America's allies around the world, I resolve you remember we have an election coming up in 2 years, and if current trends continue, you won't have to put up with Obama's incompetence for much longer. We apologize for the inconvenience.

To the manmade global warming cultists, I resolve you get up the courage to admit you were wrong and fudged data to try to hide it. Science isn't helped by your decades of dishonesty, and only after you come clean can you restore what shreds of credibility you have in the scientific community.

To my critics, I resolve you keep pointing out my flaws as you see them. Without you acting as a jeweler's cloth, I wouldn't be able to continue to improve my skills. Even your pointless criticism teaches me something, mainly that there are people out there who will complain about anything no matter how inconsequential.

And finally...

To my fans, friends, and family, I resolve you enjoy my humble musings next year and take me to task when you disagree. This blog is as much about you as it is about me. I enjoy bringing my perspective to you, and I am humbled when you offer feedback. Thank you.

Happy New Year, everybody!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

They Blinded Me With "Science"!

Leftists have always attempted to paint conservatives of any stripe as mentally deficient. Over the past two weeks, though, they've been positively orgasmic over two studies that "prove" their positions correct.

The first is a study by WorldPublicOpinion.org that shows (according to them) Fox News viewers are the most misinformed about matters ranging from the state of the economy to who supported TARP. Since its appearance in the media, I, among many, have taken the time to review the study. To put it mildly, the study's conclusions make global warming look like the settled science Al Gore claims it to be. Without going into too much technical detail, the study's major flaw attempted to create a correlation between actual knowledge and whether that actual knowledge agreed with experts those conducting the study deemed to be credible. (Never mind the fact the "experts" chosen may not have been credible on the subject matter themselves, but that's speculation since the researchers never bothered to ask that question.)

When you try to create a link between something concrete and something that is subject to opinion, the argument in favor of the link had better be solid. In this case, it wasn't, judging from the reseachers' own report where they attempt to define what misinformation is. If they were so confident in their conclusions, they wouldn't have needed the disclaimer they added.

The second study was reported in the Telegraph, and it reflects conservatives (at least in England) have a larger portion of the brain that controls fear than liberals do. After a small bit of research, I found a fatal flaw in the study: the sample size was too small. When a study is done, the sample size must be statistically valid, meaning it's large enough to weed out any anomalies that would presumably occur. The sample size for this particular study: 93 people. Out of a country as big as England (and a city as large as London, for that matter), fewer than 100 people were used to support the conclusions in the study.

There's an underlying question that should be asked at this point: Why now? The Left have claimed science as their exclusive intellectual stronghold for decades and they've tried to use it in the past to establish themselves as intelligent. To have two studies come out in two weeks that affirm what Leftists already believe is no mere coincidence, in my opinion. I feel it's a reaction to the recent midterm elections where Republicans made great strides to advance a more conservative vision for the country. Had Democrats won, I doubt either one of these studies would have seen the light of day, save for Leftist blogs. Given the current situation, however, the studies in question are being touted as hard fact.

The problem is when you push flawed science as hard fact, it's only a matter of time before someone finds the flaws and exposes them. Take, for example, the Climategate emails. Even though the Left had the better part of two decades of nodding agreement because of the scientific community, this past year has shown the depths to which the Left will sink to support and maintain their politically-driven "science."

There's an old computer programming idea that comes to mind here: GIGO. For the uninitiated, it means "Garbage In, Garbage Out." With both of these laughable studies, GIGO appears to be playing out nicely.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Bottom Line Awards

Back in the heady days of CommonConservative.com, we would run annual awards celebrating the highlights and lowlights of the year. Since CommonConservative.com is no more, I wanted to continue the tradition, mainly because it's so much fun to put them together.

As always, you are welcome to comment or add awards of your own. If they're good enough, they may become part of next year's annual awards. So without further ado...

Democrat to Watch: Harry Reid. After retaining his Senate seat and his party retaining control of the Senate, Reid is in a unique position: the only name-brand Democrat with any kind of political clout. President Obama hasn’t used the bully pulpit to bully anyone stronger than BP, and Nancy Pelosi has been relegated to a leadership position with the minority party in the House. It may not help him overcome gridlock, but watching Reid come away from the 2010 elections in the position he’s in now will be great fun indeed.

Democrat to Forget: Nancy Pelosi. From the first woman to be Speaker of the House to being the first woman to be Speaker of the House who oversaw the wholesale crushing of her party in a midterm election. Nancy, here’s a clue for you. Maybe the reason you’ll no longer be Speaker of the House come January is because you suck as a leader.

Republican to Watch: Sarah Palin. Last year I picked her as the Republican to Forget, but this past year has made me think she has something else on her plate that would make a 2012 run the last thing on her mind. In the 2010 elections, she had a pretty good track record in picking the winners (around 70-75% if memory serves), and she was instrumental in helping several candidates win. And there are rumors (not circulated by her, by the way) she’s running for President in 2012. Keep an eye on Palin over this upcoming year.

Republican to Forget: Christine O’Donnell. Seriously, hang it up. You may not be a witch, but you sure as heck aren’t a serious candidate for public office.

Independents to Watch: The TEA Party movement. After a year where they were mocked, maligned, and slandered by the Left, the TEA Party movement got the last laugh by fielding winning candidates for public office. Now, comes the hard part: governing by the TEA Party standards. If the TEA Party has any legs at all, this upcoming year will prove it.

“Independents” to Forget: The “No Labels” movement. The great irony of the “No Labels” rally recently was they lamented partisanship…while being partisan attack dogs. You guys are about as independent as Michael Moore, but at least you’re as full of crap as he is.

Underreported Story: the Obama Administration’s bungling of the Gulf Coast oil spill. It’s no secret (except to those who still worship Obama) the President lacks certain leadership skills, not the least of which being knowing when to lead. The Gulf Coast oil spill was a ready-made issue he could have used to showcase his leadership, but instead he let others take care of it for him, and they blew it. Sending lawyers and Homeland Security personnel to the Gulf Coast before sending down the EPA? Monumentally dumb. Blaming BP? Dumber still. The photo ops in lieu of actual policy? Even dumber. Pushing for a moratorium of offshore oil drilling? The mother of all stupidity. For you Leftists who think Michael Brown was a disaster for the Bush Administration, he was competent compared to the multiple missteps by the Obama Administration to address the Gulf Coast oil spill.

Overreported Story: Wikileaks. With the release of secret and embarrassing information, Wikileaks became a major story overnight, and it seems as though every day there’s some new scandal arising from Wikileaks (“Lindsey Lohan Consulted on China Policy”). Given the amount of attention paid to this matter, Julian Assage couldn’t have asked for better advertising, but I think we could have done with a bit more actual reporting instead of the multitude of half-stories regarding Wikileaks.

Unreported Story: the overuse of the race card. The Left has never been scared to play the race card whenever it was useful to their agenda. This year, anything became an excuse to use the race card. Obama getting criticized? It’s because of racism. People opposing the Ground Zero mosque? It’s because of racism. The TEA Party movement gaining favor with the American people? It’s because of racism. And the more they use it, the less effective it became.

Man of the Year: George W. Bush. When the Left isn’t attacking him for every bad thing that has ever happened from the economy to them not getting a bike for Christmas when they were 7, Bush is starting to carve a place in history by being right. One of the funnier aspects of the Wikileaks scandal that isn’t getting covered by the media is how Wikileaks actually produced proof there were WMDs in Iraq. Combine that with the fact President Obama publicly joined the pro-tax cut bandwagon by pushing for an extension of the Bush tax cuts, it’s clear Bush has earned the Man of the Year Award for being a better and more influential President than his critics want to admit. Miss him yet?

R. I. P.: global warming as a scientific certainty. For decades, the Left has been riding its high horse on global warming by citing scientist after scientist stating global warming was real and manmade. Three little words changed that forever: “hide the decline.” With the Climategate scandal where climate scientists out of England were caught fudging results and weren’t able to produce their evidence (a big no-no in the scientific community, by the way), the Left’s high horse has become a Shetland Pony. Ginning up results to promote a position that cannot be justified isn’t good science.

Flash in the Pan: Obama’s global presence. Since his election, Obama has been touted as a departure from George W. Bush’s “cowboy diplomacy,” which would (according to his followers) bring about America’s return to dignified status in the world community. Of course, that isn’t what happened. World leaders treat Obama as badly, if not worse, than they treated Bush. Even our allies have a hard time taking Obama seriously. A stark contrast to the fawning media coverage of Obama’s European trip when he was running for President, to be sure.

The Real Deal: net neutrality. You may not have heard a lot about this subject this year, but it is a vital issue. Leftists are suggesting the government needs to step in to guarantee Internet service providers treat all data the same way instead of picking and choosing what data gets preferential treatment. On the surface, it’s a nice idea, but after a deeper review, it loses a lot of its appeal when you think about the implications of the federal government dictating to private industry how they are to provide a service. And just think, kids. There are some Leftists who think the “net neutrality” proposal already on the table isn’t strict enough.



Raw Deal: The TEA Party being responsible for the GOP not taking back the Senate. A common theme with the Left and some members of the Right is that the TEA Parties cost the GOP control of the Senate, thanks to the campaigns of TEA Party favorites Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell. The problem with that line of thought is the TEA Party wouldn’t be necessary if the GOP (especially those who claim the TEA Party cost the GOP the Senate) hadn’t sold out to the Left. Some of the people the GOP establishment were pushing were nothing more than the same RINOs the party faithful have been complaining about for decades. And given how the GOP Establishment wasn’t too keen on helping Angle and O’Donnell on winning, maybe the TEA Party wasn’t the problem. Maybe, just maybe, it was the GOP Establishment.

Missed Opportunity: For the second year in a row, Republicans completely botched the TEA Party situation. Political operatives on the Right started acting and sounding like Leftists when it came to the TEA Party’s influence on the 2010 elections. Instead of taking their concerns seriously, Republicans treated them like lost children needing to be taken home (i.e. back to the GOP voting ranks). They just don’t get it. There wouldn’t be a need for the TEA Party if Republicans acted like, well, Republicans. Until Republicans get this concept, watch for more missed opportunities with the TEA Party.

Defining Moment: Glenn Beck’s 8/28 rally in Washington, DC. Although the TEA Party gatherings had an impact on this year, it was Beck’s 8/28 rally that opened a lot of people’s eyes to just how many people felt America needed to get back on a proper course. Hard attendance numbers vary from the laughable CBS-concocted number to the overly optimistic conservative numbers, but it’s safe to say Beck’s rally was somewhere in the neighborhood of 300,000 people gathered together for a non-partisan purpose. That showed people on both sides of the political aisle there are people unhappy with the way the country’s being run, and they will be holding everyone accountable.

Stuck on Stupid: Anthony Weiner (D-NY). With a virtual one man war against Glenn Beck and Goldline, Weiner has shown himself to be arrogant, dismissive of any opinion that doesn’t match his own, and completely in over his head against anyone with a lick of sense. In other words, Democrats have a new Alan Grayson to replace the original after he got booted in the midterm elections for…well, for acting like Weiner is now. At least in Anthony’s case, his last name is pretty accurate for the kind of man he is.

The Bottom Line Award: Chris Christie. The New Jersey Governor has raised a lot of eyebrows since taking control of the state, but he has maintained his brutal honesty and lack of concern over the opinion of those predisposed to condemn him for his political ideology. He’s shown integrity in government, honor in defending women against Leftist boors, and generally shown the traits that make up the Bottom Line Award.

The Anna Nicole Smith Lifetime Achievement Award: Christine O’Donnell. From cute-as-a-button spoiler in Delaware to cute-as-a-button buffoon, all in the span of a few months. In retrospect, it seems she never quite understood the media environment that came after her and continues to make Joe Biden-sized gaffes at the most inopportune times. And with rumors surrounding her lack of financial acumen (read: potential misappropriation of funds), O’Donnell has certainly set back women in politics significantly.

The Dan Rather Award for “Excellence” in Media: Rick Sanchez. The former CNN anchor made quite an impact this year, mainly because of his ham-fisted buffoonery. He lost his job at CNN because he said Jews run the media, as evidenced by Jon Stewart. Of course, Stewart caused a stir by pointing out just how vapid Sanchez was and then laughing about it on “The Daily Show.” Here’s a clue for you, Rick. Maybe the reason you were mocked for being such a moron…is because you’re a moron. And now, you’re an unemployed moron because you let your ego get in the way of doing your job. Congratulations, Rick. You’ve earned this award.

The DEE DEE DEE Award: Alan Grayson. Take a smug Congressman, add a Leftist mean streak to beat the band, and throw in a tone-deaf approach to the electorate…and you’d have a pale imitation of Alan Grayson. He may have been the darling of Leftist radio and TV shows, but he forgot to consider what the electorate wanted him to do and it cost him his job. At least he’ll have a future on MSNBC.

The “It Looked Better on Paper” Award: Obamacare. Any time the government gets involved in health care, the results usually don’t turn out that well (case in point: Medicare). Now, thanks to Obamacare, we’ll all get the same attention to swift, quality customer service in health care that we get at the DMV. And when you get to the bottom of it, Obamacare really doesn’t do anything to address the problems in the health care arena, but does a lot to enrich the very people Obama and his Democrat allies were demonizing throughout the debate over Obamacare.

The Padded Resume Award: Barack Obama. The more we see him try to be Presidential, the more we see how little actual experience he brings to the table. From “Hope” and “Change” to “Hope we can change Presidents soon.”

The 14:59 Award: Andy Warhol once said everyone would be famous for 15 minutes, but some personalities are quickly running out of their allotted time. This award celebrates one such personality. This year’s award goes to the “Octomom,” Nadya Suleman. Her claim to fame is dubious at best, and it seems she’s on the verge of eviction from her home in Southern California. Wow. Who would have guessed a media-created “celebrity” could be so bad with money?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Dollars and No Sense

I've often said Leftists aren't good with an economy because they don't understand the basics of economics. This was made abundantly clear recently with a quiet little event that caught very little attention.

The EU's economy is tanking as badly as ours is. To help matters, America is sending money to some of the EU's banks as a means to help them along. Of course, the first big question is where we are going to get the money since we're still recovering from our own economic downturn. The short answer is...we don't know.

There's another question that should concern us all. As we've seen, the dollar has been losing its value in recent years. While the Left said it was bad under George W. Bush, the Left has said it's great under Barack Obama because a weak dollar stimulates trade by making our products cheaper. However, no one will be forced to buy our products, even if they are cheaper because it's a free market. People have a vested interest in buying products at a lower price, but they're not bound to it.

Now, for the question. What impact will a weak dollar have on the money we're sending to the EU? The answer lies with the Chinese. Right now, China owns a lot of our debt, due to the political and economic bungling of both President Bushs, Bill Clinton, and now Obama. By granting Most Favored Nation status to China, we've given them access to our economy.

And here's the punchline, kids. China will use that against us.

At any time, China can call in our debt, meaning we either need to pay them in full or they essentially own us. And they have told us to watch our spending in recent months. Extending a monetary helping hand to the EU isn't exactly being miserly, especially considering how poorly the dollar has fared against the Euro.

Now for the question. What would happen if China decided to call in our debt after floating a loan to the EU?

The short answer: nothing good.

The longer answer: it would ruin two major global economies, leaving China as a sole economic superpower. America would be unable to pay its debt to China and unable to pay its loan to the EU. The latter, in turn, would cause the EU's economy to continue its death spiral until it either pulled itself together and pulled out of it or crashed and burned. The instability of the EU right now makes the latter the more likely outcome. China will have beaten us and the EU without even firing a shot.

So, does anyone else want to rethink our generosity to the EU?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Blast from the Past, A Dust-Up in the Future?

In a name that hasn't been uttered much in politics since 2004, Carol Moseley Braun announced recently she is running for Mayor of Chicago. And given that city's history of electing crooks and dishonest folks, she might stand a chance of winning.

However, this sets up an interesting dilemma for the Left, as former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has also decided to run for Mayor. On the one hand, you have a proud Leftist who is to the left of Barack Obama. On the other, you have a Leftist who has been walking the halls of power with President Obama, so he is seen has having some major political stroke which could be useful in the waning days of Obama's first term as President.

The enigma in all of this is whether the Left still hold Obama in high enough regard to sway voters. As we've seen in recent months, Leftists are ideologically strident, as strident as the Religious Right. Contrary to what you might think, the Left really isn't happy with Obama, namely because they don't feel he's Leftist enough. (Note to the President: Ask Joe Lieberman how that feels.) If Braun stays in the race long enough, eventually the Left will have to decide whether they're going to stick with the "President's man" or if they'll reject Emanuel as Obama-By-Proxy.

This speaks to the larger conversation going on with the Left these days, that being ideological purity. For as much as the Left love to say the Right has litmus tests for candidates, they're not much better. And it's this quest for pure Leftists that will drive the Democrats further out of the mainstream. That cost them in the midterm elections, and it may cost them here. I say "may" because, regardless of how far Left Braun and Emanuel are, it's unlikely a Republican to the right of Al Gore will take the Mayoral election.

Even so, the Left's loose coalition of special interest groups will be tested even more by having to make this choice. The Left is already seeing splintering within its ranks (such as with the budding feud between Keith Olbermann and Ted Koppel), and situations like this will drive further wedges in the Left because it will force them to either compromise or lose. And if the midterms are any indication, they may be doubling down on losing for a while to come.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Angle of the Rangel

Today's House Ethics Committee hearing about the alleged crimes of Rep. Charles Rangel took an interesting turn as Rangel walked out of the hearing, citing a desire for legal representation and objecting to the Committee denying it to him. At first, I had the reaction a lot of people did: shock and amusement.

Yet, if you really think about it, Rangel's actions today were part of a brilliant political move designed to minimize the damage to himself and the Democratic Party. At this point, I honestly do not believe Rangel ever intended to testify before the House Ethics Committee because to do so would have meant he would be under oath. Lying to Congress could be grounds for a contempt of Congress charge, which would have made things a lot tougher on Rangel. What he needed was a way for his side of the story to get an airing, but not subject himself to the possibility of lying under oath to Congress.

That's where Rangel had an ace up his sleeve, or to be more precise, two. The chair of the House Ethics Committee is Zoe Lofgren (D-CA). Until Republicans fill that position in January, Lofgren is still the Chair, which means she controls how things will go. That gives Rangel at least one sympathetic ear. The other ace is Blake Chisam, the staff director and chief counsel of the House Ethics Committee. He has direct ties to...you guessed it, Zoe Lofgren. And as Rangel's primary defender before the Committee, he was the voice Rangel needed. That made Rangel bulletproof, politically speaking. He had nobody at home who would take him to task (he won reelection handily in his home District), and the likelihood of the House Ethics Committee punishing him beyond a slap on the wrist during a lame duck session of Congress was high. He really didn't need to be there, so he made a scene and walked out.

This was the best defense he could have concocted, and he played it brilliantly. It also takes a lot of heat off the Democrats because it would have been harder and harder for them to defend him if the hearing went on beyond a day or two. As it stands, the Ethics Committee should be ruling on the matter by the end of the week, thus putting the issue behind the Democrats once and for all.

He may be a dishonest scumbag, but I have to give Charles Rangel credit for such a brilliant political move.

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Failure to Communicate?

In the aftermath of last Tuesday's midterm elections, a new narrative has come from the Obama camp: the election results were due to bad communication from the White House to the American people. The idea is if they had communicated their successes more effectively, voters wouldn't have voted for Republicans overwhelmingly.

On the one hand, they have a point. The Obama Administration has a communication problem, one they have suffered with since Obama took the Oath of Office. On the campaign trail, the Obama team was effective in packaging a message and getting it out to the people. We may not have agreed with the message, but it cannot be denied that Obama's campaign communication team was a well-oiled machine.

Once in office, however, Obama has suffered with communication missteps, many of which can be left at the feet of former White House Communications Director Anita Dunn and Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. While the communication during the campaign was accessible to everyone, the post-campaign communication has become smug, snarky, and condescending towards anyone who holds a contrary view. Look at the Obama Administration's treatment of Fox News, for example. Whether it was the occasional off-handed remark about whether Fox News is a legitimate news network or the more ham-fisted attempts to treat Fox News as illegitimate, the Obama Administration spent a lot more time attacking a cable news network than they did in articulating a message related to their efforts. That shows a poor communication strategy designed not to trumpet their successes, but bleat out a poor tuba solo and blame it on others.

While I admit the Obama Administration's communication hasn't been as effective as it should have been, I can't completely chalk up the midterm election results to it. A huge part of any communication strategy is determining the message to send to the intended audience, while containing as well as possible any unintended messages. In the absence of the former, the latter becomes the message by default. We can argue about what the Obama Administration has done, but it means little if the source of those accomplishments isn't talking. That cedes the ground to third parties on both sides of the aisle, which can lead to a distortion of the intended message.

In this case, the message that was conveyed to the public was a disjointed mess of Leftist arrogance, partisan fear-mongering, and rampant hypocrisy. Combined with the TEA Party's rhetoric energizing people to get involved and the way the political winds tend to shift in midterm elections, it was assumed the Democrats would suffer losses. The question was how many.

Chalking up the political drubbing Obama's party received last Tuesday on a failure to communicate is appropriate, but only to an extent. If Obama wants to avoid another setback for his party (and possibly himself) in 2012, he'll need to address the communication issues within his own circle of power soon.

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Recurring Nightmare

With the recent suicides of gay teens due to bullying from their peers, our social consciousness is once again focused on the practice of bullying. As someone who survived a lot of bullying in my elementary and secondary education, it's a subject that is close to my heart. It's nice to see that we're paying attention to a practice that can really scar a child or a teen for life or drive him or her to do something far more devastating.

Yet, I can't help but feel that we've done this dance before. Remember how we swore "never again" after Columbine? The two teenage killers were victims of...you guessed it...bullying. Well, "never again" lasted all of about a year before things went back to "normal." How long do you think it will take us to forget about the lessons we're relearning about bullying now?

Sure, we can feel good about coming together and coming out against bullying. What happens when that good feeling you get by "standing up to the bullies" goes away? More often than not, the desire to act goes away as soon as our memories fade. How many more victims are caused by our short term compassion?

And the saddest part of it all? We still aren't dealing with the bullies themselves. Usually, there's a reason a kid or a teen takes up bullying as a misguided hobby, and more often than not it stems from the bully's family life. Abuse, apathy, twisted adult role models, or just general insecurity can all create a bully. In a way, the silent victims of bullying are the bullies themselves. Instead of trying to help them, though, we demonize them and chalk up their behavior to "being a bad kid."

As tragic as the recent suicides are, the fact we need them to remind us of the horrors of bullying is even more tragic. Until we get serious about bullying, count on there being more lives shattered because we fail to understand the problem.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

"Mr. Williams? A Ms. Sherrod on Line 2."

As I'm sure you've heard, National Pubic Radio has fired commentator Juan Williams for comments he made on Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor" that they felt were "inconsistent with its editorial standards and practices." What did Williams say that was so beyond the pale for NPR?

This.

Look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on a plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.

Later in that same segment, Williams also took O'Reilly to task for his statement on "The View" where he painted Muslims as terrorists, saying Christians shouldn't be blamed for Timothy McVeigh.

First off, I'm not a fan of Mr. Williams' politics by any stretch of the imagination. But I will stand behind him on his firing because, in truth, his "offense" was taken out of context. When combined with his statement about Christians not being responsible for McVeigh (an odd comparison to make, but that's a blog post for another time), Williams doesn't come off as bigoted as NPR seems to think he is.

It's not unlike the Shirley Sherrod situation where her comments were taken out of context and used as justification for her to lose her job with the Department of Agriculture. Personally, I think Sherrod should have lost her job for reasons other than the comments she made at a meeting of the NAACP, but that's neither here nor there. The Juan Williams situation bears an eerie resemblance to the Shirley Sherrod situation in one important way.

It was white Leftists doing the firing in both cases.

Seems our lily white friends on the Left have no problem dumping a person of color when they become "radioactive," even when the comments in question are taken out of context and whipped up into a frothy glass of self-righteous indignation. But Leftists never take someone's words out of context and creates straw man arguments out of them, right? I mean, aside from Media Matters...and the Huffington Post...and DailyKos...and DemocraticUnderground...and MoveOn.org...okay, you get the picture.

As of this posting, our good friends at the NAACP have yet to weigh in on the Williams firing, but I'm sure they're working on their statement as we speak. Unless, of course, they're too busy whipping up more racist lies about the TEA Parties. Then, their response might be delayed, but I'm sure it will be lightning fast when they do it.

While I'm sure Mr. Williams isn't holding his breath waiting for the NAACP's statement, plenty of people from both sides of the aisle are upset with NPR's rash action, as we should be. Williams was fired for nothing more than expressing an honest personal opinion within the context of a larger conversation, a conversation I might add that the Left doesn't want. NPR's actions reek of the same reflexive desperation that Shirley Sherrod faced from the Department of Agriculture, and I see the same result coming. The white Leftists will eventually cave and give Williams his job back in the hopes that everything will be forgiven and forgotten.

Let's hope Juan Williams forgives, but never forgets.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Five Keys to Republican Victory in November

Michael Moore recently put out five keys to a Democrat victory in the midterm elections on his website. His winning keys ranged from "growing a backbone" to "supporting a moratorium on foreclosures." In that spirit, I wanted to give Republicans five keys to victory.

And unlike Mike, mine actually might work.

1) Let the Democrats go negative, but respond with a positive. In judo, a student learns to use an opponent's force against himself/herself. This election season, the Democrats are facing an uphill battle, so their natural inclination (having exhausted the possibility that they might run on their records) is to go negative. However, that doesn't mean the GOP needs to follow suit. Running a positive ad after a negative one from the Left will have a positive effect, in my opinion. Take Christine O'Donnell's ad responding to what Leftists like Bill Maher have said about her. It was simple, to the point, and barely referenced politics at all. Even an ad with a "soft negative" like Carly Fiorina's ad using footage of Barbara Boxer asking a soldier to call her "Senator" instead of "ma'am" would work.

2) Don't assume the TEA Party will vote Republican. A common theme with the Right these days is to call for "party unity" over voting for a TEA Party candidate we can support. That's what gave us McCain/Palin 08, another victory for Arlen Specter, and moderate Republicans getting control of the party. Yeah, how'd that work out for ya? The TEA Party may be made up of Republicans in great numbers, but that doesn't mean they'll vote Republican out of reflex. The GOP needs to take some stock in what the TEA Parties represent and work that back into the platform going forward. Saying you're a "compassionate conservative" that votes for continued funding of the Department of Education is nice, but making it so that parents have more say over curricula than some bureaucrat in Washington, DC, is nicer.

3) Make the Left run on the issues. You know the Left is going to go personal this year, but that's because they're desperate to avoid talking issues. With an electorate looking for more than typical politics, give them issues to discuss. Make a Democrat Representative like Alan Grayson defend his stance on health care reform. Make Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid explain the benefits of the stimulus package. And watch as they will do anything in their power to avoid giving a straight answer. They have no substance, folks. Time to step up and make the campaign about what the American people want.

4) Take command. Democrats love to say the Republicans are the "Party of No" because Republicans haven't done a good job at widespread articulation of their alternatives. It's almost like Republicans are ashamed to engage in the exchange of ideas, mainly because the Left has done such a masterful job at twisting the truth. In situations like that, you don't get frustrated and cede the battleground to the enemy. You charge ahead and you fight for the ground you're standing on. Democrats counted on Republicans to be lazy and still cowed by their connections to George W. Bush, but with an electorate that no longer cares what Bush did by and large and a Democrat Party so eager to bring up Bush in lieu of talking about the current President, now is a golden opportunity to take back the intellectual and rhetorical high ground.

5) Fight for every last vote. Conventional thinking on the Right has it that certain groups won't vote Republican, so they're written off (case in point: blacks). Yet, even with overwhelming odds like that, there are people seriously rethinking their support for Obama and Democrats in general. That's a good sign for the GOP, especially going into 2012. Closer to home, as it were, you might be able to sway some votes from the Independent and conservative Democrat side by engaging them, giving them some kind of sign that you might actually care about this country and have ideas on how to fix it. Even if a voter is 99% sure he or she is going to vote Democrat in November, there's still 1% that can be used as a foothold.

It may be short notice for the GOP, but using these ideas in the home stretch could mean the difference between victory and defeat in several close races across this country.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Adding Insult to Injury




Remember when Leftist talk show host Ed Schultz claimed he could get 300,000 people at a rally in Washington, DC, with six months of promotion?

Well, back in June of this year, African-American leaders started talking about organizing a rally to counter Glenn Beck's 8/28 rally. Let's see...late June to early October is...right around 3 1/2 months. Even with unions and the NAACP busing people in for the rally, estimates have the 10/2 rally at around 150,000 people.

Oh, I'm sure Ed will come out with an excuse that "we didn't have six months to promote it like Glenn Beck did," but the point is still that they had the time to promote it heavily, and they failed. Even with the "star power" of someone like Ed Schultz, they couldn't muster much more than half of what Beck's 8/28 rally garnered. (And, no, I don't believe the 87,000 number CBS put out because I've been to the Lincoln Memorial twice now. The length of the reflecting pool alone could accommodate that many people as densely populated as it was at the 8/28 rally.)

But, I guess it bears repeating. There are only two words that fit yesterday's rally in DC: epic fail.



Saturday, October 2, 2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

True Faith or True Arrogance?

Yesterday, President Obama talked about his faith in Albuquerque, New Mexico. After months of speculation, Obama said he is a "Christian by choice" and expounded on how Jesus' teachings impacted his life. So, that puts this whole controversy to bed, right?

Not so much.

The concept of choosing Christianity flies in the face of Christian theology because it makes you the ultimate authority over whether you believe. Put another way, thinking you choose to be Christian puts you above God. In my particular brand of Christian belief, we don't choose whether to believe; it's the work of the Holy Spirit that opens our hearts to God's word.

Combine the "Christian by choice" comment with another concept Obama has brought into the public eye: collective salvation. Obama has said, "...my individual salvation is not going to come without a collective salvation for the country." He has reiterated the idea of collective salvation in speeches to graduates.

The problem? Under Christian faith, Christ died for our sins, giving us salvation. Once we open our hearts to the implications of His sacrifice, we're saved. We don't have to save everyone to earn our salvation because it's already been earned. If we don't save everybody, we're not doomed to Hell.

As much as Obama wants to put this controversy to rest, when we look at the totality of what Obama has done as President and what he's said about his faith, the questions remain. It takes more than saying "I'm a Christian" to be a Christian. As someone who has fallen out of the Christian faith and returned, my life has been fundamentally transformed by my faith, but I don't see that in Obama. What I see is someone who is trying to portray himself as a Christian as a means to hide his true faith, while at the same time elevating himself to a position above the God he professes to believe.

But I'll pray for him all the same. That's what Christians do.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Stupid Is as Stupid Does...

Democrats and their allies are trying to prepare for losses in November's midterm elections, and when I say "losses" I mean soul-crushing butt-kickings from every corner of this country. So, what do they do? Try to appeal to voters' good graces by asking for another chance to prove themselves? Admit they've made mistakes and beg for the mercy of the electorate?

Nope. They're being dumbasses.

Whether it's the Leftist "news" shows obsessing about Christine O'Donnell's dabbling in witchcraft as a teenager, comedian Stephen Colbert being invited to testify about immigration, or John Kerry saying that the reason people are so upset with government right now is because they're uninformed, Democrats seem to either have it in their heads that either the impending losses won't be that bad or that they'll be able to attract voters by insulting their intelligence. Or perhaps it's a bit of both.

In any case, Democrats aren't helping their case for reelection in the midterm elections. Although I haven't counted out arrogance as a cause, even ego has limits. I'm beginning to wonder if the Democrats aren't trying to throw the midterm elections so they have an automatic scapegoat come January 2011. After all, they continue to blame George W. Bush for their blunders well after he was no longer President, so what's to stop them from blaming the potentially incoming Republican majority before it takes control? Also, this would give President Obama a built-in excuse for whenever something doesn't get passed in Congress.

Having said that, though, it would be a stupid move for the Left to blame the GOP for the failures of the Administration and the Congress under Democrat leadership. Right now, people aren't looking for who to blame; they want solutions. Voters went for Obama under the auspices of him being different than George W. Bush and having the answers to problems. As it turns out, his answers were to do what Bush did for the most part, only more of it. Now, that's coming back to haunt the Democrats in a way they hadn't expected. Once they gained control of Congress in 2007, they believed that they would be in power for a long time.

Now, on the verge of the midterm elections, we see how stupid is as stupid does.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Religious Test from the Left

On a 1999 episode of "Politically Incorrect" Delaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell said that she dabbled in witchcraft as a teenager. And now in 2010, the Left has made that an issue as a means to paint O'Donnell as crazy and unsuitable for public office. Granted, the Left has no problem delving into an opponent's past for dirt, but this situation seems a bit odd.

The reason the situation is odd is because of the Left's prior positions on religious matters. When it comes to the Catholic Church, the Left takes them to task for their opposition to birth control, their position on gays, and the molesting priest controversies. Their methods may not always be the most articulate (like throwing condoms at Catholic priests during a gay rights parade), but there is a kernel of legitimacy in their criticism of the Catholic Church. Having said that, the Left has extrapolated the actions of a few to malign the entire Catholic Church.

Compare that to the Left's defense of the Islamic "community center" within blocks of Ground Zero. In that case, they take exactly the opposite position that they do with the Catholic Church. They say that the actions of a few do not damn an entire religion, even though the actions of those few are clearly violent, anti-woman, and anti-child (the very things they criticize the Catholic Church for being, I might add). When it comes to Muslims practicing their faith, the Left is right on the front lines defending their freedom of religion.

Then, there's the Left's position on atheism. When it comes to Leftists like Michael Newdow, the Left supports a freedom from religion, oddly enough using the same First Amendment that they use to defend the Islamic "community center." Their position is that the separation of church and state (a phrase that does not appear in the First Amendment, by the way) means that any entity with ties to government cannot promote a single religion because it "establishes" a religion. (Logically, it doesn't, of course...)

Now, we have the Left's mocking of witchcraft as "crazy" by proxy through O'Donnell. I've known Wiccans in my life, and they are far from crazy. They are, however, among the nicest, most intelligent, most articulate people I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. You may disagree with their religion, but that doesn't give anyone sanction to mock their faith. The Left using O'Donnell's dabbling in Wicca as a political football to kick around is hypocritical and disgusting. Is there any doubt that if a Leftist dabbled in Wicca and a conservative called him or her crazy, the Left would lash out at the conservative? But when it's a Republican, the Left leads the mob seeking to "burn the witch" politically.

The Left practices situational ethics on a daily basis, but now they're practicing situational freedom of religion. With Islam, the Left screams about the freedom of religion, with Wicca and the Catholic Church, the Left screams about the freedom to mock religion, and with atheism, the Left screams about the freedom from religion.

And in each case, the Left's screaming is intellectually inconsistent.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010

9/11, 9 Years Later

Today is the ninth anniversary of one of the darkest days in our history. In that nine years, we've seen incredible acts of courage and shows of unity, as well as despicable acts of cowardice and abject stupidity. I've expressed this fear before, but it bears repeating, especially today.

We've rolled over and gone back to sleep when it comes to the threat of Muslim extremism.

As much as I'd like to think we're still vigilant against those who would do us great harm, the general prevailing attitude seems to be one of utter ignorance of the threat or of general disdain for those who continue to see the threat. When the Leftist media spends more time bashing a Florida preacher for wanting to burn the Koran than they do looking into the funding of the so-called Ground Zero mosque and the man spearheading the effort, we have a problem.

CNN is far and away the worst at pushing the geopolitical snooze button on Muslim extremism. They have labeled any and all opposition to the "Ground Zero Mosque" as Islamophobia, suggesting that it's driven more by racism than reason. Yet, they take the Imam at the center of that controversy at face value while raking the Florida preacher who may or may not burn the Koran today over the proverbial coals? As potentially offensive as the Koran burning would be, the establishment of a mosque within blocks of Ground Zero doesn't even raise an eyebrow at CNN, save when people stand in opposition to it.

What's worse? People actually believe opposition to the Ground Zero mosque is driven by racism. Some of it may be, but you'll get that with most movements like that. Most, however, is driven by...oh I don't know...the fact that a few blocks away there are two missing buildings from when Muslim terrorists flew planes into them, and now someone with ties to Muslim terrorists wants to build a "community center" near that site. Is that "Islamophobia" rearing its ugly head? No, it's common sense.

And that's what may be one of the greatest casualties from 9/11. We have been made afraid to listen to our guts when it comes to Muslim extremism. The more the CNN drones of the world tell us it's hateful to be suspicious of the "Ground Zero Mosque" and the more we believe it, the less we're willing to trust our instincts, no matter how right we may be. Since 9/11, we've seen people who were absolutely correct in their suspicions of Muslim airline travelers get smeared by the media, while little to no criticism is heaped on those who perpetrate the acts that raised suspicion in the first place. If that isn't proof that we're living in some incredibly mixed-up times when it come to Islamic terror, I don't know what is.

George W. Bush was right when he compared the war on terrorism to fighting a hydra because Muslim terrorism isn't just one or two groups. The entire Middle East is one big network of terrorist organizations that fund and support one another. Getting rid of the top guys in al Qaeda is nice, but al Qaeda isn't the totality of the terrorist groups out there. There are others that will fill the void even after al Qaeda is destroyed or disbanded. America's approach to fighting Muslim terrorism has forgotten that part of the equation, and I place the blame for that on "both" major parties. George W. Bush had the right approach, but then softened it, and now President Obama is continuing to soften the approach to the point that we've actually talked about sitting down with some of the people who support the people who want us killed. Talking with Muslim extremists will only do one thing: it allows them time to reload.

George Santayana once wrote, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." With the threat of Muslim terrorism and our reaction to it today, Santayana was exactly right. We're back to a 9/10 mentality, where our minds are filled with pop culture fluff and an overwhelming desire to feed our egos. That's exactly what Muslim terrorists predicted would happen because they counted on us losing interest in what they were doing. And, sure enough, we have.

On this ninth anniversary of 9/11, shouldn't we show at least some courage and vigilance and stand up to the Muslim extremists and their allies on our shores? If only to curtail the chances of another major terrorist attack here, we need to be fearless in the face of mindless criticism from the Left and threats of violence from the "religion of peace."

It's the least the living can do to honor the memories of the dead.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Happy Labor Day...Or Is It?

As we enjoy another Labor Day celebrating the American worker, the state of the economy is weighing on the minds of many. Whether it's high unemployment or companies who make employees work extra hours so the companies don't have to hire additional staff, the employment situation is looking grim. Combine with that the fact that the first stimulus package has done more to grow jobs in the public sector than the private sector and Congress is intent on adding more debt to our backs, and things don't look any better.

Put simply, the economy is in dire need of fixing. What the Washington politicians on both sides don't realize is that the way to fix the economy resides in the working class. Here are some suggestions to help get the economy back on the right track.

1) Cut taxes for the working and upper classes. I know, the Left will say "That's your solution for everything," but it actually works. When you cut taxes, it allows people to keep their money, which they can save, spend, or invest. In each case, the economy is stimulated in some fashion at different speeds. Given the nature of America today, our tendency would be to spend that extra money, which would...stimulate the economy. Funny how that works, isn't it?

2) Cut government spending for real. One of the biggest government scams out there is when politicians and their pals in the media claim that government spending has been cut. What's actually been "cut" is the amount of a proposed increase. The way it works is Party A suggests that the Department of Redundancy Department gets a $2 million increase in spending over the previous year. Party B suggests that the Department of Redundancy Department should only get a $1 million increase in spending over the previous year. Both parties (and their friends in the media) say that the Department of Redundancy Department's budget was cut by $1 million when, in fact, it was actually increased by $1 million. One way to help the economy is to do some actual spending cuts where departments do have to make due with less. Defense spending, the Department of Education, the Department of Interior, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and many other areas could be cut without disrupting services (such as they are) to the American people, which would reduce the amount of tax dollars necessary to keep the country running, which in turn means more money gets kept by the working class.

3) Don't micromanage our lives. At every turn, government is trying to get us to act accordingly (or as accordingly as they say we should). Whenever government does that, a bureaucracy is created to ensure compliance, and with bureaucracy comes cost that the people ultimately have to pay for in the form of taxes. If you question this, check out the environmental laws in this country that any small business has to follow. That particular set of laws is so vast and complex, it's impossible for any small business to keep track, let alone follow them. Why not cut the bureaucracy and allow people (including small business owners) make those kinds of common sense decisions on their own? We may not always make the best choices, but government bureaucracy hasn't exactly had the best track record in making good decisions (see the EPA's efforts with the oil spill clean up in the Gulf). Besides, the money we save could be better spent on getting the economy going.

But, for the Leftists these ideas may be too complex. In the interest of bipartisanship, let me break it down for them.

1) Let us keep our money.
2) Cut spending.
3) Get out of the way.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

I Don't Mean to Toot My Own Horn...

...but Toot Toot. Something I said back in 2006 has come to fruition, and it's all thanks to President Obama and his fellow Leftists.

Back in 2006 and again in 2008, I noticed that Democrats ran on a platform of change. They didn't specify why change was necessary, just that we needed it. And the American people believed it without question. During this time of change from the Left, I pointed out how change isn't always a positive thing and that as much as the Left wanted to change things, eventually change would come back to haunt them.

Welcome to 2010, when the Democrats' slogan has gone from "We need change!" to "We don't need change that badly!" The fatal mistake the Left made is in assuming that the people were behind them completely once they took back control of Congress and the White House. We weren't. Many Americans wanted to give the Democrats a try, and they did. Now, much to their chagrin, they're seeing how their desire for change made them puppets for the Left.

And come November 2010, the Left will have a lot of former supporters to answer to at the polls.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Witch Hunt Is Back?

Paul Krugman in the August 29th New York Times wrote an op-ed piece lamenting the return of "Witch-Hunt Season" because...get this...Republicans and conservatives oppose President Obama. Krugman compares Obama's Administration to the Clinton Administration in terms of "political opponents" trying to dig up anything they could on the President, regardless of how far-fetched it might be.

I'll be the first to admit Republicans and conservative bought into a lot of anti-Clinton conspiracy theories and that they're buying into a lot of anti-Obama conspiracy theories. Some are far-fetched, and some have at least some basis in fact.

Kind of like Krugman's column, if you think about it.

Krugman's defense of Obama against "Witch-Hunt Season" relies on a carefully-crafted distortion: that Republicans have no reason to investigate the President. With some of the questionably-legal actions the Administration has taken, I believe there are grounds to investigate if for no other reason than to put the questions to rest once and for all. That's pretty much the same way some Republicans went after Clinton, and as we saw then, there were some highly questionable actions the Clinton Administration and the Clintons specifically did. That's not to say all of the suggested investigations were valid, but suggesting that all of the investigations into Clinton and Obama amount to a witch-hunt is laughable.

Krugman's assessment of the situation seems to miss the 8 years between Clinton and Obama where George W. Bush was assaulted on almost a daily basis with accusations, not unlike what Krugman says happened to Clinton and is happening to Obama. Here's a brief list of the accusations against Bush:

- He didn't really win the Florida recount.
- His brother Jeb and Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris conspired to cheat Al Gore.
- He knew about 9/11 and allowed it to happen.
- He arranged for relatives of Osama Bin Laden to be flown out of the US days after 9/11.
- Bush went into Iraq for oil.
- Bush made up the story about Iraq having WMDs.
- Bush made up the story about Iraq trying to acquire yellowcake uranium.
- Bush was ordered to attack Iraq by Big Oil
- Bush was ordered to attack Iraq by Israel.
- He stole the 2004 election in Ohio.
- He allowed Halliburton to get no-bid contracts because of Dick Cheney.
- Bush was responsible for outing CIA agent Valerie Plame because her husband was critical of the Administration.
- He controlled gas prices to make money for his Big Oil buddies.
- Bush ignored the victims of Hurricane Katrina because they were primarily black.
- He allowed banks to run roughshod and worked against regulating them, thus causing the subprime mortgage crisis.

Most, if not all, of these statements have been made by Leftists who have demanded (and in some cases gotten) investigations into these subjects, regardless of how far from the truth they are. But I'm guessing that Krugman didn't have a problem with these investigations because of a) who was the President being investigated, and b) who was pushing for the investigations. That undermines his credibility, what little he has, on this subject.

And let's not forget that it was Democrat strategist James Carville who talked about going to "war" against the Republicans in the latter part of the Clinton years, suggesting that Democrats would investigate any Republican President as vigorously as the Republicans investigated Clinton. Surprise surprise, that happened. Yet, no admonition from Krugman. Funny, huh?

Seems as though the "Witch-Hunt Season" isn't back...because it never stopped.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ignoring a Problem Doesn't Make It Go Away

Politico reports that President Obama blasted "lies" and "disinformation" recently. Although I hoped he was talking about his own Administration, that hope was crushed when he started talking about the controversies surrounding his birth certificate and whether he's a Muslim. Although I'm not a "birther" or an "Obama is a Muslim" type, I do want to make a point about the President's handling of these issues.

Although they are relatively minor issues from the larger perspective, they persist and grow because the President hasn't definitively addressed them. Contrary to what the Left says, the President has not released a Birth Certificate yet. He has, however, released a Certificate of Live Birth, which isn't quite the same thing. And, no, it's not sufficient to quell the rumors that his Birth Certificate proves he wasn't a natural-born citizen.

This is where his actions come into play. Although he has tried to downplay the significance of the issue, his actions or his apparent actions that seem to underscore the validity of the charges. It's all about the actions matching up with the statements. Walking the walk, and talking the talk. When a leader doesn't walk the walk and talk the talk, his or her leadership is understandably questioned, even by people who might normally let him or her slide on other issues. That's a failure of leadership and that failure has come into play yet again with the "Obama is a Muslim" talk. By not walking the walk and talking the talk, Obama has invited the kind of speculation about which he laments.

The solution is easier than the President thinks or wants to admit: start walking the walk and talking the talk. Give a little, Mr. President, and put these rumors to rest for no other reason than to give everyone peace of mind. Plus, imagine what it would do to those people who have said "Obama wasn't born here" and "Obama is a Muslim." It would make them look absolutely foolish and unreliable, while you would come away from it looking more honest (which is something you really need to do right now...). That's a pure win-win for you, Mr. President. All it would require you to do is suck it up and lead.

Something tells me that won't happen.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Restoring Dishonor

Today is the day of Glenn Beck's Restoring Honor rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, an event that could be a historic event in modern times. So, naturally since Glenn Beck is involved, the Left has been trying to tear it down. Here's a sampling of what Leftists have been saying about the event:

- At Beck's "Divine Destiny" event at the Kennedy Center the night before, Media Matters (the Soros funded Leftist lying media organization headed up by proven and admitted liar David Brock) said that the event was "steeped in politics" in spite of Beck's claims to contrary because...some of the speakers spoke out against abortion and political correctness! Oh, horrors! We can't have people exercising their free speech and making points that have religious undertones, can we? By the way, kids, there are people who skew to the left politically who agree with the speakers who came out against abortion and political correctness. Nat Hentoff comes to mind.

- Media Matters also rattled off a list of conservative groups and people with connections (no matter how weak the connection - seriously, they bashed a conservative group for putting ads in one of their publications promoting the 8/28 events) to "prove" the 8/28 event was political. Wow. No wonder Media Matters is so revered by the Left. They dig to find completely irrelevant points to "expose" the Right's "real agenda." Bravo, you magnificent bastards!

- Media Leftists have gone out of their way to portray Beck as a "conservative" and a "controversial talk show host," but have called blacks who oppose the 8/28 rally (like the Rev. Al Sharpton) as "civil rights leaders." Yeah, like Sharpton's new to the controversy scene. Beck's controversial because he said the President has a problem with white people, but Sharpton isn't controversial because he actually does have a problem with white people?

- ABC's Claire Shipman did a report about the 8/28 rally where she took one of Beck's statements out of context and used it to bash him. The statement used in the ABC report shows Beck saying, "Blacks don't own Martin Luther King." However, there was more to the statement. Here is Beck's full statement to put the segment ABC used in context: "Whites don't own Abraham Lincoln. Blacks don't own Martin Luther King." By leaving off the first half of Beck's statement, it changes the context of it all. But I'm sure it wasn't part of an orchestrated effort on the part of the Leftist media to malign Beck and those who are attending the rally today, right?

- NBC's "Today" show featured a report about the rally, Tom Costello suggested that it might be difficult to stop people from having signs "with racial overtones" given how there were similar signs at a rally in DC last year. Of course, when Beck says no signs will be allowed and has done so repeatedly and clearly. I'm sure Costello was going to mention that but just ran out of time, what with trying to drag in Dr. Laura's allegedly racist rant into a completely unrelated matter because Sarah Palin defended Dr. Laura and will be a speaker today.

- MSNBC's Ed Schultz compared the TEA Party movement to the Nazis to try to malign the 8/28 rally and suggested Beck was trying to incite race riots. Of course, the TEA Party folks have clearly said the 8/28 rally isn't anything they are putting on, but why let that fact get in the way of attacking Beck by proxy?

Wow. It's almost as if the Left is scared that conservatives are exercising their First Amendment rights today to express a different opinion than the Left espouses. How radical! How "dangerous."

How utterly predictable. Leftists attack anything they don't understand (which is quite a bit, it turns out) and call anything that deviates from their norm as not just wrong, but morally corrupt and intellectually devoid of anything worthwhile. That gives them the self-imposed righteousness to justify any means necessary to slander the Right. After all, they're fighting evil, so they have to fight fire with fire, right?

Yeah, not so much. See, when you resort to blatant and subtle dishonesty to make a point, your point isn't that strong to begin with. All the Left is doing with Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally is showing how dishonorable they can be.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Surprised? I Didn't Think So

In the "This Shocks Who?" Department, Shirley Sherrod declined the offer of a different job within the Department of Agriculture this week. While Leftists cheer her integrity for ask for Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to step down, there are questions to be asked about why she decided not to take the job. After all, she said she accepts Vilsack's apology, so that should be the end of it, right?

Not so much. As I suggested in a previous blog post, Sherrod appears to be an opportunist looking for any way to elevate her standing in the world. Going back to the Department of Agriculture, even after the media frenzy surrounded her firing, would not elevate her, no matter how high profile the job would be.

Plus, there's still the possible lawsuit against Andrew Breitbart to consider. With her recent payday from the federal government, she certainly has made money off playing the race card when it suits her needs. If she accepted the job, there is a chance that her superiors might ask her to drop the idea of suing Breitbart, which would mean any potential payday from that venture would disappear. And seeing how she's played her firing so far, I don't think she'd allow that. Instead, she's passing up a sure thing for a chance at hitting the legal jackpot.

And that's a big risk, in my opinion. Filing suit against Breitbart may get her a big payday, but it has a greater chance of backfiring against her, leaving her with legal fees and no job, at least in the short term. And, really, who in their right minds would hire someone who took on her own employer in court?

Sherrod had a chance to show she has moved on, and she didn't take it. That, in and of itself, should show us all where her heart really is.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Distort the Constitution Much?

The Left has never really been that keen on following the Constitution as written because they feel it is a "living document" (meaning that they believe the Constitution means what they say it means, regardless of whether it's grounded in the Constitution). Now, the Left has taken the Constitution to a whole new level with the "community center" that is proposed to be built a few blocks from Ground Zero.

The First Amendment gives Muslims the right to build the mosque/community center under the Establishment Clause, and if you disagree, you're anti-Muslim, stupid, or any number of other derogatory labels. But the thing of it is...the First Amendment doesn't state or imply a right to build anything, let alone a mosque/community center.

The Left's main argument is that the construction of a mosque/community center is an extension of the right to worship. There are two main problems with that argument. First, a person of faith doesn't require a building to worship openly. In my faith, all that's required to establish a church is two people sharing their common faith. Besides, given that there's a mosque within walking distance of the proposed site of the mosque/community center, there are options that are readily available for their religious needs. If the mosque/community center isn't built, nobody is denied their right to worship. It's not the building that makes the right to worship; it's the exhibition of faith.

Second, the Left is being contradictory with its position on the mosque/community center. When it's come to expressions of Christian or Jewish faith, the Left has firmly come down against public expressions of faith, especially on public land. Their logic in those instances is that people of faith should pray only in churches and synagogues since someone might be offended at a public expression of faith. In short, you can pray all you want, just not where people might take offense.

And building a mosque/community center where Muslim prayer will be allowed within a couple of blocks of an act of extremist Muslim terrorism isn't offensive?

Put simply, the Left has no real Constitutional grounds under the Establishment Clause on which to defend the building of the mosque/community center. There may be other Constitutionally-based arguments that could be made, but suggesting that the building of a mosque/community center is an extension of freedom of religion is intellectually dishonest and a gross misinterpretation of the First Amendment.

Monday, August 23, 2010

You Break It...

Now, my administration has a job to do, as well, and that job is to get this economy back on its feet. That's my job. And it’s a job I gladly accept. I love these folks who helped get us in this mess and then suddenly say, "Well, this is Obama’s economy." That’s fine. Give it to me. My job is to solve problems, not to stand on the sidelines and carp and gripe. --- Barack Obama, July 14, 2009

What a difference a year makes. From "Give it to me," to "Don't blame me."

Well, I hate to tell you, Mr. President, but the economy is yours, not just because you're the man at the helm of the American ship or because you said the economy is yours. It's because you took decided action that impacted the economy. From the "stimulus package" that failed to stimulate anything but the wildest dreams of bureaucrats to the various spending proposals that will add to the debt without adding much to the economy, the current economic situation is as much Obama's as it is Bush's, if not more so.

But you'd never hear the President say that these days. Oh, no, he "inherited" this economy according to Obama, so he can't be to blame. However, who will be front and center to take credit for any good economic news? You guessed it.

That's the sign of a weak leader. Although Obama and his followers like to compare the President to Ronald Reagan, there is a vast difference between the two men. Reagan didn't care who got the credit for getting something done as long as it was done. Obama cares about getting the credit, but avoids any criticism, regardless of whether it's legitimate.

Yes, what a difference a year makes. Obama laid claim to the economy, but only when it makes him look good. The problem: he laid claim to it when he thought his plans were going to work. Now that they haven't, he's stuck with it.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Elephant in the Room

For the past couple of years, Iran has been making moves to build nuclear reactors, citing their desire to move away from an oil-based energy policy. The Left has cheered this move, marking one of the first times in recent history that Leftists have actually cheered for nuclear power.

But, here's the funny thing. Iran is sitting on one of the largest oil reserves in the world. And I can't say that Iran's done much to tap into that reserve. Why would they go nuclear when they have oil? I have a few thoughts on the matter, and none of them are as blissfully ignorant as the Left's thoughts on the same matter.

1) Iran knows they have the US over a barrel. An oil barrel, to be precise. It's no secret that America has a jones for oil. One of our sources of foreign oil is the Middle East, and one of the primary tanker routes is the Strait of Hormuz. And guess where Iran sits. Right along the Strait of Hormuz. Combine that with the fact about Iran's oil reserves that I referenced above and you get a situation that could create an artificial spike in oil prices if Iran decides to cut us off. Going nuclear allows them to hold onto more oil which they can sell back to us as economy-busting prices.

2) They're gearing up for an attack on Israel. It's not secret that the current leadership in Iran wants Israel out of the picture in the Middle East. One of the great advantages Israel has over their Muslim counterparts in that neck of the world is their military. One way to counteract that military is through bigger, more dangerous weapons. Like...oh I don't know...a nuclear bomb. And given that Iran has a deal with Russia to get the kind of uranium used in nuclear weapons instead of the uranium used in nuclear reactors, I'm guessing Iran's going to play a much bigger role in the Middle East's conflict with Israel very soon.

3) Iran will be a battlefront in an impending geopolitical conflict akin to the Cold War. This is a radical notion, but one that has a basis in fact. The fall of the Soviet Union left great opportunity, but also a lot of hard feelings among the communists still there. Although we saw Russia moderate its relationship with the West early on, one would be hard-pressed to say that the relationship hasn't soured again. Blame Bush if you want, but it wouldn't have mattered who was President because they have been planting the seeds for this for decades. Now, consider China's growing influence on the global scene. The fact that China and Russia are on the same page is scary, especially considering both are actively supporting Iran's nuclear aims. Both countries have an ax to grind with America, and they're not above making us fight on ground that isn't theirs. If events continue to unfold like I think they will, once Iran goes nuclear, Russia and China will get more vigorous in their defense of Iran, which would embolden Iran to attack Iraq. That has the potential to draw us into a global war that we won't be able to afford and will most likely lose.

I sincerely hope I'm wrong on these (especially on that third one). But until we're willing to look at the facts and act accordingly, Iran's nuclear capabilities will continue to be the elephant in the room that we're trying to ignore.

And He's a SMART Leftist?

My Leftist counterpart tried to rip me a new one, and I know he'll be reading this since he needs me for his own blog since he's incapable of original thought. But, as he often does, he misses the point completely.

Here is the blog post in question with comments from yours truly.

Reality Now Has An ACTIVIST Bias!


No. As we'll see, the Leftist blogger has little connection to reality.

Lindaman writes:

With all the discussions about a federal court judge overturning California's Proposition 8 on constitutional grounds, there's a concept that has been missed, one that fundamentally changes the judicial system as we know it.

When there is an actual or perceived conflict of interest with a judge trying a case, he or she is expected to recuse himself/herself from the case. That conflict of interest can be either for or against one of the parties involved, such as a racist judge overseeing a murder trial where the accused is a member of a race the judge doesn't like. At that point, a judge that cannot be fair and just to all parties and justice cannot be done.

What does that have to do with the Prop 8 decision? The federal judge is openly gay. Considering the matter before him was a ban on gay marriage, I would say his sexual orientation may have had some role in his decision. And, yes, I would say the same thing if it were a straight judge ruling on the same case.

Uh... so what judge CAN preside over the case?

That's the point. No judge can preside over this case, but Leftists forced the issue and managed to get a practicing gay man to preside over it. This raises the issue I referenced, and the Leftist blogger completely ignored because it he would have to concede the fact that I was right.

The reason I would is because any judge worth his or her salt would have to admit they couldn't rule on the Prop 8 case for the reason I cited above. When people are either straight, gay, or bisexual, there is truly no impartial party who could rule on such a case in a fair and just manner for all parties. Thus, there will always be a conflict of interest in cases like this.

Yet, the Left has no problem with a gay judge overturning a law on constitutional grounds

That's because... THE LEFT DOESN'T DISCRIMINATE LIKE THE RIGHT.

Ooooh, sor-ray. As we've seen repeatedly (ex. Joe Lieberman, the small number of blacks allowed to head up the DNC in lieu of letting rich white men head it up, the Left's support of Margaret Sanger), the Left does discriminate much more frequently than the Right.

(even though there is no civil right to marriage).

There's no constitutional right for ugly, obese bigots to get married, either. It's not the purpose of the Constitution to explicitly list which rights you have. The purpose is to place restrictions on the federal and state government's ability to limit your rights. What Prop 8 did was to declare that a certain segment of the population are entitled to special rights for no other reason than that they promote the status quo, and you just can't do that under the Constitution.

Actually, that's exactly what the Bill of Rights does by laying out the prohibitions of government to intrude on citizens' rights. And last time I checked, the Bill of Rights is considered part of the Constitution.

The burden isn't to prove why there should be a right to gay marriage, the burden is to prove why it is okay to keep gays from exercising that right.

Under your logic, a straight man has the right to sue a lesbian if she denies his "right" to marry her. Under my logic, the case wouldn't even get to trial because no judge has standing to deliver a just verdict.

There is only a right to marry, not a right for heterosexuals and a separate one for homosexuals. Excluding people from that right without a legitimate government interest is unconstitutional, as anyone with common sense knew all along. The words "No Rational Basis" mean something.

How about the fact that the 14th Amendment secures equal protection under the law? Inventing a right out of whole cloth so that gays can "marry" violates the 14th Amendment at its face, as it does not provide equal protection under the law since it elevates one portion of the population above another. And we still haven't gotten to the fact that the 10th Amendment gives the states and the people the authority to rule on this matter since the federal government lacks the authority under the Constitution to rule on this matter and the states haven't given up their authority to the federal government.

Oh, wait. I just did. Sorry. :-)

Of course, nobody loves you from either gender... so naturally you're going to be bitter.

Awww...two personal attacks in lieu of an intelligent comment on the issues I raised? I'm flattered!

But let's switch the roles a bit. Let's say the judge was someone who was to the right of, say, Rush Limbaugh. The Left would be screaming at the top of their lungs about how the judge couldn't possibly be fair and, thus, his ruling should be overturned.

ROFL! Considering Rush Limbaugh's preference for Dominican boys, that's not a good right-wing example.

Of course, this lame attempt at slandering Limbaugh would make more sense if I had said Limbaugh was the judge in this hypothetical example. After all the times the Leftist has blasted me for "mistakes" from a "lack of reading comprehension," one would think that he wouldn't have made such a glaring error. But why let intellectual consistency get in the way of spreading another Leftist lie?

You know, like the Right is doing with this case?

The problem with the Left/Right dichotomy in this situation is that there's a greater principle at work: impartial judges. When we have judges on either side who selectively apply ethics depending on what side they want to win, justice cannot be served. Instead, only political needs are met, and the Prop 8 case is a prime example of that. And thanks in part to a gay judge in California, we've crossed that Rubicon yet again.

Of course, the Left will try to paint anyone opposed to the judge's ruling as homophobic. Be my guest. Call me a homophobe all you want,

Okay! "Homophobe Homophobe Homophobe Homophobe!"

Your attempts to stop being called a homophobe by saying "Call me a homophobe!" doesn't change the fact you're a homophobe. But hey, you've already exposed yourself as a bigot and a racist, and even support anti-semites. So I guess it was about time that you went all the way to the Right and exposed yourself as a homophobe, too.

So, by raising a legitimate question about whether a practicing gay judge can deliver impartial justice to all parties involved and by questioning whether anyone has a right to marry, the Leftist calls me homophobic. That's illogical, even for the Left. Under the Leftist definition of homophobia, wouldn't I have to exhibit a clear hatred for gays? And, no, questioning a "right" of anyone to marry doesn't constitute homophobia, as it covers both straight and gay people. Try again.

but you've just justified another activist judge with more conservative leanings to overrule you should you challenge a gay marriage ban in another state.

And there's not a damn thing you can say about it without looking like a hypocrite.

We can say plenty, liar. For example:

And as far as the age-old right-wing meme of "activist judges!": Should a black judge recuse himself from a civil rights case? Debate over, in one question.

Oooh, sor-ray. See, civil rights cases involve more than just blacks, so a black judge can rule on a civil rights case if the particulars of the case are such that the judge can avoid a real or perceived conflict of interest.

Which is the point I've been making all along.

Oh, look! After all this time, Lindaman finally has a commenter! Now we get to see that "open discussion" you kept whining about on your little "Leftist Coward Watch". Remember that?

For those that are just tuning in: Thomas Lindaman went on a two week bitchfest because I wasn't opening this blog to comments, and he called it a "Leftist Coward Watch". He kept leaving out the fact that this blog was created because he repeatedly backed down.

Actually, it wasn't. The Leftist's own masthead states he is "Exposing Right Wing Lies and Lunacy." Yet, the vast majority of his posts deal with...me. Unless I'm the only "right winger" who lies and is a lunatic, then one could conclude that one of his statements (his masthead or the portion quoted above) is a lie.

And given that he's purposely misstating the purpose of my "Leftist Coward Watch" (which was to point out how it was hypocritical of him to post comments but not allow others to post), it's clear who the liar really is.

And even so, I did offer to open a comment box for him, if he would answer the question as to why he lied about 97% of climatologists being "generic scientists", and why he lied about it again after being faced with that fact. He never acknowledged any of those three facts during his two weeks of bitching. And he still hasn't.

Funny, but I didn't lie about that. Besides, why make it a condition that I accept your discredited premise to allow for me to comment? Shouldn't you want an intellectual exchange if your ideas are superior?

Anyway, now he FINALLY has a commenter on his blog. Let's see what the commenter has to say:

"Karl: It seems the only option is to find a bisexual or asexual judge to avoid the conflict you speak of. Good luck with that. Practicality has to enter into the equation at some point."

Oh, SNAP! This guy ain't one of your good close racist AOLers! That comment is... rational! And a tough one for a right-winger to respond to! Will Lindaman rise to the challenge?

Now, let's see what Lindaman had to say in response to him, after TWO WEEKS of waiting...

Hmm... Lindaman replied with ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.


Of course, the Leftist missed the point Karl made. Karl actually agreed with me. Unless he wanted me to post "dittos," there really isn't a need to respond.

Unless, of course, the Leftist is trying to set up a straw man argument in lieu of an actual argument...

Lindaman... you mean you aren't even going to do what you've done before in your comment boxes, and call Karl a "slapnutz"? Which is an insult that doesn't even make sense, and in fact exposes you as a self-loathing closet case?

Except for the fact that Karl agreed with me. Why would I insult someone who agreed with me?

Of course, now that you've been exposed as ducking a comment, you might scramble for a response now. It won't be easy considering you don't make passive-aggressive smileys on the blog like you did chatrooms.

Ducking a comment I agreed with? That makes no sense, even for a Leftist. :-)


Now that I've spent far too much time pointing out the Leftist blogger's intellectual failures, I think we can all see he doesn't allow comments. He's afraid that a commenter will take him to task for his dishonesty and hypocrisy.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Uncommon Allies

What do humorist Mark Twain and soon-to-be-ex-talk radio show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger have in common? The answer may surprise you, but we'll get to that in a bit.

First, I have to say that I'm not a Dr. Laura fan. In the few times I've listened to her, I've found her to be sanctimonious, condescending, and above all else, unoriginal. Every problem seems to have the same answer: listen to Dr. Laura's brusque advice. And while we're here, if you rely on a talk radio host as your moral authority, you have bigger problems than shacking up with someone to worry about.

Having said that, I feel the controversy surrounding her use of the n-word is nonsense contrived by the Left to try to take down someone who has been a thorn in their collective sides. It's spiteful at best, but at worst it's dangerous to free speech. Like it or not, racism (even imaginary racism) is protected speech. The thing about free speech is that, although you are guaranteed a right to speak, you are not guaranteed a right to an audience. If you don't like Dr. Laura, turn on NPR, and vice versa.

This is not to say Dr. Laura's without fault here. As a target of the Left, a political group that has no problem taking comments out of context and railing against them (ex. Media Matters talking about Glenn Beck), she should have known the use of the n-word would have gotten them salivating and calling for her to be taken off the air. She unwittingly gave the Left what they wanted: a reason to take her out of context and then take her down.

Of course, the Left never lets a little thing like context get in the way of a good narrative. It's like how the Left has railed against Huckleberry Finn in the 90s. They didn't bother to understand the setting of the book or the context of the use of the n-word. All they saw was the n-word, and on that, they called the book racist. Yet, the book makes a serious point about being colorblind when it comes to racial relationships and points out the hypocrisy in those who saw (and continue to see) only race.

So, what do Mark Twain and Dr. Laura have in common? They've both been criticized by the Left for making a valid point about race relations that the Left was able to take out of context.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fitzgerald's Fumble

With former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich being found guilty of 1 out of 24 counts, a lot of people are focusing on one juror as the reason the jury was deadlocked. However, one person seems to be escaping what I feel is well-deserved scrutiny.

US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.

The Blagojevich trial is the second high profile case Fitzgerald has botched, the first being the investigation into who "outed" Valerie Plame. Even after it came out that Richard Armitage "outed" Plame, not Robert Novak or Scooter Libby, Fitzgerald went ahead with the prosecution of Libby and won a conviction over an immaterial point, and only after the jury was stacked and admitted they didn't have any real reason to convict Libby, aside from a desire to see someone take the fall for it.

And now, he earned a similar meaningless conviction against Blagojevich.

At some point, shouldn't we be expecting a federal prosecutor to, oh I don't know, win a meaningful conviction every so often? I know he's a government employee, but damn! Even they have some performance standards.

Fitzgerald's handling of the two big cases on his recent resume shows he's not capable. He seems to love the sound of his own voice, making statements that backfire on him on a regular basis and make him look foolish. Just like Joe Biden, only with the power to prosecute you...badly.

If we were serious about cutting government waste, I'd say a good place to start would be to fire Fitzgerald.