Last week's post focused on Senate Democrats and their double standards regarding support for so-called "sanctuary cities" and their disdain for "states rights", even though the title of the post spoke to politicians in general. This post addresses the double standards of the GOP, and shows them as no different in their ability to support one thing, and oppose something else. In some cases, they're even worse than the Democrats.
How many times have you heard someone in the GOP say that government needs to get out of the lives of people? Wasn't it Ronald Reagan himself who claimed that government wasn't the solution to a problem, but was, in fact, the problem?
From the mouthpieces in the GOP, government should leave people alone in most cases - except when it shouldn't. Especially in two instances; social issues and economics.
On the social side, the GOP is so willing to insert themselves into the daily lives of individuals, that they focus incessantly on trying to find ways to tell people through government intervention how they should live their lives. Look, I'm not personally in favor of someone in my family deciding to have an abortion, but I'm all in favor of THEM having the ability to make that choice based on their own personal beliefs, experiences and circumstances.
And I don't give a damn what two consenting ADULTS want to do in the privacy of their own homes and lives. If gays, bi-sexuals or straight people want to marry each other, then let's spread the misery around equally, I say! (just joking, honey) But no one has yet been able to make the case to me how ANY couple having the right to marry personally affects that conservative GOP-er in any way shape or form. What part of equality do some people NOT get?
And finally on the social side, let's address something near and dear to my heart; quality and end-of-life issues. I understand that without the ability for doctors to treat those with debilitating diseases right up until the end, that we may not get cures for those diseases. I really do. But on the other hand, I'm sure that there are many people out there willing to hang on to the bitter end of their lives, fighting until the last to draw a breath.
At this point, I'm not one of them.
First, I don't want to leave my family with mountains of medical bills that could jeopardize their financial stability for the rest of THEIR lives. And second, I'm not the kind of guy who is willing to be uncomfortable or in pain for months or years when I could be doing something useful or fun. Life is to be ENJOYED - not endured. If I've decided that I've lived a full enough life and it's time to leave the resources I'm taking up to another generation, what business is it of someone who (again) isn't affected one bit by my decision to end my days of suffering?
However, the GOP is equally at home in picking and choosing winners and losers on the economic side of the ledger as well.
How many businesses enjoy huge profits each year, while reaping the benefits of huge tax breaks built into our incomprehensible tax code which gives tax breaks for some, but not for all, depending on which Congressman or Senator gets their way? If I had my way, the only tax break any business would get is for each and every American citizen they employed in the United States - and nothing else. But the GOP's corporate masters game the system by rigging the tax code to benefit one company over another, based upon a certain type of industry. Again, what part of equality do some people NOT get?
Finally, there is one simple way for politicians to solve the majority of our illegal immigration-based economic problems, but they're afraid to anger their corporate masters in order to fix it. And it puts the onus on the people who are enabling the problem; the businesses who hire illegals to do the work for cheap.
Simply put, pass a law that fines (including up to time in jail), businessmen or women who hire illegal immigrants.
Yes, it's government action. But there can be no free market without safeguards that prohibit one company from enjoying a benefit that other companies cannot take advantage of. Government's role is to protect everyone equally, isn't it.? But think about the ramifications of this law. How many businesses are going to knowingly hire illegals if they face stiff fines or jail time? And if no jobs are available to illegals, how many are going to come here illegally knowing there isn't a prayer of finding work? The trickle down effects of reducing the number of people using our health and court systems, in addition to putting more American citizens to work at higher wages, would be astounding.
But you'll never hear anyone running for President on EITHER side advocating for this, because they can't address the cause - only the symptoms.
What do YOU think?
So yesterday, I wasn't surprised to read that Senate Democrats blocked a GOP bill which would have given the Federal government the power to stop payments to cities which deliberately ignored Federal immigration laws - so-called "sanctuary cities".
Full disclosure - our immigration policy is a mess, and it needs to be fixed. I'm not sure what the answer is, but I am sure that amnesty isn't it, nor is comprehensive reform from top to bottom the answer, either. Frankly, that type of bill has no shot of getting through both houses of Congress, so the right and left better realize that and start fixing specific problems; the first being to fine employers heavily who employ illegal immigrants.
But today's blog is more about the double standard employed by Senate Democrats (and the White House who vowed to veto the bill if it had passed).
How many times have you heard the left come out against "state's rights" issues? These are the issues where the right often times uses the 10th amendment to claim that the Federal government does NOT have absolute power over the states or the individual. It is a stance where I happen to agree with those on the right. The Framers never considered having a strong Federal government in any fashion, preferring the Feds to handle the larger issues of equality, monetary issues, and protection of personal rights and freedoms - NOT the guiding force for every action ever contemplated by an individual or corporation. So the left, in their desire to have all-encompassing State control over everyone, has traditionally dismissed the idea of state's rights.
Until it get them votes.
Can anyone tell me how cities having the option to outright ignore Federal laws is any different from states being able to do so?
In short, there is none.
Worse yet, this is the first step towards anarchy, which benefits no one. If a city can ignore a Federal law, and suffer no consequences as a result, why can't an individual? Me? I'm seeing the beginnings of a pretty darned elaborate (and possibly effective in front of the right judge) defense strategy going forward when someone gets taken to the woodshed for violation some EPA rule which harms no one. Maybe having the Federal government taken down a peg or two is a good thing, but we really don't need the law of the land being ignored willy-nilly on the whims of elected officials or the individual.
We just need better laws and smarter elected officials. And fewer double standards.
Winter is coming to Indianapolis tonight.
The 2015 New England Patriots Fire and Brimstone / All Retribution all the time / FU Tour of the National Football League arrives in Indianapolis tonight for a Sunday night match-up against the same Colts team who accused the Patriots of deliberately deflating footballs in order to gain an advantage in last year's AFC Championship Game, starting the saga known as Deflate-gate, instead of taking their beating like men.
Add to that, the NFL decided that the science of the Ideal Gas Law couldn't possibly apply to the Patriots, thereby creating a witch hunt not seen in New England since the 1600's, and you get tonight's must-see game, even if you're not a fan of the New England Patriots.
Think of it as the NFL's version of NASCAR - you're watching it for the crashes.
In this case, how many points are the Patriots going to score, and just how much are they going to run up the score if they find themselves in their usual position of dominance over this latest incarnation of a once-proud franchise? Me? I'm hoping for the game to end with a steaming pile of Colts in their end-zone, cooling off to room temperature after the Patriots have scored their eighth touchdown by successfully going for two as time expires.
Patriots 60, Colts 10.
Don't get me wrong. I'll be happy with a more conventional 1, 3 or 10 point win from the Flying Elvi when the game clock signals 0:00, but I'm going to feel cheated if that does happen.
As to game strategy, look for the Patriots to do what they always do - find your weakness and exploit it. In year's past, that was the run defense of the Colts, where New England's plan was to run the ball until the Colts found a way to stop the run. The Colts never did in the three previous games. Tonight, I expect a more balanced attack, due to the Colts improving on their run defense, and their woeful pass defense. Add into the mix that the Greatest Quarterback of All Time, Tom Brady, is playing lights out with 11 touchdowns and ZERO interceptions in 2015, plus a depleted secondary of our own, and I think that points will have to be scored more frequently than on long drives heavy on the run game.
And let's not forget the FU aspect of the game.
The Patriots under Bill Belichick have never provided bulletin board material for opposing teams in the past, and this week has been no exception, but this team is the bear, and the Colts, the NFL, and ESPN together made the bad decision to poke the bear, and the bear has come out of it's cage.
Winter is coming to Indianapolis on 10/18/2015, arriving sometime around 8:30 pm.
But don't worry, Colts fans. It'll be a short winter, lasting about 3 hours or so. Three of the longest, coldest hours your team will ever experience.
From The Wall Street Journal:
"Last month George Mason Professor Jagadish Shukla and 19 others signed a letter to President Obama, Attorney General Loretta Lynch and White House science adviser John Holdren urging punishment for climate dissenters. “One additional tool—recently proposed by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse—is a RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) investigation of corporations and other organizations that have knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change, as a means to forestall America’s response to climate change,” they wrote.
In other words, they want the feds to use a law created to prosecute the mafia against lawful businesses and scientists. In a May op-ed in the Washington Post, Mr. Whitehouse specifically cited Willie Soon of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, who has published politically inconvenient research on changes in solar radiation."
To quote some unnamed 1930's gangster movie, "Come and get me, you dirty screws!"
Before we get to my opinion on this particular and disturbing move, let's set the table on what I believe regarding "climate change".
1. Is the Earth getting warmer?
Yes. But that warming trend has slowed to a crawl in the past 18 years, to the point where statisticians have concluded that the rise in temperatures during this time is considered "statistically insignificant". To combat this troubling speed bump on the road to government action, climate change proponents have once again shifted their focus, this time from surface temperatures to subsurface temperatures below the sea. But the fact remains that the easiest media in which to affect global warming (air) has virtually stopped warming for the past 18 years.
2. Is man responsible for some portion of climate change?
Of course. What is yet to be proven is to what EXTENT man is responsible for that change. After all, if your claim is that man's ever increasing CO2 emissions into the atmosphere are the primary reason for global warming, how can global air temperatures be virtually unchanged for 18 years running?
3. Is it right to question the funding sources of climate change deniers?
Yes, as long as you question the funding sources of climate change proponents as well. After all, if you can cast aspersions on deniers / skeptics for taking money from the fossil fuel industry to fund their research, why does the vast majority of funding for climate change proponents coming from governments get a pass? Governments exist to control people, some for the good of the general populace, and all too many for other nefarious reasons. I'm all for controlling certain bad actors bent on doing direct harm, but let's determine the harm, if any, before we go and start controlling things that haven't been proven to harm.
Let's face it: If you're going to claim that skeptics are dancing to the tune of their fossil fuel masters in order to gain or continue funding their research and lifestyles, then climate change proponents are certainly dancing to the tune of their government masters for the same reasons.
Now to the topic at hand - the suppression of free speech.
Look, I can understand how some people like Jagadish Shukla and other signatories of the now-removed RICO 20 letter not born in the U.S. can fail to grasp our very first and most important amendment to the Constitution, but what excuse does a sitting U.S. Senator (Sheldon Whitehouse, (D-Clueless)) have? As has been noted before, the right to free speech is not absolute. The old adage, 'You can't falsely yell "FIRE!" in a crowded theater' is often used to justify government control of speech, and rightly so, as it could potentially harm others in a panic.
But invoking racketeering charges against climate change skeptics because they get their funding from a source other than the government?
I don't think so. It is at once laughable, disturbing and chilling. The bad news is that Obama's Justice Dept. didn't reject the request from Senator Clueless out of hand, but the good news is that once the media got hold of Jagadish Shukla's funding levels and their government sources (he's DEFINITELY been living high off the U.S. taxpayer), the letter was quickly removed from his organization's website.
And that's what we skeptics are going to need to do each and every time. Fight their disinformation with better information. Shine the same light on their activities as they are trying to shine on skeptics. QUESTION their conclusions with alternatives. Astrophysicists (the scientists who study the Sun) are just as adamant that solar activity is as much responsible, if not more, than any activity man can muster towards climate change. Certainly, their observations on reduced levels of solar radiation for the past 2 decades - Hey, that's pretty close to 18 years, isn't it? - certainly bears as much consideration as CO2 emissions, doesn't it.
Except that government can't control the Sun. Which is ultimately what this climate change brouhaha is all about, isn't it?
What do you think?
. . . that this country's future is in big trouble based on our current choices for presidential candidates.
If you weren't already convinced of the downfall of America being upon us with the election and re-election of someone so utterly clueless and completely unqualified to lead as Barack Obama, taking even a cursory look at the current choices for president looming in 2016 should do it.
I mean, seriously?
Let's run through my admittedly biased impressions of today's clown car passengers (both Republican and Democrat), shall we?
Hillary Clinton - Hands down, the most dishonest person to ever run for President in my lifetime. The good news, if there is any, is that the American public appears to be beginning to see what many of us always knew about her. Add to that her poor leadership skills and lack of any real accomplishments, and you have what just might be a worse choice than Barack Obama was. Her lack of leadership and inability to address simple details got 4 Americans, including her own ambassador, killed in Benghazi. Her almost pathological need for control caused her to create and maintain a private server for her documents which likely handled classified information that was backed up to unsecured off-site providers. Her flip-flopping is legendary (or would be so, if the media focused on it half as much as they did Mitt Romney's).
Dr. Ben Carson - Can someone say - snooze-fest? When I read some of the things he's said, they look good. The problem is I fall asleep every time I try to listen to him. He's the poster boy for verbal Valium. When you add in his complete lack of a leadership resume, he's a recipe for disaster. Could he get elected? Maybe. But I just don't see people going that extra mile for someone who has virtually no ability to rally the troops with campaign fire. I also think (and it will sound racist to some) that the Grand Experiment of electing a black man to the Presidency has been such a failure, that the voting public isn't ready for a Round 2 do-over just yet.
Bernie Sanders - You know, on some level he has some interesting ideas - if you believe the rhetoric. Taking care of our veterans. Cleaning up Wall Street. But you begin to wonder if this guy has such great ideas, why hasn't he ever gotten any significant legislation passed with his name on it after serving over 20 years in either the Congress or Senate? Don't we elect leaders to actually get something done while in office? What does this say about his ability (or lack thereof) of working with people from all sides to get something accomplished? Add to that, he has some very Socialist ideas about what the government should be paying for, like college education and health care for everyone, with absolutely ZERO realistic plans to pay for them. On a personal note, he also comes across as a flake.
Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum - These guys are just in it for the religious right agenda, and not much else. One was a pretty successful governor of a rather small state, and one was a pretty ineffectual and downright lousy Senator. Only one can get the Christian Conservative vote, and neither has any traction outside of that small voting bloc.
Jeb! Bush - Possibly the worst campaigner in the entire race, eclipsing even Hillary Clinton in that regard. Jeb's problem is that there are actually multiple other choices for Republicans to choose from, so his name recognition and record (which wasn't bad in Florida) is lost in all the background noise. This is not to say he'd be a great choice for the GOP should he last into the later primaries - he's too bland and I'm not sure he really stands for anything that he wouldn't be willing to compromise away, but he should be doing better than he is right now.
Carly Fiorina - This is one candidate who actually intrigues me. OK, I'm concerned about her lack of any elected office; there's a certain benefit in knowing first-hand how the legislative process works, especially given the arcane and sometimes exasperating rules by which our Congress operates. And I'm not as worried about her stint as the CEO of HP. While the short-term performance of her polices didn't look very good, they have largely panned out following her departure. But I love her passion, I like her focus on the important issues, and even when she veers into some social policy like funding for Planned Parenthood, she sticks to specific problem harvesting organs and tissue, rather than the right to choose. She's also not afraid to take on Hillary and would neuter the left's transparently planned War on Women argument should Hillary be nominated.
Donald Trump - Just a hot, steaming pile of embarrassment for the GOP. Actually pretty inarticulate when pressed for details on his agenda, which might be why he refuses to engage in them. That, or he just hasn't thought them through in the first place. The sooner he gets out, the better for GOP prospects one year from now.
Chris Christie - The one-time darling of the GOP has been, rightly or wrong, tarnished by Bridgegate. Did he know? Probably not, given no evidence that has come to light thus far. Should he have known? Regardless of it being New Jersey, putting people who might think that political payback of this type was acceptable shows some pretty poor judgement on his part. I do like his blunt way of speaking, however.
John Kasich - Why hasn't this guy gotten more traction? He is far and away the most accomplished elected official in the entire race, has great approval ratings in a national bell-weather state, and has proven history of working with both sides of the aisle. Yeah, he's not exactly Mr. Excitement on the stump, but got the resume that other candidates and our current Disaster-in-Chief would salivate over. If we could merge Kasich and Fiorina via some weird science experiment, I'm all for it.
Rand Paul - Nobody has worse hair than Donald Trump, but Paul is not that far behind as a solid # 2 in that regard. I really like his Libertarian leanings, but his foreign policy posture won't play well in an era of international terrorism.
Martin O'Malley - The Democrat who was so bad as governor, his Lt. Governor was rejected by the voters in the very Democratic state of Maryland for a Republican. Enough said.
The rest of the field doesn't rate any comments from me, except to say, "Please get out so we can concentrate on a manageable few".
What do you think?
Have I mentioned that I really don't like kids?
Even my own.
Full disclosure, I've never really considered myself a good father. Now, I'm not looking for any sympathy here, or any words of encouragement about my fitness to be a good father. Because the reality is, I'm not a good father. And I'm fine with that.
Truth be told, I prefer dogs. Even the worst of our four dogs, the Louisiana Catahoula named Sam, was better behaved than my kids. Not to mention, cheaper to maintain.
I rejoiced when, at around 22 years of age respectively, each of my daughters decided to fend for themselves and take up residence elsewhere. I saw the beginning of my soon to be retirement years heading my way, where bills were paid, free time was my own, and drama was non-existent. Gone were the days when one was wailing and gnashing about what the other one wore (one was always accusing the other of taking the others clothes - even when no such theft occurred). No more arguments about sharing bathrooms. No more jealousy.
That little sliver of peace and quiet lasted no more than 4 years.
Ever hear of the Circle of Life? It's alive and well and playing out in my house right now, because BOTH kids are back.
And I didn't even want the first one back months ago.
The good news is, I can see an end to the Circle of Life in the near future. My wife and I will be retiring to a life on the road in 6 more years, taking our future RV home from one state to the next, seeing the sights this great country of ours has, and fulfilling my dream of playing golf in every state of the nation before I kick the can one day. Once that happens, the kids will have to fend for themselves, because if they even try to ask us where we are, the only thing we're giving out is the state we're in - nothing else.
Good luck in finding us then.
“I’m going to try in every way. I am going to get those guns out of people’s hands.”
Wow. Just . Wow.
Apparently the media-proclaimed "World's smartest woman" hasn't bothered to read the Constitution she is running to uphold. Let's refresh her memory, shall we?
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
Now the left always harps upon the first part of the amendment, claiming that the "militia" call-out limits the scope of those who can claim firearm ownership. This, of course, ignores the second and third parts of the amendment. Who, in fact, are the guardians of a free State?
The people. Those pesky people cited in the third part of the 2nd amendment.
The State is not, nor can it ever be, the guarantor of a free State, simply because they ARE the State. It's akin to the fox guarding the hen house. And you know how THAT always turns out.
So the fourth part of the amendment - "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." - is unassailable.
Now I'm not saying that everybody has the right to own a gun. Clearly, the State has the right to impose reasonable limitations on the ownership of firearms. People not of a legal age as determined by the State can be exempt. People with known mental illnesses. Violent criminals. All should not legally be able to own a gun. But that's pretty much it.
But "Get the guns out of people's hands", Hillary? Whose hands? The Secret detail that still protects you? A recent book about how Secret Service agents are treated seems to indicate that she still has protection as late as 2014. Shall we take those guns away, Hillary? You can be a walking, talking "gun-free zone" all your own!
Because as we all know, gun-free zones work just great, don't they, Hillary? Just ask the 9 dead at an Oregon college gun-free zone last week, or the 26 dead in the gun-free zone known as Sandy Hook Elementary back in 2012, or the 12 in the gun-free zone movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, or the 13 soldiers and civilians in the Federally-imposed gun-free zone known as Fort Hood, TX.
Gun-free zones are simply putting all the sheep in one place, and buying a full-page ad in the local newspaper targeted at the wolves saying, "There be sheep here".
So you're going to try the Obama executive action route, Hillary? Go for it. Two things will stop you. The Supreme Court has shut down virtually every challenge to the 2nd amendment, and would do the same if you tried anything more than the reasonable allowances I detailed above. And after this latest pronouncement of yours, don't bank on a GOP-led Senate to approve any nominee for the SCOTUS coming from you who would agree to anything like your "Get the guns out of people's hands" desires.
So since you cannot rewrite the U.S. Constitution, Hillary, I suggest you read it, understand it, and more importantly FOLLOW IT, rather than make these dumb-as-dirt-level campaign sound bites you can never back up.
Hi! I'm Dave Richard, your host. I hope you enjoy your visit. We'll be talking about current events, politics, the occasional sports (I'm a HUGE New England Patriots fan, so get over it), and some "Get off my lawn!" issues.