Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Looking at the Taliban Positively is like Regarding the Nazis Sympathetically

I couldn’t help but be overwhelmingly disgusted by an article I read about the Taliban yesterday. So disgusted, in fact, that I’m going to (almost) completely ignore the economic readings out today, including India’s impressive first half 8.8% growth (let’s not even talk about our own botched numbers) and Germany’s 7.6% unemployment rate compared to our 9.5%.

The article in question starts out this way:

“A documentary made by a Norwegian journalist embedded with Taliban fighters has provided a rare glimpse of the other side of the Afghanistan conflict.

“The raw footage - captured by Paul Refsdal - shows the Afghan militants attacking U.S. convoys on a road below their mountainous hide-out and celebrating hits with a high-five.

“The men also show their softer side to the Norwegian journalist by singing, reciting verses from the Koran and even brushing their long hair as he quietly records their day-to-day activities.”

So… apparently, the Taliban are now akin to Sears, with their “softer side?” So good to know.

Maybe we spread that piece of “news” to:

Very Few People Are 100% Evil… Including the Taliban

If people are really foolish enough to believe in one-dimensional, storybook villains that do nothing but spread evil and mayhem wherever they go, then maybe the article’s inside look is an eye-opener.

But those intelligent global citizens that grasp the larger implications of Luke 11:11-13 understand that villains don’t constantly lurk around wearing masks, rubbing their hands together and chuckling maniacally.

I’m quite sure that were we able to ask her, Eva Braun would say very nice things about Hitler. He probably showered her with pretty gifts and comforted her when she was down.

I’m equally certain that somebody somewhere could have said good things about Stalin, the slaveholders who would sell off families separately for cash and then go back to dine with their own loved ones, Nero, Pharaoh and just about every other villain who ever existed on the planet.

But that doesn’t mean that their “good deeds” or “softer side” warrant a “softer” review in the history books.

Monday, August 30, 2010

My Limited and Limitless Experience at the Glenn Beck Rally

Despite the pen and pad of paper I brought with me to the Glen Beck Rally two days ago, I don’t have very much commentary on the event.

After all, it’s rather difficult to discuss the speeches and issues addressed when you can’t actually hear anything being said. But let me tell you what I can all the same:

My party of 7 women left my apartment with plenty of time to spare – an impressive feat considering that 6 of us are under the age of 30 and possibly a little too aware of our personal appearance – and arrived at the Greenbelt metro station with plenty of time to find a parking space, buy our passes and board our 8:53 train.

At least, we would have had plenty of time if not for the line of people snaking out the door of the station, well down the sidewalk all the way to the parking lot.

Now, I can’t say I’ve used the DC metro hundreds of times, but living only a half hour away from the Green line, I have taken my share of day trips all the same… and I’ve never seen anything even close to that before!

It was fairly obvious that the majority of the crowd was going to the rally, as evidenced by the sometimes… ummm… fascinating combinations of red, white and blue we saw, as well as t-shirts featuring everything from “Restoring Honor 8.28.10” to the classic “Don’t Tread On Me.”

It took us over 45 minutes just to purchase our tickets and another 15 or 20 minutes to board from there, as our shuttle for some reason kept its doors shut for an odd amount of time.

The Glenn Beck Rally Highlights Real Hope and Change

When we finally did arrive, a decent hour late, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin had already spoken, which, I have to say, I found very disappointing. Similarly a let down, though we tried our best, we never really got close enough to see the stage or hear any of the remaining speeches very well.

With that said – and a disclaimer that I truly did enjoy my two tea party rallies this year more than I did Saturday’s event – I am very happy I went all the same. Hearing the applause from hundreds of thousands of hands whenever God was mentioned actually gave me goose bumps. And the snippets of songs and speeches that I did get to hear from people like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece, Dr. Alveda King, were priceless.

Looking back, now two days later, I can’t help but be overwhelmingly impressed with the turnout and optimistic about our ability to turn this country back around away from destructive progressive agendas.

Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise: We’re out there, we’re sick of staying quiet, and we’re ready to take back our country no matter what insults our enemies hurl at us.

As one featured t-shirt proudly proclaimed, “I can see November from my house.”

Friday, August 27, 2010

The So-Called Economic Recovery

This morning, I finished looking at the “regular” news and switched over to my daily scan of Yahoo! Finance, which – I have to say – I normally greatly appreciate.

Today though, I had to roll my eyes when I saw the title it gave to its prominently featured first article: “GDP Revised Lowed; US Economy Grew 1.6% in 2Q, Still Better Than Expected.”

1.6% growth is still better than expected? I thought that we were in the “Summer of Recovery?”

Maybe it’s just me, but that doesn’t sound like any recovery worth mentioning to me.

Let me quote a few key sections of the actual AP article that Yahoo! linked to:

The nation's gross domestic product – the broadest measure of the economy's output – grew at a 1.6 percent annual rate in the April-to-June period, the Commerce Department said Friday. That's down from an initial estimate of 2.4 percent last month and much slower than the first quarter's 3.7 percent pace.”

“That's ‘very disappointing relative to a normal business cycle,’ he said. ‘Usually you get a bigger bounce back.’”

“Still, stock futures rose modestly after the announcement as investors appeared relieved the estimate wasn't lower as some economist had forecast.”


The “Economic Recovery” in Perspective

Who knows; maybe they really were relieved. After all, it’s a shock we’ve grown at all considering our unemployment rate that only falters whenever people give up looking.

However, it’s also possible that they’re faking that relief in order to keep the markets from plunging, consumers from panicking and U.S. policy critics at bay. So maybe, when they report the night before that “many economists believe the Commerce Department will revise its estimate of growth in gross domestic product to 1.3% or lower,” they’re full of it.

But that’s my cynical side coming out. It isn’t like I have any real reason to mistrust the press; they’ve never purposely led us astray before, right?

All sarcasm aside, former Wells Fargo Chief Economist Sung Won Sohn seems to nail the big picture right on the head just by noting a few very obvious facts: Housing is in the tank. Confidence is going down. The stock market is going down. It’s hard to imagine how consumers will spend.”

And Gus Faucher, a Moody’s Analytics economist agrees, saying, “The economy is going to limp along for the next few months” and could even slip back into recession.

With little hope for the U.S. future, considering the private sector’s uncertainty about what will happen to the Bush tax cuts among other game changers, it’s no wonder that HSBC and other large banks are promoting the use of the renminbi to corporate customers instead of the dollar for trade deals with China.”

Meanwhile, back here at home, our officials refuse to really account for our government spending. The Federal Reserve Board, claiming that it wants to protect banks, is still refusing to release who it gave money to and in what amount.

And as for Biden’s boasts about how much good rampant government spending has done for the country so far?

Well, not surprisingly, they fall flat just like our supposed economic recovery.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Liberals are Idiots

Liberals are idiots.

I’m not saying that Democrats are idiots, even if I do disagree with most of their positions. I know too many genuinely intelligent members of that party to even think of making such a claim.

So when I say that liberals are idiots, I mean members of any party that buy wholeheartedly into Keynesian economics, world peace, love of hemp, and the hatred of Wal-Mart (or Target, at this point) or anything having anything to do with wealth, whites or men.

You know, the kind of people who stand for nothing except the hatred of conservative values.

…So basically, the Joe Bidens of this world who look at the economic and emotional shambles the country is in and say something profoundly stupid like: “Now the fun stuff starts!” and “This is a chance to do something big, man!”

Or those people who bemoan the disproportionate amount of men to women in our political establishment instead of the blatant lack of intelligence and character we suffer from.

And it may or may not include Doug Heye, a spokesman for Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, who said recently: “In general, people coming to Washington, being organized and active is a good thing. But I gotta be honest with you – I don’t know about any Glenn Beck event.”

Regardless, he’s clearly out of touch with what his country needs.

Dumber than Biden… and Maybe Even Nancy Pelosi!

However, none of them are in such strong contention for Liberal Idiot of the Year as Bruckner Chase. (Though 2010 is hardly over and we have plenty of time for Nancy Pelosi to still make more brilliant comments such as, “We have to pass the bill so you can find out what’s in it.”)

Never heard of Mr. Chase? Neither did I until last night, when I read all about his “14-hour swim to raise awareness about the fragile nature of the local marine environment.”

That alone hardly puts him in contention for any awards. Neither does the fact that he ran into a “massive swarm of jellyfish that rose to the surface” during his swim.

What definitely does, however, is that he continued slogging through the critters for miles on end.

Despite donning a wetsuit after a certain point, he still “felt them oozing through his hands with every stroke” during the last mile, resulting in stings on his tongue, the inside of his mouth, his neck, hands and feet.

Without the wetsuit on, he admits, he probably would have died. Yet he holds to his accomplishment as a noble and worthwhile effort to save the world, or at least one small part of it.

And that makes him a strong possibility for Liberal Idiot of the year, not to mention a Darwin Award honorary mention in my book.

I’m sure that the “fragile” jellyfish would agree.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Liberal Trap

So I’m going to go out on a limb and bring up two very touchy subjects: race and gender. And on top of that, just to throw a little spice into the mix, I’m also going to risk being perceived as an ageist.

But some risks are worth taking and some things just have to be said, especially when the future of this great nation is being systematically destroyed from the inside.

A few days ago, I was talking to my younger sister – yes, the same one who ran over a church parking lot curb – who was rather distressed about a statistic she read, which heralded the disproportionately high number of African-Americans that still approve of President Obama.

Similarly, women – perhaps still dreaming about having sex with the man for some utterly inconceivable reason – continue to give him higher marks than men do. And of course, we all know that young people are more likely to vote Democrat and therefore blindly follow the president more than older people.

So what’s the common denominator in those three groups, two of which I quite firmly fall into? Easy. Liberals have targeted them all for decades.

In the case of the so-called minorities (a.k.a. African and female Americans), leftists have cunningly stroked our egos, telling us that we’re actually worth more than anybody else, that we’re entitled, that we deserve… well… just about everything we want.

Meanwhile, when it comes to young people, we’ve just been conditioned to be a fascinating mix of bleeding hearts and selfish twits. And really, when you think about it, that’s a rather impressive feat to achieve.

Hook, Line and Sinker

Regardless, all three groups have unfortunately fallen for the liberal agenda hook, line and sinker. Too many in each have accepted the ridiculous premise that they’re right just because of what they are – and not who they choose to be – while old white men are guilty until proven innocent, and even then just barely.

Before I continue, please don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that whites, men or old people are infallible or incorruptible. John McCain, who embodies all three labels, is proof that they can definitely get it very, very, very wrong on a consistent basis. And while not male, satan incarnate serves as another great example of how far they can fall.

For that matter, I can personally name or recall too many nincompoops of all ages and races, and both genders, who have driven me up the wall for just about every reason under the sun.

But personally, I try to judge people by their actions instead of the physical characteristics they were born with through no decision of their own. So I can also name you men and women, blacks, whites, Hispanics, Asians, old people, young people, etc. that have done wonderful things for their fellow human beings.

That’s because in my mind – and in the real world – people are people.

Weird concept, huh?

Sadly, to many Americans, it is though. Sexism, racism and ageism are looked on as the new form of equality these days, as the liberal agenda promotes that ALL blacks and women as victims and nothing more.

On the one hand, those of us that are young, black, female or some combination of the three have some excuse for buying into that perception: We’ve largely been taught that way since Day 1.

It’s in children’s literature, or at least it was back when I was young and reading the Bernstein Bears with their oftentimes foolish Papa Bear. It’s in our schooling through all levels, how we too often focus much more prominently on the inequalities of our history than our heroes. And it's in our media.

But on the other hand, is that really an excuse at all?

Sadly, in the end, I think that we’ll be judged just as harshly as the old white men. And we’ll all pay the consequences regardless.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

In Defense of the United States of America

Today, I plan on being much more adept at combining seemingly incongruous stories together to make brilliant, overarching points… this time about the fate of our defense department.

Yesterday was a fluke, but I’m back on par and raring to go. Right after this one deviation, that is:

My idiot state has named a school after the WEPotUS (Worst Ever President of the United States). So please excuse me while I go bang my head into a wall for a few minutes...

And we’re back. So let’s get right down to the recently proposed defense budget cuts.

Now, I understand that there isn’t a single area of our government that doesn’t need to be trimmed, both in terms of expenses and power.

When it comes to our military, it’s ridiculous that we have our reach in so many different countries, not to mention that with so many bureaucrats in its upper ranks, it has become far more convoluted than it needs to be. Not to mention the political shenanigans involved in most Congressional decisions concerning military spending.

However, Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ suggestion to cut costs has me wary all the same. While I am quite sure that he’s more knowledgeable on the subject than I am, knowledge doesn’t always equate to wisdom and I can’t help but be concerned as certain parts of our military face the chopping block.

The Defense Budget and What Really Needs to Be Scrapped

On the one hand, Gates correctly points out that his department “must be mindful of the difficult economic and fiscal situation facing our nation.”

However, I’m wary of an administration that is growing government by leaps and bounds except in the matter of defense.

One of the potential cuts involves the U.S. Second Fleet, which trains and certifies all strike groups before deployment. And as retired Navy Captain Joe Bouchard points out, the Pentagon’s civilian bureaucrats might not have the firmest grasp on what that decision really means:

“We don’t even want to think about the degradation of the combat readiness of those forces either to deploy overseas or to carry out their homeland defense role.”

Considering the particular issues we’re facing both here – such as in the recent kidnapping case of an 18-year old girl along the Mexican border – and abroad – nuclear Iran, anybody? – I’m inclined to agree with him.

If we’re so interested in cutting budgets, I personally think that House minority leader John Boehner has it right: We should fire Timothy Geithner and other insipid individuals on the presidential economic team.

I would take it a step further, however, in saying not to bother filling those positions with anybody else. Because I don’t see how we could be much worse off in the end.

If anything, it would be a major improvement… and we’d save a few hundred thousand dollars in the process.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Real Cost of Illegal Immigration

Like the liberal left is so fond of saying, the U.S. is a nation of immigrants.

I know that I come from Italian and Scottish heritages, whereas others can proudly claim connections to other parts of Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, Central America… and the list goes on.

Incidentally, the liberal left is also fond of claiming that our Founding Fathers were immigrants too. Like many things, however, they’re misinformed on that. Washington, Jefferson, Adams and most of their other easily recognizable compatriots were actually third or fourth generation colonial Americans. But for the purposes of this conversation, that’s a bunny trail I won’t stray any further down.

My Scottish ancestors could likely share that claim, while the Italian side stepped off the boat at Ellis Island and registered themselves.

They didn’t sneak in and claim privileges they hadn’t earned and didn’t deserve. Instead, they worked hard in order to give themselves and their children better lives. (Let’s just forget any alleged mafia ties, as those guys still came over here legally or were legal citizens in the first place, despite their penchant for less positive pursuits afterwards.)

Yet too many of us foolishly insist that everybody has the right to access this country’s wealth and hard work, regardless for their blatant lack of respect for it.

That misguided need to validate everybody poses significant risk to the people who staked their claim here the right way.

Having Nothing to Do With Illegal Immigration

As my subhead indicates, this section is a shameless switch away from the topic of illegal immigration.

There are just three fascinating new stories that caught my attention this morning, which I couldn’t work into the immigration debate no matter how hard I tried too. So I decided to list them all here in order of the “least” ridiculous to the most:

3) Philly Requiring Bloggers to Pay $300 for a Business License

As if the government doesn’t already take enough of our money in property taxes,
wage taxes and taxes through purchases, now they’re going to tax our hobbies
too? What’s next, a tax on oxygen?

2) LA Unveils $578M School, Costliest in the Nation

And we wonder why California is in such dire financial straits.

1) Brad Pitt is ‘Willing to Look at the Death Penalty’ in Bizarre Rant Against BP

There are no words to describe how stupid this man is. All I can say is that, now that he’s getting older and less pretty, he might want to consider using his brain a bit more.

Back to Illegal Immigration

Thanks for indulging my interest in such unrelated topics. Now back to illegal immigration, which is an amazingly expensive issue:

- According to a study by the University of Arizona and San Diego State University, the 24 counties along the Mexican border spent $1.23 billion from 1999 to 2006 processing illegal immigrants.

- According to the Heritage Foundation, “at the state and local level, the average low skill immigrant household received $14,145 in benefits and services and paid only $5,309 in taxes. And illegal aliens cost the state of California between $9 billion and $38 billion in public services in 2007.

- According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), illegal immigration costs federal and local taxpayers $113 billion a year.

And you want crime statistics? How about these:

- “Federal investigators believe that as much as 2.2 million kilograms of cocaine and 11.6 kilograms of marijuana were smuggled into the United States via the Mexican border in 2005.” Don’t you think that would drop significantly if we took the issue of illegal immigration a bit more seriously and actually did something about our borders?

- Duplin County Sheriff Blake Wallace (D) noted a few years back that, “There is an increasing gang activity problem… and studies have shown that the majority of those gang members are illegal aliens.” And as Forsyth County District Attorney Tom Keith (R) said, “You cannot say ‘drugs’ without saying ‘gangs’ without saying ‘illegal aliens.’”

- Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) conducts “‘Operation Predator,’ which targets foreign nationals who commit sex crimes against children. To date, more than 10,000 individuals have been arrested through this ICE initiative, resulting in more than 5,500 deportations.” That was as of 2007.

Now don’t get me wrong. As I glossed over my own heritage before, there are certainly legal citizens who commit crimes and hurt people every which way. But wouldn’t it be nice if we had more resources and money to spend on dealing with those “legal” residents?

That would happen if we cracked down on illegal immigration. And in the end, that’s what this entire issue is about. It isn’t about racism. It’s about protecting ourselves, our finances and our laws.

Like a Facebook group I belong to says: “It’s not racism stupid! You are here ILLEGALLY!”

Hopeful immigrants of all ethnic origins are more than welcome to apply. They’re just also asked to respect the U.S.

And if they don’t, then we should.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Even When They Get it Right, They Get it Wrong

The sheer idiocy of our press is astoundingly easy to spot these days.

Open up practically any AP article spouting something dumb about the “fragile economic recovery” – incidentally, if I read the words “economic recovery” one more time, I might throw my computer out the window… and since I usually see those stories while browsing the news at work, that’d probably be a bad thing – as if there even was any economic recovery to begin with.

Before you can go there, printing billions of extra dollars to fund bigger government is not a recovery no matter how you try to spin it. The government has grown since the supposed end of the Great Recession, not the U.S. itself and certainly not her average citizens.

If you’re sick of reading economic data, you can move on to pure politics, where they try their best to wave away the ridiculous amount of vacation time the Obama’s have racked up so far this summer.

Muslim or Not? Maybe the Better Question is Marxist or Not? Nah, Too Easy…

Tired of that topic too? How about their newest obsession… disproving the president’s purported Muslim religious beliefs. You can read telling headlines such as the Washington Post’s “Obama a Muslim? Rumors gain steam, defying facts,” with practically desperate lines such as:

“Nearly one in five people, or 18 percent, said they think Obama is Muslim, up from the 11 percent who said so in March 2009, according to a poll released Thursday. The proportion who correctly say he is a Christian is just 34 percent, down from 48 percent in March of last year.”

Personally, on the issue, I fall into the I-have-no-idea-category. And really, from a political perspective, I don’t really care either.

If we had an actual Muslim president who reigned in the federal government and backed out of American citizens’ everyday lives, we’d be much better off than having a supposedly Christian president who has no regard for anybody or anything but his own warped agenda.

And anyway, while I really can’t tell you whether Obama is Muslim or not, I’m much more easy saying that he isn’t a Christian. Just because you talk the talk doesn’t mean you walk the walk. And in Obama’s case, his talk consists of lying and manipulating… hardly Biblical values, no matter what the press tells you.

A Gold Star for Passion but Still a Failing Grade

The reason for this particular piece of scatter-brained insight is that I stumbled onto an article today in the Huffington Post, written by Ariana Huffington.

Gotta give the girl props on her gorgeous first name, but her parents really stiffed her in other areas like teaching her logic, insight and common sense.

She starts out the article well enough with the title: “Memo to the Middle Class: Obama is Just not that Into You.” And she’s apparently connected enough with reality to acknowledge that:

“As we head into the stretch run of the 2010 midterms, and get closer to the halfway point of President Obama's first term, we're hearing a lot of media chatter about the ‘enthusiasm gap’ plaguing Democrats. There is also a lot of talk about whether progressives – aka ‘the professional left’ – should or shouldn't be disappointed in Obama. In a post about last month's Netroots Nation gathering in Las Vegas, Matt Yglesias wrote that at this year's event, ‘the dominant mood’ was ‘depressed’ and that he could feel a ‘considerable degree of ill will toward Barack Obama and his administration.’”

Personally, I was shocked to read anything even close to that in such a liberal publication. So my first reaction was to tell her “Bravo” for breaking away from the lemming pack.

That just goes to show how first reactions can be exceedingly wrong though, because she goes on to write:

“So which side in the "disappointed/not disappointed" debate is right? And what accounts for this friction?

“Well, after two years of seeing a pattern being established, I think I have the answer. Progressives, for your own good, it's my duty to point something out to you: the president's just not that into you.

“Sure, there's no doubting the impact of all the Washington realities listed above that have made Obama's first term a huge challenge. The GOP really has become obstructionist to an unprecedented and dangerous degree. There really is a formidable right-wing attack machine that doesn't care much about the truth. The Bush administration really did leave the country in shambles.”

If Obama isn’t Progressive Enough, I’d Hate to See a Real Version

Ummm… Huh? Does she think before she writes any of this stuff down or has drinking kool-aid for too long effectively shut off the higher reasoning function of her brain?

First off, please tell me how the hell Barack Obama isn’t progressive? This is the president who rammed so-called Health Care Reform down our throats, despite the fact that nobody before could accomplish that in the U.S., largely because few people actually wanted his kind of medical hierarchy here.

Isn’t that on the progressive agenda?

This is also the president that wants to “reform” the immigration system and actually punishes legal efforts to protect our borders. I would definitely call that progressive activism there.

And he also has cap-and-trade on his agenda, though he seems to have given up on it for the time being. That scheme would cut much more than businesses’ CO2 emissions. It would also hurt their bottom line, more than likely leading to more layoffs and certainly less job creation.

Sounds pretty progressive to me.

Secondly, the GOP might be trying to obstruct Obama’s radical (a.k.a. progressive) agenda, but with too many idiots among them and outnumbered by Democrats in both the House and Senate, they really don’t have much sway. Not to mention that before Scott Brown won the Massachusetts’ Senate seat up for grabs after Ted Kennedy passed away, Democrats had a full out majority to ram whatever they wanted the way they wanted for an entire year.

In other words, Ms. Huffington, it was Democrat legislators who were obstructing progressive moves, not the GOP.

Similarly, Democrats have ruled Congress since 2006, so they certainly share a large part of the blame for the “shambles” the country was left in. George Bush might have signed a bunch of idiot laws into existence, but guess who conceived them and passed them in the first place?

Finally, yes, there really is a right-wing attack machine out there fending off the liberal agenda, though the majority of us are only asking for the truth that people like you, Ms. Huffington, are obsessed with concealing.

And guess what? As your own article blatantly states, we’re being joined by more and more from your own side who don’t like what they see either, hence the “enthusiasm gap” you and your cronies in the press have noticed.

So Ms. Huffington, while I applaud you for managing to notice a few blatant and unattractive – for you, not for anybody who both cares about this country and embraces reality – facts this time, once again, I’m sorry to say that overall, you failed.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Culture of Me, Myself and Mine

According to Breitbart.com, a Muslim woman is suing Disneyland because they won’t let her work a customer-oriented position in a headscarf.

In my ever-humble opinion, the 26-year old person in question, Imane Boudal, is a symbol of what is wrong with America. And no, not because she’s Muslim or even because she wants to cover her head.

Believe it or not, I am a firm believer in women’s right to wear a headscarf should they so choose. As a big supporter of small government, I believe that the political powers that be should butt out of what we wear and what we don’t. Sorry Sarkozy.

Though I can’t ever see myself willingly donning a veil, I can even make a pretty decent feminist argument both ways on the topic. And from a legal standpoint, she has the right to wear that on her own time.

The reason why she represents the bad side of America is her apparent obsession with herself, her viewpoint and her needs over anybody else’s… because she deserves it and because life should be fair, at least for her.

Yet what about Disney’s rights? As its own private business with its own customers to keep happy and aura to maintain, it has the right to discriminate, at least to some degree.

Workplace Discrimination

Think about it…

When I worked in the food service, I had to wear a uniform, whether it was at Bob Evans (oh the stories I could tell), Ruby Tuesdays or Panera Bread. There was some kind of dress code for each.

But what if my particular religion dictated that I not wear, let’s say, the straight-leg, medium-hued jeans I had to don at Ruby Tuesdays for a short while? Adhering to my fundamental beliefs, I showed up to work wearing a black skirt instead.

Would they have the right to let me go? I think so.

I’m actually not trying to mock Ms. Boudal with that admittedly odd hypothetical, but it still fits.

I might have personally thought that my then employer’s mandate was stupidly precise – if you want your staff to dress so specifically than fashion an actual uniform for heaven’s sake – but all the same, they had the right to enforce that rule. It was their company and they were paying me to uphold an image.

More Frivolous Lawsuits

The same goes for other frivolous lawsuits, such as the ones directed at Hooters. As much as I dislike the establishment as a classless and chauvinistic dive, because this is a free country, it has the right to ban men or “unattractive” people from taking waitress positions there.

Is that ethically right? No, but then again, neither is Hooters to begin with.

Or the case of Abercrombie & Fitch, which has been sued more than once for its own forms of discrimination. Ever notice how all of its employees are blond little babes or jocks with vacant stares and even less personality?

That’s primarily because that’s who they target, the silly, mindless pre-teens and teens who want nothing more than to conform to supposed peers’ expectations. So that’s who they want to hire: more of the same.

Last year, a girl with a prosthetic arm sued them for discrimination because management sent her to work in the back after she refused to take off her cardigan and wear the more standard tops they had all employees wear.

Or how about modeling companies? Should they be sued for only choosing people who fit their exceedingly narrow version of beauty? The NFL for only drafting guys who can handle a football? Fed Ex and UPS for demanding a certain physical requirement for their drivers? Or the U.S. Air Force for enforcing even stricter standards?

Now, some of those examples are more reasonable than others, admittedly. But they all center around discrimination in one form or another all the same, as well as the right of the employer to dictate certain rules, even unreasonable ones when it comes to personal appearance.

The Difference Between What is Right and Legal Rights

Was it right what Abercrombie did? I think that any reasonable person should be able to answer a quick no to that. But the ridiculously shallow company still had the legal right to make their silly demands all the same.

And there are other ways of handling such idiotic workplace issues than suing. The employee in question could have written to a paper, or stand outside of A&F stores telling potential customers what they did.

Hey, it’s not their property there outside of the store and she wouldn’t be on their dime. They have the right to be stupid, and she has the right to tell everybody else that they’re stupid.

More than likely, the end result would be that Abercrombie – or any other institution with the exception of Hooters and the modeling agencies – would more than likely give in to her demands in order to maintain their precious public image.

(Incidentally, I hope that is exactly what happens with the Ground Zero mosque, though it doesn’t look likely at the moment. Apparently that particular imam doesn’t care about any detrimental affects on his organization or fellow believers.)

But legally and reasonably speaking, there are more parties to consider than just her.

The same actually applies even further to such cases as Geico firing Lance Baxter after he called up the Tea Party affiliate Freedom Works and left them an insulting message. And, if this blog ever takes off and my current company let me go because of it… guess what? I wouldn’t sue them. They have an image to maintain and can choose whether or not I do that or not in this case.

Please Get Your Facts Straight Ma’am

For that matter, it wasn’t a matter of religion either, as Imane Boudal is claiming. She says that “their offer to put me in the back is humiliating. They’re saying because I’m Arab, because I’m Moroccan, because I’m Muslim, they don’t want to see me in the front.”

Actually, Ms. Boudal, you’re so obsessed with your self that you got it completely wrong. They hired you for a hostess position in the first place, which means they have no problem with your ethnicity. And they probably didn’t ask – or care – about your religious preferences either.

All they asked was that you not wear a headscarf in a particular position. So please Ms. Boudal, you and your fellow egocentric thinkers out there of all stripes, get over yourself.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Why Have You Failed Us, Barack Obama?

Why was Barack Obama elected president of the United States of America?

You could make a pretty decent argument that it was because, as a collective whole, we blatantly and wholeheartedly embraced ignorance over truth, servitude over personal responsibility, and sweet nothings whispered into our ear during a whirlwind romance over solid foundations of earned trust and understanding.

But that only explains what we did and not really why. I strongly believe that our actual motivation was the exact concept that the Obama campaign utilized so very well:

Hope.

We hoped for a savior. We craved a savior. We saw wrongs and wanted them made right, whether we created the problematic situations in the first place or not.

It’s difficult to criticize that motivation in its basest form. It is, after all, a common human craving. And in order to feed that desire, we either try to become the savior in question or we look to somebody else to do it.

It seemed that the majority of us chose the latter option in 2008.

Regardless, both more often than not fail miserably. Why? Because whether we choose ourselves or another fellow human being, something inevitably goes wrong. And sometimes, something goes very, very, very wrong.

I’m actually not trying to bring “religion” into this post, though I easily could if I wanted to. Unfortunately though, you don’t have to believe in a higher power to recognize that humans are horribly fallible. Look at any hero of the past… they all had their Achilles’ Heel and they all screwed up in some way.

Yet we too often persist in nominating ourselves or our fellow mortals as gods, such as was the case with Obama. Elevating himself to levels he had no business reaching for, he “promised” hope and change. And too many of us believed him, as evidenced by paraphernalia, votes and continuing trust across the country.

One particularly telling example I saw in a gift shop just outside of the Acadia National Park in Maine read, “It isn’t a god complex if he really does save the world.” And yes, it had a picture of Obama on it.

Much more profound, however, is what John Feal – one of the thousands who worked at The Pile leftover from the Trade Center buildings and the head of the Fealgood Foundation – recently wrote to Obama after he made his recent mosque comments:

“Why have you failed us? We thought you would be our champion.”

He thought that Obama should be concentrating on completely different matters than giving his approval or disapproval to a single building. And really, he has a point in that. But his raw words illustrate a completely different truth as well.

It’s tragically foolish to put your faith in any human being, regardless of their expressed or actual good intentions. Because they will fail you… especially if they are a politician.

Instead, maybe we should try trusting a bit less and actually checking facts a bit more.

Will we screw up from time to time ourselves? Yes, of course. We’re human too. But let’s be honest here… I’m not really sure that we can mess things up much worse than they already are or very soon about to be.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

An Inside Opinion of the Ground Zero Mosque

Since the “Ground Zero” mosque debate is ongoing and – if anything – intensifying, let’s focus on it for another day, this time from a few different viewpoints.

We already know that President Obama supports its creation… well, kind-of. We know that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid does not. And we know that 68% of Americans don’t like it either.

Oh yeah, and siding with Obama on the matter, terrorist organization Hamas chimed in on Sunday, saying, “We have to build everywhere.”

So good to know. Case closed, right? Hamas has spoken.

A more rational and respectful faction of the Muslim world, this time in Canada, however, has a different take on the issue, which I think is important to read in its entirety.

Raheel Raza, author of Their Jihad… Not my Jihad and Tarek Fatah, author of The Jew is Not My Enemy, both of whom sit on the Muslim Canadian Congress board, have the following to say on the matter:

Mischief in Manhattan

“Last week, a journalist who writes for the North Country Times, a small newspaper in Southern California, sent us an e-mail titled "Help." He couldn't understand why an Islamic Centre in an area where Adam Gadahn, Osama bin Laden's American spokesman came from, and that was home to three of the 911 terrorists, was looking to expand.

“The man has a very valid point, which leads to the ongoing debate about building a Mosque at Ground Zero in New York. When we try to understand the reasoning behind building a mosque at the epicentre of the worst-ever attack on the U.S., we wonder why its proponents don't build a monument to those who died in the attack?

“New York currently boasts at least 30 mosques so it's not as if there is pressing need to find space for worshippers. The fact we Muslims know the idea behind the Ground Zero mosque is meant to be a deliberate provocation to thumb our noses at the infidel. The proposal has been made in bad faith and in Islamic parlance, such an act is referred to as "Fitna," meaning "mischief-making" that is clearly forbidden in the Koran.

“The Koran commands Muslims to, "Be considerate when you debate with the People of the Book" -- i.e., Jews and Christians. Building an exclusive place of worship for Muslims at the place where Muslims killed thousands of New Yorkers is not being considerate or sensitive, it is undoubtedly an act of "fitna"

“So what gives Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf of the "Cordoba Initiative" and his cohorts the misplaced idea that they will increase tolerance for Muslims by brazenly displaying their own intolerance in this case?

“Do they not understand that building a mosque at Ground Zero is equivalent to permitting a Serbian Orthodox church near the killing fields of Srebrenica where 8,000 Muslim men and boys were slaughtered?

“There are many questions that we would like to ask. Questions about where the funding is coming from? If this mosque is being funded by Saudi sources, then it is an even bigger slap in the face of Americans, as nine of the jihadis in the Twin Tower calamity were Saudis.

“If Rauf is serious about building bridges, then he could have dedicated space in this so-called community centre to a church and synagogue, but he did not. We passed on this message to him through a mutual Saudi friend, but received no answer. He could have proposed a memorial to the 9/11 dead with a denouncement of the doctrine of armed jihad, but he chose not to.

“It's a repugnant thought that $100 million would be brought into the United States rather than be directed at dying and needy Muslims in Darfur or Pakistan.

“Let's not forget that a mosque is an exclusive place of worship for Muslims and not an inviting community centre. Most Americans are wary of mosques due to the hard core rhetoric that is used in pulpits. And rightly so. As Muslims we are dismayed that our co-religionists have such little consideration for their fellow citizens and wish to rub salt in their wounds and pretend they are applying a balm to sooth the pain.

“The Koran implores Muslims to speak the truth, even if it hurts the one who utters the truth. Today we speak the truth, knowing very well Muslims have forgotten this crucial injunction from Allah.

“If this mosque does get built, it will forever be a lightning rod for those who have little room for Muslims or Islam in the U.S. We simply cannot understand why on Earth the traditional leadership of America's Muslims would not realize their folly and back out in an act of goodwill.

“As for those teary-eyed, bleeding-heart liberals such as New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and much of the media, who are blind to the Islamist agenda in North America, we understand their goodwill.

“Unfortunately for us, their stand is based on ignorance and guilt, and they will never in their lives have to face the tyranny of Islamism that targets, kills and maims Muslims worldwide, and is using liberalism itself to destroy liberal secular democratic societies from within.”


Well said!

(Incidentally, if you’re looking for further mental ammo against building the mosque against “teary-eyed, bleeding-heart liberals,” then check out this last story about the difficulties the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church is having rebuilding their place of worship while just a few blocks away, the mosque is getting the go-ahead.)

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Controversial Muslim Mosque And President Obama’s Sudden Enthrallment With our “Founding Principles”

You may or may not have heard about the Muslim Mosque they’re trying to build two blocks away from where the World Trade Center towers used to stand… before Muslim extremists flew two hijacked, passenger-filled jetliners right into them on September 11, 2001.

With that history – and more recent evens, such as this year’s attempted Times Square bombing – still relatively fresh in America’s history, there are understandably some people who aren’t very happy with the proposal. Of them, I believe that House Minority Leader John Boehner presented one of the clearest arguments so far, counteracting many liberal counterpoints in the process:

“The fact that someone has the right to do something doesn’t necessarily make it the right thing to do. That is the essence of tolerance, peace and understanding.”

President Obama, however, doesn’t seem to have any understanding about peace and understanding. Either that or he just doesn’t care, because he used this past weekend to voice his own opinion in favor of the mosque.

And to justify that opinion, he cited the right to religious freedom and "the writ of our Founders."

But that’s rather ironic considering that Obama hasn’t seemed to care about any of our other founding principles or writings up until now.

President Obama’s First Blatant Disregard for our Founding Principles

After all, this is the same man who literally campaigned in Europe during the 2008 elections, despite the Founding Fathers’ deepest and obvious wishes to stay far away from that continent’s influence.

Need proof?

How about the fact that in 1793, President George Washington issued the Neutrality Proclamation, which banned the United States from taking part in foreign affairs such as the ongoing conflict between France and Britain at the time.

Or how about the Monroe Doctrine, issued by President James Monroe in 1823, which argued that the U.S.’s government was so different from the standard European form, that America should steer clear of their political machinations. Incidentally, he also urged Europe to butt out of our business as well.

In fact, the Founding Fathers regarded European politics with such wariness that Woodrow Wilson was the first active president to visit the continent in 1919.

A Second Example of the Same

President Obama also overstepped his constitutionally mandated boundaries and this country’s founding principles by trampling all over States rights in both the case of the Arizona immigration law and the drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Founding Fathers had a few things to say about that issue too…

“I expressly say that Congress is not a representative body but a diplomatic body, a collection of ambassadors from thirteen sovereign States.”
- John Adams

“I am for preserving of the States the powers not yielded by them to the Union its constitutional share in the division of powers; and I am not for transferring all the powers of the States to the General Government, and all those of that government to the executive branch.”
- Thomas Jefferson

“The states can never lose their powers till the whole people of America are robbed of their liberties. These must go together; they must support each other, or meet one common fate.”
- Alexander Hamilton

Incidentally, two of the three founding fathers quoted above (Adams and Hamilton) were actually part of the “big government” party of their day, yet they still saw states’ rights as unquestionably important.

A Final Point on the Subject

I shouldn’t even have to mention our Founding Father’s view on debt and federal spending, or contrast that with our president day president’s carefree attitude towards money, which much closer resembles a rich frat boy on a drinking binge than a responsible president.

Yet, just in case some people really don’t know, let me quickly point out that President James Madison and President James Monrow vetoed legislation that would have used federal money towards even infrastructure such as roads because they saw that as overstepping the federal government’s bounds.

So it isn’t a stretch to imagine that they would be wholly against spending tax payer money on bailing out banks and giving financial favors to political cronies in the form of $787 billion stimulus packages like Obama has.

Friday, August 13, 2010

… And if You Look to the Left, You’ll Find Rabid Hatred

Every American should know about Jeremiah Wright by now, President Barack Obama’s former pastor who said that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were simply “America’s chickens… coming home to roost.”

If you care to, you can watch the larger segment of that particular sermon here, though it’s honestly a waste of time. Fox News may have just focused on just the one line, but it is in essence the very thesis of Wright’s ramblings.

In his mind, we stole land from the Native Americans, we enslaved Africans, we forced our will on Muslim countries and used them as pawn pieces to accomplish our own agenda… and therefore we deserve exactly what we got: planes ramming through our buildings and thousands of civilian lives cut lost.

Jeremiah Wright would have us all forget all of the good that this country has also done: the men and women who fought against slavery tooth and nail through both legislative attempts and by means such as the underground railroad; those members of our armed forces who sacrificed their lives to help completely unrelated people in World War II; the regular, ordinary citizens today who gave above and beyond from their own pockets to relief efforts in Haiti; and countless others throughout our history and today that simply think of others as they go about their daily lives.

Jeremiah Wright would also have us discount the horrors and atrocities committed by every other nation that has ever existed on this earth. If the U.S. deserves to be attacked, then so does everybody else. In fact, we might as well just nuke ourselves and be done with it.

Put in that way, Jeremiah Wright’s argument looks even more deranged.

Many people like to believe that he’s just a fringe-radical, a voice that isn’t represented at all in our mainstream American politics or ideologies. But that voice of hate isn’t nearly as isolated as you may think.

That fact came to a much-muted highlight with the plane crash in Alaska that took the lives of five people on Monday, including that of former Senator Ted Stevens.

They Want Her Dead

In response to the tragedy, two politicians posted the following comments on Facebook:

“[A] dead Palin would wd be even more dangerous than a live one… [she] is all about her myth & if she was dead she cdn’t commit any more gaffes.”
- Rep. Timothy Horrigan (D)

“Just wish Sarah and Levy were on board [the crashed plane].”
- Democrat House Candidate, Keith Halloran

Both men tried to backtrack of course after people started complaining, and Horrigan even resigned. But it doesn’t change the fact that they held those views strongly enough to publish them, even if it was just on Facebook.

Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley said of Horrigan, “His comments were innappropriate and do not reflect the views of the New Hampshire Democratic Party. As an elected official, this type of rhetoric is out of line.”

I agree that it’s out of line, but I’m not really convinced it doesn’t “reflect the views” of liberals in general. I had my own Facebook altercation recently with a friend of a friend who suggested stuffing the gushing oil well in the Gulf of Mexico with Sarah Palin.

(Incidentally, I also saw another friend’s Facebook conversation likening Palin to a schoolyard bully, which I found highly amusing.)

I also have a friend who honestly agrees with Reverand Wright’s comments that America got what it deserved on September 11, 2001. She seems to adopt Michelle Obama’s philosophy that the U.S. is “just downright mean” and to my knowledge, has never found a negative critique of her homeland that she doesn’t agree with.

For that matter, so does her husband, though he might not count in this discussion, considering that he’s Canadian.

Regardless – and sadly – no, I think that both Democrats actually expressed exactly what the liberal machine is really about… and it isn’t anything good.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hats Off to the Brits in a Backhanded and Convoluted Kind Of Way

First, I was going to write about illegal immigration today, but realized I left my notes on my dining room table. So I can’t really do the topic the justice it deserves. Maybe tomorrow… if I remember then.

With illegal immigration a non-possibility, I next thought of Iran. After all, that land of oppression made the news several times over this week, including national security advisor General James Jones’ recent statement that his boss might be about ready to meet with Iranian dictator (That wasn’t a typo; the man hardly deserves the title of president.) Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

But I skipped that one too, largely because it was just too darn easy. I can sum it up in just one equation:

Entering into open negotiations with Iran, with its current Holocaust denying, woman murdering, western world hating, freedom crushing regime that just recently said it had dug mass graves for U.S. troops = Really Stupid Idea.

Sorry to be blunt, but sometimes you just gotta call a spade a spade. And Iran is quite literally the death card. End of story and moving on…

Another Bunny Trail

As if two failed blog post ideas wasn’t enough, I next really started considering Steven Slater, the overnight celebrity who quit his Jet Blue job in a very showy manner just a few days ago.

Honestly, I get it. I was a waitress for six years, so I know very well how dealing with the public face to face can be aggravating to the extreme. I understand being so frustrated with your job that you just want to make a scene and quit.

But mature people don’t make a scene and quit. Oh, they quit sometimes. And sometimes they air their grievances with the company in creative and attention grabbing ways, but they don’t endanger and inconvenience thousands of other people in the process.

And believe me, in breaching airport protocol in the manner that he did, Steven Slater deserves the charges of “reckless endangerment, criminal mischief and criminal trespass” that he got slammed with.

Yet, for some ridiculous reason, he’s being hailed as a hero? I think that says a lot about our society… and not much of it is good.

The Real Point of this Blog

However, even Steven Slater doesn’t win out for the real point of today’s post, though he comes in a close second and I even had to delete a few lines I wrote about him before stumbling onto this next topic:

Snarky No More: UK Issues Olympics Etiquette Guide

Does it have anything to do with U.S. politics? Probably not even if I spent an hour or two trying to make that connection. But for anybody who has actually visited the UK or lived there for even just a semester like I did, this is hysterical!
Disclaimer: I love the UK and would go back to it in a heartbeat if I could, despite:

- Its citizens propensity to tell you exactly what is wrong with your country… even though you didn’t ask and just met them 20 minutes ago

- Obnoxious women (two that come instantly to my mind) who take the seat you’re trying to save for your friend who just went to the toilet for a minute, and then – when you politely tell them that that you’re saving it for your friend who just went to the toilet a minute ago – they basically tell you to push off

- Its citizens propensity to tell you exactly what is wrong with your country… even when they’re visiting here (Try that in Detroit with those delightfully proper accents. Please.)

- Very grabby hands off the dance floor

- Its citizens propensity to think that all Americans are idiots who don’t know that Scotts traditionally wore kilts and that we fought the Revolutionary War against England under King George III

- One particular citizen, who shall remain nameless :-p

Fortunately for you Brits though, your accents make up for that multitude of sins!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Deeper Look at the Market Moves Today

Stocks are dropping rather badly so far today, with the Dow down almost 200 points.

Who knows if they’ll stay down – the U.S. markets seem amazingly optimistic once again, despite a total lack of positive changes to any of our problems – but right now, investors are apparently panicking at something they should have already known:

The United States is broke.

People are only taking note of this rather obvious fact because of the Fed’s remarks that the recovery “has slowed in recent months.” Even more noteworthy, the organization is putting its money where its mouth is, announcing yesterday that it will start buying government bonds in order to cut interest rates further.

That isn’t something healthy economies normally worry about.

The Nasty Truth

So why are we broke?

I touched on a few examples back on Tuesday, August 3rd, but today’s headlines offer a few more examples that I think are important to note. In fact, I would strongly recommend you read the entirety of Laurence Kotlikoff’s Bloomberg article, “U.S. is Bankrupt and We Don’t Even Know It.” It gets rather technical a few times, but it’s well worth wading through the financial know-how to reach the main point.

Let me quote a little bit right here though, for those of you who honestly just don’t have the time:

“How can the fiscal gap be so enormous?

“Simple. We have 78 million baby boomers who, when fully retired, will collect benefits from Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid that, on average, exceed per-capita GDP. The annual costs of these entitlements will total about $4 trillion in today’s dollars. Yes, our economy will be bigger in 20 years, but not big enough to handle this size load year after year.

“This is what happens when you run a massive Ponzi scheme for six decades straight, taking ever larger resources from the young and giving them to the old while promising the young their eventual turn at passing the generational buck.

“Herb Stein, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under U.S. President Richard Nixon, coined an oft-repeated phrase: “Something that can’t go on, will stop.” True enough. Uncle Sam’s Ponzi scheme will stop. But it will stop too late.

“And it will stop in a very nasty manner. The first possibility is massive benefit cuts visited on the baby boomers in retirement. The second is astronomical tax increases that leave the young with little incentive to work and save. And the third is the government simply printing vast quantities of money to cover its bills.”


Why Do We Support The United Nations?

I wholeheartedly agree that services such as Social Security were always a bad idea and seem to be just about ready to really bite us… and bite us hard. But I’d also like to point out another expense that we stupidly persist in maintaining:

The United Nations.

The spendthrift (For those English language buffs who know the word has a dual meaning, consider it a negative term this time.) organization is considering the benefits of eating bugs over more “traditional” meat. By switching western diets in that way, it claims, greenhouse emissions would be cut significantly.

No, that’s sadly not a joke. And yet we give them money – lots and lots of money – to fund such ridiculous research. That expenditure is almost as gross as the thought of eating grubs, and not nearly as healthy.

Unfortunately, I have a very bad feeling that our overall debt will taste much, much worse in the end.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Mr. President, Drive Isn’t Always the Right Gear to Choose

Our eloquent president made an extremely clever analogy last week at a Democratic National Committee event in Atlanta last week according to the LA Times:

“When you get in your car, when you go forward, what do you do? You put it in D. When you want to go back, what do you do? You put it in R.”

In other words, voting Republican will take us back while voting Democrat will take us forward.

Clever. Right? Right?

But it might have been a bit too clever for his own good. Because sometimes, going backwards is actually the proper thing to do. A few examples:

• When you’ve just hit a dead end
• When you’re parked in your driveway and don’t want to ram right into your house
• When you’re leaving the grocery store and didn’t get a pull through

On that last one, my younger sister serves as an excellent recent example of why forcing your car forward isn’t always such a great thing…

Leaving church one Sunday morning, she and her friend didn’t want to have to wait in the slow moving line to exit the parking lot. Seeing an opportunity to avoid the long and annoying wait, her friend urged her to simply drive forward across the stretch of grass separating them from the road. Deciding that was an excellent idea, Ellie shifted her car into “D” and put her foot on the gas.

They didn’t realize that there was a concrete median there until her front wheels had cleared it and the car’s undercarriage was shrieking in protest. Fortunately, she was able to put it into reverse – the intelligent move to make in the first place, mind you – and move the car back onto the safe asphalt of the parking lot, but Ellie confesses that she was very concerned for a few minutes that they would need assistance from their fellow church goers… who were all busy staring at them like they were idiots (which, no offense lil’ sis, but in this instance, you kinda were).

Incidentally, I used this story with her permission, so I’m sure that she would be perfectly fine sharing its moral – that forward isn’t always a good direction to go – with our president.

To take Obama’s comparison further, you probably want to put your agenda in reverse when unemployment under the previous administration never topped 8% and yet in the two years since, it’s hit double digits.

Going back doesn’t sound like a bad idea when Bush, even with his two wars and his “compassionate conservatism” – which included signing a ridiculous amount of pork – never projected the $1.6 trillion deficit that Obama wants to head towards this year.

And when the U.S. government blatantly doesn’t listen to its own people anymore on subjects such as national health care, immigration and federal spending, we were better off before.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Maybe We Should Change Our Name

Apparently, we don’t live in the United States of America anymore.


We’ve had very strong hints of that before with the illegal immigration debate and the liberal tendency to put the needs of outsiders above the good of citizens. And newly sworn in Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan – supported fully by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg – thinks it’s a great idea to look outside of the U.S. “when seeking solutions for trying questions” to court cases.


In other words, they think that the American judicial system should consider legal precedence from other nations.


That’s all very disturbing, but as a woman, I think that the following example is much, much worse. I believe that New Jersey Judge Joseph Charles opened the U.S. to a flat-out revolting amount of negative foreign influence last year.


In June 2009, he denied an immigrated Moroccan woman her request for a restraining order against her Muslim ex-husband who allegedly:


“forced [the] plaintiff to have sex with him while she cried. Plaintiff testified that defendant always told her ‘this is according to our religion. You are my wife, I c[an] do anything to you. The woman, she should submit and do anything I ask her to do.’”


Charles seemed to have no problem with her account of abuse. In fact, he admitted that the evidence was strongly in her favor. However, he ruled that the defendant, her deranged and disgusting ex-husband, “was operating under his belief that… as the husband, his desire to have sex when and whether he wanted to, was something that was consistent with his practices and it was something that was not prohibited.”


Really?


Seriously?


Unfortunately, he was, as the case had to be taken to a higher authority in order for common sense and decency to prevail. Fortunately, New Jersey’s Appellate Court overruled his sorry excuse for justice last month. But the fact still remains that an educated and licensed American “professional” deliberately looked outside of U.S. law in order to render a legal verdict.


Just for the record, I’m not trying to downplay or ignore the Muslim factor here. I don’t hold to the PC standards of ignoring when somebody commits a crime in the name of Islam. In fact, I think it is very important to take such factors into consideration considering the alarming number of cases that do involve Muslims forcing their will on others in the name of their religion.


However, I have never read the Koran. I haven’t studied it to any extent. So I can’t say whether or not it actually does condone or support misogynistic tendencies or murdering infidels.


What I do know, however, is that the Declaration of Independence was written to reinforce “certain unalienable Rights” including citizens' “Life, Liberty and… pursuit of Happiness” as “endowed by their Creator.” There are no clauses in the historic document that say “except in the case of Muslims wanting to rape their wives.”


I also know that the 13th amendment of the United States Constitution declares that “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude… shall exist within the United States.” I would say that includes treating one's wife as property instead of as a human being.


I also know that rape in any form is on the U.S. legal records as being a 100%, flat-out, criminal violation.


We’re in the United States of America, so how about our guests, citizens, judges and leaders learn to abide by our own rules.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The 2010 Census, Government-Run Businesses and a Little Girl’s Lemonade Stand

Every morning at work, I scan the news for a decent hour or so. (It pertains to my job. Really.)

Now with my renewed commitment to Words From The Right, when I’m reading articles, I do so with an eye for any particularly noteworthy topics to touch on. That seemingly simple task is actually a headache simple because there’s just too much going on!

For instance, I already knew what I wanted to talk about today when I was scanning headlines yesterday.

Yet how can I ignore the Washington Times’ report that Social Security is officially in the red… Bloomberg’s story about Fannie Mae requesting an additional $1.5 billion after making much less than nothing 12 quarters in a row… Reuter’s unhappy news of the taxpayer funded U.S. Postal Service losing $3.5 billion in a single quarter…

Or the poor little 7-year old whose lemonade stand got shut down because she didn’t have a business license?

(Yes, that last one deserves its own line all by itself.)

Fortunately, I can tie every single one of those stories together with one of my own…

My Own Story

Last night, I was sitting on my couch, happily scarfing down my dinner (which consisted purely of chocolate chip cookies. No judgments please; I’m enjoying my 20-something metabolism while I still can) and watching an old episode of Bones when my doorbell rang.

I grudgingly set aside my nutritious meal and walked down the stairs to find a census worker at my door. Again. I already had one bug me two months ago.

I have no idea why both times they’ve had to talk to me. Perhaps it’s because of the snarky letter I sent in with my census form (well before the April 1 deadline, might I add). Or maybe my neighbor below me in the renovated house we both rent is just smarter than me and doesn’t answer the door when they ring.

Who knows.

Regardless, the lady I opened my door to yesterday was much more pleasant than her predecessor, who condescendingly insisted that my house must have been a 3-family residency at some point because her government records showed it as such.

(That time, I tried pointing out that there’s really no way more than two families could reasonably share the space, but since it did no good in her mind, I gave her my name and phone number and let her leave without launching into a tirade about my thoughts of her “government information.”)

This new woman told me that her records showed that my house is a mere one family house, completely contradicting the previous census worker’s story. When I brought this up, she tiredly told me that she only knew what the government had provided her with.

The Point of My Own Story

Assuming that neither woman was lying or mistaken, that means the government had two completely contradictory records of a single home. How? No idea and it doesn’t really matter. The main point is that it screwed up.

It also obviously screwed up quite badly with the post office, despite its repeated attempts at raising revenue through stamp price hikes. For that matter, it can’t manage social security – nobody in my generation really expects to ever see a dime of that money anyway. It’s a great big Ponzi scheme, a giant black hole that we throw a bit of our earnings into every paycheck – and it made a huge mistake in ever pretending that Fannie Mae was a good institution to back.

Yet this is the same incompetent, unprofessional, expansive government that thinks it has the right to tell a little 7-year old that she can’t run her lemonade stand?

Clearly, it has the business track record to talk. Or not.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Larger Implications of Michelle Obama in Spain

Honestly, I could care less about where First Lady Michelle Obama vacations.

So when I clicked on the Drudge Report headline this morning, which read, “Michelle Obama ‘modern-day Marie Antoinette’… Strolls Marbella after State Dept. ‘racist’ Spaniards gaffe…” I was much more interested in Marie than Michelle.

The article itself, written by Andrea Tantaros for the New York Daily News, does offer accurate criticism of our First Lady’s holiday abroad. She notes how the president has lectured the American people about making sacrifices but then ignore “their own advice.”

Tantaros writes:

“While many of us are struggling, the First Lady is spending the next few days in a five-star hotel on the chic Costa del Sol in southern Spain with 40 of her ‘closest friends.’ According to CNN, the group is expected to occupy 60 to 70 rooms, more than a third of the lodgings at the 160-room resort. Not exactly what one would call cutting back in troubled times.”

As usual, there are multiple ways I could criticize the Obama’s actions. But that would take far too long to write about and I know that neither of us has that kind of time. So for now, with all due respect to Ms. Tantaros’ insights and commentary, let’s forget about the hypocrisy of lecturing everybody about frugality while living anything but.

And for the sake of this post, let’s not even entertain thoughts of the tax-payer dollars needed to room, board and transportation for “the estimated 70 Secret Service agents who will flank the material girl.”

Instead, what really struck me as I read the article was the differences in how the American public and press treated Tony Hayward, BP’s disgraced former CEO and how we’re treating the Obamas.

There are actually some very good reasons to compare the two. After all…

Tony Hayward didn’t personally cause the BP oil spill, though he may very well have ignored warning signs that the machinery used on the Deepwater Horizon well wasn’t as stable as it should be. But as CEO, he was in charge of it nonetheless and it was his responsibility to fix the problem to the best of his abilities.

Barack Obama didn’t personally cause the U.S. economy to sink; that was a mix of three things:

· Idiot government members that encouraged people to buy large expenditures – such
as houses – when they had no business doing so, all in the name of fairness

· Idiot businesses – such as banks – that allowed the idiot government to bully them
into doing very stupid and shady things (Yes, those loans were pushed heavily by
the government’s strong attachment to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, both of which
are broke and getting broker.)

· Idiot consumers who literally bought into the whole scam instead of reading the
fine print and actually using their brains before they acted

Of course, you can argue that Obama’s recorded opinions of “spreading the wealth” directly contributed to the whole mess. But there were far too many people who plunged the U.S. and western economies into recession to just blame one man.

Nevertheless, our current president does still hold the reigns on the man-made disaster now, and it’s his responsibility to fix the problem to the best of his abilities… preferably by actually taking note of what the Constitution says (i.e. Stop meddling where he has no businesses meddling and let the economy right itself, which it can if just given the chance).

Tony Hayward complied with government demands at every turn. Yes, he went off on his yacht to watch boat races with his family. But he also set aside $32.2 billion of company funds to make restitution, clean up the mess and do whatever else he was told needed to be done. It isn’t as if he balked at taking responsibility in any way that I read about.

And what did he get? Fired. Albeit with a very generous settlement. Think he can use that money to buy a new reputation? Probably not anytime soon, if ever.

(Incidentally, they’re now having difficulty finding any oil in the Gulf.)

Barack Obama abused the crisis at every turn. In between golfing trips, dates in New York City, and jaunts up to Maine, he used it to promise the American people that employment would not go above 8.0% if we only allowed him to pass $787 worth of pork in the 2009 stimulus bill… which doled out taxpayer money to pet liberal projects such as the National Endowment for the Arts and wildlife conservation in Nancy Pelosi-controlled areas of California.

He promised the American people that our federal debt would skyrocket even higher if we only allowed him to have his way on the healthcare bill… yet now it seems as if the whole kit and caboodle will cost us far more than we can afford.

And he promised the American people that he wouldn’t raise taxes on the middle class… but is about to let the Bush tax cuts expire – and mark my words, those will affect the middle class – and slips in tanning and other taxes into our lives on the side.

(Incidentally, they’re having difficulty finding any economic recovery in the U.S.)

Maybe we should fire him too.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Thank You Mr. President

Electing Barack Hussein Obama (mmm… mmm… mmm…) may have actually been a very good thing.

Before you start taking my shoe size and mixing the cement, let me explain…

You see, if we had elected McCain in all of his bipartisan glory, we would have continued down the same, slow slide into ruin that we’ve been on for decades, if not a decent century or longer.

Really think about it for a moment.

The government has angled its way into our lives a bit more and more for some time now. You can blame the Bush administration, the Clinton administration, the senior Bush administration, Jimmy Carter (Yes, I skipped Ronald Reagan, though I’m sure somebody somewhere could make a legitimate case that he was guilty on certain counts as well.), FDR and beyond.

And with few protests, we’ve let them.

Why?

In part it’s because we’re much more concerned with our immediate lives. But it also comes down to the fact that progressives on both sides of the political aisle were smart enough to do it slowly, whittling away at our freedoms a smidgen here and an inch over there. It was a gradual, stealth attack instead of a full force power grab.

Until now, that is. With Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid firmly by his side, President Obama has openly displayed an ardent agenda comprised largely of spitting on the U.S. Constitution and saying “nana nana na na.”

In fact, he’s being so obvious that many (though sadly not all) people are taking notice and actually doing something about it. They’re sending in letters, they’re going to rallies, they’re attending town hall meetings and they’re making their voices heard in exactly the way they should have been for the past 30, 70 or 100+ years now.

For instance, Missouri voters told the government to butt out of their health insurance decisions yesterday. In strong numbers – especially for a mid-term year – voters showed up to cast their vote for Proposition C, among other things.

That proposition asked Missouri citizens a simple question: Do they want federal bureaucracies to mandate purchasing health insurance? With most of the vote counted, constituents said “Hell no!” by nearly 3 to 1.

Stltoday.com – which advertises itself as “the #1 St. Louis website – reports Senator Jane Cunningham (R), who helped sponsor the legislation, as saying that she’d never seen anything like it. “Citizens wanted their voices to be heard,” she concluded.

Arizona, Florida and Oklahoma ballots will feature a similar vote in November. Yes, the ever-expanding federal authorities will more than likely do their best to overturn the decision, but the fight is officially on, and they at least know now that the people they represent won’t just lie there and take it anymore.

We’re not slaves, we’re not children and we’re not toys. And we’re finally standing up and demanding that we receive the respect and consideration that we deserve.

We are the Constitutionally mandated “People” and we’re saying enough is enough. (Sorry Andy.)

In the end, we really have Obama to thank for that.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Why Are We In Debt

Why are we in debt as a nation?

At the risk of being offensively blunt, it’s because we’re apparently a bunch of morons. It’s because our governments – federal, state and local – are either incompetent or unethical, and we the people are largely purposely unaware of what’s been going on.

It isn’t as if we haven’t known that our cities, states and country have been poorly misusing their authority and our money; we’ve had ample proof of that at ever level. And yet it was more convenient for us to turn a blind eye to such ridiculous expenditures as:

· Baltimore, Maryland’s former Mayor Sheila Dixon, who was eventually charged
with two counts of fraudulent misappropriation, two counts of felony theft and one
count of misconduct in office. She was convicted of one count of fraudulent
misappropriation, involving the personal use of $630 worth of gift cards.

· Bell, California’s $100,000 annual salary for four part time council members. The
city manager, meanwhile, made $800,000 a year.

· Pennsylvania’s insistence on awarding PENNDOT contracts to the lowest bidder,
which consistently ends up being the same company that then raises its bill and
its timeline repeatedly throughout the job.

· The United States’ allocation of $71,623 “stimulus” funds to the Wake Forest
University Baptist Medical Center for its “Monkeys Getting High for Science” study.

· The United States Defense Department’s “inability” to account for $8.7 billion of
the $9.1 billion
allocated to reconstructing Iraq.

Now those example – especially the first – may seem inconsequential considering the scale of our national debt and deficit. But every little bit counts, when it comes down to it. Ms. Dixon was only caught misusing $630. But that hardly means that’s all she took.

Let’s face it: The more power we give to people, the more likely they’re going to misuse it. Ultimate power corrupts ultimately and all that. Hence the reason why you’re out anywhere from $15 to $4,859 depending on what state you live in, and$42,000 - $119,000 on the national level depending on whether you’re a taxpayer or not.

That’s why the Founding Fathers – even most of those who adopted the Federalist label and championed a stronger central government – were so ardent about keeping government out of people’s lives overall… because they were smart enough to know what could happen otherwise.

It’s time that we wise up too.