Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Normally, I’d be fine with “leaders” who make declarations demonstrating their unfitness for office, but we aren’t living in “normal”, and haven’t been for sometime now.   Now, when it happens, it is as much an indictment of us as it is of the one doing the declaring.

The latest example?  Jeb Bush.

From this piece in Breitbart:

“I’m going to say this and it will be on tape, and so be it. The way I look at this is someone who comes to our country because they couldn’t come legally, they come to our country because their family’s dad who loves their children was worried that their children didn’t have food on the table, and they wanted to make sure their family was intact. And they crossed the border because they had no other means to work to be able to provide for their family. Yes, they broke the law, but it’s not a felony. it’s kind of — it’s a — it’s an act of love. It’s an act of commitment to your family. I honestly think that’s a different kind of crime that should be, there should be a price paid, but it shouldn’t be — it shouldn’t rile people up that people are actually coming to this country to provide for their families. And the idea that we’re not going to fix this but with with comprehensive reform ends up trapping these people, when they could make a great contribution for their own their families but also for us.

So I think we need to get beyond the harsh political rhetoric to a better place. The great number of people who come to this country come because they have no opportunities in other places. They may love their country, but they come here because they want to provide for their families. And they can make a contribution to our country if we actually organized ourselves in a better way.”

Jeb is fully infected with the politician’s disease…that horrible malady which declares that there can be no limit on generosity and compassion, when rendering both with other people’s money.

Jeb sees future voters, and is willing to look past their willingness to break our laws, and take what a select few profit from offering.    And “an act of love”?  Really?  “I love you so much I’ll break another nation’s laws in order to take from that country and society as much as I can for you.  I love you so much that I’ll risk the separation of our family.” is not an expression of love that is cognizable to those familiar with the concept.   But then I don’t believe that breaking the law to come here sets a good example for my family anyway.

And “They may love their country, but they come here because they want to provide for their families.” is a line that should forever shame this man.  I love my family, and I love my country.  That’s why I live here.  And Jeb should love his countrymen and his country enough to understand why borders matter.  Why immigration matters.  And why the integrity of both matters.   And I’m ashamed that anyone even being discussed as a future Presidential candidate refuses to see this as a cultural and a national security imperative.  The fact that he’s a Bush in a post-9/11 world only makes this that much more problematic.

Read Full Post »

So I got a letter from my friends at the Census Bureau.

Frankly, after my last phone conversation with them, I’m shocked.  But after reading the letter, I’m appalled.  The Census Bureau’s dedication to finding more ways for my government to spend other people’s money buying votes is almost…heroic.  But I’m getting very tired of the idea that I should be an unpaid information gatherer who needs to cheerfully and dutifully provide to them information that can be used to aid identity theft AND target us for more government “dedication”, and that their assurances that our information will be kept confidential and not be misused should be trusted.  In the immortal words of Brother Theo, “I can only assume someone has been spray painting “IDIOT” on my forehead again.”

Dear Resident:

Recently, a U.S. Census Bureau telephone interviewer contacted your household on behalf of the American Community Survey (ACS).  The Census Bureau is conducting this survey under the authority of Title 13, Section 141, 193, 221, of the United States Code, and response to this survey is required by law.  I understand that you have some concerns about participating in this survey, but your household’s participation is important to the success of this survey.

The American Community Survey contains questions about your household characteristics including such topics as education, employment, and housing.  The primary goal of this survey is to provide the information each year about the social, economic, and housing characteristics of the United States.  Your participation helps provide the information needed by your community, county, state, and nation to plan and fund programs at all levels.  The ACS will provide detailed information updated every year.  Before the ACS, such information was only available from the census which is done every 10 years.

We want to emphasize that any information that you give to our interviewer will be kept confidential.  By law, the Census Bureau cannot publish or release to anyone any information that would identify you or your household (Title 13, Section 9).  The information you can provide can be used only for statistical purposes.

We hope that you participate in this survey to help us improve the information that you and others provide about your community.  If you have any questions, call us at 1-888-817-2153.  We will be pleased to help you.


James B. Treat

Chief, American Community Survey Office

Let’s brake it down, shall we?

Dear Resident:

Recently, a U.S. Census Bureau telephone interviewer contacted your household on behalf of the American Community Survey (ACS).

More than one, actually.  I made the mistake of being polite to the first one.  As the second one learned, I am not amused by unwarranted intrusions on my privacy and my time.

The Census Bureau is conducting this survey under the authority of Title 12, Section 141193221, of the United States Code, and response to this survey is required by law.  I understand that you have some concerns about participating in this survey, but your household’s participation is important to the success of this survey.

1.  I’m tired of the passive-aggressive bullshit.  Seriously, you set the wrong tone sending an attorney a fat envelope with the words “YOUR RESPONSE IS REQUIRED BY LAW” on the outside.  And the “Pretty please, participate please?” offered in the same sentence as a reminder that my response is required by law isn’t convincing, it is embarrassing, as I try to keep from laughing out loud at this hamfisted approach.  Knock it off.

2.  I have a law degree.  Continuing to tell me that 13 USC 141, 193, and 221 “gives you the authority” to seize my time, and make me an unpaid gatherer of information that you have no authority to demand of me isn’t very convincing.   You are empowered to ask questions that would tend to aid in the apportionment of Congressional representation.  Nowhere in the three sections you cite are you granted authority to ask me about my education level, my employer, my wages, my commute, my residence and the amenities in it, or the health of the people who live under my roof.  These have as much to do with Congressional apportionment as a goldfish has to do with a delivery truck, and even if the authority to ask such things was clearly spelled out, which it is not, I’m not some vassal or serf to be bullied into coughing up my papers, and letting you know what goes on behind my closed doors simply because Congress wants to know.  Perhaps you have heard of the penumbras and emminations of privacy rights in the Constitution, at least those not specifically enumerated in the Bill of Rights?  If “privacy” means enough that a woman can hire a doctor to snuff her child in utero, then it certainly would permit me to tell a nosy government that still works for me to go pound sand when it starts asking me to spend significant amounts of my time sharing information with it which is none of its business.

3.  I don’t “have some concerns about participating in this survey” (did you learn condescension on our dime as well?) ; I DON’T TRUST YOU.  I read the pretty pamphlet you included with the survey, which outlined how your employees are prohibited by law from disclosing or misusing my confidential information.  It might have even been reassuring, had I not been paying attention to recent news, but given the fact that the IRS is subject to laws and regulations more specific and strict regarding the treatment of citizens’ personal data, and the late revelations demonstrating that IRS employees weren’t deterred one whit by these laws and regulations, you’ll just have to understand that we both know I’d have to be three days dead to trust your agency with that data.  No thank you.

The American Community Survey contains questions about your household characteristics including such topics as education, employment, and housing.  The primary goal of this survey is to provide the information each year about the social, economic, and housing characteristics of the United States.  Your participation helps provide the information needed by your community, county, state, and nation to plan and fund programs at all levels.  The ACS will provide detailed information updated every year.  Before the ACS, such information was only available from the census which is done every 10 years.

1.  Those household characteristics are as related to the topic of the census as a goldfish is related to a delivery truck.

2.  So, as I correctly discerned from the outset, the purpose of this survey is to get information that will allow our elected officials to go shopping with our money and buy votes.

3.  Every year?  I definitely didn’t see the authority to conduct a survey annually in 13 USC 141.  In fact, it was very specific about surveys in addition to the decennial census, but it did NOT authorize the taking of a survey annually.

We want to emphasize that any information that you give to our interviewer will be kept confidential.  By law, the Census Bureau cannot publish or release to anyone any information that would identify you or your household (Title 13, Section 9).  The information you can provide can be used only for statistical purposes.

I want to emphasize that I don’t trust you, no one with three functioning brain cells has any reason to trust you, and you are asking for information that is none of your business.  If I can’t be forced to quarter troops in my home, then I can’t be compelled to reveal to a Census Bureau employee information about amenities in it, or the people who live in it.  And I do not appreciate the presumption that my free time is yours to hijack for purposes of me reporting on myself and my family so that Congress can go on a vote-buying shopping trip with even more of other people’s money.  I realize that you think that the 40 minutes you estimated would be necessary for me to fill out your survey was an innocuous demand on my time.  But you’re only one of many agencies which think that they are making innocent and de minimus demands on my time.  And it is starting to add up.

The fact is that I am citizen of a nation founded on the unique recognition of the rights of the individual…a concept we felt so strongly about that we drafted a Bill of Rights to ensure that the power of government would be limited and subservient to the individual.  This hasn’t been revoked, nor have these rights been surrendered…a fact that many federal employees and elected officials are on the cusp of being very deliberately and unpleasantly reminded of.

The law you cite doesn’t give you the authority to ask the questions you have asked, and even if it did, it is an unwarranted and intrusive invasion of my privacy.  I answered the only questions that the statute can be reasonably said to allow, and they are the only ones I have any intention of answering.  Your time might be better served harassing someone who doesn’t understand the difference between a citizen and a subject.

Read Full Post »

It is hard to believe Republican men think they know so much when they are SO freaking stupid!! They had better pray to the God they say they are channeling that the female members of their families are not raped, or become pregnant with an unwanted pregnancy. How is it wrong to abort a fetus, and then let an unwanted child be raised by 1 or 2 parents that beat the crap of it for 3-6 years before the child dies. Now tell me those children do not feel more pain than an aborted fetus!!

—A friend of an old school classmate on Facebook

One of the reasons I LIKE Facebook is the opportunity to be exposed to so much faulty thinking. It underscores a bleak and undeniable answer to the question “How the hell did this country get so #^$%@* Up?” If I were a researcher seeking insight into the nearly criminal failings of the modern American educational system, I could have no greater source material to draw on than the postings made on that website.

Abortion has been, and remains, one of the great head scratchers of our time. We live in a culture that has been transformed by nearly 50 years racial remediation, starting with Affirmative Action, and the lowered standards for some people that came with it, which over time morphed into the dubious notion of “diversity”, in which society has been forced to adopt a bankrupt ideology that essentially says that “All cultures are equal, therefore the only one that will be measured against any objective standard, after application of a “privilege” penalty, is the majority one.”

The result has not been to raise formerly discriminated against minorities into all strata of society by creating an equality of opportunity, but rather to harm all of society by imposing a tyrannical mediocrity by way of an ill-conceived and poorly executed scheme of equality of condition, executed with predictable effect by a kleptocratic government, which purposely fosters a culture of division by pursuing “identity politics”, and pandering to these various groups, all while making certain that the power and wealth of the political class itself benefits first and foremost from this strategy. This is why it is that members of Congress, who are only paid annual salaries between $100,000 and $200,000 annually can retire after careers in Washington as multi-millionaires, while diverting ever-increasing sums of taxpayer money each year to a “war” they have no intention of winning, the “War on Poverty”. In such a climate, success can ever only expect to be penalized, and excellence becomes the exception and not the rule.

In such a realm, where the now-divided segments of society are set upon each other, to fight amongst themselves for the scraps that a supposedly benevolent government deigns to toss to them, much like latter-day nobility tossing scraps from their banquet table to burlap-wearing peasants scrambling for a morsel of what their labor produced, one of the biggest hogs at that trough is “Planned Parenthood”, an organization that makes a great deal of taxpayer money ensuring that prospective parents never actually become parents.

The ironic reality of this cabal that ensures that “The blood money must flow” has its roots in the work of Margaret Sanger, a favorite darling of the left, and a racist eugenics supporter, who believed that “undesirables” and their breeding habits were certain to destroy the makeup of this country if they were allowed to proceed unchecked. Yet those who followed in her footsteps wrought a tortured legal history that mystically transmogrified a brutal act of murder into a “Constitutional right”, based on nothing more on a Supreme Court Justice’s assertion that the 14th Amendment doesn’t apply to the unborn, because “Shut Up”, he said.

Once freed, the legal murder lobby was free to quietly and incrementally distance itself from its mantra of “Safe, rare, and legal”, first by convincing women that abortion is perfectly acceptable birth control, in which choice was more about avoiding the consequences of choice by changing their minds, and then more recently by ignoring and downplaying the utterly shocking and deplorable practices of Kermit Gosnel and other abortionists like him, who, for decades made a mockery of the dignity of human life by how he treated the children he he savagely murdered, inside or outside the womb, and with his callous disregard for the safety of his “patients”. This inexcusable behavior needs to be mentioned and an explanation demanded every single time these bloodthirsty harpies and their castrated beta males wail about any reasonable regulation that would impose minimum standards for safety with the tired and hypocritical “No more wire hangers! No more back alleys!”, because with standards such as they have now, the blood money lobby will be only too happy to bring botched abortions, unsanitary conditions, exsanguination, and sepsis to you! No more having to sneak around to get it! You’ve come a long away, baby! (This is an equally appropriate response to the claim that it is a “Women’s Health” issue…because women are always made healthier by unsterilized (or even washed) instruments, and facilities operated like disassembly lines that would be more easily comprehended in an abattoir instead of one of these charnel houses masquerading as a “women’s health facility”.

But in a very lucrative taxpayer-funded business where the only consistency (logical or otherwise) is that anyone who threatens this bloody sinecure which taints every single citizen in United States, and mocks the mission statement of this country, contained in our national charter, that being LIFE, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, is immediately denounced as a heretic, someone who is against wymyn’s health, wants to oppress wymyn, or isn’t entitled to have an opinion due to a lack of ovaries. Of these disqualifications, the last is perhaps the stupidest. The idea that you can’t call a private right to murder what it is because you aren’t the one who would carry a child to term if such a “right” was properly denied is an extraordinary proposition. I can only hope that those who would advance this belief would feel the shame at their thought processes if they were told that they couldn’t denounce murders propagated against someone of the opposite sex, or a different skin color, or religion. And to cling to the practice on the basis of rape or incest is to facilitate the exception swallowing the rule, as well as condemning an innocent party to a penalty that will not be shared by the offender, and doing so without trial, or even the most basic due process that even the lowliest criminal could expect.

This public condemnation is advanced by a combination of aging hippies behaving badly, and conscienceless presstitutes who want to cast any whisper regarding race or the differences between them (while we’re expected to celebrate “diversity”, no less) as racist, so as to invoke the civil rights “struggle” as continuing today, much like “the revolution” is constantly invoked as a cure-all against any question raised against those who consider themselves the guardians and arbiters of such ideas and concepts, while ignoring the fact that the more than 8 million abortions done in this country since Roe made its second pass before the Revered Nine is proof of the only real civil rights issue that needs recognition today: Millions of unborn humans killed with taxpayer money in this country, under the falsest of pretenses and for the basest of motives…money. Blood money. The practice calls to mind a quote by Thomas Jefferson, in regard to another abomination perpetrated for too long in this country, and also for financial reasons.

“God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever.”

Read Full Post »

TetroIf you’re anything like me, when you see that a filmmaker has put their name in the title of a movie that was not widely released, your “Pretentious Dreck Ahead” alarm probably starts ringing like the government scandal bell in major press outlets this past week.  That said, I wanted a few hours away from that, and as I was looking through my DVDs, this seemed like it might be just the diversion I was looking for.

The movie opens with Benjamin, played by Alden Einreich walking through the streets of Buenos Aries late at night, trying to find the apartment of his older brother, Angelo, played by Vincent Gallo.  When he gets there, he is greeted by Angelo’s girlfriend, Miranda, played by Maribel Verdu, who sets him up on the couch.

As the movie unfolds, we learn that Angelo, who now goes by the name “Tetro”, left New York a decade earlier to go on a writing sabbatical, and never returned, despite promises to his little brother Bennie to do so.  Tetro seems to accept Bennie’s presence, as it will only be five days before the cruise ship Bennie works on will repair its engines, and continue on its way, but he clearly doesn’t want to answer any of Bennie’s questions about the past, about his new life, or much of anything.  He forbids Bennie from telling anyone who their father really is, and makes it clear that family shouldn’t be a topic of discussion with anyone.  He almost grudgingly lets his little brother tag along as he lives the life of a frustrated artist, but won’t even introduce Bennie to his friends as his brother, something that clearly frustrates Bennie.

As the five days pass, Tetro seems to be warming to having Bennie around, and even throws Bennie a party for his 18th birthday, attended by Tetro’s theatre friends.  During this same time, Bennie and Miranda come to know one another, and slowly tease information out of each other about the mysterious Tetro from each other.  As the two exchange information, and Bennie “accidentally” finds his brother’s manuscript, we are treated to flashbacks, set apart from the rest of the film because they are in color, and frame-in-frame, in which we see that their father, played by Klaus Maria Brandauer, a world-famous symphonic conductor, alienates his older brother, steals away 20-year-old Angelo’s girlfriend, and remains distant after a car accident in which Angelo was driving takes the life of his mother, and his father’s first wife.  Miranda finally comes to better understand the man she met in an asylum, and has only understood in pieces.

As fate conspires to keep Bennie in Buenos Aries, Miranda makes sure that Bennie can continue to read the manuscript, and is caught by Tetro doing so.  He naturally feels betrayed, and it immediately cools their rekindled friendship.  Bennie compounds this betrayal, believing that he is helping his brother, ratcheting things up to 11, and leading to the climax in which Tetro has to admit a terrible secret to Bennie, who learns that everything he’s ever known is a lie.

I enjoyed ‘Tetro’, but to be honest, I needed some time to come to that conclusion, which is probably why it was never widely released.  And while it isn’t the first film that I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about after watching, unlike Watchmen, or Defiance, I’m not likely to watch it again, because the journey of discovery is the story, and I don’t think it could ever have the same impact now that I know the real secret of the story.  That doesn’t mean that it wasn’t worth telling, and I’m glad that Coppola got the chance to tell it beautifully.

Read Full Post »

I tried very hard to refrain from public comment on this matter. I really did. I figure when we taxpayers STILL own GM, whose bankruptcy did little to actually address the combination of stupid union tricks and stupid management tricks that cratered what was once a triumph of industry, and our chief executive who hasn’t managed to nudge even the phony unemployment numbers under 8% in three years, while failing to even pass a budget, and unleashing regulatory behemoths onto American businesses and individuals, we’d have more important things to talk about. And yet, the hand-wringing, crass opportunism, and contempt for the exercise of freedom on this matter has reached a sickening crescendo.  The enormity of this storm of stupid has been blotting out the sun, and distracting from issues that really do affect everyone, and not just the perpetually offended and their camp-followers.

When Dan Cathy, the President of Chick-fil-A,  a professed Christian running a company that still closes on Sunday, made a clear and unequivocal statement about the company supporting traditional marriage, the mechanism of OUTRAGE!!11!!! swept into motion, and immediately, condemnation resounded from the predictable quarters.  Certainly, the militant homosexuals were angry, and were soon joined by mayors of large cities and city aldermen eager to prove their committment to tolerance by announcing that they would use every machination at their disposal to make sure that this business could not and would not pollute their fair cities with their chicken sandwiches and unfashionable opinions.   These unwavering statements of support later wavered when they could no longer avoid the fact that doing so would be a gross abuse of power, and would, in time, lead to inevitable correction by both voters, who aren’t so stupid as to not be able to realize that such a trick is capable of repetition, and by the courts, who jealously reserve the power tyranny for themselves.  But, as with any cause celebre, those who are famous, some only for being famous, could not resist the opportunity to chime in for their own 15 seconds of almost-relevance.  The casual famous, the has-beens, and the never-weres all tweeted their tolerance-supporting hate for the man whose company sells chicken and supports the kind of families that served to build a nation for over 200 years.

Its been interesting to watch.  If by “interesting”, you mean “horrifying”.  I expect the chatterati and the famous to stand up on their hind legs and start offering vacuous opinions for the outraged and the easily led, like trained seals performing for fish.  When these mental giants start showing off their “deep thoughts”, you quickly realize that if you put galoshes on before wading through their publically-stated pontifications, you would be horribly overdressed.  But with the politicians casting their lots in with this same crowd, it starts to feel like a trip back to high school, complete with all the pressure to conform.

If there is a silver lining, it is that the Pink Swastikas and their conscripts are starting to overplay their hand.  It really became noticeable with the recent gay marriage ballot measure in North Carolina.  The opposition both before and after the election wasn’t just shrill, it was Mariah Carey shrill.  And the repeated theme that if you weren’t for gay marriage, then you were just an inbred, ignorant embarrassment to humanity started to make up people’s minds.  Of course, those were the people who generally didn’t care one way or the other, but who weren’t enamored of the characterization, and the general “thought police” nature of the condemnations, especially in light of the fact that with the vote, North Carolina joined more than 35 other states, who when were actually asked, rather than told by the their politicians (YES, I’m looking at YOU, Olympia), rejected the idea of gay marriage.  When more than half of the 57 states don’t support your heart’s desire, maybe calling them inbred and ignorant really isn’t a winning strategy.

But, despite the dubious nature of this particular approach, it has remained consistent.  A friend of mine recently had an encounter illustrating the failure of this approach when she went to order some Chick-fil-A for lunch at a food truck in our nation’s capital.  After being accosted by a “crazy man” for buying food from a company that “supports hate groups”, several bystanders expressed the opinion that they were no longer on the fence on this issue, and they would be joining her for lunch that day.  It’s a story I hear repeated over, and over again from friends and acquaintances who actually have Chick-fil-As near them, and their longer than normal waits for food because of the increased foot traffic. 

And yet the Forces of Outrage™ persist…and if they can’t have success, then they will at least pretend at it in their best peer pressure style, as exemplified with this story which proclaims that “Chick-Fil-A Experiences Massive Fallout Among Consumers After Anti-Gay Controversy“.  Except that this conclusion was reached through a “branding survey”, and not on actual sales data, which means that anyone who has ever taken a statistics course can ask some pointed questions about the sampling methods used that would cast this dubious assertion even further in doubt.

What has been revealing about this latest episode in the culture wars is just how little regard the “progressive” mindset has for anyone who doesn’t share their views, and just how much they are willing to abrogate the protection of law for those who subscribe to traditional values.  It is another schism in a field of cultural chasms that are slowly and surely separating society.  It gives me no pleasure to watch, but when one side makes it clear that they are willing to condemn thought, and no longer willing to tolerate formerly legitimate religious expression, while holding in contempt values that I share, I know which side I stand on.  And I suppose I should thank the usual suspects for no longer pretending that unity is a goal that they have any real interest in achieving.

Read Full Post »

Hero: a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.

I hope you all found something worthwhile in your Memorial Day Weekend.  I know I did in mine.  It was busy, and it seemed like I spent much of it on the run, but I still found time for the sober reflection that is the reason for the holiday, and heard an excellent sermon on Sunday about reflection and remembrance, the latter being important enough to be mentioned in the Bible more than 100 times.

Then later that evening, I got to watch Courageous, a movie about heroes who made a decision and a committment to be the heroes that every man should be.  My oldest son watched it with me, and we had a very good discussion about the various topics raised in the film.  It won’t be a candidate for an Academy Award, but I appreciate the fact that people like the producers of this film, and people like Tyler Perry are willing to make movies with small budgets, and short timelines to tell a story that encompasses values no longer embraced by the larger studios.

Then, Monday morning, we finally went to see The Avengers.  It didn’t disappoint, but then with Joss Whedon at the helm, it would have been an unpleasant surprise if it did.  What did surprise me was the insertion of some lines, and story developments that reflected some values that Hollywood hasn’t been too big on in recent years.  I suspect that this was allowed to happen because it was based on comic book heroes, and therefore. those values could be mocked by those who felt the need as childish or simplistic.  Sadly, I doubt the message will be received by the rest of Hollywood, much of which chalked the success of The Dark Knight up to “making the character dark”.  After all, the truth doesn’t fit the narrative.  It was an exhilarating experience to see a story unfold that allowed for sacrifice, determination, and redemption in the characters that didn’t leave me feeling as if the dreams of childhood were retconned by a society that feels an overwhelming urge to “reimagine” and redefine that which it finds itself opposed to.

It was a good weekend that was a celebration of the things that it should have been about, and I felt relaxed and ready when I went to work today.  Then I read about Chris Hayes’ shallow pontification over the weekend.  If, like me, you were busy having a good weekend, and decided not to shave points off of your IQ by watching MSNBC, let me fill you in on what Chris said in his show “Up With Chris Hayes” :

“I feel uncomfortable about the word hero because it seems to me that it is so rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war,”  he added that “there are individual circumstances in which there is genuine, tremendous heroism, you know, hail of gunfire, rescuing fellow soldiers,” but that “it seems to me that we marshal this word in a way that is problematic.”

I know what you’re thinking.  I didn’t know that Butch Maddow had a brother either.  Yes, “Up With Chris Hayes” is a stupid name for television program, as it evokes images of this, which doesn’t really get me thinking “serious credibility” but in its own way, does make a certain sense.

The apology, as predictable as an afternoon rain shower in Florida, came less than 24 hours later, and underscored his focus and the true target of his remarks, demonstrating that he still didn’t understand why what he said was wrong. (Yes, Rutherford, I said “wrong” and not “offensive”.  Deal with it.  Or don’t.)

Regardless, Hayes issued an apology for his comments on Monday, saying that he was “deeply sorry” for the remarks. “As many have rightly pointed out, it’s very easy for me, a TV host, to opine about people who fight our wars, having never dodged a bullet or guarded a post or walked a mile in their boots,” Hayes said in a statement. He said that he had made a mistake by conforming “to a stereotype of a removed pundit whose views are not anchored in the very real and very wrenching experience of this long decade of war.”

While its fine to oppose war, secure in the knowledge that other will still join the military and lay down their own lives to keep yours safe, to fail to recognize that sacrifice for what it is, and deny them the very basic respect they deserve simply for having made the decision that you wouldn’t (for whatever reason) is the mark of an ingrate.  You don’t have to have done it yourself to recognize that signing up (or accepting selection) into a service that will take you far from home and most certainly put you in harm’s way to protect your nation and your loved ones, or to be a part of something much larger than one’s own self-interest and benefit is an act requiring the kind of courage that not everyone choses today.  The fact that one would choose to do it, either in the previous administration, or this one, indicates to me that they clearly see something obscured to the Chris Hayeses of the world, and reminds me of a famous movie speech delivered over a decade ago: 

“Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinburg? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago, and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to. “

There are many ways to be a hero.  Some will cast much longer shadows than others.  Some will do it by living up to their responsibilities, no matter how much they would prefer an eternal adolescence, and some will do it by exhibiting valor and great sacrifice, up to and including the one life they have to give, for their country, or for their fellow man.  That doesn’t always have to be a conscious decision to charge a machine gun, or exposing yourself to fire, because the first act comes with the decision to serve, and to be a target so that others won’t.  It isn’t glamorous, but then, it doesn’t lack conviction, either.

Read Full Post »

I have at times been criticized for being difficult and harshly critical of people at times.  This might be a fair criticism, but at the same time, it is rooted in a belief that most people are their own worst enemies, and often deliberately do or say demonstrably silly things, and then get offended when people like myself have the temerity to call them out.  But at the same time, I don’t direct that blowtorch at people who can’t help whatever ails them.  Maybe it took having to neural-atypical children to really drive that point home, but consider it made.  And when I see accounts of people who have training and who are considered “authorities” deliberately belittling and mocking those they have been trained and hired to help?  Yeah, the RCOB* descends, and the fangs come out.

So when I read this story?  Yeah…put away the breakables.

Two Alabama teachers have been put on administrative leave after the mother of a 10-year-old student with cerebral palsy attached an audio recorder to the bottom of his wheelchair and caught them scolding him about drooling, among other things.

Really? REALLY?

You drooled on the paper,” a male’s voice, allegedly that of teacher’s aide Drew Faircloth, could be heard saying impatiently. “That’s disgusting.”

“Keep your mouth closed and don’t drool on my paper,” a woman’s voice said, allegedly teacher Alicia Brown. “I do not want to touch your drool. Do you understand that? Obviously, you don’t.”

Over the three days of recordings, Salinas said Jose received about 20 minutes of actual instruction and spent almost the entire day sitting in silence with no one speaking to him.

This cannot be excused.  There simply is NO excuse for this.  Scold him in a snotty way for something he cannot help, then all but abandon him when he is in your care? I can imagine all sorts of treatments for this kind of behavior, none of them pleasant.  But the kicker?  They got slaps on the wrist.

Salinas took the recordings to the school board and the teachers were put on administrative leave. But last Friday, the teachers were back at school.


By Monday, the teachers were back on paid administrative leave, and on April 9 the school board will meet to decide what further action to take.

Great.  Treat a kid with cerebral palsy like dirt, and get paid time off, recalled, then more paid time off when those idiot parents had the nerve to continue complaining.  What do you want to bet a teacher’s union is behind this?  Paid time off is not the right response.  This is a formal hearing, followed by a swift termination.

And they wonder why parents are reluctant to acknowledge and acquiesce to the “authority” of the educational establishment?

The behavior of these teachers is beyond reprehensible.  Parents have every reasonable expectation that when they entrust any child, let alone THIS child

to the schools, that they will not be mistreated or abused. These teachers cannot be trusted to fulfill their professional duties, and should instead be cleaning the johns at the nearest truck stop.

*Red Curtain Of Blood

Read Full Post »

Sometimes, the things we love get tarnished because of our carelessness, because of our anger, or our powerlessness.

I used to LOVE blogging.

Don’t get me wrong.  I still enjoy it, but it used to be something I looked forward to with great zeal and anticipation.  It is a hobby that has provided some great friendships and provided me with reassurance that I’m not the only one looking around at the world today and wondering “What the Hell?  When did the inmates start running the damn asylum?”  But as with anything that has an emotional investment and that is worthwhile, it has had its share of disappointments, and friends who have either grown cold, or are friends no more.

I was lucky enough to be accepted into a few online communities that have a family feel for those who find a place there.  But like all such places, they can be brutal to those who are not, or those who find that they have been cast out.

A few months back, I found two friends who were part of my family at odds with each other.  Things escalated, words were exchanged, and actions were taken.  To say that it shocked some people would be an understatement.  As a result, I started a new blog.  Which is to say that I turned on the lights, and put a name on it.

I didn’t enter into this decision lightly.  Before taking this step, I talked to someone who took this conflict even more to heart than I did.  And she loved the idea.  Others were given invites and it took off.  Sharing a penchant for low-brow conservative leaning humor, we always knew it would be a whorehouse, but we wanted it to be our whorehouse.  The members of out happy little band, led by my friend, made it so..quite literally, and a new clubhouse was born.  Unfortunately, there were still hard feelings, and possessing some myself, I let my anger and my fingers get the better of me.  This was soon discovered, and the result was more confrontation, public and private.  My friend “quit” the family, and while the rest of us weren’t disinherited, some of us weren’t exactly welcome anymore.

Then my friend, who had a complicated and complex surgery months ago had very suddenly taken a turn for the worse.  The news was a shock to all, both the family she retained, and the family she had quit.  Her health became the center of everyone’s attention, and concern transcended the recent hurts and unpleasantness.

After a brave battle, and several traumatic surgeries, my friend died, leaving a husband, two children, grandchildren, and more internet friends than her family ever knew she had.

Being close to the two in the family who lived nearby and who visited her during her hospital stay, I knew the prognosis wasn’t good.  The news that she left us wasn’t a surprise, but it didn’t make it any easier to take.  Grief is a funny thing.  Some people turn inward, some retreat, and others wear it on their sleeves.  I’m not sure that I have fully reconciled with it.

Some people have a presence, even when they say very little at all.  My friend was like that, and I find on many days, that I sorely miss that presence.  I think that she was the emotional touchstone for our little fold in moronspace on the internet.  I do know that while the conflict with the family took away my joy in blogging for a while, my friend’s death sucked all the air of the room for me.

It would be difficult to explain why I’ve let any of this affect me the way that it has.  I know that some people would tell me that it is silly, but I’ve met some of the members of the family, and had private conversations with others.  They aren’t “fake internet friends” anymore when you’ve dined and had drinks with some of them, or can at least put a real name and a voice with them.  And when you have witnessed or participated in the genuine decency that they show toward their own, detachment doesn’t really seem to be an option anymore.

Sometimes, not all your friends will get along.  Sometimes, they will carry grudges.  And sometimes, one or both will go to the grave unreconciled.

I’d like to say that fatigue from being busy at work and a constant parade of mendacity, contempt, and lawlessness from this administration have been the reason why I just haven’t been posting much. (And that would certainly be part of it.)  But, really, its been thinking about family, and those who can’t reconcile any longer, for whatever reason.  I can’t speak for everyone, and I don’t expect everyone else to see it my way.  But I have learned that life is too damn short to let things said in anger keep you divided from friends and family.  Those divides and the words that fill them have a way of growing, and becoming more jagged over time.  And in the end, no words haunt more than the ones left unsaid.

Read Full Post »

I suppose congratulations are in order.

Over the past 40-odd years, the American Left has consistently chiseled away at the values and mores that built a nation, employing pretzel logic, ridicule, double standards, and a thinly veiled contempt for those in society who refused to adopt the “modern view” of how society should view itself.  The effect of this ongoing assault has been as subtle as it has been pernicious, as listening to the talk of the day’s news and scandals reveals.

First up, we have the unfortunately named Tony Wiener, Representative from New York, and lowbrow demagogue.

Tony’s Twitter account made news this week when a picture of a boxer brief covered penis was sent through his twitter account to a young co-ed at a college in the state of Washington.  Tony, predictably, alleged his account had been hacked, and he immediately contacted the authorities and filed a criminal complaint lawyered up and hired a tech consulting firm to find out how the hack had happened.  However, many people were still inclined to believe him, or at least give him the benefit of the doubt, so he had to tell a reporter who asked if the picture was of him that he couldn’t say “With Certitude” if it was him, thus failing the smell test for wives nationwide.  The story still enjoys a life of its own, due in no small part to the Congressman’s last name, which with the subject material, has caused this story to have a life of its own.   The real story is that Wiener, a vicious little toad who wants desperately to be taken seriously, can’t say if the picture is of him?  Why are there pictures of his crotch in existence at all?  And why is a man in his 40s who is married interacting at all with young female tweet followers anyway?

Second, we have noted scumbag John “Two Americas” Edwards.

It wasn’t enough that Edwards cheated on his dying wife with a much younger woman during his run for President and Vice President.  It wasn’t enough that he then lied about fathering a child with the mistress, and tried to get an aid to take responsibility for his indiscretions and virility.  Now, according to a federal grand jury, this multimillionaire used campaign funds to pay to keep his mistress kept and under wraps.

Of course, both are not without their supporters, who are quick to say things like “What does it matter that the Congressman sent a picture of his crotch to a comely young co-ed?  That is a matter for him and his wife.”  or “Edwards is being indicted for having an affair.’  Both positions ignore a significant root truth.  If these men were not worthy of the trust that their wives put in them, they are not worthy of the trust of voters.  What’s more, do we want to be represented by people who are so easily swayed from their commitments?  If the people who sleep with them can’t trust them, what makes you think that they will remain loyal to constituents?

The ugly truth that any Republican would share with you is that it isn’t “a private matter” when a public official doesn’t take these commitments seriously.  And it is a truth that is well-known by the media, who would take every opportunity to shame officials who had committed similar offenses if that (R) resided after their name.  So what makes Democrats different?  Nothing.  Having the (D) after their name doesn’t mean that they are more trustworthy.  It means that the Press, which is supposed to be the eyes of society, and the Democratic constituencies have much lower expectations for these candidates.  It shows in their excuses (Everyone does this, It was just this one time, It is between them and their spouse, It isn’t the public’s business).  And it is conspicuous in the questions that they don’t ask, such as “Congressman, why shouldn’t we consider your judgment suspect when it is obvious that you enjoy photographing your privates?” or “Can you explain for us why it is right and proper for a 40-something married Congressman to be conversing with a 20-something college student about anything?”  or the more pointed “What would you say to the girl’s father, or your constituents who might be parents to 20-something young college students about your conduct?”

And in the case of someone like John Edwards, similar questions could be asked, along with a more pointed “How do you think your children feel about your infidelity and lying?” 

The defenders of these men and others like them will, of course say “You don’t have any right to make those kinds of judgments.”, but they are wrong.  No man is perfect, and as a result, no man has a right to expect perfection.  What we do have a right to expect is that the people we elect to public office will not prove themselves unworthy of the trust that we place in them, and that when they are caught betraying the trust that others have put in them, be it the trust of their spouses, or the trust of a voter, that they respect us enough to not lie to us about it, and to ask their defenders not to insult our intelligence with ridiculous denials like “Justice Thomas’ supporters hacked his Twitter account to make him look bad” or to call those with enough dignity to demand an acknowledgement of shame from those bathing in it hypocrites for demanding it of the people who asked them for their trust. 

It isn’t hypocrisy to expect a certain course of conduct from those who ask us for our trust; it is hypocrisy to only hold one group to a set of standards and make excuses for the other’s bad behavior.  It is gross negligence to do it in a way that continues to draw attention from that point, which is the one that really matters.  That kind of sloppy thinking is why the third point is an issue.  Because there is a story, which says nothing pleasant or right about us, but it is concealed by the misdirection and dishonesty that marks the discussion of his notoriety.

Dr. Jack Kevorkian is dead.

And Hell’s demons welcome one of their own home.

I lived in Michigan during the time in which this grisly murderer was making his house calls, and obliterating his Hippocratic Oath.  There are those who will maintain that there is a “right” to “die with dignity”, and that Kevorkian was a “pioneer” who helped to spark the euthanasia debate in this country.  I doubt if, in retrospect, those patients of his who were discovered in motel rooms, or the one whose kidneys the good doctor removed and offered to the first taker would agree that they met their end with the degree of dignity that they sought to preserve.  But then considering the fact that several of the people he ushered out of life’s embrace were not terminally ill, but were depressed, or that it was his actions, not those of his patients, which actually caused their deaths, I too see the man as a pioneer of sorts…a prolific mass murderer who had the unique distinction of being upfront about his actions, and largely managing to avoid the consequences for them, at least until now. 

I won’t celebrate his life, but I will, at least, gratefully acknowledge his death.

Read Full Post »

6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
      Because you have rejected knowledge,
      I also will reject you from being priest for Me;
      Because you have forgotten the law of your God,
      I also will forget your children.

Hosea 4:6

“I am committed to protecting this constitutional right,” Mr. Obama said in a statement. “I also remain committed to policies, initiatives, and programs that help prevent unintended pregnancies, support pregnant women and mothers, encourage healthy relationships, and promote adoption.”

Yes, and it is the rabid and indefensible defense of the right to commit murder under the cloak of “privacy” that allows practices like this to go unchallenged for far too long:

“A doctor who cuts into the necks severing the spinal cords of living, breathing babies, who would survive with proper medical attention, is committing murder under the law,” he said.

Women who came to the clinic were given medication to induce delivery, and the viable babies were killed by Gosnell and his associates, Williams said.

He said Gosnell’s clients, many of whom were poor, were charged $325 for a first-trimester abortion and between $1,625 and $3,000 for an illegal abortion after 24 weeks.

Gosnell also faces a charge of third-degree murder, stemming from the death of a mother who died from an overdose of anesthetics, he said.

The charges follow a year-long investigation by a grand jury, whose report was unveiled on Wednesday.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »