Protecting our Flag, Defending our Past

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This morning I was watching a video on social media that showed an Air Force veteran being arrested for attempting to protect an American flag that others were desecrating.  First of all as a fellow veteran I would like to personally thank her for trying to protect a symbol that others gave their last full measure of devotion to defend in the first place.  At this point you probably think I’m going to continue on with a commentary about things like free speech and who was right or wrong, should she have been arrested, etc.  Well, you’d be wrong. 

There was something in that video that caught my attention even more so than what was happening to the flag that most people probably completely ignored.  At one point in the video there was a Black man attempting to explain why they were desecrating the flag and he used the term “you enslaved our people”.  This caught my attention because it goes to a much deeper problem that we are currently facing today than some idiot stomping on a flag.  It goes to how we are educating our children about history and how that education has screwed up our current society. 

The flag, or more importantly the history behind it, isn’t what enslaved the “our people” he’s referring to.  In fact, it’s quite the opposite.  Now I’m not trying to claim we never had slavery in this country.  That would be delusional.  What I’m saying is that if you understand even a little bit about history that flag is actually what ended slavery. 

What most people tend to forget is that during the time when our melting pot of a nation was founded slavery was pretty much the norm, not just here, but throughout the world.  America by no means had a monopoly on the slave trade.  What set us apart from so many other parts of the world was that we as a nation recognized our own sin and eradicated that sin ourselves.  When the civil war was fought those who were FOR slavery didn’t fly the American flag, they flew the rebel flag.  It was the sacrifice of those who were fighting AGAINST slavery that are actually being represented by the flag that was being desecrated. 

We get reminded all the time about our past sin of slavery.  However, what always tend to be glossed over by those wishing to exploit that sin are the roughly 600,000 Union casualties that paid the price to expel that particular demon.  The truth is that of all the people that were in the crowd that day if the man who made that statement would have understood even a little bit about our history he should have placed himself side-by-side with the woman trying to protect the flag for it has already served him twice yet he doesn’t even realize it.  It served him once by creating a nation that gave him the right to protest, but it also served him a second time by providing him with the freedom to do so as well.  It’s that important second part that tends to get left out of our modern education. 

It’s easy to point out our faults because as a nation we are no more perfect than the people that make up our nation as a whole.  However, if someone wants to point out only the bad things in life nothing will ever look good.  As I’ve said many times before, I prefer to be an optimist.  When it comes to trying to define who we REALLY are as a nation I prefer to look at those who have righted wrongs more so t than those who have created them.  I prefer to look at those who have defended our freedoms rather than those who wish to enslave.  I prefer to protect the symbols of our sacrifice rather than sacrifice the symbols of our past.

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Moron, expose thyself

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Recently I read a Facebook post from a liberal that was meant to be a “gotcha” moment against conservatives and in this case the now deceased author Ayn Rand in particular.  Upon reading the post I actually found myself laughing out loud.  Not only was this a hilariously bad attempt at painting the right as hypocrites, but was so moronic that the poster had no idea who he was actually insulting. 

The post was a story about how the vaunted die-hard capitalist Ayn Rand had actually dared to collect on Social Security in her old age in defiance of her own writings demonizing big government.  This is the same tired assault that liberals have tried for years by claiming conservatives are hypocrites for railing against intrusive government up until such time as it’s their own turn to stand in line for some government goodies. 

So for the umpteenth time allow me to explain what the half-wits on left just simply can’t seem to grasp.  SOCIAL SECURITY ISN’T A GOVERNMENT HANDOUT!  Let me put this in simple terms.  If you loan someone $100 today and then later return to collect on your loan that doesn’t make you greedy, a thief, a handout recipient, a hypocrite, or any other such non-sense.  It simply means that you are collecting a return of what was rightfully yours all along.  The fact that the government forcibly confiscates that money from you (and the matching funds from your employer) throughout your working life on the promise of returning it to you later (if you’re fortunate enough to live that long) doesn’t constitute even the remotest concept to anyone above the IQ of a horsefly that it somehow magically becomes a handout. 

To prove my point all you need to do is look at your paystub.  You have separate line item deductions for Social Security and Medicare because those moneys are SUPPOSED to be placed in a separate government trust fund so that people won’t foolishly waste all their money before they reach retirement age.  The reason I capitalized the word supposedly above is because under this scenario the ugly truth is that it’s been the government all along who has foolishly wasted your money instead as they have basically borrowed and spent against all that money until the actual trust fund is pretty much an empty vault of IOU’s.  Personally, as an intelligent adult I would have preferred it if big brother government would have simply butted out of my life so that I could have invested that total of 15% annual matching funds on my own instead of through a glorified government sanctioned ponzi scheme.  However, now that they have it, you can bet your @ss I want it back! 

It blows my mind every time I hear some idiot from the left proclaiming that the elderly are better off because of Social Security.  In saying that they are not only stating by proxy that all Americans are too stupid to be trusted with something like their own retirement (same thing for healthcare), but completely forget that had the government not interfered the money that was confiscated would have been the people’s money all along (plus interest) anyway.  It’s like a thief robbing you and then expecting a big old “thank you” for returning the things they should have never stolen at government gun point in the first place.  Here’s another way to think of it for when they ignorantly try to insult conservatives for trying to collect what is rightfully theirs.  Is it right that someone should be forced to pay for a meal in advance and then demonized simply because they would now like a chance to eat it before it’s all gone?  Honestly, I wish I could think of a stronger word than “moron” in situations like this. 

Morons are morons and nothing will ever change that.  However, in posting what he posted this particular moron doesn’t even realize that who he has basically insulted isn’t just conservatives, but every American who has worked all their life and is now old enough that they are simply trying to retrieve what was rightfully theirs all along.  The checks they are now receiving aren’t government handouts.  They’re long overdue reimbursements.  Personally, I hope he reposts his article over and over.  In doing so he’ll be accomplishing far more to expose his own true self-insulting ignorance than any rebuttal I could ever hope to write. 

P.S.  As a side note please remember that it was DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Shultz who recently proposed the idiotic idea of having the government confiscate everyone’s IRA’s and 401K’s and using that money to shore up the missing funds from Social Security.  As you can see, these people aren’t just simple morons.  They’re morons that are hell bent on ruining all our lives.

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The Indiana Law

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As a businessman I’m not prone to turning away business based on someone’s demographic positioning.  With rare exceptions I’m willing to work with just about anyone.  At the same time I reserve the right to deny my services as I see fit.  Let’s face it I have no plans on working with ISIS anytime in the near future no matter how much profit potential exist.  So with the uproar over the new Indiana law I’m not going to take sides.  However, there are a few things I would like to point out. 

The original blue print for the Indiana law was actually passed by Bill Clinton in 1993 and up until Indiana passed it’s version it had already been passed by 19 other states.  So what Indiana is doing is by no means anything new and hasn’t been new for at least the last 22 years.  BTW, if this law bothers you and you’re prone to registering a (D) after your name you may want to pose a few questions to Bill’s wife prior to any consideration for supporting her political future.  Just sayin’. 

The main premise for having such a law in the first place is to create a legal basis for not infringing on one’s religious freedoms.  In particular this issue was brought to the forefront recently when a bakery was sued because they refused to provide a wedding cake for a gay wedding.  From a personal perspective my only question upon taking such an order would have been what kind of frosting do they prefer, but that’s just me. 

There are certain circumstances where non-discriminatory practices can never be tolerated regardless of demographics.  For example, no one should be denied access to medical care based solely on things like race, religion, orientation, etc.  The same thing goes for things like education, public utilities, etc.  However, to allow a business a certain level of discernment in accepting clientele is actually a necessity.  Do you really want to force a Jewish caterer to serve pork chops, an Islamic Dr. to perform a circumcision, or a Black performer to sing at a KKK convention? 

The truth is we already have a plethora of arbitrary discriminatory practices in business on a daily basis.  How often do we see signs that say “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service” as an affront against the poor, or “No Weapons Permitted on Premises” as an affront against those wishing to pursue their 2nd Amendment rights?  It’s NOT OK to accept some forms of discrimination while denying others simply based on your own personal preferences.  After all, discrimination is discrimination, PERIOD! 

That brings me to the original point of this commentary which has to do with the outright hypocrisy of those that are currently yelling the loudest over this issue.  Or as my Grandmother used to say “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander”.  Therefore, let’s try reversing this situation for a moment just so that I can illustrate my point. 

Let’s supposed that we accept the idea that businesses can no longer deny service based on any of the discriminatory practices above, but conversely the public can also no longer deny patronage to businesses for the same reasons.  How many people who have currently sworn off the idea of ever eating at Chik-Fil-A over their religious standing would be happy with the idea of now being forced to eat there?  How many people that swear they hate Monsanto would be happy with having to purchase their products?  You don’t agree with Phil Robertson’s opinions.  Great, but you still have to buy a Duck Dynasty hat off him for $19.99.  Same thing goes for all the products sold by Hobby Lobby.  Basically, boycotting would become illegal simply because your right to choose who you do business with based on your own beliefs will have been curtailed just the same as those you are now railing against.  It doesn’t matter if the objection is of a religious nature or not, the fact is by forcing people to act against their will ultimately removes ALL forms of discernment. 

As you can see the problem is that without leaving room for discernment on both sides you are actually opening up a potential Pandora’s Box that can be wielded both ways.  I’m not going to say who is ultimately right or wrong on this issue.  However, to have such an automatic knee jerk reaction and carry on the way people have over this law without thinking things though completely is yet another example of one-step-forward thinking.  Yes, there’s room for legal adjustments to this law just the same as there are to any law.  However, until everyone calms down and has an adult discussion over this law so that we can clearly see the potential future issues we’ll never know what those adjustments are.  As I’ve said many times before, you can never be certain that you’re following in the right path unless you can see beyond that first step.  In the mean time if there’s that big of a market that isn’t being served properly I think I’ll start my own bakery.

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The Influence of Ignorance

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If you were to ask the average Liberal who they think donates the most directly from their personal fortune into political coffers the almost guaranteed Pavlovian response would be the evil Koch brothers.  The problem with this response is that it is not only wrong, it’s wrong to the point of being laughable.  The true bearer of that crown belongs to someone whose name most Liberals have probably never even heard before.  His name is Tom Steyer and 100% of his $73,725,000 personal donations last year went to benefit Democrats.  Ironically, the Koch brothers combined personal direct donations of $2,000,000 each ranked them as tied for 24th with a combined political influence ratio of about 1/18th that of Steyer. 

So who is Tom Steyer and why such a largesse to liberalism.  Well, here’s where it gets interesting.  The bulk of Mr. Steyer’s financial efforts have gone toward killing the Keystone Pipeline.  Remember his infamous pledge of up to $50 Million in matching campaign funds to any politicians willing to vote against Keystone?  So this must make him a true blood environmentalist, right?  Wrong!  According to Investorshub.com the real reason for his generosity has nothing to do with the environment and everything to do with the fact that his hedge fund Farallon Capital is already heavily invested in building a competing pipeline.  In other words greed tops green. 

In another twist of irony there are several high profile liberal donors on this list that far outrank the Koch brothers yet whose names always seem to magically disappear when the Left mentions the sin of wealth influencing politics.  Former New York City Mayor/Billionaire Michael Bloomberg ranks as #2 behind Steyer at $23.76 million.  George Soros came in at #10 with $3.56M.  In fact, there were 7 noted liberals ranked above the Koch brothers whose names never get passed liberal lips when such topics come up for discussion. 

I’m quite certain that the immediate outcry from the Left is that this list isn’t fair because it only looks at personal donations instead of the institutional donations that the Koch brothers control.  Fair enough.  According to Opensecrets.org from 1989-2014 the largest single institutional political donor was none other than the union SEIU whose $210 million in charity for democratic politicians far outpaced the #2 donor with a paltry $146 million.  So where was Koch Industries?  They were clear down at #56 with a meager $25 million, or a political influence ratio of roughly 1/8th that of SEIU. 

Once you see the facts it becomes pretty apparent as to what’s really going on.  The vitriol aimed against the Koch brothers has nothing to do with how much political influence their money might afford them.  It has everything to do with how much CONSERVATIVE political influence their money might afford them.  The problem is that what also becomes apparent is the combination of blatant hypocrisy of the left wing media along with the blatant stupidity of the left wing morons who regurgitate yet more talking points for which they are totally clueless. 

Is there a problem with there being too much money in politics?  Of course, but it’s a problem that’s existed since politics itself has existed, so don’t go expecting anything to create change in our lifetime that doesn’t involve the word tyranny.  However, for as much as we all like to whine about how wealth has the potential to influence elections as I see it there is an even bigger issue which if addressed would have a much more profound affect on election outcomes.  If you ever want to have real and honest elections the first issue we need to overcome is what I like to call the influence of ignorance.  

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The Falsehood of a Moral War

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Can someone please show me where it is written that it’s morally superior to incinerate someone from 35,000 feet than it is to give them an inverted bathtub scrub down?  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m perfectly fine with having arm chair flyboys turning goat humpers into charcoal briquettes from the safety of a console that can later be used to pickup Monday Night Football.  However, it’s hard to collect usable intel from ashes. 

Democrats are currently running around making fools of themselves whining about the “evil Bush/Cheney regime” and their torturous ways while referencing a report containing information that is as old as Ed Shultz hairstyle and just as partisan.  The reality is that anyone possessing an IQ level above that of a turnip can easily recognize this as nothing more than yet another media induced political distraction.  It doesn’t surprise me to see more media misdirection though.  After all, it only took NBC 46 days to finally admit that Obamacare architect Jonathon Gruber is nothing but a loud mouthed dim wit with MIT credentials. 

The truth about all this supposed torture is that I don’t think most Americans mind.  If it weren’t so politically incorrect I would even venture far enough to say that silently most even cheer it.  After all, it’s hard not to maintain moral superiority over an enemy that beheads aid workers, stones women for simply wanting an education, and executes innocent children as heretics, even those young enough that their theological persuasion has yet to reach beyond their mother’s teat. 

Only a fool believes that such a thing as a sanitized war exists.  Personally, I’m not a big fan of war, but at the same time I’m even less a fan of watching 3,000 people evaporate for the simple sin of showing up for work on time on a sunny September morning.  The reality is that the only moral rule of war is that you should only go to war for the sole purpose of winning even if it requres any means necessary.  In that same vane you should only ask the military to carry out the role that all militaries are built for which is to kill people and break things.  Leave the peacekeeping concept and moral compass guilt to the politicians who AREN’T getting shot at. 

There are liberal elitist that love to blame everything on the U.S. and see this war as an extension of the revenge we deserve for our “immorally imperialistic ways”.  However, trying to get them to explain why this same enemy is attacking places far beyond our borders and apparent lack of national morality such as Australia, France, Spain, Russia, etc. is like trying to get my hound dog to explain the thermodynamic properties of the sun.  We’re facing an enemy that knows no boundaries when it comes to committing atrocities so it’s no wonder that national boundaries haven’t mattered much either? 

Like it or not we are facing an enemy that is pure evil.  They don’t want to compromise.  They don’t want to understand us or be our friend.  Nor do they want to negotiate with infidels.  They only want one thing, which is to collect their virgins by making the rest of us perish.  Therefore, the very idea that White House wannabe Hillary Clinton would naively suggest that we should forego any possible tools that will lead us to victory and instead show “empathy for our enemies” makes about as much sense as walking through a den of starving lions while wearing Lady Gaga’s infamous meat dress. 

It’s impractical to fight the good fight by bounding your own hands against an unrestrained enemy.  The true moral outrage is when we put good people in harms way by exposing this ridiculous report.  There’s no such thing as a fair fight in a struggle that involves life and death so enough with putting people in peril for the sole purpose of political posturing.  Personally, I don’t care if we utilize the Bush approach of gathering intel one ripped out finger nail at a time at the same time we also use Obama’s more politically correct route of delivering 500 pound “care packages” from on high, just as long as the end result is that evil always loses and good people survive.  In the mean time Hillary can lecture us all she wants on her own version of moral diplomacy.  However, I would strongly suggest she not get caught in the cross hairs when the practical diplomacy arrives. 

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Liberals Really ARE Stupid

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Liberals hate the fact that I’m constantly calling them stupid, but not nearly as much as I hate the fact that they ARE stupid.  In reality I’m not really calling them stupid as much as I’m simply pointing it out.  On the other hand Obamacare chief architect Jonathon Gruber has been caught on video multiple times admitting that the Obamacare bill was nothing but a big fat mathematical lie that was purposefully written with convoluted language in order to play on the stupidity of the American voter (read stupid Liberals).  While Conservatives didn’t fall for such a ridiculous hoax and voted against it, those who voted for Obama and his Democratic cronies that passed this amongst their other horrible bills have proven Gruber right.  Liberals are stupid! 

Liberals like to call me mean for pointing out their idiocy.  In reality it’s those very same stupid Liberals who are actually the mean ones.  After all, if I call someone a name they don’t like (regardless of the truth behind it) the worst that can happen is some hurt feelings.  Conversely, those who voted for Obama and his agenda have done far more damage to innocent people than I could ever dream of. 

For example, let’s take a look at the absolute stupidity of granting this administration so much power over the EPA and the energy markets.  Only a complete moron would buy into the whole global warming hype and grant so much power to such deviants without ever questioning the truth behind the sermon they were preaching.  To the average Liberal their reasoning has always been damn the consequences as long as I can feel good about myself for “caring”.  Heaven forbid they ever look at the long term affect of such stupidity (hence why I refer to Liberals in my book as “one step forward thinkers”).  Now that the evidence strongly suggests that global warming has been nothing but a great big lie just like Obamacare it’s the very same indigent people that Liberals claim to care so much about that are about to suffer the consequences of such lunacy. 

Let’s take a look at Massachusetts to see just how bad those consequences are about to become.  Because of the EPA’s curtailing of coal and gas fired electric production facilities in order to curb carbon emission on a problem that doesn’t even exist electric demand is now greater than our ability to supply it through cheaper means thus causing the price to go through the roof.  National Grid, the main default electric distributor for Massachusetts just got a massive rate hike approved in order to offset the cost of providing electricity to the state.  For residential consumers the hike was 37% (or $33/month for the average consumer).  This means that for as much as Liberals claim to care about “starving Grandmas” they allowed their stupidity to slap Grandma with an additional $33/month in extra expenses needlessly.  If that’s what “caring” looks like I think Grandma would probably prefer apathy.  This hike isn’t based on corporate greed.  It’s based on liberal stupidity. 

But wait, it gets worse!  The average rate for non-residential energy for that same market has basically doubled.  At this point anyone with at least ½ a brain (thus obviously precluding Liberals) knows that businesses don’t actually pay things like taxes and energy.  Instead they are either able to pass those costs on to consumers in the form of higher prices or they go out of business and take their jobs with them.  So the real net cost to Grandma isn’t just $33/month, but far higher as the cost of basically everything else she spends her meager fixed income on goes up in unison.  I hope if you’re a Liberal you’re starting to feel a bit queasy by now for your misdeeds.  Massachusetts isn’t on its own when it comes to soaring energy prices.  We are starting to see similar rate hikes appearing all across the nation thanks to those that were so willing to accept lies over reality. 

The failed stimulus package saddled every man, woman, and child with an additional $3,000 in debt for an idea that it was easy to see was doomed from the beginning.  With Obamacare Liberals claim that more people now have health insurance than before.  OH REALLY!  Try doing the math on using it.  Forget the skyrocketing premiums.  The average bronze plan has a $5,000 deductible and a 60/40 co-pay which means you’ll either be dead or have already filed for bankruptcy long before you ever see the first dime of benefits.  The use of food sources to produce the failed product ethanol has caused food prices to soar.  All of these costly ideas were based solely on the stupidity of liberalism and those who support it.  In essence it has all been based on lousy policies brought forth from politicians who were voted in by Liberals who, as their own Jonathon Gruber put it, were too stupid to know the difference.

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Election Aftermath

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Now that the midterms are finally over and Republicans have taken back control of both houses of Congress it’s time to get to work and figure out the best way to right this ship.  First, in order to do that we need to assess some of what we’ve learned from the outcome.  Here are a few highlights:

 

  • Hillary Clinton will NOT be our next President.  Even though the Clinton dynasty wasn’t officially on the ballot, it actually was.  For as much stumping as the Billary twins did over the last couple of weeks the results are unmistakable that not only did they not help their protégé’s, but most likely did more harm than good.  Not only did none of them win, but the polling margins slipped post stump for most of their favorites.  In a nut shell they were almost as toxic as the golfer-in-chief during this campaign.
  • Offense works better in politics than defense.  Finally the Republican contingency got it right by not allowing themselves to get suckered into a defensive posture.  Instead, they forced their Democratic opponents into a corner on explaining their own indefensible positions of the past (i.e. voting for Obamacare).  Alison Grimes was the perfect example of just how inept Liberals can be once they get exposed for being brainless morons who can’t explain their own votes.
  • Obamacare is still the key.  Exit polling proves there is no question that it is an albatross still hanging around the necks of anyone who had anything to do with its passage.
  • Unions lost big.  Not only did the sky not fall on producing right-to-work legislation in deep blue states, but the two key Governors leading the charge, Walker from Wisconsin and Snyder of Michigan both won re-election.  Now is the perfect time for Kasich to try it again in Ohio except this time he needs do so using much better legislation than the former SB-5.
  • This was NOT an anti-incumbent movement as the talking heads are trying to claim.  This was without a doubt an anti-liberal movement.  Otherwise, try explaining why almost all of the flipped seats came from the “D” column.
  • The idiotic “war on women” movement is done.  Not only did it prove to be a totally useless slogan against Republicans, but the 3 main Democratic characters at the forefront of the slogan were all soundly defeated as well.  Perhaps Democrats would be wise to take note of just how many Republican women won elections last night as well.
  • Probably one of the biggest surprises along with also being the one with the most long term affect is that the concept of minority block voting is starting to crumble.  After years of buying into the false promises of liberalism minorities appear to be waking up to the realization that opportunity offers a better life than dependency.  The Democratic strategy of relying heavily on minority votes in urban areas like Baltimore, Boston, and Chicago didn’t work as these groups started questioning why the promises of the Democrats haven’t led to any semblance of a utopian dream.  As a result several deep blue states turned closer to a shade of purple with Maryland, Massachusetts, and even Illinois electing new Republican governors.
  • Ultimately when it came down to priorities between party, politics, or policy, the public overwhelmingly proved that policy is by far the most important.  Not only did many of the Left’s mantras like “war on women” not work, but the myth of states being forever favoring one party over another was also shattered.

 

So where should Republicans go from here?  Here are a few pointers to consider:

 

  • First, and most importantly, DON’T buy into the media premise that this election was all about creating a new era of bipartisanship.  That’s total bunk.  This election had everything to do with a public outcry against liberalism.  After all, Congress was already evenly divided.  If being bipartisan was the answer than nothing would have changed.  Nor would the losers have all come from one party.  This election wasn’t about getting along.  It was about getting it right, PERIOD!  Therefore, Republicans should know what they believe in; understand it enough to explain it to the people instead of jamming it down their throats, and pass legislation accordingly.  There is no need to compromise with what the public has already rejected as bad policies.  Furthermore, when it comes to creating new policy Obama is bound to threaten a veto.  Great!  Go ahead and let him.  All the while continue to remind him that he was the one that declared “elections have consequences”.  That way if he does veto bills en masse it simply gives you the chance to prove who the real obstructionists have been all along. 
  • Second, the Republicans need to pass legislation to repeal Obamacare.  Yes, I know the boring outcry of it being an act of futility.  In reality it won’t be this time and the reason is simple.  By finally bringing such a bill up in the Senate democratic members will be forced to either vote to repeal it or keep it.  If you thought Obama was toxic the fact is Obamacare is even more so.  So either they will be committing political suicide by voting against such a repeal which will help in 2016, or they will become yet another repeal vote.  Now surely Obama would veto such a bill, right?  Yes, but all that does is give the Senate yet another chance at reaffirming the votes of those still in love with such a horribly unpopular piece of legislation by forcing a veto override vote as well.
  • Don’t get suckered into the immigration debate without passing stand alone legislation that secures our borders first.  Almost all of the election polling showed that it is actually a very minor priority when stacked up against some of the other current issues we need to be dealing with.  Anytime Obama does try to bring it up you should simply remind him that the crisis isn’t being created by our existing laws as much as it’s being created by the lack of enforcement of our existing laws.
  • DO NOT pass a single Obama nomination through the Senate unless Obama finally lets the Keystone Pipeline move forward.

 

Even though constitutionally one Obama still equals one Congress, that doesn’t mean we can’t start the ball rolling toward getting this nation back on track.  Regardless of what bills Republicans do manage to get enacted they’ve got 2 years to prove they are willing to do what’s right.  What we don’t need is another squandered opportunity like we had after ’94.  Therefore, the task of the Republican Party for the next two years is to re-establish their core beliefs and then both live and defend them.  

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The Glories of Gridlock

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Most people like to whine about how our government is in seemingly perpetual gridlock.  To the contrary, I’m probably one of only a few people that actually celebrate it.  Typically, when I tell people this the immediate response I get back is that they think I’m some sort of government hating anarchist.  I’m not.  Quite the contrary, I feel government has a very distinct and vital roll to play.  The difference is that I prefer that when it plays that role it does so correctly.  In other words, I don’t want action merely for the sake of action.  

Think of it this way.  If the headlights went out on your car and you were totally in the dark would you still try to drive blindly and risk catastrophe simply so that you could say the car was at least moving, or would it be better to wait until daylight when you can at be assured that you aren’t heading off a cliff?  Government should work the same way.  Unfortunately, too often our elected officials prefer the blind method either because they don’t really care where we’re heading as long as they get to drive, or they’ll do whatever just to shut up the whiney public sitting in the back, or because they don’t want us to know where they actually plan on taking us. 

There is a profound difference between proving yourself right and proving someone else wrong.  We often wonder why politics is so negative, but it’s because politician have learned that we as the voting public have gotten lazy by accepting the premise that just because politician A can prove politician B’s answer wrong that it somehow makes politician A’s answer right.  The problem is that axiom rarely holds true.  Quite often BOTH politicians hold the wrong answer.  Often times we figure this out too late simply because we as voters rarely demand that our candidate actually explain and prove their own answers during campaigns.  This is why so often when it comes time to vote we must do so while holding our nose simply because it isn’t about who has the right answers, but rather whose answers just didn’t get proven wrong. 

Far too often we go with the politician who tells us the things we want to hear instead of the logical things we need to hear.  For example, any idiot can tell us with great amounts of emotion about how we need to feed the hungry.  Unfortunately, they haven’t shed light on anything useful until they can tell us HOW to do so in a practical and sustainable manner.  We need to stop voting for politicians who sway us through the darkness of our feelings and instead vote for the politicians who can at least sway us through the light of our thinking.  As I’ve said many times before, governance merely through good intentions isn’t good governance.  It makes no more sense than driving blindly just to keep the car moving. 

Our nation was founded on the principle that government isn’t meant to be the answer to most of our everyday needs.  That role is meant to be maintained by the people themselves.  In reality government is meant to be kept in the background of our daily lives, not the foreground.  That’s because no single man or group of men holds all the correct answers to all of our problems, nor is every correct answer correct for every person.  Therefore, I prefer gridlock simply because moving this nation is like trying to move an entire school bus full of children.  I would prefer we do so in the light of correct answers when we know exactly what lies ahead than taking great risk with an entire nation left wandering thru the dangers hidden in the dark.

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The Common Problem

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Common Core can best be described as the common problem.  What I’ve found as I discuss this issue with folks across the political spectrum is that what we are dealing with is something that strangely enough doesn’t even appear to be a partisan issue.  Ironically, I’ve talked with just as many Liberals that hate Common Core as I have Conservatives.  So the simple question is why do we still have this horrible beast lurking about? 

Our educational system has many shortcomings.  We have a tendency to fail our kids on a plethora of levels with everything from too little funding, to too much wasteful spending, not enough staffing, to not enough staff that are really fit to be educators in the first place.  We’ve got a shortfall of parental involvement in some schools paired with an over abundance of political correctness in others.  All the while we have public officials scratching their heads wondering how they can continue to compete against their online, charter, and private adversaries that are just as willing to cash the per pupil government subsidy checks as our public schools are. 

All of that aside, one of the biggest problems we have has to do with how our schools have been forced to re-allocate the resources they currently have.  In the last 30 years our national student population has gone up by a mere 8% as the “boomer” generation moved on and was replaced by the less “fruitful” loins of the Gen-X’s, the Millenials, etc.  However, during that same period the number of educational staff has literally doubled.  Now this all sounds like it would make things easier on our educators, right?  Wrong! 

The problem is that while student population growth has been far outpaced by the growth of staff, the staff growth has been far outpaced by bureaucratic requirements.  Our kids are no longer viewed as cherub like mush brains eagerly waiting to be molded into the next generation of geniuses.  Instead they’ve become nothing more than collective demographic statistic on an ever growing docket of useless governmental spreadsheets.  Instead of educating our children, our educators are forced to spend all their time charting them.  God help us anytime one of these precious little potential prodigies falls out of the norm and into the category of “special needs”. 

Common Core really does two things.  First, it adds nothing more to benefit the students, but instead adds yet another layer of bureaucracy onto an already overburdened system.  With Common Core our teachers will not only be chasing yet another chart, but they’ll be doing so by teaching to a test instead of testing what was taught.  Second, Common Core infuses the potential for pushing political agenda’s by virtue of testing based on certain political premises.  If you don’t believe me than ask yourself a simple question.  How can a “common” testing system possibly be the primary goal when that testing system can’t even be accomplished in a common language? 

Both students and teachers are different as are their corresponding needs and styles.  Sure there are certain things that all kids need to know by the time they graduate, but we’ve already got plenty of tests that provide that feedback.  When it comes to learning all kids have a natural pace that is combined with natural desires for where they want their education to take them in that next phase of life.  Common Core is nothing more than a centralized pigeon hole for the masses where all kids are forced to fit into the same round hole regardless of their original size or shape. 

Personally, I’ve always believed that education is best handled by those with the greatest interest in how it gets handled.  This translates into the closer we can keep the control at home the better off we are.  It also means that instead of using Common Core as an even greater measure of centralized control we should abolish the Department of Education all together and push control back down toward the state and local communities where it belongs.  Heck, even Hillary Clinton said “It takes a village to raise a child”, but she never said anything about needing a federal government.

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The Importance of the Vote

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As a Tea Party member who happens to live in Speaker John Boehner’s district I’m often asked the question about whether I plan to vote for the Speaker in the upcoming election or do I plan to simply sit that particular vote out.  After all, my rather staunch logically conservative nature has a tendency to get frustrated so often by conflicting with many of Boehner’s more centrist “establishment” positions on certain issues.  This same question came up in the last presidential election regarding Mitt Romney, the results of which perfectly explain why I not only still plan to vote, but to do so FOR Boehner.

 Contrary to what Democrats would like for us to believe Obama did not win re-election because of some overwhelming love that the people felt for his first term policies.  In fact, he actually lost about 3.5 million votes between his 2008 and 20012 totals.  So why did he still win?  The reason was because of all the votes of those who didn’t actually vote.  So am I suddenly becoming the type of conspiratorial theorist that I deride in my commentaries by accusing Democrats of massive voter fraud?  No!  Besides, that’s a topic for another day.  What I am saying is that Obama didn’t win, but instead Romney lost because of all the negative votes cast by virtue of voter apathy.  Are you confused yet?

 What most of us are taught is that ours is a one voter, one vote system.  This isn’t actually true.  As my own parents taught me as I approached the very important voter eligible age is that what we really have is more of a two vote binary system where each voter has both a positive vote and a negative vote.  If you understand the laws of finite numbers you probably already understand this concept.  However, for those that are unfamiliar with such a concept please allow me to explain further. 

 Suppose there are two candidates and 100 potential voters.  If half were planning on voting for each candidate each would receive 50 votes thus creating a tie.  However, if one of those voters changed their mind and instead voted for the other guy the difference isn’t one, it’s two, with one candidate now winning by a 51-49 margin.  That’s because the new favorite candidate got a +1 (or a positive vote) and the old favorite received a -1 (or a negative vote).  Now suppose that the person who changed their mind simply decided instead to not vote at all.  Well, it still counts as a -1 vote for the old favorite which still breaks the tie thus causing the old favorite to lose by a 50-49 margin.  As you can see “not voting” is still an effective form of vote which is why in reality there is no such thing as not voting.  If you apply this principle to the 2012 election it’s easy to see based on the numbers that Obama didn’t win since his total actually declined, but rather Romney lost due to all the negative votes of those that mistakenly decided it would be better to sit out an election rather than voting for someone they didn’t agree with often enough.

 As an intelligent adult I’m smart enough to understand that I’m never going to find the perfect candidate that I agree with on every issue.  What I also understand is that voting is often times just as much about voting AGAINST someone as it is voting FOR someone.  Therefore, we must accept the idea of either voting for the candidate that most closely resembles our own positions, or at least voting against the person who least agrees with us.  This often translates into placing a vote where we must do so while holding our nose as I did in 2008 with John McCain.  I wasn’t as much a fan of McCain’s positions as I was against Obama’s socialistic agenda.

 My parents raised me with the understanding that voting is both a serious responsibility, but also a sacred duty based on the sacrifices of those who gave their fullest measure so that I might have such an opportunity in the first place.  They never pressured me on how to vote, but just how important it is that I should vote.  Since I’ve already let the cat out of the bag about who I plan to vote for the question many might be asking is whether my vote is actually based on being FOR Boehner or AGAINST any possibility of Nancy Pelosi becoming Speaker of the House ever again?  In truth it doesn’t really matter.  What does matter is that I plan on not disappointing either my parents or those that sacrificed so much regardless of why I end up voting the way I do.  I would suggest you do the same.

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