4th of July

Lady Liberty and Flag

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security…” – Declaration of Independence of the American Colonies, July 4, 1776.

Supreme Disappointment

This past week, the Supreme Court handed down two decisions – one of which I predicted in a prior post (although earlier than expected), and the second which should not have been made.

The first decision was the legalization of homosexual marriage.  I predicted earlier that this would happen, although I was off by two years at the earliest.  What ramifications that this will have is to be seen, and will be highly speculative in nature, so let me take this opportunity to throw in my two cents worth.

I foresee that other groups will want legalization of their bedroom activities.  The first of these would be polygamy, which does have an Old Testament history, and is still practiced in other parts of the world.  However, I also see that other, more unseemly practices, will also come to the courts for approval, such as sex with minors (I won’t go into the other perversions that come to mind).

There is also the censorship of opinions on this decision.  Already, a Pennsylvania paper, the PennLive / Patriot News in Harrisburg will no longer accept opinion editorials or letters to the editor concerning opposition to same-sex marriage.  The rationalization is that the paper “would not print racist, sexist or anti-Semitic letters” and thus would include the topic of same-sex marriages in that editorial policy.  The politically correct speech police adds another topic to their list…

Here’s a nation, one of the founding pillars was freedom of speech and freedom of expression. And yet, we have imposed upon people restrictions on what they can say, on what they can think. And the media is the largest proponent of this, crucifying people who say things really quite innocently. – Benjamin Carson

Freedom of speech includes the freedom to offend people. – Brad Thor

Last on my list would be the freedom of our various religious institutions to believe and teach that homosexual unions are a violations of their religion.  Anything from hate speech charges to loss of tax-exempt status are possible with this latest decision.  For the tax-exempt angle, take this excerpt from and article on American Thinker:

Lost in the celebrations over universal gay marriage, like abortion, being deemed a right found in the “penumbras and emanations” of the Constitution is the chilling effect the ruling has on religious liberty.  In a telling exchange between the Obama administration’s Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli, Jr. and Justice Samuel Alito, detailed by Tom Blumer at Newsbusters.com, in which Verrilli admitted that churches could lose their tax exemptions if they refuse to perform gay weddings:

“Justice Alito: Well, in the Bob Jones case, the Court held that a college was not entitled to tax­exempt status if it opposed interracial marriage or interracial dating. So would the same apply to a university or a college if it opposed same­-sex marriage?

“General Verrilli: You know, ­­I don’t think I can answer that question without knowing more specifics, but it’s certainly going to be an issue. I don’t deny that. I don’t deny that, Justice Alito. It is­­ it is going to be an issue.”

So the administration admits that the tax exemption of institutions could be at risk if they refuse to acquiesce in the acceptance of gay marriages.  There is no reason to assume that this mandate would not apply to institutions such as the Catholic Church.  Those who think this is a red herring forget that this is the administration dragging the Little Sisters of the Poor, a group of elderly nuns devoted to helping the aged poor, through the courts, because they won’t comply with Obamacare’s contraception coverage mandate…

Somehow, I think that the government will force (or attempt to make) various churches perform homosexual weddings or they would be charged with a civil offense.  I would, however, like to see them try to force an Imam to perform such a service in a mosque…

If you don’t think that the above is possible, consider the second decision that the Supreme Court made this week.  This one ignores the law that was passed by Congress & signed by the President, and reinterprets it in a way that boggles the mind.  From Townhall.com:

The issue in King v. Burwell is simple: The Affordable Care Act provides subsidies for taxpayers who cannot afford health care, but the law clearly states those subsidies are available only to those who purchase insurance in “an Exchange established by the State under [42 U. S. C. §18031].” Since its implementation, however, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), following the command of the Obama administration, has been granting subsidies to all citizens who otherwise qualify under the law, even if they live in states that are using the federal health insurance exchange, which is obviously not “an Exchange established by the State.”

This struck many observers as an open-and-shut case: The law strictly confines subsidies to state-established exchanges, but the IRS has been granting subsidies to everyone, in violation of the law.

[Chief Justice] Roberts reasons, “Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them. If at all possible, we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter.”

In other words, Roberts and the Court majority decided the law is “ambiguous” because the court needs it to be ambiguous to fit a particular policy goal, not because its meaning actually is indeterminate.

…All that matters is protecting Obamacare no matter the cost, as Justice Antonin Scalia illustrated in his scathing and heroic, albeit ultimately unavailing, dissent: “Under all the usual rules of interpretation, in short, the Government should lose this case. But normal rules of interpretation seem always to yield to the overriding principle of the present Court: The Affordable Care Act must be saved.”

Welcome to America, where laws do not matter, but opinions and good intents do.  And it seems that the opinions that do matter are Progressively Liberal in nature, where the intent overrides any possible negative outcomes or consequences.  Here’s a list of “truths’’ that we’re to accept without question unless we want to run afoul of the Thought Police and be denounced as a hater (from National Review):

Exchanges established by the federal government are exchanges established by the state. Rachel Dolezal is black. Iran will honor an agreement not to develop nuclear weapons. ISIS is a JV team. There’s an epidemic of sexual assaults on college campuses. Michael Brown had his hands up and pleaded “don’t shoot.” Caitlyn Jenner is a woman. Obamacare is working. 2+2 doesn’t necessarily equal 4. The polar ice caps are disappearing. The IRS is doing a decent job. The border is secure.We’ve ended two wars responsibly. Hillary Clinton turned over all work-related e-mails. An $18,200,000,000,000 debt can grow without mention. People who burn down buildings and overturn cars aren’t thugs. The OPM hack is manageable. We’ve reset relations with Russia. Entitlement reform can be kicked down the road. We’re more respected around the world.

Fantasy is always preferable to reality.  However, reality is a vindictive bitch, and will eventually slap the politicians back into the situations that they want to avoid.  Reality is coming, and it won’t be pretty because these bastards will not take any responsibility for the mess they created, and it will be up to the American people to clean it up if that’s even possible.

We had better elect good, responsible people to our government, or I have very serious doubts that this country will survive in any way, shape, or form.

Reflections

Our thoughts and prayers go with the families and congregation of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC.  The response of the congregation to the murder of nine parishioners and their pastor is as inspiring as any that I have seen in the face of such tragedy.

However, I wish I could say the same of the news channels, politicians, and even our President.  What I have to say in the following post in no way diminishes the horror of that night.

The blood was barely dry before calls for gun control measures were bandied about with the worn out promises that these proposals “would prevent such tragedies from happening” when these same people know damn well that such actions, rules, laws, regulations, etc. would not prevent anything of the sort.  It frosts me to no end that the talking heads focus upon the instrument used instead of the person responsible.  No, I’m not referring to the in-depth semi-glorification of the perpetrator by the media, but of the lack of personal responsibility, judgment, empathy, self-control, and maturity this individual showed in planning and carrying out this attack.

Before we go too much further in assigning blame, let’s remember the following:

Cain Able

People have been killing each other since the beginning of time with any and all implements that they could get their hands on (or using their bare hands) for as many reasons as a person could think of.  It’s not the implement that does the killing, it’s the person wielding the implement and their reasons for it.  If it’s not a gun, it’s a knife.  If it’s not a knife, it’s a rock.  If it’s not a rock, it’s a sharp stick.  And it goes on and on and on…

The truth of the matter is that we, as humans, are kidding ourselves when we say we are “civilized.”  We’re not.  We make laws & rules, and have formulated various moral codes to regulate our behavior and actions.  As long as we voluntarily obey the rules of society, we call ourselves “civilized.”  But all of those inhibitions will often be conveniently ignored if some advantage is seen in violating said codes & rules if that person believes the risk is worth the reward.  And that’s just the sane people…

The insane or “touched” people have no such inhibition.  Hate, the desire for fame & attention, an obsession, or some other internal motivation known only to them sends them on a path to inflict harm upon other people.  These are the folks that need the focus of the media and politicians on getting help – real help – rather than talking about disarming law-abiding people, or taking away a tool for self defense.  But that isn’t politically expedient or correct – it’s much easier blaming an object instead of a person.

Around a year ago, I wrote the following about an incident when another mentally unstable person went on a rampage in California:

This incident (among others) proves to me that no matter what laws and regulations the politicians pass for whatever purpose to reduce crime, crime will continue to happen because individuals, whether sane or insane, will commit crimes of various types.  This incident also proves to me that a nutcase can come out of the woodwork at any time and wish to harm my family or myself for the most mundane reason, or worse, no reason at all.

This is what the gun-control crowd refuses to realize – it goes against their mindset of a perfect world of where everyone gets along and no one will hurt them.  This Pollyanna view of the world just isn’t so – a view of the international news from Ethiopia to Sudan to even news of our cities (like Chicago or Detroit) bursts that bubble.  And folks with that attitude are bound and determined to get themselves and anyone else that listens to them killed.

The anti-gun crowd is continuing their predictable hand-wringing, wailing, and calling for more restrictive laws and regulations that will do nothing but inconvenience law abiding citizens and encourage more people to become unarmed and unable to defend themselves.  From examiner.com:

“That everything currently being pushed on the national level as “common sense” and “reasonable” is already in place in California, that it proved wholly inadequate at stopping a determined, mad killer, and that this does not enter into what passes for their thought processes, shows they will not be satisfied until all guns are banned from private ownership. There can be no other conclusion.”

FB_IMG_1431771081018

To continue with excerpts from the same post:

Here’s one additional thing that we have learned:  The gun is not the problem.  Most of the mass-killings from Columbine onward have been perpetrated by mentally unstable people who do not have a sense of right or wrong, who have somehow been allowed to have access to weapons of various kinds, and are in desperate need of therapy, medication, and (dare I say it) institutionalization.  These people are not only threats to themselves, but to the people around them.  But this is not what the politicians are focused upon other than lip service.

Dealing with mental health is a political minefield that politicians do not want to go into.  Patient privacy, funding, and the inexact science called psychology are only a few of the holes that a politician can wander into and become lost.  Easier to blame and vilify an object rather than have people that will accuse the politician of being insensitive and discriminatory.  Thus, the responsibility of action has been shifted from a person to an object.

That, my friends, is the problem.  Who really, seriously, blames the perpetrator of the crime?  Think about that for a little bit…

Personal responsibility has been shifted from the individual to something else.  People are only too willing to shift their personal safety to the police, blame their less than stellar actions to society, and to trust their very existence to government handouts.  Without “skin in the game,” the responsibility that a person has for their actions is now transferable to something or someone else, thus avoiding blame for any consequences and their own inaction.  This action also allows the blame-shifter to accuse others for their own shortcomings.

Next, the psycho-babble analysts delve into the person’s “issues” and “problems” seeking that “trigger” that caused a person to go off the deep end and sidle up to those “evil” guns to commit horrendous acts.  Again, it’s never the person that commits the crime, it’s always “something else” that caused it.  Ultimately, the perpetrator becomes a victim, and is almost never held fully accountable for their actions.

Last, the politicians blame the gun for the killings.  The victims blame the gun for the killings.  The parents of the victims and the perpetrator blame the gun for the killings.  Those evil gun-rights activists and the NRA are also blamed for the killings – how dare they defend the rights of people to bear arms when those arms are used to kill people?

The harsh reality is that we live in a dangerous world.  There are people who would rob, steal, & murder you for what you may have, what you look like, or what you believe.  There are laws that state that such acts are criminal, and spell out penalties for committing those acts.  However, laws are written on paper, and are useless in defending oneself in the heat of the moment.

We, as a people, have the moral right to defend ourselves.  For those non-religious people, we have a natural right to defend ourselves.  I don’t know a single person that will not fight back if assaulted unless they were surprised.  A weapon such as a gun is a tool that can be used to defend oneself and our loved ones against such an attack.  It doesn’t matter if you are an 80-year old grandmother, a person with a physical disability, a college coed, or a normal, everyday person, a gun can save your life and get you home to your family.  To willingly disarm yourself & submit yourself to the tender mercies of a criminal because of some politician saying it’s for the good of all is absolute foolishness at best & suicidal at worst.

I, for one, refuse to die at the hands of a criminal with nothing in my hand except a cell phone with “911” on the screen…

.facebook_1434836248020

“There are places in the world where it is hard to imagine that anything is wrong.  It’s merely an illusion, and only the foolish think otherwise. But even more foolish are the people that cling to that illusion as if it were reality.  They are the ones that stand to lose the most when the illusion fades like so many stars in the morning sky.” – “Broken – A Podcast Novel”, Episode 1

Social Justice at What Price?

Yesterday, charges were brought against six officers in the death of Freddie Gray following days of riots, looting, and burning.  Chants of “No Justice, No Peace” were also heard amid the chaos.

In other news, a police officer was shot apparently in retaliation for Gray’s death.  Apparently the assailant, who is in custody, didn’t get the memo that the officers had been charged.

In my opinion, charges were brought against the officers to pacify the rioters, and some of those will not stick when all the facts are brought to light.  Regardless, the aftermath of this entire process is horrifying in the scope and the implications of what the future holds.  And thus another sad chapter has been written in which the insane round-robin series of events where someone gets killed (a person of color with a criminal record) & people riot before all the facts are in. 

Stop and think of the impact of these events have on the community.  Businesses are looted and burned, many of them are owned by the same race as the community that they are located in.  They had absolutely nothing to do with the events that triggered the riot.  But they were the focus of the mob’s wrath, and the destruction & looting began.

But I have never been able to figure out how robbing, burning, and otherwise destroying the very businesses of the community that you live in will make things better.  Sure, the people involved may be charged and even convicted, but exactly how does does that equate to justice?  If anyone knows, please leave a comment.

Baltimore-riots-cartoon

Baltimore 2

Additionally, the community now has a bad reputation.  If things were bad before, hold on because things will get worse as businesses, owned by real people, will be reluctant to reopen damaged or destroyed stores in the area.  Property prices will go down, insurance rates will go up, and the prices in any reopened stores will be higher than before in order to pay for the higher insurance rates, increased risk of opening a store in a volatile area, & loss of revenue from the destruction & unrest.

Yes, there is a cost to all of this mayhem, and someone will pay for it.  And it will be the people living in the neighborhood that was just reduced to ashes.

Again, in my opinion, protest in front of the mayor’s office, the police department, or anywhere else for that matter to get your point across.  But do not rob or burn down other people’s property, because that will make you the true criminal in these cases, and will not bring about the true social justice that is needed.


Due to work and personal commitments, I will not be posting until sometime June.  Until then, visit my counterpart’s blog at Wise Conservatism.