Respect

Something my father taught me was that to get respect, you must show respect by being courteous and respectful to the other person.  However, it seems that in today’s world, the only way that people think that respect is earned is by being tough and imposing their will upon the other person.

And we wonder why people are depressed, pissed-off, and otherwise disrespectful to other people or groups.

I look at the actions of the political parties (yes, both of them) over this past week, and I am ashamed of the non-representational Representatives and Senators that compose our Congress.  In the case of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka, ObamaCare, a Democrat-controlled Congress and President rammed through this POS legislation regardless of the points raised by Citizens and their political opponents.  This legislation cut deals and exceptions for the politically connected, and as time progressed, more and more exceptions were granted to special interests including Congress itself.  Efforts to repeal what is rapidly becoming an unworkable program are met with almost fanatical resistance despite the facts presented against the program and rapidly increasing resistance by the voters.

Neither party is particularly respectful to each other with name calling and trash-talk.  Civility is out the door right along with any respect for each other.  And in the meantime, the respect for the American voter / taxpayer is completely absent. 

I see the President in his actions and speeches toward his political opposition, and his demeanor toward anyone who opposes him does not befit the Office of the President.  His attitude is “I won, you lost, so do as I command” to not only Conservatives, but his own party and the American People.  The sheer arrogance is on display for anyone with half a brain and paying attention to his speeches of no compromise to his will.

Above all else, the Members of Congress and the President do not have respect for is the Constitution of the United States.  If the Congress and President were honorable people, they would respect the Constitution and the People of the United States, and not pass laws like ObamaCare, establishing secret courts to review NSA wiretapping, directing the IRS to persecute political opponents, attempting to restrict the Bill of Rights, and so on.  No, we do not have a majority of honorable people in our highest elected offices.

But this isn’t the only place I see a lack of respect for differing opinions.  For instance, I occasionally watch some of the news and commentary programs, and I can almost always pick out the person with the Liberal viewpoint.  It usually goes like this –

The Liberal person spouts their viewpoint, while the Conservative person sits back and lets the Liberal make their statement.  The Conservative starts making their points, and almost without fail, the Liberal person will interrupt the Conservative person two or three sentences into the Conservative person’s statements.

This isn’t respect – this is one person trying to shout down the other.  I also see the same tactic employed by the “enlightened Liberal” stating that they want to hear all sides of the argument, only to ridicule and shout down any views that oppose their own.  And one wonders why the sides become so polarized to the point of absolute stupidity.  For instance, from the Examiner:

On September 13, Associate Professor David Guth, of U of K’s Wiliam Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications, edified the Twitterverse (in a tweet that has since been removed) with this bit of wisdom:

#NavyYardShooting The blood is on the hands of the #NRA. Next time, let it be YOUR sons and daughters. Shame on you. May God damn you.”

Oh, yeah–almost forgot to mention that the deaths of NRA members’ children are not enough for him–he also wants the grieving parents to suffer eternity in Hell’s lake of fire (and no–that’s not new, either). According to Campus Reform, when offered the opportunity to step back from the brink and retract his obscene fantasy, he instead stuck to . . . whatever it is gun prohibitionists stick to when normal, decent people are said to “stick to their guns”

But some of the pro-gun people haven’t exactly been respectful either.  For instance, Starbucks has been neutral concerning the carrying of guns in their stores, citing if it’s legal to open or conceal carry in the state or locality of their store’s location, it was OK by them.  After several knuckleheads decided to carry rifles and shotguns into the stores, the CEO of Starbucks kindly asked the gun-owners to leave the guns out of the stores.  This type of “in your face” attitude is disrespectful of people who, quite frankly, would become alarmed to walk into a place of business & see a long-gun or shotgun.

(For the record, it doesn’t bother me at all to see a person with a properly holstered firearm in a place of business.  What I do have a problem with is someone carrying a rifle or a shotgun around in their hands in a store.  That, to me, is a threat, and I would get my family and myself out of there ASAP).

The media also does not have respect for the American People as they have multiple agendas to promote – socialized medicine via the ACA and gun control among them.  Thus, they ignore facts or even make them up to promote their viewpoint. 

We are rapidly becoming a polarized, uncivilized society, rude, and disrespectful.  And that is one of the many reasons I do not trust my government, the media, or my fellow man.

(For a dissertation on my trust issues, please visit my post titled “Trust”)

Post in Pictures and Videos

Maybe I’m getting old & lazy, but it seems that other people are putting out pictures and videos on what I’m feeling about posting this week.  And they are doing a better job than what I can do!

Here are some video & pictures that reflect exactly what has been on my mind.

Leading from Behind

This past week has shown the American People what the difference is between a community organizer and a leader.  Let us look at the job description of a Community Organizer (excerpted from eHow):

Description

  • Community organizers work to advance racial and economic justice, promote democracy, teach leadership, and develop the sustainability of communities through grassroots campaigns.

Responsibilities

  • Community organizers are responsible for improving their communities by solving conflicts, improving economic outlooks, setting goals and deadlines, and creating positive change.

Campaigns

  • Campaigns are the most common way for community organizers to enact changes to society.

Now a definition for Leadership (excerpted from BusinessDictionary.com):

Leadership involves

  • establishing a clear vision,
  • sharing that vision with others so that they will follow willingly,
  • providing the information, knowledge and methods to realize that vision, and
  • coordinating and balancing the conflicting interests of all members and stakeholders.

A leader steps up in times of crisis, and is able to think and act creatively in difficult situations.

Does anyone not see the difference between the two?

The President of the United States must be a leader, not a community organizer.  He must step up in times of crisis, and be the focal point of the policies and actions for the United States throughout the world as well as on domestic issues.  He must be an advocate for the United States and its People, for the Constitution and the laws of the United States, and for the concept of what has been called American exceptionalism.

President Obama, in my opinion, is not a leader, is not an advocate for the People of the United States, and does the United States a great disservice in our foreign policies with other countries of the world.  Indeed, he has seemingly gone out of his way to gut the United States as a world power, and minimize American exceptionalism and interests.

The recent situation with Syria is just the latest in a long line of missteps that will affect this country far beyond the end of President Obama’s second term.   

What is so bassackward is that a Nobel Peace Prize winner is advocating dropping bombs on a country, and an ex-KGB Lieutenant Colonel with dictator-like tendencies advocating negotiation.  Of course, it doesn’t help that said Nobel Peace Prize paints himself in a corner with threats of red lines and inaction.  Also, when said ex-KGB Lieutenant Colonel  writes an op-ed piece for an American newspaper with statements not very complementary to our leadership or the country, the United States is increasingly seen as a bunch of, well, the following picture says it all:

Media Clowns

Domestically, it’s more of the same chaos and inaction from this Administration that, quite frankly, is becoming more and more hostile to its political opposition and the American people.

Just look at some of the numerous scandals and questionable actions that have occurred with this Administration in charge: 

  • Failed energy company handouts costing billions of taxpayer dollars.
  • Shovel-ready jobs that weren’t which were used as a reason to pass the Stimulus package.
  • Fast & Furious Gunrunning operation which has cost hundreds of lives on both sides of the border.
  • Spying on the Associated Press.
  • Spying on the American People via the NSA.
  • The Benghazi attack – failure to protect American lives through denying increased security measure requests & refusing a rescue mission, misleading the American people as to the cause and events leading up to the attack, and the cover-up of Administration actions & decisions of the President and Secretary of State.
  • The Pigford Scandal.
  • The James Rosen persecution.
  • HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius soliciting donations from companies HHS might regulate, which is a clear violation of various Federal laws.
  • IRS targeting political enemies of the Obama Administration.
  • Multiple conferences and videos by the GSA, IRS, VA, and others wasting millions of taxpayer dollars.
  • President Obama’s constant end-runs around legislation by Administrative decrees in directing various agencies not to enforce various laws (immigration, ObamaCare, etc.)
  • Failure to pursue a voter intimidation case against Black Panthers who appeared to be menacing voters at a polling place in 2008 in Philadelphia.

And the list goes on.

Then there is the continuing war against the American people by this Administration.  Promoting increased government intrusion into the lives of the American People through legislation and regulations making it harder for the American People to thrive.

Top of my list is ObamaCare.  This onerous POC legislation raises costs for everyone, and has so many unintended consequences it is absolutely unbelievable.  This is legislation that must be defunded and repealed – there are better ways to cover the healthcare costs of the uninsurable.  I still remember this quote from an Arlan Spector /  Kathleen Sebelius townhall discussing the legislation before it was passed:

“I look at this health care plan and I see nothing that is about health or about care. What I see is a bureaucratic nightmare, Senator.  Medicaid is broke, Medicare is broke, Social Security is broke and you want us to believe that a government that can’t even run a cash for clunkers program is going to run one-seventh of our U.S. economy?  No sir, no.”

Anyone watching the news and seeing the fallout with our legislators running from it as fast as possible know that this legislation is truly a disaster (or train wreck, as one Democratic Senator called it).

Next on my list is the assault on the Bill of Rights by the Administration & even our own Congress. 

Political correctness has gone wild, stifling any reasonable conversations on difficult topics.  It’s hard to discuss the issues when constantly defending oneself from charges of racism, bigotry, and other non-productive nonsense.  Our First Amendment rights are violated and stifled by the actions of an ever intrusive Government when just talking about certain subjects could be considered a hate crime.  This is just absolutely insane, especially when the above scandals against the Press and the public are taken into consideration.

The right to defend oneself against an aggressor is also under attack by this Administration’s assault upon the Second Amendment.  The goal is to remove all firearms from the American citizen’s hands, and leave them in the hands of “qualified” government employees.  That in itself is scary, especially when on the news report this morning that two bystanders were wounded when New York police opened fire on a suspect that was thought to have a gun (he didn’t). Obviously, the police are not qualified to handle firearms (they missed their suspect and wounded two women) nor were they correct in their justification to use deadly force (the suspect did not have a weapon). 

Now I am for removing weapons from the hands of criminals, and I am for letting the public to arm themselves if they so wish (it is a personal choice, not a mandate).  If an 80-year old grandmother wants to have a weapon to defend herself from someone who breaks into her home for an unknown purpose, then so be it.  The police cannot be everywhere all the time, and despite the motto “To Protect and Serve,” the police are not under any legal obligation to protect you.  It’s up to us to defend ourselves.

The Fourth Amendment states that:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” – Fourth Amendment to The United States Constitution

Think of the NSA spying, and of the recent actions of the Boston Police Department (among others) breaking down doors without warrants or probable cause, and you should understand the above.

I could go on, but this is already a long post.  But here’s the bottom line:

The Administration, especially the President, is criminally incompetent to hold the office or the positions that they currently occupy.  I do believe, though, that the President has repeatedly violated his oath to “protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” by continuing to promote the expansion of power of his office over the American People, and by bungling the foreign policy that this country needs to promote the security of the United States.  While the President and his Cabinet have not at this time been accused of the “high crimes and misdemeanors” needed for a removal from office, I believe that time is close at hand.  The hubris that these people have is overwhelming, and they will make a mistake that make such a removal from office possible.

While I understand that there is a movement to impeach the President and various members of his Cabinet, I somehow do not think that such an action will happen fast enough nor have the desired impact of removing these clowns from office.  Indeed, President Clinton was impeached, but not removed from office.  Eric Holder was held in contempt of Congress, but he is still Attorney General.

I guess the American People are not going to get the change we need.  We need a leader who will take responsibility, not a community organizer that leads from behind.

The Syrian “Crisis”

Friends, the only thing that is a crisis about Syria is that innocent people are being caught in the middle of a civil war and and being killed.  That, in of itself, is tragic.

Situations like this are also one of the reasons why the United Nations (heretofore now the Useless Nations) was created – to provide an international forum for resolving disputes and monitor (and sometimes intervene in) inhuman warfare and conflicts.

Much has been said about the United State’s responsibility to intervene on the behalf of the Syrian citizenry being killed by both sides of the conflict for “humanitarian” reasons.  Somehow, I’m having a hard time with this explanation as there are multiple instances of conflicts throughout the world of where humanitarian intervention is needed.  Think of the multiple out of control conflicts in Africa, and you should understand.

No, the only reason that President Obama wants to get involved in Syria is to save face.  Period.  And to this end, the American public is told that the only military involvement that the United States will have in Syria is to punish the Syrian President by dropping missiles and bombs on military assets.

So let me get this straight – We, the United States, is going to bomb another country to punish the leader of another country for supposedly using chemical weapons (as yet unconfirmed by the Useless Nation’s inspectors), and to do so without the support of said Useless Nations or any other credible international community.  And by the way – said bombing will most likely kill more people, and probably not the ones responsible.

I’m not the only one smelling the BS – many Congresscritters are feeling the heat from their constituents to not get involved in what is really a civil war between two factions that are not friendly to the United States.  In other words, there is no good guy here for the United States to back.  There is no imminent threat to the United States from either faction, and should we get involved, we could find ourselves the target of both of the factions (remember the saying – The enemy of my enemy is my friend?)

Regardless, President Obama is hitting the airwaves over the next couple of days with his minions to sell to the American People and their non-representational Representatives & Senators to give him permission to unilaterally proceed with military action against Syria.  And if he doesn’t get it, he just might proceed without Congressional approval.

But can he do this legally?  Well, it depends on what side of the fence you want to be on.  Let’s take the following excerpts from an article from Judge Andrew P. Napolitano on the legality of such an action:

Even if all this took place as Obama claims, can he lawfully bomb Syria to punish its government for violating international norms or to deter it from doing so again? In a word: No.

International law recognizes only three lawful routes to the use of military force. It recognizes the right of every country to launch military force in order to prevent its own borders from being invaded or to subdue those who commenced an invasion. It also recognizes the ability of any U.N. member state to come to the aid of any other U.N. member state when one of them has been invaded. And treaties to which the U.S. and Syria are parties permit limited purpose invasions when approved by the U.N. None of these lawful scenarios applies to Syria.

Can Obama just launch an invasion of Syria even if it would be unlawful and even if Congress says no?

Because of the vicissitudes of history, the personalities of presidents and the myopic compromises of past Congresses, the area of presidential war-making has different legal and constitutional ramifications. Under the Constitution, only Congress can authorize the offensive use of military force. James Madison’s notes from the Constitutional Convention in 1787 make it obvious that the Framers were nearly unanimous in their resolve to keep the war-making power away from the president and repose it exclusively with Congress. They did this clearly and unambiguously in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution.

Notwithstanding the precise language of the Constitution and the history of the nation’s birth, the War Powers Resolution (WPR), a federal statute enacted in 1973 over President Nixon’s veto, does permit the president on his own to use the military for offensive wars for a maximum of 90 days. Thus, under current federal law, Obama may lawfully bomb Syria even if Congress declines to authorize him to do so and even though such an act would violate international law.

But the WPR is profoundly unconstitutional because it cedes Congress’ constitutional war-making power to the president. The WPR was an ill-conceived political compromise effectuated by a Watergate-weakened president, congressional hawks who approved of Nixon’s unilateral invasion of Cambodia and sober congressional heads more faithful to the separation of powers.

Yet, the Supreme Court has ruled consistently that the transfer of constitutional powers among the branches of the federal government is unconstitutional, even if popular and consensual, unless brought about by an amendment to the Constitution. Thus, Congress can no more let the president start wars than the president can let Congress appoint federal judges, lest the Constitution have no meaning or force of law.

No matter how this shakes out, President Obama has literally painted himself into a corner with his red line, and the international community with the American citizens are not amused, and I doubt very much that the Syrians caught in the crossfire of bullets, grenades, and gas are pleased to be pawns in a game of political football & brinksmanship. 

My thoughts are that the United States cannot be the world’s policeman, and unilaterally take action against perceived violations of international law.  As much as it pains me to state this, the Useless Nations must take charge of the situation and evaluate, recommend, and take actions in their inefficient, non-time critical fashion. 

From the point of international law and our own laws from our Constitution, the President of the United States cannot take action by and for himself to order an attack upon another country without provocation or a direct attack upon the United States.  From the point of Congressional approval to give the President permission to order an attack, they can, but I believe that they would have a hard time selling such an attack to the American people is in the interests of the United States and would have no repercussions from either Syria, its allies, or from the Useless Nations.

For the record, I oppose any military actions of the United States upon Syria or the Syrian rebels.  I do, however, support humanitarian aid to those Syrians not involved in the conflict.