2013 in Review

Every year, I like to take the time to review and comment on the past year.  So here’s what’s on my radar.

Between the Sandy Hook Massacre and the Zimmerman case, the gun control / banning crowd attempted to use the bodies of innocent children and a thug to repeat their mantra of “guns are bad, people are good” when that is clearly not the case.  It has been reported (barely) that while gun ownership rose, the violent crime and murder rates reported by the FBI is at an all time low.

http://stevengoddard.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/screenhunter_223-apr-11-05-11.jpg

http://stevengoddard.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/screenhunter_222-apr-11-05-07.jpgInteresting that the Obama Administration and its political sycophants did not make a bigger deal with this, but remember – they have an agenda to promote, and it’s not about individual gun ownership and responsibility.

This Administration has been the subject of multiple scandals almost too numerous to list.  It’s reaction is as frightening as it is blasé:  These scandals are phony!  I didn’t know!  It’s the Republican’s and/or Bush’s fault.  To wit:

And the Administration wonders why We The People are rating the President lower than ever.

Then there’s the ObamaCare debacle.  What we have to remember here is that it’s not just a malfunctioning website, it’s also an ill-conceived POS legislation that doesn’t allow people to keep their doctors and health plans (4-6 million have lost their insurance), doesn’t lower their cost of said insurance by an average of $2500 dollars (it’s often 2 to 5 times higher that what you were paying), would be self-sustaining (it isn’), and has so many exemptions for the politically connected that the rest of the hard-working Americans must pay through the nose to support it.  If the legislation was so good and groundbreaking to begin with, then why are our lawmakers (who passed this crap to begin with) fleeing the exchanges, and a PR campaign to sell it to the rest of us?

 

Make no mistake – a tsunami is coming, and it won’t be pretty.

Last on my year end list is the Federal Budget.  Stupid comments like, “We don’t have a spending problem, we have a revenue problem,” and “We don’t have a spending problem, we have a paying problem” does nothing to solve any of the budget issues, and plunges this country further into debt.  And one day, the bills will need to be paid.

But Congress’s solutions, although temporary, do not address the careless spending of public funds.  For instance, does Congress really need to spend billions of taxpayer dollars on foreign aid to countries that regularly call for the destruction of the United States?  Does Congress really need to spend millions of dollars in welfare for illegal immigrants to this country as well as provide said illegal immigrants with identification numbers for tax refunds?  Obviously they do, because what they have done is cut the pay and/or benefits to our soldiers, both active and retired, in the latest budget deal.

To add insult to injury, various politicians who voted for this budget deal are now asking the military personnel for monetary support.  In the following case, retired Chief Master Sargent Chuck Wooten posted the following on his Facebook account after receiving a fund-raising appeal from Representative Paul Ryan:

FB Friends,

I’m still mulling this Paul Ryan budget deal that stole money from every military retiree (past, present and future). This morning, upon opening my email, I noticed I had a letter from Congressman Paul Ryan…and it was begging me for an “emergency end of the year donation.” It only proves what we already know. The folks in Washington are indeed clueless. Instead of hitting the delete button, I decided to call Congressman Ryan out on his audacity and lack of self-awareness. I sent the following to him. I’m also posting it on the FB USAF Chiefs page as an open letter to the Congressman. If you’re a retiree, I will tell you we may have lost the battle, but not the war. If you’re inclined and find it worthy, let’s flood social media with this letter and see if we can get some traction. Thanks.

To Congressman Paul Ryan

Today at 8:19 AM

Congressman Ryan,

Please note that this request by you for a cash donation from me is extremely unfortunate and very ill-timed. You see sir, I am one of the military retirees your “bipartisan” budget just impacted. You and every Republican (both in the House and Senate that voted to pass this travesty betrayed and broke trust with me and everyone like me. You may not know us by name, but we’re the people, Congressman, who answered our Nation’s call, some of us at a very early age to willingly serve YOU and others LIKE YOU so you could safely attend college and pursue your personal ambitions without fear of harm.

You might also want to note that for at least 20 years, my brothers-in-arms answered that call of duty EVERY SINGLE DAY, without fail, without complaint, without enough money to sustain our loved ones we had to leave behind while we DID OUR JOB in every corner of the Earth. And for that service, we were given absolute assurance our so-called retirement benefits would be protected by law. The very law you shattered in your zeal to impress your Democratic cohorts in your back room deal–with the enemy. Yes, I said it. The liberal Democrats are an enemy to the American people and our Nation. Your lack of judgment and eagerness to compromise on the backs of us who protected you is sickening. Congressman, you and every Republican that voted for injuring military retirees have engaged in a complicit, sordid affair with the Democrats who’s objective has always been to dismantle the military. By climbing into their bed on this issue, you have confirmed you are absolutely no better than they and have proven it with your vote.

Congressman Ryan, the audacity which you display is noteworthy, but to unceremoniously snatch earned money from a small group that has added so much more value than the paltry $6B you looked to “save” (which is all smoke and mirrors and you know it), is reprehensible and insulting.

We have, despite the hardships, meager salaries and harsh conditions, have performed with honor and excellence…in silence, which is something most members of Congress have no idea about doing. Our job approval was, is and always be better than yours. We knew our mission and we got it done, then handed it off to a new generation in better shape than we found it.

Your ability to look us in the eye, take money from us (apparently there was ZERO, other source of waste within the federal government that you could have recovered this money from…right, got it), while simultaneously holding your hand out to beg (with passion) for our cash is stunning. Your actions have proven you do not have the tremendous intellect you’ve sold the American people on. I say, with all seriousness, Congressman, what you lack in intellect and spinal rigidity, you make up for in cajones.

I hope you and your cowardly, Republican “colleagues” hear a message from me loud and clear. You will NEVER receive another cent of financial support from me. Further, if you happen to be at a Capitol Hill dinner or at a K Street cocktail party with RNC Chair Reince Priebus, Rep. Ron Barber, Sen. Jeff Flake or Sen. John McCain, I would be honored if you communicate with them that I am launching an effort to ensure NONE of you traitorous “representatives of the people” ever receive another vote from a military retiree. Remove me from your contact lists.

Chuck Wooten,

Chief Master Sergeant, USAF (Ret)

Well said, Master Sargent, well said.

Folks, our politicians are out of touch with the needs and desires of the People as well as what is necessary for this great country of ours to continue.  Remember everything from the past year and beyond when evaluating the candidates in this upcoming year’s election cycle.

May everyone have a Happy New Year!

Free Speech vs. Political Correctness

As many of you already know, Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame was suspended from the hit A&E show this past week for his comments concerning homosexuality.  Now what I am about to write may torque a few of you off, but bear with me.

A&E has the right to hire, fire, or suspend any of it’s employees or people under contract under the terms of that contract.  Without knowing said terms, we can only speculate as to what the exact reason is other than what has been put in the press releases.

But what we do know is that the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) took great offense at Mr. Robertson’s comments concerning the homosexual lifestyle and sin, and proceeded to pressure A&E to punish Mr. Robertson.

“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” he says. Then he paraphrases Corinthians: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

Perhaps GLAAD takes offense with being lumped in with those perverts that want to have sex with animals.  Or perhaps they don’t like being called sinners.  Or maybe they are just plain intolerant of thoughts and words contrary to their belief system.

I’ve got the following news for the people of GLAAD: 

  • We all have sinned, and unrepented sin will keep us from God’s Kingdom.
  • Up until recently, homosexual behavior has been deemed deviant behavior by society and the medical/psychological professions.
  • Not everyone buys into accepting the homosexual lifestyle as “normal.”  In fact, it is a minority, not a majority.

I find it very hypocritical for GLAAD and their supporters to be promoting the “normalcy” of their lifestyle & speeches pleading for tolerance of said lifestyle, and yet be very intolerant of any criticism or contradiction of what their opinions may be.   And GLAAD is beginning to feel the heat.  Such is the life of a group that espouses Political Correctness, and is found to be lacking in that holier than thou grail of tolerance.

So now we come down to the question of what Freedom of Speech vs. Political Correctness really entails.  I personally think that Dr. Ben Carson summed it up very nicely in his National Prayer Breakfast speech:

“And one last thing about political correctness, which I think is a horrible thing, by the way. I’m very, very come — compassionate, and I’m not never out to offend anyone. But PC is dangerous. Because, you see, this country one of the founding principles was freedom of thought and freedom of expression. and it muffles people. It puts a muzzle on them. And at the same time, keeps people from discussing important issues while the fabric of this society is being changed. And we cannot fall for that trick. And what we need to do is start talking about things, talking about things that are important.”

Wikipedia (always an interesting source of information) states that –

Freedom of speech is being able to speak freely without censorship. The right to freedom of speech is recognized as human right in under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognized in international human rights law under Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The ICCPR recognizes the right to freedom of speech as “the right to hold opinions without interference. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression”. Furthermore freedom of speech is recognized in Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights which establishes human rights law on a regional level.

Political correctness (adjectivally, politically correct; both forms commonly abbreviated to PC) is a term used to describe language, ideas, policies, or behavior seen as seeking to minimize offense to gender, racial, cultural, disabled, aged or other identity groups.

What is interesting is that the freedom of speech implies “the right to hold opinions without interference” but exactly what does that cover?  If tempered with political correctness, one begins to think that there isn’t anything that can be written or said expressing your opinion without some group taking offense.

Here’s the problem with political correctness – the standard of what is politically correct is subject to what someone finds objectionable to their race, religion, and/or belief system. In other words, there are no absolute standards or limits to what these people would find objectionable. Where this could eventually lead is a suppression of our ability to voice our opinions for fear of being publically attacked, and potentially charged with a hate crime. Freedom of speech now becomes a casualty of “political correctness” and “hate crime” laws.

This is where Mr. Robertson is now a casualty.  Political correctness now rules, not freedom of speech and opinion.  Mr. Robertson will not change his opinions or beliefs because he believes in a Higher Power, and I applaud him for it.

As for me –

While I know that I have written past posts that have challenged and pushed the limits of political correctness, and if someone really puts their mind to it, could state that I am writing hate-type articles.  I would like to challenge those critics because much of what I have written is based on facts in the public domain.  Perhaps my interpretation of these facts may not fit their world-view, but guess what – that goes both ways.

Maybe I’m an old fart living in a world of non-absolutes that cannot adapt to a world seemingly gone mad.  Perhaps I’m fed up with being told what I can and cannot say & think by the PC police.  But this old fart has opinions, and will be heard at least through this medium called a blog.  And if you, the reader, don’t like what I write, you can exercise your right of choice and not visit here or leave a comment with your opinion.

After all, it’s all about choice, right?

What I will continue doing is calling a spade a spade.  Political correctness can be damned because people need to face facts & not allow themselves to be deluded and fooled into complacency.  Plain talk is best because it gets the point across, and yes, this can be exceedingly blunt & painful.

Reality, my friends, is far less pleasant than the fantasy world the politically correct happy people would like to have.  And that will eventually come back and haunt them.

In closing, here’s some food for thought from Rick Warren:

Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.

Sandy Hook–One Year Later

One year ago today, a mentally disturbed individual murdered his mother, stole her guns, and proceeded to break into an elementary school and murdered 20 children and 6 teachers before killing himself.  There is absolutely no words that any one of us that can totally bring peace and comfort to those families affected by this tragedy.  Our prayers do go to them, however, because even though we may no know them, most of us can only inadequately feel their pain over their loss.

Even before Sandy Hook, various gun-control organizations have taken to blame the gun for people committing horrendous acts of violence and murder.  No where have I observed except in passing the mentioning of a person being mentally ill or the action being criminal in nature.  Thus, the responsibility of the action is upon the object, not the person using it.

This is what this society, and this country, has come to –  a person does not bear responsibility for their actions.  Blame the tool, not the person.  This is like blaming the spoon and the gallon of vanilla ice-cream for a person becoming obese.  But I digress…

I fully understand that there are people out there that are not mature or responsible enough to own guns.  There are others that want nothing to do with them.  Still others that are violent or mentally incompetent have absolutely no business, legal or otherwise, to have a gun in their possession.  And I’m OK with that.

What I am not OK is for the various gun-control organizations and individuals that state through their own ignorance or hoplophobia (fear of firearms) that seek to disarm law-abiding people.

I’m not going to go on about our rights that are covered under the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, but rather, something that should be more common sense that the legalized BS and blatantly emotional appeals that seem to permeate these types of discussions.

When proponents of gun control state that we need to restrict or ban guns, what are they really asking?  The thought is that violent toughs or mentally disturbed individuals would no longer have access to guns to commit acts of murder and violence.  That, my friends, is a fantasy. 

Guns have been banned in both Great Britain and Australia following mass shootings in those countries as a reaction to incidents similar to Sandy Hook.  What has happened is that while gun crime went down, other criminal activities such as assaults, rapes, theft, and even murder by other means (knives, clubs, hands, etc.) went up.  The unintended consequence of a ban on defensive weaponry is that criminals no longer have a fear of being injured or killed in the commission of a crime, and are thus emboldened to commit more and more violent crimes.

In other words, they want Grandma, Grandpa, parents, our wives or children not to have any means of defending themselves against a bigger, stronger person that means to do them harm.  They want you and yours to become victims to make them feel better about removing guns from our society.

This is not what the gun-control people want you to know – their thoughts are that we are all one big happy family, and we need to get rid of those horrible, evil guns to achieve Utopia.  The police / government is there to protect us from the bad people, and will keep us safe.  Anyone with an ounce of common sense knows that is not the case.

Some reminders:

The police are under no legal obligation to protect the public.

Criminals do not need guns to commit violent crimes (just look at 9/11 and the recent “knock-out games” being played.

Gun control is not crime control.

Defensive uses of firearms outnumber the offensive uses of firearms.

Crime cannot be legislated away, otherwise there wouldn’t be any crime to begin with.

Finally, a report was released in November by the State of Connecticut Attorney’s Office that states that the shooter in the Sandy Hook murders encountered multiple staff members during the course of his rampage.  One can only speculate if one, just one, of the staff members had been armed that day if the outcome would have been much, much less…or can we?

On December 9, 2007, and individual approached the New Life Church in Colorado Springs with roughly the same weapons as the Sandy Hook shooter, but with far more ammunition intending to kill as many people as he could.  He shot four people in the parking lot before entering the church, where he was stopped & killed by a member of the church’s security team.

Let’s remember the mass shootings (New Life, Clackamas Town Center Mall, Pearl River High School, etc.) that were cut short because of citizens that carry weapons, including one that happened six years ago today.  This should be the lesson of Sandy Hook.

American Freedom

Seventy-two years ago, Japan attacked the United States Navy at Pearl Harbor, and plunged the United States into World War Two.  Our citizens responded in droves, awakened by the attack on the country, and by extension, upon the citizens of this country.  They fought and died in defense of this country, our freedoms, and the principles that make this country one of the most unique in history.

Let us all now pause and thank these soldier / citizens, both living and deceased, those that came home and those that did not, for their service to their country and countrymen.

One must say that those that joined and those that stayed behind during this world-wide conflict were connected by a sense of intense Patriotism, a love of our country, and the belief that if you worked hard, had some luck & opportunities, one could get ahead and not only better themselves, but their families as well.  This was different that Europe and other countries where one could not jump from one income class to another.  This, my friends, is one of the benefits of being a citizen of this country.

Our country’s Founders created a system of government unlike any other.  Attached to the Constitution is the Bill of Rights, thus defining not only how the government is to function, but the Rights of the Citizens which supersede those of the government.  However, those in government have forgotten this, and We the People have let them get away with it.

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While I have been giving an inordinate amount of attention to the Affordable Healthcare Act (aka Obamacare), we also need to understand that this legislation is but one more law that our elected leaders are using to chip away at what little freedoms they have deemed to let us keep.  Remember,

Every law or regulation that is passed must be funded by the taxpayer in one way or another, and will most likely take away either a freedom of choice or infringe upon a right. – Tom Roland

For instance, our freedom of speech is restricted.  Before you get all bent out of shape with that statement, think about the following:  You cannot stand on the steps of your local City Hall and give a speech without a parade permit and not be warned by the police to disperse.  Same with launching a protest down Main Street.  You are only given a few minutes during a city council meeting to state your case, and if it is something that the Council does not want to hear or if you go over time, you can be forcibly removed.  Indeed, our ability to voice our thoughts is restricted by Hate Speech and Hate Crime legislation of which enforcement can be subjective to the political and ideological parties in power.

A far cry from the protracted debates and speeches that marked not only the founding of the country, but the input of the citizens upon the government that was to govern them.  But it hasn’t stopped with limiting public speeches.

Last year, after the Newtown tragedy, greater restrictions were demanded for the purchase of firearms by various gun-banning groups backing sympathetic (or pathetic) politicians.  It didn’t matter that none, and I do mean none, of the proposals that were made would have adverted the murder of children or teachers in the school.

But that didn’t matter to the gun-banning crowd.  Several state legislatures including Colorado and New York rammed through legislation with increased gun control measures with the statements that it would make people safer, and would prevent mass murders.  Nothing was further than the truth.

New York’s S.A.F.E. Act was passed in the middle of the night without opposing debate.  It was stated that this law was for public safety, nobody’s rights are being violated, and would not end up in gun confiscation for legal owners of guns.  Now New York City Police are sending out letters to registered owners to turn in their guns.

In Colorado, during a hearing on gun control legislation, then State Senator Evie Hudak …

…told rape survivor Amanda Collins back in March during a hearing about concealed carry on campus that a gun wouldn’t have helped her when she was attacked and lectured her by saying, “statistics are not on your side.” Collins was raped at gun point in a gun free zone in 2007 while walking to her car at the University of Nevada-Reno. Due the University’s no weapons policy, Collins was in possession of her concealed carry permit at the time of the attack, but not her firearm. Her assailant went on to rape two more women and killed one of them, Brianna Denison, who was just 20-years-old.

Hudak has resigned in the wake of two of her fellow Democratic Party colleagues being recalled over their anti-gun votes.

Regardless, of the fallout, the politicians needed to make a statement, needed to do something, needed to make it known that they were tough people that needed to be in control.  And they, the politicians, want to be in control because they do not trust the people that elected them.

a nation of sheep will soon have a government of wolves A Nation of Sheep Will Soon Have a Government of Wolves

Perhaps there is something to that.  From the comments section of WatchBlog.com:

Some polls of some voters yield dismal 10% ratings for Congress, but it really does not mean much when the majority of voters repeatedly reward Congress with 85%-to-90% re-election rates.

The election rates are more meaningful than polls of Congress persons’ approval ratings

Therefore, the majority of voters must have what they want, since they repeatedly reward Congress with 85-to-90% re-election rates, election after election?

For example:

  • most voters don’t even know who their state and federal senators and representatives are, much less their voting records.
  • 40% to 50% of voters don’t even bother to vote at all.
  • most voters pull the party-lever (i.e. vote straight ticket); many not even knowing who they are voting for … just that they are in THEIR party (abdicating the responsibility to vote wisely to THEIR party).
  • most voters, 90% of the time, elect the candidate that spends the most money.
  • 99.85% of all 200 million eligible voters donate $2 per person (on average) to a federal campaign, while a tiny 0.15% makes 83% of all federal campaign donations (of $200 or more).
  • most voters have no idea what Article V of the Constitution is, or that it is being violated, despite 400+ requests to make amendments by 49 states
  • 20% of students in American public schools can’t identify the United States on a world map.
  • most voters think the problem is the OTHER party.
  • most voters think THEIR politician is grand. Most voters believe MOST politicians are crooked, but they think that THEIR politician is great. Look at the voters that repeatedly re-elect politicians that have committed one or more crimes (and later convicted)
  • most voters bitch and complain and give Congress a low approval rating, but repeatedly re-elect and reward the same incumbents, giving them a cu$hy 90% to 95% re-election rate since 1996.
  • most voters are easily bribed with their own tax dollars; especially the older voters lobbying for entitlements. Too many voters have fallen for the myth that we can all live at the expense of everyone else.
  • most voters don’t know what the National Debt is, much less the total federal debt, Social Security debt, or the nationwide personal debt.
  • most voters fall for the partisan warfare, because it is easier to blame the OTHER party than work to solve problems; foolishly emphasizing minor differences rather than working on unity to solve the many things most of us all already agree upon (the problem and the solution).
  • most voters (if not all) can not name 10, 20, 50, 100, or 268 (half of 535) in Congress that are responsible and accountable. But then, perhaps that’s because there aren’t any?
  • most voters blame Congress and the President, but fail to understand that the voters (the largest group of 200 million eligible voters) have the government that they repeatedly re-elect and reward. The voters are the one largest group responsible for their own problems. But, again, it’s easier to blame politicians, rather than take responsibility themselves.
  • too many voters are one-issue voters, making them easy to manipulate.
  • most voters think the nation is on the wrong track, but most voters reward incumbent politicians with re-election for keeping us on the wrong track.
  • most voters simply don’t care … at least, not until the consequences of that disinterest motivates them to become more interested. Perhaps more voters will become much less complacent, apathetic, and lazy when they are jobless, homeless, and hungry.

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure and FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, and corrupt incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election finally becomes too painful.

So we, the Citizens of the United States, elect and re-elect the same morons that shaft us over and over again.  But really, who are the morons?  And no wonder that the politicians think that the citizenry need taking care of.  They are no longer afraid of the citizens voting them out unless they do something really, really stupid.

dont tread on me Dont Tread on Me

And why should government be afraid?  The elected officials keep getting reelected no matter what, the government bureaucrats are not held accountable for much of anything, more and more people are becoming dependent on the government EBT dole cards to live, and personal responsibility & accountably with decency is more of a liability than an asset.

Is this what our veterans of all our conflicts fought for?  Is this what our Founders wanted for this Country?

I think not.