Friday, December 31, 2010

Some End of Year Thoughts

Today is the final day of 2010.  A year that held many exciting and disappointing things, not unlike any other year.  I always find it interesting to go over what I have or have not learned over the past 12 months. 

There is no such thing as shovel ready job.  I am so glad that President Obama finally got that.  It is a shame it took him so long, conservatives told him that a year earlier. 

We have to pass laws in order to understand them.  Crazy me, I always thought it would be a good idea to understand them before they become law. 

A rally to Restore Sanity seemed to be  really about hating Fox News and Sarah Palin. 

Oh, and the singer formerly known as Cat Stevens is the picture of moderation.  Is wanting Rushdie dead a moderate view for Americans too?  Or, is it just strict Muslims? 

Free speech doesn't really exist in Canada if you are conservative.  At least not for Ann Coulter anyway.  

According to Maxine Waters waving the American flag is outrageous behavior.  

According to Congressman Clyburn congress does things that have nothing to do with the constitution.  Oh wait, I already knew that.  

Believing in states rights is really code for wanting Jim Crowe laws to return.  Al Sharpton told me so. 

The constitution is more than 100 years old. 

Apparently a 25 year old is not capable of getting their own insurance without their parents help, yet a 13 year old can get an abortion without their parents knowing. 

It is only because the President Bush was so hated that he sold more books in six weeks than President Clinton did in six years. 

Apparently when you lose your congressional job you get free grief counseling.  Oh, wait it isn't free, I had to pay for it.

I guess it doesn't matter if you forge documents and commit fraud to get job in California if you are an Hispanic maid.  Nicki the lying maid has yet to be arrested. 

When you are living in free housing and receiving a government check you are being taken advantage of.  The President's Aunt told me so. 

If you talk about Chavez being a dictator publicly you should be fined or jailed.  Sean Penn told me so.

Wearing a t shirt with an American flag on it is ridiculous, at least according to HuffPo

Bob Beckell thinks I need to get over 9/11

Some teacher unions think it is more important to offer Viagra than it is keep some teachers from losing their jobs. 

God Bless America!!!

I Wish you all a happy and healthy 2011

Does the Left Really Fear Sarah Palin?

I hear over and over again how much the left fears Sarah Palin and are terrified that she will become the nominee for president in the next election.  I have never really believed that.  I agree that they have a hatred of her that borders on the obsessive, but I don't believe that it comes from fear.  It is more like an irrational hatred based on her conservative views. 

It seems that at least of some of the left is not fearing her, they are actually foaming at the mouth for her to get the nomination.  Some have gone as far as to set up a website Primaries for Palin.  The goal is to get democrats to vote in the upcoming republican primaries to ensure that Palin will be the republican nominee.  Just in the past few days they have added a facebook page and twitter account to help spread the word. 

The website also has a section of the voting rules broken out by states as some states require you to be a registered republican in order to participate in the republican primary.  For those states they give notes on how to change registration.  They have created a logo of sorts with some lipstick with the caption nominate the unelectable in pink. 

Their mission statement is as follows: aims to nominate Sarah Palin as the Republican presidential candidate by encouraging Democrats and Independents to purposefully vote for her in state primaries. In head-to-head polls with President Barack Obama, Palin consistently fares worse than other possible Republican candidates because of her divisiveness. If Palin is nominated, Obama has a much better chance of winning reelection in November 2012.

They also have some of the latest polls that show that Palin trails behind President Obama in a head to head competition.  Of course polls at this point mean nothing as it is too far off for these polls to mean anything.  But, they certainly have many of them.  Many more than I realized that were even taken. 

I wish I could say I was surprised by this.  Although, they have not seemed to picked up much steam at this point, they have 54 followers on Facebook and a mere 29 followers on Twitter.  It will be interesting to watch if this starts to catch on as the primary process progresses. 

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ezra Klein on his Comments on the Constitution

Mr. Klein felt the need to clarify his comments about the consitution:

This morning, I gave a quick interview to MSNBC where I made, I thought, some fairly banal points on the GOP’s plan to honor the Constitution by having it read aloud on the House floor. Asked if it was a gimmick, I replied that it was, because, well, it is. It’s our founding document, not a spell that makes the traitors among us glow green. It’s also, I noted, a completely nonbinding act: It doesn’t impose a particular interpretation of the Constitution on legislators, and will have no practical impact on how they legislate.

The rather toxic implication of this proposal is that one side respects the Constitution and the other doesn’t. That’s bunk, of course: It’s arguments over how the Constitution should be understood, not arguments over whether it should be followed, that cleave American politics. The Constitution was written more than 223 years ago, and despite the confidence various people have in their interpretation of the text, smart scholars of good faith continue to disagree about it. And they tend to disagree about it in ways that support their political ideology. I rarely meet a gun-lover who laments the Second Amendment’s clear limits on bearing firearms, or someone who believes in universal health care but thinks the proper interpretation of the Commerce Clause doesn’t leave room for such a policy.

But my inbox suggests that my comments weren’t taken that way: The initial interpretation was that I’d said the Constitution is too complicated to understand because it was written a long time ago, and then, as the day went on, that I’d said the document itself is nonbinding. I went back and watched the clip — or at least the part someone clipped and sent me, which is above — and thought I was clear enough. But when a lot of people misunderstand you at once, the fault is usually yours. So if I was unclear: Yes, the Constitution is binding. No, it’s not clear which interpretation of the Constitution the Supreme Court will declare binding at any given moment. And no, reading the document on the floor of the House will not make the country more like you want it to be, unless your problem with the country is that you thought the Constitution should be read aloud on the floor of the House more frequently. In which case, well, you’re in luck!
Here is the part of what he said earlier in the day:  I couldn't find the entire interview. 

Liberal Logic at Its Finest

Give it Back for Jobs is website that has been set up by some progressive liberals who are upset that President Obama did not get tax rates to go up on the "rich". The website gives you a calculator for you to figure out what your taxes would have been had the tax rates gone up, you then make a charitable donation in order to help the middle class. They have chosen four charities:

Habitat for Humanity

The Salvation Army

Children's Aid Society

Nurse Family Partnership

All of which are very reputable charities that do good work. I personally give to two of these each year. (without even being prodded, imagine that). It is a wonderful thing that they are trying to raise money for charity. But, one of the things that I find so amusing about this their website talks about helping the middle class. If you are in the middle class, Habitat for Humanity will not be building you a home. That is done for people who fall into the lower-income levels, as it should be. What exactly is their definition of the middle class?

James Taranto of The Wall Street Journal also points out some of the comedy of this exercise. One of the most obvious is that there is no way to know what your adjusted gross income for 2011 will be. You actually have to do your taxes for that information and there are many variables that could potentially change it. Another being that they tell you that the charitable donation is tax-deductible.

But the most obvious comedy of this is that progressives are outright admitting that private charities do a better job at helping the needy then the government ever can or will do. I have not only given money to Habitat to Humanity, I also have painted houses. What that family gets is beautiful housing, much better than any government funding housing for the needy. A home of their own, a little yard for children to have a safe place to play in. It may be small in some cases, but it is yours. From what I have seen of government housing, that isn't what you get, nor are you living in an neigborhood that is safe for your kids.

Ok, how much longer will take for them to realize that if you keep taxes lower people are able to use their money to help the less fortunate? Why do they want us to keep giving money to government that is full of fraud and inefficiencies? It boggles the mind. My real question is why don't they have the address to send the money to the treasury? Nothing is stopping someone from giving the government more money. Here is some info on how to do it. (It is called Financial Management Services, an oxymoron if I have heard one) You don't have to take advantage of the write-offs, as they obviously plan on doing. Truly, it is comical.

Crossposted at PotLuck

Tweets of Interest - Fred Thompson

FCC head: must regulate internet to "protect consumers". I'm sure govt will do for the internet what TSA did for airline travel. #ftrs #tcot

   NPR's Totenberg apologizes for saying "Christmas". Maybe afraid she'd offend Muslims & end up working for Fox like Juan Williams #ftrs #tcot

Study: health risks from staying calm in stressful times. Watching Dems react to tax deal, those guys'll probably live forever. #ftrs #tcot

   Dem Sen Kerry: "do our jobs" & ratify START. Sounds kinda cranky. Probably because doing it costs less than a trillion dollars. #ftrs #tcot

Biden:election message was Americans want "compromise". No, message was "you stop spending, & we'll put down the tar & feathers" #ftrs #tcot

FCC votes itself power to regulate internet. Ya know, usually a power grab this blatant requires pulling a sword out of a stone. #ftrs #tcot

Napolitano: DHS protects US "24/7, 364 days a year". Obama clarifies: the protection does include all 57 states. #ftrs #tcot

GOP Sen Coburn: country in for "apocalyptic pain" if spending not cut. Obama's plan: borrow a bunch of aspirin from China. #ftrs #tcot

   Napolitano: DNI Clapper didn't "need to know" about London terror arrests. Right. The important thing is that Diane Sawyer knew. #ftrs #tcot

Quote of the Day - Gov. Ed Rendell Edition

Second, the NFL didn't trust the fans to use their own judgment about whether going to the game in the snow was worth whatever risk they might encounter. If I had planned to take a 7-year-old with me to the game, I probably would have decided to stay home and watch the game on TV, but if I were going with some of my friends, I would have driven to center city, parked and taken the subway to and from the stadium. That's my decision to make, not the NFL's. We all hear talk about the "nanny" state, but now we have the nanny NFL, so concerned about our welfare, and perhaps potential liability, that it thinks it has to protect us from ourselves. I can't help but wonder what the NFL will do in 2014 if, on the morning of the Super Bowl to be played outdoors at the new Meadowlands Stadium in New Jersey, there is a similar forecast. I can't be sure, but my guess is that somehow, the thought of postponing the Super Bowl will override the NFL's "concern for the fans." Stay tuned, America.

Gov. Ed Rendell on the NFL postponing the Eagles game before a snowstorm. 

I just love this quote.  He is actually complaining about the nanny state.  This is a man who spent part of his life not only endorsing a nanny state but helping to create one. 

Palin Losing Ground Among Republicans and Key States

Two new polls have been released that are not good news for Governor Palin.  One was done by CNN/Opinion Research which has only 49% likely or somewhat likely to support a presidental bid.  The breakdown of the very likely is only 23% of those polled, the second lowest out of the names that were polled.  Her highest number of 28% came in as not likely at all to support her bid for the presidency. 

Governor Romney 24%
Governor Huckabee 27%
Former Speaker Gingrich 19%.

Governor Palin has never been one to pay much attention to polls, if she did, she wouldn't have ever run for governor.  But running for governor is not remotely the same as going through a national primary, where momentum means a great deal. 

The second of the polls was conducted by Public Policy Polling.  A left leaning polling company polled key primary states.   These numbers need to be taken with a grain of salt as they don't list the breakouts of the polling just give the actual numbers.  Who they polled is also not listed.  Of course the media is running with these numbers, especially the ones about her home state of Alaska. 




North Carolina








At this point these numbers mean nothing, as the election is almost two years away.  But, eventually these numbers will start to mean something.  Once the primaries start getting closer republican primary voters will start to look at poll numbers to look at negatives among independents.  Winning the primary is not the goal, the general election is.  Once the primaries get started winning in the early states means something as it helps build onto the next state.  We will need to wait and see how these numbers change as the primaries start to get closer. 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

MTV's No Easy Decision Part 2

Last night MTV aired No Easy Decision, the decision of teenage mom making the choice to end her second pregnancy in two years. They promised to show all aspects of the story to show how hard a decision it really is to end the life of your unborn child.

For the most part I think that they did a good job. Markai is about 17 or 18 and has a one year old daughter. She is with the same young man and they are trying to build a life together along with their baby. She and her boyfriend have issues with their relationship as one can imagine. Raising a child is an all-consuming effort that doesn’t lend itself very well to hanging out with your friends. It also requires money. They are struggling with both not only as individuals but also as a couple. Marriage and child rearing take real committment, it is difficult task when you are mature, so one can only imagine how much harder it is when you are not.

Markai was using a form of birth control that I am not that familiar with. It requires going to a doctor every so often to receive a shot. Markai missed her follow-up appointment and became pregnant again. She says that she didn’t realize that by getting her shot late she was no longer protected. We can leave the stupidity of that for another time.

The special showed Markai making a phone call to the abortion clinic and asking questions about the procedures that were offered; they offered both a surgical or pharmaceutical option. They also showed her speaking to her mom and one of her close friends about the decision. It seems that largest part of the decision came down to finances. She and her boyfriend were discussing money issues and he told her stories of going through times of not having much food and having utilities shut off as a child. He didn’t want to put his child through the same. This is a perfectly understandable concern.

The show tried to highlight that it is an agonizing decision that is not taken lightly. But, at the end of the day they failed at that. Not because of Markai’s reactions, but because they were not being honest with themselves. Markai opted for the surgical procedure and had a nurse with her. On the ride home she explained to her boyfriend that the people at the abortion clinic explained to her she couldn’t think of 10 fingers and 10 toes. She couldn’t think beyond that it was nothing but a bunch of cells, because she wouldn’t be able to go through with it if she did. But, the problem is that since Markai already has a child, she knows that there are 10 fingers and 10 toes. She says as much during an emotional outburst with her boyfriend the next evening; pointing to her daughter and saying those cells turn into her, pointing to her little girl who was sucking on her bottle.

At the end of the show they had two more young women come and join Markai to talk about their abortions. What was really telling about this little exercise is the fundamental dishonesty that they had with themselves. One of the young women says that she has no regret about her decision all the while crying was she was saying it. She also talked about how her decision was made as a parent. Really? The first and foremost thing that you do as a parent is to keep your child safe from harm. She also talked about her sister who is teenage mom and that was part of her decision process. She also cried when she talked about her nephew and it was sometimes hard to be around him. Yet still said that she has no regret. Why the tears if there is no regret? You don’t normally cry over a decision that you believe to be the right one.

The other young woman lives in a state that requires parental notification for minors. She explained how she didn’t want to disappoint her parents by telling them about her being pregnant yet is willing to talk about on national television. She went to court to get an exemption so she didn’t have to talk to her parents. Personally, I would be so hurt to find out that my daughter didn’t trust me enough to talk to me. I would feel that I failed as a parent by not being that safe harbor for my child. She also discussed how she made her decision based on what was best for her child and it was done out of an act of compassion.

While I have very mixed feelings about abortion the more I realize how abortion is really marketed to young women the stronger my feelings are against it. Abortion has become an answer to a conceived problem instead the act that it is. There is no way around this one fact, we all started in the same fashion. We were once just a “bunch of cells”. We need to stop telling young women that it is a bunch of cells. We need to explain to women that it is a life. We need to explain that there is a heartbeat, that what they are going to look like has already been decided. It is much more than a bunch of cells. You are taking a life, not just getting rid of a perceived problem. If they fully understand this and still choose an abortion, that is on them. At least they made an informed and honest decision. But, tell young women the truth.

The young women were asked about adoption and all ruled it out easily saying that they couldn’t go through nine months of pregnancy and child-birth to only turn around and give the child away. The all agreed it took a very strong woman to do so. I contend that it takes a strong will to end the life of your child and just say to yourself that it was just a bunch of cells or that you are making that decision as a parent without admitting regret. If you can do that, how hard can it be to give that child life and make the dreams of parenthood to an infertile couple come true?

Cross posted at PotLuck

Is a Conservative Civil War Brewing?

The Conservative Political Action Conference is having yet another controversy this year.  The Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America have decided to boycott.  The organizers have invited GOProud to participate and the social conservative groups are none too pleased. 

I have my belief systems and I am not ashamed of those beliefs.  I believe that I have come about them honestly and with careful thought.  That being said I realize that my belief systems is not something that everyone else is going to agree with.  One of the things that I really do not have the patience for is people that would rather shut down speech instead of engaging in debate.  When we shut down speech nothing will get solved.  The only way to bring about awareness is to have the difficult and uncomfortable discussions. 

One of the things that I promised myself when I started this blog was that I would stay true to my own voice even when it wasn't popular.  So this post will be no exception.  I fully understand and respect the religious beliefs of the far right.  In fact, I agree with much of it.  But, what I don't agree with is when the far right paints itself into a corner that appears like intolerance.  It happens over and over again. 

The conservative blogosphere has yet to finish its discussion on the end of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.  It is not a secret that the right and more specifically the far religious right is appalled that gays will serve in openly in the military.  It is looked upon as a slippery slope that will eventually bring about the ruin of the Republic.  Of course that is somewhat of an oversimplification in many cases, but it certainly is not in all cases.  I have read some things that have blown my mind.  I can only imagine what people who are not inclined to agree with the right are thinking when they read the same things. 

The country is certainly at a crossroads.  We are on the verge of insolvency and in danger of real shift in how we live in this country.  If there ever was a time that we need more discussion, that time is now.  You hear over and over again from the left that the republican party is a small tent.  This is a perfect example of how it simply isn't the case.  Although the new meme of the left and the media is that the republican party is making it clear that it no longer has room for moderates in the party.  It is one of the many inconsistencies that media never fully answers about its discussions of the Republican Party.  But, that is a post for another time. 

There are different types of conservatives.  There are people who are socially conservative yet will still spend money like water.  There are those who are fiscally conservative and more socially liberal.  Then we have those that are conservative on both counts.  So the party is a bigger tent than the media would like to admit to.  But, one of the things that can tear the party apart is this type of stupidity. 

I am not saying that any of these groups should change their strongly held beliefs.  What I am saying is that they need to stop acting like if the rest of us don't agree with them that it is acceptable to pick up their toys and go home.  What we need to do is challenge each other not shut each other out.  By walking away they are becoming exactly what the left accuses of them of; intolerance.  If they truly believe in what they are preaching, then stand up and say it.  Stand up and defend it.  Stand up and show me where I am wrong.  Talk to me, don't shut down discussion. 

I was at CPAC last year and some of this reared its head then as well.  GOProud was there and gave some sort of presentation that I did not attend, so I can't attest to what was said.  CPAC has gone out of its way to be inclusive as possible to college students.  There was an awards program for activists on college campuses across the country. College activists were given a short time to speak about what was happening on their campuses.  One activist choose to use his time to state his displeasure of GOProud and was loudly booed by many of the college kids.  The moderator asked the audience to respect our right to speech and give the young man his time to speak.  Regardless of how I felt about what he saying, I respected his right to say it. 

What these social conservatives are saying is that GOProud has no right to speak.  To me, that is not a conservative value that I can condone.  I don't agree with every speaker at CPAC.  The only way that would happen would be if I chose all the speakers and told them what to discuss.  That doesn't mean that I should not attend and take part of the experience.  Who knows, I may end up learning more from the speaker that I don't agree with than the ones that I do. 

The one thing that I am sure of, if we want to put an end to Obamanation, we have to find a way to make room for all republicans.  If we continue to tear each other down, we will see another four more years of President Obama.  An outcome that is not acceptable.  Hold onto your beliefs and stay true to them, but never forget that the answer to bad speech, is more speech. 

Read more here and here

Monday, December 27, 2010

MTV's No Easy Decision

MTV will be airing a docudrama No Easy Decision on December 28th. It follows the story of a teenage mother who finds herself pregnant yet again. She must decide between giving birth or having an abortion. The girl on the show was a cast member of their hit show 16 and pregnant. There are some polls that have shown that the show 16 and pregnant has had some positive effects for young girls who are deciding about becoming sexually active. The real world of becoming a teenage mom meets reality television as it were.

The producers of the show are saying that they will be giving both sides of the story. But will they? I don't really know all the details of the young woman who is showcased, but we will be hearing from women who have had abortions in their youth and regret the decision? Will we see any of the guilt that is part and parcel of the act of ending the life of your unborn child?

While I do try to see both sides of issues, I somehow doubt that they will be showing the downsides to making this "choice". As a woman who really wanted a house filled with babies only to find out that was not what was in the cards, it pains me to see how our society is turning an abortion into "reality" tv propaganda.

I personally do not believe that making abortion illegal is the answer. Sadly, abortion existed before Roe V. Wade and it would continue if it were to be overturned. The numbers may very well decrease, but the issues of abortion will only be solved by promoting a culture of life. Something that our society is sorely lacking.

That is something that can be hard to deny by the fact that this young woman is still early in her life and finds herself pregnant for a second time. She has a young child already yet she is still engaging in the same behavior that got her into trouble in the first place. Yes, I say trouble because she is obviously not mature enough to take the proper precautions and accept that her actions have consequences. A lesson that one would think that she learned during child-birth or maybe at one of those two am feedings.

The left has made much hay about Bristol Palin talking publicly about abstinence when she became an unwed teenage mom, but it would seem to me that she has learned a thing or two, something that Markai obviously did not.

Cross Posted at PotLuck

Photo of The Day - Out of the Mouths of Babes

Who knows what this kid was actually doing, he could have just recently lost a tooth or something, but it is funny.  Maybe he was saying what his Marine father could not.

Obama and Biden Say Farewell to 2010 Jib Jab

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Signs of Things to Come?

There are things in his record that I am not very happy with, but he does stand by his principles and is being honest.  We need to talk about the hard choices we are going to have to make.  We need many more of them willing to telling us the truth.  We are running out of money.  What about this doesn't the government understand? 

Just some Random New Years Thoughts

I don't know about anyone else, but this time of year is a time of reflection for me.  We are living in interesting times.  Our country is experiencing major changes and is at a crossroads.  People are losing their homes.  Some of these people never should have gotten the mortgage because they couldn't afford it, but it doesn't change the disruption of their lives and well being.  Many are still out of work and having very serious financial problems. 

We just witnessed a watershed election that has historical significance to it.  We are asking our government officials to the job that they are supposed to do instead of what they decide they want to do.  Trust has been broken. 

There is fear that the U.S. is going bankrupt and we will lose our way of life in this country.  We are afraid of the type of country we are leaving for our children and their ability to reach their "American Dream". 

I have developed some very serious health issues and as such I have become even more introspective than usual. 

I hope for all that are going through issues right now no matter how big or small have found one safe place.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

112th Congress To Begin with Reading of the Constitution

One of the first orders of business of the new congress will be to read the Constitution on the floor of the house.  A document that our federal government has been forsaking for quite some time.  While this is nothing more than window dressing, I still look at as a good start.

The republican controlled congress has realized that the Tea Party is going to accept nothing less.  Many in the media have characterized the tea party as just being against Obama.  While they certainly don't like Obama's policies, they don't like the government in general.  The distrust isn't just about the democrats.  This is an equal opportunity kind of thing.  We don't particularly trust either side to be on the side of the American people, as they are spending too much time worrying about power than about the constitutional limits of the offices that they hold. 

So while I look at this reading as an appeasement of sorts, I still like it.  Just maybe some of it will sink in. We will have to wait and see.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas from Down Under

I wish all of you the most Blessed Christmas. 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Some Hard Truths - Single Mothers

New statistics are out on single mothers.  It seems that the vast majority of them are not teenagers as many would have you believe.  In general the rate is 40%, higher in black and Hispanic communities.  Almost three quarters of single mothers fall into the age range of 18-29. 

What these numbers are really telling us is that marriage is no longer the norm in our country.  We are on the march of making the family unit irrelevant in this country.  Which is a truly alarming.  When babies are born to single mothers they are far more likely to live below the poverty line and usually will be in need for public assistance.  Not only is this a drain on our limited resources it also is damaging to the child. Children living  near or below the poverty line are far less likely to do well in school or attend college.  Both of which will only continue the cycle of poverty. 

The report also finds that young women who become pregnant out of wedlock are not doing it due to the lack of access to birth control.  The pregnancies are planned.  Sadly, in lower income neighborhoods marriage has become virtually obsolete.  This is a disturbing trend that is only increases as time goes by. 

The more we dismiss the meaning of marriage the more our children suffer.  While it is true that sometimes even with your best efforts marriage just doesn't work out for two people.  But, many are just forgoing the entire institution from the get-go.  In many cases when a woman has a child out of wedlock the father is not involved in the raising of the child.  Again, this is another reason that children will live below the poverty line. 

The government spends a small fortune giving money to Planned Parenthood.  By law that money is supposed to be used for health exams and to subsidize birth control for woman in lower income brackets.  It seems that is a waste of tax payer dollars as the women are not attempting to stop pregnancy.  Yet, with the numbers of single mothers the government does what it always does and throws more money at the problem without really examining what the problem is. 

What we need to do is start promoting marriage and the family unit in this country.  The numbers speak for themselves.  Children who grow up in a two parent family are more likely to graduate from high school and go onto to college and not depend on public resources.  Family time is very important to children; the simple act of eating together as a family at least twice a week shows to improve the academic performance of that child. 

But the promotion of traditional family values has become almost a taboo in our ever increasing politically correct society.  We keep asking the question of what constitutes a family instead of promoting the values and virtues that the traditional family offers to young children.  Of course love is one of the most important things you give to child, but most children are looking for love from both parents, not just the single mom.  I am not saying that single moms can't do a good job raising her children, because many certainly do. 

But why are we not talking about virtues of marriage in lower income areas?  This is something that Bill Cosby brought up some years back and in return he was attacked for it.  Far too many in lower income black and Hispanic communities have turned their back on marriage all together and the children are paying the steepest price.  The poverty levels become institutionalized, education is looked on as something that someone else gets, and the crime rates continue to climb as drug dealing and gangs look like the only way out of the life they were born into. 

One of the best things that you can give your children is stable home that is filled with love.  The traditional family may not be the only way to provide that, but it certainly helps. 

H/T to The Other McCain

Cross posted at Potluck

Happy Birthday to Me

One of my best birthdays was spent in Disney World.  I took my nephew for Christmas and we celebrated both my birthday and Christmas.  A very good memory.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

These are the People Protecting Us?

This is scary on many levels.  Our Director of National Intelligence didn't know that there were terrorist arrests made in London before I did.  Now, I don't expect him to take every phone call or read every memo himself, but what type of staff does this man have?  Didn't anyone in his office feel that this was important information for him to have?  If they didn't have this information why not? 

The United Kingdom is one of our closest allies, if they didn't contact us with the information of the threat, shouldn't we be asking why not?  While it is perfectly understandable that the British may not have called before the arrests for the element of surprise, but surely after the arrests the information would be shared.  After all, the media had the information. 

The White House then comes out with the reasoning that we should be glad that he isn't watching television all day and doing his work.  Really?  I should be reassured that this man hasn't a clue of what is going on across the pond? 

Clapper's office has released a new statement:

Clapper, she explained, had been “working throughout the day on important intelligence matters, including monitoring military and political developments on the Korean Peninsula, providing answers to questions concerning the ratification of the START nuclear treaty, and other classified issues. He wasn’t immediately briefed on London because it didn’t appear to have a homeland nexus and there was no immediate action by the DNI required. Nevertheless, he should have been briefed on the arrests, and steps have been taken to ensure that he is in the future. The intelligence community as a whole was fully aware of this development and tracking it closely.”

Well, this makes me feel much better.  How about you? 

The Rude Awakening of Eric Holder

Eric Holder gave an interview to ABC news about homegrown terrorism.  To me this was eye-opening, not so much for what he said, because the threat to our homeland is real.  What is interesting to me is that he admits it at all. 

Before Holder became AG he worked at a firm that went out of its way to help free enemy combatants at Gitmo.  This must have been a rude awakening for Mr. Holder.  So many on the left refuse to believe that we are not only in danger, but they have no low.  The Bush administration was doing what it felt was necessary in order to the keep the American public safe. 

One of the many ironies of the left is the outrage of the Patriot Act.  The left was screaming that Bush was trampling all over the constitution and violating the human rights of all Muslims.  The Patriot Act came up for renewal and no changes were made.  While I am no fan of the Patriot Act, I realize that there are ways we can protect ourselves and still safeguard our liberties.  I guess even Holder has learned that you can say anything while campaigning, but when you are sitting in the chair and making the decisions after looking at all the intelligence it is quite a different story. 

The left can continue its ridiculous claim that these people are being entrapped, but the reality remains if someone came up to me and talked to me about setting off a bomb, I would not be going along with it, I would be calling the police.  Anyone that is willing to go that far into the plan is not being entrapped, they are being evil. 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Quote of the Day - Raul Castro Edition

"Many of us Cubans confuse socialism with freebies and subsidies, and equality with egalitarianism,"

Raul Castro to his legislator.

Well, what did he expect?  Socialism has never worked anywhere in history.  Cuba is know in the process of shedding the over bloated government.  It is estimated to have more than a million workers in jobs that are not needed.  All of this while they have little to no free economy to provide the revenue to pay for all that government.  The money to pay them has to come from somewhere.  Castro has also said that he will be allowing more free markets to open in order for the government to have money to pay for the largess.  So basically, even in Cuba you have to work for what you have.  What a concept.

Michael Moore couldn't be reached for comment. 

The Politics of Don't Ask Don't Tell

The blogosphere is all a flutter about the vote to repeal the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy.  This has been an issue on the left for quite a while and DADT was simply a panacea done by President Clinton almost two decades ago.  A comprise that was supposed to make both sides happy.  When in reality all it did was make both sides unhappy. 

One doesn't really need to read much to know where people fall, the left is glowing in the accomplishment and the right is tearing its hair out.  I know quite a few people that are currently serving or have since left the military and the majority of them are against the change in policy. 

One went as far to tell me a very disturbing story about a gay soldier being murdered because of his sexual orientation.  What I am looking for is a rational explanation of how it is going to change our military minus the dogma.  From what I can see what the opposition to this mostly has to do with an objection to homosexuality in general.  Some of which comes from conservative Christians who firmly believe that homosexuality is a sin that will be punished in the afterlife.  I don't want to get into that aspect because that comes honestly from their belief system and there is nothing that will change that.  I also read many saying that this shouldn't be discussed during a time of war.  I don't think making any major changes during a time of war is a good thing, but would these same people approve of the policy if we were not in Afghanistan?  It seems like a straw argument since the leaders of the military have said that the policy is going to be done slowly and carefully. 

It is a fact that our military has gay people.  It is a fact that many other western nations allow openly gay people to serve, and there doesn't seem to be the problems that some on the right say will happen.  But did we actually look into the what if any problems they do have?  What type of adjustments did Britain go through when their policy change?  Does the Canadians have any words of wisdom?  I heard the other day that while there is no reliable data on the percentage of gay people in our armed forces it is thought to be about 10% which closely resembles society at large.  Are the Canadians and the British having problems with straight people being sexually harassed by gay people?  Is there a rash of unwanted advances? 

Our military has very strict rules about sexual conduct and harassment already in place since women were allowed to enter.  These rules will not change or even be loosened by this policy change.  So my question is what do people who are opposed to this policy think will change? 

But, I also have questions about the other side of the aisle.  The far loony left has nothing but disdain for our military.  Some go as far as calling them murderers and other choice names.  The claims are baseless and make them sound like lunatics.  So why the big push to allow gay people to openly serve?  It doesn't make any sense to me.  Why would they push so hard to get a group of people that they champion for the right to serve in an institution that they have zero respect for?  It would seem to me that they don't anyone to serve.  What is the rational explanation?  I read something yesterday saying that if gays were not allowed to openly serve you must favor the draft then.  Where would that train of thought come from?  If it didn't get repealed we would have to go the a draft because no one serve?   We have never allowed openly gay people and our military for the most part has always been volunteer.  We have had drafts in the past, but generally speaking we do not.  The left wants to completely ignore the facts that this could cause major upset to the people who are serving.  There is always fear when any major change comes along.  The left is acting like this fear doesn't exist and it is simply bigotry.  It is more complicated than that.  It isn't black or white.  There is a great deal of gray here. 

Is this just one more example of people using an issue to push their own agenda without any thought to affect of what happens once the policy is settled?  This is an issue that is a big deal.  Our national security depends in part on a military than can protect us and our freedoms.  Why didn't we have an honest debate about the real issues and the things that really will change without all the flowery rhetoric?  Doesn't our military deserve more? 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Cain for President?

I don't think there is much doubt that will throw his hat into the ring.  I read somewhere that he has already filed for a exploratory committee.  That allows him to raise money.  He isn't very well known outside of conservative/tea party circles, so raising money will be an issue for him.  I love this man and think he will really add something to the debate. 

Hooters, Kids and Parental Choice

The National Organization of Women have set their sights on Hooters.  At least the fact that Hooters is serving children under the age of 21.  They have decided in their infinite wisdom that Hooters is too sexually explicit for young children.  They use the fact that the chain uses the classification of "vicarious sexual entertainment" on its business filings.  Hooters uses this classification to insulate themselves from some sexual harassment lawsuits.  Their employee handbook gives information about some of what can be expected; cat calls and the occasional butt slap to name a few. 

While I would never work at Hooters because I wouldn't be comfortable with the dress code, or lack thereof more precisely, and honestly, I wouldn't fill out the tank top in the way they would like.  But they are using the word vicarious. 

Vicarious Adj. experienced through another by imagining: experienced through somebody else rather than at first hand, by using sympathy or the power of the imagination
It seems pretty simple to me that they are not saying that they are an organization that is trying to classify itself as an adult entertainment business, but it allows it to be sorta kinda like one.  While I really don't have much interest in defending the adult entertainment industry, I don't think that this should be given a pass simply because I am not all that jazzed at how the women who work there dress. 

This is just yet another example of people using the court system to run our lives.  If a parent doesn't like the tight shirts and orange shorts then don't bring your kids there.  It really is that simple.  There is no reason to force this business to change its business model because NOW is finding yet another thing to object to. 

The women who take a job with this restaurant chain now what they are getting into.  It is a business that expects you to dress a certain way that is sexual in nature.  You are expected to make yourself look attractive with your grooming as well with your makeup and hair styles. 

I think Hooters has some of the best chicken wings around, especially for the price that they charge.  If I decide to take my own children there that is my business.  People who walk into Hooters know what they are going to get, the name tells you all you need to know.  If you don't think your children should be exposed to the waitstaff, then take them somewhere else.  This is not something that a court should be wasting resources on. 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Give the Kid a Dog

Michael Vick, the convicted dog abuser, wants to give his children a dog.  Unless he moves out of his house, that is not possible, as part of his release he can never own another dog. 

“I think just to have a pet in my household and to show people that I genuinely care, and my love and my passion for animals; I think it would be outstanding. If I ever have the opportunity again I will never take it for granted. I miss having a dog right now. I wish I could. My daughters miss having one, and that’s the hardest thing: telling them that we can’t have one because of my actions.”

 I don't think anyone can condone what Vick did, but does the government have the right to ban someone from getting a pet for life?  Shortly after his arrest Whoopi Goldberg caused a firestorm when she talked about how dog fighting is very acceptable within certain cultures.  Everyone jumped all over her thinking that she was saying what Vick did was OK.  She was rightly saying there is a market for it, not unlike cock fighting and street boxing and if you grow up in that culture you don't see it as brutal as most other people do.  That is not an excuse or a justification, rather an explanation. 

I personally think that Vick was an idiot not only for getting involved with a dog fighting ring but also for continuing his relationship with childhood friends who have long histories of criminal behavior.  He made it out of the ghetto through the NFL and he should have kept right on going.  He had a great deal to lose by associating with people who didn't.  The reality is he got caught because he was turned in by someone who was in trouble for something else and used him as a way to save himself.  Something that was totally expected.  Vick spent almost two years in prison, lost a great deal of money, had to explain this to his children and was incredibly lucky to have not lost his career permantely.  There are many that feel he never should have been allowed back in the NFL. 

Tony Dungy, a former coach in the NFL and a man of faith and of great integrity has been mentoring Vick, that was a condition of his return to the NFL.  Dungy was more than just a tad conflicted about the relationship, but Dungy has grown to have a great deal of respect for the transformation that Vick has made in his life.  Vick had issues even before his animal abuse arrest became public.  He was a troubled kid and much of that followed him throughout most of his adult life.  In all appearances he really has turned his life around and is now on a more straight and narrow path.  Which deserves to be commended. 

I personally believe that if he were to get a dog, it would be very well treated, maybe better than most other pets in the world.  I also really question the right of the government to keep someone from getting a pet.  I do think that Vick has learned his lesson and will never hurt another animal again.  I believe in redemption and I think that Vick has found his.   Let his kids get a dog.  He has gotten his finances back in order, he can afford to pay the costs to have an animal protection officer to come to his home once a week to check on the dog until they are comfortable that the dog is well cared for. 

Hey, What Happened to Fixing our Image Around the World?

Much was made of the image of the U.S. while President Bush was in office.  A constant narrative was how much our reputation was damaged by the cowboy nature of President Bush, and Uncle Obammy was going to fix all that.  He was going to make America loved again around the world. 

Apparently not so much, at least where the British Royals are concerned.  The invite list for the wedding of Prince William to his princess to be, Kate Middleton has been released.  The Obama's name isn't among the invited. While they did choose to get married in a much smaller church than did his parents, it does hold 2,000 guests.  The United Kingdom has been one of most staunchest allies for a very long time now. 

Could it the Ipod he gave to the queen?  Or maybe it was the dvd's he gave to PM Brown that wouldn't work in Britain.  Or did the faux pas Michelle Obama made by putting her arm around the queen do it?  I guess you could also throw in the snub of returning the bust of Winston Churchill by the president in there as well. 

It seems very unusual that an event like this wouldn't include a representative of the United States.  Royal sources has told the British papers that this is going to be a wedding for regular folk.  I guess that means they think of the Sarkozy's, the French first couple, just regular folk.  Maybe the Carla Brunni will share her photos with Michelle, who knows.

Read some snark about this here.

Crossposted at PotLuck 

Merry Christmas for the Girl that Has it All

Aah, just one more way Planned Parenthood is celebrating the "holiday" season.  For the small small fee of $24 you can get a package of four online at website with names like: Opening Ceremony, Sexcusemio, condomcountry, and my personal favorite; Babeland.  I do think that teaching responsibility is important, but this isn't about being responsible, it is about glamorizing promiscuity.  Merry Christmas to you to!!!

Old stereotypes about who should buy condoms are so last season! PROPER ATTIRE® condoms are the "must-have" accessory and were designed with stylish women in mind.

The fashionably chic PROPER ATTIRE design helps ensure that now you can feel completely comfortable buying condoms and carrying them with you. With fifteen glamorous styles — Basic (regular); Color (colored); Dots (studded); XL (extra large); PROPER ATTIRE by Yigal AzrouĆ«l Sheer (ultra thin), PROPER ATTIRE by Alexander Wang Assorted (extra large, ultra thin and studded), Brian Reyes for PROPER ATTIRE Sheer (ultra thin), Keith Haring for PROPER ATTIRE Sheer (ultra thin), Opening Ceremony for PROPER ATTIRE (regular), Jeremy Scott for PROPER ATTIRE Sheer (ultra thin), Jeremy Scott for PROPER ATTIRE Dots (studded), Jeremy Scott for PROPER ATTIRE Ribbed (ribbed), Charlotte Ronson for Proper Attire Basic (regular), Charlotte Ronson for Proper Attire Color (colored) and Charlotte Ronson for Proper Attire Sheer (ultra thin) — PROPER ATTIRE condoms are a safe yet fun way to protect yourself and your partner and do it with style!

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Reliable and effective, PROPER ATTIRE condoms not only are FDA-tested, but they undergo rigorous quality assurance testing by the manufacturer as well as by independent laboratories. With PROPER ATTIRE, insist on a dress code; it is required for entry

Thursday, December 16, 2010

First They Come for McDonalds.......

"What kids see as a fun toy, I now realize is a sophisticated, high-tech marketing scheme that's designed to put McDonald's between me and my daughters, for the sake of other parents and their children, I want McDonald's to stop interfering with my family."

So says Monet Parham. She and her attorneys are hoping to start a class action lawsuit to force McDonalds to no longer include a toy in the happy meal. Apparently, they don't think the meal is all that happy. She has also been quoted as saying that there are only so many times she can say no to her daughters. Really?

This is just one more example of people expecting the government to do the work for you and when they can't they take it to a liberal leaning court somewhere to find an activist judge to do it instead. We have been overcome by so-called consumer advocate groups that are trying to push their own agenda onto the rest of us. The Center for Science in the Public Interest is working with Ms. Parham to file this suit. They are non-profit group that is privately funded by such people as the Heinz family foundation, the Streisand Foundation, and the Rockefeller foundation among many others.

"highly sophisticated scheme to use the bait of toys to exploit children's developmental immaturity and subvert parental authority."
This foundation has also worked on lawsuits to get Kentucky Fried Chicken to stop using oils that contain trans fats. My question is does that make KFC any healthier. I realize it cuts down on some fat, but the food is still not good for you.

This is a case being brought by a mother who by her own admission lets her children decide where she drives them to and what they are allowed to eat and an organization that in some ways is going more harm than good. There are people out there that will convince themselves that KFC is not bad for them. Removing the trans fat makes it slightly healthier, but certainly is not healthy. They are also continuing this silly notion that somehow parents are so incapable of disciplining their children that a five-year old that sees a commercial for a toy in a happy meal is capable of making the decisions of the family menu over the objections of the adults. It is the silliest thing I have ever heard.

Yes, children can ask for things over and over again, they sometimes whine and cry, but ultimately the parents are in charge. The reason that children whine and cry for things over and over again are twofold; one being they are allowed to get away with it or it gets them what they want. If you don't give in to them eventually they learn that whining and crying won't work and they stop doing it. Our overextended court system will now have to use money and resources to hear a case simply because a mother can't be bothered to be the grown up with her children. Those toys are only attractive to young children, once they hit five or six those toys no longer fun. Does she really think that a court needs to be involved to help parents control 3-6 year olds?

Cross posted at PotLuck

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Porker Hall of Shame - Senate Earmarks

Here is a list of the tone death senators that filled up the omnibus bill with earmarks with the number of requests. 

Cochran (R-MS) 230

Wicker (R-MS) 199

Murray (D-WA) 172

Harkin (D-IA) 152

Reid (D-NV) 129

Menendez (D-NJ) 123

Feinstein (D-CA) 121

Lautenberg (D-NJ) 120

Lincoln (D-AR) 114

Inouye (D-HI) 113

Schumer (D-NY) 106

Johnson (D-SD) 105

Landrieu (D-LA) 104

Specter (D-PA) 103

Pryor (D-AR) 96

Levin (D-MI) 93

Stabenow (D-MI) 91

Boxer (D-CA) 90

Brown (D-OH) 87

Grassley (R-IA) 86

Bingaman (D-NM) 86

Durbin (D-IL) 86

Akaka (D-HI) 83

Wyden (D-OR) 83

Cardin (D-MD) 79

Merkley (D-OR) 79

Gillibrand (D-NY) 79

Bond (R-MO) 78

Bennett (R-UT) 76

Casey (D-PA) 76

Udall (D-NM) 73

Reed (D-RI) 70

Kerry (D-MA) 69

Cantwell (D-WA) 69

Hagan (D-NC) 69

Voinovich (R-OH) 68

Klobuchar (D-MN) 68

Rockefeller (D-WV) 67

Dodd (D-CT) 66 Yeah, wasting more of my money as he heads into a long overdue retirement. 

Mikulski (D-MD) 65

Tester (D-MT) 65

Lieberman (ID-CT) 64

Hutchison (R-TX) 63

Baucus (D-MT) 62

Dorgan (D-ND) 60

Warner (D-VA) 60

Webb (D-VA) 58 These two belong to me.  :(

Franken (D-MN) 58

Collins (R-ME) 57

Leahy (D-VT) 56

Murkowski (R-AK) 55 I guess she is taking over where Ted Stevens left off.

Whitehouse (D-RI) 55

Kohl (D-WI) 54

Conrad (D-ND) 52

Vitter (R-LA) 48

Cornyn (R-TX) 45

Snowe (R-ME) 44

Nelson (D-FL) 43

Chambliss (R-GA) 42

Crapo (R-ID) 41

Risch (R-ID) 41

Bennet (D-CO) 40

Brownback (R-KS) 39 I guess this is his way of being able to tout some sort of effectiveness when he runs for Governor.  Careful, it just may backfire.

Carper (D-DE) 39

Burr (R-NC) 38

Begich (D-AK) 37

McConnell (R-KY) 35 I guess his vote to end earmarks doesn't include this session.

Roberts (R-KS) 35

Sanders (I-VT) 33

Shelby (R-AL) 32

Inhofe (R-OK) 32

Shaheen (D-NH) 32

Alexander (R-TN) 30

Udall (D-CO) 30

Lugar (R-IN) 29

Graham (R-SC) 27

Thune (R-SD) 26   Hmm, and he wants to run for president? 

Isakson (R-GA) 24

Nelson (D-NE) 23

Sessions (R-AL) 21

Bunning (R-KY) 21

Ensign (R-NV) 20

Gregg (R-NH) 13

Barrasso (R-WY) 4

Enzi (R-WY) 3

Hatch (R-UT) 1

Bayh (D-IN) 1

Corker (R-TN) 1

Brown (R-MA) 1

For a breakdown on the individual programs you can go to a comprehensive list here.
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