Off With Their Heads!

cartoon-turkey-20The holiday season, here once again, represents the pinnacle of human joy.  Laughter, joking and light banter often decorate the cherished interactions between close friends and family.  These people know us, know our stories and accept us for who we are.  This treasured trust is the merited result of years of work at maintaining invaluable relationships.  Trust leads to the respect required to accept disingenuous humor, sometimes at our own expense, …and with the federal government I am not quite there yet.

Enter the annual presidential pardon of two turkeys for the Thanksgiving holiday.

As human beings we tend not to tease or make playful fun with the strangers we encounter in daily life.  Trust does not yet exist in these relationships.  There is no familiarity with individual humor and what may be jovial fun could easily be taken with offense due to the lack of a substantial foundation in the relationship built on trust.  That’s the issue with this so called pardon.  Years of deception, along with the sage advice of the founders of this country, have created mistrust in every action undertaken by government officials.  The hypocritical act of sparing two birds whose very existence goes better with stuffing and gravy only serves to further erode the tenuous relationship between citizen and state.

Let me be clear, (I fully accept the collective groan that stems from the use of this intro phrase) this is not a substantial act in and of itself.  The folksy ceremony is meant to lighten the devilishly droll day-to-day that is Washington life.  However, this act is significant because it represents more of the same.  As Obamacare advisor Jonathan Gruber repeatedly notes, in a very on-the-cuff manner, the stupidity of the American voter is essential for successful deception.

The last thing that the feds, the president or those esteemed powers who can’t quite design a website ought to engage in is a practice where blatant hypocrisy is on display.  The president, and most of congress, still eat turkey.  Which means that somewhere a turkey had to die.  So, the economic trade-off follows no logical pattern, another staple of present-day government action.

There is now an online poll where voters get to choose which turkeys will survive.  How quaint.  (The other turkeys view this more as a literal “Hunger Game”)  But to metaphor-ize based upon the standard rules of child-rearing, if you haven’t done your homework, you don’t get to play video games.

Shallow symbolic gestures ring hollow when taxpayers foot the bill, especially when respect and approval for such “leaders” is wearing quite thin.  President Obama even made light of his recent executive order regarding immigration when he stated, “I am taking an action fully within my legal authority – the same kind of action taken by Democrat and Republican presidents before me – to spare the lives of two turkeys – Mac and Cheese.”  Way to mix business and pleasure Mr. President.  Except, he is the only one pleased.

Unlike the close relatives that make the holidays brighter, the feds are our creepy uncle who can’t sit still without a child on his lap.  He keeps poking and playing, “just joshing’ around,” as his mustache squirmily wriggles.

*Collective shudder*

We are the kids who aren’t kids anymore.  We have grown up and remember all the lies made in the name of fun or better yet, the greater good.  The jokes are not funny, and we now realize that they never were.  Experience and information have wisened us to this impostor of shallow humor.  We are not as stupid as he would like to believe.

Keep your insincere ceremonies and false idols Mr. President.  Clock in, clock out and follow the Constitution.  That is all we need from you.

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Ferguson Cont’d

demonstrators-defy-curfew-fergusonTo riot or not to riot? That is the question…

The pending grand jury decision in the Ferguson case of Officer Darren Wilson where teenager Michael Brown was shot and killed, has politicians pleading for peace. The president has assured us all that race relations are much better than they were fifty years ago. Is anyone sensing a disconnect between the pleas of our executive and the preparations of the local leaders?

The governors, mayors and police chiefs are prepped and ready for pandemonium in the streets but, if we are as evolved in our acceptance of one another as we have been told then, *hehem*, why are such preparations necessary? Our country has transformed from the era of Jim Crow to see the two-time election of a black president. And yet Dyson, Sharpton and Jackson contend that the “system” is still rigged to protect the oppressive white majority that supports the killing of innocent, defenseless, unarmed black teens by white police officers.

These race hustlers espouse that the deaths of young black men by white police officers is an epidemic that must be protested and rioted against on the streets while being officially countered by the Department of Justice, which is (or rather was) headed by a black attorney general. Except (more confusion)… there is no epidemic. The simple narrative in this case is that a police officer, responding to a call concerning a strong-arm robbery (which was caught on video, and yep, it was Michael Brown) was then confronted by the same person (who turns out to be Michael Brown) who committed the robbery. The police officer was attacked and opened fire on his attacker. The social debate over why Michael Brown acted as he did or if there are enough police officers of color in Ferguson can occur, but the fact is, for those interested, that whether white, black, brown or whatever shade of the Technicolor Dreamcoat you choose, the ILLEGAL and DANGEROUS ACTIONS of Michael Brown himself led to his own death. Not his skin color. The actions of the police officer, under current law (which treats all officers of any color equally) were justified. His skin color is just as irrelevant.

SIDE NOTE: Where skin color does become relevant is in the statistics regarding overall homicides of black Americans. Over 90% of black people murdered die at the hands of another black person. Not a white police officer. Google “Chicago” and “shooting” at any time and fresh news stories will appear describing the relentless mayhem tormenting the Windy City. But no protesters riot. No visits by Sharpton or Jackson. No criticism by Michael Eric Dyson against that violence. Their interest only piques when denunciations of white privilege permit them to victimize black Americans, which inevitably leads to delusions of grandeur and shameless self promotion.

All Americans should take notice when a protector of the peace kills an unarmed civilian. Grand juries must convene to investigate and hold our societal officials accountable for their actions. In some cases, even when no wrongdoing has occurred, it may be impossible for these people to return to their jobs and engage in business as usual. The tragedy can be too great. I believe all of this will happen to Officer Darren Wilson. He was tragically forced to make a decision in response to the dangerous actions of a kid. Officer Wilson used his gun to shoot a teenager. And I believe his actions will be found to have been legal because he acted, not out of hate or racism, but in defense of himself and out of the possibility that others could be harmed as well. In this case, the system worked as it should. A teenager is dead and that’s a tragedy. A law-abiding police officer will likely never work again and that is a shame.

But let’s not forget that unlike those race hustlers who cling to hate as a means to support their own existence, there are Americans who, while still seeing race, can apply the principles of justice to anyone and everyone. And that is a dream come true.

Eureka!

california_sealUndocumented workers.  Undocumented aliens.  Illegal aliens.  Illegal immigrants.  Whichever euphemism is in vogue they all attempt to describe the pressing issue of people crossing the borders of the United States without permission; or initially receiving work visas and staying past the designated date.  On the horizon is an executive order to end all executive orders: President Obama is prepared to unilaterally grant amnesty for millions of people fitting the above descriptions.

So, let them come and stay.  With one minor stipulation.  They must all reside within the state of California.

The recently reelected Governor of California Jerry Brown stated back in August that all illegal immigrants can find a home in his glorious state.  “You’re all welcome in California.”  So, let them have it.  The residents of the Golden State have seen fit to continually elect Democratic representatives, giving that party complete dominance over the state legislature and the executive office.  Now, this is how you get things done in government!  Or, at least, this is how you get things done according to one agenda, based on an ideology driven by compassion and devoid of fiscal limitations and unconstrained by economic reality.

Los Angeles and San Francisco are two of many sanctuary cities in California where inquisition by state or federal authorities as to the citizenship status of residents has been deemed passé.  And really, who can blame them.  The effort to enforce existing law is a tiresome endeavor.  It requires the violation of the rights of those who have only basic rights to begin with, not constitutional protections.  Moreover, such intrusions would be mean spirited, not at all within the benevolent confines of the compassionate blinders by which the chosen powers that be choose to view the world.  Criminals or children, it doesn’t matter.  These people have families that should not, under any circumstance, even if public safety or societal solvency is at risk, be made to separate (even if the entire family could choose to remain intact and leave the country together).

Businesses in California have seen fit to employ illegal immigrants.  They operate with minimal consequence in the name of necessity and compassion.  They need workers to do that which (supposedly) American workers will not.  Never mind that income and revenue reflect a severe artificiality when these businesses and workers do not trade in an open market.  Illegal immigrants make much more than they would in their home countries, even though what they make is below any market minimum.  Despite the effects on pay, unemployment and worker safety, let these business operate out of necessity for low-skilled, low-paid labor while flaunting the critical bonds of free markets and legality.

So let them have it…

Hear ye, hear ye.  Come one, come all.  The Californian Progressive Agenda sends an open invitation for the citizens of the world to come and live in the beautiful Golden State.  Once situated, everyone can go to school, drive a car, get a job and, if they so desire, seek refuge through any entitlement program that is or will be in existence.  Our hope is to create an endless supply of voters that support the unsustainable promises of the party of the left.  High speed rail running on wind and solar through the fields and cities where every worker makes fifteen dollars an hour while living in a three bedroom, three bath and driving a Chevy Volt.  Disneyland on weekends.  No plastic bags.  And taxes to be paid by the millionaires and billionaires who have earned their living through no effort of their own.  After all, they didn’t build that.  Businesses don’t create jobs.

Elections matter.  Elections matter.  ELECTIONS MATTER.  California as a collective has made its bed.  The leaders, while not unanimously elected, are in office and have set an agenda.  So, let them have it.  The world is full of literally billions of people who would like to live under the protections of the United States.  The fact is that, in the existential name of survival, the country must be discerning with regards to which individuals enter and become citizens.  At times low skilled laborers are needed.  Other times call for highly skilled professionals.  The ability of an immigrant to aid this nation and assimilate to its culture is the proper measure when assessing an applicant for citizenship.  Those who have not even applied, taking full advantage of a feckless system, must enter the queue.  Meanwhile, they can all move to sunny California for a trial in irrational compassion.  Blessings be upon them courtesy of the duly elected executive leaders of the state of California and these United States.

A Republic for Republicans

2-8-13-republican-elephantAt the close of the Constitutional Convention on September 17, 1787, as Benjamin Franklin left the hall in Philadelphia, he was asked, “What kind of government have you given us, Dr. Franklin?” He replied: “A republic, if you can keep it.”  As Republicans come to Washington after winning in this landslide election, they will ask the American people “What have you given us?”  A republic, if you can keep it… Republicans!

Majorities rule in this two-party system of ours.  The Democrats, led by the president, had their time to impose the agenda of ever more expansive government.  Now, the political pendulum has once again swung the other way.  Congressional Republicans have an opportunity to lead us off of the statist path to Bankruptcyville and walk the road less traveled of constitutionally limited government.

But where to begin?

Politicians have this annoying habit of overreacting to any event and attempting to assuage any fears by banally claiming “We must do something!”  While specific, focused action is needed, more and more interference via arbitrary legislation is not an effective means to govern, and be perceived to govern, effectively.  Never forget, the next election is less than two years away and many more people will pay attention to that one.  Perception is reality.  The Republican party must act in such a way that conveys courage, stability and control.

People of all political persuasions respond to honest conviction.  This is what made Barack Obama so appealing to so many voters.  He was passionate about his beliefs and fought against all odds to achieve his goals.  Or at least that was the perception.  Republicans are in a prime position to harness charisma, take advantage of the zeitgeist and use popular support to direct the nation.  Better yet, they have a blueprint for successful governance.  Unlike progressive policies that promise much but deliver misery, conservative principles have their foundation in respect for individual rights, the basis of the idea that is the United States.  The Constitution, while a bit dusty from lack of use, is the go-to guide for how to deal with the issues of the present day.

My Two Cents:

In many cases my ideology goes further than these recommendations.  However, politicians must deal within the confines of political reality.  Ideology is about ideas, politics is about winning elections.  You cannot govern if you don’t win.

– Allow the continuation of the Keystone XL Pipeline…finally.  It has been studied, and studied…and studied.  We all hate oil spills.  We all love oil (if only through the de facto behavior of driving our cars and using anything made of plastic).  Until “clean energy” sources can pay their own way, we need oil.  This pipeline is simply an example of a societally approved trade-off between risk and reward in the modern world of industry.

– Immigration reform must occur once existing law has been enforced.  Close the border.  Not so we stop people once they get into Texas but make it so no one can enter Texas without proper documentation.  Deport anyone stopped for breaking the law and found to be in the USA illegally.  Next, law-biding immigrants, here to work, albeit illegally, must be identified and put on a pathway to apply for citizenship.  Basically, enforce current immigration laws while dealing with the people who have come in while we were not enforcing such laws.

– Communicate sound economic principles about the national fiscal situation.  Social security, Medicare, Medicaid, all entitlements are simply borrowing against the future.  Fiscal solvency is a fantasy as long as progressive policies promise to give and give in the name of altruistic compassion.  The money is not in the vault.  There are only IOUs that will soon come due.

– Value the rights of the states and leave social issue oriented legislation to them.  I.E. legal pot, abortion laws, same-sex marriage, etc. should be determined on a state-by-state basis.

– The minimum wage is an artificial tool, earned by 2-3% of the workforce, that generates much sympathy.  However, this present day government wage and price control is here for awhile.  Raising the minimum wage will make Republicans a more populist party which in turn can siphon votes from their progressive counterparts.  This could be done under the umbrella of a complete economic overhaul.  Such a plan could reduce corporate taxes to stimulate business growth (corporations don’t really pay taxes by the way, you do), lift all sorts of business restricting conditions from the EPA, OSHA, IRS et al., and then look to phase out all wage and price controls like the minimum wage.  Again, deal with political reality while transforming our country for the future.  Communicate the benefits of supply side economics while defending free market capitalism against the fallacious arguments of those like Hillary Clinton who seek to prey on the rampant economic illiteracy of the electorate.  Educate voters, and potential voters, of all economic levels, as to the benefits of free markets.  Make it personal.  Demonstrate that no matter how much progressives promise, they cannot deliver on those promises.  (See the economic data regarding the war on poverty)

– Defend against unfounded attacks on conservatism, free markets, capitalism and the personalities of those pursuing such ends.  Racism, sexism, trickle-down economics, tax breaks for the rich, millionaires and billionaires, blah blah blah…  The DNC and Democratic candidates have tried it and this time they lost.  Stand up to claims of racism or sexism with facts, not further acrimony.  Court those voters who truly do not know what Republicans can offer because they have always been told about the evil GOP.  Dismiss the epithets against free markets.  The USA is the most prosperous, benevolent nation the world has ever known.  We have a mixed economy, based in free market capitalism.  That’s the evidence.

The reality (ergo, the perception) seems to be that as much as Hillary is the chosen one, she is not a great candidate.  Let her make her “businesses do not create jobs remarks and she will sink herself yet again.  2016 will be another pinnacle election year, a battle in the war of ideas where voters will once again choose in which direction this country should go.  Over the, (less than) next two years Republicans can show us all that there is another way.  A constitutional way.  They can demonstrate why we should vote for the party of Lincoln and Reagan; They can show us the greatness this country can do so that the darkness before the dawn that has been the last 6 years can give way to morning in America once again.

The Humble Victor: CO Prop 104

teachers-fistJust like Ron Burgundy, the election last Tuesday was kind of a big deal.  There were some deficient observations like Tom Brokaw opining, “a lot of this has to do with the fact that he [Obama] gets hammered 24/7 by Fox News on the right and by talk radio…”, as though Fox wasn’t around 2 years ago when Republicans were on the losing side.  As though there aren’t major networks in support of Barack Obama.  And as though talk radio has the reach of television news.

Side Bar- Isn’t it fascinating, yet wholly predictable, how these “objective” news anchors like Tom Brokaw and Walter Cronkite come out as committed liberals after they retire.  Makes you think,  “But that would mean…the WHOLE TIME!”

The unabashed truth is that the Democratic Party received a shellacking due to a repudiation of the policies of both the party itself and an overreaching Obama administration.  The tales of a Republican war on women, war on minorities and the demonic pervasiveness of Fox News had grown tired.  When the Democrats were asked “What else you got?  Economic success, foreign policy?”  the awkward answer was…umm… and then a blurted response, in suave Burgundy fashion, “I wanna be on you, I wanna be on you” .  Ironically, it was a good night for Hope and Change and an opportunity to engage in some good ole’ fashioned schadenfreude.  Now, if only Republicans, these Republicans, can govern…

Now that much has been said and re-said about this election, I will leave the national stage to look at the local success that was Proposition 104 in Colorado.  I would like to raise a metaphorical glass to the unsung heroes of this election and the work they did to affect change in our society.  We who value freedom and wish for more limited government are indebted to John Caldera and the Independence Institute for their work and financial support in getting this proposition on the ballot and passed.

Proposition 104 asked the voters, “Shall there be a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes requiring any meeting of a board of education, or any meeting between any representative of a school district and any representative of employees, at which a collective bargaining agreement is discussed to be open to the public?”  And in the wisdom that so often accompanies corrective elections, the voters said Yes, with over 70% in favor!

It has been a couple years since Douglas County, CO elected a conservative majority on the school board and did away with the teachers union entirely.  The recent hubbub in Jefferson County relating to the changes of a new school board reflects another positive transformation in public education.  Proposition 104 is one more huge step towards ending the dominance of the teachers union and restructuring an educational system that will truly benefit the kids, along with the rest of us.

Ask any voter, look at any poll and you will find that people of all stripes value a good education.  Providing children with the opportunity to succeed is a path to parental pride and national prosperity.  Politicians have thrown money at the problem and found little improvement.  Public schools mandate that children attend specific institutions, regardless of the ability of a specific school to offer a path to success, and kids still struggle to compete with their global counterparts.  In short, the manner in which we have been operating does not work.  The passage of Proposition 104 is exactly the kind of common sense action that can ameliorate the condition of public education.

Proposition 104 in the most basic sense, is oversight of the government by the people.  This change will allow the public to monitor the negotiations of collective bargaining agreements up close.  Everyone can hear the astonishing specifics regarding compensation, regardless of performance, and benefits that are currently an unfunded liability to the taxpayer.  I believe that the public forum will lead the taxpayers to discover what so many workers already have: that unions, especially public sector unions, are a self-serving burden and that teachers (along with all other employees) are better off without these groups.

Unions are already a dwindling group, but still cling to the public sector.  According to Pew Research, “only 11.3% of wage and salary workers belonged to unions, down from 20.1% in 1983”.  This percentage drops even further when comparing the public and private sectors.  “While the unionization rate among public-sector workers has held fairly steady over that 30-year span (just over a third of government workers are unionized), it’s plummeted in the private sector — from 16.8% in 1983 to 6.7% three decades later”.

The reasons for the initial rise, and the relatively recent decline, of unions varies and the benefits can be debated all day long.  However, the fact is, that when it comes to education, the teachers unions have a monopoly on public education that is failing the children in the United States.  Parents cannot choose where their children will learn without paying more money than they already do in taxes.  Tenured teachers rest easy with little fear of job loss regardless of any personal promiscuous proclivities or failing performance on-the-job.  (Links to: the corruption and rubber rooms in Los Angeles or the rubber rooms in New York City)  If parents like the schools their children attend, that’s wonderful and no change need be made.  But if the schools cannot offer a proper education, parents ought to be able to take their child and their money elsewhere.  That’s fair, that’s freedom and that’s what the unions fear most.

Disregard the hype and know that public sector unions do not serve the public, the kids or the teachers.  They live a parasitic existence, leeching off of the taxpayer.  They ought to be outlawed and now that the public can observe their ludicrous business dealings, that idea is closer to reality.

As a final thought:  Unions ostensibly serve to protect workers from aggressive employers; so if the teachers work for a government, tasked to protect us all, why do they need specific job protection?  Proposition 104, the only state-wide initiative to pass, is a success for the people of Colorado and a further sign to the nation of things to come.

A Reference Point

imagesIt is a Quixotic quest to find trusted sources that remain unimpeachable.  Police officers and clergy perform laudable work on a daily basis yet such positive actions are regularly overshadowed by the controversies of the few repugnant members of these professions.  The nightly news was a trusted source for decades but the editorial spin imposed by supposed news anchors, along with myriad, omnipresent outlets of information, the folks can no longer rely on Cronkite, Brokaw and Jennings to present the facts.  There remains(ed) one source that from toddlerhood has always seemed to be a bedrock of consistently reliable information.  Always honest, never biased, simply the facts.  Alas, it appears this referential resource is just as susceptible to the twists of subjectivity as every other opinion laden news outlet:

The Dictionary

To state the obvious, reference material like dictionaries, encyclopedias and the World Almanac, are composed by human beings; because humans are inherently biased creatures, the reference material is inherently biased as well.  While there are means to limit bias, such as removing the editorializing opinion, overseers of reference material possess an arrogant confidence that certain beliefs are universal and that the truth knows no bias.  It is true, objective reality does exist.  However, the truth is removed from objective reality in that human beings have consistently added perspective to reality in order to create “the truth” or more aptly, “the truth as we see it”.

Any personal bias is composed of a dash of survival instinct, a dollop of self-interest and two-thirds cup personal preference and prejudice that makes one view better than another.  Bias plays a part in the most minute aspects our lives.  Are you an artsy free spirit or a grounded entrepreneur?  Are they laid back hippies or bums?  Is the music too loud?  Can you even call that music?

Everything around us is a reflection of someone’s opinion.  The colored street signs and billboards were crafted based upon a decision by someone, somewhere, at some point in time.  The same is true for the most rudimentary life basics such as language and definitions. Someone decided that a particular collection of words would constitute the meaning of other words and phrases.  I believe that most people take such definitions for granted, never realizing that there exists an ever-so-subtle means to manipulate the way by which the members of a society think.  Academia, journalism and Hollywood are dominated by folks with a particular agenda crafted from views that generally fall between left-of-center and falling off the edge, radical left-wing.  These views influence the “objective” reality of life in these circles.  The stories they tell in books, television and movies, created for the world to absorb, reflect life within a cocoon of progressive reinforcement where the dominant ideas never face an iota of scrutiny.  Challengers to such ideology are written off as unenlightened bigots and then portrayed as uncultured simpletons in the next episode, article or broadcast.  Even the dictionary is not immune to this influence.  After all, someone must write it… and that someone or those someones have views to share.

These are some examples of the established pattern of biased facts based upon the dominant ideology:

from Dictionary.com: 

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/lunatic%20fringe?s=t

LUNATIC FRINGE

noun

1.

members on the periphery of any group, especially political, social, or religious, who hold extreme or fanatical views.

Examples from the web for Lunatic Fringe

-Today, many would dismiss such crudely racist views as belonging to a tiny right-wing lunatic fringe.

-There is a lunatic fringe out there that is confused by reality.

Climate deniers are on the lunatic fringe of science and they can find plenty of company there.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/progressive?s=t

(Notice the positive connotations)

PROGRESSIVE

adjective

1.

favoring or advocating progress, change, improvement, or reform, as opposed to wishing to maintain things as they are, especially in political matters:

a progressive mayor.

2.

making progress toward better conditions; employing or advocating more enlightened or liberal ideas, new or experimental methods, etc.:

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/conservative?s=t

CONSERVATIVE

adjective
1.

disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or torestore traditional ones, and to limit change.
2.

cautiously moderate or purposefully low:

a conservative estimate.
3.

traditional in style or manner; avoiding novelty or showiness:

conservative suit.
4.

(often initial capital letterof or pertaining to the Conservative party.
5.

(initial capital letterof, pertaining to, or characteristic of Conservative Jews or Conservative Judaism.
6.

having the power or tendency to conserve or preserve.
7.

Mathematics. (of a vector or vector function) having curl equal tozero; irrotational; lamellar.
noun
8.

a person who is conservative in principles, actions, habits, etc.
9.

a supporter of conservative political policies.
10.

(initial capital lettera member of a conservative political party,especially the Conservative party in Great Britain.
11.

a preservative.

(notice the negative connotations)

-In the parodies, his vice president is fellow conservative pundit ann coulter.

-The bill was defeated and lord derby formed a minority conservative administration.

-The main opposition party, the conservative party, are opposed to membership.

-Several conservative mps voted against the major government and the vote was lost.

-Hence it is rational to be cautious and conservative about proposed changes.

The conservative government fell and a minority labour government was elected.

-As a result she was forced to resign as leader of the conservative party by her own mps.

-By this period though the influences had become regressive and conservative.

-Indeed he is widely praised by his successors, both labour and conservative.

From the Look Up option on my MacBook Pro…

VIRULENT

adjective

1

 (of a disease or poison) extremely severe or harmful in its effects.

• (of a pathogen, esp. a virus) highly infective.

bitterly hostile: a virulent attack on liberalism.