Saturday, May 30, 2009

The more things change...

For the last several... well... years, I have been reading A Patriot's History of the United States by Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen. It is a thoroughly enjoyable tome that addresses every aspect of the history of our wonderful country. Since I am always tackling way more books than I can ever hope to read - at least until my kids are grown and gone - A Patriot's History often gets shoved to the back burner. I did pull this book out the other day to read about the Great Depression and the events leading up to it. I was astonished by some of what I read, as the parallels between the candidacy, rhetoric, and presidencies of Franklin Roosevelt and Barack Obama are eerily similar. The following quotes from the book are especially profound when you consider that the book was written when Barack Obama was not yet running for president, and was still an obscure state senator from Illinois.

In the months leading up the 2008 election, you probably remember Obama taking George W. Bush's administration to task for his profligate spending and lamenting the hundreds of billions of dollars in deficit spending that Bush had carried out. Obama wasn't running against Bush, but he did spend the campaign linking McCain to Bush's policies - hence the nickname "McSame" that the left called McCain. All this can make you chuckle as we now watch Obama making Bush seem like a reasonable spender.

During the 1932 election, Franklin Roosevelt did the same thing to Hoover. Even though Franklin Roosevelt would go on to expand government and government spending to unprecedented levels with the New Deal, Roosevelt didn't seem to make this known during the 1932 campaign:
...during the campaign, FDR, a man whose presidency would feature by far the largest expansion of the federal government ever, called for a balanced budget and accused Hoover of heading "the greatest spending Administration in... all our history [which] has piled bureau on bureau, commission on commission." Honest observers can find little difference between his programs and Hoover's. His own advisers admitted as much. Rexford Tugwell, for example, noted "We didn't admit it at that time, but practically the whole New Deal was extrapolated from programs that Hoover started.
Never forget that this whole bailout nonsense started with the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP), which was begun by the Bush Administration, and for which, as a Senator, Obama voted in favor.

Ah, but the parallels get even better. Keeping in mind Obama's repeated urgings that we take immediate action or it will be too late, here is what happened during Roosevelt's administration once he took office:
Thus, the New Deal contained little in the way of a guiding philosophy, except that government should "do something." Equally as important as the lack of direction, virtually all of the New Dealers shared, to one degree or another, a distrust of business and entrepeneurship that they thought had landed the nation in its current distressed condition. Above all, emergency measures needed to be done quickly before opposition could mount to many of these breathtaking challenges to the Constitution. (emphasis by Chanman)
And finally, the hopenchange factor. Check this out:
...the Hundred Days especially addressed areas of the economy that seemed to be the most distressed. The banking system had to be stabilized, and wages (including farm income) increased. And the only calculated policy Roosevelt had, namely, to somehow restore the morale of the nation, rested almost entirely on intangibles such as public emotion and a willingness to believe change would occur. (emphasis by Chanman)
Again, I remind you that these passages were not written to cash in on any comparison between Obama and Roosevelt. All this was written before Obama ran for president, and was practically a nobody.

As the decades continue to separate us from the time of the Great Depression, it is becoming more and more clear to historians, economists, and the general public that the Great Depression did not end because of Roosevelt's New Deal; in fact the only thing Roosevelt accomplished was to prolong the Depression. The Depression finally ended in spite of Roosevelt's policies, not because of them.

Now we have a president carrying out a repeat performance of Roosevelt's failed policies. Let's hope we don't need another World War to bail out Obama and the American economy.

Good Day to You, Sir

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Goodbye Safeway, hello government food commissary

If you would like an idea of how horrible nationalized health care would be for our country, give a read to this hilarious satirical column from the Orange County Register. The column pontificates what our world would be like if our grocery stores were put under the same "single payer" system that Obama and his cronies want to inflict upon our health care system.

Good Day to You, Sir

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

In case you were thinking of cozying up to a movie

If you happen to rent the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still with Keanu Reeves, Andrew Klavan of Big Hollywood puts you on notice:

...Keanu is sort of a spaceman Al Gore - like Al Gore himself - on an enlightened mission to save the earth from pollution. How is he going to accomplish that? Why, by destroying the human race that causes all the mess, of course. That’s right. He’s going to murder every man, woman and child so the trees won’t die. And he’s the good guy!

It must’ve been really hard for the people who made this film to understand why it underperformed at the box office - as hard as it is for us to understand how they managed to give themselves colonoscopies with their own heads. I mean, they actually thought we were going to root for a creature who was going to slaughter our children in service to An Inconvenient Truth.
Ah, those wacky environmentalists. They purport to love the Earth, but every once in a while, they let the truth slip out, and their truth is that they hate humans. Of course, in a classic case of leftist hypocrisy, they want me and my family to die, but they are not willing to make a similar sacrifice on their part. I'm going to be watching it anyway. I need a good laugh or two.

Good Day to You, Sir

Really all you need to know about Sotomayor... the quote from a speech that Obama's Supreme Court pick made in Berkeley (figures) back in 2001:
I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.
For my fuzzy-headed leftist readers who might wonder what's wrong with a little fresh perspective, you only need to turn the quote around to see how truly disgusting this woman is:
I would hope that a wise white male with the richness of his experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a Latina woman who hasn’t lived that life.
If a white male had uttered that in a speech, would you think he is A-OK to sit on the Supreme Court? Didn't think so.

Nevertheless, you can pretty much take it to the bank that Sonia Sotomayor will be our next associate justice on the Supreme Court. The Republicans most likely do not have the huevos to go up against a Latina (no matter what kind of a left-wing loon she is), and they probably won't have the votes to block her nomination anyway.

I hope you Obama voters are enjoying all this. He is giving you exactly what you voted for.

Good Day to You, Sir

Friday, May 22, 2009

Please tell me they grow out of it

I have to honestly ask: Have middle school-age children always thought this way, or is this yet another indication of the morally bankrupt instruction they have received since birth in our oh-so politically correct universe?

This morning, I am teaching my 7th graders about the Age of Enlightenment; all those political thinkers from the 17th-19th centuries like Locke, Voltaire, and Montesquieu.

We started the lesson with Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who believed that the closer to a "state of nature" that people lived, the better. He believed that we people are born good, and that it is government and civilization that corrupts us. I mentioned a quote of Rousseau's to my students in which he said, "One could say that savages are not evil precisely because they do not know what it is to be good."

The students weren't too sure what that meant, so I gave them the example of a lost traveler getting stuck on some remote island full of cannibals. The cannibals capture the traveler, kill him, cook him, and eat him. That is the cannibal culture, and that is what they do. I then asked my students if this was wrong?

They all agreed it was not, "If that's their culture." But they are killing an innocent person, I protested. But they held their ground on their position. I could have brought up other examples like clitorectomies on little girls in the Muslim world or the practice in India of forcing the still-alive widow to join her dead husband on the cremation pyre - a practice extinguished by the British when they controlled India. However, I am not in the mood to have some Muslim or Indian parent breathing down my neck so close to the end of the school year, so I once again emphasized that the students were giving the OK to the killing of an innocent person, and left it at that.

This interaction is a textbook example of the legacy of the multicultural crap that has been fed to our youth over the last few decades: No culture is better than any other. Who are we to say what is wrong and what is right for someone else? Sorry, but a culture of freedom and the respect for life and the rule of law is better than cultures in which these qualities are missing.

Later in the lesson, we got to John Locke and his Natural Rights theory. This is when I ask my students where their rights come from - who gives them their rights?

The number one answer? Government.

I am really fighting the tide here.

Good Day to You, Sir

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Putting the "Red" in Red Letter Christian

If you believe that Jesus is the Christ - that he is God's Son and your Savior - then you are a child of God. And all who love the Father love his children too. So you can find out how much you love God's children - your brothers and sisters in the Lord - by how much you love and obey God.

--1 John 5:1-2

This is a partial reading of the Bible passage that was read to my Presbyterian congregation last Sunday by our pastor in preparation for his sermon. What was said in that sermon saddened me immensly, as I witnessed the continuation of a political rift between myself and my church that leaves me with a heavy heart and some choices to ponder.

I have always realized that the Presbyterian church that I attend has a definite liberal bent. There is never a shortage of Obama bumper stickers in the parking lot, and the signature drives calling for the congregation to send a letter to our congresscritters, urging more money for poverty programs or a raise in the minimum wage, are always in the works.

The following is the relevant portion of my pastor's sermon. Read it, and then I have some concerns to articulate afterward:

...Recently, there has been another effort of sorts to refocus in on the love of Jesus Christ by Tony Campolo, who picks up on a theme developed in one of Anne Weems' books, Putting the Amazing Back in Grace, when she talks about her Red Letter Bible when she was growing up.

Do any of you have a Red Letter Bible? Some of you do. A Red Letter Bible is one that highlights all of Jesus' words in red.

Well, Tony Campolo, noted author and speaker, is ready to shed his evangelical label and replace it with a new one: Red Letter Christians. Campolo is calling for the launch of this new movement - Red Letter Christians - and introduces this idea in his new book, Red Letter Christians: A Citizen's Guide to Faith and Politics.

Jim Wallis, who writes the foreward for the book introduces the idea, saying,

"We affirm the authority of the whole Bible, not just the explicit sayings of Jesus often found highlighted in red. But we believe that the red letters of Jesus need to be focused in on again. We feel a calling together in this historical moment to bring back the distinctive message of Jesus for our time, for our world, and for the critical issues we face today."

Campolo elaborates the agenda by saying,

"Red Letter Christians embrace a broad range of social concerns, giving special attention to legislation that provides help for the poor, and hope fo rthe oppressed."

Declaring that there are more than 2,000 verses of scripture that call us to express love and justice for those who are poor and oppressed, he goes on the urge all camps of the Church to join him and to work together in this new movement.

"In reality," he says, "Conservatives and Liberals need each other. Conservatives maintain many lines that should never be crossed, while Liberals destroy many lines that should never have existed."

John Haberer, the editor of Outlook Magazine, declares that,

"Red Letter Christians are the new evangelicals. Might they also be the new Liberals, the new Conservatives, and the new Progressives?"

The new Presbyterians....?
In this sermon, my pastor mentioned two important names: Tony Campolo and Jim Wallis. Both of these men describe themselves as "Progressive" Christians; "progressive" meaning socialist. Tony Campolo was one of Bill Clinton's "spiritual advisors" during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, and Jim Wallis was the president of the Michigan State University chapter of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) in the late 1960s. The SDS was a radical socialist group that was purportedly formed in order to oppose U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, but in reality, SDS was one of the many organizations that was born during the turbulent decade of the 1960s whose purpose was to remake America into a socialist paradise. The terrorist Weathermen group - Bill Ayers was a charter member - grew out of the SDS in 1969. In a nutshell, Red Letter Christians are trying to pervert the teachings of Jesus Christ in order to justify socialism, and that favorite term of leftists everywhere - social justice. If you have ever wondered what social justice is, I just read a good definition the other day. Justice is when you get what you deserve. Social justice is when you get what you demand.

If you read the New Testament, you will see that Jesus speaks extensively about helping the poor, the downtrodden, the sick, the oppressed. That is wonderful; we Christians take pride in helping those who need help. The problem is that Red Letter Christians believe that we Christians are called by Jesus to enlist the power of government to effect this assistance. Jesus actually admonishes us to help on an individual level with our own wealth, not to confiscate from one person in order to give to another (please reference Commandments 8 and 10). Red Letter Christians, including Tony Campolo, Jim Wallis, and apparently, my Pastor, believe that individual voluntary giving is not good enough. They believe that government should compel you to be charitible by confiscating your wealth and wages through increased taxation, and then redistributing that confiscated wealth as the government sees fit.

During his sermon, my pastor added this admonishment,

...We are called to express love through obedience to God's commandments. Jesus' red-letter words in John's gospel boldly proclaim a new commandment that we must, of necessity, obey: That you love one another.
And by God, if you don't express that love to the satisfaction of the self-proclaimed Red Letter Christians, then they will collude with their new God - Government - in order to force you to demonstrate that love through compelled confiscation and redistribution of your hard-earned wealth and wages.

This brings me to a difficult decision. My wife grew up in this church. I have been attending this church ever since I met my wife. We were married in this church. My children were both baptized in this church. I am a deacon for this church and I play in the church's orchestra (clarinet). Our roots run deep.

In a situation like this, do you consider moving to a church whose beliefs are more in line with your own, or do you stay on board and attempt to act as a countering influence to keep the church more anchored toward the middle and not let it go off the left side of the deep end?

The individual members of my church are wonderful people, but the leftist politics of the church leadership often leave a bad taste in my mouth. When I think it through, I am more inclined to stick around witness not just for Jesus, but for common-sense political involvement as well. I think the leadership could use a dissenting voice.

Good Day to You, Sir

Monday, May 18, 2009

"Packing Heat"

That's how the news reporters described the potential trend, so I ginned myself up for another anti-gun diatribe from our local talking heads. Then they threw me for a loop.

First, rewind to this morning, when the pre-dawn darkness was awash with the sound of sirens about 4:30, waking up my wife and me. It was one of those times where you know something heavy is going down, because it seems like there were 50 different sirens all whining down the street at the same time. I had a busy day today, so I didn't have time to check up on what all the hubbub was about. When I got home, the first thing my wife said to me was, "Did you hear?" Just a mile or two from our house, up one of the major thoroughfares, a store owner had shot at two would-be burglars, killing one. The other accomplice tried to drag his perforated partner-in-crime across the parking lot before leaving the lifeless body behind and running for it. The surviving perp was arrested not too far away from the crime scene. The two criminals turned out to be brothers. Looks like they should have picked a safer bonding activity.

After I finished the season finale of 24 tonight (looks like Jack will survive for another season), I stuck around to watch the 10 o'clock news, and witnessed a refreshing surprise. After reporting the facts of the case, the street reporter then segued to a new but related story about how some shop owners in the same strip as the shooting were seriously considering arming themselves as a result of the rash of repeated burglaries and armed robberies that had taken place in the area during the last few months. The news reporters referred to this desire to arm one's self as "packing heat." When the news starts bandying about that cutesy little phrase, you usually know where this story is going on the bias-o-meter. However, the male talking head back in the studio ended the report with these words (I ran back the DVR and copied them word for word, just to make sure my ears were working):
And law enforcement officers say that if someone is on your property and you fear for your life, you have every right to defend and protect yourself in any way you see fit.
Wow! I am used to the standard boilerplate of If you feel your life is in danger, police officers urge you not to take matters into your own hands. They prefer that you call 911 instead and leave law enforcement to the professionals. You have probably heard something along those lines before if you have ever watched a news report about a self-defense shooting like this.

Of course, I have an idea of why the usual admonishment might not have been used at the end of this report, and that is the way the crime and act of self-defense went down in this case. You see, the store owner was inside his business and was on the phone with a 911 operator when the perps broke their way into the store. The 911 operator actually heard the shots fired over the phone. As you can see, calling 911 would have done nothing to help this store owner. He did the right thing and decided to risk being judged by twelve rather than carried by six.

Good Day to You, Sir, and nice shooting!

Sunday, May 17, 2009


A bumper sticker while going north on Watt Avenue in Sacramento:

But I think it's time that we see other people.

Driving the car was a sanctimonious looking female who had Obama voter written all over her. I wanted to yell to her to not let the door hit her ass on the way out. She proudly displays a bumper sticker dismissing the United States, yet she's still here, isn't she?

Good Day to You, Sir

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Where was I? Better yet, where are you?

The most common rejoinder I get from people who opposed the Tea Parties held back on April 15th is the following:

Why are you only protesting now? Where were you for the last 8 years when Bush was running up record deficits?

Fair enough question. While people on the right didn't organize protests during Bush's spending spree, they certainly shouted from the rooftops that Bush was on a spending spree. They weren't happy about it at all. Then Obama came in and began making Bush's spending seem - shall I say - conservative by comparison. Had John McCain won the election and spent like Obama, or even Bush, these protests would have still happened.

Allahpundit over at (see blogroll) has a better question, and that is why were the same lefties who were so upset with Bush's spending spree not taking part in those Tea Parties? How upset were they? Check out this 30-second ad from March '08:

So our children are going to have to pay off this dastardly $1 Trillion dollar debt from Bush? What kind of outrage does feel about Obama's $3.6 Trillion dollar budget for fiscal year 2010 that is laden with gobs of earmarks, porkulus, and bad behavior-rewarding bailouts? I guess some debts are more evil than others, even when they are much smaller. So predictable.

Good Day to You, Sir

Friday, May 08, 2009

Their own worst enemies

Sometimes, you wonder what it takes to get through to them. Every year around this time, my 8th graders are studying the Civil War. After we finish all the lessons and take the test, my tradition is to spend the next few days showing the movie Glory, the 1989 masterpiece about the 54th Massachusetts Regiment that stars Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, and Morgan Freeman. Since Glory is rated R (in my opinion, it should be PG-13), I need to send home a permission letter for parents to sign and for the students to get back to me. If a student doesn't get the letter signed, or if the parent refuses to let the student watch the film (that rarely, if ever happens), I have to send the student(s) to another room to complete an alternate assignment.

The trick is that if too many students blow off turning in that letter, I can't show the movie because logistically, there aren't enough places for me to send all those students. Any more than five students and we have a serious problem. But there shouldn't be a problem right? Isn't every student capable of getting that letter turned in during the 3 days I give to get it done?

Last year, one of my three 8th grade periods didn't get to watch the movie because half of them didn't return the letter. I can't say I was surprised, as they were my class from hell that year.

Today, I just tallied up the letters turned in from my 3rd period 8th grade class, and I have 10 students who did not turn in the letter. The last couple days, I have been cajoling and reminding over and over to the point of absurdity that they need to turn the letter in no later than this Friday (today).

During all that reminding and cajoling, I have been getting sighs, rolling of the eyes, a bunch of "OK, we get it!", and the like. Apparently, too many of them did not get it, because there is nowhere for me to send 10 students. So guess what? No Glory for 3rd period.

Let's see how 7th and 8th periods do. To be continued....

Good Day to You, Sir

**UPDATE: 7th period will be watching the film, as only two students didn't turn in their permission letter. 8th period will not be watching the film, as 13 students did not turn in theirs. The two classes will be required to bring their textbooks next week and we will be working out of those while 7th period watches the film. I swear, nothing seems to matter to so many of these students.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

A tale of two home invasions

On December 14, 2000, brothers Jonathan and Reginald Carr broke into a Wichita, Kansas townhouse in which five young people - three men and two women, all in their mid to late 20s - were staying. What happened next is often referred to as the "Wichita Horror" or "Wichita Massacre."

In the townhouse, the Carr brothers did unspeakable things to the five victims, and made the five victims do unspeakable things to each other. The victims did everything they were told to by the perps, and at no time did they try to resist. The night ended with the victims being driven to a snowy soccer field, lined up on their knees, and then each being shot execution-style with a bullet to the back of the head. The brothers then drove over the prostrate bodies with their vehicle. Incredibly, one of the female victims survived and ran over a mile - bleeding and naked - through the snowy darkness to a house and help. The female victim lived to testify against the Carr brothers. In 2002, they were convicted of the quadruple murder and sentenced to death.

Fast forward to May 4, 2009 in College Park, Georgia. A birthday party with 10 participants was going on in an apartment yesterday. Two masked men broke into the apartment and began robbing everyone. The perps then separated the men from the women with the intention of raping the women, and the perps were also overhead talking about possible plans to murder everyone. Instead of complying, one partygoer pulled a gun from his backpack and used it on the perps, killing one and causing the other to flee from the apartment. None of the partygoers were killed or injured.

Such similar crimes, but such different outcomes. I'm sure my ham-handed description of the events of the two crimes easily leads you to the differentiating factor in the two outcomes: In the Kansas crime, the victims were unarmed and complied with their attackers' demands, which led to the victims being murdered. In the Georgia incident, one of the victims was armed, and used that firearm to defend his own life and the lives of others. This led to one of the perps being killed and the other running away, with his capture apparently imminent. I'm sure you can appreciate the difference in these two outcomes.

Perhaps if more law-abiding citizens carried guns and were not deterred from doing so by our control-freakish local, state, and federal governments, the Carr Brothers and the Calvin Lavants of this world would decide not to attempt crimes like this in the first place.

Good Day to You, Sir

Safe for another 18 months!

I had jury duty today. It sucked. I would have rather been at work.

Like clockwork, I get a jury summons about every other year. Most of the time, I call in every day and they end up never needing me to come in. There was the one time about nine years ago when I was put on a jury for a child molestation case - I was actually the foreman! - but for the most part, I never see the courthouse door.

Today was the worst experience of all. I saw the courthouse door alright, but I never saw the inside of a courtroom. I sat in the juror pen from 8am to 4pm and my name was never called. The only good thing about today was that I got an almost two-hour lunch, and I got to read quite a bit of Ann Coulter and A Patriot's History of the United States.

The other excitement came about an hour into my marathon of sitting. Some people came out of a courtroom down the hall, yelling and screaming at each other. The yelling overlapped quite a bit, but I caught this much (Warning: Bad Language Alert):

"Fuck you nigga! Fuck you and your whole family, nigga!"

Some people have no shame. The use of that infernal word made me chuckle as I recalled how my black students often tell me that it's OK for them to use it because they mean it as a term of endearment. It didn't sound very endearing to me.

Next time I get jury duty, I hope to at least get into a courtroom so I can at least have a little bit of variety during an otherwise very long and monotonous day - family squabbles notwithstanding.

Good Day to You, Sir

Sunday, May 03, 2009

The Sacramento Citizen

This city used to be a two-newspaper town. From 1851 to 1994, There was the Sacramento Bee and the Sacramento Union. The Union was known as the more conservative of the two papers, and when it folded, we were left with the mostly leftist Bee.

A couple of years ago, an attempt was made to bring the Union back, both as an online newspaper, and also a weekly freebie that you could pick up at newspaper racks around the city. They made a good go of it, and I know I enjoyed my weekly issue of the Union, but in the end, they just couldn't turn a profit, and they suspended publication a couple of months ago.

Now, another attempt is being made to provide an alternative voice in Sacramento. It is an online publication called the Sacramento Citizen. The Citizen will provide a platform for the views of some of our local conservative radio personalities, writers, and bloggers. I have submitted a piece as an education columnist - here's hoping it gets picked up. Regardless of that, I encourage my local readers, or anyone else who wants to know what is going on in Ground Zero for California politics, to check in on the Citizen. Remember the old refrain: As California goes, so eventually goes the rest of the nation. When California "goes," it usually happens with legislation passed here in our state capital.

Good Day to You, Sir