Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Pete Stark is a disgrace

California Bay Area Congressman Fortney "Pete" Stark has totally forgotten who works for whom. Watch this sorry excuse for a public servant openly insult and mock his constituents at a town hall meeting.

The subject is illegal immigration, and Stark makes it perfectly clear that not only does he support people coming in to our country illegally, he is willing to assist them in their illegal actions by supplying ladders to the illegal aliens in order to help them get over any wall or fence that is built on the U.S. border.

The video is almost 10 minutes long, and the whole thing is well worth watching, but if you don't have that kind of time, viewing the first 3 minutes will give you a good idea about what kind of a despicable human being Pete Stark "Raving Mad" really is.

Florida has Alan Grayson, and California has this foolish, foolish man:

Are the members of Stark's district so morally bankrupt that they are willing to repeatedly vote this man into office, election cycle after election cycle? I ask this question because Stark was reelected to his district in 2008 with a whopping 76% of the vote. I am very curious to see what his percentage will be this November, and judging by the district he represents (Oakland, south to Fremont), I don't see his vote percentage dropping all that much. I hope I'm wrong.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson

Monday, June 28, 2010

It's a great day for America

From Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Alito, who wrote the majority decision:
The city of Chicago (City) and the village of Oak Park, a Chicago suburb, have laws that are similar to the District of Columbia’s, but Chicago and Oak Park argue that their laws are constitutional because the Second Amendment has no application to the States. We have previously held that most of the provisions of the Bill of Rights apply with full force to both the Federal Government and the States. Applying the standard that is well established in our case law, we hold that the Second Amendment right is fully applicable to the States....
It's about damn time! The Supreme Court has essentially been kicking the can down the road on this issue since the 14th Amendment was approved in 1868, and even before then. Why the 14th? That amendment ensured that states could not deprive Americans (especially former slaves) of their unalienable rights, which included life, liberty, and property. Since the Bill of Rights were originally written to only limit the power of the federal government, the 14th Amendment forced the states to abide by the Bill of Rights as well.

Members of Congress who worked on the 14th Amendment at the time of its inception were pretty clear about its impact on self-defense rights:
Republican Representative Thaddeus Stevens, who was directly involved in ratifying the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, was not ambiguous about whether the right to keep and bear arms applied to the states.

“Disarm a community and you rob them of the means of defending life. Take away their weapons of defense and you take away the inalienable right of defending liberty,” Stevens said. “The Fourteenth Amendment, now so happily adopted, settles the whole question.”
Now with this 5-4 decision on McDonald vs. City of Chicago, the 2nd Amendment has now officially been incorporated into the states, just as the 1st, 4th, 5th, and 8th Amendments have been previously.

Now we get to hear the usual hollering and wailing from the firearmphobia crowd as they hysterically talk out of their caboose about all the increased shootings and killings that will happen in the wake of this decision and the almost-inevitable rollbacks of local anti-gun laws. Of course, not only will gun crimes not increase, they will invariably go down, as they have shown to do everywhere that law-abiding citizens have gained the ability to better exercise their unalienable right to defend themselves. Even crime-infested Washington D.C. has seen a dramatic drop in murder rates after the Supreme Court's recent Heller decision struck down just some of D.C.'s draconian gun control laws.

Let's hope California gets a clue with a quickness so I can start lawfully carrying in and around Sacramento.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Guantanamo: Obama screws up yet again

From the New York Times on January 22, 2009:
WASHINGTON — President Obama signed executive orders Thursday... ordering the closing of the Guantánamo detention camp within a year....
"[W]ithin a year," the article says. That means the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba should have been shut down by January 2010.

How has that been working out? Here is your answer. This is another blurb from the New York Times on June 25, 2010:
Stymied by political opposition and focused on competing priorities, the Obama administration has sidelined efforts to close the Guantánamo prison, making it unlikely that President Obama will fulfill his promise to close it before his term ends in 2013....
Naturally, this news was released in the Times on a Friday, so that this story will fly under the radar this weekend, and get minimal coverage when the news cycle begins on Monday. The cacaphony of noise coming from the people who voted for Obama should be louder than an arena full of soccer fans blowing on vuvuzelas, but I doubt we are going to hear very much, especially compared to when Obama's predecessor sat in the Oval Office.

After all, I'm sure many of you remember the common wisdom of just a year and a half ago: Obama was going to bring change; he was going to convince the world love and respect us again by taking benevolent actions like, oh, say, closing Guantanamo!

Many would argue that Obama can't do this by himself (even though it was an executive order that he signed that called for Guantanamo's closing); that the consent of Congress would be needed as well. Seeing as how the U.S. Congress still has commanding Democrat party majorities in both the House and Senate, this shouldn't be much of an issue, right? This same Times article says, nope:
Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who also supports shutting it, said the effort is “on life support and it’s unlikely to close any time soon.” He attributed the collapse to some fellow Republicans’ “demagoguery” and the administration’s poor planning and decision-making “paralysis....”
Ah, so it's the Republicans' fault - the same Republicans who could easily be outvoted by their Democrat counterparts should the closing of Guantanamo need Congressional support.

So what is causing this "decision-making 'paralysis'" in the Obama administration regarding whether or not to close Guantanamo? Perhaps the opinions of millions of voters might have something to do with it:
When Mr. Obama took office a slight majority supported closing it. By a March 2010 poll, 60 percent wanted it to stay open....
Once again, President Obama and his fellow Democrats in Congress (along with squishy Republicans like Lindsey Graham) have seriously misread the mood and intentions (and perhaps the ignorance) of the American voters out there. The idea of closing Guantanamo sounded wonderful to so many people. The problem came when the uncomfortable question was raised as to where to house some of these bloodthirsty terrorists who were housed there. Being banished to an island surrounded by hundreds of miles of shark-infested waters is one thing. But having a chance to escape into the Illinois countryside is quite another. Once people realized that the Illinois option - or something like it - was the alternative, then minds began changing right quick. Perhaps people should have thought of this before they pulled the lever for Barack Obama.

Of course, I should be careful about mentioning this thorny Guantanamo issue. Take note of what happened to me the last time I got into a discussion about it with someone.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson

Friday, June 25, 2010

Yeah! Let's boycott... where again?

If you have seen this before, I don't give a rip; it needs to be seen again. Watch an Arizona boycott-supporting city councilcritter from Milwaukee make an ass out of herself as she argues that Arizona doesn't have any good reason for passing SB 1070 since Arizona doesn't even share a border with Mexico. The best part is watching one of the colleagues of this geographically-challenged councilcritter correct her in a most deadpan but humiliating manner.

Remember folks, according to conventional wisdom, it's supposed to be those on the left of the political aisle who are the intellectuals, while us hayseed conservatives ain't got none of dem dar brains.

This is where my new signoff really comes in handy:

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Back from Oregon!

What a trip! I caught up with my Aunt and Uncle, along with my cousin, who also lives in the same area. My kids got to play with the three German Short Hair dogs that are owned by my aforementioned relatives; they ran around the sod/seed farm my aunt and uncle own; they rode on a tractor and a riding lawn mower with my uncle; and they saw numerous examples of the beauty that Oregon and northern California have to offer. Here is just a smattering of what we saw and did during my absence:

The fun begins when you get about an hour north of Sacramento on I-5. As you drive up the Central Valley, you begin to see this little white triangle dead ahead in the distance. It gets bigger...

and bigger...

and bigger...

Until finally, you can see Mount Shasta up close in all her majestic glory. Usually, our trips end at this location, but this time, we continued north where we spent the night in the charming little town of Ashland, Oregon. Ashland is only a few miles above the California border. It is the home of Southern Oregon University, and even more famously, the Oregon Shakespearean Festival. I have attended several plays there over the years, and even though Ashland's mini-Berkeley feel can grate on me (it is a university town, after all), the beauty of the town itself and its location more than make up for its leftist pretentions. If you ever get a chance to see a Shakespeare play in Ashland, I highly suggest you take advantage. The plays take place on an outdoor stage that was built for the occasion:

On a June night, fourteen years ago, I watched Romeo and Juliet in this theater. The night was warm, with no wind. With those conditions, I felt like I was indoors, but the birds chirping in the distance reminded me that I was not. It was lovely.

The next morning, it was off to Salem, which was about another five hours to the north (Oregon is deceptively huge!). After a brief sojourn for lunch in Eugene, which is home to the University of Oregon, we arrived in Salem in the mid-afternoon. My aunt and uncle actually live about 10 minutes east of Salem in the foothills of the Cascades. Here is just the part of their property that includes their house:

Adjacent to this are fields of flowers and Christmas trees. Northwestern Oregon is one of the, if not the biggest suppliers of Christmas trees in the country. I paid more attention to the flowers:

Our first full day there, we went to a children's museum in downtown Salem for the kiddos. I won't bore you with all the adorable shots of them having fun. Let's move on to the activity we did the next day, and that would be a trip to what I think is one of the most beautiful locations on earth, and that would be Silver Falls State Park, which is located about 20 miles east-southeast of Salem, even further toward the Cascade range. This is one of those locations where photographers can't miss. You don't have to do anything special to make your photos look good; all you have to do is point and shoot. Here are some examples:

There are several falls in this park where you can actually walk behind them. The falls have eroded the rock face in such a way that a kind of recessed cave has formed behind them, making it very easy to go behind the falls for a reverse view, like this:

There are also smaller falls that are just as beautiful as the taller ones. Heh... "smaller." This one is over 60 feet.

My son is high-tailing it back toward the parking lot. He knows there is one more thing I want to shoot before we go back to the car:

Whenever I see a footbridge, I gotta switch to the ol' black and white.

We left Salem on June 17th - my birthday. I figured what better way to celebrate it than to make a stop in the area in which I grew up. That would be the Klamath and Siskiyou Mountains of northern California, just over the border from Oregon. We traveled south along I5 until we got to Grants Pass, Oregon. From there, we made a 20 minute hop along Highway 199 to Cave Junction, Oregon. From Cave Junction, you can take a 30 mile journey along a curvy mountain road with 13% grades through the Siskiyou Mountains that will take you into the northern California town of Happy Camp. The locals on both sides of the border refer to the trip on this road as "going over Greyback." Near the 4,000+ foot summit of Greyback, we made a quick stop for this panoramic view:

Directly below me is the Indian Creek watershed that leads towards Happy Camp. On the horizon, you can see the snowcapped peaks of the Marble Mountains.

Once we reached Happy Camp, we went ahead and let the kids get out of the car and cavort where Indian Creek empties into the Klamath River.

When I was a kid, I would celebrate the end of every school year by walking or, later, driving over that bridge and throwing a pencil into the river. The little rituals that defined me...

After finishing with Indian Creek, we drove two more hours back to Mount Shasta City, where we spent the night. The next morning, we went somewhere that my wife has been dying to go for the last few years, and that is a lavender farm off of Highway 97, just a few miles northwest of the mountain. Due to the unseasonably cold spring and summer we have been having, the lavender hadn't fully bloomed yet, but the views from this farm were unmatched:

The snowcapped mountains on the right are the Eddy Mountains, which are part of the Klamath Mountain range. To the left is Black Butte, a 6,000+ foot cinder cone that was formed by an eruption of Mount Shasta about 10,000 years ago. Ten years ago, my mother and I hiked to the top of Black Butte. You want to talk about amazing scenery! The problem is that I didn't have a digital camera at the time. Guess I'll have to make the hike again someday and take some more modern photos.

There's nothing like a little journey to God's Country to clear the head. Once the journey is over, I already begin looking forward to the next one.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Time to see the sights!

Seeing as how I am a schoolteacher, it is high time to take advantage of this fact and go on a road trip.

The fam and I will be traveling north to Salem, Oregon to see my aunt and uncle. Since I grew up in the northern California/southern Oregon region, I can't wait to see quite a few familiar sights while also introducing my children to them as well.

In the meantime, I don't have a guest blogger, so you all will once again have to pine for my insight until my return. Hopefully, I will have some great photos to post.

Until then,

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Warning: These documents may be hazardous to your ignorance

Here's another example of the commonly-held belief that our society is losing its marbles. A publishing company called Wilder Publications produced copies of the United States Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, Thomas Paine's Common Sense, and the Federalist Papers. So far so good - lots of publishing companies print these documents.

However, Wilder added something to the Constitution, the Declaration, and the other documents that other companies have not: A warning label.

Here's what some people think of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence:
“This book is a product of its time and does not reflect the same values as it would if it were written today.”
Wow. Exactly which values would that be? The adherence to limited government? The idea that we have natural rights that government cannot take away? The abolition of slavery?

If Wilder Publications was afraid that their copies of our founding documents would cause controversy, I wonder if they are satisfied that their idiotic warning labels will offend many more people than the documents themselves ever will?

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson

Prince Charles channels Kent Brockman

Heir to the British throne, Prince Charles, is a megalomaniacal environmentalist; he has demonstrated this in the past.

What we did not realize until now is that Prince Charles believes that the answer to implementing his environmental megalomania is the religion of Islam:
Prince Charles yesterday urged the world to follow Islamic 'spiritual principles' in order to protect the environment.
In an hour-long speech, the heir to the throne argued that man's destruction of the world was contrary to the scriptures of all religions - but particularly those of Islam...

He added: 'The inconvenient truth is that we share this planet with the rest of creation for a very good reason - and that is, we cannot exist on our own without the intricately balanced web of life around us.
'Islam has always taught this and to ignore that lesson is to default on our contract with creation.'
Like cowardly "Simpsons" news broadcaster Kent Brockman, Prince Charles would embrace our new environmental overseers:

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson

Not to worry, I'm not that bad... yet.

Since it is almost two in the morning and I am checking the Internet before turning in, I felt obligated to post this article.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Tea Party protest turns violent... but it's not the Tea Party people committing the violence!

A peaceful Tea Party protest was crashed by a Lefty hothead who put his debating skills on display by attacking the wife of a local Republican official and then punching the official when he came to his wife's defense:

Between this and the Code Pink thugs who heckled Nancy Pelosi the other day, you would think that the Old Media (and Pelosi) would be all over this rash of Leftist violence and disruption. Yeah, right.

Exit question: Do you think Pelosi would have been equally as patient with those hecklers had they been conservative Tea Party members? Yeah, right.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson

Time to toss "diversity" back in the face of the Left

I was just listening to local talk radio host Eric Hogue who pointed out a rather important element of yesterday's primary election in California. While Democrat/Leftist talking points this morning are concentrating on the attempt to "buy" the election on the part of billionaires like gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman and senatorial candidate Carly Fiorina, what is being downplayed is the fact that the Republican party - the so-called party of the white guys - just elected two women as the nominees for two major public offices.

But wait, there's more. The Republicans chose Abel Maldonado - a Latino - as the nominee for Lieutenant Governor. They chose Damon Dunn - a black man - as the nominee for Secretary of State. They chose Mimi Walters - a woman - as the nominee for state Treasurer. The first white male chosen was Tony Strickland, who is running for state Controller.

There it is! The racial, ethnic, and gender diversity that those on the Left often accuse the Republicans of not embracing. Let's see if the Republicans receive any acknowledgement for this from the Left, or will the goal posts be moved once again?

Not to mention, with Republican women running for high office in California (Whitman and Fiorina), Nevada (Sharron Angle will be taking on Dirty Harry Reid), and South Carolina (Nikki Haley will be running for Governor), will the press be slobbering all over themselves about the "Year of the Woman" like they were in 1992 when the Dems elected four female Senators?

Remember, diversity only counts on the Democratic side of the aisle.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson

Monday, June 07, 2010

Good to see the NAACP is still relevant

What would we do without the continued vigilance of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People?

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson

What is killing California?

Public employee unions are killing California. Who made that possible? Jerry Brown, when he was governor the first time around.

What is a great reason for not allowing Jerry Brown back into the California Governor's chair? Former mayor of San Diego, radio talk host, and columnist Roger Hedgecock lays it out:
Perhaps even more damaging to California was 1978 legislation signed by then Gov. Brown allowing collective bargaining for public employees. No single act has changed California for the worse more than this one.

Before 1978, there was a relatively small state government. Employees were protected by civil service. Pay was lower than comparable jobs in the private sector but job security and good benefits – plus the old notion of "public service" – drew many talented people to work in government.

Today, the primary goal of powerful public employee unions is to get the Legislature they bought and paid for to enact a new law making it illegal for any city or county to declare bankruptcy without guaranteeing union contract terms. Taxpayers and "public service" be damned....
Read the rest of Mr. Hedgecock's enlightening column here.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson

Coming to ObamaCare hospitals near you?

Just as the United States is taking a serious trip down the path to socialized health care, Great Britain has been speeding along that highway for some time now. It seems their vehicle is seriously breaking down:
Millions of patients face losing NHS care as bosses prepare to axe treatments to make £20billion of savings by 2014, a top doctor has warned.
Among procedures being targeted by health trusts are hernias, joint replacements, ear and nose procedures, varicose veins and cataract surgery....
It is an inevitable fact that when the government starts paying for peoples' health care, demand will skyrocket to the point where rationing must be implemented. What is happening in Britain is exactly what could happen here if we continue the path that was rammed down our throats earlier this year.

There is a reason why 63% of likely voters in a Rasmussen poll oppose ObamaCare.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson

Dear Florida, Please vote this man out in November

Alan Grayson is the gift that keeps on giving. In the past, this Democrat congressional representative from Florida has stated that Republicans want people to "die quickly" rather than seek health care; he has tried to use the power of the Federal Elections Committee to go after his critics, including calling for one to be sent to jail for five years; he has even crashed meetings being held by his critics. The man is a nutjob.

But he isn't done yet: Grayson is again calling for his opponents to be jailed.

The other day, Grayson was talking to fellow leftist nutjob and talk radio host Stephanie Miller. The subject was the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Here is the relevant portion of the conversation between Grayson and Miller:

Leaving aside the incredible notion that a sitting U.S. Congressman is publicly calling for American citizens to be arrested and jailed simply because they disagree with him, Grayson doesn't even have an argument to counter that of his opponents. The best he can suggest is that you should call them names and hang up on them. The guy is just a loser on all counts.

Hopefully, he will be a loser this coming November.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson

Friday, June 04, 2010

California's State Assembly assaults our right of self-defense

Already possessing the reputation of being one of the most anti-gun states in the Union, California's State Assembly seems hell-bent on not only maintaining that reputation, but increasing it to the point of absurdity.

The two latest examples are Assembly Bills (AB) 1810 and 1934.

AB 1810, introduced by Democrat Assemblyman Mike Feuer of Los Angeles, extends the already-existing registration of handguns to long guns such as rifles and shotguns. As usual, if this bill is passed into law, the only people who will abide by this law are law-abiding people who don't commit much, if any, crime in the first place. What makes AB 1810 even more absurd is that while California's Assembly is busy passing this bill, our neighbors to the north in Canada are in the process of getting rid of their long gun registration policies, with that country's Parliament voting 164-137 in favor of scrapping the requirement for Canadians to register their rifles and shotguns. Columnist Peter Worthington of the Toronto Sun has this to say on the reasons for the registration repeal:
For starters, gun registration has cut down on neither crime nor gun violence -- and forget the support given the program by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police. Try asking individual cops, and you get a different, non-political answer.

The idea that police rely on the registry in the detection of crime, makes no sense. When you get down to it, no one has an accurate idea of how many guns there are in Canada, or who owns them...

The answer is that there are literally millions of unregistered hunting rifles and shotguns out there that Canadians haven't registered and aren't declaring -- and aren't using to commit crimes.

If you accept this -- and how can you not, if you check the record -- the gun registry is little but an expensive, unnecessary, largely useless waste of time. Bureaucratic boondoggle aptly describes the program.
You would hope that the leftist Democrats who control California's legislature could take a clue from Canada's experience, but few people would attest to the presence of much, if any, rationality on the left side of the Assembly chamber. Soon, we will see if the left side of the Senate chamber will show any signs of sanity on this issue.

Then there is AB 1934. As the law is currently written, Californians cannot carry concealed handguns without a permit, which, if you live in an urban county, is dang near impossible to obtain. However, there is nothing in the law that prevents Californians from openly carrying a handgun as long as it is unloaded. If I want to strap my 9mm into a holster on my hip and carry the bullets in another pocket, I can do so... for now. AB 1934, introduced by Democrat Assemblywoman Lori Saldana of San Diego, will make it illegal for Californians to openly carry unloaded handguns.

To many gentle souls in today's society, it is quite shocking to see someone openly carrying a firearm in public. Once upon a time, this sight was not so unusual. Of course, this was back when Americans were a much more informed populace who were more likely to be armed with bravery and gumption, in addition to their firearm.

One of these gentle souls wrote a letter to the editor that was published in today's Sacramento Bee. In singing the Assembly's praises for passing AB 1934, the writer said:
The California Assembly is to be commended for the civilized action it has taken to prohibit carrying of exposed handguns in public. It is one small reason to be glad that we live in California, and be proud of our state for setting an example.

Shame on members who opposed the action. They and the gun lobby should realize that we no longer live on the frontier as some people in other states, like Texas, seem to think.
As soon as someone tries to bolster their anti-gun argument with the scare tactic of threatening a return to the Wild West, then they have already lost the argument. If these people would actually do the research about life in the so-called Wild West, they would see that they are actually bolstering the argument of their opposition. If only we could return to the conditions of the Wild West, our country would be a much safer and more calm place to be. Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen write about this common fallacy in their wonderful book A Patriot's History of the United States. In speaking of the violent reputations of the mining towns and the cow towns that saw bored cowboys arrive with their herd to drink and let off steam, the authors had this to say about the reality of the Wild West:
[T]he numbers of capital crimes in the West appear to be well below current violence crime rates, so the Wild West was only moderately more violent than the rest of society.

Historian Roger McGrath studied the Sierra Nevada mining towns of Aurora and Bodie, which had more potential for violence than other western towns. There he found that homicide rates were high, expecially among the "bad men" who hung out at the saloons, although the homicide rate was about the same as in modern-day Washington D.C. Yet he also discovered that virtually all other crime was nonexistent, certainly due in part to the presence of an armed populace. Robberies in Aurora and Bodie were 7-percent of modern-day New York City's levels; burglary was 1-percent; and rape was unheard of.

Another study, by Robert Dykstra, of five cattle towns with a reputation for violence - Abilene, Ellsworth, Wichita, Dodge City, and Caldwell - discovered that the total cumulative number of homicides was less than two per year. Again, rape and robbery - except for trains and stagecoaches - was largely unknown. Still another researcher, examining Texas frontier towns (are you listening Bee letter writer?) from 1875 to 1900, found murder to be rare - not counting "fair fights" staged by gunslingers. Burglary and theft were so absent that people routinely did not lock their doors. Even in the California gold fields, with all its greed, researchers found little record of violence.
It appears that the legislature of the late, formerly great state of California has a lot to learn regarding the effectiveness of ensuring that law-abiding citizens are not stopped from exercising their God-given right to defend themselves with any means necessary, including firearms.

But since this same Leftist/Democrat-controlled state legislature doesn't seem capable of learning that raising taxes and spending continues to ruin our state's economy, I'm not holding my breath that they will achieve a moment of clarity regarding the benefits of an armed populace either.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, June 03, 2010

U.S. Debt Clock: 13 trillion reasons to feel depressed

Feel like joining me in a pity party? All you have to do is take a gander at our U.S. National Debt Clock.

The most depressing part of the clock is located in the upper-left-hand corner, which shows not only how much our country owes, but also includes a breakdown of what each individual and taxpayer owes as well.

I suggest you take a few swigs from a bottle of stiff spirits before clicking on the link.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson

You're doin' a heckuva job, Obama

Since the Lefties in the media and Congress keep wanting to drag the actions of George W. Bush into the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, I will indulge them. After all, as ridiculous as it was to do so, Bush's response to Hurricane Katrina has been used to pillory him ever since; I would think it is only fair to apply the same standard to Obama's response to the oil spill.

So what has been Obama's response? And where is Kanye West to rail against it?

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson

Americans still don't know much about history

Every year, organizations conduct tests and surveys in order to get an idea of what the American people do and do not know about our country's history and system of government. And every year, the majority of the American people do not disappoint in putting their embarrassing ignorance on display.

The latest bad news comes from a poll done by FindLaw.com, which found that 99% of the American people cannot name all the Supreme Court justices. While I realize that being in that 1% who can is a tall order, is it too much to ask for people to be able to name at least ONE justice? For 66% of those polled, it is too much to ask.

Other results from the poll showed that:
• More Americans could identify Michael Jackson as the composer of "Beat It" and "Billie Jean" than could identify the Bill of Rights as a body of amendments to the Constitution.
• More than 50 percent of respondents attributed the quote "From each according to his ability to each according to his needs" to either Thomas Paine, George Washington or President Obama. The quote is from Karl Marx, author of "The Communist Manifesto."
• More than a third did not know the century in which the American Revolution took place, and half of respondents believed that either the Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation or the War of 1812 occurred before the American Revolution.
• With a political movement now claiming the mantle of the Revolutionary-era Tea Party, more than half of respondents misidentified the outcome of the 18th-century agitation as a repeal of taxes, rather than as a key mobilization of popular resistance to British colonial rule.
• A third mistakenly believed that the Bill of Rights does not guarantee a right to a trial by jury, while 40 percent mistakenly thought that it did secure the right to vote.
• More than half misidentified the system of government established in the Constitution as a direct democracy, rather than a republic-a question that must be answered correctly by immigrants qualifying for U.S. citizenship.
I would say that the result that disturbs me the most is the common belief that Marx's maxim about abilities and needs being an integral part of our system of government. We have drifted so far from the orginal intent of our Constitution and way of life that I seriously wonder if we will ever get it back.

I am beginning to understand how Cicero felt as he watched the Roman Republic collapse and turn into a tyrannical Empire. For Cicero and the Roman Republic, there was no happy ending. For our sake, I hope against hope that history will not repeat itself.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson

Some perspective on the BP oil gusher

First off, the purpose of this post is not to downplay or make light of the current oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. I just find it fascinating that there have been oil spills in the past that have been so much worse, but yet life has gone on. Trying to be a glass-half-full kind of guy, I think of these oil spills of the past when I wonder what the future will hold for the coasts of Louisiana and Florida. As you check out the 10 biggest oil spills in history, remember that the emission from the current one stands at about 30 million gallons.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Washington Post rediscovers the root cause of crime

You can read the entire column by Richard Cohen here, but this morsel from that column that pretty much sums things up:
But the latest crime statistics strongly suggest that bad times do not necessarily make bad people. Bad character does.
Isn't it great when people on the Left are mystified by the obvious?

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson

Hey Nancy, here's another Word: Deranged

Keep in mind folks, this woman is third in line to the presidency.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Deranged-CA) was speaking to a Catholic group on Capitol Hill the other day. Here is the good Word:

Here is a transcript, just in case you can't stand to listen to this woman's voice:
“They ask me all the time, ‘What is your favorite this? What is your favorite that? What is your favorite that?’ And one time, ‘What is your favorite word?’ And I said, ‘My favorite word? That is really easy. My favorite word is the Word, is the Word. And that is everything. It says it all for us. And you know the biblical reference, you know the Gospel reference of the Word.”

“And that Word, is, we have to give voice to what that means in terms of public policy that would be in keeping with the values of the Word. The Word. Isn’t it a beautiful word when you think of it? It just covers everything. The Word.

“Fill it in with anything you want. But, of course, we know it means: ‘The Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us.’ And that’s the great mystery of our faith. He will come again. He will come again. So, we have to make sure we’re prepared to answer in this life, or otherwise, as to how we have measured up.”
I have to chuckle as I listen to this woman - who is loved by secular leftists everywhere - prattle on about making sure that the public policy she works toward passing is in synch with this mysteriously religious Word.

Imagine what the reaction in the media would be if this were, say, Sarah Palin uttering this moronic mumbo-jumbo instead of Pelosi?

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson