Archive for June, 2008

Have Your Rights Been Violated?

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

Very bad stuff. When your rights are violated by the local or state elected officials, appointed officials, or the police. When that happens without interference by a higher legal authority, the only thing left is something akin to:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

It’s basically what all those riots in the 1960s were all about. Nearly 50 years later, it’s a blur to most of us. Maybe that is because we’ve been lectured that it was about racial issues. Without a doubt race was involved, but the ultimate issue was whether Americans had rights that could not be legally infringed by local, state, or even federal governments. It took the federal government’s might to intervene in state and city laws to stop and prevent unlawful rights-violations on some of its citizens.

It’s not about democracy. It’s about a constitutional republic, where all citizens are guaranteed certain rights by the law of the land. The law of our land is the Constitution of the United States. It affirms many God-given rights.

Rights like freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, freedom of petition, the right to legal counsel, the right to keep and bear arms . . .

Did you see that one coming? Either way, here’s the rub.

The Supreme Court recently affirmed that the simple language in the Second Amendment of the US Constitution means what it says.

The part where it says, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” — it took the highest court in the land to decide that it means the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Infringe means to break, limit, or undermine, or to encroach on. This recent ruling means the Second Amendment really applies to the American people. No city, county, parish, borough, district, or state has the legal authority to infringe or deny you the ability to exercise those rights.

Well, it almost means that. The actual ruling was limited to the District of Columbia. So you could say, the Second Amendment is only a right of the people in Washington D.C. — how does that make you feel in San Francisco, Seattle, Shreveport, or South Carolina? I’d guess it might make you a little irritated with this selective ruling stuff.

Imagine if the 1968 Civil Rights Act only applied within the city limits of where demonstrations were held? How silly would that be? If so, discrimination would be legal in most places. But it is not. Because that is not the way we do things in America. Except for with the Second Amendment, it seems.

Even with the limited scope of the ruling, there was much leftist ranting about militia-only applicability, state-rights (hang the 14th amendment), and even questioning if “arms” really meant handguns were protected by the Second Amendment. Their arguments were soulless and without merit. Some even impugned the intelligence of law-makers and citizens who agree with the simple wording in the Constitution. They were grasping at anything that might negate the ruling or the Second Amendment.

It almost could make a fellow wonder what do these people really want? What are they not telling you? Why does the pistol in the nightstand next to where your grandpa sleeps bother the gun-control addicts? What do they want to do once all lawful citizens surrender their means to protect themselves?

What do they really want to do?

I don’t want to find out.

No more than I want the federal, state, or local government deciding what I can write on this website, or deciding which church I may attend on Sunday, or telling me I can’t go to church on Saturday or even a Tuesday if I decide to. And neither do you.

Even if you’re a low-hanging fruit of a leftist, you’ve got to realize that governments are comprised of people. The more power individual people in certain positions in government have, the more likely it is that self-serving power-addicts will seek to obtain those positions only to enrich themselves. You see, it’s not really the Second Amendment those treasure-hunters want to infringe. It’s the Constitution itself.

It just makes sense.

Great Balls of Fire

Sunday, June 22nd, 2008

Did you hear the one about Mohamed ElBaradei the director general of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)? He wins the Nobel Peace Prize for his “efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to to ensure that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is used in the safest possible way,” then in 2008 he threatens to resign his position if a military strike against Iran happens because “it would turn the Middle East region into a ball of fire.”

Not funny? Come on, don’t you get it?

Here you have an Egyptian lawyer in charge of the IAEA since 1997 being credited with preventing nuclear proliferation. But the Israeli Air Force did more on September 6, 2007 to prevent the military use of nuclear weapons by rogue nations than most any nation or UN affiliate since 1981.
In 1981, Israel took out Hussein’s French-built nuclear reactor in Baghdad. Since no other country had sufficient motivation to stop or deter Hussein, the Israeli’s did the job themselves. And it worked. Secretary of State Alexander Haig told President Reagan, “Before this is over, we’ll be on our knees thanking God Israel did what it did.” Over a decade later, Secretary of Defense Cheney referenced the 1981 attack when he told the Israeli ambassador to the US, “If it weren’t for you, Desert Storm wouldn’t have been a success.”

Now do you remember what happened on September 6, 2007? Yes, that was when Israel took-out Bashar al-Assad’s secret nuclear reactor in Syria. Israel’s motivation was probably similar to what they had in 1981. While we haven’t heard any public statements similar to Haig’s comment, I’d think somebody, somewhere must have said it.

In 2008, ABC news reported that Assad’s terminated Syrian reactor was strikingly similar to North Korea’s nuclear reactor in Yongbyon. North Korea? Do they have nukes?

Yes, their nuclear program dates back to the 1960s. The Clinton administration tried several appeasing techniques starting in 1994 to get Kim Jong-il’s newly-inherited regime to abandon the long-running program. While Kim Jong-il freely took the bribes, ultimately funded by the American taxpayer, he never lived up to his word on the North Korean part of the agreement. In 2003 Kim Jung-il’s regime admitted the North Koreans possessed nuclear weapons and then proved it with a successful test on October 16, 2006. The North Koreans apparently got busy exporting their proven nuclear weapons capability to Syria.

Diplomacy didn’t work. Sanctions didn’t work. Appeasement didn’t work. The UN didn’t work at all.

Lesson learned?

For several years, we’ve been listening to Iranian threats to blow Israel off the map. Meanwhile, plentiful evidence has piled up that Iran has been supplying the terrorists in their illegal war against the democratically-elected government of Iraq and its people.

While Israel is politically prevented from helping fight global terrorists operating within sovereign nations around them, they do have a pretty well proven record for doing something if they believe they are about to be blown off the map.

The charter members of the axis of evil identified in the 2002 State of the Union Address, Iraq, Iran, and North Korea, all made decisions to continue to defy post-911 America and the rest of civilization. Deterrence failed.

Iraq insisted upon forced regime change before it would change its way. North Korea flaunts their nuclear weapons program while their people starve and their cousins to the south prosper greatly. Iran defiantly is clinging to its threat to destroy Israel, supplying the terrorists invaders in Iraq, and desperately trying to get their nukes developed before it is too late.

But “too late” is defined by their nuclear weapons development progress. The sands of the hour-glass fall to obscurity as their program approaches completion. It is much like they are playing Russian roulette with the tactic of squeezing the rounds off as fast as possible in order to get the game over before they lose. It’s suicide.

The facts are simple:

1)  Israel refuses to die.

2) Therefore they can not allow those who wish them dead to acquire the weapons that can kill them.

3) Therefore if the UN, or America, or any other nation or collection of nations does not want Israel to do the job themselves, they have to do or find somebody to do the job instead.

4) Or Iran has to change.

Iran needs to do a couple to things to rejoin the community of civilized nations. What they chose to do is totally up to them. But if Iran really wants not to be attacked, they need to completely abandon their nuclear weapons development program and then prove it to the world. And if Iran really really wants to end the Global War on Terrorism, they need to join the rest of the civilized nations in the war against global terrorists and then prove they have changed their ways.
A peace-starved world will not hold their past sins against them. If the Iranian did those two simple things, they would not be attacked. They would improve the life of their people. They would prosper like never before. They would even be considered heroes by many.

However, if Iran stays-the-course and doesn’t do those two things then ElBaradei’s opinion that “attacking Iran would be worse than anything else,” would be wrong. Not attacking would be much worse.

It just makes sense.

Socialism is Anti-Freedom

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

Maxine Waters (D-CA) used a very thin veil to cover her threat to socialize all the American oil companies. Even though she balked at the public use of the s-word, she couldn’t help but finishing her statement once it was started. At least she was honest about saying what she believes in. We should all thank her for that. There’s few things worse than a socialist who lies about being a socialist. What was the public reaction to her statement?

Except for a little coverage on Fox News…

…and some attention by radio talk-show icon Rush Limbaugh it was allowed to fade away in the background of other news.

Not that they’re trying, but it might be wiser for the Democrats just to forget about defending Waters and just to distance her opinions from the Democrat Party. After all, Democrats are Americans and America has fought against socialism from the very beginning. Right?

What is socialism?

Socialism is a political process where the people who control the central government control the production, distribution, and exchange of property. Advocates of socialism like to argue that it is the community as a whole that is in control, but that would only be in theory. In practice, every time it has been tried, a select group of government officials have the control and the loser has always been the people.

Socialism comes in many flavors, but it always leaves the same bitter after taste.

Some of the flavors sound more appetizing than others, but they all drain away the people’s freedom to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to some degree or another. In 2003, the pan-Arab socialist, Baathists Party lost an advocate when Hussein’s regime was vanquished. With the 1991 fall of the Union of the Soviet SOCIALIST Republic, Marxist-flavored socialism lost its most powerful advocate. The 1945 destruction of National-SOCIALIST (Nazi) Germany, another flavor was removed from the menu.

It is interesting how modern socialist-theory advocates have deceived Americans into thinking of the Nazis along with their fascist partners of Mussolini’s Italy and totalitarian Japan of the 1930s-1940s as “right-wing,” when those governments have always opposed democracy. Many socialist-regimes use the facade of a ballot to fool the masses, but no one who gives it much thought can really be fooled by such a prevarication. Socialist-regimes always take freedom away from the people. Pol Pot’s socialist-regime might have sounded good to him and his fellow freedom-takers, but the average person’s life suffered greatly.

Despite the appeal of a regal King of 18th century England, George was little more than an oppressive, socialist dictator demanding total control to the average cobblers, merchants, and farmers of early America. Since none of us were alive then, we have to imagine for a moment how bad it must have been for the average men of the day, to put down their tools used to provide food and shelter for their families and pick-up their squirrel guns to go do battle against the most powerful army on Earth.

That first generation of real Americans pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to give us the foundation of the freedoms we enjoy today.

One of those freedoms is the right to say what you believe. So it is okay for people who believe in socialist-theory to express their opinions. We don’t want socialist-minded people to think they have to lie about their beliefs.

Waters’ statement is not the problem, it is merely a symptom. The problem is history-ignorant people believing that a socialist government is the answer to all our problems, then those people voting for people who believe the same. Then the rest of us are affected by those people being in office. Yes, they have the right to believe the way they want to, but they don’t have the right to take the freedoms given to us by God and affirmed in our Constitution.

Just yesterday, a group of House Democrats are so bold as to be calling to nationalize (that means socialize) America’s oil refineries.
Can you believe the same type of socialist-minded politicians who oppose the harvesting of American oil reserves also want to seize control of American refineries? You might remember how they tried to socialize the American health-care facilities and professions back in the 1990s, but they were delayed by a group of energetic Americans who saw the danger in that. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be tried again.

Using socialist-minded logic, why stop with the refineries? Why not go ahead and take the oil companies too? Some people might argue that it would reflect poorly on Wall Street. After all, people might pull their money out of the market resulting in economic collapse. But an even bolder socialist solution to that problem would be to seize or at least freeze the entire market. Wouldn’t that do wonders for your 401K? What would this generation of Americans do if that happened? It’s really not that far-fetched.

Those socialist-minded resource-grabbers need to take a history lesson from old King George. Don’t make the same mistake he did before trying to deny too many freedoms to the average American. Not that they haven’t been trying, but they’d better collect our squirrel-guns first.

It just makes sense.

You’re Fired

Sunday, June 8th, 2008

While those words have been heard in millions of homes when Donald Trump said them on his television reality show The Apprentice, they’re not the words anyone wants to hear their boss say to them. In The Donald’s show, he fires a competitor each week, based on poor performance, leaving only one final winner at the show’s finale.  The collection of losers go off to find other jobs on their own.  At least television gives us the perspective that they are losers.

But are they really?  How many people are chosen to be a competitor on a quality reality show?  As each round of elimination progresses, the ones that survive become a member of a smaller, elite minority.  Until there is only one.

They all want to win, but there can be only one.

We all know reality shows are edited, directed, and optimized for entertainment value in order to keep audiences interested in them.  So honestly, they’re just entertainment and not reality.

In reality, all those people who make the sets, run the cameras, provide the meals, edit the film, and basically carry the water for the stars make everything work.  It’s a team effort, but only a few are chosen to be stars and to get the camera focused on them.

The principle is clear.  The ratio of pretty-faced stars for the camera have to be balanced with the number of water-carriers who do the work that make it all possible. Not everyone is destined for fame, but the ones that are, can’t do it without the ones who do the work.

Entertainment is big business.  After all, what would the rest of us do in our spare time if we didn’t have entertainers singing, dancing, posing, or pretending to be somebody else for us?

Entertainment is most interesting when it parallels reality.

Somewhat like a reality show, the career path of an Air Force officer is an exciting competition that most often ends with something like being fired.  Oh, we don’t call it being fired, we use “retired” as the code word.

I think Air Force officers come in something like 256 shades of type-A personalities.  Everyone of them has the secret desire to become the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, but there can be only one.   Most will not get their star, but all of them have their story.

Some of them are told to either take an undesirable assignment or to retire.  Others are told they are too old and they should retire.  Too many are told they aren’t part of the in-crowd, “You’ve done a lot of good things, but I don’t know you and you should retire.”  A few might hear, “I can’t believe you’ve embarrassed me this much–time for you to go.”  It all boils down to, “You don’t fit the mold, you’re fired.”

It’s about as fair as any system can be.  We can’t promote everyone.  There are not enough stars.  Somebody has to go.  At least that’s the mantra.

Operating the Air Force is much more complicated than running a television series, but a common principle applies.  You have to keep enough people around to carry the water or the stars will fall from favor.  As the Air Force has down-sized, the number of stars should have reduced also, but that’s a hard idea for some to understand.  They’d rather cut the water-carriers.

In the process of making room for the clones of themselves, they pushed hundreds of superior officers with great leadership potential out the door to retirement.  They denied them school slots, leadership positions, and commander jobs in order to groom their hand-picked people.  Critical mass was achieved.
For the last 12 years or so the battle-cry has been, “The only thing you need to know about the nuke mission is, it’s easy.”  Well, that kind of thinking has started an earthquake in the Air Force.

How many after-shocks will follow is anybody’s guess.

To use an already over-used Naval metaphor; if an aircraft carrier runs aground, it is certain the captain will be fired, even if it takes a few months to figure out who the captain is.  It is also certain that the replacement captain will not come on-board trusting the crew like the last captain did.  Heads will roll. Planks will be walked.  Keels will be hauled.  DD214s will be signed.

It just makes sense.