Racism

Racism is bad no matter who expresses it.  It turns out we now know that the gunman that killed 9 people in Charleston, SC was apparently acting out his racism.  For whatever reason, he wanted to start a race war, according to at least one source.

We will soon know more about this case than we ever wanted to know as it is the focus of national news media.  But what is the motivation for making this story a national headline while others don’t appear in the news at all?

Here in GA, in the city of Roswell, there is a crime spree being perpetrated by a pair of men dressed all in black, covering everything but their eyes.  These two break into a home, kidnap one member of the family while the other members of the family are held hostage, and the kidnapped member is forced to make a withdrawal from the local ATM machine.  Click here to read the story from Roswell’s Patch.com website.

According to an interview from at least one of the kidnap victims, this pair made racial statements about how they “hate white people”, and made comments about recent news stories from Ferguson and Baltimore.  Click here to view the report from 11-Alive News here in Atlanta.

These guys have attacked two homes in Roswell, and are possibly linked to three other attacks similar to this in Buckhead over the last few months.  Where is Reverend Al Sharpton on this issue?  Where is the commentary from President Obama or from Hillary Clinton?  But I can’t exactly fault them… Where is the national headline describing the manhunt underway for these two criminals?

Okay… You have a point.  I knew you would bring it up… No one has been killed in these home invasions… yet.  There was a very similar story of a home invasion in Washington D.C. just last month where the family was killed.  Do these guys need to escalate to murdering a family before the news picks up this story?  At that point, isn’t it just a little too late?

Of course, at that point, just as in what happened in Washington D.C., I don’t expect the president to make a comment.  He didn’t make a comment about the D.C. killings and the racial overtones of that crime.  Hillary didn’t jump on the band-wagon with Al Sharpton, who was also absent.  But the crime in D.C. was carried out by a black man on a white family… Where is the outcry over that racial attack?  Why are there no cries for it to be declared a ‘hate crime’, as they are calling from the DoJ to press on the Charleston shooter?

Racism is bad no matter where it comes from, no matter who expresses it, and no matter what form it takes.  But racism will never go away until everyone feels the need equally to suppress it and squash it from our society.

One last point… Contrary to popular belief, ours is not the only society that practices racism on a daily basis.  I’ve traveled all over the world, and I can bear personal witness to racism in muslim countries, most European countries, and every Asian country I’ve been in… We do not have a monopoly on racism, no matter what Rev Al would like you to believe.

That being said, we obviously have a long way to go before racism is a dead issue in this country.  We’ve come a long way since the racism of the early 20th century, but we still have a journey to reach a zero-tolerance society.

Gun Control

Okay, does it strike anyone else as ludicrous?  Immediately after the arrest of the shooter in Charlston, SC today, President Obama and Hillary Clinton have both made statements about gun control.  We have no knowledge of WHY the shooter did what he did, and yet they are quick to pounce on gun control as the cause.  What kind of judgement allows a person to decide the cause before any investigation has occurred?

Clinton said this as if she already knows the truth,

“We have to face hard truths about race, violence, guns and division”

Then again, see my article from yesterday about Hillary’s grasp of the truth.  (click here)

I have no idea why this kid shot 9 people at the AME church in Charleston, but if I were a betting man, I’d have to say he was mentally disturbed.  Laws already exist preventing the mentally disturbed from obtaining weapons, and yet, they continue to obtain them… Laws are not the answer to the problem of “crazy”.

Honesty and Trustworthiness

I’m not sure if you’ve seen the news lately, but honesty seems to be on the run, hiding from general view when it comes to politicians.  According to this CNN article (click here), Hillary Clinton seems to be losing the honesty poll.  They refer to a Quinnipiac University poll when they said:

In Florida, 51% of voters hold the negative view of Clinton, compared to 43% who feel she is trustworthy. In Ohio, 53% of voters find Clinton not trustworthy, compared to 40% who do. And in Pennsylvania, 54% of voters don’t find her honest, while 40% do.

I’m actually surprised that this set of numbers is news.  I mean, when was the last time you heard someone say, “Trust this politician (whoever it is)…” and I decided to trust that person.  Politicians and lawyers… “Trust me”

Another one caught up in a lie this week was Rachel Dolezal, a politician and leader of the Spokane, Washington NAACP.  Remember her?  She was the white lady who “identifies as black.”  What the heck does that mean?  You are either black or you are not…

I don’t mind that she is white and leads the NAACP in Spokane.  What I am more concerned about is that she is a liar.  That is one line you won’t hear mainstream media use, that she is a liar.  Once she has lied in public, how can the public ever trust another word out of her?  Hillary hasn’t been caught in a lie directly and look at her trust poll numbers above.  Can you imagine what the numbers must be like for trusting Rachel Dolezal?

Honesty used to count for something in our society.  Can I trust a news source that is so far to the right or left that every story out of them is questionable for bias?  I end up watching several news sources just to come to some sort of truth because I honestly can’t trust any of them.

How do you feel about honesty and politics?  Is there a politician that you actually trust?  I’d love to hear some stories from you about that…

Republicans Supporting Obama?

Now I am confused… It appears from this post in the NY Times that Republicans are supporting President Obama’s agenda on a trade bill.  This trade deal, called the Trans-Pacific Partnership, would allow the president far greater power in making trade deals with other countries, without Congressional involvement at all.

Just to be straight here, Republicans are supporting the idea of allowing President Obama greater power in trade deals?  Since when did the Republican party support giving this president any greater authority in anything?

The bill also requires $1.8 billion over the next 10 years to be spent in retraining workers that were affected adversely by the trade deals.  Wait… So we are expecting this deal to cause our own workers to lose jobs, and we are going to expand government spending by $1.8 billion to retrain these people?  There’s GOT to be an upside to this story somewhere… Please tell me that Republicans are not going into this knowing it will hurt our country.

The NY Times suggested this:

By taking the lead, the United States can set high standards for worker rights and environmental protection while protecting intellectual property and international investors and entrepreneurs, they say.

OMG… I think I am actually taking the liberal side on this one.  Similar to what Ross Perot said decades ago about the NAFTA agreement, this trade bill has a huge sucking sound as jobs will evaporate even more.  Do you remember how NAFTA affected us?

Please read more on this plan, as much as you can find, and let me know if I am wrong in my stance… More power for the president, more money for retraining workers, and more job losses.  I can’t see an upside and that makes me sort of angry with the prevailing Republicans.

Distractions

So the hardest part about starting up my blog again is finding something to write about that matters.  Looking at the news, there are so many ‘distractions’ going on that it is hard to focus on real issues… Today’s ‘big news’ seems to be whether or not President Obama has started up smoking again.  I suppose the worry is that if he is smoking, maybe we should know if it is pot again… Imagine a dope smoking president for just a minute…

No, I don’t have a plan for handling ISIS… Maybe they should just chill and smoke a little more… <deep inhale>

The big news of the day is not about how many Republican candidates have stepped into the ring.  And it certainly isn’t how much email Hillary Clinton has deleted.  I’m just so confused about what to write about…

There is no news around the McKinney officer who attacked a mob with his mighty flashlight, even though he did eventually pull his gun.  The news there is the same as the news has been in Baltimore or in Ferguson; white cop does something the black community is appalled at, and several liberals are taking advantage of the situation.  Don’t get me wrong… The cop in this case, as in the Baltimore case, seems to have done bad things and should have resigned as he did.  Do I think he deserves the same day-in-court that the Baltimore cops are getting?  No.

I think the big news of the day should be the fact that President Obama has said he still has no plan for handling ISIS, but the next day (yesterday) he puts 450 more soldiers into Iraq.  These are supposedly non-combat troops.  But again, he is sending them to a city right next to where ISIS has just taken control.  These soldiers may not advance the fight toward ISIS, but ISIS certainly has plans to move in the direction of these soldiers.  No plan?  Ludicrous to send troops into an area as hot as this with no plan…

What kind of president does that?  What kind of leader does that?  Imagine if President Roosevelt had decided to launch the D-Day invasion with no plans… The massacre that would have happened would’ve cost him his presidency.

We only have two choices in Iraq.  Either we stay out of it completely (the Rand Paul approach) or we launch another invasion with thousands of troops and become heavily involved in a prolonged guerilla war (the Lindsey Graham approach).  Piece-mealing the endeavor by sending airplanes and training advisors has never worked for us in any war (Vietnam and Korea come to mind).

My own opinion leans toward Rand Paul’s approach, at least until the Iraqi’s prove they have any spine in standing up to these ISIS bastard’s.  We need the other nations of the region to get involved as well.  Why in the world Turkey hasn’t gotten into the fray is completely beyond me.  Jordan is in it, as is Iran… Syria has been in it since the beginning, and Iraq wants the world to believe they are in it… But where are the others, like Saudi Arabia?  Egypt?  Where is Europe in all of this?  Why haven’t they gotten involved considering they have as much to lose as anyone?

You know who I think would be an interesting country to join the fight?  Imagine if China wanted to step in… They could spare a few divisions of fighting men, and not even blink an eye.  But, would we be willing to ally ourselves with them?

Russia is another that should join in.  ISIS is pounding a southern neighbor and Russia could easily see them attempt to push northward.  Although, I think that is far-fetched.  I think ISIS has more of an intent to march into Saudi Arabia and capture the muslim world’s holy places… Saudi Arabia has more to lose in this fight than just about anyone, being the guardians of the holy places.

But, our president has no plans… Do you think there is enough national interest for us to get more involved, or less involved?

I’m Stilll Here

It’s been nearly two years since I last blogged on this site, for lots of reasons.  However, I am bound and determined to make this blog come back to life.

Remember, a key component to this website is that it represents MY version of conservatism, or conservativeness from my point of view.  This is not the place to come if you want to see mainstream conservative thinking.

Afghanistan, Not a Concern of President Obama?

Do you remember the outrage of democrats when then candidate Obama discussed shutting down our troop involvement in Iraq while maintaining a presence in Afghanistan?  Yeah, it was kind of quiet, but it was there… Well, according to NBC News in an article just posted today [view article here], it appears those same democrats should be getting louder still.  Can you hear them?  Yeah, me neither…

According to the infographic on the Whitehouse.gov website [view it here], the Obama administration had projected (read “promised”) to have a total withdrawal of forces transitioning to local Afghan security forces by 2014.  In case they remove it from the website, I’ve decided to post that pic here (below) for everyone to view in the future.

infographic_roop_levels_afghanistan_iraq.jpg from the WhiteHouse.gov website. Click to view closeup.

infographic_roop_levels_afghanistan_iraq.jpg from the WhiteHouse.gov website. Click to view closeup.

So, how do we go from “full transition” to an “open ended military commitment”?  I dunno’… Maybe we need to ask the contractors that built the Whitehouse.gov website if they are the same guys that built the HHS ObamaCare website… At least if they are, we might assume that mistakes made on one site could easily happen on the other website.

Mr President, why was the war in Iraq so unacceptable, but the war (quagmire) in Afghanistan so acceptable as to keep our troops and money pouring in endlessly?  Haven’t we done enough damage to al-Qaeda in that region that maybe they’ve moved?

Some of the same questions that should have gotten us out of Vietnam sooner apply here, Mr President… What is the mission?  When is the mission complete?  How are we measuring the steps to mission completeness and how are you reporting that to the American people?  You know… All those same problems YOU had with the Bush administrations policies in Iraq… Now they apply to YOU.

What is the mission?  Osama bin-Laden is dead… al-Qaeda does not seem to have a loud organized voice in the world today… The war on terrorism takes place in so many other countries today, why do we need a single large presence in Afghanistan?

Or, is the truth something more sinister, Mr President?  Can you tell the American people with a straight face that the reason we are there today is NOT to keep a closer eye on Iran, China and Russia from a vantage point we’ve never really had until these last few years?  Looking at a map, it seems a little too elementary for most Americans to miss, but I doubt many have given any thought, what with all the tail-wagging-the-dog politics you’ve managed these last 5 or 6 years…

Barack Obama, Mr President, “Leader of the Free World”, why, sir, do we need an unending presence in the form of combat troops in a nation that was destroyed years ago?

BRING OUR SOLDIERS, AIRMEN AND MARINES HOME, MR PRESIDENT!!!

 

Arne Duncan and Soccer Moms

I’ve sat in a rear-leaning position on the question of Common Core State Standards Initiative (commonly referred to as Common Core) for a long time, although most of my conservative friends have been very outspoken against it. It has been adopted by all but 6 states in this vast union, so can it really be all bad?  A recent comment by the Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, apparently raised a lot of eyebrows and caused an even wider conservative outcry. According to a CNN report:

Duncan said he found it “fascinating” that opponents include “white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — (discovered that) their child isn’t as bright as they thought they were, and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were.”

Attacking soccer moms was probably not the smartest thing ol’ Arne coulda’ done that fateful day in front of a news camera… But seriously, I wonder if he was wrong.

Truth of the matter, I am wondering how different this ‘new’ agenda is from the Bush agenda known as “No Child Left Behind”. Is it a case of ‘same story, different storyteller”?  Before you puff up in obsessed concern with my ability to claim any kind of conservativeness in my bones, please follow my train of thought for a minute. I certainly can’t be the first to think there has to be similarities. (I might surprise you in the end)

According to the Core Standards (http://www.corestandards.org/) website’s Mission Statement:

“The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy.”

Following their link to The Standards (http://www.corestandards.org/the-standards), it appears the Common Core are divided into two primary areas of concern; Math and English. I may be wrong, but let me continue to explore… (I was happy to see that the standards at least support a single language, as opposed to providing for the multi-lingual discussions we’ve heard in immigration arguments from places like California over a common language.) To quote their standards page, similar to what No Child Left Behind stated,

“It should be clear to every student, parent, and teacher what the standards of success are in every school.”

So far, I don’t understand why conservatives would have a problem supporting this… Sounds like a very George Bush plan to this point. I am sure I must be missing a key point somewhere…

A conservative that I deeply respect and hold in high regard recently told me that it is a matter of restricting teachers nationally to a pre-canned set of curriculum. Mindless robotic teaching of specific answers to specific test questions… When I pointed out that we’ve been teaching specifically to kids to pass the SATs for decades, she changed her tack…

She said this is pretty much the same program, but Common Core curriculum has been rewriting our history with a MORE liberal skew-point than ever before. Apparently, the thinking is in order to be within the structure of Common Core, the school system has to buy new curriculum that touts a new order of things in teaching. I cannot argue against that point because nothing on the website discusses the need to buy new curriculum material.

Now my next question has to be, are curriculum materials ‘required’ to be stamped somehow as CCSSI (Common Core State Standards Initiative) approved? I didn’t have to look far…

According to the Resources page found at http://www.corestandards.org/resources, we see that there is a list of Publishers’ Criteria documentation. But that site still does not say that states’ boards of education are required to purchase any specific material, as long as the standards are met.

On top of that, it appears this program is suggested, recommended and strongly supported by the Department of Education, but it seems to be adopted, administered and run by each state independently…

Surely I am naive and missing something, right? Millions of conservatives across the country could not possibly be so completely misled that I should be the only one that sees this as innocent… So, I am willing to believe I must be NOT seeing something here; blind to something more obvious. Please write to me in the comments section below and let me know what I am missing…

Was Arne Duncan right?  Are suburbanites mostly upset to find out that their own plans over the years of No Child Left Behind haven’t led to the brightest bulbs in the box?

Signed,

Dimly Lit in GA…

It Is What It Is, Mr President

First, an apology from me… It is what it is… I haven’t posted on this blog in a very long time mostly due to health issues and general lackidazical attitudes toward the garbage in the news the last 6 months or so.  But, as I said, it is what it is

I honestly hate that saying.  First time I heard it was in 2007 when a software vendor was telling my company that a situation could not be fixed… They had a problem with the software development, but did not have the ability to reprogram the software?  I found that hard to believe so I challenged what they were telling us.  Their response to me?

“Tim, it is what it is…”

What a cop-out… It very basically denies the responsibility to use the ability you have to impact the thing you are responsible for fixing.

Today, President Obama held a news conference to make an announcement concerning his Affordable Healthcare Act (ObamaCare).  To set the stage, remember the law forced insurance companies to cancel the policies of millions of insured holders… These are people who have healthcare bills stacking up in their mailboxes as their claims are being denied.

For more than a month, the government’s website for signing up for Obamacare has not worked properly and STILL doesn’t, as admitted by President Obama who said,

“…We are working 24 / 7 on the problems…”

…today in his news conference.  I can only hear those same software vendors on the same conference calls using the same words on daily calls,

“It is what it is…”

…as they continue to “work 24 / 7″ on problems that they created. So, we have people having policies canceled who cannot sign up for Affordable Healthcare on a government website because “it is what it is…”

Today, our illustreous leader, President Obama, launched another salvo in his war on insurance companies to cripple them.  If you think i am overstating, please consider what he did…

Millions of people have had their policies canceled bringing down dramatically the revenue of any insurance company.  Meanwhile, medical bills have stacked up against the patients that have had their policies canceled… Now, President Obama declares that ALL of these policies are “required” to be put back into force, meaning the insurance companies with less revenue must pay potentially billions of dollars in bills that they aren’t prepared to pay.

If you want to ruin an industry, take away their revenue for a single month, then require them to pay a single month worth of bills they were not planning for (due to the law)… The health insurance industry is about to take a major blow to the gut.

Who care?  It is what it is, and insurance companies are big rich guys that need to be hit in the gut every now and then, right?  Wrong…

Who do you think is the biggest investor in banks and small businesses not only nationally, but internationally?  Yes, the insurance industry… That may not be a completely fair assessment considering that the insurance industry is SO entwined with the financial industry that you almost cannot tell the two apart.  But the point is a distinction without a difference… They invest heavily in construction of buildings, all sorts of factory based businesses, and farming to the point that without the insurance industry being prosperous, none of us would be prosperous.

But, the word that President Obama has heard loud and clear from his supporters in the Dept of HHS about the website debackle has permeated to everything else about this government.  Mr President, it is what it is… a piece of crap.

You, sir, will go down in the history books on the good side as the “first black president ever elected”… But, history will also judge you poorly as “one of the worst presidents ever.”

 

President No-Bama

That was quite possibly the most “do nothing” speech I’ve ever heard a President who threatened a country give ‘after’ threatening said country… A feeble attempt to save face…

Give them a red line in the sand and let them cross it several times, then declare the red line crossed but take no action for months… Decide to wait for Congress to do nothing for more months, after waiting for the rest of the world to turn their back on your threatening statements…

Finally, lose your support from your own political base and THEN give a big speech about how you saved the day by getting the Russians to come up with a great idea that you strongly support.  When that is not working, make sure to mention how you are going to send your war-mongering peace-nik Secretary of State to visit with the Russians (not the Syrians) to work out the specifics of the Syrians giving up their chemical weapons…

By the way, last time we tried getting any country to give up their chemical weapons and they agreed to it, we waited 2 years before sending in United Nations military troops (Americans under a UN banner) to investigate… That was followed by more vain threats, and finally we threw troops at it in the end after years.

Not in line for the “Best President of the Last 200 Years”… Nope, not even in the Top 50… This one has already earned the nickname President No-Bama and rightfully so.  A president who has proven himself to be less worth less than his word on virtually every topic regarding the use of military force.  Every Muslim country considers him a weak leader… That means they consider us an even weaker nation than they already thought us to have proven ourselves.

I wonder if the next president will maintain a new “apology tour” when he’s elected…