When People Tell You Who They Are…

“When people tell you who they are; believe them” – Maya Angelou

In the past couple of days the candidacy of the new darling of the left for Governor of Texas, Wendy Davis,  has fallen apart under the weight of her own dishonesty. I don’t blame her for her embellishments.  I mean if you read what is now coming to light the facts are pretty embarrassing. Especially for a woman who claims to be a paragon of virtue in regards to all things motherly. The Dallas Morning News out-ed her as a standard form lying politician instead of the fresh voice of modern feminism she portrayed herself to be.  While the dishonesty is damning what is more so is that she played the victim of patriarchy when it turns out she was the victimizer.

The irony of course is her entire campaign has been based on the premise that she was taking charge, taking on the men and fighting for women just like her!  And, that is exactly the real story of her past.  She took advantage of the men in her life financially, left them with the kids and strayed to her own delights over the marriage contract.  Like our President, her platform looks exactly like her past and she knew she couldn’t let the light of day shine upon it.

One wonders if the world would be a better place if the candidates we look to elect were not ever allowed on TV to campaign.  What if they had to put in writing their beliefs and positions on issues and the voters were required to read it to vote?  Imagine if the best candidates were vetted by the press based on long form policy statements and personal histories instead of casual references in sound bite interviews.  Imagine how it would be if you would never know the race of the candidate but only the content of his or her character and the quality of his or her thinking. If you had read Obama’s speeches you would know that while he spoke in couched terms he has frequently said exactly what he would do to “fundamentally transform” America.  If you read Wendy Davis’ speeches and the content of her filibuster you would know she is all hat and no saddle.

There is no surprise here unless you allowed yourself to be fooled by looks and charisma.  Wendy Davis and Barack Obama are the reason why justice is blind.

These folks and a parade of others have told us who they are.

When will we learn to believe them?

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Talking Around the Issue

While the media new and old spend time, ink and electrons discussing the relative merits of the O-Care website and the effect it had on Black Friday and whether or not Johnny and Jane can get insurance before or after, the real issue at hand is being ignored. This argument over health insurance is an old one and it only has relationship to health care in the way a sneeze is related to a cold.

Health insurance provided by the government is only a symptom of the still raging question of unresolved politics. The unresolved question is the question of Natural Rights. As old a political issue as there is and we are truly fighting over it now.

If the Affordable Care Act can insert into the American psyche and law books the belief that health care is a right, then the standard of natural rights has suffered a significant blow.

Our founding documents espouse natural rights when they talk of being…” endowed by our creator with certain…” Don’t get trapped by the word “creator” either. It doesn’t matter if your creator is The Creator or just your Daddy; you were endowed with those rights as a birthright. It was not a function of government that supplied you with those rights it was a function of you coming into the world.

A Natural Right is a right I can avail myself of without imposing on you. I can speak freely but that right does not go so far as to impose on you the obligation to listen, much less agree. If the ACA and its proponents can convince you that you have a right to health care then they will have convinced you that someone has the obligation to provide it to you.  Health care cannot be a Natural Right because it presumes that some person can be forced by law to provide that care.

If there is no available doctor or nurse or physician’s assistant to care for you in your time of need by what means will you exercise your right to health care? If the shortage of care providers is predictable and the government is charged with providing for your health care rights then the government will have to force some young man or woman into the healthcare field in order to provide for that right. But what then of the right of the bright young woman who has a mind for chemistry and wanted to be a chemical engineer instead of a Doctor? Isn’t it pretty lucky that the Obama administration and the lap dog legislature have allowed the Federal Government to be the only source for educational loans? “Sure Janey,” says the O-bot in charge of student loans, “we will be happy to help you with college if and only if you decide to be a Doctor or Nurse. Otherwise, I don’t think there is enough money for your loan to get approved.”

These are the reasonable outcomes of the ACA and the acceptance that rights are given to man by man. If you stick to the thing that made America exceptional, the concept of Natural Rights, you know that your rights end where mine begin and you are obligated to take care of yourself in ways complex and fundamental.

This is the argument we should be having over the issue of health care and health insurance. And, this is the argument the right has been having with the left for a millennia or so.

As long as we fight over the symptoms we are distracted from curing the disease.

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Dead Frog

The coup is nearly complete.  All it took was the capitulation of the Senate and the easy distraction of the House.  While dictatorship is probably too strong a term the feel of it is correct.   At the very least we are now under the governmental process of a third world strong man.  Mr. Obama is far less Lincoln and far more Noriega.

There is an old adage about how to cook a frog.  We all know it.  It refers to tossing the frog into lukewarm water and slowly turning up the heat so it doesn’t know it is being cooked.  Soon enough the waters relax the frog so much it can’t find the strength to jump out of the now scalding water.  I don’t know if that is how it works or not but as a cautionary tale it serves the purpose.  The only better one for future generations is the one they can now tell about how the American experiment died completely on November 21, 2013 when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada and each and every Senator in his caucus finalized his surrender of the Legislative to the Executive by rendering the Judiciary an entirely political tool of the President. The Constitutional system of checks and balances is no more and the consolidation of powers in the Executive is nigh on complete. In the not too distant future the 2nd District Court will be stocked with reliable leftist progressives willing to find with the Executive Branch on any challenge from the neutered right.  In short order the very fabric of the tension between right and wrong will have been supplanted by the inexorable pull of leftist bureaucrats in the Executive with willing support from a politically purified judiciary. Challenges to laws that might be overturned by a marginally conservative Supreme Court will have been in effect for years before the court will ever hear the arguments and the damages will be permanent.

And, the demise of the American experiment was just as the founders predicted it would be; a product of the failure of Americans to be vigilant in the protection of liberty.  I saw an online graphic credited to Chieftain the other day that was spot on.  It said that “People who work for a living are being overwhelmed by people who vote for a living.”  I only quibble with the tense.  It has already happened.

Now we must accept that the America of old is dead and gone.  The America that honored the work of free men and offered opportunity to those who pursued it is no more.  The America whose Senate refused to let Roosevelt pack the court in a blatant power grab has been replaced by an America whose Politburo does the bidding of the Party over the desires of the citizenry.  The America that would have stood up and said no to such an egregious display of naked ambitions over the will of the people has been replaced by an America that is ignorant and flaccid.  It seems that not only will no one stand up against the coup that has occurred, it seems that most of America won’t even know it has happened.

It is time to recognize the facts.  The frog is cooked.

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We Are All Racists Now

In February of 2009 the ersatz news magazine, Newsweek famously lead with a cover stating, “We’re All Socialists Now”. I wonder how things change now that we are all racists.

Perhaps at long last, we can have substantive conversations in regard to the policies of Mr. Obama without the standard hyperbolic ad hominem attacks. For the last 6 years, I have been called a racist, a homophobe, a misogynist and more all for the horrific crime of failing to support the policies of Senator and then President Obama. My own family members have called me names both to my face and behind my back for having a differing viewpoint than that of Mr. Obama. My mother has posted on FaceBook so many insulting things about conservatives over the last 6 years that it is impossible to even estimate the number. My father stated in front of guests that at least 80% of the motivation conservatives had for campaigning against Candidate Obama was racism.

But now things are different. To paraphrase Newsweek, “We Are All Racists Now”. Even the uber-leftist Ed Asner bemoans the lack of Hollywood outcry over the Presidents desire to enter into military conflict with Syria. He claims that the left in Hollywood are afraid to stand against this policy of the President because they are fearful of being called a racist. Well, they should be. They and the left in general have been calling anyone who thinks the President wrong on anything a racist for so long it is the punch line of jokes. So now that we have an issue that a full 70% of Americans and Code Pink finds to be not just wrong but very wrong mustn’t we all wear the mantle of racist?

Or, perhaps we could recognize the stupidity of the attack and realize that there are substantive disagreements on significant amounts of Obama policy that have not one damn thing to do with the color of the man’s skin. Perhaps we could talk calmly about why conservatives think free markets are the best and fastest way to feed the poor in this country and beyond? Maybe we can talk about how the Obama administrations rule by executive order and departmental regulation is in conflict with this country’s founding on the concept of natural rights? Perhaps we could discuss the science behind reproduction and why conservatives believe that abortion is a crime against a distinct, living, human being with the rights we agree all humans should have? Maybe we could discuss fiscal policy and talk about why conservatives support smaller government and believe that asking our great grandchildren to pay for our birth control is ethically wrong and fiscally foolish? Maybe we can discuss why the truth behind any tragic loss of life of American soldiers and diplomats always makes a difference? Is it possible we could have open, calm, logical, rational discussions on any and all issues upon which this administration takes a stance without being called names first and having our positions discounted as evil without even being heard?

I do not now nor have I ever cared about the Presidents race. It is the least relevant thing about his presidency. I have and do disagree with the vast majority of the President’s political views and the way in which he has led this country. If that disagreement makes me a racist then you must accept that if you have even had second thoughts about attacking Syria then you are a racist too.

Kind of a low blow isn’t it? Yes, it is. And, it has been for a very long time.

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Grilled Cheese and The Question

Note from the Author I wrote this in late March concerning a couple of people who have become very important to me.  I feel honored to have come to know them and witness their love and respect for each other.  Some time early this morning, May 8, 2013, the Mr. in this story passed away in his sleep.  A gentle passing for a gentle man and a blessing to us all.  BP

I was in the kitchen making lunch. Grilled cheese. They love my grilled cheese. It’s funny, too. They have the resources to have the best of the best. But they love my grilled cheese because it is just grilled cheese; good bread, butter and cheese. No fancy cheese, either but the mildest shredded cheddar cheese you can find. That’s it. Nothing fancy. That’s the kind of folks they are. Middle American money. They can afford a chef. They choose a neighbor who makes a simple grilled cheese. There it is; a lovely kind of thing, simple and honest and real. This is the life they live, for now, at least. I know when they were younger they travelled often and sometimes in their own plane. I have seen pictures of them both on camel back with crowns on their heads. But, even then, I suspect they preferred a good grilled cheese to gorgonzola and sprouts on gluten-free flat bread. It just seems to be who they are.

Anyway, I was in the kitchen and I could hear them. They were bickering a bit. It often sounds worse than it is because neither can hear worth a darn. Mr. was talking about buying a car. Mr. can’t drive anymore but that is not a concern to him. Mr. has always had a car and doesn’t have one now so …he needs a car. When Mrs. was in the hospital it was a common topic. We talked a lot about which make and model would be a good fit. It was as a safe topic and because he doesn’t drive, nothing would come of it. But, Mrs. is home now and for some reason when Mr. talks of getting a car it aggravates her. Mrs. told him in no uncertain terms he was not getting a car. Mr. was curious as to why not. Because of the universal inability to hear, this calm conversation is being shouted across the great distance of about three and a half feet.

Both Mr. and Mrs. are settled deeply in the envelopes they call chairs. Over time these chairs, which once could have politely been referred to as overstuffed, have given way to the irresistible force that are Mr. and Mrs. The chairs are now as completely formed to the body of the users that they might have been created by an artisan of unmatched skill. And, in a way, they have. For enumerable hours, each chair has held its occupant as they watched the world evolve through their grand picture windows. The chairs, planted in the same spots on the carpet, she on the right and he on her left, closer to both her heart and the front door, allow both proximity and distance. Only three and a little feet apart, the chairs face not each other but the same window. They face the world as a brace of shotguns; working together to see what there is to see and keep the homestead safe. And, over the hours, days, months and years those chairs have adjusted to their task and allowed themselves to cradle Mr. and Mrs. like a babe in her mother’s arms. Those chairs are so desperately in need of cleaning and repair I suffer a bit each time I look at them. Those chairs are so completely theirs that the thought of replacing them makes me want to cry.

Mrs. reminds Mr. with an insistent tone that he doesn’t have a driver’s license. No license means no driving and no driving means no car. Mr. says, “Fine. I’ll go get a license.”

The argument is familiar. He sees no reason why he shouldn’t do what he has always done. She knows that time has settled around them as they have settled into those chairs. And, the time for new cars and drives in the country has eroded away. Mr. still feels the need to be up and out and in charge. Still, instead of arguing the point he settles a little further into his chair as Mrs. states, “You can’t get a license anymore.” He bristles a bit at the remark and in his lined face and watery eyes you can see the outline of the lion he once was. Age and time have taken much but what it takes it burns in stone as immutable history. Once, not all that long ago, Mr. was a force of nature creating, driving and making both things and futures. And, while the memories fade the attitude survives.

He seems for a moment to choose to stand his ground and rage a little. Then he sees, again, who he is talking to and he softens. His face now without guile or artifice, like a child’s, he asks, “Why can’t I have a license?” Now her face, a moment ago shining with the energy of aggravation with Mr., radiates with a different energy. She exudes anger at the world but this time in defense of the lion that once was only tamed by her. I don’t know what exactly she sees when she first looks at Mr. I know when I look at my wife of nearly thirty years I often see the beautiful young woman I dated and pursued. I reckon Mrs. sees not the man of nearly ninety but the man she agreed to marry some sixty-five years ago. I think it was the unfairness of a world that respects no privacy that caused the spark in her eye. I think it was in defense of the man who loved and loves her that put the harsh tone in her voice when she said, “Because of the internet. They know what you have!”

I have been watching and listening from the kitchen. It is not the first time I have heard this conversation. But normally it is a conversation that wanders off topic before now. I think I know what is coming. I stand over my “Cuisinart Griddler” where my exceptionally simple grilled cheese is toasting and melting just as it should. I wonder if I should stick my nose in and see if I can change the subject. Maybe I can ask about the house that Mr. and I sometimes talk about that he always wanted to build on the flat ground in the back of the property. Or, maybe I could ask about one of the kids or the bevy of grand-kids. Maybe I could throw in an anecdote about my son or my daughters. But, in my indecision I have squandered my chance. Choosing what to say has also cost me the moment and now there is nothing I can do.

Because now in a much more quiet, much more open, much less certain voice comes the question. “What do I have?” he asks.

There it is; the ironic, maddening, aggravating, heart-rending question. “What do I have?” Mrs. looks Mr. in the face and now the whole world softens. The air in the room moves with a gentle caress as if to carry the caress in her voice across the three and a half-foot chasm for her. I am blessed to witness the steel in her that gives her the courage to tell the terrible truth, again, in a way that delivers a punch like a kiss.

Mrs. says, “You have Alzheimer’s.”, with a softness that resonates to my soul. Mr. looks back with no anger at all.

He does say, “I love you.” in a way that I will carry with me to my grave. He tells her he loves her in a way I hope I can someday, somehow, someway convey to my wife and children. Mr. looks at Mrs. with a face as pure as the face a father shows his newborn child and says, “But you’re OK aren’t you?”

Mrs. just looks on and wordlessly nods. He smiles and nods, and, then goes back to reading the words on the page of the paper. Words that are familiar but whose meanings elude him more and more each day. But, it doesn’t matter to him because she is OK.

It is time to serve the grilled cheese.

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Reality First.

I have a daughter who is physically handicapped.  She suffered a stroke before she was born.  She is bright as a penny and smarter than you and wants all of the things that neuro-typical children want.  She is approaching the magic age, in Ohio, of fifteen and a half where she might be able to obtain a learners permit.  She wants to be like every other girl her age.  The problem, of course, is that she isn’t.  She and I have discussion after discussion that always ends with the same caution; We will accept reality before we put others at risk.  I asked her once how she would feel if she hurt or killed someone because we let her drive even though her reaction times were not adequate to the task.  Would that be worth getting to drive?  She never hesitates in answering with a firm , “No.”  You see she gets that reality trumps wishful thinking.  Our politicians don’t.

Take into consideration the horrifying events of the Sandy Hook elementary school murders.  A mentally unstable man stole guns and in an act driven by irrationality he entered an elementary school armed to the teeth and committed heinous acts of evil and cowardice.  And, now, our national politicians are arguing over gun control issues?  I won’t go into the folly of the vast majority of these arguments but I do wonder when we will deal with reality.  You see they are talking about the wishful thinking of controlling men through the tools they have at their disposal.  As if man hasn’t progressed as far as we have based entirely on the creating of tools for the job at hand.  Every single day there are new tools invented because someone wants to build or break something and an adequate tool doesn’t currently exist.  If anyone honestly believes man cannot come up with a new tool to do his killing if guns are taken away has never even for a moment considered the history of man.

And, more to the point, what is the reality of the situation?  Guns exist in numbers far too large to ever account for.  And the technology to make guns or bombs or gas cylinders is readily available and easily duplicated in, say, my neighbors garage where he machines parts for motorcycles.

There is a reality here that seems to be ignored far too often.  The laws are what the laws are at least for the time being.  Guns are available and there is no short term solution for the “nanny-staters” to get them out of the hands of law abiding citizens, much less law breakers and crazies.  Given this fact, the schools that do not have armed protectors, the best solution currently available, protecting our children are criminally negligent.  The liberal politicians and those who have kowtowed to politically correct thinking in regards to “gun free zones” have been complicit in leaving our children in harms way.  We hear repeatedly from the Piers Morgan’s and President Obama’s of the world that there is ample evidence these crimes will be committed.  If there is evidence of a clear and present danger and the only adequate current solution is to provide some form of armed protection then why hasn’t it been done?  Could it really be that the political agenda of the anti-gun lobby is more important than protecting the children of Sandy Hook…or Columbine…or the local middle school in your town?

I would ask the school boards of America’s schools whether it is worth the murder of innocents to continue to promote an anti-gun message in the face of the truth that wishful thinking is no protection against the reality of an armed intruder?

The children of Sandy Hook were murdered by a crazed man.  The killing field was provided by liberal politicians paving the way with their good intentions.

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We have seen the problem and…

When friends or family complain about something I often joke, “It could be worse.  It could be me.”  After the “fiscal cliff” fiasco of the last week it is painfully apparent, it is me.  And, you.  It is all of us who find ourselves the recipients of the most incompetent governance possible.

Our elected officials are grown men and women pretending they have a clue about how to solve the problems of America from Washington when the problems of America lie where they have always; in the front room of the American family.  In the last week I have sat in my front room with my daughters and watched TV shows based 100% around unmarried, immature, overwrought men and women bedding each other like rabbits without a moment’s hesitation.  I am ashamed of myself for allowing such filth into my home and worse inviting it into the lives of my daughters.

Outside of the embarrassing failures of our representatives in government the most reported story of the weekend was the announcement of the pregnancy of Kim Kardashian.  Trumpeted all over the internet is the news that a woman who is mostly famous for screwing on video and selling it on the internet, marrying a basketball player and leaving him after less than three months has gotten pregnant by one man while still legally married to the other.  Sandra Flukes’ got nothing on this chick.

The out-of-wedlock birth rate is shockingly high when every statistic screams how children of unmarried parents not named West or Kardashian are practically doomed to a life of poverty and crime. We suffer over gay marriage when marriage as an institution is under attack on nearly every societal front.  We poke fun at Tim Tebow because he is rich, virtuous and proudly Christian when just a few years ago he would have represented the ideal of the young single American man. We promote promiscuity as if it were a positive model of behavior when medical science informs us it is a guarantee of disease, neurosis and heartache.  We parade sitcom after sitcom past the eyes and minds of our children where the married Mom and Dad are the clown princes and princesses of society and Charlie Sheen gets more famous for humiliating his wife, children, coworkers and faith while living with porn stars and is rewarded with a new sitcom built entirely around him. We pay people more money to stay on unemployment than any legitimate business could ever afford to pay entry-level employees and wonder why we have so many long-term unemployed.

We act like we have policy answers to ethical crises.  We don’t.  What makes that truth so aggravating is that we all know the answers to the problems.  We know.  We know that keeping score in games teaches the losers how much better they need to be and how hard being good really is.  We know that reasonably disciplining our children teaches right from wrong.  We know that shunning immoral behavior in the public square teaches people not to commit immoral acts.  We know that insisting our young men treat our young women with respect and gentleness creates a society where women can thrive. We know that teaching our daughters to live chaste until marriage insures the future of our grand-children and promotes marriages that are stable and loving.  We know that young men who get young women pregnant and don’t marry them and pay for the rearing of their children belong in prison for they have violated the most fundamental contract between parent and child. We know that women who cannot raise their children because they have not married the father and have no families to support them should find for those children a stable home to adopt, care for and love them.  We have stigmatized the mother who gave up her children for adoption because of the shame of her circumstance to the detriment of the millions raised in poverty so we could feel good. We know that rates of recidivism mean our children are not safe when murderers, child molesters and rapists are allowed to breathe free air yet we pretend there are cures for pure evil. We know that murder is wrong and that life begins at conception, (proven by science decades ago), yet we conspire to allow the murder of the innocent unborn everyday to absolve the parents of their crimes. We know we are more highly evolved than animals yet we fund groups like PETA who scream at us that we are no better than animals. And, then, we take license to behave like animals. We know that education in civics and philosophy, math and science, reading and history is the route to prosperity yet we teach our children politically correct summaries that fail to teach anything of use. We know that the ignorant are helpless and the helpless are hopeless and we allow our politicians to prey on that hopelessness to control us and create generations of hopeless children.

We know.

And, we know that if we want to solve the problems of America we must first address the real problem; Americans.

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