Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Bipartisan? We'll see

Word is that Virginia Governor Timothy Kaine is expected to call for bipartisan cooperation to solve many of the nation’s problems after the President’s national address tonight. I think this would be great, if it is true. I don’t know about anyone else, but the bickering and the partisanship in Washington is getting a little out of hand. When this behavior occurs no one seems to benefit and the divide in our country only gets wider. I’m not saying either party should compromise their respective principles, but there comes a point where politics should be pushed aside and our elected leaders should do the right thing for this country.

I say this on the heels of the Alito confirmation, a process that brought out the worst of partisan politics. There isn’t a single democrat who can challenge Alito’s credentials and dispute his qualifications. Yet, like Clarence Thomas, this fine and decent man was dragged through the mud at his confirmation hearings. Was that the best thing for this country? Did that display ‘bipartisan cooperation’? Was it really necessary?

“Results matter. Planning matters. Management matters, and you can make much more progress if you do it in a bipartisan way”…This is an excerpt from Kaine’s speech tonight. Since this is a rebuttal to the President’s speech, one would assume that his call for bipartisanship is a challenge to the Right to cooperate. But often when a leftist calls for bipartisan cooperation, what he really means is that we on the Right need to quit being so stubborn and come around to their point of view. I’m sorry, I just don’t see it Kaine’s way. If there is a problem with cooperation, my guess is that it’s not a problem with the Right, and the Supreme Court appointments back that position. Does anyone recall a liberal judge being put through an ordeal similar to Alito or Thomas? Wasn’t Ginsburg confirmed nearly unanimously, despite her radical left background? Aren’t the dems still filibustering many of Bush’s nominations for federal judgeships?
If a democrat is going to call for bipartisan cooperation, he needs to start within his own party before turning towards those on the Right. Perhaps that’s what Kaine will do tonight. If so, more power to him.

Happy New Year

Today (Monday, that is) is the Chinese New Year. So in honor of the holiday, I post a reminder and a warning to keep our guard up. Chew on this for a while:

China has the ability to launch nuclear weapons that could kill 100 million Americans within half an hour.

"War with the United States is inevitable..." General Chi Hoatian, Minister of Defense

China officially declared the US as its"main enemy" in 1990, calling us a "superpower bully"

China has the world's largest army(2.3 million)

Taiwan Relations Act -- any attack on Taiwan will be regarded as an attack on the United States

China has made it clear that Taiwan remains a part of China and the two WILL be reunited.

China is taking advantage of the massive trade imbalance with the US to strengthen its military

Phase I of China's plan for world domination -- strengthen economic relations with the West

Read more in this book, its thick but worth the time.
We should stay focused on the war on terror, but lets not forget about our old enemies, the communists. They're clearly up to no good and we don't want to take a sucker punch from these guys.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Al the environmentalist?

I see that Al Gore has written yet another book on the environment. Which begs the question, what makes Al an expert on such matters? He has degrees in political science and Law, but nothing in geology, earth science, climatology or meteorology...that is, unless Vanderbilt Law School has expanded their curriculum. So what is it that qualifies Al to write two books on the environment? If anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear. Meanwhile, I've come up with my own little narrative on environmental matters. Basically, I just don't buy this whole "the earth is dying" thing. I know we've been told this for decades, but I'm a scientist and thus I believe the data. Show me the facts that prove the earth is dying, and I'll gladly pick up a sign and stand outside the governor's house in Kentucky. Until then, these are the facts that I believe. Hey, if ol' Hot Lips Gore can do it, so can I.

Visit this website for all the info, complete with citations and all. I'll include some excerpts for your reading enjoyment.

"The Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine received signatures from over 17,100 basic and applied American scientists - two-thirds with advanced degrees - to a document saying, "There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate."

"Kyoto Protocol would have a devastating effect on the U.S. economy. If Kyoto had been ratified and implemented by the U.S., the EIA estimates gasoline prices would rise 14 to 66 cents per gallon by the year 2010, electricity prices would go up 20 to 86 percent9 and compliance with the treaty would cost the United States economy $400 billion per year"

"The U.S. Department of Interior estimates that ANWR (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge) holds between 9 and 16 billion barrels of oil. This is enough to replace half of what we currently import from the entire Persian Gulf region for 36 years, or could replace what we now import from Saudi Arabia for almost 30 years. ANWR's oil has a potential value between $125 and $350 billion (in 1998 dollars)5 and would provide between 250,000 and 735,000 new jobs"

"Between now and 2100, the world's forest area is expected to remain constant or increase. Contrary to environmentalists' claims, forest cover has not been dramatically reduced in recent history...There is more wood grown in the U.S. than is cut each year, and the number of acres planted with trees goes up nearly every year"

"National air quality levels measured at thousands of monitoring stations across the country show improvement over the past 20 years for all six principal pollutants"

"According to the United Nations, the ozone layer is expected to slowly recover over the next 50 years"

So read the stats and cross reference the cited studies, then come to your own conclusion. In my opinion, we are not on the brink of a catastrophic environmental crisis. Fortunately, the data seems to support my position.

If you want to read a book that's both entertaining AND highly educational, I suggest this book by Michael Crichton. Yes, I know it's fiction, but Crichton puts a lot of research into his writings. It's quite an enjoyable read.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

In defense of my remarks

I recently received an email from a single parent criticizing my remarks in a recent post ("God Help Us, Part 2"). I can't say this was unexpected. For some reason, I knew that of the three parenting styles that I criticized it would be the single folks who would likely come after me. I did wonder why this person chose to email me rather than post their comments on the blog site...I'm not sure. Maybe they sought more anonymity. Or maybe they knew what the statistics showed and that I would likely post those stats in response. Well, if that's the case, they were right. Once again, my words are in no way meant to be accusatory towards single parents. I'm sure the majority of you are good parents. I don't doubt that. The problem isn't your style of parenting...it's the simple fact that there is only ONE of you. But just so I don't sound like a close-minded radical, I'll let the numbers speak for themselves.

Single parent families now comprise 27% of all households with children, which is scary considering:

15% of today's adult population grew up in fatherless homes, yet 78% of the nation's prison population did the same...so someone growing up without a father is 20 times more likely to serve time in prison;

Children in single parent homes are twice as likely to suffer from psychiatric disease, alcohol-related disease and attempt suicide than those raised in traditional families; while they were 3-4 times more likely to abuse narcotics. Note that these statistics were adjusted to account for socioeconomic status, thus showing a direct correlation between these problems and single parent families

These children are less likely to finish high school and go to college, less likely to hold a steady job and more likely to become teenage mothers.

Children with fathers actively involved in their lives are more likely to excel in school

2/3 of children suffering in poverty reside in single parent homes

These are just a few. For more evidence-based stats visit this site.

There is no doubt that kids need BOTH parents to have the best chance at proper development and success. I'm not criticizing you single moms (and dads), I'm just saying that this is a problem and something should be done. I know that you weren't the only one involved in the issue, and somewhere there is a parent who has shirked their responsibility (except in the case of widows, who make up a VERY small percentage of single parent homes). So please don't take offense at these stats. Instead, let's all work together to find a solution. My interest is centered on the kids and society in general, as yours should be.

Now, I'm not one to complain about a problem without proposing a solution. So in upcoming posts you'll hear some of my ideas. If anyone feels the need to dispute these facts, please do so...just keep it clean and debate things in a respectable manner. And, please, leave your comments on the blog for others to see!

20 years ago

I was sitting in Ms Duke's 5th grade math class in Richardson, Texas trying, no doubt, to figure out long division when the principle came over the intercom. His announcement was pretty scary for a 5th grader...'the space shuttle has exploded'. This moment was one that my generation would remember forever. We would always know exactly where we were and what we were doing when the news broke. In recent history, only 3 three events have affected Americans in such a way, where our memory of that day is forever preserved...Kennedy's assassination, the Challenger, and 9/11.

I pray for the families of the fallen brave. May God bring you peace and comfort. For what it's worth, thank you for the sacrifices from you and your family. A nation remembers, and is grateful. God bless

Share your memory of that day with this blog site as America remembers its fallen heroes

SMOKE SIGNALS BLOG: Joke of the day!#links

SMOKE SIGNALS BLOG: Joke of the day!#links

Great piece that I came across on a fellow blogger's page. I felt the need to share with my readers. Thanks, Smoke

Friday, January 27, 2006

Must read recommendation for the week

The below post explains it. This week's recommendation:

Dereliction of Duty: The eyewitness account of how Bill Clinton compromised America's nation security.

by Lt Col James Patterson

Col Patterson acted as President Clinton's military aide for several years, and during that service he witnessed some pretty remarkable and downright frightening things. This is a quick read, you can probably finish it in a weekend, but the residual effects will reinforce your anti-Clinton position. It's good that he can't run for office anymore, but Hillary's campaign will no doubt be starting soon. Arm yourself with the truth.

Periodic posting of a little known Hillary fact

"On a similar trip, as we lifted off a helicopter pad in Marine One en route to Air Force One for the journey home, Hillary suddenly shouted, 'Put this back on the ground! I left my sunglasses in the limo.' By this time, however, Marine One was safely scooting to an awaiting 747. The required support for even a helicopter flight was involved and extensive. The Secret Service, White House Communications Agency, and administration staff were pulling down communications lines, lifting barricades, and driving off in vehicles.

'Ma'am,' my fellow military aide responded, 'we can't safely do that.'

'I need my sunglasses, we need to go back!'

The onboard Secret Service agent chimed in, 'Yes, ma'am, the mil-aide is correct. That wouldn't be wise.' She acquiesced, but not without obvious disdain in her eyes. Security be damned, those were her sunglasses!"

This is an excerpt from the book "Dereliction of Duty: The eyewitness account of how Bill Clinton compromised America's national security" by Lt Col Robert Patterson. See above for more info.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

All hail the new king of the lunatics

A post from a fellow blogger gave me a chuckle, and I felt compelled to share it with my audience. Is it just me, or is there something somewhat humorous about this Amadinejad? Granted, there's nothing funny about a madman acquiring nukes, but honestly, one moment he's talking about wiping Israel off the map...threatening the UN and making all sorts of demands to get nuclear technology... and then he asks if we could resume direct flights from New York to Tehran??? What????

What planet is this guy from? He's one step away from either sending a blitz krieg into Poland, buying a ranch in Neverland Valley, or belting out a Dean-esque quasi-orgasmic scream into the microphone. Anything's possible! I gotta admit, he may be scary, but at the very least he's entertaining. I'm certainly staying tuned.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Honesty At Last

I stumbled across an op-ed piece on the Drudge Report written by LA Times columnist Joel Stein. I highly encourage you to read this before continuing. Now, there was a time when I would drag this guy out back and kick the s#@! out of him for saying what he said. But, not right now. Actually, Mr Stein's column is a breath of fresh air from the anti-war crowd. Frankly, I've grown weary of the progressives parroting their favorite catch-phrase over the past year. Everyone knows what I'm talking about. You can hear it from Massachusettes to San Francisco..."I support the troops."

Whether it's Michael Moore, Howard Dean, Dick Durbin, The Dixie Chicks, David Letterman, Sean Penn or any other progressive panty-waist, they all seem to echo the same words.."I support the troops." This wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't preceded by a string of anti-military, anti-government, anti-president, anti-cause rhetoric. A typical rant from an anti-war progressive today sounds something like this...
"The war in Iraq is illegal...but I support the troops."
"The human rights abuses there are evil...but I support the troops."
"We're killing people for oil...but I support the troops."
"Raiding someone's home is terrorism (an actual quote from Air America)...but I support the troops."
"The president lied...the war is evil...we need to pull out now...Gitmo is run by nazis...this is another Vietnam...but I support the troops."

There's an obvious pattern here, and it's certainly not one of support. I wonder how Michael Moore would feel if I showed up at his house and said, "Hey, Mikey, just wanted to let you know that I support you, but your movies suck!" Doesn't sound very supportive does it?

The fact is, the progressive anti-war component of this nation does NOT support the troops. How can you support someone while condemning their deeds? But, of course, they would never come out and say they don't support the troops, because it's not politically correct and they would never win an election that way. So basically, their conviction that the war is wrong stops well short of actually VOICING that conviction to the fullest. Which is why I say Mr. Stein is a breath of fresh air. His words may be moronic, but at least he's honest and has the guts to say what the rest of his clan can't. I may disagree with him, but at the very least I respect him because he's not afraid to take a side. A line has been drawn, and Mr Stein has made it clear which side he's on. Courage, in any form, is admirable. And courage is clearly a lacking trait amongst the anti-war crowd. Now, excuse me while I drag Mr Stein out back...

Monday, January 23, 2006

God help us, Part 2

So why are kids screwed up? I saw one comment suggesting that perhaps the intense media coverage gives the illusion of increased violence among kids when, in reality, things aren't any worse than they were years ago. I respectfully disagree. No doubt the media coverage is out of hand, but a kid walking into his high school and shooting dozens of classmates would make news in any decade (anyone remember the nut at the clock tower in Austin?). The fact is, it just didn't happen until recently. Now, if you want to suggest that the media coverage somehow romanticizes this type of violence and by doing so inadvertently encourages it, then you may be on to something. But I certainly appreciate the comments, they are always welcome on this site so long as they are written in a respectful manner.

I am by no means an expert, but I have my own opinion for what it's worth. I think this whole problem boils down to one source...we've forgotten how to parent. When it comes to the family, we've seen a trend over the past forty or so years that may explain many of the problems we see in today's kids. Basically, there's been an increase, or an actual emergence, of three parenting styles or family environments that may not be very conducive to proper child rearing.

The first is the most obvious...the single parent home. Before you send hateful emails, understand that I realize the majority of single parents are young women who are doing the best they can for their children despite the so-called father being virtually nonexistant. I understand that and this is not meant to be accusatory. I'm simply pointing out facts that show that kids who grow up in the absence of a parent are more prone to deviant behavior and single parent families have increased dramatically in the past several decades. The statistics don't lie.

The second aberrant parenting style is what I like to call the "express yourself" style. We all know people like this. They say things like, "I want little Johnny to be able to express himself." And so, little Johnny is not disciplined properly. He fails to learn what is acceptable behavior and grows up under the impression that there are no boundaries in life. This style is relatively new, and so long term data on how kids like this turn out is not really available, but I'm willing to take a stab and say that, in general, raising our kids like this can't be good. A six-year old can't be allowed to express himself without any prior experience of how people may react to certain expressions. Kids have to develop proper social skills before moving into the express themselves phase.

The third style...parents who are detached and completely clueless about their kids lives. This is probably the most problematic. We live in a day of selfishness, if the 80's was the decade of greed, then the 00's must surely be the decade of 'me'. When you consider that raising kids requires selflessness to an exponential degree, then it's easy to see how we've lost touch with proper child rearing ability. For example, how many people know couples who actually fight over who's going to take care of the kids that day? Not because each parent wants the kids, but because each parent wants to do something ELSE. Now, how many of us know parents who actually read bedtime stories to their kids? Truth be told, many parents couldn't tell you what their kids were studying in school or name three of their child's friends and what their interests were. No wonder a teenage boy can accumulate 54 guns in his room without his parents knowing it. We're too involved in Desperate Housewives to pay attention to our kids and notice the subtle warning signs that may indicate a problem. It's amazing what can be learned if we turn off the TV and eat dinner together as a family. Maybe if enough of us did that, things would be a little different. Who knows? That's just my humble opinion.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

If the children are our future, God help us all

When reading the daily headlines, one question seems to always jump into my mind...What is wrong with kids nowadays? It seems as though this is a question always asked by one generation about the youth of the day. So it may be easy to dismiss my question as nothing more than one man getting older and losing touch with current trends. But a closer look reveals something more than that. Whether it's a boy shooting his girlfriend's parents or a group of teens going out for a nightly homeless person beating, the reality is that there is something terribly wrong with America's children and I feel as though I've discovered the answer. In part 2 of this article I will explain my discovery in detail, but first I want to mention a few other things.

Now, some will mention the entertainment industry as a culprit. There is more violence in movies and music today and that is why kids tend to be more violent in their everyday lives. I admit that allowing a child to decapitate someone in a video game is probably not a good way to raise wholesome children, but is pop-culture the only explanation for the warped kids we're seeing today? After all, in the '50s cowboy movies were popular but you never saw little Johnny walk into his 6th grade class with a Colt revolver and open fire...did you?

Which brings us to another argument...guns. Many progressives would have us believe that guns are the problem, and if we only got rid of the guns in this country then we'd all be able to feel safe about telling our daughter's boyfriend what a loser he was without fear of repurcussion. Things like Columbine would never happen if this country had tougher gun laws. I disagree. After all, just reading one of the articles above shows that the boys who attacked the homeless guys didn't use guns, but they still carried out a horrible crime despite this. The naivety of the anti-gun crowd is astounding. If you follow their logic, then eventually we'd have to pass anti-baseball bat, anti-crowbar, anti-lead pipe and many other anti-weapon laws until eventually this nation will be made completely of foam rubber. Even then, trust me, we'd still find ways to hurt each other and commit crimes.

And it's not like this is just a left-coast problem. Granted, the Hollywood crowd has shown a recent trend to acquire children like they would a handbag, simply because it's the latest rave and all the "A" list is doing it. Then they give the kids these cute-nique names like Apple or Pilot and then walk out on the red carpet to show the world how quickly they lost all their baby weight. Let's face it, these kids don't and never will have a chance at being normal. But I'm talking about kids in the heartland who are genuinely screwed up, and I think I know why.

So login tomorrow for part 2 of this article and I'll attempt to explain my theory. In the meantime, be thinking of your own reasons why the upcoming generation is in serious trouble.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Stop the ACLU

Alright folks, I don't think I have to explain how the ACLU has become public enemy #1 in the erosion of America's moral fiber. But recently they've turned their slimeball attorneys against matters of national defense. Anyone remember their lawsuit demanding more Iraqi prison photos released to the public? How many American soldiers have been endangered by this? Now, they're seeking to put your family and mine in danger by getting involved in this wire tap controversy. Well, it's time to fight back. Click on this site for more information.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Willy Wonka comes to New Orleans

I typically wouldn’t write back-to-back articles on race relations, but Mayor Nagin’s comments the other day are just begging for a good blogging. The Mayor has come under some heat for his desire to have New Orleans become a certain flavor. People, both black and white, are in an uproar. To be honest, I’m not all that offended by what the Mayor said. I admit it was in poor taste, and probably highly divisive. I didn’t appreciate that the comments were made during a Martin Luther King Day address (could you EVER imaging Dr King saying something like that?). I know what would happen to the mayor of Billings, Montana if he were ever to call for his town to become “vanilla”. So I can see how many people would take offense to these remarks. But, to me, it comes as no surprise. Ever since Katrina turned towards his city, Nagin hasn’t exactly given a stellar performance. In fact, it seems that he’s made one mistake after another either by actions (evacuating foreign diplomats ahead of his own people) or by words ("where's the beef?"). So, like with Howard Dean or Al Franken, I’ve come to expect stupid things to emanate from this man’s face, and when they do it comes with little surprise. I don’t think he’s a racist or has any personal vendetta against white people. I think it’s simpler than that. In reality, Nagin is nothing more than a typical politician with speeches that seem to be written by a four year old making a desperate plead to his voting base to return before the next election. He’s under a lot of stress and clearly didn’t think before he spoke. Maybe he just needs a vacation.
However, I do take offense at the mayor’s mischaracterization of God. Apparently, he believes that Katrina was punishment from God for America’s involvement in Iraq. Now, I’m not a theological expert, but I have studied the Bible. I remember God becoming angry about Adam and Eve’s disobedience. I remember Him destroying the world at the time of Noah because of rampant ungodly behavior. I remember the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah because they were filled with immorality. Indeed there are many examples of God’s wrath found in the good Book. But I challenge anyone to find an example of God handing out punishment to someone for bringing freedom to millions of people. It’s just not there. And why would Katrina hit New Orleans? Why not Washington? Well, the point Nagin tried to make is just too preposterous to debate, so I’ll leave him with some heartfelt advice. Mayor, if you want to turn your career around, I suggest that you hire a new speech writer, take a long vacation and, most important, read the Bible a little more carefully before accusing God of attacking your city.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Where have you gone Dr. King

Today's federal holiday has inspired me to post a column about one of greatest minds and indeed one of the greatest human beings ever to grace this nation’s history, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. To say that I admire him is an understatement. Dr. King came along at a time when this nation needed him most, until today. His courage and commitment to his beliefs is something that should be studied until the end of time. His ability to solve problems is a lesson this country badly needs. He recognized that something was wrong in America and he set out to make a change. His success is overwhelming. He not only made changes politically by getting laws passed, but he also made changes socially by giving us a new concept of freedom. He was the finest orator who ever gave a speech, and anyone who does not enjoy listening to him talk should re-evaluate his principles. If you know your history, then you know his doctrine. If not, then you need to put your computer away and read his biography. To sum it up, he believed in one thing…equality. Say what you want about Abraham Lincoln, but it was Martin Luther King who freed the slaves.
He believed in equality. That is equal rights across the board. He never spoke strictly about blacks. He fought for all. He believed that a human being deserves the same rights and opportunity as the next without exception. His message was of unity and it was powerful. The civil rights movement of the sixties was extraordinary and it was because of his leadership. Oh how I wish we had that today. His death was a dark day in our history and the loss has been felt ever since and will continue to be felt until we cure the illness of racism.
The illness of which I speak is rooted in a common ailment that this country suffers from, the ailment of politics. Dr. King’s death was viewed by some politicians as opportunity. That sounds preposterous, but it is the simple, cold truth. Because of his work there was a very large and unified voting populous and a great void that needed filling. The minority vote was viewed as a potential election winner, if it could be acquired in its entirety. These politicians knew there was a way to acquire that vote and to do it in a manner that garnered trust. Thus began the layering of a lie. They told minorities the same thing that had been told to them for many years, the same thing that Dr. King fought against and, indeed, died fighting. They said, "You aren’t good enough." They introduced new ideas and concepts that would have previously been viewed as an insult. Terms like affirmative action, welfare , government entitlements and quotas became common talk. They used these ideas to entice minorities hoping that the lies that had been told before had somehow found an ounce of belief in the minds of each. It was quite a gamble and, as it turned out, highly lucrative. The plan worked. People did believe the lie and have believed it ever since, "You aren’t good enough."
It did not stop there. The next step was adding yet another layer to the lie. Next they said, "You need us to get what you deserve." The ideas became legislation and the meager fruits of that legislation acted as a trail to trust. Minorities, lacking in respectable leadership, were led astray by a hidden agenda that had one thing in mind, winning elections. These politicians were viewed as heroes continuing the cause that Dr. King spoke so passionately about. Minorities became unified and that unified vote became a powerful ally. And it all came about from a lie. That is the root of the problem that we often lable as racism.
The truth is, Dr. King would have viewed affirmative action and quotas as an insult. "We don’t need your handouts because we can get there on our own!" I can almost hear the words booming from his voice. "Just give us freedom, and we’ll take it from there." I wonder how different this world would be if he were still alive. I think the minority population has lost touch with his ideals and that makes me sad.
I blame the leadership. The fact is minority leadership has simply been lacking since Dr. King’s death. Like typical politicians, they have been sucked into special interest groups whose ravenous greed have left little time for problem solving. Many have turned to Jesse Jackson for hope. This is a man who is respected by such a large percentage of minorities and who had an opportunity to fill the void of leadership left by Dr. King. Unfortunately, he failed. He too was led astray and lost touch with priority. He founded an organization that, ideally, would have been the beginning of the end of racism. But, truth be told, racism is the fuel that keeps the Rainbow Coalition burning. Jesse Jackson doesn’t want to end racism, there’s simply too much money to be made off of it. Instead, he parades around the country heaving accusations and breeding hate and resentment. He tells the same lie the politicians tell, only it carries much more weight coming from his voice. Minorities view him as a leader. They should view him as a traitor.
Malcolm X had the same opportunity. He had a similar passion as Dr. King and a true flare for leadership, but hate and resentment overcame him. Instead of learning from his past and using it to grow into a better man, he allowed himself to give into destructive means of problem solving. He encouraged violence as a means to progress. He needed guidance, and there was none available.
This country is so thirsty for quality minority leadership that it can see it on the horizon, like a desert oasis that glimmers of hope only to reveal itself as the same hot, dry sand that has been surrounding us for years. If one man of Dr King’s quality were to come along, he could help us see the politics of race for what they really are…one lie layered atop another. Until then, we must do this together. Is affirmative action right for this country? The answer is a resounding "NO". It does not give pride to those who benefit. There is no sense of accomplishment. It does, however, breed spite and resentment from those who are shut out due to its policies. Should there be quotas for college admission or management level positions? Absolutely not. The mere implication that minorities need to have positions set aside to ensure that they are fairly represented based solely on race and not merit is an idea that should be treated like the moronic bigot, with our hands covering our ears until the noise stops. Wake up. America is free. Each man born an American citizen comes into this world with the same thing…freedom. How you choose to take advantage of that is up to you. I don’t want to hear the liberal cascade of garbage that says some people have more opportunity than others because they grew up in better environments, had loving families and weren’t exposed to failure like others. I can show you many examples of men that grew up in white suburban neighborhoods exposed to success, only to squander opportunity and fail miserably in life; and I can show you many examples of men who grew up in the ghetto surrounded by failure only to find success and make a respectable living and a quality life for himself. It works both ways. The difference is desire. One man had it, the other didn’t and the result shows. If you have the will and the strength to overcome adversity, you will succeed. That’s the opportunity each American has, to build something of his own from his own hard work and to reap the benefits. That’s what makes this country truly unique. The only way to fail is to give up…period. In every example of failure there is a point of surrender, and in every example of success there is a point that is overcome.
Some may read this column and immediately conclude that I am a racist. That’s a cop-out. It’s so much easier to dismiss my opinion as short-sided and shallow than it is to entertain the notion that it might be true. It is difficult to accept that so much of what you have been told is a simple lie, and that you can do things without the help of the government or certain politicians. That’s why conservatives are labeled as cold and unsympathetic to minorities and liberals viewed as tender-hearted and friend to all. It’s easier to believe a lie when the truth is hard. Because if you believe the truth, then your failure to gain admission to a certain college or get that coveted promotion is your failure alone. You can’t blame racism. You should learn from your shortcomings, as Dr. King would have you do, and use them to become a better person, but often it is simply easier to blame something or someone else. There are some that want us to think that rich, old, white businessman gather in dark corners to conspire ways to repress minorities. It sounds like a good excuse, but it simply isn’t true. This is a capitalist society and money is all that matters to the rich, old, white businessman. If you can help him get more money, then he’ll hire you or promote you regardless of race. Until we realize this notion, racism will continue to live not as a symbol of repression but as a reason to fail. That’s all racism is today, any belief to the contrary is a lie. It’s a lie that the liberals have told to the minorities of America, and it was bought free and clear. Here's hoping that Dr. King's dream will one day be realized. God Bless you, sir. How I wish you were still with us today.

60 days? What a shame

I had decided to write the inaugural column for my book’s website on the most important issue facing my generation: the war on terror and our nation’s will, or lack thereof, to fight it. But a news broadcast yesterday caught my attention and focused me on something much more pressing: the erosion of our nation’s moral fiber and our passive attitude towards it.
Consider Judge Ed Cashman of Vermont, who recently presided at the sentencing of one Mark Hulett, age 34. Hulett was charged with sexual assault of a child and he subsequently confessed to repeatedly raping the girl countless times over a four year period. The abuse began when the girl was seven years old and finally ended when she was ten. Her life is now ruined.
Cashman’s response to the crime and the sentence that he imposed was jaw-dropping. Hulett was given 60 days in jail. That’s right. In two months, this monster will be back on the streets and the children of Vermont will be in harm’s way. Why such a lenient sentence? Cashman’s reasoning is nearly as shocking as the prison term itself. In fact, it takes a direct quote from him to fully understand the vastness of this dereliction of duty.
“The one message I want to get through is that anger doesn’t solve anything. It just corrodes your soul,” said the judge.
Is that so? Keep in mind that the judge was speaking to a courtroom that included the family members of the young girl who suffered at the hands of this beast. Yet the one message he wanted to send was this? Anger doesn’t solve anything? The last time I checked, it wasn’t a judge’s job to solve problems. Their job is to uphold the law and protect society. I’m sure the courtroom appreciated his personal opinion, but if he was seeking to avoid anger he certainly chose the wrong way to do it. Someone needs to ask the judge what happens to the soul after it is raped repeatedly over a four year period. Obviously the judge wasn’t concerned about the crime as much as he was about the criminal, how pathetically sad.
As if that wasn’t enough, he then proceeded to state that he no longer believes in punishment for these offenders and that rehabilitation is what’s in the best interest for all. He argued that since the Vermont penal system offers no options for rehabilitation for these offenders, 60 days in prison was just. Now, I don’t know this man but I doubt he is an expert in criminal psychology or sexual abuse. He is not a physician or a philosopher. He is not a lawmaker. He is a judge. His job is to follow the law and the law calls for punishment of rapists regardless of his personal opinions. After all, it is the penal system and not the rehab system. One wonders that if the victim were his own daughter or grand-daughter, would his beliefs still hold? I doubt it. Yet he chose this confessed rapist as a means to thumb his nose in protest of the Vermont penal system, and the little girl with live the rest of her life knowing her attacker served less time than Martha Stewart. But this case brings to light a deeper problem facing this country. Over the past thirty years it seems our tolerance of immoral behavior has grown exponentially. For example, at one time homosexuality was considered deviant, yet now it is viewed as an alternative lifestyle that is inborn. At one time, a mother who murdered her newborn child was charged accordingly, yet now we attribute it to mental illness and allow them to escape the consequences of their actions. Are we gradually migrating to a similar opinion regarding pedophiles? Will we one day say “it’s not their fault” and fail to punish them as Judge Cashman has done? If we continue on our current path, the answer is yes. My guess is that sex offenders all over the country are now looking at Vermont as an ideal place to set up residence and I hope the people of that great state, indeed the entire country, take heed. America ’s moral decline must stop and our leaders have shown no intention of leading us in the right direction regarding these matters. Our children, our future, are at risk. 60 days? Shame on you, Judge Cashman. Shame on those who allow you to continue acting as a judge. Indeed, shame on us all for allowing our country to arrive at such a point where criminals are victims and victims must learn to control their anger lest it “corrode” their soul.