Category Archives: Islamic Religion

Capture

“The Age of Innocence” – Lost Forever

Like most grandparents today, I would do anything for my grandkids.  Grandma P and I are very fortunate to have a group of intelligent, thoughtful and personable grandkids.  They deserve the best and for the most part, they are receiving it.

Our two oldest will be teenagers next year, reaching that milestone age of 13.  So far, we are not the ‘dorky’  grandparents as we do feel welcomed every time we see them.  That ‘dorky and unhip’ mantra will become more prevalent as they get deeper into those teenage years….you know….those years when their friends know everything, and their parents and grandparents are dumb as a box of rocks.  Grandma P and I  are hoping we never get to that, but we are preparing for it, none the less.

But try as I may, I will never, ever be able to give my grandkids one thing……

Did you hear about Ahmed Mohamed?  You will certainly recognize him if I tell you he is the 14 year old that constructed a ‘clock’ and brought it to school in Dallas, Texas.  Under the pretense of wanting to show this ‘clock’ to his teacher, he brought it into the school.  Another teacher saw this science project, thought it suspicious, and notified authorities.  Ahmed was arrested and led away from the school in handcuffs.

Did you see a picture of the device that was a clock?  It looked very sinister and did not look like anything that  would appear on my nightstand next to my bed.  Because it was in a briefcase, it looked all the more menacing.  So, little 14 year old Ahmed was led off to the police station in handcuffs, and the media blitz began with all the fury of a category 5 hurricane.

“Racial discrimination!”  “Religious discrimination!  (Did I mention Ahmed was a Muslim?)”   “He is only a young boy!”  On and on and on.  The liberal media, the liberal press, liberal celebrities and the liberal POTUS could not attach and interject themselves into this event quickly enough.

I read three news sources on the internet every morning.  I follow that up by reading my local newspaper every morning.  After I am done with this daily ritual, I always feel as if I am up on the events of the day.  On that particular morning, there was no mention of Ahmed.  The first I heard of it in the afternoon,  was because the President of the United States was inviting some 14 year old from Dallas, Texas, to the White House for a visit for being castigated and arrested for building a clock!  What?  MIT had invited him to visit their campus.  Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and billionaire of Facebook had invited him to visit his corporate headquarters.  He has had over $15,000 donated to his scholarship fund.  Overreaction?

Let’s look at this a little closer.  What would have happened if that device was a bomb and the school did nothing?  If something would have happened, the public would have cried for the heads of the teachers and administrators for allowing such an occurrence.  If the death of Cecil the Lion  created such an outcry as to want to execute the hunter, what would the school bombing create in terms of outrage?  I am sure those teachers and administrators remember well the events of Columbine and the Sandy Hook Elementary School.  Where I live, the schools still have deputy sheriffs assigned to them.

Religious discrimination?  It appears to me that everyone is so afraid of broaching the subject of religious discrimination that they fall over themselves to prove they are not discriminating.  But let’s be honest here,  in my post, Boo Hoo, I’m a Victim, I outlined 27 terroristic world events that were all done by Muslims.  Not Lutherans.  Not Baptists.  Not any other religion.  Muslims.  How can you not be a little more leery about Muslims with their track record of terrorism and killing.  This was not a Lutheran kid bringing a bag of lutefisk to school, this was a briefcase full of wires.

Someone brought up the idea that this was handled terribly because he was just a ‘kid.’  I will admit that maybe, just maybe, the police did not have to handcuff him.  I was not a witness and neither was anyone except the five police that were involved.  They probably wanted to be overly cautious rather than under-prepared until all the facts were known.  Hurray for them!    The comment about being only a ‘kid’?  Well, let me tell you that there are many of our veterans from Viet Nam, Afghanistan, and Iraq that will whole-heartedly  disagree with that statement.  Unfortunately for those veterans, they often fought and often killed fighters that were much younger than 14.  (According to Sharia law, a girl can marry as young as 9 years old!)  If you read the book or saw the movie, American Sniper, one of Chris Kyle’s first incidences involved a young boy, 8 or 9, that was going to fire a rocket propelled grenade at an approaching Marine force.  So, as far a Ahmed being a kid, if he were a terrorist he would already be a veteran by age 14.

Like all good liberals, there are often reactions before all the facts are known.  Did you know that Ahmed’s older sister was suspended from school for a bomb scare three years earlier?  Did you know that Ahmed’s dad once ran for president of Sudan and is a defense attorney?  Do you think any of that may be an influence on this whole event?  Could it have been staged?

Ahmed, by bringing this menacing looking ‘clock’ to school, broke a boat load of laws, both state and federal that have been enacted since 9/11.  I hope he takes his clock to the White House.  I hope MIT gives him admission.  But if I were them, I would review my admission standards for someone that blatantly has broken the law.

The one thing I cannot give my grandchildren?  My grandchildren will never be able to experience the “Age of Innocence” that Grandma P and I were a part of.

When we were growing up in the 50s and early 60s, life was much simpler and safer.  Our parents never had to lock their home.  Never.  Unlike today, no one ever thought of having a home alarm system.  It would have been thought to be ridiculous and unnecessary.  Today, many homes have an alarm system, including ours.  Without air conditioning, the windows were often open all night.  On a really hot night, the doors were open because the screen doors allowed the entry of any cooling breeze.

No need to worry about losing your car keys.  They were always in the ignition.  No one locked their car doors in my home town.

We never had to worry about illegal drugs.  There weren’t any.  Our idea of being ‘illegal’ was smoking a pack of Marlboros.  There wasn’t any market or usage of marijuana.  Being in a farming community, marijuana, or Indian hemp as we called it, grew wild in the ditches and around our fields.  It was a nuisance weed, so it was destroyed.  Who knew?  (That possibly explains why so many county workers volunteered to destroy it by burning.)  On occasion, as if we wanted to audition for membership to the Hell’s Angels, someone would steal a beer or two from their parents.  Six guys would share two beers.  You can tell that we were really greasing the skids straight to hell!

There was never any sex, swearing or violence on TV or in our movies.  We did not need PG whatever or PG18 whatever for ratings for our movies.  Every movie was pretty much appropriate for any age group.  I still love watching some of these old movies.  They were not only classics, but they were classy.  This was entertaining without being raucous.  Today’s movies and television are loaded with explicit sex scenes, swearing and overdone in very detailed explicit violence.  Your kids and grandkids are watching this!  From that and from violence enhanced video games, what are they learning?

In my youth, differences were settled with your fists.  Today….an assault rifle.  It takes a real man to punch someone in the face as opposed to shooting them in a drive by shooting.  If you punch someone, you are close enough to receive retaliation.  The cowards of today resort to lethal violence, from a distance.

In the 50s and 60s, we did not live in a world that was instantaneous.  We did not have social media or computers for that matter.  We had TV and radio news, magazines and newspapers.  We believed what our newscasters told us.  Today, less than 40% of the public trusts the media.   If ignorance is truly bliss, then we were damn happy.

We knew who our friends and allies were and who are enemies were.  It was pretty much cut and dried between the NATO members and the Warsaw Pact nations.  Our country said the Pledge of Allegiance; I did it every school morning for 12 years.  Our country was one made up of extremely proud, independent and patriotic citizens.

Every generation is marked by an event  or events that change their lives forever.  For the Greatest Generation, those who lived and fought during WWII, it was the Great Depression and the attack on Pearl Harbor.  For the Millennia’s and earlier, it was 9/11.  For the baby boomers of my generation, it was the assassination of President Kennedy.  If I had to throw a dart at a calendar to mark the day that my Age of Innocence ended, it would be November 22, 1963.  The 60s were marked by turmoil on a worldly stage.  Viet Nam was a protracted war that took over 57,000 American lives.  Both Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King were assassinated in the later 60s.  Lyndon Johnson decides not to run for reelection.  It seemed that almost overnight, our country went from being stable and peaceful to being one of turmoil and dissention.

My grandkids will never experience an ‘Age of Innocence.’

What would have happened with Ahmed if he were living in the US in the 50s?  He would have had his ‘clock’ taken away, reprimanded for bringing it to school, and then made to copy a page out of the dictionary with Miss McCarty during lunch recess for punishment.  My, how things have changed  He’s going to the White House and MIT.

Clinton-North-Korean-Deal

A Dictator By Any Other Name Wouldn’t Rule As Sweet

There is nothing more depressing than waking up on a Tuesday morning and learning that your favorite football team got hammered during a late Monday Night Football game.  Adding to the grief, you also learn that Kim Il-Sung has stated he was going to wipe out the United States with nuclear weaponry.  Don’t those North Koreans watch football?  Don’t they know it is depressing enough to have your team lose?  And now they want to wreck my day by threatening to incinerate us with his nuclear weapons.  Couldn’t they at least wait until tomorrow to hit our country with these threats?  Just how barbaric could these North Korean dictators be?

Well, the short answer is they can be pretty darn barbaric.  Everyone has heard the saying, ‘The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.’   And also the one:  ‘Like father, like son.”  In the case of North Korean dictators, that last saying can be modified to read, “Like father, like Sung, like grand-Sung.”  In other words, North Korea has had three generations of dictators since World War II.

The granddaddy of the current idiot was Kim Il-Sung.  He gained his fame by fighting the occupying Japanese during World War II.  After the war, through political intrigue and assassination, he gained dictatorial powers in North Korea.  One thing can be said about Kim Il Sung:  there wasn’t a publicity agent in Hollywood, New York and D.C. that could have polished and fabricated his image the way he had it done.  Later in his life, his publicity agent was his son and successor, Kim Jong-Il.  So, granddaddy Kim Il-Sung pretty much established his authority in 1948, and ruled with an iron fist until his death on July 8, 1994.

Granddaddy Sung’s other claim to fame is that he, deciding that Communism was the best choice of government, invaded the democratic South Korea.  That little action caused the Korean War, or, in the words of the North Korean dictator, the ‘Fatherland Liberation War.’  The word ‘liberation’ sounds very much like the word ‘liberty.’  Rest assured, Granddaddy Sung was not going to grant liberty to anyone if he had conquered South Korea.  That war ran from June of 1950 to July of 1953.  The United States suffered the loss of nearly 34,000 military personnel in that war.  (As an aside, there was never a formal peace treaty between the US and North Korea.  Technically, we are still at war with North Korea!) Clearly!  Hence, the speak of nuclear aspirations!

So upon the death of Kim Il-Sung, his demented son, Kim Jong-Il came into power.  Much like his father and grandson, he assassinated anyone that stood in his way of gaining power or disagreed with his policies.  He lived the lifestyle like that of a French king in Versailles, all while his people were starving.  He ran his country into the ground.  But alas, he did do one thing that creates his notoriety….he developed nuclear weaponry.

In December, 1985, North Korea became a party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).  On April 10, 1992, its NPT safeguards agreement entered into force.  In May, 1992, North Korea submitted its initial report to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and inspections began.  Not surprisingly, these inspections revealed discrepancies in what North Korea was reporting and what the inspectors were finding.  In April, 1993, the IAEA concluded that North Korea was in non-compliance with its Safeguards Agreement and referred this finding to the UN Security Council.  North Korea then announced its withdrawal from the Non-Proliferation treaty.

As can be imagined, this caused an international stir.  Though Kim Jong-Il may be demented, he was not stupid.  So in November of 1993, North Korea proposed to the United States that the two governments negotiate a ‘package solution’ to all of the issues dividing them.

Now we need to back off a step or two and access the political climate in each of the two countries.  Kim Jong-Il is the dictator of a starving country.  They can’t grow enough corn or rice to feed their people, but they have money to make nuclear weaponry.  Bill Clinton is on the hot seat concerning a certain White House intern.  In November of 1993, he is gearing up for reelection.  This would be a major feather in William Jefferson Clinton’s hat.  It would also be a strategic distractor from all those pesky women that keep coming out of the woodwork claiming that Bill was accosting them.  So the negotiations begin.

North Korea would allow one non-comprehensive inspection by the IAEA.  The US would suspend war games with the South Koreans.  There were many other provisions, but the end result was a pact that was neither a treaty subject to Senate approval, nor a legally binding executive agreement, but a non-binding political commitment between the two countries, as noted by the UN Security Council.  There you have it…a non-binding pact!  Most of you will remember the pomp and ceremony when Madeline Albright was at a banquet with Kim Jong-Il.  You also remember the notoriety the media gave to Bill Clinton for gaining such an international political coup!

What were the final results of this pact?  Well, Clinton gets reelected amid international accolades.  The conniving Kim Jong-Il?  He got millions of gallons of fuel oil, two light water reactors, and tons of food stuffs provided by the United States to feed his starving population!  How did Kim Jong-Il explain all the American boxes of food to his populace?  Simple.  He told his people that the United States was providing the food as war reparation for having invaded North Korea!   And it is now quite evident that the North Koreans have certainly never stopped the production of nuclear weapon materials!  Kim Jong-Il ruled North Korea until his death on December 17, 2011.

Now we have the grandson, Kim Jong-un.  There were some hopes for change, as he was educated in the west, but those hopes are unfounded.  Like his father and grandfather, he has ordered that those getting in his way or disagreeing with him be assassinated.  He had his own uncle put to death!    So here is what I woke up to this morning in addition to my football defeat:  North Korea said on Tuesday its main nuclear complex was operating, and it was working to improve the ‘quality and quantity’ of its weapons which it could use against the United States at ‘any time.’

Here we go again!   The three dictators?  Well, they all were heavy handed.  They all had unbelievable publicists to polish their images within North Korea.  They all resorted to torture and assasination without impunity.  They all loved and craved attention on the international stage and would do anything to get it.  Is this what Kim Jong-un wants?  International attention at any cost much like his father and grandfather?  No one knows for certain what this idiot will do to garner that attention.

So why have I given this history lesson about the three North Korean dictators?  Well, it is apparent that history is going to repeat itself.  Another democratic American president and another third world crap hole that is threatening world peace by using its nuclear capability.  That country would be Iran.

You are familiar with Iran.  It is the country that sponsors, either directly or indirectly, ISIS, ISIL, al Qaida and any other Muslim extremist terrorist group with an acronym.  And yet, our Secretary of State and POTUS are falling all over themselves attempting to come up with some sort of agreement to assure world peace.

My question is this, “Is it possible to enter into a mutually respected agreement with Iran that will prove to be beneficial to our country?”

I don’t believe it is possible for a variety of reasons.  Firstly, they are the sponsors of most of the terrorism going on in the world.  Whether we want to face it or not, they have declared war on our country in particular and Christianity in general.  The one thing that all these terroristic extremist groups have done is create thousands of refugees.  These refugees are spreading to Europe and the United States and creating a financial burden for many of these hosting countries.  For these extremists, its a twofer!  They are obeying Sharia law by spreading Islam, even to places that really don’t want it, and they are creating an excessive financial burden on the hosting Christian countries.  Make no mistake about it, unlike our immigrants in the early 20th century, these immigrants have no intention of assimilating into the culture of the hosting country.  Why aren’t those refugees running to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait or some other stable Arab country?

On September 10, 2014, I published a blog titled, “What Flavor of Islam Do You Like?”  In that blog, it listed some of the principle tenets of Sharia Law, the law that rules the second largest religion in the world.  Here is one of those tenets:  ‘Muslims should engage in Taglyya and lie to non-Muslims to advance Islam.’  Iran is ruled by a caste of religious fanatics.  You can bet they follow Sharia law to the letter.  Can we trust what they say or do, knowing that lying to non-Muslims is not only encouraged but also prescribed?

Our country, the United Nations and the European community have all had serious trade and commerce sanctions placed on Iran.  Some of this involved freezing their bank assets.  These assets are estimated to be about $100 billion.  What do you think Iran will do once it gets its hands on that money?  The liberals are saying they will spend about half on infrastructure and half paying back debts to the Chinese.  I am a lot more skeptical.  I don’t see Iran building roads, bridges, schools or libraries anytime soon.  I can see a large chunk of that money finding its way to sponsor more terrorism.

Do you think that a nuclear deal with Iran will work?  Did we not learn anything from North Korea?

Political-Correctness

Political Correctness – Boo Hoo, I’m a Victim!

The age of information, spawned by the advent of the computer, personal devices and social media, is truly a marvelous invention.  One can go on the internet and get instantaneous news, weather, sports, or buy parts for your weed whacker with just the click of a button.  You can earn a degree without leaving your home.  We can get instant videos of traffic crashes, riots, and sometimes even murders because of the capabilities of those personal devices.   But like all good things, these devices can be used for nefarious purposes such as child pornography, spamming or a membership to join Ashley Madison.

One of the negative benefits of all these marvelous capabilities in the advancement of ‘political correctness.’  To me, ‘political correctness’ is an excuse to minimize the responsibility of an individual, turn that person into a victim, and then beat their cause over the heads of everyone else to prove they are a victim.  I am so disgruntled with all the crap that is being expounded in the name of ‘political correctness’ that it has turned my blue eyes brown!  Enough already!

This really hit home to me this summer.  While Grandma P and I were visiting our grandchildren, we got onto the subject of bullying.  I am aware of three types of bullying; physical, verbal and cyber.  If there are other types, I plead ignorance.

Unfortunately, as I was growing up, Polish jokes were common.  Why does a Pollock have a ‘ski’ at the end of their name?  Because they don’t know how to spell toboggan!  It went on and on.  As I was the token Polish person in a community full of Swedes and Norwegians and the only Pollock in our school, I was the target.  One day, I mentioned this to Big Daddy G.  Big Daddy G gave me some sound advice.  He said, “Son, if you can’t take a joke, you better become a good fighter.”  I chose to take the joke.  I took all of these jokes in stride and eventually the Polish jokes subsided.  I was being teased in a good-natured way and I oftentimes laughed with the joke.  Some of them were funny.  I heard most of them about a hundred times.  Was I a victim?

Back to the grandchildren.  The subject comes up about bullying.  My eight year old granddaughter, who happens to be cute as a button, friendly as can be and extremely personable says to us, “Grandpa, I have been bullied.”  What?  You just finished the second grade.  So I asked, “Did someone hit you?  Has someone verbally abused you?”  She did not have an answer.  I am positive that my granddaughter was being teased by some second grade boys to get her attention.  If I were in the second grade, that is what I would do.  Unfortunately, she is too young to know the difference between bullying and teasing.  I blame the internet sensation of political correctness in creating victims, even of  our youngsters.

LGBTQ

Never has such a small group of people, approximately 2.5% of our population, garnered as much media attention as this group.  A true case of the tail wagging the dog.

Over the years, I have known many gay men.  I did not agree with their lifestyle, but I tolerated it as their choice of lifestyle.  So be it.  I did not think that it was fair that they had to be ‘in the closet.’  What I am beginning to take offense with is that they have moved from the closet to the podium, and it doesn’t look like they are giving up the spotlight any time soon.

Last week, some actress of unknown merit, berated presidential candidate Ted Cruz while he was stumping in Iowa.  Her question?  “Senator, how do you plan on protecting gays and lesbians in the workplace?”  How do you answer that?  What would an appropriate answer be?  Are we going to hire armed guards to accompany every openly gay or lesbian in the workplace?  What about the BTQ’s of the LGBTQ organization?

Grandma P and I are both upset about all the displays of lesbian and gay affection on our TV shows and movies.  It is being injected even though it has nothing to do with the central theme of the show.  We are not so naïve to believe it does not happen, but do we have to watch it, too? Most of this is a deliberate Hollywood movement to desensitize us about same-sex affection.  Apparently it is working because in a recent poll, the under 25 crowd thought up to 50% of our population is gay, when in reality it is less than 3%!  (As an aside, we both do not appreciate any overt risqué sex scenes in any of our entertainment.  We are not prudes, we just don’t think it is appropriate.)

This week, an openly gay black man shot and killed two of his former coworkers while they were televising live in Roanoke, Virginia.  I will predict and it has already been intimated that he was distraught because he was discriminated against because of his race and because of other people being homophobes.  He will be made out to be a victim.  Never mind the two dead people that are the real victims.  Get a grip, America!  This guy was two bubbles off of level.

Black Lives Matter

I find this whole affair about ‘back lives matter,’ to be both offensive and ironic.

I find it offensive because I believe all lives matter regardless of race.  I find no reason other than because of political correctness or a liberal biased media to assume for one minute that a black life is more or less valuable than any other life.  However, by expounding this drivel, we can make the entire black race victims.  Why?  More government funding for social/welfare programs comes to mind.  Have we entirely eliminated the ‘quota system’ for minority hiring that was popular in the 70s and 80s?

The irony of this situation is that most of the murdered blacks are being murdered by other blacks.  That was prevalent last month in Baltimore when 43 black homicides were attributed to 43 black murderers.  A 25 year homicide record for the city.  So why is the black community holding vigils and conducting marches in ‘other than black communities,’ when the real problem is in the black community.

There is no question that some black men have been recently shot by white police officers.  Ferguson and Baltimore come to mind.  What got more media coverage, those two events or the 43 black homicides in the month of July in Baltimore?  Both of the Ferguson and Baltimore shootings by white officers of two black men in the conduct of a criminal act caused rioting.  The 43 homicides in Baltimore?  Hardly a newsworthy event.

To add to this situation, the POTUS and his former AG Eric Holder have come out to say that police officers need additional training while dealing with the black community.    It is not the police needing additional training that is the problem, Mr. President…its the black community itself.  Gosh darn if I just am not politically incorrect in saying that!

Christianity and the Muslim Religions

In Walton County, Florida, the sheriff patrol cars have bumper stickers that read, “In God We Trust.”  Recently, Sheriff Michael Adkinson received a letter from an individual representing a group called the Freedom From Religion Foundation requesting removal of the bumper stickers.  The letter said, “It is inappropriate for the Sheriff’s Office to display “In God We Trust” on county property,   Statements about a god have no place on sheriff cars.  Elected officials should not use their government position and government property to promote their religious views.”

Sheriff Adkinson’s response?  ” You are obviously unaware that ‘In God We Trust’ is the state motto of the state of Florida, and has been since 1886.  Additionally it is the motto of the United States.”

Bravo Sheriff Adkinson!  We have all heard about people wanting to remove the 10 commandments from government buildings, now bumper stickers….anything to erase God and Christianity from our country.  All of this in the name of the dreaded political correctness. It is refreshing to see someone make a stand for the silent majority than for the loud, boisterous, militant liberal minority.

I researched the Freedom From Religion Foundation.  I went to their website and the first thing to pop up was their ‘donate’ button.  They are headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin and claim to have 22,500 members.  If you want to picket them or join them, they are having their annual meeting October 9-11 at the Monona Terrace in Madison.  22,000 members?  Talk about the tail wagging the dog!  Apparently, it is not politically correct to recognize  our country as being founded on Christian-Judeo principles or to profess your belief in those principles.

So how is this for political correctness?

The shoe bomber, the beltway snipers, the Fort Hood Shooter, The underwear bomber, The U.S.S. Cole bombers, the Madrid train bombers, the Bali Nightclub bombers, the London subway bombers, the Moscow Theatre attacker, the Boston marathon bombers, the Pan-Am flight #93 bombers, the Air France Entebbe hijackers, the Iranian Embassy takeover, the Beirut U.S. Embassy bombers, the Libyan U.S. Embassy attack, the Buenos Aires suicide bombers, the Israeli Olympic Team attackers, the Kenyan U.S. Embassy bombers, the Saudi Khobar barracks bombers, the Beirut Marine barracks bombers, The Beslan Russian school attackers, the first World Trade Center bombers, the Bombay and Mumbai India attackers, the Achilles Lauro Cruise Ship hijackers, the September 11th airline hijackers………………..were ALL MUSLIMS!

And yet……….we are continually being told that the Muslim religion is a religion of peace!  Wow!  It is politically incorrect to say a word about or against this religion.  But don’t their actions speak much louder than their words?  All of this is before we even get to the atrocities being committed by ISIS.

Donald Trump (The Donald)

Many people are surprised by the recent popularity of Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump.  I am not surprised.  Why?  Because, the Donald does not seem to care about or be concerned about ‘political correctness’ and I think the silent majority is finding this appealing.  Do you know what Obama is thinking or doing other than to circumvent Congress?  Have you ever known what he was doing?  With the Donald, you know exactly what is on his mind and he is very outspoken about his opinions.  He is also appealing because he is not a career politician.

He is the antithesis of political correctness, and the diehard, lifetime Republican politicians are having a tough time dealing with that.

I have been asked what I think of the Donald.  While I am not ready to endorse him, my standard answer has been that, “Donald Trump may not be who you want for President, but he may be who we need for America.”  Our country has become so left-leaning and socialistic, we may need someone who rights the ship of state, balances the budget, seriously addresses terrorism, reduces the national debt, and restores individuality and responsibility into our lives.

Last September in 2014, I launched the Grumpy political party.  (See Grumpy -The Party that Dwarfs all Others)   Donald may not get the Republican nod, but he would be a great candidate for the Grumpy Party.

As you can see, I am very tired of political correctness. I am very tired of being branded a racist, a homophobe or a religious zealot because of my mainstream views.   We as a country have become so worried about not offending anyone that we forget about what is right and just.  Give me a break!

Common Sense: the ability to know the difference between right, wrong and stupid.

Reality_TV

Lions, Looters & Loonies – Oh My!

When I was growing up in our small farming community, participating in athletics was pretty darn simple.  We had football in the fall; we had basketball and wrestling in the winter.  There were baseball, track and field, and cross country running in the spring.  That was it!  Our school was not large enough to have a hockey team as well as the other winter sports.  There was absolutely no interest in soccer at that time. Instead, we played kickball and dodgeball during recess.

In most of our sports, we were always taught to ‘keep your eye on the ball.’    This was especially true if that ball was a baseball, basketball, football and, in our Midwestern community, a snowball!  Some of those snowballs really packed a wallop.  On occasion, a good snowball fight would get out of hand when someone would pack a piece of very hard ice into the snowball.  Those heated snowball fights would get out of hand frequently and body shots were replaced with intended head shots!  So…..I am not going to admit that I would ever pack a piece of ice in a snowball, but I will admit that one would learn quickly to ‘keep your eye on the ball.’

More people need to learn how to keep their eyes on the proverbial ball.  One such person would be Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.  She is the infamous mayor of Baltimore that proclaimed shortly after the Freddie Gray shooting that the looters should be able to loot, “because it is only property.”   She instructed her police chief to back off from the looters.  This little dalliance in shelving law and order in favor of discord and rioting has had a profound after-effect that the foolish mayor never anticipated.  This past July, Baltimore, a city of less than 622,000 people (with a declining population), broke a 43-year record for the most homicides in a month.  There were 43 such homicides.   There was a spike in non-fatal shootings as well.  Practically all were black on black crime.  Why?

Crime experts and residents of Baltimore’s most dangerous neighborhoods cite a confluence of factors:  mistrust of the police; generalized anger and hopelessness over a lack of opportunities for young black men; and competition among dealers of illegal drugs, bolstered by the looting of prescription pills from pharmacies during the riot.  Federal drug enforcement agents said gangs targeted 32 pharmacies in the city, taking roughly 300,000 doses of opiates, as the riots caused $9 million in property damages in the city.  A member of the Drug Enforcement Administration said the high homicide rate probably related directly to the stolen prescription drugs. (No fooling?  Even the citizens are saying everyone was wild on opiates!)   Now that the supply is likely exhausted, the drug turf wars will likely promote more violence.

What has the honorable Mayor Rawlings-Blake done?  Why she has replaced her police chief twice since the riots?  The results have been the same with each chief.  The situation is out of hand because of the mayor’s decision to allow the rioters to continue to loot.  Who should really be replaced?

The pitcher checks the sign.  He winds up and delivers a blistering fastball directly over the plate!  S-T-R-I-K-E  T-H-R-E-E!  Yyyyyoooouuuuu’rrrrreeee out!  The dejected batter, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake walks to the dugout.  She had her eyes closed while at bat!

Another group that needs to learn how to keep their eyes on the ball is………..the American public!

There are so many things that the citizenry of this country should be concerned about, but aren’t.  Our attention spans are about as long as the time it takes to pop popcorn in a microwave!  Do you remember fiscal cliff?  That was a large buzz word about 18 months ago.  Has it gone away?

How about the debt crisis?  Has that gone away?  Our national debt is at $18 trillion and climbing.  It appears that no one in Washington has the fortitude or determination to turn this around.  Everyone has seen the country of Greece go through all sorts of fiscal gyrations.  Greece is responsible for less than 2% of the world’s GDP.  Through its socialistic programs, it has dug a hole that may not be refilled.  My advice is to acquaint yourself with the specifics as to why Greece is in such economic trouble.  My reason for bringing this up?  We are rapidly greasing our skids in the United States to be in the same place as Greece with one exception….when we go, so will the world’s economy!  That would make the Great Depression look like the So-So Depression.

Four marines and one sailor were gunned down in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  The public outrage lasted about 3 days.  After all, they were military personnel and they have volunteered to protect our country.  Isn’t death a part of the job description?  What outrageous event did manage to get the attention of most Americans?  Why, the death of Cecil the Lion!  Do you realize that people were picketing the office of the dentist that shot Cecil the Lion, calling for his execution!

I have come to the conclusion that most Americans now possess a reality show mentality.  Calling for the execution of the lion shooter is a little severe, don’t you think?  When I was young, my dad would go deer hunting.  He deer hunted because our family could really use the meat.  It was a sad day if he did not get a deer.  I hunted deer and was moderately successful.  We hunted in heavy coniferous forests not too far from the Canadian border.  It was not easy hunting.  It was extremely difficult hunting.   As I got older and my family became more financially successful, we really did not need the meat.  We continued to deer hunt, but more for the camaraderie, tradition and challenge of the hunt than for the need of the meat.  Don’t get me wrong, we ate every bit of everything we have ever hunted.

Then I was invited to hunt in Wyoming.  Hunting in Wyoming was on grassy plains with scrub brush close to rivers.  It was easy hunting because you could see game for miles and there was no shortage of game.  I am not exaggerating when I say I could have shot 15-20 deer each of the two years I hunted.  I lost the urge when the challenge wasn’t present.  I did not need the meat.  I gave up deer hunting before I was 35 years old.

Back to reality.  Our public is screaming for the execution, or at least the extradition of the lion killer to Zimbabwe.  We don’t have an extradition treaty with Zimbabwe.  Where is the furor over the killing of our military personnel in Chattanooga?  That’s something to roar about!  Why are we not calling for that shooter’s execution?  Oh, that’s right……….. he is a Muslim who was suffering from depression!  So we have had a slew of Muslims that have attacked and killed Americans right here in the good old U S of A!  Are they all suffering from depression?  Not a one of them has been executed.  Not a Muslim has been deported for abetting these killers as allowed by the Patriot Act.  Have Americans reached a point where the death of a lion is more serious than the killing of Americans in America by radical Muslims?

I mention reality show mindset.  I am convinced that more people follow the Kardashians than follow what is happening in this country politically.  I would give up bacon for a month if anyone can tell me what talents the Kardashians actually possess.  Can they act?  Can they sing?  Can they dance or perform in any appreciable way?  Why, oh why, are they getting more publicity than the killing of our military personnel in Chattanooga?  The Boston bomber?  The Fort Hood shooter?   Why are the Kardashians on television?   I don’t get it.  Didn’t we learn anything from Paris Hilton?

There is one event that I wish would die quickly and that is the transsexual reformation of Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner.  Bruce/Caitlyn is slightly younger than I am.  I am a self-professed Olympics junkie.  I have watched the Olympics every year since they were in Rome in 1960.  It was a tradition for my late uncle and me to watch the Olympics together.  Most of these Olympics were conducted during the height of the Cold War.  Ah yes……. those were the good old days.  Eagle versus Bear.  Blue versus Red.  Democracy versus Communism.  We damn well knew who our enemies were, and they were those damn Ruskies!  Without having a ‘shooting war,’ the Olympics became the unofficial battleground of good versus evil…at least in the American minds.  In 1972, the Olympics were in Munich.  In those Olympics, the Americans lost medals to the Russians in three sports that we usually dominated:  basketball, 100-meter and decathlon.  The winner of the decathlon was considered the ‘World’s Greatest Athlete.’  And now the title was held by a Russian!  OMG!  At the time, this was considered a national crisis that garnered more attention than Cecil the Lion!

In 1976, the Olympics were held in Montreal.  By the time of the games, Bruce Jenner had broken the world decathlon record twice.  He broke it a third time at the Olympics and won the gold medal!  An American was again the ‘World’s Greatest Athlete.’  I remember Bruce Jenner very well.  I watched his outstanding Olympic performance with admiration.  I saw him on my Wheaties box for seven years, only to be later replaced by Mary Lou Retton.  I could paint his Wheaties box picture from memory, if only I were an artist.

I think I am suffering trauma and mental anguish from his highly publicized transformation!  Is there a government funded support group for me?  Am I entitled to some kind of payment for my anguish?  My point is this.  No doubt, Bruce/Caitlyn had/has issues that I will never understand.  What I do understand is that rather than making this a private decision and living his new life quietly, he has attempted to promote and publicize his sexual transformation as if it were as important as the World Trade Center bombing.  TV interviews to announce his decision.  Magazine covers.  Now a reality TV series?  Why?  I have a theory.  Bruce was never able to be extremely successful marketing himself after his Olympic accomplishments.  He has married into a family that has made millions without any appreciable attributes. Their accomplishments would pale in comparison to his accomplishments.  Could money and a reality-show-minded audience be at least partially responsible for his sexual transformation decision?

Look at how much publicity Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner, the Kardashians and Cecil the Lion have received recently in relation to events that affect our lives.  With a presidential election coming up next year, America needs to quit buying the National Enquirer, Star and other gossip rags and begin paying attention to what our politicians and future candidates are doing and saying.  We need to be cognizant of world events.  In other words, we need to ‘keep our eye on the ball.’

PS.  Caitlyn has recently stated that she still prefers women.  That should make her the poster child of the LBGTQ group (lesbian, bisexual, gay, transsexual, queer group) as she now punches about every button.

Proud-American

Foreign Cruiser Opinions about the United States

I have been remiss about addressing the questions, concerns and opinions of our fellow, foreign cruisers about the good old United States of America.  Most of the people we have interfaced with have either been from the United Kingdom, Australia or Canada.  There are many people from other countries, but it appears we are drawn to the people from the English speaking countries.  Speaking of which, I perfectly understand the Canadians and Australians, but those people from the United Kingdom are difficult for me to understand.  Is that really English?  Do the people of Scotland really speak English?

Anyway,  here were some of the topics discussed during our recent cruises by our foreign friends.

Guns and Violence

Glen and Willene were a very pleasant couple from Canada.  They sat at the adjacent dinner table for about five weeks during our recent South America cruise.  Willene, being the strong minded and opinionated person that she is, was appalled by Americans owning so many guns and the gun violence in America.

So, Willene, this is for you.  When America gained its independence, they got it from Great Britain.  At the time, Great Britain was ruled by a dictatorial meanie named King George III.  After winning this war, (with the use of guns) the biggest concern was that we did not form a government that would allow a dictatorial meanie to rule the new America.  The Constitution was signed on September 17, 1789.  Federalists claimed that the new government would only have limited powers expressly delegated to it.  This wasn’t enough assurance for anti-federalists like George Mason.  These anti-federalists wanted explicit guarantees to certain rights in order to prevent any potential encroachment by the federal government on state or individual rights.  Mason wrote:  “A well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people trained to arms, is the proper, natural , and safe defense for a free State.”

The Second Amendment was specifically included in the Bill of Rights to prevent this.

Currently, the population of the United States is approximately 330 million.  It is estimated that there are about the same number of guns in America.  I personally believe that gun estimate is low.  Coming from a Midwestern state, hunting was popular.  Most hunters had a gun for every hunting occasion.  (It is the same principle as women having shoes!)

We introduce guns to our children at the earliest age.  After all, once a child is done with a pacifier, a sippy cup or a play pen, you can easily find these items in a garbage can.  But you will never find a Colt, a Glock, or a Smith & Wesson in a garbage can!  In the age of technology, a handgun is very much like using a computer mouse…..just point and click!

OK, now that I have your attention, I will admit that I don’t think anyone needs an assault weapon.  I have never seen anyone hunt with an assault weapon.  Police and military – si.  Everyone else – no.

Being a country of armed citizens does have its advantages.  Japan decided not to invade the United States during WWII because they realized the populace was well armed.  Most of the people serving during the two World Wars in the 20th century from the USA were not strangers to weaponry.  I believe this can be said about Canada at the time, also.  This weaponry knowledge contributed to the winning efforts.

America is the third most populated country on the planet.  There are more people in the state of California (38 million)  than there are in the entire country of Canada (35 million).  Whereas a Canadian would have to travel hundreds of miles to commit a homicide, we Americans do not have any such restrictions!  One more thing…..which state in the US has the most concealed handgun permits?   Texas?  (the most logical choice) Oklahoma?  Arizona?  The state with the most concealed handgun permits is………….Florida, with over 1 million permits representing over 5% of the population.  You may want to remember that before raising a ruckus at Disney World.  Mickey could be packing heat!  Don’t even think about pinching Snow White!  The United States does not even crack the top ten for homicides per capita.

Because of our vast American movie and TV industry, it really does appear that everyone is murdering everyone else on a regular basis in America.   Just think of the most popular shows on TV: NCIS, NCIS New Orleans, Blacklist, Castle plus many more.  These are some of our favorite programs and they all are murder mysteries.  And……….the only way to have a murder mystery is to begin with a murder!  Unfortunately, this is what we are exporting to our foreign friends on TV.  We no longer have the once popular comedies and variety shows of my formative years.  It is murder shows and reality shows, with just a few comedies worth watching.

Movies?  We are already at Fast and Furious 7.  Most of our movies?  Murder. Sex. Violence.  How many parents would drop their children off at a movie theater today without knowing which movies were playing?  None.  But, this is what my parents did while I was growing up as our theater would not show anything not appropriate for all ages.

So, Willene, we are not all really killing each other off here in America.  But my offer to you still stands.   If you ever feel unsafe in Canada, you can come to our house.  We’ll protect you.

National Debt

Robert is a production manager for a company in Australia.  He was one of my smart trivia teammates.   He asked me, “How can America have such a huge national debt?”  What he really meant was, ‘How can we have such a huge national debt and survive?’  ‘How can we pay it off?

I explained that this is the first year of the Obama administration, when the Republicans gained control of both Federal houses, we have had a budget.  Harry Reed, as the Democratic gatekeeper to hell, vowed to never allow a budget bill to be presented to the US Senate for a vote.  He kept his word.  Now that Harry is no longer Senate majority leader, we surprisingly have a budget!

The majority of our budget is spent on social-welfare programs.  Medicare, Medicaid, Social security, Food stamps, welfare a hundred ways………take up the vast majority of Federal Government expense.  The military, the usual first target for budget cuts, takes up approximately 22% of our budget.

We will have to eliminate/reduce many welfare programs, revamp social security and address many of these dubious federal departments and policies.  This is going to take a strong willed POTUS and a strong willed Congress that will be willing to tackle these huge issues and finally, finally do what is right for America and for the future of America.  Paying off the debt?  Not during my lifetime.  Maybe my grandkids will see it.

America at War!

Rudy was from Canada, one of my trivia teammates, and totally against war.  The imposition was that America went to war.  Often!  Well, let me think.  Since 1900, we have only been in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War, Afghanistan.  That’s not so bad for 115 years is it?  One war every 20 years.  That sounds about average.  Oh yeah, then there was occupation of Nicaragua (1912-1933), occupation of Haiti (1915-1934), occupation of Dominican Republic (1916-1924), Russian civil war (1917-1923), Bay of Pigs (1961), occupation of Dominican Republic II (1965-1966), Invasion of Granada (1983), Invasion of Panama ((1989-1990), Somali Civil War (1992-1994), Kosovo War (1999), Libyan civil war (2011), and military intervention against ISIS (2014-?).  Did I miss any wars, invasions or occupations?

What can I say?  Summer television reruns really suck and we need to keep our military in shape with practice.

Seriously, I agree with Rudy.  It would be a much more enjoyable world if there weren’t any more wars.   My sister-in-law joined some peace organization and asked me if I took offense to her membership, being that I was a retired military officer.  Here was my response.  “I absolutely support your efforts to achieve world peace.  I don’t know of one soldier that wanted to go to war to prove his manhood.  You have me convinced.  Now go convince our enemies.”  She was taken aback by my response.

So Rudy, you are correct about the United States becoming too involved in world affairs that result in military intervention.  But the world, in particular our allies, have thrust the mantle of world power on us, so we have become an easy target.

What concerns me more than the number of military interventions we have been in is this; who are our allies and who are our enemies?  Are we helping the dictator of Syria, Assad?  Who are the bad Muslim extremists?  Sunnis?  Shia?  Is Iraq our ally or are they going to do the guppy flop to Muslim extremism?  Nukes for Iran?  What is our stance concerning Israel?  I am totally confused as to what is our national policy and who are our enemies and friends.  In the meantime, we are still committing military resources all over the world.

So there you have it.  My thoughts and responses by three very intelligent people to three legitimate issues concerning our country.

Even though no one from the United Kingdom really expressed their opinions about the USA (I think they are still smarting from losing the Revolutionary War!), I very much admire them for one thing.  The political campaign season in the United Kingdom is 6 weeks long!  OMG!  Our next national election is still 18 months away and I am already suffering from sensory overload as to the potential bazillion candidates from each party.  Didn’t we learn anything from them?  There ought to be a law!