Tuesday, January 31, 2012

et ceteras

Random thoughts about random things:

Mitt Romney
Half of Romney's "policy adversaries" claim he is a big-government guy who won't allow market forces to operate. The other half claim he is a laissez faire vulture capitalist. It can't be both, guys.

Meanwhile, his "social conservatism" critics openly doubt whether he is authentically against abortion because he identified himself as "pro-choice" in years gone by...Have they forgotten that none other than Ronald Reagan started out "pro-choice" before his thinking evolved with the passage of time? Because they never expressed doubts about him...Are these people so wedded to their notions of ideological purity that they deny mankind's capacity to grow and advance? If so, I have to wonder if, in some cases, their rigidity really is a symptom of anti-Mormon bias.

Joe Paterno
JoePa was scapegoated in the worst of ways. Ever since the Sandusky scandal blew up, media blowhards and other self-righteous types have stridently accused Paterno of failing some kind of moral test because he reported the Sandusky allegations to his bosses but not to "the authorities." Problem is, he did report it to the authorities.

In fact, Paterno went straight to the head of campus police. And for the record, the campus police department is an actual police department, just like the State College Police Department; it has jurisdiction for what happens on campus while the State College Police Department has jurisdiction for what happens in town. Because the incident he was told about took place on campus, he reported it to the proper law enforcement agency.

What was he supposed to do after that, considering that he did not witness the alleged incident? Was he supposed to assume he had a better grasp of the facts, and the law, than the authorities whose job it is to investigate and indict -- and then start talking to state or federal authorities? I find it nauseating when I hear holier-than-thou journalism majors pretending to know what they would have done in that situation.

It is being widely reported that this winter is a mild one in the United States. I find it refreshing that people aren't rushing to blame the phantom that goes by the name "global warming" or, alternately, "climate change." There have been more storms erupting from the sun over the past several months than there were over the previous several years, so it makes sense that this winter is not abnormally cold like the last few were.

But then again, even with the uptick in solar activity, this winter actually is colder than usual in some places. Alaska and Canada -- two of the places that yesterday's prophets of doom said would be most affected by global warming -- are going through one of their worst winters in recorded history, with temperatures of minus 79 degrees recorded right before a thermometer broke a few days ago (it is presumed that it then dropped to minus 80 or lower, which would be colder than anything ever recorded in North America). Plus, down here in the lower 48, record snow has fallen in the usually mild city of Seattle. The bottom line is that Nature does what Nature wants to do.

Super Bowl XLVI
In a word, or actually, in two words: Go Giants!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Buckle Up Some More

To follow up on my January 11th piece about how horrible this year's election coverage is going to be, I need do nothing more than point to the events of the last 48 hours.

The MSM is up in arms about Mitt Romney's offhanded comment on Tuesday, when discussing tax rates, that he earned "not very much" from speaking engagements...yet they are scandalously nonchalant about Barack Obama nixing the Keystone pipeline.

The MSM's problem with Romney is that he earned $374,000 from speaking engagements over the course of a year, which they claim makes him "out of touch" with average Americans. Admittedly, Romney gave them the rope when he said "not very much," but whether he will be a good president is completely irrelevant to whether he is "in touch" or "out of touch" with our feelings. When it comes to money, the only thing that matters is whether his ideas will help or hurt the American economy.

Romney's business career was spent rescuing, whenever possible, companies that were in dire financial straits. It was a career that saved thousands upon thousands of jobs and proved that he understands how the economy works.

Conversely, Barack Obama has spent his entire career in the public sector; knows nothing about the economy; and fosters an environment that is hostile to business. And it goes without saying that an environment hostile to business is an environment that hurts average people by restricting job growth and thereby restricting upward mobility. If you doubt what I say about Obama being hostile to business, just ask hotel magnate Steve Wynn.

Our president's actions in derailing the Keystone pipeline will hurt the average working families he piously, and falsely, claims to care about. On top of that, his actions regarding Keystone help a nation he claims is one of our gravest enemies (China), and on top of that, they poison our relationship with a nation that is our #1 trading partner and one of our closest allies (Canada).

Yet in reporting the news, the MSM acts as if whether a president empathically feels our pain is more important than whether his philosophies help us or hurt us. This shows how shallow the MSM are; let's just hope that their shallowness is recognized by those citizens who are trying to decide who to vote for come November.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Heading into the weekend...

The holidays have come and gone, and I lived up to the pledge I make to myself every year to not write about politics during that time. But given all the election-year brouhahas that are going on, my political opining will be ramping up.

Not just yet, however, because first I am going to turn my brain off and enjoy the weekend. We will be camping in the woods of North Florida and relishing what the forecast says will be perfect weather: Clear skies, lows in the 30's, highs in the 60's.

Tomorrow I will turn 41. The following day, Martin Luther King, Jr., would be turning 83 if he had not been slain by an assassin's bullet. For years now, I have taken advantage of how close our birthdays are by going on trips over the long weekend. For Erika and I, these trips are how we celebrate my birthday, but I never forget why the long weekend exists...so here are some of my favorite passages from MLK's writings and speeches:

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

The limitation of riots, moral questions aside, is that they cannot win and their participants know it. Hence, rioting is not revolutionary but reactionary because it invites defeat. It involves an emotional catharsis, but it must be followed by a sense of futility.

Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

In no sense do I advocate evading or defying the law…This would lead to anarchy…I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and willingly accepts the penalty by staying in jail to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.

I have a dream, that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live.

We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.

Anyone who lives in the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere in this country.

...I am not afraid of the word tension. I have earnestly worked and preached against violent tension, but there is a type of constructive nonviolent tension that is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half-truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, we must see the need of having nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men to rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood.

We must use time creatively, and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.

We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people. We must come to see that human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability. It comes through the tireless efforts and persistent work of men willing to be co-workers with God, and without this hard work time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation.

There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love.

The contemporary church is often a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. It is so often the arch-supporter of the status quo…If the church of today does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authentic ring, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century.

Death is not a period that ends the great sentence of life, but a comma that punctuates it to more lofty significance. Death is not a blind alley that leads the human race into a state of nothingness, but an open door which leads man into life eternal.

I say to you today my friends, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. The note was a promise that all men – yes, black men as well as white men – would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

…we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt.

A man can’t sit on your back unless it’s bent.

In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: (1) collection of the facts to determine whether injustices are alive, (2) negotiation, (3) self-purification, and (4) direct action.

…right defeated is stronger than evil triumphant.

…I have no despair about the future. I have no fear about the outcome of our struggle in Birmingham, even if our motives are presently misunderstood. We will reach the goal of freedom in Birmingham and all over the nation, because the goal of America is freedom…If the inexpressible cruelties of slavery could not stop us, the opposition we now face will surely fail. We will win our freedom because the sacred heritage of our nation and the eternal will of God are embodied in our echoing demands.

Society must protect the robbed and punish the robber.

If I have said anything in this letter that is an overstatement of the truth and is indicative of an unreasonable impatience, I beg you to forgive me. If I have said anything in this letter that is an understatement of the truth and is indicative of my having a patience that makes me patient with anything less than brotherhood, I beg God to forgive me. I hope this letter finds you strong in the faith. I also hope that circumstances will soon make it possible for me to meet each of you, not as an integrationist or a civil rights leader, but as a fellow clergyman and a Christian brother. Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear-drenched communities and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all of their scintillating beauty.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Buckle Up

This is what Mitt Romney said: “I want individuals to have their own insurance. That means the insurance company will have an incentive to keep you healthy. It also means if you don’t like what they do, you can fire them. I like being able to fire people who provide services to me. You know, if someone doesn’t give me a good service that I need, I want to say I’m going to go get someone else to provide that service to me.”

This what the MSM is reporting that he said: “I like being able to fire people who provide services to me.”

To call that “taking it out of context” is to be too kind. To call it a “bald faced lie” might even be too kind.

Get ready for the most dishonest election coverage in modern memory…