“A race to find survivors”

A couple of USA Today articles left me scratching my head. The first, A race to  find survivors , was about the boat in the Strait of Sicily that capsized with 950 people on it fleeing Libya. The second article was Danger, peril mark journey, about why the people are fleeing Libya. One particularly good quote was from Lasina Dumbia, 19:

“You don’t do this because you want to, you do it because you have no other choice. It is desperation. There is nothing if you stay behind.”

I get that. Your country is a war-torn cesspool run by bloodthirsty lunatics willing to kill anyone and everyone. It isn’t even just the Christians they want to kill, Video purports to show ISIL killing Christians, they’ll kill you if you are the wrong sect of Islam. I get all that. The country you are fleeing is run by murdering psychopaths.

The rickety boats the smugglers have give you a full 50 % chance of making it alive to Italy. But the alternative, staying in Libya, gives you a 100 % chance of dying. So you take the coin flip and give it a whirl on the high seas. I get that!

What I don’t get, is why when you get to your new home, Italy in this case, France, Germany or England in other cases, why do you want to turn the garden spot you luckily even got to, why do you want to turn it into the hell hole you just came from???

You know, the “Muslim enclaves”, the Islamic controlled “no-go zones” ruled by Sharia Law, why do you do that??? That’s what made your country the hell hole! Don’t you get it??? Europe, compared to the countries you and your Islamic buddies are coming from, is a comparative “heaven on earth”. The Middle East is a basket case, don’t turn Europe into that.

Hmm, lets decipher this riddle. Your country is a hell hole, it is controlled by Islamic nutcases. Europe is a post-Christian Shangri-La. Hmm, lets see, which way of life do we want to adopt? Which way of life do we want to drop? Which leads to a civilized nation and the potential for a fruitful life? Which way of life and set of ethics leads to death and misery?

Jim Roach

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How’s that nation building going?

With Yemen falling, and Iraq about to fall, Syria gone, and Libya a basket case, I think the politicians and the press who got us into this mess need to be asked some pointed questions. You know, the people who are always saying America has to do this, and America has to do that, all in order to to “save” the world.

They imply it is imperative that American G.I.’s go die here, and go die there, to “save” people who live in the sand and hate us, that want to kill us. We kill hundreds of thousands of their civilians and then wonder why they hate us. A recent USA Today article says, “Army morale startlingly low”. Really?

I can’t say it is the dumbest article I’ve ever read, but its close. Gregg Zoroya goes on to detail how he is shocked at the recent survey numbers from Army personnel. Hmm, let’s see, they’ve been at war for 13 years. That is 3 times longer than the American involvement in WWII. The theatre of operations is actually in worse condition then when they began. Thanks to the miracles of modern medicine, men now survive who no longer have a face, ears, eyes or limbs. Their lone regret being they can’t rejoin their unit.

Men who pound for pound are times better than the jackasses in Congress who sent them there. One of the items of the Army survey was the troops opinion about their own nutrition. That’s funny. The Army long ago stopped actually cooking meals for the men who fight and die for us. They have subcontracted ‘meal service’ to civilians who merely pass out MRE’s. An Army “marches on it’s stomach…”. Who wouldn’t want to go die on a sack lunch?

The part that pisses me off is that no one ever assesses how the old strategy is working. You know, how is that whole cost/benefit thing working for us? You know, since the start of the modern era’s hyper interventionism beginning with Reagan in ’83 getting 240 Marines killed in a barracks in Beirut.

I can’t even possibly remember all our excursions and wars and whatnot. Libya, Khobar Towers, USS Cole, blowing up an Iranian airliner and on and on and on… killing Arabs and they killing us, on and on and on… and now 32 years later, do they like us? Or do they hate us? Is there peace in the Middle East? Or is there more death and destruction then ever?

Did we bring “democracy” to Iraq? How about Afghanistan? Are they now garden spots after our decades of “nation building”? Or are they worse off? Do we have more enemies or less? How about enemies in our own country now? USA Today, “Homegrown terrorism becoming bigger issue“. It talks about the ‘naturalized’ Arabs now returning from the war zone in the Middle East, to kill Americans here. How’s that for you? We made citizens of people who want to kill us.

Maybe this one trips your trigger, USA Today, “Thousands flee as ISIL advances on Ramadi“. The Iraqi Army, who we spent billions of dollars on and countless hours training, won’t defend the capitol of their Anbar province. Hmm, Iraqis won’t fight for their own freedom, and American Army soldiers are supposed to go die for them? And be happy about it? And USA Today and Gregg Zoroya are “startled” by low Army morale?

Jim Roach

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“City of Ames settles for $225K with Comstock estate”

Huh. Why would the city of Ames need to pay the relatives of the guy police officer Adam McPherson gunned down $225,000? Story County Attorney Stephen Holmes cleared McPherson, why on earth would they need pay off the family? That was a “righteous” shooting right? Why would an innocent party have to pay a settlement?

That is a head scratcher. It says right there in the article that Comstock “continued to rev the engine and refused orders to turn the truck off”. The fiend. Why that sounds to me like they had to shoot him. He could have had a gun. The officer might have feared for his safety, what with felony engine revving and all. He must have been like some kind of super criminal.

Sure the nose of Comstock’s truck was up against a tree. Sure neither one of the two donut-eaters at the scene had the God given sense to block in the pickup by putting their squad car against the rear bumper. What else could they do? Seven shots solved that. It’s Miller time.

Jim Roach

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[Just to be clear, that was sarcasm. The actions of the cop were despicable. The County Attorney clearing the cop was despicable. The 19-year-old needed help, not a bullet.]

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13 retail & restaurant CEO’s average $5,859 an hour

Roll that one around in your brain a little. “13 retail & restaurant CEO’s average $5,859 an hour”. Hmm… the same people that fight not to pay waitresses even minimum wage, make $5,859 an hour. The stores that don’t want to pay a clerk $10 an hour, make more in one hour than the clerk would in over 2 months of 40 hour weeks. USA Today said these numbers were from S&P Capital IQ. That’s $10 vs. $5,859.  That works out to 586 times the hourly pay of the line worker. I’ve seen numbers for the 1940’s and 1950’s where the CEO made 30 to 40 times the line worker, not 586 times. Why, how could that have happened under O’Bama’s watch? I thought Democrats looked out for the little guy? Hey I know, let’s pump a few million more illegals into the country, that should help wages. So the people that make $5,859 an hour, don’t want to pay their worker $10.

Jim Roach

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Limitations on government??? What the…

“Today, when a concerted effort is made to obliterate this point,  it cannot be repeated too often that the Constitution  is a limitation on the government, not on private individuals –  that it does not prescribe the conduct of private individuals, only the conduct of the government –  that it is not a charter for government power,  but a charter of the citizen’s protection against the government.”

— Ayn Rand
(1905-1982) Author

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God gives us free will, but government doesn’t

Watching tyranny win in Indiana this week caused me to consider some wonderful irony, God gives us free will, but the government doesn’t. Our country was founded on the idea of “religious freedom”, and now that freedom has been taken from us. Using the “gay wedding” as an example, it is frightening to me at least what the future holds, and makes me wonder if the pendulum has swung too far now that government directs commerce.

‘Free will’ is a common theme in theological circles. Not being a theologian, I’m sure there is just scads I don’t understand about the debate. I do understand the basic concept, God doesn’t force us to accept Him, we are free to reject him and accept the accompanying consequences. The difference being between God and a politician, is that God doesn’t think He is a politician.

Government, typified by the State of Indiana, does not allow us that. A photographer must now accept a job whether he wants it or not. He must now spend his Saturday photographing Adam and Steve’s wedding. The baker in Indiana must now bake a cake for Adam and Steve, whether he wants to or not. The government of Indiana now claims the power to force individuals to act against their will.

The classic definition of liberty, not that it is relevant in America these days, is that your freedom stops where mine begins. You are free to do as you wish as long as it doesn’t impact me. That’s pretty straight forward. So how is it two gay people can now require people to do something they don’t want to do?

To think of this clearly, it requires you to drop your preconceived notions. Forget the issue of gaiety for the moment. Forget the idea of assigning worth to a human, forget the idea of attaching value to an idea of someone you disagree with. Just look at the idea of government not just prohibiting some type of commerce it has determined to be illegal, but forcing you to engage in commerce it has decided to be good? How have we gotten to the point where government decides “good and bad”?

How is this different than slavery? It is forcing you to give a good or service to a person or persons that you may not want to give them. Government is forcing you to expend energy in the pursuit or completion of something you may not want to sanction. Government has gone beyond the simple prohibition of acts, but now has taken upon themselves to tell you what you must do. Government has gone beyond their function of restraining “evil”, to forcing “good”.

There is a section of the PBS NewsHour that has liberal commentators David Brooks and Mark Shields on it. Friday’s piece was interesting. Being on PBS they are both ‘all in’ for all things gay. They both promote gaiety in everything they do. You can’t FIND two better friends of the gay community. But! Even they had this to say in rough transcript:

“You know, I have a lot of good Christian friends who believe in the inerrancy of the bible. And while it may not be right for them to discriminate against gay people, they do have their rights also. They have the right to believe as they wish. Something needs to be worked out. We need to quit looking so thoroughly for heretics, and start looking for converts. The gay rights ascendency has been so overwhelmingly the past decade, we need to quit making everything a ‘battle’. Some of the reaction this week to events in Indiana was a little over the top”.

Needless to say my jaw dropped at rational thought coming out of a TV tuned to PBS. Those were my thoughts also. The Right never saw this coming. Anita Bryant took a pie in the face in Des Moines in 1977 because she was fighting against gay rights. Who would of guessed that it signaled not just losing the battle, but also the war. Because we had sought to deny one group of people their rights, we would end up losing ours. The Right never sees it coming.

Take the ’92 and ’96 Presidential races. Republicans get worked up into all sorts of rage against Ross Perot for upsetting the apple cart and helping a Democrat into office. Well guess what genius’, if Republicans hadn’t betrayed their own principals, less taxes, smaller government, there wouldn’t have been an opening for him to exploit. If we hadn’t tried to deny gays their rights, we wouldn’t have lost ours.

Jan Mickelson and Bob Vander Plaats are regularly on the radio stating why gay marriage is inappropriate. They have used their Christian values to determine gay marriage is wrong. Fair enough. But they use those Christian values to then make the determination that it is therefore wrong for civil society. But civil society is not governed by Christian values. Plus, a marriage certificate is  not what makes gayness wrong for Christians. They would not be fully accepting of the gay lifestyle, whether or not they ever got married. That piece of paper is not the deal breaker.

Mickelson and Vander Plaats are typical of those of us on the Right who focus on homosexuality as being a “super sin”. That somehow this behavior trumps all others. Letter to the Editor writer William Poston of Johnston today makes that very point about “picking and choosing” which sins to reject, and which sins to ignore. I myself have wondered that with the gay wedding debate. If the gay couple comes in for a 10th anniversary photo, does he refuse that also? Does the baker refuse to make the cake for a gay couples 25th anniversary? Or just the wedding cake? Do they both refuse to serve a straight couple where the alcoholic groom beats the bride? How about a porn addiction? What if the couple has a previous child out of wedlock? Why refuse just a gay couple? Very few couples planning to get married are perfect. In fact, I would venture to say none are.

Then Mickelson will go on to say that it is all about societal acceptance for the benefits like Social Security survivor benefits? Huh? Social Security is legitimate as long as gay people don’t get it??? Bull! You know damn well Government has no business being in the retirement business, no matter who gets it! All this contorted logic and using Christian values for civil society have got us to the point we are at today, where a photographer and a baker might be forced to do something they don’t want to do. The pendulum has swung too far and knocked the Right out of the park.

Jim Roach

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  “Absolute, arbitrary power   over the lives, liberty and property  of freemen exists nowhere in a republic,
   not even in the largest majority.”

— Kentucky Declaration of Rights – Art. I, Sec. 2
also found in the Wyoming Declaration of Rights Art. I, Sec. 7

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Good Friday

When they got to the place called Skull Hill, they crucified him, along with the criminals, one on his right, the other on his left.

Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them; they don’t know what they’re doing.”

Jesus

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How do you have a “little” freedom?

How does an American have a little freedom? Freedom is on a sliding scale? The government will determine how much freedom you will have? How do you have a ‘free market’ when government directs commerce? What other business decisions should government make for the business owner? Does government share in the risk?

Should Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church be shut down because they don’t “think right” about gays? What other speech should be shut down? Why should a church have tax-exempt status when it discriminates? Does a wedding photographer have tax exempt status? Speech is free but not commerce? Is commerce “speech”?

Should government determine the limits of freedom of the press? The Constitution allows you to take a human life under the guise of privacy but you can’t turn down photographing Adam and Steve’s wedding? A man doesn’t have control over his own body? Government can compel a man to act? Not just limit his actions, but actually compel him to act? Did Americans lose the game when they turned over their healthcare decisions to the government?

Jim Roach

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Ill-equipped for freedom

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The irony is there in spades with the passage of Indiana’s ‘Religious Freedom’ law. Freedom is the last thing the left wants. CNN and PBS are going crazy with it. They honestly (or maybe not) can’t get beyond the cliché they want to paint of, “Hey! We don’t serve you homosexuals in here!” While not acknowledging the type of case in Iowa where the couple bought a former church to rent as a Christian ‘Wedding Chapel’, and the gay lobby shut them down for discrimination. Hmm….

The first example of blatant prejudice in real life is going to be so rare as to be nonexistent, the economic consequences would make a business like that unsustainable. As Indiana is finding out. And the other real example (Gortz Haus Gallery, Grimes, IA) of the couple with the ‘for rent’ wedding chapel have a very good point. They were closed down nonetheless.

Either way, both owners in my simple example should have had the freedom to do as they please. They’re not a government entity. They’re not receiving tax subsidies. They are supposedly free men in a free market. But that can’t be allowed in CNN’s and PBS’s world. Behavior must be controlled. Compliance with government edict is all that matters. Americans have been so beaten into “group think” that they are ill-equipped for freedom.

When George Stephanopoulos was interviewing Governor  Pence, you could see the consternation on George’s face of the horror at the very idea of freedom breaking-out! Compliance! We want compliance damn it! In the liberal world, the worst thing that could ever happen would be one of the protected class to be offended. He’s fine with Christians being offended and not being allowed freedom. You just don’t want to be one of the “unprotected” class.

The classic case of Adam and Steve not being able to get their wedding cake from Baker A and having to go to Baker B is simplistic but well suited. Their right to keep and bear cake is not denied, they just had to go someplace else to get it. Freedom can be insulting at times, as pointed out earlier, a little messy. The alternative, government tyranny, is worse. That’s what the larger issue is all about, the real underlying danger the left sees. It’s not about ‘wedding cake’ at all.

It’s really about government controlling all aspects of our lives. The Left feels they have the vision of the anointed, and they know what’s best for you. They want to control society. They want to control you. It’s really about healthcare and guns and such. It’s not about wedding cake at all.

Jim Roach

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“Freedom is messy, tyranny is bloody.”

Jim Roach

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Despotism comes cloaked as a lamb

“…Our sages in the great constitutional convention… intended our government should be a republic which differs more widely from a democracy
than a democracy from a despotism. The rigours of a despotism often… oppress only a few, but it is the very essence and nature of a democracy, for a faction claiming to oppress a minority, and that minority the chief owners of the property and truest lovers of their country.”

— Fisher Ames
(1758-1808), American statesman, orator and political writer
Source: 1805

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