Today’s winners and losers

Winners

Vice President Mike Pence, who was in the stadium to attend Sunday’s Indianapolis Colts home game. Pence abruptly walked out with wife Karen after players with the visiting San Francisco 49ers took a knee during the pre-game National Anthem. Pence soon after stated that he and President Donald Trump “will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our flag, or our National Anthem.”

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who is the first NFL owner to take a stand like Pence on the “take a knee” thing. Jones has declared that any Cowboys players who elect to take a disrespectful knee during the National Anthem will then take a mandatory seat on the bench and not play in the day’s football game.

Federal Environmental Protection Agency director Scott Pruitt, who says he will sign a new rule to override the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, effectively ending the war against coal-fired power plants. Pruitt says no federal agency should ever use its authority “to declare war” on any sector of the U.S. economy.

Losers

Northern Michigan University, for offering a bachelor of science degree in medicinal plant chemistry — in other words, a diploma for cultivating marijuana.

Mega-movie producer and tantrum-prone Harvey Weinstein, for allegedly engaging in decades of sexual harassment involving multiple women and hush-money payoffs, according to the New York Times.

Self-traumatized Robert James Kuefler, 60, of suburban Minneapolis, who kept the decomposing remains of his mother and his twin brother in his house for nearly a year after they died of natural causes. Kuefler’s explanation: He loved his mother and his brother so much that he could not man up and bring himself to report either of the two deaths to authorities.

City officials in Los Angeles, who covered up a public statue of Christopher Columbus as they celebrated for the first time something they are calling Indigenous Peoples Day, a blatant slight aimed at the adventurer credited with opening North America’s wilderness to the people of Europe.

Advertisements

No political answer to Las Vegas massacre

Tags

, ,

By now, everybody has heard of deranged sniper Stephen Paddock using a tricked-out AR-15 rifle and some of at least 20 other firearms Sunday night to kill 59 people and wound more than 500 others attending a Las Vegas country music concert below him as he mercilessly shot from his 32nd-floor room at the Mandalay Bay hotel casino.

It didn’t take long for the anti-gun politicians to ramp up their rhetoric about adopting stricter firearms and ammunition laws.

But it doesn’t matter if the environment is a free republic or a totalitarian dictatorship, bad things are going to befall good people.

No amount of governmental hand-wringing, lawmaking or interference is going to change that. Go ahead and ease the restrictions on noise suppressors. Go ahead and outlaw bump stocks. In either case, the black market will move in, and there still will be plenty of both available for purchase. (Although the silencer issue baffles many. The gun lobby maintains that silencers protect the shooter’s hearing. But that’s what earmuffs, ear buds and ear plugs are for, right? What’s wrong with those devices?)

Far more good, law-abiding citizens in these United States own guns and use them in a safe manner then there are diabolical gun owners bent on killing other people. Are we going to continue to punish the good folks just because we think one more anti-gun law might protect us from the bad guys? That’s like limiting or permanently grounding all air transportation after the next jetliner goes down.

As Congressman Steve Scalise — himself a victim of gun violence — declared in the wake of Las Vegas, we have plenty of gun laws already on the books. All we have to do is enforce them.

We are the products of our own social evolution. The best thing we can do in the wake of incidents such as what happened in Las Vegas is to champion the “see something, say something” narrative. Surely SOMEbody must have seen Stephen Paddock carrying duffel bags and guitar cases multiple times up to his room. And nobody took notice of the cameras he mounted in the hotel corridor? (I guess it’s possible to overlook something like that, considering how our society by and large has turned into a bunch of sheep who are afraid of their own shadows.)

The next best strategy would be to install body and baggage scanners at all the entrances to casinos everywhere and double-lock all casino service doors (and outfit them with central alarms). But that idea would displease most casino owners, because it would deter business as usual.

So, what’s the answer? Unfortunately, there is no good, effective answer. It’s a jungle out there. When you choose to wade into it, you take your life into your own hands. And you hope that the local police are doing far more than handing out tickets for failure to wear a seat belt.

 

Illegal immigrants, ill-advised expense

Tags

, ,

Here’s an idea for cutting the federal feedbag and saving U.S. taxpayers a little dough: stop slopping the troughs of illegal immigrants.

According to the Washington Examiner, more than $135 billion is spent annually supporting illegals and their families. Most of that expense is related to free medical care, public education and bloated law-enforcement costs.

Broken down, state and local governments are shelling out more than $88 billion a year to keep illegals afloat, according to the Examiner. Meanwhile, the feds spend more than $45 billion for the same purpose. The only way to justify such expense is to use the bucks to arrest, fingerprint and then send the illegals back to where they came from.

And don’t tell me those who are here illegally, who are working and who are earning enough to pay income tax – don’t tell me they should be entitled to the federal dole. Illegals pay about $19 billion a year in local, state and federal sales and income taxes, according to the Federation for American Immigration Reform. That hardly begins to offset what it costs to support them.

While we’re engaged in effecting palatable federal tax reform, perhaps with our left hands we can simultaneously get serious about immigration reform and drastically reduce or perhaps even eliminate an unjustified government giveaway.

And the Examiner article doesn’t even mention how much of the average illegal immigrant’s income — meager as it might be — goes to help the rest of the family still residing beyond the U.S. borders. Ever go to the post office and stand behind illegals purchasing money orders to be mailed “back home”? Those dollars are doing nothing to support the U.S. economy.

Find the full Examiner report at:

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/record-135-billion-a-year-for-illegal-immigration-average-8075-each-25000-in-ny/article/2635757

Eureka … you reap what you sow

Tags

, ,

Many Californians face a big financial hit under the current Republican plan to overhaul the nation’s regressive tax code, because the proposal would eliminate a major break for taxpayers in the land of milk and honey, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Specifically, we’re talking about the federal deduction for state and local taxes allowed to Californians. An analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation has shown those two deductions alone reduced Californians’ federal taxable income by $101 billion in 2014.

The Republican plan endorsed by President Trump would eliminate those tax breaks, which largely benefit taxpayers in states like California that are bastions of  Democratic power, the Times reported.

The reaction was predictable.

“Republicans in Washington have once again zeroed in on California to punish us and make our state the single biggest loser in their reckless tax scheme,” said Senate President pro tem Kevin de León, a Democrat from Los Angeles.

That’s coming from a guy who represents the biggest fiscally irresponsible state in the Union.  A California Policy Center analysis shows that the state and the local governments in California are in debt to the tune of $1.3 trillion. Is it any wonder the proposed tax overhaul stops rewarding a state that can’t even come close to balancing its own budget because it is mired in its own giveaway programs, to which there seems to be no end.

And if the situation comes to bailout, who’s going to underwrite that? The federal government, that’s who. In other words, taxpayers in the other 49 states will wind up footing the bill for California’s recklessness and never-ending spendthrift ways.

So the loss of the two aforementioned tax breaks seems only fair and justified.

Good ‘no call’ on killing ObamaCare

Tags

, ,

Certainly the breast-beating over “professional” athletes kneeling down during the performance of the National Anthem is a hot topic right now, but it’s also way too much focus on an empty gesture rooted in nothing but grandstanding. So, let’s turn to a more significant issue:

ObamaCare lives on. For now. But predictably, not for long.

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday unscheduled the scheduled vote on the latest “repeal and replace” measure, cancelling the vote because the pre-vote vote count fell a couple of votes short. Right-minded taxpayers will vote for that. Why?

Well, because ObamaCare — a socialist program — will fall on its own sword under the weight of escalating health-insurance premiums for the majority of Americans who don’t need ObamaCare. It also will eventually crash and burn because those who are too income-challenged (that’s the politically correct term for “poor”) to afford extras don’t want to spend their cash on anything they can’t hold in their hands. Besides, they might reason, why put hospital Emergency Rooms out of business? 

At the risk of sounding savage and cannibalistic, the “repeal and replace” non-vote is good news. It sidetracks — if not deep-sixes — an endless debate that has sucked up too much oxygen for nearly eight years. Health-care availability in this republic is a private-sector matter. And that’s where the responsibility lies. The U.S. Constitution protects the pursuit of happiness, but it does not guarantee the provision of happiness — or health care, for that matter.

The best thing Congress could do as a follow-up to Tuesday’s non-vote would be to float and pass a bill that does away with the individual mandate, which has always been government overreach, not to mention a violation of the First Amendment.

Now Washington, in its infinite wisdom, can devote the attention required to overhaul the nation’s burdensome and sometimes unfair tax code.

As for all those who want to take a knee during the National Anthem, well — that’s up to them to put their ignorance and second-class status on public display. Black, white, red, brown or yellow, when it comes down to the basics, all of us legitimately in the USA are red, white and blue. Making things work and solving shared problems — perceived or otherwise — in this melting pot of culture and creativity are far more important priorities than whining about how we feel and ducking under the radar on the sidelines.

Post Script: Want a second opinion on NFL players taking a knee? Give up a few minutes and listen to Brandon Tatum. He’s intelligent, outspoken, articulate and convincing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEcYDa7r4-I

 

Attention, political candidates

Tags

, , ,

Want a surefire way to lose my vote before you even get it? Here’s how:

Call me. Home phone, or personal cell phone. It doesn’t matter.

You can be the caller. Or your campaign representatives can call. Or your family members and friends can call. It makes no difference to me.

You see, as soon as I learn that the call is coming from you or someone who represents you because your name is on an upcoming ballot, rest assured that your name will be crossed off of mine.

Just because I have a telephone, it doesn’t mean you’re entitled to invade my privacy with unsolicited phone calls. You might as well be breaking into my house. And even though I keep a shotgun handy, my only defense is to campaign against you. 

I have a son working overseas. I have another son working 1,200 miles away. I have an aging mother in another state. I keep up with them and many people around the nation who are NOT running for public office. And THEY are the ones from whom I expect to hear when my telephone rings.

But not you — and I don’t care what office you’re seeking. There are other ways to get my vote without audibly disturbing me inside my home. Send me something through Uncle Sam’s post office. Advertise in the local newspaper or on the local radio and TV stations. Create a campaign web site so people can see where you stand. 

But don’t call me, or I’ll for sure be calling you a loser.

North Korea launches us to the next level

Talk is cheap – much cheaper now than ever in the face of blatant aggression by North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

Unequivocally the most diabolical thug on the planet, Kim has shown that he can so easily turn a deaf ear to North Korea’s sworn enemy — the United States – as well as to its staunchest ally – communist China — and suffer only cupcake consequences.

The imposition of stronger sanctions is a toothless gesture to this madman. It’s time to invoke the Old Testament – an eye for an eye, a missile for a missile.

Kim’s next launch of an ICMB or a medium-range ballistic missile should be met with an anti-missile missile in the air as soon as the demonic weapon clears North Korean air space. It should be shot down even if the imposing missile is carrying a nuclear tip. Detonating a nuclear warhead requires a complex series of actions, so the missile reportedly would fragment and fall unexploded into the sea.

The United States has the capability. Its Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD) in Alaska has been tested successfully. Moreover, the U.S. maintains ground-based missiles with the South Korean government on its turf. U.S. Navy ships are cruising the Pacific Ocean nearby, armed with Patriot missiles. Finally, the Pentagon maintains more launch-ready THAAD missiles in California.

We don’t need a little fat punk with a big head spreading fear and blackmailing the United States and its allies. Kim needs to understand that he is swimming with sharks and goose-stepping with alligators. If he has a death wish, the U.S. can more than accommodate him.

Why ‘drain the swamp’ caught on

Tags

, ,

In a letter to the editor published June 9, 2010 by the Iosco County (Mich.) News-Herald, Ken Huber nailed it as he described the political correctness that has torn the United States apart. Huber spent many years as a municipal administrator, retiring as city manager in Tawas City, Michigan — population 2,005 on Lake Huron 65 miles north of Bay City.

Little has changed in seven years. Here is the essence of Huber’s letter printed under the headline “What has America become?”:

Let’s see: if we lie to the Congress, it’s a felony, and if the Congress lies to us, it’s just politics. If we dislike a black person, we’re racist, and if a black dislikes whites, it’s their First Amendment right. The government spends millions to rehabilitate criminals, and they do almost nothing for the victims. In public schools, you can teach that homosexuality is OK, but you better not use the word God in the process. You can kill an unborn child, but it is wrong to execute a mass murderer. We don’t burn books in America, we now rewrite them. We got rid of the Communist and the Socialist threats by renaming them progressives. We are unable to close our border with Mexico, but we have no problem protecting the 38th parallel in Korea. If you protest against President Obama’s policies, you’re a terrorist. But if you burned an American flag or George Bush in effigy, it was your First Amendment right.

You can have pornography on TV or the Internet, but you better not put a nativity scene in a public park during Christmas. We have eliminated all criminals in America — they are now called sick people. We can use a human fetus for medical research, but it’s wrong to use an animal.

We take money from those who work hard for it and give it to those who don’t want to work. We all support the U.S. Constitution, but only when it supports our political ideology. We still have freedom of speech, but only if we are being politically correct. Parenting has been replaced with Ritalin and video games. The land of opportunity is now the land of handouts. The similarity between Hurricane Katrina that ravaged New Orleans and the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is that neither president did anything to help.

And how do we handle a major crisis today? The government appoints a committee to determine who’s at fault, then threatens them, passes a law, raises our taxes, and tells us the problem is solved so they can get back to their re-election campaigns.

What has happened to the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Ken Huber

As the old bromide goes: They told me that if I didn’t like how it’s going, I should just be patient and stick around, because things could be worse. So, I stuck around. And sure enough … things got worse.

Oh for Pete’s (and Bubba’s) sake!

Tags

, ,

By now, everybody who bleeds pigskin has heard that ESPN has reassigned Asian-American college football announcer Robert Lee off the upcoming college football game between the William & Mary Tribe and the University of Virginia Cavaliers on Sept. 2.

How come?

Because ESPN was fretting that a guy named Robert Lee – not to be confused with Confederate Army Gen. Robert E. Lee of Civil War notoriety – would offend some of those watching the game on TV, given that the two share the same name.

Lee the football announcer was reassigned to call the game between Youngstown State and the University of Pittsburgh. Lee the West Point graduate, who became the commanding general of the Confederate army, is being reassigned to oblivion because he defended the South and its slavery-minded ways in the War Between the States more than a century and a half ago (1861-1865). The Union won the war, by the way. 

As one commentator on “Fox & Friends” opined Wednesday morning: “This is political correctness run amok.”

Yes, folks, we have dumbed ourselves down to going from the ridiculous to the sublime.

Let’s get over it already. As the T-shirt slogan goes: “I’ll start being nice if you stop being stupid.”

Footnote: Turns out Robert Lee is a cupcake in football announcer’s clothing. He either is incapable or unwilling to deflect the potential slings and arrows of so many social-media morons. Here’s the follow-up explaining ESPN’s decision, posted on Thursday:
http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/347739-espn-president-defends-pulling-robert-lee-from-football-coverage