What would the statues say?

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Let’s stop with the statue attacks already.

Here’s an idea for the brainwashed and unwashed meat puppets launching the destructive treatment of these monuments that can’t fight back: You need to fold up your tents and go back home. Either re-enroll in school and try to learn something about our republic’s history and how to make things better rationally and without violence, or get jobs that will keep you off the streets and put food on your irresponsible tables.

As for the protagonists behind all these despicable events, you know who you are. You need to fold up your sheets, put your swastikas back in mothballs, and bury your racist attitudes, never to be heard from again.

The vandalism of the statue of Christopher Columbus in Baltimore was the last straw. Columbus undertook a challenge 525 years ago that most of us today wouldn’t even want to think about, given the obstacles he faced. His memory and reminders of his achievements do not deserve a vandal’s misplaced recrimination.

The second-last straw came at the hand of a 25-year-old airhead in Houston who tried to use homemade devices to destroy a Confederate statue.

But the worst of the fallout occurred Monday in the wake of the over-reaction earlier this month to the white-supremacist nonsense in Charlottesville, Va., that claimed the life of Heather D. Heyer. A major meltdown all but derailed Monday night’s meeting of the Charlottesville City Council.

If a local government decides that Confederate statues on public property don’t belong there, then local officials ought to vote to remove them and place them in a more appropriate environment — that is, in a less conspicuous place. Or, embattled communities can follow the lead of Kentucky historian Gerry Fischer. When Louisville officials decided to remove a 121-year-old memorial obelisk dedicated to Kentucky’s fallen Confederate soldiers, Fischer launched a bid to have the memorial moved to a riverfront park in history-friendly Brandenburg, and he succeeded.

“You study your history to learn from it,” Fischer told Reuters news service. “The bad parts, too.”

Indeed.

At the same time, local governments need to exercise better responsibility and stop issuing parade permits to groups that promote violence and degradation of fellow citizens who oppose the very existence of such groups. Let these hate groups rent a farm in the remote countryside to trumpet their sadistic views, far away from the powder kegs inherent to population centers where racism is illegal but nevertheless present just below the surface.

On a broader scale, it would help a lot toward keeping the republic on an even keel if public schools would start teaching history and civics again. And if parents would encourage their children to learn about U.S. history, if for no other reason than to satisfy the old bromide – you can’t know where you’re going until you know (and understand) where you’ve been.

Charlottesville was simply a poorly executed repeat of the protests and violence that characterized the 1960s, and we got through that era all right. Well, except for a few assassinations and assassination attempts that wound up making us stronger as a nation. The message many came away with from that tumultuous time was that despite our Christian roots, some people and their diabolical ways just need to be prosecuted and executed.

Moreover, the mass media continue to blow everything out of context in attempts to brainwash viewers into thinking the way the media owners and producers think. Their strategy works, because we are surrounded by sheep, who believe that everything they see and hear on TV and Facebook is true.

It’s up to us who can see the bigger picture to restore the sanity and the proper context that are missing from the often overblown and sensational audio-visuals of TV “news” and advertising. That same context too often is missing from what is presented by our liberal-thinking print and online opinion-makers. Take the picture that accompanied a recent National Review article, for example. It zeroed in on six people (and one of them was just a kid) holding a sign trumpeting some mindless message. The photo would lead you to believe that these protesters were part of a massive rally. But if the cameraman had backed off 150 feet, we likely would have seen that the entire protest might have involved fewer than two-dozen others.

Context. It’s more often missing than not. And before we draw conclusions about anything, we’ve got to remember that. To do so might even have a chilling effect on the rage consuming our streets.

In the end, the only ones genuinely hurt by all this statue desecration and removal are the pigeons. They’ll either have to migrate with the statues, or find new places to poop.

 

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Be careful what you read and by whom

NOW COMES the “media matters playbook” designed to derail conservative political thinking and to depose right-wing opinion-makers.

According to the Media Equalizer website, “Democracy Matters: Strategic Plan for Action” is described as a 49-page document marked “private & confidential,” in which four left-leaning partners lay out the plan to elevate obstructionism and foment the erosion of conservative politics and government.

The so-called playbook lists four leftist partners backed by — who else? — billionaire disruptor George Soros:

Media Matters
American Bridge 21st Century
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington
Shareblue

So, be careful about what you hear and read in the “news.” And be mindful that it’s always a good idea to evaluate the source of what you are reading or listening to.
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IN A MOVE worth saluting, the Pentagon has granted permission to armed-forces authorities at more than 130 U.S. military installations across the nation to shoot down private and commercial drones that could endanger aviation safety or pose other threats to national security, Reuters is reporting.

It’s a move long overdue. Consider it part of the Trump strategy to drain the swamp of undesirable people and activities. Another consideration: Domestic airspace could be clogged with as many as 1.6 million commercial drones by 2021.
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UNDER THE HEADING of “disgusting and despicable,” girls who appear to be as young as 5 years old have walked the runway in a Victoria’s Secret–style fashion show in China, reports Yahoo online. The show reportedly took place at a shopping mall in Chengdu City, in southwest China’s Sichuan province.

If you’re outraged, as many mothers are, aim your iPhone and iPad arrows at tasteless celebrity Kim Kardashian, who deflected a lot of venom after she displayed her new children’s line of fashion on Snapchat in July.

In today’s headlines …

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If you’re traveling to some of the Northeast’s more popular metro areas, and you smell a rat, you’ve got a trophy nose. Bloomberg News reports that in Philadelphia, residents in 18 percent of the City of Brotherly Love’s households have told the U.S. Census Bureau that within the past year, they saw signs of rats or mice inside their homes. Boston came in second at 17 percent. (Don’t forget, Beantowners, that finishing second to Philly makes you the first loser.) New York City was third, with 15 percent.  In New Orleans, the Big Easy leads the nation in cockroaches, with 41 percent of households there reporting the creepy critters.
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As if crooks needed more help to succeed, members of a SparkFun Electronics team of hackers recently showed off their skills on stage in Las Vegas. They successfully used a $200 digital robot to crack a super-secure safe in about half an hour, according to BBC News. Even worse, the audience of several hundred hackers responded with “rapturous applause.” The occasion was something called Def Con – the largest gathering of underground hackers in the world. Wonder if the FBI and the CIA were somewhere in the wings making notes and taking names?
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So, Chicago is on track to record more than 700 homicides before the end of the year, according to the Chicago Tribune. The handgun there appears to be the quicker, scaled-down version of the Noah’s Ark story. Can we go so far as to declare what’s happening in the Windy City as self-inflicted “cultural cleansing”?
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SFgate reports today that reputed hip-hop artist Zion I and a film crew were robbed at gunpoint Monday of a $90,000 camera while shooting a music video in West Oakland. What did they expect to happen in the distressed Prescott neighborhood where they were filming?
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In England, an unidentified driver totaled his brand new super-car — a $288,000 Ferrari 430 capable of going nearly 200 mph – about an hour after he purchased the vehicle. Perhaps he should have saved a few bucks by waiting a few days until electric-carmaker Tesla makes its sporty new $35,000 sedan available to the public. The wasteful incident gives legitimacy to the mystifying woman in the Liberty Mutual insurance commercial who stupidly starts out by saying: “You totaled your brand new car.”
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In France, big-money actor George Clooney is furious with his following of aggressive amateur photographers – oh my! Seems the paparazzi scaled the fence around his Lake Como estate, climbed a tree on private property and shot photos capturing the inside of Clooney’s home, his twin babies and his wife, Amal. The result? A blurry cover photo in Voici magazine. Has the whole world gone nuts?
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Speaking of insanity, North Korean cupcake-thug Kim Jong-Un is now boasting that his nation is capable of a nuclear strike against any target in the United States – even New York City, which is more than 6,800 miles away. 
Yahoo News reports that the little fat guy’s boasting comes in the wake of Friday’s second test launch of an ICBM missile.

Buried deep in the report is the fact that North Korea has yet to make a nuclear weapon small enough to fit into a missile nosecone. Moreover, the Communist nation in which people are starving has not yet mastered the technology to allow the launched projectile to survive re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.

And nowhere in the article does it point out that the U.S. is monitoring the situation closely enough to spot evidence of an imminent strategic nuclear attack on the United States and its allies. In that event, according to a January report in The Atlantic, the U.S. would be able to launch a preemptive strike using missiles and bombers to obliterate North Korea’s launch pads.

Moreover, among other protective measures are 30 ground-based interceptor missiles that the U.S. maintains in Alaska and California. Not to mention the U.S. Missile Defense Agency’s airborne-laser program, capable to bringing down ballistic missiles with laser-armed aircraft.

Wither today’s over-hyped unrest?

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A close friend recently observed that the national media – print and visual – by and large have taken the USA’s public down an all-but-inescapable rabbit hole of deception and self-serving hatred of the opposition. Violence from the left is on the uptick. Decorum and good taste are on the wane. Humor isn’t funny anymore. And everybody is fair game when it comes to name-calling and head bashing.

“Can you even fathom what the next presidential election is going to be like?” my friend wrote. “No matter who wins, it’s going to be all impeachment all the time. The only variable will be which media outlet(s) will be covering it. Man, I never knew a nation could go downhill so far so fast.”

Indeed, we are a divided nation — not so much because of our ideological differences. Our division is skin-deep, emotional, rooted in unsubstantiated opinions (aka donkey scat) and given legs by those who believe what they want to believe, and the facts be damned.

Blame the schism on several factors:

Social media, particularly the cell phone and the iPad, have fueled the ripple effect of lies and made-up “truths.”

Camera-hog politicians simply spit out the latest hate speech against President Trump without taking the time and effort to identify real problems and their root causes.

Our so-called news organizations — particularly in the television industry — are unable or unwilling to exercise good news judgment and stop airing the senseless flash points that continue to divide us further. Instead of focusing on solutions, the messengers continue to trumpet the problems, whether those problems have merit or not. (Television cameras at the White House briefings? Oh yeah, that’s a life-or-death issue.)

Back in the day, if somebody filed a lawsuit, newspaper editors usually turned an unseeing eye. Lawsuits were not news. Why? Because ANYbody can file a lawsuit — and to do so is not necessarily newsworthy. Such activity would not get ink and be reported at least until the lawsuit reached a courtroom, where the charges would be aired publicly, and the defendant remained innocent until proven guilty.

But today, every time some bozo passes gas in the wind, he gets 10 minutes of face time on TV.

The public has allowed itself to be brainwashed, resulting in too many of us believing that we are sheep, willingly being led by the go-getters in Washington who apparently control every facet of our lives — a belief that could not be further from the truth.

Too many of those saddled with responsibility and who exercise lawful control have put God in the back seat, or have kicked Him out the door altogether as we speed along toward implosion.

And we continue to treat the mentally handicapped as equals in our society, free to roam our streets and drive on our highways, causing mayhem and death. Instead, they should be institutionalized and attired mentally and emotionally in ways that will prevent them from hurting themselves and others.

We’ll get through this era of revolutionary malcontent. We always do. We’ve got the right guy at the top of the pyramid to get ‘er done. All we have to do is keep showing up at the ballot box and the public rallies to support him. Meanwhile, it behooves us to continue working outside the purview of the TV cameras to restore law and order at the community level on the left and the right coasts, and in the contrarian communities in between.

Oh, Maxine! Please sit down and shut up

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U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters was rather unkind in her remarks about federal Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson during a speech in New Orleans last Saturday.

Waters claimed that Carson “doesn’t care about people in public housing.”

Carson “knows nothing about the mission of HUD,” the California Democrat said in a speech at the Essence Festival in The Big Easy. “He doesn’t care about people in public housing. He believes that if you are poor, it is your own fault. And he doesn’t know the difference between an immigrant and a slave.”

Waters was reflecting on Carson’s remarks to an assembly of HUD employees in March, during which he referred to slaves brought to America as “immigrants.” 

“That’s what America is about. A land of dreams and opportunity,” Carson  said. “There were other immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships, worked even longer, even harder for less.”

Technically speaking, Carson is correct — the pre-Revolution era slaves were involuntary immigrants. Even President Obama made similar comments when he was in office.

Carson also said in May that “poverty is a state of mind.”

“You take somebody that has the right mindset, you take everything from them and put them on the street, and I guarantee in a little while, they’ll be right back up there,” he said in a SiriusXM radio interview. “And you take somebody with the wrong mindset, you can give them everything in the world, (and) they’ll work their way right back down to the bottom.”

Waters is a career politician who comes from humble roots and today represents south-central Los Angeles. She warned Carson that she would be tough on him when he testifies before the House Committee on Financial Services. She is the ranking member of that committee, by virtue of her seniority, not her IQ. Waters’ first two-year term in the House began in 1991. She quickly became a firebrand for the Democratic Caucus.

The soft-spoken Carson is an internationally respected neurosurgeon, is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and he has been awarded more than 60 honorary doctorate degrees. He is both well-informed and articulate.

But, Waters declared, if Carson “thinks that I am going to give him a pass, I am going to take his ass apart.”

Wonder if she would ever say that to Carson’s face? Perhaps the nation would be better off if Maxine just took her own ass home and stayed there.

More wasted effort, overly inflated reporting

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All the irresponsible chatter of late about moves to impeach President Donald Trump is just that – meaningless horse hockey designed to distract U.S. voters from the national issues that matter.

On Friday, we learned of a modified tactic to unseat Trump, a Republican. Yahoo News reported that 25 U.S. House Democrats are now pushing an equally radical alternative: They are backing a bill to create a congressional “oversight” commission that could declare the president incapacitated, leading to his removal from office under the U.S. Constitution’s 25th Amendment.

The bill is being championed by U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Maryland Democrat who reportedly is a former constitutional law professor. Raskin points to some obscure language in Section 4 of the 25th Amendment that permits “such other body as Congress may by law provide” — along with the vice president — the means to reach the same conclusion. It’s impeachment by a lesser name.

Specifically, Raskin’s measure calls for creating a nonpartisan “Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity” appointed by congressional leaders. (Yeah, good luck with that.) The commission would be composed of four physicians, four psychiatrists and three others — such as former presidents, vice presidents or other one-time senior federal officials. The commission could be empowered to conduct an examination of the nation’s chief executive “to determine whether the president is incapacitated, either mentally or physically.”

Heck, Congress these days can’t even fashion a consensus on the big issues, let alone on some contrarian’s move to bring down a president who, at most, is guilty of name-calling and verbal mud-wrestling.

How threatening is this attempt to effect an oversight commission? Not very. Keep in mind that the U.S. House seats 435 elected representatives. Now do the math: 25 of them comprise a super-minority of one-half of 1 percent. So, where are we going with this “initiative”? Hopefully, nowhere but the trash can.

As to the prospect of impeachment, a successful move to do so in the U.S. House would require at least 218 “yes” votes – a simple majority. Then the decision would go to the U.S. Senate, where a two-thirds majority is required. That’s 67 of 100 senators voting yes to impeach. It’s just not going to happen.

Is President Trump guilty of criminal wrongdoing. Nope.

Has he “committed treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors,” as spelled out in the 25th Amendment? Again, nope.

Has he tweeted and uttered some obtuse and insulting barbs against other public figures? Yup, but those are not impeachable offenses any more than a lack of decorum is grounds for a good ol’ hanging.

So, let’s applaud our Washington representatives who’ve kept their eyes on the road ahead and their hands on the wheel. More importantly, let’s push, pull and prod the killjoy representatives to stop all the senseless frivolity and get on with what we elected them to do.

And that is, to pass legislation that improves our collective standing, to restore the nation’s exceptionalism that is running a couple of quarts low, and – by all that is legally salubrious and fortuitous — to reinstate the faith we once had in ourselves.

Investigators should cast a wider net

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We continue to hear the political pundits rant about the need for today’s congressional investigating committees and special prosecutor Robert Mueller to subpoena former president Barack Obama if we – the USA’s voters — want to get to the bottom of the “Russian concussion.”

(Most of us don’t care one way or another about the outcome of this Democrat-fueled sideshow. It has been determined that the Russians, or their hacking proxies, had no influence on the outcome of last November’s presidential election.)

Nevertheless, the question remains: Are the inquisitors aiming too high?

Why not first go after Valerie Jarrett, 60, who served as Obama’s senior adviser and assistant for public engagement and intergovernmental affairs? Jarrett would be the likely insider who knows all the details.

Of course, being a lawyer (University of Michigan law school), Jarrett would pull every toy out of her legal bag of tricks to not comply with any subpoena.

But wouldn’t it be fun to watch her act unfold in one of the side rings of what we have come to know as Washington’s three-ring circus?

Cake lawsuit wastes more public money

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As for a man-couple filing a discrimination lawsuit against a north-central Colorado baker, let them eat cake – one of their own making, or one baked in the ever-more-bold rainbow community.

The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday that it will hear an appeal from Charlie Craig and David Mullins, who sued cake-maker Jack Phillips and his Masterpiece Cakeshop of Lakewood, Colo. During the summer of 2012, Phillips refused to bake a wedding cake for Craig and Mullins, citing his objection to same-sex marriage on religious grounds. The Craig-Mullins lawsuit went up the legal ladder from there.

The liberal Colorado Court of Appeals eventually affirmed a state Civil Rights Commission decision from May 2014. That decision ordered Phillips and his employees to create cakes that celebrate same-sex ceremonies and required Phillips to comply with Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act by re-educating his staff (which includes members of his own family) and filing quarterly “compliance” reports for two years.

Even though Phillips has lost every legal skirmish so far, he has not given up. Hence, his appeal to the highest court in the land.

“I’ll sell anyone any cake I’ve got,” he wrote last year in a letter to The Denver Post. “But I won’t design a cake that promotes something that conflicts with the Bible’s teachings. And that rule applies to far more than cakes celebrating same-sex marriages. I also won’t use my talents to celebrate Halloween, anti-American or anti-family themes, atheism, racism, or indecency.”

Phillips might have avoided the initial lawsuit and the resulting fallout it has generated if he had simply told the two roosters that his bakery had run out of flour and would not be getting resupplied in time to bake the desired cake.

All joking aside, the plaintiffs’ every litigated step along the way appears to have violated Phillips’ First Amendment rights and his prerogative to operate his business as he sees fit in a free-market republic. Once again, spineless “political correctness” has overwhelmed reasonable good sense, good government and good behavior in a Jeffersonian democracy.

Meanwhile, the Craig-Mullins demand to be treated equally under the law easily could have been satisfied if they had just found another store that would have baked their cake. They might have found a sympathetic baker in the Cap Hill area of Denver. After all, the Mile High city — a mere 8 miles away by car from Lakewood — is reputed to be home to the seventh-largest LGBT population in the nation.

Instead, the unhappy “couple” retained a lawyer and wound up costing the U.S. taxpayer a bundle of time and money in the court system because of a frivolous lawsuit.

Hopefully the high court in Washington will reach a swift decision. Hopefully, in reaching their decision, our supreme justices will not try to overstep the authority of the High Court in the Hereafter.

Worth repeating …

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In 2009, the Jackson (Miss.) Clarion Ledger published a letter to the editor as an open letter to President Barack Obama. The letter was written by Dr. Roger Starner Jones, who addressed then-pending federal health-care legislation. The comments by Dr. Jones are just as valid now as they were then.

Jones is a physician who specializes in emergency medicine at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, a 722-bed facility in Jackson. His letter was printed under the title “Why Pay for the Care of the Careless?”

Before you cast aspersions on Dr. Jones as having been born with a silver spoon in his mouth, consider his background. He grew up in a lower middle-class, single-parent home in the rural hill country of Pontotoc, Miss. While attending public schools, he paid attention in class and did his homework. He ran with the right crowd and stayed out of trouble. His dedication in school resulted in a full-ride scholarship to the prestigious University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn. After college, Jones set out for medical school, with everything he owned in three bags. The rest is history.

Once again, Dr. Jones’ letter-writing story teaches us that motivation, not entitlement, is the key to personal success and happiness in life. Here is what he wrote to the Clarion Ledger:

Dear Mr. President:

During my shift in the Emergency Room last night, I had the pleasure of evaluating a patient whose smile revealed an expensive shiny gold tooth, whose body was adorned with a wide assortment of elaborate and costly tattoos, who wore a very expensive brand of tennis shoes and who chatted ​on a new cellular telephone equipped with a popular R&B ring tone.

While glancing over her patient chart, I happened to notice that her payer status was listed as “Medicaid”! During my examination of her, the patient informed me that she smokes more than one costly pack of cigarettes every day and somehow still has money to buy pretzels and beer.

And, you and our Congress expect me to pay for this woman’s health care?

I contend that our nation’s “health care crisis” is not the result of a shortage  of quality hospitals, doctors or nurses. Rather, it is the result of a “crisis of  culture” — a culture in which it is perfectly acceptable to spend money on luxuries and vices while refusing to take care of one’s self or, heaven forbid, purchase health insurance. It is a culture based on the irresponsible credo that “I can do whatever I want to because someone else will always take care of me.”

Once you fix this “culture crisis” that rewards irresponsibility and dependency, you’ll be amazed at how quickly our nation’s health​-care difficulties will disappear.

Respectfully,
STARNER JONES, MD