Another stupid flag controversy

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Wayne Marchant is a patriot, and he is not afraid to show it.

But his Homeowners Association in Franklin, Ohio has told Marchant that he no longer can fly the American flag in his front yard, after the same group told him he could do so nine years ago.

What changed? The CNS News story doesn’t say. But dollars to doughnuts, the people at the top of the association’s pyramid changed to reflect the liberal side of things. And that likely led to a decision to enforce the cockamaymee association’s politically correct “community standards,” saying Marchant’s front-yard pole and flag must be removed.

Marchant served eight years in the U.S. armed forces – four on active duty, and four more as an Air Force reservist. He has earned the right to fly Old Glory outside his house.

“As a veteran, I wouldn’t think to erect a flagpole and fly the American flag would be something that I would have to get permission to do,” Marchant told WLWT-TV in Cincinnati.

Indeed. It’s his First Amendment right to fly the flag as he sees fit.

A spokesman for the Omni Community Association, parent of the homeowners association established in Franklin’s Renaissance Subdivision, said its board will revisit the association’s Deed Restrictions and/or Rules, review Marchant’s complaint and issue a final decision.

The CNS News report did not spell out when the board’s decision might be forthcoming. But whatever the board decides, its voting members would be wise to rule in Marchant’s favor, lest the board face the chaotic “other shoe” that surely will drop.

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When silliness goes a little too far

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Some folks in the world of retail are letting their childishness and their impetuous emotions get in the way of their business common sense.

A dozen companies reportedly have canceled their advertising that airs during conservative FOX News commentator Laura Ingraham’s program, “Ingraham Angle.” (Ingraham is popularly regarded as the answer to MSNBC’s shallow and cynically liberal Rachel Maddow.)

Here’s what happened.

Student David Hogg, 17, survived the Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and skyrocketed into the role of a national spokesman for tougher gun laws.

Hogg subsequently applied for entry at four colleges as soon as he graduates from high school in May. All four colleges – UCLA, the University of California San Diego, UC/Santa Barbara and UC/Irvine — rejected his applications.  However, Hogg has been accepted at Cal State San Marcos, Cal Polytechnic and Florida Atlantic in Boca Raton.

“At this point,” Hogg told the New York Post, “we’re already changing the world. If colleges want to support us in that, great. If they don’t, it doesn’t matter. We’re still going to change the world.”

Ingraham subsequently tweeted that Hogg essentially was a wimp, whining about being rejected by four colleges.

Hogg retorted that Ingraham essentially is a bully, and he urged any advertisers on Ingraham’s show who supported him to cancel their advertising.

Ingraham apologized.

Hogg rejected the apology as not being enough.

And at least a dozen of the “Ingraham Angle” advertisers reportedly canceled their ads, including Atlantis resorts, Expedia, Hulu, Jenny Craig, Johnson & Johnson, Nestle, Nutrish, Office Depot, Stitch Fix, TripAdvisor, and Wayfair.

Then Ingaham – willingly or not – announced she was taking a week off.

At this point, as the air-headed spokesman for Choice Hotels would say, “Badda-bing, badda-boom.”

That is, enough already! There’s no news here. It’s worthless sniping and less-than-shallow reporting.

Moreover, the retreating advertisers are doing nothing more than saving a few bucks at the expense of cutting off their own noses despite their faces. Why would you not want to hawk your goods and services on one of the most popular shows on TV, regardless of the venue’s politics?

And once the advertisers have pulled their scripts and are identified as forlorn champions of liberal bias, will they accept the political backlash that springboards from the other half of the nation? Is there no fear that conservative consumers will turn to the competition before opening their purses and wallets?

Or, does anybody really know what shopping day it is? Does anybody care?

There’s too much cat doodoo in the sandbox. Would somebody please start filtering this crap out of our consciousness? I’m starting … now.

Stupid words and idiotic cliches

Here’s my list of overly used and abused verbiage that constantly seems to crop up in politics, political reporting, movies and in Walmart stores everywhere:

Actually (Of COURSE it is, so why the hell say the word?)
A-gap (used exhaustively by football commentators)
At the end of the day (any particular time zone?)
Boots on the ground
Break the eggs in the process
Closure (as seeking it after an unsolved tragedy)
Connect the dots
Control their own destiny
Cumeer (It’s two words: “come here”; and stop being so selfish and egotistical. Why don’t you just go there?)
Diabetic ketoacidosis (Anybody know what this is without looking it up in your Funk & Wagnals?)
Dial it back (or down)
Don’t leave me (so trite and selfish when an individual is dying)
Everything is on the table (Whoa! Everything?)
Family values
Freshen up
Game-changer
Get real
Going forward
Going off-grid
Grow a brain
Hanging up his cleats
Head (It’s something you do to shrimp before frying, or a place
in which you relieve yourself in the Navy; it was never to mean
advancing in a certain direction)
In a parallel universe (no such thing, except in fiction)
In the weeds
Inhaled cortico-steroid (especially repeated three times in the same commercial)
It ain’t brain surgery
It’s not your fault
Kick the can down the road
Lance the boil
Leaves behind (just say “is survived by” or “had” a wife and three children)
Mooshing (just say hugging or kissing or loving or cuddling)
Move the needle
No-brainer
Not on my radar
Not on my watch
On (or off) the grid
On (or off) the table
On a daily basis (just say “daily”)
On the same page
On the ground (as cliché as “boots on the ground”)
Pass away (just say the guy DIED)
Politically correct (The term went out with the Obamas.)
Politically incorrect (The Obamas took that one with them, too.)
Putting it on the map
Stay with me (as trite as “Don’t leave me” — see above)
Take it to the next level
Teeth-brushing scenes in movies
The American people
This is my (our) time
Time to heal
Twerking
Under the radar
We’ll catch up (What brand …  Heinz? Hunts?)
What if (Most people deal only with what is)
Wheelhouse (as in “not in my …”) — What are we? Boat captains?
Whether or not (You don’t need the “or not” part)
You don’t know what you don’t know (No shit, Sherlock.)
Your forecast … your day … your outlook (Hey, weather people — it belongs to everybody; just substitute “the” for the moronic “your.”)

Putting a new face on the Democratic party

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Conor Lamb, a pro-gun Democrat with strong labor-union backing, is expected to win the Pennsylvania special election for a U.S. House seat as soon as all the absentee ballots are counted. He’s ahead of Republican challenger Rick Saccone by 641 ballots in a tight race that has yet to result in an official winner.

Democratic voters already are trumpeting their latest opportunity to show their opposition to President Donald Trump, a Republican. Well, they ought to take care that they don’t rejoice too soon.

Lamb, 33, is a new-age Democrat. He is considered to be a political moderate, much like recently elected U.S. Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala. That means Lamb doesn’t always follow the Pelosi-Schumer crowd, and he can vote with conservatives on key issues.

So, Lamb fits the model of what young Democrats are looking for in a leader — somebody who channels the political acumen of President Jack Kennedy, a Democrat who would have been a universally respected president if JFK could have put a patch over his wandering eye and eschewed his philandering.

Lamb says he personally opposes abortion.

He focuses less on political acrimony and more on solving economic issues, enhancing health care, and protecting Social Security and Medicare.

Lamb is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He knows something about mission, objective and teamwork.

This Lamb could be a swamp-draining lion in the U.S. House. He clearly has said that if he winds up being declared the winner over Saccone, he would seek to cooperate with President Trump on White House initiatives.

Last but not least, Lamb has eschewed the national Democratic party brand, saying he would not support House Democratic minority leader Nancy Pelosi as speaker, should the Democrats regain the majority in the U.S. House in this fall’s general election.

How bad a guy can he be when he is calling for new, sensible Democratic leadership on the House side of Congress? 

If he puts his money where his mouth is, perhaps Conor Lamb might be a key element in the sharp end of the spear that effects a sea change in the acrimonious and gridlocked U.S. House.

How can we waste so much and care so little?

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The Taylor Force Act (HR-1164) would cut off $300 million in aid annually to the Palestinian Authority – the purveyors of bloodshed, terrorism and verbal assaults on U.S. and Israeli interests.

The U.S. House already has passed the bill. The measure now resides in the U.S. Senate, where it is scheduled for a third (and final) reading that is months overdue.

The bill is named for former U.S. Army officer Taylor Force, who was visiting Israel in March 2016 as part of a Vanderbilt University study group. He was killed in a stabbing attack by a Palestinian terrorist from the West Bank. Eleven others were wounded.

This bill must pass and be signed by President Trump.

As part of the $4.2 trillion federal budget for fiscal 2017, the Taylor Act’s would-be savings of $300 million is a drop in the bucket. But it’s a start.

Don’t talk to us taxpayers about cutting Social Security benefits when we’re giving away the store to foreign interests that implement policies undermining the U.S. cornerstones of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Don’t you crooked swamp rats among Washington’s politicians think for one minute that we responsible taxpayers aren’t aware of how you wallow in the bribery of lobbyists representing special interests.

And before you oppose the next federal balanced-budget proposal, how about first weeding the waste out of the welfare, Medicare and Pentagon budgets for starters?

In fact, how about identifying and eliminating the estimated $335 billion a year in waste, mismanagement, fraud and inefficiency in federal spending?

We cannot continue to outspend ourselves and expect to remain solvent as a republic and a leader in the free world. Last December, for example, the U.S. Treasury Department reported revenue for the month at $326 billion, while spending outlays totaled $348 billion. That reflects a one-month budget deficit of $22 billion, piling on more red ink to the $23.3 trillion national debt.

Show us, Washington, that you’re NOT too big to fail.

Justifying age 21 to purchase guns

FOX News co-anchor Bill Hemmer recently asked one of his guests how any government – municipal, state or federal – could justify raising the age to 21 before an individual could purchase a weapon, when we are putting M16 assault rifles into the hands of 18-year-olds who enlist in the U.S. armed forces.

No justification is needed. Here’s why.

Anyone who has served knows that weapons training and accountability are pivotal factors when rifles and sidearms are issued to our men and women in uniform. When not in use, the weapons are secured under lock and key. And when the weapons are employed, those who carry them are under strict supervision, usually by non-commissioned officers with strong records for administering discipline and commending respect among their charges.

Such is not always the case with those under age 21 in the civilian sector. In some cases – single-parent households, for example – supervision is lacking and sometimes even non-existent. Responsibility for gun ownership is not always easily developed among youngsters who have other things on their minds and who have free rein in their social circles.

So, the difference between the average youngster under 21 years old in civilian life versus his or her counterpart serving in the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force or Coast Guard is the difference between night and day.

Asked, and answered, Mr. Hemmer.

In a related development, NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker recently said that passing a law to make it “illegal for a 20-year-old to purchase a shotgun for hunting or an adult single mother from purchasing the most effective self-defense rifle … punishes law-abiding citizens for the evil acts of criminals.”

Poppycock. It’s not punishment. It’s preventive maintenance, to better increase the chances that the purchaser is mature enough to handle the responsibility of owning a firearm.

Today’s gun-purchase laws should mandate age 21 as the standard. But exceptions could be built into the law — for example, making it legal for people 18 to 21 years old to purchase single-shot rifles and standard shotguns upon completion of a bona fide training program, certification that there are no anger-management issues or criminal charges in their background, medical proof that they are mentally competent, and an endorsement from a local law-enforcement officer.

Time to step up and get involved

There’s an updated mantra sweeping the nation in the wake of the south Florida school shootings. The call to action goes like this:

See something.
Say something.
DO something.

Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones in Hamilton, Ohio is all about it. He is working with the local school board to train teachers and administrators for free to qualify for “concealed carry” gun permits. That’s taking action at the local level to set up the “preventive maintenance” communities everywhere need to safeguard the lives of our school children, so that rampages like what occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, never happen again. There, shooter Nikolas Cruz stands accused of brutally killing 17 students and administrators, wounding more than a dozen others.

Sheriff Jones isn’t providing the only answer. But as the late Billy Graham noted, these United States have now morphed into hostile territory characterized by problems that cannot be fixed by government alone. It’s time to think outside the box and take responsible action.

We are politically bankrupt. Congress seems to deadlock on almost every issue that falls outside of pork-barrel politics. And before congressional action gets taken – if ever — on almost anything, the issue gets talked to death.

We are socially bankrupt. Users of social media must share a good part of the blame. Too many people with cell phones, iPhones and Twitter accounts feel compelled to say whatever brews up between their ears, because no one is holding them accountable. Too many fail to be responsible for whatever trash and tripe they’re communicating, because they don’t have to. Moreover, far too many politicians are fueling the fires of discontent and poison rhetoric. Even the mass media seem to have tossed into the trash all sense of responsibility in reporting the news; they exercise little news judgment, and they neuter willy-nilly the traditional standards of truth, accuracy and impartiality.

We are morally bankrupt. We seem to go out of our way to make God a four-letter word. Prayer at public schools and school sporting events has all but been banned because somebody might be offended. Television programming is filled with trash, violence, nudity, deviant behavior, selfish “role models” and advertising that pitches everything from condoms to erotic vaginal jelly. It’s true: You can’t legislate morality. But if you’ve got a brain, you can voice your opposition against public depravity.

Congress cannot fix any of this. Nor can the president. Nor can state legislatures.

The fix has to bubble up from the grassroots. And that, my friends, means you and me. You can start by unplugging the TV.

See something.
Say something.
DO something.

So, what’s a society to do?

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A few thoughts in the wake of the slaughter that just brought an entire city to its knees in Broward County, Florida:

President Trump cannot solve this insanity on his own. He can only provide leadership in the hope that people will do the right thing. So why do people beat their breasts for the president to act somehow to stop mass shootings? And why do the liberal media continue to trumpet the “safe” calls for congressional action? There simply is no political solution to such tragedies.

Congress cannot solve this insanity on its own. Heck, the record of Congress in recent decades shows our elected representatives can’t seem to agree on much of anything. So why do people beat their breasts for congressional action to somehow stop mass shootings? And why do the liberal media continue to trumpet the safe calls for congressional action? There simply is no political solution to such tragedies.

The wall-to-wall call for more gun controls is now an echo that evaporates in the valleys of political and social acrimony. Most of us have learned to not listen to the “politically correct” rhetoric. As U.S Rep. Trey Gowdy said the other day: We have enough laws on the books related to gun violence, and many such laws already are not being enforced. So what good would new laws do? Perhaps therein lies the reason Gowdy is hanging up his congressional spurs – he sees the continuing futility of serving on Capitol Hill.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has probably come closest to expressing a solution to deter future rampages like what occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where Nikolas Cruz allegedly and brutally killed 17 students and administrators, wounding more than a dozen others.

Thomas should know what he is talking about. His roots run deep into a tough and grossly unfair social atmosphere akin to that depicted in the movie “The Help” – one of the finest cinematic testaments to the injustice and waste of racism, hatred and violence. And yet, Thomas survived the turmoil and worked his way into a system badly in need of genuine justice.

The message from Thomas, according to a USA Today report: “At some point, we’re going to be fatigued with everybody being a victim.”

In other words, it’s up to the grassroots – that’s you and me – to find some way in our own communities to take a stand, and then get involved to do something about it.

Even if that means deluging our respective state governments to reopen special facilities for the mentally handicapped, where they can be cared for with dignity, and where they cannot be lethal threats to society in general.

Even if that means voluntarily putting a stop to incessantly blaming all police officers for the misdeeds of a few.

Even if that means turning the channel selector away from TV shows such as “The View,” where Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Paula Faris and Sara Haines abuse their celebrity status to tear down and denigrate everybody who tries to sit at their cloistered little (as in small-minded) table in the cafeteria.

Even if that means tuning out very talented sports figures like Lebron James and Colin Kaepernick – million-dollar athletes who repeatedly fail to engage what brains God gave them before they put their mouths in gear.

Even if that means getting up off our duffs to give up a few hours a week to get involved in worthwhile youth sports and youth-activity programs.

Even if that means facing ostracism from your neighbors because you have made a conscious decision to say something when you see something – as did the unidentified grandmother in Everett, Oregon, who called police when she found credible evidence that her grandson had a detailed plan to shoot up a local high school. The 18-year-old was stopped before he could carry out the plan. Unfortunately, now the elephant in the room is: What happens next?

Even if that means burning every marijuana field and permissive pot greenhouse that can be identified.  In this case, federal law trumps state law. 

Even if that means trafficking any kind of hard drug – cocaine, heroin, LSD, morphine,  methamphetamines and the like – can result in prison without parole upon conviction. And possibly execution if the sale of same results in death to a buyer.

Even if that means goading local Chambers of Commerce and local churches to push the business community into offering more part-time jobs for youngsters – jobs that teach good “people skills” and personal responsibility.

Even if it means doing whatever it takes to bloodlessly tilt the landscape back to being a level playing field, where we don’t have to fear a crackpot behind every tree, or a malcontent with an AR-15 in his closet.

One more bill the public doesn’t need

One more elected official has taken the plunge from the ridiculous to the sublime.

U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell – a California Democrat (of course) – last Monday introduced a House bill dubbed the “Journalist Protection Act,” according to World Net Daily News.

Feel free to call it the Cupcake Bill.

The measure would make it a federal crime to intimidate, verbally or physically attack journalists. Swalwell claims his bill is necessary to protect reporters from the “toxic environment” fostered by President Donald Trump. Seems the president rightly has declared a number of reports from the liberal-left press as “fake news.” And Swalwell is the one standing up for the wingnuts who have taken offense.

So, what are were to believe here? That reporters can ask biting, loaded and insensitive questions of the president and other public officials, but that the president and other public officials cannot counter in kind?

Even more pathetic are the dozen Democrats who are co-sponsoring the bill —
Andre Carson (Indiana)
David Cicilline (Rhode Island)
Steve Cohen (Tennessee)
Debbie Dingell (Michigan)
Ro Khanna (California)
Gwen Moore (Wisconsin)
Grace Napolitano (California)
Eleanor Holmes Norton (District of Columbia)
Bobby Rush (Illinois)
Jose Serrano (New York)
Darren Soto (Florida)
and good ol’ Trump-beater Maxine Waters (California)

All of which proves that this winter, there are more snowflakes in Washington than what you see accumulated on the ground.

Good reporters and editors are responsible people who already know there are laws on the books to protect them from libel, slander and physical harm.

Good reporters and editors further know that they can ask, report and write anything they want, as long as they are willing to take responsibility for it. Reporters and editors of lesser achievement are no more than Pollyannas who often wind up where they rightfully belong — out in the cold.

In the mass media, when you lie, you lose.

When you push, expect to be pushed back.

When you’re an obvious menace in the pack, don’t be surprised if you get an “intimidating” answer.

Moreover, if you’re intimidated by any official, well, that’s on you – the reporter or editor – for allowing yourself to be intimidated. Grow a spine, or go work in a cream-puff factory. To cite an old bromide: If you can’t run with the big dogs, you better stay on the porch.

Final thought on the proliferation of “fake news”: Get it right, or go fly a kite.

An essay well worth reading

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Paul Genova has written a terse and uncomplicated essay in answer to failed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton’s book, “What Happened,” in which she blames everyone and everything but herself for her loss to President Donald J. Trump.

Genova is president and CEO of Wireless Telecom Group, Inc. During the weeks and months following the presidential election, he said he noticed that a lot of Clinton supporters could not graciously accept the fact that their candidate lost. Trump’s critics, he noted, were posting more and more hateful things about Trump’s supporters.

Too many of them, Genova wrote, were posting  online slurs about how “sick” they felt because of the Trump triumph. And they continued to ask: How did this happen? Thus, Genova’s essay, which he titled “Us”:

You created “us” …
when you attacked our freedom of speech.
when you attacked our right to bear arms.
when you attacked our Christian beliefs.
when you constantly referred to us as racists.
when you constantly called us xenophobic.
when you told us to get on board or get out of the way.
when you attacked our flag.
when you took God out of our schools.
when you confused women’s rights with feminism.
when you began to emasculate men.
when you decided to make our children soft.
when you decided to vote for progressive ideals.
when you attacked our way of life.
when you decided to let our government get out of control.
when you began murdering innocent law-enforcement officers.
when you lied and said we could keep our insurance plans and our doctors.
when you allowed our jobs to continue to leave our country.
when you took a knee, or stayed seated, or didn’t remove your hat during our National Anthem.
when you forced us to buy health care and then financially penalized us for not participating.

You created “us,” the silent majority.
We became fed up, and we pushed back and spoke up.
And we did it with ballots, not bullets.
With ballots, not riots.
With ballots, not looting.
With ballots, not blocking traffic.
With ballots, not fires — except the one you started inside of “us.”
“YOU” created “US.”

It really is just that simple.