Sunday, January 27, 2013

GOP Is Lost!

Haley Barbour is saying that a few "stupid comments" from recent GOP candidates Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock cost the GOP the Presidential election in 2012.  I couldn't disagree more!  If a few stupid comments by candidates or elected officials could sway elections, then the Democrats would be losing elections all the time!  Need I remind you of Democrat Congressman Hank Johnson saying Guam would tip over due to overpopulation!  Doesn't anyone remember Anthony Weiner and "Weinergate"?  What about the multitude of tax evasion issues that so many Democrats seem to have, from Timothy Geithner to Rahm Emmanuel! 

The issue that Republicans and Conservatives have with the media and public perception isn't saying stupid things!  The problem is that the media will replay every dumb thing that a conservative says, and will even edit video and statements to make GOP candidates officials appear ridiculous.  The main stream media and late night talk shows take pleasure in finding anything that makes a candidate seem foolish, naive or uninformed.  How many times did we see Governor Palin saying she could see Russia from her front door, or that she couldn't name a magazine she reads for Katie Couric?  I remember seeing former Senator Scott Brown's half-naked body pictures all over the internet and news (not a bad memory, I might add)!  Who could forget the 2012 GOP Primary Debates when Texas Governor Rick Perry had is "Oops!" moment?  Even though Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney did a good job at avoiding a verbal misstep, the media still played his comments about "binders full of women" over and over!

So what do conservatives and GOP candidates and elected officials need to do to combat the obvious media bias?  Don't play into the media's memes, for one!  Stick together even when you disagree!  This is what the liberals and Democrats do, and they do it expertly!  They will deflect and defend always.  Conservatives can't even ignore misstatements and disagreements with eachother on Twitter (See #TGDN) or in a grassroots organization (see FreedomWorks)!  Even at the very basic levels, we seem to be incapable of defending eachother or ourselves!  Many GOP leaders were more than eager to throw Governor Palin under the bus for Senator John McCain's loss in 2008, and have not welcomed her back into the party since! 

The Grand Old Party has become the party of compromise and moderation, and has left their conservative values and principles in the past.  Republicans have turned into the Democrat Party of the 80s!  They are a lost party, unable to stick to a coherent message.  The GOP is trying to moderate to win over the liberal media and independent voters, and in case they haven't noticed - IT ISN'T WORKING!!!!  In the meantime, they are isolating their conservative base by voting against their principles. 

I am not interested in voting for Republicans who continue to compromise their values for the sake of getting something done in DC!  It is okay to refuse to compromise on something when you believe it is the wrong thing to do for the country.  If the GOP really believes in the legislation they continue to vote for, we are truly without conservative representation in our Federal Government.  Fiscal conservatives need a voice in our nation's capital, and if the GOP refuses to be that voice, then we need a new party!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Sandy Hook: A Loss of Innocence

I haven't posted anything since the Sandy Hook Elementary mass shooting happened on December 14, 2012.  This tragedy affected me deeply and personally, and I have done a lot of soul-searching in recent weeks because of it.  I have three children, two in junior high and one still in elementary school, and I initially worried about sending them to school.  I held them, told them I loved them, and watched them sleep for at least a week afterward.  I thought of the twenty families who could not watch their children open their presents on Christmas morning.  Most recently, I thought of those families entering a new year without their precious children and how empty and hopeless they must feel.  My heart truly breaks for them.

Along with my grief and sadness, however, I have grown defensive and angry.  As the country has searched for answers to why this massacre happened, the media has started a witch hunt.  First, it was disclosed that the murderer had a mental disability.  Then, we found out he had Asperger's Syndrome or Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Later we heard that he played video games and kept to himself.  The media also reported that his mother had several registered guns, and liked to go to the shooting range on occasion. America now remembers the Sandy Hook shooter as a mentally-disabled, autistic, video-gamer, whose gun-crazed mother locked away from society!  

Here's the thing...  This kid could easily be my kid!  One of my sons has Asperger's Syndrome, and I have pulled him out of school because he wasn't learning anything in a regular academic setting.  He has very few friends, although he is really social.  He also has an anxiety disorder, which makes it hard for him to deal with many everyday situations.  My youngest son has been into video games since before he could talk, even though we didn't even get a game system until he was five!  He loves first person shooter games, and although he is only nine, I let him play them with supervision.  My thought process has been that it is better for him to play these games at home, then to go to a friend's house and play games that are even worse (and trust me, there are always worse games)!   He is on electronics (computer, playstation, Wii, iPhone) the majority of his free time, even though I try and encourage him to do anything else.  He is very social at school, and gets good grades, but struggles with self-esteem at times and definitely has a temper. 

If you put both of my son's together, they might be similar to the Sandy Hook murderer in many ways.  Needless to say, this made me sit up and take notice.  Am I raising children to be killers?  What is it that caused this man to snap, and how can I make sure it doesn't happen to my boys?  Am I harming my children by allowing them to play violent video games?  Does having autism or Asperger's mean my child could be evil? 

As a mom, I will defend my children always.  I know they are good kids.  They never have been in trouble at school, never get in fights with their peers, and generally do what they are asked at home.  As a mom of a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, I am doubly protective.  My son is the sweetest, gentlest soul you will ever meet.  However, you might just miss it because he is shy, will only talk about certain things, and doesn't show much emotion on his face.  He doesn't understand sarcasm and rarely gets humor, unless it is bathroom humor.  But he does feel, and he does love, and he does care.  I suspect he is like most people with Asperger's Syndrome.

My youngest son has been a computer whiz since before he could talk.  He was acting out the Spiderman movies since he was a toddler, and pretending to play video games three years before we ever had a game station.  It is like he was born to be an electronic's genius.  He knows more about computers and video games than I can imagine.  His mind seems to function best in this virtual world, even when he isn't playing a game.  I suspect he has a career in computer engineering or programming in his future, although he says he wants to be a doctor in the military. 

As a country, we want to find a reason why 20 children and six adults are dead.  As a country, we want something to point to in order to find a quick solution to the mass shooting problem.  The government is focusing on gun control.  The medical community is focusing on autism and mental illness.  The media is focusing on violent video games.  I put the blame on society's willingness to blame everything and everyone else but the person responsible - the killer! 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Where are the Heros?

My two boys love their favorite superheros!  I know more about Spiderman and Batman than I ever wanted to know.  But what makes these characters heros?  Other than their strength, speed, agility, and uncanny ability to dodge bullets, it's their willingness to do what is right no matter what it costs them.  Superheros will fight against evil and defend the innocent people, never worried about their popularity or what is in it for them.  They display selflessness while protecting the citizens of their respective cities, while the law and media condemn their actions.  Do these types of people exist in today's world?  Can we find any of these heros in our government?

Many of our Republican politicians like to talk tough during campaign season, promising constituents they will fight to cut the budget, cut taxes, repeal Obamacare, and vote against anything that will go against our conservative principles.  Then they get elected, and the establishment gets hold of them, and they start to compromise their idealogy in order to climb the political leadership ladder.  Most of our current politicians view politics as a career choice, and feel they must go along to maintain their career.  Unfortunately, due to a lazy electorate and a biased media, this has worked for the majority of politicians for dozens of years. 

We have had a recent wave of elected officials who have fallen on their sword for their beliefs, politics and media be damned.  Florida Congressman Colonel Allen West immediately comes to mind.  He rode the Tea Party wave of Republican candidates who won the majority in the US House of Representatives in 2010.  He has been one of the most outspoken members of Congress against the oppressive, socialist policies of the Obama administration, and has not been afraid to call a spade a spade.  The Republican establishment tried to keep him quiet, because they were afraid of media and electorate backlash.  The Republican elites did not support him in his reelection bid, and the Obama administration targeted his race during the last election, and Colonel West narrowly lost his race.  So, did Congressman West slink off quietly to lick his wounds, and try and get back in the GOP's good graces again? - NO!  He is remaining a strong voice against the Obama administration and the establishment, and is sounding the alarm and trying to wake the American people! 

There are others in politics who are doing heroic deeds.  Senators Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Mike Lee and Jim Demint are speaking out against Speaker Boehner's "fiscal cliff" negotiations and removal of fiscal conservatives from key financial committees.  Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann and Congressman Paul Ryan, although quieted from their recent failed presidential/vice-presidential bids and tough reelection campaigns, are still standing strong against raising taxes and the debt limit, and speaking out against Obamacare, the EPA, and other extreme policies of the current administration.  Former Alaska Governor and Vice Presidential nominee, Sarah Palin, is still speaking out loudly against liberal, socialist policies, and has been calling out the GOP for their failed leadership as well.

The American people need our elected officials to act like heros, willing to fall on their sword for their beliefs.  Our politicians need to realize that their popularity and electability is not important - they must be willing to do what they feel is right, no matter what it costs them.  Vote against raising the debt limit if real cuts aren't on the table, vote to defund Obamacare, investigate Benghazi and Fast and Furious.  The media is against conservative Republicans, and will continue to blame the GOP for the bad economy, whether they compromise or not. 

So, I say "Don't compromise!"  The Democrats won't, so why should the Republicans.  No matter the outcome, the Republicans will be demonized by the media, so why not stick to their principles of lower taxes and smaller government.  This is the real reason why the GOP lost in November.  The American people know that both parties are willing to raise taxes and spend money, and they would rather vote for the party that is being more honest about what they will do.  The Democrats have told us what they want to do - continue to spend, raise taxes, and spread the wealth - and they are doing it!  The Republicans have said they want to cut taxes, cut spending, and repeal Obamacare - so they must continue to vote to do this!  C'mon GOP, be a hero to the people, and do what is right for your country!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Twinkie Saga, Part 2 - Capitalism vs. Corporate Greed

The Twinkie Saga continues.  Hostess filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which means they must liquidate their assets and sell off the company.  In order to liquidate the company, the brand is seeking permission from the court to pay 19 top executives a $1.8 million "bonus" to help oversee the liquidation.  This means that each executive will receive a little less than $100,000 for a few months of work (if that).  While I'm sure that is significantly less than their usual salary, it is not chump change. 

Many conservatives appear to be divided about whether bankrupt corporations should give their CEOs bonuses.  When it comes to corporate bankruptcies, CEOs and management are last in line to be paid according to the SEC (Security and Exchange Commission).  Only if there is money left over from the liquidation of assets and payments in full to creditors would it be okay to pay out bonuses.  If, however, some creditors do not get paid in full due to renegotiation of terms, it should NOT be okay for those company executives to take a bonus. 

I have absolutely no problem with executives making loads of money when they are in charge of successful companies - that is called capitalism.  The problem is when those same executives keep giving themselves loads of money at the expense of others, whether that is due to price gauging, slave wages, cheap materials, or not paying debts.  That is when capitalism turns in to corporate greed

In my conservative opinion, if you borrow money you should pay it back.  Bankruptcy is really not a conservative principle.  As conservatives, we believe in paying our creditors in full, no matter how long it takes and what happens to us.  The concept of declaring bankruptcy to get out of paying our debts is relatively new, just as using food stamps and applying for unemployment is for short term financial problems. My husband and I had to deal with six months of joblessness, and never applied for unemployment, food stamps, or personal bankruptcy, and instead incurred massive credit card debt and personal loans from family members we are still paying off.  While using government welfare programs would have been a much simpler solution to our financial problems, we took our personal responsibilities seriously.

This is the cultural problem we have in this country - very few of us take our financial responsibilities seriously.  Bank lends you a mortgage you can't pay - it must be the bank's fault!  The government lends you insane amounts of money to go to college - the government must forgive the student loans!  If you can't afford a cell phone, the internet, or cable - the taxpayers must pay for them.  If you can't manage to save your money to retire at 65 - the government must pay you to retire!  If you can't find a job that provides enough money to pay for health insurance, the government must pay for that too! 

Do you see the pattern here?  Personal responsibility vs greed!  This is what we are teaching our children.  Do ask what you can do for your country, but what your country can give to you!  The baby boomer generation has done an excellent job teaching all future generations how to mooch off the system.  We must start reversing this mentality.  We must start teaching our children how to be responsible by becoming responsible ourselves and not giving in to our greed!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Naked Compromise

Naked protesters stormed Speaker of the House John Boehner's office yesterday, chanting "Boehner, Boehner, don't be a dick.  Budget cuts will make us sick."  They are apparently concerned that cutting federal spending on healthcare will limit their access to free AIDS care.  This is a similar false narative to the "War on Women", since there have been free and cheap access to AIDS clinics and drugs since the 1980s. 

What are fiscal conservatives to do?  Is there any chance of actual compromise with the radical Obama administration?  Democrats and the people on the left only want to increase taxes and eliminate tax deductions, while Republicans and people on the right talk about cutting spending on social welfare programs.  I think just about everything is going to have to be touched, but I don't think that will happen with the current political makeup. 

I'm no financial expert, but I know there is no such thing as a sacred cow when your budget is out of control!  I've been there.  I've moved to an apartment from a house, cut cable and internet, stopped traveling to see family, stopped eating out and going to movies, and shopped at discount stores.  When will our government do the same?  I'm not opposed to raising taxes and cutting loopholes, because everyone is going to need to feel the pain at some level and cutting the budget will take time to implement.  But, we can't only raise taxes, as that will surely have the effect of slowing the economy and most likely pushing us into another recession. 

Republicans need to hold strong on cutting the budget, and should propose an "across the board" percentage cut on all budgetary items (including congressional salaries, government salaries, and defense).  That is the only way to sell budget cuts to all of the American people, and win the war of words.  When conservatives state they are opposed to raising taxes, most Americans believe they are trying to protect the wealthy, especially when wealthier Americans pay the majority of the taxes.  When Republicans refuse to cut defense spending and can't wait to cut social security and medicare, it appears heartless and cruel.

Unfortunately, I don't know if a compromise is possible in today's political climate.  Even if Republicans put revenue on the table and propose moderate budget cuts to all government programs, I doubt the Democrats will agree.  So, what can the GOP do?  They should put out there most reasonable compromise, and make sure to publish it in all the papers, over the internet, and on all the political talk shows.  Then, if and when the Obama administration and the Senate Democrats refuse the compromise, people can see for themselves what offer the Democrats will put on the table. 

I'm going to guess that the Republicans will be villified for refusing to tax the rich and wanting to cut services to the poor, and that the Democrats will refuse to make any significant cuts to the budget while wanting to raise taxes on most Americans by increasing tax rates and eliminating or reducing many tax deductions.  The media will glorify the Democrat plan, therefore getting public opinion behind them, and the Republicans will be blamed for their partisanship.  Republicans will have to get behind the Democrat plan to avoid the US falling of the fiscal cliff.

America is truly a divided nation at this moment.  How and if we can come together remains to be seen?  Is compromise even possible anymore, and is it in the country's best interest?  I pray that our politicians can find a way to come together and find a workable solution to our problems, but I don't hold out much hope.  I fear we are already to far gone.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Democratic Dictators - Morsi and Obama

What is a popular President to do when he is unable to pass legislation he believes the people want?  Well, if you are Mohamed Morsi or Barack Obama, you issue an executive order, of course! 

In an unsurprising move on Thursday, the Muslim Brotherhood leader in Egypt issued presidential decrees that allowed him to usurp the democratic process.  President Mohamed Morsi declared himself the guardian of the Egyptian revolution, granting him higher power than any court, in order to issue a retrial of former Egyptian ruler Hosni Mubarek.  He believes that the contentious atmosphere in the legislature is halting the democratic process, and he needed to go around the process for it to move forward. 

If this sounds familiar, it is because President Barack Obama has been issuing his own executive orders since the 2010 mid-term elections when the US Congress became divided, and his legislation could no longer become the law of the land.  Since becoming the President, Obama has issued 141 executive orders, many of them having to do with security and defense, or giving opinions on certain policies.  However, he has also grown the size and scope of government, creating dozens of councils, commissions, and task forces. 

More disturbing than President Obama's executive orders, however, are his presidential decrees, where he has decided things like which immigration laws to enforce or how the EPA will limit companies carbon usage.  These decrees have more bite in them, since they go directly to the agency in charge of said decree.  Those agencies will then carry out the decree by enacting new rules and regulations, or just ignoring old ones.

So, while the Egyptian people feel sucker-punched by Morsi's power grab, they shouldn't be surprised.  Most of today's democratic leaders rule by decree and executive order, especially when the wheels of democracy turn at a snail's pace.  Perhaps the uprising of the Egyptian people against such dictatorial policy will open the eyes of the American people, but I'm guessing the American people will remain asleep.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Israel's Lonely Battle

Imagine getting bullied every day by a coworker - having your lunch stolen, getting nasty notes on your desk, being tripped and pushed while walking to a meeting, and being told by other coworkers how much this person wants you fired.  You speak to your boss and coworkers about the bullying, but everyone denies that the bullying is happening.  Then one day, this bully slaps you in the middle of a meeting, and still no one stands up and condemns this person.  The bully continues to slap you each week at this meeting, and you have no one to defend you. 

After several months of this happening, you finally decide to fight back.  During the next meeting, after your bullying coworker slaps you, you slap him back.  All of your coworkers finally look at you, and stare in disbelief.  They say, "How could you hit a coworker?" and "Why are you so mean?".  Then, your boss calls you into his office, and tells you that your behavior was outrageous and will not be tolerated at this company.  You try and tell your boss that it was in self-defense, and that your coworker had been slapping you for months, but your boss doesn't care.  So, you stop defending yourself again, and the bully goes back to slapping you every week during the meeting.

This is how I imagine Israel must feel.  The international community ignores attacks from Hamas and other terrorist organizations on Israel, and when Israel finally defends itself, they are condemned.  Israel's biggest ally, the United States, remains silent while all of their neighbors call for Israel's destruction.  What would you do in that situation?  If it were your job, you have the option to find another job or maybe file a lawsuit against the company.  What options are left for Israel?