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Archive for April, 2011

The Invasive Distraction of Political Correctness

30 Apr

I find myself amused at just how invasive Political Correctness has become.  But really, it isn’t very funny when you get right down to it.

Political Correctness seems to boil down to not offending anyone’s sensibilities no matter what.  Whether it is race, weight, appearance….whatever, if there is someone out there that can be offended it is best not go there.  I’m not saying there isn’t any merit to being sensitive, but there are limits.

The other day Donald Trump made a reference about President Obama’s playing basketball.  While Trump clearly wasn’t attempting to complement the president, it seems that a goodly number of media people felt that he had made a racist remark.  I guess because there are an inordinate number of basketball players that are black and since the president is also black, Trump must certainly be a racist.

How silly is that?  Silly enough that there are some out there that feels that his comment was sufficient evidence to slap a brand on his forehead.

There are hundreds of such claims out there every single day.  “Just because Johnny is too fat (sorry), obese (sorry), humongous (sorry), anatomically disproportionate, and slow afoot he shouldn’t be disqualified from being on the track team.  After all his feelings might be hurt because he is different.”

Well, my feelings are hurt when I’m called insensitive, abusive, uncaring, and what have you just because I’m a republican.  While I don’t like my feelings being hurt, I’m fully capable of withstanding that drivel.  I need only to consider the source to understand why they say what they say.

My grandmother used to say: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.”  Wow, would she be surprised to see how wrong that saying is today.  A misplaced word here, slip of the tongue there or snide remark can cost you your job, get you thrown out of a meeting, and yes, if the remark goes against the grain of a radical Muslim, killed.

Silly as it is, I exaggerate from time to time to show my frustration toward the PC conundrum.  I think twice before asking for black coffee or saying you’re hysterical or even referring to an issue as not being black or white.  I’m amazed at how much speech is prohibited at our institutions of higher education.  A place where tenured professors can say just about anything they want, but the students can not express views differing from the selected elite.

Now I’ve never lived in the shoes of a black man or woman, or Muslim or you name it, so I realize that I might not have had experiences that make such words so hurtful to them.  I atone for that somewhat when we cut them some slack to allow them preferred access to jobs, colleges, or whatever.

Is it too much to expect them to cut me some slack for a few misstatements here and there that I make in the course of the day.  Alas, this is an expectation that I don’t expect to come about.  Political Correctness goes only one way I’ve come to learn.

If you feel compelled to comment on this issue, go ahead.  I may not post it because I want this blog to be family friendly, but my skin is thick enough to take on a few unkind words now and then.

 

Judges–Can They Be Bought Off?

16 Apr

What do we want in a judge?  Honesty, Integrity, Fairness, Unbiased, Knowledge of the Law.  All of these and more.

But how does one become a judge?  Depends on the level of government.  At the federal level, they are recommended by the president and confirmed by the senate.  All in all that system works pretty well.  Sure, you get somewhat of a bias because the president is somewhat biased.  But, in most cases the electorate knows the bias before they vote for him or her, and the senate does a pretty good job in testing the qualifications of the individual selected by the president.  This process brings about an intense vetting for the Supreme Court nominees and a somewhat lessor scrutiny for the lower level federal judges.  All in all, in most cases we end up with judges that are qualified, albeit not always to the liking of any particular person.

At the state level, at least for most if not all of the states, the judges have to run for office.  These positions usually are nonpartisan.  They also usually don’t generate much excitement.  Often, the electorate is not very much aware of the qualifications of those running for office.  That’s both bad and good.

Good because the money required to run their campaigns is generally insignificant.  Bad because sometimes these races are less about getting a well qualified person into office than attempting to get “the right person” in office.

Being “the right person” depends on how one thinks that judge will rule on a particular case or certain types of cases.  From time to time circumstances arise whereby the distinction between the two candidates is so clear that it becomes very important to some to make sure “the right person” wins the election.

This sets the groundwork for an attempt to buy a judge.  At times like these money flows freely into the campaign from those supporting both sides of the issue.  Sometimes, however, the money comes from only one side of the issue.  The success of the crusade usually depends on how well organized any particular group is.

Two examples:  A person that has a particular mindset on environmental issues might be highly supported by national environmental groups.  In this case that election (which is for a position limited to the boundaries of that state) might very well be slanted in one direction because the opposing group isn’t organized enough or focused enough to generate sufficient funds to counteract the national organization.

The second example is what has gone on in Wisconsin for a state supreme court position.  In this case both candidates received large doses of money from opposing sides.  Largely, this money came from sources outside the state.  However, in this case, the controversy did not develop until late in the run off.  Unions being very well organized and having hugh sums available to through toward their favored candidate really turned the tide in their favor.  Looking at the polls, it is clear just how effective they were.  A candidate that was running well behind almost magically jumped into the lead overnight.  Even though the numbers are against them right now, the unions still might be successful.  It wouldn’t be the first time they have “manufactured” the results in their favor.

These examples, and there are tons of others like them, clearly delineate the potential for warping the judicial system.  These cases might be relatively rare, but they are concerning.  If one finds him or herself before a judge, they deserve the opportunity to present their case to a fair-minded judge.  But sadly that may not always be the case.

Is there a better option available for selecting judges?  Maybe.  I’m not sure there is.  But I feel it is worth thinking about.

 

So the Government is Still Open–Now What?

09 Apr

Are you surprised that the Government wasn’t shut down last night?  Did someone flinch?  Who won?

Does there have to be a winner?  Yes there does.  And there was.  It was the taxpayers, and those that use government services.

But, between the President, the Democrats, and the Republicans there was no winner.  They all lost—big time.  Why?  Because they put us all through hell as they positioned themselves to not be blamed for a shutdown.  Was that really necessary?  Absolutely not.

D id you notice that each side blamed the other.  Okay, so they were probably right about that.  At least to some extent.  But, the Republican’s also stressed the need cut spending.  I thought I heard the Democrats stress that they didn’t want the Republican’s to kill women.

Really, now.  Do they really believe that?  Or, do they really believe that the policy cuts being proposed by the Republican’s are truly drop dead, no holds barred, absolutely  needed?

What does all of this purport for the next issues that are coming up?  This latest squabble was over a minuscule amount compared to the cuts that will be needed if this country is to remain viable.  If each of the three parties handle these big issues–debt ceiling & next years budget–in the same manner as demonstrated lately, then hold on to your seat because “we ain’t seen nuthin yet.”

If they aren’t “man enough” to make permanent cuts in minor areas, like all this funding for feel good things such as foreign aid, NPR, Funding for the Arts, and yes, dropping the funding for family planning stuff, it will be impossible for them to find cuts in the bigges like Education, Social Security, Medicare and the like.  And if they don’t make those cuts then they are merely kicking the can down the road.  And that will spill disaster.  The problems are real and imminent.  The timing won’t get any better than right now.

Let’s prey…oops, I mean this to be all inclusive of Americans, let’s hope that our leaders act like leaders, not just like adults.  I know it will be hard for them to do this.  We have only to look at what they have done in the years leading up to now that and that doesn’t give me much comfort.  How about you?

On second thought, for them to behave as required, I’m afraid that hoping will not be enough.  Seems to me only God has the oomph to stiffen their back bones.  After all, He did it once before in the late 1700’s.  I trust He will do it again.

 

So there You Have It

08 Apr

That’s it.  That is the foundation of our nation.  From start to finish….at least until now.  We must cherish this document.  We must not transform our nation unless through amendment to it.  We must honor and obey it.  And we must die to protect it.  God bless you and God bless American.

 

The Last Three Amendments*

07 Apr

Amendment 25 – Presidential Disability and Succession. Ratified 2/10/1967. Note History

1. In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.

2. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.

3. Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.

4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

Amendment 26 – Voting Age Set to 18 Years. Ratified 7/1/1971. History

1. The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.

2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Amendment 27 – Limiting Changes to Congressional Pay. Ratified 5/7/1992. History

No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.

*The amendment above comes directly from the “U.S. Constitution Online” website: http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html# The comments related to this website were written by Stephen J.J. Mount.  You can read about him at:  http://www.usconstitution.net/sjjm.html

While I don’t necessarily agree with him on every point, I think this is a very good website for you to look at.

 
 

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