Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Disposable First Amendment

It seems that it's easy to dispense with the Bill of Rights when it doesn't fit with your personal agenda.  Certainly the mayors of two of our largest and most important cities have no problem tossing the First Amendment to the Constitution aside.

You might remember the First Amendment.  It's the one that guarantees Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion.  Those rights no longer apply in Boston or in Chicago.

It was easy for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino to dispense with the Constitution since they were simultaneously discarding their oath of office and the virtually all city, state and Federal laws at the same time.

Both Mayor's personally promised that Chick-fil-A, the popular, successful and well managed fast food chain would never open a store within their respective cities.  The reason is that Chick-fil-A's CEO Dan Cathy is a Christian who made the mistake of actually professing his faith in an interview.  Cathy committed other sins in the mayor's eyes.  He personally gave donations to his church and supported many of their charities.  Some of these well known charities oppose gay marriage or, at least, favor traditional marriage.

But Emanuel and Menino have both decided they alone are the arbiters of religious dogma.  And Freedom of Religion no longer exists.  If you do not believe EXACTLY as they believe, you will be legally prevented from doing business is their cities.

This abuse of power is precisely what the framers of our Constitution feared.  Our government is prevented from establishing any single religion for precisely this reason.  Our country was originally settled by people trying to escape the Church of England and have religious freedom.  

The Boston Herald Editorial Board has rightly condemned Mayor Menoni.  In their editorial Mayor Plays Chicken they write:

We’re trying to imagine a big-city mayor telling the world that he refuses to grant government permits to a restaurant business whose CEO happens to support gay marriage. The condemnation of such an abuse of government power would be swift, overwhelming and appropriate. 
But Boston Mayor Tom Menino apparently doesn’t see any problem using the power of his government office to issue threats to a private company whose CEO does not happen to share the mayor’s own personal or political views.
UPDATE 7/27/2012: Boston Mayor Menino has backed away from his promise to prevent Chick-fil-A from opening in his city or even along The Freedom Trail.  While maintaining his strong support for Gay Marriage, he insists he spoke incorrectly, exaggerating both his ability and intent to block the fast food chain. "I'm just the mayor," Menino sheepishly admitted.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Animal Farm

It's tough to be a liberal today.  The liberal movement has been hijacked by zealots who require that you abandon not just your principles, but also your brains and your hearts, replacing them all with hatred so vile and putrid you rot from within.

Of course the first and most important principle the new left demands you relinquish is independent thought.  Sharing and embracing new ideas, exploring options, self exploration, critical review, all are forbidden by today's left.  Only uniformity of thought is allowed.

Freedom of choice is also forbidden.  Our leaders know exactly what is best for us and to think outside those boundaries is strictly forbidden.

Our elected leaders our the enforcers of these rigid and unyielding rules.  Not only will they control the physical environment in which we live, but they act as thought police as well, demanding ridgid adherence to the freedoms they believe are important while demanding that any other freedom be relinquished.

Thought police require massive armies to enforce the required beliefs.  It behooves our fellow citizens to insure we are thinking clearly and not allowing forbidden thoughts to enter our minds.  Society can only move forward once we are all walking on the same path and thinking the same thoughts.

Today that path of glorious uniformity begins on The Freedom Trail.  You can be certain there will be no Chick-fil-A's to tempt your body or your soul off the path to liberal righteousness.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

No News IS NOT Good News

Just because you didn't see or hear this headline this morning doesn't mean it didn't happen. The big networks simply chose to ignore it.

3 People Murdered and another 18 injured in Gun Violence on Saturday in Chicago

If you watch network news, ABC, CBS or NBC or if you watch cable news, FOX, CNN or MSNBC or if you listen to NPR you didn't know that.  They were all too busy rehashing the 12 murdered and 58 injured in Aurora, Colorado on Thursday morning to bother to mention that murders continue unabated across the country.

As I write this President Obama is flying over Chicago to visited the families of the victims in Aurora to give them comfort, according to the White House Press Secretary.

He will never mention the nearly 300 murdered in Chicago so far this year.  He will not be stopping to give comfort to the grieving families of Gerry Woods, Akil Partee or Pablo Hernandez, all murdered Friday night and Saturday morning.

How I wish George W. Bush were still President.  Not because I want him back in office, but because if he pulled the stunt of flying over the families of 300 black and Latino victims to give aid and comfort to 12 white victims, my fellow Democrats would condemn him for racism, insensitivity and incompetence.  Instead we have President Obama and the silence of the Democratic lambs.

I don't blame President Obama.  It's not racism, it's politics.  Colorado is a swing state.  He needs their votes.  Chicago will vote for Obama regardless of how much he ignores or even abuses its citizens.

And, lets be honest, the Chicago problem is one of unemployment, poverty and failed social engineering.  It's going to be tough to fix.  And President Obama is not up to the task.  He is way to small, way to weak to take on a mission this large.

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On a related note, my friend Steve is launching a series on the need for Gun Control and ways to successfully implement it over on his blog The Peripatetic Blogger Steve and I might not always agree on this issue, but I urge you to read his blog and consider his opinions and solutions carefully.  We need everyone's ideas.  We need all hands on deck.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Crying Out For Those Alone....

The horror of 12 senseless murders hit the television, radio, newspapers, blogs and social media yesterday in an inescapable fashion.  The live, non-stop coverage of the frightening assault on a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado was relentless.  Everyone knows of the events and the name of the obviously deranged murdered, and many of the individual heartbreaking stories recounted on Facebook and the national news networks.

It's estimated over one thousand law enforcement officers from local, state and national agencies are involved in the investigation and in the search of the assailant's booby trapped apartment.

Certainly there are many thousands of journalists, bloggers, investigative reporters, pundits, experts, politicians, religious and civic leaders analyzing every tiny detail.  Like similar events in the past, it will be dissected for months and tens of thouands of pages will be written.  Books and even movies are likely to follow that.

I am raising no objection to any of this.  It is as it should be.  I pray for comfort and healing for the suffering and know, in many cases, there will be no relief from the relentless grief.

But, even as Aurora captured the news, there were dozens more murder victims this past week nationwide that gathered no attention.  There will be few, if any, law enforcement officers investigating.  There will be no national task force, no F.B.I., no forensics, no new laws, no  great discoveries. Many of the murderers will never be identified and many will murder again.

For all these murders there will be no national press coverage.  Probably no local press coverage either.  The victims family will never be interviewed by Piers Morgan or Rachel Maddow or Sean Hannity.  We won't know their story, experience their horror or feel their pain.

Facebook entries might be made, but you and I will never see them.

Neither President Obama nor Mitt Romney will make a speech, say a prayer or suspend campaigning in respect for their tragedy.

And the worst part? Next week it will all repeat.  Roughly eighty to one hundred bright young people will be senselessly murdered.  You'll never notice.  You'll never know.  And, as a society, we won't do a damned thing to stop it or even slow it down.

Maybe that's the scariest part of the genocide happening in our country right now.  Because every story is a small piece, we can ignore it.

Because of Aurora our movie going experience will change.  There will be ample extra security, cameras, alarms on doors, maybe even metal detectors.  There will be security guards, probably armed security guards. 

Even though there have been virtually no murders in movie theaters over the last 100 years, we will have massive protection going forward.

But the national genocide will continue unabated, at the rate of 6 to 7 Aurora's every week, 80 to 100 people murdered every week, most in senseless acts of violence every bit as horrific as Aurora.  But nothing will be done.  Nothing.

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As you remember the twelve people killed in the Aurora movie theater this week, please also remember these twelve people killed in Chicago this past week, too. They'll get no press coverage and you'll likely never see their names anywhere but on this blog.

Nathaniel Gonzalez, age 16

Marshall Knights, age 21 

 Ricky Hankins, age 49 

 Daniel Green, age 21 

 Mark Carney, age 26 

Andrew Jackson, age 27 

 James Bell, age 26 

 Martin Tejeda, age 16 

 Elle Mills, age 53 

 Maurice Wilson, age 22 

 Phillip Finley 

Anthony Collazo, age 21

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Dear Mr. Romney....

Of course it's unlikely Mitt Romney will ever read this blog or my rather blunt "letter" to him, but here goes......

Dear Mr. Romney,

I read news reports daily about the "Sarah Palin Controversy."  It seems you or someone on your staff believes it would be unwise for Mrs. Palin to have a speaking role at the August Republican Convention in Tampa.  At this point the news is a dull roar, but it's not going away and it's getting louder daily.

I could easily make a case that snubbing Sarah Palin is a serious mistake because her supporters are so loyal and their support is so critical to your success. But I'm guessing your large and well paid staff have analyzed this factor and believe the benefits of her presence are outweighed by the liabilities, whatever those liabilities might be.

So my point today concerns another big factor in your potential success.  I'll summarize it in two parts.  Number ONE, the mainstream media really prefers President Barack Obama and their reports will be slanted against you throughout the convention.  There is nothing you can do about this, it's a fact of life in American Politics.

But, Number TWO, the media really, really loves controversy.  And snubbing Palin is just the raw meat the media craves.  I believe that, by leaving Palin on the sidelines, the convention will actually become ALL PALIN, ALL THE TIME.  She'll get massive amounts of media coverage, interviews and more.  Your messages will be drowned out by an error you can easily avoid right now.  

Invite her and give her a prominent speaking role and she'll electrify the base.  Omit her and she'll be the ghost that haunts your convention every night.

I know there are ill feelings between you and the former Governor.  She has been critical of you on more than one occasion.  But it is actually that criticism that gives her so much credibility among the base.  Embrace her and that all that credibility will flow over to you.


Bob Keller,
Wizard Extraordinaire 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Religious Zealotry

These are modern times.  Religious Zealotry is no longer confined to the worship of a god or goddess.  It can be an equally blind dedication to any idol, a dedication that moves beyond admiration or even belief and into worship at the expense of all other goals, ideas, morals and principles.

While we are all familiar with the traditional religious zealotry of the far right conservative Christians and the Islamic Fundamentalists, there is equal and even more destructive zealotry on what we call the "left" or Progressive end of the political spectrum.

Because such zealotry is blind, the zealots often don't realize they are violating their very own stated principles and ideals.  Lately I've seen way too many examples of the leftist zealotry and it makes me terribly uncomfortable.

As a Liberal I strongly believe in diversity, tolerance and acceptance of all races, religions, sexual orientations, and even diverse value sets and lifestyles.  This view or principle is stated often by ALL who claim to be liberals and progressives.  You can see it and read it and discuss it on every liberal blog and progressive forum.  Tolerance and acceptance are the holy grail of Liberal beliefs.

Except........ it seems the VAST and VOCAL majority of self proclaimed liberals and progressives don't believe a damned word of it.  It seems their beliefs on any issue is actually a RELIGIOUS DOGMA that cannot and must not ever be violated.  These so-called Liberals are nothing more than the Taliban of the Left.

One need look no further than famous (and incredibly talented) actor Brad Pitt's mother to see the Taliban of the Left in action.

Jane Pitt wrote a letter to the editor of the local newspaper in response to another letter.  In what ought to be a liberal example of TOLERANCE she actually admonished a conservative Christian for his prejudice against the Mormon religion.  Jane Pitt urged fellow Christians to vote for the man who shared their ideals of being "pro-life" and opposing "gay marriage," even if Mr. Romney didn't share their exact Christian faith.

Now, to be certain Jane was vocal and aggressive in her opposition to President Obama attacked his positions on these same issues.

Of course I personally disagree with Jane Pitt's position on both gay marriage and abortion.  But, tragically, many of my fellow (not really) liberals and progressives took it much further.

Hollywood rose up and attacked Mrs. Pitt with vile and horrific glee.  And the Twitterverse was even worse:

“Brad Pitt’s mom, die”

“F*** you, Brad Pitt’s mom. The gay community made your kid a star, you whacko.”

“Brad Pitt’s mother…what a brainless old b***h…”

“Brad Pitt’s Mom Slams Obama, Gays. That stand makes her a deluded, dumba** Fascist Repuke”

“I hope Brad Pitt has been supporting his mother and decides to cut her off. What a b***h.”

“Brad Pitt’s mom can choke on a (redacted).”

Jane Pitt has also received numerous death threats and the attacks are unrelenting.  The Hollywood attacks have been played out all over television. 

What disgusts me most is that (so far) Brad Pitt himself has been silent.  He can't bring himself to step up to the plate and defend his mother. In fact the only prominent Hollywood voice to defend Mrs. Pitt is Jon Voight, Brad Pitt's Father-in-Law (Angelina Jolie's father).

As usual, conservative firebrand Michelle Malkin has said it best: "Hollywood and the American left love diversity, except when it offends their “progressive” value system."

An excellent article on Jane Pitt's letter and the Hollywood backlash can be found in The Huffington Post

UPDATE 7/12/2012: Brilliant blogger B. Daniel Blatt also defends Jane Pitt over on The Gay Patriot.  This short essay is a must read confirmation of the misplaced hatred of the left in attacking Mrs. Pitt unfairly.