31 August 2009

The Bill of Rights - Part II

Okay folks, I promised you in a few days I would write about the Second Amendment. I should have done this earlier but "life" got in the way. It never ceases to amaze me how easily distracted I can get with other mundane events in the boring saga that is my life. Alright, enough of that, let us move on to the Second Amendment, shall we?

The Second Amendment is arguably the most contentious of the original 10 amendments that make up the Bill of Rights. Never have I seen one sentence cause so much discord. "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." To me, this one sentence is perfectly clear; the Founding Fathers realized that without an armed populace, the British Government would easily take us over and revert us back to a bunch of colonies. Hence the popular adage, "A democracy is two lions and a lamb voting on what to eat for lunch, a republic is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote"

The Left, specifically The Brady Campaign Against Gun Violence, consistently argue that the first part of the Second Amendment, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State..." means the only people who should have guns are the military and law enforcement agents and therefore is the only part we should abide by. (It may be worthwhile at this point to bring up the fact the the Posse Comitatus would be violated and nullified if this belief were to be fulfilled, if you don't understand this, Google Posse Comitatus). The Right argues consistently that the latter half of the Second Amendment, "...the right of the People to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." means that all law-abiding citizens have the right to own weapons. Notice I did not say "GUNS", specifically, we will get to that.

The ongoing discussion of the intent of the Second Amendment shows historically that neither the Left nor the Right is 100% accurate. I can say this because if you look at each side, you will see each side conveniently leaves out the part that may contradict their intent. The Left does not want to admit that the People (i.e. - you & me) have the basic right to own weapons. The Right does not want to let the first half of the amendment confuse the people during this ongoing debate. The distressing part, to me, is neither side wants to give any ground or even sit down to discuss the possibility of reaching an agreement.

So, who is the Left? Are they covert agents sent by foreign governments to aid in the takeover and destruction of the United States? (Some may argue this is a definite possibility and to them I have to say put on your foil hats and crawl back under your rocks) Let's examine the Brady Campaign, the biggest voice of the anti-gun crowd, shall we? If you don't remember the early '80s, you may not know who James Brady is. James Brady was an assistant to the White House Press Secretary and President of the United States Ronald Reagan. In 1981, John Hinckley Jr. attempted to assassinate President Reagan; Brady was nearly killed and permanently disabled by bullets from Hinckley's gun. Brady and his wife then founded The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, a group whose only mission was to take ALL guns away from all citizens of the United States.

This is where the logic gets a little fuzzy. The Brady group has argued time and time again that their Act passed by Congress has contributed significantly to a reduction in violent crime. That, my friends, is a fallacy. You can click the link I provided to read for yourself the true results of the Brady Bill. The National Rifle Association has consistently fought the Brady Bill and consistently argues it is every law abiding citizen's right to own guns...and, to a point, they are right. I say "to a point" because some NRA supporters think this means a right to own any type of gun without having to accept any responsibility at all for prudent ownership.

So what is "prudent ownership"? Simply put, it is MY OWN definition that means law-abiding gun owners with small children should do everything within their means to protect their kids; education on guns and what they can do is a good start, keeping guns somewhere where the kids can't get them is another. The government shouldn't have to regulate how to handle this issue, it should be and most likely is a common-sense issue for the majority of gun owners in the US.

With that said, we are ignoring the elephant in the room. Why are we only talking about GUNS when the Second Amendments says ARMS? Arms means weapons which means ANY weapons, including swords, crossbows, knives and just about anything else that can be used as a weapon. Why are we focusing solely on guns? Why are guns the only hot button topic in this debate? The answer is very simple, my friends; guns are the weapon of choice for most violent criminals. Guns provide them with an opportunity other weapons don't; think about it, you are walking down a street when a gun is shoved in your face and you hear, "Give me your wallet." Much more intimidating than a guy with a pocket-knife saying the same thing, isn't it? This is the issue the Left has seized upon and wants to drive home. Guns invoke fear and fear is bad, hence their argument guns only belong to military and law enforcement.

The Left is WRONG, plain and simple. Sure, the Brady Bill brought us the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) which has done much to prevent criminals from legally purchasing firearms. Yes, I will concede that point. The problem is, it only prevents LEGAL purchases. Folks, when is the last time you heard of a criminal doing anything legally? Does any reasonable person believe criminals are going to actually ABIDE BY the law? THAT is the fundamental flaw in the Brady Campaign's argument! Gun control measures only inhibit us, the law-abiding citizens!

Another point I want to make is this, the "gun-show loophole" you hear about does not exist! I can prove that point! My wife and I attended a gun show here in Jackson, MS a while back because my wife was interested in purchasing a lightweight pistol she could easily handle. We found exactly what she wanted so we proceeded to purchase the gun. So, did you think the vendor just took our money and gave us the gun? If you believe there is a loop-hole in the gun laws, you would say yes...and you would be dead wrong. What happened was my wife filled out an application form and the vendor then called in her social security number and full name for the Instant Background Check and she came back clean so we were allowed to purchase the gun. See, the instant background check worked! Now, how many crooks do you think would have jumped through that hoop?

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." It is our RIGHT to keep and bear arms to insure our security and freedom. It is our RIGHT to protect our lives and property from criminals who would deprive us of either or both. To me, it's pretty straightforward. I hope it now is for you, too.

27 August 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen...The Bill of Rights!!!

Lately I have been having conversations about the difference between rights and privileges and what, exactly, do they mean. One conversation I had recently turned into an accusation that I wanted to take away the rights of Christians. Not only is this not true, it flies in the face of everything I stand for which is, by the way, outlined in the Bill of Rights! So, dear readers, today I am going to cover the First Amendment and I will follow-up with a discussion on the other nine amendments in the coming days.

So, what do you think the First Amendment says? Does it specifically outline a separation of church and state? The left will say yes and the right will say no but the true answer is no...a literal understanding of the First Amendment does not mention anything about separating church and state. It does, however, IMPLY a separation of church and state. Now before my Conservative Christian readers get their panties in a twist let me ask another question. What, exactly, does the First Amendment say?

In an exact quote of the First Amendment we read, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

The very first line, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." says it all. Congress cannot pass legislation that specifically favors one religion nor can they prohibit individuals from practicing the religion of their choice. To some, like me, that implies a separation of church and state simply because it prohibits the state from declaring one religion as the religion of the state. To break it down further; the government is not allowed to tell you how to worship your higher power and they cannot prevent you from worshipping your higher power. To me, this also means an individual should be able to not practice any religion at all, if that is what they wish. In other words freedom OF religion for the individual also means freedom FROM religion for the other individual.

Just because I consistently rant about the so-called Christians in this country does not mean I want them to not have the right to worship. Nope, not one bit. I will defend their right to go to church and worship their Higher Power any time they want. What I won't put up with is these same people knocking on my door at all hours to "spread the word of God" or to "save me" or anything else of that manner. What turns my stomach is when I see these same Christians behaving like animals all the while looking down their noses at anyone different from them. Just like my favorite bumper sticker says, "I've got nothing against God...it's His fan club I can't stand" If you love Jesus, fine, just leave me out of it...leave me alone! So, how can that be confused with wanting to take away Christians' rights? It just doesn't wash.

Okay, now let's go to the second line, "...or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press..." Again, this is pretty self-explanatory to me. Simply put, the government is not allowed to control what you can or cannot say and the government is not allowed to censor the press. Freedom of speech means just that; you can say anything you want about any subject you want any time you want. Everybody is entitled to voice their opinion on any subject they choose! Lately though, I have been seeing and hearing a lot of talk about censoring certain people or certain shows because they are deemed "inflammatory" or "harmful to children"...and there is only one thing I say to those that espouse this censorship, "BULLCRAP!!!" Just because YOU disagree with my opinion does not give you the right to shout me down or shut me up...and vice versa...I may not like your opinion but I'll be damned before I let anybody else prevent you from voicing your opinion!

That said, you must understand that if I disagree with your opinion, I am going to let you know just that. If I think your opinion is unfounded, baseless or just plain silly, I am going to tell you just that. Exactly as I would expect you to do to me if you disagree with my opinion. What you WON'T do, however, is shut me up simply because I disagree with you just as I won't shut you up. There is a clear-cut difference there, and it puzzles me as to why so many people can't seem to understand that most basic concept.

Now, on to the third and final part of this wonderful Amendment, "...or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." So what do you think this means? If you think it means people are allowed to protest PEACEFULLY, then you would be right. If you think it means being able to write your Representatives and Senators to air your grievances without fear of repercussion, you would be right. If, however, you said it allows people to protest as long as they don't burn the flag or chant "End the War" or anything else of the sort, you would be dead wrong.

For example, I do not like anti-war protesters, I think they're nuts. I despise the good Reverend Phelps in Kansas whose flock protests the funerals of our fallen military men and women...BUT...as long as they do not physically harm anyone, they are perfectly within their rights to protest. What I WILL DO is be there with the Patriot Guard forming a protective circle around the grieving family to shield them from the insensitive, self-involved, and totally completely nuckin futs Kansas Bible Thumpers. So, how hard is it to see this basic concept? It's pretty damned hard, I can tell you, because those protesters make my blood boil and there would be nothing I would like more than to punch Fred Phelps right in his smarmy mouth.

So you see, folks, this First Amendment, along with the other nine amendments, guarantees certain rights to everybody regardless if everyone agrees or not. Personally, I think flag burners deserve to get their butts handed to them because they are a bunch of ungrateful bastards...but it doesn't matter what I think; they are allowed the right to do that and it does not matter whether or not I like it. So if you want to proclaim your Christianity and look down your nose at me, fine, that is your right...but you DON'T have the right to cry foul and accuse me of trying to take away your rights whenever I publicly bitch about you...understand? I certainly hope so.

19 August 2009

Okay, Now We're Getting Ridiculous

This can't be right. I read today from the AP that Texas Judge Sharon Keller is now undergoing a misconduct trial; the reason this judge is being scrutinized is because she would not keep her court open to hear the last-minute appeal from a convicted murderer. Wait a minute, that can't be right, can it?

According to AP writer Paul Weber, this is true. According to the story, Texas Criminal Appeals Court Judge Sharon Keller received a phone call at 4:45pm...got that...PM! The court normally closes at 5pm. So the lawyers for convicted murderer Michael Wayne Richard called at 4:45pm asking her to keep the court open past 5pm. Keller said no. So what was the result of this action? Michael Wayne Richard was put to death by lethal injection at 8:23pm that same day.

So why is the judge in trouble, you may ask? Well, let's look at the facts of the case, shall we? Michael Wayne Richard was convicted for the 1986 RAPE AND MURDER of a Houston area nurse and MOTHER OF SEVEN. Not only was he convicted, he was re-tried and convicted AGAIN! Are you keeping up with me boys and girls? This scumbag RAPED AND MURDERED a nurse and mother of seven! This woman's kids will never have their mother again. They will NEVER EVER be able to see their mother ever again! The fact he was convisted twice speaks volumes! That says to me, "Okay, so maybe they found more evidence that could overturn the conviction because he may be innocent..." but no, the court tried him a second time and he was convicted AGAIN!

So to me it is no wonder the judge refused to keep her court open past 5pm. Richard's sleazeball, scumbag defense attorneys didn't file the appeal in the morning; no, they waited until 4:45pm to ask the judge to keep the court open! Keep the court open for a worthless piece of crap waste of space who didn't deserve to live among humans!! So he was executed...GOOD!!!

This piece of garbage had already had several appeals turned down and was now trying to appeal on the grounds that lethal injection is cruel and unusual. WHAT?!? Let me get this straight, this dirtbag RAPES and MURDERS a nurse and mother...RAPES AND MURDERS...and then wants to claim that lethal injection is cruel?!? Hogwash!!!

So, it all comes down to this, he RAPES AND MURDERS, is CONVICTED TWICE, all his APPEALS ARE REJECTED, and his sleazy attorneys wait until 15 minutes before the court is supposed to close to request the court, judge, clerk, guards and EVERYBODY else stay past 5pm for a CONVICTED RAPIST AND MURDERER...and the JUDGE is wrong?

Not in my book. In my book the judge was right on.

18 August 2009

Of Bikers and Christians...

You know, I love riding my Harley, especially to bike rallies. For just about every American biker out there, the ultimate destination is Sturgis, South Dakota for the rally of all rallies. My wife and I rode up to Sturgis this past weekend. Now before any bikers call me out on it let me say this, we did indeed go to Sturgis; we rode to Sturgis, Mississippi for the Sturgis South Rally. For one very hot weekend in August this sleepy little town in Northern Mississippi grows from a population of about 300 to a population of about 10,000 or more. I had said a couple of years ago I would never go to this rally because it is billed as a "family friendly" event; anybody who knows me just the slightest bit knows how I feel about bike rallies and "family friendly" ain't it.

The reason my wife and I rode up is because we have friends that live up in that area and a close friend of mine was riding up from the coast to see us up there. Saturday was almost unbearably hot and humid in Sturgis and with no beer for sale (dry towns and counties abound in Mississippi) I thought I was going to die. Looking around it seemed as if everybody and their brother was clamoring to proclaim their Christianity to the world...and some of those folks scared me. I am usually afraid of self-proclaimed Christians because their actions are almost always anything but Christian. That and their smug, holier-than-thou attitude just puts me off and turns me against them.

Something happened this Saturday, however, and I feel like you need to know this. On that hot, muggy, miserable Saturday were two Christian churches, one on either side of town, handing out free, ice-cold water to every passer-by...all day long. Not a one of them had that attitude I so detest, even though each bottle of water came with their own propaganda leaflet describing the virtues of Christianity. I watched as people took the water and openly threw away the literature...and nobody from either church had a cross-word to say about that...if they were upset you wouldn't know it. My attitude towards Christians started to change a little that day; I mean here they were, sweating and sweltering, handing out what had to be close to thousands of dollars worth of water to everybody and anybody and NOT preaching!

It was the same with the CMA (Christian Motorcycle Association); they were serving up free water and free Gatorade to everybody and NOT preaching! This is where our friends were; they are members of the CMA and are active in their community, not active as in preaching but active as in prison ministry, donating time, money, food, water and anything else they can think of that will help someone else. All I could do Saturday was stand there and marvel at the capacity for caring these Christians possessed...I started thinking, "Not all Christians are hypocrites or smug jerk-offs!" By the time we left on Sunday on our bikes, my attitude had done an almost-180 towards Christians and Christianity in general.

Then I met someone who brought me crashing back to reality. I didn't meet this person face-to-face, though. No, I met this person by reading their diatribe criticizing and ridiculing another very close friend of mine's views. My "brutha from anotha mutha", IronHorseCowboy, writes a blog titled, "The View From Downrange. We don't always agree on political viewpoints but we do hold so many identical beliefs that you wouldn't know we disagreed in politics. My friend wrote a piece concerning the Bible and the lack of physical evidence to prove its supposed veracity, particularly in the Old Testament. I read his piece and agree with what he wrote. The Bible is merely man's interpretation of historical events and not a solid book of law we must interpret literally.

My attention was directed toward comments made by one of his in-laws that changed my attitude back to its cynical snideness to self-styled "Christians". This pompous waste of space insulted my friend's law enforcement experience and excoriated him over his views of the veracity of claims in the Old Testament. This idiot offered no real rebuttal with solid facts; no, he took the road most conservatives criticize liberals for, focusing on conjecture and baseless opinion combined with insults for anyone who disagrees with their smug know-it-allness.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, yes, and everyone is entitled to voice their opinion. However, NOBODY has the innate right to belittle, shout down, or harangue people who disagree with their opinion. I do not like this person, not one bit...and I think if I ever met him I would probably punch him in the nose...even though I know I'd probably go to jail or be sued for it because this guy does NOT "turn the other cheek", as his idol, Jesus, preached.

14 August 2009

Miscellaneous Observations...

You know, I have been thinking the past few days about several different subjects I wanted to talk about here. There are so many things running through my mind I may jumble some thoughts together here so bear with me.

This healthcare reform debate is confusing at best. On one hand we have the Demoncrats squawking about how dire our healthcare situation is and how many people are not insured. On the other hand we have the Repugnicans fanning the flames of fear by squawking about how this reform bill will create "death panels" to choose which citizens live and which die. For all I have heard I decided to try and make sense of it myself and this is what I found.

BOTH sides of the debate are right and wrong and both sides are lying and telling the truth.

Let's start with the Dems, shall we? Yes, it is true there are many citizens in our country that have no health insurance and the reasons are widely varied; some had coverage but lost their jobs in the recent economic meltdown and subsequently lost their coverage. Yes there are those who are working at minimum wage jobs or the like that do not offer health coverage. I think it is commendable the Dems wish to help as many as they can BUT we have to look at the other side of the coin. Part of the problem with healthcare is the sheer number of illegal immigrants who are overloading our emergency rooms...these people are NOT legal citizens of this country yet they are overwhelming our healthcare system. Another part of the problem is we have a disproportionate number of citizens who have never done an honest day's work in their lives yet they expect to be taken care of by the government. There are also those who dropped out of school, have no education to speak of, and work at minimum wage jobs because that is all they can get. These people are the greatest burdens on our country's health and welfare system. Another problem I foresee with this healthcare reform is this: they are grossly underestimating the sheer number of people who will flock to a government option and we will simply run out of money.

So now let's look at the Reps and see what they merit. As far as I can tell, they are telling the truth that this healthcare reform plan will indeed greatly increase the deficit. That's about it for where they are right and telling truth. The argument that reform will create "death panels" is a bald-faced lie. The provision we are talking about is doctors will be reimbursed for providing COUNSELING on end-of-life care and this COUNSELING is VOLUNTARY. So basically what it does is gives Grandma and Grandpa the FREEDOM to ask for COUNSELING from a doctor without having to pay for it. Wow, it provides increased FREEDOM and CHOICES, something the Reps supposedly stand for! So far I haven't heard or seen anything from the right that looks like a viable alternative...only their bashing of the Dems' plan. In fact just about the only thing I agree with the Reps on this plan is the need for tort reform and reasonable limits on malpractice awards.

So now, let's look at what I see is going on with this reform plan. While I think the Dems have a noble purpose in mind and have good intentions, I think they are grossly and tragically underestimating the impact this program will have. It's really not that hard to see; all you have to do is look at the digital transition converter box coupon program and cash for clunkers; both of these programs are failures because Congress grossly underestimated the response to these programs and RAN OUT OF MONEY.

What I think the Dems are missing is there is a huge number of deadbeats in this country who will take advantage of any entitlement program (i.e.- welfare, food stamps, healthcare) and this will cause a burden too great for our economy to sustain. All people...yes, ALL...will jump at a perceived "something for nothing" offer if it looks promising enough; if you don't believe me, look at how many people are STILL falling prey to Nigerian e-mail scams.

There is also the thought that companies in the US are hobbled because they pay through the nose to provide healthcare coverage for their employees; the result is US companies are not as competitive as their rivals in other countries. I am not sure if I agree 100% with that thought but I WILL say I believe that people who do not hold a job at all, have never held a job, or only hold minimum wage jobs, OR are in this country illegally are the biggest burden of all.

My proposed solution is to fix the education system first, get people EDUCATED and TRAINED to do more than minimum wage jobs...save the minimum wage jobs for teenagers looking for extra cash...then work WITH companies to SHARE the cost of healthcare for employees...and finally, CUT OFF the illegals in this country...they are not citizens so why should they be eligible for healthcare on our dime? Please note that I only advocate cutting off ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS, not immigrants who legitimately and legally become citizens of this country. If we don't provide an incentive for our "working poor" to improve themselves we will never get out of this mess...why can't everybody see that?

04 August 2009

Islam Means Peace...NOT

Hello folks, I'm back again and the subject today is my ongiong study of Islam. We hear alot here in the States about how we are oppressing Muslims and we do not understand the true meaning of Islam. It has been suggested that we become better educated on Islam in order to understand it better. Well, I read a story today that perfectly describes the true meaning of Islam and I just had to share.

In Sudan, UN Media reporter Lubna Hussein was arrested on July 3rd by the Sudanese police along with 12 other women in an outdoor cafe. The charge was "indecent dress" because they were wearing PANTS in public. All but Hussein and two other women were flogged (flogging is when they take a whip or cat-o-nine tails and whip them across your bare back) at the police station and paid $120 fine. Hussein and the two other women decided to go to trial in order to draw international attention to their plight. Hussein is now on trial, a multitude of women showed up to protest the trial and were subsequently BEATEN by the police...for protesting what is considered the oppression of women.

You can read the article yourself, I have not made any changes to it nor have I ad-libbed any of this story. I just wanted to share yet another observation of a "peaceful" religion that does not allow women to wear pants and has them flogged 40 lashes for having the audacity to wear pants in public. Oh the horror!

Kind of reminds me of the Pentecostal religion here in the States...women are not allowed to get their hair cut or wear makeup or pants. These are the people the far right (GOP) seems to love so much...I heard a friend come up with a rather accurate term for them. I hope no offense is taken because I am going to steal it here...I propose a new name for the Republican Party...the TALIBORNAGAIN...kinda catchy, don't ya think?

03 August 2009

Bulldog's Super Happy Fun Time!!!

Hey kids, do you know what time it is? That's right, it's time for another episode of Bulldog's Super Happy Fun Time! Today we are going to go over some recent events that will leave you scratching your head wondering what in the world is going on?

First, let me pose a question to you...it'll be easy, ready? Here we go: Which self-interest group has recently become publicly outraged over an inconsequential remark made by an equally inconsequential person? If you guessed Jessica Simpson pissing off American Indians (Native Americans for the PC Police) you would be right! Evidently, she was being interviewed and the question came up about if she would take back the expensive boat she gave her ex-boyfriend...the eternal loser Tony Romo. She answered with, "No, I'm not an indian giver!" Seems there are a few "Native American" self-interest (i.e.- special interest) groups who are outraged at the audacity of Jessica Simpson.

Wait a minute...is this true? Doesn't everybody know this is the chick who thought Chicken of the Sea was really chicken, not tuna? Isn't this the airhead who proclaimed her undying love for the other airhead Lachy only to divorce (as if that was a big surprise)? Come on people, this is NOT a smart, important person we are talking about here. As like Hollywood actors, musicans and professional athletes, this person is about as important to society as a mosquito...merely a small nuisance to be shooed away with a wave of the hand. So, why is it a group of "Native Americans" would get so upset at such an innocuous statement as "indian giver"?

Most of us grew up using that term to label kids who would take things back they gave you when you made them mad. The thought that indians would actually take back things they initially gave never occurred...ever. So why get so upset? Why did a group of advocates for "mentally or physically challenged people? get so upset at a stupid line uttered in an equally stupid movie (Tropical Thunder) where yet another inconsequential idiot (Robert Downey J.) said the dreaded word "retard"? Why why why?

Why is it there is always some interest group out there scrutinizing everything famous people say to find any type of offense? Why are becoming the United States of the Offended? For Pete's sake, people, grow some thicker skin!!! Come on, does it really hurt you?

Political Correctness has caused enough damage, wreaked enough havoc, and hurt more feelings than anything else in this country. We have become a nation that no longer values competition and the lessons learned in winning and losing. No, instead we have become a nation of whining, blubbering "me too" idiots. Nowadays kids get a trophy just for showing up! Go to a Little League Tournament and see what I'm talking about. Even the losing teams get rewarded! What is the value in that? What are these over-indulged kids going to learn besides the expectation that the world owes them recognition and appreciation even though they have done nothing productive?

Look at Hollywood, the music industry, and professional sports...hell, take a look at television! We have an entire CLASS of people who provide NOTHING to society except entertainment and they get paid MILLIONS to do it! Couple that with "helicopter parents" whose hovering and smothering reinforce the ideal that those are the people to emulate because they "deserve" recognition and fame and you have exactly what you see now...a "Native American" group angry because an airheaded dumbbell uttered the horrible label "indian giver".

Give me a break, people. Seriously, these entertainment types are not important to our survival as a nation...what they think and say means nothing. Try to remember that before you get your panties in a wad over them...okay?