Category Archives: Liberty

Thoughts and Prayers – Parkland to Vegas

From Los Vegas to Parkland – so much tragedy.  So much grief; sadness.

I get it.  The images are burned-in painful.  The thought of my kid in that school, of your kid in that school.  At that concert.

I get it.

The horror is almost literally overwhelming.  If I let myself, while lying at bed at night, I can get that feeling in my stomach – like when you dream you are falling?

I get it.

But I ask you, right now, in the comments section, without looking at Google – type the names of 3 of the victims.

Or even just 1.

From either tragedy.

I’m guessing you can’t.  So, if you are protesting, or are mad and posting, or are demanding action be done – why didn’t you do that February 13?

I think your mobilization has more to do with the hollywood marketed outrage and less about how you really feel about people dying by guns.

Put another way, why are you not mourning Larenzo Smith?

Parkland, Florida – Solutions on the Spectrum

The horrors we witnessed in Parkland took place a week ago this afternoon.  For many of us, the tragedy is still fresh and frontal.  For a few, those horrors will never end; that day in mid-February 2018 will define their existence.

I can’t imagine.  And, we’ve seen it before – we’ll see it again.  All of us, myself included, after the kids are in bed, are left with this question:

What do we do?  What CAN we do?

In the coming days I’m gonna explore my thoughts and my feelings.  I’m gonna think about what we can do, what I can do; if anything.

I’ve seen what seems like a never ending barrage of thoughts, and arguments, debate and anger.  Rage.  Despair.

And blame.

Which brings me to my point.  As I, we, explore feelings and define the problems looking for solutions – I want to do so from a position of mutual acknowledgement.  Namely that I love my kids, and yours, in the same manner that love your kids, and mine.

Period.

It’s likely, that as intelligent people with different histories and experience, we are going to arrive at separate conclusions after being exposed to the same body of facts.  And that, THAT, has to be okay.  It cannot be that those who shout loudest, most often and without regard to civility are allowed to carry the day.  Neither can we allow the debate to devolve into that place where we question each other’s motives.

This is too important to us.

 

Noble Intentions

Health Care
Minimum wage
Immigration
Affirmative Action
Pay equity

The list goes on.  And on and on.

I don’t doubt the liberla’s intentions – they mean well.  Who doesn’t want medical care for the child, income for the poor, safe haven for the oppressed, equality for the marginalized or parity for all?

The problem isn’t the end, its the means.  It’s always been about the means.

Forgive Me

You’ll have to forgive me if I don’t approve of your solution to government incompetence is to give more power to the government to wreck my life:

The gunman who slaughtered 26 people at a Texas church was able to buy weapons because the Air Force failed to report his domestic violence conviction to the federal database that is used to conduct background checks on would-be gun purchasers, authorities said Monday.

Federal officials said the Air Force didn’t submit Devin Patrick Kelley’s criminal history even though it was required to do so by Pentagon rules.

Kelley, 26, was found guilty of assault in an Air Force court-martial in 2012 for abusing his wife and her child and was given 12 months’ confinement followed by a bad-conduct discharge in 2014. That same year, authorities said, he bought the first of four weapons.

Under Pentagon rules, information about convictions of military personnel for crimes like assault should be submitted to the FBI’s Criminal Justice Investigation Services Division.

Because you suck at what you do you want me to give you more power to suck at what you do?  I think I’ll pass on enabling your suckiness.

Perspective

May God comfort the families of those that He called home tonight in New York.

Quick internet search:

Motor vehicle traffic deaths
  • Number of deaths: 33,736
  • Deaths per 100,000 population: 10.6
All firearm deaths
  • Number of deaths: 33,594
  • Deaths per 100,000 population: 10.5

If you want to save lives by banning something, there is more than one solution.

Conversation and the Second Amendment

It’s been a week now since a man in Vegas opened fire on thousands of people at a concert outside his hotel.

Many are questioning when we’re gonna have a conversation regarding gun control.

My answer?

We have – you just don’t like how it went.

The United States of America protects her citizens  through the Constitution.  And that document guarantees the right of a citizen to bear arms.

And make no mistake about it; it is not discussing the right to hunt deer and duck.  Or to defend my home from danger.  Not at all.

The second amendment gives me the legal a-ok to shoot back at a government gone tyrannical.

The conversation has been had.

Moral Compass

1.  Motives

We saw conflict this weekend in Charlottesville.  We saw a group of American citizens, people living in 2017, marching for white pride, under a Nazi flag, espousing repugnant and wicked world views.   Views totally incompatible with mainstream American values.  Views inconsistent with the views held during the founding of this nation.

We’ve rejected this side of ourselves since we were we.

Nazis, neo-Nazis, white nationalists and white supremacists are among the worst examples of us.

We, I, despise the departure of Individual Liberty these people preach.

No one I know agrees with the motives of those hate groups.

2.  Tribes

Consider rivalries.

Consider the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cleveland Browns.

Say the Browns announced that they were gonna assemble on Saturday and have a Brown’s parade.  And then the Steelers decided that they were gonna show up, and then engage those Browns fans.

Violence ensues.

Who is to blame?

3.  Free Speech

We have a rich history of protected speech in America.  We rightly should rejoice in this.  However, not all speech is protected.  Some speech incites violence and should be denied.

We need to admit that.

If the Nazi’s request to assemble is inciting violence, deny it and arrest them if they gather.  Or

Or.

Or have the balls to admit that they DO have the right to assemble and protect their rights to do so.

One.  Or.  The other.

4.  Right to Assemble

Motives aside, if one group has been given the right to assemble, and another group, motives aside, seeks to deny or infringe on that right, the moral argument is mute.

Speech has been determined to be protected.

Lady Liberty

So, there’s an art contest where students submit their work to Congress.  Among the entrees, there are finalists and those finalists get their work displayed.  This year, one of those finalists depicts the Statue of Liberty as a Muslim woman wearing a hijab.

I like it.

I like the actual art AND I like the message.  I like the idea that people of all walks are able to look at Lady Liberty and see themselves reflected.  Apparently, not all people are as impressed as I am:

A Democratic congressman is taking heat from Sarah Palin and other conservatives for a painting hanging in his California district office that depicts the Statue of Liberty as a Muslim woman.

We the People Rising, a conservative-leaning activist group, was among the first to object to the painting in Rep. Lou Correa’s district office in Santa Ana, Calif., arguing it violates the separation of church and state.

And more; from a video posted on We the People Rising’s website:

“You guys have a picture out in front of your office with the Statue of Liberty wearing a hijab, which I find reprehensible and disrespectful,” one of the members tells a staffer in the first video. “I would like to request that you remove it.”

Again, I don’t understand the reprehensible and disrespectful nature of the painting.  It’s not mocking the Lady, it doesn’t depict her in  a negative light.  All it does is show what Liberty might look like if she were standing in another part of the world.

Kinda like depicting Jesus as a white guy standing in America rather than the brown guy he really was.

And speaking of religion, how is the painting supposed to violate the separation of church and state?  And since when have conservatives minded such violations; though it is delicious to see such an argument used against a democrat.

As I’ve explained over and over – the concept of such separation between the church and the state does not mean that there can be no explicit religion in the state, only that the leader of state cannot be te same leader of the church.  Or, that there be no official nation religion supported by the state.

If congress wants to open with a prayer to Allah, they may.  The idea that a congressman can’t have a religious symbol in his office is insane; no one makes a fuss, or should make such fuss, when a congressman wears a cross chain, or has the Bible in his shelf or other such outward symbols.

As far as I’m concerned, the more Muslim girls that yearn from America’s Liberty the better this world will be!

Trump’s Transgender Ban

 

President Trump announced a ban on trans-gendered troops in the military this morning:

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump abruptly declared a ban Wednesday on transgender troops serving anywhere in the U.S. military, catching the Pentagon flat-footed and unable to explain what it called Trump’s “guidance.” His proclamation, on Twitter rather than any formal announcement, drew bipartisan denunciations and threw currently serving transgender soldiers into limbo.

“Please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military,” the commander in chief tweeted.

I have multiple reactions:

  1.  How many transgendered folks do we have serving?  And then in combat roles?
  2. This is what happens when you support ‘your guy’ governing by fiat.
  3. This is horrible policy.
  4. Given that no one was talking about this as of yesterday – what conversation is Trump trying to change?

I honestly don’t think Trump cares whether someone is gay or trans.  I’d bet his companies are comparable to others when it comes to the demographics of his employees.  No – I think this announcement is meant to shore up a base he thinks he might be losing or he’s changing the dialogue.

Officer Noor: No Statement

 

Some people have been asking why Officer Noor hasn’t been forced to issue a statement or agree to be interviewed about the circumstances surrounding his fatal shooting of Ms. Ruszczyk.

My answer is this:  Because.

Because he is a citizen of the United States and is protected by the Fifth Amendment:

“Any lawyer that would recommend to him that he should give a statement to the BCA should be disbarred,” said Joe Friedberg, a Minneapolis defense attorney who’s not involved in the case. “Nobody should ever speak to law enforcement when they’re the subject of a criminal investigation.”

I would add that you should never speak to law enforcement.  Period.  Ever.