Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Ernie Chambers 1, Nebraska Justice System 0

Today, the Nebraska legislature, known as the Unicameral, voted to end the death penalty in the state. I hold true to the idea that the death penalty is not necessarily a deterrent to crime but rather a just punishment for horrific and depraved crimes. With DNA and the advances in criminal sciences, this should make it easier to obtain a fair conviction based upon facts. Perhaps the biggest issue I have with many that advocate for the end of the death penalty is the fact that many of the same people that advocate for life for the most heinous of criminals also advocate for the free ability to kill an unborn child in the womb. The hypocrisy here is stunning.

I believe that once a person does a crime so heinous, with malice and lack of remorse, that person has turned in their "human card". The certain leftists like to treat animals like people. We put down animals that maliciously attack people. See, I used their logic against them. People like the monster in Colorado that killed 12 people and ruined the lives of many, many more deserve to die if convicted for their crimes, if for no other reason than to rid the world of their evil presence. God will judge ultimately, we are just to arrange the meeting in certain cases. I'm not saying that the justice system couldn't use a tune up in other areas, but once one has deprived someone of their God-given right to life in a malicious manner and without afterthought, one should assume room temperature. Too harsh? I don't care.

Sadly, Ernie Chambers duped many in Nebraska to follow him. That is the worst part about this. The most bigoted politician in the state and maybe in the whole country hoodwinked a state to follow him. Those that did should be held to account at the ballot box if they went against the will of their constituents.

Once those that advocate for the death penalty abolition also advocate for the abolition of abortion, I'll relent. Until that point, I won't concede this point. The ones who supported the repeal in Nebraska are on the wrong side of this issue.

Finally, I do take a small amount of comfort that the thug that killed Omaha Police Officer Kerrie Orozco is worm food. He received a just punishment. Many in the state of Nebraska will no longer see that proper administration of justice. Maybe there is a reason Texas is growing so fast. There, when you kill someone, they kill you back. You can't tell me that doesn't deter a few of those criminals that might choose to commit murder in the first degree.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Veteran's Administration...Should Be Shut Down...Now.

I just wrote about the colossal screw up that is Amtrak. Here in Colorado, there is another colossal screw up and monument to government waste being foisted upon us. To make matters worse, this screw up is coming at the expense of our nation's veterans. Of what do I speak, you might ask. I speak of the Veteran's Administration Hospital being built(I use the word built in jest) in Aurora, Colorado.

What the VA hospital was supposed to be.
What it is now.

The original cost estimation was a fairly reasonable $330 million. Shortly before the ground breaking, that estimate went to $600 million. The VA didn't provide proper plans to the original contractor, Kiewit-Turner, and since the management of the build has been turned over to the Army Corps(or Corpse for those of you that speak Obama) of Engineers. The most up-to-date estimate is, drum roll please....$1.8 billion, yes billion, dollars. That is nearly 8 times the original estimate and fully 3 times the estimate of the first revision. The hospital is supposed to have around 180 beds. That means that this hospital is projected to cost $10 million per room. That is a rather simplistic way of putting it but things like this need to be boiled down to see them for what they are. The government is great at wasting money and the this is an example to held up for others to see.
Workers don't know if they'll have a job from week to week due to mismanagement.

This VA hospital debacle is succinctly summed up with the military acronym of SNAFU. Look it up. Even with the gross mismanagement of funds and resources, the truly sad part is the treatment that this same VA gives to our veterans. Secret waiting lists, overpaid execs and generally poor facilities all spell the need to entertain drastic ideas. I don't support most domestic government spending but we need to stand behind the folks that are willing to give their lives for us. I've come to the conclusion that the VA needs to be scrapped. Totally thrown in the trash. This under construction behemoth should be razed before another nickle is spent on it. Sadly, many subcontractors would lose their current jobs but the cash spigot needs to be shut off. Congress should put no more money into this giant pit. At the time of this post's writing, it looks like Congress is in the process of caving on the request for more funds and will allow more money to be spent on this giant clusterf#$%.

Sadly, this is just another in the many examples of out-of-control spending that can be found at every single turn in Washington DC. The swamp needs to be drained. Look at almost every government program as a mosquito that needs to be killed by any means necessary.

One solution that would be much cheaper would be to take the operating funds from the VA and just pay for a good insurance plan and provide deductible assistance to veterans. Less government bureaucracy and more access to medical facilities. It would be a win-win for the vets themselves and also for non-government run medical facilities. The VA is so bloated and top heavy that it will soon collapse under its own weight as it is currently constituted. This more market centered solution would be a .22 to the back of the head of the VA rather than letting it flail and have to dig its own grave before expiring in a more inglorious fashion. For those of you leftists, think of it as a late, make that very late term abortion of a malformed VA.

Elected officials need to stop caring about the bureaucrats and start caring about the people that pay their salaries. I know that slowing government spending is against almost everything that Washington, DC stands for but the time is nigh.

Call your Congressional Representative and Senators and let them know that it is time to start culling the weak and feeble federal programs. The Capitol switchboard number is (202) 224-3121.

Find me on Twitter.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Amtrak. A Microcosm of Statist Government

With the horrible crash of the Amtrak train in Philadelphia this week and the subsequent politicization of the crash by big government statist types, I have been compelled to explain why Amtrak is a complete and total failure.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, ostensibly a non-partisan group, the federal government covers almost every bit of the capital cost of Amtrak. The feds also subsidize the day to day operations at ten cents on the dollar. In other words, ridership doesn't pay enough for Amtrak to actually operate. To date, the federal government has spent at least $45 billion, with some estimates as high as $66 billion, on Amtrak and really has nothing to show for it. The only part of the country that truly benefits from Amtrak operations is the Washington DC to Boston corridor. Most parts of the central and western U.S. aren't served by Amtrak and where Amtrak does run through "flyover country", it does so at inopportune times and at inhospitable places. For example, a Cornhusker who wanted to travel by Amtrak from Hastings, Nebraska to Denver, Colorado would have to board around 1:30 A.M. and would arrive in Denver almost seven hours later. It only takes six hours to make the drive from Hastings to Denver and if more than one person were traveling, it would be cheaper to drive as well. Add in the cost of renting a car once you arrived Denver and that form of travel makes no sense. In the picture below, the green lines denote bus lines that Amtrak contracts with. You read that right, bus lines!

Arrogant North-easterners harp that Amtrak needs more funding. I respond to that by suggesting that they pay their own way. Amtrak should either should be privatized or charge enough for fares to cover the actual costs of operating and maintaining its equipment. If it is not financially viable in the hands of a private company or paying its own way, so be it.

Case in point, the crown jewel of Amtrak, the northeast corridor's Acela "High Speed" line is typically more expensive than flying. A first class, round trip fare is over $600, even the standard fare will run over $300 per person. With a reasonably fuel efficient car, you can drive that same route, round trip, for about $80 in gas. Add in depreciation at the auto industry standard of $0.25 per mile and the 880 mile round trip still only costs $300. With forethought, a round trip airline ticket is as cheap as $190. I know I just used evidence and logic and that will be framed as "hate speech" or some such nonsense by those that want big government choo choo trains but numbers don't lie. Government does little to care about the customer because they have no competition. Without competition, Amtrak will continue to waste taxpayer dollars and flounder as the bloated, Soviet style bureaucratic screw up that it is.

I am more amenable to allowing individual states and municipalities to operate their own transit systems. I don't have to pay for them if I don't live there. Amtrak, on the other hand is a useless and outdated mode of travel and should be made to stand or fall on its own. The greenie weenie, mass transit types could always make sure their bicycles and padded lycra shorts are in good shape.

Find me on Twitter.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

My Pro-Life Story

I'm a big proponent of supporting my writing with facts to back it up. While there is a bit of that in this post, most of it just comes from my heart.

Last year, after helping my sister and brother-in-law move across the country, the family got a call from my brother-in-law on Sunday, July 27th telling us that my sister was being taken by ambulance from an emergency room in a small local hospital to a large hospital thirty minutes away because she had severe pre-eclampsia. She felt really bad that morning and had asked to be taken to the local ER. The doctor there found her blood pressure to be quite high. The only remedy was to deliver their baby. She was 30 weeks pregnant. Shortly after her transfer, she had an emergency cesarean section and my nephew was born. I was scared to death.

My nephew was barely larger than his dad's hand when he was born. At his lowest weight shortly after birth, he was three pounds. Seeing pictures of him with tubes and monitors all over was scary. Finding out after the fact that his mom, my sister, could have died if not for the quick action taken by her husband and then the medical staff hit me like a ton of bricks. After several days of monitoring, she was released from the hospital but my little nephew spent over a month in the hospital. He was strong though. He was on oxygen assistance for less than two weeks. He figured out how to pull the nasal cannula away from his face.

He was about a month and a half old and only five and a half pounds when I first held him shortly after he came home from the hospital. He was tiny and fragile but he was most assuredly alive and kicking. He wasn't quite a full term baby even at that time, forty five days after he was born. That first time his mom, my sister, placed him in my arms, my pro-life leanings became a full fledged passion.

The most disturbing part of this story is the fact that many babies of his gestational age are still killed by abortionists in this country. I can't even wrap my mind around the thought.

Fast forward to almost ten months later and little Wyatt Matthew is about seventeen pounds, has his first tooth and is starting to move all over the house. He can pick out the toys he wants (mainly to chew on) and he is eating baby food. He smiles and giggles now and has captured the heart of every person on both sides of his parents' family. He is the ultimate proof that life is a blessing. Ask anyone who comes in contact with him.

The point to all of this is to show that every innocent life is precious. The Congress has taken up House Resolution 36. It would outlaw abortion after twenty weeks gestation, in most cases. Why this is not supported by every person in Congress and all of the country will confound me until the day I die. Most abortions are done out of pure self interest. Don't let anyone fool you with the whole rape and incest argument. That is about three percent of abortions, at best.

I have no problem with birth control, so before you call me a misogynist or anti-woman, know that. People forget that there is a way to prevent pregnancy that never fails. Remain abstinent unless you are prepared for the consequences. No innocent unborn child should be made to suffer for the pleasure of a self-centered adult. If a woman is self centered enough to think that abortion would be a viable option to contraception, she should have herself sterilized. The same goes for a man. I know I'll get heat for what I just said but I think the point needed to be raised.

Before you say that I'm an anti-woman bigot again, I think that those women that choose to kill an unborn child through abortion need our prayers and those that are truly sorry and choose to repent from their ways deserve our compassion too. Those that continue to advocate for the killing of innocent babies need to held up as the disgusting people that they are.

I realize that there are times when a pregnancy can cause risk to the mother, the baby or both. That doesn't mean that abortion should be the first plan of action. Termination of a pregnancy should be the very last option in the medical field. Doctors take an oath to "do no harm". An abortion is the exact opposite of that oath.

If we don't value the life of the most innocent among us, I feel we will lose our humanity altogether. It starts with education. Young people need to understand the consequences of sex. Sex is, at its most basic level, for procreation. This needs to be drilled into the head of every person. Yes, it is important in a relationship but the fact that the act was intended to create new life cannot be overlooked. Our culture has shown that physical relationships that aren't grounded in true care for the other person are doomed to fail. I don't understand the point of engaging in that type of relationship. Maybe I'm not "with it".

Unfortunately, we have leaders in this country that would be OK with allowing a baby that survived an abortion attempt to die. Our president defeated many attempts to outlaw that type of late term abortion while he was an Illinois state senator. Many so-called feminist leaders also stand for abortion on demand up until the second a baby is born. They hold up a woman named Margaret Sanger. She was the person who spawned the abortion mill called Planned Parenthood. She was in favor of eugenics(so were the Nazis), she was a racist of the highest order and even accepted a chance to speak at a Ku Klux Klan rally in 1926.

I know that I just used facts and that isn't allowed in this debate but I do hold out hope. The country has taken a pro-life turn that is contrary to what the elected Democrats and even a few Republicans have held as an issue not to be touched. All of those people that feel strongly about advocating for the protection of the unborn need to make our voices heard. This is a winning issue for politicians and they need to understand that. Call your and email your United States Representatives and Senators and urge them to support HR 36. Call the White House and issue your warning to President Obama. If Congress has the backbone to pass this bill and Comrade Obama chooses to veto it, Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC needs to laid under a siege by those of us that see it as our mission to protect innocent life. I plan to move to the greater Washington DC area so that I can make my voice heard on this issue, amongst others. We need to stand up for what is right. With out life, nothing else matters.

Friday, May 8, 2015

VE Day Plus 70 Years

May 8th, 1945. On this day seventy years ago, Nazi Germany surrendered to the Allied Powers, having been defeated on both their eastern and western fronts. This was a momentous occasion. The fascist Third Reich had been destroyed. Japan surrendered just three months later, Imperial Japan surrendered on the deck of the USS Missouri. Our boys in uniform and our industrial war machine here at home were up to the task. Do you think an undertaking of this magnitude today would be possible? I hope this great country could rise to the challenge but I'm not so sure anymore.

Our country was uniquely equipped to fight a World War during the time of the conflict. The United States had a manufacturing ability that was unrivaled. I understand that today's weapons systems allow for many fewer assets to be utilized, but if we needed to, could we still defeat a worldwide threat without resorting to nuclear war? In just under six years, this country produced over 300,000 aircraft, almost 124,000 naval ships landing craft and submarines, including 10 battleships, 27 aircraft carriers, 110 escort carriers, and over 900 destroyers and cruisers. The US also built 2.4 million wheeled vehicles, 61,000 tanks and 7,500 locomotives to move all of those goods to port. In addition, we produced 12.5 million rifles and carbines for the Army and Marine Corps along with 41 billion rounds of ammunition. We may not need quite that much industry now, but could we do it again if called upon? I don't think so. Technology has taken the need for such a large build up away but what if our technological advantage were to wane.

With the build up of communist China and post-Soviet Russia, our technology advantage is slipping. Also, with rising tensions in the Middle East and Africa due to Islamic extremism, which doesn't rely on high tech means, could we fight a true, all encompassing war? Currently, we don't have the numbers and even worse, I don't think we have the political or military will. Too many people here at home are too comfortable with what they have. As long as one has a cellphone and food, it's all good. I'm getting unnerved by this aspect of American life. Our country is so divided along political and cultural lines now, I fear it would be very hard for us to mobilize the kind of support needed. Some will say that our spirit is just dormant. Even after the attacks of 9/11/2001, that spirit was still somewhat fractured. I understand that during the lead up to World War Two, many here at home were hesitant to get involved in anything more than a supply role, but after Pearl Harbor, our country decided collectively to stand up and fight. I fear we have lost that will.

The way I see it, there are two enemies outside of the borders of this country we must concern ourselves with. The first is the threat of Russia and China. While both are different, the threat is similar. They are fascist countries that control great military power and are in the process of building up their respective militaries. The second and more pressing threat is radical Islam and its race to obtain weaponry great enough to take on Israel, the US and western Europe. Currently, in a true ground war, these Muslim radicals lose. They fight an asymmetric war of gruesome but small attacks interspersed with large scale but underhanded attacks on civilian targets. Our military, along with a few close allied militaries, need to be able to take on both threats at one time and currently, that is not possible.

The lead time on production of aircraft, armor and weaponry is too long. Regulations and red tape are responsible for a large part of this delay. The other aspect that is troublesome is the lack of industry to ramp up if needed. The detrimental part of the global economy is the outsourcing of our sovereignty in terms of protecting ourselves and our closest allies. Also, we have been reducing the manpower needed to sustain a state of readiness. With fast air transportation and real time info all over the world, readiness needs to be addressed as an aspect of our current defense needs. An enemy can be here in less than 24 hours. With our military more concerned with political correctness rather than being the best fighters in the world, I don't see this getting better any time soon.

I guess what I am trying to say in this exploration of the state of our world is we need to do some soul searching about how we maintain our place in a world with increasing threats and decreasing political will. Our leadership, from President Obama on down, is not up to the task. Warrior Generals and Admirals are being forcibly retired and replaced with military politicians. Elected politicians are more concerned with abortion rights, gay marriage being enacted, social engineering through wealth redistribution and keeping their precious place in the DC circle of power than they are with making sure our country is the strongest in the world. At one time, the American flag demanded respect the world over. With lax leadership and no real will from the political class or the populace as a whole, that respect has been diminished to the point where our enemies now know that we won't stay in a fight to actually finish it. I'm not against nation building like what happened in Japan and Europe starting seventy years ago, but that kind of nation building requires complete and total defeat of the enemy. Hearts and minds can't be won with the enemy still active in the theatre. The only war we have won since the end of World War Two is the Cold War and though the two conflicts are completely different, the reason for winning both was the same. We were held the moral and industrial high ground in both.

Without becoming an isolationist country, we need to start thinking of our needs when we approach other countries. A strong economy here at home benefits the whole world. Rather than try and help others when our own house is falling apart, perhaps we should shore up the foundation here and be that light to all other countries that we were just 70 short years ago.

What are the solutions, you might ask. I posit that these several would go a long way to helping our country rebuild our strength. I realize that these policies and procedures are not going to happen under the current group of progressive hacks occupying the seats of power in Washington, DC, but one can hope to be ready once the seat of power is wrested away from the current powers that be. The federal government can start by getting out of the way of industry here at home by lowering tax and regulatory burdens. When more people are working in production and more things being made here, the whole country benefits.

Reduce the amount of money that is being redistributed to bloated social engineering programs and get the federal government out of the school business. The trades have suffered greatly because of the progressive need to indoctrinate students rather than prepare them for life outside of academia.

Rebuild the United States Navy, Marine Corps, Army and Air Force to where they need to be to tackle a global war on two fronts. A strengthen Coast Guard back under the Department of Defense would go quite a long way to relieving Navy pressure to protect the waters around our coasts as well. When other countries know that we can crush them in a matter of days, it lessens the likelihood that we will need to crush them in a matter of days. Cutting bureaucratic waste in the military and the government as a whole would go a long way to achieving this goal. Also, by allowing our military to accomplish an actual objective of complete and total annihilation of any enemy will shorten future conflicts. I'm not one to advocate for civilian casualties but that can not be the overriding factor when establishing rules of engagement. The complete and total destruction of the enemy must come first. If a town is harboring terrorist elements, that town needs to be removed from the equation.  I know this is more difficult when fighting a non-uniform enemy such as ISIS or Boko Haram but if the civilians knew that they were in danger by allowing these evil elements to take cover with them, that may work to our advantage. Our military can be the best only if they are allowed to be.

Finally, if you see a veteran, thank that person. There are only about 850,000 WWII vets left. All of them deserve respect and gratitude. Also, don't forget those veterans and active duty members that have served and are still serving. They answered a noble calling and should be recognized for their service and sacrifice as well.

Find me on Twitter.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Offensive Speech Must Be Protected

The events in Garland, Texas on Sunday, May 3rd have brought the media's hypocrisy to near unthinkable heights. Many media outlets say that the two Jihadis who attempted to kill people involved with a free speech event aren't really responsible. They were baited into attempting to kill people. It was the fault of the organizers of this event and not the fault of the two Islamic extremists. This is patently false. Our nation's Bill of Rights intended that all speech be protected. What most people seem to forget is non-offensive speech is not what needs protection. It is offensive speech that was to be explicitly protected. Feelings of offense have no business being allowed into a political discussion of liberty.

Something that has become clear to me is radical Islam is incompatible with free speech and liberty in general. Sadly, I also think that most so-called moderate Muslims are complicit with the radical elements in their faith. Their silence is their undoing. When Christians do wrong, other Christians condemn their actions. The same is true for Jews, Hindus and Buddhists. I think we need to stop seeing Islam as a faith and belief system and start seeing it as the radical fascist political ideology that it is. Radical Muslims aligned themselves with Hitler in World War Two and the Nazi-like ideology of modern radical Islam has not strayed from that fascist mindset. We fought the Nazis all over the world and even here at home. It is time we fight the radical Islamic ideology in defense of liberty with the same zeal and fortitude.

Sadly, on a national governmental level, this fight will likely be put on hold until the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue leaves in 19 months. Our Dear Leader has shown a propensity to side with anti-liberty zealots when it suits his anti-colonial, anti-American world view. This is one of those cases. He even said "the future must not belong to those that slander the Prophet of Islam". I'm done uttering the man's name.

With the Supreme Court upholding the disgusting Westboro Baptist Church's right to protest military funerals, there should be no other ruling needed to uphold the rights of anyone and everyone to say anything they want. I may not agree with a person, but there should be no effort to shut them up. Free speech is a historical and important tenant that was codified in the First Amendment to the Constitution this country. Offensive speech must be protected, no matter who protests. Those that resort to violence in an attempt to shut down speech of any kind need to be dealt with harshly and swiftly and to the maximum allowed by law.

Find me on Twitter.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Let's Hold Up Taya Kyle

This post won't be long. With what has been going on in our country lately, I wanted to turn your attention to something that may just give you a little bit of hope for our country. I watched an episode of 20/20 on ABC tonight. I can't remember the last time I did that. The reason I did was to see Robin Roberts' interview with Taya Kyle. Taya Kyle is the most amazing woman I've ever seen speak in public. She has a quiet strength that few have. She could be bitter about losing her husband, American hero Chris Kyle. Instead, she chooses to help others. I think that we could and should look to military families for strength. Taya has taken Chris Kyle's cause to help veterans and families of veterans and made the best of a tragic situation, all the while showing the kind of grace and honesty that takes my breath away.
Please, take time and listen to her when she speaks. She is an amazing mom and wife and woman. Let's honor Chief Kyle by lifting up his family. You can also visit the foundation established to honor Chris here.
I've also included a link to a letter Taya wrote to the public announcing the start of the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation.

Find me on Twitter.