Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Chance to Grow a Pair

Many folks believe the age of responsible journalism died years ago, at least in the major news media outlets…and perhaps they are correct.  Instead of reporting news the public is fed a steady diet of propaganda created for the sole purpose of maintaining and promoting the leftist agenda.

How else could a narcissistic spoiled little pimple of a man like Obama get elected to the presidency; not just once, but twice in spite of the fact hes nearly destroyed everything he’s touched?  (Once this has been posted I’ll be waiting for a threatening email from the White House for having aimed a spotlight on the tyrant occupying that office)

Journalist Bob Woodward, you may recall his name for having blown open the Watergate Scandal which eventually led to Richard Nixon’s downfall; Bob Woodward had the audacity to write something critical of Mein Fuehrer Obama’s involvement in Sequestration. 

Somebody in the White House took umbrage to a little peon like Woodward throwing stones at or near the Emperor of the Universe and allegedly (don’t you just love that word allegedly) fired off a threatening email to put him in his place. 

You don’t suppose this has happened to other journalists; this surely must be an anomaly.

“But suppose there’s a young reporter who’s only had a couple of years – or 10 years’ – experience and the White House is sending him an email saying, ‘You're going to regret this,’” Woodward said. “You know, tremble, tremble. I don’t think it’s the way to operate.”, Woodward was quoted in the UK Telegraph.

Here’s an opportunity for the journalist of America to grow a pair, pardon the crude reference to anatomical gender related organs, grow a pair and start doing the job of reporting news instead of producing nothing more than state run propaganda pieces.

What would happen to the Obama administration if they had to field real questions, answer to the media (a media which at one time served the public)?  What would happen to the Senate, Congress and the Supreme Court if the news media actually did their job of reporting news instead of creating book reports that were first censured by the White House to insure proper construction and content?

It’s time to start naming names, for the record; who exactly made the threat?  Show the public the email and then press forward until everyone connected with suppression of a free press has been brought out of the shadows.  Then start conducting press conferences as if the press actually wanted facts rather than throwing softball questions to the president which have been prepared in advance to make him look ‘presidential’.

Instead of ‘feel good’ pieces we might actually find out what’s been going on; that’s what would happen.  To all you pretend journalists out there who’ve been castrated by the powers that be, it’s time to grow a pair!

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Pain Relievers - a Prescription for Trouble?

There’s a news item on KPRC’s website today worth considering before you head out on the highway, New kind of DWI turning deadly, which goes on to explain, “Drivers hooked on prescription pills (are) causing wrecks.”  I’m not so sure calling it a ‘new kind of DWI’ really fits since this has been going on long before I rode in a patrol car.  Being intoxicated and operating a motor vehicle; it really doesn’t matter if it’s from ‘illegal drugs’, prescription drugs or excessive use of alcohol.

“Intoxication is intoxication, no matter what substance causes it,” said (Warren) Diepraam, an assistant district attorney in Montgomery County.

The responsibility to operate a motor vehicle in a safe manner rests squarely on the individual sharing the roadway with everyone else.  There is no waiver of responsibility for having your abilities impaired simply because a prescription drug was taken.  There are warning labels on these items explaining how they can often impair judgment or physical abilities along with warnings not to operate machinery or in other ways endanger yourself or the public. 

There are some folks who either accidentally or intentionally abuse prescription drugs in order to get a ‘buzz’ or in some other way alter their perception of reality.  When this occurs in a motor vehicle it becomes more than a mind trip; often times ending in serious injury and death.

“…Diapraam cited two recent hospital studies show that twice as many car accident victims said they were under the influence of prescription pills than alcohol. In just two years, there’s been an almost 20 percent increase in DWI blood tests coming back positive for prescription drugs.”

That’s an alarming thought since most of the folks found to be intoxicated via prescription drugs tend to be driving during the daytime rather than going home from the local bar in the middle of the night as with a goodly number of alcohol related DWIs.

“The most popular prescription is a combination of Soma, Xanax and Hydrocodone. It’s the same combination showing up in many of those DWI blood tests.”

Soma and the many generic labels which cover the same basic drug are intended to be used as a muscle relaxing agent.  It’s often prescribed to be used with Hydrocodone which is a codeine based narcotic for pain symptoms. 

I should know; having dealt with a bad back most of my adult life, these medicines really do work.  Responsible individuals recognize the inherent dangers associated with such powerful drugs and stay home, get plenty of bed rest and allow the medicine to work as it was intended.

There is an element within our society which disregards the conventions of safety in favor of ‘turning on’, getting a ‘buzz’ or simply forgetting the problems which beset them.  What ever you call it, getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle while consuming ‘mass quantities’ of controlled substances is a criminal act.  If you’re lucky enough to get caught prior to maiming or killing a fellow citizen you deserve the trip to the police lock-up, the expense of hiring an attorney and even an extended stay at the local jail.

There is a minor point which bothers me, at least from the legal stand point of making a case hold up in court.  How does the State determine the level of controlled substance necessary to influence behavior negatively, to the point of being criminally definitive?

As with any criminal proceeding, each point of law must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.  In the case of DWI, Alcohol, each State has its own ‘arbitrarily’ established guideline when it comes to alcohol consumption.  If the State can prove the individual had, at the time he/she was operating a motor vehicle, a specific amount of alcohol which was measured and exceeded the legally established level, either by breath test or blood sample, then the point of law could be proven in court.  

What is the ‘arbitrary’ established guideline for a controlled substance in your system, as determined through a blood sample taken by a law enforcement entity?  Well now, how much, as a percentage of other elements in that blood sample, how much is required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the individual was physically or mentally impaired?

Is that amount important?  I’ve been told certain ‘trace’ amounts of Hydrocodone can be obtained in a blood or urine sample months after having ingested this particular medicine.  If this is true then anyone who’s taken a pain pill in the past month or so could be arrested, tried and convicted in a court of law unless there are scientifically defined parameters assigned for criminal interpretations regarding controlled substances collected via blood tests.

Speaking as a retired police officer, there needs to be a very tight leash on law enforcement and the courts as pertain to bandying a charge of DWI, Controlled Substance, toward any individual.  Without such restrictions on law enforcement pain relievers identified in a blood sample, regardless of when taken or to what degree, are a prescription for trouble.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Howdy Podna

Some of you may need a translator for the title, or not.  This time of year is rodeo time, at least it is here in Houston, as Mary Bailey of the Cypress Creek Mirror reminds us.

“Friday, Feb. 22, is Go Texan Day, when Houstonians will dress in their cowboy boots and hats in celebratory anticipation of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.”

Many dress to the occasion displaying a mild western style shirt, perhaps sporting a pair of cowboy boots at the office so everyone will see.  Myself, I have a pair of cowboy boots that I wear only once a year to our church’s Chili Cook-Off; which just happens to be scheduled for this Saturday evening.  I don’t like wearing cowboy boots; they make my feet hurt, just sayin’.

Several years ago I was volunteered to represent the Sunday School auxiliary organization at the Chili Cook-Off.  I don’t know the first thing about making chili so it was easier to open several cans of chili and pour them into a huge pot.  Now to be fair, that chili had been processed and canned at the church’s canning facility on Hafer Road so, in an abstract sort of way I did have some hand in making it. 

I got distracted while the chili was on the stove and my wife alerted me to the fact that something was burning.  It was only the bottom part of the chili the got burned so I mixed it around to even things out; call it natural smoke flavoring, that’s what I called it.  Nobody died from eating my gourmet chili; nobody came back for seconds either.  Some tender hearted individual might have gotten their feelings hurt; but I did get a trophy, the Boot Award.   The judges didn’t come right out and say it; but most likely it was for having the worst entry at the cook-off.

Back when I was a uniformed officer with the Houston Police Department we had to wear, or is that Got to wear, a silly looking western style bow tie.  I don’t think they do that anymore; Houston is now a truly cosmopolitan city, thinking of a line from the movie Tombstone.  In the middle of a shoot out in front of the saloon while Sheriff Behan was singing the praises of how Tombstone would one day rival San Francisco in sophistication and high society.
Doc Holliday sarcastically observed, “Very cosmopolitan…”, you get the idea. 

Several years ago my daughter had some fun explaining to a visitor to our fair city about the trail riders moving slowly toward Memorial Park, backing traffic up along major freeway service roads, “Oh, that, it’s just our typical Friday traffic”, as if we had chuck wagons, cowboys and horse manure scattered about all the time.  In actuality, most of the manure is found at City Hall; but that’s a whole other story as we say round these parts.

In a warped sort of way I miss being a cop helping bring in the trail riders on Go Texan Day.  We’d show up at the city limits and clear a path for these folks along the service road of which ever freeway they were near.  It would be a long day as a rule, holding up side road traffic while scores of riders meandered their way into the heart of Houston prior to ending up at the park. 

Then on Saturday morning there would be the parade downtown; kids from ‘one to ninety two’ lining the streets to yell out, “Yee-haw” as the procession opened up one of the biggest rodeos in the nation.  Some will argue that it IS the biggest rodeo; but what else would you expect, this is Texas.

So to all you folks who aren’t lucky enough to live in Texas, I feel sorry for you.  I like the bumper sticker often found around here, “I wasn’t born in Texas; but I got here as quick as I could”.  A firm handshake is always welcome along with a warm smile and don’t forget to say, “Howdy, Podna”.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Standing Armies and Targets

At what point do you come to the realization that perhaps a society isn’t worth saving?  That’s an interesting thought to enter your mind at four in the morning.

I’m not saying we should bring down the flood waters and wipe out the human race or anything quite so radical; just wondering how depraved our thoughts have become in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

A couple of recent news items spurred the idea, when is a society not worth saving?

An article on by Paul Joseph Watson brought up a rather unsettling issue; there’s a company producing and selling targets for law enforcement use, or, I suppose, anyone else, depicting what they call “non traditional threats”.
 “The targets include “pregnant woman threat,” “older man with shotgun,” “older man in home with shotgun,” “older woman with gun,” “young school aged girl,” “young mother on playground,” and “little boy with real gun.”

Why are top training target suppliers for the government supplying the likes of the DHS with “non-traditional threat” targets of children, pregnant women, mothers in playgrounds, and elderly American gun owners unless there is a demand for such items?” 

Let that settle in for a moment; what kind of sick mind comes up with a product like that?  Maybe it’s the natural progression, a downward spiral of perversion, the result of years of video games depicting human forms being destroyed by a variety of weapons.

Law enforcement officers train for the ‘what if scenarios’; robbers, burglars or just ‘bad guys’ in general.  While it is possible to run up against other situations where extreme violence must be confronted, why train police officers or DHS goons, (is that a derogatory assessment?) to shoot a pregnant lady holding a gun, an old man with a shotgun inside his house or a young mother on a playground?  What does it say about the mindset of an entire police department that trains for such an event…trains for it as if it were a common every day event rather than the exception which might happen once in a ‘blue moon’.  

There’s something wrong, seriously wrong here.  If we start to desensitize law enforcement officers, have them disregard humanity, to feel nothing’s wrong in shooting a pregnant lady or an old man with a shotgun inside his own home…then what kind of society have we become?  How will police officers react after they no longer believe they are part of the society which they have been charged with policing, when they have become used to shooting pregnant ladies and old men?

Police train to take out ‘bad guys’, thugs with a two day beard holding a shotgun; not a pregnant lady in the nursery because the idea is to protect the pregnant lady in the nursery from the thugs holding a shotgun.  

Odd as it may sound coming from an old retired cop, if police recognition skills, the red flags that alert to danger were delayed for a moment, so be it; I’d rather get shot than develop the attitude that all or even most of my neighbors were a constant threat. 

At the risk of being politically incorrect, America isn’t a third world hell hole, at least not yet, like the Middle East where female suicide bombers hide explosives under a burqa, walk into a crowded shopping area and detonate themselves in the name of Alla.  Heaven forbid anyone point this out for fear CAIR might lodge a complaint for having been singled out; never mind that it’s true. 

Police officers are a part of the community they protect and serve.  If it ever comes to the point where police officers become detached from their communities, at that point they have become a standing army instead of your friendly neighborhood cops.  The transition from police department to standing army is happening all across America’s fruited plains, a little at a time mind you; but it is happening.

You’ll see this in very subtle ways.  The old blue and white patrol cars are being replaced with a universal black and white paint scheme; why is that?  The answer is more subliminal than anything; black and white vehicles appear to be more formidable and command attention.

Some police departments are changing the uniforms police officers wear.  The trend is to have them look more military.  Black fatigue type uniforms are taking the place of traditional blue toned police shirts and trousers; why is that?  Instead of polished footwear many officers have opted for combat styled boots.  Call me old fashioned, I’d rather reminisce about a more gentle time, a time when Norman Rockwell painted a picture of a cop sitting at a drug store counter next to a little boy. 

In case you missed it, this past September FEMA graduated its first class of cadets, not sure what you should call them; but FEMA Corp is how they are classified.  This is a national police force, a standing army by definition, a standing army that reports to the president and has powers that go beyond even local police departments; I find that disturbing on many levels.

Add to your concerns, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and FEMA both purchase the ‘non traditional targets’ to train with.  Never mind that our government has been accumulating vast quantities of ammunition for DHS, FEMA and the IRS; hollow point 40 caliber bullets are for target practice only, and you believe that too.  Be concerned, be very concerned (Yoda would have said, “Be afraid, be very afraid”; but this is reality, not a Star Wars film you can walk away from.)

When you start putting all these little transitory moves together the opportunity to travel down the road toward totalitarian tyranny becomes more than possible; it becomes inevitable.  Our founding fathers wagged a war for independence from the King, in part to protest a ‘standing army’ imposed on the citizenry to keep them in line.  At what point should we in our day draw a line in the sand and say, “Enough, we’ve had enough”?

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

President’s Day Lessons

What is being taught to our children about President’s Day?  Are they being taught about our values and beliefs or is some other agenda being implemented, an agenda intended to marginalize or even destroy the values and beliefs which we hold sacred?  There are facts and then there’s the manner in which facts are presented. 

My grandson came home from the local public school where he’s in the 6th grade.  His teacher had them watch the National Geographic Society’s YouTube video, The Real George Washington.  Being good grandparents we decided to watch that very same video.

Having watched other National Geographic Society presentations I’ve developed a cautious approach to their presentations; their tendency to put a slant on stories isnt much different than other major news media outlets.  It’s not so much what is said; rather, how it’s said, what’s omitted or treated with impunity.

After only a few minutes of the video the important biographical facts about George Washington were that he was a power hungry young man who lacked military skills and was extremely lucky to have advanced in rank.  He made terrible tactical decisions but because he was so lucky he survived to fight another day. 

There was no mention of his strong religious beliefs, perhaps later in the video; but we’d already had enough of tearing down a great man all in the name of being ‘strictly honest’.  The video glossed over his exceptional character, years of self discipline which made him a natural leader; instead there were references to a secret cult like group known as the Free Masons who opened doors of opportunity that eventually led to his becoming president. 

If this is an example of what is being foisted off on our youth in the name of national pride; is it any wonder we’ve lost an entire generation, a generation of future citizens who have no idea why America became the greatest nation in the world? 

There were plenty of videos to pick from; my next selection was Glenn Beck’s very short YouTube video, interestingly called, The Real George Washington.  Within a few moments the viewer learns that at the tender age of 16 George Washington had already gained the admiration from hostile Indians, those who’d tried to kill him in battle.  Here’s a printed version of what Glenn Beck referenced:

“I am a chief, and ruler over my tribes. My influence extends to the waters of the great lakes, and to the far blue mountains. I have traveled a long and weary path, that I might see the young warrior (George Washington, from the day he had horses shot out from underneath him) of the Great Battle. … It was on the day when the white man’s blood mixed with the streams of our forest, that I first beheld this chief. I called to my young men and said, mark yon tall and daring warrior? He is not of the red-coat tribe — he hath an Indian’s wisdom, and his warriors fight as we do — himself is alone exposed. … Quick, let your aim be certain, and he dies. … Our rifles were leveled, rifles which, but for him, knew not how to miss – ‘twas all in vain, a power mightier far than we, shielded him from harm. He cannot die in battle. I am old, and soon shall be gathered to the great council fire of my fathers in the land of shades, but ere I go, there is something bids me speak in the voice of prophecy. … Listen! The Great Spirit protects that man, and guides his destinies — he will become the chief of nations, and a people yet unborn will hail him as the founder of a mighty empire.”
[SOURCE: Recollections and Private Memoirs of Washington, by George Washington Parke Custis, Edited by Benson J. Lossing, Vol. 1, page 248].
[FURTHER SOURCE: "The Diary of George Washington, from 1789 to 1791," Edited by Benson J. Lossing, 1860, p. 303. This narrative was told to Mr. Custis by Dr. Craik - George Washington's Life-long Friend who was with him - and witnessed this remarkable scene. It was first published in 1828].

We asked our grand son if anything like this had been discussed during his President’s Day lesson; it had not.  There had been no mention of anything which might touch on a religious or divine connection between the character of our leaders and what it means to be President of the United States of America.

Our children are being indoctrinated to think a certain way; a way that is in direct conflict with the America I love and revere.  They are filled with names, dates and places without understanding why these names, dates and places are important. 

My grandson knew that 800 AD was the date Charlemagne became Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire; but that’s all he knew, an answer to a test question that might show up to see if he read his homework.  I’m afraid most of his classmates went home knowing about George Washington in much the same way, just enough to pass a test at school and nothing about the character and integrity the man displayed throughout his life because our schools are not teaching anything about Christian values and morality.

Speaking of Christian values and morality, have you noticed the statistics regarding the advancement of so called values in our society?  Some 41% of children are born to mothers out of wedlock and 53% believe pre-marital sex is okay.; but that’s no big deal, is it?  There is a pervasive attitude toward moral relativism, that there is no right or wrong and that God either doesn’t exist or He no longer cares about us.

Since it is, after all, President’s Day; I’ll include Thomas S. Monson, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints; its also his birthday.  He once said, “Our youth are growing up in a world saturated with the sophistries of Satan”, a warning that the fabric of our nation’s morality is under constant attack.

In the news, studies have found children are negatively impacted based on television programs they watch.  Well, “Dah!”, it took multiple research grants to find that out?

This study followed a group of 1,000 children born in Dunedin, New Zealand between 1972 and 1973. In the ten years when these kids were between 5 and 15 years of age, researchers followed up biennially to measure how much television they watched. By the numbers, those kids who watched more television were more likely to be antisocial and, in some cases, end up with a criminal conviction of some sort.”

Maybe if the Obama administration considered the impact of socially maladjusted individuals, those who’ve been bombarded with violence and a lack of respect for others due to television programs, computer game simulations which depict rape and other abominations all in the name of entertainment or a movie industry which demeans the human condition to such an extent that a few rationally impaired individuals are unable to discern between reality and the delusional world that has over taken their minds; maybe then Obama wouldn’t be demanding Congress solve the gun violence problem’ through infringements on our God given 2nd Amendment right and instead would be looking for ways to restore family values which have been ignored by a society which has rejected Christianity and its associated moral teachings.  (Have I mentioned my affection for run on sentences?)

On this President’s Day I marvel at  George Washington in his Farewell Address, his love of liberty and his attempt to explain why he needed to step down and let others take the lead; not exactly a man who only sought for power as many would have us believe.

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice ? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.  It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?”  


“In offering to you, my countrymen, these counsels of an old and affectionate friend, I dare not hope they will make the strong and lasting impression I could wish; that they will control the usual current of the passions, or prevent our nation from running the course which has hitherto marked the destiny of nations. But, if I may even flatter myself that they may be productive of some partial benefit, some occasional good; that they may now and then recur to moderate the fury of party spirit, to warn against the mischiefs of foreign intrigue, to guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism; this hope will be a full recompense for the solicitude for your welfare, by which they have been dictated.”


“Though, in reviewing the incidents of my administration, I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors. Whatever they may be, I fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend. I shall also carry with me the hope that my country will never cease to view them with indulgence; and that, after forty five years of my life dedicated to its service with an upright zeal, the faults of incompetent abilities will be consigned to oblivion, as myself must soon be to the mansions of rest.”

Weighing all the information available regarding George Washington and his place in history; it simply doesn’t add up that he was in it for the power grab as some have portrayed.  Perhaps other presidents have exhibited these less than honorable traits; but let’s not tear down a truly great president just so we can justify what others have done.  Happy President’s Day.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Popes, Presidents, Cops and Boy Scouts

By now most folks have heard about the Pope turning in his resignation papers.  I was on the phone with my mother wondering what her thoughts were and listened to her account of the time she and my father were at Newark airport, unaware that the president and the Pope were going to have some kind of meeting there at the airport. 

“The next thing we knew, everyone was herded off to one side of the airport, nobody was told why; just that we knew something was up.  Air Force One had landed and there were police and security everywhere.”  We later found out why our flight had been delayed; freeways and everything else near the airport had been shut down until the meeting ended.”

My folks had intended to be on a flight to visit my sister, a flight which they eventually made.  Listening to my mother as she remembered each little detail was worth the call as it reminded me of the many times as a police officer I was charged with performing security during a presidential visit to Houston during my tenure with the Department.

Sometimes the assignment was to stand under a bridge along the intended route of the motorcade while other times it was keeping watch on a stairwell inside a hotel where a meeting would be held.  Once it was on the roof of the Hyatt next to the revolving restaurant to make sure that part of the hotel was secure; didn’t like being so close to the edge and that huge empty space to the ground below.

One year we received notice that President Bush (41) was coming into town and all days off, vacation and overtime leave was cancelled.  The timing wasn’t good; I was the Assistant Scout Master and was supposed to accompany our troop on its way to Scout Camp that very afternoon.

I explained this to my immediate supervisor knowing that it would make no difference; but at the same time knowing there were always far more police officers than needed.  I asked for consideration to leave if the opportunity presented itself.

“In your dreams”, was the reply along with a slight belly laugh for even asking.

It turned out I was supposed to be on the outer perimeter with my three wheeled motor cycle.  The outer perimeter was several blocks away from the Bush residence.  Closer in the streets had all been shut down and secret service vehicles parked right down the middle making vehicular traffic impossible; well nearly impossible.

Our Captain wanted to get in for a photo opportunity with the president or some other really important ranking police officer stuff; but his police cruiser didn’t stand a chance of getting down there so he decided he’d use my three wheeled motor cycle.  (Did I mention the Captain had never operated one of these monsters?)

When he approached my position I instantly stood down and let him ride off toward the Bush residence while my immediate supervisor stood on the other side of the street.  About 10 minutes went by and the Captain came sputtering back with fresh damage to the fiberglass box of the three wheeler, a chunk of fender hanging off just above the pavement.

Without hesitating I reached into my wallet, took out a dollar bill and handed it to my supervisor, “Here you are, Sir.  You were right; the Captain wrecked it in less than 15 minutes”.

The blood drained from my supervisors face as his eyes rolled back in their sockets, his  wondering what had possessed me to utter such an outrageous statement.  He was speechless as I patted him on the shoulder in camaraderie.  The Captain mentioned something like, “Don’t worry about the damage…it’s to be listed as ‘old damage’…with a few words that must have caught in his throat while walking over to where he’d left his cruiser.

As the Captain drove off I mentioned to my supervisor how it would be a good idea to get my busted up three wheeler over to the motor pool for repairs.  I then pushed one more button, “Once I get it turned in... would it be okay for me to disappear and join my Scout Troop or would you prefer I check out another three wheeler?”

I must have lived a charmed existence that day, driving off with the Scouts with only a short delay from our original starting time.  Upon returning from Scout Camp my three wheeler was repaired and had a fresh coat of paint; just as if it had never happened.

All these memories came roaring back simply because I wanted to know how my mother felt regarding the Pope’s early retirement.  The names of the supervisor and Captain?...  Consider this just another story in the city and pretend you can hear the opening music for the television series, Dragnet.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Guidelines or Mandates?

There’s something wrong when a simple fund raising opportunity becomes a crime because the nutritional value, or lack thereof, doesn’t meet the state’s guidelines.  A local coach in Houston, Texas, is in serious trouble because he offered fried chicken as a fund raiser, putting his school at risk of having to pay enormous fines to the state.

I use the word guideline; but guideline infers by definition that the ultimate decision is left up to the individual.  Perhaps the state should learn the difference between a guideline and a mandate.

‘“It’s critical parents and schools understand the state guidelines and know that the state is very serious in terms of enforcing those guidelines,” said Giles.”

There was school in Bexar County, Texas, which suggested a line of action not too long ago.  (To suggest, isn’t that the same as a guideline?)  The issue was forcing students to wear RFID identification.  There was a similar line, a line which skirted the word mandate as if to soften the thumb pressing down on these folk’s heads.

“We are simply asking your daughter to wear an ID badge as every other student and adult on the Jay campus is asked to do.”

These folks need to obtain a dictionary in order to understand the meaning of the words they use.  (Sounds better than saying they need to sample what they’re shoveling)  If you ask someone to act a certain way it implies the possibility of rejection while if you direct or mandate a line of action; well, you see my point.

There was a news item out of Florida explaining how the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) was going to institute random checkpoints to snare unlicensed drivers.  They believe drivers automatically have voluntarily submitted in advance to such abuses by virtue of the fact that driving is a privilege, not a right.

“FHP says the checkpoints will be conducted during daytime hours, and generally cause delays of five minutes or less.”

The FHP must not have gotten the memo or never heard the Supreme Court ruled such random check points are against the law; kind of like Homeland Security setting up check points, ostensibly to find terrorists and an ever lengthening list of weapons of mass destruction along our fruited plains.  (Pardon me while I clean the edges of my mouth after puking in the trash can)

“In 1979, (Delaware v. Prouse) the Supreme Court stated that, absent articulable and reasonable suspicion that a motorist is unlicensed or that an automobile is not registered, or that either the vehicle or an occupant is otherwise subject to seizure for violation of law, stopping an automobile and detaining the driver in order to check his driver’s license and the registration of the automobile are unreasonable.”

Of course check points are all part of making our country a safer place, kind of like the prison mess hall where they make sure you only get a spoon because a sharp knife would jeopardize everyone.  Never mind that our 4th Amendment has been cut to ribbons by well meaning elitists who could care less about individual God given rights.

“That the sole object and only legitimate end of government is to protect the citizen in the enjoyment of life, liberty, and property, and when the government assumes other functions it is usurpation and oppression.”  Ezra Taft Benson

If these folks have their way with guidelines to save us from becoming over weight from fried chicken, home made cakes or pastries sold as fund raising items, RFID chips to make sure we’re where they think we should be at all times; shouldn’t we say thank you?   Heaven forbid we become mobile without first having some authority check our underwear for bomb making equipment, semi-automatic handguns, assault weapons and/or nuclear material intended to blow up half of Montana, Idaho and points north.

Well, at least these various government agencies didn’t presume to make their unreasonable, and I might add, unconstitutional guidelines into mandates or they’d be displaying characteristics associated with totalitarian regimes.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal , a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Walk the Halls and/or Grab Your Ankles

The Texas Locksmith Association’s president, Steven Sharp, sent an invitation to all locksmiths to attend an event in Austin, Walk the Halls.  I got my notification via the Greater Houston Locksmith Association, of which I am a member in good standing and in spite of being in opposition to their close association with Associated Locksmiths of America. 

The letter expressed the importance of meeting with State Senators and Representatives in order to “make Texas safer”; supposedly through better legislative efforts established upon sound input from individual locksmiths.   

It has been my experience that individual locksmiths expressing concerns regarding the locksmith industry to those who claim to be our representatives has been an utter waste of time and effort.

Please define “make Texas safer” in terms which don’t continue to erode individual rights.  The locksmith industry has been hammered into submission by well meaning locksmith association representation all in the name of making Texas safer.

“Most of the major ills of the world have been caused by well meaning people who ignored the principle of individual freedom, except as applied to themselves, and who were obsessed with fanatical zeal to improve the lot of mankind-in-the-mass through some pet formula of their own…the harm done by ordinary criminals, murderers, gangsters, and thieves is negligible in comparison with the agony inflicted upon human beings by the professional ‘do-gooders,’ who attempt to set themselves up as gods on earth and who would ruthlessly force their views on all others.” (Henry Grady Weaver, The Mainspring of Human Progress pg 40-41)

Quoting from the original mission statement of the Department of Public Safety/Private Security Board (DPS/PSB), the sole reason for licensing locksmiths was, “ensuring citizens and consumers of investigations and security services, that these industries provide reliable services, employ qualified and trustworthy personnel, and are free from misrepresentation and fraud”. 

The short version, “make Texas safer”.  Thank you very much; but Texas locksmiths have had about all the government help we can handle.  Locksmiths no longer control their businesses; the bureaucrats in Austin run the show now and these pencil pushers continue to come up with ways to further remind individual locksmiths that Austin, not the individual locksmiths, control nearly every aspect of the industry.

A couple of years back the president of the Texas Locksmith Association stood before the DPS/PSB and suggested they make Texas safer by doubling the mandated hours of required continuing education for those already licensed.  Well, wasn’t that thoughtful; have locksmiths waste more time and money taking classes in order to maintain a license they’ve already obtained to prove to the pencil pushers, “…that these industries provide reliable services, employ qualified and trustworthy personnel, and are free from misrepresentation and fraud.”

They couldn’t justify the hours already mandated; but those wielding power are not accountable to those they hold sway over.

Individuals locksmiths, as soon as they were required to procure and maintain a license to conduct an otherwise lawful enterprise became an easy source of revenue, permanent victims of the state to have their wallets picked under the guise of making Texas safer. 

“As a rule, a thief only targets you once; but government comes back again and again”, isn’t that the old saying?

Here’s my suggestion to the Texas Locksmith Association, the Greater Houston Locksmith Association, Senators, Representatives and the DPS/PSB, get the hell out of our business.  Is that language too strong?  (You should have seen the rough draft.)

Stop pretending to make Texas safer by infringing on an individual’s inalienable God given right to conduct business in the public square; you’ve done enough damage to the free market. 

“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”   Ben Franklin

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Opening Pandora’s Box on Immigration

Until the other day I thought I had a clear understanding of how I felt on immigration; that is until reading two articles.  The first was Alan Caruba’s, Migration is as old as mankind and the other by Judge Napalitano, Immigration is a Natural Right.  I respect both of these individuals for their ability to express reasoned thoughts; life experiences coupled with years of self examination. 

One important responsibility of being a member of society is to continually assess long held beliefs and weigh them against any and all challenges to those beliefs.  It’s difficult to make adjustments because in so doing there is the risk of admitting long held beliefs may have been in error.

Alan Caruba correctly recorded:

“With or without immigration reform, history demonstrates that people will migrate, so our response to the current population of illegals and some kind of reform is now a priority.”

Judge Napolitano wrote, and I agree:

“The issue the politicians and bureaucrats would rather avoid is the natural law. The natural law is a term used to refer to human rights that all persons possess by virtue of our humanity. These rights encompass areas of human behavior where individuals are sovereign and thus need no permission from the government before making choices in those areas. Truly, in the Judeo-Christian tradition, only God is sovereign—meaning He is the source of His own power.”

These articles triggered an internal assessment mechanism; not saying I have thrown in with the idea that immigration and citizenship are one in the same; only that the factors which I once held as inviolate may have been based on a false premise. 

I awoke into conscious thought to find myself going over the basic concepts of civilized society, natural rights and how they apply to a self governed people as opposed to rule by force as so often is the case in nature.  In other words I was playing the “what if” game to a level requiring my being alert and willing to open my mind.

If immigration or migration is a natural right as suggested in the afore mentioned articles, then does that immigration or migration automatically qualify individual (s) for membership in the society which exists in the area and has already established rules for membership.  Now that’s a deep question because it involves so many levels of response. 

Before answering that broad sweeping question my mind immediately recalled a study performed and recorded by Farley Mowats via his autobiography,  Never Cry Wolf, which was made into a movie under the same title.  Wikipedia has a brief summary:

“A young, naive biologist named Tyler (Smith) is assigned by the government to travel to the isolated Canadian arctic wilderness and study why the area's caribou population is declining, believed due to indiscriminate wolf-pack attacks. Tyler receives a baptism of fire into bush life with a trip by bush plane piloted by an odd, adventurous bush pilot named Rosie (Dennehy). After landing at the destination, Rosie leaves Tyler and his gear in the middle of a subzero Arctic nowhere. Unsure of where to start, Tyler's indecision quickly imperils him until he’s rescued by a travelling Inuit named Ootek (Ittimangnaq), who builds a shelter for him.

Alone, Tyler's days are divided between research and mere personal survival, while nights are fraught with anxiety-born nightmares of wolf attacks upon him. He soon encounters two wolves--which he names George and Angeline, who have pups--and discovers they seem as curious of him as he is of them, slowly disspelling their mutual fears. He and the wolves both begin social exchanges, even urine-marking their territories, producing trust and respect between them.” 

That last line introduces the idea of immigration and migration, the extended consideration of societal acceptance along with the higher level of social membership; there is a difference between acceptance or the right to exist and membership which implies other social amenities, to include voting privileges.  Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness are natural rights; but citizenship must be obtained, there is a difference. 

Some insist that social acceptance and social membership are one and the same; however, as the movie brought out, the wolves acceptance of the human, permitting him a space to exist within their area of domination, that acceptance did not make the human a wolf with all the rights and privileges of the wolf pack.  The human was always a separate cast within a working society, a society which he had only a limited understanding of at best. 
Social acceptance and social membership are not one and the same; other factors must also be reconciled.  Those entering a society which already exists have limited options. 

Individuals can be assimilated into that society; accept the customs and laws and request membership by virtue of becoming indistinguishable, for the most part, from any other member of that society.  The voluntary act of assimilation adds strength to society in general and permits the greatest range of movement with in that society for its newest members.

Cultural assimilation is the process by which a subaltern group's native language and culture are lost under pressure to assimilate to those of a dominant cultural group. The term is used both to refer to colonized peoples when dominant colonial states expand into new territories or alternately, when diasporas of immigrants settle into a dominant state society. Colonized peoples or minority immigrant groups acquire new customs, language, and ideologies through contact and education in the dominant society. Assimilation may involve either a quick or gradual change depending on circumstances. Full assimilation occurs when new members of a society become indistinguishable from older members.” 

Another option would be for the newest individual to have the existing society alter its customs and laws in such a way as to include the customs and or laws of its newest member.  There is a term for this, cultural diversity; but in reality that diversity eventually destroys a healthy working society by eroding the culture which held it together in the first place.

Cultural diversity is the quality of diverse or different cultures, as opposed to monoculture, as in the global monoculture, or a homogenization of cultures, akin to cultural decay. For example, before Hawaii was conquered, the culturally diverse Hawaiian culture existed in the world, and contributed to the world's cultural diversity. Now Hawaii has been westernized; the vast majority of its culture has been replaced with Western or American culture. The phrase cultural diversity can also refer to having different cultures respect each other's differences. The phrase cultural diversity is also sometimes used to mean the variety of human societies or cultures in a specific region, or in the world as a whole. The culturally destructive action of globalization is often said to have a negative effect on the world's cultural diversity.” 

Lastly, and is often the case, there is the option to conquer an existing society and implement an entirely new society and set of laws.  This can be accomplished by destroying, eliminating members who represented unwanted portions of society or by marginalizing the old guard to such a point as to make them irrelevant.

History is replete with examples of warfare; but I’ll use for example only the Third Reich, or NAZI Germany as it was also called.  These folks took on their neighbors and placed them into complete subjugation in its quest for total world control.  There was no attempt at diversity, these nations were conquered and at the mercy of Germany.  They eliminated unwanted portions within society; the extermination of the Jews as well as those who opposed the Third Reich.  

“The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of approximately six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators.”

How does this fit in with immigration and citizenship?

We have to look at property rights, yet another natural right.  Many have defined property rights; but none better than Frederick Bastiat.  Consider the ramifications of these three thoughts as they build toward a natural conclusion, that governments are instituted by men in order to protect the natural rights of those who instituted their government.

“Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.”  


“Each of us has a natural right – from God – to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two. For what are our faculties but the extension of our individuality? And what is property but and extension of our faculties?”  


“If every person has the right to defend – even by force – his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right -–its reason for existing, its lawfulness -- is based on individual right.  (The Law, p.6)

With citizenship comes the acceptance of the rule of law as established through our founding documents; our Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  Our society has given government the power to defend our lives, liberty and property from all who would attempt to subjugate us; our enemies abroad or from within.  In the most simple of terms, sovereignty was established.

With sovereignty comes the ability to define the extent of our geographic borders, a means of identifying where our social order is in force.   This isn’t much different than a pack of wolves urinating on stones to mark their territory, a crude analogy, perhaps; but easily understood throughout the world. 

Those who wish to enter our borders must adapt to our social and cultural ways, try to become a part of our culture and expand what that social culture represents by convincing us to accept their social differences or conquer us and put us into subjugation; it’s that simple.  (I’m not a big fan of the last option)

Immigration laws were written to protect the social culture shared by those who respect our constitutional republic and serve no other purpose.  By extension, our immigration laws are the first step towards gaining citizenship and full assimilation into our culture.

It is not logical to expect our society to accept those who wish to modify, replace or destroy our existing culture with values of an alien culture all in the name of diversity.  Those who would have us accept migration as a natural law must also accept all other natural laws, laws which have been in existence from before the world was created.

We as a nation of individuals have a natural right to protect our social order by establishing geographic boundaries and enforcing criteria for entry; in other words, immigration laws.   Those who would become a part of our culture should respect our laws.  Those who don’t respect our laws or who have an ulterior motive for gaining entrance into our borders should be dealt with accordingly, without concern for violating their natural right to migrate. 

While it is true, each individual on the planet has the natural right to migrate; in doing so he/she must acknowledge the natural rights of those who inhabit those areas along that path, to include the right to deny entrance or limit freedom of movement within the sovereignty of established borders.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.