Hate Crimes

My military career began at the Air Force Acedemy Prep School–the same one in the news recently about some hateful grafitti.  The news has been reporting today that it was actually the “victim” of the supposed hate crime who actually was responsible for it.  This is the second such news revelation this week alone!  And not too many months ago, a congregant was found to be responsible for hateful grafitti at his own church (here in Indiana where I live).

In the other case this week, the man was responsible for defacing his own car with racist messaging.  The incident angered and scared residents.  It was also responsible for widespread social media outrage, increased security for Kansas State University, and an FBI investigation.

Had a non-African American been found responsible for this, he or she could have (and likely would have) been charged with a hate crime.  The fact that the victim did this to himself–whether part of a Halloween gag or not–does not negate whether or not an offense was committed.  In this case, as well as the recent Air Force case, the self-victims should be charged with an offense that allows for some measure of restitution.  Let’s start with an apology, then move to community service and a fine to help reimburse for the public money spent investigating the “crime”.

In these self-inflicted cases, what the perpetrator doesn’t realize and isn’t being held accountable for is that these actions foment more fear, hatred, and racism.  It’s time these individuals are made to face the consequences of their actions.

As for the Prep School student, he lost a potentially promising career.  Not sure that’s enough in his case–he’s brought dishonor on himself, the school, and the Air Force in the eyes of the world!


The Rich Get Richer…

…is a great emotionally charged statement that is made from an artificially contrived platform of moral equality.  At its face, it evokes feelings that something is wrong–unfair.  It suggests that someone is being cheated.  It’s a statement based on envy–one of the more powerful emotions.  It strikes at the heart of man’s nature–wanting what others have and often wanting it whether it is deserved or not.  The juvenile equivalent is one we may have heard many times before:  “Hey!  That’s not fair!”

What is the answer to this issue of income inequality?

First, one has to agree that there is a problem.  But is there really a problem?

One would have to suggest that in order for the rich to not get richer, there need to be:

  • Caps on wealth attainment
  • Caps on wealth retention

For instance, once a level of wealth is attained, say $1,000,000.00, the “person” could no longer obtain any more wealth.  He or she could no longer draw a paycheck, no longer receive interest or dividends on investments, not receive a financial gift, and would even have to turn-over the penny found on a sidewalk–that is, until the financial worth dropped below the cap.  Taken to a logical conclusion, any investment would be capped, suggesting that as they rose in value, the investment would have to be divested.  Stocks, gold, and silver–easily done.  A house or vehicle that appreciates, well, then what?  One could always take the Bolshevik approach seen in the story, Doctor Zhivago:  Confiscate the home and relegate the owner to an apartment commensurate with his or her needs.

This country (and any “free” country) will have a hard time asking entrepreneurs and investors to live according to such caps.  Such a country will have a harder time still with fostering and supporting a market that drives innovation, invention, and commercial enterprise.  Indeed, the potential for profit has made all of this possible–from Queen Isabella investing in Columbus’ journeys, to Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey creating social media environments that have been changing the world!

Oddly enough, wouldn’t it be those who are wealthy and in power who would define these caps?

Of course, that’s not really what they’re espousing.  Politicians like Bernie Sanders don’t want to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs!  No!  He and others want to increase the output of the goose and ensure the golden eggs are harvested and used for their purpose.

Tax the wealthy more!  Take more of what they earn–and give it to others via social programs.

The conservative view–which I obviously hold to–is summed up in the adage “give a man a fish, he eats for a day; teach a man to fish and he eats for life”.  Or the cliché “hand-up, not a hand-out”.

The social and progressive rant about the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer is recited in the media, ironically, by those of great wealth and means.  Their proposals to redistribute the wealth do little or nothing to alleviate the conditions that create poverty or trap individuals in it.

We have been told that the poor will be with us always (Jesus said it, not me!).  This doesn’t mean that we should do nothing to meet their needs or to alleviate their suffering, but it does mean that we will not eliminate poverty.  Ever!

We are also told to not envy or covet anything that is our neighbors (God said it, not me!).  If we can get past the sin of saying “I want what he has”, we could do far better as a society.

Here’s the fix:  Let’s applaud those who succeed and help those who struggle.

While we Americans subscribe to a philosophy that all men are created equal, that doesn’t mean that all men remain equal.  No man should think himself better than another (again, Biblical!), but we all have different gifts and talents.  We should be able to use these gifts and talents to the betterment of our lives without the government capping how much enjoyment we have.  After all, there are certain inalienable rights endowed on us by our creator–life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Having a government that no longer wants to acknowledge that Creator does not lessen these rights.

NOTE:  This is a post I started some time ago and simply never finished.  With a few edits, here it is, just in time for the tax reform debate and the perennial belly aching about only the rich being helped by it.)

After a 2-Year Hiatus…

Some time ago, the following thoughts ran through my mind:

  1. I don’t have time to write
  2. There are too many people with opinions out there already
  3. No-one really cares about what I might have to say

And with those thoughts, I put down my “pen” and stopped writing.

I was confident that at some point, something might prompt me to resume writing–I just couldn’t imagine what that might be.  There’s so much going on these days.  If you thought the world was full of interesting stuff, you ought to see my life!

A lot has happened and changed since my last post in Oct 2015!

With that, let’s just say I have a few things on my mind.

Idiot Idea of the Day

CNN, you ought to be ashamed of yourselves!

There was a time that CNN lived up to its name as a “Cable News Network”.  These days, it seems it’s anything but the news.  It’s opinion and even then, poorly formed and ignorant opinion.  (I’ll discuss the pit bull, Chris Cuomo, another time!)

As I often do during the day, I’m reading through CNN.com/US and there’s an article about gun control.  The author, Jeff Yang, suggests that an answer to the “epidemic” of gun violence is to make owners of guns get insurance.  The article is stupid enough on its own but simply the fact that CNN would publish it is amazing!

Let’s walk through a few counter-thoughts for a moment:

  1. Requiring doctors to have insurance doesn’t stop malpractice from happening.  It only provides a means for the survivors or victims’ families to carry on, at least financially.  The patient is still injured, suffering, or dead.
  2. Requiring drivers to have insurance hasn’t stopped car accidents from happening.  It only provides a means for financial recovering in the wake of a crash.  The damage is still done, injuries still happened, and in some cases, the dead are still dead.

There is no case I can think of where requiring insurance has prevented a potentially negative event from occurring.  In fact, “requiring” insurance is not always enforced even in cases (such as driving) until or unless an event occurs that brings it to light.  The fallacy of those who think like Mr Yang is the thought process that believes a law will prevent something from happening.  Obviously Not!  Even with all of the thousands of laws on the books today–if not millions–crimes and law violations occur on a regular basis.

Insurance may cause a law-abiding citizen to reconsider gun ownership if the cost of that insurance is too great.  For the criminal, die hard, or mentally ill?  Not necessarily.  And even if a person has insurance for a legally obtained firearm, there is no guarantee that in the heat of the moment, someone will not end up dead.

CNN’s Andre Spicer has an equally ineffective idea:  Let’s convince retailers that selling guns isn’t in their best commercial interest!  Great!  So that takes care of Walmart and introduces more shops that are “gun free” like Starbucks.  It doesn’t get guns off of the streets.  It also does nothing to stop a destructive person from walking into an elementary school with a gun and killing people.  How much more gun-free can you get than an elementary school???

Well, those signs in the windows or at the curbs that says “Gun-Free Zone” were REALLY effective, weren’t they!?!?!?!!!

The only answer to gun violence in this country–or anywhere in the world–is a complete revocation of any rights regarding gun ownership with full surrender, then confiscation, and then extreme punishment for anyone found to own a gun.  At that point, there would almost have to be immediate incarceration on a felony charge with the possibility of life in prison or the death penalty before things would change significantly.

I don’t advocate any of this, by the way!  I don’t advocate anything mentioned up to this point!!!

HOWEVER, I do agree that doing nothing is not the right answer, but there needs to be an unemotional, logical, reasoned out approach, hammered out by liberals and conservatives, and then simply implemented.  Doing SOMETHING and doing the RIGHT THING are not one and the same though.  A change may mean that the Constitution is amended–it has been before and likely will be again.  Not an easy path or a likely one at that.  But if and when it does occur, be prepared to either live by the new rules or to move into the criminal class when you don’t.

And be prepared in that day to live with a lot of other changes that will leave the United States of America less great, less free, and less united!

Meteors from Earth???

Michael Meyer, NASA scientist, questions how life on Earth began.  In his comments about how life might have begun on Mars, he says that we know that meteors from Earth have hit Mars.

I’d like to know what evidence there is that any meteors from Earth have hit Mars.  Any impact that could cause a chunk of this world to be expelled into space surely happened before man was here to witness it–and live to tell.  The odds that a chunk escaped our gravity and made its way all the way to Mars are extraordinary.  And I have yet to hear of any findings on Mars that supports this claim.


In researching this, I found this CNN opinion article in which the author states “But organic molecules get delivered to planets all the time from impacts by small and large asteroids and comets (like February’s fireball impact above Chelyabinsk, Russia), providing the last key ingredient for habitability.”

Really?  So where is the evidence of these organic molecules?  I also researched the Chelyabinsk meteor and fail to find any mention of organic matter.

As usual, it’s amazing that science states information as fact without the generally accepted level of evidence to support it.  If it’s said enough times, it must be true.  Otherwise, they must be operating on hope and faith.  And if that’s the case, then it’s religion, not science!

Undocumented Means…

The whole argument is political correctness gone to the level of emotional coddling.

Look!  It’s this simple:

If I drive a vehicle and if I do not have insurance or a drivers license, I am still a “driver”.  However, I am an undocumented driver and am not driving legally.  If I am not driving legally, then I am driving illegally.  I am an illegal driver.

It doesn’t matter whether I’m a nice person or not, or whether I work, have children, or am a genius.  If I hit your car and damage it, no matter how nice I am, you will find my illegal status problematic.

If I immigrate to this country and reside here, and if I do not have the appropriate visa or whatever papers I need, I am still a resident–I am still an immigrant.  However, I am an undocumented immigrant and did not immigrate here legally.  If I did not immigrate legally, then I am an illegal immigrant.

For those who don’t like the word “illegal”, you should understand that it means that something is not within the scope of what the law allows or prescribes.  More simply, not in accordance with applicable laws.

We can try to make those who are here illegally feel less outside the law by simply calling them undocumented, but that does not change the law.  And we can try to make ourselves look more progressive, compassionate, and accepting.  But stupidly arguing that black is not black, and that white is not white–well, it makes the person look plain stupid.

Let’s get to the point–the US is woefully and inadequately prepared for mass cases of Ebola.  The individual case in Dallas is enough to show that even given the proper protocols, health workers are still at risk.  Now consider that the hospital failed to properly diagnose Mr Duncan on his first visit.  If these can happen in a world-class facility in Dallas, your local hospitals and clinics are even less prepared to deal with Ebola!

Taking a page from history, here’s the next point.  Inmates are secluded from the general population on Rikers Island such that even an escapee from the facility has a natural barrier between him and society.  The same principal was applied at Alcatraz.  In more recent times, we have the detainees in Guantanamo.  On the civil side of the point, Ellis Island served as a landing zone and allowed introduction of only the “qualified” into the country.  Now fast forward.  We have already deployed military resources to help in Africa.  It is time to deploy them here as well.

The recommendation I’d put forward is to station a Naval hospital ship offshore–a few miles perhaps off of the Carolinas.  Staff it with military trained to deal with Ebola cases–the decontamination processes are not that foreign as military are trained for decon from Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological (NBC) environments anyway.  Any and all diagnosed cases–even strongly suspected ones–are transported to and housed on the ship.  It’s a well-controlled, self-contained environment with the ability to receive supplies and patients via helicopter.

If we fail to contain Ebola cases early on, the risk of it being widely introduced into the general population is high.  Once that happens, facilities and healthcare workers will be quickly overwhelmed, only adding to the risks.

The US is running out of time to develop a strategy for containment and treatment.  Start this plan now and we may save hundreds if not thousands of lives!