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Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Dark Side of Racism

For the past three weeks, the citizens of St. Louis have been able to see themselves and others in a completely different light. It is not a good one. Oh sure, the recent shooting of 18 year old Michael Brown, a black teenager by a white police officer, has had many people, black and white, calling for peace and waiting for all of the facts to come in for a full and complete investigation. They have helped each other clean up after days of looting and rioting. They have sat in church together and tried to heal their community.
  But it has brought out the very worst as well. Not just the obvious in looters and rioters, but the subtle, the unseen, the things people don't like to own up to.
  We know that bigots come in all shapes, sizes and yes, colors. They will usually train their vitriol on others who don't look like them, or have differing opinions and views. But whenever a high profile case, especially of a racial nature is front and center, a special brand of hate is unleashed at black conservatives.
  This time however, was different. It hit much closer to home. Why? Because the object of so much venom was my dear friend Martin Baker. Martin is certainly no stranger to the political landscape that is reserved for black conservatives. Having run for office a few times, and being on the front lines with various conservative groups, Martin is well prepared for the name calling, the smears, and all of the usual tactics used by liberals, especially black liberals, against other blacks. When he attended a rally recently in support not so much for Officer Darrin Wilson, but for law and order, for transparency, and for the fair and impartial carrying out of justice, a picture of Martin showed up on Twitter, and it was open season on anything and anyone Martin Baker holds dear.
  He was viciously attacked in any way a person can be, but it was all really aimed in only one direction, his political beliefs. For some reason, most black liberals don't know that groups like the KKK were started by Democrats. They don't know that every single piece of civil rights legislation passed in the 1960's passed because of Republicans. Democrats blocked it every way they could. But conservatives, Frederick Douglass conservatives like Martin Baker know the true history of the Democrat Party.
  But never mind the facts. Facts are pesky things sometimes. So not wanting those pesky facts to get in the way, those brave
champions of civil rights lurking behind anonymous Twitter handles went to work. Decorum prevents this Blogger from repeating most of them here, but you get the idea:
  "@Afrocentricity", (is that even a word?) said, "How U gon support Darren Wilson? U a clown, all u missing is the red nose. U no longer black". Mr. Centricity, apparent self-arbiter of all things "black", was the most polite of the bunch. "@A.Pink", could that be short for pinko or communist? Perhaps. He at least made it to the spelling portion of grade school, but unfortunately, he does not get an "A" for originality. "People can you believe this Uncle Tom? He's a lead supporter of the criminal cop that murdered Mike Brown." With random folks with law degrees running around like Mr. Pink(o), who needs a jury? Of course the usual Shakespearean wannabes who like to scribble "sell out" and the n-word all over anything that doesn't move made their presence known as well.
  Why is it that all black people are required to think alike? Why is it that when black conservatives dare stray from the "Audacity of Hope" bandwagon, and form their own thoughts and opinions, they are deemed, "not officially black"? Doesn't freedom not only mean physical freedom, but intellectual freedom as well? Is this not what black people and many white people have fought and died for?
  Men like Martin Baker are a rare breed. They march to the beat of their own drum. Their beliefs are unbending, never wavering, because they know those beliefs to be the truth. They stand up for those beliefs when it is not cool, and even dangerous to do so.
  If that is the definition of "sell out", America is in desperate need of them.     

Monday, August 11, 2014

Fashionable Hatred

  The conflict between the terror group Hammas and Israel rages on with no clear end in sight. Cease fires last no more than a few days, and once again the silence is shattered by exploding rockets. The usual sequence of events seems to be Hammas doing the rocket firing. It is a complicated case to most Westerners, its origins dating back thousands of years.
  As the fighting continues, many people around the world are quick to take sides. Israel is firing on innocent women and children say one side. Hammas is storing their weaponry in schools and residential areas and using their citizens as human shields says the other. There may be more evidence of Hammas using human shields than anything else. But what is also becoming very apparent is the rise of anti-Semitism in a big fat global kind of way.
  The incidents started out sort of few and far between in Europe. In a heavily Jewish section of Paris, crowds could be heard yelling, "Gas the Jews". In Frankfurt Germany, there were signs that read such things as, "The Jews are beasts". In Great Britain, mainly in London, over 100 anti-Semitic incidents have been reported. The violence has now spread to the United States. In Miami, a synagogue was vandalized, and in Boston, angry mobs of people chanted anti-Jewish slogans.
  In a somewhat bizarre twist, some rather loud bursts of anti-Semitism have come from Hollywood. It seems the place to go for anything overly weird seen on Twitter is Twitchy.com. There, you will find any foolish nonsense tweeted out by any foolish celebrity on any given day, and the Gaza-Israel conflict seems to bring out the best, or worst in a whole bunch of them.
  Not that all Hollywood celebs are dumb, some are actually pretty smart despite their chosen profession, but the ones who may not be the sharpest knives in the drawer keep displaying their "talents" to the tweeting public. Actress Selena Gomez recently tweeted, "#PrayForGaza". She is of course entitled to her opinion, but could she find a place called Palestine on a map? Even if it actually existed, most likely not.
  Singer Rhianna also felt compelled to tweet out, "#FreePalestine". But perhaps the most egregious was actress Penelope Cruz and husband Javier Bardem, who signed a letter accusing Israel of genocide. The best part? All of these global events experts had to walk back their silly uninformed comments.
  Ironically, Jewish celebrities like Steven Spielberg and Liberal poster child herself, Barbara Streisand have been silent on the whole situation. It certainly is not like either one of them would not find work if they did choose to speak out. Why the silence?
  But possibly the biggest question, why is it all of a sudden, almost cool, to be an anti-Semite? In the case of Spielberg and Streisand, their ideology is no doubt second to their ethnicity. It has often been said Liberalism is a religion, so perhaps their conversion is complete. But one has to wonder at younger performers like Gomez and Rhianna. Is it that they have never been taught anything about the Middle East in school? Maybe. At least in the case of Selena Gomez, she spent much of her formative years on a Disney set. But why be so quick to comment on something that they clearly have no knowledge of, and know that their many fans may decide that this also is their view? Do kids of their generation know the evil history of anti-Semitism? Given the watered down state of American education, it is a safe bet they do not.
  Fortunately, the older generations of Hollywood, like actor Jon
Voight are trying to make sure that anti-Semitism in Tinsel town does not become the norm. But will it filter down to the younger set? That remains to be seen.
  During World War II, Hollywood was the biggest supporter of American soldiers. In 2014, will it be the biggest supporter of bigotry and hatred?
  The tolerant Left, at work again.             

Sunday, June 15, 2014

I Miss Celebrating Father's Day

Wow. I have not been here for a while. Been busy with a million other projects. I am glad about that. Guess I will just sleep when I am dead. All of a sudden, it's Father's Day. Well that crept up on me!
  I don't do much on Father's Day anymore. I tell other Dads I know to have a great day. I truly hope that they do. I wish I could tell the young children of dads I know to appreciate and savor every moment.
  I thought about what we would have done today as a family. My parents and my brother would have come over to our house. We would have barbecued. My husband and my brother, both of them guitar players and frustrated rock stars, would have proceeded to discuss a new tune, band, or guitar just out by Gibson, Les Paul, or another guitar maker, and it would have been kind of fun to sit and watch my dad watch them talk about something they both love, and not know what the hell either one of them was talking about. But he would make sure he looked interested.
  In case no one has figured it out by now, we are a political family. My brother and I were taught to pay attention to what was going on around us, and in the rest of the world. It has made us care. We would talk about things like the Middle East, health care, and just the President in general. My dad was a Conservative from the Reagan/Buckley school of Conservatism. He was never afraid to let that be known.
  He would ask about our jobs, how our cars were running, and my husband would have at least one household repair that needed the knowledge and expertise of somebody who had been self taught in the ways of do it yourself home repair. That knowledge was usually spot on, and I know was invaluable to a guy whose first talent is not being a handyman.
 After dinner, we would gather in our family room, around the TV. We would have channel surfed, and no doubt would have stumbled on an old movie, or TV show. The musicians in the family might have commandeered the remote before anyone else, and promptly switched to VH1 Classic, just to make my dad, an old school jazz man in every sense of the word, listen to Led Zeppelin, RUSH, or some obscure 80's hair band that has been forgotten. I think they just liked to torture him.
  I was always sad to see the day end. Like everybody else, I was always busy with work, or something else that would make me put off just stopping by to shoot the breeze with my dad. But instead of feeling bad or guilty about that, because he would not want that, I think I will just remember the warm summer Saturday afternoons of my childhood. I was 7 or 8 years old, my dad would spend the day working on cars. When you could actually still work on your own car. Cars were his passion. He would wash his or my mom's car, change the oil, or do what ever it was that needed to be done. The garage door would be up all day, and strains of the late Jim Bolen's Saturday afternoon jazz show, "Jazz Comes Calling", live from "Jazz Central" could be heard on his garage radio.
  Those Father's Days, and those Saturday afternoons only live in my memory now. I wouldn't trade them for the world. I think about my dad every day. Maybe that makes, at least for me, every day Father's Day.


  Happy Father's Day Dads, from The Conservative Cauldron!    

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The First Casualties

  The so called "war on women" is a phony ginned up controversy that Democrats hope to ride to majorities in the House and Senate all the way to November. They will say it is all the evil doings of those rascally Republicans. They just don't like women! They don't want them to get an education, don't want them to get jobs, they certainly don't want them to be paid the same as men for doing those jobs. They don't want them to own their own homes. Blah blah blah.
  Liberals would have you think that this war on women is a recent invention. But is it really? Could it have started just a bit earlier? Could it have started in 1998? Could the first casualties be women that have been largely forgotten about? Well, yes.
  Last week saw the resurgence of someone named Monica Lewinsky. Sixteen years have passed since the 24 year old White House Intern became a household word. An ugly, household word. Lewinsky is featured this month's issue of "Vanity Fair" magazine. She says it is time to "burn the beret and bury the blue dress".
  The relationship between President Bill Clinton and Lewinsky surfaced during an investigation into a sexual harassment claim by Paula Jones. Jones had been a state employee during Clinton's term as Governor of Arkansas. As soon as the story became a national scandal, the Clinton search and destroy spin machine went into overdrive. Lewinsky was portrayed as a stalker who was obsessed with Clinton and would not leave him alone. First Lady Hillary Clinton characterized Lewinsky as a "narcissistic looneytoon". Everything about Monica Lewinsky's life and character was put into the Clinton shredder. Now 40 years old, she has not been able to be employed, had to go to Great Britain to earn a degree, and maintains that even though she regrets the relationship, it was entirely consensual.
  Monica Lewinsky became known to the world however, because there was a pattern being established. A pattern of women who came in contact with Bill Clinton, and ended up being groped, molested, and in the case of Juanita Broaddrick, possibly raped. Bill Clinton had quite a dubious track record during his days as Governor. State Troopers told stories of how they procured what would be commonly known today as "hook ups" for Clinton.
  So was it Hillary's job back then, not only to appear as the doting First Lady of Arkansas, but to make sure that if any of these women, any of these "procurements" decided to go to the press with their tales of exploits with the Gov, that they would be summarily destroyed, their lives ruined just so Bill Clinton's horn dog status was not discovered? And just so we are  all on the same page, it is the Republicans who are waging a war on women?
  The answer of course, is yes. Hillary Clinton may be a whole lot of things, but one thing she is not is stupid. She and her husband are the poster children for calculating politicians. But even before Bill's political career began, she knew just exactly what kind of man she was marrying. Was her own ambition so great that she was willing to take charge of any and all "bimbo eruptions" that went on? That answer also appears to be yes.
  So the question remains, is Hillary Clinton a willing participant in this war on women? It seems pretty incredulous that a woman, especially one who is a member of the Party who claims to champion the rights of women everywhere, would be so quick to destroy the women who were the unfortunate victims of her husband.
  Paula Jones, Gennifer Flowers, Kathleen Willey, Juanita Broaddrick, and ultimately, Monica Lewinsky may very well have taken the first shots fired if there is a "war on women". Certainly their lives have never been the same since their encounter with the Clinton machine.
  Maybe the Democrats should rethink this whole war on women. When you think about it, it might even go further back than the Clintons.
  Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment.       

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Ugly Face of Racism...and Hypocrisy

  I don't follow basketball. But I know who some its star players are, like Shaq, LeBron James, and Kevin Garnett. But I like a lot of the planet; I had no clue who Donald Sterling was, until Saturday. On Saturday, the website TMZ released an audio tape of Los Angeles Clippers owner Sterling, and a girlfriend discussing who she brought to the games. By now, the same rest of the planet who had no idea who Sterling was, now know that, well, he does not exactly have warm fuzzy feelings for minorities. The audio tape reveals some very disturbing and racist comments being made by Donald Sterling.
  Let's start from the beginning. Number one, the comments made by Donald Sterling were ugly, gross, and appalling to decent people everywhere. There is no place for these kinds of comments in civil society. Luckily, guys like Donald Sterling are a dying breed. That should make Oprah happy. She did wish death on old white bigots. Wow, she is good. What is also a positive take away is the collective disgust at what was said. It proves that among Americans in 2014, this is the exception, not the norm that guys like Jesse and Al would like us all to believe.
  We will come back to Jesse and Al. This is their story too, as you will see. Now, let's talk about what no one else will. Glaring, in your face hypocrisy. Fact, Donald Sterling is an old bigot. he comes from a long ago time in America. He is eighty years old, and is not going to have some sort of racial epiphany any time soon. However, he is also an American citizen. Last time I checked, in America, at least for now, no matter how vile and despicable his words and thoughts may be, he has the right to think them and even say them out loud if he wishes. Sometimes liberty and freedom of speech are messy things.
  Number two. This is not Donald Sterling's first time at the bigot rodeo. In 2009, after the Department of Justice filed a housing discrimination lawsuit against him, alleging that he tried to keep blacks and Latinos from renting apartments in buildings he owned. He was forced to settle the suit for around $2.7 million dollars. Guys like Magic Johnson and others in the basketball community knew of his dubious track record. Why did this not attract the outrage that an audio tape has? Donald Sterling was also surely paying a lot of the same people who are so appalled today that he was in 2009. What exactly is the difference?
  Number three. Johnson, Charles Barkley, and any former NBA star on any given ESPN panel, seem to pick and choose their outrage carefully. Comments like Jesse Jackson's famous "Hymie town" quip, the vile and yes threatening bilge that has come out of the mouth of Al Sharpton, and let's not forget, in Al's case, he is all but responsible for a murder during a riot in Crown Heights Brooklyn, don't seem to warrant a raised eyebrow. For years, Louis Farrakhan has made some of the most incendiary anti-white and anti-Semitic remarks by anyone. The reaction from members of the black community? Silence.
  Perhaps one of the most egregious things that Magic, Barkley, and the rest forgot to be "outraged" about, is the fact that in Chicago, practically every weekend, black people are brought to slaughter by the dozens. On Easter weekend alone, 40 people were shot. At least 8 of them died. Surely an opinionated guy like Charles Barkley would have something to say about that. No? Hmmm.....
  No one is going to defend Donald Sterling. That old saying, "no man is an island"? Not true anymore. The free market will take care of Donald Sterling's financial status. If you don't like what he said, don't go to Clippers games or watch them on TV. Don't buy Clippers merchandise. The message will be sent loud and clear. After all, money talks. We will see that soon enough when big fat checks are written to the Rainbow Coalition, National Action Network, United Negro College Fund, and the NAACP.
  Everyone stands up and cheers when the Thought Police come to destroy someone they think needs destroying. But we need to look beyond race for just a minute, so we can see that something much deeper and way more chilling is going on.
  We all have at least one thought, view, or opinion about something that more than likely, society might not deem acceptable.
  Who will be cheering when they come for you? 
              

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

We the People-1 Federal Government-0

Even though it is not taught very much anymore, America was founded on the backs of ordinary citizens who had had more than enough of big government reigning down upon them. In those days, big government had a name, King George. But now? It seems to be too gigantic for a name. But the boiling point that today's ordinary citizens seem to be rapidly approaching looks a lot like the one from 1776.
  Over the past several weeks, Conservative media has focused on the plight of rancher Cliven Bundy. The Bundy family has been raising cattle on the same piece of land since right after the Civil War. But beginning in 1993, in an attempt to save the desert tortoise, the Bureau of Land Management began to drive the Bundy herd off of the federal land it had been grazing on for over a century. Long story short, the BLM showed up on the Bundy ranch with four wheel drive vehicles, snipers, and what amounted to their own personal army. All in an effort to seize the cattle.
  Well, people heard about Mr. Bundy's government problem. So they came to help out. A lot of people came to help out. They came by car, by truck, even by horseback. They came to help Cliven Bundy get the federal government off what amounts to his front yard. And they succeeded.
  The whole story of the Bundy ranch has been told countless times. There is plenty of debate on all sides as to whether Cliven Bundy is in the right or wrong. The real story here is the story of average Americans.
  In 2010, average Americans found their voice and made it loud and clear how they felt about Obama care. They showed up in droves to Town Hall meetings and Tea Party gatherings. They showed up at the district offices of their Congressmen and Senators. They made it clear what would happen if they supported any part of the Affordable Care Act. In some cases, bluffs were called. All of a sudden, what average Americans said made a great deal of difference to Congressmen and Senators. Job security has a way of getting one's attention.
  When November came along, Republicans gained the largest number of seats in the House since the 1930's. Washington D.C. was put on notice that the people meant what they said. Average Americans were reminded that when their collective voice is raised loudly enough, they can remind the government just exactly who is in charge. This time around could be a lot like 2010.
  The showdown at the Bundy ranch is not an ending, Not just because Harry Reid said it wasn't, but because it is a beginning. A beginning of the realization that average Americans have more power than they know. 2014, like 2010 is an election year, and potentially, a very pivotal one. This is the first incidence of muscle flexing in this election year, and the people won. They feel empowered, they feel emboldened, and they feel like if they can tell the government to go pound sand in this case, where else can they be victorious? Where else can they push back the blob of federal government that keeps prying into every corner of their lives? Are there other cases such as these where the government threatens to trample freedom and liberty where the people can stop it dead in its tracks and say, ENOUGH!
  The answer is unfortunately yes, there are other cases. The people, average Americans, have another seven months of push back time. Once again, the people will show up at Town Hall meetings and district offices. They might have a Tea Party rally or two. 2014 is an election year. We the People, average Americans have the power.
  Time to party like its 2010.     

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Follow The Leader

  Football coaching great Vince Lombardi once said, "Great leaders are made, they are not born...". Most of us have been fortunate enough in our lives to meet and interact with someone that we not only consider a great leader, but we also know that they did not arrive at that position instantaneously. Maybe we know something of their lives, who their parents were, where and under what conditions they were brought up.
  Recently, Fortune Magazine compiled a list entitled, "The World's 50 Greatest leaders". It is quite an extensive list. It is made up of people from all over the Globe, from every background, from every walk of life. They are businessmen and women, religious leaders, even rock stars.
  Top of the list is Pope Francis. Almost a no-brainer, he is the leader of approximately 700 million Catholics around the world. Some might go as far as to say that he is a bit of a free spirit . He has addressed issues that the Church appears to have been trying to push under the rug for quite some time. He even recently told Mafia leaders to cease their murderous ways.
  Bono, front man for one of the world's most popular rock bands, U2, comes in at number eight. Not only is Bono an accomplished musician and singer, he has been a tireless advocate for AIDS relief and research, and helping impoverished nations. One of the most deserving to be on this list, 16 year old Malala Yousafzai. In October of 2012, Malala was shot in the head by the Taliban as she got off a school bus. In spite of this, she continues to be an outspoken champion of education for girls and women in Islamic countries. An activity that can be life threatening in that region of the world.
  The rest on the list, certainly are deserving members of this elite club for all of their contributions. But these three people, who could not be more different, have developed very similar traits of leadership. Those tasked with the formulation of this list at Fortune Magazine are Americans. As citizens of this country, what was it that stood out to them about this group of people that made them want to bring them together on this list?
  Maybe the most common reason for most of these people is that they became leaders out of necessity. For some, it could simply be that they saw a need for leadership and fulfilled it. Most of these folks are not household names, and that is perfectly OK with them. They did not become leaders to be famous. Some are leaders because they saw something that was ignored, neglected, or just not right. Do the people on this list have a drive, a passion that everyday people do not? Were some just in the right place at the right time? The answer could be yes for some. However, the 50 greatest leaders would most likely be the first to tell you just how ordinary they are.
  The answer just might be that there is no definitive answer. People are moved to action by what they see and feel in different ways. Maybe the one common thread is, they are all willing to think beyond the norm. They are all willing to step outside the box. They are all willing to risk quite a lot, if not all, for what they believe and for what they dream.
  Americans seem to have an uncanny knack for spotting leaders. Maybe that is because we have produced so many among us. The Americans who work at Fortune Magazine saw many things that jumped out at them about the special people on this list. In a world where it seems that so many people are so easily led, let's hope that Coach Lombardi was right.       

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