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The Right to Protest

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few months, you know about Colin Kaepernick’s misguided, trend-setting shenanigans of kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem, supposedly protesting the blatant oppression of “blacks,” and people whose skin pigmentation is similar to his.  I’ll be the first to admit that because of the Constitution’s Bill of Rights, we all have the right to freedom of expression, and I would never advocate taking that away from any American citizen, not even Colin Kaepernick.  But perhaps I may be able to inspire some objective thinking on the topic.  And if I had a way of communicating with Mr. Kaepernick, I would point out how I believe he is misguided.

Apparently, this whole kneeling during the National Anthem came about because of some terrible incidents regarding law enforcement and minority communities, at least that seems to be the reason.  If he really believes the flag to be a symbol of oppression, what I am about to say is evidence that Mr. Kaepernick’s decision to kneel was not well thought out.

Professional sports teams in the United States, particularly MLB; the NBA; the NFL; and the NHL, were all invented by people with light skin pigmentation.  Assuming that most owners today have light skin pigmentation, and assuming that Colin Kaepernick wants to take advantage of the right to express himself freely, why would he not protest the blatant oppression that must have been perpetrated by the inventors of these games, and perpetuated by the owners today?  To my knowledge, Jackie Robinson did not protest against the flag of the United States so he could play in the major leagues, but rather, professional baseball for not allowing people with darker skin pigmentation to play.  Well, for Colin Kaepernick and all the other copycats looking for a reason to protest against all that “oppression” today, I have an idea.

My suggestion is very simple.  Every paid athlete who feels the need to kneel during the National Anthem, to protest blatant oppression, I recommend immediately renouncing your contract.  Stop accepting money from “white privileged” owners!  It seems to me that all the Colin Kaepernick’s playing a sport for a living, who want to put their money where their mouth is, they should immediately stop accepting money from a bunch of supposed “white privileged,” racists owners of sports teams.  Athletes who want to protest oppression, who want to really affect change, stop being hypocritical by accepting money from the very people whose skin pigmentation is the same as the so-called law enforcement oppressors!

People with all sorts of pigmentation have fought, bled, and died for the freedom our flag represents.  And many of these patriots who have served, and who are currently serving, spend portions of their hard-earned paychecks supporting misguided athletes who seem to only want to be noticed for instigating an emotionally charged, knee-jerk reaction from anyone who will pay attention to them.


Sad Day for America

I have deliberately been on hiatus from writing for several months to focus on important, business related endeavors.  But I must say that today is a sad day for America.  I could not refrain from staying on the sidelines with this one.  The FBI Director just reported that even though they believe Hillary Clinton was “careless” in her actions regarding the email scandal, the government will not press charges at this time.  What is wrong with our system of government?

There is so much partisanship in government, more so than at any other time in our history.  Party affiliation seems to trump every aspect of governance; even in the face of serious negligence, impropriety, or ethics violations.  It would seem that the days of Nixon are gone; an individual was caught and he knew that he had done wrong, and then resigned because of that wrongdoing!  And for much less than what Mrs. Clinton did.  It would also appear that even though unethical and wrong behavior took place while Clinton served in the Obama administration, no one has the personal dignity or integrity to step aside.  And do not believe for one minute that an individual just got lucky.  No, the Clinton corruption machine, and corruptible behavior in general, is prevalent in government, from the top all the way down to those along for the ride.  But make no mistake, those riding along are as corruptible as the individual elected or appointed to a political office; or who are at the very least coerced by the person in power.

The investigation into Clinton’s email server, and whether or not she knowingly committed crimes against my country, supposedly had as its foundation the following statute:

18 U.S. Code § 793 – Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information

“(f) Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer—“

“Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.”

Why have a statute if it is not to be upheld?  One aspect that is baffling about the whole thing is that the FBI essentially came out and said that they know she is guilty but they have decided not to move forward with the case.  Well, all I can say is that a precedent has been set.  In the future, when a case such as this comes about, and regardless of party affiliation; if the evidence is similar to the case with Clinton, then the proper thing to do will be to not move forward with prosecution – plain and simple.  There are many clear and present dangers associated with this case, none of which are good.  Practically anyone else in Clinton’s shoes, whether in business, government, or wherever; having been accused of such deeds, would have long since been prosecuted and likely be serving time by now.

Furthermore, it seems to be a foregone conclusion that the following section of 18 U.S. Code 793; could have been applied to the Clinton case as well:

(g) If two or more persons conspire to violate any of the foregoing provisions of this section, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each of the parties to such conspiracy shall be subject to the punishment provided for the offense which is the object of such conspiracy.

Finally, do not be fooled by the fact that the FBI questioned Hillary Clinton only three days ago.  That was merely a ruse to convince the American people that justice was being served.  And we will never know what took place on a plane between Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch last week, because much like the corrupt, gestapo, or communist thugs of a bygone era, no one was permitted within ear shot of the secret meeting.  My educated guess is that Bill made an offer, and Loretta accepted.  Oh, and naturally, they likely did discuss grandchildren so that they could confirm that at least one legitimate piece of information came from the “chance” encounter.

Believe what you want America.  But as for me, if Hillary Clinton was “careless” once, she will be “careless” again if given the chance to be President of the United States.  We must not allow that to happen.  And she has the audacity to accuse Donald Trump of not possessing the right temperament to be president!

We Can Do Better

How about that immigration comment from Donald Trump the other day, something to the effect of not allowing Muslim’s to immigrate into the United States, at least not until the powers that be can figure out what is going on! His comment does seem quite extreme even though he still has the right to say it. Perhaps he could have said it a lot differently, or not at all. Or perhaps he could have suggested a handful of countries that should be on a list, and that people from those countries not be permitted to enter the U.S. for a time. But Trump is a businessman, and he operates in the world of deal making and negotiation. It is not uncommon for someone in business to start out with an outrageously aggressive offer or position, with the realization that he will ultimately achieve what he wants, possibly without making much of a sacrifice or even compromising his position. To be certain, however, there is historical precedence that may be on Trump’s side when it comes to concerns about the safety of the American people. I didn’t say I’m defending his position! I am, nevertheless, defending his right to that position. One thing is for sure, America must do what is in her best interest, including rethinking immigration policies from time to time; particularly at such a volatile period in our country’s existence.

It seems clear that something needs to be done to reject the flood of potential, radicalized, Islamic extremist’s entering the country, (one terrorist is equal to a flood in case you’re wondering) who have no other objective than to conduct mass murder of innocent Americans. I do not suggest that the United States set up internment camps, prevalent during World War II. But is it criminal to want to curtail, or even temporarily suspend immigration for people from predominantly Muslim countries, particularly countries where we know radical jihadists typically reside? As hinted to previously, history tells us that there are times when drastic measures must be taken in order to provide security and peace of mind to American citizens. It happened in the early part of the 20th Century with the passage of the Immigration Act of 1924, which did limit the number of immigrants permitted to enter the U.S. from various countries. But worse yet, the passage of the Immigration Act brought about the wholesale exclusion of all Asian immigrants from entering into the United States. What a bunch of hatemongers they were back then! Right now, in 21st Century America, we need to figure out a way to manage the paranoia but still keep the country safe from radical jihadists.

Whenever the United States has experienced horrifying conflict, a renewed national unity tends to manifest itself shortly thereafter. It happened after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, WW II, and the radical Islamic terrorists’ attacks on September 11, 2001. Unity is often brought about by a willingness to use our 1st Amendment rights responsibly; not by limiting the things that people are allowed to say, but what we do to respond to the things that people say. We all have the right to criticize Donald Trump’s position if that is our prerogative. What we must not continue to allow is the acrimony directed at Trump for his position. And for that matter, though I passionately oppose Barack Obama’s political stance on most topics, I do not approve of the vitriolic language that is often directed at the President. It is true that anyone bold enough to put themselves on the national stage had better be prepared for the vicious attacks that inevitably follow. And even though we live in a society that tolerates and even accepts rudeness as acceptable behavior, attacks ought to be directed at the position, not the person.

I do not believe that Trump’s position has anything to do with the elimination of religious freedom, but rather, I believe it to be associated with what President John F. Kennedy said at his inaugural address in 1960: “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” Our leaders today do not seem to possess that kind of boldness, backed by unwavering action. Indeed our current President may on occasion condemn radical, Islamic terrorists rhetorically, but he seems more intent on offending the sensibilities of the American people than he does on plotting to eliminate jihad. Keeping America safe knows no political party. But unfortunately, political partisanship across party lines is keeping us from being a more unified country. And much like the destructive nature of an insatiably, addictive drug, we are in the midst of completely destroying hope for national unity because it seems that too many people prefer to focus on the way a candidate for president chooses to exercise his 1st Amendment rights; instead of focusing on the real threats to our peace and security.

Entitled To A Cause

In a New York Times editorial piece which caught my eye, the writer had the audacity to postulate that America has a “gun epidemic;” further stating that the ability to purchase “weapons designed to kill people” is a “moral outrage and national disgrace.” Please permit me to lend some perspective to such outrageous claims.

The beauty of America is that anyone can state their opinion and embrace a “cause,” thanks to the First Amendment to the Constitution. And as a larger-than-life side note, we had better do all we can to protect the right to free speech before the political correctness crowd has their way with the ignorant masses. Hey, I get it; a lot of people have a “cause” that they believe is more important than breathing! Beautiful. Really. It is interesting, however, that a “cause” which may have an equal or even greater detriment to society, can often be disregarded or completely ignored.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there were 11,208 deaths in 2013 due to firearms.

The CDC also reported that between 2006 and 2010, there were “approximately 88,000 deaths…each year in the United States” due to “excessive alcohol use.” Furthermore, the CDC defines excessive drinking as:

  • Binge drinking, the most common form of drinking, is defined as consuming
    • For women, 4 or more drinks during a single occasion.
    • For men, 5 or more drinks during a single occasion.
  • Heavy drinking is defined as consuming
    • For women, 8 or more drinks per week.
    • For men, 15 or more drinks per week.

I’m no mathematician, but it seems to me that when there was nearly eight times as many deaths relating to excessive alcohol consumption as there were homicides from firearms; your “cause” may be flawed unless you’re speaking out about both issues. And if you’re not then a fake you may be! My purpose here is not to illustrate all the ways and means that mortals can meet their demise, but rather, to demonstrate that if you’re “cause” is gun control, and you have nothing to say about excessive alcohol consumption, or the amount of deaths caused by excessive alcohol consumption, the feigned concern for your “cause” would seem to be more pretended than real. And perhaps it’s time for self-evaluation.

The bottom line is this. Where we have a “moral outrage and national disgrace” is not with respect to the accessibility of “weapons designed to kill people;” but rather, on the fact that in many ways families, neighborhoods, communities, churches, and a host of other players, have failed our young people and those with mental health issues for far too long in America. We must learn to recognize that if we are genuinely concerned for our fellowman, we must learn to love them as we wish to be loved. And where we can serve and help those in need, we should. Our failure to assist those with issues of insecurity, hopelessness, or despair is the true “moral outrage and national disgrace!” Where is the outrage for the scourge that is alcohol? How many hundreds of thousands of lives have been shattered because of alcohol!

CIA director Brennan admits ISIS was “decimated” under Bush, but has grown as much as 4,400% under Obama

In a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies yesterday, CIA director John Brennan made a startling admission: The Islamic State was “decimated” under George W. Bush and had ju

Source: CIA director Brennan admits ISIS was “decimated” under Bush, but has grown as much as 4,400% under Obama

Under the Influence of Political Narcotics

To say that the current crises facing the United States and other freedom-loving people across the world is of epic proportions, relative to the spread of radical Islam, is a gross understatement! But to make matters worse, the U.S. government, from the President to Congress, either does not give a damn about the safety of the American people; simply care more about their political power, or both.

As of this moment, those in positions of political power seem to be masquerading as if they were still in junior high school. Seriously, we have a president who is truly in over his head, and says that Republicans are “afraid” of children and women, with respect to the Syrian refugee crises, first engulfing much of Europe, and now threatening our shores. This president never seems to miss an opportunity to politicize anything. It is disgraceful. He is not an effective, genuine leader. He is a true amateur!

Furthermore, the Speaker of the House seems to care more about whether or not we’re going to administer some sort of religious test for the thousands of refugees that will possibly be entering our country. What an amateur! Unless our political junkies, I mean, leaders, come together and do what is truly compassionate, that is, protect the American people against elements that truly want to do us harm, then we are in some serious trouble.

The American people are some of the most compassionate, giving people the world has ever known. Year after year the U.S. ranks among the world’s most generous givers; not merely in a monetary sense, but also in donating millions of hours, volunteering their time to benefit other people, in many cases people they do not even know. And so it is disingenuous for anyone to say that the American people do not care about the current Syrian refugee crises, or that Americans are not compassionate. But for security reasons we should not admit even one of these refugees into the country. And it has absolutely nothing to do with compassion!

We need a president and members of Congress to set aside political party and do the right thing for the American people, by getting serious and acknowledging the fact that we have an enemy out there that will stop at nothing to rid the earth of “infidels.” It is pathetic, shameful, and downright despicable that the president seems to be more concerned about Republicans than he does about the real enemy, and keeping us safe. He seems to care more about scoring political points with anyone who will listen to him. And unfortunately, it appears that he has convinced a lot of people to buy into his partisan rhetoric. We cannot afford another crisis like 9/11 to bring unity to our country. We must seek for that unity now. Leadership from the most powerful position in the world is a good place to start.

Political Correctness vs Leadership