Friday, October 6, 2017

30 Days at Sea Timelapsed

I wished to finish this week off on a good note with something other than politics. 

That said, I ran across this video which I thought was rather fascinating.  It is a compilation of over 80,000 time-lapsed photos taken over the course of 30 days that shows a cargo ship's traveling from Sri Lanka to Singapore to Hong Kong and the oceans it crosses in between. 

I particularly enjoyed the scenes of the sky at night way out on the open ocean away from all land and lights that pollute the night sky.  There is nothing more spectacular than seeing the milky way out on a ship thousands of miles from anywhere.  It truly does make one feel like such an infinitesimally small part in God's amazingly beautiful tapestry of creation as you see the night sky with the myriad stars He breathed into being while feeling the ever-so-gentle rocking of the ship as it momentarily parts the ocean waves to allow one to traverse across its vastness.  It truly is an experience like no other. 

If you ever have the opportunity to travel on the open ocean on a ship, I would highly recommend that you take advantage of it at least one time in your life.  And DO sit out on the deck at night and look up at the sky.  You will be changed at least a little bit by having done so!


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Michael Moore's Latest Idea on Repealing and Replacing the 2nd Amendment

Today I came across this sadly bemusing article regarding Leftist film maker Michael Moore's latest idea.  Of course he misses the entire purpose of why our founders insisted that citizens must have the right to keep and bear arms, and it has nothing to do with sport or hunting.  I suppose it would have been more astonishing if he had understood that fact.  

What is truly sad is that there will be quite a few people that will look at his misguided ideas and think this newly proposed constitutional amendment of his is a really good idea. 

Never mind that most of his ideas will do nothing to change the number of deaths by gun violence, but in many cases will actually exacerbate the problem.  Indeed, many of the cities with the worst gun violence in the nation also have the strictest gun control laws.  I give you Chicago as an excellent case in point, as it leads the nation in gun deaths yet again this year.

Evidently these good folks are still of the mind that evil can be controlled via legislation.  Many of these well-meaning folks are the same ones that insist that we should not judge all Muslims by the terrorist acts committed by a small percentage of those that they claim have perverted Islam.  As far as that argument goes, they are absolutely correct.  One would simply ask that this same courtesy be given to lawful gun owners to not be judged by the actions of the few psychopaths that use guns to commit evil acts.  I won't hold my breath on this.

Regardless, here is the article from The Blaze by Dave Urbanski:

Michael Moore proposes change to Constitution that ‘repeals the ancient and outdated 2nd Amendment’

In the wake of the deadly Las Vegas mass shooting Sunday night, Moore proposed a 28th amendment to the United States Constitution that “repeals the ancient and outdated 2nd Amendment.”
He began his lengthy Facebook post with the following preamble:
“A well regulated State National Guard, being helpful to the safety and security of a State in times of need, along with the strictly regulated right of the people to keep and bear a limited number of non-automatic Arms for sport and hunting, with respect to the primary right of all people to be free from gun violence, this shall not be infringed.”
Moore — noting the Second Amendment was “written before bullets and revolvers were even invented” — said his proposed amendment “guarantees States can have State militias (a.k.a. State National Guards which are made up of citizen-soldiers who are called upon in times of natural disasters or other State emergencies), allows individuals to use guns for sport and gathering food, and guarantees everyone the right to be free of, and protected from, gun violence (i.e., the public’s safety comes ahead of an individual’s right to own and fire a gun).” 
Continue reading...

 At the end of the day, we have a God given right, and I would argue a duty, to protect innocent lives from evil as best we are able.  By disarming law abiding Americans in contradiction to our Bill of Rights and indeed by natural law's right to self preservation, Michael Moore and those that support his wrong-headed idea are creating far more problems than they ever hoped to solve.

As I am already a "life member" of the NRA, I think I will head off to their web site and make a donation in honor of Michael Moore simply to try and curb what little I can of the damage his foolish notion does with regards to his influencing the uninformed and ignorant in our country.

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Kaepernick Contagion: Fighting Racism the Wrong Way

Growing up in the great Pacific Northwest in what was then the rural country suburbs of Portland, Oregon, I found myself cheering for the Portland Trailblazers, including the amazing underdog team anchored by Maurice Lucas and Bill Walton that beat Dr. J and the Philadelphia 76’s in 1977 to win the NBA championship.

When the Seattle Seahawks first came into the NFL the previous year in 1976, I was excited that there was a team that was sort of “local” that I could finally cheer for besides the great Steelers teams of the 70’s.  And cheer I did, usually with little reward for the effort.  Nonetheless, Zorn, Largent, and a handful of other folks became players whom I admired over the years.

I spent a lot of years – hard and disappointing years – of desperate and sometimes pathetic seasons cheering for my Seahawks to even make the playoffs.  It got to the point that if the Seahawks beat the hated Raiders, then it was a successful season, regardless of what their win/loss record ended up being at season’s end.

Needless to say, 2013 ended up being a horrible year for me.  I lost my wife of 22 years that year and everything seemed dark and despairing for me.  And yet, a reprieve from the darkness started 2014 as my long-suffering Seahawks finally went to Super Bowl XLVIII to play the Denver Broncos.  I know it seems silly, but it was almost as if my wife had pulled Jesus aside in heaven and asked if He could help me out a bit as I needed something to smile about then.  Whether Jesus helped or not, my Seahawks trounced the hapless Broncos 43 to 8 that Sunday and smile from ear to ear I definitely did!

It is amazing what changes four years will bring.  This last Sunday, my Seahawks took the field in Nashville to play the Tennessee Titans, but they decided to take the field after the finish of the national anthem was played.  So did the Titans.  I am, needless to say, embarrassed to be a Seahawks fan today.

This nonsense all started last year when San Francisco 49'ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick decided he wanted to make a statement against racism and oppression by kneeling when our national anthem was played instead of standing as a sign of respect for our nation.

Now I absolutely agree that Mr. Kaepernick has every right to his free speech, just like we all do. Further, if his coach and employer in the NFL do not forbid his protest, he is even free to take a knee as The Star Spangled Banner plays as he gets ready to do his JOB.  That said, he and the hundreds of other NFL players and other professional sports athletes that now seem to be following suit, should not be mistaken in their protests.

The flag doesn’t represent a skin color.  It doesn’t represent liberals or conservatives.  It doesn’t represent men or women.  It doesn’t represent gay or straight people.  It doesn’t represent people of faith or atheists.  It represents all of us: We the People of the United States of America.

Many people of all colors, political ideologies, and beliefs have died so that Mr. Kaepernick and hundreds of other millionaire pampered athletes can take a knee in protest over the country that allows them this right to free speech in this “racist and oppressive nation.”

Do we have issues of racism and hate today in America?  Sadly yes.  But if this protest that was started by Mr. Kaepernick was simply meant as a means to start a discussion on racism and oppression, then he and his fellow athletic supporters, just missed the boat.

President Trump once again, while correct in principle, could not state his opinion in a statesman-like and dignified manner when he tweeted out obscenities at these athletes.  Instead of taking the high road, now that the media and world attention were clearly focused on this event, the Kaepernick clan chose instead to make this about President Trump instead of their professed cause.  President Trump punked them, it would seem.

There are plenty of ways for Mr. Kaepernick and for any famous athlete to make a national case for this important cause besides showing disrespect to the nation and those that died protecting it.  While that may engender some support from Leftist fringes, it will not serve their truly important cause well with the majority of Americans.  It will only serve to further divide an already turbulent nation.

I am fairly certain, that NFL game attendance and TV viewership will suffer as this trend continues. An overwhelming majority of Americans are good and decent people.  They are compassionate and abhor racism as greatly as I do, and would be otherwise sympathetic to Colin Kaepernick’s cause, if he had chosen to present it in a better way.  He might have persuaded them to rally behind him in this discussion.  By doing what he did though, he has disrespected the country and those millions of Americans past and present that have dedicated their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor in protecting it.

I have a football with the Seahawks' logo on it that is signed by “#3 Russell Wilson, SB XLVIII Champs” sitting in a glass case on my desk in my office.  My brother had connections and asked if Wilson could sign that for me after their amazing win.  It is a possession that I have cherished since that historic Seahawks' win.

Today, I am thinking about putting it away and out of sight in my closet.

One wonders, if this continues, whether many Americans will do the same with the NFL.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Voter Fraud and It's Ramifications

Many folks among the fringe Left have long propagated the myth that there is virtually no voter fraud in this nation.  Further, there has long been a cry that there is an attempt to suppress "undesirable" people from voting by some Republican sources in an attempt to solve this "mythical voter fraud" issue.  

The claim is that there are many racist Republicans who are simply trying to prevent Hispanic and Black people from voting, especially since demographically they tend to vote more often for Democrats and progressive programs.

While I absolutely stand in solidarity with folks who insist polling places should be consistent in their placement, accessibility, and hours of operation for every polling station across the nation, I further think that requiring positive proof of eligibility to vote should also be mandatory.  In this day and age, this is certainly not the hardship for most people that some would lead us to believe.  After all, if we are concerned about foreign influence in our elections and keeping elections fair, shouldn't we ensure that ONLY U.S. citizens legally authorized to vote in a given state and jurisdiction are the ones that are actually voting?  

Despite the outcry from some folks that seemingly have a lot more to lose by ensuring fair elections occur without voter fraud, President Trump established a commission to look into this serious issue. And it is a very serious issue as the Pew Center for the States 2012 Study indicates.  It found that there were 24 MILLION voter registries that were inaccurate, duplicates, or out of date.  Further it found that 2.8 million people are registered to vote in two or more states.  It also confirms that there are 1.8 million deceased people which are still registered to vote.  

The Daily Signal's Hans von Spakovsky wrote an excellent article about the second resultant meeting on September 12 of President Trump' Advisory Commission on Election Integrity which occurred in New Hampshire.  Of course the Leftist mainstream media either ignored the findings of this commission or declared them a sham.  

I am not surprised; however, objective voters should indeed be very concerned with some of the findings.  Read Mr. von Spakovsky's article for more details.

As Evidence of Election Fraud Emerges, the Media Wants to Keep You in the Dark
If you have no idea what happened at the second meeting of President Donald Trump’s Advisory Commission on Election Integrity in New Hampshire on Sept. 12, I’m not surprised.
Though a horde of reporters attended the meeting, almost all of the media stories that emerged from it simply repeated the progressive left’s mantra that the commission is a “sham.”
Almost no one covered the substantive and very concerning testimony of 10 expert witnesses on the problems that exist in our voter registration and election system.
The witnesses included academics, election lawyers, state election officials, data analysts, software experts, and computer scientists.
The existing and potential problems they exposed would give any American with any common sense and any concern for our democratic process cause for alarm.
The first panel included Andrew Smith of the University of New Hampshire, Kimball Brace of Election Data Services Inc., and John Lott. They testified about historical election turnout statistics and the effects of election integrity issues on voter confidence.
Lott also testified that his statistical analyses show that contrary to the narrative myth pushed by some, voter ID does not depress voter turnout. In fact, there is some evidence that it may increase turnout because it increases public confidence in elections.
Read more here...


Specifically from the article, von Spakovsky reported that the Speaker of the House for New Hampshire  referenced a recent report stating,

"...over 6,500 individuals in 2016 used an out-of-state driver’s license to take advantage of New Hampshire’s same-day registration law to register and vote on Election Day.
Despite a law that requires an individual with an out-of-state license to obtain a New Hampshire license within 60 days of establishing residency in the state, only 15.5 percent have done so.
Many have tried to explain this away be saying those voters must all have been college students living in New Hampshire. Perhaps that is true.
But it may also be true that voters from Massachusetts and other surrounding states decided to take advantage of New Hampshire’s law to cross the border and vote in a presidential and Senate race, which were decided by only 3,000 and 1,000 voters, respectively."

So let me put this into perspective.  Republican Kelly Ayotte lost her U.S. Senate seat to Democrat Maggie Hassan by 1,017 votes, when there is an appearance that, in a worst case scenario, as many as 6,500 individuals may have fraudulently voted in the general election.   Even if only a sixth of those same-day registries were fraudulent, that still is more than enough to sway the outcome of the election.  Considering the neighboring state demographics, is it difficult to believe that a majority of those 6500 votes would have likely gone to Ms. Hassan?

In conclusion, with Ms. Hassan now in the Senate and voting "No" on the repeal of Obamacare, it is easy to see the ramifications of voter fraud affecting a controversial national "law", whose repeal would have otherwise been decided by Vice President Pence issuing a tie-breaking vote had this likely fraud not occurred.

This is just the latest example of the utmost importance of veracity in our elections, and why We The People should ensure that every person that votes is a U.S. Citizen that is legally allowed to cast a ballot.  There is simply way too much at stake to not do so.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Black Lives Matter group takes the stage at pro-Trump rally — what happens next is amazing

I came across this article today and was pleasantly surprised at the outcome.  Perhaps there is hope when people of good will stop talking AT each other and start talking WITH each other.  Instead of looking for and assuming the worst of our political opponents, perhaps we can stop and look to see the common humanity in each of us.  In doing so, despite the naysayers who seemingly want it to be different, we can indeed find some common ground and start working on making this a better place for all of us... together!

From the Blaze's Sarah Taylor:

Black Lives Matter group takes the stage at pro-Trump rally — what happens next is amazing

Between competing pro-Trump and anti-Trump protests in Washington, D.C., over the weekend, a silver lining was found with a Black Lives Matter group who unexpectedly took the stage during a boisterous pro-Trump rally.
What happened?
A Black Lives Matter group marched near the rally and passed closely to the stage. As they walked and shouted chants of “Black lives matter,” the group received jeers and boos from many people attending the pro-Trump rally.
At first, the mic-wielding organizer of the Trump rally told pro-Trump congregants, “Don’t give them the spotlight,” and “They don’t exist.”
No one could have predicted what would happen next.

Read more...



Friday, September 15, 2017

The Rescinding of DACA and the Restoration of the Governmental Balance of Powers


Long before President Obama, specifically via his Department of Homeland Security, approved the unconstitutional directive to prevent the deportation of the children of illegal immigrants, he correctly stated no less than 22 separate times that he did not have the constitutional authority to overturn, amend, or violate existing immigration law that was duly passed.  Regarding a theoretical executive branch mandate granting amnesty to illegal immigrants, President Obama specifically stated that,

 “… for me to – simply through Executive Order – ignore those Congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as President.”

And yet, President Obama proceeded with his un-constitutional DACA directive anyway.

President Trump has recently rescinded that un-constitutional executive branch directive and in doing so gave the rightful authority back to congress in order to deal with this very difficult issue within the next six months.  It is my fervent hope that congress will stop kicking the can down the road and get a fair law passed within this time frame.  This should be something that both Democrats and Republicans discuss and come together on to find a solution for the good and safety of America, instead of continuing the partisan politics that have so ensnared this process in recent decades.

Now I certainly don’t blame the children of illegal immigrants that were brought to America and know no other country.  Indeed it would be exceptionally cruel to deport them back to their countries of origin at this point.  That said, it certainly is not fair that their parents, even with altruistic intentions, violated federal immigration laws and brought them here illegally.  There must be consequences for this if we are to remain a nation of laws.

I would make these suggestions to congress as they work to draft a new immigration law: first, the children affected by the rescinding of the DACA order should be allowed to stay in the United States and be granted legal status accordingly, perhaps with even a long term path towards citizenship. However, it is my opinion that all of the parents of these children that violated the law, while they should also be allowed to stay here if their children are minors, should be limited severely in the federal entitlement programs to which they can apply and also they should not ever be granted full voting citizenship rights.  I hope that congress will draft just such a law accordingly.  I won’t hold my breath.

If there are no consequences for having broken our immigration laws, what is to prevent this from reoccurring?  After all, President Reagan signed a law providing amnesty to illegal aliens back in 1986 with the understanding that congress would provide for better immigration and border protections.  Obviously those things never materialized, and we are dealing with even greater numbers of people coming to America illegally today.

President Trump laid out the case very well when he rescinded DACA the other week:

"In June of 2012, President Obama bypassed Congress to give work permits, social security numbers, and federal benefits to approximately 800,000 illegal immigrants currently between the ages of 15 and 36.  The typical recipients of this executive amnesty, known as DACA, are in their twenties.  Legislation offering these same benefits had been introduced in Congress on numerous occasions and rejected each time. . .  
The temporary implementation of DACA by the Obama Administration, after Congress repeatedly rejected this amnesty-first approach, also helped spur a humanitarian crisis – the massive surge of unaccompanied minors from Central America including, in some cases, young people who would become members of violent gangs throughout our country, such as MS-13. . .
The decades-long failure of Washington, D.C. to enforce federal immigration law has had both predictable and tragic consequences: lower wages and higher unemployment for American workers, substantial burdens on local schools and hospitals, the illicit entry of dangerous drugs and criminal cartels, and many billions of dollars a year in costs paid for by U.S. taxpayers.  Yet few in Washington expressed any compassion for the millions of Americans victimized by this unfair system.  Before we ask what is fair to illegal immigrants, we must also ask what is fair to American families, students, taxpayers, and jobseekers." 


Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan enthusiastically responded to President Trump’s righting of the balance of powers in this matter immediately after the announcement:

"President Obama’s DACA program was a clear abuse of executive authority, an attempt to create law out of thin air. Congress writes laws, not the president, and ending this program fulfills a promise that President Donald J. Trump made to restore the proper role of the executive and legislative branches. Now, the House and Senate, with the president’s leadership, will work to find consensus on a permanent legislative solution on this and many immigration issues, such as border security and interior enforcement." 

Congress should indeed work swiftly under the six month guideline that President Trump has provided to finally come up with comprehensive immigration reform.  No full amnesty should be given nor path to citizenship provided for those that were adults and knowingly broke our immigration laws when they came to the United States.  Those minor and/or dependent children that were brought here by their parents, should be allowed to stay, along with their parents, but with the consequences I have suggested.

It is absolutely unfair to Americans, let alone all of those folks that would like to be Americans whom have respected our laws and asked to come into our country legally to be held to far higher standards than those that have entered illegally.  After all, those folks trying to do things the right way – the legal way – are also Dreamers!


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Dennis Prager on the Differences Between Leftism and Liberalism

I have been absolutely inundated with projects for work lately, so unfortunately my writing for the blog and even responding to some of the wilder comments posted on past articles simply hasn't happened.  That said, I came across this article written by Dennis Prager that I found to be quite interesting.

There are absolutely differences between a liberal and a leftist.  Unfortunately, in my opinion, the leftists are growing as a group in their influence, often times hardened through invincible ignorance. Conservatives and Liberals should unite in their denunciation of some of their more extremist views. Enjoy the article:

           Leftism Is Not Liberalism. Here Are the Differences.
What is the difference between a leftist and a liberal?
Answering this question is vital to understanding the crisis facing America and the West today. Yet few seem able to do it. I offer the following as a guide.
Here’s the first thing to know: The two have almost nothing in common.
On the contrary, liberalism has far more in common with conservatism than it does with leftism. The left has appropriated the word “liberal” so effectively that almost everyone—liberals, leftists, and conservatives—thinks they are synonymous.
But they aren’t. Let’s look at some important examples.
Race: This is perhaps the most obvious of the many moral differences between liberalism and leftism.
The essence of the liberal position on race was that the color of one’s skin is insignificant. To liberals of a generation ago, only racists believed that race is intrinsically significant. However, to the left, the notion that race is insignificant is itself racist.
Thus, the University of California officially regards the statement, “There is only one race, the human race,” as racist.
For that reason, liberals were passionately committed to racial integration. Liberals should be sickened by the existence of black dormitories and separate black graduations on university campuses.
Read more...