Thursday, September 27, 2007

Don't Kick the Sheepdog

I have never used my blog to post someone else's work, but today is different. I presume that this is accurately attributed but even if it isn't, I echo its sentiment to the last letter.

This letter was written by Charles Grennel and his comrades who are veterans of the Global War on Terror. Grennel is an Army Reservist who spent two years in Iraq and was a principal in putting together the first Iraq elections, January of 2005. It was written to Jill Edwards, a student at the University of Washington who did not want to honor Medal of Honor winner USMC Colonel Greg Boyington. Ms. Edwards and other students (and faculty) do not think those who serve in the U.S. armed services are good role models.

To: Edwards, Jill (student, UW)
Subject: Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs

Miss Edwards, I read of your "student activity" regarding the proposed memorial to Col. Greg Boyington, USMC and a Medal of Honor winner. I suspect you will receive a bellyful of angry e-mails from conservative folks like me. You may be too young to appreciate fully the sacrifices of generations of servicemen and servicewomen on whose shoulders you and your fellow students stand. I forgive you for the untutored ways of youth and your naivete. It may be that you are, simply, a sheep. There's no dishonor in being a sheep - - as long as you know and accept what you are.

William J. Bennett, in a lecture to the United States Naval Academy November 24, 1997 said: "Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident." We may well be in the most violent times in history, but violence is still remarkably rare. This is because most citizens are kind, decent people who are not capable of hurting each other, except by accident or under extreme provocation. They are sheep.

Then there are the wolves and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy. Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial.

Then there are sheepdogs and I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf. If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen, a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath, a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? What do you have then? A sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the uncharted path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed.

We know that the sheep live in denial; that is what makes them sheep. They do not want to believe that there is evil in the world. They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why they want fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire exits throughout their kids' schools. But many of them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed police officer in their kid's school. Our children are thousands of times more likely to be killed or seriously injured by school violence than fire, but the sheep's only response to the possibility of violence is denial. The idea of someone coming to kill or harm their child is just too hard, and so they chose the path of denial.

The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, can not and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheep dog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed. The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a representative democracy or a republic such as ours. Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land. They would prefer that he didn't tell them where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in our airports, in camouflage fatigues, holding an M-16. The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go, "Baa." Until the wolf shows up. Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind one lonely sheepdog.

The students, the victims, at Columbine High School were big, tough high school students, and under ordinary circumstances they would not have had the time of day for a police officer. They were not bad kids; they just had nothing to say to a cop. When the school was under attack, however, and SWAT teams were clearing the rooms and hallways, the officers had to physically peel those clinging, sobbing kids off of them. This is how the little lambs feel about their sheepdog when the wolf is at the door.

Look at what happened after September 11, 2001 when the wolf pounded hard on the door. Remember how America more than ever before, felt differently about their law enforcement officers and military personnel? Understand that there is nothing morally superior about being a sheepdog; it is just what you choose to be. Also understand that a sheepdog is a funny critter. He is always sniffing around out on the perimeter, checking the breeze, barking at things that go bump in the night, and yearning for a righteous battle. That is, the young sheepdogs yearn for a righteous battle. The old sheepdogs are a little older and wiser, but they move to the sound of the guns when needed, right along with the young ones.

Here is how the sheep and the sheepdog think differently. The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day. After the attacks on September 11, 2001, most of the sheep, that is, most citizens in America said, "Thank God I wasn't on one of those planes." The sheepdogs, the warriors, said, "Dear God, I wish I could have been on one of those planes. Maybe I could have made a difference." You want to be able to make a difference. There is nothing morally superior about the sheepdog, the warrior, but he does have one real advantage. Only one. And that is that he is able to survive and thrive in an environment that destroys 98 percent of the population.

There was research conducted a few years ago with individuals convicted of violent crimes. These cons were in prison for serious, predatory crimes of violence: assaults, murders and killing law enforcement officers. The vast majority said that they specifically targeted victims by body language: slumped walk, passive behavior and lack of awareness. They chose their victims like big cats do in Africa, when they select one out of the herd that is least able to protect itself. Some people may be destined to be sheep and others might be genetically primed to be wolves or sheepdogs. But I believe that most people can choose which one they want to be, and I'm proud to say that more and more Americans are choosing to become sheepdogs.

Seven months after the attack on September 11, 2001, Todd Beamer was honored in his hometown of Cranbury, New Jersey. Todd, as you recall, was the man on Flight 93 over Pennsylvania who called on his cell phone to alert an operator from United Airlines about the hijacking. When they learned of the other three passenger planes that had been used as weapons, Todd and the other passengers confronted the terrorist hijackers. In one hour, a transformation occurred among the passengers - athletes, business people and parents -- from sheep to sheepdogs and together they fought the wolves, ultimately saving an unknown number of lives on the ground.

"There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men." - Edmund Burke.

Here is the point I like to emphasize, especially to the thousands of police officers and soldiers I speak to each year. In nature the sheep, real sheep, are born as sheep. Sheepdogs are born that way, and so are wolves. They didn't have a choice. But you are not a critter. As a human being, you can be whatever you want to be. It is a conscious, moral decision. If you want to be a sheep, then you can be a sheep and that is okay, but you must understand the price you pay. When the wolf comes, you and your loved ones are going to die if there is not a sheepdog there to protect you. If you want to be a wolf, you can be one, but the sheepdogs are going to hunt you down and you will never have rest, safety, trust or love. But if you want to be a sheepdog and walk the warrior's path, then you must make a conscious and moral decision every day to dedicate, equip and prepare yourself to thrive in that toxic, corrosive moment when the wolf comes knocking at the door.

This business of being a sheep or a sheepdog is not a yes-no dichotomy. It is not an all-or-nothing, either-or choice. It is a matter of degrees, a continuum. On one end is an abject, head-in-the-sand-sheep and on the other end is the ultimate warrior. Few people exist completely on one end or the other. Most of us live somewhere in between.

Since 9-11 almost everyone in America took a step up that continuum, away from denial. The sheep took a few steps toward accepting and appreciating their warriors, and the warriors started taking their job more seriously. It is okay to be a sheep, but do not kick the sheepdog. Indeed, the sheep dog may just run a little harder, strive to protect a little better and be fully prepared to pay an ultimate price in battle and spirit with the sheep moving from "baa" to "thanks."

We do not call for gifts or freedoms beyond our lot. We just need a small pat on the head, a smile and a thank you to fill the emotional tank which is drained protecting the sheep. And when our number is called by "The Almighty," and day retreats into night, a small prayer before the heavens just may be in order to say thanks for letting you continue to be a sheep. And be grateful for the thousands - -millions - - of American sheepdogs who permit you the freedom to express even bad ideas.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Justice is Blind, the Justice Brothers are Morons

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. dreamed of a day when his children would be judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. Yet Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and others of their ilk refuse to let race diminish as an issue in post-modern society. I posit that they aren't interested in equality or justice. They are interested in sewing discord and in maintaining a constituency with a victim mentality who believe they need cultural saviors.

The Jena Six is the latest race-related debacle into which the Rev'ren Sharpton has insinuated himself. Somehow, he has drawn a parallel between three white guys stringing a rope noose in a tree (sans a human IN the noose) and six hoodlums who actually attacked a white teenager with malice. Clearly, they intended to kill him. In my personal experience, six-on-one are pretty sorry odds unless the one has a way to equalize the playing field. (Don't even get me started on that.)

The AP writes that: The Rev. Al Sharpton said it could be the beginning of the 21st century's civil rights movement, one that would challenge disparities in the justice system. What disparities? Stringing a noose in a tree as compared to trying to kill someone??? One is metaphorical, albeit reprehensible, and the other is literal. Hanging the noose is akin to hate-speech. Trying to kill someone is a crime. I suppose the prosecutor could've made the leap to "hate speech" had he thought he could get convictions, but as he said, he didn't prosecute the students accused of hanging the nooses because he could find no Louisiana law under which they could be charged. "I cannot overemphasize what a villainous act that was. The people that did it should be ashamed of what they unleashed on this town," Walters said.

Thousands have come from all around to participate in Al's protest du jour. When are people going to realize that they are being used? Manipulated. Coerced. Al and Jesse are stooges for the race-baiting liberal left of the Democratic party. If they don't have real victims, they create them with their rhetoric. And the media eats it up like candy. Our guaranteed right to freedom of speech is a wonderful thing - until it gets abused. I find irony in law enforcement tolerating this kind of rally which has the potential to incite riotous behavior, yet a few states away, they Tazer a college student for lambasting John Kerry with questions. If anything, Kerry deserved to be questioned, even if I couldn't stand the two hour long monotone answer that would follow. And the Jena Six deserved to be prosecuted for trying to kill someone. And the fools who strung a noose should be cultural outcasts with mandates to attend diversity education and participate in classroom sessions to denounce their actions.

Justice for all? Not anymore. That's an ideal target and we have sorely missed the mark. Jesse and Al need to pack their carpetbags and take their disenfranchisement dog and pony show elsewhere. Intelligent Americans are tired of the antics. By the way, what are those two Rev'rens of? Disharmony? Discord? Race? Certainly not the all-encompassing love of people irrespective of their lot in life or the color of their skin. Gee, sounds like Jesse and Al need to read about Jesus' take on things.

Darwin Awards

For as much as scientists and politicians like to embrace an atheistic, evolutionary view of the world, they only seem to do so when it's convenient and politically advantageous.

In today's news of the annoying, a modern day Noah (like Evan Almighty only different) decided it would be good to make a seed safe deposit box in the side of an Arctic mountain.;_ylt=AkczdEYG04upIOmHo9cHoQcDW7oF
It only stands to reason that he hails from the same state as Al Gore - it's really hard to believe Fred Thompson hasn't dissociated himself from that eastern land of liberal hacks yet.

Ironically, this brilliant idea comes on the heals of a similarly brilliant marijuana growing operation that was recently shut down. Stranger still, the pot was grown in a cave, under a lovely house, with state of the art technology, in . . . Tennessee.

No surprise, that Bill and Melinda Gates have dropped nearly $30mm into this brain-child. They're protecting crop species from extinction and the inability to evolve due to war, natural disaster, and the collective stupidity of those in impoverished nations. Norway is contributing some 50 million crowns ($8.6 million) to build the cavern, a sum which Development Aid Minister Erik Solheim said was a pittance for what is gained. "I consider it a development issue ... Poor African countries have fewer resources to protect their genetic heritage than rich countries," he told Reuters at the site. Hmmm, at the risk of sounding insensitive, wouldn't we want some of these underlying issues to "evolve" out of the human species? Issues like ignorance? The inability to adapt and develop your country? The propensity to war? Seems to me as though if you can't eat, you can't waste time fighting wars. Don't give me the bleeding-heart diversity mantra. Survival of the fittest is a veritable tenet of evolution.

What would we have done for the dinosaurs had we been able to ebb the tide of their extinction? Surely they were a benefit to the biodiversity of the planet. Yet, gasp, the planet seems to be fairing just fine without them. So, using that premise, what's to say that some of us shouldn't be allowed to devolve out of the biological gene pool. Those that cannot sustain their clan or tribe or people group will perish and those that can will not. In theory, that's survival of the fittest.

Are we not interfering with what our dear Mother Nature intended by thwarting her plans? Who are we to challenge the creator, whether we embrace intelligent design (vis-a-vis God) or evolution from primordial ooze? Both seem to require a great deal of faith and the reality is that in neither instance are we the masters of our existence.

So, a gigantic walk-in safe deposit box freezer for seeds so people don't kill themselves off. Seems like Western do-gooders have become the enablers of global idiocy. Now who needs to evolve??

Monday, September 17, 2007

Be Wery Wery Quiet - We're Hunting Intelligence

It's pretty hard to miss the fact that we are in economic peril the likes of which many of us have never seen.

A simple look at that the obvious math makes that reality clear. Health care costs continue to outpace inflation. Continuing jobless claims are up slightly over the same period in 2006 to 2.57 million. Home mortgage foreclosures are skyrocketing while rates continue to climb. Credit is much tighter and oil is presently near its record-high in excess of $80/barrel.

However, the Administration will continue to lead us to believe that everything is ok. "Really, these are just nice showers into which you're going. No, that's all rumor that poison gas is what really comes out. Right this way Mr. Mirkowitz."

In Lee County, Florida, new home building permits are down 900% from the same time last year. Statewide, homeowners insurance and property tax rates are crippling many whom already live here and serving to ward off many who would have considered relocating.

Nationally, fuel prices are hovering near record-highs. In 2002, it cost about $70 to fill my SUV's tank. Today, it's $135. It hasn't been "full" in quite a while. I figure keeping the weight down has to help my fuel economy somewhat. Although, not driving at all would help that much more.

Grocery shopping is almost nightmarish; I bought enough yesterday to get through the week with what meat was already on-hand. $127. The only real luxury was a bottle of wine from SE Australia that was on sale for $5.50 (a real dive from my upper shelf taste). The grocer actually bragged that their nearly $4.00/gallon milk price was a bargain of some sort. Honey is outrageously priced, likely the result of the virus that has decimated the honeybee population, and anything that contains any corn byproduct is guaranteed to be more expensive. Why? Because some genius decided that making ethanol out of corn would help curb the oil/gas issues we face. Brilliant. If there weren't downstream effects of that like higher food prices across the board. Whether it contains corn, byproduct, or ate corn before we eat it, the desire to fuel our cars has fueled the cost surge. Simple supply and demand. To date, the media hasn't published analysis to reflect how we're actually worse off now than if they had left well enough alone. Most of us don't have access to ethanol (E85) anyway. Yet we're all paying the price for this new, albeit less efficient, technology.

China continues to manipulate the value of US currency as a result of their extensive holdings of US securities. At any given moment, that one country could flood the global market and wreak havoc on what remains of the weakened US economic position. Of course, this is on the heels of their lackluster controls that either poison our pets or poison our kids.

Intelligence reports from the UK suggest that the US is drawing up plans to resolve Iran's proxy war with the US via Iraq. Some 2,000 targets have already been identified if reports are to be believed. As though two wars in the region aren't enough, let's add another one that will undoubtedly piss off Venezuela's US-hating leader and potentially launch us into conflict with him and his other buddy, Putin, who seems to have single-handedly dismantled his entire government in the past week. Lovely. Three dictators that claim to have been "elected" and all with reason to spew more venom on the US. Of course, we cannot forget the countless disenfranchised radical Muslims who will use any excuse possible to proclaim jihad on America.

President Bush has long desired a legacy for his two terms in office; it would appear that he has achieved a legacy of ineptitude unlike any other before him. Sadly, at this stage, I sound like a typical Democrat just complaining but not offering solutions. But, I don't even know where to start. So much has run amok for so long, that the only place we may be able to start is from rock bottom. And dare I say that it will only take one more terror strike, one more war, or one more economic shove from China and we'll be living as they do in many third world hell holes.

Want proof, read these from TODAY's news:,9171,1661682,00.html

Don't be fooled, folks. There is nothing cast in stone that says the USA is God's favored nation or that we will always be the superpower that we have known. At the rate we're going forty years wandering in the desert being fed manna from Heaven might not be so bad.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Choosing My Torture

I have concluded that I am most likely to die in one of three ways. Two of those are heart attack or stroke. And given my ire at the moment, it may happen before I finish typing.

I watched Glenn Beck's segment on the "Perfect Day" last night and am sickened by the horrors at Beslan. Intelligence sources are indicating now that a worse version of Beslan is to come in the USA. Teenage girls were raped with gun barrels. Mothers were forced to cool and hydrate their children with urine as they endured days of 100 degree plus temperatures and madmen strung bombs over their heads in the name of Allah. At the risk of angering the real God whom I have never associated with Allah or any other false-deity (hey, it's MY blog and I can say what I want), I'm sick to death of Allah and his crony Muhammad and the zealots who think they are acting on their behalf.

There are lots of "religious wars" in the old testament, but nowhere will you find rape and torture as being endorsed by God. Like those who riot by burning cars and houses and stores in their own neighborhood for perceived injustices, I fail to see how these Islamofacsists can think that their actions are helping their cause.

First, they attack our country on 9/11. Then they whine when they get profiled in society. And then they plan to attack again and use our retaliation as their justification for doing so. Huh??? That's like taunting a dog, getting your hand chewed off, then blaming the dog.

It's odd to me that we don't hear of Christians or Jews or Buddhists or atheists attacking the infidels of their respective faiths. How sad that even the godless know better than the Allah-freaks. From time to time, there may be the rogue who carries out an attack, but it's not a global scale jihad. It's a zealot who usually ends up getting himself killed or convicted or both.

The saddest aspect of this is how we've let political correctness frame our everyday life. This link is to a mock-up of stories that may have been written had we foiled the 9/11 attacks. They are alarmingly too true.

We've all but forgotten the pain and the patriotism that followed after 9/11. Need we incur another loss of even greater proportion for our memories to remain clear?

Pay attention. It's coming.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I Lub Dis Kuntree

Well, I can say that I don't care, but somehow I still have a glimmer of idealism within me that says "you cannot give up." I hate that about myself.

This all might seem a little disjointed as you read it, but trust me that there is a point.

First, all my ranting the other day about Disney and the images that they cast for us has yet again been personified this week. The High School Musical starlet who admitted to nude photos of her being real has likely lost her career as an HSM actress. As a role model for young girls, I tend to agree with Disney's stance. Even IF the photos were intended solely for her HSM2 boyfriend, it was a bad idea to take them. Furthermore, it certainly implies that he would be interested in seeing such photos, so should he not suffer the same fate as her? Or is there a double-standard at Disney? Gee, that'd be a first. Then, Britney surfaces again at the VMAs in what amounted to a train-wreck performance. What amazed me is all the people that ridiculed her for being "fat." She was not fat. Countless moms would kill to have her figure, albeit less svelte than before dropping two kids. The outfit was skanky and her performance would have bored nursing home residents, but she was not fat. To suggest that she was yet again tells young girls that you have to be scrawny like an Olsen twin to be attractive.

This weekend, whilst grocery shopping amongst carnies and hordes of illegals, I noticed two older folks in VFW T-shirts. I thought aloud to myself, "isn't that redundant"? After all, the last domestic war we fought was in the 1860s. Every war since then has been "foreign." So Veterans of War would be aptly descriptive. However, that observation may prove itself to be short-lived as we re-mourn the loss of life that is marked by the 6th anniversary of 9/11/01. Not just those who died that day in planes and buildings, but those who died later from lung diseases and injuries from rescue accidents and the soldiers who have died fighting a war against a largely faceless enemy. Radical Islam wants us dead as much as ever and there's evidence to suggest that they are now willing to kill up to two million American children to bring that war to our streets and homes. Those who think 9/11 was bad will consider it a mere preamble to the mayhem that will ensue should terror strike at the heart of this nation. Hell hath no fury like parents torn from their young.

A whole new kind of witch hunt will follow; and those who practice the so-called peaceful sort of Islam and those who are its mouthpiece (e.g., CAIR) should take note. Unlike many other nations, the people of this one are armed. And in the heartland and the rural areas across this land, there are plenty who would not think twice about profiling. I've seen too many "terrorist hunting permits" on pick-up trucks to think that there will not be more than a few pissed off rednecks. If you think public lynchings are ancient history, think again. Let one hair of an American child be harmed in the name of Allah, and lynchings will likely be the better way to go.

Radical extremism brought this war to our soil; radical Islam will cement America's fury. Today, we worry again with the things of 9/10/01 like what Britney is wearing (or not wearing) and how a Disney star revealed that she is indeed human. And to any doubters, also female. A few of us are remembering 9/11/01 with services and flags at half mast.

But dare I say that the sleeping giant is groggy again. Yet when (not IF) we are attacked again, it will not be pretty. And all bets will be off. Six years of being told how we need to seek to understand these disenfranchised souls has taken it's toll.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

I Think I Don't Care

As I was reading my past entries and lamenting to myself the way my day is going, I was startled by an alarming amount of negativity thinly veiled as realism.

Rotarians have a 4-way test that helps ensure that their dealings are ethical, moral, and mutually beneficial to all parties. Of late, my thinking is earning me a big ol' F.

Kindly humor me as I type this and think aloud with you as to that which troubles me.

First, my weekend was tainted by stopping to provide first aid to a motorcyclist who lost control of his bike on the interstate. It didn't go well for him. In an uncharacteristic move, I chose to visit him at his hospital bedside yesterday. His sisters were the only family there; the bleakness and lack of hope literally ate at me like an acid. Suffice it to say, this one is in God's hands because there's nothing anyone can do.

Then, like most histories, mine continues to come back to haunt me - as though there is anything I can do to change it. Ironically, the two books I've most recently read both dealt with quantum mechanics and quantum theory and the "time travel" that could take place if quantum physics were more fully understood. Believe me, knowing what I do now, if I could go back, there are a few things I would have done differently. But it doesn't matter. People will continue to judge me from their ivory towers for one event or another and use that to discredit anything I say about anything. There is no other way to "right" that which the ivory-tower-dwellers consider to be wrong; I can only hope that by the grace of God, they do not share similar circumstances while on this globe.

Beyond that, I arrive at work this morning to discover that some ne'er do goods tried to steal my air conditioning units. Fortunately, they didn't succeed but it wasn't for lack of trying. If they didn't want the units, they wanted the copper - something that would've netted them $30 down the street. I'd willingly give them $35 to leave the damn things alone. As though my day wouldn't already be bad enough, enduring 100% humidity and 90 degrees would really set me on edge.

But that's not all; a key employee resigned because of personal issues, another went home sick, and as I type, some knucklehead in a fluorescent yellow Monte Carlo on 22s with spinners, some 400 feet away, is playing the rap so loud it actually vibrates my desk. Whatever left these people with the impression that the rest of us want to hear that crap? And why is it that they can park where they live and no one ever steals their stereos and rims, but park in a decent neighborhood, and it'll be on blocks without a dashboard in five minutes?

Someone had the unmitigated gall to suggest that I was an angry person. Anger isn't the issue - I've really thought about this. It's frustration. It's seeing what's wrong and having a sense as to the solution but feeling muted by factors beyond my control: ignorance, ambivalence, apathy, etc.

And hence why I am starting to think I don't care. Why bother really? As Solomon once wrote, it's all vanity anyway. Tomorrow marks the 6th anniversary of 9/11, ironically on a Tuesday. And while we are at war with terrorism, only some of the battles can be won. The overall war will persist into perpetuity. Ignoring it doesn't solve it. And fighting it only mitigates it. Small victories can be translated into a singular term: frustration. It's frustration that drove a key employee to quit his job. It's frustration (and fear) that led me through the events that forever changed my past. And it's frustration that led to this post.

Perhaps it's time I join the ignorantly blissful masses and strive to no longer care . . .

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Derailing Derailers

I was just reading about Mike Rogers, an openly gay activist and blogger, who has made a career out of "outing" those whom he deems to be political hypocrites. Initially, I thought this was a pretty good idea - to derail politicians who behave differently in private than they vote. But then, I got to thinking . . . uh oh, here he goes ------

I attended public school not long after God was told by O'Hare to take a long walk on a short pier into the Dead Sea. That was before the Dead Sea ever got sick. I digress. This means that my education was still pretty decent for two reasons: 1) I made something of it, and 2) it had not yet been dumbed-down to accommodate the lowest common denominator. As such, I vaguely recall that politicians are elected and for some bizarre reason (e.g., Ted Kennedy, et al) re-elected to represent US. That's right: you, me, our neighbors. Which means that regardless of how they believe on a certain issue, they are there as our proxy. Presumably, they were elected by a majority and as such, if they are performing their jobs properly, they are voting according to how the majority desires.

But - GASP - that means that they might have to vote counter to what they personally believe or in some cases live. And frankly, I don't think I should care. I should not have reason to care where you put your monkey, what you do with your monkey, or how you discipline your naughty monkey. What you do in your private life, despite being a public official, is not my concern. If you want to tap Riverdance out in an airport bathroom stall in an effort to get something unusual, so be it. I don't have to like it. I don't have to agree with it. I don't have to condone it. But if you were elected to represent the majority on specific issues, then you damn well better vote and legislate according to your constituents' wishes. That's what you are paid to do. Beyond that, whatever. This may be extremely pragmatic for some, especially ultra-conservatives, but face it. This is not the end-game. We're not going to find perfect people here. So we make do with the imperfect ones.

What Mike Rogers and his ilk fail to realize is everything that I noted above. Neither the parties nor the constituencies should care what these people do in their "private" lives so long as their voting record reflects the desires of the voters. Period. However, if their "private" activity is indeed unlawful, then by all means they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law without prejudicial treatment on the basis of who they are. If it's unlawful to somehow solicit "man-lovin" in a public restroom, then you should be prosecuted. If it's unlawful to instant message your male (or female) pages who are under 18 with lewd and lascivious commentary, you should be prosecuted. Ideally, we'd have elected officials who reflected our beliefs and ideals and morals to a tee. But we don't. So again, we make do.

I'm a conservative by most metrics. That doesn't mean that I agree with Bush on everything he has done. Of course, he is privy to more and better intelligence than I am, so I have to presume that his decisions are indeed in the best interest of the nation. Although, I am not convinced that Mexican truckers are a prudent measure. 4200+ cubic feet of trailer can fit a lot of illegals. But what do I know . . .

I think it's time that we view elected officials in their singular role as representing their constituents. Nothing more, nothing less. If you want to do the nasty in a public restroom, so be it, but don't expect me to follow suit. And as your constituent, I would recommend against it. But it's your life and how you behave privately is not for me to judge. Just know that it will one day be judged.

In the meantime, perform your duty as a public servant and we'll all get along just fine.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Band-Aid Anyone?

OK, so after that last post, my rear is a few sizes smaller as I have been set straight by some in this audience. While to my likely chagrin, I still think I had a point in there, it was perceived as being somewhat biased and critical of the little princesses out there. Oy.

So, in fairness, let me say that it's fine and dandy if the youngsters want to pretend that they are cops and robbers, cowboys and indians (not PC), princesses, dancing fairies, dancing cowboy fairies, or whatever. And if they want to wear superhero shirts or faux royalty tops and tieras, far be it from me to burst their blissfully naive bubble that they know as Utopia.

All I was saying is that "happily ever after" is a bit of a misnomer. I don't think Cinderella had popping zits on the prince's back in mind when she rode away on his white stallion, anymore than today's woman has pulling in-grown butt hairs in mind when she rides off on the white motorcycle. I bet that Sleeping Beauty had no clue that there would be mortgages to pay, cell phone bills, dirty diapers, and meals to prepare anymore than today's woman is ready to carry water in a pot on her head, take the clothes down to the river to wash, or cut wood to fire the ovens for the day's loaf. I'm just sayin . . .

Wearing a princess outfit does not make the little darling a princess. Wearing reptile gear doesn't make the little charmer a mutant ninja. And wearing Toby Keith shirts doesn't make me white trash with money . . . it makes Toby that. I'm just white trash in a Toby shirt. However, if these mindsets are allowed to gel without proper parental nurture, THEN the little darlings and charmers may be ill-suited for that which awaits them in the real world.

There's happy - that's for certain. But it will be peppered with not-so-much from time to time. Let them be little - they grow up too fast (a wise woman promptly pounded that into me). But be watchful that their fantasy doesn't not take root into your reality.


Mommas Are Gonna Be Mad

OK, moms, don't shoot the messenger . . . I'm just a thinker.

So, of late, I've been inundated with Disney's High School Musical 2. Talk about a build-up - they plugged this thing so much, even I was almost excited about the premier. Of course, that excitement wained after the first 400 times I've had to watch or hear it since. I have sworn to myself that if I hear Ashley Chip-N-Dale or Cordon Bleu sing one more song, I will hammer rusty framing nails into my ears.

I understand that Disney exists to serve its shareholders and will whore-out everything possible to achieve that end. Somehow, I don't think that was Walt's vision, but hey, he's dead and who cares what the FOUNDER thinks anyway. At any rate, there are HSM2 action figures and lunch boxes and greeting cards and games and books and soundtracks and downloads and wallpapers and screen savers, and and and and . . . and, NOW, I hear that it'll be on ice too - coming soon to your local professional hockey forum or anywhere that they can keep water frozen for three hours. And as though the brainwashing isn't sufficient with all that, Radio Disney keeps it hammered into our little princess' heads every waking moment. And why? Because Prince Throckmorton and Princess Ashley of Tisdale won't let us turn it off.

Ah, but wait, discipline the child you say. Take charge. Be the parent. Riiiigggghhhhhttttt. Disney has apparently included subliminal hissy fit training into their media blitz. Right behind Sharpei's (who names a character after a dog??) face and just beneath the audible music layers are the instructions on how to drive your parents to drive spikes into their auditory canals.

Having set that colorful stage, let me pose some questions - peel another layer off the onion:
Have you actually watched the movie (or any of the Disney Channel propaganda)? Have you noticed, with the exception of Raven, how the girls all fit the very molds that we don't want our daughters to embrace? Pretty. Skinny. Perfect. Perky. Flirtatious. Materialistic. And what's with the prance? Those girls don't walk from point A to point B, they strut.

Now, go to the mall (or grocery store, church, school) or anywhere that there are little girls from ages 3 - 11. The vast majority will not be capable of walking without a runway strut. So here's my dilemma: we don't want our children to be weight-conscious or have their self-image cast by celebutards and "models" yet we will let them be entertained (a term I use loosely) by programming that cements these images into their psyche. Miss Teen USA personifies this stereotype all the more. Miss South Carolina's fifteen minutes of notoriety came and went, but was worth a blog or two. Radio and TV pundits had a field day with her mastery of Engrish. But the sad truth is that all the energy that went into helping her be "pretty" enough to compete in such a shallow event precluded her from being articulate and educated. I would think that we want more for our children, boys and girls, than for them to be objectified for how they look - for the visual mold into which they fit. Quite honestly, I've seen some ugly dorks and some beautiful morons - yet for my children, I'd like a balance of educated, attractive, spiritual, and emotional. The pendulum doesn't have to swing so hard one direction that it sticks in the clock casing.

If you're going to let them watch and listen to that stuff, remind them that it's "make believe." If stuff they see on TV or in the movies is capable of scaring them, then it's also capable of scarring them by creating an ideal self-image that is far from ideal. Let them dream, let them be happy and content, but don't perpetuate the illusion of happily ever after. Otherwise, they'll be sitting at a keyboard one day as I am, lamenting where things went awry - assuming they ever realize it.