Author Mel Maguire

Excuses, Excuses

When Ron Paul was discovered accepting campaign donations from known white supremacists, he refused to send the money back. He said that they had a right to their beliefs and he had no place judging them. I, like many others, called him out for making excuses, and poor ones at that – that accepting the money was akin to agreeing with their idiotic beliefs.

Dan Clevenger, the mayor of Marionville, MO, is now doing the same thing while he backpedals like mad.

On Sunday, April 13, Frazier Glenn Miller, Jr. went to two Jewish community centers and killed three people (he fired at far more than that) with a shotgun. He had long since been very well-known for his white supremacist beliefs, particularly for his Antisemitic views. For well over a decade he’s lived in the Overland Park suburb of Kansas City and has continually espoused his beliefs that Jews are the cause of all of the problems in our country. His self-published book, “A White Man Speaks Out”, is on the shelf at the local library. Clevenger is now trying to say that the 2,200 or so who live in Marionville don’t believe the way Miller does.

Clevenger, however, does – and it is quite well-documented.

In October 2004, Clevenger wrote a letter to the editor of the Aurora Advertiser where he called Miller a friend and openly agreed with his beliefs about Jews. He said he wanted to spread Miller’s “warnings”, including that of Jews in the medical industry making money by “killing us off”. Just in the last few days he has continued to spit out those vile beliefs in more than one interview. He believes that Jews are running the world economy and Jews are responsible for the economic crash – because, you know, Jews run the Federal Reserve, right? How does he know? The names, of course! Only one Jewish name in the bunch since 1913, but you know it has to be a conspiracy.

In an interview with CNN, Clevenger said, “I considered him a friend, and everyone is entitled to freedom of speech and I didn’t keep him away because he was a customer. I can just ignore things that people say.” The problem here is that he’s not ignoring anything. He’s openly agreeing with it.

You don’t see these types walking into gay community centers and shooting them up. You don’t see white supremacists bombing gay bars. They do that to Jewish community centers. Hatred for Jews is the one kind of hatred that transcends all other racial and ethnic boundaries, including sexual orientation. I have met gay people who believe this way…that Jews are destroying the world through the economy, medicine, and the supposed occupation of Palestine.

Now that Clevenger has been outed, it will be interesting to see if he gets re-elected for a second term. If he does, I won’t be going through Kansas City any time soon.

Don’t Go There

During what seems to be the umpteen jillionth hearing on Capitol Hill about the failures of the now-infamous “Fast and Furious” gun running program yesterday, Attorney General Eric Holder showed breathtaking disrespect to members of Congress while being grilled by Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX).

Multiple requests by the House Judiciary Committee for the Department of Justice to turn over nearly ten thousand pages of documents related to F&F have gone unheeded. During yesterday’s hearing, Rep. Gohmert pointed out the fact that this documentation has been readily turned over to lawyers representing those accused of supporting terrorism, yet all the DOJ has been willing to provide the Judiciary Committee is a link to the parts of that evidence that has been made publicly available (roughly half of what has been requested). The frustration of the committee at being continually snubbed had already come out in the form of a charge of contempt against Holder, and it came out again when Rep. Gohmert rehashed all of the events leading up to yesterday’s hearing.

Not without reason, Rep. Gohmert said, “I realize that contempt is not a big deal to our Attorney General…”

Holder’s response was incredible. Leaning back in his chair, he sniped, “you don’t wanna go there, buddy. You don’t wanna go there, okay?” He then proceeded to go on a tirade about how important this investigation has been. This after a similar grilling from Rep. Steve King (R-IA) during which Holder became visibly upset, saying, “I’ll put my record up against any other Attorney General, any other Justice Department, and any hint we have engaged in anything that’s partisan or inappropriate in nature I totally one thousand percent reject.”

Well, let’s take a look at that record, shall we?

During the Presidential election in November 2008, two members of the New Black Panther Party were captured on cell phone video standing outside a Pennsylvania polling place in paramilitary garb, carrying nightsticks. Several people complained that they felt intimidated; some even left without voting. The Bush administration DOJ handily won the case against the NBPP when the members of the group failed to show up (and, you know – video evidence and all) to defend themselves against charges of voter intimidation. In his first act as the new Attorney General in early 2009, Holder tossed the win and dropped all charges against the NBPP and the specific members who were there, claiming there wasn’t enough evidence. He excused himself by saying, “When you compare what people endured in the South in the ’60s to try to get the right to vote for African Americans, to compare what people subjected to that with what happened in Philadelphia… I think does a great disservice to people who put their lives on the line for my people.” In other words, what your people did back in the day was worse, so you can stop crying about what my people are doing now.

In 2009, Holder gave a speech on race relations in America in which he called us a “nation of cowards.” He went on to say, “Certain subjects are off-limits and that to explore them risks at best embarrassment, and at worst, the questioning of one’s character.” I’m sure we can agree with that last statement, although the subject that we would like to explore are very different.

In 2010, Holder attempted to take what was clearly a military matter and make it a civilian one. Several foreign nationals who had engaged US forces in acts of terrorism were set to go on trial and Holder swore that he would give them civilian trials in New York City. After the uproarious outcry over the move, President Obama had to force Holder to back off.

Last year, George Zimmerman was found not guilty by a jury during a trial to determine whether he murdered Trayvon Martin. In a flagrant violation of Zimmerman’s Constitutional rights, Holder announced an investigation into whether Martin’s civil rights were violated almost immediately after the jury’s verdict was announced. In contrast, two incidents of racial hatred – one in Chicago, the other near Detroit – have been completely ignored by Holder’s DOJ. Both involved black children in poor neighborhoods being hit by cars after darting into traffic. In both cases, relatives and friends of the children involved mobbed the white drivers. Neither has seen one iota of attention from the DOJ’s civil rights division.

It’s been over a year since the news first broke of the IRS targeting conservative groups. Early on, an Inspector General reported that there was more than enough evidence of a conspiracy against conservative groups – the IRS was using its power to try to intimidate those who didn’t support Obama. Eight months into the DOJ’s so-called “investigation”, it came to light that the lead investigator, Barbara Kay Bosserman, was a major contributor to the Obama campaign. Holder had absolutely no answer for the questions that Ted Cruz had for him in January. Now, suddenly, in light of Holder’s thinly-veiled threat during the hearing yesterday, we’re hearing that the DOJ is actually going to prosecute Lois Lerner for her role in the targeting scandal.

Convenient, isn’t it, that we’re calling him out for his record after he kicks back and flippantly all but threatens Rep. Gohmert and out of nowhere Lerner is being prosecuted? Quite the CYA moment.

It is astonishing to me that this administration hasn’t been held accountable for the multiple egregious scandals it has been embroiled in. If Holder doesn’t want us to go there, then maybe he should do his job rather than applying the law only to people he doesn’t personally like. And, really…the threats, sir? We all know that’s exactly what that was.

Don’t go there.

(In)Tolerant

In 2012, many names of those who contributed money to California’s Prop 8 campaign – the law proposed to make newly-legalized gay marriage illegal again in the state – was publicized. Many people were called upon by angry LGBT groups to answer for their support. Not surprisingly (at least to me), many of the people who contributed were also Democrats who voted for Barack Obama. I’m sure nobody remembers the fact that the vacationer-in-chief staunchly supported DOMA during his first campaign in order to attract the Democrat voters who are against gay marriage,

One of the names on that list two years ago was Brendan Eich. At the time he was the CTO of Mozilla, the company that built popular free internet browser Firefox. Last month he was hired as Mozilla’s CEO. Almost as soon as he achieved the highest position in the company he helped found, the fact that he had donated $1,000 to the Prop 8 campaign was trotted out by bitter gay activists again. OKcupid got involved by asking their users to log onto their website using any browser other than Firefox. The message was sent: Eich is an anti-gay hatemonger, and we need to ruin him!

Just a few days ago, Eich was pressured to resign as Mozilla CEO. He apologized for having hurt anyone but the apology mattered none.

Before I get into my issues here, know that I am fully aware that this is not a matter of First Amendment rights. Nothing that happened is a violation of Eich’s rights. Everyone involved was exercising their rights to free speech. That is not what is wrong here.

What is wrong is this episode is setting a dangerous new precedent. This is the new face of the mob mentality that has begun to take over in American politics. Lists of political donations and firearms license holders are being published in the press by so-called journalists who feel they have an obligation to shine a light on a perceived wrong in society. The fallout is things like this – people being singled out, their lives torn apart because one small group decided that they were doing something they felt was wrong.

It is no secret that I don’t have much love for Arizona representative Kyrsten Sinema. Whereas I once had a couple of things to agree with her on, thanks to her followers I cannot even hold onto that anymore. A couple of years ago, I engaged several of her most ardent followers in a “debate” (I do use that word rather lightly) about Second Amendment rights and whether human beings have a natural right to defend themselves. As is always the case with hard-left liberals, it was very heated on their end with a lot of name-calling and almost no factual offerings while I tried to be rational and reasonable. One of them started taking the personal information on my Facebook page and posting it on the thread, making fun of me for it. Then it came out that I’m an EMT working in a 911 system in their areas.

Oh, that was it. Multiple people had absolute meltdowns. How could I possibly believe we have a right to carry guns when I’m responsible for treating people who have been shot? How could I believe that we should defend ourselves when I see the consequences of those beliefs on the streets? Here’s a sampling of the comments made:

“Your license to practice as an EMT should be revoked! You are violent and angry and I hate you and everything you stand for!”

“I’m going to write a letter to the state health department about you, Mel Maguire! You’re a disgrace to your profession and you should never be allowed to help people ever again!”

“If you ever come to my house, I won’t let you in! Don’t you ever answer my 911 call!”

And these are some of the nicer comments made. Kyrsten never deleted anyone’s comments, never stood up for me as a public servant, and never bothered to tell people to dial it down. Her silence said a lot about where her stance was. I didn’t have the heart to tell any of these people that the overwhelming majority of police, fire, and EMS workers are on the right side of the political spectrum. Their reactive comments, though, honestly scared me. They still scare me – now more so thanks to what was done to Brendan Eich. Nobody deserves to lose their livelihood simply because a few disagree with their politics.

If a small but vocal group of angry people can end a man’s career with the company he founded based on a technology he wrote (JavaScript), it does not bode well for the rest of society. That anger can and will be turned on others. It is magnified many times over when those in power do nothing to calm that sentiment. Don’t hold your breath for a phone call from President Obama apologizing for the hate that Eich experienced. Don’t plan on a DOJ investigation into whether his civil rights were violated. The press has said little about the fact that Eich’s professional image was irreparably damaged by this episode.

His donation and personal beliefs about marriage are not anti-gay. He simply doesn’t believe in gay marriage. That does not equate to hatred, and I’m tired of hearing people make that parallel. We can’t get the press to call out Al Sharpton for his blatant and wanton racism, but you can be damn sure they’ll attack anyone who is not 100% supportive of gay everything.

Eich’s personal beliefs were never brought into his workplace. He never refused to hire gay people. In fact, Mozilla has gay-friendly workplace policies as far as I know. If he never brought his personal ideas into his office, then nobody else should have. The way he was forced out of his own company, you’d think he’d been caught on camera drowning puppies or something. He wasn’t a member of the KKK. He just doesn’t believe in gay marriage. I fail to understand why that is grounds for a smear campaign aimed at destroying him both personally and professionally.

Just because the First Amendment allows you to do that to a person does not make it right. The fact that you don’t agree with him doesn’t make him intolerant and you a saint. Every single person who allowed this or supported it should be deeply ashamed. You are the living proof that those who scream for others to be more tolerant are the most intolerant among us.

Insignificant

When actress Ellen Page came out last month, several conservatives I know (and those I only know by association) posted comments that were really pretty mean. I read everything from “Ellen WHO???” to “who cares? Did another idiot celebrity really need to come out?”

First of all, if you have seen the movie “Inception” then you know exactly who Page is. If you haven’t seen that movie then you should be slapped silly. It’s amazing.

Second, it is unfortunate that it is still important for celebrities to come out of the closet.

In the last six years, I’ve run more calls than I can remember. I’m in public safety. I talk to a lot of different kinds of people. I’m not allowed to give details, but I have met a hell of a lot of people – teens and adults alike – who have battled depression second to the bullying they are dealing with for being gay or lesbian. I’ve talked to kids as young as 13 and adults as old as their mid-40′s who are still fighting to be accepted as human beings. Most of the kids haven’t even figured out whether they’re gay; some know they aren’t, but other kids (and sometimes even teachers) are bullying them because they simply appear to be gay.

Bullying takes many different forms. I was bullied for a lot of reasons. The fact that I was a huge tomboy was only one of those reasons. I have told my story before; I was the loser that other losers used to pick on and beat up. I was a tomboy, I was a girl who played guitar and bass, I was a science nerd, I was a history buff, I was terrible at sports, I was awkward, I just wasn’t cool enough…I was never good enough. I often still feel like I’m not good enough, but that is par for the course when you see the way I grew up.

The belief that I was a lesbian when I was a kid was one of the reasons I was bullied, though, and it was huge. Nowadays kids take school bullying home with them on their smartphones, where they endure a continuous stream of hate through Facebook, Twitter, and a myriad of other forums. I’ve talked to a lot of those kids. They’re afraid to tell their parents at least partially because they know the bullying will only get worse when they tattle. More than one kid has looked at me and asked, “did your parents hate you when you came out?”

No, they didn’t hate me. It wasn’t easy for them to accept at first, but they didn’t hate me. The first time a teenage boy sat in my ambulance and asked me to help him tell his parents because that was why he was sitting there with serious injuries from a beating, I wanted to disappear. How do you do that? How do I sit down with this kid in his hospital room, look his parents in the eye, and tell his crying mother that he needed to tell her something? Once I’ve said that, how do I stand there and mediate while he tells her something she probably never expected him to say because he was such a good religious boy?

Even the most well-meaning conservatives among my friends who are straight don’t understand how hard that can be. It took me months after my horrible self-realization to finally tell my parents. It’s still a stigma in society. It’s a stigma at home. Thankfully, it doesn’t appear that Ellen Page is losing work because of her announcement, but a lot of actors and actresses in the past have watched their careers tank after admitting to the world that they were gay.

It took a lot of courage for Michael Sam to come out. It took a lot for Ellen Page. It took a lot for Chely Wright (who immediately saw her career as a top-ten country artist evaporate). It took courage because, even in a society where being openly gay is becoming normal, there is still enough stigma and enough bullying to make one’s life very difficult. Being true to oneself is important; when those around you decide that they can’t stand your true self, it can be devastating.

I look forward to the day when we won’t have to “come out” anymore. Until then, I will have a lot of respect for those who come out and tell the world that it’s normal for some. We’re still people. We’re still just like you, and we’re not insignificant.

Peace

News has hit the airwaves that Fred Phelps Sr., the founder of Westboro Baptist Church, is now in the care of a hospice in Topeka. It has been reported that he was voted out of the church he founded in August of 2013 and last month went into hospice. Yesterday the news reported that his estranged son, Nate Phelps, had announced that the elder Phelps had stopped eating and was completely unresponsive. To me, an EMT (who recently said goodbye to my own grandfather), that spells the end of life.

Many in the media, milbloggers, and gay activists are having a field day right now. When I first read the news I thought about a lot of things I wanted to say, but nothing I can reflect on right now is really appropriate. Nothing that I or anyone else thought of him matters in light of the fact that Fred still has a family that loves him.

Of the 70 or so members of his family, about 20 had left Westboro. A few were forced out; most left willingly. Those who made the decision to leave knew that they would never see any of their family again but still hope to have the chance to see the man they know as “Gramps” one last time.

Fred was a different person to his family than he was to us. His granddaughter Grace, who left with her older sister Megan last year, wrote a beautiful missive about her love for her grandfather today. Nothing that he did or said that made him a different person to me can change the fact that he obviously loved his grandchildren, and they deeply love him.

I refuse to take part in any celebration over this. I will not rehash his wrongs. All I will say is directed squarely at those of his family who miss him the most, those who had to leave because they no longer agreed with the teachings of the church. Nate, Mark, Dorotha, Libby, Josh, Megan, Grace, and the others whose names I do not know, I am sorry. I wish you could see him again. I wish things hadn’t gone the way they did in your family. I wish you could mourn privately, without the media deconstructing everything your Gramps has ever done. I understand how much it hurts to lose a grandfather that you haven’t been able to see or speak to in a long time because of family issues, and I hurt for you. I was at least able to see my Pawpaw before he died; I cannot imagine how I would feel if I hadn’t been there when he left this life.

I hope you all find some peace. I wish I could do or say more, but I can at least say there is one small corner of the new media of the internet where you will not find anger or hatred while you grieve. I cannot be happy for Fred’s pending death because all of you still wish for one more minute with him.

(On this post, I will break my rule about not deleting comments intended to inflict pain. Any comments posted against the spirit of the main article will be deleted. Continued attempts to re-post such comments will result in your IP being blocked.)

WWJD?

As a conservative, I voted for Jan Brewer. I felt no qualms in doing so. I’ve been irritated with some of her choices of late, mainly her decisions regarding Child Protective Services, but I have been impressed with her refusal to back down on issues such as Second Amendment rights and immigration issues.

Now, as a lesbian, I’m sitting here with my breath on hold. The state senate and house of representatives have both passed SB 1062. Now all that waits is Governor Brewer’s decision – sign it into law, veto it, or take no action and let it become law.

The bill came about after multiple lawsuits and civil complaints brought against business owners in several states. Gay couples preparing to hold marriage ceremonies are running into bakeries and photographers who are refusing to do business with them because the business owners are Christians and don’t agree with homosexuality, let alone gay marriage. When this happens it makes the news. It also typically goes straight to court. Several states, including Kansas, Ohio, and Kentucky have all drawn up laws with the intent of preserving “religious freedom” and protecting business owners who want to refuse service to gays based on their religious beliefs. Arizona, however, is the first state to come this far in passing that legislation. All other states have dropped it.

I’ve read the bill. It’s short and simple enough to understand. The big problem I have is that it’s pretty ambiguous in its language. In short, the bill literally says that any business can refuse service to anyone and claim a “sincerely held religious belief” to avoid being sued or penalized by the government under discrimination laws. That means this would stand to affect more than just gay people; it could spread to racial and religious discrimination very quickly.

I have said before and will say again that I will only support gay marriage rights as long as the rights of churches to refuse to perform gay weddings is preserved. Churches should never be forced to engage in practices that go against their beliefs. For the record, I think if a caterer or a photographer doesn’t agree with gay marriage they shouldn’t have to be forced to do business with gay couples. I think that if a gay couple knows that they’re going to a Christian-owned business that won’t want to help with their ceremony, they’re inviting disaster in the form of poor, shoddy work. The problem that I have with SB 1062 is that it is far too broad and flings the door wide open for all kinds of discrimination to be excused by religion.

In reality, however, this is little more than an exercise in stupidity by the socially conservative hard right. This is more of the same from social conservatives who claim to want limited government and then turn around and expect the government to legislate personal and moral issues. Rather than minding their own business and learning to live and let live, they want everyone to snap to and agree to their brand of morality a la legislation. If anyone dared suggest allowing Sharia courts anywhere in the United States (something I vehemently refuse to support, in case anyone was wondering), these folks would be up in arms in a heartbeat, as well they should. But they have no issue at all with trying to legislate from their own pulpit.

Mushy moderates like John McCain and Jeff Flake know how strong their social base is and they play to it. During the last election, both Arizona senators openly supported the social conservatives who were worried about gay marriage and gave them exactly the answers they knew that base wanted to hear. Now that both of those senators have come out in the Gang of Eight and agreed to come to some kind of compromise on gun control, those socials are crying foul. They just can’t understand this kind of betrayal.

You don’t get to feign ignorance now. You were more worried about those damned social issues than you were about the economy, amnesty, taxes, healthcare, and gun rights. Because that was your primary concern, we’re all stuck with men representing us who are willing to sell us out. The problem is that you are still refusing to see that truth. The liberals are thoroughly enjoying the resultant mess and watching the conservative side implode. They are the ones that will win this war because you simply cannot let go of issues that have no bearing whatsoever on what’s really destroying us right now – the economy, Obamacare, amnesty, and rising taxes. Cities are going broke and some states are well on their way and we’re still kibitzing about gay marriage.

Of course, none of this is to mention the breathtaking arrogance of social conservatives. Your whole beef is that you should be allowed to refuse to do business with someone because they’re gay and you don’t agree with homosexuality. Do you really think Jesus would approve of putting up a sign in your restaurant asking gay people to stay away? Do you think Jesus would applaud you for turning away a patient because you didn’t want to treat a gay person? What would Jesus say if he were standing in front of you while you called all gay people pedophiles and screamed for them to be stripped of their rights? What happened to “whatever you do unto the least of these”? If you support this farce of a law, then go out and scrape that WWJD sticker off your car and take that cross necklace off. You obviously don’t remember what Jesus said about how you’re supposed to treat other people.

MYOB

As a direct descendent of one of our founding fathers, a Tea Party original, and a “conservatarian” (my dad’s description of me), I believe strongly in limited government. While they disagreed on quite a few things, nearly all of the founders agreed that any central government had to be limited in size, scope, and power. A system of checks and balances was put into place. After the Declaration of Independence, both the Constitution and the Articles of Amendment were written. These documents were written in such a way that if you take out one, the rest will fall.

I believe in everyone minding their own business. You have a right to your religious beliefs. If you believe that I’m living in sin for acknowledging and embracing the fact that I am a lesbian, that is your right. If you want to say so publicly, that is your right. I would fight to the death for your rights because I would expect my rights to be protected just as fiercely.

You do NOT have the right to enact laws that single out one group that you don’t happen to like based on your religious beliefs.

I’ve said that before, but it seems nobody is really getting the message. Let me say it again: you do not have the right to enact laws that single out one group that you don’t happen to like based on your religious beliefs.

Nearly every challenge to state gay marriage bans has won, ending with such laws being stricken down in Kentucky, Utah, and today, Virginia. In response Ted Cruz (who I normally like) introduced a bill co-sponsored by Mike Lee that would essentially bring back DOMA, albeit in a slightly different form. DOMA barred the federal government from recognizing gay marriages even in states that had decided that gay marriage was legal. The so-called State Marriage Defense Act would do an end-run around the Constitution and “protect” states from intrusion by federal courts if the voters in those states agree to make gay marriage illegal.

Here’s the big problem: the Tenth Amendment already addresses that sort of thing. The language literally says, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” In other words, if the Constitution doesn’t give the feds the right to have power over something, that power belongs to the States. Reading all of the recent judicial commentary on rulings that strike down gay marriage bans all pretty much points to the same thing…the Fourteenth Amendment. The end of Section One reads, “…nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

So we’ve established that the First Amendment gives everyone the right to agree or disagree (peacefully) with gay marriage and to speak about said disagreement openly, but that it does not give anyone the right to write laws based on one religious belief. Now we’ve also established that the federal government is not allowed to take any power that the Constitution doesn’t give it. Add to that the fact that the government, whether local, state, or federal, cannot discriminate against one group or another for ANY reason in how it applies laws and rights. I think it’s pretty clear that gay marriage is a fight that social conservatives should give up now.

I don’t agree with liberalism because I see what it is doing to my country. I am talking to people every day who actually believed that Obamacare was supposed to make their healthcare free and eliminate the wait to see a doctor – and they don’t understand why the opposite is happening. I am called a racist because I don’t like President Obama and think he’s worse than Jimmy Carter. I am called heartless because I believe that there should be limits to the amount of money the government spends, particularly on welfare, and I believe that welfare should be something that one has to prove they genuinely need (and are trying to get off of). I am called a traitor because I’m a lesbian who isn’t liberal and told that I should just kill myself so I can’t do any more damage to the cause of gay rights.

I’m watching the press, who is ardently protected, take advantage of their protections and make a concerted effort to defend an indefensible man holding the highest office in America. I’m watching my friends and family come home from foreign countries drastically changed because their country asked them to go to war and then refused to back them up when they needed it. I feel like I’m watching my beloved country disintegrate because the people refuse to educate themselves and want nothing more than to know how to get their free stuff.

We wanted the government out of our bedrooms. We got that. Now we want the government out of everything else in our lives, but we are somehow willing to give them complete control? How does this work? I just want you all, from Ted Cruz to Barack Obama, to mind your own business. Get out of my life. Get out of my healthcare, my gun safe, my workplace, my bedroom, my TV, my computer, my cell phone – get the hell out. You don’t have the right to tell me that I can’t defend myself and my family if someone decides to try to harm us. You don’t have the right to tell me that I have to turn over all of my personal information to make sure I’m a terrorist. You damn sure don’t have the right to tell me that because you believe a certain way, I cannot love another woman and commit myself to her for the rest of my life. When you social conservatives do something about the astronomical divorce rates and clean up your own act, then and only then will you be allowed to wag a finger at me and accuse me of trying to destroy that supposedly sacred institution.

You cannot claim to want limited government while you’re championing the fight to give the government more power. It doesn’t work that way. I believe in remembering the Sabbath and keeping it holy. That does not mean that I believe I should have a law written that forces all businesses to close on Saturdays to accommodate my belief.

Brilliant, Hollywood!

I am continually baffled by the lack of education there seems to be on the left. Not only that but the apathy that they have for not being educated. To hear the hard-lefties say it, they have it all figured out – conservatives are all racists, homophobes, and biased against the poor. Conservatives don’t ever want to help anyone as evidenced by our aversion to approving endless unemployment and welfare that poses few questions about the person receiving said government handouts. I mean, anyone who doesn’t want to just throw money away to help the poor must be a total hatemonger, right? Anyone who doesn’t like President Obama is a racist; there’s no other excuse. And if you’re black and you don’t worship President Obama, woah! You are a total Uncle Tom!

What’s worse? Their leaders preach from a bully pulpit in Hollywood. In July 2012, actress Ellen Barkin went on a Twitter rampage that began with her saying, “I love everyone, except u right wing f**kin morons.” She later went on to make crass remarks about “how many village idiots” there are in Texas (she must mean the people who a Yale professor discovered were measurably more intelligent than her liberal choir), the Second Amendment never being meant to cover “semi-automatic machine guns” (there’s no such thing as a semi-automatic machine gun…a machine gun is fully automatic, whereas a semi-automatic only fires one round with every single pull of the trigger), strict Constitutionalists are “2 dumb and dangerous” (which, I suppose, is why all of the mass shooters over the past decade have been liberals who hated President Bush), and had the nerve to suggest that we be knocked down and dragged the f**k out.

First of all, if anyone in Hollywood or any of their minions among the unwashed masses really thinks they can knock us down and drag us out, you are welcome to try. Since you have already established that we believe in and exercise our Second Amendment rights and we’re therefore dangerous, I get the feeling even you don’t believe you’d be able to drag us out. Since most of us also did military service, you’d best be served by leaving us alone. How’s that sound?

Second, shut up and sing. I mean, who the hell is Ellen Barkin? Oh, that’s right – she’s the broad who spread her legs for Dennis Quaid in “The Big Easy”. What exactly is your expertise in? You’re the court jester. I don’t wanna hear you talk about how evil I am for not agreeing with you. I don’t even want to hear what your political bent is. I’m not going to waste time and money going to see something with you in it if all you do when you’re not acting is going on a rant about how hateful you think I am.

Third, this is how you sound: “I hate you, you hatemonger! YOU NEED TO BE MORE TOLERANT OR I’LL BEAT IT INTO YOU!!!” Do you ever stop and think before you speak? Where the hell is all this tolerance you say you have? Take a Xanax and calm yourself. I don’t hate you. I certainly don’t like you, but I don’t think you’re worth spending that kind of energy on.

What’s even more mind-boggling is that in the wake of the death of child superstar Shirley Temple, even more hatemongers have come out of the woodwork. Despite there being no other proof than the fact that she was a Republican and served as an ambassador to Ghana under President Nixon in 1974 and later as the ambassador to Czechoslovakia in 1989 under President Bush Sr., an unbelievable number of people have branded her as a racist in death. Twitter lit up with hateful liberals lamenting the fact that she was a Republican. Still more openly hated her for her supposed racism. Not one celebrity has come out to defend her.

These are the people who are supposed to be setting the example. When you lie about another group simply because you do not like them (and let’s face it, kids, when someone asks you what proof there is that all conservatives are racists and all you can come up with is “they just are,” you’re lying to smear them), you are doing the same thing the Nazis did. You cannot point the finger at us and call us hatemongers when you’re the ones spewing the hate.

Oh, and by the way, Ms. Barkin…you weren’t all that hot in that movie. Get over yourself.

Liberty or Death

“Caesar had his Brutus, Charles the First his Cromwell; and George the Third…may he profit by their example. If this be treason, make the most of it!” -Patrick Henry

Patrick Henry is my fifth or sixth great-grandfather.

It should come as no surprise, then, that I take his words, “give me liberty or give me death” very seriously. Thanks to the guys at Ranger Up, I now have several articles of clothing with the “liberty or death” mantra emblazoned on them. Soon I will have several of his infamous quotes tattooed on my body as a testament to my belief that I, as a free American, should be ready to give all to defend our freedom. What leaves me dismayed is that far too many people in today’s society have come to see such displays as a form of extremism.

It’s the Tea Party affiliation, you see. What they fail to understand is that their despising of my beliefs is no more serious than it was in Patrick Henry’s day. When my famous ancestor hoisted the Gadsden flag above his home, it was just as controversial then as it is now for me to put on a baseball cap with the same logo on it. There were people in 1773 who were just as vehemently against his talk of revolution as there are now who label me an extremist. I, like him, have also been branded a traitor for saying that my rulers have seriously overstepped their bounds.

He was a member of the Sons of Liberty, an organization of patriots who fought for the independence of the Colonies when their status as loyal citizens of the British Crown was repeatedly assailed and their freedom threatened. It is unknown if he was there, but it is believed that he stood alongside his friend and fellow patriot Samuel Adams when the Sons dressed as Indians and invaded the ships in Boston Harbor on December 16, 1773 to dump taxed tea into the ocean. He was an elected member of the First Continental Congress. He spoke and wrote ferociously against the British incursions into the Colonies to restrict speech and confiscate weapons. On March 23, 1775, he spoke before the Virginia House of Burgesses in an effort to convince them to raise a militia to defend against escalating encroachment from the British. It was during this speech that he said, “is life so dear, or peace so sweet, to be purchased at the price of chains or slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me – give me liberty or give me death!”

He served as a colonel in the 1st Virginia Regiment during the Revolutionary War, often defending stores of weapons and gunpowder. He first refused to support the ratification of the Constitution because it gave the federal government too much power; he also worried that the office of the President could devolve into a de facto monarchy. As he watched the horror of the French Revolution unfold, he also worried that too little power in the hands of government could be just as bad. He knew that a balance needed to be struck and, in the end, he joined the Federalists with Washington.

My concern today is just as real as his was during the founding of this country. Too little power could reduce the people to a rabble. Too much power, however, has turned the Presidency into the beginnings of a dictatorship. So-called Representatives pass laws that apply only to the citizenry, carving niches for themselves in the balance of power. Crony capitalism has flourished, leaving special interests on both sides of Congress capable of buying new laws, more funding, and higher taxes. What’s more, the people have realized that they can vote themselves money – and citizenship is no longer seen as a privilege that must be earned by either birth or work and respect. The America that my spitfire of a Scottish fifth great-grandfather fought to free and struggled to help grow is going down the very path that he and his compatriots feared.

Just like him, I have been dumped by liberals into the category of an extremist – by the angriest, I have been called a traitor. For agreeing with both Henry’s and Jefferson’s assertions that revolution is sometimes a necessary evil to protect our freedoms, I have been called dangerous. Like him, though, I don’t want to fight. I merely recognize that I may have to only as a last resort, and that is was sets us apart. Liberals think everything needs to be a fight, including their fight to end our rights to arm ourselves.

I have hope for my country. I have hope that the liberals who seek to destroy our rights and the social conservatives who seek to turn us into a theocracy will eventually cancel each other out, but I know that isn’t likely. I hope that I’ll never have to fight against my government, but they increasingly leave me little choice. I hope that we’ll be able to coexist, but I realize that more and more I’m one of few that really cares about actually living in peace and tolerating those who disagree.

I am a natural born citizen of the United States. I am a free woman, descended from one of the men who fought for our rights. I will not give up my freedom for anything – not even peace. I would rather die on my feet than live on my knees. Liberty or death. I will not live as a victim, a serf, or a slave.

Who Is Paying?

My mother has peripheral neuropathy. It has left her bound to a wheelchair and unable to use her hands for much more than holding a spill-proof mug (and even those get dropped pretty frequently). She is still very independent, but she can’t work anymore (she can’t type or write) and was approved for disability benefits after months of haggling with the government. Something that was so easy for a certain meth addict I know was a nightmare for my mother, who genuinely needs disability.

Until she was approved for disability, she was getting social security benefits – with that money came enrollment in Medicaid. It paid for base-level treatment (treatment – not physical therapy) and prescriptions (as long as they were generic). Guess what happened when the SSI stopped and the disability kicked in? She was kicked off of Medicaid. While trying to re-apply for it, she discovered something unbelievably ridiculous…

Disability pays her $100 a month over the official threshold. She doesn’t qualify for Medicaid because she is only 130% of the federal poverty level. You have to be at 140%. Our state healthcare system uses the same standard and she won’t qualify for that, either.

What does that leave, boys and girls? Obamacare! Guess what she qualifies for there? Nothing she can afford. Even if she paid the bare minimum of $80 a month, she would still have a deductible and copays. That bronze plan doesn’t cover much, either. Oh, and food stamps? Thanks to her slightly increased payments through disability she only gets about $15 a month.

Nobody in my family is wealthy. My sister paid her bills for months while we waited for disability to be approved. Mom was afraid at one point that she might lose her wheelchair because it was being rented through Medicare. Before the advent of Obamacare, it wouldn’t have been nearly as difficult for my mother to get the coverage she needs. She has to pay for rent, utilities, and groceries on an extremely limited income. Now the government is telling her to buy coverage or pay a “shared responsibility fee”.

Who is paying for Obamacare? People like my mother, who struggles just to maintain even with help. She makes what amounts to chump change above the limit that the government has put on who they’ll help take care of and she can’t get anyone to give a damn. She is mortified that she needs this kind of help. The fact that she is a military mom means nothing – the government does not give a damn. Hell, we can’t even get the liberal-led Senate to care more about our troops than they do about illegal immigrants who are leeching billions of dollars off of our system. Why should they care about the mother of a distinguished soldier?

The more I see coming from our government, the more anger I feel. I had a liberal tell me a couple of weeks ago, “oh, the government isn’t making anybody buy anything!” Oh, really? What do you call Obamacare? “Well, that’s just responsible!” Okay…who gets to determine what is responsible? If that’s the measuring stick you’re going to use, it’s responsible to stop smoking. Are you going to force people to stop smoking? It’s responsible to limit alcohol consumption. Are you going to bring back prohibition? It’s responsible to avoid sleeping around. Are you going to start teaching abstinence? It’s responsible to allow a person to live with the consequences of their actions so they can learn from them. Are you going to stop trying to save people from their stupidity, too?

Until and unless you are willing to get into that kind of debate, don’t preach to me about responsibility. Things like disability and Medicaid were put in place so that people like my mother could benefit when they needed them after years of being productive members of society. Instead, we have entire generations being taught to leech off of the truly responsible ones to avoid having to do anything that resembles work. I hope you’re all proud of yourselves.

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