World Police

Syria is the hot topic today – Bashar Assad has used Sarin on rebel areas, killing more than 1400 people. Over 400 were children.

The images coming out of Syria are heartbreaking. Previously, President Obama had warned that use of chemical weapons were the “red line” that, if crossed, would result in possible military action against the country. Now that we have footage showing the indelible evidence of chemical weapons being used, we’re talking about going to war with Syria.

They’re embroiled in a civil war. They haven’t invaded another country. Yet we’re talking about military strikes.

Iraq was a completely different story. Saddam had invaded two other countries. Neighboring countries had begged us to stop him. He agreed to certain terms when he surrendered in 1991, terms that he decided to stop living by when Bill Clinton was in office. For eight years, Saddam rattled his saber, deliberately letting out intel that he had chemical weapons (which he was barred from having) and was trying to gain nuclear capabilities. Whether he was trying to scare Iran or trying to stir up crap with us, we may never know; either way, we had every reason to believe that he was a danger to us and everyone around him.

Why are we talking about striking Syria? Well, if you listen to John Kerry, it’s because he’s using chemical weapons and killing thousands. Okay…why do we need to get involved? Both sides of Syria’s civil war are hostile to America. Assad had been spotted having very swanky dinners with Kerry in the past, but he was never really a friend of the US (and it’s an absolute embarrassment to see the photos of those expensive powwows). Assad openly hates one of our closest allies, Israel. On the other side of this conflict are the rebels – who are backed, funded, and trained by Al Qaeda. We all know what they think of us. They made that clear on 9/11.

What do we hope to get out of this? What is the plan? What is our exit strategy? These are all questions that have hardly been entertained, much less answered.

What do we hope to get out of this? Ostensibly, the goal is to stop Assad from continuing to use chemical weapons. The problem with this is that we don’t know where all of them are. It would be impossible to destroy all of his WMD’s. There is no way we’d be able to make sure he can’t use them anymore.

What is the plan? We don’t have one. Obama claims he doesn’t want to put boots on the ground, that it’ll only be airstrikes. The problem with that is that we know that even though we can’t locate all of the weapons, most of them have been moved to civilian areas. We’d never be able to carry out an airstrike without killing at least as many civilians as Assad already has, if not more. The only way to destroy all of the weapons without killing thousands of civilians is to put boots on the ground, something that nobody in our military wants to do.

Seriously. The idea of going in to protect the same terrorist group that struck not only us but Spain and England is detestable to our military.

What is our exit strategy? We haven’t even considered it yet. During today’s hearings, Secretary of State John Kerry has been putting the onus on Congress to call for a military strike, reminding them that they voted to join the international chemical weapons forum against proliferation. Okay…if we agreed to stop the proliferation of chemical weapons, what good would it do to destroy Assad’s current arsenal without making the tyrant account for his crimes? They say we don’t want to depose Assad, but simply destroying his cache isn’t going to stop him from making more and using them in the future (that’s assuming we could destroy his entire arsenal). If we leave him in power, the agreement to stop proliferation has no teeth.

The media is no help right now. Chris Matthews has said that Democrats should support war to save face for Obama. Why do we need to help him save face? He deserves a little humiliation here. If he really was drawing a red line in the sand, then the instant he found out that chemical weapons had been deployed he should have ordered a strike and then announced it to us. This protracted, dramatic act he’s putting on – putting it on hold for a month and passing the buck to Congress so he won’t have to take responsibility for his own words – is humiliating to all of us.

We are not the world’s police. When we went into Iraq, many liberals got very upset, saying that we had no business telling everyone else how to live. If that is what you believe then you need to stick up for that belief. We have no business getting involved in Syria.

“You Don’t Have To Take This S**t Anymore”

Such were the words of a liberal who called me an “oxyMORON” because I’m a lesbian who is politically conservative. Charming.

I get tired of hearing gay liberals say things like this – as if I’m subjecting myself to punishment. That’s akin to social conservatives who claim that being gay is a choice, something we CHOOSE to subject ourselves to. My argument to that is always, “if I could choose to be anything, I would not choose to be gay. I would choose to be straight. My life would be so much easier.” I think we would all agree with that. After 11 years, being a lesbian is completely normal to me, but to the rest of society there’s nothing normal about it. Even straight people who are supportive don’t understand the things that I know about it (case in point: my Uncle, whom I love more than life itself and is very supportive, asking me several years ago, “who is the guy in the relationship?”).

Why am I conservative? Conservative values make sense to me. Limited government. Individual liberty. Personal accountability. Fiscal responsibility. All of those things make perfect sense. When it comes to social issues I am more libertarian…live and let live. As long as you’re not infringing on the rights of another person, I don’t care what you do.

I can handle classic liberals, but I have no understanding and little tolerance for modern liberals. Modern liberalism almost flagrantly claims to be socialism – in fact, one of my local representatives, Kyrsten Sinema, describes herself as a “Prada socialist.” Considering the fact that socialism drags everyone down to the same level I’m not sure I understand how she thinks she’d be able to afford Prada if we instituted socialism in America. People are not free if the government is telling them what they can or cannot own, what they are required to buy, or that the lawmakers are not held to the standards they write into law. Throwing our borders open for anyone who wishes to cross into this country leaves us wide open for all of our freedoms to eventually be destroyed by those who – like the Romans under Constantine and Diocletian – do little more than vote themselves money.

I don’t understand why requiring ID to buy alcohol is acceptable, yet requiring ID to vote isn’t. If you’re going to claim that requiring ID for one thing is somehow racist (Al Sharpton eloquently called voter ID laws “Jim Crow Jr.”), you cannot then say that requiring ID for other things isn’t. We require ID to buy OTC drugs containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine – we even limit how much of those drugs one person can buy and logs are kept. We require ID to buy any alcohol and tobacco products. We require ID to board a bus or a plane. We require ID to drive a car. We require ID to get into R-rated films. We require ID to do quite a few things, and somehow none of those things are racist or discriminatory – but start talking about requiring ID to vote on laws or lawmakers, and suddenly it’s a different ballgame.

I don’t understand why private businesses, helmed by people who are not government workers, are being required to serve everyone thanks to discrimination laws that were only meant to protect people from the government. I don’t understand why I should be required to carry medical insurance that covers services I will never need or use. I don’t understand why I should have to pay a higher rate of taxes if I make more to help subsidize massive government waste. I don’t understand why my government is completely unwilling to cut spending when there are multiples of the same program across several agencies, none of which have been proven to work.

I don’t understand why so many people would rather be victims than fight back in defense of their children. I don’t understand why that belief is so strong that they are willing to tell me that I’m not allowed to arm myself to protect my family and my home from bad guys who will never give a damn what the law says. I don’t understand why there are only limits to speech when a certain group dislikes what I have to say. I don’t understand why I’m not allowed to question the President without being accused of being a racist.

I’m not sure exactly what it is I shouldn’t be taking anymore, but I can tell you this: of all the things I don’t have to take, a good number of them come from the liberal camp. Conservatives are at least willing (at least most of them are) to sit down and talk to me. I’ve yet to meet one liberal willing to have a civil debate with me without engaging in this kind of name-calling.

The Peace That Passes All Understanding

Imagine that America has gone to war with China or Russia (considering the dolt we have for a President, it can happen). Imagine that thousands of innocent Americans are slaughtered, some of them hacked to death with axes and swords as they head to work, by single terrorists acting on behalf of our enemy – but that those terrorists are caught, tried, and convicted. Would you want them to be released? I sure wouldn’t. In Texas they’d be put to death in short order.

Now, somebody please explain to me exactly why John Kerry has talked Israel into releasing 350 prison inmates convicted of terrorist acts – at least 100 of them convicted of murderous terrorist acts.

I can’t figure out what Kerry thinks that’s going to achieve. Israel agreed to release several hundred prisoners back to Palestinian territories to convince them to return IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. That was their decision after Shalit was held for five years by Hamas. What right does our government have to insist that Israel release hundreds more, many of them extremely dangerous? I really don’t care how many years they’ve served. If you have committed murder, especially if you’ve chopped a person to death with a hatchet, you forfeit your life. I don’t want to hear about what’s fair; the victim wasn’t treated with any modicum of humanity. It’s bad enough that the people have to pay for the perpetrator’s food, clothing, housing, and healthcare. Now the creature who committed those unspeakable acts is going to be freed?

The families of some of the victims are outraged. I would be, too.

We as Americans should be just as outraged. What if it were suggested that Timothy McVeigh be freed from prison before his death sentence were to be carried out? What if it were Ted Kaczynski? What if it were Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, or John Wayne Gacy? That’s how notorious some of these killers are that have just been sent by bus back to their old neighborhoods. If anyone suggested that Ramzi Yousef be released from prison in order to bring Iran to the negotiating table, we would be furious. I can’t believe that Kerry has pushed Israel into this prisoner release.

What I really can’t believe is that our government still thinks that peace is possible. If the Palestinians wanted peace, they would be willing to go to the table without making any conditional demands – especially not one to release a couple hundred murderers. The only request Israel made was that the rocket fire into Southern Israel stop. The Palestinians do not now, and have never, wanted peace. They want Israel to fall. None of this has anything to do with actual peace. This process will play out much like the Oslo Accords did – grand public gestures followed by angry Palestinian paramilitary groups who refuse to agree launching more attacks against Israelis.

I wish more than anything that there could be peace. We live in an imperfect world, though, and the Palestinians are a group of people who thrive on hate. What’s worse is that there are large swaths of Americans who believe that the Palestinian cause is a just one – forgetting the intense persecution that the Jews have survived since centuries before the Muslims even existed.

The most disgusting part about this whole thing is the claims of a Palestinian prisoner advocate who claimed that “we used violence and the Israelis used violence.” Really? How many Israelis butchered immigration lawyers or farmers? How many Israelis have walked into religious schools and shot 12 students to death? How many Israelis have blown themselves up in crowded bar mitzvahs, bus stops, and pizza parlors? Israel never declared any kind of conflict or war against the Palestinians – it was the PLO that announced multiple intifadas.

Our government has no business trying to push Israel to do things that the Palestinians wouldn’t dream of. Kerry has not even bothered to call the Palestinians out on such ridiculous claims. Not one of our leaders has a pair of balls – especially not John Kerry. Incredibly, he’s also saying that Israel “risks further isolation” if the talks fail. I’m sorry…who is it that has broken the peace agreements in the past? Oh, that’s right – the PALESTINIANS. He’s laying all of the responsibility on the only party that has desperately tried to make peace for many years.

The Palestinians, like many other Sharia-led nations, don’t know how to live in Peace. Their religion calls for them to kill all infidels, especially Jews. When that changes – and we cannot afford to hold our breath in hopes that it will – we might see the end of the conflict.

We Are Young

The atrocity that graces the cover of this month’s Rolling Stone magazine may be generating more controversy than the editors intended.

This much was obvious when senior editor Christian Hoard Tweeted, “I guess we should have drawn a d**k on Dzhokhar’s face or something?” After defending the magazine’s decision to put the terrorist’s airbrushed mug on the cover by bringing up the Charles Manson cover back in the 70’s, Hoard started to realize that this was VERY different. So far, a total of ten retailers (that I know of, anyway) are refusing to carry the August issue. Some may even stop carrying RS altogether. Hoard later removed his snarky tweet and apologized – but he continued to defend putting a picture of a terrorist on RS’s front cover.

Never mind the fact that they picked the most attractive picture they could find and airbrushed it to make him look like a damned rock star. Never mind that they called the associated article “Jahar’s World” (putting his first name in English pronunciation to dumb it down). RS is trying to say that because the story is relevant to our day and age – and because he “is young, and in the same age group as many of our readers, makes it all the more important for us to examine the complexities of this issue and gain a more complete understanding of how a tragedy like this happens.”

I call bullshit.

We already have all the understanding we need. The Tsarnaev brothers had been raised Muslims, became radicalized when the older brother returned to their home country and took on some paramilitary training, and they hatched, planned, and carried out a plot to bomb innocent people at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. They were hatemongers and murderers. That is all the understanding we need. There are plenty of people out there willing to take their place and keep jihad alive without giving the face of death a place on the hallowed cover of rock music’s most famed magazine and dressing him up to look like a complex, brooding young man yearning to be understood.

We already know everything we need to know. We don’t need to examine him or his mind, we don’t need to gain a more complete understanding of the hows or whys, and we sure as hell don’t need to debate what to do next. My libertarian friends will heartily disagree with this belief, but we need to close our borders. Those so eager to throw the door open and let everyone come freely forgets that this is what happens. We already know there is a massive religious movement in the Eastern hemisphere that loathes us and wants to destroy us, so why are we continuing to let people of this radical belief into our country? If the Middle East and a rogue Russian territory want to institute Sharia, let them – don’t get involved in their business and keep them out of ours.

Another thing that is vital is stopping the celebrity treatment of terrorists.

All of Hoard’s arguments in defense of the new issue of RS fall flat in the face of how they present their article. I might have been able to live with an article giving a voice to the victims’ families and the survivors, but exploring the past of the murderers? I have a huge problem with that, and we all should. When the 19 9/11 hijackers were given martyrdom status by several Muslim organizations, we were disgusted and let the world know we were pissed off. We should do no less with this cretin and everyone like him. It is unforgivable to commit the act of barbarism that we saw on April 15, 2013. It is one step short of unforgivable to hold the surviving perpetrator up as some kind of pop culture icon. This morbid fascination is nauseating and inspires me to be willing to rack up my first assault charge on anyone who calls for him to be freed in my presence.

David Draiman, frontman for two of my favorite bands (DISTURBED and Device), had this to say about the RS cover:

“Everybody is their own person. Everybody is capable of making their own choices. Everybody is cognizant of their own choices and the minute you start blaming everything around you for why somebody loses their god damned mind is the minute that everybody comes up with an excuse to be a maniac. I’ve had a very, very colorful life, so to speak. I’ve had my trials and tribulations. I’ve experienced betrayal and death and loss, in ways that most people couldn’t possibly imagine. It didn’t turn me into a terrorist – and looking into what made this monster isn’t going to stop future monsters from being made. What’s going to stop future monsters from being made is not glamorizing them and giving them infamy and putting their face all over the press.”

Putting Manson on the cover wasn’t acceptable, either – nor was making Adolf Hitler TIME Magazine’s “person of the year” in 1938. The fact that we are young does not mean that we need to explore the darkest evil that is visited upon us. Fight it, condemn it, kill it – do not put it on a pedestal. That is nearly as unforgivable as the original act.

I am not only boycotting RS – I am boycotting any store I find carrying it and any advertiser that refuses to object to being placed in this issue. Here is a list of products our readers will commonly use that are being pushed in that issue:

Absolut (I haven’t used their products since their ridiculous reconquista ad, anyway, and they never apologized.)
Bose
Bridgestone
Chevrolet (I love my Ford truck more than ever right now)
Jim Beam
M&M’s
Maker’s Mark Whiskey
Nestle
Nissan
Norton
Old Spice
Ralph Lauren
Samsung
Shock Top Brewery
Sprint
T-Mobile
Turbotax
Volkswagen

George Zimmerman: Not Guilty

One year ago, shortly after the news broke about the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, I posted an article about it. You can read it here.

Today, a jury – after only two days of deliberation – found George Zimmerman not guilty on all counts. They did not even convict him of manslaughter. The jury wasn’t undecided – they voted unanimously to acquit. This is where some of my friends who are very angry about this start dreaming of my death:

This is exactly as it should be.

If you read the article I previously wrote, you’ll see a point I made about the Crown Heights riots. The Jews in Crown Heights in 1991 were brutally wronged and none of them have ever received anything resembling an apology for what mobs of black men did to them. Twenty-two years later, after Al Sharpton excused himself without ever apologizing for inciting those riots, he is once again center stage to call the verdict “an atrocity” and “one of the worst situations I’ve ever seen.” I wonder if he said that after Josef Lifsh tried to avoid hurting anyone as he was about to wreck and ended up killing a boy he couldn’t see in what was purely an accident.

Nobody is taking a center-of-the-road stance on the subject of Zimmerman’s acquittal. Everyone is passionately angry or rejoicing about it. Nobody wins in this situation; the Martins have still lost their son. Zimmerman will never really be a free man because tens of thousands of people want him dead now. Even people whom I respect (even though we don’t always agree) are wildly emotional right now, going so far as to call for the riots to begin.

That’s because all anyone has viewed this incident through is the lens of emotion. Some of my black friends – some, not all – heard his non-emergency call to police that night and believed immediately that the whole thing was racial. At least one person claimed to me that another non-emergency call to police has been played publicly but I have not been able to find anything other than his call the night of the shooting.

Here’s what I know. I’m in public safety. I’ve helped a lot of victims of burglaries and home invasions, both as a victim advocate and as an EMT. I’ve seen the havoc that kind of crime plays in a person’s life. What I hear when that call is played is a man whose home was broken into and is now paranoid that every stranger in his condo complex is trouble. On the night of the shooting, while he says, “I think he’s black,” I can’t hear racism in that. Calling him a racist for one call to police (when in reality he made nearly 100 for the neighborhood watch) in which he describes the person he sees as being black does not make him a racist. What I hear is a man whose adrenalin is going because someone he has never seen before is walking through the complex wearing a hood pulled low over his face. I don’t hear a racist.

This is where I say something that my other friends may not like. Zimmerman was completely irresponsible in the way he conducted himself. I’m a little different from most people; I have years of experience in tactics, close-quarters combat, and the use of small arms. I’ve been in martial arts for nearly half my life. I have a lot of experience, and while I am capable of being very violent if the situation calls for it, I try very hard to find another solution. I will only pull my sidearm as a last resort, if my life or the life of another is in jeopardy. If a person attacks me with his bare hands, I will handle it with my bare hands. I have never in my life had to actually shoot a person despite being attacked, and I hope that I never do have to fire my weapon at another human being. (As an aside, since Nancy Grace asked, I carry a firearm everywhere it is legal for me to do so, even when walking the dog. Why? Because the bad guy will target you when you least expect it.)

The most responsible thing any gun owner or CCW holder can do is get some training in hand-to-hand combat. Not the flashy karate or kung fu crap you see in the movies, but honest-to-Pete street fighting. I always recommend Krav Maga, not because it’s Israeli, but because it’s extremely effective. If you want Asian martial arts then you should be careful to find a place that actually teaches fighting, not one that promises you’ll reach black belt within a year.

He shouldn’t have gotten out of his truck, but if you listen to the call closely, you hear something quite interesting…he didn’t get out until after he told the dispatcher that Martin was running away. By that time, Martin had already noticed he was being followed. What he should have done (as I said in my previous post) was keep running until he got home. Instead, he circled around, called Zimmerman out, and attacked him.

Let me pose this question…if you were walking home in the middle of the night, would you cut through a strange neighborhood? If you did and you found someone following you, would you then pick a fight with that person? If your answer to both of those is yes, you have a problem. At night, if you must walk, you should stick to well-lit areas, preferably those that are populated. If you find yourself being followed, you should either ask the person, “can I help you?” or just run as fast as you can to the nearest populated area to get help. Your first instinct should NEVER be to yell, insult, or start throwing punches. The instant Trayvon did those things he was taking responsibility for a grave decision. Yes, Zimmerman was irresponsible for not knowing how to handle a confrontation with an unarmed person – but Trayvon instigated the violence, therefore he is responsible. Whether Zimmerman is a racist or not is irrelevant at that point.

I don’t think any of my black friends have ever been spit on for being black. I don’t think any of them have ever had a group of white people threaten them because they are black. I know that none of them have ever gotten death threats for being black. I have been spit on for being gay, I have been threatened for being white (while on duty and in uniform, no less), and I have been openly threatened for being gay. I was first called a faggot when I was in the third grade. Even before I began identifying as Jewish, I had several people – a couple of them black – call me things like kike and dirty Jew, merely for defending Jewish people. Even on the pages of this blog I’ve been attacked as a Jew. I know what hate is. These idiots calling for riots and brandishing guns on Twitter don’t know the first damn thing about hatred. They’ll perpetuate it, though, because something really needs to be done about all of these creepy ass crackas. I suppose I should be thankful that I can tell by the picture that the doofus has absolutely no training at all with guns, but unfortunately an idiot with a gun is still deadly.

Violence may solve a good many problems, but this is not one of them. Dr. King would be beside himself if he could see what is going on right now. Were it only that more would take a page from Lupe Fiasco’s book and turn the spotlight on themselves, we might not need to have this debate. Unfortunately the press turned this sad story, one in which everyone lost, into a circus and the public won’t learn anything from it.

The Real Slippery Slope

Social conservatives call gay marriage the “slippery slope” that endangers our freedoms. I never understood that argument, even when I was trying to make it. Yes, it may endanger your version of morality, but your freedoms? No, it doesn’t do that. However, what CAN happen really will endanger your freedoms – in fact, it already is.

Last year, Jack Phillips – owner of Lakewood’s Masterpiece Cakeshop – refused to make a cake for a gay couple’s private wedding. As a private citizen, he exercised his First Amendment rights to religious expression and free speech. He immediately found himself at the center of a discrimination firestorm, complete with protests outside his shop and a writeup in The Advocate. What he probably wasn’t expecting was what has recently been announced.

The District Attorney filed a discrimination complaint on behalf of the gay couple he refused to serve. Now Phillips faces the very real possibility of prosecution and a year in jail for his refusal. The slippery slope here was the discrimination laws that made this sort of thing possible – the Constitution, including the Civil Rights Act and all similar Amendments, were meant to stop discrimination on the part of the government. Schools, voting places, and other government institutions were supposed to be affected. Thanks to liberals, though, those laws are being expanded to be used as weapons against those they dislike: private citizens and business owners trying to stand up for their faith.

To some degree, I can understand wanting to change the mindset of some people. The law is not the way to do it, though – not in a free society. Discrimination against black people was a serious problem in the early 1960’s when the Civil Rights Act was passed. The government needed to come up with a way to end discrimination by government officials, and in order to do that they had to change the minds of those people. Does discrimination still exist? Is racism still an issue? Of course it is. When I was a teenager I was refused a job at a store near my home by a black manager who openly told me and several others that she would only hire black people. I went to school with white kids whose fathers were still members of the KKK. The big difference today is that such ideas are not acceptable in mainstream society.

Thanks to the power of public opinion, most companies want to protect everyone’s rights. Especially in the age of the internet, when a story of discrimination can be spread to the entire world at the speed of thought, businesses don’t want to ruffle feathers and most won’t refuse to serve a person unless they’re a danger to all of their other customers. The idea with discrimination laws now is that businesses that want to have licenses have to abide by the city, county, and state laws where they operate – if that means they are never allowed to turn someone down because of race, religion, or sexual orientation, they have to agree to the terms or they can’t stay in business.

This is NOT the way to use anti-discrimination laws.

The Constitution was never meant to dictate our personal dealings. It was never meant to allow laws to be written restricting what people believe or who they will serve in their private businesses. Discrimination laws may have been needed, but our Constitution was meant to protect us from the GOVERNMENT. It was meant to limit what the government could do or stop us from doing.

You see, in the legal world, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. That means that if a known anti-gay religious leader wants to eat in a restaurant owned by a gay couple, they will be required to serve him. Even if he’s having a conversation that they don’t like, they MUST serve him. If they don’t, they can now be brought up on the very same charges that Mr. Phillips is now facing. If they do not provide the same service to the people they don’t like as they do to the customers who are gay, they will be in violation of the same law.

Somehow I don’t think the gay community wants to be held to that standard. If you don’t want to have to do that, don’t try to use the law to do it to others. We live in a free country. If you don’t like Mr. Phillips, don’t take your business to him – protest calmly, get out the word, but stop trying to force people beyond tolerance and into acceptance with legal brute force.

This is exactly the kind of thing I have tried to warn social conservatives about for a long time. Tolerate gay marriage, give it direction – otherwise you will lose both your belief-based morality laws AND your basic freedoms all at once.

Don’t Tread On Me

On July 2, 1776, 56 unruly subjects of King George III signed a treasonous document. For more than five years they, along with many of their neighbors, had tried (to no avail) to convince the King that taxation without representation was wrong in the face of English Common Law. The King had responded to their attempts at negotiation with further attacks on their rights – along with more taxes.

The Declaration of Independence was, in reality, a last-ditch effort to stop the King and Parliament from trampling the basic freedoms of their colonial subjects. The King claimed that colonists owed England for protection during the French and Indian War (the colonial theater of the Seven Years’ War). In truth, the war hadn’t been fought simply to protect the colonies. It had largely been waged to stop the French from settling in the areas surrounding the British Colonies. It was an expansionist war, meant to secure future settling rights for the British. The colonists fought in that war, too – they didn’t have to, but they did it as loyal subjects of the Crown.

England was responsible for her own debt. They were unwilling to shoulder it, so taxes were levied in the Colonies without giving them a say in the decision. Colonists were, understandably, royally pissed off. Demonstrations were held. Colonists refused to pay the taxes. In frustration, King George sent more troops – who promptly began violating colonists’ rights as they tried to enforce the King’s edicts.

Colonists were forced to quarter British Regulars. Those that owned businesses were forced to give food, clothing, arms, ammunition, and other material aid to Regulars without any form of compensation. As the conflict worsened, the British started confiscating guns from the colonists to stop them from fighting back. It was all for the common good, of course.

The actual Revolution was a hard-fought war to secure the rights and freedom of a new nation. Those who supported the rebels – or the Patriots, as they called themselves – were branded traitors.

Now, 237 years later, we face similar intrusions on our freedoms. Rather than taxes for a war, we are told that the cause is charity. Those who don’t have as much need help, they say. Don’t question whether they are actually in need – that’s offensive. We are told that it is unfair to have more, and if we do we should “pay our fair share.” Benjamin Franklin warned us that a government big enough to give us everything we want would be powerful enough to take everything we have. The warning has been forgotten.

We’re being told that we shouldn’t want to enforce immigration laws. We shouldn’t limit people who want to come to America – they tell us that these poor immigrants only want to work. Again, we’re not allowed to question the motives of those coming from other countries. Ignore the ones who deal drugs, kill cops, and rape teenage girls…after all, they might have been good people if only we had given them legal status. It’s heartless, they say, to force people to pass background checks just to come to America.

Now that our freedoms are being stripped away, the Gadsden Flag – the yellow banner bearing the coiled snake with the words “don’t tread on me” on it – has once again become a rallying point. It is every bit as controversial now as it was back then. Power has corrupted our lawmakers; they pass laws that most haven’t read and don’t understand. They pressure each other into passing them by using emotional arguments void of any semblance of intellect. They vote themselves pay raises they haven’t earned and many hold office until they die.

Our Republic has turned into a de facto dictatorship. The leeches on our society have grown to such numbers that it is no longer abnormal to see complete idiots in public office perpetuating the lie that the government is there to provide. Celebrities use their power to pressure the public into accepting further attacks on basic freedoms in the name of the common good – just as evil and wrong now as it was in 1773, when the Sons of Liberty threw the tea into Boston Harbor.

The reason for the snake on the Gadsden Flag was simple. A rattlesnake is a defensive but deadly animal. It won’t strike unless threatened, but if it must strike, it can kill. The parallel is just as necessary now as then.

We will not give up our guns. We will not allow any more intrusions into our private lives. Basic freedoms will not be trampled in the name of the common good any longer.

DO NOT TREAD ON ME.

Strategy

It never ceases to amaze me how many conservatives don’t understand political strategy.

I recently wrote a post about the outrageous assertions by Democrats in the Texas legislature that a GOP-led bill to place new restrictions on abortion. In it, I detailed the process of reporting a rape and how it is investigated. I said that once a forensic nurse finishes her exam, the victim is given several prescriptions, one of them for the morning-after pill. This process tells the truth about the Democrat claims that SB5 would “virtually ban” abortion in Texas because the GOP refused to add an exception for cases of rape and incest. Whether by ignorance or on purpose, Democrats preyed heavily on the emotions of those who believe women should have the right to have an abortion if they are raped. The claim was outrageous on its face, but the GOP missed a crucial opportunity.

The Texas GOP adamantly refused to add exceptions to the bill for instances of rape and incest. As previously mentioned, the argument falls flat when you know what really happens, but that matters none. A lie, repeated often enough, becomes truth – and the Democrats had not only their followers but those on the fence and the independent voters in their pocket as well because they kept beating the same drum over and over again.

They had an opportunity to shut them up by adding such exceptions. SB5’s author, Jodie Laubenberg, made a major faux pas when she claimed that a rape kit contained a procedure that would “clean you out”, thus avoiding pregnancy – while on the right track, she was still off the mark and the mistake was an embarrassing one. The Democrats ended up using it in their favor. Wendy Davis, representing the Fort Worth area, announced, planned, and carried out an 11-hour filibuster to avoid the vote taking place before the end of the special session.

Even people I know who are more conservative than anything else in their political views held up her actions as nothing short of heroic. They didn’t know the truth about her claims, but they knew what she and Senfronia Thompson were claiming. This bill wouldn’t have come anywhere close to “virtually banning” abortion in Texas, but the Democrats led everyone to believe it, all because the GOP refused to budge on the issue of making exceptions for rape and incest in the bill.

Will the bill pass in the next special session? As long as Wendy Davis doesn’t hold out for another 11 hours, it likely will. It is absolutely criminal that the Democrats in Texas are so ardently against a bill that would enact stringent requirements for abortion clinics, safety measures that are badly needed. They wailed and moaned about an abortion ban forcing women to choose unsafe methods for terminating pregnancies, but none of them are willing to face the reality that a lot of abortion clinics are already very unsafe – with unsanitary conditions, unsterilized instruments and untrained staff that are acceptable because there are almost no requirements at all for abortion clinics. The Democrats, however, will oppose any such bill on principle alone because they can’t stand the idea of there being any limits on what they call “a woman’s right to choose.”

What the GOP did in their stalwart refusal, however, is far worse than just stand their ground. They couldn’t properly articulate their stance on the rape exception and as a result fell flat on their collective face. In so doing they gift-wrapped an amazing opportunity and practically hand-delivered it to Wendy Davis.

Davis has ambition to go much further than the State Senate. With this moment in her pocket, she stands a very good chance of one day landing a stint as governor. That’s not something I’m sure I want to live with. The conservatives in Texas seem to think that their majority can never be broken. Conservatives in Colorado once believed the same thing, and now their state has passed among the toughest gun control laws in the country. In short, the Texas GOP set her up for future victory. All because they can’t stand the thought of giving an inch of ground in one simple battle.

Was the Democrat argument silly? Yes. Were they wrong in their claims? Yes. Those two facts have not stopped the Democrats from gaining a foothold, however small it may be. Fellow conservatives from my home state are mad at me right now, calling me an “underground moderate” and telling me, “we’re conservatives, Mel. We don’t play games.” Unfortunately, the liberals in this case ARE playing games. Because they’re better at strategizing, they’re winning that game.

Adding an exception wouldn’t have been appeasement. It wouldn’t have even been the “moderate” thing to do. It would have taken the wind out of the Democrats’ sails. Now, if the bill doesn’t pass in the next special session without making that exception, it will still be seen as a loss. They have no choice but to make certain they pass it as is. As time goes on, Wendy Davis will be waiting for the next moment of stubborn weakness so she can play the game some more. The GOP needs to learn how to play this game or we’ll all be sent home.

DOMA Has Fallen

As expected, the Supreme Court has handed the decision over California’s Prop 8 back to the lower courts (all of which held that it was Unconstitutional). Now gay marriage will resume in CA. What SCOTUS didn’t do, as many gay liberals had hoped they would, was declare all gay marriage laws Unconstitutional, throwing the doors wide open for gay marriage everywhere, regardless of state laws and in violation of state’s rights.

What they DID do, however, was strike down DOMA. That is a consolation we can definitely live with.

What does that mean? It means that the federal government cannot legally deny benefits to same-sex couples married in states where gay marriage is legal. It also means that states where gay marriage is banned cannot continue to deny the benefits of married couples to those same-sex families. SCOTUS declared DOMA to be a violation of both equal treatment/due process (Fifth Amendment) and the Full Faith and Credit Clause (Article IV, Section I of the Constitution). In short, the federal government cannot pass a law that singles out gay couples to be denied certain benefits, and the states must honor any contract made in another state – which, in this case, would be gay marriage.

Now I’m just waiting for the Full Faith and Credit Clause to be applied to my paramedic license and my CCW. But that’s another issue.

The fact that SCOTUS didn’t hand down a ruling that immediately legalizes gay marriage in every corner of the Republic is not something to get upset about. They did what they were supposed to do – they interpreted the laws being challenged under the scope of the Constitution and ruled accordingly. They left the state issue to the state in question and handled the federal issue before them. DOMA is no more. That is something to celebrate.

I think I might actually take my nose out of my books for once and go out this weekend.

What it means for Equal Marriage Arizona is that the movement goes forward with efforts to bring marriage equality to Arizona. Having already taken the wind out of Cathy Herrod’s sails, Equal Marriage Arizona happily released to the public their intent to immediately begin collecting signatures to put the measure on the ballot next year. Warren Meyer said, “The US Supreme Court said today that the states can decide this issue for themselves, and this legitimizes our Equal Marriage Arizona efforts, allows Arizona voters the chance to guarantee the freedom to marry and guarantee religious freedoms. We’re confident the Arizona voters are ready to say YES to both of these interrelated freedoms.”

Erin Ogletree Simpson continued the sentiment: “Petitions will be printed today and our volunteer efforts will start tomorrow. People can get a petition by calling us at 480-625-8620. Whether you’re straight or gay, conservative like I am, or liberal this is an effort we all can embrace – an effort for guaranteed freedom to marry and a guarantee for religious freedom. The Supreme Court said it’s up to us, so now it’s up to all of us.”

If you’re in Arizona, it’s time to start work. Everywhere else…smile!

This Isn’t What You Think It Is

My home state, Texas, is currently considering a major abortion bill. It passed the State House overwhelmingly yesterday and is being voted on by the State Senate as I type. The bill would ban abortions after 20 weeks – it would also require abortion clinics to be licensed surgical centers.

I don’t see a problem with this. 20 weeks is five months – a fetus born after only five months’ gestation would have a tough time surviving and need delicate care for a few weeks in a NICU, but it is still a viable fetus. It is still a life. I have a serious problem with the ease with which anyone can get an abortion – rather than using it as a last resort, it is used as birth control. That should never have been acceptable. Never mind adoption or the fact that most states allow you to give up a baby safely within a certain period of time after it is born without having to fear criminal reprisal.

As for the requirement that all abortion clinics obtain certification as surgical centers, I believe this is extremely important. Not having such a requirement leaves women vulnerable to unsanitary conditions and unsafe practices. One already has to be a licensed doctor to practice in an abortion clinic, but there are doctors like Kermit Gosnell lurking in every state – animals willing to hire untrained medical techs in lieu of nurses and won’t hire a cleaning staff, won’t use sterilized instruments, and engages in peddling narcotic analgesics (and allowing the staff to do so as well) to make a little extra money. Those types of people tend to prey on the poor and often operate in neighborhoods full of uneducated minorities who are desperate to avoid having a child.

Nearly half of all states have had to raid and close abortion clinics within their borders, but you don’t hear about them on the news. Why? Abortion-rights advocates don’t want the truth getting out. Before the Texas House debate on the current bill, Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston) gave an impassioned speech against the bill, asking, “do you wanna return back to the coat hanger? Or do you wanna give them an option to be able to terminate their pregnancy because they have been raped?”

Mrs. Thompson completely skips over reality with her statement. She, like many liberals, uses hysteria and misinformation to drum up opposition for the bill. She also completely ignores the fact that using a coat hanger is actually probably safer than going to a clinic like the one run by Kermit Gosnell; a woman is far less likely to end up with MRSA that way.

The way nearly every major municipality in America works, when you are raped, the first thing you should do – whether or not you require immediate medical attention – is call 911. Don’t call your friends or your parents, you should call 911, tell the dispatcher where you are, tell them you’ve been raped and they will send police and paramedics. Don’t eat or drink anything, don’t shower, don’t brush your hair – if you must, wrap yourself in a blanket, but don’t discard your clothing. Don’t allow anyone to touch you. If you do require medical attention for life-threatening injuries, you’ll go to the hospital and a forensic nurse will meet you there. If your injuries are not life-threatening, you’ll go to a family advocacy center or something similar; a police officer will have to stay with you at all times. A forensic nurse will collect what is famously referred to as a “rape kit” – it is a pre-packaged kit that directs the collection of vital evidence (like bodily fluids containing DNA) and take pictures of your injuries (cameras can often capture injuries that the naked eye cannot). When the exam is over, the nurse will give you a packet of information on getting tested for HIV and other STDs along with prescriptions for several drugs that will help ward off the initial symptoms of any STDs your attacker may have had.

Among those prescriptions will be one for the morning-after pill. It will be your decision whether to take it. A rape kit is not meant to be paid for by you, nor are the prescriptions.

What happens following a rape is fairly simple. It’s easy to obtain a morning-after pill and I have no problem with that in cases of rape and incest. A coat hanger is a solution that would not become a viable one until at least 12 weeks following a rape. Generally, victims have time to do something well before that point. Unless you’re being held captive by your attacker, there is no excuse not to report a rape and get help to make sure you’re taken care of.

And, quite contrary to what shills like Senfronia Thompson would have you believe, the overwhelming majority of women trying to get an abortion at a clinic aren’t there because they were raped. They’re there because of their own choices. They don’t want to live with the consequences of their own actions. They either didn’t have enough respect for themselves to say no or they knew how easy it was to get an abortion and decided to have a night of fun because it felt good at the moment. Our prisons are full of men and women who did things for the latter reason, yet we allow abortions for this reason. We turn around and dress it up as “a woman’s right to choose”.

I’m sorry, but you made your choice when you jumped into the back seat of your lover’s car and went to town. If THAT was your choice, then there should be another consequence that doesn’t involve ending a life. Since I’m certain that abortion will never be illegal again in the modern age, I think it’s important to have limits on it and require “providers” (if that’s what you can call them) to keep a sanitary, safe environment for their “patients”. The fact that anyone can excuse opposing those kinds of common-sense rules is appalling to me.

I am aware of what Rep. Jodie Laubenberg said in defense of the bill. Yes, she actually did say that a rape kit performed in an ER would “clean you out”. That is incorrect, and I’m not willing to excuse her ignorance on the subject – she is not, however, anywhere near as ignorant as Todd Akin was (he was unforgivably stupid and he was rightly called out by most of the very embarrassed GOP). I am also not willing to call her completely stupid about it. She was on the right track even if she wasn’t prepared to properly articulate the reason for the bill. Yes, I wish she had been a little more educated on the subject, but she is not anywhere near the same ball park as Akin.