Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Jihad, In the Era of Political Correctness

Tonight on Hannity, while discussing the mistake made by the FBI regarding "Suspect #1" (the older brother of the currently detained "Suspect #2") and the warnings offered by the Russian government, as well as Suspect #1's travel to Russia and our government's failure to diligently investigate him even though we had actionable intelligence from a nation that may not always seem to act in the best interests of America, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) said the following:

"The bottom line is that we have an emerging problem here that we knew was going to be a problem. And that is people living in The United States... maybe citizens... maybe lived here their whole lives, who are being radicalized by things they're reading and hearing, on the internet and otherwise... who are learning how to make bombs on the internet, et cetera.

This is the growing face of the terrorist threat facing our country. It's a very serious threat, and we need to stop playing political correctness with it and identify it for what it is.

This is terrorism. Just because it wasn't organized in a cave somewhere in the Middle East doesn't not make it terrorism. This is terrorism, and we need to deal with it that way."

I couldn't have said it better myself.

America's highest priorities last week were prayers for those most closely affected by the terrorism, the identification of suspects, and the diligent pursuit of those suspects until the point of capture or killing in the attempt to capture.

To be certain, my prayers remain with the fallen and their families. But now that we've met the threshold of capture or killing in the attempt to capture, it's time to discuss with boldness and honesty the truth of the situation; Americans were dealt a violent awakening last week as we learned that Jihad is indeed alive and well. Sadly, that came in the form of the loss of no less than four innocent lives as well as physical harm to hundreds.

What happened in Boston last week was terrorism, not a tragedy... a tragedy is an earthquake, or a hurricane, or even an oil rig exploding in The Gulf... and to have politicized it in the immediate aftermath would have been disgraceful. I had my opinions early on in the investigation, as I know many people did... but even though I have this forum through which I have been known to clearly express my opinion with disdain for political correctness and perhaps sometimes regardless of the feelings of others, I kept my personal opinion about the possibilities to myself until more facts came to the surface and we had a better grasp of what really happened.

Having said that, I'm thoroughly disappointed in many politicians and political allies of the current administration as well as the "Mainstream" (liberal) media, including most prominently NBC News (which by default includes MSNBC) and CNN, but also including Salon Magazine (sorry you didn't get your "white guy"), Good Morning America, and many others. As our President stood before us last Friday and instructed us not to jump to conclusions, he clearly disregarded the fact that a member of his own campaign staff, David Axelrod, had insinuated that perhaps the attack in Boston was because it was "Tax Day." Certainly this idea was not lost on much of the media, including Chris Matthews and a number of others on MSNBC and CNN. Former Congressman Barney Frank attempted to make the terrorist attacks fodder for a debate about fiscal responsibility versus higher taxation and more spending. MSNBC's Melissa Harris completely disregarded the religion of the two suspects and attempted to create a false premise that because their skin was white and they were from Chechnya, they actually were more aligned with Tim McVeigh than bin Laden. And Tom Brokaw audaciously attempted to create moral equivalency between acts of Jihad such as the bombing in Boston where innocent children and civilians are the specific target, and the actions taken by our military in the throes of a logistical war campaign where collateral damage does sometimes unfortunately include civilians, but extreme efforts are made to minimize such losses.

The very fact that President Obama will not bring himself to use the phrase "radical Islamic terrorist" or anything of the kind is indicative of the greater problem America shall continue to face moving forward as political correctness continues to permeate our society, because as far as American Presidents go, Barack Obama exemplifies all that is political correctness. The consumate politician, he is so afraid to say the wrong thing to anyone who is not a political foe (conservative/Republican) that he will bend over backwards... or bow before... those who wish to do America harm before he will speak the truth about what we have known for decades. There are those in the world who wish us great harm, and they will stop at nothing in their efforts to achieve what they believe will bring them honor and 72 virgins in the name of Allah.

The idea that there are individuals using the name of a religion as their theoretical protection as they perpetrate acts of horrific evil should not be lost on the population of a free and prosperous nation for which those aforementioned individuals have hatred and disdain. And as was proven last week, they will not always appear in the stereotypical form of a bearded Arab in a turban, or in the seats of airplanes as part of a grandiose and well coordinated plot, or in other ways we might suspect. They will be citizens; soldiers with a gun at an Army base in Texas yelling, "Allahu Akbar" as they kill 13 soldiers and bystanders, or they will be twenty-somethings with a car in Times Square who slip under the radar... or they'll be a couple of otherwise relatively normal looking young immigrants from a part of the world you'd normally think had allegiance to the freedoms of America.

And unless or until our elected officials stop with the political correctness crap and call a spade a spade, or in this case call a radical Islamic terrorist exactly what he is... it's only going to get worse.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

What's Goin' On...

I’ve been away a while, I know… lots to say and no words to say it with, I suppose…

The weather has been just unbelievable lately… it’s exactly what I moved here for, and I’m so glad I’m finally really learning to make the best of it. The fact that I can leave the windows open all day and let the kitties enjoy the sounds of the birds, then come home and open the patio so they have that extra space and the additional entertainment of dogs being walked and whatever else goes on through the evening… it’s funny, I get home from work and they greet me as I walk in, but within about 60 seconds they’re lined up at the screen door waiting for me to open it. I had a couple of adventures to the mountains, although since my last post I’ve not been… I got a little gun-shy (no pun intended) after throwing more and more money into the Jeep… I’ve decided I need a bit of a break from that, so I went full-recluse for about the past month. I’ll be heading out again soon… blooming season for the saguaro is right around the corner, and I’ve got to go see the sights. I picked up a tent and a sleeping bag, and I plan on doing a 1-nighter from time to time just to get away from the air conditioner through the summer. The kitties will enjoy the time away from me…

Of course I didn’t move here planning to be single and living in a 1-bedroom apartment with four cats… but I have really learned to appreciate the life I live and the joy they bring me. I love the heat of the summer here, but I don’t want to have to close them in. It’s actually kind of depressing, knowing the season is coming where I’ll have to run the air once I get home, and then of course come about mid-June it’s like what winter is in Ohio, in reverse… my ears and nose don’t freeze, and I don’t have to scrape my windshield… but there’s no doubt it is hot, and air conditioning and swimming polls are where it’s at. Kitties don’t like swimming pools, so they get air conditioning. I might be found by the pool from time to time…

I’ve been busy, kinda, in my personal life, yet not busy at all. I know, it makes no sense… except inside my own head. I live a very busy, yet not really busy life… I do a lot for such a relative homebody, yet I do very little for someone whose mind is so active and who actually struggles sometimes to find the time just to relax. Being so devoutly single these past couple of years, I’ve learned it is kind of nice that I can do whatever I want whenever I want, or I can do nothing at all and nobody can tell me otherwise. It can be, therefore, extremely difficult to get motivated and maintain focus… yet there are times when I am so focused and on my game it makes me wonder how I got there. I’m entering one of those phases now… I’ve been known to suffer from that winter-depression syndrome thing, and even here where we see the sunshine almost every day in the wintertime it still drags me down when the temperatures dip down low and the sun sets early. Summertime is my focus time, for sure.

Anyway, the good news is that I’m back to exercising again, which is awesomely painful and devastatingly rewarding. As I write tonight my leg muscles are doing that burning, throbbing thing that happens after 15 miles on a mountain-bike… I’ve discovered that if I travel any direction from my humble little fur-infested abode I can find a trail or more that’ll get me some good dirt riding, and the tires on my bike are pretty decent for road riding, so I get a good combination of workouts. I am learning confidence on my bike again… when I moved here in 2001 I flipped my bike coming down a huge hill and spent a couple days in the ICU, had road rash all over my left shoulder, my hands and some of my face, and I ripped my left ear in half and almost lost the better part of it. I’m ever-thankful to the plastic surgeon that made me look halfway decent again, and I’ve learned that a helmet to save the noggin is much more important than the machismo of riding without. But the moral to this story is that I’m back in the saddle again, so to speak, and I’m loving it. I forgot how much I love riding.

I’ve been enjoying hockey season, although I wish my ‘Yotes were playing better. They’re playing with guts and determination even after three of their big name players were traded at the deadline, though, and they’re still in range of the playoffs. And anything can happen in the playoffs, as The L.A. Kings proved last year by being a number eight seed and rolling through everyone on their way to a Stanley Cup. And I am so incredibly happy baseball season is back… my Diamondbacks traded Justin Upton even though he will be a perennial MVP candidate, because his presence in the clubhouse was a distraction and he didn’t buy into “Gibby-Ball.” The changes are evident already, even if we’re only three games into the season. If you’re a baseball fan then you know Kirk Gibson was known for his gritty play and intense determination, and his coaching style is similar. He coaches his players to have the mentality that the team is more important than individual statistics, which didn’t work well with Upton. So Upton went to Atlanta and we got Marin Prado in return, and so far so good. Of course it’s a long season.

And of course I was thrilled to see Jimmie Johnson win the Daytona 500… the NASCAR season is getting into the grind, and in large part the ‘usual suspects’ are at the top of the points standings. Dale Jr. fans are thrilled because he is doing well… I don’t care too much one way or another if he does well or not, although I do think living in his father’s shadow has to be overwhelming. It would be good for the sport if he were to win a championship, they say… There was a horrific accident at the Fontana (California) race and Denny Hamlin will be out of his ride for quite a few weeks, but the racing leading up to that moment between he and Joey Logano was incredible, and hopefully a sign of what’s to come through the rest of the year. NASCAR has modified its car and in the process predicted better racing, and so far I’d say they got it right.

I’ve got all kinds of things to say about politics, but I’m not sure why I should bother. I mean after all, President Obama is our President for four more years, and that’s that, so we need to just accept it and let him rule… er.. lead… as he wishes. These days, though, he seems more concerned with getting Nancy Pelosi elected to the Speakership than with actually getting people to the table and solving our nation’s problems… seems he’s on a never-ending campaign, even though he just today said something about how we don’t need never-ending campaigns. We’ve got a Congressional Democrat trying to push gun legislation through even though she doesn’t understand that a magazine can be reloaded… I mean, if you’re going to rail on and on against something shouldn’t you at least know what the heck it is you’re so against? But not to worry; “60 Minutes” is getting ready to put on a special with some of the Newtown parents to tug at our heartstrings again, even though the fact is not one law being proposed would have stopped that tragedy from taking place. In fact, the ideas being put forward that might have helped are being scorned by President Obama and the media… God forbid a teacher in a school voluntarily gets trained in the use of a handgun and be allowed to provide for the protection of our children when there’s a Constitution to destroy. And can ANYONE please tell me where the heck all the .22 long rifle ammunition is? I know DHS says they’re not buying all our ammo, or maybe they are… all I know is that last year every Wal-Mart, Cabella’s and Sportsmen’s Warehouse in America had full shelves and right now there’s none to be found anywhere, including the specialty stores. Even 9mm and .40 caliber seems to be nearly impossible to find, so much so that Phoenix police officers are not being supplied by the city with practice ammo for their required range sessions. Oh, but Phoenix did just elect a radical left-winger (who ran as a moderate, just like our President did) who wants to allow transgendered people to use whatever bathroom they want, regardless of what body parts they have or have not had added or removed, so there’s that…

I do have to point out… there’s been this issue about some conservatives pointing out all the jet-setting and hob-knobbing with celebrities being done by the Obama family in the midst of a national fiscal crisis. Separate vacations, multiple spring break destinations for his daughters… I don’t mind the girls enjoying spring break, but Atlantis and then Idaho, with Secret Service protection being paid by We, The People doesn’t really seem like “shared sacrifice” when tens of millions are on welfare and unemployed… Anyway, I did mention some time ago that President Obama should pass an executive order cutting congressional salaries in half, and I thought he could really set a good example by giving up his entire salary, since he is independently wealthy thanks to the revenue generated by his book sales. Well, I have good news… in an effort to show solidarity with those being affected by sequestration President Obama gave up five percent of his annual salary. That’s five percent, as in 5%, as in $20,000 a year. So I guess he can now say he’s got some “skin in the game” and he’s doing his “fair share.” Meh.

And just to be fair and equal… if you didn’t hear about it, we’ve got some real idiots here in the Republican camp here in Arizona. Like many other states across America, Arizona's State Constitution does have an amendment protecting marriage as between one man and one woman, but we have no laws whatsoever regarding civil unions. So when a little town on the Mexican border called Bisbee decided to legalize civil unions for homosexuals within its city limits, our wonderful Republican legislators at the state level decided to rail on and on about how that city had broken laws and this and that, when actually all they did was create their own little law in their own little city for the sake of whatever reasons they had, and it doesn’t affect the rest of us Arizonans in the least and has no bearing on our state Constitution. But just like guns are the issue that the Democrats must rail against no matter what’s truly right or wrong, it seems anyone that calls themselves a Republican must instantly go into a tizzy if homosexuality is mentioned. And while I respect and tend to agree with those who have deeply held convictions against marriage being legalized for gays, I do believe that people are going to live together and have sex if that’s what they really want to do, and if we are truly a just and fair society they at least ought to be able to visit each other in the hospital and have other basic protections allowed to straight couples. Really, it would be nice if the government got out of the marriage business altogether and left that to churches… that way if a church supports gay couples they can get married in that church, if not then not, but meanwhile government can provide basic protections… kind of like how we really don’t need unions as much as we used to, because government sets standards of protection and all unions do is collect dues so they can funnel that money to the Democrat political machine. But I digress…

So I’ll try not to be away for such a long time, next time… or perhaps by then we will all be gone, because Kim Jong Un really did mean business when he said he was going to nuke Austin, Texas...