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Archive for the ‘Terrorism’ Category

We are in the midst of a terrible rampant disease in our country today.  That became evident to thousands of people who were simply watching the morning news broadcast in Roanoke VA yesterday morning.  WDBJ reporter Alison Parker and her cameraman, Adam Ward, were doing a “live” interview with Vicki Gardner, an official of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Suddenly shots rang out.  Both Alison Parker and Adam Ward were killed, and Vicki Gardner was seriously wounded on camera by a disgruntled, former employee of the station named Vester Flanagan.  It turns out that when Flanagan arrived at the scene, he saw that the camera was pointed away from Parker.  He patiently waited until it was on her again before opening fire.

This tragic case is going to be talked about for quite a while.  Both gun control advocates and the NRA are going to have a huge fight again.  But, you can expect that nothing will be done about gun control, again.  The news media has already blown this up.  Fox News asked why this isn’t a “hate crime” since the shooter was black and the victims were white.

Donald Trump said that this wasn’t a “gun problem” it was a “mental health” problem.  He is all in favor of keeping guns out of the hands of mentally ill people, but doesn’t say how that is to happen.  The President is calling, again, for gun control legislation.

I have already made my view clear about how much I want to see meaningful gun control legislation that helps keep guns out of the hands of people like this.  This writing is not about that.  It is more about the disease of violence that has gripped our nation.

Did you know that this country averages at least one “mass killing” per day?  The definition of “mass killing” usually means that more than two people are killed in one crime.  Think about that for just one minute.  We average at least one “mass killing” every single day!

There has been a lot of talk about crime, especially over at Fox News.  We hear about black-on-black crime.  We hear about hate crimes and mass killings like the one in Charleston, SC.  We hear about police abuse, mostly against black citizens, but not always.  We hear about police officers being killed.  We hear about serial killers.  The list goes on and on.

Everywhere you look, you can read or hear about violent crime taking place somewhere.  This has definitely become a disease.  But, what has provoked Americans to react in such violent ways?  What could possibly be the root cause of all of this violence?

The answers to those questions vary depending upon whom you talk to.  Liberals usually say it is because we have too loose gun laws.  Conservatives say we don’t have enough people with guns to protect themselves.  Some blame race.  Some blame religion.  Some blame sexual-orientation.  Some blame poverty.

The national debate about violence is being drowned out by the loud mouths on all sides of the issue.  I believe the primary root cause of all of this mass violence is simply hate.  I don’t make that accusation lightly.  But, I believe that hate has become so rampant in our society that mass violence cannot help but follow.

You don’t have to look far to see all of the signs of hate today.  The birthright citizenship issue is based on hate.  The deportation of undocumented immigrants, especially since it is intended to target one group of people, is based on hate.  The idea being spread by too many people that all Muslims are terrorists is based on hate.

County Clerks refusing to issue marriage licenses to anyone because they don’t want to issue them to gay couples is based on hate.  The idea that you can justify discrimination against any group of people using “religious belief” is based on hate.

Unfortunately, hate is all around us.  Unfortunately, it is being flamed by politicians and news outlets.  Any time a politician targets any group of people as being those “others” that is whipping up the flames of hate.  Every time a news outlet or talk radio host puts labels on groups of people to show how they are causing all of your problems, that is whipping up the flames of hate.

We are living in a society where so-called conservative politicians keep talking about “pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps” all the while blaming certain groups for all of America’s ills.  That is not “pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps” that is playing a blame game.

D’Souza, who I consider to be mentally ill, said after the shooting “I hope the President shows pity for the victims, and not the gay black guy who killed them.”  That is stirring the flames of hate.  We always hear about liberals trying to raise the “race card.”  Yet, it is the so-called conservative media that keeps bringing it up whenever something like this happens.

It is very clear that we have a real hate issue in our country.  I lived through the civil rights era.  I witnessed the pure hate against anyone who wasn’t white.  I also understand that hatred wasn’t just against people of color.  It was against anyone not classified at the time as a “White Anglo-Saxon Protestant” or WASP.

The hatred was mostly against Blacks but included Catholics, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and any other group that wasn’t a WASP.  Religion was used as justification for that hatred.  Religion was justification to keep those “others” down.  Violence against those “others” was justified in the Bible.

Today, we are hearing the same rhetoric.  Today we are seeing the same hatred for those “others.”  Those “others” may have different names, but it is the same rhetoric and the same hate.  So-called conservatives say we should follow the Constitution.  Yet, they claim you can ignore the Constitution if you have a “religious belief” against it.  That isn’t patriotism, that is treason.

In the meantime, thousands of our fellow citizens are dying by violence.  Thousands of our fellow citizens are murdered, raped, brutalized, beaten, or abused simply they are different.  And what do our politicians do?  They blame the victims.  What do their talking heads do?  They blame the victims.  What do we as a society do?  We turn away and pretend it didn’t happen.

Hate has permeated our society so much, that we simply believe that there is nothing we can do about it.  Hate has been with mankind since we first stood upright and walked.  So, how can we stop it?  In other words, we seek excuses and not solutions.

Sorry, but it is our fault as a people that we are surrounded by so much hate and violence.  If we as a people do not stand up and say STOP IT, it will continue.  The problem is, if you look at history, dictatorships begin with hate.  Fascism begins with hate.

It may seem amusing to many people that certain politicians want to use the “blame game” to gain votes.  But, every time they use that game, it stirs the flames of hate.  It becomes justification for violence against any group of people who are “different.”  If you want proof, simply look at what Trump said when asked if he condemned some of his “followers” attacking a homeless person in New York.  He simply said, I am paraphrasing here, “well some of my followers are passionate.”

Trump is not alone in the field either.  I have used the term “so-called conservatives” earlier because these politicians and talking heads are NOT conservatives.  To call them such is an insult to the real conservatives in our country.  I don’t agree with conservatives and their policies, but we have had conservatives who were not filled with hate, and we still do.

No, these people are simply hate mongers.  They want control.  As a result, they are willing to allow street violence as long as it gets them votes.  We suffer a tragic disease called “violence.”  One of its biggest root causes is hate.  If we don’t stop listening to, and silence the hate mongers, we are all doomed to more violence.  That is how you destroy a society and establish a dictatorship.

We as a people can still stop this disease if you are willing to step up and do something positive.  Otherwise, we lose and our society will become a footnote in history.

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All of the talking heads are going on and on about Donald Trump.  Some hate Donald Trump, and others are in love with Donald Trump.  Trump is still leading the polls and the regular Republican field is falling further and further behind.  Only Carson and Fiorina seem to be able to keep up with him, but just barely.

We are hearing all sorts of people telling us that Trump is the “strong leader” this country needs.  We are being told conversely that Trump is bad for America and simply a buffoon.  However, his backers are not listening to the converse arguments.  They are listening to the first argument.

As everyone waits for Trump’s star to fizzle out, he seems to be getting stronger with every interview.  At least stronger with the base of the Republican Party.  He even appears to be overcoming the one thing most thought would drag him down.  His support for exceptions in abortion cases.  Trump believes in exceptions for rape, incest, and the woman’s life.

That puts him at odds with the vast majority of the Republican field.  However, his “strong leadership” seems to be pardon the pun, trumping his exception stance.  This has caused the rest of the field to shift ever more right in order to gain the nomination.  Something that every candidate did in 2012 and cost the Republicans the election, according to some.

More and more of the Republican field are starting to sound more like Trump than  Trump.  Unfortunately for them, they sound more like parrots seconding everything Trump says first.  That doesn’t go well with the fringe of the Republican Party who usually selects their candidate.

Trump wants to deport 11 million people.  He doesn’t care if any of them were born in the U.S. making them citizens.  As far as Trump goes, the 14th Amendment granting birthright citizenship doesn’t count towards these people.

As a result, at least 13 of the current 17 candidates are in favor of changing the 14th Amendment to take away birthright citizenship.  They are pounding away at “building that wall” on the border with Mexico.

But, what is really going on here?  Are these candidates really bringing up things of real importance?  Or, are they using their infamous “dog whistles” to make people angry in order to get their vote.

I am of the opinion that they are simply using “dog whistles” to get your vote.  If you talk loud enough about how “someone else is the root cause of all of our problems,” then you don’t need to speak in coherent sentences and provide real solutions to our problems.

What is happening on the Republican side of the election is really quite scary.  Latinos, mainly Mexicans, are being used as the scape-goats for all of our ills.  See, it isn’t that the corporations are shipping our jobs overseas which is causing employment problems, it is those damn Latinos who are taking our jobs.

It isn’t the rich who want their tax cuts that is breaking the budget, it is tose damn illegals who are bilking the system for everything they can get.  It isn’t college men who are raping all those coeds, it is those damn illegal landscapers.

Everything is the fault of those lousy illegals.  And, when you cannot blame them, then it is obviously those murderous Muslims who are the real danger.  What they are asking is how can we have a prosperous and safe America with all those Latinos and Muslims running around killing us and raping our women?

The fringe right-wing fanatics are lapping all of this up.  They are screaming at the top of their lungs that Trump is right!  They are claiming that both parties have abandoned the American People in favor of all of these “others.”  That is what their definition of “political correctness” is all about.

Throughout history we have heard the same “dog whistles” being blown.  There is always a scape-goat to explain what is wrong with a country.  We have heard it right here in our country before.  The “welfare queen” scenario made famous by Ronald Reagan.

We also heard it loud and clear in Germany in the 1920s and 1930s when the Nazi party blamed the Jews for all of the ills afflicting Germany. Hitler and the Nazis talked about the Germans being the “master race.”  It is becoming more evident that all of the talk about “American exceptionalism” is basically the same thing.

Dog whistles are nothing new and all by themselves are not really a danger.  The danger starts to become real when more and more people start reacting to those dog whistles.

The real danger about dog whistles is they don’t stop once the enemy is vanquished.  Once the primary enemy is defeated, another enemy is picked out for the dog whistles.  And that beat goes on until only a select few are allowed to exist.

It has been said many times that history repeats itself.  The reason history repeats itself is not because of history, but because we fail to learn from it.  I have always believed in the mantra that if we fail to learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it.

I am beginning to see history repeating itself, again.  There are way too many people who want to become our leader by using dog whistles instead of real policies.  These people are playing to fear rather than reason.

The leader of the pack is Donald Trump.  Unfortunately, too many of his rivals are picking up the hammer and swinging away as well.  This can best be shown when Rick Santorum claims that no other developed country has “birthright citizenship” like we do.  He also claims that is reason enough to change the 14th Amendment.

But, using his own logic, we are also the only developed nation that does not have universal health care.  Yet, he says we “don’t need” universal healthcare.  That part of the “developed country” comparison doesn’t fit the dog whistle tactic.

Even if Donald Trump’s star fizzles out, we will be left with many candidates who will carry on with the dog whistle tactic.  There is no shortage on the right of enemies.  There are the Latinos, the Muslims, the gays, the socialists, the poor, minorities, women, the elderly, etc.

At some point you will discover that you are part of the problem, if you already aren’t.  Remember, if you are working, Jeb Bush says you are lazy and need to work more to help America prosper.  You don’t have to be paid more, just work more.

It would be easy to blame Fox News and right-wing radio for all of this hate being thrown about.  But, be honest, if the American People would reject this hate speech from the beginning, it could never gain ground.

Some claim that the fringe has taken over the Republican Party.  I am inclined to believe that as well.  However, the only reason the fringe has taken over is because reasonable Republicans have let them take over.  They have not fought for their party.

The Democrats faced a similar problem in the early 70s.  But, instead of bowing to the fringe, the mainstream Democrats fought back.  As a result, the Democratic Party was able to recover and become viable again.  It took a few years, but it succeeded.

There are some on the far left that say that was a bad thing for the party.  But, whether you like it or not, this country is more centric than extreme.  But only when reasonable people say enough is enough to the extremists.

As it is shaping up, the upcoming elections are going to have some very real ramifications for this country.  The only question that really remains is will the extremes prevail, or will reasonable people say enough is enough.

Although I am confident that reason will ultimately win out, there are no guaranties in life.  Time will tell.

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Back in the late 60s when we heard someone say something really stupid, we would ask “what are you on man?”  Today, I sit here wondering the same thing.  Only, I am not talking or thinking about any of my friends.  I am talking about our politicians.

I have been following and participating in politics for over 50 years.  In all of that time, I have never heard such idiotic things coming out of politicians mouths as we are hearing today.  I have never seen a party shy away from a very positive record before either.

We are looking at two political parties with totally differing views of the world.  One party wants to be progressive and move the country forward, and the other is conservative and wants to go back to the good ole days of the 1890s.  One party claims that our best times in the 20th century was in the 1980s.  The other party has a better record of job growth and economic growth than that time period, but won’t talk about that record.

The Republicans are always talking about how wonderful the Reagan years were.  They tout his accomplishment of job growth.  Today they are saying we basically live in an economic wasteland.  But, the statistics prove differently.  Under Reagan, in his sixth year as President, unemployment was still over 7%.  In Obama’s sixth year it is at 5.3%.

Republicans will claim that workforce participation is lower under Obama.  And, in a sense they are correct.  The difference is in the 80s we baby boomers were a strong part of the workforce.  Today, more and more of us are retiring.  Since we still make up the largest portion of the population, that means there are less people who are participating in the workforce.

Under this administration, the stock market has reached record numbers.  If you have a 401K plan you doing great.  If you have an IRA you are doing even better.  If you own stock in the company you work for, you are doing far better than under Reagan.

Since the Great Recession of 2008, we have seen a record 72 months of steady private sector job growth.  Reagan never came close to those numbers.  Additionally, under Reagan, we saw our biggest export of jobs overseas.  We actually became a country that didn’t make anything.  However, under this administration, we have seen a steady 32 months of manufacturing growth.

Finally, under Reagan, the budget deficit ballooned.    Though he promised to “cut government” it actually grew under Reagan.  More people were hired to work for the Federal government than at any time in our history.  That caused the budget deficit to double, and the debt to triple.

Under this administration, the budget deficit has been reduced by over a Trillion Dollars.  When Obama took office, the annual budget deficit was 1.4 Trillion Dollars.  Today it is about 300 Billion Dollars.

It is true that the overall debt is at record levels.  But there are three factors that drove the debt up to these levels.  The first was fighting two wars on a credit card.  The Bush war machine did not pay for their wars.  In fact, they introduced tax cuts while spending huge sums of money on the wars which was the second factor.

The third factor was the economic collapse.  The money to big banks and other financial institutions to keep our economy somewhat afloat really ballooned the debt.

So, as the political season heats up, the Republicans are ignoring the simple facts that the economy is better than it was under Reagan.  The Democrats, for some unexplained reason, seem loathe to harp on the improving economy as ammunition to prove they are the better choice.

In the past, politicians were very happy to point out all of the wonderful things they have done while they were in office.  For reasons I cannot explain, they don’t seem to want to do that anymore.  As a result, we get bickering, sound bites, and headlines that are lies.

It has become so bad that telling lies is what gets votes, and telling people how much better things really are is unspeakable.  You would think that with all of the tools we now have at our hands to find the truth, it would be easy to call out the liars and ask the others why they don’t talk about the good things they achieved.  But it seems far to easy to listen to stupid sound bites and believe what we are told.

Have we become so embroiled in our own little lives that we don’t care anymore?  Have we become so lazy that we won’t take the time to find the truth anymore?  Have we become so “plugged-into” our devices that we fail to see the world anymore?

Everywhere you go you see hundreds of people with their noses stuck into some kind of device.  They are either on a smart phone, or on a tablet.  You see it everywhere.  I love baseball, and when I watch a game, there are all kinds of people at the game texting or tweeting.  They aren’t even watching the game.

We see all kinds of pictures and other “stuff” on Facebook and other media.  I get all of that stuff too.  And, I wonder, who cares?  Whatever happens during this election cycle, I am afraid that we as a people deserve what we get.

If that means we continue to lose our freedoms to radicals and fascists, we will deserve to lose those freedoms.  Remember, the only politician who has threatened to “call out the troops” is Mike Huckabee.  He wants to use the military to stop abortions.

If we don’t “unplug” from stupid media and start paying attention to what is being said in this election cycle, we will find ourselves in more wars, more civil rights will be taken away in the name of “security,” and our democracy will vanish from the earth.

Although that may sound like a doomsday prediction, it isn’t.  I am merely trying to wake up the country and asking them to “pay attention” to what is really being said and what the facts really are.

What it really boils down to, in my humble opinion, Republicans are lying about the facts.  Democrats are being silent about the facts.  And we, the American People, are ignorant of the facts.  That combination does not add up to a very good election cycle.

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I have to admit that last night was pretty horrible for me.  First I had to decide if I wanted to watch the so-called debates over on Fox News, or if I would prefer watching a British Murder TV Show called “Midsomer Murders.”  But, since I do write political commentary, I figured I needed to watch the debates.

I was actually shocked to discover that the “kiddie debate” was only scheduled to last one hour.  So, I had something to eat and sat down for some indigestion.  Yes, I did eat before the first debate.  I needed something in my stomach in case I needed to reach for the barf bag.

From the very beginning I became aware that these were not debates.  They were Fox News Party trimming sessions.  Fox News was going to use the “debates” as a means to show which candidates they favor and which ones they think should sit it out.

I almost had a deliverance from torture before the second “debate.”  I have satellite TV.  We had several huge thunderstorms hit our area and I lost the signal for quite a while.  I was beginning to think I wouldn’t be able to watch the second debate at all.  If I had been religious, I might have thought God didn’t want our area to watch the debates.  But, just in the nick-of-time the storms passed and the signal came back.

So, I grabbed my barf bag and a bottle of wine and sat back to watch the spectacle.  To say I was disappointed is a vast understatement.  As I had learned in the first debate, Fox News was using this television event as nothing more that a publicity stunt for their network.  They also had every intention to make certain candidates either look bad or insignificant.

To me, nothing came out of the debates of any consequence.  We learned what we already knew going in.  All of the candidates hate President Obama.  They all hate Planned Parenthood.  They all hate Muslims.  They all hate the Affordable Care Act.  They all hate things like Medicare, Medicaid, Welfare, SNAP, etc.  They all believe that the American People are lazy loafers who would rather take a government check than actually work for a living at poverty wages.  They all hate the Iran Deal.

We also learned that the vast majority is in favor of a war.  It doesn’t matter if that war is in Iraq, Iran, Syria, or Afghanistan.  Just so long as there is a war somewhere against those Muslims.  They are all in favor of a tax code that makes everyone but the top 1% pay more in taxes.  Yet they call it a “tax cut” or “fair tax plan.”  All but one love the idea that the average person should be armed to the teeth everywhere they go.  Yet, unexplainedly, they held their “debate” in a “gun free zone” and no one was allowed in with a gun.

I am also amazed that some “pundits” actually believe there were winners and losers during the debates.  I guess they are entitled to their opinion, but from what I saw the only winner was Fox News.  Last night we did learn one thing very clearly.  Fox News has total control of the former Republican Party.  They will set the agenda for their party.  If they don’t like you, you are in trouble.

The so-called “moderators” set the tone of the debates and picked all of the subject matter.  The questions were so “front-loaded” with subliminal messages, some not so subliminal, that the question took four times longer to ask than they gave the “debaters” time to answer.

They took pleasure in trying to put an unfavorable light on people like Donald Trump and Rand Paul.  Two people Fox News does not want front and center of their new party.  As anticipated, Megyn Kelly was chosen to specifically go after Trump.  He even whined about it after the debate was over.

Fox News took great pleasure in trying to make Rand Paul out to be anything but a conservative.  They front loaded questions to other participants with negative Paul comments they had no choice but agree that Paul is not a conservative.

The greatest slam went to Dr. Ben Carson.  He got the least amount of air-time of any of the candidates.  It got to a point where even he thought he was being ignored.  It was obvious to me that Fox News has no intention of letting him be front and center of their party either.

The questions were anything but pointed.  They were very leading and very deliberate in getting a response Fox News wanted to get.  Oh, they brought up the “religious liberty” meme, but only when it comes to Christians.  According to Fox News and all of the candidates, it is perfectly legitimate to discriminate against someone who is “not a Christian.”  You can refuse service to gay weddings for example, if you just say you don’t believe in same-sex marriage on “religious” grounds.

However, if you are Muslim, Fox News and all of the candidates believe the FBI and NSA should be able to bug your Mosque.  After all, since you are a Muslim, you are also obviously a terrorist.  Therefore, we need to keep tabs on you and arrest you if you even suggest something is wrong with America during your services.  That is the very definition of the Conservative Christian idea of “religious liberty.”

The one question that really freaked me out was the last one.  They actually asked if anyone had heard from “God” about what to do if they win the election.  Really???????  I don’t know about you, but the last person I want sitting in the Oval Office during times of crisis is someone hearing voices in his head!  To use their own argument, how do we know that the voice in their head is really god’s and not the devil’s?

Last night was a perfect example of how NOT to run a “debate.”  They were not debates.  There was nothing of substance that came from them except whom Fox News favors and whom they hate.  If that is how these “debates” are going to be going forward, I suggest they don’t hold anymore.  Fox News can just let their talking heads pick out the winner and anoint him the candidate for their party.

Around 11 PM Eastern time the travesty was finally over.  I sat there on my couch for a while after the proceedings wondering just what the hell that was all about.  It was a total waste of time for anyone to sit through that three hours of agony.  It was a good thing I had my wine to go with the debate.  Although I drank more of it after the debate than I did during it.  But, it helped me sleep better when I finally went to bed.

If you really are wondering my thoughts on who won and lost during last night’s debates, I believe that the only winner was Fox News.  They got their chance to sully those candidates they don’t want around anymore, and set the next “platform” for their new party.  Plus, they probably got record ratings for the time slot.

The only losers during the debates were the American People.  After having to sit through two shams we got nothing new.  We got nothing of substance.  We only got 60 second sound bites after 4 minutes of reading a question designed by Fox News to weed out those they don’t like.

If one of these “participants” actually win the election, Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes will be the real power behind the White House.  That is scary all by itself.  To borrow a phrase from those participants, “God Help Us!”

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Question, do you recognize or remember each of these flags?  In case you don’t remember, let me explain them to you.  The first one is the so-called Christian Flag.  This flag was carried by zealots who wanted to eliminate different sects of Christianity from existence.  This flag was carried when it was attempted to wipe out the Mennonites in Western Europe.  This flag is currently the love-child of the Conservative Christian Cult who wishes to discriminate against anyone they want based on “religious beliefs.”

The second flag is the Confederate Flag.  As everyone knows this flag was the battle flag of the Confederate States of America.  The CSA tried to secede from the U.S. basically over slavery.  Yes, there were arguments about “states rights” but that was a cover to say that each state should have the right to make slavery legal if they so chose.  This flag is currently the “official” flag of groups like the KKK and other domestic terrorist groups.

The third is the World War II German Flag.  The swastika is prominent on the national flag.  Of course the Nazis only used the swastika on a red background for its party banner.  That particular flag was also the one used as a battle flag during the second world war by German Troops.  This flag, as well as the swastika on a red flag are both banned in Germany today.  The Nazi “blood” flag is the “official” flag of un-American groups like the Aryan Nation and other Nazi loving groups.

The fourth flag was used by Japan prior and during World War II.  After the war, this flag was banned by Japan and we currently have the red sun on a white background.  This flag has mostly disappeared from history.

The one thing that all of these flags have in common is they were symbols, and still are considered symbols of oppression, hate, bigotry, genocide, and slavery.  The other thing that all of these flags have in common is that they are foreign flags.  None of them have ever been adopted by the U.S. as a symbol of our country.  They are simply foreign flags, mostly from the past.

Which brings us to today’s argument about the Confederate Flag.  There are a lot of people, mostly in the south, who do not want the Confederate Flag banned.  They claim it is part of their “heritage.”  Those other flags are also part of someone’s “heritage.”  Yet, flags three and four are outlawed in their own country because of the atrocities that were committed under them.

What makes the Confederate Flag any different from those others?  Additionally, why isn’t the so-called Christian Flag banned due to the genocide the people fighting under it committed?  I am tired of hearing about the Confederate Flag and the wonderful “heritage” it “honors.”  Since when is genocide, bigotry, hate, and slavery things that require us to “honor” them?

But, even taking all of that away from the argument, the use of the Confederate Flag by any state, group, or citizen to show their “heritage” is basically pledging their allegiance to a foreign symbol.  The Confederate Flag was not and never will be a symbol of the United States of America.  So anyone wishing to fly that flag for any reason is saying their allegiance is to a foreign country that does not even exist.

What it is saying is that any person, group of people, association, or state that uses the Confederate Flag as their symbol is un-American!  It could even be stretched out to say they are treasonous.  You cannot swear allegiance to flags of more than one country.  That goes for all of the other flags being talked about as well.

The Christian Flag is not American.  It was not adopted by this country as a symbol of our nation.  If you fly and pledge allegiance to the Christian Flag, you are being un-American.  It is as simple as that.  True Germans do not swear allegiance to the Nazi Flags.  True Japanese do not swear allegiance to their “Empire Flag of WWII.”  No true American should swear allegiance to either the Christian Flag or the Confederate Flag either.

To try to put this in simple terms, the only flag real patriots of America swear their allegiance to is the official Flag of The United States, the Stars and Stripes.  Flying any other flag is truly unpatriotic.

The next time someone argues with you about keeping the Confederate Flag, or any other flag “flying” call them what they are.  Un-American.  Because, their allegiance is to a foreign symbol.

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Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Ohio, Louisiana.  What do all of these states have in common?  They all have lax gun laws, and they have all had mass killings in the last 12 months,

Then of course there is Colorado.  Where a man was just convicted of the mass shooting of innocent civilians at a movie theater.  Colorado also has lax gun laws.

Now, before you get angry about those comments, yes there have been mass killing in just about every single state regardless of gun laws.  Yet, it is also clear that most of the killings in other states are done by criminal elements involved in gangs, drug traffic, etc.

The problems with these other shootings, including the shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut, is that the victims were not innocent bystanders tragically caught in the crossfire of criminals.  They were targeted by people who just wanted to shoot and kill people.  In most cases using guns they owned.

You will hear about how guns stop crime.  Yet, where there are more guns, statistics prove there is more crime.  States that have strict gun laws complain that the majority of their criminals who have guns, get them from states that do not have similar laws.  Meaning they are transported from states like North Carolina that does not require background checks if you purchase a gun at a gun show.

Last night another shooting took place in Louisiana.  Three people were killed in another movie theater.  Nine other people were wounded.  The shooter eventually shot himself to death.  We don’t know why this happened, and as of the writing, we don’t know who did the shooting.  The police only say he had a criminal record going back a long way.

Which brings us back to the point.  How did he get his gun?  If criminals are not supposed to be able to purchase guns, how did he own a gun?  The answer is that there are no standardized laws that require background checks on who is purchasing guns.  These criminals are allowed to either go personally, or send someone to a state with lax gun laws and get whatever they want.

In Ohio yesterday, something I predicted would happen, happened.  One of those publicity hounds who claim to be “protecting” recruiting stations accidentally fired a round from an AR 15 assault rifle.  Fortunately, no one was injured.  Yet, it could have been another tragedy committed by another stupid person with a gun.

After the incident, the owners of the mall where the recruiting station is located, asked the police to escort all armed civilians from their property.  The publicity hounds howled about that saying: “If something happens here and hopefully it don’t and if it does I hope they hang the people who own the place.”

Funny, the only person who fired a gunshot was one of their own.  He could have killed someone.  Should he be “hanged?”  These idiots are showing up all over the place even though the military has asked them to stay away.

I have not, am not, nor ever will advocate for the removal of our right to own guns.  I do however, want stricter laws to ensure that criminals, mentally impaired, domestic abusers, and terrorists either foreign or domestic, and others not capable of rational thought cannot get guns.  That is not too much to ask.

I have always found it interesting that you need to take a test to get a driver’s license but not own a gun.  Yes, the gun advocates say that driving is a privilege and owning a gun is a right.  But, far more people are killed with guns than with cars each year, and that number is growing.  Doesn’t it make sense that universal background checks and proper training should be required to own a gun?

If you want to see how dumb these lax laws are, just look at Kansas.  They recently passed a law allowing people to carry concealed guns without a license or proper training!  That is really smart!

Sorry, but if you are looking to place blame somewhere for these mass shootings, all you need to do is look at the NRA, the gun lobbying groups and those “open carry” nuts.  They are the ones who refuse to support reasonable laws that protect citizens from the wrong people getting guns.

Maybe it is time we look to “hang” them for their crimes.  They are the ones causing this environment to exist.  You have to make up your own mind on this.  I know where I stand.  I believe I stand on the side of reason.  Just because you have there “right” to own a gun, doesn’t mean you have the capacity to safely own a gun.  Which means you shouldn’t own a gun.

If that pisses you off, it just proves my point.

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The biggest unfortunate side of the Chattanooga, TN shooting of 5 service members is that it has become the cause celebre for all of the crazies.  Or, should I say all of the bigots and fringe groups.  Since that tragic day, the wacko bunch has come out of the woodwork faster than you can say “oh shit!”

One gun shop owner, a full believer in the Constitution of the United States announced that his gun shop is now “Muslim Free.”  He doesn’t say how he intends to discover who is and who is not a “Muslim” but there he was standing in front of his all-inclusive Confederate Battle Flag making his announcement.

We have lunatics calling themselves “patriots” in open-carry states now saying they will “defend” our recruiters.  They have started showing up in front of Recruiting Stations openly carrying guns declaring they would defend our recruiters.  This is because they believe that the Defense Department is “wrong” in not allowing recruiters to carry guns wherever they go.

There has been a large outcry on Facebook about the President not ordering the flag put at half-mast in honor of these servicemen.  They claim that the President is “disrespecting” our service members by not immediately issuing the order.

I simply don’t know where to start on this.  So, I guess I will take them one-at-a-time.  First, that gun shop owner who claims to have a “Muslim Free” gun zone in his gun shop.  He claims to have the right to refuse to sell guns to anyone he believes is dangerous.  But, there is no right to refuse to sell guns just because of a person’s religion.

What he is saying is that if you are an American Citizen protected by the Second Amendment of the Constitution and have a right to own a gun, you still cannot purchase one in his shop if you are a Muslim.  In other words he has taken on the task of defining who is and who is not a citizen protected by the Constitution.

The simple fact that he is standing in front of a Confederate Battle Flag shouts loudly exactly what he means by “Muslim Free.”  Since he claims he won’t be asking you what religion you belong to, the only way to determine if you are a Muslim is by skin color or name.  If you are not white, and have one of those “funny middle-eastern names” you will obviously be considered a Muslim and refused service.

On the other hand, if you are white, you will be gladly sold any weapon you want.  Apparently, he doesn’t know that there are millions of white people who are Muslims in the world.  Even right here in America.  I personally know dozens of white Americans who are Muslims.

The second one involves recruiters for our military branches.  We now have crazies “walking the beat” outside recruiting stations carrying all sorts of weapons from assault rifles, sniper rifles, and hand guns.  All without being asked by the Department of Defense to “protect” the recruiters.

One of the greatest things about our country is that our military doesn’t go around carrying weapons everywhere they go.  You will find armed soldiers in other countries, even so-called democratic countries.  I can guarantee you that if our military personnel have been carrying weapons in public before Chattanooga, these very same crazies would be screaming at the top of their lungs.  It would be the proof they need that the government is trying to “take over” the country.

This so-called “protecting our recruiters” is nothing more than a very sick publicity stunt to get their names and pictures in the papers and on news stations.  It serves absolutely no purpose.  As a matter of fact, it is probably going to hamper these recruiters from doing their jobs.

Not many people are willing to cross a line of armed men to walk into a recruiting office.  Additionally, the added publicity these wackos are creating only increases the possibility of another attack.  If that should happen, what is going to be said when these odd-balls start shooting and innocent civilians are killed in the crossfire?  It will be the responsibility of these “patriots” if that happens.  But, of course, they will claim they were just doing their “duty” to protect the recruiters.  Those innocent civilians were just “collateral” damage.

These same people are calling for recruiters to be armed.  To many that sounds reasonable.  However, there is a difference in the training of personnel to carry arms in a combat zone and carrying arms in a civilian area.  There are lots of rules and laws that must be met, even for the military.

That means more training for recruiters, many administrative personnel, has to be conducted before they can carry arms in the office.  It also means that armories must be built and established to house and protect those weapons when not being carried.

The Coast Guard, being law enforcement, has such training for personnel.  However, not everyone goes through it.  I did.  I even had to go through the “shoot-don’t shoot” training.  If you failed that test, you were not allowed to carry a weapon in public areas.

All of this costs money.  The Defense Department is facing calls for cuts in their budgets.  They are facing base closings and reduction in forces.  How can they afford to add the costs of the training and armories needed before recruiters are armed?

Even if this all happens, how can they go to a High School or College Campus with weapons?  If you ask recruiters, you will discover it is hard enough to get to these places already.  Not many of them will be happy if the recruiter shows up carrying a handgun.  As I said, this has more potential to hamper recruiting efforts more than help them.

Third, the issue of the flag at half-mast.  I don’t have a problem with the President ordering flags being flown at half-mast in honor of these men.  Actually, he has issued that order.  But, on the other hand, I have a problem with it being flown at half-mast for these men and not the rest of service members who have been killed.

Yesterday I wrote about the problems at the VA and how fixing it is the best way to “support our troops.”  What I didn’t put in that article is that a veteran commits suicide every 65 minutes.  That means about 23 veterans commit suicide every single day!  Are we to fly the flag at half-mast for them?

Where do you draw the line on that issue?  If the flag was lowered every time a service member was killed, we would never see the flag at full mast again.  That is just a simple fact.  You don’t “respect” servicemen by lowering the flag in honor of their death.  You show “respect” by making sure their families are properly taken care of after their great loss.

You see, once a service member dies, their families are basically cut off.  Just as one example, the survivors of a fallen service member must vacate military housing within 30 days of the funeral.  They lose most of their benefits.  They lose almost all of their “privileges” like shopping at the exchange.  They become just another survivor of a fallen service member.

I seriously mourn the five members who were killed in the senseless shooting.  I also hate it when these kinds of situations brings the crazies out of the woodwork.  These service members deserve better than that.  Their families deserve better than that.

Yes, security at recruiting stations needs to be reviewed.  The DOD says a report is due on Friday.  There are thousands of way to better protect our recruiters than with arms.  Especially when you consider that one “trained” recruiter accidentally shot himself in the leg when he began carrying a weapon.  What would have been said if he had accidentally shot a recruit?

Honor those who were killed.  Remember their families in your prayers, if you are prone to pray.  But, don’t praise these wackos who are looking for nothing more than publicity.  That is not honoring these brave men’s memory.

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