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Archive for the ‘Things That Suck’ Category

Kim Davis, the County Clerk of Rowan County in Kentucky stopped issuing marriage licenses to everyone.  Since the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is legal, she has refused to issue any licenses.  She says her “religious beliefs” forbid her from issuing licenses to same-sex couples.  Knowing that is blatant discrimination, she has decided not to issue any licenses.  Two gay and two straight couples have filed suit against her.

They claim they should not have to drive to another county in order to get a marriage license.  They want to get their license in the county where they live, work, and pay taxes.  But, Ms. Davis doesn’t care about her oath to serve the people who elected her.  She only cares about her personal beliefs.

As a result of the law suits, she has been ordered by two different courts to begin issuing marriage licenses to everyone.  She still refuses.  She can’t be fired from her job since it is an elected position.  She refuses to resign even though she is breaking the laws she is sworn to enforce.  Now, she is asking the Supreme Court to delay the previous orders.

The unfortunate side of this mess is that Ms. Davis is not alone.  There are other County Clerks who are following along with her unlawfulness.  As usual, they are trying to use the “religious beliefs” aspect to justify their unlawfulness and bigotry.  This could get very ugly for everyone, especially Ms. Davis if she is found in contempt of court and either heavily fined or jailed.

So, I believe there is only one answer to this mess.  One that is fair for everyone, and could even help the government raise more revenue.  Thus, helping to balance the budget.  The answer is to stop marriages altogether.  That may sound very crazy to many people, but it has some reasoning behind it that makes sense.

First off, if religions desire to “marry” people, let them.  Just don’t give any civil recognition to them.  By not giving any civil recognition to them, I don’t mean their children are illegitimate or anything like that.  I simply mean there will be no civil benefits for being “religiously married.”

Here is how this works.  Whether two people get a “religious marriage” or not, they have the right to cohabitate.  We will call it “domestic partnerships.”  Under this plan, there will be no tax filing status of “married filing jointly,” “married filing separately,” or “married head of household.”  Each person in the partnership will have to file their taxes separately as single people.

Since civil marriage will be eliminated, children of domestic partners will maintain the name of the mother, not the father.  The children can be given the father’s name only if the father formally adopts them, and the mother agrees in writing to forego all tax advantages she may have gotten by declaring them as dependents.

Furthermore, if the domestic partners separate, only the “legal” parent will be entitled to custody of any children.  If that partner does not fulfill those responsibilities they shall be charged with abandonment and punished with a jail sentence.  There will be no child support awarded to the legal parent from the non-legal parent.

When filing tax returns, only the parent who is the legal parent of the children can claim them as dependents.  Further, upon the death of one of the partners, there will be no “estate tax exemption” for the spouse.  Only children who are the legal dependent of the partner will receive those estate tax exemptions.

Spouses of domestic partners will not be eligible for Social Security checks based on their partners income.  If their spouse dies, they will not be entitled to any income from Social Security as the surviving spouse as they are in many cases today.

If children are eligible for those Social Security Payments, a court appointed trustee will manage the money to ensure the surviving partner does not financially benefit from those payments to the children.  The same will be true for any inheritance a child may receive from the legal parent.

If the will of the deceased partner leaves everything to his partner, that partner will be forced to pay the full inheritance tax just like anyone else.

Corporations will no longer be required to provide health insurance to partners of their employees.  They will continue to provide health insurance to employees and any legal dependent children.  Partners will have to get their own insurance unless that corporation decides to continue to offer the plans as they do now.

All of these rules will be enforced upon everyone.  If two people enter into a religious marriage, they will still be considered domestic partners under the law.  No marriage licenses will be issued by any government entity to anyone.  Basically, marriage will disappear as a state sponsored entity.

Under this plan, divorce will be eliminated.  In order to prevent total chaos in these separations, the couple will need to file with a court a separation plan that includes property division and joint loan/mortgage plans.  That is more to protect the lenders than anything else.

We will basically be able to eliminate “divorce court” thus saving the states and cities lots of money.  The federal revenues will grow because there won’t be anymore tax exemptions simply because someone is married.  The estate tax revenue will grow because partners won’t get the tax breaks currently offered.

We won’t hear anymore hypocrisy from multi-married candidates about “family values” because there won’t be anymore families.  We won’t hear anymore about “single mothers” because every legal parent will be technically a “single parent.”  And finally, we won’t have any County Clerks or other government office holders breaking the law by refusing to issue marriage licenses to people they hate.

Let’s face facts.  Aside from any religious beliefs you may have, the only real advantage to getting married is for tax purposes.  Eliminating those tax loopholes makes the civil endorsement of marriage mute.  And, bigots cannot claim “religious beliefs” to practice their bigotry and denying civil rights to those they hate.

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The Republican Party is always talking about state’s rights.  They claim that each state should be able to decide issues on their own.  The two most famous ones are abortion and same-sex marriage.    According to the Republicans only the states should be allowed to decide on these issues.

We have a bunch of other “states rights” issues as well.  Most Republican states have passed some form of Voter ID laws which are intended to suppress the vote.  Yet, according to them, that is okay because only states should be able to decide who should be able to vote and how.

Republicans are now looking to help decide who can run for president.  As you may know, the national party does not set the guidelines for how and whom can be on a ballot in a particular state.  National elections are ruled by each state.  But, this year there seems to be a problem with our democracy.

The Republican Party establishment is terrified that Donald Trump might actually win the primaries.  They have been looking for ways to stop The Donald.  Their problem is that Trump is still leading in the polls.  Worse still, he is leading by a wide margin and is dragging the party further and further to the right.

This has the party establishment scared shitless.  They don’t know what to do to stop the insanity from drowning their party.  Because of Trump, we are seeing almost all of the candidates, including Jeb Bush, making some very ridiculous statements.  The other day, in order to get Latinos to love him, Bush said the term “anchor babies” is not intended towards Mexicans, no it is intended towards Asians.  It is kind of “Pick your medicine.”  Either Mexicans hate you, or Asians hate you.  Bush has decided that since there are far more Mexicans voting than Asians, Asians are the better target.

We have the “wall” discussions.  Anti-Abortion rantings.  Same-sex tears.  Religious belief legalizing discrimination.  And, all of it being raised by candidates who want to be more like Trump than Trump.

So, using their “state’s rights” as cover, Republican Party committees in North Carolina and Virginia have decided they will put an end to Trump once and for all.  Both states are talking about their rules for being eligible to get on the state’s primary ballots.   But, the interesting thing is that these new rules have nothing to do with getting enough signatures, or where you are in the polls.  That is even used to get to the adult table during the debates.

No, their primary rule change would make you ineligible to get on the state’s primary ballot if your do not “pledge” to support the Republican Nominee if you lose the primary.  That’s right.  If you do not pledge to throw your full support to the winner of the primaries, you cannot get on the ballot in Virginia and North Carolina, if the rules are changed.

This is specifically targeting Trump.  Even during the debates, he refused to rule out a Third Party run if he does not get the Republican nomination.  That has pissed off a lot of people on the Republican side.

As it turns out, not only do states want to decide who can vote in the elections, they now want to decide who can even appear on the ballot.  Not based on “traditional” rules, but on “new and made up” rules.  If they don’t like you, you can be sure they will change the rules so you can’t appear on their ballot.

This is called “pick your candidate” Republican style.  Unfortunately, it goes way beyond just who is allowed on the ballot.  It is a prime indicator of just how Republicans desire to govern.  If they don’t like something or someone, just change the rules to suit your desires.  That is not how democracy is supposed to work.

It is not how the Constitution says we are to run our country.  But, I have never accused the current Republican Party of being in favor of the law of the land or the Constitution.  This tinkering with the rules on getting on the ballot with superfluous nonsense is a perfect example of a flawed party.  It is a perfect example of why Republicans should not hold office at any level.

How can we trust a party that randomly changes their own rules in order to shut up people they don’t like.  Both states claim they are looking at changing their rules “independently.”  But, I will wager that more Republican states who hate Trump will be happy to follow along.

I don’t like Trump either.  But, to arbitrarily change the rules to eliminate someone just because you don’t like him, is bad behavior at best.  It is fascism at worst.  Problem is the Republican Party doesn’t care about appearances.  As these proposed rule changes prove, they only care about controlling the people.  You can best control the people when you control the process of who they can vote for or against.

 

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We have had many discussions about guns and the right to own guns.  We have talked about irresponsible people who wish to walk around carrying their guns in the open.  They don’t care if they scare anyone or not.  They simply want their gun with them all of the time.

We have also had discussions about who should be allowed to own guns.  It’s mostly clear that over 70 percent of the American people do not want people who were convicted of crimes to own guns.  It is also clear that over 70 percent of people don’t want people with a mental illness to own guns.  Hell, even the NRA agrees with those two items.

But, the NRA and gun advocates do not want universal background checks that would help stop the purchase of guns by either criminals or people with mental illnesses.  So, how can a seller of guns know if he is selling his weapon to one of these to groups?  He can’t.

The so-called “Open Carry” nuts say they are just law-abiding citizens exercising their right to carry their guns in the open.  They claim that your unease about seeing a bunch of people wielding guns is your problem and it won’t stop them from carrying guns.

I could go on with a whole bunch of statistics about guns and gun violence.  I could mention the crazy person at a “Muslim-free Gun Range” who dropped his weapon and accidentally shot himself.  But I am sure you already read about him.  No, instead I am going to write about gun violence in places you may not expect to find it.

One of the best kept secrets by the gun advocates is that our National Parks are prime areas where people love to shoot their guns.  They don’t even care if they are at an approved shooting range or not.  They simply just go around and shoot their guns.

Steve Acerson is a lover of ancient rocks.  He loves to wander the Utah’s backcountry searching for images of hunters and rams carved on boulders and canyon walls.  One morning, he came across prehistoric petroglyphs.  Unfortunately,  he was also finding signs of a younger civilization: Shotgun shells. Bullets. Shredded juniper trees. Exploded cans of spray paint.

Someone had gone there and just shot up the petroglyphs.  As a matter of fact, they shot up pretty much everything around the area.  Yes, these petroglyphs are protected, but there aren’t enough law enforcement people in our National Parks to enforce those laws.  As a result, this kind of thing happens all of the time.

Additionally, people are finding shot up couches and cars deep in forests.  Hikers are constantly reporting how they are pinned down by gunfire where a hiking or biking trail crosses a makeshift target range.

But it gets even worse.  Over the Fourth of July weekend in Pike National Forest in Colorado, a 60-year-old camper preparing to make s’mores with his grandchildren was killed when a stray bullet arced into his campsite. The camper, Glenn Martin, said “ow,” his daughter said, and when his family ran to help him, there was a hole in his shirt and blood pouring from his mouth.

People who live in the area basically claim that the park is becoming a “war zone.”  Hikers and cyclists are forced to blow whistles and yell out so they don’t get shot.  Yet, many report bullets whistling over their heads.  Paul Magnuson, who owns a cycle shop in Woodland Park, Colo. said:  “Every time in the woods, you feared for your life.  It was absolutely, completely out of hand.”

This is not confined to just the west either.  These types of incidents are happening from the Pine Forests of North Carolina to the Pacific Northwest.  The favorite “targets” are these ancient petroglyphs.  Officials in the Croatan National Forest in North Carolina issued an emergency halt to target shooting after receiving hundreds of complaints.

In New Mexico homeowners near a national forest are fighting hard against the renewal of a gun range in the park.  They say they are tired of all the gun shots they have to put up with everyday.  There was even a report of a stay bullet hitting a bedpost in a house that sits near a National Park.

The Forest Service recorded 1,712 shooting incidents across the country last year, up about 10 percent from a decade ago.  The logs also show some very risky actions by shooters.  There are lots of reports of shootings from moving vehicles.  Guns being discharged in camping grounds.  Even using “exploding” targets.

But, when federal agencies have proposed closing areas to shooting, the National Rifle Association and other shooting groups have objected, urging members to write letters and attend meetings to keep the land open to guns.  The NRA says “Just the same as there should be areas on public lands for people to go mountain biking or mountain climbing, there should be areas for shooters.”

But that brings up another point.  Mountain biking or mountain climbing are not dangerous to other people.  They may be risky to the participant, especially mountain climbing, but they aren’t going to kill someone with a stray rope.  Shooters have already killed people with stray bullets.

In the case of Mr. Martin who was killed, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office has asked people who were in the area that day to allow their weapons to be tested, to see if they unknowingly fired the fatal shot. So far, investigators have tested five rifles, with none of them found to be the weapon in question.

However, Mr. Martin’s daughter said they had complained about hearing gunshots when they arrived at the campsite, but they said forest officials reassured them the shooters were firing in the other direction.  “You keep on asking why,” she said. “One hundred ninety million acres of forest, and it has to hit Daddy?”

If you are a gun advocate, you may be asking “what does this all have to do with owning a gun?”  Well, it brings us back to the question of “who should be allowed to own a gun?”  A lot of people often wonder why you need to take a test to get a driver’s license and not take a test to own a gun.  That is a fair question.

Gun advocates will tell you that driving is a “privilege” and gun ownership is a “right.”  That may true.  But both a car and a gun can kill people.  It doesn’t even have to be on purpose either.  Accidental deaths in America by car accident has increased recently.  Accidental deaths by gun accidents are a daily occurrence, too.

So, why not make gun owners take safety classes and pass a “shooting” test to get a license to own and fire their gun?  It hasn’t happened yet.  As a matter of fact, some states are looking to pass legislation where people can carry concealed weapons without a permit.  I believe Kansas already passed such legislation.

Yes, I agree that the Second Amendment gives us the right to use and bear arms.  However, it does not give carte-blanche to doing so without proper training.  The Second Amendment says we have such a right because it is necessary to maintain “a well-regulated militia.”  That one word “regulated” is the key to this question.  In order to be “regulated” militiamen must be properly trained in the use of their firearms.  Therefore, it can also be said that private owners must also be properly trained in the use of their firearms.  You can’t even get out of boot camp without qualifying with your weapons.

Without a change to the laws, like adding universal background checks and proper safety training and testing of gun owners ability to handle the weapon, we will continue to see these very dangerous people threatening our safety with their reckless use of guns.

The NRA does not want you to know what damage these idiots are causing.  Or, how dangerous it is for you to simply take a family hike in one of our National Parks.  If you knew about it, you might just want to call your congressman and have something done about our reckless gun laws.  The NRA and their advocates definitely do not want you to do that!

 

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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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You know that I am always ready to admit a mistake when I make one.  I am going to admit today that I have made a mistake, and that I probably owe Fox News an apology.  See, I have always believed that Fox News was nothing more than a propaganda machine for the Republican Party.  Specifically, for the right-wing ultra-conservative wing of the Republican Party.  I openly admit that I was wrong.

Tomorrow we will have the first debate of Republican Candidates for President.  Actually, there will be two different debates.  The first will be held about 5 PM Eastern and consist of what is being called the “second tier” of Republican Candidates.  The other will be in primetime and consist of the ten “Top Tier” Candidates.

Naturally, Fox News is hosting the debates.  And, as we would expect, they determined who is a “top-tier” candidate and who is a “second tier” candidate.  The problem is that Fox News was not quite as forthcoming as they claimed they would be on how they determined those tiers.

Fox News had announced that the candidates would be chosen based on “the latest five top national polls” completed shortly before the cut off date of yesterday at 5PM Eastern time.  Well, Fox News didn’t use the “latest five top national polls” to come to their determination.  They used the top four, but left out the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll which was ended after Quinnipiac poll.  If they had used the NBC/WSJ poll, Kasich and Perry would have ended in a virtual tie, meaning they would have had to have 11 Top Tier candidates.  Using the Quinnipiac poll, meant that Perry could be left off the stage.

In order to justify their decision not to use the NBC/WSJ poll, Fox News said that the NBC/WSJ poll did not read out all of the candidates and their titles when asking their questions.  However, that had never been brought up before by Fox News, so none of the polls were required to read all of the names and titles of the candidates.  In other words, Fox News changed the rules, again, to make sure certain people did not get onto the stage.

Now, you may be thinking why I owe Fox News an apology for believing they were nothing but a propaganda machine for the Republican Party.  It is simple.  The Republican Party has “handed over” the complete debate process to Fox News.  Which in my opinion suggests that the Republican Party has “handed over” the entire party to Fox News.

Fox News isn’t the propaganda machine for the Republican Party.  They have become the Republican Party.  If Preibus thinks he is the chairman of the party, he better think again.  Roger Ailes seems to be the head of the party.  It is his network that is running the show.

I am just wondering what the new name of the party is going to be.  I guess they could use the Tea Party, but that might conjure up too much distrust with Independents.  Calling it the Fox Party would have way too many jokes attached to it as well.  So, we will just have to wait until they declare what their party will be called.

Look, I realize that both the Republican Party and Fox News don’t want the disasters that happened in the last general election cycle to happen all over again.  Nor do they want to have 17 people standing on a stage talking over each other.  But, to set the type of limits necessary to reach the debate platform, and then change the rules as you go along, is just plain wrong.  Unless you wish to control what is being said on that stage.

We have all heard all 10 of these “top-tier” candidates mimic the Fox News talking heads scripts on a regular basis.  It is almost magical.  A Fox News talking head says something on camera, and within 12 hours all ten of these candidates are repeating it as if it was their own idea.

Some people are laughing at Donald Trump.  I am not laughing at him.  As a matter of fact, Donald Trump is one of the scariest people on that stage.  Imagine voting for a person who thinks America Sucks!  That is basically what the Donald is saying every time he wears that stupid baseball cap that says “Make America Great Again.”

None of his speeches ever says how he plans to reach that goal.  Nor does he say what exactly makes America Suck.  But, when you consider that over 25% of the current Republican Base consider him the best viable candidate, well…..

To be honest I haven’t decided if I am going to pull out my barf bag and watch the spectacle of this first debate.  I have a hard time considering this “debate” as anything worth while.  Hell, we have five months before Iowa and New Hampshire!  But, that is what the real leaders of the party want.  They want to weed out candidates they think will hurt their chances by having these debates so early.

By limiting the number of candidates allowed to actually debate, they are limiting the chances of the rest of the field.  And don’t try to tell me Fox News didn’t think of that before.  Why else would they have changed the rules so many times before the first debate?

No, I prefer the old method.  I prefer watching all of the candidates make their way to Iowa and New Hampshire and try to convince them to vote for him/her.  Sometimes, they actually need to state what their goals and plans actually are.  They must actually answer some questions about what is so magnificent about their platform.  In a debate, you don’t have to do that.

In any case, it is clear to me that Fox News is now the sole proprietor and leader of the second party in American politics.  We now have the Democratic Party and whatever Fox News is going to call its party.  The second of two American Political Party’s is now being run by an Australian owned News Organization.  You can be sure that the Republican Party as we knew it for over 155 years has gone the way of the Whig Party.

Maybe Donald should watch his mouth when talking about immigrants from here on out.  Murdoch is an immigrant after all.

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There were two very tragic recent killings.  Both of the victims were unarmed.  Both victims never had a chance.  However, the outcry by the public to these two shootings have something to say about us as a people.  The first shooting was of an unarmed black man who was pulled over by a University of Cincinnati police officer.  The second was an unarmed lion in Africa by a Dentist.

You are immediately going to scream how could I possibly compare the two incidents?  I can compare them simply because the outcry from the general public is so different, that it begs the question “Have we become so desensitized to human on human violence that the killing of an animal in Africa is more important than the killing of an unarmed man by the very police supposed to protect him?”

When the University of Cincinnati police officer shot and killed the unarmed black man, the outcry was very predictable.  We so-called “bleeding heart liberals” were crying about the incident like it really mattered.  When the lion was killed, not only were we “bleeding heart liberals” crying about the incident like it really mattered, so was everyone else.

In the first incident, the unarmed black man was killed shortly after the police officer ordered him out of the car.  When he attempted to exit the car, he was shot and killed.  I did not see any thing in the video that would give the officer a reason to shoot him.  He never even made it out of the car before being shot in the head.

In the second incident, a famous lion was shot by a dentist with a bow and arrow.  According to the reports I read, the lion was not on the game reserve.  He was outside the reserve.  It is also reported that the lion was lured out of the reserve with fresh meat before being shot.  The lion was then beheaded after the wounded animal escaped for two hours before being killed.

Naturally, everyone blew a gasket over the killing of Cecil the lion.  He was famous after all.  Plus, he was protected by the government of Zimbabwe.  The dentist is facing the possibility of extradition back to Zimbabwe in order to face charges over the killing.

The University of Cincinnati police officer has been arrested and charged with murder.  He is currently out on bail, and remarkably wants his job back.  Something we have seen way too many times in our country.

The police officer has his backers.  They are willing to give excuses for why he shot and killed an unarmed man.  The dentist also has his backers.  These are so-called “big game hunters.”  I refuse to back either.  To me, “big game hunters” need to be castrated!  The very idea of killing an animal just to hang a “trophy” on your wall is disgustingly immature.

They will tell you that big game hunting is a sport.  They are lying.  Big game hunters are as much a sportsman as Jack-the-Ripper was or the University of Cincinnati police officer was.  Anyone sitting in hiding just to kill something is a coward and not a sportsman.  It says more about their inferiority syndrome than anything else.

Before you start yelling about me being anti-hunting, you are wrong.  I have no problem with the average hunter who kills for food.  That won’t sit well with the PETA crowd, but a simple fact of life says humans are carnivorous creatures.  As a result, we will kill animals for food.  Killing for food is hugely different from “trophy” hunting.

But, that brings us back to the point.  Why is there so much more of an uproar over the killing of an animal than there is over the killing of human being?  If Cecil was a human, you might hear the right-wing, especially those talking heads at Fox News saying things like:

Cecil should have know that he was leaving the reserve.

Cecil should have identified himself as being some famous and protected.

Cecil should have just listened to what he was being told.

Cecil is a deadly weapon all by himself.  He is huge after all.

Why did Cecil roar so loudly?  That would certainly make me panic, too.

Cecil should have been wearing a collar so the shooter would know he was a pet.

Now, if all of those comments sound ridiculous about Cecil, why do they sound so reasonable when speaking about a person?  Both “shooters” could be said to have “been doing their dangerous job.”  Which also would be stupid.  Unfortunately, that seems to be the reality of us today.  We are more willing to cry over the shooting and killing of a lion than we are over the shooting and killing of an unarmed person.

I am very saddened that Cecil the Lion was shot and killed.  If the dentist who killed him broke laws in the killing, he should be held responsible.  And, I don’t care if the jails in Zimbabwe are “hellholes” or not.  If he did break the law, he should simply be allowed to rot in them.

However, I will shed far more tears over the killing of DuBose by that University of Cincinnati police officer.  Sorry, but the killing of innocent people, especially by police officers who are sworn to protect those very people, is far more tragic than the killing of a lion.

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One of my college history professors once talked about the two chambers of Congress.  He explained that the House of Representatives would always have turmoil.  He based that idea on the fact that it was made up of a lot more people from varying parts of the country.  As a result, he claimed it would be more difficult to get a consensus on many issues.

On the other hand, he said, the Senate was considered more of the “adult” house in Congress.  Since each state only gets two seats in the Senate, and since the rules in the Senate were far more strict than in the House, it was much more likely that compromise would flourish in the Senate.

Way back then, that seemed like a reasonable concept.  I figured that with only 100 members in the Senate, it would be a lot easier for both sides to sit down and compromise on issues in order to get things accomplished.  The country would be able to move forward, and the rights of the minority population would be protected.

The idea that the Senate was the “adult” house of Congress took into consideration that both parties wanted to accomplish good things for the American people.  It took into consideration that compromise was a good thing.  It took into consideration that both sides knew they weren’t going to get everything they wanted.

Unfortunately, something happened along the way since my time in college.  That something became partisanship.  I am not talking about ideological partisanship.  I am talking about “my way or the highway” partisanship.  Believe it or not, this all started back in the 1980s.  It began with the election of Ronald Reagan as President.

Now, I am not going off on a bash Reagan campaign here.  I am simply stating facts as I see them.  This isolationism between the parties began when Reagan got the Fairness Doctrine cancelled in 1987.  If you don’t remember the Fairness Doctrine, here is a simple definition of it.

The Fairness Doctrine was a policy of the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC), introduced in 1949.  It required the holders of broadcast licenses to present controversial issues of public importance and to do so in a manner that was, in the Commission’s view, honest, equitable and balanced.

It had two basic elements: It required broadcasters to devote some of their airtime to discussing controversial matters of public interest, and to air contrasting views regarding those matters. Stations were given wide latitude as to how to provide contrasting views: It could be done through news segments, public affairs shows, or editorials. The doctrine did not require equal time for opposing views but required that contrasting viewpoints be presented.  If stations did not follow the Fairness Doctrine, they could lose their license.

The demise of the Fairness Doctrine under Ronald Reagan led directly to the partisan “talk radio” we suffer through today.  It allowed broadcasters to present their views without having to offer contrasting views.  As a result, the conservative movement ran screaming to the microphones.  As Rush Limbaugh once boasted: “Reagan brought down the wall, and I was the first to scramble over the ruins.”

The demise of the Fairness Doctrine directly led to the existence of radio hosts like Limbaugh, Jones, Huckabee, and of course Fox News Network.  They were free to bloviate whatever they wanted without having to talk about the other side.  Why were the conservatives the first to use such tactics?  Because they always felt that the mass media was against them.  They believed that they could get more people to vote for them if they could “tell” their side without fear of being forced to “tell” the other side.

Over the years, this has led to the rise of such wonderful groups like the Tea Party.  These fanatical conservatives consider “compromise” to be a four-letter word.  They consider “fair and balanced” reporting as being “liberal” and “socialist.”  As a result, we now have two basic camps in the media.  One is ultra-conservative and the other is more liberal.

This means that if you really want to find a “fair and balanced” perspective on issues or candidates you need to search through hundreds of sources.  Most Americans don’t have time for that.  As a result, we have settled into those same two camps.

As a result, more ultra-conservative Senators have been elected.  That is not necessarily a bad thing, but when these same Senators refuse to compromise in order to move the country forward, that is a bad thing.  When these Senators are at the mercy of the money of radical ultra-conservatives who only care about their own pockets, that is a bad thing.

The demise of the Fairness Doctrine has also led to the “coming out” of radical videos.  It is now okay to heavily edit a video of a conversation you have had with someone just to show how bad the other side really is.  You do not have to show the whole video to show complete context anymore.  The latest round of videos aimed at Planned Parenthood is a perfect example.  There have been others.  And, I dare say from both sides.

That is why you don’t hear anyone telling their audience that these videos were heavily edited to show one side of the issue.  They don’t have to say that anymore.  You may say ethics would force them to “tell the truth” but ethics took a back seat with the demise of the Fairness Doctrine.

As a result of all of this nonsense, we have a dysfunctional government.  We have two houses of Congress full of spoiled brats who cry that everything must be their way or else.  We have Senators who actually want to shut down the government in order to “defund” Planned Parenthood simply because they hate abortion.  Abortion is not the only services Planned Parenthood offers, but that is enough to shut them down.  Even if it means shutting down the government.

Because of this frenzy of partisanship, Mitch McConnell says he won’t have negotiations with Democrats over the upcoming funding bills needed to fund the government.  He says he would consider what to do once Congress returns in September.  He has refused to hold negotiations with Democrats for months.  Which is another reason we are facing another government shutdown come the end of September.  All because he is afraid of the spoiled brats on his side of the aisle.

I don’t know if that History Professor is still alive today.  I do believe that he would have to reconsider his idea that the Senate is the “adult” house in Congress.  And, it all has to do with Reagan getting enough of his people on the FCC to kill the Fairness Doctrine.

If you really care about our country and “fair and balanced” reporting, we need to bring back the Fairness Doctrine.  Its demise is the root cause of our dysfunctional government and the isolationism between parties.  When you don’t have to present both sides, the truth will never come out.

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