Keane observations about life, politics and sports.

Friday, June 13, 2014

What a Difference 40 Years Makes - Or Could the Difference be the Political Parties Involved?

40 years ago President Nixon was hounded from office by the media partly due to unbelievable story regarding 18 minutes of erased tape. Now, an administration claims they lost two years of emails to and from the President Obama's lead IRS henchman (henchwoman?) and media yawns and says "Yeah, that could happen."
IRS Says It Lost Two Years of Lerner E-mails

House Ways and Means Committee chairman Dave Camp has hit a roadblock in his investigation of the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups: The IRS says it has lost over two years’ worth of e-mails sent by former agency official Lois Lerner, the one of the chief subjects of the committee’s investigation.
But don't worry, we were assured there's "not a smidgeon of corruption" in the IRS targeting scandal by the president himself during an interview on Superbowl Sunday which was intended to fool the average person who doesn't have time to follow the many scandals of this corrupt administration. Sadly, the current Congress is too cowardly to impeach the president out of fear of being labeled racist which apparently is worse than being known as cowards unwilling to do their duty. UPDATE: Finally got around to finding this iconic picture. Did Lois Lerner stretch like Rose Mary Woods for two years?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Term Limits Are Long Overdue

My libertarian leanings have previously lead me to believe that term limits for congress are wrong. My old argument was that the voters should have no arbitrary limit placed on who they can choose to represent them. My opinion was great in theory, but didn't hold water in practice. The power of incumbency coupled with gerrymandered districts means most congressmen once first elected can be in office nearly for rest of their life. The founders original intention was that our congressional representatives would be accomplished citizens who would visit the capital a couple times a year to provide oversight to the federal government and protect their home state from government tyranny. Now, for good or bad (I obviously believe it is bad), congress is a full time job with sufficient compensation to entice them to stay and make a career out of what used to be public service. This has to change for there to be any hope of government reform. Congressional lifers are too much a part of government to seriously be expected to reform the current bloated mess. The chart below shows some of the worst of the worst. The majority of them were probably decent, idealistic people when first running for office. However, decades in DC corrupted them or brought out the worst in them. Regardless, it is very clear that we'd be better served by selecting tax payers at random from each district to serve for a single term than by continuing the current perverse system of electing congressmen and senators basically for life. Please consider signing the petition to enact term limits. I would also recommend an Amendment to the Constitution to repeal the 17th Amendment. Direct election by popular vote of U.S. senators was an awful idea which has directly lead to a much stronger federal government as senators are more beholden to monied backers than to the states who sent them to DC. If you agree with me on term limits for congress and ending direct election of senators, contact your state representatives and push the idea. These changes have to come from the people. Congress will never be part of fixing congress and nothing else will get reformed (tax code, whatever) without fixing congress first.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Is Barry Switzer Racist? Or is He Just Stupid?

Discussing the upcoming NFL draft in general and specifically Johnny Manziel, Barry Switzer was quoted saying:
I love his ability; Johnny can play," Switzer said. "I've always said I'd never recruit a white quarterback. The only way I'd ever recruit a white quarterback to play for me was if his mom and daddy would have to both be black, and that's the only way I would do it."
In his defense, he went on to explain that it is because of the style of offense he plays. However, I think his explanation merely added fuel to the fire.
"My offense is a quarterback-fullback offense," Switzer continued. "I'd have to have a Jamelle Holieway, J.C. Watts [or] Thomas Lott. Those guys are gonna be my quarterbacks, they're great runners, they're great ball carriers and ... able to pass, complete some, and those guys could. Those guys could throw and run."
My rule of thumb on determining if something is racist is to turn the races around and ask how the statement would then be viewed. His qualifying statement about wanting running quarterbacks does not rehabilitate the comments. Years ago when there was uproar about lack of black quarterbacks in the NFL, coaches often explained it away by saying that black QB's coming out of colleges were not pocket passers, etc. Here is an idea. Ignore everyone's race and hire them or select them in the draft based on their talents and whether they can help your organization achieve its goals. Pretty simple huh? Want to end racism? Stop talking about race as if it is germane to every conversation. People are people. I'll end with this youtube clip of Morgan Freeman on 60 Minutes from a few years back.

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Argument for Post Birth Abortion and Our Cultural Decline

Brit Hume tweeted a link to a Slate.com article which discusses a paper published in the Journal of Medical Ethics titled "After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?"

This disgusting notion has several angles to discuss:

First, I notice that Hume's tweet expressed surprise: 



It can be difficult to clearly express yourself within Twitter's 140 character limit. However, it is safe to say Hume was shocked by the fact that we have serious discussion of murdering children after they are born. Hume is a smart guy, but I can not share his surprise at this development. It is actually very predictable. Many people have connected our passive acceptance of abortion with an overall diminished valuing of human life. Also, since the Roe v Wade decision we have seen a greater acceptance of euthanasia which is just another side to the same coin - deciding some human life has less value than others.

Then when you read Slate's article you realize they are on the side of evil and are actually worried that the "doctors" openly advocating abortion after live delivery from the womb will instead advance the pro-life argument. Consider this segment:
" But it isn’t pro-lifers who should worry about the Giubilini-Minerva proposal. It’s pro-choicers. The case for “after-birth abortion” draws a logical path from common pro-choice assumptions to infanticide. It challenges us, implicitly and explicitly, to explain why, if abortion is permissible, infanticide isn’t."
The problem for pro-aborts is, if they attempt to be intellectually honest with themselves they can't help but realize there is no difference between an in-womb murder (abortion) and a post partum murder besides location and age. I concede we are unlikely to influence the extremists. However, we may see this influence the mildly pro-aborts (that includes those who are indifferent and the "personally opposed but who am I to tell others not to murder their kid?" crowd) When mildly pro-aborts are able to see that their arguments also apply to a new born they in turn should realize there is no difference between killing a two day old child and killing a two year old. Only a completely morally depraved person could remain in favor of continuing down this path. Last item this drive home to me is the question: where are we culturally that we have reached a point that doctors are debating the merits of murdering children.In a decent society the authors of that paper would be shunned and unwelcome in any respectable setting. Sadly, I strongly doubt they will face any negative feedback professionally. Instead they are likely celebrated for being avant-garde and unshackled by conventional positions. We can continue the March for Life, and can support pro-life politicians and what not, but most important thing to do is to pray that people's hearts and minds change on this subject. Slavery wasn't ended because a politician passed a law or issued a proclamation. Instead what happened was a few people recognized that owning human beings is wrong and they made that case in many different ways and convinced more and more people to share their view. In time the few became a majority. In further time that majority demanded an end to an evil they could no longer abide continuing.

Rep Dingell to Retire

A little good news out of DC today with the word that Congressman John Dingell (D-MI) is finally retiring. Dingell exemplified all that is wrong with our federal government. Career politicians fight for continual growth of government and he is the longest serving congressman at 60 years in office. We can add a touch of nepotism to his list of sins since he became a congressman when he basically inherited his daddy's district in 1955. Good riddance several decades too late! Disgustingly, his wife Deborah Dingell (born year before he was first elected to congress) is the early favorite to replace him.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

We Lost Another Hero - Rest in Peace Col Bud Day, USAF(ret)

Colonel Bud Day who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions as a Prisoner of War during the Vietnam War died yesterday at the age of 88.

Day served our nation during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War and was the most highly decorated American since Douglas MacArthur.

After getting out of the Marines when World War II ended, Day finished high school then attended college and law school on the GI Bill. While attending school he stayed military as a member of the Army Reserves eventually getting a commission as a reserve Air Force officer and orders to flight school. He was called up for the Korean War and afterwards remained on active duty. He was shot down in Nam and broke his arm in three places when he ejected from his plane. He was quickly captures by enemy forces and was tortured and interogated. When his captors let their guard he escaped and evaded re-capture for 12 days and had actually made it back to South Vietnam when a Viet Cong unit shot him twice and took him back to North Vietnam. He was held as a Prisoner of War for over five years. His first cellmate was a near dead John McCain who Day helped nurse off death's door.

After release from prison, Day fought for veterans benefits particularly health care for disabled vets. He was often asked why he didn't go into politics and he would answer it was same reason he never made general - because he spoke his mind and didn't sugar coat things. He wasn't kidding about that. There was nothing "politically correct" about Colonel Day. You never had a doubt about the sincerity of his opinions. His strong comments in 2004 about John Kerry being a traitor and his more recent comments regarding Islam are testiment to his candor.

Colonel Day, Thank you for your service and may you Rest in Peace.
 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Medal of Honor 

Citation: On 26 August 1967, Col. Day was forced to eject from his aircraft over North Vietnam when it was hit by ground fire. His right arm was broken in 3 places, and his left knee was badly sprained. He was immediately captured by hostile forces and taken to a prison camp where he was interrogated and severely tortured. After causing the guards to relax their vigilance, Col. Day escaped into the jungle and began the trek toward South Vietnam. Despite injuries inflicted by fragments of a bomb or rocket, he continued southward surviving only on a few berries and uncooked frogs. He successfully evaded enemy patrols and reached the Ben Hai River, where he encountered U.S. artillery barrages. With the aid of a bamboo log float, Col. Day swam across the river and entered the demilitarized zone. Due to delirium, he lost his sense of direction and wandered aimlessly for several days. After several unsuccessful attempts to signal U.S. aircraft, he was ambushed and recaptured by the Viet Cong, sustaining gunshot wounds to his left hand and thigh. He was returned to the prison from which he had escaped and later was moved to Hanoi after giving his captors false information to questions put before him. Physically, Col. Day was totally debilitated and unable to perform even the simplest task for himself. Despite his many injuries, he continued to offer maximum resistance. His personal bravery in the face of deadly enemy pressure was significant in saving the lives of fellow aviators who were still flying against the enemy. Col. Day's conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Air Force and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Armed Forces.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Undefended Freedom Doesn't Exist





Defense of the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is not just about the Patriot Act and whatnot. No, the biggest violators of our constitutional rights are law enforcement at local, state and federal level looking for short cuts.  Our courts have allowed law enforcement to do bad things because societally "we" generally agreed some crimes were so bad extraordinary measures should be taken to protect us. 

  1. Stopping a car for no reason to see if the driver is intoxicated? Clearly unconstitutional, but we didn't scream because drunk driving is bad and blah, blah, blah. 
  2. "Stop and frisk" where cops can go up to people on the street and search them? No chance that is really constitutional, but crime is high in some areas so we'll allow cops to spit on the constitution if it temporarily lowers crime rates in an area. 
  3. Fill in the blank __________________  with what ever high profile crime so horrified people that they demanded "something oughta be done."
When do police violate our rights? When we beg them to. No, people don't directly and openly ask law enforcement to violate our rights. No, people screamed at politicians to "ensure ______ never happens again" and politicians in turn write legislation unlikely to ensure bad people won't do bad thing but will sound good on the campaign trail. Allowing infringement of our rights does nothing but give a false sense of security. There are probably hundreds of other examples where we gave away our constitutional guarantees of freedom thinking we were only giving away the freedoms for crooks. Wrong! Gone for the "crooks" also means gone for you.  

I am not anti-law enforcement. However, law enforcement like any government bureaucracy is prone to excess. An "ends justifies the means" mentality quickly develops and often is encouraged in how we reward and promote in law enforcement. 

Any right not zealously guarded will not long last and that includes every right delineated in the Bill of Rights. Also, we can not pick and choose to defend only those portions of the Constitution we like. Allow today's hack politician to crap on a right you don't exercise (2nd Amendment, maybe?) and you forfeit the rights you care strongly about. 

I'll finish with a great quote from President Reagan:

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”




 

View My Stats