Keane observations about life, politics and sports.

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 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.
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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.”

Monday, May 27, 2013

Enjoy Memorial Day

On Facebook, Twitter and other mediums there are many posts along the lines of "Memorial Day isn't National Grilling Day. Today we remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice." or "I know mediocre department store sales are great but they didn't sacrifice everything so you could buy mediocre stuff at a mediocre store.". Lighten up folks. I guarantee you the vast majority of those who we mourn today would enjoy a barbeque or a ball game if they had made it home. They did not serve and fight in anticipation of people being miserable. No, they fought for many reasons but primarily to protect the American way of life. So, celebrate their service and sacrifice today. March in or watch a parade, if you want. Say a prayer for the fallen, if you want. Bottom line is do what you want and remember those who sacrificed so you have that right. Lastly, let me end with a quote that comes close summing up my feelings on this issue.

"It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived." Gen George S. Patton, Jr.

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Power to Tax is the Power to Destroy

The quote used as the title of this post has gotten a lot of play lately with the issue of the Internal Revenue Service targeting non-profit groups with conservative sounding names for extra scrutiny. It originally was said by Daniel Webster in arguing McCullough v. Maryland before the Supreme Court and paraphrased by Chief Justice Marshall in explaining the ruling on that case. That saying was true then and is just as true today. Abuses by the IRS are serious and must be investigated diligently. However, as conservatives we must be careful not to allow liberals to turn this issue around and label us anti-tax extremists. Since the beginning of the Tea Party movement liberals and their allies in the media have tried to marginalize the movement by taking their positions to extreme levels by portraying them as against ALL taxes and ALL government. Nothing could be further from the truth. We understand that there are necessary responsibilities of government and some form of taxation is necessary to fund those responsibilities. The choice is not between an unlimited constantly growing government and no government. Likewise when discussing the title quote the choice is not between the current tax system and no taxes. Once we get past the extremes of all or none we should be able to actually discuss the issue. This concern should be universal. Whether one falls on the right or left of the political spectrum, we should be able to agree there are problems with the current taxation system and it is ripe for abuse. The income tax system is nearly a century old and every session of congress has added rules, regulations and complexity to the system. We now have a system that is very personally invasive and strikes fear in tax payers. While this IRS misbehavior doesn't revolve around individual tax returns or the tax code, this is an issue that resonates with people who may not normally be politically active. Republicans need to take this cause on with more than just lip service. Don't make it only about the malfeasance of the Obama administration. Make abolishing the IRS and re-writing our tax code the primary product we are selling to voters. Every GOP candidate in 2014 should be running on government reform and tax simplification! Push legislation through the House of Representatives regardless of whether it has a chance in the Senate. Make Senate Democrats explain on the campaign trail why they blocked tax simplification! Hand in hand with selling rewriting the tax code must be a clear explanation of the danger we facing due to the burgeoning national debt. We are nearly 17 trillion dollars in debt. This is not something that is solved by taxing the rich more. The share of that debt is $188k per person and increasing every day. That isn't the share for every household. It is the share of the debt for each individual. A baby born yesterday is starting out close to 200 thousand dollars in debt borrowed on his or her behalf by politicians pretending to be generous. There are various online debt clocks. I like this one because it breaks it down several different ways. Prior to voting people should be shown the debt clock. UPDATE: For the Debt Clock click the link in last sentence. Clicking the picture just takes you to a blank copy.


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