Ronald Reagan once said that he was a Democrat, but the party left him. I think I understand how he felt when he saw it happening.
This week, there has been a great deal of discussion, with many Republicans insisting we need to strip Dzhokhar Tsarnaev of his Citizenship, and his Constitutional rights. Anyone who disagrees is called Liberal. Under those circumstances, call me Liberal if you want, I am first and foremost an American.
The Constitution is not just some ancient document with no relevance today. It is the foundation of this nation. The rights and laws contained therein are the things we detested about other nations, other Governments. It was those things we swore we would never allow here. More than that, it is the written principals we hold sacred when we call ourselves Americans. It has taken us a long time to reach the full principals, and we may have more to grow into it. But that is the amazing thing about it. We can change it, but only after a process involving a great deal of debate and consideration. This is to prevent us from making a foolish mistake, if we can be prevented from making it.
The rights of the accused, contained within the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments are just as sacred as any other part. It is the trampling of those amendments that causes me such sorrow. Why is it that Republicans are becoming the party that would ignore those three amendments? What amendments are next to be trampled? The First Amendment, is it next?
I think part of this error is one of vision. I see the Constitution as limiting Government, while those who want godlike powers see it as a document enabling Government. I want no such powers, I want nothing of the sort. I want to live, and let live, and exercise as little authority over my fellow citizens as is possible. That was the vision of the Conservative movement. That was the ideals of the Republican Party. Like Reagan, I see my party leaving me, and I am saddened by what this means for the future.
I object to the authoritarian nonsense no matter who spews it. For that reason, I am glad I named this blog Max Conservative. If I had named it Republican Ramblings or something else, I'd be looking to change it now. Perhaps the party will come back to the Conservative roots, but I don't think so.
With the prevalence of online postings, including blogs like this one. It's easy for people to write things that they will later regret. Honestly, not all the posts I write are published online. I am unable to find words and phrases that I am comfortable with on some subjects, or the thoughts I have aren't something that I can write well enough.
To summarize. A Lieutenant of the New York Fire Department had been posting ethnic and racial slurs on his twitter account. When a reporter for the Daily Mail, he broke down and cried because he knew that an investigation from the Fire Department would result in his termination. Now, he knew instantly what the result would be if he was found out, and who doesn't get found out, but he did it anyway.
Now the difference between these two incidents is obvious. First, Jim Carrey is a Hollywood star, or was one once, and in the circles he runs in insulting Conservatives is a career booster. On the other hand, Lieutenant Timothy Dluhos insulted minorities, and the Mayor of New York, which is a career killer.
So Mom's advice to children, think before you speak, seems to be as good advice today as it ever was.
Rush Limbaugh likes to say that Liberals are only ever judged by their intentions, never by the results of their actions. On the other side of that coin, Conservatives are always judged by the offense someone else takes at them, their success, their words taken out of context or whatever. Liberals, listen up, I love the ban on Incandescent Light bulbs. I honestly do love it.
Now, for the Liberals who might read this, they are wondering why I love it. Is it because like all Conservatives I want to poison the air and water? Is it because the Compact Florescent Bulbs they mandated do in fact contain Mercury, enough that should one break in my house it is by Federal Law technically an Hazardous Material Accident requiring a very expensive clean up? Is it because of this Mercury that is in my bulb, even if it doesn't break will be thrown away in a landfill, and eventually contaminate the water? Or perhaps it will be incinerated and then the Mercury Vapor will poison the air? Perhaps it is the joy that we tricked the Liberals into helping us poison the air and water with the notional goal of saving a few cents worth of electricity?
I got to thinking about this when I read the Hot Air piece on the Incandescent Bulb Ban. I wonder how long before Hollywood starts a movie, where Conservatives sneak undercover operatives into Environmental groups to trick them into supporting the Compact Florescent Bulb all so we could poison the air and water.
Perhaps that is the answer. Perhaps we have slipped undercover operatives into these groups to poison the air and water and to kill as many people as possible. I mean, we turn our food into gasoline via Ethanol. This leads to hundreds of thousands of deaths from starvation every year. We banned DDT which we know has led to millions of deaths from Malaria. We mandated a light bulb that poisons our ground water and air which will result in millions of deaths. Oh, I just realized, New York City dumps their garbage off shore on big barges. That means that the CFL's are dumping Toxic amounts of mercury into the fragile sea.
So why do I love the ban on normal incandescent light bulbs and the mandated use of a toxic bulb? Since I'm conservative, I'll let you all decide. The Liberals will decide it is whatever reason I mentioned, or didn't, that offends them. That's fine, they wouldn't read or consider anything I actually wrote anyway.
As for the rest of you in the Vast Rightwing Conspiracy. Remember, the plan is to force the Liberals into mandating the Chevrolet Suburban to protect the children. Remember to keep quoting the statistics of children surviving accidents in the Suburban. For the Women's rights gang, the statistics of a woman surviving with minimal injuries in a larger vehicle are much better. Make up whatever statistics you want, Liberals aren't smart enough to figure it out. I know, that's insulting. But hey, they mandated a product that poisons the air and water. Which is what we've been trying to do for centuries.
The idea behind the legislative branch of our nation is pretty simple. Where population is the consideration, there is the House of Representatives. This is the "people's house" similar in principal to the House of Commons in Great Britain. The idea is simple. The more people you have, the more representatives you have in the House.
But this is a nation not only of people, but of the Several States to use the Constitutional phrase. We have fifty states, and as such, we have a chamber of the legislative branch dedicated to the states, where all states are equal. Each state, no matter how large, or small, has two Senators. Originally, those Senators were chosen by the Governor's of the states to make sure that the State was represented in the Federal Government. It was sort of like having ambassadors to the Federal Government, but with the power to vote for the State's interests. Later, we changed that by constitutional amendment to make the position elected. Herein be the rub. Now, people are upset that high population states only get two senators, just like low population states.
Vermont’s 625,000 residents have two United States senators, and so do New York’s 19 million. That means that a Vermonter has 30 times the voting power in the Senate of a New Yorker just over the state line — the biggest inequality between two adjacent states. The nation’s largest gap, between Wyoming and California, is more than double that.
Now, remember. The idea was to have one chamber of the legislative branch where the people were represented, called interestingly enough the House of Representatives. Then there was a chamber, an equal partner in the legislative branch, called the Senate. That was where the STATES that make up the United States were represented. In both cases, the allocation of representation is fair. You can't have less than one Representative. So several states have just one Representative in the House. Wyoming mentioned above, is one of those states. They have Two senators to see to the interests of the people, and one representative in the house to speak on behalf of the people.
The push now is obvious. It isn't fair that California with all those people get just two Senators, the same as Wyoming with fewer people than you'll find in Fresno. Guys, there is a reason that the system is set up the way it is. There is a reason this nation has lasted for so long. It's because we compromised and set up a system where both the interests of the State, and the interest of the people, could be debated, and considered. Now, apparently that is no longer fair to the NY Times and several deep thinkers. People who want to get their way, and can't with the current system. Compromise to a Liberal is you give up and agree with them.
Symbols can be powerful images to inspire, create a sense of fear, or even intended to give one a sense of historical events. The United States Flag for example. There is one star for each state, representing the individual states we all come from, and how we are all symbolically united into one nation. The thirteen stripes symbolize the origins, the original thirteen colonies that broke away, and defeated the most powerful nation on earth, Great Britain.
The Eagle, as a symbol is well known. So many symbols, so many meanings that it is likely that you don't know a third of them, I know I am not aware of all the meanings of all the symbols.
Some symbols are ones from history that come with fear, or anger. The Nazi symbols. The KKK and the burning cross are ones that have very negative emotions attached.
So here is the story. John Brennan was sworn in as the new head of the CIA. That's right, John Brennan is the new Director of the CIA. So no big deal, people are sworn into jobs all the time right? In this case, instead of a family bible, or some other item, he picked the original draft of the Constitution with notes and annotations from George Washington on it. What a stirring symbolic picture, with Teddy Roosevelt in the background.
Only the Constitution that John Brennan has his hand on is the one that was in effect prior to the Bill of Rights. So in our current political climate, where people are questioning the administrations judgement on the Civil Liberties guaranteed by that sacred document. John Brennan the Director of the CIA was sworn in on the version of the Constitution without any amendments.
Well, it is symbolic. Anytime the Federal Government decides, and not the President, or a director of anything. I'm talking some Federal Agent deciding. Anytime they decide, you could possibly be a threat, then they invoke National Security, and the PATRIOT ACT, and you don't have any rights. So the head of the National Intelligence effort, which is under fire for violating the Civil Liberties of the people, is sworn in on a document that says those people don't have any Civil Liberties.
Not in my backyard. That phrase was made famous during debates on where to put things that people want. Power plants for example. Everyone wants electricity to work when they turn something on, but nobody wants a power plant in their neighborhood. So everyone wants the Government to reduce spending, but not on any program or project that they personally benefit from. The poor and elderly want no changes to welfare, social security, medicare, or any other program that benefits them. The people who work in or for the Defense industry don't want any cuts to that, because it benefits them. School teachers demand more federal money for their program, despite the fact that additional money has never increased the amount of education that children get.
In the end, the Federal Budget continues to grow, because nobody will give up what they personally have. And they want even more of what they have. For generations we have always satisfied the demands of the people by printing more money. In the end, the world is doomed because of the collective greed of the people.
Even the Green tech that the liberals love suffers from the same problem. They want wind generators, but not in the areas they live in. The famous example was the wind farm off the Kennedy compound in Massachusetts. Sure the Kennedy clan was all in favor of alternative energy, but just not where they liked to go yachting. In other words, not in my backyard.
The bad part is, it isn't only the public utilities, like power, that are used this way. The poor normally suffer the worst, having their houses, and towns ravaged by Eminent Domain to benefit those with the power. The rich, and the politically connected. It isn't the Republicans that have the market cornered either. In Michigan, under the Democratic Governor Granholm, when the state was majority Democratic in every elected office, a black neighborhood was slated for destruction for a Golf Course and associated golf living.
Power plants, industrial areas, even Prisons face the same hurdles. Things people want or need, they don't want near them. Modern Prisons are as close as possible to escape proof. Yet even with that simple fact, nobody wants one near them, in case they say, something goes horribly wrong. Yet we also want society protected, and the guilty punished for their transgressions. So we build prisons farther and farther from the towns. Airports follow this same trend.
So what is the answer? There isn't one. Getting people to accept that the things they want for the benefits also come with some negatives is beyond unlikely to impossible.
In the end, we are doomed as a civilization, because we won't do anything that causes us personally, any difficulty.
Liberals argue that only the Police should have "assault weapons" which in this case, actually are assault weapons because the police possess fully automatic rifles. Also Liberals argue that only police should have high capacity magazines, because the police are there to protect us.
First, who meets the criminal first? Criminals generally don't target police, and if they do then the cops go crazy to find the guy. Look at the case of Christopher Dorner. This was the largest manhunt in California history. There were plenty of people who murdered far more people than Christopher Dorner, but they apparently did not deserve the largest manhunt in history. No, that was saved for someone who was targeting the police. In other words, when THEY are in danger, there is no limit to the effort to get the baddie, even burning a house down with him in it ala old west style vengeance.
The beltway sniper did not garner as extensive a manhunt because the criminal did not target police. I know the argument, if the baddie will go after cops, there's no telling what he will do to the civilian population. Really? Dorner didn't kill everyone he came across, he targeted police and those family members associated with the cops. If I was in the area, I'd feel just safe as could be, unless one of the cops shot me, because Dorner didn't want me dead, he wanted the boys in blue dead. Dorner took civilians hostage, and held them. He did not kill them, he was going after what he perceived to be the real bad guys, the cops. It would have been far easier for him to kill the couple he took hostage. It would have been far safer for him. They were not his enemy, but they didn't understand that.
That aside, generally speaking, criminals don't target cops, which probably explains why cops don't get too excited about most crimes against you and your family. So the cops need high capacity magazines, because they deal with criminals, but the criminals aren't going after cops, so if it is the presence of criminals, and the threat from criminals that is the justification, then don't we need high capacity magazines to protect ourselves?
The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the police did not have a constitutional duty to protect a person from harm, even a woman who had obtained a court-issued protective order against a violent husband making an arrest mandatory for a violation.
So the law of the land is that the cops have no constitutional duty to protect you, your family, or anyone. As far as the courts are concerned, you're on your own, but you should not, according to the liberals, have any means to protect yourself.
So what does Assault Rifles, defined as fully automatic rifles in the hands of government agents do to protect you? Nothing much really, because what it does do is give them a cornered market, and make you even more of a victim.
No, I don't think I'll support this gun control, or what they're calling it now, Common Sense Gun Regulations. Pfui. When they have a duty to protect me, then I'll consider it. Until then, no thanks.
I was in the Army in 1992, when Bill Clinton was elected President. That dates me, I know. One of the discussion we had had, with our officers, was a political movement, even before then, that women may be allowed in Combat Arms units, including the one I was in. I was a Combat Engineer, and that job was rough. Long marches with heavy packs, long runs, and quite often, exceedingly difficult physical activity.
An example may be in order. One of the jobs of the engineers is to build a fence out of concertina wire. The most common is called a Triple Standard Concertina Fence. For that fence, you drive a metal stake called a picket into the ground every five meters, or paces. This driving is not done with a sledge hammer, it is done with a device called a picket pounder. The picket pounder is locally manufactured. In other words, welded together by your local mechanics. It is usually a steel pipe, with steel tubes attached as handles, and a thick steel plate welded at one end. Ours weighed about forty pounds. You slipped this over the end of the picket your partner was holding, and then rapidly, and with great force slid it up and then powered it down. The pounder drove the picket into the ground. In normal dirt, like in the forest of Fort Bragg, you could do this with three or four hard blows. Then you lifted this forty pound item, held it on your helmet like people hold baskets in third world countries, and moved to the next picket. After the second picket, your shoulders burned, and after five or six, you were breathing very hard. It was a lot of work, and it required pure upper body strength to do it. You are talking about hundreds of pickets in some fences. Everyone is working hard, lifting weight, toghether, and fast. Because time is a precious commodity in a combat arms unit. You are training for when you're doing the task in combat. And in combat, the enemy is not going to wait until you are finished to attack.
This is of course, but one example of the tasks that exist in those combat arms units. Building bridges, another Engineer task, is done by hand, with teams carrying items weighing hundreds of pounds.
This is a Canadian Engineer team building a bridge that I have worked on more than once. It is heavy, hard, and often exhausting work.
Am I saying that women can't do that? Not at all. But the truth is that perhaps one in six, or even one in ten men can do it. You have to like the feeling of your joints straining. You have to enjoy the pain to do these jobs well, and safely. If you drop your portion of the load, your mates will have to pick up your share, chances are they'll be unable to hold it, and someone will possibly lose a foot or hand to the sudden dropping of the load.
Now, sometimes you have to breach that wire fence. If you have time, you crawl up to it and cut it with a wire. If you have the right equipment, you use explosives to blow the wire away and create a safe path. But sometimes, you have to body breech the wire. That means you throw yourself onto the wire, creating a bridge with your own body for your mates to run across. No, the low man on the totem pole does not get picked automatically. You have to want to do it, you may need several breaches to get the infantry into the objective. Everyone has to be willing, and everyone will do it in training, because it teaches you that sacrafice for the group is your task, and your mission. Now your clothes help some. But you're going to be stuck, and cut up by the concertina. Razor wire would probably cut you to pieces, and you may die before your friends can get you out of the wire.
I still have a smattering of small light colored speckles that are the remanants of scars I picked up doing things like that. I've got those light discolorations on my hands, from working with the wire, and getting cut up by things that are not as user friendly as one might wish.
I know what you're thinking. Why mention this? Because you have two choices. You can maintain the current physical standards, which means that any women who go into those units will have to meet or exceed the same physical and psychological requirements that men meet. Do I think they can do it? Absolutely some women can do it. I was re classed and spent some time in a training unit. There, as a Sergeant, a female soldier took the Physical Training Test the same day I did. She not only met the male requirements in Push Ups, and Sit Ups. She beat me in the run by more than three minutes. Was this shocking to me? Not at all. I'd already met women who were exceptionally athletic and able to do more of some tasks than I was. My point to this is not that she was the norm, she was not the norm. The norm of female soldiers was still straggling in when I had stretched out after the run. This PFC was exceptional, and she would have done well in a Combat Arms unit. She was one woman out of five hundred military women.
If you maintain the current physical standards, than one woman out of a hundred will qualify for Combat Arms. Now the problem is that you will see people claiming discrimination, and it isn't fair that they are held to the same standard as men when their bodies are biologically different not by choice, but by nature. To a certain extent, that is true. There are different physical standards for women in recognizing this truth. Age also slows people down, so the requirement is adjusted for age, and gender for the Army. But we are talking about Combat Arms. There isn't a work around to help the women in Combat. There isn't a lower wall on the obstacle course. The bridge section isn't going to be marked female carry and be made lighter. It is heavy because it must hold a tank up when a tank drives across it.
But, it is also true that every single person in that unit must pull their weight, and you can't have people who are sent off to do security at every single tasking. That creates resentment, and anger among those who are pulling their weight. If someone is injured, temporarily unable, the troops understand. If that person is not injured, and is just unable, or unwilling. The troops get surly, and resentful. One of the things that makes a unit work is everyone doing the same things together.
I can't imagine how the crew of a submarine will work. You are talking about a hundred people using five bathrooms. Living inches away from their shipmates. Sitting hip to hip on a bench to eat meals. The first woman in that situation, using your average modern woman, will be screaming sexual harassment within three days. It will take a very special woman, one in a thousand military women, to tolerate that environment.
So what do I think should be the case? I think the standards must be maintained. I always have thought that. I think some situations should be unisex, merely because of the close living arrangements. An all female submarine crew would not have the same issues a mixed crew living in 18 inches would have. Yes, you read that right. The average crewman, if he gets his own bunk, some have to share. Those crew members get 18 inches of space between the top of their bunk, and the bottom of the one above. Space is just too precious on a submarine to waste it.
I could never be a submariner. The close proximity of other people all the time would get on my nerves, and drive me mad. A ship would be bad enough, but on a submarine you're never alone. Someone is always two feet away, at the most.
So do I think there are opportunities for women in Combat Arms? Yes I do. I think that a few women will exceed the standards, and more will meet the standards. But I think that those women will be, much like the men, the exceptions to the term average soldier.