Serious Thoughts on Syria

So we now have speculative proof that chemical weapons have been used in Syria. By whom is still in debate, and that is the main reason why we should not launch a campaign in Syria. We have no idea who to campaign against. But there is another, more compelling reason why we should not go into Syria. The fact that chemical weapons were used at all.

What?! I thought the “red line” of using chemical weapons should be the catalyst for action, not inaction?!

Allow me to explain.

What does use of chemical weapons say about the person who used them? That they are inhuman animals? Murdering psychopaths? That their objectives permit the use of disgusting, indiscriminate weapons of mass death and mayhem? Yes, all of those things.

And if that person knew that an attack might come, as they certainly do, would that person have any problem at all storing chemical weapons in civilian facilities? Absolutely not.

So don’t you think that whoever that person is has stored their sensitive munitions close to schools, hospitals, mosques? And don’t you also think that, if we were to engage those targets, even with remote missile strikes, that the destruction would be used to further inflame anti-American tensions?

Do you think that person, who used chemical weapons, weapons that cause the violent, tortured death of innocent people, would have any problem using images of “death by American missile” to agitate his followers, even after arranging the very situation that led to those images of death?

A horrific as the use of chemical weapons is, we have no business getting involved in Syria. Even if we knew who used them, striking likely storage sites will get innocent blood on American hands. And what’s needed to strike storage sites without getting blood on our hands? Boots on the ground. How’s that “smart diplomacy” working now?

A World Where Color Means Nothing

On this 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “Dream” speech, I am saddened at the state of race relations in the United States. Not because racism still exists, but because there is a group of people who have made an industry out of racism, who have a vested interest in maintaining and inflaming racial tension.

For those people, color means everything. All issues, discussions, conflicts, and actions must be viewed through the prism of color. This is antithetical to what Dr. King envisioned.

But I am also hopeful. I am hopeful because of the rise of new media and its ability to expose the hypocrisy and venom of the race mongers. I am hopeful that the voice of new media will overcome the bias and corruption of those who insist on using color as the first basis of judgement. I am hopeful that the future is one where cries of racism are no longer used to defend destructive behavior.

Oh, the race mongers are going to fight. After all, they’ve made quite a living peddling misery, poverty, and hate. But I believe that time is coming to an end. Race mongers will soon be relegated to history. And in their place?

A world where color means nothing.

Flakes on a Plane

I don’t make a habit of listening to other people’s conversations when flying, but this particular discussion was pretty hard to ignore, considering it was so loud you couldn’t concentrate on anything else.

A young, male college student was having a conversation with a young mother who had her infant in her lap. They talked about random family and baby things, then the college student asked the young mother what her husband did for a living. When she told him he had a fracking business, the college student proceeded to shame her for having a hand in the destruction of the environment at the altar of profit. It is a shame you see to provide for your wife and newborn baby when it harms the planet.

Fracking was bad. The Keystone pipeline was bad. Dams were bad. Basically anything other than green energy was bad.

As the conversation unfolded, I found myself fantasizing about what I would say to the young, male college student, given the opportunity to do so. Here is what I developed:

Let me ask you a few questions if you don’t mind…

With or without a pipeline, the oil from Canada is being transported. Do you know how it is being transported?

By train.

Do you know what railroad is used?

Burlington Northern Southern Freight

Do you know what entity owns Burlington Northern?

Berkshire Hathaway.

Do you know what very rich man is at the helm of Berkshire Hathaway?

Warren Buffet

Do you know what political party Warren Buffet supports?

The Democrat party.

And what party is obstructing construction of the Keystone pipeline?

The Democrat party.

And isn’t that interesting how a very rich man supports the party that is making sure the oil from Canada is transported on his railroad?

Now, I want you to do some research. I want you to research which mode of transportation is more environmentally friendly, rail or pipe. And when you find that pipe is more environmentally friendly, I want you to ask yourself why the Democrat party is obstructing a more environmentally friendly pipeline. Could it be that obstruction is in the interest of one of their most wealthy supporters? Isn’t that interesting?

And before you go off and say we shouldn’t be using oil at all. I have some more questions for you:

The blades on a windmill are made from resins and fibers. Do you know what raw material is used to make those resins and fibers?


The generator in a windmill uses all kinds of lubrication and fancy things made from rare earth minerals. Do you know what raw material is used to make that lubrication?


Do you know what powers the machines that dig up and transport the rare earth minerals?


Windmills are painted a nice, bland shade of gray Do you know what raw material is used to make that paint?


So as you continue your journey westward on this giant, oil burning airplane, you have a lot to think about don’t you?


What the Zimmerman Verdict Means

Those who lament the not guilty verdict remain fixated on skin color. The only reason this confrontation resulted in a trial at all is because it could be framed as profiling, as if profiling is bad, and turned into an opportunity to agitate one color against another. Pitiful.

What is forgotten or ignored is what the not guilty verdict means. It means that you cannot violently beat someone without fear of consequence. Regardless of why another person is following you, you cannot choose to turn against them and hammer them with your fists and expect nothing bad to happen to you.

For the sake of discussion, I’ll concede the point that profiling is bad. I don’t think it is, but just for the moment, let’s say it is. And let’s also concede that Zimmerman was profiling Trayvon. That he recognized an anomaly in his neighborhood and decided to investigate. Trayvon still chose to confront Zimmerman, chose to harm the man who was following him. He didn’t have to do that. He chose to. And in choosing to do so he set in motion the path that led to the not guilty verdict and what that verdict means.

You cannot choose to commit bodily harm without fear of consequence. Sometimes that consequence is your death. Consider the consequence before you make the choice.

Resist: Display Your Flag Today

It is understandably easy to be overcome by America’s present situation. A leader who seems to think it is perfectly acceptable to change and ignore laws he doesn’t care for, even when they are his own laws (see Obamacare waiver for Obamacare requirement to implement business mandate by 2014 and unilateral declaration of war against Lybia). Add to that this leader’s cabinet members duly implementing their own agendas irregardless of what’s desired by or best for Americans (see EPA coal emissions regulations, Department of the Interior contempt of court denials of oil exploration leases, IRS stonewalling of discrimination discovery, Attorney General in contempt of Congress for stonewalling discovery in regards to Fast and Furious and Benghazi, etc).

In this climate, I have seen some people declare that they are not celebrating Independence Day this year. They will not be displaying their flag. That we are no longer America.

To those people I ask, “What is America?” Is it the lawless actions of a few privileged people? Or is it the unwavering spirit of freedom that cannot ever be destroyed, even if the society created to protect it is being shaken to its core?

Those who are whittling away at America as a beacon of freedom want nothing more than to see no flags today, to see evidence that they are breaking the American spirit, that our warriors have nothing left to fight for, that those who paid the ultimate price, did so in vain.

Well, I won’t let them have my spirit. I will fly my flag. I am not broken. I will resist.

To Die or Never to Live

A recent post on the Ace of Spades blog linked to an article at Legal Insurrection detailing a website where you can “out” former vegans. The website proclaims that “The spirits of the billions murdered have risen to deliver: The Vegan Sellout List – an online directory of those who have regressed from moral consistency to moral depravity.” The anti-meat crew apparently thinks that if people didn’t eat meat, wear leather, etc, there would be millions of cows and pigs roaming the landscape.

Allow me to blow your vegan minds:

If people didn’t eat meat, those cows and pigs would never have been born.

You see, livestock is grown for the purpose of consumption. If meat was never going to be eaten, the animals that provide the meat would never exist. There would be no cattle ranches, no pig farms, no chicken coops.

Sure there would be wild animals, but the “billions murdered” would never even exist.

So I have a question for the morally superior, evolved humans that call themselves vegan:

Is it better to live only to die, or never to live at all?

Who Wields the Axe

While running a few errands today I saw a bumper sticker that said I *Heart* Equality. Whenever I hear or see that sentiment I am reminded of the Rush song “The Forest,” which explores a scenario where smaller trees rebel against the oaks for being too tall and taking too much light. The song concludes with the lyric:

For they passed a noble law,
And the trees are all kept equal
By hatchet, axe, and saw.

Equality is a fantasy. Even if we lived in a world where every single person was born with the same abilities and mental capacity, the geography of the planet will create unequal results. Are we going to bulldoze the entire planet? Drain the oceans? Flood the landscape? It’s complete stupidity.

The only way to achieve “equality” is to force everyone to the same level, to shove us all into the same mold. Equality through control. And therein lies the problem.

Since equality is not natural, it must be made. But who does the making?

In a world where all are equal,
there is still one above all,
the one who wields the axe.

And So We Weep

The emotion is overwhelming.

I’m working to build a dream, my own company, a thing I can call my own, while men in thousand dollar suits sit around planning how to crush it all. They eat filet for lunch while I have a cold cut sandwich and they have the gall to think they fight for the little man.

Our warriors are dying in strange places, trying to keep us safe. From what?! From those who mean us harm? Does it not harm us to have others tell us we don’t deserve what we have? That we must have it taken from us to be given to others? That we don’t deserve the freedom to protect ourselves, to defend our homes, to worship what we want to, and to speak freely?

Does it not harm us to have people deny IRS applications because they don’t like a name?

To leave soldiers to die because it wouldn’t be good for an election?

To have a reporter fraudulently called a criminal co-conspirator so you can spy on him?

What is happening to us? What is happening to me? What is happening to America?

I try to let it all pass me by, but it eats at my soul, hurts my heart.

Can it be stopped?

Will there be anything left?

And so we weep.

Off With Their Hands!

As we still find ourselves wading through anti-gun legislation, primarily at the state level at least for the moment, I thought it would be good to share my take on an interesting conversation I recently had with an anti-gun young man. He was quite confirmed in his belief that guns are stupid to have generally available and that they should be banned from public use. So I made the usual argument regarding gun bans and their lack of influence on criminal gun possession and use, effectively making the law abiding subject to the now physically more powerful criminal. He still stuck to his guns (see what I did there).

So rather than giving up the argument, I switched strategies. I conceded the gun ban angle and had us imagine a world without guns at all, none, zero. And I asked him if bad people would still exist in that world. Yes. And those bad people will still want to do bad things. Yes. And now that guns don’t exist, what do you think those bad people will use to do bad things? Sticks maybe?

So. Now guns are banned. No one has guns. But now bad people are beating people with big sticks so they can take their money. What should we do now?

Ban sticks.

Ban sticks?

Ok, let’s ban sticks. Tell you what, let’s ban everything. Nobody has anything. Do bad people still exist? Yes. And those bad people will still do bad things? Yes. And now that everything is banned, what will those bad people use to do bad things?

I put my hands in front of me and made two fists.

Give and Take

On April 8th I posted my thoughts following an exchange between my wife and a friend regarding Republican vs Democrat party affiliation where the Democrat supporter summarized her position along the lines of, “The government’s going to take my money anyway, and I’d rather support the party that gives some back to the poor.”

In my April 8th article, I countered that position by asking why giving someone money is so noble. It erodes self worth and fosters bitterness toward one’s own situation and resentment toward those who perpetuate that situation by subsidizing it.

But later I had another revelation about support of the party that claims to care, it’s one thing to vote to give and quite another to vote to take. I think if I were faced with this discussion, I would congratulate the Democrat supporter on their desire to give to those in need, but I would ask how they feel about people voting for Democrats because they get something out of the deal. They don’t cast that vote because they care. They cast it because they want. It’s an entirely different paradigm.

Then, faced with this perspective, I would ask the Democrat supporter if they’re as enthusiastic about a Democrat vote knowing that many Democrat supporters only do so because they are given things, not because of a moral high ground.

Further I would reiterate to the Democrat supporter that while they feel they are doing the right thing by voting to give to those who need, they are also voting to take from those who have. It’s one thing to give voluntarily and quite another to be forced to do so. The argument can be made that the people who don’t voluntarily give are morally inferior to those who do, but that doesn’t excuse giving license to the government to take.

It’s all about give. And take.