Tuesday, December 29, 2015

SOCIAL COMMENTARY: Tamir Rice Shooting is Tragic but NOT an "Injustice" by Definition

The death of a twelve-year-old child is a tragedy regardless of circumstance. Tamir Rice's death is a tragedy.

Is it really appropriate, or reasonable, however, to suggest that it's another example of an unjustified killing of a civilian by police?

A grand jury decided that charges cannot be filed against the police officer that shot Tamir Rice. Clearly, they decided that the officer's actions were reasonable based on all of the circumstances at the scene.

On social media, however, many seem to disagree, insisting that this is yet another example of the disproportionately-high number of non-Caucasian civilians gunned-down by police in America. You know, the alleged original purpose of the Black Lives Matter movement: to bring this disproportionately-high statistic into view for all to see.

Yes, this is an example of a non-Caucasian individual being gunned-down by police.

But can we really hold it against an officer to arrives to a scene where a 5'7", 175lb individual is brandishing a pellet gun that STRONGLY RESEMBLES a real one? What, is it unrealistic that a 5"7, 175lb man might NOT be brandishing a weapon? That when asked to raise his hands - not once, not twice, but three times - he instead reached for the gun at his waist ... did he think that the police were kidding?

Well, turns out that he was a twelve-year-old kid who must not have known any better.

But can we hold that against the police arriving at the scene?

Folks seem to think so - I can't scroll through a Facebook feed of postings without seeing something about the topic many times daily - and I only follow the posts of about four hundred people, the vast majority of whom are fairly inactive. More realistically, we'll presume that I only see the posts of up to twenty people routinely and daily, who are also a demographically-diverse sample size. And we're only talking Facebook here. That's not counting Instagram, Twitter, and the whole slew of available social media outlets used by millions online.

So yeah, I've got something to say, because I'm reminded every time I scroll through social media that too many folks are under the mistaken impression that JUSTICE HASN'T BEEN SERVED:

Maybe instead of demanding that people get outraged at a supposed LACK OF JUSTICE in the death of a civilian who happened to be a twelve-year-old, who decided to brandish a toy that strongly resembled a deadly weapon, and who refused to comply with police directions that were clear and were repeated multiple times ... MAYBE WE NEED TO GET OUTRAGED THAT WE ARE CRITICIZING LAW ENFORCEMENT WHOSE JOB IS TO MAINTAIN ORDER IN A DISORDERLY WORLD when unfortunate circumstances happen, such as people MAKING POOR CHOICES.

I am not blaming a twelve-year-old and/or supposing that he should have known better.

But I am SURE NOT BLAMING A POLICE OFFICER DOING HIS JOB, either.

And I'm not suggesting that human error isn't a factor - perhaps in both the officer and the victim.

A tragedy is a tragedy, period.

But let's stop lumping this one in as a FAILURE OF JUSTICE, as movements such as the Black Lives Matter movement would have you believe.

It isn't.

Plain and simple.

And the more that protestors and civilians who claim INJUSTICE insist on shoving those claims down others' throats, such as in social media, the more of us who exercise logic, who look at the entirety of the situation and realize this is a TRAGEDY but not an INJUSTICE, will resist and question the claims of those who relentlessly protest at every possible opportunity, and who prove daily that we are living in an every-growing VICTIMHOOD SOCIETY.


|JD Sandy|

Thursday, December 3, 2015

SOCIAL COMMENTARY: To Each Their Own, But STOP Challenging OTHERS' Choice of FAITH

I have absolutely no objection to the godless. I mean that sincerely and honestly.

I DO object to godless individuals who insist upon questioning others' choice of faith.

If you haven't encountered the latter type of atheist, consider yourself lucky. Social media being as rampant as it is, they're out there.

Is there ANYTHING less productive that one could POSSIBLY do with their time than to challenge and question others' choice to have faith in powers greater than the human self?

Why use social media to cite denouncement of the notion of a God in which many, many folks find strength in faith?

To the mouthy, self-righteous, faith-is-stupid-and-I-need-you-to-know-it breed of atheists out there:

Look, it's your choice to use your human logic in whatever manner you choose, and in whatever matters you choose - that's a healthy, sane approach to life in general.

But there are questions that span time and human history, and there is a reason that belief in deities has been with us for all of that time.

Now, if you take pleasure and pride in feeling that you've transcended that kind of thinking (faith, in contrast to logic, when it comes to those unanswerable questions), kudos to you.

But you have no place to think that it's in any sort of good taste to tell others how they shouldn't pursue faith. Or to make them feel stupid or na├»ve for doing so. Or for expressing your belief that they're 'copping out.'

It's about hope for a lot of people who otherwise see despair. Something that gives hope, in a world with so much disparity. Is whatever purpose these faith-is-stupid-and-I-need-you-to-know-it breed of atheists derive from citing a lack of logic in the proposition of an omnipotent deity MORE IMPORTANT than hope for a world of people?

Maybe it's an expression of frustration in lieu of the idea that politicians sometimes take the opportunity to characterize atheism as immoral. Maybe you just believe that everyone's beliefs should be challenged. Or maybe you just like the sound of your own voice.

Tact & couth are two concepts that are QUICKLY DISAPPEARING these days.

Let's try and keep it classy, America.

SOCIAL COMMENTARY: Why I'm Saying MERRY CHRISTMAS to EVERYONE Without Shame

It's customary to say "happy holidays." To be all-inclusive. To be anything BUT exclusive of anyone's preferences. That's the thing now, America.

You know what else is customary? Freedom of belief. Freedom to celebrate my religion.

It's not about dogma.

It's not about whether I follow the ten commandments or steer-clear of the deadly sins in my day-to-day life.

It's about my freedom to celebrate what the teachings of Christ mean to me.

I'm prepared this season to put the CHRIST back in CHRISTMAS and I'm not afraid to show it.

I'm going to follow my faith whether or not you like it. I'm going to celebrate my faith in the teachings of Christ by celebrating the birth of the teacher of those teachings, and I don't mind if you find it ignorant of me to say "Merry Christmas" to everyone around me.

You're welcome to "Happy Hanukkah" or "Happy Kwanzaa" me to death; I'll gladly smile and nod in return. Good for you, for choosing to celebrate!

And, as is customary lately,

"-END RANT-"

SOCIAL COMMENTARY: LGBTQ Community & Allies: "Hero" Doesn't Necessarily Equate to ADMIRABLE PERSON - on Caitlyn Jenner

Back in June, when Jenner appeared on the cover of Vanity and we all read the words "Call Me Caitlyn," folks were abuzz about Jenner's transition to a public female trans identity.

I wasn't surprised by folks' defense of Jenner's bravery in going through what all it must take to make such a transition and such a public statement, nor was I surprised by the backlash when the trans community and its allies, and really the broader generalized LGBTQ community, heralded Jenner a "hero." I was quick to defend this notion of what a "hero" can be when a lot of what I'll generalize as less-progressive-lifestyle-tolerant individuals made comparisons between a war hero and someone I considered to be a potential hero for many within the trans community and its allies. Of many remarks I made in social media, here are a few:

"What I have a [hard] time understanding why people seem so hung-up on a non-cisgender person being depicted as a hero for a non-cisgender community. Heroism [can come] in all shapes and sizes, literally and metaphorically."

"One type of heroism doesn't make another invalid, regardless of what community, and the set of beliefs/values it benefits ... as though [being a hero], as perceived by different [communities &] interest groups may only exist in mutual exclusivity."

"Why isn't [one cannot] be a hero if they are not a hero for you personally, if they're not SPECIFICALLY a dead soldier, a wounded warrior, or a militia hero?"

Well, I've had some time to look back on my statements.

And they're not untrue.

When I consider the notion of a hero, I first turn to a textbook definition. Google the word "hero." You get the following: "A person ... who is admired or idolized for courage, outstanding achievementsor  noble qualities."

Does it take courage to proclaim that you identify as a trans male or trans female? Absolutely. Does it take courage to go through a physical transformation at over sixty years of age as drastic as Jenner's, which involved medications and surgeries? Absolutely. Is that a reality, the prospect of medications and physical alterations via surgical intervention, for many in the trans community? Absolutely.

Is Jenner inspirational to many within the trans community and its allies, and also to many outside of those communities? Without a question, for a lot of people, yes. I'm not challenging that, refuting that claim, or denying it.

But it's been months since that June Vanity Fair cover,  and there's a lot to be taken into consideration about Jenner and the folks to whom we subscribe through social media, television, awards shows, the choices of who we idolize and for what reasons, and those to whom we as a society give media attention, whether praise or demonization...

To the people of the trans community, of the greater LGBTQ community, & to the allies as such, take heed: 

Before we go any further in praise, let's take some time to consider whether this is really an admirable person we're allowing to continue to make headlines. Because whether it's hero worship or demonization, I mean the media attention and credit we've given to a media household name, whether in a positive or negative light while we did it, we should consider whether this person some of us call a "hero" for a community, to whom GLAMOUR MAGAZINE gave a WOMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD, is really a particularly admirable person.

Jenner, in the public eye, and presumably smart-enough to know EXACTLY THE SIGNIFICANCE OF WHAT ONE SAYS WHEN IN THE PUBLIC EYE since Jenner is a former OLYMPIC ATHLETE who has been IN AND OUT OF HEADLINES FOR YEARS, claimed in a Buzzfeed interview that the hardest part of being a woman is "figuring out what to wear." Right AFTER winning a Woman of the Year award with Glamour Magazine. Feminists everywhere went wild. And I have to agree with them. This is a real smack in the face for survivors of domestic abuse, sexual assault, institutionalized oppression, ... the list goes on.

This attitude toward women hits even HARDER given that Jenner spent the majority of his adult life as a RICH MAN.

There's that drinking-related incident that resulted in the death of another driver, where Jenner could have faced charges of misdemeanor manslaughter, but the prosecution found that they did not believe they could prove beyond reasonable doubt that Jenner was reckless-enough in speed to make the potential charge stick.

Lastly, let's consider that Jenner has allegedly been living with this 'secret' trans identity for years, as do select family members attest, and it's at least interesting to note that Jenner picked a time when LGBTQ issues of equality & tolerance have been among the forefront issues in social media, legislation, and national buzz, in the last few years, to begin this public transition and new identity as a trans woman. Speculation? Sure. But you decide.

We might all have differing opinions as to what makes an ADMIRABLE PERSON, but allies of the trans community, of the broader LGBTQ community and its allies, let's not make the mistake of fancying someone ADMIRABLE on the sheer basis that some aspect of their identity is inspirational, or perhaps even worthy of being labeled 'heroic,' for a community.

A hero may take many forms, but one of them is not always that of an admirable person.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

POLITICS: San Bernardino - Embrace the Second Amendment, America

America, regarding today's killing of 14 and wounding of 17 more at a holiday party for county health workers in San Bernardino, CA, where the details of the assailants, other than a single name, are not yet being released to the public, where it is currently "unclear" as to whether these were "terrorist" attacks, and where a BAND OF ARMED INDIVIDUALS who appear to have been PREPARED TO FACE LAW ENFORCEMENT & RETALIATORY FORCE once they began unloading their arsenal:

America, it's time to stop debating the intricacies of these shooting incidents. The number of fatalities due to mass shooting incidents here in America in 2015 supersedes the number of days we've had to date in the current calendar year 2015.

It's time to stop talking about whether it was terrorists, whether or not it was US citizens, and what constitutes "terrorism," either foreign or domestic. It's time to stop considering the ethnicity, the color and creed, of the shooters, and of the victims, too.

It's time to stop talking about whether we need more scrupulous gun control legislation and mandates. We don't even wholly enforce the ones we currently have in practice - so it's pointless to debate about whether or not we should stiffen gun control.

To the truly simple-minded: it's also pointless to continue to kick around the idea of banning guns... that's called the Second Amendment, and it protects us from that liberty being stripped.

It's time to stop waiting for the President of our great United States to declare specifics in an address to the public. As has been meticulously noted today by the press, the best you're going to get from him is "something must change." Yes, indeed, something... but folks, you're not going to hear specifics in a public address following an incident.

It's time for liberals to stop b*tching that the NRA is making a fortune from these mass shootings as second amendment proponents gear-up, and others give it consideration.

It's called the Second Amendment. It's called capitalism. It's called liberty.

It's also time for liberals and conservatives alike to stop debating whether or not the way to tackle this problem of mass shootings is to view it as more significantly a mental health problem or a gun control problem.

So how about an armed public. Damage and loss of life occurs because there is no possible way that authorities can respond to an active shooter before loss of life occurs, or be guaranteed to be in close proximity to where a potential shooting may erupt. Let's face it - a potential shooting is ANYWHERE. It's gotten dire. It's becoming illogical to presume that we can afford to risk our lives waiting for a sufficient response from the proper authorities (i.e. law enforcement) when these incidents unfold - significant loss of life is a given when we have to wait. Especially when it is a premeditated attack, as details of today's incident in San Bernardino seem to conclude, resulting in a heavily-armed band of gunmen producing a profound loss of life.

Are you REALLY willing to risk it, to say that you didn't put a couple bucks in the NRA's pocket? Folks, is the NRA really the enemy here?

Does it REALLY matter WHO is committing the mass murder when the bullets start flying? Do you fancy the notion of being waiting sheep in the name of public order?

Do you REALLY THINK that these gunmen prescribe to laws and public order, seeing as they're committing murder?

Do you think that the FOLKS IN THOSE ROOMS TODAY gave two cared at all whether the guns being aimed at them were legally-obtained through the appropriate channels by individuals with appropriate permits? Do you think they were contemplating the shooter's appearance, passing judgment on their ethnicity, wondering if they were God-fearing red-blooded Americans, or terrorists disguised as refugees, as bullets flew through the air and people around them fell wounded or dead?

No, folks... I'm willing to bet you that if they weren't utterly paralyzed with fear, they were wishing they had something with which to SHOOT BACK.

Let that sink in, folks.

Of all the political, judicial, legislative, social, and other hot-button issues on the table today, folks, it's time to remember that ALL LIFE IS PRECIOUS, and it's time to take measures toward our individual safety. Because it's all going to hell fast, America, and adding additional restrictions to gun ownership isn't taking guns out of the hands of criminals. But a choicefully-armed public might just prevent a tragedy such as this one.

Friday, November 27, 2015

LAW & ORDER: Don't Commit Arson - Even If Your Mayor Gives "Room to Destroy"

It's not often that we don't have a riot over some alleged injustice here in Baltimore, but when we don't, it's because some kid set a business ablaze and law-abiding citizens are nodding their heads in approval as the hand of justice makes an example of him.

Words of advice: Don't commit arson - even if your mayor gives you "room to destroy."

I realize I'm about a week late in blogging, but I just have to share one good thing I've seen come from the rioting in Baltimore that has tarnished this town for probably the next twenty years far beyond it's previously-glowing charm (that's sarcasm). I give you the guilty conviction and subsequent sentencing of Raymon Carter, 24, of Baltimore, to four years in prison, along with an order to pay restitution of $500,000 (yeah, that last part will never happen, but it feels good to read).

The story here: http://foxbaltimore.com/news/local/baltimore-man-sentenced-in-cvs-arson

Because, when you're p*ssed off that cops keep killing people, go to your friendly neighborhood CVS, find the pharmaceutical section, and LIGHT THAT SH*T ABLAZE! That's how ya stick it to The Man!

Well, looks like the man stuck it right back.

How'd they get him?

Well, aside from the surveillance cameras everywhere that filmed him, it was the good neighbors who (following an offer of a reward) identified him, hence paving the way for him to be brought to justice.

Money or no money, I'm glad the good people of the community did the right thing and cooperated with local law enforcement in bringing the culprit to justice, regardless of the incentive.

Speaking of incentives, the following from the above-linked article:

"Officials continue to investigate this and other arsons that happened on April 27, 2015. Anyone with information is urged to call the ATF hotline, 1-888-ATF-FIRE1-888-ATF-FIRE FREE (1-888-283-34731-888-283-3473 FREE). A reward of up to $10,000 is still being offered by the ATF for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any individual responsible for these incidents."

Cheers to justice being served, ladies & gents.

Senseless destruction is not the way to stick it to The Man.

|JDS|

SOCIAL COMMENTARY: No Whining About Working Holidays - You Chose The Employer

My partner and I were making a little early-Christmas-shopping-run through a wholesaler yesterday between Thanksgiving dinner stops (multiple households) and for a moment I felt bad for the glum-looking sales attendant who looked like he was counting the hours and dreading working on the holiday.

The reality is that I have absolutely no idea what was going through his mind, but it did momentarily make me think of the (thankfully minimal) amount of griping I read on social media streams about having to work the holidays.

As though it isn't enough that every Tom, Dick, & Harry have the means to post anything and everything they want, including their opinions on anything and everything they want (myself included!), for the entire world to see in a social media post, any time, day or night - a thing that was utterly unheard-of twenty years ago - it is still, apparently, necessary in this victimhood society in which we live for SOME folks who might have to work a holiday to make sure that EVERYONE watching in their social network knows about it, in an apparent attempt to gripe, rouse sympathy, and make their sad reality known to all who might come across the post.

Unfortunately, working holidays is a sad reality in such worlds as retail.

From the time I was 15, for years thereafter, I worked in retail. So I know how that goes. Practically running a twenty-four hour, 365-day-a-year operation, in my case. It was surprisingly easy to leave retail, incidentally - without having acquired higher education, at that - but even though that's not everyone's experience, I also found that it was also even easier to stay out of retail once I was gone from retail than it was to initially get out of retail. I have to add that I have family members, extended family members, friends, and acquaintances in retail, and upon hearing their stories (you know, the usual) about the perils of working in customer service, have offered them opportunity after opportunity (very similar to the opportunity that was offered to me) to get out of retail and get into one of the many fields that doesn't generally require mandated holiday work. Not one of them has taken me up on an offer - for some reason or another, they somehow believed themselves unqualified, had no interest in what was offered as an alternative to retail, or perhaps found a new & different & unfamiliar environment intimidating. I really don't know the answer. This is just a recount of my own personal experience with retail, getting out of retail, staying out of retail, and offering others a way out of retail. I'm not suggesting that one SHOULD try to get out, or that we don't need folks working at the corner store. Not at all. I'm just saying, if it doesn't work for you, there are options for a great many of us.

The fact is, we choose our employer here in America, generally speaking. In fact, not one of you reading this sentence didn't elect to be employed by your employer. You may have not tried for a different job, you may have found your options limited, you may have had no other option for employment at the time that you accepted your current employment, if circumstances were dire - but you chose to be employed by your current employer, and you continue to choose to be employed so long as you are employed. That's the bottom line. The alternative might be unemployment, but you choose not to be unemployed by remaining employed. For some of you, retail is your employment. And for some, working holidays is a part of employment, whether retail employment or other employment.

And yes, it'd be nice if no one worked holidays and the world shut down on holidays, wouldn't it?

But it's time for a reality check. That's not the case.

You don't have to like it, but it says something about you that you use social media to whine and complain that you have to work on the holiday. It says you're a victim. A victim of The Man. It says you're a proud member of the victimhood society that is America today for far too many!

Instead, I have a proposition. And it's appropriate for Thanksgiving.

Try being thankful for your employment. Be thankful that you had the opportunity to become employed and stay employed, whatever your occupation. Yeah, working holidays sucks, and if you're one of the folks who has to work mandated holidays, I'm sorry. I've been there, and it's a buzzkill. But I promise, if your family has half a brain, any good ol' fashioned work ethic, and/or any thankfulness for your employment, they'll understand that it's a mandated part of employment.

And if you're one of those folks who complains just for the sake of complaining, and/or for the sake of being heard - doesn't the fact that you have the means to post anything and everything you want, including your opinions on anything and everything you want, for the entire world to see in a social media post, any time, day or night - a thing that was utterly unheard-of twenty years ago - couldn't you instead use that ability to show thanks for the fact that you're gainfully employed this holiday season, when there are so many others out there who would like to be and aren't?

Just a thought for tonight.
Happy Holidays, America.

Yours in liberty,
|JDS|
www.JDSandy.com

Monday, October 12, 2015

SOCIAL COMMENTARY: “Indigenous Peoples' Day," because "Columbus Day" is (Apparently) Offensive

If there’s an ugly twist to anything historical (and there always is), it seems to be the responsibility of RADICAL progressives to 1.) Add it to the “I’m offended!” list; 2.) focus upon it & bring it to light by sharing as much as possible with the world (Re-education, if you will), and then 3.) re-name it, or get rid of it, or shame it, or take SOME action, in the name of turning it into a celebration of some wronged minority somewhere.

And that’s what INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ DAY (formerly known as Columbus Day) is all about this year.

Look, I don’t care what you call it. The holiday, that is. Call it whatever you want, but don’t be exclusive if you feel the need to bring the truth of the whole debacle to surface. To be entirely honest, calling it Indigenous Peoples’ Day is well and good, but then it takes the thunder away from the celebration of Europe becoming aware of the New World, setting a series of events into motion that end up ultimately, in part, providing ground for the establishment of colonies here a great many years down the road which would become The United States of America. Calling it INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ DAY just kind-of paves right over the relevance of Columbus’ accidental discovery.

It’s true, as Bill Begelow notes in the Huffington Post blog entry titled TIME TO ABOLISH COLUMBUS DAY, http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/8245158, that “Columbus initiated the trans-Atlantic slave trade, in early 1494, first sending several dozen enslaved Tainos to Spain.” Yeah, there’s another side to Columbus upon which they don’t shed so much light. However, Columbus was a representative of a much bigger entity, and just the same as every one of the LARGEST ENTITIES IN THE WORLD has its underbelly and its ‘dark’ side (hmm… think the CATHOLIC CHURCH AS A GLOBAL ENTITY, for example), MUCH OF HISTORY could be better-represented if we wanted to be more truthful in our teachings of history.

That aside, I have to laugh every time I see ANOTHER ARTICLE about how MISGUIDED it is to continue to celebrate a particular SOMETHING  - and how it is CRUCIAL to either BAN it, or ERASE it, RE-EDUCATE THE WORLD, and then TURN IT INTO A MINORITY CELEBRATION. The RADICAL progressive agenda at work.

We don’t have ENOUGH by which to be offended?!

Bigelow writes, “From the very beginning, Columbus was not on a mission of discovery but of conquest and exploitation – he called his expedition la empresa (the enterprise).” Yep. That’s what they did in 1492, when Columbus (and a great many others) sailed the ocean blue, as the old adage goes. That’s what empires do. Seek to assimilate others to their beliefs, to their thinking, or to get smaller congregations of people to adapt to service the large conglomerate.

As Jack Donovan notes in THE WAY OF MEN (a favorite read of mine), strength is a masculine virtue – the ability to exert one’s will over oneself, nature, and others – and that’s the way of history. A game of strength. That’s the way of civilizations. A game of strength, and of mastery. Those with the strongest mastery of their strength, as Donovan puts it, the strongest “desire and ability to cultivate and demonstrate proficiency in strength,” end up being the masters. Folks, that’s how it works.

You want to celebrate the efforts of those who were enslaved, who resisted in the years that follow? That’s fine, but let’s not treat the enslavement of native people like it’s some UNNATURAL thing. It’s what civilizations do, and have done, throughout time. People in bondage. It is only by today’s societal standards that people in bondage is morally and ethically an issue. So let’s not damn Columbus for doing what wasn’t considered unethical or immoral at that period in history.

Which brings me to my next point. Bigelow writes, “If indigenous peoples’ lives mattered in our society, and if Black people’s lives mattered in our society, it would be inconceivable that we would honor the father of the slave trade with a national holiday.”

REBUTTAL: Sir, we are not honoring “the father of the slave trade” with a national holiday BECAUSE he is the so-called “father of the slave trade.” We are honoring the discovery of the New World given that it eventually provided physical ground for which to establish the colonies that would become, in time, the United States of America. We don’t DISAVOW the man who made the discovery because there was behavior that today’s society considers immoral & unethical. At least, we shouldn’t. But apparently, if we don’t disavow, then we’re saying Black lives don’t matter!? RIDICULOUS.

Bigelow writes “In school-based literature on Columbus, …they’re taught that white people have the right to rule over peoples of color, that stronger nations can bully weaker nations, and that the only voices they need to listen to throughout history are of those powerful white guys like Columbus.”

REBUTTAL: WHAT?!? School-based literature does not TEACH that “white people have the right to rule over peoples of color.” The fact that history SHOWS EXAMPLES of white people ruling over peoples of color is, well, HISTORY. It isn’t teaching what people CURRENTLY have the right to do or not do. That’s why we call it HISTORY (as in PAST occurrences), not EXAMPLES OF PROPER BEHAVIOR AND/OR ETHICS AND/OR MORALITY BY TODAY’S STANDARDS. Let’s be real here. As for “stronger nations can bully weaker nations,” well, yeah, again, HISTORY shows it, but again, it’s called HISTORY, not EXAMPLES OF PROPER BEHAVIOR AND/OR ETHICS AND/OR MORALITY BY TODAY’S STANDARDS. And as for “the only voices they need to listen to throughout history are of those powerful white guys like Columbus,” I’m pretty sure Columbus wasn’t white. I think he was some shade of brown. But in case he WAS white, again, my previous point. Also … I guess, sorry he was white…? Hey… isn’t February still Black History Month here in the USA? Don’t we take a month to specifically listen to non-white voices? Ah, maybe Bigelow forgot about this when he was writing. But hey, whatever…. RACISM, America! RACISM ABOUNDS! YOU’RE OFFENDED, I’M OFFENDED, LET’S ALL BE OFFENDED AND BLAME RACISM!

Last bit from Bigelow upon which I’ll comment, and my personal favorite: “Enough already. Especially now, when the Black Lives Matter movement prompts us to look deeply into each nook and cranny of social life to ask whether our practices affirm the worth of every human being, it’s time to rethink Columbus, and to abandon the holiday that celebrates his crimes.”

REBUTTAL:  Regarding the Black Lives Matter movement, I appreciate what I believe the movement was intended to represent, which is a distinction in the unequal value placed on nonwhite lives versus the lives of white counterparts; that being noted, I will also note that I have been critical of protests in the name of the Black Lives Matter movement in that some have come across strongly resembling the actions of what some would call a hate group. It seems that aspect of the movement doesn't get mentioned much when folks are quick to cite the Black Lives Matter movement as, as Bigelow notes, "prompts us to looking deeply ... to ask whether our practices affirm the worth of every human being." Point noted, Mr. Bigelow, but it does not change the fact that , as I noted earlier, Columbus Day is not intended to be a celebration of ‘crimes;' as I stated, we are not honoring “the father of the slave trade” with a national holiday BECAUSE he is the so-called “father of the slave trade.” We are honoring the discovery of the New World given that it eventually provided physical ground for which to establish the colonies that would become, in time, the United States of America. I just feel that it's counterproductive, and just sounds like a lot of 'getting offended for the sake of being offended' when we get into a tizzy that the moral and ethical standards in 1492 were not congruent with today's societal standards of morality and ethics, when we aim to value life regardless of ethnicity & ethnic background.

Keep at it, progressives! Hold history, despite the fact that it’s called HISTORY, not EXAMPLES OF PROPER BEHAVIOR AND/OR ETHICS AND/OR MORALITY BY TODAY’S STANDARDS, to your standards of proper behavior, “inclusiveness,” ethics, and morality!

And keep calling out ALL THINGS OFFENSIVE!

Cheers,
JD Sandy

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

POLITICS: More "Gun Control" Isn't the Answer!

So… President Obama’s gun regulation proposals are the answer, eh?

The far left, the really extreme left, say, “Take the guns away so that any wackadoo out there who might want to shoot-up a bunch of civilians won’t have the guns to do so!”

It also seems that the mainstream media want us to think that mass-shooters are, by overwhelming majority, white American men, since we practically only get publicity surrounding events where white American men were the shooters. As if to say, ‘The problem can’t be blamed on immigrants, or nonwhites – white American men are the shooters in these mass killing sprees – so eliminate the guns!’

As Ann Coulter denotes in the following segment of her weekly column found at http://www.anncoulter.com/columns/2015-10-07.html :

“The media act as if they're performing a public service by refusing to release details about the perpetrator of the recent mass shooting at a community college in Oregon. But we were given plenty of information about Dylan Roof, Adam Lanza, James Holmes and Jared Loughner.

Now, quick: Name the mass shooters at the Chattanooga military recruitment center; the Washington Navy Yard; the high school in Washington state; Fort Hood (the second time) and the Christian college in California. All those shootings also occurred during the last three years.

The answers are: Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez, Kuwaiti; Aaron Alexis, black, possibly Barbadian-American; Jaylen Ray Fryberg, Indian; Ivan Antonio Lopez, Hispanic; and One L. Goh, Korean immigrant.

The perpetrator of the latest massacre, Chris Harper-Mercer, was a half-black immigrant, so the media are refusing to get too specific about him. They don't want to reward the fiend with publicity!”

My point is, we can’t blame this on a particular demographic. American or foreigner on American soil, black or white, young or old, and so-forth.

Plus, look… we already HAVE gun regulation and gun laws.

We hardly enforce them.

We could start there.

If we REALLY HAVE TO support some of these regulation proposals, let’s stick to the ones that generally stand to bar folks such as those with diagnoses like paranoid schizophrenia from legally owning weaponry… that’d be a good way to go.

As if there’s no way to predict who might be a mass-shooter. Oh please.

Yes, you know what? We have more privately-owned guns than most other countries. But, as Ann noted, “Between a third and half of all Americans have guns in the home.

Don’t you suppose that if GUN OWNERSHIP PLAYED THAT MUCH OF A ROLE IN FOLKS COMMITTING MASS MURDER, we’d ALL BE DEAD BASED ON THE GUN OWNERSHIP RATE IN THIS COUNTRY?!!?

Last point worth noting from Ann: “While a tiny percentage of mentally ill are violent, a gigantic percentage of mass shooters are mentally ill.”

Let that SINK IN.

The only GUN REGULATION we need is to KEEP THEM OUT OF THE HANDS OF THOSE WHO HAVE A HISTORY OF VIOLENT INSTABILITY.

But it sounds as though the Left would rather disarm law-abiding citizens on the chance that it'll decrease violent crime. Take a look at history books and see what happens when the GOVERNMENT DISARMS ITS PEOPLE? Yep, there comes the inner-Libertarian. Let’s not forget, “You cannot defend the First Amendment without the Second Amendment.” [–anonymous]

The following proposed regulations by President Obama are, in my opinion, there to do NOTHING other than INFRINGE UPON THE RIGHTS of Americans - likely to guarantee compliance and control under an ever-growing authoritarian U.S. government:

- Ban military-style assault weapons and limits magazines to a capacity of 10 rounds (WHY? WHAT FOR?)

- Provide additional tools to law enforcement. The plan proposes a crackdown on gun trafficking by asking Congress to pass legislation that closes “loopholes” in gun trafficking laws and establishes strict penalties for “straw purchasers” who pass a background check and then pass guns on to prohibited people (WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH THE MENTALLY-UNSTABLE PERSON WHO TOOK HIS OWN LEGALLY-OWNED GUN, OR BORROWED IT FROM A FAMILY MEMBER/FRIEND, TO USE TO COMMIT MASS MURDER?)

- Urge Congress to pass the administration’s $4 billion proposal to keep 15,000 state and local police officers on the street to help deter gun crime. (WHERE’S THE PROOF THAT ADDITIONAL POLICE ON THE STREETS WILL DETER GUN CRIME?)

- Launch a national gun safety campaign to encourage responsible gun ownership and authorizes the Consumer Product Safety Commission to examine issues relating to gun safety locks. (I PERSONALLY VERY MUCH DOUBT THAT A GUN SAFETY LOCK WILL KEEP A MENTALLY-ILL INDIVIDUAL WHO IS HELLBENT ON COMMITTING MASS-MURDER FROM DOING EXACTLY THAT… NOR DO I THINK THE AUTHORITIES HAVE ESTABLISHED THAT GUN SAFETY LOCKS HAD A ROLE IN THE PAST SHOOTERS’ KILLING SPREES.

At least we’re not to the point where the FAR-LEFT is actually ANYWHERE NEAR seeing the citizens of America truly defenseless. If THEY want to hand over their liberties, by all means… but so long as there are liberty-loving Americans out there who will defend the Second Amendment, and its importance in defending the First Amendment right, God willing, we will never quite see the day.

The questions remains, however, as to how much ground we WILL eventually sacrifice, & how much money we WILL eventually spend, in misguided attempts at controlling situations that, QUITE LITERALLY, are based in INSANITY, like mass shootings?

Yours in freedom,

|JDS|

‪#‎GunRights‬ ‪#‎SecondAmendment‬ ‪#‎NRA‬ ‪#‎GodBlessAmerica‬ ‪#‎RightToBearArms‬ ‪#‎Libertarian‬ ‪#‎LibertarianMaryland‬ ‪#‎LPmaryland‬ ‪#‎Murica‬ ‪#‎JDSandy‬ ‪#‎liberty‬ ‪#‎guncontrol

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

SOCIAL COMMENTARY: Attention "Generation Y:" SECRETS TO HAPPINESS!

I found this the other day, initially gave it a passing glance ... and then that passing glance turned into a good, hard look at something that's been on my mind lately - why are the youth today so darn unhappy so much of the time? I gotta say, I think we're on to something here. Give it a shot...

Here's the link: http://waitbutwhy.com/2013/09/why-generation-y-yuppies-are-unhappy.html

Here's the consolidated version (or at least what I got out of it):

-Generally, HAPPINESS = Reality - Expectations.
"When the reality of someone's life is better than they expected, they're happy; When the reality turns out to be worse than the expectations, they're unhappy."

-With a "smooth positive life experience," the baby boomers have generally raised their offspring with "a sense of optimism and unbounded possibility. ... Baby boomers all around the country and world told their Gen Y kids that they could be whatever they wanted to be, instilling the special protagonist identity deep within their psyches."

-The result of the above: Gen Y kids today (born late 70's - mid 90's) don't just want the American Dream that their parents felt like they mostly achieved and told their kids that they could have, too... no, they want to fulfill their Own Personal Dreams. They want not only economic security and/or prosperity, but they want (ideally) to fulfill their wildest desires as careers and hope that their parents were right, in that they will be prosperous. And special. And stand out. The problem being that not everyone can stand out. "Most people are not special - otherwise "special" wouldn't mean anything."

-"Paul Harvey, a University of New Hampshire professor... has researched this [phenomenon], finding out that Gen Y has "unrealistic expectations and a strong resistance to accepting negative feedback, ... an inflated view of oneself."

-"A great source of frustration for people with a strong sense of entitlement is unmet expectations. They often feel entitled to a level of respect and rewards that aren't in line with their actual ability and effort levels, and so they might not get the level of respect and rewards they are expecting."

-"They've been led to believe, perhaps through overzealous self-esteem building exercises in their youth, that they are somehow special but often lack any real justification for this belief."

-"Social media creates a world for [Gen Y] where ... what everyone else is doing is very out in the open ... most people present an inflated version of their own existence ... the people who chime in the most ... are usually those who are [doing the best] ... while struggling people tend not to broadcast their situation. This leaves [Gen Y] feeling, incorrectly, like everyone else is doing really well."

The article suggests three methods/ideals/focuses by/upon which Gen Y may essentially continue-on with a little less sadness about their own situations:

1. Stay ambitious; just dive in somewhere and let the details work themselves out.

2. Stop thinking that you're special; becoming special can happen with hard work over a period of time.

3. Ignore everyone else; envy is the enemy here, especially given how envious we can become when we see the crafted, censored, sometimes staged realities conveyed as 'identities' on social media.

NOW... I have a few propositions of my own for my fellow members of GEN Y, which is what all of this is leading-to...

SECRETS TO HAPPINESS!

That is, if you're feeling unfulfilled, or inadequate, or if you're a baby boomer with a son or daughter or niece or nephew or grandchild who's feeling unfulfilled, inadequate, or really let-down by the fact that the world doesn't necessarily see you/them as being as SPECIAL as you've/they've been led to believe that you/they are:


1. Be humble. Be intentionally humble. Stop thinking that you know best. It's possible that you don't, and it's better to keep an open mind entirely, that way you're not disappointed if you do, indeed, realize there's a better way than your current belief. The fact is, there are many different solutions to varying problems, and if you ask a room full of people what's best, you may get a room full of different answers. Your answer isn't necessarily the best one, even though you are inclined to think that it is. You have been conditioned (in order to build your confidence) to stand proudly behind your solutions, to be confident, to exude confidence, and not to back down. So much so, perhaps, that you're blind to the possibility that other solutions you haven't considered, or more importantly, that don't necessarily make sense to you, might be worth some extra consideration. Many folks in substance abuse recovery "self help" programs find long-term success (living sober and maintaining long-term active recovery from active substance abuse) by accepting and embracing a level of humility, and accepting that, if the program has worked for millions of others who perhaps didn't all entirely understand it, there's a good chance it will work even without a thorough understanding of exactly how it all works. One who keeps an open mind inasmuch as accepting that perhaps one's own understanding isn't necessarily the best one, or one's own way isn't necessarily the only way or the best way, will often find success and happiness through that open-mindedness that is achieved through deliberate humility.

2. Lend credence to the words of Sir Philip Anthony Hopkins: "My philosophy is... it's none of my business what people say of me, and think of me. I am what I am, and I do what I do. I expect nothing, and accept everything. And it makes life so much easier." Sounds extreme, but it's most helpful (at least to me) to just bear in mind and take in strides when the moments of doubt occur.

-Final Thoughts-

A big part of why this article resonated with me, the one that kicked-off this whole message of mine that you're reading, a message to GEN Y about finding happiness, is because of the proposed notion that expectations tend to be too high to be realistically satisfying.

Bottom line, if you ask me:
Keep GOALS high, and real EXPECTATIONS low.
Be open-minded, receptive, and don't pay anyone else too much mind.


||JDS||

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

POLITICS: Whether Left or Right, You Aughta Give Carly Fiorina a Listen

Last week I flirted with the notion of Bernie Sanders being a plausible candidate despite my generally-Libertarian mindset.

Mostly, I was flirting with the following:

-America is ALREADY practically a socialist nation - only, it works to favor millionaires. -- And Sanders proposes some actual plans for leveling the playing field.

-Sanders shares the following in common with generally-accepted Libertarian strivings: drug law reform; privacy of who you take to bed, and/or marry; religion and morality aren't prominently in the picture.

Functioning middle class again. An intoxicating prospect. No wonder Sanders appeals to so many in the masses.

I guess I have to admit is that I omitted one very real truth, in my opinion, and it goes like this. In fact, my buddy Paul stated it well: "The 1% has ruled this earth in EVERY political and economic system ever conceived - and will continue to do so under Bernie regardless of your belief in him. It is the system that runs regardless of who sits in the Oval Office."

A pro-Sanders acquaintance pointed out regarding "the 1 percent:" "The 1% is not oversight (over the People) --it's corruption and special treatment from congress dependent on their money. Foxes guarding the chicken-coop."

The truth is... true as that may be, Bernie Sanders isn't going to change that.

Sanders calls a lot to light, and no one's saying his points aren't valid in some regards, and that's why he's got a passionate following - but what followers don't realize, or what they simply don't want YOU to realize, is that while his points may ring true, he won't change these systems. There are too many checks & balance systems in place to prevent the kind of extreme socialist change about which he laments.

Open your eyes, folks. As this man runs the country and campaigns, we see very, very, very little of him in the news. Very, very, very little outside of interactive social media like Facebook and places from which the 'Little Guy' can preach. Why? Because Sanders is out to challenge Big Money. And Big Money runs 'the world.' So Big Money isn't going to give the spotlight to the man looking to take 'em down a notch. (You do know that all of our news comes from the same handful of mega-giant oligarch agencies... right?)

I should be entirely truthful with you, in all fairness, and confess that shortly following that exploratory blog regarding the plausibility of backing Sanders, I had the good ol' American spirit wash over me, and I remembered the following about myself:

-I respect the capitalism that the founding fathers wanted for this country, and I'm not yet entirely convinced that temporarily going socialist leader is the way to go.

-Because raising the minimum wage will only lead to inflation.

-Because I don't like that I had to pay my own way to the tune of $222 monthly for two degrees from now until I'm 70y/o, and some punk kid ten years younger than me will get to come in and get it all for free.

-Because I work so that I can afford health insurance of/when I need it, and I don't feel that I should be legally mandated to pay for others' coverage, and if the day came that I decided I didn't value my own life or financial wellbeing to insure myself, I don't think it's right that I be penalized by Big Brother for not purchasing THEIRS if I don't wish to retain my own.

-Because I want to regulate my own life and enjoy the freedom of being able to choose for myself as much as possible, not be led by a government who seeks to dominate and control my choices.

So I'd like to take a different approach here this week.

I've had some time to take a look at Carly Fiorina.

...and YOU SHOULD, TOO, REGARDLESS OF WHERE YOU SIT IN THE GAME. Here's why.

Point blank: You can either pick a far-left candidate who won't even try to appeal to dissenting Americans, a far-Right candidate who won't attempt to appeal to dissenting Americans, or someone who's looking to bridge the gap. That's Fiorina.

Carly can go after Hillary and be more effective in doing-so than other male counterparts. She is bright, insightful, and shows that despite her personal beliefs, she respects the rights of the State at the State level (as opposed to the federal level in some cases) and is willing to be flexible and tolerant when it comes to same-sex unions, marijuana legalization, and religion. She has fostered good relationships with a lot of world leaders, having worked on multiple campaigns, served in multiple advisory roles, and I think she's got a number of the other candidates beat there.

I think she deserves a bit more spotlight attention.

I first watched her on "Hannity." Not a fan of Hannity's preachin' on religion and morality, so I rarely (ok, never) watch, but then I figured I'd give her a listen, also, being interviewed for Yahoo! by Katie Couric. I remember when Katie went after Ted Cruz. I figured, let's see how this goes down - strong leftist vs. 'centrist' Fiorina.

I was impressed with Fiorina. She stood her ground. Sharp as a tack, and not a single moment outside of being absolutely elegant.

I'll recap, all courtesy of the Katie Couric interview at https://youtu.be/8yhl509cp98.

[Quotes are all of Fiorina.]

-Former CEO of Hewlett Packard. Running due to widening gap between "professional political class" and everyday people. "I think we need someone in the Oval Office who understands how the economy works, how the world works, who's in it, how bureaucracies work, how technology works, what executive decision making is, ... perhaps most importantly, what leadership is."

-2010 Senate run in CA: "Won more Republican votes, more Democratic votes, & more Independent votes than virtually anyone running anywhere in the nation in 2010... that's how big California is. ... I learned... a Republican can reach Democrats & Independents... people actually don't necessarily wanna hear more sound bytes & more vitriol from politicians."

-worked with John McCain and advised Mitt Romney in 2012. "Got to see presidential politics up-close... Politics is personal. People make very personal decisions. They're judging the character, ...authenticity, ...whether someone cares what's going on in their lives... politics is personal."

-Our government "was intended to be a citizen government... 'by, for, & of the people' ... Somehow in the last fifty years, we've gotten used to a professional political class. Why? I think what people actually expect of a leader is someone who knows that leadership, its highest calling, is to unlock potential in others and change the order of things for the better - not just manage the status quo as it's always been."

-"The truth is, I know more world leaders on the stage today than virtually anyone else running ... so I understand the world and who's in it, and how the world works."

-On the economy: "A very lackluster recovery ... Record numbers of people on food stamps ... We've tangled people's lives up in webs of dependency for the first time in US history. We're destroying more businesses than we're creating. We have the lowest labor participation rate since 1976. And a lot of people who are working wish they had better jobs, higher-paying jobs, income inequality is growing ... [these are] structural problems in the economy."

-"I have a completely different experience set than anyone running ... a different perspective ... a different set of skills to problem solving... I'm a different kind of candidate than is out there right now."

-At Hewlett Packard, "I, and the people of HP, & it really was a team effort ... in the middle of the biggest technology recession in 25 years... we doubled the company to almost 90 billion dollars ... we took the growth rate from 2 percent to 9 percent... tripled the rate of innovation ... quadrupled the cash flow... went from lagging behind in every product category to leading in every product category, so yes, we created jobs. ... Sometimes, there are tough decisions that must be made to strengthen the company for the long haul. ... It was a tough time I managed through, but we transformed the company from failing to succeeding."

-"I know that when you're leading, when you're challenging the status quo, you're gonna make some enemies along the way. ... I'll stand on my record at HP. ... I understand what making a tough call in a tough time with high stakes is all about - that's called executive decision making. And I think that's what's needed in the Oval Office."

-"People's mindset needs to change - if [people] look alike, and sound alike, and think alike, it maybe is easier to get to a decision, but it's not as good a decision. People need to understand that ... it's been much too slow."

-"I insisted that there be a diversified and qualified set of candidates for every job. ... They rose on merit."

-"Silicon Valley is not as diverse an environment than it could be... There are so many industries that are still not true meritocracies: Wall Street, the Federal Government... Anytime you don't have a system that focuses solely on merit & contribution, you're going to disadvantage women."

-"A title is just a title. Why are we so impressed with political titles? The truth is, there are many in the political class who haven't accomplished a whole lot despite their titles."

-"Hillary Clinton is a highly intelligent, very hard working woman, who has dedicated her life to public service. And yet, she does not have a track record of trustworthiness, and despite her impressive titles, she hasn't accomplished very much."

-"The democrats, when they talk about the War on Women, ... we have to ... put some facts out there. ...I say, 'Look, do you know what the democratic [policy on abortion] is?' Most people don't, by the way. The official democratic policy is, 'Any abortion, any time, for any reason, at any point in a woman's pregnancy, right up until the last minute, to be paid-for by taxpayers. How do you feel about that? ... How do you feel about the fact that a 13 year old girl needs her mother's permission to go to a tanning salon, but not to get an abortion?' Most women are horrified by that. ... That a tattoo parlor is more rigorously inspected and regulated than an abortion clinic? Women are horrified by that. The truth is, most Americans have come to the point of view that any abortion for any reason after five months is a problem. ... I'm pro-life. So let's find common ground. The common ground, if you look at the polls, is that women believe that abortion is wrong for any reason after five months. What the political class on both sides has done for way too long is argue at the extremes... when the truth is, there is real common ground here. So let's work on common ground. ... So let's pass the Pain-Capable-Unborn-Child-Act."

-"I understand and respect not everyone agrees with me. But I think even where we don't agree on everything, let's come together and solve a problem where there is common ground. And the truth is, there are lots of fetuses older than five months that are still being aborted. ... Let's work on common ground first. Let's get common ground done first."

-"What I hope has nothing to do with what the Supreme Court will decide [on gay marriage]. What I've been very public in saying is that I think government should not bestow benefits unequally. So I've always been a supporter of civil unions, I provided benefits to same sex couples, ... and I also believe as so many do that marriage has a spiritual foundation. ... I hope we will have come to the point in our country where we can accept those two views and tolerate each other - that government shouldn't bestow benefits in a discriminatory fashion, and that people who believe marriage has a religious foundation, those beliefs should be respected. ... I believe we need to respect those who believe ... why can't we respect & tolerate that, while at the same time, saying government cannot bestow benefits unequally?"

-"Not everyone is gonna agree 100% of the time on 100% of the issues. What I think people expect of anyone running is honesty and authenticity about what I believe, and I also think they expect respect for people who disagree with me. It's one of the reasons why, while running in California as a Conservative, I nevertheless won so many Democratic and Independent votes. ... They agreed with me on enough things. They understood how I would approach a problem. ... There is not a single candidate out there for anyone ... with whom they're gonna agree 100% of the time. ... Can we find enough common ground, and does someone understand how someone will lead, and what someone believes?"

-"We don't enforce the gun laws we have. That's why we have record numbers of murders in places ... that have the strictest gun laws in the nation. ... In every one of these terrible shootings, we had a situation with someone who was clearly terribly mentally ill ... let's also state the fact that much of the proposed gun legislation that was pushed through Congress after those shootings... it wouldn't have made any difference at all in those cases. ... I don't support broadening anti-gun legislation in any way until we are prepared to enforce the laws we have on the books. And we're not."

-"The law [of Obamacare] itself is longer than a Harry Potter novel. ... It was written by the drug companies and the health insurance companies, who wanted to make sure they understood their playing field. It's called crony capitalism. ... All we did was take a regulated oligopoly ... and nationalize it. ... We aughta let States manage high-risk pools. There are people who truly need help from the government. It works better at the state level than the Federal level. ... We've never tried a competitive health insurance marketplace. It's always been regulated. Let's try a free market where people actually have to compete for your business."

-"I know more world leaders on the stage today than any candidate running, with the possible exception of Hillary Clinton. I've not had photo ops, I've done business with them. I've chaired the Advisory Board at the CIA. I've advised two Secretaries of Defense, a Secretary of State, a Secretary of NSA, a Secretary of Homeland Security. I've sat as close as you and I are now to Putin. To Netanyahu. To the Chinese leadership. To the King of Jordan. All of these people, I've had substantive conversations with, business, charity, what they hope-for [in] their country."

-"I think we have to secure the borders, something that hasn't happened under either Democrats or Republicans... I think we need to fix the legal immigration system... we have sixteen different visa programs... half the people who are here illegally came on illegal visa and we just never bothered to follow-up. For those who came here illegally and stayed here illegally, I think they may earn legal status over time, but not citizenship. I know too many people who worked to earn the privilege of citizenship. I think we are fair-minded people. ... In California, I supported the Dream Act, because I think you cannot punish children who came here through no will of their own... but I also think we have the cart backwards - when we passed the Dream Act before we've even secured the borders... we corrode people's faith in government. Because folks out there say, 'You know what, the Federal Government's first job is to protect the nation and secure the border.'"

-"If we want to treat marijuana as a medicine, then fine - but regulate it like a medicine. When you see all these kids stoned ...I don't think it's helping ... them, or our nation. If it's properly regulated, like a medicine, then [medicinal marijuana is fine], but it's not [properly regulated], it's a recreational drug."

-"Every one of the scientists that tell us that climate change is real and being caused by man-made activity, also tell us that a single nation acting alone can make no difference at all. So when I see a state... destroy lives and livelihoods with environmental regulation that will make no difference at all to climate change, when I see the Obama Administration take that same regulation and apply it nationally ... I wonder, why are we doing this? ... I think the answer to this problem is innovation, not regulation. I think we have to focus on how to make coal cleaner ... it provides half the energy in this nation ... to saw we're gonna outlaw coal is so self-defeating. It destroys communities ... lives ... and it's not helping global warming. There are lots of wonderful, innovative things. The thing I think we never do is tell people the whole truth. Do we tell people the truth about wind technology, that it slaughters [wildlife]? There is no magic answer, no perfect source of energy. Solar is great, but solar takes huge amounts of water. There is no water in areas where solar [on a sizeable scale] works well. The American people can handle tradeoffs... they're pretty smart. So let's tell them the truth about the fine print. I think it is, frankly, ridiculous for the Obama Administration to call ISIS a "strategic distraction," and then go on to say that climate change is the single most pressing national security issue of our time. I do not think climate change is a national security threat that equals Iran getting a bomb, ISIS beheading people... I think we need to keep it in perspective. I think a far more serious issue is Americans ... tangled-up in webs of dependence ... people who aren't getting a good education ... the dangers we face around the world... the fact that our government is a vast, bloated, unaccountable, and corrupt institution."

-"I think we need serious criminal justice reform around drug usage ... technology to hold police departments truly accountable. I would feel so much better if we have cameras and the police knew that they were being recorded. Transparency in any situation adds to accountability. We need to have a serious conversation about criminal justice reform ... Fewer arrests ... [Less] time in jail ... I don't think we're helping anyone when we criminalize drug use. So many of these arrests, these patterns of ... re-arrests ... it goes on around drugs."

-"I started out as a secretary in a nine-person real estate firm, and I've been underestimated my whole life. And it doesn't trouble me that a bunch of polls or a bunch of pundits are underestimating me now. ... I think people are looking for someone who understands how the economy actually works, and doesn't just talk about it ... who understands how the world works and who's in it, instead of just flying around it... who understands bureaucracies and how they work, because we have a giant bloated [one] in Washington... ,who understands technology, and who understands executive decision making. ... So I'm running because I think I can win the job, and I think I can do the job."


Thoughts?

Cheers,
|JDS|