Sunday, June 28, 2015
Is it really the job of the Supreme Court to write federal law? No, but they continue to do so with the gay marriage ruling. By saying gay marriage is constitutional it overrides the voice of the people in over 30 states who have Constitutional Amendments to ban gay marriage. It also overrides state referendums on the subject. It is not the job of SCOTUS to overrule the will of the people. It is not the job of SCOTUS to make federal laws. It is amazing how SCOTUS has used the 14th Amendment as an excuse to change the political landscape of this country time and time again. Each person in the country can read the 14th Amendment and we would get 300 million different and unique interpretations of its meaning. It is a stretch to see how it has anything to do with gay marriage. Personally, I have no issue with gay marriage and would be a proponent for it if people on that side of the isle would stop being hypocrites. These are the same people that support Caitlyn Jenner for her choices but at the same time ridicule people like Tim Tebow for his choices and religious background. Why can’t we back the choices of all people if it makes them happy (if they are legal choices)? Not everyone is going to agree with our opinions and choices. The Left is a proponent of free speech and choices if and only if it agrees with their warped views. I do not care what people think so long as they do not feel obligated to push those views on me and they are not hypocrites about their beliefs. Gay marriage would have eventually been the law of the land in all states. Maybe it would take 10 or 20 more years, but SCOTUS should let it play out. Simply put, SCOTUS should have never ruled on this case. If on the other hand SCOTUS ruled against gay marriage, it could have put the gay movement behind for centuries. That is a huge risk, especially with a slightly right leaning court. State rights are what used to be great about our country. Some states side with gay marriage while others do not – it is a great way to compromise on the subject. ObamaCare rulings are a bit different. ObamaCare is already federal law, so rulings on this case would not create a new law, but possibly alter one. So I agree with SCOTUS taking up those cases (I just do not agree with the decisions). Funny, but I am not hearing any chatter from the Left about the court legislating from the bench, but that is what happened here. As far as 2016 is concerned, the SCOTUS decision may help Republicans because it takes a potentially difficult issue out of the lime light (actually, it should be a difficult issue for Democrats because a plurality of Americans still define Marriage between a man and women, but the media gangs up on Republicans for their views – not Democrats for theirs).
Monday, June 22, 2015
Courage is word that gets a lot of use these days – more than it should – in my humble opinion. Courage is defined as having the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery. I have been told I have courage because I compete at a high level in cycling even though it causes me a great deal of pain because I have a neurological disorder. However, I do not possess courage. It may be difficult and painful, but there is nothing for me to fear (I am not facing a life threatening disorder) so it is hardly brave. I am doing cycling for selfish reasons: because it makes me happy. Bruce Jenner will be honored by ESPN for his supposed courage for converting from a man to a women. A few decades ago this may have required some courage, but not in these times. Besides, Jenner has been open with the press and everyone about his change. Jenner drew attention to herself. If it was that difficult, she would have done with humility and in secrecy. Jenner is not much different from me in the sense she is making the change for selfish reasons: to feel better about herself and to be happy. This was hardly a life or death situation for Jenner. I am sure this was not easy for Jenner, but is it really courage? The first thing Jenner did after the change was do a photo shoot for Vanity Fair magazine. Jenner seems to like attention and that is great if that makes her happy, but that is not courage? No, it is simply about satisfying Jenner’s insatiable ego. Everyone is entitled to do things that make them feel good and to be happy. But that is not necessarily courage. Courage is the people in our armed services that face life and death situations on a daily basis. They have to make life or death decisions that can affect them or their men. And the decision to serve may make service members feel better and be happy, but it is also a selfless act. More than a million Americans have died in wars so over 300 million of us today can be free. That is the ultimate sacrifice – that is courage. Courage is someone like Lauren Hill who died at age 19 from cancer. Despite being gravely ill, Hill competed in college basketball. Sure, that may have made her feel better, but she also made the sacrifice to help her team. Hill would obviously be a better choice for ESPN’s courage award (and even Bob Costas agrees). ESPN makes me sick and I stopped watching Sport Center a decade ago. Episodes of Sport Center are a charade loaded with political correctness instead of highlights of sports. It is actually more depressing than watching a nightly newscast of negative stories (at least these are real). ESPN instead lives in a fantasyland and tries to be more of a talk show than a news program. ESPN is laced with broadcasters that are more interested in being unique (like Jenner) than factual. They only cover and talk with star players (LeBron James, Tiger Woods, etc.) and show highlights of the best and worst plays of the day – but they do not always report the final scores or outcomes. The bottom line is that Jenner is more of a star than Lauren Hill and that makes for a better story than the truth – that there are literally millions of people around the globe that would be candidates for the ESPN Courage ESPY than Jenner. The Jenner decision by ESPN should not come as any surprise because they both have something else in common – Jenner is a reality TV star and ESPN has become a reality TV network.
Monday, June 15, 2015
When a person is hit with adversity, such as a disease or debilitating condition, it will change your life forever. Activities and every day actions that we routinely took for granted in the past have become no longer possible or much more difficult to accomplish. Simple things, like getting dressed in the morning have become more of a challenge for me (mornings are difficult until some of the muscle stiffness goes away). I was diagnosed with a “benign” nervous disorder – Cramp Fasciculation Syndrome (CFS) – and also have some muscle contraction issues. CFS is benign only because it will not kill you, but it can be debilitating and therefore could eventually kill you due to inactivity. I am an avid fitness person, but hiking and running became more and more difficult to do. Although these activities are not impossible to do, the pain and recovery time was just too much. Rock climbing became impossible due to dexterity issues in my hands and feet caused by paresthesia symptoms (it was deemed as being no longer a safe activity). Doctors also advised against wrestling (feeling it too was no longer safe). Unfortunately, many people with chronic Peripheral Nerve disorders such as CFS resort to inactivity. It is just too painful and sometimes unsafe to exercise. However, I am a true believer if we do not evolve, we will waste away and die. With many past fitness activities becoming harder and harder to do, I turned to biking and now competitive biking. For some reason biking works best for me. Is it still hard and painful? Absolutely. It seems to have made my paresthesia worse in my hands and feet. What’s worse, my right leg muscles including my quads are going numb. That being said, I am still pushing forward because I have less leg pain after exercise. I do not know how much longer I can cycle – 1 year, 5 years, or the rest of my life – who knows. But you only live once and got to make the most of it. After all, I know there are many more people with worse diseases or conditions – so I have no reason to feel sorry for myself and give up. I have a lot to learn in cycling, such as bike handling skills. I think some of these skills are diminished due to CFS symptoms – paresthesia, balance issues etc.. I believe I will get better, but how much better is the real question. You can track my USA Cycling results on the below website: http://www.coloradocycling.org/results/individual?usac=457284 I am currently riding in the lowest category (5). But I am ranked 16th in the country for Time Trial racing in category 5 (all age groups). I would still rank in the top 100 nationally for a category 4 racer. My road racing rankings are not that great, but they are getting better. Colorado is a very large and competitive group of racers (one of the toughest states in the country) and that makes it easier to improve. I am trying to evolve so CFS does not get the best of me - both mentally and physically. Maybe I am making symptoms worse, but I do know that I feel better about myself when I exercise and fight through it all too even compete at a fairly high level. I also believe that by giving in to this disorder and being inactive will make my health worse, even if symptoms do not progress. I am positive I am making the right choice. Simply put, I advise people with Peripheral Nerve disorders to evolve and find those activities that they can do (with less pain) and live. We only get one shot at playing the game of life, we must make the most of it.
Monday, June 8, 2015
What is the difference in America’s first 225 years of existence and the last decade to 15 years? Healthy debate over issues is over. Today, many professors (especially liberal ones) are afraid to bring up any subject matter that students may find offensive such as abortion, climate change, or terrorism. They are afraid of hurting student’s feelings and being reported. They are afraid of losing their teaching jobs. Although both sides of the political spectrum are guilty of this porous behavior, this dangerous type of thinking is dominated by liberals. Every day we hear stories of liberals protesting and using violence to silence debates. Conservative speakers are often turned away from universities when administrations cave to feelings over issues. Obama is the first President to exhibit such a simple and narrow view of thinking. For instance, he has claimed dozens of times the debate on climate change is over. Liberals compare those who question these views to those who thought the Earth was flat in Columbus’s times. In other words, climate change naysayers are scientifically challenged. The truth is that 99% of liberals and conservatives alike are scientifically challenged. There is no subject that has more ambiguity than climate change (especially manmade climate change). Hence, it should be debated vigorously. And for those that are 100% certain about the answers to this debate, I have yet to find anyone that has seen or understood a climate change model. There are hundreds of models – some say it is happening and others say it is not. However, models have a tolerance and I have never seen these published. Models are never 100% accurate (there is a tolerance or accuracy level) so why is debate 100% closed. We live in the generation of political correctness. We are so afraid of offending someone than talking about issues. It has officially increased the rate of the dumbing down process in this country. In fact, what’s worse is when we use our feelings to generate made up issues. This happens more than it should. Take, for instance, the racial slant liberals use in police killings of black citizens. Even if the killings were unjustified and the result of police brutality, it is still a stretch to claim they were racially motivated. What has been the result of these malicious claims? Crime and lawlessness have increased by over 25% in our major cities. Here in lies the main difference between liberals and conservatives in present day America. Liberals still see gender, political ideology, ethnicity, and the religious background of people as being important. Whereas, Conservatives view everyone equally under the Constitution. In fact, much of the feelings over issues paradigm shift took place to get even with white males (who happen make up a vast majority of conservatives). There is no question that white males dominated American History the first two hundred years and benefited greatly from it. And there is no question that white males were more likely to be bigoted and prejudice in past history. But white males have evolved over time. In fact, it is not a stretch to theorize or hypothesize that females and people of color are now more bigoted and prejudice towards white men. Think about it; many left wing zealots would love nothing more than to erase white men from history. These are the same people who want to remove all previously proven scientific thought from the classroom solely because it was developed by white males. Yes, these are the same people who claim to be scientific geniuses and understand the complex issue of climate change. There is no other reason to remove proven scientific reasoning other than prejudice and bigoted philosophies towards white males. Some will say I am paranoid and that this is not the motivation behind “feelings” politics. Well, here are some examples. What was the number one reason people voted for Obama? Over 20% voted for him solely because he was black. We can safely assume the numbers would be the same for people voting for Hillary Clinton because she is a female. Sure, the numbers would not be so great if Obama and Clinton were Republicans, but that is because of the hypocrisy of the left (the left does not view everyone equally – they have a hierarchy and political ideology comes first). It is no different than liberals believing in free speech so long as someone does not have a different opinion. Here is another example: if liberals talked about climate change as a natural set of events more conservatives will join them. So why is it important to say climate change is manmade? Because it is another way to blame the evil white male. After all, pollution and industrial revolution were led by those same evil white males. Caving to feelings over debating issues will destroy this country. We can already see it happening (i.e. inner city crime). It is a selfish ego driven brainwashed narcissism taking center stage instead of scientific thought, debate, and theory. Issues can be personal but they affect millions of people the same (This is not necessarily true – most liberal laws do not affect people the same – there are carve outs for union members for instance. This once again points to the fact that liberals do not view all Americans equally. The same can be said for diversity and affirmative action laws). Feelings are truly personal and about nothing more than the self. This is the antithesis of what our founding fathers wanted for this country. But our founding fathers were all white males, so the antithesis is exactly what liberals want. The truth of the matter is that there would be a lot less prejudice and bigotry in America if the liberal ideology did not exist in its present form. Liberals like to live in the past and have an axe to grind and want to get even. They like to play the blame game instead of thinking strategically to solve problems. We would be much better off if we lived for the future and debated issues openly and freely.
Monday, June 1, 2015
Bill Clinton proved that a person can win the WH without the public feeling he is honest or trustworthy. In 1996 Clinton won over 20% of the vote from people who thought he was untrustworthy. He also won over 25% of the vote from people who thought he was lied about the Whitewater scandal. Ross Perot as a third party candidate may have helped Clinton win reelection, but he more than likely would have won if Perot did not run. Barack Obama still has approval ratings near 45 percent including from 20 percent of the electorate that does not feel he is honest or trustworthy. In fact, over half the country does not think Obama is honest or trustworthy. Obama scandals have failed to hurt his approval ratings (stayed above 40%). The public does not blame Obama for fast and furious, DOJ targeting, IRS targeting, and the Benghazi cover up to name a few. In fact, the public has given him a pass on these scandals because they feel he did not know about them. Hence, it is possible to be elected President even if you are ignorant. Why? Because the public feels Obama is trying to get things done – i.e. ObamaCare or moving unilaterally to solve immigration (It does not matter that the policy is bad). A majority of the electorate did not find President Bush trustworthy, but he won reelection. Most of this stemmed over the Iraq War where he was hit hard in the press. People believed he knew Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction. People went as far to accuse Bush of carrying out the 9/11 attack (Truthers). And of course a vast majority of the public did not trust Dick Cheney. Most people view leadership as more important than character issues. Bush was seen as being strong to fight terrorism. Clinton was viewed as understanding the common man. Obama, I am not too sure what the public sees there – I honestly feel a majority of people voted for him just because he is African-American. What does this mean? It means Hillary can win the Presidency even with a slew of scandals hanging over her head. Even if the public finds her untrustworthy and dishonest, she will get a lot of votes simply because she is a women. People like historic firsts (like Obama). People also view Hillary as a strong leader and being highly qualified for the position. Where does this view come from? The press brainwashing citizens and the overall ignorance of the electorate. Hence, it is the job of Republicans to make the Hillary scandals about leadership failures, and not about the truth or trustworthiness. Yes, Hillary lied about Benghazi, but it was also a failure in leadership to heed to the security requests made by Ambassador Stevens. The Republicans must show that Hillary has blood on her hands and is responsible for the death of those four Americans. The Clintons received monies from questionable sources for the Clinton Foundation. But the bigger picture is if the Clintons cannot manage the foundation finances, how can they lead and manage our national budget. Yes, the Clintons lied about their income, but the point is they are not like the common American struggling to get by. And yes, Hillary was untrustworthy with her email account at the State Department, but the bigger picture is that she accomplished nothing in that post. I view honesty and trustworthiness as important factors in being a leader. Unfortunately, the ignorant electorate does not. It is not enough to paint Clinton as a liar – most would agree and feel this way about most politicians. It is not even enough to paint Clinton as being incompetent. You have to show she’s out of touch with the public and accomplished nothing tangible in her political tenure. That is the only way to win without a smoking gun that puts her behind bars where she belongs.