Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Loss Of The Sunday Family Get Together

I can't remember if I have shared this lament at all, but if so, get ready for another round of the loss of  a component of strong families.
The Sunday family get-together.
Growing up in the 1970s was very trying in so many ways. Ugly fashions, big hair, the continuing breakdown of what we now call today, traditional values.
There are two of those values that have changed are what we call with disdain the "blue laws" and the family get-together.
The "blue laws" basically limited business and or business hours primarily on Sundays. Because of the federal, decentralized nature of our republic, most "blue laws" were left to the states to decide. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_laws_in_the_United_States, it is amazing to see how many are still in force in the United States. In most states, it certainly involves alcohol sales. California did not make the list because the only thing is that all liquor sales are prohibited between 2:00am and 6:00am. And while almost all "blue laws" were more or less religious in nature, the U. S. supreme court has upheld them on several occasions. And regrettably many of the strictest laws were eliminated during the 1970s. And in some states there are movements to try to rescind others. The reality is that we need more, not less.
I will explain why later.
But what does it have to do with the Sunday family get together?
Having stores open with basically unlimited hours and other non-essential business is making Sunday just another day. For many people, it is not a day off but a work day. And for the families, club sports have made a big change in the family dynamic. By club sports I mean like AYSO, baseball, basketball. Anything not played at a school level. And because most households have mom and dad working, it makes it harder to carve a big chunk of a day like a Sunday to simply be together as a family.
The loosening of the "blue laws" directly relates to this trend.
Does anyone remember the term "Banker's hours"? That is when banks did not have ATM machines, were only open Monday thru Friday and the hours were 9:00am to 3:00pm and 9:00am to 6:00pm on Fridays. Now some banks are even open on Sunday.
I get the reality that we do live in a global economy. I know that people have very busy lives. But why can't we take a stand now for restoring that day in our lives?
What I remember is that while there was little religion in my home growing up, there were those Sundays. Sundays in which we would all be together and maybe go to the park, the beach, and maybe one of those rare stores that was open 12:00noon to 6:00pm. It was not a time for getting together with friends so much because we were all doing the same thing. It was a time to talk about school and or the other events of the week. And dinner no matter what was always together.
But as the 1970s moved into the 1980s and I entered high school, my mother went to work and that changed and not for the better. But the value of making time on Sunday went on when I married and we made Sunday night a for sure family dinner night. If possible we all tried to spend time together throughout the day. But our son worked limited hours in high school as a lifeguard for the local YMCA.
What the "blue laws" did good was really force families to go to church. Then maybe brunch at home. Have some fun time after brunch. And a Sunday family dinner.
That is just not possible in today's world to many people.
I suppose that the Thanksgiving kerfuffle over stores opening on Thanksgiving night prompted my thinking about this. But it was this past Easter Sunday that really opened my eyes.
Mrs. RVFTLC and I were going to Easter Brunch at one of our favorite restaurants in Pasadena. We were walking from our parking stall to the restaurant and passed by Macy's. It was closed I told Mrs. RVFTLC. She could not believe it. But after brunch as we were going back to our car, we saw people leaving Pottery Barn for Kids and yes, they were open.
And hold on to your hats, but the anti-capitalist came out of me and I lamented that they could close for one day. Why was Pottery Barn for Kids, a SWLPL* establishment if there ever was one, open but not the behemoth Macy's? It made no sense to me.
Last night I was engaged in a long Facebook conversation that prompted lively discussion. It made me realize how shallow our society has become that people can't get that family time is most important. Really, most people can wait til noon to shop at Target. Or any store for that matter one day a week.
I would love to see a movement to having some kind of moderate "blue law" restoration. Something that yes, makes families have to spend time together. It will not solve all of the problems that modern families have, but it could be a way for some to connect and reconnect.
I do lament the loss of the Sunday Family get together and hope that this makes people think about making a positive change to bring some of it back.

*SWLPL-Stuff White Liberal People Like

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Lord Is Risen! The Lord Is Risen Indeed! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

This is the Gospel according to St. John, 20: 1-18 (KJV):

1The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. 2Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. 3Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. 4So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. 5And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. 6Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, 7And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. 8Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. 9For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.

Here is to a very Happy and Blessed Easter to you and yours. And remember:

THE LORD IS RISEN!
THE LORD IS RISEN INDEED! ALLELUIA! ALLELUIA! ALLELUIA!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Can Republicans Break Through Any State-Wide Office In California?

One office that California Republicans are really going to have a tough time winning statewide is the governor's office.
And since there is no candidate running for Lt. Governor, one has to go down ballot for the seven statewide elected constitutional offices to see hope at the end of the tunnel.
In the latest "non-partisan" Field Poll for governor, the current governor, Jerry Brown, has a commanding 40%-yes 40% lead over the nearest opponent, state assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R-Hesperia), leasing by the numbers 57% to 17%. A couple of other Republicans, Laguna Hills mayor Andrew Blount and businessman Neel Kashkari can't even muster more than five percent of all voters.
In the June primary, all candidates are placed on one ballot with party identification by their name.
And while Gov. Brown has 57% votes of likely voters, it does not look good for Republicans based on his job performance. On that front, Gov. Brown has a 59% popularity rating and only 32% disapprove of his job in office. Only nine percent have no opinion.
So would appear on the surface that Republicans will have a tough time trying to unseat Gov. Brown. But there are several issues that they can highlight and maybe knock some of his popularity down some notches.
One is the issues of water for Central Valley farmers. There is a huge bone that Central Valley farmers have with both Sacramento and Washington. The main issue is regarding water.
Then there is the issue of whether or not we are, as a state, having a water shortage problem. And in another Field Poll on the topic, it shows the dyslexia of the California voter. About 88% of California likely voters do think that there is a serious water shortage in the state. But in regards as to what to do about it, one has to look at things in a regional perspective. Reading the data, there is no question it is the usual battle between the Nor Cals and the So Cals.
Another topic is the "reform" of the California prison system that has, essentially, dumped many state prisoners in county jails. The right candidate can point out the failure of this and how it will lead to more crime. If it has not already.
So now let's look at a down-ticket race.
The race for California state controller.
Here is the surprising nugget from this Field Poll on this race
A Republican woman is leading the field at this point and the Democrat vote is divided between a Nor Cal gal and a So Cal dude, it is a promising sign.
Republican Ashley Swearingen is the current Republican mayor of Fresno, the largest city in the Central Valley with well over 500,000 residents. Her two Democrat opponents are state Board of Equalization (tax board) member Betty Lee and former state assembly speaker John Perez (D-Los Angeles). Between those two it is a classic Nor Cal vs. So Cal race. Mrs. Yee is more liberal than Mr. Perez. But that is really in a matter of degree. As far as the race goes, Mrs. Swearingen is leading the race with 28% of the votes. Mrs. Yee is coming in second with 19% of the vote and Mr. Perez with 14% of the votes. The bad news for all candidates is that 38% of voters are undecided. The good news for Mrs. Swearingen is that more than likely she has the Republican vote. Now in this early stage she can try to sway some independent voters and maybe even some Democrats.
In other words, the California GOP may not win the governor's race or the Lt. governor's race, but there are races like state controller that the party needs to consider spending money to win on.
And I think that the Republicans are going to get enough seats in the state senate and assembly to stop the Democrat super-majority. And also will gain congressional seats as well.
So it looks like the California Republican party still has a lot of work to do but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Maundy Thursday

Today is the beginning of the Great Three Days of the Christian liturgical calendar and this first of the days is Maundy Thursday.
In the simplest of explanations, it is the remembrance of The Last Supper in which Jesus Christ told the disciples that this was his last meal with them and that to always remember that meal in the celebration of the Holy Communion until his return.
The Christian Orthodox depiction of The Last Supper below is what both the Western and Eastern churches imagine the scene to be.
So what happens at a Maundy Thursday service?
For most in the Western liturgical traditions, it can begin with the blessing of the Chrism oils to be used on The Great Vigil of Easter for the newly baptised. Before celebrating the Holy Communion,
often times there will be a washing of the feet. No, it is not a pedicure, just a simple bit of water being poured on the feet of the congregants as a commemoration of what Jesus did. Then is the Holy Communion. Once that is done there is a ceremonial stripping of the altar. Everything is taken off the altar and the remaining communion bread/wafers and wine are taken to a box of reserved sacraments to be used at Good Friday services. Some stripping of the altars are more elaborate than others. A good explanation is in this link.
In the Eastern Orthodox churches, it is celebrated differently and also tweaked for local custom. Most Orthodox churches are based on ethnicity and geographically. Again a good explanation is found here.
One aspect of this day is the division in American Christianity.
There are whole Christians that have absolutely no idea of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and the Great Vigil of Easter.
Regrettably this is due to strong theological differences between fundamentalist Protestants and some evangelical Christians.
It is one of the reasons I admit I have a great deal of disagreement with by evangelical brothers and sisters.
What they miss is that the three days are true to the biblical account of the Last Supper, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and the Resurrection on Sunday morning.
I suppose that a rightful objection is the bells and smells aspect for some evangelicals. I mean, if one belongs to Anglicanism, Lutheran or any other Protestant liturgical church, why is there so much ritual, especially on these days?
Speaking as an Anglican, I can say that some churches are High Churches and they emphasise the Catholic tradition. Vestments, albs, chasubles, incense and the like. In many but certainly not all Anglican/Episcopal churches today, much of this list is found in any given worship service. At this point the catholic, small c, forms of worship are predominant in worship. But the big ones, well they come out in this time of the church year.
But, many evangelical Anglican/Episcopal churches do not go all liturgical crazy. They do celebrate the Great Three Days in a more subdued manner and remember the meaning in this remembrance.
I for one consider myself a Protestant but have no fear that a little tradition and ritual will suddenly make me a papist.
Yet there are many Christians can not get past that and thus do not appreciate the whole of why there is  a Christian church of any kind.
It is the Last Supper, the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
It would be a wonderful thing if all Christians can unite and celebrate the Great Three Days together. But alas, we can not.
As for me, it is very important to recognize the whole meaning of Jesus Christ. And the Last Supper, aka Maundy Thursday is a great way to start.



Why My Lack Of Blogging

I have not blogged very much lately.
The last post I had before this was March 29, 2014.
That in Blogland is a long time.
The primary reason for this is that I have had a lot of medical problems. None of them are serious but because of the several of them, I have been to doctors, labs for blood tests, poop tests, and last but not least physical therapy for my neck.
Today is the first day in quite a few weeks that I have felt well. Well enough to get back to the key board!
There is, as always, a lot to write about. But the problem is narrowing it down.
But for now I am back ready to tackle issues of the day!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Reminder I Live In Earthquake Country And A Reminder To Be Prepared

Last night a little after 9:00 pm, there was a rolling reminder that living in California means I live in Earthquake Country.
It was one of those kind of quakes that was long and rolling. Not a jolt at all. It was enough to wake up the doggies (no, they did not warn us in advance!) and make Mrs. RVFTLC say a nice "Oh oh!"
I just sat in my recliner realizing it was not going to be much larger.
As it turned out, it was originally graded a 5.4 quake. About a half-hour later it was downgraded to a 5.1. And it did cause some damage and there were a lot of aftershocks. Most importantly, no one was killed.
But it is a stark reminder that pretty much the whole West coast of the United States, Canada and especially Alaska is part of the Pacific Ring Of Fire in which earthquakes and volcanoes are a regular part of life.
The fact is that at some point, possibly in my life time, there will be a severe and major earthquake that will hit in the Los Angeles area. It will be more than likely catastrophic. It will be the worst natural disaster to hit the United States. It could happen in San Diego. Or San Francisco. Possibly Portland, Oregon. A real doozy would be if it happened in or near Seattle.
But while there will be widespread carnage, mayhem, buildings collapsed, fires beyond control, water main breaks, gas lines exploded, and many dead and injured, many more will survive.
It is how we survive and what we can and should do to be prepared that I want to write about here.
While I will be emphasising earthquakes, much of this can be for any event such as a hurricane, tornado or any other natural and even non-natural calamity.
The most important thing to do is to always be familiar with your surroundings. A big quake could happen while you are at work or possibly at a sporting event whether at an indoor arena or outdoor stadium. But the overwhelming chances are that it will happen while you are at home.
So let's start with what to do for home preparedness.
This is very important but make sure that you know where your gas line is and turn it off immediately. Do the same for your water. If you are an apartment dweller, make sure that everyone knows where all of that important stuff is.
Since this is based on you and loved ones being at your abode, make sure all are accounted for and all right. Same thing for your pets. That is why it is preferable to keep your pets indoors.
Once you have done that, more than likely your power will be out. Again, we are talking WCS-worst case scenario. If it is at night, it is imperative to make sure to have both a big supply of candles and working flashlights. While you will have done steps one and two, now you must check to see if there is any structural damage. More than likely, you will have cracks in the walls at the very least. But your home could be off the foundation and that means get the hell out of Dodge. It is very much unsafe at that point. If you do an quick but thorough assessment and all is relatively OK, here is step four.
Find your Earthquake (or other disaster) Survival Kit.
It is very important to have your kit, or kits and I will explain kits in a bit, in an easily accessible place. You will need it or them quickly after disaster strikes.
So you ask, what do I need in my kit(s)? How long should I prepare for having no power, phone or gas services?
Here is what I recommend.
While this website does recommend to have food, supplies and water for at least 72 hours, I recommend at least one week. If you think that is too long, may I point out the disaster that was Hurricane Katrina? You are dealing with a WCS. All the government services will be stretched as soon as disaster strikes.
And I think that while there are excellent kits available at retailers and online, it is better to build your own kit.
So the Federal Emergency and Management Agency recommends to have at least these in your kit. I think that most of what is listed is all good to have. But some of it should be separated out.
I really recommend that you should have a separate pet kit. We have two dogs and both are healthy. But I think that if you have both people and dog emergency stuff in one bag, it creates more work than necessary. This is very helpful information provided by the ASPCA. The most important thing that is not on their list but the most obvious is food and water. Try to have a week's supply of their regular dog food and water, probably err on the side of more water and even food if necessary. They will be nervous because they will not be in their usual routine and dogs especially are creatures of habit.
So, what about that people kit? What about food and water for us? And what about our medications?
Let's start with the medicine first. Try to get your doctor and insurance company to provide at least an extra week's worth. If the insurance is informed that it is for emergency preparedness, that should not be a problem. But, here is something dicey. What if you have medicine that needs to be kept cool like insulin? In reality, you can keep insulin at room temperature for at least 28 days. So more than likely once the disaster happens and the power goes out, one of the last things to do is to check the fridge and get the kind of stuff like insulin out and put with the other medicines in your kit.
So the food that one should have is probably some freeze-dried, high protein food. Again, it should be enough to last at least a week. The infamous MREs or Meals Ready to Eat are available at Amazon.com. Also there is camping/freeze dried food usually available at a sporting goods store. Sports Chalet is a good one in the So Cal area. But if you don't mind a wait there is a fully prepared option available at Cheaper Than Dirt. I like this option because it covers at least a week and beyond.
That is why I believe building your own kit is best. Because you can tailor-make it to suit your needs.
And make sure to have at least water, enough for two weeks no matter what. And the same for the medical supplies portion.
Definitely have all different sizes of Band-aids, a couple of rolls of gauze, scissors, anti-biotic cream, wet-wipes that will clean an area where you may be cut. This is a good guide to build on or if you choose to buy.
I noted that you should have at least a kit for people and a kit for pets. But you should also have at least a rudimentary emergency kit in your car. That can be the 72 hour one. You can and should also have the pet stuff in that one. If you are all out in the car when disaster strikes, it may take quite a while to get home.
All of this is not meant to panic anyone. This is the reality of living in Earthquake Country. We all must be prepared. And we have to be realistic. That means do not count on the fire department, paramedics and or police and or National Guard to get to your area. And here is something to keep in mind. If you live in a higher-income area, that will be where they go. Also to the business districts. If you live in a lower-class area or Lower Slobovia, more than likely you already have the survival instinct in you. THAT is where people will survive. But long-term survival means adding supplies to make sure you are not a total victim.
Last night was a reminder that we all need to be prepared. This is a little reminder and a hope that someone will think about it and get ready.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Reason 3,242,951 Why Homeschooling Is Better

It seems like there is at least a story a day that makes me, a product of public education, reject that time-honored American institution and this story is no different.
Yes, it is the crime of the century what this nine-year old girl did.
She, she . . .shaved her head to support her friend who is battling cancer.
But the educrats, well the educrats have rules against any form of individuality. Even if it is in this case, to show love and support for a friend. It's not some new punker-chick look. It's showing solidarity.
Understand that Caprock Academy is a public charter school. This is not some private school that can implement rules willy-nilly. So this is the school dress code for the gals and the point of the transgression:

Ladies’ Hair: Should be neatly combed or styled. No shaved heads. Hair accessories must be red, white, navy, black or brown. Neat barrettes, headbands and “scrunchies” are permissible. Hair should not be arranged or colored so as to draw undue attention to the student. Hair must be natural looking and conservative in its color. Radical changes in hair color during the school year are unacceptable

I understand that the rules are in place for a reason. And yes, we can't make exceptions all the time. But I should think that in this case, the school should have not been so hard and in fact so punitive as to make her stand on the playground. Why that will teach her to do the most horrible, most horrible thing as to shave her head, with her parent's permission, to show love and support for a friend who is going through the most awful thing any nine-year old can go through.
When you read the whole mind-numbing rules for the gals, there is actually a simple approach that the school can take that would sort of make such an issue moot.
Just have a standard uniform.
Many private schools, especially Roman Catholic schools, and quite a few public schools do have school uniforms.
But that is another issue for another post.
This case owes the probable positive outcome to social media.
This story went viral and no doubt puts a great school in  the most unpositive light.
Without a doubt, this would not have been an issue if the school did not dissmiss the fact that the mother of Kamryn (no last name provided) sent an e-mail that she did give permission and why it was done. A great deal of latitude was needed. But nooooo! The rules are the rules. No exceptions.
More than likely after a meeting of the school board today, they will make the exception and allow Kamryn to be in school and show solidarity with her friend, Delaney, who will be undergoing chemotherapy.
This is the madness of public education.
A set of rules are put in place for the students so that the overall educational experience will be good for the students, teachers, administrators and the parents.
But sometimes, situational awareness and good judgement needs to be used. This was one where that should have come in the picture.
The problem is that the rules are used to exonerate those in charge from having to actually think out of the box. Thus all that is given is "rules are rules and there are no exceptions" when a little investigating should have made this a non issue. In fact, in lefty, educratspeak, this should have been a teachable moment.
What is the teachable moment?
It is what Delaney said to the Fox 31 Denver reporter:

“I was really excited I would have somebody to support me and I wouldn’t be alone with people always laughing at me. I would at least have somebody to go through it all.”

Can you imagine that Delaney, all of nine-years old not only has to face the ravages of chemotherapy, but will be mocked at because of the hair loss that is connected with chemotherapy.
In reality, the school board should encourage other students, boys and girls, to show support if their parents allowed and they wanted to do so by shaving their heads.
Now, let me suggest that if the girls were home schooled, this would never be an issue.
When we aggregate so many issues that occur in public schools all over the United States, it seems to solidify the case for homeschooling. Or at the very least private education alternatives.
Again, as a product of public education, it is painful to write such a thing. But so much has changed in the 32 years since I graduated Schurr High School in Montebello, California. And the changes strike me as not a positive thing.
School should not be like a prison. It should be where young people are taught not what to think but how to think. Not to fall back on rules when problem solving is sometimes more correct.
But in the modern Educrat Industrial Complex, rules are important at the expense of students. And that is why I keep leaning to homeschooling as a serious alternative.

Another Reason Why I Love The Book Of Common Prayer

This past Sunday, I attended the early service at my church.
And by early, I mean 7:45am. Yes that is very early to me, but the two reasons I went is because that service is done in Rite I form. And because Mrs. RVFTLC was away on a church retreat, I went alone because I really like that service over the more contemporary service we both attend later on Sunday mornings.
Before I go one, a little Anglican/Episcopal primer.
The current BCP is known at the 1979 Book of Common Prayer. It all but has replaced the 1928 BCP. While I do not have objection to more contemporary language, I just find the 1928 BCP to speak to me more. In a compromise that probably will go the way of the buffalo in the next BCP revision in the Episcopal Church, and there will be one more than likely in my lifetime, A lot of the 1928 BCP was put in the 1979 BCP. Hence, there are two rites, Rite I and the contemporary Rite II.
Essentially the 1928 BCP is the last one that uses the traditional, Elizabethan language. It really does not fit in the Politically Correct modern Episcopal Church. But some, like my own parish, realize that there is still a significant number that love the old language and the overall flow of the service.
In the current 1979 BCP, as in the 1928 version, there is a prayer right before the congregation proceeds to the altar to receive the Holy Communion. It is known as the Prayer of Humble Access and this is it:

WE do not presume to come to this thy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table. But thou art the same Lord, whose property is always to have mercy: Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his Body, and our souls washed through his most precious Blood, and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen.

It is totally Politically Incorrect.
Why is that?
Because it reminds the Christian that we can not and should not trust in our own ways but to trust God. It also is a stark reminder that even when one accepts Jesus Christ into their life, no matter what tradition, we are sinners.

We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table.

Left to our own devices, the above is true. When we turn away from God, we are not worthy. But there is hope.

But thou art the same Lord, whose property is always to have mercy.

Yes, God is merciful. And the point of the above prayer, as I come to understand it, is because of our own ways, we usually get into trouble of some kind. The opportunity is to ask God, through Jesus Christ, to have mercy. It is an invitation to repent of the bad things that we have done and or not done quite yet.
The Prayer of Humble Access is a reminder that we are sinners. And a reminder of my favorite Christian bumper sticker:

Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven.

And it offers a chance of repentance before one partakes of the Holy Communion. To me it is serious stuff.
The sad part is that there is nothing quite like this in the Rite II forms. And of course it is by design. Because this prayer to many in charge even then, this kind of prayer is rather "judgemental". I mean, it basically tells us that we are not worthy to even eat the crumbs of bread from the altar. Yet what seems to be ignored is that the prayer is all about repentance and redemption. But without acknowledging our sinful nature, there can not be the chance for the communicant to repent and seek God's redemption.
It is sad that the current leadership in The Episcopal Church does not realize how powerful this prayer is and should be used, with contemporary language and not unisex, meaningless drivel, in all forms of the Holy Communion prayers.
As the current 1979 BCP still has some semblance of the appreciation of tradition and traditional language, there is always a chance to worship at a Rite I service and to say such a powerful prayer as the Prayer of Humble Access is. To fully appreciate the meaning of the Holy Communion, that is another reason that the Book of Common Prayer is the greatest Christian worship book ever written.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A Jolly Good Night In Florida

The first big electoral test for Republicans came Tuesday night in a special election for the Florida 13th congressional district and it was a success for the GOP.
Former congressional aide David Jolly won a very contested election to finish the term of the late Congressman C. W. Bill Young. Mr. Jolly defeated Democrat candidate Alex Sink in a close race. A race made closer by a Libertarian party spoiler candidate, Lucas Overby.
The results of the election were as follows:

Jolly (R)             89,099     48%     
Sink (D)             85,642     47%
Overby (L)           8,893       5%

So what is the spin the Dems are putting on this loss?
First, a couple of things about this district.
It is a marginal Republican district. The late incumbent, Mr. Young, won the last election in 2012 with 58% of the vote. It was his second worst showing in his 42 years in congress. This same district voted for the Dear Leader, President Obama, in both 2008 and 2012. So it can at this point be called a swing district. In fact, the Democrat candidate, Jessica Erlich, ran 12 points better than the Democrat candidate in the 2010 mid-term election. So it can easily go Democrat at any point.
Now, for the unreal spin from the Democrats.
DNC chair, Congressman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, one of the dimmest bulbs to service in public office, tried to spin the loss this way:

“Republican special interest groups poured in millions to hold onto a Republican congressional district that they’ve comfortably held for nearly 60 years. Tonight, Republicans fell short of their normal margin in this district because the agenda they are offering voters has a singular focus – that a majority of voters oppose – repealing the Affordable Care Act that would return us to the same old broken health care system.”

OK. Sure, Dim Debbie, go with that.
Consider a few things before buying that spin.
The Democrat party in Florida and Washington D. C. forced a local Democrat pol out of the race so that Mrs. Sink could run. The party and outside groups spent $5,400,000 on the Sink campaign. This is a congressional district that went for the Dear Leader, President Obama, in both his presidential campaigns. Essentially the Democrats used the Obama formula to try to win this seat and they lost.
Oh yeah, Mrs. Sink ran for Florida governor in 2010 as a Democrat. She won this district in that race as well, Yet she also lost that race to the current governor, Rick Scott by a similar close margin.
I throw this out there for the public.
Is it possible that Mrs. Sink is an overrated candidate and she actually sucked here and in the governor's race?
Mr. Jolly was a lobbyist and an obscure aide to the late congressman, Mr. Young. He is going through a divorce and is dating a gal quite a bit younger than he is. Not really an ideal Republican candidate, right?
I would agree that he is not the best candidate in either party.
But guess what?
Mr. Jolly was relentless on one issue.
Obamacare, or as it is referred to on this blog as O-Care.
Mr. Jolly drove home the point that he wanted to vote to repeal O-Care and replace it.
And it worked.
For all the money that was spent by the Democrats and their allies in this race, Mrs. Sink only garnered 46% of the vote. And that is only a four-point gain over the previous election in which the Dear Leader, President Obama, won. And if we take out the Libertarian candidate and assume most of his votes, not all but most, would have been for Mr. Jolly, he probably would have gotten roughly about 53% of the vote.
The thing about these seemingly outlier elections is that there will be momentum for the party that wins these elections.
Take Texas.
They recently had their primaries and Republican voters outnumbered Democrat voters by a more than two-to-one margin. Yes, it is a pretty Red state. But there was the Democrat savior, state Senator Wendy Davis on the ballot. And her and her opponent did not manage more than about 600,000 votes. Republicans saw roughly about 1,600,000 for their primary.
That is reason alone to think that Republicans will have a good night the first Tuesday in November.
That will be a Jolly good night for the United States.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Couple Of Reasons Why Americans Hate Politics AND Politicians

As if you did not realize it, the American political class really sucks these days.
There are numerous reasons why.
One is that the very people we elect to office at the multiple levels are becoming far removed from the people that they are supposed to serve.
There are two cases here of the political class suckage that is, at a level, just draining the ability of the average American voter to even care what happens in their cities, counties, states and the federal government.
Case number one is this special kind of stupid in the person of New York state assemblyman William Boyland, Jr.
Mr. Boyland was convicted last week of openly soliciting bribes for political favors. There were 21 counts and he was found guilty on all of them. Why he is so stupid, the judge would not even wait to sentence him. Federal judge Sandra Townes remanded him immediately as he was texting witnesses and lying about his whereabouts.
Nice.
The jurors on this case heard some of the most immortal words spoken by a politician regarding his $79,500 annual salary. Here they are:

“How the hell are you gonna live off of that?”

Good Lord in heaven!
How can he say that with a straight face?
Maybe he should not have made his comment in a well-known Manhattan steakhouse. Keen's Steakhouse to be exact. Now I link the menu because you should take a peek at the prices. Maybe he could live on $79,500 if he wasn't eating at such a place on the taxpayer's dime. I'm not saying he should be dining at McDonald's, but for crying out loud, is there nothing in between? And he does represent a Brooklyn district. Maybe, just maybe he could find decent dinning in his actual district.
But, Mr. Boyland explains that his paltry salary barely pays for his son's tuition and gas. Again, in the fateful words of our special kind of stupid:

“What the hell. That’s maybe my son’s tuition and maybe I pay for some gas, you know?

So, again, how can he eat even lunch at Keen's Steakhouse?
Tsk, tsk, tsk.
Let's see, according to Empire Center, a New York state assembly member makes that $79,500 annual salary and a $171 per day per diem when the assembly is in session and $61 for a half day. And New York state is a full-time legislature. Most states have part-time legislatures. But not New York.
I will concede that the cost of living is higher in the Metro New York City area. But really, Mr. Boyland can't live on that?
Hmm, let's see if one breaks down Mr. Boyland's salary to an hourly rate, he would be making $41.41c an hour in an eight-hour day.
Maybe if Mr. Boyland did a little something called financial planning, he could afford his son's tuition. The article does not indicate if the son is in college or secondary school.
Needless to say, Mr. Boyland is a Democrat. When it comes to these kind of corruption cases, it usually involves a Democrat. For some reason, big-city Dems have the market on corruption. Not to say that the long arm of corruption does not extend to Republicans. It sure does. One of the most infamous cases involves former congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-Cal.). To me, he was the GOP version of this Boyland dude. Creepy from the get-go. And Mr. Boyland is not a rookie to all of this. His father and uncle served in the state assembly and a sister is on the New York City city council.
The disease known as greed is why some people get involved in politics in the first place. With all the anti-corruption laws in place throughout the United States, somehow there are a boat load of pols that seek ways to get around them and become a William Boyland, Jr.
The second case of annoying and or corrupt politicians leads to one of my favs, Sen. John "F--- You" McCain and his stirring defense of the GOP trifecta of losing presidential candidates. That trifecta is former Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kan.), Sen. "F--- You" McCain himself and the 2012 loser, former Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romeny.
Last week at the annual Conservative Political Action Committee annual conference, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.) was explaining that he thought three out of the last four Republican presidential candidates did not do such a great job in their runs for the White House. In Sen. Cruz' comments, he said that they were not really conservative enough and seemed too squishy for his taste.
So, Sen. "F--- You" McCain did not like that Sen. Cruz mentioned his friend, former Sen. Dole. Fine, whatever. But here is where Sen. "F--- You" McCain saved his venom, as he often does, for fellow Republicans. Here ya go:

I wonder if he thinks that Bob Dole stood for principle on that hilltop in Italy when he was so gravely wounded and left part of his body there fighting for our country?

Now as Allahpundit over at Hotair.com notes, Sen. Cruz said that all three were good and decent men. And they are. And especially former Sen. Dole.
But the cheap shot from Sen. "F--- You" McCain is to indicate that one cannot criticize anyone who served their nation in war time. Before I continue, here is Sen. Cruz entire speech to CPAC:


I would say to watch for yourself and see if Sen. Cruz is somehow criticizing former Sen. Dole for his service to our nation. He is not. And Allahpundit is spot on about how, especially in the cases of both former Sen. Dole and Sen "F--- You" McCain, they totally ran their campaigns on their biography which included their war service. When it came to articulating the differences they had with their respected Democrat opponents, they did have a hard time. No question that their handlers, as well as Mr. Romney's, were going to not get into the weeds about the differences in ideology. That is a fact.
And what Sen. Cruz was saying is without a contrast, voters were going to vote for the incumbent or the other guy. Again a fact.
I think that Sen. Cruz needs to really turn his attention from fellow Republicans to Democrats especially with the mid-term elections coming in November.
But this is standard fare for Sen. "F--- You" McCain.
Wonder why he is known here as Sen. "F--- You" McCain?
I have explained before, but new readers probably do not know.
During the heat of the 2007 debate over so-called "comprehensive" immigration reform, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tx) objected to Sen. McCain trying to ram the bill through. The dialogue went like this:

"Wait a second here. I've been sitting in here for all of these negotiations and you just parachute in here on the last day. You're out of line," to which McCain replied, "Fuck you! I know more about this than anyone else in the room."

Charming.
The problem that Sen. Cruz does not want to have hanging on him is that he saves his venom for fellow Republicans. That is what has happened over the years with Sen. "F--- You" McCain.
Why do I loathe Sen. "F--- You" McCain, even though I voted for the 2008 GOP presidential candidate?
Because he has been a congressman and senator since 1986. He will have spent 30 years in Washington by the time his current senate term ends in 2016. He is a creature of Washington. He speaks Washingtonese.He himself almost became embroiled in the Keating Five scandal of the late 1980s.  He was lucky that he came out of it relatively unscathed. He talks about the earmarks that almost all congressmen do as if most Americans understand what that means. It is something that is barely a full one percent of the federal budget. It makes him seem to be a hawk on government spending. He talks about all the pals he has in the senate. And his intransigent stand on foreign military endeavors and so-called "comprehensive" immigration reform do remove him from those that elected him time and time again.
That is what Sen. Cruz was articulating. That one should stick to what they believe and not get caught up in the Washington Beltway nonsense. Clearly over the years, former Sen. Dole and Sen. "F--- You" McCain became Washington.
What do these two things have to do with each other?
One pol thinks that he should find illegal ways for additional income because he can't live like, well probably most of his constituents.
The other gets caught up in the years he has spent in government and forgets why he claimed to run in the first place.
Both feel a certain sense of entitlement because they are politicians. They have made a career of politics.
The Founding Father's intent was that people would run for office and serve in a part-time capacity. That they would go back when they weren't legislating to their careers and be part of the people that they serve.
But now, politics has become a career. It is truly bipartisan. Does not matter if one is a Republican or a Democrat. They see themselves as an entitled class and the voters as saps to vote for them in the first place.
These are but two reasons why a lot of the American people hate politics and politicians.












The Mystery Of Malaysian Air Flight MH370

Yes it is a mystery that an airliner seemingly disappear into thick air.
It is a mystery how Malaysian Air flight MH370 just went off the radar screens last Friday evening on a flight from Kuala Lumpar to Beijing.
But let's get some things out of the way.
Unless this is Stephen King's The Langoliers, the plane crashed. When I keep hearing the media of all stripes refer to this as a disaperince, it is beyond foolish. But the problem is that there is at this writing no wreckage to be found. So there is this meme that the plane disappeared. But, there was the case of Air France Flight 447 flying from Rio de Janeiro to Paris in 2009. It took five days to find the plane wreckage over the Atlantic ocean. But it took two years to find the Black Box that contains the flight data recorder. The subsequent investigation essentially said that the crash was due to an accident.
Well of course all kinds of theories are out there as to what happened.
Of course the most logical explanation is that there was some kind of malfunction that caused the plane to crash. In fact, that is what my pal believes over at Social Extinction. He totally rules out a possible terrorist plot that went off.
But there is the possibility of terrorism. Of course that would most likely be Islamofacist terrorism. But then again, if it is terrorism, it is possible a local terrorist group. Or something of the here-to-fore unknown variety.
Of course the paranormal crowd is getting into the mix.
One of my friends on Facebook gave his thoughts on the possibility of something out of this world occurring. I'm sure that it is burning up the nighttime airwaves on Coast To Coast AM.
In the 24/7 media world, there is the "We want answers and we need them now!" mentality. However, because of where the plane went down, apparently in a deep body of water (although this late report in The Daily Telegraph indicates it was 200 miles off course which raises the possibility that it may have crashed on land in a remote area), it makes it difficult to ascertain where the wreckage possibly is.
I remind all that it took five days to find the Air France flight 447 wreckage on the Atlantic ocean.
Until then, yes it is a mystery but will be solved at least in the sense wreckage will be found. The families of the 227 passengers will have some kind of closure. But the reminder is how fragile our lives really are.