Thursday, November 20, 2014

Is Thanksgiving A No-No Holiday Now?


Take a good look at the photo above.
Note what it says. And what it doesn't say.

ORDER YOUR HOLIDAY TURKEY

OK, so here is the background on this photo and why I am at the very least confused.
Yesterday on my way to an appointment, I noticed the sign in the above photo. This is at the Vatican of Whole Foods in Pasadena, California, my home town. So needless to say I whipped out the ol' cell phone camera because I am just curious.
What is the holiday the sign is speaking of?
The only holiday this month is, you guessed it.
Thanksgiving.
And I thought, is Thanksgiving now a no-no holiday?
I know, some Indians rank Thanksgiving up there with Columbus Day as the two American holidays to hate. And Thanksgiving is special to the Indians because they would argue that it was the beginning of the end of their way of life. And there is some marginal truth to that, I suppose.
To the American left, well it is all about the European, more English, conquest of North America and the exploitation of the Indians and the beginning of the horror to the world that is the United States of America.
But these are the fringes, right?
I am afraid not.
Now I shared the above photo on my Facebook page and there was a seemingly logical thought a couple of people shared with me that they thought it was just going to stay up through to the Christmas season. Then one had the same reaction that I had. And another shared a tale of a pastor scolding her for celebrating Thanksgiving in the first place.
OK, I get it that certain precincts in the United States that like to promote the idea, as I noted, that the beginning of what we today call Thanksgiving was the beginning of the end of a romanticised way of life. That being of the Indians.
Let me be clear that I am not anti-Indian. But it's not fair to make it out that they were all but a peace loving people. Tribes were fighting each other for land just like everyone else all over the world. And they were no better or worse in how they treated the spoils of their conquests.
This is to be fair and explain that the first Thanksgiving was not as much the beginning of the end for the Indians because those people did not have any gripes with each other. That, regrettably, did not come until later.
So, the first Thanksgiving was both a celebration of a good harvest and of good people being together.
But I don't think that the history is as important of the holiday as what it is and should be today.
Giving thanks is not specifically religious. Non-religious people can give thanks as well as the person of faith. The fact of the matter is that it is not an absolute religious holiday. But it has become so important in the American celebration that, until recently, almost every retail establishment was closed on Thanksgiving. When I was growing up, most markets were closed. And invariably, we would have to find somewhere to find something that was an important ingredient that was forgotten. There was always Thrifty drug store! That is why as so many major retailers are pushing the envelope and starting the traditional Black Friday, day after Thanksgiving, Christmas shopping season on Thanksgiving evening. Some are open all day on Thanksgiving. And that is upsetting to a lot of people. I am one of them. And for me, there is the conflict with business and tradition. I'm all for the tradition.
I do not see why it has to be hidden and given the trite "holiday" label that we have done to Christmas for we don't want to offend anyone. Is Thanksgiving an offensive holiday? What about Independence Day? Memorial Day? Labor Day? Martin Luther King Day? Washington/Lincoln Birthday, aka President's Day? Don't all of these celebrations offend someone or some group?
Here is the thing.
I really, really believe that we all need to grow a thicker skin.
Really, does it offend a non-Christian to be given a Merry Christmas greeting? Can someone greet another person not of their tradition with their greeting? Such as Happy Hanukkah? Blessed Ramadan? I don't feel offense as much as that person happy with who they are and sharing their religious tradition. Or national tradition. If one is not a believer in any religion, you have to understand that the majority of people in the United States do have a religion. Instead of crying "I'm offended", why not use it as an opportunity to share why you do not believe? And I just noted that you who are non-believers can give thanks for the blessings in your life for you do have such things.
The more that we know about each other and what we are all about in human terms, we can avoid the fear of a retailer having to have a sign that reads
ORDER YOUR HOLIDAY TURKEY
 
 
 



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Islamics Take Over The Parish Of St. Peter And St. Paul In Washington, D. C.


JUST SAY NO TO RADICAL ISLAM


And it is known by the more familiar name of the Washington National Cathedral.
Last Friday, the dean of the cathedral, essentially the rector, the Very Rev. Gary Hall, hosted an unusual event. That event was the Friday prayers of practicing Muslims led by the ambassador to the United States from South Africa, Ebrahim Rasool
Now, the fact that it was held on the very day of the 100th anniversary of the last caliph of the Ottoman Empire declared a jihad and, surprise, 1,000,000 Armenian Christians were massacred is to be igorned, I'm sure. However, this piece over at Breitbart is a reminder to Mr. Rasool. And Mr. Rasool has an interesting response to it:

 “It’s deliciously appropriate.”

On it's own, it is very damning. But there is more:

“We stand in a Christian cathedral, make common cause with the Christian middle ground, and make a commitment, that never again must there be intolerance towards Christians or any other faith. We stand up against extremism from the house of Islam and wherever it else it may emanate.”

Why it all sounds great, doesn't it?
But, Mr. Rasool then goes on to give the Muslim Brotherhood victim status along with a lot of other questionable groups.
I will let you read that for yourself.
And this is what was seen in the Washington National Cathedral

 
St. Peter and St. Paul and the Washington National Cathedral are part of the diocese of Washington, D. C. and part of The Episcopal Church.
As most who even glance at this blog know, I am a Christian and worship in The Episcopal Church (to be referred to from here as TEC).
And as I wrote on my Facebook page it was an embarrassing moment as a Christian and an angry moment as an Episcopalian.
For some inexplicable reason, there are many, especially in leadership, that place the highest value on ecumenical relations. Such a value that it is above everything else including the basic Christian witness of baptising the nations in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost and seeking to serve Christ in all.
To say that this has created a firestorm is putting it very mildly.
Why do I think that it was not a good idea?
One very important reason is optics to radical Islamics.
Does anyone not think for a moment, to repeat a phrase, how delicious it is for the Islamic State and or their allies and fellow travellers to see the above photo and not see that Islam has taken over a Christian church? A church that is of national importance in the United States? The very church that then president George W. Bush held a true interfaith service on the Friday after the horrors of 9/11?
Maybe it pays to understand that the Very Rev. Hall is as modernist as they come in his view of the Christian church. Here is the Hall story courtesy of the Washington National Cathedral website. The Very Rev. Hall served for a time in ministry at All Saints Episcopal church here in Pasadena, California. If you go to the All Saint's link, or as I am prone to refer to it as All Socialists, you will find the plethora of leftist causes and activities. Not really a lot about Jesus Christ and his ministry on earth nor much about spreading the Gospel. The Very Rev. Hall when named as dean of the cathedral in our nation's capital went on a gun control rant and began to perform same-sex marriages. Same-sex marriage is legal in the District of Columbia. Oh yeah, and he does not really think as a Christian minister he should be bringing people to Christ.
So this is why I think it is easy for the Very Rev. Hall to put his ecumenical outreach above everything else.
OK, what else is wrong with what happened last week?
It was a closed service. It was not open to the public. In fact, a mosque can not be used for non-Islamic activities. But to be fair, a mosque in Sacramento in 2012 did allow it's space to be used by a Christian church that lost it's lease for Easter Sunday services. But even in the link, the article notes that it is not common practice for any mosque to do such a thing. So again, in an ecumenical spirit, the Muslims not only worshiped in a Christian church, but got to set the guidelines.
Which leads to an addendum to the point I made above about perception.
The worst aspect of the appearance is that the Washington National Cathedral and it's leadership looked like dhimmis.
Those are the non-Islamic people in jihad-conquered lands. And as part of being "protected", the dhimmis are expected to pay a special jizya, or tax. And as part of their second-class status, they can not do anything that would promote their non-Islamic faith. Which is aimed directly at Christians.
This is what really happened in the Washington National Cathedral last week.
I do not believe that is the intent, but to those who are radical Islamics, that is what they see and will use in their propaganda to recruit more men to the death cult known as the Islamic State.
Who were the participants of the closed Friday prayer service?
Well, as noted, the South African ambassador to the United States, Mr. Rasool. But one group that has been mainstreamed yet is really extreme is the Council of American-Islamic Relations. CAIR is very much an Islamic victimology group and is known to have ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, the extremist group that assassinated the late Egyptian president, Anwar Sadat. Another of the Islamic groups participating in the service is the Islamic Society of North America. Both organizations have been somewhat tied to terrorist groups. ISNA was particularly tied to the Holy Land Foundation which was convicted of funding terrorist groups. So was CAIR. Both groups are also accused of promoting the radical Wahhabi sect of Islam, which is what is practiced in Saudi Arabia. For balance, why was not M. Zhudi Jassar and his organization, American Islamic Forum For Democracy, a participant? If any does not know Dr. Jassar, he is one of the leading people involved in modernizing Islam and trying to defeat the vocal and dangerous radical element. I can maybe give the benefit of the doubt and maybe the Christian folks that helped set up this service do not know of this group. Maybe they are just tuned in to more well-known groups. Or maybe, just maybe, the Christians do know of Dr. Jassar and his group but because they are not of the victimless cult, they are not deemed legitimate by people like the Very Rev. Hall and his sycophants.
To me the bottom line is this.
I am all for knowing of and learning about other religions and or faiths. In doing so it can actually challenge why I believe the way I do. Or it can cement why I believe the way that I do. I would probably not find an interfaith service being held in the Christian Washington National Cathedral a big deal. But, when the Christian leadership asks a group of Muslims not only to pray but close the prayers and celebrate the Islamic religious practice, in a very heady time in Islamic history, I wonder if the people laying out the welcome mat get what people think of such things. I laid out the case as to the overall perception the world sees, like it or not. But the fact is that it is a done deal. What I would like to see is a more serious discussion on how Islam can rid itself of such a dangerous and deadly radical element. I would like to see modernist Christians not go back to the Crusades to suggest that somehow Christians have such a radical element today. I would like to see the so-called mainstream Islamic groups stop playing victim and mainstream themselves and their fellow Muslims into American society without giving up their religion and practices. I don't see how this service in the Washington National Cathedral did anything but stir up trouble.
And why did I insert the Islamic crescent with a slash through it above?
Because of what I wrote. We have to speak with one voice about defeating, not accommodating, radical Islam. We can not give such perceptions of Muslims taking a Christian house of worship as their own. That is what was wrong about the prayer service.
 
 




Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Big Red Wave Came A Crashin Successfully!

I just love all of the surfing analogies to the recently concluded totally awesome 2014 mid-term elections.
Some quick observations.
Our Dear Leader, President Obama, is a kinda sore loser, isn't he?
Republicans were supposed to lose governorships. Yes, they lost one (Pennsylvania), but gained in Arkansas, Illinois, Maryland and Taxachusetts, er Massachusetts. And the GOP even kept the Maine's governor's office after an all out assault by the Democrat party to take it away.
The GOP not only recaptured the senate but did so with ease. The final total should be a 54-46 GOP majority in the senate.
And it appears that the GOP will have no less than 245 seats in the house with some outstanding races not called yet.
And the GOP now controls this much of the United States, in particular in congress.
Yes, it is a damn red map, isn't it?
But let's start at this map.
As Michael Barone notes in this analysis of the 2014 election, yes it does look very red. But the splotches of blue are some of the highest-populated areas of the United States. So while the map does look favorable for the GOP, there is still work to be done to make any inroads into many of these urban Democrat strongholds. These strongholds can still in a great year give the Democrats the White House. But for the foreseeable future, congress is more than likely be in the hands of the Republicans.
My message is that the GOP can not and should not rest on it's laurels. The party needs to go anywhere and everywhere to win elections. No city, county, sheriffs office, state, or nation should be written off.
So how about that senate?
Your humble blogger seems to have gotten the winners right on election night. I was off on the numbers, but the results seemed to be correct. Out of the five big races I commented on, the only one that did not pan out was the race in New Hampshire between current Democrat incumbent, Jeanne Shaheen, and former Massachusetts senator, Scott Brown. Sen. Shaheen won exactly by the margin I thought Mr. Brown would win by. But I noted that a drawback would be the accusation of carpetbagging could hurt Mr. Brown. And I think that it did.
One thing that was learned is that the polls were kinda sorta off. Many of the races won by Republicans were by larger margins than the polls were indicating right up to election day. Interestingly, it appears that Democrats were polled on average more than Republicans. But here is the thing. Polls are but a snapshot in time. There is something called election day. THAT is the only poll that counts. Really, it is.
How is it that Republicans have gained governorships in a year that they were supposed to lose? And as I noted above, in some damn unexpected states.
Take Maryland.
No one, and I mean no one, saw Larry Hogan as a serious candidate against the sitting Lt. governor, Anthony G. Brown. But things started shifting dramatically towards the end of the campaign. But almost all believed that Mr. Brown would still win and handily because after all, Maryland is a solid Blue Democrat stronghold. Not only did Mr. Hogan win, but rather handily. The result was 51% to 47% in favor of Mr. Hogan. And in a state like Maryland, this is a landslide.
And how about Massachusetts?
Once again, the state attorney general, Democrat Martha Croakley, er Coakley, proved that she is so bad a candidate, she lost state office again to a Republican and this time for governor and Charlie Baker defeated the hapless Croakley, 49% to 47%. Mrs. Croakley also lost to former Sen. Scott Brown in the special election to replace the late Sen. Edward "Teddy" Kennedy in 2010. As for me, I want her to move to California and run for any statewide office as a Democrat. It's the way we can win something in 2018.
The two above elections are what happens in a year in which there is a big wave and some candidates that would never win pull off good upsets.
And there are the wins to complete a through take over of a state and that is what happened in Arkansas.
The governor's office is now that of former Republican congressman, Asa Hutchinson as he defeated former Democrat congressman, Mike Ross, by the handy margin of 55% to 42%. Republican Tim Griffin was elected Lt. Governor. Another Republican, Leslie Rutledge, is now the state attorney general. The GOP controls the state senate, 24-11 and the sea change was in the house of representatives where the minority GOP gained 13 seats and are now in the majority, 64-36. The congressional delegation and two senators are Republicans. And Arkansas is now the last state in the old Confederacy to be in the Republican column. There are no Democrat governors in the old Confederacy. Only Bill Nelson in Florida and until the December runoff, Mary Landrieu, are Democrat senators in the old Confederate South. The Democrats basically are down to representing racial minority districts in state houses and in congress.
To be fair the Democrats took away the governor's office in Pennsylvania in one of the few highlights of the election night. But the GOP increased their margins in the state legislature.
And the Big Red Wave did ripple here in California as the GOP gained two, maybe three, congressional seats and have denied the Democrats super majorities in both houses of the legislature meaning they will not be able to raise taxes without GOP votes. And a couple of state office races were close giving hope that the GOP could be competitive in the 2018 elections.
So, how did our Dear Leader, President Obama, the titular leader of the Democrat party, take the election results?
Well, lets just say not all that well.
The day after the thrashing that his party took, losing the senate, ground in the house of representatives and even governorships and state legislatures, the Dear Leader, President Obama, said the following:

“To everyone who voted, I want you to know that I hear you. To the two-thirds of voters who chose not to participate in the process yesterday, I hear you, too.”

No, sorry, you can't give the back hand and claim that people too bothered to vote count the same. In fact, those people may have not voted for the Democrats had they taken the time and effort. But give it to the Dear Leader, President Obama. His delusion went even further:

“The American people sent a message, one that they’ve sent for several elections now.“They expect the people they elect to work as hard as they do. They expect us to focus on their ambitions and not ours. They want us to get the job done. All of us in both parties have a responsibility to address that sentiment.”

With all due respect to the office sir, no that is not why voters turned to the Republicans. They turned to the Republicans to reign you in. They want to bring you and your party back to the center. They want you to stop with legalizing as many illegal aliens as you can questionably. They don't believe in the climate change propaganda and want policies that will lead to economic growth. Not in a pipe dream of a government-made green economy. They voted for people that said we will work where we can with the president, but to no longer be patsies. And they want at the very least major changes in Obamacare. Most would be willing to scrap the whole monstrosity and start again.
This election was about a stark contrast between the Republican party and the Democrat party. It showed that the GOP at least was listening to the public overall much better than the Democrats. The Democrats thought that they could win supposedly tight races by the spectre of the Republican "War on Women" and that they want to take birth control away and put 'em back in the kitchen and for sure barefoot and pregnant. And if that did not work, stir up Black voters with the spectre of Ferguson and a national effort by all police forces, at the hands of the Republicans of course, to use Black youth as target practice. And if that did not work, why they would suggest that because many GOP voters were not in favor of same-sex marriage to look out for a GOP win would probably force all sexual alphabet voters back in the closet or some kind of reorientation camp.
The reason for the lack of effort on accomplishment and fanning the fires of fear is because there are no accomplishments. O-Care is a continuous disaster. The economy may be recovering, but at such an anemic rate most Americans do not feel it at all. We look and are absolutely feckless in the face of the rise of the Islamic State and the unrest throughout the Middle East. Our relationship with Red China looks like we are giving up the store at any given opportunity. In other words, to coin a phrase, the American people feel in a malaise.
But the GOP has to deliver. It has to pursue the policies of seeking to streamline the tax code and seek changes that will be accessible to the middle class. It needs to fight the attempts of massive regulation that is keeping the economy from maybe having a stronger recovery. It needs to stop the government from legalizing millions of illegal aliens and must, must support border security first, then reform. It must have the confidence of the American people that it can govern.
But the fact is that the Big Red Wave was just that. And it crashed on the Democrats hopes and dreams. Hopefully it will restore hope in the GOP and the American experience.




Monday, November 03, 2014

Will The GOP See Any Success In California

While the Republican party will enjoy very good success tomorrow evening, there are some precincts in the Union that the GOP will not make a huge wave and one of those places is California.
There are many reasons for this.
The most obvious reason is that the current governor, Democrat Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown, built a $21,000,000 war chest that most respectable Republicans looked at and figured that they had no chance to compete against such a boatload of cash on hand for Gov. Brown. And the Republican candidate, Neel Kashkari, literally swooped in at the last possible moment to challenge state assemblyman Tim Donnelly for the Republican nomination. Because California now has an open, non-partisan primary, the top two finishers go on to the general election. Mr. Kashkari finished second and is the patsy against Gov. Brown. A good night for Mr. Kashkari will be if he can match the numbers of the last GOP gubernatorial candidate, Meg Whitman as far as votes. Mrs. Whitman spent about $140,000,000 to lose to Gov. Brown and attain 41% of the vote. If Mr. Kashkari can equal that at the limited money he has, he will have spent his money wisely. If he gets higher numbers, its gravy and shows that the GOP can be competitive in the once Golden State.
So, California has seven "constitutional" offices which means that those offices the voters decide. After the governor, there is the Lt. Governor. Can the GOP win this one? Probably not as Democrat incumbent Gavin Newsome should have similar numbers as Gov. Brown. What about Attorney General? Nope, for Democrat Kamala Harris has actually been an adequate A. G. for a a Democrat. Again, she will ride the Brown coattails. Mr. RVFTLC, is there any damn office left? Why I'm glad you asked. There are a couple of offices in which the GOP has a fighting chance. The first one is for Controller. The GOP candidate is the Republican mayor of Fresno, Ashley Swearingen. She finished first in the open primary and is facing off against Democrat No. Cal., Betty Yee. This appears to be a close enough race where Mrs. Swearingen can pull it off. I think that it will be close. If Mrs. Swearingen wins, she will be de facto leader of the California GOP. Even if Pete Petersen should win the Secretary of State, more on that shortly, Mrs. Swearingen will be the one seen as the leader. Now Mr. Petersen finished an agonizing close second in the open primary. Most analysts think this is also a winnable race for the GOP. If the GOP wins one or both, it will be seen as a sign the state GOP is making a comeback.
Another sign the California GOP would be showing signs of a comeback is to gain seats in the state legislature and even in the delegation to congress.
Currently, there are 15 Republican members of the 53 member congressional delegation. The state assembly has 24 Republicans and the state senate has 12 GOPers.
The state legislature is where the GOP needs to make some gains. Because the Democrats had a 2/3rd majority in both houses, a super majority, they did not need any GOP input on any legislation. But three senators have been embroiled in legal battles and are either out of the state senate or "on leave". That reduces the total number of senators from 40 to 37, thus ending that super majority. This maybe a tough hill to climb, but the GOP can get three seats and that will end the super majority when the state senate is back to 40 full members. The Democrats will still be in control, but the number will be 25 to 15. Considering there are only 12 members now, three more will make a huge difference. The same holds true in the state assembly. The magic number for the GOP is to hold their seats and win three more to bring their number to 27. That kills the super majority in the assembly. But again, the Democrats will be in charge 53 to 27.
O.K., I am the first to admit that seems to be small ball. And it is. But considering the Democrat juggernaut of 2010, to at least have a minority that puts something on money bills and gets some Democrat concessions is a start.
So what about congress?
One race to watch for is the 52nd congressional district. That pits incumbent Democrat congressman Scott Peters against Republican Carl DeMaio, the man that should have been mayor of San Diego. This is high on the GOP radar and money has been spent hand over fist on this one. It appears that this is in the too close to call category. A Republican win here will be a series of firsts. One, Mr. De Maio will be the first homosexual elected to congress as a Republican. Second, he will be the first to be married to a man under California law. Some very conservative groups are either sitting this one out or supporting the Democrat. Of course this being California, it is a big mistake for not supporting DeMaio. He's wrong on some of these issues, but he will be a good, reliable Republican vote. Another race is in the 33rd district in which is a open seat as Democrat Henry Waxman is retiring (thank Almighty God!). The Democrat is state senator Ted Lieu and the Republican is Elan Carr, a prosecutor in the Los Angeles county district attorney's office. Mr. Carr won a strong second place to face Sen. Lieu and is in contention. The district was redrawn in 2010 and is, surprisingly become a competitive district. That is why the GOP is helping Mr. Carr try to win here. Imagine the 40-year reign of Henry Waxman ends with the GOP winning his seat. Eternal justice if there ever was any!
Unlike 2010, the Democrats are not exactly pumped up for this election. After all the top of the ticket is already a winner in Gov. Brown. It's just a question of how badly Mr. Kashkari will be beaten by.
While the GOP is not in the greatest shape, the voters will have more motivation to actually vote. Although only 28% of registered voters, this maybe an election that they make inroads with decline to state (independent) voters. If that happens, then the party is on the comeback.
The Republican wave tomorrow night will be a good sized ripple in California. But will it be a strong enough ripple to help a beleaguered state GOP? I think it will be a better night than 2010 for state Republicans.

Tomorrow Will Be A Huge Republican Night

Tomorrow evening, probably pretty early here on the left coast, we will know the margin of  Republican control of the senate, an increased majority in the house and how many state houses will look like for the next two years.
One important reality is that my state, California, will not see much of a change as Gov. Jerry Brown will cruise to reelection. But there are chances for the GOP will make gains and begin a long march to respectability in the once Golden State. But that is for another post.
Let me say now that the GOP will get the six seats needed to take the majority and I think with a lot more ease than we are seeing in the polls to today.
And I will stipulate the three seats that are currently in Democrat hands most if not all analysts believe go the the GOP. Those seats are in Arkansas, South Dakota and West Virginia. There is nothing to comment on those seats except that it boosts the Republicans to 48 seats in the senate.
So, where do the votes come from to get the three more seats needed?
Well, there are a lot of places and these would be the three seats I believe will get the GOP over the top in no particular order.

IOWA:
State senator Joni Ernst (R) is ahead of the Democrat candidate, congressman Bruce Braley in the Real Clear Politics average of polls by 1.4% and that is the margin of error. But almost all polls are showing Sen. Ernst ahead and the highly respected Des Moines Register poll shows her ahead by seven points. And that may end up being the margin of victory. Sen. Ernst has ran a pretty flawless campaign while Rep. Braley has done everything possible to alienate a lot of potential voters, especially farmers which is a large voting bloc in Iowa.

The RVFTLC prediction:        Joni Ernst(R)     53%     Bruce Braley(D)   47%    GOP gain

COLORADO:
This has turned into the bizarre race of the cycle. Current Democrat incumbent, Sen. Mark Udall should have been winning this race but decided he would run his campaign on the so-called "War on women" meme. Current Republican congressman, Cory Gardner, like Sen. Ernst, has run a flawless campaign by essentially taking much of the sail off of that made-up issue. But by running on such a non-issue, it appears that Sen. Udall is running himself out of a job. And the voters seem prepared to reward Rep. Gardner with a six-year term. According to the RCP average, Rep. Gardner is up about two percent.  And that maybe enough to even pull in a GOP governor against the equally hapless incumbent, John Hickenlooper. An aptly named pol if there ever was one.

The RVFTLC prediction:      Cory Garnder(R)  55%     Mark Udall          45%     GOP gain

ALASKA:
The current Democrat incumbent is Sen. Mark Begich. Sen. Begich is lucky to be in this position because in 2008, he was able to ride a wave of one Barack Obama and a conviction of then-Sen. Ted Stevens (later overturned) to victory. A narrow one at that. This time around, the GOP has a strong candidate in Attorney General Dan Sullivan and he has had Sen. Begich on the ropes throughout this cycle. And it has been so strange to see Sen. Begich declare that the president of the United States, fellow Democrat Obama, to be irrelevant. It is not helping Sen. Begich anymore than anyone else to run away from the Dear Leader, President Obama. And Mr. Sullivan is ahead in the RCP polling average also about two percent.

The RVFTLC prediction:      Dan Sullivan(R)    55%     Mark Begich(D)        45%     GOP gain

And those are what I think will be the sure GOP bets to get to the magic number of 51 seats to control the senate.
So is there anywhere else that the GOP can win? Can they add to the senate majority they are expected to win tomorrow night?
Why yes, there is.
How about North Carolina? Well, this race has been one of the toughest fought on both sides. The current incumbent is Democrat Sen. Kay Hagan. Her Republican challenger is the speaker of the North Carolina house, Thom Tillis. The fact is that Sen. Hagan has been ahead this whole race but her margins are within the margin of error, usually between three to five percent either way. Sen Hagan is now averaging a lead of 0.7% in the RCP average of polls. That means as long as Mr. Tillis is this close and closing in, the chances are at minimum 50-50 he can pull off a close win. Will I dare to predict this one? Sure will. Here it is:

The RVFTLC prediction:      Thom Tillis(R)     50%     Kay Hagan(D)         48%     GOP gain

OK, there is an equally tight race in New Hampshire between Democrat incumbent Jeanne Shaheen and former Massachusetts Republican Sen. Scott Brown. Now I'll totally be fair here and while I like Sen. Brown, he can not live down the label of carpetbagger. Finding a place where he thought he could win election. He could have ran again in Massachusetts this year, but would have lost to the incumbent Sen. Ed Markey. It is the one thing that I believe may save Sen. Shaheen. But like Sen. Hagan, Sen. Shaheen is falling and her RCP poll average is also bellow a margin of one percent (0.9%). Mr. Brown is in range to win this and has to make a super strong closing argument and I think that he could. So, the fearless prediction is:

The RVFTLC prediction:      Scott Brown(R)     50%     Jeanne Shaheen(D)  48%    GOP gain

Now there are a couple of races that I will say could potentially hurt the GOP and dent some of the predictions made here. Meaning that all of the above need to happen to offset at least one or maybe two losses.
Kansas is one that may be a loss for the GOP but it may have happened no matter what. The GOP incumbent is Sen. Pat Roberts. Really he is a solid conservative. But what I think really hurt him is his inability to identify with his home state. He does not own a home in Kansas and rarely visits the state. And he had a bruising primary with Tea Party favorite, Milton Wolf, a cousin of the Dear Leader, President Obama, and only this past Friday Mr. Wolf endorsed Sen. Roberts reelection bid. He is being challenged by "Independent" candidate Greg Orman who, because of his showing in the polls, caused the Democrat candidate to bail out and the state supreme court said that was just fine. Mr. Orman is being blatantly endorsed now by the Democrat party. But Mr. Orman is very coy as to what party he will caucus with in Washington. In the past, he has been a active Democrat. But if he should win and the GOP is in the majority, he may well just keep the seat for the GOP. But it is a bad chance to take. I think that this goes to Mr. Orman but by a small margin.
In Louisiana, there is a strange way general elections are held. There is no primary. Essentially the primary is on the day of the general election. If one candidate, no matter what party, gets 50% plus one, they win. Since that rarely happens, there is a runoff between the top two vote getters in early December. The Democrat incumbent is one Sen. Mary Landrieu. She is facing two strong Republicans, one being current congressman Bill Cassidy and Rob Maness. One of those two will go on to the election in December. Most polls show that Rep. Cassidy will be that candidate. There is the polling for tomorrow here in which Sen. Landrieu is ahead but in December she will lose to Rep. Cassidy. I see this as a GOP pick up. Louisiana is just turning more and more Republican and this is an icing on that cake.
Is there one race, one race that is off the radar that could be a surprise win for the GOP tomorrow night? Any race?
One to look for could well be in Virginia. Democrat Sen. Mark Warner is facing former GOP chair Ed Gillespie. Polling has shown Sen. Warner consistently ahead. But Mr. Gillespie is closing the gap. How close can he get? Probably not enough to win. But if this race is not called right away by the networks tomorrow night, it could be a huge upset in the making.
All of this at the end gets the GOP control of the senate. If my predictions hold out, the GOP gets seven seats and the number in congress will be 52 seats. If there are huge upsets other than Virginia, it well could be ten seats and a lot of breathing room. But I am sticking with 52 to 48. Unless Greg Orman in Kansas surprises everyone and caucuses with the GOP. Then its 53-47.
So, what about the house?
No one has been talking much about the house, but I see really big gains that no one else does. Currently, the GOP has 234 house seats. There is a goal of gaining 16 to get to 250 seats. Not only do I think that it is doable, but more than likely. And many of the gains will happen in Blue states.
There are at least two to three seats that can go the GOP way in California. Yes, California. In New York state, two seats will change to the GOP for sure. Illinois and Ohio are possible GOP pickups. I see that the GOP will probably gain 20 seats and give them 254 seats.
One other thing that could pad the GOP majorities is Democrat defections. It is very possible. If Mr. Orman wins and decides he will caucus with the GOP, a possible defection is West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin. He may look at the landscape and think being in the minority sucks. And that he is more aligned with the GOP on some key issues. It's a possibility, but not overly likely.
Maybe some house members will come to the same conclusion. I would not be surprised if it happens.
On the state level, the GOP may pick up the governor's office in Colorado, Illinois and Massachusetts. But they may lose in Alaska to an Independent backed by former Gov. Sarah Palin. They may lose Florida to the insufferable Charlie Crist. And also Kansas. That leaves a wash at the governor's level. But they could pad their control of state legislatures and or make gains in some they do not control. In California, the GOP has to gain only one seat in each house to end the Democrat super majority they gained in the 2012 presidential election year. That would be substantial.
Tomorrow will be a huge night for the Republican party. They will gain control of the senate and make gains in governorships in Blue states. They will increase the majority they have in the house.
The big question we can start asking on Wednesday is what will all this mean for governing in the United States?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Charming-6-Year Old "Princesses" Dropping F-Bombs For Feminism

Upon first glance at the little girl in the video above, not reading the title or anything, this little girl looks pretty cute in a princess outfit complete with a tiara.
That, my friends, is where the charm ends.
The video is produced by a for-profit group known as FCKH8.
I guess with a name like that, one should expect what you see when you watch the above video.
And a little background about FCKH8 is that they are in the business of making money and supporting the usual left wing topics such as gay rights, abortion rights, women's rights, all the politically correct causes. I have no problem with them making money. Where I have doubt as to their sincerity of the cause. If they did not think that they could make a buck, they would not be doing this enterprise. There are sincere, yet misguided, non-profit groups that are all in on similar issues and I think if I were interested in pursuing their agenda, I would support one of those groups.
OK, so the video itself?
Besides a slew of lies, there are 13 F-bombs, 1 a-bomb and 1 s-bomb for a total of 15 profanities that I was able to count in a little over a minute. What you will see if you can stomach watching the whole thing is a boy dressed as a girl and saying how awful it is when the phrase "You are like a girl" is said by another boy. And the big push to make sure you buy articles of clothing from FCKH8. Their come on is that $5 of each purchase goes to some "great causes" without exactly being specific.
And they do have their detractors that claim among other things their business practices leave a lot to be desired. I found this blog that while on the fringe of the sexual issues du jour at least is sincere. And I actually agree with their premise that FCKH8 is exploiting the sexual alphabet community. Anytime a for-profit company is involved in some hip, new, great cause one must at the very least raise an eyebrow of suspicion. No matter what side of the political aisle they may be on.
I will address the points quickly because that is not really the point of this post.
The princesses toss out the debunked 'women are paid 25% less than men for the same work' meme. These links should help dispel those charges. And the simple fact is that if all were true, who would want to hire a guy when they can pay a gal 25% less for the same job. There is a lot about this, but not germane to this post.
The latest cause is that one in four women will face some kind of sexual assault at some point in their life.
Now I think that sexual assault, and it is intentionally a broad term, is a very serious problem that needs to be addressed without hysterics and hyperbole. A lot of this comes from the university in which many in academia are basically suggesting that male and female sex is an assault on women. Thus I think the one in four number is a bit much. Thus again, if one makes it sound awful and have some cute little girl princesses saying how f---ing awful it is, well it must be true.
Then the cute princesses go off about how a gal's body should not be what defines her. Of course when a cute, six year-old says that she should not have to grow up worrying about what her a-- looks like, well that gets me on the the bandwagon to allow girls, and really boys as well, to end up looking, whatever.
The issues brought up in this ad are encapsulated by Christine Sisto in this post on National Review Online.
Now, if you are reading this, note that I do keep referring to these little girls, one at least six years-old and no older than 10 at the most, as cute.
Because they are.
And they are pretty politically correct as far as the right mix. You know, an Asian. A Black. At least one Hispanic, maybe two. And at least one that looked to possibly be mixed race.
But, where was that not-so-cute fat ghetto kid? Where was she? I watched this wretch at lease three times and voila! Nothing of a sort!
And come to think of it, there was not an ugly little girl. Let's be honest, not all little girls are cute looking. Sorry, it's true. But since a girl's appearance was a big point, it would have been nice to see the ugly girl.
The closest we got to out of the box is when the Hispanic boy was in a princess dress. I guess one for the trannies, eh?
What is so awful about this is what is obvious about this.
How many of these girls actually really grasp what they were saying in their parts? Did they even understand at their age what sexual assault means? What an imaginary pay gap is? Do all of these cute girls really get what it is to be not so cute? To not be attractive?
I'm going with a big fat no.
A better commercial could have used girls, but maybe of high school age. An age in which maybe they have done a little research and come to their conclusions on their own.
But no for you see, in the mind of the left, the children are always the smart ones and have all the answers. The younger the better. And even the most complex issues can of course be reduced to f-bombs and bromides.
Clearly the material was written for the girls. Clearly, they were told to do all the ghetto hand gestures because after all, this really is being driven to a little bit older but still very young audience.
But for adults, this solidifies a sad reality.
That the coarseness of our culture knows no bounds.
Thus parent participants in this f-bomb extravaganza think there is not one thing wrong about little girls looking angry. Acting angry. Made to feel angry. So angry that yes, it's OK to drop f-bombs.
I'm going to admit to something that you probably already have figured out.
I am a sexist on this whole thing.
I do find disgusting to hear what look to be sweet little girls talking worse than I do watching the Los Angeles Dodgers go down in flames again in the baseball playoffs. I don't like girls and women who swear beyond a level one hears in a cheap bar. I do have a level of old-fashioned feelings to the opposite sex.
I open doors much easier for a girl or woman than I would a male. I would let a girl or woman go in front of me in line at the supermarket. I try to walk on the outside on the sidewalk. A lot of this is because that is what my parents taught me about how to be with the opposite sex. And another fact drilled into my noggin is to always remember that a girl and or a woman is a daughter and a sister and how would you like another guy treating your daughter or sister when it comes to things like dating and the like.
So yeah, in today's lexicon I guess I have no choice but to be characterized as a sexist pig. And I am proud of that.
Having said that, women work very hard on the job. Women are right now dominant on colleges and universities. Women make up over 50% of college and university students, a first. Women excel at all they do. And yet, yet so many that claim to speak for women make them out to be poor, helpless creatures. Except one should remember that one of the little princesses says, "I’m not some pretty f***ing helpless princess in distress! I’m pretty f***ing powerful.” in full faux tough-girl look and talk.
The bigger fear that these little girls are being raised to be angry and not trusting in the opposite sex. Angry girls and boys do not grow up into nice and sweet adults. They end up being some kind of victim. Real and or imagined, they will feel victimized. They are being set up for failure.
So why this video in the first place?
Of course its a marketing ploy and we are talking about it. No matter what the one mother and video director say on this interview with Entertainment Tonight (very appropriate if you ask me!).
It is the very exploitation that the company claims to be against. Using the cuteness of little girls to twaddle on about issues the for-profit clothing company, FCKH8, deem important. The parents that are part of it by allowing their little girls to be used this way are not all that different from Honey Boo Boo or whatever that show was called. And as a side treat, maybe they can make some bucks off the girls.
Sorry but it is not at all charming to see this video. It is depressing, quite frankly, to see some parents set no boundaries for their children. That coarse language is not so wonderful. That to make a point, you have to talk with not just your lips but strange hand gestures.
If this is what modern feminism is reduced to, we are in a sorry state. I hope and pray that this is not representative of the future of this nation.





Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Texas Governor Race Hits A New Low

I guess when you are behind by about 15 points with two weeks to go and you are Texas Democrat gubernatorial candidate, state senator Wendy Davis, you throw the kitchen sink at the front runner, Republican attorney general, Greg Abbott.
A couple of weeks ago, Miss Davis decided that Mr. Abbott was a hypocrite for suing his then next door neighbor after the incident that rendered Mr. Abbott a paraplegic and winning a $10,000,000 settlement. After making a slight-of-hand implication of Mr. Abbott's disability and if he really needs to be in a wheelchair in the first place, Team Davis said that because Mr. Abbott seeks tort reform, after he got his, that he does not want to see other people compensated in a similar manner. As Mr. Abbott has noted here, the law that he gained a settlement from is still the law in Texas and that it could still be the same result.
Which is actually an out of court settlement. That is noted here. And also noted here, and this is the real issue, is that Mr. Abbott never sued for punitive damages.
And that is where many legitimate lawsuits go off the rails.
Punitive damages is exactly what it means. Punishing a party beyond legitimate compensation. It is why we see multi-million dollar jury rewards in lawsuits. In essence, its how to stick it to the man. Whoever and whatever the man may be. Because no doubt, evil intent was done.
That is another issue for another post.
So, how is the race hitting a new low?
With an assist from the San Antonio Express-News, Mr. Abbott was asked a question that is absurd on the face of it.
Mr. Abbott was asked if he would defend a ban on interracial marriage.
Huh?!
A little digging that the questioner might have done would make the question moot. For you see, Mr. Abbott is married  . . .to a Hispanic woman named Cecilia Phalen.
But dig deeper my friends and the real thrust of the question is about same-sex marriage, which Mr. Abbott is opposed to.
Sorry but the link to the Express-News is a pay firewall but the headline and little one could read lays it all out there and why the question was asked in the first place.
It's all about same-sex marriage.
But the race question, while a set up, did have the tone that if Mr. Abbott would in his capacity, as attorney general, defend such a law had the side benefit of trying to see in Mr. Abbott was indeed a closet racist.
The answer is seen as a dodge my many, but it is not and in fact is a hit on other attorney generals that decided defending some states laws not recognizing same-sex marriage is OK. Thus by default it is exactly how same-sex marriage became legal in California. Not by a vote of the people (not a vote recognized by a federal court) not a vote of the legislature and a governor's signature reflecting the will of the people. Nope, by judicial fiat.
So, how did Mr. Abbott answer the question? Here is his answer per The Dallas Morning News:

“And all I can do is deal with the issues that are before me,” Abbott said. “The job of an attorney general is to represent and defend in court the laws of their client, which is the state Legislature, unless and until a court strikes it down."

Well, I guess he would defend such a law. As attorney general, he could defend it but not with any passion or gusto and hope the other side makes a better case. Which is the point about other state attorney generals who just throw in the towel like ours did in the person of Kamala Harris.
Does that mean he would be for an interracial marriage ban? Again, not likely since he is married to a Hispanic woman. But let's suppose he is not married and running for governor. He can say that while he is the sitting attorney general he has to defend the law passed by a state legislature and signed by a governor. But he wants to end the law and would fight hard to do so if elected governor.
Here is the rub.
Same-sex marriage advocates have based much of the reasoning why there should be same-sex marriage that homosexuals are born to be homosexuals and they can not nor should not change their "natural" same-sex attraction. Much the same way that a person can not change their race.
Thus, if you oppose same-sex marriage, you must have opposed interracial marriage as they are really the same thing.
OK, most people can not change their race, unless one is the late singer Michael Jackson, but one can choose not to be married. It is not exactly a constitutional right nor a God-given right either. There are many heterosexual people that are not married and do not intend to. They are making a choice. Many homosexuals also can make that choice. But a minority of a minority think that while their intimate relationship of some one of the same sex can only be sanctioned by society if marriage is allowed.
Of course today, that is really flawed thinking as people are changing their views about homosexuals in general. Most people, myself included, want to give homosexual couples as much of the state benefit of marriage without changing the definition of the institution.
Having said that, an argument that those who support the position of non-state recognition of same-sex marriage is that one can choose to be in that kind of relationship or not. But one can not choose the race that they are and that miscegenation laws are pointless.
So, advocates of same-sex marriage get the twofer courtesy of a question asked of the current sitting attorney general. And the answer to them makes him not really honest and a homophobe and closet racist.
This is why many conservatives and Republicans have problems discussing the media approved social issues, especially regarding same-sex marriage.
Mr. Abbott should have gotten the context of the question. It was not about miscengenation laws. It was defending traditional marriage. It was about if Mr. Abbott was anti-gay. Because if he would defend traditional marriage, he was by extension a bigot.
This is what the left is reduced to.
Character assassination and even making up stuff as they go along.
Again, in this case they got a twofer. Why by his answer, Mr. Abbott would defend any law banning interracial marriage and supporting the state in traditional marriage.
Also this takes away from the fact that the Texas Democrats hitched their hopes on a one-note Wendy. All she is famous for is a pointless filibuster regarding an abortion law. A filibuster that never derailed the law from taking effect. For some reason, they thought that in the effort to turn Texas into Blue heaven, social issues are the ticket.
Most people talking about this latest low of the governor campaign are talking about the interracial marriage issue and ignoring the real thrust of the question. Which is his approach to same-sex marriage.
No matter what, the Texas gubernatorial race has hit a new low. And there is no reason to think that it will not get any lower.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Ebola Is Here And The Keystone Kops Are In Charge; What Can Go Wrong?

Well, now that the dreaded ebola is here in the United States and we have Team Obama The Keystone Kops in charge, why not much can go wrong, right?
Except everything is going wrong and contributing to an atmosphere of fear, hyperbole and loathing throughout the United States.
To be clear, ebola in and of itself does not scare me as much as the federal government's "handling" of it at so many levels that does scare me.
First off, it is not like this latest incarnation of ebola was not going to go beyond the so-called Hot Zone. With the ease of air travel, passenger ship travel being more affordable than ever, and just the fact that it already was in three African nations (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone), it was just a matter of time before the viral, hemorrhagic disease was going to come to the United States.
And in no surprise, it came in the person of one Thomas Eric Duncan, a citizen of Liberia who came to the United States on an airplane from the Liberian capital, Monrovia, by Brussels, Belgium. Mr. Duncan went to Texas Health Presbyterian hospital on September 25 and was giving anti-biotic and sent on his way. Even though Mr. Duncan told anyone who would listen that he just came from Liberia. Mr. Duncan returned to THPH three days later and a more careful examination showed that he did indeed have the dreaded disease. And regrettably, he died on October 9, 2014.
So, here is a problem off the top.
It appears that THPH was not all that prepared for anyone coming in with the possibility of having ebola. It appears that Mr. Duncan went through the emergency room on the initial visit. Ever been to a hospital ER? Unless it is in a small town or non-urban area, they are usually packed to the gills and the staff, even doctors, rush through every thing that they do. And if they had no idea what to look for in a potential ebola patient, sending Mr. Duncan off with anti-biotics does not seem all that bad. At least he was examined.
So, the local Dallas hospital has had problems and are working on getting the protocols in place.
But what is wrong more than anything else is how the federal government has responded to this potential medical crisis.
Well, about as well as can be expected of a government that has no clue and playing on the fly.
Let's go back to when the current elbola outbreak occurred and it is even seen as longer than thought. It appears to have started last year. And the mortality rate in a staggering 71%. And over 9,200 have been recorded to having contracted the disease. Note I said recorded. Who knows how many cases are not recorded.
In other words, the potential of this disease spreading beyond the Hot Zone was pretty high.
Had the administration simply acknowledged this say six months ago, they could have quietly implemented such things as a ban on travel to and from the hot zone and screening those that have come to the United States by way of a third nation. And also to send doctors to the Hot Zone to try harder to contain the spread of ebola.
Now we are sending 3,000 United States soldiers to Western Africa to fight ebola. What will they do? Machine-gun their way out of ebola?!
No, they have decided to bob and weave. First, no chance that ebola will hit the United States. Wrong. That even if it does there are ways in place that it will not spread. Wrong. That a travel ban will do more harm than good. Wrong. Ask Nigeria. They have been able to all but eradicated ebola and a part of that is a travel ban to and from affected nations.
Ineptitude is the real story here. One way the administration could have done a better job is having someone who can explain everything in a coherent way. To be honest with the American people. To admit that yes, there is a possibility that ebola could, could become an airborne virus and then what can be done.
So, the Keystone Kops think a Democrat party operative, Ron Klain, can get everything together.
Too bad the dude can't even make the first two meetings of essentially the task force that Mr. Klain was named to lead.
UGH!
The bottom line is that a disease that has a currently staggering 71% death rate was minimized when it was known to be a potential danger a year ago. And is keeps going on from worse to worse.
Is there anyone that can get us out of this mess?