Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Chains Of Logic

Unless you've been living in a cave the past couple of weeks, you're aware of the ongoing debate over the Confederate flag.

Why? Because apparently that flag made a messed up white dude murder nine black people in a church.

Setting aside the lunacy that a piece of cloth (or for that matter, an inanimate lump of metal) can be responsible for killing anyone, let's follow where that belief leads a member of the mainstream media.

CNN host Ashleigh Banfield speculated, on the air, that it is time to think about removing the Jefferson Memorial from the National Mall in Washington D.C.

That's the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, not the Jefferson Davis memorial.

The reason: Thomas Jefferson owned slaves.
Thomas Jefferson–like a lot of people 270 years ago–owned slaves. He inherited them from his father. Jefferson gave away many of the estimated 170 slaves he owned after his death...

But Thomas Jefferson didn’t want to divorce from the union in order to preserve slavery. In fact, Jefferson wrote constantly and argued regularly about whether or not the founders should include the abolition of slavery in the Bill of Rights.
Using that 'reasoning' we should remove barack obama from office because his family owned slaves.
Obama’s great-great-great-great grandfather, George Washington Overall, owned two slaves who were recorded in the 1850 census in Nelson County, Ky., the Baltimore Sun reported in 2007, and Obama’s great-great-great-great-great-grandmother, Mary Duvall, also owned slaves.

Obama’s campaign team in 2008 did not dispute the information.

Leftists are currently purging the Confederate flag because its association with slavery, but given that “logic,” shouldn’t they also be calling for Obama’s resignation since he too has a historical link to slavery?
Makes sense to me...

Monday, June 29, 2015

FOD 2015.06.29

Lost in all the hoopla over gay marriage and the Confederate flag is the June 30 deadline for finalizing a deal with Iran on its nuclear weapons program.

How's that going, you ask?

How do you think?

As of Sunday night, reports were emerging from Israel that obama has caved in to Iran on the issue of inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities.
Israeli news sources report that the U.S. and its negotiating partners have given in to Iran’s insistence that it will not allow inspections of its nuclear weapons facilities: 
The P5+1 countries led by the United States under Barack Obama have caved in to Iranian demands and will not insist on inspections of nuclear installations as part of a deal on Iran’s nuclear weapons program...
Iran has consistently declared that it will not allow inspections, and Barack Obama wants a deal at any cost, either because he actually wants to help Iran to obtain nuclear weapons–circumstantial evidence supports that conclusion–or because he is so desperate for some kind of foreign affairs legacy that he is willing to go along with anything. From the beginning of this process, Iran’s government has issued more truthful updates on the status of the negotiations than has our own. In some parallel universe, this would be an embarrassment to an American administration.

Events are moving rapidly toward ... an agreement that will cause billions of dollars to flow to Iran to enable the mullahs to accelerate their nuclear weapons and ICBM programs:

Was there ever any doubt? I don’t think so. More important, neither did the Iranians. They knew they could dictate the terms of the agreement because they were dealing with Barack Obama, and they have done so. Meanwhile, here in the U.S., we are busy posting rainbows on our Facebook pages. It is hard to escape the conclusion that we deserve what we are going to get.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sunday Funnies 2015.06.28

The big news this week - bigger than the SCOTUS ruling on obamacare, the terrorists attacks around the world, the Confederate flag controversy, or the latest antics of Kim Kardashian - is the legalization of gay marriage.

I fully support gay marriages.

They have every right to be as miserable as the rest of us.

What do you call a gay guy who marries a much younger man (IOW, a gay cougar)?

A Pink Panther.

Supporters of gay marriage say it's about respect, tolerance, and equal rights.

Why do gays get special treatment? I've been married for over 20 years. I get no respect, no tolerance, and no equal rights.

You know who is really opposed to gay marriage?

Gays who are afraid of commitment. Now they have no excuse.

I think gay marriage is great for all Americans - especially divorce lawyers.

Of course, gay marriage does raise some serious questions.
Who gets the bachelor party?
Who goes downstairs in the middle of the night to check on the noise?
Who forgets the anniversary?
Who refuses to stop and ask for directions?
Which one will take forever to get ready?

Congratulations gay people -- you are about to discover the joys of alimony.

Caution: clicking on the "Show/Hide" button below will reveal a funny, but crude, offensive, and definitely NSFW cartoon.

You've been warned...

Saturday, June 27, 2015

We Got Pink Flamingos In The Front Yard

I am sick unto death of the gloomy news lately. So today I've decided to focus on something frivolous. And what could be more frivolous than pink flamingos?

Creator of pink plastic lawn flamingo dies
Don Featherstone was a classically trained painter, a talented sculptor and artist who became famous for creating the pink plastic lawn flamingo - the ultimate piece of American suburban kitsch.

And it didn't bother him a bit.

Featherstone, who died Monday at 79, embraced the fame the invention brought him.

"He was the nicest guy in the world," Nancy Featherstone said. "He didn't have a selfish bone in his body. He was funny and had a wonderful sense of humor and he made me so happy for 40 years."

Featherstone, who studied art at the Worcester Art Museum, created the ornamental flamingo in 1957 for plastics company Union Products Inc., of Leominster, modeling it after photos of the birds he saw in National Geographic.
Pink Flamingos - inspiration

Pink flamingos - artist's conception
Featherstone worked at Union for 43 years, inventing hundreds of products in that time and rising to the position of president before his retirement in 1999.

"People say they're tacky, but all great art began as tacky," Featherstone said in a 1997 interview.

He was forever humble about the flamingo, and in fact, his wife often brought it up in conversations with people they would meet, bringing a sheepish smile from her husband, she said.

The flamingo even made an appearance on the silver screen. A pink flamingo, dubbed Featherstone of course, was a major character in the 2011 animated movie "Gnomeo & Juliet."

"The thing that thrilled him the most was that movie," Nancy Featherstone said.

The flamingo almost met its demise in 2006, when Union went out of business. But the company was eventually bought by Cado Products Inc., which to this day proudly manufactures the ornaments in Fitchburg, retailing for about $14.99 a pair.

"We still sell thousands of them a year," said Bruce Zarozny, president of Cado, noting that the company's packaging refers to them as "The original Featherstone pink flamingo.

He's not sure how many have been sold over the years, but it's in the millions.

"They say there are more plastic Featherstone flamingos in the world than real flamingos," he said.

Interesting pink flamingo fact:
The distinctive pink flamingo color develops thanks to their selective diet, which primarily consists of organisms — such as shrimp and algae — high in pigments called carotenoids.
So why aren't Cajuns pink?

Pink flamingos are everywhere. They're even in the NFL.
Q:  Do you know the difference between a plastic pink flamingo and the Washington Redskins?
A:  One is ugly, stands in the grass, and is totally useless, and the other is a lawn ornament.

There is a long-standing rivalry between pink flamingos and lawn gnomes.

Pink flamingos are considered game animals by some.

They've even inspired a country-western song.

And that's enough frivolity for today...

Friday, June 26, 2015

Friday Follies Happy Hour 2015.06.26

I really don't care too much one way or the other about the Confederate flag, but I really, really hate other people telling me what to think and do.


Yesterday's score:

obama - 2
America - 0

Barack Obama's Best Day Ever
In a presidency filled with ceaseless wars, unfulfilled promises, and electoral disappointments, President Obama is having one of the best days he could ever hope for.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Affordable Care Act, securing a much-needed win for Obama's embattled health care law.
I always thought the Supreme Court's role was to interpret laws as written, not to twist and distort them according to the impact a ruling might have. Guess I was wrong.

Across the street just a few hours later, Congress was set to pass a worker-assistance bill that the president will sign along with fast-track authority, advancing a crucial piece of his trade agenda.
I don't know if I'm for or against the trade bill, mainly because the details are being kept top-secret. That in itself is enough to make me oppose it.

"They must be popping the champagne corks at the White House this morning," mused former Clinton policy adviser and Brookings Institution senior fellow William Galston. "And why not?"
One more bit of bad news:
In yet another win, albeit a less monumental one, the Supreme Court Thursday also upheld a central legal argument for the administration's efforts to fight housing discrimination.
This one means the Fair Housing Act can be interpreted to cover actions related to homes and housing that have a discriminatory outcome, whether or not that discrimination is intentional.

In other words, expect Section 8 housing to spread like crabgrass.

I find it ironic (and damn funny!) that the FHA named that program Section 8. Old-time military folks will know why.

Bah! I'm gonna go wash away my troubles with a Shiner or two... or three... or four...

Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Gloomy Future

While we're all being distracted by trivial crap like the Confederate flag imbroglio, events halfway around the world are quietly beginning to heat up. The one common thread linking them is China's new willingness to flex its increasing military muscle.

'We should be very clear: China is at virtual war with the United States'
Last month's massive breach of federal employees' data allegedly at the hands of Chinese hackers, made public Thursday, indicates a treacherous new reality in the global cyber game.

"It's very serious indeed," geopolitical expert Ian Bremmer, the founder of Eurasia Group, told Business Insider.

"China's offensive cyber capabilities have consistently surprised the United States in terms of breadth and sophistication of attacks.

...Bremmer added: "We should be very clear: China is at virtual war with the United States, and the threat is far higher than that of terrorism, which gets the lion's share of attention — and, in the post-9/11 world, funding."
There is also the threat of physical confrontation.
In an effort to stoke nationalism and distract its people from a slowing economy, the Chinese government has been acting particularly aggressively in the South China Sea, engaging in territorial disputes with neighbors including Japan.

The Global Post, a state tabloid owned by party publication The People's Daily, wrote that any attempt by the US to stop China from building out parts of the South China Sea would inevitably end in war.

"If the United States' bottom line is that China has to halt its activities, then a US-China war is inevitable in the South China Sea," the newspaper said. "The intensity of the conflict will be higher than what people usually think of as 'friction.'"
It won't just be the U.S. and China. Other countries are being drawn in as well.
The Philippines will hold separate naval exercises with U.S. and Japanese forces this week on a Philippine island that is not far from the disputed Spratly archipelago, where China's rapid creation of seven island outposts is stoking regional tensions.

Manila, which has one of the weakest navies in Asia, has stepped up its security cooperation this year in the wake of Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea, not just with ally Washington, but also with Japan and Vietnam.

Late on Sunday, reporters could see two P3C-Orion maritime surveillance planes, one belonging to the United States and the other Japan, parked on a military airfield in Puerto Princesa City, the Palawan capital.

China's official Xinhua news agency condemned what it said was Japan's "meddling".

China claims most of the South China Sea. The Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan and Brunei have overlapping claims.
There is, however, some good news.
Every week seems to bring new cause for concern about China's rising military power and assertiveness. Some scholars and pundits worry that the Chinese government is aiming to block U.S. forces from operating in East Asia altogether -- and even plans to replace the U.S. as the world’s leading superpower.

While China’s buildup indeed creates security challenges for the U.S. and its Asian allies, the consequences are more subtle and complicated than some alarms would suggest. Despite its quickly increasing defense budgets in the last 20 years, China still lacks the ability to project combat power in a sustained way far from its shores, and the U.S. maintains full-spectrum military superiority, even in East Asia. Chinese forces lag far behind their U.S. counterparts in quality of equipment, experience and training.

One of the biggest advantages the U.S. has compared with China is its network of allies -- some 60 countries, which (including the U.S.) account for some 80 percent of global military spending. China has a formal alliance only with North Korea and a strong security partnership with one other Asian country, Pakistan. It has defense cooperation and an arms trade relationship with Russia, but mutual mistrust between the two historical rivals makes it hard to label this an alliance.
On the other hand:
... Measures of the overall balance of power between two countries are most relevant when considering wars of survival, such as World War I and World War II. But most international security politics involves coercive diplomacy and limited military engagements short of full-scale war. In such struggles, geography, politics, psychology and perceptions can play an even more important role than the military balances of power.
Bottom line: our military might is eroding, while China's is growing. Our international influence is shrinking, while China's is expanding. Our political leadership is widely perceived as weak, foolish, and short-sighted. China's - well, hell, there's no need to complete that comparison.

I don't think there's any immediate threat of armed conflict between us and them. But I do think that China is a master of the long term view, while American politicians can't see beyond the next public opinion poll. China's political masters don't have to worry about placating the loud-mouthed whiny politically correct cretins and 'entitlement' leeches that we have to contend with.

I am not optimistic about the future.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Reading The 21st Century Paper

Yesterday I was doing the 21st century equivalent of reading the newspaper; I was browsing news sites on the Internet. In rapid succession the following articles jumped out at me.

Obama laments 'distorted impression' of Muslims
President Obama stressed religious tolerance during an Iftar dinner to celebrate the Muslim holiday of Ramadan...

Obama lamented the "distorted impression" that many Americans have of Muslims.
After reading that article, I metaphorically turned the page of my digital newspaper and saw this headline.

Islamic State urges followers to escalate attacks in Ramadan
Islamic State urged its followers on Tuesday to escalate attacks against Christians, Shi'ites and Sunni Muslims fighting with a U.S.-led coalition against the ultra-radical group.

Jihadists should turn the holy month of Ramadan, which began last week, into a time of "calamity for the infidels ... Shi'ites and apostate Muslims", Islamic State spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani said in an audio message. He urged more attacks in Iraq, Syria and Libya.

"Muslims everywhere, we congratulate you over the arrival of the holy month," he said. "Be keen to conquer in this holy month and to become exposed to martyrdom."
That's the sort of thing that contributes to my 'distorted impression' of muslims...

And then there was this article.

Obama extending amnesty to illegals in prisons, jails
The Obama administration has ordered agents to begin ignoring many of the illegal immigrants they encounter in local prisons and jails, as the president begins to implement a lesser-known part of his deportation amnesty program...

Agents will still troll local prisons and jails looking for immigrants, but they will no longer try to deport those with drug possession offenses, theft or fraud if it involved stealing an identity in order to further their unlawful presence in the country, the House Judiciary Committee said Tuesday.

Even some illegal immigrants who have been charged with serious felonies but who are released by the local authorities won’t be picked up by immigration agents until they’re actually convicted, the committee said.
That's the sort of thing that contributes to my 'distorted impression' of obama...


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Obama Coffee

I'm tired, I'm cranky, I've had a few beers, and I'm fed up with all the political correctness out there. So I'm going to repost a tweet that got the wife of the Israeli interior minister in hot water.

I don't care how many progs get their panties in a wad - that's funny!

And true...

Speaking of coffee:

Okay, one more - just because I can't think of anything profound to post.

Monday, June 22, 2015

FOD 2015.06.22

The sad thing is that the latest outrageous behavior by the obamas no longer outrages anyone...

This is how distraught Obama is over S.C. church massacre
In his official White House statement yesterday on the church massacre in Charleston, President Obama decried what he described as the "senseless actions of a coward" who had "once again cut short so many lives with so much promise." He then added, "Our hearts ache with sorrow with the entire Emanuel AME Church family as they seek solace and comfort in the shadow of a gunman’s act of pure evil and hatred."

His heart wasn't so heavy that he felt impelled to postpone his trip to the West Coast, where a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee had been planned at the home of a millionaire member of the Hollywood community...
Not to mention golf.
Obama continues to cast a pall of unseriousness over his presidency, which was already of questionable seriousness, planning a weekend of golf out in California following two days of fundraising on the Left Coast.

According to the Washington Examiner, Obama will golf in Palm Springs even amidst drought, a prospect that should deeply annoy enviros and Californians forced to restrict their water use. Golf courses are notorious guzzlers of water.

Obama's hitting the links following the announcement of a tragedy is hardly news any more. This most recent incident pales on the chutzpah scale when compared with his heading out for a round of golf 10 minutes after holding a press conference on the death of American journalist James Wright Foley at the hands of Islamic State butchers.
And don't forget last week's 'private' soiree featuring Prince and Stevie Wonder.
The event taking place in the East Room was a performance by Prince for about 500 A-list friends, supporters, and entertainment-world pals of President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama. Pop and rock acts playing the White House isn't news; what set the Prince event apart was its secrecy. Called a "private party for friends and family" by one White House official, the bash featured a lengthy set by Prince and a cameo by Stevie Wonder, and it was kept so under the wraps — before and after — that it quickly became one of the year's most talked-about pop shows.

...the White House declined to release a guest list for the evening, and at least one of the entertainers in attendance had to sign a non-disclosure form agreeing not to talk about the event. Nearly every guest invited to the party who was contacted by Rolling Stone declined to comment on the party, including Bon Jovi, who made a special trip to D.C. for the event. "He's observing the private nature of event — just not commenting," Bon Jovi's rep told RS.

The party was so under the radar that word didn't leak out until Sharpton excitedly tweeted that night: "Leaving the White House party w/POTUS and FLOTUS. Awesome to see Prince and Stevie Wonder on keyboards together. Unbelievable experience." In doing so, Sharpton — who also declined to comment further — inadvertently broke the news of the party to the world.

At the daily White House press briefing two days later, press secretary Josh Earnest was grilled on why the administration didn't "verify the event" until after it was over — and even then only reluctantly. Earnest called it "a non-public event that occurred at the White House" and added, "Given the private nature of the event, I don't have a lot of details to discuss from here."
Meanwhile, Mooch and the first kids - accompanied by Mooch's mother - are in Milan teaching Italians how to cook (at U.S. taxpayer expense, of course).
Journey costs more than twice as much per day as the average American family earns in a year

Barry golfing while neglecting affairs of state. Michelle freeloading off the middle class liberals claim to be fighting for. Private elitist parties and hypocritical recreation.

This is our First Family...?

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sunday Funnies 2015.06.21

Today is Father's Day. It's also the first day of summer. It's a two-fer...

Four men are in the hospital waiting room because their wives are having babies. A nurse goes up to the first guy and says, “Congratulations! You’re the father of twins.”

“That’s odd,” answers the man. “I work for the Minnesota Twins!”

The nurse says to the second guy, “Congratulations! You’re the father of triplets!”

“That’s weird,” answers the second man. “I work for the 3M company!”

The nurse tells the third man, “Congratulations! You’re the father of quadruplets!”

“That’s strange,” he answers. “I work for the Four Seasons hotel!”

The last man is groaning and banging his head against the wall. “What’s wrong?” the others ask.

“I work for 7 Up!”

The father of five children had won a toy at a raffle.

He called his kids together to ask which one should have the present.

"Who is the most obedient?" he asked?

"Who never talks back to mother?"

"Who does everything mother says?"

Five small voices replied in unison. "Okay daddy! You get the toy."

While flying from Philadelphia to Denver, I once overheard a mother telling to her nine year old son, "Jacob, now remember- run to Dad first, and then the dog."

Why do lions mate in the summer?
Because the pride comes before the fall.

One hot summer day, a man is filling up his black pickup truck at the local gas station. He isn't very careful, and he gets gasoline all over his jacket's left sleeve. He ignores it, and leaves the station after paying for the gas.

As he's driving down the highway, the heat of the sun on his truck's black paint is enough to ignite his jacket sleeve. He drives faster, waving his arm out the window in an attempt to extinguish the flames, but they burn hotter!

As he speeds down the highway, a state trooper sees the situation and pulls him over. He jerks the man out of the truck and rolls him on the ground until the fire is extinguished.

As the man dusts himself and thanks his rescuer, he sees the officer is writing him a summons! Confused, he asks, "You're writing me a ticket!? What for?"

The officer replies, "Unlicensed possession of a fire arm."

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Welcome To Cleveland

Tired of the relentless barrage of bad news, stupid ideas proposed by liberals, and the never-ending efforts of government at all levels to control even more aspects of our lives?

Yeah, me too.

So today it's time for some light-heartedness to give our minds and spirits a little break.

Guy Living Near Milwaukee Airport Paints “Welcome to Cleveland” on His Roof to Confuse Airplane Passengers
For nearly four decades, Mark Gubin has been playing an epic prank on people flying into his hometown. As aircrafts descend into Milwaukee’s Mitchell International airport, passengers are greeted with a warm, welcoming sign: ‘Welcome to Cleveland’!
The retired photographer revealed that he first got the idea for the sign from his assistant, when he was having lunch with her up on his roof in 1978. She had noticed all the low-flying planes in the area, and told him it would be nice to make a sign to welcome people to Milwaukee. But then Gubin came up with an even better idea – a sign welcoming them to the wrong city.

In order to avoid confusion, an announcement about the sign was made during a regular flight from Denver to Cleveland with a stop over at Milwaukee. On every flight, attendants reassured passengers that they have not missed their stop. But the prankster has never received any complaints from the airport or any of the airlines that have flown over the sign.
Then-City Council President Ben E. Johnson did write to Gubin, informing him that the sign was causing ‘outrage and panic’ among passengers. But he added that the city would allow the sign to remain, and not take any action against Gubin. “I was in Cleveland not too long ago and I agree with Mr. Gubin that anybody who wants Cleveland is welcome to it,” Johnson wrote.
 Life would be a lot more enjoyable if there were more people like Mr. Gubin among us.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Friday Follies Happy Hour 2015.06.19

Dedicated to all you fathers out there - especially the ones that have daughters...

"...now that I'm a father
I'm scared to death one day my daughter's gonna find
That teenage boy I used to be"

That Certainly Didn't Take Long

The bodies aren't even cold yet, and these jerks are already using them to score political points.
Clinton, Obama seek gun control in wake of Charleston massacre

Oh, and BTW, just to refute barry's claim that "At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this kind of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries"...

Remember the massacre by muslim extremists in Paris not that long ago?

Oh, that's right - you didn't go to the memorial service like all the other world leaders.

I repeat - Asshole...

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Charleston - First Thoughts

Re: the Charleston, SC church shooting:

After my initial reaction of shock (nine dead - in a church, of all places) and sadness for the victims and their loved ones, my next thought was "Oh no, here we go again."

There will be the predictable - and misguided - calls for more gun control. But if this early report is accurate, the shooter had a criminal record
A 21-year-old white gunman with a criminal record... (emphasis added)
That means he couldn't legally possess a firearm.

So how did he get the weapon?
A man who identified himself as Roof's uncle said he had recently been give a .45-caliber handgun as a birthday present by his father and that the 21-year-old had seemed adrift.
Oh great. Give a .45 to someone who appears to have mental and/or emotional problems. Not a good idea.

Gun rights advocates will no doubt respond to the antis by pointing out: (1) the shooter broke existing laws in obtaining his weapon; and (2) the shooting took place in a gun-free zone (or at least in a place where no one was legally carrying).
He reloaded five times even as victims pleaded with him to stop...
That seems like an excessive number of reloads, but this is an early report and details are confused. In any event, if someone else was armed, it's likely that this tragedy could have been stopped before so many were dead.

And yes, I recognize the irony and ruefulness of suggesting that people go armed in a place of worship, but evil knows no boundaries. 'Protect yourself at all times' should be more than just a pre-fight instruction.

Another predictable reaction will be along racial lines. The media is already playing up that angle, with statements like:
The rampage came in a year that has seen months of racially charged protests across the United States over killings of black men.

A white police officer was charged with murder after he shot an unarmed black man in April in neighboring North Charleston.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which researches U.S. hate groups, said the attack illustrates the dangers that home-grown extremists pose.
How sad it is that in the face of this terrible tragedy, there are people who will use it to advance their own agendas. This should be a time for coming together, not for further division.

Studying Abroad

As I've mentioned before, our son is participating in a summer study abroad program at the University of Sterling in Scotland. He left last week.

Since today is his 21st birthday, it seems appropriate to provide a progress report. Here's some excerpts from his latest communique.
Did I mention I'm the only guy in the group...
There are twelve people in this particular group - eleven females, and our son. But wait - it gets better.
The living accommodations are flat style, and of the 3 other flat mates I have I'm the only guy. 
I'm going to get him to buy me a lottery ticket when he gets back.
...in one of the gift shops we went into they (the girls) ended up buying me a kilt. They say it's an early birthday present for me, and as such I have to wear it on my birthday. 
 I did okay - not great, but okay - with the ladies in my younger days, but nothing like that.

However, as they say, lucky in love, totally clueless in budgeting.
I've already had to make a cash withdrawal from an atm ... all the cash I had has gone to food, public transportation, and to go to touristy places. 
We set a budget for him similar to what summer school would cost. Anything over that comes out of his pocket, from funds he earned working summer and part time jobs. So he can make the choice to either eat or visit 'touristy places.'

He's also not very good at planning.
Some other people in the group and myself just bought plane tickets to visit Northern Ireland later on. We've got the transportation and accommodation lined up as well. As for things to do, we're going to run that by our resident advisor since he has a little more insight on those kind of things, so don't worry. Too much.
In other words, we've got the cart. Now all we need is a horse.
Oh well, I guess it could be worse. He gets good grades, stays out of trouble, and hasn't knocked anyone up. And they say travel is broadening...

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Government Run Amok - Again

Call me a conservative, or a small-L libertarian, or a Tea Party member. Labels today have become meaningless.

But the one thing conservatives/libertarians/tea partiers have in common is a belief that government at all levels has become too intrusive, too rigid, and just plain too screwed up to function properly.

The latest case in point:

Parents Under Investigation After 11-Year-Old Plays Alone in Yard for 90 Minutes
The mom and dad, Cindy and Fred, were on their way home from running errands but were delayed by rain and traffic. Meanwhile, their 11-year-old son had beaten them home and didn’t have a house key, so he amused himself by shooting some hoops while he waited, for about 90 minutes.

That’s when an unknown neighbor, apparently not okay with the situation, called the cops, who in turn looped in CPS. So when Cindy and Fred arrived home they were arrested for child neglect — then fingerprinted, strip searched, and held in jail overnight. Their kids, meanwhile, including their 4-year-old boy, were removed from the home and from their parents’ custody for one month.

“We still do not have our children, we are fighting for our own freedom and due to the nature of my employment I am no longer employed,” she wrote. “My son was in his own yard playing basketball, not in the street or at the park. The authorities claim he had no access to water or shelter. We have an open shed in the back yard and 2 working sinks and 2 hoses. They said he had no food. He ate his snacks already. He had no bathroom, but the responding officer found our yard good enough to relieve himself in while our son sat in a police car alone. In his own yard, in a state, Florida, that has no minimum age for children to be alone.”

Both boys were placed in foster care for two days while a background check was done on a relative who had offered to keep them while the legal matter was resolved. They were only returned home to their parents last week, after the older son spoke up and said he wanted to go home.

... this is not the end of the case — the parents must still defend themselves in criminal court, and that the family has been mandated into therapy, and the kids into summer camp where they will be supervised.
I'll give the neighbor the benefit of the doubt - maybe they were genuinely concerned about the kid's welfare (more likely, the constant thump-thump-thump of the basketball hitting the driveway drove them crazy, but it really doesn't matter). The cops, in days gone by, would have dropped by and done a welfare check on the kid. Once they saw he wasn't neglected or in danger, they would have moved on.

But today, when the police are under microscopic scrutiny, there is no room for judgment or common sense. They have to play CYA, which in this case means calling Child Protective Services. Since CPS is staffed and run by people with a built-in incentive to find (or manufacture) cases of parental neglect (the more 'neglect' they find, the bigger their budget), the might of the government is unleashed upon an innocent family. The kids are traumatized, the parents criminalized, and the only entity that benefits from the whole mess is a government agency.

That's why I'm a conservative/libertarian/tea partier.