Conservative Corner: Defenseless Soldiers

 

Whether it is caused by a person with mental issue or someone with a political or religious agenda, it is always a tragedy when public violence occurs. Unfortunately, whenever someone is angry or feels they need to make an important statement about something, they choose to use a firearm in a public place.

On April 2 2014 34-year-old Spc. Ivan Lopez, who was said to be struggling with a psychological condition, according to CNN.com, used a .45 caliber pistol to kill three soldiers and wound 16. Psychological issues have only been a piece of gun violence on military posts or public places.
On November 5, 2009 Nidal Hasan gunned down 13 and wounded 31 while shouting “Allahu Akbar” (“God is greatest” in Arabic) according to http://www.reuters.com. Hassan received the death penalty for his role in the massacre, all while in defiance of the United States Military. Hasan was an Army psychiatrist. Since the Obama Administration has labeled the 2009 attack “workplace violence”, the victims will not be eligible for benefits.

As we all know, not all shootings are terroristic in nature, but many of the shooters do have mental issues and, unfortunately, a firearm in the right (or wrong) hands can be deadly. How can we stop troubled people from killing others without infringing upon the rights of the rest of us? We can’t. Shit happens.

I do have a possible connection to the Fort Hood shooting. I was in the U.S. Army in the late 80’s and was to be stationed at Fort Hood. I’m sure I still have buddies that are stationed there. I recall in the past that the military police carried rifles and pistols with them while on duty and no one got hurt.

I am sure that many people have the opinion that completely removing guns from our society will create the illusion of a safer society, however, that idea has already proven to be false. Even if weapons, even on a military post, are outlawed, someone will always find a way to kill, even without guns.

The idea of a military installation being a “gun-free zone” is preposterous. Our government spends millions of dollars and man-hours making sure we have the best equipped, best trained military in the world; yet, our government doesn’t trust our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines with carrying weapons on installations. We entrust these people with our security and the security of our country, yet we take their guns away. The results are clear, the shootings in Fort Hood proves we need protection from those who mean to do us harm.

We already know gun-free zones don’t work. All the public shootings have occurred in gun-free zones, yet, we continue to keep people from having guns in areas that have proven to be targets for those who may be mentally unstable or have a point to

 

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Conservative Corner: Christian vs. Commercialism

As a conservative I am a big fan of capitalism and commercialism, but as a spiritual person, I am troubled at our society’s view of certain holidays that are celebrated in America that shouldn’t be commercialized. The collaboration of capitalism in connection with the Christian faith really bothers me. The idea that Christmas isn’t here until Santa Clause makes and appearance or that it’s not Easter until the Easter Bunny shows up is truly disturbing.
One of the biggest issues with America’s connection with the holidays is money. Christianity is supposed to be about love, brotherhood and friendship, not about the depths of ones pockets. To some it may be the way they choose to celebrate a few of the more popular Holliday, however, the reasons for the major holidays come from the Christian faith.
I am well aware that seasonal icons like Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny, while may be an Americanize way of celebrating, did not originate in America. Unfortunately, corporations have chosen to embrace these characters and use them on the children to make their parents buy more material items that they probably don’t need.
What does the Christian celebration of Easter and the Easter Bunny have in common? It has very little in common, indeed. Spring is supposed to be the season of new life and a new beginning, hence the Easter egg. Spring is the time when Jesus was resurrected from his tomb, and that’s about all the connection is. According to discovery.com the bridge between the new life in Christ and the hiding of eggs first made the appearance in 15th century Germany, while the first documented account of an “Easter” bunny was in the 1500s and brought to Pennsylvania in the 1700s. However you look at it, there is no real connection between Easter as the retail stores like to see it and Easter as it was intended to be. Unfortunately, I believe the celebration of Easter today in the commercial since is what some want who may not be Christian.
It seems that some people who may not choose Christianity as a faith still want to reap the benefits of the Christian holidays by not necessarily celebrating Easter or even Christmas, but the icons that are associated with them. Not that this kind of celebration is a bad thing, it just seems a little odd that these people want the benefits without having the faith system.
Just in case you are not familiar with the Christian story of Easter, it can be reference from Matthew 28:1-20; Mark 16:1-20; Luke 24:1-49; John 20:1-21:25 in the New Testament of the Bible. After Jesus was crucified his body was placed in his own tomb. A large stone covered the entrance of the tomb and was sealed. Soldiers guarded the tomb, but on the third day, a Sunday, several women, including Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James and others witnessed a violent earthquake as an angel from heaven rolled the sealed stone from the entrance. The guards shook in fear as the angel, dressed in bright white, sat upon the stone. The angel announced to the women that Jesus, who was crucified, was no longer in the tomb, “He is risen, just as he said.” This is the traditional story according to christianity.about.com.
I understand that some people who may not agree with the Biblical scriptures may still want their children to know the joy of the holiday, but candy corporations are riding on the back of the Easter Bunny all the way to the bank. We learn from http://www.infoplease.com/spot/eastercandy that Easter is in second place for candy consumption and Americans have consumed 7 billion pounds of candy in 2011, according to the National Confectioner’s Association. In 2012, Americans spent nearly $2.1 billion on Easter candy. I’m not truly sure, but I don’t think Jesus would approve of the holiday as is it celebrated today by many Americans. There is one good thing about the Easter Bunny, it reminds us of the Easter season, and maybe why we celebrate.
Easter holiday traditionally has brought the biggest boost in attendance for many U.S. churches and is arguably the most important Christian holiday, as it marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ three days after his death by crucifixion, as described in the New Testament of the Bible according to http://www.christianpost.com.
I know that not everyone believes as Christians do and probably don’t have a problem with contributing to the American economy for the sake of a Christian holiday, but do ask all non-believers to not make it difficult for those who do believe. If you see a cross, crucifix, people dressed up as angels or in Biblical garb, please don’t cause a still. Let Christians celebrate the holliday their way, in peace. After all, to many Christians, the Holliday only lasts a short time, despite what the marketing executives at Wal-Mart and Target tell you.
Please be tolerant and respectful to Christians during this holy time of Easter when we celebrate the rising from the dead and into Heaven of our savior, Jesus Christ.

Dkhummel.com, dkhummel.blogspot.com

Conservative Corner: Social Injustice

There was a time in our not-too recent past when children would play sports and one team would win and one team would loose and that’s it. After a tough loose the team would dry their tears and try harder next time. Today, however, we don’t see anyone as winners or losers. Whether the kids win, loose, or ties a game; everyone wins an award of some kind. For that matter some want to eliminate the titles of “winners” and “losers” from the games all in the effort to not hurt the feeling of those who didn’t do as well. This is a form social justice that, unfortunately, is spreading.
The meaning of social justice is quite clear in dictionary.com. It is the distribution of advantages and disadvantages within a society. In a world of pixie dust and rainbows this theory may be ideal, but in real world applications this is anything but, in fact, it is nearly considered theft from those who have earned an award or level of achievement. Even http://www.socialworkers.org refers to social justice as “the view that everyone deserves equal economic, political and social rights and opportunities.” A prime example of this may be seen in the case of concerning the New Haven, Connecticut Fire Department.
In 2009 The Supreme Court was asked to decide whether there was a need for special treatment for minorities, or whether enough progress has been made to make existing laws obsolete, especially in a political atmosphere in which an African-American occupies the White House, according to http://www.cnn.com. This was in response to a group of minorities who sued the New Haven, Connecticut Fire Department because the plaintiffs could not pass a promotional exam and thought it was because they were being racially discriminated against. The plaintiffs believed that the requirements of the department should be lowered to allow people to pass the exam especially if they are minorities. A visit to http://www.cityofnewhaven.com proves that there is no racial discrimination in the ranks of the firefighters from New Haven. The recruits and emergency personal are of many different nationalities. I don’t know about you, but if I was in a fire, auto accident or another emergency situation, I would only want the best to help me despite their skin color or nationality, unfortunately, not everyone feels this way.
Ever since Obama used that notorious comment in front of Joe the Plumber during his 2008 election campaign tour, “spreading the wealth” has seemed to become the battle cry for liberals and progressives. Someone will always have more and will do better than you, and it seems like, according to liberals and progressives, it is up to the government to take away from those who have worked hard for what they have and give it to those who chose to do little or nothing all in the name or political or social justice.
Many on the left, especially those in Hollywood, make millions in the entertainment industry while preaching on income equality and the evils of the rich corporations who make money on the low and middle income wage earners. The left seems to turn a blind eye towards this kind of hypocrisy, especially if the rich support the liberals and the left.
According to socialworktoday.com the reasons for social justice are so minorities, women, immigrants and gays and lesbians can have equal access to everything that others have. That may have been a good thing for a short time, however, like many other things, progressive groups seem to think that if they can get something for pushing for “equal” treatment, then how much more can they acquire for pushing even harder?
This appears to be the agenda for the progressive movement. Either they change what they can to get their way, or they create law suites to make sure they get what they wish. I can easily see supporting equal treatment, but for some on the left and progressives, too much is never enough. Some minorities even have more equality than others and still not are satisfied. If a certain minority feels they aren’t treated “fairly” they will contact the American Civil Liberties Union and peruse legal actions until their needs are met.
The next time you take an exam, try not to amend the levels if you cannot achieve the level of physical or mental ability that the exam requires. What is more racist, lowering the standards for everyone so everyone is equally “average” or keeping the standards high so everyone can strive to be the best they can be and being proud of what is earned. It seems that social justice prays on racism, so why do we keep on bringing it up. It seems to me that social justice is anything but justice.

Dkhummel.com, dkhummel.blogspot.com

Conservative Corner: The Lost Children

Something very special happens when a person gazes into the eyes of a child. The beauty and innocents of that fresh face is enough to melt the coldest of hearts. The birth of a child can bring overwhelming love, happiness and joy to the eyes of the family. A newborn brings on new and exciting challenges to first time parents and gives a huge sense of love and pride to the family who are given a brand new addition and a guarantee that the family line will continue. Unfortunately, some women chose to end the young life that grows inside them.
Doctors in the United States preformed 1.21 million abortions in 2005. According to http://www.womenscenter.com, 40% of pregnancies among white women, 69% among blacks and 54% among Hispanics are unintended. Oregonian women have had their share of abortions. It has been reported by http://www.johnstonsarchive.net that the Oregon has had 4,928 abortions in 2013. Linn County women experienced 165 abortions in 2012 and 139 in 2013 as public.health.oregon.gov tells us. It is sad that so many Oregon women have chosen to take the life of their child.
One of the organizations that have provided many of these life-ending choices is the oxy-moron know as Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood does offer other important services, like care for STDs, birth control, and men’s women’s health, however, in 2012 51 percent of Planned Parenthood’s yearly clinic income, their only self-sustaining revenue source, comes from tax payer-funded abortion according to http://www.lifenews.com.
The question many have asked is when life actually begins. This question seems to make it easier for some women to end the life of their child. Perhaps the idea that is the young life inside of them isn’t really a child, but just a glob of cells. This is a futile notion. CNN reported that Dr. Joseph DeCook, executive director of the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, has said an embryo is a living human being at the moment of fertilization. Dr. Cook went on with “There’s no question at all when human life begins, when the two sets of chromosomes get together, you have a complete individual. It’s the same as you and I but less developed.”
It seems to me when a woman goes for an abortion it is an incredible selfish act. She will claim that is her body and her choice, however, for the next 9 months she won’t be the only one in there. She may also say that there is no other way, but there is always a way for the life of a child. I can maybe see the use for an abortion if the birth is complicated and the mother’s and child’s life is in danger, but even under rape or incest, if the mother doesn’t need or want the reminder of a truly traumatic experience, someone will want to adopt the child no matter the mother’s back ground.
The life of a child is truly a blessed gift from God, so why would we just throw them away? Let’s end most of these senseless murders and not have any more forever lost children.

Dkhummel.com, dkhummel.blogspot.com

Conservative Corner: A Grass Roots Birthday

When citizens of a constitutional republic are happy, or even satisfied, with their government’s actions they just go about their daily lives. However, there are times in a government when greed and corruption manage to taint the system that many people gave their life for. Our founding fathers were statesmen, not politicians. The founding fathers knew if the evils of greed and corruption were allowed in the Congress it could result in the government controlling the people instead of the people controlling the government.
Just as it was foreseen, those evils have made themselves comfortably at home in Washington DC in the hearts of our lawmakers and have turned them from statesmen to politicians. There is a group of patriots, however, who are fighting this kind of corruption and tyranny. These people, despite what you may have been told, are in fact, a grass-roots organization. These people are citizens, veterans, and patriots who are black, white, old young, men and women of any political or social value and see the need to stand up and fight for the Constitution, Bill of Rights and America. The group does not see themselves as an official political party, but only as a movement. This group of American activists call themselves the Tea Party.

Last month the Tea Party group celebrated their 5th anniversary. The good news is the group is celebrating five years and going of fighting for the Constitution and America. The bad news is because of negative news media coverage and ill-informed liberals; the party has gotten bad publicity. This kind of negativity has made the Tea Party appear to the average American as a bad group that has even tainted their appearance to the Republican establishment. Weather you fully support the grass-roots organization, or hate them; you cannot deny the power of the Tea Party.
During the 2010 mid-term elections Tea Party candidates were voted in to congress and tilted the power of the House of Representatives from the Democrats to the Republicans. This was quite a blow to the party that shoved Obamacare, tax increases, auto bail-outs and the “stimulus” down the throats of America. Its government intrusions like these that the Tea Party fights against.
Many in the Tea Party movement credit the original Boston Tea Party of 1773 as the driving force for its actions. According to http://www.infoplease.com CNBC’s Rick Santelli is credited for the inspiration of the grassroots movement. While on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on February 19, 2009, Santelli unleashed a rant against the Obama Administration’s proposal to help homeowners facing foreclosure refinance their mortgages. This began an onslaught of people who either haven’t protested in many years, or not at all, to pick up a copy of the Constitution, the American Flag, and a home-made sign and proclaim their support for a strong military, traditional family values, gun ownership, small government, a balanced budget, an end to deficit spending, reducing taxes, and an end to government intrusion. A visit to http://www.teaparty.org will explain the groups goals and values.
I keep hearing from liberals about the influence that big corporations and the Koch Bros. have over the Tea Party. It is said that the Tea Party is “owned and operated” by the big corporations and the Koch Bros. To my knowledge, this is just propaganda put out by the Democrats and liberals to discredit the tea party. I consider myself a Tea Party follower and I have never received money from anyone for my support of the movement, nor have I ever hear of anyone receiving money for their protesting.
Why does the left think so poorly of the tea party? I would guess because some liberals and progressives feel threatened by the values that the movement supports like small government, low taxes, the support of the 1st and 2nd Amendments, the right to life, traditional marriage, less regulations and more freedoms. Why else would tea party members be labeled such awful names like racists, homophobes, rednecks, and sometimes even domestic terrorists?
No matter what you may think of the Tea Party, they are here to stay. As long as there is an overbearing, tyrannical government attempting to take away basic American rights and values they will be there to support the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the country that our founding fathers fought so hard to create. Join me in wishing a very happy birthday to the Tea Party with many more to come!

Dkhummel.com, dkhummel.blogspot.com

Conservative Corner: The World’s Policeman

Since the beginning of our county we have prided ourselves in the fact that we, as Americans, are free and been blessed with God-given rights including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Our constitution guaranties this. The United States was the first county in modern history to exercise our form of government successfully. Democracy is a wonderful thing, unfortunately, it is not for everyone. Some governments may have a modified form of democracy or not at all. One of the biggest problems our elected officials and leaders face is to have the wisdom of when to help out in another country’s problems and knowing when to keep to ourselves.

In cases like the attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor and the terrorist attacks on 9/11the choice seemed just and right. Defending American soil and the defense of American lives is always important and a worthy reason for our country to activate America’s armed forces. Unfortunately, our reasons for going to war or to have our military participate in “police actions” may not always been as worthy and just as some of us would like it to be.

World War I and II both seemed like worthy causes for the United States to be involved with. The Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War had different reasons for fighting. During WWII Americans fought against Hitler’s army and the Japanese Empire, however, in Korea and Vietnam it wasn’t that simple. After WWII we began a new kind of conflict known as the Cold War. It was not necessarily a war of bombs and bullets, although munitions were defiantly used, it was mainly a war between democracy vs. communism, socialism vs. capitalism and them vs. us. It began a war of conspiracy, paranoia, accusations, and fear. I joined the U.S. Army in 1986 and we were always preparing to do battle against the communistic forces of the Soviet Union. However, with the fall of the Berlin Wall, it was thought that communism may also have fallen. Now, of course, our military of today had a new enemy to prepare for, terrorists and terrorist cells.

The war against terrorists and terrorism is one of those wars that is fought both in the battle field of the Mid-East and in our own back yard. Because of 9/11, we are threatened by inspections, searches and sometimes improper “pat-downs” in search of devises that could be used to turn a plane in to a missile. Even though Osama Bin Laden is no longer on this Earth, in the long run he and his network of terrorists have won the battle of the mind. It appears now, unfortunately, that communism may be, once again, rearing its ugly head.

When the Iron Curtain fell some of its states broke away from the Soviet Union to create their own governments. Some did well; some weren’t so fortunate and suffered with corrupt governments and protesting for years. Ukraine is one of these countries struggling with trying to establish a government that will make all of its residents happy. It is becoming quite a challenge. Ukrainian elections have been suffering from various degrees of malpractice for the last few years according to www.independent.co.uk. The web site went on to say that the elections “were marked by the abuse of state resources, lack of transparency of campaign and party financing, and the lack of balanced media coverage”.

Last Sunday the Russian Army moved in and took control of a badly out-numbered military base at Perevalne. No shots were fired and www.nbcnews.com said that the Ukrainian soldiers were feeling overwhelmed with sheer numbers, rocket propelled grenades at the ready, and the fact that many of the people in the area are pro-Russian. The Ukrainians just laid down their weapons.

Is America going to help Ukrainian President Viktor F. Yanukovych fight the Russians? That is something we will find out. Like with Syria, I believe the last thing we need to do is help another country fight a civil war. With the national debt over $17 trillion and growing, the cutbacks in our military going to pre-WWII levels and the decline of the quality of our military personnel, the last thing we need is to engage in more wars we can’t win or afford.

I have no problem with our military fighting a just and moral battle for freedom and democracy, however, we have been fighting long enough. It’s time we pulled back, regrouped, lick our wounds and take care of our own. Isn’t it about time we stopped being the world’s police and keep our noses to ourselves this time? We have enough troubles of our own to deal with. Let’s deal with them.

Dkhummel.com, dkhummel.blogspot.com

Conservative Corner: Energy’s Growing Pains

Mankind has had the need for energy since the discovery of fire. The need for energy sources for early man was light, heat and protection. Early man quickly learned they could rely on the cover of caves and fallen trees for protection from the elements, the use of fire to help see in the dark, scare off predators and keep warm, however, with the advancement of technology, man learned that wood, sod, coal and manure was not the only source of energy that can be used to serve mankind.
Thanks to the technical advancement of energy productivity we now have cleaner burning wood, natural gas, oil, and coal power plants and more efficient and safer use of nuclear power. These forms of energy, however, still use a common means to produce electricity. Wood, oil, coal are burned and used with water to create steam in order to operate hydro-electric generators. The same basic production occurs in the use of geo-thermal and nuclear energy, only the nuclear fuel rods are not “burned” to create steam.
There are different forms of energy that are somewhat still in their infancy, or at least their youth as we use them today. Solar and wind power have actually been in use for hundreds of years, but not to create electricity. Today wind turbines provide us with some electricity, but not enough to sustain the country. Solar panels can provide some homes and businesses with power, but they are expensive and they aren’t yet very efficient in less than favorable environmental conditions.
According to http://www.nationmaster.com the United States leads the world in energy consumption, with Canada in a close second. America, however, is working to equal the production with the consumption. With the advancement of solar, wind production and other alternative forms of energy along with in increased production of oil and natural gas, cleantechnica.com tell us that America is quickly turning into an energy production leader as well as a consumption leader.
America began drilling for oil and building the infrastructure for the petroleum industry at the beginning of the 20th century. For better or worse, oil and oil products has become the predominate fuel for the internal combustion engine and other propulsion systems that are widely used today in our society. The Obama Administration, however, seems to be on a mission to destroy the petroleum industry.
Obama’s Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, said in 2008 “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.” Obama’s Secretary of Interior, Ken Salazar, said on the Senate floor in that same year that he would oppose off shore drilling even if gas went to $10 a gallon. We are also reminded from spectator.org that when Obama took office in 2009, the average price of gasoline in America was $1.83 a gallon. Today it has more than doubled to at least $3.87 per gallon.
It is believed that the Obama’s administration wants to increase the prices of traditional energy sources so the average American will be forced to buy solar panels and electric cars no matter how expensive they are. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service started the process of putting the dunes sagebrush lizard on the endangered species list in order to stop, or at least pause, oil and gas production in the Permian Basin in New Mexico and Texas.
It is unknown how long the oil and natural reserves in the United States will last. The US is listed 14th in the world for oil reserves and more oil fields are discovered every day. The US has the world’s largest supply of coal in the world and vast natural gas fields. We may run out of petroleum products in the future, but it won’t be soon. We can widely incorporate wind, solar, and geothermal into regular use in America, but it won’t be soon or cheap.
It took years to create the petroleum infrastructure that we enjoy today; it will take some time to create an alternative energy infrastructure for tomorrow that will equal oil. Until we catch up in science and technology enough to equal the power and price of petroleum, we need to continue with using out traditional energy sources and stop trying to wage war against oil. Until alternative energy sources can catch up with the efficiency and price of petroleum, we will continue to suffer from energy growing pains.

dkhummel@hotmail.com, dkhummel.blogspot.com