Thursday, March 29, 2012

Column for March 29, 2012

The Wake County Board of Commissioners deserves credit for showing courage and common sense by a majority of its members.  Recently, they voted 4 to 3 to pass aresolution supporting North Carolina House Bill 351.  That bill was vetoed by Governor Perdue, but would have been a great step in our state towards eliminating voter fraud.  House Bill 351 would simply have required that voters show a valid identification when going to the polls to cast a ballot.  There has recently been talk of an attempt to override the governor’s veto.  That would be an excellent opportunity to bring common sense to elections.

The big argument against the idea of requiring identification in order to vote is that it would deter people from voting by intimidating old people, and that poor and young people would not have the means to obtain the required identification.  I’m sorry, but this has got to be the most specious argument I have heard in a long time.  If you are elderly, then you most likely have had some form of identification for a long time.  If you are young, you probably have or are going to attempt to obtain a driver’s license.  If you are poor, you still have the need of bank services and transportation to get and use what little money you do have.  When I was poor, and I was for years, I still worked a job, drove myself to work, and cashed the tiny paychecks I received.  I have been working since age 15 and have had a driver’s license since age 16.  Do those who make this fallacious argument really expect me to believe that someone who is poor cannot scrape up the one time investment of ten dollars to obtain even a state issued identification card?

Our old friends at the state NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Crazy People) have sent letters to county governments warning against passing local versions of voter ID laws.  Of course they are playing the race card, as usual, claiming that voter ID laws disenfranchise potential voters.  The real motivation is to stop the prevention of voter fraud.  Without requiring an identification to cast a ballot, people who are not registered to vote, are not qualified to vote, or want to vote multiple times may have a chance at doing so; and of course, voting to support their socialist agenda.

I have to show or carry identification when traveling outside the country, in order to drive a car, to board an airplane, when getting certain pharmaceuticals, when applying for a job, when opening a checking account, when applying for a credit card, when registering a car at the DMV, when seeking medical attention, when donating blood, when purchasing a firearm, when buying automobile insurance, when getting a marriage license, when purchasing a house, when renting an apartment, when purchasing alcohol, when opening an IRA, when establishing electrical service, when writing a check, when getting a library card, when checking into a hotel, or when applying for a passport.  So the NAACP means to tell us that their constituency never does any of that?  Just recently, I had to provide ID to my employer yet again to comply with government regulations for I-9 forms and the E-Verify system.  I have been at my job for over 17 years, have gone through this same procedure numerous times, and yet I had to provide valid ID yet again.  It’s no big deal.

The voter ID bill in North Carolina would require one of eight valid forms of ID.  If someone can’t come up with just one, then they are either too stupid or too irresponsible to cast a ballot.  During the Constitutional Convention of 1787, it was highly debated about requirements for voting.  The requirements were not as simple as being a certain age and just showing up at the polling place.

Arguments against voter ID laws also include the premise that voter fraud is rare.  I would contend that voter disenfranchisement is even rarer than voter fraud.  It is just common sense that if we exalt the concept of “one man, one vote” and fairness in elections, we would take every reasonable measure to ensure that voter fraud is eliminated, that those not qualified to vote do not vote, and that the person voting is who they claim to be.  There is no requirement that you actually cast a ballot.  If you don’t want to show a simple form of identification to validate your vote, then you do not deserve to be able to vote.  Politicians and pundits that oppose voter identification laws simply want to make it easier to perpetuate fraud and their agenda, plain and simple.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Column for March 22, 2012

I have long been a proponent of repealing the 17thAmendment to the US Constitution.  That amendment reads, “The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote.”  That amendment was ratified in April of 1913, and most of us cannot remember the national senate being otherwise.  Well, prior to 1913, Senators were chosen according to Article I, section 3 of the Constitution which states, “The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.”  There is a big difference.  The original method of selecting Senators meant that the Senate was beholden to the individual states that created the federal government.  Since 1913, Senators have been directly responsible to the general population as is the House of Representatives.  There was great wisdom in the original method of selecting U.S. Senators.  The Senate was to look after the interests of the states, not the people.  The House was to look after the interests of the people, not the states.  It was a great balance.

In another section of the Constitution, “The President...shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur” (ArticleII Section 2).  That is a tremendous amount of power for both the President and the Senate.  Presidents negotiate treaties regularly.  They just do not have the effect of law unless the Senate agrees with a two thirds majority.  Why a two thirds majority?  Because under Article VI, “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land”.  That means that treaties that are ratified by the Senate have the effect of law upon us citizens.  That is done without a bill being passed by the House, the Senate, and being signed into law by the President.

I have been reading up on several treaties that are underway.  If for no other reason than what I am about to write, we need to be careful about electing a president and senators.  Liberal, America hating radicals look for every opportunity to harm American sovereignty.  Sovereignty means freedom.  We the people have it, this nation has it.  But this will change if the following treaties are ratified.

The US, with Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, is negotiating for a US participation in an international criminal court.  This would subject American officials to criminal charges if a decision is taken to go to war without the permission of The United Nations and give nations like China and Russia a veto over our sovereignty to declare war.  The power of war is the very essence of being sovereign.

The Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) has been signed by the Obama administration, and if ratified, would force America to give up half of all royalties it gets from offshore drilling.  We would give that money to the United Nations for them to distribute as they see fit to any nation it chooses, with only a single vote from the US as to where the money will go.  The UN would not earn the money and the recipient nations would not earn the money.  We would simply obligate ourselves into just giving it away.  Sadly, some liberal Republican senators are pushing for this ratification.

The administration is attempting to sign on to a small arms treaty that would force nations to stop the exportation of firearms for private use.  I happen to collect antique military firearms, and from nations like France, Switzerland, and Russia in particular.  This treaty would stop the flow of old military pistols and rifles into America for millions of collectors like me.  It would also open the door for total firearms registration.

There is a treaty that would ban “space junk” under the guise of stopping space debris and litter.  In reality, this would prohibit America from deploying a missile defense system in space.  It is colorfully called the “Outer Space Code of Conduct”.

The “Rights of the Child” treaty is designed to extract money from richer nations (read that America) to go to poorer nations, ostensibly for the purposes of clothing, food, shelter, and education of children.  The fund would be administered by a fourteen member court that would sue nations to that end.  That court is already suing over welfare cuts in England, so don’t think for one moment that it wouldn’t do the same thing here.

As you can see, the passage of treaties is nothing to take lightly and it is often overlooked by those who only focus on reasons like Supreme Court nominees when it comes to consideration of senatorial elections.  The Senate is a powerful body by design.  When a powerful body is complicit with a socialist presidential administration, as we have now, American sovereignty and money, as well as individual freedoms can be taken away or seriously limited.  Vote freedom hating senators and presidents out of office.  For that matter, every freedom hating elected representative you can identify.  Keep and restore American sovereignty and individual liberties.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Self explanatory

Column for March 15, 2012

I love reader feedback.  Sometimes I even get a chuckle out of it.  This week I have been absolutely deluged with reader feedback.  Some have been from a few anonymous individuals that don’t have the courage to stand behind their comments.  Others have been from people who think that they have a moral and intellectual superiority and incessantly bicker.  Either way, my column about Miss Johnston County has by far stirred the most feedback in the almost six years I have been writing this column.
I read with interest the response in the newspaper to my column about Miss Johnston County.  I laughed upon reading it, since it was incredibly hypocritical and fairly stereotypical.  What I will say for Miss Bindhu Pamarthi is that she at least took credit for her own rant.  What I found interesting is that the same allegations she leveled in her letter are some of the same inane drivel I was hit with by people who read my column on the internet. 

When you can’t defend with facts, resort to ad hominem attacks.  That is an old tactic used by many people who defend their positions but can’t really refute anything you are saying.  Miss Pamarthi leveled several accusations, as did each attacker on the internet.  Every commentator had the same thing in common.  They simply missed the entire point and construed their own.  The one common thread is that everyone seemed to think that I claimed that Miss Pamarthi was not legitimately the pageant winner or should not have won the crown.  

That is not so and I fail to comprehend how anyone that actually read the column could have arrived at that conclusion.  One person claiming to have an extensive legal training and experience but fails to realize the definitions of ad hominem and libel (of which I was accused) actually quoted a section of the pageant contract that pretty much said the same thing from the document from which I quoted, except that it also included a few more counties from which contestants could hail.  Of all of the accusations of false information that I allegedly propagated, that was the one and only actual point attempting to show any discrepancy with my column as presented.  Either way, it still does not negate my simple point; every time we have a Miss Johnston County from outside of Johnston County, it cheapens the title of Miss Johnston County.

It is amazing to me that for people who claim to be so tolerant of others, these respondents were incredibly intolerant of anyone else’s viewpoints.  When repeatedly asked to show where I was incorrect, for days and dozens of comments, nobody could point to a single thing except to resort to name calling and accusations.  Sometimes they changed the topic and argued a point that was irrelevant to either my column or Miss Pamarthi.

I went out of my way in my commentary to make sure that it was understood that my opinion had nothing to do with race.  Actually, I chose my words carefully since I had heard from several people about how they were offended that someone from out of the county won the crown, that they could not even pronounce her name, and that her ethnic background was nothing like the citizenry of the county.  In my writing, I actually defended Miss Pamarthi’s heritage as not mattering a wit, and I stand by that.  It makes no difference to me as long as she is an American citizen.  And yet who played the “race card”?  Miss Pamarthi accused me of xenophobia in her letter, and some internet commentators accused me of outright racism.  That, my friends, is how the intolerant truly work.  When you can’t prove a point with facts, impugn with ad hominem arguments.  For those who don’t know what ad hominem means, an ad hominem (Latin for "to the man" or "to the person"), short for argumentum ad hominem, is an attempt to negate the truth of a claim by pointing out a negative characteristic or belief of the person supporting it.  That is exactly what the claim of xenophobia (an unreasonable fear of foreigners or strangers) and racism happens to be.   Basically, they were saying that since they thought I was racist, that my opinion had no merit.  Or they thought I had one fact incorrect, therefore my opinion about Miss Johnston County not actually being from Johnston County was moot.  The hypocrisy is amazing.

I do have one suggestion for the Miss North Carolina pageant officials.  In the same spirit of Miss Johnston County repeatedly being from outside of Johnston County, I think that we should let the runner up from the Miss Virginia pageant take over as Miss North Carolina.

More whining in response to my column of March 1, 2012

This letter was in today's "The Selma News".  I found it amusing that the author didn't really sign the letter but rather wrote on behalf of the "organization".  Still, he/she dwells upon minutia.  The minutia was not the main point.  As to "not acceptable", it is not up to the organization to determine public opinion and acceptability.  Period.  I have eyeballs and the point about tiara wearing heifers is occasionally valid.  I laugh about the comparison to NFL teams.  There is no comparison, considering that one is a pageant and one is professional football on a national stage and private industry.  A proper parallel can not be drawn.  It can, however, be drawn to representation by elected officials who carry the title of representing a particular geographical region.  NFL teams are businesses that can be and are often relocated.  A congressman, in by way of example, is always representing his/her district. 

As to the pageant rules being published prior to the pageant, yeah...and...  Again, the actual geography outside of JoCo is irrelevant and minutia.  My point transcends just the Miss Johnston County pageant.  It was merely one example, and my opinion also extends to the Miss Railroad Days pageant, as used as an example in this letter.  By the way, my point about heifers with tiaras was not specific to the Miss North Carolina pageant.  Here is the actual comment.  "Each and every year, I have seen bunches of pageant winners here in Johnston County, especially making appearances in Christmas parades across the county.  Some are beautiful young ladies.  Some are heifers with tiaras."

Whether they love me or hate me, they are reading. And yes, I still stand by my column.

Friday, March 09, 2012

A response to my column of March 1

Since I believe in fairness and sharing both sides (just not from 3rd party whiners and anonymous shmucks if they go horribly off topic and make baseless claims), here is Bindhu Pamarthi's letter to the editor in response to my March 1st column.  Ironically enough, she does the very thing of which she accuses me...false information.  She obviously did not read for comprehension, got some facts incorrect, and made some blatant charges on something about which I went through great pains to avoid.  Eh, whatever.  My response will be forthcoming.  It is already written.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Column for March 8, 2012

Object lessons sometimes can drive the point home a lot easier than attempting to explain complicated concepts to a child. It sometimes works wonders with my nine-year-old. He is often in the car with me when the morning news is on the radio. As such, he will sometimes get civics lectures, history lectures, religious instruction, or just plain common sense discussions depending upon the subject matter on the radio. This is especially true when I have a talk radio program on and we get into discussions. Usually a discussion begins when he sees me get very frustrated and react to what I am hearing.

Just recently, there was a discussion about a famous talk radio show host who referred to a woman that testified before Congress as “a slut”. She had testified about her lascivious lifestyle as well as that of others she knows, and that she can’t afford all the expense of birth control as a result. Forrest Gump said in the movie of that same title, “My mama always said, ‘Stupid is as stupid does.’” Well, the fictional Gump’s mother is not the only one to have always said that; so did my mom. That principle transcends to behaviors as well. 

Because of a lifestyle choice, this woman wanted us taxpayers and/or insurance subscribers to pay for her birth control. If one performs a deed, the one performing it should be responsible for the consequences and responsibilities therefor, not others who are responsible enough to run their own lives well and pay for their own habitual needs. 

It just so happened that my wife and I were in the car with our son and our topic of conversation was about taxpayers paying for the actions and habits of others rather than them paying for their own choices. My son was wondering a bit about the conversation, so I decided to include him in the discussion.

I asked him if he would like to see other children in school get good grades, as he has been getting. Of course he did, was his response. I told him that I would contact the principal of the school and see about taking one of the A grades that he got and split it with a C average student. That way, both he and the other student could enjoy a B grade. “No way,” I was told. “I worked hard for my A. That isn’t fair. I shouldn’t have to get a lower grade just because someone else didn’t do as good as I did!”

“Why not,” I asked? “Why should other students get lower grades than you? What if they don’t have the opportunity to study as much as you do, have parents who make them do their homework, or maybe they just aren’t as smart as you? Why should you get a good grade and them not?”

“Because I earned my grades,” my son interjected. “It isn’t fair that I should work to earn my grades and have them taken away and given to someone who didn’t earn as good a grade! I earned it!”
“Congratulations, you are not a Democrat,” I informed him.

That discussion stuck with him, because he brought it up to me again just today. I know that this will be much to the chagrin of some members of the family who are loyal Democrats, regardless of the candidate or issues.

I remember my wife having a discussion with an elderly member of the family about a corrupt politician that is in office in Harnett County. My wife encouraged this dear old woman to vote for someone else in the (then) coming election. “But we can’t have a Republican in office,” was the naive response. The funny thing is that I know the family’s values. They have a strong work ethic, appreciate freedom, oppose welfare programs, oppose affirmative action, believe in merit based advancement, have been in and continue to run small businesses, want low taxes, and oppose things such as abortion. Those are conservative values, and none of which are traits of the present day Democrat Party. And yet there are people who will continue to vote that way regardless all because of some archaic, fallacious, and dangerous preconceived notion stemming back to the days of abolition.

I am still no fan of the Republican Party, believe me. I lament its current state and in general, its crop of candidates. If I could find an honest, conservative Democrat, he or she would get my vote. I just have not run across any in my lifetime. Then again, I have not run across many GOP candidates that are that way, either.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Column for March 1, 2012

Normally, I would be congratulatory towards someone who has won a beauty pageant, ahem, I mean “scholarship program”.  Not necessarily this time, though.  A while ago, I read that a pretty young lady, Bindhu Pamarthi, won the 2012 Miss Johnston County pageant and will represent our county at the Miss North Carolina pageant.  I have seen a few pictures of her and Bindhu is a very attractive, young lady of Indian extraction.  Her ethnic makeup does not bother me in the least bit.  Sure, I may look around Johnston County and see a whole lot of White, Black,  and Hispanic people and not many Indian or Asian folks.  Still, it does not bother me in the least bit.

I was going to write about this earlier, but I am glad that I held off for a few weeks.  The Miss Johnston County web site was finally updated with information on our new winner, complete with a biography and pictures.  She seems to be an intelligent and accomplished young lady.  She is currently a student at UNC.  According to the official pageant web site, her mother is from Chapel Hill.  Wait, did I just type Chapel Hill?  Yes, I did, apparently.  Chapel Hill?  Since when is Chapel Hill in Johnston County?  And this is not the first time that Bindhu has participated in a Johnston County pageant.  In 2007, she was crowned Miss Johnston County Outstanding Teen.  Back then she was listed as being from Cary.  Other news sources also said that Mrs. Pamarthi is from Cary rather than Chapel Hill, so there are conflicting reports.  To my last recollection, Cary wasn’t in Johnston County, either.

When I checked last year’s winner, prior to the pageant web site update, I saw that the winner was from Raleigh.  Now that is closer to Johnston County, but still definitely not JoCo.  I have lived in North Carolina more than half of my life.  The first nine years I lived in Raleigh and the last fifteen have been in Johnston County.  I think I know the difference in both geography and culture.  The official pageant rules, however, do state that “contestants must be between the ages of 17-24 and must be a resident or student of Johnston, Wake, Harnett, Sampson, Wilson, Nash, or Wayne Counties.”  With a residence of Cary being in Wake County, young Ms. Pamarthi would qualify.  Chapel Hill is like Berkley East, a bastion of liberal and socialist thought in North Carolina.  But for that matter, Cary is pretty close.   

Personally, I think that the Miss Johnston County pageant should have questions like, “What are your views on extending bow hunting season on white tailed deer?” and “What is your favorite brand of hunting scope and why?”  For an evening gown competition, it should be compulsory for each contestant to carry their favorite firearm.  Now if a beauty pageant required the displaying of firearms, as a Second Amendment enthusiast, I would go watch and actually feel like I am in Johnston County, regardless of from whence the contestants come.  I would be right there paying more attention to the weaponry, commenting “Look at the Picatinny Rail System on that AR-15!”

I almost feel like having a Miss Johnston County being from Cary is like having someone from the Wake County Board of Commissioners serve as my elected official.  It just isn’t right being represented by someone outside of my county.  Each and every year, I have seen bunches of pageant winners here in Johnston County, especially making appearances in Christmas parades across the county.  Some are beautiful young ladies.  Some are heifers with tiaras.  Nonetheless, if they are from Johnston County, then great.

Bindhu Pamarthi’s mother happens to lead the Miss India North Carolina pageant.  Obviously, their family is into talent and beauty competitions.  Forget the fact that most people in Johnston County can’t pronounce her name, if Bindhu was from Johnston County, I wouldn’t have a problem with her being our pageant winner or representing our county.  But Chapel Hill or Cary?  Really??  Obviously, pageant rules do not exclude people from outside the county from taking a county crown.  To me, that is sad.