The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste

In 1989, the Industrial-Metal band, Ministry, released one of the greatest records of all time (my opinion, of course) entitled, The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste. I spent about two hours locked in my room with the volume cranked up to eleven. And that was just on the first track. It took me the third-or-so hour to reach the second track. I kept playing the first track, Thieves, over and over and over and over and…

That’s about as close to a religious experience I ever had. Locked in solitary with my kind of chanting. Unless you count the several times I’ve listened to Smiths and Morrissey records in a similar environment. But the The Mind album, along with the band’s name, (Ministry) and that first track, (Thieves), go hand-in-hand, speculating on a flock’s mind being stolen away by thievery, well, I’m reaching. Or preaching? Joseph Smith says he was contacted by the Archangel Gabriel, shown hidden golden tablets and then tasked to translate them. So if that shit can be bought, so can mine with an Industrial-Metal band from the eighties/nineties. But where as I’m good enough to tell you that tidbit of spiritual revival, I’m not about to insist you get into Ministry. Or follow my Ministry. Or do as I say. Others would. Others do. Others take their conversions, their revelations, and force them upon others. Some do so with life and death consequences.

Some say that gay marriage cheapens marriage but I think heterosexual couples have already done that by allowing more than fifty-percent of them (in the United States) to terminate. And that number doesn’t count those who feel locked in, not wanting to waste the past by throwing away the future. A more reliable scale of testing would be to spend more time asking heterosexual couples how happy they are. Have a one-to-ten scale of questioning if you like, but grading rates of success, true success of happiness until death duly parts. That would be a more accurate portrayal as to whether or not heterosexual, monogamous couples are the best. But you’d have to match them over years of sampling of long time homosexual marriages (as well as other arrangements, like polygamy). I don’t believe enough time has passed to get a good sampling.

I respect the human mind way too highly to let some use theirs so carelessly. Heterosexuals who waste their upper-most-body-matter telling homosexuals they can’t be married is one such exercise. Other wastes are allowing the brain in one person to ban the space travel of another brain that constructs a machine to allow him such an adventure. The former doing so on behalf of an invisible being that; while was capable in the distant past of creating the entire universe, now feels compelled to ban his most precious creation to explore it. Or, regarding human relations, if said being is all that powerful, why does he care where you put your genitals?

The common denominator in the above cases is a religious one. Those against gay marriage are against it for religious reasons. They may use the word “tradition” but said tradition is a religious one (albeit faulty as, biblically and Qu’ranically speaking, a male may have many wives). In any case, the holder of the view that homosexuals can not marry claim to just be messengers, pointing out that the commanded Order comes from a higher power – God. Who are they to bend the judgment of God? Anyone can read the Order for themselves in the Bible or Qu’ran, right?

That’s precisely the problem. Joseph Campbell said, “Every religion is true one way or another. It is true when understood metaphorically. But when it gets stuck in its own metaphors, interpreting them as facts, then you are in trouble.”

When my daughter discusses the ongoings of her relationship with her invisible friend, I humor her, ask questions concerning the nature of this friend. But should this rite of childhood never pass, its time to seek psychological counseling. So when I see grown adults engaging is such behaviors, well, I can respect the person but I can not respect the belief. Christopher Hitchens wrote, “If religious instruction were not allowed until the child had attained the age of reason, we would be living in a quite different world.” I concur. Is it any coincidence that the religion of the child is the religion of the parents?

You could never point to a five-year-old child and claim this child is a Republican child. You could never put a Detroit Piston’s jersey on a one-year-old and claim this child is a basketball fan, particularly of the Detroit Pistons. And you can’t label a child a Muslim or Jewish child. Just because the parents are something doesn’t mean the child is too. Those choices are adult choices. And when adults make said choices to be those things, we can only then use the label.

It’s why I’m so hard on religious talk. It’s why I protest so highly against indoctrination of children. In all other lines of inquiry, a child taught a certain subject has the right to ask questions, has the right to conduct his/her own experiments to replicate the findings. And, if what that child had been told turns out to be wrong, text books can change. Not so with the Holy books. There is no room for discussion or engagement. It’s written down by mystics of old and you obey. That’s it. No questions. And if a Holy text says homosexuals can not marry…

Or can not eat anything that mixes meat and dairy,

Or can not cut the hair on the side of your head,

Or can not touch a dead pig (bacon!),

Or can not…then you can not.

The above are a few prohibitions in the Bible. There’s plenty more. I won’t list them all for you. If you wanna check out the entire list, check into any hotel room in the United States. The Gideons were kind enough to litter every establishment with a Bible for your perusal. We can be thankful that most Jews and Christians don’t follow the rules of Leviticus and Deuteronomy to the letter, don’t pass down the ludicrous to their children. The Golden Rule, I suppose, is practiced by most while the more “primitive” Orders are discarded. And while I may snicker at someone who believes in a magic Jewish carpenter who died two-thousand-years ago and will return soon to fix things, I kinda gotta shrug sometimes and say, “Well, what’s it to me?” My friends and family (and total strangers) who practice in the Judea-Christian faith generally leave me alone. Sometimes we even have rather fine, engaging discussions.

At worst, Judea-Christians try to use the force of government to ban homosexual marriages or put prayer back in school. They don’t draw swords. And yes, there is the occasional wacko assault on a doctor performing abortions. But these are more Man Bite Dog stories than regular occurrences. Bull horning or trying to legislate based on the Bible is one thing. Ramming a 757 into your face is another.

From it’s very beginning, the United States has been at war with the Muslim faith. Documented here, I pointed out that 9/11 was a continuation of that war. And it continues to this day. Where as all other religions get mouthy or try to force themselves through legislation at worst, Islam is the only religion on the physical offense.

In every debate, we must pick our battles. In the contest with reason and logic on one side and the authority of religion on the other, the former is the clear winner. But should we spend our energies shouting down all practices of Woo? Resources are limited. If there are a number of parasites eating away at the host, shouldn’t the most time be spent on the worst pest?

Christians, Jews, Jains, Buddhists, astrologers, alchemists, Urantians, they pale in comparison to the mayhem Islam has caused. It is Islam that we must be confronted head on. It is Islam where we must spend most of our time. This isn’t entirely about 9/11. This is about the day-to-day censorship and life threats (and executions) that come from them.

Let us be reminded of the case of Umm Nidal, noted for counseling three of her six sons to commit suicide attacks against Israel. Let us be reminded of the ever present Al-Qaeda. Let us be reminded of the Boston Marathon 2013. Let us be reminded of the treatment of Daniel Pearl. Let us be reminded of every journalist, musician, author, or otherwise that said a sour word against Islam. Let us be reminded of Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a well known critic of Islam and a supporter of women wishing to withdraw from the binds that Islam offers them. Born in Somalia, Ms. Hirsi Ali, herself, suffered the ritual of female genital mutilation at the age of five, was chastised by family to participate in an arranged marriage (which she refused) and eventually sought political asylum in the Netherlands in 1992. She went on to hold political office in the Dutch House of Representatives from 2003 to 2006. She is well published with four books on the subject of women in Muslim communities and her own life within. Finally, Ms. Hirsi Ali heads the AHA Foundation, a non-profit in the United States set to protect women from the abuses of Islam. With all her accomplishments, Ms. Hirsi Ali has been awarded several times by various agencies and was supposed to be awarded an honorary degree by Brandeis University located in Waltham, Massachusetts on May 18, 2014. But said degree was withdrawn when Muslim groups protested. Why? Because of everything I just told you about her. Apparently, the Muslims who protested the degree are upset because she’s been an ardent critic of Islam and their hideous practices. And, I’ll state it again, these practices include female genital mutilation, forced marriages, kept/beaten women, honor killings, etc, etc. which is what she’s been most opposed to.

Being denied an honorary degree is one thing. Having one’s life threatened: Ayaan Hirsi Ali wrote the screenplay to the 2004 film, Submission. Directed by Theo Van Gogh, said film shows female women, Muslim women, abused through the permission of Islam. And like Salman Rushdie, who after publication of The Satanic Verses, found himself rushed into protective custody because of Muslim death threats, Ms. Hirsi Ali and Mr. Van Gogh were treated to the same negative applause. But while Ms. Hirsi Ali remains alive, Mr. Van Gogh was not so lucky. On November 2, 2004, he was assassinated at the hands of a Muslim man who took his Holy Book a little too seriously, a little too “At-Face-Value”.

The American University, western universities, have long been harbors of learning and higher education. Places where young adults go to ask questions, conduct experiments, challenge old thesis. But the Brandeis University/Ayaan Hirsi Ali censorship case isn’t a secluded man chews hide of canine. A few weeks ago, both the University of Michigan and the University of Illinois were scheduled to screen the documentary, Honor Diaries but found their events cancelled, again, at the behest of uptight Muslims groups. What was the problem this time? Honor Diaries documents the testimony of nine Muslim, Muslim, women, telling the stories of genital mutilation, honor killings and submission in the name of the Faith. Yet, instead of taking the opportunity to admit the problem, correct the problem, and walk out of the Dark Ages, the Council on American-Islamic Relations chose to complain. And to complain loud enough to cry “Islamophobe” and have the screenings cancelled. Think about it. This was their chance to absolve themselves from the barbaric practices, to come out and say, “Yes, yes, it was done in the past. But we’re up to speed now.” But no. Their choice to shut it down suggests complete acceptance of these practices into the present age.

A few months ago, pop music star, Katy Perry, released her music video for Dark Horse. In that video, Ms. Perry, playing a queen of some sorts, punishes a subject by zapping him with a lighting bolt from her fingers. The bolt lands on the man’s chest, upon a necklace with a pendant engraved with the word, “Allah” and kills him. Out came the petitions and demands for censorship because it is apparently blasphemous. The Muslim outcry was enough that Ms. Perry had the video edited to remove the pendant. Why? What was she scared of? (See Ayaan Hirsi Ali).

Those who call for censorship or violence in the name of Islam are not only granted an exception but have their bad behavior over looked. On April 10, 2014, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted Cat Stevens. Cat Stevens supported the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s call to murder author, Salman Rushie. after publication of his, Satanic Verses. Amazing! Imagine if Fred Phelps were more than the instigator of the “God Hates Fags” protests outside military funerals. Imagine if he started first as a major figure in music or literature. Would he be welcomed like Mr. Stevens…or, I mean, Yusuf Islam? Religion allows the unallowable.

Why is it that a university or author or other talent can lodge criticism or outright eviscerate any other religion without cause for apology or reversal? What is it about criticizing Islam that is so different, so life threatening? The fact is, a display by an artist of a crucifix submerged in a bottle of urine may furrow brows, but a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad with a bomb on his head can get you killed.

I urge you to consult the Qu’ran itself for the answer. This is the bases of Islam. Read where it is expected to put terror into the hearts of the unbelievers, to abstain from friendship and alliances of unbelievers and to punish people who ignore the “revelations”. Then you’ll know why. Then you’ll know Al-Qaeda. Then you’ll know Umm Nidal, Osama Bin Laden, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. You’ll know those terrible minds and why western, secular, reasonable organizations cave. Self preservation.

Regarding Islam, Sam Harris wrote in The End of Faith, “…in the year 2006 a person can have sufficient intellectual and material resources to build a nuclear bomb and still believe that he will get 72 virgins in Paradise. Western secularists, liberals, and moderates have been very slow to understand this. The cause of their confusion is simple: They don’t know what it is like to really believe in God.” In other words, we are witnessing Muslims, enough to make an impact, taking the Qu’ran at face value and not plucking out the parts that should have been extinguished along with the Biblical Order to stone to death disobedient children. Islam, it appears, is the last of the Woo, last of the nonsense that remains a real threat to civilized society.

Am I being unfair, presenting the worst of the worst? I’ll let Ayaan Hirsi Ali have the final word. After a speech where Ms. Hirsi Ali was confronted by two Muslims claiming she misrepresented Muslims, she was quick enough to note, “Then why do I have to travel with armed protection?”

We can not be canceling television shows and publications and movie screenings because someone is offended, not here, not in the town of Thomas Jefferson. Muslims have managed to make it happen because of the extreme in their group, engaging in assassinations and fatwas over the smallest of things. Do not let a religion, one alledegedly founded on a man claiming an angel dictated to him like Joseph Smith, tell you what you can read, see or feel. Do not let them steal the ideals of western universities. Do not allow them to be the thieves of our children’s higher learning and well being. You can start, simply, by pushing play.

Judgment and Leadership | RedState

Judgment and Leadership | RedState
By Erick Erickson

Charlie Crist, now running as a Democrat for Governor of Florida, could be a United States Senator.

Trey Grayson, now working for a super PAC to elect Democrats, could be a United States Senator too.

Arlen Specter, who recently passed away, could have died still a sitting United States Senator.

David Dewhurst, the moderate to liberal Republican Lieutenant Governor of Texas now struggling to stay elected after a conservative wave through the Lone Star State, could be a Senator.

All of these men were supported by Mitch McConnell either openly or behind the scenes. All of these men are the men McConnell wanted to surround himself with.

Imagine a United States Senate with Charlie Crist and Arlen Specter and without Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and Ted Cruz. That is the United States Senate that Mitch McConnell wanted.

Now McConnell says of the new crop of conservative candidates that he wants to “crush them everywhere.” He calls conservatives traitors, fringe, and drunk.

Mitch McConnell backed Charlie Crist against Marco Rubio.

Mitch McConnell backed Trey Grayson against Rand Paul.

Mitch McConnell backed Bob Bennett against Mike Lee.

Mitch McConnell backed David Dewhurst against Ted Cruz.

Mitch McConnell backed Arlen Specter against Pat Toomey.

It is time to back Matt Bevin against Mitch McConnell.

The Joys and Needs of Exhibitionism

Once, before children, there was this beautiful, sunny Sunday. There were no clouds in the sky, the temperature was perfect, there was no reason to be in-doors. Except, one after another, good movies were playing on the television. Movies that I owned on DVD but, for some reason, when they come on all by themselves, I can’t help but watch them. Commercials and all. So after noticing the sun going down and realizing my error in blowing a perfectly good Sunday on the couch, my wife and I decided to cut the cord. Forward to April 2008. I scaled the roof of my house and installed an antenna. Me, slightly afraid of heights, strapped it to the chimney and haven’t been on my roof since.

Initially, my palms sweat when a few days went by and I hadn’t seen a World War II documentary on the History Channel. And I might have had a slight fever when The Learning Channel wasn’t available anymore. Then there were the news channels I could stare at for hours so for awhile, I felt like I didn’t know what was going on in the world. And then a few weeks went by and I forgot about all of it. Six-years later, I still don’t miss the nine-hundred-smörgåsbord-channel offering that is cable.

Why anyone has cable television these days is beyond me. Unless, of course, you’re a sports fan. Then I see why. But as a non-sports person (unless you count fishing), I don’t get spending that kind of money to watch other people have fun. The cheers of “We Won” are more accurate as “We Watched”. Yawn. Now get a game of volleyball or baseball together with friends, I’m in. But a spectator, I am not. I’ll take skinned knees over chicken-fried-greased-fingers.

Spectating in politics is just as boring. If you watch debates, others voting and others voicing their opinions, you have no more stake in the game then, well, the outcome of a game. Yet, unlike a sporting event where, at best, you might lose a few dollars and gain a few pounds, in politics, failure to engage means the end result is you being governed by someone else’s ideas. At least if you play the game of politics, you have the right to complain. Failure to engage, and you have the right to eat cake.

I find the same joy (if you will) in literature. Avid reading is great but I also enjoy writing my own. My own opinions in essays and, although lacking as of late, in fiction, is another form of participation. Voyeurism is a fine fetish. But the real kicks are in Exhibitionism.

I’ve been away from Freedom Cocktail for longer than usual. A cyst on my liver, that my doctors had been watching, finally grew and needed to be taken out. But no worries. I have good doctors who are paid well and wish to keep their reputations solid. You see, if you pay a doctor an extraordinary wage, they’ll do extraordinary things. Anyhow…while away on mutation leave, I spent seven nights, six days hospitalized. There is nothing to do in the Intensive Care Unit but piss in a container, monitor your blood pressure and watch cable television. I was able to see what I’ve been missing. I spent most of said time finding out that the History Channel has turned into an advertisement for a pawn shop. And the news channels aren’t doing any, ANY investigative reporting. The drone of what passes for twenty-four-hour news bores me to tears. Fox and Friends is less informative than Michael and Kelly and O’Reilly still interrupts his guests (and published a terribly inaccurate book on Jesus). I made such a right decision in 2008 to cut the cord. I can’t believe anyone is still paying for this.

Government to the rescue!

The Federal Communications Commission is going nose-in on the Fourth Estate. Plants are being placed in major news networks to find out what and why said networks decide to report on. Why does one network hammer on whether Hillary is going to make a run and the other nails out who Kim Kardashian is filming sex with? The FCC wants to know. And the purpose is to, supposedly, make sure the American public is getting proper, critical information. This isn’t the first time the feds got into dictating public information. A few decades ago, we got passage of the 1967 Public Broadcasting Act which set out to increase educational programming, again in the interest of the American public. Note: This does not mean the public is exposed to all sides of an argument. This means programming is determined based on a few individuals who make up the deciding cabinet. And although this is already true, as corporate news executives are currently the ones deciding what to report on, at the moment, if you don’t like said programming, you can simply change the channel. But if government begins to dictate on every channel, you won’t have the choice. Just as every car must come with an air bag, every television newscast may come with a public service announcement that cigarettes are bad.

In a prior piece, I noted how poorly the Fourth Estate was handling the real problem that we call Benghazi. I argued (and will continue to argue) that in that case, the real problem was Muslim Fascism and it was swept aside to avoid being offensive. Now, put a government agency in the Fourth Estate and…volia, you might not even hear the word Benghazi. Especially if someone doesn’t want you to. I really hate using sentences like that. Makes it look like I’m wearing my tin hat, spinning conspiracy theories. But when the FCC infiltrates news organizations for the purpose of making sure the American public is getting the proper information to meet critical needs, we can only assume that government dictated non-critical material falls by the wayside. And, of course, in a situation like this, it is never you who decides what is critical or not.

And if all that wasn’t bad enough, it appears the news networks are giving the government every reason to step in, and the public may welcome it with such poor professional oversight. As of recent, two fake news reports got spit out without any investigation by the news agencies. Late night comic, Jimmy Kimmel, put one over with a fake video of a wolf wandering its way into a hotel in Sochi. And an Atlanta radio station faked a protest about Justin Bieber allegedly moving there. Both stories were picked up by the major news networks and run as if they were real. No fact checking. Just regurgitation. If this continues, the networks may hand government all the reason to want in.

So I’m afraid (and slightly pleased) that you will have to become your own reporter. You will have to do fact checking. The Internet can be useful here although it is sometimes used for evil. Whereas prior to the InterWebs we, in the United States, were locked into the papers that made it to our doors, now, we can review International and freelance work. That is, if you care to take the time. If it’s important to you, I encourage you to do so. But don’t just watch, DO. Share your findings especially if they differ from the “official” story. Become an Exhibitionist. The more speaking up we can do in defense of getting all the information, the less Snopes has to do. Plus, quite simply, spectating is just plain boring. Jump in to the world. Go exploring and don’t be afraid to show off what you found.

As I mentioned, I’m on a mutation leave of absence from work. With no cable television to clog up my day, I have all the time in the world to chat with you, dear readers @ericwojo via Twitter if you wish. Oh, and I have a little petition that’s not getting much love over at Change.org. Maybe pop on over, sign it…free speech and all.

Conservative Women and Feminism

If you’re a conservative woman, like I am, you’re a traitor. Oh, you didn’t know? Well, let me explain. As a woman we are apparently genetically predetermined to be liberals and support the progressive agenda that is slowly but surely destroying our country from the inside out. Supposedly our DNA should tell us that we need the government to pay for our birth control, that we can’t do for ourselves and of course, the world owes us because we have two X chromosomes. As women we are victims and should not only be equal to our male counterparts, but elevated because we are special, delicate, weak snowflakes who are looked down upon by this male-dominated, misogynist world.

As a conservative woman I could hardly keep a straight face as I wrote that opening paragraph because it completely contradicts everything I believe. Unfortunately it is a very real perception of what liberals expect women to be – dependent, needy and lost without the government telling them what to think and how to vote. This is ironic because so many liberals rant about feminism and how conservatives want to legislate their lives and tell them what to do when they themselves are exploiting and trapping women in their agenda.

Liberals have ruined feminism. What started out as a strong movement for equality has turned into a depressing and empty message of vaginas, abortion and the government strong-arming employers to pay a woman a certain amount based solely on the fact that she is a woman, regardless of her merit or ability. In my mind this takes women backwards, minimizing us to a few choice body parts and reinforcing the idea that for whatever reason we need the government to take care of us.

Conservative women really are the epitome of what feminism should be. We are independent, strong, determined and believe in ourselves; you will not find a conservative woman whining that her boss pays her less because “she’s a woman.” That’s a cop-out in our world because we are responsible for what we make and what we accomplish, not our employer, not our husbands and definitely not big daddy government.

Where liberal women downplay the importance of family, conservative women focus on how complete a life can be when the family is a priority. Liberal women demand the ability to abort a child for whatever reason they deem necessary while conservative women value life and celebrate one of the defining characteristics of being a woman, and that is being a mother. It is almost as if liberal feminists hate being women and would rather be men, which again seems completely counterproductive to the feminist notion of equality. Yes, we should be equal but equal as women, not as some liberal ideal of what a woman should be.

It’s almost as if liberals think they own feminism, which is laughable from a party who tells women they don’t have to try, that failure is acceptable and not to listen to those who warn them of the tyranny of government. If liberals really cared about women they would be telling them they can do anything, they can be anyone and they don’t need the government fighting their battles for them. This is what conservatives believe, and yet if we pipe up and say any of these things we are immediately accused of waging a “war on women,” and being out of touch. Forget that what we are saying is that we believe in women… no, instead we are labeled as cruel and the party of evil men because we expect more.

Conservative women need to challenge these ideas that are not only poisoning feminism, but are also actually ruining other women’s lives in general. We are the party that celebrates the individual and champions the notion that we can all live the American dream when we work hard enough. We know there is potential in each and every one of us, and regardless of sex, color or creed, that potential can take us anywhere we want to go.

It’s time for conservative women to lead the way, traitors and all.

Texas Senate Candidate Dwayne Stovall Hits Cornyn on Debt Ceiling Vote

Senator John Cornyn (R-TX),  already facing a difficult race in Texas, may have just signed his own retirement letter by becoming a pivotal vote to pass the debt ceiling increase Wednesday evening. In defiance of GOP promises to attach spending cuts to further debt ceiling increases, Cornyn sided with Senator Mitch McConnell to kill a fillibuster in the debt ceiling debate in the Senate, after the House passed a clean increase resolution.

In response to Senator Cornyn’s vote, Primary challenger Dwayne Stovall released a statement vowing to vote against every federal spending increase.

(February 13, 2014) – GOP Senatorial candidate Dwayne Stovall pledged yesterday to not only vote no on every federal debt increase attempt, but to use every other means at his disposal, including the filibuster, to prevent the debt from ever being raised again.

Stovall made the pledge yesterday morning before the cloture vote, when it became apparent that Sen. John Cornyn would again betray Texas and vote to allow a debt increase. True to form, Cornyn remained true to his bait-and-switch character.

Stovall said in a statement: “Texans don’t want any more debt. Texans want their Senators to do everything in their power to prevent it. Unfortunately, just like after his vote on cloture for Obamacare, Cornyn votes for it before he votes against it.”

Earlier in the week, Stovall released an ad hitting Senator Cornyn’s record of voting against conservative positions.

Stovall’s website stresses his commitment to keeping the interest of conservative Texans first, and hits Cornyn on repeated support of positions pushed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.  Stovall lists an impressive number of Texas TEA Party and grassroots endorsements, and this morning tweeted that he is nine for nine in straw poll wins in Texas.

The Liberal Male

Hidden in the dark crevices of organic food markets and coffee shops lurks the saber-toothed, liberal male. He is a creature who rides his bike, hates SUVs, and thrives on a diet of rhetoric, open-toed shoes and of course, a progressive agenda. You may find him declaring women should have the “right to choose”, or shaking his little blue fist at “The Man” for keeping minorities down. If you’re lucky, you’ll witness his self-declared brilliance as he talks about taxing the rich and redistributing their income to the Little People. Yes, the liberal male is a fascinating specimen who is either prettier than any woman you’ll ever see or who hasn’t bathed since the Reagan administration…

Okay, so that’s a humorous take on men of the liberal persuasion, and while there is a great deal of truth in humor, it’s not entirely accurate. Although, I’m pretty sure most liberal men dig on open-toed shoes and I know for a fact they’re more than happy to remind me that I have a right to choose what to do with my body. Oh, and they do prefer organic tomatoes.

I am writing about liberal men because of several interactions I’ve had with said men in the social media realm, particularly Twitter. (Side note, if you’re just getting started in social media, Facebook is like boot camp and Twitter is war.) During one interaction that I admittedly butted into, a liberal gent was telling a woman the GOP hated her and was trying to “control her by holding her reproductive system hostage” and paying her less because of her sex. Of course I am paraphrasing, his tweet was something more like, “The GOP don’t get you, they just use you and want to control your ****.”

Me being me, I had to hop in and politely remind him that few things are as annoying as a man crying about women’s issues and I politely suggested he stick to things he knew about, like crocheting. Granted, I was a tad snarky (it is a part of my personality these days), but I did not expect the tirade that came across from this man in tweets, who had just proclaimed to care about me, as a woman, and my rights. He first insulted me as being a dumb blonde, then insinuated that I have a “big daddy” who takes care of me so I don’t have to worry and finally told me I am an insult to my sex because I am a conservative woman.

Remind me again–who’s waging this war on women?

To be honest, I have had plenty of disagreements with conservative men as well (I know I know, I don’t get along with anybody) yet not one of them has treated me like that. They’ve questioned sources or facts, and may have gotten a tad bit heated, but I have yet to be personally attacked in the way I was on Twitter.  For being the supposed party of “tolerance and acceptance”, they sure don’t tolerate or accept conservative women. I guess they only care about liberal women’s rights…

It’s not just in my own personal interactions with liberal men where I’m seeing this level of hate, but you see it with conservative women in general, especially conservative women who dare speak out against liberals using us in their agenda. How many times has Sarah Palin been attacked and ridiculed? Michelle Bachmann?

Perhaps liberal men have issues with conservative women because we confuse them. Liberal women tend to fall in line with liberal men’s preferred talking points…

  1. Men are evil, especially white, straight, Christian, conservative men;
  2. Women deserve special treatment simply because they are women;
  3. Your body, your choice;
  4. Ummm… peace and love?

You know what I think? I think liberal men are afraid of conservative women because they can’t control our dialogue and, in turn, control us.  It’s easy for them to pander to liberal women, to coddle them and assure them they’re important and the world owes them. If they were to spew that nonsense to a conservative woman she’d raise her eyebrow and tell them to get a job (and shower, please). Liberalism in general is about the collective, and conservative women just don’t accept that; we celebrate the individual and believe in accountability. We do not accept the progressive agenda that says we deserve to be special because of an extra X chromosome, and that terrifies liberals, especially the men.

Or maybe liberal men are just insecure babies who can’t stand it when a woman stands on principle and value and does not fall in line with his supposed idea of what a woman should be.

Yeah. That’s more like it.

Southern Snow and Lessons Learned

Last Tuesday was one of those days in Atlanta, and much of the Southeast.  It snowed.  It snowed where it wasn’t supposed to.  And it caused lots of problems.  The next day wasn’t any better because, although the sun came out, it never got out of the 20’s and the snow and ice stayed.  Not until Thursday did the ice melt away and everything return to normal.  You’ve surely seen the images on TV of cars parked on the interstates, children spending the night stuck at school and hundreds of traffic accidents.  The blame-game started almost immediately and various politicians and officials have been standing in front of reporters’ microphones since Tuesday afternoon, first blaming everyone from God to the weatherman, then, later, apologizing for their roles in the poor decision making (whatever those might have been).  There have been a number of analyses of “what went wrong,” and I guess this will be another one – but perhaps with a little bit of a different take on it.   

How about this from a libertarian blogger?:  There is nothing that any politician or government agency could have or should have done differently or better.

The worst thing that can happen as a result of these kinds of mass regional incidents is that government leaders feel empowered to “fix the problem.”  Atlanta Mayor Reed’s biggest take-away on the day after the snow was that he needs to “exercise more and better control of when the schools are released, when private sector employees are dismissed, and when government workers are excused” – as if he can somehow wave his scepter and dictate when I get to leave my office during a crises.  Within a few days, the second seal was broken and Mayor Reed, not surprisingly, declared that more money needs to be spent to add additional equipment and to hire an over-paid administrator to oversee the City’s response to future disasters.   The Georgia Governor has been equally on the hot seat for the State’s handling of the snow.  Although from a different political party than Mayor Reed, Gov Deal’s “conclusions” are strikingly similar to Reed’s.  “It’s nothing that we can’t fix with more taxpayer money and more control over your actions,” the Governor said, in not-so-many words.  Typical government answer, and actually, it’s the same statements that were issued after the last major ice storm in 2011 – which resulted in millions being spent on snow removal studies, people, and equipment – and apparently did little good.

It’s not just the chief executives that are covering their backsides and promising to “fix” things.  Nothing upsets parents more than not being able to get to their kids in a crisis.  Icy roads and the resulting traffic gridlock in Atlanta last week prevented buses from delivering children home and prevented parents from getting to the schools to pick up their children.  Ironically, in a town that is notorious for calling off school at the slightest possibility of frozen precipitation, most children were IN school last Tuesday when the ice storm started.  Schools were called off by hundreds of school systems across Georgia in the middle of the day.  Thousands of parents were contacted with the message that kids would be delivered home early, or simply needed to be picked up – somehow.  Obviously, parents became frustrated and angry that their children were stuck – and that THEY were stuck trying to get their children.  The blame began the same day.  “School should have been called off earlier,” some said.  “They should have never opened in the first place,” others said.

Really, most of these school administrators did the only thing that was reasonably appropriate at the times that decisions needed to be made.  The day before, the night before, and the morning of the storm there was NO precipitation falling.  The forecasts during this time tended to say that the system was to be primarily located SOUTH of Atlanta.  With that information available in the early morning hours, it was difficult to make any decision other than, “it’s a school day, let’s have school.”  The correct decision, in my book.  Too often, we’ve seen administrators cancel classes early – sometimes days early – in an overabundance of caution with only the slightest risk of hazardous conditions predicted.  This time, though, they didn’t – and it burned them.  But, in the aftermath, the CYA begins as school administrators and superintendents begin to apologize to their constituents (voters) for the right, but incorrect, decisions.

So, what did we really learn from the “Snowpocalypse of 2014?”  Or rather, what should we have learned?

1) No city or region will ever be fully prepared for every natural or man-made event that might happen.  Cities should prepare for things that pose great and regular risk to their communities – Tallassee should be good at evacuating from hurricanes, Buffalo should be good at plowing snow, but both cities will be wasting money planning for the other disaster, although, occasionally, either event COULD occur in either place.

2) When we choose to live 30, 40, 50, or more miles from where we work, things are going to happen occasionally that will prevent us from getting where we want to be on time.  Americans used to live on farms or in small towns and work and home were either the same property, or within walking distance of one another.  Urban dwellers in years past lived and worked in the same neighborhood.  We chose to live where we worked and work where we lived.  Not anymore.  Now we work in the city and live in the suburbs – which is fine, but we depend on our systems of automated transportation not to let us down – and sometimes, they will.  Ditto for where we send our kids to school.

3) Government will let us down, so we should be aware of our environments and work to become more self-reliant.  Understanding lessons number 1 and 2 above should also lead us to understand that no political organization, or decision making body, can, or should, be responsible for US.  WE need to decide when our children go to or stay home from school.  WE need to make our own observations about our surroundings and modify our daily schedules accordingly.  Bad weather will cause accidents and accidents will block traffic.  If we have 40 miles to drive, and traffic is blocked (or moving at 3 mph) then we may need to make alternate plans.  The government can’t fly you home, and may not even be able to remove whatever is blocking your path(s).

4) When we hold or leaders, “accountable” – BE CAREFUL!  The only things that any government can really do are to spend your money and restrict your freedom in an attempt to deliver what you’re asking for.  When subject to media scrutiny, politicians will come up with all kinds of policies that make them appear to be responsive.  Effectiveness of a policy is a distance second.   We can be assured; at least until this snow disaster is a distant memory, that schools will be cancelled for any type weather hazard – at least the frozen kind.  .  Political organizations are very quick to address the most recent problems, but aren’t very good at noticing other problems that have yet to be experienced.   Barn doors will be closed soon after the cows escape, but no one will notice fences that are missing.

Natural disasters are crucibles that test our systems and ourselves.  They expose many problems inherent in a society and a community – and they also create opportunities to show the best of what we’re capable of.  Too often, we allow normalcy, dependence, and the ease at which our lives normally operate to lull us to sleep.  We must stay awake and alert.  We must retain some of our American rugged individualism that has always allowed us to take care of ourselves and to make the best of difficult situations – without blaming those that we shouldn’t have depended on in the first place.

#SOTU in three words and a drinking game

Social media is amazing.

We can use it to show people what we are currently eating , who we are with and what we plan to do next. We update our families and friends on our vacations, sporting events or just lounging at home. Businesses hope to get free marketing from it while consumers can spread the word on deals (or bad service) almost instantly.

Part of social media is the use of the hashtag…the pound sign…the tic-tac-toe board…the #!

Any particular subject can be made searchable by adding that simple character in front. Discussions online can be categorized and followed using these hashtags. And, thanks to these user-created categories, I bring you today’s blog post.

state-of-the-union-296x222The State of the Union tradition arises from the following line in Article II, Section 3 of the US Constitution, “He shall, from time-to-time, give to Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” While not required to deliver a formal speech, every president since Woodrow Wilson has made at least one State of the Union report as a speech delivered before a joint session of Congress. Before that time, most presidents delivered the State of the Union as a written report. Since the advent of radio, and then television, the speech has been broadcast live on most networks.

George Washington delivered the first regular annual message before a joint session of Congress on January 8, 1790. However, in 1801, Thomas Jefferson discontinued the practice of delivering the address in person, regarding it as too monarchical. Instead, the address was written and then sent to Congress to be read by a clerk and this practice was followed until the early 20th century.

How I wish that were still the case. Even better, in our age of technology, just post the text version of the #SOTU online so we can read it in our Facebook news feeds or from a link on Twitter. Instead, we are going to be made to sit through a cacophony of over-the-top applause from the sycophants, arms-folded scowls from the obstinate and circus-like chicanery from the leads of both the House and Senate. We might as well queue up our favorite calliope music to play in the background the entire time the speech is going.

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union speech on Capitol Hill in WashingtonWe are going to be treated to well over an hour of promises, edicts, vehement calls for change and a showcase of biological props in the gallery to illustrate all of the points being sold by the President of the United States of America. We then have to sit through the minority response, the alternative response, the off-the-beaten path response and the ever elusive who-gives-a-damn response. THEN we get to sit through hour after hour of political analysis. We’ll have the propagandist wing of the Democrat party, aka the Mainstream Media, telling us how brilliant and amazing the speech was. Many will even dare to predict that the current falling poll numbers will get a much needed bounce. Turn a channel or two either way and you’ll have the opposite view doing their best to convince the audience that the president has sealed his fate as a lame-duck and a pariah for any Democrats running in the 2014 midterm.

tumblr_lybfd7jwJC1qzx3jto1_1280Which brings me around to the point of today’s blog. If we must be forced to deal with this travesty of what our Founding Father’s envisioned, many have devised coping mechanisms to get us through tonight’s ridiculous display. Let’s all play the #SOTUdrinkinggame! Take a moment before tonight’s speech and come up with a list of terms/phrases/words that you believe will be used over and over again. Anytime you hear the #POTUS (President of the United States) utter anything on your list, take a drink. Here’s a partial list of what I plan to use tonight:

Items that result in taking a shot

  • Fair, fair share (or any variant of the words equal, equality or same playing field)
  • Government is a good thing
  • Global warming
  • Increasing the minimum wage
  • Economy growing (or any positive spin) based on my policies
  • Unemployment dropping (or any positive spin) based on my policies
  • It’s the right thing to do
  • Wage gap
  • Gender gap
  • War on women
  • Affordable Care Act is working (or any positive spin)
  • Healthcare.gov is working (or any positive spin)
  • Any stats that are used to backup any of the above
  • And for each guest invited by the administration who is called out in the gallery

Items that require only a sip (or you’ll be passed out before it ends)

  • I
  • Me
  • My
  • Mine

Another game that will be fun to play started this morning on Twitter by fellow blogger, Michelle Ray (@GaltsGirl) called, #SOTUinthreewords or State of the Union in three words. See if you can come up with a list of themes that will define tonight’s #SOTU in three words. Here is my current list:

  • Who needs Congress?
  • Why Socialism works
  • Redistribution is good
  • Still Bush’s economy
  • Not my fault
  • I didn’t know
  • Ready to rule
  • Executive orders ready
  • Shredding the Constitution
  • Spreading wealth around
  • Errr…ahhh…ummm

There was a time when the State of the Union had it’s purpose, but that has long since been forgotten under the heavily crafted showmanship it has become. And, under our current administration, it might as well be named the State of the Coup, since this president has no problem enforcing parts of laws he likes, changing parts he doesn’t, and ignoring others as he deigns unnecessary. It’s like the worries of Thomas Jefferson have come to life with this Administration when they made it clear they came to rule and not to govern. 

Some final thoughts before tonight. One subject the President will definitely not touch will be the success of Governor Scott Walker’s conservative policies in Wisconsin. I’d be shocked. He cannot afford to shed any light on policies that succeeded to which he is diametrically opposed. He will not waste a single breath on reducing the size of government. He may say he has a plan to reduce the debt, but when you go through the litany of new programs he plans to offer, it won’t take a mathematician to realize it’s just another lie meant to placate the low-information voter. He will play to emotions, but will not once employ logic. He will pull at the heartstrings, but he will not apply reason. In short, he will pander to his followers like the Pied Piper, playing a mesmerizing message to those who want nothing more than to be lied to and told everything will be all right.

And for that reason, I’ll be playing the #SOTUdrinkinggame with much gusto. It’s about the only way I’ll be able to make it to the end.

2014sotu_blogheader

ICYMI: Why we looked back while keeping eye on midterms

The holidays have come and gone. College football has a new BCS champion. The NFL wildcard games lived up to their name and the Superbowl is just around the corner. 2014 is underway and this will be a huge year in terms of politics in our nation with the midterms elections set for November.

Many are getting back into the swing of their day-to-day routine now that kids are back in school. To start off this year, it seemed appropriate to remind everyone of the four recent end-of-year posts that were published here on Freedom Cocktail. In many ways, they not only marked the end of 2013, they all worked together as four chapters of a single work to shed differing points of light on the coming year.

EricWojciechowski

Eric Wojciechowski

The first asked, “Why another blog?”  Eric Wojciechowski’s, Scattered Tea Leaves, addresses the topic of why it’s important to keep the conversation going, even if it feels like we are sometimes preaching to the choir. He offers suggestions of more cooperation and a focus on the bigger picture. He spends some time asking if it makes sense to add a new voice to those already in place and closes by coming to the conclusion that if it means we can get back to a Constitutional Republic, then the answer is yes! At heart, Eric is a staunch Libertarian, but even he is keeping his options open if the right candidate rises to the top of the GOP.

JeffRhodes

Jeff Rhodes

The second asked, “Why fight?” In Jeff Rhodes post entitled, Looking Back on 2013, he catalogs some of the political mile markers of 2013, from the re-election of President Obama to the Democrats continuing hold of the Senate, and suggests that, as conservatives, it wasn’t a banner year for any appreciable offense and the losses outweighed what few wins there were. But, in the face of the odds, looking at the ongoing debacle that is the Affordable Care Act, aka, Obamacare, it’s not a time to give up — rather, in 2014, it’s more important than ever to fight for the Constitution.

AlanSanders

Alan J. Sanders

The third asked, “Why forget?” Yours truly looked at the events of 2013 through the prism of the concept of time with a post called, Exit…Father Time, Even. We all like to think that time is constant — seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, etc. — but, it is a fluid and malleable phenomenon that can dull our memories and lessen our emotions. With the 2014 midterms 11 months away, it’s more important than ever for conservatives to remember, pay attention and vote. The way we fight, the way we don’t forget, is to keep the conversation going (blogging, social media) and get to the polls. It’s time our politicians realize they can no longer hide behind the forgiving aspects of the passage of time itself.

MichelleRay

Michelle Ray

And our final post asked, “Why believe the mainstream media?” when Michelle Ray wrote, Selling the News. 2013 was a banner year for the mainstream (traditional) media to craft the news and sell it to the low-information crowd in easily digested, bite-sized chunks. The majority of voters will not read a full news story anymore, settling for crafted headline and sound bites shared/regurgitated on television, cable news and via social media channels. The mainstream is on a mission to convince us that fact is fiction. We cannot let them control the narrative, which means getting out, being active and not running away from the conversations necessary to bring the facts to life. Appeal, but don’t appease. Be above factual reproach. Fact isn’t fiction, but suspicion is the new (media) religion.

As we move through the coming weeks and months, we will continue to publish works along many different topics, but all with the same underlying goal:  To convince more Americans that individual freedom and liberty are cornerstones to be demanded, not surrendered, and a less intrusive and smaller government must be the ends to our means. You can all be a part of this effort by linking to or sharing our work, in emails, in posts of your own and throughout the entire spectrum of social media options.

EveryVoteCountsVoteSmart

If you have a love for the Constitution and for our Republic, stay informed and please don’t forget to research the candidates vying for your vote and make an intelligent choice based on facts and principle, not hype and a desire to look hip.

Our country deserves so much better.

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,100 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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