Republican Presidential candidate: Lindsey Graham

Republicans have a huge number of candidates to choose from in the upcoming Presidential primaries.  I’d like to offer my opinions on them.

Lindsey Graham, Senator from South Carolina, is one of the candidates I can safely say I will never support in the primaries.  I’m not even sure I could back him in the General Election.

According to the American Conservative Union, Graham scored just 74% ‘Conservative’ in the most recent Congress.  This was an increase over his previous session score of 68%.  While his lifetime (20 years) score is reasonably good (87.3%), he seems to be getting more & more liberal as time goes on- something we see from far too many of our Republican representatives.

The website ‘Conservative Review‘ ranks him at just 47% Conservative.  This score is based on his support for ‘fast track’ trade authority for President Obama, supporting Obama’s nomination of Loretta Lynch for Attorney General, and his backing of funding to pay for Obama’s executive amnesty among others.  In the past, he’s supported numerous bailouts, backed comprehensive immigration reform, been weak on 2nd Amendment issues, and backed raising the debt ceiling a total of 10 times.  More of the Conservative Review analysis here.

Sorry Lindsey, you seem to be far too much in Obama’s pocket for my taste!

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CJ Pearson

I haven’t got any idea who I’ll end up backing for the White House in 2016.  But I already have an idea of who I could easily support for the White House in about 2044.

Young CJ Pearson, a 13 year old from Augusta Georgia, has made a number of youtube videos expressing conservative views, and questioning President Obama’s decisions and even his patriotism.

Even though his parents are Democrats, young CJ has considered himself a conservative since he was 8.   He’s remarkably articulate & astute for someone so young, and while he’s certainly drawn attention for his comments on national issues, his main focus has been on state & local issues, even writing a bill for the state legislature which would lower the minimum age to serve.

I’ll be interested to follow this young man’s future.  Will he disappear like some young conservatives have?  Or will he continue to grow in his beliefs and his influence?  From what I’ve seen so far, I hope for the latter!

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Charleston Church Massacre

The massacre of nine innocent men & women at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC is certainly in part due to the alleged perpetrator’s (I refuse to say his name) hatred of minorities, as evidenced by his online rant.

His hatred seems, at least, to be something that’s developed fairly recently.  A friend of his, who describes himself as ‘half black’ didn’t see indications of racism when they were growing up.

His father & uncle called authorities & positively identified him as the alleged perpetrator, and his uncle said he would ‘push the button himself‘ if the murderer is sentenced to death.

There are calls for this attack to be classified as terrorism.  1   2   3    But FBI director James Corney says that a terrorist act must be politically motivated.

The calls of racism & of a ‘hate crime’ certainly make sense, especially in light of images showing the alleged perpetrator wearing a jacket with a pro-apartheid patch on it2 (scroll about halfway down linked pages), the type of thing that would, in the eyes of the left, make him a member of the Right.  But other pictures show him burning an American flag, and there are expressions of hatred towards American patriotism, hardly actions I’d expect of a Conservative.

Regardless of his motive, regardless of his political leanings, I hope he’s punished to the greatest extent possible, should he be convicted.

 

The response of the community, especially the families of the victims of this senseless act, is so much better and so much more Christ-like than I could be.  I respect them, and offer my prayers to them.

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The 2016 Presidential Race Democratic Candidates

We’re well over a year before our next Presidential election.  Potential candidates are putting cautious toes in the water, testing if they’ve got enough support and enough big money donors to make a run.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley & Lincoln Chafee have announced their candidacy, and Vice President Joe Biden has expressed interest.  Michael Bloomberg, Al Gore, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell & Sen. Chris Murphy are also potential candidates.

Based solely on the general beliefs of the Democratic Party, I wouldn’t back any of these individuals, but let’s take a quick look at them.

Hillary Clinton has serious potential ethical issues, mainly regarding official email stored on a personal server rather than saved as required by law, and donations to the Clinton Foundation.

Bernie Sanders is an extreme leftist who’s complained that too many deodorant choices mean we don’t have enough money to pay for government programs.  He’s stated he’d back a top tax rate in the 90% range.  I think he’s out of his mind.

Martin O’Malley, former Delaware Governor, is almost as far to the left as Sanders is.  He raised taxes about 40 times during his 8 years in office, with increases in fees for Birth & Death Certificates to an infamous ‘rain tax’, based on the amount of impervious surface on a person’s property.  Yet another disciple of the Church of Big Government.

Lincoln Chafee’s time in the US Senate & in the Governor’s mansion in Rhode Island show that he’s also far to the left.  He’s backed tax increases, more federal funding for health care, expanded federal control over class action lawsuits, but opposed a wholesale ban on gifts from employees of lobbyists.  On Social issues, he opposed a proposed ban on Partial Birth Abortion, backs gun control & opposed a bill which protected firearm manufacturers & dealers from being held liable for damages caused by their products.

Joe Biden is, in my opinion, a brainless fool.  I wouldn’t trust him to find his way out of bed in the morning.  Gore is a flake.  Bloomberg loves taxes & hates guns.

As far as Gov. Markell & Sen. Murphy go, I don’t know enough about them to give even a little bit of a profile, but the little I’ve read paints them as being pretty far to the left as well.

I’ll start touching on Republican candidates soon.

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The death of Freddie Gray

Freddie Gray was a young black man from Baltimore Maryland, who died while in police custody.  He was arrested on April 12, 2015 and died a week later.

Beyond that, there are a lot of questions.

Why was he arrested?  We know Mr. Gray had a record, and was due in court on April 24.  Was there a warrant out for him on some other charge?  Officers allege that he was carrying a switchblade, but prosecutors said the knife he was carrying was legal.  Who’s right?

Another man in the van at the same time has told two stories.  First, he said that he could hear Gray banging himself around, and slamming himself against walls & the doors of the van.  He later seems to have changed that story.

Why wasn’t Mr. Gray belted in?  Was it police procedure to leave prisoners unrestrained?  And if so, why?  Seat belt laws have been on the books since as early as 1984, and by 2007, most states required their use (you can be pulled over in 25 states for failing to be belted; 24 states only add a violation if you’re pulled over for another offense).  If it was policy, then the officers were certainly negligent.  If it wasn’t policy, then it seems to be more a failure of the Department rather than the individual officers, although they certainly could have belted him in anyway.

Was there a delay between Gray’s injuries & the time he was taken to a hospital?  If so, why?  Was the police van driven in an unsafe manner which might have contributed to the injuries?

The officers involved have been charged with murder.  Is this an overreach?   Law professor John Banzhaf believes so.  Banzhaf is known as a ‘public interest’ lawyer, suing restaurant chains, tobacco companies and soft drink makers for the effects their products have on health, so he’s hardly someone that can be called ‘right wing’.  Alan Dershowitz also believes murder charges are excessive.

Should the State’s Attorney recuse herself?  Apparently, she has ties to the lawyer for Gray’s family.  It seems that she should, in order to avoid any appearance of impropriety,  stay out of this case.  Will she?  Early indications are that she won’t.

Mr. Gray’s death is a tragedy.  We need to get to the truth.  If the officers were negligent, they need to be charged & punished for negligence.  If they acted maliciously, they need to be charged and punished accordingly.  And if they are innocent of wrongdoing, they need to be exonerated.

Police need to be seen as trustworthy.  They’re the ‘thin blue line’ between the law abiding in this country, and the lawless.  They can’t be allowed to take the law into their own hands.  We need to be able to know that they’re acting in the best interest of the people of their city, county or state.

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A bright young man

I’ll let this young man speak for himself.

Mr. Pierson has a bright future.

 

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Shelter pets

Are you thinking about getting a dog or cat?  A rabbit or hamster?  A horse?  Please, do yourself, and one or more wonderful animals, a favor and check out your local animal shelter or rescue group.

Animal shelters & Humane Societies are often run by cities or counties, and will sometimes charge for their pets based on the animal’s age.  Since older pets are usually harder to find homes for, you can sometimes get a ‘senior’ for little or no cost.  Older pets are usually going to be more set in their ways & personality, and will normally be calmer in the long run than a puppy or kitten.  They’ll certainly appreciate having a home again.

With a rescue group, you’re more likely to be dealing with individuals working to save a specific breed, or to rescue animals most likely to be put down.  You might end up paying more, and there may be a screening process involving vet references & a home visit.

You can also do as we’ve done, and rescue stray, abandoned or feral (not socialized) animals from the streets.  This can be hard work since you might be dealing with cats or dogs who’ve been on their own for a long time or have been abused.  They might have had a home at one time, but lost the trust they had after their family dumped them, or people might have chased them away time after time.

It can take months, or even years, to build that trust up.  I worked with a feral cat I called ‘Little Mister’ for over 5 years before he trusted me to touch him for just a few seconds.

We’re feeding some strays now, and just caught one last week & have her caged in the garage.  She’s in quarantine right now because the initial test shows she has FIV (feline AIDS).  We’ll know for sure this week.  The progress this girl has made over the last month is incredible.  She wants to be loved on.  You put your hand in the cage with her, and she’ll rub on it & purr away.  Fortunately she’s already been fixed, as have the other 2 we’re feeding.

Health issues are something critical when you’re working to rescue these little ones.  FIV, FIP (feline infectious peritonitis) and FeLv (feline leukemia) are deadly to cats.  Before you bring a cat in your house with others, be sure you’ve had them tested.  FIV & FeLv positive cats can survive, but they need to be separate from other cats.  We’ve lost a few of our rescues to health issues.  Little Bear had intestinal parasites from drinking bad water (he was just a few months old), & Robin developed FIP after she was spayed.  Our sickest kitty was Nala, who has a condition called hemobartonella- her blood doesn’t produce iron like it should.  She required 2 transfusions in the first week we had her, and another one a few months later.  We’re very lucky this little girl survived, but she’s a healthy, beautiful cat now.

No matter where you get your next furry, or scaly, friend, remember- it’s for life.  Please don’t take a dog or cat or other pet in if you’re just going to dump them a few years later.  Don’t let them roam around outside.  Get them fixed (usually a requirement of shelter & rescue groups).  And if something happens that you have to give them up, do everything you can to find them another home.  Don’t just abandon them on the side of the road.  Remember the rescue groups.  Consider fostering if you can.  And if for some reason you can’t have pets yourself, think about supporting a rescue group or Humane Society/Shelter.  Cash, food, litter, old towels or newspapers, dog or cat toys & treats are often appreciated.  Call & ask what they can use!

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