Due to my recent schedule, I had to drive for an extended time again this morning. Which meant my senses were assaulted for the third morning in a row by the political ad of Mayor Steve Lonergan, attacking his fellow Republican candidate for New Jersey governor, who I believe is Chris Christie.
This ad makes much hay out of Mr. Christie's statement to "Know people by their words" and then goes on to attack him for not being sufficiently aggressive in cutting taxes, for recognizing that Roe v. Wade is the law of the land, and concluding he is not a conservative.
So, I will judge Mr. Lonergan's campaign by his words, which inexorably leads me to the conclusion that conservatism has been reduced to tax cuts and opposition to womens' reproductive rights, no matter what.
That's it? Because those are your words.
Sure, who doesn't want to pay less taxes? But what about other considerations, like balancing budgets and fiscal strength and responsibility? What about schools, roads, and the common good, in general? Not conservative enough?
And then there is the tired old saw of abortion. Really, can conservatives just get out of the bedroom, and out of the womb. What? Two Supreme Court decisions on abortion aren't enough? What, you want some more do-overs?
Abortion is the the right what gun control is the left: an albatross.
How about working to make abortion less necessary? Assisting in making adoptions easier? In counseling more young single mother's to be, and supporting health care for them and their children in utero? Because you are not winning the argument now.
Seriously, in brief, this continued cynical attempt to thwart the lawful process by appointing judges of certain predispositions on the Supreme Court, only so they can toss nearly 40 years of precedence out the window is truly myopic. And they complain about judicial activism!
Anyway, moving on, my next target is once again, the man who would love to be Darth Vader, Dick Cheney [sorry, Darth]. This guy just cannot shut his trap. He spent eight years hiding from the press in a secure, undisclosed location, refusing to tell his bosses, [us], who he spends his time with, and coming up with nefarious plans to poke holes in the Constitution. The man blocked his house on Google Earth!! Now he cannot find a microphone he doesn't vomit his stupidity into.
Apparently, according to Politico's Ben Smith, Mr. I Had Other Priorities So I Got Five Deferments While Nearly Sixty-Thousand Fellow American Boys Died For The War I Supported has poured forth this gem from the gullet of Hell that is his mouth:
""Everybody's in a giant conspiracy to achieve a different objective than the one we want to achieve," Cheney said. The negotiations are "bound to fail unless we are perceived as very credible" in threatening military action against Iran, he said."
So, Dick has finally been revealed to be the paranoid-in-need-of-serious-meds that he truly is, and further, his war mongery knows no bounds. Back in 1971 Black Sabbath wrote a poignant song, and Dick Cheney fits the bill. As sung in War Pigs:
"Politicians hide themselves away. They only started the war. Why should they go out to fight? They lead their own to the boar."
Mr. Cheney failed to see the wrongheadedness in the misadventure in Southeast Asia; he failed to anticipate anything but a smooth invasion and occupation in Iraq [as if history would teach anything but]; and he now calls for intimidating Iran into giving up their nuclear ambitions. This guy should quit while he is still in double digits in poll ratings.
Let's see: the Bush administration's hard line on Iran and North Korea bore so much fruit that we could almost have enough to paint a still life. In that time the Hermit Kingdom, which lacks enough oil to keep the lights on in Pyongyang over night, went from zero nuclear weapons to about six, and actually exploded one small one [though it might have been a dud]. They also were so terrified of Dick Cheney they launched several long range missiles, happily all of which were dreadful failures. And Iran went from being the pariah nation in its region to veritable non-nuclear regional superpower.
Who would have thunk taking out the biggest counterweight to Iran in a vain war of choice would have upset the regional balance of power? That's almost more difficult to divine than a hurricane over-topping the levies. Except you can't control hurricanes, which is unlike whether or not you choose to invade a country that never attacked you.
With geopolitical skills like this Dick Cheney's talents were wasted as Vice President. He should have gone out for something more challenging, like firearms safety instructor. Err, whoops. Maybe dog catcher.
Somebody please indict this war criminal just so he will have an attorney tell him to shut up and not incriminate himself any further!!
Finally, I would like to point out that if Mr. Cheney would actually have liked to intimidate the Iranians militarilly, it would have been nice for him to have not handed the incoming administration two land wars in Asia. You know what they say about land wars in Asia.
As today is thursday, I am going for the trifecta, and the third victim of the Witchhunt is the newspaper I love and hate equally, the New York Times.
Today, in the Op-Ed section there was an editorial about an amendment to a credit card bill which permits visitors to national parks to opening carry firearms.
Initially, my response to this is "So what?" Firstly, it's not as if the bill permits the open carrying of firearms in Times Square [not that I would mind so much]. It's in a National Park. And not that it is a prime concern, but at times there are animals that might need a little more than the usual incentive to stay away. And of course, there is the most dangerous animal one might encounter in a national park: Man.
And then the writer begins to get truly shrill, failing to make a cogent argument, and rather, descended into the logical fallacy of the red herring:
"And why should the national parks, which are supposed to be peaceful preserves, be filled with loaded AK-47's and other war weapons?"
Apparently, the writer of this incredibly stupid Op-Ed piece has no idea what they are talking about, and decided to mask this by going straight for the hyperbole. What if a law abding citizen just wanted to carry his trusty old shotgun? Would that be okay with you, Mr. or Ms. Shrill?
And when you thought it couldn't get worse, it does. Continuing:
"The gun lobby already has poisoned the proposal to let the District of Columbia have a voting representative in the House. The Senate's gun lackeys tacked on a vindictive amendment to strip the district of basic gun control powers, inviting assault and sniper rifles designed for military battlefields into homes and businesses."
Hmm, let's break this one down a little bit. The first clause of the second sentence uses "vindictive", as if the gun lobby, or anyone else, had a score to settle with D.C. What, I don't know. Maybe someone just needed a cool sounding word to sex up the sentence.
Then the writer goes into "inviting assault and sniper rifles designed for militarybattlefields into homes and businesses." First off, why lump assault and sniper weapons together? These are totally different types of weapons, for different uses. Further, most sniper rifles are modified bolt action sporting rifles. This truly evinces the total ignorance of the author, who is more interested in fancy words than reality. And the use of such sporting weapons in crimes is so minimal as to approach nil.
Next, I continue to take umbrage at the term "assault rifle." I dare anyone, especially those in favor of their banishment, to come up with a workable definition of an assault rifle. Truly, an assault rifle is more of a chimera than anything. And the fact tht the ignorant bandy around the phrase is what chills the lawful gun owners in America.
Moving on, the phrase "designed for military battlefields" is clumsy, as well as extraneous. Are there any other types of battlefields? And what does their design have to do with the issue at hand, which is lawful ownership? Doesn't every single police and sherrif's department in the country have such weapons? And for what reason? Because those are what modern firearms are comprised of. I fail to find any actual argument underneath these explosive words.
However, such weapons like the aforementioned AK-47, as well as other similar semi-automatic rifles, are ideal for home and business defense. Which brings me to the third clause: "into homes and businesses."
It would seem that the writer at the Times has abandoned any pretext, such as 'put these weapons on the street' or 'in the hands of criminals' and instead have gone after lawful ownership of weapons for home and business protection. As if such ownership is not an individual right guaranteed under the Second Amendment to the Consitutition, and pursuant to the recent Heller decision. As if such ownership is a bad thing.
And this piece castigates the 27 Democratic Senators that voted for it. Ummmm, helloooo New York Times!! If you would take a second and come down from your ivory tower it would be obvious that the Democrats control Congress largely because of the election of centrists who favor gun rights, not bans.
Honestly, this is why people hate the New York Times.
Know them by their words, indeed.