Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Scotland Saying Goodbye to the UK?

Apparently, Scotland might be voting to leave the United Kingdom soon. As far-fetched as that may sound to us Americans, the prospect has London worried to the extent that London has apparently offered some concessions of "extensive new powers" to Scotland if they stay.

I don't know if Scotland should leave or stay. I haven't really done any research other than to watch Braveheart. Apparently, the Scots and English don't really get along, so I guess that has something to do with it.

However, this talk of London offering Scotland new powers kind of reminded me of this line, from when the English King talks about bribing the Scottish nobles to betray Wallace:
I gave Mornay double his lands in Scotland and matching estates in England. Lochlan turned for...much less.
Anyone really have a strong opinion on Scotland staying or going? I can't really say that I do. Have the decided who will claim James Bond? This seems to be an important issue.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Why I Love College Football: Turn Down For What?

Happy Monday.

Saturday was wonderful. Games like this weekend's Georgia/South Carolina game are why people become football fans. I was standing in the rain, not caring, waving a sopping wet towel over my head, yelling at the top of my lungs with my friends, and watching my team upset a higher ranked opponent.

There was nowhere I would have rather been last Saturday evening.

Games like this are why you go to the games. It's what makes us keep coming back, even when our hearts get broken. Yes, it's sometimes a pain, it's expensive, and it's not the easiest thing in the world, but man...sometimes just watching a game on television doesn't give you the same experience as being there.

Williams-Brice was loud on Saturday evening. Not just on third downs, but with each big play, each hit, each turn of events, there was a huge roar from the crowd that you usually only associate with places like LSU and Tennessee.

Carolina is back in the thick of the SEC race. If we take care of business the next few weeks, the Auburn game is going to loom large. I don't think that both South Carolina and Georgia will both beat Auburn, so that common opponent could determine who goes to Atlanta and who stays home.

Buckle your seat-belts, campers. This team isn't for fair-weather fans.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

13th Anniversary of 9/11 - On the Cusp of War Again

Some iconic photos from that day.

On the thirteenth anniversary of the attacks of 9/11, we are now poised to go back to the middle-east to begin fighting a new enemy, but for the old reasons.

Let us pray that our civilian and military leaders have the courage and wisdom to do what is right, even if that means making hard decisions. Very often, the right decisions involve taking a more difficult path. Let us not be fooled into thinking that we can wage a bloodless war against a jihadist army.

War is hard. War is ugly. We should confront the reality of war squarely. I am afraid that many Americans are taking a view of this upcoming battle with ISIS like many Americans viewed the Civil War at its outset. I am worried that people are thinking this will all be over in a few months with minimal casualties.

History warns us otherwise. Yet we should not shrink from what is necessary.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Lexington County Father to Be Charged With Murder of His Five Children

Lexington County, SC (WLTX) - Lexington County Sheriff Lewis McCarty says a father accused of killing his five children will face murder charges as soon as he's brought back to South Carolina.

McCarty updated the public Wednesday morning on the investigation into 32-year-old Timothy Ray Jones Jr., calling it unprecedented in his three plus decades in law enforcement.

"I've never seen a case like this," McCarty said. "We all see things in our career that have an impact on you. This case has impacted anyone...who's had anything to do with this."

Smith County, MS sheriff's officials say Jones waived his right to an extradition hearing, paving the way for him to be brought back to South Carolina late Wednesday.

The children's bodies have already been brought back home.
As a dad...as a human being...this is unthinkable. It's utterly unthinkable. I cannot comprehend or explain this in any way. I really have no words.

The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels today.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The NFL and the Nature of Large Organizations

By now, everyone has seen the horrible video footage of Ray Rice knocking his then fiancee (now wife) out cold in an elevator during an argument. It's an absolutely horrible thing to watch.

The big story now is not the domestic violence itself, but rather, how the NFL handled the issue. Originally, the NFL suspended Rice for two games. Now, after the release of this video, the Ravens have cut (fired) Rice, and his football career is all but over - permanently.

Of course, there are now all sorts of stories with the point of The NFL Knew About Ray Rice....And Did Nothing!

This morning, I was watching knuckle-head Joe Scarborough and company talk about how large organizations (like the NFL) always cover up bad things, and how horrible that is. You're going to see these stories everywhere. People are going to pile on the NFL and condemn the NFL for essentially sweeping this all under the rug, circling the wagons, and trying to cover up a horrible event. You're going to see stories about how private entities are only self-interested! Eleventy! For the most part, all that's true, but you know what?

The NFL covering up a player beating his fiancee pales in comparison to all of the things that the Obama Administration has done over the past six years and covered up...and no one gives a damn about it. Yeah, this is kind of politicizing sports, but who cares? I'm pointing out all the hypocrisies in our country.

Everyone is upset about Ray Rice. You know what I'm still upset about? Susan Rice going on national television and blaming a terror attack on a YouTube video. Do any of these people shrieking about the NFL give a damn about that? Nope. It's just laughable that so many people get worked up about the NFL, but they can't seem to muster any outrage when a government official comes on television and just lies to us like we're stupid little children. But that's what happens in politics. People just overlook things like that nowadays, because they don't want "their team" to look bad.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not sticking up for the NFL or Ray Rice. They both deserve shame, but you know who else does? Your President who covers up everything. How can you care about one and not the other? It's wildly inconsistent.

The IRS was used to target conservative organizations in an effort to squash one side of a political point of view, and then all the e-mails from everyone are just magically gone? Yeah, nothing to see there folks. Zero outrage. No big deal. People who get subpoenaed in a Congressional investigation just happen to delete all the evidence of their conspiracy and....crickets. The VA puts veterans on secret waiting lists and then covers up their own cheating? Eh, just give them some more money.

Once again, leftists see large private organizations like the NFL as self-interested and willing to cover up problems that should see the light of day. And they're not totally wrong. They're right to be skeptical. However, their distrust of skepticism of people's motives completely disappears when applied to government organizations, because apparently, everyone just magically becomes an angel with completely altruistic motives when they work for the government.


So before you tell me how large organizations like the NFL circle the wagons to avoid bad publicity, and before you tell me how horrible that is, tell me how upset you are about your own government doing the same damn thing.

Otherwise, you're a hypocrite and hack.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Bernie Sanders: "You know what we need? We need to limit that pesky First Amendment."

Yes, that pesky First Amendment has been driving Democrats bonkers ever since the Citizens United and McCutcheon decisions came down from the Supreme Court, basically holding that people can spend money on political advocacy and and give money to as many candidates as they want to.

So let's just limit the First Amendment.
One day before the U.S. Senate votes on a constitutional amendment to restore limits on big money in politics, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) called the drive to undo Supreme Court decisions that gutted campaign finance laws “the major issue of our time” and said Monday’s showdown vote is “a pivotal moment in American history.”
The Democrats like to poke fun at the GOP controlled House of Representatives taking meaningless and purely symbolic votes to repeal Obamacare. And that's fair. Those votes are fairly meaningless and symbolic because they won't pass the Senate, and they for danged sure aren't going to be signed by the President.

But lemme get this straight: The Democrats think they're going to get a two-thirds majority in the Senate and in the GOP House, and then they're going to get three-fourths of the State Legislatures to ratify an amendment to curtail the First Amendment?

Good luck!

While they're at it they should go ahead and propose an amendment to the Second Amendment, too.

NY Times Legal Analyst Writes Column to Make Democrats Feel Better About Things

That's basically all I can think of to say about her piece analyzing the Noel Canning case, because there's no other logical explanation.

Protip for all you non-legal scholars out there: When one side loses a case 9-0, it's not a victory.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Friday Afternoon Cocktail Hour

You made it.

Enjoy your weekend.

News Roundup for September 5, 2014

Happy Friday. It's a great (Amazon humidity level) day in South Carolina.

In looking around the internet, I see that George Will has an interesting piece on why Putin and his ambitions to expand Russia are a greater problem than ISIS

In other news: This is why we should have the death penalty. I can't even tell you how much this upsets me.

To end on a lighter note, we here in South Carolina officially have the best State flag.

Y'all be good out there.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Remember how South Carolina was going to be the "Wild West" after guns were allowed in restaurants serving alcohol?

Yeah, apparently all that anti-gun hysteria was nonsense.
State law enforcement and restaurant officials say they know of no problems since the law went into effect seven months ago. The law allows permit holders to take guns into places that serve alcohol but allows businesses to prohibit guns and doesn't allow permit holders to consume alcohol.
No problems, huh? I guess everyone who thought that there would be saloon shootouts is going to admit they were wrong.

[via TTAG]

Obama Really Isn't Into Attacking ISIS

After another American was beheaded in what is basically a taunt to the United States, you might have thought that the President was going to come up with a St. Crispin's Day kind of speech and make the case for why we need to destroy ISIS. I mean, at some point, when your citizens are being beheaded, you have to kind of push-back on that.

"We know that if we are joined by the international community, we can continue to shrink ISIL's sphere of influence, its effectiveness, its financing, its military capabilities to the point where it is a manageable problem," said Obama. (emphasis mine)

Excuse me?

I don't understand how you can say you're going to make people beheading Americans and conducting mass executions in the name of Islam a "manageable problem". These people have to be completely defeated, not made manageable.

I know that Obama campaigned on ending the war in Iraq. I know he doesn't want to go back and start a big fight over there. However, we're already in a fight. These people are killing Americans over there, and pretty soon, they're going to be killing Americans over here.

How is it that the President was all good with bombing in Syria and Libya, but he can't bring himself to do the same thing in Iraq?

History will not be kind to this man.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

27 Maps That Explain America

Happy Tuesday. Hope all y'all enjoyed the weekend.

Here are some interesting maps. The one that totally blows me away is this one: Half of America's population lives in the blue-shaded counties. Half.

The next time someone advocates for getting rid of the electoral college, show them this map.

Another map that is particularly nice for South Carolina is this one. Apparently, people are moving here. Not good news for New York and Illinois.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Obama's Big Mistake

Back in high school, I had a friend who was fairly smart. However, instead of working relatively hard and making great grades, he was always looking to circumvent the rules. He spent almost all of his time and energy trying to find loopholes in school rules and regulations.

More often than not, his actions would get him in trouble with teachers and administrators. He constantly pushed back against almost all authority, constantly pushing the envelope of what was allowed. Basically, he spent most of his time and energy fighting the system, rather than trying to work within the confines of the school rules.

It caused a lot of bad blood between him and the school officials over what were essentially unnecessary conflicts. He ended up graduating, but refusing to participate in the ceremony. If my friend had spent his time simply studying and working to get along with people, he would have been a top student, and he would have probably been the valedictorian, speaking at his graduation, rather than skipping it.

I see that same characteristic in our current President.

Ever since he lost his super-majority in the Senate, he's gotten absolutely nothing done. He goes on and on all the time about how the mean ol' Republicans won't work with him on anything, but the fact is, he doesn't want to work with them, either. Accordingly, our President now spends all his time trying to figure out how much he can get done without Congress. He's doing everything he can to simply avoid Congress on almost every issue. He's unilaterally changing the ACA, fighting the Halbig case so he doesn't have to ask Congress amend the law, raising the minimum wage via executive order and so on. His famous "pen and phone" line is emblematic of his mentality to simply fight/ignore the Legislative branch of our government.

This isn't how to win friends and influence Congress. (Or enact policy.) Another example is evident today, in the realm of the climate change argument.

Just today, the President has now decided that he's going to try and do some strange end run around the fact that the Senate has to ratify treaties. Apparently, the President wants to cut carbon emissions in an international treaty, but he knows the Senate won't approve it. Therefore, rather than going to the Senators and trying to cut a deal and give them something in exchange, the President is now just going to try and do what he can without the Senate.
In preparation for this agreement, to be signed at a United Nations summit meeting in 2015 in Paris, the negotiators are meeting with diplomats from other countries to broker a deal to commit some of the world’s largest economies to enact laws to reduce their carbon pollution. But under the Constitution, a president may enter into a legally binding treaty only if it is approved by a two-thirds majority of the Senate.

To sidestep that requirement, President Obama’s climate negotiators are devising what they call a “politically binding” deal that would “name and shame” countries into cutting their emissions. The deal is likely to face strong objections from Republicans on Capitol Hill and from poor countries around the world, but negotiators say it may be the only realistic path.

Our President isn't even trying to convince the Senate to go along with this. They've told him "no", but he's undeterred. He's going to try and figure out some way to enter into a treaty without actually entering into a treaty. That will be quite a trick.

If the President spent half the time actually trying to compromise and work with Congress that he spends trying to come up with ways around Congress, he might actually get something done. He needs to understand that you can't always get everything you want when there's divided government. Out of all the campaign promises he's made and broken (and there's a lot) the number one promise he's broken is that he would be a pragmatic "uniter", ending our bitter partisanship. He's absolutely done the opposite. As I referenced in my last post, steamrolling the ACA through Congress is what created the Tea Party.

For all of the soul-searching that leftists do about how our foreign aggression "creates" terrorists, they sure don't seem to realize how political aggression created the Tea Party.

But instead, this current President looks like he's going to be end up like my friend from high school. He's going to struggle against the system, and he's going to engender lots of bad blood, and ultimately, it's all going to be a big waste of time and effort, never really reaching his potential. At the rate he's going, he'll probably end up skipping graduation to go play golf.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Obama Waited 30 Days to Authorize Foley's Rescue

Here's a hypothetical for you: You're the President. You get some intelligence about the location of the whereabouts of a captured American held hostage by ISIL. How long would you wait to order a raid to rescue an American citizen held hostage by ISIL?

Our President waited "almost 30 days."
Anthony Shaffer, a former lieutenant-colonel in US military intelligence who worked on covert operations, said: “I’m told it was almost a 30-day delay from when they said they wanted to go to when he finally gave the green light. They were ready to go in June to grab the guy [Foley] and they weren’t permitted.”

Another US defence source said: "The White House constantly goes back and forth on these things. These people are a bunch of academics who endlessly analyse stuff and ordering up another deep-thinking paper but can't decide what to order for lunch."
This makes me angry. I don't care about Obama playing golf. I don't care about Obama raising money. That's fine. Just make decisions.

I want him to make good decisions and act in the best interest of our country and my fellow citizens. This thirty day delay to authorize a rescue mission just flies all over me.

Intelligence goes bad over time. The longer you wait to act on intelligence, the less likely it is that the hostage will be there. An "almost 30 day delay" is hard to understand. It's now understandable that Foley wasn't there once the mission finally got the green light. It had been about a month since they got the tip.

I don't really even see how this is a "hard" decision. We have soldiers who have signed up to defend America and protect our citizens. That's is their job. This is what they do. They know the risks. If something had gone wrong, it would be horrible, but it's worse to just dither. And this delay absolutely reeks of political calculation.

You get the intelligence, the military plans a mission, you say "go". I don't know how I could delay that long and then still look grieving parents in the eyes.

We're not talking about just a terrorist bad guy. We're talking about an American citizen who was being held captive.

He's dead now.

By the way, a British newspaper broke this story. Nice job, American press.

Monday Game Week Links

Happy Monday.

A few things going on this week:

Rick Perry will be in Columbia fundraising for SC Republicans in various different places. He'll be at First Citizen's Cafe on Main Street on Wednesday to raise money for the SC GOP in general, and on Thursday, he'll be at Doc's BBQ for Kirkman Finlay.

In case you want to attend any outdoor events, it looks like the tropical storm is going to miss South Carolina. So the weather should be nice all week.