Sunday, September 30, 2007

Personal Responsibility

"Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie." ~ William Shakespeare

I snagged this story off ER's blog, and as usual, ER and I have opposite perspectives. That's a good thing, I think. It opens up dialogue and stimulates discussion.

However preposterous I often believe ER's opinions to be, he is not a phony. His opinions are real and so is he. I suppose that's why I like him personally.

In a nutshell, ER says, "Robert Behlen robbed a drug store in my own town, at gunpoint, to get oxycodone -- and he gulped a handful of them down ON THE SPOT! Then he ran off with $7,000 worth of the stuff, which probably isn't that much."

ER also says, "This is the kind of thing that raises my liberal, Jesusy hackles. The poor son of a buck obviously needs help, not put in fricking jail!"

I say, really. Why? Why should this man not be sent to jail? Yes, he needs help. I don't deny that. But does that excuse him for his actions? If you commit a crime, can you get out of paying for your crimes as long as you have a valid excuse? If so, where do you draw the line? When does a crime become a crime rather than a cry for help? When people's lives are threatened? When people are killed? How about when you commit the crime?

If we help drug addicts rather than punish them for their crime, what message does that send to other drug addicts who are considering breaking the law to feed their habits? Isn't rehabilitation one of the reasons we sentence criminals to jail in the first place? The potential for incarceration can be a pretty effective deterrent. The fact that we punish people who commit crimes no doubt causes potential criminals to think twice before committing them.

Most of the time drug addicts don't seek out help until they have hit rock bottom. Sometimes it takes a stretch behind bars to clarify for themselves the reality of their situation. Sometimes the punishment brings them the help they need. If they are strong and determined enough. If they really want help.

What sets this man apart from all the other drug addicts who commit crimes to get their next fix? The fact that he is a lawyer? Or is ER saying all drug addicts should be helped instead of sentenced to jail?

Did this man have other options or was robbery the only solution to his problem? Could he have maybe reached out for help from a myriad of professional people and organizations who are experts in helping drug addicts overcome their addictions? Did he ask for help and get turned down? Was robbery the last resort available to him? What do you think?

What about the man's victims? Do they not deserve some consideration? Who is going to help them? Or do we simply leave them to deal with their trauma the best way they know how? Maybe we just wait until their trauma moves them to commit a similar crime and then help them?

I seem to remember another wealthy man who slipped and allowed himself to become addicted to drugs similar to the ones in this story.

Did Rush Limbaugh resort to robbery or did he admit he had a problem and seek help? Did he face up to his own responsibility or did he complain that he was a victim and blame it all on others? If I remember correctly, all the bleeding heart Liberal sob sisters wanted Rush to fry for becoming addicted. What did ER have to say about that? I honestly don't remember.

Again I say, where do we draw the line? Should sex addicts get help rather than be punished for sex crimes? How about sadists who get off on murdering people? Surely they are disturbed and need help. What about child molesters? They're sick, too, aren't they? Maybe we should just put them into counseling and allow them to roam our neighborhoods between sessions. Television evangelists only preach to bilk people out of their hard earned money? Surely they are sick and need guidance.

It's called "personal responsibility".

How does he get help if he refuses to accept his own personal responsibility for his actions? Isn't the first step in any recovery program admitting that you have a problem? How does that square with a man who chooses to escape his problems by attempting suicide rather than face up to his own responsibility, take his life back into his own hands, and seek out help? How is that conducive to a workable solution?

Sometimes the punishment is in itself the pathway to recovery. Sometimes not. What makes the difference in whether punishment makes a man weaker or stronger?

Personal responsibility.

The decision to pull himself up by his own bootstraps and take control of his life rather than wallow in self pity. In the final analysis, he makes his own decision, regardless. Jail could be the catalyst he needs to create a sense of personal responsibility in himself.

Punish him first. Then get him help.

Personal Responsibility.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Proof Of BSD

"Don't let us make imaginary evils, when you know we have so many real ones to encounter." ~ Oliver Goldsmith

Laura Ingraham read this entry from the Daily Kos the other night, and then I found the text over at Wordsmith's place. It is pretty much proof of the reality of BDS:

"I know I'm a Jewish lesbian and he'd probably have me killed. But still, the guy speaks some blunt truths about the Bush Administration that make me swoon...

Okay, I admit it. Part of it is that he just looks cuddly. Possibly cuddly enough to turn me straight. I think he kind of looks like Kermit the Frog. Sort of. With smaller eyes. But that’s not all…

I want to be very clear. There are certainly many things about Ahmadinejad that I abhor — locking up dissidents, executing of gay folks, denying the fact of the Holocaust, potentially adding another dangerous nuclear power to the world and, in general, stifling democracy. Even still, I can’t help but be turned on by his frank rhetoric calling out the horrors of the Bush Administration and, for that matter, generations of US foreign policy preceding".

"Horrors of the Bush administration"? Compared to Amadwhackjob? I would point out that the author doesn't mention how Iran sends bomb making materials across the border to the terrorists, used to murder American soldiers. She doesn't mention his attitude and treatment of all Americans, Christian, Jew, and Atheists alike.

Apparently, she has no problem with those things.

Her silence on these and other atrocities is indicative of the typical leftists overall attitude towards real Judeo-Christian values, and their delusional hatred of George W. Bush.

The terrorists and the American Leftists are more alike than they would have us believe.

The author hates Bush so much that she is willing to overlook the fact that Amadwhackjob is a ruthless murderous dictator and embrace him rather than give Bush any credit for opposing this sort of despotism.

But, she is right. She would be swiftly dispatched in his country. And her Bush Derangement Syndrome is so acute that she would prefer Islamo-fascism to Bush.

And one more observation that prompts a question:

She said Amadwhackjob is "cuddly enough to "turn me straight". Is it possible, in that statement, she inadvertently admitted that she chose the gay lifestyle and wasn't in fact, born gay, as they claim?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Who's Afraid Of The Big Bad Liz?

"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." ~ Groucho Marx

Lately, I've re-discovered the fun of blogging. Here's an example:

Barry Cantaloupe won't appear on ABC's "The View" because he thinks Elizabeth Hasselbeck is dangerous.

Let me see if I understand this. Liz won her fame on TV as a "Survivor" contestant. She can't even hold her own against crazy Rosie. She was most likely chosen to be the Conservative co-host of the program because she is pretty much an intellectual lightweight in comparison to all the qualified applicants they could have chosen.

And Barry Cantaloupe is afraid of her?

Well, if he wasn't considered a big wimp before, he has certainly won over the sceptics now.

Kind of reminds you of the refusal of the Democrats to debate on FOX, doesn't it?

Oh, and one word about the use of substituting an insulting word in place of some one's real name, like "General Betray us" instead of "Petraus" or "Barry Cantaloupe" instead of "Barry Manilow", or "Schmuckie" Schumer instead of "Chuck" Schumer.

I refuse to condemn's defamatory characterization of General Petraus when I do the same thing to denigrate their leaders.'s tactics are childish but so are mine. If I do it, I can't very well complain when they do. That's hypocritical.

Besides, it's just being petty and over sensitive to take offense at this stuff. General Petraus didn't respond to the slur because it isn't worthy of a response, and that's the way I see it.

Are we having fun yet?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Schumer Explained

"Opinions founded on prejudice are always sustained with the greatest of violence." ~ Francis Jeffrey

Schmuckie Schumer had this to say the other day:

"And let me be clear. The violence in Anbar has gone down in spite of the Surge, not because of the Surge."

Conservatives have expressed a seething outrage over these anti-surge remarks, but it merely caused me to wonder...What the you-know-what is he talking about? How can a reduction in violence ever happen in spite of actions created to stop the violence? It makes no sense to me.

But then he went on to explain what he means:

"The inability of American soldiers to protect these tribes from Al Qaeda said to these tribes, "We have to fight Al Qaeda ourselves."

I have to admit there is a sort of convoluted logic to that statement. But it still makes little sense to me, so I decided to do a little research to see if I could make more sense out of Schmuckies reasoning. And I believe I've found the answer in the form of an e-mail, the text in it's entirety copied and pasted below:

-----Original message------


Subject FWD FW:message from,,


Dear Georgie and friends:

OK. Bush is really making me mad now, increasing the number of troops in Iraq. Who does he think he is, anyway? Does he really think he can defeat us with this irrational move? Well, I have a couple of tricks left up my sleeve, too. Just for spite, we're taking our IED's and going home. That'll show him. Let's see him try to continue this war without us. HA!


your friend, Ussie

There you have it. The violence really is lessening in Iraq in spite of the surge!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

We Were All Patriots

"We fight not for glory nor for wealth nor honours; but only and alone we fight for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life."--from the Scottish Declaration of Independence signed in 1320 at Arbroath Abbey on the east coast of Scotland

September 11. Six years to the day that the world changed forever. I would be remiss if I didn't write something in commemoration and memorial of this most infamous day.

Last night, while I was listening to the Mark Levin show, he made the comment that his listening audience are patriots.

That started me thinking. As usual.

Am I a patriot? Are you? What makes a patriot? What defines a patriot? Is it an ambiguous term? Is it a relative term?

Webster defines a patriot as:

"One who loves his or her country and supports its authority and interests."

That brings up more questions. Do I really love my country? Do you? Maybe the most important question that begs an answer is "Why?" Why does anyone love their country? I suppose there are as many answers to that question as there are patriots.

I think about the infighting that goes on incessantly between the political parties in my country. And, because of that, I am ashamed for my country.

I think of the hatred that many Americans demonstrate towards the leaders of this country and I wonder what kind of future we are bequeathing to our children.

I think of the disdain and disrespect so many people have for my country and I doubt their patriotism.

I think of the destruction of the very morals and the principles that this country was founded upon and I weep for my country.

I think of the hordes of illegals streaming across our borders and I begin to believe the country, as we now know it, will soon cease to exist.

But do I love this country? Do I really love this country? Just what is it about this country that deserves my love or respect? Is the fact that I was born here warrant an undying, everlasting love for and largely undeserved devotion to this country?

And then I remember. This country has more advantages, more promise, more opportunity than any nation on earth. This country has more freedom. More Liberty. We have more rights than any country on earth.

We in this country have the privilege to hire our own boss. We can also fire him without fear of repercussion. How sweet is that?

We have the strongest military, the highest median income, the lowest rate of poverty on earth. We live in the wealthiest nation on earth, and we have the drive and ambition and perseverance of the American workingman to thank for that.

People come to America from all over the world in search of a better life for themselves and their families. They brave armed soldiers and all sorts of obstacles to escape their native lands to enjoy freedom.

How little we Americans appreciate what we have!

Yes. By Webster's definition, I am a patriot. I do love my country. I support her authority and her interests.

And then there was September 11, 2001.

The day that changed all of us in a profound way.

Think back, if you will, to that fateful day. Do you remember what you were doing when the world came crashing down at our feet? Do you remember what you thought when you saw the towers fall? Do you remember how you wept for the thousands of lives lost and ruined by the murderous act of 19 cowardly deluded religious zealots?

Do you remember that day?

There were no dissenters on that day. There were few Americans that openly admitted hatred for America on that day. On that day, a nation stood together, united in grief and disbelief. We supported one another. We were one people on that day. Liberal and Conservative. Republican and Democrat. On that day, we were all Americans.

Do you remember?

Yes, it was just for that one day, but soon the dissenters emerged, and placed the blame on our own leaders, and called for surrender and appeasement. And called the terrorists "freedom fighters" and their victims, "Little Eichmanns".

And the patriots called loudly and forcefully for vengeance.

But, for that one day, we were all patriots.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Google Me This

"The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity." ~ Dorothy Parker

Have you ever tried typing your own name into the Google search engine? I did it, and found some interesting people across the world who have the same first and last name as myself.

The first entry under my name is a man who was part owner of a motorcycle shop and a moto cross racer who was struck and killed by a hit and run driver while riding a mountain bike in a bike lane on a street in Houston. Another owner of the same shop was killed in the same incident, but unlike Mark, he wasn't killed instantly. He died later in a hospital. I didn't see anywhere that the hit and run driver was ever caught.

Apparently, Mark was well respected and quite successful as a moto-cross rider and shop owner.

Second entry: A director of low budget motion pictures who has been recognized for his achievements in motion picture directing. He is apparently better than Ed Wood, but not as well known.

The third entry is a manager of a Texas motorcycle/ATV store and racing team. He might be the same as the victim of the aforementioned hit and run victim but I can't confirm that.

Fourth is a golf instructor, once again, from Texas. According to the web site, "Mark is a PGA Member and 2004 Northern Texas PGA Teacher of the Year." The website has a picture of him.

I'm much better looking.

Next, the search turns somber. A scanned death certificate from Tennessee. this may actually be an ancestor of myself. One of my great great etc. grandfathers migrated east from North Carolina in the early 1800's, stopping for a few years in Tennessee to marry and have some children, before moving on to Missouri or California.

OK. That requires an explanation:

There were two brothers who set out to migrate to California. One settled in southwest Missouri, and the other continued his journey to California, never to be heard from again, at least to anyone in my family. No one yet knows if he ever arrived in the Golden state. Needless to say, I am descended from the one who settled in Missouri.

I guess that's why they were called "settlers."

The next few entries have to do with the golf pro and the film director, and then two consecutive entries of a corporate officer affiliated with the Anhauser Busch Corporation in St Louis, MO, and an inventor in Michigan!

I went on through repeated entries about the golf pro and the moto-cross rider/hit and run victim, and further down the list I actually found some references to myself, my blog, and comments about my blog or about my comments on other blogs, which referred to comments or blog posts I had made when I used to use my last name along with my first. (OK, that last sentence was a grammatical nightmare, but I'm in a hurry and ...what the heck! I don't care!)To my delight, most were highly complimentary. One even said my blog post should be read and read again. Others called my posts brilliant and insightful.

One said I must go through life with blinders on and even accused me of being light in the loafers, although I could see nothing in my comments that would lead someone to that conclusion.

Some commenter's don't agree with me, and said so.

Whatever floats your boat, I always say.

There were many references to people with my name as part of various genealogy searches. This could be a way to find out, once and for all, what happened to my great great, and so on Uncle.

There were also references to people with my name who live in Scotland. I am of Scottish heritage, you know.

The most shocking thing I came across in my search was someone (and I think I know who) used my name to insult a commenter on a other blog, a profoundly profane, obscene, and absolutely un-called for insult. I had never seen that blog before, so it couldn't have actually been me who made that comment. When I clicked on my own name in that comment, I was taken to a political parody web site which mocks Conservatives and the Bush administration.

I also found a couple of web sites which reported two people with my name had committed murders. Two separate murderers. Of children. In both cases. I believe one was in California, and the other in Utah.

I also searched for my sons name on Google and the first entry of his name was on a sex offenders list.

There was a Youtube video of a teenager with my son's name, about my son's age, in Grapevine, Texas playing on a set of drums. He was very good. I showed it to my son. He said he wasn't impressed.

Coincidentally, a man with my name is listed in Grapevine Texas, as a Sunday School teacher and father of a high school student there. Do you think they could be father and son? What are the odds?

Have you ever googled your own name? What do you find?