Friday, May 30, 2008

If It Bleeds, It Leads

"The papers said, These are the worst of times. I do believe it's true. When people lock their doors, and hide inside. Rumor has it it's the end of Paradise" ~ Dennis DeYoung

Millions of people across this country lock all the locks on all the doors and windows in their houses. Even if they are home. Not just when they go to sleep or when they are gone. All the time. I think this is excessive, and sometimes I think, "You know--if the house ever catches fire, you could burn to death trying to unlock all these locks in your panic to get out."

It's not obsessive or overly paranoid. It is cautious. There is nothing wrong with being cautious. It's always better to be safe than sorry.

I will admit to having more of a fear of fire than an act of random violence.

However, I have been thinking about the odds of any type of violent crime ever happening to us.

I think the chances of our family being a victim of some random violent crime are almost nil. I think the chances of anyone being a victim of a violent crime anytime in their lifetime to be very minimal at the most.

Of course, there are locations throughout our country in which the chances are greater, but on the average, I believe violent crime is no where near as prevalent as we are led to believe.

And who leads us to believe we are living on borrowed time?

Well, of course, the media does. The newspapers and television newscasts and radio news and magazines all tell us horror stories about violent crimes that happen on a daily basis. We cannot open a newspaper without seeing, on the front page and above the fold, as they say, some story about a murder or a rape or horrendous battery, usually right in our city or county. Violent crimes most often are the lead story in any given newscast.

Fictional movies and television shows exaggerate the problem. Oftentimes sensational movies and television shows re-create, for the viewers amusement, true stories of real crimes perpetrated on innocent victims. They are usually very liberal with their "poetic license", and we as a people react with the grim realization that "It could happen here." In fact, often the movie trailers intone those very ominous words.

"Be afraid. Be very afraid, This could happen to you."

Movies and television shows are part of the formidable beast we call media in this country.

It has the impact it is intended. It scares us into locking our doors, and keeping an eye out for anything suspicious.

The media has helped to create a climate of fear in this country. The media and actual random acts of violence.

But really. How often do violent crimes really happen randomly to innocent people? Do we really need to be so afraid? I am 56 years old. When I was about 17, I was unsuspectingly attacked by a neighborhood tough just because he thought I would be easy to beat up. He tried, but he just wasn't as tough as he wanted everyone to think he was. That was the first and last time I have ever been the victim of a violent crime. But it wasn't random, and it wasn't violent enough to count as a violent crime. I mean, I wasn't even injured. Not even an abrasion. So, even if we count that incident as a random violent crime, one incident in fifty-six years doesn't make a dent in crime statistics.

I've been in fights as a teen, (and I never lost one, I might add) but schoolyard fights don't count as a random violent crime statistic, either.

So, let's expand our sampling, shall we?

The most recent study I have found came from 2004 and states, "In 2004 America's crime rate is roughly the same as in 1970, with the homicide rate being at its lowest level since 1965. Overall, the national crime rate was 3982 crimes per 100,000 residents..."

Note that this study includes random violent crimes perpetrated on innocent victims not known by the perpetrator along with non-random crimes committed by family members, friends and known enemies of the victims. Also note that this particular study doesn't differentiate between random violent crimes and run-of-the-mill everyday non-violent crimes. It simply refers to all crime.

But let's analyze these statistics and see if we are all indeed in imminent danger of being randomly, viciously attacked.

3982 crimes per 100,000 residents is approximately 3.98 % of the entire population of the United States. Go ahead and round it off to 4% to make it easier. Now remember, that this is a sampling that includes all crimes, you know, like shoplifting, drug possession, extortion, all types of white collar crimes, etc.

And that also includes crimes committed by people the victim knows, with a specific motive. Crimes that cannot be classified as random, and/or committed against unsuspecting innocent victims.

So now, the incidence of random acts of violence decreases significantly.

Wait a minute. Does that sound right to you?

If that is true, in a city the size of say--Topeka, Kansas--one might find about 5 crimes committed per year.

"Oh", you must be saying, "Those statistics only reflect reported crimes." And you would be right! As one of my readers (who never comments) pointed out, victims of rape, spousal abuse, and violent crimes committed in economically disadvantaged urban areas (or ghettos, if you will) go largely unreported. I read a CBS news report that stated 49% of all sexual crimes go unreported. But, just to show how confused CBS is, the headline on that report read "Over half of Violent crimes go unreported," a statistic not found in the article. (Uh--CBS--I hate to tell you this, but, 49% is not over half)

So. Assuming that half of all crimes go unreported, that would mean that in Topeka, Kansas, there would have been 10 crimes committed in 2004. That's all crimes, not only violent crimes.

That can't be accurate, can it? Of course it isn't.

Our sample city, Topeka, Kansas, while relatively small in comparison to most U.S. cities with a population of over 100,000, is still an urban area. It has more violent crime than cities or counties of over 100,000 with predominately suburban residents. For instance, I once lived in Johnson County, Kansas. Same state as Topeka, but Johnson County is much more suburban than Topeka. Johnson County, overall, has over double the population of Topeka, but much less violent crime.

My point is, it evens out. Lumping cities and counties with low and suburban (or both) populations together with overpopulated urban areas the 4-10% statistic may very well be accurate.

Conclusion? Incidents of random violent crimes are not nearly as likely to happen to you as media sources would have you believe. In all likelihood, you could literally leave your doors and windows unlocked and sleep peacefully in your house for the rest of your natural life without being victimized even once by a random violent crime.

That doesn't mean you should be foolhardy. Go ahead and lock your doors. By doing so, you decrease the chances, however slim, of a crime being perpetrated against you or your family.

Now, we are left to question, "Why?" Why does the media continue to terrorize the people in this way?

Well, it's the old adage, "If it bleeds, it leads". Comforting news simply doesn't sell. But is that the only reason they want to keep us afraid to leave our houses?

Could it be that they realize what kind of power the pen wields, and are using it to control the people? Could it be that they know as long as we are afraid to venture beyond our comfort zones we won't drive them from their positions of power? Positions from where they dictate our every move?

Is it something more insidious, or is it just human nature to blow every threat to our personal safety out of proportion?

Maybe there is no motive other than their projection of their own fears upon the rest of us.

Maybe it's because our human nature, with it's inherent sense of survival, creates a protective bubble around us, even when few threats exist.

Do you feel manipulated?

Taking into consideration our analysis of the crime statistics, are you still frightened?

One other thing:

Doesn't living in fear lessen our quality of life? How much more rewarding and abundant could our lives be if we freed ourselves from the shackles of unwarranted fear?

Perhaps it's time we free ourselves and begin to rage against the machine that is media.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

"All gave some. Some gave all." ~ Various authors

OK. I wrote another post in place of this one, but since then, I found this video, and I can't let Memorial Day go by without posting this. You can read the other post below this one.

As you attend your cookouts and picnics today, try to pause for a moment to remember the reason for the day.

Mixed Feelings

"I am prepared to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter." ~ Sir Winston Churchill

Today being Memorial Day, I feel I must create some sort of tribute for the men and women who have fallen in the service of our country. I found a wonderful such tribute in a magazine I picked up in the church lobby a couple of weeks ago, and I was going to use it as a basis for my post, but I lost the magazine. So, I was going to fly solo.

Then, this morning, when I sat down at the keyboard, I first had to visit Lone Ranger's blog, which has become a daily first stop for me. There I found a link back to an entry on Tug's blog, which, before his long sabbatical, used to be the other one I never failed to visit daily.

LR's right (as usual). It is an excellent article about Senator Edward M. Kennedy's recent discovery of a brain tumor. So, then, I just had to write the blog post I had considered writing but didn't. Since becoming domesticated, I just haven't been able to find the time to write anything. Here is my comment on Tug's piece (read his first):

I too, wanted to write something about Kennedy's brain tumor and inevitable death.

I too, wanted to write something compassionate without expressing glee at the promise of his exit from the Senate and the world.

I too, hoped to refrain from behaving like a Liberal when expressing my thoughts on the impending demise of this man.

I too, feel a sense of sorrow at the travails of a fellow human being in a time of great personal trial. I wanted to express that sense of sorrow with my comment without celebrating his debilitating illness.

After all, I am a Christian and I do have compassion for all of God's creatures. I really can hate the sin without hating the sinner. Really.

I can and I do.

I can also forgive and often do. Even when I am not asked forgiveness. It is how I've managed to stay sane.

That said, do you want to know what my first thoughts were when I heard the news of Kennedy's tumor? Here they are:

Usually when one is diagnosed with some some terminal illness and knows he has little time left to live, one wants to beg forgiveness, both to God and man, for whatever real or perceived sins one has committed in the course of their life. Particularly Catholics, who feel they must do penance for their sins.

With that in mind, I wonder if Teddy has asked God for forgiveness for his murder of Mary Jo Kopechne and the many other transgressions he has committed in his life.

So far, it doesn't appear he has yet begged forgiveness from man.

I do know one thing for sure: When he at last finds himself on his knees, and has to give account of his life before God, he will most assuredly beg.

Here is the one compassionate thing I will say in his behalf:

May God have mercy on his soul.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Folding The Flag

"Showing respect for the flag shows respect for American ideals...every action you take will will strengthen the bonds of community that unite all Americans, and extends the promise of American life to another citizen." ~ George W. Bush

This Monday is Memorial Day, one of several National holidays in which the American flag is displayed. If you display the flag on Memorial day, there are several web sites that will instruct you in the proper and legal way in which the flag may be hoisted, displayed, and even folded.

Here are the instructions for displaying the flag.

Here are official,legal facts about how and when to display the flag. Other web sites have additional information should you not find what you are specifically looking for on the linked pages.

Here are instructions in the proper way to fold the flag.

While the most accepted flag folding ceremony is the Air Force's ceremony, I personally like the National Flag Foundations ceremony better, because The Air Force's ceremony was changed to appease some bleeding heart Liberal anti-religious objection to the religious content, which cited the mythical "violation of the establishment clause" in the Constitution in the original ceremony.

So, submitted as a courtesy to those readers who still respect the American flag, and the country for which it stands, the following is copied and pasted from the National Flag Foundation's website:


National Flag Foundation presents its own special flag folding ceremony, incorporating several of the virtues attributed to the colors of the Flag as specified in 1782 by Charles Thomson, then Secretary of Congress. National Flag Foundation recommends that this ceremony be read prior to the actual folding of the flag.

The first fold stands for liberty. In America, we are free to own property, to elect our government representatives, to attend the church of our choice, to openly disagree, to travel freely without restriction, to pursue an education and the “American Dream”. The white stripes of the Flag symbolize our liberty.

The second fold represents unity. Abraham Lincoln stated that a house divided against itself cannot stand. National unity in the face of natural disasters and external threats, such as those posed on September 11, 2001, has preserved our constitutional republic.

The third fold stands for justice. In America we believe that every person stands equal before the law and is deserving of just and fair treatment. The laborer and the lawyer are both entitled to justice in America. The blue of the Flag embodies justice.

The fourth fold symbolizes perseverance. To persevere means to endure, to remain steadfast despite severe hardship and obstacles. The Continental Army suffered repeated setbacks before claiming any significant victory. Yet throughout the brutal winter of 1777 at Valley Forge, they persevered.

The fifth fold represents hardiness. Hardiness is the ability to withstand difficulty while remaining resolute despite adversity. The aggressors in World War II underestimated American hardiness. They thought that Americans were soft, incapable and unwilling to endure hardship. Our soldiers and sailors such as those who fought at Normandy and in Korea proved them wrong.

The sixth fold stands for valor. Valor means courage, the act of defending what is right even in the face of opposition. Nathan Hale, the Revolutionary War patriot, was convicted of spying by the British in 1776. Before he was hanged, Hale displayed great valor with his words, "I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country." The red color in the flag represents valor, symbolic of the blood shed by all the American heroes who sacrificed for our freedom.

The seventh fold symbolizes purity. A pure nation is free from taint, from what weakens, pollutes or renders it ineffective. Our Founding Fathers illuminated freedom's path for us when they created the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The pure intent of these documents enabled the United States of America to become the greatest of all nations, a land of liberty which beckons to all who are seeking asylum from persecution and oppression.

The eighth fold represents innocence. Innocence implies that one is unacquainted with evil and is thus free from sin. George Washington once stated, "The love of my country will be the ruling influence of my conduct." Americans pay tribute to him and to all those who give devoted service to uphold freedom's ideals without selfish or evil motivations.

The ninth fold signifies sacrifice. To sacrifice is to give up something valued for an ideal, belief or goal. America exists today because of the sacrifices of countless Americans. Many have made the ultimate sacrifice of their lives in battles waged during the Revolution, the World Wars, in Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Afghanistan and other locations around the world. We pay tribute to them and to the firefighters, policemen, soup kitchen volunteers, members of our armed forces and numerous others who continue to sacrifice for freedom.

The tenth fold stands for honor. One who possesses honor possesses a keen sense of ethical conduct. To honor a person or ideal is to display respect for them. We give thanks for all who have acted with honor in the founding and growth of America. We pray that each citizen and all those who represent us in government will conduct themselves in a manner that will continue to bring honor to our nation and to our Flag.

The eleventh fold symbolizes independence. Independence is the state of being free, of being able to make unrestricted choices within the law as free individuals and as a free nation. Ever since our nation’s birth, Americans have fiercely defended their independence against all oppressors. Patrick Henry articulated the sentiments of his fellow Americans past, present and future when he uttered those famous words, "Give me liberty, or give me death." America stands as an icon of freedom and independence for the oppressed of the world. May it always remain so.

The twelfth fold represents truth. Truth is the body of real events and facts. It is preserved through adherence to reality and the avoidance of falsehoods. America was built upon God-given truths articulated in the Declaration of Independence "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Adherence to these truths has made America a great nation. We pledge to continue this noble legacy of truth so that in America, every man woman and child may forever be free.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Democrats Say The Darndest things!

"Politics, n. Strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles." ~ Ambrose Bierce

While canvassing a local neighborhood last night collecting donations for the local volunteer fire department, I walked up one driveway, and remarked to myself, "I probably won't get anything from these people."

The reason I was so skeptical that the occupants of the home would be generous was because the two cars in their driveway both had "Hillary for president" bumper stickers on them.

I've seen this movie enough times to guess the ending.

I was right. They refused to donate.

I'm not saying Democrats aren't generous. In fact, I'll go so far as to say they are even more generous than Republicans. The only difference is that Democrats prefer to be generous with other people's money. Democrats have often told me they believe the government should fund Fire departments and rescue squads. When I have pointed out that it would mean a precipitous increase in taxes, they acknowledged that, but stated they don't mind paying higher taxes as long as the rich had to pay their share, too.

The particular Democrats I was having these conversations with were all very much wealthier than I.

But I digress.

As I walked to the next house on the street, the Hillary supporters walked past me on what I presume to be their nightly power walk around the neighborhood. As they passed, I said, "Doesn't look too good for your candidate right now, does it?"

"No, it doesn't" Mr. Hillary supporter dejectedly replied.

"So, if Obama wins the nomination, will you go ahead and vote for him for President?" I queried.

"No way!" He said, passionately.

Then, his wife added, "I wouldn't vote for the anti-Christ"
(I assume she was referring to B. Hussein Obama, but I didn't ask)

"So", I shouted, as the distance between us increased, "if Obama is the candidate, who will you vote for?"

As they power walked around the corner, they both shouted back to me, "We'll vote for McCain before we'll vote for Obama!"

Now, this would be shocking if McCain were truly a Conservative, but as it is, voting for a Hillary or an Obama vs. voting for McCain is like flipping a coin.

They are on two sides of the same Liberal coin.

Hillary/Obama vs John McCain.

Heads, Democrats win. Tails, Republicans lose.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

What Was In My Head When I Awoke

"There ain't no bugs on me." ~ Unknown

We have two pugs. Everytime I hear this song on TV, (Well, most of the time)I sing along, but instead of singing "some of you mugs", I sing "some of you pugs". I'm silly like that sometimes.

By the way, the other night when I was sleeping, I don't know what I did, but I must have accidentally kicked my older pug, Beast, the Democrat dog, in my sleep, because he let out a yelp, and then bit my left big toe. Hard. I was bleeding from both the top and bottom of my toe.

Dog bites really hurt.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Still Here

"The report of my death was an exaggeration." ~ Mark Twain

Trader Rick sent me a message asking, "Where are you?"

I am here.

I've been either too busy or I've already commented on every current event about which I've been passionate.

It's nice to know I'm missed, though. Thanks, Rick.

The presidential campaign goes on, with the Democrats continuing to shoot themselves in the foot, and McCain in the wings, just sitting the fray out and probably smiling, because so far, he doesn't have to actively campaign. The Democrats are running his campaign for him.

My wife e-mailed me some Democrat blog (believe me, if she hadn't, I never would have read it myself. I have no interest in what idiots have to say), and many Democrats are saying if Obama wins the nomination, they'll either vote for McCain or sit this one out.

Little difference as far as I can see. A vote for McCain is very much the same as a vote for a Democrat.

Some Democrats are speculating that Obama will choose Hillary as his running mate.

Not gonna happen. Presidential contenders never choose a rival for their running mate. Never.

Others are speculating that he will choose Ted Kennedy. Maybe. But if Kennedy wanted to be in the executive branch of Government he would have run for President long ago. It isn't because he hasn't been asked, for sure.

Wait. I do have one event that I feel deserves my comment:

Where is Adrian Monk when we need him?

The "suicide" of D.C. Madam Deborah Jean Palfrey.

I said in a couple of previous posts (here and here), when her client list is finally revealed, Americans will not be surprised to find the names of many high profile Democratic politicians within.

Then I corrected myself.

Democrats would never allow their names to be released, and their friends in the Liberal biased media would scramble like Warren Moon to make sure it stays that way.

I also said if any Republican names were on her list, we will soon find out, and that proved to be true. Republican Senator David Vitter (LA) and an aide to President Bush were listed.

We will never know if my prediction about Democrats being on the list will come true because, as I already mentioned, Democrats and their willing accomplices in the media will squash that news.

I believe the "suicide" death of MS Palfrey is about as much validation we're going to get that Democrats were indeed on the list.

This is my theory:

I know I risk being called a conspiracy theorist, but I think some high ranking Democrats who's names are on Ms. Palfrey's list had her killed, and made it look like suicide.

I guarantee you one thing:

If there was any indication that any Republicans had anything at all to do with Ms. Palfrey and her list, the media would be all over this story, implying and downright accusing Republicans of dirty dealings.

Why has there not been any criminal investigation? Because the media will not reveal Democrat involvement. It's that simple.

Mark my words. It might take a couple of decades, but it will eventually be revealed that some high ranking Democrat politician had her murdered. Probably not until after that politician is dead and buried, though.

Wait and see.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Reverend Wright? Just Go Away Already.

"Can't we all just get along?" ~ Rodney King

AARRRGGGGGHHHHH! I am so sick of this racist, separatist Jeremiah Wright crap, I can't find the words!

Well, I can find some.

Usually, I ignore all the incessant blather from fools like Wright but even I am offended by this jerk. Why are the networks and talk shows even wasting their airtime on this lunatic? Why am I up at 4:30 in the morning writing about the idiot?


Because he has offended me so much I can't sleep! We've all heard and read the racist, separatist comments from this creep. "United States of KKK America". "God Damn America". "Aids was created by white Government to kill blacks".

And on and on and on ad infinitum.

But last night, I heard some sound bites on the Laura Ingraham show from the wrong reverend Wright that I hadn't heard on other talk shows. This pathetic excuse for a human mocked the way white people talk, and the way white people sing, and even mocked President John F. Kennedy.

Do I even have to remind Reverend Wrong that it is his race, the black race, that spawned Ebonics?

Give me a break! If you want to sound stupid and uneducated, learn to speak in Ebonics.

And just like Ebonics, Reverend Jeremiah Wright has created antipathy between the races that mere racism couldn't manage on it's own.

However, he isn't the only one. He's just the most ridiculous. This time.

Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Lewis Farrakhan, Malcolm X, to name a few. And what's the name of that stupid black racist separatist college professor idiot who said the white race needs to be exterminated? I seem to remember he teaches at some college in the south somewhere. It doesn't matter. Strip off the titles of Professor, Reverend, and Minister and they are all racist separatist idiots.

The only significant divide between races present in this country today is the divide perpetuated by these so-called civil rights activists.

And the only thing worse than a racist is one who purposely divides the races for monetary gain. Like the aforementioned "Reverends" and professors.

Listen. The dictionary defines racism as: 1 : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.
2 : racial prejudice or discrimination.

I disagree. That definition would imply that if one recognizes certain cultural differences in people of other races, that one is a racist. As I have explained in a previous post, that isn't racist. That is merely recognizing facts and not running from them for fear of being called a racist.

I believe racism is a manifestation of hatred for all people of another race simply because of their color or religion.

According to the dictionary's definition, I am a racist. But I am not a racist. I don't hate all black people. I hate some black people. I hate black thugs. Of course, I also hate white thugs. And Hispanic thugs. And Asian thugs. And Islamic thugs.

And I hate purveyors of racist separatism. Like the Wrong Reverend Jeremiah Wright. He needs to go back to where he came from.


He has served his purpose. That of exposing the hypocrisy, racism, and elitism of Barack Hussein Obama.

Now he needs to fade back into the woodwork from whence he came. And he needs to take all the other racist separatist you-know-what's with him.

And the sooner the better.