Howard Stern, Playboy Radio, and Raw Dog Comedy are just a handful of satellite radio's hundreds of channels and, with satellite becoming a popular (if not standard) feature in vehicles, it's time to evaluate the value of the aforementioned raunchy channels. Should they be allowed on the air? Absolutely. Should they be allowed in a teenager's car? Absolutely not.
Welcome to one of the dilemmas of modern parenting. While the government would like to classify "children" as anyone under the age of 26, I'll stick to the standard age of 18. Do you remember when you got your first car? For me, I was 16 and thought I was invincible. My little red coupe had 4 cylinders and every safety feature available at the time, so my parents felt it was a responsible choice but I saw it as my ticket to freedom. I could go wherever I wanted, listen to whatever I wanted however loud I wanted, and cruise around with friends after school.
I was an idiot. And I'm sure you were too at that age.
Sharing the road with teenagers is risky as it is, so do we really want inexperience mixed with immaturity while listening to adult-content satellite radio behind the wheel? Most drivers and, more importantly, parents don't, which is why Ford has announced its new MyKey System.
Adult channels on satellite radio have a specific code for their content; Ford has developed an ignition key that senses this code and blocks it from playing through the speakers in the vehicle. Using this key, parents can also set limits on speed and stereo volume. When this key is used, the stereo volume is significantly reduced automatically until the seatbelt is buckled. If it's a family vehicle, the parents can still use standard ignition keys and have access to all of the raunchy stations, fast speeds, and excessive volume they want.
Ford listened to its customers when 60% of parents surveyed indicated they had concerns for their teenage drivers in these areas. It's reasons like this that the motor company will not only survive, but thrive in a free market. Creating quality solutions for real problems, as well as developing a reputation for reliability and responsibility, are reasons that Ford is going places.
If you haven't seen the newest Ford product lines, stop by a dealership and check it out - even if you're not in the market for a new car. My guess is the dealership will be so thrilled that you just want to see what they're up to, that they'll gladly take a few minutes to show you what they've been working on.
The Department of Homeland Security has teamed up with Walmart to launch the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign. Essentially they want you to report suspicious activities that you witness as a means of promoting “hometown security”.
A great deal of responsible Americans do this anyway and we don’t need “Big Sis” Janet Napolitano to tell us to. However, there are some Americans who need a gentle nudge to come forward either because they don’t want to cause trouble, they aren’t sure what they think they saw, or they’re afraid they’ll get in trouble. This “gentle nudge” should come from your local law enforcement, not the Federal Government.
The reason this is such a big deal isn’t because DHS fears a terrorist attack on Walmart, but because they are looking to activate the drones. Not everyone who shops or works at Walmart are drones, but c'mon, a solid chunk of them are. If we’re being really honest with ourselves, we know that most of Americans are sheep who aren’t energetic, concerned, or smart enough to think for themselves - Hello Mr. 44th President.
If the Feds tell these people to do something, they’re going to do it. They’ll probably think they’re getting a reward for it or something. What we have on our hands is something straight from the pages of George Orwell. This is Big Brother at its finest.
The Federal Government is using this whole “If You See Something, Say Something” load of you-know-what to activate their eyes and ears on the ground. Each totalitarian government in history has established one of these. They scare people into thinking there’s a huge threat to their personal security and that they need to turn those responsible (or who they think might be responsible) in.
I’m not saying that the United States is a totalitarian state or they are going to start detaining people for no real reason, but what I am saying is this is the path to that nightmare. Janet Napolitano has said “Homeland security begins with hometown security” and since our homeland is in danger, clearly it’s because of our hometowns being threatened if you use Federal logic. Forget about “Homeland security begins with profiling, searching foreign cargo, and closing the borders” - that’s a bunch of nonsense!
Moreover, Walmart is the nation’s leading discount retailer; it’s private for the time being, but we all know what happens once the Feds get their fingers in the cookie jar. This is the making of a dangerous situation. Libs out there will say I’m a fear-monger, but I prefer to be called a student of history.
It’s that time again: the days college football fans live or die by. Did your team win 6 games or not? Are they going to a bowl or not? If they are, is the bowl’s reputation one worthy of their own? Is the opponent’s talent deserving to play on the same field? These are questions that torment avid fans late into the night as they toss and turn in a cold sweat.
As a tried and true fan of the Baylor Bears, I can tell you these questions have never given me an ounce of grief in my life. No, seriously, the Bears have been pretty awful in the past 20 years. Sure, they’ve been to 3 bowls in the last 20 years but all 3 of those were as members of the Southwest Conference? Remember that? Yah, neither do I.
The fact of the matter is Baylor has been the underdog of the Big 12 ever since they joined in 1994. I went to school there knowing we wouldn’t be tearing down goalposts, rushing the field, or making ridiculously long road trips for a 3 hour game of glory. And I was okay with that, although we did rush the field 3 times and tear down 2 goalposts in my day. But what happens as soon as I graduate? They get a new coach and, whadjaknow, they’re good! I’d like to think it’s all because of my financial contributions to the University as an alumni.
Today the Bears were invited to and accepted a position in the Texas Bowl, a feat that hasn’t been matched since 1994 when Baylor went to the Alamo Bowl and put up a measley 3 points to Washington State’s lackluster 10. They will face off against the Illinois Fighting Illini in Houston on December 29 at 6pm, so mark your calendars to witness history in the making.
Why is this game important to non-Baylor fans? It’s relevant to the Big 12 and even beyond that, but one point at a time.
The Big 12 has had a rough year: Colorado and Nebraska are leaving, Texas fell into a pit of shame, and Kansas got worse. Sorry rock chalk jayhawks or whatever it is. Anyway, while the conference appeared to be in disarray, the Baylor Bears were rising from next to last (thanks Colorado!) in 2009 to a 2010 record that tied both Texas Tech and Kansas State. Whoever thought that Baylor would be on par with Tech? No, really.
The overall level of talent among the teams in the Big 12 is growing. Texas will rebuild and recover; Kansas, well, let’s hope they do something along the same lines; and Mizzou will continue to excel in the North, especially now that Nebraska is out of the way. Baylor will be there with the rest of them to play Big 12-caliber football, as long as Art Briles and Robert Griffin III stay. While the university will not allocate crazy funds to the program, Briles knows how to win and RGIII has the skills to appeal to recruits. Baylor football has a future for at least the next two seasons.
As for the rest of the collegiate football realm, the more competition out there, the better. Having stellar teams in all conferences ensures that bowls will be worth watching. Sure, there will be blow outs, melt downs, and no shows, but the probability of witnessing train wrecks like that are slimmer. Competition is the answer in just about every conceivable situation, including NCAA football. I think watching Baylor and Illinois will be a solid 3 hours of athleticism that will do justice to long-suffering fans and those just looking for a good game.
Not since Speed has there been a threat to national security on a bus and, even then, that “national security” part is debatable.
So why is the Department of Homeland Security trying out enhanced security screening methods like pat-downs at bus stops in Florida? Did you know they are also developing protocols for other crowded areas, like sporting events?
What past occurrences warrant these enhanced security measures? Because, in case you haven't noticed, TSA hasn't thwarted anything. Ever.
Using advanced technology, the Department of Homeland Security is taking another step in keeping America safe. Or is it another step to taking over our individual liberties?
We need to evaluate whether the Federal Government is being proactive or intrusive because there is an overwhelming difference. Proactive to me is the Fed saying, “Why, yes, we’re profiling, checking all cargo coming into the country that originates in these countries, and enforcing our No Fly lists like nobody’s business.” Intrusive is the government groping nuns and looking at near-naked pictures of minors, harassing a mother for not wanting her breast milk exposed to radiation, and searching checked bags not for explosives but for cute fashion finds that just happen to be in the screener’s size.*
The Fourth Amendment protects American citizens from “unreasonable searches and seizures”:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
How can the feds justify searching 90 year old women or patting down 4-year old girls when Michelle Malkin pointed out quite clearly that violent jihadists don’t come from a “broad strata of society”? Our Constitutional rights are being violated right in front of our eyes and, while we’re outraged, most of us don’t know what to do about it. Do we stop flying? Some say yes, but they’ll get you on the subways, bus stops, and train stations. Do we just drive everywhere in our own personal vehicle? You can if you have the time and can afford it.
But what does it say that We The People are sacrificing the conveniences and privileges our society offers in order to appease the Federal Government’s need to feel omnipotent and benevolent?
It says they are out of control and must be stopped. We have only a select few choices for reining the fed back in:
Keanu Reeves: He stopped the bus in Speed so maybe he can stop the bus in Washington. Although he is rumored to be involved as the lead actor in a 2012-release samurai movie that won’t suck like the last 7 years of his career, so he might be busy.
You: That’s right, you’ve been added to the list. Use your cameras, audio recorders, and video cameras to catch goings on that will show what’s really going on. Start a blog, write your Representatives, write the President, let the world know that you’re one ticked off citizen.
Your Representatives: Remember, they work for you. Melt their phone lines, fill their inboxes, write a letter, pay a visit - whatever it takes to get their attention and do not relent. Remind them that if they ignore you, they will find their next venture in the unemployment line come 2012.
Don’t be afraid to get upset about it. In fact, get mad. I mean, don’t go crazy or anything, but the United States of America was not founded by a bunch of sissies who decided to lay down and take it. This is our country, these are our freedoms, and they are worth fighting for.
*On a recent trip to New England, I checked a bag and when I got home and unpacked, I realized that something wasn't there. I remembered packing it, unpacking it at the hotel, re-packing it before checking out but, alas, it wasn't there. Someone stole my $50 sports bra. Moreover, my sister and her husband had a romantic weekend getaway to NYC a little bit ago and my brother-in-law was sweet enough to take her shopping. She had a ball, but when she got home all of her designer clothes were gone - over $500.
Let’s start with the easiest one to explain:
“Then again, maybe Kim Jong-Il is just looking for a friend; after all, he is ‘so ronery’.”
This comes from Team America, a movie from the creators of South Park that is so insanely offensive it’s funny. Because I don’t think everyone should see the film, I’ll provide you with a 2-minute clip of Kim Jong-Il’s soliloquy in song:
WARNING: If you are particularly sensitive to the f-word, I would recommend muting your computer for the first 3 seconds.
Now, let’s dive into the second reference that is not offensive, but done in true Mel Brooks style! I would recommend you see the entire Spaceballs movie because Mel Brooks could use the money and you could use the laughs. If, however, you’re like my mom who refuses to waste a second of her life on Mel Brooks, here is the trailer followed by a clip of my favorite Dark Helmet scene:
So on what grounds do I base my comparison of Kim Jong-Il to Dark Helmet?
Dark Helmet is the military leader of Planet Spaceball; he is supposed to get his orders from President Skroob, but tends to take things upon himself believing that he is all-knowing and wise. His decisions typically backfire and, when they do, he awkwardly blames someone else. While his voice may sound ominous behind the huge helmet, he is just a mousy little man who plays with dolls but people fear him because he’ll shrink their junk if they don’t respect his authority.
While I cannot confidently say that Kim Jong-Il plays with dolls, I can assure you that he is indeed the same kind of mousy little man who maintains control through fear. This little tidbit of information tells us a lot more you might think:
1) Fear -- Get ready for a little Political Science 101: There are two paths to political organization, the friendly way called “consensus” and the not-so-friendly way called “coercion”.
Consensus = Democratic Rule Coercion = Authoritarian Rule
Now, authoritarian rule means that the leader and a small, elite group of cronies took power by force - it was not given to them by the people, they are not held accountable by the citizens. Basically it’s like a bully on the playground: no one gave him power, he just started beating up kids and pretty soon everyone was scared of him. Next thing you know, kids are throwing their lunch money at his feet when he walks down the hall and no one goes near the tire swing.
But what if that bully starts beating up kids and telling them that the sky was red with blue polka dots? The bully’s sidekicks form a commission to seek out non-believers (kids who are dumb enough to still think the sky is blue) and beat them up. Lots of kids would start claiming the sky was red with blue polka dots even if they didn’t believe it. When a leader uses violence to implement some ideology, employs institutions and organizations to enforce it, and citizens submit for fear of persecution, that’s Totalitarian Rule. Welcome to life in North Korea.
2) Charisma -- While two petite, unattractive men aren’t exactly the first things that come to mind when you hear that word, politically they are what we call “charismatic leaders”. Their power is not legitimized through historical precedent (like a king or queen) or voting procedures (like a democracy), but their credibility comes through an idea that is conveyed to the public. “Our dear leader” Kim Jong-Il didn’t come with that title - he made it. So it’s not the physical appearance of the person, but it's the person’s ability to communicate ideas that wins and this is done primarily through the media.
In a totalitarian state, the media is the leader’s lapdog. Existing solely to suck up to and do the leader’s bidding, the media picks and chooses which stories perpetuate the leader’s ideology and then edits it to make it that much more unbelievable.
For example, on June 19, 2000 a North Korean news report was obtained by the BBC and reads in part as follows:
“The outstanding greatness of Kim Jong-Il as a peerless politician lies in the fact that he has scientifically led the revolution and construction to a brilliant victory without a mistake or failure for nearly 40 years...The moves of the imperialists and reactionaries to stifle the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea have been totally smashed by his bold grit and just politics.”
After you’re finished throwing up, it’s easy to see that the media is nothing more than the bully’s crony institution out to convince people that the leader is looking out for the well-being of the citizens and country.
There you have it - Kim Jong-Il is just a wee man hiding behind a big media charade, just like Dark Helmet is hiding inside his oversized dark helmet. Neither one have much of a clue what they’re doing but they know they’re right, that they’re better than everyone else. When their plans suck, junk gets shrunk and missiles get launched.
You’ve learned a lot, so go pour yourself a drink and revel in your new-found brilliance.
"Evil will always triumph because good is dumb."
-Dark Helmet, Spaceballs
I’ve had a few requests to expand on some topics mentioned in my November 23 post “Kim Jong-Il & Obama: A Snarky History Lesson”, so this is the first in a multi-series elaboration on North Korean politics. Before you close your browser window and think to yourself, ‘Gee, it’d be so much more interesting to explore the nutritional value of styrofoam’ remember who is conducting this train: me.
Apparently there were some ruffled feathers about the following comment I made:
“North Korea has an inferiority complex. It’s the under-achieving, low life slacker child of the two Koreas.”
It seems that there is some doubt as to the accuracy of this statement, as well as some hurt feelings referring to “low-lives”, “slackers”, and “children” in this context. Let’s explore the inadequacies of North Korea then, shall we?
The easiest element to consider when it comes to analyzing crappy countries like North Korea (or NoKo as I like to call it) is geography. Usually you’re not supposed to make snap judgements based on physical appearances, but this isn’t the sleazy girl at the bar, this is physical land mass so let the cattiness begin!
The Korean Peninsula is wedged between China, Russia, and Japan. The Yellow Sea is the body of water to the west and the Sea of Japan to the east. To the north is China and the wasteland known as Siberia. The border between North and South Korea is the 38th parallel.
Looking at a topographic map (a fancy way of saying maps that show you mountains and stuff), you can see that NoKo is indeed quite mountainous while South Korea is flatter.
Alright, that’s all pretty basic information. Not sure if a chimp could get all of that, so at least we’re one step ahead of that. What do we do with this information? Analyze it.
Because Korea is between China, Russia, and Japan, it’s prime real estate and, as a result, wars have been fought in an effort to control the 80,000-something square mile area. It’s not like there’s anything glamorous about it; it’s just convenient. It’d be like the ho-hum girl in high school having the captains of the football, basketball, and baseball teams fighting over her. Not that China, Russia, and Japan are globally the captains, but for the region they are. Just go with it.
Next, as it is a peninsula, it is obviously surrounded by water on three sides (west, south, and east). What does this mean? Ports. Ports mean commerce. Commerce means economic growth. Basically, ports = money.
“Get to the point, Ashley, or I’ll go find some styrofoam.” Okay, okay, but you need to have the basics to understand the rest.
All of this sounds great: desirable location, lots of coastlines for ports, diverse terrain - what’s not to love? If you’re NoKo, the 38th parallel. Take a look from their perspective and see how much their country physically blows.
They are in the north, so they don’t have three sides of coastline, they have two. Well, one and half really because their west coast opens into Korea Bay instead of the Yellow Sea which means restricted commerce; people don’t want to be on ships any longer than possible, so they will opt for ports that aren’t 500 miles out of the way. Less coastline means fewer ports and fewer ports mean less trade/money.
They are in the mountains and that’s not really suitable for this thing we call agriculture. The soil is rocky and it’s colder, not exactly a wealth of farming opportunity. South Korea is not only warmer, but mostly coastal plains and, therefore, has very fertile soil in addition to more flat space to farm.
Moreover, the difference agriculture makes is so staggering that South Korea sustains 64% of the Peninsula’s population. It’s like SoKo has twice as many Facebook friends.
So what’s the point of being in a desirable location if you don’t have access to anything that’s really, well, desirable? It’s pretty fair to say that NoKo is an underachiever when their urbanization is practically non-existent, they can’t feed their own people, and their economy is in the crapper. Meanwhile, SoKo is killing it with a blossoming population which means lots of workers for a strong capitalist economy. Note: this also justifies the “low life” portion of my controversial comment.
So you can see why NoKo has a big stick up its butt. It isn’t easy being the lesser of two countries that share the same name.
As for the “slacker” and “child” part, consider this: the country is doing nothing to improve the standard of living for its citizens. They don’t care. Kim Jong-Il knows that educated, empowered people won’t stand for communism and that would mean revolution which would jeopardize his power. To ensure this doesn’t happen, food and services are rationed, freedoms are restricted, and there is absolutely nothing fun to do in the whole country.
What Kim Jong-Il will do, however, is act like a child pitching a fit whenever he wants something. He wants to talk to Obama, so he launches an attack on South Korea. He wants other countries to fear and revere him so he openly lies about his nuclear program to George W. Bush and the rest of the world knowing he'll be caught in the lie. He wanted fame and fortune, so he got nuke technologies from China and started building bombs. You get the idea. The only thing done to reprimand North Korea are these ridiculous UN sanctions that do absolutely nothing except give Kim Jong-Il more attention. The UN is irrelevant and its sanctions are laughable, but that’s another post for another day.
That’s all for now, but check out the next post that addresses Kim Jong-Il and Dark Helmet.
Oh, and I’d like everyone to know that reading this blog is completely voluntary so I am wholly indemnified from any damages that may have occurred as a result of eating styrofoam.
My brother, Ryan, and I decided at the last minute tonight to catch a showing of Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, Part 1. As it was not properly planned, the only theater showing the movie at a time convenient for us was one that is known for exceptionally cheap tickets - that’s the only way they can get people to trek that far into the ghetto.
The theater was maybe half full and the previews were wrapping up as we took our seats. The first big event of the movie and we hear “Is that in the book?” in a plain-as-day voice coming from behind us. A few minutes later it was “Hey, what did he say?” in the same everyday conversational volume. When there was a joke, the guy behind us would laugh and then repeat the punchline just to make sure we all caught it. This happened for all 150 minutes of the film.
His counterpart, Smacky McGee, would answer the questions in a whisper obviously aware of the dude’s lack of manners but she was equally as bad, just in another way. Between the popcorn, Twizzlers, and beverage, it was a crunching, smacking, slurping, gulping good time.
It’s like a match made in heaven, really: Sir Talks A Lot and Lady Smackerson. Between the two of them, it’s enough to drive even Mother Teresa to drink. And their kids, Can’t Sit Still Carrie and Too Much Sugar Tabby, might just make Super Nanny twitch. These kids were given free reign over the theater: running up and down the stairs, talking just like their daddy (“Um, Daddy, I’m out of Skittles. I need more. No, I need more now!” “Hey, Carrie, do you like the red ones more than the green ones?” “Daddy, I need your phone so I can shine light on the Skittles and see what color they are.”), and dropping roughly $8.00 in pennies on the cement floor.
When we got out of the movie, Ryan and I immediately started ranting about the annoying family. That conversation carried us all the way to my car (which to my surprise was not on blocks) and then another 15 minutes on the drive home.
Honestly, though, how can people be so oblivious, ignorant, or just plain rude as to not notice or care about their horribly bad social habits? You can hear yourself chew, so what makes you think other people can’t? How can you be 40-something and not know to shut your mouth in a movie? What on earth makes you think your kids are invisible to everyone else?
It’s people like this who are responsible for the degradation of our culture when it comes to manners. Those too selfish to extend common courtesies to others deserve far more than this humble blog could ever offer.
Oh, and if you’re wondering if you’re one of those people, yes you are. The fact that you have to think about it indicates that you need a clue more than Joe "Big F*#@ing Deal" Biden.
[This concludes the activation of the Emergency Soapbox Broadcasting System. We now resume whatever it is you were doing before.]
For anyone who has been in a hole today, the President got a call at 3:55am regarding a brewing international crisis centering on North and South Korea. As would be expected, Obama rolled over and went back to sleep claiming he’d “deal with it later.” I don’t necessarily know that the last part happened, but it’s a safe speculation.
News sources are telling us that South Korea was conducting regularly scheduled military exercises near the disputed border with its northernly neighbor when North Korea demanded that they cease said exercises immediately. South Korea gave them the proverbial finger and continued the drills. North Korea then shelled the crap out of a South Korean island killing 2 South Korean Marines and injuring several civilians. South Korea fired back and said, “Okay, we’re even now. If you do it again, it’s on like Donkey Kong”, or something to that effect.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Obama did not say anything about these events. There wasn’t an immediate formal statement, reprimand, press conference, or anything from Barack Obama. Let me be clear: I do not think this is a problem. In fact, I think it was a wise decision. While I’m pretty sure it wasn’t Obama’s decision to make, I’m glad someone made it. Before you go getting your panties in a twist about me agreeing with something this White House did, let me explain.
North Korea has an inferiority complex. It’s the under-achieving, low life slacker child of the two Koreas. They're mad because South Korea has seen success with a democratic, capitalist system. They're ticked off because the border wasn’t drawn where they wanted it to be at the end of the Korean War. Above all, they're irritated that they aren’t the global super power they want to be. It's like they want so desperately to be Darth Vader, but all they can muster is Dark Helmet. “Raspberry!”
So they act out. All the time. With provocative, violent methods in an effort to keep the international spotlight on them. The idea of direct talks with the United States gives them the warm fuzzies. They were hoping that an attack on South Korea would lead to a serious reprimand from the U.S., to which they would respond and, thus, enter into a “conversation” with Obama. Just like a child throws a fit in a store to get what he wants, North Korea uses something explosive to seek attention. Then again, maybe Kim Jong-Il is just looking for a friend; after all, he is "so ronery."
I should go on to say that Obama did state that “North Korea is a serious and ongoing threat that must be dealt with”, although no specifics were given as to how he intended (or didn’t intend) to deal with it.
Here is my issue with North Korea and Obama:
The world does not see Obama, his administration, or subsequently, the United States as a threat. After all of the speeches, lectures, apologies, and excuses, the credibility of the United States has been brought into question thanks to Obama. Nicolas Sarkozy called us “weak”. When the President of France sees you as more of a doily than he is, you know it’s bad. North Korea knows it can’t send a nuke to American shores, but it’s sure going to test the strength of the US/South Korean alliance. After witnessing Obama turning his back on Israel and the UK, it’s only natural (and logical) for North Korea to assume the US is no threat via South Korean alliance.
While this is frustrating, there is a bigger problem at hand:
We are potentially looking at the threshold of Cold War, Part II. And, no, I’m not fear mongering - I spent my time in college studying Asian politics and history so this is my academic analysis:
North Korea is a communist state. Guess who else is? Their neighbor, China. You see, North Korea is nothing but a land mass without China. The Chinese not only influence North Korea's policies, but also fund their military and sustain their economy. North Koreans find refuge in China both figuratively and literally. Essentially, North Korea is just an annex of China. I won’t go so far as to say a puppet and puppet master only because the North Koreans truly believe they are in control of their own destiny. Ignorance is bliss I guess.
Anyway, guess who used to be an "extension" of another country? That’s right: China. In the 1940’s when the future Chairman Mao was rising to power, guess who supplied him with knowledge, support, money, and weapons? Russia, or the Soviet Union as it was then. Because there is less than a degree of separation between socialism and communism, the common goal for these folks isn’t socialism OR communism, it’s either or - as long as it’s not capitalism - so communists and socialists are more often than not each other’s allies.
So, here we have history repeating itself. I love it when that happens because it makes history relevant when so many are so quick to turn their backs on it... And I’ll step off of my soap box...
Anyway, so here we have the remnants of the Cold War throwing rocks at the country that put them where they are today. Think about who else is in the shamed club: Afghanistan. Ohhhh, things are about to get interesting. For those of you who didn’t take a whole class devoted to the Cold War, the Soviet Union came rushing to the aid of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan to provide them with weapons, intelligence, manpower, and supplies for a total of 11 years until the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.
Who would love to hand us our lunch? Hamid Karzai and Osama Bin Laden.
I'm guessing y'all didn’t have to map out the region a bazillion times, I should tell you that Afghanistan shares borders with China, Iran, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. Note that those three obscure counties ending with “-stan” are former members of the Eastern Bloc and, while some claim to be “democracies” or “republics”, they are shaky at best and blatant totalitarian states at worst.
The fact of the matter is we aren’t exactly BFFs with any of these countries. In fact, they all want to destroy us physically or economically, or both. This is the problem. Ronald Reagan isn’t around to stand up for America. Barack Obama is here to stand aside.
So to all of you socialist / communist states out there waiting for the right opportunity to strike, don’t worry - you won’t get any trouble from Barack Obama. As for the American people, we’ll give you the kind of hell you can only imagine in your worst nightmares; the nightmares that wake you in a cold sweat, shaking, and crying out for mercy. We The People will never back down from a fight, so think long and hard before you do anything stupid.
At 3am on Tuesday morning, my alarm went off signaling it was not only time to get up, but it was time to go wait in line for hours on end to get a book signed. I can assure you the only thing that roused me from the pillowy comfort of my bed was the fact the man signing the book was the 43rd President of the United States of America.
I got up, dressed, took my dog out, and hit the road. Never before and never again will I make the 37 mile trip in half an hour because never again will I be driving to Dallas at 4am. After circling the parking lot a few times I finally found a spot and began trekking to the back of the line. I walked around the front of the shopping center, down a side street, and into the back alley where I took my spot behind a middle-aged man holding a library book. On my heels were two people around my age, a man and a woman, who got in line behind me. ‘Well, this is it,’ I thought to myself, ‘the people I will be around for the next few hours.’
Eventually the four of us started talking about our careers and hobbies, what books we were reading, and our pets - small talk, nothing of substance. But then my major came up (B.A., International Studies) and what exactly that entailed (Chinese political history); the middle-aged man was fascinated. He guided the Chinese political conversation around the corner of the building until we were in front of the first store window.
The two behind me had dropped out of the conversation until the man told me that I “shouldn’t read or respect the Constitution because the Founders and their document never intended for [me/women] to be anything more than property.” I felt as though I had been punched in the face. Over the last several years I have worked on managing and controlling my temper, but that developed discipline was struggling to persevere. I told him why I loved the Constitution, what made it different and important to our country, and why it should not be tampered with in interpretation. Fighting back tears, I told him that if he didn’t like it, he should leave.
This is when things got interesting. He started talking about the ignorance and idiocy of the Founders, that they weren’t well-read and they were misguided in their fight to establish freedom and independence. I was shaking I was so angry (I blamed it on the cold). At one point I think my vision blurred with a tinge of red. While contemplating whether or not I should stop talking to him and endure the awkwardness of 3 more hours in line or if I should punch him in the face and risk being hauled off by Secret Service, one of the two who had been absently quiet popped up.
The gentleman started talking about how well-educated the Founders were, quoting Montesquieu, the Declaration, and the Constitution. The urge to throw a punch abated. Then the man said “the Second Amendment is completely irrelevant; the Founders never intended for black people to own guns” with the same matter-of-fact tone used in stating women shouldn’t be more than property owned by men. The gentleman started quoting Supreme Court cases, the Founders’ true intent, and the evolution of society. When the man questioned the gentleman’s credibility, I just about died.
“I went to Harvard Law.”
These two people in line behind me were classmates at Harvard Law and now work as attorneys for the Liberty Institute. Talk about a total God-send: these people were insanely well-educated and primed professionally to stand up to people like this man in a court of law and defend the Constitution, individual rights and liberties, as well as advance the cause for freedom altogether.
Seeing he was now outnumbered, the man tried to stick to safe topics but faltered every now and again and began speaking about the economy or border security. We all managed to get through the line, get our books signed, and depart the store without altercation. I will be forever indebted to the Harvard Law Duo, as should the man I didn’t punch. We exchanged email addresses at the end of it and I received a gem of a Top 10 List today that I wanted to share with y’all:
Top 10 Things You-Know-Who Said In Line
10. Obama deserved the Nobel Peace Prize.
9. The Supreme Court has decided that the Second Amendment does not apply "hundreds" of times.
8. Massive debt is okay because governments can just print their way out of it and everything will take care of itself.
7. "King Edward" dissociated England from Catholicism.
6. The Constitution had no thought put into it.
5. Separation of powers and federalism as limits on government were unintentional.
4. The Founding Fathers were a bunch of uneducated, unsophisticated farmers.
3. This was because there were ALMOST NO BOOKS in America in the late 1700's, so no one could read anything.
2. The Pope used to be in the Bible, until he was edited out by "King Edward."
1. The best form of government is a one-world government with all of the power in the hands of a few.
This man waited in line for hours to buy two copies of Decision Points and have them signed by George W. Bush - isn't that supposed to be his mortal enemy? I'm not sure quite why he was there; perhaps it was a divine intervention (probably not) or a test of my convictions (more likely) or just a flash in the pan of life that led me to two new friends (safest bet).