Just ask Al Sharpton.

When I was on City Council in Springfield from 2009 to 2012, I consistently had a recurring thought about the workings of the local government: It seemed to me that in order to keep their jobs, much of the city’s staff were bent on being busy bodies. No other department was as transparent in their efforts (through actions, not words) as Building Development Services. They seemed to always find something that “needed” to be done, a new regulation implemented, or they would find an old regulation that wasn’t being enforced but should be.

What it comes down to is the need to justify their existence, hence funding.

I find the same thing going on with those entities that take federal monies in order to fund their research projects. For instance, let’s assume a scientist was given a grant to explore the causes of “global warming” (aka, climate change). When he returns to the government that funded him with his results, he has two options: to claim there is global warming and discuss causes/effects and what people can do to fix it; or, he can say there isn’t warming.

(Before we go further, this discussion isn’t about global warming, and we can use a plethora of examples the same. What it comes down to is the result of each claim, and how it affects the giver of the claim.)

If our scientist states there is nothing wrong, why would the government give him more money to explore anything further – there is nothing to explore. If he states there is x, y, and z wrong, he can return for more money claiming more research needs to be done. Regardless of your opinion on climate change/global warming, I hope that you will be rational enough to agree that the scientist has something to gain by stating there is a problem. He also has something to lose if there isn’t anything wrong… that potential loss is funding.

The same goes with many, many other situations in life. And the funding doesn’t have to necessarily be from the government – it can be from anywhere. All money is green, right?

The one I want to discuss today is political.

It has to do with Gay Rights Activists, and some of the psychology behind this movement… and how it plays in to the above example. (And to be clear, this is not about gay people, but the activist movement.)

I have always been of the opinion the government should not – in any way – be involved in my marriage, your marriage, Chris and Christina’s marriage, Chris and Chris’s marriage, or Christina and Christina’s marriage. Take your marriage tax credit and go home, Mr. IRS Man. Abolish my SSA account, Mr. Government Bureaucrat. If it means the government gets out of the picture with regards to what should be a private choice, take everything you have to persuade me the government “needs” to be involved and send it packing.

It should be up to me, my partner, my religious leader, and the God I understand to be true. Same goes for everybody else.

You would think the LGBT/Gay Rights movement would feel the same. “Get out and stay out of my room,” they chant.

Well, that’s until the government actually gets out of the room.

You see, in Oklahoma, the state legislature has done exactly that (here, here, and here).

They have said, “Hey, it’s up to the clergy – peace out.” Albeit because the legislature believes the federal government overstepped their boundaries by undoing the ban on gay marriage in the state, the fact remains. The government removed itself from the process of marriage.

In my mind, it’s a win win. Those opposed to gay marriage don’t have to pay taxes to a government that supports it, and those who support it only need to find someone to perform the ceremony. If you don’t like how your clergy operates, tithe somewhere else.

Government out, liberty in!

But noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Apparently, that is just not good enough for the activist. That you can get married as a gay couple in Oklahoma is just not good enough (here and here).

You see, they don’t want negative action in the definitive sense (here and here). They want positive affirmation. It’s not only about their ability to do it, it is also about you saying it’s okay.

Further, and referring back to the scientist example, what ever would the Oklahoma Activist do if they win (and I understand it’s by default to an extent) their biggest fight. They don’t have anything to fight over. If they don’t have anything to fight over, they have nothing to fund raise for. If they don’t have anything to fund raise for, they have no funding.

And if you don’t think the Gay Rights movement is a cash cow, you are sorely mistaken. Just this past December, in Fayetteville, AR, population less than 80,000 (here), the Human Rights Council spent $200,000 to fight against the repeal of the SOGI Ordinance (here and here). A small town and a small issue when comparing SOGI to the marriage issue.

Not only are the activists out in full force, but Democrat law makers in the state are worried this could bring up issues regarding polygamy (linked above). This made me laugh – another liberal logic moment. “I want my way, but you can’t have your way.” If gay marriage is okay, and straight marriage is okay, why is not plural marriage okay? I’m sooooooo confused.

It’s kind of like the NAACP being upset over the preferential treatment of Hispanics (here, here, and here)! “Colored” people seeking to advance “colored” people… unless your color is brown? Again, confused.

Sorry for getting off topic.

Here’s the point: unless we do exactly what we are told and in the manner we are told to do it, we lose. There is no compromising. There is no tolerance. There is only extremism.

Even when that extremism gets what they want, they are going to find a new way to keep the fight going, to take more ground.

And when money is involved, you can bet your bottom dollar they will find a way to make climate change/gay rights/race and issue.

Just ask Al Sharpton.

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City Council, politically correct hypocricy, and the truth about who we are

I recently had the opportunity to learn a pretty interesting lesson on the history of Springfield. In a News-Leader article published of late, there was an in depth look at the industrial history of Springfield. In it, there were many facets of our economy and its past the article covered. At the same time, there were a few things missing that I’m sure the News-Leader simply “forgot” to include, and because of that omission I was left bewildered and confused.

Around the same time the article was printed for the Springfield community, Springfield City Councilman Jeff Seifried tendered his resignation as the public voice for Northwest Springfield. Now, how do these two events go together? Here’s how….

In the News-Leader article, we learned how competition, low costs for doing business, and a generally appealing economic climate was attributed to much of the economy that built contemporary Springfield. What was missing you ask? I didn’t note anything about the businesses that came here to allow Springfield to flourish do so because of diversity, SOGI ordinances, race relations, or any other politically correct legislation or “feeling” in the community. To this day, when I talk to business owners (which is often), their primary concern isn’t whether or not there are enough minorities on the police force or whether the LGBT community “feels” good about how they are treated. They seem to still be concerned about their bottom line; after all, isn’t that why people go in to business… money? And to be clear, I don’t blame them – good for them.

But back to my bewilderment… and thank goodness for Ozarks First! You see, they got it right (well, almost) with their article Courageous Conversation: Race Relations in Springfield. After this article, I lost all confusion. I was reassured that in order to be enlightened Springfieldians, we have to realize “how white we are” and only see the community through the color of skin.

You ask, “What do you mean by reassured?” If you listened to our City Council and several other leaders in the past several years, you would think that we are racist and intolerant, and if we ever want to grow our economy we need more taxes, diversity legislation, and the citizens in general need to quit being racist and bigoted.

It’s funny to even write that – because from my view the very people preaching this are ones who, from what I can see, are doing the very same thing they preach against.

You see, in the past 15 years there have been four City Council elections for Northwest Springfield. Of those four elections, and in this one particular district, there has only been one in which there was a candidate running without opposition. Of those same four elections, the only time this particular district has chose to elect a white person was in that same election where there was no other choice. Every time there was a choice, a minority was elected (a black man two times and a Mexican once) over a white man.

Further, when there was the opportunity for city council to show their own ability to be “diverse” and appoint a minority to council (due to the resignation of various councilmen), they went ahead with a Caucasian.

To be clear in what I’m going to say next, I want to ensure you know I’m using their logic.

I bring this topic up now because yet another councilman has resigned… that one white guy for that one district who has a tendency to elect minorities when given the option.

This leaves Springfield City Council the duty of vetting applicants and appointing one of them to fill the council vacancy.

From what I understand, there is a black man that is going to submit his application (as he has previously done) for the position. Never mind that he is a retired Army veteran; never mind that he is an educator whose biggest concern is our children; never mind the fact that he has a fairly good grasp on local politics. He’s black, so I encourage the same council that preaches diversity to show how diverse they are. Appoint the black man!

(On a side note, I may know they guy, but I’m not a fan of his politics… just wanting to be clear this is not me advocating his policies.)

In all seriousness, it is this type of distorted reality that I can’t seem to grasp in order to bring myself to understand liberal logic. In the end, will they appoint the minority? Who knows. Do I think if they don’t it’s because they are racist? No. It’s going to be because they decide he probably isn’t the best for the job. However, if a small or big business owner or a voting citizen hires or elects somebody for the “content of their character”, they are racist, or sexist, or xenophobes if it’s not the minority. Funny how liberal elected officials get a pass… and the media won’t blink – promise.

I suppose I just don’t get it. Maybe one day I’ll be informed and enlightened enough that I do. Until then, I’ll continue to believe that as a whole, Springfield is a community that is loving and embracing of all “groups” regardless of what I’m told by a vocal minority who happens to have a microphone by way of a podium or news outlet.

The Thinker’s Picks for Election Day

Here are my thoughts on the Amendments we will see on Tuesday’s election ballot. I am only covering the Amendments given several factors, however I will say that generally speaking the Republicans in the area have done better at representing us than Democrats – but that’s all I have to say about that.

Here goes:

Amendment 2: I struggle with this one, but come down on the side of voting no. Basically what this Amendment will do is allow courts to consider previous charges of those who are on trial for sexual crimes. Now, on it’s face it is something I agree with – the fact is that sexual predators tend to repeat crimes and tend to have a pattern. However, the first issue I see is that the previous charge that can be considered doesn’t have to be one that the defendant was actually found guilty of… it can be a charge he was found not guilty of or even a charge that was dropped. I get that the guilty can get away with crimes, especially sex crimes. However, I can’t bring myself to the point that my conscience allows me to okay somebody being judged by a jury or judge for a crime he wasn’t found guilty of – that’s a real reach for me and I’m not okay with it. Further – sex crimes are what is at hand right now. However, I always ask myself, “will this be it?” The biggest concern I have is that in five years we will have lawmakers and activists try and do this same thing for other, less nefarious crimes, and say, “Well, we did it for sexual predators, why not do it for [drug dealers, those who assault others, thieves, etc.].” I will openly say I’m an advocate for avoiding the slippery slope. Now, I’ll say ahead of time, I’m sure this issue will win handily because of the emotion attached to it, but I do hope that those who read this will at least give my point of view reasonable consideration.

Amendment 3: I’ll be straight that in a situation where employees are going to be judged on merit, we need to vote for just that. Voting yes on Amendment 3 will do that. It will place teachers in the same boat as most of the rest of the non-union world; a boat where you keep your job and get promoted based on performance. It will put in place specific reasons they can be terminated (for failure to produce good results, basically). And it will disallow teachers to change this law through collective bargaining with their union. The fact is that if we don’t make clear our children are the priority, teacher unions will continue to think they have the upper hand with our children. These same unions often think as Al Shanker does; Shanker was a longtime president of the second largest teachers union in the nation. Along with openly admitting many teachers are highly underqualified, he was once quoted as saying the following: “When schoolchildren start paying their union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of the schoolchildren.” I am passionate, yes, but time and again we can find issue and example – one after another – of reasons our schools are failing to actually teach our kids. This is a vote in which we can say, “Yes”, teach our kids. Again, I believethis is going to fail – after all, the teachers unions are some of the most powerful unions in the nation, and they are opposed to this idea. But one can hope, no?

Amendment 6: Take note, my friends, because I agree with Democrat Sec. of State Jason Kander – vote no. We agree for different reasons, but none the less, we agree. Amendment 6 would allow early voting for no other reason than you want to. In my mind, not cool. It’s quite simple: with such mass amounts of voter fraud going on around the country (easily found all over the internet), the last thing we need is more ways to fraudulently vote. It’s that simple.

Amendment 10: On this Amendment I’m conflicted. This Amendment restricts what the Governor of Missouri can and can’t do with funds the legislature passes, limits his ability to spend money not yet authorized, and limits him from increasing or decreasing line item costs. I’m conflicted because I see two sides. I see the side that says Governor Nixon regularly withholds/threatens to withhold funds for education for political purposes. For that reason I would vote yes. However, I always look at the opposite – what happens if in the future the legislature tries to spend (let’s say) $387,000 on rabbit massages, and a future Governor wants to withhold those funds… for that reason I would vote no. What I think is that each person needs to do their own research (here and here) on this particular Amendment and make their own decision. However, I would personally vote no simply because a yes vote would be due to Jay Nixon – a particular individual – and not the concept itself.

And those, my friends, are the Thinker’s picks for November 4th.

Did I call it or did I call it?

Not too long ago I wrote about doing history homework with my daughter. I went over what a refreshing experience it was. It’s easy to forget factual history when we are so often consumed with political rhetoric that, in order for certain narratives to make sense, history itself has to be rewritten.

In that particular blog I made the following prediction: “We have an election coming up in November. We can count on issues such as Michael Brown’s death at the hands of a police officer or other racially-driven issues concocted by the left being a part of the election. That being the case, we need to arm ourselves with the facts that help debunk the myths that so many are taught to accept as common knowledge in society. Learn; understand; share.”

With the mid-term national elections just a few days away, the prediction I made in August has borne fruit. What I find most interesting is the two more obvious and blatant race-baiting ads are being run in races which the Democrats are in extremely tight races and ones where incumbent liberals in panic mode because of recent polls.

It’s sad to see it has once again come to this… to watch what happens when even the most powerful people in Washington panic.

In Louisiana, Democrat Senator Mary Landrieu seems to disregard the fact that the current Governor is Indian and the previous Governor is a woman. What am I talking about? Well, in a recent interview she stated that if she loses her Senate race, it’s because her constituents are racist and sexist. Wow! Really? It couldn’t possibly be due to the fact that  since her party has been in control of the Senate and White House America has left men to die on the battlefield, our government has spied on everyday citizens in the name of security, and America has become weakened in the eyes of the international community due to non-existent red lines and weak-kneed approaches to brutal Islamo-Extremists. Nope, her poor polling is all because of the backwoods citizens she represents.

Don’t let yourself be fooled by thinking the accusations of racism are isolated in the Mid-South. North Carolona Democrat Senator Kay Hagen has a support ad making national headlines. Apparently, her opponent – who has nothing to do with Florida – had something to do with the shooting death of Treyvon Martin in Florida. You remember, Martin was the kid who was pummeling Jorge Zimmerman up and until Zimmerman took action, defended himself, and shot and killed his attacker. Additionally, the ad goes on to inadvertently state that if you are not white, you are unable to vote on time: “Instead, [Thom Tillis] made it harder for communities of color to vote, by restricting early voting and voter registration.” To begin, I’ll never understand why it is the black community continues to feed into the idea that the color of their skin somehow affects their ability to vote on time, get a picture I.D., or any other number of things that – as a minority myself – I find extremely offensive. While the Hagan/Tillis race is very close and right now in the Democrat’s favor, she hasn’t had the type of run you would expect an incumbent to have. Apparently scandals such as the IRS targeting private citizens for their political choices and government gun-running that has taken the lives of America’s guardians has taken a bit of a toll, and standard protocol for liberals in this situation is to throw out the race card.

I said it in August and I’ll say it now – liberals love the race card and they’ll use it at every turn. Nevermind we have elected and re-elected “our first black President”; nevermind the only white male (John Kerry) who has been Secretary of State in 14 years was appointed by President Obama. Nevermind the progress we have made as a nation in race relations. If it means winning an election, those lefties will use race quicker than the blink of an eye.

Now, did I call it or did I call it?

Sexual Deviants, Transgenders, Women’s Restrooms and the Media

One of the big issues with the Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity Bill being discussed in Springfield right now is the ability for men to use women’s restrooms. This has caused quite a stir and the media is giving much attention to the topic. In a recent KY3 interview, Mike Landis asked Springfield Citizens United spokesman Calvin Morrow to list any situations he knew of in which transgender men entered women’s restrooms for nefarious purposes. Mr. Morrow couldn’t list any off the top of his head, and Landis was sure to report that.

In response to that report, I emailed the following to more than 20 media outlets (including Mike Landis) this morning. We’ll see how well they ignore it… after all, they have their narrative and bias and that’s how they “roll”.

Anyhow – here it is:

Mike Landis Asks, Mike Landis Gets

In a recent story by KY3, Mike Landis asked Springfield Citizens United spokesman Calvin Morrow about examples of sexual deviants using transgender restroom laws insincerely and as a tool to prey. Spokesman Calvin Morrow didn’t have any examples off hand.

In response to that article, I thought I would share with you what I have found in about an hour of research since reading the article. 

It is my sincere hope that KY3 and Landis will be willing to publicly discuss these examples on account of the fact they asked for them. 
Here goes:
  1. March 2014, Toronto: A man claiming to be a woman is jailed after gaining access to a women’s shelter and prey on two women. 
  2. September 2006, Sydney: Government officials are made aware of a male sexual predator posing as a female to be imprisoned with women. He subsequently assaulted and impregnated at least one female inmate. Speaking of – has Sheriff Arnott been asked about how he feels knowing that if passed as/is, the potential for “inter-mingling” inmates?
  3. March 2012, Dallas: Paul Witherspoon, a registered sex offender, is ticketed for using a women’s restroom after becoming “Paula”, a transgender.
  4. 2010 and 2012, British Columbia: Being accused of sexually assaulting 60 girls, convicted felon and repeat sex offender Matthew Harks becomes a transgender in prison. If the SOGI Law is passed in Springfield, Mr/Ms Harks would not be prohibited from using a women’s restroom.
  5. April 2014, San Fransisco: Women’s Rights, Transgender Rights, Twitter engineer and transgender, Dana McCallum is charged with five felonies that include rape, false imprisonment, and is also charged with domestic violence.
  6. September 2013, Oklahoma City: Christopher T. Gard waits inside a women’s restroom until a young girl comes inside, he locks the door, and while the girls hear her screams while she is held at gunpoint and choked. Gard was wearing only a pair of women’s panties.
  7. August 2013, Marion County, AR: Sexual predator Carl Dahn is arrested after being dressed in women’s clothing and sexually soliciting himself to what he thought was an underage girl, but was instead an undercover police officer.
  8. May 2013, Detroit: Transgender Sean Gossman is charged with child pornography after federal police uncovered a thumb drive linked to him with incriminating evidence. 
While only some of the stories actually portray examples relating to Mike’s question, it would disingenuous to say that the other stories could not be inductively attached to the Springfield SOGI Bill. That is why I listed them. 
Alright, I’m a little tired so I’m going to wrap up. However, before I do, I have one more link. It has many of the same stories and more. It is a list of stories that should be discussed in the media given the “bathroom concern” is the talk of the town. 
Have a good one!
—-
Update: I found a new article. In May 2013, Palmdale, CA, a cross-dressing man was caught video taping women in a Macy’s dressing room.

August 5th Primary Election – Picks from the SW MO Thinker

I just thought that I would share my thoughts on Tuesday’s election and how I hope the results turn out. This is for the Greene County Missouri primary election.

Here goes:

Amendment 5: Yes. This is an amendment to the Missouri Constitution installing an “unalienable” right to keep and bear arms in the state constitution. While this will not necessarily create any new laws allowing more of a right than we already have, it will make legally challenging laws pertaining to this issue more difficult to defend – making our rights more secure. That, along with Rep. Eric Burlison’s endorsement, is enough for me.

Amendment 7: No. This is a “temporary” increase in state taxes to help with the Job Creation Fund and also transportation projects. First, I’m taxed enough. Second, taxes are rarely temporary with the government. Last, government doesn’t create jobs.

Amendment 8: No. While this is an amendment intended to create a Missouri Lottery ticket to help finance the Missouri Veterans Commission (helping with capital improvements for veterans), I can’t in good conscience promote state-sanctioned gambling. Further, I can’t allow the emotional response of wanting to help veterans get in the way of realizing that monies from the MO Vets Commission is regularly allocated in ways that are not in keeping with what we are told they are used for.

Amendment 9: Yes. This is a vote on whether or not the citizens should be secure in their electronic data by unreasonable searches and seizures.  In the end, this is just an addition to the 4th Amendment of the US Constitution. We are secured by the Bill of Rights in unreasonable searches and seizures in our “persons, houses, papers, and effects” – this just puts our electronics under the same concept of protection. For a good explanation, listen to this 10 minute podcast. The interviewee, Darin Chappell, is a former MSU political science professor and is currently the City Manager for Bolivar.

Greene County Presiding Commissioner: Steve Helms. I know Helms – I call him a friend. Cirtin and Fenstermaker are also both men I know and are good guys. However, the fact is that all three are campaigning as Constitutional and fiscal conservatives – Helms is the only one that will stick by that campaign pledge after Tuesday and by those principles while in office.

For Ellison and Lawless, I know both of them well enough to stop and ask how they are if I see them at the store. They are both conservatives and would both do good jobs; if I had to pick, however, I would pick Ellison. He has more experience in the field of working with government officials and other organizations in the community.

The other names that I support are ones that don’t have opposition (Schoeller, Haahr, Burlison, Hough).

Amendment 1(Right to Farm) is one I’m working on learning about, but at this time is a little foreign to me – I’ll try and get back to this post with my thoughts by Monday night.

Those are my picks – do with them what you will.

An Endorsement for Consistency

As the nation comes close to elections for House Representatives and one-third of the American Senate, individual communities are also preparing for local and state elections. It’s interesting to watch the local elections more so than national ones in many cases, and this because these candidates are right down the street from us and walk the same stores we walk. In the same mind frame, those who pay attention to local government can often recall events that have happened in the past with clarity; after all, those events were things that – again – happened in their back yard.

Being from Springfield, MO, and Springfield being in Greene County, one of the bigger elections happening right now is for the Greene County Presiding Commissioner. The primary is just weeks away, and the spotlight is on the Republican candidates: Bob Cirtin, Jerry Fenstermaker, and Steve Helms. For a recent article published by the Springfield News-Leader, the three were interviewed and discussed taxes and revenues. It was very telling in that we see how even local politicians take the national tactics of evading a direct question and bringing their response to a pre-scripted answer that most suits their past and current positions, and at the same time gives leeway to future decisions that may or may not be already decided.

In this instance, the first question was, “Would you support a new tax to help fund county operations? What kind?”

Candidate Bob Cirtin outright stated “no”, and went on to discuss his understanding of the need to bring new business to the county and that through discussions with the local Chamber of Commerce he understands that any new revenues need to come from “increased sales and property tax revenue.” This is rather interesting given that the local Chamber of Commerce is well-known for supporting any and all tax increases in the community. It is also interesting this philosophical round-about, given Cirtin’s run for this seat began immediately after the current Presiding Commissioner Jim Viebrock opposed a tax that officials claimed was going to support law-enforcement. What is more interesting is that Cirtin’s Deputy Treasurer is Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott, an ardent supporter of the same tax Viebrock opposed. A bit confusing, until we remember the fact that this is a primary election at this point and Greene County is typically a conservative community. If we remember these two facts, it becomes more clear what is going on.

Next was the response by Jerry Fenstermaker. His response was that he would not support a tax at this time. He further stated that until “new leadership has done a thorough review of finances and explain to the public what the choices are for the next three years to become fiscally sound, there is no chance for a favorable vote.” At least we can rely on Mr. Fenstermaker to be more clear about his position, and while it is a bit misleading, it’s not near as much so as Mr. Cirtin’s. Looking back, Fenstermaker was the chairman of a Task Force (temporary committee) to decide what to do about the Springfield Police and Fire Pension crisis. In the end, and after “explaining to the public what the choices” were (which amounted to a campaign all about how the city would go bankrupt without a new sales tax), with his support, Fenstermaker’s task force won the fight and a new sales tax was implemented. If we look back to when he supported a new tax, we can also see this was at the height of the Great Recession and the economic downturn our nation was going through (begging the question of when he would actually oppose a tax). We can also note that Mr. Fenstermaker didn’t say that he opposed a tax, but that he opposed blindly asking voters to approve such a tax. First, he believes, we need to be “re-educated”.

The last response in the article was given by Steve Helms. Along with his clear “no” answer, he reiterated his pledge to “not raise county tax rates if elected.” Helms has a long history of consistency on this issue as well. In situations where people like Cirtin and Arnott form alliances, Helms stands resolute in his philosophy: “Greene County Circuit Clerk Steve Helms, who also opposed sending the tax to voters, cited “pathetic” turnout and voter apathy for the sales tax success Tuesday.” While this comment was made about another, previous tax issue, it is a reflection of the consistent approach Helms has towards the bigger question: Should government turn to voters for tax increases at every hint of a financial problem? Even when it isn’t the popular opinion, Helms has consistency. A fine trait to have when the microscope is in use.

It is clear that candidates are typically in favor of pandering to the mass of their potential constituency. That is what we have here with two of the three candidates – but at least there is a diamond in the primary rough. While this may sound like of an endorsement of Helms, it should be more so considered an endorsement of consistency. That is what voters want, and that is what voters deserve.