Decisions, statements and events that make you shake your head

The majority of people in this country, and nearly all the politicians, I think have completely lost their minds.

I sit each night in the recliner and watch the television news and often shake my head at what I’m hearing and seeing: murders, rapes, nuclear threats, political candidates talking about legitimate rape, and a Kansas Congressman skinny dipping in the Sea of Galilee.

Throughout the day, I read news articles and opinion pieces published on the Internet by The Associated Press, Washington Post, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, CNN and FOX among several others. There are times when I shake my head, times when I get angry, times when I’m confused, and more-often-than-not simply wonder what the hell people, especially politicians, are thinking when they make certain accusations or decisions.

Kelsey’s Law, which went into effect at midnight, Tuesday, Aug. 28, in Missouri, enables law enforcement to seek and get information about the whereabouts of someone from cell phone providers in the case of an emergency. Kansas was the first of eight states that now have the law named for Overland Park teenager Kelsey Smith. Her body was found four days after she was kidnapped in June 2007. Because of privacy issues, her cell phone provider was hesitant to provide investigators with the information they needed to help find her.

It’s a good law, and although emergency communication operators support the law, Missouri lawyer, Craig Heidemann, Bolivar, filed a lawsuit Monday to challenge Kelsey’s Law claiming it conflicts with federal protections by not allowing cell phone providers a choice to decide if a real emergency exists before handing over the information to police. His suit also alleges that the law eliminates a customer’s ability to sue a provider that gives out private information in “bad faith.”

After shaking my head, I wondered how many lawsuits Heidemann has filed in his career.

Then there’s the Hispanic takeover of this country by illegal immigrants that flood into this country and our politicians let ’em come! And when a state initiates legal steps to not only stop the influx of Mexicans but add teeth to deportation laws of illegals, then President Obama’s administration files suit to stop it. And then he goes even further and by wanting to allow illegals amnesty via their children born in this country so they can go to school and pursue a better life.

Personally, I’m tired of feeling like I’m in a foreign country when I go to the grocery store or a drive-thru fast-food joint. Seems like I hear more people speaking Spanish than English. The other day on a regular television station I watched a commercial for a Spanish-speaking program that’s shown on the Telemundo channel (like I’m going to watch that!). It irritates me when I have to hunt to find the English version of instructions when I purchase something. I don’t like driving down the street and seeing store-front signs in Spanish instead of English. I’m fed up with taxpayer dollars being used to pay for the health care of illegal immigrants, which leads to higher health care insurance premiums.

And then there’s the GOP political platform. They don’t want a stimulus because they say it didn’t work, but Republicans in Congress certainly lobbied for a share of stimulus money to help put people back to work in the states they represent.

Can you say hypocrites?

To create jobs, they don’t want the rich to pay more in taxes, they want to give the rich even more tax breaks, which, they say, will trickle down into job creation for the middle class.

Seems like we’ve heard that before! I say tax the rich more and tax the middle class less.

They want marriage between one man and one woman made into a constitutional amendment; they want all registered voters to provide photo identification before they can vote; they want to overhaul Medicaid and Medicare making people pay more, turning it into a voucher-type system, and increasing the age requirement before people can apply; and they don’t want any abortion — no way, no how, and for no reason — period.

I don’t agree with the homosexual lifestyle, I don’t understand the homosexual lifestyle. But I’m not homophobic and it doesn’t matter to me if two people of the same sex fall in love and want to get married. Or if a man wants to have more than one wife (as long as they all know about each other), that doesn’t bother me, either. And it shouldn’t be the concern of any government — federal or local.

Requiring a photo ID before voting doesn’t bother me. I don’t think it’s needed, but it doesn’t irk me to show my driver’s license. But a driver’s license can be faked just like any other form of ID and I’ve yet to see articles of widespread voter fraud as perpetuated by people such as Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security? Fact is, they used to work fine, seemed to have plenty of funding until Congress years ago began “borrowing” money from their slice of the financial pie. (It’s kind of like Kansas has done the past few years with its transportation funding.) Congress kept borrowing and never paid the money back and now they are in a financial mess. To privatize and/or create voucher systems would be a disaster. Raising the age requirements I can understand but would rather see Congress put a limit on who can and who can’t draw Social Security or take advantage of Medicaid and Medicare. Do people earning $200,000 or more a year really need those services? By not taking advantage of the system, that could be their way of “giving back” to the country that allowed them to make so much money.

Then there is abortion. I’m against it and believe in adoption over abortion. But I would not, and it is difficult for me to think that anyone or any government would force a woman to give birth to a child conceived by the horrific and violent crime of rape or incest; that it would not allow a family to make a personal decision when the life of the mother is at stake. I also think it would be a mistake to replace family planning programs for teens in school with the GOP platform’s “abstinence education, which teaches abstinence until marriage as the responsible and respected standard of behavior.” Statistics prove that teen pregnancies have been reduced dramatically since sex education began in public schools.

I’m thinking that the GOP shouldn’t try to fix something that’s not broke.

The GOP platform also wants to increase the exploration and development of the Outer Continental Shelf and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline; wants Congress to prohibit the EPA from moving forward with new greenhouse gas regulations it says will harm the nation’s economy and threaten millions of jobs over the next quarter century; and supports new coal-fired plants that will be low-cost, environmentally responsible and efficient. The GOP doesn’t like the Environmental Protection Agency and wants its power diminished, or even better, wants the agency dissolved.

Fact is, we are killing ourselves and our future as a species of this planet with the way we cut, drill, mine and burn the fuels we need for energy. Global warming is real, we are the cause of it, and the GOP platform does nothing to stop it, but unbelievably would add to and increase the rate of global warming. The Arctic this week set a record for melting ice. Satellite photos over the years show dramatic melting of centuries-old glaciers around the world. And if that’s not enough proof for the GOP, then consider the conclusion of even long-time, global-warming skeptic Richard Muller, a professor at University of California-Berkeley.

He wrote in the New York Times:

“Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.

“My total turnaround, in such a short time, is the result of careful and objective analysis by the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, which I founded with my daughter Elizabeth. Our results show that the average temperature of the earth’s land has risen by two and a half degrees Fahrenheit over the past 250 years, including an increase of one and a half degrees over the most recent 50 years. Moreover, it appears likely that essentially all of this increase results from the human emission of greenhouse gases.”

When it comes to defense, the GOP calls itself “the party of peace through strength” and supports the concept of American exceptionalism — “the conviction that our country holds a unique place and role in human history.” It criticizes the current administration for its weak positions toward such countries as North Korea, China and Iran and its reductions in military spending. The Republican national military strategy “restores as a principal objective the deterrence using the full spectrum of our military capabilities.”

GOP leaders seem to forget that it was a Republican president who had Osama bin Laden on the run and in this country’s military sites. He then ordered U.S. troops to stand down to allow Pakistani soldiers to capture him. He escaped and it was under a Democratic president’ watch that bin Laden was found and killed — in Pakistan. And Obama might not be handling Iran, China and North Korea the way everyone wants him to, but while North Korea flagrantly tested missiles and nuclear bombs and Iran was knowingly developing nuclear capabilities, it was a Republican president who did nothing and instead ordered the invasion of Iraq in search of fictitious weapons of mass destruction.

I agree that we need to develop the strongest defense possible. But I don’t think there is any way to stop any country from developing nuclear capabilities if that is their intent no matter who is president.

It’s amazing to me how people can come up with some of this stuff. It’s even more amazing to me how many people actually believe it — faithfully. We just never seem to learn from the disastrous decisions we make. And one of these days, I’m afraid, Mother Nature will make a decision for us that we are not going to like.

Excuse me while I shake my head!

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