Category Archives: National

I Flip-Flopped on the Death Penalty

I used to be a zealous advocate for the death penalty. An eye for an eye! Justice must be served! But in recent years I’ve teetered on the fence of unsurity. After covering some death penalty cases for various news sources, I hereby rescind my advocacy for said punishment.

My opposition doesn’t come from the idea that you can’t be ‘pro-life’ and ‘pro-death penalty.’ (You can do whatever you want and a lot of people are both.) Nor is it about the ‘humanity’ of it. And I certainly don’t care what ‘other countries’ or the UN have to say about it. It really isn’t even about the mental health component, because, while I find the idea of the State determining what mental capacity is acceptable for various punishments, fixing that wouldn’t really fix the overarching problem:cHOP

The fact that we cannot serve justice in a broken legal system and that the lies they tell you about saving money when someone is put to death are false.

It doesn’t take much more than a traffic ticket to reveal the real flaws of our legal system. Even for those crimes not on the list of ‘punishable by death’ show us often a sentence that has been overturned, or a case thrown out because of ‘new evidence,’ or an oversight during an investigation. Sure, it’s the big cases that hit the news circuits where a man is freed from prison after serving some 36 years…wrongfully. Is 29 years “better” than 36? We know it happens more than we would like to admit. We feel bad for the victim of a wrongful conviction but then carry on and go back to soccer practice and Facebook. It’s almost as if society is afraid to acknowledge its flaws. ::gasp::

Statistics show the following:

  • 144 people on death row have been exonerated since 1973 when the death penalty was reinstated. (Here is the list)
  • We know of at least 10 cases where someone was wrongfully executed.
  • It costs $90,000 more PER YEAR to house a death row prisoner, compared to ‘general confinement.’
  • Forbes points out that it can be 10x more expensive to kill an inmate than to keep them alive and attorneys on both sides spend roughly 44x more time on death penalty appeal cases than life sentence appeal cases.
  • Because of the lengthy appeals process that can take decades to settle, states can spend upward of $184 million PER YEAR in death penalty appeals cases.
  • The Idaho legislative Capital Punishment study committee put together a lovely report on the actual costs.

A Georgia man was recently executed because he shot a Laurens County Sheriff’s deputy 9 times and it was recorded on a dash cam. The defendant didn’t deny doing so either. This is certainly a ‘slam dunk,’ if you will, but at what cost? At the cost of potentially taking the life of a man or woman who was not guilty.  And a VERY high cost when we aren’t always ‘sure.’ 144 people on death row wrongfully in 42 years doesn’t seem like that high of a number. Unfortunately 1 is far too many.

So I suppose I am unsure if I am actually against the death penalty, but under our flawed legal system, I simply cannot support it.

The Value in Legislating a Life

A lot of folks have probably seen it by now…the articles detailing the tragic fate of a newlywed 29-year-old who’s currently battling stage 4 of an aggressive brain cancer and has limited time left to live. She posted a video explaining why, on November 1 of this year, she will end her own life using medicine prescribed by a doctor, effectively giving her a peaceful and painless exit of this life. Her other option is to endure what could be months of tragic pain and suffering  and in her words, ‘dignity is less terrifying’.

Who could blame her? Not a single soul will admit that they ever want to see a loved one suffer and end-of-life care is generally hardest on surrounding family members and caregivers. She and her family moved to Oregon at the beginning of the year because Oregon is the only state currently with a ‘Death with Dignity Act’, allowing assisted suicide.

I’m not sure if it’s the graceful photos of her on her wedding day in a beautiful dress with her new husband, the glimpses of what her happy life should look like, or if it’s the tone of her message but the story seems to be resonating with folks across political spectrums and into all walks of life.

Studies, polls, and conversation alike will show that many Americans are still wary of assisted suicide, but more willing than you would think. After all, it’s only legal in FOUR state in the United States and the circumstantial laws are so strict that in states like Oregon, only 750 people have ‘used’ the method (since 1997) as a means of ending their own life. As a society, we grieve for those who fall victim to suicide but we also condemn it. (By this, I mean we condemn the act to those before suffering. We are brought up to reach out to those in pain, but that is because it is viewed as wrong.) The taking of one’s own life in most faithful circles is sin, and we’ve seen a tremendous resistance to removing conventional, faith-based societal norms in exchange for more tolerance and acceptance in culture today.

So why are people not completely appalled by this idea this time around?  Some say it’s based on how it’s described. Are they so numb to the concept as a whole that they don’t see it for what it is? Are people accepting of it ‘just this once’? Or has the sensitivity, the pain in the tone of the story and the humanity of it all brought about a different perspective? And where does humanity take us in legislating morality, because this is a moral debate.

I think we already know…

Why the Christian Right is Wrong on Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty

Before anyone strokes out, let’s preface with this: While I struggle with how to classify religious liberty – Is it a social issue? Is it a fundamental issue? A Constitutional one? Simply something we will forever fight as the culture of society changes? – I do support religious liberty.

For the sake of ease of understanding and frame of reference, let’s consider a same-sex couple seeking to have a wedding/civil union/grand party – whatever the state allows – and they are seeking vendors for various services. They live in a moderately-sized city where there are multiple options for attire, cakes, DJ’s and venues.

We have to first consider a premise that most conservatives, but not all Republicans, would agree with: Under no circumstance should any business be forced to do anything. Whether the mandate be for hours of operation, location, employee diversity or minimum wage, the government has no place. Who you serve, how you serve, when you serve is a slippery slope.

But that slope slides both ways (pun not intended). Religious liberty is a teetering topic just perched upon the peak of the mountain waiting for anyone to slip on a banana peel forcing an avalanche down either side. When a business starts refusing business to a certain type of people, folks immediately and unfortunately jump back to the pre-Civil Rights Movement days where we saw hatred oozing from segregated areas. On the other side, we have folks operating under a system of government that neither respects private enterprise or religion. At that point, what good are we?

But it isn’t the same. While religious freedom is our first and fundamental God-given right so sacred that it is enumerated in the Constitution, religious liberty goes a tad further. Religious liberty expands to freedom of belief through practice, not just observance. It goes beyond Christianity, and much to the chagrin of the Left, it also protects the atheists and the agnostic.

So back to our same-sex couple looking for vendors. The argument that a person shouldn’t want someone who doesn’t support what they’re doing to perform a service for them’ is one of the lousier arguments out there for any political argument. Please stop using it. No, of course no one wants to consider sabotage or hap-hazard work because of, in their case, their sexual orientation and that’s likely not going to be the what happens with a business owner. I don’t see a service provider jeopardizing their reputation of quality. Perhaps principle, but not quality of a product. So what is the real protection for those who feel religious liberty protections would only spread hatred and discrimination?

The market. The free market generally cleanses communities of these businesses as citizens see fit. Consider Melissa Klein, the New York baker who refused to make a cake for a gay couple and was subsequently forced to shut down her business over the controversy. The correct way for a business to be put out of business is through reduced patronage, not because the government has regulated it into oblivion and the pending legal costs from a civil suit tank the entire operation. We should pause when the federal standard is more protective of limiting government than that of Georgia (or any state). In Georgia, you can sue someone for not performing a service for you.

And in fixing it, one size doesn’t fit all. Look at the demographics just in our state. In Atlanta, we tend to be a little more tolerant. A business unwilling to serve a gay couple, for instance, would likely face substantial blow-back versus that in rural Georgia where citizens would probably pay for a one-way ticket out-of-town for a couple to be patrons elsewhere. Each community is different and blanket laws won’t solve what some would consider ‘morality issues’. And let’s be realistic: cultures vary. We support that with our “Not in our town!” mentality about everything. Why is this any different? Trying to legislate humans into being what some folks consider ‘good people’ is a recipe for failure. If a business is turning away revenue – there must be a substantial cause for that and who are we to decide if that cause is worthy or not?

While the Hobby Lobby case seems to be dominating the news market, there are many more cases like this popping up all around our state and nation. Our classrooms, our small business owners – they’re all wading through this muddied mess of law versus morality and while we’ve tried to fix it, we’re only making it worse.

So far, here’s where I think we’ve messed up:
Going back to our double-sided ski slope, we have to recognize that this is yet another issue where we are on the chopping block in the media and we likely won’t win. Having said that, we should still be sensitive to the tone and wording. ‘Religious freedom’ means something different to a lot of folks as opposed to ‘religious liberty’. Many see ‘freedom’ as ‘ability’ and ‘liberty’ as ‘protection’. We should acknowledge the distinction.

The conversation may not have started the properly. So much of legislation is first about teaching and educating. When we teach and educate, the conversation travels both ways and we ended up with better legislation. We’ve charged an issue literally clinging to our guns and our religion and it has fogged the entire debate. Hobby Lobby brought out some zealots and the media clung to them. We have to distance ourselves from Hobby Lobby and those zealots. Our argument needs to be crafted two-fold: First, that this isn’t just about Christians, it’s about all religions. We are here to protect the religious liberty of all. And second, this is about the role of government.

We also handed the note to the wrong carrier pigeon. This is where the Christian Right comes into play and can make a difference. My long-time establishment friends will be proud to hear me say this, but it seems like a more moderate person has to carry a bill and be the talking head. I commend those across various states who have put themselves in the line of fire because others are unwilling. It’s noble, but it may not be effective. It’s why Congressman Broun can’t carry the torch. Because this is about religion, but not one specific religion.

So to sum up:

  • Religious liberty at its core is about limited government.
  • The current messengers for religious liberty may not be the right ones at this time.
  • The term ‘religious freedom’ could be damaging to the cause because again, people don’t understand.
  • We’re living in an era where the ‘general public’ might not understand what the end goal is so the first step is conversation, not legislation. You can’t drop a knowledge bomb on someone without first offering a firm definition of what is to be done.

As for the couple looking for vendors, if they want to limit the role of the state for issues like, oh say, marriage, they must understand that government should also be limited elsewhere.

Everything You Think About Conservative Millennials Is Wrong


millenial cat


  1. a person reaching young adulthood around the year 2000; a Generation Yer.
    “the industry brims with theories on what makes millennials tick”
Unless you live in the stone age, you probably hear this term daily, but the majority of people associate it with the lazy working class of twenty-somethings who likely have no direction in life and whom also lack respect for anyone who would identify as a baby boomer. Don’t lie. You know that’s how you think of them us. Those kids you don’t want on your lawn.
But they we are an integral part of the political game. As cliché as it sounds, they we are the future and at some point, the baby boomers will have to stop shunning them us. We see the world differently, but somewhere in the mix of labeling and the desire to be right because you’re older, you stopped listening and wrote us off as “not conservative enough”.

Allow me to offer a few examples.

Last week, I attended a Peach Pundit Immigration forum where the diverse panel actually included ‘one of us’. Chairman of the Georgia College Republicans, Will Kremer, made a point that resonated with me immensely. “When you talk about immigration reform, and you refer to these people as ‘invaders’, it turns us off. We grew up with these people, we went to school with them.”
It’s true. Right, wrong or indifferent, current protocol puts these children, sometimes anchor babies, in school with us millennials and so we don’t see them or their families as the delinquents society is painting them to be. We see them as humans first. It doesn’t mean we don’t want tighter immigration policy, that we don’t want to secure the border or enforce the laws on the books. Maybe our view could open your mind a little bit when it comes to discussion because we see it differently.

Next, consider gay marriage. I challenge you to find one millennial -liberal, conservative, libertarian or independent who lists gay marriage as their number one issue. I would put money on the fact that it isn’t even in the top 5. You think it’s the demise of our country, we care about our national debt, the student loan crisis and whether or not we will have a job post-college/grad school. We may have our personal views on it, but it’s not what’s driving us to the polls.millennials_and_cause_infographic
Also, we don’t see the over-criminalization of drugs as an abuse of power because we are all a bunch of pot heads. We see it for what it is: a pathway of destroying lives of youthful and first time offenders who will likely never “re-offend.” This has become a taboo talking point. Stop shutting us down as druggie good-for-nothings because we don’t think a marijuana offense should ruin a career path. We just see it differently.
Finally, we don’t really like war. Not because we don’t want the strongest military in the world or we’re any less patriotic, but because as a nation, we choose poorly and you’re going to die and we will have to pay for it. And much to your denial, we are pro-life.

I’m not saying that millennials are right about everything. Most of us know we still have a lot to learn. But our hearts and minds are still open so we see things differently. We grew up differently. We have a different level of compassion and we have different reasons for supporting candidates. We tend to pick issues over party affiliation, but only because you’re alienating us. We aren’t going anywhere, I promise, so we at least deserve a seat at the table.

3 Deaf Mice: Obama, the Court of Appeals & Local Law Enforcement

yes we scan

In the wake of the Court of Appeals decision which ruled that surveillance on wireless service such as a cell phones and other mobile devices required a warrant, specifically in cases where law enforcement agencies were tracking cell tower pings, there now seems to be even more to the story.

The Obama administration is advising local law enforcement agencies to keep everything on the hush hush regarding their surveillance equipment. Specifically, the administration has asked that details surrounding the functionality of the equipment remain “unknown” to the public. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that the new technology is fairly unknown and with that unknown comes the uncertainty of whether or not it violates some Constitutional rights. (You know, that pesky 4th amendment.)

“These extreme secrecy efforts are in relation to very controversial, local government surveillance practices using highly invasive technology,” said Nathan Freed Wessler, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, in a statement to the Associated Press. “If public participation means anything, people should have the facts about what the government is doing to them.” The ACLU is currently fighting for the release of such documents and has spearheaded efforts to put pressure on Congress to rein in unconstitutional surveillance practices.

What many may find even more disturbing is the idea that the producers of such surveillance equipment designed this technology with secrecy clauses in regards to the FEC and have required local agencies to operate the equipment in cooperation with the FBI.

Is your tin foil hat buzzing just a little at this point?!

The FBI states that information cannot be shared because if it were, ‘they’ would no longer be able to “protect” us from terrorism. Yes. They really said that. Some states, such as Florida, have tried to trump the federal silencing through loose open-records laws, however, the U.S. Marshal’s Service confiscated the obtained documents.

So, to sum up…not only do we not know why or where such devices are being used, we don’t even know how the equipment that has been designed secretly and specifically to infringe upon our rights operates. We don’t know how much this equipment costs, we don’t know who all has them nor do we know with whom they are sharing information. And now we have an administration instructing local law enforcement agencies to “keep it that way”.

Are you worried yet?

Judges, Doctors Trumping Legal Contracts?

I will admit that sometimes I forget to keep up with news. Many days I rely solely on Facebook and Twitter for my ‘headlines’ and then go find out what’s going on. I don’t recommend this plan for information as you will generally miss out on many “non-trending” newsworthy items. So if, like me, you hadn’t been closely following the Jahi McMath case, you likely haven’t mulled over the legal ramifications of what is actually happening in the case.

A quick overview of the Jahi McMath illustrates a truly devastating case of a 13-year old girl put under for basic removal of adenoids and tonsils. After surgery, she began bleeding and went into cardiac arrest. She was later declared “brain-dead” by two physicians and one court-ordered physician (where this court-ordered physician came in, I’m still researching). Her heart and lungs continue to operate but she lacks brain activity. These functions are how cessation of life is determined and are also the cause of the conundrum in this case.

Little Jahi has been living (according to her family) in a ‘dead’ (according to medicine) state for 26 days (as of publishing). During a time when her family is not only grieving the damage to their daughter, they are amidst a legal battle which includes a restraining order [which is actually set to expire today at 5pm] against the Children’s hospital at which Jahi was originally admitted. She has since been transferred to an undisclosed location and is receiving intravenous nutrients as you read this.

I remember the Terry Schiavo case, though I was young for much of it, and I remember the legal battle and the slaughtering of both involved parties in the news for years and years. The problem then and the problem now is a moral one, not a legal one…and we ALL know you cannot legislate morality. Life care, medical decisions, these have personal consequences. And when no formal arrangements are made for their care, these things happen. Of course loved ones are going to hold on for as long as they possibly can. Parents have the right to do this for their minor children. Husbands and wives have the right to make these decisions, too. Any one designated as the ‘medical power of attorney’ has the right to do this. It is essentially a legal contract.

At the present time, the McMath family is not costing the California any money, either. Because Jahi was declared ‘dead’, insurance will not cover medical costs, however, pro-life and Catholic organizations as well as the Terry Schiavo Foundation have all funneled money to help cover costs.

My final concern doesn’t really warrant too long of an explanation but it is one of the most important questions we must ask: If the practiced religion of the McMath’s prohibit the removal of life support measures, should a Judge have the discretion and power to override that?

And what about the right to privacy?

It makes sense that this is one of the reasons the Affordable Care Act is so frightening. Any type of government intervention –on any level, for any reason– is a slippery slope. Where do we draw the line? Court ordered out-patient counseling? Judicial supervision and mandates for in-patient rehabilitation? Sterilization? Refusal of care against familial wishes that ultimately determine life or death?

I don’t know about you but I struggle with the desire for a legal responsibility and legal contract to be upheld and the complete insensitivity on behalf of the courts to demand people ‘pull the plug’. You cannot ask yourself what you would do in a similar situation because every case has different circumstances, emotions and religious beliefs that come into play. The question here is simple, but not simply defined: How much State is too much State?

Baby Steps for Accountability: Asbestos Fund Fraud

Sent to me via a friend, and not something I usually write about, but interesting and worth knowing about nonetheless. Plus, I like to throw people off with not-so-common topics every now and again.

Congressmen Blake Farenthold (R-TX) and Jim Matheson (D-UT) are sponsoring bi-partisan legislation, the FACT Act (Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency).
Harold Kim wrote an article for Free Enterprise detailing the specifics of nonexistent people receiving funds from Asbestos trusts. Thousands and thousands of dollars intended for real victims being dispersed to faulty trusts and placed in undeserving hands. Imagine that.

Kim notes,

the trusts’ opaque operations open the door to abuse. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal revealed that an employee of a California law firm filed a claim with a trust in the name of someone who didn’t even exist.  Five weeks later, he received a $26,000 check from the trust. The same firm also filed trust claims on behalf of clients who were nurses. They allegedly were exposed to asbestos while chipping paint from boilers – not exactly a typical duty for nurses.

The Wall Street Journal also found that,

In its analysis, the Journal found 2,689 [Johns Manville bankruptcy trust] applicants through 2005 who claimed to be working in various labor-intensive occupations while under the age of 12. Among them were 753 people who claimed their exposure to asbestos began while working in construction before turning 12; 356 people who said they were metal workers; and 184 chemical workers.”

The FACT Act requires more transparency by requiring quarterly reports to be filed for examination by courts and trusts. A small opportunity to demand more accountability, but certainly worthwhile. Baby steps when we can, right?

My TSA Grope-Down

Yesterday, upon leaving Colorado, I had the pleasure of experiencing the TSA at it’s finest. I found myself in the line with the new full-body scanners. With a few extra minutes to spare, I decided to “opt-out” of the radiation and “opt-in” for a pat-down. I’ve flown a handful of times since the scanners were implemented but have somehow managed to avoid them. Not so lucky today…

I removed my shoes, my jacket, my jewelry and loaded everything onto the x-ray belt. When the agent realized that I was not going to go through the scanner, he shouted, “WE NEED A PAT DOWN ON 2!” as surrounding people turned to watch. Um…sorry that I’m not interested in the guy literally 3-feet away sneaking a peek of what’s under all my clothing. I waited patiently but inquired about my things that had now exited onto the other side of the x-ray belt. The TSA agent stated, “This is my checkpoint and I cannot leave my mark. There are cameras everywhere, your stuff will be fine.” Ah- yes, your mark. Please don’t leave it. Naturally, I was irritated and started the usual huffing and puffing and swaying from side to side with my arms crossed. Eventually he literally breaches security and has me come through to the other side without any x-ray machine, scanner or pat down. I could bolt, but I don’t. The agent tells me to ‘stay right here and don’t move’ while they continued to search for a female agent. I guess I was allowed on the other side of the barrier so I could keep a closer eye on my belongings.

Eventually a woman about 50 appeared with blue gloves and waved me over. She collected my things and I walked barefoot (disgusting) across the floor. She asked if I had everything and then gave me a brief speech that went a bit like this: “You understand that the machines you opt-ed out of are not harmful. You still have the option to return to the machine. If not, I will use a gloved-hand starting at your head and down to your toes. I will use the back of my hand, bracing my self on your hip, while checking between your legs and on your behind. I will also brace myself on your hip while I feel around your bra with the back of my hand. You have the option to do this in private. Do you understand?”

While I began to fully understand the grossness of the pat down to come, my nervousness came out in laughter. (Mostly because I couldn’t imagine going into a private room- that seems MORE inappropriate! Let all these folks be witnesses.)  The agent offered my patient mom a seat (which she of course declined) and began what seemed like one of those 5-minute-mall massages. She flattened my hair (which irritated me) and then talked about Plexiglas (she wanted to know if I knew that you could see through it) and some article she read about the lack of dangers of the TSA scanners. Really, lady? She also asked if it ‘opt-out’ often and why- none of your darn business. It ended abruptly after about 3 minutes and she stepped to the side to wipe her gloves with some special paper. She told me to wait because she was checking my clothing for radioactive and explosive residue. She joked about how to say those two words with the agent next to us the entire time she was ‘processing’. She then said, “You’re good to go!” and walked away.

After gathering all of my things, my mom and I giggled and conversed about the lack of professionalism and the obnoxious scene they create in an effort to humiliate people who opt out of the scanner.

I walked away feeling a little violated, in need of some hairspray and as a new member of the “no-fly” list.

Why I Stand With Israel: A Timeline


Recently, Stevie Wonder cancelled a planned concert for an organization that works to raise money for the Israeli military. He was to play for Friends of the Israeli Defense Force on December 6th but backed out after pressure from the UN claiming that someone with such a title should not support the Israeli Army. (This is just days after the United Nations overwhelmingly voted to recognize Palestine as state, and a few months after our own Prez denied talks with Netanyahu)
Mr. Wonder released the following statement, “I am respectfully withdrawing my participation from this year’s event to avoid the appearance of partiality…As a Messenger of Peace, I am and have always been against war, any war, any where. In consistently keeping with my spirit of giving, I will make a personal contribution to organizations that support Israeli and Palestinian children with disabilities.”

Mr. Wonder…you state that you’re against war. Please tell me more about why supporting a benefit for a force that is simply protecting its own people is war.
This nonsense, coupled with some recent Facebook shenanigans, compelled me to create a timeline of events regarding the Conflict with Israel & Palestine.

Note* The term “Palestinian” is fairly new relative to history and fabricated.

The ‘land in question’ has been conquered and re-conquered many of times but belonged to the Israelites dating back to 1250 BC. In 586 BC, the Jews were exiled by the Babylonians and waited 70 years to return to rebuild their Temple after it had been destroyed. Then a bunch of Greek stuff happened (that I’m not well-versed on) but Judea, the Jewish state in the Roman province of Palestine was established in 63 BC after another conquering.
Somewhere around 120 AD, Jews were initially allowed to return to Jerusalem after more Temples had been destroyed, but – after another Jewish revolt in 133 – the city was completely destroyed and its people banished and sold into slavery.
Some 500 years pass and the region is ruled by those of Muslim faith until the fall of the Ottoman empire in the 1900’s.

1897: Zionism emerges, primarily in response to anti-Semitic beliefs in Europe. Roughly 65,000 people of Jewish faith resided peacefully alongside Muslims for the next 20 years.

1917: Balfour Declaration: Britain aims to create a home for the Jewish people in a new area called Palestine.

1920’s– Violence erupts as the Jewish population rises to 11%. It surges when, in 1929, 133 Jews were killed by Palestinians and 110 Palestinians died at the hands of the British police (NOT JEWS)

1937 Finally in the late 1930’, Secretary of State for India, Lord Peel, recommends partitioning the land into a Jewish state and an Arab one. Both side rejected this suggestion.

1947: Britain forfeits power and hands it over to the UN. The Jews now consist of roughly 33% of the population. They were also dealing with a significant displacement of Jews following World War II and the Holocaust.

The UN set up a special committee which recommended splitting the territory into separate Jewish and Palestinian states. Palestinian representatives, known as the Arab Higher Committee, rejected the proposal; their counterparts in the Jewish Agency accepted it.

The partition plan gave 56.47% of Palestine to the Jewish state and 43.53% to the Arab state, with an international enclave around Jerusalem. The plan was never implemented, even though a UN vote supported it.

1948: (May 15th) The State of Israel is proclaimed. The next day, five Arab armies from Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq immediately invaded Israel but were resisted, and the Israeli army crushed pockets of confrontation.

1967– A year of war on all fronts, Israel eventually expanded their territory. The Arabs, displeased fled to Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. This also marks the shift in UN support for Israel.

1968– Yasser Arafat Fatah-backed forces inflicted significant casualties on Israelis in Jordan.

1972: 11 Israeli athletes are killed at the Olympics

1973– Still mad about 1967, Egypt & Syria launched major forces against Israel on Yom Kippur. Israel made gains in this war as well, but eventually re-released them. Egypt and Syria jointly lost an estimated 8,500 soldiers in the fighting, while Israel lost about 6,000.

1974: Harold Saunders,(U.S. State Department Official) acknowledged for the first time that “the legitimate interests of the Palestinian Arabs must be taken into account in the negotiating of an Arab-Israeli peace”. This was after Arafat made an appearance at the UN referencing his “olive branch and his freedom-fighter gun.”

1977: First Arab leader recognizes Israel, Egypt’s Anwar Sadat. Fellow Arab nations boycotted Egypt for negotiating peace with Israel.

1982: After an attempted assassination of an Israeli ambassador, Israel invaded Lebanon. This was in response to the perpetuated violence of Hezbollah.

Mid-1980’s: Israel faces Palestinian uprising which result in Palestinian deaths. Some news outlets will attempt to convince the world that this is a fault of Israel, however, this was a result of Palestinian violence in addition to general boycotts, graffiti, barricades and stone-throwing demonstrations.
After this incident, PLO decided they DID want to negotiate a two-state plan, but Israel declined.

The Palestinians (PLO) supported Iraq during the Gulf War and alienated a significant base of people.
Early 1990’s: PLO again is in a vulnerable position (still from supporting Iraq) and attempts to reconcile with Israel. During the Oslo Peace Process, PLO agreed to recognize Israel as a state if they de-occupied current Palestinian territory. Negotiations culminated to a Declaration of Principles.

Peace didn’t last long. After a year of Palestinian recognition, dozens of Israeli’s were killed by Palestinian militants. Oslo II was signed, granting 72% of territory to Israel, 21% under joint occupation and 7% under Palestinian control.

1996– Hamas begins to gain strength and carries out dozens of suicide bombings against Israelis.

Early 2000’s– Israel continues assassinating Palestinian militants, air strikes and incursions into Palestinian self-rule areas. Palestinian militants stepped up suicide bomb attacks in Israeli cities.

2004: After 3 bombings in August and September and abundant Palestinian rocket attacks on Israeli towns, Israel launched a major and bloody incursion into northern Gaza.

The last 8 years has consisted of perpetual violence against Israelis as they continue their attempt to barricade and block Palestinian violence and control. Even so recently as November, Hamas violated ceasefires and continued sending rockets into Israel.
There is a consistent pattern of Jewish persecution (I don’t think I really need to name specific events, as anyone aware of the last 100 years could pin point my references). And just recently in Hungary, the parliament called for Jews to be registered on lists as threats to national security. Since when is this kind of behavior okay?

I stand with Israel and the people of Jewish faith.
*I’d like to note that until the current administration, the United States has been an avid ally of the Israel and a strong supporter of their peace, safety and freedom. Presidential statements include…

JFK—“Israel was not created in order to disappear—Israel will endure and flourish. It is the child of hope and home of the brave. It can neither be broken by adversity nor demoralized by success. It carries the shield of democracy and it honors the sword of freedom.”

Jimmy Carter—“We have a special relationship with Israel. It’s absolutely crucial that no one in our country or around the world ever doubt that our number one commitment in the Middle East is to protect the right of Israel to exist, to exist permanently, and to exist in peace. It’s a special relationship.”

Bill Clinton—“Our relationship would never vary from its allegiance to the shared values, the shared religious heritage, the shared democratic politics which have made the relationship between the United States and Israel a special—even on occasion a wonderful—relationship.”

Bush II—“Israel is a small country that has lived under threat throughout its existence. At the first meeting of my National Security Council, I told them a top foreign policy priority is the safety and security of Israel. My Administration will be steadfast in supporting Israel against terrorism.and violence, and in seeking the peace for which all Israelis pray.”

So that group that hates Israel, and people of Jewish faith….there’s a name for them. We call them anti-Semites. And the ACLU would say it’s a hate crime.

Why Do Liberals Hate Success?

Ding Dong, the Ding Dong’s Dead.

This morning on CBS Sunday Morning, Bill Flanagan of MTV did a segment on the death of the Twinkie. (You can see the full clip here). These 3-minute commentaries leave me yelling, shouting and throwing things at the television almost every Sunday morning. The intensity of the ’tilt’ to the left is beyond my comprehension. Here is a small excerpt of the commentary:

“Is it possible in this noble Constitutional republic…corporate interests intent on breaking every last union have stooped so low as to cancel production of the Hostess Twinkie, the Devil Dog, and the Reindeer? Has Capitalism sunk this far? Will the President bail out Hostess as he did General Motors?…Who is the heartless corporate CEO who pulled the plug…”

At least he got the first sentence right…”Constitutional republic”…that we are. Aside from that, it really got me thinking…why do liberals hate success so much…but not celebrities?

Every where you turn, there is a shaming for success. Liberals hate pretty much all wealthy white men. They are blamed for most of the issues concerning American right now. They have stigmatized the “1%” because they have worked hard…and often times play hard. But why the disconnect?

Someone posted a picture of a Twinkie funeral on my Facebook page with the caption “The Truth Will Come Out. Unions: Hostess CEO received 300% raise before bankruptcy. Labor blasts ‘myth’ that union strike killed Twinkies” Then, in a back and forth, came to this:
Somewhere, someone, decided that it’s not okay to be successful. Someone decided that it’s wrong for a CEO to make more money than a blue collar worker. Someone decided that we need unions to constantly challenge executives because they earn more. Someone decided that it’s not okay to have more money than someone else …but ONLY on the basis that they also don’t have that same large amount of money. And what’s more interesting is that they don’t want to be equal on a high earning scale, they want everyone to be equal on a low-earning scale. They want upper middle class and upper class people to be yanked down to their level.

But why are liberals so angry? It can’t be because conservatives don’t share their earnings. They do. It’s called a donation. (Here is the definition, since many liberals don’t understand the difference between a tax and a donation) There have been several articles describing the charitable giving on behalf of conservatives and it’s a known fact that liberals prefer the oh-so-trustworthy, ever-so great-at-handling-cash government to redistribute funds as opposed to nonprofits. In fact, research says wealthy AND red states are much more likely to donate to charity. Even the Huffington Post tried to twist conservative giving by unsuccessfully trying to claim that donations to churches don’t count. So what of it? If they’re sharing –just not with the government- why do liberals hate success? And why do they give a pass to the entertainment industry?

And why do they give a pass to the entertainment industry? Why don’t they go after their ‘own’? Take a look at someone of the wealthiest liberals:
Bill Gates $54 billion
Larry Ellison of Oracle $$27 billion
Michael Bloomberg $18 billion
Jeff Bezos of Amazon $12.6 billion
Anne Cox Chambers of Cox Enterprises $12.5 billion
George Soros- $14 billion
Barack Obama
Bill & Hilary Clinton
Not to mention the plethora of celebrities that endorsed the Democrat platform during the last election: 50 Cent, Lady Gaga, Ellen Degeneres, Will Ferrell, Brad Pitt, Vanessa Williams, Reese Witherspoon, Bill Cosby…here is the list of HUNDREDS of them.

Someone, please tell me why. Why are liberals shaming success? And why are they so forgetful of all the ‘success’ on their side when they’re criticizing and degrading successful conservatives? Who do they think is paying for all their dependency and entitlement programs? Why is it okay for Bill Cosby to rake in millions but not a CEO?