Tuesday, February 25, 2014

1st Amendment, 2nd Amendment, And Chuck Hagel - Some Thoughts On A Tuesday...

I read an article yesterday about a man in Texas who was turned away from a voting place because of a t-shirt he was wearing.

According to the article, Chris Driskill was in violation of Texas Election Code section 85.036, which states that “a person may not electioneer for or against any candidate, measure, or political party” in or within 100 feet of a voting location. The violation? Driskill was wearing a t-shirt that said “Second Amendment – 1789 – America’s Original Homeland Security.”

It seems wearing a logo on your shirt that speaks of the Constitution and a law that has been in effect for over 200 years somehow violates that particular section of Texas voting codes because... ? Frankly, I can't figure out how it violates anything unless one interprets pro-Second Amendment ideology to be Republican. But there are many Democrats who also believe in the Second Amendment so that doesn't quite fly. I hope Mr. Driskill follows up on this and makes public the specific reason he was prevented from voting.

Meanwhile, in National City, California, the owner of a tactical store that sells various parts and supplies for tactical weapons, has been threatened with fines and jail time if he does not remove his store sign that contains a picture of an AR-15. According to Dimitri Karces, a Marine veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan and CEO of Ares Armor, a uniformed police officer stopped outside the store one day and began taking pictures of the sign and the store. Karces invited the officer and his partner inside to look around and take all the pictures they wanted, which they did. One of the officers told Karces the city basically doesn't like guns and doesn't like Karces' business. They want him gone.

Video taken by employees shows unmarked police vehicles stopping to watch the store, only to drive away when they realize they are being filmed. Eventually the city sent Karces a letter threatening to fine him and put him in jail until the sign is removed. Karces says there are no laws on the books prohibiting the sign. He has already spent $10,000 defending his right to keep the sign. He says the community at large supports him and for that he is grateful.

I sent an e-mail to the National City Council last night telling them that as a concerned citizen I wanted to know how they were going to arrest and jail the owner of that horrible store since he didn't seem to be breaking any laws. Figured supporting them might be the best way to get an answer. I doubt they'll respond but if they do I'll post it.

People being threatened with jail time for a sign? How did we get there?

In other news, 87 year old Democrat Representative John Dingle, (MI), has announced he will not seek re-election in November. Dingle, the longest serving official in Washington, is in his 59th year of office. He has been re-elected 28 times.

While all of that is noteworthy, I believe it helps solidify the argument for term limits. I personally don't believe anyone should hold elected office for an indefinite period of time. We all know how corrupt and mostly worthless elected officials get as time goes on. Dingle, who has been serving for more years than I have been alive, has decided he doesn't want to die in office. I think it's a good move.

And finally, in the wake of the recently passed budget bill that cut military benefits, our Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, has proposed even more cuts to our defense spending that will not only reduce benefits even more but will also reduce the troop numbers to pre-World War II levels.

Most Defense Secretaries try to do what is best for the troops under them. Hagel is doing his best to destroy our military and our national security. As one friend put it this morning: "Washington is trying to balance the budget on the backs of those who have sacrificed the most."

And that is so true. We owe these people everything and now we have the Secretary of Defense (Democrats in general and even some Republicans) wanting to take more away from them. It's hard enough for me to understand why so many military families qualify for food stamps, let alone why they aren't some of the best cared for people in the nation. Our elected officials sit in their Washington offices or in the Houses and bloviate all day and collect over $200,000 a year in salaries and benefits. The closest they come to danger is in their cars on the way to and from work.

Our military men and women put their lives on the line every day for us (even for those same elected officials) and many of their families get food stamps because their salaries aren't enough to pay the bills. And the Obama-appointed head of the Defense Department wants to cut more of their benefits and reduce any pay raise they might get. It boggles the mind.

As fed up as I am with the Republican Party these days I still believe that the only way to get this nation back on track is for the Republicans to sweep the November elections, take over the Senate and render Obama useless for the next three years. Then, in 2016, we need to elect a Republican, Libertarian or Independent President (anyone but Hillary or another Democrat) and begin reversing the many asinine policies and practices put in place by the Democrats over the last five years. It's the only way we'll survive as a nation.

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