Monday, September 18, 2017

An Open Letter To Celebrities Who Promised To Leave The Country....

Dear celebrities who said you'd leave the country if Donald Trump won the Presidency....

You know who you are. But just in case, let me name names:

Chelsea Handler, Neve Campbell, Barry Diller, Lena Dunham, Keegan Michael-Key, Chloe Sevigny, Eddie Griffin, Amber Rose, Samuel L. Jackson, George Lopez, Barbara Streisand, Raven Simone, Whoopie Goldberg, Omari Hardwick, Miley Cyrus, Rosie O'Donnell, Amy Schumer....

You all said you would leave the country if Donald Trump became President. Well... it's been 8 months since Mr. Trump was sworn in as President and you're all still here. So what happened? Why have you not left?

It seems to me that perhaps you just enjoy the wealth and notoriety that the United States has not only given you but continues to give you. Face it – you like the fame and fortune that you would have to give up in another country. Perhaps not the fortune but the fame.

Other celebrities have moved to other countries and seem to be doing OK. Johnny Depp lives in France most of the time but still makes movies. Your hero pervert, Roman Polanski, also lives in France but still makes movies. So it's still possible to live somewhere else but still make movies and stay wealthy. So what's your problem?

Can I assume (I know that's dangerous but geez...) that like your careers, the things you say in anger and/or frustration are just make believe? It's an easy assumption to make given the fact that you were so vocal about leaving but you didn't.

I'm sure some of you have this self-gratifying notion that you will “stay here and fight against Trump and make a difference.” But your voices really aren't heard by the majority of thinking people. We understand that you're nothing but hot air and make believe (just like Cher saying she is going to take in Dreamers to protect them.) What you say and what you do are two different things. And Americans know that.

Want to make an impression on people? Quit your jobs, sell your fancy homes and cars, fire your servants and move to another country. I know a lot of people who would be willing to help you pack and get ready.

As much as you might not believe it – we don't need you here. There are thousands of aspiring actors and actresses out there who would take your place in a minute. So do the country and them a big favor and live up to your promises. We'll all be better off. Maybe you will as well.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Lee And Freed Slave Statue Removed From Dallas Park

Yesterday in Dallas a statue was removed from public view by the Mayor and City Council. The statue, which depicts Robert E. Lee and, according to the artist, a freed slave riding horses "into a new and free United States of America," was dedicated in 1936 by none other than President Franklin D. Roosevelt as part of the Texas Centennial celebration.

The statue was removed under armed police escort. The City Council, in their infinite wisdom, voted to remove the statue. The Mayor initially delayed the removal until a study could be done to see if Dallas residents really wanted it gone. 

"It's easy to jump on the bandwagon and say 'tear it down' because it's frankly politically correct and in many ways it makes us all feel good. I feel that way," Mayor Mike Rawlings said. "But I hesitate because I realize the city of Dallas is better, is stronger when we are united and not divided. My goal as mayor, my job as mayor, is to continue to unite our city."

He changed his mind a little while later citing the violence in Charlottesville as the reason. Apparently he didn't think the city of Dallas is better after all.

Once the decision was made the removal was delayed a couple more times. A representative of the Sons of the Confederacy filed a lawsuit claiming First Amendment rights were being violated. A federal judge temporarily stayed the removal until the case could be heard. (The city also brought a crane to the site that was too small to adequately lift the statue.)

Once that case was heard (judgement for the city) a second, larger crane was commissioned. On its way to the site it was hit by an 18 wheeler that ran a red light. Delay number 3.

The statue was finally removed yesterday. At least the removal didn't take place under cover of darkness as has happened in other cities across the nation. The statue will be stored on some property owned by the city until a decision is made as to what exactly to do with it. One of Robert E. Lee's direct descendants has offered to purchase it but has yet to hear back from the city.

It's a shame that such a marvelous piece of art will no longer be seen by the public. The former slave headed toward freedom wasn't enough to keep the city from removing it. I wonder where he'll end up now?

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

An Interesting Fact About Kneeling

For the last nine months or so, America has been watching the destruction of a somewhat successful football career slowly coming apart.

Colin Kaepernick, the moderately talented former quarterback for the San Francisco Forty-Niners, saw his career disintegrate when he chose to make a political statement before each game by kneeling on the ground or sitting down during the national anthem.

Kaepernick made his intent public. "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," he said. America took notice.

The Forty-Niners owner and the NFL decided to stay silent about Kaepernick's actions citing First Amendment rights. That didn't go over well with football fans. The NFL saw a large drop in viewership when nothing was done about it.

Players on other teams decided to do the same thing in support of Kaepernick. Black activists nationwide protested because Kaepernick didn't get signed by another team after losing his position with the Forty-Niners. They called it "racism" even though 70% of NFL players are black. The truth is that Kaepernick is toxic to any team that signs him because he disrespects all Americans, and especially our military veterans, by kneeling during our national anthem.

For some reason I was compelled to look up the actual definition of the word "kneel" this morning. I was surprised by what I learned.
Kneel (nēl/verb): be in or assume a position in which the body is supported by a knee or the knees, as when praying or showing submission.

"As when praying or showing submission." I found that interesting. Certainly Kaepernick meant his gesture to be disrespectful to the flag and the national anthem but I wonder if he knew that by kneeling he was actually showing submission, according to the definition of the word.

Somehow I doubt it.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Hurricane Irma And The Power Of Prayer

There are those who say that prayer is a waste of time and energy. I personally know that not to be true but believers today have evidence of it from events over the weekend.

Hurricane Irma was the “strongest storm ever recorded” when it was a category 5 hurricane in the mid to Western Atlantic. Maximum sustained wind speeds were up to 185 miles per hour. That's the same as an EF-4 tornado on the Enhanced Fujita Scale and is fully capable of wiping out entire communities. It was a full 10 miles per hour stronger than Andrew, and we know what Andrew did to South Florida.

Irma was initially predicted to go through the Straight of Florida, bypassing Cuba and Florida both, and head into the Gulf of Mexico, where it would have feasted and grown on the warm water. If that had happened it could have hit New Orleans or Houston, or both considering its size, and wreaked havoc in already suffering areas.

Then the track changed and it was supposed to hit Miami head on as at least a category 4 storm. According to the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale the damage from a category 4 hurricane can be can severe damage to well-built framed homes with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

After the scare in Miami and surrounding areas, Irma's track changed again and bypassed Puerto Rico and skirted the edge of Cuba just enough to slow it down. It came across the Straight of Florida and hit Marco Island as a category 3 storm, still powerful but with much less punch than if it had been a 4 or 5. Rather than stay mostly over the Gulf, as was originally predicted, it spun itself out over the mainland, minimizing further damage to mostly downed trees and flooding.

Why did I mention prayer? Our church prayed by the hundreds for God to turn the storm (we asked for it to go back to the mid Atlantic) and to spare the people in its path from harm. God didn't do exactly as we asked. He answers prayers in His own way. But the two worst case scenarios – Houston or a direct hit on Miami as a category 4 storm, failed to materialize. Did God have a hand in this? While we can never say for sure, those of us who believe in the power of prayer and who believe in the Almighty God certainly think so. So many lives could have been lost. So few were, considering what could have happened.

Irma had the potential to devastate entire cities. With the exception of a few Caribbean Islands, Irma didn't really do a lot of serious damage.

I, for one, thank God for sparing so many people from devastation. Could He have calmed the storm and spared everyone from harm, wind damage, flood damage, and the aftermath? Certainly He could have. But as I've said before, God rarely intervenes in the affairs of men. Sometimes, however, He intervenes in the ways of nature. After all... He controls the heavens and the Earth.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Removing History Before Our Eyes

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings (no relation to Stephanie "Give Them Room to Destroy" Rawlings-Blake of Baltimore) was reluctant to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee from Lee Park in uptown Dallas. He decided to form a task force to see what the people wanted and the impact that it would have.

But the City Council complained, telling Rawlings the statue needed to come down immediately. Rawlings conceded to the pressure and ordered it removed, citizen opinion irrelevant.

Today a crew went out to remove the statue. They did not measure it, apparently, because they arrived on site with a crane that was too small to do the job. In the meantime, the Sons of Confederate Veterans filed an injunction to delay the removal so they can present a case for leaving the statue in place, citing First Amendment rights. (Personally, I think that's a poor argument.) That injunction was granted. The statue must remain until a court hearing on the issue has convened.

The statue is now under police supervision until the hearing. Sadly, that's probably necessary.

The mayor defended the removal before the task force got to do what they needed to do. “Removing the statue was my first inclination after Charlottesville,” Rawlings said. “It wasn’t my first instinct before. My point of view changed.”

The mayor also said “This is the beginning of the dismantling of the white supremacy that has plagued this city for years.” That's an interesting statement considering there are no real problems with white supremacy in Dallas, unless you call a white majority supremacy. There have been no white protests about the statue and no Neo-Nazis marching in the streets. There was, however, a Black Lives Matter and Antifa rally a couple of weeks ago during which they threatened the police and said they would kill anyone who disagreed with them. But that was allowed by the Mayor.

And it was just over a year ago when Black Lives Matter held a march in Dallas and one of their members murdered five police officers. What did you think of that, Mayor Rawlings? Were you on the BLM side...?

The interesting part of all this is the statue itself. There are two riders on the statue - Robert E. Lee, the defeated Confederate General who rejoined the union army, and a freed slave (according to the artist himself) who is riding with General Lee into the new United States that is once again whole and in which slavery has been abolished.

Should not a statue like that remain? If they remove General Lee, one of the North and South's best generals, then the statue of the freed slave is riding into the new United States of America alone. Would it not have more impact if he was riding side by side with a defeated Confederate general? It's common sense to anyone who is not viewing this entire problem with emotion.

The statue of General Lee should remain in place. It makes sense. I have stated before that removal of these statues should be left up to the people in the communities where they are. Hold a special vote and allow the people to decide. If the majority says remove the statues I'm good with that. If the majority says the statues should stay then the minority should not overrule the majority. But at least give the people their voice in the matter. That's what our Constitutional Republic is about... the people.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Newest Problem: Less Visas Mean Better Pay For American Workers

The irony is deep.

According to, President Trump's strict cap on work visas forced American companies to hire American workers for seasonal jobs rather than foreign workers. This caused companies such as landscapers, the hospitality industry and seafood processing, among others, to pay higher wages than they would have paid foreign workers. That's a good thing, right? Democrats and the left in general have been screaming for an increased minimum wage.

This seems to be a win win situation. Except the left is upset that the visa cap is in place and there are less foreign workers employed by American companies. It doesn't seem to matter that Americans are making more money in this case. Their concern is for non-citizens.

Verifying what Republicans and conservatives have been saying all along about raising the minimum wage substantially, the businesses are complaining that paying higher wages is going to eventually cost jobs and reduce company profits. What a concept that is, huh?

And now the left is upset that businesses are having to make cuts and lose money. Can you say hypocrite?

The President has condemned some U.S. programs that allow foreign workers to take American jobs. “Widespread abuse in our immigration system is allowing American workers of all backgrounds to be replaced by workers brought in from other countries to fill the same job for sometimes less pay,” he has told American workers. He has not specifically targeted seasonal workers, the H-2B program. His own companies use H-2B workers, particularly at Mar a Lago. But his Executive Order signed in April let everyone know his intent to tighten restrictions on the number of foreign workers entering the country.

There were a total of 81,000 work visas granted this year. The number was at 66,000 initially but the Department of Homeland Security added 15,000 in July. Unfortunately for some businesses, the summer season was half over by then. Not all of those 15,000 have been used.

Some businesses recruited college students, both American and foreign, to work for them and set up part-time schedules to keep costs down. Others have had to lower production and/or cut hours to make ends meet.

What's the moral of the story? There will never be a time when everyone is happy. You can't demand higher wages for Americans then turn around and complain when someone is actually doing that but in a way you don't particularly like. Putting Americans to work should be the priority of all American companies. And it should be the priority of all American politicians.