When a Nation Loses Its Mind

Why am I so attracted to the use of cartoons in this blog? Well, I don’t think it’s some sort of wish to return to childhood. Political cartoons have always been one of the best ways to make a point succinctly, without excess bloviating. I try to collect them according to theme/topic. Sometimes, I get a smattering of excellent cartoon commentaries without one particular unifying theme. At those times, I like to offer them as an overview of topical trends. This is one of those days.

For instance, I haven’t written anything of substance yet on the rancher/BLM controversy in Nevada, where tension exists between a rancher and the federal government over his continuing use of ostensibly federal land to graze his cattle. I haven’t had time to look into all the legalities of the issue, but there are a couple of things that do stand out to me as this drama unfolds. First, one has to question why the federal government claims over 80% of Nevada for itself. That should elicit some genuine debate. Second, it’s fascinating to watch Nevada Senator Harry Reid fulminate on the controversy. He seems to get more outrageous by the week. Take this comment, for example:

Real Terrorist

Can he really be serious? Sad to say, I think he is. And his attitude is fast becoming the worldview of his party. This doesn’t bode well for freedom.

We’ve also gotten to the point where the federal government is more and more the provider of all goods and services. We used to call this socialism. We used to believe this was not wise. We used to believe . . .

Cruel Heartlessness

That cartoon is a wonderful display of gentle sarcasm to make a salient point about the expectations and delusions that seem to be increasing.

We also continue to be told, despite evidence to the contrary, that global warming—I’m sorry, I mean climate change—is going to kill us all. In fact, it seems to be the root of so many of our problems:

Excuse for Everything

President Obama has assured us this is settled science, and there should be no more debate on this issue. He’s also claimed Obamacare is a success and that Republicans need to move on—no more debate. And all those backward people who still believe in real marriage, and not the artificial construct we are currently attempting to foist on the country? Why, they shouldn’t be tolerated anymore. They are obviously hatemongers. What to do with all these remaining heretics?

Debate Is Over

Yes, as a nation, we are quickly losing our moral bearings and, along with that, our collective mind.

Making Life Difficult: It’s Disgusting

“It’s disgusting.” Who said that? A National Parks ranger when asked to comment on the directives the National Park Service has received from the Obama administration with respect to shutting down national monuments and parks and closing off access to the public. Here’s his full quote:

It’s a cheap way to deal with the situation. We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting.

I commented last week on the shutdown of the WWII Memorial, a move so blatantly political that it astounds even the most cynical amongst us. That memorial is an open-air monument to those who served in WWII. There’s really nothing to “close.” People walk through it if they are on the National Mall. The only explanation is the one provided by that Park Ranger, who, I hope, has not lost his job for speaking the truth.

Mt. RushmoreBut the outrage at the WWII Memorial was only just the beginning. Mt. Rushmore is the chief tourist attraction in South Dakota. Not only are the trails closed, but cones were placed along the highway viewing areas, keeping tourists from pulling over and taking pictures of the mountain.  The Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Tourism stated, “They won’t even let you pull off on the side of the road. I just don’t know what they’re trying to accomplish.”

I can tell you, Mr. Secretary. They want the annoyance to be so great that the public will blame those the Obama administration wants them to blame—Republicans in Congress. Of course, those are the same Republicans who have passed out of the House seven separate bills funding key agencies; those bills, however, are not even being allowed a vote in the Senate, and President Obama has vowed to veto them even if they should pass through Congress.

So who’s to blame?

Let’s don’t stop itemizing those “disgusting” actions. I have a few more.

Mt. VernonMt. Vernon, George Washington’s home, is a privately owned and operated historic site. The only connection to the federal government are some jointly owned parking lots. That, apparently, was enough to order rangers to close off those parking lots, keeping visitors from going to Mt. Vernon. Meanwhile, a lesser-known historic site, the Claude Moore Colonial Farm in McClean, Virginia, was closed, even though it receives no federal funding at all. To our federal government, there seems to be no distinction between public and private.

In my state of Florida, charter guides received a message from the National Park Service that they can’t take clients fishing in Florida Bay, which is more than 1,100 square miles from the tip of the Florida mainland to the Florida Keys. So that means even the ocean is off limits? Can anything be more absurd?

Well, they’re making an attempt at greater absurdity. In Nevada, people who have lived in their privately owned homes for nearly forty years have been turned out and not allowed access to them because they sit on federal land by Lake Mead. One couple, aged 80 and 77, have had to live in a family-owned ice cream parlor for days now, and won’t be allowed to return until the shutdown is over. I’m glad they had an ice cream parlor to go to, but that’s hardly a home, certainly not the one they’ve lived in since the 1970s. Funny how no other government shutdown—and there have been about 17 of those over the years—ever required that citizens lose access to their homes. This has happened only under the Obama administration.

REIDMaybe one of the senators from Nevada could help this couple. Let’s see, who represents that state in the Senate? Oh, yes, that would be Harry Reid, erstwhile Majority Leader. You know, the one who won’t allow a vote on funding. This is strange. We all know it’s Republicans who hate children and old people, always starving them and throwing them out on the streets. At least that’s the rhetoric we always hear.

I’m also a little tired of the moral equivalence game being played, where both sides are held equally to blame for this situation. It’s the president who says he won’t negotiate, not the Republicans. It’s the Democrat Senate that won’t fund separate bills, not the Republican House. This is the height of political manipulation aided amply by the Obama media.

The mainstream media will do all in its power to promote the Obama propaganda. Alternative voices must be raised to counter the propaganda. I will do my part, however small my audience. If we all do our part, perhaps enough people will hear the truth and confront the real culprits. I will do what I can; I will not remain silent in the face of such massive manipulation and dishonesty.

The Obama minions are doing all they can to make life difficult for Americans. I agree with the aforementioned park ranger: “It’s disgusting.”

More Election Fallout

The common term for what happened on Tuesday is a Republican tsunami. Yet there were places unaffected by it. Not every state took part in this wave. They were kind of like the odd men out in the crowd:

Perhaps the most discouraging race was in Nevada where Harry Reid pulled it out, but the state most oblivious to the emergence of the Republican majority was California. Barbara “Call Me Senator” Boxer now has six more years at the public trough. California also decided to return to the inglorious Jerry “Governor Moonbeam” Brown days of yesteryear. The legalization of marijuana initiative failed to pass, but maybe that’s because too many of the voters were already smoking it when they went to the polls. The cartoonists have had a field day with that:

Then there’s this one:

And finally …

For the president, the path is clear, but what is not clear is whether he will take it:

For Republicans, there is also a well-defined path now that they have the majority in the House. Again, there is trepidation in some circles whether they will follow through:

For their sake, and for the sake of the country, now is the time to stay principled and firm.

They Deserve to Win

As a counterpoint to yesterday’s post, where I listed the politicians who most deserved to lose this year, today I’ll focus on the positive—those who really deserve to win. Now, that doesn’t mean they all will win, but the nation would be better off if they did.

I’m going to start close to home with Florida’s Senate race. No one, when the race began, expected Marco Rubio to gain any traction. He had been speaker of the Florida House, and many expected him to rise up in the future, but not now, not against sitting governor Charlie Crist.

What I admire most about Rubio is his commitment to principle, which is what led him to challenge Crist in the first place. He knew Crist was not a truly principled conservative, and he wanted Republicans to have a chance to vote for one. It was a hard task he took upon himself, yet he began chipping away at Crist’s lead. The chipping then turned into a full-fledged electoral demolition. A shocked Crist found himself behind the young upstart.

Now Rubio is leading in a three-way race with Crist as a so-called independent, and the Democrat no-hoper Kendrick Meek. National Republicans have diverted funds elsewhere, secure in the belief that Rubio will be the next Florida senator. He deserves to win.

Crossing the nation and making a sharp northern turn to Alaska, my next deserving candidate is Joe Miller, who surprised everyone when he won the Republican Senate primary against incumbent senator Lisa Murkowski. Miller is a true constitutionalist. He wants the federal government to be held to its constitutional limitations.

That outlook has apparently scared some sitting Republican senators who are far more comfortable with Murkowski—they refused to remove her from a leadership position when she rejected the voters’ choice and decided to run a write-in campaign to keep her job.

Polls show the two running neck-and-neck, with Miller holding a slight lead. If he were to be turned back now, it would be a stinging defeat for the forces of reform and devotion to limited government. This is a race worth watching for the future of the soul of the Republican Party. Miller should be that future; he deserves to win.

Sharron Angle, in Nevada, has the unenviable task of knocking off Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Yet she is proving equal to that task. Derided as an extremist by Democrats [and some Republicans], she has had to fight for the right to be heard. Last week, she not only held her own in a debate with Reid, but the consensus seems to be that she won that debate.

Like Miller, Angle is a constitutionalist who is in sync with the Tea Party movement. That by itself is enough to get one labeled an extremist in the mainstream media, but early voting indicates that more Republicans are casting ballots right now than Democrats. Will that trend hold through the actual election day? If righteousness and justice mean anything, Sharron Angle will be the next senator from Nevada. She deserves to win.

My next choice may be a surprise for some readers, particularly if you have fallen for a media hit job. Christine O’Donnell, running for Joe Biden’s old Senate seat in Delaware, has suffered a barrage of ridicule, but most of it has been manufactured. Whenever Bill Maher decides to inject himself into a race, you have to know something is rotten. An old tape of one of O’Donnell’s appearances on his show [which, I understand, actually never even aired], has her talking about a teenage flirtation she had with witchcraft. She makes it clear she never really got into it, but the media jumped on this as a sign that she was unfit for office.

Since when is the media concerned about witchcraft? I didn’t know it bothered liberals that much. I mean, aren’t they the tolerant ones? In fact, Christians have a better grasp of what happened here. Teenagers sometimes experiment and get involved in foolish ventures. Then they grow up. That’s what happened with O’Donnell.

A few days ago, she debated her opponent, Chris Coons. In the course of the debate, the media did it again. They portrayed her as not realizing the First Amendment includes the separation of chuch and state. But if you actually listen to what she said, she was questioning the phrase “separation of church and state” as not being part of the First Amendment. And she’s right. The words “separation,” “church,” and “state” are nowhere to be found in the Amendment. That’s simply the description liberals have used in their attempt to keep religion out of the public sphere. The First Amendment only says there will be no establishment of religion [i.e., no official state church] and that Congress cannot prohibit one’s freedom of religion.

O’Donnell was accurate in what she was saying, but you’d never know that by the press reports. The media is in the tank for her opponent. O’Donnell probably won’t win this seat, but you never can tell, especially if this turns out to be a Republican tidal wave. At the very least, she deserves to win.

I’m returning to Florida now for my final candidate—Republican Rick Scott, who is running for governor. Scott’s upstart primary victory over longtime Republican official Bill McCollum startled many. The race was so intense that there was concern as to whether Scott could mend fences with the state GOP, but the fence-mending seems to be almost complete.

Scott’s Democrat opponent, Alex Sink, is following the same playbook McCollum used in the primary: depict Scott as a crook because the hospital chain he ran was fined by the federal government for Medicare fraud. I’ve done a lot of reading about that incident and have come away convinced Scott was not attempting to defraud anyone. A recent well-researched article from a source outside Scott’s campaign has explained the situation more fully than anything else I’ve read, and in my mind exonerates Scott from all those accusations. For those who are interested, you can find that article here. It is a little long, but it covers the issue comprehensively.

While CEO of Columbia/HCA, Scott created the best hospital chain in America, working closely with doctors and cutting costs. Later, when Obamacare came to the forefront, Scott started an organization called Conservatives for Patients’ Rights, which effectively attacked the philosophy behind Obama’s quest for control of American healthcare. As governor, Scott would continue his cost-cutting measures to bring fiscal sanity back to the state and would maintain a principled  position against the healthcare takeover.

Additionally, Scott is an evangelical Christian who helped start a church in Naples, and who sits on the church board. He has worked with organizations such as World Vision. His faith appears to be genuine.

The latest polls keep bouncing around in this race, so it’s anyone’s guess who will come out on top. However, with Obama’s popularity at an all-time low in Florida, there is hope that Scott can pull it out. After all, in case you haven’t heard this refrain yet, he deserves to win.