From all of us here at AOR, I want to wish all the moms out there (especially my own!) a Happy Mother’s Day!


The Southern Poverty Law Center (probably in dire need of attention and funds these days) has labelled those who raise their voices in opposition to the Common Core federal takeover of education standards as promoting “far-right propaganda” associated with “Fox News, the John Birch Society, Tea Part factions, and the Christian Right.”

I’m not shocked that the SPLC would take such a position since they are firmly ensconced within the left-wing progressive universe.  I’m just surprised it took them this long!  Somehow the growing grassroots opposition to Common Core must have struck a chord.

Breitbart posted an article which attempts to explain why opposition to the Common Core is not so extreme.  Here are a few highlights:

  • The completely unaccountable National Governors Association and a progressive education think-tank, Achieve Inc., spearheaded the whole initiative.
  • State boards of education signed on with very little (if any) scrutiny of these unproven standards, nor was public debate encouraged.
  • Business-end implementation has been privately funded by the corporatist Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (we get to pay for the rest moving forward).
  • Thirty-four states have legislation somehow pushing back against these standards.
  • There is no public record as to who selected the people who wrote the standards, some of whom had no relevant experience in education.

What the SPLC and everyone else should be concerned about is how Common Core ended up in 45 states and DC without any significant scrutiny.  I understand the “Race to the Top” money carrot, but implementing such substantial (even radical) changes into our public school systems raises an alarm about how easily our elected officials and their bureaucratic apparatchiks can be bought off at the expense of the kids in our schools.


America’s most famous intern wrote a piece for Vanity Fair about her salacious relationship with our 42nd President.  The Lewinsky Affair led to the first impeachment of a President since 1868.  Like it or not, it’s part of history.

First of all, she’s 40 now.  Yikes!  She was a 22-year-old White House intern at the time of the affair… nineteen years ago — wow, how time flies!

Next, the Vanity Fair teases didn’t seem too surprising — the Clinton apparatus didn’t pay her to keep silent (I guess), it was a consensual thing (how could it not be — he’s the President, and she’s not Hillary!), etc.  She does admit that her boss took advantage of her and that she read that Hillary blamed herself for Bill’s predatory behavior — poor Hillary might guilt more than a few votes from that revelation.  It’s always drama with that couple.

Finally, I’m always curious about the timing of these kinds of revelations.  The press loved Clinton and the Clintons love stagecraft.  This could just be Vanity Fair  trying to get their readership up or something less innocent.

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And they aren’t too pretty.  Even as officers on the ground and at headquarters knew that the September 11, 2012, Benghazi attacks were perpetrated by a coordinated terrorist effort, the Obama Administration was making up and sticking to the ridiculous story that a video made the attackers do it.

Hours after the attack the spin began and was perpetuated by the administration, including Hillary — something which will haunt her potential 2016 run for President (this exchange is a classic one too which we will see in campaign commercials as we approach 2016).  Perpetuating what they knew to be a lie about the video in front of the families of the fallen as the caskets arrived is just awful.

But what now?  There’s a paper trail proving that the administration lied about Benghazi in the weeks leading up to the 2012 election and that one of the key players in the lie is likely trying to be our next President!  To any real journalist, that is a story worth covering.  But, the MSM won’t report on it.

What about forming a permanent subcommittee to really investigate, find the answers, and move on?  Oh, that’s right, Boehner has no balls — he has clearly handed them to the amnesty lobby. So that’s going nowhere.

What has always frustrated me about the Benghazi story is that it is a real story with a terrorist attack on 9/11, a dead US ambassador, organized cover-ups by an administration looking to avoid embarrassment before an upcoming election, etc., that our media elites a are simply not interested in covering.  It makes me more inclined to write about it and ask more questions.  Hopefully, someone in a position of power will do something about that while it still matters to the players currently (or potentially, in Hillary’s case) involved.

UPDATE:  Looks like Boehner was pressured into growing a pair — he’s calling for a special select committee to investigate!  We may actually be on our way to getting some answers.

UPDATE 2:  Watch this wonderful exchange from Fox News Sunday — trying to defend the administration’s video story looks this bad.

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While there are no spoilers available about the storyline of the upcoming “Star Wars VII” film, JJ Abrams and crew have released a casting list for the film.

While many the new faces are relative unknowns and their parts in the film are still a mystery, a number of oldie-but-goodies will be returning to the cast to reprise their roles (the super Star Wars fans will recognize these names and characters):  Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fischer, Peter Meyhew, Anthony Daniels, and everyone’s favorite, Kenny Baker!

When plot points become available, I will consciously try to avoid them.  Until then, these kinds of announcements help to stir excitement for the upcoming films.  I’m stoked!


Today witnessed a historic canonization ceremony in which two former popes, John XXIII (1958-1963) and John Paul II (1978-2005), were canonized as saints with two living popes, Pope Francis and the retired Pope Benedict XVI (2005-2013), on hand.  Here is a clip from the canonization ceremony at the Vatican earlier today:

Pope John XXIII is credited with convening the Second Vatican Council which put forth numerous reforms including my favorite, having the mass said in a church’s local language rather than Latin.  Pope John Paul II is credited with helping to bring an end to European communism while inspiring millions of young people to live their lives through Christ.

I don’t know John XXIII well, but most of my life the Catholic church was dominated by John Paul II.  John Paul II was always strong and stood for Catholic principles.  His role in ending communism in Eastern Europe already puts him in the world history books.  He also led the church while it enduring perhaps one of the most significant crises of the modern Roman Catholic Church, the priest sexual abuse scandals.  Ultimately, he lived as an example of the dignity of life during his very public health deterioration in the waning years of his papacy.

Whether or not enough time had passed to justify a canonization of John Paul is a bit above my pay grade.  I’m just happy that a spiritual model of mine during my childhood has been deemed worthy to be in the pantheon of those in whom Christ dwells in on Earth.


Happy Easter!

by Ryan on April 20, 2014

in Anything Else,Culture,Religion

From all of us here at AOR, may you and your family have a Happy Easter!


After the recent Bundy Ranch fiasco finally died down, Nevada Senator Harry Reid jumped into the mix, calling those who descended to the ranch to support Clive Bundy “domestic terrorists.”  While this kind of hyperbole is completely uncalled for (especially for the Senate Majority Leader) and diminishes the meaning of “terrorist,” Reid doubled down on the statement a few days later!

While some are still very upset about the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) lack of a proportionate response to Bundy’s tax issues, others have been having some fun with it — including wearing “Domestic Terrorist” name tags to demonstrate Reid’s ridiculousness!

The crazy thing is, the federal government could have simply put a lien on Bundy’s property in order to get the money it needs rather than seize his property with armed agents and attack dogs.  So why the brazen display of power?

Interestingly, Harry Reid’s son represented a Chinese firm to which the feds were going to hand over this particular grazing land so this Chinese company could build a $5 billion solar plant on the land.  Reid himself pushed the deal through.  After things escalated, the BLM took that information off its website and the shock troops backed off.

Reid’s entry into this by trying to paint the Bundy and his supporters as dangerous suddenly starts to make perfect sense.  Following the money clarifies much about our politics these days.


While scouring the Internets this morning, I noticed RCP had two contrasting views on Common Core — the national education standards 45 states adopted without looking at them first.

David Brooks takes the Ruling Class apologist’s view, basically that one should just get over it and embrace the change.

Erick Erickson takes the skeptical view, basically that it seeks to benefit the businesses who fund the politicians who promote.

Both agree that some type of minimum national standards make sense in our highly mobile society.  However, Erickson and Brooks disagree on the math standards. Brooks believes that the new math is a “feature, not a bug,” while Erickson puts it this way:

No longer is it correct to add 2 and 2 to get 4.  Now a child must explain why that is so. If a child decides that the answer is 5 instead of 4 but provides a logical reason for the answer, teachers are encouraged to give the child points. …

In second grade, our child has already been exposed to time, money, addition, subtraction, measuring, multiplication, division and fractions and is now headed into math involving parentheses. Before one concept is grasped, new concepts are approached. Common Core seeks to build familiarity before competence.

Parents can’t help kids with math anymore because the new math doesn’t make sense.  However, parents are told that students who get help from their parents perform better, so please by our study guides, etc. so your kid can succeed — something Erickson called “justifications to maintain the madness.”

Hopefully, more and more people, whether they have children or not, will be talking about these changes and put pressure on their local and statewide representatives to alter or abolish Common Core in their states — while it’s great for certain businesses and politicians in the short-term, it’s not good for our kids moving forward.


Hopefully you’ve been paying attention to events happening in Nevada regarding rancher Clive Bundy’s conflict with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) — it says a lot about what is bubbling beneath the surface in DC and across the nation.

The case is simple: Bundy has to pay grazing fees to the federal government since his cattle grazes on federal lands.  Bundy refused to pay the fees back in 1994 and was taken to court — the fees now total around $1 million.

Now, two decades later, BLM decided to physically enforce its mandate by seizing the cattle.

Here’s a link to the raw footage of what went down.

Here’s the issue:  the regulation is stupid, but it is the law.  Bundy is legally wrong and the feds want their money.  Bundy used this event to draw attention to an overreaching federal government.  His family has owned the land since 1887 and would gladly pay the town or state for use of the land — his problem is with the feds.  The situation has the potential to escalate since the raw footage above has struck a chord with many who think such a government reaction is out of proportion with the crime.

Yesterday, the feds finally blinked and, while vowing not to let this go, have temporarily removed the stormtroopers.  We’ll see if the troops return see once the heat dies down in a few weeks.


Marvel’s latest comic book adaptation, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, hit theaters this weekend with both a fun and highly political message.  Here’s the trailer:

The reviews are in and Winter Soldier is definitely worth the price of admission.  It’s even received Glenn Beck’s seal of approval (which is very hard to get for a big-budget Hollywood film).  Plus, the film’s own directors admit that the film is an allegory critical of the Obama-era policy of targeted drone strikes and mass surveillance!  I haven’t been to the movies in a while, but the great reviews along with the political intrigue got my butt to the theaters.

The film itself deals with Captain America coping with his new role in the 21st Century.  He’s adapting pretty well, but begins to learn a terrible truth about some members of his agency, SHIELD, and has a moral conflict — he’s supposed to be part of a law enforcement agency tasked with helping the people, but discovers a plot which seeks to permanently curtail our freedoms for the sake of peace and order.  It’s very relevant to today’s headlines, bringing in the “Winter Soldier,” an old Soviet-era assassin with an important secret!

I will say no more — there are elements of the plot to spoil.  This movie is politically relevant, filled with action and adventure (along with the perennially uber-hot Scarlett Johansson).  One leaves the theater thinking.  In fact, I feel this to be the best comic book political satire since The Dark Knight (which I still think is brilliant allegory of the War on Terror).  Unfortunately, in order to understand everything about this film, you kind of have to see the first Captain America, The Avengers, Iron Man 3, and Pulp Fiction (Pulp Fiction? You’ll see — it’s only a two second scene, but it’s hilarious if you catch it).  Overall, I give the movie an A- but those just coming off the street without knowing all the references to those other films, you may give it a high B.


Occasionally, one needs a dose of clarity to (if nothing else) prepare psychologically for our impending day of reckoning.  I know that sounds apocalyptic, but our government’s spending, general ruling class behavior, the stock market, and other financial institutions are currently not on a sustainable path.  Unfortunately, we don’t know the time or the place or under what conditions the bubble will burst, so as a people we generally remain unfocused, complacent, and not really thinking strategically.

Articulating this quite well was Rush Limbaugh.  Since his show hits tens of millions of people, what he has to say is important.  Here’s his take on the road we are on:

H/T: The Blaze.


Yesterday, Ivan Lopez opened fire at the Fort Hood military base in Texas, killing three and wounding sixteen before killing himself.  Lopez was being treated for mental illness, perhaps PTSD, before the attack.  The motive behind this shooting is still trying to be understood at this time.

However, nearly five years after the first shooting at Fort Hood, how does a thing like this happen?  You’ll always have “lone wolves” and mentally deranged people who do not exhibit predictable behavior, but why is it that on a military base, no one can carry a gun unless they are an MP (military police)? I figure that the one place in America everyone might agree should NOT be a gun-free zone is a place designed to train people how to kill using guns and other devices!

In Killeen, right outside the base, a civilian can carry, but on the base trained soldiers cannot outside of very specific areas.  This Bush 41-era rule may have enabled a much higher body count.  We don’t know.  Just something to think about.  We’re still in the fact-finding phase at this point.

Nonetheless, our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families.


As it discovers more about Common Core, Indiana will become the first state that adopted the program to dump it after its initial phases are over.  Some believe that this development could start a snowball effect as more states implement the standards this Fall.  We’ll have to see where all this is going.

Common Core is supported by the usual political establishment types, but opposed by a more diverse political coalition.  Yet, I guarantee that many other states, especially red states and even some purple ones, will reassess use of these standards.  They had better act fast though–the SAT and AP assessments are already changing their formats to cater to their new Common Core masters.

At the grassroots level, more regular people are reacting against these standards, including a dad whose letter about the “new math” went viral recently.  This uprising is sure to gain momentum by the Fall, maybe even impacting a few close Congressional races.


Vatican chief justice Cardinal Raymond Burke said the following when asked about the Obama Administration in an interview for a Christian magazine:

It is true that the policies of the president of the United States have become progressively more hostile toward Christian civilization. He appears to be a totally secularized man who aggressively promotes anti-life and anti-family policies.

Well, duh!  There’s plenty more too in the link.

It’s heartening to hear people speaking truth to power on religious liberty while standing on principle.  The Supreme Court will be deliberating on the Hobby Lobby case soon where the Obama Administration is clearly attacking religious liberty through certain Obamacare mandates.  Lest we forget the Little Sisters of the Poor?

There are countless examples of how the state under Obama is trying to supplant, attack, intimidate, or ridicule religious institutions to promote its agenda.  So, I’m pleased that someone so high profile in the religious community is speaking out.


Rhode Island’s House Speaker, Gordon Fox (D), resigned yesterday amid an investigation by the US attorney’s office, the FBI, the IRS, and the state police.  The story itself is interesting for two reasons: first, that no one yet knows what the investigation is all about, and secondly, that Fox is biracial and gay.

In this age of identity politics, Fox’s sexual preference could either exacerbate this story, or prompt a near-complete MSM blackout because of it — remember, to our media elites it’s not what you did, it’s who you are which makes the difference in covering political stories.

In a perfect world, Fox’s race or sexual preference shouldn’t make a difference unless it’s directly part of the investigation.  “Gay-American” and former NJ Governor Jim McGreevey tried to play the identity-politics card when he resigned in 2004 — the problem was that McGreevey’s using of state funds for his sexual indiscretions should have been the focus, not his sexual preference which is where the story eventually went.

Since Fox is involved in Rhode Island politics, I wouldn’t put the identity-politics card past him.  I am, however, dying to know what these federal and state investigative agencies were looking for… we’ll just have to wait and see.


The last week or so has seen an acceleration of events between Russia, Crimea, and Ukraine which seemingly could spiral anywhere.

Russian-occupied Crimea voted the other day to secede — I’m not sure how “legal” the vote was until one thinks, of course, that there is no such thing as international law, just international norms that major powers enforce on occasion.  Also, spontaneous secessionist movements are kind of unpredictable I suppose — one can’t blame Ukraine for being pissed.

Then earlier today, Russia decides that independent Crimea should really be Russian and annexed the peninsula.  Granted, Khrushchev was the one who ceded Crimea to Ukraine from Russia in the 1950s.  Russia’s just looking to get its old Reich territories back.

Ukraine is screaming bloody-murder and is preparing for armed conflict.

So what does America do?

The Obama Administration has its response: sanctions on 21 people.  The Russian Deputy Prime Minister actually laughed.

The GOP has their predictable two-pronged answer: 1) Obama sucks — you should have voted Romney, and 2) go big on sanctions or go home.

The Ron Pauls of the world don’t see a strategic American interest and would rather we butt-out.  The Rush Limbaughs of the world seem to be in the ballpark on a reasonable response — if we do anything, let the Russians feel it for real.

The truth is that these 3am phone call situations will be blundered by the Obama team, either on purpose or from sheer lack of strategic thought.  So as Crimea secedes from Ukraine, while Russia succeeds in gobbling up territory, and the Ukraine prepares for war, the United States can’t seem to get its act together.  Perhaps that’s why Putin is doing this in the first place — what are we going to do?  What would we do?  What are we doing?  If I were Putin, why stop here — as they say, ownership is 90% possession.


Republican David Jolly defeated Democrat Alex Sink in a special election last night for Florida’s 13th Congressional district.  The district was historically Republican, but voted twice for Obama.  Jolly had a bloody primary battle, was trashed by the Establishment GOP last week, and was pitted against the Democrat machine with a candidate in Sink who barely lost a statewide election to Rick Scott four years ago.  So, the national Democrat machine swept in to take the seat, but ended up losing.

Some have said that this race is a referendum on Obamacare, or that the Dems are in some deep trouble this Fall.  Why can’t both ideas be right!  While that would be nice, the race itself was ridiculously close and Jolly is up for reelection in November, so this all may be temporary.

However, I have a big issue with the Establishment writing Jolly off last Friday, until Jolly finally implied that he would support Boehner for Speaker — then it was all smiles for Boehner who called yesterday’s result a “big win.”

So, they trash the guy when they think he can’t win, then laud him after he wins in spite of Establishment GOP efforts.  If independent GOP candidates keep winning elections, the Establishment should be very worried as more of these “big wins” could mean less need to put up with petty Establishment games and coercion.


I can’t say this is an absolute, but I am going to do my best to avoid trying predicting the future on this site because it is impossible for human beings to predict how other human beings will exercise their free will.  It’s hard enough to make sense of what people are doing in the present.  So, let’s try to figure that out instead…

For the past few months, Sal and I have been discussing whether Mitt Romney is considering a second run at the White House in 2016.  He sure seems to be acting as if he is.  Just months after losing the election, he spoke at CPAC in 2013, something politicians do to either raise or maintain their profile.  Then, there was the Netflix documentary titled “Mitt” that came out a few months ago, a documentary Romney seemed to be promoting with his mere presence.  Now, the Washington Post is reporting that, at Romney’s invitation, some of his top aides are planning to gather for a ski weekend in Utah later this month.  I don’t know (and contrary to what they tell you, no one else does either) whether Mitt will run again, but he seems to be considering it.

I’m torn by the idea of another Romney run.  My displeasure with his repeatedly shifting political positions is well documented, and he is 1-2 when it comes to major general elections.  On the other hand, his business acumen is unquestioned and his tax plan accomplishes the dual objectives of making our tax code less corporatist and more growth oriented by lowering tax rates and ending the practice of picking winners and losers by closing loopholes.  It could also be argued that the best way to gain experience in any endeavor is to fail and learn from one’s mistakes.

At the moment, I certainly prefer many of the potential candidates to Romney.  But, if he wants to run, why not?  Campaigns have a way of highlighting a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses.  I doubt I’d vote for him, but he’s entitled to give it a shot, and he would have the money necessary to make his case.


Kentucky Senator Rand Paul won the CPAC straw poll yesterday with 31% of the total vote, getting nearly three times more votes than the nearest competitor, Ted Cruz.  In case you missed it, here is Rand Paul’s speech last Thursday at CPAC.  Generally, these polls are not bellwethers or harbingers, but are a useful snapshot.

Paul’s an interesting figure — he’s conservative, leans libertarian, stands up to the Obama Nation, but also has played the Washington game on occasion.  Regardless, he’s starting to stand out in a way that’s more palpable to average people than his father was.  Plainly, if the choice in 2016 comes down to Hillary or Christie, I’m writing in Rand Paul.

I’m currently sick with some kind of annoying head-cold virus-thing, so I was able to watch lots of CPAC yesterday.  It was the ladies who stood out.  Ann Coulter railed against amnesty in classic Ann style.  Tammy Bruce had a panel which introduced a one Marilinda Garcia, running for Congress in New Hampshire.  Pretty, articulate, and conservative — perfection!  Finally, Sarah Palin ended the conference in typical Plain-fashion — a bit folksy, a few jabs, some humor, and a great message.  While the crowd loved her, I’m kind of getting over Palin.  She’s cool and important, but I feel her time has passed for high office.

All-in-all, I enjoyed how at CPAC the GOP Establishment came under fire from nearly everyone, including Democrat pollster Pat Caddell, who nailed it!  It was great TV yesterday, but let’s see how all that talk translates into action moving forward.

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Don’t get me wrong — this is not the worst case of the oversimplification of our political process out there, but today’s piece in the National Journal on Rand Paul and Marco Rubio is an excellent example of what I recently labeled as the silliness dominating our discourse.  One of the tricks media outlets, and not just liberal ones, have used for decades is to create conflict where none may exist just for the sake of creating conflict.

In this example, the National Journal pits the “isolationism” of Rand Paul against the “hawkishness” of Marco Rubio as one of the potential battle lines in 2016.  The evidence used to back up this assertion is this analysis of Rubio’s (supposedly hawkish) comments in the crisis in Ukraine:

[Rubio] wrote an op-ed for Politico suggesting ways to “punish Russia.” On Meet the Press, Rubio called Russia “an enemy of the United States” and labeled Vladimir Putin’s regime “a government of liars.”

That’s awfully hawkish for someone who doesn’t like labels.

Immediately followed by this analysis of Rand Paul’s (supposedly “isolationist”) reaction:

Paul was considerably less animated in responding to Russian aggression. He issued a placid statement suggesting that Russian leaders “should think long and hard” about their actions.

The problem with this purported conflict is that there may not be one.  Paul’s approach to foreign policy probably is more inward-looking than Rubio’s, but neither label really seems to fit.  With two fronts in a global war on terror dominating 2000s, what’s remarkable is that neither man is calling for military intervention, as many may have done just ten years ago.  In the case of Paul, the term “isolationism” really isn’t fair either given his statements about open borders and global free trade.

Stories about conflict attract more news consumers than stories about ideas.  That has always been true, but it seems even more so recently.  The National Journal is right that Marco Rubio and Rand Paul have different approaches to foreign policy, but “hawk” and “isolationist” are overstated and oversimplified.  To use one of President Obama’s overused phrases, the choice between a hawkish Rubio and an isolationist Paul is a false choice.

*To be fair to National Journal, this article was a more interesting post than those merely asserting the “A Pwns B.”


That title itself tells me everything I need to know about the value of the “C” in CPAC these days.  They also had a standing ovation for Mitch McConnell, who needed props to elicit such a response (please donate to his primary challenger, Matt Bevin, and finally get Mitch to retire).  At least they saved one ovation for Ted Cruz.

Of course, nearly everything Chris Christie says either insults my intelligence or pisses me off.  He represents the main problem with the GOP in my eyes.  He’s a typical Northeast Liberal Republican tailor-made to lose a general election (aka, the perfect Establishment GOP candidate).

I actually live in New Jersey and can say that our economy was mostly better under Jon Corzine than under Christie.  That’s an objective statement where property taxes are concerned.  Christie adopted Obamacore Common Core to take Obama-bucks, raised tolls across the state, took temporary Obamacare Medicaid funds when he didn’t have to, agrees with nearly all aspects of the surveillance state, loves gun control, embraces the DREAM Act, errs on the side of big government every chance he gets, and of course the embrace.

So when Christie gets an ovation from CPAC, I need to ask: how much Kool Aid were they serving in the ballroom? are they just being polite? are they afraid of road construction in front of their busy bridges if he gets elected President? being the first day of CPAC, were they just in an ovating kind of mood?

There were two pull-quotes from his speech: “Republican governors in this country have stood up and done things, not just talked about them.” Too bad most of the things Christie did were statist-oriented, big government in nature which will hurt New Jersey in the long run.

But this one roiled me: “Let us come out of here resolved not only to stand for our principles, but let’s come out of this conference resolved to win elections again.”  I hadn’t noticed all those conservatives who didn’t want to win elections.  I did, however, notice lots of Establishment types for amnesty, gun control, and other Democrat issues who actually lost elections and depressed base turnout.  Maybe he means those types?  Nah!  He is that type:  a total establishment blowhard.


Rachel Canning, 18, didn’t like her parent’s rules and left home to live with a friend.  It’s the old “live under my roof, live with my rules” phenomenon every parent has a right to demand of their adult children living at home.

Most young adults either suck-it-up or move out.  Canning decided to deal with it another way.  She turned around and sued her own parents for $654 a week and attorney’s fees!  Her parents agreed to pay her college tuition and let this all slide if she just moved back home.  Instead, the case went forward, ending up in front of a county judge today.

Unfortunately, the judge’s ruling was mixed:  the judge denied Canning’s request for back and future payment (duh), but insisted the parents not touch the college fund until April when a tentative hearing may take place to figure out that angle (not so good).

To me, (legally anyway) this is about property rights.  If you can vote, get drafted, get married, gamble, or go to jail for your crimes, your parents don’t owe you their property anymore, especially if you refuse to abide by your parent’s rules!  That’s cold, but that’s life.  Actions beget consequences.  Adult children suing parents for cash in this case is ridiculous.


Events are moving fast in Ukraine:  violent protests, parliament removing their leader, an interim government trying to catch its breath, etc.  Complicating the situation is the ethnic makeup of Ukraine — 17.3% are Russian, most of whom live in the eastern part of the country.

After making plenty of noise about possibly sending troops, the Russian parliament has given Vladimir Putin permission to mobilize Russian military forces to “protect ethnic Russians and the personnel of a Russian military base in Ukraine’s strategic region of Crimea.”

Shouldn’t the UN have something to say about this?  Shouldn’t the EU be screaming about Russia invading a sovereign nation, possibly sparking a larger conflagration?  Shouldn’t President Obama be rallying world condemnation with the threat of economic sanctions?  The first two questions are easy to answer — the UN is a joke, and Europe needs Russian oil.

President Obama did have something to say about the situation yesterday:

“We are now deeply concerned by reports of military movements taken by the Russian Federation inside of Ukraine.  Any violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity would be deeply destabilizing, which is not in the interests of Ukraine, Russia or Europe. It would represent a profound interference in matters that must be determined by the Ukrainian people.

“It would be a clear violation of Russia’s commitment to respect the independence and sovereignty and borders of Ukraine, and of international laws. The United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine.”

What, no “red line?”  We know how Putin feels about Obama, and how Obama feels about Putin.  KGB agent vs. a Community Organizer?  I’m taking KGB.  If you remember, Mitt Romney was mocked by Obama over calling Russia a “geopolitical foe” during one of the debates.  Presciently, in 2008 Sarah Palin actually said (and was also mocked over):

“After the Russian Army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama’s reaction was one of indecision and moral equivalence, the kind of response that would only encourage Russia’s Putin to invade Ukraine next.”

You betcha.


From September 2008 to February 2009 nearly $1.6 trillion America didn’t have had been spent by our government: TARP to bailout Wall Street ($700 billion), plus the auto bailouts ($80 billion), plus the Stimulus to bailout Democrat constituencies ($787 billion).  When would it stop?  Who would end up paying for it?  Anyone paying attention was deeply concerned.  CNBC’s Rick Santelli was, and gave his now famous “rant:”

Within weeks, in fact five years ago today, the launch of the “Tea Party” in 30 cities emerged to protest this ridiculousness.  Within two months, I had attended my first Tea Party protest — a rainy Tax Day protest in Trenton.  It felt like being part of the early phases of a grassroots movement — regular like-minded passionate people without any clear political direction or organization.  That would come in time.

By 2010, Angelo Codevilla wrote his famous “Ruling Class” article, laying out a philosophical explanation for a more populist brand of libertarian conservatism that the Tea Party represented.  The elections that Fall sent a clear message by shellacking the Democrat Ruling Class in Washington.  The momentum carried over little to 2012 as the Republicans, through whom the Tea Party chose to function politically, nominated a flip-flopping Massachusetts moderate in Mitt Romney.  The Party stayed home.  Obama stayed President.

Through it all, the MSM has thrown vile and unfounded accusations at the Tea Party.  Yawn.  The MSM didn’t create us, so they have no power over us, which kind of bothers them.

In the typical model of grassroots activism, the Tea Party no longer fills the streets the way it used to mostly because the movement has evolved from protest to politics.  They aren’t merely trying to impact government, they are in government… just not in Washington yet, at least not in the numbers necessary to move us away from our perilous trajectory.

Mark Levin spoke earlier about the need for the Tea Party to fight on.  It should be easy — with Obama defacing the Constitution and the Establishment GOP trying to expunge the Tea Party, the movement feels even more emboldened.


So like my co-blogger Mike, I’ve been remiss in posting to this site for quite some time, for a host of reasons.  The primary reason is that for the last couple of years, my personal life has undergone a sweeping change.  Back in the summer of 2012, Mrs Sal started our family by adopting a little two-year old boy.  The experience has been life-changing – our son is a wonderful little guy and really has changed us.  We can’t imagine life without him, and are so grateful that he bas been brought into our lives.  With all that, we were plunged into parenthood head first, and sometimes it seemed like we couldn’t come up for air enough to spend time with each other, let alone spend time pursuing other interests.  So there is that.

At the same time, I’d become quite disillusioned with politics.  Watching the GOP establishment sell out core conservative principles time after time, and bicker with the grassroots more often than with the opposition has caused me to rethink a lot of my own political thoughts.  At present, I no longer consider myself a Republican, although I still often vote that way because there aren’t many credible alternatives.  Additionally, I’ve been observing a trend of hypocrisy among many of the GOP punditry (and even some of the conservative punditry) in which they criticize things that they would have defended during the last administration.  Suffice to say, I’ve stopped paying attention to a lot of it.  I keep up with the news, but I try to get information from a variety of sources (especially online) to make my own decisions based on my ideals rather than rely on the silliness that seems to be everywhere.

My political views have evolved to more of a Christian libertarianism – government should, by and large, stay as small as possible, stay out of the way on most issues, and only get involved when it is necessary to protect rights (I say Christian libertarianism to separate myself from the pro-abortion branch of libertarianism).  I’ve also become more focused on my faith in the past few years.  I’ve been studying it, learning more about it, and trying to focus on the things in life that matter – faith and family.  Yet politics remains important and keeps drawing me back in because it affects so much else.  As we continue to go down the slippery slope of big government in this country, it affects those things.  The battle over religious freedom in this country is but one example of that.  So that is why I’m returning – to continue to fight that battle, to offer a new perspective that I didn’t have before, and to do my very small part to help restore some sanity to our political world.  I’ll be touching on different topics than in the past – technology in politics, faith, and the practical effects that politics have on average Americans, as well as the normal news-based commentary that I used to provide.  As we approach another election season, there will be no shortage of things to discuss.  I will say that I have missed writing, and it’s good to be back!


It was hard to ignore all the craziness coming out of Ukraine this week — the violent protests and police crackdown, the President fleeing, the parliament transferring presidential authority, the East/West showdown renewed, talk of the final battle of the Cold War.

Phew!  When revolutions happen, events move fast.  The key concern for national leaders in countries some freedoms is not to turn your back on the voters.  Morsi got elected in Egypt then tried to change their constitution to solidify his power indefinitely.  In Ukraine’s case, their recently deposed leader worked against the will of the people in trying to tie Ukraine more towards Russia than the EU.

Russia still casts a profound shadow over Ukrainian politics.  I’m not sure how strong-fisted Putin will be in dealing with his errant neighbor. I’m especially curious since tonight the Winter Olympics in Sochi end.  Once a few news cycles pass, the international focus will leave Russia, allowing Putin more breadth to be the real Putin.

However, as a throw-back to my early teen years, any opportunity to see Lenin statues falling is one worth sharing:

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New York Mayor Bill de Blasio revealed a 62-point plan which he believes will lead to safer traffic patterns and streets.  A big city progressive who wants tons of new rules and regulations?  No news there.

However, it’s nonetheless bad form to have one’s own caravan caught two days later by CBS2 cameras blowing through stop signs, speeding, and other actions already considered moving violations which, if the driver were pulled over, would result in that driver’s license being suspended.  Mayor de Blasio was in the lead car.

So, one set of rules for the Mayor, another for the rest of NYC drivers.  A big city progressive having that attitude?  No news there, but his timing is awful.


This summer, the US Navy will deploy its latest weapon systema laser beam!

While only to be used for “asymmetric” threats, it’s still pretty cool that the military believes such a weapon is deployment-ready!  The article indicates that the weapon’s not so good in bad weather, but for small potential threats in a calm environment it’s good to go.

In two years, an EM rail gun may begin to replace the conventional big-guns on other ships.  The issue with the rail gun is that it requires tons of electricity — probably not a problem on a nuclear carrier or sub.

It’s unusual these days to see the US occasionally act like an old Cold War superpower — spending billions on weapons we’ll likely never have to use against a near-peer power, but still making and deploying them anyway!  If we’re going to have wasteful government spending, at least make frickin’ laser beams with it!


Being refugees from the vast union wasteland that is Detroit, the United Auto Workers (UAW) union has tried to find a new home in the South.  Many foreign car companies set up plants in the South to 1) bring their plants closer to the consumer, and 2) avoid the high cost of union labor in places like Detroit.

Recently, the UAW found a receptive environment at Chattanooga’s Volkswagen plant.  Volkswagen’s headquarters in Germany welcomed the vote in Chattanooga since it’s VW’s only plant world-wide without a “works council.”

However, in America the workers have a right to vote for entrance into a union.  After a three-day vote 53% of workers rejected unionizing, devastating the UAW.  In typical fashion, when the left doesn’t like the outcome of an election, they sometimes challenge it until they get the outcome they like.  Calls to appeal the vote to the NLRB are already being heard as allegations of “outside interference” are being made.

We’ll see where this goes, but this isn’t a good sign for the UAW since Chattanooga is a place where one expert lamented, “If the union can’t win [in Chattanooga], it can’t win anywhere.”