Social Justice To Equal Justice.

Orange is the new black.  30 is the new 20.  Perpetrators are the new victims… Wait! What?!  A disturbing trend has been emerging for a while which threatens true justice and real equality which is so highly sought after in today’s passionate political landscape.  People suffering death, loss, and assault are discarded as social justice replaces equal justice when criminals are protected and sheltered in the name of tolerance. It’s as if hurt feelings are worse than terror attacks, rapes, assaults, etc.

On March 25th, 2017, the Gulf News ran an editorial piece entitled “London Won’t Let Hate Prevail” written by Nesrine Malik.  The piece was in response to the horror induced reactions of the rampage courtesy of who some are dubbing the Westminster terrorist Khalid Masood.  It’s full of virtue signaling and pompous insinuations written to protect NOT the dead victims or their families, but an entire sect of people that had absolutely no hand in the atrocious act.  The piece is a prime example of misplaced focus and an effort to create an “us-versus-them” dialogue where a moral high ground is claimed and actual solutions are kicked further down the road.

crying Instead of engaging the legacy of the mentally deranged Masood and addressing strategies for preventing future incidents, Malik utilizes her influence and platform to disregard victims and cast-off/condemn those public figures that wish to preserve life and liberty from the expense of terrorists.  Naming names, Malik exposes “an entire industry” of “right-wing hate” and “an infrastructure of hate promotion” in which “the right-wing was literally waiting in the wings, almost grateful that the imaginary fears it had been trying to provoke had become real ones.”  Seriously?! “Imaginary fears”?  Are those “imaginary fears” so imaginary for Aysha Frade, Keith Palmer, and Kurt Cochran?  Were those fears so imaginary for any other folks killed or maimed by terrorism or hate crimes the world over?

Of course, there is not one mention of the terrorist Masood and certainly no condemnation of him or his actions.  Oh, no!  There’s only condemnation of others actually trying to eliminate future attacks. It would be easy to assume Malik’s silence on the issue as consent but that would be irresponsible and (hopefully) erroneous, just as her assumption that Donald Trump Jr. “singled out [London Mayor Sadiq] Khan because he was Muslim” is irresponsible.  Anything to achieve the moral high ground of victimhood.

This leads into another example of misplaced focus in response to horrific incidents.  After two illegal immigrants allegedly raped a 14-year-old girl in a bathroom stall at Rockville High School in Maryland, concerned parents addressed the issue of illegal immigration and policy measures that may have prevented such a brutal act. However, instead of speaking to the issue of rape/sexual assault in his school and immigrants in the country illegally, school superintendent Jack Smith was more concerned with “hateful” and “xenophobic” rhetoric towards the alleged rapists.  Granted, it’s reported that there were a few threats made in response to the assault but authorities determined the threats weren’t credible.

Smith stated plainly and boldly that “This behavior will not be tolerated in our community.”  Any reasonable mind would assume he was addressing the disgusting sexual assault that took place on his watch but no, of course not.  In an effort to maintain stale political correctness and uphold social justice Smith was speaking out against unsubstantiated and untrustworthy verbal threats.

Grief-StatueMaryland resident Hessie Harris made a bold statement to The Daily Signal saying “We have become second-class citizens.  If we (American citizens) do something we face consequences, but illegals under the sanctuary city policies, they don’t.”

Another Rockville High School parent declared, “It’s as if almost the nation has turned against its own people.”

These sentiments encapsulate a growing frustration and distrust which is emerging each time genuine victimization occurs.  People of influence such as Malik and Smith are hijacking honest victimhood and bestowing it upon perpetrators committing unthinkable acts against innocent, undeserving individuals.  Unfortunate is the day when society protects and shields the causes of these crimes rather than condemning and holding them accountable.

The Privilege of an Owie

                “I’ll take ‘Progress In the Social Media Age’ for 500, Alex.”

                “People striving to achieve the moral high ground of victimhood.”

                “Who is the American Liberal?”

                “Correct.”

                This puzzle will never be on Jeopardy and certainly doesn’t strictly apply to liberals but it’s got me befuddled nonetheless.  “The moral high ground of victimhood.”  Those six words have had me doing cognitive summersaults for the last several days.  It comes from a recent sermon I heard my pastor Scott Nickell preach out of Lafayette, Colorado and he says this,  “In our current cultural setting where we’re a bunch of coddled people who are trying to achieve the moral high ground of victimhood, we have to realize, the world doesn’t revolve around us and that’s a very good thing.”

th07p5ru8a

                If there is one thing I can’t stand it is a victim mentality.  People that take advantage of any situation, no matter how big or how small, no matter how intentional or unintentional, to be a victim and let others know they’ve been victimized.  A few relatively new concepts come to mind such as paying reparations, cultural appropriations, and Donald J. Trump winning the presidency.

Social media illustrates how easy it is to be a victim in today’s internet, social justice age.  No, not a real victim.  It’s not easy being a rape victim, no way!  There’s no smooth sailing after being fired from a dream job (or any job) because of a disability.  It’s not easy pulling your life together after being defrauded of your life savings.  There is no easy way to cope with a spouse that plays fast and loose with your trust and relationship.  There’s certainly no clear path forward after suffering life altering injuries from a drunk driver or losing a family member to war.  Being a real victim is brutal and they deserve our very best.  There’s no two ways about it.

However, in the internet age it is easy to perpetuate someone else’s struggle as if it were your own whether you’ve been victimized in the same way or not.  All that is necessary is a relative association.  Now people can feel sorry for you, give you attention, uplift you with nice comments, and come alongside you to offer support.

“…A bunch of coddled people who are trying to achieve the moral high ground of victimhood.”

If you’re a victim then that means you’ve been wronged which by default, means you’re in the right and the perpetrator is erroneous.  Everyone wants to be correct, no one wants to be wrong.  If people can associate themselves with a genuine victim whether they’re a victim or not, then they’re able to take a moral stand on the grounds of being right while the offender is wrong.  This is a minor physical manifestation of empathy.  Empathy is a very good thing.  However, empathy mutates into something more sinister when it becomes a movement designed to show who is right versus what is right.  Once that metamorphosis occurs then the entire premise of the movement turns into double standards, eye-for-an-eye, tit-for-tat, “they did it first” pettiness.  This is especially evident in the comments sections all over the Web, in meme’s on Facebook & Instagram, and social justice protests.

Take Madonna for example.  In response to Trumps election to the presidency in spite of his misogynistic past, she publicly voices a desire to commit domestic terrorism and blow up the White House!  Let’s think this through for a moment.  On stage, in front of hundreds of thousands of people Madonna wishes to blow up Trump’s new home, the White House (which would invariably contain numerous family members, aides, staffers, journalists, maintenance workers, foreign diplomats, etc.)  She expresses a desire to commit mass murder and destruction of property even though Donald Trump has never, ever committed a sexually aggressive assault against her!

th1s1kp1vs

”…A bunch of coddled people who are trying to achieve the moral high ground of victimhood.”

Suddenly Madonna has a moral soapbox from which to preach sexual integrity because she associates herself with a perceived victim???

 I can hear her fans and supporters coming to her defense now…

“She doesn’t really mean that.”

“She’s just using a figure of speech, she’d never really do it.”

“It’s no big deal.  After all, she offered to give a hummer to any man that votes for Hillary Clinton but wasn’t serious.”

Why are millions of people outraged at Trump for his pussy grabbing comments but those same people aren’t pissed at Madonna for her murderous comments?  Because there are millions and millions of women (and men by association of familial or intimate relationship) that can relate to the victim of Trump’s comments but no one can relate to the evil, cold-blooded, heartless killer that it’d take to carry out Madonna’s murderous desires.  Remember, a victim is right, an offender is wrong.  No one wants to be wrong.

“…A bunch of coddled people who are trying to achieve the moral high ground of victimhood.”

                This is not a treatise in defense of Trump.  If you’re looking to take sides go read CNN or InfoWars.  This is a short expose’ on the victim mentality that has taken the U.S. by storm, especially in the latest election cycle.  This is just an illustration of one example out of many which we’ve seen play out over and over again.

thbb3s4pkn

Minimum wage too low? Instead of whining and protesting about someone not paying you enough (being a victim) take the initiative to become more educated, more specialized, more in-demand, more marketable.

Need a safe space?  Instead of complaining about ideas that are different from yours or whining about “micro-aggressions” (being a victim) try articulating and researching why you believe what you believe.  Or just ignore the perceived slight.  What happens if you’re offended?  Nothing!

Bakery won’t bake you a cake?  Instead of whining and complaining about it (being a victim) go find another baker and watch the first bakery go out of business.

Someone is wearing a Halloween costume that depicts your culture?  Instead of bitching about the appropriation of your culture take the opportunity to A) be thankful that your culture has spread throughout the land and B) educate people about the greatness of your culture.

The fabric of the American culture is interwoven with so many incredible and different aspects but victimhood has never been an American attribute.  The victim mentality is THE number one disease gnawing away at the rotting bones of the American republic.  So many people thinking someone else owes them something…

emilysquotes-com-expect-victor-life-living-victim-mentality-attitude-inspirational-motivational-encouraging-billy-cox

When people start making the hard choice to view themselves as victors and not victims is when this country will really start to heal and grow together again.  It takes making a very unpopular choice of individuals taking personal responsibility for their future.  In order to become a nation of victors rising above the circumstances on a grassroots level, with minimum government interference, to beat the situations (not other people) in front of us we’ve got to eat the proverbial shit sandwich and take control of ourselves.

 

Sleight of Hand

                Over the last year I have asked several times with the utmost sincerity why any of my friends/family would vote for Hillary Clinton.  My aim was to open dialogue and understand their viewpoint.  Not once did I get one single answer. Now that Trump has won I’m just floored the negative, pessimistic vitriol coming from the party that lost the election.  I guess “Love Trumps Hate” only if Hillary Clinton won the presidency, ya?  Thus, I just had to take to the pen again.  One day after Donald Trump is elected (key word) as the 45th President of the United States of America and the (in)tolerant left is showing its true colors.  Crying, protesting, name-calling, threatening physical harm like a massive collective of bratty three year olds.  This dust needs to settle, people need to chill, and healing needs to begin.

                In an attempt at understanding I wanted to share a few of the quotes and evaluations I’ve come across from people that are much smarter and more eloquent than I am.

                “I find it comical and very hypocritical of the people who are firing away on social media with nasty, rude, arrogant, disrespectful and hate fueled comments about Trump… Correct me if I’m wrong but aren’t those the same traits in which you despise him???” –Officer Daniels on Facebook.

                “It’s almost as if you endlessly call people bigots and racists they’ll eventually get fed up and turn on you.” –Dave Rubin on Twitter.

                “If you’re rioting to protest against a democratic election, just know that your behavior is why Trump won in the first place.” –Paul Joseph Watson on Facebook.

                “We have to remember that we’re actually all on one team… We’re not Democrats first, we’re not Republicans first, We are Americans first.  We’re patriots first. We all want what’s best for this country.”  -President Obama

                “I was struck by the tone of President-elect Trump last night…Someone speaking about their love of America.  America being the best.  Pure American exceptionalism, instead of apologizing for America.  Tearing America down…. It was almost strange to hear because it’s been 8 years since I’ve heard that from an American leader.” –Kevin Finley on Facebook.

                “Higher education is isolated, insular and liberal.  Average voters aren’t.” –Charles Camosy in The Washington Post.

                “The press (& Trump opponents) take him [Trump] literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally.” –Salena Zito in The Atlantic.

                “Support for Mr. Trump…was underpinned by voters attracted to a simple message of taking back control from the political elite.” –William Horobin, Stacy Meichtry, & Ruth Bender in the Wall Street Journal.

                “As flawed a candidate as Trump was, he had his finger on the pulse…The polls were off because nobody wanted to admit that they were going to vote for him.  But it’s a populist revolt and a lot of people believed in Tump’s message: too much regulation, too much government.  The whole thing is a bunch of guys getting rich on Capitol Hill and not paying attention to the people who elected them.” –Maureen Dowd in The New York Times.

                To end, the mainstream media and liberal talking heads would have you believe that this election was about racism, bigotry, misogyny, sexism, etc.  When in reality it was about subject matter far bigger. 

                To sum it up “The reality is that six in 10 Americans do not have a college degree, and they elected Donald Trump.  College-educated people…have struggled to display even a rudimentary understanding of the worldviews of those who voted for Trump… Sometimes the college-educated find themselves so unable to understand a particular working-class view that they will respond to those perspectives with shocking condescension.” –Charles Camosy in The Washington Post.

                ~Be blessed, America.~

America Has Gone Off the Rails!

          

Or so it would seem.  Current headlines read:

            “AP: Donald Trump Elected President in Stunning Upset.”

            “Stock Futures Plunge as Donald Trump Posts Surprising Win.”

            “Canadian Election Watchers Stunned by Surprising Trump Victory”

            “Shock for DC Millennials as Trump Wins US Election.”

            Why is there so much surprise, shock, and stunned faces at the election of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States of America?  Mainstream media pumped Hillary Clinton profusely.  Poll after poll after poll continued to project Clinton as the favorite to run away with a White House victory.  After the benefit of ringing Hollywood endorsements, Wall Street backing, rigged polls, smear campaigns, and 30 some years of political “service” Clinton could not secure the confidence of America’s voters.  Why all the surprise and confounding looks?

            As many people celebrate the victory of Trump and mourn the loss of Clinton one thing is for certain: Americans want a government for the people, by the people. 

            Ted Cruz puts it this way, “This affirms what we have long known, that American’s have resoundingly rejected the Obama-Clinton agenda of bigger government, intrusive regulation, executive overreach and lawlessness that is killing innovation and jobs, squandering opportunity for working men and women, marginalizing our freedoms, and corrupting our security.”

             A friend of mine asked me after the election results were in if I was going to be able to retain our previous appointment time or if I had to reschedule because I was celebrating Trumps victory.  I responded by stating, “My only defense for Donald Trump is that he is not Hillary Clinton.  I’m breathing a sigh of relief, not celebrating.”  I still hold my breath.  I’m still anxious to see what kind of president Trump will be.  I still hold all of my initial reservations against Trump when he first announced his candidacy.  But I’m thanking God Clinton is not going to the White House! 

            I voted for Trump to keep Hillary out.  That does not mean I’m a misogynist.  That does not mean I’m a bigot (watch people call me these names unaware they’re being bigoted against me).  That does not mean I’m a racist (my horse was originally a black man, then a Hispanic, and begrudgingly fell to an orangutan).  I don’t hate Mexicans and I’m not terrified of Muslims.  However, I do love America.  With Trump we have a shot to get things right.  Having Hillary as POTUS would be like setting a five course meal in front of a starving woman and telling her not to eat.  You know she would’ve devoured the entire thing.  Food, dishes, tablecloth, and the chef, down the hatch.

            Many celebrities have threatened to leave the U.S. if Trump wins the presidency including Miley Cyrus, Lena Dunham, Bryan Cranston, Samuel L. Jackson, Cher, George Lopez, Barbara Streisand, among others.  Common folks are also threatening to leave as if that somehow motivates voters to pull the lever for a massively corrupt Clinton. 

            Here’s the deal:

            Americans don’t tuck tail and run.  Americans run towards the roar. 

That’s the way I see it.  If so many people want to leave America because one election didn’t go their way then I and others would be happy for them to start their new lives elsewhere.  It’ll help our tax dollars go further anyways.   

            Leftists right now are enraged, dejected, standing upon their moral high ground apologizing to the world that America was so stupid to elect Trump to the presidency.  Stupid?  Really?  Trump certainly isn’t perfect but aren’t you the company you keep?  How is it Hillary Clinton can be embroiled in scandal after scandal after scandal and be even remotely considered for POTUS???  How can one be so enraged by Trumps (insert adjectives here) comments yet shield Clinton’s suspicious scandals with any moral defense?

            Like Trump, the United States of America is not perfect.  But she is ours.  Trump represents We The People while Clinton represents only herself, global elitism, and corruption for personal gain.  Trump’s slogan throughout his campaign has been “Make America Great Again.”  The greatness of the US was in its uniqueness that comes from being the first nation in history with a founding constitution that designed a government in which the people govern themselves rather than suffering under rulers, monarchs, dictators and oppressors.  Over time our process and elected officials have become corrupted.  Just ask Bernie Sanders supporters.  In spite of progressive, self-righteous and self-damning #AmericaWasNeverGreat hashtags the Trump victory has profoundly demonstrated that the American experiment can and will continue.

       

Potty Break!

It’s not hate.  It hasn’t been about hate.

 

Hate doesn’t mean what they think it means.

 

Hate is “to feel intense dislike, or extreme aversion or hostility” according to dictionary.com.  However, it is about discrimination.  It’s always been about discrimination and that discrimination is just fine.  According to dictionary.com discrimination is “making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit”.   In this case the distinction in favor of men using only male restrooms is okay.  In this case the distinction against men using female facilities is okay.

The recent fodder over the transgender bathroom issue is proof of the lunacy that’s invading the fabric of U.S. society today.  If there was ever an issue that illustrates the stupidity and lack of common sense in America today, it’s this one.  As an American living in the Middle East, we’re able to witness an international reaction to the childish, immature potty debate and that’s exactly what we’re hearing.  People from all over the globe are collectively pointing and laughing at the U.S. embroiled in such a dispute purely based on .03% of our population’s feelings.  At a time when there are literally a hundred other issues drastically more important than toilet use the U.S. is wasting time, money and energy on bathroom legislation.

Why is this even an issue?!?!  At what point did the U.S. go so far down the rabbit hole as to become confused with which bathroom to use???  Isn’t it common sense that humans equipped with male sex organs are wholly accepted into male restrooms?  Isn’t it common sense that humans equipped with female sex organs are allowed to have the privacy of their own lavatory?  There is definitively no excuse to make the debate any harder than that.  Well, except for “the-men’s-room-is-closed-so-I-have-to-use-the-women’s-room-because-I-REALLY-have-to-poop” excuse, there is absolutely NO reason for men to use a women’s wash room.

And it’s not because anyone is hating on transgender people.  Telling a penis to relieve itself in the men’s room is not hate!  Hate is having a lynch mob on your door step ready to drive you out of town or worse, kill you (!) because you’re different.  Hate is having derogatory terms spray painted on your home or your residence burnt down while you’re inside.  That’s hate.  Hate is getting your ass beat at school because you’re different.  Hate is being ran off the road on your drive home because you don’t fit into society’s norms. Confining humans to restrooms based on their current genitalia is NOT hate and anyone claiming otherwise displays their lack of mental abilities.

In addition, we here at A Common View are taking issue to the gender fluid proponents that are hollering “hate”.  It’s likely that those screaming “hate” have never experienced hateful actions as mentioned above.  If they have, they’re a small minority that have been terribly victimized by another small minority.  Didn’t anyone ever teach those yelling “hate” that people can disagree and still love each other?  Since when did we have to hate everyone that has a different viewpoint?  Since when did having a different viewpoint equal hate?  It doesn’t.

Let’s make this easy so people cannot become confused; If you’ve got a dick, piss in the men’s restroom.  If you’ve got a vagina, take yourself to the ladies room.  If you’re confused as to which genitalia you possess please stay home until you’re educated enough to know the difference.  If you’re afraid to use your allotted bathroom for fear of awkward glances or hurt feelings, please avoid a gender fluid lifestyle until you’ve got the mental fortitude to be yourself.  Take accountability for yourself and your choices on how to live your life.  Let’s tackle some real issues and leave the potties alone.

Who’s On First? Obama Knows.

Years ago as a young boy my parents taught me that actions speak louder than words. It didn’t matter what I meant to do nearly as much as it mattered what I actually did.  There may have been a time where a person’s word was their bond and when someone said yes it meant yes, and when they said no, it meant no.  That is no longer and Barak Obama’s actions in the wake of Tuesday’s terror attacks in Brussels are a study in the burgeoning gap between actions and speech.

Obama just got back to the White House after a short tour of Latin America which included the much talked about visit in Cuba.  While he was warming relations between America and Cuba the Islamic terrorists struck, claiming lives, injuring many, and infusing fear and apprehension in the hearts of people all over the world… And what does Obama do in response to the attacks?  He goes out to a ball game.

Unlike Obama, the terrorists continue to do their job.  See, it’s not necessarily about the number of casualties terrorists create so much as the amount of terror and fear they instill in the rest of the world. Sure, the terrorists want to create as many casualties as possible to fit their demented narrative of bogus salvation but the ideology of terrorizing communities is to disrupt the everyday lifestyle of as many human beings as possible by instilling the fear of when, where, and what if.  How much can their strikes on random, ambiguous targets wreak havoc on the average person’s trip to the subway, airport, office, marathon, concert, café, etc…?

Nearly two years ago, before my wife and I moved from America into the Middle Eastern, Muslim dominated country we now call home, we had an honest and frank conversation about the possibilities of terror related activates we physically migrated towards .  No doubt our friends and families voiced similar concerns in the months leading up to our departure.  In the end, we decided we were going to take our own personal stand against terrorism and declare that we weren’t going to allow their tactics and actions to dictate the fashion and locale of our lives.  Our act of rebellion in the face of despicable terrorism was to live our lives the way we wanted to regardless.

This, it seems, is the same tactic Obama took on as our European friends once again attempt to pick themselves up from another cowardly, deadly attack and this is the study between actions and words.  In one breath Obama pledges “whatever is necessary to support our friend and ally Belgium in bringing to justice those that are responsible” and then immediately proceeds to spend the rest of the day taking in a baseball game, doing the wave, and enjoying the balmy Cuban weather while Europe and the rest of the world grapples with what to do next.

It’s one thing for citizens to carry on with their normal lives after tragic events like the ones in Brussels, Paris, San Bernardino, and all of the others but it is imperative for the President of the United States, the leader of the free world to immediately alter his schedule and his daily life to spearhead the fight against terrorism.  Why?  Because Barak Obama has the power, tools, and resources at the tip of his fingers to take the fight to terrorists.  The average citizen around the world does not have the command and control of the resources which Obama has.  His individual actions (or inactions) yield far greater consequences than yours or my individual actions.  You and I can sit at a ballgame and gorge on hotdogs all day long and no one will care.  However, entire countries and policies are at the mercy of the heads of state like him and his operative in the face of devastating opposition is to watch a ballgame?!?!

Even NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw took note of Obama’s inaction.  Brokaw noticed that Obama, as POTUS, needs to take action, not a ballgame.  Here’s a quotation from Brokaw on the subject:

“…so much of politics and national security is a combination of symbolism and reality.  The reality is that we did have that attack yesterday.  It was unnerving to us.  It was devastating in Europe.  But at the same time, the symbolism is that the president stayed at the baseball game all day long.  Well, you would have thought he would have said [to Raul Castro], ‘Look, we’ve got more business that I have to deal with.  I wish you well.’  Get on the phone. ‘We’ve got to put together some kind of a bullet-proof syndicate to deal with all of this.’  There’s a real urgency about it, and he’s got to convey that, not just to the American people, but to the world.”

Hell, at a stop in Buenos Aires just before the horrific attacks Obama seemed to implore action stating, “Each of us have a responsibility each and every day to make sure that wherever we see injustice…that we are speaking out, that we are examining our own hearts and taking responsibility to make this a better place for our children and our grandchildren.”  Obviously, saying we should take responsibility and actually taking responsibility are very different.

I really wonder how many people are looking to Obama and America to genuinely help only to find Obama looking to see who’s on first.

Snake Oil

My parents raised us right, my little sister and me.  She’s nearly eight years younger than I am but it seems we hold many of the same tenets.  Growing up, religion and politics weren’t discussed in our home hardly at all.  Some may or may not agree with that but I’d like to think values were instilled into us and then we were encouraged to formulate our own opinions and worldviews once we understood basic principles and creeds of life.  Mom taught manners and discipline, Dad instilled courtesy and respect, & step-dad taught humility.  All of them relentlessly taught both of us about personal accountability and responsibility, and that includes grandparents and aunts/uncles.  Our decisions were our decisions and the consequences thereof, whether good or bad, were our consequences.  NEVER did they impart a victim mentality!  We were never encouraged to find someone else to blame for rough patches or anything that didn’t go according to plan.  That’s called personal accountability and it’s a topic I’ll be coming back to in all its glorious forms recurrently as this blog matures.

            It’s because of these principles instilled throughout my youth that I doubt I’ll ever be able to vote a liberal progressive into the White House.  They seem to be the ones that represent large doses of hypocrisy and heavily promote a victim mentality, (think cultural appropriation, college campus safe-spaces, affirmative action, race reparations, income inequality, gender inequality, and on and on…)  They’re champions of shifting blame and avoiding personal accountability.  Now, I’m not saying politicians on the opposite end of the spectrum are perfect but conservative stances on popular issues seem to encourage individuals to take personal responsibility for their individual actions, (saying no to illegal immigration, ending abortions, encouraging capitalism, etc.)  Politicians are actually wholly unfit for the job of public service to the U.S.  In my opinion, politicians are agenda driven (seek to manipulate and control), not value driven (do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do) and the United States of America needs a leader in the Oval Office that holds values and principles close to the vest.

            Of course, by default that means my vote won’t even consider Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders worthy of our nation’s highest office.  Both are liberal, progressive, and career politicians, so they’re definitely out.  I’d pull for Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, or John Kasich in a heartbeat against Clinton or Sanders if they were the conservative on the ballot.  However, since they’re politicians I’m hesitant and suspicious at this point.  That only leaves Ben Carson and the notorious & narcissistic Donald Trump.  Both are not politicians and both are conservatives (Trump claims to be, anyways.) 

It’s common knowledge that presidential elections usually boil down to voting for the lesser of two evils.  Given our current circumstances at the time of this writing that’s exactly our scenario now.  Clinton vs. Trump.  Two American powerhouses set to duke it out for the top political spot.  And Americans everywhere from every background are complaining there is no one willing to fight for the little guy… Should’ve pulled harder for Carson.    

Benghazi and a current FBI investigation should eliminate Clinton from contention, not to mention her corruption is evident!  Plus, we’ve already had a Clinton as President.  If Clinton wins the White House that means at least 16 of our last 24 years the U.S. will have been presided over by a member of one of two families.  That’s massive consolidation of power, the likes of which America was not founded upon nor for. 

Trump talks tough and says what people want to hear.  That’s why he flip-flops on so many issues.  As a business man first and foremost he needs to pander to as many people as possible in order to make the most profits.  Additionally, Trump will be more of a dictator than Obama.  Mark my words. Trump will promote free speech only so far as he’s the one able to spout the rude, crude political incorrectness. He’s already talked about how he’ll loosen up libel laws to make it easier for him to silence his critics, not to mention he has a history of lawsuits or threats of lawsuits in attempts to silence his opposition.  For years conservatives have cried foul at the unconstitutional dictatorial power Obama has held in his presidency.  If Trump is elected the tables will turn and he’ll be seen as the new Naked Emperor. 

Sanders is completely un-American.  His ideas and concerns have merit but his methods are absolutely wrong.  The young, lazy, politically correct, entitlement generation is looking toward the government to bring them prosperity rather than taking responsibility for their own futures and Sanders is their ticket.  Thankfully, that bus is likely to stall out before it ever leaves the station.

  Let’s face the music.  This Presidential election is headed towards a Trump/Clinton face-off.  A year ago the United States of America had a real opportunity to put a leader in the White House that would set our nation in the direction of long term prosperity via candidates that held values and not agendas.  Today we’re largely stuck choosing between two different brands of snake oil.  In this, we as a nation and generation must learn to take responsibility for our choices and hold ourselves accountable for our actions or inactions.  Government will not solve our problems and it was never meant to.  Take lawful action for yourselves.  Produce your own prosperity and wealth.  Construct your own future.  This is not the Nanny States of America.  This is the United States of America.   We were founded upon the concept of FREEDOM.  Other expressions for freedom are liberty, independence, free-will, lack of restrictions, sovereignty…

   Ben Franklin once said, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”  Regardless of its original intent, the phrase applies today.  Perhaps a quote from Thomas Jefferson will explain Franklin’s, “Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.”  A Latin expression which can be translated as, “I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude,” or the more popular variation, “I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.”

Regardless of who is elected President, remember that you’re responsible for yourself and your future.  If you’re troubled about income inequality then earn more money or give more of it away.  If you’re upset about racial inequality then be the best version of yourself you can be.  See yourself as equal and act equal.  No double standards whether in public or in private.  The same goes for gender equality.  Let’s stop looking for government to legislate our problems away and start taking individual responsibility for what we say and do.  Do unto others as you would have done to you.  Besides, the more accountable you are the less effect snake oil has. 

 

Scary Chips…Doritos Takes Aim.

Alright folks, I imagine this is where the controversy is going to start.  And I welcome all opinions and comments as long as they’re respectful.  In my last post I said I’d touch on the ad Doritos ran in Super Bowl 50 and here it is…

During Super Bowl 50 Doritos ran an advertisement for their delicious, albeit not strategically healthy snack chips.  And the amazing thing about the ad is how controversial the 30 second comedy clip has become.  In the commercial a pregnant woman is undergoing an ultrasound while the man stands nearby munching on a bag of Doritos.  Somehow the baby inside the woman’s womb is highly aware of how scrumptious the chips are and takes notice.  The man starts to tease the baby with a chip and we see the baby in the ultrasound make a move at an attempt to get a snack.  The pregnant woman is amazed but not amused after the baby bonks its little noggin on her uterus wall and she tears the chip out of the man’s hand and throws it past her feet, obviously irritated.  Ever conscious, the baby inside the womb launches itself out of the woman to retrieve the tasty treat and everyone is hilariously horrified at the unusual event.

The commercial is hilarious and clearly for entertainment purposes but Doritos is still trying to send a subliminal message that

  1. a) Everyone knows about the deliciousness of Doritos, even a baby yet to be born, and
  2. b) People will do whatever it takes to get some Doritos in their pie holes.

There are two factors to take into account thus far.

1) It’s a Super Bowl commercial and those commercials are stereotypically supposed to be over the top and very entertaining.  Some commercials don’t have anything to do with the product or service being hawked.  It’s only an entertainment spot designed to get you thinking about the company that sponsored the ad with a strategically, well placed logo.  Hell, a few people state they only watch the Super Bowl to see the commercials!

2)  Consider the commercials Doritos has put out during Super Bowls of the past.  They’re silly, creative, and imaginative, not to be taken seriously.  The only thing to take away from a Doritos commercial is a laugh and they’re damn tasty chips.

However, activist group NARAL Pro-Choice America, a feminist pro-choice (obviously) group is crying foul over the silly advertisement with several accusations.  In a tweet on their Twitter account they declare three things;

  • Dads are clueless, presumably in the area of pregnancy and childbirth. This is shockingly apparent.  Of course the fool is going to be clueless!  I cannot recall ever hearing or reading about an instance in which a father gave birth to his own children.  A father doesn’t know what it’s like to have a child take over his own body and live and grow inside of his own body.  He has no idea what it feels like to go through labor pains and depending on the fellow, he has little to no empathy for the situation the mother is in because he has no experience in his life with which to relate.
  • Moms are uptight, again assuming in the area of childbirth. Now, I can completely imagine that women aren’t the most joyful, light-hearted beings during the latter days of pregnancy, especially with an active baby about to fly out of the chute thanks to an overly amused father.  Childbirth and pregnancy cannot be a comfortable or physically pleasurable ordeal so it’s easy to portray and understand that a woman’s nerves may be a bit frayed.
  • Finally, the most absurd accusation the NARAL is launching at the Doritos ad is using the “tactic of humanizing fetuses.” The word tactic implies that Doritos employed a strategic maneuver for deeper purposes.

And that’s where this goes off the rails.

This is absolutely mind-numbingly reprehensible!  Seriously, what in the known universe is the woman going to give birth to?  One political commentator suggested that the woman in the commercial may bring forth from her womb a Volkswagen automobile or a spoon.  What is the NARAL so uptight about?  Surely if the baby inside the womb were genetically tested the results would yield none other than human tissue and DNA.  Logically, this would lead to the hyper-advanced conclusion that there is a human growing inside this pregnant woman.  Who would’ve thought?

One thing I’ve learned concerning liberal progressives is that they like to overly complicate the most simple common sense things.  Common core math, anyone?  One concept in this whole rigmarole that can be easily lost is that the NARAL is actually correct on all three accusations.  Men are clueless when it comes to childbirth because we’ve never done it.  Some women can be known to be a bit cranky during pregnancy and childbirth because it’s not easy, nor is it particularly comfortable.  The blob of growing tissue inside of a pregnant woman is, in fact, a human being.  Female Homo sapiens cannot give birth to picture frames, Labrador retrievers, or peach trees.  So inevitably it’s a human being growing inside the pregnant woman.

At some point that human inside of that pregnant woman becomes a living being with a beating heart and a physical body that processes nutrients no matter how much the medical and scientific community call it a fetus.  I think the NARAL is making racket out of the Doritos commercial because it illustrates an unintended truth.  The commercial portrays the fetus in the ultrasound as a hyper-conscious and emotional being.  That illustration, no matter how comical in presentation is extremely damning to pro-choice advocates and damaging to their agenda.  The portrayal illustrates the fetus as a live human being which means if you’re advocating abortion then you’re advocating the murder of a helpless, defenseless human being.

“Raymond Calitri is going down for murder one…, bone-heads.”  That’s from a movie…

If Doritos had somehow created a silly, entertaining commercial depicting a lifeless blob of tissue inside the mother then it’s probably a safe bet that NARAL Pro-Choice America wouldn’t be making a fuss about the ad.  But since the blob of tissue in this instance is displayed as conscious with an emotional reaction to a flying snack chip then it’s hazardous to the pro-choice, abortion-happy campaign of irresponsibility.

At the risk of sounding very insensitive, let’s boil this down a little further.  Abortion is understandably a hot button topic with huge untold implications.  There have been untold volumes written about abortion and a woman’s right to choose versus the rights of unborn children and I will not venture too deeply into the fray.

It’s a simple fact of life that female humans give birth to future human generations.  That fact cannot be changed no matter how much protesting or congressional lobbying is done.  God created women and designed women to bear children.  And if you don’t believe in God then you have to blame evolution, the number of X to Y chromosomes, natural selection or something because it’s an unchangeable fact of the universe we live in.  Without wading into the extremely emotionally charged debate too much I will offer this tidbit of black and white common sense; the consent to sex is the consent to pregnancy.  Notice the key word here. Consent.  We’re talking of the situations where women become pregnant due to any number of consensual sex scenarios.  The despicable and inexcusable acts of rape and forced sex is not what we’re talking about here.  Rape and forced sex are the true enemies of a woman’s right to choose, not pro-life activists!  What we’re talking about here is the concept of women aborting pregnancies for the sheer fact that a child would inconvenience their lives and disrupt the careful plans they’ve laid out for their future.

Let’s not muddy the waters with liberal progressive complications.  If a woman is ready to abort her own pregnancy then she’s not ready for sexual activity.  The most effective way to prevent an unwanted pregnancy is to abstain from sex with a man.  Even modern protective birth control measures still carry a risk of fertilization.  We can almost hear the feminists and pro-choicers out there pouting and shouting that a life like that is no fun and highly unrealistic, unhealthy even, in this day and age…  And they’d be right.  Unfortunately that’s the burden and responsibility that women have to bear.  It’s nobody’s fault and no one is to blame.  It just is what it is and if a woman doesn’t want to have a child then ultimately she shouldn’t be having sex.  There is no other way around it.  There are medical procedures in place that are 100% effective against pregnancy.  Have the procedure and then enjoy the sex, the life and the freedom.  This could lead to its own heated debates and ethical issues but at least it would stop the killing of something that’s already alive and developing.  It would keep women out of the precarious and uncomfortable abortion world.  See, women already have the power of choice and with great power comes great responsibility.

Every woman has the right to direct and guide her life towards her dreams and goals as she sees fit and that ought never to be infringed.  Climb the corporate and political ladders to success and power.  Head up all the projects and clubs.  Create movements and impact the world, choose sex and freedom over childbirth and motherhood.

The comical display of a human fetus making conscious choices and showing emotion is endearing and gets viewers to relate.  The unborn baby wants Doritos and now we want Doritos too.  After all, isn’t that what the commercial is supposed to do?  Make the consuming public desire the advertised product.  Now viewers empathize with the baby and can relate to its plight since everyone now wants Doritos.  I think this is where NARAL Pro-Choice America is going off the deep end and creating a ruckus.  It’s much easier to decide on an abortion if the baby inside is inanimate, unconscious, and void of emotion.  Attach emotions and feelings of joy, laughter, and a common bond then the abortion becomes exponentially harder and more personal.  Women that desire the freedom of a childless future while enjoying the passionate, sexual present are angry at the thought that Doritos has “humanized a fetus” thus taking away the impersonal approach of abortion services that the NARAL promotes.

In reality, it’s just a hilarious commercial that effectively gets consumers to emotionally attach themselves to the product through laughter and should have no bearing on a politically, ethically charged topic such as women’s rights and abortion.  It’s highly unlikely that Doritos was trying to use any subtle visualization and storytelling techniques to make any kind of statement other than “buy our chips.”  NARAL Pro-Choice America was digging too deep and ironically created a mountain out of the flat earth they began with.

Panem Et Circenses. You’re Being Robbed.

Panem Et Circenses.  Bread and circuses.  I read this term two years ago in a Brad Thor novel called The Apostle.  The instant I read the words a veil was lifted… “I can see clearly now the rain is gone…!”  The brain just clicked and my interest in the social and political worlds increased significantly.  After doing a bit of research on the phrase and its meaning (I found it in a fiction book, after all) I concluded that it is accurate and I began promoting the phrase on my personal FB page anytime I found a current situation that I felt was an example.  Our rights and liberties in the United States are gradually being eroded away by a powerful and massively obese government.  I believe that is due to the panem et circenses dynamic currently at work today and We the People are unwittingly allowing our republic to crumble in the fashion of ancient Rome.

According to Dictionary.com panem et circenses is a Latin phrase meaning bread and circuses used by the Roman satirist Juvenal to condemn the vices of imperial Rome.  “Two things only the people anxiously desire — bread and circuses.” The emperors of Rome kept the Roman populace content by dispensing free food and promoting or producing large events such as the famous Colosseum and its mighty gladiators.

This is huge and it holds significant ramifications for our world today.  Capitolium.org accurately states that panem et circenses was a “mechanism of influential power over the Roman mass” and that it is political strategy!  Thanks to the Roman ruling class the general populace of Rome was kept content, quiet, and under control because their bellies were full (food and basic needs) and their minds were occupied (gladiators, chariot races, theater, etc.).  A lack of hunger can coincide with a lack of ambition to better one’s station in life and an unavailable mind seldom leads to an innovative thought process.

We all see where the mighty Romans are now, right?  Relegated to a spot in history where their achievements and atrocities are left for study and occasional reference.  Perhaps a glaring and immediate lesson for us today in the United States can come directly from the Romans and panem et circenses.  Edmund Burke said, “Those that don’t know history are destined to repeat it.”  We know what happened to Rome.  We’re able to study Rome and come to an understanding of what led to the downfall of the Romans.  Hindsight is 20/20.  Seeing the big picture today is much more difficult and the lesson applies to Americans in particular because in our republic, We the People are supposed to have the power, not our elected officials.  Or have you forgotten that?  Let me share with you a few quotes I’ve found to drive this point home.

“Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us.  The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country.” –Franklin D. Roosevelt.

How about this one,

“When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.” –Thomas Jefferson

And yet another,

“The secret of freedom lies in educating people, whereas the secret of tyranny is in keeping them ignorant.” -Maximilien Robespierre

Alright! Enough with the quotes, even though I trust those above embody why bread and circuses can be so dangerous to our society today.  I believe We the People of the United States of America are currently in the same situation as the ancient Roman masses.  Americans are ignorant because we’re consumed and bombarded by entertainment options at every turn.  What’s ironic about this situation is you can turn on cable or satellite TV with hundreds of channels at your disposal and there’s still nothing on!  In addition, sporting events are televised year round.

You can grasp the situation just by searching for topics that are currently trending.  Also, take a look at digital “news” articles that can be found online at mainstream media sites and pay attention to the comments section under individual stories.  The ones generating the most buzz are the ones people are engaged in.  Yesterday I read an article about how Kanye West is $53 million in debt (that’s a whole other rant!) and he’s asked Mark Zuckerberg for a financial life preserver.  The article had been published 30 min prior to my reading it and already there were 27 comments!  Articles on The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones generate more reader interaction in a shorter amount of time than do other items that are of serious importance.  If the entertainment sector doesn’t woo you then the sports world will.

During my lonely celebration of the Denver Broncos’ Super Bowl 50 win I saw literally thousands of comments on a single NFL post on FB.  Thousands!  And the post had only been live for about 12 minutes!  Why does the comments section for online articles matter?  Because that shows where peoples passions lie.  The populace is concerned with things they can relate to such as their sports teams/hero’s or the characters in TV shows and movies they connect with.*

This isn’t a left vs. right issue.  This is about Americans being aware of who our elected representatives are and what they stand for, not to mention what they’re doing while in office.  Even though it isn’t necessarily a right vs. left issue I believe the left is doing a better job at utilizing entertainment on all levels to engage the collective minds of Americans.  We can see this with political and social areas popping up in entertainment venues from the old Rock the Vote movement all the way to Beyoncé’s Super Bowl 50 halftime show, or Barak Obama calling for more Muslim characters in entertainment.

And that’s the perfect example of panem et circenses in action.  These are a couple excerpts from theguardian.com from a recent report on Obama’s first presidential visit to an American mosque in which he called  “for writers and producers to create more rounded Muslim characters on television” and “The president said many Americans do not know a Muslim person and form a ‘hugely distorted impression’ based on TV, film…”  Here’s the most powerful political man in the world is calling on America’s entertainment industry to influence the minds of the American masses!  Since when did the entertainment industry become our source of accurate information in which to make an educated judgement?

I feel like there’s so much more detail I could put in various parts of this topic to convey my thoughts but I think the general notion is covered.  This post isn’t out to say that entertainment and sports are bad, evil things.  It’s just pointing out that sports and entertainment are up on a pedestal much higher than they should be and we’re not paying attention to the details that really matter.  I hope you all will take a renewed, active interest in the goings-on around your community and country. Research your beliefs and be prepared to answer why you believe what you do.  It is imperative that We the People recoup the power that our government has slowly pulled out of our limp, loose fists while we were engaged in our TV shows or cheering on our sports teams.  The entire entertainment industry including the sporting empires have turned our populace into a mass of low information voters that cast errant ballots because they saw a celebrity endorse so-and-so or such-and-such.

I’ll leave you with this little gem,

“The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” –Winston Churchill

Guess I wasn’t finished with the quotes after all.  As one of my favorite authors, John C. Maxwell has said, “Some of my best thinking has been done by others.”

Aw, jeez. Okay, I’ll stop…

 

*I’ll write about this in regards to the Doritos Super Bowl 50 commercial later.

Introduction

Is there anyone out there looking at our world just pissed off?  Do you read headlines and watch TV shows thinking “what the hell is wrong with people?”  How many times have you read a news article online and checked the comments section to see check the atmospheric pressure of the topic covered only to find dozens of comments imploring people to “WAKE UP”?  I know I have.  It seems every time I read the news there is something that makes me come away thinking “this doesn’t make sense.”  The world is bereft of its senses!

What about the divisions of today?  More and more our society is becoming increasingly divided.  We all seem to forget that we have far more in common than we do in differences.  We are all far more alike than we are unalike.  Take a look at the comment section on nearly any topic online and you’ll see things go from zero to a hundred real quick!  Everything from subtle name calling to direct assaults to wishes of death… all over a simple matter of opinion!

We need to start realizing that it’s okay to be different.  Just because we have a difference of opinion doesn’t mean we have to hate each other.  Yet that’s exactly what we’re seeing along the lines of race, political affiliation, even sports teams!  Just because we believe differently doesn’t require us to hate one another.

So, why should you read this blog when there’s untold thousands out there?  I don’t know.  Maybe you shouldn’t.  I’m not particularly qualified to write it.  There aren’t any degrees on my wall at home.  There aren’t any medals of honor or achievement on my uniform (I don’t even have a uniform).  There aren’t any records of accomplishment that bear my name.  My only real accomplishment is living 33 years with severe hearing problems which eventually lead to complete deafness.  To some that is debilitating.  For others, they face far worse and have done far more.

I have not climbed Mount Everest, nor have a won a Super Bowl, (although my team recently won their 3rd!!!).* There is nothing special about me and I don’t possess any credentials which would compel a soul to digest the slightest tidbit of what I’ve written.  A Common View is written by a dude who struggles making the right choices, who fails far more than he succeeds.  He’s shy, often times insecure, sometimes bold and confident.  He doesn’t call his mother enough and he cusses out disrespectful drivers.  I could be your neighbor and you wouldn’t know it.  What I’m trying to say is that there is no pedestal from which I speak.  No soapbox from which I preach.  I deeply value respect, humility and common sense.  This blog will be just topics ranging from things I enjoy to things that make me scratch my head to things that stop me dead in my tracks.

In a time when the United States aren’t so united and the world itself seems more divided than ever it is critical that we put things into perspective and stop making mountains out of mole hills.  My beautiful wife has taught me something as a stepparent to a difficult young boy.  She’s taught me that I have to learn to pick my battles.  Some things are worth fighting for while other things are worth peace.  The same applies with life and the issues within.

I hope these writings will help me clear my head and articulate what I’m feeling or thinking.  Hopefully it’ll also serve to shout out some common sense to those willing to read it and I seriously hope to learn and be exposed to different thought patterns.  Growth is the goal.  If this blog gains traction and comments start to roll in I’ll be making sure only constructive comments are kept up.  I’ll delete the nasty bogus crap from trolls and keyboard warriors.

You all have a blessed day. ~A

*Be on the look-out for Since ’82 coming soon!