Happy Birthday to (Most of) America

If you don’t wear blinders you can be sure that some group of lowlife scum will make you ashamed of being American on the 4th of July. Such was the case this week in Murrieta, California. Fifty of our finest citizens with the IQ of a gnat impeded the progress of a bus carrying illegal immigrants to a government holding facility.

Armed with the typical placards demonstrating their superior intellect, the “protesters” yelled “go home”, all red faced and angry. This might not have been so unusual if the bus had been full of “Mexicans out to steal our jobs” but the bus was full of women and mostly children fleeing South American oppression. Yes, that’s right folks. Some of our fellow Americans (in name only) stood in front of a bus and terrorized little children.

The bus was in compliance with the law. The protesters blocking traffic were not. The cops on the scene did nothing.

So here is my solution. Had I been the bus driver, I would have gone Tiananmen square on their ass. I would have yelled out my window to thugs and cops alike, “move or be moved.”. Then, after a five-count, I would have put the foot to the floor and mowed every one of those motherf*ckers down. Don’t tread on me, indeed.

What about scared little children did these mental midgets not understand? I don’t care what your politics are. Angry with Obama, fine. Angry with Congress, go for it. But in a humanitarian crisis, you leave the kids alone.

These fifty or so idiots don’t get a “Happy Independence Day” from me. They defy everything that is great about our nation.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

The Dysfunctional Democratic Party

There are times when the Democrats truly live up to the image of their mascot, the ass. Such was the case on Thursday, June 28, a day that should have been a day of celebration for Democrats everywhere as the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act. But the other major headline of the day showed Democrats at their dysfunctional worst.

On Thursday, the House of Representatives voted to cite Attorney General Eric Holder in criminal contempt of Congress, the first time a sitting Cabinet member has ever been so cited in the history of our country. The move was the culmination of an ongoing power struggle between Congress and the Department of Justice and the motivations were clearly as political as they were any real search for the truth.

Only one Republican crossed the aisle to vote with Democrats to spare Holder this embarrassment. On the other hand, 17 Democrats voted with the Republicans while a large contingent of Democratic representatives left the building in protest.

Why is it that on issue after issue, Republicans show solidarity while Democrats splinter and blunt their own strength in numbers? Why is it that there is no Republican analogue to the “Blue Dog” Democrat? Blue Dogs are recognized as moderate to conservative leaning Democrats who are accepted for who they are. Republicans who go off the talking points are labeled RINO’s (Republican in name only) and are shunned. As I sat in disgust watching the vote Thursday evening I was reminded of the work done by Jonathan Haidt, about which I’ve written before.

In that work most recently represented in his book The Righteous Mind, Haidt argues that we are governed by five basic moral foundations and that conservatives have a pretty even balance of all five. Liberals on the other hand value fairness very highly and loyalty not much at all.

In the above graph, if we ignore the first bar in each series (those are my personal ratings) and just focus on the other two bars we see that conservatives (the right red bar) value concern for harm, fairness, loyalty, respect for authority and purity/sanctity evenly. For liberals (the middle blue bar), concern for harm (i.e. caring) and fairness are primary and all other moral considerations take a back seat.

Perhaps this explains the dysfunctional Democratic behavior I witnessed Thursday evening. The Democrat’s sense of fairness (i.e. that Holder was getting a raw deal) led a bunch of them to walk out of the chamber. On the other hand their relatively low regard for loyalty led a decent number of them to side with the opposition.

Haidt’s prescription for future harmony is that we understand and accept these differences in each other and that liberals and conservatives live in a yin/yang relationship where each is valuable. From a political perspective, I have to disagree with Haidt. Liberals are not going to achieve their goals unless they develop the same sense of loyalty and solidarity found among conservatives. There is obviously the glass-half-full approach to this that there is value in independence (lack of loyalty) but in a political fight I find that glass half empty.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

Graph can be generated at yourmorals.org

Drawing by David Ball (Original work) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC-BY-2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

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Real Voter Fraud

My fellow liberals are understandably upset about various Republican state legislatures passing laws that will restrict voting access to typically disenfranchised people. These laws disproportionately limit votes that would probably be for Democrats. The premise behind the stricter laws is to stamp out that dreaded boogeyman VOTER FRAUD. Of course, we wouldn’t want to remind these legislators that the occurrence of voter fraud is miniscule.

If my Republican friends really want to worry about voter fraud, I’d like to turn their attention to a fraud that goes unnoticed every election. Very simply it is the phenomenon of very stupid people entering the voting booth.

My story actually begins with my own stupidity. The other day I was looking at a map of the proposed Keystone pipeline extension which had a solid line and a dotted line on it. I was having trouble understanding the difference. Like an idiot, I had neglected to notice the legend at the bottom of the map. My almost-eight year old 2nd grader explained the map to me when my wife prompted her to. I then updated my Facebook status to say “The verdict is in. I am not smarter than a 2nd grader.”

Things got worse however later in the day. The Lawson family gathered around the warm glow of the television to watch the game show Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?. For the uninitiated, contestants on this show try to win money by answering questions in topics taught in the first through fifth grades. Each contestant gets the help of one actual fifth grader from a panel that appears in each episode. With that backdrop, the following transpired. Mind you, I am NOT making this up.

The question: Which President of the United States served immediately before Franklin Delano Roosevelt? (Answer: Herbert Hoover)

The contestant thought aloud, “Well, IF Roosevelt served more than one term, then maybe the President who served before Roosevelt was Roosevelt himself?” The host, Jeff Foxworthy was kind enough to tell the woman that there are no trick questions on the show. I could see at this point, things were not going to end well. IF? One of the most well-known facts about Roosevelt was that he was elected four times, the only President with that distinction. Clearly this fact had escaped our poor contestant.

After pushing her brain to its limit she called on her fifth grade partner for assistance. Sadly the young girl was not the best exemplar of our educational system. Her answer was “Abraham Lincoln”. At this point, I went into shock. Lincoln was long dead before Roosevelt was even born. Their terms were not even in the same century. But forgiving man that I am, I gave the poor fifth grader a pass and blamed her teachers for her utter ignorance.

Our adult contestant now had the option to use the fifth grader’s answer or come up with her own. She wisely chose to reject “Abraham Lincoln”. The furrows in her forehead deepened. She descended into intense meditation. And then it came to her. She had arrived at her answer. Her answer was …

JAMES MADISON

Gasping for air, I asked my wife to call the paramedics. Just when I thought the lady recognized the utter impossibility of Lincoln, she picked a President even earlier than Lincoln. In fact, she picked the fourth President of the United States. Could the fourth POTUS possibly have served in the 1930’s? So three possibilities come to mind. She either knew nothing about Madison, or nothing about Roosevelt, or nothing about either. She was a grown-ass woman! She was incapable of making a guess that contained even the slightest hint of deductive reasoning. Had she said Calvin Coolidge, I could have said ok … early 20th century President. Had she said Harry Truman, I could’ve said ok, she’s got a good time frame there and just got the men in the wrong order. But no, her answer was the answer of a blindingly stupid person.

And now the real tragedy … this woman can vote. It makes you wonder just how many of the folks who enter the voting booth cannot discern their anus from a hole in the ground. And if it is true that much of America is dumb-as-a-post stupid, what does that say about the leaders we choose? Is it any wonder we have a Congress that repeatedly makes a spectacle of itself in incompetence? And while I still support our President, is it any wonder that we demanded virtually no relevant experience from him before electing him to the Presidency? Is it any wonder that the current slate of Republican Presidential wanna-be’s appear to be answering a casting call for Saturday Night Live?

The real voter fraud going on in America is that folks who can’t tell the difference between a SALT treaty and a salt shaker are choosing the man or woman who gives the “go” on a nuclear strike. Sadly, while we can legally ask you to produce all sorts of identification to prove you are who you say you are at the ballot box, we can’t legally ensure you won’t put James Madison as a write in candidate on the ballot.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

Image: Idea go / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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