I’m Back (if anyone cares…)

After what seems like a decade-long hiatus, the blogging bug hit me again, and I decided to relaunch this blog. However, I decided to shelf the politics for a more general lifestyle theme based on what has become more important in my life: getting healthy in both mind and body. To be blunt, I got burnt out on politics and in the process found myself extremely overweight, feeling tired all the time without the energy to interact with my 8 year-old boys and with a generally negative disposition.

Then, one day when I was fully embracing my couch-potatoedness, my wife mentioned a post that one of her friends had made on facebook about their dinner menu, which consisted of steak drenched in butter, cheesy cauliflower mash…and some other things. See explained that her friend (and her husband) has lost tons of weight eating food like this on something called the Ketogenic diet. I thought to myself that this was something that I could do too and since I had been thinking of trying to get in shape for some time prior (what person in my shoes hasn’t?). So I looked into it, and began in earnest the next day…

Without going into the minute details, within two months I had lost 50 pounds (I had gotten much heavier than I had ever been in my life – 275 pounds), and was finally in a position to get some benefit out of joining a gym. Fast forward another couple of months and I’m down another 20 pounds while getting fit and adding muscle. I know it sounds cliche, but I’m feeling better than I have in 20 years…well probably better since I was partying in New Orleans for most of my 20s…

So, in short, I’m going to be writing about the continuation of my journey: what works for me, new things and products I try, and in general, things that interest me no matter what they are (yes, including politics). I hope that this new content will prove to be at least somewhat useful and entertaining for somebody…

A Quick Note

Some may  have notice that I haven’t updated this blog for a while. Unfortunately, on April 29 my mother-in-law passed away of natural causes and we’ve been spending a lot of time with the funeral preparations and getting her estate in order. Now that most of the hard work has been completed, I’ll be returning to regular posts of the next few days. Thanks.

Post-Newtown Gun Control is Not About the Children, but Control

Excerpted from Catholicvote.org:

Kermit Gosnell is on trial for many counts of murder, including delivering babies alive, taking a pair of scissors, and snipping their spinal cords. Did you know about that? I’ll bet lots of people who may have heard of it a while ago forgot about it, and didn’t know his trial has begun.

That may be because no one is talking about it in the major media outlets. I mean no one. Check out this screen capture of Google News results for “Gosnell.” LifeNews.com, a couple of local papers, and someone at HuffingtonPost.com covered it, sure. But look at the last link. It says, “It Is Disturbing That Mike Rice Gets More Coverage Than Kermit…” Yes, coverage about the non-coverage gets higher billing than most coverage. So you could be excused for not knowing about this.

I’ll bet you did know about the ABSOLUTE NEED for more restrictive gun laws nationwide because of the massacre of children in Newtown, Connecticut.

Pardon my French, but this is political opportunism by people who want control at its worst.Obama-Obey

Anyone. And I mean anyone who does not want to talk about Kermit Gosnell’s actions and our abortion-saturated culture but does want to use Newtown to push gun control because of our gun-saturated culture does not care about saving kids. They care about control.

The difference between the children gunned down by Adam Lanza and the children who had their spines snipped by Kermit Gosnell is nothing more than time.

The socio-economic wherewithal of the family does not lessen the humanity of the child. To say otherwise is to say the Newtown kids were “more human” because their parents had more money than the poor people who went to Gosnell. That is an abhorrent thought that no feeling person could harbor.

The “choice” of the mother (or the mother’s mother, who is forcing her teenage daughter to have an abortion) does not confer humanity upon the child. If it does, why not extend that principle longer and let the family take the kid home, give it some thought, see how the kid grows up, and let them bring the kid back for an “after-birth abortion” some time down the road when the kid becomes inconvenient or fails to make the honor roll. Just reserve the right to “choose” until later in life.

If you disagree and think an “after-birth abortion” is okay within the first few moments after birth, especially for a kid who should have been aborted, tell me what is different about the kid herself between that moment right after birth and the moment the kid arrives home for the first time (should she be so fortunate). Why would it be murder to intentionally kill the kid once home but it is not murder there in the delivery room? If you have a response, challenge yourself: Provide a response without talking about “should have been aborted,” “the mother’s choice,” or “terrible quality of life.” None of those affect the humanness of the new human person that has left the birth canal alive.

The Newtown victims were murdered by a mentally unstable man who had been mercilessly bullied as a youth, who was mesmerized by hundreds of hours of military-style first-person shooter video games, and enabled by a mother mind-numbingly irresponsible with the weapons she lawfully owned in one of the states with the most restrictive gun laws. They were not murdered by a roving band of renegade scary-looking guns with bloodlust or in a yippy-kai-yay shootout in a town as permissive with guns as the Wild West.

Yet the target in the national rush to DO SOMETHING!!11!!!!!11!! in the wake of Newtown is not violent video games. It is not bullying. It is not even making sure families with mentally unstable members are more heavily scrutinized or required to be more responsible with their guns. No, it’s gun ownership, through blanket measures that will restrict the rights of millions of people who are entirely innocent and entirely responsible with their guns.

Continue Reading…

Margaret Thatcher In Her Own Words

300px-Reagan_ThatcherAs you know by now, Margaret Thatcher, British Prime Minister 1979-1990 passed away from complications from a Stroke suffered Monday, April 8, 2013. She had a history of strokes starting in 2002. While there are many touching tributes (and some not so touching ones, as well), I’ll simply say that my recollections of Thatcher as a teenager were mostly of her as Reagan’s “partner in crime” so to speak. It wasn’t until much later that I was able to appreciate her place among the great conservative voices of our time. To that end, I’ll let the “Iron Lady” speak for herself:

“Ladies and gentlemen, I stand before you tonight in my Red Star chiffon evening gown. My face softly made up and my fair hair gently waved. The Iron Lady of the Western world. A cold war warrior, an amazon philistine, even a Peking plotter. Well, am I any of these things? … Yes I am an iron lady, after all it wasn’t a bad thing to be an iron duke. Yes, if that’s how they wish to interpret my defence of values and freedoms fundamental to our way of life.” – 1976, speech to Finchley Conservatives

“If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.” – 1965, speech to National Union of Townswomen’s Guilds Conference.

“To those waiting with bated breath for that favourite media catchphrase, the U-turn, I have only one thing to say: You turn if you want to. The lady’s not for turning.” – At the 1980 Conservative Party conference

“I think we’ve been through a period where too many people have been given to understand that if they have a problem, it’s the government’s job to cope with it. ‘I have a problem, I’ll get a grant.’ ‘I’m homeless, the government must house me.’ They’re casting their problem on society. And, you know, there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first. It’s our duty to look after ourselves and then, also to look after our neighbour. People have got the entitlements too much in mind, without the obligations. There’s no such thing as entitlement, unless someone has first met an obligation.” –Magazine interview.

“Socialists cry “Power to the people”, and raise the clenched fist as they say it. We all know what they really mean— power over people, power to the State.”
– Speech to Conservative Central Council, 1986

“Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people’s money. It’s quite a characteristic of them.” – Thames TV This Week, 1976

“The choice facing the nation is between two totally different ways of life. And what a prize we have to fight for: no less than the chance to banish from our land the dark, divisive clouds of Marxist socialism and bring together men and women from all walks of life who share a belief in freedom.” – Speech in Perth, Scotland, 1983

“My policies are based not on some economics theory, but on things I and millions like me were brought up with: an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay; live within your means; put by a nest egg for a rainy day; pay your bills on time; support the police.” – The News of the World, 1981

“Consensus: “The process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values, and policies in search of something in which no one believes, but to which no one objects; the process of avoiding the very issues that have to be solved, merely because you cannot get agreement on the way ahead.” What great cause would have been fought and won under the banner: I stand for consensus?” ― Margaret Thatcher

“If you just set out to be liked, you will be prepared to compromise on anything at anytime, and would achieve nothing.”  ― Margaret Thatcher

“There are significant differences between the American and European version of capitalism. The American traditionally emphasizes the need for limited government, light regulations, low taxes and maximum labour-market flexibility. Its success has been shown above all in the ability to create new jobs, in which it is consistently more successful than Europe.”― Margaret Thatcher, The Path To Power
Rest In Peace, Iron Lady

Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of th...

Margaret Thatcher 1925-2013

Did The Continuing Resolution Just Put Business Above The Law?

Genetically modified food (or GMOs) is a hot button topic for many people, and Monsanto (the company the owns/produces about 90% of the GMO seeds) is a favorite of conspiract theorists. However, the topic has been thrust somewhat in the spotlight with the passing of the continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government through September, 2013. Specifically, as it relates to the “Monsanto/Biotech Rider” (as it is known in the anti-GMO/conspiracy circles. Specifically, the contention is that a section of the “Farmer Assurance Provision” in the CR basically puts Monsanto above the law by giving the company immunity from federal court action if one of their GMOs are found to be endangering the public or environment, or found to have been planted illegally. In other words, it “would strip judges of their constitutional mandate to protect consumer rights and the environment, while opening up the floodgates for the planting of new untested genetically engineered crops, endangering farmers, consumers and the environment.”

Now I’ll admit, conspiracy theories are a guilty pleasure of mine, mostly in the form of talk radio programs that specialize in the topic. Rarely, do I take them seriously, but it’s fun to listen to the so-called “fringe” on a particular topic, and ever now and then some have a kernel of truth. So when I heard about this one, I decided to do a little investigation of my own; not that I have any particular beef with GMOs (although I’m not opposed to them being labeled as such, nor do I have any particular beef with Monsanto (although they have been known to be corporate bullies toward small family farms) to see if there is any truth to the claims – let’s face it, it would be a big problem if it were true.

The first thing I noticed when searching for information on this “Monsanto Rider” is that there are a lot of websites linking to each other, saying basically the same thing, and citing the other similar sites as sources. Basically, they’re all saying the same thing without linking to the actual language of the rider – typically a bad sign for the truth. So I looked up the provision in question, Section 735 of H.R. 933 (the continuing resolution):

Sec. 735. In the event that a determination of non-regulated status made pursuant to section 411 of the Plant Protection Act is or has been invalidated or vacated, the Secretary of Agriculture shall, notwithstanding any other provision of law, upon request by a farmer, grower, farm operator, or producer, immediately grant temporary permit(s) or temporary deregulation in part, subject to necessary and appropriate conditions consistent with section 411(a) or 412(c) of the Plant Protection Act, which interim conditions shall authorize the movement, introduction, continued cultivation, commercialization and other specifically enumerated activities and requirements, including measures designed to mitigate or minimize potential adverse environmental effects, if any, relevant to the Secretary’s evaluation of the petition for non-regulated status, while ensuring that growers or other users are able to move, plant, cultivate, introduce into commerce and carry out other authorized activities in a timely manner: Provided, That all such conditions shall be applicable only for the interim period necessary for the Secretary to complete any required analyses or consultations related to the petition for non-regulated status: Provided further, That nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting the Secretary’s authority under section 411, 412 and 414 of the Plant Protection Act.

Ok, I’m not a lawyer, and this is a lot of legalese, but it specifically references Section 411(a) of the Plant Protection Act:


a) PETITION.—A person may petition the Secretary for a determination that an organism that is subject to regulation by the Secretary as a plant pest under this Act is not a plant pest for purposes of this Act.

Also, Section 412(c) is also referenced:


 (c) REGULATIONS.—The Secretary may issue regulations to implement subsection (a), including regulations requiring that any plant, plant product, biological control organism, noxious weed, article, or means of conveyance imported, entered, to be exported, or moved in interstate commerce—

(1) be accompanied by a permit issued by the Secretary prior to the importation, entry, exportation, or movement in interstate commerce;

(2) be accompanied by a certificate of inspection issued (in a manner and form required by the Secretary) by appropriate officials of the country or State from which the plant, plant product, biological control organism, noxious weed, article, or means of conveyance is to be moved;

 (3) be subject to remedial measures the Secretary determines to be necessary to prevent the spread of plant pests or noxious weeds; and 

(4) with respect to plants or biological control organisms, be grown or handled under post-entry quarantine conditions by or under the supervision of the Secretary for the purposes of determining whether the plant or biological control organism may be infested with plant pests or may be a plant pest or noxious weed.

 So there it all is. Clear as mud? Yeah, to me too. From what I can understand, the “Monsanto Rider” seems to be saying that if it someone petitions the Secretary of Agriculture to remove a plant from regulation (having a “plant pest” status) and the petition is granted; if that petition is later found to be invalid (presumably by a court or federal judge) based on harm it is doing on people or the environment, “a farmer, grower, farm operator, or producer” can be granted a permit by the Secretary of Agriculture to continue to produce, transport and cultivate the plant while the Secretary make a determination regarding the status of the plant in question (whether it should be regulated or not).

What’s interesting to me is why such non-spending issues should be included in a spending bill, especially one considered a “must-pass” bill in order to keep the government funded (that’s a whole different story). Oddly, it is unclear how the rider got included in the CR (no one is claiming responsibility), but there is some indication that it was at the request of Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR). Predictably, he’s not responding to requests regarding his role in the issue

Again, I’m not a lawyer, so all the “notwithstanding provisions to the contrary” talk sometimes throws me a bit. However, there is no specific mention of Monsanto, but one can see how it would apply to the company and their GMOs. In looking at the language, though, I get the sense that it may have more to do with disrupting the production of food, if some activist is able to find a judge to order an injunction against a GMO on weak evidence (or if they find an activist judge).

Although I do see the potential for abuse, if say there looks to be some link between a specific plant and cancer, for instance. This rider would allow the company/farmer to continue to produce that plant, even if a court ordered an injunction against it. I think this is from where the over-the top conspiracy theories may be springing…and maybe for good reason. Even Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), who sponsored an amendment to remove the rider from the CR (that was ultimately not voted on) thinks there is a big problem with the rider:

“The provision says that when a judge finds that the USDA approved a crop illegally, the department must re-approve the crop and allow it to continue to be planted regardless of what the judge says. Think about that.”

Tester went on to say that the provision ignores separation of powers in the Constitution and “also lets genetically modified crops take hold across the country even when a judge finds it violates the law.”

 That’s a pretty bad worst case scenario. I’ll admit that I’m nowhere near the circle of those drafting these provisions, so I don’t know what they had in mind when crafting the language. Although, at the very least, it appears that this is a classic case of a slippery slope in potentially giving a company immunity from injunctions ordered by federal courts.

More Shamelessness From Harry “No Budget” Reid

Sadly, my family lost one of our own yesterday in the accident at Hawthorne. A brave young man who served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. While I wish to hold politicians accountable for their words and actions regarding this tragedy, I do not want to overly politicize or even publicize my thoughts out of respect for his Mother, Father and immediately family (he was a cousin).

This blog, courtesy of John Galt/YouViewed.com is an excellent summary of the event, as well as Harry Reid’s despicable politicization of the event.

Allahpundit also shares his take on the events over at Hot Air.









” Think the desperate Democrats trying to punish America for daring to inflict a two-percent reduction upon their spending plans couldn’t sink any lower?  Think again.

On Monday, a 60mm mortar exploded during live-fire training at Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada, killing seven Marines and wounding several others.  Fox News reports the Corps is investigating the cause of the explosion:

The Marines immediately issued an indefinite moratorium on firing of all such mortars worldwide until an investigation clears as safe the type of weapon and ammunition in the tragedy. The moratorium could last for weeks or months.”


Reid plays politics with tragedy :


” Mr. President, it’s very important we continue training our military, so important.But one of the things in sequester is we cut back in training and maintenance. That’s the way…

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