Open Letter to Ann Coulter from a Fellow Conservative


Ann,

Just for some background, I’m not writing this open letter as an angry far-left wing liberal zealot. Other than a few naive years as a teen, I’ve been a staunch conservative and defender of individual liberties and an unabashed patriotic American. More recently, I’d describe myself as a conservative libertarian, at odds with the entrenched power and money-hungry leadership of the Republican party, while agreeing, for the most part, with their policies. At the moment, I can’t think of much that you and I disagree on politically speaking. If you don’t believe me, go ahead and read the posts on my blog, Dave’s Dominion, and I’m sure you’ll agree with most of what I have to say there.

Though while we agree on much of what we passionately believe in, I sometimes disagree with your tactics. This brings me to your recent use of the word “retard” in one of your tweets:

I highly approve of Romney’s decision to be kind and gentle to the retard.

I know what you’re probably thinking. Actually, I think you already commented on that today when you said “screw them” to the “word police”. Being the word police is not my intention. I fully support your and everyone else’s right to use whatever words you wish to use, even ones that are personally offensive to me. If someone were to try, by use of force or law, to prevent you from using that word, I’d be one of the first in line to defend your right to do so. I’m not a free speech denier by any means.

However, as the parent of a special needs child, your use of the word “retard” in this context is offensive to me. One of my favorite sayings is “He who is offended by nothing likely cares little about anything to be offended by in the first place.” I care deeply about this issue. Parents of special needs kids know the feeling that word evokes.

Look, no one would refer to a Down Syndrome child, someone with an actual mental handicap, by saying ‘retard.’ Where do you think the words ‘imbecile,’ ‘idiot,’ ‘moron,’ ‘cretin’ come from? These were all technical terms at one time. ‘Retard’ had been used colloquially to just mean ‘loser’ for 30 years. But no, no — these aggressive victims have to come out and tell you what words to use.

Your above statement is technically true. However, unless you’re the parent of a special needs child yourself, it’s difficult to describe the feelings and images the word “retard” dredges up. These are the feelings of knowing that your child, as much as you love them, will never measure up to other “normal” children. It’s hard for me sometimes to listen to other parents brag about how their child made the Honor Roll at school, has a genius level IQ, or whatever the astonishing accomplishment is. Those are good things and, in a way, I’m happy for them. The sadness comes in the thoughts about my child never having a “normal” life. I accept my child for how she is and love her deeply but, at the same time, I think all parents have visions when their child is still an infant of how the future will be for them and when the realization sets in that there are going to be a lot of obstacles to that future, we go through a period of real mourning. That’s not to say that we’re constantly depressed about the future and running around saying “Woe is me!” but there are certainly times of worry and mourning over what it holds for them.

With great admiration, I read another open letter to you from John Franklin Stephens, a young man with Down Syndrome.

After I saw your tweet, I realized you just wanted to belittle the President by linking him to people like me.  You assumed that people would understand and accept that being linked to someone like me is an insult and you assumed you could get away with it and still appear on TV…

Well, Ms. Coulter, you, and society, need to learn that being compared to people like me should be considered a badge of honor.

As previously stated, this letter probably does little to convey how parents of special needs kids feel about your use of the word “retard”. My hope is that you’d at least consider it as coming from something other than an attempt at being the “word police” but from someone who cares deeply about their special needs child.

Thank you,

Dave Kellogg, “Dave’s Dominion” author

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A Response to Samuel L. Jackson’s “Wake the F*** Up!” Video


Count me among the majority that enjoy a good movie, especially when times are tough and I’m trying to get my mind off the depressing news of the day. It helps me unwind and centers me, so I don’t get too focused and wrapped up in what’s going on in the world of current events, politics, and the other junk that tends to clutter my mind sometimes. On the other hand, I don’t particularly care for actors and actresses in those same movies who speak out on their political views. When I see a movie, listen to music, or read a book, I don’t want to associate a particular actor’s, musician’s, or author’s political views with their work. I want to enjoy it for what it is. Yes, they obviously have the right to do so but it seems like a lot of them also seem to believe they’re privileged to knowledge from on high that the rest of us don’t have access to. Case in point, Samuel L. Jackson. Consider the below video regarding his support of Obama for President and apparent disdain for Republican candidate Mitt Romney.

In the first scene, Jackson’s initial swipe at Romney is that he’s an “out-of-touch millionaire”. Hmmm…A little class warfare right off the bat there, Mr. Jackson? This little nugget seems a little disingenuous considering Jackson likely makes far in excess of what most Americans will make in their entire life. Of course, Mr. Jackson fails to mention Romney’s generosity and that he gives far more of his income away than does Obama or Biden. Romney’s charity also does not extend only as far as the spotlight reaches. Most of his charitable giving has been away from the camera lights of the press.

Jackson then goes on to claim that Romney has declared war on schools, the environment, and “fair pay”, without giving any details, of course. He then mentions that Romney’s “against safety nets and if you fall, tough luck!” All this is fine and dandy posturing but without any specifics, there’s not much to comment on here. But it certainly makes for good talking points straight out of the Democrat playbook to make the “out-of-touch millionaire” into an evil son of Satan. Demonization…Ah, yes, the tool of the ignorant.

The next scene may be the most unbelievable of all…The claim made by the little girl is that Mitt Romney is no fan of civil rights and that he’s OK with “voter suppression”. The underlying and unspoken accusation here is that Romney is a racist. Enter the proverbial throwing down of the race card, a move reserved for those incapable of stringing together more than two brain cells at a time. In typical fashion, the term “voter suppression” isn’t specifically defined but I’m certain they’re referring to voter ID laws. Unfortunately for Mr. Jackson, most polls show that a vast majority of the public, around 70%, support voter ID, a number that crosses political and racial boundaries. In at least Indiana (considered to be the most stringent voter ID law in the country) and Georgia, voter ID has actually led to an increase among minority voters, a segment of the population that alarmists claim are being suppressed by such laws.

Another claim the young girl makes in this scene is that Romney is not worried about the poor, something that Romney has just flat-out never said nor indicated. A straight up lie by Mr. Jackson.

Mr. Jackson then makes his appearance in the scene and says that Obama sent seals to Bin Laden’s place and that Romney “sent jobs overseas”. This has been thoroughly debunked already by organizations like FactCheck.org. Consider their article on “Obama’s Outsourcer Overreach“. This is coupled with the fact that, during Obama’s presidency, he’s responsible for the largest shift in wealth from America to overseas than any administration before him.

Two scenes later, Jackson claims that, if elected, Romney and Ryan will gut Medicare. Obviously, he fails to mention that the Obama administration has already proposed its own changes to Medicare, those that would be similar to what he claims Romney wants to enact, that result in approximately the same cuts. Both campaigns have pointed out that the other is wanting to cut about $700 billion from the program. Yet again, a hypocritical claim from the Obama camp.

There are a few other accusations floated here also but I think you get the point. Don’t get me wrong…I love many of Jackson’s movies but I’m not a big fan of his politics. I’d at least respect him a bit more if he put more thought into it than simply repeating the brain dead talking points from the DNC about Romney, the “out-of-touch” millionaire.

Mr. Jackson, until you get your facts straight, instead of telling us to “Wake the F*** Up!”, maybe you should just “SHUT the F*** Up!”.

Yours truly…

The Squawkers


You know the type…They’re the folks that seemingly love to draw people into an argument, feeding off the negative reactions of those around them. They’re the self-appointed guardians of intellectual superiority, with the supernatural ability to be the judge and jury of the hopeless sinners left in their proverbial wake. I like to call them “The Squawkers”.

In my experience, there are four main types of this particular species. These four types can include all spectrums, ideologies, and political parties.

Type #1 is the race baiter. The race baiter, normally a hard-left liberal, will typically turn any argument that even remotely includes someone of any particular minority into an accusation of racism against the other party. This type doesn’t care if the target is part of the imagined slandered race or not. In their rose-colored world, anyone that dares disagree with them on race-related matters is automatically stamped with the “RACIST!” label and is summarily relegated to subhuman status. It doesn’t matter if the target is interracially married, with mixed-race children, living in an integrated neighborhood, with close friends from India, Brazil, Abu Dhabi, and the South Pole. That target is the scum of the earth. They’d have to be because, well, it’s just too much effort to find more than a couple of brain cells to put together to make up any kind of intelligent argument to prove otherwise.

Type #2 is the free speech denier. This type, like the race baiter, eventually reaches an intellectual wall, at which point the “You’re denying my freedom of speech!” card is tossed on the table. No matter how many times or different ways you explain that someone has the right to say something but that they maybe should use some self-restraint in what they say, you’re automatically slapped with the free speech denier label and intellectually shipped off to Neverland.

Type #3 is the lack o’patriotism claimer. This particular type, usually a hard-right individual politically-speaking, thinks anyone against war for any reason at all must hate their country with an unbelievable passion. Why, those folks are dope-smoking, flower-in-hair wearing, pinko-commie, pansies who ought to be living in a commune somewhere in the wilderness of Canada!

Lastly, type #4 is the hater…This is probably the most widespread type and isn’t relegated to just political issues. If you think REM sucked rocks and you’re glad they broke up yesterday, then you’re a hater…OK, I’m just kidding on that one. Anyway, this label is quite frequently used when someone disagrees with something like gay marriage, abortion, and other social issues. If you’re against gay marriage, you’re an anti-gay bigot. Think abortion should be outlawed? Well, then you must hate women and want them to die in a back-alley abortion performed by an unqualified doctor with an infected coathanger. And don’t even think about opposing universal healthcare, you hating hater who hates!

Do you get the point? It’s so easy to fall into the trap of shutting down the intellectual response in favor of the emotional. Yes, emotions play a part in almost any discussion. Many people believe passionately about certain things and I believe it should always be that way. It doesn’t bother me if someone passionately disagrees with me. I respect it when someone will argue with me, defending their point when they clearly believe in what they’re saying. It shows me they care. However, it can be taken too far as described in the four types above. These are the folks who go overboard and allow emotion to override everything else. There’s room for both logic and passion in my world.

AWOL


You’ve heard that elections have consequences, right? Well, is there some unnamed contaminant in the water in the Midwest that causes some politicians to temporarily (or otherwise) lose their ability to do the work they were elected to do? Is there something in the makeup of a Midwestern elected official that blocks the signals between the neurons in their brain from being able to travel from one cell to the next when they think about maybe showing up for work? These are the questions that plague those of us who actually value showing up for work and doing what we’ve been hired to do.

I can certainly understand being opposed to certain legislation and not wanting to vote on it, even it if it is heavily favored by the vast majority of those voting. However, what I can’t understand is purposely abdicating the responsibility to voice my opinion in the form of a vote when that is what I was elected to do in the first place. This is what rubs people the wrong way about this whole situation, regardless of party affiliation.

Part of the consequences of being in the minority when you’re in office is that there may not  be much you can do to stop legislation that you do not agree with. If that’s the case, the responsibility of being in the minority is that you either do what you can do, within the realms of the law, to stop the legislation by whatever means are available to you, i.e. by filibusters and other procedural tactics. Instead, these scofflaws from Wisconsin and Indiana just decided to skip town. No votes. No serious debates in their respective legislatures. Just a packed suitcase, a full tank of gas, and a friendly governor in a neighboring state who’s not willing to enforce the law and jettison your illegal rear end back to whence you came.

I know…You’re probably saying to yourself, “You’re an anti-union neocon!” Well, honestly, I’m not a huge supporter of unions. I do think they’re largely unneeded but I also think there are places and situations where they are not only acceptable but probably completely necessary. I’ve been a union member before and, if the appropriate situation presents itself, I may be a union member in the future. Though unlikely, it’s not out of the realm of possibility for me. Regardless, this particular issue really has nothing to do with being pro or anti-union, Republican, Democrat, or whatever the particular stripe. This has to do with one thing…The rule of law and showing up to do what you’ve been called to do. Plain and simple.

Grow Up!


I probably should never write a blog post when I’m in a pissed-off mood but here goes anyway…

The whole Arizona shooting thing and the fallout from pundits, politicians, and posers against who’s supposedly at fault…Here are a few points:

  1. Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and the Tea Party folks are NOT at fault in any way. If you think otherwise, your political ideology has blinded you and you’re incapable of putting more than two brain cells together to come up with a cogent thought. Grow up!
  2. Using a target or crosshairs in a political ad has been going on for decades. There’s nothing wrong with it.
  3. Military or “violent” terminology, in the same way, is completely acceptable. Even Jesus used such language, saying that the violent take the kingdom of heaven by force.
  4. One of the shooter’s friends described him as a liberal and others have described him as apolitical. If you think conservatism had anything to do with it, you’re as ideologically as blind as a bat. Two of his favorite books are “Mein Kampf” and “The Communist Manifesto”. Dude played both sides of the fence as far as I can tell, if he even had a side to begin with.
  5. He didn’t listen to or watch political talk radio or TV. If you think this played a part, go back and re-read the second sentence in point #1.
  6. Nancy Pelosi once again proves herself to be completely clueless. This was not an “accident”.
  7. Newsflash…The shooter WAS COMPLETELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ENTIRE ACT.

This notice brought to you by a supposed domestic terrorist.

Turn of the Century


It’s not often that I’m inspired to write an article about a song. This particular song, however, is one of the most beautiful pieces of music I’ve ever heard and it perfectly portrays, along with the lyrics, the emotions of the characters described within it. The song is “Turn of the Century” by the progressive rock band Yes and was first released on their 1977 album “Going for the One”.

The song, as my personal interpretation goes, describes an artist working at making a sculpture, apparently with his wife as the model. As he works on his masterpiece, she falls ill and eventually dies “in the still light of dawn”.

As the artist finishes grieving for his beloved wife, he sets back to work at finishing the sculpture of his wife, inspired by the memory of her. He becomes absorbed by the work of his hands and he wonders if she can still hear and see him. He longs to touch and hold her again. He dreams of the future when he can again be with her, remembering how things once were.

That may or may not be a proper interpretation of the lyric but it doesn’t really matter to me all that much. Anyway, besides the great love that the story describes between the artist and his wife, it reminds me of loved ones who’ve passed on from this life. Though we sorrow temporarily while we’re here on this earth, we don’t sorrow as those who have no hope. We sorrow temporarily, with the hope of seeing our loved ones when we pass from this life to eternity with a loving and gracious God and our savior, Jesus Christ.

Below, I’ve included a video for this beautiful song and the lyrics as well.

“Turn of the Century”

Yes

from “Going for the One (1977)

Realizing a form out of stone
Set hands moving
Roan shaped his heart
Through his working hands
Work to mold his passion into clay, like the sun

In his room, his lady
She would dance and sing so completely
So be still, he now cries
“I have time, oh let clay transform thee so”

In the deep cold of night
Winter calls, he cries “Don’t deny me!”
For his lady, deep her illness
Time has caught her
And will for all reasons take her

In the still light of dawn, she dies
Helpless hands soul revealing

Like leaves we touch, we learn
We once knew the story
As winter calls he will starve
All but to see the stone be life

Now Roan, no more tears
Set to work his strength
So transformed him
Realising a form out of stone, his work
So absorbed him
Could she hear him?
Could she see him?
All aglow was his room dazed in this light
He would touch her
He would hold her
Laughing as they danced
Highest colors touching others

Did her eyes at the turn of the century
Tell me plainly
When we meet, how we’ll love, oh let life so transform me

Like leaves we touched we danced
We once knew the story
As autumn called and we both
Remembered all those many years ago
I’m sure we know

Was the sign with a touch
As I kiss your fingers
We walk hands in the sun
Memories when we’re young
Love lingers so

Was it sun through the haze
That made all your looks
As warm as moonlight?
As a pearl deep in your eyes
Tears have flown away
All the same light

Did her eyes at the turn of the century
Tell me plainly
When we meet how we’ll look
As we smile time will leave me clearly

Like leaves we touch, we see
We will know the story
As autumn calls we’ll both remember
All those many years ago

The Cat’s Butt


In a move sure to please the local coffee drinkers in Calgary, Canada, “The Bean Stop” is  bringing a stimulating new beverage choice to their selective drinkers. The new steaming beverage is called “Kopi Luwak”, better known in some less politically-correct areas of the world as “cat poop coffee”.

I first reported on this intestinally-produced drink in November 2008. The long and the short of it is this…A cat eats coffee cherries, craps out the bean, and some skilled worker collects the kitty leftovers to make something that someone, somewhere is going to drink.

I’m thinking this drink could’ve only originated from someone who was drunk or stoned. I can’t imagine anyone saying something like “Hey, look…The cat just took a dump in the sandbox again. Let’s cook it up and make a drink out of it!” I’m thinking that guy probably spent his adolescence getting swirlies and wedgies.

The owner of “The Bean Stop”, Ken Cutler, said “This will appeal to two groups of people. Coffee connoisseurs and there’s probably a group of people who will have a cup just to say they had a cup.” He added, “It’s such an unusual, odd and unique product.” Boy, that’s an understatement there Mr. Cutler. “It’s got both a fruity and an earthiness, it’s almost got a natural sweetness to it which is very unusual.” Yeah, that says it all right there. I’m just sayin’…