“That’s One Small Step For A Man…”

Forty-five years ago today, Neil Armstrong set foot on another world.

From the Lift-Off until touchdown on the moon, it took them 102 hours and 45 minutes to get there.

I remember my parents waking me up for Neil actually stepping out of the lander. I lived in Ohio at the time, so it was almost 11:00pm our time. I was only 8 years old, so I didn’t fully understand the magnitude of what was happening. I’m glad I got to see it.

 

Here is a picture of how it looks today, from Lunar orbit:

Apollo11-LRO-March2012

A Succinct Explanation

I found this today and it is the best explanation I have found to date to describe what is going on with and around Israel.

I can see why the Liberal media perfunctorily ignores 372 Hamas rocket attacks into Israel, then screams at the top of their collective(ist) voices when a single Israeli tactical aircraft heads over to take out the site where the rockets are coming from.

No one screams “cease fire” while Hamas, et. al., fires dozens of rockets into Israel, but they sure do as soon as a Militant Islamist gets a skinned knee running from an Israeli tank.

If you want to get a good, clear explanation of how it started, and how it could end, watch this:

As he says, it is easy to define, not so easy to solve. As long as one side wants to kill the other, this will continue. When the Muslims stop wanting and trying to wipe out the Jewish people, then and only then will it end.

The Liberal Game

Liberals seek control. Total control. Of everybody. Not only of your actions, your thoughts as well. We saw that in the Soviet Union and other Left-Wing Totalitarian states.

They do that by changing the language and using your own social mores against you. If you let them set the structure of the conversation by defining the terms, you are already defeated, because inside their structure, there is no way to defend a position contrary to theirs.

Words have what is called, for a lack of a better term, an “Emotional Index.” This means that a word or term will cause an emotional response in the person hearing or reading the term. The word “Friend” produces a positive index because we think of our friends and our connection with them when we hear or see the word. Likewise, “Enemy” produces a similar number but in the negative direction.

So, when Liberals try to convince you to like something you don’t like, they will change the terms, from words that have a strong negative index, to words with either a less negative index, or even a positive index. If they can, they will use words outside of the vocabulary of a average person, then define the word how they want it defined, rather than what it really means.

Case in point: “Illegal Aliens,” used to denote citizens of other countries who are entering the United States without following the laws and procedures established for the orderly processing of people who wish to become Citizens of the United States. Liberals don’t like that term, because, “People are not illegal.” So, they want you to use the term “Undocumented Immigrant.” When we use the term “Alien,” we are talking about definitions like,”a foreigner, especially one who is not a naturalized citizen of the country where they are living,” or “relating, belonging, or owing allegiance to another country or government.” To prefix the term “Alien” with “Illegal” you are stating that a citizen of one country has moved to another country and is now living in the second country without going through the process as defined by law to renounce their citizenship of their former country.

Now let’s take a look at the second term, “Undocumented Immigrant.” Both of these words have way lower negative index scores than the first term. After all, the United States is a nation built on immigrants, wasn’t it? So, we switch from “Alien,” which also means unfamiliar, while also invoking at least some fear, because people instinctively fear that which is unknown, or alien to them. Thus we change from a big negative index, to a neutral or even a positive index. Then the prefix adjective, “Undocumented,” which means “not supported by documentary evidence.” We can rationalize this by saying, “If I’m driving my car and don’t have my drivers license when I get stopped, I’m undocumented.” Or you can think about that “undocumented expense report” because you didn’t provide the necessary paperwork to justify your claim. You can almost begin to think that the Undocumented Immigrant belongs here, they just haven’t made it through the bureaucratic red tape to become full citizens yet. Again, when comparing the indexes between “Illegal” and “Undocumented,” the index is way lower for the latter.

So, by getting you to accept their term of “Undocumented Immigrant,” you have already lost the argument because you have stopped using a term with a great negative index, to one with a slight positive index. You are now taking a position against someone that you yourself would feel favorable towards, because of the change in the term.If you have ever read Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, you read about Big Brother changing the language. If you can change the language to eliminate words like “Freedom, ” “Individual” and the like, how can someone conceive of these ideas to challenge who is in control?Don’t play their game. Use your terms and definitions, and communicate them clearly and often so people know what you are talking about. When you are clear and consistent in your message, while your opponent is trying to obfuscate what they are saying and changing their message as facts against them become evident, most peoples BS meter will start to go off.
Just remember, you can only win people over to your side who are open to new ideas and concepts. If someone has their reputation entrenched and they are heavily emotionally invested in a position, you won’t win them over. Your object is to win those who are watching the conversation to your point of view.

Cannonballs in a Kiddie Pool

I have two related stories, one of which I have been sitting on for a while. The first is: The Results of a Seattle Suburb’s Minimum Wage Hike Deserve a Big Fat ‘We Told You So’ and the other one is: Seattle Businesses to Fight $15 an Hour Minimum Wage.

The first article lists these points:

  • Managers have taken more responsibilities on themselves, instead of hiring more workers.
  • Businesses have laid off workers, or eliminated their plans to hire more.
  • Area parking now comes with an added “living-wage surcharge.”
  • Hotels have cut employee benefits, free food, and overtime

Hiring has dropped to negative numbers (nobody is hiring, some are letting people go), benefits are cut and prices are going up. I really don’t see a problem here, this is what Liberals do, destroy the economy in the name of “helping the people,” which ends up causing them more grief.

The second article talks about a consortium of business to “modify” the $15 minimum wage back to a relatively less-painful $12.50 an hour.

They interviewed a bar owner, who gives some hard numbers on his situation: He operates on a net profit (that’s what’s left after all expenses have been paid) of about 5%. If you do the math, his business would have to make $1,000,000 in gross sales for him to make the national average of $50,000. His labor costs run around 30%, and if the $12.50/hour goes into effect, his labor costs will go up to 40%. Now, the businesses that supply him with goods and services are going to take that same hit, so his non-labor costs will probably jump about 10% as well. His expenses just jumped 20% and he’s working on a 5% margin. What do you think his prices are going to do? Go up, of course. The business owner will have to pray that he keeps the same level of sales, or he will have to cut that labor cost by letting people go.

Here’s something a lot of people don’t know, outside of HR, Payroll and Small Business Owners. The true tax rate for Social Security is not the 7.65% that you see come out of your paycheck, it’s actually 15.3%. The employer pays half of that. So a worker who is paid $8.00/hour, the employer actually pays $8.61. If the business has to pay that worker $15/hour, it now becomes $16.15. That is a difference of $1,123 per full-time employee per year.

So, let’s say you have a business that employs ten full-time employees (or twenty part-time) at $8.00/hr. If the minimum wage goes from $8 to $15.00/hour, total labor costs will jump $156,832 a year. That is $145,600 to pay the people, and an additional $11,232 just in increased Social Security costs. At $1 million annual gross sales, and a 5% profit, you just went from profiting $50,000 to losing $106,000 a year. To stay the same, your prices will have to go up 16% and you hope your sales don’t go down, or you have to cut 25% of your workforce. Those are glorious choices, aren’t they?

That’s the reason for the title of this post. Raising the minimum wage will be like a 300 lb person doing a cannonball into a kiddie pool. The person makes a big splash that will force most of the water out of the pool, and when they leave, there will be only a little bit of water left.

If this $15 goes into effect, I’m moderately sure in 10 years Sea-Tac will look like Detroit does today.

 

Creating Divisiveness While Abhoring It

On July 4th, Robert Reich, the ever illustrious all-knowing Expert on Economics (he really is, just ask him) posted the following on Facebook:

True patriotism isn’t simply about securing our borders from outsiders. It’s about coming together for the common good. True patriotism requires taking on a fair share of the burdens of keeping America going, not finding tax loopholes and squirreling money abroad. It’s about preserving and protecting our democracy, not inundating it with big money or paralyzing it with partisanship. True patriots don’t hate the government of the United States. They’re proud of it. Generations of Americans have risked their lives to preserve it. They may not like everything it does, and they justifiably worry when special interests gain too much power over it. But true patriots work to improve the government, not destroy it. And they don’t pander to divisiveness; they don’t fuel racist or religious or ethnic divides; they aren’t homophobic or sexist. To the contrary: True patriots seek to confirm and strengthen the “we” in “we the people of the United States.”

Okay, I have several issues with this post.

1)     Bob says, ”True patriotism requires taking on a fair share of the burdens of keeping America going, not finding tax loopholes and squirreling money abroad.” Half of the households in this country pay NO income tax. Z-E-R-O. In fact, a lot of them get more money back than what they paid in. Is that a “fair share?” The richest 1% pay more in taxes than the entire GDP of Albania. Nobody likes paying taxes. If someone says they do, they are an idiot. I do so because it is the law and would go to prison if I didn’t. Now, if the law says that you pay less taxes if you have money in foreign banks, that is not a “loophole.” IT’S THE LAW. A loophole is defines as, “an ambiguity or inadequacy in the law or a set of rules.” If you don’t like it, contact your Congressman and tell him to change the law. Ulysses S. Grant said, “I know no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution.”

2)     Bob again, “It’s about preserving and protecting our democracy, not inundating it with big money or paralyzing it with partisanship.”

The United States is NOT a Democracy. No way, no how, never has been. We are a Constitutional Representative Republic.

A Democracy is where everybody votes on every decision the government must make. With over 200 million possible voters, that would make sure nothing gets done. And if 51% want to take your possessions, they get it and you can’t do anything about it but move out. The majority has spoken.

A Constitutional Representative Republic is a government that has a clearly defined structure, as in our Constitution, the People elect representatives from their district to carry on the business of government according to the will of the people in that district. A Republic means the rule of law is in charge of the land. The law binds all people equally, no matter if they are a homeless person or the President.

I love that word, “Partisanship.” I define it as, “Standing fast, not compromising your character and holding on to your moral values.” When Liberals say “Bipartisanship ,” they are saying, “Let’s compromise and do it our way.”

3)     “True patriots don’t hate the government of the United States. They’re proud of it. Generations of Americans have risked their lives to preserve it.” I LOVE my country so much I put my life on the line for 13 years to protect it because I love the concepts of personal freedom and self-reliance that the United States embodies. Today, I FEAR my government because it seeks on a daily basis to abridge my basic human rights, some of them are spelled out in the Bill of Rights. Big Difference.

4)     “But true patriots work to improve the government, not destroy it. And they don’t pander to divisiveness; they don’t fuel racist or religious or ethnic divides; they aren’t homophobic or sexist. To the contrary: True patriots seek to confirm and strengthen the “we” in “we the people of the United States.”

This is so ironic it is sad. Looking between the Conservatives and Liberals, I see one side looking to categorize and demonize everybody who is different from them; to exacerbate rifts between social and religious groups; to decry discrimination in public, then commit that same discrimination in private. The group that is the most guilty for each of those statements are Liberals.

The only part of this diatribe I agree with is, “True patriots seek to confirm and strengthen the “we” in “we the people of the United States.” I don’t care about my neighbors skin color, his political leanings or his religion. I will show him the level of respect that I would expect from him.

There were a lot of responses, but this one kind of leaped out at me:

I don’t support government. I’m not a patriot. I don’t believe in America nor do I support it.

But I also don’t fuel racist or religious or ethnic divides. I try to let people see that we are all just human, and should not only respect our neighbors, but have a responsibility to respect each other. I try to keep the mind of my opponent open to new ideas in hopes they will see that narrow minded and goal oriented views are fundamentally flawed. I try to enforce my belief that a system built on a flawed system will never work., no matter how much you want it to. A nuclear bomb is just that, and can be nothing else, no matter how much we want it to end hunger, or cure cancer. And those who can make a difference, don’t. For every doctor who finds a breakthrough in clinical science, 9 more release a new anti depressant or erectile dysfunction pill. And we, as a people, allow this behavior by not standing together and telling these corporations, these people who would have us sell out for materialism and false hopes, to shove off and act right, or we will make sure they are shut down permanently. To me, patriotism is just a lower, less obvious form of prejudice. Why show love for country when you can show love for world? Why show your patriotism when you can show your unbiased love of the world. Everyone sees only where they live, what they do. We are all part of something bigger, and until we see it for what it is, and start focusing on what’s important AS A SPECIES, we are doomed to repeat all the mistakes made in the name of a lesser goal. I don’t seek to destroy a country, but to reconnect a world. I don’t seek to condemn those who served, I seek to elevate those who have and those who haven’t, to serve on a global level. If you want to know what’s wrong with the world, it’s simple. A house divided against itself cannot stand. Earth is the house. We are the tenants. And if we can’t start seeing humans instead of democrats, jews, mexicans, poor, or any other label meant to define us in a specific way, we will never make any progress. I agree that capitalism can be a successful venture, but until the world begins to work together, through responsibility and personal accountability, it will fail every time.

You know, it simply amazes me that people like this person want to live here. He says, “I don’t believe in America nor do I support it.” Yet he has no problem living under the protection of this country, enjoying basic rights here that don’t exist in other parts of the world.

I think the ideas he espouses would be better received in Iraq, where Sunnis are gunning for the Kurds, the Kurds are shooting the Shi’ites and the Shi’ites are bombing the Sunnis. The only time they stop killing each other is when they band together to kill Infidels that try and interrupt them. Or he could go to Iran, where the label of “gay” gets that person killed in a messy and painful way.

I personally have nothing against global peace, in fact my service helped preserve that global peace during the Cold War. My readiness to wage war upon any aggressors ensured that peace. This guy operates under the mistaken assumption that “peace” is the opposite of “war.” In truth, the opposite of “war” is “slavery.” Because if you are not willing to fight and protect your home and family, you are a slave to the person who is ready to kill you if you don’t bow to them.

 

Republic vs. Democracy

I found a video on YouTube that clearly breaks down the different types of governments on this planet and explains each of them. Anyone who tells you the United States is a Democracy is either uninformed or lying to you.

I Pissed Off My Quota of Liberals For The Day

I’m just all kinds of warm and fuzzy on the inside right now.

During breaks while studying my Project Management course, I was on FB trading jabs with a friend of a friend, This FOAF, whom I will name Lisa to not identify her, had a wonderful idea to tax soft drinks so as to provide additional revenue to help a local municipality solve its financial distress.

I started off by saying that people will buy less of a product or service if you tax them more. It is a consistent failing of any level of government to ass-u-me that the rate of consumption for a product or service will remain constant if you tax it more. The government then budgets for that income at that level and spends accordingly. When (not if) the consumption drops, the actual numbers fall short of the projections, thus adding to whatever deficit the city was trying to address.

I also pointed out that raising taxes on things is a method governments use to modify our behavior and limiting our choices, which ultimately limits freedom.

Then Lisa got into her real reason, which is sodas (plus alcohol and tobacco) makes us unhealthy. She started alluding to all of the health benefits and healthcare savings from less diabetes, less obesity and so on.

I told her, “The hardest thing someone can do is watch another do something wrong and not interfere.” I then asked her, “What or who gives you the authority or power to limit my choices and freedoms?” How does it directly affect her how much soda I consume? It does not matter if I consume multiple 2-liters a day, or none at all.

I then explained about the 18th Amendment (Prohibition) and how it was the only Amendment that has been repealed. I stated that if people want something that is highly taxed or out-and-out against the law, they will still find a way to obtain it. Same thing with drugs.

Her response was to delete all of the comments, ending the discussion.

I love pissing people off with facts. Facts do not cease to exist just because they are ignored.

The Liberal belief and core tenet that people aren’t smart enough, or have the willpower to make the “correct” choices (in her eyes and those of her fellow Liberals) is how freedom is lost, in that death of a thousand cuts.

Guess what, Liberals… IT’S NONE OF YOUR DAMNED BUSINESS WHAT I DO. I don’t give a rats ass if you think sodas, alcohol, tobacco or Big Macs are good for me or not. If I can afford it, it’s none of your business if I set my homes thermostat to 50 degrees in the Summer or 92 degrees in the Winter. As long as I am not directly hurting another person, you need to keep your nose out of my business, lest I cut it off.

 

An End of an Era

I don’t talk a lot about the military, at least in this fashion. This article, however made me very sad: Decommissioning plan pulls all frigates from fleet by end of FY ’15.

Since WWII, there have been 5 basic types of fighting ships in the Surface component of the US Navy Inventory. They are, Frigates, Destroyers, Cruisers, Battleships and Aircraft Carriers. These were the backbone of the offensive side of our forces. There are other types of fighting ships such as Submarines and Amphibious ships, however in WWII they were not considered “front line units.”

There were blurring between these distinct types, such as “Destroyer Escorts” which were another name for Frigates (and Cruisers later), and “Battlecruisers,” which, according to my father, “Were able to outgun what they could not outrun and outrun what they could not outgun.”

The Aircraft Carrier, born out of the ashes of Pearl Harbor, is the main striking fist of the US Navy. Their use resulted in battles where the ships involved never sighted each other. Their ability to deliver a precision strike several hundred miles away was unmatched until recently. One US Aircraft carrier carries more tactical aircraft than some countries have in total. Every President since Harry Truman, upon being informed of a crisis, their first question has been “Where are the carriers?” In WWII, Aircraft carriers were almost always named after battles.

Battleships were the major force that could be applied in battle up until the end of WWII. They were designed to give and receive massive poundings. However, they were limited by the range of their guns. During WWII, they still saw independent action, such as the last exchange between Battleships, when the USS Washington took on single-handed and sunk the IJN Kirishima in Iron Bottom Sound. Toward the end of the war, Battleships were relegated to Carrier Escort. During the Korean Conflict, all four of the Iowa Class Battleships were reactivated to serve on the gun line and the USS New Jersey again in 1968 where she did a single trip to the firing line of Vietnam. The 1980′s saw the Iowas reactivated again, this time fitted with modern anti-ship Harpoons and strategic Tomahawk cruise missiles. However, the rising cost of maintaining them, coupled with the lack of appropriate targets, the Iowas have been transformed into floating museums. Battleships were named after states and had either 14 or 16 inch Main Batteries that provided their massive punch.

Battlecrusiers, as I had mentioned above, were one of those “in-between” designs, trying to fill a gap between Battleships and Cruisers that didn’t really exist. The United States did have a single class and only two of the planned six ships saw water. They were well regarded as anti-aircraft platforms for the Aircraft Carriers. These ships were names after territories (Alaska and Guam were the only two that saw service) and their Main Battery consisted of 12″ guns.

There were two types of Cruisers, Heavy and Light. Heavy Cruisers had 8″ guns as their main weapon, while Light Cruisers had 6″ Main Guns. Heavy Cruisers were the smallest type of ship that would lead a Surface Action Group (SAG). Light Cruisers were largely used as support ships. Heavy Cruisers were named after major cities, Light Cruisers were named after smaller cities. In the 50′s and 60′s, Cruisers experienced an identity crisis of sorts. They were outfitted with Surface-to-Air Missiles which replaced some or all of their main weapons. Several classes in this weight range were also known as either “Destroyer Leaders” or “Guided Missile Frigates.” All gun Cruisers had the designator CA (such as CA-68 USS Baltimore), while the Cruisers of today are known as CG (CG-47 USS Ticonderoga) for their guided missiles.

Destroyers were the “Jack-of-all-trades” for the fleet. They worked independently in two and three-ship squadrons, scouting and engaging other small forces, as well as using their torpedoes when going after Cruisers and Battleships in fleet engagements. They were used as picket ships in Carrier groups and supply convoys, protecting the bigger ships from Submarines and aircraft. Destroyers were named after people and had only 5″ guns as their main armament.

Frigates were the little kids of the block. Slower than Destroyers, They were not allowed out very far on their own. They stayed close to their harbors or were with the slower supply convoys, always watching out for Submarines.

The Oliver Hazard Perry Class of Frigates we enjoy today hail from this magnificent history. An OHP is very lightly armed, with only a 3″ gun (that only fires out to the sides of the ship) and a single-arm Missile launcher that can launch SAMs, Harpoon Anti-Ship Missiles or ASROCS against Submarines. Her biggest weapon system however is her powerful sonar and LAMPS helicopters for ASW work.

The OHP‘s were built to be an “inexpensive” weapons platform. Their main job, especially when operating with a Carrier, is to be a bomb/missile/torpedo magnet and thus protect the Carrier from taking one.

With the retirement of the last of the OHP‘s we no longer have any “inexpensive” ships. Come next year we will have only three fighting classes, Carriers, Cruisers and Destroyers. The Ticonderoga Cruisers and Burke Destroyers in the fleet now are amazing ships. Top of the line sensors and weapons, the only significant difference between the two are the length of their legs and the number of the weapons in the loadout.

The Admirals and planners of today have forgotten something. Expendability. A modern carrier group typically consists of only 6 ships, a Carrier, a Cruiser, two Destroyers and a Submarine. Compared to the other Navies of the world, one Carrier Group has more firepower than some entire Navy. However, if you destroy or disable one or two ships out of that group, the Carrier is a sitting duck.

I would much rather have two OHP‘s and a Burke focused on a threat axis than two Burkes. The OHP‘s won’t have the same shootdown capability as a Burke, but they could take 1-2 missiles each for a loss of 20-40% of firepower. If the same number of missiles reach the Burkes, you’ve lost 100% of your firepower.

In the 80′s, the Air Force had the F-15 and F-16 team. The very expensive F-15 provided Air Superiority, while the F-16 were the less expensive “targets.” I was told by an Air Force crewman in Guam, “The greatest danger a NATO soldier would face in an European conflict would be from falling F-16 debris.” The Navy will soon no longer have that luxury. If a general conflict should erupt, our relatively few ships will hit the bottom and have no backup.

 

Three Positive Court Rulings

The session for the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has ended for the year, and there are three cases that I wish to talk about:

1)The first one is actually not a SCOTUS case, but this amazing ruling from the US 9th District gives me a little hope about them. In Latif v. Holder, Thirteen Muslim Americans, four of them US Veterans, are on the very secretive “No-Fly” list. This list is compiled by the FBI and supposedly consists of people who have, or are suspected of having, ties to terrorism.

The problem comes in when you go to the airport and find out you can’t fly even though you were able to buy a ticket beforehand. You also have no way to get off the list either. So, you have no way of knowing if you are on the list until you actually try to fly, and there is no process to get your name removed.

This ruling will hopefully change that. You can read the decision here.

2) In the SCOTUS cases Riley v. California, 13-132 and U.S. v Wurie, 13-212, the Court in a 9-0 decision basically extended the Fourth Amendment to cellphones.

With so much of a persons life in such a hand-held device, unrestricted access to that information could ruin a person. Texts, contacts, photos, phone records and all of the other information contained are a significant part of our life.

This ruling requires law enforcement to obtain a warrant before they can analyze your phone. I do not know if you have to physically surrender it to a Law Enforcement Officer on demand. You will have to consult with your own attorney to learn that information.

3) This one has all kinds of misinformation and an army of strawmen surrounding it. Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, 13-354 is a bit confusing, so I am going to devote a lot of attention to it. Here we go:

What is Hobby Lobby? Hobby Lobby is a privately-held company. That means that the Board of Directors (it is a corporation, with all of those laws and regulations that apply to corporations) owns the company. This is not the same as Wal-Mart, or any other publicly-held company (companies that issue stock). The BoD for Wal-Mart has to answer to the stockholders. Hobby Lobby does not. The BoD for Hobby Lobby is a single family.

What are they arguing for? This family has certain deeply-held religious beliefs. Some types of birth control violates those beliefs. This family does not want to be forced to provide those forms of birth control that are in violation of their religious beliefs.

What are those forms of birth control? There are various forms of birth control. For sexually active couples, they fall into two categories: Preventative and Abortive. Preventative means the egg and sperm never meet. This can be through barrier methods such as condoms, diaphragms, spermicide and such. There is the hormonal method of estrogen based birth control, where no egg is released. Hobby Lobby has no problem with these methods.

The Abortive method kills the fertilized egg. This is done by two basic methods. Through some kind of IUD (Intrauterine Device) which constantly rubs against the internal lining of the uterus, scraping off any fertilized egg which attaches to the uterine wall. The second method prevents the fertilized egg from attaching, or stopping its growth, effectively killing it. This method goes against the religious beliefs of those who own Hobby Lobby.

So, out of about twenty different methods of birth control on the American market, Hobby Lobby is against FOUR of them.

What is the BASE issue? The Constitutional issue here is the restriction of freedom by coercion of the government. Believe it or not, this comes from the Affordable Care Act, but was not part of the original law. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) passed a regulation based on their authority under the ACA to mandate all forms of birth control as part of a health care plan.

Here you have a small group of people who share similar religious beliefs who run a business. The fact that Hobby Lobby has over 500 stores is a red herring. Size is not an issue. Remember the First Amendment clearly states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;…” To make the owners of this company offer something that is abhorrent to them violates the First Amendment on its face. This is not about the company, it is about the owners of the company.

So, if you really want/need an IUD or one of the other birth control services that Hobby Lobby refuses to allow? You can QUIT. Are you being forced to work there? Is it the only employer hiring in 100 miles and you can’t move? QUIT or DON’T APPLY. Your choice.

That is what this all boils down to: Everybody has a choice. Your choice should never limit mine.

 

Chutzpah

Chutzpah is defined as someone killing their parents, then throwing themselves on the mercy of the court for being an orphan.

I don’t normally comment on local politics, but this one is not out in left field, it’s out of the park.

Henri Brooks is a County Commissioner here in the Memphis Area. She is currently running for County Clerk of the Juvenile court.

Back on June 14th of this year, Ms. Brooks got into an altercation with another person over a parking spot. Ms. Brooks was eventually charged with simple assault.

During the investigation, it was alleged that Ms. Brooks was not in compliance with the County Charter, which requires County Commissioners to live in the district they represent.

Ms. Brooks who has served in this seat for eight years, is facing some scrutiny over her living arrangements. It seems that the address she has been listing for some years, doesn’t exist. An address registered in 2010 reveals that someone else lives there, who has no connection to Ms. Brooks.

The local news stations have discovered a house in another district, with Ms. Brooks daughter being the owner and Ms. Brooks herself as the holder of the utilities.

Here’s where the Chutzpah comes in:

Ms Brooks released the following statement:

“The county attorney’s decision was made on the absence of proof. It was made to get me off this body and out of the Juvenile Court Clerk’s race. And it was made because they control the machinery and resources to do so.

 

Regardless of the vote of this body, I will never abandon the fight for our children, and I will appeal this entire process. Due process rights are fundamental to our justice system, and this process cannot violate that right.

 

I will continue to advocate for my constituents, improve the lives of all of Shelby County’s citizens, and empower families and children.”

This whole thing just mouth-droppingly astounds me. She violated the law by moving out of her district. She filed false papers, multiple times to several governmental entities including the election Commission. Now, if she wants to prove that she lives in the district, I am sure she can produce a lease or ownership documents on a home within that district. If she can’t, she should be forced to repay the county all the salary, healthcare expenditures and reimbursements related to the Commissions work, as of the date she opened utility service on the other side of the county.

She should also be sent to prison. I’m not declaring her guilty, however her lack of documentation proving her innocence is lacking. I will publicly apologize, here as an update and in it’s own post if Ms. Brooks can exonerate herself.

I’m waiting, but I’m not holding my breath.

6/26/14 UPDATE:

Last night, after mentally chewing on that I had written, I realized that I had more or less violated a Constitutional right of Ms. Brooks, the presumption of innocence. She should not have to prove her innocence, it is up to the legal machine of this county to prove she is guilty.

For that, I apologize.

That being said, I state again that Ms. Brooks could prevent the unnecessary expenditure of resources of the District Attorney’s office, as well as her own resources by hiring lawyers to defend her. All she has to produce are legal documents proving her residence in her district.