Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Lawmakers Are The Ones That Need To Be Spanked

Democrat Sally Lieber of San Francisco, a member of the state legislature, is drafting a bill that would make it illegal to spank or use any type of corporal punishment on children 3 years old or younger, reported the AFP on Friday, Jan. 19, 2007.

Once again, this is the government trying to tell us village idiots how to raise our children and it also shows that lawmakers like Lieber don’t have the stomach to take on bigger, more important issues. And let’s face it, just how the heck does she plan on enforcing this if it becomes law? Have the police use surveillance cameras placed in the homes of Californians? And besides, any parent with half a brain knows they cannot use corporal punishment on their child in public anymore, because nuts like Lieber will call child services and the police, after they write down the license plate number.

Sure, no one in their right mind is going to spank their 2-month old child. And even if they do, guess what? I’m willing to bet California has a law against that. I believe it’s called child abuse.

But there is a big difference between spanking a child and actual child abuse. And I hate to break it to many of you, but sometimes kids need to be spanked, sometimes it works and it doesn’t leave them emotionally scarred. And most parents are smart enough to determine how old their child should be hit.

And let’s face it, most of us had our bottoms made red by our parents and we are alive and well. I remember the first time I had to correct my son. He was a year and a half old and he wanted to play with the electrical outlets, even though there were safety covers on them. I still did not want him to touch them, because I figured that while my wife and I were not around, one day he would figure out how to get the safety covers off. My son is smart like that and probably got it from me, since I touched everything myself as a child. My older brother finds it amazing I still have all my fingers.

Well, no matter how many times I told my son no or even yelling at him, he still wanted to go near the outlets. So, as heart breaking as it was for me, I grabbed his little hand and slapped it hard. And I will never forget what happened next. His small, baby face looked up and his deep, dark eyes found mine and he laughed at me.

It was very hard to control myself from laughing, because that would have sent the wrong message to him, so I slapped his hand a little harder and he began to cry. Sure I did not like doing it but I got the result that I wanted: He stopped fooling around a dangerous and deadly household device.

Spanking is hardly ever used on my son now because he is old enough to understand what a punishment is. But how are you going to teach a year and half old child what a punishment is when they’re still trying to grasp the concept of a jack-in-the-box?

But I’m a criminal in the eyes of Lieber. However, she needs to know that some children need to be spanked. A loving parent does not get any joy out of making their child cry but it does get results. And taxpayers do not get any joy when Democrats introduce useless bills that waste everyone’s time.

Has Iraq’s PM Finally Wised Up?

After some much needed convincing by American intelligence reports, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has finally seen the errors of his ways and has stopped supporting Muqtada al-Sadr, a Shiite cleric with no great love for America, the Sunni or an Iraq governed by the people.

According to two unnamed government officials (the Associated Press story does not mention which government they are with), al-Maliki, who was a supporter of al-Sadr, finally realized that the militant leader of the Mahdi Army was really hurting the new Iraq. Apparently, the bombs, executions and bloodshed were not a tip off to al-Maliki, but then again, who knows what happens behind closed doors that made the prime minister open his eyes.

Al-Maliki, a Shiite himself, was supporting the Mahdi Army, even going so far as ending a U.S. blockade of Sadr City back in October of 2006, where the militia army has headquarters in the northeast Shiite enclave of Baghdad, according to the AP story, “Iraqi PM Ceases Protection of Anti-American Militia,” published Jan. 22, 2007.

In a previous blog (See Dec. 1, 2006, “Iraq Is Sleeping With The Enemy,” for more,) it stated how much control that al-Sadr had in the new Iraqi government and the best way to reiterate that is to quote the AP story.

“In a desperate bid to fend off an all-out American offensive, the radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr last Friday ordered the 30 lawmakers and six Cabinet ministers under his control to end their nearly two-month boycott of the government. They were back at their jobs Sunday,” reports the Associated Press.

Did al-Maliki really need U.S. intelligence information to tell him who was really controlling a good portion of the new Iraq government? When you have a radical insurgent leader, who is killing your countrymen, telling your government leaders not to go to work, that’s a big wake up call that you’re not wearing the pants, Mr. Prime Minister. (The question that needs to be asked is, why didn’t Iraqi President Jalal Talabani step in and take proper control of that matter?)

And this is the biggest problem that we should all have with the new Iraqi government. Maybe that memo about the prime minister that was leaked a few months back was true about al-Maliki. He just does not have what it takes to run the country, or maybe he just enjoyed being in al-Sadr’s pocket. What type of benefits package did he receive?

However, he is listening to the wisdom of the U.S. military about al-Sadr but it is fair to speculate that there was some arm-twisting for him to see the light. That was an impression that I received in President Bush’s speech on the new Iraq plan a few weeks back.

“In earlier operations, political and sectarian interference prevented Iraqi and American forces from going into neighborhoods that are home to those fueling the sectarian violence. This time, Iraqi and American forces will have a green light to enter these neighborhoods — and Prime Minister (Nouri al- )Maliki has pledged that political or sectarian interference will not be tolerated,” the president said on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2007.

And to give al-Maliki credit, there has been significant progress. The Associated Press reported on Jan. 18, 2007, that 400 Shiite insurgents were arrested because of al-Maliki’s green light.

While al-Maliki’s loyalties should be questioned and considered, he is finally sending the right message to the Iraqi people and to the vicious insurgents who are destroying the country. Hopefully, this is the first major step in the new Iraq plan that will take down the insurgency.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

N.J. Politicians Need To Take A Backseat To Smoking

Many New Jerseyans call the Garden State the People's Public of New Jersey and the new piece of legislation being introduced is one of the reasons why.

State Senator Raymond Lesniak is the creator of a bill that will make it illegal for parents to smoke in their own cars if children 16 years old or younger are passengers.

Now, I'm not a smoker myself and let's face it, no one should be smoking with little kids around. However, with New Jersey already having a law banning public indoor smoking, although it excludes the famous casinos, this is just one more restriction of the freedoms we are supposed to have in this country. What is next, you are not allowed to smoke in your own home, whether or not if you have children?

Reasonable parents should be allowed to raise their children as they see fit. It is their responsibility to protect their child’s health, not the government's.

But back to the bill, if it's made into a law, it will be a $500 fine and 30 days in jail for the first offense. Do you know what this law will really be? It's feel-good legislation, just so Lesniak, a Democrat, can tell people all the good his during for them, especially during the next time he’s running for office.

If Lesniak and the rest of New Jersey legislators want to really help New Jerseyans, how about some much needed property tax relief? Or maybe state lawmakers could do something to stop the drugs and the gangs that are crawling from war-torn cities like Trenton and into clean, decent towns like Princeton. Or they can help the intercity student get a better education in their own community, instead of sneaking into suburban schools illegally to get one?

Well, being from New Jersey and listening to others who still live there, I can tell you that is not going to happen. If this bill is passed, and it probably will, all it will do, besides help Lesniak's image, is give the state some more money. Sure, parents who light up while their children are in the car are stupid but if we're going to make a law to arrest stupid people making bad, money-taking, waste-of-time decisions, let's start with the idiotic gang of legislators!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

It’s Official: It’s Going To Be A Wild Ride Now That Hillary’s Here

OK, no one is really that surprised that Sen. Hillary Clinton has made a bid to run for the White House. Even people who are not interested in politics and haven’t been watching her over these past couple of years probably figured that out.

It seems likely that her plans for the White House started by going on national television and saying that she will stand by her husband, then President Bill Clinton, during the whole Monica Lewinsky scandal. Because she knew that her first steps to the presidency is staying on the Bill Clinton Gravy Train. Even though he was caught in an affair, his public approval rating was still pretty good and there was public sympathy for him.

Hillary rode that train to become a Democratic senator in New York, only after she and her husband bought a home in Long Island. And the past few years she picked and chose her political positions like a crafty master mind.

During the build up of the Iraq war a few years ago, she wrote a guest editorial in a British newspaper, saying why she was going to support the war. To my knowledge, she didn’t write anything like that in American newspapers but she did vote in favor of the war.

Now Hillary says she does not supports President Bush’s plan of bringing more troops in Iraq because the country’s leaders are not ready either militarily or politically to gain control over Baghdad and other the rest of the country, she said in an NBC television interview. But she does support a phased redeployment out of Baghdad, where the majority of the fighting seems to be happening, and then out of Iraq completely.

Well, she just showed that does not have what it takes to be the president of this country or having its best interests at heart. She’s only interested in votes and it shows. In my blog, “Handling The Hot Potato That’s Iraq,” (published Jan. 12, 2007), I already said what would happen if we pulled our troops out. We would give the insurgents and the terrorists in Iraq the victory that they want, plus giving them a country where they can train and hid their own, plus oil fields where they can make profits to continue to finance their jihad or just to blackmail other countries, depending what would tickle their fancies on that particular day.

If that’s not bad enough, let’s not forget her other controversies that will dog her during the presidential campaign: Universal healthcare, which would have cost taxpayers dearly, Whitewater, enough said, and a whole slew of other juicy events we forgot but her competitors from both sides will mention with glee.

Of course, let’s not forget that not only is she a woman and not just any woman but she’s Hillary Clinton. I’ve spoken with a few Democrats in my private circle who say they do not want Hillary to run. Her politics scare them and feel it will be a huge turn off for the average voter. Others say that this country isn’t ready for a female president. I don’t think that’s a real reason for not voting for someone. Just because she is a woman does not mean that is a good reason to not vote for her. As I mentioned in my last blog, look past someone’s background and only vote for them based off their political stance and their voting record. (See Jan. 18, 2007, Times Observer blog, “Black Community: Obama Has The Wrong Background,” for more.)

It’s going to be a very interested race since Hillary joined in and all I can say is this: Keep your head down and grab a raincoat, because it’s going to be a muddy ride until Election Day!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Black Community: Obama Has The Wrong Background

Poor Sen. Barack Obama, long before it was announced yesterday that he filed papers for a presidential exploratory committee, thus joining the long list of his fellow Democrats running or plan on running for the presidency in 2008, his racial background was already an issue. But not from whites but from those who share the same skin color as the Illinois senator.

Stanley Crouch, an African-American newspaper columnist, wrote in November, 2006, an article entitled “Barack Obama — Not Black Like Me.” Crouch claims that because Obama’s parents were a black Kenyan father and a white American mother, he does not share in or understand the struggles of black Americans who had ancestors that were slaves in this country.

Even radio host George Wilson says that his black audience listeners have been very cool to the idea that Obama is planning on running for the White House.

"He's not getting as much of an enthusiastic send-off from black people as he is from whites. There's a feeling that if white folks like him so much he must not be good for us. For some blacks, it's a turn-off, " Wilson said in an AFP story, published Jan. 17, 2007.

This is certainly unfair that Obama is already suffering racism from the black community, but if he should be attacked, it should be because of his politics and record. And if Obama is not going to be the “champion” for the black community in this political race, then who, the Rev. Al Sharpton? The same man who is known for making outlandish claims and making false accusations? Many will remember the Tawana Brawley incident and how he falsely accused the assistant district attorney in the case of being involved in the alleged rape.

Political background and voting record aside, if the black community really want or need someone to be their champion, they can find no better person than Obama. Unlike Sharpton or former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, Obama has not only held office but has a good, respectable political background. And since former Secretary of State Colin Powell is not running, or planning on it, Obama is the only responsible black leader currently in the national headlines. Besides the black community, the whole state of Illinois should be proud that a political leader of Obama’s standing has thrown his hat in the ring.

However, Obama is not the first Democrat who had to endure prejudices while trying to run for the White House. Many claimed that if Roman Catholic John F. Kennedy won the highest seat in the land, that he would take orders from the Pope or make reports to the Vatican. Of course, these accusations were untrue.

But the point is that despite one’s background, it will always be attacked, either from the opposition or from within their own ranks. Candidates and the voters must understand that when someone runs for the president of the United States of America, that person has a responsibility to one group and one group only: all the citizens of the country, not those from selected ethnic or religious backgrounds.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Handling The Hot Potato That’s Iraq

After everyone has had a chance to allow President Bush’s new Iraq plan to sink in, there are a few things that need to be reflected on and considered.

One of the highest criticisms from politicians, military experts and just about everyone else is that the more than 20,000 additional troops are not enough to carry this plan to victory. More troops are needed. I certainly agree and I have yet to find any countries in the “coalition of the willing” who have volunteered more of their men and women. Maybe these news articles have escaped my noticed.

Before our troops fired the first shot in this war, President Bush said it would not be like the Vietnam War, meaning our troops would not have restrictions placed on them when going after the enemy. For whatever reason, this faulty policy, most likely to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi citizens, was implemented. They would not want to see American or Iraq troops on holy land or places of worship. The president addressed this in his speech.

“In earlier operations, political and sectarian interference prevented Iraqi and American forces from going into neighborhoods that are home to those fueling the sectarian violence. This time, Iraqi and American forces will have a green light to enter these neighborhoods — and Prime Minister (Nouri al- )Maliki has pledged that political or sectarian interference will not be tolerated,” the president said on Wednesday evening.

And this has been addressed countless times during the operation of the war. Hopefully now that the “green light” is on, will we see the results needed to stabilize Baghdad and the rest of the country.

The president also stressed what would happen if the plan failed or what would happen if Iraq’s leaders did not follow through with it. The insurgents and terrorists would have a strong foothold in Iraq and will threaten not only the region and the surrounding countries but America as well. The president should have thrown Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad into the mix as well, because of his undisclosed deal with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani. (See Dec. 1, 2006, Times Observer blog, “Iraq Is Sleeping With The Enemy,” for more.)

But will this plan be allowed in Iraq? With Iraq’s president making a shady deal with Ahmadinejad and the deadly Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr having a follower in al-Maliki, it seems unlikely. Even though President Bush quoted al-Maliki as saying, “The Baghdad security plan will not provide a safe haven for any outlaws, regardless of [their] sectarian or political affiliation,” it should not give us a false sense of security.

And with Talabani and al-Maliki making deals or supporting deadly men, is it worth being in Iraq if its leaders are willing to throw everything that has been fought with blood, sweat and tears away?

In addition, it has been reported that our troops are having a hard time training Iraqis to take over security detail. American soldiers have said that a good number of Sunnis troops being trained do not want to help the Shiites and do not trust them. And the reverse is also true, with Shiite troops do not want to aid the Sunnis. Our troops have also said that both groups of soldiers refuse to follow orders, sometimes saying “if Allah wills it.”

With these two black eyes on Iraq’s defiance to unify and become a country for all the people, America could use this as a graceful bow to exit the war with some dignity. Not too many people would blame the U.S. for doing that.

But a U.S. withdraw of Iraq would collapse it and provide insurgents and terrorists a huge base of operations, giving them oil fields to either black mail other countries or use the profits to fund their jihad on all non-radical Muslims. And we cannot allow to give them, especially al-Qaeda, that kind of victory.