Author Archives: Brian Evans

Financial Crisis…a “Top Down, Bottom Up, Inside Out” Designed Collapse from Home Loans to Student Loans

As the fiscal cliff looms, it is prudent to discuss how we got here. As our crisis moves from housing to student loan and then into health care, it should be noted what, how and who got us into this situation.

“…because this financial crisis just wasn’t the result of decisions made in the executive suites on Wall Street, it was also the result decisions made across kitchen tables across America by folks who took on mortgages and credit cards and auto loans,”

Barrack Obama, Wall Street, April 22, 2010

     During a 2010 speech at Wall Street, President Obama blamed Wall Street and Main Street for irresponsible financial practices but he neglected the true culprit of the housing crisis…the federal government. When third parties such as Washington politicians, bureaucrats and community organizations get involved, it perpetuated the housing disaster in what we have today.

So, how do you collapse the housing market? You start with the philosophy of “Overloading the system” with an approach known as “Top Down, Bottom Up and Inside Out. Van Jones explains this concept below. Politicians and bureaucrats wrote legislation that entice community organizations, citizens and lawyers to force banks in giving loans they should not have given. This concept begins with the passage of the Community Reinvestment Act, then relaxing HUD policies with unrealistic goals. The Clinton Administration and Congress put pressure on banks, this represents the “Top Down” portion. This placed the legal ability for banks to make risky “subprime” loans. The “Bottom Up” is community organizations, like ACORN and lawyers who push the written law through the court system. These community organizations put pressure or extorted banks through threats of lawsuits. With Fannie and Freddie’s loan goals increased, pressure from federal agencies and community groups demanding risky loans to be made, this is the “Top Down, Bottom Up” scenario. The “Inside Out” scenario is where people within the system begin to work with the community organizations or replaced with people who are friendly to organizations that caused the problems.

So, what caused the subprime lending crisis? Let’s start with the Community Reinvestment Act.

In 1977, the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) established the foundation for the housing crisis and “encouraged” financial institutions to provide loans to low- and moderate-income communities. It eliminated “redlining”, a practice where banks identify and eliminate lending to certain high-risk communities. But one of the most damaging aspects of the act was the creation of a rating system that evaluated banks on several factors, one being their subprime loan record. The CRA addressed concerns of the deteriorating conditions of cities like urban flight and declining neighborhoods, this was due to limited credit availability. After the CRA was enacted, the federal government continued to tweak previsions for the next 30 years to provide loans to risky borrowers, loosen restrictions so banks were able to give these loans and provided legal grounds for community organizations and lawyers to force these loans.

After the passage of the CRA, trends of outstanding consumer credit skyrocketed. (See chart below)

     The Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 kept banks in check. It limited the affiliation between commercial banks and security firms, this also eliminated financial transactions being granted within the same credit, lending and investing institutions, also known as “too big to fail.” What this would do is tie loans to the banks physical assets. Back in 1933, this act gave additional oversight authority to the Federal Reserve. In addition, the FDIC would be able to guarantee loans up to a certain amount.

     Ben Bernanke explained that the CRA encouraged many banks to make high-risk loans to low and middle-income communities at low interest rates. The Financial Institution Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA) publicized these CRA reports public. This allowed community organizations and lawyers to “perform more-sophisticated, quantitative analyses of banks’ records.” If a bank’s ratings were not adequate, community organizations such as Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) sued banks for the lack of loans in low income communities.

     In 1980, Jimmy Carter signed the HR 4986, “Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act” forcing banks to adhere to Federal Reserve rules. It allowed the merger of banks and raised deposit insurance from $40,000 to $100,000.

     In 1992, the Housing and Community Development Act of 1992 “establish(ed) specified housing goals for each enterprise, including goals for purchase of mortgages on housing for low- and moderate-income families”. These two Government-Sponsored Enterprises (GSE), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, encouraged “subprime” lending by authorizing a “flexible” criteria whereas high-risk borrowers could be qualified for home loans. These GSEs were intermediaries who loan to banks and not directly to homeowners. Banks were directed to accept welfare payments and unemployment benefits as “valid income sources” in qualifying for mortgages. If banks didn’t accept these documents, they could face lawsuits.

     In 1994, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) instituted a “top down” policy where ten federal agencies adopted a policy, entitled “Policy Statement on Discrimination in Lending”. According to the news release “The following Federal Agencies—HUD, OFHEO, DOJ, OCC, OTS, the Board, FDIC, FHFB, FTC and the NCUA—sharing a concern that some prospective homebuyers and other borrowers may be experiencing discriminatory treatment in their efforts to obtain loans, formed an Interagency Task Force on Fair Lending to establish uniform policy against discriminatory lending.”

     Community organizations increasingly used the public comment process to pretest bank applications on CRA grounds. When applications were highly contested, federal agencies held public hearings to allow public comment on the bank’s lending record. In addition, this policy “seek(s) to promote fair lending” and “seeks to prevent lending discrimination and redlining by requiring public disclosure of certain information about mortgage loan applications.” In essence, the federal government established a grading program to evaluate how these programs lent to the poor. Due to these changes in lending practices and activism, homeownership would soar as shown below.

     According to the Chicago Daily Observer, Barrack Obama represented 186 African-Americans in a 1995 discrimination lawsuit against Citibank. These individuals were not approved loans but Citibank settled in 1997. Since then, roughly half of those represented have gone into bankruptcy or received foreclosure notices. Today, only 19 of the 186 still own their homes with a clean credit record. This demonstrates how community organizations can pressure banks into giving subprime loans.

     In 1999, President Clinton and a Republican majority Congress repealed the Glass-Steagill Act. This allowed banks, lenders and investments firms to practice across different environments, reintroducing “Too Big Too Fail.”  The bill passed the house (362-57) and Senate (90-8). At the same time, the Clinton Administration put pressure on Fannie Mae to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people. HUD increased Fannie/Freddie’s subprime lending goals to over 40 percent for low- and moderate-income families.

    Bill Clinton in an interview describes how much CRA loans were given out during his time as President.

In 1999, Franklin D. Raines, Fannie Mae’s Chairman and CEO stated ”Fannie Mae has expanded home ownership for millions of families in the 1990’s by reducing down payment requirements.” “Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980’s.”

According to Milkeninstitute, “The rate of foreclosures on subprime loans originated increased each year from 1999 to 2007 and accounted for approximately half of all foreclosures over the same period.” When the collapse occurred in the third quarter of 2007, subprime ARMs made up only 6.8 percent of US mortgages outstanding but accounted for 43 percent of the foreclosures that began in that quarter.

In November 2000, Fannie Mae announced HUD would increase the dedicated amounts to 50%. According to CSR Press Release, to expand the secondary market, Fannie Mae committed to purchase $2 billion through a suite of flexible mortgage options purchasing one-to-four unit homes. Fannie Mae injected a process where previous loans would be negotiated on an individual basis. Dan Mudd, from Fannie Mae stated “By teaming with lenders, Fannie Mae can not only help increase lending to minorities and other underserved market segments, but we also can assist depository institutions in meeting their own community investment goals and objectives. We look forward to working with our customers to create increased liquidity for Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) -eligible loans.”

In 2001, the US Department of Treasury warned, “Subprime borrowers typically have weakened credit histories that include payment delinquencies and possibly more severe problems such as charge-offs, judgments and bankruptcies. They may also display a reduced repayment capacity as measured by credit scores, debt-to-income ratios, or other criteria that may encompass borrowers with incomplete credit histories.”

Although most home loans were not subprime mortgages, their numbers rapidly grew in the early part of the 21st Century. Subprime loans accounted for 9 percent in 1996 and 20 percent in 2007, one-fifth of US home loan market. Throughout the 2000s, there were calls to reform Fannie and Freddie because they were “systemic risks”. In 2003, Barney Frank stated that Fannie and Freddie are “not in a crisis” and Republicans were crying wolf in calling Fannie and Freddie not financially sound. Democrats blocked Republican-sponsored legislation. From a servicing standpoint, these loans have a statistically higher rate of default and are more likely to experience repossessions and charge offs. Lenders use the higher interest rate and fees to offset these anticipated higher costs.

In April 2005, there was rumble of fixing the housing debacle but some lawmakers said that it undercut the ability of the CRA to “meet the needs of low and moderate-income persons and communities.” Senator Shelby introduced legislation to deal with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that was causing a “systemic risk for our financial system.” The carrot was subprime loans that would be purchased and backed by federal GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Community Organizations felt this legislation would only weaken CRA. Even Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan warned of Fannie and Freddie’s debt. “We are placing the total financial system of the future at a substantial risk,” he said. Senator Charles Schumer (D) says, “I think Fannie and Freddie over the years have done an incredibly good job and are an intrinsic part of making America the best-housed people in the world.” No legislation would be passed to address the looming bubble.

On August 15, 2007, concerns about subprime mortgages caused a sharp drop in stocks across Nasdaq and Dow Jones. Record lows were observed in stock market prices across the the world. The US market recovered all those losses within 2 days. Concern in late 2007 increased as the August market recovery was lost, in spite of the Fed cutting interest rates by half a point (0.5%) on September 18 and by a quarter point (0.25%) on October 31. Stocks are testing their lows of August now.

On December 6, 2007, President Bush announced a plan to voluntarily and temporarily freeze the mortgages of a limited number of mortgage debtors holding ARMs by the Hope Now Alliance. He also asked Congress to: 1. Pass legislation to modernize the FHA. 2. Temporarily reform the tax code to help homeowners refinance during this time of housing market stress. 3. Pass funding to support mortgage counseling. 4. Pass legislation to reform GSEs like Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

In 2008, Troubled Asset Relief Program was enacted in response to the subprime mortgage crisis. Citizens do not have access to Fannie and Freddie’s records because they are considered a GSE, so the Freedom of Information Act does not apply. Currently, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac still have an open checkbook in buying loans.

So, what changed to cause the subprime mortgage crisis? Was it a conspiracy contrived by the Fannie, Freddie, bankers, lawyers or community organizations? NO! Legislation and courts were used to position third parties such as federal agencies, community organizations, GSEs and lawyers who determined the validity of banks’ lending practices based off a banks’ CRA rating rather than the practice for each individual. These players used the law to force banks to lend money to people who could not afford it. The housing collapse was caused by third party intervention intervening into the free market…not capitalism!

According to Maxine Waters (5:08), “Under the outstanding leadership of Frank Raines, everything in the 1992 Act has worked just fine. In fact, the GSEs has exceeded their housing goals. What we need to do today is focus on the regulator and this must be done in a manner so as not to impede their affordable housing mission. A mission that has seen innovation flourishes from desktop underwriting to 100 percent loans.”

According to a 2010 House Oversight Committee Report, top banks such as Countrywide, Bank of America, Chase, Washington Mutual and Wells Fargo established relationships with community organizations such as ACORN. The report also stated “ACORN used provisions in the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) of 1977 to challenge bank mergers and acquisitions. These challenges successfully forced banks to make lending agreements with ACORN Housing.” ACORN became a HUD approved housing counselor. According to the report, ACORN has “waged savage public campaigns and delivered subtle private threats to large banking institutions for its own financial gain, defeated former political allies…and formed powerful alliances with the SEIU, Rod Blagojevich and Barack Obama.”

With federal legislation pushed banks to make high risk loans and provided upward pressure from community organizations that ensure the subprime. The problem cannot be entirely blamed on the CRA but it laid the foundation. CRA reports enabled community organizations and lawyers to force banks into making subprime loans, and this extortion probably extended elsewhere…and to some degree partnerships. Fannie & Freddie was able to guarantee and provide cheap subprime money.

Ron Paul provided some insight that the very people who was instrumental in creating the legislation are there to fix it.

The next financial  bubble will be “Student Loans” while the housing bubble’s intrinsic issues were not addressed.


Dueling Constitutions: US Individual Rights or UN Human Rights?

When the difference between Communism and Capitalism is who holds the deed, details matter. Human rights and Individual rights are ideologies that hold similar comparisons. Human rights and Communism work hand-in-hand where a collective society is managed. On the other hand, Capitalism works with a representative government in protecting individual rights so individual’s decisions are protected. We should seek an America that gets back to a Constitutional Republic rather than a Declared Democracy.

The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights is the antithesis to the United States Constitution. For over 60 years, these two documents have be sublimated into our culture causing cognitive dissonance…conflicting ideologies. Most advocates of a Constitutional Republic who argue these rights are labeled as anarchists but quite the contrary. They seek a small but strong government to protect minority individual rights from a democratic mob, such as corporations, community organizations, unions and even governments.

With Human Rights, governments act as a separate entity. They develop processes for implementation, test / poll, alter where necessary and control the environment to provide, monitor and protect human rights. These processes create communal responsibility and stymies growth and innovation while allowing the politically connected to manipulate the masses.

The impact of American Exceptionalism on mankind cannot be disputed. This is because a representative government protects individual rights. People in pursuit of their own ideas, innovations and invention without the approval of the politically connected (known as capitalism &amp). Henry Ford would not have revolutionized the automobile industry, Steve Jobs the computer industry or Thomas Edison if they needed approval of bureaucrats. If George Washington, Martin Luther King or Susan B. Anthony needed the approval of government, Americans, blacks and women would not enjoy the individual rights that once were suppressed.

Local governments follow laws and grant qualifications passed to them from other entities. Predetermined agendas are pushed by bureaucrats and trained facilitators who lead the masses to pursue a consensus. When that solution is not met, the agenda is tabled for another day. Stakeholders are solicited even though they do not have any collateral at stake. Once implemented, these plans and ordinances are impossible to change. Stakeholders advocate and connive to protect their self-interest, pitting neighbor against each other. With Human Rights, it justifies racism, sexism or just discrimination as the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. This is known as Utilitarianism.

Advocates who pursue “separation of Church and State” or secular religion are advocating for United Nations Declaration of Human Rights true democracy where freedom of worship is pursued.

When you hear a Constitutional Republic advocate, they wish you to make the decisions necessary to help yourself, your family and your community. You will not need the consensus of the community to farm your land, to build a factory or apartment complex or run your local business in servicing the community.

Next time you hear Human Rights, they are telling you that they wish to lead you in a world where predetermined solutions are made. They seek communal consensus in managing society from a politically-connected top-down structure.

It’s a shame that our elected officials hardly use Individual Rights and the U.S. Constitution. No wonder the teaching of our Constitution in our schools have been removed and labeled as religious.

It is nothing about religion. It’s about freedom!

Sustainable Development is Truly Unsustainable

As the Supreme Court determines whether government can infringe into the depths of our lives, it appears our representatives are leading us toward the creation of global soviets. Where the planning of our lives, commerce, communities and even our health are accomplished through facilitated community groups, centralized planning or the strong arm of the law where only the few in the room truly prosper.

This does not just occur with health care but also with land-use planning. We always hear about sustainable development, open spaces, the value of mixed-use communities, transportation options like light rail, high-speed rail and even bike and walking paths and most of all, the importance of planning.

In describing these amenities, nice sounding buzzwords like green, regionalism and communities are used…sometimes even throwing in the usual mockery of smart growth over dumb growth or sustainable as opposed to unsustainable development.

…then we normally pursue the same pattern of planning meetings, organizing committees, scheduling more meetings. After that master plans are unveiled, maps drawn and ordinances passed with no true evaluation of the success of these programs except the politics involved; as master plans, ordinances, permits and inspections assume control of our private property, dictate the market and control commerce, the only thing we do is work, taxes, sign the bank note and complain during our monthly three minutes at city council meetings. Meanwhile, all that planning and our community resemble other communities throughout United States.

Instead of allowing the free market where each individual contributes their vote to the needs of the community, the blunt instrument of local government and non-governmental organizations are used to force a centralized plan and police the contents of the federal mandates. For if we think that we can concoct a MASTER PLAN, some ordinances and follow it to utopia, we might want to consider history.

Shown is a photograph taken by NASA of the Korean peninsula at night. If you look closely, you will see the Republic of Korea and the Democratic Republic of Korea.

Yes…the most oppressive regime on earth is known as the “Democratic Republic of Korea” and this photograph shows it completely blacked out. As every aspect of life is centrally planned, property and commerce is controlled by the state. It’s sustainable to Mother Earth because there is NO electricity. At least they have guards who protect their borders with land mines, barbed wire and fences but not to keep immigrants out…but the people in.
If we look to their South Korean neighbors …life is booming as individuals plan their lives and contribute to each other, they rely on each other more than their North Korean counterparts. This is because most people are naturally compassionate and take care of each other…that is, if they aren’t in Maslow’s safety or physiological mode.

If you say that this is an isolated incident, we can look at Mao’s centralized plan known as the Great Leap Forward. He moved resources from the fields to making steel and it was the worst famines known to mankind killing over 30 million people. Hitler’s Germany, Stalin’s Russia and Mussolini’s Italy provide a glimpse of the different directions centralized planning can go. History is quite clear that centralized planning is catastrophic for the masses.

As we embark on our centralized plan to utopia, the question is whether our path is a prosperous nation as we have as a nation where individuals are free to plan their own property and life. Or are we moving toward an oppressive regime like North Korea where federal mandates, high taxes and a disconnected central authority determines our fate.

Sandra Fluke, a true Freedom Fighter

“Thank you for calling this hearing on women’s health. …and for allowing me to testify on behalf of the women who’ll benefit from the affordable care act contraceptive coverage regulation.”

– opening remarks from Sandra Fluke.

Since the United States is an auspice of the United Nations, “activists” messages such as these are starting to make sense. After studying Sandra Fluke’s testimony over women’s access to medical care, it is obvious that we have a failure to communicate. For most, she appeared to be a young college activist wanting free condoms for her sexual pleasures. To others, she is a freedom fighter fighting against the atrocities conducted against women by religious organizations.

Over the past year, there have been discussions over public funding of abortions (defunding Planned Parenthood) and churches conducting abortions. For 40 years, some are still engaged over whether a zygote deserves to live. To a 30 year old, Roe versus Wade is an argument from the 1970s…that’s so old school. Then shortly after the passing of the healthcare act, the fact that religious organizations are forced to conduct murderous acts was the debate. Some feel that life begins at conception and to them; abortion is a murderous act. Over the last year, the fight has been over religious freedom and murder.

For the new conversation, the discussion is over women’s access to medical care. Sandra’s use of contraception was just a masterful play on words. She really meant to say prescription medicine, like marijuana. Throughout her testimony, she addressed the medical access even accentuating it with her gay friend’s experience. As most people were mocking a well-to-do college student wanting free condoms, she was on a crusade.

“When you let university administrators and other employers other than women and their doctors, whose medical needs are legitimate and whose are not. A woman’s health takes a back seat to a bureaucracy focused on policing her body.”

– Sandra Fluke

The media has only added to the dialectic ensuring that every moment is captured. While listening to the Bill Press show, his sub explained the complexities of contraception, even throwing in a mocking of Rush Limbaugh and how stupid he and his comments were.

With President Obama’s phone call and a complicit press corp, it only exemplified her cause. She will become a life long activist to rally other young activists in this war between generations. The older generation speaks for a sovereign United States and a Constitution whereas freedom of religion and Right to life are supreme. The younger generation speak of a United Nations, women’s rights and freedom of worship whereas a collective utopia is pursued. It is loud and clear that this discussion is far from over just as the Occupy discussion. The problem is that we speak two different languages which has created another dialectic within our conversation.

Liberals and Conservatives Come Together on Abortion

Let’s all gather round the campfire and sing Kumbayah, the time has come where liberals and conservatives unite on abortion. No, not whether abortion is morally right or wrong, but whether the government should dictate procedures. Recently, in Virginia, hundreds of people (assuming liberals) protested the mandatory ultrasound for women seeking abortions. On the conservative side, they’re protesting the federal mandate that requires doctors to perform abortions. Aside the moral argument, they are both protesting the tyrannical role government has assumed.

In Virginia, HB 462 requires a woman to get an ultrasound before getting an abortion. On the surface, this legislation mandates an unnecessary medical procedure where some women may feel violated. …And so liberals protest

On the Federal side, the healthcare law mandates that doctors perform abortions even though they may not believe in abortion. If a doctor feels life begins at conception, he morally feels that he is conducting murder. …And so conservatives protest

In both instances, centralized powers (government whether state or federal) introduced laws that determined a fix action. When government inflicts discussion about ambiguous groups, there is no recourse for the individual. Both pieces of legislation destroy the moral compass of the individual. Once passed, a doctor is conducting murder and a woman is violated. So, we introduce more bad laws to fix the bad laws earlier, inflicting one group’s moral value on another group. All the while…the individual loses.

As our legislator impose Hegelian Dialectic tactics to where the antithesis (prochoice) is opposed to the antithesis (prolife), our society continues to move down a path of synthesis. As the crisis demands you pick a side, prolife or prochoice? We are truly losing our perspective as Americans in our quest for whatever emotional crisis that is drummed up. Bureaucrats then introduce any type of legislation because it is deemed as “compromise”.

In the end, it’s outsourcing true compromise through a government/bureaucratic gun, a true democracy whereas my group is bigger than yours. The laws solve nothing but cause more discontent between the masses and destroys the individual’s morality. In the end, America loses.

It’s time to REPEAL THE HEALTCARE LAW and mandatory ultrasounds. Do not get caught up in the dialectic of choosing sides because freedom and liberty for the individual is at stake. YOUR FREEDOM! It has nothing to do with abortions and everything to do with freedom. Don’t continue down that path.

When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.

– Thomas Jefferson

Government’s Role of Using the Collectives

Author Andy Andrews recently released a book titled “How Do You Kill 11 Million People”. No, it is not a self-help book but explains tactics the Nazi government used on its own people. Essentially, the Nazi government lied.

How? Initially, the government erected fences around the communities, telling the Jewish people that it was to protect them from the Russians. Jewish leaders also accepted bribes from the government to suppress riots and escape attempts. Finally, a few government officials, mostly unarmed, entered the communities and proclaimed jobs, security and schools were waiting; all they needed was to keep their families intact and board the trains. The book provided excellent statistics about how the government deceived their people into holocaust.

The worst atrocities conducted upon people have been done by their own government. Pol Pot murdered 3 out of 8 Cambodians in the killing fields of Cambodia, Stalin’s man caused famines killed millions in Ukraine and Mao’s Zedong’s “Great Leap Forward”, a social engineering experiment killing 25 million Chinese. So, why do citizens’ lobby for government’s intervention when they have such a dismal record?

Others do not interact with government enough to think of it as an extension of the people. They believe government makes decisions and we, the citizens, pay the taxes. Even unemployment, social security and welfare are political footballs where a person still answers to bureaucrats. We believe government is extremely inefficient and unable to conquer these difficult tasks.

As government promotes the “greater good for the whole” philosophy, it justifies the draconian, government policies and the destructive results, especially individual rights. With eminent domain and crony capitalism that favors certain businesses, it’s destroying the private sector. There is no better system than the free market. It has flaws but it’s far better than fascism, communism, socialism or any other collective government.

“The greatest tyrannies are always perpetrated in the name of the noblest causes.” – Thomas Paine

Our representative government is watered down with layers of bureaucratic red tape. Politicians handing our Republic to unelected bureaucrats in public-private partnerships! When government plays this role, it impacts us all. These partnerships, protecting their self-interest, infringe on our liberties with unaccountable regional governments, planning commissions and non-governmental organizations (NGO).

The next time someone advocates for government intervention with master plans, eminent domain and universal health care, remember that it’s your ability to make decisions that is diminished. It is also the freedoms of others that you are taking away. It may feel good initially but the sacrifice is far greater.

Do not let the fences be built around or through our community. Do not allow representatives to be bribed with federal loans or grants with strings attached. Do not let bureaucrats use you to take away others’ freedoms. Because when that train comes down the tracks and the doors open, there’s no bargaining.

This destructive nature of a fascist government pits citizens against each other to satisfy their goals. But as citizens’ we must not give up those liberties…your being sold a bad batch of apples and don’t cheer as others’ lose theirs. Because someday, there will be people cheering as you lose yours.

Tim Tebow Does it Again, and So Does Mainstream Media

Tim Tebow has done it again. As quarterback of the Denver Broncos, this past weekend he led them to yet another fourth quarter comeback victory. With the Chicago Bears up 10 points, he put together two drives that ended with a 59-yard Pratter kick sending the game into overtime. This is where Pratter kicked the game winning 51-yard kick to give Tebow his seventh win out of eight starts, impeccable for a veteran let alone a sophomore professional. Among all this, mainstream media is dismissing the remarkable stories for a fixation on his display of faith and being a Christian.

Mainstream media has become the social bullies to Christianity, on a scale unmet by any schoolyard kid. They spotlight Tim pointing to the sky, bowing in prayer and comments to his Savior Jesus. While also pointing out Reggie White “polarizing religious figure”, ESPN points to an “era of negativity and anonymous hate”.  In some instances, the media has watchdogs for themselves. Newsbusters didn’t waste any time in criticizing USA Today for ignoring Tim Tebow’s religious stance. By the way, who really has a problem with Tim’s religious acts?

Earlier last week, Fox Sports highlighted John Elway’s comments denouncing Tim Tebow’s display of faith. John later admitted that he had given the media too much meat to spin.

The mainstream media seems to have a serious problem with his displaying loyalty to God and their true colors toward Christianity are clear. Before Tim Tebow could make it out of the stadium, the Wall Street Journal stated, “defying his critics and revealing the deep seated anxieties in American society about intertwining religion and sports.” Who? Maybe the fans of his opponent or a few activist groups who advocate for an overreaching government may have a problem with Tebow’s celebrations. According to the PEW Forum on Religion & Public Life, 78.4 percent of Americans practice Christianity. We are constantly bombarded by the supposed disrespect that displaying Christianity has become…and Tim represents this.

What’s wrong with him thanking God, praying or practicing Christianity? Is this about people having a problem with a 24-year old demonstrating his faith or the future mainstream media and Hollywood has of our future, America without religion? It is painted as this evil ritual that should not be tolerated and Tim Tebow must be put in his collective place. We, as the audience, are robbed of the great accomplishments and example of this kid.

Our media is full of anti-religion memorabilia. No stone was left unturned when it came to Terry Jones burning the Koran. …and no funeral would be complete without the anti-military or anti-gay rhetoric of the Westboro Baptist Church. Even Hollywood took their digs when Mel Gibson produced “Passion of the Christ,” that ended up 17th on the all-time gross sales list. After this, Mel Gibson’s career seem to have taken a nose dive.

These events are even monitored at the local level. In Newport News, Virginia, The Daily Press addressed the practicing of religion in public concerns from the Freedom from Religion Foundation, a group based out of Madison, Wisconsin. The article even provides recommendations in luau of prayer…a moment of silence. Now, they provide guidelines to clergy for providing invocation at city council meetings, a sort of practice our religion. I guess the practice of Atheism should be addressed in this manner or the right that our clergy is not provided the right to practice freedom of religion in public.

During the New York City mosque incident, the mainstream media injected it was a freedom of religion practice ensuring that the narrative remained as such. The true argument was about flying the flag of the people who declared war under that flag. Now, if the discussion was about how far this corridor should reside, so be it but it wasn’t. It was determined that the mosque must be built in the shadows of the World Trade Center.

The media and Hollywood continues to expose Christians as evil and religion having no place in public. Should we be given the right to practice freedom of religion…that’s one of our Constitutional rights? And even though you cannot opt your kid out of sex education class, the clergy’s prayer has no place in the American public.

Meanwhile, Tim Tebow has offered us an insight to how the media views religion. We have a media that extenuates the circumstances involving religious acts. They paint a tone that seems rather anti-religion and highlights flaws of a person that commits flaws. As we have bureaucrats and politicians robbing us blind, the media focuses on Tim’s allegedly breaking up Lindsey Vonn’s marriage, and International Business has labeled him as “God’s Quarterback”. It’s nice to see a young man doing what he enjoys, inspired by his faith providing a self-confidence that inspires him to do remarkable things…and inspire others around him. This is the true issue, we cannot have citizen’s inspired by a God that promotes individualism and self-responsibility. Faith that instills a belief in yourself and a responsibility to yourself, a standard most people cannot obtain. Media has no place in a peerson’s relationship with God.

With Tim Tebow’s success, the media is forced to engage on this adventure waiting on the opportunity for him to fail. As we know, his comeback victories will not last forever. So the mainstream media will eventually have their time with their “see we told you so” glory. But for now, they will need to wait another week to baste in the glory of another American individual failing. If there people are truly disgusted with his display of religion, it’s likely because he is beating their team and the mainstream media is taking advantage of this, by pointing out what they view as a fringe ritual.

For that reason, I have become a Denver Broncos, Tim Tebow fan. Not only because of his God given ability but because of the role model he is, how others are inspired by him and his respect for others. Will he slip up? He is only human. For now, the only limits on Tim Tebow are the ones he puts upon himself and this cannot be tolerated in a collective world, a mainstream media’s utopia without religion.

It’s a shame because the media will be waiting to gleefully point out his flaws and how hypocritical it is. But for now, they will need to wait another week.

For this reason, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a MERRY CHRISTMAS.

An Evening of Learning With Nuns

This past weekend, my wife, Melinda and I embarked on a journey to Richmond, VA to attend, what I jokingly refer to as my “Save the World” Conference. When we normally go to Richmond, we visit her aunt and this time was no different. You see, her aunt isn’t like all the other aunts. She doesn’t live in a house, own a car or have any possessions. Sister Angela is a nun who has declared her loyalty to God at “The Little Sisters of the Poor.”

As we arrived late on Friday afternoon, the receptionist informed Sister Angela of our arrival. Sister Angela greeted us with her usual smile and cheerful hello while being assisted with a walker. In her 70s and having been a nun for over 50 years, she doesn’t quite get around like she used too. We had dinner and I made reference to how misguided society is. She shook her head in her usual non-confrontational manner and smiled, not truly affirming yes or no.

After dinner, Melinda and her went to finish some arts and crafts. Sister Angela’s contribution is doing arts and crafts with the residents. This provides meaningful activities for the residents and produces gifts and merchandise for the gift shop.

Arts and crafts are not my cup of tea so I headed out to do my new Thanksgiving tradition of sorting canned goods. As I made my way through the hallway, two sisters were helping three residents. Two of the residents were in wheelchairs and the other wasn’t far. Watching those sisters in action was like poetry in motion as they worked in harmony to provide the care needed. I did not think about injecting myself, as I would have only slowed them down. So, I proceeded to my mundane chore.

Walking into the room, the reality of the task was overwhelming as donated cans were everywhere. My previous comment on society was eased slightly as I saw the giving. So, I started my task. Working in solitude, I slowly devised my organizational scheme. I shouldn’t admit this but stacking cans can be quite addictive.

While in my state of unconsciousness, I would occasionally be interrupted by Melinda or Sister Angela checking on me. I threw the obligatory salute and proceeded with the task at hand. This time, Sister Collette entered the room who I’d never met. She was checking on her pet project and informed me there would be volunteers coming the next day. I was even more determined to finish the task at hand. When Melinda came to help, the dent in my project was hardly obvious. Once we figured how Melinda would fit into my newly created scheme I’d spent hours perfecting, we were off again.

Shortly after midnight, we realized that if we were going to the “Save the World” Conference that we needed some sleep. As we were leaving, we looked back in amazement that we were only half way finished. I guess that was the pessimistic way of looking at it but at least the volunteers would come in handy. We would wake up, had breakfast with Sister Angela and we’d be on our way.

The “Save the World” Conference seemed rather trivial in comparison. After being around these ladies, you understand what helping others truly mean. This is not the occasional occurrence or a 9-5 job, helping others is their life. They are organized, pleasant and disciplined. We hear so much from others telling us what we should do to help the poor while these ladies are showing us how it is truly done. It is difficult for politician, environmentalists and even fellow human beings to stand next to them for the goodness they represent. They have made so many sacrifices in the name of God that we could not truly understand what that means. Hopefully, next time you see a Sister in her attire that you extend your gratitude. So many times, I have seen them mocked. As I did not say anything then, I know better now. But extend a Thank You to a Sister for what she does. Most likely you’ll receive a warm smile and greeting in return for your gratitude.

In the next couple of weeks, the War on Christmas begins and it would be nice to see a Christmas to where God isn’t attacked. But in this environment, anything that promotes individualism is demonized. But as usual, the onslaught will continue in the media and in public. Even if you do not practice religion, at least show them the respect they have worked so hard to deserve by allowing their Savior to be blessed in public.

The volunteers did not show up, the Congressional Super Committee, as predicted, did not fix our financial problems and the poor are multiplying in America but you know that the nuns at the “Little Sisters of the Poor” are chugging along as they have done for so many years. Lyndon B. Johnson declared Government’s “War on Poverty” and Sister Angela took action to help the poor at nearly the same time and I have to say…Sister Angela’s is doing her part to truly help the poor.

As a family member (even if I’m a transplant), I wanted to take this opportunity to share this moment with you and say thanks to all who sacrifice and the volunteer at the Little Sisters of the Poor. If you get the opportunity…help a church.

Michael Eric Dyson is a "Post-Intentional" Boob

Michael Eric Dyson – professional whiner and racist – pulls out his 10 dollar words to point out how Herman Cain is a sell out and “delusional”.  Dyson takes issue with Cain’s claim that racism is not the most common thing holding back Black Americans these days.  He wants Cain to recognize that Blacks are still discriminated against and have not been allowed to achieve success, or even the access to the opportunities that result in success.  Also, Dyson is a New York Times best selling author and college professor.  I guess those things don’t pay well when you’re Black.  He probably found that fancy suit of his at the local thrift store. Racism!  Dyson also introduces us to another fancy new term, coined by a fellow professor-y friend: post-intentional racism.  Racism never ends!  Even when you think you aren’t racist you really are.  Post-intentionally so!  You should be ashamed.  Personally I think Mr. Using-My-Middle-Name-Makes-Me-Sound-Smart has an issue with Herman Cain’s race, and its NOT post-intentional.  Its just racist.


Abortions And Gardasil For 12 Year Old Girls



On Sunday, California Governor Jerry Brown announced that he had signed AB499 into law.  This bill is basically what’s known as the law that let’s young girls (as young as 12) decide to get preventative treatments against HPV (like Gardasil) without consulting their parents.  They can go wherever this service is being offered and get a $500 series of vaccinations without so much as telling their parents they’ve chosen to do so.  An interesting point that crosses my mind is that any parent who has a 12 year old daughter that can “disappear” long enough to get Gardasil administered to her without her parents noticing is probably the same parent that would have a sexually active 12 year old in the first place.  The monster feeds itself on this one.  (please note that this is conjecture on my part, and it’s somewhat tasteless conjecture at that)

While studying this story, I also came to a realization that is so shocking that I had to double check it and then check it five more times before I was willing to believe it.  In California, there is no parental involvement when it comes to getting abortions regardless of how young the girl is.  The same 12 year old girl that can get these HPV vaccinations can presumably get an abortion too.  Chew on that for a second.  Abortions can be performed on minors without the parents’ consent and without notifying the parents either.  That is astounding.

So, basically, a sixth grade girl can decide to get the HPV treatments, have sex with an adult for all we know, get pregnant, and have an abortion all without her parents ever finding out.  If you ever wanted to know why California is in such bad shape, I think this scenario would be a good place to start looking.  AGAIN, THIS PIECE IS STRICTLY MY OPINION AND POSSIBLY OFFENSIVE TO SOME.  But I don’t see how any good can come from the foundation this state has set in place.

Jamie Oliver doesn’t think kids in L.A. are smart enough to pick what flavor milk they can drink.  Why does anyone think they can decide on what is prudent with their health or their sexual organs?  Why are minors allowed to decide to have an abortion?  At this point, I don’t even consider myself a prude; I just don’t think any good can come from children having this much control without any way that parents can intervene.  And that’s the irony, don’t you think?  Who gets in trouble when children break the law?  Who does that onus usually fall on?  The parents, right?  How many shades of grey do there really need to be in California?  I have a child, and I live in California.  What will this state let my offspring do behind my back by the time they are “old enough to make these decisions”?  That is an anxiety that no parent should have to feel, but I feel it.

I know that proponents of these laws say it’s because if these laws weren’t in place, then parents would let dreams of sexual abstinence cloud the reality of teenage intercourse or some crap like that.  And you know what, there is some truth to that.  A little bit…  But this is California.  I think most parents are pretty well aware that their kids might start screwing at younger age than what is desirable.  I also think those parents (myself included) would like to think they have some say-so when or if that happens.  In California, we don’t.

And then there is the truly frightening paradox.  On one hand, my child is so fragile, that they “need” to stay on my insurance until they are 26 years old.  But on the other hand, they can kill a baby when they are 16 (or even younger).  Please explain how this social and legal schizophrenia sounds rational to anyone.  Maybe in 1956, it was common for fathers to scare their daughters so badly that they resorted to a back-alley abortion, but in 2011, I just don’t think it happens that often.

But you know what?  I’m a reasonable man.  How about a compromise?  If a minor decides she wants vaccines or an abortion, why not have an advocate of some sort present in police stations.  Some officers come to the home and explain that the minor is pregnant and/or sexually active and scared.  She’s scared that her parents will hurt her if they find out, so these advocates come and explain it to the parents, while creating a safe atmosphere.  Now maybe my idea for advocates is crap.  I haven’t put enough thought into it to fight you over it, but I think it’s a lot better letting a 12 year old see doctors or kill babies behind my back.  There has to be some sort of middle ground, even in Progressive California.

These are my thoughts, and this is my rant.  This is in no way an objective piece of analysis.  These are just my thoughts. (and there were two warnings at the start of the piece, in case you didn’t notice them)

With that said, I’ll leave you with this video I made which mocks the policies in California.  Like this post, the video may be offensive to some.

Why I Don’t Respect Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin might not have been on the stage at last night’s Tea Party Debate*, but she was, however, on the minds of many tweeters. That’s the impression I got from reading my time line, anyway. So… where was she?

We always tease our current president for leading from behind, but if that’s the case, then what is Sarah doing? Leading from an underground bunker? Because that’s what I see… She’s like the sitcom neighbor standing outside of somebody’s house, looking in the kitchen window and watching the person inside doing all the work. Right now, she’s having it both ways. She gets to stick her head in the kitchen and give her two cents about what to cook, but she doesn’t have to sweat like the rest of the people.

At this rate, Tim Pawlenty has put in more work than she has, and he quit the race weeks ago. She shows up at the same events that actual candidates are at, she speaks on the same issues (from friendly bunkers like Hannity’s show), but she never has to take the fire that “real” candidates do. I don’t see her trading jabs with Mitt Romney or Rick Perry. I don’t see her standing under the hot lights being asked questions by Brian Williams. If she wants to be the president, then where is she? To continue the kitchen metaphor, it’s almost as if she’s going to come in with a store bought side dish after everyone else has cooked up most of the Christmas dinner.

Now, I didn’t say I don’t like Sarah Palin, because I do. But if she really is going to run for the presidency of the greatest nation on earth, I’d like to see a little more work out of her. I’d like to see her engage a news outlet that doesn’t rhyme with “clocks snooze”, for starters. I’d also like to see her show up for some of these debates and not just come in after the “weak” candidates have been picked off. And I definitely want to see her make a case for herself to the near majority of Americans that don’t like her. As things stand, her support is narrow, but deep. She needs to broaden it up, and if she wants to sit in the Oval Office, she should have started doing that over a year ago.

I think Sarah Palin can be qualified to be president, but I don’t think that she’s taken the steps that are necessary to get her to the White House. Here’s probably my biggest pet peeve… She had almost three years to work on an image make over, and she pretty much squandered them. She made sure to please her base, AKA the people who will buy her books, but she never tried to undo the (unfair) demonization she suffered back in 2008.

Here’s what she’s done… Imagine there’s a fire in your back yard. But the truth is, you don’t care for your back yard anyway. You don’t really go there. So you let it burn down and then never try to rehab it at all. You just work on your front yard. But even then, you don’t keep up the whole thing. You just focus on some bushes that you really love. Then one day, you realize that you might want to sell the property. But even then, you’re not sure. You advertise on television that you might be selling it, but you never put it up for sale. Well, for whatever reason, there’s a deadline to sell it, so you put in on the market in hopes of making a good sale. The problem is, you never really prepared the property, and while prospective buyers see potential in it, they’re not sure that they’re sold.

And there you have it. Sarah has pruned the hell out her Tea Party bushes, but the rest of the yard has been somewhat neglected. And if she plans to sell the joint, she’s going to need to make some corrections pretty soon.

I like Sarah Palin, I really do. I’ve wanted her to vindicate herself in the eyes of Americans since day one. She has been demonized and persecuted unfairly. She’s been picked over with a finer comb than most candidates who are actually running. And through it all, I’ve always wanted her to make the media look like fools for the abuse they’ve shown her. I’ve wanted Katie Couric to have to drink a two liter of Diet Pepsi to wash down the crow that Sarah would feed her. But it hasn’t happened. Over two years later, we still have a woman who hides in her bunker. She only goes on Fox News, and she mainly stays on the programs that let her talk without being challenged. I’m sorry, but our president needs to be tougher than that. Rick Perry might have a lot of explaining to do about Gardasil, but at least he stands under the hot lights and does it.

I’ll say it one last time… I like Sarah Palin, but as things stand, she hasn’t given me much of reason to respect her as a potential candidate for the highest office in this land. I want her to step her game up, but even then, that would require she takes the field.


*Note:  “Last night’s debate” is a reference to the CNN Tea Party Debate that was held Monday September 12, 2011.

We Made Our Voices Heard

Americans remember where they were on September 11, 2001. The stories are varied and unique, just like Americans. But they were also the same, just like Americans. E Pluribus Unum – out of many, one. What our five senses recorded in those minutes and hours could play out like a wall of monitors in a news control room, dancing about with different sights, sounds and speeds. Eventually though, they all would focus on the same thing – a country, a President, a flag.

Fleeting as it may be, unity in a free society is a commodity more valuable than all the gold, silver, bronze and platinum put together, and in that moment, it was ours.

As it should, over the days, weeks, months and years, the monitors returned to their own stories, yet on those brief occasions, we see the same image – perhaps from different angles, perhaps with different lighting, perspective, depth and focus, but the same nevertheless. And nothing helps us focus on a common image quite like music does.

Ten years ago, I was a band director; a small band in a small town, about 20 miles west of the University of North Carolina and Duke University. Mebane, in Alamance County was a bedroom community for the triad area and Eastern Alamance High School had a small group of musicians, about 40, who would make the commitment to lug instruments back and forth to school along with all of their other textbooks, rehearse all week and perform for a halftime crowd that was more interested in getting a hot dog that watching a little band. We had been working on an entertaining little show for the 25 people who would actually paid attention – and then the planes hit, lives were lost, many taken, some given. Without words, we knew our world had changed, forever. Still we got instruments out and attempted to practice, yet nothing came out, no music, only sobs. We comforted each other the best we could, but the gift of music that God had bestowed upon would not flow that day.

But only that day.

As true to the American Spirit, we came off the canvas swinging. We finished out the season, playing our entertaining show to the best of our ability. Yet like so many, we didn’t know how to respond to the attacks, to our trepidation about the future and to the voices of those who could no longer speak.

That would change.

The following spring we began work on a new composition. One we knew would not be performed by anyone but us, something to which we could claim total ownership. At first they were notes, then they became phrases, then sections, then movements. Finally a composition forged from pain, anguish, anger, sorrow, vengeance, compassion, determination, love and tenacity was born. American Heroes – Fallen and Risen was premiered in Mebane, at Eastern High in the spring of 2002 and over the next months it transformed itself into a field show, not just penned by one composer, but by 43 students and several staff and parents who contributed passion, energy and time to their new creation – their voice. It was premiered one year to the day of the most vicious attack perpetrated on American citizens. For the next 3 months, we found our voice and shared it with thousands of people, not just for halftime crowds (much more that 25 now), but for veterans, active personnel and even those who lost someone on 9/11.

We didn’t change the world, just our little part of it and, perhaps the way we view it. Moreover, we found the voice that had eluded us on that fateful day. It was our counterstrike, it was our contribution. It didn’t have an impact on the vast majority of those who were living on planet Earth at the time, but it had an impact on us.

We never received national attention, just local, but that was never our intent. We just wanted to do what citizens of this great nation have always wanted to do from her creation – let our voices be heard.

There are stories of 9/11 that are more dramatic, more heroic and more significant, but this is ours and no one… no one, will ever take it away. It is emblazoned into our hearts, just like that day, but where there were nearly 3,000 less voices in the world, there were 43 voices, in a small town in North Carolina, who spoke and continue to speak for them.

Live for those who no longer can do so for themselves. E Pluribus Unum.

The following is a compilation video of media coverage of our premiers and performance and American Heroes – Fallen and Risen.

Brian D. Cook
Director of Bands, Eastern Alamance High School, 2001

Flashbulb Memories, What Were You Doing On September 11, 2001?

Do you remember where you were on that September day in 2001? Some people can remember where they were with such clarity. These memories are known as “Flashbulb Memories”. They occur when an individual’s history meets History in the making. There is not a lot of study on this phenomenon but some of these memories are associated with events such as the bombing of Pearl Harbor, John F. Kennedy assassination, the Challenger disaster and September 11, 2011. Sometimes, they accompany significant personal events such as births, deaths, marriages or divorces.

The Pew Research Center report stated that on September 5, 2002 97 percent of surveyed remembered where they were when they learned of the situation. In 2006, 95 percent surveyed remembered and just last month (August 2011), 97 percent remember.

But with all situations, there are skeptics. Some studies say that people forget or replace important details within the recollections. Even though some details may be skewed, certain details of that day are certainly there.

On May 1, 2011, news of Osama bin Laden’s assassination would hit the airwaves. In the same survey, in August only 81 percent surveyed remembered exactly where they were at the time of Osama’s assassination. Obviously, these memories are not quite as vivid as 9/11.

Do you have a flashbulb memory of what you were doing when you learned of 9/11?

For me, it was a nice Tuesday morning on September 11, 2001. Our base safety inspector and I were conducting a unit safety inspection. As we walked into our next shop, breaking news on the TV caught our attention. We witnessed smoke bellowing out of the World Trade Center building. It was reported that the plane deviated off course. As we were baffled with such incompetence, we witnessed the second plane disintegrate into the second tower. As we stood in shock, the inspector received a call to return to headquarters.

Ten days later, I would deploy from a somber, almost lifeless nation. Nothing moved, everything was closed, airplanes grounded except for the ones we were boarding as we deployed to the Middle East. Six months later, I would return to a United States so unified and patriotic it was amazing; there were patriotic songs and flags flying everywhere. It was quite a different nation than when I’d left. …and one different from now. But these memories of my return aren’t quite as clear as the ones I recollect on that nice September day in 2001. Brian Evans

Brady Bunch Gun Control Zealots in Full Spin Mode

gun rights Pictures, Images and Photos

With the recent exposure of several governmental agencies enabling the sale of assault weapons to drug cartels and assorted felons through a program that is known as Operation Fast and Furious, we see the folks from The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, (AKA The Brady Bunch) releasing a report claiming that U.S. gun manufacturers have supposedly “lost” over 16,000 guns, as reported here by Right out of the gate this “report” seems to be anything but a factual report with stated proof that over 16,000 guns have  just disappeared into thin air. This Brady Bunch report is either a sick  joke, or these people actually think that Americans are not going to see this ridiculous attempt at false propaganda for what it is, a blatant attempt to cloud the current scandal involving the very same ATF incompetents whose numbers they base this report on. ( along with their ever- increasing attempts to deny Americans their second amendment right to bear arms)  Read the report for yourself  here.

First thing I noticed in this blatant propaganda piece is the fact that they use supposed statistics from the ATF over the last two years, while also stating that the under-staffed ATF, ( big government needs to get bigger is always the hiden agenda in these fake reports) where they admit that the ATF only has the capabilities to monitor 1 out of every 5 gun manufacturers in the USA. Maybe the ATF could spend more time working to monitor gun manufacturers instead of promoting gun sales to Mexican drug cartels, as noted above.

The second thing I noticed about this Brady Bunch report is the fact that it is sprinkled with  heart wrenching tragedies like ” The father of two gunned down by “missing gun.” Turns out the gun had been stolen by a bad employee. The gun was not just set left sitting on an unsecured shelf at the plant, or laid down on the sidewalk where a killer picked it up and used it to kill someone. No employer is immune to employees turning bad, yet the Brady Bunch makes it out to be a case of the gun manufacturer knowingly hiring drug addicts and thieves.

The next paragraph of pathetic propaganda that points to the non-credibility of this report that we see is the fact that while the ATF reports that thousands of guns are going missing at gun plants across America, they fail to name one specific gun manufacturer that is supposed to be knowingly allowing their guns to go missing. Not one. Blaming problems on un-named entities and assorted bogeymen is a constant ploy of propagandists to deny people the ability to de-bunk their propaganda.  Gun manufacturers sell guns to make a profit. Missing guns causes them to lose money.  Are we to believe that they would allow their products to just go missing? The Brady Bunch wants you to believe it.

The father of two being gunned down by a drug-addled employee who stole the gun “story” is repeated 5 times in different paragraphs in this supposed report. It was one tragic incident, yet by repeating it several times, the Brady Bunch wants you to think it is repeated 24/7 365 days a year. Why is this story repeated throughout this report? The gun was not in fact “missing” or misplaced as they would like you to believe, it was stolen by an employee who turned bad. One employee, yet the Brady Bunch implies that Kahr Arms knowingly makes a habit of hiring drug addicts, gun-stealing thieves, and known criminals  at their plant.  How long would a company stay in business if that were true? According to the Kahr Arms company profile, they have been in business for over 30 years, so that shoots down the Brady Bunch and tort lawyer’s statements about their hiring practices that are stated throughout this ludicrous report.

In reading the Brady Bunches conclusion to supposedly summarize this report, they state that every single day 18 guns are allowed to go missing across America by “Reckless gun manufacturers.” Here is a thought: PROVE IT. Just what business owners are knowingly letting their products walk out of their plants costing them thousands of dollars in lost profits every day?  My conclusion? No self-respecting group would ever try to pass off this simplistic form of blatant gun-control  propaganda as being fact-based reporting, yet The Brady Bunch has done just that. While they were working tirelessly with the ATF to conjure up these false, baseless statistics to shamelessly promote their obvious anti-second amendment rights campaign here, why didn’t they report on the thousands of violent deaths in the U.S. and Mexico due to their bed-pals at the ATF selling guns to drug in the Fast and Furious scandal?

The Icon and the Straw Man

During a recent conversation over a social network something striking occurred. The interchange became quite heated requiring retrieval of a footnote from a book. When I produced the footnote my fellow communicant mocked the source, and informed me that it was spurious if it did not have a link to the Internet. This statement shocked me, in that it was coming from someone older than I who claimed to be well read. This suggested to me that consumption and dissemination of the opinions of others is now what liberals believe passes for being well read. Many political tricks cause this kind of thinking. The most effective trick is the creation of Idols to be worshipped and emulated and straw men to be derided and burnt by the idols. The dichotomy of the accepted ideal and the other is incredibly powerful.


The most severe example is that of John Stewart and Fox News. In the conversation I mentioned at the outset, one of the first responses I received from this individual was an admonishment of Fox News and was accompanied by a clip from John Stewart’s Daily Show. The clip showed numerous segments of anchor Megyn Kelly contradicting herself. I didn’t respond to the clip because it was not relevant to the conversation. The individual brought this argument and clip up because she assumed – because I was a conservative – that I view specific news anchors, pundits, politicians as she does, as idols.


The people idolized by the left are frequently built by manipulating public perceptions. Stewart is so effective in this role because he has a special bully pulpit at his disposal. His show, being a comedy show, is not required to be truthful or factual. It also provides a vehicle to attack people without looking mean. Ironically, Stewart admits his show is “the fake news.” Despite this contradiction, Stewart’s show is, for many liberals, their only news show. When looked at discerningly, one sees that Stewart’s show is nothing more than propaganda. Although incredibly funny, the show consists primarily of Stewart mocking his ideological adversaries. This is incredibly powerful sociologically because Stewart is in a position where he never has to admit he was wrong. He shields himself from criticism by describing himself as being “just a comedian.” Many young people on the left do not consider receiving their hard news from a comedian as being suspect, despite their opinion being provided to them sans an intellectual struggle. They simply do not entertain the notion that their idol, Stewart, could be wrong, so why would they need to look into an issue any further. Of course, the other side of the argument is ‘the other’ and cannot be trusted. It is far easier to show a thirty-second video clip of an opinion, than having to explain a footnote.


Stewart’s largest straw man is Fox News. Stewart, being the liberal idol, must project his superiority over what is the most popular news network of his adversaries. He has been incredibly effective in this for years. I have been told by many with an almost religious certainty that the Daily Show does not only have better news, but is more reliable news than Fox News Channel. They believe the Daily Show is a better source for news overall.


In reality, the Daily Show is a thirty-minute comedy performance. Unlike the New York Times and other print media, it does not have to print retractions. In contrast, Fox News is a cable channel that is under consistent scrutiny from both sides of the political spectrum. Although the left will not accept it, many conservatives deride Fox News just as much as liberals. Fox News, to the chagrin of many conservatives, always puts forth opposing opinion no matter how dearly the right believes those arguments to be hogwash. Fox News also engages many liberal voices daily, even on the perpetually derided shows of O’Reilly and Hannity.


A liberal now need only say, “you must watch fox news,” to justify themselves to the other. To liberals opinion has become fact and fact has become irrelevant, for to be right is to be on the side of the idol, to question the idol is marking ones self for immolation. Self-satisfaction, safety in the herd, and exclamations of intelligence await individuals who will submit to the idol. While those who question receive an ‘a priori’ belief of their stupidity from the herd. Our education system has already been devalued through liberalism, and now it seems that comedy and self-satisfaction is exalted over individualism and what Sociologist Le Bon called the “critical spirit.” People’s opinions have been bought by pop culture popularity like so many “Mean Girls” and “Heathers” types have through beauty and money. It is a devolution…and these people call themselves intellectuals.

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