Thursday, February 23, 2012
Due to the inadvertent burning of a book, Afghanistan is now erupting into several days of violent protests. Let's be honest on a couple of levels here. #1, do we really think that the burning of a book is enough to set people off into a violent tizzy. #2, Do we really think our mission in Afghanistan will be successful if actions like these set the country ablaze.
Just as the skyrocketing oil prices may be the unintended consequences of various Obama policies, I think the protests in Afghanistan, if they are sustained, may also be the unintended consequences of supporting the arab spring protests in other areas. And when I say unintended, I only mean it to say the timing of it happening in an election year. Think of how big a debacle the whole Afghanistan thing could be if the Taliban realized that they could lay down their weapons, sort of, and simply get everyone to protest, and push the US and Karzai out of power. Certainly, we must consider them as legitimate as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. They have the same goal of instituting Islamic law.
Posted by jrchaard at 9:33 AM
Monday, February 20, 2012
While I am a jaded Lost fan, crushed by the unforgivable finale, I am not a jaded J.J. Abrams movie fan. Cloverfield was entertaining, and Star Trek was awesome. When I saw the original trailer for Super 8, I had high expectations. I read more information about how Steven Spielberg was involved in the movie and that this was going to be centered around teens and Abrams memories of the years where a youth transitions for the innocence of early adolescence to the seriousness of real life. All of that sounds well and good, provided it is executed well, such as in the Spielberg written and produced “Goonies”. Super 8 begins with the loss of the main character, Joe’s, mother. You then realize based on conversations at the funeral that Joe and has dad don’t have a relationship. You realize right away how the movie is going to end. At this same funeral, you are introduced to Joe’s posse, and are immediately annoyed with them. Knowing that it was a monster movie, I quickly identified a member of the posse I wanted eaten, and eaten soon. You also realize that the director’s method of trying to show that these kids are wanting to act more grown up than their little bodies will allow is by allowing them to use profanity in a very liberal way. Nothing says I’m an adult more than having garbage come out of my mouth. Now to finish it off, you have to have all the annoying kids speak over one another so you can’t even understand what they are saying. One more part to finish off the cliché of the adolescent grieving is to have Joe sitting in the front yard by himself while everyone else is talking about him inside. I don’t know if this does or does not happen, but it always happens in movies, so that makes it clichéd in movie terms.
The rest of the movie is just as predictable and unentertaining as the opening scene. Let me sum it up, kids make a movie and film a monster escape. Military comes in and tries to cover it up. Monster wreaks havoc on town. Father and son have falling out. Father and daughter have falling out. Boy and girl have feelings for one another during the backdrop of the monster/military show down. Girl gets taken by monster. Boy tries to save girl. Military tries to kill monster. Monster tries to save self. Monster is misunderstood. Boy understands monster and saves girl. Father’s reconcile with children. Military gets beaten. Monster escapes. Now here is the only super part about Super 8. The ending, as in when the credits roll.
Posted by jrchaard at 1:37 PM
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Sometimes it is very hard to see, even when you are as brilliant as our President is, the unintended consequences of one’s actions. Unfortunately for Obama, the fruit of his decisions will show itself right at election time. You see, all along, our president has done everything in his power to diminish our capacity for domestic energy production. First, the moratorium in the gulf and now the xl pipeline from Canada. The best time to start drilling is yesterday, but for Obama it is never. Since oil is a commodity, its price is very prone to subjective to changes such as a crisis with Iran in the Gulf. Oil prices would dip just upon the announcement of opening up new fields, but that is unlikely. Now, I’m not laying the price of gas at Obama’s feet alone. This has been a problem passed down from one generation to another as the political will to expand oil and refining has been absent. However, Obama is unique in that he has only worked to make things worse. But where does the ticking time issue come into play. So for Obama to get re-elected, he needs a couple of things to happen. He needs a recovering economy and he needs the electorate to feel confident about its recovery and nothing makes a recovering economy struggle more than the price of energy. When an economy is recovering, even the most modest of recoveries, the demand for energy increases as production and consumption rise. Even though the price of gas has almost doubled since Obama has taken office, the spikes we are likely to see this summer are not ones even the media can insulate him from. So what we end up with is a president that is trying to say way to go economy, but that recovery makes gas more expensive, and when gas is more expensive, prices go up and discretionary income is diminished, which then makes people able to spend less money on the recovery and more money on energy related costs alone, which will then throw us back into a greater recession. It is kind of like in Empire Strikes back when Luke tries to get his x-wing out of the swamp. Despite his efforts, his craft sank further into the muck. I think it is time to get Luke out of the way and let master Yoda have a crack at the economy. Do I think Obama saw this coming during an election year, nope, but I have never thought him to be brilliant. Now I will wait and see if the Republicans duck and hide when the time issue erupts or if they seize the crisis in true Obama fashion to try and restore sanity. I honestly have no hope they will.
Posted by jrchaard at 12:25 PM
Thursday, February 9, 2012
The wonderful thing about our Constitution is that it has its own self-destruct mechanism, it is called the amendment process. Unfortunately for those that really want to destroy our Constitution, they cannot use the amendment process as it brings to light the intent of its destruction. Instead, the constitution has been shredded through the use of the commerce clause and necessary and proper clause. It has been shredded by Executive order or lack of executive enforcement. It has been shredded by executive branch through bureaucracy, executive order, or non-enforcement. However, the question remains how is it that such a destruction can take place. If a similar approach to governance was taken 100 years ago, it would have been stopped.
I believe the driving force behind how it is that the left is able to dismantle our constitution and our identity before our very eyes lies within the politics of people division. I passionately believe that we are all people created in God’s image. Our variety is a reflection of His creativity in His creation. As long as can be recorded, man has taken it upon himself to constantly divide people based on appearance, faith, and national identity. Our own nation was founded with the principle of “We the People”, not “We the divided peoples”. However, our nations original sin, slavery, contradicted this founding statement, and the 100 years following the abolition of slavery did little more to heal the sin. But once the breach is mended before the law, it is mended. Since then, the left has seized upon the opportunity a wounded and guilt filled nation presented to rip open the scab and add continues incision upon incision to the wound.
By calling out each and every type of identity, whether race, gender or ideological, the left has segmented our nation into groups that have no unified voice. To counter this division, the right has divided its own base up into sub groups, also incapable of offering a unified voice. Therefore, when we are faced with such a blatant disregard for our Constitution and what used to be our own national identity, each sub group is too paralyzed by their own self-interests to effectively offer a single voice of opposition. Imagine our country like a football team. To win, the team must play as one. When players practice, they work within their own specialty, like receivers, offensive line, or defensive backs to focus on their specific skills. However, they must also come together to combine their specific skill with those of the other players to make a seamless offense or defense. If the defensive backs said they would not practice with the defensive line because it takes away from their ability to focus on their specific skill, they will not know how to integrate together and compensate for one another’s weaknesses. If a running back blows through the line, but the defensive backs are in pass coverage, do they just continue to guard their man or zone and let the running back go? We know such a team would lose, and that is what is happening with our country. We are so busy covering our own man, we have lost track of the game as a whole.
To stop the assault our country is experiencing internally and externally, we must stop allowing ourselves to be segmented into disparate groups. I realize that people like to feel comfortable by being around similar people and this will be a hard task. If we can look past our own noses, we can see ourselves as a nation together, and we might actually get a little fired up about what is happening to our nation.
Posted by jrchaard at 3:15 PM