Round Round the Rugged Rock

Round Round the Rugged Rock

Round, round the rugged rock the rugged rascal ran, if ya tell me how many R’s are in that, I’ll call ya a clever man.

This was an old riddle my paternal Scottish dangrad (grandfather) used to recite to me and my siblings. As just but a child, I would attempt to count all the words beginning with ‘r’ and give him the answer. He’d laugh and say no to all my answers until…

Finally, I said there must be none and he then proclaimed me a “clever man.” For you see, there are no R’s in the word that.

I liken this old Scottish knotty question to Obama going round and round with the Republican portion of congress. Constantly encircling congress, no matter where Obama felt a path to enter, the obstinacy of the major minority Republicans in defeating constructive legislation has won out either through filibustering or the sixty vote count. As confessed by Pennsylvania’s Republican Senator Toomey, the majority of Republicans simply vote no on anything with Obama’s fingerprint whether they think it meaningful or not.

What to do…no matter the content or topic…whether it be in social, economic, financial, foreign diplomacy, cabinet or judicial nominees, ceiling debt, a budget or even plain ol’ common sense arenas, the Republican ‘r’ in that has ostensibly thwarted legislation in conducting this nation’s business.

Many ideas have been tossed out in what Obama should be doing such as twisting arms or giving threats, but Obama is not a LBJ or Nixon and the current Republican House is not the Democrat one Reagan dealt with, which would actually compromise for the common good. Besides, it is not in Obama’s nature to strong arm and bully his way through legislation in getting what he wants. Ever since his days in college, where he was elected as first black president for the ‘Harvard Law Review’ due to the trust bestowed upon him by the more conservative elements, Obama is a natural negotiator and diplomat. This is what he is and one can only perform in what he is. However, with today’s more extreme conservatism, diplomacy routes lead to a screeching halt, for brickheads will not listen to reason.

Last week, at a Monday April 29 news conference, Obama was asked whether he has the “juice” or not to get his agendas through congress. After all Obama took his initiatives of gun control to the people where between 87-92% of the populace consisting of Democrats, Republicans, Independents and just plain ol’ Americans favor stricter gun control, but still the senate vote count failed. When it did, Obama gave us first glimpses of his true anger.  He responded to the question by saying, “You seem to suggest that somehow these folks over there have no responsibilities, and that my job is to somehow get them to behave. That’s their job. They’re elected—members of Congress are elected in order to do what’s right for their constituencies and for the American people.”

Obama is right on this account, congress should behave in a more constructive way, but history is not going to remember their destructive behavior, only Obama’s inability to have agendas passed through legislation. If his normal success methods are no longer successful, he has to appear as working hard shoveling coal into the boiler if he wants the American public to really start applying pressure on their elected officials.

There were forty-two Republicans with five Democrat senators that voted down the new gun legislation. Majority Leader Harry Reid was one of the Democrats voting nay. His reason for doing so was he knew he did not have the sixty vote count required for passage, so he voted no, which allows him to bring it back for later consideration. All are faulting Obama for not applying pressure and talking with the remaining four Democrats, but even with their vote, the measure would have still been one short of the necessary sixty.

Harry Truman once said during office, “I sit here all day long trying to persuade people to do things they ought to have sense enough to do without my persuading them.” This is as well Obama’s dilemma, but with a glaring catch…he has a Republican congress that is far more extreme and will only administer their own perceived views of admonishment for this president. Being a minority in skin color has not helped Obama either, for it gives Republicans more drive to play with bigotry and simply say no to whatever Obama offers even if they fundamentally agree with the president.

Here are two cases in point. As mentioned earlier, Toomey, who coauthored the new gun bill with Democrat Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia confessed after the bill’s defeat that members of his party opposed the gun bill expanding background checks because they didn’t want to appear helping the president. Toomey admitted, “In the end it didn’t pass because were so politicized. There were some on my side who did not want to be seen helping the president do something he wanted to get done, just because the president wanted to do it.”   

Former Republican senator, Jim Demint, who now is president of the conservative ‘Heritage Foundation’ said on ABCs ‘This Week’(05/05/2013) concerning the new immigration bill, “Our country faces very difficult economic problems, but he [Obama] seems content to bring up emotional divisive issues, whether it be guns or immigration and start the fight and play the referee. The show’s host, George Stephanopoulos, then interrupts and reminds Demint that, “But there are Republicans supporting immigration reform right now.” Demint in his narrow minded tunnel vision replies, “There are some, but they’re trying to solve a problem.” Get it…according to the wisdom of Demint, while Obama is merely playing to emotions when it comes to immigration reform, the Republicans wanting immigration reform too, are doing so to solve problems.

In all honesty, Republicans are doing it to latch onto a portion of the Latino vote…in other words they’re doing it for political gain, not to solve ethical problems and do what’s right. They may only admit it amongst themselves, but they indeed saw the writing on the wall this past election when it came to the Latino vote.

This typical Republican mindset exemplified so well by Demint fine tunes their notion that Obama can do no right while Republicans can do no wrong…even while both are driving down the same course to the same green’s hole-in-one.

How do you combat this form of mentality? Obama does not like thinking of his tenure in having a lame duck period, but as a leader he is going to have to find a way to conform and pry open that Republican oafish mindset if he wants anything accomplished on his remaining watch.

The bully pulpit is truthfully though limited in its extent…so round, round the rugged rock, the rugged rascal ran…thanks Dangrad…

Natural Consequence:
If Republicans fail the new immigration bill, in which they stand a good chance in doing so in the senate much less in the House of Representatives, it is of my humbled opinion their strategy of just say no-no-no will bring the party closer to non-contentious status as a national party and they will fragment. Losing the popular vote in the last five out of six presidential general elections and the majority senate in the past five years is not what a political entity would want to point out, but they are quick to point out that they have control of the congressional house. Sure they do, due to extreme Republican gerrymandering of home districts in red states they can still elect representatives, but on a national level when it comes to the voting booth, they are indeed fading. Besides, even though Republicans held onto the House, more votes for Democrats were cast than were Republican votes nationally…over 500,000 more.

So instead of changing their platform to conform more to the will of the majority of Americans, they prefer to come up with laws to suppress votes from more progressive minded Americans, like college students, the elderly, minorities, the poor and blue collar union workers. Red states, like Utah are now attempting to gain back more national power by repealing the 17th Amendment taking federal senator voting away from the public, thus allowing state legislatures to choose whom they want for the federal senate. Some states controlled by a Republican majority, like Pennsylvania, are attempting to pass legislation for national and presidential elections to nullify the overall state majority vote count with conservative rural district majority counts.

Getting back to Toomey’s confession concerning his party, he should know it on a personal level, for I’m sure as his gun legislation received a nay from Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio, so too in kind will he cast a nay vote against Rubio’s new immigration reform bill. Toomey is already publicly criticizing it. He announced that aiding illegal immigrants “is a slap in the face.”

The ultra-conservative Koch brothers are at it again. Since the failure of pouring hundreds of millions into past elections was a total flop on influencing the outcome, they are now trying to buy media to peddle their ongoing propagandizing influence. Charles and David Koch are attempting to buy the ‘Tribune Company’ that owns nine newspapers including ‘The Los Angeles Times’ and the Chicago Tribune.’ We already have a Rupert Murdoch pushing lies slanted toward his own perception of what the political atmosphere should be and we sure don’t need another billionaire conservative outlet for bias journalism. That would for sure be a Koch addiction.

Since speaking about the oil magnate Koch brothers that are forever denying fossil fueled pollution climate change, believe it or not, the other Koch brother, Billy in a rather long winded interview in the magazine, ‘Commonwealth’ voiced dire concern on the wrath of pollution. This is hardly what pollution is equated to though.

Where he constantly denied oil refinement as a polluter, Billy also voiced his opinion on what he called “visual pollution.” You see, the Kochs have family property on Cape Cod water frontage in Osterville, MA and have spent millions fighting a proposed wind mill assemblage, known as the ‘Cape Wind Project’ off the coast to generate renewable electricity. Unfortunately for the Kochs, they have no influence on the wind farm’s future and it is going under construction soon. Even though Bill actually says, “I didn’t want it in my backyard,” it will barely be visible on the horizon from the veranda on one of his cottages. Funny that, how his neighborhood’s coastline has been ravaged by rising sea levels due to climate change and not can’t sink into the Koch’s reasoning, but an ever just slightly visible wind farm from a certain viewing vantage point has implications of dire consequence.         
When an injured beast is cornered is when it reacts the most aggressively. Along with the immense in-fighting since the 2012 election outcome and ethically questioned schemes on how to retain power, the Republican Party is injured, but not mortally. The GOP, whether as simply an afterthought reminder or a potential authority, is not a species bound for extinction. GOP power has dwindled and will continue to do so with current extremity mindsets, so will be listed as an endangered species. For sure as in all things, even primitive politics evolves.

Republicans are more and more behaving as empirical evidence and original sin all rolled into one, for it is as if they have caved to governing, deferring instead to prevent Democrats from governing.

Stupid Is What Idiots Are:
Apologies if this bores ya a fair amount, for yet, I give you another segment of the stupid dumb idiots in our political arena.

In her vain attempts to somehow merit out the ‘Boston Marathon’ as a subversive government act, New Hampshire state Republican Representative Stella Tremblay says she has undeniable proof the federal government was behind the attack. Her proof…one of the bombing victims, Jeff Bauman was not screaming in agony after getting both legs blown off. Apparently, she feels this was staged as a government conspiracy.

Her quote was, after watching the rescues unfold on national TV, “Then, my first gut reaction seeing the horror of that person that has their legs blown off; you know, the bone sticking out? He was not in shock. I looked and I thought, there’s something. … I don’t know what’s wrong, but it seems surreal to me. I talked to my sister, who’s not into politics at all, and she said, ‘Yes, I saw the same thing.’ He was not in shock. He was not in pain. If I had had those type of injuries, I’d be screaming in agony.”

She then promptly posts a comment on the Glenn Beck Facebook page stating this is irrefutable evidence of a government conspiracy. If she chose, she could visit Jeff now minus his two legs, who was just released from the hospital, interrogate him and see what he has to exactly say about the whole matter.

Republican Representative budget hawk, Rob Woodall (GA) in a March town hall meeting concurred with Mitt Romney’s 47% video. He babbled, “You know, folks mock Mitt Romney for what he said, but he’s right. Forty-seven percent of American citizens pay zero in income taxes. It’s just true.” Then he demands lower incomers need to put skin in the game.

To spew off a point blank statement as that is just asinine. 61% of all individuals that paid no federal income taxes paid into payroll taxes, with 22% of those as seniors. The remaining only had incomes of below $20,000.00/annum, so automatically qualified for the tax credit that by the way was introduced by Republican presidents not to aid the poor, but to tempt them in to getting work.

Listen, this nation is all about subsidies...from the impoverished worker to the wealthy/corporate, taxes are forgiven either due to low income or from built-in loopholes and offshore accounts.

So if you want to antagonize one of the camps...why antagonize the one scrapping by as opposed to the one that has seen wealth increase 256% since the Reagan era or has made mother record of record profits?

We all know Wal-Mart has a few dollars in the coffer, but yet their rich hands receive free welfare tax dollars. In 2005, Wal-Mart, a company that just raked in $288 billion the previous year, received $37 million taxpayer dollars from the Republican government to widen the roads in their home-office Bentonville complex. Wal-Mart has received over $1 billion in taxpayer dollars for economic development and has made use of not paying their own share of taxes in tax breaks, access to free land and government cash grants. Is this not considered public assistance? Yet no one rises to dissent this form of welfare.

Its a slam dunk guarantee that Woodall, along with the majority of his fellow Republicans portraying poverty as on Easy Street, would not trade places for one sir, perhaps not even for one minute...

As the French journalist, France Anatole once surmised, “It is only the poor who are forbidden to beg.”

Big ol’ boy Missouri Republican, Representative Billy Long without basis, boasted in the last week of April that his constituents wanted more sequestration, not less and has had no ill effects from it. One of his constituents though begs to differ.

Carl Rozenkranz, executive director of the nonprofit ‘Ozarks Area Community Action Corporation’ stated, “I really can’t believe he actually said that. Rozenkranz’ organization services the poor through providing shelter, family programs and ‘Head Start’ organizational planning.

After receiving $600,000 in budgetary cuts Rozenkranz is having to shut down three ‘Head Start’ locations and five ‘Head Start’ classrooms and has had to lay off forty-two employees.

Rozenkranz insists, “He’s [Long] basing it on nothing. Just a minimal understanding of what we’re going through would help.” Rozenkranz makes a valid point though in verifying he has sent a press release to Long’s local and Washington D.C. offices and that sequester ordeals affecting locals have been published in the Springfield News Leader newspaper and broadcasted over the air waves from the local Springfield television station, KYTV.

The deal is, Long only holds town hall constituent meetings normally in classy restaurants in the richer portion of his district. If anyone went to a five star French restaurant, they’d be hard pressed also to find any diner impacted by the sequester. Long is cherry picking his sources to lend validity to his narrative. Holding meetings in shielded turf where most of the people own houses going for a million plus, there's no bus service after 6:00 PM to bring the poor to his 8:00 PM assemblages.

After a meeting in a hall, I have read Long usually retires to the Chart House Restaurant where a cup of coffee is $3.50, while a burger and fries clips ya for twelve bucks. So much in representation for all…

Since we’re on the sequester, for this most obstructive and cannot pass any meaningful legislation congress we have…did ya notice as if a magic wand was waved on how instantly they passed funding for the FAA affected by sequestration? When special interests are involved and congressmen themselves might encounter a delayed flight due to the sequester…for gosh sakes something has got to be done. But for the seniors depending on ‘Meals on Wheels,’ college students needing loans to higher their education, unemployment benefits cut, defunding for ‘WIC,’ child care and ‘Head Start’ programs, cancer research and aid for mothers, infants, children, the jobless, the ill and the poor…oh surely they should allow the sequester to continue on as unabated…      
Intuitive Shame:
Dang it all, it is downright shameful. The word seething is a good descriptive choice that sensible weapon regulation advocates are feeling right now.

As long as money and politics is the DNA of D.C., sensible legislation is becoming rare more than the norm. What was Baucus’ one-word reply for his reasoning in voting nay...“Montana.” Instead of doing whats right for the nation, hes more concerned about political rancor back home in his red state. If hes that concerned, then he needs to tear his lil fanny perpendicular back home and run for state office. It appears he will, for he just announced his retirement from his long held senate seat.

This filibuster had NRA fingerprints all over it and it is shameful. Since the Sandy Hook massacre, over 3,400 Americans (many are children) have been killed by gun violence while our political leaders performed their clown show.

Arguing with gun fanatics is almost a waste of time, for they are so narrow minded when it comes to weaponry ownership that they ignore what you say or write only to express their misinterpreted 2nd Amendment rights, unfounded concerns of government tyranny and in expounding the minor details of what constitutes a semi-automatic from a fully automatic.

My main argument is for the banning of assault rifles and it goes kind of like this...Assault weapons that were intentionally manufactured to do the most amount of damage in the briefest amount of time to a human target with intended usage as solely for the military and special forces in battlefields during firefights, do not belong dispersed throughout our neighborhoods where children are being raised.

All the gun owners want to dwell on the minor differences between semi-automatics and fully automatics, to errantly point out that semis are not assault rifles. I give them the news that there is insignificant alteration between the two with the only main difference in being with a full, one only has to press the trigger to fire a continuous round while with the semi, for rapid fire the handler has to press the trigger back and forth. Both can be equipped with multiple round high capacity clips shooting up to 90 rounds within a minute’s time.

Their arguments begin to erode as they digress in only trying to come up with ways to counter a particular word I used instead of reasoning out the whole thought. They then make-up some kind of hogwash antipodean attack on my choice of words, demonstrating deference away from their argument’s basis and the debate in general. Sometimes they totally ignore what I said in the debate’s thread and go off into an entirely different direction without weaving their argument into any coherency.

A for instance is where a couple didn’t like my choice of word, ‘assault’ weapons and went into an orated detour on how this word was penned by liberals in general and progressives in government. Or semi-automatics for citizen use is vastly different from military assault rifles.

Nonsense, the ‘assault’ description literally means a selective weapon equipped with an intermediate cartridge having a detachable magazine capable of producing multiple firing rounds in quick succession. Further, there are few variances between a semi-automatic and a fully automatic. All assault weapons in the public market are semis that could easily be converted to full, are ergonomic and possess features of military fulls which are intended to do multiple damage.

As I was arguing on how a semi can easily be converted into a full by obtaining kits from the internet, one gun advocate fell right into the laid trap. He came back and said, “You don’t need the internet, any idiot can easily convert a semi into a full simply with a dremel tool and a piece of scrap steel.”

As I was thanking him for validating and fine tuning my point, I explained that it is in my opinion the real issue is the laxed ease of access to an assault weapon by any ‘idiot’ out there that has a hankering to carry out mass shootings. The only way to avoid this is to take them off the market and that is the NRAs true concern, for acting as the major lobbyist for the weapons manufacturing industry…they don’t want them off the market.

Oh there are many other routes the gun advocates took, like the misrepresentation of the 2nd Amendment, government tyranny, public protection, keeping the peace and that guns don’t kill people…people do.

In misrepresenting the 2nd Amendment, they always quote the portion of the right to bear arms, but conveniently leave out the militia portion; ya know the right to bear arms to form militias in defense of our nation and its national interests. As explained in my past articles the second amendment was added in 1789 when there were only a total of 89 soldiers in the American military. It made sense then to arm citizens in forming militias to combat foreign invasions. These citizens were the original Minutemen. Today, we have an entity known as the U.S. Armed Forces that is the world’s mightiest and richest military. We have no need any more for militias. In fact, I never saw any of the armed gun advocates forming militias to volunteer and go do battle in Iraq in protecting national interests. Besides, these are the very same folks that would be the first to protest American Moslems in arming themselves to the gills while forming militias. If anyone has the right reasons for doing so, with all the negative anti Islam rhetoric going on by conservatives in our political arenas, certainly the American Muslim is justified to do so.

All these government conspiracies of attempting to take over Joe and Jill American in justifying gun ownership are wrought with inconsistency. It is at the behest and blessing of our government that they even own guns to begin with and they want to prepare to attack government due to paranoid thoughts?

To protect and keep the peace, huh…Per capita, the U.S. leads the world in gun ownership. Per capita, the U.S. leads the world in gun related violence, fatalities and suicides. The second country is Yemen and I don’t see any of these gun advocates planning any Yemeni vacations due to the country’s serene peacefulness.

So guns don’t kill people, only people kill people.  They are absolutely is people and if AR-15s and the like were manufactured just to look at aesthetically, everything would be rosy with how people use them. But assault weapons are not made to simply look at are, theyre made solely to make as much damage as possible in the least amount of time on a human long as people involved are attracted to this type mindset while scattered all throughout our neighborhoods, people and yes children are going to die due to the easy access just so the NRA can pleasure themselves in demanding their rights to own them.

One advocate compared information freedom with gun rights after I expressed there still is a whole arsenal of guns to be obtained legally if assault weapons were taken off the market. He asked, “So how can restriction of internet usage and information be a bad point when there are other methods of communication to gather information?” He also stated that the SCOTUS D.C. vs. Heller ruling guaranteed rights with no restrictions to bear arms.

My response was: To compare ‘on how to inform’ versus ‘on how to kill’ seems a tad stretched...I dunno, with this post hoc ergo proctor hoc fallacy of yours...tell me. The Heller ruling actually allows for certain restrictions on gun ownership, but its final ruling leaves many uncertainties as to which type of guns laws are allowed to stand and those that might be considered constitutional or unconstitutional.

Usually in the end I refer the gun advocate debaters to a conservative comment, ask them to read it then reply. Out of the nine I sent it to, nine have not replied. The following is what was sent…

Bob Davis, a Minnesota conservative talk show host had this to say concerning the parents of the Sandy Hook child victims, “Just because a bad thing happened to you doesnt mean that you get to put a king in charge of my life. I’m sorry that you suffered a tragedy [no hes not], but you know what? Deal with it and dont force me to lose my liberty, which is a greater tragedy than your loss.” Do you agree with Davis...or not...a simple yay or nay will do.

You may have noticed this past weekend that the NRA held its annual convention in Houston entitled, ‘NRAs Stand and Fight Rally.’ Wow, such a menacing title and the line-up of guest speakers compels me to paraphrase an old adage…don’t put all your idiots into one basket.  With the likes of Glenn Beck as the keynote speaker along with Ted Nugent, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, John Bolton, Frank Caliendo who is a comedian comical in more ways than one, Teddy Cruz and Sara Palin chiming in, this has to be the speakership of extremes covering both ends in being worst at its best.

Beck proclaimed, although there isn’t even a hint yet of a god entity worldly holocaust that the “freedom of all mankind is at stake.” The good Christian that Santorum is announced that, “The Bill of Rights and the 2nd Amendment comes from God.” This God ‘n’ guns thing has me a bit perplexed when it comes to all good Christians buying into it. Yes the Jewish God and guns fit rather well together for He was a murderous soul throughout the Torah and the Old Testament, but as for Christians, Jesus was all about pacifism and turning the other cheek. To be Christian literally means to follow Jesus Christ…how can these folks call themselves Christians walking in Jesus sandals while packing AK-47s, AR-15s and MP-15s? This is an oxymoron if there ever was one.

As far as Ted Nugent is concerned, why is he even there…shouldn’t he be rotting in a jail cell somewhere or dead by now. For after all, according to Nugent himself back in April of last year he foretold that, if Obama beats Romney, “I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.” Teddy it appears ya flat out can’t handle or preach the truth…

Meanwhile there is a planned march underway onto the nation’s capital this coming July 4th. Being coordinated by conservative radio host, Adam Kokesh, with NRA participants, they plan on marching through Washington D.C. with loaded open firearms. Planners of this ‘Open Carry March on Washington’ event state they will have a minimum of 10,000 armed marchers and are gaining in momentum.

Trouble is, it’s against D.C. law to carry loaded firearms. Nonetheless their Facebook notices read, “We will march with rifles loaded & slung across our backs to put the government on notice that we will not be intimidated & cower in submission to tyranny,” and adds, “This will be a non-violent event, unless the government chooses to make it violent.”

Assault weapons should not be dispersed throughout our neighborhoods where children are being raised no matter how many march to D.C. cocked and loaded...

Tell me girls ‘n’ boys, how does banning assault rifles with over 15 round clips infringe on 2nd Amendment rights when you still have an whole arsenal of weaponry to choose from...perhaps hopeful owners of bazookas and howitzers should chime in as well since the 2nd doesn't clarify.    

So they say, “This will be a non-violent event, unless the government chooses to make it violent.”

This makes for very logical sense, but only of the criminal mind...

If the march is carried out as currently planned, they are breaking the law...I can just imagine a bank robber in the business of conducting a robbery while announcing, “Perhaps Im breaking the law, but it will be peaceful unless officers choose to make it violent”...

After incessant bickering with these guys I realize they will not bend from their heir apparent thoroughly inbred narrow-mindedness. There is for sure no peripheral vision. They cannot see that saving lives requires a little compromise. Relinquishing assault weapons does not take away guns or gun rights. For them, to touch one gun of theirs is just the same as grabbing them all.

There is for sure a gun cult and for sure there has never been much good ever arising from a cult…

The following video is a classic example of what I’ve experienced in debating gun advocates. Since their arguments are circular they come back and actually aid the gun control advocate at the expense of their own donnybrook. May the circle be broken…by and by lord by and bye.

In Ascertaining the Attainment,

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