Category Archives: Society

Maureen O’Hara, One of the Last Movie Icons

America lost an icon yesterday with the passing of legendary actress Maureen O’Hara.  Many will remember her as the mom in the 1960s Disney Classic “The Parent Trap” or her role in “Miracle on 34th Street” but I loved her roles in many Westerns and Adventure movies.  A star among stars, she always held a special place in my heart.

Like many boys who grew up when I did, I watched all of the big western classics, particularly the John Wayne movies.  John Wayne had many costars but none could match Maureen O’Hara.  With her blazing red hair and fiery spirit, she was never second string in a scene.  Even when sharing a scene with an overwhelming personality like John Wayne, her beauty and personality would make her shine.

She often played the role of a noble lady and it was a role to which she was perfectly suited.  She spoke with precision, occasionally allowing a light Irish trill to come out if the role called for it.  Born into an upper-middle-class family in Dublin Ireland in 1920, she was raised by her opera singing mother to be a lady and her soccer team owning father to be a lover of sports and outdoor activities.  John Wayne once said of her ” She’s a great guy”.  The two never had a relationship but they were very close throughout their entire lives.   John Wayne passed away in 1979.

One of my favorite movies of hers was with John Wayne in “The Quiet Man”.  It was a story about an Irish boxer who left America to go back to the island he left as a baby to try to find some peace in his ancestral homeland. Instead, he meets a red haired beauty in the neighboring farm and finds love. Maureen O’Hara is incredible in the movie, as she plays woman torn between her love and the proprieties of her times.  It’s a beautiful movie.

Another of my favorite rolls of hers was in the western comedy McClintock in which she played John Wayne’s estranged wife. It’s an unusual Western in that it truly is a comedy.  There’s an awesome fight scene that must involve at least 50 people in a mud pit including various cowboys, Indians and a lot of women, making probably one of the most unusual fight scenes in any Western movie.

She starred in many movies with many famous actors and actresses, including Tyrone Powers, Errol Flynn, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Jimmy Stewart, Henry Fonda, Walter Pidgeon, Natalie Wood and many others.   She was a class act and one of the last from a Golden Age of Movies that required true acting talent.  The world just lost a beautiful person that lived an amazing life.

Ed Ruth

GOP immigration policy: Much Easier on Legal Immigration, Harder on Illegal Immigration

I do not pretend to know what is in the heart or mind of Donald Trump.  He has caught a lot of flak over the past couple of weeks or so about his inartful comments on Mexican immigrants.  He should not have implied that all Mexican immigrants are criminals. But he was 100% correct in stating that a percentage of Mexican immigrants are criminals.   If you ignore this then you ignore reality. And if you dispute the political correctness of stating this then that’s your problem and not Donald Trump’s.  There is no denying that illegal immigration is a problem for our country.

Any serious political problem usually requires both tactical and strategic thinking when seeking resolution.  Tactically, we have to control our borders better. We have to know who is coming into our country. We have to know if our enemies are trying to cross our borders to do us harm and we need to know the health status of those who enter to ensure that no infectious diseases endanger our population.   We need to know who is coming into this country to better themselves versus those who are coming into this country with criminal intent.

But equally important to the tactical necessity of controlling our borders is the long-term strategic value of immigration. If we wish to compete with the likes of China and India as they become more industrialized and more powerful, we need a bigger population.  In the coming decades, we will need a population of 500 million to compete with China, which will have more than three times that population by then.  We will need that number to have additional workers and additional job creators.   It is clearly in our nations interest for us to make legal immigration much easier.

If the GOP wishes to increase the percentage of Latin voters that vote Republican, then they must get rid of the false narrative produced by the left-leaning media that portrays Republicans as anti-immigration.  We must increase the number of Latin GOP candidates.  We have to increase the number of Latin community GOP groups.  We have to increase spending on commercials and other advertisements that emphasize that most Latin voters agree with GOP on a number of important voter issues.  We should connect with Latin religious and community leaders to promote GOP  efforts to make it easier to legally come into this country.

Regardless of their country of origin, most Latin Americans share our Judeo-Christian values and are pro-traditional family, hard working, religious and distrustful of the large powerful governments that often cause so many problems in the country they left.   Many Latin voters agree that controlling immigration is good for our country and specifically for their communities in regard to job growth, crime control, etc.  We must make it clear to Latin voters that Republicans, not the Democrats share their values.

Ed Ruth

Left Uses Another Tragedy For Political Gain

The death of 9 worshipers at a Charleston, SC church a few days ago is a tragedy.  It is sad beyond measure that 9 innocents lost their lives to a deranged maniac.  But while most of the country looks sadly at this incident and pray for the lost, a segment of the liberal political class is once again jumping on the tragedy to push forward their ideology.

Liberal commentator Bill Maher says that Conservatives are to blame for the mindset of those who do such horrible crimes.  Hillary Clinton, who finds it hard to tell the truth, said we as a country have to face some “hard truths” about race and guns.

As former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel once said, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste”.   He was President Obama’s right-hand man at the time and he expanded on this comment saying “What I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things that you thought you could not do before.”  So once again liberals seeking restrictive gun control laws they know would never otherwise happen will use another tragedy involving a bad guy (a murderer) with a gun to restrict good guys (law-abiding citizens) from being able to own guns.

Once again it seems these liberals are incapable of understanding some basic facts:  It is basic common sense (which is all too uncommon these days) that bad guys with evil intent are not going to let a law that says they can’t have a gun stop them from getting a gun.  If you’re prepared to break the law by killing innocents, then you are definitely prepared to break a gun ownership law.  Passing laws restricting gun ownership only makes it harder for the good guys (i.e. those who do obey the law) to get a gun.

This latest tragedy is another example of the fault in their gun-control logic.  The maniac (I call him that since publishing his name just gives him the attention he craves) was reportedly given the Glock handgun he used in this henious crime as a birthday present.   Background checks would never have prevented him from getting that gun.  Are we to ban law-abiding fathers all over the country from giving guns to their law-abiding sons because a maniac committed this crime?  That doesn’t seem very likely.

Unless we as a country want to change the Constitution and confiscate a few hundred MILLION guns in the United States, then the only option is to make sure it’s not hard for good guys to have guns so they can stop bad guys that have guns.

 

Ed Ruth

Rising Sea Levels, Drowning Cities and Global Warming

A diver views a statue in the sunken Egyptian city of Thonis-Heracleion

My home town of Miami, Florida is often used as an example by those wishing to use scare tactics about Man-Made Global Warming (MMGW).  The standard line is that our coastal cities are going to be put underwater as rising sea levels punish us arrogant humans for not listening to the followers of the Church of MMGW.  As with most cults, it usual does little good to talk to die-hard adherents of this faith about even the slightest possibility that they might be wrong in their beliefs.  To do so will usually get you nothing more than an intense stare, a sneer of contempt and a snide “Denier” remark.  But there are the rare birds among their faithful that actual can still hold an intelligent conversation about their beliefs.   If you find yourself talking with one of them, you will inevitably hear some variation of the above-mentioned watery fate of our coastal cities at sometime in not-to-distant future.

While being respectful of others religious beliefs, I am also (I’m sure this will be a shock to my friends) a person who cannot resist commenting when I hear someone espousing their beliefs as scientific facts.  As they talk about rising temperatures changing our environment, I will often mention how the Vikings, having found an island so warm and green with vegetation that they named it “Greenland” must have driven a lot of SUVs to have changed it to its current semi-frozen tundra.  Then I’ll mention how pre-industrial Londoners enjoyed ice skating on the Thames.  Or how, in the winter of 1780, New York Harbor froze and people could walk from Manhattan to Staten Island.  In both cases, there were no coal power plants and people were more interested in footprints in the snow than they were in Carbon Footprints.  I must admit that my attempts at levity on a subject they consider to be the most dire to humanity are not often conducive to continuing a friendly conversation on the subject.  It’s around that time that the subject of rising sea-levels usually comes up.

There was a time not long ago when Al Gore was threatening that the city buildings would be underwater soon.  Movies were made with awesome scenes of cities being either frozen in an instant or being drowned by huge waves.  And the UN’s infamous IPCC Panel was saying that coastal cities all over the world were doomed if we didn’t change our society to the way they wanted it to run.  The IPCC still predicts a global rise by 52-98 cm by the year 2100, a rise that would in fact impact many coastal cities.  They also show, but rarely talk about the fact that much of this rise is projected to happen NATURALLY.   They admit that even if all of humanity destroyed their economies implementing aggressive emissions reductions, a rise by 28-61 cm is still predicted to happen.

In other words, rising sea levels are going to be a threat to cities around the world regardless of humanity.  And this is how it has always been.  Throughout humanity’s history,  we have always built our cities on coastlines.  The ocean offers a bounty of food and city ports enable commerce and conquest.  So man has always built cities on shorelines that nature insists on changing.

The ancient Egyptian city of Thonis-Heracleion was lost to the sea after having been a major population center for a thousand years.  Phanagoria, a large Greek city established on the coast of the Back Sea around the 6th Century BC, is about 1/3 underwater today.   And parts of the ancient city of Alexandria, including the palace where Cleopatra committed suicide, are totally underwater today.  Venice would be an abandoned ruin if not for hundreds of years of constant water management and the adaptation to canals instead of roads by it’s inhabitants.   Most recently, New Orleans was drowned by a hurricane surge too large for it’s levy system to handle.

All of these cities, and many other sunken cities not mentioned in this article, are examples of mankind’s hubris.  We think of our cities with a sense of permanence.  They are these huge creations of mankind that do not suffer the frailty or mortality of their creators.  But Mother Nature, through ocean tides, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes or other tools available to her, has been there throughout history to show us the fallacy of this belief.

Man-Made Global Warming, the belief that in such as short time mankind’s industrial creations will cause such as huge change, is another example of mankind’s hubris.  As is the idea that we could cause a pendulum swing in the other direction “If we’d only do what they tell us to do.”  The believers of this religion sit high and smug in their knowledge of exactly how Mother Nature works.  And when their own tools and data contradict their beliefs, then they change the data.

None of this matters to Mother Nature.  The planet will chug along just as it has for countless millennia regardless of human activity.  It will go through various heating and cooling cycles without even noting the little creatures that crawl along its surface.  That is not to say that we shouldn’t be careful stewards of our planet and protect its beauty for future generations.  But let us do so for the right reasons, not some misguided pseudo-scientific belief based on manipulated data.

Edward G. Ruth

 

A Solid Article on Black Culture That You Should Definitely Read

I normally consider just about anything published in the New Yorker to be neo-liberal drivel, ideological droning detached from the real world.  But every once in a while they
produce a true gem.  This recent article definitely falls into that category: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/02/09/dont-like

I have to give them credit just for writing the article.  All too often, anyone that even attempts to talk about issues that may be adversely hitting a large percentage of a minority group are immediately cast as racist.  This article dives into some deep waters that many publishers usually fear to tread.  Here’s a sample paragraph of the article that covers much of what it is about:

“After the Times described Brown as “no angel,” the MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry accused the newspaper of “victim-blaming,” arguing that African-Americans, no matter how “angelic,” will never be safe from “those who see their very skin as a sin.” But, on the National Review Web site, Heather MacDonald quoted an anonymous black corporate executive who told her, “Michael Brown may have been shot by the cop, but he was killed by parents and a community that produced such a thug.” And so the Michael Brown debate became a proxy for our ongoing argument about race: where some seek to expose what America is doing to black communities, others insist that the real problem is what black communities are doing to themselves.”

The article covers the famous government report written by the late Democrat Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan titled “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action. ” and W. E. B. Du Bois book   “The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Study.”  Both tackled truths you rarely find discussed in politically correct 2015.  It uses these as a foundation upon which a new, even more challenging book was written called “The Cultural Matrix: Understanding Black Youth”, written by a Jamaica-born sociologist named  Orlando Patterson and Ethan Fosse, a Harvard doctoral student in Sociology.  I haven’t read the book but if it’s as interesting as this article, I will have to make sure I do so.  If you have a few moments, I highly recommend this article.

Ed Ruth

 

Congress Really Can Nix Obama’s Illegal Immigrant Plan

The non-partisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) has confirmed that Congress has the authority to defund any Obama Administration efforts to issue green cards to millions of illegal immigrants, as he attempted to do by imperial edict last week.

Beitbart.com reported that the CRS, a legislative authority on Capitol Hill, wrote “In light of Congress’s constitutional power over the purse, the Supreme Court has recognized that ‘Congress may always circumscribe agency discretion to allocate resources by putting restrictions in the operative statutes,’” in a report sent to incoming Senate Budget Committee chairman Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL).

President Obama, declaring last week that he had authority that he had previously had emphatically claimed he didn’t have, announced last week that he would order federal agencies to not enforce America’s immigration laws.  He further stated that he would have the  U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a subagency of the Homeland Security Department, issue green cards and work permits for up to 5 million illegal immigrants in the US.  But printing those green cards and other documents costs money.  The report makes it clear that  Congress can legally strip funding from America’s immigration enforcement agency – including funds the agency raises on its own through fees.  This is a key point because it is these internally generated fees that Obama and many on the left were saying could be used regardless of Congress to pay for the immigration edict.  By making it very clear that even those fees are subject to Congressional approval, Obama’s big announcement on immigration just became very toothless.

Here’s a comprehensive article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2850882/Nonpartisan-Congressional-Research-Service-says-lawmakers-power-fund-Obama-s-immigration-push.html

And here is Huffpo’s usual Leftist swing response:  Click here

 

Michele Obama’s Lesson to Kids about Liberalism

Michelle Obama’s Lunch Plan Bombs

I would like to thank Michelle Obama for the excellent government lesson she gave schoolchildren all over the country recently.  I would have been hard-pressed to think of a better way (although opportunities abound!) of illustrating to the children of this country the negative effects of big government liberalism.

All over the country, children were (and in some cases still are) being forced by the government to eat what the government considered a good and healthy lunch and what the children considered to be an awful lunch.

Like many liberal ideas, it was founded upon what sounds like a good intention:  Let’s make sure we have healthly lunches in schools.  Who could be against that, right?  I mean, if you are against kids eating healthy, you’re downright mean!  But also like most liberals ideas, it combines a big dose of “government knows best even when it doesn’t” with a huge chunk of “damn the consequences, we know better than you little people”.

The lesson begins with the federal government, or in this case Michelle Obama, dictating some rules on the content of school lunch programs that must be followed for school districts to qualify for recieving the federal funds the government gives to help finance school lunches in districts throughout the country.  That’s the beginning of the lesson, young pupils:  Liberals will tell you that they know better than you and that you have to do things their way or you don’t get the money they’ve made you dependent on to survive.  It’s the most important part of the lesson because it highlights both the liberal’s belief that they know best and the danger of taking government assistance because of how it puts you under the power of the government.

So what are these onerous rules?  The rules are too numerous to list here and are as boring to read as I’m sure the meals are to eat.  For example, one of the rules is that all pastas, biscuits, tortillas and grits in schools be whole-grain rich, or more than half whole grain, if they can demonstrate that they have had “significant challenges” in preparing whole-grain options.  The lack of availabile options that meet those criteria is causing problems with schools all over the country.  And kids often just don’t like the taste.  In July, the USDA suspended the rule for two years.  There are other rules on  fat, calorie, sugar and sodium limits that are also causing problems.  The net result is that the cost of lunches is rising sharply while the number of lunches being eaten drops because kids refuse to eat them.  It is estimated that more than 1 million students have stopped purchasing school lunches and over $1 billion in good food has been thrown out since 2012.

SCnow.com reports: Sophomore Madeline Taylor noticed that hardly anyone was eating.  “The entire rest of the day all I heard about was how hungry everyone was,” she said. “I then became very concerned about what would happen if this continued everyday throughout the school year.”

School districts all over the country started reporting that kids were not eating the mandatory lunches and were instead either bringing lunches from home, buying lunch at fast food restaurants or just not eating.  This causes an additional financial problem for school districts.  If kids don’t buy lunch, the district loses money and has to dig into its general fund.  This takes money away from text books, computer labs and school facilities.  Another unintended consequence of liberal “good intentions” that result in bad results.  Keep paying attention kids…it’s a great lesson!

County school districts can opt out of the federal school lunch program but doing so results in forfeiting hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal funding.  Some of the richer areas of the country have school disctricts that are doing so.  This means that the poorer areas of the country will be stuck with providing inadequate lunchs to the poorer children of the country while the wealthier areas of the country give their children better lunches.  Also, how many poor families are now going to start sending their kids to school with lunch bags to supplement the inadequate school lunches?  This will add an additional financial burden on these already financially stressed families.  Did you get that part of the lesson, kids?

Another point on contention is that the new rules ban bake sales, severly limiting the opportunity for PTAs, school advisory councils, booster clubs and others to raise money for their activities.  All of these groups are recognized as being important to schools and to the development of students as young adults.   Dropping out of the federal school lunch program allows schools to maintain their vending machines, bake sales and cupcake birthday parties, which serve as profit-makers to subsidize the afore-mentioned school activities.  The school programs are going to have to go away or survive without any type of funds to do activities.  Did that reinforce the lesson, young pupils?

The net end result of this disaster of a program is that it proves that proper food nutrition and meal portion guidelines are best decided at a local level.  The program was a perfect example of liberalism. It encompassed good intentions, the thought that the government knows better than we do, and no consideration as to what the population actually wanted or what the negative consequences could be.   Michelle Obama actually did a great service to our country by providing this great example of failed liberalism to the youth of our country.

I hope that, as these children go through school and grow up to become the young people Michelle Obama calls “knuckleheads“, they remember this valuable school lunch lesson and understand that liberalism is all about control.   As they get older and see even more examples (like Obamacare) of failed liberalism, they will hopefully learn the wisdom of President Reagan’s famous quote “Government is not a solution to our problem…government is the problem.”

Ed Ruth

SOURCES:

http://eagnews.org/michelle-os-lunch-rules-sour-first-day-of-school-for-many-students/

http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/education/2014/08/09/district-drops-federal-lunch-program/13847169/

http://www.bizpacreview.com/2014/09/06/seriously-insane-restrictions-causing-schools-to-drop-michelle-os-lunches-143807

Washington Redskins and Political Correctness

Those offended by something as frivolous as a sports team name or logo really need to grow up.

Washington Redskins Logo

On June 18th, 2014, The U.S. Patent Office announced that it was stripping the NFL’s Washington Redskins of their trademark registration.  Nevada Senator and Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that now the Washington Redskins would have to change their name.  This was something that the liberal “Politically Correctness Police” had been championing for sometime now.  But a Federal Court threw out a identical ruling 5 years ago so it seems very likely that the Redskins will retain their name and their trademark.

So what brought about this latest ruling?  The case, which appeared before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, was filed on behalf of five “Native Americans”.  I use the quotes because there is no such thing as a Native American.  No humans evolved on the North American continent.  Those being called such in today’s politically correct world just had ancestors that arrived a few thousand years before mine did.  Most would prefer you call them by their tribal name but have no problem being called American Indian.  Regardless, the case was filed “on behalf of” those five individuals because the liberal groups wanting to enforce Political Correctness needed to have some sort of legal standing to file the case.

The reality is that many if not most of those referred to as Native Americans don’t really care.  They honor their culture but are too mature to be offended by the logo of a sports team.  They worry more about how the Indian Health Service (IHS) provides terrible healthcare where their kids wait years for glasses and dental work.  The worry more about how Indian women are 5 time more likely to be the victims of sexual assault and murder than the national average.  They worry about their high teenage suicide rate, which is more than twice the national average.  And they worry about how their substance abuse and unemployment are 10x higher than the national average.  It is mainly just the Politically Correct on the Left that have any problem with the Redskin name or logo.

Political Correctness is one of my pet peeves.  I am offended by those that are so easily offended.  I am a bald white guy and wouldn’t care the slightest if the NFL had a team called the “Bald White Guys”.   Or the “Bald Honky’s”, “Bald Whitees” “Follicle-Challenged Pale Dudes” or whatever.  When do we tell those who are so easily offended to grow up?  When do we tell them that there’s nothing in the Constitution that says you have a right not to be offended?

And what is next if the Redskins lose their legal fight?  Will the Notre Dame “Fighting Irish” have to lose their iconic Leprechaun if a few people of Irish descent decide they’re offended?   Will the Florida Seminoles or the Atlanta Braves be the next target?  The liberal Huffington Post published a list of teams it found most offensive and I frankly found most of them rather amusing.  Talk about not taking yourself too seriously when you name your team the “Butte Pirates” or the “Nads”.   Some might call team names like these childish. I find being offended by something this frivolous to be even more so.