BYU did the right thing

March Madness.  Aside from birthdays of two of my brothers, March Madness is what makes the month of March worthwhile.

I’m not all that fond of March.  March temperatures are very fickle in Ohio.  It could be balmy, but more likely its snowy.  If it’s above freezing, March in Ohio can be very muddy.  Mud is probably my number one gripe about March.  Melting snows sometimes close roads because of too much standing water, and those in flood plains should be wary.  March is quite windy, and I don’t much care for really windy conditions.  The leaves are not back on the trees yet, so the landscape looks rather stark and inhospitable.  Not too long ago, March was made even worse by moving the start date of Daylight Savings Time from April.  I’d like to remain on Standard Time year-round.

I have plenty of similar gripes about April, too, but at least the Cleveland Indians baseball season gets underway.

Ohio gets really pretty in May.  I think the lush green beauty of Ohio reaches the peak of its perfection around Memorial Day weekend.

I’m getting ahead of myself.  I love college basketball, men’s or women’s teams. I love it far more than I do NBA basketball.  I graduated from Ohio State.  I’ve always been a fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes.  I bleed Scarlet and Gray.

The Buckeyes are expected to do well this year.  I won’t hold my breath, because I’ve seen them lose so many NCAA tourney games that they weren’t supposed to lose, but I’m not feeling nervous–on edge–apprehensive–like I usually do at this time of year.  For some reason, I feel calm.  Maybe that’s a good omen.  Maybe that means that this year, finally, OSU, a number 1 seed in the men’s tournament, triumphs.  Or, if the men stumble, perhaps the OSU women, a lower seed (4), will surprise everyone in their tournament.

I have a brother and a sister who graduated from Brigham Young University, so I keep tab on their sports teams, too.  Both the men’s and women’s teams seemed to be on autopilot, in control of their destiny, both of them dominating the Mountain West Conference, and the men’s program getting a lot of national buzz with the nation’s leading scorer, Jimmer Fredette.  There was even some anticipation that the BYU men would even receive a number 1 seed in the tournament.

Then there was a bump in the road.

The BYU women did not win the post-season tourney of the conference they dominated all season long.  They didn’t even receive an invite to the women’s NCAA tournament.  They had to settle for the WNIT, instead.

Jimmer Fredette, though wowing spectators across the nation with his stellar on-court achievements, cannot do all of the work of the men’s team by himself.  There are five men on the court for each team at all times, and Jimmer needs those four other men or Jimmermania isn’t even possible.  BYU usually has 5 solid players on the floor, but many of the players coming off the bench are unproven.  It is widely acknowledged that BYU is not a deep team.

Then, the unthinkable happened.  Brandon Davies, the team’s leading rebounder, was kicked off the team and out of school for the rest of the season.  He’d committed no crime, nor had he violated any NCAA rules, yet the decision by the university’s administration to dismiss him was final.  There was no going back on the decision.  There was no further appeal that would receive consideration.

All of a sudden, one of the nation’s premier men’s basketball teams was an also-ran, Jimmer Fredette notwithstanding.  The team was not the same team as it used to be.  Over the course of the bulk of the season, BYU had only suffered two losses.  During the very brief stretch of the season after Davies was dismissed, BYU went down to defeat two more times.

Instead of a number 1 seed, BYU received a number 3 seed.  Many sports pundits believe a number 3 seed, for a BYU team without Brandon Davies, is way too generous.  BYU was blessed with a number 3 seed as a congratulatory hat-tip for the success they’d had over the course of the season, not because anyone believes them to be that good now that Davies is gone.

BYU won its first tourney game yesterday, against Wofford.  The win was expected, but it wasn’t stellar.  The game wasn’t particularly intense, as college basketball games go.  BYU’s win would’ve been lopsided with Davies on the court, but without him, BYU never amassed much of a lead.

Even before tourney play began yesterday, the talking heads were saying that the number 11 seed, Gonzaga, would be the one to win the first two rounds and advance to the Sweet 16.  Gonzaga has fulfilled half of that expectation, already, having beaten the number 6 seed, St. John’s, last night.  Tomorrow, BYU and Gonzaga will be facing off against each other.  Is BYU really all washed up?  Maybe.  We’ll find out more about that tomorrow, I suppose.

What was the reason for Davies dismissal in the first place that caused this trainwreck and possibly have even cost the BYU Cougars a first-ever national championship? He’d violated the student honor code, a pledge of high ethical standards that all BYU students must promise to abide by prior to enrollment.

Almost all students are privately screened by Mormon pastors (there are small variations in the screening process for non-Mormon applicants, but the promise to follow the student honor code is required of all BYU applicants) to assure that the applicants already conform to the standards of the honor code prior to admission and re-enrollment.  The nature of Davies’ violation wasn’t discussed by the university, but Davies, himself, acknowledged the nature of it to his teammates, and physical intimacy (consensual) with his girlfriend was apparently at the heart of the matter.  I can’t imagine that any other NCAA Division 1 university in the U.S.A. would have dismissed Davies on these grounds.  BYU’s expectations of students are incredibly high, and, quite frankly, most late teens and 20-somethings wouldn’t put up with such stringent rules.

I think BYU did the right thing.

Brandon Davies is a much more positive role model than me.  My conduct over the course of my adult life is far more checkered than Davies’ is.  I assure everyone that I approve of Davies’ dismissal knowing full well that, by no means, am I holier than he is.  For me, it boils down to this:  Does BYU excuse a violation by a prominent student-athlete just because they want to win a national championship?  Or, instead, is BYU fair to every student because no student is excused from fulfilling the pledge, not even a star athlete whose name is famous among all die-hard men’s college hoops fans throughout the nation?  The university administration had no doubt in its mind that being fair by holding every single student to the same standard was far more important than a championship.  I think they’re right.

What about second chances?  Doesn’t everyone deserve a second chance?  Sure they do, and life will provide Brandon Davies’ with second, third, fourth, fifth (and so on) chances over the decades to come.  In my own life, I’ve been given many chances for redemption, too.  I don’t know if Davies feels as if his world has crumpled around him or not, but I know that it truly hasn’t.  The world keeps spinning.  The sun keeps rising.  The calendar keeps advancing.  Life’s journey for Brandon Davies can be a very rewarding one, and this moment of his life can become just a blip on the radar.

He just can’t play basketball for BYU right now.

Though he’ll get second chances, the immediate consequences for the violation cannot be circumvented or else the university would be entirely unfair to its whole student body.  The second chances will have to materialize in some other form.  Playing this tournament with BYU is out of the question.

Fairness to the student body, harumph!  What about fairness to the team?  Why should the team be penalized for one person’s infraction that wouldn’t count as an infraction at any other university in the nation?  Is it fair that the BYU team has to adhere to a very different standard than that of all the teams they play against?  So why is it fair to dismiss a player and hurt a whole team because of something that doesn’t matter anywhere else?

This is where it gets political, as it reminds me of one of the reasons I’m not a Libertarian.

The Libertarians I’ve known have repeatedly decried nanny-state governance.  Why should the government tell us not to grow marijuana, or even smoke it?  Why should the government restrict gambling?  Why forbid prostitution when adult participants willingly consent to it?  Why must I wear a seat belt while driving my automobile?  Why should I allow government to make decisions for me and take away my personal liberty just because they believe their decisions are for my own good?  If I make a decision that isn’t for my own good, I could create some trouble for myself, but isn’t that my concern and no one else’s?

Libertarians also decry the tyranny of the majority.  Why should a portion of revenues from a county sales tax be set aside for public transit that so few people actually use?  Why pay property tax to a school district when none of those students are my own children?  Why does city hall, against my own wishes, install speed bumps on our street just because most of my neighbors want them?  And why do zoning ordinances restrict what I can do on my own property just because those ordinances are deemed to be for the benefit of all?  If I don’t agree with the majority opinion, why can’t I opt out?

My response to all these questions is that no human being is an island.

The consequences of what we do does not stop with us.  It ripples far beyond us.  If I create trouble for myself because of my own bad decision, it IS of concern to others, because others are linked to me, and therefore are impacted.

If you choose to be an alcoholic, you might cause the rest of us to have higher insurance premiums. You might collide with me while you’re driving. You might use your money on alcohol rather than the mortgage payments and the resulting foreclosure lower my property’s value.  You might not maintain your property well and and the rest of us neighbors have to contend with the vermin that migrate from your property.  You might get in violent fights with your spouse and disturb the peace in the neighborhood.  You might act inappropriately in front of my children.  You are not the only one who would suffer from your incorrect choices, therefore the law limits your personal liberties regarding alcohol consumption.  The government isn’t just protecting you from yourself.  It’s protecting the rest of us, too.

When laws are enacted in accordance with the will of the majority, opting out would decrease cooperation, which would increase friction, which would disrupt order, which could disintegrate our society into a lawless one.  A disordered, lawless society would only increase individual liberty if one had hegemonic power over others who might stand in the way.  Somalia is a disordered lawless place, but that doesn’t mean that there’s no system of governance.  Government exists wherever people interact together.  If there isn’t a system of laws to govern those interactions, and if persuasion fails to govern those interactions, then force governs those interactions.  That’s why warlords tussle with each other in lawless regions such as Somalia, because governance of interactions is determined by successful physical aggression and cunning.  Opting out can easily lead to a far more malignant tyranny than the “tyranny of the majority” that exists in the U.S.A.

The spillover effects of Brandon Davies’ dismissal from the men’s basketball team at BYU illustrates that the impact of one person’s actions, the exercise of one person’s liberties, for good or ill, ripples beyond self.  Opting out of Davies’ obligations separated him from the community he was once a part of.  Both Davies and that BYU community suffer because of the breakdown of order.

Libertarianism, even in a nation far less ordered than the BYU community, yields these very same consequences, and at several levels of magnitude greater.

Japanese store shelves tell the tale: The time to hoard is long before the calamity strikes

I’m hopping back up on my soapbox again.  I’ve been blogging about preparing your family for catastrophes since 2008.  I’ve racked my brain to pinpoint of a number of ways in which your family can prepare, and put those thoughts on my blog, too.  I’m blogging again to remind everyone that the time to prepare for catastrophe is sooner rather than later.

AP business writer Yuri Kageyama produced this report about consumers throughout Japan, not just in the earthquake/tsunami ravaged zone of northeast Honshu island, descending on stores to buy up all products with any shelf life that could have some use in an emergency. (Hint: Just click on the above link and read the AP article. You need to take a look at it. Got that?)

The scarcity of these consumer goods throughout Japan is hampering the humanitarian relief efforts.  How do you ship survival goods, such as food, water, blankets, batteries, flashlights, tents, sleeping bags, etc., to the victims of the earthquake and tsunami when the unaffected population throughout the rest of the nation has siphoned away all those supplies?  Government officials are urging the public not to hoard, but the public is panicked.

Don’t feel vulnerable in a crisis.  You should have what you need for an emergency now.  If you don’t have it now, when will you have it?  In your hour of need?  And if a natural disaster, such as a house fire or tornado, wipes out your own emergency supplies, won’t you be grateful to your neighbors if they’ve got emergency supplies on hand that they can share with you?  Wouldn’t you be glad you could help out a neighbor if the roles are reversed?  And then, when widespread disasters wipe out the emergency supplies of everyone in the community, wouldn’t you be thankful that humanitarian relief efforts aren’t starved of resources because the population beyond the disaster zone has no reason to panic, since they’re already prepared?

One more thing to keep in mind:  The world economy is fragile.  This earthquake/tsunami disaster has sent seismic waves rippling out into the rest of the world.  If our nation’s economy collapsed (and there’s so much that’s straining our economy and threatening our currency right now), what you already have on hand might be all that you can obtain . . . until an economic recovery ensues.  How long would it take before you can rely on economic recovery to lift you out of your emergency?  Who knows?

No community is immune from disaster.  Don’t bet that it won’t be your family that is calamity-stricken next.  If you haven’t already, get your family ready for emergencies ASAP.

. . . And the walls come tumbling down!

Our economy is a house of cards. Our dollar isn’t backed by gold. It’s fiat money. It’s worth is determined by how much confidence the world has in it. If confidence in the dollar is destroyed, so is the dollar. It just becomes worthless paper at that point.

The politicians in DC and the cheaters on Wall Street and the Chicago Democratic Party machine have brought us to the brink of collapse. The bailouts have done nothing to strengthen the house of cards. Keep mounting card on top of card, and, at some point, the house of cards must fall. It must. So long as there are laws of physics it must fall. Our economy will topple. The only question is when. Which card will be the final one that the other cards can support? Which card will be the one that brings the
walls tumbling down?

Is your family prepared to survive through an economic collapse? I saw a big storm coming back in September 2008, and I think it’s here. Maybe it can be staved off until 2012. I definitely think we cannot get past 2014. But maybe it hits us this month.

Sure, we just elected Republicans to take control of the US House of Representatives, and the two major parties now have checks and balances that will prevent extreme partisan agendas from becoming the law of the land . . . in January, that is. The new Congress takes office in January. But maybe the collapse will occur much sooner than 2014. Maybe much sooner than 2012. It might happen this month. Despite the elections, it’s just too late. The wheels are already in motion. All the Democrats, all the Republicans, even all the Libertarians, all the Greens, all of the Constitution Party, all of the Socialist Party, cannot stop what’s already in motion. It’s a bigger mess than we can handle.

If we suffer a total and complete collapse, all your dollars in your bank accounts become worthless, despite any FDIC guarantees.

Therefore, I hope you have supplies already on hand for your family to depend upon if the worst comes to pass. Right now, you may be holiday shopping, and the sales figures seem to be better than expected, as, perhaps, some consumers have so much pent-up desire to shop that they just can’t keep a lid on it anymore. That’s okay. You might as well shop for tangible items right now if the dollar is going to be worthless later. But while you’re doing that shopping (if you’re one of the fortunate ones who still has an income in this economy), make sure you’ve got at least enough necessities on hand to last your household for at least a month. If you can stash away lots more supplies so that you can be self-sustaining for longer than a month, by all means do so. Preparedness can mitigate your feelings of vulnerability when a crisis arises.

I worry about what predicament our deployed troops might find themselves in if our government becomes insolvent, the financial industry is wiped out, and the currency loses all its value.

There are two things in the news that may possibly cause the dam to break this month. The first is the lame-duck Congress, ramming through the rest of the ill-advised uber-liberal agenda in desperation as the clock ticks down and this session ends.

The second is WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks supposedly has 10,000 pages of documents that they are preparing for posting on the web, and the USA’s financial sector will be the object of the expose.

We saw how WikiLeaks caused a scramble at the Pentagon when documents from the war in Iraq were splashed online. After that, the US Department of State was hit by an earthquake that not only may have irreparably harmed our relations with all other nations, but the field of diplomacy, itself, in every country, is now standing outside naked in a cold winter. If WikiLeaks can derail diplomacy worldwide with just a few documents, what could it do to our financial sector?

I think the documents about the financial sector will be so damaging that all confidence in it will be lost. The collapse here will then cascade all over the globe. The worst hit will be Europe. Europe is already teetering. Africa will be in dire straits because so many of those nations only squeak by because of foreign aid. The Far East owns so much of our national debt, they’ll take a big hit. South America might actually weather the storm the best.

Iceland, the first to become insolvent, and Greece the most recent to become insolvent, are relatively small nations in Europe, but when their governments finally scraped the bottom of the barrel and there was no more money there, it had destabilizing effects on the Euro.

Now it’s Ireland’s turn. Ireland denied for weeks and weeks that they were the next to follow in the footsteps of Iceland and Greece, yet it is coming to pass. The politicians in Ireland who are to blame for it all simply wanted to stay in power as long as they possibly could, thus they tried to pull the wool over the eyes of the Irish as long as they could. Sorry, but the crisis is too big to hide. The European Union is coming up with a plan to put Humpty Dumpty together again with the help of the IMF. It still might not be enough, and Europe will teeter on the brink, the Euro imperiled.

Portugal will likely be next. Their politicians are denying that their government will become insolvent, too. If the rescue of Ireland doesn’t crash Europe, maybe Portugal will.

And after Portugal, Spain is suspect. The politicians of Spain are in denial, also. If Europe managed to hold things together during Portugal’s implosion, that’ll be the end of the line. Once Spain implodes, forget it. The Euro is dead, and the European Union is in a shambles. The more solvent nations will retreat back to within their own borders, because they’ll be hard-pressed to meet the demands of their own public, let alone the demands from elsewhere. When America falls, though, not even the most solvent European nations will be spared the bloodletting.

The IMF won’t be of any help, as its chief backing comes from the United States.

If the United Nations weren’t reeling enough from the WikiLeaks targeting the U.S. State Department, it’s biggest donor, the United States, will no longer be able to fulfill its financial commitments to the U.N. The U.N., itself, hasn’t ever had its financial house in order, so they’ll easily buckle under the weight of the wreckage.

Of course the politicians in Washington DC are just as much in denial about the coming collapse as the politicians in Ireland, Portugal, and Spain are. For one thing, they are complicit in our economy’s troubles, so they really don’t want to believe that it will crash, because then everyone will know it was their fault, and from there, power will slip away from them.

The incoming Congressional Republicans are thinking, “OK, now we can get to work and make things better.” They are naive. It’s already out of their hands. They will be so utterly dumbfounded when everything falls apart. “What? How did it happen so quickly? Just when we were about to make a difference for the better with our best-laid plans, it’s a moot point because we’ve already crashed!”

Obama’s Chicago White House may have been planning to bring about this disaster. What? Sabotage? Yes. The liberals he hobnobbed with in Chicago weren’t your run-of-the-mill latte-sippers. Remember Bill Ayers? He’s only one person. There are many others who have programmed this President to sail this course. These are people who have always clamored for a revolution to overthrow the American government and the Constitution that upholds it.

Some of the wonks in Obama’s close circles have clamored for such things as:

  1. using the “green energy” push to accomplish Marxist objectives of redistributing wealth (“economic justice”);
  2. zero population growth, or perhaps even phasing in a depopulation of the planet;
  3. having a domestic military force that could perform security policing of our citizenry not unlike that of the policing our Armed Forces do on foreign soil, such as in Iraq and Afghanistan;
  4. writing a Constitution that would spell out what the government can and will do for you rather than the current Constitution, which states what the government cannot do, thus replacing limitations with bold initiatives;
  5. use the urban public schools to groom the urban youth to become the watchdogs of political correctness and become a massive voting bloc that will support progressive causes (Bill Ayers, himself, advocated for such “education reforms.”);
  6. denuclearize America so it can set the example for other nations to denuclearize, be the vanguard of peace, send no one out to foreign battlefields, and drastically reduce our military;
  7. use the persuasion of power in manipulating the American public if the power of persuasion doesn’t yield the desired effect;
  8. collaborate with the arts community and the media to amplify the desired message, and discredit sources of dissent;
  9. workers of the world unite to usher in a world government guided by the proletariat;
  10. never let a crisis go to waste, as each crisis must serve to consolidate power, and carefully and intentionally orchestrating the emergence of crises may be very desirable if doing so serves to make the public feel more vulnerable and, by extension, dependent on leadership;
  11. shape public opinion with astroturf if grassroots support for the desired agenda is weak, since those who dissent will feel powerless and offer less resistance if they are made to believe they are in the minority;
  12. it is acceptable to overthrow the government if it interferes with the propagation of progressive principles and policies.

There are other radical ideas bandied about within the circles of Chicago political power, but these give you some flavor of the voices that influence the White House.

On that last point, about government overthrow: it can be accomplished through a quisling that is able to consolidate power, through a manipulation of public sentiment, through gaming the system, through martial law, through weakening the power of the people, through violence (Bill Ayers, again), or through scrapping the existing system of governance by causing it to collapse.

I believe the Chicago White House is advancing on all of those fronts.

I’d like to credit the State of Ohio Blogger Alliance (SOB Alliance) for raising the red flags of warning back in 2008 before the presidential election took place. Many of those on the SOB Alliance blogroll posted a 13-part series collectively titled HOPE ON (Help Ohio Prevent Electing Obama Now). There were detractors that insisted that the HOPE ON series was over-the-top propaganda, but re-reading those posts now, especially the ones dealing with economics, the HOPE ON series has hit the nail on the head.

HOPE ON part 1 Obama is part of the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac problem
HOPE ON part 2 Obama’s reluctance to drill
HOPE ON part 3 Above Obama’s pay grade
HOPE ON part 4 Can the other side of the aisle even be reached from where Obama is?
HOPE ON part 5 Obama requested $740 million in earmarks
HOPE ON part 6 Obama’s stances ill-defined when voting “present”
HOPE ON part 7 Obama not inspiring our trust
HOPE ON part 8 What are Obama’s intentions for the middle class
HOPE ON part 9 Measure Obama and McCain by their character
HOPE ON part 10 Obama will tax us
HOPE ON part 11 What would Ronald Reagan do?
HOPE ON part 12 Obama isn’t just liberal–he’s extremely liberal
HOPE ON part 13 McCain the real deal

Some excerpts that stand out in my mind:

Part 8: Obama has attempted to portray himself as the champion of the middle class, but the windfall profits taxes and the high-bracket income tax increases proposed by Obama will backfire in the form of rising unemployment as the government dampens earning power, not just of individuals, but of employers as well.

Part 10: Obama talk of federal initiatives and taxes make it sound as if the government creates wealth, but the government doesn’t. The people create the wealth of the nation, and tax policy must reflect that, but Obama’s principles don’t even acknowledge that.

Part 12: The Citizens Club for Growth rated Obama tied for last place with a zero rating in Obama’s first year in [U.S. Senate] office.

Part 13:  Obama has revealed himself to be a socialist. We now have the smoking gun. Now that he’s been pinned down, his counter-argument is that McCain’s platform is based on “selfishness,” which is hardly the way I’d describe John McCain when the chips are down.

Also Part 13:  It’s now been shown that Obama’s reluctant shift toward an all-of-the-above approach toward energy was just a sham, as it’s now come out that the regulatory burden to be imposed on the coal industry during an Obama presidency will be prohibitive. How many more industries, not just in the energy sector, could be impacted by regulatory burdens imposed by Obama remains to be seen.

More part 13:  Obama’s views on education reform aren’t directed at learning or achieving academic success. As shown by his work with Bill Ayers, “social justice” is to be the ultimate imperative that the schools are charged with achieving.

What strikes me about the excerpt from Part 8 is that, indeed, we have higher unemployment than anyone had projected, and Obama’s highly complicated tax proposal presented to the Congress ensures that the government’s regulatory burden upon businesses will only increase, plus, of course, he still wants the taxes to be raised on the very people who are more likely to be business owners, and, in turn, businesses are the very entity that hires workers and brings our unemployment rates down.

The excerpt from Part 10 shows that Obama’s government is very heavy-handed and intrusive. We know that government does not create wealth, but that’s exactly what Obama’s meddling with. Government does not make people healthy, but the government is meddling there, too. The rhetoric loftily asserts that we now have a government who will work on your behalf, that will no longer allow problems to be swept under the rug. Aren’t we all just happy that our government will no longer turn a blind eye to anything? Ooh! Big Brother sees what you’re going through and is here to help. Big Brother will interfere (no, not intervene, I chose the right word: interfere) on your behalf. The funny thing is, I don’t think the main motive for transforming our government into Big Brother is to spy on us. I suspect that they are trying to grow the government big enough to collapse the system so that is is scrapped and can then be replaced with a system of their own design.

The Part 12 excerpt about Obama’s voting record during his first year in the U.S. Senate speaks volumes about where we find ourselves today. How far have we come since then? Back then, he stood for zero growth. Now it’s less than zero. His radical philosophy prevents him from wanting to sustain our employment base.

To placate the citizens, of course Obama’s going to say, with his mouth, that he wants to put people back to work. He’s putting obstacle after obstacle in the way of putting people back to work, so we need to wake up and realize there is another agenda afoot. Obama’s agenda is not a jobs agenda.

If Obama’s agenda were a jobs agenda, he wouldn’t:

  • be pushing for Cap and Trade
  • on top of Obamacare
  • on top of a more complicated tax code
  • on top of a tax hike
  • on top of extending unemployment benefits
  • on top of confusion at the Federal Reserve
  • on top of bailouts for America’s least successful most unethical companies
  • on top of subsidies for industries that aren’t sustainable
  • on top of a Dream Act that will add incentives for additional foreign nationals to immigrate here illegally
  • on top of a moratorium on tapping additional oil and coal energy resources
  • on top of compensating government employees better than the private sector does
  • on top of letting SEIU union leaders shape economic policy
  • on top of continued dysfunction at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
  • on top of a mind-boggling budget deficit
  • on top of an unfathomable national debt.

That’s not how you create jobs. That’s how you collapse the system!

The first excerpt from Part 13 includes a link to the radio interview in which Obama emphasizes “economic justice,” which is a progressive’s euphemistic jargon for the rise of the proletariat A.K.A communism.

On energy, in the 20d excerpt of Part 13, the timing of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was impeccable. We knew that Obama wasn’t sold on the all-of-the-above approach to energy, and now he can smile like a Cheshire cat that he has the most perfect of excuses for continuing our dependence on foreign oil and subsidizing “green” fuel technologies that are money pits because none of them are on the pathway toward self-sustainability. If you want to help Americans, especially during the expensive winter heating season, stop throwing up obstacles to getting the cheapest most reliable domestic sources of energy. The agenda is collapsing the system. Everything points to it.

And from the final excerpt of Part 13, it appears that the Ayers-propelled education reforms will, once implemented, groom the youth for their role in the new system that replaces the collapsed one.

The WikiLeaks website founder is on the run right now. He’s given the ultimatum that if he is taken into custody, all the documents at WikiLeaks will instantly go public. That could happen any day now, and Mr. Assange of WikiLeaks will be the “fall guy” whose infamy will be forever memorialized in history books as the one who precipitated the crash of the world’s economy.

When we reach the “What do we do next?” phase when we’re all shell-shocked and feeling vulnerable, Obama, as President of the United States of America, will set forth a new blueprint, the likes of which we’ve never seen before, and when he does, we will finally come to understand what his meaning of the word “transformation” is.

Election results match up well with Buckeye RINO endorsements

Though I said in my prior post that I still wouldn’t be happy though Republicans were projected to do well in Congressional races, I have to say, looking through election results, I’m not sad either.  Their are many reasons to smile.

The candidates I endorsed did reasonably well.

In Cuyahoga County, with the new form of government, the Republican didn’t win the county executive race.  Plus, of the 11 county council winners, only three are Republicans.  I’m not sure if that will put enough distance between the county government and the scandalous rascals who will make every attempt to infiltrate it.  On the bright side, having 3 Republicans in county office is a huge improvement over zero (and it’s been zero for a long time).

The last time I checked, the Erie County Auditor race was too close to call.  There’s still a chance it could turn out the right way, in favor of Rick Jeffrey.

Unfortunately, Jeff Krabill didn’t win the 80th District seat in the Ohio House of Representatives.  He certainly came awfully close, though, as incumbent Dennis Murray didn’t even garner 50% in his successful re-election bid.  A Libertarian candidate, though not a winner, clearly influenced the outcome of that race.  If the Libertarians didn’t have a candidate on the ballot and it were a two person race, I don’t see how Dennis Murray would have been appealing to a Libertarian.  In a two-person race, I think Krabill would definitely have been the one who captured more than 50% of the vote.  Krabill can take solace in 3 facts: 1) He retains his seat on the Sandusky school board; 2) It took BOTH a Democrat AND a Libertarian to defeat him, as the Democrat couldn’t have done it alone; and 3) as a result of the 2010 Census and other Republican election victories, there may be a redesigned district, perhaps a more favorable one, for Krabill to run in if he chooses to take another shot at state rep in 2012.

In another race contested by more than two candidates where the winner captured less than 50% of the vote, the outcome was much more to my liking.  There was a four-way race for Lorain County Commissioner, and Joe Koziura came out on the short end of the stick. 😀  Republican Tom Williams is the new county commissioner.  Starting in January, Lorain County taxpayers will finally have an advocate working on their behalf in county offices.

Skip Lewandowski didn’t win his state rep race in the 56th District, and he would have been an excellent state rep.  Rae Lynn Brady didn’t win in the 57th, either.  On the upside, Terry Boose easily won re-election in the 58th District, Rex Damschroder prevailed in the 81st District, and the GOP recaptured the Ohio House of Representatives.

In the 13th state senate district, Gayle Manning won.

Kathleen McGervey won her election to the state school board.

The Kasich/Taylor ticket uprooted Ted Strickland from the governor’s office.

David Yost won for Ohio Auditor and Josh Mandel for Ohio Treasurer.

The GOP will lead the reapportionment process for designing new legislative district boundaries based on the new 2010 Census figures.

Maureen O’Connor and Judith Lanzinger won races for the Ohio Supreme Court.

Bob Latta won re-election.  Peter Corrigan, Rich Iott, and Tom Ganley did not win, but 5 Ohio Democrat U.S. Representative incumbents (Mary Jo Kilroy, Steve Driehaus,  John Boccieri, Zack Space, and Charlie Wilson) were defeated by Republican challengers, so, in January, the Ohio delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives will include 13 Republicans and 5 Democrats.  As expected, the GOP, nationwide, picked up more than 60 House seats.

Rob Portman won the race for U.S. Senate, and the GOP made nationwide gains there, with at least a net gain of six Senate seats since the special election in Massachusetts that sent Scott Brown to Washington DC.

There you have it.  Lots to smile about this time around.

Congress predicted to be more Republican, but I’m still not happy

Election time is here.

Republican prospects for making gains in Congress appear to be in the offing.

But I’ll still be unhappy with Congress.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m energized about voting.

But I also have a melancholy feeling that won’t dissipate even with Republican control of Congress and the statehouse.

Why?  We Republicans recycle way too much of our garbage.  If I were speaking of environmental issues, you wouldn’t see a problem with that.  No, I’m talking about derelict Republican politicians who resurface in elective office when they didn’t do a good job before the Democratic tide of 2006 rolled in.  Perhaps no example illustrates this better than Jon Husted, who was Speaker of the House back in 2006, and now he’s the Republican candidate for Ohio Secretary of State.  Why is this guy still around?  Did we actually like the job he did and want to bask in those glory days again?  No.  It’s not as if I want O’Shaughnessy to win.  I don’t.  I endorsed the Libertarian, Charles Earl, in that race, but I have no expectation that he’ll come anywhere near winning this election.  I expect Earl’s percentage share of the vote will be in the very low single digits.  My conscience won’t let me offer my support to either Husted or O’Shaughnessy.

Many might say we want some new blood to take the reins of government.  But do we see any new faces?  Senator Voinovich is stepping down, so we’ll get some turnover for that seat, and I expect Rob Portman will win it handily, but is either Portman or Lee Fisher a new face?

Even if a tidal wave sweeps Republicans into power this time around, aren’t these the same guys that have been in the pipeline for about 4 years now?  Were any of them that stellar back in 2006 to say,”Hey, how about recapturing the seat you just lost?”  I think at least some of us, at least me, had been hoping the old guard would concede defeat and some newer faces would emerge to try to give the Republican Party an image makeover.

The best headlines this year were the ones where Tea Party favorites defeated the establishment in GOP primaries.  I’m not 100% on board with the Tea Party (maybe I’m 80% on board with them), but I’m very happy that they’ve become a sizable enough group to do some GOP housecleaning.  Heaven knows we’ve badly needed it.  I wish there were some astonishing Tea Party victories here in Ohio, rather than down in Kentucky, over in Delaware, way out there in Nevada, and all the way up in Alaska.  But I’ll take what I can get.

The Tea Party is really a middle-of-the-road constituency.  Many among them are not hardcore Christian conservatives.  Many are independent voters and ardent supporters of minor political parties.  The mainstream media has it all wrong.  These are not the people on the extreme conservative fringe of the political spectrum.  They are the people that live next door or down the street, or maybe even you, yourselves.

And with that false MSM portrayal of the Tea Party, the establishment has woven a narrative that the Tea Party favorites are too radical, too extreme, to represent the voters.

The word “radical” is used to describe change.  It is a change that is an abrupt departure from what was considered the norm.  I think what the establishment finds so radical about the aspirations of the Tea Party is that the establishment would be replaced by the Tea Party favorites.  There’s nothing really extreme in the ideology.  It’s all about a reluctance to relinquish power.  The crop of establishment Republicans we have before us have pretty much used ideology as just mere words to rally the masses.  They don’t really vote that way as legislators.  As legislators, they enjoy the perks of cutting deals, of being power brokers.  They are drawn to those halls of power for exactly those reasons.  They don’t really do our bidding.  That’s how we end up with a Congress we have a low opinion of.

I’d be in favor of some radical change.

With no favorable track record for the establishment to run on, since they are such hypocrites with all their conservative talk, and a focus on their track record would truly expose their hypocrisy, they have made these elections about the question marks that surround the Tea Party favorites instead of about themselves.  Radical.  Extreme.  Untested.  Inexperienced.  Unqualified.  You are being told that Tea Party candidates are radical and extreme.

In reality, the most radical and extreme thing the Tea Party hopes to do in electing candidates this year is to replace the establishment.  That’s what’s so unappealing to the establishment, is that the Tea Party’s aim is to put the incumbents out of a job, replaced by one of their own.  Otherwise, the establishment Republicans are borrowing Tea Party credos for their own propaganda about what they, themselves, stand for.  If the Tea Party is so extreme, so radical, why are the establishment Republicans echoing exactly what the Tea Party faithful are saying?  Is it just pandering for votes?  Of course it is.  They want to co-opt the Tea Party message for themselves to win enough votes to put them over the top, but those messages really don’t convey what these Republican establishment types are all about nor do they really describe how they govern.

Pure and simple, the charges of “radical” and “extreme” are a last-ditch desperate effort of the entrenched establishment to hold on to power.

What’s worse is that the establishment really thinks that they are entitled to that power.

They’ll tell you that a Christine O’Donnell in Delaware or a Joe Miller in Alaska have no rightful claim to seats in the U.S. Senate.  In O’Donnell’s case, the establishment conceded a November GOP defeat just as soon as the primary election outcome in Delaware was announced.  They took their ball and went home. They gave up.  They quit.

The most perfect illustrations of the establishment’s sense of entitlement are Charlie Crist in Florida and Lisa Murkowski in Alaska.

Former Florida Governor Crist, desperate to remain part of the national GOP establishment that he’d networked with, pulled out of a GOP primary race with Marco Rubio so that he didn’t have to make an early exit.  He’s running as an independent, instead, grasping at anything he can cling to so that he can stick around.

Lisa Murkowski had no intention of an early exit, either.  After a primary election defeat at the hands of Joe Miller, she got back in the race as a write-in candidate.  She’s that addicted to the power she wielded.  She can’t bring herself to walk away.  She is trying to claw her way back into the Senate any which way she can.

Joe Miller and Christine O’Donnell have found themselves ridiculed for episodes from their past.  Should this disqualify them from serious consideration?  Lisa Murkowski may think so, but I’ve been around the block enough to know that all those establishment politicians have episodes from their past that they hope will go unnoticed.  Christine O’Donnell, if she were placed on the scale with some sitting GOP Senator, and the blemishes from each one’s past weighed, would her demerits be any weightier than those already in the halls of power?

Lisa Murkowski, go ahead and point a finger at Joe Miller.  There are four fingers pointing back at you.

I am absolutely disgusted when a sitting politician intones that a challenger is unqualified to be a legislator.  I’m not swayed by their citations of “experience” as a reason to support them over anyone else.

The qualifications for being a Senator are the same as for being a registered voter except for a residency requirement (reside in the state you represent) and an age requirement (over 30 years old).   How could anybody that meets those requirements possibly be unqualified?  And what advantage is it to be an experienced legislator than an inexperienced one?  The more experienced you get as a legislator, the farther removed you are from the constituents you represent, and the closer the orbit around lobbyists becomes as you are exposed to their tempting propositions for a longer duration of time.

It’s okay for legislators to be amateurs.  In fact, it’s the ideal for them to be amateurs.  When amateurs write our laws, they are likely to be more fair to the ordinary people of the United States, because they feel and experience what we feel and experience.  Though it was pooh-poohed by the establishment and the MSM, I thought it was a major selling point when Christine O’Donnell said in an ad, “I’m you.”

Our Constitution has checks and balances built into it to ensure that our nation retains a government of the people, by the people, for the people.  There are the separation of powers between the branches of government (executive, judicial, legislative) to check and balance each other.  The Congress, itself, is structured with checks and balances.  It doesn’t consist of one person issuing decrees.  In the Senate, there are 100 persons and in the House there are 435, so, within each chamber, they check and balance each other, plus one chamber checks and balances the other chamber.  So, if a Tea Party favorite really does turn out to be a train wreck, the damage done is limited.

There are also checks and balances between amateurs and seasoned professional public servants.

The executive branch enforces the laws.  They administer.  A politician who aspires to the executive branch ought to demonstrate some relevant experience.  The resume of an executive branch candidate is highly relevant.  You need someone with a lot of honed skills to be effective in the executive branch, and experience can demonstrate effective skills.

Judges are also professionals.  Their chief qualifications are revealed by their resume.  They interpret the law, review it to insure a law’s fidelity to the Constitution, and deliberate over very complex matters painstakingly set forth in courtroom hearings.  They administer justice and balance the rights of the accuser with the rights of those accused when charges are lodged and suspects brought to trial.

But government decisions made only by professionals would lead us down the path of elitism which gives way to aristocracy which gives way to tyranny.

Voting is not the only check and balance amateurs have upon the professionals.  Though a judge presides over a court room, a jury of amateurs decides the outcome.  Though the executive branch carries out the law, it was intended for amateurs to make them.  Turnover was to be encouraged so that we would have some amateurs arriving with each successive election cycle, while others who’d been in Congress a long time would eventually return to private life.  That’s why elections for the U.S. House of Representatives occur every two years, to encourage such turnover to keep the Congress in touch with the people.  There ought to be no career legislators.  A career in elected political office is only fitting for the executive branch (and the judicial branch, although in the federal government, being a judge is not an elected office).

Yes, I want to show Democrats the door.  I will be voting Republican for the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives.  But I’m not elated that, in many cases, the Republicans poised to capture seats are the same ones we were disenchanted with back in 2006.

Guest blog: Tea Party will not hurt the GOP

Editor’s note:  James Williamson, one of my younger brothers, an Ohio native, but currently residing in Nevada, authored this blog piece and has previously written guest blogs for Buckeye RINO, which you may read here, here, here, and here.  While I’ve often offer election endorsements, it is true that I don’t often make predictions of the outcomes.  I’m more interested in how I think you should vote rather than how I think you will vote. I have offered predictions about trends in economics, foreign affairs, and religion, though. Further, I wouldn’t go out on a limb and say the Tea Party Movement belongs to the Republicans, as independents, Libertarians, moderate Democrats, and those from other minor political parties are welcome to participate in the Party, and have, in fact, participated in significant numbers.  I concede that the public perception may be that a coalition of independents and a splinter group of Republicans (the ones who have “gone rogue”)  are the nucleus around which the Tea Party Movement has coalesced, and that the MSM plays up the dynamics of the interactions between the Tea Party Movement and the GOP, thus portraying the Tea Party Movement and the GOP as joined at the hip.  I think Sharron Angle surprised everyone with $14 million raised during the latest financial reporting cycle, which underscores the assertions that James has printed here.–DJW

TEA PARTY WILL NOT HURT THE GOP

Recently there have been some statements by prominent members of the Democratic Party that tea party candidates will weaken the GOP by placing radicals on the ballot that cannot get elected in a general election.  Don’t be fooled this nothing more than wishful thinking on the part of the Democrats.  There are at least three reasons why the Tea Party candidates will not hurt, but actually may help the GOP’s chances of taking back Congress in November.

1.       The schism within the party isn’t really a schism. Ironically it was the Republicans two years ago who were pointing at the Hillary Clinton – Barack Obama runoff that touched of serious debate (and name calling) within the Democratic Party and tried to say that the Democratic Party was on the verge of falling apart.  No such luck for the Republicans then and no such luck for the Democrats now.  Again, ironically, it was Bill Clinton who tried to calm critics in his own party by saying that there was nothing wrong with having rigorous debate within the party, that it was all part of the political process, and that there was no reason to run around yelling “The sky is falling.”   The same Bill Clinton that is now calling the Tea Party candidates radicals and extremists. Politically motivated or just an astute observer?  I’ll let you decide that.  Despite all the rhetoric, the Tea Party movement belongs in the GOP. It wouldn’t survive in the Democratic Party because it runs against everything the Democrats believe in.  The fundamentals of the movement do strike a chord with Republicans, though, as it would be impossible to win a primary if it didn’t.  The mere fact that the Tea Party candidates are winning GOP primaries is evidence that no third party is forthcoming. After all, it was when Teddy Roosevelt couldn’t win his party’s nomination that he formed the Bull Moose Party.  The Tea Partiers may be upstarts within the Republican Party but they definitely belong to it and the RNC better get used to the idea.

2.       Anti-establishmentarianism is stronger than the establishment wants to believe. It is so strong (and not without reason) that I predict that record numbers of newcomers to Congress will be elected this year.  (I haven’t done the math, but at this point that may not be much of a prediction since there are so many newcomer candidates and vacating incumbents.)  Why else could Sharron Angle be virtually tied with Harry Reid in the polls?  If Angle has no political experience, no money (compared to Reid), and no brains (according to her critics) then why is she running neck and neck with the highest ranking official in the Senate?  The answer is simple:  Voters don’t care about experience and they don’t care how much money you have.  I will make one more prediction on this one (even though the Buckeye RINO doesn’t like to make predictions, I have no qualms about doing so.  I don’t get embarrassed when I’m wrong.):  Money won’t matter this election.  In fact it may actually hurt you come November because you will be viewed as the establishment AKA the enemy.  These are perfect conditions for the Tea Party Movement and without the anti-establishment mood the movement would never have gotten off the ground.

3.        The GOP needed a whipping. As many others have noted, both parties have been swinging wildly left on the political spectrum.  Republicans barely have more fiscal restraint than Democrats.  Even on moral issues there has been a leftward drift.  Some may think that this is a reflection of the change in thought of the public or even simply progress in political thought, but support for the Tea Party Movement refutes those notions.  The public has not shifted to the left. The political elites have. With things out of balance and Washington being ever deafer to constituents, a pull back to the right is necessary to keep things in balance.  I would point out that even in Europe so-called right-wing “extremists” have made a lot of headway in the last decade.

I might even go so far as to say that the Tea Party Movement may actually become what saves our political process and averts outright revolution.  You can only ignore your constituents for so long before they get angry and only so long after that before they go for their guns….  Of course I could be wrong on that count too.  The Tea Party Movement may not be enough to get the blue bloods in Washington to listen and we may need a second American Revolution…

Marcy Kaptur lives in a glass house & throws rocks at Rich Iott

It makes a lot more sense to call U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur an Osama Bin Laden sympathizer than to call GOP nominee Rich Iott a Nazi sympathizer.

Did she really say, in her press release characterizing Iott’s war re-enactments as equivalent to an endorsement of WW II Nazis, “To perpetuate such a twisted and dangerous view of history is outrageous and indefensible?”

Well, let’s step back in time to March 1st, 2003.  The Toledo Blade attributed quotes to Marcy Kaptur from an interview that smacks of revisionism to me.  And, by the way, her take on Osama Bin Laden omits any sympathy toward Jews.  Who is a more clear and present danger to Jews, Israel, and even America, today?  Adolph Hitler or Osama Bin Laden?

“One could say that Osama bin Laden and these non-nation-state fighters with religious purpose are very similar to those kind of atypical revolutionaries that helped to cast off the British crown”

And she said this, too:

“I think that one thing that people of faith understand about the world of Islam is that the kind of insurgency we see occurring in many of these countries is an act of hope that life will be better using Islam as the only reed that they have to lean on.

“I think that people of faith understand that for many of the terrorists, their actions are acts of sacred piety to the point of losing their lives. And I think that people of faith understand that there is a heavy religious overtone to the opposition.”

Do people of the Jewish faith understand and put into perspective the actions of the terrorists from such a sympathetic view?  There are many within the Jewish community who exhibit religious tolerance and do not harbor personal enmity against their Muslim neighbors in America, but I don’t think there are many who would view the terrorists in the same light as Marcy Kaptur does.

From the myriad emails I get from those of the Christian faith, I’d say no, they don’t understand.  Not in the way that Marcy Kaptur understands.  Many don’t even understand my pleas  for religious tolerance on this blog.

To be sure, I have, more than once, called for more religious tolerance, and my plea for religious tolerance extended to Muslims in America.  Check it out for yourself by clicking this link and this link.

But we’re talking about terrorists, not about Muslims in America who obey all our laws.

And if the actions and propaganda of the Islamic terrorists in other parts of the world are couched in terms of “a heavy religious overtone,” what does the heavy religious overtone consist of, and to what end is it purveyed?

Annihilation of Israel?  Annihilation of the largest population of Jews outside of Israel, namely New York City?  Annihilation of America, which terrorists refer to as “the great Satan?”  Aren’t these perversions of Islamic teachings aimed toward such ends?

But Marcy Kaptur made nary a mention of the terrorists’ rampage against the Jewish religion (nor of anti-Semitism, in general) in her interview, nor in her “clarification” a few days later (World Net Daily article from March 8,2003).  She only referenced the religious convictions of the Americans engaged in the Revolutionary War against the British crown and her own Catholicism.  Is this omission tantamount to whitewashing what the terrorists truly stand for and strive for?  You decide.  But read what follows before you do.

In her interview, she was pleading for peace, to take no military action against such an “insurgency we see occurring in many of these countries.”  In the aftermath of the Holocaust, didn’t we solemnly resolve “Never again?”  Don’t these terrorists wish to emulate the Holocaust?

Her remembrance of the history surrounding the American Revolution and the motives of the American colonies’ rebellion is on shaky ground.  This is no benign revisionism.  It is “a twisted and dangerous view of history” when applied to Osama Bin Laden and his ilk.

Massachusetts was a Puritan colony.  Maryland was a Roman Catholic colony, settled by those who felt Great Britain under the Church of England was too religiously oppressive.  Yet there were colonies that were settled in large numbers by the adherents of the Church of England.

The Puritans sought to escape persecution in England by relocating, first to the Low Countries off England’s shore, and, shortly thereafter, in Massachusetts.  But that didn’t mean that the Puritans of Massachusetts championed religious liberty.  Why did Roger Williams leave Massachusetts and take on an important role in the colony of Rhode Island?  Roger Williams wanted more religious liberty than could be found in Massachusetts.

With all these competing religions in the 13 colonies, religious liberty in America had to be hammered out during the framing of the Constitution and its Bill of Rights.  Religious liberty was not achieved by rebelling against Britain in the American Revolution, nor did it instigate the rebellion.  Though Americans had a lengthy list of grievances against Great Britain, heavy taxation without any representation in Parliament was the actual spark that led to the Revolution.

Armed conflict in the name of religion happened in Northern Ireland, in the Christian reconquest of Moorish Spain, during the Crusades in the Holy Land, and in many other places throughout time, but not here on American soil, not even during the American Revolution.

Yet Marcy Kaptur portrayed the terrorists as akin to Revolutionary Americans.  Such revisionist statements, if believed, would evoke sympathy toward the terrorists point of view.  Even in her clarification, though she spoke out against terrorists, she did not abandon this faulty view of history and defended her comparison between the terrorists and the Americans who fought the War of Independence.  Make no mistake, the Islamic Jihads occurring in other regions of the world are not wars for achieving independence.  Quite the opposite.  And with this comparison as the rationale for “peace” with the terrorists, her “twisted and dangerous view of history is outrageous and indefensible.”  If we exit the fight against terror in the name of peace, would peace really flourish under the rule of the terrorists?  There is no peace, whether we fight or not, but the fight against terror serves to protect us.  I think protecting ourselves is a worthwhile endeavor.  I thank God for the courageous women and men in our nation’s military who provide the most important public services rendered by any persons on the government payroll.

Marcy Kaptur further revises history, during her interview, by asserting that the attacks against us were brought about by ourselves.  We bear some blame in the attacks.

” . . . we have to learn to coexist in a world with religious states that we may not agree with and find ways to cooperate.”

Those “religious states” have even more need “to learn to coexist” than we do.  We are at the vanguard of finding ways to cooperate and coexist in the world.  We do better at it amongst ourselves within our own borders than any other country in the world does, and we endeavor, throughout the world, to follow that same ethic.

And further:

” . . . I think this is such an important moment in history is because the United States cannot become the target of the anguish of the dispossessed in the most undemocratic region of the world.”

Two things about that statement bother me.

The first is that we can make ourselves a target of the dispossessed.  Last time I checked, there are more dispossessed in the world who would rather migrate here than who would attack us.  We don’t target ourselves and we don’t make targets of ourselves.  The terrorists who cannot abide democracy choose to target us of their own volition.  We ought not to abandon democracy, not even to avoid being targeted.

The second is that, in “the most undemocratic region of the world,” the dispossessed would do far better to alleviate their anguish by contending against their own tyrants than to contend against us.  They should be seeking to gain their independence from tyranny.

If Rich Iott is a Nazi sympathizer for playing the role in such re-enactments, then whenever anyone stages a revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The Sound of Music,” we should disavow and repudiate the actors who appear as Nazis in that musical as being sympathetic to the perpetrators of the Holocaust.  Hollywood ought to banish actors who play the roles of Nazis in their films for the very same reason.  Kaptur’s reasoning in denouncing Iott on these grounds is a prime exhibit of the politics of personal destruction and character assassination.  There’s no merit to what she alleges.

Kaptur’s posturing against Iott is mudslinging.  Let’s call it what it is.

Apparently, there are Kaptur henchmen who are defacing Iott yard signs with swastikas . . . or are these Kaptur supporters who have gone rogue?  In this Blade article, a Kaptur spokesperson, Mary Chris Skeldon isn’t so convincing in keeping Kaptur distanced from the vandals.

“For him to blame the actions of others on our campaign is ridiculous and a sign of desperation.”

The Kaptur campaign made a ridiculous charge in the first place that associated Iott with swastikas.  Why wouldn’t the Kaptur campaign’s mudslinging be the impetus for such antics?  And isn’t it the mudslinging, itself, a hallmark of desperation on Kaptur’s part?

Kaptur wants this story to be in the headlines rather than issues of domestic policy.  As an incumbent representative to Congress, shouldn’t she want the headlines to be the causes she championed in Congress?  Shouldn’t it be about the legislation she delivered on and the legislation she’d pursue if re-elected?  Nope.  Iott must be polling within single digits of Kaptur.  She stooped this low against Iott, but not against prior contenders that she bested by double digits.

Iott, for his part, has remained focused on issues, with press release after press release talking about reforming Congressional earmarks and reversing downward economic trends.  He’s the one taking the higher road.