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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Forget Big Brother, Facebook and Twitter are Watching!

  Usually, this week I would be writing to say Merry Christmas to all of my loyal readers. I still want to do that, but I think I have found something else to say first.
  The whole world it seems has been glued to the Duck Dynasty "controversy". Recently, in an interview with GQ Magazine, Robertson family Patriarch Phil Robertson made some comments regarding homosexuality. A&E, the cable network that carries the most popular reality show on television, promptly put Phil on "indefinite hiatus", whatever the hell that means. Millions of Duck Dynasty fans have come forward on social media not to necessarily defend Phil's comments, although some have, but to defend his right to say them. What he said was based on his beliefs as a Christian, and at least the last time I checked, we still enjoy the right of free speech in America.
  This past weekend, New York based public relations executive Justine Sacco was on her way to her native South Africa when she decided to tweet this little ditty, "Going to Africa. Hope I don't get AIDS. Just kidding! I'm white"! Whether she thought this was cute, funny, edgy, who knows. But what is known is that while Justine winged her way to her native land, that tweet went viral and the hashtag "#HasJustineLandedYet" quickly began to trend on Twitter. Could such a hashtag be interpreted as a threat? Quite simply, yes.
  Here is the problem. If you do not agree with Phil Robertson's beliefs, and you also think what Justine Sacco tweeted was inexcusable, that's fine. God(dess) bless America. What is not fine is the self-appointed Internet Police. It is a phenomenon that has sprung up with the advent of social media. People post comments and/or thoughts, and within a nanosecond, an entire group of nameless, faceless people have deemed what was posted acceptable or unacceptable. No one will condone the senseless disgusting remarks that Justine Sacco made, but within the span of time it takes to fly from New York to South Africa, her life was ruined. Some may say she brought it on herself, but that argument could be made about many things that many of us have said during the course of our lives. Facebook and Twitter allow a certain amount of anonymity. You can use any name you want, create any persona you want. And with that anonymity comes a certain amount of power. But should it be enough power to destroy lives with a keystroke? Justine Sacco's is certainly not the first life to be summarily judged and targeted by the Internet Police.
  So I guess my question is this. Who are these people?! Who do you think you are that you can, with a swipe of your magic wand, in the form of a keyboard, make some one's life miserable?? If you do not share Phil Robertson's beliefs, you have the right to change the channel. What you do not have  the right to do is to silence him. If you do not like what Justine Sacco tweeted, delete it. What you do not have the right to do is to destroy her life for something stupid it took her all of 5 seconds to tweet on the Internet.
  During this Christmas season, maybe one of the things we as Americans should be eternally grateful for, is the right to speak our minds where and when we want. With the acception of Western Europe, and a smattering of countries around the world, no other people on Earth enjoy the right of freedom of speech to the extent that we do. It is so precious, and can be eroded so quickly,
before we know what happened. Let's also remember the men and women all around the world, far from home and their families, who are keeping guard on our freedom of speech, and all of our other freedoms we hold so dear.
  And very quickly, to the Internet Police? Here I am. I will say what I want, when I want, and how I want. If you don't like it, don't read it. If that is a problem for you, then all I can say to you is, bring it.

Merry Christmas from The Conservative Cauldron!          

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

More Random Thoughts

  The next two weeks are always a slow time of year for writers and bloggers, especially of the political persuasion. Congress will vote on the budget bill this week, which is basically just more of the same. For Republicans, it avoids another government shutdown, and subsequently taking the blame for said shutdown. For Democrats, the deal is a two year one, which they believe will let them skate through the 2014 midterms. That is, until Obama care rears its ugly head.
  So I thought, I would just jot down a few things. You know, just enough to skate until 2014. Hey, if Congress can do it....
  First of all, the whole white Santa/black Santa thing. Besides the fact that there are a whole bunch of way more pressing things for the nation to tackle, this whole story has been taken entirely too seriously. Writer Aisha Harris, in her piece for Slate magazine, stated that the media's default portrayal of the jolly fat guy always being white caused her a great deal of pain and confusion as a child, and her suggestion was that Santa be turned into a penguin, so that children everywhere could identify with him. By reading Ms. Harris's piece, I assumed she was being tongue in cheek. If she really did experience such feelings as a child, I think she should be free to share those feelings, but perhaps she should leave out the penguin part if it is in fact an honest, heartfelt true story. Second, Santa Claus, what ever color he comes in, should be a welcoming sight for any child. I don't know of anyone who would have a problem with a black Santa. I certainly would have no problem with my child being bounced on the knee of an African American St. Nick. What is more important than the visual, is the idea. Maybe I am going out on a limb here, but don't most parents, no matter who they are, try to teach their children that Santa Claus is a representation of the Christmas season? He is about more than receiving gifts. He is about giving to your fellow man, and caring about and helping others. I would have to agree, that Santa Claus comes in all colors, because he is all people.
  Another random observation. News came out this week about the latest mass shooting perpetrator at a Colorado high school. Eighteen year old Karl Pierson was described by some fellow students as a "proud Socialist". It seems as though young Pierson has joined an infamous club. These kind of mass attacks at schools and other places, such as the Aurora Colorado movie theater appear to continue to breed copy cats. As the mainstream media contorts themselves into pretzels trying to tie all of these murderers to the Tea Party, and trying to find any sliver of evidence that they might be even slightly right wing, one big similarity is emerging. Not only do these guys have severe mental issues that failed to set off any bells and whistles with family, friends, or co-workers, at least not any that were loud enough, the one thing they have in common is their political leanings. From Pierson, to the Virginia Tech shooter, to Nidal Hassan, to James Holmes, who may have been a volunteer on the Obama presidential campaign, and a supporter of the Occupy Wall Street movement, all had political leanings that were fairly left wing. But you will never hear these facts from the likes of CBS, ABC, or CBS, and so on. Why? Is it to make sure that all Conservatives are painted with the same right wing kook brush? Is it to make sure that under no circumstances what so ever, Barack Obama is never made to look bad, and could not possibly have anything in common with mass killers? Who knows. One thing is for sure. Most of these guys always saw themselves as oppressed, victims, everyone out to get them. Classic Liberal traits.

  Unfortunately, the battle over Santas and Christmas will resume next year. Unfortunately, more of these copy cat shootings will no doubt occur. More than likely, they will occur in those extra special "gun free" zones.
  Kind of makes one wish for some smarmy politicians to write about. Then again, maybe my fellow writers and I should sit back and enjoy the break. Maybe I will pick a color, and go see Santa Claus.         

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A Pattern of Persecution

  Last week, the Obama administration slapped itself on the back after talks between the United States, Great Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany produced a somewhat lopsided deal between the West and the Islamic regime of Iran. While Iran will get a possible $40 billion dollars in sanction relief, the United States and its allies in this deal, get an "agreement" from Iran that they will freeze key parts of their nuclear program, they will cease enriching uranium beyond 5%, and will stop development of the Arak nuclear plant. The U.N. will also get greater access to inspections. There is just one little detail, how are we guaranteed that any of this will actually take place? A great American once uttered these three words, trust but verify.
  But while President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry were all over the place making sure that the rest of the world knew what great Statesmen they were, there was another little deal going, or rather not going on, that flew right under the radar.
  Mojtaba Atarodi is an Iranian scientist, who was arrested in California in 2011 for trying to aid his country's nuclear program by circumventing western sanctions. Saeed Abedini is an American citizen, born in Iran, and a convert to Christianity, and almost certain death sentence in Iran. So what is the problem with this picture? Mr. Atarodi was released under this agreement, while no mention was made of Saeed Abedini, and two other Americans being held by the Iranian government.
  According to the American Center for Law and Justice Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the Obama administration says that they are working on Abedini's and the others release" on the margins". And it is Sekulow who is asking the million dollar question, "Americans are 'on the margins', while convicted Iranian scientists are freed"? He also called it "a betrayal", saying that "Basically, Barack Obama and John Kerry turned their backs on their fellow Americans."
  This would not be the first time for such actions for either one. We can all remember during the 2004 presidential campaign, film of a much younger John Kerry, just back from 4 grueling months in Vietnam, testifying before a Congressional Committee, tossing his fellow soldiers right under the bus, accusing them of all sorts of wartime atrocities. And as for our illustrious President? One word need only to be said, Benghazi.
  Pastor Saeed Abedini had traveled back to his home country before. This time however, he was arrested and charged with compromising national security, but the specific allegations were not made public. He was to serve out an 8 year sentence in Iran's notorious Evin Prison. Last month, he was transferred to the Rajai Shahr Prison, where he will endure even worse conditions.
  There is yet another ominous pattern emanating from this administration. Saeed Abedini is being left to rot in an Iranian prison for his Christian beliefs. The Romeike family, a German family, also Christian, fled their native country because they wanted to home school their children, which is illegal in Germany, and are now facing possible deportation at the hands of Obama, Holder, and Company. What exactly is the Obama administration's beef with Christianity? The President claims to be a devout Christian. Is it a certain kind of Christianity that he feels threatened by? Perhaps it is the kind that is not in accordance with Black Liberation Theology. Is it any Christian doctrine that perhaps might not be heard in the Church of Rev. Jeremiah Wright? We don't really know. What we do know is that an American citizen is being persecuted for his religious beliefs. That should not happen to any American, at home or abroad, and it should be job #1 to get Saeed Abedini and other Americans being held in Iran home to their families.
  As of today, the ACLJ must rely on Europe to assist with Pastor Saeed's release. Is President Obama so willing to sacrifice a basic American, no human right, in order to make sure that Iran's Islamic regime is happy? If so, what or who will be sacrificed next?

To find out more about Pastor Saeed Abedini and his case, go to