Sunday, January 22, 2017

Be The Change

Wow, has it really been a year since I posted a blog entry?  Doesn't seem like it's been that long, but that's what the date on my last one tells me.  Many things have happened since my last post, some deserving their own entry, but tonight I wanted to write about something that's been weighing heavily on my heart since yesterday.  I know I'm going to get a lot of flack from this, possibly some hurt feelings and negative comments, but I hope that most of you will understand my view point even if you don't accept it.  If you don't accept it, you can do like I spent part of yesterday doing on all my various social media outlets:  hide posts, unfollow, and even unfriending (in very rare cases).

After the inauguration took place on Friday, the sights of the world were set on various cities throughout the world (mostly this country, though) where women gathered to march.  Depending on what you watched, read, or who you asked, the reason was different.  I'm sure most had their own personal purposes, but the main original reason supposedly was to march to support the rights of women.  Now I, as a straight white male, can never claim to know what it's like to be anything but that.  That doesn't mean that I can't be empathetic towards people, feelings, or causes.  But as I saw pictures, as I read posts and tweets, and as I heard broadcasts, I wondered more and more what the hell this whole movement was trying to accomplish yesterday.  Most were in support of women, but others were displaying completely different agendas.  Some wanted to display their thoughts on climate change.  Others wanted to call our new president names.  Yet others unbelievably dressed up in hats or costumes that looked female anatomy.  I wanted to laugh and smash my head with a brick at the same time.  The thought occurred to me that if any aliens were monitoring our transmissions here on this planet, yesterday was not the day we'd want them to have as a snapshot for representation of our people.

At what point does a protest or movement do more harm to their cause than good?  It's one thing for a group of black Americans to link arms and stage a sit-in at a restaurant where they were not allowed to eat.  It's yet a totally different thing for a woman to wear a "pussy hat" (their words, not mine) while yelling that no one has rights over her uterus.  Last time I checked, I don't want any rights over a uterus.  I've seen how much problems women can have with theirs and I wouldn't have any idea what to do with the rights to one.  I will say that I was glad there were no arrests, which is extremely positive compared to the protests that took place on Inauguration Day.  But "pussy hats"??  Come on!  Before you start sending me comments saying, "Shaun, that wasn't the majority of the people.  Most were there peacefully with tasteful signs.", I know that not everyone acted in the garish manner that was being shown all over media.  However, if I'm with a group of people and one of them starts acting like a complete fool, if I don't say anything that makes me look bad by association.  The women there who were trying to be a positive influence and call attention to their cause should have sent those other women packing.

Most of you know that I have a seven-year-old daughter.  She is beautiful, bright, and has a huge future ahead of her.  It is my job to support her, to encourage her, and love her no matter what she chooses to do.  As long as she applies herself, works hard, and stays confident, she can achieve anything.  I am so grateful for her to be alive in the United States in 2017.  There has been no better time in history and no better country ever in existence for her to be growing up.  I look at other countries around the world today and so many women are suffering.  They're forced into marriages from a young age, forced to wear garments from head to toe that cover them up, treated as second or third class citizens.  In some countries, they look favorably upon allowing spouses to beat them as a form of control.  The United States is not a perfect utopia by any means, but it's still the greatest nation on Earth.  We have some work to do to make it even better, but try living in another country anywhere else in the world and have the same rights you do now.  You'll find it's way more difficult elsewhere.  In America, my daughter has an opportunity at a great life.  After a great education, she can go into any field she chooses.  In no other country can you find as many women in high-ranking positions of authority or held in reverence.  My daughter can be a teacher, a lawyer, a self-employed businesswoman, a CEO of a huge company, she can run for AND BECOME President of the United States...or she can be a *gasp* housewife and mom, if she so chooses.  My wife and I are instilling that confidence in her to make her way and make her choices.  It's up to us to do that, not to rely on a movement to gain attention.  If we do our jobs correctly, there would be no need for feminism.  Self-empowerment, self-reliance, a sense of self-worth...those are truly ideals that should be gender-neutral.

I've had the opinion for a long time that one man (or woman) cannot change the world alone, but through being the change they wish to see they can be an example for others.  Eventually that example can lead to change in the world, but it has to start with making yourself the best person you can be.  It's teaching your children how to be the best they can be, too.  It's telling them that their life can be what they want it to be, regardless of what the rest of the world thinks or does.  The chorus from a song called "The Change" by Garth Brooks has been going through my head the whole time while I've been writing this.  "It's not the world that I am changing.  I do this so this world will know that it will not change me."  Gathering with like-minded individuals who share your thoughts, opinions and agendas to call attention to issues in your neighborhoods, towns, states, country, or world can be a great thing, but I'd rather see one person who stands apart from the crowd, working hard to make a difference and not caring what anyone else thinks, just wanting to do the right thing for themselves, their family and friends, and others.  To me, that's REAL movement.  That's REAL strength.  That's REAL change.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Conservatism Works

I heard a quote a while back that has always stuck with me.  The great Winston Churchill once said,

"Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." 

I believe the same could be said for conservatism as a philosophy.  One of my friends on social media posted this link:
While I agree that we all need to be American and remember why this is so great, we who identify as conservatives cannot abandon conservatism.  In response to my friend's posting, here is the comment I left:

There is no "Conservative Party" but there should be.  The Republican Party has conservatives in it, but is mostly dominated in Washington by fence-riding middle-of-the-road moderates and liberal-lite leaners.  Conservatism hasn't failed because it's never been allowed to be 100% implemented.  The progressive RINOs always manage to gain control and work to compromise with the other side of the aisle, which translates to abandoning conservative principles in favor of liberal-friendly policies.  This article even proves what I'm saying, noting that most conservatives fall in line to join the lobbyists and progressives once in office.  Conservatism didn't fail the people in that case...those turncoats failed conservatism.  If conservatives in Washington would stick to their principles, gain momentum & not compromise, you'd see unparalleled success in this country.
I truly believe this.  While I'm still not sure which candidate is going to get the GOP nomination, I think the best one would be the person who proudly, boldly, and unashamedly carries the conservative banner from the very first to the very last second.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

More Debate Thoughts

Against my better judgment, I decided to turn on the Democratic Candidates Debate while I'm checking out various social media outlets.  At first I was just shaking my head here and there at a couple of statements, but eventually I reached the "head explosion" stage.  I'm still viewing but I almost have to disconnect myself from what's being said in order to fully tolerate it.  The same can be said for friends of mine on social media, as well as some of the random tweets I'm seeing.  Every day I find something that makes me shake my head in disbelief.  As I'm watching these three candidates state their opinions to answer (or avoid) the questions proposed by the moderators, I see where they have their differences that make their campaigns unique.  They each have their own agendas that have gained them supporters.  But, at the end of the day, when the smoke clears and the dust settles, there will only be one nominee by the Democrats to run for President.  This is where the Republicans can learn something from the Democrats, as I have said for many, many years.  When it is time for a decision to be made, the voters that identify with the Democrat party will back whomever gets the nomination.  I can't say the Republicans have done or will do the same.  So, having watched the Republican debates and now with watching the Democrat debate tonight while I'm on Facebook, Twitter, and others, I would like to offer some opinions.  Take them as you will, but as they are opinions, I am entitled to them.  I will discuss or debate them as long as the discussions and debates are fact-driven and civil.

To my friends voting for Donald Trump:  please be careful.  I have not yet picked one candidate that I want more than others and I'm not against voting for Trump, but I have my reservations.  He has tapped into a frustration that we, as Republicans, have all been feeling.  We're ready for someone to lead who is not an "establishment" candidate, someone who doesn't need the money from the special interests to get the job done.  Why I'm so cautious about Trump is his willingness to change with the wind.  He's used his own money to back political campaigns on both sides of the aisle depending on who he thought would do the best for his business.  I'm hoping that as president he would see "his business" as the country and do whatever it takes to prosper, but I don't want that to be at the cost of losing our values or by going against those who will vote him in office just because he feels he knows best.  We currently have a president who does what he feels is best for America without listening to the majority and it's getting us nowhere.  I need to see more of a commitment from Mr. Trump to stick to the positions on the issues and policies that have gotten him the lead in the polls thus far.

Fans of Ted Cruz:  I like what I see, but I'm also worried here.  The die-hard Cruz fans I'm friends with or I follow on social media are steadfast against Donald Trump.  Please realize that the main election isn't against Donald Trump.  Yes, Ted Cruz will have to get past Trump at this point to become the nominee based on the polls, but enough of this in-fighting is going to create more problems than it solves.  I'm glad to see Sen. Cruz take the high road when it has come to the shots fired by Mr. Trump, but the rabid fans Mr. Trump has amassed are eating it up, which eggs on the shots even more.  On social media, the Ted Cruz supporters have become almost as angry as the Trump supporters have.  Every day I see a Cruz vs. Trump post and, again, I just shake my head.  I don't see any Sanders vs. Clinton posts because the Democrats realize they have to work together and not tear each other down.  As a side note, I would suggest that you not back down fighting against the "natural born citizen" argument.  If John McCain could run, as well as others in history, Ted Cruz should have the same chance.  I'm not one to play the race card, either, but isn't it odd how someone can call out Ted Cruz in a "birther" scenario for being born in Canada to two US citizen parents but anyone questioning the validity of the questionable Obama birth certificate was an automatic racist?  Seems to me that there's a deep double standard here.

To the supporters of the rest of the Republican candidates:  you're fighting the good fight, but it will ultimately be a losing battle.  I see something I like about everyone that stands on the stage for the Republican debates, but unless something BIG happens that causes the bottom to fall out for Cruz or Trump, those are the two the Republicans will have the best chance with to get in the White House.  I've heard many on talk radio say that when it comes to the primaries and the general election, you should still vote with your conscience, even if it means to write-in someone.  While you can feel better walking out of the polling place, it will be a short victory when you wake up in the morning to see "Sanders Elected President" or "Clinton in the White House Again".  Both of those outcomes will be far worse to deal with than swallowing some disagreements you may have with the Republican nominee to vote for that person.  And before you just decide to stay home and not vote, please remember that's how we ended up with a Barack Obama second term.  God knows I didn't really want Mitt Romney as my candidate out of all that were running, but I agreed with him much more than I did President Obama.  If those who had stayed home had come out and voted for Romney, we may not be in some of the messes we have today.

My friends who are voting for the Democratic nominee:  choose carefully.  Up until I watched this debate, I had only gone off of what I have seen on the news, read on the Internet, etc... Now I get to see first-hand how these candidates are and I am worried for our future, especially for my friends in the Democrat party.  Senator Sanders is very knowledgeable on every topic and speaks with conviction.  The problem is that he's throwing his support behind a failed ideology that has proven time and time again to not work.  He wants to be Santa Claus for every man, woman, and child without realizing that the money has to come from somewhere.  The gap between the poor and the rich has lessened over the years due to the hard work of the lower and middle class trying to raise themselves up.  To have the government step in to "help" that along would be to work against those lower and middle class Americans helping themselves.  It would be taking away the credit they deserve for the hard work they've put in.  I'm not against providing assistance to those less fortunate, but let me make this absolutely clear:  I will NOT let someone in the federal, state, or local government tell me that I have to forfeit my hard earned money to help others because THEY know better where the money should go.  I have a brain and a heart.  Between those two, I think I can decide where my charity funds can be best put to use.  Secretary Clinton is just to the right of Senator Sanders, but she's not far behind on the road to socialism.  One thing she does have that Senator Sanders doesn't have:  a noticeable and very real penchant for lies and borderline criminal activity.  All of the distractions casting doubt on her truthfulness should be enough for anyone to discount her as a candidate.  While Senator Sanders is the "cool" choice of the moment, though, Hillary Clinton is the choice for the beltway insiders that have a (D) next to their name.  They will continue to back her because they feel she has the best shot at pulling the party together for a run at the White House.  Who they should be looking at right now is Martin O'Malley.  I live close enough to Maryland and have heard enough about his taxes to know that I definitely don't agree with everything he does or says.  However, watching this debate I can see that he appears to be the most level-headed of all three candidates.  While he still might have the radical viewpoints they do, he sounds as if he can still be reached via a friendly discussion or debate.  Democrats always talk about someone that can reach across the aisle to get things done.  From where I'm looking, Martin O'Malley would be that guy.  Unfortunately, those in the DNC are too blinded by the fanfare surrounding Sanders or the strong-arming of the Clinton mafia to see it.

I'm hoping that blogs like this will get a good dialogue going, one that's full of facts and has none of the name-calling that so often happens with disagreement.  Most of the time, though, all I usually get is ignored or completely raked over the coals.   It's one extreme of the spectrum or the other.  Regardless of what happens, I'm glad to have the freedom to get my opinion out there.  In some countries, this would be a cause for arrest and punishment.  Here in America, I'm hoping that my voice can be a voice of reason.  I want to be someone that brings up points to make people think, not blindly follow.  Don't automatically believe what the media wants you to hear.  Do some research for yourself and form your own opinions.  We were given a brain to think and make sense out of information we take in.  Hopefully we haven't let that muscle atrophy to the point where we expect someone else to do it for us.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

Thumbing through Twitter this morning I came across an article from Vogue magazine in a tweet that I couldn't help but read because the title was so astounding...

Here's How To Solve the Student Debt Crisis: Make College Free

I read the entire article, trying to keep an open mind, but I can't believe my head didn't explode at many points throughout.  I don't have any student loans myself, but my wife does, so I know what this writer was discussing.  They aren't fun to pay back...but we still are paying them back and the reasons for doing so (besides the obvious legal one) are easy to understand.

When she agreed to accept the loans and take on the debt in exchange for a great education, she knew what she was doing.  She wasn't duped or hornswoggled.  All of the information was laid out before her and she still chose to accept the responsibility because she knew that having that education would give her a better chance at a better career for a better paycheck.  When I married her, that meant that I agreed to share in her debt as much as I would share in her profit.  There are many my age and younger that don't understand that, which is where this article came from, in my opinion.  Our country has developed a culture of entitlement to where some expect that they are entitled to anything and everything...all except the invoice when it comes to paying for it.  It's easy for someone to say that college should be free, but anyone with a mind knows that for something like a college to operate it requires funds.  Those funds have to come from somewhere.

Astra Taylor, the author of the article, predictably points out that Republicans have not made this a campaign issue, but I'd say that's with good reason:  that's because it shouldn't be a campaign issue.  The only reason the Democrats make this an issue is that they want to intervene so the government has yet another way the American people can be dependent.  Every time Bernie Sanders tries to do his best performance as Larry David portraying Ebenezer Scrooge just after his visit with the Ghost of Christmas Future, he is deliberately trying to deceive the American people.  You cannot provide education for free to someone and not expect the money to come from someone else or to just write off the amount.

Basically, it boils down to responsibility.  If you went into a restaurant and ate a meal, you wouldn't expect to walk out of the restaurant, letting the bill for the booth next to you.  Same thing goes with college.  If you're going to get an education, you need to pay for that education.  You shouldn't expect your fellow Americans to pay that for you, nor should you expect the American government to bail you out and just make the debt vanish.  If it's how much a college charges for the education that has you upset, there's a way to fix that.  Again, it's not up to the government to make that adjustment.  Instead, shop around.  Find a college with courses that are affordable.  Once other colleges start seeing enrollment drop due to their high costs, they'll soon get the hint.  If they don't get the hint, they'll eventually find themselves in financial trouble and be forced out of business.  It's the free market system at work.

I'm hoping that one day our society wakes up to realize that we can't get anywhere by expecting someone else to get us there.  WE have to do it ourselves.  I applaud anyone who works multiple jobs to support their families or to pay for an education in order to seek a better life.  It's those people who will appreciate that education even more because they earned it.  Rejecting the drugged air of entitlement and the enablers in Washington to breathe in the air of freedom and self-reliance is what we should all strive to do.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

My Response to Mandy Patinkin

I had thought about making a YouTube video or a Periscope to give my response to actor Mandy Patinkin concerning his comments on ISIS and Ted Cruz, but this is probably my better forum.  Public speaking has never been my strongest area, so I know I could never hope to speak as eloquently as Mr. Patinkin did in his video clip, nor would my goatee match up to the awesome beard he is expertly sporting, so keeping myself off-camera is probably a good move.  For those of you who may not have seen the clip to which I am referring, I will link to it here: and I will also retweet the link on my Twitter page (follow me @nBoEnforcer).

I am a fan of Mr. Patinkin's, especially his role as Inigo Montoya in "The Princess Bride", and I would be lying if I said I was shocked at his comments (Hollywood is well-known for its left-leaning liberal bias).  But I will say that the video was well done.  None of it was inflammatory by any means.  In fact, it was very respectful.  But the views it contains are seen through rose-colored glasses, a vision we unfortunately can't afford at this time.

No one (not even those of us on the evil conservative right) wants an unnecessary war despite what the left and the news media would have you believe.  The problem is that war has been declared on us by ISIS, Al Qaeda, and other organizations that fall under the umbrella of radical Islam.  We didn't ask for it, yet it is here.  As much as we would like to believe it hasn't reached our shores, we know from intelligence that our country is already infiltrated with operatives ready to strike when the time is right.  Those who have been recruited by these organizations and have not grown up knowing the greatness that is America will not be won over by extending a hand of friendship.  They've been raised to believe that we are infidels, that we are Satan and that we must be converted or destroyed.  Hundreds of years of aggression towards anyone who does not follow this brand of Islam has been ingrained in these people to levels that are impossible to reverse by having a conversation.  It's been tried and it has failed.  I wish there was another way, but, as I've said before in other blogs, we are at a point of "us or them".  My family and friends are too important to me to risk being on the losing side of this issue.  I'm sure, Mr. Patinkin, you have friends and family that you would stop at nothing to protect in much the same way.

For those who have joined ISIS that were once American citizens, it becomes an even sadder case.  As Mr. Patinkin mentioned, I wish it was as simple as providing these people with a better opportunity or showing them another way, but I don't think that can help these individuals.  We've become immersed in a culture of entitlement where everyone feels that they're owed something.  To simply GIVE these people a better education, a better job, and a better life would not be doing them any service.  America has always been about the success stories that happen through hard work.  Entitlements ruin that sense of accomplishment and self-worth which accompany the success.  The old adage about teaching a man to fish most definitely applies in this situation.  Those who join ISIS thinking they are accomplishing something or are getting back at someone because life isn't fair just don't understand how this country is supposed to work.  They obviously didn't have anyone along the way to guide them, to show them that there is no such thing as a free ride, and to stress the importance in a job well done by your own two hands.  If these deserters cannot see the error of their ways, they will unfortunately fall into the same category as the other radical Islamists.  We simply cannot let our guard down to the point where we get the rug pulled out from underneath us.

Unfortunately for us, we've been experiencing years of a president who cannot make the tough decisions.  Instead of acknowledging the enemy and doing what it takes to ensure we survive, we have been made more vulnerable and have been demonized in the process.  There are plenty of presidential candidates who understand what is at stake and what must be done to give us a victory in this unfortunate war, but one of the most outspoken and determined of those is Ted Cruz.  He has been unafraid to mention radical Islamists as foes that must be eliminated and what he would do to make that happen, which is what we need if we are to make it out of this mess alive.  We do not need someone that constantly apologizes to the world for what makes us a great country.  Instead, we need a president that points out our strengths and how the rest of the world can follow our lead towards prosperity.  I'm not saying Ted Cruz is necessarily THE person, but he's at least closer than what we have in office now.

A quote from "The Princess Bride" was mentioned at the end of the Mandy Patinkin clip which he uses to point out to Ted Cruz that maybe it's best if we step back from the war business and find another way to deal with ISIS.  I would have chosen a different quote to be highlighted.  To consider dealing with radicalized Islam in any way other than from a position of strength or without a desire to survive is "INCONCEIVABLE!"  And yes, Inigo, it does mean what I think it means.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Us or Them

I know that I'm going to get a lot of grief for this post, but at this point I don't care.  When I write a blog post, I write from my heart and I trust my brain to translate it to words that make sense.  Everything that I write has some sort of significance to me or else I wouldn't take the time to discuss it.  This post is being written because I feel I have a responsibility to myself, my family and friends, and my country to speak up in hopes that others feel the same way.

What happened in Paris a few days ago is something that I think we all saw coming eventually, but we just didn't know where or how soon.  It saddens me that any group exists on this Earth whose sole purpose for existence is to exterminate all who are not like them and to bring about the end of the world.  This kind of thinking is archaic.  Living now in the 21st century, we should all have figured out a place to exist where we don't have to interfere in anyone else's lives, yet groups like this continue to survive.  Fighting in the Middle East has been going on ever since the beginning of recorded history, so it's nothing that surprises us.  Most people here in the West will tell you that it's upsetting that violence continues, but as long as it doesn't affect them and stays "over there", they don't feel they have to get involved.  Well, I'm pretty sure the time for that way of thinking is over.  These barbarians have seen fit to move to other countries to spread their chaos and we can no longer turn a blind eye to what is going on.

ISIS is our generation's version of the Nazis.  Let that sink in for a minute.  Since World War II, we have not seen a group on this planet that has committed as many atrocities.  The reports I've seen about the mass graves, the beheadings, the crucifixions, the other countless gruesome killings...this is not a group that should be taken lightly.  Now they're on the move and starting to bomb in highly populated areas, bringing that destruction to areas outside of the Middle East.  It's only a matter of time before we see it again here on our soil.  We must act.

Now, I'm not saying that immediately overnight we need to take every troop in every branch of the military, ship them over to ISIS-controlled areas, and just mow everything down, but we do need to set some plans in motion that will ultimately end their reign of terror.  The United States has long been the world leader in just about every military operation, but the last seven years has seen that role diminished.  Budget cuts, setting time tables that become known to the public, and ridicule/scorn against soldiers from within the current administration are just some of the obstacles our military has gone through in recent years.  We still have the world's most powerful military, but we're a bit battered and bruised.  An effort against ISIS will take coordination with other powerful militaries, but we must be sure that our country's leaders will not undermine that effort with their apologetic kowtowing and the need to be transparent about operations when nothing else about them is transparent except their own personal agendas and motives.  France has already started without us by bombing some strongholds.  We need to join them and show the world that ISIS will not be allowed to continue.

Another thing that needs to be done is something that France has already done in the wake of the bombings.  It was announced that they have closed their borders until everything can be sorted and security can be more assured.  After all that we've seen and experienced ourselves, why is it so difficult for our country to do the same?  Instead our borders to the north and south remain open to anyone with a will to find an opening to slip through.  In some cases, they don't even need to work that hard.  All that has to be done is join a group of refugees from Syria and you'll be welcomed in to a sanctuary city with open arms.  Many stories are starting to emerge (like this one: ) that prove these waves of people are not being properly vetted.  We cannot allow this to happen on our soil.  "Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses" can still apply to the US, but not without proper processes to ensure who we're letting in.  Back when those words were written there wasn't a threat of radicalized Muslims strapping C4 to their bodies and walking into a crowded square to become a human firework.

I'm sure by writing all of this, I'll be considered a racist, a warmonger, an "Islamophobe", but I assure you none of this is the case.  I wish that none of this was necessary.  The fact is that ISIS is not an organization that will listen to reason.  They want nothing else except for us to either convert to Islam or die.  In most cases, I think option #1 is even off the table for them.  How can you reason with a group like that?  I wish we could.  I wish there was another way so that no one had to die.  I truly wish that if there are actually such people as "moderate Muslims", that they would do everything in their power to denounce these acts and move far, far away from the people committing them, but I know if they do exist that some of them won't survive.  I hate to be in an "us or them" scenario as it pertains to us or ISIS, but I really don't think we have a choice and I know which side I'm pulling for to win.  I've got too much at stake in my life and in this country for us to not put everything behind surviving.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Go Forth for Goforth

As I sat on the stationary bike at the gym this afternoon, breaking news came across the channel I was watching.  Rarely ever an indication of a GOOD news story, I listened more intently and discovered it was even worse than I thought it would be.  I watched the entire press conference as the Harris Co., TX sheriff and district attorney informed us all of the senseless assassination of one of their deputies outside a gas station last night.  Deputy Darren Goforth was killed in cold blood, seemingly just because he was wearing his uniform.  There appears, at this time, to be no other motive.

Stories like this affect me more than they might affect others and they are, unfortunately, happening all too often.  Those of you who know me are probably aware that my father was a Carlisle, PA police officer and my grandmother was a Cumberland Co., PA deputy sheriff.  Although they are both retired now, I can still remember when both were active in those professions.  Thank God we didn't seem to have these types of news stories happening back then or I would have been terrified.  I could easily have been in the position that Deputy Goforth's five-year-old & twelve-year-old children woke up to find themselves in this morning.  I'm glad to hear that the non-profit 100 Club will be providing those children and Deputy Goforth's widow with all the assistance they need, but nothing will replace that missing part of their family.

If there is anything positive that I could find about the news conference, it's in something that the district attorney said and the sheriff reiterated.  "It's time for the silent majority in this country to support law enforcement," Devon Anderson, the Harris County DA, emotionally pleaded.  I couldn't agree more.  I completely understand outrage when a few crooked rogue cops unjustly break the laws they are sworn to uphold, but those are few and far between.  By all accounts I've seen, this deputy was not one of those people.  He was a veteran police officer, loved by family and friends and a credit to the force.  He did not deserve to be executed like this.

Our media and our own speech are protected by the First Amendment and I am a HUGE proponent of it, as well as the rest of our rights, but there is a line of decency that must be drawn.  News shows seemingly thrive on sensationalizing the stories of bad officers, so much so that the good officers in our country are tarnished and become targets of individuals out for vigilante justice and blood.  I'm not saying that the media should be censored, but there needs to be judgment calls of decorum made at some level to say "We will report this as a news item, but we will not augment with opinion, nor will we continue to ram it down the throats of the American public".  Taking this very simple stance across the board, whether it be TV, newspapers, magazines, or online, would go a LONG way to ensure that other officers like Deputy Goforth don't lose their lives.

The shooter is still at-large in the Houston area and as such, I can't comment further on the individual's motive or state of mind, but this does lead me to another issue.  If we do, in fact, find that this person is mentally ill or has a history of mental illness, it would be just another in the growing list of cases that suggest we are WAY overdue for a real dialogue on combating mental illness in this country.  We can legislate all day and pledge to ban as many weapons as exist, but a mentally ill person intent on doing harm to another person will find a way to do it, no matter what you try to ban.  Eliminating all objects from their grasp, they would still probably try to choke someone with their bare hands or stomp them to death with their feet.  Again, I don't know if this shooter was mentally ill, but I would suggest that anyone who commits a violent act like this IS mentally ill to some extent, regardless if they have a history of it or not.  Fighting mental illness may not be able to rehabilitate this person, but it can prevent others from BECOMING this person.

Once the shooter is found...and trust me, the shooter will be found...I hope that the justice system processes the individual swiftly and fairly.  When that person is found guilty, I hope that he (video points to it being a "he") receives the maximum penalty allowed by law, which should be the death penalty in Texas, and that the sentence not be dragged out for months or years.  It amazes me that the same people in our society who wish to abolish the death penalty as a maximum sentence for the most heinous of crimes don't hold the same sanctity for life for unborn children.  Obviously you can infer from that comment that I am pro-life, but some of you probably feel I'm hypocritical for being pro-capital punishment.  You may think that if you wish, but I have a simple explanation.  Unborn children haven't had the opportunity to let us know who they are or who they will become.  They are born into this world with the same choices everyone else has of being who they want to be.  Unfortunately, some like this shooter have made the choice to be a criminal, and not just any criminal, but one who has committed cold-blooded murder.  If there is any shadow of a doubt that this was a premeditated act and not the result of his complete loss of mental faculties, this shooter deserves to be put to death.  This will assure that the person will no longer be able to commit any further acts like this and will also not be stuck for the rest of his life in a cell with no possibility of rehabilitation while being a drain on the penal system paid for by a public that does not feel he is worthy of any sympathy whatsoever.

Not only do I continue to pray that the shooter is found without further incident and that Deputy Goforth's family and friends find a way through this heartache to heal and move on, but I also pray for this country.  An incident like this needs to be a wake-up call that we are headed down the wrong path.  Even if you are not someone who is religious, you see an overwhelming amount of evidence every day that we are losing not only common sense, but a sense of right and wrong.  You don't have to pray to any God to know that going up to an unsuspecting deputy sheriff at a gas pump and unloading multiple shots into him to end his life is wrong under ANY circumstance.  Whether we are witnessing a devolution of humanity or we're just seeing the decline of the Roman empire in its last days repeated here in America, those of us with pulses, brains, and hearts who can see the writing on the wall need to band together and try to reverse it.  It starts with us.

Sometime after you read this, hug your wife, your husband, your children, your grandchildren, a pet, or someone you love and do it memory of Deputy Darren Goforth, who is no longer here on Earth to do so with his loved ones.  Send up a prayer or a positive thought for his family and friends, for police officers in Harris Co., TX and around the world, then give one for the rest of us.  We can use as many as we can get.