It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint

I understand there are many Republicans who supported Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum in the primary who feel Mitt Romney engaged in a scorched earth campaign against fellow GOP but is now treating Obama with kid gloves, relatively speaking. But primary tactics are necessarily different from those for the general.

In the GOP primary, Romney was the perceived frontrunner from the beginning, and therefore, he was taking heavy fire from everyone else in the race. In addition, each primary state campaign was a sprint, while the general is a marathon. The time he needed to make an impact in each primary state was much more limited than it is for the general election in November. Anyone who is frustrated by the perception Romney is too nice now, have patience.

Primary voters are more engaged in the voting process than the average voter. The average voter isn’t really paying a great deal of attention to the race right now. However, the fact that you are reading this, that you found your way to my average-citizen little-nobody blog, indicates that you are much more engaged, involved and informed than average. (Not to say this little blog is all that, but to find me in the boonies of the internet takes a little effort.) Romney doesn’t need to shoot off all his cannons right now, and it would be a bad idea to do so. You don’t want all of the negative information about Obama to be old news in September and October. It may be old news to us, but not to the average voter.

I’ve seen some speculation that Romney may select his Vice-Presidential candidate well ahead of the convention. If he does, it may be for the express purpose of having the VP candidate serve as the attack dog, while Romney stays above the fray. I can see such a strategy working, since Romney does have to fight the mean old McScrooge meme and it could serve him well to “play nice”. This is pure speculation on my part, though, and I may be way off base.

Maybe Romney is just letting the economy speak for him for now. The most recent employment numbers are devastating to Obama. But what is more important than mere numbers is each individual’s perception of the economy. There are few people in this country who don’t know someone who is out of work (perhaps long term unemployed), underemployed, or has given up looking. There are few people in this country who are not aware of the impact of rising gas and grocery prices on their family budget. No matter how much Obama spins the numbers, people feel the impact of his policies, and no matter how much he blames Bush for what he inherited, people increasingly feel the statute of limitations is up and Obama owns the economy after over three years and trillions spent (allegedly) to try to fix it.

After Tampa, after Romney has the national spotlight cast on him in the convention, and the public is engaged, I think we’ll see a far more aggressive campaign by Romney. We’ve seen a preview in web ads by Romney, the RNC, and SuperPACs. From what I have seen so far, it’s really a cakewalk to make Obama look like the inept and irresponsible President he is. It will be brutally effective once the Romney campaign is making huge ad buys in swing states. I think we should take a deep breath, and let Romney run his campaign as he and his advisers see fit. He’s proven he can take out other Republican candidates. I think we’ll see some kick-ass ads on the air once people are paying attention. The Romney campaign has an absurdly wide vein of Obama incompetencies to mine. The broken promises, green crony capitalism, the state of the economy, and possibly the overturning of Obamacare by the Supreme Court will be exploited when the time is right. If needed, I’m sure we’ll see more about Obama’s radical associations and appointees. If by mid-September you don’t see Obama simply eviscerated in TV advertising, come back here and tell me what an idiot I am. In the meantime, hang tight.

Advertisements

Apparently The Ability To Read Makes Me A Far-Right Wingnut Extremist

When did our Federal legislatures lose their reading comprehension skills? Was there a virus going around in 20th century DC that rendered brains (of both legislators and many constituents) incapable of understanding the very clear language of the U.S Constitution and the Bill of Rights? Whatever happened, apparently the ability to read at an eighth grade level makes me a frothing-at-the-mouth, throw-granny-off-a-cliff far-right wingnut extremist.

It’s not that I lack compassion for the poor, the sick, or the elderly, or hate children and education. Aside from the Constitutionality, it’s common sense that families, churches, towns, cities, counties, and individual states are far better equipped to effectively deal with these issues directly without the heavy hand of the Federal government issuing one-size-fits-none mandates.

There are some people who argue that We The People elect our representatives in Congress, and therefore, they should do what voters want, period. If blue state voters want greatly expanded Federal powers and send progressives to Congress and they outnumber true conservatives, then we live in a democracy and the will of the people of is being done, so basically, we the people don’t care about the Constitution, so it should be disregarded.

However, all members of Congress take an oath to preserve and protect the Constitution when they take office. They should respect the Rule of Law and the Constitutional framework we have in place to protect rights and freedoms against both the tyranny of the majority and the tyranny of the minority. And by the way, it’s not democracy, it’s a Republic “if we can keep it”.

Our Founders quite wisely realized that as society changed we might need to tinker with the Constitution, and provided us with the means to do so.

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.

We have successfully amended the Constitution many times. It is admittedly a difficult process to go through, but rightly so. We as a nation should not lightly cede power to the Federal government.

This is just my (radical right wing-nut Tea Party nut) opinion, but if We The People want the Federal government in control of education, healthcare, toilets, lightbulbs, farming, automobile fuel efficiency standards, etc., then we should go through the Constitutional amendment process. And if we as a country are not willing to approve a Constitutional amendment allowing Federal authority in an area, then it remains a right reserved to the States and the People. Simple, right?

As a practical matter, I don’t know how much political will can be mustered to roll back any Federal overreach enacted so far. Far too many have become complacent and accustomed to begging the Federal government for assistance when the States find a matter difficult to deal with. Far too many don’t appreciate the wisdom of our Founders. Far too many just want their handouts.

But it is incumbent on conservatives and Constitutionalists to try to restore respect for the Constitution. It is incumbent on us to elect state and local representatives with the courage to solve problems at the local level without running to the Federal government for help. It is incumbent on us to elect Governors and Attorneys General who will fight back against Federal intrusion into state matters.

I only hope it isn’t too late.

Twittergulag Guide

I know a lot has already been written in various blogs about Twittergulag. But one more can’t hurt.

What is Twittergulag?

Twittergulag is different than Twitmo. Twitmo is just a temporary suspension of your ability to send tweets. It ends quickly. Your posts and follows are not affected. All it means is that you’ve been tweeting fast and furiously and Twitter is telling you to slow it down. Twitmo is no big deal.

Twittergulag on the other hand is suspension of your account. Your tweets disappear while you are on suspension. No one can follow, and you can’t add followers. In fact, your follow lists disappear from your profile. Anyone clicking on your username will be advised that you are suspended. You need to take action with Twitter to try to get unsuspended; it does not happen automatically as is the case with Twitmo.

Prevention

Twitter has various algorithms, all deep dark secrets, that serve to alert them to spammers. Spammers are suspended. You may trip the algorithm quite innocently, by initiating contact with a lot of people in a short time. If you have little original content but are constantly replying to people, so that most of your tweets begin with “@”, it can look like you’re a spammer. New users should take care to post their own original content on a regular basis, to assure Twitter you’re not a spambot. Also, when replying to someone, put text in front of the @mention.

That’s normal suspension. However, you may also be a victim of false spam flagging. This is when a group of people with whom you’ve interacted all block and report you as spam within a short period of time. Enough false spam reports and it’s off to the gulag with you. You need to be vigilant about being baited into a conversation with too many people with whom you disagree over a short time. It’s been rumored that the people doing the false spam flagging delete their own tweets where they’ve reference you, making it look as if you are the one harassing them without reason.

We’re all on Twitter to express our opinions and get the truth out there. We all want to counter the false narratives of the other side. So how can we refute the lies and distortions if we can’t respond to the people spreading them?

If you’re lucky, the matter about which you’re arguing is being identified under a single hashtag or two. Just use the hashtag. Say what you need to say. Feel free to reference a disagreeable user, but don’t address your tweet directly to them. You might want to play it a little safer by not using their user name at all.

For example, instead of replying ‘”@libahole, you’ve been drinking the #stoprush kool-aid” reply “Seems a certain libahole has been drinking the #stoprush kool-aid” or “Hey @libahole, you’ve been drinking the #stoprush kool-aid”.

The false spam flaggers will try to get you replying to many of them in the same tweet. Avoid this at all costs. If you mention several unfriendlies several times, their spam reports will be given more weight. It’s important to remember that spam reports are taken more seriously if there has been interaction. Spam flagging an account where there has been no interaction is not nearly as effective in tripping the spam algorithm as when there has been direct contact.

Help, They Hauled Me To Twittergulag Anyway

Despite your best efforts, maybe a few too many tweets in the heat of a spirited disagreement, you’ve been hauled off to Twittergulag. What to do?

First, file a report with Twitter support. You can’t do this if signed into the suspended account, so sign out, go to Twitter support and file report that your account has been suspended. Next, watch your email for the response from Twitter. You MUST respond to this email to even get them to review your suspension. Explain you violated no terms of service, that you think you may have been falsely flagged for spam, and then, be patient. It takes time for them to get to you. Do not send repeated emails, that just gets you sent back to the bottom of the pile.

Next, get a new account with a different e-mail. Report the suspension using #twittergulag hashtag. There are many concerned fellow conservatives watching this hashtag who will make noise about any unfair suspensions due to spam flag abuse, and are fighting for an end to this kind of abuse of the system. Your new name will get retweeted by many conservatives and you’ll likely pick up new followers. So there is a bright side 🙂

Other Resources

Like I said, a lot has been written and tweeted about Twittergulag. I just wanted to compile some of the most useful tips and tricks I’ve seen and heard about, on Twitter and on blogs.

For more information, I recommend:

twitchy.com/2012/05/21/the-twittergulag-saga-continues-gopfirecracker-suspended-others-still-trapped/

www.redstate.com/goppolitx/2012/05/08/twitter-justice

breittwit.com

counteringsocialismarmy.wordpress.com/2012/05/02/nobody-knows-the-trouble-ive-seen

diaryofdaedalus.com/2012/04/30/conservatives-being-silenced-at-twitter

Happy Tweeting!

The Good Old Days?

For some random reason, a playground ditty from my childhood sprang to mind.

Glory glory hallelujah
Teacher hit me with a ruler
Hid behind the door with a loaded .44
And teacher don’t teach no more

Typical of the 70s. What would happen today? It’s just wrong on so many levels.

At first, it sounds like it might involve religion. That would bring the ACLU down on the school faster than a trial lawyer on a drug with nasty side effects.

But wait, corporal punishment meted out by a teacher? Parents must be called, investigations must be launched, angry mobs caterwauling for the firing of the teacher must be formed. Of course, the union would ensure the teacher would be paid while on administrative leave as the case wends its way through the system.

Yet further outrage would be generated by the threat of gun violence. The student might be suspended or expelled, forced into counseling or alternative school, social media use scrutinized, zero tolerance and bullying penalties applied…

Glad I’m not in school these days. “On top of spaghetti, all covered with cheese…” might not even be safe.

Twittergulag Update

After three accounts being suspended by Twitter, I opened a fourth. And a fifth. With the fourth one, I bumbled around a bit on the twittergulag hashtag, working to find people who might know more about what was going on and how I might get out. The fifth one I chose to remain anonymous except for a select few people. These last two were not suspended at any time, but I was being very careful about who I responded to. I was posting but not brawling with liberals. I was mainly just trying to get my original account back, where I had the most followers.

One might assume my first account, which was the first to be suspended, would be the first to be unsuspended. Curiously, no. My 2nd and 3rd accounts came back, so I still kept on trying to get my main account back, which finally happened in the wee hours of Saturday morning. I think it was ultimately Michelle Malkin and the Twitchy Team that got to the right people to free my primary account, though it could have been any number of people posting and retweeting requests on my behalf. There’s a lot of support out there in the Twitter community for people who are unjustly silenced. I’ll do what I can to pay it forward.

At this point I’ll be careful about too many conversations with too many liberals at once. That seems to be key. There’s a crew that will bait you into extended conversations where others join in, and pretty soon they all block you for spam, tripping the algorithms to get you suspended.

It’s sad to say about the state of political division in this country that there are so few who can debate with civility. I try to. Once you start cussing someone out for their beliefs, at least one of you has lost.

For Mother’s Day

I can’t do my mom justice in a blog entry, but I want to share a little of what made her incredible in honor of Mother’s Day. It’s been 3 years since she passed away.

Jewelers use what they call the 4 C’s evaluate diamonds – clarity, color, carat, and cut. But humans are evaluated by other standards. Compassion. Character. Courage. Convictions. Class. By these standards, mom was a priceless jewel.

Mom was a compassionate conservative long before George Bush thought to coin the phrase for political purposes.

She’s always been passionately opposed to abortion. I haven’t always agreed with her on all aspects of the issue, but I have nothing but the utmost respect for her convictions, because she “walked the walk.” Her compassion didn’t end at birth. Every news story of an abandoned child hurt her heart. She’d have adopted them all if she could have. But she did what she could. Aside from the two children she did adopt – for whom I am eternally grateful – there were four more she and my stepfather tried to adopt, as well as the children she has fostered over the years, and her volunteer work with after-school programs and the battered women’s shelter. Her actions have been consistent with her convictions, something increasingly rare these days.

She grew up in the segregated South. But she had the compassion even as a child to know that the status quo was wrong. She did not adopt the bigotry that was so common in that era, in that region. I always found that impressive about her. Too many people go with the flow and don’t stand up against injustice. She took Martin Luther King’s words to heart, to judge people only by the content of their character, and raised her children to do the same. She never tolerated racial epithets or so-called humor in her presence. She had the courage to speak out against prejudice wherever she found it. She didn’t do so out of any sense of political correctness, but simply because she knew it was the right thing to do.

She didn’t leave all of the south behind. She took the best of it with her in her travels through her life – the kindness, the courtesy, the concern for your neighbors. She knew how to act like a lady. She had class. In some families, you know when your mom calls you by your first and middle name, you’re in trouble. While that was true with us, you knew it was really BIG trouble if mom happened to slip into the mildest of curses – it was that rare. She found profanity a crutch for the unimaginative. And in her own small ways, she tried to make the world a more civil place. I was always both amused and impressed when she’d stand up to some drunk, foul-mouthed yahoos at a football game, to let them know their behavior was inappropriate, especially with children around. And it didn’t matter what side they were on. More importantly, I have always been extremely grateful to mom, and my dad as well, for the way they always handled their divorce in anything involving us kids. None of our special occasions, our graduations, our weddings, etc. were marred by any drama about having both parents and their spouses present, wondering if there might be a scene. They handled things with class, with a mutual respect, and wisdom.

The past few years of her life in particular, my mom was more than just a mother, she was my friend. We had fun on our football weekends, but it came to mean so much more than just the sport. If she and I had met in some parallel universe where she wasn’t my mother, I think we’d still have been friends. But it’s hard to imagine a universe in which I’d be who I am, without her as my mom. One thing I know since becoming a mother myself: When the little voice in my head says “You sound just like your mother”, it usually means I’m on the right track. She taught me to value not only education, but to value knowledge for its own sake, and instilled in me a deep love of reading. I was never encouraged to play games, to dumb myself down, or to be anyone other than who I am. She taught me to be an informed and involved citizen, so much so that my favorite 18th birthday memory was about finally getting to vote – and not be embarrassed about admitting it.

One last thing that I think speaks volumes about Mom. I was profoundly touched by a conversation we had when she was about to start chemo. She wasn’t fearful or self-pitying, though she certainly would have been entitled. No, what was bothering her was that, since she was going to be losing her hair anyway, she had wanted to donate it to Locks of Love. She was disappointed that she hadn’t been able to grow it out long enough to do so. Despite her own suffering, what she was concerned about was the gift she hadn’t been able to give a child she’d probably never meet.

In the end, while her heart may have failed her, it never failed any of us, or the children whose lives she touched. I’m not saying she was perfect. There was only one perfect person. She had her struggles and flaws like everyone else. But she did her best to approach life selflessly, compassionately, and with the best of intentions for her family. We couldn’t have asked for more.

Am I Paranoid, Or Are They Really Out To Get Me?

I’m back. Yeah, it’s been a while.

Was dabbling with the idea of getting this blog back up, and then I got into Twitter a couple of months ago. That really got me interested, because once I started expressing my political opinions on a regular basis again, 140 characters at a time started to get really confining.
I started out mainly enjoying the company of fellow conservatives. I know plenty of people I can argue politics with, Twitter started as a break from contentiousness in other platforms.

While I was quietly reading and discussing conservative and GOP politics, I started seeing a lot of talk about other accounts being unjustifiedly suspended after tangling with liberals.

Inevitably, I got drawn into confrontation with liberals.

I don’t especially care for Rush Limbaugh. I thought his Fluke comments were over the top. I rarely listen to him. I don’t think he’s a good representative for conservatives, because he does get offensive. I am not especially PC, but there are certainly times he embarrasses GOP and conservatives.

But, these Soros-funded astroturf liberal fascists trying to get him off the air by bullying and threatening his sponsors are just too much. The solution to speech you don’t like is more speech, not less. I don’t believe in shutting people down.

The main website where the advertisers are targeted is stoprush.net. The site has a twitterfeed of Tweets using the #stoprush hashtag. So, I started using #stoprush on tweets defending Limbaugh’s right to free speech. Where I saw Limbaugh sponsors being tweeted and harassed for supporting misogyny, racism, blah blah PC BS, I turned and tweeted those sponsors and thanked them for supporting Rush’s right to free speech and encouraged them to stand up to the bullying tactics of the PC tyrants.

Naturally, I encouraged my followers to join me, and some did. So the Twitter feed at stoprush.net often had as much support for free speech and for Rush as they did rants against his sponsors and his content.

I think that’s when certain liberals decided they’d had enough of me. Either that, or the sponsors I tweeted had a problem with me tweeting them. If that were the case, they’d have reported the liberals harassing them instead of thanking them, wouldn’t they? But the #stoprush twits are still out there.

So my 1st Twitter account was suspended. My 2nd was also suspended after a mere handful of #stoprush tweets. I was however allowed to promise to be a good girl and reinstate my 2nd account. But then I got suspended again! So, on to my 3rd Twitter account. Which is still alive. For now. But I am for the moment avoiding #stoprush.

I spent a lot of time, followed a lot of people, thought up a lot of original tweets and funny thoughts, and got retweeted quite a bit. I was having a lot of fun with my first account, got up over 700 followers. Now, gone. When I did nothing to violate Twitter TOS.

Methods used to get conservatives suspended have been covered in other blogs, so I’m not going to get into that. But it’s pretty clear I was targeted because I was interfering with Soros astroturf.

So what to do, what to do? I have some ideas. Revenge is the best revenge. And these f*&^%%s don’t know who they’re dealing with.

In a Nutshell

My attitude about the Roland Burris Senate nomination is pretty simple.

If he didn’t have the political sense to realize that any Blagojevich nomination would be tainted by scandal, he’s way too damn stupid to be a Senator. Granted, we have some pretty idiotic legislators, but really…

Is it that difficult to understand the cloud that will accompany him into office? Does he not realize that if he’d publicly turned down the offer from Blagojevich, he probably would have received it anyway, later, without the baggage? Or won a special election in a landslide for standing up for honor and integrity?

Sad.

Getting Off Politics For A Minute

There was about a month in my life where I was staring my own mortality right in the eye. First I needed surgery, and then I was waiting for the test results. They’d found a rather large ovarian tumor, and anyone old enough to remember Gilda Radner probably knows what that can mean. By the time ovarian cancer causes any symptoms, it has usually spread and is often terminal. They couldn’t tell me before surgery that my tumor wasn’t cancer – they weren’t encouraging at all, really.

Terrified doesn’t begin to describe what I was feeling.

I had almost a month between when I first landed in ER with abdominal pain, and when I saw the doctor post-op, to finally get all of the biopsy and pathology results.

I had almost a month to wonder if I would even see my daughter through to the end of her freshman year of high school, much less graduate high school, college, get married, etc.

I had almost a month to conclude that as challenging as my marriage can be at times, I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat. But I had that same month to mourn the dreams we’d shared for our retirement, when we’d finally have some real time to devote to each other, to really enjoy life.

It’s quite an experience, to stare down your own mortality for an extended basis – to not only see your life flash before your eyes, but have time to contemplate the future that might not be.

This time, mortality blinked first. My tumor was a rare type that looks malignant, but is benign.

I’d like to think I learned something from the experience, other than the need for more regular preventive care and checkups.

It’s pretty cornball, but I try (and yes, sometimes fail) to remember who and what is really important.

I try to be slower to anger and faster to forgive. My pride is a lot easier to swallow these days – I’d much rather lose a little face than lose precious time with loved ones that I’ll never get back.

I may not talk to my parents a lot more often now, but I tell them I love them on every call, something I didn’t used to do.

I’m not perfect, and I’m not a doormat, but the experience gave me some Teflon for the soul. Some things that would have infuriated me or deeply wounded me often just slide off now. I probably have a nice, long life ahead of me now – but what if I don’t? I’d rather choose my battles more carefully, and not waste time on crap that just won’t matter when I am on my deathbed, whenever that may be.

This was all a couple of years ago, but every once in a while, I need to remind myself.

Stop The Hate On BOTH Sides

I part ways with most conservatives on a number of social issues, but I hope I can still be seen as respectful of their religion in the process.

For example, I have no problem at all with gay marriage. If it makes people feel better to call it “civil union” or “domestic partnership” to preserve in their mind the definition of marriage between a man and a woman, it’s reasonable to me. But the fact remains that marriage, to the state, is a contractual commitment and obligation, and any two consenting adults should be able to enter into it, in my opinion. (Standard obligatory disclaimer: By “two consenting adults”, I do not mean a man and his goat, a woman and her twelve year old cousin, or anything other than exactly “two consenting adult” humans.)

However, we cannot let gay rights trample freedom of religion, either. I understand why some opponents of gay marriage fear the slippery slope. The lawsuit recently settled by eHarmony.com, in which they felt forced to provide services for same-sex couples, gives these opponents legitimate reason to be concerned. If a person of faith does not want to perform matchmaking services for unions they morally oppose, it is an outrage that they should legally be forced to do so. Thankfully, as the case was settled and not litigated to the bitter end, it should not set a poor precedent. I hope.

There are plenty of dating and matchmaking services out there that cater to all sexual orientations. I personally find it somewhat intolerant of eHarmony that they wouldn’t provide same-sex services, but I still think it should be their right not to. By the same token, should gay marriage become legal, churches should not be forced to perform the ceremonies. Unlike marriage, freedom of religion is explicitly protected in the Bill of Rights, so state intrusion into the religious sacrament of marriage should be off-limits.

We need more reasonable discussions with mutual respect on both sides, and fewer acrimonious discrimination lawsuits, to maintain the maximum rights for all people. But some groups in society really just need to agree to disagree, and leave it at that.

If you’re gay and a member of a religion that is intolerant of homosexuality, you have a choice to make, not the church. If they’re not allowed to force you to be straight, you are not allowed to try to force them into accepting homosexuality. Sorry. I feel badly for any person in that position, but the rest of the flock has their rights, too. I don’t agree with them either, if it makes you feel any better.

I hope someday the middle 70-80% of the country throw the fringes out on their ear, in order to have a civil and rational discussion on this issue and others like it, without the name-calling and bomb throwing. Until then….