The Left’s Wacky View of Church vs. State

image courtesy ChristianHeadlines.com

I try so hard to understand them.  Really I do.

We were discussing the upcoming election — specifically the tight race for North Carolina’s 9th District congressional seat.   I said I was pleased that Mark Harris, a good conservative, was running for the post after beating a wilting Republican insider, Robert Pittenger, in the primary.

“Oh, I could never vote for Harris,” my liberal friend said.  “He’s a pastor, you know!”  She whispered the word as if he were a secret child molester.

Taken aback, I asked what that has to do with anything.  Why can’t a pastor be elected to a public office?  “Oh, I believe in separation of church and state.  It’s in the constitution, you know.” 

“Where in the constitution does it say pastors can’t run for office?” I asked. 

“Well, it doesn’t.  But he shouldn’t be elected, because we need separation of church and state, ” she answered. 

I had to press on.  “The first amendment says the government can’t force any religion on citizens, but it doesn’t say there can’t be any sign of religion in public life.  What do you mean by ‘separation of church and state?'”

“Well, you know, we can’t have religious people who will have an influence on government,”  she said, her mental gears starting to clank.

“Why not?” I countered. 

“Well, umm, you know, they will have influence.” Giving her credit, my leftist neighbor really did like to engage with me on our political differences, but she never seemed to put the brain in gear before letting out the clutch.  “You know he thinks women should be subservient to men!”  The “s” word was whispered again, like it should be a secret just between me and her.

I knew she was referring to the anti-Harris attack ad on television where that one sentence was pulled from one of Harris’ recent sermons.  “Were you in church the Sunday that Harris gave that sermon?”  I asked, knowing she wasn’t.  “Well, I was [different church] and I can tell you that pretty much every pastor in the USA was giving the same sermon on the same day.  It was a special nationwide effort to teach the Bible’s lesson about the relationship between men and women, and the role each plays in marriage.  It was a beautiful message, and very supportive of women.  He was doing his job, like every other pastor that Sunday.  You just reacted to a sound bite clipped out of context.”

“Oh, well I didn’t know that, nobody knows that,” she mumbled.  “But nobody should vote for him because of his Christian influence.”

I was just getting warmed up.  “So it’s only Christian pastors who can’t be elected to office?  What if a Muslim cleric ran for Congress?  Would that be okay?” 

“Well, that’s different . . . ” she started, but was unsure how to defend her apparent bias against Christians. “Separation of . . . “

“Let’s try this,” I continued.  “What harm do you think a Christian pastor could do if elected to a public office?”

“Well . . . influence, er, policies . . . ” she stumbled, looking for a safe space.

“Isn’t that what every elected official does?  Influence policies?  Wouldn’t a teacher influence policies?  Or a farmer?  Or a business person? Don’t you want your representative to influence policies?  Why not a pastor?”

Silence.

I knew what was bouncing around in the back of her head – abortion! abortion! abortion!

“Are you worried about losing the right to kill babies?” I asked.

“Oh, I don’t believe in killing babies,” she wobbled.  “I just think women should have the right to choose.”

“Choose what?  Do you mean the right to choose to kill babies?”  I admit, I was starting to get growly. 

“If you really believe in separation of church and state,” I said, “do you think it’s fair for the government to force a business owner to do something that is against his religious beliefs? Like bake a cake for a gay wedding?”

“Well, um.  I’m going to have to think about that.” 

Mission accomplished, I headed off to coach my grandson’s little league game.  With another liberal friend, the assistant coach.

Sigh.  A conservative’s work is never done.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

The only one who could ever reach me
Was the son of a preacher man
The only one who could ever teach me
Was the son of a preacher man

Son of a Preacher Man – Dusty Springfield



Bull Riders Call Charlotte Arena’s Political Correctness ‘BS’

bull-riderThe bull riders were ready to pack up their saddles and head off toward the sunset.  Even the world’s toughest athletes can only take so much bull***t.

For some reason Charlotte, NC is seeking the title of “Most Politically Correct City in the USA,”  and just can’t seem to stop poking itself in the eye.  This summer Charlotte found its first brush with worldwide fame – not for any positive accomplishment, but for passing a city law that allows men to use women’s rest rooms, locker rooms, or any other private facilities.  And vice versa, although I don’t understand why women would prefer the nastiness of some of the men’s rooms I have encountered.  Anyway, the city law was so stupid that the governor had to step in and overrule it with a state law before things got really crazy, like men choosing to compete in women’s sports, and lechers hanging out in the girls’ locker room at the YMCA.  As a result, the city and state are being blacklisted by politically correct entertainers, athletic event organizers, etc.  But I digress.

Last weekend the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) came to town for the Charlotte Invitational.  If you have ever watched a PBR event, you know that these are the roughest, toughest hombres in the world of sports.  Their idea of Friday night fun is climbing on top of a 2,000 pound animal named Perfect Poison that was specifically bred to be mean as a rattlesnake and tough as a . . . well, a bull – and try to stay on for 8 seconds.  And then not get stomped to death.

These are not the kind of guys who are politically correct.  In fact it would be fair to say they are pretty strong-willed, especially when it comes to love of God and country.

border-patrol-at-charlotte-pbrSo when the manager of the Spectrum Center told PBR head honcho Sean Gleason that he could not have the U.S. Customs and Border Agents present the flag before his event because they carry guns, Gleason threatened to shut down the show.

Gleason wrote on his Facebook page:

“As Federal Agents working in an official capacity, they are not allowed to ‘surrender’ their firearms to anyone, especially a security guard working at an arena in Charlotte, NC!! That included the color guard who were presenting the American flag to our fans for the anthem.  What should have been a two-minute conversation with the GM of the building turned into a 1½ hour runaround involving lawyers and the most insane arguments and reasoning I have ever heard.”

One minute before the event was to begin, the arena manager relented, allowing the Border Agents to enter the arena, albeit with a police escort.

At least half (I think a lot more) of Americans see this kind of lunacy (allowing men in womens’ rest rooms, and not allowing professional law enforcement officers to enter a building with their weapons) and wonder if the other half is drunk, crazy, evil, or all the above.  Thank God there are still some no-nonsense guys like the PBR cowboys who are willing to take a stand against this politically-correct BS.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

Well the one hand hold is all you got
It’s you and the bull against the clock and a cross crowd
And once upon a spinnin’ ton
Nothin’ else you’ve ever done can pull this way

Bull Rider – Johnny Cash

 

Trump: Hillary Does the Hanky-Panky

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Last week Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said, “Hillary Clinton may be the most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency.”

My reaction was, “She’s got some big shoes to fill, there, Donald!”

Politics has always been a dirty business, but for the most part our presidents have been on the up and up.  Some, like Grant, Arthur, Harding, and Reagan were surrounded by corruption but didn’t actually line up at the buffet themselves.

Then Hope and Change happened, and suddenly presidential corruption was elevated to an art form and a lucrative industry.  While presidents have always found ways to reward their friends and supporters, the $800 billion blank check President Obama received for stimulus and recovery packages opened the floodgates for rampant, criminal cronyism.

Getting elected to the top political office in the world takes money.  A lot of it.  And big contributions usually come with expectations of payback.  President Obama did not disappoint.  Peter Schweitzer points out in his corruption expose, “Throw Them All Out”, how ten members of Obama’s 2008 campaign finance committee parlayed $457,000 in contributions into $11.3 billion in grants and guaranteed loans for companies they own and/or direct.  And that was just the tip of the iceberg.

The half billion dollar Solyndra scandal was one of the few crony boondoggles that hit the presses.  According to Schweitzer, there were many more, and larger, that were never publicized:  Solar Trust of America, $2.1 billion. First Solar, $4.7 billion (primary owners include Ted Turner).  Leucadia Energy, $3.5 billion.  Brightsource, $1.4 billion (primary owners include Robert Kennedy, Jr.).

The purpose of the stimulus was to create jobs, but Schweitzer says most of the grant and taxpayer-guaranteed loan money ended up in the pockets of uber-rich Obama campaign donation bundlers.  A $100 million grant to Basin Electric in tiny Beulah, North Dakota created just 8 jobs.  Former Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers loaned $10 million to the National Democratic Convention when the hometown (Charlotte, NC) event ran short of funds.  He was rewarded with environmental waivers and $300 million in grants – a good portion of which was allocated to projects already completed!

Yes, Obama sets the Hanky-Panky bar plenty high for his successor.

But Hillary is no piker.  She sold access and influence to cronies and foreign governments for billions of dollars that were laundered through the Clinton Foundation, even during her tenure as Secretary of State.  As Secretary, she brokered lucrative deals between foreign countries and US corporations in exchange for huge checks.

But unlike Obama, who has no shame about how he distributes the taxpayer’s money and makes no effort to hide it, Hillary goes to great lengths to avoid transparency.  Umm, I mean getting caught.  She removed records of 75 secret meetings with donors when she was Secretary of State.  She set up her own personal email server and deleted perhaps 30,000 messages, putting national security at risk just to hide her Hanky-Panky.  She was paid enormous sums for speeches she made to banker friends on Wall Street.

Meanwhile, Democrats giggle at Donald Trump because he is not raising cash at Clinton’s torrid pace.

After Obama, and with the possibility of a Clinton presidency looming, maybe it would be good to elect a leader who doesn’t have to do the Hanky-Panky to pay back his cronies.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

I never saw her, never never saw her . . .
My baby does the Hanky-Panky!

Hanky-Panky – Tommy James and the Shondells

 

 

 

Joe Walsh Donates All Of His Profit to the ACLU! REALLY! We Believe You, Joe!

joe-walshI’m a rock guitar player.  I grew up riffing to “Funk 49“.  I lived in the Rocky Mountains and reveled in singing along with Joe Walsh’s irreverent “Rocky Mountain Way.”  I always LOVED guitar god Joe Walsh, the goofy leader of the James Gang and the only member of the Eagles who would make sure you got your $50 worth of entertainment from your $150 row 175 ticket.

So now Joe Walsh is coming to Charlotte for a gig!  Woo hoo!  But wait.  I’m not sure his heart is in it.

You see, ever since Charlotte passed a law saying anybody can use any bathroom or locker room or dorm room or sports team or single-sex school they want to at any time regardless of their personal plumbing, and then the state of North Carolina passed a law called HB2 saying, “Wait a minute!  There could be some big problems there!”, concerts in the Tar Heel State have been cancelled left and right.  Bruce Springsteen was first, cancelling his show in Greensboro.   Bruce questioned Governor McCrory’s objection to junior high co-ed showers, saying, “To my mind, it’s an attempt by people who cannot stand the progress our country has made in recognizing the human rights of all of our citizens to overturn that progress.”

Adam Levine, famed judge from the hit TV show “The Voice” and lead singer of Maroon 5, was next to put his ticket sales where his mouth is, saying, “WE FEEL EVERYONE SHOULD BE TREATED EQUALLY.”

That started a “me-too” tsunami of cancellations that included Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas, Pearl Jam, Jimmy Buffett, and even my childhood hero Ringo Starr (arrow in my heart!).  The NBA has threatened to pull the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte due to the raw injustice of HB2.  PayPal decided to not build an office in North Carolina, that horrible place that refuses to let transgendered people pee.  Never mind that PayPal does business in nations all over the world that routinely execute gays.

And then there’s Joe.  “My shows are a place where all are welcome and all can feel safe. This is why I have chosen to proceed with concert dates as planned in North Carolina and will be donating my net profits to Equality NC and the ACLU.”

Um, Joe, can we audit the books?  I mean, I don’t doubt your accounting integrity or anything like that.  I’m sure you wouldn’t overstate your expenses.  Heck, you will probably give the ACLU every single penny of profit you earn from those $150 seats.  I don’t doubt your sincerity at all.  Shoot, you just want to make sure that both transgendered people in Charlotte are treated fairly.  I trust you!

Sheesh.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right SideMy Maserati does 185.
I lost my license, now I don’t drive.
It’s hard to handle this fortune and fame.
Everybody’s so different, I haven’t changed!

Life’s Been Good To Me So Far – Joe Walsh

 

I still love ya Joe, even if you are a total knucklehead.  Watch this AWESOME cut from Daryl’s House.

 

 

 

Mixed Emotions When Mexican Driver Kills Mexican Child And Flees Back to Mexico

photo courtesy Charlotte Observer

I have been following a story in the Charlotte, NC news for several days now which still grips my attention for a variety of reasons.  I find myself wrestling with my reactions to each development, and trying to sort out the implications of the profound change Charlotte, and much of America, has gone through in recent years.

I write this post not to make any particular point, but rather to illustrate how our emotions are manipulated by the politically-correct news media.

The tragedy began when a mother was crossing a street in East Charlotte with her young son and daughter in hand.  The girl let go and darted across the street, and her six-year old brother followed.  He was hit by a beat-up white work van.  The driver, identified by witnesses as “a Hispanic man in his mid-thirties with curly black hair,” stopped briefly, saw the child lying gravely injured on the street, and then sped away.

Like any parent, my first reaction was horror at the sudden death of a child, and sympathy.  Immediately following that was my suspicion and anger that the driver is probably an illegal immigrant.

A year ago Charlotte’s political leaders chose to declare it a “sanctuary city”, one of hundreds  of cities across the country that refuses to turn illegal immigrants, including criminals, over to federal authorities for processing and deportation.  Since then Charlotte has attracted growing numbers of Hispanic illegals, and the crime statistics have tilted heavily in their direction.

In support of the sanctuary city stance, Charlotte news outlets do not identify illegal immigrant criminals as such.   A respected African-American business owner was recently murdered in my Charlotte suburb by a Honduran laborer, and the fact that the killer was here illegally was never reported by the Charlotte press. But since the murder occurred on the South Carolina side of the lake, the Rock Hill (SC) Herald reported that federal immigration and customs officials were involved.

Here’s where the bouncing emotions and questions come in.  My “I’ll bet the driver is an illegal” reaction to the hit-and-run incident probably matches the vast majority of my neighbors. If he is here illegally, the driver likely has no insurance, perhaps no driver’s license.  Even though it was clearly an accident, and the driver is doubtless torn with guilt, his entire life in the USA is clandestine, so he had to run.  I feel sorry for him.  Wait, no I don’t, he fled the scene of a fatal accident.  I noticed that the child’s family is also Hispanic, and I can’t help but wonder if they are also here illegally.  But so what?  The child’s death is no less tragic.  The boy’s family told reporters they want the driver found and prosecuted.  Would the Charlotte police have turned him over to ICE if they had caught him?

The driver has now been identified as Juan Antonio Quintanilla-Garza, and the press will only report that Charlotte police believe he is “out of state.”  The words “out of the country” would be too revealing.  Quintanilla-Garza probably left corrupt, backwards Mexico to try to help his own family.  He became a criminal in the process.

The accident was not caused by illegal immigration.  It could have happened to anyone, by anyone, anywhere.  But it became more than an accident when the driver took off.  And the flood of illegal immigrants to our country, plus the disproportionate incidence of crimes by illegals, plus the inexplicable “sanctuary city” policies that enable and protect illegal immigrant criminals all combine to scramble our emotions into an omelette of anger, fear and frustration.

It’s not about racism. It’s about borders, and security, and economics and enforcing the laws. And in the middle of it all is a dead kid.

What a mess.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

You’re not the only one
With mixed emotions
You’re not the only ship
Adrift on this ocean

Mixed Emotions – Rolling Stones

 

Hey, There’s Another Poor Transgendered Person Looking For A Place to Pee

Gender-neutral-bathroom-signI was walking downtown the other day and saw a really sad thing.  There were transgendered and LGBT people all over the place, frantically looking for a rest room they could use.  I felt so sorry for them and wondered what it must be like to have to go all day without being able to find a place to pee.  It made me feel so guilty, knowing that I was born with “straight-person privilege.”

Then I stopped into a bakery to grab an apple fritter just as the police were hauling the owner off to jail for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a gay customer.  And while I was there, I saw this lecherous sleazebag follow an innocent little girl into the ladies room, claiming to be a woman with a man’s parts.

No wait, that didn’t really happen.  None of it ever happens.  Anywhere.

I have never seen a transgendered person puzzling over where to pee.  I can count the number of transgendered people I have ever seen on one hand, and I have not led a sheltered life.  I don’t know anybody who has ever suffered from a bathroom gender issue, other than the occasional woman sneaking into the men’s room to avoid a long wait in line.  And in my many years of retail business experience, the only incident I know of where a gay person was denied service of any kind is the bakery story that was set up by the Democrats and has been milked to death ever since by the lamestream media.

Why, when the world is so full of REAL problems, does the left insist on stirring up controversy and conflict over situations that don’t exist, or are too ridiculously rare to deserve public attention?  And why does the right think they have to react to these puerile challenges from the left?

North Carolina and Gov. McCrory, you don’t need a law to protect your citizens from something that will never happen.  Why don’t you go to work on cleaning up your sanctuary cities?

Bruce Springsteen and Jimmy Buffett and the rest of you phonies: go sell your $150 concert seats in New York City.  We’ll go down to the pub and listen to some good local music for free.

NBA,  please go ahead and pull your 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte.   Don’t just threaten, do it.  It will save the taxpayers a small fortune.

Democrats, quit making up problems.  Republicans, quit reacting to their nonsense.  Gay people, stop parading on the streets half-naked and acting like idiots.  Straight people, stop harassing gay people, they are not any threat to you.  Everybody just shut up and get back to work doing something that matters.

Problem solved.  No charge.  Miller time.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

Well, I’m not dumb but I can’t understand
Why she walked like a woman but talked like a man
Oh my Lola.
La- la- la- la- Lola.
La- la- la- la- Lola!

Charlotte Taxpayers Get Fouled Again On Stadium Upgrades

photo by LeighSells.com

TIME WARNER ARENA – photo by LeighSells.com

Charlotte won its bid to host the 2017 NBA All-Star game, and already the calculators are overheating.

Last fall Charlotte’s city council committed local taxpayers to $27.5 million in upgrades to Time Warner Arena, enough to persuade NBA commissioner Adam Silver that the Queen City deserves the event.  The city will spend at least an additional $6 million on All-Star Weekend, including a $600,000 hosting fee to the league and another $600,000 in incremental police, fire, and medical costs.

The city of Charlotte shares ownership of Time Warner Arena with the Charlotte Hornets, having paid $260 million of the original construction cost in 2005.  The arena replaced the Charlotte Coliseum, which was built in 1988 and was the home of the Hornets for 17 years before it was demolished despite a public outcry.

About $1.5 million of the cost will be paid from hospitality taxes and the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority is forking over a similar amount.  Mecklenburg County and the state of North Carolina will also be asked to chip in, but the rest of the cost will be borne by city taxpayers.  Hornets owner Michael Jordan, who boasts a net worth of $1 billion thanks to the appreciation in the value of his team, has offered to pay $150,000 of the tab out of concession profits.

Charlotte Mayor pro tem Michael Barnes said, “We have to invest in assets the city owns.”  The city’s somewhat vague contract requires it to maintain a facility that is “among the NBA’s most modern”.  The city council approved the spending on a partisan 9-2 vote.  One of the dissenters, Republican Ed Driggs, thinks the taxpayers are on the receiving end of a flagrant foul.

“Many don’t believe public money should be used to subsidize a for-profit business,” Driggs told the Charlotte News Observer.  “How do we rationalize the terms of this?  We pay all the capital costs and receive no proceeds.  What kind of partnership is this?”

Charlotte taxpayers are still looking for an ‘unnecessary roughness’ penalty flag after the city council gave NFL owner Jerry Richardson $87.5 million for questionable improvements to Panther Stadium.    And the fiscal finish line is nowhere in sight for the uptown money-pit Nascar Hall of Fame, which cost $194 million in public funds and is still losing over a million bucks a year.

The residents of Charlotte own some of the finest sports facilities that money can buy, but most can’t afford to enjoy them, thanks to ever-escalating ticket and concession prices.  The players seem to have more success negotiating with team owners, as evidenced by Cam Newton’s new $104 million contract with the Panthers.

Maybe Charlotte taxpayers need a new agent.

• this article can be seen in its entirety at Watchdog Arena, a sponsor of “Rockin’ On the Right Side” •

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right SideSometimes building ivory towers, sometimes knocking castles down
Sometimes building you a stairway, lock you underground
It’s that old-time religion, it’s the kingdom they would rule
It’s the fool on television, getting paid to play the fool

 The Big Money – Rush

 

I play in a three-piece band on weekends and am occasionally looked down upon by a prospective venue booker who thinks that it takes a bunch of musicians to make good music.  Hmm.  Here’s a pretty darn good little three-piece band: