2nd Becomes the ‘It Depends’ Amendment

Dick’s and Dunkleberger’s have decided the 2nd Amendment contains a hitherto unknown age restriction on the sale of rifles. In the future only customers over the age of 21 will be able to buy a scary–looking long gun in those stores.

Walmart, L.L. Bean and Florida also are banking on age discrimination as a civil rights violation understanding judges will be happy to overlook. Or should turning a biased eye meet with too much pushback, our robed rulers will quickly discover a provision hidden between the lines of the Constitution that legalizes a 2nd Amendment age qualification.

Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle

I’m opposed to knee–jerk ageism as currently proposed, but with just a few tweaks to the regime, I could become an enthusiastic supporter. And I don’t mean by limiting the age restriction. Indeed, I want to expand it.

If lawmakers and commercial interests think America would be safer if citizens under age 21 aren’t covered by the 2nd Amendment, I can think of many ways the country would benefit from expanding this philosophy to other portions of the Constitution.

Let’s start with the 1st Amendment. Think how much more mature and less profane culture would be if free speech rights were denied teens and pre–adults. Not being forced to listen to or read about Parkland media darling David Hogg is enough to convince me.

If that overly–opinionated and under–matured agitator for gun confiscation had to wait four years before free speech rights were conferred, it might give him time to cool off and grow up. Emphasis on the ‘might.’

Making free speech privileges a right–of–passage, like one’s first sip of Jack Daniel’s, would immediately eliminate lawsuits regarding obscene t–shirts in schools; along with obscene caps, dress codes, offensive posters, offensive chants, cleavage, yoga pants, thongs, saggy pants, baggy ideology — in other words, the whole works!

Parents and infants who identify as adults will be quick to point out you can’t shut a teenager up. 1st Amendment or no. True, but if under 21s aren’t covered by the 1st Amendment, then they also aren’t protected by case law regarding libel and slander. Add a provision specifying media outlets giving a platform to under–21s are liable for any slanderous or libelous statements and bingo, you’ve got a blackout!

I can’t think of any discussion of a major issue in our past where under–21s have brought new light to the debate. Mucho heat, yes, innovative thinking, no.

Besides spouting off, what other limitations do I want as a price for my support? Voting for one. Raising the voting age to 21 will eliminate all the tired, recycled, thumb–sucking news coverage of ‘the youth vote.’ People start voting regularly when they reach the age of 35. Before that time only a lunatic with a handout — Bernie comes to mind — will motivate youth to put their game controller down long enough to go to the polls.

With any luck a 21–year–old minimum voting age will also end that perpetual money–raising, results lacking racket: “Rock the Vote”.

The 4th Amendment could also use an age limitation. The majority of American teenagers would benefit from a few random locker searches. The same goes for their cell phones and computers. Maintaining privacy at that age is usually a cover for activities parents forbid or discourage. Letting the sunshine in and completely eliminating this misplaced concern for Junior’s privacy, replacing it with a mild sense of paranoia, would go a long way toward reestablishing cultural and moral standards parents and other authority figures have allowed to degrade.

The left won’t agree to my proposal because to a large extent it has already silenced conservatives who are under 21. For that beleaguered class the 2nd isn’t the only ‘it depends’ amendment. Young conservatives have discovered their 1st Amendment rights are conditional, too.

Before his death Andrew Breitbart observed, “Politics is downstream of culture.” Conservatives are living in that fetid marsh today. The left runs higher and lower education. It controls Hollywood, cable TV and broadcast TV. It controls all the legacy networks with the exception of Fox. (There its control is confined to the entertainment side, while the news side skews conservative — for now.)

Music — country, rock and rap — is controlled by Cultural Marxists. Social media is another preserve of the left.

Conservatives are limited to radio, a handful of websites, even fewer publications and Trump’s twitter feed.

Gun ownership is witnessing the same kind of squeeze. During the Obama administration they tried to put an age ceiling on guns by using the Social Security Administration. This year’s goal is an age floor. If they continue to narrow the window, soon the ‘Productive Years’ and the ‘Golden Years’ will be joined by the ‘Gun–owning Years’ as brief periods during an individual’s life.

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Doctors Bury Their Mistakes, Politicians Bury Taxpayers

Obamacare is a typical Democrat, Big Government program: It expands the scope of government, it’s expensive, it’s built on a foundation of lies and it does the exact opposite of what it promised.

A Republican takeover of the Senate this year is our only hope of stopping the hilariously named ACA in it’s tracks.

The latest update on the failures of Obamacare are in my Newsmax Insider column at: http://tinyurl.com/o89ub8x

 

House GOP Doesn’t Listen Any Better than Walmart

New GOPOccasionally the wrong person takes a column to heart.

Earlier this month I wrote that Walmart doesn’t help its PR efforts when the company acts in a manner that only serves to reinforce its reputation as the Simon Legree of retail. (Details here.) In this instance an Ohio store had a display in the employee break room asking for donations to help other Walmart employees that had fallen on hard times during the Thanksgiving & Christmas season.

Asking employees who earn an average of $12.83/hour to contribute to other employees is a touching testimony to the innate decency of the Walmart workforce, but it also calls up unfortunate images of the widow’s mite particularly in comparison with the wealth of the Walton family.

The column concluded with a look at Walmart’s Associates in Critical Need Trust. This is a fund that dispenses up to $1,500 to employees suffering severe financial setbacks. (This does not include a bad losing streak in connection with the Powerball lottery.)

I liked the sound of that, until I learned that once again these donations are no skin off the Walton family’s stock certificates. This trust is funded by voluntary payroll deduction, again from the $12.83/hour employees.

And that’s when problems began at the Shannon household.

My wife announced that unless the Walton family stops being so selfish (they have $144 billion in Walmart stock) and makes a major contribution to the Trust we will be boycotting Walmart. Generally I have no problem with boycotts. It’s an individual decision that uses the market to bring pressure on a merchant. No government intervention required. Colonists did it during the run up to the Revolution.

For taste and political reasons, I never darken the door of Starbucks (homosexual marriage is “part of the corporate DNA”), Caribou Coffee (Sharia–compliant finance) or Chipotle (one of the nation’s leading employers of illegals).

On the other hand I’m also cheap, so I regularly shop at Walmart, in spite of linguistic encounters with Walmart employees that graphically illustrate what retail shopping is going to be like after John Boehner decides it’s safe to grant illegals amnesty.

The wife says Target is going to be the windfall beneficiary of Shannon shopping dollars in the future. But I have mixed emotions regarding that store, too. All too often in the Sunday advertising circular the clothes younger models wear contribute to the sexualization of tweenaged shoppers. Young girls are hard enough to shop for without major retailers urging them to dress like pint–sized Kim Kardashians.

This is not a problem encountered when viewing the frumpy models in a Walmart catalog. I don’t know for certain whom it is wearing those dowdy clothes, but most of them appear to be related to Fred and Ethel Mertz. Regardless of age there are no sex symbols in a Walmart catalog.

Besides the Target food section is mostly full of do–it–yourself yogurt mixes and it is about one third the size of Walmart’s. (Although, credit where credit is due, Target does carry Malt–O–Meal.) I do hate sneaking around behind my wife’s back. The fact that my future secret assignations are with a major retail chain and not a hoochie mama is probably a commentary on the dullness of my existence, but I plan to continue to visit Walmart.

On the other hand I won’t be visiting Republican members of the Virginia House delegation. Last week I wrote about the shameful Boehner/Ryan sellout they tried to spin as a “budget deal.” (Details here.) This capitulation raises taxes (fees), increases spending and negates the sequester.

Ryan is so proud of himself. The good congressman says he’s increased Pentagon spending by $2 billion, which means all the Coffee Colonels there can go back to using the Keurig instead of making do with Nescafe. In return for all this bounty Ryan agreed to let the Democrats increase their spending by $22 billion! That’s an 11 to 1 ratio and we’re on the short side.

GOP apologists talk about future spending cuts contained in the deal, but with these big spenders the cuts always remain in the future, just over the horizon, like a mirage.

You can’t bind a future Congress to a deal made today. Heck this Congress can’t even bind itself. Who do you think negotiated the original sequester?

Now Boehner is flush with positive MSM coverage and has declared war on the TEA party. He’s tired of having Obama hand him his hat, so the great strategist turns on his base. Now maybe Karl Rove will return his phone calls.

At times like this the favorite criticism of the TEA party centers on Senate candidates. The TEA party supported candidates that lost and that cost Republicans the Senate.

Establishment Republicans never foist a loser on the electorate. Just look at the great work being done by President Romney and Senator George Allen. Not to mention that paragon of tanning, Senator Charlie Crist from Florida. All these worthies are (or were, Crist became a Democrat this year) establishment Republicans with the full support of party elders.

The TEA party is not a monolithic closed structure resistant to outside ideas — wait that sounds like Boehner’s cabal — it’s a loosely affiliated collection of like–minded conservatives and tin foil distributors. (Just kidding.)

There is no national body that selects candidates. Local groups support local candidates.

The TEA party–backed candidate lost in Missouri because establishment Republicans in that state utilize a primary system that doesn’t have a runoff if no one gets 50 percent of the vote. That’s how Todd Akin becomes your nominee with fewer than 35 percent of the vote. Akin and his gynecological theories could have never won a runoff. The TEA party candidate would not have survived the primary if Missouri Republicans ran the party like Texas Republicans.

In Delaware, Christine O’Donnell was simply mislabeled. She would have had no problem winning as a Democrat. If Patty Murray of budget deal negotiating fame can win her first race running as “a mom in tennis shoes,” O’Donnell would have had few problems as “a mom who’s not a witch.”

Country club Republicans conveniently overlook the fact that TEA party energy is responsible for Boehner sitting in the Speaker’s chair today.

This wretched budget deal has now passed the Senate where Republicans with primary opponents voted against it as a sop to people like you and me. There was never a doubt as to House passage. If you want to see how your house member voted you can check here and here.

I’m sorry to say the deal passed with every GOP member from Virginia voting ‘yes.’ These Republicans are either too timid to vote conservative or they simply aren’t conservatives.

Regardless of the reason for their failure, I’ll be happily boycotting every one of these politicians until they’re out of office. No money and no votes from the Shannon household and I urge every conservative reading this to do likewise.

This is a boycott every conservative can get behind.

Walmart Encourages Grinch Accusations

WalMart NerdWalmart is a corporation that generates strong opinion. Unions — and their wholly–owned subsidiary the Democrat Party — view Walmart as a rapacious corporation run by brutal overseers whose overriding goal is exploiting the working class.

Many Republican officeholders view Walmart as a corporation run by a bunch of cheap so–and–sos who won’t make large campaign contributions and hire refugees from the Clinton administration.

Unions hold annual protests just prior to Black Friday and attempt to convince millions of shoppers that the largest private employer in the US might have low prices, but it’s only because the corporation harvests employee organs to sell on the black market.

The protests are held nationwide and union employees, rented homeless and liberal voyeurs demand the corporation pay full–time employees a minimum of $25,000 per year. Democrat officeholders show solidarity by attempting to pick the corporation’s pocket with minimum wage laws that give government the power to tell business how much employees should be paid, without government having any responsibility for the bottom line.

It’s vote buying through extortion.

In the Nanny’s Republic of Washington, DC animosity toward Walmart was so high the city council passed a bill amusingly titled the Large Retailer Accountability Act. (I wait in vain for the Bad Leftist Ideas Accountability Act.) The bill would’ve required Walmart to pay 50 percent more than the city’s current minimum wage. In fact the amount was more than the minimum wage the DC government pays its employees!

Fortunately for Walmart shoppers, the mayor vetoed the bill.

So one might ask at a time when Walmart is viewed as a penny–pinching, soulless exploiter of the down–trodden, why would a store manager in Canton, OH arrange a crèche of plastic bins in the breakroom with a sign that read: “Please Donate Food Items Here, so Associates in Need Can Enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner.” I suppose it beats letting them dumpster dive, but the optics are bad.

When it comes time for the 2013 Bad Public Relations Ideas nominations, this will be hard to beat. Why not invite Occupy Wall Street to provide entertainment at the next stockholder’s meeting?

This only feeds the narrative of Grinch–like exploitation that the MSM, unions and Democrats work so hard to tattoo on Walmart’s corporate hide.

Even regular Walmart shoppers have mixed emotions. Just thinking about it conjures up associations with domestic drama in the parking lot, unfortunate fashion choices and dangerously high customer BMI.

Who hasn’t experienced that all too common Walmart shopping experience? You can’t find the item you want and you can’t find an employee to direct you to it. (I just assume all the on–duty workers are either manning the cash register or in back passing the hat.)

Even cemeteries have a higher ratio of employees to customers than your average Walmart store.

Which brings us back to: When there is such a cultural divide in opinion regarding your business, why do something that reinforces the negative side?

In fairness to the manager, the charity display was in the employees–only section and not outside next to the Salvation Army kettle, but regardless of location once the media becomes aware the damage is done.

And sure enough, anti–Walmart organizer Norma Mills, quoted on Cleveland.com, observes, “That Walmart would have the audacity to ask low-wage workers to donate food to other low-wage workers — to me, it is a moral outrage.”

When you compare this to Walmart’s profit in 2012, $17 billion, and the net worth of the Walton family, $144 billion, even the most dedicated shopper can’t help but wonder why the company can’t toss a turkey leg to deserving employees.

Unfortunately, the majority of that profit has been used in recent years to buy back Walmart stock, which is essentially financial onanism that creates nothing and only serves to enhance the value of stock the Walton family owns.

The WaPost had a story about a woman and her daughter who were struggling and homeless much of the time. The Post, as usual, ignores the choice the woman made that created the problem: having an out–of–wedlock child, a sure path to poverty. (This by the way is not blaming the victim. The victim is the child and none of it’s her fault.)

After that bad decision, the woman worked hard to turn her life around. She finally landed a job with the YMCA and found an apartment she could afford on her salary, but she couldn’t save enough for the security deposit.

Management at the Y heard about her problem and instead of asking the towel boys to hold a car wash for her, the Y gave the woman a salary advance and she got the apartment.

In the Cleveland.com story, spokesperson Kory Lundberg defends the company. “This is part of the company’s culture to rally around associates and take care of them when they face extreme hardships.” But that is not completely true. It is part of employee culture, not management culture.

According to Lundberg the company has a program called the Associates in Critical Need Trust. Walmart workers can receive grants of up to $1,500.00 to “address hardships they may encounter, including homelessness, serious medical illnesses and major repairs to primary vehicles. Since 2001, grants totaling $80 million have been made.”

Here’s the problem: Walmart takes credit for the charity and the concern, but it’s paid for by payroll deductions from the workers. Walmart needs to stop dunning employees for this money. The corporation should provide all the funding.

That way the company is really buying into Lundberg’s “culture.”

It is simply good business practice for management to demonstrate real concern for the staff. Putting the corporation’s money where the corporate mouthpiece is will go a long way toward blunting future attacks on the company. And that will help everyone — management, employees and stockholders.

South of the Border, Down Washington Way

Doing business in the US and Mexico has a number of similarities, although the medium of exchange is sometimes different.

Here’s an outrage: sleazy government officials approach a major business interest and want to enter into “negotiations.” The officials casually mention, “You’ve got a nice little business here. It would be a shame if something happened to it.”

Both sides know the business needs permits to operate, current regulations could be changed or delayed and the bureaucracy’s normally glacial pace could begin to approach that of plate tectonics. All it takes is a little ill will on the government side and costs and delays start to escalate for the business side. And there’s no one to complain to for obvious reasons.

The government officials say this doesn’t have to happen. We can all cooperate for “the greater good.” Spend a little money now and it will pay off tenfold in the future. Everybody’s happy. It’s just a cost of doing business in this locale.

Yeah, yeah, you’re thinking: Wal–Mart in Mexico. Old news. The bad guys have already been treed in Bentonville.

But it’s not old news and it’s not in Mexico. It’s how Obamacare was passed in Washington, DC.

The Washington Times reports that internal Obama administration documents just released by House Republicans reveal “those negotiations violated the promises of transparency Mr. Obama made during his 2008 campaign.” Well whoop–tee–do. My question is: why didn’t those “negotiations” violate the law?

Let’s compare the two stories. In “progressive” circles all cultures are relative until a non–union US corporation decides to ‘go native,’ so to speak, and conform to the cultural norms where it’s attempting to do business.

Wal–Mart is now in a heap of trouble for potentially violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Specifically, Wal–Mart is accused of paying “mordida” translated as the “little bite” to local officials. These bribes meant the officials didn’t “lose” paperwork, invent environmental problems or arbitrarily change the rules for building permits in the middle of the process. “Mordida” is a way of life when dealing with officialdom in Mexico, as many US drivers who’ve received a traffic ticket South of the border know from personal experience.

As a result, Wal–Mart’s Mexican division rapidly built stores all across the country and became the fastest growing part of the corporation with one in five stores now located in Mexico lindo.

Now compare that with the Obama administration “negotiations.” The Washington Times reports White House Chief of Staff Jim Messina and health care honcho Nancy–Ann DeParle met with major drug company representatives and told them that if the drug companies didn’t publicly support passage of Obamacare, the administration would demand a 15 percent rebate on Medicare drugs and urge Congress remove the tax deduction for consumer advertising. Times reporters estimate this would have cost drug companies $100 billion over the next decade.

This little problem went away, just like Mexican permit difficulties, when drug companies agreed to changes in Medicaid and new fees that would raise $80 billion to offset Obamacare costs. And drug companies also agreed to spend millions of their own money on an ad campaign supporting “healthcare reform.” As a bonus, druggies also got a new captive market and Obama dropped support for importing cheaper Canadian drugs.

Right here you’ve got your quids and your pro quos. In Texas, Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle, a doyen of “progressive” circles, indicted Attorney General Jim Mattox for fund–raising calls that weren’t nearly as blatant as these “negotiations.” Yet it’s business as usual in the capital as Attorney General Eric Holder spends his time attempting a posthumous indictment of Pitchfork Ben Tillman.

Here’s another similarity between the two cases. In Mexico not one government official went public when Wal–Mart money crossed his palm, which is saying something because even in the District of Columbia’s government you can occasionally stumble across an honest man. And of course Wal–Mart paid because that’s how one gets things done in a corrupt environment.

Similarly, not one White House minion felt the least bit unclean about participating in the Obama protection racket and the drug companies paid because that’s how you get things done in a Chicago administration.

Once you get past the general atmosphere of third–world sleaziness, the really insulting fact is the Mexicans got the better deal!

Wal–Mart is the largest employer in Mexico and it is planning to add an additional 23,000 new jobs. Mexican shoppers have new, modern stores with “everyday low prices” and senior citizens asking if you “want a sticker on that” when you enter the store.

On the other hand, US taxpayers are going to get a health care system that will soon resemble Mexico’s along with ballooning Obamacare deficits and fees the drug companies will pass along to them.

Progressive moralizers passed the Corrupt Foreign Practices Act to protect the third–world from its own culture. When are they going to get around to passing a Corrupt Domestic Practices Act to protect us from “negotiations” like this?