Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Remembering: The Easter Rebellion

April 24, 1916 the Irish Republican Brotherhood is joined by militant socialists in an uprising against British rule. They launched attacks against British government buildings in Dublin and seized the General Post Office.

Their success prompted them to declare Irish independence. By the morning of the 25th, they controlled most of the city.

British response came that evening, and by the 29th the rebellion was no more. It's leaders, who survived, were executed for being traitorous rebels, but to the Irish they became martyrs.

Armed riots continued and in 1921, twenty-six of the thirty-two counties of Ireland won independence. In 1949, they became a totally separate republic. The other six counties, would remain under British rule though.

The Irish Republican Army was formed in the north, and in the 60's civil unrest began. A three way conflict began, as the IRA fought the British army, and Irish Catholics and Irish Protestants fought each other.

Peace talks began in the 90's, but it took til 2005 for a cease fire to happen. Twas then that the IRA pledged to lay down arms, and seek their goals purely through peaceful means.

Til this day, the Easter Rebellion is credited as being the birth of Irish independence.

TSA Takes Stuffed Animal From Little Girl

 So, I'm standing in line, exhausted, and waiting to get through airport security in Charlotte, on my way home from #BLOGCONCLT. For whatever reason, the line seems particularly slow and long. Finally, I got my bin and proceeded to go through the drill: shoes, laptop, watch, jacket--but midway through the TSA strip tease, I glanced over at the next line. A woman was carefully trying to explain to her daughter what was going on.

The girl couldn't have been more than 6, with the kind of perfectly blonde hair that brunettes like me can hardly fathom. She was nodding, listening to her mother but seemed obviously perplexed, on the edge of being frightened. First time flying I suspected.

 She was a trooper. She allowed her shoes to be removed, all the while tightly hugging some kind of comforting stuffed toy. She loosened her grip only enough to take her mother's hand and walk through the metal detector. But of course, it is never that simple.

 TSA Agent: I'm sorry, she can't bring that through.
 Mother: Its just a toy.
 TSA Agent: Ma'am, it needs to go on the conveyor.
 Mother: All right fine. To her daughter. Honey, we need to put your bunny through the machine.
 Little Girl: But its my bunny!
 Mother: I know, it will only take a moment.
 Little Girl: But, but---

 Apparently the injustice was too great for words. To her credit, she did not throw a tantrum or even cry. She just solemnly gave up her bunny to another TSA agent who had stepped up to make sure the stuffed animal was appropriately handed over and searched. The agent then walked back around and ran a quick swipe over the bunny before even putting it on the machine.

 This incident probably sounds tame compared to some of the horror stories about children being searched, the infirm humiliated and general injustice. However, to me, it was a poignant example of how much our "security" has lost touch with reality. The simple image of a girl having her stuffed animal, a symbol which should resonate with so many of us as an item of eternal love and safety, taken from her to be checked for explosives embodies everything wrong with this system.

 I doubt anyone reading this doesn't already feel violated, directly or indirectly, by these procedures. Therein lies the problem, no matter your political persuasion, TSA is universally regarding as having serious problems. STILL.

 In September, a petition was created at We The People, an arm of the White House's online outreach. The petition went live in September 2011 and requested to abolish the TSA. By December it had more than 30,000 signatures, gaining viral support. The rapidly growing number of signatures forced the White House to respond. Their answer? "Thanks for playing along but we aren't actually going to do anything." Only months earlier the White House promised to use these petitions to deal with the issues most important to Americans. But when Americans called them on it, the response was gutless redirection; merely an explanation on why the TSA exists.

 Even Congress tried to take the TSA to task this past March. CSPAN showed the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee admonishing the TSA about their budget. The hearing resolved nothing but the tone of the joint committees was anything but pleasant. Interestingly, right after this brutal review, the TSA rolled out their "PreCheck" program as something "coming soon, we promise!" But based on previous government promises, not only will it not fix anything, the definition of "soon" will transform into a date indeterminate.

 And finally, let's not forget Jonathan Corbett's video showing the straight-up ineffectiveness of the TSA with his blog about the body scanners. (Note: he is going to court involving the TSA now, so consider donating to this guy.) The TSA blog laughed him off, pretty much running him down as just "some blogger". It is the single most commented on post for their blog, with over 400 responses. Not a single one agrees with "Bob" the TSA writer. (It is also worth noting that the TSA blog only let's you see about 10 posts and does not allow you to view previous posts without a direct link. However, the amount SEO connected to that piece will force it to come up in a google search.) Every response to this blog was angry. In fact, I assume this post led to the newly instated TSA policy about deleting "off-topic" comments from their blog.

 This leaves us with only one question left: Why, with this reaction from the public, does the TSA still exist--and what will finally force it to disappear?

Originally Posted at SingleVoice

Blockbuster HQ Moving to Denver

Blockbuster has announced that it will be moving it's corporate headquarters from McKinney, Texas to the Meridian International Office Park in Douglas County, near Denver, Colorado.

The company is offering it's 150 corporate employees, the opportunity to move with them. The average salary is nearly $100,000.

Colorado's Economic Development Commission offered the company $2.5 million in tax credit, over the next five years, if they would make the move.

Last year, when Blockbuster went bankrupt, they were bought by Colorado based Dish Network. Dish is the second largest satellite-TV company, and is planning to expand into mobile broadband as well.

TSA Threatens 4 Year Old For Hugging Grandma

The TSA always seems to find itself in trouble these days. Whether it's feeling up grandma, sharing body scans of people they deem attractive, or threatening small children.

A family was on it's way home from a wedding in Wichita, Kansas, when grandma set off the alarms. Their four year old girl, was scared and ran to grandma, giving her a quick hug. TSA's response was to start yelling at the little girl.

The terrified little girl, did what children do, she tried running away from the scary monster that was now threatening to give her a full body pat down. After the family was dragged into a side room, the little girl still could not stop crying, and would not allow TSA to touch her. TSA officers continued to yell at the girl, demanding she stop crying, so that they could search her.

Having no luck, the TSA officer's called for back up, saying they had an uncooperative suspect. A supervisor came and calmed the situation down, eventually allowing the family back through security. To add to it, TSA sent word ahead that there was a difficult passenger coming through, and so at the their connecting airport they were approached by airport staff. However the employees at Denver, backed right off when they were shown that it was a little girl.

When approached by various media outlets, TSA commented that everything was done correctly by their personnel. They state that the four year old had acted suspiciously so the officers were completely in the right for their treatment of her.

Prepare Your Armor

"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the enemy. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints." Ephesians 6:10-18

Most of you, whether Christian or not, will have heard those words at some point. Few of us, even as Christians, realize the true importance of them. With the armor on every day, you will be better protected not just from spiritual attacks, but human ones as well.

If every day, you are nothing but truth, righteousness, faith, and yet ready to fight with purity then who could ever truly attack you. You would have nothing for their attacks to latch onto. The full armor, is perfect, and has no chinks or holes in it. Spiritually that is incredibly important. The Word of God is listed twice in the armor, showing how important it is in a Christian's spiritual walk.

But there's another way to look at it. As Conservative Americans, we find ourselves in a battle against evil forces that wish to destroy our nation's soul. Christian or not, we need to protect ourselves from the attacks of socialism and the left wing agenda. We can do that by daily being nothing but truthful, righteous, faithful, and ensuring we live in ways that can not be used against us.

Just taking truth alone, look at how much that hurts our enemy. They literally can not handle the truth. Every time the light of truth is shone upon the left, they lose that fight. Truth is their arch enemy, even more so than we are. It is also a key part of your defense. If you're not based in truth, they can use whatever you've been untruthful about, against you.

Righteousness is knowing you are fighting the good fight, you are doing what is right and are fully embracing it. If you're embracing nothing but truth, then you can know you are do the right thing. They just simply go hand in hand. Without righteousness, you're character will be weak against their attacks. If you're strong in righteousness, you won't fall prey to the temptations that trip so many.

We should never want to fight, we should be ready with a gospel of peace. War is an ugly thing. But sometimes it is necessary. And right now we are in one of those times. If we don't fight against the powers of darkness, then they will win. There's a reason a sword is mentioned later. The foundation of a desire of peace is what plants you in the knowledge you're doing what is right. It allows you to stand strong against the enemy's assaults.

The shield of faith is extremely necessary. If you don't believe in the cause, or that we can win, then you've no protection. Without faith in yourself and the Republic, then you'll find yourself cowering in a corner without hope. Faith is what allows you to stand up and take the attacks from the enemy. Because with faith, as long as you've truth and righteousness on your side, you're in the right.

A helmet of salvation on this political battlefield for the US, is your mind free of doubt, lies, or anything unrighteous. It's that clarity that balances with faith to bring peace to your soul.

And now we are to the sword. The sword where you combine all into one, and move from using them to protect yourself, to launching the offensive against those who seek your destruction. If you're a blogger, your blog is your sword. If you're a politician, your speeches and votes are your swords. If you don't have the rest of the armor in place and in use, then your sword won't be worth anything, it'll bend against the enemy. However if you do have all in place, in use, and properly; your sword will cut through any of the enemy's defenses, leaving them unable to attempt the destruction and evils that they seek.