A Muslim president?

One of the leading Republican nominees for 2016, Dr. Ben Carson, created quite a stir last week when he said during a television interview that a person of the Muslim faith should not be the president of the United States. In all fairness to Dr. Carson, he later clarified and went into better detail about what he meant by his statement. Nevertheless, this is a particular topic that made me think; would I support a Muslim candidate for president who has super ideas about how to fix the economy, create jobs, is a strong leader and appears to be the answer to what this country needs?

To generalize any type of faith as being unfit to hold the office of the president is really being a bit ridiculous. There are many strong Muslim leaders in our country who are very successful, bright individuals who are more than capable of being good presidents. A person does not necessarily have to be a strong devout Christian to be able to run this country. Just look at Jimmy Carter, here is a guy with strong Christian beliefs who turned out to be a lousy president, one of the worst this country has ever seen. I believe a person who practices any type of faith as a United States citizen should not be eliminated for consideration of being president.

Having said those things, suppose some Muslim candidate decided to run for the president of the United States who wanted to instill Sharia law in this country and eliminate the United States constitution. This is why I am very leary of supporting a Muslim candidate for the president. If that scenario happens to occur, I would move to Canada in a heartbeat! Many of our rights that have made our country such a great country to live in for so many years would be totally gone. Women would be treated as second class citizens. Gays and lesbians would face prison and possible death under Sharia law. A  Muslim running for office could say all the right things during his or her campaign speech and get people sucked in before they start to transform the country. Imagine the anger in this country if some president decided to install Sharia law in this country? It would be this country’s worst nightmare! Under Islamic law, people of other faiths need to change their faith to Islam or face death. How is that going to work out when a majority of people in this country are of the Christian faith?

Of course, some of these scenarios being thought of as being a little extreme, but the possibilities are there. How can a person who practices a faith that largely goes against western values be considered for president? Will they respect the Constitution and the religious rights of others? We are lectured constantly about respecting their rights, will he or she respect ours and not try to transform this nation? These are some of my questions and concerns that I have about electing a Muslim president.

If a Muslim president decided to adhere to our ways and lifestyles, they would certainly be a target of radical Muslims around the world. I even believe that a United States Muslim president could be an effective person to bridge the growing division between Muslims and non-Muslims around the world. Perhaps, unlike many Muslim leaders, he or she would have the courage to stand up against violent Islamic extremism around the world.

Would I personally support a Muslim president, possibly. If it is proven that they can respect and not change the rights and ways of life for so many people in this country, I would have no problem. Somehow, I would feel much better with electing a Christian candidate who can better relate to a larger percentage of people in this country.

Another lame GOP debate

One of the biggest news stories of last week was the epic GOP debate on CNN which lasted for what, 14 hours? Actually the debate lasted for a ridiculously long 3 hours. Did anyone out there really feel that they accomplished something by watching all 3 hours of the debate? I watched the final 2 hours and felt like I totally wasted 2 hours of my life! I know I was very critical of the previous debate in a blog post about a month ago, but this one really got under my skin. I really hope the networks re-think their strategies for putting on these debates, because this one was yes, just like a WWE show, which many pundits referenced it as.

Someone told me that there were supposed to be 11 candidates at this debate. You could have fooled me!! Outside of Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina, Jeb Bush and maybe Chris Christie and Dr. Ben Carson, I saw only glimpses of the other candidates. Mike Huckabee gave an interesting response to the Kentucky court case controversy, then disappeared for about 45 minutes. Did he have some bad food for supper and had to use the restroom for a long period of time? The same can be said about Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Scott Walker. Perhaps all these guys ate at the same restaurant. The debate basically centered around Donald Trump and what he has said or not said in the past. The fact that he got far more air time than some of the other candidates was totally unfair and that is the problem with this debates that involve multiple candidates. A candidate like Cruz is full of interesting ideas, but he was virtually not heard from for long stretches.

Besides the fact that a few got the majority of airtime, there were many cases where the candidates went well past their allotted time of speaking, not only for giving answers, but for their rebuttals. The moderators of the debate did a very poor job of controlling this. At times, it was totally out of control. It reminded me of a bunch of children fighting for equal amounts of pie or in this case, airtime.

I found the questioning rather puzzling as well. Would the moderators in future debates PLEASE focus in on issues that matter the most to Americans such as the economy, jobs and terrorism. Enough of this debating about what Mr. Trump said or did not say. I quite frankly could care less!! I want a long discussion about how we are going to get more good paying jobs to Americans which has really declined in the past 8 years. What are their plans to go about this? How are we going to grow the economy faster than this snail pace that it is currently at? One topic that was really neglected was the growing amount of debt that this country is facing. I don’t recall this important topic really being discussed at all. The fact that our debt is running out of control during the last several years should be alarming to all Americans. Why was this topic put aside?

There was discussion after the debate about who won the debate. In my way of thinking, nobody won anything or lost anything? Nobody really said anything that was totally ridiculous although I still wonder how Mr Trump will back up his statement about building that wall and making Mexico pay for it. I respect Mr. Trump, but that statement seems to be a bit of an overreach. I certainly did not come away finding out anything really new or startling about the 11 candidates. Just because someone can deliver a line of bs in front of the camera doesn’t make them fit to be a president.

I look forward to next year when the real debates take place between the Democratic and Republican candidates for president. 1 on 1 is the far more interesting format for a debate. Enough of these 11 person debates!! I for one will never again waste several hours of my time watching such nonsense.

A few changes that I would like to see the NFL make

Hey all you National Football League fans out there! Suppose you became the commissioner of the NFL. What changes, if any, would you make to the league at the current time? Every year, the league officials and commissioner get together at the end of the year to discuss the current state of the league and whether any changes are needed. Of course, there are always issues concerning player’s safety that need to be discussed. I still feel they need to address the growing number of concussions by the players. The rules are often discussed such as the recent change in the extra point distance after touchdowns. Since this is the first week of the season, I would like to discuss some things that as a fan, I would like to see added or changed to make the game a little more interesting. Some of the changes may be a little radical and certainly go against the long tradition of football, but sometimes a little change from the norm change be a good thing. Here are some of the changes that I would like to see.

1. No more than 2 preseason games per team. The idea that teams need to play more than a couple of exhibition games is totally ridiculous. Nothing bores me more than preseason football. The only purpose it really serves is to see who can really play among the rookies on a team. In many cases, the rookies are playing against another team’s rookies or 2nd and 3rd string players. Does it really take preseason games against inferior competition to determine whether a player can play or not? Furthermore, most established NFL players only need a couple of games to get the cobwebs out for live game type conditions. And some players, such as Jordy Nelson, end up getting lost for the season by playing in meaningless games. It is time to cut the preseason in half.

2.  Scrap the 1 point PAT.  The first of my radical changes. The NFL now requires teams to kick the PAT some 10+ yard        further back. It is believed that this will make the point after touchdown not so automatic. I purpose that the league do away with the extra point and instead, make a team go for the 2 point conversion after ever touchdown. The ball would be placed on the 2 yard line. This would dramatically affect the outcome of many games. The 1 point conversion rule change will still make many PAT’S virtually automatic.  The same cannot be said for a 2 point conversion.

3. Eliminate Thursday night games. The only exemption would be for Thanksgiving. I am not really a big fan of having Thursday night NFL games. A team is forced to play a game with only 3 days rest. In my opinion, that only increases the risk of injuries to players. The more days off between games, the better. Thursday night football should only be for high school and college teams who did not play the previous week. The NFL should stick with their Sunday and Monday night format. Perhaps they could start having doubleheaders on Monday nights instead.

4. 4 points for a 55+ yard field goal. Suppose a team is down 21-17 late in the game. A field goal would not be sufficient enough to tie up the game and there is not enough time left to drive down the field for a touchdown. A 4 point field would totally change that. I would definitely be in favor of that. An extra long field goal of 55-60 yards should be worth more than a simple 35 yarder.

5. 15 yards for a defensive pass interference penalty. I personally believe the defensive pass interference penalty is one of the worst rules in the league. First of all, in many cases, it is a very difficult call for the ref to make. That call can be made on so many pass plays. A team should not be penalized some 50 yards for a defensive pass interference call. That is way too extreme for a penalty. A 15 yard penalty and an automatic first down should be the correct rule. The league needs to do away with those long penalties.

Those are just a few changes that I would like to see happen. The NFL has a good product already, but these changes  might make the league even more enticing and interesting to watch.

The disturbing story of the Kentucky marriage clerk

Shortly after the marriage equality law was passed, I posted a blog in which I listed several potential consequences of the ruling by the Supreme Court. One of my biggest concerns was the right of religious people or Christians to be able practice their faith without being forced to do things that goes against their practical faith and beliefs. For example, a pastor should not be forced to perform a same-sex marriage if it goes against his or her beliefs. The recent story about the Kentucky marriage clerk, Kim Davis is a prime example of what I am talking about. Here you have a woman who is being forced to go against her very strict religious beliefs and issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Because she refused, she was thrown in prison. How outrageous is that?!! Has it now come down to this in the United States when a person is thrown in jail for standing up to their religious beliefs?

I get all the arguments that Ms. Davis did not honor the law and so forth. But why can’t there be exceptions to laws that protects workers from having to go against their religious beliefs?. You would think that there should be other ways that a same-sex couple could go about to get a marriage license without infringing on the beliefs of others. Maybe there could be a way of getting the license online or being able to get a license in any county, not just the county that they happen to live in. Why cannot there be a stipulation in the law that protects people of faith? This marriage law seems like a very one sided piece of legislation to me.

Before long, pastors of various churches will be forced to perform same-sex marriages. If they do not, some judge will thrown in jail. That day is surely coming. Or they will be forced to give up their tax-exempt status. I can see a day when many churches will simply not exists anymore for failing to honor marriages that go against their beliefs and the word of God. Laws that do not protect freedom of religion will just hurt many people in the long rule. I can certainly understand that gays deserve certain rights, but what about religious people? Are they not allowed any rights? I do believe that there is a thing called the freedom of religion in this country, am I correct? Forcing a law onto someone that goes against their religious beliefs is just not a proper and right thing to do.

I fully hope that someone will come to their senses and release Ms. Davis from prison. This story reminds me of other countries who throw people in prison for practicing a certain religion. We should not be a nation that does that. Unfortunately, this may be just the start of persecuting people of faith. It is a very sad day in America when a person is thrown in jail for standing up to their beliefs. Very sad indeed!. I hope Ms. Davis quits her job and finds a much better job where some activist left-wing judge will not interfere with her particular strong beliefs. This is just the start of a potentially huge and very divisive battle that will tear this country apart. Just another consequence from the same-sex ruling. Rights are for all people, not just for a certain small percentage of our population.

It’s time to take a serious stand against the anti-police crowd

In the past few weeks, there have been numerous tragic stories involving police officers and law enforcement losing their lives at the hands of evil thugs. Just last week, an officer in Louisiana was gunned down in a cowardly act when a criminal came up to him from behind and shot him in the head. All the officer was doing was pumping gas, and the only reason he was shot was because he was wearing a police uniform. He was simply a target by some disturbed individual with a great deal of hate in him. The officer was an innocent victim of a growing trend of hatred in this country towards police and law enforcement officers. One has to wonder why the sudden upsurge in violence towards people in blue. Well the answer is becoming more and more obvious everyday.

Last weekend, a group called “Black Lives Matter” held a rally and protest here in Minnesota outside of our state fair to demonstrate what they perceive as a serious crisis of unfair treatment of police officers towards black people. There have been many other rallies and demonstrations around the country by this crowd and to their credit, most of the rallies have been pretty peaceful and without any violence. Although the rally here was fairly peaceful, some of the chanting by the participants was a little disturbing. At one point, the group began chanting “pigs in a blanket fry like bacon”; an obvious violent reference to provoke harm to officers. Interestingly enough, there were several officers protecting this group while they were marching down a busy street just outside the fair. If I just happened to be a cop, I would have walked away and let those individuals just fend for themselves! At another rally in New York last winter, many chanted for dead officers. ” What do we want ?, dead officers; when do we want them? Now. This type of chanting and the constant media coverage of this group has created a very disturbing level of hatred towards cops in this country that needs to be stopped before things really get out of control.

Thankfully, there are an increasing number of folks like myself who are starting to lose a great deal of respect for this group. Sure black lives matter! No question! But don’t all lives matter including police officers? Do these groups really feel that they will get on the general population’s side by chanting for dead police officer? Absolutely not!! That is a very foolish way to try to get your point across. Furthermore, why are members of the “Black Lives Matter” group not marching in inner city areas where black on black crime is running out of control due largely to gang violence. Instead these this group insists on disrupting everyday people’s lives by creating  public nuisances in many cities such as blocking freeways and streets so people cannot navigate around. Someday, a person such as a child may lose his or her life because an ambulance driver cannot get to a location in time because the street was blocked off due to a march. Why are these people not marching in front of a police station or in front of a state capitol building if they feel so strongly about their cause about being mistreated by police officers? Disrupting normal people’s lives will only alienate people.

There is no question that it tragic when an unarmed teenage black man is killed by the police. We can all agree on that. But why did it happen. Did the cop just decide to kill the kid because he has a deep hatred towards blacks? I would hope that any cop who has that type of attitude and prejudice towards people of color be prosecuted to fully extent of the law. And they normally are. Our justice system is very fair in those types of cases. Making statements saying that it is open season on young black males by police officers is absolutely ludicrous!! Police officers save many young black male lives by arresting dangerous thugs and criminals. Maybe the “Black Lives Matter” people should start to learn and appreciate that important fact.

It would nice if more people started to take these protesters to task for some of the words and chants they deliver. Those dead cop chants are just fueling the fire for radical people to take out police officers. The leaders of those groups should condemn those chants. Perhaps someday, somebody will organize a rally at the same time a black lives matter protest is taking place to support police offices and the very difficult job that they face everyday. Cops are becoming more and more targeted everyday and that may prove to be a real serious crisis in this country in the very near future. We need the police to protect our lives including those of the black lives movement who seem to have little respect towards police officers. All lives matter, period!!!