That’s Right Nate

Thoughts from a right thinker.

Archive for February 2010

Autotune the News #10

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Written by thatsrightnate

February 26, 2010 at 9:28 pm

Honored by Obama, Silenced by the Chicago School Board

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Yesterday, I completed my transformation from observer to activist when I spoke at the Chicago Board of Education meeting where they cast a cowardly vote to close or overhaul six Chicago Public Schools.  The day began at 4AM.  I won’t pretend to be a modern day Joe Hill–part of the reason I was up early was to tidy up for my cleaning lady.    However, I was on the 5:38 downtown where I stood for 2 hours in line so that I could get a chance to speak to the board.   It was a long and exhausting day and the local NBC affiliate interviewed me so I got a quick shot of fame with my friends and coworkers.  It was a sad event though seeing people who fought so hard for their schools being closed down.  There was, however, one amazing moment.

Shantell Steve was recognized by Barack Obama in a speech earlier this year, “And then there’s Shantell Steve, from my hometown of Chicago, Illinois. Even when bouncing from foster home to foster home in the toughest neighborhoods, she managed to get a job at a local health center; start a program to keep young people out of gangs; and she’s on track to graduate high school with honors and go on to college.”

I read an the comments in the Sun-Times story about Shantell and one idiot said, “We all know that being an “honor” student at a Chicago Public School is akin to being a special ed student at a suburban school.”  Not only would very few suburban students be able to make it in this girl’s circumstances.  Very few city kids could either.

Shantell and Kellina Mojica were recognized by the Board at the beginning of the meeting for winning second and third place in the Democracy in Action Awards, which are citizenship awards given to high school students.  The Board had told them that they would be speaking at the meeting, but suddenly pulled  a switcharoo and instead called on the honorary student member of the board who was given an award by the Dusable History Museum to speak for all 3 students.

The problem is that both Kellina and Shantell are powerful speakers as well as students at Julian High School.  They have seen first hand how destructive the board’s turnarounds have been as the students unwanted by the turnaround schools have been shipped off to Julian.  Shantell and Kellina were going to speak about closing schools and the board knew it, so they muzzled them.   The Board has always been irony challenged, but this goes above and beyond the call of hypocritical behavior.     As Linda Lutton of WBEZ put it, “The board has a pretty good idea of what they’re going to say, and they’re gonna talk about school closings, because they have before, and I was sitting at the meeting thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, we’re gonna get off to a fiery start.'”

Fortunately there was help.  Carol Caref like me is a CORE member.  She’s a very petite white haired woman who has a calm and gentleness to her that belies the kind of strong willed patience that can stop a tank.   She was called on to be one of the last people to speak on a day where many people expressed their anger at the board. Carol was firm in a showdown with Board Vice-President Clare Munana.

Finally, Carol prevailed and a tearful Shantell took the microphone.   Even at her young age, her activism has taught her exactly what was going on.   The Board knew how she felt, saw the CORE button she was wearing, and tried to censor her.  She told the Board that she had lived through the turnarounds and knew the kind of destruction that they caused first hand.   She told the Board how she felt  “disrespected” by being invited to speak — but not allowed to speak. “They all talk about ‘children first,’ but when a student got up to speak, they wouldn’t give the student a minute.”

It’s pretty amazing when a mutli-billion dollar organization like the Chicago Board of Education shows such fear of  a couple of high school girls.   I was once terrified of high school girls, but I was a high school boy at the time.   These girls are amazing speakers, but I guess in Chicago the only thing we have to fear is free speech.

Written by thatsrightnate

February 25, 2010 at 7:35 pm

Concealed Carry As Much a College Tradition as Bonfires

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I was disheartened to hear that Colorado State University has announced plans to outlaw concealed carry on their campus.   I believe that the blame for this boneheaded decision can clearly be put on nerds.   When our founding fathers added the second amendment to the Constitution they clearly meant concealed weapons as well.  Some of our nation’s universities had been around for over 100 years.   Concealed carry became an instant college fad  although at that time, it usually meant carrying a small tree with you and hiding the gun among its branches or a blunderbuss which could be concealed by a large top hat.

Since then, college has been a time in people’s lives when they learn how to drink and shoot responsibly.   I still remember those days as a freshman at college, drinking cheap beer in the park at 2AM and shooting at road signs as we drove home.  I’m still surprised we made it home alive sometimes, but we all learned from the experience and we grew as people for it.   Card games were always time for firearm hi-jinks.   Inevitably one of us would pull out his gun and accuse one of the other players of cheating.   Tailgating before football games was always announced by firing a couple of warning shots in the air.   Even my college professors used to grade on a nicer curve when they didn’t know who was packing.  I didn’t have a lot of money back then, but I loved my snub-nosed .38 like my best girl.

CSU-Fort Collins Police Chief Wendy Rich-Goldsmith a relative newcomer to the campus, supports the ban, but she is a woman.   Fortunately, a hero has stepped forward to save social life on college campus. Larimer County  Sheriff James Alderden, outraged by the ban, said  he will undermine it in the interest of student safety. “I have told the CSU police chief I will not support this in any way,” Sheriff Alderden explained “If anyone with one of my permits gets arrested for concealed carry at CSU, I will refuse to book that person into my jail. Furthermore, I will show up at court and testify on that person’s behalf, and I will do whatever I can to discourage a conviction. I will not be a party to this very poor decision.”

Written by thatsrightnate

February 23, 2010 at 9:59 pm

American Health Care 5, Canadian Health Care 3

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It was thirty years ago, when the United States Olympic Hockey Team inspired by the fiery speeches of new President Ronald Reagan stunned the world and struck a blow against the iron curtain by defeating the Soviet Union and their allies the Fins to win the 1980 gold medal at Lake Placid.

This year, the great threat to our liberty comes not from Soviet style communism, but from Canadian style health care.  With America’s hockey mom Sarah Palin providing the inspiration through her timely tweet, “YES!!! USA. 5-3 with 44 seconds to go… YES AMERICA!!! Sweeeeeet…”   I believe they heard her twitter account all the way to the Ottawa where it sounded like the voice of liberty crying out in the night, “Prime Minister Harper tear down your health care system.”

The game itself was a grueling affair with end to end action.  Though Canada tied it twice, the Americans never trailed.   They never backed down from any challenges as if they knew that even if they were checked hard and injured, they would not have to wait for days in a state run hospital.  Maybe they were simply healthier from the many breakthroughs in sports medicine perfected under our health care system.

The Americans have the youngest team in the Olympics while the Canadians consider to frantically look for a linemate to pair with superstars Sidney Crosby and Rick Nash.   The obvious answer here is somebody named Stills.  The Canadians aren’t eliminated by any stretch of the imagination, but the question remains–will they be too sickly to climb up to the podium if they do medal.

Written by thatsrightnate

February 22, 2010 at 10:39 pm

CPAC – Congressman Kimble’s Apology

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[This may be the saddest thing I have ever read.  Jack Kimble is a good man and I hope that the people of California and the United States will give him another chance.   I believe he is genuinely sorry and will continue to serve us with distinction in congress.]

Good morning, and thank you for joining me. Many of you in this room are my friends. Many of you in this room know me. Many of you have voted for me or you’ve canvassed for me or you’ve supported me.

Now every one of you has good reason to be critical of me. I want to say to each of you, simply and directly, I am deeply sorry for the irresponsible and juvenile behavior I engaged in.

I know people want to find out how I could be so selfish and so foolish. People want to know how I could have said these things to Congresswoman Blackburn and to Congressman Pence. And while I have always tried to take full responsibility for my actions, there are some things I want to say.

My references to “hoo has”, “naughty bits”, “jugs”, as well as my unfortunate and off key rendition of a song I wrote called “Thanks for the Mammaries” was shameful and an anathema to the families values conservative principles that I have upheld since my unfortunate incident in the LAX parking lot in 2008.  I apologize for any hurt I may have caused by my comments, or by the making of “awuga” sounds.

In my defense I can only offer the following explanation.  After, a night of very limited sleep because of a house guest, I overheard a conversation between Congressman Pence and Congresswoman Blackburn in which Congressman Pence expressed his desire for “hotly contested midterms” I overheard him as saying “hot, big chested interns”.  When Congresswoman Blackburn said, “I never had one of those myself” and they laughed, I took things completely the wrong way and embarrassed both of my colleagues.

My beautiful wife Kerry and I have started the process of discussing the damage caused by my behavior. As Kerry pointed out to me, my real apology to her will not come in the form of words; it will come in the form of expensive jewelry, which I will have to buy her. We have a lot to discuss; however, what we say to each other will remain between the two of us until my memoirs come out sometime in 2011.

I am also aware of the pain my behavior has caused to those of you in this room. I have let you down, and I have let down my supporters. For many of you, especially my friends, my behavior has been a personal disappointment. To those of you who work for me, I have let you down personally and professionally yet again. My behavior has caused considerable worry to the lobbyists who have done so much to support me.

For all that I have done, I am so sorry.

I’ve had a lot of time to think about what I’ve done. My failures have made me look at myself in a way I never wanted to before. It’s now up to me to make amends, and that starts by never repeating the mistakes I’ve made. It’s up to me to start living a life of integrity.  You can support that life, by donating to my 2010 campaign.  Holding onto my seat is a key to reigning in Obama’s socialist programs.

I once heard, and I believe it’s true, it’s not what you achieve in life that matters; it’s what you overcome. I believe myself, David Vitter, and Tom Ensign play the part daily of setting an example. Character and decency are what really count.

Parents used to point to me as a role model for their kids. I owe all those families a special apology. I want to say to them that I am truly sorry that those children had to see me acting like a motorboat in a sexually inappropriate way.

As I proceed, I understand people have questions. I understand the press wants to ask me for the details and what I meant by the term “meaty, big, and bouncy.”  I understand people want to know whether Kerry and I will remain together. Please know that as far as I’m concerned, Kerry and I have a marriage as solid as a rock.  She has explained to me that she needs sometime to clear her head before we can put this behind ourselves and she will be spending the recess hiking the Appalachian Trail and coming to grips with the embarrassment I have put her through.

I recognize I have brought this on myself, and I know above all I am the one who needs to change. I owe it to my district to become a better person. I owe it to those closest to me to become a better man. That’s where my focus will be.  Towards this end, I will begin taking classes in both cooking and ballroom dancing. I have already begun to start a bodybuilding regime recommended by former Mr. Universe Lou Ferrigno.

I have a lot of work to do, and I intend to dedicate myself to doing it. Part of following this path for me is Catholicism, which my mother taught me at a young age. People probably don’t realize it, but I was raised a Catholic, and I actively practiced my faith from childhood until I drifted away from it when Notre Dame was eliminated from BCS contention this season. Catholicism teaches that we have an awful lot to feel guilty for. It teaches me to not eat meat on Friday regardless of how superior Roy Rogers’ hamburgers are to their fish sandwich. Obviously I lost track of what I was taught.

In discussing my situation with Newt Gingrich, I’ve learned the importance of looking at my spiritual life and keeping in balance with my professional life. I need to regain my balance and be centered so I can save the things that are most important to me, my career and my father’s approval.

That also means relying on others for help. I’ve learned to seek support from lobbyists in Washington, and I hope someday to return that support to them that they have given me. I especially want to thank Citibank, Marlboro, and Coca Cola who have been amazing generous corporate underwriters since a recent Supreme Court decision gave them that right.

I want to thank CPAC, House Minority Leader John Boehner, and the Republican Party for their patience and understanding while I work on my private life. I look forward to casting no votes with them in the months and years to come.

Finally, there are many people in this room, and there are many people at home who believed in me. Today I want to ask for your help. I ask you to find room in your heart to one day believe in me again.

Thank you.

Written by thatsrightnate

February 20, 2010 at 10:07 pm

CPAC Day 2 – My Reflections

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There was a lot of awesome at CPAC today and I’m too keyed up to sit down and write paragraphs so let me just give you the highlights.

I saw a rising star with a huge future today.  Jason Mattera had us rolling in the aisle in stitches today.   He compared the gathering to Woodstock saying, “Except that unlike the last gathering, our women are beautiful, we speak in complete sentences and our notion of freedom doesn’t consist of snorting cocaine,” he said, “which is certainly one thing that separates us from Barack Obama.” Zing!!  There was literally like 5 minutes of laughing at that one.   Then he broke off into the most hysterical Chris Rock impression as he mocked liberal colleges and “diversity,” including, he said, college classes on “cyber feminism” and “what it means to be a feminist new black man.”  There is nothing better than when a white guy does Chris Rock.  I have a great Chris Rock impression in my repertoire too.

Mike Pence gave a great speech attacking Obama’s healthcare summit to a pretty much empty room.  I can’t wait to see it on video.  Unfortunately, he was scheduled up against Tiger Woods’ confessional.

I picked up 2 bottles of John Boehner spray tan for friends back home, but they were selling out quickly.

Contrary to rumors, The John Birch Society is alive and kicking and doing a great business at the convention.

Several CPAC speakers made hysterical jokes about Barack Obama having to use a teleprompter for everything.  Unfortunately, I was pretty far away from the stage, but I could read the punch lines on the giant screen where the speeches were scrolling so I knew they’d get a huge reaction and sure enough they did.

Michelle Bachmann’s speech today was dynamic.  She not only brought with a “Miss Me Yet” George Bush billboard and we all agreed that we definitely do.   Remember what the economy was like during Bush’s first year in office, it wasn’t like this Obama recession, that’s for sure.  Michelle Bachmann called out Obama for policies deliberately designed to fail, reminding us that Bush’s failings were unintentional.  She called on all attendees to choose greatness and with Liz and Dick Cheney, Newt Gingrich, and Bachmann herself we could see the greatness all around us.

The only incident that was rather ugly was  when Mike Pence mentioned to Marsha Blackburn and a few others about hotly contested midterms and Jack Kimble misheard him as saying hot, big-chested interns and made a comment that stunned everybody.  I really felt sorry for Kimble who is my host for the weekend and a great friend of the blog.   He’s giving a speech tomorrow afternoon and I really hope he can bounce back.

Written by thatsrightnate

February 19, 2010 at 9:47 pm

CPAC – I Am Back Among My People

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Since going to the Tea Party National Convention, I have been missing my conservative friends.   Sure Antwan and Manuel talk supply side economics and returning to limited government with me at work, but frankly, I can tell their hearts aren’t in it.   Manuel wasn’t even living in this country under Reagan and Antwan wasn’t born until Bush Sr. took office.   I didn’t know I’d be able to attend CPAC until it was too late to book a room, so fortunately longtime blog friend Congressman Jack Kimble was kind enough to put me up for the convention.

After my flight came into Washington, Kimble was kind enough to pick me up at the airport and we headed to his favorite Washington, DC restaurant–Roy Rogers which is a burger place, but you can actually get cheeseburger with ham on it.   After a tasty meal,  we were off to the convention center to check in and get a look around.   The exhibitors are great this year and I expect that I’ll be spending big money there this year.   The John Boehner Spray Tan really looks natural and I saw an Appalachian Trail guide book that I really liked.  Being there with Congressman Kimble was great because he was able to introduce me around.   I have to say, I am developing quite a crush on Marsha Blackburn, which I understand is actually pretty normal for congress.

Tonight, we avoided the big speeches and a Ronald Reagan film and headed back to Kimble’s modest apartment.  I was a bit jet lagged and I want to make the most of tomorrow.   We put on our pajamas and Congressman Kimble had made some homemade brownies before I arrived so we basically have been eating brownies and watching the Olympics.   It’s going to be time to turn in soon.   I love CPAC.  If I have a choice, I’m making this a yearly thing.  Seeing the sea of diversity–red heads, blonde people, brunettes, gray haired older folks, and bald people all of us uniting together and let me tell you, there is a very palpable buzz pushing Dick Cheney to run for President in 2012.

Written by thatsrightnate

February 18, 2010 at 10:29 pm