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If you’re going to call me an extremist, do it for the right reasons

7 Oct

If I had a nickel for every time I was called an extremist, I’d have a lot of nickels.

Just this weekend I was told I have “extreme thoughts,” coming from a person who stands against those who disparage members of the community who act or think differently than others.

Realizing that folks who throw around the extremist label are just repeating a narrative that has been drum-beat into their psyche by the political class and a complicit media, I typically don’t push back — funny how we’re more receptive to messaging that is consistent with our core beliefs.

To expect a fair, open-minded discussion here is expecting a world that never was, and never will be. But in a moment of frivolity, and boredom, I decided to inquire as to why this individual saw me as extreme.

I participate in political discussions on a Facebook page dominated by liberals, but much of that time is dedicated to exposing professional activists on the left who have a penchant for claiming to represent the community — a ruse the local media can’t get enough of.

But rarely do I delve into my personal beliefs, and the moral busybodies on the left, trapped by the bounds of their own self serving sanctimony, seldom ask.

I admit that I was part of the tea party early on, at least until I had my fill of self serving charlatans driven by ambition who succeeded in pushing themselves to the forefront. People hoping to take advantage of the Republican Party’s vast resources who not only turned a blind eye, but in some cases were complicit as the party began to exert its will on the movement.

When I realized that I could still advocate for issues and candidates that are important to me without the tea party, and in the process surround myself with folks who had their priorities in order, I bid adieu to those out for personal gain.

But all that aside, when I asked for clarification on what constitutes “extreme thoughts,” the response was to be asked about my views on same sex marriage.

An interesting inquiry, considering I have invested little time on the issue.

My personal belief is that, regardless of how you feel about “marriage equality” — the new code word for same sex marriage — that ship has already set sail and those who believe in the sanctity of marriage where left on shore.

At the same time, it’s hard to argue that it’s not discrimination to tell a man and woman they can marry, but tell two people of the same sex they cannot. Which I stated in my response to him, along with the belief that it’s not government’s role to decide who we can marry.

Never did I say whether I support same sex marriage or not, but my answer seemed to pass muster. Convinced he would not call me an extremist on that issue alone, I asked for other reasons but none were forthcoming.

While marveling at the idea that a single issue could result in me being seen as a person who holds extreme or fanatical views, I wondered if this was a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

I get it that the push for marriage equality is part of a bigger pursuit by the gay community for “all the semblances of normalcy,” as Erick Erickson stated. But to cast aside the religious convictions of so many who feel otherwise and force them to approve, then I ask: Who’s the real extremist?

But this is not about same sex marriage, it’s about being called an extremist. And if you choose to assign that label to me, at least do it for the right reasons.

I believe government has grown too large and is involved in too many aspects of our lives; I believe government spends too much; I believe there are elements in both parties out to secure votes by expanding entitlements in America; I believe there is an ongoing effort to undermine the free market system in America, or at least what’s left of it, and move the country away from self reliance and personal responsibility; I believe there are those seeking to remove God from our society.

And I believe the Marxist-inspired “progressive movement” in America, heavily funded by organized labor, plays a pivotal role in all these things.

I oppose the progressive-led Democratic Party with all my being, seeing it as a clear and present danger to the great experiment known as the United States of America; I thoroughly dislike what the Republican Party represents and am astonished that the elitists who control it are so easily outclassed by the left in all but self enrichment; I am disgusted with what the tea party has become; and find the Libertarian Party’s only redeeming quality to be that they can be counted on to do more harm than good.

Come to think of it, maybe I am an extremist.

Rick Singh ‘guest column’ in Orl Sentinel prompts questions of abuse of power, unethical journalism

6 Oct

By Tom Tillison

Orange County Property Appraiser Rick Singh was given a platform by the Orlando Sentinel on Sunday as a “guest columnist” to state his opposition to Orange County Charter Proposal Question D — which would establish Term Limits and Non-Partisan elections for constitutional offices.

For clarity, constitutional offices include the Orange County Sheriff, Tax Collector, Clerk of Courts, Supervisor of Elections, and yes, the Property Appraiser.

While not surprised that the Sentinel would give Singh, a progressive Democrat, such a platform, my initial thought was to wonder how long I would have to wait to see an opposing point of view given the same opportunity.

But the more I thought about it, the more outraged I became.

It seems to be an easy reach to say that were it not for his position as an elected official, Singh likely would not have been given this advantageous opportunity — despite their dwindling numbers, the Sentinel still reaches enough folks to sway the direction of local issues. (Just ask a few Republican politicians.)

Folks may or may not agree that it makes sense to remove politics from constitutional offices — who wants a partisan Sheriff? — but to allow an elected official who stands to directly benefit from not adopting this measure to publicly advocate against it in the hometown newspaper certainly gives the appearance of impropriety.

At a minimum.

The more vocal among us may say, as an elected official, it’s an abuse of power.

With Orange County Democrats holding an edge of almost 100,000 registered voters, Singh would certainly benefit when he is up for reelection in 2016 if he can place his party affiliation next to his name.

Yet, he dares to claim that making these offices non-partisan “will only heighten political partisanship.” But it doesn’t take much imagination to suggest that he’d be the first to scream from the heavens IN FAVOR of non-partisan elections if Republicans held the 100,000 advantage.

It’s a given that Singh’s actions here are self-serving, and sadly, we’ve come to accept that as the norm from politicians these days.

But are the actions of the Orlando Sentinel so easily swept aside? Is it acceptable that an elected official was given a platform to push an issue that he stood to gain from? Are there no standards left for ethical journalism? At a minimum, do they not owe it to the community to provide balance and offer an opposing point of view from someone of equal stature?

A lot of questions I know, but the future of Orange County is going to be rather dismal if residents don’t start seeking answers soon.

Republican Party tagline through 2016: ‘We’re not them’

30 Sep

Thirty-five days until the November election and the Republican Party has long since gone to ground.

If we didn’t know better, we’d swear Boehner, McConnell and Co. had members locked in a basement somewhere deep within the U.S. Capitol — the federal witness protection program has nothing on the GOP when it comes to the art of disappearing.

With polls indicating favorable results for the party on Nov. 4 — Real Clear Politics Average has the GOP up 3.8 points in the latest Congressional Generic Vote polling data — Republican leadership is walking on eggshells in hopes of making it to election day without a serious blunder.

Recent history shows that’s a legitimate concern. Right, Todd Akin?

The chances of the Republican Party regaining a majority in the U.S. Senate are also looking better, even if Dick Morris has gone on the record to say he agrees.

And the incredible thing is, the Republican Party arrived at this advantageous position without doing much of anything other than not being Team Obama.

While things continue to deteriorate on both the home front and on the world stage because of the lack of leadership coming from 1400 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., those who criticize President Obama for leading from behind are content with backing into the November election.

The GOP is willing to hide under their desks in exchange for electoral success, even as the world around them collapses. Which brings up a legitimate question: What kind of leadership can we expect should Republicans take control of both houses in Congress?

Sadly, the Wall Street Journal has already answered that question in an article published earlier this month that suggested if the GOP gains control of both chambers, there will be an emphasis to avoid “a sharply confrontational tone that some Republicans fear could endanger the party’s electoral prospects in 2016.”

Or, in other words, more of the same weak-kneed approach until Nov. 2016.

The mind boggling reality is, as incompetent as the progressive left shows itself to be, the Republican Party seems incapable of showing the American people that it offers anything better, other than “we’re not them.”

Damron has found refuge … among those who benefited most

7 Aug
refuge

Photo Credit TheTabernacle.com

By Tom Tillison

When it comes to the Orlando Sentinel, journalistic integrity seems to have taken a back seat long ago. Further affirmation of this point of view surfaced in the “quiet” news this week that reporter David Damron accepted a position with U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson‘s campaign.

It’s not much of a stretch to wonder if Damron jumping ship is a tell-tale sign of the newspaper’s financial woes, and having spent more than 16 years as a county beat reporter, you can’t fault the guy for considering a career change, but make no mistake about it, it is not by accident that Damron has found a home with the bombastic Democratic congressman.

In many ways, the institutional left in this town owes it’s existence to Susannah Randolph, a former ACORN political director. As much as local resident Bill Phillips is seen as the likely funding source for the hard left, Randolph is, almost certainly, the brain trust behind local community organizing efforts.

If Randolph had a protege, it would definitely be Stephanie Porta — the two are inseparable when it comes to local political activism. Porta is the state director for Organize Now, the de facto successor to ACORN Florida, which re-branded when the national organization was exposed as a criminal enterprise.

(ACORN is an acronym for “Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now,” hence the name “Organize Now” — simplicity at its best.)

I’ve gotten a little lost in the weeds, but the background is important because Randolph is also the “district director” for Congressman Grayson.

And Porta spearheaded the mandatory paid sick leave ballot initiative, an issue that David Damron covered extensively — at last count, he wrote more than 40 articles on paid sick leave, many of which critics would suggest bordered on advocacy.

And he quoted Porta often.

In fact, their relationship goes back to at least 2006. And while Damron frequently sought out her point of view on developments related to the issue, he never availed himself of the opinion of a leading national labor expert who personally offered to provide a countering point of view.

Damron also reported on poll results favorable to paid sick leave, to include quoting Brook Hines, the director of Community Business Association of Central Florida, without reporting that her group commissioned the poll.

Or that CBA was an entity of Organize Now.

We could go on about covert nudges and the exchange of sly smiles between Damron and Randolph when they thought no one was looking, or talk about clear efforts to intimidate opponents of the Randolph/Porta clique, but for those who were paying attention, there is little doubt he was carrying their water.

And while our persistent public criticism of the bias displayed by this reporter eventually resulted in a more balanced effort, amid all the uncertainty in an industry commonly referred to as the “dead tree media,” Damron has found refuge.

Among those who benefited most from his efforts.

Zealots on the left will defend the move, pointing to any number of media personalities who’ve gone on to work for politicians, but this is different. Never mind that it’s another black eye for an already punch drunk Orlando Sentinel, this shows the press can be compromised when ethical behavior is subservient to an agenda.

A dangerous thing indeed when considering the power of the media.

Effort to exploit Orange County ballot initiatives gets new life

18 May

From I-4 Activist Watch

While the Board of County Commissioners dithers, the ongoing exploitation of the Orange County Charter by politically motivated ideologues received new life in the form of a fresh influx of sorely needed cash.

According to the latest financial statements filed with the local Supervisor of Elections, Citizens for Informed Elections received $34,500 in new contributions in April, to include $9,500 from Tax Collector Scott Randolph, the former chair of the local Democratic Party.

Having blown through a nearly $50,000 “gift” from Washington, D.C. based Leadership Center for the Common Good, the money could not have come at a more opportune time for the group, which is pushing for a ballot initiative to make all county races partisan and move these elections from August to November.

An effort that reflects the confidence the activist-dominated Orange County Democratic Party has with a lead of nearly 100,000 registered voters. But petition gathering for the ballot initiative had slowed substantially in March as money became scarce.

As for who LCCG is, Capital Research Center said the hard left 501(c)(3) nonprofit likes to focus on training local community organizers to “rage against capitalism.”

The other $25,000 Citizens for Informed Elections received came from Miami-based Democratic donor Chris Findlater, a deep pocketed favorite of Bill Phillips, the Orlando-based bag man for progressive left causes.

Findlater and Phillips are no strangers to using ballot initiatives for political gain, having been the driving force behind Fair Districts, the successful 2010 effort driven by liberal interests to affect the way congressional and legislative districts are drawn in Florida.

Interestingly, Randolph’s sizable contribution came Voters for Change, a PAC he controls. Where did the PAC receive the money? From another PAC Randolph controls, Responsible People of Florida.

While the Orlando Sentinel is quick to report on the financial activity of local Republican lawmakers, you may want to get comfortable waiting to read about this latest development in the newspaper.

Meanwhile, outside money continues to flow into Orange County to prop up the manipulation of the citizen petition process to advance an ideologically driven agenda and establish an election year infrastructure for the left — an effort that continues unabated, even as the BCC whistles past the graveyard.

Up to our pits with Michelle Obama

7 Nov michelle-obama-diwali-550x780

michelle-obama-diwali-550x780Understanding that it’s nothing short of blasphemy to ever criticize President Barack Obama and/or First Lady Michelle Obama, Rattle Tale feels it is time to speak out.

We’ve had it up to our pits with being in the pits about the track this country is on, yet we continue to be subjected to Michelle’s pits!

At a White House Diwali celebration on Tuesday, Mrs. Obama once again gives America a full, unadulterated shot of her arm pits — Diwali is an important Hindu holiday.

Label us as you will, but we say we’ve had enough of this unsightly demonstration!

In their love affair with the Obama’s, the media goes to great lengths to project Michelle Obama as a modern day Jacqueline Kennedy, so Rattle Tale did an exhaustive search — almost 5 minutes — to find photos of Mrs. Kennedy flashing her pits to the country.

The search turned up many photos of a sleeveless Jackie, but it seems class always got the better of her when before cameras.

jackiek

But again and again, Michelle O persists. Our Founding Fathers once noted that “all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable,” but have we not suffered enough?

Michelle Obama

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ACORN activists and SEIU on same page as Scott Maxwell – again

26 Sep

You might be a closet progressive if ACORN activists and union thugs are celebrating your opinion!

Orlando Sentinel gossip columnist Scott Maxwell is once again targeting Republican lawmakers in a column that focuses on hypocrisy — this from the man who could write a book on hypocrisy.

The moral busybody rails on the big, bad Republicans for denying health insurance to the poor, all but screaming “Republicans want you to die quickly!” The given in his argument, of course, is that health care is an inalienable right and it’s government’s role to provide it. Any questions?

And when ACORN Florida successor Organize Now and the Service Employees International Union — the “purple shirts” — are reverberating your work, is there any further denying one’s far-left ideology?

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