Wednesday, August 27, 2014

If Republicans Want to Win...

If Republicans want to win the Senate in 2014 and then the White House in 2016, there are a few things candidates have to do in order to connect with voters.  At this point, voters are fed up with both parties.  However, Democrats have the major disadvantage because they are the party in power.  People tend to vote based on the direction of the country.  With many people fed up with the country's direction, Republicans hold the advantage.  Still, there are many things Republicans can do in order to turn their advantage into a wave election.

Define your positions.

Make your positions clear, and make them known.  You cannot just ride the anti-Obamacare train to victory.  Candidates need to define what they would do in Washington.

One candidate (my favorite this cycle) is doing just that.  In Iowa, Joni Ernst is fighting for what she believes in.  Maybe you'll remember her better from this viral campaign ad.

In an extremely tight race in a tough state for Republicans, Joni Ernst is messaging correctly to the people.  She's also not afraid to tackle issues conservatives usually shy away from, such as sexual assault in the military.  Take notes Republicans; this is how you run a campaign.

Stay away from divisive terms.

America has had enough division.  Americans want someone who is going to unite them.  Obama was partially correct when he told Republicans to "stop hating all the time."  Thanks for the campaign strategy there.

You should define your positions to people without using the words "conservative" and "liberal."  Don't take an us-versus-them tone.  The problem Republicans face is an imaging problem, not a position problem.  Talk about issues, not about people and parties.

The reaction to your campaign ad should go something like the following:

Another campaign ad?  Yeah, I agree with that.  I agree with that too.  That seems like common sense.  Wait a minute.  (S)he's a Republican?  I might have to give more though to him/her.

Define your issues.  Say what you believe.  Focus on issues, not people and parties.  Then at the end of the ad, slap them with your party.

Channel your inner Milton Friedman.

Economic.  Economics.  Economics.  People are worried about the economy.  People want secure jobs.  If there is one topic that we as a party should be able to absolutely destroy the Democrats on, it's economics. 

However, our problem is rhetorically.  When Republicans open their mouths to talk about economics, everyone watching takes a nap.  You have to make it interesting.  Stop rambling about numbers and make it personal.  People want to know how it effects them without having to learn the ins-and-outs of economics.  Start channeling your inner Milton Friedman.  Get people engaged in what you are talking about.

Two Words: State's Rights.

This right here, Republicans, is your ticket to tackling social issues.  When people ask you what your opinion on gay marriage is, I want you to say, "Gay marriage is not a federal issue.  It is each state's individual right prescribed to them by the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution."  The same goes for pot legalization and a whole slew of social issues.  Let people in their own individual state decide what they want.

Also, remind them that people vote with their feet.  Since we are such a diverse nation, it should be left to the people in that state.  If people aren't happy with their own state, they have the ability to move to another.  With 50 states out there, I'm sure they're bound to find one that suits them best.

Additionally, this becomes key with a position Republicans should take, channeling their inner Ronald Reagan.  Give power back to the states like the founders intended.  Individuals know better than government.  Take this position when talking about Common Core and other federal regulations.

Key Terms to Use.

These are words, which I feel should define the Republican Party.

  • Freedom
  • Opportunity
  • Middle Class
  • Stability
  • Justice
  • Tax Cuts
  • Individual
  • Liberty
  • Hard-Working
  • Jobs
  • Small Businesses
  • Reduce the Debt
  • Border Security
  • Defense
  • Tough on Terrorism
  • Reform

Make It Personal.

You have to make it personal.  FDR and Ronald Reagan were able to captivate the nation because people believed the Presidents were speaking directly to them.  Make it personal.  Connect with the average person.

If we follow these ideas, I believe we have reasons to believe we will take the Senate and then the White House.  We have great candidates this election cycle; we just need them to put their greatest election bid forward.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Arguing Like a Feminist.

Have you ever wondered what it would sound like if men argued like feminists?  Well, I have, so I decided to put a list of "masculinist" talking points.

  • More women now attend college than men.  We need colleges to provide affirmative action to men.
  • Why does Disney always portray men as skinny, handsome prices?  Not everybody looks that way.  They are holding us to unrealistic expectations!
  • How dare someone tell me I look handsome!  Why are women such pigs?  They need to see beyond what is on the outside (even if they've just met me).
  • Men are overly represented in risky jobs such as firefighters, cops, construction, coal miners, and military personnel.  We need equality in these fields!
  • It is liberating for artists to expose themselves in media, but don't look at us like we are a piece of meat.
  • Men are 20 times more likely to die on the job.  We need equality.  More women need to die.
  • With an unplanned pregnancy, the male doesn't have any option but to pay child support or go to jail (if the mother doesn't kill the child through abortion).  Where is our choice?
  • How come men are portrayed in the role of supporting a family all the time?  We don't need a woman to have a child!
  • Propecia (which is one of the best male selling drugs and deals with male pattern baldness) should be covered by my health insurance.  It is too hard to find an attractive mate (which I'm entitled to since the other sex should look good for me, but my sex looks great in all shapes and sizes).  Therefore, the government should pay for something I don't feel like paying for.
  • I would rather play the victim and blame the opposite sex for my life problems than evaluating my own life and my own decisions on the individual level.
Obviously, these are all based on arguments feminists have made, but if you question them, feminists will just call you sexist.  Here's the bottom line, however.  Equality does not mean having an even 50/50 split between men and women in life.  Equality is giving people equal opportunity to achieve whatever they wish to be in life.  I don't care that more women are in college now.  That's great if that is what they want to do.  If only men decide to be fire fighters, cops, garbage men, and other less than desired occupations, as long as that is what they want to do, that is fine.

They often argue that women make some odd cents a man makes.  However, when you factor in other variables into the equation such as the job women do as opposed to men, maternity leave, and the fact that men are more likely to negotiate their raise than women, the "wage gap" disappears. 

It's all about ginning up a base, not actually bringing about a change.  For example, last year on my campus, some female students were drugged at a party.  As a result, everyone in the entire university has to take an online course in "Mandatory Sexual Misconduct Training."  Everyone knows that in no way will this course effect the date rape culture on the college campus.  Those who date rape won't care, and everyone else's time will be wasted.  Instead, actual results have come from four college students who recently created a nail polish that changes color when exposed to date rape drugs.

Equality is providing everyone with an equal opportunity to pursue their life's calling how they desire.  Therefore, the government needs to get out of the way and let the free market work.  You want equality?  Get rid of all these government regulations.  Freedom is equality.

Disclaimer: Obviously, a lot of hyperbole and sarcasm is used in the talking points.  Don't send hate because the humor went over your head.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Scott Sense: The VMAs.

You know, I watch the VMAs every year.  Last year was certainly shocking, but this year might have topped it.  It's not that form of my mouth hitting the ground when I see Miley Cyrus shocking, but just so confused by everything shocking.  Maybe somebody will be able to explain it.

The first shocker came within the first set of the VMAs.  Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, and Jessie J opened up the show with a medley of their hits - "Break Free," "Anaconda," and "Bang Bang."  Certainly to some parents, Nicki Minaj's "Anaconda" performance came off as shocking, but in no way compared to Miley's antics last year.  However, the real surprise occurred when Minaj had to perform a quick change between "Anaconda" and "Bang Bang" and resulted in an unexpected split down the front of the dress.  (Looking back, she may not have had enough time to zip up her dress between raps.)  Still, Minaj could hold the performance together by physically holding the dress together in the front.  Vocally and entertainment wise, this would be the best performance of the night.

The next shocker came when some idiot, before announcing Best Hip Hop Video, decided to give his opinion on Ferguson and then, proceeded to ask for a moment of silence for Michael Brown.  Shut up already.  I sat down Sunday night and watched the VMAs to just forget everything in the world, not to get angry because some idiot black celebrity decided to jump to conclusions on national television.

The most shocking moment for me came from none other than Miley Cyrus.  Yet, it was because of the stark differences between last year and this year.  This year: classy Cyrus.  (Insert chin drop.)  Instead of taking in the attention with her acceptance speech for "Wrecking Ball" being Video of the Year, Cyrus decided to let her date to the VMAs accept it and speak on her behalf.  Her date, Jesse, was a runaway, homeless teen who urged people to take action in combating youth homelessness by donating to the cause.  It showed maturity from Cyrus that we haven't seen in at least a year, and it proves that through doing good, Cyrus can draw just as much attention to herself as twerking on a married (now separated) man.

Finally, Beyoncé closed the show.  Although Beyoncé is a great singer and performer, I just couldn't wrap my head around why she deserved a 15-minute performance while some of the world's biggest pop stars had to share 5-minute segments.  Though talented, I believe Beyoncé is overrated.

Her last album moved 3.36 million worldwide, but failed to provide any singles to crack the top twenty besides "Drunk in Love," which peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100.  Let's compare this to some of the other biggest names in pop music.

Lady Gaga's "Artpop" was considered a commercial failure, though moving 2.4 million copies worldwide.  However, even with this "commercial failure," Gaga has managed to move more top of the chart singles.  "Applause" peaked at number 4, and "Do What U Want" peaked at 17.  Though on tour right now, I see it would be unfeasible for Gaga to perform.

However, Katy Perry was at the VMAs and didn't perform.  Though only moving 2.8 million copies worldwide, "Prism" has spawned more commercially successful singles than Lady Gaga and Beyoncé.  "Roar" peaked at number 1, "Unconditionally" at 14, "Dark Horse" at 1, and "Birthday" at 17.  With Perry recently releasing her new single "This is How We Do," which is climbing the charts, it seems she should have been given a 15-minute spot over Beyoncé for her success.

Even more so, Ariana Grande joins Adele as the only females to claim three songs in the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart simultaneously with "Break Free" at number 4, "Problem" at number 7 and "Bang Bang" at number 10.  Yet, she shared a 7-minute spot with Nicki Minaj and Jessie J.  Additionally, Iggy Azalea became the first artist since The Beatles to score the top two spots on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart with her first two entries onto the chart - "Fancy" and "Problem."  Yet, she shared a 5-minute spot with Rita Ora to promote their new single "Black Widow."

Additionally, if you were going on album sales, then the cast of Frozen should have receive the 15-minute spot because their album has moved almost as many copies domestically as Beyoncé has worldwide (3 million).  No matter how I look at the situation, I cannot justify Beyoncé's attention for achieving very little in the music industry as of lately.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

"Stay Out of My Bedroom... Except for Birth Control."

The White House has officially rolled out its new rules regarding birth control after the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court case.  With this, it's finally setting into liberals' heads that the Little Sisters of the Poor, churches, and certain businesses will not be forced to provide birth control for their employees.  They're back and not happy.  Let the uneducated and hypocritical arguments ensue across the comments section of every article that will hit the web.

The facts in the Hobby Lobby case were laid out very clear by the Justices.  It is a religious violation among those small, family-operated companies.  Additionally, churches and other church affiliated hospitals can follow suit.

Let's be very clear about the Hobby Lobby case though.  Hobby Lobby filed the lawsuit because they believed four types of birth control could cause abortions (going by the own findings of the FDA), and therefore considered it an infringement on their religious beliefs to be forced to offer birth control which could cause an abortion.  That still left 16 other types of birth control for their employees to choose from.

However, I don't think that ruling went far enough.  I think the whole birth control mandate should have been struck down.  (I believe the whole Affordable Care Act should have been struck down, but that's a different story.)  The whole birth control mandate should be struck down because it is not my responsibility as a tax-paying citizen to fund others' birth control through subsides.  Taxes are to advance the common good, like clearing roads, regulating commerce, and protecting our country.  Taxes are not meant to be transfers because Birtha wants to get frisky on a Tuesday night and is too cheap to pay for her own birth control.

The whole argument of "stay out of my bedroom" is fed through the paper shredder when someone else's tax dollars are going into your bedroom.  If I'm paying for something, you best believe I'm going to be regulating it as well.

Take food stamps and welfare for an example.  People are being forced to give you cash they worked hard to earn.  On welfare check day, what do you see as you walk through a Walmart?  Usually, there are some carts piled high with junk food and pop.  Here's a suggestion!  Why don't we take Michelle Obama's lunch guidelines and apply them to welfare recipients?  If they aren't working, they certainly have time to cook.  Additionally, if it is on tax money, I want my welfare recipients in the best possible shape, so I don't have to pay for unnecessary medical bills.

The same argument goes for birth control, and this is where we run into a problem.  Birth control is against some religious beliefs.  Others don't agree with certain types of birth control.  Then, there are others who really don't care.  Whose standards do you follow?  If it is being regulated, people want to tell others what they can and cannot do because they are the ones paying for it.

How about if you want birth control, you pay for your own damn birth control.  Leave everyone else's pocket book at home.  Be a responsible adult and take responsibility for your actions. 

People don't really have a leg to stand on when none of their money is involved in the equation.  Guess what.  People usually leave you alone when it doesn't financially involve them.

For those who would argue, "well, what about Viagra and other drugs?"  If it's going to be government subsides healthcare, I don't want any of that being paid for either.  I don't want any of that fluff.

What I really want is an open market.  Get the government out of my healthcare, and open the markets to compete across state lines instead of allowing monopolies and oligopolies in states and regions.  Healthcare providers would respond to incentives.  They would provide coverage to their clients according to the clients' desires.  They would understand that 60 year-old women don't want birth control, young men don't want dementia treatment, and most young people don't want this fluff that's being tacked onto their healthcare, increasing their premiums and deductibles.  Most young people want catastrophic insurance policies.  That's it.

Instead, we now have to sit around, arguing about things as trivial as birth control.  It's complete nonsense.  If you wanted something so badly, you could buy it yourself.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Questions About Ferguson.

There are many questions I have about the shooting in Ferguson, Missouri.  Therefore, I thought it would be better to compile a list.

  • Who is Michael Brown?  All we know is that he was an 18 year-old, 6' 4", 300 pound black man.  Did he have previous run-ins with the law?  Was he known for using drugs?
  • Who is Darren Wilson?  All we know is that he was the cop who shot and killed Michael Brown.  Has he been known to overreact and shoot in unnecessary situations?
  • Was Michael Brown on drugs?  A woman, who says she was telling the officer's side of the story, said Wilson had though Brown was on drugs.  Were there drugs in his system?
  • Will Governor Nixon remove County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch from the investigation?  He has been democratically elected since 1991, but some say his father, a previous cop, being shot by a black man on the job should be grounds for removal.
  • How is anything that has happened to your family member grounds for your removal from your job?  This is a very slippery slope we're walking here.  If people believe he cannot be impartial in this case, wouldn't that mean he is being called a racist when he has democratically be elected in an overwhelmingly black district?
  • Can Governor Jay Nixon be impartial during the investigation?  During a pre-written, pre-recorded, and edited interview, he stated we would "bring justice for the Brown family."  Doesn't that show some bias in the case?  Shouldn't we try to bring justice to this case?
  • Can Attorney General Eric Holder be impartial during the investigation?  Holder has had a history of interjecting race into cases.  Already, he has sent 50 FBI agents to investigate, which is unheard of for just one death.
  • Can President Barack Obama be impartial during the investigation?  Previously, Obama has injected race into cases, such as when he said if he had a son, he would look like Trayvon.   This time however, Obama seems to be walking a finer line and waiting for more information.  Will this continue?
  • Was the independent autopsy even performed by a real doctor?  According to WDAF in Kansas City, Shawn Parcells in not a doctor, but goes by the title "forensic pathologist assistant."  However, that degree does not exist.  He has no degree as a pathologist assistance, but claims "his qualifications come from experience."  Click here for more.
  • What about Darren Wilson's injuries?  I've heard reports of Wilson having a "serious facial injury" and that he was almost knocked unconscious.  If true, will this be enough justification for Wilson to fire six shots at Michael Brown?  Was it self-defense?
  • Lastly, but most importantly, what happened after the cop involved himself with teens walking down the middle of the road?  Did Michael Brown have his hands up?  Was there a struggle between Brown and Wilson?  Did Brown charge Wilson?  We simply do not know yet.
That's the problem with this whole case.  People are jumping to conclusions before the facts are presented.  Like so many other cases, blacks are rioting in the streets because they cannot comprehend someone of their own race doing such a thing.  Could you imagine whites doing such a thing?  No!  He's white, so it couldn't have been him!

People need to slow down, and let the information roll in without jumping to such assumptions.  All that has resulted is more violence, protests, injuries, conflicts, and deaths.  All because people want to make up their own narrative instead of letting the information trickle in.

Monday, August 18, 2014


Seriously America, we can't have one nice year without a racially motivated court case?

At this point, we have very little information on what has happened in Ferguson, Missouri.  However, that hasn't stopped citizens, pundits, and hosts alike from believing the death of a black teen is racially motivated because the man who shot the gun was white.

There are very few facts we do have.  Michael Brown was involved in a strong-armed robbery before the fatal incident.  It is unclear whether the police officer knew about the robbery.  From the video of the robbery, we know Michael Brown is big and could be intimidating.  In fact, he was 6' 4" and weighed 300 pounds.

We know Michael Brown was walking down the middle of the street when confronted by the police officer.  It is unclear what happened after this though.  Some say Brown was surrendering on the ground with his arms above his head.  Others say Michael Brown had charged the police officer in a confrontation, was walking away, and then charged the police officer before the final blow.  The autopsy cannot prove or disprove either of the stories at this point.  What we do know is that Brown was unarmed and six shots were fired.

Now, the Department of Justice is sending 50 FBI agents to investigate this incident, as well as Eric Holder himself.  For a Department who wouldn't send agents to investigate the death of hundreds, possibly thousands of veterans, this seems a little sketchy since that many agents is almost unheard of for this sort of investigation.  This prompts many to believe that the Department might be racially motivated.

Obama, unlike other cases such as the Trayvon Martin case, has remained very reserved in his statements on this investigation, calling for a calm to the violence in Ferguson.

Additionally, Al Sharpton, Jessie Jackson, and many other race hustlers have gone to Ferguson to talk to the people.  However, their travels to Ferguson might not be helping end the violence, but stirring the pot.

Protesters have been unruly in recent nights as they push, cursed, looting, and tossing bombs.  Some have even exchanged gunfire with police force.  This map shows the looting and property destruction in Ferguson, Missouri so far.

Tonight, however, police have instituted a policy that people can protest, but they must keep marching in order to prevent the violence.  So far, the policy has been working effectively.

On the other end, I'm torn over police action.  I understand that it is their duty to protect the people.  However, what good did it do to drive tanks down the middle of the road besides frighten and anger people?  Additionally, I understand the need to protect themselves, but I feel as if I am watching the beginning of some third world country's civil war or the rebellion that is to come in The Hunger Games series.  It feels like I am watching some war, not police.  Therefore, I am concerned about the militarization of the police force.

With that being said, it is important for the police to protect the citizens who live around here.  These citizens are terrified.  Stores are selling out of gas masks after five minutes of opening.  Businesses are being robbed and destroyed in the process.  It is the job of the police to preserve the peace.  The First Amendment gives people the freedom of peaceful assembly.  However, besides tonight, the protestors have shown they have not been able to peacefully protest.  Therefore, it is the job of the police to protect the people.

On a side note, the Brown family needs to get a new lawyer if they want to even have a fair trial when this case comes before a judge.  I watched him speak earlier during the press conference, and he horrifically stumbled through his statements.  Then, I saw him again on Fox News tonight.  He was not able to speak grammatically correct on national television.  You are not going to be able to sound highly intelligent and present your case before a jury when you cannot even conjugate a verb correctly.

In conclusion, America needs to take a deep breath and count to ten.  We, as a nation, are above this brutal action.  Without all the facts, it is impossible to make an informed decision.  However, too many are jumping to conclusions, stating that police are incompetent or the enemy or that this police officer is a racist.  Just slow down and wait for the facts before jumping to conclusions.  We've been here and done this before; the only thing that is accomplished is the rise of racial tension.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Remembering Robin Williams.

When the world learned of Robin Williams' passing on August 10, 2014, the human population was stunned by the tragic news.  How could a man who brought so many people so much joy suffer such deep, dark depression?

Even with his passing at 63, Robin Williams leaves a legacy very few are able to accomplish now a days.  When the news spread, it was terribly hard to find one person who had something bad to say about the man.  In a time when we are so divided, Robin Williams was one of the few who was able to make us forget it all.  When we needed to check out from all that was wrong in the world, he was there to make us smile and laugh.

His ability to make everyone from your grandmother to the three-year-old boy watching Night at the Museum is what made him truly amazing.  His ability to transcend generations with comedy for almost 40 years makes him unlike any other.  Personally, I knew him best watching The Crazy Ones every Friday lunch last year in college.

However, even with his struggles, Robin Williams always seemed to put others before himself.  Whether it was performing for our troops, doing commercial spots for St. Jude's Children's Hospital, or making a special appearance on Idol Gives Back to help those in Africa, Robin Williams was a generous humanitarian with high class.

While watching the news, I couldn't help but notice that even though everyone was solemn and saddened by the news, it was impossible for anyone to stop smiling and laughing when they rolled his clips.  And, I think that's what Robin Williams would have wanted.  Even through his struggles, he always wanted to make others happy.  Now, even after death, Robin Williams will be with us through his great works, which continue to make us laugh over and over again.