The Bean Patch

Political commentary and satire, seasoned with personal experience, from the point-of-view of an ultra-conservative member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy and the Patriarchy to boot.

Location: Jasper, Georgia, United States

Conservative, Baptist, family man. Married for 13 years with 4 children. Accountant by trade. Bachelor's of Business Administration from Kennesaw State University in Marietta, GA, in 1996. Graduated Cherokee High School, Canton, GA in 1991. Live in Jasper, GA.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Am I The Only Person Who Sees The Problem Here?

I have some mixed emotions about this story. Right now, I'm between outraged and wondering if there is not more to the story.

(Bold below is my emphasis)


Father Tasered while holding newborn
Man says daughter injured when security guards downed him in hospital
The Associated Press

HOUSTON - In a confrontation captured on videotape, a hospital security guard fired a stun gun to stop a defiant father from taking home his newborn, sending both man and child crashing to the floor.

Now the man says the baby girl suffers from head trauma because she was dropped.
I’ve got to wonder what kind of moron would Tase an adult holding a baby,”
said George Kirkham, a former police officer and criminologist at Florida State University. “It doesn’t take rocket science to realize the baby is going to fall.”

The April 13 episode began when William Lewis, 30, said he and his wife felt mistreated by staff at the Woman’s Hospital of Texas so they decided to leave. Hospital employees told him doctors would not allow it, but Lewis picked up the baby and strode to a bank of elevators.
The elevators would not move because wristband sensors on each baby shut off the elevators if anyone takes an infant without permission.

Lewis, who gave the video to The Associated Press, said his daughter landed on her head, but it cannot be seen on the video. He said the baby continues to suffer ill effects from the fall.
“She shakes a lot and cries a lot,” Lewis said, noting doctors have performed several MRIs on the child, Karla. “She’s not real responsive. Something is definitely wrong with my daughter.”
It was not clear whether the baby received any electrical jolt.

Child Protective Services has custody of the baby because of a history of domestic violence between Lewis and his wife, Jacqueline Gray. The infant does not appear to be suffering any health problems from the fall, agency spokeswoman Estella Olguin said.

David Boling, an off-duty Houston police officer working security at the hospital, and another security guard can be seen on the surveillance video arriving at the elevators and trying to talk with Lewis. Lewis appears agitated as he walks around the elevators holding his daughter in his right arm.

Within 40 seconds of arriving, Boling is holding the Taser. He walks around Lewis and whispers to the other guard, who moves to Lewis’ right side.

About a minute later, Boling can be seen casually standing near Lewis, not looking in his direction, when he suddenly raises the Taser and fires it at Lewis, who was still holding his daughter.

Lewis drops to the floor. The other guard, who has not been identified, scoops up the baby and gives her to the child’s mother, who was standing nearby in a hospital gown.

The guard then pulls Lewis to his feet with his arms locked behind him. Lewis’ T-shirt has two holes under the left side of his chest where the Taser prongs hit him.
Lewis said he did not see the stun gun.

My wife said we want to leave and then he just Tasered me,” Lewis said. “He caused me to drop the child.”

In a statement, the hospital said Lewis was hostile and uncooperative toward staff members who were trying to find out his relationship to the infant when they saw him trying to leave. Neither Lewis or Gray had indicated they wanted a discharge, according to the statement.

“Mr. Lewis became verbally abusive by using vulgar expletives. When Mr. Lewis’ behavior became threatening, endangering the infant and employees, licensed law enforcement officers followed their professional standards to protect those involved,” the statement said.

Lewis was arrested and charged with endangering a child. A grand jury in May declined to indict him on that charge, but charged him with retaliation, accusing him of making threats against Boling.

Lewis also has been charged with a second count of retaliation alleging he made a threatening call to Boling at his home.

Lewis denies both charges. He said he is considering suing the hospital but has not filed any legal papers.

Houston police spokesman Gabe Ortiz said the department did not investigate the officer’s role, and he declined to elaborate. Boling did not immediately respond to a request for comment given to the police department.

Some 11,000 U.S. law enforcement agencies use Tasers, which some experts say are increasingly being used as a convenient labor-saving device to control uncooperative people.

“The Taser itself is a legitimate law-enforcement tool,” Kirkham said. “The problem is the abusive use of them. They’re supposed to be only used to protect yourself or another person from imminent aggression and physical harm. They’re overused now.”

In a nutshell, this man and woman appear to have been dissatisfied for some reason with the hospital. They wanted to leave. Husband takes baby to the elevator.

Now here is where I am in a quandry. I fully agree with hospital regulations concerning bracelets. Too many creeps are out there that will slip a baby out of a hospital. However, I am in full disagreement that a patient cannot discharge themselves from the hospital without "doctor consent".

I believe that if an officer is standing casually by a "belligerent" person, facing in another direction, that the case for the said suspect being "belligerent" is, well, suspect. Just how belligerent can a person be holding a newborn baby?

The jury refusing to indict Mr. Lewis with endangerment to his child also speaks volumes about this case.

Oh yeah, and let's not forget that the officer used the taser for the "protection of himself and others". Except the baby.

Sounds to me like the rent-a-cop had a new toy, was itching to use it, and seized an opportunity.

But to be fair, perhaps we are not hearing the whole story. But it is still undenial that only a moron would tase a person holding a newborn.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Barry Bonds Takes A Spanking From A Former Player With Class

Apparently, some people are not taking the breaking of Hank Aaron's homerun record by Barry "Asterisk" Bonds with a grain of salt, as I am. In the whole big scheme of things, I find this much more offensive to baseball than Pete Rose's betting scandal. At least Pete Rose did break the hitting record with no trainer in jail for giving him illegal substances, even if he did bet on the game. But some more hardcore fans, former players, that is, are not so happy about the "record-breaking" home run.

Enter Dale Murphy, two-time MVP and all around class-act ball player. From the looks of
this story, Dale Murphy called a radio station in Salt Lake City, Utah, and gave Barry a well-deserved verbal spanking.

"[Bonds] would have become one of the great ones, anyway. Now, he sucked the fun and the life right out of it. There is enough evidence to me to say without a doubt that he used performance-enhancing drugs. He hit 73 home runs when he was 37. Hank would have hit 855 if he had the same advantage."

As is consistent with his clean-cut image, Mr. Murphy sticks to sound logic when coming to the conclusion that Bonds definitely had "help" in defeating the record. He concedes that Bonds would have been "one of the great ones", but then points out that the evidence rendered so far, such as "hit(ting) 73 home runs when he was 37", as his basis for his conclusion.

"Barry's a great player, but he put an asterisk by his name on his own. He's deserved all the negative publicity that he's getting. People have been complaining that he's being treated unfairly. Life isn't usually like that. You don't just get treated unfairly. You usually get what you deserve. "

Mr. Murphy has spoken a universal truth that those with a victim mentality and with no faith in God can grasp; that people usually get what they deserve, and that his troubles were brought on by himself.

"This is what Barry deserves. He's a hard guy to like. He's a hard teammate to have. He's set a terrible example for our kids. "

This is always what set Dale Murphy apart. I can remember growing up, and every kid wanted to be Dale Murphy, just like every kid now wants to be Barry Bonds. But Dale Murphy knew this. He always took bad calls in stride, rarely arguing calls with the umpires. He never used profanity on the field. He never lost his cool. He knew that children were watching, but he also knew that he was only human, and that he had to watch his actions and words closely because he was influency a lot of children. Barry Bonds is a thug in comparison, much more akin to the NBA mentality.

"That's what you say to your kids. You say, 'This is what happens when you take steroids. Your dad doesn't want to watch this, because it's drug abuse.'

And this quote is some good sound advice to parents when addressing the Bonds issue.

As for me, I could really care less, because history will not be good to Bonds in my opinion. We still here about the "Black Sox scandal" of 1919, and "Shoeless Joe" Jackson. Despite the caliber player Jackson may have been in his time, that is far more overshadowed by the scandal.

Barry Bonds may never get the asterisk. But baseball fans and historians don't forget.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The Temptation To Be Base to the Base

I almost daily read three blogs, which are the top three list on my blog roll: Waynedawg, Wadical, and Vox. Waynedawg and Wadical are like I am, and blog when they have time or inspiration. Vox has a larger readership and blogs several times daily.

And so I came across this post by Vox and began reading comments, which is always entertaining. A commentor named "WLindseyWheeler" posted some comments that many of the readers of Vox's blog did not agree with. As a matter of fact, I disagreed with his opinions and his screed against "niggers" and "dirty Jews", as well as Libertarians in general. However, what disappointed me was the way in which some of Vox's readers, who I find to be on the upper side of the intelligence spectrum, reacted to his comments.

When a person is saying things that are offensive or that is disagreeable, the temptation is always to lower to their level, and "call a spade a spade". However, oftentimes this has the opposite impact that one may perceive, actually legitimizing the cause of the offender in his mind. This is often the reaction of those with such simple minds, who understand nothing deeper than a banner slogan.

When I am called a name, I recognize that I have hit a nerve with someone who lacks the depth and/or the logic to counter my point. I would venture to say that Mr. Wheeler probably believes somewhat of the same thing considering such comebacks as, "Oh yea, you have a little penis and none of the feminists want to have sex with you," courtesy of a commentor called "Starbuck".

This brings to mind a time when a certain group of people from a church came calling at the home of someone I know. Rather than politely thank them for coming and saying, "we're not interested", they chose to be quiet and hope that they would just go away. But when one of them turned the door knob after knocking, the woman of the house came unhinged, telling them not so politely what she thought that they were and where they should go in very plain language that would make HBO producers blush. My thought at this is that she only legitimized the cause of those with whom she disagreed by stooping, in this case, below their level.

My advice is to fight ignorance with knowledge and resist the temptation to sling mud.

By attending the Klan rally in protest, the NAACP only further legitimizes the KKK in their own minds. Ignore them, and keep the cameras at home.

Stay on the high ground above those you oppose, and defeat them with facts and knowledge rather than fighting them with meaningless drivel that only reflects poorly on you.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Labor Woes Are A Simple Function Of Supply & Demand

Much has been bantered about in our vanilla Congress about the recent increase in minimum wage. Minimum wage is merely a bunch of cowdung, put in a box, and wrapped in pretty Christmas paper with a bow. Though the package is appealing, open it up and it really stinks.

Let's look realistically at the minimum wage scenerio. A basic premise of economics is that price is based upon the perceived value to the buyer. When selling labor as well as materials, perceived value of the buyer will dictate the price of said labor. The buyer of labor is expecting to make a profit from his investment in labor, or else no incentive exists for him to make the investment to begin with. Therefore, the cost of labor is built in to all pricing models for goods and services.

When labor prices go up, the investor has one of three options. He can raise the price of the goods or services he offers. The price of the goods or services offered by the investor is dictated by what his customers are willing to pay. Therefore, if his customers are not willing to buy from him with the new price increase, this is not a feasible option. Another option is absorbing the cost with lower profit margins. However, this can only go on for so long, as profit margins can only dwindle so far before the third option, which is ceasing operations, has to take place. Simple indeed and irrefutable is my logic in this.

So one can see easily that if floor is placed on labor artificially, then prices will increase relative to wages, and no one is really better off, or either the investor is out of business and the low wage worker out of a job.

However, another factor plays in to pricing for goods: that is supply and demand. A simple concept, really, is supply and demand. If demand increases for goods or services and supplies cannot keep with the demand, prices increase. If supply exceeds the demand, prices must decrease. Currently, we have in the U.S. an ever-increasing supply of low-wage, low-skill workers crossing our southern border.

Unemployment rates are very low right now overall, which indicates that wage rates were acceptable before the hike. However, if a shortage of low skill labor occurs, the price paid for low skill workers will have to go up, and it will by virtue of market pressure. Since population growth is negative for the children of babyboomers, take illegal immigrants out and there is no other alternative.

So, in short, the best way and only logical way to better the economic status of low skill workers is the cut-off illegal immigration and seal the borders, in addition to creating stricter guidelines for work visas and legal immigration.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Where A Big Government Belongs

Mike Huckabee, governor of Arkansas, has received some bad reviews from some of the conservative watchdog groups. Of those who are considered "real" contenders for the nomination, I would say that at this point I like Huckabee the best, although I am not at this point in time completely convinced he is as much of a conservative as he claims to be.

The watchdog groups point to some of the events that unfolded in Arkansas under his tenure, such as increases in taxes, to say that he is not conservative. Although the act of "raising", or collecting, taxes is not anti-conservative, since a certain amount of revenue is needed for the operation of government, the amounts raised and methods of raising are definitely debatable.

Huckabee raised sales taxes, or at least the state did while he was governor, which is the preferred method of raising taxes to conservative. Huckabee also claims to be a proponent of the Fairtax, which is a plus. But watchdog groups making a blanket assumption that the growth of state government under the tenure of a governor disqualifies him as conservative is fallable at best. As a matter of fact, constitutionally, this is where a conservative would prefer the growth of government.

The U.S. is unique in that its citizens have the ability to move for hundreds, even thousands, of miles freely. No other nation in the world boasts this freedom. Consequently, different regions have different needs and philosophies. The degree of government within each state is unique to that state, provided that it does not counter the few powers delegated to the Federal government, such as interstate commerce. If a state, such as Arkansas, wishes to raise taxes to whatever level, this is their constitutional right.

State government is also more accountable to its citizenry, since the state represents a region of the body and not the whole. So if government is growing in size anywhere, it should be at the state level. State citizens can then debate what they need. If the citizens of the state do not like the operation of the state, they have the freedom and choice to move to another state more suitable.

This is the principle upon which many issues should be decided rather than decided in the supreme court of the land, or even in the federal legislature. An issue, such as murder or abortion, should be state mandated. If Massachusetts wants to legalize abortion or murder, then the state has the power to do so. But this does not mean that a state such as New Hampshire, South Carolina, or Nevada should be held to laws that go against the wishes or morality of their citizenry.

While I may not agree with the views of liberals, I do agree that if they can win at the ballot box with their viewpoints within their state, they do have the right to legislate those viewpoints within their state, but not at the federal level.

And so Mike Huckabee may have been subject and even party to some anti-conservative governmental moves while governor of Arkansas. But his words and acts will dictate whether or not he is truly conservative, not the acts of legislatures or courts within the state during his tenure.

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Bermuda Triangle Analogy

Several years ago, Waynedawg and I attended a townhall meeting hosted by Rep. Nathan Deal of Georgia, who happens to be our representative in the U.S. House. At this point in time, the Medicare prescription drug plan was being debated.

Rep. Deal began to describe the Republican version of the prescription drug plan. When he fielded questions, several attendees called Rep. Deal to question on conservative principles as to how he could support anything that would grow our government larger.

To paraphrase the Congressman, he said, "This is going to eventually pass, whether we do it or whether Democrats do it if and when they regain power. If we do it, we can get what we want out of it."

As I reflect on this, what is still oblivious to our beltway republicans but so evident to their base is that this is exactly the kind of thinking and action that caused many a conservative to just sit at home on election day 2006. And the same will happen in 2008, when the Hildabeast becomes our first female president since the last time she occupied the Whitehouse.

And thus we now have an immigration bill that is being co-sponsored by both democrats and republicans that will most likely pass the senate, which basically gives amnesty to illegal immigrants. Both Georgia senators, Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isaakson are in favor of the bill.

Immigration is the one issue that could turn the party around and offer it another chance for power if republicans would take it a go with it.

But for some reason, republicans keep making the wrong moves. What is it about Washington D.C. that causes people to lose their minds and become bleeding heart liberals to one degree or another?

And so the lerch of the republican party leftward continues. Hopefully by 2012, enough conservatives will have realized that the republican party is nothing more than dishonest democrats.

Washington D.C. is the bermuda triangle of conservative politicians. It seems that their political compasses point North when in fact they are traveling South. The transmissions to their base ceases, and the instruments that got them to where they are begin to fail. And thus they are swallowed by the black hole that is D.C., never to be heard from again.

Friday, May 18, 2007

What I Said, Only Better

Here is a post I found with better and more in depth analysis on Rep. Paul that what I offered in my last post.