Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy 2007!

1. May all your dreams come true, especially those involving Heidi Klum.
2. May the Iranian dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accidentally slip while inspecting a weapons facility, hit the red button, and be scuttled into the sea while riding a missile at 4000 m.p.h.
3. Peace, goodwill, and sharing among men. Unless I win the Powerball. Don't bother asking.
4. May Osama Bin Laden develop such a bad case of diarrhea that the unfortunate stains on his white attire become visible from outer space.
5. If Steelers coach Bill Cowher retires, please tell them to hire me. I know what I'm doing.
6. May the Republicans and Democrats work together to benefit the American people instead of themselves and special interests. Oops, I forgot. This is New Years and not April Fool's Day.
7. Would someone please just agree to pay me a wage for hearing my opinions?
8. May your blog find syndication.
9. Can anyone get me a gig on the O'Reilly Factor?
10. Seriously, enjoy your life, care for your loved ones, and always remember to floss after brushing.

Happy New Year!! Peace to you and yours!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Some Top Stories and Reflections from 2006

The Iraq conundrum: By now most of us know the war in Iraq needs a change in direction to achieve a positive outcome. No, we cannot pull up stakes and run like a buckshot coyote but there are some strategic and tactical redeployments that many believe give us a better chance of protecting our own and quelling the insurgency. Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and a majority of dermatologists underestimated the levels of horror and violence thrust upon the Iraqi population and our military by radical Islamic extremists. We simply failed to understand that so many young sheep allowed insane clerics and imams to convince them to strap bombs to their chests and cars on their one way journey to hell. If, and I say if the Bush Administration and Pentagon decide that a temporary troop surge is necessary than please attempt the following steps: (1) Use the temporary increase in troop strength to bolster the Iraqi security forces in and around Baghdad. As Baghdad goes, so goes Iraq. (2) A phased redeployment to the borders with Syria and Iran is a must. Iranian revolutionary guards provide manpower, training, and weapons to those committing violence and destroying the future of Iraq and Lebanon. In fact, seal the borders until the government takes its feet, an economy grows, and the transfer of weapons and willing homicide bombers ends. (3) Provide more special operations through the use of intelligence and counterintelligence. Why not use special forces to wipe out some of the most radical fuelers of the insurgency instead of allowing them to hide behind religious protections?

Islamic extremism: The self-proclaimed dictator of Iran is as vile a human being as Hitler ever was in his darkest hour. The world sits stupidly with a dumb grin while Ahmadinejad promises to destroy Israel and America. Does this ring any bells? How about 1935 to 1939? Oh by the way, the IAEA functions as a futile body in Iran because they inspect only what he says they can inspect and soon they are on the way out of the country altogether. Make no mistake about it. The traces of polonium and uranium have nothing to do with the peaceful pursuit of nuclear energy for Iran. Iran intends to make nuclear bombs and the delivery systems are already in place to destroy Israel and reach the eastern seaboard of the U.S. We have two choices in finding peace in the Middle East. The root of radical Islam must be ferreted out and destroyed. Few people understand that a majority of the young people dying as supposed martyrs have far less command of Arabic than the murderous clerics do. They listen to the twisted words and hate of those desiring world domination with little ability to decipher the Quran on their own terms. Complete and direct sanctions against Middle Eastern countries that fail to assist us in ending extremist violence is a starting point. Don't fear the collateral damage. You should be wondering why you see no moderate Muslim outrage during the hot days of violence and death in the Middle East. Make no mistake, the core of the Islamic violence wants a Muslim world with no Christians, Jews, or Laker fans in it.

Illegal Immigration: Election 2006, Amnesty Wins!
How stupid are we really? This issue alone guaranteed the reelection of some of the country's conservative representatives on this issue. Boy was I wrong. Now the amnesty cowards feel free to push their agenda at will. I will make one last push for my immigration plan and then I fear I will tire. I do not request a border fence. I want a border blockade. A forty foot concrete wall constructed by the 11 million illegal immigrants already sucking up taxpayer dollars in this country suffices. There will be several openings, maybe 6, in this border-long conrete wall manned by large border patrol contingencies and customs officials. I know there may be crafty ways to attempt the scaling of my proposed concrete monolith so I am encouraging high voltage electric conduit to be placed in two foot increments up the face of my structure. Large warning signs in several languages are placed everywhere as tall as billboards warning of the danger of approaching the wall at other than an approved border patrol crossing. Then and only then can we start on the Canadian border, eh? Right now in northern Montana 20 divisions of the Chinese army could march into the United States unimpeded. The days of warm hugs and blowing kisses across our borders are over. This is a violent world with many in it wishing us death. Immigrants, more specifically illegal immigrants, can apply for citizenship the way my forefathers did, legally. Don't come here and wave Mexican flags and disrupt traffic and schools for the Americans that are paying for your healthcare and educations with little from you in return. Tough talk you say? Try following the rules to immigrate to Mexico. I think you'll find my proposals are gentle as a lamb.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Organ Donation: Give the Gift of Life

In September 2006 my father's liver function deteriorated as a result of an advanced stage of primary biliary cirrhosis. His internal medicine physician and a nephrologist at Billings Clinic made arrangements with the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha to evaluate him and to formulate a plan of action. The hospital flew him to Omaha late on a Tuesday night in October and by the end of the week several of us in the family made our way to Omaha. The diagnosis did not change but the prognosis did. He needed a liver and soon. After undergoing a myriad of tests to ascertain his overall health and his viability as an organ recipient, Dad was placed on the waiting list. As good as that news is to a waiting patient and family, there are some grim realities associated with the process. Nearly 20,000 people wait on the list and some 1700 die while waiting for a donated organ. By the grace of God our call came a mere 9 days later. His meld score was so high (a bad thing) that his transplant became imminent. On November 6, 2006 a family we've never met and a donor we could never thank gave the greatest gift imaginable. While one family in Omaha rejoiced another family in some other part of the country wept at what can only be described by me as a heroic loss.

I never gave the subject the consideration it deserves and that made me a fool. Brushing by the donation registration at the driver's license office proved just how selfish I was. Until it happens to you as the old saying goes. I never thought it would happen to me or within my immediate family. I was dead wrong. What state would we be in if everyone viewed organ donation with the same deadpan stare that I did? Medical procedures for transplants and pharmaceutical breakthroughs in the field of anti-rejection medication make the operations for organ transplants highly successful. Dad is recovering now and seems well on the way to regaining a normal life, free to enjoy his family and new grandson. I can never thank the donor and their family enough. It is such an easy decision and it is so amazing to watch life triumph over death. Speaking for me, there is no greater gift and I encourage everyone to become an organ donor. Talk about it with your family and decide for yourselves. Watch the gift of a loved one live on in a recipient that desperately needs a transplant. It is quite something to see the triumph after tragedy.

The Older I Get, The More I Love My Dog

Having had a history in law enforcement I can tell you that it is not all that difficult to have disgust and distrust for the seedier sides of humanity. I know that humans come first and animals have no mortal soul and so forth but take my argument, weigh it, and see if you agree with me even if in theory only.

1. Your dog will always be happy to see you even when you have the flu or when you accidentally knocked one of those antique plates off the china hutch and broke it.
2. After working outside, your dog doesn't really care how bad you smell. In fact, the raunchier your clothes are the happier he or she is to see you. Rolling in the clothes is optional.
3. A $3.00 bag of dog treats gains you as much affection as a $25,000.00 car does to a human counterpart.
4. I missed Valentine's Day, his birthday, and the anniversary of his AKC registration and he didn't say a thing, not one thing.
5. He barks at the mail man.
6. I am training him to bring beer on command. The only reward he cherishes is an ice cube.
7. My German Sheperd is a master at understanding human emotions directed towards him. When my wife is at home, his bed is on the floor. When she is gone, he doesn't even HAVE to ask nor does he when he jumps up on the bed.
8. When I leave on a trip he hangs his head in anguish and pouts. When I return a week later it's like I've been gone for months and he barely contains his excitement. Now to train my wife for the same response.

When all is said and done, the old dog is a true friend and loyal companion. No back talk, (unless he needs a treat) plenty of affection, and I don't have to bail him out or pay for a prom dress. All in all, a faithful pal indeed.


Check out the new books by Kirk Maier (perhaps an alter ego) available on I recommend downloading them for $3.75 instead of the exorbinant price they're listed at in print. "A Conspiracy of Death" centers around a new deputy in a rural sheriff's department caught in the intrigue and murder of a narcotic's scheme orchestrated by one of the department's most venerable officers. Throw in an extremist militia group and a plot to kill the governor and you have a novella that reads fast and travels well while you're waiting to catch that plane.

The second book fits this blog much better. "Right of Center: Say What's On Your Cynical Mind" is a short book written with dripping sarcasm and satire all the while talking about issues everyday Americans talk about around the dinner table. I love to tackle the weirdo's in Hollywood, Islamic extremists, religions, and several other topics.

Sorry about the shameless self-promotion but until the Washington Post and a handful of literary agencies and publishers beg to have my work on their desks, it really is the only option.

Thanks and happy reading.

The (now shameless) Montana Conservative

The Butcher of Baghdad Meets His Just Fate

December 29, 2006

I am watching cable news with morbid fascination awaiting the news of former Iraqi dictator Suddam Hussein's fate. He dies within the next 24 hours as ordered by an Iraqi tribunal, the order signed into effect by the Iraqi government. I thought it was particularly polite of the government and prosecutors to bring only 148 counts of what we would call "deliberate homicide" against him when in fact he surely gave orders and maintained culpability in well over one hundred thousand sanctioned murders. Since the executioner can only hang him once I suppose it would've been overkill to waste everybody's time and money tying up the boisterous legal proceedings in Iraq with cases involving that many victims. How interesting to see updates on the "cable news giants" every few minutes telling us that Saddam's time is at hand. During their broadcasts this past year pinning the administration on their justification for the war and weapons of mass destruction, little if any attention was paid to the biggest weapon of mass destruction in the region over the past decade. Saddam's own hands murdered as many as five hundred canisters of mustard gas or a dirty bomb ever could. Don't believe what you hear about the war. The media flexed their muscles this past election and helped (not caused) dupe an already dumbed down American populace into believing the "know nothing and do less" Democrats had the secular agenda to save America. Don't you just love editorial slant.

I am a fence-sitter in the capital punishment debate. In theory and philosophy, I am a supporter of the death penalty. Of course old Saddam's issue is not part or parcel of America's capital punishment system but some of the same questions exist. In America, short of having lived in a cave for the last twenty or so years, anyone with any intellectual aptitude concedes there are significant problems with the old death factories like those in the Oklahoma and Texas Departments of Correction. In short, several innocent men have been executed based on faulty crime lab work and always unreliable witness identification and testimony. The scientific breakthroughs and protocols in DNA testing made the decision a little easier for me.

To fix it, let's keep it simple. Retest all physical evidence for those on death row. A match is a match is a match is a match. Suspend all capital punishment until every state complies with DNA testing on these individuals. If DNA is not applicable within the evidentiary confines of a particular case, no death sentence can be given. If DNA matches exist and appeals are exhausted, then on with the show. It is not difficult and what a relief to prosecutors and defense attorneys alike. More deals can be struck lightening the load on overburdened dockets and the monsters with DNA matches in capital cases can be expedited to their just desserts. As for Saddam it doesn't really matter. In a society that prides itself on cutting off hands for stealing cookies and denigrating women in a male-dominated culture, it probably would've taken more than DNA to save the Butcher of Baghdad.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Apathetic America: To Be Continued

America’s Apathetic Slide: To Be Continued

Do political prognosticators really understand the reason Nancy Pelosi finds herself two heart beats from the Presidency come January? Do the editors at major media outlets really know how to decipher the reasons behind the slide in Iraq? Why the findings of the Iraq Study Group are grossly embedded with assumptions and faulty logic? The mystery to these questions is no mystery at all and the truth begs to be told. America no longer maintains the intestinal fortitude to hear the truth and act accordingly. We grudgingly tromp about in our tiny circles with little interest devoted to what matters and no desire to productively contribute to the future of our country and its founding principles and values. We simply do not care anymore and the future repercussions cast the dimmest glow on the horizon.

Pelosi and other recently elected Democrats rejoice in America’s “decisive” voice in effectuating change in America. But just how decisive was the vote? I am not talking about canvassed votes and the squeakiest of margins in Democratic victories in Virginia and Montana, but rather what did voters really know or care to research? The sad commentary simply reveals that after left-leaning print, network, and cable news organizations whipped the administration and the viewing public to death with negativity, scandal coverage, and unbalanced reporting, we bought it. The voting public or what there is of it, simply sat in living rooms awash in the negativity being broadcast night and day, hour by hour, and collectively fell prey to every word of it. Is Iraq the land of apple pie and hot dogs? No. Is there a need for a major policy shift and possible redeployment of our troops? The most probable answer is yes. Did the Democrats take control of Congress because a truly informed electorate weighed the tactical issues in Iraq against the actions of their representation or was it just easier to put faith in the networks, let them do the “work”, and believe cuddly politicians had the answer to Middle Eastern aggression and American troop deaths? I think the latter applies.

Pelosi’s motives adhere themselves to the most radical ideologies in the Democratic Party. Did the American people really weigh enough of what matters when a San Francisco liberal that supports abortion, alternative life styles, judicial activism, and dialogue with rogue states like North Korea now finds herself within arm’s reach of the United States presidency? Oh, yeah that is right. America woke up election morning with a fresh perspective on what is right and what is wrong on the American value scale and Nancy Pelosi is the clear winner. That is ridiculous. The “informed electorate” is not very informed at all. But what do we expect? When seniors in high school cannot pass the verbal and reading portions of their SAT’s and few of the registered voters know the capital of their own state or the names of more than five of our past presidents, what does the future hold?

What about the findings of the blue ribbon fact-combing commission known as the Iraq Study Group? (I thought blue ribbons went to 4-H kids with a champion steer, I digress) I generally maintain a favorable impression of James Baker as do I with the accomplishments and vision of the Reagan Administration. However, during the group’s press conference and subsequent interviews, James Baker and Lee Hamilton stressed the importance of dialogue with Muslim states in the region including Syria and Iran. That is comforting. Let us review lest we distract ourselves. As I pen this article the Iranian dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is passing tea and pastries around the table at a conference intended to deny the Holocaust as a historical event.

Oh, did I mention that he calls for the eradication of Israel? Yes, by all means let’s have a summit with someone possessing these maniacal tendencies for genocide and world domination. Elite Iranian military personnel provide weapons and training to Shiite militia. Syria remains a bed partner with the insurgency and provides money, weapons, training, and porous border control to fuel sectarian bloodletting in Iraq. Our “ally” Saudi Arabia allows its citizens and members within the royal family to funnel money to the Sunni death squads in Iraq. The Taliban resurfaces like dead carp from the deep as Afghanistan continues to wobble on its weak knees. Osama Bin Laden and Al-Zawahiri probably reside in the tribal regions of Pakistan. I guarantee if they resided in the tribal regions of Nevada they would be captured or better yet dead.

The point is this. There never has been peace between the West and Middle East. There has never been peace between the Middle East and the Middle East. Do you ever wonder why countries with billions of dollars in resources and assets continue to trudge along in the Stone Age? Why do religious zealots control the populace like puppet masters and make semi-elected Muslim government officials fearful of them and those willing to carry out their bidding? (The rest of Muslim countries have dictatorships that literally can kill for sport) Do you really think the Israeli conflict with the Palestinians is over borders and a Palestinian state? It is about a state alright. It is about the elimination of the Israeli state. Do people understand that most of these countries still cut off hands, legs, and heads as punishment for crimes like petty theft and less? These are state laws but based on interpretation of Islamic law. Now we are getting to where the rubber meets the road.

We are not at war with terrorists; their actions are incidental believe it or not. We are at war with an ideology that manifests itself through violent extremism but whose roots lie within Muslim tradition and culture. Yes sir, a racist and bigoted statement until the reality presents itself. One question solves the quandary. Where is the moderate Muslim outrage? Do Christians in Davenport jump up and down when Ahmadinejad threatens harm and death to America and Israel? Do Christians jump in their cars and travel to Chicago or New York to blow up a mosque or detonate a car bomb on the streets while innocents go about the business of daily life? No they do not. Do you remember watching news footage of rabid crowds chanting in unison, firing weapons in the air, and burning the likenesses of American leaders in effigy? Uncontrolled emotional reactions based on daily choices not influenced but dictated by religion. Every response whether viewed in a conservative, moderate, or extremist light is based on adherence at one level or another to Islamic law. We worship privately but have vocal stalwarts whose lives are dedicated to preventing the melding of church and state. In Muslim cultures, the state is the most vocal proponent of religion and religious ideology controls the state’s activities. Hamas, Hezbollah, and even Al-Qaeda are not politically motivated but dominated and indoctrinated by supposed and sometimes imposed religious edict. How can the American government legitimate them as functioning government and political entities when they are driven by a religious ideology that promotes eradication and domination?

In America, even as morally unfit as we are, if Catholic or Protestant death squads roamed the streets in their relatively small numbers the “sectarian” violence would end in short order. Value based outrage here would lead to their throats being cut in their sleep. That is the difference. We are fighting in Iraq for people that are so addicted to their religion that peace cannot be achieved. Modern values and principles like the separation of church and state that have evolved over centuries, wars, and bloodshed never moved beyond the 15th century in the Middle East. Even if the entire globe converted to Islam, the battle for power among sects of the same religion would thrust the entire planet into war forever. We are at war with a culture that cannot stand peace. How can the Iraq Study Group call for multilateral dialogue with states that cannot adhere to the modern principles of peace through the separation of church and state? I stand for Christian principles and values but I don’t expect Washington to force them as law on the populace and punish those who privately disagree.

I am so disappointed that we are such obtuse purveyors of modern history. Adolph Hitler did not saunter from his suite in a bath robe one cool morning in 1940 and decide over breakfast and Eva Braun to destroy the Jews. The beginnings of Mein Kampf seethed with hatred and evil nearly twenty years prior to the invasion of Poland. History is repeating itself with Ahmadinejad right before our eyes and no one does a thing. On a cheerier note, he is aligned with Putin and Russia as well. That should make everyone sleep a little sounder tonight.

When it is all boiled down to gravy our own moral decline certainly weakens our position when we need strong resolve as a nation to deal with the growing global manifestations of extremism. We cannot hold our marriages together, keep unborn children from homicide, nor can we understand the complexity multicultural interactions and the inherent challenges of surviving on this planet. A political leader stands high atop his podium crashing his fist and denigrating a sovereign country and preaching genocide. Our response is to grab a pizza, watch the King of Queens, and hope the media and Nancy Pelosi’s track record on foreign policy keeps us from harm.

Our apathy is rotting us from the inside out. We have little control over our own lives and certainly our ability to prioritize what is critical from what is trivial has been lost. We are obsessed with vanity and material wealth and accumulation. We won’t sacrifice enough to save our families anymore much less consider sacrificing for our country. Why is Nancy Pelosi on the beltway’s fast track? She is where she is because no one took the time to give a damn. This country obviously weakened itself with the November elections and we should be afraid. Regardless of the election results, the world got what it wanted. The world received a pacifist response from a nation of “do-nothings” and “care-lessers”. The piper will be paid. The anti-conservative media rails against the death of American troops yet will spend segments three and four times as long on Tom Cruise’s baby and George Clooney’s face. That’s what America wants. What America gets will be far darker and more dismal than even World War Two.

Montana Conservative