Friday, December 31, 2010

2011 brings changes to The Sheepdog

2011 is almost here, and I for one am glad to see 2010 slowly slide off into history. It wasn't the best of years for me, and 2011 shows promise, and I'm ready to get started with it.

With the start of 2011, you will notice some major changes here at The Second Chance Sheepdog. During the last six months of 2010, the blog became too politically focused. In 2011, the focus will shift back toward promoting organ and tissue donation as I had originally planned for the blog. I will still blog about political issues some, but politics will not be the focus anymore. Those days are gone.

In 2011, each weekday will have a theme. There will be :
  • Music Mondays - Mondays are usually a drag for most of us. We either have to go back to school or work. So, in 2011, The Sheepdog will start the week off with something fun - music. I grew up during the MTV era of the '80s. Therefore, the primary focus of Music Mondays will be to take a walk down memory lane and look back at some of the great music from that era via music video. I'll also mix in some concert announcements from your favorite artists, album release announcements, and some album reviews. However, I'll highlight more than just '80s music. I mix in some from the early '90s and some contemporary Christian along the way. Unfortunately, for my friends in Music City, you will not see much, if any, country highlighted here. The Sheepdog's a rocker, not a "twanger." Sorry.
  • Transplant Tuesdays and Thursdays - Each Tuesday and Thursday will be devoted to organ and tissue transplant advocacy. I'll post articles about people who have received transplants, transplant innovations, and other transplant related stories. Plus, if some nimrod politician pulls some sort of stunt that is detrimental to transplant patients, such as Arizona Governor Jan Brewer did recently, you'll hear about it here, too.
  • Wild Wednesdays - Despite the name, Wild Wednesdays are not gonna be about partying. The "Wild" I'm talking about is like a "wild card" in a card game - it can be anything. So, Wild Wednesday can be about any subject - music, transplants, politics, sports, or might even be a joke.
  • Freedom and Firearm Fridays - Friday's will be the one day each week that we talk about politics. I may highlight a new piece of legislation that needs to be voted down or approved or discuss a political candidate. I'll do some articles on things involving firearms, too. These could be about legislation effecting the right to keep and bear arms, a new gun on the market, new ammo on the market, or some other shooting relating topic.
Lastly, I want to wish everyone a safe and Happy New Year. The Second Chance Sheepdog blog's new year and new format will start this coming Monday, January 3rd, with a music video from the band who opened the first rock concert I ever attended. I'm not gonna give any clues as to who it is. So, if you're curious as to which band, you'll just have to check back Monday to find out. Don't miss the new year on The Sheepdog. 

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The Music City Bowl embarrassment

As an alumnus and lifelong football fan of the University of Tennessee (UT), I would like to offer my sincerest apologies to the University of North Carolina's football team, fans, students, and administration for the behavior of UT's football team during the Music City Bowl last night. The unsportsmanlike, undisciplined, and dirty play was uncalled for and something I would expect out of the Tennessee Thug Titans or the Oakland Raiders. It should NOT have been tolerated by the UT coaching staff who should have dealt with it swiftly and severely. They did not do so. Therefore, they are just as guilty as the players.

English: Derek Dooley at the Orange and White ...
English: Derek Dooley at the Orange and White game in Knoxville, TN, after taking over as Head Coach. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Tennessee's freshman quarterback Tyler Bray lit a spark under the team during the last four regular season games. Tennessee won each of them. His performance in last night's Music City Bowl was pretty good except for throwing multiple interceptions. However, his repeated "throat slashing" gestures directed at the North Carolina bench showed no class and were uncalled for. Coach Dooley should have nipped that in the bud after the first one, and then if Bray continued making the gestures, he should have been sent to the locker room. There's no place for that in UT football.

The undisciplined, dirty play of UT's defense during the last few minutes of the game was deplorable. Multiple personal fouls due to late and illegal hits were called on them which ultimately led to UT losing the game, as they should have. The intentional spearing of North Carolina's Todd Harrelson by UT's Janzen Jackson was inexcusable. By leaving his feet to make the illegal hit on Harrelson, it was obvious that Jackson was intentionally trying to injure him. Jackson is fortunate that he did not injure himself severely. Many football players have done so in the past by making the same stupid mistake he did. The officials should have ejected Jackson from the game, but they did not. Since he wasn't ejected, Coach Dooley should have yanked him out of the game himself. You may remember that Jackson was one of the UT football players involved in an attempted armed robbery last year (see earlier post here), but the charges against him were later dropped because he supposedly had no knowledge of the robbery beforehand. His thug-like behavior and lack of respect for his own, as well as others, safety in last night's game makes me wonder about whether or not the charges should not have been dropped.

Furthermore, after Jackson's "spearing incident," there were more personal fouls called against the UT defense plus one blatant late hit that the officials missed. The deal with Jackson was not an isolated incident. Based upon the UT football team's behavior last night, I thought Phil Fulmer was still the coach. The downfall of his regime at UT was a lack of discipline on the field which led to a lack of discipline off the field with player after player getting in trouble with the law. After he left and Lane Kiffin came on the scene, it continued as evidenced by the armed robbery incident mentioned earlier. The thuggery and lack of discipline at the University of Tennessee HAS TO END !! As a result of last night's debacle, two things need to happen immediately :
  1. Janzen Jackson should be dismissed from the team permanently. Intentional illegal hits with the potential to permanently and seriously injure another player CANNOT be tolerated. He was fortunate to get a second chance after the robbery incident. He should now be done at UT - period.
  2. Coach Derek Dooley should either resign or be fired. He was brought in to rebuild the team after the Fulmer and Kiffin debacle as well as institute some discipline and build respect. Based upon the behavior of UT's football team last night, he has either forgotten or ignored the discipline part. By not putting his foot down last night, he allowed his players to thoroughly embarrass the university. He has to go - NOW.
I was not upset by Tennessee losing a football game last night. I was disappointed and embarrassed because they lost it due to a meltdown caused by a lack of self-control and discipline. In my opinion, it all goes back to the poor coaching staff. Until some rules for behavior are laid down and enforced, crap like last night will continue to hit the fan and embarrass the university. Enough is enough, and it needs to be fixed right now so that it doesn't happen again. I'm tired of it. Usually, we hear stories about people "coming out of the closet." After last night's embarrassment, my Tennessee orange is going into the closet - way, way, way back in the closet. It'll stay there until the problems are fixed.

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The elephants are coming !!!

Back in September, the Republicans released A Pledge to America, and in November achieved historic victories over the Democrats. It's been a little more than eight weeks the GOP took control of the U.S. House of Representatives and removed the Democrats super majority in the U.S. Senate. In January, the new Congress will be seated and go to work. The question is whether the Republicans will be able to live up to their "pledge."

In A Pledge to America, the Republicans state :
With this document, we pledge to dedicate ourselves to the task of reconnecting our highest aspirations to the permanent truths of our founding by keeping faith with the values our nation was founded on, the principles we stand for, and the priorities of our people. This is our Pledge to America. 
We pledge to honor the Constitution as constructed by its framers and honor the original intent of those precepts that have been consistently ignored – particularly the Tenth Amendment, which grants that all powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people. 
We pledge to advance policies that promote greater liberty, wider opportunity, a robust defense, and national economic prosperity. 
We pledge to honor families, traditional marriage, life, and the private and faith-based
organizations that form the core of our American values. 
We pledge to make government more transparent in its actions, careful in its stewardship, and honest in its dealings. 
We pledge to uphold the purpose and promise of a better America, knowing that to whom much is given, much is expected and that the blessings of our liberty buoy the hopes of mankind. 
We make this pledge bearing true faith and allegiance to the people we represent, and we invite fellow citizens and patriots to join us in forming a new governing agenda for America.
The GOP's "Pledge" also lays out a five-part plan for correcting America's problems. Their plan is to :
  1. Create jobs, end economic uncertainty, and make America more competitive by stopping all tax increases that take effect January 1, 2011, allowing small businesses a tax deduction equal to 20% of their business income, requiring Congressional approval of any new regulation which costs $100 Million or more, and repealing small business mandates.
  2. Stop out-of-control spending and reduce the size of government by canceling unspent stimulus funds, rolling spending back to pre-stimulus and pre-bailout levels, placing budget caps on new spending, cutting Congress' budget, holding weekly votes on spending cuts, canceling TARP, reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, imposing a Federal hiring freeze on non-security employees, rooting out government waste and sunsetting unneeded programs, and requiring a full accounting of entitlement programs (i.e. - Social Security, Medicare, etc.) in order to protect them for the future.
  3. Repeal and replace the government takeover of health care by repealing ObamaCare, enacting tort reform, allowing Americans to purchase health insurance across state lines, expanding Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), ensuring access to health insurance for people with pre-existing conditions, and permanently prohibiting taxpayer funding of abortion.
  4. Reform Congress and restore trust by publishing the text of bills online for three days before they are voted on in the House, requiring each bill to include a clause citing the specific Constitutional authority allowing Congress to enact the bill, and only advancing one legislative issue at a time. 
  5. Keep our nation secure at home and abroad by passing clean troop funding bills quickly, keeping terrorists out of America, ensuring captured foreign terrorists are tried in military courts, fully funding missile defense, enforcing tough sanctions against Iran, establishing control of our borders, and working with state and local officials to enforce immigration laws.
The GOP's "Pledge" and plan all sounds pretty good. They've made some big promises and set some high goals. If they can follow through, it will be good for the country. However, their idea to repeal ObamaCare is a stretch, and they will be unable to accomplish it anytime soon. They have probably got the votes to pass a new bill repealing it. However, Obama would veto any such "repeal," and they do not have the votes to override his veto. They will have to regain the White House in order to get the ObamaCare repeal done. Their goal to cut spending back to pre-stimulus and pre-bailout levels is a good start, but the fact is that the spending cuts need to go even deeper. The pre-stimulus and pre-bailout Federal budgets still consistently ran deficits. The GOP will have to do better than that.

Personally, I hope they can live up to their "Pledge." In order to do so, it will require them to be firm with Obama and the Democrats, stick to their guns, have a backbone, stop playing politics, do what's right for the country even if it's not politically popular, and most of all be honest and open with the American people. It's also high-time we had a serious discussion about term limits for the Senate and the House. The biggest problem is that after some of these goofballs get elected, they are only concerned about getting re-elected instead of doing the right thing. That has to end. Lastly, the GOP must keep the promises made in their "Pledge." Americans do not like being lied to. They better remember that. We just put the GOP back in power, and we can take it right back away from them just as quickly in the next election cycle.

P.S. I've been considering and working on a new, re-focused direction for this blog in 2011. I will share it on Friday.

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Monday, December 27, 2010

Is the NFL getting soft ??

I was surprised yesterday when the National Football League (NFL) postponed the game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings due to the blizzard that was hitting the east coast. The real surprise was that the decision was made before it even started snowing in Philadelphia !! I could not help but wonder what NFL players of yesterday thought about the decision. As a kid, I can remember watching games on TV being played in Chicago, Green Bay, Cleveland, Denver, Buffalo, and other places in blowing snow and bitter cold temperatures. I remember reading about the 1967 NFL Championship Game, known as the Ice Bowl, between the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys where the game time temperature was -13 degrees (F) with a wind chill of nearly -50 degrees. The players of that era probably thought something along the line of "wimps" when the league postponed the game yesterday. Plus, they played in those conditions without getting paid anything near what today's players do.

English: American football with clock to repre...
English: American football with clock to represent a "current sports or American football event" (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I've been a football fan since I was old enough to know what a football was. I often marvel at the differences I see in the game and in the players over the last 30 years. I remember guys playing with broken hands, arms, and jaws. The trainers would bandage them up and send them back out onto the field to hit somebody else. Now, we see guys like Randy Moss who play "when they want to." We hear of players who are out for weeks with "turf toe," or, as in the case of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson last week, they can't play because of a "thigh bruise." Where has the toughness gone ?? Fortunately, we occasionally still see a player or two who still plays with the old-school "toughness" of yesteryear. One example is current Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Yes, Ben did have his "issues" off the field in the off-season. However, he's one of the few tough players left. For the last few weeks, he has played with a broken bone sticking out of his foot and a broken nose that had to be surgically repaired. However, he hasn't missed a game due to either injury. In fact, in last Thursday's game against the Carolina Panthers, Roethlisberger took a hit on his broken nose on an unsuccessful third down play. The hit caused a nosebleed, but Big Ben was back in the game on the Steelers next offensive series without missing a single play. I suspect he has received a few toasts and salutes from the players of yesteryear over the last few weeks for the toughness he has shown.

The NFL is constantly changing and many times it's for the worst. Currently, it's nearly impossible for a defensive player to "legally" hit a quarterback, players sit out games for minor injuries, and now they don't play games in the snow. Taking all this into consideration, I propose that the NFL change it's name. Perhaps The National Wussie League, or WFL, would be more appropriate.

It's just a thought.
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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Save Arizona's Transplant Patients

A sunset in the Arizona desert near Scottsdale...Today, I'm following up on the post from the other day titled Atrocity in the U.S. - politicians killing transplant patients !! I ran across the blog, Bob's New Heart, of a fellow heart recipient whom has become a great advocate for Arizona's transplant patients. As you remember from my post, Arizona has cut out Medicaid funding for life-saving organ transplants which has amounted to a death sentence for about 100 of it's sickest residents. However, Bob Aronson is trying to help them.

Bob has setup a Facebook group, Organ Transplant Initiative, to help advocate for the transplant funding to be added back to the state's Medicaid program. He has also setup a website called The purpose of the website is to raise money selling T-shirts, bumper stickers, etc. to pay for these folks' transplants if the funding is not re-established by the state of Arizona. The profits are then contributed to the National Transplant Assistance Fund.

Hopefully, Gov. Brewer and the Arizona legislature will see the error of their ways and re-fund the transplant funding for the state's Medicaid program. However, if it doesn't, this fundraising effort may be these folks only hope of being able to pay for their transplants. Furthermore, I have posted the link to Bob's blog in my "Blog List" if you would like to continue to follow the plight of Arizona's transplant patients. Plus, under my "Transplant Links," I have placed the links to Save the Arizona 98 and the National Transplant Assistance Fund if you feel led to help out.

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Atrocity in the U.S. - politicians killing transplant patients !!

Jan BrewerSeveral weeks ago, Conservatives and others were singing the praises of the Republican Governor of Arizona, Jan Brewer (pictured right). Arizona had just passed their new immigration bill and several other states were considering passing one like it. Brewer stood up to the Obama Administration's threats of a lawsuit over the bill by basically telling them to "bring in on." Now, Brewer has gone from a hero to a big fat zero. As you read the rest of this story, I want to encourage you to click on and read every story linked to and watch the video, also. Every American needs to know this information because it or something similar will eventually happen in your state if something is not done. Mark my words.

My regular blog readers know from my earlier posts on ObamaCare that I was wholeheartedly against it. The biggest reason is because in countries, such as Canada and England, where socialized medicine is currently being practiced that rationing and denial of care occurs as the cost of the program increases. In fact, in my July 16, 2009 post titled "Health Reform", I made the following prediction :
The government will begin rationing care at some point to try to lower costs leading to them deciding who gets treatment and who doesn't. It already happens in Canada and England. Basically, they play God deciding who lives and who dies.
Unfortunately, ObamaCare has not even taken effect yet and it is already happening. People said Sarah Palin was crazy when she said ObamaCare would lead to "death panels." Well, it now appears that she wasn't as crazy as they thought. The State of Arizona Medicaid progam is broke so they are denying coverage for life-saving organ transplants and allowing their sickest residents to suffer and die. In a memo dated September 30, 2010 from the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, it states that effective October 1, 2010 pancreas, lung, bone marrow, liver, and heart "transplants will not be covered for people 21 years or older." It's hard to believe it's happening in the U.S., but it is and it's happening if you're only 21. Just imagine how the elderly will be treated one day.

An article, BrewerCare - Death by Budget Cut on, tells that the cut to Arizona's Medicaid transplant funding amounted to only $1.4 Million. However, it means that 100 Arizonians needing life-saving transplants will NOT get them unless they can somehow raise the money to pay for them. Most of them are so sick they can't work. So, how are they gonna raise the funds ?? Here's the truly shocking part - the state has $2 Million in the budget for "algae research" and used $1.7 Million of federal stimulus money for roof renovations on the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Which is more important - peoples' lives or a roof on a coliseum ?? Save the lives - let the dang roof fall in and the algae research wait !! I'll bet that if they dug a little, they could find enough wasteful pork spending to cut out of the budget to cover the $1.4 Million needed, too. The Democrats in the state legislature have asked Brewer, a so-called Republican, to call a special legislative session to try to find a way to fund the transplant program. She has repeatedly refused. I thought the Republican Party was Pro-Life. Guess I was wrong. This is the first time in my life I can say I'm embarrassed and ashamed to have ever been a Republican.

The video in another story, Jan Brewer Budget Cuts Have Arizona Governor Under Fire, which ran on really puts a human face on the crisis. Please watch it here.

I am both saddened and angry by the news that the Arizona Government is denying its citizens who need life-saving transplants coverage for them and basically giving them a death sentence by allowing them to die. I can't help thinking "but for the grace of God go I." Rationing is a fact of life in socialized medicine and generally the most expensive care gets rationed first - i.e. transplants. I fear that it will not end in Arizona. It is only a matter of time before other states are effected by it. Once ObamaCare cranks up, it will eventually effect the whole country.

I will probably be attacked by folks on the Right and on the Left for what I am about to say. However, I'm gonna say it anyway because it needs to be said. For years, we have set on our "assets" and voted in politician after politician whom have no morals or ethics and no respect for the value or sanctity of human life. They have then appointed and confirmed judge after judge with none either. We have walked into the voting booth without researching the candidates and repeatedly re-elected the worst of the worst because they had the "R" or "D" by their name or gave us something. We Christians did it, too, and it has resulted in thousands of innocent, unborn babies being savagely murdered. Yes - I said it. Murdered - period. We've called it "choice" and even allowed some of it to be paid for by taxpayer dollars. Now, we are allowing politicians to sentence our sickest citizens to death and calling it "a budget cut." We don't have the money to take care of people who can't take care of themselves, but yet we spend millions upon millions of tax dollars on sports stadiums and other crap we don't need every year. Our priorities are completely screwed up. When are we as Americans gonna say "it ends now !!" When are we gonna have a reverence, a respect, and some honor for the value and sanctity of human life ?? Who are we gonna let the politicians and judges kill next ?? Will it be the cancer patients ?? Or, the diabetics ?? Or, the elderly ?? People, we have blood on our hands. If we don't stop playing politics and stand up for what's right and reject what's wrong, one day Almighty God is gonna judge this country swiftly and thoroughly because we didn't protect human life. It is not of a matter of if, it's a matter of when. Furthermore, we have no one to blame but ourselves because we put the jokers in power who have done it. We, as a country, need to get back to praying, turn back to Him, and get our freakin' priorities back in order. One precious life has already been lost thanks to Brewer's transplant cut. If I were a family member, the state would have already been sued in hopes that it didn't happen to someone else. How many more have to die before Arizonians and Americans everywhere rise up and say, "we're not gonna take it anymore ??"

I'm waiting for your answer. And yes, this Sheepdog is pissed !!

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A dog's life

Image courtesy of John Haslam on - Flickr : Chocolate Collie

My dog sleeps about 20 hours a day.
He has his food prepared for him.
He can eat whenever he wants, 24/7/365.
His meals are provided at no cost to him.

He visits the Dr. Once a year for his check up, and again during the year if any medical needs arise. For this he pays nothing and nothing is required of him.

He lives in a nice neighborhood in a house that is much larger than he needs, but he is not required to do any upkeep.

If He makes a mess, someone else cleans it up.

He has his choice of luxurious places to sleep.
He receives these accommodations absolutely free.

He is living like a king, and has absolutely no expenses whatsoever.
All of his costs are picked up by others who go out and earn a living every day.

I was just thinking about all this, and suddenly it hit me like a brick in the head, Holy crap! My dog is a Democrat!
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Monday, December 13, 2010

Palin's hunting lacked "Reality"

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin on June 2, 2007.                                Image via WikipediaAs a fan of Sarah Palin, I have watched each episode of her Alaska reality TV show. In my opinion, the best parts have been the Alaskan scenery. She caught some flack over last week's episode where she went caribou hunting with her dad and a family friend. One member of the Liberal media accused her of killing animals for political gain. If that was so, why didn't they make the same claim about John Kerry's goose hunting trip during his presidential campaign ?? Was this just another case of there being different rules for Conservatives and Liberals ??

Being a hunter since I was a teenager, I looked forward to the episode with Palin's caribou hunt. However, as the hunt unfolded, I noticed it was less than "reality." For instance :
  • Palin was not carrying a firearm. How many hunters do you know that don't carry their own gun ??
  • Palin claims to have hunted her entire life. If so, why did her dad have to tell her when to shoot the caribou ?? Shouldn't she have known that ??
  • Gun safety was less than perfect. Palin shoots at the caribou, with her dad's gun, while it is standing on the top of a hill. She doesn't know what's on the other side, such as people, vehicles, buildings, etc. She shouldn't have taken the shoot. You can argue that it was safe because she was out in the middle of nowhere and did not have to worry about hitting anything unintentionally. However, that dog don't hunt (no pun intended), because proper gun safety must be applied at ALL times - no exceptions.
  • Palin shot at and missed the caribou four or five times because the scope's zero was off on her dad's gun. She finally hit it with the family friend's rifle. I do NOT carry a gun hunting until I am familiar with it and have checked the zero to verify its accuracy. You want to be able to put an animal down quickly and humanely. Plus, if I have to use it to defend myself against a bear, coyote, etc., I want to put them down even QUICKER !! I ain't getting bitten and mauled. Plus, it seemed that Palin didn't even know how to load the gun she was using. It was very puzzling.
Palin is doing one of two things with this show. First, she is trying to promote tourism in Alaska, or two, she is indeed planning on running for president, and is trying to connect with voters to show that she is "real." She has claimed to be a longtime hunter and shooter, but based on her TV hunting trip, it didn't appear to me that she had much hunting experience. Does it effect my opinion of her ? No, not really. I think she is a much needed breath of "non-elitist" fresh air that the American political landscape has needed for years. However, if I was one of her advisers, I would tell her that next time she goes on a televised hunting trip to make sure she looks like she knows what she's doing. Some don't think hunters are very bright, but if you try to snow us, we'll figure it out every time. Just ask John Kerry.

P.S. Since I picked on Palin's hunting episode, I should also take the time to brag on her in regards to "the camping trip" episode which aired last night, December 12th. During the "bear defense training," she handled the 12-gauge shotgun loaded with 3-inch magnum shells like a real trooper. Those things kick the crap out of you, but she hung in there and put 'em in the bulls eye each time. Let me put this way - If I'm a grizzly bear, and she tells me to leave ...... she won't have to tell me twice. I'm outta there !!

Be sure to check out :
America by Heart : Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag
Going Rogue: An American Life
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Thursday, December 9, 2010

I knew it !!

Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam answer questions a...Yesterday, Tennessee Governor-elect Bill Haslam (at left) announced his latest cabinet appointment on his website. He named Bill Gibbons, current Shelby County District Attorney General, as Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security. It's an "interesting" appointment since Gibbons was a bitter rival of Haslam's for the Republican nomination for Tennessee Governor. Gibbons battered Haslam constantly regarding his wealth and his failure to fully disclose his tax returns. He implied that Haslam's wealth made it difficult for him to relate to everyday Tennesseans. The tactic failed. So, Gibbons dropped out of the race early throwing his support to Haslam prompting me to suspect something was up. There was as Haslam rewarded him with a job. Surprise, surprise.

During the governor's race, I met Gibbons and spoke with him at length on one occasion. He seemed to be a nice guy who could connect with about anyone. However, shortly after that meeting, the Gibbons campaign sent out a mass e-mail in which he proclaimed that he was "the only gubernatorial candidate who OPPOSED the restaurant carry bill." When I received that e-mail, I immediately crossed Gibbons off my list of who might get my vote for governor. In addition, I sent his campaign a stern e-mail asking to be taken off their e-mail list and informing him that I would not be voting for him and why. With me, as a politician, if you do not support the right to keep and bear arms 100% of the time, you can forget about getting my vote. For example, an attitude of "I'm pro-gun except for (whatever)" does not cut it. It tells me they are not 100% pro-freedom and personal responsibility.

In my opinion, Haslam's appointment of Gibbons to head the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security is additional evidence of Haslam's stance on the gun rights of Tennesseans. In previous blog posts, I have stated my reasons for believing that Haslam is NOT pro-gun. His appointment of the anti-carry Gibbons to head the department that administers the gun carry permitting process is further evidence of that. Gibbons does not believe that a law abiding citizen has the right to carry a firearm in order protect themselves or their family in case of a criminal attack when dining in a nice restaurant that sells alcohol (i.e. - O'Charley's, Applebee's, etc.). The keeping and bearing of arms is fundamental for a free citizenry and is a way of life for many Tennesseans. He is way out of touch.

Carry laws have expanded greatly in Tennessee in the last couple of years. Many have a goal that one day Tennesseans will enjoy the freedom of a Vermont-type carry law. Personally, I do, too. I fail to see the reasoning behind requiring Tennesseans to need a permit and pay what amounts to a tax to practice a God-given freedom. However, I do not expect that to happen with an anti-gun, former district attorney general at the helm of the Dept. of Safety and "Homeland" Security backed by an anti-gun governor-elect. I believe Gibbons will influence Haslam and others to begin restricting Tennessee's gun laws as a way of fighting crime and promoting public safety. It's what attorney generals do. However, history has shown time and time again that policy doesn't work because criminals do not obey gun laws. I would love to be wrong, but I now  expect the carry rights of Tennesseans to slowly contract until they are non-existent ..... again. 
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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I've got a better idea

Steny Hoyer, member of the United States House...Last week, Mr. Obama suggested freezing the pay of Federal employees to reduce the Federal government's spending and lower the budget deficit. Shortly afterwards, the reported in Hoyer Calls for Military Pay Freeze that House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D - Maryland) suggested that military pay be frozen, too.

Apparently, Hoyer believes that our military men and women can afford a pay freeze. According to a website,, I would argue that they cannot. I found the following information regarding the compensation for first year enlisted personnel entering the military without a four-year college degree :
  • If single and no children, they receive a base pay between $16,794 - $18,824 plus medical and dental insurance. How many of us could live on that ??
  • If married or have children they receive the same base pay ($16,794 - $18,824) plus medical and dental insurance. In addition, these personnel receive a housing allowance ranging from $9,036 - $25,008 depending on where they are stationed, rank, and number of dependents. So, a married service member with multiple children could expect to receive a maximum of $41,802 ($16,794 + $25,008). However, that would only be if they live in an area of the country with the highest cost of living. How many people with families do you know that can live on that ??
The next logical question is, "How much does a member of Congress make per year ??" According to the, each member of Congress receives at least $174,000 per year in 2010. If they hold a leadership position, their annual salary is much higher. For instance :
  • Speaker of the House - $223,500
  • Majority and Minority leaders of both chambers - $193,400
As you can see, our full-time military personnel and their families who put their lives on the line and futures on hold every day to protect us don't get paid squat. However, the politicians who spend their days screwing our lives and our country up get paid very well.

Therefore, I have an idea of my own to present to Congressman Hoyer. The total salaries of all 535 members of Congress come to over $93 Million (535 x $174,000) annually. We could cut a ton of spending and a nice chunk out of the deficit if we evened things up a little. Let's cut Congressional pay down to the level of our military men and women. To make the math easy, let's use nice round numbers. Let's lower Congressional pay to $17,000 per year like first year enlisted personnel. If we do, we cut "wasteful" Federal government spending by nearly $84 Million [($174,000 - $17,000) x 535] per year. Maybe then the idiots in Washington, D.C. would understand how our military personnel struggle to make ends meet. Maybe then they would even learn a little respect for these heroes. Instead of freezing military pay, we should be increasing it - period.

Lately, Congress has been intent on "redistributing the wealth." How about we redistribute a little from them to our military personnel ?? Who's with me ??

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Monday, December 6, 2010

Can you spare .....

.... some change ?? Poor Nancy Pelosi needs your help. She has lost her job as Speaker of the House which means she must give up the use of her private, taxpayer funded jet (a 757 to be exact). The good news for her - "Bags" still fly free on Southwest.

 Image courtesy of

Personally, I say , "Don't let the door hit ya on the way out, Nancy." Furthermore, we can't spare any more "Change."

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Friday, December 3, 2010


A friend forwarded this to me a few weeks ago. As hard as it is to believe, there are people who actually believe this living among us. Worse yet, they reproduce and vote. I guess that explains how Obama and many in Congress got elected to office. Scary isn't it ??
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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Scammed Beavers

Recently, both The Lebanon Democrat and WSMV-TV (Nashville, TN) reported that the e-mail account of newly re-elected Tennessee State Senator Mae Beavers was hacked. Apparently, the hacker / scammer sent e-mails to Beavers contacts claiming she was stranded in England and needed funds to get home because someone had stolen her purse. Over the years, others have been victimized by this scam, also. Furthermore, according to the reports, the "hacking" has Beavers so "hacked off" that she plans on having the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) look into it.

In my opinion, the alleged guilty hacker / scammer missed an opportunity. He or she made a tactical error by not doing their homework thoroughly. They should have learned more about their mark before running the scam. If they had, they could have greatly increased their odds for success and maximized "revenue potential." I mean, think about it for a second. We know politicians are often not thought of very highly. So, instead of asking for funds to get Beavers home, why not say something like "send money to cover my living expenses and I'll stay." Or, they could have asked for her per diem check to be forwarded there. We know how from one of my earlier posts that Beavers loves her per diem. I think they would have hit the jack pot if they had tried one of those ideas. It would have been like hitting Triple-7s on a slot machine in Vegas !!

Heck, I might have even been willing to make a contribution to keep her over there.
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Sunday, November 28, 2010 Offering 50% Off Cyber Monday !! had such a successful Black Friday that they are extending their 50% off promotion by offering it Cyber Monday, too. In an e-mail sent out to their affiliates (this blog being one of them) on Saturday, HostGator stated the following :

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The Sheepdog
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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Thoughts

It's hard to believe Thanksgiving is already here, but it is. 2010 has flown by. As I reflect on it, there's a number of things I'm thankful for including :
  1. My wife, my family, and my friends.
  2. Being an American living in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
  3. Our military men and women and the sacrifices they and their families make to preserve our freedoms and protect us.
  4. The miracle of medical science and technology including organ transplantation. If God had not blessed us with great medications and various medical procedures, I would not have lived long enough to receive my "second chance." The miracle of organ transplantation is simply incredible and being alive because of it is not something I will ever take for granted.
  5. My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who gives me hope in the life to come as well as in the current one. I know that no matter what may come, He will provide the strength and the hope to carry on. He's got my back.
I hope that you will take the time today to reflect on all the blessings you have received. Don't ever take them for granted. May God Bless you all. Happy Thanksgiving !!
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Black Friday Deals Available Here !!

Another Black Friday and the start of the Christmas shopping season will be upon us in less than 24 hours. Retailers look forward to this day as it gives them a chance to get "in the black" for the year. This year, The Sheepdog is gonna get in on the act, too, since this blog is an affiliate for, Kindle,, and If you prefer to stay out of the crowd and do your shopping online from the comfort of your home or office, then this blog is the place to be. My, Kindle, and Affiliate links are in the right side bar of the blog. I have additional links on the "Shop" page on my website,, if you'd like to check it out, too. Amazon is already gearing up for the big day. So, please come back and link to them through this blog or my website on Friday. I'll earn a commission or fee on each purchase made through my blog or website.

As I mentioned earlier, this blog is also a Affiliate. I received an e-mail from them yesterday telling of some great webhosting deals they are gonna be offering tomorrow, too. In fact they're offering as much as 80% off EVERYTHING. The details of their sale include :

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Please feel free to pass this along to family and friends and encourage them to visit The Second Chance Sheepdog on Black Friday. Thanks for your support !!
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Monday, November 22, 2010

NASCAR Should Scrap Chase

Another boring NASCAR Sprint Cup season wrapped up yesterday in Homestead, FL. Carl Edwards won the race and Jimmie Johnson won his fifth straight championship. We once again saw a bit of controversy involving Kyle "Crybaby" Busch. His car burst into flames when hitting the wall after getting turned around by Kevin Harvick. Busch had cut Harvick off, and Harvick decided enough was enough. I'm glad Busch wasn't injured, but he had it coming. I'm glad the other drivers are finally saying "enough is enough" to Busch. Kudos to Harvick. That was the best part of the race.

After the 2003 season, NASCAR completely changed it's championship points format in it's Sprint Cup Series (formerly known as Nextel Cup and Winston Cup). Championship points were based upon a running total for all 36 races. Starting with 2004, NASCAR modified the point system into the "Chase for the Championship." Under the Chase format, at the conclusion of the first 26 of the 36 races, the point totals for the top twelve drivers are reset and seeds determined. Each driver's point total is reset to 5000 points and then they are awarded ten bonus points for each race won during the first 26 races. If a driver didn't win a race, their point total remains at 5000. If a driver won five of the first 26 races, they would be awarded ten bonus points per win for a total of 5050 to start the last ten races of the season, known as The Chase. At the conclusion of those ten races, the driver with the most points wins the championship. The Chase format has been both applauded and criticized. I'm one of the critics and believe The Chase should be scrapped and NASCAR should return to the old point system with a modification.

The Chase format makes it impossible to compare the performance of drivers today to ones from the past. Plus, it punishes drivers who consistently perform better than the others. The Chase is basically NASCAR welfare. By resetting the points after 26 races, it's like giving multiple "mulligans" or "do-overs" allowing drivers who had poor performances a chance to catch up. Prior to 2004, drivers didn't get those. If there were 5 or 6 races a driver didn't finish at all or finished poorly, their championship hopes were done. Not now. Have a bad day ?? That's o.k. "The guv'ment" a.k.a. NASCAR will "bail you out" by resetting the points after 26 races.

I saw a report somewhere today that states that Jimmie Johnson has won his first five championships quicker than Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt (the only drivers in NASCAR history to win seven championships) won theirs. Really ?? It depends on which point systems you're using - the old one or The Chase format. Consider the following :
  • In the first year of The Chase (2004), Kurt Busch won the championship. However, after 26 races and before the points were reset, Jeff Gordon had a big lead. If NASCAR had still been using the old point system, Jeff Gordon would have won it and Busch would have finished fourth some 247 points behind Gordon. Instead, Gordon finished third under The Chase format. It would have been his fifth title. 
  • After winning his first championship in 2006, Johnson won it again in 2007. However, if NASCAR had still been under the old system that Petty and Earnhardt won their's under, Jeff Gordon wins the title over Johnson by 353 points. Why ?? No point reset. It would have been Gordon's 6th title. Minus one for Johnson.
  • Kevin Harvick had a 200+ point lead after 26 races this year. However, due to The Chase "mulligan" format, he ultimately finished third behind Johnson by 41 points. Under the old point format, Harvick wins by at least 100. Johnson is minus another championship.
If you take those things into consideration, Johnson has two less championships. He would only have three - 2006, 2008, and 2009. Cale Yarborough would still maintain the NASCAR record of four consecutive championships, and there's no Jimmie Johnson to Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt comparison floating around. I mean, .... c'mon. Johnson's not in their league anyway. He couldn't tie their shoe laces. With The Chase format, NASCAR has basically changed history.

The only thing I've liked about NASCAR's new Chase points system is that it rewards drivers for winning. If I was NASCAR, I would revert back to the old point system that rewards, instead of punishing, drivers for consistent, quality performances. No resetting of the points. However, I would continue rewarding the drivers for winning. I would return to the old point structure - i.e. 175 points for winning, 170 for 2nd place, 165 for 3rd place, etc. Plus, I would continue giving the five bonus points for leading a lap and five more for leading the most laps in a race for a possible maximum total of 185 points per race. The one change I would make in order to reward them for winning is that a win would be worth 200 points instead of 175. So, the maximum point total that a driver could earn in a race would be 210 (200 for win + 5 point bonus for leading a lap + another 5 point bonus for leading the most laps).

In my opinion, NASCAR should revert back to the old point system adding the "tweak" I've suggested. It would provide the best of both worlds - rewarding consistency and wins. I've been a NASCAR fan for over 30 years but they need to do something. The races are getting boring and ticket sells are down. Consider this - how long would the NFL's ratings remain high if the same team won five consecutive Super Bowls ?? We know they would not as people would stop watching the games. Furthermore, ticket sales would fall as people stopped attending games. I know NASCAR fans that are bored and have stopped following the sport. They're bored. I believe if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Unfortunately, NASCAR made the mistake of fixing something that wasn't broke. They should have just tweaked it a little, as I've suggested. Instead, they fixed it until it was broke !!
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