Author: The Modern Commonsense

Possibly the Best Ski Run You Will Ever Watch

This guy skis better than most of us can walk. All I can say is well done.


Californians Asked If They Saw Martin Luther King’s Speech Yesterday, Half Answer Yes

Jimmy Kimmel sent out a crew to film their weekly segment, “Lie Witness News,” yesterday, asking LA residents if they had watched Dr. Martin Luther King Junior’s Speech that morning, and how it stacked up to stacked up to speeches he had given in the past.

Jimmy Kimmel, who routinely does segments mocking the average American's willingness to pretend they know something that they don't.

Jimmy Kimmel, who routinely does segments mocking the average American’s willingness to pretend they know something that they don’t.

It’s absolutely amazing how little people really know… Take a look for yourself:


The real question is, did YOU see Dr. King’s Speech yesterday, and how do you think it compares to the one he gave in 1963?

-By Cole Ellenbogen

House Votes to Overturn Executive Action on Amnesty

In a vote earlier today, the House of Representatives voted 236-191 to overturn both the President’s executive action on immigration, as well as the DREAM Act directive which safeguards children of illegal aliens from deportation.

The bill still has to pass the Senate, and Obama has sworn to veto the measure should it reach his desk. However, passing this bill into law over a Presidential veto is not out of the question, considering that republicans gained seats in both the house and the senate, and this bill is more about protecting congress from executive overreach.

-By Cole Ellenbogen

Obama’s Proposal For Free College Perpetuates Huge Lie that Everyone Needs to Go to College

Before you get angry with me, or accuse me of hating people who can’t afford college, listen: it’s not that I don’t think everyone deserves the opportunity to pursue higher education, but its actually useless for everyone to have a college education.

The reason the job market has been so poor is that we have millions of undeclared university students who are going to college because they believe they have to in order to secure a good future for themselves, even though what they want to do may not even require a college education.

Totally necessary job, totally respectable career path.

Totally necessary job, totally respectable career path. College degree not necessary.

The fact of the matter is that there are plenty of great jobs that can even pay higher than vocations you would have with a college education, and are actually in demand! Sales consultants, stylists, cosmetologists, web designers, paralegal assistants, court stenographer, executive assistant, surveyor, mechanics, repair workers, plumbers – not to mention all of the inventors, entrepreneurs, and innovators who never attended or finished college. I know electricians that pull in six figure salaries and live in waterfront palaces, making more than I probably ever will.

This is a nice house. You can afford one of these whether you go to college or not.

This is a nice house. You can afford one of these whether you go to college or not. You just need to be motivated.

Of course, there’s an added bonus in going into one of these fields too: no crushing student loan debt. News flash: paying 30 grand, on average per year to get a degree in English, then ending up working in a drive through window because you have no idea how to apply what you learned, probably won’t set you up for the bright future you were expecting. Sorry.

Look at how happy he is. He's studying at The College on the Hill, getting a degree in eco-gender pan-african linguistic cultural literature. Money well spent?

Look at how happy he is: He’s studying at The College on the Hill, getting a degree in eco-gender pan-african linguistic cultural literature. Money well spent?

Federally funding two free years of college education for everyone will mean less people going to trade school, or taking up other lucrative occupations, because they feel there’s another obligatory two years tacked onto public education.

Improving our education system is important, of course – our standardized test scores are slipping as the U.S. education system falls in prestige on the global stage – throw some money at that if you want to do something to help. But encouraging everyone to go to college on the taxpayer’s dime isn’t going to bring about success for the nation, or its citizens.

To review:

-Free = tax payer funded

-Going to college just because, is a great way to dig yourself an inescapable grave of crushing debt

-Electricians make more money than I ever will, and don’t have to pay nearly as much to get trained. Seriously, trade school and apprenticeships are great options

-You don’t have to go to college to be successful, and sending more people to go to college to get degrees that they won’t use, because there aren’t jobs available or the degrees are useless, is a tremendous waste of money.

-By Cole Ellenbogen


America and Saudi Arabia are at War!

Gas prices that continue to decrease around the nation- some as low as $2.50 a gallon- certainly have people talking. A congressional debate has broke out regarding increasing federal gas taxes to help fun infrastructure projects.

So what is the gas taxes for?

  •  rebuilding roads, sidewalks and bridges
  • eliminating the $16 billion dollar funding gap in planned construction costs and actual funds

What is the likely hood of it being passed?-

  • Passing a gas tax in a republican controlled house and senate is not very likely
  • Barbara Boxer (D) and Nancy Pelosi (D) both argue for higher gas taxes saying because of the low gas prices Americans can afford to pay a higher tax
  • There is a small amount of support from republican senators

It is important to understand why gas prices have dropped so low.

Saudi Arabia has declared war on the American energy industry.

Saudi companies have begun losing market shares, as people invest in American oil companies.

Between 2001 and 2011, the weekly U.S. field production of crude oil averaged 5.5 million barrels per week.

The weekly U.S field production of crude oil in 2014 averaged 9.1 million barrels. According to international energy experts America is predicted to be the number one producer of oil by 2015.

Needless to say- the Saudi’s are not happy about losing their market.

In recent weeks Saudi Arabian drilling companies have been producing double if not triple the amount of crude oil they were before. By drastically increasing their supply, they were able to drive down the price. In fact, the Saudi drilling companies were so successful at this that many American drilling companies including WBH Energy (located in Texas) were unable to compete and had to declare bankruptcy.

America is in an all out energy price war with the Middle East, and losing.

I live near a American drilling site. About a month ago the rigs were running up and down the road 24-7. I couldn’t believe the amount of rig traffic there was, it seemed like they never stopped working. Then about 2 weeks ago it all stopped. The American drilling company was unable to compete with their Saudi counterpart. The stock prices of American drilling companies are falling right along with the gas prices.

The Saudis recent push for production coupled with increasing fuel efficiency in vehicles has not only begun crippling American companies, but also American infrastructure.There is not enough money being spent on gas- therefore there is not enough money to fix the roads.

by Kyra Azzato

Anti-Cop Protestor Has a Change of Heart After Going Through Police Training

A self-described radical activist and major opponent of law enforcement’s recent actions agreed to undergo police training, to see what it’s like to be an officer in a violent situation.

Reverend Jarrett Maupin underwent several basic scenarios where he would need to determine if it was appropriate to use force. In the first scenario, he failed to identify a threat, and was shot before he could draw his gun. In the second scenario, simulating an officer breaking up a fight between two unarmed men, Maupin choose to shoot a man who would not stop advancing toward him.

Afterwards, Maupin admitted that he didn’t realize how quickly the situation unfolds. That’s an important point for everyone to keep in mind when looking at these scenarios: police officers have dangerous jobs and need to make split second decisions. It’s much better to comply, and work things out later, than be belligerent and threatening toward an officer.

-By Cole Ellenbogen

HEY! Lets Arm Criminals and Leave Law Abiding Citizens Helpless!

Every year Rotary Clubs across the nation sponsor a speech competition, encouraging high school students to examine an ethical problem and measure it against the four-way test.  I wrote the following speech in 2013 as a high school senior. At the time I was frustrated and unable to understand how anyone could possibly think it is a good idea to implement gun control. Two years later- I still don’t understand how anyone could think this is a good idea, which is why I thought it was time to dig up the ol’ speech.

Rotary Four-Way Test

Rotary Four-Way Test

Speech Given in the Four-Way competition 2013:

Everyone on the ground! Hands on you head! Anyone moves I shoot!  Get on the get on the ground! These were the terrifying words spoken by armed gunmen attempting to hold patients in medical clinic hostage in Colorado Springs last February.  He would have easily succeeded, if it wouldn’t have been for an armed citizen.  Jeff Ferguson, a doctor at the practice who shot the gunmen and saved over 40 lives.  There have been many attempts to pass laws that prevent men like Jeff from owning guns, but we need to preserve this right.  Let’s measure this right against Rotarian Herbert J. Taylors four way test.  This test, which uses four questions will help us to determine if allowing citizens to own guns is ethical. Is it the truth, is it fair to all concerned, will it build good will and better friendships and is it beneficial to all concerned. Through this test we will see why American citizens desperately need to be allowed to own firearms.

Question number one. Is it the truth? Right now there is an estimated 300 million firearms owned by U.S. citizens. Guns are in and of themselves a tool, the same way chainsaws, or matches are tools.  In the movie Texas Chainsaw massacre, the crazed killer uses a chainsaw to brutally murder his victims.  Yet, there isn’t a single person who would argue for the prohibition of chainsaws. Chainsaws are tools used to cut down trees, not kill people. When an arsonist lights a match that burns down a building, is that match at fault? Are match manufacturers responsible for the fire? Should laws be passed prohibiting you from having and using matches, or restricting which types you can have, and in what quantities? The answer is of course not. Matches are tools; the same match that was misused by the arsonist is used to light the fireplace that keeps your house warm. Guns are tools and their sole purpose is not to kill people. They are a part of our culture; they are used for recreation, sport, hunting and defense.  Guns as a creation fundamentally change certain dynamics of violence. For example they allow the weaker individual to fight the stronger.

There was a bang at the door.  A 14 year old boy rushes his younger siblings who were 12, 10, and 8 upstairs, and grabs his father’s pistol on the way. On his way up the stairs he turns to see an armed man burst through the doorway. That 14 year olds name is Michael Bates. Michael took drastic measures and shot the man in order to protect himself and his younger siblings. Without his father’s pistol, Michael would have been easily victimized by the gunmen.  Now imagine if suddenly a law was passed prohibiting the 300 million guns that are currently owned by private citizens. Wow, well your first thought is great! No more gun related violence. But when you really think about it you’ll realize that only the law abiding citizens would actually give up their guns, criminals who misuse guns will break that law, just like the all the other laws they break. Laws can’t control the lawless. So where would that leave law abiding American citizens? Well, they would be at an extreme disadvantage against criminals with firearms and have to rely solely on law enforcement. Guns as the great equalizer would no longer exist. The hope for the weaker individual to combat the stronger is gone and along with it vanishes the private citizen’s sense of security.  The truth is, Americans need guns.

Question number two:  Is it fair to all concerned? The founders of America, our fore fathers certainly thought that allowing citizens to own guns was not only fair, but a fundamental right. The bill of rights the second amendment to the constitution states a well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.  All American citizens are born with the right to own a gun.

“This year will go down in history! For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration! Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!”

That is what Hitler decreed in 1935 upon initiating gun control in Germany. The citizens of Nazi Germany had no way to prevent their government from doing what every they wanted. This later resulted in the horrifying events known today as the holocaust and World War two. As Americans we are lucky that our founding fathers put in place legislation that prevented our right to bear arms from being taken from us.

“The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in Government.”  Thomas Jefferson. Life isn’t fair, but our fore fathers wanted us to have a fighting chance at fairness.

Question number three: Will it build good will and better friendships?  Guns are not only a part of our American history but they have also become a part of our culture. They are a part of our background, our heritage, our upbringing, and our world view.  Restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms amount to the destruction of a valued way of life, and are in that way a form of cultural genocide.

An  alarm clock barely buzzes before its eagerly switched off, it’s still dark outside,  there are seven or eight pairs of mud covered boots just inside the door, and you can hear the excitement mounting as everyone bundles up and begins anticipating what the day has in store.  This is how my family starts the first day of buck season, it’s a tradition that brings my family together and has created many lasting memories.  Every year my family gears up, eats a huge breakfast prepared by my grandmother and heads out with high hopes of getting a 12 point buck. Anyone who doesn’t go hunting waits anxiously for the hunting party to return so they can hear the many stories they are sure to bring back. This is how I was raised. I was also raised to know gun safety and proper usage. My father is a State Police Corporal and he holds gun safety in high regards.  The ownership of guns has brought my family closer by creating traditions like the one we carry out every hunting season. There are about 50,000,000 U.S. families just like mine who own firearms, and hardly any of these families have ever harmed anyone with their guns, and virtually none ever intend to. Nearly everything these families will ever do with their guns is both legal, and largely a part of their tradition and heritage. So when we advocate restrictions on their rights to own guns, we are casting aside a part of their lives.  Lasting friendships and good will are based on trust, security, values and lasting tradition. Guns are part of what brings us together, ensures good will, and builds relationships on tradition.

Question number four: Is it beneficial to all concerned? Of course allowing Americans to own guns is beneficial. Gun owner ship has declined crime rates and prevented genocides. In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.  China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves and were killed, The tragic history of civilian disarmament cries a warning against any systematic attempts to render innocent citizens ill-equipped to defend themselves from tyrant terrorists, despots or oppressive majorities.  Proof of the benefits of private citizens owning firearms can best be seen when guns were taken away. The genocides that resulted and the corrupt governments that took control were direct results of gun control. When Florida passes a right to carry law, allowing citizens to carry a weapon, their crime rates dropped an average of 36% .When Texas passed its right to carry law in 1995, the murder rate averaged 30% lower than when guns were ban.  Lower crime rates are simply one of the benefits that come along with private citizens owning guns.

The four-way test shows that gun ownership is ethical. It is the truth guns are a tool that level the playing field.  It is fair and it is a fundamental right given to us by the founders of America, our fore fathers.  It absolutely builds good will and better friendships through our culture, heritage and traditions.  Lastly gun ownership is beneficial to all concerned because it lowers crime rates and provides the American people with a sense of security.  A very wise person once said that nothing worth having comes without a fight. As Americans we need to have the courage to fight for our right to bear arms. It is my hope that as a nation we would recognize the value of gun ownership and stand up for our second amendment right.  Thank you for your time.

By Kyra Azzato


Louie Gohmert on John Boehner’s revenge: ‘we’re going to have another fight and it’s going to be pretty nasty’

Boehner’s allies have been waiting for him to take a stand, saying “he’s let people walk all over him for too long and is too nice to people who are eager to stab him in the back”. Well the Speaker of the House isn’t playing nice anymore, and his enemies will soon find themselves losing their plum committee positions.

America's Watchtower

 After winning another term as Speaker of the House John Boehner wasted no time in seeking revenge against some of those who voted against him when he removed Daniel Webster and Richard Nugent from their positions on the House Rules Committee.

  Needless to say, this did not sit well with two of the people who volunteered their services as the next Speaker of the House, Louie Gohmert and Ted Yoho.

  During an interview with Sean Hannity both Louie Gohmert and Ted Yoho addressed this issue. Louie Gohmert stated that if Daniel Webster and Richard Nugent were removed from their positions in retaliation–for at the time of the interview it was unconfirmed–“we’re going to have another fight and it is going to be pretty nasty.” 

  Ted Yaho took it to another level when he compared John Boehner’s stifling of political dissension to what is expected in China, Cuba, Russia, or…

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Committing Voter Fraud is Actually Super Easy

I was at a polling place to vote in a local election recently; I was sure to bring all the ID I would need to prove who I was to avoid any confusion. When I was next in line, I stepped up to the table, atop which sat a thick three-ring binder with a long list of local residents. Even though I was looking at the list upside down, the names were all in large print, with a check mark and a signature next to them if that person had already voted.

Voting stations at a common polling place

Voting stations at a common polling place

The poll attendant smiled at me.

“What’s your name?” She asked.

“Cole Ellenbogen,” I replied.

The woman thumbed through a few pages of the booklet, muttering “E, e,” as her index finger quickly passed over each name on the page. “Ah, there you are. Just sign here.”

I looked at her, startled: “That’s all? You don’t need to see my license, or-”

“No,” she shook her head, smiling again, “no need.” She turned the binder around on the table, and tapped my name with a ballpoint pen, which she then handed to me. I scribbled my signature, voted, and left.

My mind was absolutely blown. I voted in an election and showed less ID than I have to when I buy a lottery ticket. All you have to do to commit voter fraud is be able to read upside down, and pick a name off the list without a signature.

We need photo IDs to vote. The Federal Election Commission recommended it years ago, but the push to require identification is shot down time and time again by opponents who claim that requiring photo IDs is an attempt to stop minorities from voting. Is it really racist to require an ID?

Let’s take a look at the list of other things that you need an ID for that aren’t racist:

Board a plane, buy alcohol, buy cigarettes, enter a casino, play the lottery, open a bank account, apply for and receive welfare, apply for and receive food stamps, file for and receive unemployment, buy an M-rated video game, see an R-rated movie, buy a cellphone, sign for a cell phone contract, donate blood, buy certain types of cold medicine, pick up a prescription, buy a gun, apply for a hunting license, apply for a fishing license, to drive or buy or rent a car, get married, check into a hotel, adopt a pet, apply for a job, or get a permit to gather and hold a protest.

What’s different about having an ID for voting?

I’ll leave you with that. Now in the words of Nelson Mandela:

Nelson Mandela sporting his "Get an ID. Register. Vote." Shirt

Nelson Mandela sporting his “Get an ID. Register. Vote.” Shirt

-By Cole Ellenbogen