Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Payroll Tax Swindle

Seems like one politician after another is always saying that we need to “have a national conversation about (fill in the blank).”  Well I have an idea for a topic.  It begins with asking people one simple question: 

“Who should pay for your retirement:  you or someone else?” 

The answers Americans give to that question will tell us whether or not the U.S. has any hope of surviving the leftist coup d’état that is presently in play.  But of course, no one on the national stage is going to ask that question.  God forbid we should have a national discussion that begins by first establishing a set of principles that we agree – or insist – upon.

I'm sorry to say it but Obama and the democrats have already won the day on the payroll tax debate.  That’s because they have managed to steer the conversation completely away from the real principle at stake (should people be expected to save for and fund their own retirements?), and instead have made this a debate about whether or not the middle and lower classes can “afford” to have their taxes raised at this time and who is better able to afford a tax increase:  the wealthy or the not-wealthy.  As is always the case, republicans (with the exception, perhaps, of Michelle Bachmann) have fallen blindly into the democrat’s trap.  They’ve said that they are willing to work with Obama on extending the payroll tax cut so long as it’s “paid for.”  The baby step we took towards socialism by allowing the payroll tax cut in the first place has now become a giant leap, because a luxury once sampled becomes a necessity.  People now feel entitled to that tax cut, even though the obligation that was being funded – their future retirement benefit – didn’t go away.  And now they are being encouraged to believe that someone else should pay for it, whether it be the wealthy who pay higher taxes or whether it’s “paid for” in some other way.  No matter how it’s done in the end it will be another wealth transfer made permanent.  Touché, Mr. Obama.

There was only one way to save the day, and that was for influential republicans (like the presidential candidates, John Boehner, Paul Ryan or even Rush Limbaugh), to make this a fight about principle by asking people for an honest answer to the question:

“Who should pay for your retirement:  you or someone else?” 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Liberalism, Ambiguity & the Art of War

“Language is the armory of the human mind, and at once contains the trophies of its past and the weapons of its future conquests”   

 ~Samuel Taylor Coleridge

"It depends upon what the meaning of the word 'is' is…”

            ~President Bill Clinton

Ambiguity, a lack of clarity that can lead to confusion and misunderstanding, is one of the keys to the advancement of the Left’s agenda.  The less clear things are, the more they can be twisted to the advantage of those with the willingness to do so.  The brevity and simplicity which characterize the Constitution demonstrate that this fact was not lost on the Founders:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

That is Amendment I to the Constitution in its entirety.  It is a great example of how things were done prior to the infestation of modern–day progressivism.  Whether or not you agree with the Founders’ decision to incorporate the Bill of Rights with the Constitution, hopefully you would agree that the authors attempted to make this governing document clear, concise and unambiguous; although certainly they knew, even in their day, that there is no stipulation so clear that it cannot eventually be trespassed upon by determined liberals. 

The original Constitution, when viewed in modern format, is about ten pages long, about seventeen if you add in all of the amendments that have been added since the founding of the country.  This was the document, years in the making, which laid the foundation of government for the United States of America.  In seventeen pages!  By contrast, the monument to progressivism more commonly known as Obamacare is about 2,000 pages long.  But don’t worry. I’m sure there’s nothing ambiguous or unclear in it that might lead to the further erosion of our freedoms.

Lately, we’ve been hearing a lot about sexual harassment.  In defining what this now means, the standard seems to center around the notion of “unwanted sexual advances.”  Talk about ambiguity!  This is like a parent refusing to tell a child what time his curfew is until after he gets home.  One cannot help but suspect that the intent was to leave men exposed to charges that can be highly subjective, while giving women an undue advantage in extracting a pay off.  No doubt the liberal feminists who aggressively sought to define and shape today’s policies on sexual harassment never had any intention of applying it to liberal males like Bill Clinton.

One self-described leftist blogger whom I argue with from time to time often campaigns for the “living wage,” a progressive dream that represents the epitome of ambiguity.  I have attempted to make him see the foolishness of such a proposal, just from a practical standpoint, by asking, “What kind of ‘living’ must a wage provide”?  Should it be sufficient for one person or for a family of ten?  A basement apartment in a low-rent neighborhood or a four-bedroom home in the burbs?  Bugtussle or Manhattan?  Macaroni and cheese for dinner, or steak?  A subway ticket or a car?  Must it provide for luxuries like cell phones, TVs, cable, and computers?  The average 10-year old can see the problem inherit in attempting to institute something like the “living wage,” while the average liberal cannot or will not.  This is what makes him a menace to society.

I sometimes hear people quip that we are on the verge of a civil war between Left and Right, but in my mind there is no question that liberals have been at war for the soul of this nation for quite a long time.  They simply manipulate language into weapons instead using of guns, and this verbal form of guerilla warfare has enabled them to advance their agenda right under our noses.   

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Defining Stupid

Would someone please explain to me why we’re in such a hurry to corner the market on a losing industry?  That’s one of those 2 + 2 = 4 questions that Newt Gingrich spoke of in the great video posted the other day by Hardnox.

It would be one thing if China or other countries were raking in big bucks in the solar panel business and measurably reducing their demand for fossil fuel energies; but Obama himself apparently acknowledged that those countries are having to “subsidize” the industry to the tune of “billions” of dollars, and no mention is being made of any miraculous reduction in their demand for oil and coal.  By my definition that makes it a losing industry, at least for the time being. 

Obama’s premise seems to be that renewable energy is the wave of the future, a gold mine just waiting to be discovered.  He could be correct, but if he is then the next 2 + 2 = 4 question is, “If the renewable energy industry is such a gold mine….”  Fill in the blank. 

Smart investors understand that when it comes to exploring new industries, it’s smart to weigh the benefits of being first in the industry against the cost to get there.  Fast food stores will often locate themselves near McDonald’s.  Why?  Because they know that McDonald’s has already invested the resources to find the most viable locations.  Time and again we see new products hit the market only to eventually be overtaken by others who improve on their technology without having to make that initial whopper of an investment.  Sometimes it pays to be first.  Sometimes it doesn’t.  This is what private investors and entrepreneurs are good at figuring out.

China, with its massive population and relatively recent emergence into the competitive industrial world, might have vastly different incentives for investing resources in renewable energy production.  It also has a markedly different system of government in which the government is expected to take the role that we in the U.S. prefer to leave to private industry.  At least that used to be the case.  Theoretically speaking, when China invests billions of dollars of “the people’s” money into something like renewable energy production, then “the people” reap the reward because the technology and means of production belong to them (remember, I said “in theory”).  In the U.S., when the taxpayers are asked to subsidize private companies investing in trial technology, who ends up owning the rights to that technology and the rights to the profits?  It isn’t the taxpayers.  Maybe we’ll benefit in the long run if we’re able to avail ourselves of more cost efficient energy, but that would also be true if private investors put up the money to get this industry going.  So I see no real upside for taxpayers, but of course there’s a big downside if we subsidize businesses that fail. 

The fact is, the renewable energy industry has thus far not solved a free market problem like  successful industries typically do, nor has it given us something that we don’t already have.  We have energy now.  It’s not a perfect market system (thanks to our government, largely), but neither is the “green” market system.  Oil and gas aren’t cheap, but neither is green.  Unless and until renewable energies can improve upon what we already have in terms of cost, efficiency and delivery, it will continue to be a loser industry.  Our wonderful government, which should be letting the free market resolve this situation, is trying it’s best to stack the deck by throwing obstacles in the way of oil, gas and coal and using our money to subsidize “green” energy.  For them, 2 + 2 will never = 4.

Finally, the money that supposedly is lost on deals like Solyndra isn’t really lost.  It’s simply been transferred from the pockets of taxpayers to the pockets of people involved in one way or another with the “green” energy agenda.  In other words it’s been transferred into the hands of the leftwing constituency.  Maybe these people aren’t so stupid after all.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Lessons Learned

One evening last week I attended a “meet and greet” hosted by a neighbor of mine who’s running for a local republican precinct chair.  The event, held in a neighborhood coffee shop, was to introduce one of the republican candidates running for state representative for my district.  For this post I thought I would share some of my astute (ha!) observations from that event.  Please note that anything resembling lecturing here is directed at myself, because I need it.

First thing:  the dismal turnout.  Now, in defense of my fellow Texans I think it’s only fair to point out that game six of the World Series had been re-scheduled to that night and it featured, of course, the Texas Rangers.  In addition it was raining, and many Texans have forgotten how to drive in such alien conditions after a long summer of drought (plus they were never good at it to begin with).  Nevertheless, I would generously estimate the turnout at about ten people.  This in a city with perhaps 40,000 residents.

That lackluster attendance underscored the uphill battle we face as republicans.  We talk about restoring this country to the vision of the Founders, yet many are unwilling to invest a little time to vet and support the candidates and, sadly, to even exercise their right to vote.  I’ve heard that a 5-6% turnout of the electorate is not uncommon in many elections.  In the meantime, thousands of dimwits are literally camped out in our cities to fight for their right to ruin this country.  Complacency is our worst enemy, and if we cannot overcome that when we are on the verge of disaster, then it’s doubtful we ever will.  It is not enough to have our hearts and heads in the right place.  We must act.

The next thing that struck me about the event was the fiery divergence of opinion in this small group supposedly gathered for a common purpose.  During his talk the candidate extolled his success in spearheading the failure of a ballot measure that would have allowed liquor stores in his city (which, by the way, borders my city which also has no liquor stores).  This evidently struck a raw nerve with one lady.  She demanded to know why a conservative would be “anti-business,” and then proceeded to berate him rather than letting him answer a good question.  This raised the ire of another lady who was clearly on the anti-liquor store side, and the two gals proceeded to hotly debate the issue.  For those of you hoping to hear a blow by blow of the ensuing wrestling match, I’m sorry to disappoint you.  Instead, one charming woman (okay, it was just me) opined that she would like to actually hear the candidate’s answer to the question, and the meeting was restored to order.

What I found disturbing about the exchange, aside from the rudeness of co-opting the speaker’s venue and turning it into a debate over the sale of liquor, was the sense of entitlement people can have about getting their way.  After all, we live in a society where we routinely must deal with the fact that citizens have competing interests.  There was, in my view, no constitutionally protected right at stake (no one necessarily has the right to convenient access to liquor; nor do others necessarily have the right not to be exposed to behaviors associated with easy access to liquor).  Each lady had a valid position.  The purpose of having a system where we exercise our wishes through elected representatives or, in some cases, by direct vote, is to resolve these types of issues peacefully.

My final observation has to do with the candidate’s answer to the “anti-business” charge.  I am naturally suspicious when people appear overly anxious to micro-manage their towns and cities, and besides that my husband likes whisky and complains when he has to drive 30 minutes to buy it (you can buy wine and beer in the grocery store here so I’m all set).  The candidate’s reasoning was this:  when a city in Texas votes to change its charter to allow the sale of liquor it then becomes the state’s sole privilege to issue licenses.  The city then has little control over how many licenses are issued and, except for a law prohibiting liquor stores from being 300 feet from a school or residence (I’m paraphrasing from memory here), they have little control over the location of these businesses as well.  So it was, in his view, an issue of local control versus state control.  Furthermore, the issue was poorly worded on the ballot so that people weren’t likely to clearly understand all of the ramifications of what they were voting for.

I was impressed with his answer.  It showed him to be a thoughtful man who was well-informed on the issue and who understood the necessity of looking at the broader picture.  The important lesson I took away is this:  principled positions do not go along well with knee-jerk assumptions, and we should not allow convenient formulations (i.e.: conservatives = pro-business) to be a substitute for thinking or for doing our homework.  The secondary lesson comes from Stephen Covey (“The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People):  “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” 

Just before she left the angry pro-liquor store lady shook hands with the candidate, and she was smiling.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Can the “Greed” be Bullied out of Wall Street?

Years ago, when I quit my job to be a full time parent to my two sons, there was a short period of time when – much to my shame - I was mesmerized by the sleezy talk shows that dominated day-time TV.  One common theme was for women to come up on stage and tell the host and audience about their loser husbands or boyfriends who beat them up and/or cheated on them and/or were deadbeats.  Then they would bring the man of the hour out on stage and a familiar pattern would unfold for our entertainment.  The host and the audience would engage in a sort of mob-style intervention intended to fix the pathetic excuse for a man.  He would be interrogated, berated and ridiculed in an effort to make him see the evil in his ways.  Sometimes the woman would partake in the haranguing too.  Other times she would just sit quietly, the helpless victim.

I was initially transfixed by this recurring spectacle for the novelty of seeing people behave this way, coupled with their puzzling lack of shame about putting their wretched relationships on display for an audience.  Eventually, though, what interested me was the psychology of everyone involved.  Why, I wondered, were the host and audience focused on the behavior of the man when the reason for his behavior was plainly obvious:  he’s a jerk and she tolerates it.  The audience should have asked the woman, “What’s wrong with you that you accept this abuse?  How did you end up with this guy and why don’t you leave?”  But they rarely did.

This same peculiar mindset is currently on display among the “occupying” protestors in various cities across the nation.  Supposedly, this “movement” is largely about anger over corporate greed and the failures of capitalism.  If we accept – for the sake of argument - the premise that the problem with corporations is greed, then the question is:  Do protests and mob violence do anything to eradicate greed?  No.  Just as the badgering by the audience did nothing to change the character of the men on the talk shows, waving signs, shaking fists and blocking traffic won’t change the character or natural motivations of the people who run corporations, if indeed that is the problem. 

To the extent that corporations take advantage of people they do so for the same two reasons that the men on the talk shows take advantage of the women:  because they are free to pursue their own self interests and because some people seem to invite such treatment by virtue of their own choices in life.  Given the two parts of that equation, the liberal remedy is always to seek to limit people’s freedom to pursue their own self-interest through laws and regulations and, failing that, through intimidation.  That’s because the alternative of putting the onus on the individual to make choices that give them greater control over their lives is hard, and hard is a four-letter word to liberals.  Certainly it’s harder than the mindless task of marching around with signs and chanting incoherent slogans for a few days here and there (although I’m sure it’s not always easy to find the proper hippie attire).

Going back to the women on the talk shows for a minute, the reasons were often obvious as to why they settled for bums.  There was usually little evidence to show that they put much effort into making themselves attractive as mates in terms of appearance, education, personality or in other aspects of life.  That kind of self investment typically requires sacrifice, discipline, patience and perseverance that some aren’t willing to invest. 
Consequently their choices in men were limited to those who were willing to overlook their shortcomings, and these were typically men with shortcomings of their own.

Similarly, those who believe they are being taken advantage of by evil corporations are often people who haven’t invested the time, effort and other resources necessary to develop highly marketable skills and/or experience.  Their unwillingness to do the hard things and make personal sacrifices to increase the value of their labor makes them their own worst enemy.

In contrast to the liberals' answer to corporate greed, real conservatives understand that the freedom to pursue and strive to maximize one’s own self-interest is a necessary component of a successful society, and the attempts to quash that natural instinct are akin to killing the proverbial golden goose.  They see the big picture, while liberals are forever blinded by the self-made bubbles they live in. 

I understand there’s a whole lot more at play here in terms of what’s motivating the various factions of the OWS clowns, but this is a blog, not a book.  I’m simply addressing one of their many phony grievances.

Friday, September 30, 2011

I Promise There is a Point to this Post

Like the king from Alice in Wonderland, I like to “begin at the beginning” when I approach a problem.  With that in mind, just about every post I write begins with the premise that the healthy individual and the healthy society are interdependent.  One cannot exist without the other.  So when we talk about policies, trends and movements that impact the individual it naturally follows that we must also consider their impact on society.

To clarify, a “healthy” individual, in my view, is one who can take care of his own needs and the needs of his dependants without unduly burdening others in his society.  A healthy society, I would say, is one that offers the kind of environment and protections where people can succeed at being healthy individuals.  Others may be able to improve upon those definitions but they should suffice for now provided no leftists or lawyers join the conversation.

The reason I bring this up is that many conservatives, particularly those with libertarian leanings (and I tend to include myself in that group), are understandably apprehensive about anything that appears to advocate what’s best for society if it seems to come at the expense of individualism.  However, any time two things are interdependent, the first priority must be to protect each from mortal injury in order to ensure their mutual survival.  In my essays, when I opine about what is best or necessary for the future of our society, please know that I have weighed this against what is necessary for the future of the healthy individual as well.  Never do I intend to place the society above the individual unless I perceive that to do so is ultimately necessary for the survival and perpetuity of the healthy individual.  Some may disagree with my conclusions, and I will welcome those debates with my best attempt at an open mind because the importance of getting this right from the beginning cannot be overstated.  The question of what matters more – the individual or the group – is central to the war between Left and Right.  

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Mighty Tree of Progressivism

In a rocky area of Colorado, just south of the Wyoming border, much of the land there contains massive boulders that project straight and tall from the hillsides that are otherwise covered in pine trees.  Seeds from the pine trees find their way into cracks and crevices of the gigantic rocks and, amazingly, trees manage to emerge from there looking as if they’d grown straight from the rock itself.  They grow out and then bend towards the sky or they grow sideways, but they grow.  Certain seeds, once planted, have a way of thriving in spite of the odds.  This is how it is with the seeds of progressivism.

Wikipedia defines progressivism as A political attitude favoring or advocating changes or reform through governmental action.”  If I may take the liberty of putting my own spin on that, I would say that progressivism is a movement whereby one group of citizens seeks to impose their will and their vision upon the rest of the country by misappropriating and manipulating the power of government.  Under progressivism, the government gets progressively bigger and bigger.

I don’t know precisely when the seeds of progressivism blew into the cracks of our government, but the organized effort to nurture the seeds and help establish the roots in this country seems to have begun in earnest with Teddy Roosevelt’s inheritance of the presidency.  The legislation, programs, and attitudes advanced by Roosevelt and others helped sow the idea that meddling in every aspect of our lives and businesses is a legitimate function of the federal government.  That was all that was needed to establish the roots and base of what would soon grow to be a mighty tree.  Other administrations came along and, seizing upon this notion that the force of government should be exploited to “solve” society’s every problem, they began adding their own layers to the tree.  Progressivism begets more progressivism, and the laws, programs, regulations and agencies that grew out of the original “reforms” became the branches of the tree, and these in turn grew branches of their own.

Like any of those clubs and scams that are easy to join but require real effort to cancel, progressivism – once ingrained – works on auto pilot.  When a tragic accident occurred recently at an air show resulting in numerous injuries and fatalities, the ink was not yet dry on the newsprint before the media began the standard cry for the government to DO something.  And so another branch began to sprout from the now giant branch that represents the FAA.  One more regulation.  That’s what we need.  It no longer occurs to people to simply accept the fact that there’s a certain amount of risk at air shows.  If the perceived risk becomes too high and people stop buying tickets, the air show producers would be motivated to institute and advertise their own safety measures that would reduce the potential risk and bring their customers back.  It is possible to solve certain problems without the giant hand of government.

One of the biggest ironies of progressivism is the tendency to look to government solutions to address the problems caused by…progressivism!    Look at what’s happened with the “war on poverty” that was part of progressive Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” agenda and which now is a giant branch on the tree of progressivism.  It’s led to hundreds of other branches in the form of acts, programs and agencies established to carry out this intentionally nebulous plan.  Things like generational dependence on welfare and 40-plus million people currently on food stamps are among the unfortunate but predictable results.  Looking for ways to curtail abuse of these programs, some have suggested micro-managing food stamps, forced sterilization programs and drug testing.  In other words, let’s add yet more branches to the tree.  And I have to confess that I’ve been guilty of this type of thinking at times.  It’s a reflexive response when one is under the assumption that government is ultimately responsible for us.  We’ve become so mired in trying to contain tenth-generation branches that we’ve lost sight of the real source of the problem which is the roots, the trunk and the primary branches.

It’s time to take an ax to the tree, striking as deeply into as we possibly can.  It won’t be easy, as this tree now dwarfs anything you might find in the infamous redwood forests of California.  To complicate matters, it’s completely surrounded by a sea of leftists who want to protect this particular tree at all costs.  And the final rub?  Our champion tree cutters – the folks we look to for leadership – are only armed with… herrings.

As we observe the fight for the presidency over the coming months we should be asking, “Who among them, if any, is ready to wield an ax?”

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Meaning of Anti-Tea Partyism

“Take these son-of-a-bitches out!” said union thug/Teamsters president, Jimmy Hoffa.

All laughable hypocrisy aside, it actually pleases me to see the Left openly exposing their hatred of the Tea Party, since it clearly and unequivocally demonstrates what they stand against.  The Tea Party agenda is strait forward and quite simple.  They want a return to limited government as it was intended under the Constitution.  This includes the reinstatement of what are supposed to be our constitutionally protected freedoms, reduced government spending (read: lower taxes) that does not exceed our revenue, and a return to REAL fairness – not the Left’s convoluted definition of it.  

There’s a good reason that such a seemingly reasonable agenda does not sit well with union thugs and others on the Left.  It’s because they have an agenda of their own, and it also is quite simple.  They want the transfer of wealth from “the rich” to the “working families” (i.e. them or their constituents) whom they deem to be more deserving of that wealth, and this theft requires the force and camouflage provided by a big, powerful, bloated federal government.  In other words, they want to cheat, just as they do when they play their little game of incivility tag, and their determination and sense of entitlement are no trivial matter. Once people have shown that they lack the good conscience to acquire what they want by honest means, there really is no telling what they are capable of as evidenced by what we see going in places like Mexico.  We are at war already, whether we know it or not.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

What Price for Power?

Many years ago I remember reading a horrifying story about a man who set his young son on fire in a vengeful act against his ex-wife.  I was astonished and sickened that someone could be so consumed with their own selfish need for power and control that they would destroy something good and precious to fulfill that need.  The way I see it there is not much difference between the mentality of that man and the mentality of the far Left elites in this country.  If the destruction of this country is what it will take in order for them to control things and be powerful, then the destruction of this country is what they will have.  Let’s look at the evidence.

“…divided we fall.”

While the tendency towards racism and sexism is a universal problem rooted in human nature, we have made great strides over the past century in this battle.   This, you might think, should be cause for celebration and self-congratulations, right?  No.  You see, at some point it dawned on the Left that the divisions among races and genders could be useful to the Left’s struggle for power, and they began scratching their bearded chins.  Now the party that purports to want everyone to live in color-blind harmony curiously spends its time perpetually fanning the flames of racism and sexism.  They insist that anything less than 100% progress is the equivalent of zero progress, that any unflattering truths or criticisms of women or minorities amounts to sexism or racism, and they fuel resentment and divisiveness by pandering to certain groups at the expense of others.

Same goes with their inflammatory rhetoric on the differences in economic classes which always have and always will exist.  “Class warfare” is an apt description for the Left’s real intent here.  Forget the fact that people move in an out of various economic classes during their lifetimes.  Forget the failures of socialism.  Forget that we’re all Americans in the end.  Divide and conquer.

Undermining Traditions and Values

It shouldn’t take a genius to observe patterns of behavior that are universally common to successful cultures around the world in order to understand the connection there.  Marriage and the promotion of stability of the family unit is a pretty consistent common denominator to successful cultures.  But the behaviors that arise from our natural instinct for long term survival are no match for the arrogance of the leftist elites who believe they know better than all of the billions of people who came before them.  With smug confidence in their own superior wisdom, they deem the tradition of marriage to be old-fashioned, passé.  And they demonize and ridicule those who won’t go along.  Well, children can be forgiven for the sin of youthful stupidity; as long as we can expect that at some point they will grow up and recognize the error of their ways.  But this never happens with the Left.  The results of their little experiment have long been in.  The correlations between single-parent homes and increased crime, poverty and welfare dependence are clear.  For the sake of these families and for a nation that is straining from the burden, do they acknowledge their mistakes and revise their stance?  No.  Once again they scratch their chins and ponder the usefulness of their own folly.  Crime, poverty and welfare dependency cry out for an increase in government oversight, don’t they?  Hmmm. 

And so, inspired by the blinding success of their agenda so far, they attack more of our traditions and values.  Marriage IS important they finally decide – but only if you’re gay.  Religion?  That’s gotta go (unless you’re a Muslim terrorist, in which case we must endeavor to better understand you and protect your rights to religious freedom).  The Left will always instinctively seek to undermine the foundations of a successful society because, like restless teenagers, they must have something to rebel against in order to satisfy their yearning for attention and self-importance.  The debacles that result, far from awakening the Left to their idiocy as we always hope, simply add to the chaos and divisions that they find useful to their pursuit of power.

The Forbidden Truth

It is standard practice for the Left to not only avoid certain truths, but to punish, libel and silence those who dare to speak them.  When my liberal neighbor was discussing “Bowling for Columbine” with me (I’ve never seen it), she was intrigued by the mystery of high gun violence in the U.S. relative to other countries.  According to her and the movie’s producers I’m told, this remains a puzzle that hasn’t been solved.  Well I like puzzles and it just so happens I have access to the internet.  I discovered, with about an hour’s worth of research, that black males commit murders at a rate of about seven times that of white males.  In many of these crimes, a gun is used.  Blacks make up approximately 11% of the U.S. population, which is far more than that of many of the countries we were compared to in the film.  Mystery solved. 

But the producers of “Bowling for Columbine” were never really looking for the truth, nor would they like it to be exposed.  In fact, if I were to announce my findings in some media setting I would be immediately denounced and dismissed as a racist.  Resolving the gun violence “crisis” is far less important, apparently, than uniting leftists and blacks in their fight against the establishment (i.e. conservatives).

Other truths that are not allowed to be spoken:  the illegitimacy epidemic among minorities; high crime rates among minorities and illegal aliens; disproportionately high welfare benefits to minorities; taxpayer subsidies for illegal aliens; the societal cost for single motherhood; the physical disparities between men and women; aptitude differences between men and women; truths that interfere with theories about global warming; the list goes on and on. 

None of these problems will ever be resolved as long as we are barred from facing the truth.  This is how the Left wants it because resolving these problems would force the Left’s myriad constituencies to give up the things (free bennies, promiscuity without responsibility….) that keep them in the pocket of the Left. 

So, keep the truth to yourself.

Stamping out Patriotism

I addressed this in detail in a recent post (see) so I won’t delve too deeply into it here but suffice it to say patriotism is a necessary component for a successful nation, and we all know where the Left stands (or should I say sits?) when it comes to patriotism.

Fostering Bad Behavior

Today’s Left, unable to carry out their agenda by force and frustrated by Constitutional restraints that interfere with their wish to dominate, engage in behaviors that can only be intended to destabilize this nation.  These include intimidation tactics, mob-style behaviors, violence, lying and refusing to play by the rules that they helped establish (such as their own laughable calls for “civility”).  These behaviors are like straws on the proverbial camel’s back.  They can only be withstood for so long and, when combined with the other behaviors described here, they contribute to an environment that is toxic to this nation. 

 It’s time for people to wake up and see the Left for who and what they really are.  They are not simply a party with different ideas on how to run the country.  They want to destroy the country as we know it.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Good Thing That Sex Offender was Registered!

“A sex offender brutally sexually assaulted and murdered his 14-year-old neighbour before going on a day trip to Blackpool Pleasure Beach, a jury heard.”

“The convicted rapist and child murderer Peter Tobin drugged and murdered an 18-year-old school-leaver before burying her in his back garden next to the body of another teenager he had killed, it was alleged at Chelmsford crown court today.”

“A twice-convicted child rapist, Abdallah Aid Oud, has been charged with the girls’ [ages 7 and 10] kidnapping and has been held since handing himself in on June 13, three days after police said they were looking for him.”

“A convicted sex offender has been jailed for a minimum of 32 years for the rape and murder of a 10-year-old girl and the murder of her mother.”

“A jury has found a convicted sex offender guilty of murdering 25 year-old Andrea Boyer in 2007.”

"Authorities today charged Fitzhugh Newton, 50, with twice raping a woman before killing her early on Feb. 26 on Columbia Road. Newton,
convicted of assault with intent to commit rape in 1979 and of open and gross lewdness in 2007, was already in the South Bay jail on unrelated charges…”

The common element to these horrible crimes is they were all committed by people who had been previously convicted of sex crimes. The snippets above represent just a tiny fraction of the stories that inundate the internet, but it’s only about three minutes worth of research. I shudder to think of what I would find if I devoted an entire day to this topic.

If I told you that the family pit bull attacked and bit my three-year old child to death, you would be horrified. But if I told you that I locked the dog up for six months as punishment and then let him back in the house with my one-year old and five-year old, you would be rightfully outraged. No one in their right mind would do such a thing, right? Yet this is exactly what we do with convicted sex offenders. We lock them away temporarily, then release them back into the public where there is nothing to stop them from preying on someone else. It’s really amazing when you think about it.

Like the pitbull, sex offenders are instinctively driven to do what they do, just as people with normal sexual urges are instinctively driven to behave as they do. This does not change after serving 5, 10 or 20 years in jail. It’s fair to assume that a man who commits rape knows that it’s wrong and knows that, if he’s caught, he may go to prison, yet he does it any way. What does this tell us about his urge to rape? It tells us that the urge is stronger than his conscience and stronger than his desire to remain free and not deal with the ramifications of being labeled as a sex offender. That’s a mighty strong urge.

So what are we supposed to do? Should we lock up the first-time rapist for the rest of his life? Assuming that the integrity of our justice system is strong the answer is yes, we probably should. A justice system should not be just about punishment but should also be a means of protecting citizens. Look at it this way: if we change the law so that men convicted of rape are facing prison for life, what would that tell you about the men who proceed to rape any way? It would confirm the notion that some men are incapable of controlling their urge to hurt women regardless of the consequences and that they don’t belong in society at all – ever.

In the end it comes down to a question of whose rights should prevail, the rights of the convicted sex offender or the rights of his future victims. That’s not a hard choice for me.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sometimes it is Appropriate to Blame the Victim

Over the past couple of decades or so it has become increasingly politically incorrect to point out that a victim, through his or her behavior, contributed to his or her own problems or demise.  The “Don’t blame the victim” cry has become the code phrase used to silence those who want to hold people accountable for their own actions in a nation increasingly hostile to the concept of personal responsibility.  One day, on American Justice, I watched a perfect illustration of this phenomenon.

The story goes like this:  In 1999, 8-year old Leroy (BJ) Brown, Jr. and his mother, Karen Clark, were gunned down in their home by drug dealers wanting to prevent the boy from testifying against them in an upcoming murder trial.  A horrible story, for sure.  During the course of the program we learn that Clark and her son had moved to this dangerous city (Bridgeport, Connecticut, which sometimes boasts a murder rate twice that of New York City due to its rampant drug trade) from Jamaica.  At some point she became romantically involved with a drug dealer who had recently been released from prison and moved him into her home.  Her son would later be riding in a car with said boyfriend when the boyfriend was shot at, the target of another drug dealer who eventually succeeded in killing him.  Clark decided to move - not out of town - but to another area of Bridgeport where she purchased a home that was across the street from a crack house.  The crack house was frequented by the out-on-bail murderer of her boyfriend, who eventually killed Clark and her son.

So was the point of the show to highlight the numerous mistakes Ms. Clark made that put her and her son in danger and ultimately contributed to their deaths?  Nope.  American Justice wanted to know if police and/or the state of Connecticut did enough to protect young BJ and his mother as witnesses.  In fact, her choices and missteps were not at issue at all and, in an interview with her brother, we have this unbelievable statement:  “My sister would never have done anything to put her son in harm’s way.” 

Not surprisingly Ms. Clark’s family filed a $100 million lawsuit, not against the vicious drug boss who actually killed Clark and her son, but against the taxpayers of Connecticut (i.e. the deep pockets).  Apparently while it is impolite to question the self-destructive decisions of the victim, it is perfectly alright to go after innocent taxpayers with a vengeance if the state fails to protect a victim from his/her own stupidity.  In the ultimate irony the taxpayers of Connecticut, who had nothing to do with the tragedy, are now expected to enrich the victims’ relatives and, of course, the lawyers. 

Welcome to the twenty-first century.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Importance of Patriotism

Patriot:  “One who loves his country and zealously supports its authority and interests.”

When you study the definition of ‘patriotism’ as defined by my old Webster’s Dictionary, you may be hard-pressed to understand why the belief in such a concept should be an issue of contention in the U.S.  And yet it is a subject on which Americans often find themselves divided along party lines, like so many other issues.  Those on the Right wear their patriotism proudly on their sleeves, while those on the Left often scoff, sneer or shrug at the notion of patriotism -- unless they’re running for office.  In that case they will claim to be patriotic but only after they redefine the term, saying that it really means “having the courage to be critical of one’s country,” or some such other nonsense.

The word “country” in the definition above refers to far more than the geographical territory upon which a nation exists, as evidenced by the phrase, “…supports its authority and interests.  The land doesn’t have “authority and interests;” but a nation does.  In other words, to be a patriot means to be loyal to a country in terms of its land, its people and the political system that represents its authority and advances its interests.

To understand the significance of patriotism, consider what happens within a family when a certain amount of loyalty does not exist.  A spouse cheats on a spouse, a parent fails to defend his child, a child ignores an elderly parent.  The family disintegrates.  Another apt comparison is a football team.  What would happen if players who are unhappy with the coach decided to get even by revealing their playbooks to the opposing team or by undermining the team’s strategy and purposely failing to do their jobs?  That would lead to the end of the team eventually.  In a country, patriotism is necessary to preserve and protect the nation as it currently exists. 

Let me repeat:  patriotism is necessary to preserve and protect the nation as it currently exists. 

Now let me repeat what I said above:  those on the Left often scoff, sneer or shrug at the notion of patriotism -- unless they’re running for office. 

If patriotism is necessary to the preservation of a nation as it currently exists, AND if the Left downplays or even derides the notion of patriotism, what can we conclude from this?  There are two possible answers:  (A) Those on the Left do not comprehend the importance of patriotism to a nation; or (B) Those on the Left do not wish to preserve and protect this nation as it currently exists.

Answer (A) fits perfectly with my theory of the Left as being psychologically immature.  Someone with the mentality of a child would not necessarily grasp the importance of patriotism, just as they may not understand what loyalty means to a family.  While this is not a crime, it certainly begs the question:  Is there any place for the Left in our government if they do not comprehend the necessity of patriotism?  I would say the answer is a big, fat “NO.”

Answer (B) also fits my theory of the Left as being immature for a couple of reasons,* but the bottom line is this:  The Left does NOT support the authority and interests of the U.S. government as defined by the Constitution. 

Two final thoughts:

Being a patriot does not necessarily mean that you tow the line, by agreeing with and/or abiding by the actions of the individuals who are in charge at any particular moment.  Patriotism means loyalty to country and to a political system, not necessarily to any one individual.  Working within the established political system to remove or neutralize the power of an individual can be patriotic if the ultimate goal is to “zealously support [the country’s] authority and interests.”  On the other hand, actions that are contrary to the design of the political system OR that ultimately undermine the original design or intent upon which the country was founded are not patriotic. 

Finally, what of those who do not agree with a country’s political system and so do not wish to support its “authority and interests”?  Is that a legitimate position?  Sure it is.  But it’s not patriotic.  It may be understandable.  It may be brave.  But it is not patriotic.  The rebels in Libya are fighting to replace the current political system with a preferred design of their own.  Their interest is to be in control of the land and the infrastructure, not to promote the authority and interests of the country as it currently exists.  They may be noble in their intentions – who knows? – but they are not patriots for Libya.

In sum, patriotism is a necessary element to the long-term survival of a nation, but you don’t have to take my word for it, just observe the actions of those on the Left.  We can already see that they perpetually engage in activities to undermine the Constitution and crack the foundation of this nation.  If they trivialize and ridicule the notion of patriotism, it can only be because they wish to deprive this nation of something that is necessary to its survival as it presently exists. 

* In the case of the U.S. Constitution, one would have to be immature not to recognize that the Left has never offered a superior alternative to the system of government we currently have.  Secondly, the desire to destroy the world’s most successful political system (theoretically speaking, anyway) for the sake of acquiring power and control for oneself, with no regard to the consequences, demonstrates a child’s absence of wisdom, a child’s lack of conscience, and a child’s need to indulge his own ego.

Monday, July 18, 2011

On Same-Sex Marriage

The same-sex marriage (SSM) debate, IMO, boils down to this question:  Who owns the term ‘marriage’ and who has the right to define it (or re-define it) on behalf of our entire society?  

My old Webster’s Dictionary from college defined marriage as “the institution whereby men and women are joined in a special kind of social and legal dependence for the purpose of founding and maintaining a family.  Today, Word’s dictionary defines it as, “a legally recognized relationship, established by a civil or religious ceremony, between two people who intend to live together as sexual and domestic partners.”  When did this transition occur and on whose authority?   

Whereas the original definition was based on centuries of human behavior, accepted social practice and a history of law on the subject, it seems the new definition is to work in the reverse.  The elites and special interests will decide how marriage is now defined, and people will behave accordingly.  If you see nothing wrong with that process, consider what would happen if a group of white supremacists attempted to unilaterally re-define the word “human” to apply only to Caucasians.  This would incite outrage, and rightly so.  That should illustrate the dangers of any one group co-opting terms that affect us all.

In order to answer the question as to who should decide the definition of marriage, we need to begin at the beginning.  Marriage is not a “right” in the sense that free speech is a right.  It is merely a process that makes possible and sets forth the conditions under which societies will agree to legally recognize a union between two people.  If all local governments suddenly decided to get out of the marriage business, a couple wanting to marry would have no recourse to the federal government.  Marriage is not addressed in the Constitution, which is consistent with the nature of that document.  The founders steered clear of promising to protect the kind of “rights” that placed an obligation on other citizens, as marriage does.  So how can SSM be a “right” if marriage in and of itself is not a right?

Now let’s talk about civil rights and discrimination.  Some people claim that to disallow SSM is discriminatory.  First let me say that marriage is discriminatory by design.  It leaves out same-sex couples, children and close blood relatives because the intent was to facilitate the unions of adult men and women as a means of promoting a certain foundation for society.  If defining marriage as a union between men and women is discriminatory, then what is the legal basis for making it off limits to children and close blood relatives?  In fact, what would be the basis for any restrictions whatsoever? 

I also disagree with the notion that marriage discriminates against gays due to the fact that no one is prohibited from marrying on the basis of their gender or sexual preference.  One could claim that gays don’t derive the same benefit from their access to marry since it is limited to the opposite sex; however, since when is the government in the business of guaranteeing that we all receive an equal benefit from those things we are legally entitled to do?  It’s not.  Someone who is seven feet tall probably does not enjoy the same comfort when riding a city bus as someone five feet tall.  That’s too bad.  Not everyone gets to marry someone rich and goodlooking like Brad Pitt.  Can they claim discrimination?  Certainly they aren’t receiving the same benefit as if they married a poor guy who looks like Michael Moore.

So if there’s no basis for instituting SSM under the Constitution or the Civil Rights Act, we’re still left with the question:  who should decide how marriage is defined? And the answer is simple:  We, the people, should decide.  If we can agree on that much then the reasons each one of us may have for being in favor of SSM or for not being in favor of SSM are irrelevant.  To stipulate otherwise brings us right back to square one, where this or that group claims the right to define what marriage is for all of us based on the superiority of their own reasoning.

Now having said all that and made the case for a democratic approach to the issue of SSM, be assured that the Left has no intention of allowing that to happen.  They want to be the ones who decide how marriage will be defined.  They do everything they can to avoid a vote so that they alone can impose their will on the rest of us.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

What Makes a Right a Right?

There’s a lot of discussion over at Townhall, and I’m sure it’s the same on other conservative blogging sites, about the origin of our “rights.”  Some say our rights come from God, some say they are derived from the Constitution, some say they come from nature and some say they simply exist and are not granted or bestowed on us by anyone or anything.  In reality, none of the above is true.

What makes a right a right – what gives it value, in other words – is the mutual agreement that such a right exists and/or the ability to defend that right. 

Consider a scenario in which two people are stranded on a deserted island with no expectation of being rescued.  Now suppose that the stronger of the two demands that the other work as his slave, or else he will kill him.  If the right to life and freedom were truly unalienable, then the weaker fellow need simply assert those rights and the problem would be immediately resolved, correct?  In reality though, if the stronger man does not agree to those rights and cannot be held accountable for depriving the weaker man of them, then those “rights” are meaningless and may as well not exist at all.

It is the Declaration of Independence which declares that, “…all men…are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights;” however, the mere declaration of such rights is not sufficient to establish them.  If it was, then we would also be enjoying the right to free food, housing and medical care as per the declaration of such rights by one resident leftist over at Townhall.  Anyone can declare themselves entitled to “rights,” as the Left frequently proves.  Going back now to the DOI, England did not agree that our right to liberty was “unalienable.”  We had to fight to defend it, with many learning in the process that the right to life is not so “unalienable” either.  Ultimately it was only the demonstration of our ability to defend those “rights” that preserved them for the remaining Americans.

The Constitution does not “grant” us rights; however, it does three vital things that give us the best chance for being able to exercise certain rights.  First, it defines those rights with specificity, the founders having undoubtedly understood that specificity is key to enforceability.  Next, by incorporating the Bill of Rights into the Constitution they established the presumption of mutual agreement by virtue of citizenship.  It is this presumption of assent that then makes it possible to establish a means to defend those rights by way of due process and our justice system.  Brilliant?  That’s up to each of us to judge, but what it says to me is the founders astutely understood the intangible and precarious nature of “rights” and the problems associated with both guaranteeing and not guaranteeing them.

Ultimately our “rights” are only as good as our ability to enforce them.  Keep that in mind whenever someone presumes to declare what their rights are.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Leftwing Bullies and Hypocrites

“A gay rights activist threw glitter at Rep. Michele Bachmann Saturday…. Tim Pawlenty and … Newt Gingrich both had glitter tossed at them during recent book signings.  [the activist] called the attack "a really good-natured, light-hearted way to bring attention to … gay rights."

This behavior is nothing new.  Back in the 70’s Thomas Forcade, founder of the pro-marijuana magazine, High Times, began throwing pies at people whom he perceived to be opposed to his political agenda.  In doing so he started a trend among leftists and anarchists (pretty much the same thing) who proceeded to lob pies at people they deemed deserving of ridicule, ambushing them when they least expected it.  Needless to say their targets were mostly conservatives, and included people like Anita Bryant, William Buckley, G. Gordon Liddy, Ann Coulter and David Horowitz, among others.   People working as part of the activist group PETA regularly throw blood or “flour bombs” at people, mostly celebrities, who inspire their ire by wearing fur.

It is no coincidence that this behavior is almost exclusively engaged in by the Left, as it is part and parcel of the leftist mentality (and their inherent immaturity) that they assume it to be their right to bully those who don’t subscribe to their agenda.  Bullying is in fact at the strategic forefront of just about every group with a leftwing agenda, from the aggressive behavior we see at union protests to the frequent boycotts called for against conservative radio and t.v. shows in an attempt to put them out of business.

This is why I am bemused by all of the anti-bullying campaigns that we see liberals promoting everywhere these days.  The blind hypocrisy is nothing short of amazing. (“…a partner of MTV’s ‘Love is Louder’ Campaign), is just one example among many.  It’s sponsored by The View, for instance, which of course is the same program where regular co-host Joy Behar called Sharron Angle a "bitch" multiple times and said that she is "going to hell."  Feigning offense at an anti-illegal immigration ad put out by Angle, Behar challenged, “I’d like to see her do this ad in the South Bronx.  Come here, bitch!  Come to New York and do it!”

Fellow liberals out there apparently see nothing ironic about Joy “Come here, bitch” Behar sponsoring a campaign against bullying, and this epitomizes what conservatives are up against in this country. 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

No, No, No, No, No!!!!!

I cannot begin to tell you how insanely angry this makes me. 

Yesterday, judges on the appeals court hearing arguments on the constitutionality of Obamacare questioned the notion of the government’s legal ability to compel private citizens to purchase products under the Commerce Clause.  Here’s how one reporter described the government’s response:

Katyal argued that healthcare is unique and unlike purchasing other products, like vegetables in a grocery store. “You can walk out of this courtroom and be hit by a bus,” he said. And if such a person has no insurance, a hospital and the taxpayers will have to pay the costs of his emergency care, he said.”

I may have missed it but so far I have never heard the correct and most obvious response to this argument:  Since when do hospitals and the taxpayers “have to” pay the costs for emergency care for people who are uninsured?  Is this requirement written in the Constitution somewhere?  No.  It is a completely false argument built on a completely contrived premise. 

This notion that other people are somehow responsible for services rendered to the uninsured is the culmination of many years of progressive brainwashing to the point where it seems almost everyone accepts this lie as fact.  If someone needs emergency care but has no insurance, the logical plan is that those people should be on the hook for the cost of that care.  This may mean they have to work out a long-term payment plan, but so be it.  That’s the consequence of not having insurance. So for those who complain about irresponsible people who shrug off the need for insurance, I say, “What better incentive could there be to encourage responsible behavior than the looming threat of an emergency room bill that you actually have to pay for yourself.”  Voila, problem solved.

Not only that, but two of the reasons emergency care is so outrageously expensive are tied to this easily fixable behavior.  People use the emergency room for minor illnesses precisely because they have no insurance and know they can’t be turned away.  If, by imposing real consequences, we motivate more people to buy insurance (and we definitely will), this will reduce the demand for emergency services and the cost to everyone else.  Secondly, by forcing people to take responsibility for the cost of their emergency care we would significantly reduce the unpaid costs that are spread to people and insurance companies who actually do pay, and this would further reduce healthcare costs.

So this falsehood that there is some sort of constitutionally imposed mandate for hospitals and taxpayers to pay for the uninsured is a lie of great consequence – purposely so.  It is, as we can see, the intentionally contrived basis for Obamacare.  Therefore we must never let it go unchallenged.