Saturday, December 20, 2014

Anarcho-Libertarians: So Far Behind They Think They’re First

Back in October I wrote a post entitled The Trouble with Libertarianism in which I talked about the arrogance of libertarians.  Since then I have a received a gift in the form of a psuedo-libertarian who seems determined to prove me right.  In one of his most recent comments to me he stated, “Me continuing to attempt having a rational philosophical discussion w/you would be like Einstein trying to explain physics to a Neanderthal…”  He’s Einstein and I’m a Neanderthal.  Yep, I think that qualifies as arrogance and, strangely, the fact that he sees himself as Einstein and me as a lowly Neanderthal hasn’t prevented him from wanting to engage me in discussion; nor has his high opinion of his own superior intelligence given him the confidence to debate me without resorting to all the usual games that people with a losing position tend to resort to, such as mischaracterizing my argument in order to give himself the advantage.  I kind of doubt Einstein would have done that but let’s get on to the substance of things.

I should explain that this commenter – we’ll call him ‘Henry’ – is not really a libertarian.  From what I can tell (because Henry tends to be a bit coy about it) he’s a quasi-libertarian/quasi-anarchist or, to be more precise, he subscribes to an ideology (or whatever you’d like to call it) that exists only in his dreams.  To be fair Henry would claim that the same is true of the representative republic we ostensibly have and there’s a lot of truth in that.  No one could observe what’s transpired since the birth of the Constitution and claim with a straight face that it’s worked according to plan, especially not of late.  And I understand the complaint which says, in a nutshell, that the system concentrates power into the hands of a few individuals, perhaps more than they could have achieved without the power of the system.  But Henry’s dilemma is that he has no realistic alternative.  He asks me:  “If THEY [the Founders] couldn't construct a means to keep govt. limited who can?

Indeed.  Good question, Henry.  The answer is that nobody can, and yet government is going to exist.  That’s the rub, Henry.  Government is going to exist because it’s part of human nature.  Our old friend Webster’s Dictionary defines human nature as “the ways of thinking, feeling, and acting that are common to most people.”  Government is common to virtually all people in one form or another, so it certainly fits the description.  Your failure to accept this fact of human nature lends support to the second weakness of libertarianism that I mentioned in my post on the subject, so thank you again for chiming in. 

What I find interesting is the strategy of the anarcho-libertarians wherein they attack and attempt to marginalize the framers of the Constitution rather than simply put forth their own ideas for an alternative.  Apparently they believe that Americans’ allegiance to the Constitution and the representative republic put in place by the Founders is all owing to our irrational worship of the Founders, and those of us who don’t possess their Einstein-like minds are incapable of seeing it for the sham that it is.  The truth is that the Founders not only understood the perseverance of human nature both good and bad, they also had no illusions about the fragility of the republic. 

James Madison said:

“If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself.” (The Federalist Papers, Federalist No. 51, February 8, 1788).

Alexander Hamilton said:

“As riches increase and accumulate in few hands, as luxury prevails in society, virtue will be in a greater degree considered as only a graceful appendage of wealth, and the tendency of things will be to depart from the republican standard. This is the real disposition of human nature; it is what neither the honorable member nor myself can correct. It is a common misfortunate that awaits our State constitution, as well as all others.”  (Speech to the New York Ratifying Convention, June, 1788).

Samuel Adams said:

“[N]either the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.”  (From an essay in The Public Advertiser, 1749)

So there was never any pretense that the Founders were promising perfection.  They went out of their way to warn that government is only as good as the people.  And the Founders’ intelligence?  I happen to believe, based upon what I’ve seen and read, that they were a pretty intelligent group, but that’s not necessarily what’s most important.  These men wrangled for years, perhaps decades, over the question of how to create a lasting system of self-government.   In that process they argued and debated and THOUGHT.  They concluded, rightly so, that the stateless, government-free existence you envision is impossible.  In other words, the Founders were light years ahead of you and your anarcho-libertarian friends, not the other way around. 

As for comparing yourself to Einstein, Einstein didn’t just come out and declare that Isaac Newton was wrong and then disparage Newton and beat his chest over his own superior intelligence.  He put his theories out there so that they could be critiqued and tested.  I’ve seen nothing like that from you. 

If you’ve got a better plan, let’s hear it – in detail.  I won’t hold my breath because I’ve been through all this before with the last anarcho-libertarian.  He at least tried to rise to the challenge and put forth some ideas on what he would do differently than the Founders did.  Problem was it was still just government by a different name, and he took great exception to my saying so.  No one likes having their precious prejudices challenged. 

I’m willing to give you one last shot for a fair and honest debate.  If you think I’m uneducated, then by all means educate me.  But if you come back with a bunch of smarmy “LOLs” and other nonsense then we’re done here, Einstein. 


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Truth: Enemy of the Progressive Agenda

I once had a friend whose life was a series of problems.  She had lost her job, had lost her home, she was eighty pounds or more overweight and her marriage was falling apart.  We had developed a friendship when our young sons became close buddies and over the years, as she struggled through one crisis after another, she would ask for my advice, then promptly ignore whatever I told her because all of the solutions to her problems involved facing certain truths that she didn’t want to face.  She was overweight because she ate too much of the wrong things.  She had money issues because she was reckless with her spending.  She had marriage problems because she was mean to her husband (and the extra eighty pounds didn’t help).  What she really wanted was someone to tell her how she could still do all these things and be slender, financially sound and happily married.  Needless to say I failed in that capacity, but I learned a valuable lesson of my own:

No problem in this world can be solved if people refuse to see or acknowledge the truth. 

That may seem self-evident and many readers may be thinking, “Gee, thanks for that great revelation, CW;” but the reality of life in America as we know it today certainly suggests that this simple and basic bit of wisdom is absent in epidemic proportions.  Politicians and other talking heads, particularly those trying to separate us from our power and our wealth, bombard us with fast talk and lofty, lengthy speeches in the hopes that Americans will forget or ignore the simple truths that render their extravagant promises impossible.  The people who lie to distract you from reality aren’t capable of solving your problems, nor do they have any real intention of doing so.  Liars don’t usually lie to be helpful.  Now you may be okay with that if you’re one of those people who feign anger over perceived problems like poverty, racial and gender inequalities, decline in education, or any of the other myriad difficult issues we now face.  If so I would just ask that you spare the rest of us the trouble of entertaining your insincere concerns.  Go stick your head back in the sand.  This piece isn’t meant for you.  The rest of you may read on.

When Larry Summers had the audacity to make the politically incorrect (but factually true) assertion that women weren’t as interested in math and science fields as men and that this was the primary reason for the shortage of women in these fields, he was viciously attacked by those on the Left as if he had committed some horrible sin.  It didn’t matter to them that it was true.  He wasn’t allowed to say it.  Facing this truth and similar truths about the different skills, interests and aptitudes found among different genders might go a long way to broadening our understanding of perceived inequalities, but that, of course, is why we mustn’t be allowed to go there.  The perception of discrimination serves the interests of those on the Left and women who want preferential treatment, and therefore we must hear no truth, see no truth and speak no truth when it comes to gender differences.

Leftists in this country and around the world spend a lot of time denouncing us as a violent country and in particular crying over the victims of “gun violence.”  Gun homicides are high here compared to some other nations, that’s true, but you would think someone sincerely interested in understanding and solving the problem might take the time to examine the patterns of these homicides to understand why we’re different from countries that are held up as being more civilized than we are.  Unfortunately that kind of exercise leads to something that the Left fears more than anything:  the truth.  Gun homicides among whites in American are only slightly higher than those in countries that the Left points to as evidence of our comparative barbarity.  It’s only when you factor in the gun homicides among blacks, which is some seven times higher, that the truth becomes a bit clearer.  The reality points to a problem in the culture of inner-city blacks, not a problem with us as a nation or a problem with guns in general.  But shhhhh.  Don’t go there.  You’re a racist if you do.  And so the problem remains unsolved, and it will stay that way because the ‘progressives’ don’t really want to solve it.  I guess that’s too bad for blacks, since they’re largely the victims of black gun violence.  Oh well.

And what about the problem of poverty?  If you believe those on the Left, poverty is an artificially induced condition resulting from corporate exploitation, racism and a system designed to favor the wealthy.  Each of those may hold a grain of truth, but all are dwarfed in comparison to the primary reasons for poverty, all of which are either self-induced or inherent in the individual.  The notion that people might be responsible for their own poverty because of the choices they make in life with respect to education, employment (or lack thereof), marriage, pregnancy, spending, drugs or anything else is unsettling to liberals who hate anything that smacks of personal responsibility.  Leftists who value power above anything else know that it’s hard to elicit loyalty in the form of votes when you hold people accountable for their actions.  It’s much more rewarding to pretend the problems are someone else’s fault.  And the notion that some people are simply incapable of achieving more than poverty or that poverty is a temporary condition depending on one’s stage of life?  Well those topics are taboo as well.  So instead the Left devotes its efforts to “solving” poverty by transferring wealth aka legalized stealing, which of course simply moves the players around on the board and does nothing whatsoever to tackle the real causes of poverty.  That’s too bad for some who might actually be helped to escape the cycle of poverty by being forced to face the truth, but oh well.

Ferguson is only the latest example where self-imposed blindness to the truth stands in the way of what the complainers profess to want.  Supposedly we are concerned because unarmed black youths are being routinely and disproportionately cut down in the streets by trigger-happy cops.  To whatever extent this is true, it too has no hope of being resolved due to the lies being told by the Left to themselves and to the world.  Any group that demonstrates a higher propensity for crime and violence is naturally going to attract greater attention and suspicion from police.  Males in general, black or white, face greater scrutiny from police than women do because men categorically commit the vast majority of crimes, particularly violent crimes.  Their presence, particularly in charged situations, is going to naturally raise the adrenaline levels of most cops, and that’s going to lead to more violent confrontations whether deserved or undeserved.  The solution to that is to change the perception, which requires that you begin creating a new type of history, which requires a different culture in the black community.  Stop tolerating bad behavior.  Stop propping people up with welfare and rewarding them for having children out of wedlock.  Let their energies be focused on working and surviving instead of trouble making.  That’s the only genuine and lasting solution to the problem of black males being disproportionately sent to prison or to the morgue.  Anyone who is suggesting otherwise has no sincere interest in seeing that dynamic change, and it’s time to take a closer look at their motives.

People need to understand that political correctness isn’t about politeness.  It’s an intentional strategy to keep the truth from being spoken out loud so that it doesn’t have to be faced, and so that people who engage in bad or destructive behaviors can continue to do so without anyone annoying them about it.  Any time anyone goes out of their way to avoid the truth or to keep it from being discussed, that person has another agenda to push.  That’s the Left’s game in a nut shell.  Unfortunately too many on the Right go along with the game, bowing to some misguided notion that one-sided rules of political correctness must be respected.  Instead of insisting that the truth be faced, they tread in aimless circles around it, and the results speak for themselves.  The country is a mess and it’s going to stay that way until someone insists on the truth.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Trouble with Libertarianism

I am the Secretary for my homeowners’ association.  Before you start pelting me with rotten tomatoes or yank my H&F contributor privileges, please hear me out.  We had our reasons for opting to live in this neighborhood but ultimately my reasons aren’t important and no one should have to justify what appeals to them about where they choose to live.  What matters is that no one unduly imposes their vision of happiness on anyone else, and as we all know HOAs have a reputation – sometimes deserved, sometimes not – for doing just that.  Here in Texas growing anti-HOA sentiment led to a mini revolt that culminated in an overhaul of the state’s laws governing HOAs in 2012.  Under the banner of “reform” and cries for liberty Texas adopted a number of changes, expanding the code that deals with HOAs to 47 pages containing nearly 13,000 words.  Texans are supposed to be thankful for this ‘release’ from tyranny.  Call me an ingrate if you will but I see things a bit differently.
The neighborhood where I live was planned as an HOA from its inception, which means this particular HOA wasn’t forced on anyone, and as I wade through page after page of regulations we now have to follow on top of our own by-laws I am left to wonder:  Whatever happened to freedom of association?  If a group of like-minded homeowners with a shared interest in creating a certain type of living environment want to form an association for that purpose, what gives others the right to say we can’t or to impose onerous rules and regulations that make it overly burdensome to do so?  Imagine if a group of ‘free-speech’ activists began targeting sites like Hardnox & Friends, demanding, in the name of liberty, that anyone be allowed to post articles and imposing a list of rules and regulations that, to their way of thinking, better protects the free speech rights and thus the liberty of other individuals.  Such crusades, I am finding, are often more about imposing one group’s preferences with respect to liberty at the expense of someone else’s notion of liberty.  Pushback against increasingly tyrannical HOAs seems to have been answered by another form of tyranny masquerading as preservation of liberty (BTW, why not simply have a law that prevents Associations from forcing pre-existing homeowners into HOAs or from amending their CCRs without a super-majority?  One simple sentence.).
Whether we like it or not the exercise of individual “rights” is in many respects a zero-sum game.  My “right” to drive my car as fast as I want must be balanced against your “right” to be reasonably safe on the road; my “right” to enjoy loud music late at night must be balanced against your “right” to sleep or just enjoy a bit of peace and quiet on your own property.  Outside of what is guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, no one can always have 100% of what he wants without stepping on the “rights” of someone else, which is why libertarianism can be a tricky thing and why I’m troubled by what looks to me like a growing movement in that direction.  As we increasingly hear people proudly proclaim, “I’m a fiscal conservative and a social libertarian,” now seems like a good time to examine what that means.
What exactly is a libertarian?  Just like the term “conservative” the label tends to be co-opted by groups and individuals seeking to mold it around their own unique beliefs, and dictionary definitions seem to have little relationship to reality, not to mention that even those are all over the place.  Keeping in mind the oft invoked “social libertarian” phrase I would distinguish conservatism from libertarianism this way:
Conservatism advocates limited government and the inviolability of individual rights while at the same time also recognizing the importance of and giving great deference to the preservation of societal systems and mores.  It recognizes that neither the individual nor societies can exist without one another, in the same way that Siamese twins who share vital organs depend on each other’s good health.  A certain amount of harmony is essential within society in order for individuals to flourish and for the continuation of mankind to be ensured.  It is, in short, an adult’s ideology; it accepts reality and the need to sometimes sacrifice short term satisfaction for long term prosperity and security.
In contrast, libertarianism places much greater weight on the “rights” of the individual, to the point of sometimes dangerously ignoring what’s necessary to preserve and nurture society.   While it is immensely nobler in motive than liberalism, it shares two of liberalism’s more unfortunate traits, the first of which is arrogance.   Arrogance is when an unremarkable community organizer/politician presumes to “transform” a government founded by some of the best minds in American history, or when the wife of a president presumes to know more about feeding children than parents and schools that have been successfully feeding children for centuries.  Likewise, libertarians are known to be arrogantly dismissive when it comes to the lessons learned and imparted by past societies.  Like the new manager who fails to get to know a business before insisting on drastic changes, libertarians are unconcerned that past societies have universally rejected behaviors like prostitution and recreational drug use, or that they heretofore unanimously restricted marriage to opposite genders.  The adult stops, observes and asks, “Why?”  The child plows ahead without pausing to consider what potential dangers lay ahead, or perhaps assuming that any dangers won’t affect them.
The second trait libertarians share with liberals is an unrealistic view of human nature.  Just get government out of the way, they tell us in their quest to be freed from the limits society imposes on them.  People will behave themselves, you’ll see.  If that were true then there would have been no impetus for the laws we have.  If people didn’t drive recklessly we wouldn’t need speed limits.  If people didn’t litter, we’d need no laws against littering.  Didn’t we just have a nurse who had been exposed to Ebola ignore the risk to others so she could travel?  Does that episode support or disprove the notion that people can be trusted to think of others before they act?  The reality belies the spin and leads me to conclude that libertarianism isn’t so much about the principled quest for freedom for all but is instead about protecting the “right” to do whatever the hell one wants regardless of the impact on anybody else.  Conservatives fear government because all too often it places power in the hands of the wrong people.  Libertarians don’t like government even in the hands of the right people, which in theory is all of us.
Libertarianism sounds good.  Heck, who isn’t for liberty?  But the question is:  how does one define liberty?  If I’m legally forced to recognize same-sex marriages, is that liberty?  If my neighborhood is overrun by drug dealers, pimps and prostitutes whose “rights” I am commanded to respect, is that liberty?  If I and other like-minded individuals want to form our own community with mutually agreed-to rules but others say we can’t, is that liberty?  If my nation’s hands are tied against preemptive acts of self-defense, is that liberty?   These are the questions that make me discomfited by the “fiscal conservative, social libertarian.” 


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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

If It Walks Like a Duck….A Commentary on Conspiracy Theories

A perp walks into a bank and robs it.  The teller claims the perp was a duck.  When police look at the surveillance video, the image shows a small, feathered creature with webbed feet waddling up to the teller and quacking instructions to her through its bill.  The police logically conclude that the perp is indeed the one duck who resides in the town.  They get a warrant and search the duck’s nest and sure enough – there’s the money.  But wait!  Someone comes forward to say it can’t be the duck, because they’re sure they saw the duck on the other side of town at the time of the robbery. 

And so the conspiracy theories begin. 

Maybe the video tape was doctored by the bank because the bankers stole the money and planted it in the nest to frame the duck! 

Maybe the entire police department is lying because they stole the money and they’re trying to blame the duck!

Maybe, maybe, maybe…

Whether it’s the assassination of JFK, the “disappearance” of Elvis or the horrific events of 9-11, conspiracy theories seem to have burgeoned into their own cottage industry, and call me a party pooper if you want but I tend not to be a fan.  It’s not that I believe conspiracies never happen, I know they sometimes do; but this trend of translating any questionable or missing piece of evidence into an elaborate plot that ignores both the known facts and common sense is very disturbing for a host of reasons, starting with its potential to wrongly ensnare and tarnish innocent people.  Imagine being a member of the Bush administration following 9-11 when it was suggested by some that Bush and others orchestrated the events of that day.  Consider what such theories imply, not just about them but also about the people peripherally involved or those who painstakingly investigated the events of 9-11.  Were they abettors to this terrible crime?  Are they liars?  Were they grossly incompetent?  Those are damning accusations, yet you can’t accept the conspiracy theories and come to any other conclusion. 

Conspiracy theorists aren’t required to observe the standards of reasoning and proof that tend to naturally lead official investigations in the right direction.  In the duck scenario, for instance, it would be much harder to credibly point to other suspects if you were required to explain to a jury why you discounted the video evidence and the testimony of the teller who was robbed in favor of the testimony of someone who could easily have been mistaken about some incidental sighting of the duck.  Given what’s at stake for others it behooves us to engage in a little self-policing before jumping into the conspiracy boat.  The people who perpetuated the 9-11 conspiracy theories, largely a who’s-who list of Bush-hating leftists, were clearly not motivated by a quest for the truth but were instead, consciously or subconsciously, trying to turn any unresolved question from that day into a convenient indictment of the man they hated, and they didn’t care who was sacrificed in the process.  I’d like to think that conservatives are better than that but the signs don’t always point that way.

Yesterday I turned on the radio in my car and heard a few minutes of the Michael Savage show.  The discussion apparently centered on Obama’s announcement that he was sending 3,000 troops to Africa to help deal with the Ebola epidemic.  A woman caller seemed to suggest that she believed this was part of a broader scheme to bring Ebola to the U.S.  She also suggested it was possible that the epidemic had been intentionally manufactured and introduced in Africa to initiate the scheme.  To Savage’s credit he quickly dismissed that suggestion, but this was followed by a caller who believed this was a plot to undermine the military.  It was disturbing to hear such calls and to know that they will help form the impression listeners have of conservatives. 

Generally speaking, the simplest and most logical explanations lead to the truth of what’s going on.  No doubt there are valid criticisms as to the wisdom of sending U.S. troops into a country infested with Ebola and it might be fair to speculate, based upon his history, that Obama isn’t concerned about the risks this presents to our soldiers, but a diabolical plot intended to bring an Ebola epidemic to the U.S.?  Come on.  That is the stuff of James Bond villains, the stuff that we find greatly entertaining because it is so far removed from reality as we know it.

Complex Orwellian plots and multifarious conspiracies really aren’t necessary in order for the Left to achieve their objectives, and this is painfully demonstrated to us on a daily basis.  Why engage in a fiendish plot to bring Ebola to this country or to destroy the military when you can legally (for the most part) harness people’s own natural nanny-state inclinations to achieve the bulk of your goals pretty much out in the open?  It makes no sense. 

I am not suggesting that there isn’t a whole lot of lying, secrecy and nefarious dealings going on.  On the contrary, I understand as well as anyone that scheming and dishonesty pervade government, particularly leftwing administrations whose goal is to control and harness the earning power of some to buy the loyalty of others.  It requires a great deal of manipulation and orchestration to accomplish that.  There is, however, a not-so-fine line between being justifiably wary and watchful of government and letting your imagination go too far.  You can only cry wolf so many times before no one takes you seriously.  Already the words “conspiracy theory” elicit eye rolls and images of red-eyed bloggers furiously typing away in their mothers’ basements.  That’s a tragedy for the genuine conspiracies that will be uncovered and then perfunctorily dismissed, but it’s the price that comes with the loss of objectivity.  I’m sure I’ll win no popularity contests with this post, but sometimes when something walks and quacks like a duck it really is just a duck.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Why We Should Abolish the Minimum Wage

A free market economy depends upon the unhindered ability of all participants to pursue what they believe to be in their own best interests, hence the word “FREE.”  If I have something to sell that I think is worth $100 I don’t have to sell it to you for $50 and you cannot be forced to buy it from me for $100.  Each of us can decide how badly we want either the money or the goods when choosing whether or not to negotiate.  If we ultimately settle on a price of $75 with no one being physically or legally coerced into such a trade, then it can logically be assumed that each of us believes we have made a deal that maximized our trading power, because if we could have made a better deal elsewhere we would have done so. 

The mandate of a minimum wage undermines the free market by depriving people of the option to engage in a trade that could optimize their own best interest.  A person who lacks work experience or skills and would be willing to work for less than the market rate in order to obtain those skills may be prevented from doing so by a mandated minimum wage.  Likewise an employer who can’t afford or simply doesn’t want to pay the going rate and would be willing to relax his requirements in exchange for paying someone less than market rate has no such freedom with a mandated minimum wage.  All this begs the critical question: 

What gives the federal government the right to deprive people of the basic freedom to trade their labor for any price that they’re willing to take or the freedom to hire someone who would willingly accept their offered price? 

I would contend that our government has no such right, irrespective of the fact that it’s been using its might for some time now pretending as if it did.  The assertion of OUR rights to be free from government interference in commerce between willing participants should be the first line of defense for conservatives against the mandated minimum wage, because to take any other approach is to first make the fatal mistake of conceding the government’s right to establish a minimum wage, and then we’re simply arguing over how much, as is the case right now.  One person’s failure to obtain the skills, education or experience to earn a decent living shouldn’t entitle them to rob others of their freedom to pursue their own best interests in the free market, but that’s exactly what happens with a mandated minimum or “living” wage.

Unless it’s based on the free market, the amount of money that anyone thinks he deserves to earn is entirely arbitrary.  You are welcome to believe that your labor is worth, say, $50 an hour; but if nobody values your skills enough to pay you that amount then by definition, you’re not worth it, regardless of whether that’s the amount you need to support yourself or not.  Someone who washes windows for a living is not worth more pay because he’s trying to put himself through Harvard or because he’s supporting nine children, yet this is the type of argument that liberals always use to justify mandating and continually increasing the minimum wage.  “A family of four can’t live on minimum wage!” they cry.  If I shouldn’t have to pay the window washer an arbitrary $50 an hour so he can put himself through Harvard why should I have to pay the burger flipper an arbitrary $15 an hour because he has three kids?  A job is worth what a job is worth, whether it’s a 16-year old flipping burgers earning fun money or a 31-year old flipping burgers supporting a family.

Alas, liberals have already managed to convince enough Americans, Left and faux Right, that somewhere within the Constitution the government was given the power to deprive people of the right to engage in mutually agreeable commerce and they’ve established a completely arbitrary minimum wage.  I can only assume this was done in the name of the regularly abused “general welfare” language, but if that’s the case then this simply means that the policy fails on both a constitutional and a logical basis, because it’s easy to demonstrate how the minimum wage is harmful – not helpful – to the “general welfare.”

Some time ago I wrote a post about truisms (Truisms:  The Case against Liberalism), the inescapable and unchangeable rules of life that we ignore at our own peril and, much to our shame, to the peril of future generations.  Truisms are like gravity; you cannot avoid it simply by refusing to acknowledge that it exists, but it can be amusing to see people try.  What’s not amusing, though, is the predictable destruction brought upon this nation by democrats who ignorantly and/or willingly ignore basic truths when pursuing policies that affect us all.  The mandated minimum wage is a shining example of this.

Truism #1 – The more you reward certain behaviors, the more of them you’ll get.

As in my original post I challenge anyone to argue that this statement isn’t a fact, just like the law of gravity.  Now, what are you doing when you guarantee a minimum wage to someone who has made no effort to acquire the skills, experience or education to command a higher wage on their own merits?  That’s right – you reward them for remaining unskilled, uneducated and inexperienced.  That’s a great idea for the “general welfare,” isn’t it? 

Truism #6 –The law of natural consequences is necessary to a functional society.

The beauty of the free market is that it naturally rewards people who have or who acquire the talents, experience and skills we value, thereby encouraging more people to hone these valuable skills.  Given that no one owes you a living, this is unarguably a win-win for everyone.  It gives people the incentive and opportunity to make the most with what they have.  On the flip side, the free market has a way of discouraging behaviors that are personally and societally destructive.  In a truly free market (and without government assistance, which is a whole other topic) people are naturally forced to make smarter choices about careers and lifestyles that lead to greater personal responsibility and less risk to others that they will end up paying the price for your mistakes and failures.  This might be less enjoyable for the least responsible and ambitious amongst us, but certainly it is best for the “general welfare.”

Your average fifth grader can look at the images of angry fast-food workers marching around with signs demanding a higher minimum wage and compare that to people trying to achieve the same financial goal through education and job advancement and that fifth grader can tell you which way is better for the “general welfare.”  If only they could explain it to the average liberal.


Friday, September 5, 2014

How to Train Your Democrat

Dog trainers will tell you that the most important tool for training your dog is the tone of your voice.  By changing the volume and tone of your voice you can communicate a wide array of different messages to your dog and help to make him a better, more obedient pet.  So important are vocal tone and volume, in fact, that the actual words you speak are often irrelevant.  Except for a handful of commands to which the dog is trained to react, volume, tone and pitch will most likely dictate his response to your commands.

Recently I’ve noticed with great fascination that this works on democrats as well.  Their masters can tell them anything, and even if it is clearly untrue or defies basic logic, as long as the words are delivered with the proper technique democrats will respond as trained.   Tell them, for instance, that “You didn’t build that!” and as long as there is angry conviction in your voice it won’t matter that they DID build that.  They will respond on cue and bark along obediently.  Defiantly shriek, “What difference, at this point, does it make!” and they will howl in agreement despite the fact that the true story of the Benghazi attack and the tragic deaths of four Americans really does matter.

Just the other day Debbie Wasserman Schultz angrily told women democrats, “What Republican tea party extremists like Scott Walker are doing is they are grabbing us by the hair and pulling us back.”  Really?  Walker, of course, was the one who freed Wisconsin women from the grip of the union thugs, but the obvious absurdity of her statement was ignored by the lefty ladies so well-trained to salivate at any gratuitous comparison of republicans to cavemen.
And who could ever forget Bill Clinton?  Apparently his raspy southern accent and “charm” (ahem) were enough to convince democrats that a man with a long and sordid history of mistreating women was sincerely compassionate about women’s causes.  Bill Clinton was, in the words of top dog democrat Barbara Streisand, “just swell,” and the old southern charm is still working today as evidenced by the abundance of puppy love that still surrounds the aging woman abuser.

The true master, though, has to be Barack Obama.  He is the ultimate democrat whisperer, and could probably convince them to hop up in the car and go to the vet to be neutered without pain meds just by doing his bobble-head walk and broad grin at the same time.  Professor Obama waggles his dainty finger, furrows his brow and invokes a scolding tone to inform the dogs – er, excuse me – democrats, that congress won’t act (translation:  they won’t do his bidding) on this or that , and right on cue they erupt in angry barking as if his indignant tone suggests he speaks the truth.  Then he sticks his nose in the air and declares with just the right mix of defiance and resignation that he must make the ultimate sacrifice and “act alone,” and they clap like trained seals while he shreds the Constitution, their Constitution.  Empty promises delivered in loud, flowery rhetoric are all that’s needed to make democrats sit up pretty and beg with their tongues hanging out.  Confidently delivered untruths about the economy, Obamacare or our withdrawal from violence around the globe are predictably met with drooling, panting and vigorous tail wagging.

Good dogs.



Monday, August 25, 2014

Progressives: Moving us “FORWARD” To the Dark Age

Until recently most of humankind throughout history has shared an ongoing, positive struggle to improve and elevate every aspect of human existence:  the human condition, the human spirit and the ways in which humans live and co-exist.  Most of the world has moved from caves and huts and a harsh existence to enjoy the luxury of comfortable shelters and ample food.  The instinctive, human quest for knowledge and progress has led to marvels in science and technology that have vastly extended the human lifespan and improved our quality of life.  The days of certain tyranny, when class, race, gender and geography deprived most people in the world of the freedom to enjoy much of what life has to offer, has largely yielded to the human drive for liberty and self-determination; and the knowledge that freedom and autonomy are possible has given rise to hope where tyranny still exists.  Through religion, the arts and the continual refining of our cultures humans have sought to elevate our existence to something far from and above an animal-like existence.  We have endeavored to lift the spirit and make the human experience something noble, precious and worthwhile.  We have learned, as in the lyrics made famous by Sammie Davis, Jr., to live, not to merely survive.

The purpose of recounting this ongoing and largely universal struggle is to contrast it with the repression and destructiveness that’s been increasingly inflicted upon us by some in the name of “progress.”  In the name of “progress” we are told that we must “celebrate our diversity,” and the remarkable strides we’d made towards becoming a genuinely color-blind society - where the differences between us on the outside were gradually being obscured by the uniting of our shared values – are being lost.  In their place we see the rise of resentment and hatred, fueled on by phony declarations of “war” being waged on this and that group.  We are told we must be “tolerant;” but only when tolerance ultimately undermines the societies we’ve worked and sacrificed for.  That’s true progress, we are told.

In the name of “progress” we are informed we must be liberated in our sexuality, and where once we aspired for sex to be regarded as a sacred and private expression of love between committed people, now many behave as little more than animals in heat.  Popular songs celebrate casual sex and misogyny.  Dirt bags in movies and television compete to see who can turn depravity into the biggest pile of dollars, and with each competition the moral standards for entertainment sink to a new low.  From Shakespeare to “Dating Naked.”  Thank God for progress.

The cherished state of marriage that promised security and greater prosperity to couples, children and communities has given way to an epidemic of fatherless children, as liberals proclaim the legal union to be of little importance, unless of course you are gay.  More and more of the hard-earned income of those holding fast to “old fashioned” values goes to support those who have been liberated from responsible behavior in the name of “progress.”  More Section 8 housing, rehab centers and prisons are continually being built to deal with the children of “progress.”

Where once art was defined by the awe-inspiring works of people like Da Vinci and Michelangelo, now we are treated to bizarre creations made from human waste and live displays of masturbation to admire.  Check out the arts section of that ‘progressive’ pigsty,, for a sample of what constitutes “art” in the hands of “progressives.”  Aren’t you impressed with our progress?

Over the centuries people dreamed of a future where hard work, ingenuity and self-discipline could earn the rewards of comfort, pleasure and security in life, and people could aspire to a better existence than the average ant.  That dream had become a modern-day reality for many but alas, the “progressives ” have decided that our comfort, pleasure and security have become too great for their liking.  In the name of saving us from “climate change” and other boogey men they conspire to drive up the cost of energy so that more and more of our labor is spent earning the money just to drive to work or to stay warm.  You think you’re free?  You’re not free if you can’t afford the gas to travel anywhere.  In the name of progress they drive up the cost of food with their anti-fat and anti this and that regulations.  Forget about vacations and other luxuries.  Work, ant, work.
Keep thinking “progress.”


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Liberalism, Killer of “Compassion”

The premise used to be quite simple:   Come here legally; be responsible for yourself and your family; assimilate; contribute to the economy; don’t cause any trouble.  In exchange you are welcome to share in the promise of the American dream. That was our standard, and it was working quite well for the country and for immigrants, which of course meant that the Left had to mess with it, because anything that is working well is a threat to liberals.  It makes them irrelevant, and we can’t have that.  Thus it was time to begin dismantling all of the natural disincentives for being in this country illegally.  Demonize the INS; fight against English as our official language; encourage the celebration of diversity and non-American heritage; insist on free schooling and welfare; misapply the 14th Amendment; deprive police of the power to check for ID and arrest those here illegally; limit deportations; weaken the integrity of our elections.
And the results are in.  The population of illegal aliens in the U.S. has swelled to somewhere between 20 million and…who knows?  Our prisons are crowded with illegals costing U.S. taxpayers billions.  Americans have lost their lives and their property to illegals who commit more serious crimes.  Our schools struggle and divert resources away from our own children to educate those here illegally.  Our healthcare systems are overloaded.  American tax dollars find their way into the pockets of illegals via fraud and waste, and these dollars are sent “home” to other nations. 

Now, as tens of thousands of children and adults flood illegally into the U.S. from other countries, liberals are crying for “compassion.”  I’m sorry but there is no place for ordinary compassion in a completely irrational world.  When compassion is no longer defined as sympathy and help but instead means playing sucker to all those with the willingness and shrewdness to take unfair advantage, I say “No thanks” to being “compassionate.”  If that leaves some who truly are victims out in the cold, they can thank liberals for that, because liberals have proven time and again that they cannot be trusted with my compassion. 

Need another example?  Look at our bloated and corrupted welfare system, courtesy of the American liberal.  Each year billions and billions and more billions are being stolen from taxpayers to be given to freeloaders and scammers.  As the sister of a man with severe mental illness who can’t possibly support himself I watch with outrage, frustration and heartache as money that’s intended to help the truly needy is stolen by parasites, enabled by liberal politicians who want to buy their votes and pat themselves on their backs for their philanthropy.  I know firsthand that the need truly exists for some and yet I can’t blame anyone whose patience for “compassion” has been exhausted.  Thanks, liberals.  I hope you’re proud. 

The nature of liberalism is such that there is nothing worthwhile that it won’t seek to destroy, because it is in the destruction that they find their power.  It occurs both intentionally and as the unintentional result of the never-ending pursuit to gratify the liberal ego.  To those who are acting intentionally to place this nation in a state of chaos, I understand that your cries for “compassion” are nothing more than a scheme to bully this nation into caving in to the Left’s demands for the agenda they like to call “reform.”  To those who have fooled themselves into believing that they are acting for the public good and who can’t understand what’s happened to the compassion that Americans are known for, I say, “Look in the mirror and you will see the culprit staring back at you.”


Thursday, July 3, 2014

An Irony to Beat All Ironies

“President Barack Obama exhorted Iraqi leaders to come up with a political solution to governing their nation because "if they don't, there won't be a military solution to the problem," he told CNN in an interview Friday.

Obama wants to see Iraq create a command structure that includes Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds, which are the country's chief groups, he told CNN's Kate Bolduan.

"We gave Iraq the chance to have an inclusive democracy," Obama said on the eve of U.S. military advisers arriving in Iraq to help the government besieged by militant extremists.”

I have to marvel at the ability of the CNN reporter to keep a straight face as Barack the Usurper called for “inclusive” government in Iraq.  Mr.-I-have-a-pen-and-a-phone has done every imaginable thing within his power and beyond to exclude a chief group of citizens in this country from exercising their Constitutional rights to share power, so the irony of his lecturing Iraq is quite rich.   

Take a good long look in the mirror, Barack.  You have no business preaching to Mr. al-Maliki on anything, least of all the equitable sharing of power. 

"We gave Iraq the chance to have an inclusive democracy," he says.  Where does he suppose we came up with such an idea?


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Why 9-0 is a Mixed Blessing

We now have 13 unanimous Supreme Court rulings against Barack the Usurper, and conservative media outlets have been quick to emphasize the shut out in the rulings:

“Supremes Smack Down Obama Administration 9-0 For 13th TIME SINCE 2012”       ~ Daily Caller

“UNANIMOUS! Supreme Court Rules Obama’s ‘Recess’ Appointments UNCONSTITUTIONAL”     ~ Tea Party News Network

It’s not hard to understand why a 9-0 ruling would garner extra attention.  When even the liberals can’t bring themselves to vote with Obama, you know the overreach must be bad.  It’s only natural that conservatives would want to highlight that, so I apologize in advance for being a party pooper but I worry that undue celebration of these unanimous rulings gives us short-term satisfaction at the expense of nurturing the growing ignorance in this country with respect to the role of the court.   I say that because the added emphasis on the unanimous nature of these rulings unintentionally reinforces the notion that the SCOTUS decisions have greater legitimacy when everyone agrees.  While it’s easy to see how that thinking arises and there may be a certain element of truth there, the true and only test of a good decision ought to be whether or not our Constitution was upheld, regardless of the size of the majority.  Thus, conservatives should be asking themselves:  “Do we want to dilute the perceived legitimacy of correct but non-unanimous decisions by touting the vote count over the substance?”  The answer should be “No.”  If this seems like a petty criticism, consider that the headline on Huffington Post immediately following the Hobby Lobby decision screamed 5-4! In giant bold letters the other day (I can no longer find it).  What do you suppose they were saying to their readers?  What subliminal message were they trying to convey?  5-4 proves the decision was partisan and, therefore, illegitimate

Thanks to liberals the Supreme Court has progressively (pun intended!) come to be viewed in the most cynical way.  Intended by the Founders to be an integral part of our checks and balances against government abuse of power, democrats have predictably tried to turn it into a political weapon for advancing their own anti-constitution agenda.  To that end they have waged a largely successful campaign to change the way people think so that they unquestioningly accept this notion of the SCOTUS as a politicized extension of the other branches of government.  People evaluate the make-up of the court based on notions of philosophical “balance.”  They’ve been groomed to forget that the justices have a duty to uphold the law and only one side is philosophically committed to doing that.

We have a tragically precarious situation with our Supreme Court right now, that being the fact that at least four of our nine justices don’t understand or agree with the purpose of the Constitution and have repeatedly failed to uphold the oaths of their offices without consequence.  By all rights they should have been impeached long ago or better yet, never allowed on the bench to begin with.  Every conservative, particularly those with the biggest microphones, should be talking about what the Constitution says and how each ruling either upholds or undermines it, because that is the true measure of the court’s legitimacy no matter what the vote count is.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Not-so-Random Thoughts on Iraq

Once upon a time two companions embarked on an adventure in an unfamiliar land.  As they made their way through the woods they came to a fork in the road and began to argue over which path to take.  Pointing to the path on the right, the first traveler said, “I think that road leads south to the desert.  We should go left.”  The second man said, “The path on the left may lead us into unknown dangers.  We should go right.”  Unable to agree, one took the path on the right while the other took the road on the left.  Eventually the one headed south does indeed come to the desert.  Believing he can cross he keeps walking but ultimately the heat and lack of water proves too much and he becomes weak and disoriented.  Knowing he will die he thinks to himself, “My friend was smart to take the other road,” and then he perished.  The second man found himself deep in the jungle.  Walking along he inadvertently stumbles into a tribe of savages who practice cannibalism.  He is taken prisoner and as he awaits his fate he thinks to himself, “My friend was smart to take the other road,” and then he is killed and eaten.

The moral to the story is this:  don’t presume that because things didn’t work out as you planned that the road not taken would have guaranteed you sunshine and roses instead.
That is the basis of my message to the frothing-at-the-mouth leftists and libertarians who are cackling with glee at the chaos in Iraq and congratulating themselves for being “right” in their predictions, as in this comment (unpublished) left at my blog:

“Looks like you Neocons were wrong about Iraq after all, eh? Ron Paul and libertarians, on the other hand, have been proven 100% correct...”

Fairly quiet while things appeared to be stable, the so-called “libertarians” now cruise the web in search of the hated “neocons” so that they can gloat.  Of course, gloating is cheap when you’ve never been in a position to make the difficult decisions and never had to own the consequences, but they aren’t above it.  Why should they be?  They have no history of their own to defend, no paths they’ve been entrusted to choose between where the future was uncertain.  Still they take comfort in the tortured logic that says the failure met on one path somehow automatically vindicates the other.  Sorry to put a damper on the fun but that simply isn’t the case.  Whatever challenges there have been with respect to Iraq there is no way of knowing what different challenges we might have faced had we followed another path and not gone to war in 2003.  That is a fact.

The Iraq war and the debate that led up to it has been the perfect case study in revisionist history, thanks to democrats who were for the war until election time came and then suddenly, seeing that things weren’t going so well, they scrambled to save themselves by declaring that they’d been lied to.  So-called libertarians like “Unknown” jumped on that bandwagon and both factions pounced on what they believed to be a golden opportunity to turn the debate on Iraq into a referendum on conservatism.  Never let a crisis go to waste.  With an either-or mentality that evoked scenes from the George Carlin skit where anyone driving faster than you is an “asshole” and anyone slower than you is an “idiot,” the leftists decreed that a vote for John Kerry or Ron Paul meant you were peace loving while a vote for Bush made you a war-mongering “neocon.”  The absurdity of such a position, a basis for humor in the Carlin skit, was lost on the Left. Given what they were trying to do I found myself wanting to defend Bush no matter what the criticism rather than allow any misstep in Iraq to be touted as evidence of some broader failure of conservatism.  Such is the unintended consequence of politicizing that which ought not be politicized. 

Any reasonable debate about Iraq needs to begin at the beginning, going back to what we knew and didn’t know in the months and years leading up to the war.  It needs to consider what circumstances constitute a real threat to the U.S. and how real threats should be dealt with.  I have offered to go that route with many leftists and so-called “libertarians” who’ve come along to cry their cries of “neocon!” but in the years I’ve blogged not a single one has been willing to engage in honest debate.  Not one.  Doing so would mean having to concede that reasonable arguments were made on both sides, for and against war, and that either path had its own risks.  Alas, that kind of measured objectivity doesn’t serve the greater goal of taking out the political competition, and so rational debate has been rejected. 

Right now we are seeing the state of the world under the stewardship of the Left which, by the way, closely resembles the libertarian view.  Oh they’ll cry that they’re dealing with what was left to them by Bush, but every president inherits the world of his predecessors and it is his task to apply the talents he claimed to have and make of it what he will.  This isn’t 2010.  Obama has had five and a half years to prove to us that the path he wanted with respect to foreign and military policy is superior to that of his political foes.  I admit that I’m biased but so far I’m not impressed, to say the least.  I would love nothing more than to have a crystal ball with which to see how the world would look if Ron Paul were president.  Call me jaded but I suspect his supporters might find that the real world has its own way of undermining what sounds really swell in theory.  Maybe “Unknown” should be thankful, because as long as the presidency remains out of reach to the libertarians no one can prove that they don’t have all the answers.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Squeezing the Balloon

Whenever I hang a picture on the wall by myself all that I require is a child-sized hammer, a nail and one squinting eye.  When my husband gets involved, however, we have to drag out levels, drills, pencils, measuring tapes, stud finders, calculators, anchors, screws and other assorted tools that I can’t even name.  When we’re finished, you could hang a Sumu wrestler on my wall and he ain’t goin’ nowhere.  Once I asked the man, “If all of this is necessary, how come the pictures I’ve hung up never fall down?” to which he replied, “Because you don’t understand the laws of physics; therefore they don’t apply to you.”

As cool as it is being exempt from the laws of physics, I’m afraid I must prove him wrong.  I understand, for instance, that if I squeeze on one end of a balloon, the other end will expand as the air is forced into it.  If I squeeze hard enough, the balloon will burst as the air must find a way to escape.  It’s a simple fact.

Human nature and society are a lot like the air in that balloon.  People react to circumstances in very predictable ways and, left to their own devices, they will find a way around the obstacles that are placed before them, even if that means bursting the balloon.  If, for instance, the gov’t tries to reign in the cost of Medicare by reducing payments to medical providers, those providers will restrict their availability to such patients and/or will pass the shortfall on to non-Medicare patients by charging them higher prices.  Artificial constraints on Medicare act like pressure on a balloon, resulting in higher fees and insurance rates for everyone and opening the door to a duplicitous form of wealth transfer.

When the housing market went bust, liberals got busy trying to figure out ways to “protect” people from the consequences of their bad choices or the bad choices made by others that led to the bust.  They went to work meddling with the ability of banks to foreclose and to do what they naturally would to protect themselves, and this led to consequences for people far removed from the original transactions.  The balloon burst and the losses that banks were forced to absorb were passed on like escaping air to investors and other consumers in the form of higher fees, tighter credit and economic contraction. 

We can look at example after example of the unintended or INTENDED consequences that occur when those on the Left start messing with the balloon, squeezing it, pumping more air into, trying to make it into something it was never intended to be, until the balloon bursts.  On the horizon we see Obamacare, the trillion-dollar student loan mess that’s looming, welfare and other major crises-in-the-making, but for now I want to talk about illegal immigration because it’s the one crisis that many Republicans seem most clueless about. 

Immigration laws exist for a reason, most people understand that, and to paraphrase an astute observation made by Dana Perino of “The Five” the other day, a country without borders isn’t really a country.  That’s a simple but powerful truth.  America’s immigration laws, albeit tainted over the years, were designed to protect this nation and to ensure its sovereignty, its economy and its culture and traditions.  At least that’s what an immigration plan ought to do, correct?  A plan that’s properly enforced results in a balloon of a certain manageable size, and if and when the pressure gets to be too much due to demand the natural and ideal outlet, assuming that the forces are in place to keep the balloon intact, is for continual re-evaluation of and potential adjustment to our immigration policies.  Do we need more short-term or long-term workers?  What kinds of skills do we need?  Is immigration growing our resources or putting a strain on them?  All of those questions could be considered and debated with the proper deliberation and study they deserve when the balloon is treated with care and the air within it controlled but of course it’s too late for that.  Predictable forces from inside this country, including the unbridled appetite for cheap labor, bountiful rewards in the form of American taxpayer-funded services arranged for by the Left (and abetted by some who claim to hail from the Right) and neglect of the border combined to create unchecked demand that far exceeded the capacity of the balloon.  Illegal immigrants, like the molecules of air that were contained inside, have escaped and spread like water from a bursting dam, and the engineers who might have taken the time to carefully re-design or reinforce that dam are running to and fro, scrambling to catch up with the water everywhere it chooses to go in a hopeless effort to prevent the floods and erosion that are sure to come.

I may be no physics genius but I know a balloon that’s being stomped on when I see one, and right now there are balloons popping left and right. 

Can you hear them?


Monday, June 2, 2014

What is a “Conservative?”

Over the past twenty years or more there’s been a growing debate over what qualifies someone as “conservative” in the context of politics and philosophy towards government.  It’s not unusual to see two people supporting opposite sides of a policy while both label themselves as “conservative,” but as we all know, if “conservative” means everything, then it means nothing. 

Here’s what I know:  conservatism goes much deeper than policy.  Policy should derive from philosophy and philosophy should derive from beliefs.  The founders of this nation, through discussion, argumentation and debate, identified a shared belief system, and as they built the framework for the country and the Constitution they challenged each other to demonstrate that their ideas for that framework were consistent with that shared belief system.  That’s what needs to happen now as we debate the meaning of conservatism.  It’s what we should continually be doing.  Thus, if I had to define what I see as the basic belief system that identifies a conservative (politically speaking), here’s what it would be:

A true conservative understands and believes in the laws of human nature.

Self-interest, self-protection and self-reliance as well as less attractive traits like selfishness, the drive to dominate others, the inclination to steal or take advantage of others, the inclination to do evil, the inclination to work/manipulate the “system” and many other traits are all part of human nature.  These are patterns of behavior that exist universally in every society.  No government can succeed that ignores these realities.

A true conservative believes in the laws of natural consequences.

When you insulate people from the consequences of their actions you remove the natural incentives for them to do the right things.  It’s really that simple.

A true conservative respects the rights of others to life, liberty and property, with reciprocation.

The mere fact of your existence does not entitle you to the fruits of my labor, and vice versa.  You respect my rights and I will respect yours. 

A true conservative believes in the absolute necessity of justice, fair laws and abiding by the rule of properly enacted law.

In the absence of that you have systemic corruption and tyranny or chaos.

A true conservative instinctively understands the necessary role society plays in the success and perpetuity of the individual.

Forming societies is part of our nature and is integral to the survival of humankind.  A just, moral and well-defended society enriches the individual; and resilient, self-reliant, moral individuals create strong societies.  It’s symbiotic.  Unlike conservatives who respect and nurture this relationship, Liberals and libertarians undermine it, either intentionally for their own gain or through ignorance and immaturity. 

A true conservative believes in personal responsibility.

If every adult took care of his own needs and those of his family there would be no justification for big government.  Perhaps this is why “progressives” encourage just the opposite.

A true conservative knows that the only means to successful self-government is through open, honest debate.

A salesman doesn’t need to lie or resort to gimmicks when he’s selling a really good product, and a consumer isn’t really making a free choice when he’s lied to or when information is withheld from him.  Beware of those who refuse to engage in honest debate.

A true conservative believes that charity begins at home.

“Charity” is not when a you tell other people how to do good or force them to give.  It’s when you do good or give yourself.

A true conservative has the conscience of a conservative.

A reluctance to lie, cheat and steal, even in the face of opponents willing to do so, separates a conservative from a wannabe. 

A true conservative believes in the sovereignty of his nation and the inalienable right to self-defense.

If and when you give these up you have forfeited your freedom.

If you believe in these basic tenets, the policies will write themselves.  Furthermore they will be largely consistent from one “conservative” to the next.  Take illegal immigration.  If you believe in the rule of law, the laws of human nature, the laws of natural consequences and state sovereignty, then the only logical position on illegal immigration is to oppose any suggestion of amnesty, as this defies the rule of law, ignores the laws of human nature, nullifies the law of natural consequences and makes a laughing stock of state sovereignty.  I grant that not every issue will be clear, but that’s where the debate comes in.  Prove to me that your position is consistent with the conservative beliefs we share and I won’t question your claim to conservatism.  If you can’t do that, all bets are off.