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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say

Last month my friend Kathy posted a piece on democrat lawmakers in Connecticut attempting to ban the serving of whole or 2% milk in private daycare centers (“Connecticut Dems Want Milk Control”).  As Kathy astutely noted, republicans were missing the bigger picture by attempting to argue the merits of fat content in milk rather than asserting that it’s not the business of the state to decide what kind of milk is served by private childcare centers.  It’s hard to say whether Connecticut republicans have misplaced their conservative principles or whether they thought a fight based on the science would be easier to win.  Both prospects are highly disturbing.  But if it’s the latter case it demonstrates the problem with forsaking principled arguments in favor of trying to win by shortcut.  Once you allow the argument to be about the science of milk rather than the limits of the state, you’ve lost what matters most.  If the state can presume the right to decide what type of milk is served in private childcare centers, it can presume the right to decide just about anything that goes on in a private business.  That’s the danger of choosing the wrong argument to fight your battles.

I recall one typical family Christmas after John Kerry lost the 2004 presidential election to George Bush.  My liberal brother-in-law was opining on the reasons that Bush was a bad choice for president.  After the standard “Bush-lied-people-died” mantra didn’t prove persuasive enough he began parroting the democrat line about Bush being just a “C” student. “Did you know John Kerry was also a ‘C’ student?” I asked.  Silence.  (That’ll teach him to rely only on the MSM for information).  “Did you vote for John Kerry?” I sweetly asked.  This was his response, and I quote:  Blink.  Blink, blink.  Gotcha dear brother.

The moral to the story is this:  false arguments are a sure-fire way to make you look like a silly hypocrite.  My brother-in-law’s big problem with Bush was not his grades or his supposed “lies” over Iraq.  He disliked Bush because Bush is a republican and the brother-in-law is a liberal democrat.  Perhaps he didn’t want to defend that broader position (who can blame him?) but whatever the reason he ended up with egg on his face. 

Unfortunately he’s not the only one that’s fallen into this trap.  Republicans have a history of setting themselves up for a smack down by relying on arguments that really have little or nothing to do with their position.  When Barack Obama ran for POTUS in 2008, for instance, I knew immediately why I opposed him:  he was a hardcore leftist and all that this implies.  Isn’t that reason enough?  In fact I was optimistic after he won the nomination because I saw it as a grave miscalculation by democrats.  Regardless of how easily Americans are fooled most consider themselves to be conservative-leaning.  We needed to steer the debate to a choice between liberalism (i.e., socialism, the nanny state, big government, weak national security) versus conservatism (i.e., free market economy, the Constitution, small government, self-reliance, national defense), and we would win.  Of course we blew that right away by nominating someone who was unqualified to make the argument for conservatism.  The next mistake was to oppose Obama on the basis of such things as “inexperience.”  It blew up in republican’s faces when McCain chose Sarah Palin for a running mate and suddenly the sincerity of our concern over “experience” came into question.  We became immersed in an unhelpful sideshow debate over who was better qualified, Palin or Obama. 

The fact was, Obama’s inexperience was never the reason that republicans opposed him.  An experienced leftist is every bit as bad as an inexperienced leftist, so it was a distractive argument from the get-go, and such arguments always come back to bite.  ALWAYS.  Framing the debate on experience in a battle between a republican and a hardcore democrat is like arguing over whether a Porsche is better than Yugo based on the performance of the windshield wipers.  Okay I’ll grant you that McCain was no Porsche (he might be an Edsel…), but hopefully you still get my meaning.  Furthermore the “inexperience” argument is likely to come back and haunt us when we consider our next nominee from a pool that may include men like Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.  There’s no doubt democrats will remind voters that experience was ostensibly important to republicans in 2008, and this will be a blow to our credibility.

Nowadays the talk is about Hillary.  I don’t want Hillary to be POTUS.  Is this because of the Benghazi disaster?  No.  Is it because of concerns about her health?  No.  Is it because she had no accomplishments as Secretary of State or because she sponsored no noteworthy bills as a U.S. Senator?  Nope.  I don’t want Hillary to be POTUS because she’s a leftist, and all that this implies.  If Benghazi had never happened, Hillary would still be a leftist and I still would not want her as POTUS.  Ditto for Whitewater and all the rest. The beauty of knowing why you’re against something or someone and then staying true to that argument is that it will never come back to bite you.  If the Left manages to spin Benghazi or republicans blow the investigation and if Hillary’s doctor gives her a clean bill of health (he will), she will still be a leftist at the end of the day.  She is Obama on Geritol, that fact will never change.  That doesn’t mean Hillary’s record doesn’t matter, in fact it’s all related in the end.  But the primary case against Hillary is the mental disease of liberalism, in this writer’s humble opinion.  Everything else is icing on that cake.


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Eight Reasons Why I’m a “Denier”

#1.  The science is not persuasive.

I am not a scientist, nor have I conducted any personal studies on climate (and neither have you), so I’m not going to presume to put forth a lengthy, comprehensive analysis of the science and theories relating to man-induced “climate change.”  What’s most compelling to me are the unanswered criticisms to the assumptions, methodologies and conclusions of the believers.  Sweeping predictions and conclusions have been made based on a fraction of a sliver in time, that fact is indisputable.  Computer modelings that require assumptions on a wide range of variables form the basis for far-reaching conclusions in an industry that often struggles to accurately predict next week’s weather.  But perhaps the most compelling reason to question the conclusions of the believers with respect to the science is their failure or refusal to adhere to accepted scientific methodology. 

Proven or accepted science has an established protocol in the modern world, namely the “scientific method.”  Under the scientific method you form a hypothesis based on observations and then you test the hypothesis to see if it stands up.  Scientists have been testing their theories on what was first man-made global warming (now “climate change”) for years now, and they’ve made predictions based upon their theories and computer models.  Their predictions have not come to pass.  According to the methodology this means the theory failed and the next step should be to revise the theory.  Instead the believers simply changed the terminology from “man-made global warming” to “human-induced climate change.”  Something is amiss if you don’t question the science based on that fact alone, which brings me to point #2.

#2.  “Science” should not be ideologically or culturally driven.

Something is clearly wrong when a debate that is ostensibly rooted in science just happens to be strongly divided along party or ideological lines.  That kind of coincidence doesn’t happen in a world where people are being objective and open-minded, as real science requires us to be, and I find it astonishing that people – the investigative news media types in particular – have shown such little interest in understanding this phenomenon when it undoubtedly goes to the heart of this debate.  To the extent that it is brought up, moderators incorrectly ascribe moral equivalence (the ‘Right’ doesn’t believe the science because it doesn’t care about the environment; the ‘Left’ believes the sciences because they do care about the environment).  We can debate all day about who is ignoring or manipulating science for the sake of ideology, but the bottom line is that the burden of proof lies with those who put forth the theory.  That’s how real science works.  In the years since this debate began I have not heard a single liberal/democrat ever question the validity of the science despite the criticisms described above (and I’m sure there are yet more criticisms that I missed).  That none would express even the least bit of skepticism in the face of valid criticisms defies all logic and points to motives that have nothing to do with science.  To quote an astute and anonymous blogger:  “You probably wouldn't be the brightest crayon in the box if you blindly accepted every scientific theory that was ever announced.

#3.  The unconcealed hypocrisy of the “climate change” alarmists.

If a man implores his wife to be more frugal because he’s worried about their finances but then he continues to spend like a drunken sailor on himself, what would a reasonable person deduce about the sincerity of his concerns?  Do you really need time to think on that?

We are continually scolded and lectured to by people like Barack and Michelle Obama, Al Gore, Nancy Pelosi, left-leaning billionaire businessmen and leftwing Hollywood celebrities whose clear but unspoken message is, “Do as I say, not as I do.”  The enormous and ever-expanding carbon footprints of these people can only mean that they either don’t believe a word of their alarmism or that the whole point is to control the rest of us.  There can be no other explanation.

#4.  From “Global Warming” to “Climate Change:” The conveniently evolving terminology.

This one requires no explanation. 

#5.  The falsehoods.

Supportable scientific theories don’t require the doctoring of statistics or collusion over the message.  Enough said.

#6.  The Left’s insistence that “The Debate is Over!”

Seems like every day I open a newspaper only to see people declaring that the debate over the earth being flat is “over,” or that the debate over the theory of relativity is “over.”  NOT.  No one feels the need to repeatedly remind us that the debate on these theories is over because those debates truly are over.  The fact that the man-made climate change alarmists have taken to interrupting the ongoing debate to declare that “The debate is over!” proves two things:  (1) That they’ve failed to definitively prove their case with science (in which case the debate really would be over); and (2) that they intend to illegitimately usurp the power of the government that belongs to ALL of us in order to push for policies that only they support. 

I’d also like to point out the absence of any real-time, one on one debate, which I find incomprehensible given the fanatical dedication some profess to have in this supposedly looming crisis.  People who are confident in their positions generally relish the opportunity for serious debate, they don’t run from it.

#7.  The proposed “solutions” don’t actually resolve anything other than the perceived problem of our wealth and prosperity.

The one thing the “alarmists” and “deniers” agree on is that all of the proposed regulatory changes to ostensibly combat the effects of human-induced “climate change” will have little to zero chance of reversing it, yet it will impose enormous costs on Americans.  This is true regardless of whether you believe change can’t be effected because humans are not the source of changes in the climate or because you honestly acknowledge that we make up just a small part of the globe and without a worldwide, cooperative effort (which we are never going to get, by the way) we stand no chance of impacting the climate just through our own efforts.  The economic realities are why the Kyoto Protocol was rejected by the entire senate when first proposed in the 1990s (that’s correct, not even a single Democrat bought into it).  Given the absence of measurable warming over the past 17 years and other indications that the theories on “climate change” don’t add up, it would be nothing short of economic insanity to allow ourselves to be shackled by what the “experts” on the Left (i.e. politicians) are trying to harness us with.

#8.  I possess common sense.

Over the decades we’ve witnessed the frantic ringing of alarm bells over many things that didn’t ultimately pan out, including fear of “global cooling” which is well-remembered by skeptics but apparently forgotten by the current set of alarm-bell ringers.  Common sense would thus dictate that we proceed with caution, particularly when our economic security is involved.  Furthermore, when someone has a reputation for dishonesty, which the Left most definitely does (“If you like your plan you can keep your plan!”) common sense demands that you be wary of what they’re trying to sell.  Follow the motives. 


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Who’s “Partisan?”

We hear a lot these days about “partisan politics,” and you’re going to hear it even more, but like so many other parts of our language the term “partisan” has been massaged over the years to alter its meaning and shield those on the Left from the consequences of their own bad behavior.  “Partisan,” according to my old Webster’s Dictionary from college, is defined as:

 “A firm adherent to a party, faction, cause or person; especially one exhibiting blind, prejudiced, and unreasoning allegiance.” 

To be labeled as “partisan,” therefore, would not be a compliment.  In fact, to anyone with a conscience it would be and should be a stinging insult in the context of how it’s typically used.  Thus the term became a problem for democrats who like to portray themselves as pure of heart and fair, even when they’re acting in a clearly partisan way.    When Bill Clinton was impeached for lying under oath and obstructing justice in the Monica Lewinsky affair, for instance, the action was denounced universally throughout the left-leaning media as “partisan.”  As I’m sure all of us recall, that insult was directed at republicans and was meant to taint the proceedings as a prejudiced and purely political attack.  The reality, of course, was that Clinton DID lie under oath and DID attempt to obstruct justice, so who was partisan – the party that sought to hold a lying president to account or the party that sought to protect a lying president regardless of his misbehavior?  It was democrats, not republicans, who showed a “blind, prejudiced and unreasoning allegiance” to their party’s leader.  And so the leftwing media took it upon themselves to intentionally misuse (and thereby redefine) the word “partisan” to refer to any action taken by one party against a member of another party, regardless of its merits. 

Whoever controls the language controls the debate.

Fast forward to 2014 and Wikipedia now defines partisan this way: 

“In politics, a partisan is a committed member of a political party.”

Hmmm…that’s an interesting evolution.  In other words, now every member of a political party, regardless of his actions, is a partisan.  See how that works?  But notice that the old Webster’s definition is used by the media to apply to what republicans do, while the new Wikipedia version always applies to democrats. 

Never underestimate the deviousness of the Left.

These days the Benghazi investigations and the recent formation of the select committee, in particular, have rekindled the old indignant cries of “partisanship” by the democrats and their rabid friends in the media.  Amid the obvious missteps (lax security), failures (Americans dead and injured) and mistruths (the infamous video protest that never happened), somehow we are supposed to see moral equivalence on both sides of the Benghazi issue, even though one side seeks to know the truth while the other seeks to sweep the truth under the rug. 

Heads we win, tails you lose.

I’m not going to claim that partisanship is solely a sin of the Left.  Everyone’s guilty of prejudicial behavior towards the other side now and then, myself included.  But every act is not automatically a partisan act simply by virtue of who the target is or who the accusers are, and we should not sit back and quietly accept such mislabeling and abuse of the English language, yet we do.  ‘News’ anchors throw the word around right and left when conducting interviews, with never an objection raised.  “Partisanship” has become to politics what cries of “racist!” are to race:  a defense mechanism intended to insulate some (guess who?) from accountability for their actions.  Thus when Obama lies and blatantly disregards his oath to uphold the Constitution, those who object are declared either “partisan” and/or “racist” when of course the exact opposite is true.  A president – any president – should be expected to be truthful and to uphold the oath of his office, and anyone who objects to such accountability is the partisan. 

I understand this won’t change anything.  Dishonest tactics make up the playbook for democrats and that’s always going to be the case because that’s the only way they can win.  But WE don’t have to play along with the pretense.  We can take every opportunity to expose their tricks to the light of day, and that’s what my mission is here, today and every day.